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By the Numbers Empty By the Numbers

Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:09 am
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Regional assignments are out and that means it’s time for some analysis! We will have our week one analysis out as soon as possible, but in the meantime, we have crunched some numbers to bring you our initial thoughts on the difficulty of each regional.

Different strength breakdowns:
As usual, we can break this down in a lot of different ways:

First, we can use our rank metrics to get a sense of the overall strength of each region. Rank are the simplest metric for measuring the strength of teams, a lower average rank indicates better teams on the whole. The first column on our chart represents the average rank of the teams at each regional.

It’s also important to look at how strong the top teams at a tournament are because these are the teams you have to displace if you want to get a bid. Thus, the second column looks at the average rank of the top 6 teams at each regional.

TPR points looks at the raw data that AMTA uses to assign those ranks (sometimes there are large jumps in rank so this can be a little more accurate). For TPR we can look at the sum of the TPR for all of the teams there which gives us a sense of the total power at the tournament. Our third column looks at the total number of TPR points present in a region.

We can also look at average number of TPR points for a team in a region to take into account the fact that  different tournaments have different numbers of teams. This looks at how strong the average team at the tournament is. Our fourth column looks at the average TPR points of a team in the region.

Once again, we can use TPR look at just the average of the top teams. This tells us how much power you have to displace to get a bid. The fifth column looks at the average number of TPR points held by the top six teams in a region.

And finally, we can look at the number of teams from various difficulty levels at each tournament. Our chart shows the number of Top 200 teams, the number of Top 100 teams and the number of Top 50 teams in each region.

A note on C+ teams: since C+ teams can’t get a TPR, but some of them are quite good, we assigned C teams ½ the TPR points held by the corresponding B teams. D teams got ½ the C team TPR and so on. We then assigned ranks based on where those point values would place the teams.

We have taken the liberty of color coding our chart so that it’s easy to see where each region stands relative to the rest of the field in each category. Red regions are harder than others in that category. Green regions are easier than others.

By the Numbers Maimdc16

The MAIMD Official Ranking:
And now, averaging the results from our different ranking methods, we have the official Mock Analysis regional rankings from most to least difficult:

1. Evanston
2. Dayton
3. New Haven
4. Richmond
5. Williamsburg
6. Chestnut Hill
7. State College
8. St. Paul
9. Chapel Hill
10. Owings Mills
11. Seattle
12. Tallahassee
13. Arlington
14. Houston
15. Louisville
16. Jackson
17. Columbus
18. San Diego
19. Wheaton
20. Indianapolis
21. Buffalo
22. Lawrence
23. Tempe
24. New Rochelle
25. Washington
26. Fresno
27. Orlando
28. Des Moines
29. Claremont
30. Norman
31. Providence
32. Colorado Springs

A Look Ahead To ORCS:
Because this year we don’t have the multi-feeder regionals, we can run predictions on what each ORCS is going to look like. We created predicted ORCS fields by assuming that the top six ranked teams from each region would make it through. We then eliminated C+ teams from the ORCS fields and replaced with the next highest overall ranked teams (the predicted open bids).

This gave us a look at what the ORCS fields would look like if TPR were perfectly predictive. Obviously we know that this won’t be what the ORCS will actually look like. Some teams that we expect to make it through will falter and some teams will make it that are ranked lower. The board will also probably move a couple of teams around to rebalance near ORCS. But this gives us an early look at what the ORCS might look like and lets us evaluate the committee's work based on predictive metrics.

We evaluated each ORCS based on the same metrics as above:
By the Numbers Maimdc17

Notably, the east coast ORCS look like their usual misery (with Cincinnati turning out to be a mixed Midwest/East Coast ORCS this year to make up for the loss of Wilmington). If you have to pick an ORCS to go to, Santa Monica or Memphis would be great choices.

To see the full predicted fields see here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GBX6IV2-l4RPi1GJ7VEcrh9jOzwT50uM_j2sWmrZf8g/edit?usp=sharing

We also looked at what teams were in the top 6 of each ORCS (which has the advantage of being more predictable than the bottom of the field). Notably, there are going to be some pretty big discrepancies in who is predicted to make it out of each ORCS. In Lancaster, there are top 40 teams not predicted to make it to nationals (#34 Georgetown being the last in and #38 Fordham LC being the first out by pure numerical prediction). In Memphis, on the other hand, #64 Alabama, #60 Georgia B, and #53 Baylor A are all predicted to make it out. In fact, out of the six teams predicted to qualify from Memphis, three are teams that would not have qualified by rank out of ANY other ORCS. In fact, in several ORCS, those three teams wouldn’t even be the first out, and in Lancaster, they would be behind both Fordham and Rutgers, neither of whom are predicted to qualify.

Of course all of this is subject to change as new teams join and AMTA shifts power around after regionals, so this could all play out in a completely different way. But with the information we have now this is the break down.
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By the Numbers Empty Re: By the Numbers

Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:15 pm
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I have to say I’m pretty disappointed in these ORCS allocations. It seems like almost every year, the board decides to make Lancaster into a bloodbath, and Princeton isn’t much better this year. Compare that to Memphis which is once again a joke (and has been a joke in recent years too). And at the top, the Rhodes teams can’t even hit each other. I get that there are geographic limitations to what they can do, but there has to be a better way than this, because right now it seems like whether you make it through is heavily dependent on where your school is.

That being said, I don’t think this is the team and feeder committee’s fault. Are there things I would change? Yes. But they seem to have done a pretty ok job assigning teams given where the host sites are relative to where the power is.

I think the real people we need to be asking for an explanation here are the TAC and host picking people. Why were all the ORCS pushed towards the middle of the country and away from the coasts when so much of the power is on the coasts? That means that either the East Coast teams are going to have drive hours and hours inland (which the committee seems unwilling to make them do) or the ORCs are going to have serious regional discrepancies in power.

Last year when there were 9 ORCS, there were 2 in the Northeast, 1 in the middle of the East Coast, and one in the Southeast. Then there where three in the Midwest and one in the mid south. And of course the one in the West. Breaking this up into three clusters (East, Middle, West), there were four in the East, four in the Middle, and one West. Last year the Middle ORCS were already significantly easier on average than the East ones based on all numerical data. So logic would tell us that when the eliminate an ORCS it should be from the middle to balance that out (put more power teams per ORCS in the middle and fewer in the East). But instead they got rid of an East Coast ORCS and increased both the predicted discrepancy and the drive times for the East Coast teams (teams from the Virginia/DC area are driving into Cincinnati).

Another way to look at it is to go back to the last time we had 8 ORCS. Two years ago we had three Northeast ORCS, one Southeast ORCS, two Midwest ORCS, one Mid-South ORCS, and one West ORCS. In other words, four East, three Middle, on West. And when they did that the East ORCS were already numerically harder than the Middle ORCS. So why did they move one of the ORCS to the Middle this year and leave it at three East, four Middle, one West?

I know that some of this may be because of who offered to host, but there are multiple sites hosting East regionals this year that have hosted ORCS in the past. According to the Board minutes, one of those sites even offered to host NCT in future, so it’s not like they are downsizing. I just don’t get why the sites are allocated the way they are this year.
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By the Numbers Empty Re: By the Numbers

Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:01 pm
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One thing I think AMTA ought to fix (and these stats kind of highlight it) is the way they allocate bids to regionals. If everything stays the same as it is now, Norman will get five bids, Orlando will get 7 bids and everywhere else will get six bids. The way they do it is that they give a fixed number of bids to the regionals with under 18 teams and then they give everyone else the same number of bids. Then if there are any extras they give them to the regionals with the most teams. That would make sense if there were a relatively narrow range in terms of number of teams per regional. But we have regionals with 18 teams and regionals with 27 teams getting the same number of bids.

I think AMTA should consider changing to a more graduated scale. I would propose a rules change where AMTA allocated bids by counting how many teams there are (lets say two weeks before regionals), dividing by the number of bids to ORCS to get the number of bids per team and then assigning that way. You round the number of bids each regional gets down so that nobody gets partial bids. Any leftover bids become open bids.

For example, if nothing changes, there are 743 teams and 192 bids to ORCS. That means there should be one bid roughly per 3.8 teams. Right now the smaller regionals are getting too many bids (six bids for 20 teams) and the larger regions are getting too few (six bids for 28).

With a bit of rounding, this would give us
14-17 teams: 4 bids
18-20 teams: 5 bids
21-24 teams: 6 bids
25-28 teams: 7 bids
29-32 teams: 8 bids

This would’t be a difficult rules change to implement and I have always wondered why AMTA doesn’t do it this way.

If they wanted to make it even more balanced, they could allocate bids based on the total power in a region (measured by TPR or some other metric). This would be a little harder but would also mean that you aren't penalized for having a super strong team in your regional. I know some club sports do things like that, and it feels like it might be something AMTA might be open to in the long run, given their recent move to a TPR based ORCS seeding system. But it's obviously a bit more cumbersome to handle than a system purely based on how many teams there are.
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