More on National Qualifiers, with Chris McNutt

You’ve heard me talk about National Qualifiers, and you may have seen Chris McNutt’s first article over on the StarkingtonPost about the system. I complained on Facebook about his lack of research vis-a-vis distances (and thus driving times) for Cali players at the time of his first article.
This time around, Chris has come back with a really nice breakdown of the travel implications of the new system across the U.S. He also points out that he’s not a ChannelFireball basher, for the folks in the audience who feel the need to defend us no matter what. We love you all, but it’s fine, no need to aggro out on people. 🙂
Chris’s net conclusion is pretty much exactly what I would have expected – overall, the change has increased access to National Qualifier tournaments across the U.S. I’d never imagined it would be otherwise, since breaking a smaller number of bigger Regionals into fifty National Qualifiers of various sizes would pretty much have to put most people in most of the U.S. physically closer to a tournament.
That said, his numbers point to what I was talking about this week – it sucks for California. Here’s his quote on the topic:
“Who are the most screwed in the 2010 season? I

2 thoughts on “More on National Qualifiers, with Chris McNutt

  1. I think my numbers are still good. You’re of course correct about the neighboring counties population, but because I didn’t want to manually run population maps (I actually wanted to, but really couldn’t spare the time to learn how) I chose to use the larger averages. Within the data on the linked google docs sheet each person could look up their own county and see the distances to every event, but since that chart was so huge the one I published in article was a lot more general. My personal obsessions with such things restricted me from running the bay area localized numbers since I would be unable to run the entire US. In hindsight that was a mistake and i thank you for completing the calculations here and thereby fixing my error.
    I really appreciate the comments though and am happy to be addressing an interesting topic. I’m new at this which is probably why I’m jumping to the defensive but I’m certain that if I lived in the bay area I would be a lot less tolerant of this years event structure..

  2. Thanks for commenting, Chris. As I hope I made clear, I really respect the work you put into it, and your distance averages are clean and correct. I think in general, the only problem I’ve had with either of your analyses are the places where you make an off-the-cuff remark that sounds factual, but turns out to be incorrect.
    That’s why I jumped on the “only 181 players in SF county” thing, because I didn’t want folks walking away with the idea that we’re some random, “elite” (hah) core of complainers, and everyone else is right by the qualifier venue. It’s one of those randomly misleading elements of California for those who don’t know the state layout well — a few, giant counties in the south, and a million smaller ones in the north. There really are a lot of players up here who have been regularly attending Regionals from an hour or two away, but who just can’t swing six, seven, or eight-hour drives to make it to the tournament.

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