PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by The Time Keeper »

olsb25 wrote: No scores... those are lost to posterity.
In the future, please run your tournaments better.

Thank you,

Quizbowl.

Edit: Seriously, comprehensive stats and such are the norm now and if you want to keep bringing in a good amount of teams you will be expected to meet these standards in the future. Please try to do so next time you run something at Princeton.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Kunle, I respect you as a player--we played a few times between SCT and ICT, yes?--but I don't know if your arguments are all that valid.

Assuming that all teams keep their own individual stats is just wrongheaded, especially because they're most valuable to the coaches of teams that don't have one clearly dominant player. This is a tournament on an A set--the players you believe most likely to keep their own stats are the ones who are probably least likely to care that they had thirty powers in seven rounds. Instead, the teams that need the data are those trying to figure out their lineup for the coming year. I don't know how tenable an explanation it is that it would simply take too long--there really aren't too many tournaments that don't keep individual stats in order to finish on time. I sympathize with your other issues with delays, but a tournament run well can handle individual stats without delaying games.

The idea that you didn't even write down the scores of playoff games is just silly.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by AKKOLADE »

I'm not intending to dogpile here, but if I paid $100 a pop for a high school tournament I'd expect statistics, professional massages and a brief performance of Movin' Out by zombified former Secretaries of the Treasury.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by olsb25 »

OK, about playoff scores: no excuse for that, and I do apologize. About individual stats, that hasn't been a tradition for us, as far as I know. We can debate the merits all you want, but we just don't usually keep them, and having run a much smaller tournament with individual stats, I know how long it takes, and it just seemed to me that it would cause our tournament to take way too long. Although having reflected on my arguments, I agree with you: my point on teams keeping their own stats is dumb. I should be smarter.

Next year we will be sure to hire masseuses.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by TheCzarMan »

I've never seen issue with keeping individual stats before. This doesn't even require a same day return either, I'm sure a lot of teams wouldn't mind waiting a few days or week after the tournament to let the TD's go through the scorecards and upload the stats.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by AKKOLADE »

In the grand scheme of things, stats aren't as important as a competently run tournament, but they're still pretty valuable to have.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by The Goffman Prophecies »

olsb25 wrote:A few things:
4) Our "reputation": I'm a sophomore, and had nothing to do with that "reputation", so please don't conflate things that I had no control over on me.
Adding on to what others have said...

You may not have control over what others have done in the past, but you do have control over what happens going forward. Providing a quality, competently run event will ensure that teams experience your events differently.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by olsb25 »

Look, I personally like having individual stats, but...
1) I erred on the side of trying to run the tournament faster. If you would prefer a slower tournament (b/c not only must the stats be entered, the stats have to be taken during the game) with stats, that is a decision that next year's TD will have to make.
2) I had (and have) not heard a major groundswell of opinion from teams demanding that we keep individual stats.
3) I have no time to enter the stats afterwards. The time that I spent setting this tournament up has already cost me dearly, and especially with exams coming up, I couldn't take any more time out to do that. Even right now, I'm furiously studying orgo and checking this periodically.

Maybe your criticism is fair, and maybe next year's TD will decide to keep individual stats. All I know is that we haven't in the past, and I don't apologize for that decision this year.

In response to the last post: OK, fair. But the only issue here seems to be stats, one team's complaint about how playoffs were determined, and some delays (which every tournament on earth has). Besides that, the tournament went well... please correct me if I'm way off-base here.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Kunle, I don't understand why you are responding to the Bloomfield guy's valid complaint about your tiebreaker as if he shouldn't complain since it wouldn't have mattered - just because it wouldn't have mattered doesn't mean he doesn't have the right to point out that it was a bad choice.
As for a better decision - instead of winning percentages, which is quite obviously going to be unfair if anyone has a bye round, simply rank teams by how many losses they had, then ppg. That way someone who went 4-2 isn't at an automatic disadvantage to someone who by pure luck was in a bracket where it was possible to go 5-2. I hope you realize that in that situation winning percentage clearly is unfair, even if the ultimate results of the tournament are the same
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by olsb25 »

OK, perhaps I was a little snippy about that. Actually, I was. My bad. My problem with your reasoning, however, is that the teams are equally likely to get another loss as well as another win with the bye (which was caused by a no-show, in case anyone didn't know). In practice, this is obviously untrue (depending on how good the no-show teams would have been), but for the sake of fairness, I have to assume that. What I'm trying to say here is, yes, you lose a chance to go 5-2, but you also lose a chance to go 4-3.

Also: I don't know if I thoroughly explained this, but this is how we determined playoffs. The top two teams by wins in each bracket (w/ ppg to break ties), and the next 4 teams by win pct.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Dude, quizbowl tournaments don't run on hypotheticals. We can't run tournaments wondering what might happen in a nonexistant game. If there is a bye, it is an implicit win by virtue of the fact one team was there and one team wasn't. Punishing teams for unluckily being given a bye is just plain unfair.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Even with equal brackets, any system where you have playoff brackets that are determined by a metric, rather purely by games (that is, the fact that your playoffs were 16, not 12 or 18) is subpar (if quite common).

For the sake of fairness, you had to assume that a team that had already won twice as many games as it had lost against the competition that could be bothered to show up had a 50/50 chance against a team that went missing? Moreover, all that is completely irrelevant when better metrics exist, and when metrics shouldn't be used at all.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by olsb25 »

OK. I say this in the least confrontational way possible... what should I have done? Seriously, I want to know.

EDIT: Specific case, though... what about the other teams in Bloomfield's (since I assume that is who you refer to) bracket? How am I supposed to guess how they would do?
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Sir Thopas »

Well, you didn't track bonus conversion, otherwise that would work. SQBS does that easily though.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

olsb25 wrote:OK. I say this in the least confrontational way possible... what should I have done? Seriously, I want to know.

EDIT: Specific case, though... what about the other teams in Bloomfield's (since I assume that is who you refer to) bracket? How am I supposed to guess how they would do?
So right, assuming you're judging by a weird hypothetical stat, then you certainly presume that Bloomfield is more likely to win than lose, probably a lot more likely. As for other teams--they weren't in contention for the playoffs, so who cares? Unless there were other 4-2 teams, and then you make the exact same judgment for them as for Bloomfield. But that's not an issue: just do things differently.

As to the first part: track stats, like every other legitimate tournament. Charge less money, like every other legitimate tournament (in the Northeast--they charge a lot in California, too, or so I hear, but I don't know why). Have playoffs that don't require weird judgment calls. Single elim playoffs are also silly, especially on A series packets that give games between two skilled teams a roughly random result.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by olsb25 »

Um, we weren't on A series packets. I could not in good conscience run anything on that, no matter what the price. On fees, this isn't Wall Street. We had more new teams this year than as I far back as I can see (which I am very happy about, because I want good quizbowl (or quizbowl-like substance, for some portions of NAQT) to spread too. Cue the "Well, then you wouldn't run such a crappy tournament" replies.) This tournament is our only sure source of money all year, and I think you all know, it is not easy to just beg for more. Our costs for transportation are increasing, and while I understand that money is tight, it's tight on our end too, and I still contend that overall, the tournament was pretty good.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Cue the "Well, then you wouldn't run such a crappy tournament" replies.
Hey you moron.
Kill yourself.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by olsb25 »

Apparently my brand of humor is not so funny to you. Sorry. I was not trying to imply that people were just giving me crap for nothing.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by EricCohen »

Everyone who is criticizing Kunle's directing of the tournament clearly does not understand what goes into running these tournaments. Trust me - as someone who has run this before, there's a reason why no one has ever dared run the tournament more than once. You fail to realize how much work went into this tournament, as well as the effect of so many uncontrollable factors.

First of all, we started late because MANY SCHOOLS WERE LATE. That was the number one reason. The next most important thing was that we were severely understaffed, which was completely unpredictable. In high school, you have a set team. When someone doesn't show up to something, you have a teacher yelling at them. In college, we're basically sending out desperate pleas every single day on a mysterious mailing list of 100 people, to beg them to wake up on a saturday, something that no one except a person with a large amount of dedication is likely to do. People don't reply to our emails - high schools don't reply to our emails. And when a school doesn't show up, and completely fails to even tell us that they're not coming, it just adds to the problem. An average college kid, when tired of reading, will simply stop, leave, and not tell anyone. I suspect that there was at least one indecent of this at the tournament.

Secondly, all of the decisions made were done to move things along. I do not understand how people can possibly complain about a tournament that is done by about 6. I don't know the norm these days, but back when I was in high school, when a tournament finished before 7:30, it was an achievement, let alone at a tournament that has to be run simultaneously in 2 buildings due to its size. As Kunle has said, there was simply no time to compile individual stats, and there was never a demand for it that outweighed the demand for finishing the tournament promptly. We're not in a political campaign here - we can't please everyone by doing basically nothing. We have to conform to the demands of a 90% majority that want to get home ASAP as opposed to a 10% minority that would rather stay 2 extra hours but have individual stats.

As for how we calculated the playoff teams, we tried it at least 3 different ways, and they were all basically the same (a few seed switches here and there)

For everyone complaining about our single elimination playoff format, we are running a tournament here. We are measuring a specific performance as well as ability. How about next time we run each match 30 times using 30 different packets, as that will certainly determine which team is better, and result in an unquestionable victor. I'm sure that would satisfy everyone.

The fact is, if you don't want to come to the tournament, don't come. We do the best we can with what and who we have, and any implications that we were being lazy or incompetent are just plain wrong. Every decision made was done so for a justifiable reason. Whether or not you might agree with it is your own business

And one last thing. The personal attacks on Kunle are completely uncalled for, and simply reflect the level of immaturity that has been present in several of these posts. He has been working every spare moment (and this is not an easy school, so there aren't too many) on this tournament. If any of you are planning to continue doing quiz bowl in high school and college, I suggest you stop complaining and grow up.

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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Kunle--I'm sorry for forgetting that this was an IS packet. I should have realized that you wouldn't run a tournament on an A series. My points stand regardless, I think.

Suggestions for ways to get money: host college tournaments? I'm sure that one of, like, ACF Winter/Regionals will need a host. I'm sure that things need to be mirrored. Or you could go our route and start to edit and produce tournaments yourself. Last year, we had thirty-two teams at HFT and charged them a base fee of $70. Somehow we survived.
EricCohen wrote:Everyone who is criticizing Kunle's directing of the tournament clearly does not understand what goes into running these tournaments. Trust me - as someone who has run this before, there's a reason why no one has ever dared run the tournament more than once. You fail to realize how much work went into this tournament, as well as the effect of so many uncontrollable factors.
Important note here: most of the people leveling this criticism are in college. Most of them have run tournaments. Probably most of them have run big tournaments.
First of all, we started late because MANY SCHOOLS WERE LATE. That was the number one reason. The next most important thing was that we were severely understaffed, which was completely unpredictable. In high school, you have a set team. When someone doesn't show up to something, you have a teacher yelling at them. In college, we're basically sending out desperate pleas every single day on a mysterious mailing list of 100 people, to beg them to wake up on a saturday, something that no one except a person with a large amount of dedication is likely to do. People don't reply to our emails - high schools don't reply to our emails. And when a school doesn't show up, and completely fails to even tell us that they're not coming, it just adds to the problem. An average college kid, when tired of reading, will simply stop, leave, and not tell anyone. I suspect that there was at least one indecent of this at the tournament.
I've certainly experienced this; who hasn't? But you shouldn't run a tournament so big that you have to rely on a mailing list of 100 people--I can't imagine that all 100 regularly come to practice--to moderate your tournament. Because they're obviously unreliable, leading to that problem. If moderators crap out during the tournament, that is the fault of the tournament, because it should have asked someone else to moderate or realized that it shouldn't be so big. Note that I specifically didn't criticize the tournament for starting late. It's saying that stats would have caused you to be even later that's invalid.
As Kunle has said, there was simply no time to compile individual stats, and there was never a demand for it that outweighed the demand for finishing the tournament promptly. We're not in a political campaign here - we can't please everyone by doing basically nothing. We have to conform to the demands of a 90% majority that want to get home ASAP as opposed to a 10% minority that would rather stay 2 extra hours but have individual stats.
There is no real world in which compiling individual stats should take two extra hours. If it would, then you're running a tournament that's bigger than you can handle.
As for how we calculated the playoff teams, we tried it at least 3 different ways, and they were all basically the same (a few seed switches here and there)
I mean, this is a fine argument. In this specific instance, maybe you were lucky and valid random metrics gave the same result as invalid hypothetical ones. But what if this weren't the case?
For everyone complaining about our single elimination playoff format, we are running a tournament here. We are measuring a specific performance as well as ability. How about next time we run each match 30 times using 30 different packets, as that will certainly determine which team is better, and result in an unquestionable victor. I'm sure that would satisfy everyone.
Look, this is your argument. If you're complaining that we ran a bad playoff, we're running a tournament! If we placate you by doing anything at all better, then chances are that pretty soon you'll expect absolutely impossible things of us! Seriously, there was a thread within the last few months in which we shot down the idea of triple-elim as being absurd. Double elim is cool; running a round robin in playoff brackets is too. Single elim is bad, but we won't ask you to do the impossible to avoid it.
The fact is, if you don't want to come to the tournament, don't come. We do the best we can with what and who we have, and any implications that we were being lazy or incompetent are just plain wrong. Every decision made was done so for a justifiable reason. Whether or not you might agree with it is your own business
That is surely what lots of teams would do if not for inertia. What you're saying here is "we're not interested in hearing community input on what a quality event would be, so teams, don't expect to see your desires acknowledged."
And one last thing. The personal attacks on Kunle are completely uncalled for, and simply reflect the level of immaturity that has been present in several of these posts. He has been working every spare moment (and this is not an easy school, so there aren't too many) on this tournament. If any of you are planning to continue doing quiz bowl in high school and college, I suggest you stop complaining and grow up.
Weathering personal attacks is part of life. Kunle's a fine guy. He should have done things better. Heck, he asked how he could improve things, while you told us that we're all wrong and our input isn't worth anything. I much prefer his management style.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by ezubaric »

The issue with individual stats is that there are so many teams that we don't have enough staff to have dedicated scorekeepers. So, moderators have to do all of the scoring. As many (most) of these moderators are inexperienced, a decision was made in the past to not require them to keep individual stats. Doing so would make each round take longer.

Perhaps Princeton has cultivated too much of a spirit of "keep things moving." This is part of our history. In 2004, the tournament ended at 9PM. We used to run double elimination playoffs. We didn't use SQBS because we needed multiple stats rooms spread out across different buildings. We have tried to make the individual rounds run as quickly as possible.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by AKKOLADE »

I see Princeton doesn't have a class in how to take criticism and not come off as a chump.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

ezubaric wrote:The issue with individual stats is that there are so many teams that we don't have enough staff to have dedicated scorekeepers. So, moderators have to do all of the scoring. As many (most) of these moderators are inexperienced, a decision was made in the past to not require them to keep individual stats. Doing so would make each round take longer.

Perhaps Princeton has cultivated too much of a spirit of "keep things moving." This is part of our history. In 2004, the tournament ended at 9PM. We used to run double elimination playoffs. We didn't use SQBS because we needed multiple stats rooms spread out across different buildings. We have tried to make the individual rounds run as quickly as possible.
HFT could have ten thousand teams attend and provide twenty staffers. We don't, because that would blow. If I pay $100, I expect that the tournament will not try to have so many teams that it can't provide adequate staff (even decently trained mods). After all, one of the reasons I'm paying 50% more than any other tournament in the northeast is so the tournament can afford to host fewer teams but host better, right? Apparently, wrong.

I recommend that you revise the past decision not to keep individual stats. I started doing so the first time I moderated, and I was never behind anyone else at the tournament. If the moderators you recruit are borderline competent, they will probably be better than I was my first time.

Dude, everyone else cultivates a spirit of "keep things moving," and everyone else manages to run the tournament faster, while keeping individual stats. If you have to resort to multiple stat rooms, then you're doing something wrong.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by AKKOLADE »

EricCohen wrote:Everyone who is criticizing Kunle's directing of the tournament clearly does not understand what goes into running these tournaments. Trust me - as someone who has run this before, there's a reason why no one has ever dared run the tournament more than once. You fail to realize how much work went into this tournament, as well as the effect of so many uncontrollable factors.
You're absolutely right - no one else who has posted in this thread has ever organized a tournament. I am now beating myself with a steel chain - the welts will be large, but so will the lesson.
EricCohen wrote:First of all, we started late because MANY SCHOOLS WERE LATE. That was the number one reason. The next most important thing was that we were severely understaffed, which was completely unpredictable. In high school, you have a set team. When someone doesn't show up to something, you have a teacher yelling at them. In college, we're basically sending out desperate pleas every single day on a mysterious mailing list of 100 people, to beg them to wake up on a saturday, something that no one except a person with a large amount of dedication is likely to do. People don't reply to our emails - high schools don't reply to our emails. And when a school doesn't show up, and completely fails to even tell us that they're not coming, it just adds to the problem. An average college kid, when tired of reading, will simply stop, leave, and not tell anyone. I suspect that there was at least one indecent of this at the tournament.
How about emphasizing the free lunch part of things? How about partnering with campus-based community service organizations? How about gathering emergency contacts for your schools to confirm what's going on? How about getting some contingency plans going? How about posting here and requesting moderators? How about making sure you had enough volunteers before you admitted these teams?
EricCohen wrote:Secondly, all of the decisions made were done to move things along. I do not understand how people can possibly complain about a tournament that is done by about 6. I don't know the norm these days, but back when I was in high school, when a tournament finished before 7:30, it was an achievement, let alone at a tournament that has to be run simultaneously in 2 buildings due to its size. As Kunle has said, there was simply no time to compile individual stats, and there was never a demand for it that outweighed the demand for finishing the tournament promptly. We're not in a political campaign here - we can't please everyone by doing basically nothing. We have to conform to the demands of a 90% majority that want to get home ASAP as opposed to a 10% minority that would rather stay 2 extra hours but have individual stats.
Yes, obviously keeping individual stats would take two extra hours; this has been scientifically proven. Using one of the many scoresheets available able to track both individual and team scoring and then entering the stats after the event is not a viable option here, no siree.
EricCohen wrote:For everyone complaining about our single elimination playoff format, we are running a tournament here. We are measuring a specific performance as well as ability. How about next time we run each match 30 times using 30 different packets, as that will certainly determine which team is better, and result in an unquestionable victor. I'm sure that would satisfy everyone.
Obviously, if someone says single elim isn't fair, the appropriate answer is to say that any other solution would take a million years. Running other playoff formats are impossible.
EricCohen wrote:The fact is, if you don't want to come to the tournament, don't come. We do the best we can with what and who we have, and any implications that we were being lazy or incompetent are just plain wrong. Every decision made was done so for a justifiable reason. Whether or not you might agree with it is your own business
Nice - the "if you don't like parts of our tournament, don't come back!" card. It constantly amazes how many people involved in running tournaments fail to see that a big part of their jobs is customer service. If an actual company reacted to legitimate complaints this way, people would be absolutely pissed. I see no reason why this attitude should be different in quiz bowl.
EricCohen wrote:And one last thing. The personal attacks on Kunle are completely uncalled for, and simply reflect the level of immaturity that has been present in several of these posts. He has been working every spare moment (and this is not an easy school, so there aren't too many) on this tournament. If any of you are planning to continue doing quiz bowl in high school and college, I suggest you stop complaining and grow up.
Do you really not know the difference between criticizing a tournament and a personal attack? Seriously?

So, overall, this is how this thread has gone:

1) Some pretty legitimate criticisms are leveled
2) Kunle Demuren does a pretty decent job of handling them
3) Discussion goes a little roughly, but for the most part is civil
4) HEY GUYS ITS ERI
ERIC COHEN and I'm representing a group of Princeton students regarding how tough of a life we live, how nobody could ever understand just how hard it is to run a tournament at our school (nevermind that Harvard runs what is commonly received as one of the better h.s. tournaments of the year, not to mention all the college tournaments Ivies run and write packets for) and just how mean everyone has been to us so far.

So, in conclusion, Eric, you're the one that needs to stop complaining and grow up. You aren't a special panda that needs to be coddled. For all these problems you have cited, there are plenty of legitimate solutions if someone had looked for them. There's guides on how to run tournaments efficiently, there are countless people on these forums that could have offered advice and possibly been able to help in some manner, but it does not look like you took advantage of any of these. Princeton quiz bowl isn't the victim in this situation; they're the perpetrators of any shortfalls.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by ezubaric »

everyday847 wrote:If you have to resort to multiple stat rooms, then you're doing something wrong.
We couldn't fit all of our rooms in a single building. It's easier to have electrons running across buildings than having humans do the running. We've tried using runners in the past, but that has resulted in a big delay between the round robin and the seeding in the past.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Scan the sheets; type up the minimal amount of data (statlines for eight players, plus final score?) that you need and use email; use Taft. There are solutions.

Or host a tournament that's small enough that you can fit it in one building. Because if you went into this knowing you needed multiple buildings, you knew you wouldn't be keeping individual stats. Meaning that you knew that you'd be charging teams more for a lesser product. Don't do this!
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:
Cue the "Well, then you wouldn't run such a crappy tournament" replies.
Hey you moron.
Kill yourself.
Just wanted to point out that only Charlie can get away with saying something like this, and well... nevermind.

There really were many inexperienced/poor moderators at this tournament from what i could tell. Individual stats would have been nearly impossible. I certainly could have kept them, but in my little quadrant of classrooms where i was moderating, it would have been a catastrophe.

As far as losing the playoff scores? That's pretty inexcusable.

I STILL think, with all the problems having been mentioned, the tournament was run decently well with everything considered, and Kunle did an admirable job of trying to keep everything together. This tournament was not a trainwreck, it did not collapse, and there were all legitimate games played with definite losers and winners. Again, we played good quizbowl and exposed more teams to pyramidal questions, which really is the goal here.

Ultimate point is thus: CR would still love to come next year, but perhaps a few changes will need to be made to justify a $100 price tag for one team.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by AKKOLADE »

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:
Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:Hey you moron.
Kill yourself.
Just wanted to point out that only Charlie can get away with saying something like this, and well... nevermind.
He sure got away with it, what with the tempban he got and all that. Just like you got for this backseat modding.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by ezubaric »

everyday847 wrote:Scan the sheets; type up the minimal amount of data (statlines for eight players, plus final score?) that you need and use email; use Taft. There are solutions.
I don't understand; how would this remove the second stat room?
everyday847 wrote:Or host a tournament that's small enough that you can fit it in one building. Because if you went into this knowing you needed multiple buildings, you knew you wouldn't be keeping individual stats. Meaning that you knew that you'd be charging teams more for a lesser product. Don't do this!
But we want to run a big tournament. Part of it is that we want to make money (nobody's denying that). But another part of it is that we also want to have a lot of teams that wouldn't otherwise play each other in one place. That wouldn't happen if we capped the number of teams severely.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by BuzzerZen »

I have said it before, and I will say it again:

Base your field cap on the number of competent moderators you know will show up.

Seriously.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

ezubaric wrote:
everyday847 wrote:Scan the sheets; type up the minimal amount of data (statlines for eight players, plus final score?) that you need and use email; use Taft. There are solutions.
I don't understand; how would this remove the second stat room?
everyday847 wrote:Or host a tournament that's small enough that you can fit it in one building. Because if you went into this knowing you needed multiple buildings, you knew you wouldn't be keeping individual stats. Meaning that you knew that you'd be charging teams more for a lesser product. Don't do this!
But we want to run a big tournament. Part of it is that we want to make money (nobody's denying that). But another part of it is that we also want to have a lot of teams that wouldn't otherwise play each other in one place. That wouldn't happen if we capped the number of teams severely.
This is the last thing I'll say, because I've reasonably overextended myself (I'll be directing HFT in just about one month, argh!) and so I just want to clarify what I meant.

As to the first point--I meant that that the task could be distributed to moderators. Scanning would require another statroom but would at least allow for instant communication between the two, allowing you to keep stats.

I think Evan responded adequately to your second point. I (try to?) operate on the principle of "don't do what you can't do well."
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Ondes Martenot »

I just wanted to make a couple of comments. I played in the NY/NJ circuit for three years and over that course of time went to a lot of tournaments. Anyway....

1. A lot of tournaments use single elimination in the area (to name just a few that come to mind-LIFT, Chatham, Prison Bowl, HHW, Seton Hall, Millburn). I'm not a huge fan of single elimination playoffs and I think playoffs brackets do a much fairer job, but in general teams in the area don't have a big problem with it.
2. There are also a good number of tournaments that don't keep individual stats. I understand that coaches use stats to figure who's on what team and players use stats to track of their improvement, but in general there is no outcry from teams in this region when individual stats are not kept.
3. I can think of no reason why a high school tournament needs to charge $100 a team, especially when other NAQT tournaments in the area (run by both high schools and colleges) typically charge anywhere from 30-40 less per team.
4. Comments like "if you don't like our tournament then don't come back" will not solve anything. In its simplest form, a quiz bowl tournament is a business. Teams pay money for a service and are thus entitled to constructively criticize any element of the tournament that deserves to be criticized. Also, the criticism being mentioned in this thread is not for the purpose of annoying the princeton quiz bowl club, but rather because we want to see this tournament get better. If next year Princeton improved upon all or most of its flaws, we would all be satisfied.
5. I don't know how you lose playoff scores but this definitely shouldn't happen. Without giving the actual score, how do we know you're not just making all the results up? (this is kind of exaggerated I realize, and I'm sure you didn't just make up playoffs results). Also, quiz bowl is a national, competitive activity. Teams from other regions of the country are curious in stuff like "did Team A beat Team B by ten points in quarterfinals or did they demolish Team B in the quarterfinals".
Last edited by Ondes Martenot on Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

aarcoh wrote: 5. I don't know how you lose playoff scores but this definitely shouldn't happen. Without giving the actual score, how do we know you're not just making all the results up? (this is kind of exaggerated I realize, and I'm sure you didn't just make up playoffs results). Also, quiz bowl is a national, competitive activity. Teams from other regions of the country are curious in stuff like "did Team A beat Team B by ten points in quarterfinals or did they demolish Team B in the finals".
That's actually a neat point. Like, college football's cool and all, but I find it infinitely cooler that there was a whole bunch of ten point wins and losses between Dorman, Brookwood, and Chattahoochee. While conventional wisdom and preseason polls lead me to believe that Dorman is probably the best of those three teams, the excitement is undeniable.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by aestheteboy »

Fred Morlan wrote:
EricCohen wrote:The fact is, if you don't want to come to the tournament, don't come. We do the best we can with what and who we have, and any implications that we were being lazy or incompetent are just plain wrong. Every decision made was done so for a justifiable reason. Whether or not you might agree with it is your own business
Nice - the "if you don't like parts of our tournament, don't come back!" card. It constantly amazes how many people involved in running tournaments fail to see that a big part of their jobs is customer service. If an actual company reacted to legitimate complaints this way, people would be absolutely pissed. I see no reason why this attitude should be different in quiz bowl.
To some extent, I see his argument. One would expect the host school to run a good tournament because that's a good thing, not because that's what they need to do to keep schools coming. But that's being idealistic, and if that's not the case, then the teams have to choose. I never understood why teams would attend a $100 tournament, but since they keep on doing it, maybe it's just the few of us who were unhappy, and the rest of the people don't see any problem. If people don't care enough to do something to get change (either by asking Princeton or going to a different tournament), then they don't deserve the change.

EDIT: I'm really confused by the argument that quizbowl is business, therefore "if you don't like don't come back" is invalid. It's exactly the opposite. If it's business, then the hosts have no reason to change their behvaior (lower the cost or improve quality) if they don't need to. I think that the idea that quizbowl is business is dangerous, if not destructive. I really would hate to go to tournaments whose hosts are interested in making money instead of providing good quizbowl and fun experience.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by ezubaric »

everyday847 wrote:As to the first point--I meant that that the task could be distributed to moderators. Scanning would require another statroom but would at least allow for instant communication between the two, allowing you to keep stats.
Taking the number of moderators and the skill set as a given, these options are still not workable. Wireless coverage isn't perfect, and scrounging that many laptops would be a pain. Plus, we'd have to train more people on how to communicate stats centrally. Calculating individual stats aside, this would create a major time sink each round for the slowest moderators and introduce a great deal of error.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by AKKOLADE »

And why could scoresheets not be kept and inputted at a later time on one machine? I think that's the real complaint here; not that stats weren't done the day of the event, but that they will never be done.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by olsb25 »

Once again, me forgetting to write down playoff scores was absolutely inexcusable. As for stats, I appreciate the input. If the demand is so great (as it seems to be), I will certainly suggest to whomever is TD next year to figure out a way to keep stats without slowing down the tournament, but that will be his/her decision. As to Evan's thoughts on staffing, I see your point, but two problems:
-If all of the people who had told me they were coming to help had, we would have been alright. Some dropped out because of legitimate reasons the night before, but for the rest, they have no excuse. That being said, the blame still lies on me, and next year we will try to pin more people down.
-I would much rather allow multiple new teams to show up (which is indeed what happened), especially those who perhaps had just heard of our tournament recently, instead of capping the field at some much lower number for which I would be absolutely sure to have staff for.

While I would not have tried to go forward with say, a 64-team tournament, with what I had for staffing, I thought that we could manage 48. I was wrong, and I'm sorry.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Captain Sinico »

You can condense to a single stat room by sending stats over AIM/e-mail whatever. This also greatly facilitates and speeds things, since all you need is a one-line message like:
"Hill Valley, 121 def. by Ridgemont, 420. Hill Valley - Marty: 1/3/4, Jennifer: 0/1/0, Ron: 0/0/1, Babs: 1/0/0. Ridgemont - etc."
and you've obviated the need for runners, etc. This also has the advantage that the stats (presumably) go directly to the computer where they'll be entered. This method is simple, quick and straightforward, requiring no training beyond seconds-long instruction (assuming people know how to use AIM/send email/whatever) and introducing no significant delays or errors. We've had success with this at a few tournaments at Illinois.
If you can't station a computer in every room (which is certainly understandable if you've got a large event,) you can surely come up with one per building (or, better still, floor) to station in a room in that building/on that floor and communicate stats for the building/floor to the stat room via the same method. That's essentially what NAQT does for HSNCT, for example. While that method does require some leg work and marginal additional staff, it's not much.

MaS

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Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:Hey you moron.
Kill yourself.
Just wanted to point out that only Charlie can get away with saying something like this, and well... nevermind.
He sure got away with it, what with the tempban he got and all that. Just like you got for this backseat modding.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

olsb25 wrote:Once again, me forgetting to write down playoff scores was absolutely inexcusable. As for stats, I appreciate the input. If the demand is so great (as it seems to be), I will certainly suggest to whomever is TD next year to figure out a way to keep stats without slowing down the tournament, but that will be his/her decision. As to Evan's thoughts on staffing, I see your point, but two problems:
-If all of the people who had told me they were coming to help had, we would have been alright. Some dropped out because of legitimate reasons the night before, but for the rest, they have no excuse. That being said, the blame still lies on me, and next year we will try to pin more people down.
-I would much rather allow multiple new teams to show up (which is indeed what happened), especially those who perhaps had just heard of our tournament recently, instead of capping the field at some much lower number for which I would be absolutely sure to have staff for.

While I would not have tried to go forward with say, a 64-team tournament, with what I had for staffing, I thought that we could manage 48. I was wrong, and I'm sorry.
This is reasonable, and I respect your attitude.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by BuzzerZen »

Now that I'm not running off to eat, I will detail more fully the complete failures inherent in this post.
EricCohen wrote:Everyone who is criticizing Kunle's directing of the tournament clearly does not understand what goes into running these tournaments. Trust me - as someone who has run this before, there's a reason why no one has ever dared run the tournament more than once. You fail to realize how much work went into this tournament, as well as the effect of so many uncontrollable factors.
First of all, this is poisoning the well. You can't tell people who haven't run tournaments not to criticize them. Second of all, as has been mentioned, yeah, these people have run tournaments, and they do know what goes into it.
First of all, we started late because MANY SCHOOLS WERE LATE. That was the number one reason. The next most important thing was that we were severely understaffed, which was completely unpredictable. In high school, you have a set team. When someone doesn't show up to something, you have a teacher yelling at them.
Not necessarily. As has been mentioned before, about half of the top teams on the east coast these days are largely or entirely student-run.
In college, we're basically sending out desperate pleas every single day on a mysterious mailing list of 100 people, to beg them to wake up on a saturday, something that no one except a person with a large amount of dedication is likely to do.
Is there a reason this is your only way of recruiting staff? Because it's really not how things ought to be done. Mysterious anonymous people on a mailing list do not make good moderators. Seriously, don't let random untrained walk-ons moderate. Train your moderators, or at least have some confidence that they know what they are doing. If you can't manage this, don't run a tournament.
Secondly, all of the decisions made were done to move things along. I do not understand how people can possibly complain about a tournament that is done by about 6.
Nobody would complain about a tournament that ended by about 6, but the indication is that this tournament ended closer to 9. For a high school tournament, people have every right to complain about that. This is ignoring the fact that Princeton has, in the past, hosted tournaments that ended closer to 11pm.
I don't know the norm these days, but back when I was in high school, when a tournament finished before 7:30, it was an achievement, let alone at a tournament that has to be run simultaneously in 2 buildings due to its size.
From what I can recall, every competently-run high school quiz bowl tournament I attended from 2003-2007 ended well before 7:30.
As Kunle has said, there was simply no time to compile individual stats, and there was never a demand for it that outweighed the demand for finishing the tournament promptly. We're not in a political campaign here - we can't please everyone by doing basically nothing. We have to conform to the demands of a 90% majority that want to get home ASAP as opposed to a 10% minority that would rather stay 2 extra hours but have individual stats.
This is a straw man. If the tournament had followed the long-accepted best-practice of using SQBS (or Taft, heh) for stats, this two-hour delay that you are inventing wouldn't exist. But people have addressed this point already.
For everyone complaining about our single elimination playoff format, we are running a tournament here. We are measuring a specific performance as well as ability. How about next time we run each match 30 times using 30 different packets, as that will certainly determine which team is better, and result in an unquestionable victor. I'm sure that would satisfy everyone.
Yeah, nobody is asking for this. We know it's a game. And hey, I will differ from many people on this board by saying there are valid reasons for doing single-elimination playoffs, like staffing issues and lack of interest in a more comprehensive playoff on the part of the teams involved. But you sort of lose whatever shred of credibility you have left when you trot out an argument like this.
The fact is, if you don't want to come to the tournament, don't come. We do the best we can with what and who we have, and any implications that we were being lazy or incompetent are just plain wrong. Every decision made was done so for a justifiable reason. Whether or not you might agree with it is your own business
I'm not about to accuse anyone of laziness, because I'm sure everyone worked very hard. But incompetence is kind of objective.
And one last thing. The personal attacks on Kunle are completely uncalled for, and simply reflect the level of immaturity that has been present in several of these posts. He has been working every spare moment (and this is not an easy school, so there aren't too many) on this tournament. If any of you are planning to continue doing quiz bowl in high school and college, I suggest you stop complaining and grow up.
Yes, quiet complacency and a love for the status quo is a sign of maturity.

Seriously, this entire post is an affront to me and everyone else in quiz bowl who has devoted countless hours running well-organized tournaments. Listen, "Eric Cohen", if that's your real name, I ran four tournaments in two years during high school, with the same number of teams or more as attended this Princeton tournament. All four of them finished before 6pm. All four of them had competent moderators. All four of them made me want to frickin' kill myself the week before because of how much work I put into them. So don't go around telling me that incompetently run tournaments with no individual stats and terrible moderators are AOK and to be expected and part of quiz bowl, because seriously, they're not. I went to one Princeton tournament during my high school career, and it was easily the biggest "charlie foxtrot", as mystery NAQT member Frank Thomas would say, that I ever was involved in prior to the Weekend of Quizbowl. You had 64 teams at your tournament. You had them all play 11-game bracketed round robins. This took hours and hours, thanks to the tournament taking place in multiple buildings with decidedly incompetent moderators. You then held a single-elimination playoff that lasted until, seriously, 11pm. So yeah, 9pm is an improvement. This post is getting poorly organized and rageful, so I'll stop, but really, Eric Cohen, if there is someone who doesn't know how to run a quiz bowl tournament, it is you. You do not know what you are talking about.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by TheCzarMan »

I just want to say to Kunle, I know you ran the tournament the best you could with the resources you gave yourself. I'm also very glad that you can take criticism unlike your predecessor who decided to throw grease on the fire. Anyways, I know after looking at the stats my team wasn't going to be in the playoffs either way, but as pointed out to you this was not the point as is. However, looking at the stats, I believe a case could be made that Hi-Tech, and not Freedom deserved that last playoff spot. Of course, High Tech was beaten by the bye, while in the PPG metric was above Freedom. As well, they were playing Pingry C in their Bye match, and while hypothetical's are not good, I believe we can safely assume High Tech could beat Pingry C. Getting off that point, to your problems with moderators, I suggest telling the new TD next year to post on these forums and look for help. I'm sure a lot of people would be willing to volunteer their time. As well, next year I'm going to be a Freshman in college, and I'd be willing to come down and read, or hell, I'll do the stats by myself in order to conserve resources and to further service the teams.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by SHP Pirate »

So ... to sum-up the blithering of the last several posts ...

1. We all agree (I too was at Princeton with my teams) that yestserday's tournament was poorly run.
2. We all agree that the TD could/should have done more to create a better tournament.
3. We all agree that individual stats ARE important and really should be kept ... especially at the prices charged.
4. We all agree that losing the playoff round scores is inexcusable.

My question is this - are we not now beating a dead horse? Clearly, this year's TD will NOT be in that role next year. With Princeton, you should know what you are getting yourself/your team into. Last year, WHEN ERIC WAS THE TD, I felt that the event ran very smoothly. (It was certainly a massive improvement over the previous year's debacle!) This year was a different experience alltogether.

As to single elimination - most tournaments we (SHP) have attended over the years have been single elimination. As long as you know this before registering for the event, I see no problem with the format. Does that mean that, on occasion, the best team does not win the tournament? Sure. But, I do not think that the format of the playoffs was an issue yesterday.

To all of the posters BLASTING Princeton ... take a break. The tournament is over. Hopefully lessons have been learned. To all of those BLASTING Eric (and yes, that is his real name) ... my teams competed against him for four years here in NJ. While I am not defending his comments/responses, I AM defending his character and abilities. He WAS NOT the TD. I think that he is trying to defend the good work he did last year and the good reputation he was attempting to restore to Princeton. To Eric ... let it go.

As a final thought, why is no one talking about the school/schools that simply did not show up? (St. Peter's Prep) This is INEXCUSABLE! Why is no one talking about the schools who could not get themselves to Princeton by 9? How should we as TDs (I run several tournaments as well) handle such a situation in the future? HAD schools arrived on time or arrived at all, there would have been no issue with delay/byes/final seedings for playoffs. Leaving the issues of individual statistics and playoff round scores aside, all of the problems yesterday could have been avoided had everyone arrived/arrived on time.

What should be done? Do TDs ban such schools from future events? Do TDs require checks from such schools in advance as insurance that they will actually come? I know that contact numbers were requested by Princeton. Were they actually given? Did anyone try to call these schools? Should we just start the tournament at the designated time and penalize those teams that can not arrive on time?

Any thoughts?

- MTZ
Michael T. Zinsmeister
Director of Admission
Seton Hall Preparatory School
West Orange, NJ

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olsb25
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by olsb25 »

To answer your question, yes, we did get contact info, yes, I did call several times (no answer), and unless I get an incredible excuse (beyond anything I can fathom), they will not be allowed to register next year. While I don't know if I would also throw me under the bus to defend Eric, I do thank him for coming to my defense, misguided though it may be, since there is very little that's defensible here. What disappoints me most here is that I know we've had a bad rap in the past, and I was hoping not to add to it while I was here.

EDIT: I should note, for those that didn't know, this was the second year in a row they did not show up.
Last edited by olsb25 on Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by gabjoh »

olsb25 wrote:Round of 16:
State College A over Freedom
HHH W A over Caesar Rodney
Bergen A over Seton Hall A
East Brunswick A over Livingston A
Livingston A over Millburn A
St. Joseph's A over Bergen C
Stuyvesant A over State College B
Moravian over Pingry A

Quarterfinals:
Stuyvesant A over State College A
HHH W A over Moravian
East Brunswick A over Livingston A
Bergen A over St. Joseph's A

Semifinals:
Stuyvesant A over East Brunswick A
Bergen A over HHH W A

Finals:
Bergen A over Stuyvesant A

No scores... those are lost to posterity.

Not completely... I have the ones from the matches Bergen A was in.

Bergen A 425 - Seton Hall A 135
Bergen A 285 - St. Joe's 140
Bergen A 335 - HHH W A 275 (came down to last question)
Bergen A 430 - Stuy A 30

Overall i thought the tournament was good, but that may be because I was hungry for any quizbowl. On the minus side, it broke my six month long neg-free streak.
Gabriel Johnson
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Bergen County Academies (usually B team 07-08, A team 08-10)
Ohio Wesleyan University (founder) 2010–2011
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by TheCzarMan »

In response to your post Mr. Zinsmeister, I'd say that teams arriving on time is of course paramount, and should have been done. However, I believe by 9:20 we had determined that the 3 teams who had not shown up (St. Peter's A and B, and Pingry C) were the only ones left. As far as I could tell, the other 40 minutes were spent trying to get enough moderators.

In all though, I would be in favor of, at least for tournaments where time is needed and there is a large field of teams, some teams being blacklisted or kept on a short leash. Especially when St. Peter's didn't even provide a phone call in the morning, something tells me that either the adviser there is unreliable, or the students aren't very committed to playing or didn't bother to tell their adviser of prior commitments.

Kunle: Believe me, you accepting critics and perhaps showing some signs of making an effort to teach the next TD of the errs of what happened this year and in years past will help to remove any stigma your program has of hosting tournaments.
Nick Petrilli
Bloomfield High School 2009
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by Ondes Martenot »

On the minus side, it broke my six month long neg-free streak
Hahahaha....that's so not true Gabe
Aaron Cohen, Bergen County Academies '08, RPI '12, NYU-???, NAQT writer, HSAPQ writer, PACE writer

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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by rsingh056 »

[quote="olsb25"]Round of 16:

East Brunswick A over Livingston A
Livingston A over Millburn A


quote]

That was actually Lawrenceville A who lost to East Brunswick A in the Round of 16...
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by olsb25 »

Oops... typo. I'll fix it.
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by gabjoh »

aarcoh wrote:
On the minus side, it broke my six month long neg-free streak
Hahahaha....that's so not true Gabe
Well, in actual tournaments. I have no clue as to most of the questions they ask in practice, so I just don't buzz :grin: .
Gabriel Johnson
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Re: PHSAT XVI (10/11/08) at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Post by AKKOLADE »

SHP Pirate wrote:To all of the posters BLASTING Princeton ... take a break. The tournament is over. Hopefully lessons have been learned. To all of those BLASTING Eric (and yes, that is his real name) ... my teams competed against him for four years here in NJ. While I am not defending his comments/responses, I AM defending his character and abilities. He WAS NOT the TD. I think that he is trying to defend the good work he did last year and the good reputation he was attempting to restore to Princeton. To Eric ... let it go.
Hey,

Don't tell people not to post things!

Thanks,

Fred
Fred Morlan
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International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
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