2017 ICT bids

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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:09 pm

naturalistic phallacy wrote:
gettysburg11 wrote:Would it be worth considering moving the ICT out of being held at a hotel then? It seems that it would be more cost-economical for NAQT, because they'd have to pay less for facilities and could potentially accommodate more teams, which seems to be something that most people are in favor of.

Also just generally adding my voice to the chorus that changes need to be made for how bids are awarded. I agree with Mike that switching to a model more akin to that used by ACF could be a worthwhile change.
Hotels provide meeting planning support that no free space can ever replicate.
It's also not in any way a guarantee that, say, a college would be cheaper; to build on Bernadette's point, even the ability to do things like "confirm that you have rooms reserved several months ahead of time" can be an adventure when dealing with colleges.

As much as I like (and have supported!) the idea of field expansion, I think bid reform is going to be the more productive area of discussion right now.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:32 pm

raffi_-_c-a-n-a-d-a.mp3 wrote:
Susan wrote: -What would hosting a larger ICT look like? What are the financial and logistical pressures keeping it at 32 teams/division?
How much would it cost to increase the total field size to about 80 and run it over two days, like early SSNCTs?
A lot! Not sure if you're proposing two one-day 40-team tournaments or one two-day two-division tournament or what, but either way the costs for space will jump significantly (more so in the latter case than the former). Any format that would require additional packets also adds some significant extra work to the equation, which while probably easier to manage than thousands of dollars in additional hotel fees is still necessary to take into consideration.

(once again, I'm not privy to any insider NAQT information, but I work in hotel banquets and I've helped run a fair few national quizbowl tournaments)
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:41 pm

Auks Ran Ova wrote:
raffi_-_c-a-n-a-d-a.mp3 wrote:
Susan wrote: -What would hosting a larger ICT look like? What are the financial and logistical pressures keeping it at 32 teams/division?
How much would it cost to increase the total field size to about 80 and run it over two days, like early SSNCTs?
A lot!
Note in particular two big differences between ICT and SSNCT:

1. SSNCT has a significantly higher base registration fee.

and

2. The SSNCT schedule (like those for HSNCT and MSNCT) has multiple byes in it (for the 2017 SSNCT, we have announced "there will probably be 12 preliminary rounds on Saturday, so each team will have 3 byes during the day").
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:14 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
naqt.com wrote:NAQT is pleased to announce that Stephen Eltinge and Jacob Reed will be serving as guest editors of NAQT’s 2017 Division I Sectional Championship Tournament set. ...

In exchange for their services, Yale University will receive two editorial autobids to the Division I ICT. Unlike hosting autobids, these editorial autobids cannot be dissolved (though, of course, they need not be accepted). Yale will also host a Sectional Championship Tournament, but it will not receive an additional hosting autobid.

Virginia asked for and received an additional hosting bid due to the large field size at the Mid-Atlantic SCT.
I think giving a school more than 1 autobid is too much for hosting a "large" tournament (26 teams isn't that large!). I also think giving a school multibids for having multiple editors is unnecessary. When you have 32 spots in your national championship and 10 of them (I'm assuming Cody's number is accurate) are given out for reasons other than meritorious performance, you're not rewarding being one of the best teams in the country. What's actually being rewarded is being one of the most plugged-in teams. Additionally, with less bids available, this is very probably going to promote what's being called quiz bowl tourism (hi, Charlie, hope you're doing well!), which benefits - the well-established, financially strong teams! These teams will continue to benefit from their status within the circuit, which will in turn delete any possible recruiting benefits of the SCT that could contribute to the circuit.

I think other issues brought up in this thread, such as announcing sites so late and determining why hosting bids aren't being submitted, should be resolved in the near future (and not wait for the mystery summer NAQT conference).

Also, field expansion is probably necessary for helping preserve the value of the ICT as a national championship. It might require byes in the schedule (in turn requiring college teams to put on their adult pants and not complain about such a thing), but adding just 8 spots to the DI field would have made the DI ICT much more valuable as a national championship.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:57 pm

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.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:32 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:We want to reward teams that win games at SCT.
I (and plenty of others in this thread, though not necessarily cohesively enough to this point) think that the clearest mechanism for meeting this criterion is requiring teams to play their SCT rosters at ICT, using a request-based system to fill absences in which NAQT reserves the right to decline certain substitutions. Indeed, the two criteria listed above this (having a strong field with the circuit's best teams & having a geographically diverse field) are hindered by programs splitting their A team to go bid hunting.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by vinteuil » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:39 pm

AKKOLADE wrote:
bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
naqt.com wrote:NAQT is pleased to announce that Stephen Eltinge and Jacob Reed will be serving as guest editors of NAQT’s 2017 Division I Sectional Championship Tournament set. ...

In exchange for their services, Yale University will receive two editorial autobids to the Division I ICT. Unlike hosting autobids, these editorial autobids cannot be dissolved (though, of course, they need not be accepted). Yale will also host a Sectional Championship Tournament, but it will not receive an additional hosting autobid.
I also think giving a school multibids for having multiple editors is unnecessary. When you have 32 spots in your national championship and 10 of them (I'm assuming Cody's number is accurate) are given out for reasons other than meritorious performance, you're not rewarding being one of the best teams in the country. What's actually being rewarded is being one of the most plugged-in teams. Additionally, with less bids available, this is very probably going to promote what's being called quiz bowl tourism (hi, Charlie, hope you're doing well!), which benefits - the well-established, financially strong teams!
I agree that getting 2 bids for 2 editors felt a little bit much, and maybe NAQT did too, which is why we didn't get a hosting bid. In any case, we've requested to have the second DI bid converted to a DII waitlist slot anyway, since we thought we would be able to choose which bids went where.

I agree with the broad strokes of what you're saying, Fred, but you can't really equate "well-established" and "financially strong." For instance, I don't think the Yale team has ever really engaged in significant quizbowl tourism, because we barely break even, despite killing ourselves to host 4-5 tournaments and write a set every year.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:50 pm

vinteuil wrote:we've requested to have the second DI bid converted to a DII waitlist slot anyway, since we thought we would be able to choose which bids went where
Confirming that this is accurate (and the problem was miscommunication on our part). Yale B's Division I invitation has been deleted, and Yale B is now #1 on the Division II waitlist. (We believe this to be the fairest possible resolution at this point- for obvious reasons we cannot revoke any existing Division II invitations. Our apologies for the breakdown in communication between NAQT and the Yale team.)
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:55 pm

vinteuil wrote:I agree that getting 2 bids for 2 editors felt a little bit much, and maybe NAQT did too, which is why we didn't get a hosting bid. In any case, we've requested to have the second DI bid converted to a DII waitlist slot anyway, since we thought we would be able to choose which bids went where.
Some initial confusion on this subject (at least mine; don't want to speak too much for others) came from the apparent decision to award bids on strictly a one-bid-per-editor basis, rather than a one-bid-per-affected-team basis. I think it's a perfectly reasonable decision to award autobids to Alberta and WUSTL when both Alberta A and WUSTL A are being deprived of one of their best players, but this year's situation basically only affected Yale A, right?

(that said, Yale's solution to the situation seems to be a pretty reasonable one!)
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by vinteuil » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:58 pm

Auks Ran Ova wrote:
vinteuil wrote:I agree that getting 2 bids for 2 editors felt a little bit much, and maybe NAQT did too, which is why we didn't get a hosting bid. In any case, we've requested to have the second DI bid converted to a DII waitlist slot anyway, since we thought we would be able to choose which bids went where.
Some initial confusion on this subject (at least mine; don't want to speak too much for others) came from the apparent decision to award bids on strictly a one-bid-per-editor basis, rather than a one-bid-per-affected-team basis. I think it's a perfectly reasonable decision to award autobids to Alberta and WUSTL when both Alberta A and WUSTL A are being deprived of one of their best players, but this year's situation basically only affected Yale A, right?
I think this might be the first year that NAQT decided to pick guest editors from the same school? On a "one-per-affected-team" basis, that actually makes more sense than picking from two different schools, but obviously that wasn't the system in place.

I'd be in favor of revising the policy to "one per school" for future iterations (making the assumption that, like me and Stephen, anybody who's going to be invited as a guest-editor will probably be playing on their school's primary team); at any rate, I'm also happy that (in this one case at least) we could work out a reasonable solution.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:02 pm

FYI, had I known the situation would have been this jacked, I would have driven to Yale, played, and Typhoid Mary'd everyone in the field in the process.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by setht » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:08 pm

Regarding hotels vs. not-hotels: I believe the 2006 ICT almost imploded because the UMD administration double-booked the rooms that had been reserved for ICT (and I guess the group that came in partway through the day to claim their rooms had more clout than NAQT).
Susan wrote:I know that it's hard to line up good writers and editors for SCT, particularly if you're looking for younger writers/editors with more connections to the current college circuit; I assume that NAQT feels it needs to make generous bid allocations here to make that happen.

Here are some of the particular questions I have in mind:
-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 $$??)?
-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?
Jeff already did a better job than I could of responding to most of Susan's questions, but I wanted to say a bit about guest editing, since I have been involved with those arrangements the last few years.

The first autobid for SCT guest writing/editing was in 2009. I don't remember offhand exactly what happened the next couple years, but I believe NAQT stuck with a single guest editor (and a single editing autobid) for a couple years--with some gaps where there was no guest editor--then moved to a two-guest-editor/two-editing-autobids arrangement starting with the 2015 SCT. (In 2016 one of the guest editors chose not to go for an autobid, so I guess this is the second year there have been two editing autobids.)

Speaking for myself, I really like the guest editor program, and I hope it continues. I'm not invested in the idea that guest editing must come with an autobid, but I am pessimistic about being able to attract top-notch guest editors without the lure of an autobid (and I am invested in the idea of continuing to attract top-notch guest editors).

I don't feel like it's been getting harder to recruit SCT guest editors--I guess it's been a little harder to find two interested editors than it was to find one, but after accounting for that I don't feel like there's been a trend towards all the editor prospects wanting to play rather than guest edit, or anything like that. (I'm not saying it's easy in an absolute sense to find guest editors, just that I don't think things have been getting relatively harder in recent years.)

I don't really have anything to say about finding hosts, since I have never touched that.

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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by setht » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:26 pm

setht wrote:NAQT stuck with a single guest editor (and a single editing autobid) for a couple years--with some gaps where there was no guest editor--then moved to a two-guest-editor/two-editing-autobids arrangement starting with the 2015 SCT. (In 2016 one of the guest editors chose not to go for an autobid, so I guess this is the second year there have been two editing autobids.)
Actually, having looked things up to refresh my memory, I got this slightly wrong.

In 2015 and 2016 we wound up giving only one editing autobid. (We were prepared to give out two editing autobids both years, but in both cases one editor opted not to do the full amount of work needed to earn an editing autobid.)

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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by setht » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:40 pm

vinteuil wrote:
Auks Ran Ova wrote:
vinteuil wrote:I agree that getting 2 bids for 2 editors felt a little bit much, and maybe NAQT did too, which is why we didn't get a hosting bid. In any case, we've requested to have the second DI bid converted to a DII waitlist slot anyway, since we thought we would be able to choose which bids went where.
Some initial confusion on this subject (at least mine; don't want to speak too much for others) came from the apparent decision to award bids on strictly a one-bid-per-editor basis, rather than a one-bid-per-affected-team basis. I think it's a perfectly reasonable decision to award autobids to Alberta and WUSTL when both Alberta A and WUSTL A are being deprived of one of their best players, but this year's situation basically only affected Yale A, right?
I think this might be the first year that NAQT decided to pick guest editors from the same school? On a "one-per-affected-team" basis, that actually makes more sense than picking from two different schools, but obviously that wasn't the system in place.

I'd be in favor of revising the policy to "one per school" for future iterations (making the assumption that, like me and Stephen, anybody who's going to be invited as a guest-editor will probably be playing on their school's primary team); at any rate, I'm also happy that (in this one case at least) we could work out a reasonable solution.
This was the first year where we had two guest editors from the same school. I think it's worth pointing out that as part of the offer of two bids, Yale also agreed to host (and staff) a large Sectional: they ran a 26-team site, with only one house team (Isaac playing solo in DI to avoid byes). There have been other cases where a guest editor's club also hosted SCT--for instance, Chicago and Virginia both hosted SCT sites in 2015 when John Lawrence and Matt Bollinger guest edited. Chicago received one editing bid but no hosting bid (they provided rooms but not staff); Virginia received one hosting bid (which dissolved because they qualified a team at the buzzer) but no editing bid.

I do think that furnishing two guest editors (who put in a lot of work writing and editing the SCT set) plus hosting (and staffing!) a large SCT should be worth two bids. Perhaps that should be one editing bid and one hosting bid, rather than two editing bids, if we wind up with another two-guest-editors-from-one-school situation.

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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:44 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote: -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.
This reward should not be attendance at what is supposed to be a best-on-best tournament if they aren't one of the top 32 teams.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by jonpin » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:35 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
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.
While I admittedly haven't done it very often, I have volunteered as an SCT volunteer a few times when it was geographically convenient and fit into my schedule. The quiz bowl economy makes this very difficult; generally, the only compensation one gets is a few slices of pizza; on rare occasions, I've gotten reimbursed for tolls. Obviously, paying outside moderators would just pass the costs along to teams, which isn't desirable, but that's the facts of trying to get outside moderators.
In any event, the question security issue means that, as a high school coach, I would not have been able to help out at SCT.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:55 pm

vinteuil wrote:I agree with the broad strokes of what you're saying, Fred, but you can't really equate "well-established" and "financially strong." For instance, I don't think the Yale team has ever really engaged in significant quizbowl tourism, because we barely break even, despite killing ourselves to host 4-5 tournaments and write a set every year.
The teams that have a lot of money, or individuals that individually possess the money to travel to areas they don't have direct connections to*, are the ones that have been around for a long period of time. Teams that have existed for 3 years tend to not have that cash.

*Not Charlie Dees, y'all need to chill on that roll
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:59 pm

I just had a stray idea that I'm going to pitch: NAQT guarantees that the top X D-value teams get spots ahead of hosting/editing/auto-qualifier bids in some manner.

I realize the problems with this possibly deincentivizing editor/host recruitment, but it's a solution.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by gyre and gimble » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:04 pm

setht wrote:I do think that furnishing two guest editors (who put in a lot of work writing and editing the SCT set) plus hosting (and staffing!) a large SCT should be worth two bids. Perhaps that should be one editing bid and one hosting bid, rather than two editing bids, if we wind up with another two-guest-editors-from-one-school situation.
This assessment of what merits a bid (or what a bid is "worth") is wrong, because it ignores the purpose of autobids.

Autobids should compensate for opportunity costs, rather than serve as a reward. The reason a team with a guest editor might deserve an ICT bid is not because the editor did good work for NAQT. (The editor gets paid for that!) Instead, the team deserves a bid because the guest editor was prevented from helping the team to qualify at full strength. Similarly, the reason a host team might deserve an ICT bid is not because it put a lot of work into organizing a tournament. (The team gets paid for that!) The bid is to make up for the fact that the best players on the team were not able to qualify at the buzzer because they needed to staff.

Therefore, the bottom-line metric for awarding bids should be, "How likely is it that this team, which will be deprived of proving its skill because of its activities for NAQT, would otherwise qualify for ICT?" Teams should be given the benefit of the doubt, but come on, don't go handing out bids to Virginia B just because they hosted a big event!
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:11 pm

gyre and gimble wrote:
setht wrote:I do think that furnishing two guest editors (who put in a lot of work writing and editing the SCT set) plus hosting (and staffing!) a large SCT should be worth two bids. Perhaps that should be one editing bid and one hosting bid, rather than two editing bids, if we wind up with another two-guest-editors-from-one-school situation.
This assessment of what merits a bid (or what a bid is "worth") is wrong, because it ignores the purpose of autobids.

Autobids should compensate for opportunity costs, rather than serve as a reward. The reason a team with a guest editor might deserve an ICT bid is not because the editor did good work for NAQT. (The editor gets paid for that!) Instead, the team deserves a bid because the guest editor was prevented from helping the team to qualify at full strength. Similarly, the reason a host team might deserve an ICT bid is not because it put a lot of work into organizing a tournament. (The team gets paid for that!) The bid is to make up for the fact that the best players on the team were not able to qualify at the buzzer because they needed to staff.

Therefore, the bottom-line metric for awarding bids should be, "How likely is it that this team, which will be deprived of proving its skill because of its activities for NAQT, would otherwise qualify for ICT?" Teams should be given the benefit of the doubt, but come on, don't go handing out bids to Virginia B just because they hosted a big event!
I agree with this.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:43 am

gyre and gimble wrote:
setht wrote:I do think that furnishing two guest editors (who put in a lot of work writing and editing the SCT set) plus hosting (and staffing!) a large SCT should be worth two bids. Perhaps that should be one editing bid and one hosting bid, rather than two editing bids, if we wind up with another two-guest-editors-from-one-school situation.
This assessment of what merits a bid (or what a bid is "worth") is wrong, because it ignores the purpose of autobids.

Autobids should compensate for opportunity costs, rather than serve as a reward. The reason a team with a guest editor might deserve an ICT bid is not because the editor did good work for NAQT. (The editor gets paid for that!) Instead, the team deserves a bid because the guest editor was prevented from helping the team to qualify at full strength. Similarly, the reason a host team might deserve an ICT bid is not because it put a lot of work into organizing a tournament. (The team gets paid for that!) The bid is to make up for the fact that the best players on the team were not able to qualify at the buzzer because they needed to staff.

Therefore, the bottom-line metric for awarding bids should be, "How likely is it that this team, which will be deprived of proving its skill because of its activities for NAQT, would otherwise qualify for ICT?" Teams should be given the benefit of the doubt, but come on, don't go handing out bids to Virginia B just because they hosted a big event!
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Mewto55555 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:02 am

Mewto55555 wrote:Eric Xu, you're a well-meaning dude, I'm sure, but your B-teamers who haven't played anything all season just took a spot at ICT from a Duke team that is objectively better than even your A team.

Luckily, you realized this, and when NAQT gave you the bid you asked for, you rightfully...oh wait, you've already accepted it. Nice.

EDIT: Apparently UVA A and Duke A are approximately equally as good (one won their games, one was ranked higher in the poll).
Awesome, in the time since I posted this, another autobid was accepted by top-32 team Western Kentucky (1 power and 12 ppb at Penn bowl, the only non-novice tournament they've played all year, besides a partial team at SCT where they also put up 12 ppb)!
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:06 am

Mewto55555 wrote:
Mewto55555 wrote:Eric Xu, you're a well-meaning dude, I'm sure, but your B-teamers who haven't played anything all season just took a spot at ICT from a Duke team that is objectively better than even your A team.

Luckily, you realized this, and when NAQT gave you the bid you asked for, you rightfully...oh wait, you've already accepted it. Nice.

EDIT: Apparently UVA A and Duke A are approximately equally as good (one won their games, one was ranked higher in the poll).
Awesome, in the time since I posted this, another autobid was also accepted by top-32 team Western Kentucky (1 power and 12 ppb at Penn bowl, the only non-novice tournament they've played all year, besides a partial team at SCT where they also put up 12 ppb)!
If their ppb was 12 at SCT with an incomplete team it would definitely be higher with a full team, maybe even top-32 material!
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:20 am

Attacking teams for accepting bids they've earned by what were, for better or worse, the letter of the rules seems counterproductive, so maybe fixate on that a little less? It's not necessarily WKU's responsibility to, like, nobly fall on their swords or something here.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by sephirothrr » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:38 am

raffi_-_c-a-n-a-d-a.mp3 wrote:
Mewto55555 wrote:
Mewto55555 wrote:Eric Xu, you're a well-meaning dude, I'm sure, but your B-teamers who haven't played anything all season just took a spot at ICT from a Duke team that is objectively better than even your A team.

Luckily, you realized this, and when NAQT gave you the bid you asked for, you rightfully...oh wait, you've already accepted it. Nice.

EDIT: Apparently UVA A and Duke A are approximately equally as good (one won their games, one was ranked higher in the poll).
Awesome, in the time since I posted this, another autobid was also accepted by top-32 team Western Kentucky (1 power and 12 ppb at Penn bowl, the only non-novice tournament they've played all year, besides a partial team at SCT where they also put up 12 ppb)!
If their ppb was 12 at SCT with an incomplete team it would definitely be higher with a full team, maybe even top-32 material!
I know this was meant to be some exceedingly witty sarcasm, but that might actually be true.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:52 am

Auks Ran Ova wrote:Attacking teams for accepting bids they've earned by what were, for better or worse, the letter of the rules seems counterproductive, so maybe fixate on that a little less? It's not necessarily WKU's responsibility to, like, nobly fall on their swords or something here.
This is also a correct post. The problem with the bid system currently is the process, not not the teams are accepting their bids. Attacking them is unnecessary.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:31 am

I agree that a large budget is a necessary condition of the ICT-bid-by-tourism maneuver. But it is not a sufficient condition. In addition to having the funds to fly to another site, you actually need to be good enough to win that site. The same goes for clubs that split what will be their ICT A team into two SCT teams to qualify an extra team. They are exploiting a loophole, no doubt, but in a way that still requires some quizbowl prowess to pull off.

By contrast, getting an autobid for hosting SCT requires no skill whatsoever at quizbowl. And, as the horror anthology of SCT staffing stories in another thread illustrates, it doesn't even require skill at hosting. All it requires is a big enough club to staff a tournament. Contra Victor, this is what "buying" a bid looks like--buying it with a day's labor, rather than competing for it in any fashion. If travelling or team-splitting is bad, then this is much worse, as this strays even farther from the goal of fair qualification.

If one wishes to declare (and I'm assuming from Fred's endorsement that Rob is claiming this as a regular-joe poster rather than as a moderator, so that I am not out of line here in responding) that no one can be criticized for taking advantage of a flawed system, that many of us have done or would do something similar under the same circumstances, and that we are therefore allowed to blame only the system itself, then so be it. (Although this precept is being applied rather late in this discussion, and doesn't seem to pertain to any other forums conversation about ICT qualification that has ever happened!)

But I think we would be loath to say in literally any other walk of life that people are allowed to disregard the consequences of their actions when operating in a flawed system. If any denial of that premise is admitted, if one accepts that people who knowingly take advantage of a flawed system to produce negative consequences are behaving as morally bad actors, then the hosts that Max attacks should be criticized as the worst actors in this situation. Given the many complaints about ICT qualification over the years, none of them could possibly plead ignorance that what they're doing is taking the spot of teams that are several times more deserving than they are by any conceivable meritocratic metric.

In summary, an exceedingly unskilled team that uses the rules to block more skilled teams from entering the field is doing something at least as bad as (and probably worse than) a moderately skilled team that uses the rules for the same purpose. And if we're allowed to criticize anyone at all, then I think we should be able to say so.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Cody » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:03 am

I heartily endorse Stephen's post, but I cannot agree with the latter part of your post, John.

Someone who accepts a hosting autobid within the strictures of the current system is acting in perfectly good faith. WKU provided a service that NAQT deemed should be compensated with a bid and accepting that bid is not WKU's fault. They were promised a bid and by that very fact have as much right to accept it as the #13 D-value team - and I think it's exceedingly wrong to attack their team over it. Your post seems to assume that these teams are acting in bad faith, but I have not seen any indication that either UVA or WKU has done so - they are very regular hosts and I don't think anyone has a reason to believe that.

The real problem ties back to Stephen's post and the way that NAQT awards bids. (I mean seriously - Virginia B, NAQT? Given that this came late enough in the process that you must've known how many host/editor bids were being awarded, what were you thinking??).
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:07 am

You are, of course, more than welcome to level whatever criticisms you want (uh, within the board rules, of course). All I'm saying is that when you tell a team like WKU, who was offered a spot in ICT as a reward for running SCT, in accordance with rules that were not only preexisting but long-established, that they're immoral bad actors for taking that bid, you're less likely to come off as a benevolent figure with the best interests of the circuit and the quality of the national championship at heart, and more likely to come off as a dick.

Criticize NAQT for creating a system of bid-as-reward mechanisms that all seem to have played out in the least ideal way at the same time, certainly; use statistical evidence to show that some of the teams thus allowed into the field likely have little business being there, even. But calling the teams* themselves malicious fiends who should do the right thing and voluntarily cede what they've been given just seems completely counterproductive, and it's exactly how you get shadowy, hard-to-shake perceptions about what "circuit insiders" want and do.


*"teams" here being those on the fringes of, or completely outside, the normal operations of the circuit, like WKU or Youngstown State. The circumstances of, say, the much-discussed Columbia B bid, or the much weirder Virginia B bid, are different, and a reasonable person could make arguments about either one premised on the idea that those teams should in some way know better.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:18 am

The onus is on NAQT, not on the teams. If you earn a bid to a tournament, you should be able to accept it without criticism of that action.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:41 am

An ICT bid is one of the few levers that NAQT can pull when it comes to convincing teams to do what NAQT wants (in this case, edit tournaments or host tournaments). Jeff Hoppes has more or less said in this thread that NAQT has had trouble convincing people to edit SCT/ICT or host SCT unless they get an autobid in return. If NAQT can also not expand the size of the ICT, I don't know what you want them to do: clearly, merely asking people to edit or host has not worked. It's not like NAQT is sitting on enough money to bribe teams into hosting (especially if doing so means they miss ICT), nor has the American state yet deteriorated sufficiently to allow NAQT to get away with coercion through violence or threat of violence.

I guess if I were NAQT, I'd start by cracking down on B teams. If I'm going to tell somebody to GTFO of my tournament, it seems less evil to tell that to a team that already has their school represented at the tournament. This would allow NAQT to both have the major contenders there, and ensure geographical diversity/include totally new programs. I wouldn't make it impossible for B teams to qualify, but I'd make it so that the only B teams there are ones that are legitimate contenders in their own right. I also think it's absolutely legitimate for NAQT to exclude some of the Top 32 teams in the country in favor of newer programs or programs from weaker regions: growing the game is surely in everyone's interest.

I'll close by saying that, as an old timer, it's cool to see demand for quizbowl outstrip supply of quizbowl. This whole ICT situation might be annoying, but there's something really neat about the fact that 32 teams is no longer a sufficiently large field size for ICT or ACF Nats.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Red Panda Cub » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:28 am

I extremely do not have a horse in this race, but the replies to John seem to rather miss the mark in ways demonstrated most clearly by Fred's odd post:
AKKOLADE wrote:The onus is on NAQT, not on the teams. If you earn a bid to a tournament, you should be able to accept it without criticism of that action.
What is this supposed to mean? Am I being dense for reading it as "The body with power said you can do this thing, which [people seem to agree] is bad, and you did it. Therefore you are allowed to do this bad thing"?

Sure, it might not be a great look to say that some actors in this situation who are acting their best interests are acting in a way that, on John's reading, is morally unsound, but the reply to that surely has to be "the moral argument you are making is whack" not "acting in accord with illegitimate systems is ace", as all the replies to John so far seem to be suggesting.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Cheynem » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:38 am

I think Fred's point would be something like "the system is flawed, but that means you should reform the system, not get mad at the people using the system now."

Edit: What I think should happen is that the bid process must be reformed for next year. It is too late this year because it is not fair to teams who were offered (and by the rules of NAQT, apparently) "earned" bids this year to suggest they are wrong for taking them. I agree with Stephen and John that the process is off.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by heterodyne » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:42 am

Cheynem wrote:I think Fred's point would be something like "the system is flawed, but that means you should reform the system, not get mad at the people using the system now."
Right, so Fred's response to John would be along the lines of "the claim you make about the moral culpability of actors in bad systems is false. The actors have no culpability, whereas the system does." I think a large part of John's point was that this is not, in fact, the way in which we tend to think about the relationship between flawed systems and those in them.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Mewto55555 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:50 am

Cheynem wrote: Edit: What I think should happen is that the bid process must be reformed for next year. It is too late this year because it is not fair to teams who were offered (and by the rules of NAQT, apparently) "earned" bids this year to suggest they are wrong for taking them. I agree with Stephen and John that the process is off.
You put quotes around earn! You're also (correctly) suggesting that they don't in fact deserve these bids!
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Cheynem » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:54 am

I guess my point would be there is very little positive action that can be done in trying to critique the bad actors or determine culpability for this year. What is done is done. The bids were offered, the deals were made. We can harangue UVA B or WKU for taking a bid, but I'm not sure what that would accomplish other than causing plenty of bad feelings. I think the bidding process should be reformed and I agree with what Stephen and John are saying, but I think we can do that for next year without haranguing teams who took bids or pressuring them not to take a bid; in my opinion, that would be compounding an already bad situation.

I personally don't think they deserved those bids in a completely "fair" sense but under their agreement from NAQT they "earned" them. If you're saying they shouldn't get the bid, you're basically suggesting that the agreement promised them by NAQT should be thrown out.

Could another possibility be that all the autobids be publicly posted PRIOR to SCT running in future years?
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by heterodyne » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:01 pm

Cheynem wrote:If you're saying they shouldn't get the bid, you're basically suggesting that the agreement promised them by NAQT should be thrown out.
I think the distinction between shouldn't get and shouldn't take is important.
Could another possibility be that all the autobids be publicly posted PRIOR to SCT running in future years?
Won't this just move any possible consernation over the bids earlier? Without a policy change it doesn't seem like that fixes much.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by naturalistic phallacy » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:03 pm

heterodyne wrote:
Cheynem wrote:I think Fred's point would be something like "the system is flawed, but that means you should reform the system, not get mad at the people using the system now."
Right, so Fred's response to John would be along the lines of "the claim you make about the moral culpability of actors in bad systems is false. The actors have no culpability, whereas the system does." I think a large part of John's point was that this is not, in fact, the way in which we tend to think about the relationship between flawed systems and those in them.
Let's not blur the distinction between ethics and morals here. Is the system of awarding ICT bids ethically dubious by the standards the current college quizbowl community generally endorses? Probably. Is it morally repugnant? Hardly. We can question whether a lower D value team should ethically accept a bid to ICT over a higher D value team*, but we should not equate any uncomfortable feelings about their actions to the reaction we may have to who exist within morally flawed systems.

*Is this fair within the current constraints of the system? I think not.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Mewto55555 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:06 pm

Cheynem wrote: I personally don't think they deserved those bids in a completely "fair" sense but under their agreement from NAQT they "earned" them. If you're saying they shouldn't get the bid, you're basically suggesting that the agreement promised them by NAQT should be thrown out.
My position is that they 100% should get the bid they received ("earned") and be allowed to take it, and 100% should probably feel like they're getting away with something and taking a spot in a national championship field they 100% don't deserve to have. This is the same as my feelings towards a team like Maryland B would be if they received and accepted a bid for the similarly-undeserving maneuver of splitting teams (though, as JL pointed out above, that does require some skill from the club, just not necessarily from the team using the bid).

As a self-interested member of the Virginia B or WKU teams, would I want to take the bid thus unfairly offered? Maybe (who am I kidding, probably!), but I think in an ideal world in doing so I should have it pointed out to me that this is pretty anathema to the competitive, fair atmosphere most of the HSQB community wants for this activity -- I'm literally taking one of a limited number of spots at ICT from a far better team by displaying no more skill than the ability to clear a buzzer system while turning written words into spoken ones.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Cody » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:09 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:An ICT bid is one of the few levers that NAQT can pull when it comes to convincing teams to do what NAQT wants (in this case, edit tournaments or host tournaments). Jeff Hoppes has more or less said in this thread that NAQT has had trouble convincing people to edit SCT/ICT or host SCT unless they get an autobid in return. If NAQT can also not expand the size of the ICT, I don't know what you want them to do: clearly, merely asking people to edit or host has not worked. It's not like NAQT is sitting on enough money to bribe teams into hosting (especially if doing so means they miss ICT), nor has the American state yet deteriorated sufficiently to allow NAQT to get away with coercion through violence or threat of violence.
I don't agree, with respect to hosting (editing is another story). Host bids have existed for a very long time and for many regions SCT is a very lucrative tournament to host (it's not hard to make an even $1,000 in profit even after printing, good lunch for staffers, etc.), yet NAQT still struggles to find hosts. Much of the blame for this lies with...the clock! The clock imposes staffing constraints and makes SCT much harder to host than any other tournament. If you got rid of the clock, a lot more teams would be amenable to hosting (we have this argument every year). It'd be even better if NAQT moved into the 21st century and nixed the requirement to pay to print packets (a sneaky hidden cost of hosting NAQT tournaments—usually works out to +$5 to +$7.50 / team, depending on how many different schools are represented).
Short-beaked echidna wrote:
AKKOLADE wrote:The onus is on NAQT, not on the teams. If you earn a bid to a tournament, you should be able to accept it without criticism of that action.
What is this supposed to mean? Am I being dense for reading it as "The body with power said you can do this thing, which [people seem to agree] is bad, and you did it. Therefore you are allowed to do this bad thing"?

Sure, it might not be a great look to say that some actors in this situation who are acting their best interests are acting in a way that, on John's reading, is morally unsound, but the reply to that surely has to be "the moral argument you are making is whack" not "acting in accord with illegitimate systems is ace", as all the replies to John so far seem to be suggesting.
I made both arguments in my post, but I don't know why anyone would need to get into a moral argument here. I do not believe that accepting a bid awarded by NAQT under the current (flawed) system is wrong (or morally wrong) unless one accepts the premise that the teams that hosted SCT did so in bad faith. Given that WKU and Virginia, in particular, both host tournaments a-plenty, I don't see how you could plausibly argue that.

Yes, accepting their bids has the consequence of locking out more deserving teams from ICT. This is a problem, but I don't think it lies with the teams that accepted a bid. An ICT bid was part and parcel of hosting SCT and the consequence of that action does not lie with the team that accepted the bid but rather with NAQT for awarding the bid in the first place – especially when they knew how many hosting & editing bids they were awarding!

I have it on good authority that hosting bids & their division are decided well in advance of SCT (I welcome any correction or additional information about the timeline for hosting bids). As I recall, hosting bids can be dissolved if a team qualifies by playing SCT.

Let us consider the case of 2016. Under the most generous assumptions (i.e. every team that hosted & and also qualified by playing dissolved a host bid), there were 7 D1 host bids: Waterloo, Central Oklahoma, Illinois, and Brown (not dissolved) & Minnesota, Berkeley, and Texas (dissolved). Given the e-mail I received last year (which I have posted about previously and still expect a response from NAQT about, btw), I suspect less than 7 host bids were supposed to be handed out in the first place (given that VCU did not have a host bid in place to dissolve when we qualified in D2). Add one editing bid (since the other was declined before SCT) and you have 8 bids. Obviously, most of those teams were perfectly deserving of being at ICT and the situation was perfectly equitable.

Let us now consider 2017, where there were a minimum of 9(!) host bids: Carleton, Central Florida, Youngstown State, WUSTL, Virginia x2, Stanford (presumably for getting rooms at the last minute), WKU, Georgia Tech. Top this off with the 2 editing bids that NAQT thought were being used in D1 and that's 11 bids. Why the fuck was a 9th host bid awarded by NAQT in the first place, well after all of this was decided, bringing the total to 11? Why did NAQT feel it was okay to fill out something like 1/8 or more of the D1 field with extremely weak teams? Do y'all just not consider the consequences of awarding bids even though we've had this discussion a million times?

I'm extremely mad that NAQT let this happen despite being the only actor in this scenario with the full information about the bid situation. I'm mad that NAQT seems to have moved away from the pretty good model they put in place last year & that they completely dropped the ball in every single way this year with SCT hosting. I'm not mad at teams who fairly accepted what they were offered.
Last edited by Cody on Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:26 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by vinteuil » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:13 pm

Cody wrote:
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:An ICT bid is one of the few levers that NAQT can pull when it comes to convincing teams to do what NAQT wants (in this case, edit tournaments or host tournaments). Jeff Hoppes has more or less said in this thread that NAQT has had trouble convincing people to edit SCT/ICT or host SCT unless they get an autobid in return. If NAQT can also not expand the size of the ICT, I don't know what you want them to do: clearly, merely asking people to edit or host has not worked. It's not like NAQT is sitting on enough money to bribe teams into hosting (especially if doing so means they miss ICT), nor has the American state yet deteriorated sufficiently to allow NAQT to get away with coercion through violence or threat of violence.
I don't agree, with respect to hosting (editing is another story). Host bids have existed for a very long time and for many regions SCT is a very lucrative tournament to host (it's not hard to make an even $1,000 in profit even after printing, good lunch for staffers, etc.), yet NAQT still struggles to find hosts. Much of the blame for this lies with...the clock! The clock imposes staffing constraints and makes SCT much harder to host than any other tournament. If you got rid of the clock, a lot more teams would be amenable to hosting (we have this argument every year). It'd be even better if NAQT moved into the 21st century and nixed the requirement to pay to print packets (a sneaky hidden cost of hosting NAQT tournaments—usually works out to +$5 to +$7.50 / team, depending on how many different schools are represented).
I agree with this (I think money is a much bigger factor with schools not wanting to host regionals).

Let's be real here: I think a number of good schools don't want to host SCT because NAQT has done such an incredibly shitty job seeding ICT teams that hosted SCT in the past.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Cheynem » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:18 pm

Max, I understand and agree with your point--I have nothing wrong with saying "it is not right that team x is being given this bid--let me explain why, and why I think that should be changed" (I agree with that). I just feel like there's a vibe in this thread in which people are suggesting "it's not right that team x is being given this bid, and I think they should turn that bid down," which I disagree with. I think that pits teams in the horrible position of having to balance self-interest with the interests of others (and I think such appeals target teams who are most plugged into these HSQB forum discussions).

Edit: I agree with Cody.

Also, my point about posting the autobids earlier obviously isn't a fix but it does allow for more transparency and lets everyone be aware of how many slots are open.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Ike » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:23 pm

heterodyne wrote: Won't this just move any possible consernation over the bids earlier? Without a policy change it doesn't seem like that fixes much.
It would have made sure that Eric Mukherjee showed up for instance. NAQT should consider making the autobid list viewable before SCT. Even before that they should also make them subject to community review, so well-meaning people can say "Mistake!" and easily rectify the situation. I'm thinking something along the lines of how they consult experts on the seeding process for ICT now.

And yeah, sorry Chicago, but it should be rather telling that "you're the only one!" who is making the moral culpability argument combined with a call out of game stats. It's somewhat defensible to call out Eric Xu for apologizing for taking a spot, and then accepting the bid. I personally don't think Eric has anything to apologize for, but I can see why it's irritating since it does look like he's trying to have his moral cake (the apology) and eat it too (accepting the UVA B bid). But some of these teams are on the fringe of the circuit, and it does disturb me that you're posting about specific teams and their ppb / skill at quizbowl, even if I agree with JL and his Osric in the abstract. And while moral arguments like these are fine, there is no way to enforce them. Sufficiently Machiavellian or even just "chill" teams are under no obligation to listen to these forum posts. Much better to criticize NAQT.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by heterodyne » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:47 pm

Ike wrote: And yeah, sorry Chicago, but it should be rather telling that "you're the only one!" who is making the moral culpability argument combined with a call out of game stats.
I understand the temptation to treat Chicago as the monolithic evil empire since, you know, we are. It might help you, however, to utilize the signature feature before you make claims about what is "combined." To be clear: John was making the moral (or ethical, I don't really think the distinction there is super important) argument that being in a bad system does not absolve actors, and Max was calling out a specific team with exceptionally sub-par stats. Perhaps the sarcasm with which he did so was not warranted, but there is something to be said for noting the quality of teams that got autobids in a discussion that's like, sorta about autobids. John and Max are, you might recall, not the same person. Anyway, my point is: this is not an attempt by The Nefarious Forces in Hyde Park to dictate to the qb community, but two people expressing opinions or arguments, both of whom are rightly annoyed at the situation. I think it's more productive to actually engage with what's being said.

I accidentally deleted most of the quote and Im on mobile, so I'll try to respond from memory. The last bit of your post is along the lines of "don't worry teams, you don't have to follow this, it's just a moral argument." Isn't that true of like, all moral arguments not backed up by idk a state or something? It doesn't seem relevant to John's ethical point of "maybe you should do X" to say "nobody can MAKE you do X!"
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by touchpack » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:00 pm

Putting aside the arguments about morals/ethics for a second....

Publicly shaming a team, especially a team that isn't intimately connected with the online qb comunnity like WKU, for "poor stats," is bullying. It's this type of insidery bullshit that makes HSQB seem so intimidating and scary to outsiders. I find it extremely disheartening to see this type of behavior from a member of the board staff.

Please, let's focus on the systematic issues here without resorting to publicly shaming people that aren't involved in the underlying problem.

edit: Ike, as usual, is also absolutely correct here.
Last edited by touchpack on Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Ike » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:10 pm

Again, I agree with Chicago's position in the abstract, so I'm not going to rehash out agreement posts. However:
I think it's more productive to actually engage with what's being said.
Now this is my problem. Personally I don't think it's really going to bring about any rule change or really guilt teams into not accepting the autobids by discussing moral culpability or moral agency as it pertains to teams. I think it is useful in a discussion for NAQT's rules, but by Jeff's most recent post, NAQT is definitely aware of how messed up the situation is, and this discussion does feel awfully academic! And in particular, calling out WKU is something that is not necessary, since NAQT is well aware of who they've given bids to. Furthermore, I do think that it does give off the elitist vibe, and as Rob put it "it's exactly how you get shadowy, hard-to-shake perceptions about what "circuit insiders" want and do" when any "evil empire" team posts like that.
John and Max are, you might recall, not the same person.
Really?!?! A recent survey by Ike Analytics found that 69% of QBers find JL and Max to be the second-best shipping. I've commissioned Andrew Wang to start working on the dojinshi! See ya later!
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by MorganV » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:17 pm

Ike wrote:
John and Max are, you might recall, not the same person.
Really?!?! A recent survey by Ike Analytics found that 69% of QBers find JL and Max to be the second-best shipping.
Only second-best?
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by heterodyne » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:20 pm

Ike wrote:
I think it's more productive to actually engage with what's being said.
Now this is my problem. Personally I don't think it's really going to bring about any rule change or really guilt teams into not accepting the autobids by discussing moral culpability or moral agency as it pertains to teams. I think it is useful in a discussion for NAQT's rules, but by Jeff's most recent post, NAQT is definitely aware of how messed up the situation is, and this discussion does feel awfully academic! And in particular, calling out WKU is something that is not necessary, since NAQT is well aware of who they've given bids to. Furthermore, I do think that it does give off the elitist vibe, and as Rob put it "it's exactly how you get shadowy, hard-to-shake perceptions about what "circuit insiders" want and do" when any "evil empire" team posts like that.
I mean, maybe it's because I'm one of those ivory tower humanities people who just doesn't have the grounding of a proper major like CS, but I think if there's still disagreement about 1) where ethical problems, if there are any, lie 2) what the particular problems with autobids are. I suppose this thread wasn't started as a discussion of NAQT's rules but it seems more or less to have become one.

I'm not sure what the solution to your final problem is. People from Chicago should post less? Sure, whatever, but I think we're really not the semiopaque organization making decisions that affect people's experience to be worried about in this thread.
Really?!?! A recent survey by Ike Analytics found that 69% of QBers find JL and Max to be the second-best shipping. I've commissioned Andrew Wang to start working on the dojinshi! See ya later!
Also, the fact that you think (JL and Max are shipped => JL=Max) implies some uh, rather worrying things about how you think relationships work.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Beevor Feevor » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:30 pm

This situation is pretty bad (finally, something we can all agree on!), so we've taken some steps. I'll explain below, but as of right now, I've withdrawn Virginia B's bid for ICT in favor of having our two 4th-years come with us on the trip and potentially staff ICT instead.

For the record (and this is directed at the Chicago cabal), the reason why I accepted the bid for Virginia B was because I was unsure about how long we would have to register under NAQT's system before having our bid go to another team, and I wanted to have complete control over what was going to happen with our B-team's registration. Regardless of what has been said in this thread, I'm not trying to have my moral cake and eat it too; the goal was to get NAQT to explain the circumstances to everyone in an open and public way, because we felt like they were mostly to blame for this confusion. Because they haven't done so to the satisfaction of the community, I suppose I'll say my peace and then let you all hash out what to make of it from there.

I've already said that our A-team autobid was as a result of our emergency hosting requirement, but our B-team autobid wasn't granted automatically. I separately requested a B-team autobid, not out of some evil desire to boot out deserving teams from receiving ICT bids (as I had no idea that that was even a thing), but because I felt it unfair that our B-team members hadn't had a chance to prove themselves all year at any kind of event. All the incredibly unnecessary bashing of our B-team's quality aside, we figured that we would at least ask NAQT if it would be possible to grant them an autobid, since they were being deprived of the chance to play and qualify on their own merits.

NAQT granted us that autobid, and we proceeded to host SCT with VCU's support (which was necessitated by some staffing emergencies on our end as well). I had no idea that there would be such a fuss, and that accepting the autobid that we had requested and been granted would have been something "morally wrong". I suppose I can understand why people outside of the ICT field are upset, but I hardly think that our removal from the field is going to solve any of the underlying issues. Granted, it might solve UChicago's team carrying an unnecessary vendetta against our B-team and school altogether, but if you all seriously believe that temporarily accepting a bid while awaiting NAQT's explanation and apology for all this was somehow "amoral", I honestly have no words.

A reasonable evaluation of the situation can uncover quite a few hurt parties: our B-team, deserving teams outside of the bubble based on D-value, SCT hosts, etc. I don't really see how any of the attacks on the quality of teams expounded by the people above me help in the slightest. Are WKU and Virginia B somehow at fault, morally, for wanting to play a tournament that they were given the right to play? What the :capybara: ? Insularity's always been a hallmark of quizbowl, but I didn't think that this type of elitism could really come from people who I genuinely respected and admired in the game.

Anyway, our B-team's bid is withdrawn, so whatever "more deserving" and "morally correct" team can now take its place. Whoop-dee-doo. Now stop aimlessly attacking teams for being worse than you, when all they want to do is to attend a nationals that they've never had the chance to attend and play a game which they put countless hours into.

On a complete side note, the fact that NAQT makes hosts either print questions or get them shipped over is absolutely absurd from an environmentalist and a cost perspective. When I asked to get my SCT set shipped over, I was not expecting to have to foot an over $200 bill for express shipping (which was not my fault, since I assume that that shipping date was conditional upon NAQT finishing the actual set). NAQT wastes an absolutely intolerable amount of paper for the sake of some vague "question security" nonsense that honestly doesn't strike me as reasonable in the slightest. We host almost exclusively NAQT tournaments here at UVa, and are obviously jeopardizing that relationship somewhat by saying this, but it doesn't seem fair to me that that has to happen.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Adelaide Glaciarium » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:39 pm

heterodyne wrote:
Really?!?! A recent survey by Ike Analytics found that 69% of QBers find JL and Max to be the second-best shipping. I've commissioned Andrew Wang to start working on the dojinshi! See ya later!
Also, the fact that you think (JL and Max are shipped => JL=Max) implies some uh, rather worrying things about how you think relationships work.
The fact that you think Ike was being serious with that statement implies some uh, rather worrying things about your sense of humor.
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