Ohio 2016

[noy_tou]
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby [noy_tou] » April 11th, 2016, 10:37 am

If I may quote the Code of Ethics and General Rules, I think Centerville crossed the line.
-"The goal of competition is to give one's best effort while displaying honesty, integrity, and good sportsmanship." My middle school band teacher made us learn the best definition of integrity, and I never forgot it. Integrity means doing the right thing when nobody else is watching. Let's think if Centerville was doing the right thing knowing that nobody was watching, up until they were caught (and on that note, everyone is lucky that their actions were photographed so it isn't a "he said, she said" type of matter and everyone making this decision knows exactly what Centerville was doing).
-"Teams are expected to make an honest effort to follow the rules and the spirit of the problem (not interpret the rules so they have an unfair advantage)." As Chalker pointed out numerous times, this debate is a gray area because it was not explicitly stated in the rules either way. This logically means that Centerville has interpreted the rules. And they have, without a doubt, interpreted the rules in their favor.
-I looked up where Centerville's homeroom was, and it is notably not in the same building as the EV site. This means, they specifically targeted that building in order to make modifications to their vehicle.
-In the student's pledge, it says, "My actions will exemplify the proud spirit of my school, team, and state." I know for a fact that Centerville will carry this label for a while, and these students definitely did not make their school and Ohio proud on Saturday.
-In the coach's pledge, it says, "On behalf of the coaches and assistants at this tournament, I pledge to encourage honesty and respect for tournament personnel, our fellow coaches, and other team members. We want our efforts to bring honor to our community and school." To be completely honest, I am waiting for a Centerville coach to stand up and say "You know, we did go outside the rules. It is time to give up and do the right thing." I am amazed that there is even an argument that Centerville did not cheat (see above). I can't believe the coaches are continuing this debate when so many people believe they did the wrong thing.
I am fully supporting Mentor on this one, and I think the right thing to do would be allowing Mentor to compete at nationals. I don't see how anyone with either a logical head or a moral heart can side with Centerville, knowing the Code of Ethics that everyone agreed to prohibits that kind of behavior.

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby samlan16 » April 11th, 2016, 12:05 pm

I am going to throw this out there, but do we know if they were doing it to find out the target distance? If that is the case, Centerville most certainly crossed the line and cheated.

However, if they were only doing it to "warm up" for the competition, why are we disputing this? Have we not, at some time or another, tested our devices before impound to make sure nothing broke on the way to competition? If they were testing in another building to try it out on different surfaces, they could have been innocently checking that the car ran as intended on different floors. Tile has a different frictional constant than wood, which has a different frictional constant than concrete, which has a different frictional constant that vinyl, etc.

I'm not saying that we should assume that Centerville's motive was the latter and we should move on; rather, I am saying that we should be considering all possibilities and not jumping to the conclusion that they cheated. Yes, I realize that there was a video of them practicing, but did any of their members say in it that they were cheating? I also realize it could be said that Centerville took advantage of a loophole, though at the same time it could be said that the other teams forgot about the general rules. In the end, it's a matter of perspective and of fact, not of assumption.

We are predisposed to assuming the worst about others. Indeed, we also like to hurl insults at successful people in vain attempts to bring them down to our level. But before we conclude that Centerville cheated and does not deserve their invitation to nationals, it would be worthwhile to consider that they were simply trying to succeed and did not mean any harm.

That being said, I'm not taking sides. Both possibilities of innocence and guilt appear equally plausible, but taking sides would result in bias.
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby [noy_tou] » April 11th, 2016, 12:15 pm

I am going to throw this out there, but do we know if they were doing it to find out the target distance? If that is the case, Centerville most certainly crossed the line and cheated.

However, if they were only doing it to "warm up" for the competition, why are we disputing this? Have we not, at some time or another, tested our devices before impound to make sure nothing broke on the way to competition? If they were testing in another building to try it out on different surfaces, they could have been innocently checking that the car ran as intended on different floors. Tile has a different frictional constant than wood, which has a different frictional constant than concrete, which has a different frictional constant that vinyl, etc.

I'm not saying that we should assume that Centerville's motive was the latter and we should move on; rather, I am saying that we should be considering all possibilities and not jumping to the conclusion that they cheated. Yes, I realize that there was a video of them practicing, but did any of their members say in it that they were cheating? I also realize it could be said that Centerville took advantage of a loophole, though at the same time it could be said that the other teams forgot about the general rules. In the end, it's a matter of perspective and of fact, not of assumption.

We are predisposed to assuming the worst about others. Indeed, we also like to hurl insults at successful people in vain attempts to bring them down to our level. But before we conclude that Centerville cheated and does not deserve their invitation to nationals, it would be worthwhile to consider that they were simply trying to succeed and did not mean any harm.
I can try to clear up some of these questions, if you don't mind.
1) Centerville did not know the distance at that time because the room was not set up (from what I understand).
2) However, the flooring was exactly the same in the hallway and in the room, which I why I am extremely suspicious at the fact that they happened to decide to test their vehicle in that building, knowing that the floor would be the same (there are numerous pictures of the room, and I believe that the door was unlocked for that room and some of the ones around it for at least part of the day). They went out of their way to bring their vehicles to that building to test, what logically makes sense to me, the friction between their wheels and the floor.
3) Finally, even if they weren't cheating, there is a huge ethical and moral problem with what happened. Yes, you can look at it from both perspectives (and I fully recommend doing so). But, I think everyone can determine that those students went to that building on Friday with the intent to bend the rules as much as possible to give them an unfair advantage, and I don't think that should be rewarded. I say this with respect towards everyone involved.

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby SB_3778 » April 11th, 2016, 12:34 pm

Wouldn't it just be logical to allow Mentor to go to Nationals as well as Solon and Centerville? I am pretty sure all of this arguing would not be occurring (for the most part) if Mentor was able to go.

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby windu34 » April 11th, 2016, 1:14 pm

Wouldn't it just be logical to allow Mentor to go to Nationals as well as Solon and Centerville? I am pretty sure all of this arguing would not be occurring (for the most part) if Mentor was able to go.
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby SB_3778 » April 11th, 2016, 1:19 pm

Wouldn't it just be logical to allow Mentor to go to Nationals as well as Solon and Centerville? I am pretty sure all of this arguing would not be occurring (for the most part) if Mentor was able to go.
Only two teams can attend Nationals from Ohio C
I understand that this is the rule, but can't an exception be made given the extraordinary circumstances?

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby ampy1234567 » April 11th, 2016, 1:31 pm

Wouldn't it just be logical to allow Mentor to go to Nationals as well as Solon and Centerville? I am pretty sure all of this arguing would not be occurring (for the most part) if Mentor was able to go.
Only two teams can attend Nationals from Ohio C
I understand that this is the rule, but can't an exception be made given the extraordinary circumstances?
Have to agree, given that it's probably the most fair way to settle this. I doubt that it will actually happen though...
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby Unome » April 11th, 2016, 1:31 pm

I haven't looked at the trial rules, but judging by the fact that it's even there at all, I'm thinking Optics will be getting significant changes for next year.
I'm curious as to why you say this. Optics was very well liked and run last time it was in 4 years ago. It's scheduled to come back next year and the rules will likely be identical to before. Just because we run it as a trial doesn't mean there's concern with it - sometimes it just because it's a cool event we want teams to be able to experience. Is there something that happened related to the event that I'm not aware of?
That was the only reason; I guess I just hear more about trials being used as ways to test new or modified events more than they appear just because (or more like people don't really talk about them that much on here unless they're likely to become real events).
Only two teams can attend Nationals from Ohio C
I understand that this is the rule, but can't an exception be made given the extraordinary circumstances?
Have to agree, given that it's probably the most fair way to settle this. I doubt that it will actually happen though...
This is one thing on which an exception will most likely never be made:
1) Adding an extra team (especially this late in the season) would mess with scheduling and such at Nationals.
2) There's substantial precedent against this (see the state pages on the wiki for more info). The current system for allocating national bids has been in place for 30 years with (as far as I'm aware) no exceptions made.
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby gavinnupp » April 11th, 2016, 1:37 pm

Wouldn't it just be logical to allow Mentor to go to Nationals as well as Solon and Centerville? I am pretty sure all of this arguing would not be occurring (for the most part) if Mentor was able to go.
Nah, no matter how you count it (sticking to end of day numbers, I counted w/WIDI w/penalty, w/WIDI w/0penalty, w/0WIDI w/penalty, w/0WIDI w/0Penalty)
Centerville won over mentor. Mentor did not win. Mentor does not get to go to Nationals simply because there was a grey area in the rules and an incorrect tally.
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby BelieveinSteven » April 11th, 2016, 1:53 pm

I'm not qualified to determine whether or not Centerville broke the specific event rules, but I do think that they are crossing ethical lines here. The Code of Ethics and General Rules states, "The goal of competition is to give one's best effort while displaying honesty, integrity, and good sportsmanship." Honesty, integrity, and good sportsmanship involve adhering to the rules, not finding ways to push the rules and take advantage of the areas where they are unclear.

Centerville has a lot of experience in Science Olympiad. Furthermore, if their team is anything like mine, they probably review the event rules at multiple points throughout the year to make sure that they are staying within legal boundaries. I would be shocked if they didn't review the event rules before a high-stakes competition such as States. Therefore, I find it very unlikely that they were unaware of the event rules or didn't realize that their actions were questionable.
If Centerville hadn't believed that testing in that hallway would give them an advantage, they wouldn't have gone out of their way to do so. But it is very likely that they knew that this would give them an (unfair) advantage, and they decided it was okay to sacrifice the spirit of the competition to gain this advantage.

If they wanted to test their vehicle in this manner, they should have submitted a question to those who wrote the event rules or asked for a rule clarification and waited for a confirmation that it was legal to practice in the adjacent hallway. They had plenty of time to do this before state competition.

I think Centerville is in the wrong because instead of pointing out this vague area of the event rules so it could be corrected, they simply decided to take advantage of it. And regardless of whether or not it is addressed in the rules, testing on basically the same floor surface that competition will be held on, even if it is not in the same room, clearly gives a team an unfair advantage.


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