I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

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I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:12 pm

I decided to look back on the videos from our little county tournament to see what questions they were using and I found this: http://video.monroeisd.us/monroe-county ... ship-2015/ (video). You only need to watch about 5 minutes to understand my horror. Unfortunately, we're like required to participate so not doing it isn't an option. I need help telling higher-up school officials that these questions are the worst I have ever seen and that they need to change them without getting a red target painted on my back. Any suggestions?? This comp is 11/30/17.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby Important Bird Area » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:49 pm

For the record, we offered to supply NAQT questions for this event, and the host declined our offer.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:53 pm

Important Bird Area wrote:For the record, we offered to supply NAQT questions for this event, and the host declined our offer.


I'm groaning so much at this because I completely believe that's something they would do. When did you offer it, and did they give a reason for declining?
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby Important Bird Area » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:55 pm

We heard back a week ago; the host had a number of differences of opinion that made it impossible for us to supply this league.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby alexdz » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:20 am

Full disclosure: this is a competition that I wrote for last year. Due to several personal and professional issues that I'd rather not lay out in detail on the forums, I was only able to complete the high school set and not the elementary and middle school questions that I had also contracted to write, and thus I, of course, did not continue that relationship this year. For what it's worth, the gentleman I spoke to that ran the 2016 competition had actually come around to understanding the idea behind "pyramidal" questions, but I think you'll be hard pressed to find anyone willing to write in that format that understands the other ideals of good quizbowl. This tournament requires too much pop culture compared to a standard set and an overwhelming number of questions that aren't necessarily usable anywhere else. If NAQT is referring to what I think they are, the number of strong opinions about content and format required for this tournament are too much for "good quizbowl" writers to handle.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:23 am

alexdz wrote:Full disclosure: this is a competition that I wrote for last year. Due to several personal and professional issues that I'd rather not lay out in detail on the forums, I was only able to complete the high school set and not the elementary and middle school questions that I had also contracted to write, and thus I, of course, did not continue that relationship this year. For what it's worth, the gentleman I spoke to that ran the 2016 competition had actually come around to understanding the idea behind "pyramidal" questions, but I think you'll be hard pressed to find anyone willing to write in that format that understands the other ideals of good quizbowl. This tournament requires too much pop culture compared to a standard set and an overwhelming number of questions that aren't necessarily usable anywhere else. If NAQT is referring to what I think they are, the number of strong opinions about content and format required for this tournament are too much for "good quizbowl" writers to handle.


So basically he's like Chip Beall 2.0?

EDIT: Also, I know you and I have already spoken on this before, Alex, so I apologize if it seems like I'm airing out the same old news. I just didn't remember the questions they were using (circa 2015) and didn't realize how horrible they were so I'm pretty concerned now that I know that multiple people aren't having luck in this circuit, especially in a state that could really use more good qb.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby alexdz » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:20 am

tksaleija wrote:So basically he's like Chip Beall 2.0?

EDIT: Also, I know you and I have already spoken on this before, Alex, so I apologize if it seems like I'm airing out the same old news. I just didn't remember the questions they were using (circa 2015) and didn't realize how horrible they were so I'm pretty concerned now that I know that multiple people aren't having luck in this circuit, especially in a state that could really use more good qb.


No worries - I posted mostly for the benefit of the rest of the community. It's concerning that this tournament isn't even willing to work with NAQT, who has the capability to produce well-written questions in various formats. In fact, I suggested NAQT as a source when I had to back out of the other questions.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:51 am

I'm considering emailing the coordinator with some alternatives to Triple Q (I recently confirmed that TQ has been used for previous tournaments). Does anyone have suggestions for Novice or reg difficulty question sets/companies that I could field to him? My hope is that if I show him how many different options there are for good quiz bowl questions, he'll have to at least consider some of them. The more the better.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby idrayer » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:38 pm

Perhaps using the line of logic that their questions being an outlier from national standards hinders the performance of teams from your area at national tournaments, and if they were more aligned, then you could more strongly represent your region on the National scene. The network could use your team's success at nationals in the next year's promos, hyping up matchups by calling one of the teams top 25 in the country or something like that.

Don't think about why changing question providers can benefit you. Think about how you can change it around and describe how it can benefit them, the show producers instead. The fact that it'll be more enjoyable for you and other players is just incidental.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:45 pm

I'm sending an email to the director that highlights the multiple positive results of good pyramidal questions (including the benefits for the directors, per idlayer's suggestion). I listed off a few good companies ((NAQT, PACE, HSAPQ (Yeah I know they're being bought out)) for reg level but does anyone have any suggestions for novice level who provides at least ms and hs sets? I could only think of SCOP.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby Snoopy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:39 am

tksaleija wrote:I could only think of SCOP.


That's because, outside of housewrites, only SCOP and NAQT make novice sets. There simply isn't anyone else.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:09 am

Snoopy wrote:
tksaleija wrote:I could only think of SCOP.


That's because, outside of housewrites, only SCOP and NAQT make novice sets. There simply isn't anyone else.


Housewrites are fine too. From what I've heard with people who have experience with the director, he thinks hs students aren't smart enough to handle reg sets or something like that, so any novice or reg minus housewrites would be greatly appreciated too.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby El Salvadoreno » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:34 am

tksaleija wrote:
Snoopy wrote:
tksaleija wrote:I could only think of SCOP.


That's because, outside of housewrites, only SCOP and NAQT make novice sets. There simply isn't anyone else.


Housewrites are fine too. From what I've heard with people who have experience with the director, he thinks hs students aren't smart enough to handle reg sets or something like that, so any novice or reg minus housewrites would be greatly appreciated too.


There are some listed in the mirror request section (PSACA, Solon), but if MCISD is unwilling (and if MCISD is unwilling to work with NAQT, they cannot work with anyone) to change the format even slightly, it might be easier to see if there is some who would be willing to edit a set solely for this tournament.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby alexdz » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:37 pm

You'd be committing to well over 1000 questions when all is said and done, with a distribution that doesn't really resemble anything like a traditional set. I'd also personally suggest that if anyone decides to try and take this on, that they complete this set well ahead of time to alleviate any residual concern over my issues from last year.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby Snoopy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:15 pm

tksaleija wrote:Housewrites are fine too. From what I've heard with people who have experience with the director, he thinks hs students aren't smart enough to handle reg sets or something like that, so any novice or reg minus housewrites would be greatly appreciated too.


Not really, partially because of the things listed above and partially because, as much as I love housewrites (and I do!), they come and go each year. For every HFT or Prison Bowl that have become yearly traditions there's 10 one-offs like CALI or BISB, or housewrites that are of low quality (looking at you, FONS!).

Now, one-offs are absolutely fine for the HS circuit, but are unsuitable for TV shows like this because of consistency: I'd imagine this guy would not want to constantly be searching for a new question provider and would like a long-term deal after one successful year, and thus would only go for a larger question company that he can get questions from for years to come.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby Habitat_Against_Humanity » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:32 pm

Given that there's a TV aspect, you may just be out of luck. There's a reason Jeopardy isn't ACF Regs. If they expect people to watch, the viewers will have to get some enjoyment out of it and let's face it, to the uninitiated, quiz bowl is really not much of a spectator sport. Honestly, rather than try and get this competition to change their provider with six weeks before competition, I might suggest using the opportunity to (respectfully) point out its flaws as the advantages of pyramidality to your teammates, coaches, and other schools. Frankly, if I'm an administrator and I hear that a kid has a problem with some aspect of the activity, I, with limited understanding of the activity, would probably assume the problem is with the student, especially if everyone else is silent. Chances are, your only avenue to get them to switch is to appeal horizontally to other schools and teams and get them on your side than fight a one person crusade targeting upper levels of administration.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby El Salvadoreno » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:18 pm

Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:Given that there's a TV aspect, you may just be out of luck. There's a reason Jeopardy isn't ACF Regs. If they expect people to watch, the viewers will have to get some enjoyment out of it and let's face it, to the uninitiated, quiz bowl is really not much of a spectator sport. Honestly, rather than try and get this competition to change their provider with six weeks before competition, I might suggest using the opportunity to (respectfully) point out its flaws as the advantages of pyramidality to your teammates, coaches, and other schools. Frankly, if I'm an administrator and I hear that a kid has a problem with some aspect of the activity, I, with limited understanding of the activity, would probably assume the problem is with the student, especially if everyone else is silent. Chances are, your only avenue to get them to switch is to appeal horizontally to other schools and teams and get them on your side than fight a one person crusade targeting upper levels of administration.


Yeah, this year you are just stuck with it unfortunately. That does not mean, however, we cannot try to change it for future years. Something along the lines of an a-set would be a great compromise (for high school, obviously 5-8 would be lower in difficulty).

alexdz wrote:You'd be committing to well over 1000 questions when all is said and done, with a distribution that doesn't really resemble anything like a traditional set. I'd also personally suggest that if anyone decides to try and take this on, that they complete this set well ahead of time to alleviate any residual concern over my issues from last year.


Also what is the distribution, if you do not mind my asking? I tried to find it on the website, but I could have missed it.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:25 pm

El Salvadoreno wrote:
Also what is the distribution, if you do not mind my asking? I tried to find it on the website, but I could have missed it.


They don't have a published distribution. They don't publicly publish distros or question providers (though they have Triple Q and QU as "resources" so take a guess). As someone who has personal experience over the last 6 year, what I'm guessing Alex means is that they have a heavy focus on math comp and pop culture. Also a lot of just random trivia versus actual academic questions. Last year we had a question about "Juju On That Beat," so there's that.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby alexdz » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:49 pm

Yeah, there's no set distribution per se, but I received a list of categories that I was to include. That list included several caveats such as that the music was to include popular music, but no "composers," and that literature was not to ask about "authors" but did include questions on "genres" and "literary devices." There's no visual art in the set at all and math computation is included. With the huge number of questions, the proportion of popular music, math comp, and other generally frowned upon things is rather prominent.

For what it's worth, I ended up creating a numerical distribution from that list, roughly as follows, out of 90 questions per packet (9 total packets):
14 literature/mythology/writing
14 history/"social science" (civics, econ, religions)
14 science
12 geography
11 math
10 music (incl. popular music)
9 popular culture ("trash," except music)
6 current events

That's not set in stone in any given year, but I wanted to balance providing about half the questions in each packet from the "big three" with the expectation for all the categories to be there in some capacity, and if you combine the big three with geography and current events, you get at least 2/3 of each packet being more-or-less "good quizbowl academic." There's a lot of comp math, to be fair, but with the non-comp math and the non-trash music added to that, probably close to 75% of the set is academic knowledge. Not saying that's what we should strive for, but it's about as close as one can get with the restrictions from the tournament administrator.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby the return of AHAN » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:50 am

In my experience, it's difficult for one person to initiate change in a format or question provider. In our state MS format, the vast majority of coaches are happy with our exclusive format, hence there's no impetus to change and proposals to do so have been greeted with a cold shoulder, at best, and outright hostility in some corners. I've presented on numerous occasions at coaching workshops, extolling the virtues of at least practicing with pyramidal toss-ups, explaining Magin's Ladder Theory of Quizbowl, and explaining to people why I choose to use high school level questions at practice. I began doing these things in the 2008-09 season, and my first 8th grade class that worked under those conditions for all three years of middle school (Class of '11), was my first team since 2003 to break through sectionals and make a state finals appearance. Over the past 7 seasons, my teams have taken the state title twice, and 3rd place thrice, losing to the eventual champion each time.
But set my team aside; at the same time there has been a proliferation of pyramidal tournaments with 3-part bonuses, especially in the Chicago suburbs. Probably not coincidentally, in Class AA, the last 6 championships have been won by us, Barrington Prairie, Lincolnshire Daniel Wright, and Buffalo Grove Aptakisic, all of whom attend multiple IHSA/NAQT-style tournaments annually, and Springfield Franklin, whose coach, under the guidance of Donald Taylor, has also adopted pyramidal quizbowl questions for practice. In Class A, over the same time frame, Palatine Quest, Normal Metcalf, and Champaign Next Generation have won 6 titles, all of which play at least one IHSA/NAQT-type tourney per year, with Peoria Academy being the only champ I recognize as not participating in IHSA/NAQT format. In the face of these teams' successes, if coaches know these facts and STILL insist on reading old, current format packets at practice because, "It's what they'll play in the state playoffs," then I'm out of ideas.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:23 am

the return of AHAN wrote: ...if coaches know these facts and STILL insist on reading old, current format packets at practice because, "It's what they'll play in the state playoffs," then I'm out of ideas.


I actually mentioned something like this in an email I sent to the higher ups, except a little in reverse. I pointed out that teams would benefit from pyramidal because our Michigan State Championship is run by NAQT, and we send the winner of county there, so the use of any non-pyramidal questions would set players up for failure.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby Progcon » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:53 am

As the person who helped get the Michigan State Tournament to adopt pyramidal questions and stop using bad Academic Hallmark, questions, my advise for you to is to really just leave this situation alone. It will sort itself out over time in this state. A coach was puzzled my POMMSS set last year because she said it included mostly art which her team wasn't used to. I said the set contained at most 2.5/2.5 Fine Arts per packet which is more or less consistent with the mACF distribution, but she was still puzzled. What I have come to realize after talking to many coaches, players, etc. in Michigan, is that as the State Tournament moves to pyramidal, the rest of the state slowly will as well. There is this kind of inertia behind some of these changes that will force districts to change their format.

My dream is for each Michigan athletic district to run similar pyramidal questions and have that lead up to a pyramidal State Tourmanet, but this is still very far off because the only areas of the state that are highly familar with pyramidal our the Metro Detroit area (particularly Macomb and Oakland Counties because Wayne County has the city of the Detroit which doesn't do any QB that I know of and the Grosse Pointes who play in a league with the Macomb teams anyway), the Ann Arbor Area, the Lansing area, some schools in West Michigan that go to White Cloud's tournament, some of our tournaments, and I think there was a tournament in Gaylord last year. There is limited exposure to pyramidal QB in The Thumb, the Northern Lower Peninsula aside from that Gaylord tournament and the recent success of Traverse City Central, and UP teams don't really travel very much though it is good to see that some--mostly novice-- events happen there. My point, digression aside, is that over time these areas of no QB will shrink especially as players become aware of good QB via this website, the State Tournament, pyramidal tournaments at MSU and U-M, etc.

However, when it comes to TV shows and such, I don't really see what incentive they have to change vendors if they are getting usable questions at a decent cost and people are watching their show.

To be honest, you are best off advertising to teams in your local league the existence of affordable pyramidal tournaments at MSU, U-M, DCC, Country Day, etc. The more they participate in good QB, the easier it will be to convince them to change vendors if that is something that is both economical and desired.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:04 pm

I sent the coordinator and email yesterday and received a response yesterday. Below were his reasons for not using pyramidal:

1) Questions are too long (didn't realize that was a deal-breaker)

a) Said length prevents "rapid
fire" quiz bowl games that
they've adapted to.

b) These long questions don't
allow for a "robust"
competition between two
teams.

c) Apparently "many coaches have
complained about the length
at the state tournament" and
that they have "recently
complied with this request."
I can't personally confirm or
deny this, but it doesn't
sound right.

2) The issue with SAGE being unable to provide enough questions fast enough. I can understand this being a concern, but Alex also outlined his reasons, so I have both sides.

a) Because the questions
questions came in so late,
the coordinator didn't have
time to edit them himself.
This to me doesn't make much
sense, because question sets
typically go through a few
editors before their final
draft, so I'm pretty sure
(and I've had this verified)
that his "editing" consisted
of questions he thought were
"too hard."

3) Triple Q has always provided him with secure (this was in bold and underlined) questions. They've apparently strived to improve their quality and provide sound questions. I have many opinions on this, but I doubt any of them need to be expressed and are already understood by the community.

4) According to the director, our county quiz bowl tournament is in the interest of affirming academics (okay yeah I would agree), not preparing students for other tournaments (what no stop).

These were the main reasons he gave. I'm outlining them so you guys can mull them over and also because I wanted to vent because these are just the worst.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:05 pm

Sorry, I tried making the above post organized and it just decided not to be.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby El Salvadoreno » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:10 pm

Yeah, the more this thread goes on, the more I agree with Harris. This cause is just too lost for now, and even if it was not I just do not see a lot of people getting involved in this mess.

That being said, my advice would be to just try and make the best of it.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby the return of AHAN » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:12 pm

Yeah, it sounds like a great opportunity lurks for Triple Q, given they're one of the few left who are willing to write non-pyramidal formats.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:16 pm

Well this is,,,disappointing
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:27 pm

I guess, moving on from the issue of trying to make change, how does a team then qualify for states outside of their county tournament?
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby CGismondiCC » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:37 pm

tksaleija wrote:I guess, moving on from the issue of trying to make change, how does a team then qualify for states outside of their county tournament?


If you're worried about qualifying for the MSU Honors College state championship, I forget the actual requirements to qualify, but you CAN qualify by playing at and doing well at non-league, invitational tournaments However, I believe MSU is also hosting this year's NAQT State Championship which doesn't have a qualification system; simply register and play.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby alexdz » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:04 pm

From the response you received, it sounds like there's probably too much institutional resistance to work against making a change at this one tournament. Other than a begrudging acceptance that pyramidal did not necessarily have to mean long, I got nowhere with format change myself. And if he thought my questions were long (2 lines maximum!), then I can imagine why there would be resistance to using other providers. This competition is clearly meant to be a "game show" of sorts and not one that is aligned with principles of good quizbowl. The question provider is far from the only problem here.

Your energies are probably better redirected toward attending, running, supporting, and writing for good high quality tournaments. In Missouri, we found that working hard to run good events (in parallel to the subpar format otherwise popular in the state) was more likely to slowly convince people to work with us, as opposed to fighting against the official state format and building enemies. As others in this thread have stated, yourself included, teams who practice and play on good questions are more likely to be successful in the long run.

(Personally, I just want to say that I hope I haven't made this work any harder for you. As has been echoed in the mental health conversation happening in another thread, I just simply found myself with too much to do, too close to the deadline, and one day I realized my options were either to back out of the tournament or fail graduate school classes. I'm not happy with the way it panned out, but it is what it is, and I've been moving forward with writing in a much more manageable way since that day.)
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:47 pm

alexdz wrote:From the response you received, it sounds like there's probably too much institutional resistance to work against making a change at this one tournament. Other than a begrudging acceptance that pyramidal did not necessarily have to mean long, I got nowhere with format change myself. And if he thought my questions were long (2 lines maximum!), then I can imagine why there would be resistance to using other providers. This competition is clearly meant to be a "game show" of sorts and not one that is aligned with principles of good quizbowl. The question provider is far from the only problem here.

Your energies are probably better redirected toward attending, running, supporting, and writing for good high quality tournaments. In Missouri, we found that working hard to run good events (in parallel to the subpar format otherwise popular in the state) was more likely to slowly convince people to work with us, as opposed to fighting against the official state format and building enemies. As others in this thread have stated, yourself included, teams who practice and play on good questions are more likely to be successful in the long run.

(Personally, I just want to say that I hope I haven't made this work any harder for you. As has been echoed in the mental health conversation happening in another thread, I just simply found myself with too much to do, too close to the deadline, and one day I realized my options were either to back out of the tournament or fail graduate school classes. I'm not happy with the way it panned out, but it is what it is, and I've been moving forward with writing in a much more manageable way since that day.)


Yeah, the director has a history of being difficult. Hopefully we'll see change next year, but I'm definitely going to be pushing for more good qb at mine and other schools.

Also, I've been following that thread quite a bit. I understand and totally respect your reasons. Grad school is wholly more important than questions. In a perfect world, both would have worked out, but I ultimately respect your decision to value your mental health and college obligations.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:45 pm

I've had a thought: hosting a tournament. It's be good for fundraising, introducing new quiz bowl, and sticking it to the current system in our county. Good idea or too spiteful?
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby i never see pigeons in wheeling » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:29 pm

tksaleija wrote:I've had a thought: hosting a tournament. It's be good for fundraising, introducing new quiz bowl, and sticking it to the current system in our county. Good idea or too spiteful?


There's nothing spiteful about competing with something bad and trying to show the relative merits of your idea in a constructive way. That said, hosting a tournament can be difficult, especially for first-time TD's, and if you want to run it and not turn people off longer questions (before people accustomed to bad formats really get used to pyramidal questions, their first impressions will generally be negative), the tournament you need to run will need to be flawless from a logistical standpoint.

I'm not saying this to discourage you, and if you think you have it in you and the requisite buzzers/staffers/rooms/questions, then definitely go for it! I'm just saying that pyramidal questions that fairly differentiate knowledge between teams of different calibers will be off-putting to many first-timers, and you'll need them to give the activity a fair chance before the benefits of good quiz bowl become apparent. Make sure whatever you run is very price-competitive with the existing bad quiz bowl format. Don't get in over your head, don't run a larger tournament than you can handle, and you might just be able to erode market share from bad tournaments. They might even be pressured to switch to good questions.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby alexdz » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:53 pm

Remember, you can always host a middle school tournament, too, if you think there are enough teams. This way, your high school players won't feel like they're not getting to play because they have to staff. Middle school sets are also typically shorter questions than most high school sets, so the transition may not feel as bad for competing teams.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:45 pm

Well I was actually thinking of running a hs tournament and allowing someone who isn't a member of our team TD for obvious ethical reasons. Is this still an ethical gray area?
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby i never see pigeons in wheeling » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:14 pm

tksaleija wrote:Well I was actually thinking of running a hs tournament and allowing someone who isn't a member of our team TD for obvious ethical reasons. Is this still an ethical gray area?


Generally speaking, there’s no issue with having someone from your high school TD a tournament at which your school has entered teams. It’s not really an ethical gray area in our community. Your paramount concern should be having someone as qualified as possible run the tournament.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby Snoopy » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:48 pm

While it might not be to most good quizbowlers, I can bet that there certainly will be bad quizbowl coaches (specifically coaches, the kids probably won't care) who find it to be suspicious. I know my lovely HS coach definitely would have complained, particularly if the house teams did very well.

I can't say enough about good staff, though-- staying on time is a very difficult part of being a TD, especially the first time. Make sure you have very competent moderators, and ensure you have control over who they will be. I was screwed over on that latter point once, when my moderation staff got switched out the day before the tournament and it ran very very late into the night because of it.

I always encourage people to run tournaments; it's a wonderful experience if done well. I fully endorse all the points above, but I will add that 1) you should ensure this guy from the SD that you're going up against is not vindictive, and that 2) if he asks you to cease I personally would do so to avoid trouble.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby tksaleija » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:10 pm

This thread has been dead for awhile, but just a minor update: this tournament was today. Here's some info.

1) It was Triple Q-provided.
2) There were at least 4 repeat questions from a tournament 2 years ago and a small handful from different games played today.
3) There was math comp, and much of it was finding averages and modes (This is a hs tournament).
4) There were spelling questions designed to be misleading (i.e. a questions with several long words, intended to make players think that those are the words to be spelled, only to have the word be "council" or "tournament."
5) There was a lot of hosing ("a square has an area of 36 units squared, what is the length of the diagonals of the square" to name an example)
6) There was at least one acceptance of an incorrect answer (player answered lanthanoids, was asked to repeat, and answered "lanthanides" the second time).

This is just a rundown, but yeah, this was pretty bad. As was to be expected. And most people from every team I asked thought so too.
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby CPiGuy » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:39 pm

tksaleija wrote:6) There was at least one acceptance of an incorrect answer (player answered lanthanoids, was asked to repeat, and answered "lanthanides" the second time).


Everything else is pretty bad, yeah, but you should know that the ACF rules (which are, I hope, "good quizbowl") have this to say:

ACF wrote:Players are not expected to know the exact pronunciation of every answer. Any reasonable attempt at pronouncing the answer being sought with the proper consonants in the proper order will be ruled correct, unless one or more vowels must be uniquely specified to distinguish the player’s given answer from other possible given answers, in which case (e.g. the “Manet” vs. “Monet” example presented in the reminder text of F.7), only the distinguishing vowel(s) need be correct.


NAQT is slightly more strict, and a moderator acting under NAQT rules would probably be justified in negging the player in question, but accepting this is certainly not "bad quizbowl".
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Re: I Need Serious Help With Bad Questions

Postby El Salvadoreno » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:25 am

CPiGuy wrote:
tksaleija wrote:6) There was at least one acceptance of an incorrect answer (player answered lanthanoids, was asked to repeat, and answered "lanthanides" the second time).


Everything else is pretty bad, yeah, but you should know that the ACF rules (which are, I hope, "good quizbowl") have this to say:

ACF wrote:Players are not expected to know the exact pronunciation of every answer. Any reasonable attempt at pronouncing the answer being sought with the proper consonants in the proper order will be ruled correct, unless one or more vowels must be uniquely specified to distinguish the player’s given answer from other possible given answers, in which case (e.g. the “Manet” vs. “Monet” example presented in the reminder text of F.7), only the distinguishing vowel(s) need be correct.


NAQT is slightly more strict, and a moderator acting under NAQT rules would probably be justified in negging the player in question, but accepting this is certainly not "bad quizbowl".


Also, according to a quick britannica search, lanthanoids is an equivalent term, so it is not, in fact, wrong.

Of course, the rest is still bad.
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