Susan wrote:I'd really love to hear more about NAQT's general rationale behind its bid allocation, as well as how it decides what size the ICT field should remain.
This is a good set of questions, Susan.
Susan wrote:Autobids for writing/editing have been around for a while (did they start in the mid- to late-oughts?), but it sounds like there were more this year than perhaps there have been in the past--is this accurate? Does NAQT plan to keep awarding writing/editing autobids at this rate? Are there other ways to incentivize people to do this work (extra $$??)?
I believe the first editorial-autobid setup was for Seth at the 2009 SCT.
We did not change the number of bids this year. The 2016 DI SCT also had two editorial autobids (source
), although note that one of them was declined.
Susan wrote:Does NAQT feel like it's getting harder to recruit writers, editors, and hosts for the SCT? If so, do you have any sense of why?
I don't think the writing and editing process has changed very much in the past decade (obviously there has been quite a bit of personnel turnover, as should be expected).
Finding hosts does seem to have become more difficult over the years. We've tried a number of different models, and honestly nothing we have tried over the past decade has led to the kind of outcome we really want from the process (identifying a complete set of host sites with well-trained staff by an appropriate point midway through the fall semester). It is of interest that Regionals has experienced similar concerns (which may indicate problems outside the control of any particular quizbowl-hosting organization).
Susan wrote:-Is there anything the circuit could do to alleviate some of the pressures driving the autobid situation? In the past, we've talked about things like having something like a national registry of potential moderators (which would make it easier to staff big tournaments), or having regional circuits rotate who hosts Regionals and SCT (which might help make strong teams more likely to take a turn hosting). Would these solve anything? Are there other solutions?
A moderator registry would (in my opinion, not speaking for NAQT) be a useful step forward, but I'm skeptical that it could ever be of the scale necessary to solve the SCT hosting problem.
A system of regional circuit rotation sounds like a good idea; the question is how to ensure nationwide coverage? (Observationally, there are some regions that do very well with informal processes like this, and others where we consistently have a hard time finding hosts.)
Susan wrote:What would hosting a larger ICT look like? What are the financial and logistical pressures keeping it at 32 teams/division?
As I mentioned in response to Rob further down this thread, the current 32-team-per-division setup is subject to fairly strict tradeoffs among staff/available hotel rooms/number of guaranteed games/registration fees. (Problems of the general type, eg, "adding the last game official to the staff grid costs y dollars in travel and hotel costs, and brings in y-x dollars in registration fees.") Should we decide to expand the field in the future, it is probable that such hypothesized expansion would be accompanied by an increase in the base registration fee for ICT.
Susan wrote:-How does NAQT assess what value it gets out of its autobids? I'm thinking particularly of autobids for DI Undergrad winners, or autobids for sectionals where there were 4 or more teams in a division, but those teams only hailed from a couple of schools. There are plausible arguments you can make for eliminating either of these types of autobids; what's NAQT's argument for keeping them?
We do genuinely value the Undergraduate title at ICT, but there have been some long-standing anomalies in the precise mechanics of how the bids for that title are awarded. Not speaking for NAQT, I've seen some very interesting reform proposals from the community in the past week, several of which would improve the way the system works for both teams and hosts.
(speaking for NAQT again)
I would be interested in seeing the arguments about SCT sites where "teams only hail from a couple of schools." My impression has been that this isn't really a significant factor one way or the other in determining ICT bids.
Susan wrote:What would make NAQT look at the list of D-values and say, "Hey, there's a problem here?"
We are indeed already worried by the low number of at-large bids for this year's ICT.
Constructing the ICT field requires us to take into account a number of goals:
-We want a strong field that contains the circuit's best teams. (This is necessary for the legitimacy of the championship title.)
-We want a geographically diverse field of teams. (We believe that NAQT and the game of quizbowl both benefit when there are active circuits in many different regions. Encouraging stronger ties between developing college programs in new regions and the nationwide community is in everyone's best interests.)
-We want to reward teams that win games at SCT. (This is why the SCT champion qualify automatically, and why the D-value system is structured to preserve the order-of-finish among teams within a given SCT. Many years ago, teams with strong statistical performances could be invited ahead of teams with a higher-place finish at the same SCT. However, that situation provoked considerable anger in the community, leading NAQT to revise the operation of the ICT qualification system.)
-We want to reward teams for hosting SCT. Finding sites for our sectional events is an ongoing struggle, and we could not staff a tournament series of this size without providing incentives for active players to give up their own chance to compete at SCT.
NAQT is very pleased to hear that so many teams are interested in playing both SCT and ICT - but we need to make sure that the tournaments are logistically and financially sustainable and don't collapse under their own weight.