Penn State Invitational in the works

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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby ILikePie123 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:34 am

In terms of writing tests, we're planning to have Penn State students and professors take care of that.

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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby maxxxxx » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:24 am

ILikePie123 wrote:Hm...that's good news for us! The numbers aren't too important as long as there are enough that there will be a real competition (as in, more than five teams). We'll try to get information about dining, facilities, etc. out as soon as possible in this thread. Would it be better to get catering, delegate to another student organization (Conestoga outsources its food sales to a club) or give people dining vouchers for the dining halls on campus? Also where to advertise so the most people will see it? I've been pleasantly surprised about the amount of response to this thread, but scioly.org has a limited reach.

Meanwhile...we're trying to think of a good name (I know, already getting ahead of myself). My best idea so far is SOAPS (Science Olympiad at Penn State), though I feel like that's ripping off SOUP (Science Olympiad University of Pennsylvania).


As far as food goes and I think giving vouchers for the dining halls is a good idea, as well as putting info about local restaurants(especially those that deliver) on your website so teams have other options.

Maybe for a name just PSU Scioly would work. PSUSO is good but it's also very similar to Princeton's PUSO. You could also try SOAPSU but it's kind of weird.
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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby GoldenKnight1 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:44 am

One thing you could consider doing to help get PA teams is to run the PA State schedule. Most other invitationals either run their own or they run the National schedule. The downside would be this might limit the number of out of state schools you get but it would certainly set you apart in the eyes of the PA teams.

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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby ILikePie123 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:08 pm

That's in interesting idea, but could you explain what about running the states schedule would appeal more to PA teams? Is it about giving students practice with competiting under similar conditions? Also, I'm not sure the states schedule would be out by the time we finalize everything (probably late December).

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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby maxxxxx » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:32 pm

ILikePie123 wrote:That's in interesting idea, but could you explain what about running the states schedule would appeal more to PA teams? Is it about giving students practice with competiting under similar conditions? Also, I'm not sure the states schedule would be out by the time we finalize everything (probably late December).


Giving teams the opportunity to compete with the same event conflicts as States helps a lot with refining the team in terms of which events each member does. This past year the schedule was released around mid-December so it may be released in time for you this year.

Also, make sure you tell PASO about this invite once the date is finalized so they can put it up on their website. That should get you more attention.
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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby GoldenKnight1 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:02 am

maxxxxx wrote:
ILikePie123 wrote:That's in interesting idea, but could you explain what about running the states schedule would appeal more to PA teams? Is it about giving students practice with competiting under similar conditions? Also, I'm not sure the states schedule would be out by the time we finalize everything (probably late December).


Giving teams the opportunity to compete with the same event conflicts as States helps a lot with refining the team in terms of which events each member does. This past year the schedule was released around mid-December so it may be released in time for you this year.


It is the same reason why so many teams hoping to make Nationals like to go to invitationals that run the National schedule. It gives your team practice dealing with 15 team members with those specific conflicts. In the same way the teams going to PA states and hoping to move on generally never see a schedule like that at States.

It is true that last year the schedule was released in mid-December but I remember that they were hoping to release it in October so that it would make it easier for Invitationals and Regionals to try and match it as much as possible. Since this the was the first year to try and release it that early I am sure the delay was them just working out the kinks.

Now I know that last year I was hearing from teams in October wanting to know the schedule for our invitational in mid-December. I am sure that you can set their minds at easy and get away with releasing your schedule a month out if you tell them it will mirror the State's schedule.

And certainly make sure to register with the State and they will give you the information you will need to register with the National organization.

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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby ILikePie123 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:35 pm

If we get the schedule in time, we'll definitely consider it. However, I remember this year's States schedule was a problem for many teams given the fact that there were so many conflicts, which is one issue I see with going off of someone else's schedule. I guess we should wait and see.

Out of curiosity, which invitational do you run?

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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby GoldenKnight1 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:05 pm

ILikePie123 wrote:If we get the schedule in time, we'll definitely consider it. However, I remember this year's States schedule was a problem for many teams given the fact that there were so many conflicts, which is one issue I see with going off of someone else's schedule. I guess we should wait and see.

Out of curiosity, which invitational do you run?


Those "many conflicts" are the exact reason why teams would want to compete with that schedule ahead of time. Of course based on the number of teams and available facilities you might not be able to match someone else's schedule.

I run the Rustin invitational.

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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby Unome » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:50 pm

GoldenKnight1 wrote:Those "many conflicts" are the exact reason why teams would want to compete with that schedule ahead of time. Of course based on the number of teams and available facilities you might not be able to match someone else's schedule.

This part of why our invitational (Chattahoochee) uses self-scheduling - tournament schedules in the southeast are... varied... and usually release relatively late (within a month of the tournament typically), so I figure teams would appreciate the lessening of conflicts.
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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby ILikePie123 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:57 pm

What's self scheduling? Is it when teams get to take the test at their own convenience, kind of like how trial events are run at the regional/state level?

I think that might work better if we have lower turnout.

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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby Unome » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:05 pm

ILikePie123 wrote:What's self scheduling? Is it when teams get to take the test at their own convenience, kind of like how trial events are run at the regional/state level?

I think that might work better if we have lower turnout.

Self-scheduling would be similar to how, for example, build events are typically done at Nationals, i.e. by timeslot (e.g. 10 teams at 8:00-9:00, 10 teams at 9:00-10:00,... with the same timeslots as used for other events), rather than some tournaments where build signups are done by specific times (e.g. 2 teams at 8:00-8:10, 2 teams at 8:10-8:20,...). In fact, it's essentially identical except done for all events. I'll send you our tournament's schedule for this year when we have a tentative version up.

Self-scheduling has been used somewhat consistently in Georgia at tournaments of all sizes, up to and including 45-55 team invitationals (such as Booth, Dodgen, and Brookwood), as well as some regional tournaments and all state tournaments in recent years (to varying extents).
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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby ILikePie123 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:23 pm

In that case, I really like this self scheduling idea. I'll ask the rest of the group what they think.

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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby GoldenKnight1 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:31 pm

ILikePie123 wrote:In that case, I really like this self scheduling idea. I'll ask the rest of the group what they think.


We tried this a few years back two different ways. First we had it as build events are run at Nationals as Unome said with teams selecting all of their events. The second time we had teams initially signed up for time slots but every time slot had some free spaces so teams could move into these free spaces in another time block than the one they were initially scheduled for and out of the one they were in. I really liked how the second one worked out best but went away from this model for a few reasons.

1) It become too annoying dealing with the coaches and parents who had complaints about the schedule or demands to allow them to move into filled time slots. Dealing with one or two of these requests (even if the answer is "no") seems easy but the seemingly endless demands I got made me sour to it.

2) The schedule I have been using now tries to front load the work of judges and supervisors so that scoring at the end of the day is done as quickly and efficiently as possible. When teams got to choose often this balance would be not achieved.

3) It brought up concerns if teams from the same school were in different time blocks. Might a team in an early time block tell a team in a later time block about what they saw. I know most teams would never do this and in some cases that other duo from the same school is the one they are trying to outperform, but still it did come up from a few sources.

I am not saying don't run all of the events as self-scheduling but I wanted you to be aware of some of the arguments on the other side.

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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby Unome » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:49 pm

I can respond with my experiences/solutions for two of these:
GoldenKnight1 wrote:2) The schedule I have been using now tries to front load the work of judges and supervisors so that scoring at the end of the day is done as quickly and efficiently as possible. When teams got to choose often this balance would be not achieved.

All tournaments here do specifically set certain timeslots for each event. Some tournaments here do frontload noticeably as well (e.g. Dodgen and the 2017 Div B state tournament).

GoldenKnight1 wrote:3) It brought up concerns if teams from the same school were in different time blocks. Might a team in an early time block tell a team in a later time block about what they saw. I know most teams would never do this and in some cases that other duo from the same school is the one they are trying to outperform, but still it did come up from a few sources.

We deal with this by requiring that teams from the same school compete in the same timeslot (where applicable, i.e. not builds) and having buffer space built-in (2 extra per timeslots, since we allow three teams per school). I can't speak to other tournaments down here besides Brookwood, where they allow it only in cases where no other options are available that would have all teams in the same timeslot.

I suspect #1 is primarily cultural - teams here are very used to this structure. At our tournament, we haven't had any complaints that I can think of (or at least, if there were any they were handled directly by the event supervisors).
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Re: Penn State Invitational in the works

Postby EastStroudsburg13 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:39 pm

maxxxxx wrote:
ILikePie123 wrote:Hm...that's good news for us! The numbers aren't too important as long as there are enough that there will be a real competition (as in, more than five teams). We'll try to get information about dining, facilities, etc. out as soon as possible in this thread. Would it be better to get catering, delegate to another student organization (Conestoga outsources its food sales to a club) or give people dining vouchers for the dining halls on campus? Also where to advertise so the most people will see it? I've been pleasantly surprised about the amount of response to this thread, but scioly.org has a limited reach.

Meanwhile...we're trying to think of a good name (I know, already getting ahead of myself). My best idea so far is SOAPS (Science Olympiad at Penn State), though I feel like that's ripping off SOUP (Science Olympiad University of Pennsylvania).


As far as food goes and I think giving vouchers for the dining halls is a good idea, as well as putting info about local restaurants(especially those that deliver) on your website so teams have other options.

Maybe for a name just PSU Scioly would work. PSUSO is good but it's also very similar to Princeton's PUSO. You could also try SOAPSU but it's kind of weird.

Had an idea about names. You can probably name your organization itself whatever you want to, and whatever will make you most identifiable in the landscape of Penn State clubs (which I bet is quite busy). However, to make the tournament stand out, you could name it something else unique, such as the "Nittany Lion Invitational", that would be easily distinguishable form other tournaments.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with going with "Penn State Invitational" or something like that. Just wanted to throw another idea at you in case you wanted to go either route.
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