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What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:47 pm
by ThisIsMyUsername
We can step for a moment from discussing how the tournament lineup for the quizbowl season should come together, to publically discuss what we want it to look like. Partisans of opposite sides of the other debate might find common ground on this. It makes life easier if the two discussions are not intertwined in one thread. And regardless of whether we end up with a fixed system or just community norms, having an explicitly-articulated idea of what people want is surely helpful.

Here (transferred from the other thread and slightly expanded) is what I consider ideal, but I would really like to hear what other people prefer, as I have no desire to dictate on behalf of others.

Here are what I regard as the essentials;

- Collegiate Novice at the beginning of various school's academic years
- Fall Regular in October (e.g. Penn Bowl)
- ACF Fall in early November
- Fall Novice in mid November (e.g. Delta Burke)
- NAQT SCT and ACF Regionals in Late January / Early February
- Pre-Nats Open in Late February / Early March (e.g. George Oppen)
- ICT in Early/Mid April
- ACF Nats in Mid/Late April
- Post-Nats Spring Novice in May (e.g. MUT)[/list]

Here are the add-ons that I mentioned:
- Additional tournament in October. This could be Regular-minus (e.g. EFT) or Regular (e.g. PADAWAN).
- Additional tournament in Winter/Spring. This could be Regular (e.g. Mysterium) or Regular+ (e.g. the first WAO). [/list]

Some additional points of discussion:
- I suggested that the spring novice be post-nats because it was sometimes thought that teams that enjoy lower difficulty might want to have something fun and light to allow them to cool down after the difficulty of ACF Nats. Obviously, there are other scheduling traditions for this that have merit.
- There is a serious question of whether the spring open should be open. Some people have said that they think there should be one open below Nats difficulty. Some have said that everything should be closed except for the one open.[/list]

The overriding scheduling principle besides not booking things in the same week is to avoid having tournaments in back-to-back weeks, within any one region.

Thoughts?

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:11 pm
by Sima Guang Hater
I think a regular tournament in early December is a good idea

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:38 pm
by Evan Lynch
Having a regular set around April/May would allow the UK circuit (and others too, for that matter) to run Deep Bench properly.

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:53 pm
by everdiso
I've never understood why ACF Fall comes after EFT. Both are tournaments that we market mainly to the younger members of our club, and it would be a much more natural progression for them to go from Novice to Fall and then to peak in difficulty at EFT, rather than going from Novice way up and then back down again.

I understand that Fall is pack-submission, so people might need more time to write. But it's pack-submission only for people with a couple years' experience, meaning that those who will have to write will already b on the circuit, and know that it's coming up, and will be able to start planning a team and submission over the summer if need be. The novices who don't know that Fall is coming don't have to submit, anyway.

Canada would also greatly appreciate the March Undergraduate Tournament remaining in March, because our exams are in April. I can't imagine many people being willing to play a tournament at the peak of exam season if it weren't one of the major two national championships, so moving it to April would effectively be removing it from Canada.

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:00 pm
by Zealots of Stockholm
In my two years playing collegiately, I've thought the fall schedule seems fine for pretty much everyone. If you're a complete novice, then you have novice/fall/eft/delta burke in some places, if you aren't a novice but aren't beyond playing fall yet then you have fall/eft/penn bowl/other set (terrapin last year, wao ii this year). And if you consider yourself too experienced to play fall, there's still three tournaments to play. I also think it's worth keeping in mind that most fall tournaments occur between early October-mid-late November, and personally I think its a good idea to continue not having any tournaments after the weekend before Thanksgiving.

I have felt the past two years that the schedule could use another ~regular difficulty tournament in the spring for those who are not comfortable at nats difficulty since currently those people only have three tournaments to play in the (much more spread out) spring.

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:00 pm
by a named reaction
I'm not sure this is actually precedented, but I think it would be nice to have a novice/Fall-or-below (that is, not MUT-like) tournament in the Spring, since some schools have Spring activities fairs that can bring in brand-new people then. DII SCT can serve this role (though selfishly I'll note that UD's spring semester starts after the qualifying tournaments) but having the only easy tournaments in the Spring be that and a MUT-like tournament, which in my experience is too hard for people new to the game, is not quite enough I think to maintain the interest of someone joining a team in the spring.

Also, I agree that Fall should be earlier than it is, though possibly not before EFT since NAQT Novice does provide an easy tournament at the very beginning of the semester.

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:02 pm
by a bird
ThisIsMyUsername wrote: - Fall Novice in mid November (e.g. Delta Burke)
It's not really clear why a mid November novice event is an essential part of the calendar, especially given its proximity to ACF Fall. Collegiate Novice gives new players an introduction to quizbowl near the start of the fall semester, and ACF Fall serves as a bridge to harder college tournaments. Having a second novice tournament after ACF Fall isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it seems far less important than the first two novice-oriented events.

I know Chris Borglum isn't interested in moving Delta Burke, and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm just not sure it's a core part of the ideal collegiate schedule.

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:11 pm
by Zealots of Stockholm
Tornrak wrote:I'm not sure this is actually precedented, but I think it would be nice to have a novice/Fall-or-below (that is, not MUT-like) tournament in the Spring, since some schools have Spring activities fairs that can bring in brand-new people then. DII SCT can serve this role (though selfishly I'll note that UD's spring semester starts after the qualifying tournaments) but having the only easy tournaments in the Spring be that and a MUT-like tournament, which in my experience is too hard for people new to the game, is not quite enough I think to maintain the interest of someone joining a team in the spring.

Also, I agree that Fall should be earlier than it is, though possibly not before EFT since NAQT Novice does provide an easy tournament at the very beginning of the semester.
Piggybacking on this and Graham's post, it seems that Delta Burke could be used for this if it was more widely mirrored (obviously the main site is staying in November, but I think it's available for mirrors for most of the year).

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:11 pm
by everdiso
In my two years playing collegiately, I've thought the fall schedule seems fine for pretty much everyone. If you're a complete novice, then you have novice/fall/eft/delta burke in some places
For sure, I don't think this is a major problem. But while it's true that those tournaments exist "in some places", I do think it would just make more sense for them to come in a natural progression of difficulty. Having EFT before Fall certainly isn't a major problem, but since I can think of one small disadvantage to it and no advantages, I don't see why they shouldn't simply be swapped.

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:14 pm
by 1.82
Based on some discussion yesterday, this was a sample schedule that was presented. The order of tournaments is not exact.

Total 13 tournaments (2 nationals, 1 open, 5 regionals-level, 5 easier than regionals)
Fall: Novice tournament early in the year, ACF Fall, another easier than regionals tournament, two regionals-level tournaments, Delta Burke
Spring: ACF Regionals, SCT, easier than regionals tournament, regionals-level tournament, nationals-prep open tournament, ICT, ACF Nationals

Once these tournaments are announced and spoken for, more tournaments could be added if the schedule fits, but this list of tournaments would provide a fairly balanced and rewarding experience in general.

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:48 pm
by Victor Prieto
Sima Guang Hater wrote:I think a regular tournament in early December is a good idea
Evan Lynch wrote:Having a regular set around April/May would allow the UK circuit (and others too, for that matter) to run Deep Bench properly.
everdiso wrote:Canada would also greatly appreciate the March Undergraduate Tournament remaining in March, because our exams are in April.
cwest123 wrote:I also think it's worth keeping in mind that most fall tournaments occur between early October-mid-late November, and personally I think its a good idea to continue not having any tournaments after the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Certain regions clearly have particular preferences for when they would like to hold tournaments. Excluding national qualifiers, why bother setting inflexible dates for when sets can be mirrored? Besides question security and discussion threads, are there benefits for restricting mirrors to a narrow window of one or two weekends?

If an MUT-like tournament were written by September (like Michigan Fall back in 2013), I don't see why mirrors couldn't be held throughout the entire season. It could even be non-mandatory packet submission. Such a set would likely be financially successful, because circuits would be able to schedule mirrors at will, unencumbered by conflicts.

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:09 pm
by theMoMA
1.82 wrote:Based on some discussion yesterday, this was a sample schedule that was presented. The order of tournaments is not exact.

Total 13 tournaments (2 nationals, 1 open, 5 regionals-level, 5 easier than regionals)
Fall: Novice tournament early in the year, ACF Fall, another easier than regionals tournament, two regionals-level tournaments, Delta Burke
Spring: ACF Regionals, SCT, easier than regionals tournament, regionals-level tournament, nationals-prep open tournament, ICT, ACF Nationals
Looking over the schedule, it looks like this year's fall semester had: NAQT Collegiate Novice, ACF Fall, easier than regionals tournament (EFT), Delta Burke, Penn Bowl, and WAO II. Depending on how you classify the last of those, it looks like all the slots were filled.

Spring has had: Regionals, SCT, two easier than regionals tournament (SMT and FST, although the latter was seemingly not widely mirrored), nationals-prep open tournament (CMST), and will have the two nationals.

Aside from the lack of a regular-difficulty tournament in spring, it looks like the schedule this year was just about ideal under this paradigm. Do people agree?

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:57 pm
by Lighthouse Expert Elinor DeWire
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:The overriding scheduling principle besides not booking things in the same week is to avoid having tournaments in back-to-back weeks, within any one region.
I hope Regionals and SCT never fall on consecutive weekends again.

I wish even non-flexible tournaments like ACF and NAQT could allow for tournament flexibility in regions like Canada where holidays and breaks fall on different dates. I hope that in an ideal world question writers bring forward their due dates a week or so to allow for this. A problem that we sometimes see is that March pre-nats, March easy, and March regular all announced to be ready for early March, meaning there's nothing between SCT and March pre-nats and then the March university tournaments plus the high school qb provincials all falling at around the same time. If a March regular was announced this year, there'd be absolutely no good time in the Canadian circuit to run the event.

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:49 pm
by The Stately Rhododendron
I think a Spring tournament that tries to have a more "NAQT" distro should be a regular part of the schedule (I'm thinking of that one that Will did a few years ago and FICHTE [but don't be like FICHTE]).

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:35 pm
by vinteuil
The Stately Rhododendron wrote:(I'm thinking of that one that Will did a few years ago).
That was fall, which I think is a better slot for such a set, given that there are 2 NAQT sets in the spring and zero in the fall.

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:19 pm
by ValenciaQBowl
Piggybacking on this and Graham's post, it seems that Delta Burke could be used for this if it was more widely mirrored (obviously the main site is staying in November, but I think it's available for mirrors for most of the year).
Delta Burke is most certainly available for mirrors from mid-November till April (or later, alas).

Re: What Does an Ideal Season Look Like?

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:13 pm
by Ewan MacAulay
The Stately Rhododendron wrote:I think a Spring tournament that tries to have a more "NAQT" distro should be a regular part of the schedule (I'm thinking of that one that Will did a few years ago and FICHTE [but don't be like FICHTE]).

Cambridge would probs be interested in collaborating on this for the foreseeable future. Past CamO sets have run (albeit with some variance) around Penn Bowl difficulty.