Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

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buffaloz1331
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Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

Hello! Felix Wang [@InfinitePeng] and I will be hosting a closed, middle school only mirror of the regular high school difficulty set RAFT II on Saturday, November 7th, 2020, starting at 10 AM EST. This tournament is not restricted geographically, which means it will be open to ALL MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAMS NATIONWIDE.

This tournament will be hosted on Discord. Students will each need a Discord account [free and easy to set up] in order to play at this mirror. Coaches and parents are welcome to come and watch, though they will also need Discord accounts to do so. Teams must have a minimum of one player, and may have no more than six players on their roster. If you would like to send more than six players, please sign up more than one team. We are aiming for 18 teams [though this number may increase if we reach that cap and have more interest and staff available]. We plan to run this tournament with tossups AND bonuses, so in order to run a quicker tournament, we will be guaranteeing 9 rounds, with 5 prelims and 4 playoff matches, and the possibility for more if we need a finals round. The number of guaranteed rounds is subject to change if the number of teams in the field does not allow for this format. As stated previously, RAFT II will be high school regular difficulty, comparable to MSNCT playoff difficulty. For comparison, this set will be roughly the same difficulty as last year's RAFT I, which was used at the Middle School Online Charity Tournament last May. Teams may sign up here.

This tournament is part of the 2020-21 quizbowl season. All players must attend the same institution on November 7th to play on the same team. This tournament will cost $55 per team. People who did not write for RAFT II and who volunteer to read or scorekeep will receive $15 for the day. I will send more details on payment as we approach the date of the tournament, though online methods [PayPal and Venmo] are much preferred. Independent staffers may sign up here.

We will be periodically updating the list of teams in the field for this mirror. We hope to run a clean, fun tournament that is enjoyable for everyone involved. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email [[email protected]] or over private message on this forum if you have any questions.

We will be using the ACF ruleset, with 15 point powers and -5 for incorrect interrupts. We will also be making timing as strictly correct as possible [5 seconds after buzzing in, 5 seconds after the end of a tossup, 5 seconds for a bonus part] in order to run the tournament as efficiently as possible. Everyone participating in this tournament in any capacity will be bound by the PACE Code of Conduct. Misconduct and violations of the code of conduct will not be tolerated. We will take this very seriously, and participants who violate the code of conduct will be kicked out of the tournament and may face greater consequences. Misconduct may also be further reported to national organizations at this link

Lastly, do not cheat at this tournament. Cheating ruins the game for everyone—we will look into and deal seriously with allegations of cheating at this tournament.
Last edited by buffaloz1331 on Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

This post is reserved for an updated field list

FIELD: 18/18

Middlesex [3 teams]
Longfellow [2 teams]
Monrovia [1 team]
Churchill [3 teams]
Colvin Run ES [2 teams]
Greenhill [1 team, tentative]
Herberger [1 team]
Howard MS [1 team]
Midtown Classical [1 team]
Cooper MS [2 teams]
Classen SAS [1 team]

WAITLIST: 1

Classen SAS [1 team]
Last edited by buffaloz1331 on Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:57 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by osbornrj »

What time do you expect the tournament to end?
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

Seeing the length of the LONESTAR tournament, we are looking for every way to make the tournament run more efficiently. I believe that with the measures we are looking at, this tournament will finish before 6:30 for most teams [all those playing the guaranteed nine games] with a sizable lunch break in the middle so that it doesn't feel like a huge bloc of time spent staring at a computer screen. We also have the option of shortening the lunch break and ending the day slightly earlier. We do understand that the long days are harder for younger kids and we will do our best to run this as efficiently as possible. I hope this answers your question and that you will encourage your team to play!
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by osbornrj »

Please consider only using tossups. On average, middle school students typically need to hear a larger fraction of a question that's written for high school level difficulty before they might know the answer. The tossups themselves tend to be longer as well. With bonus questions that are significantly more difficult, a decent fraction of those bonuses end up with students taking the maximum amount of time allowed to either formulate a guess or respond with "no answer." All of that draws the tournament out even longer. If you won't drop the bonuses altogether, maybe you could at least consider dropping the third bonus question? We love these online tournaments, but it's very hard for students to sit through that many hours on the computer when many of them are already on the computer more than usual with remote learning. If we're in the minority, that's fine. But I'm thinking middle school teams may be shying away from online tournaments that they know will end up taking anywhere from 8-10 hours.
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by karsten7814 »

osbornrj wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:25 pm All of that draws the tournament out even longer. If you won't drop the bonuses altogether, maybe you could at least consider dropping the third bonus question?
I'm not running this tournament, but as an editor for RAFT II, this definitely isn't a possibility. Our bonuses are super intentionally created in three parts, thus dropping one part would essentially obfuscate the point of the bonus (and that'd just make the tournament more difficult for when a bonus goes hard part/medium part/easy part or medium part/hard part/easy part!) I can't comment on what the TDs will decide re: bonuses as a whole, but this definitely won't be the solution.
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by StockierAsp9634 »

Have there been any field updates? I notice you have not posted one for a while now. I would appreciate it if you could. Thank you! :grin:
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

Absolutely—the field will be updated shortly. Also, I have made the decision that this tournament will run with bonuses. I look forward to hosting this tournament for y'all!
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by StockierAsp9634 »

I know that the possible length of this tournament is a concern for many. I know that you cannot cut down on bonuses or other questions, so what alternative methods would you have to make sure the tournament runs quickly?
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by osbornrj »

I realize this is not an NAQT tournament, but NAQT does offer some good advice on their website with regard to online tournaments: https://www.naqt.com/online/essentials.jsp See the "Duration" section.
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

Yes, and we will be taking some of those measures indicated on the NAQT website—including trying to keep lunch efficient with a dedicated statsperson, holding moderator meetings before the tournament to make sure everyone knows what to do come game day, have two moderators per room [so one can keep stats while the other reads, and they are able to switch if anything goes wrong]. We will also work on having permissions set up and well-tested to make sure there are no logistical issues with getting teams into their rooms on the day of the tournament. We do anticipate this tournament running into the 6-7 hour. We are still looking for other places to cut time, but we are fairly confident that solving logistical hiccups before the day of the tournament and making sure that every moderator knows what they are doing before the day of the tournament will help speed along the process.
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

With a little more than three weeks to go until this tournament, I have received 12 registrations. We really would like to have a full slate of 18 teams, so please continue to sign up! The field list has been updated to reflect the most recent changes. I also realized that I did not put up deadlines in the original post, so I will put those here.

Tuesday, 11/3: Last day to drop from the tournament
Wednesday, 11/4: Registration Deadline
Thursday, 11/5: Rosters Due
Saturday, 11/7: Tournament Date and payment due
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

We now have 17 teams signed up! We still have one more spot before going to the waitlist. We will be able to expand the field if we get more staff!
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

The initial field is now full. We may expand the field if we get enough staff, however, I would prefer to keep this tournament to fewer than 10 rounds, which becomes logistically very difficult if we have more than 18 teams. Currently, we have 14 staffers signed up. I would like to have two staffers per room, so a grand total of 18. Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in playing and helping out so far!
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by powerneg »

Just wondering. Will webcams be mandated for this tournament?
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

We will not be mandating that cameras be on, however, we strongly encourage that players use cameras.
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by romeokar »

buffaloz1331 wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:22 am The initial field is now full. We may expand the field if we get enough staff, however, I would prefer to keep this tournament to fewer than 10 rounds, which becomes logistically very difficult if we have more than 18 teams. Currently, we have 14 staffers signed up. I would like to have two staffers per room, so a grand total of 18. Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in playing and helping out so far!

I'm not sure if I signed MMS up with a staffer. If I did, it's me, and I can handle a room on my own. If I didn't, please add me as a staffer, and know that I can handle a room on my own.

Also, can you email an invoice so that I can submit a school check?
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by powerneg »

buffaloz1331 wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:47 pm We will not be mandating that cameras be on, however, we strongly encourage that players use cameras.
Thanks!
Last edited by powerneg on Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

romeokar wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:36 am
buffaloz1331 wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:22 am The initial field is now full. We may expand the field if we get enough staff, however, I would prefer to keep this tournament to fewer than 10 rounds, which becomes logistically very difficult if we have more than 18 teams. Currently, we have 14 staffers signed up. I would like to have two staffers per room, so a grand total of 18. Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in playing and helping out so far!

I'm not sure if I signed MMS up with a staffer. If I did, it's me, and I can handle a room on my own. If I didn't, please add me as a staffer, and know that I can handle a room on my own.

Also, can you email an invoice so that I can submit a school check?
I have you signed up as a staffer—and I'm working on setting up an invoice that I will send out along with other payment options before next week.
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

I have sent out invoices and payment information to the contact emails I was given. If you did not receive an email from me, either I have already received your payment or you should check a different email. I will send out an email to staffers shortly.

EDIT: I did not send out the email to staffers last night, so if you haven't received it, don't worry, I still have you down.
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

I am looking for staffers for this tournament. So far we have about 10-12, which is fine, but I'd prefer to have more to run rooms more efficiently. If people are willing to staff the full tournament this Saturday [November 7th], please contact me at [email protected] or on Discord at buffalozulu#9605. I will pay you 15 dollars.
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by buffaloz1331 »

So, this tournament happened on Saturday. With the exception of a minor mishap with rosters/scoresheets right before the tournament that caused us to start ~4-5 minutes after 10, the tournament ran fairly smoothly. Depending on the bracket, the tournament ended between 6:15 and 6:45, which was exactly the time range I had eyed initially. I'd like to greatly thank all of my fantastic staffers [if you haven't already, let me know how I can get your payment to you]—you all did an amazing job running the room efficiently throughout the day. Special shoutout to Sinecio Morales, who spent a lot of time with me before the tournament to set up rooms and permissions so everything would be ready for tournament day, and to Josh Rollin and Danny Kim for stepping in right before the tournament/during the tournament to get us across the line, especially after several staffers dropped out before the tournament.

I used TJ Sheets for this tournament, and for the most part had no trouble—these scoresheets are excellently designed. I especially appreciated the ability to track which games had finished on the Control Sheet, which helped me move the brackets along as quickly as possible. I had some issues with exporting stats into a usable format, but it turns out that had more to do with my computer and software than anything wrong with TJ Sheets—a thank you to Kevin Zhang and Conor Thompson for troubleshooting with me, and a thank you to Matt Siff who eventually got the stats files uploaded correctly. I strongly recommend, for future TDs, using these scoresheets.

As for the tournament itself: Congratulations to Churchill A, who won the day with a 9-0 record, and Churchill B, who came in second with an 8-1 record, having lost only to their A team. Charles Heydt from Howard, Tate Osborne from Monrovia, and Anish Borole from Churchill B were the top three scorers at the tournament, congratulations all! Stats are posted here.

I want to thank all the teams for participating and spending their Saturday playing quizbowl. I know that it was a fairly long day, though I'm not sure there was anything logistical we could've done to speed along the process. Thank you all for sticking it out and playing all the rounds—I hope you enjoyed playing. It was a pleasure to run this tournament!
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by powerneg »

This tournament was quick and great! Thank you for running this tournament!
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Re: Fall Online Middle School Tournament [RAFT II]

Post by StockierAsp9634 »

I agree with Neev. I had a lot of fun playing this tournament. Big thanks to the writers of RAFT II, Arthur for TD-ing, and all the staff that helped make the day more enjoyable for me.
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