Approximately 20 high school house writes have been announce

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Approximately 20 high school house writes have been announce

Postby AKKOLADE » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:23 pm

d for next year and this is probably too many. I'd encourage groups to look into merging their efforts and not trying to produce this many questions.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby Progcon » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:29 pm

I was going to post something about this so thank you Fred. As someone who edited a 20 packet housewrite last year and plans to announce its second iteration soon, it's a ton of work to write a housewrite. I'd highly encourage schools--especially high schools--to consolidate their efforts and work together or else nobody is going to make any money doing this between these housewrites and the IS sets that NAQT will put out. For what it's worth, as a tournament director, I'd rather pay for an established housewrite like BHSAT or HFT or an IS set over any of these new housewrites.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby ScoBo » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:23 pm

Yes, please do this! As the president of an organization that had some trouble finding sets for fall tournaments last year (which is never helped by losing access to half of the NAQT sets because of the MSHSAA series), I'm glad to see more sets available in the fall semester compared to last year and more people interested in writing question sets. However, as a moderator, I read a large number of questions of varying quality last year, WAY too many of which were poorly proofread and frustrating to read. Nobody likes poorly edited and proofread questions - we only end up using them because there was nothing else available! It would definitely be better if some of these efforts could be combined to spread out the workload to be able to finish the questions sooner and give more time for playtesting, polishing, proofreading, etc. It would be much more productive for the increased interest in writing questions to help improve the quality of the number of questions already produced, not writing more questions that the circuit doesn't really need. I would gladly pay more for a set that I am confident will be well edited compared to some random new housewrite charging $10/team that more often than not is not that good because the editors weren't prepared for the amount of work it takes to produce a good set.

Looking at the MOQBA calendar of high school events this past season, in the fall, we used 2 NAQT IS sets and 3 housewrites, in addition to SCOP Novice and HSAPQ Novice. In the spring, we used 5 housewrites, the other two IS sets available to us, the only 2 A-sets available to us, Pennsylvania Novice, and an Olympia set for a JV tournament, in addition to some of the sets from the fall in other parts of the state. That's a total of 6 NAQT sets, 8 regular housewrites, and 4 novice sets. We also used a college set for a pre-nationals tournament and Scobol Solo for a singles tournament.

Breaking this down:
- To attract large statewide fields, we try to have exclusive sets for MOQBA Fall (our only use of HFT this year), WUHSAC (our only use of BHSAT), and the NAQT Missouri Qualifier (IS-166, which was initially assigned only to us but was eventually assigned to a couple of non-MOQBA tournaments).
- 3 IS sets and 2 A sets get used all over the state both by MOQBA and non-MOQBA tournaments.
- WHAQ, GSAC, and SCOP Novice were each used at 3 or more sites.
- VTACO was used at 2 sites in the fall as the only option available for those tournaments.
- BASQT, POMMSS, HSAPQ Novice, and Pennsylvania Novice were only used in central MO. LIST was only used at Ladue.

Based on this, I'm hoping efforts can be combined to produce approximately 8 housewrites of high quality next year, with at least half being available in the fall. Central Missouri is by far our area with the most demand for distinct sets, using 6 NAQT sets, 4 novice sets, and 6 regular housewrites (in addition to area teams attending tournaments on sets used exclusively in St. Louis). Most (if not all) other states have 1 more IS set and 3 more A-sets available that we can't use here because of the MSHSAA series. Is there an area that really needs any more than about 6-8 housewrites in a given season?
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby FortOsageScholarBowl » Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:41 pm

After reading the comments, I felt I needed to chime in. We at Fort Osage have produced Novice sets the last 2 years, and we did a Trash set in the spring. Even though the Trash set made a lot more money than the Novice set did, which surprised us, we are planning on continuing to do both. Simply put, it gets my kids thinking about questions, and it forces them to do something other than just practice the ENTIRE time we are together. Also for a school like us that is fairly poor, it saves money for when we host our JV tournament. I only have to pay for trophies (which averages about 80 bucks), and so the rest is pure profit. I completely understand the idea of collaboration, but we have had just a couple of feelers put out to us, and nothing proved concrete. Also, I would feel really guilty not compensating a person for helping us, and that would cut into our profit. So, I see both sides of the argument...

On another note, we chose Novice 3 years ago, because at that time, SCOP was the only other JV set we saw, besides NAQT Middle School sets. Last year, there were like 4 other Novice sets, and I like to think ours was not too far off...
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby An Economic Ignoramus » Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:54 pm

Provisional list of housewrites (announced or privately disclosed to me) (sets not (to my knowledge) already in production marked with asterisks)
-IMSANITY
-DEFT (Darien)
-WHAQ
-Glasgow housewrite
-HFT
-FACTS (TJ/Charter)
-LIIMIT
-Prison Bowl
-RM/Beavercreek
-maybe SMART*
-GSAC
-Maryland fall
-Penn Bowl
-ATHENA
-BHSAT
-Fort Osage Novice
-SHAFT (Stevenson)
This is in addition to ACF Fall, SCOP, three NHBB sets, and everything NAQT puts out. There are literally not enough weekends in the year to accomodate half of these.
Merge your sets people. The only efforts in this direction to have come to fruition so far have been Michigan State and UIUC merging some set production efforts. It would be great if this could happen more.
EDIT: Formatted it differently to get my point across more effectively
Last edited by An Economic Ignoramus on Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby AKKOLADE » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:21 pm

The following list from last season is not all inclusive - I tend to ignore novice sets because I don't rank novice teams and it only includes sites that used 3 part bonuses.

NAQT

A-sets - 7 used during the year
IS sets - 6 used during the year
IS-166, aka IS2: Invite Harder
2016 MSNCT
2017 MSNCT
2016 SSNCT
2017 SSNCT
2017 HSNCT

COLLEGE TOURNAMENTS THAT ENDED UP IN THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL

ACF Fall - 3 sites, 28 teams
Delta Burke - 1 site, 12 teams
Eisenhower Memorial - not including, was all college tournaments
SCT - 3 sites, 68 teams
ICT - 5 sites, 64 teams
Terrapin - 1 site, 12 teams

HSAPQ

"HSAPQ Novice" - 3 sites, 32 teams

HOUSE WRITES

BASQT - 4 sites, 64 teams
BHSAT - 8 sites, 145 teams
Blair Bowl - 1 site, 7 teams
Columbia - 1 site, 42 teams
GSAC - 11 sites, 219 teams
Harvard Fall - 13 sites, 231 teams
LIST - 4 sites, 76 teams
Northmont's set - 1 site, 36 teams (does not include home site due to OAC format)
Penn Novice - 9 sites, 169 teams
POMMSS - 2 sites, 28 teams - excludes the state championship, which would be improved by this.
Prison Bowl - 3 sites, 44 teams
SCOP - not doing this, my count will be inaccurate
SMART - 1 site, 22 teams
SUN - 2 sites, 9 teams
VTACO - 2 sites, 45 teams
WHAQ - 15 sites, 345 teams

Only 3 sets had 10+ sites; only 5 had 100+ teams play. 8 of 15 sets had under 50 teams play.
Last edited by AKKOLADE on Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby Progcon » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:31 pm

Small correction that our set POMMSS was used at the Michigan State Championship and was heard by around 70 Michigan teams. Detailed stats are not available because of the way the Honors College does things but I just felt that should be said.

I think it's great that teams like Fort Osage are writing novice questions and I don't think there is a glut there at all. Freshmen and sophomores and talented middle schoolers need questions and this is a great way for teams to start learning how to write. Where it's frustrating as someone who want their set to be widely read and who worked a ton of time to produce 20 22/21 packets, is that when there are too many regular difficulty high school housewrites, people start to get hurt from a financial standpoint and it becomes no longer worth it. We didn't write POMMSS to get practice writing questions or too get better because we are in college, etc. We wrote it because the State Tournament needed quality questions and our club needed some money because we don't get any university funding.

I can only speak to Michigan, but in our state, there are around 10 pyramidal tournament per year and last year, only three were housewrites (our HFT mirror, our WHAQ mirror in March, and the State Tournament on POMMSS). The rest were from NAQT including NAQT States, so I'm not sure there is anywhere near adequate demand for these additional sets. Again, it's awesome that people want to write high school questions, but I think we are better off combining our efforts to produce a few high quality sets than stretching ourselves very thin and having 20 sets--each of which will contain questions on very similar things if we are being honest.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby browen » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:01 pm

Sit Room Guy wrote:There are literally not enough weekends in the year to accommodate half of these.


Imo, there are two major reasons for the use of housewrites. The first is for a team acquire revenue, and the second is that producing the housewrite will help with the development of their players since it forces you to learn more clues during the writing process. For teams focused on the latter, it doesn't matter if there aren't enough weekends, as the housewrite is going to only be used at their own tournament and maybe one/two other sites in another part of the country. The second point also prevents a possible loss of revenue from your tournament if you are mirroring a set that is being used in a "nearby" circuit which would lower the number of teams traveling to your tournament.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby Banana Stand » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:57 pm

browen wrote:
Sit Room Guy wrote:There are literally not enough weekends in the year to accommodate half of these.


Imo, there are two major reasons for the use of housewrites. The first is for a team acquire revenue, and the second is that producing the housewrite will help with the development of their players since it forces you to learn more clues during the writing process. For teams focused on the latter, it doesn't matter if there aren't enough weekends, as the housewrite is going to only be used at their own tournament and maybe one/two other sites in another part of the country. The second point also prevents a possible loss of revenue from your tournament if you are mirroring a set that is being used in a "nearby" circuit which would lower the number of teams traveling to your tournament.


You can a) do what DCC does and just write questions and read them to your teammates which is great practice or b) just write a ton of questions on your own and encourage and teach newer players to do the same. There's no reason to clog up the tournament schedule and/or make lesser quality tournaments so that people can learn some lead-ins.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby Irreligion in Bangladesh » Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:35 pm

Banana Stand wrote:You can a) do what DCC does and just write questions and read them to your teammates which is great practice or b) just write a ton of questions on your own and encourage and teach newer players to do the same. There's no reason to clog up the tournament schedule and/or make lesser quality tournaments so that people can learn some lead-ins.


This is incredibly important.

And, if a tournament really did want "just their own mirror site + one or two others," there should be no problem with a collaborative effort between two schools, each claiming 100% of their own site's mirror fees and 50% of the other sites' fees. That rarely happens - but generally speaking, when it does, the collaborators have an experienced editor on the masthead. Everybody else should go and do likewise.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby AKKOLADE » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:10 pm

Irreligion in Bangladesh wrote:
Banana Stand wrote:You can a) do what DCC does and just write questions and read them to your teammates which is great practice or b) just write a ton of questions on your own and encourage and teach newer players to do the same. There's no reason to clog up the tournament schedule and/or make lesser quality tournaments so that people can learn some lead-ins.


This is incredibly important.

And, if a tournament really did want "just their own mirror site + one or two others," there should be no problem with a collaborative effort between two schools, each claiming 100% of their own site's mirror fees and 50% of the other sites' fees. That rarely happens - but generally speaking, when it does, the collaborators have an experienced editor on the masthead. Everybody else should go and do likewise.

I'll emphasize you can write questions and then not make a tournament with them.

Good house writes at the high school need a talented editor who has the time to take on the project, and the project must make sufficient money for them to judge it worth their time. There aren't 25 editors who meet those criteria. Even if there were, there's no way more than a couple would make enough money to justify their time in a world where there's 25 house writes fighting each other for a market share.

Without a sufficiently good editor, you're going to have a tournament that is not good. If so many people are doing house writes because they were unhappy with the quality of last year's house writes, this isn't going to solve the problem; it'll just make it worse.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby Agamemnon » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:03 pm

This is all very unfortunate, as Richard Montgomery has been planning for a house write as well. What can all of us do when it comes to considering mergers?
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby i never see pigeons in wheeling » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:06 am

Agamemnon wrote:This is all very unfortunate, as Richard Montgomery has been planning for a house write as well. What can all of us do when it comes to considering mergers?


If you must do it alone (this is directed to the general "you" and not you specifically), write a novice set. There needs to be more truly easy mACF sets than just SCOP (and Penn Novice from last year). It also allows you to differentiate your product in a saturated market, and there's massive untapped demand for easy sets. Yes, there will be less opportunity for you to write down leadins that will get you points at nationals, but you can write questions with those early clues for your own edification without including them in the final set.

If you still want to merge and write a regular hs set, contact the leaders of one or two other schools without an established longstanding brand name for their set, collaborate, and get an experienced college editor to actively and methodically critique every writer on the set (and compensate them for it). This is the only way to know that your set will actually be high quality.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby Irreligion in Bangladesh » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:00 am

i never see pigeons in wheeling wrote:
Agamemnon wrote:This is all very unfortunate, as Richard Montgomery has been planning for a house write as well. What can all of us do when it comes to considering mergers?


If you must do it alone (this is directed to the general "you" and not you specifically), write a novice set.


I'll disagree here - novice sets are best written by experienced people like SCOP and HSAPQ who understand what exactly "novice" is meant to accomplish. Packet 1 of Fort Osage's second Novice set* opens with tossups on the 26th Amendment and apoptosis, continues with lit answer lines like The Little Prince and Annabel Lee and history answer lines like Bartolome de las Casas, and finishes with the tiebreaker tossup on Lysistrata. That's regular difficulty, with Little Prince and 26th Amendment being arguably close to OK for an easy tournament, and it's a great way to have someone's first game of quizbowl ever end with 4+ dead questions and a moderator sheepishly saying "well, we didn't plan on overtime taking more than one tossup, I'll run to tournament central..."

*I don't mean to pick on Fort Osage; if anybody else were writing novice sets, I'd be able to find the same type of issue there, too.


So, my response is - if you think you "must" do it alone, you're wrong. Find someone to join with and find an editor to help you out. If you can't do that, don't write a tournament. (Write questions for studying purposes and host someone else's good housewrite instead.) And hey, if that editor knows what novice vs. regular looks like and what it should accomplish, then consider making it a novice set. (Which is a good idea for all the rest of Ankit's reasons.)
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby Progcon » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:20 am

I'd like to echo what Brad Fischer wrote in its entirety. If you wrote a bunch of questions for practice and want to see them used, I'd be more than happy to incorporate them into my set even if you only have like 5 tossups. We can also work out a payment structure depending on how much you want to write. Additionally, writing for a larger quizbowl organization such as NAQT, HSAPQ, NHBB or whoever can allow you to get better while writing and make some money.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby i never see pigeons in wheeling » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:21 am

Irreligion in Bangladesh wrote:
i never see pigeons in wheeling wrote:
Agamemnon wrote:This is all very unfortunate, as Richard Montgomery has been planning for a house write as well. What can all of us do when it comes to considering mergers?


If you must do it alone (this is directed to the general "you" and not you specifically), write a novice set.


I'll disagree here - novice sets are best written by experienced people like SCOP and HSAPQ who understand what exactly "novice" is meant to accomplish. Packet 1 of Fort Osage's second Novice set* opens with tossups on the 26th Amendment and apoptosis, continues with lit answer lines like The Little Prince and Annabel Lee and history answer lines like Bartolome de las Casas, and finishes with the tiebreaker tossup on Lysistrata. That's regular difficulty, with Little Prince and 26th Amendment being arguably close to OK for an easy tournament, and it's a great way to have someone's first game of quizbowl ever end with 4+ dead questions and a moderator sheepishly saying "well, we didn't plan on overtime taking more than one tossup, I'll run to tournament central..."

*I don't mean to pick on Fort Osage; if anybody else were writing novice sets, I'd be able to find the same type of issue there, too.


So, my response is - if you think you "must" do it alone, you're wrong. Find someone to join with and find an editor to help you out. If you can't do that, don't write a tournament. (Write questions for studying purposes and host someone else's good housewrite instead.) And hey, if that editor knows what novice vs. regular looks like and what it should accomplish, then consider making it a novice set. (Which is a good idea for all the rest of Ankit's reasons.)


Sorry, I botched my point here pretty hard. I meant that in BOTH cases, you should get an experienced college editor, and that this is especially true for novice (I meant the spiel about the editor to come in the third paragraph but I lost my train of thought while writing it and it ended up attached to the second paragraph). I don't want to discourage the production of housewrites entirely, but I want them to be grown in an environment where people can be summarily corrected about mistakes in writing. Collaboration plus taking on an editor seems like the ideal way to achieve this. I meant my point about going it alone to reflect the fact that no one currently writing seems to be writing a novice-oriented tournament, so you could not jump on board one of those. Having more opportunities for novices to play good, low-difficulty mACF against other novices is absolutely critical to fostering the growth of good quiz bowl, but producing such a tournament is hard without, as Brad pointed out, someone who knows what they're doing at the helm.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby insohumniac » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:46 pm

I was going to address this in a dedicated forum post, but since this topic is important for the upcoming season and will massively affect the direction of our set I’ve posted it here. The plan for Wilmington Charter's housewrite was a high school ACF-esque prototype, where teams could write packets and submit them to receive a discount at the main site of the tournament. Although submitting a packet would not be necessary for attendance, we felt that it would be interesting to try this high school level since this format is prevalent and often expected at the college level. Since more housewrites have been planned for this season than expected, it may be in the best interest of teams planning on writing packets to form a merger with other schools as previously mentioned. The target for our original set, incidentally called "Packet Potlatch," was 16 packets, with 11 packets being written exclusively by members of the Charter Academic Bowl team, and the remaining 5 each being written by other schools.

Since it may now be unfeasible to attempt such a project on our own, we are wondering if other schools would be willing to consolidate efforts into a larger, ACF Fall style tournament, with perhaps 1 to 2 packets worth of tossups being written by one school or team, with a total of 15-16 packets. This process will be more manageable for many reasons, with the primary concerns being quality and mirroring sites. If a few of the other schools proposing housewrites wish to pursue this effort, under the guidance of a few experienced editors (which we don’t have at present), everybody involved can still improve without creating a huge glut of new sets. A large part of Charter's dive into making the housewrite was concerned with improvement for the rising A team, with our sponsors and parents also questioning how we would fund the trip to nationals for next year. In hindsight, attempting such a project was probably not the kindest for both the quizbowl community and members of our team.

As a closing note, I would like to ask all of the other teams proposing housewrites to ask themselves a question. Why do you want to make your set? For many schools it's tradition, but in our case it was a bit too ambitious. A large goal of quizbowl is expanding the availability of good formats to newer teams and schools which may not have had exposure to such styles of competition. Many schools in our state specifically take part in other academic competitions, and we felt that quizbowl was a great way to appeal to students who enjoyed these kinds of activities. However, there comes a point when one tries to accomplish too many goals with one effort. Asking oneself this question should not be an exercise in discouragement, rather a consideration of other means of achieving goals. Hosting quizbowl related activities isn't the only way to fundraise, and you don't necessarily have to brand the housewrite under your school's name if you just want to write questions. After all, if we want to make these sets enjoyable to write, play and edit, collaboration and cooperation are key.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby Charbroil » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:33 am

Sit Room Guy wrote:Provisional list of housewrites (announced or privately disclosed to me) (sets not (to my knowledge) already in production marked with asterisks)
-Terrapin


What is this Terrapin housewrite? Is it associated with the Maryland team, or just a high school set that coincidentally uses the same name?
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby heterodyne » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:47 am

Writing regular difficulty questions for hs probably isn't an awesome way to improve your mats performance, just because the amount of time you spend learning new clues won't be that large - most HS regdiff TUs have pretty much identical second halves with a few clues swapped out, and if you're a fairly good player you should probably know all but the first one or two clues in the tossups you write. Writing for improvement is a far better strategy in college where a larger proportion of clues are new to you.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby Deviant Insider » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:20 am

Charbroil wrote:
Sit Room Guy wrote:Provisional list of housewrites (announced or privately disclosed to me) (sets not (to my knowledge) already in production marked with asterisks)
-Terrapin


What is this Terrapin housewrite? Is it associated with the Maryland team, or just a high school set that coincidentally uses the same name?


I believe it is the UMD college set, and it is listed because it was used once at the high school level last year and may be used similarly this year.


On a different note, I am looking for help writing the Masonic Set. The pay is low but reliable, you can choose what part(s) of the distribution you want to write, your questions will be edited by experienced editors, and about a third of the questions you write will be played on by 300 teams. You must do a significant percentage of your writing over the summer, and the rest of it must be done in the fall. Contact me if you are interested.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby btressler » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:28 am

To this list you may add a Pennsylvania set written by me. It is intended to be similar to an A-level and playable by a field appropriate to that kind of set. It could be used by novice tournaments, but I've included some challenging material at the beginning of tossups and the hardest bonus parts so that mid-level Pennsylvania teams could play the set. Tossup answers and easy bonus parts are being selected with the hope that almost every tossup gets converted and that 10s and 20s are common on bonuses.

There are 12 packets. All 264 bonuses and around 75 of the tossups are written. My free time is sporadic the next few weeks, so I will probably not get back to this project in earnest until mid-July.

The tentative title of the set is "The Pennsylvania Coaches Association Presents: The Philly Cheesesteak". The association is still forming, but if even a nascent group gets going, I'd like mirror fees to go to those efforts.

I am amenable to working with editors outside the state in exchange for the right to use the packets. Note that the style is not strictly the ACF distribution, as I am writing more common link and cross-category questions than you might be used to seeing.
Bill Tressler,
Dickinson ('97) Carnegie Mellon ('99) Delaware ('06)
Seen moderating at various SE Pennsylvania events.
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby GBRodgers12 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:03 pm

Just as a note, Richard Montgomery and Beavercreek are going to be collaborating on the set posted as Beavercreek Fall (slight name change coming soon). I am working on a few logistical things and will have everything updated in that thread with any new relevant info as soon as I can.
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Northmont '08
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Re: Approximately 20 high school house writes have been anno

Postby AKKOLADE » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:10 pm

I'm glad to hear that!
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