Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

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Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Knickerbocker glory » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:46 am

This is an announcement for what we are tentatively calling Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament (CMST), the annual iteration of the Nationals-minus spring open.

The tournament will be written by members of the University of California, Berkeley's quiz bowl team. The editing team will consist of me, Aseem Keyal, and Michael Coates of Berkeley quiz bowl, and joined by Weijia Cheng, Ryan Humphrey, Will Nediger, and Jennie Yang.

The tournament will attempt to adhere to last year's (This) Tournament is a Crime set, in style, difficulty, and in its exploration of new topics. The distribution for this tournament is taken from that set; for reference, here it is:

4/4 Literature (Will)
1.25/1.25 Long Fiction
1/1 Poetry
0.75/0.75 Drama
0.5/0.5 Short Fiction
0.5/0.5 "Miscellaneous" (non-fiction, literary criticism, literary history, other things that transcend or combine these genres)

4/4 History (Bruce)
1.25/1.25 American
1.25/1.25 World
1.25/1.25 European
0.25/0.25 "Other"

4/4 Science (Aseem and Ryan)
1/1 Biology
1/1 Chemistry
1/1 Physics
0.5/0.5 Math
0.5/0.5 Other Science

2/2 Beliefs (Aseem and Weijia)
1/1 Religion
1/1 Legends

3/3 Arts (Aseem and Jennie)
1/1 Painting and Sculpture
1/1 Classical Music and Opera
0.5/0.5 Other Visual Arts
0.5/0.5 Other Auditory Arts

2/2 Thought (Will)
1/1 Social Science
1/1 Philosophy

1/1 Other (Bruce and Michael)
0.33/0.33 Geography
0.33/0.33 Current Events
0.33/0.33 Academic Other

Mirror fees: We are charging $50 per team for mirrors (including house teams). PM me or email me at brucelou AT berkeley DOT edu for more info.

Current mirror sites:
University of Maryland (Mid-Atlantic)
University of Minnesota (Midwest)
Auburn University (Southeastern)
University of Warwick (UK)
McMaster University (Canada)
Stanford University (Pacific)
New York University (Northeastern)
Last edited by Knickerbocker glory on Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:24 pm

Glad to see this is happening.

I am playing at the Berkeley site with Neil Gurram and looking for two teammates, preferably ones that don't overlap with my knowledge base too heavily (but that's not super important). I encourage other players to visit the tournament's flagship site as well.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Mike Bentley » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:04 pm

I'll most likely be playing the Berkeley site and am also looking for teammates.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby i never see pigeons in wheeling » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:41 pm

Same as above.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Kevin » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:50 pm

Is there a date set for the Auburn mirror?
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Tornrak » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:06 pm

Similarly, I’d appreciate knowing when the Maryland mirror will be.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:53 pm

Same but for Berkeley so I can book my flights
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby cwest123 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 am

Kevin wrote:Is there a date set for the Auburn mirror?

The Auburn mirror will be on March 24. I'll get an announcement up over the break.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Knickerbocker glory » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:51 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Same but for Berkeley so I can book my flights


We are tentatively planning to host it on March 17.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Mike Bentley » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:07 am

Knickerbocker glory wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Same but for Berkeley so I can book my flights


We are tentatively planning to host it on March 17.


When do you think you'll have the date confirmed?
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Knickerbocker glory » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:04 pm

Mike Bentley wrote:
Knickerbocker glory wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Same but for Berkeley so I can book my flights


We are tentatively planning to host it on March 17.


When do you think you'll have the date confirmed?


When we have room reservations confirmed.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby aseem.keyal » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:26 pm

Knickerbocker glory wrote:
Mike Bentley wrote:
Knickerbocker glory wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Same but for Berkeley so I can book my flights


We are tentatively planning to host it on March 17.


When do you think you'll have the date confirmed?


When we have room reservations confirmed.

To expand on this, we've already sent in the request and it will hopefully be approved by next Friday (December 16th).
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby aseem.keyal » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:15 pm

aseem.keyal wrote:
Knickerbocker glory wrote:
Mike Bentley wrote:
Knickerbocker glory wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Same but for Berkeley so I can book my flights


We are tentatively planning to host it on March 17.


When do you think you'll have the date confirmed?


When we have room reservations confirmed.

To expand on this, we've already sent in the request and it will hopefully be approved by next Friday (December 16th).


Sorry for the delay. We've decided to change the date to March 10th, as quarter schools have finals the week after March 17th. We weren't able to get rooms in Berkeley for this date, so the tournament will take place at Stanford on March 10th. An announcement should be up shortly.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby t-bar » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:28 pm

Is there a date set for the NYU site?
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby 1.82 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:45 pm

I am not speaking for anyone but myself, but I find it odd and inconsistent that the Ann Arbor site was nixed for being too close to the Minneapolis site but a New York site has been approved despite the existence of a previously-announced College Park site.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Off To See The Lizard » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:06 pm

t-bar wrote:Is there a date set for the NYU site?


Still in the process of booking rooms and we’ll post an announcement when we’re more certain but it looks like it will most likely be March 3rd.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Granny Soberer » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:48 pm

1.82 wrote:I am not speaking for anyone but myself, but I find it odd and inconsistent that the Ann Arbor site was nixed for being too close to the Minneapolis site but a New York site has been approved despite the existence of a previously-announced College Park site.

It's less that it was "too close" and more that having Michigan and Minnesota sites would create two very small fields, rather than one healthy field. The editors apparently feel that both New York and College Park can support a reasonably-size field. I have no idea if that is true or not, but the Eastern Seaboard is much more dense than the Midwest so I certainly wouldn't be surprised.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby 1.82 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:41 pm

Granny Soberer wrote:
1.82 wrote:I am not speaking for anyone but myself, but I find it odd and inconsistent that the Ann Arbor site was nixed for being too close to the Minneapolis site but a New York site has been approved despite the existence of a previously-announced College Park site.

It's less that it was "too close" and more that having Michigan and Minnesota sites would create two very small fields, rather than one healthy field. The editors apparently feel that both New York and College Park can support a reasonably-size field. I have no idea if that is true or not, but the Eastern Seaboard is much more dense than the Midwest so I certainly wouldn't be surprised.


This would be fine if it were true that the East Coast could support multiple fields for a nationals-prep tournament, but it's not. When I last checked earlier this week, there were three teams signed up for the Maryland site of this tournament. Last year at the only East Coast site of (This) Tournament Is a Crime, there were six teams. Granted, several teams that year (including Maryland A) attended the Michigan site, so we can look back further to the previous year, when the only American East Coast site of "stanford housewrite" drew a field of fourteen teams, including three from Chicago and one from Michigan. Taking out the Midwestern teams, that leaves ten East Coast teams that played that tournament, which most certainly does not suggest that the field was robust enough to be split across two sites. For this reason, there has been only a single East Coast site (not counting Canada) of the spring open tournament the last three years, and there was no reason to think that things would be any different this year.

When Minnesota was awarded a mirror of this tournament, they agreed to host the tournament with the expectation that they would have the only Midwestern site. Similarly, when Maryland was awarded its mirror, everyone at Maryland expected that there would be no other East Coast site. When Michigan announced a site in spite of that, Minnesotans naturally took exception, leading to the Michigan site being canceled. Why, then, is this now happening again? For Berkeley to make the mistake of cannibalizing one field without informing its host is an honest mistake; to do it twice is a problem.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Great End » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:08 pm

1.82 wrote:
Granny Soberer wrote:
1.82 wrote:I am not speaking for anyone but myself, but I find it odd and inconsistent that the Ann Arbor site was nixed for being too close to the Minneapolis site but a New York site has been approved despite the existence of a previously-announced College Park site.

It's less that it was "too close" and more that having Michigan and Minnesota sites would create two very small fields, rather than one healthy field. The editors apparently feel that both New York and College Park can support a reasonably-size field. I have no idea if that is true or not, but the Eastern Seaboard is much more dense than the Midwest so I certainly wouldn't be surprised.


This would be fine if it were true that the East Coast could support multiple fields for a nationals-prep tournament, but it's not. When I last checked earlier this week, there were three teams signed up for the Maryland site of this tournament. Last year at the only East Coast site of (This) Tournament Is a Crime, there were six teams. Granted, several teams that year (including Maryland A) attended the Michigan site, so we can look back further to the previous year, when the only American East Coast site of "stanford housewrite" drew a field of fourteen teams, including three from Chicago and one from Michigan. Taking out the Midwestern teams, that leaves ten East Coast teams that played that tournament, which most certainly does not suggest that the field was robust enough to be split across two sites. For this reason, there has been only a single East Coast site (not counting Canada) of the spring open tournament the last three years, and there was no reason to think that things would be any different this year.

When Minnesota was awarded a mirror of this tournament, they agreed to host the tournament with the expectation that they would have the only Midwestern site. Similarly, when Maryland was awarded its mirror, everyone at Maryland expected that there would be no other East Coast site. When Michigan announced a site in spite of that, Minnesotans naturally took exception, leading to the Michigan site being canceled. Why, then, is this now happening again? For Berkeley to make the mistake of cannibalizing one field without informing its host is an honest mistake; to do it twice is a problem.


Last year there were actually two East Coast sites of TTIAC, one at Maryland and one at Harvard, with 6 and 8 teams respectively. So, it is true that there don't seem to be a ton of teams on the East Coast who seem to want to play a Nats- tournament. However, it seems that many of these Northeast/New England teams simply do not show up if there is only one site at Maryland--Columbia was the northernmost team to go to the Maryland site of Stanford Housewrite.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby 1.82 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:58 pm

Great End wrote:
1.82 wrote:
Granny Soberer wrote:
1.82 wrote:I am not speaking for anyone but myself, but I find it odd and inconsistent that the Ann Arbor site was nixed for being too close to the Minneapolis site but a New York site has been approved despite the existence of a previously-announced College Park site.

It's less that it was "too close" and more that having Michigan and Minnesota sites would create two very small fields, rather than one healthy field. The editors apparently feel that both New York and College Park can support a reasonably-size field. I have no idea if that is true or not, but the Eastern Seaboard is much more dense than the Midwest so I certainly wouldn't be surprised.


This would be fine if it were true that the East Coast could support multiple fields for a nationals-prep tournament, but it's not. When I last checked earlier this week, there were three teams signed up for the Maryland site of this tournament. Last year at the only East Coast site of (This) Tournament Is a Crime, there were six teams. Granted, several teams that year (including Maryland A) attended the Michigan site, so we can look back further to the previous year, when the only American East Coast site of "stanford housewrite" drew a field of fourteen teams, including three from Chicago and one from Michigan. Taking out the Midwestern teams, that leaves ten East Coast teams that played that tournament, which most certainly does not suggest that the field was robust enough to be split across two sites. For this reason, there has been only a single East Coast site (not counting Canada) of the spring open tournament the last three years, and there was no reason to think that things would be any different this year.

When Minnesota was awarded a mirror of this tournament, they agreed to host the tournament with the expectation that they would have the only Midwestern site. Similarly, when Maryland was awarded its mirror, everyone at Maryland expected that there would be no other East Coast site. When Michigan announced a site in spite of that, Minnesotans naturally took exception, leading to the Michigan site being canceled. Why, then, is this now happening again? For Berkeley to make the mistake of cannibalizing one field without informing its host is an honest mistake; to do it twice is a problem.


Last year there were actually two East Coast sites of TTIAC, one at Maryland and one at Harvard, with 6 and 8 teams respectively. So, it is true that there don't seem to be a ton of teams on the East Coast who seem to want to play a Nats- tournament. However, it seems that many of these Northeast/New England teams simply do not show up if there is only one site at Maryland--Columbia was the northernmost team to go to the Maryland site of Stanford Housewrite.


My apologies; I missed the Harvard site because no stats were posted on hsqb. In any case, that means that the last two spring opens both had combined fields of 14. If we accept that six teams is the bare minimum necessary for a viable field for a hard tournament, then a group of 14 teams split across two sites requires an almost even split between fields to work. This was possible when sites were at Maryland and Harvard, but only with the presence of a large number of Maryland house teams. Placing the northern site further south cannot possibly augment a Maryland site that was already marginal last year, and it's not okay to spring that without notice on a Maryland club that announced their mirror well in advance.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Cody » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:02 pm

Having sites in College Park and NYC is a bad idea. It was a bad idea for George Oppen. It was a bad idea for SCT 2015. College Park and NYC will never make a good pair of sites for mirrors. Stop doing it!

(And doubly stop doing it without consulting an existing mirror first!)
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby a bird » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:22 pm

Just like Naveed, I'm not speaking in an official capacity, but I have some observation and concerns about the East Coast mirror situation.

When a second Midwest mirror of CMST was announced, advocates of a 'one site per region' policy argued that:
Dylan Minarik wrote:the existence of this [U of Michigan] site is bad for the Spring Open
and
Ryan Rosenberg wrote: having only one Midwest site makes the most sense


As I understand it, the main argument was that having one site of the pre-Nats open with a strong field is better than having two with weaker, "diluted" fields. The community decided that having one site in the Midwest with a stronger field was preferable.

I think the "big picture" question is this: are Northeast teams willing to travel longer distances to allow for a single stronger spring open site? As Jason pointed out, the New England schools have in the recent past either played the spring open at a New England site, or not played the tournament. (As was the case for "stanford housewrite" at Maryland when that was the only East Coast mirror.) Dividing the strong teams (specifically the teams interested in playing a hard tournament) into two fields has clearly led to small, "diluted" fields. Avoiding this was a primary goal in canceling the Michigan mirror of CMST, so are we really happy with this state of affairs in the Northeast/East Coast?

Having two sites will probably result in a more teams playing the set, so maybe that makes it worth splitting the fields. I certainly don't blame the editors for trying to maximize the number of teams that play the set. Ultimately, though, I think the community needs to find a balance between having strong fields and having more sites for a hard tournament like this.

I've tried to address the 'number of sites' issue, not the specific issues posed by having sites in College Park and NYC, which Naveed and Cody have started to dig into. If we decide that having two East Coast sites is appropriate, there are still problems with the current mirror arrangement.
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Re: Cal's Mid-Spring Tournament—March 2018

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:02 am

Here's another thought - teams who intend on playing Nationals should play a Nationals-prep tournament as well! I know that Penn plans to play here, but Duke, Virginia, Delaware, and other strong teams should sign up as well!
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