I don't think a capitalism vs. socialism debate should be had on this thread unless that's REALLY necessary...I don't think it would end well. Anyway, I don't think the sides will see eye to eye exactly without being more informed. For me, it's more fruitful to then ask the benefits of competitiveness with tests.
What follows from here is me honestly being confused. I'm aware there are other benefits to invites, but clearly I don't get the importance of these tests. Hopefully not dumb to ask...I'm going to type a lot, but to nicholasmaurer, etc feel free to give a brief answer if it's obvious (a lot of these questions are similar):
People can trade digital copies on a whim, which probably (easily) gets back to the big competitive teams. Here, I'm assuming random "big teams of concern" work hard at test collecting, have a wide enough network, etc...fair?. Is this the biggest fear among the most competitive teams running / attending invites? Here, I'm ignoring fundraising or benefits to the host since that's not an incentive to all participants...meanwhile tests are one of the bigger / biggest incentives to all attendees. Did I get that right? Why not then ONLY give back the paper copies to curb other teams getting your tests? I am aware this has been done in the past. I'm sure teams could still take pictures or make scans, but it would at least slow things down since the pictures would need to be retyped or reformatted to make them clean copies.
How do you draw the line between what helps "other teams" less and what helps "our team" more for either teams that host OR attend? Moreover, if tournaments give people a website, google drive, or flashdrive of tests (maybe not everyone does this...but many do something like this now, right?), then what are you actually doing to curb "helping the competition"? Maybe there's an extra factor here, like those are things that attract good teams, but don't those teams want a competitive edge too?
People have said they basically want to help their team more than other ones, is that right? It sounds like people agree that invites are ran for reasons other than tests like seeing how you stack up vs. other teams, etc etc (am I wrong?). Like, if the only reason for invites were tests I'm sure students could come up with some alternative complex "black market" test trading network between individual coaches (can't believe I typed that lol). In fact, why not do that anyway with or without invites?
To summarize, how do you balance everything above in your value "equation" or whatever metric you use? I'm going to go on loop here, but if invites have to be ran, but you're afraid of tests being traded, why isn't more done to curb test trading? If the argument goes back to "because we want more tests than other teams" or "attendees don't like that", then see above...does test trading make your tests not help the competition at least equally? Is test trading not that widespread among teams you care about as I thought in my first point? Hopefully you see why this at least appears contradictory (or if you prefer extremely convoluted) to me.
OK, now my briefer two cents:
I find it hard to believe anyone can practice or make use of 60 tests. Like, just as far as I know about the practical usefulness of tests from a learning / education perspective or even for notesheets...I guess anything is possible. Maybe I don't have a good estimate of this "test value" considering I haven't competed recently.
B: Crave the Wave, Environmental Chemistry, Robo-Cross, Meteorology, Physical Science Lab, Solar System, DyPlan (E and V), Shock Value
C: Microbe Mission, DyPlan (Earth's Fresh Waters), Fermi Questions, GeoMaps, Gravity Vehicle, Scrambler, Rocks, Astronomy
Grad: Writing Tests/Supervising (NY/MI)