2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

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2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Jcrmoon42 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:40 pm

NHBB is once again delighted to sponsor the 7th annual National Quiz Bowl Awards for the 2017-2018 season. $2650 in prize money and plaques this year will go to recognize the nation's top students and coaches at the middle and high school level.

The awards being given out this year are:

1. Top 9th grade player - $200 prize
2. Top 10th grade player - $200 prize
3. National High School Player of the Year - $400 prize
4. National High School A Team (i.e. students who rank 1-4 in the High School Player of the Year Voting) - $150 prize for students ranking 2-4
5. National Middle School Player of the Year - $350 prize
6. National Middle School A Team (i.e. students who rank 1-4 in the Middle School Player of the Year Voting) - $150 prize for students ranking 2-4
7. National High School Coach of the Year - $200 prize
8. National Middle School Coach of the Year - $200 prize

The remaining $200 will cover a plaque for each recipient, which will be sent to them together with their check.

Nominating Procedure
The nominating committee consisted of Fred Morlan, David Reinstein, Jakob Myers, Niki Peters, and Jason Russell. We each ranked players/coaches in order for each of these categories. Rankings were then weighted based in order of their ranks from each nominator. We then tallied the votes, and the top nominees for each position are listed below.

Voting Procedure
Voting is limited to coaches, non-coach adult organizers, and players who were in at least their 2nd year of collegiate play during 2017-18 and played at least 3 tournaments over the course of the year. High school players are not eligible to vote, even if they have played college-level events for two years. Coaches who are nominated will not have their votes counted for Coach of the Year in the level at which they coach.
To prevent bandwagon voting, for collegiate players, only the first alumnus/alumna for a high school and middle school will have their votes count. All ballots must contain either an affiliation listed (i.e. coach of School X or organizer of Y) or a listing of a collegiate player's middle and high schools, or they will not be counted.
Voting is open from now through 11:59pm PDT this coming Sunday, July 8. Voters will submit their ballots by emailing Jason Russell at jason@historybowl.com - please do not PM me here with your ballots.

To vote for 9th Grade player, 10th Grade player, and coaches, simply select the one nominee you'd like to vote for. To vote for Players of the Year, select your top 4 from each list, labeling them in order first to fourth. Your first place nominee earns 7 points, second place 5, third place 3, and fourth place 1 in the balloting. The top overall vote-getter is named National High/Middle School Player of the Year; that player and the next 3 highest scorers are honored on the National A team.

If you are voting, you may leave a category with which you are unfamiliar blank (or vote for only 1-4 people in a given category); that is indeed preferable than casting an uninformed ballot. Voters are encouraged to review performances of those who are on the ballot - more weight should be given to recent National Championship performances than other results. The nominating committee reserves the right to disallow ballots if we have reason to suspect that you are unfamiliar with the high school/middle school quiz bowl community. (We may contact you to clarify this.) Note that this does not mean that only people who organize or are intimately familiar with the game on a national basis can vote; rather, we want informed voters for a fair vote.

In the interest of time, we are not going to go through and post individual statlines, but we strongly encourage all voters to look up stat reports when considering their votes, especially here:
Harry White's database search
NAQT HSNCT stats
PACE NSC stats
NAQT MSNCT stats

Congratulations to the winners and nominees! Winners are bolded below.

Our entire staff is in Berlin until the end of July, but we will be in touch once we get back about getting checks and awards to the respective winners.

1. HS Coach of the Year
1. Meaghan Decker, Wayzata High School, Plymouth, MN
2. Ryan Fedewa, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL
3. Dennis Loo, Illinois Math and Science Academy, Aurora, IL

2. MS Coach of the Year
1. Kevin Cox, Midtown Classical, Tallahassee, FL - Tied
2. Eugene Huang, Longfellow Middle School, Falls Church, VA - Tied
3. Jeff Price, Barrington Middle School - Station Campus, Barrington, IL

3. HS Player of the Year

Clark Smith, Dublin Scioto High School, Dublin, OH

HS National A Team

1. Justin French, Crystal Springs Uplands School, Hillsborough, CA
2. William Golden, James E. Taylor High School, Katy, TX
3. Chloe Levine, Hunter College High School, New York, NY
4. Jack Lewis, Battle Ground Academy, Franklin, TN
5. Hari Parameswaran, Beavercreek High School, Beavercreek, OH
6. Alex Schmidt, Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School, Bethlehem, PA
7. Vishwa Shanmugam, Downingtown STEM Academy, Downingtown, PA
8. Clark Smith, Dublin Scioto High School, Dublin, OH

4. MS Player of the Year

Shiva Oswal, Pi-oneers, San Francisco Area, CA

MS National A Team
1. Aditya Indla, BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA
2. Pareekshith Krishna, Challenger School - Strawberry Park, San Jose, CA
3. Johnny Miri, Holy Family Catholic School, Austin, TX
4. Robert Muniz, Midtown Classical, Tallahassee, FL
5. Sidharth Nair, Beckendorff Junior High School, Katy, TX
6. Shiva Oswal, Pi-oneers, San Francisco Area, CA
7. Cooper Roh, Keith Country Day School, Rockford, IL
8. Karsten Rynearson, Greens Farms Academy, Greens Farms, CT

5. 9th grade Player of the Year
1. Isak Dai, Mounds Park Academy, St. Paul, MN
2. William Groger, The Miami Valley School, Dayton, OH
3. Arjun Nageswaran, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL

6. 10th grade Player of the Year
1. Chinmay Murthy, Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Austin, TX
2. Matthew Siff, Georgetown Day School, Washington, D.C.
3. Eshaan Vakil, Ed W. Clark High School, Las Vegas, NV
Last edited by Jcrmoon42 on Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:13 pm

Uh, are there really no members of either of the teams that won the NSC or HSNCT this year in the player of the year noms?
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by swimmerstar » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:29 pm

What criteria were used in deciding nominations for High School Player of the Year? I would figure that my performances at NHBB, HSNCT, NSC, and NASAT were sufficient to secure my nomination. Regardless of what voting methodology you use, it is hard to see how three national titles and two second-place finishes does not result in a nomination.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by whatamidoinghere » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:46 pm

I would also like to understand the nomination process. Understanding that Anthony Duan had nearly double the powers at HSNCT compared to any of the nominees, and considering that I was a lead scorer on our T-51 team, as well as considering my performance at USHB and NHBB in general, I feel as if the Ninth Grade list is incomplete.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:47 pm

Is there an official Awards Committee provided definition for how to evaluate "top" in a voting context, or is it left to the voter to define? (e.g. Lebron James is probably the "most valuable [to the team]" every year, but that's not how the NBA MVP voting works.)
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by rhegde » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:22 pm

It is interesting to note that Fred had all of the achievements 2016 Corin Wagen had, while adding first place in US History Bee, second place in NASAT, and second place in the National History Bee. If Corin won Player of the Year in 2016 and his teammate, Ethan Russo, was a nominee, how are these awards consistent from year to year? Fred is definitely good enough to be on this list of nominees, if not the player of the year. Also how was John Laffey, coach of two top-20 teams not nominated?
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:17 pm

rhegde wrote:how are these awards consistent from year to year?
Why would they be, given the changing group giving nominations?
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:05 pm

Maybe people in an activity shouldn't be garbage to others in that activity who are volunteering to do what amounts to unpaid outreach work.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:15 pm

AKKOLADE wrote:Maybe people in an activity shouldn't be garbage to others in that activity who are volunteering to do what amounts to unpaid outreach work.
Outreach?
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:27 pm

AKKOLADE wrote:Maybe people in an activity shouldn't be garbage to others in that activity who are volunteering to do what amounts to unpaid outreach work.
I agree with this in sentiment, in that these are, as Fred says, just volunteers doing their best, but I feel like I have to speak up that this language of "be[ing] garbage to others" feels very unfair--there hasn't been any ad hominem or baseless statements, just vehement opinion--and really doesn't help the perception that there's an "older, in-crowd" contingent of people who manage quizbowl and will close ranks to defend each other.

More generally, I think all of these are very fine candidates, and it would be very hard to add another nominee at the expense of removing another. I also think, however, that since money is at stake, the award process can feel very emotional, and it's not really easy to not want to voice an opinion about it.

If it's OK for me to make a suggestion, and I could be very incorrect in my understanding of the nominating committee, I think all of those on the committee currently don't live on either of the coasts. Perhaps maybe future committees could include more geographic diversity? Then again, five people is already a decent number to have on a committee; not sure there's a way to really add anyone to that without sacrificing committee diversity elsewhere.

Full disclosure: as my signature notes, I attended the same high school as one of the would-be nominees being discussed.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:35 pm

vinteuil wrote:
AKKOLADE wrote:Maybe people in an activity shouldn't be garbage to others in that activity who are volunteering to do what amounts to unpaid outreach work.
Outreach?
Yeah, outreach, like the hundreds of letters that were mailed out to politicians for teams on the mid season rankings, garnering those teams official recognition from their governments outreach.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:37 pm

AKKOLADE wrote:
vinteuil wrote:
AKKOLADE wrote:Maybe people in an activity shouldn't be garbage to others in that activity who are volunteering to do what amounts to unpaid outreach work.
Outreach?
Yeah, outreach, like the hundreds of letters that were mailed out to politicians for teams on the mid season rankings, garnering those teams official recognition from their governments outreach.
Correction: is this in particular, the thing that's being criticized, outreach? (I have nothing but admiration for the crazy amount of other outreach work you do, which nobody criticizes.)
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:50 pm

vinteuil wrote:
AKKOLADE wrote:
vinteuil wrote:
AKKOLADE wrote:Maybe people in an activity shouldn't be garbage to others in that activity who are volunteering to do what amounts to unpaid outreach work.
Outreach?
Yeah, outreach, like the hundreds of letters that were mailed out to politicians for teams on the mid season rankings, garnering those teams official recognition from their governments outreach.
Correction: is this in particular, the thing that's being criticized, outreach? (I have nothing but admiration for the crazy amount of other outreach work you do, which nobody criticizes.)
You can’t do mailings about rankings without developing the rankings. Replace rankings with All-World or these awards.

Discussion of the All-World teams were far more vitriolic than necessary at points, and I don’t feel like seeing the same thing happen with this thread. As much as I enjoyed seeing people declare me unfit to make decisions because I didn’t put their teammate as the player of the year and photoshop me with my head up my ass because they disagreed with a decision I made as to who was first team or some equivalent pick.

People squawk about civility a whole lot and then say nothing when things like these happen.

I’ll also note that there’s nothing wrong with expressing surprise at a pick or even saying you would have picked someone else. I find people arguing that they themselves are actually the best player distasteful. I find people not even bothering to ask what the selection criteria was for an award before going off on screeds with its flaws to be intellectually dishonest.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:58 pm

AKKOLADE wrote: You can’t do mailings about rankings without developing the rankings. Replace rankings with All-World or these awards.
I, again, have nothing but admiration for your willingness to do the work it takes to compute the numerical rankings, which are reasonably objective and thus excellent tools for outreach.

I fail to see how that has anything to do with these subjective rankings in terms of function. Yes, they're both rankings, but these are of already high-level individual players and thus have basically nothing to do with outreach.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Cheynem » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:05 pm

I like rankings or awards and I like that they generate discussion. I don't mind people necessarily discussing or disputing the rankings or awards. I do think Fred is correct in that (some) people were unnecessarily rude or angry about his rankings. I didn't find the rankings discussion here necessarily too rude or confrontational, but I do think people should keep in mind that these are subjective, best-effort attempts at honoring the best players and teams. Let's discuss and talk, not point fingers or complain.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by joshxu » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:23 pm

5. 9th grade Player of the Year
1. Isak Dai, Mounds Park Academy, St. Paul, MN
2. William Groger, The Miami Valley School, Dayton, OH
3. Arjun Nageswaran, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL
What criteria was used here? I see that Arjun Nageswaran has put up scores of 42.50, 4.38, 29.17, 19.51, 6.00, 66.67, and 18.42 PPG at tournaments this season. His two best performances were when he was playing on teams where he was essentially playing by himself. While the 66.67 at PACE NSC is (no doubt) very impressive, there are freshmen who can put up high scores consistently.

On the other hand, at HSNCT, Isak and William had PPG of 48.64 and 35.74, while Arjun had 19.51. Arjun's numbers are understandably lower than the other two because he played on a better team, but there were more freshmen who put up numbers similar to Isak and William (and did so at other tournaments) and still played on playoff teams.
whatamidoinghere wrote:I would also like to understand the nomination process. Understanding that Anthony Duan had nearly double the powers at HSNCT compared to any of the nominees, and considering that I was a lead scorer on our T-51 team, as well as considering my performance at USHB and NHBB in general, I feel as if the Ninth Grade list is incomplete.
Avinash Iyer is a good example of this.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:24 pm

vinteuil wrote:
AKKOLADE wrote: You can’t do mailings about rankings without developing the rankings. Replace rankings with All-World or these awards.
I, again, have nothing but admiration for your willingness to do the work it takes to compute the numerical rankings, which are reasonably objective and thus excellent tools for outreach.

I fail to see how that has anything to do with these subjective rankings in terms of function. Yes, they're both rankings, but these are of already high-level individual players and thus have basically nothing to do with outreach.
I’m pretty tired and cranky, so I’ll keep this short.

Anything like these awards we’re discussing in this thread? With one letter to a media outlet or politician, it’s outreach. All World teams weren’t outreach yet this year because I had to take care of NASAT stuff.

I’m not taking anything you’re saying personal, Jacob. I just think there’s this idea (beyond just you!) that outreach has to involve forming teams out of clay or something, when something as simple as a three paragraph press release about a kid winning $500 for a competition can get a snippet in a newspaper. Plenty can then follow from that - donations from the community to that team, more internal support, or even a nearby school seeing it and having an administrator or parent say “I want this at my school.”
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:30 pm

AKKOLADE wrote: Anything like these awards we’re discussing in this thread? [...] Something as simple as a three paragraph press release about a kid winning $500 for a competition can get a snippet in a newspaper. Plenty can then follow from that - donations from the community to that team, more internal support, or even a nearby school seeing it and having an administrator or parent say “I want this at my school.”
This is a very good point that I hadn't considered.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:52 am

To answer some of the questions being asked, the people on the panel were told to nominate up to two people for HS Coach, MS Coach, 9th grade player, and 10th grade player; and to nominate up to four people for HS Player and MS Player. The nominations were in ranked order. Jason compiled those nominations to make the original post above. The nominations are closed, which includes the fact that I don't know who was nominated by whom other than who I nominated.

I may be responsible for some of the year-to-year inconsistency given the fact that I was on the panel this year but not previous years.

My top four players did not include anybody who won HSNCT, NSC, NASAT, or IPNCT. (For the record I did nominate somebody who was on the MSNCT Championship team for middle school player of the year, so I don't have an aversion to such things, but I did not give an automatic bid to the best player on the best team.) If I had chosen the top eight by myself, I probably would have included two such people, maybe three. Some of the people who were most difficult for me to eliminate did have those titles. I picked people who had elite performances at both NAQT and mACF. The four people I picked are all among the eight finalists and are very good at quizbowl.

Of the two 9th graders I nominated, one made the cut and one did not. (The same thing happened with 10th graders.) It is difficult to compare top 9th graders because they often are not their team's top player, and their scoring does fluctuate a lot depending on their teammates, level of competition, and question set. I get the fact that it is easy to come up with players whose stats are very comparable to the three finalists and who for a given tournament performed better than the nominees--there are a lot of top players within close proximity.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by jonah » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:59 am

Deviant Insider wrote:somebody who was on the MSNCT Championship team
somebody
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:50 pm

Cheynem wrote:I like rankings or awards and I like that they generate discussion. I don't mind people necessarily discussing or disputing the rankings or awards. I do think Fred is correct in that (some) people were unnecessarily rude or angry about his rankings. I didn't find the rankings discussion here necessarily too rude or confrontational, but I do think people should keep in mind that these are subjective, best-effort attempts at honoring the best players and teams. Let's discuss and talk, not point fingers or complain.
I would guess that the importance that high school players place on these rankings is being severely underestimated by other members of the community. People stress a ton over these rankings (perhaps unnecessarily so), external viewers may see them as an important source of prestige or achievement (regardless of their validity as such), and a few hundred dollars can be a lot of money for high schoolers.

Perhaps some of my past objections to Morlan's rankings have been unnecessarily harsh, but in the context of how much importance is placed on these rankings by a lot of people, it seems kind of ridiculous to hide behind "oh, this is just a best-effort attempt" or "these players are all deserving" when there are extremely obvious gaps and misses. I would not deny Fred's commitment to the game for a second - he spends thousands of hours combing stats and compiling his rankings, and his time and effort deserve their recognition. But it is precisely this level of dedication and time becoming intimately familiar with the performances of the game's best players that produces strong reactions of dissatisfaction and dismissal when blatantly indefensible ranking decisions are made, if we are to assume the ranking criterion is "relative ability to contribute to a nationals winning team." In other words, putting effort into something does not automatically exempt you from criticism, even harsh criticism, especially when a lot may well be on the line for some people!

To take the most blatant example - the best player on the best team (and winner of the US History bee to boot) was left off the rankings of the "best players" in favor of some undoubtedly skilled, but not quite as skilled players on other teams. However the heck Fred Zhang was left off the All-World team or the list of best players of the year is beyond me.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Cheynem » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:56 pm

I don't mind suggesting omissions or disputing the choices--I understand that these are important deals for people. I just find the idea that acting like choices or decisions are "indefensible" or "indisputably wrong" as if there's a clear correct answer or choice to be off base. Fred is one of the best players this year, there is no doubt--but I'm not sure how you can just say that all the other nominees are not as skilled and that's that. All of the eight nominees are excellent players. It is subjective to determine who is better than the others.

Also, criticism is fine. "Harsh criticism" in the sense of being personally rude or dismissive of people is not.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:17 pm

Cheynem wrote:I'm not sure how you can just say that all the other nominees are not as skilled and that's that.
Let's take the comparison of Chloe Levine (who appears on both the top All-World Team and the above list of nominees) and Fred Zhang (who appears on neither of these). Chloe is a very skilled player who, in addition to getting a ton of buzzes, also has some intangible skills that don't necessarily translate into increasing her own points per game, but nonetheless help contribute to her team's success. However, a superficial analysis of stats shows that she's not even the top scorer on her own team - that would be Daniel Ma (who didn't make All-World A, either) by a fairly substantial margin. Fred scored more points at HSNCT while dealing with more overlap from his team (the TJ team at HSNCT had four history players!) and scored a similar number of points at PACE while his team achieved a much higher finish. His team won two national tournaments (NHBB and PACE) and he himself won US History Bee. Finally, Fred led the Virginia NASAT team to a second-place finish, which suggests to me he also has some degree of captaining skills and would probably get way more points were he not on such a stacked TJ team.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Cheynem » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:31 pm

In terms of PPG, yes, Fred has a better argument than Chloe. There are presumably other factors that the people giving out the awards looked at. I am not saying you don't make a good argument, you do, but I also think you could make an argument for Chloe, the other people on the team, and various other players.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Jcrmoon42 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:49 pm

Great discussion. Sorry I'm just catching up.

As I am officially the spokesperson for the awards this year, I will chime in on some of the points brought up thus far.

The nomination process is indeed closed. People that we deem as having had their finger on the pulse of the game in the past year are asked to submit nominees. Thus, the nominating committee may change from year to year as people move in and out of activity in the game. Some people we asked felt that they were not well-informed enough this year, although they have been in the past, and declined to participate. This is a subjective selection process, obviously, but I feel that the group we had this year are as connected as pretty much anybody in the country. Arguments can be made on this count, of course. In the past, the nominating committee has been largely made of NHBB staff, and that has produced warranted criticism. I stand by the nominating committee this year and their knowledge of the game.

The nominating process involves a blind submission of names (4 for HS and MS POY and 2 for each of the other categories) that are then weighted and summed to determine the final nominees. The methods that the nominating committee choose to use in their nominating process are entirely up to them. Speaking for myself alone, I spent a great deal of time looking at the top players in the country. I looked at both PPG and the record of their teams in tournaments in which that player played both regionally and at Nationals. I chose the four players that I felt had the most dominant seasons for teams that were outstanding. I still felt pain over those I had to leave off the list. Narrowing down the list of the best players in the country to a list of four people is no easy task, and I don't know that there is a "right" way to do it.

Fred Zhang is an outstanding player who played on an excellent team, and he has a great argument for being included on the list of nominees. At the same time, there are a lot of other players around the country who also have great arguments. No matter what list of 8 nominees are decided on, there will always be an argument for others. I'm truly sorry they can't all be included here. Many of them are recognized at Fred Morlan's 2017-18 HSQBRank All-World Teams page, including Fred Zhang.

All of that said, we will definitely take any ideas on improving the process that are discussed here and work toward making this the best it can be in the coming years. Please feel free to make suggestions.

One thought I have based on all of this is to open up a board for specific discussion/promotion of potential nominees to provide opportunity for people to argue in favor of their candidates. This would give the nominating committee even more information as they make their lists.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Jcrmoon42 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:51 pm

Another thing we should look into next year is to have a larger nominating committee. We had 5 this year. Perhaps 10 is a better number. It also might be reasonable for there to be discussion here on who should be part of that committee.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by jonathanshauf » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:30 pm

Could the nominating committee have overlooked Zhang due to the fact that he only recently became one of the best players in the country, whereas some of the other people on the list have been in the national conversation for longer?
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Amiable Vitriol » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:30 pm

It would also be nice to have clear criteria regarding what the awards are specifically looking for. Does this consider PPG? Power count? Leadership ability? Finish at nationals? I think the area of confusion for many of us is inconsistent criteria- an indefensible omission in the mind of someone judging PPG is entirely reasonable for someone considering captaining ability.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:11 pm

Amiable Vitriol wrote:It would also be nice to have clear criteria regarding what the awards are specifically looking for. Does this consider PPG? Power count? Leadership ability? Finish at nationals? I think the area of confusion for many of us is inconsistent criteria- an indefensible omission in the mind of someone judging PPG is entirely reasonable for someone considering captaining ability.
This is a very good point. Defining what it means to be considered for "player of the year" would probably help this discussion a lot. And even then, there's a bit of a seen vs unseen phenomenon based on a player's teammates. Finally, the scope of what is considered is important - at NASAT a lot of these players were in very different roles than normal, and stats varied as a consequence.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Thiccasso's Guernthicca » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:46 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
Amiable Vitriol wrote:It would also be nice to have clear criteria regarding what the awards are specifically looking for. Does this consider PPG? Power count? Leadership ability? Finish at nationals? I think the area of confusion for many of us is inconsistent criteria- an indefensible omission in the mind of someone judging PPG is entirely reasonable for someone considering captaining ability.
This is a very good point. Defining what it means to be considered for "player of the year" would probably help this discussion a lot. And even then, there's a bit of a seen vs unseen phenomenon based on a player's teammates. Finally, the scope of what is considered is important - at NASAT a lot of these players were in very different roles than normal, and stats varied as a consequence.
I think I remember hearing that the nomination ballots were cast before NASAT, so anything NASAT-related probably didn't have much of an effect on the nominees list.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:27 pm

Thiccasso's Guernthicca wrote:I think I remember hearing that the nomination ballots were cast before NASAT, so anything NASAT-related probably didn't have much of an effect on the nominees list.
FAKE NEWS! My ballot was cast after NASAT.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Thiccasso's Guernthicca » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:40 pm

Deviant Insider wrote:
Thiccasso's Guernthicca wrote:I think I remember hearing that the nomination ballots were cast before NASAT, so anything NASAT-related probably didn't have much of an effect on the nominees list.
FAKE NEWS! My ballot was cast after NASAT.
Whoops. Ignore me!
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Karansebes Schnapps Vendor » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:18 pm

joshxu wrote: What criteria was used here? I see that Arjun Nageswaran has put up scores of 42.50, 4.38, 29.17, 19.51, 6.00, 66.67, and 18.42 PPG at tournaments this season. His two best performances were when he was playing on teams where he was essentially playing by himself. While the 66.67 at PACE NSC is (no doubt) very impressive, there are freshmen who can put up high scores consistently.

On the other hand, at HSNCT, Isak and William had PPG of 48.64 and 35.74, while Arjun had 19.51. Arjun's numbers are understandably lower than the other two because he played on a better team, but there were more freshmen who put up numbers similar to Isak and William (and did so at other tournaments) and still played on playoff teams.
Firstly, I think it's fairly disrespectful to specifically single out one player for their skill and call them out on the forums; if you wanted to make that point that Avinash or Anthony should have been considered or nominated you certainly could have done that without denigrating another player.
Moving past that; I feel the need to point out that the statistics you chose to make your point are highly misleading (It would be a shame if potential voters based their opinions off of incorrect / misleading numbers)
You list the following ppgs: 42.50, 4.38, 29.17, 19.51, 6.00, 66.67, and 18.42 PPG
Breaking these down and adding context:

4.38 : From Penn Bowl Online, played largely by college players, on a team with Hari Parameswaran, Jamin Kim, Deepak Moparthi. This tournament was a college regs tournament, with other college players; hence, it is not representative high school player’s achievement. This is compounded by the fact that Arjun played on a team with a top HS history player (Hari) and against some top history players at the college/open level (like Will Alston).

6.00 : From Historature, which is not an all-subject tournament and hence wouldn’t be considered in the nominations.

18.42: From NASAT, where Arjun was again playing with other very solid history players (Mark, Kevin, Sophie) while again on college regs difficulty, while again against an extremely strong field; the same caveats as Penn Bowl apply here.

19.51: From HSNCT; I think claiming simply that Arjun’s numbers were lower because he was on a playoff team is missing a lot of the context. Arjun, as a primarily history and CE player, was playing with the best JV history player in the country. Many of the other players listed didn’t have to play with a top player in their category directly competing with them for points on their specialties.

29.17: Again, from an online mirror of a college set (EFT) with a significantly stronger than standard field, Arjun was playing with Govind also. The previous points all apply here.

42.50: From APEX, an unofficial side tournament that isn’t all-subject; like Historature, should not be up for consideration.

66.67: I’ll agree with you that this is an extremely impressive ppg, because it is!

In addition, you missed two regular season tournaments Arjun played at; Loyola Ultima (http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournament ... dividuals/) where Arjun placed 4th individually in scoring with a nice ~69 ppg and a high number of powers comparable to other strong players at the tournament, and IMSANITY 5 (http://hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/48 ... detail/#t9) where Arjun again put up roughly 57 ppg and a strong number of powers while leading a championship bracket team.

Considering only the stats that are from high school tournaments on a Stevenson team, then, Arjun’s statlines become 19.51 on a near-championship team with a heavy shadow, and ~57, 66.67, and 69.09 ppgs without said shadow. Arjun was a “freshman who can put up high scores consistently,” as well as a valuable role player on a top 8 HSNCT team. To cherry pick statistics that are largely inapplicable (whether it be maliciously or mistakenly) and use them to claim that a player is undeserving of an award is highly unfair to someone who has dedicated many hours to improving as a player and being a positive community presence.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by joshxu » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:39 pm

Karansebes Schnapps Vendor wrote:
joshxu wrote: What criteria was used here? I see that Arjun Nageswaran has put up scores of 42.50, 4.38, 29.17, 19.51, 6.00, 66.67, and 18.42 PPG at tournaments this season. His two best performances were when he was playing on teams where he was essentially playing by himself. While the 66.67 at PACE NSC is (no doubt) very impressive, there are freshmen who can put up high scores consistently.

On the other hand, at HSNCT, Isak and William had PPG of 48.64 and 35.74, while Arjun had 19.51. Arjun's numbers are understandably lower than the other two because he played on a better team, but there were more freshmen who put up numbers similar to Isak and William (and did so at other tournaments) and still played on playoff teams.
Firstly, I think it's fairly disrespectful to specifically single out one player for their skill and call them out on the forums; if you wanted to make that point that Avinash or Anthony should have been considered or nominated you certainly could have done that without denigrating another player.
Moving past that; I feel the need to point out that the statistics you chose to make your point are highly misleading (It would be a shame if potential voters based their opinions off of incorrect / misleading numbers)
You list the following ppgs: 42.50, 4.38, 29.17, 19.51, 6.00, 66.67, and 18.42 PPG
Breaking these down and adding context:

4.38 : From Penn Bowl Online, played largely by college players, on a team with Hari Parameswaran, Jamin Kim, Deepak Moparthi. This tournament was a college regs tournament, with other college players; hence, it is not representative high school player’s achievement. This is compounded by the fact that Arjun played on a team with a top HS history player (Hari) and against some top history players at the college/open level (like Will Alston).

6.00 : From Historature, which is not an all-subject tournament and hence wouldn’t be considered in the nominations.

18.42: From NASAT, where Arjun was again playing with other very solid history players (Mark, Kevin, Sophie) while again on college regs difficulty, while again against an extremely strong field; the same caveats as Penn Bowl apply here.

19.51: From HSNCT; I think claiming simply that Arjun’s numbers were lower because he was on a playoff team is missing a lot of the context. Arjun, as a primarily history and CE player, was playing with the best JV history player in the country. Many of the other players listed didn’t have to play with a top player in their category directly competing with them for points on their specialties.

29.17: Again, from an online mirror of a college set (EFT) with a significantly stronger than standard field, Arjun was playing with Govind also. The previous points all apply here.

42.50: From APEX, an unofficial side tournament that isn’t all-subject; like Historature, should not be up for consideration.

66.67: I’ll agree with you that this is an extremely impressive ppg, because it is!

In addition, you missed two regular season tournaments Arjun played at; Loyola Ultima (http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournament ... dividuals/) where Arjun placed 4th individually in scoring with a nice ~69 ppg and a high number of powers comparable to other strong players at the tournament, and IMSANITY 5 (http://hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/48 ... detail/#t9) where Arjun again put up roughly 57 ppg and a strong number of powers while leading a championship bracket team.

Considering only the stats that are from high school tournaments on a Stevenson team, then, Arjun’s statlines become 19.51 on a near-championship team with a heavy shadow, and ~57, 66.67, and 69.09 ppgs without said shadow. Arjun was a “freshman who can put up high scores consistently,” as well as a valuable role player on a top 8 HSNCT team. To cherry pick statistics that are largely inapplicable (whether it be maliciously or mistakenly) and use them to claim that a player is undeserving of an award is highly unfair to someone who has dedicated many hours to improving as a player and being a positive community presence.
For your information, Arjun himself sent me a private message last night.
REDACTED for the privacy of the sending individual
All in all, it's extremely tough to pinpoint a specific top three in any category. I think you could easily find five freshmen who deserve to be in this discussion.
One thought I have based on all of this is to open up a board for specific discussion/promotion of potential nominees to provide opportunity for people to argue in favor of their candidates. This would give the nominating committee even more information as they make their lists.
I like this idea. Maybe a nominating committee is unnecessary, as voters could simply choose from the whole field of candidates, as with other player polls.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Guile Island » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:01 am

Dudes, don't post the contents of private conversations to a public forum without permission from the other member(s) of the conversation.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by joshxu » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:25 am

joshxu wrote: For your information, Arjun himself sent me a private message last night.
REDACTED for the privacy of the sending individual
For the purposes of clarification:
Arjun and I have talked and all is good between us.
Last edited by joshxu on Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by whatamidoinghere » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:12 am

Karansebes Schnapps Vendor wrote:
joshxu wrote: What criteria was used here? I see that Arjun Nageswaran has put up scores of 42.50, 4.38, 29.17, 19.51, 6.00, 66.67, and 18.42 PPG at tournaments this season. His two best performances were when he was playing on teams where he was essentially playing by himself. While the 66.67 at PACE NSC is (no doubt) very impressive, there are freshmen who can put up high scores consistently.

On the other hand, at HSNCT, Isak and William had PPG of 48.64 and 35.74, while Arjun had 19.51. Arjun's numbers are understandably lower than the other two because he played on a better team, but there were more freshmen who put up numbers similar to Isak and William (and did so at other tournaments) and still played on playoff teams.
Firstly, I think it's fairly disrespectful to specifically single out one player for their skill and call them out on the forums; if you wanted to make that point that Avinash or Anthony should have been considered or nominated you certainly could have done that without denigrating another player.
Moving past that; I feel the need to point out that the statistics you chose to make your point are highly misleading (It would be a shame if potential voters based their opinions off of incorrect / misleading numbers)
You list the following ppgs: 42.50, 4.38, 29.17, 19.51, 6.00, 66.67, and 18.42 PPG
Breaking these down and adding context:

4.38 : From Penn Bowl Online, played largely by college players, on a team with Hari Parameswaran, Jamin Kim, Deepak Moparthi. This tournament was a college regs tournament, with other college players; hence, it is not representative high school player’s achievement. This is compounded by the fact that Arjun played on a team with a top HS history player (Hari) and against some top history players at the college/open level (like Will Alston).

6.00 : From Historature, which is not an all-subject tournament and hence wouldn’t be considered in the nominations.

18.42: From NASAT, where Arjun was again playing with other very solid history players (Mark, Kevin, Sophie) while again on college regs difficulty, while again against an extremely strong field; the same caveats as Penn Bowl apply here.

19.51: From HSNCT; I think claiming simply that Arjun’s numbers were lower because he was on a playoff team is missing a lot of the context. Arjun, as a primarily history and CE player, was playing with the best JV history player in the country. Many of the other players listed didn’t have to play with a top player in their category directly competing with them for points on their specialties.

29.17: Again, from an online mirror of a college set (EFT) with a significantly stronger than standard field, Arjun was playing with Govind also. The previous points all apply here.

42.50: From APEX, an unofficial side tournament that isn’t all-subject; like Historature, should not be up for consideration.

66.67: I’ll agree with you that this is an extremely impressive ppg, because it is!
Let's consider what my PPG in similar tournaments were for comparison. First off, I've never played many of these tournaments, but I'll give a comparison of my ppg at similar tournaments to Arjun's, and hopefully everyone will understand why he should be up at the top 3. For EFT, I had a pretty okay 20.00 PPG, and considering that I was in a similar situation to Arjun, with another strong history player alongside me, my ppg is somewhat lower than Arjun's. In terms of HSNCT, I had a pretty fine 36 ppg, but that's missing the entire point of this post. Arjun's 19.51 ppg implies that he answered 1-2 questions per game, which on a strong team like Stevenson can mean the difference between winning and losing. Meanwhile, in comparison, if a lead scorer doesn't answer a couple of questions, his/her teammates can pick up a couple of questions the lead scorer missed. Arjun's contributions to Stevenson's overall ppb/ppg are important and cannot be forgotten. Considering PACE, if I was completely honest, I wouldn't have gotten more than 50-55 ppg if I was playing, and probably wouldn't have gotten as high of a place if I was a lead scorer similar to Arjun. All these stats point towards Arjun being a definite top 3 quizbowler. In my original post, I wasn't doubting Arjun's or William's spot, but if I wasn't clear enough, I was trying to argue that more places should have been considered with the amount good quizbowlers in my year.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by joshxu » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:20 pm

whatamidoinghere wrote: Let's consider what my PPG in similar tournaments were for comparison. First off, I've never played many of these tournaments, but I'll give a comparison of my ppg at similar tournaments to Arjun's, and hopefully everyone will understand why he should be up at the top 3. For EFT, I had a pretty okay 20.00 PPG, and considering that I was in a similar situation to Arjun, with another strong history player alongside me, my ppg is somewhat lower than Arjun's. In terms of HSNCT, I had a pretty fine 36 ppg, but that's missing the entire point of this post. Arjun's 19.51 ppg implies that he answered 1-2 questions per game, which on a strong team like Stevenson can mean the difference between winning and losing. Meanwhile, in comparison, if a lead scorer doesn't answer a couple of questions, his/her teammates can pick up a couple of questions the lead scorer missed. Arjun's contributions to Stevenson's overall ppb/ppg are important and cannot be forgotten. Considering PACE, if I was completely honest, I wouldn't have gotten more than 50-55 ppg if I was playing, and probably wouldn't have gotten as high of a place if I was a lead scorer similar to Arjun. All these stats point towards Arjun being a definite top 3 quizbowler. In my original post, I wasn't doubting Arjun's or William's spot, but if I wasn't clear enough, I was trying to argue that more places should have been considered with the amount good quizbowlers in my year.
This really goes back to what it means to be a top 3 quizbowler. There are questions such as: How should tournaments with college questions be weighed? Should they even be considered for high school awards? How do you account for the strength of the field? What if someone's results at HSNCT are wildly different than their PACE results (assuming the player's team has the same roster)?
Amiable Vitriol wrote:It would also be nice to have clear criteria regarding what the awards are specifically looking for. Does this consider PPG? Power count? Leadership ability? Finish at nationals? I think the area of confusion for many of us is inconsistent criteria- an indefensible omission in the mind of someone judging PPG is entirely reasonable for someone considering captaining ability.
This is an excellent point. If a player puts up insanely high numbers on IS packets but comes down to earth at nationals, how should that be considered? As nationals questions are more difficult than regular high school packets, results can differ mightily.

Are we judging based off a player's contribution to their team? Are the ninth- and tenth-grade awards supposed to be predictions on whether they will develop into top players?

As for whether or not certain players should be ranked in the freshman poll, it's tough to find a specific top three. Isak, William, Arjun, and Avinash are all great players who deserve to be in this discussion. I agree with Avinash that the field should be expanded to recognize all of these (and more!) great freshmen.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Jcrmoon42 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:57 pm

Re: The idea that there should be a defined set of standards regarding what makes a "Player of the Year."

This strikes me as similar to a baseball MVP discussion. I found this text from the MVP voter ballot:

Dear Voter:

There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.

The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931:

1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.

2. Number of games played.

3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.

4. Former winners are eligible.

5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.

You are also urged to give serious consideration to all your selections, from 1 to 10. A 10th-place vote can influence the outcome of an election. You must fill in all 10 places on your ballot. Only regular-season performances are to be taken into consideration.

Keep in mind that all players are eligible for MVP, including pitchers and designated hitters.


The various weights of these factors and how any given voter utilizes them have been debated extensively with little agreement. It seems perhaps that such a discussion on what makes someone the "Player of the Year" in quiz bowl is likely to have similarly unfruitful results. Each voter will feel differently about what should be weighted more heavily.

However, discussing the individual merits of any given player in this kind of forum (without need for discussing the perceived weaknesses of any other given player) seems like a valuable and informative exercise.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Jcrmoon42 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:59 pm

joshxu wrote:
As for whether or not certain players should be ranked in the freshman poll, it's tough to find a specific top three. Isak, William, Arjun, and Avinash are all great players who deserve to be in this discussion. I agree with Avinash that the field should be expanded to recognize all of these (and more!) great freshmen.
I can't disagree with expanding the list, but similarly to this year's POY ballots, wherever we cut off the list, there are going to be people who think it should be a little larger in order to include their favorite candidate. The number on the list is arbitrary, but there has to be a cutoff somewhere.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Pascal Plays Poker » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:06 pm

I'm curious whether or not the post-nationals player polls were taken into consideration by the selection committee. They were generally considered by high schoolers to be a better representation of how players stacked up against each other nationally than what Fred Morlan initially presented in his All-World Teams (no offense to Fred, who obviously put an immense amount of work into creating those teams). The poll also seemed to avoid the bias of specialist vs. generalist less. Obviously this wouldn't really help with picking middle school players, but it may have lessened the current confusion regarding the nominees for the high school awards.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:19 am

I did not consider the polls. That being said, my ballot and the Player Poll were fairly similar though not perfect matches.

In the player poll, the finalists for this competition are ranked 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 18. The loudest complaints in this thread are about the #6 person in the poll not being one of eight finalists. That strikes me as a discrepancy that is less than scandalous.

One suggestion I would make for future years is to have the panelists rank more people. If you have five panelists each rank four people, then you are lucky to get eight finalists, and all it takes to be a finalist possibly is to make it on one ballot. If each panelist ranks eight or ten people, then it takes more of a consensus to be a finalist.
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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Amiable Vitriol » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:08 am

Deviant Insider wrote:I did not consider the polls. That being said, my ballot and the Player Poll were fairly similar though not perfect matches.

In the player poll, the finalists for this competition are ranked 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 18. The loudest complaints in this thread are about the #6 person in the poll not being one of eight finalists. That strikes me as a discrepancy that is less than scandalous.

One suggestion I would make for future years is to have the panelists rank more people. If you have five panelists each rank four people, then you are lucky to get eight finalists, and all it takes to be a finalist possibly is to make it on one ballot. If each panelist ranks eight or ten people, then it takes more of a consensus to be a finalist.
The nominees for tenth grade player of the year were ranked 22, unranked, and unranked, and do not include a player who was ranked 15th and led his team to 6th and 8th place finishes at nationals. I definitely agree with your last statement, however. I think one of the reasons the player poll turned out so well was the ballots ranking forty people, along with the fact that there were thirty two opinions synthesized into rankings. In the future an enlarged pool for individual rankings would help smooth out outliers and represent a greater swath of community opinion.
Olivia Lamberti (she/her/hers)
Stanford '23
retired

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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Fuddle Duddle » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:06 pm

So as another voter, I followed the player poll with interest, but based on my personal preference for evaluating players based on seeing them play and the amount of elite-level HS quizbowl I've watched this year, I felt comfortable not using it as a crutch to inform my selections. My overall ballot, at least, was informed by who I thought had a credible claim to be the best player this year based on different criteria (e.g. strongest generalism, buzzes that impressed me the most, best player at HSNCT, best player on mACF questions, best raw ppg). That resulted in this case in a regrettable omission (sorry, Fred), but I don't think that's a terribly unreasonable or unfair way to nominate people for an award like this. I tried to apply a similar methodology to my 10th grade poll, but quickly hit a roadblock: to my mind, there were three players with a credible claim to being the best 10th grader and my ballot only had space for two. As a result, there was always going to be a judgment call that shafted someone; I may have made the wrong judgment call, but I still think my ballot in this category was at least defensible based on the ranked players' merit.
Jakob Myers
MSU '21, Naperville North (IL) '17
"No one has ever organized a greater effort to get people interested in pretending to play quiz bowl"
-Ankit Aggarwal
Probably not going to play again for a hot sec

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Re: 2018 National Quiz Bowl Awards

Post by Jcrmoon42 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:42 pm

We still need to get checks to a few of our recipients. If you are one such person or have personal contact with them, please let them know that they can contact David Madden at director@historybowl.com to give him a mailing address? Thank you!
Jason Russell
IAC - Director of Operations, Middle School & Elementary Divisions
jason@iacompetitions.com

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