Non-students playing closed tournaments under false names

Elaborate on the merits of specific tournaments or have general theoretical discussion here.
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Re: Non-students playing closed tournaments under false name

Post by Kouign Amann »

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
Kouign Amann wrote: If this is all so easy and innocent and just a big misunderstanding about different circuit norms, then why lie when asked about it the first time? That's the thing I haven't been able to understand yet.
It was an ill conceived joke premised on the notion that Naveed was already aware what was going on.
Yeah, being obfuscatory on the website where quizbowl's common knowledge is distributed is really not a great look when taken together with various local people's objections that the so-called "common knowledge" about these unusual practices is really nothing of the sort. Hopefully, this thread can encourage the leaders/insiders of the SoCal circuit to have a good long think about the kind of community they're trying to build and the ways of communicating and behaving they want to encourage within that community.
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Re: Non-students playing closed tournaments under false name

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Kouign Amann wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
Kouign Amann wrote: If this is all so easy and innocent and just a big misunderstanding about different circuit norms, then why lie when asked about it the first time? That's the thing I haven't been able to understand yet.
It was an ill conceived joke premised on the notion that Naveed was already aware what was going on.
Yeah, being obfuscatory on the website where quizbowl's common knowledge is distributed is really not a great look when taken together with various local people's objections that the so-called "common knowledge" about these unusual practices is really nothing of the sort. Hopefully, this thread can encourage the leaders/insiders of the SoCal circuit to have a good long think about the kind of community they're trying to build and the ways of communicating and behaving they want to encourage within that community.
You're right - it was a bad idea to be obfuscatory and is inappropriate considering the purpose of the forums. I apologize for doing so.

For what it's worth, I don't really intend to make this a "common" practice. I took a trip to LA to have getaway from the cold, stay and catch up with some of my fraternity brothers, hang out with a good friend of mine, and do one of the things I love most - play quizbowl, in person, with friends, on a supportive and friendly team. I wasn't going to be able to do this for a long time - February was a long way away - so I circumvented the normal rules and asked a favor from a friend. I made new friends, caught up with others, ate a bunch of really good food, and got to see a bunch of people in a circuit that I've never really been to before. My life is non-insubstantially better because this trip happened.

My position is thus: ACF tournaments and NAQT tournaments should be sacrosanct, as I'm sure you all agree. There's also a place for a couple mACF regular events per year that are closed, especially in the fall when there's not much else to determine how well various teams are doing, introduce people to competitive quizbowl, etc. But the demand for non-hard quizbowl tournaments among retired players is non-zero, and I think there's a real audience out there for non-uber-hard, regular events. I suppose Missouri Open wasn't the greatest of tournaments, but I'm hoping that events like MO and WAO (and the various open NASAT mirrors) can demonstrate that non-uber-hard tournaments can cater to open teams and school teams as well.
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Re: Non-students playing closed tournaments under false name

Post by Cheynem »

I agree with Will that there is a place for these tournaments, but those are tournaments in which it is very clear what the eligibility is from the get-go. That was not the case with Terrapin or presumably other tournaments in SoCal.
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Re: Non-students playing closed tournaments under false name

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Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote: For what it's worth, I don't really intend to make this a "common" practice. I took a trip to LA to have getaway from the cold, stay and catch up with some of my fraternity brothers, hang out with a good friend of mine, and do one of the things I love most - play quizbowl, in person, with friends, on a supportive and friendly team. I wasn't going to be able to do this for a long time - February was a long way away - so I circumvented the normal rules and asked a favor from a friend. I made new friends, caught up with others, ate a bunch of really good food, and got to see a bunch of people in a circuit that I've never really been to before. My life is non-insubstantially better because this trip happened.

My position is thus: ACF tournaments and NAQT tournaments should be sacrosanct, as I'm sure you all agree. There's also a place for a couple mACF regular events per year that are closed, especially in the fall when there's not much else to determine how well various teams are doing, introduce people to competitive quizbowl, etc. But the demand for non-hard quizbowl tournaments among retired players is non-zero, and I think there's a real audience out there for non-uber-hard, regular events. I suppose Missouri Open wasn't the greatest of tournaments, but I'm hoping that events like MO and WAO (and the various open NASAT mirrors) can demonstrate that non-uber-hard tournaments can cater to open teams and school teams as well.
I don't think I understand what this post is getting at. As far as I can tell, whether you had fun has nothing to do with the point of this thread, which is to ascertain whether what happened was appropriate or proper. Whether there should be more open tournaments doesn't seem germane, either, unless your position is that individual non-students should take matters into their own hands and play closed tournaments if there aren't enough open tournaments.
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Re: Non-students playing closed tournaments under false name

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

This is what the situation looks like: That there is one set of rules for people well-connected enough to know about a bunch of secret rules, and another set of rules for everybody else. Retired players ask to play tournaments all the time and get turned away by TDs and set editors, except I guess if you know somebody and can email them for a special dispensation, you can play anything you want!

The exact reason for these rules existing is to preserve the legitimacy of the competition as something that teams from colleges do as a form of intercollegiate competition. Subverting those norms on occasion is necessary for tournaments to run efficiently or to help build circuits, but that's not what was going on in this case. It seems like the intent here might not be incredibly nefarious, but I definitely think it seems unfair to other teams in the Southern California circuit that some knew about this practice while others did not. For new teams coming to a circuit, these kinds of practices make quizbowl look unprofessional, run by an in-group, and not worth the time or investment. After all, why spend all this time and money on an activity that mostly exists to further the interests of the cool kids who have already been around for a while? It doesn't matter if nobody intended for this practice to give quizbowl this kind of appearance, because the perception of illegitimacy is there whether you like it or not.

Even if there are good reasons for allowing ineligible players to compete at this specific mirror, there should absolutely be more transparency about why it had to happen. It also seems the status quo in Southern California is different than in other places, but it does not seem ideal. Doing things like "excluding teams of retired players who constantly showed up to tournaments so they could beat up on new clubs" was a big step in re-building the college quizbowl circuit in the Southeast, and while it led to some growing pains (like a bunch of 4-6 team tournaments composed of not-great teams) it ended up being a key part in retaining new teams. I can't say if there is any harm caused by this practice in the context of Southern California quizbowl, but whether allowing ineligible players to compete is good for the long-term health of the circuit is something worth exploring.
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Re: Non-students playing closed tournaments under false name

Post by Ike »

Our Lady Peace wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote: For what it's worth, I don't really intend to make this a "common" practice. I took a trip to LA to have getaway from the cold, stay and catch up with some of my fraternity brothers, hang out with a good friend of mine, and do one of the things I love most - play quizbowl, in person, with friends, on a supportive and friendly team. I wasn't going to be able to do this for a long time - February was a long way away - so I circumvented the normal rules and asked a favor from a friend. I made new friends, caught up with others, ate a bunch of really good food, and got to see a bunch of people in a circuit that I've never really been to before. My life is non-insubstantially better because this trip happened.

My position is thus: ACF tournaments and NAQT tournaments should be sacrosanct, as I'm sure you all agree. There's also a place for a couple mACF regular events per year that are closed, especially in the fall when there's not much else to determine how well various teams are doing, introduce people to competitive quizbowl, etc. But the demand for non-hard quizbowl tournaments among retired players is non-zero, and I think there's a real audience out there for non-uber-hard, regular events. I suppose Missouri Open wasn't the greatest of tournaments, but I'm hoping that events like MO and WAO (and the various open NASAT mirrors) can demonstrate that non-uber-hard tournaments can cater to open teams and school teams as well.
I don't think I understand what this post is getting at. As far as I can tell, whether you had fun has nothing to do with the point of this thread, which is to ascertain whether what happened was appropriate or proper. Whether there should be more open tournaments doesn't seem germane, either, unless your position is that individual non-students should take matters into their own hands and play closed tournaments if there aren't enough open tournaments.
I actually do think there is a good discussion to be had about whether there should be more open tournaments, though it is certainly not germane to this thread.

I agree with Naveed's confusion here, and in fact if I didn't know you Will, I'd be more than confused. Will, is the first paragraph some attempt at an apology / defense of why you asked Jordan to play this tournament? Even if it is, I think your post looks pretty bad because the suggestion here is that quizbowl is some kind of tourist activity, which it certainly is not. More importantly, the subtext of your post is the exact kind of ugly elitism that Will Overman, Nick Conder, Jeff Xie, and numerous others are decrying here. I know you well enough to know you don't mean it to be elitist, but when you post stuff saying "I wasn't going to be able to do this for a long time - February was a long way away" as an explanation for why you sought eligibility, my mental response as someone who doesn't know you would be "get over it, you shit," because not even counting the fact that you have more financial means than most teams in the nation playing quizbowl, everybody else who is retired has to deal with that too. Furthermore none of your post makes any sort of apology to the weaker teams who were there and may have been the most affected by it. What I'm saying here is, it sure comes off as elitist when you type up a post like this, and fail to see what the issue being discussed in this thread is! I defended you (and Jordan) because I don't think you guys broke the rules of the tournament, but I think there is a good discussion to be had here about what the rules should be. I, in fact, lean towards trusting the SoCal's circuit judgment, and I hope that the people who run it consider all the posts here in making future decisions. But when I read this kind of defense, I certainly would think twice about letting people fly out to (semi-)closed tournaments anywhere.
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Re: Non-students playing closed tournaments under false name

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Ike's not wrong - basically what I did consisted entirely of taking advantage of my personal connections and means to enjoy myself. Perhaps the optics of this are bad and somewhat confusing, but I'm basically saying what I did and why I did it, not offering any sort of abstract defense as to why it should be allowed. Whether such activities should be allowed in the first place merits discussion, and there have been a number of legitimate points raised in regards to this - certainly the most important being "this should be above the table."

I think it would be good to hear more voices from the Southern California circuit about their experience with mixed teams of various sorts, since the Southeast model that Nick presented may not be the only option available. Such things do not seem appropriate for the East Coast or Midwest, where there are lots of teams with sizable clubs of people who are capable of handling regular difficulty tournaments.
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