ICPC PacNW Two Division FAQ
- Why the move to two divisions? We
are trying to make the contest more available to a wider range of
team's abilities. The problem set from recent years has grown
quite large. This is due to the wish to accommodate as many teams
as possible. The result is that the problem set contained many
'easy' problems that the stronger teams were obligated to attempt to be
competitive for a slot in World Finals. This left them less time
to work on the harder problems that most closely mirror the kinds of
problems that will be seen at World Finals. In addition,
statistics showed that teams that were less algorithmically savvy were
going to solve a few problems at the very most in the problem set.
Many of these teams did not solve any problems at all beyond the
three hour mark of the contest. By splitting the problem set to
two divisions (D1 and D2), stronger teams can work a problem set closer
to World Finals, which prepares them much more for competing in World
Finals should they make it. Less strong teams can work a problem
set more suitable to their current abilities and expect to solve a good
number of problems throughout the contest through the final hour.
- How many problems will each division have? Each division will have at least 8 problems.
- Will there be any problem overlap in the divisions? This is very likely. The harder problems in D2 could serve as easier problems in D1.
- Will there be any 'easy' problems in D1?
There will be some problems that are reasonably easy, but not like the
complete 'gimme' problems included in the last couple of problem sets. Such problems may well originate from D2.
- Who decides which division a team will compete in?
The coach of that team and the team itself will decide the
appropriate division for that team. To help determine team
placement, a team should attempt to complete the problems given in the
following zip file. The problems serve as a baseline for
D1. If a team cannot solve all three of these problems, that team
should compete in D2
- Will there be awards for each division? Yes! First, second, and third place teams in D1 and D2 will receive plaques and medals.
- Will there be site winners for each division? Yes! There will be a D1 and D2 site winner for each site. Site winning teams will receive a plaque.
- Who is eligible for a slot in World Finals?
Only D1 teams are eligible for a slot in World Finals. It
is our hope that newer teams will try D2 this year and then return next
year and compete in D1.
- Does competing in D2 count against eligibility for future regional competitions and World Finals?
Not directly. The only restraint on competing is based on age and
year in school as defined on the main ICPC website. That
information can be found at this link: http://icpc.baylor.edu/regionals/rules.
A student may compete in at most 5 regional contests and two World
Finals as per the main ICPC rules. There are also year in school
and age limits. Competing in D2 will not count against a student
for one of the 5 regional contest allowed. However, there are age
and year in school restrictions that must be met (as described at the
link given previosly). Should a student not meet those
restrictions, it is possible to petition for an exception.
- How will the scoreboard work? There will be separate scoreboards for each division.
- Will there be rankings for both D1 and D2. Yes.
- How will balloons work? D2 balloons will have the number 2 written on them.
Teams should rely more heavily on the scoreboard to see what
problems are being solved in each division just in case there is an
oversight in balloon labeling for D2.
- Has this been done before in other regions? Yes! As an example, the Southeast US region (http://ser.cs.fit.edu/ser2013/) has done it multiple years now and the response has been positive. The split between D1 and D2 is almost 50%.
- Will this be a permanent addition to the PacNW contest?
We are attempting to make the model permanent, with 2015 being the second consecutive year with two divisions.