D2 ICT eligibility

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D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Sun Devil Student » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:53 am

Last year, one of ASU's teams that wasn't expecting to qualify to ICT (37th-highest D-value) got caught with its pants down with an ICT invitation right before spring break, after an unusually large number of teams dropped. They were hoping to compete at the 2011 D2 ICT but were forced to enter the 2010 ICT because NAQT stripped their D2 eligibility just for *receiving* an invitation. Only 3 of the team members were able to make it to ICT, and did so at great personal cost.

I filed a grievance with NAQT on their behalf and was told that NAQT would consider changing the policy for this year (2011), though not for 2010. I haven't seen any indication that a change was made, though, and I think this will continue to affect several teams each year, so I think it should be addressed preferably sooner rather than later.

My argument, shared by all members of my team at the time, was (and still is) that the first 32 Division II teams that get invitations (e.g. the top 32 in the country) lose their D2 eligibility because they have shown themselves to be good enough for Nationals, but teams on the waitlist are not yet good enough and therefore should be allowed to decline a bid and stay in D2. Forcing those teams to lose their once-in-a-lifetime chance at D2 Nationals just a few weeks before the tournament appears to unfairly punish them for being economically unable to attend at the drop of a hat, and/or forces them to attend with much less time to prepare themselves, preventing them from putting their best foot forward under the national spotlight. This is harm done for no compensating benefit elsewhere.

The current system of having waitlisted teams lose their eligibility merely because teams above them failed to make it to ICT essentially implies that whether a waitlisted team is "good enough" for Nationals depends on whether some other team is capable of attending, which is clearly ridiculous. The fact that they were on the waitlist in the first place means they weren't good enough for ICT, and that fact does not change merely because a better team declined their bid. A team's skill level can only be influenced by that team alone, not by the unrelated actions of some other team hundreds of miles away, and that team's D2 eligibility should, on principle, be correspondingly influenced only by that team itself, not by the unrelated actions of some other team.

NAQT's major concern, as expressed a year ago, was that teams might have a perverse incentive to decline invitations in order to stay in D2 another year, and for this reason I agree that the top 32 teams should be removed from the D2 pool each year (to be replaced by new D2 teams entering the following year) even if they decline invitations. For these teams, which receive the first batch of invitations, they have more time to find funding and be able to put together a Nationals trip as well as to prepare for the competition since they know right off the bat that they are going to Nationals. More importantly, even if they decline their D2 ICT bids, we can know that they are "good enough" to leave the D2 pool because they met the cutoff outright without even needing a team in front of them to drop out - these are truly the best teams and have earned a promotion to D1.

However, the situation is clearly different for waitlisted teams which have a higher risk of being unable to cobble together the finances for a trip in time. They didn't meet the cutoff of being good enough for Nationals, and therefore, should be given the choice of whether they want to "play up" by attending a tournament above their skill level (e.g. ICT) that they wouldn't normally have been invited to (but did get invited only because a better team that deserved the slot more couldn't fill it). In this world, after all, we applaud teams that choose to compete beyond their current skill level. But if a team doesn't feel ready to make that jump, they shouldn't have to until they are ready.

If nothing else, NAQT's current expectation that teams can obtain funding and plan a trip within 21 days before ICT is overly optimistic in many cases.

This year, ASU is (fortunately) not affected, as our D2 team qualified as one of the first 32 teams in, but this is still an issue of fairness for other teams that may be on the D2 waitlist, so I think we need to have this discussion as soon as possible. There may be other issues which I have not considered that other members of our community can point out. If we decide that all alternatives to the current policy would cause even more injustice than the current one, then that's fine, but let's think about this and make sure. I've given above one suggestion which I think would apply the system more fairly across all teams and all years than the current policy.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Broad-tailed Grassbird » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:22 pm

From NAQT's website:
Division II is the lower of the two echelons of play recognized by NAQT at the collegiate level. Division II is intended to provide new schools and new players with an arena in which they can compete against other developing teams.
Students at four-year institutions qualify to play in Division II if they meet the following requirements:

They do not possess a degree at the Bachelor's level or higher from any post-secondary educational institution,
They have not completed their fourth distinct academic year of competition in NAQT collegiate events,
Prior to the current competition year, they have never played on a Sectionals team for a four-year school that qualified for the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament,
Prior to the current competition year, they have never played at the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament for a four-year school at either the Division II or Division I levels.
They have played on a Division I team at no more than one previous NAQT Sectional.
Division II is like the JV national championship of NAQT quiz bowl. It's something to shoot for, especially for young players and rising teams, but let's face it, it's not some sort of entitlement or something, and its not the biggest prize in the world. You make it, you make it. You don't make it, you try again next year. You can't go, SOL. I understand how hard it is to fly places, its expensive. But you knew it was a possibility, and that is your responsibilty, not NAQTs. Letting teams hold over until the next year would just defeat the point of D2 anyways.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Sun Devil Student » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:11 pm

nalin wrote:But you knew it was a possibility
Not at that time. Before that year, having that many teams drop out was unheard of; it would have been unreasonable based on prior knowledge to expect to make it as the 37th team (plus auto/hostbids etc). (Nowadays, a 37th team should probably be more prepared, given the benefit of recent hindsight.)

Also, that's not the point I'm trying to make. We need to agree on what exactly the point of D2 should be and then make sure that point is accomplished. I don't think there is any interpretation of the "point of D2" that the current system is consistent with, because the qualification skill threshold is potentially wildly inconsistent for economic and non-quizbowl-related reasons. There should be a more consistently applied way of kicking teams out of D2 each year. What way that is, should be discussed in the open.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:55 pm

It does seems like in situations where the team in question would have to travel a long ways on short notice, it's unfair to hold them over the water by revoking their DII eligibility if they don't go to the tournament. I do agree with NAQT's rationale that we don't want to disincentivize teams from attending DII ICT if they can, but perhaps teams that are invited much closer to the tournament date (perhaps anyone invited a month before ICT or closer) could get a free pass to decline if they so choose. Three reasons: first, they're doing NAQT a favor by attending on later notice; second, they probably didn't expect to be invited and thus weren't on notice that their DII eligibility had the possibility of expiring; and third, it might be impractical for the team to attend on short notice (prohibitively expensive, already made other plans, etc.).
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Bartleby » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:57 pm

One problem with this would be teams whose members had played at the DI SCT more than once without qualifying for ICT; their DII eligibility is automatically revoked.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:59 pm

theMoMA wrote:perhaps teams that are invited much closer to the tournament date (perhaps anyone invited a month before ICT or closer) could get a free pass to decline if they so choose.
For the record, we already do this (usually about three weeks prior to ICT). The change under discussion in this thread is "should we move that date up to the announcement of the initial bids?"
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:19 pm

Bartleby wrote:One problem with this would be teams whose members had played at the DI SCT more than once without qualifying for ICT; their DII eligibility is automatically revoked.
Brian, could you explain this problem?
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Bartleby » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:33 pm

bt_green_warbler wrote:
Bartleby wrote:One problem with this would be teams whose members had played at the DI SCT more than once without qualifying for ICT; their DII eligibility is automatically revoked.
Brian, could you explain this problem?
The last Div II qualification rule reads as follows:
Eligibility Rules wrote:They have played on a Division I team at no more than one previous NAQT Sectional.
.

This to me implies that anyone who plays Div I SCT more than once forfeits future Div II eligibility.

Under Kenneth's plan, only the players who comprised the top 32 Div I teams in a given year would lose their Div II eligibility, if I'm understanding him correctly. However, let's say Joe Smith played on teams who were 39th and 37th (for the sake of randomness) in respective Div I SCTs. Under Kenneth's plan Joe Smith would keep his Div II eligibility, as they were not within the top 32 teams in either given year. Under NAQT's rules, if Joe played for both of those teams, then he would be ineligible for future competition in Div II.

In all fairness, I might have misinterpreted either NAQT's rules or Kenneth's post, but this seems like an issue to me.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:35 pm

No, that's a separate rule. Kenneth is talking about "should teams that qualify off the DII waitlist lose their DII eligibility, even if they decline to attend ICT?"
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Bartleby » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:37 pm

bt_green_warbler wrote:No, that's a separate rule. Kenneth is talking about "should teams that qualify off the DII waitlist lose their DII eligibility, even if they decline to attend ICT?"
Oh. Well, then I take back what I said. From his initial post, I was unclear if the team to which he was referring was on the DI or DII waitlist.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:54 pm

bt_green_warbler wrote:
theMoMA wrote:perhaps teams that are invited much closer to the tournament date (perhaps anyone invited a month before ICT or closer) could get a free pass to decline if they so choose.
For the record, we already do this (usually about three weeks prior to ICT). The change under discussion in this thread is "should we move that date up to the announcement of the initial bids?"
That's fair, and I'm sorry if I didn't notice that fact if it was mentioned earlier in the thread. I still think I'd go the other way; perhaps those teams that are invited within a couple days after the first accept/reject deadline would be subject to having their eligibility expire. It seems to me that the initial 32 teams and the first wave of waitlist teams are the ones who are on sufficient notice from the releasing of the D values that they could get an ICT invitation. Three weeks is a short timeline, especially for teams that would have to purchase airfare.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Sun Devil Student » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:33 pm

theMoMA wrote:
bt_green_warbler wrote:
theMoMA wrote:perhaps teams that are invited much closer to the tournament date (perhaps anyone invited a month before ICT or closer) could get a free pass to decline if they so choose.
For the record, we already do this (usually about three weeks prior to ICT). The change under discussion in this thread is "should we move that date up to the announcement of the initial bids?"
That's fair, and I'm sorry if I didn't notice that fact if it was mentioned earlier in the thread. I still think I'd go the other way; perhaps those teams that are invited within a couple days after the first accept/reject deadline would be subject to having their eligibility expire. It seems to me that the initial 32 teams and the first wave of waitlist teams are the ones who are on sufficient notice from the releasing of the D values that they could get an ICT invitation. Three weeks is a short timeline, especially for teams that would have to purchase airfare.
This would certainly be better than the current system, but still leaves the problem of being inconsistent and irrational in deciding when a team is "ready" to be kicked up to D1. Suppose in some fluke year 32 initial bids get sent out and 16 of them are declined. Then the first wave of waitlist teams will include a much worse group of teams than typical first waves have in past years. And that would be unfair to those worse teams that get included, even if they have the time to find funding for a trip, because they're being stripped of D2 eligibility at a much lower skill level while in more typical years teams of their skill level are being allowed to stay in D2 because the invitations don't reach that far down the waitlist.

Basically, I claim that the judgment of whether a particular team is good enough to be kicked into D1 should never depend on how far down the waitlist the invitations go in their year. Those two things are absolutely uncorrelated. The only consistent way to judge is by whether or not a team makes the first cut, not taking into account any number of declined bids or other circumstances.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:48 pm

In that case, NAQT still needs sixteen teams to fill out the field, and it would behoove NAQT to maintain the incentive for teams to come to ICT instead of saving up another year to try to win a second-tier title. If you want 100% assurance that you're not going to qualify for ICT and thus lose your eligibility, don't play SCT.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Sun Devil Student » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:40 pm

theMoMA wrote:In that case, NAQT still needs sixteen teams to fill out the field, and it would behoove NAQT to maintain the incentive for teams to come to ICT instead of saving up another year to try to win a second-tier title. If you want 100% assurance that you're not going to qualify for ICT and thus lose your eligibility, don't play SCT.
Until I see specific evidence, I don't think this is really going to be a problem. Most drops from ICT D2 are and will always be caused by logistical reasons, not teams saving up deliberately. There's no way a team could know in advance how well it needs to do to make the top 32, and conversely, no team could ever plausibly make a conscious attempt to get the nation's 33rd highest D-value. They have to either play reasonably well and risk making the top 32, or tank, in which case they'll do so poorly that even the current system can't catch them. Thus, if a team gets that 33rd highest D-value, it's almost certainly because they are honestly not good enough for ICT yet, not because they conspired. This team should have the choice of whether they want to "play up" rather than being forced to.

Obviously most years it wouldn't be so extreme as 16 teams dropping, I was just giving a hypothetical corner case. But even the difference between 2 teams dropping one year and 8 teams the next is a substantial change in the qualification cutoff, whereas the skill level of teams doesn't change. But, in this fluke year, if NAQT keeps going down the waitlist, they will probably be able to find another 16 teams that are willing to play up, skipping over the ones that prefer to save up for the next year. Consider D2 teams that have mostly seniors on them. Those seniors have an incentive to attend because it's their last chance to play ICT for their current team and that means something, no matter their current skill level. (In fact, these teams would jump at the chance to go to Nationals from so far down the waitlist - they thought they weren't going to make it!) And if in the flukiest year NAQT goes all the way down the waitlist and no one is willing or able to accept a bid, then just shrink the ICT field that year.

That's what would happen even in the current system. All I'm saying is that the teams who couldn't (or even could but chose not to) accept a D2 bid shouldn't all have to lose their D2 eligibility. Some teams have lean years where they can't afford to go to ICT no matter how much lead time they have. Others are acutely aware that they are all underclassmen and aren't in the top 32 teams, or just don't feel ready to compete at a higher level. It should be their choice.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Sun Devil Student » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:42 pm

Also, as others have pointed out above, that "second-tier title" is, effectively, the only title - the only hope - for an uncomfortably large segment of NAQT teams, which are probably less established and poorer in the first place. So the current system, which punishes teams for being short on funding that *one* year the waitlist *happens* to reach down to them, probably hits these teams disproportionately hard. As they were marginal to begin with, we never hear of their plight.

Some leading members of our community may respond that we're better off without those teams anyway, but based on my belief that quizbowl is an intrinsically worthwhile activity regardless of where and who it is, I would respectfully disagree. If D2 ICT keeps the game of knowledge alive where it otherwise would not survive, then it's doing good work. I think it can do even better, and more fairly.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by theMoMA » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:22 am

For what it's worth, "second-tier title" is not an insult; it's an exact synonym for "division two championship."
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Golran » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:46 am

So I'd just like to summarize Kenneth's ideas here so that I know I'm on the same page, and then add on my opinions on what I think he's saying:

1. The top 26 4-year teams that receive the original bids for D2 ICT will lose their eligibility for D2 SCTs for the future.

2. Any D2 teams that receive notice of receiving a bid to ICT before a certain cut-off point will lose their eligibility for D2 SCTs for the future.

-Note by teams, I'm referring to members of the teams. Is this accurate to your original idea?

I like this general idea more as a contingency plan, rather than a method that should be followed commonly. Maybe instead we could do something like the following for D2 eligibility:

1. The top 26 4-year teams that receive the original bids for D2 ICT will lose their eligibility for D2 SCTs for the future.

When some of the teams reject their bids, teams on the wait list will receive their bid. Maybe use the following criterion for determining if the team will be eligible for D2 in the future:

a. If the team receives a bid to ICT from off the wait list before a given date (say 4 weeks and 1 day before ICT because that's when flights tend to increase significantly in price).
-and-
b. If the team has a D-value that places them in the top 30-35 of teams that competed at 4-year SCTs.

-or-

If a team is outside top 30-35 D-values but places in the top 20 at ICT then they lose their eligibility for future years.

This will prevent teams that have low D-values and thus supposedly worse teams from losing their D2 eligibility for future years because a large number (5+) above them dropped from the field, while teams will lose their D2 eligibility if they perform moderately well at ICT (top half of 3rd bracket).
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Sun Devil Student » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:27 am

Golran wrote:Note by teams, I'm referring to members of the teams. Is this accurate to your original idea?
Yes.
Golran wrote: 1. The top 26 4-year teams that receive the original bids for D2 ICT will lose their eligibility for D2 SCTs for the future.
Yes, this happens under the current system, and I agree with this aspect completely.
Golran wrote:2. Any D2 teams that receive notice of receiving a bid to ICT before a certain cut-off point will lose their eligibility for D2 SCTs for the future.
No, this is the particular aspect of the current system which I'm strongly disagreeing with. My reasoning is that only the top 26 4-year teams should lose their eligibility automatically. All wait-listed teams should have the choice of whether to accept a bid and lose future eligibility.

That said, I actually do like your idea that teams below #35 or so on the D-value list would only lose eligibility if they place in the top 20. This would of course differ from the current policy of "no team can compete in D2 ICT more than once" but it's certainly an idea to consider. In fact, this would definitely give an incentive for waitlisted D2 teams lacking seniors to accept bids rather than deferring, which was previously brought up as an issue. However, I think it your idea would be even better if that was allowed for all teams on the waitlist, not just the ones below #35. Any team that doesn't get one of the initial 32 bids right off the bat should be allowed to decide whether they want to stay in D2 or not, no matter when they receive their waitlist invitation, no matter how much money and time they have to make the trip. Only the initial batch of invitations should carry the automatic kick out of D2. And if we use your idea, then those waitlist teams that do go to ICT can still keep their D2 eligibility after all if they don't do very well.

The counterargument, though, would be that tanking at ICT becomes a potential issue, because given sufficient information a team can conspire to finish exactly 21st at a single tournament (ICT) much more easily than they can conspire to finish exactly 33rd across several SCT's. So if measures cannot be taken to prevent teams from knowing opposing teams' records, it may be safest to stick to the "once in a lifetime" policy and let D2 teams without seniors on them choose to stay out of ICT until they feel they are ready to take their once-in-a-lifetime shot (or until they prove themselves ready regardless of their own feelings by earning one of the 32 initial qualification spots).
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by jonpin » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:11 pm

Golran wrote:When some of the teams reject their bids, teams on the wait list will receive their bid. Maybe use the following criterion for determining if the team will be eligible for D2 in the future:

a. If the team receives a bid to ICT from off the wait list before a given date (say 4 weeks and 1 day before ICT because that's when flights tend to increase significantly in price).
-and-
b. If the team has a D-value that places them in the top 30-35 of teams that competed at 4-year SCTs.

-or-

If a team is outside top 30-35 D-values but places in the top 20 at ICT then they lose their eligibility for future years.

This will prevent teams that have low D-values and thus supposedly worse teams from losing their D2 eligibility for future years because a large number (5+) above them dropped from the field, while teams will lose their D2 eligibility if they perform moderately well at ICT (top half of 3rd bracket).
I disagree with the bolded part. If you play D-2 ICT, you should lose D-2 eligibility. And I say that as a more-or-less universal. Yes, UCLA 2003-04*. Yes, community colleges. Yes, Charles Hang. If you play ICT, that is your one and only chance to play Division II.

*-It is worth noting that this discussion more or less happened before, in the wake of a 2003 ICT where many teams declined, due to the tournament's location in LA. That fall(?), NAQT released a statement that an exception had been granted to those teams offered a spot with less than 28 days notice, in line with Ian's suggestion, who had been forced to decline because they didn't have the time to raise funds. This was, I think, a Good Idea (save the scandal of UCLA itself being allowed to play and preserve eligibility), and I certainly see Ken's discontent with his team's situation, but I do think a certain number of teams off the waitlist attend almost every year, and teams that qualify from one of those positions (probably the top 5 waitlist spots, those announced at the same time as the bids themselves) should lose future eligibility.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Sun Devil Student » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:57 am

jonpin wrote:I do think a certain number of teams off the waitlist attend almost every year, and teams that qualify from one of those positions (probably the top 5 waitlist spots, those announced at the same time as the bids themselves) should lose future eligibility.
As I've pointed out earlier, this is unfair to teams which truly do not have the money to make the trip.

Now if you want to distinguish between teams that *can't* take a waitlist bid (due to funding/logistical problems) vs. teams that are logistically capable but unwilling to take a waitlist bid, I think that would be an improvement over the current system which screws over both types of teams. However, in practice I don't think we can make this distinction, and even if we could, I still think the second category of teams should be entitled to a choice based on the whole concept of having to "qualify" in the first place.

The top 5 waitlist spots are still waitlist spots. They still weren't good enough to get into ICT until better teams dropped. If they weren't good enough before those better teams dropped, then they're still not good enough after those better teams drop. If they luck out on an invitation and want to take it, we should applaud them, but from a moral standpoint, they didn't "qualify" in the current year, so they should be allowed to try again next year if they choose to.
jonpin wrote:28 days notice
Not enough time for many schools, I suspect, especially if spring break is included.
jonpin wrote:If you play D-2 ICT, you should lose D-2 eligibility. And I say that as a more-or-less universal.
I have no objection to this part, since this doesn't kick in until a team actually makes it to D2 ICT (meaning they were able to, and chose to, accept a bid off the waitlist). I also wouldn't mind seeing the less-skilled D2 ICT teams get a second shot, but as long as everyone gets a first shot, it's fair.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by theMoMA » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:17 am

Sun Devil Student wrote:The top 5 waitlist spots are still waitlist spots. They still weren't good enough to get into ICT until better teams dropped. If they weren't good enough before those better teams dropped, then they're still not good enough after those better teams drop. If they luck out on an invitation and want to take it, we should applaud them, but from a moral standpoint, they didn't "qualify" in the current year, so they should be allowed to try again next year if they choose to.
NAQT has to fill its field. Also, the purpose of DII should be to go when you are a new player and see how well you do, not to hoard eligibility as long as possible to try to make a deeper run. As we've seemingly had to reiterate a lot lately, DI is the regular division of college play, not some kind of arena of the gods that only the elect can hope to enter.

This discussion is getting far afield of reality at this point. It is actually quite difficult to qualify a DII team and getting in off of the waitlist is a nice accomplishment. In my experience, most teams on the waitlist are extremely happy to get a shot to play ICT, since that's why they played SCT in the first place. When you play SCT and you're good enough to be on the ICT waitlist, you definitely know that getting a bid is a possibility; to get a bid is why you're playing the tournament! What DII team out there is going "well, we were only the 28th-best team at SCT, time to save up that eligibility for next year when we might have a better shot!" And if a team like that exists, why in the world should they be allowed to effectively concede one year's ICT in order to better compete against newer players the next year?

There's nothing unfair about what you're describing. If you know you can't go and will lose your eligibility if you qualify, don't play. If something comes up, tough luck. You played SCT and NAQT told you that you were on the waitlist; you knew this could happen.

As you'll note from my first post, I agree that NAQT should probably revise its policy so that teams aren't forced to buy airfare on three weeks' notice or lose DII eligibility forever, but there is nothing at all unfair about treating the first wave of waitlist invites exactly the same as the teams that qualified outright.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Sun Devil Student » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:40 am

At this point, I think we're both restating arguments made above, but if you go to a system where the top 5 waitlist spots get stripped of eligibility when invited while the ones below don't, that would be a great improvement over the current system. Those top 5 teams should be warned about their position no later than the initial 32 bids go out, so that they get enough time to prepare logistics.
theMoMA wrote:NAQT told you that you were on the waitlist; you knew this could happen.
I'll buy this if I'm one of top 4 or 5 teams on the waitlist. If I'm #7 or #8 on the waitlist, then I think I'm justified in assuming that I'm not going to qualify with that many teams ahead of me. So in that case, no, I didn't know this could happen, how was I, or my funding source, supposed to foresee a fluke year with 9 teams dropping (or however many)? Maybe my student government didn't set aside the money because they figured I wasn't going to qualify.

Of course, we can and should argue about where to have this cutoff on the waitlist.
theMoMA wrote:
Sun Devil Student wrote:The top 5 waitlist spots are still waitlist spots. They still weren't good enough to get into ICT until better teams dropped. If they weren't good enough before those better teams dropped, then they're still not good enough after those better teams drop. If they luck out on an invitation and want to take it, we should applaud them, but from a moral standpoint, they didn't "qualify" in the current year, so they should be allowed to try again next year if they choose to.
NAQT has to fill its field.
Is this really a problem? If you say that
theMoMA wrote:In my experience, most teams on the waitlist are extremely happy to get a shot to play ICT, since that's why they played SCT in the first place.
then I don't think filling the D2 ICT field will be any problem at all, regardless of the policy.
theMoMA wrote:If you know you can't go and will lose your eligibility if you qualify, don't play. If something comes up, tough luck.
Considering that you're not likely to have any problems filling the field, I don't see any practical reason to kick a team when it's down like this. Of course, there may be good reasons I'm not aware of. So, more out of curiosity than anything else, how exactly does our community benefit by denying some but not all waitlisted teams a chance to go to D2 ICT?
theMoMA wrote:the purpose of DII should be to go when you are a new player and see how well you do
I admire you for this sentiment and only wish university administrations and student governments the world over shared it. But for some teams, D2 ICT is their Super Bowl, and I think that's understandable, if not an ideal situation. If it wasn't like this, then the amount of unfairness from a team losing its once-in-a-lifetime shot would be much less. But that's beside the point, since our community will just have a diversity of viewpoints on this particular issue.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by dtaylor4 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:24 am

Sun Devil Student wrote:I admire you for this sentiment and only wish university administrations and student governments the world over shared it. But for some teams, D2 ICT is their Super Bowl, and I think that's understandable, if not an ideal situation. If it wasn't like this, then the amount of unfairness from a team losing its once-in-a-lifetime shot would be much less. But that's beside the point, since our community will just have a diversity of viewpoints on this particular issue.
If a player's ultimate goal within quizbowl is to win D2 ICT, then he/she has issues. If someone wants to win a JV national title, so be it. That player should not expect the circuit at large and NAQT as an organization to do all it can to make it easier to win that title.

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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:46 am

Sun Devil Student wrote:I admire you for this sentiment and only wish university administrations and student governments the world over shared it. But for some teams, D2 ICT is their Super Bowl, and I think that's understandable, if not an ideal situation. If it wasn't like this, then the amount of unfairness from a team losing its once-in-a-lifetime shot would be much less. But that's beside the point, since our community will just have a diversity of viewpoints on this particular issue.
It's not NAQT's or the community's obligation to give you extra opportunities to win watered-down titles. Forgive me for putting this bluntly, but: if you're the kind of team that's trying to avoid competing in DI after finishing in the high-30s in DII (in qualification), you don't really have a shot at the DII title anyway.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Sun Devil Student » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:30 pm

grapesmoker wrote:Forgive me for putting this bluntly, but: if you're the kind of team that's trying to avoid competing in DI after finishing in the high-30s in DII (in qualification), you don't really have a shot at the DII title anyway.
No forgiveness need be asked from me. You're absolutely correct; the highest these teams could hope for would be the second or third bracket. That still means something, since at the D1 level, they wouldn't even qualify at all.
grapesmoker wrote:It's not NAQT's or the community's obligation to give you extra opportunities to win watered-down titles.
It's not an extra opportunity. I'm talking about teams that don't even get one single opportunity. You seem to be telling me that they don't deserve that opportunity as a matter of principle, but as a practical matter, what do we gain by denying them this opportunity? If it's simply a matter of ideology and the vast majority of current quizbowlers agree with that, then that's our community standard, but I just want to be sure we all know what we're saying, why we're saying it, and that we're okay with the implications.

I don't think you intend to argue that teams which can't raise money quickly enough deserve to be discriminated against; rather, you don't think D2 ICT is of any importance at all, and therefore it doesn't matter if some teams are denied the opportunity while others get that opportunity, because none of those teams are entitled to that opportunity at all (so the ones who got it simply lucked out on something they didn't deserve, and you're already being nice to them by not trying to take away what they got). Am I understanding you correctly?

I won't disagree with that idea, as long as we find a consistent way to be fair to rich and poor teams alike regardless of external circumstances. Truth be told, abolishing D2 ICT entirely would be an improvement over the current system from the standpoint of consistent treatment (no teams get to go, so they're all treated equally, as opposed to this nonsensical moving-threshold thing we have now), though the practical repercussions on many D2-only teams might well be severe enough to outweigh the value of fairness from NAQT's standpoint.

There are a number of options I can think of that would treat all teams equally on a conceptual level without offending most of my colleagues on this forum, and I would be happy with any one the wider community prefers. My main concern is justice, so if I'm proposing something that's very impractical, feel free to enlighten me.
1) Abolish the D2 ICT entirely, keep D2 SCT's but have them be pure invitationals that don't qualify into anything (starting from 2012 on, of course)
2) Abolish the D2 ICT and have D2 SCT's qualify to D1 ICT by D-value only, with proper adjustments for question strength
3) Keep the D2 ICT, but with provisions to protect poorly-financed teams in the lower part of the waitlist (below #n, where n is the average number of teams that get invitations from the waitlist every year). In this case, we effectively decide as a community that the top (32+n) teams are "good enough" for D1, while having a smaller field just to account for drops.

So, I don't think I have any more ideas that aren't already stated previously in this thread. As a practical matter, Andrew and I will disagree in our predictions of how difficult it will be for NAQT to fill its field, and if we pick option #3, maybe he will turn out to be right, and I will be enlightened and change my opinion accordingly. But in any case, I think we should hear from others in the quizbowl community and NAQT. I've brought up an issue, we should have everyone's voices heard when resolving it.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by uclajerry » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:34 pm

I only read some of this thread, but can't D2 be handled in that every player gets first 2 years of playing any collegiate tournaments D2 eligibility? This way no one would ever worry about losing eligibility.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Susan » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:09 pm

uclajerry wrote:I only read some of this thread, but can't D2 be handled in that every player gets first 2 years of playing any collegiate tournaments D2 eligibility? This way no one would ever worry about losing eligibility.
I suggested something pretty similar to this (first year rather than first two years). What would people think of such a system?
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:22 pm

Susan wrote:
uclajerry wrote:I only read some of this thread, but can't D2 be handled in that every player gets first 2 years of playing any collegiate tournaments D2 eligibility? This way no one would ever worry about losing eligibility.
I suggested something pretty similar to this (first year rather than first two years). What would people think of such a system?
I'm all for this. I also think "first year of collegiate quizbowl" seems like a good eligibility cutoff. What would people think about allowing new-to-college-quizbowl grad students to play DII for their year under that sort of system?
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by uclajerry » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:29 pm

I think 2 years is better because don't people have to start writing packets after 2nd year? It seems like a nice cut off mark. And because this being my first year, I didn't qualify... (Although I might have tried harder knowing this would be my only chance)
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Sun Devil Student » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:47 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
Susan wrote:
uclajerry wrote:I only read some of this thread, but can't D2 be handled in that every player gets first 2 years of playing any collegiate tournaments D2 eligibility? This way no one would ever worry about losing eligibility.
I suggested something pretty similar to this (first year rather than first two years). What would people think of such a system?
I'm all for this. I also think "first year of collegiate quizbowl" seems like a good eligibility cutoff. What would people think about allowing new-to-college-quizbowl grad students to play DII for their year under that sort of system?
Sure, why not.

I like the idea of a skill-based cutoff in principle, but if we can't agree on a fair method of skill classification that doesn't violate widely-held community ideology, then a chronological cutoff would certainly be the next best thing, in my opinion.

I personally think 2 years is a good time limit, but we can make it 1 or 3 or any other length of time, as long as the same limit applies to all teams. 2 years is already the de facto time limit for most CC players (since they graduate after that), right?

All this assumes that we even still want to have a D2 ICT in the first place, of course.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:57 pm

I'm not going to argue that DII is not important at all. All I'm saying is this: DII is a lower division, which exists to allow players who are in their first few years of play to compete against like opposition. Winning a DII title is terrific and good (and I should know), but it's just a stepping stone. Training wheels, if you like, which eventually have to be removed. I don't have a problem with the sort of two-year system that Susan proposed or some other plausible arbitrary cutoff, but whichever cutoff you pick, there's going to be some team at the bottom of the heap that ends up being forced into DI. Whether that's by qualification or by seniority is actually fairly irrelevant, in my view.

I don't see the DII system as broken. It does what it's supposed to do, which is give new plays an opportunity to play against other new players. Yes, it might be slightly unfortunate for you that your team got pushed up this year, but them's the breaks; it would have happened anyway under almost any system. There's not much you can do other than try and improve and qualify along with everyone else.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Broad-tailed Grassbird » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:21 pm

If something isn't broken don't fix it. Yeah, maybe there's a minor tweak to some exception, but otherwise NAQT does a good job with ICT, and they accomplish exactly what they want with both divisions.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Sun Devil Student » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:36 am

grapesmoker wrote:it might be slightly unfortunate for you that your team got pushed up this year, but them's the breaks; it would have happened anyway under almost any system.
I'll just quickly note that under either of the tweaks we've arrived at, they would not have been. If we used the system of "only the top n teams on the waitlist lose eligibility" they were nowhere near that first wave of waitlist invites, whereas if we used a 2 year cutoff, the two members who were going to lose their D2 eligibility would at least know that it was because they weren't good enough to make it on their second and final try. Either way would have been more fair to them than being told by the system that they were several slots below the expected qualification zone and therefore could expect to try again, then got a kick out of the blue justified by neither skill level nor seniority. I only advocate that one or the other cutoff be clearly fixed from this point forward and applied uniformly to all D2 teams.

No, this is not a life-or-death flaw in the system, it's only a small tweak that could be made in the interest of fairness to D2 teams, and even if it's not all that important, there's no reason not to make an easy improvement that harms no one. The system has worked quite well, even though it is not perfect, and just because I think there is still room for improvement doesn't mean the entire structure has to be all torn down.

Anyway, I think we have a few good options here. Thanks to everyone for making a productive discussion thread.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by grapesmoker » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:27 pm

Sun Devil Student wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:it might be slightly unfortunate for you that your team got pushed up this year, but them's the breaks; it would have happened anyway under almost any system.
I'll just quickly note that under either of the tweaks we've arrived at, they would not have been.
Sure; I guess what I meant more generally is not that your team would have been pushed out, but that some team is going to get pushed out of DII whether they're ready or not. So while your team might have benefited from the changes, they might have been equally problematic to some other team and in that case, how does one team have any claim to be preferred over another?

The system established now works pretty well. It's also got the weight of a certain amount of experience on NAQT's part behind it, which makes me reluctant to go changing things in the absence of a clear imperative to do so. Since I don't see that any other system would do the work of the DII system any better, it seems fine for NAQT to stick with what they know. The other suggestions being made in this thread aren't bad or anything, they'd just require more work to implement and aren't obviously better.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by Sun Devil Student » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:00 pm

grapesmoker wrote:some team is going to get pushed out of DII whether they're ready or not.
I don't think this would occur if we used the system of "no waitlisted teams lose D2 eligibility unless they choose to," which is why that was my initial suggestion. I only worked out the others because a few other posters objected to that system, even though it would clearly avoid pushing any team out of D2 too quickly.

Also, I'm not necessarily objecting to the fact that my particular 2010 D2 team got pushed out; I'm objecting to the way in which they got pushed out. This was, obviously, an anomalous situation in the first place, as it's not common for that many teams to drop. If things that year had gone more in accordance with the typical "weight of experience on NAQT's part" then this issue would never have been brought to my attention in the first place.

I don't see how any of the suggestions made here would require more work to implement than the current system does now, but maybe NAQT does, so I guess it's their call. We've given them plenty of arguments on all sides to consider, I think.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Post by thedodgerswin » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:31 am

Since NAQT has begun publishing D-Values, why not let all schools know, immediately upon seeing the official D-values, whether they have lost DII eligibility for the following year? This can be achieved by stating that the top X teams have lost DII eligibility, or the top X% of teams have lost DII eligibility.
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