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First Impressions by the Numbers

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  • First Impressions by the Numbers

    Regional assignments are out and that means itís time for some analysis! We will have our week one analysis out as soon as possible, but in the meantime, we have crunched some numbers to bring you our initial thoughts on the difficulty of each regional.

    Different strength breakdowns:
    As usual, we can break this down in a lot of different ways:

    First, we can use the average AMTA rank of the teams in the region to get a sense of the overall strength of each region. Rank are the simplest metric for measuring the strength of teams, a lower average rank indicates better teams on the whole.
    Regional Average Rank Regional Difficulty Ranking
    Columbus 207.05 1
    Topeka 210.39 2
    Princeton 210.75 3
    Houston 211.88 4
    Lawrence 211.91 5
    Ypsilanti 212.86 6
    Fresno 217.30 7
    Colorado Springs 218.60 8
    Louisville 218.71 9
    Wheaton 219.19 10
    Jackson 219.22 11
    Owings Mills 219.24 12
    Chapel Hill 219.53 13
    New Rochelle 220.46 14
    Buffalo 220.50 15
    Cincinnati 221.41 16
    Orlando 221.56 17
    Williamsburg 222.38 18
    Washington DC 222.76 19
    Tempe 224.50 20
    Columbia 225.74 21
    Seattle 226.25 22
    Claremont 228.25 23
    State College 230.38 24
    St. Louis 231.58 25
    Minneapolis 234.63 26
    New Haven 235.13 27
    Dallas 242.71 28
    Itís also important to look at how strong the top teams at a tournament are because these are the teams you have to displace if you want to get a bid:
    Regional Average Rank of Top 7 Teams Regional Difficulty Ranking
    Lawrence 74.67 1
    Claremont 77.38 2
    Columbus 81.71 3
    Cincinnati 82.00 4
    Owings Mills 84.43 5
    Wheaton 88.00 6
    Princeton 89.71 7
    Washington DC 91.29 8
    Jackson 91.33 9
    Orlando 93.14 10
    Chapel Hill 94.25 11
    Topeka 95.57 12
    Louisville 96.29 13
    Minneapolis 96.29 13
    Buffalo 97.43 15
    Ypsilanti 98.14 16
    Williamsburg 98.14 17
    New Rochelle 98.57 18
    Fresno 99.14 19
    Houston 100.86 20
    Columbia 106.29 21
    New Haven 107.71 22
    Tempe 110.29 23
    State College 114.71 24
    St. Louis 118.86 25
    Colorado Springs 126.71 26
    Seattle 131.29 27
    Dallas 157.00 28
    TPR points looks at the raw data that AMTA uses to assign those ranks (sometimes there are large jumps in rank so this can be a little more accurate). For TPR we can look at the sum of the TPR for all of the teams there which gives us a sense of the total power at the tournament:
    Regional Total Points Regional Difficulty Ranking
    Owings Mills 158.74 1
    Williamsburg 156.10 2
    Wheaton 154.71 3
    Orlando 153.75 4
    New Haven 153.42 5
    New Rochelle 153.25 6
    Columbus 152.52 7
    Claremont 150.38 8
    Princeton 149.50 9
    Cincinnati 144.47 10
    Buffalo 143.23 11
    Lawrence 142.33 12
    Ypsilanti 142.33 12
    Topeka 141.93 14
    Washington DC 141.75 15
    State College 138.50 16
    Jackson 137.73 17
    Minneapolis 137.08 18
    Louisville 137.00 19
    Chapel Hill 13620 20
    Houston 136.00 21
    Fresno 134.69 22
    Tempe 127.46 23
    Columbia 125.88 24
    Seattle 120.22 25
    St. Louis 117.97 26
    Colorado Springs 109.92 27
    Dallas 100.90 28
    We can also look at averages to take into account the fact that different tournaments have different numbers of teams:
    Regional Average Points Regional Difficulty Ranking
    Columbus 6.93 1
    Ypsilanti 6.86 2
    Cincinnati 6.57 3
    Williamsburg 6.50 4
    Lawrence 6.47 5
    Princeton 6.23 6
    Chapel Hill 6.19 7
    Topeka 6.17 8
    Jackson 5.99 9
    Buffalo 5.97 10
    Wheaton 5.95 11
    New Rochelle 5.89 12
    Fresno 5.86 13
    Tempe 5.79 14
    State College 5.77 15
    Louisville 5.71 16
    Orlando 5.69 17
    Washington DC 5.67 18
    Houston 5.67 18
    Colorado Springs 5.50 20
    Owings Mills 5.47 21
    Columbia 5.47 21
    Seattle 5.01 23
    St. Louis 4.92 24
    Claremont 4.85 25
    New Haven 4.79 26
    Minneapolis 4.28 27
    Dallas 4.20 28
    And again, we can look at just the average of the top teams:
    Regional Average Points of Top 7 Teams Regional Difficulty Ranking
    Williamsburg 21.55 1
    Cincinnati 20.50 2
    Wheaton 20.24 3
    New Haven 20.24 3
    Claremont 20.16 5
    Ypsilanti 20.00 6
    Columbus 19.90 7
    Orlando 19.82 8
    State College 19.79 9
    Washington DC 19.75 10
    New Rochelle 19.64 11
    Chapel Hill 19.46 12
    Buffalo 19.39 13
    Owings Mills 19.25 14
    Lawrence 19.12 15
    Minneapolis 18.73 16
    Princeton 18.68 17
    Jackson 18.64 18
    Louisville 18.21 19
    Tempe 18.21 19
    Columbia 17.98 21
    Fresno 17.78 22
    Topeka 17.53 23
    St. Louis 16.85 24
    Houston 16.00 25
    Seattle 15.07 26
    Colorado Springs 14.45 27
    Dallas 14.41 28
    And finally, we can look at the number of teams from various difficulty levels at each tournament:
    Regional # Top 200 # Top 100 # Top 50 # Top 25 # Returning Nationals
    Buffalo 7 4 3 1 2
    Chapel Hill 6 5 2 0 0
    Cincinnati 6 5 2 1 2
    Claremont 7 5 2 1 1
    Colorado Springs 7 2 1 1 1
    Columbia 6 4 3 0 1
    Columbus 8 4 2 1 1
    Dallas 3 2 2 1 1
    Fresno 8 4 2 1 3
    Houston 10 4 0 0 1
    Jackson 7 4 1 1 2
    Lawrence 7 5 2 1 2
    Louisville 8 3 1 1 2
    Minneapolis 7 3 1 0 2
    New Haven 7 3 3 1 1
    New Rochelle 8 3 3 1 2
    Orlando 8 3 2 2 3
    Owings Mills 10 4 1 1 3
    Princeton 8 4 1 0 2
    Seattle 8 2 1 1 1
    St. Louis 6 3 1 1 1
    State College 5 3 3 2 2
    Tempe 6 4 1 1 2
    Topeka 8 4 2 0 2
    Washington DC 6 5 2 1 2
    Wheaton 7 4 2 1 3
    Williamsburg 7 4 2 1 1
    Ypsilanti 7 3 2 1 2
    The Final Rankings:
    And now, averaging the results from our different ranking methods, we have the official Mock Analysis regional rankings from most to least difficult:

    Columbus
    Wheaton
    Cincinnati
    Lawrence
    Williamsburg
    Princeton
    Ypsilanti
    Owings Mills
    Orlando
    Topeka
    New Rochelle
    Chapel Hill
    Claremont
    Jackson
    Buffalo
    Washington DC
    Louisville
    Fresno
    New Haven
    State College
    Houston
    Tempe
    Minneapolis
    Colorado Springs
    Columbia
    Seattle
    St. Louis
    Dallas
    Last edited by MockAnalysisIsMyDrug; November 25th, 2018, 02:32 AM.

  • #2
    On thing I would be interested to hear the rationale behind is the way that bids seem to have been allocated this year. According to the ORCS earned bids list, they seem to have given all of the regionals 7 bids. In past years the regionals with an excessive number of teams have had more bids, but this year, you get the same number of bids for the 22 team regionals like Cincinnati, Chapel Hill, Columbus, and Lawrence as you do for the 32 team regionals like New Haven and Minneapolis. That strikes me as a bit odd.

    Comment


    • #3
      GooglyMoogly Thoughts? ^

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TheGhostofChaseMichael View Post
        On thing I would be interested to hear the rationale behind is the way that bids seem to have been allocated this year. According to the ORCS earned bids list, they seem to have given all of the regionals 7 bids. In past years the regionals with an excessive number of teams have had more bids, but this year, you get the same number of bids for the 22 team regionals like Cincinnati, Chapel Hill, Columbus, and Lawrence as you do for the 32 team regionals like New Haven and Minneapolis. That strikes me as a bit odd.
        Pretty sure all of the bid quantities are governed by AMTA Rule 6.6?

        Comment


        • #5
          Using TPR, which is heavily influenced by who got to ORCS last year, seems to be a bit flawed unless you're also taking into account somewhere the strength of these programs' Regionals last year (and not just using TPR for that, or else we get a bit circular).

          As an example, consider this hypothetical- you have 26 teams (let's call them Iowa State A through Iowa State Z) of perfectly equal strength. In this world, AMTA only has 2 Regional tournaments that feed into a single National championship, with 3 bids per Regional. During Year 1, Iowa State A-M go to the Des Moines Regionals, while Iowa State N-Z go to Cedar Rapids. Iowa State A-C and N-P head to Nationals.

          Now let's shuffle up the Regional assignments for Year 2. Let's forget about the rest and just put Iowa States A-C and N/O in the same Regional tournament at Cedar Rapids. Now, in spite of our a priori understanding that all of the Iowa State teams (in this hypothetical) are equally strong, an analysis based on (# of teams that went to ORCS last year at the same Regionals tournament) / (# of bids at the Regionals tournament) would suggest that the Cedar Rapids Regionals are absolutely stacked while the Des Moines Regionals should be a cakewalk for Iowa State P. This adversarial example should demonstrate one key fact- a large part of who makes it out of Regionals depends on the competitive field at their tournament.

          Teams could be heading into bloodbath Regionals this year where incoming TPRs are inflated due to weaker competition for those schools last year. Conversely, they could be heading into cakewalk Regionals where the incoming teams' Power Rankings are deflated due to strong competition at last year's Regionals. There is some degree of luck involved in who makes it out of Regionals each year, so we can't just use past years' results (or TPR, which is driven heavily by last year's results) to estimate the strength of a field at Regionals.

          Don't get me wrong- it's a good rule of thumb. But we should also be careful about taking it as Gospel and then going about generating numbers to try and perform fine-grained analysis that, frankly, TPR does not provide the right sort of data for. We can look at this analysis and say that Columbus is probably tougher than Dallas. But we should be careful about comparing tournaments that are closer together in those rankings or having too much confidence in this analysis purely because the results are quantitative.
          - Zephaniah

          Comment


          • #6
            ^They have posts coming for each week of regionals to further dissect their difficulty. Those will be filled with all the qualitative analysis you want. These are just first impressions

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by definitelynotdebate View Post

              Pretty sure all of the bid quantities are governed by AMTA Rule 6.6?
              Yes, and that rule has been applied differently in different years. Rule 6.6 says they will start with an even number for all the regionals with >20 teams and then add some extra to the huge Regionals. My question is why they haven't done that this year. Are they just waiting to see which regionals end up being huge after teams add and drop and they will add the extra bids in February or something? Or are they just not planning on having any regionals with 8 bids this year? If the former, that makes a lot of sense since I know there were a number of regionals who changed the number of bids they got as we got closer to regionals. If the later, I'd be interested to know why they have changed it up from last year. Or maybe its something else.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Zephaniah View Post
                Using TPR, which is heavily influenced by who got to ORCS last year, seems to be a bit flawed unless you're also taking into account somewhere the strength of these programs' Regionals last year (and not just using TPR for that, or else we get a bit circular).
                As rick_rawl says, we will be posting much more detailed analysis including some qualitative analysis of the different teams (in the context of their past regionals) and the overall fields. We agree that TPR is not the end-all-be-all of mock trial. But that doesn't mean it isn't interesting to look at. We posted the numbers first because that's something we had done quickly and we thought people might be interested. More details to come.

                Comment


                • #9
                  MockAnalysisIsMyDrug do you have a table of how many unranked teams are at each regional? Especially with the ways rounds 1 and 4 are paired, I feel like that could make a big difference in someone's schedule.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There are actually 2 nationals returners in Jackson: Georgia State and Georgia Tech. Iím not sure if there are any other mistakes, but as a Tech competitor this one caught my eye.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ali Thomas Here you go:
                      Regional # of Teams # Ranked % Ranked
                      Buffalo 24 10 41.67%
                      Chapel Hill 22 7 31.82%
                      Cincinnati 22 8 36.36%
                      Claremont 31 9 29.03%
                      Colorado Springs 20 10 50.00%
                      Columbia 23 7 30.43%
                      Columbus 22 10 45.45%
                      Dallas 24 7 29.17%
                      Fresno 23 9 39.13%
                      Houston 24 11 45.83%
                      Jackson 23 10 43.48%
                      Lawrence 22 10 45.45%
                      Louisville 24 10 41.67%
                      Minneapolis 32 9 28.13%
                      New Haven 32 10 31.25%
                      New Rochelle 26 13 50.00%
                      Orlando 27 11 40.74%
                      Owings Mills 29 11 37.93%
                      Princeton 24 12 50.00%
                      Seattle 24 11 45.83%
                      St. Louis 24 7 29.17%
                      State College 24 6 25.00%
                      Tempe 22 8 36.36%
                      Topeka 23 13 56.52%
                      Washington DC 25 9 36.00%
                      Wheaton 26 11 42.31%
                      Williamsburg 24 9 37.50%
                      Ypsilanti 22 10 45.45%

                      benmfelder, Thank you. We have fixed that.

                      Comment

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