Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:Also, there is a history of people claiming that they dislike mACF because the format is too uniform/boring and then not taking advantage of opportunities to play good questions in a four-quarter format, or disliking good questions in a four-quarter format. HSAPQ produced some four-quarter sets, and, if I remember correctly, the teams that like good quizbowl preferred mACF, and the teams that like bad quizbowl preferred bad questions, so there was no market for those sets.
As a team that was brought up on Chip's four quarter format and finds NHBB's four quarter format to be very good, I do have a couple comments on the idea of HSAPQ's four quarter format.
Though I never played their four quarter format, just by looking at it, it appears that the set is only rather artificially four quarters. The format is:
Q1: 10 tossups
Q2: 10 tossups with 20pt bonuses
Q3: 10 questions "team rounds" (like 60 second rounds, without the 60 seconds)
Q4: 10 tossups
Quarters one and four are identical, and the tossups in quarter two are identical to those in quarter one, just with bonuses attached. Other than in quarter 3, there is very little variety in the game compared to other four quarter formats.
Questions Unlimited / NAC has the following format
Q1: 16 5 & 10 point tossups
Q2: 8 5 & 10 point tossups, though only enough are read to get to 4 5-10-15-20 point bonus rounds
Q3: 60 second rounds with 10 questions / 20 point bonus for sweeping
Q4: 20 15 & 20 point tossups (ostensibly harder than previous rounds)
Q1: 10 short, but pyramidal tossups
Q2: 10 longer pyramidal tossups with 15/10 power and 1-question bonuses
Q3: 60 second rounds with 8 questions / 20 point bonus for sweeping
Q4: 10 longest pyramidal tossups with 30/20/10 power
Each of these formats have four quarters which are entirely distinct from the other three, allowing for true variety in the games. Though there are many complaints to be made about the actual questions, etc. of the NAC format, it allows for a lot of diversity of game play, which can help to add a little bit of excitement to quizbowl, which, when done right (which I think the NHBB format does / would do better maybe without 60 second rounds depending on your opinion), can benefit the game by adding fun without sacrificing any fairness, etc. HSAPQ's four quarters just don't actually offer much variety, unlike these formats. (Also, I may have messed up on some of the numbers for the NHBB format, but the gist is certainly there)
Personally, I have found that long tournaments can sometimes be tiring to players, leading to a worsening of play (I saw this especially at the recent Hills West tournament where the one-sidedness of many games adding to the monotonousness of games) whereas I believe that even that slight quarterly change up in the game can help to add some "fun" (without "funn") into the game, and alleviate the potential for games to bore players.