ACF Regionals - University of Maryland - Results

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ACF Regionals - University of Maryland - Results

Post by Mike Bentley » Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:12 pm

Here are the "results" from our "tournament" today.

http://www.doc-ent.com/quizbowl/2007%20 ... dings.html

We also played a singles tournament amongst the people that stayed for the afternoon. I think the results of that competition will be posted later.

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Post by magin » Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:06 pm

For the singles, we read the tossups from three packets. Individual players stopped after reaching 80 points (10 for a correct answer, and 5 for a neg). Here are the results:

1. Matt Weiner
2. Ted (HS)
3. Me
4. Daichi (HS)
5. Dan (HS)
5. Vinod
7. Casey
7. Dan Goff
9. Haris
10. Andrew
11. Mike
12. Steve (HS)

I'd also like to thank the high school students who showed up; I thought they had a pretty good attitude the whole time, and I would encourage high school teams/players who are curious to check out appropriate college tournaments to get a better idea of what they're like.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:42 pm

Thanks to Casey for putting this on even after the tournament proper evaporated, and to the other Maryland people and the high schoolers for showing up to keep the day interesting. I definitely enjoyed the scrimmage session and it seemed like everyone including the high school folks were having a good time as well. Perhaps this question exposure will encourage those folks to keep playing in college.

But, on the note of what happened here: While I can't say I really regretted Jason Keller's absence, I would still be remiss if I didn't castigate Princeton and, to a lesser degree, Rutgers for conspiring to destroy ACF Regionals in the Mid-Atlantic this year. As enjoyable as this practice session was, an actual tournament with a title that we could credibly claim would have been better. Maryland went to Princeton's fall tournament, so I hardly think the Princeton to Maryland distance is such an arduous journey. VCU also went--we're located even further away. UVa also--further still. Even Florida State showed up at Princeton's fall tournament--that's a 16-hour drive, for those scoring at home (or a big investment in plane tickets). It's time to stop being babies about this sort of thing. It was ridiculous enough that only 5 teams signed up for ACF Regionals due to people whining about fictitious difficulty problems; for 4 of those teams to throw a fit over the impossible task of driving from New Jersey to Maryland is crazy. There are teams out there who would kill to have a 3-hour drive be their average for all the tournaments they go to; for Princeton, it's apparently too much to ask that it be their longest drive of the year. Especially when you turned around and went to Boston instead--a 4+ hour trip.

And if it wasn't the distance (which it really wasn't, it seems, since these teams were able to make the longer trip to Boston) but the competition available, all I can say is: where were you when I was mailing team after team this past week asking if they could come? When I was spending my own valuable time working with the editors and with the TD at Maryland, Casey, to see what could be offered to entice teams to show up? Was beating up on Harvard C really that much more important to you than spending a few minutes to help assemble a comparable field at Maryland?

When you are registered for a tournament a week beforehand, you need to show up. Other people count on the games against you, the money you're going to pay, etc. People go to a lot of effort to edit questions, reserve rooms, find staff, and otherwise get a tournament ready on the assumption that teams who have committed to going will in fact do so. I was incredulous when I found out that Princeton actually made good on its threat to leave this tournament if it was not moved to Princeton under impractical conditions and short notice. I was happy that some sort of opportunity to play the questions was preserved so that my younger teammates could get some practice, and that rising ACF players like Jonathan Magin put up some good competition. But I have to say that, as my name is not Eric Smith, I personally don't get anything out of beating up on high schoolers. It would have been nice had any collegiate players who do not live on the campus where the tournament was held shown up to play against us. Let's hope this sort of thing does not happen again.
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Post by ezubaric » Sun Feb 18, 2007 3:49 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:I would still be remiss if I didn't castigate Princeton and, to a lesser degree, Rutgers for conspiring to destroy ACF Regionals
(Not speaking on behalf of the Princeton QB team)

First, I would like to point out that I personally have nothing against traveling up to six hours to go to ACF regionals where only three schools will be in attendance.

Second, Princeton loves going to Maryland. We know how to get around, they know how to run tournaments smoothly, they usually attract a large field, and it's an easy drive; last year, we went to so many tournaments at Maryland that I filled up a card at California Tortilla that got myself a free burrito there.

Although I wasn't privy to the decision or how the request was made, I don't think it's that unreasonable if all but one of the teams going to a tournament is from central New Jersey to *ask* if people would be okay with having the tournament in central New Jersey. I think that it should be perfectly clear that we (and, I'm sure, Rutgers) would have been perfectly happy to attend a healthy regionals at Maryland.

I'll let my teammates who actually hold positions of power in the club continue the debate if they're so interested. That's all I've got.
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Post by grapesmoker » Sun Feb 18, 2007 3:53 pm

According to Google maps, Waltham is about 5 hours away from Princeton, while College Park is a mere 3 (and you don't have to drive through New York). I also didn't understand the argument offered to me by one of the Princeton folks in person, which was that the Brandeis field was better. It seems to me that if you're looking for a good challenge, you can't do much better than play against Matt Weiner, so I'm not sure that this argument holds water. I can't say that I'm really in any position to tell teams which regionals to go to, but the whole change was sprung on the editors less than a week prior to the tournament when we got an email from Evan saying, "what's up with two Princeton teams registering?" Now, the editors shouldn't really be involved in adjudicating these issues, since we have enough work to do as it is; Matt proposed that we offer teams certain discounts, and we agreed, hoping to bring more teams in. Nevertheless, I'm disappointed that this maneuver ended up hurting Maryland, who had already gone out of their way to try and make a mid-Atlantic regionals happen.

Another disappointing thing, especially in light of the above information, is that the Princeton teams ended up leaving early. I understand the plight of the Boston teams, who are mostly without cars, in that they had to leave early unless they were willing to wait for a 10:30 Commuter Rail train out of Brandeis. But it's kind of sad that not only did Princeton's decision effectively destroy Maryland's event, but they wouldn't even stay to play out the event that they actually came to attend. For the record, we finished the tournament at 7:30, and had Princeton stayed, they would have been out by 8:00 at the latest. I also now have information which suggests to me that many of the people who were behind the idea to go to Brandeis didn't even end up going at the end. All in all, I think the leadership of Princeton has been quite irresponsible in the way that they've gone about this whole business.
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grievances

Post by LKos » Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:43 pm

First I should say that I am not a member of Princeton's leadership, and I don't pretend to speak for them. But since it was my idea for our team to go to Brandeis, (and as I was unable to make it to Brandeis, I am sure Jerry's barb is directed at me) I want to answer some of the accusations in Matt and Jerry's posts.

1) In the first paragraph, Matt lists the teams that make long distance trips to our tournament and that "for 4 of those teams to throw a fit over the impossible task of driving from New Jersey to Maryland is crazy".

2) In the last paragraph, Matt says: "I was incredulous when I found out that Princeton actually made good on its threat to leave this tournament if it was not moved to Princeton under impractical conditions and short notice."

3) Jerry wrote "It seems to me that if you're looking for a good challenge, you can't do much better than play against Matt Weiner, so I'm not sure that this argument holds water."

4) Matt wrote "Was beating up on Harvard C really that much more important to you than spending a few minutes to help assemble a comparable field at Maryland?"

Here's how everything happened:
We found out last week at NAQT that there were only two or three non-Princeton teams and one of those was from twenty minutes away in New Brunswick. We suggested to ACF that it might make more sense to have the tournament at Princeton. I don't believe this was a ridiculous suggestion. We were not throwing a fit about driving to Maryland (as Jordan said, we go there all the time) nor do I know about any threats to leave the tournament. I do know that a few of our members who were willing to spend the day on quiz bowl in New Jersey were unwilling to drive to Maryland so we would have had to cut a team anyway (which we did when we registered two teams at Brandeis). Obviously, we can't force people to travel if they don't want to go.

When ACF said that the tournament couldn't be moved, I realized that we could go to Brandeis instead. This wasn't "making good on any threat". We simply hadn't thought of this idea earlier or else we wouldn't have proposed (the far inferior idea of) moving the Mid-Atlantic regionals to Princeton in the first place. We play the Mid-Atlantic teams many times every year, and we get very little opportunity to play teams from the Northeast. That, and the fact that Maryland would have been a triple or quadruple round robin made Brandeis strictly superior. Obviously, playing ten rounds against Matt is a "good challenge", but that wouldn't make it a more interesting tournament than playing ten different teams that we never play.

As for spending a few minutes helping assemble a good field in Maryland, I didn't know teams at a tournament were responsible for assembling their competition, but I'm sure we would have been glad to do anything sensible that was suggested. The truth is that if Maryland and Matt's efforts failed to get more teams to come, our emails wouldn't have gotten teams to come to ACF Regionals in Maryland. In short, I don't think marketing was the problem; more likely, other schools in the region either don't go to ACF or couldn't get their members to come.

I didn't attend the tournament so I don't know about the "leaving early" grievance, but if the tournament was ending at 7:30 or 8PM and our team had a 5 hour drive to New Jersey (plus stop for dinner), I can't blame my teammates for leaving early.

In short, the claim of a conspiracy to destroy Maryland's ACF Regionals is absurd. We didn't sit around the room and brainstorm ideas on how to ruin Matt's Saturday. As everyone knows, schools add and subtract teams right up to the tournament all the time based on the (often changing) schedules of its members. Sometimes these changes are even made on the day of the tournament. It's not our fault that we made up the majority of the teams signed up at Maryland and thus that our change had such a huge effect on the viability of the tournament. Based on the consistent attendance of each other's tournaments, I'm sure we will find a way to make it up to Maryland for its lost revenue. Matt, I hope this doesn't breed any bad will between VCU and Princeton. We enjoy playing VCU and if there was a minimal number of other teams willing to go to ACF at Maryland, we would certainly have gone there.

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Post by pray for elves » Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:42 am

LKos wrote:I didn't attend the tournament so I don't know about the "leaving early" grievance, but if the tournament was ending at 7:30 or 8PM and our team had a 5 hour drive to New Jersey (plus stop for dinner), I can't blame my teammates for leaving early.
For the public knowledge: the leaving situation was MIT at roughly 5:55 to catch a 6:11 train, Harvard at about 6:20 immediately following individual awards to catch a 6:34 train (which MIT should have waited for, but that's irrelevant now), and Princeton and Dartmouth both left at about 6:30, following individual awards, squaring payments, collecting buzzers, etc. Rutgers and Brown both stayed until about 7:30 or so to play the final, and I assume had it gone to three games they'd have been there until about 8:00 or so finishing it off. With respect to Harvard and MIT, they left when they did because the next train after 6:34 was at 10:44 PM, and our shuttle to Boston was not running because it was the first day of a break here.

I suppose this probably belongs in the Brandeis regionals thread, but since the discussion seems to be in here, whatever.

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Post by Kyle » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:45 am

I think it's worth pointing out that, for all the intelligence one might associate with quiz bowlers or with MIT students, the MIT quiz bowl team missed the 6:11 train by standing on the wrong side of the train tracks and not being able to cross them. They took the 6:34 with us.

I'm sorry about leaving. I guess I thought the shuttle would be running because I forgot that Brandeis was on break. If there had been any train between 6:34 and 10:44, we would have been on that one instead. Someday, maybe, someone on our team will have a car. Until then, both Harvard and MIT are at the mercy of public transportation. It sucks.

What bugs me most, incidentally, is when people leave a tournament very early (i.e. like 4:30) and take their buzzers with them so that the rest of the tournament can't continue properly.

And for what it's worth, I enjoyed playing Princeton and Rutgers. I'm glad to get the opportunity to play new teams.

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Post by Dartmouth College Bowl » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:18 am

I also would like to say that we were sorry about leaving early. We were planning on staying, but after Princeton left, we were faced with the situation of having to a play 3 more games (it would have been 2 if Princeton had stayed) and then having to spend about 3.5 hours on the road. Had we stayed, we would not have returned home till midnight. Also, our B team, which had not enjoyed the most successful day, would have had to play 3 games against teams with a combined 25-5 record.

Despite this, both teams enjoyed the tournament a lot as it was well-written and very efficiently run.

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Post by pray for elves » Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:07 am

Just to clarify: I'm showing no prejudice against any team that left by posting that order; I'm just trying to encourage the discussion going on about the Maryland vs. Brandeis sectionals to have the facts instead of the "THEY LEFT EARLY OMGZORZ!!!!1!111ELEVENTY" that this could devolve into. I'm glad that all the teams came and had a good time. And that's hilarious about MIT and just proves my point even more that they should have stayed for individual awards.

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Post by UERD » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:36 am

I thought it was a well-run tournament, for what it's worth. Yes, we did go 0-10 (and I'm still not too sure exactly how that happened), but the matches started on-time, the questions were well-edited, and the moderators were competent. I don't think there's anything too major Brandeis could have done to make it any better.
And for what it's worth, I enjoyed playing Princeton and Rutgers. I'm glad to get the opportunity to play new teams.
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Post by grapesmoker » Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:02 pm

Kyle wrote:I think it's worth pointing out that, for all the intelligence one might associate with quiz bowlers or with MIT students, the MIT quiz bowl team missed the 6:11 train by standing on the wrong side of the train tracks and not being able to cross them. They took the 6:34 with us.
This would not be the first time that MIT has hilariously bungled the task of getting from point A to point B via public transit. We love them anyway.

I just want to point out that I don't have any problem with teams having to leave because they have to catch the bus or the train or whatnot. I do think it's a little rude to bail on a potential 3-round playoff schedule because you're trying to shave an hour or two off the trip. I've made long trips back from Penn and Princeton and gotten back at 2 AM; it's no different than getting home from your average college party.

As for the Princeton/Maryland fiasco, my complaint is that you guys (Princeton) dropped this on us at the last minute. If you want variety or whatever, that's fine, I don't really care, and I don't care what regionals you go to. But when you bail at T-minus 6 days, you create problems for everyone involved. I don't think it was any kind of conspiracy, but I do think it was both incompetent and inconsiderate. This goes out to everyone: please, don't jerk around TDs and editors this way.
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Post by LKos » Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:48 pm

I'm confused as to why you're mad at Princeton and not at Harvard and MIT who left earlier? If they had stayed and taken the 10:44 (or whatever) train they still would have gotten home hours before we would. And just because you've gotten back at 2AM from Penn or Princeton doesn't mean we have the same sleep preferences as you do. There is no requirement, as far as I know, that schools stay as long as the TD says they stay. While I think it's absurd when teams leave after lunch and take their buzzer, Princeton left at a pretty late hour after finishing the round robin and after about a third of the field had already left and I don't see why we should be the target of such ire for this reasonable decision.

As for the change of venue, you sound like you are pissed that the editors had to be involved, but we never jerked around the editors nor did you have to make any editing changes because of where we went (and we had already submitted a packet). Plus, as an editor, you should be willing to suffer a minor inconvenience (i don't know what great inconvenience you had to suffer, beyond reading an email that Princeton is going to Brandeis) to help a team have a better experience.

And please don't make it sound like T minus 6 is some ridiculous number. We've hosted tournaments before and attending teams are constantly sending us updates about how many (or whether any) teams are going to be coming. More than half the time, the schedule has to be redone on Saturday morning because some team doesn't show or some school brings fewer teams than expected. To call us incompetent (what does this have to do with competence? we couldn't know ahead of time that so few teams would end up signing up at Maryland) and inconsiderate (we were trying to be as considerate as possible while also having a good experience at ACF Regionals) is a little over the top.

You should want to help as many teams have as good an experience as possible and not complain and yell at us for "jerking you around" when the competition at one of the sites was clearly superior to another and we were in driving distance to both.

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Post by Andy Saunders » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:06 pm

That still says nothing of the fact that your program made a commitment to go to Maryland. Your program reneged on that commitment with less than a week to go until the tournament, causing Virginia Commonwealth to have to play all of 6 games, against house teams and high schoolers, and causing Maryland to do a great deal of hosting preparation, for what amounted to be very little reward.

You point out that "you should want to help as many teams have as good an experience as possible". However, it appears to me that in one team's search for a "good experience", you managed to ruin the experience of two other programs. And to add insult to injury, you left the Regional that you chose to attend early.

No wonder Matt was so annoyed; I would be too in his situation.

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Re: grievances

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:41 pm

LKos wrote:Here's how everything happened:
We found out last week at NAQT that there were only two or three non-Princeton teams and one of those was from twenty minutes away in New Brunswick. We suggested to ACF that it might make more sense to have the tournament at Princeton. I don't believe this was a ridiculous suggestion.
It is a patently ridiculous suggestion. Maryland had spent the time into organizing and hosting the tournament. The request by Princeton shows enormous disrespect for that work. Why do you think we have deadlines about applying to host regionals and sectionals? It is so the community can know when tournaments are and when they will be. It is so the hosts can have adequate time to prepare for the event. It is so competing teams can have adequate time to make travel and rooming arrangements, or even get out of class if necessary. The simple fact of even making this request undermines well-established concepts of how this community operates, regardless of where you actually went.

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Post by grapesmoker » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:05 pm

LKos wrote:I'm confused as to why you're mad at Princeton and not at Harvard and MIT who left earlier? If they had stayed and taken the 10:44 (or whatever) train they still would have gotten home hours before we would. And just because you've gotten back at 2AM from Penn or Princeton doesn't mean we have the same sleep preferences as you do. There is no requirement, as far as I know, that schools stay as long as the TD says they stay. While I think it's absurd when teams leave after lunch and take their buzzer, Princeton left at a pretty late hour after finishing the round robin and after about a third of the field had already left and I don't see why we should be the target of such ire for this reasonable decision.
I'm not mad at either MIT or Harvard because doing what you describe would have involved them waiting for two and a half hours after the tournament would finish to go home. If you're driving, you don't wait, you just go. Also, I realize my preferences don't necessarily match yours, but I think it's a matter of respect to stay and play out the full schedule.

I'm particularly bothered by your attitudes towards TDs. Obviously, they can't force anyone to do anything; however, they went to the trouble to plan a tournament for you, the editors/writers went to the trouble of writing packets, and so on. You're basically saying, what I feel like doing is more important than whatever plans or effort others have invested in this event. I think that if you come to a quizbowl tournament intending to leave whenever you feel like it, instead of when the tournament is over, you are attending it in bad faith. I don't think I've ever left a tournament before it was completed; I view the concept of tournament attendance as an implicit agreement that I will abide by whatever schedule the TD comes up with. I don't like the idea that teams are increasingly being promoted to the level of arbiters of tournament schedules.
As for the change of venue, you sound like you are pissed that the editors had to be involved, but we never jerked around the editors nor did you have to make any editing changes because of where we went (and we had already submitted a packet). Plus, as an editor, you should be willing to suffer a minor inconvenience (i don't know what great inconvenience you had to suffer, beyond reading an email that Princeton is going to Brandeis) to help a team have a better experience.
I've already said that I don't care where you go and it certainly makes no difference to me in my capacity as an editor. However, I'm also playing some organizational role here, and when this news broke, I was contacted by Matt, who was trying to figure out what we could do to save the Maryland regionals from collapsing. So, in between conversations with Matt, then conversations with Ryan and Seth, and finally emails to all concerned parties (of which, I may add, only Princeton failed to respond to my inoccuous question of "what's going on, guys?") that was some time I had to spend on something that I don't even need to be involved in.
And please don't make it sound like T minus 6 is some ridiculous number. We've hosted tournaments before and attending teams are constantly sending us updates about how many (or whether any) teams are going to be coming. More than half the time, the schedule has to be redone on Saturday morning because some team doesn't show or some school brings fewer teams than expected.
Well, you know what? That's pretty damn inconsiderate. I had something like that happen to me last year, and I was as incensed about it as I'd ever been about anything quizbowl-related. Of course, a team dropping a couple days before the tournament in which you already have a sizable field is not a huge deal; a team deciding to pull two teams out of a five-team tournament without bothering to notify anyone six days before is a big deal, because now you've left an entire field in the lurch.
To call us incompetent (what does this have to do with competence? we couldn't know ahead of time that so few teams would end up signing up at Maryland) and inconsiderate (we were trying to be as considerate as possible while also having a good experience at ACF Regionals) is a little over the top.
If you fail to contact the hosts ahead of time to find out the field, and then base a last minute decision on the size of said field, I call that incompetence. If the field mattered so much to you, you should have gotten this information ahead of time and let everyone concerned know that your attendance was conditional on a certain field size or whatever.
You should want to help as many teams have as good an experience as possible and not complain and yell at us for "jerking you around" when the competition at one of the sites was clearly superior to another and we were in driving distance to both.
I'm not convinced that the competition here was superior, but it doesn't really matter. My point is the way that you guys went about doing this was not in fact particularly considerate of the situation of other teams at the Maryland site.
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Post by Howard » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:05 pm

LKos wrote:And please don't make it sound like T minus 6 is some ridiculous number. We've hosted tournaments before and attending teams are constantly sending us updates about how many (or whether any) teams are going to be coming. More than half the time, the schedule has to be redone on Saturday morning because some team doesn't show or some school brings fewer teams than expected. To call us incompetent (what does this have to do with competence? we couldn't know ahead of time that so few teams would end up signing up at Maryland) and inconsiderate (we were trying to be as considerate as possible while also having a good experience at ACF Regionals) is a little over the top.

You should want to help as many teams have as good an experience as possible and not complain and yell at us for "jerking you around" when the competition at one of the sites was clearly superior to another and we were in driving distance to both.
There's no problem with seeking out whatever tournament best suits your interests. But the time to do this is well before the date of the scheduled tournament. I think that's why Princeton was called incompetent. Had Princeton been competent, Princeton would have investigated the tournament choices well in advance and registered for the preferred tournament.

I also understand teams drop and add all the time. There's nothing that can be done about players that have commitments come up or cannot make the trip, or players that suddenly can make the trip. That happens and there's little recourse. But to switch to a different venue when the tournament is only a week away shows absolutely no intention of standing behind commitment. And I think that's why Princeton was called inconsiderate. They were.
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Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:59 pm

There are some additional factors that explain why Princeton's behavior was so irksome to me. I will preface all of this by saying I don't think some sort of endless feud will be productive for anyone and I'm not planning on bringing this up forever (I'm allegedly graduating in a few months anyhow so I won't be speaking for VCU next academic year), but nonetheless you guys deserve to be taken to task a little for this and everyone else also needs to know not to do similar things in the future.

First off, the suggestion which was first floated (again, less than a week before the tournament) was not that Mid-Atlantic regionals should be cancelled and the New Jersey teams go to Boston. It was that the tournament be moved to Princeton. I made it clear that this was not practical for my team on such short notice. Half of my team has classes on Friday until 3 PM; overnight trips require a lot of advance notice so we can clear our schedules. Considering the crawl through the DC area at rush hour, we would have had to choose between arriving at Princeton (a trip which I will reiterate we already made once this year, without complaint, for your invitational tournament) at nearly 11, or missing class, which needs a lot of lead time. We also are operating at a negative budget right now, with the team being financed off my meager personal funds until I/we can start recouping some of that amount with the tournaments we are running this semester. A hotel stay, extra gas, possibly a rented car since I don't trust mine to make it further than Maryland--these are significant expenses for us, and I always take advantage of the discounts available for booking in advance and considering prices from various websites etc when it is necessary to purchase such things. For all of those reasons, a trip to New Jersey would have required more notice than we received, and thus I made it clear that we would not be able to attend the tournament were it moved to Princeton.

All of that sort of gives the lie to the idea that competition was what you were after. A tournament at Princeton would have been Rutgers playing house teams for 12 rounds--ie, the same as the tournament at Maryland, except without my team or the Maryland house teams. Far less competitive. You knew this within ten minutes of proposing the idea of moving the tournament. The proper response would have been to understand that the move was not feasible, drop the idea, and go to Maryland. If you didn't like the competition at Maryland to begin with, then you should have figured this out further in advance and registered at Brandeis at that time. Given enough lead, my team could have made it either to Boston or to Knoxville, but you left us totally in the lurch with the timeframe you chose. I have had to pull out of tournaments before, too--it happens. But it was because I had non-quizbowl conflicts come up--I didn't randomly decide to bail on an event only to spend even more time getting to a second tournament. And I never, ever allowed an event to collapse due to my withdrawal--I would consider it an obligation to show up, at any expense, if my team was necessary to make the field sufficient.

Aside from the specific individual situations of the teams involved here, I also want to say something about tournament placement in general. Mid-Atlantic ACF Regionals has been in New Jersey for the past three years, at Rutgers, fifteen miles away from Princeton. (Princeton did nonetheless manage to have a team leave early from Rutgers in one of those years despite having a hardly arduous 30-minute trip home--surely deserving of some sort of Extraordinary Achievement in Quitting medal). NAQT Sectionals was at Princeton in 2004, though at Maryland in 2005-2006 and George Mason in 2007. So, out of the eight nationwide winter events in the four years 2004-2007, exactly half were in the New Jersey quizbowl orbit, and the other half in the DC area. That seems like a fair division of travel burdens to me, especially since DC is closer to being a halfway point between us than it is to being a backyard for VCU. We still have to travel 2+ hours to get to DC tournaments--we never get to just wake up an hour before round 1 like you can do for tournaments at Rutgers. This year, both tournaments were in the DC area--the first time since 2003, when Regionals was at Maryland and Sectionals was at UVa, that neither tournament was within spitting distance of Princeton. Lenny, you yourself are the only person still on the Princeton team from that time, as far as I know. So asking you to come to the DC area for two consecutive weeks one time per presidential administration is hardly an unfair burden.

The most probable conclusion that I draw from what happened, in light of all the above, this is that Princeton was peeved at me and at ACF for not going along with the nonsensical plan to move the tournament to Princeton, and that's why you took the significantly longer trip to Boston--because you were totally going to show us what you could do to the Maryland site for not caving in to your demands. It certainly makes more sense than any other rationale you gave, distance or competition, since you chose a longer distance and were trying to put on a tournament with even less competition. It was indefensible to pull a tournament out from under us and Maryland, and no amount of pretending to be puzzled at why people are attacking you is going to change that.
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Post by Captain Sinico » Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:15 pm

grapesmoker wrote:...you are attending it in bad faith.
Welcome to an elite club, Princeton!

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Post by LKos » Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:41 pm

Matt, if you read my explanation of how events unfolded, you'll see why your conclusion that Princeton was peeved and used Brandeis to get back at you is false.

We never complained that Maryland was too far away or were upset at you because you couldn't make it to Princeton. Also, I agree with you completely that having two tournaments in DC is not at all unreasonable. Our initial reaction to finding out that the Maryland lineup included New Jersey teams and VCU was to suggest to move the Regionals to New Jersey where Princeton could field more teams and perhaps Maryland could field teams as well. We didn't think that the mere mention of this idea was disrespectful to Maryland or would hurt anyone's feelings. Apparently, we were wrong.

At that time, we didn't realize we had any choice about where to go and just thought we might put it in a more central location for the teams that were going.

After ACF decided to keep it in Maryland, we were trying to figure out whether anyone was interested in grinding out a quadruple round robin at Maryland or whether to just drop out of ACF altogether. Then I came up with the much better idea of going to Brandeis. Note, that if I had come up with that idea earlier, we wouldn't have ever suggested hosting the Mid-Atlantic Regionals since, as you correctly point out, Matt, the competition wouldn't be much better than that at Maryland.

You can choose to believe this or not, but I don't really understand why it's so hard to believe that we would prefer to drive an extra eighty miles to play at a normal eleven team tournament instead of a degenerate three or four team tournament.

As for your point about advanced notice, I do wish we had learned that almost no schools were interested in going to Maryland earlier. But as I mentioned before, cancelling teams in the week before a tournament is hardly unprecedented and I don't understand why it matters whether this happens because its members choose to do something else with their time or choose to play quiz bowl but at a preferred location. I suppose if we had just found out that we don't have enough people interested in going to a four-team tournament and had to pull out of ACF completely, you would be fine with it??

Finally, you wrote that: "And I never, ever allowed an event to collapse due to my withdrawal--I would consider it an obligation to show up, at any expense, if my team was necessary to make the field sufficient."
That obviously depends on what you consider sufficient. IMO, a four-team tournament (which is what would have happened if we sent one or two teams) is not sufficient. OTOH, you can argue that even a two-team tournament is sufficient, in which case, the Maryland tournament was sufficient even without Princeton.

I'm not going to discuss the issue of distance or placement since I agree with what you wrote. Distance was never a problem which is why we had signed up three teams to go to Maryland in the first place. We only thought about moving it to NJ based on the location of most of the very few teams that did sign up.

Matt, I do wish you had emailed someone to ask why we were going to Brandeis (although the answer seems pretty obvious), instead of complaining that we intentionally destroyed the Mid-Atlantic Regionals. We simply had no motive to do it since we were neither suprised nor upset at anyone for ACF's decision to keep the tourney at Maryland. I hope you talk to us before accusing us of bad faith in the future.

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Post by ezubaric » Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:37 pm

grapesmoker wrote:I don't think I've ever left a tournament before it was completed; I view the concept of tournament attendance as an implicit agreement that I will abide by whatever schedule the TD comes up with. I don't like the idea that teams are increasingly being promoted to the level of arbiters of tournament schedules.
Since all of the other teams who left early explained why they left, I feel that I should explain for Princeton as well. We had not considered even leaving until after the mass exodus of the Boston teams (half the field in integer division). Those there might remembered that upon the announcement I incredulously (and perhaply overly loudly) asked "all the Boston teams are leaving?" (An action inconsistent with a team hellbent on sneaking out the door as soon as the TD turned his back.) The train schedule issue was understandable, though, so we didn't have any problems with that once it was explained to us.

Then the brackets were announced. Playoff brackets, since Jerry mentions the contract between TDs and players, are supposed to match teams of comprable strength. Rather than us getting revenge against MIT A or Harvard getting revenge against us, the playoff bracket was:

Princeton, 6-4
Princeton, 5-5
Dartmouth B, 0-10

No offense to Dartmouth B (who gave us a close game) or the other Princeton team (whom I get to play every week at practice), but given the choice between playing people I see constantly and a team that would have been in a different bracket without half the field leaving, I think our decision to save 3*40min=2 hrs was reasonable.

I find it rather inconsistent that Princeton is called to task for this and Dartmouth, MIT, and Harvard are given a pass. If MIT and Harvard had stayed, we certainly would have played fun and compelling games. We did not "ruin" this tournament, as Matt claims. We left what was already a broken and flawed playoff. (I should be clear that *I* am not blaming or calling out the other teams for leaving early, it's just that I find it unfair that Princeton is getting singled out.)

Although I wasn't involved in the host switching hoopla, I'd also like to point out that for the tournaments I've TDed in the past, I've been flexible. I edited a packet that came in two days before the tournament (PARFAIT I) and I've dealt with three teams dropping out five days before the tournament (Technophobia 2003). These things happen, and I don't attribute them to any kind of scheming to destroy quiz bowl and civilization as we know it.
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Post by Rothlover » Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:57 pm

What about when one of ya'lls teams left ACF regs 05 at rutgers early? I think that was during your first year there? Though I believe it was Lenny's team?

I've been taking NE teams to task forever about leaving early and not wanting to play a ton of matches. I just do this amongst the region and tactfully (surprisingly enough), and I know others who like to play a ton who did things the same way as I in trying to get a better attitude towards playing matches. In the case of Brandeis events, the position is understandable when you've gotta catch something or else loiter for several hours. Short of people with cars taking them to the Newton to get into the city, you can't really do anything.

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Post by ezubaric » Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:07 pm

Rothlover wrote:What about when one of ya'lls teams left ACF regs 05 at rutgers early?
Uhh ... my team was in the finals and won that tournament, and Lenny, I believe, started feeling ill around lunch (the only reasonable explanation for why my team could beat his).
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Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:35 pm

Actually I didn't even know Princeton had left early at Brandeis when I made that post. The second part was about the Princeton attendance situation to be sure, but the first part was spurred by the offhand mention of at-that-point-unspecified "teams" leaving early from Brandeis, which reminded me that this has continued to be a problem at almost every tournament this year even after some discussion in the past.

My suggestion as an outsider who is admittedly not wholly familiar with the realities of transportation in Boston is that, if there is a drop-dead time for tournaments to end so that people can catch trains, perhaps it would be wise to start tournaments earlier in the day so that appropriate rounds can be played by said time?
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Post by Howard » Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:13 pm

LKos wrote:At that time, we didn't realize we had any choice about where to go and just thought we might put it in a more central location for the teams that were going.
That may be, but it would be every school's responsibility to know the rules for competition. The information that a school could choose the site to attend wasn't somehow secreted away from Princeton, was it? While I certainly don't have enough information to conclude Princeton's actions were malicious, it doesn't help Princeton's case to continue to post that Princeton was ignorant of their options.
LKos wrote:After ACF decided to keep it in Maryland, we were trying to figure out whether anyone was interested in grinding out a quadruple round robin at Maryland or whether to just drop out of ACF altogether.
This is unacceptable. Princeton registered for the tournament. Princeton should suck it up and play. "Uh, yea. Those three teams we signed up-- one can't make it, and the other two just don't want to go." If players don't want to attend, they shouldn't commit in the first place. Furthermore, it's poor leadership to encourage them to think that making these sorts of decisions after commitment is an acceptable behavior. Teams that enter tournaments know the risks.
LKos wrote:Then I came up with the much better idea of going to Brandeis.
Six days before a tournament to which three teams are committed is too late to come up with better ideas. Did Princeton bother to ask Maryland how this would inconvenience them? Was there any consideration for the effect this would have on the tournament?
LKos wrote:But as I mentioned before, cancelling teams in the week before a tournament is hardly unprecedented and I don't understand why it matters whether this happens because its members choose to do something else with their time or choose to play quiz bowl but at a preferred location. I suppose if we had just found out that we don't have enough people interested in going to a four-team tournament and had to pull out of ACF completely, you would be fine with it??
Much to the chagrin of some here, I'm one of the few that will say that quiz bowl holds a rather low priority in the grand scheme of things. But commitments don't. The club made a commitment. People were counting on the club. What's the difference between choosing to do something else or choosing another location? Not much. Once the commitment is made, these are nearly equally deplorable. Neither of these fall into the category of good reason. "Good reason" implies there's a responsibility to honor a higher commitment.
ezubaric wrote:Then the brackets were announced. Playoff brackets, since Jerry mentions the contract between TDs and players, are supposed to match teams of comprable strength. Rather than us getting revenge against MIT A or Harvard getting revenge against us, the playoff bracket was:

Princeton, 6-4
Princeton, 5-5
Dartmouth B, 0-10

No offense to Dartmouth B (who gave us a close game) or the other Princeton team (whom I get to play every week at practice), but given the choice between playing people I see constantly and a team that would have been in a different bracket without half the field leaving, I think our decision to save 3*40min=2 hrs was reasonable.
That depends. It wasn't reasonable if Dartmouth wanted to play those games. Certainly Dartmouth paid entry and deserves their money's worth. In this case, Princeton's actions deprived Dartmouth of matches for which they paid and wished to play.

If Princeton and Dartmouth mutually agreed, then one can presume it's in the best interests of all involved teams.

The most disturbing part of all this is the attitude that one school, with less than a week's notice may well have failed to honor completely two commitments at the expense of three other schools. Why has noone from Princeton acknowledged that this is a serious issue. If you guys think the circuit is nearly dead now, lack of respect for other teams will put the nail in the coffin.

Edits: fixed quote tags
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Post by grapesmoker » Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:28 pm

Actually, the rather ironic thing about the situation at Brandeis is that the departure of the Boston teams, coupled with Dartmouth's desire to also leave would have left both Princeton teams to play Rutgers and Brown, which were the two strongest teams in the tournament. Although I'm kind of disappointed in Dartmouth's early departure, they didn't decide to go to a different regionals because they wanted to play a stronger field and then left early.
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Post by LKos » Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:46 pm

Let me try this again:

1) Yes, we didn't realize we could go to Brandeis last Sunday when we suggested moving the Regionals to Princeton. If we had realized it, we wouldn't have made that proposal. If you don't believe it, there is no way I could convince you of it, other than to tell you that we usually prefer better options (playing 11 different teams at Brandeis) to worse ones (hosting Rutgers and VCU at Princeton).

2) You write that if we registered three teams, "Princeton should suck it up and play... Teams that enter tournament know the risks." At some point, you probably forgot that this is supposed to be an enjoyable experience and not a painful one. Teams that attempt to drag their members against their will to "suck it up" will not have many members left. Our team is built around willing participants and I doubt we'll ever change that and force people to "suck it up" and go to a tournament which they don't wish to attend for any reason they offer.

3) I agree that registering teams at a tournament is a committment that should not be broken under reasonable conditions. And Princeton rarely (if ever) has signed up teams to a tournament and then cancelled. But to require us to attend a tournament and spend the whole day playing one or two non-Princeton teams is not very fair. If I was hosting under such adverse conditions, I would certainly be understanding if members of a team wished to spend their weekend in a more productive way. As Jordan said, "these things happen" and there is no need to use words like "deplorable" to describe them. Maybe using such words could be considered a lack of respect for other teams that is supposedly leading to the death of the circuit?

4) I completely disagree that going to a tournament requires a team to stay until the bitter end, whatever hour of the evening or night that may be. If a tournament is running late (after 6 or 7) and a team needs to make a long trip and wishes to get home at a reasonable hour of the night, they should be free to make that choice, and not be held to public ridicule for that decision. Otherwise, more teams will simply stop coming to tournaments that have a high probability of ending late (like all ACF tournaments)

To conclude, I do regret any inconvenience to Maryland or VCU. If more tournaments had a policy of "you must pay when you sign up" (like ICT), there would be fewer cancellations but there would also be fewer teams signing up ahead of time. Each tournament can decide how they want to approach this tradeoff, but IMO it's better to be more flexible as a host since after all, quiz bowl is supposed to be a voluntary activity, not requiring "sucking it up because you thought a tournament would be good but prety much no one else signed up so you get to play a quadruple round robin and promise yourself to never register for that tournament again."

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Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:38 pm

LKos wrote:As Jordan said, "these things happen" and there is no need to use words like "deplorable" to describe them.
You have some points, but saying "these things happen" is outright ridiculous. "Roughly sixty percent of your field pulls out less than a week before the tournament, completely gutting the tournament, but oh well! These things happen!" If this would happen at a tournament I was hosting or playing in regardless of if the event lost three teams or thirty, I would be angry. So would others in the same situation, and I believe this anger would be justifiable.

I agree that it would suck to play against just three teams, but I would also think that the possibility of that occurring would cross one's mind more than one week before the event. While you did improve your weekend of play, you also ruined that of many other teams and that is the issue. This should have been considered and it doesn't appear that it was.
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Post by z2trillion » Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:11 am

I admit that our actions did screw over VCU, but you can't seriously believe that our pulling out two teams made the difference between Maryland being a quiz bowl paradise and the utter "catastrophe" that it was. For the love of god, there were only five teams showing up.

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Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:29 am

z2trillion wrote:I admit that our actions did screw over VCU, but you can't seriously believe that our pulling out two teams made the difference between Maryland being a quiz bowl paradise and the utter "catastrophe" that it was. For the love of god, there were only five teams showing up.
Ignoring the $300 or so that Maryland lost, a drop from five teams to two teams is pretty significant. By not showing up you took away any chance of holding a tournament with multiple match-ups and turned it into VCU playing two house teams and a group of high schoolers.

I don't think anyone's saying it was paradise; I think everyone not from Princeton is saying that it did make the event a joke.

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Post by ezubaric » Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:37 am

I don't think anyone (I'm not, at least) arguing that we handled things in the optimal manner. Those in charge of organizing our contingent either ignored or didn't request field updates (were there any?) in the time period for us to give more warning to the fine folks at Maryland. Had they had the information sooner and came to the same conclusion, this would have been a non-issue. This is where mistakes were made.

Likewise, it was only the fact that the field at Maryland was so small that this became such a cause celebre. Teams dropping out at even shorter notice happen all the time and don't engender this animosity.

We've taken issue with the motives imputed to our actions; certainly it could have been handled better.
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Post by FairyPrince » Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:47 pm

As an outside observer, I propose that the Princeton team be sent to
gayhab ... I mean a residential treatment facility where they
will be cured of their deep-seated inner hatred of Matt Weiner.
Clearly the Princeton team needs to enter a program in order to
examine why they would have such a hatred of another human being, and
if they did have that hatred, why they did not simply kill his puppy
or piss in his sandbox.

If they do so I am sure we will all applaud their realization that
they need help and their subsequent choice to seek immediate
treatment for their behavioral issues.

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Post by grapesmoker » Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:49 pm

Meanwhile, you could enter a program where they teach you to use the "Enter" key.
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Post by z2trillion » Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:59 am

sighs. I'm sure there was a way to make your point without descending to gay bashing.

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Post by Rothlover » Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:00 am

z2trillion wrote:sighs. I'm sure there was a way to make your point without descending to gay bashing.

-Mason
I'm pretty sure that was just a garden variety troll/joke post. Is there any reason people on your team should be particularly offended by that other than its ineffectiveness?

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Post by Trey » Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:35 am

A post by "FairyPrince" that uses the word "gayhab" is hard to write off as garden variety troll. Agreed, the post itself is lame enough not to warrant a remark, but to argue that it didn't involve gaybashing is disingenuous at best. Your insinuation that there's a particular reason Mason found it offensive isn't much better.

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Post by DumbJaques » Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:39 am

. . . Who cares. Seriously, you're arguing over the potential homophobia of a gimmick account. Stop.

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Post by Rothlover » Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:30 am

Trey wrote:A post by "FairyPrince" that uses the word "gayhab" is hard to write off as garden variety troll. Agreed, the post itself is lame enough not to warrant a remark, but to argue that it didn't involve gaybashing is disingenuous at best. Your insinuation that there's a particular reason Mason found it offensive isn't much better.
Nah, I was just wondering why they didn't ignore it/shake it off. Its not like this board has lacked gimmick accounts that say stupid things (I recall one involving me and a donut.) If the troll did hit some raw nerve, I'd probably want that person to feel like a douche, but since he made an awful gimmick account that isn't likely. And, since it was stupid of me to continue all this in the first place, I'll stop.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:42 pm

I wonder what person at "c-71-57-70-200.hsd1.il.comcast.net" has to make sarcastic troll posts whose point is unclear.
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