leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

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leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by grapesmoker »

There have been a lot of mentions of teams leaving tournaments early, some teams doing so multiple times. Some of those teams have had the good graces to apologize for doing so, while others have not. What I hope to do here is to explain to people why leaving tournaments is unacceptable behavior. It is unacceptable for three reasons:

1) It is disrespectful to the writers and editors. Unless the set is so bad that you'd rather claw out your eyeballs and stuff them in your ears than hear another couple packets, chances are that the writing and editing teams (and you might be one of the writers) has put a lot of work into the set. They've done that so that you can have a quality quizbowl experience. When you leave early rather than see out the tournament to the end, you are showing disrespect for that effort; you would probably be equally upset if you were part of that editing team and someone did that to you.

2) It is disrespectful to the tournament directors and staff. The TD probably went to a non-trivial amount of trouble to organize the tournament. Oftentimes, staff have to be corralled from among club members and various friends of club members, rooms have to be reserved, schedules have to be made. When you leave early, you throw that organization into chaos and cause lots of confusion for the staff and TD, who now have to rework everything to make up for your absence. You would likely be quite unhappy if you were a TD and someone left early, forcing you into a bunch of extra work.

3) It is disrespectful to the other teams. Those teams all came out to play some quizbowl against other teams. They didn't come out to the tournament to sit through unplanned byes or play meaningless scrimmages amongst themselves that result when you leave early. You may not mean it, but when you leave rather than stay and play those teams, what that say is, "I don't care about how you feel about these things, I'm just looking out for #1." Chances are, you would be mad at a team that deprived you of a meaningful match by leaving early.

As you can see, all these things are straightforward applications of the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Think about how you would feel if you were in the positions of the above people, all of whom are being disrespected by your actions. Obviously, there are sometimes legitimate reasons to leave: long driving times (that means more than a couple hours), illness, weather conditions, etc. Tournament directors are typically understanding people and no one will be mad if you need to leave for a legitimate reason and are able to work things out with the TD. But when you take off for no good reason without telling anyone, you are showing disrespect for all the people who came together to make a tournament happen. Please don't do that!
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Mike Bentley »

As fun as it is to shit all over teams who leave early, perhaps it's worth looking into why some teams do leave early.

I think tournaments need to be more honest about their finish times. If you're running more than 12 rounds and it's not an NAQT tournament, then the finish time of a tournament is going to be after at least 6:00. If you're running 16 rounds, then it's going to be at least after 8:00, if not 8:30. Not matter how much Matt Weiner wills in his mind that rounds only take 25 minutes to read, the fact is that almost every tournament I've been to that use these number of rounds takes this long. When it gets to be time to run 4-6 more rounds for playoffs and it's already approaching early evening, I can see why teams who aren't expecting the tournament to go so long, consist mainly of people only casually interested in quizbowl, or who feel they have something else to do would leave early. I'm not necessarily defending this practice, but I think we should perhaps look at the cause of leaving early rather than, say, make sections of the qbwiki which calls out Carleton players who leave tournaments early and those who don't.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by yoda4554 »

I'm going to second Mike, and I think he's being conservative--in my recent experience, 14 rounds tends to take the tournament past 8:00. I don't think I'm alone in saying that my enjoyment of a regular quiz bowl tournament starts dropping pretty quickly after 6:00, and turns into active displeasure sometime around 7:00-7:30, no matter how wonderful or dreadful the questions may be. I'm not that swayed by the idea that teams have an obligation to the writers/directors, because they already paid them for the privilege of playing; the failed obligation seems to me to be that the writers and directors have failed to produce a tournament that runs on time. I have not yet left a tournament before it ended, but I've very often felt the urge to and have sympathy for those who have. I'm going to suggest that, particularly for teams who are not in the top playoff bracket (and thus are not playing any more "meaningful" games), overall utility rises rather than falls when a team that is totally wiped out and ceasing to have any fun leaves a tournament before the playoffs; whatever offense anyone still attending wants to display, I'm pretty sure it's less than the departing team's relief of finally getting the day over with.

Perhaps if it could become standard for teams who know that they have no interest in playing playoff rounds if the tournament runs very late to let the directors know this beforehand (as, incidentally, my Penn Bowl team has just done, in light of Penn Bowl's recent tendency to run very late and our greater interest in hanging out with each other than in mindlessly pressing buzzers in a zombie-like state of hunger and exhaustion through all hours of the night), that would be a good thing.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by at your pleasure »

our greater interest in hanging out with each other than in mindlessly pressing buzzers in a zombie-like state of hunger and exhaustion through all hours of the night),
In this case, it might be worth it to explore the possiblity of providing a short break in the evening for people to have a snack/light dinner or order somthing in. Although the tournament would run longer, the net enjoyment over the remaining time would increase because people would not be playing on an empty stomach( I am assuming that most teams that leave early do so no later than 6 or 7 o'clock.). Obviously, however, this is only a good idea for tournaments that run fairly late.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Perhaps teams that need to finish by 6 or 7 should tell the TD before the tournament. Then the TD might actually realize that he or she needs to take steps to avoid unnecessary lengthening of the tournament.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region »

I'm not for overly getting on teams for leaving tournaments early, but I have no problem with calling them out when they do so or with people having some fun with it on wikis or whatnot. I do agree that TDs can do a better job of educating teams about how long tournaments will take, and perhaps TDs should state in their announcements, correspondences, and morning meetings that all teams are expected to stay for their full number of rounds.

The reason I get worked up about teams leaving early is that it rips off other teams at the event. When I pay $80-120 to play in tournaments, I expect more than just 8 or 9 rounds with a few glorified, unscored scrimmages at the end. I want the full tournament experience, whatever it may be, especially since more often than not I'm also paying for hotels, food, and gas for trips that take 4-8 hours. This is why I think TDs especially need to be vigilant in doing all they can to make sure that teams stay; not for their own benefit but for the benefit of the people who gave them a lot of money to play in the tournament.

I'm not a fan of telling the TDs in advance that you plan on leaving before the playoffs. If you have good reason to believe a tournament will run past your ideal quizbowl playing window, perhaps you should consider just not going at all. You can save money, hang out with your teammates all day long, and not mess up the tournament experience for the teams who want to play a full tournament.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by cvdwightw »

There is absolutely no reason why a 12 round tournament cannot conclude at 7, and that's just me extrapolating a 10 AM start time and 40 minutes a round with an hour lunch. Given that (1) tournaments usually start before 10 and (2) games should take a maximum of 30-35 minutes a round, any tournament that's pushing 7:00 with fewer than 12 games has a serious problem. Starting at 10, with 35 minutes a round, you should certainly have 14 rounds done before 7:30.

Teams that are considering leaving early for any kind of pre-planned reason (e.g. long driving times, or just a general aversion to playing past a certain time) need to inform the tournament director before the tournament of the latest time they can stay at the tournament. Realistically, this shouldn't be any earlier than 7:00. "We didn't make the top bracket, so we're leaving" is not a valid reason, unless there's something that goes along with "We didn't make the top bracket" like "one of our players is ill" or "three of us want to stay, but the dude with the car is insistent on leaving, so we'll just leave and single him out on the boards."

For at least the past year I have indicated to Stanford/Berkeley that if we plan on driving back the night of the tournament, we will not be staying past 7:00. I hope other teams follow such an example (in light of the common sense argument Bruce is making), as this places the burden on the TD and staff to run a tournament efficient enough to get all teams through the tournament without having to butt up against that "we need to leave" time.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Blackboard Monitor Vimes »

cvdwightw wrote: Teams that are considering leaving early for any kind of pre-planned reason (e.g. long driving times, or just a general aversion to playing past a certain time) need to inform the tournament director before the tournament of the latest time they can stay at the tournament. Realistically, this shouldn't be any earlier than 7:00. "We didn't make the top bracket, so we're leaving" is not a valid reason, unless there's something that goes along with "We didn't make the top bracket" like "one of our players is ill" or "three of us want to stay, but the dude with the car is insistent on leaving, so we'll just leave and single him out on the boards."
This. The week before GSAC, I got an email from Chuhern saying that James Monroe would have to leave at 5 because of their bus driver (I realize college teams don't have this issue, but rental cars are sometimes a similar concern, as happened this weekend). Thus, when play-off schedules were being made, I had that knowledge in the back of my head and was thankfully able to get James Monroe finished before then, since they were not involved in the tie-breaker that took place. One team at Winter whose packet was being used midway through the play-offs knew they would have to leave at some point because of their rental car; I don't understand why they didn't tell Dan that so he could schedule their packet for later once he realized how late things were going. If you know you're going to have an extenuating circumstance for travel, which is one of few that can be predicted (since stuff like weather and illness tends to take people by surprise), tell your TD beforehand so that can be taken into account for scheduling. It's not hard to send an email saying, "Oh, bye the way, we need to leave at time x due to our plane/train/rental car." That's certainly easier than redoing a schedule and certainly less annoying than having extra byes or playing part of a packet (due to lost time) in a scrimmage. I agree that people shouldn't be leaving early, but if they have to and know that, they should be obligated to tell the TD.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Unsurprisingly, I'm unmoved by this outflowing of sympathy. Look, if you gotta catch a plane, we understand your departure. If your appendix bursts, no problem. This is not the same as "we'd rather hang out" or "we want to explore the town."

Even if an event gets done at 9:00 for whatever reason, that's not "all hours of the night." The only events that go "all hours of the night" are crazy side events tacked on to masters tourneys, and the like. Driving at 1:00 in the morning is not that bad...most of you are college students, I'm sure you can muster the energy. People need to realize up front that quizbowl trips are not vacations - there's no beach and no pina colada, just a cramped hotel room and an ill-heated university building. If you want to hang out, do it on the many nights of the year you're not attending quiz bowl events, or chat with each other between matches.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Matt Weiner »

I don't think it's unreasonable for people to want tournaments to end in the early evening rather than closer to 9. I also don't think that we need to just dismiss the possibility of getting in 12-14 rounds before 6:00. I wasn't talking out of my ass when I said that it takes 25 minutes to read a round properly; I've seen it done at all sorts of events. There need not be a conflict between earlier ending times and sufficiently long tournament schedules. The onus is now on TDs and moderators to come through on this.

It should go without saying that bailing out on a tournament still screws over your opponents, so even when the TD or the staff aren't living up to their end of the bargain, you should still suck it up when possible. Especially if you have no drive home at all and are just going to a hotel in town so you can play trash the next day; leaving early under those circumstances is entirely ridiculous.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! »

What about the issue of starting tournaments on time? There's the constant joke of "no quizbowl tournament has ever started on time," and certainly tournaments that I have run or helped run have started late. However, making sure games actually begin promptly at 9, or whenever, might help alleviate the time issue without having to address moderator quality or debate over the "proper" length of time a round should cover.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Starting tournaments promptly at the advertised time is often just as unrealistic as running that magical 25-minute round. Teams get lost or can't find the building in the morning, things need to be moved, administrative stuff drags on, people dilly-dally, etc.

Granted, you can always just start earlier in the morning - but, being a night person, I'd rather be driving at 2 in the morning than waking up at 7 in the morning.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by DumbJaques »

I've always wondered about the start time issue. I mean, everyone here has been in the group that showed up last at a tournament, and obviously nobody would be happy if TDs suddenly adopted a position of starting exactly at 9:00 or whatever and saying to hell with the teams who aren't here yet. But, I think tournaments have started on time maybe twice ever, and at this point the fact that people show up late is as much a function of nobody expecting the tournament to start on time as it is actual things like parking or running late. I generally try to insist that my time arrive at the actual time, but at some point it becomes silly to tell my teammates they can't get another 30 minutes of sleep when everyone knows we'll be waiting around for 45 if we show up on time.

I don't particularly know how to deal with this, and really, as a TD I can't imagine myself starting exactly on time when a lot of teams haven't showed up. But it seems like a not insignificant factor in the multitude of things that cause tournaments to run late.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

DumbJaques wrote:and at this point the fact that people show up late is as much a function of nobody expecting the tournament to start on time as it is actual things like parking or running late.
Or spinning out of control while changing lanes a bit too fast while speeding down a wet I-95, thereby crashing into the median.

Seriously, I don't believe anybody thinks "gee, tournaments always start late, let's lollygag!"
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Schweizerkas »

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote: Seriously, I don't believe anybody thinks "gee, tournaments always start late, let's lollygag!"
Believe it. I observed this exact attitude this weekend at ACF Winter.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Schweizerkas wrote:
Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote: Seriously, I don't believe anybody thinks "gee, tournaments always start late, let's lollygag!"
Believe it. I observed this exact attitude this weekend at ACF Winter.
I've observed this same attitude in my own heart. Granted, it doesn't much matter because of the structure of the Northeast, where pretty much everyone comes as early as public transportation can get them there and leaves as late as public transportation is running.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by ValenciaQBowl »

The CC tournaments that I run usually have little trouble sticking to around 30 minutes per round and starting and ending on time. Some of that is my own fortunate situation of having a large number of former players and good friends of the program (at USF, UF, and FSU, for example) to call on for staffing. But one thing that I think especially helps in terms of getting teams here at the time I ask (really important in a Friday night/Saturday morning tournament, where there are two opportunities to screw that up) is the fact that the CC teams are run by faculty coaches/sponsors. Since one person is the "authority" in charge of the others, it's easier for that person to insist on and enforce wake-up times, where and how long they're going for breakfast or other meals, etc. And a few of those folks are also very reliable staff (but I use fewer of them than former players, who tend to know the game better).

In my long-ago experience as a player, I know it was hard for anyone to really be the "boss" of the others, so one or two of us could hold up everybody. The closest we usually got to a leader was whoever was driving. But perhaps if teams had a more clear figure to manage the other players' time, this would be better. But easier said than done among a group of college students, of course.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by cvdwightw »

Schweizerkas wrote:
Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote: Seriously, I don't believe anybody thinks "gee, tournaments always start late, let's lollygag!"
Believe it. I observed this exact attitude this weekend at ACF Winter.
For what it's worth, this is my opinion on driving to tournaments: You should calculate the minimum amount of time you reasonably expect it to take to get there, and add half an hour, then leave the last pickup at whatever this amount of time before the stated start time is. One of two things will happen: you will get there before the tournament is supposed to start, or you will be stuck in the same traffic as everyone else and the tournament wouldn't start on time regardless of what time you start.

While teams should make every effort to make it to the tournament on time, things like unpredictable traffic and car accidents/breakdowns/flat tires happen. Which is why tournament directors should send out a phone number that teams can contact to notify them of (literally) last-minute problems in their final e-mail to teams; most teams would be fine with the solution of moving the schedule around to put their bye round in round 1 if they've really got a problem.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I wonder why it is that we're even having this discussion about start times. We're all acting like it's crazy to actually expect a tournament to start on time - why is it then that countless high school tournaments every year do just that? What is it about being in college that automatically makes everything run late? Even if we take into account people traveling and intentionally set the start time a little late, it is still very uncommon for games to start at that time in college. Why can't we take the cue from high school programs running very efficiently and actually figure out a way to get our tournaments to start on time too. Something also worth pointing out is that these high school tournaments often do it with twice the number of teams playing in the average college tournament, meaning they somehow do this despite having to wait for more teams (who often have to do things like ride in a slow bus for hours, etc.). Discuss.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by ValenciaQBowl »

Well, is it possible that part of the reason those HS tourneys run on time is because teachers make the plans with each other and make the kids show up on time? This goes back to my point above about the role of sponsors/coaches in enforcing punctuality.

This is not meant as a knock on all college students, but I know when I was one I was loath to get up early or move fast in the morning for anyone. And as a college instructor I see the same thing all the time with my own students and players. I have to get up earlier than the latter do on trips to pound on doors and get them going in the morning. Again, maybe electing or designating a veteran player on a team as the travel manager and making that person responsible for contact with TDs and organizing players for tournaments would be good, but I can imagine a lot of reasons why that would be hard to do.

The bottom line is simply being polite: when you're late you screw things up for lots of other people, and when you leave early without prior notice for less than a good reason you do the same.

PS--for full disclosure, I should say that I had warned UGA folks that Valencia would probably leave at 8 pm from ACF Winter because we were driving seven hours back to Orlando that night. Fortunately, their schedule suggested they'd be done before that and they were, but at least we gave them fair warning.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Cheynem »

I think the difference (for me anyway) is that in high school we had a teacher who was a coach who went with us. This coach was not only our coach, he was our history and government teacher and had a lot of authority over us, so if he said "be ready to go at 7:30," we were (one of my worst quiz bowl memories is being really late to something at Panasonic and getting a stern talking-to). In college, at least for me, there is a lack of this powerful and vaguely frightening authority figure. I mean, Rob Carson somewhat counts, but I'm usually up before him anyway.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Deviant Insider »

These problems can be solved if TDs make them priorities. If you don't want teams to leave early, give a realistic window of when you expect your tournament to end and explicitly tell teams that they should inform you if they can't stay that late. Base that window on how long your tournaments usually run--don't assume that rounds will start every thirty minutes unless you know you'll have good moderators in every room. Also, tell your moderators and teams as often as possible to go directly to their next match and start playing. People will think you are a jerk, but I don't worry about that when I run tournaments because I actually am a jerk.

If you want your tournament to start on time, then communicate that to teams as often and clearly as possible. Also make sure that you have your own act together so that announcements are over and moderators are ready to go when they are supposed to be ready. If a team shows up at 9:00 and has nothing to do for a half hour, then they will show up at their next tournament at 9:30 unless somebody tells them that their next tournament will be different.

You can blame teams that leave early or arrive late all you want, but a TD should run a tournament knowing that teams generally will be less invested in the tournament than the TD, and teams at the bottom end of the interest spectrum will be a lot less invested than the TD and less attuned to circuit norms, so the TD has to be clear about the minimal expectations for team behavior.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by grapesmoker »

Regarding how long it takes to read a packet, I have the following datum: yesterday I read a packet from 2004 ACF Regionals to my team, tossups and bonuses to the team that answered. I finished the packet in under 30 minutes, and this was without controlling chatter as much as I normally do when I read at actual tournaments. Granted, I am a fast reader, but most readers should be able to get through a packet in 35 minutes, tops. Also, in my experience, TDs and editors typically do make an effort to get people out on time in all but a few pathological cases.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

I mean, no doubt, there's a general atmosphere of informality that pervades collegiate events - which fosters some sluggishness especially around the beginning of the day. Personally, I kind of like that atmosphere. As the "no rules" in my handle was invented to indicated, I'm not wild about sanctioning teams or busting asses just so we can be sure that a tourney starts at 9:00 and not 9:20. That said, it has to be within the realm of reason - I think I've been to very few events, especially lately, which have been delayed too far past the planned start time. It seems kind of insignificant to me to grouse about 20 minutes at the beginning of the day - some team out there is going to be perfectly happy if the event ends at 7:00, but unhappy if it ends at 7:20? That drive home is going to suck balls no matter how you slice it, what's a couple extra minutes? Now, if it's longer than that or there are systematic delays beyond stray sluggishness, that's another story.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

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More people should play packets in their drives to and from tournaments. You learn things and it makes it less boring to drive at 3 in the morning.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by evilmonkey »

There are three types of people who leave tournaments early: Those who don't know any better, those who know better and don't care about the circuit, or those who know better and have informed the TD ahead of time. Of those, the third is, IMHO, acceptable (assuming good reasons like "I am participating in a show"; teams that are playing trash the next day have no recourse).

The first and second can be fixed with a simple, enforceable rule: After a first offense, the team should be clearly informed that such action is unacceptable, and that if they leave a tournament early again without advance notice that they will not be permitted to attend future tournaments. If the problem is the club's lack of knowledge about community standards, then it will enlighten them. If the problem is that the club as whole has a disdain for the quizbowl community, then they probably aren't a positive and they could be driven off. If the problem is that a few certain members of the club think they are more important than the rest of the circuit (like Notre Dame and Carleton), then that threat should be sufficient for authority figures to keep them in check.

As many of you know, I made the error of leaving early from the Illinois mirror of FICHTE last year, because I did not know better. I was not chastised for this, and so I did not then correct my actions. However, when most of Carleton left MO earlier this year, the negative remarks directed at them made me realize the error of my ways. The thought of angering the community was not enough to dissuade two of Notre Dame's three teams from leaving TRASH Regionals; the negative elements of my team assumed that this meant only that I would not be able to show myself around the message board and IRC, which they took as a positive. But it was the above threat from a random person on IRC that enabled me to turn around and get my team to realize that there could be further consequences. I don't know how seriously the idea was considered, but I feel that a "probation" of this sort is warranted. Though I never had anyone tell me officially that Notre Dame would be banned from future tournaments if they left early without the TD's advance knowledge, I consider this to be a statement of fact.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by SepiaOfficinalis »

I must agree that any teams that leave have in fact effectively discharged their responsibilities to the TDs/hosts when they pay to play in the tournament. I agree it disrespects the other teams, but then, lesser-skilled teams really aren't there for the amusement of good teams in order that they may crush as many people as possible (oh noes, that's not at all why people play, I'm so very ignorant.) I mean, it's fine to apply social pressure to people who expect to enjoy tournaments but don't, it's only reasonable, since it does in fact decrease the value of the tournament to others, but I certainly don't think that teams can really be obligated beyond their fees. If a tournament doesn't appeal to a broad audience, then that really, truly, is only the fault of the tournament, not of the people who desire to flee it in spite of the acknowledged pressure not to do so. I would say this without fear of the Huitzilopochtili-like abilities of the Rob Carson, but I'm afraid that it's after mid-afternoon, and he may be alert and persuant, so I must flee.

[Edit:] I mean, it is douchery to leave early and perhaps ostracizing teams who do so from similar tournaments is appropriate, but nonetheless, I do not place the blame on the team that does so, clearly they would not have travelled to and paid for a tournament if they did not expect a somewhat rewarding experience, and if they do not find it so, then that is not itself their fault at all.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

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I don't say this often, but what the hell is wrong with you
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Cheynem »

I don't know, it's a little pat to say that something must be wrong with the "tournament." If we make commitments to do something and it turns out to be not quite as optimal as we wanted, we should be adult to say, "I said I would play, leaving would screw other teams/people and be disrespectful, I should stay." Not "This tournament is not satisfying, ergo, something is wrong with it and I am perfectly free to leave whenever I want."
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:I must agree that any teams that leave have in fact effectively discharged their responsibilities to the TDs/hosts when they pay to play in the tournament. I agree it disrespects the other teams, but then, lesser-skilled teams really aren't there for the amusement of good teams in order that they may crush as many people as possible (oh noes, that's not at all why people play, I'm so very ignorant.) I mean, it's fine to apply social pressure to people who expect to enjoy tournaments but don't, it's only reasonable, since it does in fact decrease the value of the tournament to others, but I certainly don't think that teams can really be obligated beyond their fees. If a tournament doesn't appeal to a broad audience, then that really, truly, is only the fault of the tournament, not of the people who desire to flee it in spite of the acknowledged pressure not to do so. I would say this without fear of the Huitzilopochtili-like abilities of the Rob Carson, but I'm afraid that it's after mid-afternoon, and he may be alert and persuant, so I must flee.

[Edit:] I mean, it is douchery to leave early and perhaps ostracizing teams who do so from similar tournaments is appropriate, but nonetheless, I do not place the blame on the team that does so, clearly they would not have travelled to and paid for a tournament if they did not expect a somewhat rewarding experience, and if they do not find it so, then that is not itself their fault at all.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by grapesmoker »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:I must agree that any teams that leave have in fact effectively discharged their responsibilities to the TDs/hosts when they pay to play in the tournament. I agree it disrespects the other teams, but then, lesser-skilled teams really aren't there for the amusement of good teams in order that they may crush as many people as possible (oh noes, that's not at all why people play, I'm so very ignorant.)
This makes no sense. Teams leave when the tournament is in its latter stages, which typically means that a rebracketing has happened and weak teams are no longer playing good ones. So Bumfuck State C leaving early isn't going to deny Chicago A the chance to whale on them.

Also, I'd like to point out how absurd it is to suggest that good teams are amused by beating up on weaker ones. What is the challenge of doing so, pray tell Tom Soderholm? What could I possibly get out of such an experience? I and everyone else that I know who is good at quizbowl would, without hesitation, prefer games against high-level opposition.
If a tournament doesn't appeal to a broad audience, then that really, truly, is only the fault of the tournament, not of the people who desire to flee it in spite of the acknowledged pressure not to do so.
No one is arguing that some tournaments (e.g. Winter) should not be tailored to have a wider appeal. But most of the time, people know what they're getting into; it's not like you come to the tournament with no comprehension of what's going to happen. People don't come to ACF Nationals thinking they're going to EFT and so on. If you're finding yourself slightly out of your depth, it's only decent of you to suck it up for that extra hour out of respect to everyone involved and just not come next time if that's not the tournament for you.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by vcuEvan »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:it is douchery to leave early
First time I've agreed with you about something.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by SepiaOfficinalis »

everyday847 wrote: If the letters in your sig lined up appropriately, I would take this seriously, but as they don't, I cannot.
My thoughts exactly.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by SepiaOfficinalis »

grapesmoker wrote:
SepiaOfficinalis wrote:I must agree that any teams that leave have in fact effectively discharged their responsibilities to the TDs/hosts when they pay to play in the tournament. I agree it disrespects the other teams, but then, lesser-skilled teams really aren't there for the amusement of good teams in order that they may crush as many people as possible (oh noes, that's not at all why people play, I'm so very ignorant.)
This makes no sense. Teams leave when the tournament is in its latter stages, which typically means that a rebracketing has happened and weak teams are no longer playing good ones. So Bumfuck State C leaving early isn't going to deny Chicago A the chance to whale on them.

Also, I'd like to point out how absurd it is to suggest that good teams are amused by beating up on weaker ones. What is the challenge of doing so, pray tell Tom Soderholm? What could I possibly get out of such an experience? I and everyone else that I know who is good at quizbowl would, without hesitation, prefer games against high-level opposition.
If a tournament doesn't appeal to a broad audience, then that really, truly, is only the fault of the tournament, not of the people who desire to flee it in spite of the acknowledged pressure not to do so.
No one is arguing that some tournaments (e.g. Winter) should not be tailored to have a wider appeal. But most of the time, people know what they're getting into; it's not like you come to the tournament with no comprehension of what's going to happen. People don't come to ACF Nationals thinking they're going to EFT and so on. If you're finding yourself slightly out of your depth, it's only decent of you to suck it up for that extra hour out of respect to everyone involved and just not come next time if that's not the tournament for you.
Thanks, I think this is the first time one of your replies has been responsive to what I've said, rather than to what you feel I must have said in order to disagree with you. I mean, I don't think it's really especially fun for a good team to whip a lesser one, but I do think it's less fun for the lesser team that doesn't get to hear any clues that make sense to them. Generally, I'm willing to trust a team's own judgment of how much they value staying over the judgment of other teams as to how much that team ought to value staying. If people come to Nationals expecting EFT, then, sure, they're poorly informed, but that they're poorly informed doesn't obligate them to stay. Sucks for the rest of us, but I don't see any moral argument here other than "you ought to stay for my benefit," as I've more or less stated before.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Auroni »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:I mean, I don't think it's really especially fun for a good team to whip a lesser one, but I do think it's less fun for the lesser team that doesn't get to hear any clues that make sense to them. Generally, I'm willing to trust a team's own judgment of how much they value staying over the judgment of other teams as to how much that team ought to value staying. If people come to Nationals expecting EFT, then, sure, they're poorly informed, but that they're poorly informed doesn't obligate them to stay. Sucks for the rest of us, but I don't see any moral argument here other than "you ought to stay for my benefit," as I've more or less stated before.
hey please prove that good teams enjoy whipping lesser ones and please tell us why random team A leaving sometime after lunch is anything but selfish and hurtful to everyone else out there

and please stop making obfuscating as hell statements, none of us want to enhance the actions of our predecessors or whatever
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Cheynem »

You make it seem like hurting other teams and being rude/inconsiderate is an insignificant moral argument. Color me Emily Post, but I think that's a huge moral argument and trumps a good deal of reasons to leave early. It is also the onus of the team who signs up for events to realize what they are getting into. "I didn't realize there would be good teams/hard questions," to me, is not a valid reason to just leave early and screw over other people.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:Thanks, I think this is the first time one of your replies has been responsive to what I've said, rather than to what you feel I must have said in order to disagree with you. I mean, I don't think it's really especially fun for a good team to whip a lesser one, but I do think it's less fun for the lesser team that doesn't get to hear any clues that make sense to them. Generally, I'm willing to trust a team's own judgment of how much they value staying over the judgment of other teams as to how much that team ought to value staying. If people come to Nationals expecting EFT, then, sure, they're poorly informed, but that they're poorly informed doesn't obligate them to stay. Sucks for the rest of us, but I don't see any moral argument here other than "you ought to stay for my benefit," as I've more or less stated before.
But this doesn't have much to do with reality. When teams leave early, they're leaving early once they're playing teams of their caliber, so boo-hooing about the plight of weaker teams when they're outmatched is not really relevant. It's especially irrelevant because you come to quizbowl tournaments to play quizbowl, not to be the best team at the tournament. If you're not very good at an activity but you don't want to lose games to teams that are better than you at that activity, you should find another activity.

If people come to Nationals expecting EFT, it's their own damn fault, and so yes, they are obligated to stay out of respect to the efforts of the TD and to other teams.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Sir Thopas »

One thing you're sort of forgetting is the job of a tournament director. They are being paid for providing a service such that each team gets a complete service. By leaving early, you're removing some of that experience and thus cheating every other team out of some of their money, and the TD of his responsibilities to deliver a quality service to all, not just to the particular whiny team that's leaving.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by grapesmoker »

I started this thread in an attempt to make an argument for not leaving tournaments out of mutual respect. If you deny that people are owed any respect within the context of the implicit social contract that underpins the interactions on the circuit, then I fail to see how anything else I will say is going to convince you.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by SepiaOfficinalis »

everyday847 wrote: But this doesn't have much to do with reality. When teams leave early, they're leaving early once they're playing teams of their caliber, so boo-hooing about the plight of weaker teams when they're outmatched is not really relevant. It's especially irrelevant because you come to quizbowl tournaments to play quizbowl, not to be the best team at the tournament. If you're not very good at an activity but you don't want to lose games to teams that are better than you at that activity, you should find another activity.

If people come to Nationals expecting EFT, it's their own damn fault, and so yes, they are obligated to stay out of respect to the efforts of the TD and to other teams.
Hell, if you believe Mr. Westbrook, apparently we all come to quizbowl tournaments out of a desire for the self-flagellation of low comfort, low enjoyment and low sleep, that we may have the purity of true worship of the extra-personally "academic," and should anyone think otherwise it shall deeply violate the intrinsic masochism of quizbowl. People come to quizbowl tournaments for their own reasons, clearly they expect to enjoy the quizbowl, or they wouldn't make the effort to come. I fail to see how it's their fault it they decide it's not worthwhile. It may not be the fault of anybody else, either, their expectations may have been completely unreasonable. Nevertheless, teams do not play quizbowl for the benefit of other teams, nor should they, they play because their members are interested and find it enjoyable in general. When tournaments fail to meet their expectations, they are failing in what is undeniably a marketplace, rather than some cult with explicit moral laws. Quizbowl may adjust or it may accept their rejection, but it cannot improve by blasting those who don't like its current form. Go figure.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Sir Thopas »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:Hell, if you believe Mr. Westbrook
This is the hollowest of strawmen.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by grapesmoker »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:Hell, if you believe Mr. Westbrook
The set of people satisfying this statement usually consists of Mr. Westbrook himself.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Frater Taciturnus »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:
Hell, if you believe Mr. Westbrook,
See this is why everyone is constantly arguing with him is because all believe and agree with him.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:I fail to see how it's their fault it they decide it's not worthwhile. It may not be the fault of anybody else, either, their expectations may have been completely unreasonable.
Removing your Westbrook-related premise, still, no.

You're free to decide that it's not worthwhile. But if you buy a ticket to see a movie and decide that the movie sucks, then proceed to scream at the top of your lungs for the last ten minutes to voice your disapproval, I consider it the prerogative of everyone in the audience to beat you up, because you suck. There's a difference between paying for the right to participate in something and paying for the right to disrupt it.
SepiaOfficinalis wrote:Quizbowl may adjust or it may accept their rejection, but it cannot improve by blasting those who don't like its current form. Go figure.
And those who don't like it's current form can't make their voices heard if they flaunt community standards. (I hear communities don't like that?) If you want tournaments to be shorter, the best bet isn't to leave early in outrage; people will hate you and call you a wuss. Instead, you should stick it out and post afterwards saying "this is too long." And then maybe you don't go to the next tournament that says it's going to last twenty-two rounds. Earn respect; use that capital to effect change.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Auroni »

In addition to what Andy said (and he put it better than I'm going to put this), if your goal is to mouth "fuck you" to the community because you don't like a certain thing about it, it's an understatement to say that your objection won't be treated legitimately.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by at your pleasure »

If people come to Nationals expecting EFT, then, sure, they're poorly informed, but that they're poorly informed doesn't obligate them to stay. Sucks for the rest of us, but I don't see any moral argument here other than "you ought to stay for my benefit," as I've more or less stated before.
I'm going to go ahead and respond to this semi-strawman(since the reputation of Nationals as a difficult tournament is rather strong) by noting that staying does, in fact benefit you, because games tend to get more competitve later in the day and because it will help you develop a reputation for good behavior and courtesy.
When tournaments fail to meet their expectations, they are failing in what is undeniably a marketplace,
This analogy is misleading. Participants in a marketplace may act as the please, but they should not intentially screw other people over. If you run a buisness you don't like one of your suppliers, it's acceptable to cease to do buisness with them, but unacceptable to disrupt other people's doing buisness with them. Likewise, it's one thing to refuse to support a tournament you do not enjoy by not going(not doing buisness with the supplier), but it is quite another thing to leave early and negativly affect other team's efforts to enjoy and support the tournament(disrupting other people's buisness with the supplier).

Getting back to the topic of teams leaving tournaments early, it might be a good idea to take pains to inform teams of the expected finishing time in advance, as well as a statement that teams who must leave eraly should inform the TD, so everyone involved knows that they might be staying later that 6:30. This might also be useful for distinguishing ill-informed teams from selfish teams.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by BuzzerZen »

Sir Thopas wrote:One thing you're sort of forgetting is the job of a tournament director. They are being paid
What?
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Sir Thopas »

BuzzerZen wrote:
Sir Thopas wrote:One thing you're sort of forgetting is the job of a tournament director. They are being paid
What?
By the teams attending, I mean.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by SepiaOfficinalis »

Anti-Climacus wrote:
If people come to Nationals expecting EFT, then, sure, they're poorly informed, but that they're poorly informed doesn't obligate them to stay. Sucks for the rest of us, but I don't see any moral argument here other than "you ought to stay for my benefit," as I've more or less stated before.
I'm going to go ahead and respond to this semi-strawman(since the reputation of Nationals as a difficult tournament is rather strong) by noting that staying does, in fact benefit you, because games tend to get more competitve later in the day and because it will help you develop a reputation for good behavior and courtesy.
When tournaments fail to meet their expectations, they are failing in what is undeniably a marketplace,
This analogy is misleading. Participants in a marketplace may act as the please, but they should not intentially screw other people over. If you run a buisness you don't like one of your suppliers, it's acceptable to cease to do buisness with them, but unacceptable to disrupt other people's doing buisness with them. Likewise, it's one thing to refuse to support a tournament you do not enjoy by not going(not doing buisness with the supplier), but it is quite another thing to leave early and negativly affect other team's efforts to enjoy and support the tournament(disrupting other people's buisness with the supplier).

Getting back to the topic of teams leaving tournaments early, it might be a good idea to take pains to inform teams of the expected finishing time in advance, as well as a statement that teams who must leave eraly should inform the TD, so everyone involved knows that they might be staying later that 6:30. This might also be useful for distinguishing ill-informed teams from selfish teams.
True, its not particularly stable as an analogy to a traditional commodity market, although it's quite literal that quizbowl TDs are suppliers in a market for quizbowl. It's also not particularly true to say that there's any way to avoid a supplier that doesn't screw over the other buyers, anything that hurts the margins or value to a supplier will be passed on as a harm to everyone else (fewer teams, higher prices, poorer questions, whatever). Maybe that's too abstract a way to treat an issue that is easily personalized to become "these jerks screwed me out of something that I paid for [as did they] and they agreed to," but when tournaments run long or at an unexpected difficulty or format, I don't see a principled difference between protesting that and protesting a tournament in advance that's expected to be of a poor difficulty or format. An increasing number of us protested CBI until it was driven out of existence, and that hurt the enjoyment and legitimacy of the remaining participants without even paying CBI for the ability to do so. Perhaps we all see this as great justice and therefore completely incomparable to hurting players at tournaments of "good quizbowl"; it doesn't make it so. I know that TDs are taking on that role at considerable personal cost and effort where the benefits accrue to them only collectively, but they're still service-providers doing something for paying customers. Everyone and noone is at fault when that service breaks down to the detriment of everyone.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:I don't see a principled difference between protesting that and protesting a tournament in advance that's expected to be of a poor difficulty or format. An increasing number of us protested CBI until it was driven out of existence, and that hurt the enjoyment and legitimacy of the remaining participants without even paying CBI for the ability to do so. Perhaps we all see this as great justice and therefore completely incomparable to hurting players at tournaments of "good quizbowl"; it doesn't make it so.
Okay, there's a difference from protesting "in advance" (or afterwards) because if you protest during, you are hurting everyone's experience and insulting the tournament director. Not showing up doesn't hurt anyone's experience or insult the tournament director. Attention, Stanford: you did not fly to Harvard to play T-Party, you owe me one thousand dollars for I am insulted. No?

So in fact what does "make it so" is that these two things are different.
Andrew Watkins

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