General principles

General principles

Postby theMoMA » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:16 pm

1. Sensible progression in difficulty throughout the year coupled with a good mixture of easy and hard events throughout the year.
2. Two tournaments per month when possible, but no more.
3. Encouraging collaboration and cooperation among teams.
4. SCT and Regionals are the February tournaments.
5. Respect existing events and weekends when possible.
6. All regions should play a tournament on one of two adjacent weekends (eliminate very delayed mirrors except in special cases, for example spring break time, beginning of the year, or right before winter break).
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Re: General principles

Postby DumbJaques » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:20 pm

2. Two tournaments per month when possible, but no more.
3. Encouraging collaboration and cooperation among teams.
4. SCT and Regionals are the February tournaments.
5. Respect existing events and weekends when possible


Uh, does anyone else see a massive difference between items 2/4 and 3/5? Namely, the latter are basically universal sentiments we all share and could probably use a bit more organization in accomplishing; the former, however, are rigid rules seemingly dropped onto an entirely organic quizbowl community from on high. Perhaps this isn't at all what Andrew meant to imply, but if I were planning on running a February tournament, this post would seem to indicate that Andrew Hart will not allow it.

While 3 tournaments in a month may not be the most ideal thing in the world, the reality is there are other issues (school schedules, holidays, high school tournaments that must be scheduled around SAT dates and other high school events, etc. etc.) that might come first. If we're simply going to try and eliminate the situation last year where there was like nothing at all for huge stretches in the fall and then an expanded death march in the late winter, I'm all for it; if we're going to be completely re-scripting the way scheduling has been done for the past whenever under new maxims declared in this thread, I'm thoroughly against it and will add that such an idea just sounds plain silly.
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Re: General principles

Postby grapesmoker » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:44 pm

Based on my extensive experience I would have to say that the absolute clusterfuck of tournaments that has happened in February over the last couple years is an unmitigated disaster. People randomly deciding to run this or that event without consulting anyone else basically end up sapping circuit energy away from things like SCT and ACF Regionals, which are the two major "regular difficulty" events of the year. In addition, the exhaustion of 4 tournaments in a row breeds apathy when it comes to writing nationals packets.

The truth is that quizbowl is a community and it's high time that the community organized itself along lines of mutual respect. No one can force you not to run a tournament in February; we are asking people to voluntarily refrain from doing so because it tends to be detrimental to attendance and circuit health.
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Re: General principles

Postby Sun Devil Student » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:32 pm

theMoMA wrote:1. Sensible progression in difficulty throughout the year coupled with a good mixture of easy and hard events throughout the year.
2. Two tournaments per month when possible, but no more.
3. Encouraging collaboration and cooperation among teams.
4. SCT and Regionals are the February tournaments.
5. Respect existing events and weekends when possible.
6. All regions should play a tournament on one of two adjacent weekends (eliminate very delayed mirrors except in special cases, for example spring break time, beginning of the year, or right before winter break).

These sound good. I would also suggest not having tournaments on back-to-back weekends within any month, though I can understand if some months have to have their two tournaments for that month in quick succession for spring break/holiday/other reasons. Especially in the fall with new freshmen still adjusting to college, it would be much easier on them if they got weekends off between tournaments to catch up on schoolwork and stuff. The fact is, not everyone comes into college or quizbowl with superb time-management skills; it's not in our community's interest to punish for that if we're trying to spread the gospel.

Also, where do high school tournaments fit into all of this? I suppose they'd go into the off-weekends between college tournaments, which works just fine; hosting is much less time-intensive than traveling, so it would be easier to travel-host-travel-host rather than travel two weekends in a row and then hosting.
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Re: General principles

Postby Matt Weiner » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:34 pm

DumbJaques wrote:
2. Two tournaments per month when possible, but no more.
3. Encouraging collaboration and cooperation among teams.
4. SCT and Regionals are the February tournaments.
5. Respect existing events and weekends when possible


Uh, does anyone else see a massive difference between items 2/4 and 3/5? Namely, the latter are basically universal sentiments we all share and could probably use a bit more organization in accomplishing; the former, however, are rigid rules seemingly dropped onto an entirely organic quizbowl community from on high. Perhaps this isn't at all what Andrew meant to imply, but if I were planning on running a February tournament, this post would seem to indicate that Andrew Hart will not allow it.

While 3 tournaments in a month may not be the most ideal thing in the world, the reality is there are other issues (school schedules, holidays, high school tournaments that must be scheduled around SAT dates and other high school events, etc. etc.) that might come first. If we're simply going to try and eliminate the situation last year where there was like nothing at all for huge stretches in the fall and then an expanded death march in the late winter, I'm all for it; if we're going to be completely re-scripting the way scheduling has been done for the past whenever under new maxims declared in this thread, I'm thoroughly against it and will add that such an idea just sounds plain silly.


This sort of attitude is exactly what has hampered this project in the past. There's any number of easy excuses to say this won't work or to throw up a huge hissyfit about evil bureaucrat Andrew Hart trying to enforce his scheme of a totally voluntary system on you through the insidious method of persuading you through rational argument that it would be a good thing. It's time to stop putting forth said excuses and get serious about the fact that tournaments as they are currently run are horrendously difficult to market to new teams because they are so haphazard and poorly coordinated.
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Re: General principles

Postby Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:49 pm

theMoMA wrote:1. Sensible progression in difficulty throughout the year coupled with a good mixture of easy and hard events throughout the year.


How are we doing on this one, especially with regards to easy tournaments? If Delta Burke is mirrorable everywhere, it looks like we have one strictly-novice event (Early Autumn Collegiate Novice) first, followed by two easy events in the fall (ACF Fall, Delta Burke) and two in the spring (DII SCT, MUT) for inexperienced players to compete on and learn from especially accessible questions. That seems like a sufficient amount for most circuits, especially with the high number of within-a-standard-deviation-of-regular difficulty housewrites and collaborations people seem intent on writing, but it's worth asking just to see.
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Re: General principles

Postby DumbJaques » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:59 pm

This sort of attitude is exactly what has hampered this project in the past. There's any number of easy excuses to say this won't work or to throw up a huge hissyfit about evil bureaucrat Andrew Hart trying to enforce his scheme of a totally voluntary system on you through the insidious method of persuading you through rational argument that it would be a good thing. It's time to stop putting forth said excuses and get serious about the fact that tournaments as they are currently run are horrendously difficult to market to new teams because they are so haphazard and poorly coordinated.


I guess we could instead characterize me as "evil" or throwing a "hissyfit" for similarly taking this "persuading by rational argument" approach? I'm not aware of any track record I have of standing in the way of marketing quizbowl to new teams, and really I'm on board with the vast majority of what Andrew is trying to do (as I've indicated to him previously), so I'm not sure where all that's quite coming from.

In fact, my post was mostly an attempt to point out how elements of this very good plan could in fact give off some of the negative impressions we're trying to fix. I'm certainly not in favor of having a death march of tournaments and have no problem whatsoever with leaving February entirely devoted to SCT and Regionals (a tournament whose promotion I'm particularly interested in, as I've worked on it in the past). If Jerry thinks that's going to help Nationals packets get done sooner, that's even better, though I personally doubt occupied Saturdays will solve our collectively atrocious issue with submitting things in a timely manner. But when we start declaring that "there can't be three tournaments in a month" and stuff like that, I mean, I guess I see that as also potentially offputting to prospective community members (for a different set of reasons). Do we not really mean this sentiment seriously? I mean, if November sees ACF Fall and two other tournaments run, obviously Andrew Hart isn't going to show up at your house with and disappear you, so why are we saying using language like "no more?" I'm not trying to deliberately screw with anything here, I'm just pointing out what seems like an inconsistency here. Matt characterizes this thread as an attempt to persuade with rational argument (for a goal that, I'd like to reiterate, I pretty much share), but that's not what "two tournaments per month. . . but no more" reads like, so maybe the argument could be better presented? Maybe not, and my perspective is just wrong here, but I'd appreciate not being treated like I'm trying to derail quizbowl good just by bringing it up.

Incidentally, I don't see it as something horrible if there's a 3-tournament month. Particulary, if one of those tournaments is Fall or another event a similar percentage of the community won't be playing, and one of the others is something like MO that isn't targeted toward some of the more novice players. Do other people see this as a huge issue, or something that must face zero compromise if any of these goals at all are to be enacted?
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Re: General principles

Postby Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:12 am

I am in favor of an alternate-week, Saturday-only, no-side event system for several reasons. One is that we can help avoid the problem of colleges being unable to attend tournaments because they are hosting high school events, by alternating the two. Another is that we can legitimately start pushing the message that real teams go to all tournaments. Right now, what with the death marches and all, there's no way we can say that with a straight face.
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Re: General principles

Postby DumbJaques » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:22 am

I am in favor of an alternate-week, Saturday-only, no-side event system for several reasons. One is that we can help avoid the problem of colleges being unable to attend tournaments because they are hosting high school events, by alternating the two. Another is that we can legitimately start pushing the message that real teams go to all tournaments. Right now, what with the death marches and all, there's no way we can say that with a straight face.


I certainly see the logic behind this idea, and would of course love for that conclusion to be realized. I'm not sure I see a total lack of side events or two-day events as necessary, though I'm open to hearing the argument. I mean, is there really no room for a middle ground here? What about trash events like TERP or Penn Trash - is there a similar objection to having those run as Saturday-Sunday combos with academic events? To me, it seems like there's a lot of arguments in favor of setting it up that way (encouraging more trash-centric teams to play regular tournament chief among them). Similarly, I see some benefit to the occasional setup of (to use our hosting slate last year as an example) something like an IO/MUT pairing on the same weekend. I'm on board with the reasoning you're outlining above, but while it does seem to sensibly apply to a staggered weekend scheduling, it doesn't seem as crucially reliant on eliminating side events/Sunday tournaments.*

*On that note, are you saying that you're against any tournament being held on Sunday, even if there's nothing going on Saturday?
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Re: General principles

Postby Bartleby » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:30 am

DumbJaques wrote:
I am in favor of an alternate-week, Saturday-only, no-side event system for several reasons. One is that we can help avoid the problem of colleges being unable to attend tournaments because they are hosting high school events, by alternating the two. Another is that we can legitimately start pushing the message that real teams go to all tournaments. Right now, what with the death marches and all, there's no way we can say that with a straight face.


I certainly see the logic behind this idea, and would of course love for that conclusion to be realized. I'm not sure I see a total lack of side events or two-day events as necessary, though I'm open to hearing the argument. I mean, is there really no room for a middle ground here? What about trash events like TERP or Penn Trash - is there a similar objection to having those run as Saturday-Sunday combos with academic events? To me, it seems like there's a lot of arguments in favor of setting it up that way (encouraging more trash-centric teams to play regular tournament chief among them). Similarly, I see some benefit to the occasional setup of (to use our hosting slate last year as an example) something like an IO/MUT pairing on the same weekend. I'm on board with the reasoning you're outlining above, but while it does seem to sensibly apply to a staggered weekend scheduling, it doesn't seem as crucially reliant on eliminating side events/Sunday tournaments.*

*On that note, are you saying that you're against any tournament being held on Sunday, even if there's nothing going on Saturday?


I think that trash tournaments are a separate arena, however. I mean, I'm in the very early stages of perhaps holding a trash tournament next year (a new one, mind you, and not a mirror or TERP, PBT or any other tournament), and my plan has been to wait and see how the academic scheduling pans out before I start making concrete plans for my tournament, because I think that academic quiz bowl should take precedence, and I don't want to infringe upon anyone's weekend of choice. That being said... teams should be playing EFT, THUNDER (if it happens), Penn Bowl, Delta Burke, ACF tournaments, MUT and SCT etc provided there's a mirror that's reasonable for them to attend. I think that both trash and open tournaments can be a little more flexible in their scheduling because not everyone is going to want to play them.

Edit: clarity.
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Re: General principles

Postby theMoMA » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:36 am

Also, I think it's not a huge deal if there are overlapping tournaments that draw nowhere near the same fields. For example, if Minnesota Open and Delta Burke got mirrored regionally during the same two weeks, that would be totally fine with me. I'd even be down for the old divisional model where some teams play the harder event and some teams play the easier one at two concurrent tournaments for sites that have enough staff (this worked well at UTC a couple years ago). I just don't want to see this as an excuse to do what we've always done and stack the schedule. I also think that leaving February for Regionals and SCT is absolutely the way to go. We need to emphasize that those tournaments are the tournaments, and there's no better way to do that.
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Re: General principles

Postby minusfive » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:05 pm

theMoMA wrote:1. Sensible progression in difficulty throughout the year coupled with a good mixture of easy and hard events throughout the year.
2. Two tournaments per month when possible, but no more.
3. Encouraging collaboration and cooperation among teams.
4. SCT and Regionals are the February tournaments.
5. Respect existing events and weekends when possible.
6. All regions should play a tournament on one of two adjacent weekends (eliminate very delayed mirrors except in special cases, for example spring break time, beginning of the year, or right before winter break).


Speaking as a Canadian quizbowler, we have exams right in the most exciting time for quizbowl-April. Given the predominance of so many American schools compared to Canadian schools in quizbowl, that's understandable, but if you're looking for a reason Canadian teams don't show up to ACF Nats and have a habit (with some awesome notable exceptions) of not attending other tournaments/not attending or not doing that well at NAQT ICT, that's part of the reason why. March and May work best for most Canadian students, I would bet.
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Re: General principles

Postby Bartleby » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:26 pm

minusfive wrote:
theMoMA wrote:1. Sensible progression in difficulty throughout the year coupled with a good mixture of easy and hard events throughout the year.
2. Two tournaments per month when possible, but no more.
3. Encouraging collaboration and cooperation among teams.
4. SCT and Regionals are the February tournaments.
5. Respect existing events and weekends when possible.
6. All regions should play a tournament on one of two adjacent weekends (eliminate very delayed mirrors except in special cases, for example spring break time, beginning of the year, or right before winter break).


Speaking as a Canadian quizbowler, we have exams right in the most exciting time for quizbowl-April. Given the predominance of so many American schools compared to Canadian schools in quizbowl, that's understandable, but if you're looking for a reason Canadian teams don't show up to ACF Nats and have a habit (with some awesome notable exceptions) of not attending other tournaments/not attending or not doing that well at NAQT ICT, that's part of the reason why. March and May work best for most Canadian students, I would bet.


I can echo Jordan on this. I studied for Canadian History on the greyhound back from ICT, and wrote that exam at 7 PM on Monday the 11th -- less than twenty-four hours after I had returned from Chicago. Even if UWO considered itself good enough to enter ACF Nats, AND we had assembled a packet in time for the tournament, attending would have been pretty much an impossibility because of exam schedules.
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Re: General principles

Postby Matt Weiner » Wed May 18, 2011 1:29 am

On other parts of the board, there's lots of high school tournaments already being scheduled, so the clock is ticking on this.
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