neg king/queen/monarch

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neg king/queen/monarch

Postby rpirrie » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:55 am

Hello--
I am not a newbie but this seemed like the best place to get a discussion going. I just ran a tourney in which we crowned a neg monarch. I may continue it in the future or I may not--but I'd like opinions on the practice. Good thing? Fun thing? Insensitive thing? Thanks for chiming in.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:30 am

Apparently neg prizes are going out of style.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Cheynem » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:48 am

I don't usually like to do neg prizes in high school. One reason is that while in college, I think for the most part, neg prizes go to very good players who happen to be playing aggressively (and this is true in high school most of the time), at a lot of high school tournaments I've run, there are always players near the bottom of the scoring leaders who have racked up a lot of negs without actually scoring a lot. I'm not sure if any of them have ever won a neg title at tournaments I've run, but I would be very uncomfortable giving them a "neg prize" if they did.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:08 pm

Cheynem wrote:I don't usually like to do neg prizes in high school. One reason is that while in college, I think for the most part, neg prizes go to very good players who happen to be playing aggressively (and this is true in high school most of the time), at a lot of high school tournaments I've run, there are always players near the bottom of the scoring leaders who have racked up a lot of negs without actually scoring a lot. I'm not sure if any of them have ever won a neg title at tournaments I've run, but I would be very uncomfortable giving them a "neg prize" if they did.


Though I have never seen someone from the bottom who negs a lot earn the prize, I do think that that risk is there. I think a partial aid to this would be never announce the existence of a neg prize - more experienced players are likely to be familiar with them, and to earn the prize by having many good buzzes along with the bad, but if you announce it in the morning a weaker player might say to themselves "well, let's just neg a lot and earn a prize here."
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby rpirrie » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:45 pm

current score 3 - 0 against. I appreciate the feedback. Any other thoughts go ahead and put them out there.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Down and out in Quintana Roo » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:50 pm

It really depends on the field. If you have a bunch of schools that are part of the elite quizbowl cabal (that sounds a lot more menacing than i intended), then i'm sure they know what a neg prize means, and that it's just supposed to be a silly fun thing. But if you've got a lot of new teams, or younger players, it might send the wrong message.

That said, Bruce is right, it's really dwindling in popularity and there isn't much of a reason to keep this tradition around.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:38 pm

make it 5-0 against
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby jessbowen » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:41 pm

For most of my players, they would think it's a hoot. But I do have one student who is very sensitive. When her team didn't win any rounds (she was on the B team and it was our first tournament) she cried. Now part of that is inherent in competetions, and she will hopefully grow from this process. But I know if she won a neg prize, she'd be devastated and I'd have angry parents to deal with.

I think it would be fine for a tournament to let coaches know a neg prize was a possibility so that I could quietly say ahead of time to make sure Student X wasn't included in this. I think this would only work if a running tally wasn't posted throughout the day.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:42 pm

I just want to mention that I am not sure how true the "dwindling in popularity" thing is. Not counting formats that don't have negs, 3 out of the 4 tournaments in the NY/NJ area that Irvington has attended this year gave out neg prizes. (and the fourth, Half Hollow Hills, didn't give any prizes/recognition to top scorers either).
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:44 pm

It has definitely dwindled in popularity in college quizbowl, and in the vast majority of high school quizbowl circuits never got off the ground in the first place. The NJ/NY area's good quizbowl circuit is pretty anarchical, much like the D.C. circuit, so I would believe that there would be a lot more misguided imitation of college quizbowl wackiness there that would allow for neg prizes to be common.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Cheynem » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:39 pm

I guess a neg prize is good for a chuckle, but generally speaking a neg prize goes to a superb player who is playing aggressively (aside from my aforementioned example of not very good players who neg a lot). For instance, at ICT, Eric Mukherjee, possibly the best active college player, won the "neg prize," closely followed by other great players like Chris Ray and Guy Tabachnick. One thing that I think a lot of mediocre players languish at is being afraid to neg even when they have a good idea or real knowledge. I'm not saying a neg prize creates a fear in negging, but I think it helps to construct this attitude that "negs = something to make fun of." Obviously, bad negs are bad negs, but the willingness to risk a neg is (sometimes) what can move a player up from okay to good (obviously there are super aggressive players who might need a lesson in not negging).
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby a bird » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:48 pm

In the two tournaments with neg prizes I've played, one of the neg champions was a player from a C team who scored about 15ppg. What Mike is saying is probably true for a majority of tournaments, but there are certainly some high school tournaments where the best players aren't being agressive, and a more aggressive player negs more. In these cases, I think there's a large likelihood that a new player could win, and take the neg prize the wrong way. On a side note, at the Connecticut invitational, a younger player from Hanover was actually a little worried about getting the neg prize. Overall I don't think the neg prize is a great idea for high school tournaments in relatively undeveloped circuits.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:59 pm

We have given a neg prize the last few years at our tournament. The person who gets it is invariably somebody I know, because it always ends up going to an elite player. Before we give awards, I find the student and ask if it is OK for us to give him a neg prize. (At least, that's what I've done the last two years.) He always says it's OK, and we always give it. I wouldn't give it at a novice tournament, and I wouldn't give it to a student who wasn't a known good quizbowler, but I don't see any problem with continuing to give one as we have.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Mr. Joyboy » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:04 pm

Maybe this is just my experience from an anarchic, misguided circuit, but I kinda like neg prizes. In all of the tournaments I've been to, they've gone to people who were also high up on the individual scoring list, too. Besides, most new players/teams I see at tournaments dont buzz in very often, and as a result barely neg. The neg prize doesn't make people afraid to risk a neg, being afraid of buzzing/getting something wrong makes people afraid of negging. Plus, prizes are cool. :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Matt Weiner » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:05 pm

The reason all tournaments I'm involved with stopped awarding prizes for the most or funniest negs is because an appreciable percentage of teams and players started intentionally getting questions wrong as soon as they were eliminated from championship contention in an attempt to win the awards. Should neg prizes become A Thing again, this problem may recur. For this reason above all the many other good ones, I strongly oppose any sort of neg recognition.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:26 pm

I enjoy awarding a neg prize: I get amusement out of picking one out, and I get amusement out of awarding one. But I run almost exclusively events for elite college players, or at least ambitious players who have been thoroughly socialized with the mACF aesthetic. Nobody would ever neg for the purpose of getting a neg prize at one of these tournaments. To paraphrase Nikita Khrushchev in Enemy at the Gates, neg prizes are a luxury I have.

Know your field, I guess. If your field is high schoolers, a neg prize is probably a bad idea.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby ProfessorIanDuncan » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:32 pm

On a side note, at the Connecticut invitational, a younger player from Hanover was actually a little worried about getting the neg prize

If i would have been able to drum up a team then i feel pretty certain that i could have won it. And if we had played you guys the teams attitude towards the neg prize would have certainly calmed down that student.

I feel that i areas where players that are known to be aggressive compete and there are multiple candidates for the prize who neg a lot but who also get a lot of questions(at the first tournament where there was a neg prize that i attended, the winner negged 1/6 of the questions but powered 1/6 of them also), the neg prizes can be made.

However, in novice tournaments it probably is best to avoid giving them out as players can be insecure about their abilities (myself included). As to the problem of kids purposely trying to get them, :roll: as long as the rest of the team is okay with it and you dont mind coming off as ummm well I dont want to be insulting but you get the idea.

I personally like the neg prizes because if i win it means i played aggressively, something i would take pride in, and if i dont it means someone else won it.
[Note: I have never won a neg prize]
Know your field, I guess.
yeah this is important and ultimately the message im trying to send.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Euler's Constant » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:59 pm

In most cases with a strong or even just above average field I feel it's perfectly acceptable to award a neg prize. When a good player plays aggressively they will probably power and neg quite a bit, leading to high point and neg totals. This happens because they are confident and willing to take a risk and know the rewards and risks of buzzing early. Rarely have I seen a poor player lead a tournament in negs. Often it seems that a poor player begins to buzz less aggressively to the point of not buzzing at all, if they continue to miss questions. Thus I find it acceptable to award a neg prize as it often seems that the winner is one of the better players who was willing to play aggressively, and will hopefully take it in stride.

Also I have to say is that having a player win a neg prize can actually do some good for both the player and the team. This year I won my first, and probably not my last, neg prize, and I think it has helped our team play more aggressively, knowing that it's acceptable to be wrong. Especially since my teammates are rather young, it took a shock for them to realize that they don't have to worry so much about being wrong, as they can always make fun of me for being worse, and that while aggressive play has risks it does have rewards (I was the 4th high scorer) and this has lead to better, more aggressive play from them and growth as a team. While this might not help all teams, teams that are young and nervous and lead by an older player can benefit.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Sniper, No Sniping! » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:15 pm

It's one thing if it's a player that actually tries to get questions. It's another when you try to be like this kid.

EDIT: Maybe it'd be worth not disclosing the fact they'll be a neg prize before the games start, so you don't have people "competing" for it.
Last edited by Sniper, No Sniping! on Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Goole by-election, 1971 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:22 pm

Personally, I like neg prizes. I think there are tournaments where they're not appropriate, but I think they're a fun idea that doesn't affect the game, usually.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby jessbowen » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:15 am

Since the is in the Newbie forum and I am indeed a newbie, I'd like to add that I love the idea that a neg prize is good because it encourages players to be more aggressive. I think my players are often afraid of being wrong and are hesitant to buzz in until they are certain. I've tried to encourage them to be more agressive by stopping reading practice questions early and forcing them to make a guess, even if it's outlandish. I think they learned that they know more than they give themselves credit for. Perhaps I will add a neg prize to our practice sessions. I have a box of random stuff known as the "crappy prize box" that kids love to go to!
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:46 am

jessbowen wrote:Since the is in the Newbie forum and I am indeed a newbie, I'd like to add that I love the idea that a neg prize is good because it encourages players to be more aggressive. I think my players are often afraid of being wrong and are hesitant to buzz in until they are certain. I've tried to encourage them to be more agressive by stopping reading practice questions early and forcing them to make a guess, even if it's outlandish. I think they learned that they know more than they give themselves credit for. Perhaps I will add a neg prize to our practice sessions. I have a box of random stuff known as the "crappy prize box" that kids love to go to!


If you're aiming for the neg prize, you are doing it wrong.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Remember-the-Alamo-Remember-Goliad » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:18 am

In reading over these many entries, it seems as though the Aesthetics of the Neg Response has been overlooked. Of course, lame players may simply become Neg-Monsters and take all the fun out. However, one can avoid this by avoiding the crude metric of # of negs.

Rather, the Age of the Artful Neg Response may, indeed, be born here in these very pages. I can imagine match readers noting down that rare, ethereal Neg Response which reveals the metaphysical nature of man's frailty while simultaneously amusing both audience and Neg responder. For the sake of Neg History, let us not too quickly condemn the notion simply because of the small cadre of naysayers.

If the Socratic Insight, indeed, be true, then let our Knowlegde of Our Unknowing be the Lamp of Diogenes to others' Enlightenment through Negation!

Vivat, Vivat Negativus!
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby ProfessorIanDuncan » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:31 pm

It's one thing if it's a player that actually tries to get questions. It's another when you try to be like this kid

I think its worth noting that this kid did get questions in previous games and did okay. Not to mention the fact that this was against DCC and they probably like one lined the first five questions. If i was in the same position i may well do the same thing also. However if he did that every game then its just dumb.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Charles Martel » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:24 am

Solution to the "problem" of players intentionally going for neg prizes: Disqualify players who were not attempting to play their best.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:59 am

whitesoxfan wrote:Solution to the "problem" of players intentionally going for neg prizes: Disqualify players who were not attempting to play their best.


And how would you determine if a player was not playing their best? And how would you determine if they were intentionally going for the neg prize? I negged a couple times during the ICT playoffs because I was the only one on our team consistently buzzing in. What you suggest could punish someone who is playing aggressively trying to get some buzzes off against a really good team (in this case, DCC).
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Auroni » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:31 am

The neg prize is usually terrible, in-jokey, and not that funny. Only in a select few tournaments will it be won by someone known well enough by everyone else in the tournament they won it at and only in a select few tournaments will that person take it in good humor. Most often it will go to a not that great player, or someone that it wouldn't be right to make fun of for having it, and can mess things up. In short, it sucks and stop awarding it.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Kyle » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:20 am

On the plus side, a tournament that has awarded a neg prize will post stats promptly because they will have entered the stats in order to determine who negged most. Maybe we should encourage Princeton to give one.

We stopped giving any kind of individual prize in the UK (for college tournaments) for the simple reason that we rarely had enough competent staffers to do the stats during the tournament. We just gave books to the people on the top two teams.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:54 am

Kyle wrote:On the plus side, a tournament that has awarded a neg prize will post stats promptly because they will have entered the stats in order to determine who netted most. Maybe we should encourage Princeton to give one.


This is definitely true and a potential of such prizes ... though a tournament which only gives prizes to top scorers would be equally desirous of well-kept stats.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby idrayer » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:01 pm

Maybe put an arbitrary (say 30) ppg minimum to be eligible?
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:17 pm

I think this should be decided on a case-by-case basis. If a TD believes that the teams attending the tournament would like it, and it wouldn't disrupt the competitive spirit in any way, then they're fully within their rights to give one. Charlie's point about them being more present in NY/NJ and MD/DC is solid; these are regions without governing governmental organizations, and thus the competitions are much looser and more informal.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby rpirrie » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:20 am

What a wide range of responses! I haven't decided what to do (has anybody tallied the current score?), but I will tell you that we have tried to make neg monarch utterly absurd (I use a whiffle ball and bat for the orb and scepter). The point for me is that its better to buzz and risk a neg than sit on your hands. The monarch in my eyes can actually be a reward which means "Good job! You were out there swinging!" (no pun intended regarding the whiffle bat.) That being said I wouldn't want to mess up a player who feels shaky about their abilities--but I think a player who wins neg monarch is someone who is actively trying to get better.
I think it'd be great if the monarch from this year's CT INV chimed in with their thoughts/feelings.
In the end, its really just a bit of fluff that I would certainly drop if it makes quiz bowl less enjoyable--and I can see where it might from the above responses. At any rate the conversation generated has been quite interesting! Thanks, and I will be thoughtful with this in light of the points of view expressed here.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Matthew Jackson » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:31 am

I'll note just so it's explicit for everyone: the current split of for to against in this thread has virtually every experienced editor or TD in the thread in either the "against" column or at least the "probably not for high school" column. Feel free to throw me in the against column as well, for the reasons that Charlie, Auroni, and Mattw already stated. Listen to them.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:44 am

Matt Weiner wrote:The reason all tournaments I'm involved with stopped awarding prizes for the most or funniest negs is because an appreciable percentage of teams and players started intentionally getting questions wrong as soon as they were eliminated from championship contention in an attempt to win the awards. Should neg prizes become A Thing again, this problem may recur. For this reason above all the many other good ones, I strongly oppose any sort of neg recognition.

This is essentially why I don't favor these awards anymore.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:16 pm

RyuAqua wrote:I'll note just so it's explicit for everyone: the current split of for to against in this thread has virtually every experienced editor or TD in the thread in either the "against" column or at least the "probably not for high school" column. Feel free to throw me in the against column as well, for the reasons that Charlie, Auroni, and Mattw already stated. Listen to them.

Another point is that even the people in the "for" column are more or less in the "I guess do whatever you want, or maybe have a ppg minimum qualification to avoid the clear abuse potential." Basically no one believes "neg prizes turn a quality 2 tournament into a quality 3 tournament."
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Strange Fascination » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:33 pm

Almost all of the neg prizes I saw in high school were won by players that were (usually) pretty phenomenal at getting 10s and 15s. In the DC area, the neg prize (awarded or otherwise) almost always goes to a top 10 player. That being said, I'll echo what many people earlier have said: I think if you're in a not very strong area, you'll see neg prizes go to players who will take it seriously because they are a detriment to the team, and may not take it the same way as, say, Daniel Galitsky. Some wear it as a badge of honor, but if you're a young player on a team new to the circuit and win it, it can be damaging.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby rpirrie » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:37 pm

Got it--won't do it anymore. Thanks for the feedback, it is appreciated.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Pushkin's Beard » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:31 pm

I feel like the clear solution to the "new player getting neg prize and being discouraged" is only giving a neg prize to someone who also received a scoring prize. If you only give the neg prize to a player who was in the top-8 then there is no risk of a "newbie" getting completely turned off to quizbowl.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Sun Devil Student » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:59 pm

RyuAqua wrote:I'll note just so it's explicit for everyone: the current split of for to against in this thread has virtually every experienced editor or TD in the thread in either the "against" column or at least the "probably not for high school" column. Feel free to throw me in the against column as well, for the reasons that Charlie, Auroni, and Mattw already stated. Listen to them.

This is a very interesting phenomenon. As it happens, ASU Quizbowl has routinely given neg prizes for the past two years, continuing because the response from the high school community has been overwhelmingly positive, with the exception of one player who did indeed take it too seriously (very early in our hosting history). We gave no neg prize at the following tournament, but a number of coaches and teams wanted one, so we went back to giving them, but prefaced each neg award with a statement emphasizing the intended humor and reminding all teams that risk-taking is an essential part of the game. This has worked very well and has often been the highlight of the awards ceremony. Whether this is a function of the newness of our circuit or our informal setting, the fact that no one in Arizona is yet serious enough about the game to truly contend for a national title, or simply good luck that all our high school coaches have been superb in teaching sportsmanship to their teams, or a combination of all of these, I don't know.
Just providing one more data point for anyone studying national trends in high school circuits. I don't know how much this applies elsewhere, Arizona is certainly a pretty unique place for quizbowl right now.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:46 pm

Sun Devil Student wrote:This is a very interesting phenomenon. As it happens, ASU Quizbowl has routinely given neg prizes for the past two years, continuing because the response from the high school community has been overwhelmingly positive, with the exception of one player who did indeed take it too seriously (very early in our hosting history)...Whether this is a function of the newness of our circuit or our informal setting, the fact that no one in Arizona is yet serious enough about the game to truly contend for a national title, or simply good luck that all our high school coaches have been superb in teaching sportsmanship to their teams, or a combination of all of these, I don't know.


I've found this to be the case in our region, as well. Everyone in the college circuit around here seems to appreciate it, and the high schoolers at our fall tournament seemed to enjoy it. Bottom line is that you need to use discretion about how you award the neg prize, should you decide to do so.

That said, I may very well choose to award a "buzz of the tournament" prize. This may or may not be in lieu of a neg prize, but it seems like a darn good idea anyway. And turning someone off to quiz bowl because of an injudicious application of a neg prize would actually make me feel pretty bad.
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Re: neg king/queen/monarch

Postby Pushkin's Beard » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:16 pm

Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur wrote:That said, I may very well choose to award a "buzz of the tournament" prize.


At Texas Invitational in Houston, they gave every moderator a bag of snacks (like pretzels or candy) and the moderator would give one of the bags to the player who had the best buzz of the round. I feel like that went well and is more feasible than a "buzz of the tournament prize" just because a "buzz of the tournament" would be very hard to actually determine.
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