2014 National Tournament: University of Central Florida

AJTheGreat1729
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Re: 2014 National Tournament: University of Central Florida

Postby AJTheGreat1729 » May 19th, 2014, 4:02 pm

I feel that the most unfortunate thing id that incidents such as this occur for too often and are swept under a rug, so to speak. Regardless of how well we did, I think that the scoring and placing of tests should be set to a higher standard.

That said, almost everyone running the National Tournament is a volunteer, and they all put an inordinate amount of effort into their tests. I do hope that no other teams ran into this sort of thing.
2014 R/S/N
Entomology 2/3/x
Road Scholar 2/3/x
Experimental 5/8/x
Team 1/2/x

“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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fantasyfan
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Re: 2014 National Tournament: University of Central Florida

Postby fantasyfan » May 19th, 2014, 4:27 pm

I would like to note that Science & Arts tied with Springhouse.
What is the tiebreaker rule for nationals? Based on medals, SAA has more, but Springhouse has the highest placing with 2nd in CJAP.

Most golds, if still tied then most silvers, if still tied most bronzes, etc.

Also, due to a scoring mixup, Science & Arts Water Quality was rescored from 32nd to 3rd(!).
Of course officially, the only scoring change is that Science & Arts gets duplicate 3rd place medals.
How did they figure out that the SAA WQ kids got 3rd place, it isn't standard practice to go back and rescore everything?
Looking forward to anatomy, protein, fossils, and optics (NYS trial) this year!

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Re: 2014 National Tournament: University of Central Florida

Postby chalker » May 19th, 2014, 5:09 pm

I feel that the most unfortunate thing id that incidents such as this occur for too often and are swept under a rug, so to speak. Regardless of how well we did, I think that the scoring and placing of tests should be set to a higher standard.

That said, almost everyone running the National Tournament is a volunteer, and they all put an inordinate amount of effort into their tests. I do hope that no other teams ran into this sort of thing.

I'm not going to get into specifics, but do want to chime in on a couple things:
  • We have a very clear policy posted on the national website: "At the end of the Science Olympiad National Awards Ceremony each team’s head coach will be provided one copy of the final scores. Places are tentative and may change if any scoring inconsistencies are brought to the attention of the arbitrators and verified within one hour after the ceremony is completed. If changes occur, the appropriate medals and trophies will be awarded. Teams will not be asked to return awards."
  • Post tournament arbitrations that result in rank / medal changing are very rare. I could probably count on one hand the number of times it's happened in all the years I've been active at a national level. Many if not all of those have been discussed in the past here on SciOly.
  • In the scoring spreadsheets I control, there are something like 4000 individual data points (e.g. raw scores, ties, tiers) that we have a little over 3 hours to collect and verify. Behind those raw scores are individual test questions, measurements, etc. For some events it's only 2 or 3 scored items, but for others it's 80-100. If we assume on average there are 40 items per team per event, that's ~160,000 scored items that need to be collected and tallied over the course of about 7 hours during the competition (note in the current situation this is where a single error occurred).
  • In any human endeavour, mistakes occur. If you look at even the biggest efforts with virtually unlimited budgets, manpower and timeframes, errors still pop up (e.g. Apollo 13 accident, Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony Rings, etc). We have policies and processes in place to try to catch and correct or minimize them, but occasionally something significant slips through the cracks, which is why we have an appeals / arbitration process to correct it after the fact.
  • I personally got up at 6AM on Saturday and didn't get back to bed until 1AM Sunday. After the awards ceremony, as usual, we had a small handful of formal appeals regarding rankings. Instead of waiting a few days to look into them, because we know how important this is to everyone, we stayed up as long as needed and thoroughly investigated and responded to each one. This is a pretty typical timeline for me for a national tournament.
  • There has been extensive interaction and discussions with the coaches currently involved, as well as the State director and National Office members. We are less than 48 hours later and those are still underway.

Student Alumni
National Event Supervisor
National Physical Sciences Rules Committee Chair

AJTheGreat1729
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Re: 2014 National Tournament: University of Central Florida

Postby AJTheGreat1729 » May 19th, 2014, 5:31 pm

Thank you very much for your input, it has cleared up a lot for me.
2014 R/S/N
Entomology 2/3/x
Road Scholar 2/3/x
Experimental 5/8/x
Team 1/2/x

“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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HeavyHitter406
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Re: 2014 National Tournament: University of Central Florida

Postby HeavyHitter406 » May 19th, 2014, 7:02 pm

We were able to correct the mistake because we arbitrated. We talked immediately after we got the scores back to the guy who was running the whole thing, and he brought it to the head people. They went back through to see if any mistakes had been made in the grading and, sure enough, our score had a "2" next to it, making it look like a "32." We are speculating that, because we are now tied with the 3rd place team, we were tied before and they placed a "2" next to our "3" to signify that there were two thirds. Later, though, they looked at it and saw "32." Of course, that is just speculation, but the important thing is that the mistake was caught.
2014 (Wright State/Lisle/Grayslake/Regionals/State/Nationals)

Water Quality: 8/1/2/1/2/3
Experimental Design: 12/1/5/5/8/37
Road Scholar: 12/2/2/3/3/11
Wheeled Vehicle: 32/6/6/2/11/5

chalker
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Re: 2014 National Tournament: University of Central Florida

Postby chalker » May 19th, 2014, 8:40 pm

.....the guy who was running the whole thing.....
FYI... I don't 'run the whole thing', just the scoring parts.....

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National Physical Sciences Rules Committee Chair

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Astronomer252
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Re: 2014 National Tournament: University of Central Florida

Postby Astronomer252 » May 19th, 2014, 9:01 pm

On a completely different topic, I want to say thank you to all the event supervisors and everyone who ran nationals and made the whole thing possible. I know that everyone who attended had such a great time, and all competitors are very grateful to all the volunteers who make it possible. Thank you!
2013-14 Placements- WSU/ Lisle/ Grayslake/ Regionals/ State/ Nationals
Solar System: 1/1/2/1/1/18
Helicopters:15/1/3/3/4/18
Dynamic Planet:4/1/1/1/3/23
Team:3/2/2/1/2/14

2014-15 Placements- Regionals/ State
Astronomy: 3/?
Dynamic Planet: 1/?
Geologic Mapping: 2/?
Team: 4/?

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Re: 2014 National Tournament: University of Central Florida

Postby Toms_42 » May 19th, 2014, 9:28 pm

While we're on the topic of appeals and arbitrations, what exactly is the process/grounds for disqualification? The event supervisor for rotor egg drop tried to DQ us due to an error somewhere in the registration process messing up the schedule. He did everything in his power to try and keep us from competing, including kicking us out of the area, laughing at our coach while explaining the situation, and - according to my hour and a half wait on the third floor - VERY resistant to sign the form to allow us to compete.

Eventually after much waiting and many trips up and down the stairs, the appeal went through and they let us drop and we got 4th.
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Re: 2014 National Tournament: University of Central Florida

Postby hc1220 » May 20th, 2014, 5:19 am

Thank you, chalker and all the other people that made the competition this well run. I was especially impressed with the event supervisors this year in my events for how well the tests were made and how strictly they followed rules. And, as always, I'm amazed and thankful for how fast the scoring was able to be done.
2014: Ladue Middle- 8th at nats!

AJTheGreat1729
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Re: 2014 National Tournament: University of Central Florida

Postby AJTheGreat1729 » May 20th, 2014, 5:28 am

Well, congratulations on 4th! Nice job.
2014 R/S/N
Entomology 2/3/x
Road Scholar 2/3/x
Experimental 5/8/x
Team 1/2/x

“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
[witty comment][/witty comment]


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