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Proposed Structure for 2013 & 2014 NAH Tour

The NAH board is close to deciding on a structure for the 2013 season. The goal is to bring a balance of equity between the varying regions while still ensuring the highest levels of competition for the North American Championship. This proposal has been discussed at two consecutive board meetings and is now being presented for public comment. All comments and concerns should be directed to your regional board members no later than Monday, December 11th. Here are the emails:

The primary points of the proposal are (1) closed regions, (2) weighted allotment of slots for the NAHBPC, (3) a shorter window for regionals to occur, and (4) calendar revision.

(1) Closed regions: This is the hallmark of the new format. The current system not only gives preference to those with the time and money to travel, but also skews qualifier results due to the presence of out of region players. This provided an incomplete view of each regions’ strength. A new system of closed qualifiers will plainly show the best teams in each region, and will allow the strongest teams in traditionally weaker regions to progress to the NAHBPC. It is important to note that the two-thirds rule will still apply, but that any individual player will only be allowed to play in one regional event. Any team with all, or two-thirds, of its players from a single region must play in that region. A team composed of players from three different regions may choose to play in any of the three regions, but can only play in one regional.

(2) Weighted allotment of slots: Associated with closed regions is the fact that some regions are significantly stronger than others, which should be reflected in representation at NAHBPC. In the current proposal, as a baseline, the podium finishers from each regional qualifier will be guaranteed a slot at the North American Championship (21 slots). This provides the equality to ensure that every region is represented by their best teams.

The remainder of slots after podium finishers will be divided among the regions based on relative strength. The board has considered a myriad of possibilities for allocation methods based on strength, and has concluded that a reasonable and straightforward method would be to award each region an additional slot for each top-24 team from that region at the previous year’s NAHBPC (24 slots). This allocation leaves three open slots for a 48-team NAHBPC, which could be awarded based on additional criteria to be determined.

A sample 2013 allocation under this system can be seen at the very bottom of this document. However, due to concerns about the effect of the previously open qualifier system on the 2012 results, among other concerns, the board has developed a transitional allocation plan for the 2013 season. Under this proposal, the 2013 NAHBPC will be a 48-team tournament, allocated as follows:

Cascadia Podium + 6 = 9
Midwest Podium + 6 = 9
Eastside Podium + 4 = 7
Northside Podium + 3 = 6
South Central Podium + 3 = 6
Southwest Podium + 3 = 6
Southeast Podium + 2 = 5

(3) Shorter window for qualifiers: This past year we had regional qualifiers occur as early as January and as late as June. Due to our sport’s overwhelming growth the past few years the polo calendar has become very crowded, so it’s in the interest of both qualifiers and non-NAH events to define a set window for regionals to occur. It was decided that a two month window was a reasonable amount of time. The exact date of each event is up to the host, so long as it occurs during the “regionals window” discussed in section (4).

(4) Calendar revision: This point is very much tied to #3. A comprehensive discussion took place about the ideal time to hold qualifiers, NA’s, and by extension, Worlds. Too early in the year doesn’t allow time for teams to develop and too late in the year and interest/health might wane due to a long season. Weather is also an important factor. After considering many different permutations of the schedule it was decided that the regional window would be mid-April to mid-June, then a break would occur for the hottest months of summer, then the NAHBPC and Worlds would occur during the ideal polo playing season of early Autumn (Aug/Sept, or Sept/Oct, depending on the host cities).

To summarize, for 2013:

  • -Regionals are closed and will be held from mid-April through mid-June.
  • -NAHBPC will be held in August/September and Worlds in September/October.
  • -Each player may only play in one regional qualifier.
  • -2013 NAHBPC is 48 teams: Cascadia - 9, Midwest - 9, Eastside - 7, Northside - 6, South Central - 6, Southwest - 6, Southeast - 5.

For 2014:

  • -The top 3 teams from each regional are guaranteed a slot at NAHBPC.
  • -A top-24 finish at the 2013 NAHBPC earns your region an additional slot for 2014.

FOR EXAMPLE ONLY, A SAMPLE ALLOTMENT based on the 2012 results would lead to the following distribution:

Cascadia 3 + 6 = 9
MidWest 3 + 8 = 11
SouthWest 3 + 1 = 4
EastSide 3 + 4 = 7
NorthSide 3 + 2 = 5
SouthEast 3 + 0 = 3
SouthCentral 3 + 2 = 5
Open Slots 4*
*Due to a foreign team in the top-24 of the 2012 NAHBPC, only 23 bonus slots are distributed in this example.

2 players fighting for the ball

There can only be one... Woadie wins!

Portland United
www.eighthinch.com

(5) Having fun in 2013 and beyond should be seen as merely coincidental - a Fluke, or in ST: TNG terms, a "Temporal Anomaly" for all the nerds out there. We're working on ironing out this wrinkle, and given time it will barely be a footnote unworthy of an asterisk in the history of Hardcourt Bike Polo. Thank You for your patience.

(and sense of humor. c'mon guys, jeeeee-zus)

:p

---------------------------
"Thou Shalt put Thy Weed in it"
CH0MB0 3:16

CHOMBO! Send me your mailing address. I something to snail mail you.

Was looking at the regions map on http://www.nahardcourt.com/?page_id=72
Is NYC now considered Northsides? Or is more like the older map, which cuts NY state in two, keeping NYC in Eastside territory?

NYC and Albany are Eastside. Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse are Northside

cool. thanks for the clarification

Is anyone else seeing the potential for any given region to face multiple years of underrepresentation after having a bad showing at NAs then being simply overwhelmed by the representation of other regions in the following NA tournament?

if the best team in your region can't even crack the top 24 at NAs (and therefore earn extra slots) then you're not underrepresented by only having three teams- you're appropriately represented. NA's is supposed to be the best of the best.

That is easy enough to say, but what if the best a region has to offer draws nightmare paths in the bracket that lines them up against the Means, the Beaver Boys, the Guardians, Bourbonic Plague, Portland United, and the Canucks, and then they meet each other in the elimination bracket and self-eliminate most of their own region? It's flukey (but not even that flukey, reall), but it is entirely possible to miss the top 24 that way.

*edit: added PDXUTD. What up, Coach Woadie!

that's possible, but if regions are 'self-eliminating' it's most likely because they have more than a handful of teams there. with double elimination you still have a chance to earn your way back up. if you face another in-region team then your region clearly has a lot of teams participating and you would be expecting this to occur. if you only send three teams the chance of this happening in a 48 team bracket extremely low.

now coincidentally what you're talking about is the exact reason regionals should be closed. (tangent here) if out-of-region slayers come into a weaker region and a good in-region team draws an elimination path that sets them against outsiders only then they could be almost immediately eliminated without every getting to prove themselves against their own region (which is the point of regionals). the only way to settle who's the best in a region is to only play teams from your region. remove the confounding factors (out-of-region teams) and not only will you see a proper ordering of the best teams in a region, but the relative strengths of each region will be much easier to compare come NA's.

We are on the same page with closed regions.

However, I made a massive error in my initial claim: I forgot that the DE bracket is only 24 deep to begin with. The potential for a region to miss the cut entirely is still there, and that still allows for potentially damning underrepresentation at the next NA tournament that still could lead to cyclical outnumbering at the following NA tournament. Getting a team into the top 24 and reclaiming a spot for the next year's NAs is as easy/hard as it is, but the full-season lag could unfairly suppress a region that experienced explosive growth in talent.

Overall, I like the proposal. I need to read it again more thoroughly, but I wanted to get this idea out there as early as possible. Good talk, Zach.

huh for some reason i was thinking about DE as 32... hadn't really thought about that, thanks for pointing it out.

full season lag is something else to consider.. ideally the qualifiers should be like the playoffs in football- end of the year matches after a full season of travel and regular play.. obviously we're not there yet though. thanks for the input lomax, i'd love to hear more from ya!

Its not just about "crack top 24". I can't control how many teams from my region even attend.

This would be true if you only brought as many teams to next year's NAs as placed in the top 24 this year. But the +3 part of the top24+3 example helps adjust things over time (though it's true that it's a little sluggish, and won't account for sudden, drastic changes in relative regional skill). But in top24+3: you place just one team in the top 24 this year, bring four teams next year. All four in the top 24 next year? Bring more teams the year after.

should population be taken into consideration? according to hardcourtbikepolo.org the Southeast region is the 3rd largest region (84) in North America and gets 5 bids, while Southwest (66) is the smallest region and gets 6 bids.

in the nba, for example, there are 2 conferences. the western conference is always stronger, but only 8 teams from each conference get into the playoffs. there are always teams in the western conference who don't make it to the playoffs even though they're way better than several teams in the eastern conference.

are other regions' bids, outside of NA and europe (ig. austrailasia, east asia, etc), based on relative strength or population? (which may be a WHBPC question rather than NAH)

i know this really isn't that big of a deal and i'm not pissed off or think that the SE is really getting the shaft, i was just wondering what people thought about this.

memphisbikepolo.com

I am unsure if conferences were ever considered, but I would love to find out. I like the idea of drawing the best from two large pools better than having to create an objective method of evaluating multiple regions of fluid teams.

I think stats are old and askew... the Southwest region has exploded this year. San Francisco now has enough players to play 7 nites a week. Sacramento has grown tremendously. L.A. and Phoenix are big and active as well. And then there's the small towns and clubs... but last year's data is off.

Lefty Bullshit!

"[A]re other regions' bids, outside of NA and europe (ig. austrailasia, east asia, etc), based on relative strength or population? (which may be a WHBPC question rather than NAH)"

This is a super good point. Is the weight consideration going to carry on upward to WHBPC? I don't know that population based weighting is better, but I think your question is relevant.

Certainly the NAH players at worlds will be that much more powerful if the NABPC is has the best players. At the same time, all regions benefit and polo grows as a whole the more each region gets representation at NABPC and brings experience/skills back to their region.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

Obvs: This discussion doesn't make sense without any raw data.
Solution: Google Spreadsheet!
Note: the secret NAH numbers used in the examples above seem to disagree with the numbers in the spreadsheet. But spreadsheet's numbers are easy to verify.

Still fairly obvious: A region that hosts NAs fields more teams and winds up with more teams in the top 24 (see spreadsheet, towards the bottom)
Solution: Not obvious!
One thing to do is to take the average over several years (which is a good idea for other reasons as well). Another fairly simple approach is to measure the ups and downs between years and then try to factor that out (taking a page from Nate Silver). You can find both of these approaches at the bottom of the spreadsheet.

Great observations and suggestions.

hey what's your email? someone showed this to me the other day and it's exactly the same work the structure committee did.. the numbers don't disagree at all, you just take 'bounce' into account.

Sorry about the confusion - I guess we're talking about a bunch of different things at once. But this is what I was referring to when I said that our numbers were different, even for something as not-in-question as the 2012 NAs results:

NAH numbers from the top, used as an example for possible qualifier spots:
Cascadia 3 + 6 = 9, MidWest 3 + 8 = 11, SouthWest 3 + 1 = 4, EastSide 3 + 4 = 7, NorthSide 3 + 2 = 5, SouthEast 3 + 0 = 3, SouthCentral 3 + 2 = 5

Total players from each region to make the top 24 in 2012 (as per spreadsheet):
Midwest: 22, Cascadia: 20, East Side: 13, North Side: 8, South East: 1, South West: 2, South Central: 4

Qualifier spots calculated using the same 3+ method, but with the 2012 top 24 results from the spreadsheet:
Cascadia: 3+6.7 = 10, Midwest: 3+7.3 = 10, South West: 3+0.7 = 4, East Side: 3+4.3 = 7, North Side: 3+2.7 = 6, South East: 3+0.3 = 3, South Central: 3+1.3=4

Oops - spreadsheet had counted Seabass as Cascadia when he'd been in Paris for a couple months by the time NAs rolled around. Updated 2012 numbers with him as a European:

Total players from each region to make the top 24 in 2012:
Midwest: 22, Cascadia: 19, East Side: 13, North Side: 8, South East: 1, South West: 2, South Central: 4

Qualifier spots calculated from above numbers:
Cascadia: 3+6.3 = 9, Midwest: 3+7.3 = 10, South West: 3+0.7 = 4, East Side: 3+4.3 = 7, North Side: 3+2.7 = 6, South East: 3+0.3 = 3, South Central: 3+1.3=4

But I think we should be averaging over several years anyway, in addition to trying to account for local in-region bias to the top 24.

Will playing for lex makes it 22/20 but he spent his whole season in Bellingham.

And people are counting Joe for Midwest even though he spent his whole season in Cascadia and is now on a cascadia team.

FWIW, the 2011 and 2010 data counts Lexington as Eastside, but they are Midwest (and counted correctly for the 2012 data).

*edit: spelling

Thanks. Fixed!

warrior wrote:

Still fairly obvious: A region that hosts NAs fields more teams and winds up with more teams in the top 24 (see spreadsheet, towards the bottom)
Solution: Not obvious!

while I agree that calculating the "bounce" is mathematically interesting, I'm not sure that the phenomenon is necessarily a problem.

1) If there's a positive incentive for regions to submit bids to host NA's, then isn't that a good thing?
Shouldn't we be encouraging regions to host?

2) if the number of 2013 NA spots that each region gets is decided before qualifiers,
and 2014 NA spots will be decided based on regional performance at NA's,
then the bounce phenomenon (more teams from host region) ought to disappear from the data starting with 2013, right?

3) to me, bike polo seems significantly different than it was 3 years ago.
especially considering how many players from 3 years ago have moved regions or retired, should we be using data from 3 years ago to evaluate a region's current skill? I think that 3 years ago I was still playing with just a rear brake!

All comments and concerns should be directed to your regional board members no later than Monday, December 11th. Here are the emails:

Cascadia - jeremy@nahardcourt.com
Eastside - eric@nahardcourt.com
Midwest - ben@nahardcourt.com
Northside - matt@nahardcourt.com
South Central - malakai@nahardcourt.com
Southeast - danny@nahardcourt.com
Southwest - machine@nahardcourt.com

Why does NAH care when regions host their qualifiers? If teams are only going to a single qualifier, it's not like Phoenix in January has an impact on attendance at the Victoria January tournament.

For that matter, why does NAH care how the regions hold their qualifiers at all? Why not let the region decide who and how it's sending teams to NAs?

The reasoning behind this Mike was so that there would be a clear competitive 'season', leaving much of the calendar year for other tournaments and opportunities for people to travel. There's a three month window in which regions would be encouraged and expected to host a qualifier. Given our weather in Cascadia, its likely our qualifier would be in April, May or June anyway (if someone decides to host one at all this year!).

I agree it's redundant to close the window AND only allow attendance of one qualifier. You either needed to do one or the other, but both just makes it harder on regions to get their shit together.

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fixcraft.net

I think the idea is that this will allow for non-NAH events to become more prominent. It's good for the sport, good for NAH if there are other prominent events that can happen without NAH constraints, like experimenting with rules changes, format changes, multi-region, and single-court (less teams) in order to use a good venue.

WARRIOR FOR PRESIDENT

Thanks reps and commissioners and coordinators and everyone whos put time and effort into NAH, your work does not go unappreciated.

One thing that just occurred to me... We should probably stop calling it a "Tour", considering you can only play at one.

Maybe:

- 2013 NAH Qualifying Series
- 2013 NAH Regional Championships

other ideas?

We actually removed that language from the proposal a while back. Not sure how it snuck back in there.

I'm cool with this. Thank you everyone involved. I saw the spreadsheet with the calculations and this is pretty tight. My only concern was that a region might have trouble getting more spots as the region gets better, since it's based on past performance.

But still, I think this is good. I just wish I could travel more. Regionals were a great reason to get to travel to out of region places and be guaranteed a quality tournament. Sure there will still be little for-fun tourneys, but their quality will not be as high. Oh well, had to do this I suppose.

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fixcraft.net

this is our concern dude

BoozeKruse wrote:

a region might have trouble getting more spots ... since it's based on past performance

especially on a "transitional" year where people didn't know this was coming and all their top 6 spots were taken by out of regioners. these rules aren't about being 'fair' but to put the best teams on the court. i think it would be chill during a "transitional" year to still give everyone the same # spots they got last year.

BoozeKruse wrote:

I just wish I could travel more. Regionals were a great reason to get to travel to out of region places and be guaranteed a quality tournament. Sure there will still be little for-fun tourneys, but their quality will not be as high.

maybe not right away, but theoretically that would change in the long run. when the poloverse equilibrates after this we will see more pro level fully shermed people traveling from across the country huge cash prize tournaments.

edit: I am dumb.

edit #2: not totally dumb! I had posted about the 3 open spots using this system in 2014. These could be used as bounty for first place finishers in open tournaments throughout the spring/summer. e.g. ladies army, etc. This would mean people would have a reason to travel to a highly competitive tournament outside of their region.

I think this is great. My perspective is that this proposal is actually better for smaller clubs/less experienced teams. It encourages regional camaraderie because you actually have a stake in your region succeeding. This will necessarily breed more inter-city play, and smaller tournaments for newer teams to gain experience from. Also, it works as a template for regions within regions to set up their own qualifying tournaments (e.g. state tournaments to feed into regional championships).

If the structure stayed the same as last year, it wouldn't be transitional, it would simply be an announcement for 2014. So this system works just fine. Yes your region may lose slots depending on performance and that makes them harder to earn back mathematically. But maybe that's an indicator that 9 slots was too many to begin with, and now it's on your region internally to produce better results.

roustem wrote:

I think this is great. My perspective is that this proposal is actually better for smaller clubs/less experienced teams. It encourages regional camaraderie because you actually have a stake in your region succeeding. This will necessarily breed more inter-city play, and smaller tournaments for newer teams to gain experience from. Also, it works as a template for regions within regions to set up their own qualifying tournaments (e.g. state tournaments to feed into regional championships).

This. Traveling is fun but I'd rather play more tournaments closer to home. More people, playing more tournaments with less airplanes.

For cities with weaker teams and smaller turnouts qualifiers were a waste of time in the past. A lot of energy goes into hosting those tournaments and traveling to them. Energy that is better suited to local polo fun times.

If a team at NABPC is composed of people from three different regions, and they make top 24, which region is awarded a spot in the following year's NABPC?

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

It would make sense to give it to the region they qualified out of

polo o muetre

but maybe all three qualified out of different regions and just became a team for na's ..

could take the # of players from each region that made the cut and divide by 3.

PierreD wrote:

It would make sense to give it to the region they qualified out of

Redbeard wrote:

could take the # of players from each region that made the cut and divide by 3.

These are the only two reasonable way to do it. The decision (I think) comes down to whether you think that teams are more static (i.e. that players will compete next year with the team (and thus region) that they did this year) or if you think they're more fluid (i.e. who knows what team I'll play with next year, so better to just count me as from my home region than the region/team I qualified with this year)

I like the idea that most of us are on more fluid, less rigid teams - but who knows how that will change over time.

What are the provisions for qualified teams simply not being able to make it to NAHBPC? Like if I podium at ESPI, but can't fly to wherever is hosting the championships?

Does that spot go to the 4th place team at ESPI?

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

Yes.

(Thats assuming that eastside decides to keep ESPI a qualifier instead of keeping ESPI a big major. )

Schultz answered this question here: http://lancasterpolo.com/2012/11/30/the-new-nah-tourney-structure-though...

The second one down.

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fixcraft.net

Regardless of what side you are on, can everyone please stop misusing the term sandbagging?

A top tier team going to a less competitive region to qualify isn't sandbagging.

Losing just enough games so you are seeded 24th for the second day, is sandbagging.

Okay, this is interesting.... Will who Tiffany said was LEX and therefore midwest was actually...... Playing for Bellingham which is Cascadia and so Minus 1 midwest +1 Cascadia. Doesnt that actually switch the numbers?

Just saying

I don't understand how representation at NA's is used to appropriate slots. Isn't it possible that regions are counted as being represented at NA's by people who did not qualify at regionals but joined a team that had 2/3 qualified members (could be wrong but I thought it was 2/3)? I'm pretty sure of at least one team where a member didn't qualify but joined a team. Not that these players aren't good, but they didn't really earn a spot per say.

Like me. I broke my foot and didn't play in any qualifier last year. Just showed up for MKE.

Still, for my numbers anyway (and NAH is not using my numbers, but rather some secret blend of their own devising), I'm counted as a player for Cascadia placing in the top-24 (on the assumption that I'll compete in the Cascadia qualifier next year - if we think it's better to assume that I'll be on the same team with Joker and David competing in SW next year, then the qualifier-slot-assignment-mechanism should mark people like me with our team-region, in this case SW).

As an outsider (and therefore my opinions are meaningless to what you do), I really like this system. It's great you have such an organised structure as in the NAH in place, doing good work, which is pushing us towards being a legitimate sport.

I think the system is a good balance for rewarding success, producing high level polo at the NAHBPC (and the teams you send to the worlds) but also giving everyone a chance.

But I would probably make a couple of minor changes.

1) As suggested above, I would do it by players, rather than teams. This is simply as in bike polo we seem to have teams made up of different scenes, and regions. That's something fairly unusual for sport, most of the time you would only ever be on a team with people from your own club. So I think that's something that should be factored in.

2) I would count people based on which regional qualifier they played in, for the year in question. There are always going to be situations where you can be "but they live here now", "they play lots of their polo here", etc. It's the only clear factor. Even if an out of region player plays in a 2/3 team in a certain region, they have effectively taken away a spot from that region. So if a Cascadian plays in the SW qualifier, with a SW team, he should count as SW for that year.

3) I would consider using results from previous years, not just the last year, with the results weighted towards the most recent. It should lessen any effect from very unusual results, but also mean if a region gets a lot stronger quickly it won't take them many years to increase their number of slots. So for example for next year, 2010 counts 1 point, 2011 counts 2 points, 2012 counts 3 points.

John H wrote:

As an outsider (and therefore my opinions are meaningless to what you do)

Hardly!

Regarding your first point about player vs team qualification.

There have been two different "two-thirds" rules in the past:
1) To register for a regional qualifier as an in-region team, two-thirds of the team must be from the region in order to be prioritized in the registration process.
2) To register for NAHBPC, two-thirds of the team must have qualified at a regional qualifier.

The proposal suggests that the two-thirds rule is still in effect at the regional level, but it also states that you can regsiter as a mixed (three-region) team, which seems to override the two-thirds rule. Unless the 2/3 regional rule lets you register before the "mixed" or out-of-region teams.

The proposal makes no mention of the two-thirds rule for the NAHBPC. I'm wondering if that's still in effect. I don't have a strong opinion about it, but i think if we look at registrations from 2011 & 2012, there was a LOT of movement of players between teams. Work, school, previous engagements will guarantee some players can't make it.

Yeah, the 2/3 rule, in whatever form, is interesting here.

It would seem to favour tri-regional teams cherry picking which of their three regions to play in. But I guess there is the downside of the travel, and lack of practice.

Yeah, and then applying 2/3 rule to NAHBPC is also interesting. If you don't, and insist on 3/3, you ban anyone who hasn't played a qualifier.

And either way, what about teams who come from different qualifiers.

If you do 2/3, then who does a 3rd player who hasn't qualified count for. For example a Cascadian qualifier, a SW qualifier, and a non-qualifer from Eastside play together in the NAHBPC. Which region is that? Or the same applies with 3/3 and the Eastside player has also qualified.

Food for thought...

I like the idea that tri-region teams get to pick which region they play in as long as one of their players is legitimately in-region (and the corresponding notion that 2/1 teams could choose to play in the 1's region if they want) - but as the rules stand it sounds like a tri-region team won't be allowed in any qualifier.

John H wrote:

If you do 2/3, then who does a 3rd player who hasn't qualified count for. For example a Cascadian qualifier, a SW qualifier, and a non-qualifer from Eastside play together in the NAHBPC. Which region is that? Or the same applies with 3/3 and the Eastside player has also qualified.

Here you can either do it region-qualified-from (in which case the unqualified player earns nothing for the Eastside) or home-region (the only difference here being that extra 1/3 of a point for the East) -- but regardless it should be done at a player level rather than team level. Which I imagine is the point that you're making.

Pretty much, yes, that's my point around doing it based on players, not teams.

But as I say, as a European, my comments are just observation, rather than to be taken seriously in any decision.

John H wrote:

I would consider using results from previous years, not just the last year, with the results weighted towards the most recent. It should lessen any effect from very unusual results, but also mean if a region gets a lot stronger quickly it won't take them many years to increase their number of slots. So for example for next year, 2010 counts 1 point, 2011 counts 2 points, 2012 counts 3 points.

Worth considering yeah, but seems overly complex, moving from "slots" to "points". Ideally everyone would be able to understand this system (i'm sure a more succinct version will come out once a new system is adopted) and calculate the eligibility without a spreadsheet. Also, I imagine in a couple years this system or the regional boundaries will shift, in which case a system with a longer time horizon would be moot.

Agreed, it would be harder to follow. But I'm sure sites like Podium and HCBP.org could build a table which easily explains the standings, for everyone to see.

My suggestion was mainly based around not only considering results from one year, to avoid giving freak results too much weighting.

I'm sure you are right about systems an regions changing. I don't know much about the North American regional scene, but some of those regions are massive. I'd be interested in the reasoning behind some of them. Do Wyoming go to Texas? Do players from Manitoba go to Kentucky? Maybe if you have closed regions, you'd benefit from more smaller ones.

Anyway, I love the work that's going into all this.

kev wrote:

Ideally everyone would be able to [...] calculate the eligibility without a spreadsheet.

I'm not sure doable-on-paper is a worthwhile goal. The simple method proposed at the top is right at the border of "yes, I could do this on paper for all 72 players, but it would take most of a page and I'd probably make a mistake somewhere in there".

Certainly the system should be understandable (and easily verifiable), but there's no reason this can't be described as a simple formula (1/3 weight for three years ago, 2/3 weight for two years ago, full weight for last year) and tabulated in a spreadsheet.

On the topic of easily verifiable, can we get some numbers up in here? I'd like whatever top-24 list NAH is using (or plans to use) for their math, with player names and the regions they're from - and since they're clearly different numbers from my own (i.e. Kev's), can we get some rationale for whatever changes were made? Maybe a link to the source if it's not Kev's list?

That list is copy/pasted from Podium, which has its source in the data on hardcourtbikepolo.org, where players manage their own location.

I'm quite pleased with these developments. Definitely stoked that the summer will no longer be dominated by NAH Qualifiers. I think that this format will lead to highly touted titles and growth of competition within the regions. My question, Will previous year results be considered in registration ever?

In the event of a multi region team, couldnt that team categorize itself when they register for the tourney?

So, Cascadia, Southwest and Midwest sign up for a tourney and pay their registration money, they also tell the organizers what region they'll be recorded as, like self seeding your category for a 'cross race, for example.

It seems like that would be an easy way to track regions, if we focus on teams rather than individuals.

Quick summary of how we arrived where we are: The structure committee was tasked with identifying changes that should be made to the 2013 NAH events. Whereas continental championships of the past were "come one, come all" events the past two years have used regional tournaments to qualify players for the North American Championship. This makes sense as polo has become so popular that the size of tournaments cannot keep ever expanding. So the committee considered the entire range of possibilities to zoom in on what would be both fair yet competitive. Consider the extremes- (1) a system where every region has the same number of slots, which ensures equality among the regions, but is vastly unfair to regions with a higher concentration of skilled players. On the other hand (2) if a system took into account only skill the same regions would dominate and less skilled regions might be wholly excluded. Obviously the solution is to find a balance between the two, and exactly where equality and skill coincide is the point of our discussion.

While the 2012 system was good in considering these two facets it still had it's flaws, primarily that it gave preference to the those with the time and money to travel and that it skewed regional tourneys by allowing outside teams to play. While this was advantageous for the few players that could travel about it set a poor precedent in that regional results did not actually reflect the region. Closed regions solved that pretty quick but then we return to issue of regional skill imbalance and maximizing the level of competition (ie skilled players, remember this isn't just another tournament this is the championship, the best of the best). If you look at the first link below you can see some of the options that were considered. In the end we found the "top 24" method offered the best balance- half the slots are given equally to each region (guarenteed slot for each podium) while the other half of slots are earned based on merit (by placing in the top 24 at NAHBPC). Note that 21+24= 45, and leaves 3 slots that *ideally* would be used for a wildcard tournament where the podium wins the last few slots in the continental championship.

possible methods of slot allocation

regional placement at NA's '10/'11/'12

[side note: to those who fear the new system wouldn't allow you to experience as much highly competitive polo i'd argue that it actually does the opposite. by keeping regionals as simply a qualifier tournament that opens up the rest of the schedule for non-NAH tournaments like Desert Polo Invite, Emerald City, MW Open, etc. Notice that the Eastsiders are already planning to keep ESPI an open-to-all major and while the Eastside Qualifier will be in-region only. That means more, and more competitive, polo.]

One issue that has arisen in this discussion that we need to address is regional affiliation.

Warrior's and my numbers differed slightly, as we found, based on how a player was categorized. For instance Pierre is marked as MW on my doc but ES on Warriors. Pierre is from Wisconsin and played the MW bench early in the year and even qualified for NA's with "Iron Badgers" by placing second on the MW championship. But then he moved to DC for a summer internship (or something like that) and when he played at NA's during that time period. There's a couple other examples in there that need ironed out due to players moving (Seabass -> Paris, Hammersly from SE to MW).

I'm not sure exactly what the solution is but we need to implement something for this next year. Even something as simple as having players declare a regional affiliation by a certain date, then having a "trade deadline" set to deal with people who move during the year. Regardless of what route we definitely need to implement something for 2013.

I like the 'trade deadline' idea. Why not make January 1st the deadline?

Why not? Because if a player moves in March, they'd have to travel back to the region they just happened to live in during the winter in order to qualify. Undue hardship. Call the trade deadline post-qualifier window (June 15th).

In a player-qualification model, the qualifying slot could simply follow the player, no matter how many times they relocate.

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

Secondary Alex wrote:

In a player-qualification model, the qualifying slot could simply follow the player, no matter how many times they relocate.

This is how I believe we intend this clarification to read.

So if I qualify in one region, move to another before the na's and top 24 that tournament, the region I live in gets that allocated spot? hrmm...

since we've got a relatively small window for qualifiers, why not make the trade deadline between the registration window and the actual date of most qualifiers. once you're playing in one, you're in that region for the season.

The region you lived in by the player-qualification deadline gets that spot (assuming all your team-mates are from the same original region as well, I believe). That's the way I think it would work.

I know that I am late on this thought but I would like to point out that there is a strong possibility of a regional bias of attendance, based on where it is held.

...just something to be aware of as it affects more than just attendance at that tournament, but also the next year.

true.
while I'm hopeful that bias of attendance will be eliminated this year,
I'm also optimistic that with the new system we will see in an increase in competitive bids to host in 2014.

especially with the extra time between qualifiers and NA's, I think it will be reasonable for every region to be able to fill their bids this year

A quick thought on bids...it would be nice for bids for the next tourney to be ready at the current one. At NAs for 2013, '14 is already in the works...

serious question: how does NAH officially establish the declared region of a team? what keeps me from declaring I live in Michigan before the deadline and showing up to the Northside Qualifier?

Sounds like as long as that's the only qualifier you play in that's okay. But then your ranking in NA's will go to Northside....

seeing as Ditka can't make the Midwest qualifier, we are relocating to Grand Haven, MI for this season and playing at Northsides. In all seriousness, will anybody challenge this and how do we make it legitimate?

Two words, twice.

Trade deadline.
American Pie.

well i'm pissed as hell