demir wrote:1. Can you prepare 3 separate rankings? Official, unofficial and combined. The "for fun" schools can be ranked among themselves, and we can also see how everyone would compare in combined list, but the official list would be used in award ceremony and determines the placements and state qualifiers.
If we end up inviting other schools, yes we will definitely create separate rankings. More likely just two though: Official and Combined.
demir wrote:2. Can we have a separate award ceremony for unofficial teams? It is not easy for many teams to travel (and I don't anticipate too many unofficial teams from Gainesville), so a separate award ceremony would be a fun incentive. I am fairly confident that I can help sponsoring this secondary ceremony, if needed.
We would not hold a separate awards ceremony for out-of-state teams. We are looking to make significant changes to the quality and setup of our regional and state awards ceremony this year (indoors with an actual stage) and we may even be holding separate B and C ceremonies similar to Cornell due to space constraints.
demir wrote:3. Can we have a filler activity prior to award ceremony, such as a quiz bowl final, swap meet or a dance off? Something simple and not costly but will keep students entertained and on campus until the ceremony.
Yes we have been discussing filler activities, and there will definitely be something done. In previous years, we didnt have enough staff, but this upcoming year should not be a problem. There will likely be 1 or 2 short speakers, a university representative, and an engaging activity for everyone to partake in. I do like the quiz-bowl style competition where each team would break into 3 teams of 5 students (42*3=126 mini teams per division) and questions ranging across all the events would be tested. The logistics of such a game could be a problem, but I think it would be fun, engaging, and could stall awards a pretty long time (especially since alot of questions would be needed to remove ties with so many teams). We would give some type of award to the top teams in this game.
A few other things we plan to try to provide (hopefully for both tournaments, but def for states) are tours led by our campus ambassador groups, engagement with STEM-oriented student clubs and some UF departments, and opportunities for competitors to speak to current students at UF from a variety of different majors.
On the tournament end (for states especially), our greatest focus will be ensuring quality of the events. Not only will we be reviewing all exams prior to the tournament, we have already started hand-picking event supervisors for some of the events for states and will likely be flying in a handful of supervisors for events that we cannot find qualified people for. We will have a page on our website that displays all of our event supervisors, where they are from, and their qualifications. I think teams will be very pleased with the quality of the ESes at states this year. One thing we learned from last years regionals was that we didnt really need that many UFSO staff to be free during the events - there was alot of downtime and things ran very smoothly. Since we will also have Valerie at states to help mediate issues, I think roughly 75% of our Eboard will be running events at states.
We definitely have big plans for this year's tournaments. Some of this is just me thinking out loud - I have not spoken to the rest of my UFSO team about some of these ideas so no promises, but I definitely welcome any suggestions and feedback.