Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

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Steak and Kidney Pie
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Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Steak and Kidney Pie »

I'm writing this based on some experiences that I've had when I played ICT 2 years ago, as well as some of the experiences of my teammates this time around. I think the current tiebreaker system could be improved. Because as it stands doing a tiebreaker to determine bracket placing usually involves teams not getting to eat (When I played 2 years ago, my team had to order food and eat it during matches, which got us yelled at by moderators), as well as teams breaking ties on half packets, which seems like a pretty bad idea because of the random sampling of questions that comes from taking a half packet. I think NAQT should either use statistics to break ties, or have extra packets so tiebreakers can be done on full packets, and lengthen the lunch period to accommodate for this, and allow players to get a chance to have lunch.


EDIT: This should probably be moved to ICT Discussion
Last edited by Steak and Kidney Pie on Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

Steak and Kidney Pie wrote:I'm writing this based on some experiences that I've had when I played ICT 2 years ago, as well as some of the experiences of my teammates this time around. I think the current tiebreaker system could be improved. Because as it stands doing a tiebreaker to determine bracket placing usually involves teams not getting to eat (When I played last year, my team had to order food and eat it during matches, which got us yelled at by moderators), as well as teams breaking ties on half packets, which seems like a pretty bad idea because of the random sampling of questions that comes from taking a half packet. I think NAQT should either use statistics to break ties, or have extra packets so tiebreakers can be done on full packets, and lengthen the lunch period to accommodate for this, and allow players to get a chance to have lunch.


EDIT: This should probably be moved to ICT Discussion
My team walked to lunch, ate it without a rush, got ice cream, and then walked back in time for our tiebreaker game. It's not terribly fun to have 75 minutes for lunch when it could be 90+, but the idea that you can't have lunch in that time seems false.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Important Bird Area »

Steak and Kidney Pie wrote: EDIT: This should probably be moved to ICT Discussion
It can stay here (since this thread isn't about question content).
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Lighthouse Expert Elinor DeWire »

Steak and Kidney Pie wrote:Because as it stands doing a tiebreaker to determine bracket placing usually involves teams not getting to eat
Both times I've had tiebreakers in Chicago the timing was fine, the problem my team had was with the price of food as hotel-based food costs a fortune (Even the diner across the street is quite expensive).
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Ike »

Steak and Kidney Pie wrote:I'm writing this based on some experiences that I've had when I played ICT 2 years ago, as well as some of the experiences of my teammates this time around. I think the current tiebreaker system could be improved. Because as it stands doing a tiebreaker to determine bracket placing usually involves teams not getting to eat (When I played 2 years ago, my team had to order food and eat it during matches, which got us yelled at by moderators), as well as teams breaking ties on half packets, which seems like a pretty bad idea because of the random sampling of questions that comes from taking a half packet. I think NAQT should either use statistics to break ties, or have extra packets so tiebreakers can be done on full packets, and lengthen the lunch period to accommodate for this, and allow players to get a chance to have lunch.


EDIT: This should probably be moved to ICT Discussion
I'm in agreement with Nick that it does seem kind of ridiculous to complain about the length of the ICT lunch - it's the longest lunch break I've ever been given at any tournament. It does strike me as implausible that you can't find food and get back in 75 minutes or however long it is for the tiebreaker. While it is overpriced, there are lunch options in the hotel.

Re: half packet. I believe NAQT and both ACF use this half packet policy and this isn't really anything inherently unfair as long as both organizations running the national tournament announce the policy ahead of time. As for random sampling of questions I believe that NAQT has already taken steps to ensure that the packets are properly distributed at half so that all four lit tossups don't appear in the second half or something. I know ACF Nationals has done the same for this year. I mean yeah it sucks that it does have to be on a half packet, but that's just due to the nature of resources.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Victor Prieto »

So, Penn State had a pretty rough lunch experience on Saturday. Penn State B finished prelims around 11:50, but for some reason Penn State A wasn't let out until 12:20 and we couldn't leave until 12:30. Penn State B was texted at 12:55 (right as we were getting food) that they had a tiebreaker that would be posted at 1:10. According to NAQT's ICT schedule, tiebreakers started at 1:15, so we figured we were needed at 1:15. We dashed out of the fashion outlets food court and got back as soon as we could, only to discover that Penn State B wasn't needed until after 1:30.

Obviously, 20/20 hindsight tells me that I should have just sent Penn State B by themselves to the fashion outlets, but splitting up into two groups would have been pretty subpar. The main reason though was that I had no idea that the Larry David bracket was running way behind, which ended up eating a significant chunk of our allotted time for lunch. I dunno if this also affected the other multi-team groups in the Larry David bracket (WUSTL, Chicago, Texas, Georgia). Anyhow, I agree that 75 minutes is enough time for lunch, but we effectively ended up having only 45 minutes.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Cody »

During the confirm record phase (great addition btw), it should be possible to tell teams whether or not they're expected to have a tiebreaker, which could help.

Also VCU ordered food in at every ICT I played and never had any problems. No lunch seems like a huge stretch.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by jonah »

Cody wrote:During the confirm record phase (great addition btw), it should be possible to tell teams whether or not they're expected to have a tiebreaker, which could help.
That's certainly intended to be part of that phase. We'll go back over the instructions for the bracket captains who conduct that check to make sure it's completely clear that they are expected to do that.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Steak and Kidney Pie »

I think informing people promptly would be sufficient for this, but I still think that half-packets are not a good idea, and especially for ICT given how the NAQT writing system works and how many questions are available, having 1 or 2 additional packets doesn't seem unreasonable.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Cody »

Steak and Kidney Pie wrote:I think informing people promptly would be sufficient for this, but I still think that half-packets are not a good idea, and especially for ICT given how the NAQT writing system works and how many questions are available, having 1 or 2 additional packets doesn't seem unreasonable.
Having written a few tournaments in my time, you're wrong. Also, half-packet tiebreakers for entry into playoff brackets is not unfair nor is it a bad idea.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by jonpin »

2-team tiebreakers still run on full packets, right? Then the only case where a half-packet is used is for the 3-or-more-way ties. Besides the additional full packet that would be required, that would also entail adding half an hour to the schedule.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Lighthouse Expert Elinor DeWire »

jonpin wrote:entail adding half an hour to the schedule.
Packet writing aside, I think in a non-food-desert like downtown Atlanta a 45-min lunch isn't a crazy idea for teams involved in two tieberakers.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Important Bird Area »

jonpin wrote:2-team tiebreakers still run on full packets, right?
Correct.

In general, we would be very reluctant to adopt schedule changes that add more time to the ICT. (ICT is already a long day, especially for those teams and staff flying home Saturday evening.)
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by ThisIsMyUsername »

I agree that the original poster's complaint about lunch break length is unreasonable given how comparatively generous NAQT's lunch break is, and that insisting on using two full packets instead of two half packets for breaking ties is probably impractical, both from the production angle of creating more packets and from the logistical angle of lengthening the day. But I think he made one quite reasonable point that is being ignored. Even if half packets are going to be used, there is no reason why the subject composition of each half should be entirely random. I don't know if they still are or if that has been fixed, but if it hasn't, it might be worth fixing.

I can say that as a player, I have both benefited and been hurt by the slanted distribution of some NAQT half-packet tiebreakers, in previous years. And these half-packet tiebreakers often decide quite important aspects of the final standings. Surely, the ideal half packet is one that comes as close as possible to simulating the subject balance of a full packet.

The set editors know in advance that Packet 8 is the packet that will be split if a half-packet tiebreaker is needed to decide playoff brackets, and that Packet 15 is the packet that will be split if a half-packet tiebreaker is needed after playoffs. Given this, I suggest that if it isn't already a policy, it might be a good idea to institute as a final step of set-editing--after all other feng shui issues have been resolved, and the distribution of questions among packets is finalized--ordering the questions within those packets to balance the halves as much as possible. This would make the existing tiebreaker system fairer, without resorting to solutions that lengthen the day or require more questions to be written.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by lumosityfan »

I just want to jump in with some of my experiences regarding the tiebreakers. I was one of the team members of Columbia D who had some issues with the schedule regarding lunch and the tiebreaker. We ended our Round 7 at 12:45 and was told to head to Room 2040 to figure out the rooms. However, even though they were supposed to text us, they didn't. They texted us 25 minutes after we were supposed to play. Also, they were supposed to put up a sign outside Room 2040 to tell us where to go for the tiebreaker, but when we went there, there wasn't any sign. We then had to go to another room to find out where to go, so in general things could have been planned better. I feel the problem with the tiebreaker game is that you risk the problem of squished time between lunch and tiebreaker that can jeopardize the formation of consolation and top brackets for the rest of the afternoon. Without tiebreakers, you can still move forward with the top and consolation brackets, and the games that contain teams that could not make it in time would simply be forfeits. With tiebreakers, however, if teams are too late in doing tiebreakers, the tournament cannot move forward. Teams would be stuck for a long time wondering what team they would be facing, and games themselves wouldn't be able to play. I feel that without tiebreakers, the tournament could run smoother and also it would provide a better experience for everyone, as then certain teams would not feel squished to get lunch quicker than others. Also, it would help reduce the risk that late-running prelim rounds would cause squished lunch times, which would cause the likelihood of late-running tiebreaker rounds to increase which would then slow the tournament down. Just my two cents; all the criticism and support are definitely valid.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Cody »

It seems to me that all the tiebreaker complaints are completely and severely missing the point / actual problem (minus JL's post which is on point).

Games are supposed to finish at around 12:00 PM. People have stated that games finished at 12:30 and 12:45. The question isn't why didn't tiebreakers give you enough time for lunch, it's why did your games finish so late?
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Mike Bentley »

Our room had a bit of a buzzer delay and there weren't buzzers to spare, so that may have contributed somewhat. Thus, it probably helps everyone if teams and staffers bring more working buzzers next year (I'm certainly guilty of this--I could have brought one).

Not sure what the start time of games were, but the staff meeting also took a bit longer due to the rules changes. I imagine that won't be as big of an issue next year.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis »

Cody wrote:It seems to me that all the tiebreaker complaints are completely and severely missing the point / actual problem (minus JL's post which is on point).

Games are supposed to finish at around 12:00 PM. People have stated that games finished at 12:30 and 12:45. The question isn't why didn't tiebreakers give you enough time for lunch, it's why did your games finish so late?
I agree with this. The real problem is the disparity between teams that leave at 11:50 and teams that leave at 12:45, and if there's a complaint to be had with tiebreakers, it's the uneven distribution of the half packets, which NAQT should be able to easily fix.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Cody »

Some teams might bring more buzzers if the discounts weren't limited to two ;)
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Ike »

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:stuff about random half-packets
I did not ignore this!
Re: half packet. I believe NAQT and both ACF use this half packet policy and this isn't really anything inherently unfair as long as both organizations running the national tournament announce the policy ahead of time. As for random sampling of questions I believe that NAQT has already taken steps to ensure that the packets are properly distributed at half so that all four lit tossups don't appear in the second half or something. I know ACF Nationals has done the same for this year. I mean yeah it sucks that it does have to be on a half packet, but that's just due to the nature of resources.
In fact, I distinctly remember some post Jeff Hoppes made a few years back saying that NAQT now does this. Unless this didn't happen this year, I think this is a non-issue.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis »

Ike wrote:
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:stuff about random half-packets
I did not ignore this!
Re: half packet. I believe NAQT and both ACF use this half packet policy and this isn't really anything inherently unfair as long as both organizations running the national tournament announce the policy ahead of time. As for random sampling of questions I believe that NAQT has already taken steps to ensure that the packets are properly distributed at half so that all four lit tossups don't appear in the second half or something. I know ACF Nationals has done the same for this year. I mean yeah it sucks that it does have to be on a half packet, but that's just due to the nature of resources.
In fact, I distinctly remember some post Jeff Hoppes made a few years back saying that NAQT now does this. Unless this didn't happen this year, I think this is a non-issue.
Figuring out the categories of some NAQT questions can be nigh impossible, but round 8 of this year's DII ICT was imbalanced in some way (mods, edit this out if this violates question security rules). I don't think this is "balanced," and I don't think anyone else does, either.

Edited accordingly (we don't want high school teams to make sub decisions based on this sort of thing) --Mgmt.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by Lighthouse Expert Elinor DeWire »

Just pointing this out, in the McGill/UNC/Missouri three way tiebreaker, the scores were 200-40 and 55-40.
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by jonpin »

Granted, that was to avoid bottom bracket of D-I, so these were teams playing questions that were very difficult for them, but we had Missouri in our room after that, and they reported 8 of the 12 had gone dead, and something along the lines of "that was the worst half of quiz bowl we've ever played".
Mike Bentley wrote:Our room had a bit of a buzzer delay and there weren't buzzers to spare, so that may have contributed somewhat. Thus, it probably helps everyone if teams and staffers bring more working buzzers next year (I'm certainly guilty of this--I could have brought one).

Not sure what the start time of games were, but the staff meeting also took a bit longer due to the rules changes. I imagine that won't be as big of an issue next year.
Conversely, stop bringing buzzers that don't :bees:-ing work. My room played part of the morning on a hybrid set, with one set having some buzzers that occasionally didn't work, and another set, labeled right on the damn case "Missing a cord". If it's missing a cord, why the hell are you bringing it with you to nationals and expecting a discount?

The staff meeting did take quite a while because of discussion about the death of the created works rule (the demise of which I still don't like), and addressing answers like "Shakespeare's Tempest". There was much confusion because head staff was saying things like "If you say 'Shakespeare, Tempest', that's wrong, if you say 'Shakespeare's Tempest', that's right" which misses the point of the issue (namely that in the first case, your answer is "Shakespeare"; and in the second, your answer is "The Tempest").
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Re: Suggestions About ICT Tiebreakers

Post by mtn335 »

jonpin wrote:Conversely, stop bringing buzzers that don't :bees:-ing work. My room played part of the morning on a hybrid set, with one set having some buzzers that occasionally didn't work, and another set, labeled right on the damn case "Missing a cord". If it's missing a cord, why the hell are you bringing it with you to nationals and expecting a discount?
To be fair, I'm pretty sure we're the ones who put that label on :p
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