ACF Fall for high schoolers

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ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Vainamoinen » Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:20 pm

As if the rule banning high schoolers from ACF tournaments wasn't enough, charging $120 and subjecting high schoolers to the same packet-sub rules if they want to play the high school only mirrors is ridiculous. Both of those things will have a negative impact on the field sizes of these mirror sites that will already be small.

First, the price is higher than it should be to play in these mirror tournaments. This feels like the classic "want the cake and eat it too," in that ACF doesn't want high school teams at the main mirror sites, but still wants the money from high school teams.

Second, the packet-sub requirement will have a negative impact in that teams may be hesitant to sign up for a high school only mirror that might not reach sufficient mass while still having to write their packet. So there could be a number of teams that end up writing packets for nothing. If ACF doesn't even want high schools to be part of the main tournaments, then why do they need packets from high schoolers? Again this seems like they want their cake and to eat it too.

In summary, if ACF is going to stick to this high school ban, they should at least lower the entry fee and get rid of the packet-sub requirement.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by heterodyne » Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:37 pm

If you've played enough to meet ACFs packet submission requirement then I think you can handle a half packet of fall level questions.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:43 pm

heterodyne wrote:If you've played enough to meet ACFs packet submission requirement then I think you can handle a half packet of fall level questions.
Alston I think you're missing the point
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by heterodyne » Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:52 pm

I'm fully aware of his point. You're missing mine, which is that the writing requirements aren't onerous for the very small minority of HS teams that meet them. Illinois has run a HS mirror of ACF fall for several years on essentially these rules and it has never failed to fill.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:03 pm

heterodyne wrote:I'm fully aware of his point. You're missing mine, which is that the writing requirements aren't onerous for the very small minority of HS teams that meet them. Illinois has run a HS mirror of ACF fall for several years on essentially these rules and it has never failed to fill.
Yeah sure they aren't onerous but are they fair?
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by heterodyne » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:10 pm

I fail to see how "you don't get any special treatment" is "unfair." I don't really think that the elite class of high school teams that are playing ACF Fall need any special dispensation in order to motivate them to play or whatever; ACF has produced a product for college novices that they've chosen to make available to high schoolers. This should really be seen as a favor, not as an obligation.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:15 pm

heterodyne wrote:I fail to see how "you don't get any special treatment" is "unfair."
Yup getting barred from college tournaments while paying 50% more than you would pay for any high school tournament AND be expected to produce questions for an organization that has already barred you is totally fair.

EDIT: There is also apparently no new to ACF discount for high school mirrors either.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by heterodyne » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:20 pm

It's completely reasonable for ACF to not want high schoolers at their official tournaments! This ties into quizbowl's professionalism problem. ACF is designed for teams representing colleges to compete and that is muddled when high schoolers can come play. Given that, why would they redesign their fee structure to cater to the high schoolers that they are doing a favor for?
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Milhouse » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:22 pm

Can anyone say whether or not high school teams playing high school mirrors are now allowed to get the New to ACF discount?

Edit: Devin edited his post before I saw it.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:23 pm

heterodyne wrote:It's completely reasonable for ACF to not want high schoolers at their official tournaments! This ties into quizbowl's professionalism problem. ACF is designed for teams representing colleges to compete and that is muddled when high schoolers can come play. Given that, why would they redesign their fee structure to cater to the high schoolers that they are doing a favor for?
Because high schoolers are only extra revenue, not their target audience?
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Maury Island incident » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:45 pm

I'm fine with not being able to play college mirrors, mostly because it is necessary to improve the legitimacy of quizbowl as an activity. High schoolers are not ACF's target audience. ACF produces "three high quality collegiate quizbowl tournaments per year," according to their website. It's great that we will be allowed to play the set this year, at high school only mirrors, alleviating the problem of high school teams beating up on collegiate novice teams at collegiate mirrors.

I disagree with keeping the cost of Fall the same for high school and collegiate teams. High school only mirrors are not college tournaments, and there is no high school tournament that costs $120. High costs are going to drive off all but the most dedicated teams, thus leaving high school mirrors with small fields. I think that charging $120 for high school mirrors, which are, as Devin said, "extra revenue" for ACF, is infeasible and unnecessary.

However, there are some valid points to requiring half-packet submission for high school teams. HS teams that meet ACF's packet writing requirements are usually experienced enough that writing 12/12 of Fall-level questions is not a huge issue. High schoolers are often among the most experienced players playing and writing for Fall, able to produce large quantities of very usable questions. Having high schoolers write improves the quality of the set, a set high schoolers are not completely banned from playing.

While we're on the subject of high school-only mirrors, is there any reason why collegiate mirror hosts cannot run a high school division at the same site?
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Cheynem » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:52 pm

I agree with the packet submission thing; if you have played enough quizbowl that you are wish to play ACF Fall, I think you can handle writing requirements.

If you are a high school completely new to quizbowl, why are you playing ACF Fall?

The price thing is another question perhaps, but I will also say that ACF is under no responsibility to really cater to high schools, and that the prices might offset additional costs and work of getting hosts and arranging packets. I will let someone from ACF explain more.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by armitage » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:04 pm

High schools have never been eligible for the following discounts: New to ACF (-$25), New to quiz bowl (-$75); or at least they were not given these discounts either last year or in 2013.

The only cost difference this year comes from the lack of a full packet option, which means a difference of $20 from last year if you are both required to submit a packet and do so at the earliest deadline. If your team's finances bar you from attending, please get in touch with us and we can try to work something out. I am not the ACF treasurer, so I won't comment on whether the entry fee itself is too high.
Generating Steam Heat wrote:While we're on the subject of high school-only mirrors, is there any reason why collegiate mirror hosts cannot run a high school division at the same site?
This is more coincidence than anything else.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Maury Island incident » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:12 pm

armitage wrote:
Generating Steam Heat wrote:While we're on the subject of high school-only mirrors, is there any reason why collegiate mirror hosts cannot run a high school division at the same site?
This is more coincidence than anything else.
I was under the impression that this was implied in the ACF rules. Since that seems not to be the case, collegiate hosts should run high school divisions (especially Yale :wink: .)
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Lo, Marathon Ham! » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:19 pm

heterodyne wrote:I'm fully aware of his point. You're missing mine, which is that the writing requirements aren't onerous for the very small minority of HS teams that meet them. Illinois has run a HS mirror of ACF fall for several years on essentially these rules and it has never failed to fill.
Illinois is not the rest of the country. Certain areas in the nation are privileged to have a greater number of above average teams, but most are not like this. While in the past several high schools have been willing to pay the standard college rate of $120 to attend college tournaments, other teams have held back for two reasons: 1. the cost was too high and 2. they were not ready to play college teams yet.

Now that there are high school only mirrors of ACF Fall, inevitably more high schools would be willing to play in these events, but keeping the registration at the standard college rate seems a bit ludicrous. High school quiz bowl is not college quiz bowl. Playing at the college level implies a certain level of commitment, a level which high school quiz bowl does not require unless you're a PACE top bracket team. This does not mean teams below that shouldn't participate in an ACF Fall mirror as there is much to be gained even as a middling team nationally. Many schools would be reluctant to pay such a high registration fee as that would mean less potential funding for other events. In fact, our school has denied us funding to attend college tournaments in the past and as a result it has come out of our parent's pockets which has limited the number of teams we could take. If the fee is indeed so much, only the teams who attended the college iterations in the past will attend and the fields will be extremely small in most non-Illinois, California, or Texas regions.

I agree, however, that there should be no "new to ACF" discount for high school teams, nor should we be exempt from writing a half packet in future years. Writing packets is a great way to improve your team and a half packet can be generated in a week if all four teammates write 1 tossup or bonus each day.

I hope ACF will hear us out and change the policy regarding high school mirrors to bring it more in line with current high school mirroring policies where the host determines the price. This is of course would also require them to reduce their large hosting fee ($30 per team I think?). Most high school tournaments (at least in my region) cost around $60-70. I think if ACF could negotiate down to $80-90 many more high schools would attend their mirrors.
Cheynem wrote: The price thing is another question perhaps, but I will also say that ACF is under no responsibility to really cater to high schools, and that the prices might offset additional costs and work of getting hosts and arranging packets. I will let someone from ACF explain more.
I think ACF will make a similar amount of money as they have in prior years just through the college level mirrors. Agreed, they have no responsibility to cater to high schools, but they could at least try to care and compromise. We (Charter) will be able to attend a high school mirror thanks to the graciousness of our parents, but I know other high schools in our general region who cannot as they have to worry about school funding and don't have any outside sources of paying for the event. Again, I understand this not ACF's problem, but I certainly do hope members within the organization can recall their HS days and come to understand the bases of our argument.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by heterodyne » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:33 pm

I could understand if ACF felt that lowering their price point would lead to bigger revenues or some other positive effect, and that would be reasonable. What I don't think is reasonable is assuming that this is something they are obliged to do. You're paying for the same product as before, from ACFs end (they still deal with all the same things as if you played it at a college site) but you still want a price reduction because you feel that your experience has depreciated due to the lack of college teams. That's pandering to HS students and I don't think it's really what the premier collegiate tournament organization needs to be doing
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Milhouse » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:42 pm

Isn't a major reason high schoolers played collegiate tournaments the opportunity to play against better teams?
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Lo, Marathon Ham! » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:56 pm

heterodyne wrote:I could understand if ACF felt that lowering their price point would lead to bigger revenues or some other positive effect, and that would be reasonable. What I don't think is reasonable is assuming that this is something they are obliged to do. You're paying for the same product as before, from ACFs end (they still deal with all the same things as if you played it at a college site) but you still want a price reduction because you feel that your experience has depreciated due to the lack of college teams. That's pandering to HS students and I don't think it's really what the premier collegiate tournament organization needs to be doing
The premier collegiate tournament organization is not obliged to do anything. Also, the product is not the same. The product is both the packet and tournament. In your region, Alston, perhaps it will stay the same, but in others it will not.

I don't want to delve deeper into a different topic or attack other posters for their views on quiz bowl, but I do feel that engaging more high schoolers in college level sets is a great way to increase the number of students who decide to make the transition from high school quiz bowl to collegiate quiz bowl. By antagonizing high schoolers and saying that they shouldn't be aided, one is implying that he doesn't care about high schoolers. Such sentiments only hurt the participation at higher levels and gives off an elitist "we're better off without you anyways" vibe. I understand this isn't the intent, but people need to understand how high school administrations work and that there are regions other than Illinois who are affected. It's great that Illinois has had high school mirrors in the past and that the current business model has worked for them, but that assumption is not something that will hold true to the rest of the nation. Perhaps it would be ideal if a group of individuals from around the nation who are actively involved in helping out high school circuits in their regions (from our region people like Ben Herman, Ben Zhang, and Scott Blish for example) could discuss with the higher-ups in ACF the pros and cons to our argument. My personal philosophy, and I know many of us differ on this, is that if the college community showed more care for the high school community, quiz bowl would grow at a faster rate and more people would be encouraged to make the collegiate jump.
Xochiquetzal wrote:Isn't a major reason high schoolers played collegiate tournaments the opportunity to play against better teams?
Yes, Eric, it was. We'll still attend non-ACF tournaments like Penn Bowl to play college teams (and no college should pander to high schools to attend a college tournament intended for college teams, but a high school mirror of a college tournament is a separate scenario).
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by heterodyne » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:57 pm

Xochiquetzal wrote:Isn't a major reason high schoolers played collegiate tournaments the opportunity to play against better teams?
That's user-end. My point was that by downgrading it to HS only ACF doesn't have to put in any less work per mirror
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:09 pm

I think the policy in place right now incorporates the worst of all possible worlds. In my opinion, if ACF wanted to formally make a good policy for high school teams, it could be one of three of the following (ranked by order of my personal preference; though I think the unanimous agreement is that #3 is the worst).

1. ACF could continue their old policy on high school teams; they would be allowed to compete in regular ACF tournaments, be subject to all the same packet requirements and fees as college teams, and do not qualify for either the New to Quizbowl or New to ACF discounts. However, they would be able to request a shorthanded discount, and travel discounts, and all other applicable fees/discounts that would not disproportionately go to high school teams like the "New to.." discounts would. In addition, they would not be eligible for DII, and may or may not be eligible for Undergrad.

2. ACF could dissociate high school teams from regular ACF collegiate teams, but offer ACF sets as good quality sets to be mirrored by high school teams. Like other high school mirrors of sets, ACF would only charge a per-team mirror fee, which would not go above $15-20 per team. If ACF goes with this option, then it's pretty clear that they don't give a rat's :capybara: about whether high school teams play ACF sets in their own little mirrors, so high school teams should not be required to write packets. This arrangement is different from option #3 solely in that ACF is generating additional revenue from the set by letting high schools mirror it. This arrangement is less than ideal because it would essentially only work for Fall, when there are enough HS teams willing to play a HS tournament run on a "harder than regular HS set" and maybe for TI, Regionals.

3. ACF could ban high school teams from playing ACF sets entirely. I do not believe that anybody thinks this is a good idea.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by ProfessorIanDuncan » Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:49 am

This thread makes no sense to me. I would understand if the general idea of thread was "ACF Fall is too expensive, if it remains at this price we wont play". But that's not what I'm getting as the general vibe here. This thread (or at least that part of the thread) seems to just be about complaining about the price, which by the way drops to $90 per team if you actually write your packet because there are still a few weeks before the first deadline, which is probably still a bit higher than the average HS tournament cost, but is (at least in my opinion) not a case of highway robbery so to speak. And even you feel it is, as stated upthread ACF is willing to negotiate for teams with financial difficulties.

Now the packet submission. In order to write a packet, someone on your team would've played a college tournament their freshman and sophomore year. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that applies to only a handful of teams. Either way, if you personally have an objection to writing a half-packet (or part of a half packet) again don't go. If the rest of your team still wants to go, they will probably find a replacement or go without you (as they should). Furthermore, the objection that ACF doesn't want any damn high-schooler written questions and if they do they'll have to pry them from our cold dead hands is ridiculous. The demand that high schoolers should be exempt from writing questions is as ridiculous as my team insisting on being able to play despite the fact that we are obligated to write a packet.

These issues aren't any more injurious to a high school team than a college team (with the exception of the slightly higher tournament cost). While I appreciate that for the teams that aren't in Illinois or the DC Metro Area, the option to play ACF Fall is taken from them and I think that is very unfortunate. I can also appreciate that some HS players also feel that their option to play against collegiate competition. That is also unfortunate. But it doesn't mean that you should be able to pay or write less than what is expected of other teams that play this tournament.

tl;dr If you don't want to do what's expected of you in order to play, don't play. These expectations are the same for the other people playing (ie college teams).
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:06 am

ProfessorIanDuncan wrote:This thread makes no sense to me. I would understand if the general idea of thread was "ACF Fall is too expensive, if it remains at this price we wont play". But that's not what I'm getting as the general vibe here. This thread (or at least that part of the thread) seems to just be about complaining about the price, which by the way drops to $90 per team if you actually write your packet because there are still a few weeks before the first deadline, which is probably still a bit higher than the average HS tournament cost, but is (at least in my opinion) not a case of highway robbery so to speak. And even you feel it is, as stated upthread ACF is willing to negotiate for teams with financial difficulties.

Now the packet submission. In order to write a packet, someone on your team would've played a college tournament their freshman and sophomore year. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that applies to only a handful of teams. Either way, if you personally have an objection to writing a half-packet (or part of a half packet) again don't go. If the rest of your team still wants to go, they will probably find a replacement or go without you (as they should). Furthermore, the objection that ACF doesn't want any damn high-schooler written questions and if they do they'll have to pry them from our cold dead hands is ridiculous. The demand that high schoolers should be exempt from writing questions is as ridiculous as my team insisting on being able to play despite the fact that we are obligated to write a packet.

These issues aren't any more injurious to a high school team than a college team (with the exception of the slightly higher tournament cost). While I appreciate that for the teams that aren't in Illinois or the DC Metro Area, the option to play ACF Fall is taken from them and I think that is very unfortunate. I can also appreciate that some HS players also feel that their option to play against collegiate competition. That is also unfortunate. But it doesn't mean that you should be able to pay or write less than what is expected of other teams that play this tournament.

tl;dr If you don't want to do what's expected of you in order to play, don't play. These expectations are the same for the other people playing (ie college teams).
A) Oh, so only teams in DIRE financial situations are troubled by high prices? If a team really couldn't afford to pay for an ACF fall tournament registration fee, could they pay for any registration fee at all??? The point is that ACF's price for high schoolers is egregiously higher than those of other high school tournaments, for no good reason.

B) What IS ridiculous is that ACF expects high schoolers who are barred from college tournaments to write questions for them anyways. The two possible ways for making this feasible are either taking away the writing submission requirement or allowing the questions submitted by high schoolers to only be played by other high schoolers.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:11 am

The strange thing may be how cheap high school tournaments usually are rather than how expensive this particular tournament is.

If you google (invitational entry fee high school) followed by the name of any high school sport, you'll find that high schools are used to paying significantly more than $60 for a lot of things. (The one sport this does not apply to is football, since there aren't football invitationals--try to pick a sport that doesn't get an insane amount of support from schools.) If you look at the cost of quizbowl nationals and how many teams go, you'll see that lots of schools are willing to pay lots of money for quizbowl tournaments. The cost of quizbowl tournaments in general is artificially low because lots of people are willing to spend lots of time running them for little pay for the good of the activity. When you have an organization like ACF that doesn't have a primary focus on giving things to high schools, then they are not going to undercharge high schools like everybody else does.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Cheynem » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:19 am

I think allowing questions by high schoolers to only be played by other high schoolers creates a lot of work for the editors in that you are effectively creating two sets.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Cody » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:26 am

High school and college tournament prices reflect the mirror fees which reflect the number of teams that at them. It's not correct to say that high school prices are artificially low compared to college; excepting some very large tournaments like ACF Fall, the money you make on a college vs a high school tournament is often roughly the same.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:43 am

Ahhhh my high school team isn't allowed to compete in an introductory college tournament at a very low price

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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by heterodyne » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:05 pm

B) What IS ridiculous is that ACF expects high schoolers who are barred from college tournaments to write questions for them anyways. The two possible ways for making this feasible are either taking away the writing submission requirement or allowing the questions submitted by high schoolers to only be played by other high schoolers.
What are you on?? You do realize that the tournament you want to play is almost all written by college students who are banned from HS tournaments? Under this "logic", you shouldn't be allowed to use any of the college-submitted packets, since they aren't allowed to play you so why would they let you use their packets. If you're playing the tournament, then you are writing questions for yourself! This isn't that hard!
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:31 pm

heterodyne wrote:
B) What IS ridiculous is that ACF expects high schoolers who are barred from college tournaments to write questions for them anyways. The two possible ways for making this feasible are either taking away the writing submission requirement or allowing the questions submitted by high schoolers to only be played by other high schoolers.
What are you on?? You do realize that the tournament you want to play is almost all written by college students who are banned from HS tournaments? Under this "logic", you shouldn't be allowed to use any of the college-submitted packets, since they aren't allowed to play you so why would they let you use their packets. If you're playing the tournament, then you are writing questions for yourself! This isn't that hard!
This doesn't make any sense-they let us use their packets because we pay a registration fee, which like many other have said, is too high!!!
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:34 pm

Halved Xenon Stinging wrote:
heterodyne wrote:
B) What IS ridiculous is that ACF expects high schoolers who are barred from college tournaments to write questions for them anyways. The two possible ways for making this feasible are either taking away the writing submission requirement or allowing the questions submitted by high schoolers to only be played by other high schoolers.
What are you on?? You do realize that the tournament you want to play is almost all written by college students who are banned from HS tournaments? Under this "logic", you shouldn't be allowed to use any of the college-submitted packets, since they aren't allowed to play you so why would they let you use their packets. If you're playing the tournament, then you are writing questions for yourself! This isn't that hard!
This doesn't make any sense-they let us use their packets because we pay a registration fee, which like many other have said, is too high!!! Also, the reason college students are banned from high-school mirrors is because of ACF's own rule that high schoolers cannot play at college mirrors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by heterodyne » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:37 pm

So just to get this straight: you shouldn't have to write packets for college students to play on, but they should have to write packets for you to play on?
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:38 pm

Yes, because we are paying for those packets.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by heterodyne » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:39 pm

Right. And they are paying for your packets! See, it's great how this packet sub thing works, isn't it?
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Cheynem » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:40 pm

You're paying for the packets and you get them. The question would be is if I guess you're paying too much. I'm not sure what the other discussion is about here.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Cody » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:43 pm

Devin Shang : this thread :: Donald Trump : GOP

I'd say good job, but I'm rather annoyed given that I'm sympathetic to some of the viewpoints expressed in the OP and Ben Zhang (an interesting post that deserves discussion).
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:47 pm

heterodyne wrote:Right. And they are paying for your packets! See, it's great how this packet sub thing works, isn't it?
But why are you required to write packets for ACF, if they exclude you from their target audience?
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by heterodyne » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:53 pm

Because you are writing packets for YOURSELF. You are playing the tournament! It's not like those packets are taken and used for some tournament you will never play.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:04 pm

And the college students who play the tournament aren't paying as well? Look, I actually think this is silly and that high schools should be allowed to play college sets if they so choose, but I really don't see why asking for packets is unreasonable.

If your team needs to submit a packet then you should submit a packet. This requirement is not unreasonable. Every college team has to do it when they want to play a tournament with packet submission and you can do it as well.

High school sets are easier to write, typically of lower quality, and have a wider audience. It makes sense for them to cost less.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:09 pm

ACF is not obligated to care about high school teams. ACF should not care about arguments that solely consist of "Well, X inconveniences HS teams" or "HS teams would benefit from X". What I think ACF should care about is their bottom line, and I think that the current model is not in the best interests of ACF. If maximizing ACF's revenue is what they care about, then barring HS teams from collegiate ACF tournaments but letting them play their own mirrors is an acceptable way to reach that goal, if certain things are done in a certain way. Requiring HS teams to write packets (and even having HS mirrors of ACF tournaments count towards the packet writing requirement) will foreseeably decrease the number of teams that play ACF Fall and give ACF money, as HS teams must now play at their own self-sustaining mirrors. In addition, charging fees as high as they are now will also not help matters - in the past, one or two dedicated teams could shell out the money to play at their local college mirror, but now, they need enough teams to sustain an entire HS mirror, which would be hard to attract enough teams for (in places other than IL) on the normal collegiate fee schedule.

Essentially, ACF could benefit a lot from however they choose to deal with high school teams in their ecosystem, but it needs to be thought out better. The current model seems to indicate a confusion on ACF's part regarding what role they want HS's to play - it has elements of integrating them into the ACF ecosystem (such as the packet submission requirement and $120 base fee) and of wanting them separate but equal (HS-only mirrors). To mix elements of both is a bad idea for ACF financially and I urge ACF to reconsider their position regarding HS teams.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by theMoMA » Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:38 pm

Without presuming to speak for the organization, I think it's fair to say that ACF, as a nonprofit, doesn't care about it's bottom line nearly as much as it cares about the health of the college quizbowl circuit, and to a less-direct but still significant extent, the health of the high school circuit.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by gustavadolf » Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:07 pm

To me, the biggest argument why high schoolers could be upset at ACF is this:
1) High schoolers are given the same restrictions and requirements as college teams (arguably, due to the lack of "New to..." discounts, there are greater barriers for high school teams).
2) At the same time, the field that high school teams could be playing against is much smaller and weaker, in some regions probably not enough to warrant a tournament. For a college team, ACF Fall is one of the largest events of the fall semester. For high schools, there will likely be only a few mirrors in strong regions.

These two things together make it feel like high schoolers are being relegated to 'second class citizens', who have to do all the writing and pay the same amount or more but get a simulacrum of the field that colleges do. This isn't really ACF's problem; they can do what they want and high schoolers don't have a 'right' to play anything. However, I would certainly advise any high schoolers hoping to play a college tournament against going to ACF Fall from a cost/benefit standpoint.

EDIT: I guess my point is that, although there's no blatant discrimination and it's certainly 'fair' from a rules standpoint, ACF Fall is a much better deal for colleges than it is for high schools.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Jason Cheng » Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:34 pm

If the main interest for the ACF Fall is keeping profit margins high, then it would be heavily in that interest to lower the registration price for high school teams. High schools simply aren't used to paying $120 for local tournaments. I say this as someone who's directed a large amount of both high school tournaments and college tournaments in a region where our college tournaments draw regular high school audiences--there are many high school teams that simply don't attend my college tournaments because the price is higher than what they usually drive down the block to UCSD for. I understand and accept that if they don't want to pay a little extra to compete in a tournament marketed towards college teams, then that's their problem (although I typically give large situational discounts to them so that they do end up coming); however, I don't think this logic holds for a tournament that's marketed exclusively to high school players. There's simply no way that a tournament that costs $120 will draw a large audience from any high school circuit besides maybe the above-mentioned Illinois. I suspect that if UCSD ends up putting together a high school SoCal mirror of ACF Fall, I'll end up charging a lower fee anyway and just eating the monetary loss myself. I also suspect that the field will be larger as a result. If the goal is to strengthen the health of quiz bowl circuits, both collegiate and high school, there's not a doubt in my mind that a larger high school mirror achieves this goal.

Philosophically, it makes no sense to say that high school players are a class of people that aren't the primary interest of ACF Fall and then turn around and charge them the same fee as if they're the group of people ACF is doing the work for. Put another way, I think it's inconsistent to say that high school players aren't who ACF serves but then claim monetary compensation despite not serving them--the amount of work the writing team puts into "producing a set for collegiate teams nationwide" is not raised by high schools wanting to mirror the tournament on a date later than when the tournament was already finished and held. Barring high school teams from participating in ACF Fall proper implies that the work that goes into producing ACF Fall is not meant for, or affected by, high school players playing the set in their own insular tournaments on a later date. Proceeding to charge them as if they were college teams, then, seems unfair to me. Make no mistake, I support barring high school players from competing on ACF Fall proper, having served as president for two years of a club where my main goal has been growing the number of dedicated members from roughly 3 when I first arrived as a freshman in 2013. There are major gains to be had from shielding an interested new player from possibly having to get blown up by a future high school national champion. That being said, once you separate high school players from "the class of people ACF produces Fall for," you have to adjust the rest of your claims accordingly if you want to remain fair and internally consistent.

I'm not particularly sympathetic to the claim that ACF is doing a favor to high school fields and thus shouldn't have to lower their fee structure for them. The favor stems, or at least I think it should, from a desire to strengthen quiz bowl as a whole, but ACF can easily further this goal with no real cost, and possibly instead benefit, from lowering the fee to something at least resemblant of a typical high school fee (see above). It doesn't matter if the standard price is artificially lower for high school tournaments. That's what they're used to, and that's the fee that they don't feel comfortable going beyond.

I also don't believe the above-stated argument about higher prices offsetting the work that goes into finding extra high school mirrors--ACF Fall is the kind of tournament that high school circuits would either come to the editors with a request to mirror or simply not mirror at all. There are maybe 5 circuits nationwide that would be able to support a >3 team mirror of ACF Fall-level stuff (assuming they marketed the tournament responsibly and not disingenuously with "just another high school tournament!"), and those same circuits would come up with the idea to mirror ACF Fall on their own. There's no extra work on the part of the editors required in that.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Cody » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:03 pm

theMoMA wrote:Without presuming to speak for the organization, I think it's fair to say that ACF, as a nonprofit, doesn't care about it's bottom line nearly as much as it cares about the health of the college quizbowl circuit, and to a less-direct but still significant extent, the health of the high school circuit.
ACF contains many individual's who've helped grow the/their high school circuits tremendously, and who care a lot about high school quizbowl.

Having said that, I'm pretty astonished to see anyone claim that ACF, as an organization, cares about high school quizbowl. There's never been a public indication that such is the case.


Also, that's an A+ post by Jason.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Milhouse » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:41 am

Can anyone comment on whether, as it stands, the shorthanded discount for self-funded teams is available to teams in HS mirrors?
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Ike » Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:45 pm

Jason Cheng wrote: That being said, once you separate high school players from "the class of people ACF produces Fall for," you have to adjust the rest of your claims accordingly if you want to remain fair and internally consistent.
So, obviously I don't speak for ACF, but this is just one way of looking at it. For example, there isn't anything philosophically invalid with treating high schoolers as a different audience than the collegiate audience and then proceeding to charge high school teams $240.

It should be obvious to everyone that no one in ACF is interested in making a profit - yes, it would be nice to be able to make a living off of writing for ACF, but we're not even there yet, and marketing to HS teams isn't going to help that problem.

Now let me spin a bit of my good old yarn: when I was playing in high school, I always eschewed high school tournaments for collegiate tournaments. They were always of a better quality-meaning they were better edited. Given how I funded everything out of pocket, by working in my mother's sushi bar during the summers. I had no qualms paying an extra $60 for a much better tournament than a slapdashed housewrite. From my understanding, that's what's going on here, because I know the market is saturated with high school housewrites that are going to be of a lesser quality than ACF Fall. To which I say this, given how many hours an editor puts in to produce ACF Fall, it wouldn't hurt to build a bit of character, and have the players on a team go out and each earn about $15 to pay for the difference so you can play the question set. After all, that's about 2 hours of minimum wage, which is a much, much, higher rate than your editors will be making for ACF Fall.

If that doesn't work for you, you can always just practice on the set for free once it gets posted.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Jason Cheng » Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:31 am

It might just my own value judgment, but I do believe that it's valid to say that it's wrong to charge high school teams $240 to play a local quiz bowl tournament without any real reason. If ACF has clearly stated that ACF Fall is written solely for collegiate players, which I think they do in barring high school players from the tournament, then it follows that the "compensation for the work we did" factor doesn't apply to high school mirrors that occur after the tournament has already been shipped. Following that line of reasoning, ACF could stand to lower the registration fee for those high school mirrors.

The fact that ACF isn't interested in making a profit only further raises the question. Why continue charging high school teams about double the price of the tournaments they usually go to if no one sees any real value in doing so? Assuming profit margins aren't a factor, I would say there's no reason to hike up prices for particularly intrepid high school students, whether they've built character by going out and finding jobs or not.

As I stated in my post above, my understanding is that the goal of making ACF Fall available for high school mirrors is to strengthen the quality of quiz bowl circuits nationwide. I believe that goal could be furthered by lowering the $120 registration fee to something more reasonable, since I'm not swayed by the reasons high school teams need to pay the same registration fees as college teams for a high school tournament that have been presented in this thread, and I'm not aware of any other reasons. Fostering grit and character among high school students is a worthy objective, but I don't think it's rationally related to the goal of "letting high school teams play more high-quality, higher-difficulty questions".
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Cheynem » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:05 am

We've had a lot of people say they don't speak for ACF--maybe it would be prudent to have someone from ACF speak on this?
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by armitage » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:32 am

We will make some of the suggested changes regarding entry fees and packet requirement for this year's edition of Fall. We'll announce the details soon.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:19 am

heterodyne wrote:If you've played enough to meet ACFs packet submission requirement then I think you can handle a half packet of fall level questions.
Kinda off-thread now, but you need to unknowingly get dragged to only one collegiate event as a ninth grader to meet ACF's packet submission requirement two years later.
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On another unrelated note, once regular difficulty gets reduced as discussed in threads from the collegiate boards, high schoolers wouldn't need to play ACF Fall to get their hands on difficulty appropriate collegiate tournaments.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by heterodyne » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:28 am

The Last 21 Stanley Cup Winners wrote: Kinda off-thread now, but you need to unknowingly get dragged to only one collegiate event as a ninth grader to meet ACF's packet submission requirement two years later.
So outside of Texas, there is only one high schooler who would have to write a packet this year. In TX there are likely a few more but those stats aren't on the DB and I don't feel like going to Romero's site to check them. I don't think that this is an actual phenomenon.
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Re: ACF Fall for high schoolers

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:30 am

heterodyne wrote:
The Last 21 Stanley Cup Winners wrote: Kinda off-thread now, but you need to unknowingly get dragged to only one collegiate event as a ninth grader to meet ACF's packet submission requirement two years later.
So outside of Texas, there is only one high schooler who would have to write a packet this year. In TX there are likely a few more but those stats aren't on the DB and I don't feel like going to Romero's site to check them. I don't think that this is an actual phenomenon.
False; this happens more often than you think.
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