The Ideal Schedule

Old college threads.
Locked
User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6835
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Ideal Schedule

Post by Cheynem »

Every year we talk about it and while I think there have been improvements in that vein, we still haven't really hit the "ideal" schedule. I'd like in this thread for people to get a sense of what's the ideal schedule so we can perhaps get things claimed and set up sooner rather than later (and also realize that the the more we talk about what's actually an "ideal" schedule, the more we can avoid things like a glut of open tournaments on the year).

This is my attempt to create a schedule "template." It's just a start and I'd like people to weigh in on things that can be improved.

Assume all tournaments are closed unless otherwise noted. I'll explain packet submission principles at the end.

SEPTEMBER: Because so many schools start up at different times, I think it's probably smart just to have one tournament in this month.
*"Collegiate Novice" (very easy, eligibility restricted, non packet submission)

OCTOBER: two tournaments
*Regular difficulty tournament--I'll call it "MAGNI," but it can be anything along that lines.
*ACF Fall (easy, packet submission)--I think Fall makes more sense in October.

NOVEMBER
*Regular difficulty tournament--I'll call it "IFT," but it can be anything along that lines (I realize IFT wasn't regular difficulty, I'll get to that).
*Minnesota Open (hard, open, packet submission)--This doesn't have to be MO, but it seems an appropriate spot for one of the few "hard opens" that take place in the regular year, so let's do that.

DECEMBER: You can probably put one tournament here.
*Regular difficulty tournament--I'll call it "Terrapin," but it can be anything along that lines. I see December as being kind of a hazy month, so if nobody wants to run anything here that's okay.

JANUARY: Again, let's use one tournament as we're emerging from break.
*Regular difficulty tournament--I'll call it "Penn Bowl," but it can be anything along that lines.

FEBRUARY
*SCT (regular difficulty, non packet submission)
*ACF Regionals (regular difficulty, packet submission)

MARCH
*MUT (easy-ish plus)--Something like MUT has historically had success in March where new players who have joined on can play, but it also has some broad appeal. The fact that spring breaks are here means that this tournament can also be staggered a bit for mirrors without any trouble.
*Illinois Open or HI or FICHTE (hard, open, housewrite or packet submission)--If we're going to have a spring open (and there is debate over whether we should), I think March is a good time for it. It can be a nationals "tune-up"; if you run it around spring break it doesn't mess up actual team schedules, etc. There's been some good results with this over the years, but I'm sympathetic to the idea that maybe it should go away.

APRIL
*ICT (hard, non packet submission)
*ACF Nationals (hard, packet submission)
Sometimes ICT is in March, but the basic idea is that April is when we get the two national tournaments.

MAY (if possible)
*Regular difficulty tournament. Some schools go on longer, some schools want to keep new players focused. I'm not sure how feasible this type of tournament is, but it might be something worth talking about.

The question now is which regular difficulty tournaments would be packet submission. My preference on a personal level would be for a mix that are spaced out. So the October/November/December/January push would strive to have at least half of the regular difficulty tournaments be packet submission and not do things like both the Oct and Nov tournaments be housewrites.

So to sum up, here's what the breakdown would be:

1 very easy tournament (Collegiate Novice)
2 easy-ish tournaments (ACF Fall and MUT)
4-5 Non ACF or NAQT regular tournaments (this year, let's say, it would be Penn-nance, VCU Closed, WIT, and IFT). I am okay with some of these being "easier" than others, but I would probably boost IFT's difficulty level a touch.
2 NAQT and ACF regular tournaments (SCT and ACF Regionals)
2 harder opens (let's say MO and QUARK, even though QUARK probably won't be as hard as MO)
2 national tournaments (ICT and ACF Nationals)

You are noticing that aside from things like Delta Burke, which are important yet don't intersect a lot of parts of the circuit (at this time), I didn't have to excise many tournaments from the docket. Instead I had to rearrange them on the schedule for a more palatable experience (as well as tweak difficulties). I didn't even have to change the packet submission, non packet submission thing too much. So this idea that planning would wreak havoc on the schedule is kind of wrong; it just makes things more organized.

The real question would be is, I assume, the "hard opens" and their status on the schedule, as well as if there's any drive for people to write "harder than regular" stuff things for the full circuit. Anyway, what do people think?
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger
User avatar
ThisIsMyUsername
Yuna
Posts: 888
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:36 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by ThisIsMyUsername »

I'm very happy that you took the initiative to write this post. I agree with much of what you propose. A couple of additional comments (many of them some form of agreement with the above; some of them quibbles):

- The October regular-difficulty house-write between Novice and Fall is an absolute essential to my mind: otherwise players who do not (or are not supposed to) play "easy" sets have nothing to do until November. However, this should be well-controlled regular-difficulty tournament and not Regionals+. This is the ideal slot for the new younger players and the more established players to mix for the first time in the year.
- I support having two hard opens during the year, one in November and one in March (because of the scheduling crush, the March open should probably be a housewrite). I think this model has been less successful recently only because the March sets have been the poorest quality sets. A stronger writing/editing team can make this is a workable institution again.
- I think the MUT-style easy-plus tournament works best as a (chronologically) post-Nationals tournament, rather than as a March tournament. I've found that it is essential for keeping younger players (who are not ready for or do not want to tackle ACF Nationals) still involved with quizbowl. Otherwise, they tend to drift away around March, when they realize there's nothing left for them.
- The major draw of Penn Bowl for me has always been the field more than the questions. I like the idea that most tournaments during the year (like Regionals or SCT) are quite local, but a couple (MO and Penn Bowl) are cross-regional. In particular, I like that in Penn Bowl we had the institution of a cross-regional tournament that wasn't a hard open. Without it, you never get to play regular-difficulty questions against teams from outside your region. I hope Penn Bowl / VCU Closed's successor for the next year manages to fulfill this function.
- Pushing ACF Fall forward into October gives teams less time at the beginning of the year to be organized about writing packets. I think where it is now is pretty much ideal.
- I have no reason to suspect that a December tournament is viable.
John Lawrence
Yale University '12
King's College London '13
University of Chicago '20

“I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.” - G.K. Chesterton
User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15617
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by AKKOLADE »

I would argue Early College Novice should be pushed back to allow for new teams that have just formed to be able to attend (it took about 2 months for Kentucky to get put together, with me pushing it along, to the point where it could send a team of more than one person to a tournament).
Fred Morlan
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
PACE
former (?) hsqbrank manager, former NAQT writer & subject editor, former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator
Rococo A Go Go
Auron
Posts: 2248
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:08 am
Location: Kentucky

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

ThisIsMyUsername wrote: - I have no reason to suspect that a December tournament is viable.
Was THUNDER not viable?
Nicholas C
KQBA member
User avatar
The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Tidus
Posts: 716
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) »

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:I think the MUT-style easy-plus tournament works best as a (chronologically) post-Nationals tournament, rather than as a March tournament. I've found that it is essential for keeping younger players (who are not ready for or do not want to tackle ACF Nationals) still involved with quizbowl. Otherwise, they tend to drift away around March, when they realize there's nothing left for them.
As someone who's quite active but not a "good" nats player (and given my own experiences over the last two years), I wholeheartedly agree with this viewpoint, especially as someone attending a school which lasts until June. I'm sure there are also many players at Chicago, Stanford, etc. to whom this applies as well.
Adam Sperber
Hickman '10, Northwestern B '14

" 'Yay, more Adam Sperber' --Nobody " --Cody Voight
User avatar
Cody
2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year
Posts: 2777
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:57 am
Location: Richmond

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by Cody »

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:- Pushing ACF Fall forward into October gives teams less time at the beginning of the year to be organized about writing packets. I think where it is now is pretty much ideal.
This is not really much of a concern. The people who have to write packets know about it and can conference over the summer. As it is, the -$50 is already pretty early, moving it up a week or two shouldn't affect anything.
Last edited by Cody on Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cody Voight (he/him), VCU ‘14. I wrote lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-‘16. ACF Treasurer ‘19-‘20. ACF Nats ‘21 TD.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16). “stats god in the flesh, the ominous Indominus Rex” (Winter ‘20).
Quizbowl at VCU
User avatar
Fond du lac operon
Wakka
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by Fond du lac operon »

Fred wrote:I would argue Early College Novice should be pushed back to allow for new teams that have just formed to be able to attend (it took about 2 months for Kentucky to get put together, with me pushing it along, to the point where it could send a team of more than one person to a tournament).
Well, this is what Fall and DII SCT and MUT are for, too, right? I'm sympathetic to this argument, but it's also true that schools with active teams have new people coming in, and it makes sense to have an early-fall tournament for them, so they can play something with maybe a smaller and easier field than Fall, and so they have something to do before November other than MAGNI or MOO or QUARK, all of which could be pretty intimidating for a novice.
Harrison Brown
Centennial '08, Alabama '13

"No idea what [he's] talking about."
User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5797
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by theMoMA »

Fred wrote:I would argue Early College Novice should be pushed back to allow for new teams that have just formed to be able to attend (it took about 2 months for Kentucky to get put together, with me pushing it along, to the point where it could send a team of more than one person to a tournament).
This is something I've been trying to balance against the fact that, for established programs, having a very early tournament is great for player retention. I hope that stepping up over-the-summer promotion of the event could be a way to better accommodate the needs of both new and established programs, but that's perhaps a discussion for another thread (one that I will probably create after MO editing concludes).
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum
User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5797
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by theMoMA »

To the larger point in this thread, I'm almost in wholesale agreement with Mike. I think we need to get to a mindset in which we have a certain number of tournament weekends each year, the same ones each year, and slot tournaments into those weekends (instead of the current system, which is basically teams by fiat deciding how many tournaments there will be, then trying to shoehorn those tournaments into the available weekends).
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum
User avatar
ThisIsMyUsername
Yuna
Posts: 888
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:36 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by ThisIsMyUsername »

Sulawesi Myzomela wrote:
ThisIsMyUsername wrote: - I have no reason to suspect that a December tournament is viable.
Was THUNDER not viable?
Oh, if that is what is meant by December: holding it the weekend after Thanksgiving (i.e. the weekend of the last week of November), as THUNDER II did (the equivalent would be December 1st this year), then yes it's viable. Any later is not, I suspect.
John Lawrence
Yale University '12
King's College London '13
University of Chicago '20

“I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.” - G.K. Chesterton
User avatar
ThisIsMyUsername
Yuna
Posts: 888
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:36 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by ThisIsMyUsername »

Modifying Mike's schedule a bit, and adding concrete dates for the 2013-2014 season, I'd say ideal schedule (to me) looks like this:


Collegiate Novice - September 14th or 21st
Regular Difficulty (housewrite) - October 12th
ACF Fall - October 26th or November 2nd
Regular Difficulty (packet sub or housewrite) - November 16th
Fall Open (either partial packet sub or housewrite) - November 30th
Regular+ (housewrite) - December 7th with delayed sites January 11th or 18th for certain regions
Cross-Regional Regular (packet sub) - January 25th
SCT - February 8th
Regionals - February 22nd
Spring Open (housewrite) - March 8th or 15th
ICT - April 5th
Nationals - April 19th
Easy+ (housewrite) - May 3rd or 10th
John Lawrence
Yale University '12
King's College London '13
University of Chicago '20

“I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.” - G.K. Chesterton
User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15617
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by AKKOLADE »

Fond du lac operon wrote:
Fred wrote:I would argue Early College Novice should be pushed back to allow for new teams that have just formed to be able to attend (it took about 2 months for Kentucky to get put together, with me pushing it along, to the point where it could send a team of more than one person to a tournament).
Well, this is what Fall and DII SCT and MUT are for, too, right? I'm sympathetic to this argument, but it's also true that schools with active teams have new people coming in, and it makes sense to have an early-fall tournament for them, so they can play something with maybe a smaller and easier field than Fall, and so they have something to do before November other than MAGNI or MOO or QUARK, all of which could be pretty intimidating for a novice.
Right, and those new people for the active teams can go to Novice too.

I would propose flipping Novice's placement with that regular difficulty tournament Mike and John slotted in early October. Established teams should have less of an issue getting everything together to go to a tournament compared with programs that are just forming.
Fred Morlan
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
PACE
former (?) hsqbrank manager, former NAQT writer & subject editor, former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator
User avatar
Mike Bentley
Sin
Posts: 6144
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by Mike Bentley »

I'd just like to point out that you're never going to have a nationwide ideal schedule because different universities operate on different schedules. Even allowing a one week variance probably isn't enough for many regions.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008
User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8422
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: The Ideal Schedule

Post by Matt Weiner »

I don't know that it's super-important to have circuits that aren't integrated into the rest of the country during the regular season run on the exact same dates. The Northwest, California, and Texas are physically separated enough that it wouldn't make any difference if they picked weekends that worked better for them. The rest of the country sort of overlaps--some teams play at events at GT or UGA but also go to the Mid-Atlantic, some teams could go to the near Midwest or to a tournament at Penn or Maryland, Northeast teams sometimes come down 95, etc.

In general, i think the idea is more "there need to be more tournaments to play that aren't just for novices or experts and aren't all bunched into random dates in the spring," not "nobody is ever allowed to have a delayed mirror of something."
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org
Locked