Your Lowest Point

Tell your tales of bygone days and rank historical things here.

Your Lowest Point

Postby Cheynem » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:53 pm

I don't mean to be a downer here, but I'm interested in what people think their "lowest" moment of their quizbowl careers is.

I offer this story--I'm not going to whitewash things, but I'm also not trying to start anything or talk trash. I don't have any ill will now and I bear no grudges.

My lowest point is the 2011 ACF Nationals, where my team (Minnesota) took second to Yale.

Some of the context:

*We had just lost (or thought we had lost, I guess) the 2011 ICT to Harvard. This was disheartening but not overly so--we felt pretty good about our performance. At the time, I think (?) we believed we were a better ACF team anyway (in retrospect, I am not sure if this was true, with our team composition that year).
*This was considered the last viable opportunity to contend for a title, what with Rob and Gautam graduating (again, in retrospect, Andrew and I enjoyed a couple very solid, competitive years anyway, so it wasn't quite as exaggerated as I thought it was at the time). That's some pressure.
*I was preparing to take my prelim oral exams for my doctoral program. This would be the week after Nationals, so I was prepping for that.

I was very proud of my ICT work that year--it was easily the best performance I had as a fourth scorer and one of the best in my career, quite frankly. I was hoping for good things at ACF. We were not sure if we were doing a five or four person team until basically the day of, so I knew I had to play intelligently.

As the tournament began, of course, we quickly hit the vagaries of the question set. While we hit our fair share of frustrating losses on the first day, I don't think the real anguish came until the second. The format here was both helpful and galling--while our annoying losses on the first day were wiped clean, the day took on a death march type feel to it. At one point, we clinched a superplayoff berth and had nothing to play for...literally, since any remaining losses would be wiped. I half seriously contemplated leaving at that point and getting dinner.

When the superplayoffs came around, we had two very frustrating losses--a tight loss to Brown and a loss to Michigan featuring massively dead questions. I did not play well in either game. Two losses at this point would usually be the kiss of death, but as Ahmad Ragab pointed out to me, everyone was taking losses, so we were quite alive. We perked up a bit and rattled off some wins--we ended superplayoffs by playing Illinois in effectively a play-in game to the finals. It was a magnificently well played game on both sides--almost everyone in the room had some clutch contribution (including my completely made up guess of "Mexican Reform" for "La Reforma"). Rob sealed victory on a clutch buzz on Heidegger's Questions Concerning Technology. If this had been the finals, I think, even win or lose, it would have been a satisfying experience.

Then, the finals. Playing Yale in a one-game final. As Andrew pointed out in the discussion thread, it was a morass of a game--dead questions, poor negs, buzzer race figure it out moments on the giveaway. None of us played well. It was a nice feather in Matt Jackson's cap as he played through the packet and did well. Near the end, it was basically a slow-motion train wreck, a far more frustrating loss than even the loss to Cheating Harvard at ICT. I'm sure my teammates felt the pain even worse; remember they suffered a gut-wrenching loss last year at Nationals on a protest.

After the loss, we really didn't say anything to each other for a while. This upset me; while I'm somewhat introverted, I'm also social and it was a very unpleasant experience riding in silence to the airport and everyone going their separate ways one we got there because no one wanted to talk to each other. For my teammates, it was (they thought) their shot at gold again stripped away...in a roller coaster of a weekend in which were hopes kept getting built up and then dashed. I felt this pain, sure, but what was also painful was that part of me felt as if it was not my pain. I wasn't with them from the beginning; I wasn't on those older teams; I didn't have any experience in getting to the finals or seriously contending.

Furthermore, the ending of the tournament was as anti-climactic as you could script. One of the worst played matches of the tournament (on both sides) deciding it all. A seemingly arbitrary resolution (we had played Yale twice already and were 1-1 and this did not seem like a great rubber match). When you add all of this to the stressed out state I was in, it was not a good time in my career.

At the airport (this was where Kenneth Lan mistook Mik Larsen for Andy Watkins, by the way), I sat with Gautam and our second place trophy. A passerby asked what it was for and we explained. "Who won?" he asked. "Yale." "Those bastards!" he exclaimed and walked off (this was the exact same reaction of someone at a D.C. airport the following year). My sentiments exactly, my friend (no offense, Yale-ites).

Things, as they sometimes do, got better. I passed my prelims. We found out a few years later we were actually national champs anyway in 2011. And I'll close with this note because I think it shows that from the low points, we can have high points. At our first practice following Nats, turnout was predictably low. I was reading some packets for our younger players and was the only person from the Nationals team there. Andrew came in late, looking exhausted. We briefly discussed our plans for next year and I made some offhand comment about how we wouldn't really be that competitive. Andrew said he wasn't sure about that, and of course he was right. Indeed, in both 2012 and 2013 (and 2014 if you count history bowl) I remember having a blast playing fun, competitive matches against the best teams and copping great 4th place finishes at the 2013 ICT and the 2014 History Bowl.

But still, 2011 is my high point of my career (ICT) and my low point (Nationals).

What's your low point?
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:09 am

The first few months of my freshman year of college. UChicago practices in those days were 12+ people in one big room with a knot buzzer system, playing free-for-all tossups for 3 hours. Andrew Yaphe, Seth Teitler, and Subash were all in the room, and Zeke visited occasionally.

Some nights, I didn't get a single tossup. I often told myself "I'll go home as soon as I get a tossup" and I was generally there for 2 hours under that rule. Then I would walk back home in the dark and question my ability to ever make it in college quizbowl.

In the 6+ years that I would spend playing quizbowl after that, I had plenty of low, embarrassing moments: losing to teams that were objectively horrible, making game-losing negs, blowing big leads in the finals of tournaments, being beaten by other people to "my stuff", finding out that one of my teammates cheated their way to multiple national championships, etc. A lot of that stuff made me sulk for like a day or two. But none of it compares to questioning your very ability to stay in the game.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Unicolored Jay » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:18 am

I don't know which of these moments were the worst. I'll just list a bunch of candidates:

-2009 HSNCT. We didn't play particularly well on the (really hard) questions, having to play (and lose to) Rancho Bernardo twice in the prelims was annoying, and we lost 95-475 in the first playoff game we played. Afterwards, we randomly decided to visit a museum around the south side of Chicago, and that turned out to be a travel disaster, so Sunday ended up being a complete waste of a day. On the other hand, an experience like this was what I needed to develop into a better player, I guess.
-2010 Ohio NAQT States. Despite being the near-consensus best team in Ohio that year, we finished 5th at this tournament, losing close matches to Olmsted Falls and Walnut Hills. Still, following this we managed to turn things around and smashed our way through OAC States and win, so I guess that kinda made up for it?
-2010 NASAT against California. So there was one moment that made me feel worse than I've been at any tournament before or since. We were up 45 points going into the final tossup. I buzz in on a tossup on "Of Human Bondage." I mess up the title with "On Human Bondage" and neg. California converts and 30's the bonus, so we go to overtime, where we lose a buzzer race on quantum tunneling. Later, we play a tiebreaker against California to determine 7th? place, and lose much more decisively. While NASAT was quite enjoyable overall, I still look at this as the worst buzz I ever made, especially since I had not made a game-losing neg ever until that point. (I've made a few since then but haven't felt as shitty doing so, thankfully.)
-2012 ICT playoffs. I was already used to losing playoff games from last year's ACF Nats, where we lost every game following the prelims, in which we somehow pulled an upset on Chicago A. However, the games at ICT were much more winnable, but we couldn't pull out any for whatever reason, and we just drove home feeling very dejected. Of course, this was all before we found out we won Undergrad, but it really feels crappy to win a trophy after the fact and despite only winning three times regardless.

Like Bruce, when I first joined quizbowl (for me, this was sophomore year in high school) I wasn't any good as a player, and I would and could count the number of questions I answered correctly on my hand, so I suppose that could be a low point. Since there were a lot of people there, it was also intimidating at times to see how quickly people were able to buzz in, but I decided to stick with it. And look where I am now - I think I've stuck with quizbowl longer than anyone else from my high school!
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby jonpin » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:54 pm

2003 state championship. The previous season, we had gone 11-0 in the round-robin of the state tournament, and cleared the field by three games. In modern quiz bowl, we would have been outright champions right then. Instead, second place Millburn got to play a one-game final with us. This game predates my livejournal, so I have no recollection of it other than that we felt totally robbed. Only graduating one member of our A team, we felt like we would finally win our state title in 2003, when all of the founding members would be seniors.
The second game was against a mediocre B team. According to my records, "close pronunciations on Vladivostok and Chandrasekhar" were rejected, though I don't know whether they were actually close or not, and I made a pronoun error. Still, we held a 125-95 lead entering the final tossup, which began "The new version included such members as Christina Aguilera". They win the buzzer race and somehow 30 the bonus. A few rounds later, we lose to one-year wonder Mainland Regional on an amalgamated buzzer system. At the end of the round-robin, we are tied for 2nd with two teams advancing to a "reset the standings" 4-team playoff round-robin. Despite outscoring them, our head-to-head loss to Mainland eliminates us. I wonder to myself why, if they're using 3 rounds for playoffs, they don't carry 3 teams from each group and just play the crossover games.
So, with HSNCT the same weekend as our prom and ARML, this was the last* high school quiz bowl tournament of our career for all six of us on the A team, and to wind up 5th place because we played a crap game against a crap team (the B team that beat us won only one more game the rest of the day), and were eliminated on a head-to-head tiebreaker on a mediocre format, it kinda sucked. [*-Not counting National Science Bowl, which I think we knew back then barely counted as "quiz bowl"].
The only experience I had in college that compared for feeling like crap was when that douchebag Mueller beat us to end my college career and then won CBI regionals.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Habitat_Against_Humanity » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:04 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:The first few months of my freshman year of college. UChicago practices in those days were 12+ people in one big room with a knot buzzer system, playing free-for-all tossups for 3 hours. Andrew Yaphe, Seth Teitler, and Subash were all in the room, and Zeke visited occasionally.

Some nights, I didn't get a single tossup. I often told myself "I'll go home as soon as I get a tossup" and I was generally there for 2 hours under that rule. Then I would walk back home in the dark and question my ability to ever make it in college quizbowl.

In the 6+ years that I would spend playing quizbowl after that, I had plenty of low, embarrassing moments: losing to teams that were objectively horrible, making game-losing negs, blowing big leads in the finals of tournaments, being beaten by other people to "my stuff", finding out that one of my teammates cheated their way to multiple national championships, etc. A lot of that stuff made me sulk for like a day or two. But none of it compares to questioning your very ability to stay in the game.


This. I've been meaning to make a post about staying in the game despite initial discouragement, but this might suffice. I was a year behind Bruce, but went through similar things. Subash was gone, but it seems like Selene, Ed Cohn, and Susan were also there along with undergrads like Seth Samelson and other first years who had played more good quiz bowl than I had in high school. Eventually I turned out to be the only member of the Chicago team from my class who stuck around for four years. I think what kept me going was the notion that it was possible to improve. I remembered a similar transition when I felt like I didn't know anything going from middle to high school and managed to improve quite a bit then. During those embarrassing evenings of "pretty much just sitting there," I just kept telling myself that people like Andrew and Seth had to be like me at some point, which in retrospect is probably not true. I also remember the thrill I got when I got those one or two tossups per practice. I remember that the rest of the team and specifically Susan were good with encouragement. I knew the "good buzz" compliment I got from her on a tu on Egypt's Middle Kingdom wasn't really due to a good buzz (hmm... 16 and 17 sound like good middle numbers for dynasties, I'll buzz now), but it still felt good. One of my proudest memories came in my first MLK tournament when my team of first years was beat something like 550 - 10, with the 10 coming from me first lining a Treaty of Tordesillas tossup. I think that was where I realized that although I'd never be dominatingly great, I could still carve out a niche and enjoy myself.


Also, CBI.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby AKKOLADE » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:23 pm

The Trygve/Andy year of PACE. I nearly quit quiz bowl entirely.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:27 pm

What happened to the Swarthmore team after I graduated in 2005. Runners-up would be the disasters that were certain Cornell and GWU tournaments back in 2003.

Boy am I dating myself here.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby powerplant » Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:40 pm

Case Western's Great Lakes high school tournament in the spring of 2007.

This tournament was a disaster from top to bottom. For starters, they didn't have enough readers for the event. This problem was solved not by having a coach read in one of the rooms (which Garfield Heights' assistant coach did offer to do) but instead by having the mother of a coach read. This was a woman who was probably in her 60s and had never done anything related to quizbowl before. She ran her bracket a full hour behind the others.

After lunch/prelims, all of the teams filed in to some auditorium to await the (single elimination) playoff seeding. Something like 32 teams were going into the playoffs, so basically everyone had to stay. We waited in this auditorium for at least an hour, maybe two? It was so long I wrote an entire version of Afro Man's "Because I Got High" where every verse was about being an inept tournament director. One coach left after a tirade about how bad the tournament was and vowed to never return to Case. The reason for this delay was that all of the stats were tracked and calculated by hand. BY HAND. No SQBS, I'm not even sure they had a TI-83 in the war room to help with things. As a kicker, the gate in the parking garage malfunctioned and so we had to sit around for another 30 minutes waiting for that to get fixed before we could head home from the atrocity of the tournament.

I just kind of realized that a lot of high school tournaments in Ohio from 7-8 years ago were terrible, I'll try to remember some other notable lows later.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:03 pm

Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon wrote:The Trygve/Andy year of PACE. I nearly quit quiz bowl entirely.

Especially that one meeting. There are few things more pleasant than knowing I will never have to interact with Ian Eppler as long as I'm in quizbowl.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:47 am

As far as in-game stuff is concerned, two things come to mind:

Round 1 of 2013 ACF Nationals - I don't think we did one thing right in our match against Andrew. We just threw away opporunity after opportunity, confusingly negged questions, and hesitated to buzz at other times. Alas, we lost on the last tossup/bonus cycle in a game that would have put us in the top bracket. Instead of winning we went on to lose a tiebreaker to Andrew later in the day, missing out on top bracket by stupidity. It was not pleasant. We did pretty well in playoffs for a team that just experienced those emotions, but I remember there were long stretches in the playoffs where we just didn't feel like playing. I didn't do anything outside of practice to improve my game for a good 7-8 months after that. I think I've just about recovered from this, let's hope so.

2012 ICT - after starting 4-0, we hit a stretch where we faced off against Yale/Penn/Brown/Michigan/MIT/UCSD where we lost all six matches. Of those six, the Penn, Michigan, and UCSD games were very winnable if I hadn't decided to pick the worst time ever to go 0/4/3 in a six game stretch. The rest of the team was playing some damn good quizbowl. Me? Nowhere to be found. Somehow, I recovered from this and we went 2-1 the rest of the day. I don't think anyone was happy going into the Ohio State/Alabama game, Jasper. Maybe the reader? Who knows.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby etchdulac » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:30 pm

Losing to the eventual national champions at a regular-season tournament on a protest decided by their coach, who was running said tournament. Because :chip: era concepts of impartiality are fun. We had upset them in prelims at nationals the prior year, but there was no way we should've been within arm's reach that next season. Only other meeting that year, they about quintupled us.

This was 19 years ago, against David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post, and Scott Petty, who I am told later tried to steal hard copies of questions from a statroom by climbing in a window.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby AKKOLADE » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:45 pm

scott petty theft?!
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Mnemosyne » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:05 pm

I started playing my junior year of high school, just random LAAC competitions. I never naturally knew a lot of stuff, but I'm smart and very competitive, so I was always annoyed that I wasn't any good at quiz bowl. I found this website at the end of my junior year, and spent that summer learning basic stuff, mainly titles from all of the subjects. With that minuscule amount of knowledge, my team dominated the Louisiana circuit that year in both LAAC and NAQT events, alternating 1sts and 2nds through 4 tournaments and then going undefeated in 3 straight tournaments before the LAAC regional competition. The LAAC regional competition was like a 4 round, 4 team, double elimination competition that starts at 8 am.

I was sick that morning, and our second scorer had what we later found out was pneumonia. We lost our first 2 games 170-180, going 0-2 to get eliminated from the entire competition.

Even though the stupid format and the stupid questions shouldn't matter to me, it still drives me absolutely insane that we didn't win. They have such a cool trophy.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Benin Rebirth Party » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:30 am

The end of grade 12 was my lowest point. I had come off of a junior year in which we placed fairly well at NSC and decisively won Ontario Provincials on still what is the most fun team I've ever played on.

In my senior year of high school, I ended up directing more than I played, which gave all my teammates plenty of playing time, but when it came to the springtime, everyone had enough quizbowl for the year and didn't want to go to Nationals (I think we qualified 2 teams for HSNCT back in November and one NSC team in December, so we had plenty of time to decide). What made it worse was that over the years, everyone had already spent so much of their parents money on trips, whether it was quizbowl trips, band trips, etc that just was no mood to spend another $1000 each just to go to Atlanta and come 5-5. Instead of ending my high school tenure losing in the 5-4 bracket at HSNCT (as seems to be the tradition at my school), I had to settle for a pretty sucky Reach for the Top Provincial tournament, with all the problems that come with that format included. We did well, but we didn't win. Even if we had won, I still wouldn't have been very happy because I wasn't going to any National.

I also knew I was going to a university whose quizbowl involvement had died down drastically since I started in grade 9. I had played two tournaments all year and was feeling pretty upset at the fact I may never play frequently again.I wish I had gone to more tournaments where I sat behind a buzzer and played, and not having to run around making sure everything was going okay. I did not end high school quizbowl on a good feeling, and wasn't even sure whether I was going to come back to hold more tournaments. I had struggled to get local teams to come to tournaments. I had no idea whether or not I would be able to start a functional team by myself at university, not knowing what the new school and social environment would be like, not knowing if I could be involved as an open player, not knowing if I would even be good enough at a university level if there was a team.

But once I did get to McGill, I convinced the team to attend many local tournaments and now we're pretty much regulars in the Canadian circuit. During my first year of university, I did lose four games by five points, and this year SUMBIT went horrible and I went 0/1/2 during the finals play-in game against Dylan at Division 2 ICT, but quizbowl > no quizbowl, and being unsure whether or not I'd still be around definitely was a worse feeling than any tournament screwup I may have had.

I'll get over my loss to Jay at the Waterloo mirror of Landscapes 2 sooner or later, but missing out on nationals opportunities in grade 12 still stings. Being involved and losing beats not being involved at all.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby fett0001 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:52 pm

Losing at VHSL regionals by 5 because our captain refused to give an answer to a directed question. Eliminated us from the tournament, and kept us out of VHSL States. Of course, this was in 2004. I'd been in a car wreck on the way there. It was a terrible day.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby 1992 in spaceflight » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:23 am

I have a few to offer.

My freshman year, we played ACF Regionals at WUSTL (this was 2011). My B team was smashed by Michigan (which had Kurtis Droge on it). In a way, though, this pounding was what I needed-getting my ass kicked by that tournament and getting pounded by Kurtis' team made me realize I had to study if I wanted to win more games.

My sophomore year, we went to SCT at Oklahoma State. We lost to Oklahoma by 5 points after our moderator in that round decided to take 2 minutes on the clock to resolve a protest (and Oklahoma State's house team and Harding [whose only loss was to us, by the way], finished the round robin with 1 loss). I think that might have been the angriest I've ever played at a quizbowl tournament before. We were almost denied a chance at ICT, but enough teams declined that we were able to go, so that was a plus.

My whole junior year was not a ton of fun. We finished last at ICT that year (after ICT was probably the second-angriest-and most frustrated-I've ever been). I also struggled a lot academically that year (I almost could have flunked out of Truman, it was that bad). Basically, the only good thing about junior year was that I started coaching and that I started directing tournaments.

Senior year, though, was a blast.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Rufous-capped Thornbill » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:20 am

Please excuse any typos or errors, I'm typing on my phone.

Two episodes come to mind when thinking of my lowest quizbowl playing moments (for low points in the general world if quizbowl, the list is longer and mostly exists in the world of Ohio high school quizbowl):

1. NAQT State, 2010

This was the best I had played at any tournament until HSNCT a few weeks later, highlighted by a big win over Walnut Hills in the prelims. However, my body at that point in time was very caffeine dependent at that time and going into the playoffs I was crashing, feeling sleepy and couldn't remember anything in our game against Fisher Catholic, a team we should have beaten easily but instead lost. I commandeered a 2 liter of Mountain Dew from a B team player of ours and was playing with an edge again, handily beating a Copley team (Saajid was just starting to come into his own towards the end of that year but wasn't there yet) and grabbing 3 of the last 4 tossups in a very close win against previously undefeated Northmont.

This set up a scenario where us and Northmont had to play a game to determine who would play Olmsted Falls in the final. We had never beaten them that year prior to the previous game, which was decided in part by the very unlikely scenario of us getting science questions either from negs or buzzer races. So in the playin game I buzzed very aggressively, putting us ahead at points. That Northmont team was the first of the many great teams from that school, and they tied the game going into the last tossup, which was on the de Laurentis family. Aside from the fact that someone at NAQT had the bizarre notion of asking high schoolers about Dino de Laurentis, I played it very stupidly and aggressively and as a concequence negged it, losing the game. Northmont went on to win State, and I was devestated. I think I went like 4-5-4 that game.

2. ACF Nationals 2014

Kind of like the above experience, we started last years nats very well, with comfortable wins against Alberta and Berkeley. We had played kind of poorly at ICT, dropping very close games to Columbia A and Georgia Tech, as well as not even coming close to defending our UG title. But I had thought I studied hard between then and Nats and was feeling good. Then the Columbia B game happened. We played very badly (I recall getting questions outside of my areas, never a good sign), they had some really nice buzzes and we lost on a protest. We then imploded, getting killed by Maryland A, negging ourselves to death against Dartmouth and generally feeling terrible, culminating with Alberta dominating us in a 10 TU playin game for a spot in the top bracket. We played better the next day, going 3-1 with two last TU victories, but the whole thing out a bad taste in my mouth. I felt exhausted with little to show for it and I barely thought about quizbowl for months.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Beevor Feevor » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:51 am

I'm not really in college yet, but I've had some pretty discouraging moments in my high school Quizbowl career, and I figured that it may be cathartic to share, so what the hey.

1. Cavalier Classic 2012

My first pyramidal tournament ever, and I almost quit there and then. Not knowing anything about which teams were good and which were bad, we had won 5 of our prelim games and started up the 6th and final one against Dorman. Losing to them by 470 was truly painful at the time, and in the afternoon, I remember being whooped so thoroughly by Raynor's TJ team that I asked my coach to sub me out at half-time. After the game, he gave me a very stern talking to about giving up halfway through a match, and it was a very humbling and informative experience.

2. HSNCT 2013

My first nationals, which we attended off of some miracle last-minute fundraising by members of the team. All in all, I can't complain with our placement, and we were extremely lucky to get into the playoffs on a 7-3 record thanks to a horrifically long protest (which, although we were technically correct, was very unfair towards Walter Johnson, our opponent in that final round). Coming off of an exhilarating win against Ezell-Harding in the playoffs on Sunday, I then proceeded to play the worst game of my life thus far. Our team negged 8 times (6 of them were mine), and we lost by 5 to Bellaire, and although I did realize somewhere in my mind that t-21 at HSNCT was very good for our first year, I was still destroyed over my role in the loss. This loss stung even more because 2 questions before the end, while we were in the timeout, our team scorekeeper had us with 10 more points that we actually had, so I was led to believe that we had won by 5 at the end of the game instead of losing by 5. Very painful.

3. Texas Invitational 2014

This tournament was tremendously exhausting and difficult, and, as I'm sure Sam Blizzard would attest, it was not made easier by playing it solo. Everyone I met there was extraordinarily nice and cool to talk to, so the social experience wasn't bad at all, but I have never been so drained by an event as this one. After the 6 prelim games on Friday night, where I managed a respectable 16-ish ppb, I then proceeded to average around 12 ppb the next day en route to quite a few close losses. At the ACF Regionals portion of the event, I played my worst game ever against Seven Lakes, going 5-7 with 12 ppb for the match. It was certainly a very frustrating game experience, and only the friendliness of the Texans I was playing against made the whole thing fun.

4. HSNCT 2014

Up until the final game, this was a very good tournament for me. We had taken some very deserving losses to LASA B and Arcadia, but the day before, we had knocked off LASA A, and I was only feeling a little exhausted going into our loser's bracket game against Maggie Walker. On the very last tossup, with the game on the line, I negged the final physics tossup, and Maggie Walker converted 20 points on the bonus to beat us by 5. I believe Matt Weiner was moderating that match and Dave Madden was watching, and I distinctly remembering shouting out "NO" when I was negged on the final question right before the FTP. No hard feelings towards the Maggie Walker team; it was a hard-fought game, and they deserved to pull it out, but the feeling of once again letting the team down at HSNCT due to my stupid negs wasn't pleasant, and soured me on Quizbowl for a good few weeks.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby UlyssesInvictus » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:28 am

Einhard wrote: and in the afternoon, I remember being whooped so thoroughly by Raynor's TJ team that I asked my coach to sub me out at half-time


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I guess I can take credit for creating the behemoth that is Eric Xu then...?

So that I'm actually on topic, I can offer up TJ's final game at the 2013 (?) HSNCT, when I essentially made a very stupid decision clock-wise and probably got us knocked out as a direct result.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Peter13 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:13 pm

I have only been in quizbowl for two years and generally don't care about my performance as long as I get better as a player. That being said, it feels good to get some of this in the open air. These are not ordered in any way, just tournaments where I generally felt I played poorly.

ACF Fall 2014

Even though I knew going it to it that we were not exactly going to be a top performer, I thought at least we would at least win a couple games. Losing on the last bonus against a high school's B team in an area that I generally do well at (economics) felt terrible. Also, getting smashed 560-50 against Colonel By A didn't really help my or the team's morale as a whole. At the end of the day, the team managed to lose all 12 games, and I felt greatly responsible. But on a more positive note, this helped me to try to improve my performance for DEES two weeks later.

SCT 2014

My first major tournament. While I loved the trip to Ottawa in general, my performance to this tournament was lackluster. This tournament made me known for giving rather optimistic guesses at bonuses. My logic was that I rather have some answer than no answer, but looking back at this practice, I can see how this would look foolish. I also gave a generic name (Williams or something) when my teammate knew that the answer was Elizabeth Warren. To be fair, I did say it near the end of time, but this has reminded me always to look at my teammates before saying anything during a bonus. Also, since I and much of my team was relatively new, I didn't know the relative strengths and weaknesses of my team to better know what to study. One experience that was both positive and negative was getting smashed 595-20 by our B team. I both was rather saddened by my team's performance, but glad that our B team was so strong.

ICCS 2014

This was suppose to be an easy tournament. I wasn't even planning to come in first, just finishing to win a book prize was enough. I had a year of experience over many of the players who were playing for their first time. Sadly, the day did not start off well, with us losing our first three games. I lost to the other McMaster team because the moderator would not accept Marquez for Gabriel Garcia Marquez and would not even prompt. Having looked at previous collegiate novices before this tournament, I felt that this decision was questionable at best, given the lax standard that are often given at this tournament. We would go on to lose that game by 5 points. Ending the day with a losing record, not getting in the book prizes, and having a rather large neg to tossup conversion ratio, this tournament made me feel the most disappointed with myself.

Edit: Almost Forgot

MUT 2015

I heard this tournament at Waterloo had good questions and was run well. Sadly, I slept in and missed the entire thing. By the time I had woke up, Leslie already drove away to Waterloo.
Last edited by Peter13 on Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Taper or die. Can you do any less? » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:59 pm

Peter13 wrote: I lost to the other McMaster team because the moderator would not accept Marquez for Gabriel Garcia Marquez and would not even prompt. Having looked at previous collegiate novices before this tournament, I felt that this decision was questionable at best, given the lax standard that are often given at this tournament.


If I remember correctly, I was the moderator who didn't accept that (I certainly refused to accept "Marquez" from some team on that TU, and I think it was yours). Here's the TU, along with its answerline.

8. In one work by this author, a married couple feuds over whether or not the wife has replaced the soap and the husband dies falling off a ladder while trying to retrieve a parrot. In another work by this man, the loss of Angela’s virginity prompts the Vicario brothers to find and kill Santiago Nasar. He wrote about Fermina Daza’s relationships with Juvenal Urbino and Florentino Ariza during the title sickness. For 10 points, name this Colombian magical realist, who wrote Love in the Time of Cholera and described Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude.
ANSWER: Gabriel Garcia Marquez [Do not accept or prompt on “Marquez”]


And here's ACF's rules regarding compound names, with the specific example of GGM.

4.1. Compound last names must be given in their entirety, and a partial last name will not be prompted. E.g., ” García Márquez” and “van Buren” are the required parts of the answer for Gabriel García Márquez and Martin van Buren, and answers such as “Marquez” or “Buren” are outright incorrect. It is acceptable to give a partial last name for people with formally compound last names when those people are usually referred to by a part of their name—e.g., “Pablo Picasso” is acceptable for “Pablo Ruiz y Picasso.”


(Note that I believe that NAQT prompts on just "Marquez").
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby jonah » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:08 pm

The grandmother is {wise, dead}. wrote:(Note that I believe that NAQT prompts on just "Marquez").
Correct per Correctness Guideline C.5.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Peter13 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:25 pm

I understand that rule and agree with the rule. I just think many times that prompting is done kind of arbitrarily. for example, there is "do not prompt on Marquez", but "prompt of Roosevelt". I struggle to think of any other Marquez of note, but many Roosevelts. I have seen 'Bosworth' accepted for the "Battle of Bosworth Field' and 'Sunday Afternoon' accepted for 'A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte' in previous incarnations. I am not going to complain about it, but at the time I was extremely disappointed. I know this was not the fault of the moderator, but for me a fault at the tournament.
Last edited by Peter13 on Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby 1.82 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:27 pm

Peter13 wrote:I understand that rule and agree with the rule. I just think many times that prompting is done kind of arbitrarily. for example, there is "do not prompt on Marquez", but "prompt of Roosevelt". I struggle to think of any other Marquez of note, but many Roosevelts.


This is because Roosevelt is their last name and Marquez is not.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Important Bird Area » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:37 pm

Peter13 wrote:I have seen 'Bosworth' accept for the "Battle of Bosworth Field'


It is very common for historians to just call this battle "Bosworth."
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Peter13 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:53 pm

As Jeff mentioned, there are many things that I don't know enough about to say what should or should not be accepted. Be that as it may, Novice tournaments are generally lax about acceptance, so I thought a prompt would at least be required, since it is then a partial answer. This was a new tournament based on previous Collegiate Novices, so I did not know whether ACF or NAQT rules would be applied. Nonetheless, I agree with the final decision that had been given. Anyway, I don't want to derail this thread with talking about what should or should not be accepted.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Taper or die. Can you do any less? » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:15 pm

Peter13 wrote:As Jeff mentioned, there are many things that I don't know enough about to say what should or should not be accepted. Be that as it may, Novice tournaments are generally lax about acceptance, so I thought a prompt would at least be required, since it is then a partial answer. This was a new tournament based on previous Collegiate Novices, so I did not know whether ACF or NAQT rules would be applied. Nonetheless, I agree with the final decision that had been given. Anyway, I don't want to derail this thread with talking about what should or should not be accepted.


I'll just add that I don't think a moderator should ever override a specific instruction that has been provided in an answerline, regardless of how strongly (s)he might disagree with the instruction. The obvious hazard of a moderator doing that is that the decision will be made non-uniformly across the different game rooms.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:27 pm

In 2013 I forgot to pick a van up in time, meaning we couldn't go to MUT. Then I ragequit Northwestern's team for about a year due to personal abuse. All that sucked.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Guile Island » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:06 pm

A few lowlights from my quizbowl career, in (some?) order:

1. PACE NSC 2013. When I got the prelim brackets, I knew we were in for some very competitive games, but I thought we had pretty solid odds of going undefeated or making the top flight. Those hopes were dashed very quickly when, in rounds 2 and 3, we suffered a 10 point loss to Dorman B followed by a 20 point loss to Cistercian, eliminating us from the top playoff flight. My memory of this may have Loftus'd over time, but we definitely got 11 tossups against Dorman B and likely would have won had NSC not been using bouncebacks. I also distinctly remember losing both games in part due to, for perhaps the only time in my high school career, I didn't play aggressively enough. There were at least 2 tossups in each game where I waited on a clue I was pretty darn sure about and got beat on. We did play quite well the rest of the tournament, despite my teammate getting sick in the Playoffs and my coach being in the hospital the whole time, including getting some thrilling last-tossup victories over Dunbar and Norcross. The end of the tournament did go a bit sour when I made an oaf of myself in the All-Star game by buzzing near the end of a tossup on Calydon and saying "Calydonia," as well as generally being a poor and unhelpful teammate.

2. Illinois NAQT State 2013. I played out of my mind for most of this tournament. We chewed through the prelims without too much trouble except for a close one vs. Springfield, and then the playoffs come. We get down early to Loyola but manage to pull the win due to incredibly risky play on my part and Loyola's inability to close it out, and then take out Stevenson. We lose to IMSA, which cools us off a bit, but the way it worked out, we end up playing them in a tiebreaker game to go to the final against Auburn, who had won the relatively weaker other championship bracket. I go a rediculous 9/2/2 vs. IMSA in the tiebreaker, but my teammates combine for -10 points on tossups and IMSA plays just as well if not better. They end up getting the win on the last tossup and win the state title in a much less close game, while we win the 3rd place game commandingly.

3. HSNCT 2013. I was incredibly happy about placing T-13 at this tournament and how well I did, but I also like to think about how we probably could've done even better if our reward for going 9-1 on Saturday (despite a soft schedule) and winning big in our first playoff game wasn't getting thrown through a buzzsaw of Dorman and Loyola in consecutive games. At least I can't be too upset about the games themselves: the Dorman game may have been winnable if a handful of things went our way but Loyola absolutely took us to the cleaners.

4. ICT 2015. Not exactly a "low point" considering I think we overperformed, but we still could've tied for 13th if I hadn't blown a like 170-10 halftime lead vs. Columbia, only to make a crucial clock error when I could've stalled out the clock before the last cycle (I'm not 100% sure about this but it sure looked like it) to eke out a 5 point win. We then proceeded to lose to NYU on tiebreakers in a game where we won the tossup battle by 4 but had by far our worst bonus conversion of the day. Both of those games will probably sting for a bit, even if the whole day was a pretty good one.

5. ICT 2014. Similar to the last one, I can't be too upset about this overall since we got 2nd with a 2-person team, but we could've gone undefeated and had an advantage in the finals had we not blown a halftime lead to McGill down the stretch and had I not forgotten the guy from Die Hard's name post-buzz against Harvard. Considering both of our games with Harvard were pretty thrilling, that might have been my best ever chance to win some sort of national title.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Frauny Von Smiley » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:15 am

ACF Nationals 2010, which was my first. I negged a tossup on asexual reproduction with "binary fission." While this doesn't seem like a bad neg, the clue I buzzed in on began with something along the lines of "Sharks that undergo this process..."
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Nine-Tenths Ideas » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:20 am

Much like Mike Cheyne, ACF Nationals 2011 was my lowest point in quizbowl. Unlike Mike Cheyne, it wasn't because my team let a real chance of winning the whole thing slip away [no offense intended to my teammates]. Simply put, the brutal difficulty of the tournament was unlike anything I had experienced up to that point, and I realized that my supposed role as Maryland's third scorer was just not realistic, as I was contributing literally nothing to that team. Vague cultural literacy was not going to save me at higher difficulties, and ACF Nationals 2011 was an absolutely crushing way of realizing that I was not going to be a high-level player short of a huge amount of work. I never played on Maryland A again.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Large Adult Song » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:28 am

I might come back in two years after my high school career is over, but here are my low points so far, from bad to worse:

Hunter Novice 2011:
This was my first event at any level, and I was enjoying it very well until the tournament was cancelled midway through the playoffs due to the two inches of snow that had accumulated, without any sign of stopping. In October. Now this was only a few months after Hurricane Irene had hit, and we were sick of the rain; I guess we didn't want to have issues with getting out of Manhattan, so Round 7 never happened. Again, nothing wrong with the tournament, but I was disappointed that I would have to wait until January for my first full experience of quizbowl. Mother Nature sucks.

MSNCT 2013:
The previous year, I had been part of a two-person team that had managed to get its way into T-11 after a loss to a team that eventually finished below us and a crushing defeat by LASA Training Program Kealing C. However, I had pretty high hopes for this year; we had a full four-member team, and I had improved somewhat. We went 5-3 on Saturday, losing to regional rivals Wilmington Charter Training Program Independence. Worse than 2012's 6-2, but hey, stronger field, right? On Sunday we breezed through the first round, but received a 400-point whooping to Middlesex, a team that I had soloed a few months before.
After this I wanted a respectable loss to a top-tier team. Instead, we were negged out of the playoffs by a teammate making a pronoun error on a children's lit(ah, NAQT MS sets) tossup. The 13-year-old me was absolutely furious, and my dad had to console me for the rest of the day. Not the best finish to a middle school career.

Ridgewood Summer Invitational:
I was involved in this. And this is what happened.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby jonpin » Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:22 am

Craise Finton Kirk Royal Academy of Arts wrote:1. PACE NSC 2013. When I got the prelim brackets, I knew we were in for some very competitive games, but I thought we had pretty solid odds of going undefeated or making the top flight. Those hopes were dashed very quickly when, in rounds 2 and 3, we suffered a 10 point loss to Dorman B followed by a 20 point loss to Cistercian, eliminating us from the top playoff flight. My memory of this may have Loftus'd over time, but we definitely got 11 tossups against Dorman B and likely would have won had NSC not been using bouncebacks.


Consulting the stats, this is partially correct. You got 11 tossups to Dorman B's 9. However they had 4 powers to your 1. Each team earned 210 bonus points and stole 30, so it WAS a PACE format detail that decided the game, but it was the 20-point powers.

As Romulus his Bee-like Cell wrote:Hunter Novice 2011:
This was my first event at any level, and I was enjoying it very well until the tournament was cancelled midway through the playoffs due to the two inches of snow that had accumulated, without any sign of stopping. In October. Now this was only a few months after Hurricane Irene had hit, and we were sick of the rain; I guess we didn't want to have issues with getting out of Manhattan, so Round 7 never happened. Again, nothing wrong with the tournament, but I was disappointed that I would have to wait until January for my first full experience of quizbowl. Mother Nature sucks.

It was a little bit more than "2 inches". I remember hearing that Seton Hall Prep had serious issues trying to get back to NJ, one of my players casually saying that his parents were late picking him because a tree had fallen on their car, and getting a call informing me that there was no way we could hold our middle school tournament at Bergen the next day.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby The Formiddable Dark Skeik » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:13 am

1. 2014 IESA Sectionals: Frankly, I still don't know what happened. First of all, the bus that was supposed to take us was close to an hour late. Secondly, traffic was terrible so the bus ride was close to two hours long. Thirdly, my teammates must have been really tired because they played way worse than how they normally played. And finally, I was also really tired and I also played terribly. Our team ended up winning only one game.

2. 2015 Loyburn: In that tournament, our team brought one too many people since we had only signed up for one team. So, I volunteered to join a hybrid team with myself and three other players. After playing through the first round, I realized that I would basically have to be a one man team. Unfortunately for me, that tournament had a TON of literature questions, and literature is not my best subject. I had no backup for the literature questions, so I would be filled with dread every time a literature question came up. We didn't do terribly, but by the time the second round rolled around, I wished the tournament would just end.

3. 2013 Gladiator Fall Tournament vs St Raymond B: In that game, I got four negs. However, what made it worse is the fact that we almost lost to them as a result of my negs (note that St. Raymond B ultimately finished last in the entire tournament). What makes it even worse is just the round before I had gotten my best individual ppg to that point.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby LHDoroschuk » Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:31 am

1. The winter of 2013-2014 for Dorman quizbowl was one of great discontent. It was as if we had lost our spirit as a competitive team. Coming off a strong fall season, we were excited to get going for winter. However, we started suffering poor loss after poor loss at TI and Prison Bowl. The whole team seemed to be lagging behind while everyone around us was getting better. This combined with the fact that I was a fourth man for the first time in my life (because Tabitha was a beast), made me really question my commitment to quizbowl. Prison Bowl specifically was terrible for me. Despite the awesomeness of NYC, I played so terribly at that tournament, and just felt like a loser the whole day. We finally got out of our funk in the spring, playing our most balanced tournament as an A team at Collins Hill, but I had never understood how sports teams can hit a "slump" until that winter.

2. 2015 SCT DII: In terms of just feeling terrible after a game, this was it. This would be my personal best-played tournament ever had not our games against UGA happened. The first game wasn't so bad, we could have reasonably competed for it. The last game, to win the DII title, was where they really hit us. I knew coming in I would have to go balls to the wall and buzz in early on just about everything in order to win, because they were just too good. So I ended up negging 6 times, just barely finishing with a positive points score. Needless to say we got crushed, and I was unbelievably upset with myself. The whole tournament I was finally feeling like a great player, and then UGA brought me back down to earth. I don't think one loss has ever hit me so hard.

3. 2013 PACE NSC: My junior year was awesome. As Dorman B, we were a force to be reckoned with even for elite teams. We improved enough to beat TJ (who had run game on us in the fall) at HSNCT. Overall it was a good year. At that year's NSC however, I realized that I was just not good enough yet. The questions were just hard enough to be beyond my reach, and the teams were just so good. Despite a strong team performance (including our upset of Belvidere North--shout out to Dirty D upthread), I really just felt like I wasn't good enough to make a difference, and that got me down for a while.

4. 2013 HSNCT: Again, despite a strong performance, and this time I did better individually, something just felt off. We played well enough on Saturday, not hitting our goal of 8-2, but a solid day nonetheless. The only real issues was losing to LASA C, who just played outstandingly that game, and then to LASA A, who delivered to me my first every true beating as a high-level quizbowler. The following Sunday was hell. We had beaten Duncan Morgan's Etowah team pretty consistently that year, we had even beaten him earlier in the tournament, and he shut us down first game on Sunday. We then proceeded to play Utica just barely making it out of that, and then followed it up against Marist, another Georgia team who we had consistently performed well against during the regular season. John played a monster game, and we were just defeated the whole game. I negged 4 times trying to get powers, and that sealed it for us. Overall, terribly disappointing outing despite a top 33 performance.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby grapesmoker » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:43 pm

Sorry for quizbowl-murdering a bunch of people, I guess.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Cheynem » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:45 pm

I blamed Jonathan Magin.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby grapesmoker » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:47 pm

Cheynem wrote:I blamed Jonathan Magin.


Always a sound strategy.

Wesley Matthews' idiosyncratically terrible science questions fucked me out of two potential titles.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Unicolored Jay » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:26 pm

Inkana7 wrote:
2. ACF Nationals 2014

Then the Columbia B game happened. We played very badly (I recall getting questions outside of my areas, never a good sign), they had some really nice buzzes and we lost on a protest.


I was definitely responsible for helping us lose that game, as I made some rather hasty moves that led to negs - first, jumping the gun on the Sibelius Symphony 2 tossup off of parsing a clue incorrectly (Auroni even asked me if the clue was confusing afterwards, to which I said it wasn't). The tossup then went dead. The second neg I made was the one that led to the denied protest, as I buzzed on the bioluminescence tossup with the answer of "emitting light" without thinking of what the actual term was and was negged on the spot. That was definitely the worst game I had at the tournament, though I don't think I felt the effects of it as bad as Jarret did - I remember being angry in the Dartmouth game and during the tiebreakers but I wasn't too flustered in the playoffs.

EDIT: haha post 666 in this thread
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Benin Rebirth Party » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:39 pm

Craise Finton Kirk Royal Academy of Arts wrote:5. ICT 2014. Similar to the last one, I can't be too upset about this overall since we got 2nd with a 2-person team, but we could've gone undefeated and had an advantage in the finals had we not blown a halftime lead to McGill down the stretch and had I not forgotten the guy from Die Hard's name post-buzz against Harvard. Considering both of our games with Harvard were pretty thrilling, that might have been my best ever chance to win some sort of national title.


Sorry, man! If we had lost to you guys we would have been outright third and I wouldn't have had to embarrass the hell out of myself during the play in game. We did out tossup you 14-9 that game.

So despite waaaaay overachieving at this tournament with final tossup wins against you guys, Harvard, and Morgan's Chicago team, the single worst moment I've ever felt during a game happened during our prelim game against Columbia. We got the first five tossups with 20 or 30 on the bonuses and just fell apart. We needed to beat Harvard to make the top bracket. I didn't believe it was possible and we'd be stuck in the second bracket. But we just kept powering things during the Harvard game...
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Rococo A Go Go » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:02 am

I have a few times that may be considered the lowest points in my career, although how I've responded to each of them is probably why I'm still playing quizbowl:

1) KAAC format (especially for middle schools) in 2003 was pretty horrible, but we didn't know anything else and so we pretty much were wrapped up in that for the entire year. We knew we wouldn't qualify for state my 7th grade year because we were clearly worse than several teams in our region. I was basically the 4th scorer on the team, and at district I had a mediocre performance in both quick recall and written assessment. After the district tournament was over, I overheard my coach telling a 6th grader to "start studying now, because you'll be who we count on for social studies next year." Naturally I didn't take this well, and read every old question set we had over the next two weeks. This studying paid off when I became our top scorer at the regional tournament (although we still didn't do well) and I qualified for state in written assessment. This studying paid off even more my 8th grade year, when I led Grayson County to our first regional title in several years.

2) I had a similar experience in high school. My junior year (2008) Grayson County had pretty much the worst season that anybody could remember between 1998 and 2012. We finished with a losing record overall, nearly didn't qualify for our regional quick recall tournament, and roughly 80% of our scoring over the course of the season was done by me. I have since learned that a team that depends on me for most of its scoring is probably going to be pretty terrible (see: WKU Quizbowl, 2010-2012) and 2008 Grayson County was a pretty sad example of it. I'm pretty sure the nadir of all this came after the season, somehow, when the rest of our starting lineup graduated and our entire coaching staff resigned. The beginning of my senior season consisted of me holding practices in our library's study room and begging various faculty members to be our coaches; this situation was worsened by the fact that in Kentucky you actually had to have an adult with you when you attended any quick recall event, so it was either find a coach or not have a team. Fortunately we found a staff willing to take over for one year, my suggestions for "more practice and more individual studying" paid off, and Grayson County went to the state tournament and HSNCT for the first time.

3) The lowest point of my time in college was not related to an actual tournament. At the end of my sophomore year, I found an old IRC log in which the denizens were bashing a post made by 19-year-old me. I had offered some not-great-advice about how to get better at high school history questions, and considering I had just wrapped up a year of not great posting (like most people’s first year on these boards,) I can understand the antipathy. My favorite quote was “i don't know if nick conder even qualifies as competent,” and while that’s still probably true, what little effort I’ve made at getting better in the last 4 years started because finding that conversation motivated me. The reason it was my lowest point, however, is that I very seriously considered quitting quizbowl after my sophomore year. I assumed I was not good and never would be good, that quizbowl people had little use for me since I was annoying online and bad at quizbowl anyway, and that spending time on this game instead of other things was not going to make me happy in the long run. I had a serious conversation with the 5 other people who were on WKU’s team at the time about whether or not we should continue, during which I said “We’re not even good, if anything, we only exist as a national laughingstock. This isn’t fun anymore.” They reminded me that quizbowl could be fun even if were weren’t successful, because things like going on long roadtrips with friends, hosting a high school tournament, and getting a few questions on things we had excitedly learned were things that had intrinsic value regardless of how successful our team becomes. Fortunately I've had a major upgrade in teammates in the last few years and we're not so bad anymore, but at this point that's just icing on the cake.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Sima Guang Hater » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:08 pm

grapesmoker wrote:Wesley Matthews' idiosyncratically terrible science questions fucked me out of two potential titles.


Wait, what? What was the other one?
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Kilroy Was Here » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:56 pm

I once lost a match to Dylan Minarik partially because I said "triwizard tournament" for a tossup on what I think was the ryder cup. So there's that.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby Muriel Axon » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:37 am

Kilroy Was Here wrote:I once lost a match to Dylan Minarik partially because I said "triwizard tournament" for a tossup on what I think was the ryder cup. So there's that.


ding ding ding we have a winner
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby grapesmoker » Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:11 am

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:Wesley Matthews' idiosyncratically terrible science questions fucked me out of two potential titles.


Wait, what? What was the other one?


2009 Chicago Open.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby MorganV » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:23 am

Kilroy Was Here wrote:I once lost a match to Dylan Minarik partially because I said "triwizard tournament" for a tossup on what I think was the ryder cup. So there's that.


we ended up winning our quarterfinal match against LASA at HSNCT, but my team has never stopped giving me shit for negging a tossup on "Bookstores" in that game with "Pokemon Centers" on the clue: "Jenny is interviewed in one of these in *name of movie that could charitably be mistaken for a pokemon episode title*"
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby UlyssesInvictus » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:08 pm

MorganV wrote:
Kilroy Was Here wrote:I once lost a match to Dylan Minarik partially because I said "triwizard tournament" for a tossup on what I think was the ryder cup. So there's that.


we ended up winning our quarterfinal match against LASA at HSNCT, but my team has never stopped giving me shit for negging a tossup on "Bookstores" in that game with "Pokemon Centers" on the clue: "Jenny is interviewed in one of these in *name of movie that could charitably be mistaken for a pokemon episode title*"


I remember negging Godzilla for either an Ishiguro book or a Fox TV show at HSNCT once. It's one of the two, since I remember making terrible negs on both at one time or another, but I'm not sure which is worse here.

And I'm sure I have many other awful neg stories to tell...
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby jonpin » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:53 pm

Yawar Fiesta wrote:3) The lowest point of my time in college was not related to an actual tournament. At the end of my sophomore year, I found an old IRC log in which the denizens were bashing a post made by 19-year-old me. I had offered some not-great-advice about how to get better at high school history questions, and considering I had just wrapped up a year of not great posting (like most people’s first year on these boards,) I can understand the antipathy. My favorite quote was “i don't know if nick conder even qualifies as competent,” and while that’s still probably true, what little effort I’ve made at getting better in the last 4 years started because finding that conversation motivated me. The reason it was my lowest point, however, is that I very seriously considered quitting quizbowl after my sophomore year. I assumed I was not good and never would be good, that quizbowl people had little use for me since I was annoying online and bad at quizbowl anyway, and that spending time on this game instead of other things was not going to make me happy in the long run. I had a serious conversation with the 5 other people who were on WKU’s team at the time about whether or not we should continue, during which I said “We’re not even good, if anything, we only exist as a national laughingstock. This isn’t fun anymore.” They reminded me that quizbowl could be fun even if were weren’t successful, because things like going on long roadtrips with friends, hosting a high school tournament, and getting a few questions on things we had excitedly learned were things that had intrinsic value regardless of how successful our team becomes. Fortunately I've had a major upgrade in teammates in the last few years and we're not so bad anymore, but at this point that's just icing on the cake.


I want to make a note of this. I don't want to get caught up in a discussion of civility, or that being uncivil automatically renders all your arguments wrong, but I do want to say that many people engaged in this activity are below the age of 20, and some of them are failing at what they try to do despite trying their best. Heat of the moment invective like chatter between rounds of a delayed tournament is one thing, but it's probably a good idea that if you're writing a diatribe against someone--particularly someone in a lower status than you, like college students or full-grown adults yelling at high schoolers--you spend as much time offering constructive suggestions as you do tearing down their poor efforts.
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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby The Formiddable Dark Skeik » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:56 am

Alright, what has been your worst neg in all your years of doing quiz bowl? Mine would be in sixth grade, when I negged North Korea with the Galactic Empire. Pfft, they really are the same thing.



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Re: Your Lowest Point

Postby heterodyne » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:58 am

I think there's already a thread for funny negs, and this isn't it.
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