ACF policy question about HS teams

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ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Nick » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:38 am

My question--largely for the ACF powers-that-be/veterans-- is regarding an official rule for field caps/limitations regarding high school versus college teams.

The situation at UVA’s ACF Fall site seems to be that the field went from smaller (about 6) to larger (about 20) very very quickly after which the TD decided to only permit college teams to register. And from this point on, any more open spots/rooms that are secured will go to college teams, meaning any more high school teams are essentially no longer permitted to attend?

What is ACF’s policy on this? Do they have one? Is the policy that site hosts are allowed to decide high school vs. college eligibility/attendance as they see fit? First come-first serve? All high school teams take a backseat to college teams? Or college teams take priority over high school teams at whatever time the TD thinks he may run out of rooms? Ability?- because it seems pretty clear that high school teams will finish in the top half, likely top five, of this tournament. And on top of this, the tournament is over three weeks away!

Another potential problem seems to be, although this may not be the case now, that if a team, could be high school or college team, spent time writing and submitting a packet, but then are barred from attending because of field restrictions (or a bunch of high school teams filled the field), that would be a bummer.

I know that high school teams attending ACF tournaments has become quite a bit more prevalent in the last few years, and so there may have been no need for such a policy, but I could understand from both a high school and college’s point of view why the situation may be seemingly unfair and need clarification.

Although this largely stems from the current situation at the UVA site of ACF Fall, I want to say that I’m sure Will Butler is doing everything he can to secure more rooms/staffers and hopefully by the time November comes this will be a nonissue. Either way, as (presumably) more teams become active, the need for such a rule seems to become more necessary.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Cheynem » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:55 am

(I am not a member of ACF. The opinion I am expressing here is actually contrary to ACF values.)

I have a reputation for not liking high schools and the way that the circuit has caused colleges and high schools to intertwine, so take my comments with that in mind. I am uncomfortable with what should be a "introductory college tournament" potentially turning away colleges to allow hard-working, industrious very talented high school teams to attend. I do not begrudge high school teams from wanting to attend ACF Fall, as it offers a change of pace and (somewhat) harder questions. However, I do not believe they are or should be ACF Fall's primary audience. Meaning no disrespect to anyone at the UVA field, I personally was a bit disturbed by how the site was taking on almost a pre-Nationals contest for various talented high school squads. On the one hand, this is exciting and it makes sense why high school teams would want to do this. On the other hand, I am uncomfortable with it.

In the end, though, I am unsure what solutions work. Should high school teams be put on some sort of waiting list for tournaments like Fall? Should there be divided fields (that wouldn't solve field cap problems)? I don't know if any of these are feasible, but as a person sincerely interested in quizbowl, I do not like to see local college teams unable to attend their closest ACF Fall. I am sure nobody likes to see this. But I will take the stance that it is preferable to see these local college teams at a Fall field than high school teams, especially high school teams not from the immediate area (again, no disrespect intended to any specific teams). I would like to see any policy ACF develops lean towards this stance, rather than a first come first served stance.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:18 am

Not speaking as a representative of UVA Quizbowl here: In the past, people have advertised ACF Fall as "NSC Prep" for the best high school teams, and as a good introductory college tournament for them. As a result, many high school teams are going to ACF Fall expecting strong competition on harder questions. However, this is no longer a desirable result. ACF Fall is meant to be slightly more difficult than a high school tournament, in order to accommodate a mostly inexperienced field peppered with a few strong teams. It cannot service fields full of the best high school teams from across the country; this is why NSC is now markedly harder than Fall. By attempting to use this tournament as such, we detract from its intended purpose.

As a member of UVA's club, I believe that the situation with our site is now under control. However, we have felt the first repercussions of the deceptive aura we've built up around ACF Fall. This tournament's mission does not coincide with that of an arena for national contenders to slug it out. There's no problem with, say, State College playing Fall, but we should not intentionally bill this tournament as a Fake NSC. A field that would be "stacked" at a high school tournament is probably too much for ACF Fall.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Edward Powers » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:08 am

Is the issue High School versus College, or is it the more prosaic one of a stunning lack of rooms at a great University? A field that cannot even reach 24 teams? I symapthize with Will because apparently he was taken by surprise by school administrators and rooms he thought he had available suddenly became unavailable. If true, shame on UVA---my graduate school of many many years ago.

Now I coach one of those teams that Mike Cheyne feels uncomfortable with---a high school team. And I respect and understand Mike's arguments, for I know he means no direspect to high schoolers and is simply trying to defend the college circuit. However, a little perspective is also in order, since the school I coach is not from the immediate area around UVA. But if we wanted to attend ACF Fall, our choices were Brandeis and UVA. Brandeis is a 4.5 hour drive, UVA about 6.5 hours--- Brandeis seems the better fit if we were to attend at all. But I am a UVA guy, and in my HS classes over the years, teaching US history, I often wax eloquent about Mr. Jefferson's "Academical Village" to my students. I saw an opportunity to give my kids a great experience and share with them some of my own from younger days by taking an overnight trip to UVA rather than a "day" trip to Brandeis, which I am sure is a wonderful venue. In fact, I was still deliberating between the two sites when I saw UVA filling up quickly on Wednesday morning, so I sent an email to gain a spot that I had been talking about with my kids. Granted, we are not a national powerouse like some of the other teams in the field, and we will probably have a hard time keeping up with some of the programs that have registered, both HS & College. Conversely, I have gifted kids on my squad, we are not afraid to compete, and, this may sound biased, the venue is exceptionally beautiful and historic, so irrespective of how well we play, my kids can gain some wonderful memories and see an exceptional institution. So, I decided to skip the one day trip to Brandeis and to register at UVA instead. This was the genesis of my team's entry into the UVA field.

Now suddenly there is talk that there are too many high schools wanting to attend ACF competitions? And Dorman is waitlisted? Dorman?!? Right after we successfuly registered to be the 16th or 17th team in the field---Dorman would have been the 18th or so? And I believe Dorman wrote a packet for this tournament; we did not. If if comes down to this, SJHS would be willing to let Dorman have our spot and we will register with Brandeis, which is closer and which has a small field of 6 or 7 thus far--and all are colleges, so we might spice it up with our little HS sqaud.

But let's be honest here---the issue is simply one of space. My high school could host 24-32 teams with no problem--but UVA can only host 20-22? And although I respect Matt Bollinger tremendously, his arguments fail to persuade. Unless my memory is terribly off base here, I believe that only last year he was on a great HS squad and he competed on several occasions at similar college tournaments against similar outstanding HS & Collegiate opposition. So since he did not oppose High School attendance then, his arguments now simply fall flat and do not convince (No offense, Matt). Further, once UVA was selected as the venue, was it not likely many high schools might want to come, to let its kids see this historic university while also facing outstanding competition? These were certainly my main motivations. And let's also be candid---at local circuits the same teams play over and over again---so what self-respecting squad with national aspirations would really want to ignore the opportunities to play a new and diverse and gifted field like the one assembling here? To suggest otherwise is to ignore one of the core virtues of quizbowl--the competitive drive for excellence against worthy opponents. Even if one loses, one can learn much from such outstanding opposition---so, do we really want to argue against the desire to develop competitive excellence? If not, then let's celebrate the fact that talented HS teams want to play College teams and each other as well. And again, I suspect that if Will could host 36-48 teams, or even more if the desire to register grew that high, there would be no issue here at all about HS Teams versus College teams. And if Colleges really wish to truly dissuade HS Teams( are you listening, Mike Cheyne?), then Colleges need to demonstrate their clear and overwhelming superiority. Until they do, HS Teams will continue to want to play--at least those aspiring to excellence will. And should we not praise this attitude rather than critique it?

Of course, maybe Will can find more rooms and this will all be a distant memory. But if not, my offer stands---since Dorman wrote a packet and we did not, I will trade our spot to Dorman and we will register at Brandeis. Sportsmanship, after all, is another of the great qualities that quizbowl teaches, and since UVA was Dorman's first choice, and since Dorman wrote a packet, I think this should give Dorman priority over us if you cannot find more space, since the Dorman registration and the SJHS registration were so close in time on Wednesday. I am quite serious about this. Let me know what you think. After all, taking on Harvard, Yale and RPI ,and whoever else eventially signs up at Brandeis, will also be no problem for my kids if it comes to that!!! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:48 am

If there are more teams than space, shouldn't, that mean someone should find another site to accommodate those teams?
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Edward Powers » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:07 am

Charlie, your question is logical, but you surely understand that it is more complicated than the logical issue of simply finding a new and larger site. First, UVA won the bid. Second, Will was surprised by his administration and now needs time to work this out. Third, it's possible that registrants have already made hotel and travel arrangements. Fourth, changing sites might lead to teams wiithdrawing---in otherwords, UVA itself might be part of the attraction---as I admitted it was for my squad. Given these and possibly other complicating factors, merely changing the site might not resolve the essential issues, and, in fact, my guess is that it would complicate them even more.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:30 am

Mr. Powers,
I obviously can't oppose high school participation in college events, since this is a positive thing for the reasons you mentioned. Frankly, though, there were 3 high school teams at last year's ACF Fall, and never more than 2 at any of the other events I attended. We are trying to accommodate 7 teams from across the country. You're right that if we had more rooms, this wouldn't be a problem, but again: I don't recall any Mid-Atlantic regular season event last year that had more than 20 teams. I don't know if we can or should give college teams priority here, but I think that the use of Fall as an NSC Sectional (to take Nick Clusserath's term) has to stop.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Broad-tailed Grassbird » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:57 am

Edward Powers wrote:Is the issue High School versus College, or is it the more prosaic one of a stunning lack of rooms at a great University? A field that cannot even reach 24 teams? I symapthize with Will because apparently he was taken by surprise by school administrators and rooms he thought he had available suddenly became unavailable. If true, shame on UVA---my graduate school of many many years ago.

Now I coach one of those teams that Mike Cheyne feels uncomfortable with---a high school team. And I respect and understand Mike's arguments, for I know he means no direspect to high schoolers and is simply trying to defend the college circuit. However, a little perspective is also in order, since the school I coach is not from the immediate area around UVA. But if we wanted to attend ACF Fall, our choices were Brandeis and UVA. Brandeis is a 4.5 hour drive, UVA about 6.5 hours--- Brandeis seems the better fit if we were to attend at all. But I am a UVA guy, and in my HS classes over the years, teaching US history, I often wax eloquent about Mr. Jefferson's "Academical Village" to my students. I saw an opportunity to give my kids a great experience and share with them some of my own from younger days by taking an overnight trip to UVA rather than a "day" trip to Brandeis, which I am sure is a wonderful venue. In fact, I was still deliberating between the two sites when I saw UVA filling up quickly on Wednesday morning, so I sent an email to gain a spot that I had been talking about with my kids. Granted, we are not a national powerouse like some of the other teams in the field, and we will probably have a hard time keeping up with some of the programs that have registered, both HS & College. Conversely, I have gifted kids on my squad, we are not afraid to compete, and, this may sound biased, the venue is exceptionally beautiful and historic, so irrespective of how well we play, my kids can gain some wonderful memories and see an exceptional institution. So, I decided to skip the one day trip to Brandeis and to register at UVA instead. This was the genesis of my team's entry into the UVA field.

Now suddenly there is talk that there are too many high schools wanting to attend ACF competitions? And Dorman is waitlisted? Dorman?!? Right after we successfuly registered to be the 16th or 17th team in the field---Dorman would have been the 18th or so? And I believe Dorman wrote a packet for this tournament; we did not. If if comes down to this, SJHS would be willing to let Dorman have our spot and we will register with Brandeis, which is closer and which has a small field of 6 or 7 thus far--and all are colleges, so we might spice it up with our little HS sqaud.

But let's be honest here---the issue is simply one of space. My high school could host 24-32 teams with no problem--but UVA can only host 20-22? And although I respect Matt Bollinger tremendously, his arguments fail to persuade. Unless my memory is terribly off base here, I believe that only last year he was on a great HS squad and he competed on several occasions at similar college tournaments against similar outstanding HS & Collegiate opposition. So since he did not oppose High School attendance then, his arguments now simply fall flat and do not convince (No offense, Matt). Further, once UVA was selected as the venue, was it not likely many high schools might want to come, to let its kids see this historic university while also facing outstanding competition? These were certainly my main motivations. And let's also be candid---at local circuits the same teams play over and over again---so what self-respecting squad with national aspirations would really want to ignore the opportunities to play a new and diverse and gifted field like the one assembling here? To suggest otherwise is to ignore one of the core virtues of quizbowl--the competitive drive for excellence against worthy opponents. Even if one loses, one can learn much from such outstanding opposition---so, do we really want to argue against the desire to develop competitive excellence? If not, then let's celebrate the fact that talented HS teams want to play College teams and each other as well. And again, I suspect that if Will could host 36-48 teams, or even more if the desire to register grew that high, there would be no issue here at all about HS Teams versus College teams. And if Colleges really wish to truly dissuade HS Teams( are you listening, Mike Cheyne?), then Colleges need to demonstrate their clear and overwhelming superiority. Until they do, HS Teams will continue to want to play--at least those aspiring to excellence will. And should we not praise this attitude rather than critique it?

Of course, maybe Will can find more rooms and this will all be a distant memory. But if not, my offer stands---since Dorman wrote a packet and we did not, I will trade our spot to Dorman and we will register at Brandeis. Sportsmanship, after all, is another of the great qualities that quizbowl teaches, and since UVA was Dorman's first choice, and since Dorman wrote a packet, I think this should give Dorman priority over us if you cannot find more space, since the Dorman registration and the SJHS registration were so close in time on Wednesday. I am quite serious about this. Let me know what you think. After all, taking on Harvard, Yale and RPI ,and whoever else eventially signs up at Brandeis, will also be no problem for my kids if it comes to that!!! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
I am now late for work, but reading that post was so worth it. Room reservations are sometimes screwed up, in this case it was an administrative change, right? Chicago could only handle 24 teams last year, but how often does a college tournament draw so many teams? EFT and ACF fall, that's really it. Then again, no one could have foreseen this issue before it happened.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Edward Powers » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:23 am

Matt,

I can understand that perhaps the size of the field has taken you by surprise if your facts about last year are accurate, and I have no reason to doubt that they are. If the norm is roughly 20 schools or so, and usually no more than a couple of high schools attend in any given year, then the sudden upsurge of interest must have been surprising to a certain extent. But the only real problem I see with this is that UVA Officials might not be willing to allow more classrooms to be used, and this would be unfortunate, for it would not let talented people like Will adapt to this novel situation and still run the best tournament possible. But the notion that the upsurge in interest from high schools has to be stopped puzzles me. Why is this a bad thing?

I suppose it might be bad if the idea is for ACF Fall to be another entry level type tournament for incoming college students, but by November, why would this be so? I certainly sympathize with Mike Cheyne if high schools are undermining college tournaments, but I do not see why this would necessarily be so. College students unable to compete with high schoolers? Further, what's the harm if you have excellent questions and teams like State College and Saint Anselm's and others like them wish to compete? Put yourself in State College's shoes for a moment. They are an exceptional team. Who in their local area can they play and play competitively? I imagine if they went to local HS tournaments they would overwhelm their opposition. So too with some of the other excellent high school teams that have registered---many of thier local peers on the high school level would simply be overwhelmed by them. So, can you blame them for seeking competition that is worthy of their earned abilties? Further, if we want quizbowl to exand, deepen and enrich the educational experiences of our high school and college students, why place artificial barriers between those who have achieved a certain level of erudition simply because they are somewhat younger? In short, why treat ACF Fall as if it were a fragile creature needing protection from hordes of high schoolers seeking to play what you've called NSC Sectionals? Are the questions at ACF Fall too easy? If so, the remedy is not to debar gifted high schoolers, but to make the questions more rigorous. If the questions are rigorous enough, then is the fear that high schoolers will defeat college players? Why must this be so? I would bet that a UVA team with you on it alone would be tough to defeat, and I bet UVa has other stellar candidates for its team. If the argument is that great high school teams are merely gearing up for nationals, again I do not see the problem. Why would not State College want to do this? Why would not a Dorman want to test itself against last year's best team? Or TJ? Or RM? Or Seven Lakes? And, in addition, they get to play Penn and Maryland and William & Mary and VCU and whoever else is in the field, and see an historic university in the process? Why isn't this a win-win for everyone? And, if the high school teams defeat the college teams, why would this not be an incentive for the college teams to improve? In short, except for the surprise size of the field, I do not understand why you see a problem with outstanding high school teams trying to play the best competition they can find, and I do not see why college quizbowlers who really care about the education would be disturbed by this.

But I respect you too much to leave it at this, so perhaps I am missing something important here that you see and I do not. If so, I'd love to hear it, because the last thing I would want to do would be to inadvertantly hurt the college quizbowl scene and perhaps I am doing this without being aware that I am. If you still think this is the case, I would love to know why you think so. And, if you have good arguments, I will join you in your efforts to persuade others to stop the use of ACF Fall as an NSC Sectional.
Last edited by Edward Powers on Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:25 am

Perhaps the quizbowl community should look to UTC for guidance on this one.

It would be inappropriate for college and masters teams to show up to HSNCT. They're not the intended audience. Many HSNCT players probably do not desire to play against college and masters team. So, UTC has set up a separate mirror of HSNCT that's marketed towards college and masters teams who want to play HSNCT. They can go there without disrupting the HSNCT field.

In regions with large populations of elite high school teams, you can run two different ACF Fall sites. One for high schoolers, one for new college teams. Everybody wins: the second host school gets richer, ACF gets richer, and both elite team player high schoolers and new college players get what they want.

(In theory, you could also run one site with two different brackets - like Div I and Div II in NAQT - but that probably requires more staff and rooms than any school currently has)
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by The Toad to Wigan Pier » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:53 am

Edward Powers wrote: If if comes down to this, SJHS would be willing to let Dorman have our spot and we will register with Brandeis, which is closer and which has a small field of 6 or 7 thus far--and all are colleges, so we might spice it up with our little HS sqaud.
I'll have more to say about why I did what I did later. For now I would like to address the quoted idea. Dorman is not far at all from the USC site(much closer than you are to Brandeis). From what I can tell they were registered for the USC site before they tried coming to our site and only tried because of the field. USC also is in need of more attendance based on their posted field. So I don't understand why you would want to give up your spot for them. Don't get me wrong, I wish it was possible for every team that wants to come to the UVA site to be able to come to the UVA site, but at the moment there are both college and high school teams that can't because of our registrars office.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:54 am

Edward Powers wrote:Matt,

I can understand that perhaps the size of the field has taken you by surprise if your facts about last year are accurate, and I have no reason to doubt that they are. If the norm is roughly 20 schools or so, and usually no more than a couple of high schools attend in any given year, then the sudden upsurge of interest must have been surprising to a certain extent. But the only real problem I see with this is that UVA Officials might not be willing to allow more classrooms to be used, and this would be unfortunate, for it would not let talented people like Will adapt to this novel situation and still run the best tournament possible. But the notion that the upsurge in interest from high schools has to be stopped puzzles me. Why is this a bad thing?

I suppose it might be bad if the idea is for ACF Fall to be another entry level type tournament for incoming college students, but by November, why would this be so? I certainly sympathize with Mike Cheyne if high schools are undermining college tournaments, but I do not see why this would necessarily be so. College students unable to compete with high schoolers? Further, what's the harm if you have excellent questions and teams like State College and Saint Anselm's and others like them wish to compete? Put yourself in State College's shoes for a moment. They are an exceptional team. Who in their local area can they play and play competitively? I imagine if they went to local HS tournaments they would overwhelm their opposition. So too with some of the other excellent high school teams that have registered---many of thier local peers on the high school level would simply be overwhelmed by them. So, can you blame them for seeking competition that is worthy of their earned abilties? Further, if we want quizbowl to exand, deepen and enrich the educational experiences of our high school and college students, why place artificial barriers between those who have achieved a certain level of erudition simply because they are somewhat younger? In short, why treat ACF Fall as if it were a fragile creature needing protection from hordes of high schoolers seeking to play what you've called NSC Sectionals? Are the questions at ACF Fall too easy? If so, the remedy is not to debar gifted high schoolers, but to make the questions more rigorous. If the questions are rigorous enough, then is the fear that high schoolers will defeat college players? Why must this be so? I would bet that a UVA team with you on it alone would be tough to defeat, and I bet UVa has other stellar candidates for its team. If the argument is that great high school teams are merely gearing up for nationals, again I do not see the problem. Why would not State College want to do this? Why would not a Dorman want to test itself against last year's best team? Or TJ? Or RM? or Seven Lakes? And, in addition, they get to play Penn and Maryland and Willaim & Mary and VCU and whoever else is in the field, and see an historic university in the process? Why isn't this a win-win for everyone? And, if the high school teams defeat the college teams, why would this not be an incentive for the college teams to improve? In short, except for the surprise size of the field, I do not understand why you see a problem with outstanding high school teams trying to play the best competition they can find, and I do not see why college quizbowlers who really care about the education would be disturbed by this.

Buit I respect you too much to leave it at this, so perhaps I am missing something important here that you see and I do not. If so, I'd love to hear it, because the last thing I would want to do would be to inadvertantly hurt the college quizbowl scene and perhaps I am doing this without being aware that I am. If you still think this is the case, I would love to know why you think so. And, if you have good arguments, I will join you in your efforts to persuade others to stop the use of ACF Fall as an NSC Sectional.
Mr. Powers,
You're right that I can't blame State College, or anyone else, for wanting strong competition on more challenging questions. However, I have to agree with Mike Cheyne (!!!) that ACF Fall is not where that competition is to be found. If Fall were just another college tournament, I would agree with your post: there would be nothing wrong with allowing Dorman, Seven Lakes, State College, or anyone else to test their mettle against collegiate teams. However, the whole point of ACF Fall is to give new players a less challenging day of competition. I don't think it's at all unreasonable to provide three tournaments (ACF Novice, EFT, and ACF Fall) early in the season to help those players adjust to the rigors of this game. As you point out, if Fall turns into a tournament where UVA would compete against State College and Seven Lakes, the editors would have to "make the questions more rigorous." However, such an increase in difficulty would violate the whole reason Fall exists.

A certain tournament in the spring provides the ideal setting for the kind of competition you're describing. As Jerry would say, that tournament is ACF Regionals. Fall cannot service both fields of inexperienced collegiate players and fields with seven potential top bracket teams.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Ondes Martenot » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:13 am

If there are more teams than space, shouldn't, that mean someone should find another site to accommodate those teams?
This discussion is very similar to a discussion last year about high school teams playing college tournament and the obvious answer is what Charlie says about simply adding another site. I'm surprised that at a tournament known for its large high school turnout, there isn't a single site between Brandeis and UVA. Why isn't there a site somewhere in the Philadelphia area, when that would provide additional site for teams in the DC metro area (it might simply be that no team bidded, in which case there is not much to do).
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Edward Powers » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:40 am

Matt,

If the purpose of ACF Fall is as you describe, to provide one more novice type tournament for inexperienced college players, then I can see why you've made the argument you have and I stand corrected, for if the college teams that will be in attendance are as inexperienced as you suggest, most of the HS Teams in attendance will probably be too strong for them. In the future I will stand with you and argue as you do, for then I agree with Jerry as well---ACF Regionals is the appropriate venue, as you suggest.

In the meantime, however, you seem to have a problem. Might it be possible to divide the field along some agreed upon lines so that the purposes of ACF Fall are met? Perhaps let one more hs team in, have a RR with the HS Teams only, in one bracket, a RR with 2 collegiate brackets, and then either the top 4 hs teams after prelims play a RR againt each other in playoffs, the bottom 4 do something comparable, and the colleges have their own playoffs? Then, only at the end perhaps, have a cross-bracketed match of the top college team against the top hs team to get an overal champion? I am thinking out loud here, but surely something like this could be done to preserve the integrtiy of the purposes of ACF Fall while simultaneously accomodating the HS teams already enrolled? But you fellows are smart enough to figure all of this out, so let me stop here.

And, thanks for the dialogue. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:44 am

Edward Powers wrote:Matt,

If the purpose of ACF Fall is as you describe, to provide one more novice type tournament for inexperienced college players, then I can see why you've made the argument you have and I stand corrected, for if the college teams that will be in attendance are as inexperienced as you suggest, most of the HS Teams in attendance will probably be too strong for them. In the future I will stand with you and argue as you do, for then I agree with Jerry as well---ACF Regionals is the appropriate venue, as you suggest.

In the meantime, however, you seem to have a problem. Might it be possible to divide the field along some agreed upon lines so that the purposes of ACF Fall are met? Perhaps let one more hs team in, have a RR with the HS Teams only, in one bracket, a RR with 2 collegiate brackets, and then either the top 4 hs teams after prelims play a RR againt each other in playoffs, the bottom 4 do something comparable, and the colleges have their own playoffs? Then, only at the end perhaps, have a cross-bracketed match of the top college team against the top hs team to get an overal champion? I am thinking out loud here, but surely something like this could be done to preserve the integrtiy of the purposes of ACF Fall while simultaneously accomodating the HS teams already enrolled? But you fellows are smart enough to figure all of this out, so let me stop here.

And, thanks for the dialogue. Good luck with whatever you decide.
This is pretty much the equivalent of what I suggested above. Add another bracket, or another site, separate the two fields, and everybody wins and profits.

High schoolers playing ACF Fall in another building does just as much to interfere with collegiate novice's enjoyment of the tournament as would Maryland reading the packet in practice the next week.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:47 am

Edward Powers wrote:Charlie, your question is logical, but you surely understand that it is more complicated than the logical issue of simply finding a new and larger site. First, UVA won the bid. Second, Will was surprised by his administration and now needs time to work this out. Third, it's possible that registrants have already made hotel and travel arrangements. Fourth, changing sites might lead to teams wiithdrawing---in otherwords, UVA itself might be part of the attraction---as I admitted it was for my squad. Given these and possibly other complicating factors, merely changing the site might not resolve the essential issues, and, in fact, my guess is that it would complicate them even more.
You've misunderstood what I'm saying, I think. UVA shouldn't be forced to give up their bid, I'm saying an additional mid-Atlantic site should be added so that, when UVA fills to capacity, the teams who want to play ACF Fall don't have to be turned away and can instead go to the other nearby site.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Edward Powers » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:55 am

The Toad to Wigan Pier wrote:
Edward Powers wrote: If if comes down to this, SJHS would be willing to let Dorman have our spot and we will register with Brandeis, which is closer and which has a small field of 6 or 7 thus far--and all are colleges, so we might spice it up with our little HS sqaud.
I'll have more to say about why I did what I did later. For now I would like to address the quoted idea. Dorman is not far at all from the USC site(much closer than you are to Brandeis). From what I can tell they were registered for the USC site before they tried coming to our site and only tried because of the field. USC also is in need of more attendance based on their posted field. So I don't understand why you would want to give up your spot for them. Don't get me wrong, I wish it was possible for every team that wants to come to the UVA site to be able to come to the UVA site, but at the moment there are both college and high school teams that can't because of our registrars office.
I did not offer to give up our spot lightly. I had seen that Dorman had since registered at USC, but I was unaware that they had registered there first, and still do not know if that is in fact the case. Anyway, my idea was based on a principle of sportsmanship and of fairness---since Dorman HAD written a packet for ACF Fall, and we had not, and since I had thought that UVA was Dorman's first choice, quite possibly because of the field (for which no one can blame them, for it IS an attactive field for anyone who cares about excellence) and because you closed the field to HS teams immediately after we registered, and because Dorman was then almost immediately listed on your wait-list for high schools---all of these factors coalesced into providing the reasons for the offer I made to you.

Of course I did not know at the time that Dorman had already registered at USC, as you suggest. But even so, once again,as a high school coach, I think I can understand what Dorman did---they saw a very attactive field and saw a field that was, as far as they knew at the time, still open to registration. They live in South Carolina---so perhaps the opportunity to travel out of state to such an attractive field and attractive venue should not be made into something other than what it is---a desire to compete against a marvelous field that was still open to their registration as far as they could tell. And I do not know this for sure, but my guess is that Dorman has a good relationship with USC and USC would have understood Dorman's desire to change its plans.

But I do not wish to speak for Dorman. They can surely do that for themselves if they wish. So, let me finish by speaking for myself. For me the key issue was the writing of the packet---Dorman put in the effort, we did not. As a HS team we were not required to, but since I knew it was only a matter of minutes between our accepted registration and my seeing Dorman on your waitlist, my own sense of fairplay kicked in. Further, I was and am serious about sportsmanship. One of the great things qb does is bring people from across the country together, and for the most part, with a few exceptions, the experience has always been positive and friendly. I was just trying to do likewise for a program that commands respect throughout the quizbowl world. I met the Dorman kids at Prison Bowl last year and was extremely impressed by their sportsmanship and magnaminity, not to mention their great ability. So, all of these factors weighed into my decision. And, as a former Cavalier myself, and thus a Cavalier for life, I found nothing wrong with offering our spot to a team that had written a packet when we had not, a team whose registration we had beaten by only minutes. I trust you find this explanation satisfactory?
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Cheynem » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:16 pm

Coach Powers:

Thanks for your responses. I agree with most of them in the abstract and was not attempting to impugn any high school's motives. I actually think most people in this thread, including myself, have similar goals in mind--to make sure all teams that wish to play ACF Fall be given a chance, with especially no colleges being turned away. I agree with Charlie and Bruce that perhaps different sites/fields could be arranged.

I do wish to clear up something. You specifically address me when you discuss how colleges should prove their superiority before turning away high schools. I think this is somewhat impossible. I will freely admit that the best high school teams would easily defeat many collegiate teams on any given day (I should know, I've lost to a few of them). My objections are not based on the qualitative "what teams are better"? If I was doing this, then in all frankness, the high school teams that have registered would get first crack. It is not about proving superiority. Rather, I agree more with Matt Bollinger that the tournament (should) have a different foundational goal in mind, about introducing collegiate teams to good quizbowl.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Edward Powers » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:22 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:
Edward Powers wrote:Charlie, your question is logical, but you surely understand that it is more complicated than the logical issue of simply finding a new and larger site. First, UVA won the bid. Second, Will was surprised by his administration and now needs time to work this out. Third, it's possible that registrants have already made hotel and travel arrangements. Fourth, changing sites might lead to teams wiithdrawing---in otherwords, UVA itself might be part of the attraction---as I admitted it was for my squad. Given these and possibly other complicating factors, merely changing the site might not resolve the essential issues, and, in fact, my guess is that it would complicate them even more.
You've misunderstood what I'm saying, I think. UVA shouldn't be forced to give up their bid, I'm saying an additional mid-Atlantic site should be added so that, when UVA fills to capacity, the teams who want to play ACF Fall don't have to be turned away and can instead go to the other nearby site.
You are correct. I did misunderstand. Sorry. Is your idea possible? Can a nearby site be found at this late date? I wonder.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:23 pm

Edward Powers wrote: And I do not know this for sure, but my guess is that Dorman has a good relationship with USC and USC would have understood Dorman's desire to change its plans.
As the TD for the USC site, I can say that we do have a good relationship with Dorman. While I would be very pleased to have Dorman play at our site, I understand Dorman's wish to play at the UVA site.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Edward Powers » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:40 pm

Mike,

When I spoke about colleges demonstrating superiority, I was speaking under a misconception about what ACF Fall was all about. I assumed, erroneously, that by this time College teams had solidified and were using their best players. But this apparently is not the case, and as I admitted to Matt, if ACF Fall is still for largely inexperienced college players, then I agree with both you and him that this is proobably not the time or place for all the elite HS Teams to play, unless they could be cordoned off to play only each other or only the more confident college teams that would like the challenge of the best High Schools. Given all of this, I agreed with Matt's citation of Jerry, suggesting that ACF Regionals is the better place for the elite HS teams.

Admitting all of this, I can still sympathize with great HS Teams who have no real local competition and thus need someplace to meet competitors who can offer worthy challenges. So, I can understand why the HS teams siigned up for UVA, especially once some saw the others already in the field. In my case, the University itself was the great attraction, for my kids, who are good, but still developing, will probably struggle mightily against the HS field currently registered at UVA.

Bottom line is, I know you were simply trying to defend the collegiate circuit, and given the inexperienced nature of many collegiate teams at ACF Fall---something I did NOT formerly understand---I now understand you position and Matt's and actually agree with them.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:52 pm

Edward Powers wrote:Mike,

When I spoke about colleges demonstrating superiority, I was speaking under a misconception about what ACF Fall was all about. I assumed, erroneously, that by this time College teams had solified and were using their best players. But this apparently is not the case, and as I admitted to Matt, if ACF Fall is still for largely inexperienced college players, then I agree with both you and him that this is proobably not the time or place for all the elite HS Teams to play, unless they could be cordoned off to play only each other or only the more confident college teams that would like the challenge of the best High Schools. Given all of this, I agreed with Matt's citation of Jerry, suggesting that ACF Regionals is the better place for the elite HS teams.

Admitting all of this, I can still sympathize with great HS Teams who have no real local competition and thus need someplace to meet competitors who can offer worthy challenges. So, I can understand why the HS teams siigned up for UVA, especially once some saw the others already in the field. In my case, the University itself was the great attraction, for my kids, who are good, but still developing, will probably struggle mightily against the HS field currently registered at UVA.

Bottom line is, I know you were simply trying to defend the collegiate circuit, and given the inexperienced nature of many collegiate teams at ACF Fall---something I did NOT formerly understand---I now understand you position and Matt's and actually agree with them.
Just to clarify: I don't think the best high school teams are "too good" for ACF Fall; it's only problematic when a field coalesces that's overflowing with strong teams. Thank you for understanding, though.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:54 pm

To echo what Charlie, Aaron, et al have said:

The only good solution here is to reach out and try and find another site in addition to (and north of) UVA, so that everyone who wants to can play. It boggles the mind that ACF Fall, of all tournaments, has no sites between Waltham and Charlottesville- and it is not surprising that UVA has thus become overbooked.

Additionally, it is quite possible that an additional site may draw in other teams who weren't planning on attending ACF Fall because of distance/ travel issues. Win/win/win.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by vcuEvan » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:06 pm

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:To echo what Charlie, Aaron, et al have said:

The only good solution here is to reach out and try and find another site in addition to (and north of) UVA, so that everyone who wants to can play. It boggles the mind that ACF Fall, of all tournaments, has no sites between Waltham and Charlottesville- and it is not surprising that UVA has thus become overbooked.

Additionally, it is quite possible that an additional site may draw in other teams who weren't planning on attending ACF Fall because of distance/ travel issues. Win/win/win.
If UVA fails to solve the problem of teams not being able to play, probably by this weekend, there is another mirror site ready to go which should siphon off about half the teams from this field. Personally I hope UVA can work it out, both for their financial interests and because it would be nice to see one large competitive site. However, there is a plan B.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:32 pm

So I'm kinda late to the party, but I'll add my two cents:
Part of the draw for us is not just the harder than average questions or the ability to play the rather hermit-y State College A-team and the distant Dorman team, but it's the opportunity to play against and lose to some of the great college teams of the area. It wouldn't be nearly as appealing to us is if there were a HS-only site. It's the feeling of going to a college tournament playing against colleges that is the main reason that Arun and I are trekking down to Charlottesville and unless the HS-only site were closer I'm not so sure we'd go.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by Sir Thopas » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:40 pm

Wurzel-Flummery wrote:So I'm kinda late to the party, but I'll add my two cents:
Part of the draw for us is not just the harder than average questions or the ability to play the rather hermit-y State College A-team and the distant Dorman team, but it's the opportunity to play against and lose to some of the great college teams of the area. It wouldn't be nearly as appealing to us is if there were a HS-only site. It's the feeling of going to a college tournament playing against colleges that is the main reason that Arun and I are trekking down to Charlottesville and unless the HS-only site were closer I'm not so sure we'd go.
The great college teams of the area, ideally, won't be playing this tournament.
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Re: ACF policy question about HS teams

Post by dtaylor4 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:41 pm

If the space is limited, preference should go to college teams.

In my opinion, it is a matter of opportunity. High school teams can go to a high school tournament, or a college tournament. Colleges, especially the ones targeted by Fall, do not have many opportunities to go.

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