Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

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Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by cthewolf » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:36 am

Boston Latin School is proud to present the very first Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I. This tournament will be on Saturday, October 27, 2018, and will use SCOP Novice 9 (Beginners), 2018-19 Scobol Solo (Loners), and 2018 Boston Latin Trivia (BLT) Fall I (Trivia). Boston Latin School is located at 78 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115.

Registration
Please email me @ cjj9000[AT]gmail[DOT]com with the number of novice teams, solo players, buzzers, and staffers. You can also email me if you have any questions. I will reply to email much faster than forum posts. Replies to this post will not count as valid registration. Please email rather than replying to the post with interest for fielding or questions. If you have a common question, I will address it in a follow up post, but please just email me.

The novice field is hard capped at 24 teams.

Fees and payment
The fee structure for the tournament is:
+$75 base fee per team
+$20 per solo player
-$5 per working buzzer system
-$10 per staffer/moderator
-$10 per 100 miles traveled one-way
-$15 for schools that have not attended a pyramidal quizbowl tournament in the past year
Minimum fee per school: $50

Cash, check, and Venmo are acceptable. Checks shall be made payable to “Boston Latin School Association” and may be brought the day of the tournament. All payments for each school including both Solo individuals and novice teams should be made using one method.

Tournament Format
This tournament has three parts: a full novice team tournament (Beginners), a history bee style solo tournament (Loners), and a housewritten side event (Trivia) during lunch.

Beginners (Novice Tournament):
TD: Christy Jestin
There are no official rules for eligibility. We will be fairly generous, but please be sportsmanlike and play the solo tournament if you know that you're not a novice player. Players may be disqualified at our discretion prior to the start of the tournament.

Teams may have up 6 players total with at most 4 playing at any one point. Substitutions may be made at the half. Tournament games will follow standard ACF rules of untimed rounds consisting of 20 tossups and 20 three-part, 30 point bonuses (without bouncebacks). The set will be marked with 15 point powers, and there will also be -5 negs before the end of the tossup (but no double negs). Each team will also be permitted one 30 second timeout per half.

The tournament itself will consist of bracketed round-robin prelims and rebracketed round-robin playoffs. Each team will play at least 9 games.

Loners (Solo Tournament):
TD: Nicholas Weiske
Individual players will play with modified history bee rules: http://www.historybowl.com/events/history-bee/#game (always cite your sources kids). Please see post below for rules.

Trivia (Side Event):
TD: Austin Wang
The rules are in the post below. The teams will not be restricted to players of the same school, and signups will be at the tournament.

Question Sets
The question distribution for Beginners on SCOP Novice 9 is below:
5/5 Science (including 1/1 Noncomputational Math)
4/4 Literature
4/4 History
2/2 Religion and Mythology
2/2 Fine Arts
1/1 Geography
1/1 Current Events, Philosophy, and Social Science
1/1 Pop Culture

The question distribution for Loners on 2018-19 Scobol Solo is below. Please note that this is 20/0 to accommodate the format:
5/0 Science (Chem, Phys, Bio, Math, Other Science)
4/0 History (US, Euro, Military, World)
4/0 Literature (US, British, Euro/World, Poetry)
3/0 Fine Arts (Painting, Music, Other)
1/0 Geography
1/0 Current Events
1/0 Social Sciences

The question distribution for Trivia on 2018 Boston Latin Trivia Fall I is in the works.

Schedule
Registration will be from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., and the first round for both the novice and solo tournaments will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. There will be a scorekeeper/moderator's meeting at 8:30 am. The tournament will end around 5:00 p.m. Lunch will be an hour break from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

You are welcome to park in the school parking lot.

Food
Lunch will be a one hour break. We'll have large pizzas from Bertucci for sale for $17 each. There is also a food court nearby with a variety of options available within walking distance.

We have learned a lot from SPIT I, and we'll try to have everything run as smoothly as possible. Nick, Austin, and I will all be full time TDing. Not to pat myself on the back, but I've been told that is very mature of me.

We look forward to hosting you!
Best,
Christy

Current field (teams/individuals/buzzers/staffers):
Boston Latin (1/1/2/x)
Belmont (2/0/2/0)
Roxbury Prep (2/0/3/0)
Newton South (2/0/0/1)
Lexington (2/2/1/1)
Phillips Andover (2/1/2/0)
Barrington (0/1/0/0)
Sharon (1/0/1/0)
Dexter Southfield (2/0/0/1)
AMSA (2/0/2/2)
Brookline (1/1/1/0)
Andover (1/0/1/0)
Total (18/7/15/5)
Last edited by cthewolf on Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:39 pm, edited 17 times in total.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by cthewolf » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:56 pm

EDIT:
The Loners tournament has been reformatted. There will only be 1 room for the entirety of the tournament. We'll be using 20 question sets for prelims. Players will exit the round upon scoring 5 questions. Similar to history bee, tossups will go dead on the third wrong answer, and the player giving the third wrong answer will receive a penalty of one point. Players will also receive bonuses based on when they reach 5 questions.
5: at 5
4: 6-8
3: 9-12
2: 13-17
1: 18-20

Little over half the field will advance to finals based on prelims score total. The final round will have 40 tossups, and players will exit on scoring 8 questions. Placement will be based on order of finish. After lunch, we'll be running literature, science, and history finals.

Literature Final (American, British, World, and Poetry: 24 tossups; exit at 6 points)
Science Final (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, and Other Science: 30 tossups; exit at 7 points)
History Final (American, World, European, Military, Current Events, and Geography: 36 tossups; exit at 8 points)

Sorry about the late announcement. The field has constantly changed over the last couple days. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Last edited by cthewolf on Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by cthewolf » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:57 pm

All teams that have expressed interest in either the novice or solo tournaments should confirm numbers as soon as possible.

Please find the rules for the trivia side event here: https://goo.gl/1CY5FW.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by Fuddle Duddle » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:30 pm

I applaud your ambition, but rather than trying to run two tournaments at once, it might be more advisable to run the SCOP mirror without the individual tournament. I realize this might reduce your revenue a bit, but providing a quality experience to all the teams playing this tournament rather than overextending yourself should be a priority. The profusion of finals also sounds like a potential logistical nightmare that you might do well to spare yourself. I realize that changes might be difficult this late in the game, but please consider it.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by Sylvia Pankhurst » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:31 pm

In addition to everything that Jakob brought up, the inclusion of the “women’s final” mentioned above really needs to be addressed. While I understand that the intentions of the TD were likely to recognize the skill of female players, women are not the JV of quizbowl and should not be treated as such. As someone who competed at Scobol Solo in Illinois and never made the final, I would have been deeply offended at the insinuation that a women’s final was necessary. In creating a women’s final, it is implied that women are not able to compete against their male competitors and need their own (less competitive) space within which they can succeed, which ridiculous and insulting.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by Santa Claus » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:18 pm

cthewolf wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:36 am
Tournament Format
This tournament has three parts: ... a housewritten side event (Trivia) during lunch.

...

Trivia (Side Event):
TD: Austin Wang
The rules are in the works and will be published very soon. The teams will not be restricted to players of the same school, and signups will be at the tournament.

...

The question distribution for Trivia on 2018 Boston Latin Trivia Fall I is in the works.
So it seems like you guys have some sort of trivia side event you're writing for lunch. I had some questions about that.

People will be giving up their lunch time, so will you guys be providing any food to the players? Will you charge for the food or is it included in the fee? How long will it take? I imagine there'll only be about an hour, maybe an hour and a half for lunch, so how are you gonna fit in this side event? How many rounds will there be? What's the format of the tournament? Is it tossup only or are there bonuses? It's been one month since this tournament announcement went up, so what's the progress of the writing? Where are the rules? When counts as soon? Is the trivia academic in nature or not? If it's academic, is it going to be a specific subcategory, like history or art or science? If it's not a specific subcategory, why are you house-writing like two packets worth of questions to be read during lunch between other quiz bowl questions? If it's not academic, is it going to be trash and what not? Will that, in turn, be split into subcategories? Can we have an assurance of quality for these questions, academic or otherwise, or will people have to go and give you guys money to play potentially poorly written questions?

EDIT: I see now you've posted the rules - I retract my rules based questions, though I recommend you guys edit the original announcement.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by cthewolf » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:54 pm

Sorry, I wasn't trying to ignore you all. I never got any notifications. I really apologize for not addressing this earlier.

First, I was very aware of the potential for strong pushback against the women's final. As it turns out, there are no women competing in the solo tournament. I personally apologize to everyone who is offended.

The main focus was and will be the novice tournament. The solo tournament was supposed to be an experiment with a new format. While we would have loved to have more participation, we did anticipate a small field. The final rounds were meant to provide more opportunity to play with so few prelims. Please see the edited post for our current plan.

The trivia side event is also supposed to be a fun opportunity. It is completely free of charge. The questions are still in the works, but we will have 10 categories.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by The Hands Resist Him » Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:16 pm

While overall I thought this tournament was unique and an interesting concept, and I enjoyed the experience, I thought that there were a few things that could have been improved on the logistical side of things:

First of all, the solo tournament was generally messily organized: for one, it lasted far shorter than the main SCOP tournament, forcing participants to find ways to kill time while waiting for our novices to finish playing. Furthermore, the tournament was not provided as advertised—most notably in the absence of subject specific finals and the general hodgepodge nature of the tournament.

While I didn’t play the SCOP novice tournament, there were still a few issues, especially pertaining to the use of neg5 to keep stats*, as well as the general slowness with which rounds progressed (someone of which may have been due to moderators taking longer than ideal to get through a round).

Finally, the trivia tournament, while entertaining, compounded the problem of lunchtime and the afternoon rounds being already late, and the trivia event took quite a long time, leading to the tournament as a whole lasting longer than it probably should have).

* In general, neg5 has two major issues: first, that oftentimes people forget to save the rounds stats, which are subsequently lost to the sands of time; and second, that, at least to the best of my knowledge, there is no way to export stats as sqbs files and upload them onto the quizbowl resource center or be accessed by harry white’s search tool, which makes those stats much harder to access in the future.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by catullus16 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:55 pm

Even though I was not in attendance at SCOP novice, I heard a few concerning details about it from younger members.

The general untimeliness and stats issues were generally inconvenient for the team, but additionally I ordered two pizzas for the team, as the majority of the players were freshman and sophomores who didn't want to leave the location for food, and they only received one. While we were reimbursed for the second pizza, it was concerning for me to worry about the younger members of my team eating lunch.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by Fuddle Duddle » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:03 pm

Given that the logistics issues I expressed concern about earlier in this thread seem to have come to pass, I would recommend giving more heed to community feedback in the future. Setbacks like this happen to us all, but I'd be concerned if the issues with this tournament were to be replicated next year due to a similar attitude toward advice.

EDIT: Given that this apparently happened last year, too, I'd like to urge anyone from Boston Latin even more strongly to please seek help or advice from more experienced tournament directors before hosting again. I agree with the points Vincent and Julia brought downthread and would like to add that if your concern about the health of the Massachusetts circuit is genuine, I would strongly advise hosting novices tournaments in as professional and focused a manner as possible.
Last edited by Fuddle Duddle on Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by Quetzalcoatl » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:24 pm

Speaking as someone who played this tournament, I can safely say that this was not run very smoothly. Half the staffers were very slow readers who couldn't enunciate and often would say the wrong pronoun. I was captaining this tournament and I had to apologize to parents because it ran late and their kids didn't have an enjoyable time. At one point, the tournament director came into my game room and read one single tossup in an incomprehensibly high pitched voice, after which he left the room. This behavior confused me and my teammates. As many others above have said, the lunch trivia round seemed unnecessary and only ended up dragging the pace of the tournament even more. After the tournament was over, at least one promising novice told me that they regretted coming to the tournament. I had faith that Boston Latin would run a better tournament after the issues that SPIT encountered last year, but it's clear that work still needs to be done.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by Ozymandias314 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:24 pm

Well, I'd like to start off my saying that I had fun at the tournament, but there are still some things that really did not sit well with me:

-The Solo tournament was rather doomed from the start, it's certainly not Boston Latin's fault...the circuit is too small to really have a significant solo tournament, or one at all. It was at best a valiant effort, but it even fell short of that: we basically screwed around in a room for a day, and there were no "subject-specific finals", which I was looking forward to. (In all fairness, the moderators did offer to read through the packets and then pick out the tossups in specific categories, but I was honestly a bit shocked that the organizers did not bother to packetize the tossups into different categories BEFORE the tournament had started).

-The novice tournament was also not nearly as smooth as it could have been. The readers were subpar, similar to SPIT, and there also seemed to be a lot of extra staffers floundering around for no apparent reason. Lunch started after 1, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised that we somehow managed to end the tournament by 5:30.

-My biggest complaint is with trivia. In a vacuum, it was already pretty terrible. I mean, I'll concede that the idea was kind of cool, but logistically, it was a nightmare. The scene degraded into a bunch of teams yelling in the cafeteria, while the tournament organizers yelled numbers back at them. They also made some terrible jokes, some of which I certainly thought were abrasive, to say the least. But considering this mess in the context of a novice tournament makes it especially terrible. (Consider this thread for a moment: http://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic. ... it#p349860). The Massachusetts circuit has never been a strong one, everyone will agree that we need to do more outreach, encourage more teams to participate, etc. etc. Thus, novice tournaments are a good idea! However, the point of a novice tournament is to keep people in quizbowl, not to encourage them to quit forever. Trivia honestly did that. I cannot help but feel terrible for members of my team who were completely overwhelmed and confused by the chaos it caused, and I also observed several other teams sitting in the back, waiting the fiasco out.

-In short, what I am trying to say is that the tournament was probably damaging for the first time players. I do not know how many novices will quit after witnessing the tournament directors yelling into a microphone, laughing at the number 420 repeatedly, running some sort of faux-auction, making jokes about several coaches' age, laughing among themselves at the mess, all while making up the rules of this half-baked format as they went...and the tournament was poorly run in general. I seriously urge Boston Latin to consider the extent of its capabilities before they host another tournament.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by Couch's Kingbird » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:51 pm

Ozymandias314 wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:24 pm
However, the point of a novice tournament is to keep people in quizbowl, not to encourage them to quit forever. Trivia honestly did that. I cannot help but feel terrible for members of my team who were completely overwhelmed and confused by the chaos it caused, and I also observed several other teams sitting in the back, waiting the fiasco out.

-In short, what I am trying to say is that the tournament was probably damaging for the first time players. I do not know how many novices will quit after witnessing the tournament directors yelling into a microphone, laughing at the number 420 repeatedly, running some sort of faux-auction, making jokes about several coaches' age, laughing among themselves at the mess, all while making up the rules of this half-baked format as they went...and the tournament was poorly run in general. I seriously urge Boston Latin to consider the extent of its capabilities before they host another tournament.
With all due respect...I don't have a dog in this fight, and no one I personally know attended this tournament. But this sort of thing bothers me a lot. if you are running a novice tournament- especially if you are running a novice tournament- your biggest priority must be to make sure the tournament is professional, well run, and smooth. It should make players eager and excited to keep doing quiz bowl, not make them feel uncomfortable and discouraged. If you've failed to create a welcoming, professional atmosphere, and if you've driven players away from the game, you've completely failed your duties as the TD.

After all- first impressions matter! There are many other things players could be doing on their Saturdays. If you give players an experience that suggests that Quiz Bowl is messy, immature, and unprofessional, they're unlikely to come back to the game.

I won't lie- when I saw the tournament announcement I thought BLT looked very ambitious. Jakob summed up all of my concerns in his posts above. I'd like to agree with him and also strongly encourage you to reconsider whether you are prepared to run a tournament in the future. If you do- and regardless, I hope you learn from the mistakes you've made today- I'd like to encourage you to listen to other people's advice, keep the number of divisions small (focus on running one well-run event, not two or three!), use SQBS, and generally try to keep things as simple as possible. Running tournaments is very difficult and mistakes happen, but some of the incidences mentioned above are really not acceptable.

[EDIT: some very small grammar mistakes]
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by RicardoDA » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:05 pm

Speaking as someone who actually staffed this tournament, here’s my take:

No tournament is perfect. Technology will have its issues, readers will be unexpectedly slow, buzzers will crap out. These things are inevitable. What makes a tournament successful is having the right kind of attitude work with what you’re given; to adapt to these difficulties and make it your priority to correct them.

It seemed to me that the head BLS staffers had a very nonchalant, “go with the flow” kind of attitude towards running this tournament, and frankly, that attitude is not conducive to running a quality event. I often felt as if I had to take it upon myself to get critical issues fixed, something that I, a staffer outside the organization, should not be responsible for. For instance, when I arrived at my assigned room to start reading, there were no buzzers set up. In order to get buzzers in my room, I had to talk to several BLS staffers, none of whom appeared to treat the issue as very high priority. The entire ordeal probably took around ten minutes, during which the teams (of which one, I’m fairly certain, was the first team from their school to ever play pyramidal quiz bowl) were forced to wait in the room, certainly not getting a great first impression. This wasn’t the only issue I felt I had to correct: issues with packet sharing permissions caused further delays of similar length, and if I hadn’t been persistent and talked to multiple people, the delays may have been even longer.

I’m not the only one that shared this sentiment. My teammates who competed solo said they felt as if the tournament directors “didn’t care as much” about the solo tournament due to its relatively small size. Additionally, I witnessed the incident that Eliana mentioned and was frankly appalled that no attempt was made to correct the issue other than offering the team a refund. Finally, when others told me to inform the TDs that the trivia event might be going a little too long (since it was past 2pm at this point, afternoon rounds had not started, and the trivia event was clearly not being taken seriously), the TDs brushed me aside.

Honestly, I don’t think BLS is at fault for all of the problems they encountered today. What I do hold them accountable for is their limited flexibility while also overextending themselves (by attempting to hold multiple events that, let’s face it, were not well thought out), which lead to some details just falling by the wayside. I was honestly disappointed: I wished our novices had had a better first quizbowl tournament experience, not to mention the schools who had never attended a quizbowl event before. Let this be a cautionary tale to any school wishing to run a tournament: if you aren’t willing to put in the effort to maintain a serious attitude, pay attention to detail, and correct issues as they come about, don’t bother.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by NickBLS » Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:22 am

Before I say anything, I would first like to address any mistakes made, mistakes which will be explained in detail shortly. I will admit that during the tournament, there were a few, and we sincerely apologize. This is in no way a list of excuses or an attempt to play the blame game, but I merely felt that there was, in addition to plenty of legitimate criticism, some understandable but inaccurate speculation that had to be addressed properly.

Firstly, I want to contest the notion that an uncaring attitude was developing. David was right when he said that we did not pay full attention to his room while he had no buzzer. However, this was due to an issue with three partially broken buzzers that were set up then immediately taken down because of their lack of functionality. I did my best to help him and simultaneously deliver new buzzers to rooms. We should have first checked all the buzzer systems before inviting moderators and teams to rooms. I hope it did not seem as though I had sidelined him yesterday morning, but I was in a rush to deliver working systems to room 115 and 117.

Secondly, as the reader for most of the solo tournament, my hands were also tied: we simply did not have enough people competing and quite frankly it would have been better had we simply cancelled it before. We did not communicate very well on the forum post and should have also packeted the subject specific rounds previously. I hope that the solo rounds were not too boring or repetitive, but my attitude of “I’ll do whatever you guys want” stemmed from a desire to accommodate the interests of the players given the circumstances rather than a lack of interest.

Thirdly, although the tournament did run a little long, we did manage to end before 5:30, and considering the huge issues at the start I am personally satisfied with that.

Fourth, I object to the argument that we did not take the tournament itself seriously. Yes, the raucous at trivia was out of hand, but the base humor wasn’t for everyone, and that’s understandable. I am the first person to say that if I ever helped to host a tournament again, trivia in such a disreputable form would not be tolerated.

Lastly, Christy and I intentionally overstaffed the event to ensure that each room would always have a moderator and scorekeeper (at SPIT I, this was a huge issue) (and of course with the exception of solos, which I managed myself because of its simplicity). There was some switching of the guard so to speak in order to catch up some rooms that were slower than others. Given the small size of BLS Quizbowl, we had students unfamiliar with the game come to help us. I cannot speak to their behavior during the rounds, but I cannot imagine that they treated anyone in a contemptible manner, and while mistakes were made in the scorekeeping area, I can assure readers that they had no bearing on playoff bracket creation. Losing any data is unacceptable and a problem that unfortunately carried over from SPIT I. For those of you who host tournaments yourselves, I would be happy to learn your own strategies for managing the massive amount of data that is collected and organized round to round if not for neg5. Along that same vein, any general advice on specific aspects of the tournament is welcome. Although I personally do not plan on hosting another tournament during my time in high school, it is nonetheless important to me that any and all mistakes are accounted for and corrected, (please contact me personally at ncweiske@gmail.com).

Again, sorry for the mishaps throughout yesterday and I apologize if I ever “brushed” one of you aside at any point. I just want to make it clear that that was never my intention and my sole goal throughout was maintaining a fun playing atmosphere for all players.

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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:08 pm

There is now a thread titled 2018 Scobol Solo Discussion for people who want to discuss the Solo set.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by cthewolf » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:56 pm

I want to clarify that Nick immediately contacted an adult and got a second pizza for Belmont in addition to reimbursing the team.

I also want to add to Nick's explanation about the buzzers that there was an unknown issue with sharing files on a few select rounds. I simply repeated the action in each instance, and it worked the second or third time for whatever reason. When it first happened, Google Drive repeatedly crashed for me, delaying the response. Sorry David for the problems you had while staffing.

As we said before, the intent of the whole tournament, including the solos and trivia, was to give everyone a chance to have fun and play some competitive rounds. It definitely happened for some teams, and it clearly didn't for others. I apologize wholeheartedly to the latter. Please email me if there are any issues I can help explain.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by cthewolf » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:58 pm

That being said, thanks so much to everyone who came.

Belmont A won the tournament by clearing the field.

Please find the stats here: https://stats.neg5.org/t/2H9cP-QSK/blt-i/team-standings.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by vinteuil » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:24 pm

cthewolf wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:56 pm
As we said before, the intent of the whole tournament, including the solos and trivia, was to give everyone a chance to have fun and play some competitive rounds. It definitely happened for some teams, and it clearly didn't for others. I apologize wholeheartedly to the latter. Please email me if there are any issues I can help explain.
Christy, you've worded this in the passive voice: "[fun] happened for some teams, and it clearly didn't for others." In other words, this sentence makes no attempt to account for your role in what happened, and what you personally could do better in the future. That's usually what people are looking for from an apology.

(What role did you have? Well, for starters, perhaps you could explain this:
At one point, the tournament director came into my game room and read one single tossup in an incomprehensibly high pitched voice, after which he left the room.
This may have been fun for you, but I doubt it was for the teams.)

By contrast, let's look at your teammate Nick's post:
I would first like to address any mistakes made....There was...plenty of legitimate criticism....Again, sorry for the mishaps throughout yesterday and I apologize if I ever “brushed” one of you aside at any point.

I am the first person to say that if I ever helped to host a tournament again, trivia in such a disreputable form would not be tolerated....I would be happy to learn your own strategies...
Nick, while clarifying that some assumed faults were actually at least somewhat out of Boston Latin's control, is acknowledging that the team did in fact make mistakes, and is taking personal responsibility for them. He moreover points to specific, actionable lessons he's learned from the experience—ways to prevent these mistakes and similar disasters going forward. Can you say the same?
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by The Hands Resist Him » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:35 pm

Not to detract from the criticisms of the tournament in this thread, but is there any chance that we could have stats for the solo tournament too? Thanks
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by NickBLS » Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:13 pm

I don't really know how this works but @Charles
After 6 rounds, the point totals were:
Daniel w/ 30
Charles w/29
Vincent w/ 24
Joe w/ 15
Derek w/14
Emma w/ 5
Guy w/ 5
In the rounds played as "finals" the point totals were:
Charles w/ 8
Daniel w/ 7
Vincent and Derek w/ 6
Joe w/ 3
Emma and Guy w/ -1
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by NickBLS » Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:38 pm

As to what Jacob said, while I cannot speak to all of Christy's actions during the tournament, there is certainly much I can clear up here.
For one, the original letter that I wrote was with the advice and approval of Christy, and his addendum to it was with my begrudging approval, for I was certain that exactly this situation would occur. His seemingly halfhearted apology was out of a lack of need to reiterate everything that I had already said. As to his conduct in the room, I'll let him speak for himself.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by cthewolf » Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:41 pm

As to what Jacob mentioned:
Anyone who's met me knows that I have a low voice that can be hard to hear. I speak in a higher voice which is easier to understand while reading, and I've also done so while reading during practice.

In the specific case, the reader went to the bathroom after a round. I did the buzzer check and started reading the first tossup. I read pretty fast which might be what Seiyoung meant. He powered the question, so I'm not sure where he was coming from. I left after reading one tossup because the reader came back.

It wasn't meant to be funny.

I also want to mention that I should be able to recover the lost rounds because scorekeepers were supposed to screenshot scoresheets. I'll do so as soon as possible if they're available.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by cthewolf » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:36 pm

I didn’t want to add more, but I really don't feel comfortable about the way our staffers are being discussed.

It is true that we had inexperienced readers at SPIT. We took note of the problems it created and allowed only people with some experience playing or coaching to read for BLT. The scorekeepers were mostly volunteers, but they all received training on how to use Neg5. This certainly does not mean that they aren't human or infallible.

I will admit that I was initially worried about some readers being slow in the morning. However, the concern was about keeping an even pace in all rooms, so I also asked some of the faster readers to slow down in addition to asking slower readers to go a little faster. I think you'd all agree that the reading should be a little slower for novices, and I actually had a novice team member tell me that they simply couldn't keep up with the speed of the readers. I also replaced slower readers in the afternoon to make sure all rooms were at a good pace.

Over the course of the day however, it became apparent that the longer rounds were more related to the fact that this was a novice tournament, meaning players would not have as evenly distributed knowledge as regular players. This in turn makes some rooms faster and others slower on certain rounds just because of inconsistent knowledge. For example, the fastest room for round 1 took the longest on round 3. Furthermore, the matchup between the top two teams took much longer than other rooms despite also having a faster reader, who told me that almost every tossup went to the end.

Lastly, as I told David during the tournament, Nick and I had planned for each set of rounds to take an extra half hour because more of the question is heard with novices. We announced the end time in the forum post to be “around 5:00” and were able to catch up and finish by 5:15 despite the late start with teams arriving late and making roster changes.

All of that being said, we would not use Neg5 if we redid the tournament. The new changes to the interface has made it significantly less effective than SQBS. While I agree that the new Neg5 probably made scorekeeping more difficult (especially on the smaller screen of a Chromebook), it also alleviated the need for a stats room and runners. I really hope there is a more convenient digital solution: ideally Neg5 returns to its older setup with round report and easy score editing as well as the expanded servers, and the database also allows stats links for Neg5.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by Quetzalcoatl » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:50 am

I want to clarify my issue with how Christy read that one question. I understand that I powered the question, but I barley got it in power after guessing what Christy was saying (I didn't even hear the pronoun I just went off of one word). I also understand why a person with a low voice would want to read in a higher voice, but what Christy did seemed way too high and unarticulated for my team to understand. If it was meant to be serious, my apologies for misreading it, as my team and I thought that the constant laughter coming from Christy and the staffers in that situation was a red flag that it was a joke.
Last edited by Quetzalcoatl on Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Boston Latin Tournament (BLT) I (Scobol Solo/SCOP 9 Mirror) 10/27/18

Post by Thiccasso's Guernthicca » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:49 pm

cthewolf wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:36 pm
[Neg5] also alleviated the need for a stats room and runners.
This, in my opinion, is one of the biggest pitfalls about Neg5 (aside from the obvious issues with stats accessibility, overall glitchiness, and so on). A well-run tournament will almost always have a separate control room with at least one person who oversees logistics and ensures the tournament is running smoothly. Although Neg5 ostensibly resolves the need for a person to input stats into SQBS, it does not resolve the need for staffers to be fully on deck and committed to rectifying unforeseen issues that may come up as the tournament progresses. Whether or not you use Neg5 in the future (although I strongly discourage the usage of Neg5), I urge you to consider having a separate control room, as that may have helped ameliorate at least some of the issues this tournament may have encountered.
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