Reach Scores Audio #19

2018 Lisgar Tournament, Glebe vs UTS A

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We’re at the end of the preliminary round-robin. From the 2018 Lisgar Reach-style tournament, this round 9 match has Glebe CI against UTS “A”. Moderating and production by Ben Smith.

Here is the link to the episode.

Notes:

  • The Rhodesia question was a bit misleading because “Rhodesia” did not have its nationhood well-recognized, and because Mugabe overthrew the briefly-rerecognized colony of “Southern Rhodesia”. I accepted the latter answer and nobody felt the need to protest in this matchup.
  • There is a German performance of “As Slow As Possible” on an organ that is playing its 13th note until September 2020. It still has more than 600 years to go.
  • A team scramble was a repeat. I imagine this was a mess to sort out in closer rooms; I threw it out. Without replacement team scrambles on hand, the only way to resolve it is to awkwardly read the first tiebreaker with team scramble procedure, then continue the three unrelated tiebreakers just to the team that answers.
  • A Mersenne prime is, indeed, of the form of one less than a power of 2 (3, 7, 31, etc).

Thanks for listening!

Reach Scores Audio #13

2018 Lisgar Tournament, UTS C vs Glebe

From the 2018 Lisgar Reach-style tournament, this round 3 match has UTS “C” against Glebe CI. Moderating and production by Ben Smith.

Here is the link to the episode.

Notes:

  • This was the first match with eight players at the table, requiring the use of a bad buzzer on my system. The light is embedded and out of view on the signaler, so I have to interject every now and then to say the player’s light is on.
  • The Ivy League error in the pack required very on-the-fly judgment. The format of list questions would force the game to stop to resolve the continuation of the list in a more serious tournament (especially for a list with five total entries).
  • Singapore was indeed made independent against its wishes after a vote by the Malaysian government. Usually, a nation’s independence comes from the local population seeking it.

Thanks for listening!

Reach Scores Audio #12

2018 Lisgar Tournament, LCI B vs Glebe

Here’s the next upload, and a reminder that listening voids any ability to play the questions competitively. From the 2018 Lisgar Reach-style tournament, this round 2 match has Lisgar CI “B” against Glebe CI. Moderating and production by Ben Smith.

Here is the link to the episode.

Notes:

  • I think my original rejection to “Talleyrand” was for hearing “Talloo, no” before the player corrected the response. The points were given upon insistence from the other team. Reach rules are far less forgiving than quizbowl for mid-answer corrections, and as “El Classica” from the 2017 final showed, if this was judged by Reach, vowel variation wouldn’t have been accepted. This tournament was not Reach Nationals, though, so I easily ended up letting it pass.
  • It didn’t affect the scores, but I was wrong about the number of capitals the Danube flows through and the pack was right. Slovakia does cross the Danube, allowing a bit of Bratislava to be on the other of the river. Vienna is also far enough away from the border to straddle the river.
  • Impressionism is not an 18th century movement, but that didn’t trip up the players.

Thanks for listening!

2018 Ontario Provincials preview

Lisgar’s attendance streak is old enough to vote.

Roughly 40 teams from across Ontario will gather next week to determine the provincial SchoolReach champion. It is the most-attended Reach tournament of the year and is usually a springboard for the eventual national champions.

The format should still be similar to that of previous years. Five pools of eight teams will run a round robin to produce ten playoff teams. The pool winners will go through, followed by the best winning records and point totals. The ten playoff teams then play a modified elimination bracket to qualify the three Ontario teams heading to Nationals.

Like last year (see the 2017 preview post), I will give an assessment of the contenders. I group them into tiers of five; it is difficult to give a clear single rank to teams with most data unavailable, and the tiers would suggest that each pool should have one team from each tier. There is likely some bias towards teams that have reported results – I couldn’t predict the 11th place team from Windsor last year, for example.

Here are the contenders, listed only in alphabetical order within tiers:

Tier 1 (should win pool)

London Central SS

  • 2017 provincials result: 5th
  • Best provincial result (on file): 1st (2007, 2009, 2014)

Central has results from the UTS fall tournament (2nd, 149%) and a mirror of the Lisgar tournament (1st, 115%). They may have lost to Martingrove in the fall, but have handily got past any other contenders they have faced. They haven’t faced the main UTS team, though, and that will probably stop them from claiming another provincial title. They are in a good spot for a Nationals qualification.

Martingrove CI

  • 2017 provincials result: 3rd
  • Best provincial result (on file): 1st (2013, 2015-16)

Martingrove will be vying for an incredible (for Ontario) sixth consecutive Nationals qualification. They won the “provincials preview” UTS tournament (1st, 123%) and breezed through their region (1st, 183%). Their underlying numbers are not as strong as some earlier years, though, and they may be vulnerable in the playoffs.

University of Toronto Schools

  • 2017 provincials result: 1st
  • Best provincial result (on file): 1st (2001-04, 2008, 2012, 2017)

There’s no skirting around it, UTS is the favourite. In Reach and quizbowl, they haven’t lost to another school, and their only statistically measured result with the main team, the Lisgar tournament (1st, 144%), is miles ahead of anyone else. They will have a heavy dose of substitutions during the prelims and early playoffs, but the B team’s equally impressive results during the year will keep the wins coming.

Upper Canada College

  • 2017 provincials result: 4th
  • Best provincial result (on file): 2nd (2016)

UCC has quietly grown to a semifinal lock in recent years. I only have their UTS tournament (17th, 144%), but I think they were victims of the very unbalanced morning pool situation – they got the points, but had to face all the contenders. Hopefully, the provincial pools will be more stable and give them another high seed.

Westmount SS

  • 2017 provincials result: 8th
  • Best provincial result (on file): 7th (2004)

Westmount has been the busiest team all year, playing any tournament they can find. They did well at the UTS tournament (4th, 179%) and regionals (1st, 184%) but got four losses to Central at the Lisgar mirror (2nd, 104%). In quizbowl, they were regularly second to UTS, but didn’t do well in History Bowl. Westmount will be hoping that all this practice makes perfect, and they have an outside chance of being the first Hamilton team at Nationals since the early 1990s.

Tier 2 (should make playoffs)

The Academy for Gifted Children (PACE)

  • 2017 provincials result: 7th
  • Best provincial result (on file): 2nd (2013)

I actually don’t know if PACE qualified, and have no results for them. This is entirely a rank based on their reputation; the years they make provincials, they almost always make the playoffs. In the event that PACE didn’t qualify, the regional representative (such as Newmarket) would probably take their place in the tiers.

Glebe CI

  • 2017 provincials result: DNQ
  • Best provincial result (on file): 8th (2015)

Glebe has never been eliminated in the provincial prelims, therefore, they will make playoffs. More seriously, they have been somewhat of a middling team all year, including at the Lisgar tournament (9th, 83%), but produced a surprise at regionals (1st, 192%) with the best R-value of the year that has been collected. Glebe’s other provincial runs were surprisingly good compared to their regular season performances, so perhaps they are attuned to pure SchoolReach format.

Lisgar CI

  • 2017 provincials result: 2nd
  • Best provincial result (on file): 2nd (2008, 2015, 2017)

Lisgar’s lineup is entirely different from last year’s national champions. They have been active this year as usual, but fall short to other busy contenders like UTS and Westmount. Their lineup appeared at UTS (7th, 135%) and regionals (2nd, 180%), but was split over the B and C teams at their hosted tournament. Lisgar has enough strength to get through the first day, but they will likely have to meet a team in the playoffs they have lost to earlier in the year.

Royal St. George’s College

  • 2017 provincials result: 9th
  • Best provincial result (on file): 9th (2017)

RSGC predictions always burn me. They have not yet been able to convert their dominance of History Bowl into Reach success. I’ve had them as potential national qualifiers in the past two years, but they only made playoffs once in that time. This year, I am putting them in the second tier range; they still have their best player, but a lot of his supporting cast from previous years have graduated. RSGC could also desperately use a provincials set that isn’t relying on recycled material from past years.

White Oaks SS

  • 2017 provincials result: DNQ
  • Best provincial result (on file): 11th (2015)

White Oaks has never made provincial playoffs before, but they look like the best of the midfield. At the UTS tournament (13th, 120%), the only teams with better R-values than them are already higher on this list. They pulled off an impressive 390PPG during their regional playoffs, but I don’t count elimination playoffs in R-value calculations (it messes up strength of schedule – they would be listed at 221% otherwise!).

Tier 3 (could make playoffs)

Abbey Park HS

  • 2017 provincials result: DNQ
  • Best provincial result (on file): no appearance

Abbey Park beat OTHS to be the other Halton representative. They put up higher scores than White Oaks in the regional playoffs, but lost the final. Abbey Park has never been to provincials (the school is younger than my records), but the good regional run and some History Bowl preparation could lead to a nice provincial debut for the team.

Michael Power – St. Joseph HS

  • 2017 provincials result: 26th
  • Best provincial result (on file): 15th (2013)

MPSJ once again got through regionals (2nd, 131%) ahead of other teams with higher R-values, but their result at UTS (15th, 95%) still suggests they could pull off a top 15 finish. They haven’t made it to the playoffs before, however, so they will need to give their best performances of the year during the prelims to achieve that.

Nepean HS

  • 2017 provincials result: DNQ
  • Best provincial result (on file): 23rd (2016)

Nepean should do better than their single previous appearance, when they were thrown into the 2016 pool of death. While they finished behind Glebe and Lisgar at regionals (3rd, 159%), they will still put up competitive numbers to justify Ottawa’s three qualification spots. Nepean was probably equal with Glebe up until the regional tournament, and could be a worthy opponent to a team in a higher tier.

The Scarborough winner

  • 2017 provincials result: N/A (Neil McNeil was 14th)
  • Best provincial result (on file): N/A

I don’t know who won Scarborough, but the region should produce a team in these tiers. Agincourt at UTS (10th, 102%) gives the best estimate of where a Scarborough team might finish.

Toronto Montessori Schools

  • 2017 provincials result: DNQ
  • Best provincial result (on file): no appearance

TMS is another first-timer that could make a good provincial debut. This team has grown quickly from an exploratory visit at Lisgar two years ago to a regional winner. They put up mid-tier numbers at UTS (11th, 82%) and the Lisgar set mirror (3rd, 84%), but winning the York region over traditional favourites like CHAT and Bayview should now put them on other teams’ radar. They have demonstrated an ability to get wins even with lower PPGs, but I don’t think they’ll make it to playoffs.


There is a fair bit of stability at the top, with the only teams from last year’s playoffs not mentioned being Assumption (did not qualify out of Halton) and Merivale (did not participate in Ottawa).

Some other teams I considered, but didn’t select, are Centennial CVI (12th and 77% at UTS), Glenforest SS (the Peel winner over teams like Heart Lake and Mayfield), Almonte DHS (10th and 69% at Lisgar), and teams from Waterloo or Niagara. I don’t want to place them in a fourth tier, though, because at that level you run into lots of teams with no results to use.

Overall, UTS, London Central, and Martingrove look like the contenders for the three Nationals spots. There could be a surprise playoff appearance by a team not on my radar, but as last year’s preview showed, provincial results are becoming more forecastable.

I will be at provincials this year without attachment to any team. This will give me some flexibility to find games I want to see. This blog will not be updated with any results until I return, but I will try to give some reports on my Twitter feed.

Good luck to all the provincial competitors!

Surprise results

UTS takes a loss?

The last regional tournament, Ottawa, finally concluded this week. After a final round robin between the top 4 of Lisgar CI, Glebe CI, Nepean HS, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier SS, Glebe won all three matches and won the region. This is Glebe’s first regional title in the SchoolReach era. Glebe, Lisgar, and Nepean were invited to provincials.

The results are found here. Additionally, the table kept by the coordinators is found here. The Ottawa results boosted the set PPG overall for regionals, making Glebe’s 192% R-value the new overall leader of reported results. Glebe “benefited” from a very tough strength of schedule where they faced top teams over and over again, but they managed to earn lots of points in those matches, including a sweep in the final round robin. There has only been one instance so far of a team reaching 190% in regionals and not making it to Nationals, but calling Glebe “nationals-bound” would be an unexpected surprise. Nevertheless, Glebe has made Ontario playoffs in all of their provincial appearances (a better record than UTS, Lisgar, Martingrove, et al), and even before regionals I considered them provincial playoff level.

Lisgar and Nepean put up R-values of 180% and 159%, which feel more reasonable. Lisgar will probably be a second-tier playoff team, while Nepean seems just outside the playoffs in the 11-20 range.

For the Ottawa region, there is definitely concern about attendance. While many signed up at the start of the year (perhaps automatically by school secretaries), the final day ended with ten teams. Three provincial invites is quite rich for that level of participation, even with the historically strong record of Ottawa teams. Considering that there are more populous regions out there with fewer invites, I would not be surprised to see future cuts to the Ottawa portion of the provincials field.

Last week also saw the downtown Toronto History Bowl qualifier. Results are in this PDF. UTS A won the senior final over Royal St. George’s College, though earlier in the day, RSGC handed UTS their first competitive loss this season (from a team other than UTS B). History Bowl is definitely RSGC’s forte, and a back-of-napkin calculation has RSGC at 145% “R-value” in the field compared to 139% for UTS A. History Bowl is not SchoolReach, however, and UTS is probably more well-rounded in the other subjects. At the other end of this spectrum, Westmount is not as strong in History Bowl, but an 89% R-value is surprising. One of Westmount’s losses was to Abbey Park, so perhaps keep an eye out for them at provincials.

Almost all the useful information I can expect to get before provincials has been gathered. All that is left is the Hamilton mirror of Lisgar’s independent tournament, which can be used to measure some GTA teams against provincials-bound UTS, Lisgar, Glebe, and Almonte. I have pretty much settled on my Ontario playoff predictions, but the release will wait until early May.

After the deadline

I wonder who won Toronto?

Ontario SchoolReach regions had to determine qualifiers by April 13, so almost everything is wrapped up. There are a few more regions sorted out.

Cobourg CI won the Northumberland region this week. They regularly represent their region at provincials, but are not expected to break out of the bottom half of the field.

UTS won their downtown Toronto region. This is not a surprise; they will be heading to provincials as the favourites.

Royal St George’s College won their downtown Toronto region (separate from UTS and UCC) in a final over Bloor. RSGC has been more successful in History Bowl than SchoolReach; they are almost equal to UTS in the former but struggle in the provincials of the latter. I have been guilty of hyping them in previous years, yet now that the main players are in their senior year, I have lower expectations. The Toronto region of History Bowl this weekend will give some more insight.

York (South) region finished on Thursday with Toronto Montessori Schools taking the title over St. Theresa CSS. This is TMS’ first provincials qualification, and have been quickly improving after embracing the independent circuit a few years ago. If the second invite is offered, St. Theresa will probably finish in the bottom half.

Despite the deadline, the Ottawa region is not finished. In fact, it only just started on Thursday. Because of scheduling problems, Ottawa will finish late and will have three invites set aside. Lisgar CI went undefeated in their pool with 406 PPG but a paltry 0.73 strength of schedule (the lowest of any Regional team so far). Glebe CI also went undefeated with 374 PPG and a much tougher 1.07 SOS. The pools were not well-balanced, but it was fairly split amongst the known teams – it was the surprise strength of the lower teams in one pool that made it lopsided. Nepean, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Blyth Academy, and St. Paul round out the upcoming top bracket. Ottawa convenors will be updating scores here.

Regionals will conclude eventually, then I can start previewing the Ontario provincial field.

 

Calgary and Lisgar

13 Nats appearances in past 3 years in this post

After some wait, I finally have results tables again.

First up is the Calgary-Foothills SchoolReach regional tournament. This region has produced four National appearances in the past two years from Renert School, Rundle College, and Webber Academy. The tournament is still in progress with the two Renert teams still undefeated; results are found here. I don’t have a schedule of matchups that have occurred so far, so I can’t give R-values yet. The set PPG of 181 (probably closer to 200 when factoring out some forfeits) feels low for a regional tournament – they have been in the 230-250 PPG range in recent years. Considering that there are Nationals-bound teams in the field, this doesn’t look good for high points scores in other upcoming regions.

This is in contrast to the scoring blitz that was the 2018 Lisgar Reach tournament. UTS and Kennebecasis Valley once again joined the Ottawa-area teams in a tournament that has become a preview of Nationals. Results of the senior division are found here. UTS “A” won the tournament with a tidy points haul, losing only to UTS “C”, who finished second. Lisgar and KVHS rounded out the top 4 bracket. In the junior division, Glebe went undefeated and gave second-place Ashbury their only losses, while two KVHS teams tied for third.

The senior field at Lisgar was stacked. UTS “A” picked up almost 60% of the points available and only had an R-value of 144%. In the past, the junior division used essentially the same set as the seniors, so their results could be included too. For this year, there was enough difference to require separating them. This means there were no “weak” teams in the field to make UTS look relatively stronger. The bottom two finishers, Glebe and Almonte, are expected to end up in the top 20 at Ontario Provincials, while 4th through 9th were covered by a 55 PPG difference. In fact, the whole field can be circled as:

  • Almonte won against Glebe
  • Glebe won against Colonel By
  • Colonel By won against UTS B
  • UTS B won against Lisgar B
  • Lisgar B won against Lisgar C
  • Lisgar C won against KVHS
  • KVHS won against Lisgar A
  • Lisgar A won against UTS C
  • UTS C won against UTS A
  • while UTS A won against Almonte

Also, I made recordings of matches at the tournament, though I think I should withhold releasing them until a decision is made about using the questions at another site (TBD).

History Bowl also began their Canadian leg yesterday, but I don’t have results from Hamilton yet.

Other regions are starting up soon, so there are busy times ahead!