02 April 2012

Q1 2011 Ends, Time for Next Playoff


Q1 2011 ended on Friday, as far as the daily quizzes are concerned. Which means it is time to prepare for the championship playoff for that quarter. And a congratulations to the hundreds of players who committed a substantial amount of time playing quizzes, learning about PL/SQL, SQL and APEX, and in many cases sharing their knowledge with others through our discussion.

As noted in an earlier post, we are going to change the process for playoff qualification starting with this quarter: some or all of the top-25 ranked players will be required to take special qualifier quizzes to validate their performance in the quarter.

Here's how the qualifier process will work:

1. If you ranked in the top 25 and are not selected to take the qualifier quizzes, then you are in the playoff, with no further action required. Even if you cannot or choose not to participate in the playoff, there is no impact on your rankings or competitive status.

2. If you are selected to play qualifier quizzes, you will receive an email (and a message on the PL/SQL Challenge site) notifying you of the quizzes you must take. They will also, of course, appear on your PL/SQL Challenge home page. You will have three days in which to play the quizzes. If you cannot take the quizzes in that period of time, submit feedback to this effect and we will re-scheduled the quizzes.

3. If you do not want to take the qualifier quizzes, then change your status to non-competitive (visit your Account page, Preferences, and check the box next to "Play for education purposes only?") and notify us of your decision through the Feedback page. If you take this action, any awards you won in the quarter will be reversed.

4. After taking the qualifier quizzes, you will be notified of the results. If you pass, then you have qualified for the playoff and no further action is needed.

If you fail the qualifier, your status will be set to non-competitive and any awards received in Q1 2011 will be reversed. You will remain in non-competitive status for the remainder of this next quarter.

If you previously had your scores adjusted by our "very fast answer" analysis, your account may also be terminated.

For each qualifier failure, rankings will be re-calculated, thereby adding more players to the playoff. Those added to the top 25 may then be asked to take qualifier quizzes (and so the cycle above begins again).

Clearly, this process will delay the date on which the playoff will occur. In addition, the website must be upgraded to 2.2, with its support for qualifiers. We plan to do this upgrade the weekend of 13 April. So during the week of 15 April we will invite some players to take the qualifier quizzes.

Steven Feuerstein


  1. How does this change affect the wildcard and as-correct entries into the playoffs?

    Are these calculated on the original top 25, the final 25 or does this process replace both of these?

  2. We will not compute the wildcard and correctness participants until we sort out the top 25.