The Ohio Quizbowl Forum

Honest Question About OAC
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Author:  ThePocketProtector [ Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Honest Question About OAC

This is probably going to result in me run out of town on a rail, but that has never stopped me before. This is a sincere question with zero politics behind it. What is the goal of the OAC and the regional and state tournaments that it runs? The way I see it there are many, many possible correct answers. Is it to ensure that the top 12 teams make it to state? Is it just to ensure that the best team gets crowned at the state tournament? Is it to make enough money to pay for the OAC questions to be written so you can do the other goals? Is it to ensure that all of the 70 to 100 teams have an enjoyable experience? There are obviously many more possible answers. Even after you decide on the goals, is there a hierarchy to the goals? If you have to choose between the goals, which is the last one that gets sacrificed.

This is a question I have wondered often in the last 4 years of attending meetings. This isn’t a question that has occured to me just now. Maybe everyone knows the answer except me. That wouldn’t be a new experience for me. Some of the comments I have seen online recently make me question that everyone agrees on the goals. In a perfect world you wouldn’t have to choose, but it seems like sometimes you have to choose which is the top priority.

I’m aware of the OAC constitution, but it is much more vague than what I am thinking of as goals. It is a fine document, but it would be hard to use that to inform specific decisions.

I’m going to say this one last time. This is not asked for any reason other than I think it is important. Please don’t ignore this because it came from me. I think it is something that should be discussed even if I never hear the answer and it is done behind closed doors.

If you read any of this as “Josh doesn’t think OAC has a purpose,” then you are very much not reading what I said and you don’t know me very well. I'm asking because I care.

I’ll show myself out. Please be gentle Tom...

Author:  rmaupin [ Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honest Question About OAC


I appreciate your questions, but it would probably be easier to answer if we knew if you had any specific concerns about how the OAC tournaments are organized.

From my perspective, its a multi-tiered tournament structure that is designed to try to get the best 96+ teams in Ohio to compete for a championship (just like any other statewide competitive sport).

I know that not every school in Ohio likes (or even competes) using this format, which in my opinion, is a shame because the OAC format (though not perfect) has some advantages over the NAQT format including:
More opportunities for substitutions, thereby allowing for players to better specialize, increasing the likely number of players to play, and requiring better coaching to determine lineups (as opposed to NAQT where you basically just throw in your top 4 players, and let them go).

Once again, if you have some specific concerns about the tournament, rules, structure, etc., just go ahead and post them, and I'm sure you'll get an adequate response. If nothing else, I'll try my best to respond.

Author:  ThePocketProtector [ Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honest Question About OAC

I decided it is too hard to explain. I'm out.

Author:  trbenedict [ Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Honest Question About OAC

I don't mean to hijack Josh's thread, and my points below have nothing to do with any conversations I've had with him (although I always enjoy seeing him at tournaments and have a lot of appreciation for everything he does around the circuit...props to you, Josh!). But here are some takes of my own, keeping in mind that it seems like the thread is about OAC the organization that sponsors Regionals and State, and not the OAC game format:

1. The primary issue I have with OAC Regionals, which is (I'm pretty sure) the most active weekend of quizbowl in the state, is that a bunch of teams see their day end after 2-4 games. Now, the teams in the field have qualified for Regionals, so it's not like this is the only time they're going to play quizbowl all year, but with a lot of squads that don't play Saturday invitationals every weekend, Regionals is a fairly significant opportunity to create ties in the quizbowl community. Rather than play double-elimination, I'd rather see a format like other Saturday tournaments or even OAC State: seeded prelim pools of ~6 teams, lunch/rebracket, playoff pools of ~4 teams, end of day. Everybody would be guaranteed eight games, and you'd need 10 packets plus tiebreakers. I'm aware that this requires two more full packets from the writers, who are already doing a ton of heavy lifting, and that it might be weird for scheduling (given that some regions had 13 teams and some had a full slate of 16, and to do a schedule like I'm talking about seems to assume 12 or 24 teams to get the 5+3 breakdown). I just feel like it's a shame that right now there are eight-plus quality packets being written and some teams only get to hear two or three of those great packets, which represent the ne plus ultra of OAC-format writing (no shade to all the folks who put in so much time to write league questions and the like, of course).

2. The bracketing can get weird, which is related to point 1 above. Northmont this year, who lost to Beavercreek in the top bracket, then saw them again in the bottom bracket and took their second defeat, is probably the best example of this, since they lost twice to the same team, who then went on to win the entire tournament (not a typical result, but not too outlandish either). You could argue that since Northmont didn't play Miami Valley, who ended up finishing second, that they didn't have as fair a shot as they should have to make State (since the transitive property is not the best way to figure out which teams are best). With a set prelim-playoff round robin schedule, all teams in the top bracket would play each other at least once. Another way to think about fixing this might be having the regional tournament directors, or OAC committee as a whole, seed the brackets 1-16 for prelims. Again, I know this is harder and a big departure from the traditional structure of Regionals, but we have much better access to stats than we have in previous eras.

3. The regions can get skewed. I don't mean to rehash the old "this fourth-place team out of Stronger Region would be champions of Weaker Region" argument, but to use an example from this year, Centerville (suburb south of Dayton) ended up being sent to the Northwest as an at-large, despite being geographically West Central, and ended up as NW Regional Champion. This is to say nothing of the combinations that take place in the Southeast, which could maybe be renamed South Central due to the combination of the Columbus and Waverly/Chillicothe/Hillsboro/etc. circuits.

Overall, my perception is that Regionals is designed to find the top two teams from each tournament site and to send those teams to State. As Ron mentions, this is no different from a district/sectional tournament for basketball or football or some such. In those tournament formats as well, there is a win-or-go-home stipulation, which is also reflected in OAC Regionals. I would say the Regionals tournament structure usually does a good job of finding the top two teams at a tournament site (although those might not add up to the best 12 teams in the state), and, with the new seeding procedures at State, the State tournament will likely do an even better job of taking those 12 teams and turning them into 4 and then 2 and then 1. I also don't believe any of the points above are breaking new ground, but are things about the OAC postseason that have been pointed out before.

This, again, is separate from OAC game format, which to me primarily offers teams 1) full collaboration at all times, putting in a potential safety net on tossups and an emphasis on the entire team's pooled knowledge base, and 2) guaranteed team points in the team questions/alphabet round (whereas, in tossup-bonus, you have to get the tossup to hear the bonus). You also know in the category round what the categories will be, which I guess helps with specialization, although at the two OAC postseason tournaments you can't sub a new specialist in or out until after the category round is over.

Author:  ThePocketProtector [ Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honest Question About OAC

Hijack away. I'd left it for dead. I agree with pretty much everything you said. This is especially true of teams being guaranteed more games.

Your kind words are much appreciated.

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