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Midwest Awards Analysis

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Midwest Awards Analysis Empty Midwest Awards Analysis

Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:32 pm
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Hey All,

This project was kinda inspired by closethedoor19's "Midwest Mock Names to Know" post which I thought was really interesting. It made me think about how we look at individual awards so often when talking about teams and competitors and predictions for NATS or even TBC. I thought I would put together a spreadsheet compilling all the individual awards given to Midwest Mockers throughout the season. I scoured through all the invitationals posted on the AMTA website and tried to get every single award.

I defined Midwest as any school from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. I included invitationals that didn't take place in the Midwest but had teams from the Midwest, and also included all Regionals and ORCS. Here the Midwest got a bit lucky because all the teams from our region got to compete at the ORCS level either in Cincinnati, Geneva, or Cedar Rapids. Therefore I was able to include whether a team or program got out of Regionals and ORCS. I tried to be as thorough as possible but I wouldn't be surprised if some slipped awards slipped through the cracks, feel free to point them out and I'll correct them.

By my count, Midwestern Attorneys got over 400 individual awards throughout the 2019-20 season and Midwestern Witnesses got about 375. I would guess witness awards are more difficult to get because of judge subjectivity/preferences for characters over experts etc. I listed all awards for both attorney and witnesses in the spreadsheet, alongside team numbers the best I could. Obviously team number isn't indicative of much until after teams stack but I included it for invitationals nonetheless.

I also compiled data on individuals who won multiple awards throughout the season, and hae tabs that show all attorneys and witnesses who won more than 2 awards over the course of the season. (I did not take the time to include participants who are "double threats" because I kept witnesses and attorneys in seperate categories, but if anyone wants to find those out it shouldn't be too hard using my spreadsheet.) Congratulations are due to Bri Goodchild (Minnesota) and Julia Greve (Cincinnati) for both getting 7 attorney awards this season, and to Ken Han (Minnesota B) for getting 5 witness awards throughout 2019-20.

The main question to me personally was this: Does racking up the most individual awards have any kind of coorelation to program strength, TPR, making it out of ORCS, etc. I added up the total individual awards won by each program in the Midwest and found that overall it does. There is a lot of interesting data to look at in the spreadsheet but here are a few highlights.

- The top 10 programs in the Midwest during the 2019-20 season based on the number of awards won are in order:
1. Chicago (35 awards)
2. Minnesota (33)
3. Michigan State (28)
4. Miami (28)
5. Ohio State (24)
6. Michigan (22)
7. Macalester (22)
8. Creighton (22)
9. Northwood (21)
10. Illinois (20)

Comparing that with TPR (excluding B teams):
1. Miami (3)
2. Chicago (7)
3. Ohio State (8 )
4. Northwestern (15)
(OSU B - 20)
5. Michigan (21)
6. Northwood (28)
7. Indiana (32)
8. Minnesota (41)
9. Cincinnati (43)
(Miami B - 44)
10. Wheaton (47)

- So while Michigan State, Macalester, Creighton, and Illinois punched above their class in terms of individual awards this year, Northwestern, Indiana, Cincinnati and Wheaton have historically stronger programs.
- One big surprise (for some) may be Minnesota's #2 spot. it looks as though they have not only a powerhouse in Goodchild, but a depth of talent throghout all 3 of their teams
- Northwestern seemed to stuggle this year on the individual award front, coming in at 18th.
- All programs that were ranked in the top 25 based on individual awards this season got at least 1 team out of regionals.
- Similarly, the only programs to get 2 teams to ORCS were also in the top 25.
- All programs in the top 10 got 2 teams out of regionals, except Creighton.
- All programs in the top 7 got 1 team out of ORCS (Mac and Creighton did not, Northwood did at #10)
- The lowest ranked team to get out of ORCS was Northern Illinois which got only 9 individual awards this season.
- The only program in the Midwest to get 2 teams to nationals was Iowa, ranked at 17th with 17 awards.

While there are defnitely no shortage of great senior Midwest mockers leaving I think that this helps give more perspective about how deep a programs talent pool is. It also allows you to see what teams have a bunch of award winning mockers and which teams ride on the strength of a few. Hopefully this was as interesting to you as it was to me and it can start some discussion about what next year will look like in the Midwest. Based on the data here, who are some of the names we should be watching next year? What programs look poised to grow and outperform, which teams might see a slump after graduations? As a recent graduate who helps out with my old team when I can, I haven't seen many of these teams perform in person for a year or 2. What have I missed or overlooked by just looking at spreadsheets and data? What would your top 10 programs list look like based on this data?

Cheers!
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Midwest Awards Analysis Empty Re: Midwest Awards Analysis

Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:30 pm
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This is awesome, thanks a ton for compiling all of this! One thing I'd add is just to be aware of program size; it'd make sense that a larger program like Miami would take home more awards than a smaller program (not a criticism of Miami, of course, as it seems they remain a powerhouse). On the other hand, there's something to be said for the depth of such big programs. I would also note that a reason why we're seeing fewer awards from formidable programs like Northwestern is simply that their competitors have so much talent that rankings aren't as clear to judges. I saw Northwestern B and I can tell you that if I were judging that round I would've have some serious difficulty deciding ranks.

I've seen Greve in round and she is certainly worth the praise. A strong grip on the ROE and case law and an effective crosser. She's clean with good content and good objections-- not very flashy but I could actually see that coming in handy with an online TBC. Should be really interesting to see how she does this summer (especially given the success of Stephen Johnson).
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Midwest Awards Analysis Empty Re: Midwest Awards Analysis

Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:09 am
Just wanted to echo the above comment. I've competed against Greve a few times, back when she competed for Tennessee. Having coached a tbc champ and (presumably) bringing Johnson as a coach could be a major advantage for the Cincinnati team. I'll be interested in seeing if she can perform as well sitting at the other side of the TBC table.
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Midwest Awards Analysis Empty Re: Midwest Awards Analysis

Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:52 am
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This is really cool, thanks for putting it all together!

I think that individual awards are an interesting metric, and your analysis shows that they do seem to correlate with a program's success. I agree w/ the comment above though, that deep teams don't always win a ton of individual awards. I think that explains Miami's drop from first on the TPR to fourth on the awards list--- every year, they field a strong bench of attorneys that seem to outrank each other. Ohio State too. Ben and Drew mentioned on their podcast how Bessman and Driscoll stole ranks from each other all year long. On the flip side, while Julia Greve is an impressive competitor, she seems to be the only standout on the UC team.

Also, is there a reason you didn't include awards from the Great Chicago Fire? I know that a lot of great teams were there, including several from the Midwest (Miami, Chicago, etc). And, if I am not wrong, I think including that tournament would put Regina Campbell in the category of people who have won 7 awards.
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Midwest Awards Analysis Empty Re: Midwest Awards Analysis

Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:29 am
Do we have any info on what happened to Christ Grant of Northwood? He was completely absent from fall tabs, and didn't make the TBC invite list?
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Midwest Awards Analysis Empty Re: Midwest Awards Analysis

Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:23 pm
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milque toast wrote:One thing I'd add is just to be aware of program size; it'd make sense that a larger program like Miami would take home more awards than a smaller program...I would also note that a reason why we're seeing fewer awards from formidable programs like Northwestern is simply that their competitors have so much talent that rankings aren't as clear to judges

Yeah I think this is an interesting clash for sure. Bigger programs have more teams, more competitors, and often have the resources to go to more/better tournaments–therefore more opportunities for awards. This obviously puts them at a major advantage over smaller schools and they tend to dominate once it comes time for Regionals and ORCS. But also as we see, big and powerful programs also can have the disadvantage (awards-wise not points-wise) of having a bunch of great competitors stealing ranks from eachother.

throwaway wrote:Do we have any info on what happened to Christ Grant of Northwood? He was completely absent from fall tabs, and didn't make the TBC invite list?

The only thing that jumped out in my mind was that he was potentially studying abroad. Still impressive he managed to rack up 4 awards in such a short time.

footman1 wrote:Also, is there a reason you didn't include awards from the Great Chicago Fire?

Yeah the Great Chicago Fire tab summary was never posted to the AMTA website so I wasn't able to include it. Is it able to be found somewhere else? If Campbell got double awards that would move her into the 7 award category for sure!

footman1 wrote: On the flip side, while Julia Greve is an impressive competitor, she seems to be the only standout on the UC team.

I'd also shout out Zophia Pittman-Jones, their star witness. Racking up 4 witness awards throughout the season is no easy task (only her, Peter Bound of Chicago, and Easton Banik of Illinois Springfield managed it - as I mentioned earlier Ken Han (Minnesota) got 5).
This brings up another key fact often overlooked on this page and in mock trial discourse in general: witnesses matter. Miami, the highest ranked team and arguably strongest program in the Midwest got 28 awards 14 attorney 14 witness. Iowa, the only team to get 2 teams to Nationals, had more witness awards (10) than attorney (7). Maybe those are cherry picked examples (Missouri got 2 teams to ORCS and had a season dominated by attorney awards) but I do think that witnesses often win rounds in which all 6 attorneys are obviously on their game.
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Midwest Awards Analysis Empty Re: Midwest Awards Analysis

Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:25 pm
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I think you can find the Great Chicago Fire tab summary under the "Tournaments & Results" forum!

I completely agree with your comment regarding witnesses. I've seen both of Mizzou's teams and I'd actually say that their witnesses are probably the strongest aspect of their program -- they have some really likable character witnesses and some pretty credible experts.

I'd be really curious to see on which sides these folks are awarding and for which witnesses. I would imagine it'd be mostly defendants and characters but I wonder if there's a skew one way or another. On a tangential note, did anyone see a Dallas or Aldrich award?
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Midwest Awards Analysis Empty Re: Midwest Awards Analysis

Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:46 am
For the record, Chris Grant did not compete during the fall I'm pretty sure. I believe he was basically taking on a sort of quasi-coach role for his team while other people got some experience. Also, absolutely a second on Mizzou's strength -- a really talented program this year.
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Midwest Awards Analysis Empty Re: Midwest Awards Analysis

Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:11 pm
Okay I put together a quick update with Chicago Fire results and it did move the numbers a bit. Of course it was to the benefit of the teams that won awards at Chicago Fire which were all top teams anyways so overall trends didn't change. But here are the main points

- Chicago stays at #1 going from 35 awards to 39. They picked up 2 attorney and 2 witness awards. Campbell moves from 5 individual awards to 7, and witnesses Libby Rohr moves from 2 to 3 and Sahil Nerurker moves from 1 to 2.
- Miami picks up 1 award from attorney Katelyn Hunt, beating out Michigan State who they were tied with to become the #3 program in the Midwest awards-wise.
- Ohio State keeps its #5 spot, picking up 2 attorney awards. Making Matt Besman a 4-award attorney and Maddie Driscoll a 3-award attorney.
- Michigan and Northwood move ahead of two top 10 teams that were not at Chicago Fire: Macalester and Creighton.
- Michigan takes #6 with 25 awards up from 22. Cory Zayance and Olivia Hauserman both picked up witness awards and both moved up to 3-award attorney status. While Bianca Blanshine wins her 2nd attorney award of the season.
- Northwood moves from #9 to #7 picking up 2 awards bringing them to 23. Chris Grant joins the ranks of 5-award attorneys while only competing for half the year, and Simeon Lawrence joins fellow Northwood witness Jake Walters at the 3-award level.
- Last but not least Ruby Scanlon of Northwestern wins an impressive 20-rank attorney award giving Northwestern 18 total awards putting them in 16th place alongside other 18-award schools Cincinnati and Cornell College.

Hopefully that all turned out alright, like I said no major changes but it does go to show that larger programs benefit most from this kind of individual award analysis.
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Midwest Awards Analysis Empty Re: Midwest Awards Analysis

Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:19 pm
This is awesome. Glad I insipired it!
As for the actual analysis, I wish there was a way to alter the results based on how many tournaments the team actually competed in. Major national teams like Chicago obviously compete in more tournaments than the NIU/Illinois/Creightons of the world. That seems simple enough to do, but then there's also an issue with doing the individual analysis in this regard since there's no way to identified who competed for which team during a tournament (if they were even there) unless they won an award.
Anyways, I really enjoyed reading through this and the spreadsheet was extremely well constructed.
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