Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Open Seeds

Experience has taught us that the single best indicator for success at nationals is the results of the previous year’s nationals. This isn’t a new idea; we’ve known this for as long as I’ve been playing. What’s interesting is that the previous year’s results have become and increasingly smaller factor in determining seeding. I think there are a few reasons for this: 1) the format gurus (ok, mostly just Tarr) have convinced us that seeds aren’t meant to be predictive 2) we now have access to a lot more regular season results 3) we have been influenced by the method for seeding college – where the amount of turnover makes the previous years results a lot less indicative of success.

Another factor which seems to be completely ignored is when teams bring less that full-strength squad to tournaments. From the standpoint of creating an algorithm, it’s not clear how you account for this. However, in ignoring the strength of the team that actually showed up to a tournament we are throwing away usual information.

I guess what I’m suggesting is that by not considering these two factors, our seeding is not as good as it could be—Chain has been in a pool with 2 semi-finalists the last 3 years. I will say the format at Club nationals is the best at minimizing the effects of initial seeding, but I think it’s naïve to claim that seeding doesn’t matter at nationals.

For these and other reasons, I’ve argued before that it might be time for the UPA to get rid of the prohibition on not seeding a team above a team it finished lower than at a series event.

That being said, here’s my shot at seeding:

The Top 3

Due to the above mentioned prohibition, there are 3 possible ways to seed the top 3. 1)Jam, Sockeye, Bravo. 2)Bravo, Jam, Sockeye, 3) Jam, Bravo, Sockeye. The third way makes the least sense to me. If you’re willing to say that Bravo’s season entitles them to a higher ranking than Sockeye, then certainly Bravo’s 3-1 record against Jam should entitle than to the 1 seed. That being said, I prefer the first seeding. I think you have to give credit to Jam for winning the hardest region.

Furious – the team has been in at least the semis for 8? years. Was strong at ECC before losing to Jam.

Sub Zero, If Goat wins NE regionals they are the obvious 5 seed, I think there loss pushes Zero up to 5. They’ve had a good season, only losing to teams above them with the exception of 1 loss to Goat.
6)Boston, 7)Goat, 8)Ring, 9)Condors. I honestly have no idea how to seed this group. Ring is 2-0 against Boston and 0-2 against Goat. Condors has no head-to-head games with this group. I’m gonna go with this seeding to avoid regional re-matches, but I think any shuffling within this group can be justified.

The three teams in this grouping are Rhino, Doublewide, and Truckstop. Rhino has a four point win over Doublewide, and Truckstop has a one point win over Rhino. I’m going to going to give credit to Rhino for making quarters last year and generally having a slightly better season than Truckstop, despite the 1 point Truckstop win. 10)Rhino, 11)Doublewide, 12)Truckstop.

It’s kind of strange for me to say that Chain should be the 13 seed. This is the sixth year in a row Chain has been to nationals, and this will be the lowest we’ve ever been seeded. This, despite the fact they we’re coming off our best year ever, and added several strong players.
14) Machine – featuring a bunch of guys who wish they still played for Chain, and some new guy from the west coast.
15) Pike – the comeback kids.
16) Van Buren Boys – we were all a little nervous about the poor spirit in the mixed division spilling over into open when these guys decided to make the switch. After regionals, it seems like our fears were justified.

That gives me the following (obviously correct) seeds:
1. Jam
2. Sockeye
3. Bravo
4. Furious
5. Sub Zero
6. Boston
7. Goat
8. Ring
9. Condors
10. Rhino
11. Doublewide
12. Truck Stop
13. Chain
14. Machine
15. Pike
16. Van Buren Boys


Seigs said...

Ring is 2-1 against Boston, not 2-0. Loss in ECC pool play.

And Condors beat Boston in Colorado.

AJ said...


So maybe we move the Condors up. How does this look?

1. Jam
2. Sockeye
3. Bravo
4. Furious
5. Sub Zero
6. Condors
7. Boston
8. Goat
9. Ring
10. Rhino
11. Doublewide
12. Truck Stop
13. Chain
14. Machine
15. Pike
16. Van Buren Boys

Seigs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
$ said...

I still lean towards putting Bravo #1. Though if JAM is 1, I would agree to place Sockeye ahead of Bravo.

I also tend to think both DW and Chain should be higher than Rhino, but that's why we will play :)

Other than that, seems pretty close to how it will turn out.

As for VBB, I wouldn't necessarily say that they were the ones with bad spirit (I did NOT watch the play in game). However, we played them twice this year and had no issues with them. As for Madcow, I watched at least three of their games and played in one against them in the Semi's. I would tend to say the game was more a reflection of Madcow than VBB. Take that for what it's worth.

I think they enjoy playing with Machine...I think we'd take you as well.

Just some transplanted west coaster.

Seigs said...

That looks fair...Ring has a good argument to go above us, but that would put us and GOAT in the same pool.

Kyle Weisbrod said...

Only problem with the new one is it puts Bravo and the Condors in the same pool (this is what I did with my seeding as well). I'm not sure what to change to avoid this without moving Bravo up to the one seed.

I don't think Bravo deserves the one seed. Jam and Sockeye won the two most competitive tournaments of the season (ECC and Labor Day) and deserve the 1 and 2 seeds respectively.

So, I really haven't added much to this conversation.

AJ said...

Seigs: thought you'd provided enough bulletin board material for one life?

Given the way the system works, I'm not sure how you can justify putting Chain/DW ahead of where I have them...I don't necessarily think the current system is ideal..thus my whining at the beginning of the post.

I honestly have no idea who the Van Buren Boys are...i just like making fun of coed...especially since coed types are always complaining about the bad spirit in open.

look forward to seeing everyone soon,


The Pulse said...

My seeds are the same as the ones you posted above in the comments section, except Truck Stop-Rhino-DW. But my seeds have a Bravo-Condors and DW-Chain pool play rematch. I think that avoiding regional rematches is not nearly as credible at Nationals as Regionals. Give teams the seeds they've earned.

Also, I like the constraint of seeding according to Regional results. It makes all of those games at Regionals much more meaningful.

I do have trouble with the 10-12 seeds too. Ring has massive wins over both Truck Stop and Rhino, which makes the dropoff from 9 to 10 pretty big. But Ring also matches up really well against Rhino and Truck Stop, who have good results against other teams. It's all a mess.

AJ said...


Yeah, that's no good. I really like to avoid regional rematches when possible...NW gets 4 bids, so they can't really expect no rematches, but if we can avoid rematches in other regions...i like it.

Hmm...I'm not sure how to do it. You could conceivably push Ring up ahead of the Condors...but then you get the same problem with Boston/Goat.

Bravo as number 1 solves the problem most easily.

AJ said...


Yeah, I think you can justify T.S. above Rhino and DW based on T.S. win over Rhino and Rhino's win over DW.

However, I think it's kind of weird to put the South Teams 12/13...given that Truck Stop finished behind both South teams last year at natties.

Not really fair to punish DW because Chain showed up to a couple of early season tourneys at half-strength. The only tourney the two teams both went to, DW finished ahead of TS.

Kyle Weisbrod said...

AJ, since you're suggesting that regional finish shouldn't matter in seeding, here's a question for you:

where do you think Chain would have ended up had you beaten DW? My guess is that it just would have been a reversal of those two spot (12/13).

Something like:

AJ said...

Not sure that it would change anything...although I still say DW should be ahead of Truck Stop...etc.

My comment about getting rid of the upa series loss requirement stems from some of the strange seedings we've seen in the past....thinking about central mixed regionals a couple of years ago...there are other examples.

The Pulse said...

I guess I just don't think that any of TS/Rhino/DW is "good enough" to be the 10-seed, but there was a drop-off after #9 at college nationals this year too. And if I were the 7-seed, I'd rather face Truck Stop than Rhino or DW ... except Truck Stop has a win over Boston and Boston has a win over Rhino. So maybe not. Why couldn't DW go to one more tournament? It would make things so much easier.

RRI seedings go TS-Rhino-DW ... reverse RRI order!

parinella said...

I wish we would move away from the "A beat B, so A should be above B" mentality. The unit of measurement is really the tournament, not the game. Especially in elite tournaments where every game is a tough one, any one pool play result is insignificant. I think you would get better seedings if you simply took a list of tournament results (and possibly pool play records) and used those instead of all these head-to-heads.

I had Chain at #7 (with that big bonus from last year's semis) before having to move them down because of DW (#12). But then I looked only at Chain and TS and concluded that maybe TS deserved to be higher, based solely on this year.

VBB and Pike had indistinguishable seasons. In this case, you might actually have to go to head-to-head for the tiebreaker (Pike by 2 in a consolation game at Boston Invite), or rely instead on Pike having made Nationals 2 years ago and semis 3 years ago.

One last recommendation to captains: ignore the desire to avoid rematches when submitting your seeding. Put them where you think they belong, then let the director tweak them if that's the way it goes.

Seigs said...

"Seigs: thought you'd provided enough bulletin board material for one life?"

Hardly. Just didn't play the right card at the right time.

And, if I recall correctly to back in the day when we were are not one to talk about keeping quiet about your team...

AJ said...

And, if I recall correctly to back in the day when we were are not one to talk about keeping quiet about your team...

i've become wiser with age...

eh..probably not...if anyone scores more than five points on Chain at nationals I'll be amazed.


Idris said...

It would be interesting if in the future all teams were encouraged to list their team as "Team Name X", instead of "Team Name" at tournaments where they felt the entering team did not represent them. They already do this when they are split squad, why not do it when 7-9 players are hurt or missing or the team is just using the tournament to develope the new guys?

Teams could choose going in if they felt the roster they had was representative of their team. It might mean your team has fewer reported tournaments, but people would at least know they could trust the scores.

This would allow teams to easily filter out spring tournaments (which seeding guru's do any way), but then allow for the occasional late season tourney as well (i.e. FG at Labor Day).

Hmmm... maybe rather than "Team Name X", there is a flag you can set in the reporter prior to a tournament where you can mark your team "X" for that tournament and accomplish the same thing. Scores still get recorded to one team, but RRI and other ranking tools on the score reporter only use the "true" scores.

david said...

Since this is UPA's seedings for UPA's tournament, why doesn't the UPA set a date (like say July 1st) and say that all tournaments beforehand are not counted for seeding (preseason) and after are. This will take some control out of the hands of the teams but in turn some standardization of when teams are going full force might be for the best.

Cody said...

I would say that VBB must have cleaned up their act as they won the spirt award at nationals!