Difficulty of the Set

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Difficulty of the Set

Postby Frater Taciturnus » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:41 pm

So one goal I had while working on this set was a formal rebuke to the difficulty that many seem to consider to be what "regular difficulty" high school quizbowl is. So this set was written to be more in line with an actual regular difficulty with top teams for the most part buzzing on the first clue or two and rewarding good teams with points.

Now I'm hearing that this set was "too easy" as a result, and I'm really wondering where these ideas of difficulty came from. The site we ran featured a lot of good teams buzzing off solid knowledge to get tossups early, and teams that knew things got points on bonuses while teams that didn't, well, didn't.

Was this set really unpalatably easy for the top teams to play? I've heard mixed reports on this and I want to hear what people have to say about this.
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Re: Difficulty of the Set

Postby Kouign Amann » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:54 pm

You achieved your goal: this set was easier than standard "regular difficulty +" fare. However, this set was not too easy. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Sure, Tommy and I had some buzzer races in that last game. That doesn't mean the set was too easy. I would assert that Tommy and I both buzzing on the early clues of a regular difficulty set is, in fact, a sign of a good set. I don't mean to boast, but I am comfortable saying that Tommy and I are both pretty good quizbowl players, though he's almost certainly better. Pretty good quizbowl players should be able to buzz on the first line on plenty of questions in a regular difficulty round. I fail to see a problem here.

When it comes time for nationals, when only top teams are competing and when results really matter for something, then it's fine to trot out the deeper clues and let Tommy destroy me. That's why we have nationals. However, a regular season, regular difficulty tournament doesn't operate under quite the same circumstances as a national championship, and thus, easier questions are appropriate. This set was fully appropriate for the tournament for which it was written.
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