grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

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grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby geekjohnson » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:44 pm

just wanted to say that the idea of D2 being the JV division is bordering on hyperbole. D2 is more like NCAA college baseball, and D1 is like the MLB + farm system. Our form of collegiate competition is one of the only ones (that I am aware of) which allows lifetime participation. While there are certainly phenoms who compete in D1 from time to time right off of the bat, getting to the level of legitimate competition in D1 is not as simple as making the college world series the first year, and then having to play against Albert Pujols who is working on 600 homers (or his 2nd phd or 9th year of post-grad). Unless one is a player with the ability to spend lots of time focusing on quizbowl pursuits, or is just one of those brilliant people, academic considerations (esp. when combined with job necessity) make the idea of retaining D2 eligibility attractive. One thing I seem to be alone in (with respect to board members, though not tournament members) is the weariness of the continued use of the terms of "fake" national titles and such. I am not telling anyone how to post, but if the idea of such fake championships like D2 and the like is so disreputable, why not do away with it? I presume because of the amount of interest it generates in numbers and participation. Keep in mind, to a lot of players (including myself when I was in that boat) look at the transition to D1 as a sort of retirement, due to not having either the ability or more importantly the time to dedicate themselves to the game in order to be competitive against players working on their 7th national championship in their 2nd or 3rd decade of collegiate competition. I have always been in favor of a separation of purely undergraduate (those without an undergraduate degree) players and graduate players, but I understand that is not the desire, especially when it comes from upper echelon of players (those who are dedicated enough to keep the game running outside of NAQT). This is not simply a critique, because the game has grown tremendously from their hard work. Just the perspective of why D2 eligibility is paramount to some, because it is probably the only legit time they "might" be able to contend for national championships, fake or not.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby bird bird bird bird bird » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:17 pm

geekjohnson wrote:a lot of players (including myself when I was in that boat) look at the transition to D1 as a sort of retirement, due to not having either the ability or more importantly the time to dedicate themselves to the game in order to be competitive against players working on their 7th national championship in their 2nd or 3rd decade of collegiate competition.


I just wanted to note that the above passage does not accurately describe recent DI ICT fields.

Of the top 20 individual scorers at the 2010 ICT:

-None of them played DI ICT in 2000 or before

-Only three of them played DI ICT prior to 2005

-Five of them played DI ICT for the first time in 2010
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Susan » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:29 pm

James, I find it a little weird that you would point out hyperbole in someone else's post while including this sentence in yours:

Keep in mind, to a lot of players (including myself when I was in that boat) look at the transition to D1 as a sort of retirement, due to not having either the ability or more importantly the time to dedicate themselves to the game in order to be competitive against players working on their 7th national championship in their 2nd or 3rd decade of collegiate competition.


(Are there any national champions in any format--obviously excluding TRASH--who had a "3rd decade of collegiate competition"? More than--I think--four in recent memory, only two of which are still playing, who are in their second? I am sorry that you are so upset by Jeff Hoppes and Selene Koo, man.)

Anyway, the "retirement" concept you mention kind of baffles me. Even people who don't wish to put in the time/effort to be Nationals contenders--or even ICT-qualifying contenders--have plenty of opportunities to play (some of which will be at novice tournaments/undergrad events, so they won't have to gaze upon the unsightly visages of grad students) and stay part of the community. If you mean that they look upon transitioning to D1 as retirement because they'll no longer be in contention for national titles, well, I'm wholly unsympathetic to that argument.

I continue to wonder if the appropriate response to the whole MY PRECIOUS D2 ELIGIBILITY problem is just to restrict D2 to people in their first year of intercollegiate quizbowl (or to cut it out altogether).
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby jonah » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:35 pm

Susan wrote:Are there any national champions in any format--obviously excluding TRASH--who had a "3rd decade of collegiate competition"?
While I mostly agree with your post, Susan, if you consider 2009 and 2010 to be in different decades (as many people do, though I'm familiar with the case for why they aren't), then Andrew Yaphe was in his third decade of collegiate competition when he won 2010 ACF Nationals.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby bird bird bird bird bird » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:41 pm

jonah wrote:
Susan wrote:Are there any national champions in any format--obviously excluding TRASH--who had a "3rd decade of collegiate competition"?
While I mostly agree with your post, Susan, if you consider 2009 and 2010 to be in different decades (as many people do, though I'm familiar with the case for why they aren't), then Andrew Yaphe was in his third decade of collegiate competition when he won 2010 ACF Nationals.


Calendar decades are arbitrary constructs that shouldn't come up in discussions like this (<sportsanalogy>No, Jack Morris should not be in the Hall of Fame</sportsanalogy>). The right way to do this is: "is this player in his or her 11th, 21st, etc. year of playing college quizbowl?"
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:58 pm

Susan wrote:James, I find it a little weird that you would point out hyperbole in someone else's post while including this sentence in yours:

Keep in mind, to a lot of players (including myself when I was in that boat) look at the transition to D1 as a sort of retirement, due to not having either the ability or more importantly the time to dedicate themselves to the game in order to be competitive against players working on their 7th national championship in their 2nd or 3rd decade of collegiate competition.


Anyway, the "retirement" concept you mention kind of baffles me.


Well where do most of these players go, then? Not only players, but entire programs sometimes shut down after players lose their D1 eligibility. It's just a fact. They retire for whatever reason, and the most likely reason seems to be that they are either tired of the game or they cower away from the increases in difficulty level. Of course, I don't endorse the concept of such a "retirement" but there is no doubt that this happens on a consistent basis.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby NickConderWKU » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:24 pm

geekjohnson wrote: Keep in mind, to a lot of players (including myself when I was in that boat) look at the transition to D1 as a sort of retirement, due to not having either the ability or more importantly the time to dedicate themselves to the game in order to be competitive against players working on their 7th national championship in their 2nd or 3rd decade of collegiate competition. I have always been in favor of a separation of purely undergraduate (those without an undergraduate degree) players and graduate players...Just the perspective of why D2 eligibility is paramount to some, because it is probably the only legit time they "might" be able to contend for national championships, fake or not.


http://naqt.com/college/undergraduate.html

I don't think players should be "retiring" when they become D1 and have to play grad students, because in my opinion the undergrad title should alleviate this problem. Once a player does lose their D2 eligibility and becomes D1, they would have to play against some grad students at ICT since all the D1 teams are thrown in together, but they still get to compete for a national championship against other teams of only undergrads.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby grapesmoker » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:10 pm

Oh hay we haven't seen some grad student bashing for a while. I too enjoyed this trip to 2004.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby geekjohnson » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:37 am

I did not, or intend to, insinuate that grad school players participating was detrimental. I simply think that it is farcical to have the playing field composed of undergraduates and graduates. The idea contains no implicit denigration of anyone involved. Obviously there is a large amount of lesser experienced players capable of competing and defeating those with more years under their belt. But there is no denying the opposite idea, as shown by the valuing of D2 eligibility.

The "idea" of the UG title is good, but so are other theoretical concepts. The similar "idea" remained for the CC division for years, with them competing and being over matched (on average) by their 4 year counterparts. There should be separate divisions for CCs, UGs, and Grads. It is only sensible. One year of competing against other UGs and then being thrown into a playing field with disproportionate gaps. Last ICT had a field of only 1/4th UG teams. Granted UG players still compete on teams not under UG teams. Given the response of my suggestion I believe there is one sensible solution...NAQT can insert a question on the subject in their survey at the end of ICT. At the very least they can gauge the feeling on such matters. It would also be interesting see how the demo would break down, with relation to which players (UG and Grad) feel which way the most.

P.S.: I am not saying UGs should not be allowed to compete against Grads. Like CCs can go to the 4-year SCT if they choose, UG players could play on Grad teams as well.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:58 am

The "idea" of the UG title is good, but so are other theoretical concepts. The similar "idea" remained for the CC division for years, with them competing and being over matched (on average) by their 4 year counterparts.

What "idea" are you talking about? Last year the Undergraduate national champion at ACF Nationals was within a single tossup of also being the national champion overall. Undergraduate champions have been in contention for titles or at least very very high trophy spots for the last couple years at both the ICT and ACF national championships. It's not like undergraduate title teams are some sort of failed experiment where we tried to get eligible teams to come to nationals and they always placed in the bottom half of the field, outclassed by all the scary graduate students. Undergraduate teams, and undergraduate players, routinely go neck and neck with any opposition at any level. Even high school teams routinely beat graduate students by a lot (HIGH SCHOOL). It's really absurd to harp on this point when a team of 17 year olds can place 12th at a national championship.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby geekjohnson » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:16 am

It is the principle that is absurd. Although I understand that my opinion is of no consequence. The idea of an undergraduate team having to compete for their championship against teams with graduate players is more absurd than my assertion. Again, all that is needed is a simple question on the surveys.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:52 am

geekjohnson wrote:It is the principle that is absurd. Although I understand that my opinion is of no consequence. The idea of an undergraduate team having to compete for their championship against teams with graduate players is more absurd than my assertion. Again, all that is needed is a simple question on the surveys.

If you are of that mind, then consider in your mind the undergrad title to be the one that really matters, and the overall title being some sort of super-open title. Calling it those things won't change the fact that almost all undergraduate teams who are actually in contention for the undergrad title (example: Minnesota, past Dartmouth editions, various Harvard teams) are entirely capable of taking games--usually, several--off the top five grad-student-included teams, and those teams are the ones for which the undergraduate title matters most, so it's not like the inclusion of grad-student-included teams muddies the important data for the top undergraduate teams.

I also don't see why the principle is absurd. You're repeating that it's absurd, but not demonstrating why it is so--there isn't a meaningful difference in how much year five versus year four of participation helps you versus year four versus year three. You could equally create a new seniors division, or one for people defending their theses.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:50 am

geekjohnson wrote:It is the principle that is absurd. Although I understand that my opinion is of no consequence. The idea of an undergraduate team having to compete for their championship against teams with graduate players is more absurd than my assertion. Again, all that is needed is a simple question on the surveys.

Quizbowl surveys literally lead to teams advocating that fine arts and literature questions be removed from tournaments. I have no faith in the ability of a survey of people who often have no meaningful, informed opinion about quizbowl (beyond that it's a game they like to play sometimes) to successfully answer questions about what is right for the future of quizbowl.

As Andy pointed out, you give no reason to defend why you are saying it's absurd that we find it acceptable for undergraduate teams to play alongside graduate teams. Eligibility rules clearly allow graduate students, and they always have since before we were born, and never in the history of the game have there been more talented undergraduate teams vying for top honors in national championships. But making assertions with no evidence and then hiding behind an announcement of your impending victimization to intrinsically cheapen anything we have to say to you sure is an awesome way to engage in a debate. If you can't rationally defend your opinion using evidence and without using cheap tactics like that, then yeah, your opinion is indeed "of no consequence."
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby grapesmoker » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:27 am

geekjohnson wrote:It is the principle that is absurd. Although I understand that my opinion is of no consequence. The idea of an undergraduate team having to compete for their championship against teams with graduate players is more absurd than my assertion. Again, all that is needed is a simple question on the surveys.


This is a stupid idea and you're stupid for having it.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Cheynem » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:29 pm

I'm a grad student and I have lost to a bunch of high schoolers and undergraduate teams. Being in grad school does not automatically turn you into a great player.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby geekjohnson » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:39 pm

The idea of it being absurd, as stated before, is due to them having disparities in experience, and levels of education. I never implied victimization. The fact of the top teams being able to compete against the top grad players is not a validating point for the practice to continue. Some of the best college football teams could compete against the panthers as well. I maybe stupid and propagating stupid ideas, but that doesn't mean the idea isn't logical. The fact that a lot more teams could compete in a national championship designed for them is incentive in my eyes. The teams you mention who take on the grad programs effective are not the only ones to consider. What about the teams who barely miss the cut, or never have a shot, because they would only be worthy of a bid if the graduate teams where not consider. Again, only 25% was UG last ICT. No one mentioned this. No one has said anything of the viability of having a separate UG and Graduate divisions (thus excluding the current D2 bracket), with the option of those moving up if interested, thereby letting those wanting to play in a mixed field do so, while at the same time letting those interested in playing against teams with like experience do so. I understand that the UG is something to shoot for, but it is obviously an ancillary title, with afterthoughts of the main D1 title. Call me names and whatever else you, but the idea of a D1 (Graduates) and D2(UGS) is logical, and in my stupid opinion a worthwhile venture. Also, your use of it has been that way since inception is a nice sentiment, but tradition is a poor substitute for fairness. In fact, I think Jerry is stupid for you having the idea :)
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Frater Taciturnus » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:50 pm

Your thesis seems to be dependent on the idea of D2 competition being the norm, and DI being some kind of "elevated" competition, as your reference to the idea of good college teams playing NFL teams suggests. While there may be more teams that are DII eligible and choose to compete at DII, it is still a fictional construct designed to coddle and handhold for inexperienced teams who in turn often feel no obligation to move on from the DII nest.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby grapesmoker » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:22 pm

geekjohnson wrote:The idea of it being absurd, as stated before, is due to them having disparities in experience, and levels of education.


What makes people good quizbowl players is their ability to remember shit and recall it in questions. Dedicating years of your life to specialized study won't do anything but make you better at that specialized thing.

I never implied victimization. The fact of the top teams being able to compete against the top grad players is not a validating point for the practice to continue. Some of the best college football teams could compete against the panthers as well. I maybe stupid and propagating stupid ideas, but that doesn't mean the idea isn't logical.


You may be stupid and your idea may be stupid but that doesn't mean your stupid idea isn't logical. I don't even care to untangle this mess of idiocy. Let me boil things down for you in simple terms: simply being a grad student does not mean you are better at quizbowl that non-grad students. Your point is therefore dumb and wrong.

The fact that a lot more teams could compete in a national championship designed for them is incentive in my eyes. The teams you mention who take on the grad programs effective are not the only ones to consider. What about the teams who barely miss the cut, or never have a shot, because they would only be worthy of a bid if the graduate teams where not consider. Again, only 25% was UG last ICT. No one mentioned this. No one has said anything of the viability of having a separate UG and Graduate divisions (thus excluding the current D2 bracket), with the option of those moving up if interested, thereby letting those wanting to play in a mixed field do so, while at the same time letting those interested in playing against teams with like experience do so. I understand that the UG is something to shoot for, but it is obviously an ancillary title, with afterthoughts of the main D1 title. Call me names and whatever else you, but the idea of a D1 (Graduates) and D2(UGS) is logical, and in my stupid opinion a worthwhile venture. Also, your use of it has been that way since inception is a nice sentiment, but tradition is a poor substitute for fairness.


No, your idea sucks, as demonstrated by the fact that good UG teams that aren't composed of lazy whiners have actually done things like nearly win tournaments. In fact, the driver behind Harvard's win was not Bruce, who, as far as I can tell, was answering about the same 2-3 tossups last year that he had been answering for years before then, but rather noted undergrads Andy Watkins and Dallas Simons.

Boo fucking hoo, grad students beat you up and stole your lunch money.

In fact, I think Jerry is stupid for you having the idea :)


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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Matt Weiner » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:23 pm

Attention, The South (not at all limited just to current and former members of the Alabama program, whose status as one of the 5 most active/high-performing teams in The South is prima facie evidence of how awful southern collegiate quizbowl is):

You get better by working to get better through such means as: writing good questions, looking up things you expect to be answers in the future and learning facts about them, reading books, and playing good questions at practice.

You do not get better by playing a schedule which mixes a stock of "skipping most tournaments" in with the rancid meat of "high school questions and trash," only occasionally ordering D2 SCT as your most challenging form of cuisine. You definitely don't get better by playing the JR Barry card of trying to argue that anyone who can beat you has an unfair advantage.

Don't like losing to grad students? Do the same thing you should do when you don't like losing to anyone else: get better. Teams dominated by James Johnson's sort of thinking are going to lose to grad students, undergrads, high schoolers, and the occasional precocious team of actual buzzer-shaped rocks because they suck, and they suck because they do not have any motivation to stop sucking, what with their bubble of even worse teams to beat on NAQT IS packets and mutually reinforcing idiots predicting an Alabama-Georgia final at ICT for the 15th straight year. There's no conspiracy, there's no unfairness, there's just you failing to man up and deal with reality.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby grapesmoker » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:25 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:Don't like losing to grad students? Do the same thing you should do when you don't like losing to anyone else: get better. Teams dominated by James Johnson's sort of thinking are going to lose to grad students, undergrads, high schoolers, and the occasional precocious team of actual buzzer-shaped rocks because they suck, and they suck because they do not have any motivation to stop sucking, what with their bubble of even worse teams to beat on NAQT IS packets and mutually reinforcing idiots predicting an Alabama-Georgia final at ICT for the 15th straight year. There's no conspiracy, there's no unfairness, there's just you failing to man up and deal with reality.


But you see Minnesota has an UNFAIR ADVANTAGE because...?!
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:32 pm

geekjohnson wrote:Again, only 25% was UG last ICT. No one mentioned this.

That's probably because you're using semantic acrobatics to make a point, rather than making a strong point. 25% of teams were undergraduate title eligible, but how many graduate students were there? Of the top ten scorers, six were graduate students. So even when we look at the very tip-top performers at the ICT your cherry-picked and cherry-phrased statistic is an exaggeration of graduate involvement in DI. There were nine in the top twenty! There are not that many graduate students, and the undergraduates are actually performing just as well.

So that's why, as you mention, we're not commenting on the viability of having a separate field for the undergrad title. (Though it raises some questions: must undergraduate teams who choose to "play up" forfeit their shot at the overall title? If not--and it's so stupid to make a team forfeit a chance at one title or another--how do you cross-compare teams? Even if you're satisfied with one answer or the other, yes or no, that does mean that there are at least some nontrivial difficulties with the separation.) We're also not commenting on the viability of a separate field for undergrad-ineligible teams with law students (you only get them for three years!) and with PhD students (you get them for tons of years!). Because it's not necessary.

Long story short: excusing away an unwillingness to play with the big boys as "it's unfair to expect me to play with the big boys" is a natural reaction, but it's not one that's worth building policy around.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Magister Ludi » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:32 pm

I can understand why this guy could find it "absurd" that quizbowl is the only collegiate program that allows graduate students to play with undergraduates because that at least makes a certain kind of sense. But, I'm tired of people claiming that the presence of grad students is responsible for the disintegration of Southern collegiate teams after they lose their Div II eligibility. Lets not pretend that teams stop playing after DII due the terrifying prospect of having to play Selene Koo in one game at ICT. Teams quit due to the difficulty upswing because they're too lazy to learn things that didn't come up in high school quizbowl.

If there were a solely undergrad division at ICT played on hard questions in which all the best undergrad teams played I doubt many of these iffy teams would show up. Does it make a difference to these people if Mike Sorice or Aaron Rosenberg beat them to a tossup on A Child of Our Time? I suspect that what you are actually suggesting is that these marginal teams might play more ICTs if all the grad students and best undergrads played in an upper division with harder questions, while the other teams could play the same Div II teams they've played before on questions only marginally more difficult than the ones they played at HSNCT.

Also, I find this argument is particularly silly to make at this moment when undergrad teams have become more dominant than ever. Of the teams that finished in the top ten in the pre-collegiate poll this year, only two are led by grad students (Penn and Illinois) with a couple others such as Minnesota and Yale featuring a younger grad student as one out of their primary players.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby geekjohnson » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:01 pm

So, instead of addressing the actual point of it being more logical or reasonable to have separations, I am now indicative of the overall suck of an entire region? The fact that my proposition is being construed as a way to avoid legitimate competition is saddening. I am also sad to observe the same stupidity endemic to "ACF IS IMPOSSIBLE" is present within those who have made the reality of quizbowl better through their ACF work.

To counter my "cherry-picking" of ICT stats, there is no identification of players being UG or Grad (outside of the top UG scorers and 8 UG teams), and since I am unfamiliar with every player's status I could not quantify such. Of course I never expected to be presenting stats in a formal manner, hence my simply ascertaining basic facts.

I am sick of some of you. Intelligence is not an excuse for being so overtly disrespectful and rancorous. The ability of undergraduate players to DEFEAT those of more experience has never been the foundation of my argument. The inherent unfairness to the majority of the field is, though. I am not making excuses for anyone, nor do I need to. Alabama's program was founded with the intent to play quizbowl, with university support. I am sorry that whatever tournaments we went to and still go to is lacking, in your opinion. Your anger will never affect me with regards to my personal quizbowl preferences, and I seriously doubt anyone cares the amount of derogatory names or hyperbole rife examples you include us in. I simply state that players should compete with those of like experience, like undergraduates against undergraduates, and not be subjected to competing against people in their 7th year of college. This is not a bitter apple born from losses and inability to compete against the top in my playing career. This is me, simply, saying that the ability of the best players should not force the majority of those involved to have to play those on a different tier. Your personal attacks regarding sucking and refusing to make commitment to be to compete is...insulting and expected. I did my best to improve as a player in my time, and my team did our best. The thing is...my (and a large amount of other people's) desire for improvement was checked by reality. I did not have the time, due either to class or work, to raise myself to a level to compete in D1. The virtue of the best players being able to do this, including the same constraints, is a testament as to their being the best. The top should not be the rule of thumb. The heart of the matter is completely unrelated to that though.

The heart is that players, that have been playing longer, with more degrees and higher education, have a discernible advantage over those who have been playing for a shorter time-frame who have less education and fewer degrees. The arbitrary fact that some teams compete despite such disadvantages is a testament to their ability and hard-work, not the fairness of the format. No matter how many high-school teams (who are excellent) or UGs successfully compete against this fundamentally weak system, there are still more teams who would be in a better position to compete if they were placed against similarly experienced teams. As for teams having to forfeit their chance at UG titles...I see that in the same vein as D2 eligible players going into D1 at the forfeiture of their chance at D2. I am not claiming my idea(s) are perfect or the most practical, but they are logically sound and equally sound in competitive fairness. So...a brief question in the NAQT surveys is not too much to ask.

On a side-note, the response I have received for my interjections is...ridiculous (for the most part). A few of you have been respectful, as I have been, with your responses. The majority of you have not. This is bound to lead to more examples of my lack of talent, ability, hard work, or of my region's suckage, which is unnecessary. The amount of work that I (and fellow officers) put in at Alabama to get our program running is unknown to you. The amount of sacrifices we made is not contained in our bios or facebook pages. You think you occupy a place above us (and the region) due to your place within the superstructure of quizbowl, or your personal success. That your hard work and dedication in your endeavors soars above ours, because of our lack of success or attendance at the requisite tournaments? You obviously had more time and/or ability to put into your forays, because if hard work and dedication were all that was needed, then we passed with top marks. I would hope for less vindictive or vitriol laced responses in the future, but I am unsure if that will cause my ban for whatever amount of time.

My character assassination aside, it is only sensible that players compete against those with like experience. Undergraduates against undergraduates. This is not, again, me complaining about losing or that I suck in life, quizbowl, debate or the like. This is about fairness. I could reiterate my aforementioned points, but then I will have to do so for the next response to being afraid of graduate players taking my lunch money.

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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Kouign Amann » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:23 pm

The thing is, though, that no amount of graduate schooling or degrees can serve as in indication of a quizbowl advantage. What if someone were to begin playing quizbowl seriously only as a grad student? I believe this is the case with famous grad-student-discussions-example Mike Cheyne. Just because he's been in school a lot longer than some other people doesn't mean that he's inherently better, as he is often the first to point out. Grad school, most old players agree, doesn't teach you very much (or anything at all) that is useful for quizbowl. Improving at quizbowl is all about exercising intellectual curiosity outside the classroom. People are not magically instilled with intellectual curiosity upon obtaining a bachelor's degree.

I guess you could say that *some* grad students could have an advantage in that they've been playing longer and have had more time to study things that come up in quizbowl. But the same could be said of undergrad freshmen verses sophomores. Surely you don't advocate stratifying competition by grade level? What if you had a freshman, and a ninth-year grad student brand new to the game? These two people have the same experience level, yet it seems you support separating them from each other.

How do you get better than and compete with those who have been around longer than you? ANSWER: work harder than them. There are any number of examples of zero-to-hero players who have achieved greatness in a very short time. It's not because they were old. It's not because they had any other advantage. It's because they studied their asses off. Work hard, and you'll get better. That's all there is to it. If you want to beat a team that studies ten hours a week, study for fifteen. "omg fifteen hrs how can i possibly devote tht much time with my other serious scholarly pursuits!?!?" Sorry, but that's how it works.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Charbroil » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:27 pm

geekjohnson wrote:This is me, simply, saying that the ability of the best players should not force the majority of those involved to have to play those on a different tier.


So your argument is essentially that weak teams should never play strong ones? How does one get better, in that case, without playing the highest caliber of opposition?
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Matt Weiner » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:32 pm

Charbroil wrote:So your argument is essentially that weak teams should never play strong ones? How does one get better, in that case, without playing the highest caliber of opposition?


Oh hey, it's the guy who played in the community college division last year despite going to a four-year university with an actual team. Please tell us all about "playing the highest caliber of opposition."
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby 40 characters in search of a username » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:36 pm

Prof.Whoopie wrote:Things

Look, it's not like I want to play Devil's Advocate, but these arguments are at least partially wrong. I'm not saying Mr. Johnson is correct, but people are discounting what he's saying really easily by waving it away and replying to an objection he's repeatedly said he doesn't have.

Johnson has repeatedly said that he recognizes that being a grad student doesn't automatically make you a better player. He just believes that it's unfair that undergrads should have to play with grad students, when it is very likely that grad students DO have more quizbowl experience than undergrads [objections of a hypothetical grad student who has never played quizbowl before; I'd wager that happens very rarely]. I don't really agree with him but I can at least see what he's saying; at this point in time, there's no limit on how long someone can play as long as they are taking classes, and the idea that college sophomores have to play someone who could potentially be 45 could be seen as unfair.

Prof.Whoopie wrote:I guess you could say that *some* grad students could have an advantage in that they've been playing longer and have had more time to study things that come up in quizbowl.

You could say this, because that is what he is saying.

Prof.Whoopie wrote:But the same could be said of undergrad freshmen verses sophomores. Surely you don't advocate stratifying competition by grade level?

This is not what he is saying. This is a straw man.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby bmcke » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:37 pm

I'm a bit afraid of getting flak for this, but I don't think it's fair to cite successful young players and undergrad teams as a reason that mismatched games or tournaments need to happen. I think the high turnouts at SCT have a lot to do with the two separate fields, and I'm also grateful for the existence of novice tournaments and playoff bracketing.

I don't know if it's been tried, but for a tournament like EFT or ACF Fall, what if teams could just choose between playing in an A or B division from the start? This is often how recreational sports work. I'd like to still be playing quizbowl when I'm in grad school, but it would be uncomfortable if I had to blow out teams of first-years in every tournament. Similarly, I don't know how quickly I would have taken to quizbowl if my first tournament hadn't been a Div II SCT.

[This might only be tangential to whatever argument is actually going on in this thread.]
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby grapesmoker » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:00 pm

geekjohnson wrote:So, instead of addressing the actual point of it being more logical or reasonable to have separations, I am now indicative of the overall suck of an entire region? The fact that my proposition is being construed as a way to avoid legitimate competition is saddening. I am also sad to observe the same stupidity endemic to "ACF IS IMPOSSIBLE" is present within those who have made the reality of quizbowl better through their ACF work.


You fucking imbecile. You still don't get it: the reason that different divisions exist is because there's a gap in ability between players in their first year or two of play and players with experience. But the existence of that gap is an empirical question; there's no such gap between grad students and undergrads as such and so we don't need divisions that separate those people. All your prating about the supposed "logic" of your argument is beside the point, because we use measurable empirical criteria to determine these things and not some arbitrary principle like "has finished X years of schooling."

To counter my "cherry-picking" of ICT stats, there is no identification of players being UG or Grad (outside of the top UG scorers and 8 UG teams), and since I am unfamiliar with every player's status I could not quantify such. Of course I never expected to be presenting stats in a formal manner, hence my simply ascertaining basic facts.


Oh, I see, you never thought you'd have to defend your point with actual facts so you picked the facts that only superficially even support your claim. You genius, you.

I am sick of some of you. Intelligence is not an excuse for being so overtly disrespectful and rancorous.


The feeling is mutual. You know why you're getting disrespect and rancor? It's because you are just the latest iteration of the shitty player who makes terrible arguments against grad student participation based on a faulty understanding of the dynamics of the game. Your arguments are so obviously idiotic that they don't deserve any respect, and neither do you for making them.


Alabama's program was founded with the intent to play quizbowl, with university support. I am sorry that whatever tournaments we went to and still go to is lacking, in your opinion. Your anger will never affect me with regards to my personal quizbowl preferences, and I seriously doubt anyone cares the amount of derogatory names or hyperbole rife examples you include us in. I simply state that players should compete with those of like experience, like undergraduates against undergraduates, and not be subjected to competing against people in their 7th year of college.


You know what would happen if you came to ACF Nationals? You would have your ass handed to you by teams with way less experience than you because those teams know that if you want to win, you have to practice and care about the game.

This is not a bitter apple born from losses and inability to compete against the top in my playing career. This is me, simply, saying that the ability of the best players should not force the majority of those involved to have to play those on a different tier. Your personal attacks regarding sucking and refusing to make commitment to be to compete is...insulting and expected. I did my best to improve as a player in my time, and my team did our best.


Right, I'll believe that at about the same time I'll believe that pigs are flying.

The thing is...my (and a large amount of other people's) desire for improvement was checked by reality. I did not have the time, due either to class or work, to raise myself to a level to compete in D1. The virtue of the best players being able to do this, including the same constraints, is a testament as to their being the best. The top should not be the rule of thumb. The heart of the matter is completely unrelated to that though.


Oh, boo hoo, let me play this tiny violin for you, you poor thing. None of us of course have anything like lives or other commitments or work to do. We're just quizbowl playing machines; how superior you must feel to us, what with your extracurricular activities.

The amount of work that I (and fellow officers) put in at Alabama to get our program running is unknown to you. The amount of sacrifices we made is not contained in our bios or facebook pages.


It's not known but it can easily be surmised from your attitude.

You think you occupy a place above us (and the region) due to your place within the superstructure of quizbowl, or your personal success. That your hard work and dedication in your endeavors soars above ours, because of our lack of success or attendance at the requisite tournaments? You obviously had more time and/or ability to put into your forays, because if hard work and dedication were all that was needed, then we passed with top marks.


I will bet dollars to donuts that your lack of success is directly attributable to the fact that you don't go to tournaments, practice on shitty questions, and don't care to learn anything that might help you answer questions.

My character assassination aside, it is only sensible that players compete against those with like experience. Undergraduates against undergraduates. This is not, again, me complaining about losing or that I suck in life, quizbowl, debate or the like. This is about fairness. I could reiterate my aforementioned points, but then I will have to do so for the next response to being afraid of graduate players taking my lunch money.


Translation: it is only sensible that if you assume all sorts of faulty and incorrect things you too will come to the same faulty and incorrect conclusion as I did!

I'll tell you why I'm so pissed about this. I'm pissed because fuckers like you are too goddamn lazy to actually put in any serious effort into getting good, but just ambitious enough to try and undermine those who aren't. You have the same access to questions and tournaments as all of us do; we didn't spring fully formed from Andrew Yaphe's skull. What's more, a number of us have worked for years to make more tournaments more accessible to more players. We helped roll out ACF Fall, we trimmed back difficulty on Regionals, we helped write many, many tournaments that you could go play. What have you done besides complain, you parasite? I'm tired of people like you coming along and trying to undermine not just the system, but the whole culture that people like me have spent years building.

The gratifying thing to me is that it doesn't matter; you don't matter. We've had this argument already and we won; we won because we were willing to put our time and our money and our effort where our mouths were, and you were only willing to carp. And that's why you lost, and that's why you'll always lose.

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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Matt Weiner » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:00 pm

Yeah, if only there were several tournaments a year where you did not have to play Mike Sorice. We could call them "every tournament held thusfar this year except Minnesota Open."

Who are these nth year students we're talking about? Last I checked the most effective players in collegiate quizbowl right now are a long list of undergrads, first-year grad student Andrew Hart, and second-year grad student Eric Mukherjee. And then Mike, who has played in one event. Maybe we're talking about Selene or something? I don't get it. I just read at an ACF Regional where not a single player had a BA except for the members of the Georgetown team, who had a losing record by far. Clearly they should have been placed in Division II so they didn't have to face that horrible, unfairly advantaged team of a UVa freshman, VCU freshman, and two empty chairs that beat them twice.

The hypothetical team of 45 year olds is a dumb example because it doesn't exist and never has. The closest thing was that TAMU team (which actually had only 1 player over 28, if my meta knowledge is correct) from like five years ago at this point. And they didn't even play ICT.

There are lots of opportunities to play your undergraduate peers and not run into the apparently TOTALLY UNFAIR REASON THAT SPINELESS TEAMS CAN'T CONTINUE PLAYING Sorice and Koo at basically every tournament that is held. The only thing you can't do because of them is win DI ICT. Guess what: you weren't going to do that anyway. I have less than zero sympathy for anyone who can't figure out that non-NAQT tournaments exist and can't find some fulfillment in playing the other 40 tournaments held during your undergraduate career just because you aren't handed the national championship on a silver platter. The real "straw men" here are these tournaments year-round where undergrads can't compete with other undergrads. Both true undergraduates and players within their first 6 years make up a higher percentage of both all quizbowl players and elite quizbowl players now than they ever have before.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby Kouign Amann » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:06 pm

Isaacbh wrote:
Prof.Whoopie wrote:I guess you could say that *some* grad students could have an advantage in that they've been playing longer and have had more time to study things that come up in quizbowl.

You could say this, because that is what he is saying.

Prof.Whoopie wrote:But the same could be said of undergrad freshmen verses sophomores. Surely you don't advocate stratifying competition by grade level?

This is not what he is saying. This is a straw man.

I'm just wondering where he draws the line. How many years/degrees is too many before an unfair advantage is conferred? As everyone agrees, no mysterious quizbowl powers are gained during the transition to grad school. Where then, is the advantage gained? After how many years? How would one quantify this advantage? How would one police it? There is no specific number of years after which one suddenly has an advantage. People study and work at different rates. One year of my studying habits produces far less knowledge than one year of Matt Bollinger's studying habits, for example. If you want to improve, be less like me and more like Matt. However, you cannot say "No one who has worked at the same pace as Matt Bollinger for four or more years must play in a separate division," because you cannot define how hard Matt (or anyone else) works.

If this advantage cannot be defined, it cannot be factored into eligibility decisions, no matter how many people get upset about it.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby The Ununtiable Twine » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:02 am

grapesmoker wrote:You know what would happen if you came to ACF Nationals? You would have your ass handed to you by teams with way less experience than you because those teams know that if you want to win, you have to practice and care about the game.


It's not if, it's when, as we are currently working on our packet. In victory or in defeat, I will be sure to treat all of you with the utmost courtesy and respect, and I expect the same from the opposition. It will be a pleasure to meet Jerry and others. It is most definitely a shame we haven't met before, but now that I am at a university that funds its team much more, I am happy to say that I am helping to influence them to attend more high-quality events. 'Tis one of my dreams, after all, to introduce the world to the new Alabama, one that attends and eventually does very well at higher quality events. We will most certainly field a squad at ACF Nationals, full strength or no. The point is to attend ACF Nationals and enjoy the camaraderie and play some awesome quizbowl. Alabama is changing for the better, despite what most people seem to think.
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:17 pm

This thread is live. Follow rules, talk about quiz bowl, etc.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby mhayes » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:05 am

geekjohnson wrote:The idea of it being absurd, as stated before, is due to them having disparities in experience, and levels of education. I never implied victimization. The fact of the top teams being able to compete against the top grad players is not a validating point for the practice to continue.


But as someone else already pointed out, being a grad student does not necessarily make one a better player.

I'm a 28 year old doctoral student, and I'm probably good for about 10-15 PPG on difficult questions. I can promise that there are TONS of undergrads and high school students who would wipe the floor with me.

geekjohnson wrote:Some of the best college football teams could compete against the panthers as well.


<offtopic> The Panthers would have beaten Auburn by at least 5 TDs. </offtopic>
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby DumbJaques » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:01 am

To preclude this argument from continuing any farther, here is a link so that everyone can study and be equally well-prepared for ACF Nationals 2011.*

*The best part is when you get to fight Meyer Wolfsheim and the Black Sox.


Also, someone please let me know how the Waiting for Godot game is, I was too scared to play it.
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby Unicolored Jay » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:20 am

DumbJaques wrote:To preclude this argument from continuing any farther, here is a link so that everyone can study and be equally well-prepared for ACF Nationals 2011.*

*The best part is when you get to fight Meyer Wolfsheim and the Black Sox.


Also, someone please let me know how the Waiting for Godot game is, I was too scared to play it.

That game was a little short. Also, I hear the Waiting for Godot game never actually ends and that all you do is walk back and forth, with each time taking longer than the last.
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby The Ununtiable Twine » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:19 am

Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast wrote:
DumbJaques wrote:To preclude this argument from continuing any farther, here is a link so that everyone can study and be equally well-prepared for ACF Nationals 2011.*

*The best part is when you get to fight Meyer Wolfsheim and the Black Sox.


Also, someone please let me know how the Waiting for Godot game is, I was too scared to play it.

That game was a little short. Also, I hear the Waiting for Godot game never actually ends and that all you do is walk back and forth, with each time taking longer than the last.


Well, then it sounds like it doesn't have much replay value, and since the same thing happens twice, there's no real point in proceeding past the halfway point, is there?
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby Mike Bentley » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:30 pm

Everyone knows The Secret Levels of Karl Gjellerup is the true way to prepare for ACF Nationals: http://www.doc-ent.com/Karl.exe.
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby Auroni » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:14 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Everyone knows The Secret Levels of Karl Gjellerup is the true way to prepare for ACF Nationals: http://www.doc-ent.com/Karl.exe.


this is the greatest thing
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby Mike Bentley » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:12 pm

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:
Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Everyone knows The Secret Levels of Karl Gjellerup is the true way to prepare for ACF Nationals: http://www.doc-ent.com/Karl.exe.


this is the greatest thing


THEN YOU HAVEN'T YET PLAYED THE SEQUEL (I think, I don't remember what the difference between the versions are): http://www.doc-ent.com/Karl2.exe.
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Re: D2 ICT eligibility

Postby magin » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:36 pm

geekjohnson wrote:I would hope for less vindictive or vitriol laced responses in the future, but I am unsure if that will cause my ban for whatever amount of time.

My character assassination aside, it is only sensible that players compete against those with like experience. Undergraduates against undergraduates. This is not, again, me complaining about losing or that I suck in life, quizbowl, debate or the like. This is about fairness. I could reiterate my aforementioned points, but then I will have to do so for the next response to being afraid of graduate players taking my lunch money.

User was banned for a week for repeatedly meta-commenting on other people's tone and attempting to dictate who may post and how. --the mgmt


So, James gets banned for a week for wanting Jerry to tone down the vitriol from statements like "This is a stupid idea and you're stupid for having it" and "You fucking imbecile"? I don't really see that as "attempting to dictate who may post and how," but rather asking for basic courtesy. I agree with Jerry's points about graduate students in quizbowl and disagree with James's cavilling about grad students, but come on, is it really better to post "You fucking imbecile" (yeah, he got a warning, that's a lot less of a punishment than a week-long ban) than to request that someone not respond to your posts by saying "You fucking imbecile"? It seems like the forum rules are enforced and bans are handed out based on whether your posts support the ideas of good quizbowl, and I'm pretty uncomfortable with that.

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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:05 pm

a) Since you were reading the rules, I can only assume you skipped over the following:

"5) Forum moderating decisions are not up for public discussion on this message board. However, you're more than welcome to e-mail me about them, and I'll attempt to respond punctually."

This will be the only statement I will be making about this in this thread; other concerns can be addressed to me in private. If they're addressed to me in this thread, or any other thread, the only response they will receive are warnings and bans.

b) Telling someone to alter the tone of their posts is the definition of "telling someone how to post." Trying to tell others how to post is really unacceptable to me, and I will approach instances of this as problems, with bans if it's a particularly egregious case of attempting to tell someone what they can or cannot post or, in James' case, a repeat offender.

Telling others how they may post is harmful because instead of discussing actual issues involving quiz bowl, we instead get side tracked with "issues" of if someone's nice enough or if someone from region X can speak about what's going on in region Y. This is a quiz bowl discussion website. Discuss quiz bowl (or off topic stuff with non-quiz bowlers).

c) I am far more okay with people deciding their own tone within reason on the forums than me playing playground mediator. If you have an issue with someone's tone on the forum, approach the other person in private or alert the forum moderation staff to the post you are concerned with, whether it be with the "report a post" function, emailing me, private messaging me, whatever.

You want to call someone dumb? In the college section, that's your choice, because you're either an adult or someone I'm expecting to behave like an adult. You get to deal with the consequences of your actions.
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby geekjohnson » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:04 am

Don't like losing to grad students? Do the same thing you should do when you don't like losing to anyone else: get better.


I never stated my reasoning was fear of losing to grad players.

Oh hay we haven't seen some grad student bashing for a while. I too enjoyed this trip to 2004


I did not bash anyone, that is something best left to you. I moved for a separation of divisions based on level of education, whereas to reflect a more equal playing field, given that graduate players are more likely to be in a more advantageous position for success. I have since reformulated my position, slightly, noted at the end of this post.

Undergraduate teams, and undergraduate players, routinely go neck and neck with any opposition at any level. Even high school teams routinely beat graduate students by a lot (HIGH SCHOOL)


As I noted prior, to no avail, the best team's ability to compete with those of higher experience and education does not disprove the notion of having more logical divisions. Of course, statistically speaking, the upper end of UGs will be able to compete against the very best, as proved by the numerous examples out there, but what of those not in that tier? Mid-tier players, who are the statistical majority, should not be precluded from leveled competition or the ICT altogether by their virtue of not being as good (if that is the real or attributed case). the redundant argument that, "those players should stop sucking and get better GOD DAMN IT, FUCK YOU AND THEM," does not mean that every player who is not at the level of national contention is that way because of the prior statement. Even in a perfect quizbowl world with panda buzzers and every player putting in the exact same amount of time and possessing the same skill, there would still be a number of teams that would have had a chance to at the least compete at ICT, but would be denied a berth because they are competing (since they have no more D2 eligibility) for such against those with distinct advantages. Even though panda buzzers and the theoretical notion of an even field is not probable, teams should not be precluded from the ICT when they could play in a D2 against others with like experience and education, instead of either getting destroyed in ICT D1 altogether or not qualifying because D1 is mixture of players with uneven experience and education.

I'm a grad student and I have lost to a bunch of high schoolers and undergraduate teams. Being in grad school does not automatically turn you into a great player.


True. It is not an absolute. But it is only sensible that a new graduate player will have a an advantage against a new undergraduate. But to rectify such see my proposed model.

What makes people good quizbowl players is their ability to remember shit and recall it in questions. Dedicating years of your life to specialized study won't do anything but make you better at that specialized thing.


Yes...but, for example, if I am a history undergraduate student, then it is only logical to assume that, on average, the history masters' student will have been exposed to more history throughout his academic career, and unless you specialize in the George Washington's boot straps, graduate programs tend to be broader than you imply, like American History to 1865 or Military History. And again, making it to that level of education generally indicates undergraduate work in the broad field of history, which requires certain historical parameters be met with respect to historical era and regions. The idea that a graduate student has an advantage over an UG is not implicit with the grad being better at everything in quizbowl, just that they have a predisposition to be better than UGs.(with regards to the information they will have been exposed to through their study)

Obviously again, people like Dallas and Shantanu are different. I am not saying that they didn't get to their level by hard work and the like, just that the average player or even average good player is not that good that early, and that is not completely attributable to those lesser players slacking on their dedication habits.It probably contributes in most cases, but Dallas and Shantanu (again for example) attend Harvard and Chicago, which are two of the best schools available, ergo they are special with regards to their mental abilities, hence they are probably going to be pretty good at something like quizbowl. And, yes, attending a less prestigious college does not mean inferior ability or students, just pointing out that a lot of these phenoms attend places like Harvard and the like, as opposed to West Florida :).

You get better by working to get better through such means as: writing good questions, looking up things you expect to be answers in the future and learning facts about them, reading books, and playing good questions at practice.


Again, this was never a discussion on getting better, sucking or the like, it just took the Weinerian jump to avoid the focus of my argument and denigrate me and my region, which I am totally fine with.

You do not get better by playing a schedule which mixes a stock of "skipping most tournaments" in with the rancid meat of "high school questions and trash," only occasionally ordering D2 SCT as your most challenging form of cuisine.


Ok, but to remind you, while at UA, I contacted you with the intent of producing a set of higher quality than our region was used too, which you provided (a good set btw). That set was Titanomachy, which was attended by only UA (the host), Tulane, and UGA. Later that year UA also mirrored Princeton's Parfait, with slightly better attendance. The only other collegiate tournaments we ran that academic year was NAQT SCTs and Ragnarok (which was on NAQT IS). So we did an IS tournament, big whoop. We also hosted the other mentioned quality tournaments. We also attended ACF Fall, EFT, and a few UTC tournaments. ACF Regionals was not on our calender after a majority of our players didn't want to write packets, and more importantly we needed to conserve for travel to ICT. Just providing an example of us and the south deviating from our shit quizbowl lives you claim we love.

Oh, I see, you never thought you'd have to defend your point with actual facts so you picked the facts that only superficially even support your claim. You genius, you.


As mentioned prior (God that phrase gets old), NAQT does not distinguish their players in stats, so I went with the one decided stat I had, and still have, with their being only 8 UG teams at that ICT. I am not going to try and track all of those players status' down, you do that, with all that down time you have in anger management.

Who are these nth year students we're talking about? Last I checked the most effective players in collegiate quizbowl right now are a long list of undergrads, first-year grad student Andrew Hart, and second-year grad student Eric Mukherjee. And then Mike, who has played in one event. Maybe we're talking about Selene or something?


I used Andrew as the example of playing in a third decade because he played in the 90s, 00s, and played last year in 2010. This was not a shot at him, as I have no problem with him playing, just that others are subjected to either playing or being left of ICT due to those with his experience. Obviously though, the majority of grads don't have his experience, but I used him as the most exaggerative example regarding experience and the like.

The hypothetical team of 45 year olds is a dumb example because it doesn't exist and never has. The closest thing was that TAMU team (which actually had only 1 player over 28, if my meta knowledge is correct) from like five years ago at this point. And they didn't even play ICT.


Again, so Weinerian, almost Vinokurovian with putting words into my mouth. I never mentioned a team replete with 45 year olds, just the previous Andrew example. In my estimation most grad players are in their early and sometimes mid-20s.

You know why you're getting disrespect and rancor? It's because you are just the latest iteration of the shitty player who makes terrible arguments against grad student participation based on a faulty understanding of the dynamics of the game.


I never argued against grad participation, and I think your argument works best on you. Guess it makes sense with projecting.

You know what would happen if you came to ACF Nationals? You would have your ass handed to you by teams with way less experience than you because those teams know that if you want to win, you have to practice and care about the game.


Yeah, UA (me included) attended ACF Nationals at Vanderbilt. We did suck, going something like 1-11 or so with around a 4 bpc. We lost to everyone but Illinois B, so we lost regardless of experience and education, but you know who beat us the worst? Chicago, with Seth and the gang. Not a problem or a complaint, just examples again.

All that aside, here is my reconfigured idea:

Division I
    Players are required to compete in this division once they have accrued 4 years of competing at ICT Division II or for ICT Division II (via Division II Sectional).
    Players with less than 4 years competing at ICT Division II or for ICT Division II (via Division II Sectional) may choose to try and qualify (and compete if receiving bid), though their Division II eligibility is expended upon qualifying or playing in Division I.
    In the event of a sizable plurality participating, the top UG team will be recognized (not as national champion, but in the same light as the top CC team in Division II).
Division II
    Players eligible for 4 years, regardless of education.
    4 year eligibility refers to competing at ICT Division II and also competing for Division II qualification (via Division II Sectional). So a player who fails to qualify for ICT Division II after competing in Division II Sectionals 4 times will be required to compete in Division I.

I have reconfigured the system to allow players, regardless of educational level, to compete in Division II. Mainly to assuage those who feel new grads would be similar to new players in general. I do not occupy this thought entirely, as I still feel grads would have the aforementioned advantage, but this should please both sides, as it concedes that education is not the issue (experience is) while at the same time providing a better structure for leveled competition.
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby grapesmoker » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:24 am

Oh, you can't be bothered to attend ACF Regionals because you don't want to write packets? And your team is full of terrible players? What a surprising development!

Whatever, this discussion has already been had, the good guys have won, and you're irrelevant. Every one of your posts is basically "good teams shouldn't be allowed to play against bad teams because they would win." There's no rationale that says "grad students >>> undergrads," for all values of "grad student" and "undergrad," and that's easily verified by doing simple things like looking up statistics (and also using a modicum of common sense). Fortunately no one is dumb enough to take you seriously so I guess we can all enjoy this exciting excursion into what goes on in Alabama quizbowl.

If you want to get good: practice, write questions, learn things. If you think you're doing those but you still suck, then you're not doing them enough. If you just want to wallow in self-imposed victimhood, I guess posting on the forums is one way of doing that.
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:30 am

graduate programs tend to be broader than you imply, like American History to 1865 or Military History

Is this true? Do actual, real-life history grad students study 200 years of history or an entire type of history? I've never, ever, ever, ever heard of this. The broadest my soon-to-be chem PhD program gets is that I'll be taking around five classes my first year. They'll all be organic chemistry classes, now, but...
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby Cheynem » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:35 am

I (was) a history grad student--you tend to be pretty specialized in what you do, but like "antebellum U.S. history" would seem like a pretty reasonable field, with most of the classes being about that. Your actual dissertation would be more specific, of course.
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby Bartleby » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:43 am

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
graduate programs tend to be broader than you imply, like American History to 1865 or Military History

Is this true? Do actual, real-life history grad students study 200 years of history or an entire type of history? I've never, ever, ever, ever heard of this. The broadest my soon-to-be chem PhD program gets is that I'll be taking around five classes my first year. They'll all be organic chemistry classes, now, but...


Although history students pursuing higher education than a BA are probably extremely well-versed in all aspects of the history of their field (let's say for instance that I want to pursue a Ph.D in US History... I will probably take as many US Undergrad courses as I can fit into my schedule), it is not true to say that grad programs encompass things like "Military History". For instance, one of my TAs is pursuing a Ph.D in military history, which sounds quite broad, but her specific thesis is on the Canadian Cavalry in WWI. I would argue that Ph.D students in history are not much more, if at all more well-versed than a well-read undergrad, except in the specific thing which they're pursuing as a field of study. These fields, as stated, are not simply as broad as "military history". If I ever see a question on the Canadian Cavalry at ICT, I will shit.
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby Inkana7 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:15 pm

Bartleby wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
graduate programs tend to be broader than you imply, like American History to 1865 or Military History

Is this true? Do actual, real-life history grad students study 200 years of history or an entire type of history? I've never, ever, ever, ever heard of this. The broadest my soon-to-be chem PhD program gets is that I'll be taking around five classes my first year. They'll all be organic chemistry classes, now, but...


Although history students pursuing higher education than a BA are probably extremely well-versed in all aspects of the history of their field (let's say for instance that I want to pursue a Ph.D in US History... I will probably take as many US Undergrad courses as I can fit into my schedule), it is not true to say that grad programs encompass things like "Military History". For instance, one of my TAs is pursuing a Ph.D in military history, which sounds quite broad, but her specific thesis is on the Canadian Cavalry in WWI. I would argue that Ph.D students in history are not much more, if at all more well-versed than a well-read undergrad, except in the specific thing which they're pursuing as a field of study. These fields, as stated, are not simply as broad as "military history". If I ever see a question on the Canadian Cavalry at ICT, I will shit.

It's not ICT, but at this year's EFT there was this nifty bonus part:

[10] Identify this regiment of horse based military units based out of Alberta, which Prince Charles was part of at one point.
ANSWER: Lord Strathcona's Horse


/offtopic
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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby setht » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:23 pm

geekjohnson wrote:Mid-tier players, who are the statistical majority, should not be precluded from leveled competition or the ICT altogether by their virtue of not being as good


Okay, I don't agree with your opinion here. Mid-tier players are not precluded from leveled competition in general--there are plenty of events at different difficulty levels every year, and plenty of regional events with different eligibility standards. Mid-tier (or lower-tier) players aren't even precluded from national event competition: ACF Nationals is open to any (school-based) team that wants to play, regardless of experience/skill/whatever. I don't think that it's ICT's job to provide leveled competition at a national level for the middle 200 players or whatever we're talking about here. I think that it's ICT's job to provide a good ranking of the best teams overall, and of the best young teams--in other words, to do what ICT currently does--and so I very much believe that teams that are not as good should be precluded from ICT.

Perhaps you could explain what it is that some "mid-tier division at ICT for non-DII teams that don't qualify for DI" would provide that can't be obtained through competing in ACF Nationals, or Penn Bowl or other major circuit events.

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Re: grad students in quizbowl thread #32343

Postby Scipio » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:41 pm

Bartleby wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
graduate programs tend to be broader than you imply, like American History to 1865 or Military History

Is this true? Do actual, real-life history grad students study 200 years of history or an entire type of history? I've never, ever, ever, ever heard of this. The broadest my soon-to-be chem PhD program gets is that I'll be taking around five classes my first year. They'll all be organic chemistry classes, now, but...


Although history students pursuing higher education than a BA are probably extremely well-versed in all aspects of the history of their field (let's say for instance that I want to pursue a Ph.D in US History... I will probably take as many US Undergrad courses as I can fit into my schedule), it is not true to say that grad programs encompass things like "Military History". For instance, one of my TAs is pursuing a Ph.D in military history, which sounds quite broad, but her specific thesis is on the Canadian Cavalry in WWI. I would argue that Ph.D students in history are not much more, if at all more well-versed than a well-read undergrad, except in the specific thing which they're pursuing as a field of study. These fields, as stated, are not simply as broad as "military history". If I ever see a question on the Canadian Cavalry at ICT, I will shit.


Because I think I can claim some small expertise in this area, I'd like to weigh in here; if nothing else, it might be useful for future history graduate students.

Andy asked whether "real-life history grad students study 200 years of history or an entire type of history?" The answer to that is manifold, and while all practically everything depends on where you study, generally speaking these rules apply.

If what you mean by what you "study" is "in what things do you gain the most knowledge", than at the Ph.D. level this is defined by the topic of your dissertation. Dissertations vary; sometimes they investigate a millenia of events, sometimes a single year/month/day. In my case, what I study is roughly defined as 146-77 BCE.

Before you get to the dissertation, you have to take qualifying examinations usually involving mammoth reading lists. Almost always there are more than one of these (I took five), because it makes you more employable; those who can teach Rome but not Greece are at a disadvantage to those who can teach both. Moreover, these examination fields will often include the so-called "outside" field, because that gives one training for teaching a survey class outside of one's geographical/termporal focus, which also helps gaining employment; thus, mine included Ancient Rome (A.U.C. to Diocletian), Ancient Greece (Minoans to Pydna), Late Antique, Ancient technology, and American law (whereby I have enough American history knowledge that I can teach US surveys). In that sense, my graduate program was "broad", as James implies, although in a sense still pretty narrow; I studied nothing in Europe after 500 CE, and nothing in America beyond facts surrounding important laws and court cases.

Before you get to the examinations, you do coursework; however, most of that is tailored towards helping you in your examination fields, so my classes were in the fields I just mentioned. I would like to add, however, that at many institutions "graduate classes" are either a) senior-level undergraduate classes, with graduate students participating but expected to do more work (like an extra paper), or b) very specific topical classes, like a seminar, whose focus is so narrow that it gives almost no quizbowl knowledge (I'll be damned if my epigraphy class has helped me answer a tossup on anything; there simply arem't questions on estampages or the way Corinth provided dates on its inscriptions).

The long and the short of it is that my doctorate in history offers me only the narrowest of quizbowl advantages in my own field over a dedicated undergraduate; I have more knowledge of my field of Roman history, of course, but at a level of specificity such that it almost never comes up in quizbowl (and if someone ever does write a tossup on the battle of the River Liris, I will probably be too distracted weeping for joy even to answer it). Essentially, my advantage would come from the fact that the classes undergraduate history majors are taking I already will have taken, but with the drawback that I took them years ago (decades in my case; sigh). If there are real demonstrable advantages in my case, it comes from playing experience, not coursework.

Therefore, if my experience is similar to other history students, I would suggest that an undergraduate on the make with three years of tournament experience would therefore probably be more than a match for a graduate student who just started playing, even in his own degree field; this says nothing of the many other fields in which the undergraduate veteran would have accumulate knowledge that the graduate neophyte would not.

Does that make sense?
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