ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University NYC

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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Cheynem » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:27 pm

Congratulations to all the teams.

The Magic/Bird, Stone Cold/Rock esque rivalry of Mssrs. Jackson and Bollinger (at least as undergraduates?) comes to an end. It is staggering to think that in terms of a rather fruitful era for good teams (albeit one that began as the Yaphe/Teitler/Jerry years were over), their track records produced (counting head to head matchups):

1 DII ICT championship (Yale)
3 DI ICT championships (2 for UVA, 1 for Yale)
3 ACF Nationals championships (2 for Yale, 1 for UVA)

Only two non-Matt led teams won a national tournament during their reigns of terror; I was proud to be on one of them (2011 Minnesota).

For Matt Jackson, his worst finish at ACF Nationals was second. Chew on that.

EDIT: Also what was up with the various forfeitures/people no-showing on Sunday? I thought we had managed to improve on that.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by jonpin » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:21 pm

Hey if someone from Columbia can get in touch with me, I believe I left my laptop power cord in Hamilton 603 (today's control/finals room). My battery sucks, so I won't be able to upload final stats for a few days.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Kouign Amann » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:24 pm

jonpin wrote:Hey if someone from Columbia can get in touch with me, I believe I left my laptop power cord in Hamilton 603 (today's control/finals room). My battery sucks, so I won't be able to upload final stats for a few days.
I'll put some shoes on and run check on that right now.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Kouign Amann » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:35 pm

Kouign Amann wrote:
jonpin wrote:Hey if someone from Columbia can get in touch with me, I believe I left my laptop power cord in Hamilton 603 (today's control/finals room). My battery sucks, so I won't be able to upload final stats for a few days.
I'll put some shoes on and run check on that right now.
This is now in my possession. Please PM or email about the best way to return it.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by jonpin » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:15 pm

Kouign Amann wrote:
Kouign Amann wrote:
jonpin wrote:Hey if someone from Columbia can get in touch with me, I believe I left my laptop power cord in Hamilton 603 (today's control/finals room). My battery sucks, so I won't be able to upload final stats for a few days.
I'll put some shoes on and run check on that right now.
This is now in my possession. Please PM or email about the best way to return it.
check your PMs
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:28 pm

Congratulations again to UVA on pounding everyone else; no one has managed to clear an ACF Nationals field undefeated since 2007, and the skill level of the average top-quartile team has been going way up in that seven-year interim. I had a great time playing this tournament -- I won't be playing another ACF Nationals for a long while, maybe ever, and the set, the staff, the competition, and the company I got to keep these past two days made for an excellent sendoff.

It goes without saying that Saturday ran very, very long. I suggest that future ACF Nationals tournaments assign brackets to specific rooms to help alleviate this issue. The shuffling of games in all brackets across all the rooms seemed to slow the whole tournament down to whatever the slowest moderator could handle, and the often-significant time of tromping up and down 1-3 flights of stairs to try and find tucked-away rooms didn't help that, whereas a more standard setup of brackets playing in specific blocks of rooms would have eliminated a lot of stairs time as well. [The overall stats file also doesn't really make sense, but since the fixing of that is dependent on Jon's power cord, I'm fine to just wait for those and caution teams that the overall stats don't make sense or reflect final order of finish at the moment.]
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:58 pm

Cheynem wrote:Congratulations to all the teams.

EDIT: Also what was up with the various forfeitures/people no-showing on Sunday? I thought we had managed to improve on that.
I woke up at 7:00 to a text from Nick (I was staying with a friend at Columbia, they were in a hotel in New Jersey) saying that he and Cameron planned on sleeping and working rather than playing, and they texted me the schedule for our games, apparently under the presumption that I would go and play these games without them. Suffice to say that I was not happy with this turn of events. Instead of going and playing ACF Nationals (against top bracket teams, no less) without my teammates, I figured I'd get more utility from a couple hours' extra sleep instead of facing top-bracket teams by myself. Apologies to anybody that my decision inconvenienced - I hope people understand my decision. I can't speak for Nick or Cameron's decision to not attend.

Aside from this incident, I greatly enjoyed this tournament and look forward to playing iterations of ACF Nationals of similar quality in the future - with or without teammates who care to actually go play the tournaments they drove several hours to attend.

Congratulations to UVA on an amazing performance and a win I think everyone knows they deserved.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:09 pm

gamegeek2 wrote:a text from Nick [...] saying that he and Cameron planned on sleeping and working rather than playing
Hey Nick and Cameron: what the fuck is wrong with you? You do not do this! Especially when you've made it to the top bracket!
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:19 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
gamegeek2 wrote:a text from Nick [...] saying that he and Cameron planned on sleeping and working rather than playing
Hey Nick and Cameron: what the fuck is wrong with you? You do not do this! Especially when you've made it to the top bracket!
Yeah, this is pretty deplorable.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Guile Island » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:33 pm

Because this is only just now starting to bother me: Kevin and Dan did the same thing this morning, but I obviously came and played today solo. Feel free to yell at them!
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Chimango Caracara » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:45 pm

I apologize to the teams to the teams who were impacted by our team forfeiting. I would like everyone who is angry at Cameron to note that he had to drive us to New York on Friday, got less than 6 hours of sleep Friday night and then didn't get back to the hotel until about 1 AM last night. He needed to sleep longer than was possible with the tournament in order to take us back to Hanover today.

I guess you can be angry at me.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by vinteuil » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:28 pm

RyuAqua wrote:It goes without saying that Saturday ran very, very long. I suggest that future ACF Nationals tournaments assign brackets to specific rooms to help alleviate this issue. The shuffling of games in all brackets across all the rooms seemed to slow the whole tournament down to whatever the slowest moderator could handle, and the often-significant time of tromping up and down 1-3 flights of stairs to try and find tucked-away rooms didn't help that, whereas a more standard setup of brackets playing in specific blocks of rooms would have eliminated a lot of stairs time as well. [The overall stats file also doesn't really make sense, but since the fixing of that is dependent on Jon's power cord, I'm fine to just wait for those and caution teams that the overall stats don't make sense or reflect final order of finish at the moment.]
This combined with the extra-long lines due to only two floors having bathrooms, I think. Just out of curiosity, were the Saturday rounds really expected to finish by 6? What, in particular, went extra-wrong to make that not happen?
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:29 pm

Chimango Caracara wrote:... then didn't get back to the hotel until about 1 AM last night..
If games were done at 9, it sounds like some life decisions lead to that 1 a.m. return.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:35 pm

Chimango Caracara wrote:I apologize to the teams to the teams who were impacted by our team forfeiting. I would like everyone who is angry at Cameron to note that he had to drive us to New York on Friday, got less than 6 hours of sleep Friday night and then didn't get back to the hotel until about 1 AM last night. He needed to sleep longer than was possible with the tournament in order to take us back to Hanover today.

I guess you can be angry at me.
Seriously, your excuse is "one of the two of us had to make a short-by-quizbowl-trip-standards four-hour drive twice in a weekend, and we're so bad at time management that we couldn't figure out how to get enough sleep to make this possible"? Quizbowl is not your mother. It does not care that you're tired. You made a commitment to attend a tournament, then fucked out of part of it with no warning. Don't make excuses, just apologize and don't do it again.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:36 pm

Chimango Caracara wrote:I guess you can be angry at me.
I was feeling better about this earlier, but I've soured up a bit since then, so I'll cast a few stones:

I do not see why it would not be possible for us to have simply taken a break while driving and slept, or napped on sit, or slept through the finals, or whatever. We had multiple hour-or-more long sleep breaks on the drive back from Cane Ridge Revival, if I recall correctly. Yes, this is less than ideal for everyone involved, but you can't say it was absolutely impossible.

I don't mean to sound sanctimonious, but many people who are not on our team (i.e. people who are NOT students from a school that funds the vast majority of our expenses without us having to raise any money) probably paid quite large amounts of money out of their own pockets (I'm talking more than covering bus and food fare) to come here, or spent many hours organizing and staffing tournaments in order to obtain the necessary funding in order to come and play games of pyramidal quizbowl against us (and other schools). A portion of that expenditure that could have been spent on competitive quizbowl in the playoffs of a high-quality tournament is now wasted. Not to mention that we're also squandering the activities fee money that students at our school pay that allows us to go to these things.

As you requested, let's leave Cameron aside, because at least he had a pretty reasonable excuse in that he had a several-hour drive ahead of him. Nick, I feel insulted and somewhat betrayed by the fact that you just decided it just wasn't worth your time to show up to the tournament today after we spent the entirety of yesterday playing - and dare I say, I think Saturday was the best we'd ever played as a Dartmouth team before. Heck, you and I both got recognized for being some of the top UG players in scoring - too bad we couldn't even be there for that because you insisted on leaving at 11:30 (I get that this was due to parking issues, but I would gladly have covered the cost of in-city parking for the day in to watch the second-place games, stay for the awards ceremony, and possibly spend some more time at Columbia with quizbowl and non-quizbowl people).

I was excited that we'd beaten expectations and that we actually had a chance to play competitive high-level quizbowl against teams we'd never played before at this level - I've never gotten to play Illinois, Washington, or Michigan, and I think we had a decent chance at beating at least two of those teams (as well as Stanford). What's more, I'm rather shocked that you had expected me to be okay with this and just show up and grind it out against Michigan, Stanford, Washington, and Illinois by myself. I'm sorry I'm not as stalwart as Alexander Nero, Andrew Kiss, Jacob O'Rourke, or Dylan Minarik, but I'm just not going to do that because I don't think I'd enjoy the experience in the context of ACF Nationals level questions.

If it's the case that you and Cameron didn't want to play ACF Nationals in the first place, but only decided to go because I wanted to play it, I'm very grateful that you decided to go play and that Cameron was kind enough to drive us down anyways but you guys shouldn't have gone at all. I would have been perfectly happy spending the weekend hanging out, getting lunch, exploring the city, and enjoying Bacchanal with my high school friend and watching Penn, Yale, Chicago, UVA, Harvard, and UMD duke it out on Sunday morning (and possibly a few other games as well) instead of playing the tournament, and would even have been willing to purchase bus tickets in order to do so. Instead, I spent my entire day Saturday playing games and hence wasn't able to spend much time with non-quizbowl friends, and I couldn't even watch the second-place playoff or go the awards ceremony.

In all likelihood, this is the last tournament I'll ever play with Cameron, and it might be the last I play with you as well. From what happened on Saturday, I thought it was going to be a good sendoff to two years of playing together, which at least I enjoyed (I don't know about you at this point), but apparently it just wasn't to be. Thanks for ruining what was otherwise an amazing weekend.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:50 pm

Image

In seriousness, though, I really enjoyed the tournament. I thought the set was very, very good. I had been dreading playing ACF Nationals because of bad memories from the last ACF Nats I played, but this set had lots of tossups on accessible things done well, and even the stuff I hadn't heard of seems important. [While I heard some grumblings that jazz came up too much, this was by far the best jazz I've heard in a tournament-- whoever wrote it clearly actually cares about jazz and managed to write on stuff that is very important without writing the millionth tossup on you-know-what.] The only complaint was how late things ran on Saturday, but it was nice to get home so early today, so, heck, even that's not the worst thing. Anyway, I really enjoyed it. Just wanted to throw some positivity in here.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:56 pm

something similarly dumb wrote:Image

In seriousness, though, I really enjoyed the tournament. I thought the set was very, very good. I had been dreading playing ACF Nationals because of bad memories from the last ACF Nats I played, but this set had lots of tossups on accessible things done well, and even the stuff I hadn't heard of seems important. [While I heard some grumblings that jazz came up too much, this was by far the best jazz I've heard in a tournament-- whoever wrote it clearly actually cares about jazz and managed to write on stuff that is very important without writing the millionth tossup on you-know-what.] The only complaint was how late things ran on Saturday, but it was nice to get home so early today, so, heck, even that's not the worst thing. Anyway, I really enjoyed it. Just wanted to throw some positivity in here.
I live on the same campus as Nick and see him regularly - I posted this in public because I felt like venting in public.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Chimango Caracara » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:57 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
Chimango Caracara wrote:I apologize to the teams to the teams who were impacted by our team forfeiting. I would like everyone who is angry at Cameron to note that he had to drive us to New York on Friday, got less than 6 hours of sleep Friday night and then didn't get back to the hotel until about 1 AM last night. He needed to sleep longer than was possible with the tournament in order to take us back to Hanover today.

I guess you can be angry at me.
Seriously, your excuse is "one of the two of us had to make a short-by-quizbowl-trip-standards four-hour drive twice in a weekend, and we're so bad at time management that we couldn't figure out how to get enough sleep to make this possible"? Quizbowl is not your mother. It does not care that you're tired. You made a commitment to attend a tournament, then fucked out of part of it with no warning. Don't make excuses, just apologize and don't do it again.
With traffic, it was at least eight hours on Friday. It was six hours today. Cameron is a very experienced driver, and he told me that he needed to sleep. I trust his judgment. If it weren't for him, Dartmouth would not have sent a single team to any event for the past three years. On numerous occasions, he has sacrificed his time (and sleep) to allow other Dartmouth students to participate in an activity that he has steadily lost interest in playing himself. It is completely inaccurate to paint his contributions to the team as anything but unselfish.

Our final game did not end until 9:30 or so. We spent less than an hour getting dinner. It just ended up taking a long time to take the train and bus back to our hotel. Regardless, I think that this is the last quizbowl tournament either of us will play, so it will not happen again.

Will, I think it would be in both of our best interests to keep personal matters between ourselves.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:04 pm

More importantly, Virginia's had one of the all-time great seasons, Yale has completed a great run with the talented Matt Jackson, Chicago did really well and it sounds like it was a great cap to a great season of quiz bowl.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Cheynem » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:10 pm

The only thing I add to the Dartmouth Dilemma Discussion is that if you are going to no show, you should at least notify the TD.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:15 pm

Cheynem wrote:The only thing I add to the Dartmouth Dilemma Discussion is that if you are going to no show, you should at least notify the TD.
Will Alston sent me a FB message telling me his situation and asking me to notify the TD. Since our game in that room was about to start, I relayed this to our moderator, Ryan Westbrook, who I presume informed the war room after the round if they hadn't been notified/made contact with Dartmouth prior.
Last edited by Masked Canadian History Bandit on Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Auroni » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:20 pm

Congrats to UVA for winning and for everyone else who stayed the whole time for coming. Sometime soon (possibly tomorrow or Tuesday) on IRC in #quizbowl, I will read the unused second finals packet and our "packet of horrors." (the craziest rejects)
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by jonpin » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:31 pm

RyuAqua wrote: [The overall stats file also doesn't really make sense, but since the fixing of that is dependent on Jon's power cord, I'm fine to just wait for those and caution teams that the overall stats don't make sense or reflect final order of finish at the moment.]
[On my shitty old computer which doesn't have SQBS on it]
The file listed as "overall" right now, as should be clear to anyone who takes a few minutes looking at the team detail page (or eight seconds looking at the scoreboard page) is from Saturday night. I didn't get a chance before leaving to merge the files and create one big stat file with every game from the weekend. I'll be picking up my power cord from Aidan tomorrow evening, and hope to have everything posted by the end of Monday night (though I will be finishing up my taxes first).
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:15 pm

I have a ton of positive things to say about this weekend, which I'll post tomorrow, including congratulations to Virginia for a peerless performance.

The war room was made aware of the Dartmouth situation immediately, so that's not the issue. And, I'm not inclined to throw any blame on Will Alston for his decision to call it a tournament after he was betrayed by his two teammates - because that's what it was, betrayal, and for no good reason at all. Everything Rob Carson said was right - this type of behavior is unacceptable and shows a complete lack of respect for your teammates, your competitors, and these tournaments that a lot of people work very hard to put on.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:56 am

Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon wrote:More importantly, Virginia's had one of the all-time great seasons, Yale has completed a great run with the talented Matt Jackson, Chicago did really well and it sounds like it was a great cap to a great season of quiz bowl.
Penn shat it up though.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by dolphin » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:11 am

Congrats to UVA and Yale, and thanks everyone for coming out to Columbia for a second year :)
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:16 am

Wow, I had no idea that a team had left the tournament early, much less a top-bracket team. I'm hugely disappointed by Dartmouth's actions, and, frankly, more than a little insulted.

Yes, the tournament ran late. We frontloaded the schedule with the intention of being able to get teams out the door at a reasonable hour on Sunday. In fact, if you were not involved in the various title/place games, you could have comfortably left around noon with no problems whatsoever.

Speaking as a far more experienced driver than Cameron, and as someone who has logged probably tens of thousands of total miles driving to and from quizbowl tournaments over the course of his career, the excuses proffered above are pure nonsense. If you leave the building at 9:30, and you know that you have to be back the next day at 8, maybe the thing to do is just to head back to your hotel room and order pizza, rather than dawdle in the city eating. That's called "planning ahead." And the distance from NYC to Hanover is about 270 miles, which at the leisurely pace of 65 miles per hour translates to just over 4 hours of driving. This is not a significant burden by any stretch of the imagination.

It's at this point that I'd like to remind people that quizbowl is more than just a game: it's also a community of people, and that community has norms. One of those norms is that if you come to a tournament, you're expected to stick it out to the end, provided that the TD is making a reasonable effort to keep things on track, something that was definitely the case this weekend. When you flout those norms by failing to show up for matches that you're scheduled to play, what you're doing is placing your own personal convenience (because that's what this is; you're not driving back early for an emergency) above your obligations to other members the community, and that's incredibly disrespectful. It disrespects your opponents, who have every right to expect a meaningful match against your team; it disrespects the tournament director, who now has to reschedule around your whims, something that is nontrivial to do in such situations; and it's disrespectful to the editors, who have put in a gargantuan amount of time and effort into providing you with what we thought was a really good tournament that you'd enjoy playing. Those are the people to whom you are saying, "I don't care about your efforts or wishes, because they inconvenience me."

Frankly, I'm not sure what's worse here: actually pulling this stunt, or saying afterwards that it's no big deal because hey, you're never playing ACF Nationals again anyway, so what do you care? Way to make it all about you and your selfish decision to screw over a bunch of people who expected you to carry through on a more-than-reasonable commitment. I might expect this kind of attitude from some no-name team that shows up to their first tournament, but not from an established club like Dartmouth that has been attending events for years.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Chimango Caracara » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:54 am

I can't really defend my actions. For fairly petty reasons, I made a bad decision that ended up inconveniencing a lot of people, and I'm very sorry about that.

I hope that everyone can move on from this incident and not let it tarnish a tournament that, question-wise, was one of the most interesting and enjoyable I have played.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Frauny Von Smiley » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:07 am

Is there going to be a specific thread for discussing the contents/running of the tournament?
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Cody » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:17 am

Frauny Von Smiley wrote:Is there going to be a specific thread for discussing the contents/running of the tournament?
It was put up last night.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by jonpin » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:20 pm

grapesmoker wrote:It's at this point that I'd like to remind people that quizbowl is more than just a game: it's also a community of people, and that community has norms. One of those norms is that if you come to a tournament, you're expected to stick it out to the end, provided that the TD is making a reasonable effort to keep things on track, something that was definitely the case this weekend. When you flout those norms by failing to show up for matches that you're scheduled to play, what you're doing is placing your own personal convenience (because that's what this is; you're not driving back early for an emergency) above your obligations to other members the community, and that's incredibly disrespectful. It disrespects your opponents, who have every right to expect a meaningful match against your team; it disrespects the tournament director, who now has to reschedule around your whims,
I'll let Matt expand upon this as needed, but this also rings true of the buzzer situation. According to Matt, more than half of the promised buzzers did not show or were incomplete (I share partial responsibility having volunteered a backup system midweek only to find that my team had packed 7 working buzzers and 3 non-working buzzers in the case I took with me). Quiz bowl is a game played with buzzers, people! If you want to play, you gotta bring them!

Also, as is my tradition, here are PDF scoresheets (in the proper, vertical format :razz: ) for the two terrific second-place tiebreakers. Matt Jackson went a combined 14/1 in those two games.
Attachments
2014 ACF 2nd final.pdf
Final: Penn vs Yale
(201.75 KiB) Downloaded 332 times
2014 ACF 2nd semi.pdf
Semifinal: Yale vs Chicago
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:33 pm

jonpin wrote:Also, as is my tradition, here are PDF scoresheets (in the proper, vertical format :razz: ) for the two terrific second-place tiebreakers. Matt Jackson went a combined 14/1 in those two games.
Sorry, dude! I didn't know people had strong feelings about it, and I like the horizontal format myself, so I went with that.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by gyre and gimble » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:34 pm

First of all, I want to say that this was definitely the best quizbowl experience I've ever had, and I think an efficiently (albeit ambitiously scheduled) run tournament, great, great questions, unparalleled competitors, and of course a very cohesive team all contributed to that experience. So I'd like to thank all involved.

My one complaint, and I guess this is only relevant to Harvard, really, is that we were denied a chance to play Yale for the UG title. I didn't complain about this at the tournament because I was made to understand that a lack of enough packets led to an executive decision being made to prioritize determining who got the 2nd place trophy over determining who the UG champion was. I agreed that, if there weren't enough packets for Yale to play two tiebreakers plus an advantaged final, it made sense to choose one or the other and I figured it was probably right to think 2nd place is more important than a secondary title.

I want to ask now, though: Why couldn't we have broken the 3-way tie on half packets, just like ties to get in the top bracket were broken in half-packets? According to the printed schedule, there should have been two packets reserved for the UG final.

Also, at lunch after the tournament some of the editors told me that neither us nor Yale had played Editors 7, the packet that had been used for the first tiebreaker. No one had heard Editors 10. That would mean that there were, in fact, two packets available for us to play, even after the 2nd place tiebreaks!

In all probability, Yale would have beaten us at least once in two games and the outcome would have been the same. But the situation seems 1) shortsighted not to schedule who plays what packet in order to prevent stuff like this and 2) explicitly disrespectful of the concept of the UG title. To elaborate on 1), it was clear that Yale and Harvard would be 1st and 2nd in UG after the prelims. Packets could have been rearranged so both of us would avoid one of them. To elaborate on 2), I get that people don't take the UG title nearly as seriously as the overall one, but I think it's goddamn impressive that teams like Harvard and especially Yale can play as well as they do without the experience and knowledge of grad students and people should recognize and respect that. And why were we never even asked if we were okay with this, or given time to come up with what I've said here so we could make a proper argument?

This did put a single cloud over a great weekend of quizbowl that I would have considered perfect otherwise.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:40 pm

I don't believe that "consulting with" (or, as you acknowledge later in your post, "arguing with") people who have vested interests in one outcome is the way to run tournaments. I made a decision in line with precedent and fairness after noticing the rules did not address this issue -- it's exactly the same as why, two weeks ago, Yale won the UG title at ICT without having to go play Harvard again after losing the overall final. There is a limited number of packets and time, and Yale finished ahead of you in the standings; your right to catch up to them in a final is not unlimited, especially when the connection between the practical factor (limited packets and time) and the fairness factor (Yale finishing ahead and otherwise establishing their better claim on the title by the quizbowl accomplishment of finishing second overall in the tournament) is logical and obvious. I don't see why making the same decision that was made at this year's ICT, as well as the same decision made at the 2009 ICT (where Harvard was given the opportunity to clinch the UG title without facing Minnesota by winning a finals play-in game with Illinois), and the 2011 ICT (where Harvard was awarded the UG title without facing VCU by being in the overall final), in the context of an analogous situation at ACF Nationals should be viewed as either surprising or unfair.

I also don't think that expecting people to maintain security on Editors 7's use in round 12 for the (not realized) possibility that it might also be used in Round 13 should imply that we can use Editors 7 for the entirety of the rest of the tournament. After an overnight break and with no instruction from me, the printed schedule, or any editor/staffer to teams that this packet was still embargoed through Sunday, it would be unreasonable of me to assume that no one in the room had heard anything of its content, just as it was unreasonable for anyone to try to ad-hoc reschedule packet usage while teams were sitting down for a game. As I am planning to address in a lengthy post, things like the Saturday schedule running perfectly on time and people listening when room changes are announced are never going to happen until people start taking this tournament at least as seriously as they do other quizbowl events. I'm not asking for a state dinner at the White House level of decorum here, but at least, if you would never conceive of asking the ICT to re-use a packet from 17 hours earlier to play a four-game finals series in a tournament whose champion has already been determined, consider bringing the same amount of composure and pragmatism to ACF Nationals.

Congratulations to Harvard on their fifth-place finish and 2nd-place UG, in any case -- this is an achievement for a program that was put in an awkward position very recently by the actions of its alumni, and shouldn't be lost in the shuffle of the discussion of the UG finals issue.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:I also don't think that expecting people to maintain security on Editors 7's use in round 12 for the (not realized) possibility that it might also be used in Round 13 should imply that we can use Editors 7 for the entirety of the rest of the tournament. After an overnight break and with no instruction from me, the printed schedule, or any editor/staffer to teams that this packet was still embargoed through Sunday, it would be unreasonable of me to assume that no one in the room had heard anything of its content, just as it was unreasonable for anyone to try to ad-hoc reschedule packet usage while teams were sitting down for a game.
Yeah, this is why I was pretty confused that members of the editing team, before the first play-in game, were discussing the possibility of using Editors 7 for the play-in game (and consulting at least with me about that possibility!) since it had "cooler questions" or something similar. I had to shoot down that suggestion pretty firmly at least twice, because I had (non-hypothetically) heard upon leaving the tournament the night before that there was a tossup on "Okuninushi" and (a) question(s) on Dave Eggers which I didn't play, and had no guarantee that it wasn't in Editors 7. At minimum, Stephen wasn't the only one with a misconception that there were more than three packets remaining.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:29 pm

As far as I can tell, there was no way to run the UG final given the number of packets we had remaining and the fact that we could not vouch for the security of Editors 7 (in which it looks like we were justified). Stephen, I'm sorry we couldn't make them happen (I am always in general supportive of the "more quizbowl" position) but I don't think it was logistically feasible, nor could we have designed a schedule a priori that would have guaranteed its feasibility.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:45 pm

It seems to me like the general approach to quizbowl has always been "if you make the finals, you don't have to worry about playing any more and automatically win any lesser titles." Should this approach be revised to "if you make the top 2 or 3 spots and earn a trophy, you automatically win any lesser titles?" Because the rule in its current form seems to basically imply that if you make 2nd, you automatically win the UG title, because it's so uncommon for there not to be a national final. At ICT, there's always a final, so that's what it means there.

Separately, I have always found the idea that when you place higher, but lose an UG final to a lower ranked team, you flip spots to be distasteful when ICT does it. Does ACF have the same rule, or is UG just a completely separate thing that has no effect on the final standings of the actual tournament (so in this case, if Harvard won an UG final over Yale, would Yale still get their 2nd place trophy?)
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:49 pm

Horned Screamer wrote:It seems to me like the general approach to quizbowl has always been "if you make the finals, you don't have to worry about playing any more and automatically win any lesser titles." Should this approach be revised to "if you make the top 2 or 3 spots and earn a trophy, you automatically win any lesser titles?" Because the rule in its current form seems to basically imply that if you make 2nd, you automatically win the UG title, because it's so uncommon for there not to be a national final. At ICT, there's always a final, so that's what it means there.
The way you and Stephen have phrased this is blunt, but correct -- when a decision has to be made, and it almost always does, correctly determining the overall Top 3 takes priority over Undergraduate placement.
Separately, I have always found the idea that when you place higher, but lose an UG final to a lower ranked team, you flip spots to be distasteful when ICT does it. Does ACF have the same rule, or is UG just a completely separate thing that has no effect on the final standings of the actual tournament (so in this case, if Harvard won an UG final over Yale, would Yale still get their 2nd place trophy?)
I wasn't aware that ICT does this, and I have not planned to do it at ACF Nationals personally, nor am I aware of any discussion within ACF for any future TDs to do so.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:52 pm

ACF has no such rule. What happened was that Yale, Chicago, and Penn were all in contention for 2nd place, with two losses apiece. Penn led on statistical tiebreakers, so Yale and Chicago had, effectively, a play-in game to determine who would play Penn for 2nd. If Yale had lost that game, they would have been into an advantaged final with Harvard, which is why we had to preserve Editors 8, 9, and 10 for those games (potentially Yale could have played all 3 of those). Yale winning the game against Chicago meant that they would automatically take the UG championship because there was no unused packet remaining that would have allowed them to play both the 2nd place game against Penn and also an advantaged final against Harvard.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:37 pm

I noticed when we hosted Regionals that ACF rules get a little vague when it gets to this area. I presume you all are planning to maybe reform this part of the rules in the future?
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by gyre and gimble » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:41 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:I don't believe that "consulting with" (or, as you acknowledge later in your post, "arguing with") people who have vested interests in one outcome is the way to run tournaments.
I might not fully understand what the word "consulting with" means, but what I meant was that when a team is getting disadvantaged due to a decision that was made in the middle of the tournament, they should be informed before the decision is made final and offered an opportunity to rebut that decision, simply out of respect for the spirit of competition. Talking to us under the assumption that we had an obvious vested interest could still have been productive, and if not, would still have been a gesture of respect and/or conciliation that I at least feel appropriate for the situation. I also believe that Yale should have been "consulted with" as well, perhaps at the same time.
There is a limited number of packets and time, and Yale finished ahead of you in the standings; your right to catch up to them in a final is not unlimited, especially when the connection between the practical factor (limited packets and time) and the fairness factor (Yale finishing ahead and otherwise establishing their better claim on the title by the quizbowl accomplishment of finishing second overall in the tournament) is logical and obvious.
Regarding the limited number of packets, I understand the reasoning behind the decision to prioritize 2nd and 3rd and would probably have made the same decision were I in that position. I don't think time was really an issue unless Columbia wanted us to leave the building or Yale had to catch an early train or something, but from my limited point of view neither of those things were true. And according on the rules behind the UG final, the fairness factor you've cited doesn't exist. The only thing that's "fair" is for the UG final to proceed according to the rules; I recognize that the situation prevented these rules from being executed, but we shouldn't use other standards external to the rules to decide what's fair. If we want to adopt these other standards, e.g. we think it's dumb for a team to finish 10 spots ahead of another team and then lose a title due to one extra game, then we should change the rules.
I don't see why making the same decision that was made at this year's ICT, as well as the same decision made at the 2009 ICT (where Harvard was given the opportunity to clinch the UG title without facing Minnesota by winning a finals play-in game with Illinois), and the 2011 ICT (where Harvard was awarded the UG title without facing VCU by being in the overall final), in the context of an analogous situation at ACF Nationals should be viewed as either surprising or unfair.
As I see it, these situations are not analogous 1) Yale was in a 3-way tiebreaker, not a final, which necessitates by rule two packets, and 2) NAQT explicitly states in their rules that if a team is in the finals, they do not have to play a separate UG final. In fact, the specific NAQT rule is that "If one of the teams in the overall finals...is eligible for the UG title, then that team will be declared the UG champion. This does not include UG teams that were tied for second place overall, but which did not reach the advantaged final." I think this makes it rather explicit that the two situations are not analogous. Anyway, it's what I expected at ACF Nationals, and therefore why I posted earlier in this thread.
I also don't think that expecting people to maintain security on Editors 7's use in round 12 for the (not realized) possibility that it might also be used in Round 13 should imply that we can use Editors 7 for the entirety of the rest of the tournament. After an overnight break and with no instruction from me, the printed schedule, or any editor/staffer to teams that this packet was still embargoed through Sunday, it would be unreasonable of me to assume that no one in the room had heard anything of its content, just as it was unreasonable for anyone to try to ad-hoc reschedule packet usage while teams were sitting down for a game.
...
I'm not asking for a state dinner at the White House level of decorum here, but at least, if you would never conceive of asking the ICT to re-use a packet from 17 hours earlier to play a four-game finals series in a tournament whose champion has already been determined, consider bringing the same amount of composure and pragmatism to ACF Nationals.
Except that immediately after tiebreakers were run in Round 12, it would have been very clear that two specific teams would be involved in the UG final, since only two UG teams made the top bracket. This was four rounds before the overnight break; teams who played Editors 7 could easily have been instructed, hours before they left the tournament on Saturday, not to talk about that packet, just like teams were told not to talk about the Michigan packet that some people played in the prelims. I hesitate to think this suggestion is a lack of pragmatism or composure on my part, but even if it is, things shouldn't be decided on what's perceived as pragmatic unless it's abundantly clear that the alternative is disastrous. In this case I don't think expecting around 20 people to not talk about 40 questions would have been disastrous.
Congratulations to Harvard on their fifth-place finish and 2nd-place UG, in any case -- this is an achievement for a program that was put in an awkward position very recently by the actions of its alumni, and shouldn't be lost in the shuffle of the discussion of the UG finals issue.
Now that I've finished my rant/rebuttal, I'd like to qualify that this wasn't as huge a deal to me or my teammates as my lengthy post here would seem to make it out to be. I want to thank you (Matt) for your words of congratulations as well as for a well-run tournament. I've also tried to limit second-person pronouns in this post because my aim is to make a constructive point about how I think things should (or could) be planned and decided so that situations like this do not occur, rather than to assign blame to anyone.

Along those lines, I would like any further discussion on these points to move forward from the specifics of what happened Sunday to how similar situations should be dealt with. Part of the reason why I personally didn't take this too negatively (and why I didn't try to argue) when I learned of the decision is that I think it's a bit silly for an UG final to be necessitated when a team is ahead by as far as 12 games. Clearly, from a "moral" standpoint, that team deserves the UG title. But the rules say otherwise and it's the rules that dictate what's "fair." I share Charlie's sentiments, but I don't think the limit should be how well a team finishes in the tournament (e.g. within the top 3) but rather how far they finish ahead of the next team. A bracket size is too big; it should be just 1 or 2 games. Yale cleared us by 3 games this weekend, and that says enough about whether they're better than us.

My other suggestion is, like I said about the Editors 7 packet above, that contingency plans be made when designing the tournament so that situations where one rule or another needs to be bent do not occur.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:54 pm

Obviously, I haven't thought about the tournament schedule as deeply as Matt Weiner et al have, so I'm guessing the answer is yes, but: was it necessary to adopt a tournament schedule in which some packets (e.g. the Michigan packet) were used during multiple rounds? This seems like a recipe for disaster.

Also, why was it necessary to forbid spectators at the round-12 tiebreakers?
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Cody » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:17 pm

Excelsior (smack) wrote:Also, why was it necessary to forbid spectators at the round-12 tiebreakers?
Matt Weiner wrote:I also don't think that expecting people to maintain security on Editors 7's use in round 12 for the (not realized) possibility that it might also be used in Round 13 should imply that we can use Editors 7 for the entirety of the rest of the tournament.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:10 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:I wasn't aware that ICT does this, and I have not planned to do it at ACF Nationals personally, nor am I aware of any discussion within ACF for any future TDs to do so.
Jeff just confirmed that I'm not crazy when I asked and that NAQT does indeed do this. Add it to the list of things I'd change about ICT if I were dictator of the world.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:17 pm

Horned Screamer wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:I wasn't aware that ICT does this, and I have not planned to do it at ACF Nationals personally, nor am I aware of any discussion within ACF for any future TDs to do so.
Jeff just confirmed that I'm not crazy when I asked and that NAQT does indeed do this. Add it to the list of things I'd change about ICT if I were dictator of the world.
Wow, uh, that's a pretty insane way to conduct a tournament and it really shouldn't be possible for a 3rd place team to fight its way up the top bracket only to get swapped down to 10th place facing a team that didn't make the playoffs.
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:17 pm

It's also on the list of "things that will likely change about the 2015 and beyond ICTs" (which is probably shorter than Charlie's list).
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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by jonpin » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:22 pm

Cody wrote:
Excelsior (smack) wrote:Also, why was it necessary to forbid spectators at the round-12 tiebreakers?
Matt Weiner wrote:I also don't think that expecting people to maintain security on Editors 7's use in round 12 for the (not realized) possibility that it might also be used in Round 13 should imply that we can use Editors 7 for the entirety of the rest of the tournament.
To be specific, if a team that had played the Michigan packet (or Michigan itself obviously) was scheduled to play NW, W&M, or Stanford, we would've played that on Editors-7. As tiebreakers were running, the only case that could've happened in was if W&M lost their tiebreaker and would've been slotted to play Alabama. Of course in that case, W&M had ALSO played Editors-7, so we had to juggle the seeding, flipping Columbia-A and Alabama's designations.
Jon Pinyan
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Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by jonpin » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:27 pm

RyuAqua wrote:
Horned Screamer wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:I wasn't aware that ICT does this, and I have not planned to do it at ACF Nationals personally, nor am I aware of any discussion within ACF for any future TDs to do so.
Jeff just confirmed that I'm not crazy when I asked and that NAQT does indeed do this. Add it to the list of things I'd change about ICT if I were dictator of the world.
Wow, uh, that's a pretty insane way to conduct a tournament and it really shouldn't be possible for a 3rd place team to fight its way up the top bracket only to get swapped down to 10th place facing a team that didn't make the playoffs.
If I remember a "tournament format" page I saw somewhere, it's not a straight swap, it's "if the lower team wins, they leapfrog the higher team and all in-between slide one spot".
Regardless, I think "one bracket" is not a good cutoff for "too big a gap", I think a specific number of places like 6 or 8 would be appropriate, with a further clarification that any team in or tied for the top two is exempt from being challenged in that manner.
Jon Pinyan
Coach, Bergen County Academies (NJ); former player for BCA (2000-03) and WUSTL (2003-07)
HSQB forum mod, PACE member
Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by jonpin » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:02 pm

RyuAqua wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:I also don't think that expecting people to maintain security on Editors 7's use in round 12 for the (not realized) possibility that it might also be used in Round 13 should imply that we can use Editors 7 for the entirety of the rest of the tournament. After an overnight break and with no instruction from me, the printed schedule, or any editor/staffer to teams that this packet was still embargoed through Sunday, it would be unreasonable of me to assume that no one in the room had heard anything of its content, just as it was unreasonable for anyone to try to ad-hoc reschedule packet usage while teams were sitting down for a game.
Yeah, this is why I was pretty confused that members of the editing team, before the first play-in game, were discussing the possibility of using Editors 7 for the play-in game (and consulting at least with me about that possibility!) since it had "cooler questions" or something similar. I had to shoot down that suggestion pretty firmly at least twice, because I had (non-hypothetically) heard upon leaving the tournament the night before that there was a tossup on "Okuninushi" and (a) question(s) on Dave Eggers which I didn't play, and had no guarantee that it wasn't in Editors 7. At minimum, Stephen wasn't the only one with a misconception that there were more than three packets remaining.
Since I remember reading the "Staggering Genius" tossup, it was either the last round before lunch (which was your bye), or the first round of playoffs (which had split packets).
Jon Pinyan
Coach, Bergen County Academies (NJ); former player for BCA (2000-03) and WUSTL (2003-07)
HSQB forum mod, PACE member
Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

"A [...] wizard who controls the weather" - Jerry Vinokurov

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Re: ACF Nationals 2014: April 12 & 13 at Columbia University

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:08 pm

jonpin wrote:
RyuAqua wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:I also don't think that expecting people to maintain security on Editors 7's use in round 12 for the (not realized) possibility that it might also be used in Round 13 should imply that we can use Editors 7 for the entirety of the rest of the tournament. After an overnight break and with no instruction from me, the printed schedule, or any editor/staffer to teams that this packet was still embargoed through Sunday, it would be unreasonable of me to assume that no one in the room had heard anything of its content, just as it was unreasonable for anyone to try to ad-hoc reschedule packet usage while teams were sitting down for a game.
Yeah, this is why I was pretty confused that members of the editing team, before the first play-in game, were discussing the possibility of using Editors 7 for the play-in game (and consulting at least with me about that possibility!) since it had "cooler questions" or something similar. I had to shoot down that suggestion pretty firmly at least twice, because I had (non-hypothetically) heard upon leaving the tournament the night before that there was a tossup on "Okuninushi" and (a) question(s) on Dave Eggers which I didn't play, and had no guarantee that it wasn't in Editors 7. At minimum, Stephen wasn't the only one with a misconception that there were more than three packets remaining.
Since I remember reading the "Staggering Genius" tossup, it was either the last round before lunch (which was your bye), or the first round of playoffs (which had split packets).
But I wasn't told that and couldn't know from what I heard (I just heard "hey, what'd you think of [THIS QUESTION", basically) which packet it was in, leaving my point intact that the use of Editors 7 really wasn't an option after so many hours of opportunity to chat about specifics.
Matt J.
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