Ulster Clay Pigeon Shooting Association wrote:Categories don't need to be made easier because no one is willing to learn about it. If you don't know literature, then you don't know literature. The category doesn't need to be made easier for you.
Then I don't think you can't accurately judge the difficulty of said category.
But this discussion isn't about me, or how hard I think things are; it's about accessibility for newbie teams. Again, freshmen in my school with no prior experience can get science tossups. They can't get literature, and for them fine arts has a conversion rate of about 0%. I'm only bringing up how hard I feel things are because my lit/fine arts/RMP knowledge is around the same level as a new team's (if not a bit better after going to a few tournaments).
Freshmen in my school can't get science tossups with or without prior experience unless the answer is "gravity". Not just freshmen, but my whole team really is abysmal at science because my school has a huge black hole (no pun intended) in the science department due to several reasons.
Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:Lit and fine arts tend to go dead more often than other subjects in matches between novice teams because novice teams sometimes have no knowledge at all about some of the most important writers, artists, and composers ever. This is a problem that cannot be solved.
If novice teams know so little about these subjects, why isn't the distro changed in novice tournaments? Or answer lines changed to match their ignorance? I mean, the only shapes that can be tossed up in HS math are circles and triangles, but that doesn't stop many good questions on them from being written.
The distribution probably doesn't deviate from the norm because the topics are still important to learn about not only for high school but regular high school quiz bowl at the "varsity" level. That's one mission behind quiz bowl, to inspire learning and reward it. I think it would be somewhat asinine to have the novice tournaments have questions that are 75%-100% juvenile literature and then bring those kids to regular tournaments and then their first experience at the regular tournament is "oh crap, why hasn't Superfudge come up yet but Keats, Shelley et al comes up?".
I don't consider myself to be pro, semi-pro or even MLG pro at quiz bowl, I'm a sophomore, but I don't think Fine Arts is a hard subject to learn and cover. It might be easy to learn because a lot of the people that come up in the Fine Arts spectrum are people you probably heard of before quiz bowl (i.e. J.S. Bach, Mozart, Van Gogh). What I think baffles a lot of new players when it comes to Fine Arts is the that its generally thought of as "ew classical music" and in some if not most cases, the arts are not adequately covered in school to the extent where you could be good at Fine Arts in quiz bowl.
The distribution in my opinion is fine as is. Your typical novice player might not be able to identify all twenty answer lines if they were just given the clues that follow "FTP", or they might not have heard of all twenty answer lines. They're novice for a reason. And they have team mates too that can fill in the gaps.
I don't think it'd be easy to write the answer lines easier in a particular category to match the presumed "ignorance" of the players who'll play it. I mean, do you think you could write forty-eight literature tossups (four literature tossups per packet, in a twelve packet set) that were as easy as "Uncle Tom's Cabin" without overlap?
I'm not trying to argue one subject is easier to learn than the other, however I would like to make the point that your teams' strengths and weaknesses probably do not resonate that of every other team/novice team in the nation.