Amended Nationals Appeals Policy

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Re: Amended Nationals Appeals Policy

Postby hippo9 » April 24th, 2018, 7:57 am

I think he just wants a system to be there to allow for a possible correction in study events because currently there is none.
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Re: Amended Nationals Appeals Policy

Postby Unome » April 24th, 2018, 8:08 am

This assumes that such a book can be produced at good quality. Based on my experiences with the Event Logistics manual produced by NSO, I personally would take any such NSO resource with several grains of salt.
But at least it would be something "official" that can be critiqued, and make sure that all supervisors follow, and if they don't, proper arbitration can happen.
I intended my statement to be a little stronger than that. There are parts in the Event Logistics manual that I would consider outright counterproductive to running a good tournament at times (or at least, there were last year - I haven't looked at this year's manual).

Edit: Probably should be more specific. I refer in particular to the info on number of helpers, which is often significantly overstated for the vast majority of tournaments.
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Re: Amended Nationals Appeals Policy

Postby chalker » April 24th, 2018, 8:15 am

The obvious question is of course "what prompted this?"
Other than the fact we have a webform now, nothing is really changing with the process. We are spelling out certain things more explicitly, but everything follows the same criteria and processes we have followed from year to year. I was the one who pushed for this to happen because of 2 reasons: 1. we didn't have a defined post-ceremony appeal process (which meant many coaches who were 'in the know' would run me down after the ceremony to file an appeal since they mostly filtered through me and 2. many of the appeals we got we rejected because there was no evidence or they were of the type that someone 'thought' they should have done better.

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Re: Amended Nationals Appeals Policy

Postby nicholasmaurer » April 24th, 2018, 11:54 am

2. many of the appeals we got we rejected because there was no evidence or they were of the type that someone 'thought' they should have done better.
I do wish there was a better process for handling these types of situations. If I remember correctly, your scoring system does include some useful metrics than can help spot outlier data (e.g. if an event should be ranked with scores low-to-high, but is accidentally entered as the reverse).

However, I wonder if some additional review could be done if, for example, a team that is otherwise placing consistently in the top 10 has one event entered where they placed 50th. Is it possible they genuinely did that poorly? Sure. Anyone can have an off day. But I would think that result would be something worth reviewing to make sure there wasn't a clerical error along the way. This is less practical at invitationals, but since State and National Tournament awards are typically at a set time later in the evening, it is more possible there. Just a thought - maybe this already happens behind the scenes and I'm just not aware!
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Re: Amended Nationals Appeals Policy

Postby chalker » April 24th, 2018, 2:03 pm


I do wish there was a better process for handling these types of situations. If I remember correctly, your scoring system does include some useful metrics than can help spot outlier data (e.g. if an event should be ranked with scores low-to-high, but is accidentally entered as the reverse).

However, I wonder if some additional review could be done if, for example, a team that is otherwise placing consistently in the top 10 has one event entered where they placed 50th. Is it possible they genuinely did that poorly? Sure. Anyone can have an off day. But I would think that result would be something worth reviewing to make sure there wasn't a clerical error along the way. This is less practical at invitationals, but since State and National Tournament awards are typically at a set time later in the evening, it is more possible there. Just a thought - maybe this already happens behind the scenes and I'm just not aware!
We do indeed look for major issues like reverse sort order, unexpected No Shows, etc. However looking for more nuanced outliers like a top 10 team placing low in an event is much harder. For example, if you look at the Div C nationals result from last year, you'll see that:

1. The gold medal team had 2 events they placed in the 20's
2. The silver medal team have 2 events they placed in the 30's
3. The 6th place team had 3 events in the 20's, 1 in the 30's and 1 in the 50's
4. The 8th place teams had 2 events in the 20's and 3 in the 40's
5. Conversely, the 38th place team got a silver medal in one event

I don't see an obvious algorithm we can implement beyond our normal process of carefully checking things multiple times. Of course if someone has a good idea, I'd be happy to try to implement it.

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Re: Amended Nationals Appeals Policy

Postby nicholasmaurer » April 24th, 2018, 3:01 pm


I do wish there was a better process for handling these types of situations. If I remember correctly, your scoring system does include some useful metrics than can help spot outlier data (e.g. if an event should be ranked with scores low-to-high, but is accidentally entered as the reverse).

However, I wonder if some additional review could be done if, for example, a team that is otherwise placing consistently in the top 10 has one event entered where they placed 50th. Is it possible they genuinely did that poorly? Sure. Anyone can have an off day. But I would think that result would be something worth reviewing to make sure there wasn't a clerical error along the way. This is less practical at invitationals, but since State and National Tournament awards are typically at a set time later in the evening, it is more possible there. Just a thought - maybe this already happens behind the scenes and I'm just not aware!
We do indeed look for major issues like reverse sort order, unexpected No Shows, etc. However looking for more nuanced outliers like a top 10 team placing low in an event is much harder. For example, if you look at the Div C nationals result from last year, you'll see that:

1. The gold medal team had 2 events they placed in the 20's
2. The silver medal team have 2 events they placed in the 30's
3. The 6th place team had 3 events in the 20's, 1 in the 30's and 1 in the 50's
4. The 8th place teams had 2 events in the 20's and 3 in the 40's
5. Conversely, the 38th place team got a silver medal in one event

I don't see an obvious algorithm we can implement beyond our normal process of carefully checking things multiple times. Of course if someone has a good idea, I'd be happy to try to implement it.
I would have to test out some different approaches to try and find an algorithm that doesn't turn up too many false positives, because that rapidly becomes too resource intensive for the scoring staff. Intuitively, I would start by looking for situations where dropping a team's worst event significantly reduces the standard deviation of their placements. It would likely have to be refined from there.
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Re: Amended Nationals Appeals Policy

Postby nicholasmaurer » April 24th, 2018, 3:46 pm


I do wish there was a better process for handling these types of situations. If I remember correctly, your scoring system does include some useful metrics than can help spot outlier data (e.g. if an event should be ranked with scores low-to-high, but is accidentally entered as the reverse).

However, I wonder if some additional review could be done if, for example, a team that is otherwise placing consistently in the top 10 has one event entered where they placed 50th. Is it possible they genuinely did that poorly? Sure. Anyone can have an off day. But I would think that result would be something worth reviewing to make sure there wasn't a clerical error along the way. This is less practical at invitationals, but since State and National Tournament awards are typically at a set time later in the evening, it is more possible there. Just a thought - maybe this already happens behind the scenes and I'm just not aware!
We do indeed look for major issues like reverse sort order, unexpected No Shows, etc. However looking for more nuanced outliers like a top 10 team placing low in an event is much harder. For example, if you look at the Div C nationals result from last year, you'll see that:

1. The gold medal team had 2 events they placed in the 20's
2. The silver medal team have 2 events they placed in the 30's
3. The 6th place team had 3 events in the 20's, 1 in the 30's and 1 in the 50's
4. The 8th place teams had 2 events in the 20's and 3 in the 40's
5. Conversely, the 38th place team got a silver medal in one event

I don't see an obvious algorithm we can implement beyond our normal process of carefully checking things multiple times. Of course if someone has a good idea, I'd be happy to try to implement it.
I ran some quick calculations using the placings from the 2017 National Tournament. For each event placing, I calculated the percent change in that team's overall standard deviation if you excluded that event.

You can set various thresholds, but if you find all cases where a team's standard deviation falls by more than 15% because you exclude that one event placing, you identify 16 cases for extra review. Nine of these cases are teams who placed substantially better than their mean placing; I'd be inclined to ignore these. This leaves seven outliers where a team did unusually poorly. One of these is a no-show, which you are already verifying. That would leave six individual scores for the scoring team to double-check.
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Re: Amended Nationals Appeals Policy

Postby nicholasmaurer » April 24th, 2018, 3:58 pm

For those who care, the seven specific events my algorithm flagged were:

#7 Northville - 38th Ecology
#9 New Trier - 53rd Electric Vehicle
#11 Harriton - 31st Experimental Design
#20 Clements - 50th Write It, Do It
#24 Munster - 48th Optics
#38 ABRHS - 60th Electric Vehicle
#50 Clark - 54th Write It, Do It
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Re: Amended Nationals Appeals Policy

Postby DarthBuilder » April 24th, 2018, 5:43 pm

For those who care, the seven specific events my algorithm flagged were:

#7 Northville - 38th Ecology
#9 New Trier - 53rd Electric Vehicle
#11 Harriton - 31st Experimental Design
#20 Clements - 50th Write It, Do It
#24 Munster - 48th Optics
#38 ABRHS - 60th Electric Vehicle
#50 Clark - 54th Write It, Do It
Do we know the specific reasons for each flagged?
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Re: Amended Nationals Appeals Policy

Postby chalker » April 24th, 2018, 6:12 pm

For those who care, the seven specific events my algorithm flagged were:

#7 Northville - 38th Ecology
#9 New Trier - 53rd Electric Vehicle
#11 Harriton - 31st Experimental Design
#20 Clements - 50th Write It, Do It
#24 Munster - 48th Optics
#38 ABRHS - 60th Electric Vehicle
#50 Clark - 54th Write It, Do It
This is very interesting... I'll have to think about how I'd actually go about potentially implementing it to automatically check within excel - any idea what the formula might be to accomplish this? Of course one issue is that it will only catch single event mistakes of a certain threshold... Of the list I previously provided, I think it only flagged 1 of the teams. However even incremental improvements are still improvements!

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