Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

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Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by dsimons » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:08 pm

Harvard College Bowl will host the sixth annual Harvard Fall Tournament on Saturday, November 12, 2011.

I, Dallas Simons, will serve as the tournament director. The tournament will be written by members of the Harvard College Bowl team, and Stephen Liu will serve as the head editor.

Register through me, by email: I can be reached at dallas dot simons @ gmail.com. In order for me to put you down as having registered, I need to receive an email with "HFT Registration" in the subject line from you. "School X will be bringing five teams" will count for you having registered five teams. "We are thinking of maybe bringing 1-7 teams" will certainly let me know of your interest, and I will note that interest in this post, but we won't consider that a registration of any number of teams.

We are also looking for mirrors for the set. Email me if you are interested.

Questions

This tournament has had problems with difficulty in the past. It is our goal to make the set a little easier than last year, but we'll err on the side of caution and and say it is at the higher end of regular-difficulty. The tossups will be similar to tossups from last year, and the bonuses will be easier than last year (which is where the problems were for the most part). As with last year, tossups will be capped at five lines of 10pt TNR (with few exceptions that won't exceed six or seven lines). Just like last year, the set will lack trash entirely.

Tournament format

Rounds will be untimed and consist of packets of 20 tossups and 20 bonuses. Assuming we hit our projected field of 36 teams, teams will be assigned to six brackets of six teams, play a full round robin, and then, after any necessary tiebreakers, get rebracketed into six brackets of six teams, followed by a playoff round robin and subsequent finals (if necessary). This means that every team is guaranteed ten rounds of play, plus the possibility of tiebreakers and finals.

Fee structure

$70 base fee
-$10 buzzer discount

Feel free to email me if you have any further questions, and we look forward to seeing you in November!

RUNNING FIELD UPDATE
Seven Lakes (TX)
Saint Joseph (NJ) (2 teams)
Ridgewood (NJ) (3 teams)
Dorman (SC)
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School (MS)
State College (PA) (7 teams)
Bromfield (MA)
Detroit Catholic Central (MI)
Half Hollow Hills West (NY) (3 teams)
Hanover HS (NH)
Hunter (NY) (2 teams)
Thomas Jefferson (VA)
Kellenberg (NY) (2 teams)
LASA (TX) (3 teams)
EO Smith (CT)
Mansfield (CT)
Norwich Free Academy (CT)
Walt Whitman (MD)
Hingham (MA)
Total: 34
Last edited by dsimons on Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:46 pm, edited 16 times in total.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by BlueDevil95 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:25 pm

Dallas, any word if last year's HFT will be posted?
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:56 pm

BlueDevil95 wrote:Dallas, any word if last year's HFT will be posted?
I'm fairly certain I sent the set to George, but I'll do so again just in case it was lost along the way (or if things broke like when Prison Bowl briefly went missing).
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by BlueDevil95 » Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:55 pm

Mechanical Beasts wrote:
BlueDevil95 wrote:Dallas, any word if last year's HFT will be posted?
I'm fairly certain I sent the set to George, but I'll do so again just in case it was lost along the way (or if things broke like when Prison Bowl briefly went missing).
Any word on this?
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:06 pm

BlueDevil95 wrote:
Mechanical Beasts wrote:
BlueDevil95 wrote:Dallas, any word if last year's HFT will be posted?
I'm fairly certain I sent the set to George, but I'll do so again just in case it was lost along the way (or if things broke like when Prison Bowl briefly went missing).
Any word on this?
I did!
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:32 pm

Hi!

I am currently having trouble with the uploader for the new host. As soon as I can get all the plug-ins involved to shake hands and be nice, the site will be up to date.

Sorry for the inconvenience.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by BlueDevil95 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:40 am

It's up now. Thanks guys.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Great Bustard » Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:17 pm

Bump because this is an important tournament that should not be off the first page. Ridgewood will be there with 2 teams (95% sure of that at this point). I can bring 9 sets of buzzers and moderate, if needed.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Edward Powers » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:09 pm

Is there a more recent field update?
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by lchen » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:48 pm

Hunter is interested. We will likely have 2 teams; I'll let you know soon.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Edward Powers » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:24 pm

Bumped for two reasons---to bring it back into consciousness of all who might be contemplating registration AND to ask Dallas if there is a field update for what is often the most competitive high school field of the Fall season? I see that Hunter has expressed interest---any update on that, or any other possible new registrations since your last update on September 4th or so? Curious here in NJ.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by dsimons » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:28 pm

The field update should now reflect the most recent changes. Sorry for the delay.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Cassian » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:02 pm

It seems pretty likely LASA is making the trip north for this. I'm just waiting to hear from a few kids to figure out how many teams we're going to be able to put together.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by SmallerMegalomaniacalPandaOnAbsinthe » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:40 am

Whitman is interested in making the trip for this (i.e. pulling an 08 with an overnight train, maybe singing some Aerosmith on the way there). However, our ability to attend is contingent on HFT's starting time. The only train compatible with our schedules would arrive in Back Bay at 7:55 am, and allowing for the 30-45 minute transit time from there depending on traffic, we'd probably only be in harvard square by 8:45 - 9:00. So uh, around what time are rounds going to start?
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Nick » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:54 pm

This field is getting out of hand.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by gyre and gimble » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:33 am

SmallerMegalomaniacalPandaOnAbsinthe wrote:Whitman is interested in making the trip for this (i.e. pulling an 08 with an overnight train, maybe singing some Aerosmith on the way there). However, our ability to attend is contingent on HFT's starting time. The only train compatible with our schedules would arrive in Back Bay at 7:55 am, and allowing for the 30-45 minute transit time from there depending on traffic, we'd probably only be in harvard square by 8:45 - 9:00. So uh, around what time are rounds going to start?
I'll leave it to Dallas to confirm, but I'm pretty sure we're not starting until 9 at the earliest, and most likely later than that.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by youngster68 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:51 am

Before I finalize our travel plans, can we get an idea when you expect the tournament to end? I seem to recall a few previous trips to Harvard going a bit haywire at the end. The last two Bolt buses from South Station to NYC are at 6:30pm (arrive 10:45pm) and 8:30pm (arrive 12:45am)...which one do you think I should book?
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by salmon of wisdom » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:53 pm

Can anyone from Harvard confirm they have gotten an email from Whitman? We need to book plane tickets very soon.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by dsimons » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:38 pm

The field update is now current. We usually cap the field at 36 teams, so if you are thinking about signing up you should probably let me know sooner rather than later. To answer an earlier response, the tournament won't start until at least after 9, and probably closer to 9:30.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by SHP Pirate » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:24 pm

Please hold one spot for Seton Hall Prep. (West Orange, NJ). E-mail to follow shortly.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by dsimons » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:59 pm

We've reached our cap of 36 teams, so I'm going to tentatively close the field for entry (unless there are enough teams that still want to come to bring it up to 40 teams, perhaps).
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by dsimons » Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:00 pm

An email with all the logistical information about the tournament has been sent out to all of the team contacts I have. If you haven't received one, let me know. I also need an email contact for Seton Hall High School.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by dsimons » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:47 pm

We had some drops, and now we are down to 34 teams. Let me know if you are interested in coming, or if you are coming and want to bring an extra team.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Great Bustard » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:35 am

Edit - We're sticking with 3 teams. Can't wait to see everyone this weekend! Safe travels and good luck to all teams!
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:30 pm

So this is probably the most exciting tournament of the year so far and there are no stats being updated? The tournament doesn't even exist on the hsquizbowl resource database: http://hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/

So, what's going on? The "liveblog" is essentially useless.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Cheynem » Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:32 pm

Can the drive for staaaats perhaps control itself until at least the tournament is over?
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:46 pm

Nah, this is like a mini-nationals event. I figured other people would be interested as well.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:03 pm

come on
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by wexs883198215 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:48 pm

Sorry for not having live stats, but perhaps Coach Flowers's twitter might be of some interest to you? At least it's something xD
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by dsimons » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:53 pm

Sorry for the delayed response. As some of you might know, Occupy Harvard prevented us from holding the tournament in the normal room and we're working in two separate buildings far apart, which has made coordinating stats difficult. There were two top groups. After 10 rounds:

Bracket A
1. Hunter A (10-0)
2. DCC (9-1)
3. Seven Lakes (8-2)
4. St. Joseph's (6-4)
5. Kellenberg (5-5)
6. State College B (4-6)

Bracket B
1. Dorman (10-0)
2. TJ (9-1)
3. LASA A (8-2)
4. Whitman (6-4)
5. Hunter B (5-5)
6 State College A (4-6)

the 1-2-3s and 4-5-6s are now playing three cross bracket games, followed by a final situation. Now that I'm not reading I'll be sure to keep everyone posted.

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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:55 pm

andrew yaphe answers 99% of the questions

we are the 99%
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by dsimons » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:11 pm

In round 11 in the championship bracket, Dorman (11-0) beat DCC (9-2), Hunter A (11-0) beat LASA A (8-3), and Seven Lakes (9-2) beat TJ (9-2).
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by dsimons » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:51 pm

After round 12 of the championship round, TJ (10-2) beat Hunter (11-1), DCC (10-2) beat LASA A (8-4), and Dorman (12-0) beat Seven Lakes (9-3). In the final round, Hunter will play Dorman, TJ will play DCC, and Seven Lakes will play LASA A. Round 13 is basically the first match of an advantaged final between Dorman and Hunter with Dorman having the advantage.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by dsimons » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:33 pm

Dorman defeated Hunter 345 - 320 in Round 13 to clear the field. The teams finished in this order:

Top 6

1. Dorman (13-0)
T2. Hunter (11-2)
T2. DCC (11-2)
4. TJ (10-3)
T5. Seven Lakes (9-4)
T5. LASA A (9-4)

I'll have some stats up tonight, and I'll SQBS the stats tomorrow. You can expect the stats to be up soon but not immediately, considering that we have to recover them. Note that this will not be a HFT V like stats-situation.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Edward Powers » Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:39 pm

Thanks to Dallas and the rest of the Harvard crew for running this. And given the necessity of using two buildings on different sides of the campus at the last minute, this tournament was very well run. Congrats to all in the field, but especially to the Top 6 teams, all of whom are truly terrific, and congrats to Dorman for clearing this gifted field. And, I would be remiss if I did not also add kudos to LASA C---a team of 3 freshman and 1 soph---who compelled us to answer the final question to earn our victory over them. We've played many outstanding teams this year, but this performance from what amounts to an essentially freshman team was one of the most impressive performances I have seen so far. So, congrats to LASA C and, of course, to a program that both challenges and nurtures such impressive young players.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Great Bustard » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:12 pm

aaaaarrrrrgggghhhh! Would have loved to stick around for what must have been some epic quizbowl at the tail end of the day. Still, I was thrilled we were able to make it up to Harvard for this; Ridgewood had a great time, and we all appreciate the hard work that Dallas, Ted, and company put in to running this. To echo Coach Powers, given the issues of running it in two buildings so far apart, it actually went very well. I would though advise all hosts who plan on using laptops for questions to please make that clear in advance and always have a few paper backups on hand. That caused some minor hiccups in the morning in Barker, but it still basically ran on time anyway.
I'll have some other suggestions for how this tournament, with its extremely impressive field, can get even better in the future in a later post, but we had a great time and hope to make it back up to Harvard next year for this again.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Kyle » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:35 pm

Having the Occupy people force him to use two buildings that are 0.9 miles apart is the sort of character-building experience that Dallas will soon come to appreciate. It is not necessarily even the worst logistical disaster to befall an HFT, since at the very least it happened two days in advance. At HFT 1, John Lesieutre and I got locked in the game room that was storing all of the extra buzzers when the door malfunctioned. The fire door had recently been painted and the paint had dried it shut. Since this was the Science Center, which had walls thick enough to prevent disastrous chemistry experiments from destroying the whole building, I had to direct the tournament through the window in the door using sign language with Adam Hallowell, who was holding the sandwich that I had hoped to eat for lunch. After a little over an hour and several games of slap bowl in a hastily commandeered extra room, two really big security guards managed to bust in the fire door, which - obviously - set off the fire alarm.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Great Bustard » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:01 pm

First additional thought: Somehow, I think Zihan's not going to be doing as much golf on Saturdays from now until June. Secondly, I had the same conversation with about three different parents over the last few hours:

"How was Harvard?"
"Great! It was a challenging field, but a great experience, and everyone on our team has such a great attitude. Plus, our 20-odd bus and train transfers all worked out, and even the Occupy Harvard complication didn't really make things too hard on us."
"How many teams were there?"
"I think 34"
"Oh, wow, that's a lot"
"Well, it's a nice size. But it's not a lot. Why not? Well, there are about 36,000 high schools in the USA, and when the world's top institute of higher learning runs an academic tournament, you'd kind of expect more than 34 teams from about 18 high schools to be there."
"Oh, yeah, I see your point."

So. What to do about this? Now, I know that Harvard was up against a hurdle in finding staffers (and, somewhat unexpectedly, rooms), and that the whole point of HFT is not to make things uber-accessible for new teams. But, given that there are so few tournaments of any sort in New England, it would be great to see this tournament have a JV / Novice division in the future (just lop off the top two lines of each tossup, spend a few hours editing out the hardest bonus questions, and the set would still be great for that.) I know my kids enjoyed the afternoon matches more, and I would imagine that the nationally elite teams here would have enjoyed more opportunities to play each other rather than the roughly half of the draw that was not in Morlan's top 100.
Another thought. $60 bucks is way too little for this tournament. For many teams coming here, travel costs vastly outweighed registration fees. Harvard should charge $100 for this, use the extra money to pay for staffers, and do more outreach to the numerous good high schools in the area that by all rights should be at this but weren't. Where's Boston Latin? Lexington? Pingry? Phillips Exeter? Phillips Andover? Deerfield? Portsmouth Abbey? Buehler? Anyone, Buehler?
We would have still brought 3 teams if it had been $100 per kid. This is the difference of $25 versus $15 per kid. It's NOT much at all. If schools can't pay it, then parents/grandparents/kids themselves can make up the difference. $10 is one hour of babysitting. Any student willing to spend a whole Saturday at an academic tournament can find a way to get an extra $10.
Or, charge $125 (it's not going to scare teams away that are paying $200+ per kid for a flight!) and give new teams a discount. Or use the money to pay someone to do some outreach for this. Or try and get sponsors to kick in some money or prizes.
Like so, so much in quizbowl, this tournament is great - (this is not a knock on Dallas or anyone on Harvard who I know are busy with all sorts of other things, who ran a great tournament, and it's terrific that great teams are willing to come in from as far away as Austin, Texas for it), but with some outside the box thinking, this could become a phenomenal event, and a catalyst for the growth of New England quizbowl. I'm happy to lend my assistance next year however I can to help make that happen.
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Skepticism and Animal Feed
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:45 pm

I think the reason that New England schools don't come to HFT is because New England schools are not particularly good at quizbowl, and HFT has generally been on the harder side of the high school difficulty spectrum, whether by design or otherwise. I wrote all of two questions for this year's HFT, so I don't know how hard or easy it was in 2011, but if you ask people what difficulty level they associate with HFT odds are pretty good that they will say "hard" or some synonym thereof. Even if you change the questions, the perception will remain.

How many mirrors of HFT were there this year? Back in the day (2009ish) Andy Watkins ensured that there was an HFT mirror in every pot in America, and while HFT at Harvard didn't have that big of a field, tons of kids across the country played HFT and many checks were sent to Cambridge accordingly. I've heard that Harvard's revenue from HFT is declining. I wonder if this is because potential hosts are rebelling against the perceived inappropriate difficulty of the tournament, or if people are dropping the ball on marketing mirrors aggressively.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by dsimons » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:50 pm

Results from the Barker Center have been added to the database (half the morning brackets, and the afternoon lowest nine bracket and one of the middle 12 brackets). Results from the SOCH (other half of prelims, upper brackets in the afternoon) will be uploaded tomorrow.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:12 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I wonder if this is because potential hosts are rebelling against the perceived inappropriate difficulty of the tournament...
Dallas just posted stats for 15 of the 34 teams. 2 of those teams have a ppb better than 12.

Last year, HFT had the 3rd worst average and 4th worst median ppb of all the sets I tracked. I think this perception is pretty close to reality.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Charles Martel » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:14 pm

Morning and afternoon results seem to be flipped.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Smuttynose Island » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:27 pm

dsimons wrote:Results from the Barker Center have been added to the database (half the morning brackets, and the afternoon lowest nine bracket and one of the middle 12 brackets). Results from the SOCH (other half of prelims, upper brackets in the afternoon) will be uploaded tomorrow.
Will these be cleaned up and broken down by individual brackets later? Right now they are very difficult to parse.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:37 pm

Fred wrote:
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I wonder if this is because potential hosts are rebelling against the perceived inappropriate difficulty of the tournament...
Dallas just posted stats for 15 of the 34 teams. 2 of those teams have a ppb better than 12.

Last year, HFT had the 3rd worst average and 4th worst median ppb of all the sets I tracked. I think this perception is pretty close to reality.
I think the teams in question that you are looking at are literally the bottom half of the field, like, those were the three lower brackets. Looking at the morning stats, you have 1 PPB above 25, 5 PPB above 20, 7 PPB above 15, and the median team is at 14.09.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:41 pm

Fred wrote:
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I wonder if this is because potential hosts are rebelling against the perceived inappropriate difficulty of the tournament...
Dallas just posted stats for 15 of the 34 teams. 2 of those teams have a ppb better than 12.

Last year, HFT had the 3rd worst average and 4th worst median ppb of all the sets I tracked. I think this perception is pretty close to reality.
In the prelims of our mirror, we consistently had over half the tossups die in games between teams that ended up in the middle of the field. In the stats that I saw, there were a total of five teams (in a field of 22) that had more than 10 ppb.

EDIT: Actually looking at the posted stats, I see that there were indeed five teams with 10 or higher ppb in the prelims, one of which answered four tossups.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:51 pm

The set may be too hard; I'm not one to be able to determine that from stats. After our mirror next week I'm sure I'll have a clearer view. However I want to address what David Madden said in his post earlier, because I think it represents an attitude that is not good for quizbowl. This isn't a knock on David himself, he's doing a lot of good for the quizbowl community, but I believe increasing the price of HFT works against goals he shares with most of us.

Charging $125 for quizbowl tournaments isn't going to be a "catalyst for the growth of New England quizbowl," nor is it going to increase the amount of apparently well funded teams who jet around the country for tournaments in what is becoming quizbowl's version of the Premier League. It's ridiculous to sit here, while the economy is recovering from the biggest economic disaster since the Great Depression, and demand more and more money for quizbowl from high school kids and their grandparents. Quizbowl now has a top tier who spends a lot of money travelling around the country to play top competition on the best questions. I'm sure that has its benefits, but we need to be careful to make sure that quizbowl does not become a game where only those with the most money can be successful.

Let's look at the type of schools that David suggests should be coming to Harvard Fall Tournament. I would love to see Phillips Exeter and similar schools show up to quizbowl tournaments. And I'm sure their teams would be plenty able to supply an extra $10 or $50 or however much you ask. But what about the hundreds of public schools in Massachusetts? Maybe raising the price wouldn't hurt LASA or Dorman or anyone who has the money to fly to Harvard for a quizbowl tournament, but they have many good tournaments they can go to throughout the year. However, raising the price COULD keep a busload of poor kids from inner-city Boston from coming to HFT. I don't think it is more important for everyone to try and host expensive super-tournaments that draw national fields than it is to host good tournaments that draw people in your area into good quizbowl. 50 affordable tournaments of 20 teams apiece is better for quizbowl than 20 expensive tournaments of 50 teams apiece.

We're ignoring economic reality if we sit around say "Any student willing to spend a whole Saturday at an academic tournament can find a way to get an extra $10." That's simply not true, there are plenty of students who can't find an extra $10, and comparing this to babysitting is ridiculous considering plenty of people skip hiring babysitters because they can't afford the "not much" amount of $10 an hour. In fact, there are many kids losing money for being at academic tournaments, because they might have to ask off work. The opportunity cost of coming to a quizbowl tournament is already $50 or $100 for plenty of students, so raising the price of a tournament is just rubbing salt in the wound. Even if kids aren't paying themselves, their schools are already stretched thin trying to afford everything, and most quizbowl teams have to work on a tight budget. Raising the price of a tournament will just make it harder for schools with less money.

Quizbowl is in a squeeze right now. We are competing with jobs, entertainment, and other extracurricular activities for the participation of 14-18 year old kids. Some places are seeing increasing quizbowl participation, but in some places I've seen the amount of participation completely evaporate. Some teams that once had 20-30 students every year now struggle to find 4. We need good quizbowl tournaments that are accessible for all teams in every area, and while HFT is a premier event, Harvard still has a duty to the people who live in New England. Raising the cost of their tournament may increase their prestige in the eyes of people on this board, it may not affect LASA or Ridgewood or Phillips Exeter, but it would come at the cost of those who aren't as fortunate. And that's the last thing quizbowl needs right now.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Magister Ludi » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:53 pm

Fred wrote:
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I wonder if this is because potential hosts are rebelling against the perceived inappropriate difficulty of the tournament...
Dallas just posted stats for 15 of the 34 teams. 2 of those teams have a ppb better than 12.

Last year, HFT had the 3rd worst average and 4th worst median ppb of all the sets I tracked. I think this perception is pretty close to reality.
But on the flip side, I heard many of the best teams in the field complain about gimme 30s in important games, which creates an almost impossible situation where we need to satisfy both the worst teams in the country and the best with the same question set. In my experience reading for HFT there is a huge swath of teams that will zero almost any literature or arts bonus in a way that decimates their bonus conversion--not to discount the work HSAPQ and others do to keep high bonus conversions--we don't want to lower the bonus difficulty in those areas to the point it loses legitimacy as a pre-national tournament for the teams paying thousands of dollars to play the tournament.

That being said, I was personally very interested in a lot of the suggestions David Madden made in this thread and we will think about ways to expand and reposition the tournament for next year so it can serve both the local and national fields. If David Madden isn't too busy with History Bowl things we would love to have him act as a consultant for issues about New England outreach and sponsorship.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Auroni » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:57 pm

The good teams will show good stats regardless of the set. The okay teams will play poorly. Because of this fact, you discount the good team data points and correctly conclude that HFT is too hard for 95% of high school teams.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by biggiebird89 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:59 pm

The Hub (Gainesville, Florida) wrote:...I would love to see Phillips Exeter and similar schools show up to quizbowl tournaments...
P.E.A.'s A and B teams attended our Fall Novice mirror held yesterday and completely dominated the field, taking 1st and 2nd place. They were, I believe, one of the first teams to contact us about participating in our event, just to clarify.
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Re: Harvard Fall Tournament VI (11/12/11)

Post by Cheynem » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:00 pm

I disagree with most of David's points. First of all, 34 schools for a hard tournament is a lot and it is incredibly unrealistic to expect a large national field which is what David seems to be implying. Harvard's prestige aside, you can't expect non national tournaments to draw national fields nor do I necessarily feel it is a good thing (that said, I have no problem with teams traveling to national tournaments if they can afford to do so).

Secondly, I agree with Nick that raising the registration fee is a bad thing. There have to be better, simpler, and cheaper ways to do outreach and find staff than paying staffers (with something like other than free lunch) or hiring an outreach person (which if you ask me is a ridiculous cost for a college club to incur). If money absolutely becomes an issue, I think asking the club itself to chip in some of the funds rather than passing it on to the teams playing is the best idea.

I agree with David that more outreach is necessary. I think this is not done by artificially increasing a field size or raising registration fees, but through the age old means of producing a solid, accessible set, doing work on the ground to promote a circuit and tournaments, etc. (I haven't seen the set, so I am not commenting on its difficulty. I also assume that judging by the field size, Harvard has done some nice outreach work).
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