Man, does CBI suck...

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Man, does CBI suck...

Postby suds1000 » Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:53 am

Holy crap, people, how have so many generations of quizbowlers managed to put up with this CBI garbage for so long? Not letting us leave the room to use the bathroom after matches, treating us like little kids at all junctures, some sort of terrible joke every twenty seconds, and the flat-out and unquestionably most terrible question set I have ever heard in my life are what constituted my sole CBI tournament experience to date. In the few cases where there were actually real clues, I generally either got them or was beaten to them by my teammates, but there were so many questions that were just on a newly absurd plane of absurdity.

I had heard it described before, and of course we practiced on some of the questions before the tournament, but this year's CBI nationals set was way too stupid, way too easy, and quite simply way too "curved yellow fruit" for my liking. I thought I'd be prepared for just how terrible it would be, but no. Of course not.

As Eric Smith was asking at the tournament, can anything be done about this? Has anyone ever tried to do anything about this? Any responses would be appreciated.

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Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:28 am

I'll start this post off with a disclaimer: I have never competed in CBI at any level higher than the Chicago Intramural Tournament (where the team I was on came within 5 points of beating a team consisting of Andrew Yaphe and Seth Teitler, thanks to Chad), though I have practiced on CBI questions that may have been higher than that.

Frankly, I don't see why everyone hates on CBI so much, question-wise. I find CBI questions sort of amusing, actually, and I gain great pleasure from listening to them. Perhaps you are looking to CBI for the same sort of stuff as you would find in the other formats, but I do not believe that is the correct approach. CBI, again from my limited experience, requires an entirely different mentality, particularly an ability to guess where the question is going. In that sense, it is much more a "sport of the mind" than ACF, where all you have to do is wait for the question to get to a fact that you have memorized.

Maybe one day I'll actually go to a CBI Tournament, and maybe somebody will act like an ***hole to me and I will walk away as just another CBI hater in quizbowl, but, until then, I am going to enjoy the few chances I get to hear CBI questions.
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Postby Captain Sinico » Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:54 pm

Bruce wrote:Frankly, I don't see why everyone hates on CBI so much, question-wise.


What? I can't see that you're being sarcastic, but I don't understand how you can be otherwise and still be other than a first or second time poster... but the world is always surprising me. A lot, and perhaps too much, has been written throughout the entire era of electronic communications in quizbowl as to why "everyone" hates CBI questions, so I'm not even going to bother reiterating that or sharing my own reasons here (which would be the same thing anyway) unless it becomes necessary in my eyes. While you may disagree with the bulk of circuit teams and think that clue-free non-questions on "the flu" and "the English language" are just great, I don't see how you can fail to see why others hate them, given that it's been more than adequately explained repeatedly.

However, you're free to do whatever you like with your school's money, I guess, and to say whatever you want here, more or less. I'm not going to demand that you to stop, regardless of how wrong you are. I am, however, going to ask that you read at least some of the (more than abundant) criticism of CBI and its questions before attempting to crawl back into this conversation.

Further, there is a large number of completely valid reasons for disliking CBI, even setting to one side its poor questions. Sudheer has touched on some of the main ones (the ones that boil down to the fact that CBI treats one like a child or, at most, high schooler.)

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Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:04 pm

*hands up*

Ok, ok, I surrender. I phrased my post poorly. I very much do understand the question-based criticisms of CBI that are out there. My point was more that I felt that people were overlooking the redeeming characteristics I've seen in CBI.
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Postby Captain Sinico » Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:05 pm

Bruce wrote:...people were overlooking the redeeming characteristics I've seen in CBI.

Which are what, exactly?
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Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:11 pm

ImmaculateDeception wrote:
Bruce wrote:...people were overlooking the redeeming characteristics I've seen in CBI.

Which are what, exactly?


There are two big ones, though they may be mutually exclusive because they require different approches.

First, if you approach CBI non-seriously and listen to it with an ACF/NAQT mindset, comparing it to those formats while you're playing it, the questions are, simply put, hilarious, due to their length and to the jumps they make from random intro stuff to giveaway. Others seem to be merely annoyed by this; I personally find it amusing.

Second, if you approach CBI seriously, there seems to be another skill at play that isn't there in the other formats. It seems to me that one needs to be very good at being able to predict where exactly a question will go, and this is an element not found in the other formats. I would argue that it requires more thinking than the other formats, which are essentially just memory recall.
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Postby Rothlover » Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:01 pm

Bruce wrote:
ImmaculateDeception wrote:
Bruce wrote:...people were overlooking the redeeming characteristics I've seen in CBI.

Which are what, exactly?


There are two big ones, though they may be mutually exclusive because they require different approches.

First, if you approach CBI non-seriously and listen to it with an ACF/NAQT mindset, comparing it to those formats while you're playing it, the questions are, simply put, hilarious, due to their length and to the jumps they make from random intro stuff to giveaway. Others seem to be merely annoyed by this; I personally find it amusing.



To approach CBI non-seriously requires an ability to discount the fact that it costs nearly $1000 to even have the chance to get to their nationals, which translates to a full year worth of circuit events. That is a lot of money for mere amusement, not to mention the sort of thing that can cripple a program unless their student union specifically funds CBI (as I know is the case with several programs.

Second, if you approach CBI seriously, there seems to be another skill at play that isn't there in the other formats. It seems to me that one needs to be very good at being able to predict where exactly a question will go, and this is an element not found in the other formats. I would argue that it requires more thinking than the other formats, which are essentially just memory recall.


So Minnesota has had quizbowl's best thinkers for two straight years? I find it much more likely that their is a tremendous flaw in this so called "sport-of the mind," than that a bottom bracket ICT team (never mind a candidate for DFL at ACF) has some sort of special skill. Both NAQT and ACF have a large element of predicting where a question is going, taking a risk without waiting for a "memorized fact" as you call it. The difference with these formats is, they produce something of quality that doesn't (except for a certain NAQT writers questions) insult the intelligence of anyone with an IQ above 85, and give a bad name to quiz bowl to anyone from the general populace who has actually looked into the game.
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Postby mps4a_mps4a » Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:46 pm

I have never competed in CBI at any level higher than the Chicago Intramural Tournament (where the team I was on came within 5 points of beating a team consisting of Andrew Yaphe and Seth Teitler, thanks to Chad)


This, I think, is part of it. I mean no disrespect to you or Chad, but as I don't know who either of you are, I'd expect in NAQT, ACF, or a modification of either, you wouldn't be able to come within five points of beating a team consisting of Andrew Yaphe and Seth Teitler.
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Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Apr 25, 2005 4:38 pm

Rothlover wrote:To approach CBI non-seriously requires an ability to discount the fact that it costs nearly $1000 to even have the chance to get to their nationals, which translates to a full year worth of circuit events. That is a lot of money for mere amusement, not to mention the sort of thing that can cripple a program unless their student union specifically funds CBI (as I know is the case with several programs.


Now, hold on there. Your underlying point is basically that if you spend $1,000 on some sort of non-CBI quizbowl tournaments, you are somehow achieving a greater good than merely amusement or pleasure. (I personally derive pleasure from amusement, I'm sure most of you do, so let's use those two interchangeably here).

Obviously, I can't know what you play ACF or NAQT for, but I suspect that, much like me, you do it with the ultimate goal of deriving pleasure from the experiece.

You can make the argument that not playing CBI will allow you to maximize the number of tournaments you attend, and therefore maximize pleasure, but you cannot make the argument that spending $1,000 on non-CBI rather than on CBI will result in something that is somehow higher.
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Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Apr 25, 2005 4:53 pm

mps4a_mps4a wrote:This, I think, is part of it. I mean no disrespect to you or Chad, but as I don't know who either of you are, I'd expect in NAQT, ACF, or a modification of either, you wouldn't be able to come within five points of beating a team consisting of Andrew Yaphe and Seth Teitler.


1) Chad has been sort of kept down by the man around here; he never came to practice, and, as such, there were some in powerful positions who felt that , despite his talent, he should not be sent to things.

Had that not been the case, I think the name of Chad would be more commonly bandied around when it came time to discuss the good players in certain programs.

2) A central point of my argument is that CBI is a different sort of contest than NAQT or ACF. As such, dominance does not necessarily translate between the two, although I hear Andrew was good at the CBI back in the day.

If I beat Timo Perez, a better baseball player than I, at badminton, does that make badminton an illegitimate, time-wasting sport?
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Postby No Sollositing On Premise » Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:08 pm

Bruce wrote:If I beat Timo Perez, a better baseball player than I, at badminton, does that make badminton an illegitimate, time-wasting sport?

I have admittedly never played CBI (Mr. Yaphe could probably elaborate on UVA and CBI's relationship, but that's another story), but that's not a good analogy at all. I think understand what you're trying to say, but badminton and baseball are not typically paired together under a common heading other than "sports." Such a comparison between quiz bowl formats implies that CBI is so radically different from NAQT and ACF that CBI shouldn't be called quiz bowl. CBI is quiz bowl, but when compared to more pyramidal formats it does less to reward depth and breadth of knowledge and more to reward question anticipation, buzzer speed skills, and the capacity to withstand such poorly-written questions. I have never played CBI questions and have never played in a Beall tournament, and I think that I'm a better person for doing so.
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Postby mps4a_mps4a » Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:05 pm

If I beat Timo Perez, a better baseball player than I, at badminton, does that make badminton an illegitimate, time-wasting sport?


This analogy only works if CBI and NAQT/ACF are so radically different as baseball and badminton. I think most people consider CBI a type of quizbowl, if not a very legitimate one, because it theoretically tests knowledge and memory recall. I think most people have an aversion to a format that allows for upsets like, oh I don't know, Minnesota beating Michigan. While it's nice for Minnesota, it's kind of annoying for everyone who, in NAQT or ACF, would beat Minnesota every time.

BTW, I don't really care if you play CBI or don't - like you said, if you get more enjoyment out of it, great. I was only trying to point out that a central reason many people don't like CBI is that it's possible for two good or very good players to beat two of the best in the game, and not to convince you otherwise. And I'll admit that I've never played in a CBI match, only read CBI packets once or twice at practice for the hell of it, and I come from a team with a long, storied tradition of anti-CBI sentiment (so much so that until a CBI person told me otherwise, we bragged that we were actually banned from CBI thanks to Mr Yaphe).

And I'd tack on a third redeeming pro-CBI thing, which would be that the winner gets money, right?
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Postby Susan » Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:27 pm

I'm pretty sure that the last CBI winner to receive money was the University of Chicago when we won in 2003. From what I understand, Ford is no longer a sponsor of CBI, hence the $10,000 first-place prize, as well as the reimbursements for travel and lodgings at the NCT (up to $1500 per team if I recall correctly), are no more.

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Postby Baron Jacobi » Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:23 pm

There's nothing like a goofy, out-of-left-field analogy to lend clarity to one of these discussions. Here's one: Playing CBI is like eating cotton candy. Now, I like eating cotton candy every so often (say, once a year). It's good for a few bites, but it quickly gets cloying and in the end you'd rather lick Richard Reid than endure its nauseating sweetness any longer. In the same way, I enjoy playing a few CBI questions every so often (again, maybe once a year tops) but they also become sickening very quickly.

I don't think anybody has problems with cotton candy per se. Problems only arise if

1) you can't get anything to eat but cotton candy, no matter how much you loathe the stuff;
2) the people selling the cotton candy have a virtual food monopoly, and try to shut down anyone who produces more healthy or delicious food;
3) the cotton candy costs like $60 for a single serving;
4) the people who make the cotton candy treat their customers like retarded delinquents;
5) black people are only allowed to eat a special kind of watermelon-flavored cotton candy because, you know, those people have a thing for watermelons.

Other than that, I think CBI is just peachy.

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Postby BrokenSymmetry » Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:07 pm

unless their student union specifically funds CBI (as I know is the case with several programs.

There's a great deal I'm willing to tolerate for free airfare to far-flung locales. Whether I bother with CBI next year depends on the nationals host -- I certainly won't be coming for the buzzer races, Friday night matches, and restricted answer space worthy of Trivial Pursuit or a Chip Beal packet. "Maxwell's equations" and "Newton's second law" indeed.
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Postby grapesmoker » Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:14 pm

BrokenSymmetry wrote:There's a great deal I'm willing to tolerate for free airfare to far-flung locales. Whether I bother with CBI next year depends on the nationals host -- I certainly won't be coming for the buzzer races, Friday night matches, and restricted answer space worthy of Trivial Pursuit or a Chip Beal packet. "Maxwell's equations" and "Newton's second law" indeed.


I hear Auburn University is a real sham. Seriously, is it really worth your weekend even if it's free?
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Postby Dan Greenstein » Mon Apr 25, 2005 9:45 pm

Baron Jacobi wrote:lots of analogies between cotton candy and CBI


I nominate the above post for Post of the Year.
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Postby UFeng » Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:19 pm

As Eric Smith was asking at the tournament, can anything be done about this? Has anyone ever tried to do anything about this?


I've thought about this before, and come to the conclusion that if there's going to be a change, it has to come from the inside of CBI. Based on the things you mention and from what I've experienced at CBI tournaments (especially nationals), most of the problems originate because there's a lack of respect for the players. The bathroom thing is the most glaring example of this- since I've been in the first grade, never have I been anywhere (except when security reasons dictated it) where my movements to the restroom controlled. They insist on treating grown adults like 5 year olds, and all thats going to do is continue to alienate people.

As for the questions-- nothings ever going to change. Its one thing for a tournament editor to throw in topics he likes but every year there's always 3-5 questions on Mike Decker's favorite authors, who are obscure except for the fact that they're Mike Decker's favorite authors. Throw in CBIs committment to meaningless "diversity" questions and the meaningless increases.

As for question difficulty theres no need to start asking about Richard M. Johnson or similar topics, but making sure each question had two clues would go along way towards improving the questions.
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Postby Chris Frankel » Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:01 pm

I post this as a curious person who has only seen sample CBI questions and never played in a IM, Regional, tournament (though I did play almost exclusively Chip stuff in HS, but that's besides the point).

Although a lot of the results of CBI Nationals can be explained by the lack of a quality field, due to boycotting by the vast majority of top players, one can't outright dismiss the quality of the field this year since ~top 5 teams like Illinois and Rochester and solid second tier teams like Stanford showed up at full strength. In this sense, watching a team like Minnesota, who couldn't even get past the bottom bracket with full strength teams at ICT's 2004-2005, win a repeat championship is absolutely baffling.

Obviously the structuring of CBI's questions is known for producing random and unpredictable results (e.g. Valdosta State??? beating Illinois and Truman State going in as the #1 playoff seed), but how is it that a team like Minnesota can have such a huge rift in ability across two versions of quiz bowl that aren't exponentially different (let's forget the fact that they avoid ACF and circuit tournaments, so as not even to provide a basis for comparison). I mean, we all can cite examples of 75 PPG CBI speed players who go to total shit on academic questions requiring deep knowledge, but I'd be interested in opinions from people with across the board experience in how these things occur.
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Postby steven-lamp » Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:25 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
BrokenSymmetry wrote:There's a great deal I'm willing to tolerate for free airfare to far-flung locales. Whether I bother with CBI next year depends on the nationals host -- I certainly won't be coming for the buzzer races, Friday night matches, and restricted answer space worthy of Trivial Pursuit or a Chip Beal packet. "Maxwell's equations" and "Newton's second law" indeed.


I hear Auburn University is a real sham. Seriously, is it really worth your weekend even if it's free?


Auburn's a pretty good party college town, but if you're playing matches Friday night and stuff, then that kind of sucks.
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Postby NotBhan » Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:15 am

Chris Frankel wrote:Obviously the structuring of CBI's questions is known for producing random and unpredictable results (e.g. Valdosta State??? beating Illinois ... ) ...


Valdosta State had Mitch Alday, formerly of Berry College, and Mikey Alday, formerly of Bainbridge, so they did have a couple of players with experience on the regular qb circuit. (Still, that's not a team which would be expected to beat Illinois's A team in another format.)

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Postby Matt Weiner » Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:56 am

To Bruce and those thinking along those lines: If you simply prefer shorter questions with more trash/general knowledge/current events in a timed format, then there is a format that you can play that has little or none of the petty condescencion, inherently unfair playoff formats, insane cost, archaic eligibility rules, random tournament sites, fixed matches, actions meeting the legal definition of fraud, recycled questions, delusions that there are cameras present, first-time moderators in nearly every game, and circle-jerking "every staff member gives every other staff member an award complete with soporific speech" 3-hour awards ceremonies that CBI has. It's called NAQT. (I am absolutely not saying that NAQT's questions are as bad as CBI's, just that they offer certain things that CBI offers but ACF does not such as timed games, lots of trash, etc). Format preference is no reason to play CBI, and in fact this issue rises above format. If someone wrote a perfect ACF set but charged thousands of dollars for it, pre-determined certain match outcomes, and wouldn't let me use the restroom, I wouldn't play that either and I doubt most ACF partisans would say different.
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Postby quizbowllee » Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:21 am

steven-lamp wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
BrokenSymmetry wrote:There's a great deal I'm willing to tolerate for free airfare to far-flung locales. Whether I bother with CBI next year depends on the nationals host -- I certainly won't be coming for the buzzer races, Friday night matches, and restricted answer space worthy of Trivial Pursuit or a Chip Beal packet. "Maxwell's equations" and "Newton's second law" indeed.


I hear Auburn University is a real sham. Seriously, is it really worth your weekend even if it's free?


Auburn's a pretty good party college town, but if you're playing matches Friday night and stuff, then that kind of sucks.


Steven - I'm pretty sure that the reference is to last year's CBI Nationals, which was held not at Auburn, but at Auburn-Montgomery...

Which, being a Montgomerian yourself, you should know sucks.
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Postby PRStoetzer » Tue Apr 26, 2005 2:16 pm

I enjoyed CBI nationals. Seattle is a great city and the weather most of the time was great. We had all of our expenses paid by the University Activities Board and our campus bookstore and received a $38 per diem for expenses (which we did not use up). With our quiz bowl organization's fund, there is no way we could have attended NAQT or ACF nationals and regionals probably would have used most of our money. Certainly CBI questions are not great, but I don't find them nauseating either. One thing I didn't like is no provision for a buzzer malfunction. My buzzer malfunctioned for the second time in one game and I yelled "BUZZ" and was not recognized. Luckily my team got both of those questions.

I would like to hear more about the allegations of fixed matches, however. I certainly didn't see anything that resembled that.
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Postby grapesmoker » Tue Apr 26, 2005 2:58 pm

PRStoetzer wrote: We had all of our expenses paid by the University Activities Board and our campus bookstore and received a $38 per diem for expenses (which we did not use up).


Here, I think, is one of the major problems that I have with CBI. Basically, they produce a shoddy product but because of their veneer of legitimacy (boy howdy, we're the College Bowl Corporation!) universities are far more willing to fund CBI-related activities than NAQT- or ACF- related ones. I really don't know what to do about this. CBI has a stranglehold on colleges with its ACUI connections and it's not at all clear to me if it's even possible to break through that wall.

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Postby STPickrell » Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:43 pm

Many moons ago, NAQT was mulling whether to make a bid for the ACU-I contract. What became of that, or am I just a senile old man that should go back to writing high school questions?

Regarding the Baron's post about "watermelon flavored cotton candy": the HBCU's decided, on their own, to restrict non-HCASC participation.

It was a decision with which I disagreed, but it is certainly their right, given that HCASC schools receive lots of lucre for their participation in HCASC, and as such HCASC is the primary motivator.

I do wish CBI could write enough questions so that HBCU's could participate in both HCASC and CBI if they so chose, but I'm not sure what the risk/reward ratio would be therein. I'm honestly not sure whether CBI have returned to profitability; or was my reading of John Sheahan posting CBI's BK filing another delusion from the haze?

Unless, of course, CBI were lying when they explained the reason for the Ban (and I am not entirely discounting this possibility, but find it highly unlikely.) There is also a chance that CBI also whispered in the HBCU's collective ears to discourage them from entering the mainstream circuit, although Tom Michael [edited name] has documented some examples of rudeness from circuit regulars towards HBCU's.

I would defer to Tom and Charlie Steinhice for the pro-CBI point of view, and to members of the 1995 (?) U-VA team and other people who've been rudely treated by CBI for the anti-CBI point of view.
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Postby steven-lamp » Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:13 pm

quizbowllee wrote:
steven-lamp wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
BrokenSymmetry wrote:There's a great deal I'm willing to tolerate for free airfare to far-flung locales. Whether I bother with CBI next year depends on the nationals host -- I certainly won't be coming for the buzzer races, Friday night matches, and restricted answer space worthy of Trivial Pursuit or a Chip Beal packet. "Maxwell's equations" and "Newton's second law" indeed.


I hear Auburn University is a real sham. Seriously, is it really worth your weekend even if it's free?


Auburn's a pretty good party college town, but if you're playing matches Friday night and stuff, then that kind of sucks.


Steven - I'm pretty sure that the reference is to last year's CBI Nationals, which was held not at Auburn, but at Auburn-Montgomery...

Which, being a Montgomerian yourself, you should know sucks.


Yep, Montgomery sucks the big one. I'll be glad to get outta here.
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Postby Captain Sinico » Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:49 pm

StPickrell wrote:Tom Michaels [sic] has documented some examples of rudeness from circuit regulars towards HBCU's.

In the interest of accuracy, what he did was post a single anecdote about a single incident alleged to have occured ten or more years ago in his post that won the Internet.

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Postby jonpin » Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:28 pm

BrokenSymmetry wrote:There's a great deal I'm willing to tolerate for free airfare to far-flung locales. Whether I bother with CBI next year depends on the nationals host...

According to CBI's website, next year's nationals are at the University of Hartford, and they're looking to put 2007 somewhere in the middle of the country.
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Postby STPickrell » Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:05 pm

ImmaculateDeception wrote:
StPickrell wrote:Tom Michaels [sic] has documented some examples of rudeness from circuit regulars towards HBCU's.

In the interest of accuracy, what he did was post a single anecdote about a single incident alleged to have occured ten or more years ago in his post that won the Internet.

MaS


In the interest of further accuracy, he posted another anecdote about another incident that occurred in the past few years and explains why that particular HBCU no longer attends circuit tournaments. Granted it is only two, as it is rather difficult for Tom, or any of us, to track down every single HBCU and find out what happened.

His third example is merely a hypothetical, and as such cannot be counted.

I surely hope you are not saying rosaparks54 acted appropriately on the Y! board.
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Postby Captain Sinico » Wed Apr 27, 2005 6:59 pm

StPickrell wrote:I surely hope you are not saying rosaparks54 acted appropriately on the Y! board.


Yeah, nice loaded non-sequitur, there. I surely hope you are not saying that CBI's questions aren't terrible by any reasonable assessment, or trying to derail this thread by bogging it down in old issues with HCBU's, which are tangential at best (except look out, because I'm clearly using disguised racist language! Oh me, who won't I hate?)

Moreover, it seems a bit suspect to me, at least, to relate an anonymous story claiming that “A moderator whose name we didn't bother to learn, from a tournament we or you are not willing to mention, permanently drove us from the circuit by saying things that we don’t recall exactly and that are vaguely unacceptable for some reason, probably racism.â€
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Postby creed_of_hubris » Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:39 pm

Chris Frankel wrote:
Although a lot of the results of CBI Nationals can be explained by the lack of a quality field, due to boycotting by the vast majority of top players, one can't outright dismiss the quality of the field this year since ~top 5 teams like Illinois and Rochester and solid second tier teams like Stanford showed up at full strength. In this sense, watching a team like Minnesota, who couldn't even get past the bottom bracket with full strength teams at ICT's 2004-2005, win a repeat championship is absolutely baffling.


Stanford was one tossup away from knocking Minnesota out from the loser's bracket. We were one tossup away from wiping them out in the first playoff game.

Our fastest-on-the-buzzer player had to leave Seattle early and couldn't play in the finals. But that's really not the reason they won.

They know their US Presidents, US geography, US history, and US television personalities cold, and they're fast as hell. They're apparently *coached* on how to beat CBI. Their bonus conversion is adequate (~75%, vs. Stanford and us at ~90%), and that's all you need when you're winning all the speed checks.

The first tossup of the finals was on "Lima Beans". Tossups on "anagrams" and "Kentucky Derby Winners" (not triple crown winners, but Kentucky Derby winners) were also among my favorites. They also got three spelling bonus parts in the finals.

CBI:

had more questions on 20th century popes than on non-western religions
had more questions on US presidents named Harrison than about Japan and China
had more questions on food products than on social science
had more questions on syndicated newspaper columnists than on Shakespeare & Milton
had more questions on currently-living television journalists than on currently-living world leaders

--Fred
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Postby NoahMinkCHS » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:45 pm

So I wasn't going to post in this thread -- I don't know much about circuit QB and I don't have much college experience, CBI or otherwise. Let everyone else hash it out. And I really didn't want to get involved on the HBCU thing...

But I had a thought, one that -- oddly enough -- came to me at an NAQT high school tournament. It's always evident -- especially in HSQB, where the gulf is much wider -- which teams haven't practiced, don't prepare, are just doing it to do it.... and which teams consistently perform well because they work at it. (The same thing seems to happen in college, though I figure that, on the whole, people at least put something into it, because it takes work to get a club going, put money in the bank, write packets (if need be), and all that stuff that you don't do in high school, where the coach and the school run the show and pay the bills.)

So what's that got to do with CBI? Well -- and I'm sure y'all will correct me if I'm wrong -- I think CBI (at least at one time) had a much different audience than NAQT or ACF, and not just in level-of-hardcoreness.

Look at how CBI works -- it starts with a mandatory intramural tournament! To me, that says that (again, at least in the beginning) the assumption is there's no "College Bowl Club" that goes and plays at dozens of events every year. The assumption, I think, is that a quick recall game would be a fun activity for the student union (i.e., ACU-I members) to host, would get people involved in something at least vaguely academic, and would let schools compete with each other. So you get a group together -- your friends, your fraternity, your roommates -- and play to win a prize or a trip. Maybe you study a little, brush up on some current events, or maybe not.

If that's the model you're working with, you, as a business, aren't going to ask "hard stuff". Nobody's gonna read the Bhagavad Gita for a trivia contest... but we all know about John Paul II and Cokie Roberts.

On the other hand, consider ACF-type stuff. For people who spend a lot of time and energy working at quiz bowl, it's incredibly rewarding to get a tossup on something difficult or obscure, well beyond general knowledge or even a well-educated person. Even in high school, that stuff came up and was fun to get.

But that won't play at a campus tournament. You could hold one, and nobody would come back. Final scores of 10 to -5 ensure that.

But take the guy who powered a ten-line tossup on a 14th century Korean poet and ask him a 3-liner about "soup" and he'll be just as out of his element.

So while I won't go so far to say CBI isn't even the same game as ACF (that idea didn't work for me either), I do think it's a different audience. Not on the scale of company softball vs. the major leagues, but the same principle. At least in theory.

Of course, now, many schools DO have quiz bowl clubs. Who do take it seriously and practice and write and run and attend invitationals and other formats. And if those clubs choose to participate (not always a choice, I know) in College Bowl, they have to know it's not the same as NAQT and ACF. (Not that working won't help -- after all, I know a good many teams at both Nationals and our Regionals do have clubs that play other formats. Like ours, shocked though you may be.)

So am I saying, "shut up, cbi r0x! acf bl0ws hard! yeahhhhh!" No. But I am saying that I think that CBI and the pyramidial formats are designed to test different areas of knowledge in different ways. Does that mean one is more or less legitimate than the other? I don't think so. I think an argument can certainly be made that ACF/NAQT test deeper academic knowledge. I don't think one can say that that's necessarily "better" -- though, of course, it will be more or less enjoyable for certain people.

I don't expect this to win the thread or anything. And that other post already won the Internet anyway, so I mean, nothing really left anyway. But I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents, value-sized.

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Speaking on behalf of no one other than myself -- and depending on response, maybe not even that. :wink:


A little postscript disclaimer: I'm not saying that CBI is all fluffy, "what every college kid should know [other than beer]" stuff. I'm not saying CBI rewards laziness. Some of their questions would fit in to an NAQT packet without much problem, and I'm sure preparation helps. (The right kind, though; it's gotta be the kind of stuff they ask, which may or may not fit into other formats.)

Regardless of what many of y'all may have heard, it's not ALL bad. But yeah -- as with anything, parts are. For example, I'm also not a fan of stuff like variable bonus values or one-line/stupid questions -- it would be no less accessible with that stuff gone, and I think a much better and fairer game. But I don't run that show any more than I run NAQT, which is not at all. So all we can do is leave feedback and hope.

And a PPS -- I knew :chip: . I met :chip: . And you, Mr. CBI, are no :chip: . (Just a reminder.)
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Postby ezubaric » Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:16 pm

NoahMinkCHS wrote:I do think it's a different audience. Not on the scale of company softball vs. the major leagues, but the same principle. At least in theory.


I think that it goes beyond that. If you look at an intramurals packet from NAQT, you'll see easier questions, far more general knowledge information, etc. It would look very much (in terms of difficulty and general subject matter) as a CBI packet.

I think that the salient difference would be that the NAQT questions are pyramidal, make it clear what the answer is going to be and not things like "Norway has fjords, pirates visit fjords, and pirates can't be trusted ... QUACK, QUACK, spell Quisling." (Not all NAQT questions are perfect, but they at least aim for those qualities.)
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Postby Captain Sinico » Sun May 01, 2005 7:11 am

NoahMinkCHS wrote:If that's the model you're working with, you, as a business, aren't going to ask "hard stuff". Nobody's gonna read the Bhagavad Gita for a trivia contest... but we all know about John Paul II and Cokie Roberts.

I challenge this assumption. I neither know nor care to know who or what Cokie Roberts is. Research indicates she’s someone who's in television news. Television is terrible, and I’m glad I don’t own one.
My point here is that there are, in fact, a lot of people in the world who just don't care or know about all these things that question writers, evidently, think everyone does. In this way, CBI is no different at all from any other format; it simply selects a certain set of things, and decides to reward that. The decision whether they’ve chosen a good set or no is a matter of personal reflection.

NoahMinkCHS wrote:…take the guy who powered a ten-line tossup on a 14th century Korean poet and ask him a 3-liner about "soup" and he'll be just as out of his element.

This situation is telling and typical in that this hypothetical guy doesn't exist. That is because the question you're citing as typical of... some format with "impossible" questions and powers... has never existed. On the other hand, all of the ridiculous CBI answers suggested (including "soup," which I'm assuming you just made-up, but is an answer in at least one CBI packet I've heard) have actually occurred. While it can be fun to beat straw men around… well, you know.
I challenge your assumption here, again. What is there in actual academic quizbowl that's so damn hard? Please try to keep in mind that I’m talking about actual quizbowl now, not whatever asks about 14th century Korean poets or whatever else. Look at, say, ACF Fall, or a novice set. What is so hard about the answers to those questions?
You and I both know that the answer is "nothing much" and the real difference is that these questions don't allow the less knowledgeable, less prepared, less experienced, less studied (in short, less good and less deserving) team to win as frequently. I contend that CBI questions do and do by design.
I further challenge your claim (if made realistic; I’ve powered questions on hard things, but only ones that actually have been asked about.) I do well on almost all kinds of questions on all levels, even CBI. In fact, I believe the highest I ever placed in individual scoring at a national tournament was at this year’s NCT. I was right in the middle of my element; I simply hated being there.

NoahMinkCHS wrote:...I am saying that I think that CBI and the pyramidial formats are designed to test different areas of knowledge in different ways. Does that mean one is more or less legitimate than the other? I don't think so. I think an argument can certainly be made that ACF/NAQT test deeper academic knowledge. I don't think one can say that that's necessarily "better" -- though, of course, it will be more or less enjoyable for certain people.

CBI tests primarily guessing and luck. Knowledge is tested only incidentally, implicitly, and imperfectly as it is necessary to make a good guess. Moreover, the knowledge one needs to make a good guess is of "things CBI asks about," and, in fact, knowing other things (knowing more) will almost certainly hurt you there.
I contend that it is almost impossible to win a high-level CBI match without guessing and being lucky, because there aren't enough clues to let anyone get a lot of questions early by actually knowing things (again, other than "CBI always asks about ____, so I'll guess that" which, if it counts, shouldn't.)
The thing that convinced me of this more than anything was my own experience of CBI. When I decided to simply guess off the first clue if I had any good idea in the last two matches of the nationals, I almost doubled my neg total from the previous 13 rounds, and my team obtained two lopsided victories over better-ranked teams, mostly because I started getting whole boatloads of tossups. I apologized after almost every one, and continue to do so; I deserved almost none of those tossups.

NoahMinkCHS wrote:Regardless of what many of y'all may have heard, it's not ALL bad. But yeah -- as with anything, parts are.

In spite of what you claim, CBI questions would not fit elsewhere because they are so clue-poor (even setting to one side all their other problems, such as answer selection, clue ordering, length, relevence of answer, etc.) They have generally one or two uniquely identifying clues, at most. This, again, is intentional; it rewards guessing and allows players who know less to win frequently, and besides allows questions to be written more quickly and cheaper (I'm sure this is so they can be vetted by 12 people with IQ’s I can’t even count because they’re so high, and then be obviously wrong anyway.)
The point is, I would reject as substandard or heavily edit every single tossup from every CBI packet I've ever heard if it were submitted to a tournament I were editing at any level (from high school to college-and-after masters.) I'm quite certain I'm not alone in that. CBI questions are systematically terrible, and intentionally so.

CBI questions are systematically terrible, and intentionally so,
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Postby creed_of_hubris » Sun May 01, 2005 11:19 pm

CBI's lit tossups were pretty good. Maybe I'm biased because that was the only category where I was consistently able to outbuzz people through knowledge. It's sad, really, because it means that Mr. Decker is able to write pyramidal tossups, but chooses not to.

Oh, I forgot my favorite CBI bonus: 30-20-10, name the Bohemian Saint.

thought process: "Well, they didn't canonize Jan Hus, they killed him and destroyed his remains. Can this be the long-awaited appearance of St. John Nepomuk into quizbowl?" Answer: no.

But really, CBI is not made for people who can name multiple Bohemian saints.

It's made for people who buzz in on

"It's a type of sherry..." with "Amontillado". While I'm sitting there running through types of sherry.

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Postby Matt Weiner » Mon May 02, 2005 1:38 am

The fictitious straw-man version of ACF that only exists in online arguments is still better than CBI.
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Postby NoahMinkCHS » Mon May 02, 2005 6:04 pm

::not trying to start another back and forth::

Matt Weiner wrote:The fictitious straw-man version of ACF that only exists in online arguments is still better than CBI.
I have to disagree there. The pretend ACF is at least as bad as CBI for most of us. As for the real thing... I'm getting there.

ImmaculateDeception wrote:I challenge this assumption. I neither know nor care to know who or what Cokie Roberts is. Research indicates she’s someone who's in television news. Television is terrible, and I’m glad I don’t own one.
I'm not sure how surprising that is, if at all. But most of us do own TVs. Whether that's a legitimate topic for academic quiz bowl has been and will be discussed probably as long as we have the game. But my contention was merely that CBI aimed for the "general college student" audience that they feel (I think correctly, though I don't know) would better know TV newspeople than Eastern religious works. Is that how quiz bowl should be? You can decide that. I was just hazarding an explanation as to why I think they ask that.

ImmaculateDeception wrote:This situation is telling and typical in that this hypothetical guy doesn't exist. That is because the question you're citing as typical of... some format with "impossible" questions and powers...has never existed.
Fair enough. ACF doesn't have powers, and (admittedly) that was the target I had in my head. Further,

ImmaculateDeception wrote:I challenge your assumption here, again. What is there in actual academic quizbowl that's so damn hard? Please try to keep in mind that I’m talking about actual quizbowl now, not whatever asks about 14th century Korean poets or whatever else. Look at, say, ACF Fall, or a novice set. What is so hard about the answers to those questions?
You and I both know that the answer is "nothing much" and the real difference is that these questions don't allow the less knowledgeable, less prepared, less experienced, less studied (in short, less good and less deserving) team to win as frequently.

I actually did go look at some ACF sets -- 2004 Nationals, actually. In one packet, I had heard of nearly every answer and probably would have gotten it by the giveaway at least. The second packet I looked at...well, a different story entirely. Impossible? No -- had I practiced and worked at it, I'm sure I could be competitive on that too. But my original point was that CBI targets not the "professional" quiz bowler, but rather the hobbyist. Of course, now, most teams that make CBI Nats are probably much more than that (CBI pros as opposed to ACF pros) so that distinction is blurry. Incidentally, does making it accessible to "amateurs" require guessing to be a preferred strategy? I'd hope not. CBI has many flaws, and many of their questions are simply terrible.

(However, while I do agree pyramidial questions are the best tests of knowledge, and my favorites, I don't think they're necessarily the only legitimate questions. Hoses, of course, should be unacceptable, but short questions with one or two facts that turn into speed tests are not, innately, bad. Isn't speed, like knowledge, one of many components of quiz bowl that can be emphasized? If you don't want to play them, or feel they're against your idea of quiz bowl, that's your business.)

ImmaculateDeception wrote:The thing that convinced me of this more than anything was my own experience of CBI.
For that, I have to respect you. I've always supported the idea of "Don't knock it till you try it", especially on this board (where it's too often ignored), and if I violated that principle regarding ACF-type formats, then I should and do apologize. I appreciate that both Sudheer and MaS came, tried, and didn't like. While we don't totally agree, I respect their opinion much more than I would have had they never experienced what it is they're criticizing. (Though I realize that getting my respect is probably not high on their list of things to do.)

In the future, I know I'll be more careful to talk about formats, etc., that I've actually played. And hopefully, everyone else will do the same.
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Postby grapesmoker » Mon May 02, 2005 7:25 pm

NoahMinkCHS wrote:But my original point was that CBI targets not the "professional" quiz bowler, but rather the hobbyist. Of course, now, most teams that make CBI Nats are probably much more than that (CBI pros as opposed to ACF pros) so that distinction is blurry.


I think inadequate attention has been paid to this point. CBI is attractive in large part because you don't have to prepare very much to be good. To be good at ACF, you have to have real knowledge, while to be good at CBI, you just need to be able to find your ass really fast with one hand. If a team wants to win but doesn't want to put in the time, what format do you think they'll pick?

(However, while I do agree pyramidial questions are the best tests of knowledge, and my favorites, I don't think they're necessarily the only legitimate questions. Hoses, of course, should be unacceptable, but short questions with one or two facts that turn into speed tests are not, innately, bad. Isn't speed, like knowledge, one of many components of quiz bowl that can be emphasized? If you don't want to play them, or feel they're against your idea of quiz bowl, that's your business.)


In general, speed should only separate teams with equal amounts of knowledge. A more knowledgeable player should be able to get a question before a less knowledgeable player, and therefore questions with more clues allow a greater differentiation between teams. Since I'm of the opinion that quizbowl should primarily test knowledge, I'm generally inclined to say that excessive buzzer races are, in fact, bad.

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Postby Matt Weiner » Tue May 03, 2005 1:02 am

However, while I do agree pyramidial questions are the best tests of knowledge, and my favorites, I don't think they're necessarily the only legitimate questions. Hoses, of course, should be unacceptable, but short questions with one or two facts that turn into speed tests are not, innately, bad.


What I find frustrating about these discussions is that CBI proponents find it necessary to attack the very foundations of all other formats, while still claiming that CBI has a place in the NAQT-ACF universe. If CBI or its devotees really believe that "pyramidal questions are not the only legitimate questions" then they are so far off the beaten path of every other tournament that:

1) no one should complain when we note that CBI's relationship to regular quizbowl exists only in the sense that a relationship exists with Trivial Pursuit or Win Ben Stein's Money; ie, there are questions and answers involved, but the similarity stops there.

2) they are necessarily in opposition to tenets which are universally accepted by the wide spectrum of non-CBI players.

Either tossups need to reward depth of knowledge first, or they don't. It can't be both, and by arguing that CBI is legitimate, you necessarily imply that other formats, whose fundamental axioms are directly opposite to CBI's, are not. That is why it can never peacefully co-exist with normal tournaments in the way that NAQT and ACF can co-exist with each other.
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Postby quizbowllee » Tue May 03, 2005 11:21 am

I think this anecdote will speak volumes about why CBI questions suck:

Last year I played for Athens State University. After our "Campus Tournament" (which consisted of 4 players facing each other 1-on-1), I brought the extra questions to a practice of a middle school team that I coach.

I had my 6th graders, who had only been playing quiz bowl at the middle-school level for a few months (I'm talking 11-12 year olds here), play a few "mock" games against other middle schoolers AND against my teammates at Athens State.

The rounds were VERY close among all of these teams. I had one team of veteran middle schoolers, one team of above-average (no offense, guys) college players, and a team of 11 year olds that had hardly ever played before. I believe that the 8th graders won, followed by my Athens State teammates, and then the 6th graders - but the scores were very close.

This proves that somehow these questions are written in a matter that eliminates disparity between teams of varying experience. While this is totally crappy, I am a bit awed. It takes TALENT to write questions that totally level the playing field in that way... It has to be a conscience effort to make questions that bad.
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Postby suds1000 » Tue May 03, 2005 11:26 am

The funny thing about this whole discussion, which I started, is that it's irrelevant. Speaking to an older teammate last night after practice caused me to realize that CBI doesn't care about how "good" their questions are because they don't have to. They have a stranglehold on all of the non-circuit teams because they pre-date the circuit and have a never-ending source of money, aka the ACUI.

The only way to actually get CBI to alter either their general demeanor or their question quality would be to attack them where it hurts: the bank account. All they care about is making money, and so as long as they can keep university student unions in the dark about the now arguably unorthodox practices they use, they'll also have a stranglehold on basically all the money.

What I've been considering recently is writing to all of the teams who played only CBI this past year, and showing them old sets of ACF and NAQT packets to illustrate to them what else is out there. It's clearly up to them what sort of decision they might make on what to play, but maybe at worst they could show some things to their union directors or whatever, and try to paint an accurate picture of what's going on. Of course, this will definitely take at least several years to have any kind of impact, but I think that it's probably the best step that can be taken for the moment.

If anyone has any other suggestions on how to reach out to the quizbowl community at-large, post them here...I'm interested to hear what you guys have to say.
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Postby Scipio » Tue May 03, 2005 12:52 pm

I agree with Sudheer that this conversation is irrelevant, as most conversations about CBI are (and have been since the first one I saw, in 1994); I think its utility has only been that it has allowed sufferers to vent a little, and for that I certainly don't blame Potru for starting it, since my two experiences with CBI (1994 and 1995) left me with the burning desire to shout about its intrinsic horror as well.

I hate to sound as Jansenistic as I'm about to, but I'm afraid that there is ultimately nothing that the circuit at large can do about CBI beyond what it has already done: discontinue playing it and ignoring it (we can actually do that now; in the 1990s, even that was difficult, due to the fact that CBI repeatedly threatened lawsuits to attempt to have ACF and the circuit shut down). I think the occasional attempts to "reach out" to CBI teams are admorable but will ultimately be fruitless; for every one team who is enlightened and decides to give NAQT/ACF a spin, there will be twenty who won't. Besides, the internet is everywhere and and circuit quizbowl is well represented on it, so if they are curious, they'll find their way to us on their own. Likewise, I think the idea of breaking CBI's association with ACUI is also a worthy sentiment, but I fear it will never happen; ACF and NAQT both tried it, and unfortunately the Company's hold is too strong.

To those who haven't played CBI before, I offer the following word of advice: don't. The hyperbole hurled around on this board can occasionally be beyond excessive, but everyone who has spoken on this board is exactly right: the questions are flawed in every way possible, such that whether your taste is academic or trash, you will leave seething with fury. If you like pure academic questions, ACF will always be your best bet (even if many ACF tournaments can be too hard for your general taste, there are always tournaments like the Fall which are wholly academic without being inaccessible; download a set from their website, and I bet you'll agree); if you like some pop-culture and current events along with academic, and if you like timed games, go to NAQT; and if you like just trash, go to trash tournaments. Each of these formats has elements of what CBI claims are its strengths and each does them far better than CBI ever will (and I come from the rare position of having been to all four types of tournaments, so I know). Furthermore, none of these formats are anywhere near as costly, and they don't treat participants like children/second-class citizens.
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Postby Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Tue May 03, 2005 12:55 pm

suds1000 wrote:The only way to actually get CBI to alter either their general demeanor or their question quality would be to attack them where it hurts: the bank account. All they care about is making money, and so as long as they can keep university student unions in the dark about the now arguably unorthodox practices they use, they'll also have a stranglehold on basically all the money.

What I've been considering recently is writing to all of the teams who played only CBI this past year, and showing them old sets of ACF and NAQT packets to illustrate to them what else is out there. It's clearly up to them what sort of decision they might make on what to play, but maybe at worst they could show some things to their union directors or whatever, and try to paint an accurate picture of what's going on.


That sounds like an idea. While there are definitely teams out there that know full well what other formats there are and nevertheless choose CBI, certainly there are a number of teams that are simply in the dark.

Since there appear to be a decent number of circuit teams that to a man just don't like CBI, perhaps those programs could write a joint letter to all of their respective student unions that would air their grievances, perhaps petitioning for CBI funding to be diverted to legitimate quizbowl events. Such a collective effort would obviously have to be done carefully, but if it is done right maybe some unions would take action. Granted, most student unions seem to be unresponsive to such things, but I don't see the harm in trying.

One thing is for sure: if teams that dislike CBI grovel amongst themselves and don't let their student unions know about their dissatisfaction with CBI, their union will continue to pay CBI, which as has been stated is all they care about.
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Postby grapesmoker » Tue May 03, 2005 1:10 pm

suds1000 wrote:What I've been considering recently is writing to all of the teams who played only CBI this past year, and showing them old sets of ACF and NAQT packets to illustrate to them what else is out there. It's clearly up to them what sort of decision they might make on what to play, but maybe at worst they could show some things to their union directors or whatever, and try to paint an accurate picture of what's going on. Of course, this will definitely take at least several years to have any kind of impact, but I think that it's probably the best step that can be taken for the moment.


Berkeley ran a novice tournament this fall and attempted to lure CBI teams with a flyer that the Stanford folks handed out for us at the CBI Regionals. Through Stanford, we were told that this was totally cool with the CBI Region Coordinator, so we made this flyer and Stanford had it put into the teams' packets.

Guess how many teams came. I'll give you a hint: the answer rhymes with "hero."

Of course, I support any effort to undermine CBI's hegemony, but I don't have a lot of confidence in these efforts. If they resulted in three teams total deciding not to play CBI, that would be a tremendous success.


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Postby Matt Weiner » Tue May 03, 2005 1:10 pm

suds1000 wrote:What I've been considering recently is writing to all of the teams who played only CBI this past year, and showing them old sets of ACF and NAQT packets to illustrate to them what else is out there.


Bolding mine.

Of the CBI participants who do not already play ACF or NAQT, 99% of them are not "teams" in the sense that real quizbowl programs are. They're just four people who showed up to the student union's intramural for whatever reason and happened to win. Some regions are composed entirely of this sort of "team," so many of them end up at nationals. These type of "teams" don't have any institutional memory or permanent structure, so even if there is a way to contact them, they will have little idea what you're talking about and probably no interest in playing anything besides those 1-2 tournaments a year.

The big push to get CBI people to start real programs and start playing real tournaments happened in the mid-90s and I'm afraid that it's accomplished all that it ever will. New teams now come from schools that didn't play CBI before and actually bother to seek out real tournaments first (after which, of course, they find the idea of paying thousands of dollars to decide a national championship via a tossup on "anagrams" just as baffling as anyone else)--look at schools that have come on to the circuit in the last few years; I don't think any of them played CBI.

The only thing we can do now is make sure CBI's divorce from real quizbowl is complete, so we can spend as little time worrying about CBI not having proper NAQT or ACF tossups as we do about Trivial Pursuit not having proper NAQT or ACF tossups; i.e., none, because of the total irrelevance of the question. Teams that used to play NAQT and ACF and are still aware of it, but find it necessary to attend and defend CBI because they think they need random outcomes and gutted fields to do well: Stop! Everyone is laughing at you! Learn something about important topics that you should be learning in college anyway and go to a real tournament! Teams that still play real tournaments but also send people to CBI: Stop! These people are horribly unethical morons. You're endorsing a ridiculous drain on the circuit's resources as well as throwing in your lot with people who think racial segregation, fixed matches, and roping in teams through fraudulent offers of prizes that they never intended to give out are great ideas.
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Postby LarryHorse » Tue May 03, 2005 3:00 pm

I thought I had a post here but I guess it was just my imagination.
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Postby No Rules Westbrook » Wed May 04, 2005 2:25 am

Just to add wholehearted (and probably wholly superfluous since I've never played CBI, but am familiar with the questions) agreement with all of what Weiner said - just don't play CBI. Nothing good can ever come of it. It is the responsibility of anyone who takes the accumulation of quiz bowl knowledge (whether academic or not) seriously to reject a company that spits at such an endeavor. I'd compare my feelings on the legitimacy and purpose of CBI to that of Jeopardy, but on second thought, it's more like celebrity Jeopardy (or Teen Jeopardy...or Kids Week...or Mongoloid Jeopardy...whatever).

Of course, the real answer is to find a millionaire willing to fund quiz bowl as it was meant to be played - as a professional national circuit.
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Postby Nathan » Wed May 04, 2005 7:35 pm

to partially second Matt's remarks:
I don't comprehend the basic premise of this discussion: if there is one.

CBI, is an activity, a chance-dependent game -- like many others.
It's just not quizbowl. They're not the same thing and shouldn't be compared.
If someone wants to play both, who cares? I play qb, poker, chess and various athletic endeavours...I'm sure (hope) that every other qb'er has other outside hobbies/activities.

If someone only wants to play CBI (like most of the phantom qb community at large)...let them. they obviously wouldn't enjoy qb.

CBI's questions are not terrible in the slightest. They're actually very good. The point of CBI, as far as can be determined from their website, etc. is to have parity between teams from across the country, with a great deal of chance-determined "surprise" or "upset" outcomes, accessible questions and fast-paced play and most of all -- it was and is intended to be, a spectator sport.
That is what CBI is intended to be and what it does quite well. now, that doesn't interest me in the slightest. but others it does, big whoop.

for those of you who think ACF Fall or NAQT SCT questions are "accessible" to the average college student -- you're full of crock.
qb is an elitist (not a pejorative in my lexicon), idiosyncratic activity that is not and never will be, a spectator sport. the television networks and the ACU will not come calling if only they could see the light. in actuality, qb is intensely boring to watch unless you're personally involved with the competition in some way. and there's nothing wrong with that.

my 3 cents.
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Postby Matt Weiner » Wed May 04, 2005 10:36 pm

Chess clubs don't drain funds from quizbowl clubs, or claim to award a national quizbowl championship, or keep every HBCU off the circuit through a mandatory segregation whose very recent ending has left us with many years of misinformation to overcome in order to get those schools involved. It's not comparable.
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