Regional Disparities in PF

To understand regional disparities in PF, we analyzed the school locations of ToC attendees and bid tournament locations, each from this year..

Many states are underrepresented at the ToC. Only 22 states are even sending a single team, and an even smaller 9 states are sending at least 5 teams. This is particularly striking when one considers that 3 schools (Horace Mann in New York, Plano West in Texas, and Fairmont Prep in California) are each sending 5 teams.

So where do the ToC’s 120 entries come from? California, New York, and Texas send 60 combined teams, constituting half of the overall pool. California leads the list with 26 teams, New York follows with 18, and Texas is 3rd with 16. No other state sends more than 7 teams.

Many states don’t send teams to ToC even though they have bid tournaments in their state. Louisiana and Utah have multiple bid tournaments but no ToC-attending teams, and Connecticut has an octas bid tournament without a ToC team.

Among the states that have teams attending the ToC, only Ohio (7 teams attending ToC) and Tennessee (3 teams attending ToC) have no bid tournaments of any kind. Some states have multiple bid tournaments across different bid levels.

We can also see that these disparities persist when we broaden the focus to analyze regions, using the following map as a guide.

Interestingly, the Northeast dominates every other region in terms of how many teams they send to the ToC. And even though California is the only “Western” state sending teams to the ToC, the “West” still sends more teams to the ToC than any region other than the Northeast.

However, the number of ToC teams coming from the Northeast and West is unsurprising when you consider how many bids are handed out at tournaments in those regions.

in fact, it’s surprising that the Southeast sends so few teams to ToC and that the Southwest sends so many. It seems that many of the bids in the Southeast are going to teams from other regions, and that teams from the Southwest either don’t have other regions poaching their bids, or are especially successful at poaching bids from other regions themselves.

Perhaps there is a case for re-allocating bids from the Southeast to the Southwest, at least based on the data from this one year.

Ben Kessler