2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

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cthewolf
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2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

Post by cthewolf » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:03 am

Hi Everyone,
It is my pleasure to announce the very first edition of the Boston Latin Invitational Scholastic Series, BLISS I. The set will be available for mirrors starting in November 2018.

I will be head-editing the set with our team writing the entirety of the set. We will happily welcome any experienced college players who would like to edit specific categories. This is my first time editing a set, and we are all new writers, but I will guarantee that the set will be rigorously play tested and adjusted as needed to improve difficulty consistency, answerline diversity, and balanced packeting.

We wrote a sample round which can be seen here.
2019 BLISS I Sample.pdf
(179.91 KiB) Downloaded 447 times
Any feedback is welcome regarding the sample round (@ cjj9000@gmail.com), especially about question style and level of difficulty.
Edit: Please note that this round does not reflect the new distribution.

Set Specifications
BLISS I will be a regular high school difficulty set, consisting of 14 power-marked rounds: 12 regular difficulty rounds and 2 finals rounds of higher difficulty. Each round will have 21 tossups and 21 bonuses. Each tossup will be 5-6 lines of 10 point Times New Roman. The final tossup and bonus of each round is a replacement and should not be read unless necessary. Several NAQT style rounds of 3 tiebreaker tossups will be included. Edit: The distribution is now 21/21, so the final question is no longer a repeated topic replacement but should still not be read unless necessary.

Edit: Please note that this set now has a 21/21 question distribution, and that the 21st question will be a different subject in each round. We changed the 1/1 Random Replacement to have a full 4/4 Lit. Special thanks to Jacob O'Rourke for his experienced advice about distribution changes.
The distribution is below:

4/4 Literature (1.5/1.5 American, 1.5/1.5 British, 1/1 World/Classical)
4/4 Science (1/1 Biology, 1/1 Chemistry, 1/1 Physics, 1/1 Math/CS/Earth Science/Astronomy/Other)
4/4 History (1/1 American, 1.3/1.3 World, 1.7/1.7 Euro/British/Ancient)
3/2 Fine Arts (1/1 Visual, 1/1 Music, 1/0 Other Arts)
1/1 Social Science/Philosophy
1/1 Religion
1/1 Mythology
1/1 Geography
1/1 Pop Culture/Sports
0/1 Computational Math
1/1 Current Events/Mixed Academic

The distribution choices were based on what we felt best represented high school curricula.

Mirror Requests
We welcome any and all mirror requests! The mirror fee will be $15 per non-host competing team but may be negotiated for special cases. Any changes to the fee will be completely at our discretion. Only one mirror request will accepted per region.

If you are interested in mirroring BLISS I or have any questions about it, please contact me at cjj9000@gmail.com. I will include mirror sites in the same post below. At the end of the mirror period, we will upload the set to the packet archive.

Best Wishes,
Christy
Last edited by cthewolf on Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Christy Jestin
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1992 in spaceflight
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Re: 2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:42 pm

As someone who has edited several high school tournaments and written for many more, I'd like to offer some advice about the distribution of this tournament. I'd like to commend you on a lot of the distributional choices--having social science and philosophy share the same 1/1 is something I certainly have done for both WHAQ sets, and I feel like that helped increase the playability of those subjects (so long as you focus on giving each bonus a truly easy part and making the tossup answerlines as answerable as possible).

(Big note: these are my thoughts, which I've gathered from writing and editing questions since 2012 and staffing tournaments since 2011)

There are several high school subjects, unfortunately, that quizbowl just cannot test your knowledge of, due to the nature of how the game works. And computational math, due to how it plays among teams and the fact that it's hard to write computation bonuses well, is the biggest one that's still around in NAQT sets. I'd highly recommend that you include some math theory in the science distribution, as you're more likely to learn more from writing questions that test the application of theory. One of my MOQBA compatriots wrote a primer a few years ago as to why computational math isn't compatible with higher level quizbowl, which you can see here if you want to read the arguments.

I'd recommend putting the computational math and the Mixed Academic aside, and putting that 1/1 back into the literature. As literature is one of the "big 3" among subjects, just putting it down to 3/3 isn't very fair to players who expect literature to make up an equal part of the distribution as science and history. As I think both WHAQ sets have demonstrated well, increasing the amount of American and British Lit (making both 1.5/1.5, instead of 1/1) definitely opens up the answer space and still plays well among a high school player audience.
Jacob O'Rourke
Washington (MO) HS Assistant Coach (2014-Present); MOQBA Secretary (2015-Present); HSAPQ Host Contact; NASAT Outreach Coordinator (2016 and 2017)
Formerly: Kirksville HS Assistant Coach (2012-2014); Truman State '14; and Pacific High (MO) '10


"And here we are as on a darkling plain, Swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night."
Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach.

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Re: 2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

Post by RicardoDA » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:48 am

Is there a tentative date for the main site for this set?
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Re: 2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

Post by cthewolf » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:45 pm

No: I was hoping to use the set for SPIT II 2-3 weeks before States, but I think we will be changing the acronym and hosting earlier if states is so late in the year.
Christy Jestin
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Re: 2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

Post by cthewolf » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:01 pm

Please note the changes to the distribution and the new 4/4 lit.
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Re: 2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

Post by cthewolf » Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:14 pm

Mirrors
Blue Ridge, IL: Mike Hendricks Memorial 11/17/18
Dorman, SC: Cavalier Classic 1/19/19
Dayton, OH: Miami Valley Groundhog Day Invitational 2/2/19
Christy Jestin
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Re: 2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

Post by The Hands Resist Him » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:43 pm

Given what we’ve seen from BLS’s tournament this past weekend, and the fact that this sets first mirror is coming up very fast, is it possible to ask about how much progress has been made on writing/editing so far, or what assurances of quality we can expect?
Charles Yang
Lexington '20 (Vice President)

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Re: 2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:02 pm

It appears that the radio silence after Charles' post was, as you'd expect, not a good sign; word from a friend of mine at Blue Ridge today is that rounds 1-5 didn't make it to the tournament host until 7:15 this morning, round 6 didn't arrive until just before lunch, and round 7 didn't arrive at all. (They had an 8-team field; I don't know what they did to finish the tournament.)
Brad Fischer
Head Editor, IHSA State Series

Winnebago HS ('06)
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Coach, Keith Country Day School (2012-16)

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Re: 2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

Post by Thiccasso's Guernthicca » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:40 pm

Irreligion in Bangladesh wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:02 pm
It appears that the radio silence after Charles' post was, as you'd expect, not a good sign; word from a friend of mine at Blue Ridge today is that rounds 1-5 didn't make it to the tournament host until 7:15 this morning, round 6 didn't arrive until just before lunch, and round 7 didn't arrive at all. (They had an 8-team field; I don't know what they did to finish the tournament.)
When they ran out of packets, did they just send copies of the Katherine Mansfield story "Bliss"?
Wonyoung Jang
Belmont '18 // UChicago '22
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cthewolf
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Re: 2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

Post by cthewolf » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:20 pm

Firstly, we apologize to Blue Ridge and the attendees of the tournament. We should have delivered a well written set several days earlier. The inability to do so is entirely the fault of the BLISS I writing team.

I will admit that some of our writers were inaccurate and/or dishonest in reporting their progress. We should have paid closer attention and checked progress ourselves. This forced Nick and I to write/edit some questions last minute and delayed the editing and packeting process.

In the end, all the required rounds were ready, and thus I'm not sure what happened today, but for whatever reason, some rounds weren't shared properly. We sent in rounds when I finally saw the email.

For the future, I promise that this situation will not be repeated. Nick and I will be micromanaging every single question. We will also transfer questions to more reliable writers. We are capable of crafting suitable rounds. We will deliver on that promise. We are sorry that we couldn't make this happen for the tournament, and we will be offering partial refunds of $30 to attending teams. We are very sorry to those teams in attendance for any problems caused by the set.

For future mirrors, rounds will be sent out at least two weeks in advance. All questions will have been thoroughly edited and written with ample time. If any school wants to/has agreed to mirroring the set and would like to preview it beforehand, we will supply it to the appropriate coaches/sponsors.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Christy Jestin
Boston Latin School '20
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Re: 2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

Post by edfitz86 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:25 pm

My team attended the tournament on Saturday at Blue Ridge and I moderated all of the rounds. Without being too harsh, I could definitely tell that many of the questions were hastily thrown together and some editing still needed to be done, (grammar errors, bonuses being repeat content of tossups from the same round, etc.). One of the rounds had an identical tossup as the previous round, and we felt as a tournament that the difficulty level was all over the place, tough to pin down or label a difficulty level for this set. I know that there was definitely some stress for the tournament director not having the questions until 7:15 the morning of the tournament and having to alter the schedule for the day because not all rounds were received. These are just my two cents from being there on Saturday.
Ryan Bland
Durand High School, Durand IL
Head Scholastic Bowl Coach

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Re: 2019 BLISS I Open for Mirrors

Post by cthewolf » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:23 pm

Thanks Mr. Bland for the input.

Repeated content and the double tossup were definitely errors in the "physical" packeting which will be fixed when we crosscheck our spreadsheet with the round docs. Grammar will be addressed similarly.

I will set up a survey for specific content based concerns including difficulty, "gimmickiness", lack of clarity, pyramidality, and absence of prompts. I'm not saying any of the above are in the set- it's just the usual concerns.
Christy Jestin
Boston Latin School '20
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