Ohio 2016

trailing12
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby trailing12 » April 12th, 2016, 6:18 am

I for one am sickened over this whole thing. I think the real question should be (and I feel qualified to have an opinion as I am a Mentor parent) "How can we make sure such a heart wrenching, careless mistake, never ever happens again at any invitational, let alone states?" I am so very, very sad for these Mentor kids that we are even in this situation. Why are they being made to feel they need to defend anything? They worked as hard as anyone there and were made to believe they did it!
I appreciate you coming here to comment and again apologize for the emotional rollercoaster my mistake caused. I'm not sure why you said the Mentor kids are being made to defend anything, as I haven't seen ANY accusations against anyone from Mentor. Can you please clarify this?

Sure. I was responding to those people who posted "we should get over it" and "Move on". We will move on but we are allowed to be upset. Again, I know the error was not made on purpose and I applaud you taking the responsibility as a great leader does. However, we will feel the pain until we don't and I will defend the right do so.
We watched them cheer and celebrate in tears with teammates, friends and family only to have that joy ripped away! and why? because you said they won and then changed your mind! They were so close they held the second place trophy in their hands, dancing and taking photos only to listen in heartbreak to a grown woman yelling that their team "DID NOT EARN THE SECOND PLACE TROPHY!"
I didn't witness what you stated about a woman yelling at the team, but have high confidence it wasn't someone associated with the tournament since we were all huddled with the coaches for a long time. I'll also point out that Mentor is keeping ALL the trophies and medals they were handed at the ceremony. We never ask for teams / students to return medals. Additional appropriate medals / trophies will be ordered for Centerville to have.

The children earned the metals so I can't imagine anyone would suggest they lose those. As for the trophy, I really wasn't suggesting we keep we what we didn't earn. But I'll leave that for others to debate. I was sharing details of the painful event from a parents point of view so the committee would see the importance of putting steps in place to hopefully avoid a repeat of such a sad occurrence.
So, while you worry yourselves over the fact that you dare not let more than two teams from Ohio go to Nationals, try to find it within yourselves to put policies in place that guard against this hurt in the future. I truly know this error was not made on purpose. But just like you are so very sure the penalty for doing something questionable at states is only five points, be very sure that Centerville has the right scores in the future because if not, another innocent school will suffer.
As I indicated previously in this thread, whether 2 or 3 teams from Ohio can go to Nationals is purely left up to the National Office. I can only advocate for it, which I have strongly. No-one in Ohio has any actual ability to make the decision.

I'd love for there to be a way I can assure you (and everyone) that there will never be a mistake in the future, but the reality is it's just not possible. Science Olympiad tournaments are severely resource constrained in many ways:
-the majority of the ~200 people helping run a typical tournament are unpaid volunteers that aren't necessarily highly trained, and virtually every one at some point handles raw data that is used for scoring purposes
-there is very limited funding available that can be applied to technology (hardware / software / etc) to aide in the scoring process
-there are ~2,000 individual ranks to calculate, using ~100,000 raw data points (e.g. individual question answer, device measurements, etc)
-there is typically only ~3 hours between when the events end and the awards ceremony starts during which we have to process all that data

We do have a series of checks and balances built into the scoring process (if you are interested you can read about it here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/soscor ... f/download ) and are always open to concrete suggestions and ideas on how to improve the process.

I totally get it. Everyone on our team volunteers as well. And we work through every error to ensure it doesn't happen again. Thanks for all you do. I do appreciate your work. Being a volunteer is a thankless job but again, we should always continue to work towards improvement. Thanks for answering my concerns.
Out of curiosity I wanted to ask if the national team limit for Ohio could theoretically be raised by the national coordinator given the situation. I feel as though if there was ever a time to raise that limit, now would be that time.
Anything is theoretically possible by the National Office. But as I and others have pointed out, similar situations have occurred in the past in other states (and have been documented on this site and elsewhere. They have a policy and process they abide by, not to mention the fact that we are just a few weeks away from a tournament that has taken over 2 years for the local people to prepare all the logistics for, most of which are finalized at this point.
I simply can't understand how their actions can be rewarded, because that makes absolutely no sense to me.
I think this is the crux of the differences in opinions. Many people are saying Centerville is 'being rewarded'. Others, including myself, are saying they were penalized appropriately, it just so happens that still results in them going to Nationals. As I stated at the very start of this thread, it comes down to debating the magnitude of an arbitrarily set penalty.
Chalker mentioned that they were down the hall and around the corner from the room, so I think that shows they didn't want to be seen when people were going around to the different buildings to find their location.
To be clear, I didn't state that, the Centerville coaches stated that on their appeals form. In reality they weren't 'around the corner', but 'past a corner'. The picture I saw was taken from the vantage point of the doorway of the event room. Anybody who went to look at the room would have obviously seen them. They were clearly not trying to hide.
they clearly went into that building to gain that advantage. They point out rule 4f, "on or adjacent to the track surface". The track surface was the same where they were testing it. I am confused why that part of the question is up for debate there.
The part under debate is more focused on the 'between the Starting and Target lines' part of 4.f. Those didn't exist at the time they were in the hallway, and even once they did exist, their location wasn't even remotely close to being between the lines.
And, I would like to add that any part of this comment, my past comments, or any possible future comments that seem derogatory or disrespectful is not written with that intent. I am commenting solely for the purpose of promoting honest and clean debate, not anything to drag others down. Perhaps in the heat of my comment typing my message came off more malicious than I intended it to be, and I fully apologize for any confusion or harm that may have caused.
Thanks for clarifying that.
Does it suck to give a team joy and then take it away? Yes, absolutely. But it's not okay to point the finger at specific people or teams for letting it happen, because in the end, they're all human. We make mistakes, and try to atone for them the best we can.
Personally, given the set of circumstances, I think the directors and supervisors did the best possible job they could have. And I applaud chalker for doing so much more than he needs to and addressing everyone's concerns, and I really think we ought to be showing him more gratitude for being so accessible as opposed to insinuating he is corrupt or at fault, or emphasizing how upset everyone is.
I understand that and I feel you are welcome to your opinion. However, until you are in our specific shoes, I'm not really interested in what you think.

To be clear again: the scoring mistake is all mine and mine alone. I'm completely responsible and have no issue with people pointing that out. I also fully understand why so many of these questions and topics are being brought up, and don't fault anyone for trying to explore all possible avenues. I hope my responses have been helpful to the overall situation and in particular to the Mentor students.
Thank you. Yes, I feel better having been listened to and responded to. These are great kids and whatever the final decision is, these kids will get over it and eventually they will move on! Over the years our Mentor teams have become quite close with many of the teammates on both the Solon and Centerville teams. I have not heard one negative comment directed towards any of the teams and for that I am very proud. I've always been extremely proud of the SO community. I wish all the teams best of luck at Nationals.

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby MrPillowcase » April 12th, 2016, 8:44 am

I think it is high time that Ohio sent three teams to Nationals. I realize that this would take a few years to get fixed, but the sheer level of talent in Ohio leads me to believe that Ohio deserves an extra spot. Heck, California gets to send four teams (yes, I realize they have two separate State tournaments).
I am not going to argue against your point, but in fairness, I want to point out that California only sends two teams per division: one from North and one from South. So both Ohio and California send the same number of teams.
I did not realize that California only sent one team from each state competition, but having two separate state competitions in itself caused the confusion. That being said, is there a known amount of teams that are attending Nationals, as well as how teams many from each state are going?

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby maxxxxx » April 12th, 2016, 9:52 am

I think it is high time that Ohio sent three teams to Nationals. I realize that this would take a few years to get fixed, but the sheer level of talent in Ohio leads me to believe that Ohio deserves an extra spot. Heck, California gets to send four teams (yes, I realize they have two separate State tournaments).
I am not going to argue against your point, but in fairness, I want to point out that California only sends two teams per division: one from North and one from South. So both Ohio and California send the same number of teams.
I did not realize that California only sent one team from each state competition, but having two separate state competitions in itself caused the confusion. That being said, is there a known amount of teams that are attending Nationals, as well as how teams many from each state are going?
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby Schrodingerscat » April 12th, 2016, 9:56 am

I think it is high time that Ohio sent three teams to Nationals. I realize that this would take a few years to get fixed, but the sheer level of talent in Ohio leads me to believe that Ohio deserves an extra spot. Heck, California gets to send four teams (yes, I realize they have two separate State tournaments).
I am not going to argue against your point, but in fairness, I want to point out that California only sends two teams per division: one from North and one from South. So both Ohio and California send the same number of teams.
I did not realize that California only sent one team from each state competition, but having two separate state competitions in itself caused the confusion. That being said, is there a known amount of teams that are attending Nationals, as well as how teams many from each state are going?
Yes. There are always 60 teams invited to nationals per division. Each state is entitled to send one team, but any bid not used by a state is returned to the pool. The remaining ~11-12 bids per division are redistributed as one to each of the states with the most teams registered (in each division separately).

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby dholdgreve » April 12th, 2016, 11:20 am

I believe Nationals is consistently 60 teams in each Division, although the numbers from each state can change... It is my understanding that all 50 States now have active Science Olympiad teams, and the 10 states with the most teams registered are invited to send a second team. No States have ever been invited to send more than 2, that I've ever heard (Allen?). To host more than that, would be a real challenge... this past weekend, we had 40 teams represented at Ohio State, in each division. This broke down to 3 periods for each event (except Disease Detectives). Especially for events that are run in stations, like Crave the Wave, where a station is required for each team in the time slot, this amounted to 14 stations. When divided into the elongated 60 minute time slots, it worked out to 4 minutes per station. Even with 60 teams, this would increase the number of stations to 20, or the number of periods to 4. If stations are increased to 20, they now have only 3 minutes per station... Hardly worth sitting down for.

Personally, I'd prefer to see State competitions divided Sectional and State Championships. Then on to Nationally divided Regional Championships, with 3% of the number of State teams advancing to a Nationally Sanctioned Regional Competition (Similar to the NCAA tournament, or Little League World Series). A state like Ohio, with approximately 140 teams, might send 4 or 5 teams to "Regionals." Each Regional would be limited to a max of 40 teams, but you may have as many Regions as needed... Great Lakes Region, New England, Southeast, etc. The 3 or 4 top teams from each region then compete in the granddaddy of them all... Nationals! In this way, the top teams advance, not the top teams from each state, as it is currently, so States that are not as strong, would likely not advance past the Regional level, while other States may advance 3 or even 4 teams to the national level.

There are States out there with fewer than 10 teams per division that are offered a seat at the National table year after year, only to be embarrassed by the level of competition seen there, while teams like Tower Heights and Mentor can only watch. If the Science Olympiad program is to continue to grow, accommodations must be made for teams like these. The answer cannot be to send more teams to Nationals; there are already too many there. The answer cannot be to "steal" the cede of lesser state, because another team is judged to be more worthy, or why would they compete at all? The only answer is to add another level of competition between State and Nationals, so that any teams like I mentioned have a reasonable chance to advance... Yes, this would be a monumental undertaking, but if the NCAA and LLWS can do it, with all the brain power that exists in our group, I think we could figure it out!
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby BelieveinSteven » April 12th, 2016, 12:12 pm

I believe Nationals is consistently 60 teams in each Division, although the numbers from each state can change... It is my understanding that all 50 States now have active Science Olympiad teams, and the 10 states with the most teams registered are invited to send a second team. No States have ever been invited to send more than 2, that I've ever heard (Allen?). To host more than that, would be a real challenge... this past weekend, we had 40 teams represented at Ohio State, in each division. This broke down to 3 periods for each event (except Disease Detectives). Especially for events that are run in stations, like Crave the Wave, where a station is required for each team in the time slot, this amounted to 14 stations. When divided into the elongated 60 minute time slots, it worked out to 4 minutes per station. Even with 60 teams, this would increase the number of stations to 20, or the number of periods to 4. If stations are increased to 20, they now have only 3 minutes per station... Hardly worth sitting down for.

Personally, I'd prefer to see State competitions divided Sectional and State Championships. Then on to Nationally divided Regional Championships, with 3% of the number of State teams advancing to a Nationally Sanctioned Regional Competition (Similar to the NCAA tournament, or Little League World Series). A state like Ohio, with approximately 140 teams, might send 4 or 5 teams to "Regionals." Each Regional would be limited to a max of 40 teams, but you may have as many Regions as needed... Great Lakes Region, New England, Southeast, etc. The 3 or 4 top teams from each region then compete in the granddaddy of them all... Nationals! In this way, the top teams advance, not the top teams from each state, as it is currently, so States that are not as strong, would likely not advance past the Regional level, while other States may advance 3 or even 4 teams to the national level.

There are States out there with fewer than 10 teams per division that are offered a seat at the National table year after year, only to be embarrassed by the level of competition seen there, while teams like Tower Heights and Mentor can only watch. If the Science Olympiad program is to continue to grow, accommodations must be made for teams like these. The answer cannot be to send more teams to Nationals; there are already too many there. The answer cannot be to "steal" the cede of lesser state, because another team is judged to be more worthy, or why would they compete at all? The only answer is to add another level of competition between State and Nationals, so that any teams like I mentioned have a reasonable chance to advance... Yes, this would be a monumental undertaking, but if the NCAA and LLWS can do it, with all the brain power that exists in our group, I think we could figure it out!

This would be challenging, but not impossible. I think that this is a very good solution to a very important problem :) It's a good way to ensure that the teams who advance to nationals are actually qualified, and those who are qualified to compete at nationals will actually get a chance to

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby Schrodingerscat » April 12th, 2016, 12:56 pm

I was thinking about this earlier. This has been long discussed, and I think the conventional top-down approach is unlikely to ever happen. However, I am now curious whether a bottom-up approach could work. Would states be allowed to voluntarily enter a compact to pool their nationals bids and redistribute them via an additional tournament? However, even if this were allowed, there are still plenty of reasons why it would be hard to get any group of states to prototype it.

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby Unome » April 12th, 2016, 1:23 pm

It is my understanding that all 50 States now have active Science Olympiad teams, and the 10 states with the most teams registered are invited to send a second team. No States have ever been invited to send more than 2, that I've ever heard (Allen?). To host more than that, would be a real challenge... this past weekend, we had 40 teams represented at Ohio State, in each division. This broke down to 3 periods for each event (except Disease Detectives). Especially for events that are run in stations, like Crave the Wave, where a station is required for each team in the time slot, this amounted to 14 stations. When divided into the elongated 60 minute time slots, it worked out to 4 minutes per station. Even with 60 teams, this would increase the number of stations to 20, or the number of periods to 4. If stations are increased to 20, they now have only 3 minutes per station... Hardly worth sitting down for.
Currently Vermont doesn't have a state organization, and New Hampshire declined it's Div B nationals bid (not sure whether this was as a state or the winning schools did). In 1985 (or whenever the first year at Nationals was) Michigan sent three teams in each Division; that was the last (and only, as far as I'm aware) time a state got more than two national bids.

Completely agree that 3 minutes isn't worth sitting down for (I rarely sit down when taking station tests), but if you're implying that it's too short, why would that be the case (not that familiar with how Crave the Wave is run, so I'm going off of my experience in Fossils).
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby BelieveinSteven » April 12th, 2016, 1:44 pm

My station events usually have stations that are only 2 to 2.5 minutes long

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby jbt22 » April 12th, 2016, 2:03 pm

According the national Science Olympiad member map, there are 7338 teams (both B and C). But let’s just do a quick exercise and assume that all 7338 are C teams. As there are 60 spots at nationals, this corresponds to approximately 122 teams per nationals spot. I believe that, fundamentally, we would like to equalize the level of competition for each available nationals spot (based on the number of teams). Consequently, it does not make sense to distribute a nationals spot to any state with less than 122 teams. Rather, I think it would be sensible to distribute spots according to this benchmark.

For example, Ohio would receive 2 teams because their 282 teams divided by 122 teams per spot is approximately 2.3 (rounded -> 2 teams). As another example, Michigan would receive 4 teams because their 532 teams divided by 122 teams per spot is approximately 4.3 (rounded -> 4 teams). Any state with less than 122 teams would need to compete in a pooled competition with one or more nearby states such that total number of teams of the pool is greater than 122. So, for example, Minnesota (109 teams) could compete with Iowa (34 teams) in a multi-state competition for one nationals spot.

I believe this proposal is fair and is the least disruptive of alternatives. As far as I am aware, the “national-regional” competitions proposed above are difficult logistically and financially for many teams as well as the national Science Olympiad committee.


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