Ohio 2016

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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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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby Unome » April 12th, 2016, 2:06 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.
I don't see how this (the state pooling) is any less logistically difficult than national-regionals, especially as the pooling will likely change every year.
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby Jaol » April 12th, 2016, 2:12 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.
What would happen to Alaska or Hawai'i? Would they have to travel to some random out-of-the-way state?
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby Unome » April 12th, 2016, 2:15 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.
What would happen to Alaska or Hawai'i? Would they have to travel to some random out-of-the-way state?
It would also become extremely cost-prohibitive for many teams in the Rocky Mountains area, where some states are under a fourth the size needed to send a team to Nationals. Additionally, states would have to be pooling during the season, since it would depend on their team registration that specific year.
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby MrPillowcase » April 12th, 2016, 2:30 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.
What would happen to Alaska or Hawai'i? Would they have to travel to some random out-of-the-way state?
I think that one of the factors that should be considered as well should be how well the teams regularly do at a national level. Certain states are going to have a much higher level of competition than other states, and if the teams they send on to Nationals regularly place within the top 10, I think that state should be awarded with an additional spot the following year. I think there should be a cap at 4 teams per state, and the teams sent from their state would have to continue to place within the top 10 in order to keep those extra team spots the following year. That way, it would allow states with a high level of competition and skill to send a few more teams. Of course, the state would have to continue to place within the top 10 to keep the extra spots the following year. So, if a state sent three teams and one did not place within the top 10 the state would lose that spot for the following year. Of course, this could also mean that two states could send 4 teams each and have all 4 teams continue to place in the top 10, but I think that would be very unlikely. And then, at the most, only up to three states at once could be sending an additional team to Nationals. So maybe make it the top 15? I don't know, this is just an idea I wanted to throw out there.

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby r4nd0m3d » April 12th, 2016, 5:50 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.
What would happen to Alaska or Hawai'i? Would they have to travel to some random out-of-the-way state?
I think that one of the factors that should be considered as well should be how well the teams regularly do at a national level. Certain states are going to have a much higher level of competition than other states, and if the teams they send on to Nationals regularly place within the top 10, I think that state should be awarded with an additional spot the following year. I think there should be a cap at 4 teams per state, and the teams sent from their state would have to continue to place within the top 10 in order to keep those extra team spots the following year. That way, it would allow states with a high level of competition and skill to send a few more teams. Of course, the state would have to continue to place within the top 10 to keep the extra spots the following year. So, if a state sent three teams and one did not place within the top 10 the state would lose that spot for the following year. Of course, this could also mean that two states could send 4 teams each and have all 4 teams continue to place in the top 10, but I think that would be very unlikely. And then, at the most, only up to three states at once could be sending an additional team to Nationals. So maybe make it the top 15? I don't know, this is just an idea I wanted to throw out there.
That's the exact same idea I had mentioned years ago. It seems the least disruptive and easiest to enforce as it would not require decisions to be made during the competition year based on the number of registered schools in each state. The issue becomes which states lose bids and how are they going to engage the interest of all their teams with one fewer or potentially no bid. Would it be merit based? If so, would Tennesse, who finished 56th and has 135 teams at state be in danger of losing their only bid? That could discourage a whole state's program. I've come to like the idea of Regionals -> Sectionals (1-4/state) -> state/multi-state (20-30) -> Nationals. Each Region and Section receives an automatic bid to the next level with additional bids dependent on the previous year's performance.

None of these options are perfect as if you want to reward top states like NY, OH, CA, IL, MI, PA, TX, some other states will lose out. And not rewarding them will inevitably lead to more highly-publicized situations like this.

Nationals first moved to 60 teams in '01,'02,'05,'06. '03-'04 had only 54 teams for some reason. Since there are 6 time slots, there's no reason they can't handle 11 teams per slot as opposed to 10 to increase the total number of teams to 66. For example, WI state (site of Nationals this year) had 5 slots of 12 teams each and I'm sure plenty of lower level competitions had more per time slot. The only difficulty with time would be the flying events but they could conceivably fix that by including the 7-8am impound slot since those events don't' require impound.


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