AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

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AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:25 pm

I've been a PACE member since 2007 or so; it's been long enough I forget the exact date off hand and I'm going to go to sleep soon. I was the president of PACE for 2009-10, the first year we had a set of bylaws and elections for the presidency. Before that, E. Thomas Chuck was the president every year. I did too much work on tracking team qualification and organizing the 2010 NSC (I was somewhere between a co-TD & an assistant TD), causing me to burn out. I than sat out of any important role for 2010-11. And nothing bad ever happened after that.

I don't have the best memory. I'll answer things as honestly as I can. If I can't remember something, I'll do my best to find answers in my email. If I still can't remember it or I can't answer that, I'll just say that.

I'm heading off now, so I'll see what I can answer in the morning.
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:32 pm

Was PACE the first high school quiz bowl organization (whether good or bad) to effect the complete removal of trash from its distribution? What did discussions to that end look like? Did those discussions impact HSAPQ’s own decision not to put trash in its own contemporary inaugural NASAT? Why was a similar campaign not enacted to have regular hs sets remove trash?

To be clear, this is purely a historical question and not a value judgment either way about trash.

Pertaining to 2011: was there serious talk of not holding any more NSC’s? Is PACE’s modern more democratic nature a byproduct of that event?
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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:03 am

Why are the NSC scoring rules the way they are? Are they likely to change in the near future?

Why are PACE, ACF, IQBT separate from each other? It seems a lot of them share staffers, leaders, and writers. Would quizbowl be stronger with one unified non-NAQT umbrella organization? In 10 years from now do you see PACE officially hold any events other than the NSC?

Did the 2011 nsc opening really get delayed because one of the top teams didn’t bother attending? Could you explain that historical tidbit?
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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:13 am

Benin Rebirth Party wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:03 am
Why are the NSC scoring rules the way they are? Are they likely to change in the near future?

Why are PACE, ACF, IQBT separate from each other? It seems a lot of them share staffers, leaders, and writers. Would quizbowl be stronger with one unified non-NAQT umbrella organization?
I'll answer the ones I can tackle quickly in the 10 or so minutes I have right now.

I don't foresee the NSC rules changing. 20 point powers, no negs, & bounceback bonuses is a fine rule set that is fair. There's no reason every tournament has to follow ACF format.

IQBT is a company Nicole & I set up so that NASAT would have a legal structure as I ran it. Taxes & payroll & that kind of stuff.

ACF is an organization that runs three college events a year. They don't do a lot beyond that.

PACE is a non-profit that, in addition to running the NSC (which ideally provides a good chunk of our funding for the year), engages in outreach to spread quiz bowl as well as other activities like the Morgan Rhodes-Costa Scholarship.

The three organizations have different reasons for existing & different aims. There's no good reason for any of them to combine. Their goals are different, as well as their methods.
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:14 am

If I remember correctly, PAC (or Panasonics or NTAE) did not have any trash, and that predated NSC. (I'm not going to get into all the crazy stuff PAC did have, because that's another story.) Also, there probably were some state organizations that did not have trash--while IHSA has always had a Miscellaneous category, I believe that category did not include Pop Culture back in the 1980s and early 1990s and was made entirely out of Agriculture, Physical Education, Consumer Education, Industrial Arts, etc. The first few NSCs did have trash, but they eliminated it fairly early in the tournament's history.

There were some discussions on this board about a decade ago over whether to remove trash. There are several people who have made arguments in favor of keeping it, so those arguments did not go anywhere and it is still here. I'd personally be happy to see it gone, but it's not up to me, though anybody writing an independent set is free to get rid of it in their set.

One of the reasons for NSC scoring rules is that NSC used to use a four-quarter format in which the maximum number of points a team could get in a match was 1000. To allow for historical comparisons, PACE kept a scoring system that kept that number at 1000. I have no idea whether that will change at some point--it is not an issue we have seriously discussed in the five years I have been a part of PACE.

It is good for high school quizbowl that PACE is separate from ACF. A lot of people who are active in PACE are active in collegiate quizbowl, and the separation allows PACE to maintain its focus on high school quizbowl.

Any explanation for anything at 2011 NSC must include incompetence. One of the excuses given for the delayed opening of the 2011 NSC was that they wanted to recognize a retiring coach who had been very successful at many NSCs and had done a lot to support high school quizbowl, and that coach's team got lost on the way to the tournament. That being said, the meeting probably would have started late anyways because of the overall level of disorganization, and a competent TD could have easily move the recognition from the beginning of the meeting as it was originally scheduled to the end of the meeting or to the awards ceremony the next day.
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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:32 pm

i never see pigeons in wheeling wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:32 pm
Was PACE the first high school quiz bowl organization (whether good or bad) to effect the complete removal of trash from its distribution? What did discussions to that end look like? Did those discussions impact HSAPQ’s own decision not to put trash in its own contemporary inaugural NASAT? Why was a similar campaign not enacted to have regular hs sets remove trash?
The idea of removing trash from the NSC was first raised in 2008. It looks like it was finally done in 2011. Matt Weiner was a big proponent for its removal those three years, so the influence from NASAT is kind of an all-encompassing blob. I'm not sure when ACF did it; I remember I was one of the last editors for trash, which lol. I can't seem to find when ACF stopped using trash questions.
Pertaining to 2011: was there serious talk of not holding any more NSC’s? Is PACE’s modern more democratic nature a byproduct of that event?
Nothing too serious that I recall; it might have been said out of frustration, but I don't believe anyone really pushed for it. There were at least five amendments proposed to our bylaws. Trygve's big proposal on his way out was that as a make good for the bad NSC, we should pay for the production of a new set and make it free to mirror. Considering PACE's track record for non-NSC endeavors at that point and the amount of time and effort that would have taken, it was rejected by the membership.

Random email I've found so far around that time period: a very nice and unexpected email from R. Hentzel sympathizing about the issues at the NSC.

The democratic changes were a few years before 2011, after the end of E.T. Chuck's time on top fo the organizational chart.
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:39 pm

And as far as dictating the removal of trash from quiz bowl: was anyone going to listen to PACE at that point in time?
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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by jonpin » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:41 am

Deviant Insider wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:14 am
One of the reasons for NSC scoring rules is that NSC used to use a four-quarter format in which the maximum number of points a team could get in a match was 1000. To allow for historical comparisons, PACE kept a scoring system that kept that number at 1000. I have no idea whether that will change at some point--it is not an issue we have seriously discussed in the five years I have been a part of PACE.
Actually a three-period format. Up until 2009 the game format was:
* Related tossup-bonus. 10 cycles of a 10-point tossup with a 2x10-point related bonus.
* Category quiz. 8 cycles of a 10-point tossup with a one-part 15-point bonus. There was a list of categories (I think 10?), and when you got a tossup, you got to pick the category for your bonus.
* Stretch round. 10 cycles of a 10-point tossup (with a 20-point public power) with a 3x10-point bonus.
All bonus parts bounced back. When I say that the third-period powers were "public", what I mean was that the tossup was 20 points until the phrase "For ten points" was said, so everyone knew if power was still in effect.
When the old format was junked, they (I was not yet a member) decided to just keep the style of the stretch round but lengthen it to the traditional 20-tossup length (which had the added benefit of keeping 1000 as the total points available) and to make powers blind.

I think the style of the first two periods is interesting, but it's so out of the norm of modern quiz bowl that it would have no place in a national championship.
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Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by tabstop » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:20 am

jonpin wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:41 am
* Category quiz. 8 cycles of a 10-point tossup with a one-part 15-point bonus. There was a list of categories (I think 10?), and when you got a tossup, you got to pick the category for your bonus.
If I remember correctly (I'll have to see if I still have an old set of questions at home), there were 10 categories, but each round only had eight of them, so you had to announce which eight categories were in play at the beginning of the round. I don't think I ever knew what pattern there was (if any) as to how the categories cycled through.
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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by browen » Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:51 pm

Since Ankit and Joe have been the only other players to comment on the 2011 NSC, a tournament I thought I had finally suppressed from my memory, I figured I'd chip in. I was basically serving as an alternate for our B team at the NSC as I was far better on NAQT than ACF style questions so it was extra torturous. The delay at the beginning at the tournament wasn't that big of an issue to me, it happens on occasion, but there was a major delay after lunch. The QBWiki page said it was during the morning rounds, but to my recollection it was prior to Round 6. We waited for our match with Dunbar to start for a good hour-and-a-half minimum. David Madden showed up to our room and asked us if we wanted to hear some history bee questions which everyone agreed to. He legitimately read a question before somebody from PACE ran him out much to our disappointment. Then we waited for another thirty minutes before we finally got underway.

An added tidbit is that the tournament hotel in Skokie was unbelievably dated. I remember some of the other teams were trying to organize scrimmage matches on Friday night and thinking to myself, "If ten people try to fit into one of these rooms the floor is going to give way."
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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by cchiego » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:53 pm

NSC 2011 had all kinds of surreal experiences and images.

Getting from the official hotel for the staff to the tournament required a huge number of people to pile into a minibus from a local HS driven by a teacher volunteer who didn't seem to have expected being conscripted into this and didn't know where we were going exactly at Northwestern.

The "Death March of Quizbowl" that saw staffers carrying all kinds of heavy things from 32-packets of water bottles to a printer in a massive loop around the Northwestern campus that basically ended up right back where we got dropped off. People were straggling, falling out of the main group, and sometimes just dropping to the ground.

Waiting forever for State College to show up, asking the TDs to just get it started, and then being told no, PACE will wait for State College. That's when I realized we were in for a truly funnn time.

Matt Weiner growing increasingly animated during the day in the control room as we sat and waited for one of the many inexplicable delays to get figured out.

Coming up with geography questions off the top of my head to entertain a couple of teams who were sitting for I believe two and a half hours (!) after the second round.

Some team (I think from CA?) dressed up as waiters and maids and was running between buildings carrying napkins and a tray in butler-like poses.

The PACE meeting in which the leaders at the time pretended nothing was wrong and everything was a-okay.

There was a chapel next to the main control room on the second day. I opened the door to it and narrowly missed hitting a team that had just zonked out on the floor during some delay.

Weiner taking over either (or maybe both?) the staffing and buzzer distribution at some point and just starting to bark out orders since nobody else was doing anything.

Fred offering to give me a dollar (I think? maybe two dollars?) for not resigning from PACE at dinner.

Going shopping with Andy Watkins (!) and having a pretty good conversation.

The crazy IRC chatter for the next few days as well as the secretive emails sent out by various parts of the PACE leadership to try to suss out who was plotting a coup.

I would be curious to know what exactly happened in the months after the tournament and how especially PACE was able to assuage the very valid anger and concerns of the many coaches who were not happy.
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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:43 pm

cchiego wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:53 pm
Fred offering to give me a dollar (I think? maybe two dollars?) for not resigning from PACE at dinner.
I probably spiced it up to two dollars.
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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by Deviant Insider » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:04 pm

As long as we're remembering the 2011 NSC:

Some of the Ben Cooper Young Ambassador recipients were doing the "Death March of Quizbowl" when their award was announced, so they had to be given the award later.

The packets had no tiebreaker questions, and some of the buildings with matches did not have control rooms, so in some pools a tie meant the moderator had to cross a busy road (Sheridan) to get a couple of extra questions to break the tie. The problem was compounded when a match originally thought not to be a tie turned out to be a tie--some of the delay was caused by attempts to locate both teams and tiebreaker questions, which was just way too difficult for the people in charge.

There were so many half-matches. I think my team played about three of them. There were usually delays before and after the half-matches, because why not. After one of the half-matches, I overheard one of the TDs telling a team to go to the wrong place, so I explained to the coach where the team's next match was. Keep in mind that I had no role in PACE at the time--I was there as a coach.

One of the tournament innovations was that PACE had a cell number to reach each team. Everyone was told that at the end of the day Saturday they would get a text telling them whether to show up early Sunday for a half-match. Those texts went out after 11:30 PM, which was too late for many teams to let the rest of the team know whether to show up early.

The protest committee reversed itself on one decision but did not do a good job of communicating its reasoning.

At the end of the tournament Stevenson played a match to determine which team would get 4th place. Stevenson lost the match but was told that they got 4th place anyways because the match should not have been played.

One of the All-Star Teams was determined by a vote of all players, coaches, and staff. The vote took place before any stats were posted, though people were told who the top four scorers were and not to vote for them. Keep in mind that many players could not name four people at the tournament who were not teammates.

At a few points during the day Saturday, PACE Members told me they were upset at PACE leadership. Some of the Members were people I did not know well, and, again, I had no role in PACE at the time.

Saturday night I went to a retirement dinner for somebody I had worked with for 17 years. Actually, it was a retirement dinner for everybody else--it was a retirement dessert for me because I got there so late.

The 2011 NSC is the last tournament I coached at, though the tournament did not cause me to retire.
David Reinstein
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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by jonpin » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:53 am

browen wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:51 pm
The delay at the beginning at the tournament wasn't that big of an issue to me, it happens on occasion, but there was a major delay after lunch. The QBWiki page said it was during the morning rounds, but to my recollection it was prior to Round 6. We waited for our match with Dunbar to start for a good hour-and-a-half minimum. David Madden showed up to our room and asked us if we wanted to hear some history bee questions which everyone agreed to. He legitimately read a question before somebody from PACE ran him out much to our disappointment. Then we waited for another thirty minutes before we finally got underway.
Deviant Insider wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:04 pm
There were so many half-matches. I think my team played about three of them. There were usually delays before and after the half-matches, because why not. After one of the half-matches, I overheard one of the TDs telling a team to go to the wrong place, so I explained to the coach where the team's next match was. Keep in mind that I had no role in PACE at the time--I was there as a coach.
So, these are related. The field didn't fill to 64 and rather than run a 64-team schedule with a few holes, the TD decided to completely overhaul into a 60-team schedule that started with 10 groups of 6 (5 rounds before lunch), a wild card playoff to determine 4 additional top-tier teams, and then 4x6 in the afternoon. The wild card playoff was two rounds of half-games. So any delays anywhere in the morning rounds caused the seeding of teams for that playoff to be delayed, meanwhile everyone not involved in the playoff had finished lunch and was waiting to find out where they were to go next.
browen wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:51 pm
We waited for our match with Dunbar to start for a good hour-and-a-half minimum. David Madden showed up to our room and asked us if we wanted to hear some history bee questions which everyone agreed to. He legitimately read a question before somebody from PACE ran him out much to our disappointment. Then we waited for another thirty minutes before we finally got underway.
And that was the day that Dave Madden learned that hour-long delays at national championships are something that most teams will just shrug off and move on from.
Deviant Insider wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:04 pm
One of the tournament innovations was that PACE had a cell number to reach each team. Everyone was told that at the end of the day Saturday they would get a text telling them whether to show up early Sunday for a half-match. Those texts went out after 11:30 PM, which was too late for many teams to let the rest of the team know whether to show up early.
When I was involved in planning for NSCs in the few years shortly afterwards, not knowing the full details of this, I said that we could let teams know their playoff assignment by text. I was shouted down to say the least.
Jon Pinyan
Coach, Bergen County Academies (NJ); former player for BCA (2000-03) and WUSTL (2003-07)
HSQB forum mod, PACE member
Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

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Re: AMA about the 2011 NSC & the evolution of PACE

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:31 pm

All right, I'm going to have to focus on getting work done rather than nostalgia. If there's interest, I could do another history thread after nationals.
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

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