Brief Cornell Results

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Chris Frankel
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Brief Cornell Results

Post by Chris Frankel »

9 teams went to Cornell's 2004 tournament.

The initial format was a single round robin, which ended with Michigan A finishing 8-0, Pitt at 7-1, Princeton A at 6-2, Rochester A at 5-3, and the rest I can't remember off hand.

Afterwards, the top 5 and bottom 4 teams were placed in seperate brackets for a playoff round robin. It was announced that prelim records would be discarded and final results would be determined entirely by playoff performance. A finals game would only be held in the case of any ties in terms of record at the top.

Princeton A went 4-0 in the round robin to win the tournament. Our bye round was the last round, so we left early since the title was clinched. I'm not 100% on the order, but Michigan A, Rochester A, Pitt, and Michigan B rounded out the top 5.

I don't have individual PPG winners or stats off hand; I imagine Francis will have more details in the next day or so.
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Post by MLafer »

Thanks a lot to Cornell for hosting the tournament and writing packets and to Berkeley for allowing their packets to be used. For the most part the packets were well-written and of appropriate difficulty.

Now the inevitable rant. Once again I am on a team that garnered the most wins over the course of the tournament and still lost. But I find this situation even more egregious than the one at Penn Bowl because at least there we were given a #1 seed for finishing the round robin and ladder play with the best record. In this tournament, we received no advantage whatsoever for going undefeated in the round robin. So in effect us (8-0) and Michigan B (4-4) have the same record going into the upper bracket. Michigan ended up with a better record (11-1) overall than Princeton (10-2) and was tied with them head-to-head. There was an extra packet available that would not even have extended the length of the tournament, but Princeton did not want to play a final tiebreaker game.

I just found it unfortunate that my team's entire tournament experience was soured by what I see as a scheduling blunder. I implore other tournaments to have records carry over or at least give some advantage to a team with a better prelim record, and to have a finals packet available, if not a best 2-out-of-3 final, in case of overall ties.
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Dan Greenstein
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Re: Brief Cornell Results

Post by Dan Greenstein »

Chris Frankel wrote:Afterwards, the top 5 and bottom 4 teams were placed in seperate brackets for a playoff round robin. It was announced that prelim records would be discarded and final results would be determined entirely by playoff performance. A finals game would only be held in the case of any ties in terms of record at the top.
At what point during the day was it announced that only the results of the playoffs would determine the final standings?

I look forward to Scott Francis' comments on this unfortunate situation.
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Post by Willy Dee Jones McGee III »

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ezubaric
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Re: Brief Cornell Results

Post by ezubaric »

Dan Greenstein wrote:At what point during the day was it announced that only the results of the playoffs would determine the final standings?
This was announced during the distribution of the schedules in the morning. It was announced that 1) prelim records would be thrown out 2) a final would only be played if the playoff records of two teams were tied. Doing anything else would be a post hoc reengineering of the tournament structure.

I too was generally pleased with the questions at the tournament; the distribution and quality were very good. The only flaw was a lack of working printers, but I suppose that's beyond the TD's control.
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Chris Frankel
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Post by Chris Frankel »

I looked over the printed schedules again, and as Jordan says, the playoff format was listed there (albeit the copies were rendered somewhat illegible due to printing problems). I don't remember how explicitly the rules were announced during the morning meeting, but I (and others) seemed to be more wrapped up with just getting started, and no challenges were made.

I heard the rules announced again before the playoffs started, and no challenges to it were made then either. I remember thinking that throwing out RR records sounded sketchy, but I guess I didn't consider its relevance since I wasn't expecting to beat Michigan in the playoffs and end up in a position to win. Truth be told, before the match I was more focused on the possibility of getting out earlier since the tournament was running late and we had a bye in the last playoff round. Had something been said beforehand, I likely would have added my input that RR stats should be preserved to handicap the teams.

After we swept the playoffs, Michigan insisted on holding a finals game with us. I understood Lafer's unhappiness and agreed that it did not make sense to toss out RR results for the reasons he mentioned. At the same time, my team had valid reasons to be opposed to having an additional ~60-90 minutes (30-45 minutes for Michigan's final playoff match and our bye, 30-45 more for a finals match and awards ceremony) tacked on for us at the last minute, as well as the notion of such an abrupt rule change. I ended up asking the Cornell staff for their opinion on whether we should have an extra match, and the final decision was to let the rule stand and name us winners.

I definitely see that the process for determining the winner was flawed, and that the lack of a decisive game does undermine my satisfaction with our tournament title. I'm not interested in going out and winning hollow victories, but it's also not my position as a player to try to force last minute changes of previously unchallenged rules in order to appease everyone. The playoff structure and the resulting situation was bound leave one of the two teams understandably upset, and the only real lesson to learn is that future tournaments should keep some meaning attached to prelim games and not fail to reward teams that finished well.

Other than that, I thought the editing was pretty solid, and difficulty was balanced and accessible. There were some issues with repeats and certain topics coming up at disproportionate rates (probably the result of the packet swap, as Francis related that the Berkeley packets came in quite late), but they did not detract significantly from the tournament experience. Overall, I had a good time at Cornell's tournament and thank them for putting the effort into running a quality venture.
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Post by Leo Wolpert »

Chris Frankel wrote: After we swept the playoffs, Michigan insisted on holding a finals game with us. I understood Lafer's unhappiness and agreed that it did not make sense to toss out RR results for the reasons he mentioned. At the same time, my team had valid reasons to be opposed to having an additional ~60-90 minutes (30-45 minutes for Michigan's final playoff match and our bye, 30-45 more for a finals match and awards ceremony) tacked on for us at the last minute, as well as the notion of such an abrupt rule change.
See, this is just wrong. What happened was that Pitt left before their match against us in the final playoff round in order to avoid getting their 2nd beatdown from Michigan A after taking a demoralizing loss to freshman Will Turner playing solo as Michigan B get home early. This round in which Michigan A did not have a team to play against coincided with your bye. Thus, the second 30-45 minutes you mention would not have been necessary. This was explained to you at length (by me) during the tournament. I hope you made some good use of that time you saved.

Edit: Strikethrough doesn't work. That's funny.
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Chris Frankel
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Post by Chris Frankel »

I recall you mentioning something along those lines to me, though I didn't know Pitt had actually left and was more under the impression that they were considering leaving and would not object to a final match replacing their own one with you.

Regardless of the time concerns, which did pose an issue, there was also a valid concern against changing the rules after the fact when they had been laid out and used without challenge for the rest of the day. That issue was the main point of objection laid down by my team. Had we lost a title as a result of last minute rule changes, I think we would have had our own legitimate objection as you guys did with Yale at Penn Bowl.

Either way, the decision to uphold the rules, flawed as they were, was upheld by the TD's. I agree that you guys got a raw deal for your RR record, but it's not my obligation to go against the voices of my own team and try to force a change in the rules to accomodate the situation, especially when doing so would have created a new set of problems. I'm really sorry about how everything worked out, and I definitely did not get the same utility from that win as I would have had it been more decisive, but I'm not the one responsible for your dissatisfaction. If anything else needs to be discussed between us (and Francis), we obviously talk enough off the board that we can further go over the situation there.
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Post by MLafer »

Just to clarify, my team did not "insist" that Princeton and Michigan play a final game. I supported my teammate Leo's idea of holding a final on the last playoff packet, because I thought that, regardless of the winner, it would be decisive in deciding who was the best team after our first two games were a 1-1 split. But I also realized that most teams in Princeton's situation would not want to jeopardize a win they had wrapped up.

I did not hear of the policy of not carrying over preliminary wins until after the first playoff game (which was the Princeton game). I thought it was strange because, IIRC, the last three times I attended this tournament the records were carried over.

Edit: for phrasing
Last edited by MLafer on Mon Oct 18, 2004 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

I don't see what's wrong with changing the rules if all the affected people agree. Given that Michigan and apparently the TD were willing to change the completely wrongheaded and unfair tournament format to the format that should have been used in the first place, and it was totally up to Princeton to decide whether to accept that change, the only issue is why Princeton allowed its interest in a trophy to override sensible tournament practice.
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Post by DanTheClam »

I feel like my team is being unfairly slighted in this thread. The TD, when asked about his opinion on the idea of a final game, said essentially that the rules were the rules and that he didn't care either way.

I'll freely admit that we liked the fact that we'd essentially been handed the victory via lousy tournament rules, but we weren't ridiculously attached to it. Our "interest in a trophy" was essentially non-existent. If the tournament director's announcement before hand had been that the team with the best win-loss ratio won we would have gone home at exactly the same time, because our decision was not based on whether we won or not. We couldn't have cared less.

The principal motivating factor in the Princeton team's choice to go home was the prospect of arriving home at 2:00 in the morning. Perhaps some of you enjoy driving home well past midnight and would see the obviously necessary correction of this egregious error as far outweighing the benefits of driving home an hour earlier. I don't. Neither did the rest of the team.
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