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Should any regionals get an 8th bid this year?

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  • Should any regionals get an 8th bid this year?

    In previous years, around January 31st, an eighth bid has been awarded to the 3 largest regionals: New Haven, Stevenson/Owings Mills, and St. Paul. These tournaments normally have more than 28 teams in attendance so it makes sense to give them an eight bid to ORCS.

    No eighth bid has been awarded yet this year and I wonder if it will at all. Just for some perspective:
    Currently Topeka has 19, Colorado Springs has 20, and there are a bunch of regions with 21. Similarly, Minneapolis has 32, Claremont has 31, Owings Mills has 30, Orlando has 30, and New Haven has 28.

    While Mock Analysis has already done their analysis and clearly there are advantages and disadvantages of being in a larger regional. It does seem a little silly on paper to have Minneapolis and Topeka give out the same number of bids. If Mock were completely random and rounds were determined by flipping a coin. Your chance of breaking Minneapolis is about 21.8%, compared to 36.8% in Topeka.

    If extra bids are given out, then where is the line drawn? While I stopped at New Haven, there is a regional that has 27 teams this year (Houston). If they aren't given an extra bid but New Haven does, there is a new issue where the chance of breaking from New Haven (with an eighth bid) is 28.5%, and breaking from Houston (with only seven bids) would be 25.9%. Moreover, if a team who typically does 2-6 or worse drops out of New Haven, it doesn't really change many people's chances of getting out of that regional, but then if they lose their bid it certainly does change things.

    This also goes to the issue of open bids. If we give 5 extra bids to those 5 largest regionals, then the number of Open Bids that will be given out overall will be greatly diminished.

    This is a tough issue that I don't really have an answer to. Just wanted to start the discussion!

  • #2
    Read the rule. If Topeka stays at 19, it's going to have 6 bids, not 7. The regionals with the highest number of teams will have additional bids allocated to them in accordance with the procedures in 6.6, with the regionals having the same number of teams getting the same number of bids.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by geneva View Post
      Read the rule. If Topeka stays at 19, it's going to have 6 bids, not 7. The regionals with the highest number of teams will have additional bids allocated to them in accordance with the procedures in 6.6, with the regionals having the same number of teams getting the same number of bids.
      In past years, they have usually done a preliminary allocation of the extra bids before regionals though (like last year they posted that New Haven would have 8 bids back in the fall). I know the rules says they wait until 48 hours before, but that seems a bit impractical given that they have to do things like ship extra trophies to the sites with more bids (e.g. they have to decide whether to send 6 or 7 trophies to the Topeka hosts) and that takes time. So usually we know by now what is going to happen (and then it shifts around a bit during the week of regionals as teams drop last minute). And, yes, I know we could predict it based on current numbers, but last year it seemed like AMTA actually built in some plans for teams to drop (e.g. Columbia and New Haven started with the same number of teams but different numbers of bids), and we don't know how they do that or if they are doing that this year.
      Last edited by TheGhostofChaseMichael; February 4th, 2019, 01:52 PM.

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      • #4
        My understanding of the rule, in addition to the changes to AMTA tournament structure this year, lead me to believe that there will likely be extra bids given to the largest regionals with no problem. I even think it's likely that some 30+ team regionals end up with 9 automatic qualifications.
        ORCS last year hosted 192 teams in the format of 8, 24-team tournaments. This year, the structure is set up to include up to 216 teams, in 9, 24-team tournament. That being said, there are 24 extra bids to give away this year than last year. even if some of those bids were saved for open bids, there should be more than enough bids to give these big regionals the proportion of bids they should have, in fairness. Combining the extra bids allowed for from the added ORCS tournament that don't get allocated to other regionals, with the bids that open up from teams who decline bids (whether because it's a third team from the program, or because the team cannot accept the bid), should be enough to all-but-guarantee that big regionals get extra bids, while still having an extensive open bid list.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bdopl View Post
          My understanding of the rule, in addition to the changes to AMTA tournament structure this year, lead me to believe that there will likely be extra bids given to the largest regionals with no problem. I even think it's likely that some 30+ team regionals end up with 9 automatic qualifications.
          ORCS last year hosted 192 teams in the format of 8, 24-team tournaments. This year, the structure is set up to include up to 216 teams, in 9, 24-team tournament. That being said, there are 24 extra bids to give away this year than last year. even if some of those bids were saved for open bids, there should be more than enough bids to give these big regionals the proportion of bids they should have, in fairness. Combining the extra bids allowed for from the added ORCS tournament that don't get allocated to other regionals, with the bids that open up from teams who decline bids (whether because it's a third team from the program, or because the team cannot accept the bid), should be enough to all-but-guarantee that big regionals get extra bids, while still having an extensive open bid list.
          I’m not seeing how you are getting 9 direct bids per regional? right now there are seven assigned bids per regional and 21 open bids. As I understand it, the way that they will assign the 21 extra bids is that they will assign extra bids to the regional starting with the largest and stopping when they hit a point where they can’t assign extra bids to all of the regionals of the same size without running out of open bids. So they would go to 8 bids for every regional before thy go to 9 bids for any, and there aren’t enough open bids for every regional to have 8 let alone 9 (even just looking at your numbers there are 28 regionals and 216 bids which is 7.71 bids per regional).

          On another note, I think QualityQuaffles has a point that adding in extra bad teams doesn’t really make it harder to break for the teams that legitimately have a chance to break (it just makes things more dependent on who gets the free rounds). If I were a mid-level, going into a regional knowing that there were five top teams, I would much rather be in a thirty team regional than a twenty team regional, because my chances of hitting multiple top teams would be lower.

          As a result, I wonder if there is a way to calibrate the number of bids at a region based not only on the size of the region but based on the strength of the teams at the region. I know that other competition (e.g. Ultimate frisbee) have systems in which extra top teams bring extra bids to their qualifiers. That system of course has its issues because it has to either base its “top team” metric on invites (which we have discussed on other threads being a bad metric for giving post-season bids) or on last years performance (which may or may not be representative).

          I know we like to say that all teams are equal going into AMTA tournaments, but its getting to a point where the concentrations of top teams are so wildly uneven across the country that we can’t balance the strengths of the tournaments, and one solution might be to rebalance the number of bids.

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          • #6
            To my understanding, AMTA tries to put more 'power' teams in the larger regionals for that very purpose, that not really all teams are created equal. But I personally don't think the system of giving out bids top down until you run out makes a lot of sense either. The fact is that a lot happens between when regional assignments are sent out to where they are now. Some regionals have had 4-5 teams drop out, and again, these are typically no power teams. I don't think Yale A or UVA A will be dropping out of their regional (although Harvard last year was a bit of a surprise), but that is all to my point that with all the changes and moves that occur it may be good to have some level of discretion for allocating these extra bids. Clearly any region with more than 30 probably should, but maybe there is a 29 team tournament that looks much easier than a 28, and that 28 is deemed more worthy of an extra bid. I don't love arbitrary measures like this, but I agree with GhostofChase's point that not all teams are created equal nor are every regional.

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            • #7
              I don't think AMTA will add an 8th bid to any Regional because 192 bids to ORCS is a hard number in the current system. So any Regional that gets an 8th bid has to take that bid away from another tournament.

              This thread held a little bit of discussion about the problems of AMTA's growth in the current tournament format. Last year 609 teams competed for 192 bids to ORCS. This year, we're up to 651 teams. We're at a point now where less than 30% of teams competing will go to ORCS.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Roger_Wilco View Post
                I don't think AMTA will add an 8th bid to any Regional because 192 bids to ORCS is a hard number in the current system. So any Regional that gets an 8th bid has to take that bid away from another tournament.
                This is not true. There are 216 bids to ORCS this year, and plenty of sites will have 8 bids. No sites will have 9 bids (unless a large number of the smaller regionals unexpectedly dropped well below 20-team fields). A lot of the questions in this thread would be answered by reading the rules.

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                • #9
                  If you are referring to rule 6.6, "Should the number of regionals with 20 or more bid-eligible teams not allow for equal distribution of the bids, each regional with 20 or more bid-eligible teams shall receive the same number of bids, and the remainder shall be distributed jointly by the National Tabulation Director and the Tournament Administration Committee Chair according to the following: Regional tournaments with 20 or more bid-eligible teams will be ranked according to the number of teams registered 48 hours prior to the start of the first regional tournament, from largest to smallest." The problem to me is that this is fairly unclear, obviously in the past we have had a few standing Open Bids, it isn't that they distribute all bids to regionals.

                  I am not sure about others but I would like to see the new committee AMTA made to address tournament structure and growth add something to make this section a little more clear. I like how for regions with less than 20, it is made very clear 6-8 teams = 2 bids, 9-11 = 3 bids, 12-14 = 4 bids, 15-17 = 5 bids, 18-19 = 6 bids. I would like to see something like this continue into the larger regionals.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Adevans View Post
                    I am not sure about others but I would like to see the new committee AMTA made to address tournament structure and growth add something to make this section a little more clear. I like how for regions with less than 20, it is made very clear 6-8 teams = 2 bids, 9-11 = 3 bids, 12-14 = 4 bids, 15-17 = 5 bids, 18-19 = 6 bids. I would like to see something like this continue into the larger regionals.
                    I think the reason they leave this a little vague is because they don't know how many teams there will be per year. So if they give a fixed number of bids to a fixed number of teams, they could end up in a situation where a ton of teams register and their rules require them to give out more bids than there are spots at ORCS.

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                    • #11
                      I mean I have no problem with it being:
                      6-8 teams = 2 bids,
                      9-11 teams = 3 bids,
                      12-14 teams = 4 bids,
                      15-17 teams = 5 bids,
                      18-19 teams = 6 bids,
                      20-26 teams = 7 bids,
                      27+ teams = 8 bids

                      Then there shouldn't be much of the issue that you mentioned with not enough spots. Also AMTA always moves teams around based on who drops out and who doesn't. I see no reason why it couldn't happen under a more set-in-stone system.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by geneva View Post

                        This is not true. There are 216 bids to ORCS this year, and plenty of sites will have 8 bids. No sites will have 9 bids (unless a large number of the smaller regionals unexpectedly dropped well below 20-team fields). A lot of the questions in this thread would be answered by reading the rules.
                        Wait a minute. They added a 9th ORCS. When did that happen? Are there going to be 54 teams at NCT now then?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Roger_Wilco View Post

                          Wait a minute. They added a 9th ORCS. When did that happen? Are there going to be 54 teams at NCT now then?
                          This is easily answered on ATMA's website, linked here: http://www.collegemocktrial.org/tour...championship-/

                          "216 teams will advance and compete in the ORCS round of competition. The top five teams from each [of the 9] ORCS tournament[s] will advance to AMTA's National Championship Tournament in April, as well as three Open Bid teams."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Adevans View Post
                            I mean I have no problem with it being:
                            6-8 teams = 2 bids,
                            9-11 teams = 3 bids,
                            12-14 teams = 4 bids,
                            15-17 teams = 5 bids,
                            18-19 teams = 6 bids,
                            20-26 teams = 7 bids,
                            27+ teams = 8 bids

                            Then there shouldn't be much of the issue that you mentioned with not enough spots. Also AMTA always moves teams around based on who drops out and who doesn't. I see no reason why it couldn't happen under a more set-in-stone system.
                            With the current number of teams, you are right. But It could be a problem if AMTA keeps expanding. There are 216 bids to ORCS. Suppose AMTA maintains 28 regional hosts but >756 teams register (not totally insane given that 739 teams registered this year). Thats 28 regionals with more than an average of 27 teams meaning that they would have to give out about 224 bids. And yes, there would be ways of wrangling that down under 216 but it would either require adding more regionals (e.g. 30 regionals with 25 or 26 teams each only requires 210 bids) or pushing as many regionals as possible bellow 26 teams by having some really big regionals (e.g. 14 regionals with 26 teams, and 14 with 28 is also 210), but the more you grow the more you have to do that and the more you get disparities in fairness (as mentioned above). Suppose now that there is a unexpected expansion and there are 800 teams. Now to get things down to 216 bids with 28 regionals, we have to have 14 regionals with 26 teams and then 14 regionals which are up at 31 or 32 teams and thats a weird disparity. I'm not saying they couldn't work it out on the above system, but it makes regional allocation much harder (and its already a very messy system).

                            By keeping things vague, AMTA stops themselves from having to make emergency rule changes or do weird things to keep the bid count down if there is a huge number of new registrants some year, because they have more flexibility.

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                            • #15
                              To clarify my earlier comment, I said that it was “likely” some regionals get 9 bids. I definitely overstated there. I believe 9 bids is theoretically possible for a 32 team regional, for example, but not likely. I do believe that each regional with more than 28 teams registered at least 48 hours in advance will have an eighth bid allocated to them prior to the start of competition. What I think will end up happening, is that those 9th places teams at the big regionals will still have a good shot at open bids.

                              Last year, in Orlando, there were 28 teams, I believe. 7 got automatic bids. There were 3 teams with a 5-3 record. All 3 of them split their ballots in round 4. If all of them had swept, they’d still be out of the top 7, with 6-2 records each. It was entirely possible that the 10th place team finished 6-2. Had that happened, we’d likely be taking the conversation of bid distribution a little more seriously, and would be questioning why it adds an extra bid for every third team, before reaching 20 teams, and then all of a sudden, it takes 8 more teams to *maybe* grant that regional another bid.

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