My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

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My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

Wow, good job NAQT. That's now two years in a row that both SCT and ACF Fall (EFT, too!) have completely avoided the DC-NYC corridor, an area that a) is the most densely populated in the country, and b) is full of schools that therefore don't have good provisions for student parking and teams where therefore nobody owns a car, making long-distance travel a much more difficult and expensive proposition than it is in other parts of the country.

I can accept this situation of bids happening every once in awhile; it's fine to mix things up and make sure everyone gets a chance at a close tournament every once in awhile. But this distribution of bids appears to be the new "normal", and that looks like it's having some really poor effects on what should be a much more bustling, well-served area.
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Re: NAQT SCT...

Post by DumbJaques »

I know lots of people with cars
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Re: NAQT SCT...

Post by BuzzerZen »

DumbJaques wrote:I see people with cars pretty much everywhere I go
Fixed.
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Re: NAQT SCT...

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

DumbJaques wrote:I know lots of people with cars
Over five years and two schools, the teams I've been on have had exactly one person with a car on campus. And this was really only possible because he lived in the off-campus dorm, making it easier to get one of the less than 100 permits available.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by AKKOLADE »

Pardon my ignorance, but are there not a pretty large selection of trains to take places?

Also, comedy 'take someone who does have a car hostage and turn them into a member of your team, Patty Hearst style' option.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by Stained Diviner »

When I had to use half of the Beltway to commute to work for a year, I got the distinct impression that there were a lot of cars in the DC Area. Because I was working for followers of Maharishi, my morning consisted of meditating at home, giving twenty people the finger on my way to work, then meditating at work. Good times. Maybe that was just a different era--the outgoing President that year was George Bush.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by fleurdelivre »

I see Chinatown buses pretty much everywhere I go...
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by Matt Weiner »

The problems with the Mid-Atlantic SCT are pretty profound, and the transportation issue is but a secondary one. The basic issue is that there are a lot of teams in the Mid-Atlantic who wish to play SCT (the tournament has had more than 30 teams in some recent years) but only one program, Maryland, is really capable of gathering 15 or more moderators who can handle timed rounds. Since Maryland already hosts a million tournaments a year, they don't want to host SCT in perpetuity. Hence, we get a lot of suboptimal situations. This logistical difficulty is perhaps the most compelling argument for NAQT to get rid of the clock.

On that note, I hope William & Mary knows what they are getting into, and is willing to accept some guidance from NAQT or from people in the region who have been through this before, regarding the pressing need to recruit and train moderators well in advance, have scorekeepers in each room, not let a large tournament go off the rails in terms of the format or timing, and so forth.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by Important Bird Area »

Matt Weiner wrote:The basic issue is that there are a lot of teams in the Mid-Atlantic who wish to play SCT (the tournament has had more than 30 teams in some recent years) but only one program, Maryland, is really capable of gathering 15 or more moderators who can handle timed rounds.
The Catch-22 here is that if there were more bids (warning: I don't actually know how many bids there were this year), then it would be relatively simple to split this into two sectionals. But there aren't many bids, because teams that would be quite capable of hosting 12-15 teams don't bid because they're afraid of winning a single mega-sectional they can't actually staff?

People who have actually played mid-Atlantic tournaments since 2002, feel free to correct me.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by btressler »

I want to back Chris up on this. I've thought there's been a general dearth of tournaments in the area lately. I might bid on something in the near future to try and help. I wish U Delaware could help, but we've had some problems lately reserving rooms.

I think there's another larger issue here: the general "health" of the Mid-Atlantic circuit has declined in recent years. Less teams = less places interested in hosting. I think a discussion about why this happened and how we might take productive steps to fix it might be in order.

Quick quiz: name 10 schools that had a quizbowl team in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, or a nearby state around 1995-2000 but do not now (or had a team that did many more tournaments than they do now). I think such a list can be compiled. Remember when Penn Bowl had a 70-team field?

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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by The Goffman Prophecies »

Bad Boy Bill wrote: Quick quiz: name 10 schools that had a quizbowl team in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, or a nearby state around 1995-2000 but do not now (or had a team that did many more tournaments than they do now). I think such a list can be compiled. Remember when Penn Bowl had a 70-team field?
I don't think you even have to go back that far. I can recall teams that were active in 2003-2005 that have essentially disappeared/stopped hosting/stopped attending most tournaments.

Off the top of my head:
Rutgers-NB (I know Keller is still there, but I haven't seen them at anything in a while).
Rutgers-Newark
Johns Hopkins
George Washington
Swarthmore
Delaware (TRASH doesn't count)
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Virginia Tech '13
South Carolina '15
and a couple other places
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by vcuEvan »

Swarthmore is pretty active.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by rhentzel »

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:Wow, good job NAQT. That's now two years in a row that both SCT and ACF Fall (EFT, too!) have completely avoided the DC-NYC corridor, an area that a) is the most densely populated in the country, and b) is full of schools that therefore don't have good provisions for student parking and teams where therefore nobody owns a car, making long-distance travel a much more difficult and expensive proposition than it is in other parts of the country.
NAQT is disappointed to hear that you find this year's (and past year's) choice of Sectionals hosts inconvenient for your team and your region; we want every team to compete and try very hard to do our part to make the tournaments accessible. We do maintain a database of teams and we certainly know that there are lots of active schools in the D.C.-NYC corridor.

Unfortunately, we are constrained by the bids that we receive; let me assure you that we are not perversely choosing sites with any goal in mind beyond those of having close, fair, reasonably sized tournaments. If you (or other schools) are unhappy with the choices, please give us more choices in subsequent years by submitting bids.

I know that the eastern Canadian schools discuss their SCT site in advance and basically send us an e-mail from every active program saying that they've agreed that they'd like to see this year's (East) Canadian Sectional at such-and-such a site. While not bound by any such request, NAQT is happy to take them into account and, to the best of my memory, has always gone along with them. If enough schools in the Mid-Atlantic region are unhappy with the current process, perhaps something similar could be orchestrated.

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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by btressler »

Since somebody bit:

Penn State
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by rhentzel »

bt_green_warbler wrote:The Catch-22 here is that if there were more bids (warning: I don't actually know how many bids there were this year), then it would be relatively simple to split this into two sectionals. But there aren't many bids, because teams that would be quite capable of hosting 12-15 teams don't bid because they're afraid of winning a single mega-sectional they can't actually staff?

People who have actually played mid-Atlantic tournaments since 2002, feel free to correct me.
One of the things for which NAQT asks in schools' SCT bids is the maximum field size they can accommodate. Smaller schools that could handle 12-15 teams should not be ashamed to list that as their maximum field size; NAQT would then have the choice of choosing two smaller hosts or one larger one. We would also know that we couldn't accept that bid and expect it to handle the entire region.

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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by The Goffman Prophecies »

Adamantium Claws wrote:Swarthmore is pretty active.
I stand corrected. I know their program had recently revived, but I didn't realize that they've been going to tournaments at least since late 2007. They had fallen dormant for a couple years.

Regardless, it's good to see them back on the circuit.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

A.F. wrote:
Bad Boy Bill wrote: Quick quiz: name 10 schools that had a quizbowl team in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, or a nearby state around 1995-2000 but do not now (or had a team that did many more tournaments than they do now). I think such a list can be compiled. Remember when Penn Bowl had a 70-team field?
I don't think you even have to go back that far. I can recall teams that were active in 2003-2005 that have essentially disappeared/stopped hosting/stopped attending most tournaments.

Off the top of my head:
Rutgers-NB (I know Keller is still there, but I haven't seen them at anything in a while).
Rutgers-Newark
Johns Hopkins
George Washington
Swarthmore
Delaware (TRASH doesn't count)
Villanova also used to be at least somewhat active, though they mostly stuck to novice tournaments. Other teams that showed up to more than one tournament during that time period and fell dormant: Bucknell, Bryn Mawr, NYU (did show up to EFT this year), CUNY (they have returned with Yetman).

Swarthmore was at CMU's ACF Fall this year, and one of their players was part of a UNC team for EFT (it fell during their fall break); Rutgers-NB went to EFT this year as well; GW was at Illinois Open. I'm not sure what caused Swat to miss Maryland's IO mirror, but I remember when I was there that our van pool had a 150-mile limit, which should explain at least some of the travel difficulties. If it wasn't already clear, I might as well just outright state that my concern for Swarthmore's situation is driving this post at least as much as the financial hit my current team is taking by having to spend, say, $500 on Amtrak to go to tournaments in Boston (and consequently not being able to take everyone who wants to go). There are actually more teams in the area then there were two years ago (the return of Swarthmore and possibly GW, new teams at George Mason, UMBC, Hunter, RPI) which is exactly why this is a problem.

To be fair, the situation is better for the spring: we'll have Terrapin, Buzzerfest, probably an ACF Regionals at Columbia, possibly a Cardinal Classic mirror at UMBC. The problem is that EFT and ACF Fall are exactly the early-season controlled-difficulty tournaments that help get new teams going to tournaments, and SCT is obviously also important for the qualifying aspect. I contend that a lack of these tournaments will have more of a negative impact on a circuit than a lack of J. Random Springtime Invitational.

To Matt Weiner: I actually think that Boston is going to be the site that gets the ridiculous crush of more teams then they can handle, unless the prohibitive cost of Amtrak or rental cars means that schools have to leave people home, depressing turnout. They'll certainly be picking up Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers, Hunter, the new team at RPI, and possibly others. Remember how "large" Virginia Tech's field was last year.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

OK, how are these host sites near you magically going to appear if nobody bids on these events?
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by vcuEvan »

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote: If it wasn't already clear, I might as well just outright state that my concern for Swarthmore's situation is driving this post at least as much as the financial hit my current team is taking by having to spend, say, $500 on Amtrak to go to tournaments in Boston (and consequently not being able to take everyone who wants to go).
I thought you guys got travel reimbursed.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

Adamantium Claws wrote:
Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote: If it wasn't already clear, I might as well just outright state that my concern for Swarthmore's situation is driving this post at least as much as the financial hit my current team is taking by having to spend, say, $500 on Amtrak to go to tournaments in Boston (and consequently not being able to take everyone who wants to go).
I thought you guys got travel reimbursed.
We thought so too. We actually get (I think only) half of travel reimbursed, for a maximum of seven tournaments including nationals per year. (I'm sure about the seven-tournament cap, not sure about the 50% deductible.)
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by Lapego1 »

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:
Adamantium Claws wrote:
Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote: If it wasn't already clear, I might as well just outright state that my concern for Swarthmore's situation is driving this post at least as much as the financial hit my current team is taking by having to spend, say, $500 on Amtrak to go to tournaments in Boston (and consequently not being able to take everyone who wants to go).
I thought you guys got travel reimbursed.
We thought so too. We actually get (I think only) half of travel reimbursed, for a maximum of seven tournaments including nationals per year. (I'm sure about the seven-tournament cap, not sure about the 50% deductible.)
Yeah, Chris is right. And then they pulled this 7-tournament cap thing on us too, so closer tournaments would be nice, yup.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Yeah, this is the worst sob story ever told. On the Westbrook Scale of Unmoving Objections, it falls somewhere between "I can't go to your tournament, it's too close to finals!" and "All tournaments should finish before 5:00 so everyone can have a hearty meal and enjoy the town!"
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by Mike Bentley »

Matt Weiner wrote:The problems with the Mid-Atlantic SCT are pretty profound, and the transportation issue is but a secondary one. The basic issue is that there are a lot of teams in the Mid-Atlantic who wish to play SCT (the tournament has had more than 30 teams in some recent years) but only one program, Maryland, is really capable of gathering 15 or more moderators who can handle timed rounds. Since Maryland already hosts a million tournaments a year, they don't want to host SCT in perpetuity. Hence, we get a lot of suboptimal situations. This logistical difficulty is perhaps the most compelling argument for NAQT to get rid of the clock.

On that note, I hope William & Mary knows what they are getting into, and is willing to accept some guidance from NAQT or from people in the region who have been through this before, regarding the pressing need to recruit and train moderators well in advance, have scorekeepers in each room, not let a large tournament go off the rails in terms of the format or timing, and so forth.
Well, Pitt did a pretty good job of hosting sectionals last year, so I have confidence they can do so again. I don't remember how many teams were there, but with DI and DII combined it was at least 10, probably closer to 15.

I don't really understand why the Swarthmore team had trouble getting places. It seemed like there were a number of places to park on campus during the two times I went to the campus, and it's not like it's in the middle of an urban area. I can see how a school like Penn could not have a person with a car, and that's unfortunate. But it's not like there has been some huge dearth of tournaments easily accessible from Philadelphia in the past year. Amtrak and the Chinatown buses both can get you to Richmond, which has been the site of several tournaments. Sure it's less convenient than Maryland or Princeton or Rutgers or Delaware, but it's still within reason, even for a team without a car. Plus, I can't imagine the Chinatown buses from Philly to Boston being outrageously expensive.

Going from Philly to Pittsburgh or Williamsburg is certainly annoying without a car, but it seems like it's pretty much the only tournament during this year that meets this qualification. Granted this is annoying because this is a tournament you need to attend, but one tournament where you have to spring for Amtrak or the Greyhound shouldn't be a deal breaker.

Perhaps Penn should host more tournaments. Maybe Penn could have even made a bid for Sectionals. I don't think Penn has hosted more than one collegiate tournament per year since at least 2003, if not earlier. This would give the club more funds and would be great for other teams in the region as Penn is a reasonable driving destination for teams in both the Northwest and in Maryland and Virginia.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:I don't really understand why the Swarthmore team had trouble getting places. It seemed like there were a number of places to park on campus during the two times I went to the campus, and it's not like it's in the middle of an urban area.
There are spaces for visitors, but the campus/Ville police are really serious about their parking tickets, which makes owning a car almost impossible unless you win the lottery. Seriously, they catch you two or three times and you get a boot on your car.
Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Going from Philly to Pittsburgh or Williamsburg is certainly annoying without a car, but it seems like it's pretty much the only tournament during this year that meets this qualification. Granted this is annoying because this is a tournament you need to attend, but one tournament where you have to spring for Amtrak or the Greyhound shouldn't be a deal breaker.

Perhaps Penn should host more tournaments. Maybe Penn could have even made a bid for Sectionals. I don't think Penn has hosted more than one collegiate tournament per year since at least 2003, if not earlier. This would give the club more funds and would be great for other teams in the region as Penn is a reasonable driving destination for teams in both the Northwest and in Maryland and Virginia.
Well, now that I've gone and opened my big mouth, it would only be fair to encourage the team to make a bid for something.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by grapesmoker »

Can't you just rent a car? You're 25, right? It's only $30/day or so to rent and if you're getting reimbursed for it, I don't see the problem.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

grapesmoker wrote:Can't you just rent a car? You're 25, right? It's only $30/day or so to rent and if you're getting reimbursed for it, I don't see the problem.
For what it's worth:
a) I'm actually only 23
b) rental cars are quite a bit more expensive than $30 per day, but they're still "reasonable" provided it's a one-day rental, and
c) my reason for bringing this whole thing up in the first place wasn't so much a personal whine as trying to advocate on behalf of the under-21 young'ns. (Full disclosure: yes, the Penn team is entirely under-21 on weekends when I'm busy.)
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by grapesmoker »

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:Can't you just rent a car? You're 25, right? It's only $30/day or so to rent and if you're getting reimbursed for it, I don't see the problem.
For what it's worth:
a) I'm actually only 23
b) rental cars are quite a bit more expensive than $30 per day, but they're still "reasonable" provided it's a one-day rental, and
c) my reason for bringing this whole thing up in the first place wasn't so much a personal whine as trying to advocate on behalf of the under-21 young'ns. (Full disclosure: yes, the Penn team is entirely under-21 on weekends when I'm busy.)
I'm not trying to be down on you; perhaps renting cars in Philly is more expensive than elsewhere. I know from my experience that renting a car in Providence would be roughly $30/day for me at this point, but I'm over 25 and if you are not, they will typically charge you up to a $25 premium for this.

I do agree that this may not be the optimal distribution of sites. I hope you guys are not prevented from going by these circumstances.
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Re: My name's Mater. Like tuhmater, without the tuh.

Post by pray for elves »

If you rent from Enterprise, you can get a rate of as low as $25/day if you're under 25 but over 21.
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