NAQT Prognostication Time

Old college threads.

How close do you think this prediction will be to the real ICT invitations (with reserved bids and host bids taken out of course)?

Poll ended at Tue Feb 10, 2004 10:35 pm

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Total votes: 18

pakman044
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Post by pakman044 »

Robin Richards forwarded the email to me and I added that to the main page where I have the four stat "pages" linked to:
http://www4.ncsu.edu/~paking/naqt2004sct-southeast-uga/

Patrick King

Edit: Wrong initial link
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Re: Order of selection from a sectional

Post by samer »

Rog wrote:UVA and Georgetown can't get bids until Virginia Tech and Columbia do. See Samer's post from above. At least, I'm pretty sure that's the way it works. Can you clarify this Samer?
The rule is that once a field is split into brackets, *every* team in the top bracket must get an invite before *any* team in the next lower bracket can get one. [This is to prevent the "gambit" of throwing matches so as to clean up against weaker opponents.]

That said, there is no rule forbidding a team from advancing ahead of a better team in the _same_ bracket. [Although, as has been pointed out before, it is not easy to do, and the greater the difference in W-L records, the harder it gets.]


One other comment, BTW---prognostication isn't that pointless. Obviously, the top of the list is going to remain pretty constant unless you use a formula that truly misses the mark. The question, of course, is how well you do with the teams on the verge of elimination.
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Post by MLafer »

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Post by mujason »

Wow, there are definitely some surprises on that list!

Division I: Iowa State on the waitlist definitely surprised me. I thought they were in. Three British schools??? Last year, only one (Goodenough) showed up and they got last place! Anyway, it looks like the Mid-Atlantic will be well-represented, with Princeton (host), Maryland, Swarthmore, Delaware, Columbia, Virginia Tech, and Virginia making it with Georgetown at #2 on the wait list.

Division II: Athens State and Wichita State on the waitlist? I thought they were in. The West seems to have done well, with UCLA, Berkeley, Caltech, and Stanford in. I'm a tad surprised to see Wofford left off the waitlist entirely, and I'm still trying to figure out how Boston U got to #4 on the waitlist, even ahead of a team (Wichita State) that lost the SCT in a tiebreaker game.

Anyway, there are many good teams that were invited and several good teams that did not get invited. I'm sure NAQT has a good formula and good reasons to invite the teams they did.

Jason Mueller

Halfway thinking about trying to get Mizzou to apply for a standby spot.
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Post by pakman044 »

It's time to see how my predictions measured up against the "NAQT Black Box", as one called it:

D1-- [*indicates automatic of some form]
*Arkansas [yes]
*Brandeis [yes]
*Cal-Berkely A [yes]
Cal-Berkeley B [yes]
*Cambridge (UK) [yes] (1 UK team gets yes)
*Carleton [yes]
Chicago [yes]
Columbia [no]
Delaware [waitlist]
Emory [yes]
*Florida [yes]
*Harvard [yes]
Illinois [yes]
Manchester (UK) [no]
*Maryland [yes]
*Michigan A [yes]
Michigan B [yes]
MIT [yes]
Oxford (UK) [no]
*Princeton [yes]
*Rice [yes]
Rochester A [yes]
*Rochester B [yes]
South Florida [yes]
*Stanford [yes]
*Swarthmore [yes]
*Texas A&M [yes]
Virginia [yes]
Virginia Tech [no]
*Yale A [yes]
Yale B [yes]

WAITLIST:
Iowa State [no; projected in]
Georgetown University [yes; and right position]
Toronto [yes; projected #4]
Michigan C [no; projected out]
Minnesota [yes; projected #3]

BUBBLE BURST:
DePauw (D2 host bid)
Western Ontario (D2 host bid)
Simon Fraser (D2 host bid)
Iowa State A (projected in; wait list)
South Carolina (out; projected waitlist)

What happened?
*Miscalculated host bids
*Didn't guess how many UK schools there would be.

D2
*Bevill State [reserved for CC #1]
*British Columbia [yes]
Cal-Berkeley [no]
Caltech [no]
*Carleton [yes]
*Carnegie Mellon [yes]
*Chicago [yes]
Columbia [yes]
*DePauw [no; projected D1 host bid]
*Emory [yes]
*Georgetown College [yes]
*Georgia
Harvard A [yes]
*Harvard B [yes]
*Hutchinson CC [reserved for CC #2]
Illinois [yes]
*Kansas [yes]
*Marion Military Institute [reserved for CC #3]
Maryland [yes]
MIT [yes]
*Penn [yes]
Pittsburgh [yes]
*Simon Fraser [no; projected D1 host bid]
*South Georgia [reserved for CC #4]
Stanford [projected waitlist]
St. Thomas [yes]
*UCLA [yes]
Virginia [yes]
*Reserved for CC #5
*Reserved for CC #6
*Reserved for CC #7
*Reserved for CC #8

WAIT LIST
Swarthmore [no; projected in]
Athens State [no; projected in]
Yale [no; projected out]
Boston University [no; projected out]
Wichita State [no; projected out]

BUBBLE BURST
Athens State [waitlist #2; projected in]
Wichita State [waitlist #5; projected in]
Tulsa [out; projected in]
Wofford [out; projected in]
Pikeville [out; projected waitlist #1]
Truman B [out; projected waitlist #2]
Florida B [out; projected waitlist #3]
Case Western [out; projected waitlist #5]

ANALYSIS:

I did likely a worse job at D2, a) because more host schools opted for D2 bids and b) I overestimated SE. Only 1 SE school earned a bid in D2: Emory (automatic). Every single other school I prognosticated in or waitlist (Athens State, Wofford, Florida B) were out. I didn't assess what happened with D1 and UK bids either.

It will be interesting if all of the remaining reserved D2 bids go to CC teams (4) or if a few are reallocated.

So, I think I got about 50-60% of the teams right; a few bubble teams I had in at the bottom did get in; and decent number didn't get in.

Anyone have any opinions?

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Athens State...

Post by quizbowllee »

To say that I'm a little upset is an understatement... I thought for sure that 2nd in a SCT would grant us an invite. We fought hard to not get invited... I seriously doubt two teams will not accept. Oh, well. Thanks to all who "prognisticated" that we'd get in. I thought we would, too. Kinda miffed on this one.

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Re: Athens State...

Post by QuizBowlRonin »

quizbowllee wrote:To say that I'm a little upset is an understatement... I thought for sure that 2nd in a SCT would grant us an invite. We fought hard to not get invited... I seriously doubt two teams will not accept. Oh, well. Thanks to all who "prognisticated" that we'd get in. I thought we would, too. Kinda miffed on this one.

-Lee
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Lee,

Don't give up just yet. Just see what happens - some teams will inevitably decline, and your chance will come up.

I'm also sort of confused - only 1 team made it out of the Southwest and Southeast sectionals. I'm also at bit miffed to see an Alabama community college winning the Mississippi CC sectional, especially where its obvious they would have gotten stomped had they went to Alabama's sectional.

Yours,

Jason Paik
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Post by mujason »

I seem to remember that last year Georgia got second in Div II at the Southeast sectional and they weren't invited. NAQT seems to have a bit more reliance on SOS then Patrick and I do.

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Post by MLafer »

Too bad the strength of schedule factor isn't weighted enough to prevent the winner from the Pacific Northwest from being invited.

Anyone else think this sectional should not exist?
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Post by Matt Weiner »

MLafer wrote:Too bad the strength of schedule factor isn't weighted enough to prevent the winner from the Pacific Northwest from being invited.

Anyone else think this sectional should not exist?
I understand that N-QT doesn't want to make teams travel all the way down to SoCal in years when the West sectional is held there, but there should at least be some liberal statistical cutoff for automatic bids at sectionals with less than 8 teams. Like, you have to get the same PPG, bonus conversion, or whatever as the #15 at-large bid, something along those lines.
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Post by NotBhan »

I too am a little surprised to see only one Div II team from the Southeast get a bid. I hope Athens State gets a shot, but with the ICT in St Louis, I wouldn't expect nearly as many teams to decline bids this year. Athens State was probably hurt by their bonus conversion, but they did put up a lot of points relative to the number of tossups heard.

As for the CC Sectionals, I've never gotten the sense that, for instance, Georgia CCs should go exclusively to the Georgia tournament. In many cases, a tournament in a neighboring state may simply be closer -- at least one Georgia team comes to Florida's tournament each year, and a couple of Panhandle teams were at least considering going to the one in Georgia, though I guess those plans fell through. Certainly it would be much easier for Pensacola JC to go to the AL or MS SCT than drive 500 miles to Orlando. Anyway, I don't know that anyone around here is "miffed" about an Alabama team winning the Mississippi sectional.

I'm more surprised at the Mississippi CC result itself. Marion Military's quizbowl team was pretty well decimated (not by technical definition, but you get the idea) when 6 of their top 8 players were called up for duty in the Gulf. Mississippi usually has at least a couple of strong CC teams, so I'm surprised on both counts that Marion won.

Enough of my babble. Best of luck to Athens State in getting in.

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Post by STPickrell »

MLafer wrote:Too bad the strength of schedule factor isn't weighted enough to prevent the winner from the Pacific Northwest from being invited.

Anyone else think this sectional should not exist?
Why should the Pacific Northwest be excluded from quizbowl, or made to travel several hours, simply due to historical reasons?

Why do we invite the winner of the Big Sky Conference to the NCAA's even though they haven't won a NCAA game in I don't know how long?
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Post by Captain Sinico »

StPickrell wrote:
MLafer wrote:Too bad the strength of schedule factor isn't weighted enough to prevent the winner from the Pacific Northwest from being invited.

Anyone else think this sectional should not exist?
Why should the Pacific Northwest be excluded from quizbowl, or made to travel several hours, simply due to historical reasons?
Uhm... yeah... that's exactly what people are saying.
StPickrell wrote:Why do we invite the winner of the Big Sky Conference to the NCAA's even though they haven't won a NCAA game in I don't know how long?
Because we're idiots.

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Re: Athens State...

Post by quizbowllee »

Lee,

Don't give up just yet. Just see what happens - some teams will inevitably decline, and your chance will come up.

I'm also sort of confused - only 1 team made it out of the Southwest and Southeast sectionals. I'm also at bit miffed to see an Alabama community college winning the Mississippi CC sectional, especially where its obvious they would have gotten stomped had they went to Alabama's sectional.

Yours,

Jason Paik[/quote][/quote]
Thanks for the supportive wrods - but with ICT in St. Louis, I kinda doubt 2 teams will decline. As for Marion going to MS - I think that knowing that Bevill State was going to "stomp" them was their inspiration for crossing state lines. I don't have a problem with that, myself. Maybe next year Athens State should go to Pacific Northwest to compete...

I do think that NAQT has seriously underestimated the Southeast strength, though. A lot of the good teams just beat each other. Berry, for example, gave Emoery their only loss. Furman is unbelievable this year, and the SCT was the first time we beat them. Florida B and Wofford were both great. I think that the strength of schedule was under-respresented by the fact that all of the good teams in the Southeast prevented each other from scoring 350+ points a game. At any rate, I hope we get to go to the ICT, but - like I said - I doubt two teams will decline.
I did notice the HUGE drop-off in CC scores past Bevill-Jasper. Perhaps NAQT will give some waitlisted teams a chance ahead of some of the CC's... I also imagine that Valencia is going to clean house this weekend and the dropoff after Valencia will be great (unless there are multiple Valencia teams).

Thanks,

Lee
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Re: Athens State...

Post by quizbowllee »

Lee,

Don't give up just yet. Just see what happens - some teams will inevitably decline, and your chance will come up.

I'm also sort of confused - only 1 team made it out of the Southwest and Southeast sectionals. I'm also at bit miffed to see an Alabama community college winning the Mississippi CC sectional, especially where its obvious they would have gotten stomped had they went to Alabama's sectional.

Yours,

Jason Paik
Thanks for the supportive wrods - but with ICT in St. Louis, I kinda doubt 2 teams will decline. As for Marion going to MS - I think that knowing that Bevill State was going to "stomp" them was their inspiration for crossing state lines. I don't have a problem with that, myself. Maybe next year Athens State should go to Pacific Northwest to compete...

I do think that NAQT has seriously underestimated the Southeast strength, though. A lot of the good teams just beat each other. Berry, for example, gave Emoery their only loss. Furman is unbelievable this year, and the SCT was the first time we beat them. Florida B and Wofford were both great. I think that the strength of schedule was under-respresented by the fact that all of the good teams in the Southeast prevented each other from scoring 350+ points a game. At any rate, I hope we get to go to the ICT, but - like I said - I doubt two teams will decline.
I did notice the HUGE drop-off in CC scores past Bevill-Jasper. Perhaps NAQT will give some waitlisted teams a chance ahead of some of the CC's... I also imagine that Valencia is going to clean house this weekend and the dropoff after Valencia will be great (unless there are multiple Valencia teams).

Thanks,

Lee
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Post by BigFlax »

StPickrell wrote:Why do we invite the winner of the Big Sky Conference to the NCAA's even though they haven't won a NCAA game in I don't know how long?
Actually, the Big Sky Conference won an NCAA game as recently as 1999 when Weber State upset North Carolina. In fact, the Big Sky winner has frequently been one of the more competitive small-conference teams in the NCAA, as Northern Arizona nearly won as a #15 seed in both 1998 and 2000. A better example would be something like the Big South, which in recent years has routinely sent one of the lowest-rated teams to the field and is only sporadically even competitive.

[/huge NCAA tournament nerd]

At any rate, I don't know if this is a great comparison - the NCAA tournament fields twice as many teams, for one thing - but even if it is, I think it's tough to exclude whole regions of the country because the teams there aren't quite as strong as they might be.
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Post by NotBhan »

I'm replying to Lee's post regarding the CC Sectionals. Florida has a lot of strong CC teams, and there's a good chance that all 3 CC at-large bids will go to Florida teams competing tomorrow. Valencia A is probably the favorite to win, but Broward CC, Palm Beach CC, and Valencia B will be good as well. There won't be much of a dropoff after Valencia A this year, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if PBCC beat them. A couple of other strong CC teams either couldn't attend or will be missing key players, but the Florida sectional should nonetheless be the strongest one.

Although Valencia will have a couple of returning players, it's the #3 and #4 scorers from last year's team, who combined for something like 19 ppg last April. I feel safe in saying that it's highly unlikely that any CC team will contend for the overall Div II title this year, and I'd be very surprised if a CC team finished in the top 10 of Div II.

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Post by STPickrell »

BigFlax wrote:At any rate, I don't know if this is a great comparison - the NCAA tournament fields twice as many teams, for one thing - but even if it is, I think it's tough to exclude whole regions of the country because the teams there aren't quite as strong as they might be.
Yes, but there's only one really weak NAQT region, two if you wish to count the UK based on its most recent performances. I fail to see how the tournament would be better by including the 6th place team rom a stronger region as opposed to the winners of those two regions.

I picked Big Sky for the geographic reasons, as the Big Sky, CBI Region 14 and NAQT Pacific Northwest regions have roughly the same boundaries are same (perceived) strength.

One year Winthrop made the NCAA's. D-3 Randolph-Macon lost to them (at Winthrop) by a mere 7 points. Duke demolished Winthrop.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

Sports analogies never prove anything.

Is there any good argument against the statistical cutoff? It's perfectly possible that a good team might come out of a 4-team sectional one day, so we can't just exclude them outright, but certainly Simon Fraser's 2-43 record at the ICT indicates that they are taking a spot away from a competitive team.
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Post by Dan Greenstein »

Yes, but there's only one really weak NAQT region, two if you wish to count the UK based on its most recent performances. I fail to see how the tournament would be better by including the 6th place team from a stronger region as opposed to the winners of those two regions.
I am still wondering how Europe qualified three teams to the ICT. Since they used a different set of questions to qualify (last May I believe was when they had their qualifying tournament), it is a dubious exercise to try to compare them to what happened at the SCTs in North America.

In the Mid-Atlantic, seven of the ten teams in Division I were of a quality to be deserving of ICT invitations. As it worked out, the top six got invited and the seventh place team is high on the waitlist. While we will not be able to compare unless the teams in question played (if the preliminary brackets are large, there is a very good chance the lowest ranked Mid-Atlantic team will face one of the British teams), I believe Virginia would defeat any of the British teams in seven out of ten matches.
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Post by BigFlax »

StPickrell wrote:Yes, but there's only one really weak NAQT region, two if you wish to count the UK based on its most recent performances. I fail to see how the tournament would be better by including the 6th place team rom a stronger region as opposed to the winners of those two regions.
I assume you mean that you fail to see how the tournament would be worse. I agree with Matt here - it's quite likely that the Pacific Northwest is unlikely to ever produce a particularly competitive team, but we can't guarantee that. Wasn't there some call a couple years ago to put a minimum number of teams cap to automatically qualify? I know they already have that for undergrads. That would make some sense.
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Post by samer »

BigFlax wrote:I assume you mean that you fail to see how the tournament would be worse. I agree with Matt here - it's quite likely that the Pacific Northwest is unlikely to ever produce a particularly competitive team, but we can't guarantee that. Wasn't there some call a couple years ago to put a minimum number of teams cap to automatically qualify? I know they already have that for undergrads. That would make some sense.
The cap is, at the moment, four per division, if I'm not mistaken, and they did, in fact, have four teams in DivII.
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Post by BigFlax »

samer wrote:The cap is, at the moment, four per division, if I'm not mistaken, and they did, in fact, have four teams in DivII.
Okay. That was my suspicion, but I couldn't remember (obviously it wouldn't make sense to allow one team to show up at a sectional and get an automatic bid).

That said, evidently it might make sense to beef up that number a bit - clearly it's only going to effect one or two sectionals at the most anyway. It's not obvious that anyone in that sectional deserved an automatic bid (the D2 winner was just 7-5, after all, even if that did include playing two D1 teams), especially when you've got that 7-5 UBC team taking a spot that could go to those teams like Swarthmore and Athens State who put up significantly better stats against tougher opposition.

The problem with this is that if there really just aren't more teams up there, you end up having a fight over who gets to host the sectional and get the automatic host bid - and if you get rid of that, you've derecognized the sectional which, small as it is and uncompetitive at ICT as it has mostly proven, isn't really cool.
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Post by pakman044 »

Matt Weiner wrote:Sports analogies never prove anything.

Is there any good argument against the statistical cutoff? It's perfectly possible that a good team might come out of a 4-team sectional one day, so we can't just exclude them outright, but certainly Simon Fraser's 2-43 record at the ICT indicates that they are taking a spot away from a competitive team.
Wasn't Simon Fraser a host and guaranteed a bid anyway?

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Re: Athens State...

Post by pakman044 »

[quote="quizbowllee"][quote]Lee,

Don't give up just yet. Just see what happens - some teams will inevitably decline, and your chance will come up.

I'm also sort of confused - only 1 team made it out of the Southwest and Southeast sectionals. I'm also at bit miffed to see an Alabama community college winning the Mississippi CC sectional, especially where its obvious they would have gotten stomped had they went to Alabama's sectional.

Yours,

Jason Paik[/quote]Thanks for the supportive wrods - but with ICT in St. Louis, I kinda doubt 2 teams will decline. As for Marion going to MS - I think that knowing that Bevill State was going to "stomp" them was their inspiration for crossing state lines. I don't have a problem with that, myself. Maybe next year Athens State should go to Pacific Northwest to compete...

I do think that NAQT has seriously underestimated the Southeast strength, though. A lot of the good teams just beat each other. Berry, for example, gave Emoery their only loss. Furman is unbelievable this year, and the SCT was the first time we beat them. Florida B and Wofford were both great. I think that the strength of schedule was under-respresented by the fact that all of the good teams in the Southeast prevented each other from scoring 350+ points a game. At any rate, I hope we get to go to the ICT, but - like I said - I doubt two teams will decline.
I did notice the HUGE drop-off in CC scores past Bevill-Jasper. Perhaps NAQT will give some waitlisted teams a chance ahead of some of the CC's... I also imagine that Valencia is going to clean house this weekend and the dropoff after Valencia will be great (unless there are multiple Valencia teams).

Thanks,

Lee[/quote]

One word: standby. I think the last time I checked there was only one team on the D2 standby list. Get on that list; that way if NAQT comes through late in the game and says that they have a slot for you all, you won't have to decline because of "fundraising" issues. It might suck if you don't get off standby, but it's better than the former situation. And there's no reason you shouldn't try, since you guys definitely belong there based on my opinion of how well you did (the fact that it was game one and none of my team had touched a buzzer before last June at the best and 7 years ago at the worst helped a little, but that 405-85 spectacle was something to behold, even if I was on the losing end).

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Re: Athens State...

Post by quizbowllee »

One word: standby. I think the last time I checked there was only one team on the D2 standby list. Get on that list; that way if NAQT comes through late in the game and says that they have a slot for you all, you won't have to decline because of "fundraising" issues. It might suck if you don't get off standby, but it's better than the former situation. And there's no reason you shouldn't try, since you guys definitely belong there based on my opinion of how well you did (the fact that it was game one and none of my team had touched a buzzer before last June at the best and 7 years ago at the worst helped a little, but that 405-85 spectacle was something to behold, even if I was on the losing end).

Patrick King

If it is any comfort to you, you scared the crap out of us by jumping ahead 85-0 in three tossups. Anyway, I appreciate your kind words. Our financial situation at Athens State is pretty good. We will get to go to the ICT as long as we have at least a week or so notice. I don't want to go all the way there on "standby," though.

-Lee
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Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist »

NotBhan wrote: I hope Athens State gets a shot, but with the ICT in St Louis, I wouldn't expect nearly as many teams to decline bids this year.
From the 2001 ICT which was held in St. Louis:

Division I
declined--Cambridge University (UK), Penn State University, University of California-Berkeley B, University of Washington
added--Florida Atlantic, Princeton B, Duke, Williams

Division II
declined--Boston University
added--Yeshiva
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Post by SethAtCal »

BigFlax wrote:
samer wrote:The cap is, at the moment, four per division, if I'm not mistaken, and they did, in fact, have four teams in DivII.
Okay. That was my suspicion, but I couldn't remember (obviously it wouldn't make sense to allow one team to show up at a sectional and get an automatic bid).

That said, evidently it might make sense to beef up that number a bit - clearly it's only going to effect one or two sectionals at the most anyway. It's not obvious that anyone in that sectional deserved an automatic bid (the D2 winner was just 7-5, after all, even if that did include playing two D1 teams), especially when you've got that 7-5 UBC team taking a spot that could go to those teams like Swarthmore and Athens State who put up significantly better stats against tougher opposition.

The problem with this is that if there really just aren't more teams up there, you end up having a fight over who gets to host the sectional and get the automatic host bid - and if you get rid of that, you've derecognized the sectional which, small as it is and uncompetitive at ICT as it has mostly proven, isn't really cool.
I hadn't thought about this until now, but if the minimum number of teams needed in a division to guarantee a bid to the winner was higher, Berkeley A would not have automatically earned a bid last weekend. I suppose we would have earned an at-large bid, so this probably isn't a big issue.

-Seth
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Post by jazzerpoet »

Having just looked at the ICT bids, and being overcome with a sense of disbelief, I would like to give my two cents on the selection process. It seems to me as though the most important criterion to the secretive S-value is that of bonus conversion. The reason I say this is that there are many teams who were overlooked, although they had better records in possibly more difficult Sectionals, for mediocre teams in mediocre Sectionals who had 17+ points per bonus. I mean, look at the Southwest Sectionals, where only one team (Kansas) earned a bid, and that was the automatic bid. Meanwhile, there are four teams from the West Coast and four teams from the Mid-Atlantic Sectionals who may not have won as many games as, say, Wichita State or my own Tulsa, but who had better bonus conversion. Not meaning to instigate a statistical battle, but we had more powers than any team at SW Sectionals (even more than A&M Grad), the third best PPG, PAPG, and margin of victory, and we actually defeated Kansas and Wichita State, both of whom finished ahead of us in the final standings.

Also, concerning Community Colleges and the Kentucky Sectionals, I feel that it is unfair to guarantee a bid to Nationals for schools who compete in exclusive Sectionals. The one in Kentucky, for example, only allowed KCQRL teams to compete, thus excluding every team not in the Bluegrass State. And as for the CCs, why grant bids to Sectionals that are only meant for CCs? Why not have CCs play in the regular D2 Sectionals and just give a bid to the best one there, if they statistically merit it? Otherwise, you are merely lowering the standard for Nationals by taking 8 teams that will more than likely be the bottom dwellers, while you could select other teams from more competitive regions and promote an even better Nationals. That being said, I applaud schools like Athens State and Valencia who actually take the initiative to compete in better Sectionals and thus learn from the experience and get better. Of course, why not just expand the Division 2 bids to 36 teams?

I guess that is more than 2 cents; it is more like 20 dollars. Cheers!

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Post by quizbowllee »

Angelo,

I was also of the theory that bonus conversion must be a huge factor. That is until I noticed that Columbia, who got 3rd in their SCT had a lower conversion than ours. It kinda looks like NAQT gave Columbia a bid in order to justify inviting Maryland, who finished behind Columbia, but who had a higher bonus conversion. You can read my new post on the Yahoo message board:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quizbowl/message/13925

Here I discuss in greater detail how we got screwed over. Thanks.

-Lee Henry
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Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

Lee-

Bonus conversion is indeed a huge factor, as it's the only stat that is not affected at all by strength of schedule. Keep in mind that NAQT wants to theoretically make it so that where one plays is irrelavent to whether one gets a bid or not. Of course, if it was all bonus conversion, our Div II team wouldn't be on the wait list at all, so there you go.

As for the case of Columbia, there's an even more blatant case of that (if that is the case) in our Sectional's Div I, where Columbia and Virginia Tech may very well have gotten their bids just to make sure Virginia got one as well.

As for the competitiveness of the Southeast Div. II, I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. Only one team from there went to the ICT last year, and they finished in the bottom half of a field littered with waitlists and standbys. It seems that the gap between Div I and Div II is a lot wider there than in other parts of the country. There's always a Div. II offered in your average Southeast tournament, whereas other parts of the country just have everyone play together (and our playing in "real" tournaments last year, as opposed to sticking to JB's and Div II as we could have, was a big factor in our rather seamless transition to life in Div I this year).

By the way, if one goes to Califonia, one is hardly assured of making .500.

And yeah, I really don't know what was up with that Kentucky sectional. I thought it was against NAQT policy to do something like that, but NAQT does seem to be having a hard time following their own policies recently...

In any case, I'm sure that your team would certainly do better than some of the teams invited (especially some of the CC and Pacific Northwest teams), so good luck and I hope both of our Div II teams will eventually get invites.

-Chris
Last edited by Theory Of The Leisure Flask on Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Dan Greenstein »

I was also of the theory that bonus conversion must be a huge factor. That is until I noticed that Columbia, who got 3rd in their SCT had a lower conversion than ours. It kinda looks like NAQT gave Columbia a bid in order to justify inviting Maryland, who finished behind Columbia, but who had a higher bonus conversion. You can read my new post on the Yahoo message board:
To unofficially clarify, NAQT does not have a rule that states at-large bids must be handed out in order of placement. Rather, if the field is split into playoff divisions, every team in the higher division must be invited before a lower division team receives an invitation.

Columbia had one more win than Maryland (11-2 v. 10-3) and beat Maryland head-to-head. I doubt Columbia was invited to justify inviting Maryland; rather, they were invited because they were among the top 14 or so at-large candidates.

While it is possible those 12 unmarked power tossups could have made a difference in whether you qualified outright, a bigger concern is the less than spotless keeping and compilation of statistics in the Southeast. Hopefully this is something NAQT addresses for next year's SCTs.
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Post by NotBhan »

In reply to Chris White, last year's SE Div II SCT field was much weaker than this year. Last year, the second-place team (Georgia) didn't get a bid, but their numbers were not competitive with other regions; for instance, Georgia's bonus conversion was significantly less than that of Villanova, the 7th-place team in the Mid-Atlantic. There was a large gap between the two regions last year. This year, that simply wasn't the case, based on the stats. The top 8 or 9 teams in the two regions have fairly similar numbers.

((Also, on a profoundly irrelevant note, last year's winner of the sectional was actually the UF C team, which knocked off the B team to win -- they were a less experienced team than the B team, and they didn't win the close matches in L.A. They finished 18th of 32 in the ICT, but they did beat Valencia, the #2 team.))

I don't think even for a moment that Columbia would have gotten a bid as a means of justifying bids for lower-finishing teams, since that wouldn't be necessary. As Dan Greenstein noted, NAQT can select the lower-placed team first, so long as that team didn't play in a lower playoff division. (I think they should toss out even that restriction.) And at least 2 of the last 3 years (probably all 3), NAQT has selected a lower-finishing team from a sectional over a higher-finishing team in Div I.

It may also be noted, in reply, that Lee's Athens State team has competed against Div I teams in a number of tournaments, including the GT MLK tournament and last summer's NATSSO tournament at GT, among others. That may be part of the reason for the team's improvement. They were 3-8 in last year's D2 SCT in a weaker field -- this year they were 10-2, beating good D2 teams from Furman, UF, etc.

As Dan noted, the statkeeping may have been less than spotless in the southeast this year. I did find the problem in UF's stats, sort of -- they didn't add in the individual stats for a win over Vandy where we were 5/13/1 on tossups. But if those are added in, then we have 5 tossups too many. Redistribution is one thing, but violation of tossup conversation is a problem best avoided. As I mentioned somewhere before, our actual bonus conversion should be about 20.02 rather than 22+. I don't think the stat errors were as large for other teams, though, unless the uncounted power count as a stat error.

But that's enough babbling for one message. Jeez -- 6:45am. Dave Attell's got nothin' on me.

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Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

NotBhan wrote:It may also be noted, in reply, that Lee's Athens State team has competed against Div I teams in a number of tournaments, including the GT MLK tournament and last summer's NATSSO tournament at GT, among others. That may be part of the reason for the team's improvement. They were 3-8 in last year's D2 SCT in a weaker field -- this year they were 10-2, beating good D2 teams from Furman, UF, etc.
I was referring to the region in somewhat more general terms. Looking at the results again, I concur that Athens State's willingness to compete in tougher tournaments is a main factor in what does seam to be a dramatic improvement...

As for comparing the difficulty of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast SCT's, I'd agree that the top 8 or 9, taken collectively, are pretty equal- I'd put Penn and Virginia slightly ahead of Emory, but going further down the list, Furman would probably have no trouble with Virginia Tech. I'll have to agree with Dan and note that it may very well be the scorekeeping troubles (and possibly the slow moderators) which screwed over the Southeast.
Last edited by Theory Of The Leisure Flask on Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by pakman044 »

The question then becomes, why are we doing timed rounds anyway? Is there really that much of a problem of doing a set tossup number (e.g., 20) so that readers won't have to worry about that? A lot of college students just don't get the chance to read at a lot of tournaments, and would have problems reading at untimed tournaments anyway. Having those types of readers at timed tournaments is asking for difficulties. That being said, UGA did the best they could do, but you can't spin gold out of straw. You have to have experience. Even I (who just read at my third tournament last weekend) would not feel utterly confident reading at a timed tournament (even though I am approaching NAQT's definition as an "experienced" moderator [30 untimed rounds or 12 timed]; this weekend pushed me up to around 20 untimed).

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Post by quizbowllee »

NotBhan wrote:I don't think even for a moment that Columbia would have gotten a bid as a means of justifying bids for lower-finishing teams, since that wouldn't be necessary. As Dan Greenstein noted, NAQT can select the lower-placed team first, so long as that team didn't play in a lower playoff division. (I think they should toss out even that restriction.) And at least 2 of the last 3 years (probably all 3), NAQT has selected a lower-finishing team from a sectional over a higher-finishing team in Div I.
I am aware of NAQT's policy of possibly inviting lower ranked teams over those above them. However, I can see where, to avoid Columbia pitching an absolute fit, they might've leaned in that direction in this case.
benjaminthedonkey wrote:Looking at the results again, I concur that Athens State's willingness to compete in tougher tournaments is a main factor in what does seam to be a dramatic improvement...



Yes, last year we went 3-8 at the SCT. This is after placing in the top 3 at most Div. II fields the whole year. I attribute this to lack of experience on timed rounds. Also, this year we have Kivin Childers on our team. NAQT is Kivin's format. You can see on the individual stats that Kivin helped me out tremendously. Daniel McHan, our other new member, also helped out a lote more than his individual stats show. His sports knowledge is incredible. He is also great at art.

But also, you are right - playing against Div. I teams has improved us a great deal. I will be in Div. I next year, so I have been determined to get better.

-Lee
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Post by jonpin »

benjaminthedonkey wrote: As for the competitiveness of the Southeast Div. II, I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. Only one team from there went to the ICT last year, and they finished in the bottom half of a field littered with waitlists and standbys.
I have to say I really hope there isn't something in this mystical S-value adjusting for historical strength at ICT, especially not in D-2. Last year's strength shouldn't matter at all, because (except for UCLA and CCs), no one in last year's D-2 field is in this year's D-2 field.
I'd really love for some impartial to get a hold of the S-formula and approve it as a) existing ("It's not so much a physical list as it is a philosophy") and b) being "fair" in whatever sense of "fair" makes sense. I seem to recall NAQT's stance being that the sectional a team attends should have no bearing on likelihood of getting a bid.
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Post by samer »

quizbowllee wrote:I am aware of NAQT's policy of possibly inviting lower ranked teams over those above them. However, I can see where, to avoid Columbia pitching an absolute fit, they might've leaned in that direction in this case.
NAQT does not "choose," per se, to do so. If the S-values say that team X should get in ahead of team Y, then team X will get in first.
jonpin wrote:I have to say I really hope there isn't something in this mystical S-value adjusting for historical strength at ICT, especially not in D-2. Last year's strength shouldn't matter at all, because (except for UCLA and CCs), no one in last year's D-2 field is in this year's D-2 field.
The S-values are calculated *solely* using statistics from the current sectionals.
I'd really love for some impartial to get a hold of the S-formula and approve it as a) existing ("It's not so much a physical list as it is a philosophy") and b) being "fair" in whatever sense of "fair" makes sense. I seem to recall NAQT's stance being that the sectional a team attends should have no bearing on likelihood of getting a bid.
While I cannot vouch for fairness, I can vouch for its existence. NAQT had originally planned to make it public, but decided not to do so.
samer dot ismail -at- gmail dot com / Samer Ismail, PACE co-founder, NAQT editor
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Post by BigFlax »

jonpin wrote:I have to say I really hope there isn't something in this mystical S-value adjusting for historical strength at ICT, especially not in D-2. Last year's strength shouldn't matter at all, because (except for UCLA and CCs), no one in last year's D-2 field is in this year's D-2 field.
Well, to reintroduce the college basketball comparison, you have to think that if a mid-major conference had a team win a couple games in the NCAA tournament every year, the tournament committee would be more likely to give that conference multiple bids in future years even if its top team was less dominant (i.e. the conference was more balanced, which lowers the apparent strength of top teams).

As usual, of course, this is an imperfect comparison, especially since the bonus conversion stats don't bear out that the SE looked weaker, at least at the top. All the same, I could see how the historical strength of a region might count for something. (Whether it should or not is another question entirely.) Say next year the NW sectional suddenly expanded hugely and fielded 12 teams in D2. Say Simon Fraser went 11-0 to win, and then, say, UBC had a team go 10-1, and then some other team goes 9-2, and the rest of the field falls into place along those lines. Let's say they all have reasonable bonus conversion across the nation based on their records. Is NAQT going to want to take all three of those teams? Since the NW sectional has never come close to sending a competitive team to ICT (Simon Fraser finally won two games last year, bringing their record to 2-43 in three trips, and UBC went 7-6 in Division II but picked up most of those wins against lower-rated power-matched teams and finished only 21st out of 32 anyway), it stands to reason that they might not take all three when they could take a team that maybe had slightly lesser numbers but in a region featuring a field known to be (or at least considered to be) stronger.

Strength of field - presumed or real - is going to factor in to NAQT's consideration of at-large teams. For whatever reason, they don't seem to think too much of the Southeast. As this appears to be the fastest-growing quiz bowl region in both numbers and strength, I have no doubt that this will change sooner rather than later. It clearly hasn't yet, though.
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Post by quizbowllee »

samer wrote:
quizbowllee wrote:I am aware of NAQT's policy of possibly inviting lower ranked teams over those above them. However, I can see where, to avoid Columbia pitching an absolute fit, they might've leaned in that direction in this case.
samer wrote:NAQT does not "choose," per se, to do so. If the S-values say that team X should get in ahead of team Y, then team X will get in first.
I guess my point is this: if NAQT DID decide to invite Columbia in order to justify inviting Maryland - and they did so in order to prevent Columbia from "pitching a fit," how would we ever know?

Whatever the S-value is, we at Athens State had better stats across the board than Columbia.

Even ff strength of field has come into play, NAQT needs to justify ranking 5 Mid-Atlantic teams above the 2nd place Southeast team. The stats simply do not support this... There is no way that the Mid-Atlantic SCT field was so much stronger that they merit that much favoring in NAQT's formula.
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Post by quizbowllee »

samer wrote:
quizbowllee wrote:I am aware of NAQT's policy of possibly inviting lower ranked teams over those above them. However, I can see where, to avoid Columbia pitching an absolute fit, they might've leaned in that direction in this case.
samer wrote:NAQT does not "choose," per se, to do so. If the S-values say that team X should get in ahead of team Y, then team X will get in first.
I guess my point is this: if NAQT DID decide to invite Columbia in order to justify inviting Maryland - and they did so in order to prevent Columbia from "pitching a fit," how would we ever know?

Whatever the S-value is, we at Athens State had better stats across the board than Columbia.

Even if strength of field has come into play, NAQT needs to justify ranking 5 Mid-Atlantic teams above the 2nd place Southeast team. The stats simply do not support this... There is no way that the Mid-Atlantic SCT field was so much stronger that they merit that much favoring in NAQT's formula.
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Post by quizbowllee »

sorry that last one posted twice...
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Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist »

quizbowllee wrote:
I guess my point is this: if NAQT DID decide to invite Columbia in order to justify inviting Maryland - and they did so in order to prevent Columbia from "pitching a fit," how would we ever know?

Whatever the S-value is, we at Athens State had better stats across the board than Columbia.

Even ff strength of field has come into play, NAQT needs to justify ranking 5 Mid-Atlantic teams above the 2nd place Southeast team. The stats simply do not support this... There is no way that the Mid-Atlantic SCT field was so much stronger that they merit that much favoring in NAQT's formula.
I don't want to get involved in a flame war, but (keeping in mind that I have no idea how S-values are calculated).....

Win-loss is difficult to compare across regions in the same way that a team finishing second and even third in the AL East might be still be heads and shoulders above the teams winning other divisions. If we look at bonus conversion, I would argue that a difference of 15.51 to 15.84 is relatively small and is a stat independent of competition, while a diference (52.1% to 53.0%) in percentage of tossups heard that were answered is similarly small and might not be significant if the quality of opposition is taken into account.

In terms of field bonus conversion, the Mid-Atlantic (14.67 PPB) and Southeast (14.77 PPB) were almost identical, but in terms of field tossup conversion, in the MA 79.6% of tossups were answered, compared to 73.6% in the Southeast. Measuring the standard deviation of these stats, we find that the variance from team to team was greater in the Southeast than the Mid-Atlantic.

It stands to reason, therefore, that while the Mid-Atlantic was probably a stronger field, but that there was a greater spread in abilities in the Southeast. I don't particularly feel like calculating whether or not this is more due to (relative to the region) outstanding top teams or horrible bottom teams.

My guess about NAQT's methods is that they desire to be completely value-neutral and go by what the S-value formula spits out.

I suspect that they have made adjustments to their formula to address past complaints about some teams receiving ICT bids ahead of other teams with better records in the same region. If this is the case, I think it is a reasonable thing to try, considering that in a round robin, win-loss should be a better measure of who played better than bonus conversion or any other paper stat. One way to do this mighe be for the S-value has a field strength component that incorporates the stats of teams finishing a place or two lower. I won't bore you even more with additional ways to do this that I can think of.

--Anthony, spooing out more of his pseudo-intellectual babbling
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Post by pakman044 »

looks like Athens State is making it in as the southeast's #2 D2 team. High drama at the last minute on those bid declines.

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Congrats Lee...

Post by DarthPace »

Looks like you guys will be in after all...Looks like the good of the day may just outweigh the bad of having to suffer through the unbelieveable load of garbage that is CBI...Also, your middle school team just won our tournament, and their B team came in 4th...
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Post by BigFlax »

What's up with all the declines in D-I? With eight teams still undecided, we're just two more declines away from getting a bid, and considering we went 4-12 - in a pretty strong region, I'd say, but 4-12 nonetheless - this is pretty amazing. Of course last year we got a bid outright at 6-8. Who knows what S-values lurk in the hearts of NAQT?
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Post by castrioti »

Well, for a lot of the teams that declined, there's a closer national tournament (being held at Maryland a week later). Also, $195 may neither be here nor there after you've paid airfare, but since a lot of schools tend to fund entry fees, but not travel, and entry fees are typically on the order of $80-$120, the high price may cause some student union officials to raise their eyebrows, and teams may ultimately opt for the tournament for which fees may be controlled by packet submission. If your team doesn't get funded at all, the high price would be a killer unless you were really close to St. Louis (speaking as a member of one of these teams).

--Wesley (not trying to speak for various Mid-Altantic teams, just speculating)
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Post by Chris Frankel »

Our decision to decline came down to three factors:

1. Money. Our winter high school tournament, which annually raises about $5000, completely fell through due to weather-related cancellations, so our budget was reduced to the remnants of our spring tournament earnings (~$1000 or so). Had we not hosted SCT this year, our program may very well have been in financial limbo. At any rate, even though St. Louis is a perfectly reasonable tournament site, we can't really afford the cost of plane tickets, hotel rooms, etc. We get no funding, so had we decided to go, we probably would have had to beg the dean of student activities, which I did not feel was necessary or appropriate.

2. Timing. This point isn't a condemnation of 2 day tournaments, as I understand the logistics behind having ICT that way; I'm noting that fielding a team would have been tougher since a good deal of our players had prior time commitments or just general disinterest that made them unreceptive to a 2 day tournament. Again, this comment is not a suggestion for change, just an explanation of what happened at our program this year.

3. Format. Neither of our core players (myself, and Lenny if we had decided not to go UG) particularly enjoy the questions, especially considering that we had a frustrating time at last year's ICT in that we lost a lot of one-question matches that could have swung (and often did) on a random trash/gk question or a poorly written speed check. I think the most irritating game was the one we lost to CWRU as a result of their 30'ing a bonus on "blogger" software with less than a minute to go. I also find that of many younger or more casual players in our club, the academic minded ones would rather play ACF Fall and the trashy ones would rather play TRASH. Also, a note to raise is that had we intended to send a D2 team to ICT, NAQT's poor handling of the UCLA situation probably would have been reason enough to decline a bid there. At any rate, considering that we would have to have gone well out of our way to raise funds and send a team to ICT, our general opinions on the format made it such that we would rather just skip it then deal with all the hassles necessary to get the money to go.
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Post by BigFlax »

I find it cripplingly ironic that NAQT seems to be having as much trouble filling a D1 field in the middle of the country as they did a tournament on the West Coast.
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Post by Dan Greenstein »

While St. Louis is closer to many more teams than Los Angeles, there is also more to do in Los Angeles, the weather is better, and, if a team has to ask some college bigwigs for money, a tournament in Los Angeles sounds more prestigious than a tournament in St. Louis. Add in the fact ICT was held in St. Louis just three years ago. Probably 25% of the players in the D1 field were at that ICT and maybe some of them decided it was not worth a second trip so soon.
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