Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby eak227 » March 16th, 2009, 9:58 pm

Phenylethylamine wrote:Is there really that much difference between having 60 teams at Nats and, say, 65-70 teams, from giving the top 5-10 states (by number of teams and/or past performance) one extra team at Nats?


Yes. OSU and Juniata in 03 and 04 only took 54 teams from each division, not 60. Why? Because for some reason, they just did not have the room for 120 teams to stay in hotels, to book all the rooms required for the events, plus just the overall added cost of another 600 or so people (that's about what 12 more teams would require). The Brain Trust probably knows more about the specifics, but cost as well as availability of housing are usually the 2 limiting factors as far as the size of national competitions go, I believe. They try to accommodate as many people as possible though. Where's Uncle Fester when you need him?
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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby Phenylethylamine » March 17th, 2009, 4:04 am

Oh... yeah, I see how just a few teams could add a LOT of people.
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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby blufoster6 » March 17th, 2009, 1:36 pm

Like many of you have already have said it wouldn't be right if individuals went to Nats. And if they did it that way, would an actual team go to Nats? And there could be hundreds of different schools at the national level if they did that.
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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby danger will robinson » March 17th, 2009, 6:44 pm

It would be nice for the people that work really hard but aren't at a competitive school. I'm lucky enough to go to a competetive school, so I'm fine. However, someone could have a 1st place at nats Scrambler and never get past regionals because no one on their team cares. That must be really frustrating.
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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby starpug » March 17th, 2009, 6:51 pm

danger will robinson wrote:It would be nice for the people that work really hard but aren't at a competitive school. I'm lucky enough to go to a competetive school, so I'm fine. However, someone could have a 1st place at nats Scrambler and never get past regionals because no one on their team cares. That must be really frustrating.

Yeah it would kinda be nice to get the best devices, being a building person, to nats.
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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby rocketman1555 » March 18th, 2009, 9:07 am

1) I agree that Science Olympiad should be a team thing

but 2) there are some people that are incredibly smart, and are the state champions at certain events every year and it would sometimes be nice for them to be able to go and compete at nationals

personally, i like this idea because it would give people who otherwise wouldn't have a chance to compete a chance to do so at nationals, and since it would be a group thing...it would still be somewhat of a team...just not really
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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby fleet130 » March 18th, 2009, 4:47 pm

This thread seems to have come to pretty much the same conclusions as the national executive board arrived at several years ago! An Allstar tournament is a great idea, but nobody knows how to overcome the associated problems.
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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby croman74 » March 18th, 2009, 6:16 pm

This topic will probably come up over and over again over the years. I don't think that anything will be done about it though. There are many pros to this system, but just as many cons.
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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby blufoster6 » March 18th, 2009, 6:23 pm

Its just too difficult on the National SO peoples' part & it takes some of the thrill away from SO.
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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby croman74 » March 18th, 2009, 6:29 pm

It's just extra work for the National S.O. people to do, and if they decide to do it, it would be controversial. Too many people would be upset to make this decision. I believe that if they continue to go on like this nobody would get upset, but if you add an All-star tournament, too many people disagree.
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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby blufoster6 » March 18th, 2009, 6:31 pm

yeh
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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby rock thrower » March 18th, 2009, 7:54 pm

The All Star concept was intended to try and let more students experience the National Competition. Unfortunately it is impossible to put into practice. It's also about teamwork. What ever proposal needs to include a team of no more than 15.

A better way to divide up the 60 National slots / division would be to:

1) Let each state that has more than 10 teams send their champion (those with less than 10 need to go to competitions in nearby states or get new schools to join SO in their state.)
This works out to ~ 45 teams / division
2) Let the National Host State send an additional one. This might make colleges (or State Directors) in different states want to host Nationals.
3) Give the remaining ~ 14 slots to the top 14 finishing states at Nationals. This rewards competitive programs. This mix would change every year and the very competitive states (OH, NY, etc) would start out by shifting these around. Over time, some of the smaller states who currently only have a chance to send 1 team might get to send more ( go Hawaii !!)

Since it keeps the number of teams at Nationals the same, it doesn’t cause new problems with logistics. It also allows for those very competitive states to be more evenly represented while not forgetting the rest of the country. It allows smaller states to have a chance to send more teams if they are competitive.

So, what do you think?

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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby Uncle Fester » March 18th, 2009, 10:16 pm

I try to avoid this thread every time it comes up, but Eak asked me to explain a few things. . . .

First, the number of teams at Nationals varies year-to-year. The biggest influence on this is "the limitations of the most specialized room needed". This is almost always a chemistry room. For logistics and scheduling reasons, college labs are the same size and capacities, and whether "in kind" gift or actually rented, hosts find the first multiple of # of labs that covers every state that wishes to go. The extra slots go, by SO population, to become second slots. That's why the numbers change.

The bulk of Nationals costs are borne by the state organization and/or sponsoring host. It's easily six figures. Even if it's "free", colleges still assign a budget of how much "free" stuff can be donated. This is known as "in kind" giving. We can't just run up a tab. The one and only time I went over budget all these years was with Mission in '08; I had to cut a LOT of stuff less than a week before. Embarrassing.

Anyone recall a string of years where a state would (almost) mis-send the wrong team, and that State would send the aggrieved team as extra? The whole thing ended a few years ago when hosts complained about the incredible extra costs. Anyone who says, "How much work is it to send ONE more team? It can't be that hard-- or expensive" has simply NOT taken part in the festivities. I've pitched in more than once, throwing out 10,000 + copes of schedules, routes, maps and other paperwork and collating the new stuff at 2:00 AM.


Now, if you take these considerations and apply them to an all-star competition, you're going to have them multiplied by 15 or more. Good luck getting the best in every event to somehow fit into a group limited to 15, or even 20 or 30! They have to travel with parental supervision (even if 18 (kind of)-- there's that lovely foggy ground between school corporation liability and 18 y.o. adulthood that nobody wants to mess with). Also a schedule nightmare-- How would you like to be the one person from East Nowhere High School to qualify and then have to choose between two events, leaving the other one behind, while someone from Always At Nationals HS being able to do all 5 of hers? Wanna ride a team bus for 32 hours with a full load of kids from Perpetual Opponent HS? Finally, just exactly how many students are going to be served at this huge expense, measured in "cost per student that we kept from quitting"? After all, few "almost there" teams and students actually quit.

With so many obstacles, it's now wonder that the states that are trying to fix the "one tournament and we're out" problem focus on invitationals and the like.

On a PERSONAL note, I find it amusing every year to see the various proposals that are written with the aim of guaranteed benefiting the team the proposer is on. One thing I noticed, one of the louder squawker teams didn't make a peep that recent year they DID get to go to nationals; apparently the system worked to their satisfaction quite well that year. Next year, whine, whine, whine.
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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby Mr. Cool » March 19th, 2009, 8:35 am

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Re: Proposed Individual Qualification for Nationals

Postby sr243 » March 20th, 2009, 6:24 pm

I really don't like having an all-star team, but in my case, you would. At invitationals i did 4 events, last one was unprepared for, but i got two 1st, one 2nd of my events. Now for states, I'm adding at least 5, may add scrambler depending if the scrambler group will finish or not. My team is a completely different situation. They haven't finished any building events except mine, bridge which i got a 1st in. No one got 1st in a study event except me and purely me. For ecology I did the whole test and my partner just sat there and did one question, a fill in the blank one because he got assigned at last min. My bridge was built by just me. For stars, my partner helped me with 2 constellations, though he could have done more. For states, I'm confident that I can place in the top 3 for most of events, can't say scrambler. Anyways my team won't win, at least not at the current situation. However, I still do my best to try to get them to place in the top 5.


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