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ORCS Balance Report (Completed)

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  • ORCS Balance Report (Completed)

    Before I begin with the main subject of this article, I want to congratulate the 48 teams who earned bids to nats in Minnesota. ORCS is always a bloodbath, and escaping any of the 8 super regional tournaments is an impressive feat. ORCS is often times even more stressful than nationals, with the entire season hanging in the balance. The fact that only 25 of the TPR's top 50 made it into the last 48 (including only 16 of the top 25) is indicative of the sheer weight of advancing from ORCS.

    As those 48 teams prepare for the new case, complete with a fresh set of changes, I'd like to finish taking a look at how the case changes before ORCS effected the balance of State v. Hendricks. Typically, this would be an endeavor with little impact as no one will be running State v. Hendricks, outside of the occasional post season round where the last thing on anyone's mind is facts or the case balance.

    That being said, those aforementioned national's case changes have added a fair amount of relevance to this exercise (and as we all know, the bar for relevance is very low in Midlands). Before ORCS, the case committee saw a case that they felt was incredibly unbalanced in favor of the defense. As such, the Case Committee set out to make a wealth of concessions to the prosecution, to the point that many competitors and a few coaches worried that they had gone too far.

    Fast forward to today, and we have United States v Barrow, a case that the Committee felt, before a round had even occurred, was unbalanced against the prosecution. In another unprecedented move, the Committee made substantive changes to a nationals case, which has not occurred in its four year history.

    So yet again, by AMTA's own admission, the defense attorneys are upset. They ruined the defense for ORCS, and now they've gone and done it all over again for nationals, and now we are staring down the barrel of a 48 way 6-6 tie in St. Paul.

    Or are we? As we take a look at the effect the case changes had on ORCS, we have a means to measure the level of trust in our benevolent AMTA overlords. Are the Criminal Case Committees just a bunch of defense hating loose cannons, bent on ensuring the conviction of all the poor innocent citizens of Midlands? Or do they, perhaps, actually know what they are doing?

    The first metrics I looked at after the first two weeks of ORCS is below, complete with the updated total of the prosecution's overall record and win percentage, the prosecution round 3 record and win percentage, and the prosecution round 3 involving nats qualifiers record and win percentage.
    ORCS Pros Record (Total) Pros Win % (Total) Pros Record (R3) Pros Win % (R3) Pros Record (R3 NatsQ) Pros Win % (R3 NatsQ)
    Wilmington 48-42-6 53.1% 9-14-1 39.6% 6-6-0 50.0%
    Santa Monica 43-49-4 46.9% 8-16-0 33.3% 4-8-0 33.3%
    Central Islip 40-55-1 42.2% 10-14-0 41.6% 7-5-0 58.3%
    Geneva 40-56-0 41.6% 16-8-0 66.6% 8-4-0 66.6%
    Greenville 46-46-4 50.0% 14-10-0 58.3% 6-6-0 50.0%
    Hamilton 37-55-4 40.6% 13-10-1 56.2% 5-6-1 45.8%
    Lancaster 37-57-2 39.6% 10-12-2 45.8% 6-6-0 50.0%
    Memphis 43-48-5 47.4% 10-13-1 43.7% 5-6-1 45.8%
    Total 334-408-26 45.2% 90-97-5 48.2% 47-47-2 50.0%
    At all three of the final weekends ORCS, the prosecution finished with losing records, ending the 2018 ORCS campaign at 334-408-26, a win percentage of only 45.2%. For round three, Hamilton helped the prosecution avoid a week three sweep, but it still finished under 500, posting a 90-97-5 overall record and a win percentage of 48.2%.

    For the last metric of this first table, the prosecution win percentage in round 3 involving nationals qualifiers, the prosecution lost a net of two ballots to finish even at 47-47-2. While this metric has the smallest sample size of everything I look at, the potential correlation between side bias in power matched round 3, and reaching nationals, is a very important. Based on the data across all 8 ORCS, the side a team was on in round 3 had little impact on whether or not that team would earn a bid.

    Couple this with the fact that a lot of the worry going into ORCS was the defense case being gutted to favor the prosecution, the fact that the other two metrics have the prosecution losing, including a sizable 74 ballot loss to the defense overall, seem to show that the Case Committee's anti-defense moves did not go too far.

    If anything, based on the last grouping of data I analyzed, those changes did not go far enough. Below I again look at the records of nationals qualifiers on the prosecution and the defense, and calculate the plus/minus of the prosecution win percentage compared to the defense.
    ORCS Pros Record Pros Win % Def Record Def Win % Pros +/-
    Wilmington 20-4-0 83.3% 15-7-2 66.6% +16.6%
    Santa Monica 17-7-0 70.8% 20-4-0 83.3% -12.5%
    Central Islip 18-6-0 75.0% 19-4-1 81.2% -6.2%
    Geneva 18-6-0 75.0% 21-3-0 87.5% -12.5%
    Greenville 17-7-0 70.8% 19-3-2 83.3% -12.5%
    Hamilton 12-11-1 52.1% 21-2-1 89.6% -37.5%
    Lancaster 15-9-0 62.5% 21-3-0 87.5% -25.0%
    Memphis 17-7-0 70.8% 17-4-3 77.1% -6.3%
    Total 134-57-1 70.0% 153-30-9 82.0% -12%
    The results were quiet staggering. All three of the ORCS for the last weekend had teams perform substantially better on the defense than on the prosecution, especially in Hamilton and Lancaster, where the prosecution was blown away; nationals qualifiers advancing out of Hamilton barely finished above 500 as prosecution. Nationals qualifiers on the prosecution had an overall win percentage of 70%, while those same teams on the defense finished with a win percentage of 82%. That 12% difference is one ballot out of every 8.

    Now there are a possibility that cannot be ruled out by the data: perhaps there was a bit of reverse confirmation bias, meaning that teams worried that the case changes did in fact make the defense so much weaker than the prosecution, so they spent the majority of their prep time on the defense, leaving their prosecution cases fairly untouched. An under-prepared case is often times a weak case, so this hypothesis, especially when we look at the trajectory of the metrics over the three weeks, could account for the data.

    Even if this were the case, the defense was still able to overcome their perceived slight, and the work the Case Committee performed did not create an unstoppable prosecution bent on locking up all Dylan Hendricks. Moving forward, I think the ORCS Balance data can allow defense attorneys around Midlands to breath a sigh of relief. Sure, you may have your work cut out for you with the definitive existence of the security footage, but all is not lost. At the end of the day, no matter how rough the waters ahead may seem, if you keep your eyes on the horizon, eventually you will reach the safe shores of Reasonable Doubt Island.
    Last edited by MockingUnderPressure; April 5th, 2018, 02:11 PM.
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