SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

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SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by a bird » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:12 pm

Just out of curiosity, does NAQT have a formal policy on teams from the same school addending multiple Sectionals? Or on two teams from the same school both claiming ICT bids by winning two different sites of SCT?

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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:26 pm

We do not currently have such a policy (so teams are free to travel where they wish).
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by CPiGuy » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:29 pm

a bird wrote:Just out of curiosity, does NAQT have a formal policy on teams from the same school addending multiple Sectionals? Or on two teams from the same school both claiming ICT bids by winning two different sites of SCT?
bird bird bird bird bird wrote:We do not currently have such a policy (so teams are free to travel where they wish).
My two cents: such a policy should allow teams to play wherever they wish, but it should require a school, if they field teams at more than one SCT, to designate one SCT from which they want to receive bids to ICT, and make the team fielded at any other SCTs ineligible to qualify for ICT. The situation here will probably result in no actual teams from the Rocky Mountain circuit qualifying for ICT in Division I. This is probably not good.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:43 pm

CPiGuy wrote:The situation here will probably result in no actual teams from the Rocky Mountain circuit qualifying for ICT in Division I. This is probably not good.
None of the policies proposed in this thread would change that situation.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Ike » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:46 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:We do not currently have such a policy (so teams are free to travel where they wish).
IIRC, there used to be a policy in place, but Illinois and others pushed hard for a relaxation after the 2010 Indiana fiasco, complete with us almost dying while driving on the highway of death. This certainly does look exploitative -- though I have no idea what the facts are in this case. In any case, this doesn't look any more exploitative than teams splitting up their A teams to qualify their much weaker B team, except this one may have involved an airplane ticket. I assume this will become a collegiate discussion topic in the near future; I'll post more thoughts there when that thread forms.

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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cheynem » Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:00 pm

Charlie is from Kansas City; I assume he happened to be home when SCT was running. I also have thoughts on this topic, but I'll wait for a full thread.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Red Panda Cub » Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:42 pm

Cheynem wrote:Charlie is from Kansas City; I assume he happened to be home when SCT was running. I also have thoughts on this topic, but I'll wait for a full thread.
Would the St. Louis site not have been twice as near, in that case?
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by gyre and gimble » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:02 pm

Ike wrote:
bird bird bird bird bird wrote:We do not currently have such a policy (so teams are free to travel where they wish).
In any case, this doesn't look any more exploitative than teams splitting up their A teams to qualify their much weaker B team, except this one may have involved an airplane ticket.

Ike
That's not true. If Chicago sent its B team to Georgia, its C team to Florida, its D team to Colorado, and its E team to Idaho, they might all have a decent shot at qualifying by winning each site but with low D values. If they all played at one site (and against Chicago A), they probably wouldn't all qualify.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by CPiGuy » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:09 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
CPiGuy wrote:The situation here will probably result in no actual teams from the Rocky Mountain circuit qualifying for ICT in Division I. This is probably not good.
None of the policies proposed in this thread would change that situation.
That's false; limiting teams to one site would have disincentivized Columbia from sending a one man team to Colorado by making it so that they would have no chance to qualify more than one D1 team, and so that they couldn't qualify any D2 teams. If a club really wanted to have one guy play a weaker field to guarantee a spot at the expense if letting the rest of their players meaningfully play the tournament, they're welcome to.

For that matter, I would support preventing schools from fielding teams at more than one SCT. I would also support, for this year, extending a bid to the team which would have otherwise won this SCT (I don't know who that is), even if their D-value would be otherwise too low.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Ike » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:38 pm

gyre and gimble wrote:
Ike wrote:
bird bird bird bird bird wrote:We do not currently have such a policy (so teams are free to travel where they wish).
In any case, this doesn't look any more exploitative than teams splitting up their A teams to qualify their much weaker B team, except this one may have involved an airplane ticket.

Ike
That's not true. If Chicago sent its B team to Georgia, its C team to Florida, its D team to Colorado, and its E team to Idaho, they might all have a decent shot at qualifying by winning each site but with low D values. If they all played at one site (and against Chicago A), they probably wouldn't all qualify.
I agree with that. What I'm trying to say is, what Columbia did may have been "unfair," but it certainly isn't against the rules any more so than splitting your team at one sectional. In fact, I really don't think Columbia did any rule-breaking here. I'd probably do this if I wanted my school to qualify two teams as well!
I would also support, for this year, extending a bid to the team which would have otherwise won this SCT (I don't know who that is), even if their D-value would be otherwise too low.
I disagree with this. This would entail taking away a spot from another team to give a team a bid when there was no rule-breaking going on.* If we want to see the problem fixed, NAQT should change the rules.

*Although it's relatively immaterial to the discussion, I suspect that the D-Value of the team you would strip the bid from to award it to the Rocky Mountain team would be significantly higher than the Rocky Mountain's team D-Value.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by CPiGuy » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:49 pm

Ike wrote:In fact, I really don't think Columbia did any rule-breaking here. I'd probably do this if I wanted my school to qualify two teams as well!
I agree, but it *should* be against the rules in my opinion, if only because it's harmful to developing quiz bowl in regions like the Rockies if they're just going to get dominated by a one man team from the Northeast every year at SCT and therefore stand no chance of being represented at national tournaments. The obvious endgame to this is that "big" teams will be sending entries to "small" SCTs at a higher rate, and winning them, which is *really bad* for everyone who's not those few big teams. Obviously Columbia shouldn't be punished for doing something they believed to be legal, but the rules need to change to prevent this from happening again.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by RexSueciae » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:03 pm

I really, really don't think anybody was buying plane tickets and flying out to other sites for the specific purpose of winning isolated SCT sites, regardless of the effects of people from schools outside the region playing quizbowl in a different region where they happen to be located at that moment.

What does the community want from SCT? Is it just another regular-difficulty event, or the vehicle by which teams qualify for ICT? (Or a third option?)
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:03 pm

As someone who has been to a lot of tournaments with very small fields, I think I'd rather have people fly in to have larger fields.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:36 pm

CPiGuy wrote:
bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
CPiGuy wrote:The situation here will probably result in no actual teams from the Rocky Mountain circuit qualifying for ICT in Division I. This is probably not good.
None of the policies proposed in this thread would change that situation.
That's false; limiting teams to one site would have disincentivized Columbia from sending a one man team to Colorado by making it so that they would have no chance to qualify more than one D1 team, and so that they couldn't qualify any D2 teams. If a club really wanted to have one guy play a weaker field to guarantee a spot at the expense if letting the rest of their players meaningfully play the tournament, they're welcome to.

For that matter, I would support preventing schools from fielding teams at more than one SCT. I would also support, for this year, extending a bid to the team which would have otherwise won this SCT (I don't know who that is), even if their D-value would be otherwise too low.
Standings from this SCT site (I've marked the divisions for all the teams):
1. Columbia (UG, DI champ)
2. Colorado A (DII champ)
3. Kansas State A (DI)
3. Maryland (DI)
5. UCCS (DII)
6. Colorado B (DII)
7. Kansas State B (DII)
8. Colorado C (DII)
Hypothetically ruling Columbia ineligible wouldn't generate a new Division I qualifier from that set of results; instead, there would have been no automatic qualifier in Division I.
NAQT qualification policy wrote:If the divisions at a Sectional compete together (as a result of one or both divisions not having at least four teams), then an automatic invitation will also be given to the overall winner if there are at least four total teams at the Sectional.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cody » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:10 am

If a team from outside a region competes and wins their SCT, they by definition deserved to go to ICT more than the team that would've won that SCT had they not been there.

This is no different from splitting teams.

(also: your consternation is amusing given that this tournament would've been 5 teams - at best - without a number of outside teams choosing to attend it. I would be more interested in hearing the perspective of teams who played this tournament.)
Last edited by Cody on Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by csheep » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:13 am

Mike Bentley wrote:As someone who has been to a lot of tournaments with very small fields, I think I'd rather have people fly in to have larger fields.
As someone from Colorado where HS Quiz Bowl was non existent during my time there, and the collegiate scene appears to be fledgling, it would be very discouraging to have someone from a powerhouse school from a powerhouse region like New York/Cali/etc. fly in and casually sweep the field in a tournament that has qualification implications for a larger national tournament.

Regardless on the actual impact on qualifications, the optics of the situation look quite poor, no? A Rocky Mountain SCT being won by a Columbia team. And just because it doesn't seem to have an impact on qualification for ICT in this particular case per Jeff, doesn't mean it couldn't conceivably have an impact in future iterations. Something like limiting teams to 1 SCT, or some other more nuanced rules to be hammered out via discussion preventing this, doesn't seem out of order.
Cody wrote:If a team from outside a region competes and wins their SCT, they by definition deserved to go to ICT more than the team that would've won that SCT had they not been there.

This is no different from splitting teams.
Depends on your goals. If your goal is to have the best set of teams competing at ICT every single year, then yes, but if you're trying to grow quiz bowl into different regions, it can be argued something like this just completely prevents any new region from developing into a competitive, nationally relevant one.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cody » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:22 am

csheep wrote:Depends on your goals. If your goal is to have the best set of teams competing at ICT every single year, then yes, but if you're trying to grow quiz bowl into different regions, it can be argued something like this just completely prevents any new region from developing into a competitive, nationally relevant one.
I think you'd have a very hard time arguing that this prevents a region from developing into a competitive one, but you're welcome to try.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:26 am

If the ICT field was larger this wouldn't be a problem.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cheynem » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:27 am

There are a couple of other rule patches that might work, one easy, one cumbersome.

(Easy): Teams that bypass sites closer to them must apply to NAQT and ask for permission/a waiver to compete elsewhere. From what I understand, Charlie had a good reason for being in Colorado, so I don't think this would affect him, but this would theoretically prevent teams from trying to pick and choose "easier" sites (which I also find extraordinarily rare).

(Cumbersome): Teams can play anywhere, but they are announcing their intent to qualify an ICT team with the roster they are playing as during SCT (i.e., you lock in an "A" and "B" roster) and if you qualify two teams, those are the rosters that you play at for ICT. You could add anyone to the teams who didn't play SCT for ICT, but if you wanted to juggle players, you had to apply to NAQT for a waiver.

I mean the only reason we're talking about this is that Columbia won. Nobody is carping that Maryland (unless this is some other Maryland?) also played out west. One year, Trevor Davis who is from Minnesota played as Carnegie Mellon at the Minnesota SCT, but nobody cared because he lost to me. I would be wary of establishing a rule patch for something that I think is probably a very rare occurrence, unless we start to see a preponderance of such actions. This is unfortunate for the teams at this SCT, although in some ways this actually boosts their D-values.

I also think the ICT field should expand.
The only way this would stagnate a region is if I guess numerous teams from abroad consistently poured into the SCT to try to get a cheap bid, but it also seems like such actions would spur local teams to improve as well.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by jonah » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:37 am

Cody wrote:If a team from outside a region competes and wins their SCT, they by definition deserved to go to ICT more than the team that would've won that SCT had they not been there.
The comparison is frustrated here because the top two teams were trying to qualify for different divisions of the ICT. If Columbia hadn't played, but the ranking were otherwise the same, Colorado A would have qualified for the Division II ICT.
Cheynem wrote:I mean the only reason we're talking about this is that Columbia won. Nobody is carping that Maryland (unless this is some other Maryland?) also played out west.
That Maryland team was just Mohit Iyyer, who is enrolled at Maryland (yes, that Maryland) but works at Jordan Boyd-Graber's lab in Boulder.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by csheep » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:41 am

Cody wrote:
csheep wrote:Depends on your goals. If your goal is to have the best set of teams competing at ICT every single year, then yes, but if you're trying to grow quiz bowl into different regions, it can be argued something like this just completely prevents any new region from developing into a competitive, nationally relevant one.
I think you'd have a very hard time arguing that this prevents a region from developing into a competitive one, but you're welcome to try.
I think you're being willfully obtuse if you don't see how having a team from a very strong region go out of their way, across the country, to play/dominate in a fledgling region with a very weak field might be off-putting to new players.

There might be a very good, perfectly acceptable reason why Columbia had a representative in the Rocky Mountain region, but you must admit the optics of it look bad, and that there's certainly room for questioning here. Why else would an otherwise routine thread have such robust discussion?
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cheynem » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:42 am

Right, the Maryland player obviously had a good reason to play there; I'm just pointing out that if you were to allow broad rules against playing or qualifying at multiple places, there are also cases like this to consider.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Boise » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:43 am

You don't have to be mean about it Cody. You asked for people who went to this tournament to give some feedback, and they did. You don't have to sling it right back in their face with attitude.

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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cheynem » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:46 am

Nobody who went to this tournament has provided feedback so far, as far as I can tell.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by theMoMA » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:48 am

Hey, board staff here. Let's dial down the heat of the discussion a bit; we can certainly disagree about rules without the acrimony. Thanks.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Mewto55555 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:53 am

Gee, if only NAQT had a way to compare teams across sites so that they didn't have to give auto-bids to teams with mediocre stats that happened to win an 8 team mirror run on D2 questions...
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cody » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:00 am

csheep wrote:
Cody wrote:
csheep wrote:Depends on your goals. If your goal is to have the best set of teams competing at ICT every single year, then yes, but if you're trying to grow quiz bowl into different regions, it can be argued something like this just completely prevents any new region from developing into a competitive, nationally relevant one.
I think you'd have a very hard time arguing that this prevents a region from developing into a competitive one, but you're welcome to try.
I think you're being willfully obtuse if you don't see how having a team from a very strong region go out of their way, across the country, to play/dominate in a fledgling region with a very weak field might be off-putting to new players.

There might be a very good, perfectly acceptable reason why Columbia had a representative in the Rocky Mountain region, but you must admit the optics of it look bad, and that there's certainly room for questioning here. Why else would an otherwise routine thread have such robust discussion?
To answer your last question: the optics only look bad if you think that this is a problem. I don't. And I think that the optics aren't nearly as bad as people are claiming.

I don't think I'm being willfully obtuse (disregarding the fact that Charlie Dees playing solo is not Chicago A flying out to dominate this region by scoring 28 PPB). I have a fair amount of experience trying to get nascent college teams to attend more/real quizbowl events and never has the competition been a big factor. It's always question difficulty, and sometimes money. Teams very well understand that they aren't necessarily going to win a bunch of games - but they can play and have fun if they're answering questions and the other teams are nice.

I welcome a correction, but Charlie Dees is a nice enough person that I'd be surprised to hear teams at this SCT had an unpleasant experience. (aside from Colorado C, which appeared to have a rough time with the question set).
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Ike » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:46 am

I definitely would like to hear from the Rocky Mountain circuit too. For all we know, Charlie Dees gave a lot of advice in helping out Colorado's circuit -- he could have given some recruiting advice, shown what real competition is like by acting as a stepping stone of hope for the Rocky Mountain teams with his insight and buzzer acumen, encouraged teams etc. Until we have evidence indicating otherwise, it doesn't seem fruitful to automatically suggest Columbia's / Charlie's actions adversely impacted the circuit.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:59 am

We bought these tickets more or less by accident (literally, I said not to buy the tickets, then I found out one had already just been purchased and I was more or less locked in to go). I was unaware there would be D2 questions until after the ticket purchase as well.

However, I primarily wanted to come to this particular site for touristic reasons, because it's gorgeous, my old music teacher lives there now, and you all know what the law is, not because I wanted to play D2 questions. I had this weird last minute vacation to play sectionals and it ended up being the most fun quizbowl vacation I've ever had. Colorado's team is super nice, super chill, super hospitable, and my hat is off to them for all the hard work they are putting in to get a circuit started there. Maybe it wasn't the most ideal situation in the universe, but I encourage more people to incorporate more tourism into their quizbowl travel.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by CaseyB » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:17 am

I would also like to point out that this is not the first time a school has earned a bid to ICT by qualifying at an SCT site outside their normal region. In 2015, Aayush from Waterloo flew down to our site at UCF to play SCT and he qualified to DI ICT. Even though a school outside Florida qualified at the Florida site, we were glad to have Aayush down in Orlando. We had a lot of fun and that is still the only year a Florida sectional has not had a combined field played on D2 questions. So I don't think the rules should be changed in this regard.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:46 am

Also I just want to point out, there's a whole lotta hypotheticals upthread, but not a whole lotta facts.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:04 pm

CaseyB wrote:I would also like to point out that this is not the first time a school has earned a bid to ICT by qualifying at an SCT site outside their normal region. In 2015, Aayush from Waterloo flew down to our site at UCF to play SCT and he qualified to DI ICT. Even though a school outside Florida qualified at the Florida site, we were glad to have Aayush down in Orlando. We had a lot of fun and that is still the only year a Florida sectional has not had a combined field played on D2 questions. So I don't think the rules should be changed in this regard.
Yeah, but then some people might try to *cough cough* bend the rules to make ICT qualification a lot easier, such as in this case. No offense, but before this SCT took place, I half-heartedly joked with a couple of my pals that some team from far away would actually be devious enough to bend the rules and steal this ICT bid - and guess what happened! Just because one fruit hangs a lot lower than the others doesn't mean you should pick it. ICT bids shouldn't be given out to teams that are willing to travel very long distances to deliberately avoid competition. [I'm not saying this is true in all cases, but it is clearly true in the case you brought up.]
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:24 pm

Again, me being there caused an extra bid to spontaneously generate that would not have been awarded otherwise. CU Boulder A would have gotten their D2 bid with or without me there.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:31 pm

Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) wrote:Again, me being there caused an extra bid to spontaneously generate that would not have been awarded otherwise. CU Boulder A would have gotten their D2 bid with or without me there.
Right, but assuming that every team accepts bids that they are given (which most teams do), the ones who are really affected are the teams on the wait list. It's not like Columbia wasn't going to qualify if you didn't play the Colorado SCT. In some cases, though, teams can take advantage of this rule because they know they wouldn't qualify otherwise, and that, I have a serious problem with.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:58 pm

As somebody who has witnessed the annual brutality of the Northeast Sectional firsthand, I have to admit that my bias leaves me deaf to complaints about D-value or who deserves a bid more from other sectionals. Every year the Northeast has a miserably competitive field that leaves multiple incredibly deserving teams without bids. It is very rare for this to be true on a regular basis anywhere else in the country, so as much of a "first world quizbowl problem" as it is, it's a grievance I think many in our pocket of the world might want to air.

Last year, Columbia's A team split up (undergrads on one team trying to get that bid but we accidentally won the whole thing, Rafael and some grad students who didn't play much on the other), and a strong iteration of our real B team was the other D1 team we fielded. The only bids we ended up getting out of the site were for the ones made up of our real A team. Our real B team placed 9th in this field, with over 18 PPB. We used a bid to bring them to ICT, where a weaker version of that team placed 24th. The other teams that actually managed to get bids out of our sectional all placed 5th, 6th, 8th, and 12th. In any just universe, our B team clearly earned their place at ICT, but failed to get properly awarded a bid for it (they also placed 14th at ACF Nationals). Amherst, Dartmouth, and MIT B were also denied a very strong chance to go do well at ICT (they were all phenomenal teams, and Dartmouth did great at ACF). It is abundantly obvious that in order to get out of the northeast sectional you have to more or less be in contention for the ICT top bracket. This year Amherst wised up and went to a different sectional, and on more or less a last minute lark that wasn't even something that was supposed to happen, we did something similar, which has been done throughout my playing career by other teams like Maryland (won 2 sectionals in 2008 by splitting their A team). Sectionals has an extremely long, storied history of A teams playing the S/D-value system in their program's favor by splitting up in order to maximize their bids. I will unabashedly join that tradition and say I am perfectly content here with the idea that I did something to help my program out when I feel that by not doing anything they run a much greater risk of being screwed than the average SCT participant.

However, all that is really besides the point - I came here because the idea of visiting Colorado is incredibly appealing in many ways, and I had a very fun 48 hours in the state that were filled with good times outside of sectionals. I think it's a little sad that so many people have trouble computing that.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:02 pm

If NAQT would expand the ICT fields, none of this would be much of an issue. Every year, there are a few good teams who want to attend but get left out. Expand the field to accommodate the needs of a growing circuit.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cheynem » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:07 pm

(To be clear, I don't have a problem with Charlie playing this SCT)

The "I had a beautiful time" argument is neither here nor there; it was reviled when Will Alston used it to defend playing a closed tournament under a fake name in another thread (yes, I know he had "permission"). It doesn't matter if people have a wonderful time doing something.

Charlie is correct though in the fundamental bloodbath of some sectionals over others. It is unfair that some sectionals have a much better field than others, denying very good teams a chance to go to ICT.

I would suspect the reform is probably not in cumbersome rules about travel, but rather in the nature of qualification and ICT itself. Expanding the ICT field is one possibility. I also wonder if the bid process could be revised in some way--perhaps an auto-bid must meet a minimum "d-value"? (in this way, you'd still have a full SCT for everyone, but there is the chance nobody qualifies for ICT from a site)
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:11 pm

Cheynem wrote:The "I had a beautiful time" argument is neither here nor there; it was reviled when Will Alston used it to defend playing a closed tournament under a fake name in another thread (yes, I know he had "permission"). It doesn't matter if people have a wonderful time doing something.
I wasn't paying attention to whatever you're referring to, but in that case there was a rule being broken, right? I think if something is within the rules, as me playing this SCT very much was, then people can and should be able to make whatever adult decisions they like about scheduling their travel/tourism/general excitement around quizbowl tournaments that they are eligible for.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cody » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:11 pm

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) wrote:Again, me being there caused an extra bid to spontaneously generate that would not have been awarded otherwise. CU Boulder A would have gotten their D2 bid with or without me there.
Right, but assuming that every team accepts bids that they are given (which most teams do), the ones who are really affected are the teams on the wait list. It's not like Columbia wasn't going to qualify if you didn't play the Colorado SCT. In some cases, though, teams can take advantage of this rule because they know they wouldn't qualify otherwise, and that, I have a serious problem with.
This happens all the time whether or not teams play a different SCT – consider the ubiquitous and very, very, very lengthy practice of splitting teams. Even B teams that might qualify for D1 ICT without splitting their A team are incentivized to do so because the ICT qualification system gives undue weight to the winners of weak sectionals and teams that played combined sectionals while penalizing pretty good (but not lights out) teams that played at very strong sectionals. This is a far bigger problem, unless you think Michigan B is a candidate for a top-5 team in the nation or that Minnesota A's real roster is a 3-person team without Jason Asher. Heck, even though I knew that I couldn't play 2013 ICT, I still played on VCU's SCT team and was probably the difference in VCU qualifying or not qualifying that year, which means that VCU definitely took a spot from somebody. But given that we finished t-21, you'd be hard-pressed to say that we were the least deserving team there, though.

Don't get me wrong—I do think that splitting teams is cheating the qualification system, and I don't see playing a different SCT as any different from that practice. But I don't understand how you can have a problem with any of these practices when the weaknesses of the current qualification system mean that many deserving teams are left out each year if they don't do something to increase their odds within the strictures of the system.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cheynem » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:14 pm

Charlie, you were very much within the rules to do what you did (technically, apparently Will Alston was too!); my point is that the "enjoyment" factor isn't really applicable, as we're moving into subjective ground.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:28 pm

Well, I think I will agree to disagree with you there, or maybe say that my emphasis is somewhere else. I do quizbowl at this point because I want to have fun at it, and I see how other people approach quizbowl and despair at how soulless it feels sometimes. Take, for example, the ritual of people going to Chicago to play or staff ICT, or HSNCT, or CO. What do these people do in the third largest city in the USA, with a robust public transit system that could get them to any number of concerts, museums, clubs, fantastic restaurants, etc? They sit in Rosemont the whole goddamn time, or settle for eating at Medici once again, and sometimes try and pack their trip to the brim with side tournaments of dubious provenance. I've done this too many times to count, and I respect why people want to do it, but after like a decade of this, I scratch my head that so few people ever opt out of this pattern and instead say "I'm going to go out to eat somewhere in the city and maybe ask a local for some nightlife recommendations." Quizbowl is fun and all, but it can be one of many fun things to do during a quizbowl trip. To me, the fact that so much hand-wringing occurred before I even chimed in, where people seemed to have a lot of trouble thinking through that maybe I didn't just go to Colorado for the sole purpose of gaming the D-value system, but rather wanted to go to Colorado because the idea of going to Colorado for the weekend sounded like a lot of fun (and was something that coincided well with a quizbowl tournament I was eligible to play), is a sign of the soullessness I'm lamenting here. Get out and live a little, people!
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cheynem » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:36 pm

Heh, I figured out from the minute I realized you played SCT in Boulder why you went there, but I was attempting to be circumspect about it. I did not think for a second that you were trying to game the system by going to Colorado to play and I think you had every right to do so.

I agree with your general sentiment, I'm not advocating soulless quizbowlery here, but I'm also saying that for the purposes of deciding if what you did is legal and/or ethical, it doesn't really matter if you got great enjoyment and carpe diemed all throughout Colorado--otherwise, what if just one person at your SCT chimed in to say he was pretty pissed and you bummed him all out by beating him? We would rightfully tell that person that his feelings don't get to determine policy, and that's all I'm saying here.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:46 pm

Cheynem wrote:The "I had a beautiful time" argument is neither here nor there; it was reviled when Will Alston used it to defend playing a closed tournament under a fake name in another thread (yes, I know he had "permission"). It doesn't matter if people have a wonderful time doing something.
Your point is taken that whether someone enjoys something or not shouldn't determine eligibility, but it really comes across as irksome self-righteous posturing when a bunch of people come out and post saying "hey, fun doesn't matter here for eligibility." We know that, and none of us are actually trying to use that as justification - if, indeed, our actions need justifying in the first place! I would love to play ACF Nationals (if I hadn't playtested it) because it would be fun, but I certainly haven't been around pushing the idea that I should be allowed to desperately try and fish Nick Jensen out of retirement to play as a "crusty Dartmouth alums" team or something - the integrity of the national competition matters much more.

Is it really that wrong to publicly state that we had fun playing, and that others around us seemed to have fun playing too? Especially when the people who actually played didn't seem to have a major problem with it (and in some cases are baffled by the white-knighting of non-involved parties on the forums)? Frankly, I'm on board with Charlie here - I'm not picking up any titles any time soon, and I got screwed out of every real attempt at playing for appropriate placement during my entire collegiate career except at 2013/2016 ACF Nationals, so I'm in things for the fun of it.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cheynem » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:56 pm

Of course, it isn't wrong to say you had fun playing something! My point is that "having fun" doesn't matter in terms of whether something is right, wrong, legal, or illegal or not. For the hundredth time, I don't think Charlie did anything wrong.

Perhaps this is "self-righteous posturing," but I think there are a lot of dangers of people proffering "well, I had fun and it didn't break any rules," a canard that has defended all sorts of dubious instances. It's great that Charlie had fun, I enjoy fun as well, but the actual meat of his argument defending himself is the point that it didn't break any rules and that it had no real effect on the end results. Good points! This is why the flip of "well, what if someone else didn't have any fun because of Charlie?" is dubious as well because that's not how we analyze if something is right or wrong or not.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:25 pm

This thread is getting nutty! But I love Charlie saying this:
Take, for example, the ritual of people going to Chicago to play or staff ICT, or HSNCT, or CO. What do these people do in the third largest city in the USA, with a robust public transit system that could get them to any number of concerts, museums, clubs, fantastic restaurants, etc? They sit in Rosemont the whole goddamn time
I remember when NAQT held the ICT at UCLA (2003, I think?), there was a thread afterward in which a number of folks complained about it and argued for it to be in Chicago for ever and always, and I noted that I thought it was nice for ICT to move around, allowing people to visit museums and go to cool restaurants and such. But there was a decent number of "QUIZ BOWL WEEKENDS ARE FOR QUIZ BOWL, NOT TOURISM, JEEZ!" type replies (NOTE: I'm aware the larger complaint for teams was the cost of flying to LA--I'm just sayin'). I'm pretty sure one of them was by one of my CO teammates from two years ago, too. Anyway, I enjoy seeing the opposite idea articulated.

More germane to the discussion, Valencia regularly splits its teams to ensure the B (and sometimes C!) teams qualify for CCCT. I understand Cody's point about that being a type of "gaming the system," but I like to reward my players for putting in six-plus hours of practice all season, and the bottom line to me is that it's up to other teams to work to be good enough to qualify. Of course, at CC level the teams that just miss qualifying for the CCCT don't have the kinds of resumes that the first few teams left out of DI ICT, either, so maybe the stakes aren't quite as high.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Ike » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:33 pm

Cheynem wrote: It's great that Charlie had fun, I enjoy fun as well, but the actual meat of his argument defending himself is the point that it didn't break any rules and that it had no real effect on the end results.
I think the assumption by the community at large was that there was some devious scheme cooked up by Columbia to game the system and earn more golden tickets to ICT. As it turns out Charlie was being more Charlie Bucket not Veruca Salt, and I think that's why Charlie is talking about fun here - to show that Columbia wasn't being intentionally nefarious. My guess is that if someone had started this conversation with "NAQT's qualification system is broken and here's why..." there would be no discussion of "fun."
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:43 pm

Cheynem wrote:
Charlie is correct though in the fundamental bloodbath of some sectionals over others. It is unfair that some sectionals have a much better field than others, denying very good teams a chance to go to ICT.

I would suspect the reform is probably not in cumbersome rules about travel, but rather in the nature of qualification and ICT itself. Expanding the ICT field is one possibility. I also wonder if the bid process could be revised in some way--perhaps an auto-bid must meet a minimum "d-value"? (in this way, you'd still have a full SCT for everyone, but there is the chance nobody qualifies for ICT from a site)
If the D-value based wildcard system isn't working then the formula should be changed - a reasonable first step would be to increase the weights of bonus conversion (Look at Chicago B and Columbia B last year)

I also think the host bid should go through an application like how ACF does it now.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Edward Lansdale » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:49 pm

I've been out of the quizbowl scene for a while but was always under the impression you couldn't send teams to more than one SCT. I'll add my two cents here to note that such a rule should be put into place.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:10 pm

To address an earlier question, my belief is that under the current 32-team field of DI ICT and the large increase in talent in the #10-#30 ranked teams, ICT doesn't really have the luxury of trying to grow circuits by increasing geographical diversity at the expense of letting the 32 most talented teams into the field. The current qualification system is unfortunate and probably not very fair for non-top bracket teams in very strong circuits like the Northeast, and what happened here was (IMO) a (theoretically easy to abuse) stopgap measure that, in this specific scenario, produced a result that is more in line with what the bid outcomes would have been were ICT solely intended to be a tournament among the 32 best teams in the country.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:42 pm

raffi_-_c-a-n-a-d-a.mp3 wrote:I also think the host bid should go through an application like how ACF does it now.
If you mean the ICT host, I think this would be a bad idea for several reasons, which I can lay out if you're interested.
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I tend to agree here, and am interested to learn if NAQT has considered the proposition from a couple years ago of expanding DI to 36 teams (which would have many benefits, including allowing more teams pushed to the bubble by the D-value system into the field and expanding the playoff bracket sizes to increase the amount of games teams play against their skill-level peers, at the cost of necessitating a couple more rooms and probably another packet or two).
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