does anyone know about this NAQT rule?

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MikeWormdog
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does anyone know about this NAQT rule?

Post by MikeWormdog »

Hey,

As you might know, we at Yale hosted a sectional last weekend. We asked for our automatic bid to be in DII, and since we were low on staff, I played solo as a D1 team in order to try to get two teams qualified.

However, as you may have noticed from the results Yale's automatic qualification spot was revoked since I qualified for DI. It's found in their fine print.

In my email to NAQT railing against this decision, R noted that this rule was widely known. I didn't know about it, and nobody at my sectional (including a couple of NAQT staffers) knew about it. Nobody from NAQT told us about it when fields were posted clearly showing a DI team when we requested an automatic bid for DII.

Had we known, we could have asked one of our DII players to play solo (we couldn't spare anyone else since NAQT requires 2 game officials in each room). He may have been able to qualify.

We didn't violate the spirit of the law (as posted on NAQT's website), since we couldn't spare a full DII team. Yeah, perhaps we should read the fine print when agreeing to terms when dealing with such shady corporate entities, but does this rule really do NAQT any good?

So, does anyone know about this rule, or has anyone else been affected by it?

Does anyone else think NAQT is little different from CBI in this way?

Mike
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Post by Susan »

I've known about the rule since before I ran an SCT in 2003 (at which we took our autobid in DI and fielded a DII team that also received a bid). Additionally, I'm pretty sure it's in the information that all SCT hosts are sent, and I certainly don't recall it being buried in fine print. I'm sorry about your situation, but I can't agree that this is an obscure rule.
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Post by Dan Greenstein »

I concur that this "obscure" rule is in the reading material regarding hosting an SCT. In fact, one can argue you did indeed break the spirit of the rule, as that rule is probably in place so the host club will have their best moderators actually moderating rather than playing, under the assumption that being in Division I correlates to being a more experienced moderator.
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Post by MikeWormdog »

you really think so? is it better to have a D2 player play by himself to see whether he can sew up a team's nationals appearance? I think we're the old lady with the nail clippers here.
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Post by Awehrman »

I ran across this rule when we hosted sectionals at Arkansas a few years ago. We thought about doing the same thing, but none of us had enough fire power to qualify individually. We also needed all of our D2 people to help staff. I thought that the rule was that a host could not qualify any additional teams unless the host team provided two staffers in every room. It seems like Yale provided those staffers. The notion that an older player = a better quality reader is silly. I've known Mike for a little while, and he may be a snappy dresser, but he's not that great a reader. I'm sure we can all think of long time QBers who have no business behind the podium. I have heard no complaints about Yale providing poor readers/scorekeepers. No one is saying "If only Mike Wehrman had read questions, our team would have done better/ had a better experience." That said, can anyone doubt that Yale does not deserve to have 2 bids? It's fairly tough to qualify for ICT as team let alone for an individual. With teammates, others have speculated that Yale should wind up in the top 5. This is a dumb, overly restrictive rule.

Andy
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Post by canaanbananarama »

Resurrecting a long comatose thread, but this didn't come up and I'm very curious about it:

So Yale had it's autobid revoked after it qualified a team by playing into the ICT field. Doesn't really bother me much, but here's what I don't understand. The University of Georgia, which hosted the Southeast Sectional, seems to have intended to do pretty much the same thing Yale wanted to, and they succeeded. It seems likely that they presumed their DII team stood a better chance of qualification and entered them in the field, meanwhile intending their auto-bid to go to the less likely to qualify DI team. Their DII team legitimately qualified, but their auto-bid seems to not have been revoked, as they are fielding two teams in the tournament. I suppose it's possible that DII qualification doesn't affect the auto-bid, but that seems patently unfair. I can't particularly think of a good reason why Georgia is sending two teams to Nationals whereas Yale is sending one. Despite knowing really nothing, my guess is that the latter team stood a much better chance of legitimately qualifying two teams to ICT. So, what's the deal?

Charles Meigs

Edit: Having read the NAQT literature now, I realize that my question is idiotic, but the discussion on the board, my only previous source of knowledge on the topic, led me to believe that the rule was that any qualification on the part of any team resulted in a forfeit of the auto-bid. I will say that now knowing the actual rule it strikes me as somewhat more absurd.
Last edited by canaanbananarama on Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Susan »

DII qualification doesn't affect the autobid. Think what you may of how fair that is (as previously noted in this thread, the intent is to dissuade host teams from fielding their better staffers--presumably DI players--on house teams), but I find it hard to see how anyone hosting an SCT can reasonably claim ignorance of this rule.
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Post by MikeWormdog »

Think what you may of how fair that is (as previously noted in this thread, the intent is to dissuade host teams from fielding their better staffers--presumably DI players--on house teams), but I find it hard to see how anyone hosting an SCT can reasonably claim ignorance of this rule.
well, I thought this was a dead issue, but let me mention a few more things. Well, I didn't know about this rule, and I've been around for a while. Charles isn't a newbie, either. If neither of us had heard of it, chances are there are more who weren't aware of it.

Secondly, if a rule is unfair, it should not be a rule...otherwise we'd all see nothing wrong with CBI. Here NAQT is implying that my playing in a tournament willfully disregarded their spirit of fairplay somehow. This is not what happened. I didn't give a rat's ass whether I played in sectionals or not, I was attempting to qualify a second team for us. I was playing for the DII bid.

NAQT's intentions (i.e. having quality staffers and not making DII people staff while a full A team gets to play) do not apply in this case. We had two staffers in every room (including members of the varsity team--I was the one left over), but NAQT has a rule it chose to invoke rather than reviewing the situation. Had NAQT wanted to be fair, it could have stated in its rules "We reserve the right to revoke a bid if we determine something fishy is going on..." or something like that. What is in place now is a dick rule that attempts to resolve a problem that never existed.

Furthermore, what this rule implies is that Division II is more important than Division I. Watering down a DI field with automatic qualifiers doesn't matter...but if you try to qualify automatically in DII, that's not allowed. The integrity of DII is such that NAQT doesn't want too many automatic bids.

The way the rule is now, a school could enlist enough volunteers/ineligible players to staff a tournament while team members played in DII. It could automatically qualify a DI team without even having one and also play its way into DII Nationals.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

See, here's the thing; that rule's cited in the host requirements, which you probably should be familiar with if you're going to, you know, host. You can claim ignorance of this stupid rule as just a general quizbowl person; rules are stupid and suck, in general, and the fewer I have know, the better. However, to say that your team didn't know of this rule at all and were hosting is more an indictment of you than anyone else; it seems to say that you never really read the host requirements.
Also, suggesting that NAQT add a rule that says "We can revoke any bid if we decide we want to" doesn't seem like such a great idea. In fact, though, I wouldn't be surprized at all were NAQT willing to let you qualify a team this way if you were to ask them in advance, unprecedented as NAQT's potential bending of their own qualification rules may seem.

MaS

Whose team didn't not know the requirements, but chose to ignore them for reasons unknown.
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Automatic bid dissolution via qualifying

Post by rhentzel »

All --

This is somewhat late in coming, but so long as I was going to reply to some of the ICT-related issues, I thought I'd provide NAQT's official view on this issue as well.

We're sorry that Yale found itself unexpectedly without a Division II bid, particularly after its club leaders had presumably told their young players that they would be able to go to the ICT. Nevertheless, this rule has been in place since the inception of NAQT (though it was modified when DII was introduced) and we believe that, in general, players are familiar with it.

I think the idea that it appears only in the "fine print" is, at best, disputable; it is the first paragraph of the page on SCT automatic bids:

http://www.naqt.com/sct/automatic-bid.html

that is linked to from the text "automatic bid" on the 2006 SCT Host Requirements:

http://www.naqt.com/sct/2006/2006-sct-h ... ments.html

We've tried to improve the situation for 2007 by incorporating a warning directly into the host requirements:

http://www.naqt.com/sct/2007/2007-sct-h ... ments.html

The justification for the rule (and, in fact, for the existence of automatic bids in the first place) is that NAQT believes a club's most experienced players should run the SCT rather than play in it. Even if they aren't the best moderators, they are likely to be among the most familiar with organizing quiz bowl tournaments and handling tournament director duties during one (protest resolution, etc.)

It's true that it's not logically necessary that a club's Division I players are necessarily the best at running a tournament, but we felt this rule would provide a reasonable approximation of the desired results without being overly complicated or involve subjective decisions.

It is difficult to qualify two Division I teams when hosting a Sectional; it is definitely the case that opting to host involves a trade-off between the guaranteed bid, hosting income, and no transportation costs for the teams that do enter and a somewhat greater ability to qualify multiple teams by going elsewhere. NAQT believes that this is a reasonable choice for teams to have to make.

All that said, NAQT is not wedded to its qualification policy; we want to have a national championship with the strongest possible field alongside accessible, well-run SCTs. We would be happy to consider alternative qualification systems that meet those needs; ideas can be discussed here or e-mailed to us at [email protected]. Anything from tweaks of the existing system to wholesale overhaul will be at least read, and probably considered.

-- R. Robert Hentzel
President and Chief Technical Officer,
National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC
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Post by rhentzel »

Secondly, if a rule is unfair, it should not be a rule...otherwise we'd all see nothing wrong with CBI. Here NAQT is implying that my playing in a tournament willfully disregarded their spirit of fairplay somehow. This is not what happened. I didn't give a rat's ass whether I played in sectionals or not, I was attempting to qualify a second team for us. I was playing for the DII bid.
NAQT does not mean to imply that; NAQT would say, explicitly, that your playing in the tournament contravened our attempt to ensure that hosts do not shortchange tournament attendees by having unskilled team members read while experienced players compete. The rule is intended to cover general situations; we also realize that mistakes can be made with the best of intentions and would not come close to avowing that Yale broke the rule intentionally or out of an attempt to game the system.
NAQT's intentions (i.e. having quality staffers and not making DII people staff while a full A team gets to play) do not apply in this case. We had two staffers in every room (including members of the varsity team--I was the one left over), but NAQT has a rule it chose to invoke rather than reviewing the situation. Had NAQT wanted to be fair, it could have stated in its rules "We reserve the right to revoke a bid if we determine something fishy is going on..." or something like that. What is in place now is a dick rule that attempts to resolve a problem that never existed.
NAQT does, in fact, reserve the right to revoke an automatic bid if something fishy is going on; the reason we have this particular rule in place up front is that, were a Sectional to run with poor staff, and thus result in unusable results, we would have no way to make it up to the teams that attended or to fairly compare their performance to other teams across the country.

In NAQT's opinion, there has been a problem with poorly run (or poorly reported) Sectionals; obviously this rule hasn't solved the issue (since they occurred while it was in effect), but it was a good-faith attempt to head off the issue at the outset. It's possible (though we have only theoretical evidence for this) that there would have been more problems over the years without it.

NAQT is not interested in having more rules that require it to make subjective determinations of a team's intentions and/or the abilities of its members. We'd never really be able to do it fairly, even if we had the time to invest, which we don't.
Furthermore, what this rule implies is that Division II is more important than Division I. Watering down a DI field with automatic qualifiers doesn't matter...but if you try to qualify automatically in DII, that's not allowed. The integrity of DII is such that NAQT doesn't want too many automatic bids.
This did not figure into NAQT's thought process; the DI/DII asymmetry has nothing to do with our thoughts on which Division is more important but has entirely to do with the fact that we expect DI players to be more experienced and thus to make better game officials and/or tournament directors.

I haven't looked the numbers up, but I'd say about 50% of hosts take their automatic bids in Division II, so the extent to which the Divisions are watered down by host bids should be roughly equal.

-- R. Robert Hentzel
President and Chief Technical Officer,
National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC
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Post by rhentzel »

In fact, though, I wouldn't be surprized at all were NAQT willing to let you qualify a team this way if you were to ask them in advance, unprecedented as NAQT's potential bending of their own qualification rules may seem.
NAQT has approved various requests for exceptions to its rules in the past, though I expect that we would not have approved this one.

We encourage teams who are having a problem with one of our policies to contact us--in advance--to see if something can be worked out. Some of our rules are more-or-less set in stone, but others may only be a general attempt to achieve some end. In specific situations we may be more than happy to look at other ways of getting there.

-- R. Robert Hentzel
President and Chief Technical Officer,
National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC
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