Team Numbers

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Re: The Texas Thing

Post by Alex-RCHS » March 29th, 2018, 5:56 pm

Unome wrote:Numbers can change a lot between years. For example, TN and WI passed MO in C this year.
There's still nothing wrong with making that change at the beginning of the season after it happens. Let's say, for example, that State A passes State B and "steals" their second bid. It would be quite a shock for the State B competitors to learn right before states that they don't get as many bids as they normally do. On the other hand, the State A competitors would only learn of passing State B midway through the season, if at all, and they wouldn't feel salty about not getting a second bid until next year.

It's the context of the decision that bothers me.
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Re: Team Numbers

Post by Private Wang Fire » March 29th, 2018, 6:12 pm

I already posted some of my thoughts in the other thread, but I wanted to reiterate here.

The fact that Texas, one of the 3 most nationally competitive states, is going from 2 bids to 1 because a few schools in DC wanted to be counted as their own states for a free nats bid is ridiculous. The bid system as it is right now, with bid count being based off state registration numbers, is broken. There have been countless discussions over a better system, including one where performance at Nationals the previous year determines bids for the next that I personally would favor, but forget all that: the fact remains that Texas, a state that is right there with California and Ohio in the conversation as candidates to get a third nationals bid, is losing one of their current two instead for a team from DC (which is not even a state and probably has team registration in the single digits).

This is nearly Science Bowl levels of ridiculous, where Houston, Austin, and Dallas schools duke it out for 1 spot at NSB while Central Ohio (like 10 schools around Columbus) get to send their own representative. In this case, 2 out of 3 of the top 10 teams in the country will not attend nationals because Washington DC is sending their own team instead of being included in Maryland or Virginia or something. I'm not sure in which world this is a good idea.

As someone whose dream has been to attend nationals since 7th grade, I feel for all y'all at LASA, Seven Lakes, and Clements—you're getting screwed over. And if soinc is stubborn about classifying DC as a state, then the least they can do is expand to one more team for this year (and then fix the bid system next year).
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Re: Team Numbers

Post by hippo9 » March 29th, 2018, 7:02 pm

Private Wang Fire wrote:I already posted some of my thoughts in the other thread, but I wanted to reiterate here.

The fact that Texas, one of the 3 most nationally competitive states, is going from 2 bids to 1 because a few schools in DC wanted to be counted as their own states for a free nats bid is ridiculous. The bid system as it is right now, with bid count being based off state registration numbers, is broken. There have been countless discussions over a better system, including one where performance at Nationals the previous year determines bids for the next that I personally would favor, but forget all that: the fact remains that Texas, a state that is right there with California and Ohio in the conversation as candidates to get a third nationals bid, is losing one of their current two instead for a team from DC (which is not even a state and probably has team registration in the single digits).

This is nearly Science Bowl levels of ridiculous, where Houston, Austin, and Dallas schools duke it out for 1 spot at NSB while Central Ohio (like 10 schools around Columbus) get to send their own representative. In this case, 2 out of 3 of the top 10 teams in the country will not attend nationals because Washington DC is sending their own team instead of being included in Maryland or Virginia or something. I'm not sure in which world this is a good idea.

As someone whose dream has been to attend nationals since 7th grade, I feel for all y'all at LASA, Seven Lakes, and Clements—you're getting screwed over. And if soinc is stubborn about classifying DC as a state, then the least they can do is expand to one more team for this year (and then fix the bid system next year).
Yeah there's no way Texas should lose a bid based on the miniscule number of teams coming out of a place that is not even a state. I'm not against DC getting its own bid, but it shouldn't be at the expense to one of the most competitive states in the nation.
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Re: Team Numbers

Post by wzhang5460 » March 29th, 2018, 7:14 pm

DC isn't even a state, just stating the obvious.
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Re: Team Numbers

Post by Tailsfan101 » March 29th, 2018, 7:25 pm

wzhang5460 wrote:DC isn't even a state, just stating the obvious.
Nice (probably unintentional) pun.
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Re: Team Numbers

Post by JT880 » March 29th, 2018, 7:41 pm

Private Wang Fire wrote:I already posted some of my thoughts in the other thread, but I wanted to reiterate here.

The fact that Texas, one of the 3 most nationally competitive states, is going from 2 bids to 1 because a few schools in DC wanted to be counted as their own states for a free nats bid is ridiculous. The bid system as it is right now, with bid count being based off state registration numbers, is broken. There have been countless discussions over a better system, including one where performance at Nationals the previous year determines bids for the next that I personally would favor, but forget all that: the fact remains that Texas, a state that is right there with California and Ohio in the conversation as candidates to get a third nationals bid, is losing one of their current two instead for a team from DC (which is not even a state and probably has team registration in the single digits).

This is nearly Science Bowl levels of ridiculous, where Houston, Austin, and Dallas schools duke it out for 1 spot at NSB while Central Ohio (like 10 schools around Columbus) get to send their own representative. In this case, 2 out of 3 of the top 10 teams in the country will not attend nationals because Washington DC is sending their own team instead of being included in Maryland or Virginia or something. I'm not sure in which world this is a good idea.

As someone whose dream has been to attend nationals since 7th grade, I feel for all y'all at LASA, Seven Lakes, and Clements—you're getting screwed over. And if soinc is stubborn about classifying DC as a state, then the least they can do is expand to one more team for this year (and then fix the bid system next year).
I couldn't agree more with a post. I've never been to nationals (and frankly I don't see my team going anytime soon), but I know that all three of those teams - Seven Lakes, Clements, and LASA - would for sure place in the top ten teams there, if not the top five. They are all absurdly good at what they do and it would be a shame if even one of them missed out on an opportunity to go to nationals. Despite this, even with conversations about giving a third bid to Texas, even after having seen all three teams dominate at competitions like MIT, Golden Gate, and UPenn, the number of spots for nationals has been reduced to one, which I think is ridiculous.

There are still numerous states with two bids, many of which are much less competitive than Texas is. In fact, teams from these same states struggle to make it in the top twenty or thirty. However, these three Texas teams would no doubt place in the top ten and would provide legitimate competition to other powerhouse teams there like Harriton or Mason. In doing this, SOINC has deprived the experience of nationals from a very worthy team and has (in my opinion) tarnished the competitive atmosphere present there. To think that this is all a result of giving a free bid to DC, which has less than 60 high schools (not teams, I am actually referring to the number of high schools) present and is not even a state, is disgusting.

Hopefully, this whole situation will be amended some time in the future, but I am skeptical that change will occur. However, I would be more than happy to be proved wrong by SOINC.
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Re: Team Numbers

Post by cool hand luke » March 29th, 2018, 8:11 pm

As has been stated, dc isn’t a state. Well I guess that’s why it’s science Olympiad not geography/history/politics Olympiad

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Re: Team Numbers

Post by Alex-RCHS » March 29th, 2018, 8:25 pm

One potential solution, in my opinion, would be to establish a mandatory minimum number of teams for a bid-receiving state (perhaps a certain percentage of the total number of teams) and group exceedingly small states into regions, giving one bid to each of these regions.

For example, DC and Maryland could be made into the "Mid-Atlantic Region" with that region receiving one bid. The same could be done to VT and NH, or RI and MA, or something like that. Or, you could just force DC schools to compete in Maryland, which would be functionally the same. But the point is that a state with as few teams as VT, WY, or DC (not a state, but you know what I mean) should be forced into a little more competition in order to get to nats. This would also be valuable because it will increase the competitiveness of these small states and hopefully drive teams to work harder and achieve more competitive performance at nationals.

I think this option is a good compromise because it allows all teams to have the chance to make nationals (including DC teams, for example). In fact, some teams will still have a relatively easy path to nationals (if MD and DC were combined, for example, the resulting region would still not be that competitive aside from Centennial). Yet at the same time it preserves the ability for more states, like TX, to have a second bid.

As for certain states getting 3 bids... that's a different discussion, IMO. For one, these "conversations" that you speak of are probably not as widespread as you think. Are you talking about conversations on the forums? Because those ideas resurface regularly; it's not exactly a novel idea. Plus, I'm guessing the conversations aren't occurring where they actually matter, which is with NSO. Of course, it could be that you're referring to discussions at NSO I haven't heard about, in which case I misunderstood.

I also think that you have to keep in mind the effect of state organizations and other factors on state performance. Take NC for example -- probably the lowest-performing 2-bid state (although I think NC will outpace FL at nats this year and for several years onward due to rising competition and us FINALLY getting an invitational within driving distance). NCSO does not do much to encourage competitiveness. Our state tournament is well run, but: A) It's one of the latest state tournaments, occurring April 21, B) We have many event alterations at states each year (2 national events removed and 3 NC-only events added, which is actually a pretty mild year for us), C) We have an abhorrent lack of invitationals in NC -- the closest ones being 4 hours away, out of state, and not that competitive -- but thankfully the Duke invite will change that next year.

This idea's kind of rough, so I'm interested in what you all think of it:
- First, NSO determines how many 2-bid states there can be, whether using the current formula of every state getting a bid or using the region idea I provided above. We'll call that number X, and it's decided before the season begins.
- Then, NSO looks at the national results from more than the top X states in terms of popularity (say, the top X+5 teams). That wording was confusing, so let me exemplify it. Let's say 10 2-bid teams are allowed this year. NSO looks at the top 15 states in terms of number of schools competing and gives the 10 second bids to the 10 best of those 15 states in terms of national performance from the previous year. I know that ranking national performance isn't easy, but it can be done.
- But there's a caveat here: the 5 states that did not receive a second bid this year will get one guaranteed next year -- but the year after that they'll either earn it or lose it. In this scenario, the top 5 2-bid states will keep their 2nd bids every single year as long as they stay in the top 5. Teams 6-15 will sometimes lose their second bids, but it will still be based around performance.

Last random note: who cares if DC is a state? What matters is that they have teams that deserve a shot at going to nationals. The problem is that they are incredibly small in number, but their political classification is arbitrary. If DC had incredibly competitive, TX/CA/OH level schools (unlikely I know, but this is a hypothetical), would they still be disallowed from attending nationals due to "not being a state"? No, the argument that DC is too small to be taking one of TX's bids is absolutely valid, but their statehood has literally nothing to do with this.
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Re: Team Numbers

Post by EastStroudsburg13 » March 29th, 2018, 8:44 pm

Now that this thread has gone on for a while, my personal take is that Nationals is supposed to represent the best teams from each state, and not necessarily the best teams in the country. However, with the explosion of smaller states starting programs (which is great), the number of second bids has gone way down. In my mind, the simplest way to fix this is to expand nationals to 64 teams in each division, thus giving four more states second bids. However, while this may be the simplest, it is not the easiest, as it requires the logistical maneuvering of eight total additional teams. If there is a way to work that out, that's the solution I recommend. Trying to come up with a solution based on nationals performance, while probably fairer, is much more complex and could result in disagreements about how to implement such an idea.

Now, personally, I do think DC probably should be grouped with Maryland; while technically they are not part of another state, they cover a very small geographic area, even compared to Rhode Island, and the Virginia/Maryland representatives tend to be from the greater Washington DC area anyway, so it's not like the region is underrepresented. This is not quite the same thing as making sure a team from West Virginia or Wyoming is present at nationals. However, if NSO really wants DC to be its own program, so be it.
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Re: Team Numbers

Post by MIScioly1 » March 29th, 2018, 9:11 pm

EastStroudsburg13 wrote:Now that this thread has gone on for a while, my personal take is that Nationals is supposed to represent the best teams from each state, and not necessarily the best teams in the country. However, with the explosion of smaller states starting programs (which is great), the number of second bids has gone way down. In my mind, the simplest way to fix this is to expand nationals to 64 teams in each division, thus giving four more states second bids. However, while this may be the simplest, it is not the easiest, as it requires the logistical maneuvering of eight total additional teams. If there is a way to work that out, that's the solution I recommend. Trying to come up with a solution based on nationals performance, while probably fairer, is much more complex and could result in disagreements about how to implement such an idea.

Now, personally, I do think DC probably should be grouped with Maryland; while technically they are not part of another state, they cover a very small geographic area, even compared to Rhode Island, and the Virginia/Maryland representatives tend to be from the greater Washington DC area anyway, so it's not like the region is underrepresented. This is not quite the same thing as making sure a team from West Virginia or Wyoming is present at nationals. However, if NSO really wants DC to be its own program, so be it.
Yeah, I don't really have a problem with DC having it's own program, but it should not come at the expense of Texas.
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