I for one am sickened over this whole thing. I think the real question should be (and I feel qualified to have an opinion as I am a Mentor parent) "How can we make sure such a heart wrenching, careless mistake, never ever happens again at any invitational, let alone states?" I am so very, very sad for these Mentor kids that we are even in this situation. Why are they being made to feel they need to defend anything? They worked as hard as anyone there and were made to believe they did it!
I appreciate you coming here to comment and again apologize for the emotional rollercoaster my mistake caused. I'm not sure why you said the Mentor kids are being made to defend anything, as I haven't seen ANY accusations against anyone from Mentor. Can you please clarify this?
Sure. I was responding to those people who posted "we should get over it" and "Move on". We will move on but we are allowed to be upset. Again, I know the error was not made on purpose and I applaud you taking the responsibility as a great leader does. However, we will feel the pain until we don't and I will defend the right do so.
We watched them cheer and celebrate in tears with teammates, friends and family only to have that joy ripped away! and why? because you said they won and then changed your mind! They were so close they held the second place trophy in their hands, dancing and taking photos only to listen in heartbreak to a grown woman yelling that their team "DID NOT EARN THE SECOND PLACE TROPHY!"
I didn't witness what you stated about a woman yelling at the team, but have high confidence it wasn't someone associated with the tournament since we were all huddled with the coaches for a long time. I'll also point out that Mentor is keeping ALL the trophies and medals they were handed at the ceremony. We never ask for teams / students to return medals. Additional appropriate medals / trophies will be ordered for Centerville to have.
The children earned the metals so I can't imagine anyone would suggest they lose those. As for the trophy, I really wasn't suggesting we keep we what we didn't earn. But I'll leave that for others to debate. I was sharing details of the painful event from a parents point of view so the committee would see the importance of putting steps in place to hopefully avoid a repeat of such a sad occurrence.
So, while you worry yourselves over the fact that you dare not let more than two teams from Ohio go to Nationals, try to find it within yourselves to put policies in place that guard against this hurt in the future. I truly know this error was not made on purpose. But just like you are so very sure the penalty for doing something questionable at states is only five points, be very sure that Centerville has the right scores in the future because if not, another innocent school will suffer.
As I indicated previously in this thread, whether 2 or 3 teams from Ohio can go to Nationals is purely left up to the National Office. I can only advocate for it, which I have strongly. No-one in Ohio has any actual ability to make the decision.
I'd love for there to be a way I can assure you (and everyone) that there will never be a mistake in the future, but the reality is it's just not possible. Science Olympiad tournaments are severely resource constrained in many ways:
-the majority of the ~200 people helping run a typical tournament are unpaid volunteers that aren't necessarily highly trained, and virtually every one at some point handles raw data that is used for scoring purposes
-there is very limited funding available that can be applied to technology (hardware / software / etc) to aide in the scoring process
-there are ~2,000 individual ranks to calculate, using ~100,000 raw data points (e.g. individual question answer, device measurements, etc)
-there is typically only ~3 hours between when the events end and the awards ceremony starts during which we have to process all that data
We do have a series of checks and balances built into the scoring process (if you are interested you can read about it here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/soscor ... f/download
) and are always open to concrete suggestions and ideas on how to improve the process.
I totally get it. Everyone on our team volunteers as well. And we work through every error to ensure it doesn't happen again. Thanks for all you do. I do appreciate your work. Being a volunteer is a thankless job but again, we should always continue to work towards improvement. Thanks for answering my concerns.
Out of curiosity I wanted to ask if the national team limit for Ohio could theoretically be raised by the national coordinator given the situation. I feel as though if there was ever a time to raise that limit, now would be that time.
Anything is theoretically possible by the National Office. But as I and others have pointed out, similar situations have occurred in the past in other states (and have been documented on this site and elsewhere. They have a policy and process they abide by, not to mention the fact that we are just a few weeks away from a tournament that has taken over 2 years for the local people to prepare all the logistics for, most of which are finalized at this point.
I simply can't understand how their actions can be rewarded, because that makes absolutely no sense to me.
I think this is the crux of the differences in opinions. Many people are saying Centerville is 'being rewarded'. Others, including myself, are saying they were penalized appropriately, it just so happens that still results in them going to Nationals. As I stated at the very start of this thread, it comes down to debating the magnitude of an arbitrarily set penalty.
Chalker mentioned that they were down the hall and around the corner from the room, so I think that shows they didn't want to be seen when people were going around to the different buildings to find their location.
To be clear, I didn't state that, the Centerville coaches stated that on their appeals form. In reality they weren't 'around the corner', but 'past a corner'. The picture I saw was taken from the vantage point of the doorway of the event room. Anybody who went to look at the room would have obviously seen them. They were clearly not trying to hide.
they clearly went into that building to gain that advantage. They point out rule 4f, "on or adjacent to the track surface". The track surface was the same where they were testing it. I am confused why that part of the question is up for debate there.
The part under debate is more focused on the 'between the Starting and Target lines' part of 4.f. Those didn't exist at the time they were in the hallway, and even once they did exist, their location wasn't even remotely close to being between the lines.
And, I would like to add that any part of this comment, my past comments, or any possible future comments that seem derogatory or disrespectful is not written with that intent. I am commenting solely for the purpose of promoting honest and clean debate, not anything to drag others down. Perhaps in the heat of my comment typing my message came off more malicious than I intended it to be, and I fully apologize for any confusion or harm that may have caused.
Thanks for clarifying that.
Does it suck to give a team joy and then take it away? Yes, absolutely. But it's not okay to point the finger at specific people or teams for letting it happen, because in the end, they're all human. We make mistakes, and try to atone for them the best we can.
Personally, given the set of circumstances, I think the directors and supervisors did the best possible job they could have. And I applaud chalker for doing so much more than he needs to and addressing everyone's concerns, and I really think we ought to be showing him more gratitude for being so accessible as opposed to insinuating he is corrupt or at fault, or emphasizing how upset everyone is.
I understand that and I feel you are welcome to your opinion. However, until you are in our specific shoes, I'm not really interested in what you think.
To be clear again: the scoring mistake is all mine and mine alone. I'm completely responsible and have no issue with people pointing that out. I also fully understand why so many of these questions and topics are being brought up, and don't fault anyone for trying to explore all possible avenues. I hope my responses have been helpful to the overall situation and in particular to the Mentor students.