2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

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2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

Hey folks,

This year's A-values are up on the ACF website for your perusal. Emails will be going out to invited teams soon; also note the instructions regarding the tournament waitlist. Congratulations to the qualifying teams!
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by CaseyB »

Any team that wins an ACF Regionals tournament at which at least four total teams from at least two total schools are present will receive an automatic bid.
Is there a reason that the winners of the Florida and British Columbia sites are not listed as receiving an invitation to Nationals?
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by ryanrosenberg »

CaseyB wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:01 pm
Any team that wins an ACF Regionals tournament at which at least four total teams from at least two total schools are present will receive an automatic bid.
Is there a reason that the winners of the Florida and British Columbia sites are not listed as receiving an invitation to Nationals?
Sorry, there was a mixup with hosting and playing bids; this should be resolved now.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by wjg »

What are the procedures for applying for the waitlist? I don't see any instructions on the waitlist section of the A-value page, although I definitely could be missing something.

EDIT: I found that it is under the bid form, my mistake.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by ryanrosenberg »

wjg wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:26 pm What are the procedures for applying for the waitlist? I don't see any instructions on the waitlist section of the A-value page, although I definitely could be missing something.

EDIT: I found that it is under the bid form, my mistake.
I've added clearer instructions (as well as instructions for signing up as a standby team), my bad.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by person361 »

I ran a few numbers and it seems like a team's strength of schedule was calculated counting opponents' games against the team itself, when the website says that SOS should only be counting opponents' other games. If opponents' games against the team are taken out, it would boost the A-values of strong teams in small fields and lower the A-values of weak teams in small fields (and not affect teams in large fields very much).

(It's very understandable if this was done intentionally because it seems like it would be a massive pain to calculate.)
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by ryanrosenberg »

person361 wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:16 am I ran a few numbers and it seems like a team's strength of schedule was calculated counting opponents' games against the team itself, when the website says that SOS should only be counting opponents' other games. If opponents' games against the team are taken out, it would boost the A-values of strong teams in small fields and lower the A-values of weak teams in small fields (and not affect teams in large fields very much).

(It's very understandable if this was done intentionally because it seems like it would be a massive pain to calculate.)
This is correct. I've updated the website to more clearly reflect how A-Values are calculated.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by person361 »

I have a few more things to point out about the A-value calculations.

First, it seems like teams with the same record were ranked in Order of Finish by (playoff) PPG. I thought that it was tradition that teams with the same playoff record are officially recorded as having tied for the position (ex. here). This affects the A-values of a few teams. For example, Penn State C (3-2, 234 playoff PPG) was determined to have placed above Kenyon A (3-2, 215 playoff PPG). Since Kenyon's prelim ppg was much higher, they had a higher raw A-value. This caused Penn State C, Kenyon, and Wright State's A-values to be averaged. In previous years, and in NAQT, a tie by record was not broken, and teams were simply ranked by A-value (for example, Alabama and Georgia B last year, where Georgia B had higher playoff PPG but lower raw A-value, so was behind Alabama), so there is no possibility of averaging. This affects UNC B, W&M, Duke B, Kenyon A, Penn State C, Wright State, WVU A, Pitt A. Possibly related to this, Pitt B and Michigan C's A-values are averaged together even though Pitt B finished ahead of Michigan C by every possible metric.

Second, at the Carnegie Mellon site, Michigan State A was deemed to have finished ahead of Michigan B. Michigan State (1-4) defeated Michigan B (2-3) in a disadvantaged UG final. NAQT's position on this would be that Michigan still places higher than Michigan State (ex. here). As far as I know ACF doesn't explicitly have a rule that covers this situation, which leads me to think that it would be the same as NAQT's. If Michigan is placed ahead of Michigan State, their A-values would get averaged, which would pull Michigan B up a couple spots (and Michigan State down a few, but they would receive the UG auto-bid anyway).

Third, the handling of tiebreaker tossups seems a bit counterintuitive. It seems like the extra tossup is counted in TUH, but otherwise no corrections are made (with the exception of the GT site - I couldn't figure that one out). This doesn't take into account the fact that the team that converts TU21 doesn't get a bonus, so you can't use PPTH as a proxy for TUPPTH + BHPTUH * PPB. This is complicated by what to do when a team negs TU21 - does that count as a TUH for the winning team if they don't get a chance to buzz in? This is further complicated by the fact that, at the Yale and GT sites, the winners were allowed to buzz in and claim points, even though the game should have ended on the neg. Depending on how this is handled, teams involved in tiebreaker tossups may see their A-values change by a couple of points in either direction.

In the future, I propose that the score at the end of regulation is used for A-value purposes, with TU21 ignored and not counting as a TUH. (It appears that this is what YellowFruit does when calculating PPG [but not other stats].) This would make things easy to calculate while maintaining fairness.

Fourth, teams that played on half-packets have their SOS calculated with the half-packet opponent counting as a fully-weighted opponent, instead of a half-weighted opponent. (TPPTH and the like are calculated correctly.) This causes MIT, Wesleyan, Penn B, Rutgers B, and Millersville to be a point or two higher than their current A-values.

Ultimately, this probably won't make that huge a difference on the A-value rankings (except for maybe point 1). I think my team's ranking is unaffected by any of this. I just wanted to bring this to everyone's attention.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by CPiGuy »

person361 wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 am Second, at the Carnegie Mellon site, Michigan State A was deemed to have finished ahead of Michigan B. Michigan State (1-4) defeated Michigan B (2-3) in a disadvantaged UG final. NAQT's position on this would be that Michigan still places higher than Michigan State (ex. here). As far as I know ACF doesn't explicitly have a rule that covers this situation, which leads me to think that it would be the same as NAQT's. If Michigan is placed ahead of Michigan State, their A-values would get averaged, which would pull Michigan B up a couple spots (and Michigan State down a few, but they would receive the UG auto-bid anyway).
I had avoided making this point due to my extreme homerism but would like to endorse it. No matter which team wins an undergraduate final, the losing team will end up with a worse A-value than if they had not played the final at all. For this reason, in my opinion, undergraduate finals games shouldn't count towards final standings or A-values, in order to avoid punishing teams for making a final.

Seeing as this would move Michigan B from, I think, sixth on the waitlist to third, this has the potential to significantly affect qualification.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by Cody »

CPiGuy wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:53 amFor this reason, in my opinion, undergraduate finals games shouldn't count towards final standings or A-values, in order to avoid punishing teams for making a final.
Michigan B was not punished for making a final. Michigan B did not clear the UG field, had an advantage in a UG final, and lost 2 games. While a team will drop in A-value by losing a final when they're ahead at the end of the playoffs and have a better A-value, this is not representative of all situations. There's a substantial difference here imo.
person361 wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 am Second, at the Carnegie Mellon site, Michigan State A was deemed to have finished ahead of Michigan B. Michigan State (1-4) defeated Michigan B (2-3) in a disadvantaged UG final. NAQT's position on this would be that Michigan still places higher than Michigan State (ex. here). As far as I know ACF doesn't explicitly have a rule that covers this situation, which leads me to think that it would be the same as NAQT's. If Michigan is placed ahead of Michigan State, their A-values would get averaged, which would pull Michigan B up a couple spots (and Michigan State down a few, but they would receive the UG auto-bid anyway).
These are good questions. I think it makes the most sense to count UG/D2 finals games towards OOF when there's no other interference. Here is how I think about it in terms of tournament ordering:

Let's say that the top two UG teams are the only two teams tied for 5th at the end of the playoffs. The UG final in this case is also a straightforward 5th place tiebreaker, and by all rights the winner would finish ahead since the two teams played an isolated game.

If instead the top two UG teams were tied for 5th with a third non-UG team, then the UG final would not constitute a tiebreaker because all the teams tied for 5th don't play in the UG final. So, we can't say anything about tournament ordering in this case and everyone is still tied for 5th.

In my opinion, the same holds for an advantaged UG final -- when the teams are isolated (no other teams are tied at either position). It seems odd to me to say that a team Y finished ahead of team X by UG but team X ahead of team Y by tournament order when the spots at stake are solely between X and Y.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by ryanrosenberg »

person361 wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 am First, it seems like teams with the same record were ranked in Order of Finish by (playoff) PPG. I thought that it was tradition that teams with the same playoff record are officially recorded as having tied for the position (ex. here).
For the purposes of A-value, teams are ranked using all games against teams in their playoff bracket, first by winning percentage and then by PPG. This differs from ACF Nationals standings because the purpose of A-values is to determine team strength for Nationals qualification, whereas the purpose of ACF Nationals standings is to record how teams performed in the tournament.
person361 wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 amPossibly related to this, Pitt B and Michigan C's A-values are averaged together even though Pitt B finished ahead of Michigan C by every possible metric.
This was a small error in the calculations since the original order of finish we received was based only on playoff and not playoff + carryover games. I've reverted the averaging and made the A-value changes.
person361 wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 amThird, the handling of tiebreaker tossups seems a bit counterintuitive. It seems like the extra tossup is counted in TUH, but otherwise no corrections are made (with the exception of the GT site - I couldn't figure that one out). This doesn't take into account the fact that the team that converts TU21 doesn't get a bonus, so you can't use PPTH as a proxy for TUPPTH + BHPTUH * PPB. This is complicated by what to do when a team negs TU21 - does that count as a TUH for the winning team if they don't get a chance to buzz in? This is further complicated by the fact that, at the Yale and GT sites, the winners were allowed to buzz in and claim points, even though the game should have ended on the neg. Depending on how this is handled, teams involved in tiebreaker tossups may see their A-values change by a couple of points in either direction.

In the future, I propose that the score at the end of regulation is used for A-value purposes, with TU21 ignored and not counting as a TUH. (It appears that this is what YellowFruit does when calculating PPG [but not other stats].) This would make things easy to calculate while maintaining fairness.
Currently tiebreakers are counted as a tossup heard, and any tossup points gained/lost are included. However, the fact that teams cannot get a bonus is not accounted for. This is a good point, and I'd support the proposed fix for next year. It's not the easiest change to implement, but is easier than fully accounting for tiebreaker performance.
person361 wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 amFourth, teams that played on half-packets have their SOS calculated with the half-packet opponent counting as a fully-weighted opponent, instead of a half-weighted opponent. (TPPTH and the like are calculated correctly.) This causes MIT, Wesleyan, Penn B, Rutgers B, and Millersville to be a point or two higher than their current A-values.
Ah, I didn't see that these sites had used half-packets. I'll correct that this afternoon.
person361 wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 amUltimately, this probably won't make that huge a difference on the A-value rankings (except for maybe point 1). I think my team's ranking is unaffected by any of this. I just wanted to bring this to everyone's attention.
Thanks for raising these points! I think it's great to get more people thinking about A-value and the best way to determine team strength.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by person361 »

ryanrosenberg wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:33 pm For the purposes of A-value, teams are ranked using all games against teams in their playoff bracket, first by winning percentage and then by PPG. This differs from ACF Nationals standings because the purpose of A-values is to determine team strength for Nationals qualification, whereas the purpose of ACF Nationals standings is to record how teams performed in the tournament.
That's reasonable. In that case, Chicago E would be ahead of Northwestern A and Lewis would be ahead of Purdue B. Both pairs would be averaged.

Penn A should be ahead of Princeton B.
ryanrosenberg wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:33 pm Currently tiebreakers are counted as a tossup heard, and any tossup points gained/lost are included. However, the fact that teams cannot get a bonus is not accounted for. This is a good point, and I'd support the proposed fix for next year. It's not the easiest change to implement, but is easier than fully accounting for tiebreaker performance.
I think the GT site is still a bit weird. I think some PPGs were calculated with the wrong number of TUH (because of TU21) and some with the right TUH?

If what Cody said is the official policy on Finals affecting placement, then Rutgers should place ahead of Penn B because they beat them in the DII final. This is further complicated by
ryanrosenberg wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:33 pm
person361 wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 amFourth, teams that played on half-packets have their SOS calculated with the half-packet opponent counting as a fully-weighted opponent, instead of a half-weighted opponent. (TPPTH and the like are calculated correctly.) This causes MIT, Wesleyan, Penn B, Rutgers B, and Millersville to be a point or two higher than their current A-values.
Ah, I didn't see that these sites had used half-packets. I'll correct that this afternoon.
I think Penn B got fixed, but Rutgers B and Millersville weren't. Similarly, I think MIT A got fixed, but Wesleyan and Yale B weren't.

Lastly, I think that everybody between Penn State C and West Virginia A should get averaged. Currently they're averaged in 2 sets.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by CPiGuy »

Cody wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:58 am
CPiGuy wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:53 amFor this reason, in my opinion, undergraduate finals games shouldn't count towards final standings or A-values, in order to avoid punishing teams for making a final.
Michigan B was not punished for making a final. Michigan B did not clear the UG field, had an advantage in a UG final, and lost 2 games. While a team will drop in A-value by losing a final when they're ahead at the end of the playoffs and have a better A-value, this is not representative of all situations. There's a substantial difference here imo.
person361 wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 am Second, at the Carnegie Mellon site, Michigan State A was deemed to have finished ahead of Michigan B. Michigan State (1-4) defeated Michigan B (2-3) in a disadvantaged UG final. NAQT's position on this would be that Michigan still places higher than Michigan State (ex. here). As far as I know ACF doesn't explicitly have a rule that covers this situation, which leads me to think that it would be the same as NAQT's. If Michigan is placed ahead of Michigan State, their A-values would get averaged, which would pull Michigan B up a couple spots (and Michigan State down a few, but they would receive the UG auto-bid anyway).
These are good questions. I think it makes the most sense to count UG/D2 finals games towards OOF when there's no other interference. Here is how I think about it in terms of tournament ordering:

Let's say that the top two UG teams are the only two teams tied for 5th at the end of the playoffs. The UG final in this case is also a straightforward 5th place tiebreaker, and by all rights the winner would finish ahead since the two teams played an isolated game.

If instead the top two UG teams were tied for 5th with a third non-UG team, then the UG final would not constitute a tiebreaker because all the teams tied for 5th don't play in the UG final. So, we can't say anything about tournament ordering in this case and everyone is still tied for 5th.

In my opinion, the same holds for an advantaged UG final -- when the teams are isolated (no other teams are tied at either position). It seems odd to me to say that a team Y finished ahead of team X by UG but team X ahead of team Y by tournament order when the spots at stake are solely between X and Y.
I think this is reasonable. My objection is generally predicated on the following fact: whoever wins the UG final will qualify automatically, while whoever loses the final will have their A-value reduced. A system in which at least one team who qualifies for a final is guaranteed to have their ranking reduced, compared to teams that did not qualify for a final at all, seems unfair to me. Playing a final should never result in your ranking going down relative to teams that aren't in that final -- and the A-value ranking of the winning team in a final is completely immaterial since they earn automatic qualification and are therefore "ranked" above the losing team in terms of qualification priority.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by Cody »

CPiGuy wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:56 amwhoever wins the UG final will qualify automatically, while whoever loses the final will have their A-value reduced. A system in which at least one team who qualifies for a final is guaranteed to have their ranking reduced, compared to teams that did not qualify for a final at all, seems unfair to me. Playing a final should never result in your ranking going down relative to teams that aren't in that final -- and the A-value ranking of the winning team in a final is completely immaterial since they earn automatic qualification and are therefore "ranked" above the losing team in terms of qualification priority.
The team that loses the final will not necessarily have their A-value reduced. Your A-value can be reduced if you play poorly relative to your prior play, but that’s not guaranteed because it depends on how poorly you play and how well your opponent plays. Even triggering the OOF correction (or in Michigan B’s case, failing to trigger the OOF correction) does not guarantee a reduction in A-value. Because the finals games count towards the A-value and the A-value is statistic and opponent-based, you can raise your A-value in a loss.

Similarly, it is not true that “at least one team who qualifies for a final is guaranteed to have their ranking reduced”. A reduction in A-value does not equate to a reduction in ranking.

What you are asking for here is also a bit weird: since we count all of the games towards the A-value, if we did not disturb the ranking, then the loser can benefit from an A-value boost from the OOF correction due to the finals being included. It’s not a perverse incentive because automatic qualification is way better, but it is double-dipping that disadvantages other teams.

I did three calculations: (a) Michigan B & Michigan State A never play a UG final, removing those games from their A-value calculation*; (a) Michigan B & Michigan State A play a one-game UG final, removing the second game from their A-value calculation*; (b) Michigan B only negs twice – their average neg rate prior to the game – instead of six times in the second game of the advantaged final. The end result in all 3 cases is that Michigan B is bumped one spot to above NYU A. Granted, situation (a) is higher by ~1.5 points over (b) and ~2.5 points over (c), but the values only matter in relation to other teams.

Because Michigan State A boosted their A-value in the final, preserving the playoff ranking but counting the finals and applying the OOF correction double-dips and instead bumps Michigan B up two spots to above Brown A.

*i.e. subtracting TUpts, Bpts, TUH, and re-calculating SOS
Last edited by Cody on Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

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person361 wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 am In the future, I propose that the score at the end of regulation is used for A-value purposes, with TU21 ignored and not counting as a TUH. (It appears that this is what YellowFruit does when calculating PPG [but not other stats].)
Just confirming that this is correct. Overtime TUH and points scored are excluded from any statistic that involves bonus points. So PPG and team PPTUH don't include overtime, but player PPTUH does.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by CPiGuy »

Cody wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:27 am Similarly, it is not true that “at least one team who qualifies for a final is guaranteed to have their ranking reduced”. A reduction in A-value does not equate to a reduction in ranking.

What you are asking for here is also a bit weird: since we count all of the games towards the A-value, if we did not disturb the ranking, then the loser can benefit from an A-value boost from the OOF correction due to the finals being included. It’s not a perverse incentive because automatic qualification is way better, but it is double-dipping that disadvantages other teams.
Ah, yeah, I hadn't considered this aspect of it (that you can lose and still have your A-value go up).

Like I said, I'm 100% biased here and think you're probably right. Tbh, the "best" solution is probably to just not count UG finals games towards A-value at all, but the way ACF does it is also reasonable. Thanks for the discussion!
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

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This is bumping my last post on this thread. In particular,
person361 wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:11 am
ryanrosenberg wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:33 pm For the purposes of A-value, teams are ranked using all games against teams in their playoff bracket, first by winning percentage and then by PPG. This differs from ACF Nationals standings because the purpose of A-values is to determine team strength for Nationals qualification, whereas the purpose of ACF Nationals standings is to record how teams performed in the tournament.
That's reasonable. In that case, Chicago E would be ahead of Northwestern A and Lewis would be ahead of Purdue B. Both pairs would be averaged.
This affects my team's chances at qualifying.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

Post by ryanrosenberg »

person361 wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:33 am In that case, Chicago E would be ahead of Northwestern A and Lewis would be ahead of Purdue B. Both pairs would be averaged.
These have been confirmed and fixed. I will take a look at the other issues tonight.
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Re: 2020 ACF Nationals A-Values

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person361 wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:11 am
ryanrosenberg wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:33 pm For the purposes of A-value, teams are ranked using all games against teams in their playoff bracket, first by winning percentage and then by PPG. This differs from ACF Nationals standings because the purpose of A-values is to determine team strength for Nationals qualification, whereas the purpose of ACF Nationals standings is to record how teams performed in the tournament.
That's reasonable. In that case, Chicago E would be ahead of Northwestern A and Lewis would be ahead of Purdue B. Both pairs would be averaged.

Penn A should be ahead of Princeton B.

If what Cody said is the official policy on Finals affecting placement, then Rutgers should place ahead of Penn B because they beat them in the DII final. This is further complicated by
ryanrosenberg wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:33 pm
person361 wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 amFourth, teams that played on half-packets have their SOS calculated with the half-packet opponent counting as a fully-weighted opponent, instead of a half-weighted opponent. (TPPTH and the like are calculated correctly.) This causes MIT, Wesleyan, Penn B, Rutgers B, and Millersville to be a point or two higher than their current A-values.
Ah, I didn't see that these sites had used half-packets. I'll correct that this afternoon.
I think Penn B got fixed, but Rutgers B and Millersville weren't. Similarly, I think MIT A got fixed, but Wesleyan and Yale B weren't.

Lastly, I think that everybody between Penn State C and West Virginia A should get averaged. Currently they're averaged in 2 sets.
These have been fixed.
person361 wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:11 amI think the GT site is still a bit weird. I think some PPGs were calculated with the wrong number of TUH (because of TU21) and some with the right TUH?
I can't track this down -- as far as I can tell the TUH are correct for all teams.
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