First-Time Tournament Help

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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

At the moment, it would be offering a discount for an experience moderator to be used during the tournaments - obviously not moderating in a bracket that their team would be competing in. I'm not 100% certain of the level of expertise the mods. bring to this tournament, because I haven't spoken to any nor know of their experiences in their own league(s.)

I only suggested the 2-person format so that members of my club who, if they wanted to get some experience or credit for helping out (as we do track participation in club events for active status within the club,) to do so. I can't particularly think of any other way aside from stat-keeping during lunch breaks for re-bracketing, room/buzzer set-up, check-ins, and so on.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

biggiebird89 wrote:At the moment, it would be offering a discount for an experience moderator to be used during the tournaments - obviously not moderating in a bracket that their team would be competing in. I'm not 100% certain of the level of expertise the mods. bring to this tournament, because I haven't spoken to any nor know of their experiences in their own league(s.)

I only suggested the 2-person format so that members of my club who, if they wanted to get some experience or credit for helping out (as we do track participation in club events for active status within the club,) to do so. I can't particularly think of any other way aside from stat-keeping during lunch breaks for re-bracketing, room/buzzer set-up, check-ins, and so on.
Unless your club is a whole lot more than sixteen people, why do you need the two person format to give people experience? You're going to be able to train your own club members as moderators better than the average quality of Joe Coach.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

That's the thing - my club doesn't have more than 16 active participants in it, and even still that doesn't take into account those who'd actually WANT to participate. Some might just say "Screw it," and want nothing to do with it, or do it and only do a half-assed job with it, so I'd rather take my chances on having experienced readers than those who might do it and afterwards get complaints from others. I could always attempt to train them (as I did have 6 years in quiz bowl myself in HS,) but that's also dependent on how seriously they take this. I think if they realize it could be a major fundraiser, their attitudes might change.

(please excuse my language, just having found out that G. Steinbrenner died [I'm a giant Yankees fan, born and raised] it's been a rough morning.)
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Cody »

Garrett - What I think people are trying to say about staff is that you are not likely to find 16 experienced moderators and then 16 people who can keep score, so your best bet is to fill out the 16 readers with members of your club who are willing to help, and then work from there adding experienced moderators/replacing members of your club with experienced moderators. Obviously, if you do find more than 16 people willing to volunteer, that's great--you can give your worst readers scorekeepers, or even have them switch roles to see who does better. But the best way for the members of your club to gain experience is to actually read games; I know this was certainly true for me.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! »

SirT wrote:Garrett - What I think people are trying to say about staff is that you are not likely to find 16 experienced moderators and then 16 people who can keep score, so your best bet is to fill out the 16 readers with members of your club who are willing to help, and then work from there adding experienced moderators/replacing members of your club with experienced moderators. Obviously, if you do find more than 16 people willing to volunteer, that's great--you can give your worst readers scorekeepers, or even have them switch roles to see who does better. But the best way for the members of your club to gain experience is to actually read games; I know this was certainly true for me.
This. If you can really assess who is interested enough to stick through a little bit of "moderator training," including reading rounds as if they were actual tournament rounds during practice and getting constructive criticism, learning not to brook distracting conversation in between questions, and so on, you'll get much better mod results than if you relied solely on team volunteers. If there are more volunteers than needed to make 16 moderators, put the volunteers on scorekeeping, not your teammates.

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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

I see where everyone's coming from. I think what I'll try doing is getting an early feel for who'd be interested in helping out with moderating (possibly scorekeeping) before the school year starts, etc. Then maybe one evening, after a meeting of our club, I'll have those interested stick around and run through a full match or two, just to test scenarios, etc. I'll still keep the discount for a moderator available if anyone wishes to take advantage of it, and have team members be trained for whatever comes about.

I also got back a quote from the HSAPQ about the cost for a 30-team, 4-quarter format of packets, and even for a new tournament, the cost would be $420 (at $14/packet.) I think it's safe to say we'll go with the Fall Novice set for our tournament. Now it's on to the issue of formatting. I'd still like to try for a 32-team format if possible, but would be fine with a 30-team tourney.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I just want to point out, more for Daniel Pareja's edification than anyone else's, that unless you or your staff are actively planning on attending ACF Fall or any other college tournament, it is pure silliness to feel an obligation to not run your non-college tournament on the same date. The same thing applies to college tournaments (MO) taking the dates claimed by high school tournaments (HFT, half a country away). The audiences are almost wholly exclusive, especially when we're talking about the high school circuit in the northeast.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:I just want to point out, more for Daniel Pareja's edification than anyone else's, that unless you or your staff are actively planning on attending ACF Fall or any other college tournament, it is pure silliness to feel an obligation to not run your non-college tournament on the same date. The same thing applies to college tournaments (MO) taking the dates claimed by high school tournaments (HFT, half a country away). The audiences are almost wholly exclusive, especially when we're talking about the high school circuit in the northeast.
Amusingly, Seven Lakes had planned to go to both MO and HFT (and we'd wanted to go to MO, besides) but that's absolutely right. There's not even anything that compelling about making sure that this tournament doesn't conflict with HFT. Though we love Vermont and New Hampshire teams, the teams that know they can compete at HFT will come to HFT, and the (plenty of) teams who can't will go to your tournament. Few teams would want to attend both.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

That is true, and I can tell you for a fact that none of US (the club members, anyways) are planning on attending any tournaments at all, so we're safe in that respect. As far as I know, I'm the ONLY member of our club (a math/computer/sciences honor society) that ever did any form of a quiz-bowl team in high school. Plus holding our tournament on that day benefits us for a couple of reasons:

1.) We can offer a prize for the best-costumed attendant (it wouldn't be mandatory, more for leisure,) since the tournament would be on October 30th. It adds a bit of a relaxed atmosphere to the whole scene, so things don't seem so stuffy given the fact we're a new tournament being run in that area.
2.) With our school's drama club, they'd be likely to start their bigger rehearsal days (where they take over the larger rooms to rehearse,) by that point, if not sooner. If we bump back the date, we risk being shafted a large conference room to use for a meeting area.
3.) It'd be closer, and some schools perhaps wouldn't mind testing a new tournament, especially one that's representative of their region that's NOT league-affiliated.

I said before, just to reiterate, we'll (hopefully) be using the Fall Novice set for this tournament, likely with 30 teams going. I'm still working on a format, but it's not exactly the easiest to figure out.

@Andy - could you either post here or PM/email me ([email protected]) information about how to go about using the Fall Novice set for this tournament please - I want to make sure I go about everything properly to obtaining permission and all.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

Hello again all. I'm asking your help now in a semi-vote on a format I should use for my upcoming tournament - provided we get permission to use the Fall Novice set of questions, I'm basing my formats on using the maximum 12 packets if necessary. This would be based on 30 teams attending (15 from VT, 15 from NH.) Here are my 2 options at the moment with differing changes as I go:

Option 1: Place 3 teams from VT and NH into a division, and have 5 divisions of 6 teams. Play a preliminary round robin with these teams, creating a 5-game opening round (ADD: I could also have each team face another random team from their state as a 6th match before lunch, resulting in 6 preliminary matches.) A lunch break would follow, then I would take the top seeds (via record) into the playoff bracket, 2nd place division teams into another, and so on, and do round robins for these divisions (meaning 4 more matches for each team,) and then a championship series/game would occur. Therefore, the possibilities look as thus:

1a.) Prelim. RR and NO extra match (5) - Playoff Bracket (4) - Championship Series (1 or 2) = 10/11 matches.
1b.) Prelim. RR with extra match (6) - Playoff Bracket (4) - Championship Series (1 or 2) = 11/12 matches - full Fall Novice packet possibly used.

Option 2: Place a combination of 3 teams from 1 state and 2 from the other into a division, and have 6 divisions of 5 teams. Play a preliminary round robin with these teams, creating a 4-game opening round (ADD: I could also have each team face another random team from the other state as a 5th match before lunch, resulting in 5 preliminary matches.). A lunch break would follow, then I would take the 6 top seeds (via record) into the playoff bracket, 2nd place division teams into another, and so on, and do round robins for these divisions (meaning 5 more matches for each team,) and then a championship series/game would occur. Therefore, the possibilities look as thus:

2a.) Prelim. RR and NO extra match (4) - Playoff Bracket (5) - Championship Series (1 or 2) = 10/11 matches.
2b.) Prelim. RR with extra match (5) - Playoff Bracket (5) - Championship Series (1 or 2) = 11/12 matches - full Fall Novice packet possibly used.

I'd like to see what the general consensus of opinions are for these 4 tournament options. Feel free to let me know/critique/add suggestions - it's ALL been greatly appreciated so far!
~Garrett~
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Frater Taciturnus »

Really I think Option 1, assuming I am reading it right, is the way to go; just make sure that you don't do that extra cross-bracket prelim game, as it creates an imbalance in the equal schedules played in a round robin because the teams are no longer going to your playoffs off of performance against a common opponent.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Frater Taciturnus wrote:Really I think Option 1, assuming I am reading it right, is the way to go; just make sure that you don't do that extra cross-bracket prelim game, as it creates an imbalance in the equal schedules played in a round robin because the teams are no longer going to your playoffs off of performance against a common opponent.
Option 1a is also better because it can never hurt to have an extra packet's worth of breathing room--what if one moderator reads the wrong packet during a round and you need an extra packet, for example?
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by dtaylor4 »

Go with 1a, but don't take based solely on record. Take the bracket winners (I suggest using PPG as a tiebreaker, since the teams would have faced common opponent) to the top bracket, runners-up to the second, and on down.

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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by jonpin »

If you don't want the situation where a team that lost their first game feels they've already been eliminated, you can do Option 1a, but instead of having all first-places to Tier 1, all second-places to Tier 2, etc, you could have the top two in each preliminary division in one group of 12, which becomes 2 pools of 6 teams. Then after each playoff pool plays its round-robin, hold any tiebreakers and then a one-game final.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by ScoBo »

If I'm reading this right, you have 5 prelim pools of 6 teams each (taking 5 rounds), and would put all the first place teams into the top playoff bracket, the second place teams in a bracket, etc. Doing this, you have 5 first place teams, 5 second place teams, etc - essentially 6 playoff brackets of 5 teams each. Brackets with an odd number of teams require byes, so with 5 team playoff brackets, one team will be on bye each round and you will actually need 5 packets for the playoff bracket portion of the tournament. (This also applies to the prelims in option 2a.) Unless I'm missing something, it seems that all of these options require at least 12 packets.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

@dtaylor – what do you mean by “but don’t take based solely on record”? Are you just saying to break ties by PPG instead of PPB?

@jonpin – I actually like this format that you suggest, taking the top two teams in each division and making 2 6-team playoff pools. My only question: What would determine how the teams are separated into the 2 pools? Do I separate them by records, or otherwise, etc?

@ScoBo – Thanks for that heads up – I think I was more concerned with the number of packets I would need, that I didn’t even take rounds into consideration when I looked at everything..lol.

I think everyone misunderstood me before about the playoffs. I would take the preliminary division’s top-record teams and place them into the top playoff bracket, then the 2nd-place teams into the 2nd bracket, etc.

What I COULD do is take the top 5 teams, and then the top 2nd place team based on PPB or some other characteristic, that way I don’t have an odd number of teams. I’d use 5 packets in the first round, then 5 packets in the 2nd round, with 2 to spare. My only concern is that it would be a little unfair making one team have to face a team from the same division twice in the playoffs, so I’m not sure how I’d work around that. ScoBo’s idea might work; I’m just not sure how to separate the divisions fairly.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Golran »

I think what Donald was saying is to take teams based on record while maintaining each bracket individually. For example, if teams in one bracket go 3-2, 3-2, 3-2, 3-2, 3-2, 0-5, still take one of them, even though there may be a bracket that wend 5-0, 4-1 etc, and don't take that 4-1 team.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

Oh absolutely. I meant that ONE team from a division would be taken, and it'd be the team finishing with the best record vs. other teams in that division, after separating ties by PPB or PPG, etc
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

Question about tournament formatting for everyone that still has me puzzled. At the moment, I'm going to do a 30-team format, with 3 teams from each state in a bracket, making 5 six-team brackets. A round robin tournament would occur (5 games,) break for lunch, then THIS is where everything gets messed up.

1.) I could take the top team from each division and do a round robin with them (5 matches,) then having 2 packets left over for an advantaged final, or whatever comes up along the way.
2.) I could take the top team from each division and place them in one bracket, then the 2nd place teams in another bracket, and play a cross-over tournament (5 games) and then either A.) play the top two teams in the 1st place team division in a final, or B.) play the top 1st place team and the top 2nd place team in the final.
3.) I could take the top team from each division, AND the top 2nd place team based on a PPB comparison (wild card team) into a 6-team final, play a round robin tournament (5 games) and do a final.

My only concerns are:
1.) This creates a situation where a team is left out of a packet each round that could benefit them (or hurt them.)
2.) I'm not sure how this would work in terms of causing the 2nd best team out of the 1st place teams to miss out on the title just because of the format of this situation.
3.) This would possibly benefit/hurt the team that already played the wild card team in the preliminary bracket.

What does everyone think?
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Golran »

An option you could do is the 6 team morning as stated before, and then have two top divisions, one with 3 first place and 2 second place, the other with 2 first place and 3 second place, and go 5 rounds, with each team getting a bye then have a crossover final. Another possibility is to have instead of the bye, have teams play the team on the bye from the other side and count that game for advantage if the two teams would end up playing each other based upon the results in their bracket, thereby keeping every result meaningful and not having any byes.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by jonpin »

biggiebird89 wrote:@jonpin – I actually like this format that you suggest, taking the top two teams in each division and making 2 6-team playoff pools. My only question: What would determine how the teams are separated into the 2 pools? Do I separate them by records, or otherwise, etc?
Two options.
1) The standard would be to rank the group winners 1-2-3-4-5-6 based on PPG or PPB and then make your playoff pools via snake curve, so that Pool X has #1, #4, #5 and the teams that were second in the groups with #2, #3, #6; Pool Y has #2, #3, #6 and the teams that were second in the groups with #1, #4, #5.
2) If you don't have confidence in having stats ready within a reasonable time and you don't want to create a long delay (a well-timed lunch break can prevent this delay in most cases), you could just have predetermined playoff pools. Pool X would have the winners of groups A-B-C and runner-ups from D-E-F, with Pool Y having the opposite.
@ScoBo – Thanks for that heads up – I think I was more concerned with the number of packets I would need, that I didn’t even take rounds into consideration when I looked at everything..lol.
Those are the same. If you're running a 5-team round-robin, it will take 5 rounds and 5 packets despite the fact that each team gets 4 games.
biggiebird89 wrote:Question about tournament formatting for everyone that still has me puzzled. At the moment, I'm going to do a 30-team format, with 3 teams from each state in a bracket, making 5 six-team brackets. A round robin tournament would occur (5 games,) break for lunch, then THIS is where everything gets messed up.

1.) I could take the top team from each division and do a round robin with them (5 matches,) then having 2 packets left over for an advantaged final, or whatever comes up along the way.
2.) I could take the top team from each division and place them in one bracket, then the 2nd place teams in another bracket, and play a cross-over tournament (5 games) and then either A.) play the top two teams in the 1st place team division in a final, or B.) play the top 1st place team and the top 2nd place team in the final.
3.) I could take the top team from each division, AND the top 2nd place team based on a PPB comparison (wild card team) into a 6-team final, play a round robin tournament (5 games) and do a final.
1) You could certainly do. Byes are an unavoidable evil in some cases, and in general one team having a bye is not sufficient reason to reject a format.
2) I'm not sure what you mean by crossover tournament, but this is a bad idea. Giving the best 2nd-place team priority over any 1st-place team is a disaster waiting to happen.
3) Generally the forum doesn't like statistical tiebreakers and wild cards, but I think this is a potentially good idea. Especially if you don't have much confidence in pre-tournament seeding, you don't want a team which is second- or third-best in the tournament getting left out of the top bracket because they were matched with a better team in the prelims.

If you're going to do my two-playoff-pools which have a one-game final idea, I'd recommend using 6 groups of 5 in the prelims, and groups of 6 in the playoffs. This way:
1) There are fewer games at a time in the morning.
a) This gives your statperson slightly less pressure at that time.
b) It allows you to start quicker if people you've counted on for staffing are late showing up.
c) If there are teams that are delayed in arriving, you can (in some cases) shift teams within a bracket so that they have a bye Round 1 and you can start without them having to forfeit
2) It provides balance in the afternoon: Each top-tier group has 3 first-places and 3 second-places

I don't think I like Ian's "play the cross-bracket game on the bye" idea just because it will lead to confusion, I almost guarantee. If one team went 5-0 and lost their bye-game and another went 4-1 and won their bye-game, you will have the coach of the latter team think they are level. If both pools had a 5-0 team and one won their bye-game and the other lost their bye-game, you will have the coach of the former think they have an advantage. It's just more of a headache than it's worth, I think.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Aaron Goldfein »

Instead of doing morning pools which lead to afternoon pools where only the top team in each pool is guaranteed to advance AND you don't play an advantaged final after the morning round means a team can lose one match in the morning and be eliminated regardless of the rest of their performance. If you had enough packets to play an advantaged final in each pool after the morning round and THEN advance the pool champions to the championship pool, I would say this is a fine format, but you don't have that number of packets.

So, I propose you try to get 32 teams and then go for power matching. The basic idea of power matching is that in each round, each team plays against another team with the same record. Teams could be guaranteed to play the morning without repeat matches. After 5 rounds, you'll have one 5-0 team, five 4-1 teams, ten 3-2 teams, ten 2-3 teams, five 1-4 teams, and one 0-5 team. You could then form the championship pool from the one 5-0 team and five 4-1 teams (I would recommend having record carry over to give the 5-0 team a deserved advantage). You could then form consolation pools in several ways. For example, you could take the top six 3-2 teams by PPB and put them in Consolation A, the other 3-2 teams and the top two 2-3 teams by PPB in Consolation B. Or, you could take the ten 3-2 teams along with the top two 2-3 teams by PPB and put them in parallel 6-team consolation pools, with their champions playing off to be consolation champions (and then just assign the other teams wherever).

In this format, a team would definitely have to lose at least 2 games to be eliminated from championship contention.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Whiter Hydra »

Aaron Goldfein wrote:In this format, a team would definitely have to lose at least 2 games to be eliminated from championship contention.
And in round-robin, you need to lose at least three games to be out of championship contention (circle of death excepting).
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Aaron Goldfein »

The Gambler, the Nun, and the Radio wrote: And in round-robin, you need to lose at least three games to be out of championship contention (circle of death excepting).
That's not the case in this tournament. In the morning pools, a team could lose only one match (to a group champion that goes 5-0) and finish second in the pool, thereby being eliminated from contention.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

That would depend on the format of the playoffs, though, especially if it involved the 1st and 2nd place teams in 2 brackets. At the moment, I'm making a list of all the options people have suggested and looking them over to see what I have been suggested, and what I can work with. If there were any other options, feel free to shout them out; both for 5 6-team brackets (more preferred,) and 6 5-team brackets. I'm looking more for playoff help, obviously, on 10 or 11 packets (saving 1 packet for either a 1 match championship or saving 2 for an advantaged final/extra packet.)
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Howard »

Terrible Shorts Depot wrote:Please stop not telling the whole truth. While the Fall Novice questions will not be speedcheck short (one sentence), they won't exactly be novel length. As one of the head editors of FN last year, I can guarantee that not more than a very small handful (say, less than 5) of my tossups from last year exceeded 5 lines of 12 point Times New Roman. That's far from "nothing like [short questions which can be answered quickly]."
I think my point stands on its merits, Charlie. The questions were indeed shorter than many pyramidal questions, but that wasn't the suggested standard here. A five-line pyramidal question is still not like a two-line question with three clues, and you've already alluded to this fact in your response.

Even if we consider the case where my assessment isn't entirely correct (which I contend isn't the case), I also wrote the following in the very same post:
If you haven't done so, go to the link nobthehobbit provided. This should give you a good idea of what this year's questions will be like.
If an actually interested party actually goes to the link, they can judge for themselves whether the questions are nothing like short questions which can be answered quickly. In fact, that's what I did before I made the post in the first place.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

After a slight hiatus (my job getting the best of me,) I think I've come up with a final solution to my tournament format. This is all of the information I know of at the moment - let me know how it sounds:

-> Title: Lyndon State (or LSC for short) Hornet Bowl Academic Quiz Tournament
-> Date: Saturday, October 23, 2010
-> Location: Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, VT
-> Directions: (will be listed)
-> Time of Event: 9:00am (Registration will run from 8:15am - 9:00am - A rules/moderators meeting will follow, then preliminary tournament play will follow as soon as the meeting is over.)

-> Format: The tournament will be an un-timed 20/20 tossup/bonus format. Teams should expect to play a minimum of 5 games, with a maximum of 12.

Registration Fees:
-> $50 per team
-> $40 per additional team (see note below)
-> $5 off a working buzzer set available for use (discount limited - must be indicated within attached registration document)
-> $10 off each tournament volunteer we actually use (Since we won't know until check-in time whether we need volunteers, these should be people who will accompany your team anyway.)

Registration:
-> All teams must register via email. The deadline to register (or cancel) is Midnight on Saturday, October, 2. To register, email the attached registration sheet to (email will be given.) Payment is due the day of the tournament (cash or check made out to _________.)
------> *NOTE* - We will accept the first 15 registrations from individual Vermont and New Hampshire schools. Teams wishing to enter more than one team into the tournament must indicate this on the registration sheet. Should 15 individual schools from a particular state not be registered by October 2, we will fill with additional teams by date of registration submission, and schools will be promptly notified of their additional teams' acceptance.

Question Security:
-> Questions to be used for this tournament are the Fall Novice 2010 set. Previous packets of similar styled questions can be found at (link)

-> Dress is casual for the event. Parents and supporters are more than encouraged to attend to root for their teams!

-> Any questions/comments can be directed to (email) at any time, or I can be reached at (cell number)

***PLEASE let me know how this sounds just as a rough estimate of things - I want to get this cemented as soon as possible so I can send information to coaches as soon as I can.
Last edited by biggiebird89 on Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Frater Taciturnus »

biggiebird89 wrote:
Question Security:
-> Questions to be used for this tournament are the Fall Novice 2010 set provided by ACF. Previous packets of similar styled questions can be found at (link)
The Fall Novice Tournament is not in any way affiliated with the Academic Competition Federation.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

Thanks for that head's up. I went back and edited it out - I think somewhere in the previous posts, I became confused and associated them together. My mistake - sorry all!
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Golran »

You might not want to have a hard registration deadline that far ahead of the tournament, but instead note that on that date spots will be released to second teams from previously registered schools, and then have a final registration deadline only a week before the tournament date.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Note that either of your round robin rebracket formats actually guarantee more games than you're giving them credit for: each team would be guaranteed all of the games in the round robin brackets (for example, if you do five brackets of six into six brackets of five, then you have 9 guaranteed games (spread out over 10 rounds) with a possibility (for those who make the finals) of twelve. That's a much more compelling way to advertise your tournament, and it's more accurate besides.

(Also, since I don't think your field size is so large as to require single-elimination to resolve in any expedient way, I'm far happier with the aforementioned rebracketing format.)
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Howard »

biggiebird89 wrote:-> $10 off each tournament volunteer we actually use (Since we won't know until check-in time whether we need volunteers, these should be people who will accompany your team anyway.)
You might consider removing the parenthetical expression. It's easy to find ways to use volunteers, whether as a scorekeeper to assist a moderator, someone in the tournament room to read scores to you while you enter them, or simply as a hall monitor to help direct teams and deliver scoresheets. Most volunteers will be the coaches themselves, so chances are they're missing out on watching their team(s) play. If you have too many volunteers, you could work out a rotation so that they can watch/coach their team for a couple rounds.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

@Ian - I just put a hard deadline on there because of my wanting (or more hoping) to get 15 INDIVIDUAL schools to sign up. Plus this way it also gave buffer room in case a team had to change/back out, etc, and I could contact other schools interested. Moving the registration date back to the week before would work just fine. It was more over-organization than anything else.

@Andy/Howard- I put the minimum amount of games on because that was how I assumed it went. I formatted that big post off of an example from another tournament, and they listed the minimum number of games and that parenthetical expression verbatim. My thought was that if teams finished so low (say 0-5 in the preliminaries) and they didn't want to continue in the consolation round, then at least they had those 5 games to play.

I think, after boiling it down, that I'm going to use the format where I have 5 divisions of 6, rebracketed into 6 brackets of 5. That way, it’ll take 9 packets over 10 rounds, leaving 2 packets at the end for whatever comes along, and ensures that the best teams after the morning deserve to fight for the title.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Aaron Goldfein »

I think we need to consider the theory behind the whole morning pool/re-bracketing idea. That is, it only works when you advance a sufficient number of teams from each morning pool. One team is not sufficient.

I see the following hypocritical disadvantages - errors that this format is specifically intended to resolve and yet fails to:
  • A team can be eliminated from championship contention upon losing a single match in the morning.
  • Should the two best teams (or the best team and the third best team, or the third best and fourth best teams, etc.) be in the same morning pool, at best, the second place team in the pool will finish 7th. That is to say, even if the stronger teams in this tournament win 100% of their games, the only teams that will be ranked where they belong is the champion and 30th place.
  • A weak morning pool champion may finish 6th simply because no strong teams are in its morning pool (a likelihood, considering your limited ability to seed teams)
  • The purpose of the advantaged final is to (more) reliably determine a group champion when it is important to do so. In this format, it is important to do so in both the morning and afternoon pools, and yet the advantaged final is used only in the afternoon.
My power matching scheme will give teams more games against similarly strong opponents, eliminate byes (all teams play 10 matches), ensure that teams that lose only a single match are not eliminated, avoid the need for nasty, arbitrary paper tiebreakers in the morning, and create a more reliable ranking top-to-bottom.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Cody »

biggiebird89 wrote:I think, after boiling it down, that I'm going to use the format where I have 5 divisions of 6, rebracketed into 6 brackets of 5. That way, it’ll take 9 packets over 10 rounds, leaving 2 packets at the end for whatever comes along, and ensures that the best teams after the morning deserve to fight for the title.
I would just like to point out that number of rounds = number of packets, so 10 rounds = 10 packets (in the playoffs, 5 teams means a bye for each team (1 packets) + four games (4 packets)). You'd still have two packets left though.

Have you decided how you are doing the playoffs aside from the divisions? (e.g. all the #1 teams go into "Division" 1, #2 teams to "Division" 2, etc. then advantaged final or something like 3 #1's and 2 #2's in "Division" 1 2 #1's and 3 #2's in "Division" 2, etc. then crossbracket finals)
biggiebird89 wrote:@Andy/Howard- I put the minimum amount of games on because that was how I assumed it went. I formatted that big post off of an example from another tournament, and they listed the minimum number of games and that parenthetical expression verbatim. My thought was that if teams finished so low (say 0-5 in the preliminaries) and they didn't want to continue in the consolation round, then at least they had those 5 games to play.
You should probably discourage teams from leaving even if they went 0-5 in the prelims as the playoffs will determine their final standing (and they will play teams closer to their strength there).
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Well, teams could just assume they blow and not show up at all out of fear; they could then play zero games--but you don't need to say that. The way it works is that you post the number of guaranteed games: the number of games a team will have the opportunity to play without assuming anything special about its record. That 0-5 team has the opportunity to go 0-9 (or 4-5) if it wants to play all the games it's being offered for that price.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

I guess I need to be a little more clear when I submit my entries as to what I mean sometimes...

-> I never had intended on saying that team didn't have to play any games, etc. It was my THOUGHT that putting 5 games was safe because it's not up to me to determine how many games teams play overall. I understand putting the maximum games down that would not be effected by record is the best way to advertise. With the packets, I was just listing the number of packets an individual team would hear compared to the number being read overall. (So overall, if there was BYE in the 2nd round with a 6-team preliminary, it'd be 5 in the first half, then 5 packets in the second half, for 10 packets, but a team would only hear NINE of them due to the bye.)

-> My thought, originally, was to take the top two teams in each bracket and make 2 playoff pools of 5: 1 that had 3 first-place and 2 second-place teams, and the other having the remaining 5 teams, doing a round robin, and then a cross-bracket final, but I wasn't certain as to HOW to separate the 10 teams. Would I separate by 1-3-5 and 2-4, or what would the case be? I had ALSO thought about taking the two best 3rd place teams and making them wild card teams, but then that makes it seem like I'm desperate for a 12-team playoff bracket.

-> I could do the snake-curve idea for the playoff brackets if I had 12 teams, but then that causes more hassle with having 6 groups of 5 for the morning, STILL having a BYE then, and only having 4 games, which makes it seem like it'd be more likely to have tie-breakers necessary for then. I could just have the BYE teams play each other to make 5 matches, but there's been issues with that mentioned before, I believe.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by cvdwightw »

biggiebird89 wrote:-> My thought, originally, was to take the top two teams in each bracket and make 2 playoff pools of 5: 1 that had 3 first-place and 2 second-place teams, and the other having the remaining 5 teams, doing a round robin, and then a cross-bracket final, but I wasn't certain as to HOW to separate the 10 teams. Would I separate by 1-3-5 and 2-4, or what would the case be? I had ALSO thought about taking the two best 3rd place teams and making them wild card teams, but then that makes it seem like I'm desperate for a 12-team playoff bracket.
Actually, this is not a bad idea precisely because you're taking into account the possibility that the third-place team in a bracket may be stronger than a second-place team in a different bracket. Advertising five games is probably fine, say something like "All teams are guaranteed five prelim games. All teams that advance to the playoffs are guaranteed five additional games. We will have consolation games available for any non-playoff teams that wish to stay."

RE: Power-matching guy: no one has done a systematic study of whether or not a power-matching scheme produces a more or less reliable top-to-bottom ranking than a bracket/re-bracket scheme; advertising such a thing is blatant disinformation. Furthermore, as the value of 2^(number of rounds) increases beyond the number of teams, the actual results become more and more distorted due to increasingly variable schedule strengths. Finally, introducing a power-matching system at a tournament full of new teams and first-time staffers is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Telling every team "these are your first five opponents and the rooms they are in, come back after those games to see if you made the playoffs and if so what are your next five opponents and the rooms you will be in" and every staffer "these are the teams in your room the first five rounds; after lunch you will have the teams with these seeds and you can write down which team corresponds to which seed at lunch when we figure out which teams get which seeds" is the simplest way to run a fair tournament, and in this particular instance our optimal goals are to run the simplest fair tournament.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Joshua Rutsky »

As a coach from a state which uses the four-quarter format (albeit with a worksheet instead of a lightning round), as well as someone who has directed tournaments from 10 teams up to 50 teams, let me throw in my two cents, Garrett.

1) I have used HSAPQ's 4-quarter set. In my opinion, HSAPQ produces very good questions. I GUARANTEE, however, that if you have relatively inexperienced teams at your tournament, however, that your rounds will run 30 minutes each if you are LUCKY. Get a look at the questions they have on their web site, get a stopwatch, and read a packet aloud to yourself at a reasonable pace. You will be reading the full questions in many cases, as you'll need to get to the easiest clues at the end before a weak team buzzes in. This is not a knock on HSAPQ. I've bought sets from them twice, and I don't regret it. I'm just telling you that you will need to plan 30 minutes per round, and you probably would be smart to plan on 40 minutes, particularly if you have readers who aren't experienced and well-versed in the range of knowledge quizbowl covers.

2) There is nothing wrong with a 4 quarter format tourney, if that's your interest. However, in my experience with the larger quizbowl community, the 20/20 format of tossups and bonuses is the more common one, and it is generally more accepted (when the questions are well-written) as being less potentially unbalanced in the way Andy Watkins pointed out--that lightning rounds can seriously skew a match.

3) On the speed check vs. depth question: When I started coaching, I started with local tourneys on the Alabama circuit, and we practiced using Patrick's Press questions and stuff from a file drawer full of old Questions Unlimited rounds my predecessor had left behind. Tournaments here often consisted of short questions of the type you describe (one or two lines at most) and were basically buzzer races between the top teams. Depth of knowledge was really secondary to having a team member who was adept at buzzing at exactly the right moment. At that time, I thought that was fine, and I coached my team accordingly.

The first NAQT (20/20 style) tourney we attended was at a local community college. We didn't know what NAQT was, we didn't know the rules, and we didn't know what the format was. We thought we could go in on the fly and play it, because the teams in the tourney were largely from smaller schools we didn't think would be particularly good. We lost 11 of the 12 matches that day, and were totally humiliated. It was the best thing that ever happened to my program and my team. We learned a great deal from that experience, particularly that QUALITY QUESTIONS ARE BETTER THAN SHORT SPEED CHECKS. Not because speed isn't cool, and not because quick recall is bad, but because we learned that a team that knew more would, on a good question set, consistently outperform a shallow team, just as a student who has only a shallow knowledge (say, Cliff's Notes) of a subject should be outperformed consistently by a student who works. This is simply the way the world should work, at least from a teacher's standpoint. Time, effort, and breadth of knowledge should be rewarded, not just how fast you can press a button when you hear a cue word.

You'd think my kids would have been discouraged by that tournament, but they weren't. It made them think about their assumptions and encouraged them to work harder to become really knowledgeable students. Since that event, we have made a point of making 20/20 pyramidal events our preferred choice to attend whenever possible. The difference in our team's success is marked. We have won the state tournament (which is still played, alas, on speed check type questions) once and finished second twice in the last three years, and prior to that we were in the top six twice more. Meanwhile, we have won or placed highly in some major events out of state, and did very well over the past three years at NAQT Nationals. In other words, playing better questions made us a better team, both on weaker speed check questions AND on higher quality sets, and my players have grown to prefer the challenging questions. It is worth the effort.

4) On the cost factor for buying packets: don't worry about it. If you charge $40 a team, you are going to cover your costs without a problem. You'll MAKE money for your team/club if you sell lunch and sodas at the event. You can usually buy a pizza from a chain store or local pizza place for $7-$8, then sell it for $12.00 to a team, or you can sell by the slice at $1.50 each. Sell your sodas for 50 cents if you are a nice guy, or for a dollar each if you want to make more money. We try very hard to keep costs low for teams that want to come to play at our events, and even comp several teams due to travel costs or financial hardship, and we still regularly clear $500 or more at a good event, even factoring in free lunch for our large staff.

5) On multiple teams from schools: I would allow open registration, regardless of number of teams a school wants to bring, until your field is full, then create a waitlist. If you aren't going to require payment in advance of registration, make sure all teams know and agree that they are on the hook for their entry fee if they don't give you a week's notice to withdraw from the tourney. More is ideal, but you can't always get what you want. Be ready to enforce this rule by billing schools--get a signature or e-mail from each coach on an entry form in advance so you have something to send to their bookkeeper. You WILL have teams drop out at the last minute, and you'll be very, very glad you had a waitlist or you had something to limit the damage to your schedule. Be prepared to have to cobble on the day of the tourney--you may need to get the teams who attend to volunteer extra players to form "scrimmage" teams to make up for lost squads that back out because of illness, sudden trips, or whatever else. I can't remember a single tourney I've hosted where every team that signed up has attended; being prepared for this is a good way to limit your panic on the day of the event. If you have a 32 team field, make sure that on the Thursday before the event you've also made up an emergency schedule if you suddenly find yourself with 30 or 28 teams.


Good luck with your tournament, and let us know if we can do anything else to help you out. Hosting a big event is challenging, but it's also a lot of fun, and you've got a lot of people on this forum who are willing to lend expertise and advice if you ask.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

cvdwightw wrote:Actually, this is not a bad idea precisely because you're taking into account the possibility that the third-place team in a bracket may be stronger than a second-place team in a different bracket. Advertising five games is probably fine, say something like "All teams are guaranteed five prelim games. All teams that advance to the playoffs are guaranteed five additional games. We will have consolation games available for any non-playoff teams that wish to stay."
Dwight, were you referring to this idea:
-> Start with 5 six-team brackets..playing a round robin with them. (5 games)
-> Ranking the teams WITHIN a division by record, with tiebreakers via PPG (since intradivisional teams would have common opponents)
-> Taking the division's top 2 teams (via record) and then the 2 best 3rd-place teams (via PPB against the other 3rd-place teams)?

Then my thinking was one of these two options:
-> A.) Rank these 12 teams based on PPB 1-12, and divide these 12 teams via snake curve into two divisions: (My thinking being that teams ranked higher in a division would be better at bonus conversions than lower-ranked teams.)
-> Pool A: #1, #4, #5, #8, #9, and #12
-> Pool B: #2, #3, #6, #7, #10, and #11
-> B.) Rank the 1st place teams 1-5 based on PPB, then the 2nd-place teams 6-10 on PPB, and the 3rd place teams 11 and 12. Take the 6th place team and move it to the "first place" group, so there are 6 and 6, and then snake curve the brackets as I did above.
-> Either way, then play a round robin from this (5 games) - have one packet left over for tie-breakers, and then a cross-bracket final. This way, all teams are advertised TEN games (5 in the morning, 5 as playoff/consolation) and 12 maximum, depending.

I hadn't been a fan, since reading about it, of power matching, simply because if I re-bracket in the end, it gives the teams that SHOULD be in the finals a chance to be there, and if they are upset along the way, it's their loss in doing so, not my fault for ranking them that way. Plus the bracketing idea is MUCH easer on scheduling in terms of pre-setting divisions, etc.
~Garrett~
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Aaron Goldfein »

biggiebird89 wrote: I hadn't been a fan, since reading about it, of power matching, simply because if I re-bracket in the end, it gives the teams that SHOULD be in the finals a chance to be there, and if they are upset along the way, it's their loss in doing so, not my fault for ranking them that way.
This is exactly where I must disagree. The TD has mentioned that he does not know much about the relative strengths of the teams, and therefore, the morning pools would be more-or-less random. It's very unlikely, then, that the best 5/6 teams will be placed in separate pools, and if only the champions advance, deserving teams will be denied the right to be in the playoffs simply because they lost a single match to a stronger opponent.

Also, if you use this format:
Dwight, were you referring to this idea
-> Start with 5 six-team brackets..playing a round robin with them. (5 games)
-> Ranking the teams WITHIN a division by record, with tiebreakers via PPG (since intradivisional teams would have common opponents)
-> Taking the division's top 2 teams (via record) and then the 2 best 3rd-place teams (via PPB against the other 3rd-place teams)?
you won't be able to use an advantaged final in the championship pools and still have enough packets left for your one-game final. Thus, if you're not using power matching, I recommend this format, but I would support taking the top two teams in each pool and doing a third pool round amongst those four teams, except without the game played against the team in the same morning pool. If you also place the teams that were in the same morning pools together in the same afternoon pools and then not play crossover games, you could save yourself another packet which you could then use in the championship pool for tiebreakers to avoid having to declare a champion by PPG.

Or, failing that, you could just take the top four teams and do a single elimination tournament, something I would prefer better than the two-team single elimination final.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

Joshua,

Thank you very much for your insight toward my situation. I'll try and elaborate more on each point from the way you listed them.

1.) When I played quiz bowl in HS, we did the 4 quarter format, just slightly augmented from the format most teams use now. It was MUCH more fast paced, relied only on the most basic facts and speed on the buzzer. I started off with that format when I first made this entire thread because that's all I knew. I knew nothing about NAQT, or HSAPQ, or ACF or any other form of quiz bowl procedures/formats. I've looked at the formats and the questions for all formats, and I'm instead planning on using the 20/20 format from the Fall Novice (provided I get the bid for it.) I'm planning on doing 40-minute match intervals with 5 minute segments as breathing room/"get up and move to the next room" periods. If necessary, after doing training with my moderators (those club members of mine interested in helping out,) I may expand it to 45 per game with 5 to move.

2.) See #1 for answer to this.

4.) At the moment (and this is just set prices for the moment) I was planning on doing $40-50 an entry, -$5 for a working buzzer set, and -$10 for an experienced moderator willing to help. Though I'm not 100% certain about how many moderators I'll be able to get, this will make it so a team will have roughly $25-35 to pay if getting all discounts. I may offer a travel discount, especially with my tournament featuring ONLY teams from Vermont/New Hampshire, and most of the NH teams are in the southeast part of the state. (perhaps -$5 for teams traveling over 2 hours via Google Maps or something similar.) We have been looking at donations from local organizations for lunch/breakfast - there is one VERY good pizza shop in our college's town that loves to do catering-style assistance with the college, so we may look into bargaining with them, or we could do their pizza order. At the moment, their cost for a large 12" pizza is around $8-9, so we could offer $12/pizza (make it known on the registration sheet that it's an option and will be included on the prize when paying at the registration desk the morning of,) and go from there. There are NOT any tournaments run by other local colleges/organizations in the area, so I'd have to see what the response to prices are.

5.) My plan for schools was to allow the FIRST 15 INDIVIDUAL schools from Vermont and New Hampshire to submit teams first. If 15 separate schools from Vermont submit ONE team, then those are the 15 taken, for example (Teams A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O.) IF, by a certain time period (in my case, October 1st,) if I don't have 15 separate schools, then I'll go back IN ORDER of registration, and accept multiple teams from other schools. I just wanted to have 30 separate schools, with 30 separate teams, but I understand that things DO happen. I am doing my tournament on October 23rd, this way having a deadline (rough deadline) 3 weeks out helps me to organize things better - and I can do check-ins the week of to see what teams are in and what teams are backing out, USING that waitlist option you suggested to help alleviate any issues.

To Aaron,

1.) The only certain thing that I'll have to go by in terms of knowing what teams are 'stronger' than other teams, as it were, would be ONE league tournament held in late September among the VT teams - the NH teams start in October, so it'd be unlikely to know much about them unless I found some way to learn about past tournament results, etc, before my tournament starts. It's not as if I'm intentionally trying to put all the better teams in 1 bracket to start, but if I don't know any results of ANY tournaments in the current year, I can always look to previous years' results, and if worse comes to absolute worse, just keeping it random is a better way than me somehow screwing over other teams by intentionally placing them with other teams, and making it look like I did it on purpose. At least random assignments would have the feel that it's on the up-and-up.

2.) Hence why I still keep posting about tournament format - I'm not finding one that particularly suits me yet. I keep having second thoughts about all the different kinds of match-ups I could use. I have NEVER had the intention of doing an Advantaged final for the playoff pools, this was ONLY to be done for the overall championship. My struggle at the moment is finding a way to go from either (6 brackets of 5) or (5 brackets of 6) to a 12-team, 2 bracket playoff, where 5 packets are used in the morning, 5 are used in the afternoon, with 2 packets left over for tiebreaker/final cross-bracket match, etc. I'll only have 12 packets to work with if I gain the rights to the Fall Novice set, and so I'm trying to guarantee 10 meaningful games for all teams involved, 2 round-robins (morning and afternoon,) and a championship match.
~Garrett~
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by jonpin »

Getting ten meaningful games for every team, while leaving room for tiebreakers and finals, on a 12-packet set can be hard for certain numbers of teams. I still think the best plan for you is to do this:

Morning (4 games in 5 rounds): 6 groups of 5 play a round-robin. Teams have one bye. Top two from each group advance to the Top Playoffs; next two to the Middle Playoffs; bottom two to the Lower Playoffs.
Afternoon (5 games in 5 rounds): Each level of playoffs has 2 pools of 6 that play a round-robin. Split up the group champions 3 into each pool and put each group's runner-up in the opposite pool from that group's champion (so there would be no rematches from the morning in the afternoon).
If either of the Top Playoff pools has a tie for first, round 11 is used to break the tie.
Then Round 12 is used for the final between the winners of each pool (and, if desired, a third-place game, fifth-place game, etc).

It is mathematically possible that a team goes 3-1 in the morning and is eliminated from advancing due to a circle of death. It doesn't appear to me that there are enough packets to prevent this, no matter your format.
It is (to be honest) quite possible that the objectively second best team in the tournament finishes third because they were in the same afternoon pool as the best team. That is slightly unfortunate, but not catastrophic in my opinion.
It is very true that if the best team is upset in an afternoon game, they do not have the safety net of an advantage final. Again, there are not enough packets to fix that. You could go with what Aaron (and possibly others before him) suggested, namely using Round 11 to play crossover semifinals (X1 vs Y2, Y1 vs X2) and Round 12 for a championship final; this is at the risk of a circle of death in the afternoon causing a team to be eliminated with just one loss and no chance at a tiebreaker.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

@jonpin – thank you for that advice above. I took a moment earlier this afternoon to look back at the last few posts, and I thought about the idea of having multiple teams from one school be allowed in this tournament, and I also looked at the troubles I’d been having with formatting the playoff end of this tournament. I finally came to the realization that if I changed one, I could easily fix the other.

So what I decided to do was to change the cap on the total teams allowed for this event, from 30 to 36 teams (18 from each state.) I also decided that having multiple teams from a school may not be such a bad idea, since there’s a greater likelihood that I’ll get multiple teams from schools than 36 independent schools (but if that happens, I’d be even more happy.) I’ll first ask for ONLY individual schools to register (but to place on the registration sheet if schools wish to bring more teams – they will be marked on a “Waiting List” in order of the date they registered – first come, first serve. The rough deadline for this will be October 2nd, and then the final deadline is October 16th.)

In terms of the format of the tournament, I would do 6 6-team brackets (3 VT and 3 NH teams) and do a round robin, then rank the teams 1-6 in a division by record, then take the top two in each bracket and move them to the playoff pool (and do similar consolation brackets for the ¾ and 5/6th place teams.) I’d rank the 6 divisional winners 1-6 based on PPB, and snake-curve-seed the teams:

Pool A: #1, #4, #5, and the 2nd place teams in the same division as #2, #3, and #6
Pool B: #2, #3, #6, and the 2nd place teams in the same division as #1, #4, and #5.

I would then do a round robin with these 2 pools (5 games.) Then I could do use Packet #11 for a tiebreaker packet for the playoff pools, and #12 for the cross-bracket championships, or depending on what happens in the morning pools, etc. This way, teams would need to lose at least 2 games in the morning to be knocked out (potentially,) all records would carry through, and the 2 best teams SHOULD end up in the finals.
~Garrett~
2011 Graduate - Lyndon State College
Former V.P. - L.S.C. chapter of Sigma Zeta Honor Society

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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by dtaylor4 »

biggiebird89 wrote:I would then do a round robin with these 2 pools (5 games.) Then I could do use Packet #11 for a tiebreaker packet for the playoff pools, and #12 for the cross-bracket championships, or depending on what happens in the morning pools, etc. This way, teams would need to lose at least 2 games in the morning to be knocked out (potentially,) all records would carry through, and the 2 best teams SHOULD end up in the finals.
Even with taking top two, one loss can still knock a team out, such as with a circle of death.

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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

dtaylor4 wrote:
biggiebird89 wrote:I would then do a round robin with these 2 pools (5 games.) Then I could do use Packet #11 for a tiebreaker packet for the playoff pools, and #12 for the cross-bracket championships, or depending on what happens in the morning pools, etc. This way, teams would need to lose at least 2 games in the morning to be knocked out (potentially,) all records would carry through, and the 2 best teams SHOULD end up in the finals.
Even with taking top two, one loss can still knock a team out, such as with a circle of death.
Overall lesson: paranoia about avoiding letting one loss knock a team out is unfounded; there's always a point at which n losses will knock a team out and you can make the same argument for however many losses.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

Makes sense to me. I thought afterwards and had a question on something to do with my playoffs. Which of these options sounds better to do:

After doing the seeding, should I:

1.) Keep all records from the morning, and risk needing a tie-breaker for the championship pools (say if two teams or even more went 9-1 or something similar.)
2.) Start with fresh records for the afternoon pool, therefore reducing the possibility of needing a tiebreaker.

I've been leaning more toward #2, but I thought asking would be more beneficial. Other than that, if no one objects to what I had above, I think that's where I'm going to go with things.

The only thing I've changed is the pricing. I think I'm going to go with $45/entry, $35/extra team, -$5 per working buzzer set, -$5 for extra help/moderators, and -$5 for teams traveling in excess of 200 miles by Google (since most of the NH teams are in the Southeast corner of the state - I could always do by 2 hours from Google Maps, etc.) I'm also doing a lunch deal of a large pizza and soda for all members of a team for $15 (it'd be $9 for the pizza + more for the sodas at the nearest decent pizza shop.)
~Garrett~
2011 Graduate - Lyndon State College
Former V.P. - L.S.C. chapter of Sigma Zeta Honor Society

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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Aaron Goldfein »

Go with option 2. Option 1 tries to compare records between unlike opponents, and is pretty arbitrary.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I feel we are doing you something of a disservice by not discussing with you your projected field size and composition. A lot of new tournament directors are incredibly optimistic about their ability to attract teams, because I think people maybe assume that more schools have teams than really do, or maybe they assume that more schools with teams actually take things seriously. Expecting to fill a 36 team field with 18 teams from two different states is something that I would predict is not going to be possible for your tournament. This isn't a bad thing - the majority of quizbowl tournaments probably have fewer than 20 teams in attendance. There is always going to be that team that's located 5 minutes from your campus that won't show up, or people from other corners of the state who won't drive (looking at a map of your campus, I would assume that you are going to lose out on many NH teams because you aren't particularly close to the population centers of that state, nor are you particularly near some of the cities in Vermont). There is also some problem in being a non-big name school, because for whatever reason some teams will show up to any events hosted at schools with names like Princeton or Harvard solely because they're at those schools. Another problem is that the New England high school circuit is, relatively speaking, tiny. In Missouri, we have hundreds of high schools with active teams, including probably over a hundred just within an hour's radius of my campus. Even with that concentration of teams, we have never been able to attract more than 18 teams to our tournaments despite large advertising campaigns. In even more powerful quizbowl regions like Virginia or Minnesota, tournaments still can sometimes struggle to crack even 12 teams. New England, on the other hand, has what I understand to be a much, much smaller pool of teams to draw on. If more active regions cannot be relied upon to consistently fill up 20 team fields, that's not a great sign for hitting 36 teams here. Most importantly, though, is that your tournament is brand new. Sometimes new tournaments can get lucky and have a lot of teams show up, but mostly I think it is much more realistic to expect a small field for a completely unknown host's first time. Tournament hosts generally attract more teams if they have a reputation for running good tournaments in the past. If your club can tough it out a year or two, the chances of getting a large field will probably be greater.

If it turns out that you are unable to fill this ideal field, I would really suggest coming up with other formats for contingency (preferably formats which don't divide the prelims by state - I don't think that is really a very worthwhile gimmick to begin with, but what do you do if you have, say, 10 teams from Vermont and 6 from New Hampshire sign up?)

Good luck with your tournament, I'm glad to see that you are so open minded to some of the less concrete details of tournament directing, like why pyramidal questions are better, and I hope you can help exert a positive influence over your region.
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Re: First-Time Tournament Help

Post by biggiebird89 »

@Charlie –
Thank you for your insight into everything been typed so far. As you said, I am incredibly optimistic about this tournament and the possibilities that could potentially come with this tournament my club wishes to run, but we have slightly overlooked that issue with teams coming into this. I’ve done my best to resolve any potential issues with this, but there are also some smaller things I’ve been looking over that I think will help to draw teams to this tournament.

In my region of Vermont, there aren’t many teams (due to the fact our college is in the middle of nowhere,) but there are a decent amount of teams within 30-45 minutes’ drive or so. Aside from the league tournaments that are run for each side of the argument, there really isn’t any other tournament run in that area. (Hanover, NH does a tournament that would actually end up being the weekend after ours….not sure if that’s a good or bad thing in this instance.) We ARE semi-known for a college – Yes, agreed, we aren’t a Harvard or Princeton by any stretch of the imagination, but we are known for having a lot of things going on, and as a central location, I don’t see any reason why, other than distance, we would have any problem hosting this tournament on our campus. The Vermont/New Hampshire circuits are relatively small – Vermont having about 31 teams or so and New Hampshire more, but we are hoping that the more faithful will want to attend any conference that is out to promote damn-good quiz bowl, whether we are a new or old tournament for the region. Those that look to achieve more with their teams, we would assume, would want to take part in any tournament going on.

I’m not too concerned off the bat about the number of teams showing up. My thought process was to aim high off the bat – 30 teams, and/or 32. Then I went to 36 so the playoff formats would work out successfully. It could work the same with 24 teams, or 18, etc., plus I’m aware that not all schools have B or even C teams, but I figured that schools that did would be interested in them coming as well, since it wouldn’t seem fair to leave those teams out of an experience. My idea with the VT vs. NH gimmick was to help create a bit of spirit between the two states’ teams, and to engage in more cross-state matches. Sort of a way to see if teams perform differently if they are 1.) not playing their usual league formats, and 2.) if they differ against teams from different leagues like that. It might not be a HUGE difference, but it’s one that I figure would help in the advertising aspect.

I’ve been in constant communication with both the director of the Vermont and New Hampshire leagues, and both gentlemen have been more than incredibly helpful in going out of their way with tips and advice as to things to beware (including expectations, fees, etc., and even the NH director has said he is interested on behalf of his team, on just the first email to him in May.) I don’t think our fee structure is too bad right off, especially since it’s also including a lunch deal per team, as well as a discount for teams traveling over 2 hours, along with the fact that prices are relatively low to start as well to begin with. I even spoke with the regional director for the region I’m in’s quiz bowl teams, and she even suggested that, at the administrative meeting in August, she will speak to other coaches and mention our tournament as a supplement to the VT season schedule, to encourage teams to participate, which I was NOT expecting in the slightest. I think my club and I have all the necessary factors to put on a great tournament, we just need to get the ball rolling ASAP, and I think everything is falling into place as we speak!

**end rant** :-P
~Garrett~
2011 Graduate - Lyndon State College
Former V.P. - L.S.C. chapter of Sigma Zeta Honor Society

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