2012 NAC

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2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sun May 20, 2012 7:24 pm

So, this is happening again this year. This is Chip's national tournament, the National Academic Championship, which will take place in three locations this year, as in past years. Taking some notes from last year's thread on this a lot of people thought that this didn't really belong in the "National Tournaments" thread, so if a moderator agrees with that, go ahead and move it I guess.

Anyway, for anyone who is going, the schedules for the prelims are all online (teams play 6 prelim matches over the course of 2 days, 4-2 and better teams go on to the playoffs on the third day)

New Orleans Schedule (this weekend): http://qunlimited.com/nosche11.htm

Washington Schedule (next weekend): http://qunlimited.com/wasched11.htm

Chicago Schedule (the weekend after that): http://qunlimited.com/chsched11.htm

The top team from New Orleans and the top team from Washington go to Chicago to join the top 2 teams there for the playoffs. Regarding good teams attending NAC, The following are all of the Morlan-Ranked teams that I know to be attending:

High Tech (21) (DC)
Ardsley (41) (DC)
Irvington (76) (DC)
Copley (86) (CH)
White Plains (96) (NO)
Harrison (98) (NO)
Manheim Township (141) (DC)
Daviess County (170) (CH)
Hawken (32*) (CH) [it's their middle school]

Feel free to discuss whatever you want regarding the tournament, what may happen, what did happen once it happens, etc. Though, notably, the same questions are used at each site, so discussing questions is probably a bad idea.

EDIT1: I am bad at time words, EDIT2: Fred Morlan's end of season rankings made the list longer
Last edited by Scaled Flowerpiercer on Thu May 24, 2012 12:15 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Public safety diving » Sun May 20, 2012 7:27 pm

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:So, this is happening again last year.

NAC has time travel now?
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Matt Weiner » Sun May 20, 2012 7:33 pm

Communi-Bear Silo State wrote:
Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:So, this is happening again last year.

NAC has time travel now?


Every NAC is like time travel to quizbowl in 1985!
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun May 20, 2012 7:38 pm

It's really sad that this many decent teams still attend this worthless nationals.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun May 20, 2012 7:56 pm

Boo to Hawken, James Island, Copley, St. Ignatius, LAMP, Ardsley, Booker T. Washington, and all the other teams here who should know better. You can't really begrudge the teams who are unaware of other nationals or any of the problems with Chip for making the unlucky decision to register for this event, but all of the teams who actively choose to spend money on this tournament despite knowing about the problems with this event and the alternative nationals really need to cut this crap out.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby jonah » Sun May 20, 2012 7:56 pm

Does anyone know which St. Ignatius that is?
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby NickConderWKU » Sun May 20, 2012 8:52 pm

I'm disappointed to see Daviess County attending NAC again. I don't know how much they know about other nationals, but they're in my area and I wish they were at NSC or HSNCT considering how good they were this year.

What I'm most curious about is the participation of JV and middle school teams at NAC. For a guy who accused other tournaments of being "JV nationals" just a few years ago, it looks like Chip is the only one running an actual JV national tournament. While I don't feel any such event is necessary, I wonder if this one of the few things keeping NAC viable in the eyes of the teams that attend.

As for middle school teams, I'm hoping that MSNCT is going to keep middle school NAC from becoming too entrenched. A standalone middle school national tournament is obviously going to have more legitimacy than whatever NAC is, and MSNCT seems like a big success so far.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby cchiego » Sun May 20, 2012 8:54 pm

So is there any way we can try to figure out which teams here are in which one of the following categories? I made a Google Doc for outreach purposes here.

- Don't know any better (outreach failure)
- Misconceptions about Good Questions or Good Nationals (information failure)
- Fossilized Admin/Coach (institutional failure)
- Trophy Whores Who Know Very Well What They're Doing (morality failure)

The first two can be corrected with a relatively minor bit of effort on behalf of good QB.

Fruita Monument I know is a team from Western Colorado--they seemed very competitive in their local league. I think I saw several other AUK-bowl people in there too. They likely just don't know about good QB.

Looks like Mississippi is sadly well represented there along with several Texas teams. I see several Arkansas teams on there too. Watson Chapel--WTF? They do quite well at real QB. Why are they still going to :chip: ?

I count 48 at Chicago, 84 at Washington, and 48 at NO (although it looks like a team or two is attending two). This is the perfect list for outreach. Any pseudo-national organization that professes to care about expanding good QB should snail mail, email, and call the coach at every one of these schools as soon as school starts up again in the fall. I even set it up for y'all on the Google Doc.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby the return of AHAN » Sun May 20, 2012 9:36 pm

Sulawesi Myzomela wrote:I'm disappointed to see Daviess County attending NAC again. I don't know how much they know about other nationals, but they're in my area and I wish they were at NSC or HSNCT considering how good they were this year.

What I'm most curious about is the participation of JV and middle school teams at NAC. For a guy who accused other tournaments of being "JV nationals" just a few years ago, it looks like Chip is the only one running an actual JV national tournament. While I don't feel any such event is necessary, I wonder if this one of the few things keeping NAC viable in the eyes of the teams that attend.

As for middle school teams, I'm hoping that MSNCT is going to keep middle school NAC from becoming too entrenched. A standalone middle school national tournament is obviously going to have more legitimacy than whatever NAC is, and MSNCT seems like a big success so far.


Longfellow has won the Junior NAC the past three years, but will NOT be defending their championship this year. So, send some kudos to coach Eugene Huang... I'm curious to hear how the fact they're not coming back gets spun in this year's final QU write-up.

OTOH, Hawken and Danville Bate are attending the Chicago site of Jr. NAC. Curiously, I detect zero IHSA schools in the high school NAC at Chicago.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Sun May 20, 2012 9:49 pm

Horned Screamer wrote:Boo to Hawken, James Island, Copley, St. Ignatius, LAMP, Ardsley, Booker T. Washington, and all the other teams here who should know better. You can't really begrudge the teams who are unaware of other nationals or any of the problems with Chip for making the unlucky decision to register for this event, but all of the teams who actively choose to spend money on this tournament despite knowing about the problems with this event and the alternative nationals really need to cut this crap out.


For us, this was a case of the fossilized administration that Chris pointed out upthread. This will hopefully change next year, as almost everyone connected with the current program is likely leaving the school, so we'll get to experience one of the rare upsides of lack of institutional continuity...
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sun May 20, 2012 9:57 pm

cchiego wrote:
- Don't know any better (outreach failure)
- Misconceptions about Good Questions or Good Nationals (information failure)
- Fossilized Admin/Coach (institutional failure)
- Trophy Whores Who Know Very Well What They're Doing (morality failure)


For Irvington, part of the issue is "Fossilized Admin/Coach," part of the issue is "Trophy Whores Who..." and part of the issue are people who sincerely prefer QU-questions...I fought hard to get us elsewhere, and lost.


cchiego wrote:I count 48 at Chicago, 84 at Washington, and 48 at NO

And I count 16 JNAC at Washington, 19 at Chicago, and 11 at NO - so assuming our numbers are both correct, that leaves 134 Varsity teams and 46 Middle School teams in the competition.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Fake 4-ball » Sun May 20, 2012 10:27 pm

cchiego wrote:- Don't know any better (outreach failure)
- Misconceptions about Good Questions or Good Nationals (information failure)
- Fossilized Admin/Coach (institutional failure)
- Trophy Whores Who Know Very Well What They're Doing (morality failure)

North Babylon fits the second of those. They went to HSNCT once, decided they didn't like it, and started playing :chip: instead.
I assume the Smithtowns fit under the third category. They've always gone to the NAC, but what's really weird is how drastically their regular season has changed. A few years ago they were attending every single tournament on Long Island with multiple teams, but this year all they've done is go to some bizarre tournament in a part of Maryland nobody's heard of.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby ProfessorIanDuncan » Sun May 20, 2012 10:39 pm

I know that i'm wasting my time here, but can we please not use this thread to bash NAC. Its pointless. The people who go to NAC and are on the forums semi-frequently know its bad and those who dont know its bad aren't on the forums. There are some people who are genuinely interested at what happens at NAC. Just think of it as paying attention to a pyramidal tournament which is far far away from your own region; if its not of interest to you dont bother commenting or even reading this thread. No one here is going to say that Chip bowl is the pinnacle of all quizbowl and should be hailed as a deity. As for the reason that our school is going to NAC, i think part of it is just that we have a couple of players who are just better suited for playing Chip bowl (one who just knows random useless stuff that doesn't come up in pyramidal and another who shares :chip: 's antiquated pop culture taste). Also i counted 27 varsity teams at both Chicago and New Orleans, maybe i just suck at math, but that seems wrong. I know that DC has way more but how many i have to assume that the previously stated number is correct. Finally, does anyone else think its stupid that the phase with the most people isnt the one sending 2 teams to the final four?

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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Sun May 20, 2012 11:20 pm

William Crotch wrote:
cchiego wrote:- Don't know any better (outreach failure)
- Misconceptions about Good Questions or Good Nationals (information failure)
- Fossilized Admin/Coach (institutional failure)
- Trophy Whores Who Know Very Well What They're Doing (morality failure)

North Babylon fits the second of those. They went to HSNCT once, decided they didn't like it, and started playing :chip: instead.
I assume the Smithtowns fit under the third category. They've always gone to the NAC, but what's really weird is how drastically their regular season has changed. A few years ago they were attending every single tournament on Long Island with multiple teams, but this year all they've done is go to some bizarre tournament in a part of Maryland nobody's heard of.


I think North Babylon's actually in the third category. I talked to Brian during a taping of The Challenge, and it seems like the team prefers NAQT, but they weren't able to convince their coach to go to HSNCT this year
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun May 20, 2012 11:39 pm

The attendance of High Tech is probably the most distressing here. They are a great quizbowl team but this is a huge mistake, and a waste of their time and money to go to this.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby theplankt » Mon May 21, 2012 12:06 am

High Tech is fully aware of the various problems with the NAC and does not support it.

We are attending because the varsity team does not feel it is fair to divert district resources from younger teams due to our district's specific policies* with funding competitions.
We think it is practical for us to "whore for trophies" if it encourages the district to approve funding for more pyramidal tournaments next year. That's why we were able to vastly expand the pyramidal number of tournaments we attended this year.

We are plenty distressed with our attendance as well.



*The district allows a club to only attend one national conference sponsored by, and partially financially supported by, the district. The choice came down to having the district support our attendance at HSNCT, or having the district support us and two younger teams going to NAC. That's why we are paying out of pocket for HSNCT.

[edited for grammar]
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Mon May 21, 2012 12:15 am

Down and out in Quintana Roo wrote:The attendance of High Tech is probably the most distressing here. They are a great quizbowl team but this is a huge mistake, and a waste of their time and money to go to this.


EDIT: Angela said everything I was going to say
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Auroni » Mon May 21, 2012 12:22 am

We are attending because the varsity team does not feel it is fair to divert district resources from younger teams due to our district's specific policies* with funding competitions.


You're doing the younger teams a great disservice.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon May 21, 2012 12:37 am

Why can't you use that money for the younger teams instead on the (cheaper) HSNCT?
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby theplankt » Mon May 21, 2012 12:51 am

I'm sorry, I forgot to mention another part of the policy: the district only sponsors the club to attend national conferences for which it wins first place in a qualifying tournament. The varsity team attended the same tournaments as the younger teams. Therefore, it would have been nearly impossible for us to qualify multiple teams for HSNCT by district standards.

If it matters, while the team was deliberating on which national competition to attend with district support, we were informed that the district already committed to sending teams to NAC anyway.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Mon May 21, 2012 4:16 pm

I was inspired by the Graph on the qbwiki page for NAC, this is a graph going up to this year showing the relative attendance of NAC, HSNCT, NSC, Junior NAC, and MSNCT

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/34972177/Natioa ... ndance.png
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby bmanzo44 » Mon May 21, 2012 10:35 pm

The Predictable Consequences wrote:
William Crotch wrote:
cchiego wrote:- Don't know any better (outreach failure)
- Misconceptions about Good Questions or Good Nationals (information failure)
- Fossilized Admin/Coach (institutional failure)
- Trophy Whores Who Know Very Well What They're Doing (morality failure)

North Babylon fits the second of those. They went to HSNCT once, decided they didn't like it, and started playing :chip: instead.
I assume the Smithtowns fit under the third category. They've always gone to the NAC, but what's really weird is how drastically their regular season has changed. A few years ago they were attending every single tournament on Long Island with multiple teams, but this year all they've done is go to some bizarre tournament in a part of Maryland nobody's heard of.


I think North Babylon's actually in the third category. I talked to Brian during a taping of The Challenge, and it seems like the team prefers NAQT, but they weren't able to convince their coach to go to HSNCT this year


I'd agree more with Ryan here. It certainly wasn't that we didn't enjoy HSNCT, in fact that was by far my favorite nationals, even though I was only in 9th grade at the time. The abundance of good quiz bowl along with the interesting Kinbaku people (anyone else remember that?) provided for a great weekend. Just the way things worked out, we ended up deciding to make the trip to New Orleans this year. With any luck, I'm hoping that we will return to HSNCT next year, and hopefully make that our regular national tournament.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Great Bustard » Tue May 22, 2012 2:22 pm

Sulawesi Myzomela wrote:What I'm most curious about is the participation of JV and middle school teams at NAC. For a guy who accused other tournaments of being "JV nationals" just a few years ago, it looks like Chip is the only one running an actual JV national tournament.


NHBB had 48 JV teams (defined as no one in 11th or 12th grade, which is a much fairer way of doing it than Chip's rule of 41 (all grade numbers must sum to 41 or less, meaning that you can have both a Junior and Senior on a JV team) at its JV Nationals this year. But the point is valid in terms of all subject qb.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Great Bustard » Tue May 22, 2012 2:46 pm

cchiego wrote:- Don't know any better (outreach failure)
- Misconceptions about Good Questions or Good Nationals (information failure)
- Fossilized Admin/Coach (institutional failure)
- Trophy Whores Who Know Very Well What They're Doing (morality failure)


In addition to the above reasons and the existence of a JV division (which even though I think it's oddly defined is a reason teams will cite to go to NAC), two other reasons why QU gets the numbers they do haven't been mentioned, and deserve discussion. The first is the three-site set up, which makes it much more affordable for teams to attend. Consider all the teams within a six hour drive of one of the three QU sites. Then consider how many are within a six hour drive of Atlanta. That certainly matters for many schools, and I wonder if NAQT would ever consider going over to this model. Long term, this is very likely the route NHBB is going to go in order both to keep Nationals growing at a sustainable rate for years to come (though of course next year the field cap is in place), but also to knock down teams' travel costs which are often way more than the tournament fee. The fact that HSNCT is slightly cheaper than NAC (and History Bowl even cheaper than HSNCT) is small potatoes compared to the cost of flights (and hotel rooms, if teams are within a 2-3 hour drive of the site). You can throw NSC into the mix here too, I know, but the level of difficulty of the teams and questions there, combined with a much lower field cap, are reasons why the NAC / NSC pool of overlap is very limited.
The second point relates to qualification. NHBB is pretty generous in requiring at the Varsity level a 3-2 record or better at any of our tournaments, but NAQT only officially extends bids to the top 15%. In many competitive areas, that means good teams are left out. Now I know NAQT has a wild card policy, but I do wonder how many teams just don't have it cross their mind to attend HSNCT because of this. Has anyone looked and seen how many of the teams going to NAC actually qualified for HSNCT? This obviously doesn't apply to High Tech, Ardsley, Irvington, etc., but I'm sure this is a major consideration that is rarely discussed. And on top of that, many of those teams if they went to HSNCT would go 2-8 or worse. Finally, many (though I know not all) teams of this ilk are also more likely to favor the distribution at NAC and also not mind having fewer games, single elim playoffs, etc.
Finally, please understand that I am raising these points not in defense of NAC, but rather because these are all reasons why teams go there that often aren't mentioned, perhaps because they are harder to cite objections to than the points Chris mentioned. Any discussion of the merits of the different National tournaments that overlooks these points is not a complete discussion that would benefit all concerned. I'd be interested to hear a response from Jeff and/or NAQT and Sarah and/or PACE to mention whether any of these points have crossed their minds, and if so, how they'd respond to them.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby bird bird bird bird bird » Tue May 22, 2012 3:15 pm

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:the three-site set up ... I wonder if NAQT would ever consider going over to this model.


I don't think we would ever consider a multiple-site model; we think the downsides (notably: 1) playing a largely regional field instead of a national one and 2) finding a playoff format that balances differing field strengths among the sites) outweigh the upside of decreasing travel costs.

Has anyone looked and seen how many of the teams going to NAC actually qualified for HSNCT?


I will be doing this sometime tomorrow or Thursday (after HSNCT itself is at the printer).
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby btressler » Tue May 22, 2012 3:34 pm

cchiego wrote:- Don't know any better (outreach failure)
- Misconceptions about Good Questions or Good Nationals (information failure)
- Fossilized Admin/Coach (institutional failure)
- Trophy Whores Who Know Very Well What They're Doing (morality failure)


Also add:

- Prize for winning competition (e.g. television tournament)

Wilmington Charter was in that category for several years. I was to the point that the next time we won I was ready to offer the trip to the second place team as long as my students could keep the scholarship money.

But then the economy tanked and Comcast decided they couldn't fund the tournament anymore.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Matt Weiner » Tue May 22, 2012 5:39 pm

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:You can throw NSC into the mix here too, I know, but the level of difficulty of the teams and questions there


Good point about difficilty. Given that NSC has been the statistically easiest national tournament for 10 years running, it's likely that some bad teams avoid it since their chances of pulling out an undeserved win through lucking out on what material happens to be answerable in a given round are substantially lower than at NAC, where random trivia with no relevance to academic topics skews every game.

I think one of the issues with the multi-site model is that teams not in the title hunt don't get the "nationals experience" of playing the best teams, watching the title games, etc. Obviously it's impossible to play the best teams at NAC in the first place, but it's sort of weird to have a three-day tournament that ends with the crowning of the....team that qualifies for the semifinals in two weeks, rather than the champion. Both because of that and because of the extreme dilution of field quality necessary to attract 150 teams to the NAC in the era of exactly 2 Top 50 programs participating, I doubt you will see the NSC move to a similar model.

My view on HSNCT is that, at some point, the tournament will become too physically large to run at one site in one day, and will end up doing some sort of split prelim across Saturday and Sunday with playoffs on Monday. Surely they picked Memorial Day weekend for a reason...
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby bird bird bird bird bird » Tue May 22, 2012 5:59 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:at some point, the [HSNCT] will become too physically large to run at one site in one day, and will end up doing some sort of split prelim across Saturday and Sunday with playoffs on Monday. Surely they picked Memorial Day weekend for a reason...


This is entirely possible at some point in the future, but we have no immediate plans to move toward a three-day HSNCT.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Tue May 22, 2012 6:18 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:I think one of the issues with the multi-site model is that teams not in the title hunt don't get the "nationals experience" of playing the best teams, watching the title games, etc. Obviously it's impossible to play the best teams at NAC in the first place, but it's sort of weird to have a three-day tournament that ends with the crowning of the....team that qualifies for the semifinals in two weeks, rather than the champion. Both because of that and because of the extreme dilution of field quality necessary to attract 150 teams to the NAC in the era of exactly 2 Top 50 programs participating, I doubt you will see the NSC move to a similar model.


As someone who has attended/will attend NAC, I agree that these are some of the biggest issues with the 3-site format. Last year my team went to NAC far away from home, so we didn't play familiar teams (though between our A and B team we played 3 teams from the same school...) but at the upcoming NAC, we (a team from New York) will be playing High Tech (from New Jersey, we have been to many local tournaments this year with them) and 2 teams from Pennsylvania. Actually, between High Tech A will be playing 2 Westchester teams in their 6 prelim rounds. Sure, Chip's disregard to diversifying the prelims is part of this cause, but the whole 3-site nationals makes playing teams around you a huge issue. Also, especially this year, 3 sites is especially awkward, as there will be 2 semifinalists from Chicago, and 1 each from Washington and DC...though Washington has almost twice as many teams as the other site. The only other national tournament Irvington has attended is NHBB, and (though last year it was smaller and less diverse), this year there was a great amount of geographic diversity, and I think most people on my team considered playing new and interesting teams to be a plus. In 10 prelim rounds we played one nearby school, and even so we had never played that school before (Mountain Lakes).
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Great Bustard » Tue May 22, 2012 6:23 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:You can throw NSC into the mix here too, I know, but the level of difficulty of the teams and questions there


Given that NSC has been the statistically easiest national tournament for 10 years running


How much of this is a function of who goes to it, though? In any case, the field itself is far and away the strongest field (NASAT aside) at any Nationals so if you consider difficulty not as a function of tossups converted but as how a theoretical team ranked outside the top 150 or so would do against the teams that go there, the point still holds. The bigger point here is if PACE stays with a field cap in the 55-80 team range, for various reasons, does it want those spots to go to teams well beyond the top 100 in the country, if 55-80 teams in the top 100 want to attend it? This is a question entirely independent of NAC, but again, the other question holds - how many of the teams going to NAC qualified for NSC? Maybe it's considerably more than I think, but what do you say to those teams who don't qualify for either HSNCT or NSC? To answer my own question, one answer is save your money for the future and get better, but that begs the question, since that would then mean that various other teams wouldn't qualify, as long as qualification is a function of being a top team. Again, this is not a defense of NAC, but rather I'm raising this question since no one almost ever seems to bother to ask it, and this is a significant point. NHBB, for its part, will continue providing its own pyramidal Nationals for those interested who qualify for it and don't qualify for others, so that's another answer to my own question of sorts.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby NickConderWKU » Tue May 22, 2012 6:50 pm

Considering how easy it is to get a wildcard bid for HSNCT, I'm not sure I buy the argument that everyone at NAC is there because they couldn't make it to a real national tournament. And I get the feeling that one of the main reasons NAC uses the three-site model is not only just to keep attendance up, but because the increased amount of attendance fees helps their bottom-line. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I'm sure NAQT has similar motives for the ever expanding HSNCT field, but let's not act like NAC is some altruistic haven for fourth tier quizbowl teams looking to get better.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Public safety diving » Tue May 22, 2012 8:04 pm

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:How much of this is a function of who goes to it, though? In any case, the field itself is far and away the strongest field (NASAT aside) at any Nationals so if you consider difficulty not as a function of tossups converted but as how a theoretical team ranked outside the top 150 or so would do against the teams that go there, the point still holds.

If you compare the PPB of teams that went to both HSNCT and NSC, you will notice that bonus conversion is higher for those teams at NSC.

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:What do you say to those teams who don't qualify for either HSNCT or NSC?

Going to nationals is not a right. You have to earn it.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Tue May 22, 2012 8:11 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:Good point about difficilty. Given that NSC has been the statistically easiest national tournament for 10 years running, it's likely that some bad teams avoid it since their chances of pulling out an undeserved win through lucking out on what material happens to be answerable in a given round are substantially lower than at NAC, where random trivia with no relevance to academic topics skews every game.


As someone who was played many QUnlimited packets, I can say pretty definitely that, not counting the nearly-unanswerable obscurata, NAC questions are vastly easier than NSC questions, no matter how much easier it is than HSNCT, except for a select few, I imagine most of NAC's field would get <100 ppg on NSC questions (against equal competition).
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Tue May 22, 2012 8:22 pm

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:As someone who was played many QUnlimited packets, I can say pretty definitely that, not counting the nearly-unanswerable obscurata, NAC questions are vastly easier than NSC questions, no matter how much easier it is than HSNCT, except for a select few, I imagine most of NAC's field would get <100 ppg on NSC questions (against equal competition).


I think that's a key point of Weiner's statement.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Tue May 22, 2012 8:38 pm

Fred wrote:
Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:As someone who was played many QUnlimited packets, I can say pretty definitely that, not counting the nearly-unanswerable obscurata, NAC questions are vastly easier than NSC questions, no matter how much easier it is than HSNCT, except for a select few, I imagine most of NAC's field would get <100 ppg on NSC questions (against equal competition).


I think that's a key point of Weiner's statement.


Yes, but the average amount of "nearly-unanswerable obscurata" is not huge, and also whereas a very hard NSC question is hard because teams would be unfamiliar with the answer line, very hard NAC questions sometimes are very guessable due to really easy answer lines having hard clues (eg a tossup on Beethoven where the only real clues are "this guy played piano" and some super obscure piece he did (I think Der Wachtelschlag))

Anyway, I don't think the difficulty argument is going to go anywhere - I doubt anyone chose NAC over HSNCT, etc because of question difficulty (though as we know some may have because they prefer the distribution or because of field difficulty)
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Matt Weiner » Wed May 23, 2012 6:11 am

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:As someone who was played many QUnlimited packets, I can say pretty definitely that, not counting the nearly-unanswerable obscurata, NAC questions are vastly easier than NSC questions, no matter how much easier it is than HSNCT, except for a select few, I imagine most of NAC's field would get <100 ppg on NSC questions (against equal competition).


OK, but if you look at numbers instead of feelings, and you don't discount the unanswerable questions in one tournament when comparing the difficulty of two tournaments (!), the objective reality is that by any normalizing method, such as comparing the percentage of total available points converted by teams that went to both tournaments, or comparing the average scores of the median team, or anything you want to do, NSC is easier. My hypothesis on why this is, is because it asks things that high school quizbowl players know the answers to rather than questions on whatever strikes Chip Beall's fancy. People like to claim that good quizbowl is harder than bad quizbowl and that's why it's more "fair" or more "fun" for teams to hide out in bad tournaments, but it's objectively not true.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby jonpin » Wed May 23, 2012 9:40 am

My view on HSNCT is that, at some point, the tournament will become too physically large to run at one site in one day, and will end up doing some sort of split prelim across Saturday and Sunday with playoffs on Monday. Surely they picked Memorial Day weekend for a reason...

I think this is vastly superior to any multi-site model, because a multi-site model requires one of three things: (1) Asking a significant number of teams to pay for multiple trips, the second on short notice; (2) The company running the tournament to pay for several teams to travel on short notice; (3) A format that allows only the one or two teams from the first site to advance, necessitating a bad playoff format that does not accurately determine anything beyond second place, if that.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby theMoMA » Wed May 23, 2012 10:28 am

cchiego wrote:Trophy Whores Who Know Very Well What They're Doing (morality failure)


I'll piggyback on what Matt is saying. The NAC is a tournament that the top teams don't play, and that creates significantly more random results than the other two tournaments. Competitive teams that attend the tournament know that they're getting a watered-down field and a chance to beat any opponent on any packet. So basically you have fewer teams and the possibility that anyone can win. There are a lot more teams actually competing for the trophy.

Additionally, I think that some older coaches don't like the determinism of good quizbowl, where the better team wins a vast majority of the time. They would rather have bad, random questions with a chance to win than good, answerable questions with a much-reduced chance. This is certainly a moral failure, but it's one that we have a tough time countering.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby the return of AHAN » Wed May 23, 2012 11:41 am

theMoMA wrote:
cchiego wrote:Trophy Whores Who Know Very Well What They're Doing (morality failure)

So basically you have fewer teams and the possibility that anyone can win. There are a lot more teams actually competing for the trophy.


This has NOT been the case with Junior NAC. Longfellow has run over the field for the past three years, and we know they're a top 3 program during that stretch.

Additionally, I think that some older coaches don't like the determinism of good quizbowl, where the better team wins a vast majority of the time. They would rather have bad, random questions with a chance to win than good, answerable questions with a much-reduced chance. This is certainly a moral failure, but it's one that we have a tough time countering.

This. Some would rather flip coins when skill won't carry you to victory.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Wed May 23, 2012 2:00 pm

the return of AHAN wrote:
theMoMA wrote:
cchiego wrote:Trophy Whores Who Know Very Well What They're Doing (morality failure)

So basically you have fewer teams and the possibility that anyone can win. There are a lot more teams actually competing for the trophy.


This has NOT been the case with Junior NAC. Longfellow has run over the field for the past three years, and we know they're a top 3 program during that stretch.


There is still a positive correlation between "knowing things and being good at quizbowl" and "performing well at NAC," the size of the coefficient is significantly less than at NSC or HSNCT, but it still exists. For example, while Fred Morlan's rankings of teams last year had a correlation of 0.880297 with placement at NSC, playoff seeds at Chicago NAC had a 0.682806324 correlation with final placement at Chicago NAC* (Which, if anyone cares, leaves Morlan with an R^2=.7749, and NAC seeds with R^2=.466224)

*In theory this could be lower as first round byes tip the scale in correlation's favor

So clearly, there is SOME correlation between doing well and continuing to do well, it's not ENTIRELY random at NAC, but it is certainly much more random and there is much greater room for upsets based on luck.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby bird bird bird bird bird » Wed May 23, 2012 3:22 pm

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:Has anyone looked and seen how many of the teams going to NAC actually qualified for HSNCT?


I count 107 high schools (schools, not teams) attending the 2012 NAC. Of those schools, 32 of them qualified for HSNCT.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby jonpin » Wed May 23, 2012 7:46 pm

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:
the return of AHAN wrote:
theMoMA wrote:
cchiego wrote:Trophy Whores Who Know Very Well What They're Doing (morality failure)

So basically you have fewer teams and the possibility that anyone can win. There are a lot more teams actually competing for the trophy.


This has NOT been the case with Junior NAC. Longfellow has run over the field for the past three years, and we know they're a top 3 program during that stretch.


There is still a positive correlation between "knowing things and being good at quizbowl" and "performing well at NAC," the size of the coefficient is significantly less than at NSC or HSNCT, but it still exists. For example, while Fred Morlan's rankings of teams last year had a correlation of 0.880297 with placement at NSC, playoff seeds at Chicago NAC had a 0.682806324 correlation with final placement at Chicago NAC* (Which, if anyone cares, leaves Morlan with an R^2=.7749, and NAC seeds with R^2=.466224)

*In theory this could be lower as first round byes tip the scale in correlation's favor

So clearly, there is SOME correlation between doing well and continuing to do well, it's not ENTIRELY random at NAC, but it is certainly much more random and there is much greater room for upsets based on luck.


What you've shown is that there is a positive though not sensational correlation between "Doing well at NAC on Saturday" and "Doing well at NAC on Sunday", where teams that are eliminated at the same time in a single-elimination tournament are almost surely ranked in the same order as their seeds. So there is such a skill as "good at Chip-bowl", but that doesn't mean that is identical to "good at quiz bowl".
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Wed May 23, 2012 7:55 pm

jonpin wrote:What you've shown is that there is a positive though not sensational correlation between "Doing well at NAC on Saturday" and "Doing well at NAC on Sunday", where teams that are eliminated at the same time in a single-elimination tournament are almost surely ranked in the same order as their seeds. So there is such a skill as "good at Chip-bowl", but that doesn't mean that is identical to "good at quiz bowl".


Yeah I realized that after doing that, I guess the only significant thing from that knowledge is reinforcing that "there is definitely a fair bit of randomness at NAC," and it doesn't really prove anything about what that non-random aspect is. (which accounts for a fair deal less than 50% of the variation) - I guess the only evidence that good quizbowl performance is vaguely correlated with with NAC performance would be looking at teams like past years' Longfellow, last year's Ardsley and High Tech, etc, though of course teams like last year's Harrison show us that you don't need to be particularly great at pyramidal quizbowl to win NAC.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Strange Fascination » Wed May 23, 2012 10:07 pm

If you kidnapped a team from the top bracket (or however it is they do it) of NAC, they would probably be moderately decent at HSNCT. I think though that if you were to send a top team from regular quizbowl into a Chip tournament, they would come out not as the top team because the format and the questions are just so different. When RM went in 2009, we didn't put our best foot forward and the program was at its worse point probably since 2000 at the latest, but I still expected us to go at least 4-2 just because these teams didn't have any street cred on the circuit. But we went in there and got wrecked by these teams that wouldn't even smell a HSNCT top bracket. It's like comparing football to Aussie Rules football. With a little training, a NFL Pro-Bowler could be a top Aussie footballer, and vice versa, because there's a shared skill set, but it's hard to say how Troy Polamalu would do if we dropped him on a field in Melbourne. A top NAC team, given a year of playing pyramidal and with some motivation to adjust to the format, could do really well. I think the reverse would also be true, but I don't want to test that because that's just cruel.

I'd love to see how last year's NAC champs would have fared at HSNCT just as much as I would like to see how last year's HSNCT champ would have done at NAC. Harrison could have been a top-bracket team for all we know (or they could have went 4-6) but NAC is so wack that we can't really be sure if State College would have made it to the final stage.

As an aside regarding Longfellow, I was talking with their coach at History Bowl nationals, he said that he has forever severed ties with Chip. The only reason he went was that Junior NAC was the only Middle School championship, and Mr. Huang likes winning national championships as much as the next guy. But now that MSNCT exists he has no reason to deal with :chip: and won't.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Public safety diving » Wed May 23, 2012 10:27 pm

Edward Cullen Bryant wrote:I'd love to see how last year's NAC champs would have fared at HSNCT just as much as I would like to see how last year's HSNCT champ would have done at NAC. Harrison could have been a top-bracket team for all we know (or they could have went 4-6) but NAC is so wack that we can't really be sure if State College would have made it to the final stage.

As a matter of fact, in 2008, Wilmington Charter finished 2nd at HSNCT and 2nd at NAC.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby the return of AHAN » Wed May 23, 2012 10:46 pm

Edward Cullen Bryant wrote:As an aside regarding Longfellow, I was talking with their coach at History Bowl nationals, he said that he has forever severed ties with Chip. The only reason he went was that Junior NAC was the only Middle School championship, and Mr. Huang likes winning national championships as much as the next guy. But now that MSNCT exists he has no reason to deal with :chip: and won't.

Which confirms precisely what I've told everyone about Mr. Huang. He's a top-shelf individual! :smile:
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Wed May 23, 2012 11:43 pm

Edward Cullen Bryant wrote:A top NAC team, given a year of playing pyramidal and with some motivation to adjust to the format, could do really well. I think the reverse would also be true, but I don't want to test that because that's just cruel.

I'd love to see how last year's NAC champs would have fared at HSNCT just as much as I would like to see how last year's HSNCT champ would have done at NAC. Harrison could have been a top-bracket team for all we know (or they could have went 4-6) but NAC is so wack that we can't really be sure if State College would have made it to the final stage.


oh hi there
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Wed May 23, 2012 11:57 pm

The Predictable Consequences wrote:
Edward Cullen Bryant wrote:A top NAC team, given a year of playing pyramidal and with some motivation to adjust to the format, could do really well. I think the reverse would also be true, but I don't want to test that because that's just cruel.

I'd love to see how last year's NAC champs would have fared at HSNCT just as much as I would like to see how last year's HSNCT champ would have done at NAC. Harrison could have been a top-bracket team for all we know (or they could have went 4-6) but NAC is so wack that we can't really be sure if State College would have made it to the final stage.


oh hi there


Yeah, between High Tech and Ardsley, I would say there is a decent chance that this year's NAC champ (or at least the DC champ/2nd place team, whatever) will be at HSNCT this year (though Irvington wouldn't mind making that not be the case...)
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Ben Dillon » Thu May 24, 2012 12:57 am

A warning to NAC teams: Harrison, the defending champs, returned everyone from last year's team. They won Indiana's QU State Championship this year and finished a narrow runnerup at NAQT Rotary State (to Culver Academies). They should be considered a strong threat to repeat.

They are solid on pyramidal quiz bowl and don't shy away from NAQT tournaments in the state. They do, however, stick with NAC, so they will not be attending HSNCT or NSC.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby merv1618 » Thu May 24, 2012 1:53 pm

Ben Dillon wrote: They do, however, stick with NAC, so they will not be attending HSNCT or NSC.


http://naqt.com/stats/team-performance. ... m_id=41153
It's true, they're not terrible. It's a shame they don't even try to look at other national tournaments.
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