ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Old college threads.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby joenguyen90 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:02 am

Hello all! Sorry for the fairly late announcement, but as is tradition, we will host our fourth annual house-written trash tournament on Sunday, January 29, 2012. This will be held the day after Penn Bowl. This tournament will be a regular difficulty trash tournament that should be accessible to casual players, but at the same time fun and entertaining for the more competitive members of the trash community (refer to past versions of Penn Bowl Trash in Wastebin). We intend to provide at least 12 rounds of play. This will be a completely house-written tournament, so no freelance packets are needed.

Registration:
Please send information (# teams, # buzzers, etc.) to joenguyen90@gmail.com.

Basic Fees/Discounts:
$100/team
$5 discount/buzzer
$5 discount/moderator
minimum fee: $0

Distribution:
20/20 Total
4/4 Sports
4/4 Movies
4/4 TV
4/4 Music
2/1 or 1/2 Video Games
1/0 or 0/1 Comics
2/2 other (This will include a mix of food, consumerama, internet fads, trash lit, and questions which combine multiple elements of the distribution)

We are also accepting bids for mirrors of this tournament. If you are interested in running a mirror, e-mail me at joenguyen90@gmail.com. Additionally, if you have any questions, feel free to send me an e-mail or just post in the thread. Information on day-of-tournament logistics will come later.

Field Update:
NYU (2 teams, 1 buzzer)
UVA (1 buzzer, 1 mod)
Dartmouth
Maryland (2-3 teams)
Delaware (2 teams)
George Mason (1 buzzer)
Ohio State

Mirrors:
Northwestern - 2/12/12
McMaster - TBD
Cedar Shoals - TBD
Last edited by joenguyen90 on Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:01 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby Edward Lansdale » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:52 pm

NYU will be bringing 2-3 teams as well.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (POSTPONED)

Postby joenguyen90 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:46 am

Apologies to those who have already shown interest in attending Penn Bowl Trash on Jan. 29th, but we will likely postpone hosting our tournament at UPenn to a later date that better accommodates all teams interested in playing. This postponement should not affect the sites that have asked to mirror Penn Bowl Trash later on. Sorry for any inconvenience.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (POSTPONED)

Postby Demonic Leftovers » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:15 am

How set in stone is this postponement? UVA was planning to send a team but wouldn't be able to make any other dates. It would be good if this was finalized soon because it affects our travel and hotel plans.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (POSTPONED)

Postby The Laughing Cavalier » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:46 am

dseal wrote:How set in stone is this postponement? UVA was planning to send a team but wouldn't be able to make any other dates. It would be good if this was finalized soon because it affects our travel and hotel plans.


Well, it doesn't so much affect them as make them wasteful. I've already made reservations they won't let me cancel.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (POSTPONED)

Postby Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:55 am

Yeah, frankly this is pretty lame. Have you sent individual emails to the teams attending the main Penn Bowl site to see if they're staying for trash? Maryland, for one, generally seems interested in that. Either way, I object that you're pretty much screwing us here by moving the tournament 8 days before it's supposed to run.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (POSTPONED)

Postby Cheynem » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:09 am

This is clearly a move to prevent trash national champion David Seal from playing and winning the finals by one-lining a tossup on "Fenster."

In seriousness, how many more teams were you expecting with the later date? It sounds like you've got 7-8 teams already.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (POSTPONED)

Postby Chimango Caracara » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:09 pm

Dartmouth was planning to field one team since we'll be there for Penn Bowl but if it's postponed we likely wouldn't be able to come.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (POSTPONED)

Postby joenguyen90 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:02 pm

Perhaps this postponement was too hasty. I was VERY worried that only two schools had shown interest in playing with about a week left before PBT4, and because reserving rooms for hosting at Williams Hall is not cheap, I did not want to squander what was left of our meager funds due to a former quizbowler being MIA (honestly, if anyone has seen Mehdi Razvi, please let us know). However, seeing that more teams are serious about playing trash a week from this Sunday, it may be better for it to be not postponed. For now, PBT4 should go on as scheduled on Jan. 29th, but I DESPERATELY need teams to register ASAP if they want to play. Send me an e-mail with the number of teams and buzzers, and I'll update the field by the end of the weekend.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (POSTPONED)

Postby Frater Taciturnus » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:38 pm

joenguyen90 wrote:Perhaps this postponement was too hasty. I was VERY worried that only two schools had shown interest in playing with about a week left before PBT4, and because reserving rooms for hosting at Williams Hall is not cheap, I did not want to squander what was left of our meager funds due to a former quizbowler being MIA (honestly, if anyone has seen Mehdi Razvi, please let us know). However, seeing that more teams are serious about playing trash a week from this Sunday, it may be better for it to be not postponed. For now, PBT4 should go on as scheduled on Jan. 29th, but I DESPERATELY need teams to register ASAP if they want to play. Send me an e-mail with the number of teams and buzzers, and I'll update the field by the end of the weekend.


Yeah this is a problem that happens when people dont sign up for tournaments until the last minute. Don't make TDs assume you are going to sign up at some point, please please please proactively register for things in advance (and not just for this tournament, for all the tournaments).
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Still on Jan. 29th!!!)

Postby Matt Weiner » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:45 pm

I thought Eric promised there would be no more Penn Bowl trash after trash capture killed the Penn team last year? Anyone remember this?
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Still on Jan. 29th!!!)

Postby DumbJaques » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:36 pm

Assuming this tournament isn't postponed, Maryland should have 2-3 teams.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Still on Jan. 29th!!!)

Postby btressler » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:09 pm

Ditto Chris' assumption -- Delaware is bringing two teams.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Still on Jan. 29th!!!)

Postby joenguyen90 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:42 pm

Last call for anyone interested in playing Penn Bowl Trash this Sunday. For teams that already registered, let me know the final count of teams/buzzers/mods that you are bringing ASAP.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby joenguyen90 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:23 pm

It will be a 9 AM start for the tournament tomorrow. Meet in Williams Hall.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby marnold » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:35 am

Hey look, this shit is a fucking mess too!
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby Gonzagapuma1 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:12 am

Penn Bowl Trash is now on Twitter!
- www.twitter.com/PennBowlTrash
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby marnold » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:11 pm

This is basically a disaster beyond comprehension.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby Cheynem » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:26 pm

It seems like the common thread between yesterday and today is Marnold, who I assume broke Penn Bowl.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby marnold » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:21 pm

We (uva + me) ended up winning this debacle, finishing 6-1 (implausibly exhausting the supply of packets at this shitshow). I don't know if a marnold-smash would accomplish anything (even if nothing is served by it, there might be one anyway), but for now suffice it to note this was the worst tournament I've ever been at by a huge margin.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby something similarly dumb » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:23 pm

If the Twitter feed did not appropriately express my feelings on this tournament, it was not good. It was very bad. It made Penn Bowl proper seem fine.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby nvijay » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:53 pm

I'm going to try to avoid the temptation to spew vitriol out of frustration of our poor performance at this tournament, and i'll get into more specifics when there is a subforum up, but there were a few key problems that I saw with this tournament.

1. Bonus variability- The PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH seemed to vary dramatically between giving a free 30 points for being alive, and asking bizarre questions that teams could barely get 10 on. It seemed like the concept of easy-medium-hard did not factor in to most of the questions. It was easy-easy-easy, or easy-hard-extremely hard, or some other combination. Of course the areas where you know less will seem harder to you than the areas where you know more. But i'm pretty sure these questions went beyond that.

2. Biographical clues in tossups- These aren't remotely fucking helpful at all. If it's something very distinctive and uniquely identifying, like the Elvis Costello tossup at last year's quizbowl mentioning how he got into a drunken argument with Stephen Stills and called James Brown the n-word, they're fine, but this tournament was wasting large amount of lines with bullshit that nobody knows about and was obviously taken willy-nilly from Wikipedia and then triggering buzzer races by actually giving a substantiative clue.

3. Organizational issues/lack of professionalism-I've been involved in a notable tournament clusterfuck (2010 SCT), so I have empathy with what Penn was going through, but this was ridiculous. How in the fuck does the person who makes the tournament announcement not even show up to their goddamn tournament? Do you think a tournament runs itself? I have empirical evidence from 2010 SCT that attempting to let a tournament run itself is an awful idea and usually ends up with you being made a mockery of and numerous refund demands. I don't know what kind of outside-quizbowl pressures the people outside the tournament had, but if you were in trouble, why didn't you ask for help or a delay? I know UVA was pissed about a possible delay of Trash because of their hotel reservation, but there are ways to compensate them for that, and it would be better than putting on the embarrassment that was today's tournament. If there was one thing we've learned about the 2010 SCT, being honest about your failings and asking for help are generally good things to do. There also seemed to be no attempt to figure out whether they had enough staff to run today, which resulted in a crisis that was only resolved when someone from our team volunteered to read. Where was any sort of organization beforehand? 12 rounds were promised in the initial announcement, which went down to 9 rounds without warning today because questions were being written for the second fucking day in a row during the middle of the tournament. Then that went down to 8 rounds being written total, which meant the tournament was 7 rounds with a finals packet, which of course meant that we could have had a tie again like yesterday. The symbolic moment had to be losing a round by five points because whoever wrote the videogames questions didn't even bother to put a powermark in a tossup, meaning the tossup was literally impossible to power. Why is this not caught? If there are powermark issues, just ditch them and make all tossups worth 10 points. Rooms for a second day in a row were again finishing rounds in hilariously variable amounts of time fucking up any opportunity to meeting accepted quizbowl standards of round completion. A tournament that had seven rounds total ended up finishing past 5pm! Paying for this tournament was like getting a used Toyota and having all four wheels fall off the car five miles from the lot. Of course we didn't even have an opportunity to pay for the tournament because everybody involved with Penn Quizbowl ditched the building like they just left a dead body in room 214 before we had the opportunity to collect our money together, which granted is somewhat our fault for not getting to an ATM earlier, but still it showed that nobody gave enough of a shit to collect money owed to them.

Overall this tournament is easily the worst tournament i've ever been to in my college career and i'm embarrassed for the Penn team. I know how the 2010 SCT shitshow completely fucked our reputation for a couple of years, so I can only imagine how having two in one weekend will affect Penn. I really hope that this packet can get fixed into reasonable shape before the mirror.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby Matt Weiner » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:02 am

When asked why Penn was writing Penn Bowl Trash when Penn Bowl was not finished/started, Eric assured me that the trash tournament had no impact on the academic tournament because it was written by people who weren't even on the Penn team and basically have no involvement with quizbowl.

It appears he was telling the truth.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby The Schopenhauer Power Hour » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:17 am

I was also very disappointed with this tournament for a number of reasons, most of which had to do with the lack or near-lack of essential tournament infrastructure. The questions had many substantial issues that were detrimental to the tournament quality, but having chosen this tournament over another obligation today, I was by far the most frustrated with the absence of questions themselves. Problems with completed questions will crop up in every set, and have done so in previous iterations of Penn Trash which I still very much enjoyed, but failing to have a complete tournament definitely made this partial set's other faults much harder to ignore.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby joenguyen90 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:30 am

Hello everyone,

Oh, boy. Where to begin?

I must say that I feel like the worst person in the world right now. I am absolutely heartbroken over the fact that we couldn't host a tournament that met the standards that we had established in previous years. I put in a lot of hard work, lost a lot sleep and missed time with my friends and family just to try to write for this tournament in time. I feel like shit for putting in this much effort and causing so many people to be so upset. That is not at all what I intended to do. The whole point of Ben and I starting a trash tournament after Penn Bowl was to let players have fun and unwind with some good trash. Needless to say, we failed miserably. Again, you have no idea how sorry I am that you had to go through what happened today. You did not deserve to go through this, and I truly send my deepest apologies.

Most importantly, the teams will be refunded for playing today. We hope that this is at least some consolation for going through what you did today. Your comments would be appreciated in fixing these packets for future mirrors.

To conclude, our organization of this tournament was reprehensible. We were rushed, unprepared, and not cooperative at all in this venture as we were with previous tournaments. We know that this is now a pretty deep scar on the reputation of Penn Quiz Bowl, but we hope our actions in the near future will at ameliorate at least some of the damage.

From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby nvijay » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:29 pm

Now that i got some sleep I am much more calm. I got out what i needed to get out, but at this point dwelling on what happened is not going to be productive. The focus now should be on making sure that the packets are in reasonable shape for the mirrors, and I am willing to give my feedback to help do that.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby The Laughing Cavalier » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:10 pm

To add some more general thoughts to what Neeraj said, it really is best to be up front with people about issues like those this tournament had. From the communication in this thread, it seemed like the only reason for delaying the tournament was the prospect of a relatively small field that soon turned out to not be the case. I know we'd have been much more understanding of a postponement if you guys legitimately didn't think the set could be finished on time and said that (though obviously I cannot read minds and perhaps you guys did think you could realistically finish it, only to have that not work out as intended). It sucks to admit that you can't deliver a promised product, but I think everyone would've been much more understanding of a postponement for that reason than unexpectedly playing the partial set we got yesterday.

This thread may not be the best place for this, but, if it could possibly be of some help to anyone out there, here are some things that didn't happen at either this tournament or the main event that all TDs would do well to at least keep in mind:

1. Have someone or a few people working closely together to be centrally in charge of logistics (someone to post and update an announcement here, someone for teams to register with, someone to take money and buzzers and make buzzer assignments the morning of, someone to be responsible for having a schedule, etc).
2. Email teams about your tournament. Asking Eric for contact addresses for all the people signed up for Penn Bowl, at minimum, would've helped eliminate the concerns this tournament initially had about a small field. Teams that don't check the forums, or, in the case of this tournament, the trash forum, regularly or even at all that would quite possibly like to attend your tournament are infinitely more likely to do so if you contact them directly.
3. Have scoresheets with you when you get to the tournament, or at least enough to get through a round or two while someone runs to a library or something and prints more.
4. Know for certain how much staff you have available and recruit staff if you know you may have issues. One of my teammates decided he'd rather staff the night before PB Trash, and without him and one of the GMU players, this tournament may not have been able to run at all. Always know that at least one staffer per room is going to show up. The time to be calling Penn players to see if they could come was as far in advance as possible, at the worst Saturday night, not when the tournament was supposed to be starting. Never assume that someone will be there if you haven't confirmed it.
5. Have a question set and an efficient means of distributing that set. Over email tends to be the fastest way to send out packets for an electronic tournament, but it's fine to use a flashdrive if you manage to do so expediently. As soon as staff arrives in the morning is a good time to work on that. I understand that it's not always possible to have a set completely done and polished and ready to go before a tournament starts (though obviously that situation should be avoided whenever possible), but getting the packets out more efficiently would probably have shaved 30 minutes off this event.
6. Get as much of the stats entered in advance of rebracketing time as humanly possible. When we got back from lunch, the scoresheets were unattended in a stack in 214. At at least one of the tournaments I ran at Gov, I ate lunch in 15 minutes or so to make sure all the remaining stats got entered before we'd need them. I know it's not always possible to have a dedicated statkeeper, but someone entering stats while waiting for teams to arrive in his room and/or catching up during lunch would also have saved a lot of time.
7. Have some semblance of a schedule in mind when you arrive. I've run 9 tournaments in my career and I'm still pretty bad at making schedules, so I know from experience that there are people out there willing to help you if you need it. Even if you don't necessarily have an experienced TD to personally contact, just a post on this board can garner some help. Dwight Wynne once made me a tournament format back in the day long before we'd met because I was stumped and posted here for assistance. Having schedules for the number of teams you think you'll have and a few backups for fewer teams in case of drops saves a lot of time and stress.
8. Printers are awesome and useful to have around if you can manage it. They can fix all manner of issues, including "oops, not enough scoresheets" and "uhoh, we need a new schedule". Asking people to write their schedule down can work, but it's much more prone to error and time-wasting than being able to hand people printed schedules when they arrive.
9. Clearly communicate when teams are supposed to be back from lunch. A specific time is much more helpful than "in an hour", for instance. I'm not sure if this tournament ran into any problems that way, but it generally helps to tell people "lunch will be after round x" during round x-1 and then tell people during round x when to be back in their game room for round x+1.
10. Have someone clearly taking money/writing invoices/distributing schedules. This person should be at the tournament HQ before teams are and should manage teams as they arrive. This cuts delays and makes sure you actually get paid. This person should also be verifying team-provided buzzers and staff and assigning them rooms.
11. Have people setting up buzzers as they arrive. I saw way too many Penn players hanging out in the hallway before the main event for it to have been ok for us not to have a buzzer set even placed in our first round game room when we got there and were ready to start.

That's all I can think of at the moment. This tournament seemed to be as unpleasant an experience for the Penn folks involved as everyone else, and I'm sorry we reacted so poorly to your announced postponement. However, I hope you can understand the importance of being clear about your situation, and I hope that this list can help someone prevent overlooking something important in the future.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby Masked Canadian History Bandit » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:15 am

There's a private discussion forum for this now.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby nvijay » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:04 pm

Do we need to message someone to get into the group?
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Penn Bowl Trash IV (Jan. 29th)

Postby Masked Canadian History Bandit » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:10 pm

nvijay wrote:Do we need to message someone to get into the group?

It's in the User Control Panel under the "usergroups" tab.
Patrick Liao
Lisgar Collegiate Institute '11, Penn '15
ONQBA Executive | HSAPQ Freelance writer
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Masked Canadian History Bandit
torrent of sunbursts
 
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