2012 NAC

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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby David Riley » Thu May 24, 2012 1:57 pm

Unfortunately, I think most of Indiana is :chip: country, despite the efforts of Phil Blessman and others.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Nick » Thu May 24, 2012 4:06 pm

Question: IF Chip Beall left QU/NAC and someone else ran the tournament (lets say he retired and/or passed away but wasn't with the company at all and this new person was a familiar, trustworthy face to good quizbowl) AND the questions were written as pyramidal and "canonical" as possible BUT every other aspect of the tournament stayed the same (three sites; single elim, 4 quarters, etc) - should teams go? I know these are big fun hypotheticals; im just curious.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Thu May 24, 2012 4:30 pm

If you're asking "if this tournament was good and didn't have the baggage it does", then yeah, it wouldn't be an issue.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Cheynem » Thu May 24, 2012 4:34 pm

Although realistically, I'm not sure if we need three national championships, even if they were all pyramidal.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Thu May 24, 2012 4:37 pm

Cheynem wrote:Although realistically, I'm not sure if we need three national championships, even if they were all pyramidal.


True, I think the only benefit of the hypothetical "pyramidal NAC" would be that it attracts schools who don't play pyramidal regular-season events.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu May 24, 2012 4:54 pm

I don't think the quizbowl universe would derive any real benefit from it. There are two nationals teams can go to already, one of which is even bigger than the NAC. It would be a far more productive use of time if people who were involved in QU decided to instead get involved in promoting NAQT and PACE as legitimate nationals. That's the way quizbowl is going anyway, and QU has tremendous numbers of teams it could get to play real quizbowl if it were in the cards.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby ProfessorIanDuncan » Sat May 26, 2012 5:51 pm

A warning to NAC teams: Harrison, the defending champs, returned everyone from last year's team. They won Indiana's QU State Championship this year and finished a narrow runnerup at NAQT Rotary State (to Culver Academies). They should be considered a strong threat to repeat.

High Tech finished 9-1 today at nationals, beating a Dorman team that upset Bellarmine and Hunter (if i am not mistaken). I would take High Tech over Harrison if they win DC. They didn't make final four last year but the team has gone to pyramidal tournaments constantly and it is clear that they have gotten better. Thats one of the problems with NAC; the teams will not experience an as noticable increase in skill.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Sat May 26, 2012 6:51 pm

Remember when Parkersburg returned everyone after finishing 2nd in 2010 and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in 2011?
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby ProfessorIanDuncan » Sat May 26, 2012 6:54 pm

Remember when Parkersburg returned everyone after finishing 2nd in 2010 and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in 2011?

Yes i do. there was quite a hullabaloo around the bracket when it happened. same thing happened with the #1 seed, Hawken, at that tournament.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Sat May 26, 2012 7:12 pm

My point being it's kind of a tick in the column for "NAC doesn't do well at accurately ranking teams due to flaws in its questions and/or format."
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby ProfessorIanDuncan » Sat May 26, 2012 7:27 pm

My point being it's kind of a tick in the column for "NAC doesn't do well at accurately ranking teams due to flaws in its questions and/or format."

I am aware. I'm just "that guy" who enjoys answering rhetorical questions. Also i'm not part of many "remember when..." type things in quizbowl so i included myself. In addition to the aforementioned flaw in the questions and format, being considered a favorite can sometimes just put a little bit of unwanted pressure on you and on something as fickle as NAC it can mean the difference.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sun May 27, 2012 12:09 pm

If anyone wants to keep tabs on this, statistics are actually being put online at the end of each day apparently, so New Orleans day-1 prelim results are available, though they are hard to gain any information from quickly: http://qunlimited.com/nosche11.htm...as far as the teams that I bothered to check go, White Plains is 1-0, Harrison is 4-0, North Babylon is 2-0.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Fake 4-ball » Sun May 27, 2012 12:35 pm

There is a team called Paschal which is also 4-0 and got the highest one round score of 500 points (Harrison managed 480). They have to face Harrison today. Business as usual.
EDIT: Jesuit's JV teams already played all of their matches. Jesuit A went 4-2, Jesuit B went 6-0. Jesuit A had to face White Plains's JV team, which is undefeated with 4-0. :chip:
Last edited by Fake 4-ball on Sun May 27, 2012 2:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sun May 27, 2012 12:58 pm

William Crotch wrote:There is a team called Paschal which is also 4-0 and got the highest one round score of 500 points (Harrison managed 480). They have to face Harrison today. Business as usual.


A little bit of investigation shows that Paschal went to HSNCT last year and went 5-5, though does not seem to have played any pyramidal quizbowl this year (well, at least no NAQT sets)
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Maxwell's Sexual Relations » Sun May 27, 2012 8:12 pm

Norman North invited them to our tournament. They also showed some interest in a Oklahoma BHSAT mirror that never came to fruition. Vimal spoke highly of them at the beginning of this season. Wonder why they moved to :chip: when they were fairly good at pyramidal tournaments?
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Fake 4-ball » Sun May 27, 2012 10:14 pm

Maxwell's Sexual Relations wrote:Norman North invited them to our tournament. They also showed some interest in a Oklahoma BHSAT mirror that never came to fruition. Vimal spoke highly of them at the beginning of this season. Wonder why they moved to :chip: when they were fairly good at pyramidal tournaments?

They didn't move to :chip: land. They were there the whole time (some Wikipedia pseudo-article says :chip: created Fort Worth's league himself):
http://www.fwisd.org/News/Pages/2012-02 ... zquiz.aspx

As I expected, Harrison is 6-0 and Paschal is 5-1. Jesuit is currently 5-0 (playing all their matches today), North Bab is 4-1 (losing to Jesuit) and has to face a team which is currently 0-4 (so like, I guess they're gonna finish 4-2). White Plains is 4-0 and has to face the same 0-4 that North Bab does plus a team that has scored 0 points twice already (so they're probably gonna be 4-2 as well).
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby bmanzo44 » Mon May 28, 2012 12:13 pm

http://qunlimited.com/HighSchoolVarsity.pdf Here's the playoff bracket. The only result I can confirm so far is that we lost to White Plains in our first playoff match.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby ProfessorIanDuncan » Mon May 28, 2012 2:57 pm

Any updates? Brian? I assume there is/was a hard copy of the playoff bracket in New Orleans
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Mon May 28, 2012 5:02 pm

According to Qunlimited's website, these are the winners of NAC-New Orleans: (http://qunlimited.com/HighSchoolVarsity.pdf, http://qunlimited.com/JuniorNationals.pdf, http://qunlimited.com/HighSchoolJV.pdf)

Varsity: Harrison, Runner Up: White Plains A
JV: Altamont A, Runner Up: Clements A
Junior NAC: Conway Christian, Runner Up: Altamont

Though notably in the Varsity division, though Harrison is shown with a higher score in the final match, no one is written in the champion line, so who knows what is actually happening, maybe both are going to the final four for some reason.

EDIT: a couple people have had issues looking at the brackets, if they aren't filled, refresh the page.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby bmanzo44 » Mon May 28, 2012 6:18 pm

Sorry for the lack of updates, I thought I had posted the playoff bracket with no results this morning, but it's quite possible it didn't go through. We've been in transit to the airport, but now that I'm here, I'll give my opinion of the tournament. Assuming the same questions are used at each site, I'll keep my comments general and avoid specific answer lines/clues. I apologize in advance for the lack of order in my post, I have tons of ideas and a noise airport probably isn't the best place to organize them.

Logistically, the tournament ran quite smoothly. Other than a slightly long wait for playoff schedules to be posted, every room was on time or early. The schedule was posted well in advance, and the posting of scores to the website was a nice touch. The moderators were all efficient and able to keep score correctly and quickly. It was a little tricky to get all of the information about the lodging details, but a few emails took care of it all. The dorms were nice, although we had to make a call to get the bathrooms cleaned. Overall, this end of the tournament was well run. When there are only four rooms running, and you only play six preliminary matches, this is to be expected.

Since this is the only QU tournament we participate in, I don't really have anything to compare the questions to in that regard. However, I do have a few comments concerning the quality of the questions on a general scale. Questions followed the usual 4 quarter format, and the overall difficulty was definitely fair. Quality was, however, inconsistent. There were definitely more hoses then I remember there being at last year's DC NAC, but not an overwhelming amount that ruined the game. The semi-pyramidal questions were ok, but the clues tended to be obscure or contain mostly insignificant details. As a classical music aficionado, I tend to enjoy some of the audio questions, and the distribution was pretty heavy in classical music in general. However, they focused on insignificant/unrepresentative works of composers and time periods. I also happen to enjoy comp math questions (I know, another deadly sin of quiz bowl), but some of them were virtually impossible to do in the 15 seconds allotted. I can say this about the questions: in our case, they didn't seem to be at the point that bad teams could squeak out unfair wins against good teams. The two games we lost were to teams who would most likely beat us in most, if not all, formats. While the questions certainly weren't top-notch pyramidal quality, my experience led me to believe that the good teams were still winning (for the most part).

As a whole, I enjoyed my weekend. I would have liked to play more matches, on more pyramidal questions, but the city was nice, and I had a great experience in my first year captaining the team. I can't guarantee that we'll be back next year, but I can say that if you go in knowing what you're going to get, you can still have an fun weekend.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby MServetasF1 » Mon May 28, 2012 6:42 pm

My experience with the NAC was alright, as long as we're talking outside of the tournament itself. The city itself was nice as long as you stayed in the CBD/French Quarter area. Otherwise, wear body armor. The lodging itself was nice for a dorm, though I haven't been in much dorm rooms through my lifetime. The bathrooms could have been better maintained though. Also, they could have separated the middle school teams from the high school teams, though my feeling on that was due to the four middle-school kids playing football in the hallway.

On to the tournament itself, the operation was smooth, if only due to the lack of game rooms. There were the usual issues with NAC, mostly for the questions. I'm not going into too much detail, but they were the usual QU fare. There were the usual :chip: "quirks" with the NAC. The tossup questions ranged from decent to just plain odd, and would often contain clues with too much information considered "biographical", such as info about a person's parents. Then again, that's not exactly a surprise. The moderators were of varying quality, some of them were good and efficient, some would waste a bit of time making comments. All in all, if you know what your going to get into, the lowered standards won't leave you *as* disappointed as expecting an NAQT-quality operation. No matter what, the questions were still frustrating with the abundance of hoses and short length; just one of the many things that could be improved upon.

Having only six prelim matches was not the most pleasant, as well as the small playoff field. Having to wait a few hours for the next game was a bit of a bore, since we were left basically in limbo for half of Sunday. For the tournament and travel costs, such a small amount of games is not the most efficient use of funds. Not the best of experiences I've had at a tournament, but I guess it could be worse.

I would recommend going to a different tournament unless you care more for a vacation spot rather than actually playing for a national title. You could do better, as it runs smooth but the operations don't exactly make up for the questions.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Mon May 28, 2012 6:50 pm

Re: the smoothness of how the tournament runs, this year's HSNCT ran more smoothly than DC NAC last year, despite having to manage 240 teams and 80 game rooms. HSNCT also featured nice things like scrimmages and an opening meeting that allowed teams to get used to the tournament.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby MServetasF1 » Mon May 28, 2012 6:55 pm

I can't speak for how it ran last year, or the HSNCT this year. There was a meeting to introduce teams to the format. It's likely possible that HSNCT ran better, but I had no complaints on how it went this year; though I feel that can be attributed to the large break in between games, which would simplify things greatly.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Mon May 28, 2012 7:28 pm

I think that experiences like what North Babylon had are something that is forgotten about NAC, as on this forum often the idea people get is very very negative. Drawing from last year's NAC thread:

raynell cooper wrote:I was here too. It was an awful, gut-wrenching experience. Other highlights include wonderful hoses, the interrupt rule, and Chip being Chip. If you haven't been but only have been reading about this on the forums, it's worse than you imagine it.


while many aspects of NAC may seem "gut-wrenching" to those well versed in pyramidal quizbowl, it is important to remember that 1) given what it is, NAC is fairly well organized, and 2) many of the complaints people have about NAC are not things most teams will complain about; if you are coming to NAC after playing no formats other than QUnlimited questions, hoses are well known to exist and not abnormal, you have learned from past experience that if you interrupt the moderator and don't wait to be recognized your answer will not be accepted...and as for "Chip being Chip," again, if you don't know what the alternative is, you don't really know what this means. Also, 6 preliminary rounds is - when compared to regular season Qunlimited tournaments around me - actually generous. People do have a good time at NAC, as, when viewed in a vacuum, there are few things wrong with it. The issues come up with NAC is viewed through the lens of pyramidal quizbowl. Do I think that just because people have a good time at NAC it is a great thing? no, and as I am well versed in pyramidal quizbowl, my experience at NAC this year may very well be described by the quote I put above, but I just felt like it is worth emphasizing how, as the reports from North Babylon indicate (even though they indicated more shortcomings than many people may realize), NAC is not a bad experience for many people, so you need more than saying "this is bad, pyramidal is good" to convince people.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Matt Weiner » Mon May 28, 2012 7:48 pm

No one's trying to dispute the validity other people's subjective experiences of "fun" or of whether NAC succeeds at being NAC, whatever that may be defined as. I don't see anyone doing so in this thread or, pretty much, ever. I don't understand who you are countermanding here.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Mon May 28, 2012 7:55 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:No one's trying to dispute the validity other people's subjective experiences of "fun" or of whether NAC succeeds at being NAC, whatever that may be defined as. I don't see anyone doing so in this thread or, pretty much, ever. I don't understand who you are countermanding here.


I know no one has said anything against other people's opinions of fun, but I just think that it is sometimes forgotten, say in the earlier list in this thread of why teams attend NAC, that pyramidal quizbowl is not 100% good and NAC 100% bad, and teams attending NAC due to "information failure" are not necessarily easily won over as, to such teams, there is little about NAC that can be seen to be wrong. The fact that teams have a good time and it is actually a decently well run tournament means that just having outreach of the form "hey guys, this is pyramidal quizbowl, it is better" is not necessarily effective, so I guess most directly I am trying to "countermand" the point in an earlier post of making a list of all the teams and trying to just call them / send mail in order to convert them isn't necessarily going to work very well at all.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby etchdulac » Mon May 28, 2012 8:06 pm

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:there is little about NAC that can be seen to be wrong

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:many of the complaints people have about NAC are not things most teams will complain about

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:as for "Chip being Chip," again, if you don't know what the alternative is, you don't really know what this means.

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:when viewed in a vacuum, there are few things wrong with it. The issues come up with NAC is viewed through the lens of pyramidal quizbowl.


I wanted to stack these together to emphasize that there are indeed things wrong with NAC that require no "lens of pyramidal quizbowl" and that, frankly, they probably don't get discussed much anymore because they have been detailed ad nauseam. Those with a small sample size may never have witnessed a true injustice, and they are encouraged to visit that link, and anyone who wants further (ancient) first-hand information is encouraged to contact me on here for more stories that I won't clutter this thread up with.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Mon May 28, 2012 8:15 pm

etchdulac wrote:
Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:there is little about NAC that can be seen to be wrong

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:many of the complaints people have about NAC are not things most teams will complain about

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:as for "Chip being Chip," again, if you don't know what the alternative is, you don't really know what this means.

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:when viewed in a vacuum, there are few things wrong with it. The issues come up with NAC is viewed through the lens of pyramidal quizbowl.


I wanted to stack these together to emphasize that there are indeed things wrong with NAC that require no "lens of pyramidal quizbowl" and that, frankly, they probably don't get discussed much anymore because they have been detailed ad nauseam. Those with a small sample size may never have witnessed a true injustice, and they are encouraged to visit that link, and anyone who wants further (ancient) first-hand information is encouraged to contact me on here for more stories that I won't clutter this thread up with.


I realize that all of those things are there, and indeed I think it was through that link a while ago that I first found out many of the things that were wrong, but issues such as plagiarism are things that, while awful, will generally not be noticed by your average team in attendance, though there are certainly other things I overlooked (favoritism at times comes to mind). So maybe I should stop trying to clarify my flawed point, but all I really mean to say is "we all know NAC is awful in a lot of ways, but to a lot of teams, it does not seem awful in nearly as many, and if you don't know about something better, it may seem at the very least acceptable"
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby etchdulac » Mon May 28, 2012 8:22 pm

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:all I really mean to say is "we all know NAC is awful in a lot of ways, but to a lot of teams, it does not seem awful in nearly as many, and if you don't know about something better, it may seem at the very least acceptable"


I do not disagree that plenty of teams can go (and have gone) to NAC and escape the weekend incident-free, having had the Chip Beall NAC spectacle experience. However, I would suggest that teams who understand the chance exists (as a non-insignificant percentile of some sort) that your expenditure will be truly fouled by such an incident, that Chip's business practices and ethics have come under frequent questioning across a period of more than 20 years, and that the product in itself in widely considered inferior in several fairly objective ways (games played, cost-efficiency, question quality and so on) would be less likely to consider it a worthwhile trip. Even better, they may be made aware of an alternative event.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Thu May 31, 2012 11:10 am

The write-up of the New Orleans Phase has been published:http://qunlimited.com/national.htm
The only questions Chip mentions are a couple bonus topics: Steve Jobs, Pulitzer Prizes, and the wonderful 60-second category of "things" was swept.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby mlaird » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:26 pm

My school's internet filter isn't letting me view the write-up because Chip is referring to next year's tournament as "NAC XXX" I hope many other schools have the same problem.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:04 pm

So, the DC section of this is over. High Tech got 1st and will be going to Chicago, having beaten Watson Chapel in the final the other final four teams were Ardsley (who lost to High Tech) and Irvington (who lost to Watson Chapel).

Overall comments on the tournament: on the whole, the tournament was run pretty smoothly, as is expected with so few rooms, the only hitch being a fire drill which still did not push things back too much. As for the question quality, pyramidality has certainly increased from past years, with most questions being at least vaguely pyramidal, and the "speed check" type questions more often occurred in the form of questions which were unanswerable or did not indicate what they were looking for for a while: there were not too many painfully short "Who was the first President?" type questions. There were still a few hoses, though few that were clearly intended to be so, an one of the largest question related issues were horribly defined answer lines (without listing other acceptable things), and the audio questions, though occasionally a nice touch, were weird and were often repetitive (including 3+ "which of the 'three B's' of classical music wrote this? questions). As I mentioned before, the same questions will be used at Chicago, so I can't give question specifics, though if anyone wants to ask me privately I can give "highlights."

The biggest issue we encountered was a question which decided our semifinal match, which prompted multiple protests from us, which were all turned down, though it was an awful and rather incorrect question it was not thrown out, and this caused us to lose though the game would have otherwise been tied. (again, I am pretty sure that I cannot divulge the details due to the whole using same questions at the same site, but if anyone wants to ask me privately who clearly isn't going to Chicago, go ahead). The other issue the team encountered was that, when one of our preliminary wins was accidentally recorded as a loss, it took far too much effort to have the win granted to us: after speaking to four different officials, it still took close to an entire day just to be accepted for it to be accepted that we won a game that we won.

Overall, it is clear that the NAC is trying to become more legitimate, or, as I saw, there are people who are trying to make it more legitimate; Scott Blesch (sp?), who also moderated HSNCT, was there and from speaking with him it seems like he did his best to try to improve the tournament as much as possible, and his efforts did indeed help the tournament to be more fair and enjoyable than it might have otherwise been.

Perhaps now the question quality in terms of how they are asked is becoming nearly acceptable (in a strictly pyramidal sense) between 25 and 50% of the time, probably the thing which leaves NAC questions as still being poor as a measure of a top national team in an "academic" competition is the topic choice; "world lit," as usual, was nearly non-existent, math was nearly all computational (with what seemed like a huge bent towards high school level calculus, at least from what I saw), there were far too many "old culture" questions: questions about 1940-60's music/movies, as is always true in an NAC set, was far more prevalent than truly modern stuff, and of course as always the "distribution" had a tendency to be very inconsistent.

Though the question format is improving, it still has a long way to go, and the couple of organizational issues that I pointed out were certainly frustrating.

And just a couple of final comments: I find it highly ironic that despite many people claiming this to be a tournament for "trophy whores," it gives out far fewer trophies than HSNCT (I realize that the term comes from the ease of acquiring those top trophies, its still just a little bit odd) and also , despite the NAC being very "gameshowy" as a whole in its structure, history, and playstyle, HSNCT videos are made very readily available while a recording of an NAC game will be impossible to find, and HSNCT finals had a really cool projected signboard for the audience while NAC finals had nothing for the audience to look towards for score.

That is all I have to say regarding this tournament for now.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby dtaylor4 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:33 pm

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:And just a couple of final comments: I find it highly ironic that despite many people claiming this to be a tournament for "trophy whores," it gives out far fewer trophies than HSNCT (I realize that the term comes from the ease of acquiring those top trophies, its still just a little bit odd) and also , despite the NAC being very "gameshowy" as a whole in its structure, history, and playstyle, HSNCT videos are made very readily available while a recording of an NAC game will be impossible to find, and HSNCT finals had a really cool projected signboard for the audience while NAC finals had nothing for the audience to look towards for score.


The HSNCT also has a lot more teams in one location, thus finishing in the top 10-15% at HSNCT does not make one a trophy whore.

Also, a more apt "comparison" would be the past two NSCs, which gave team trophies to the top 16 out of 64 and 60, respectively.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:14 pm

dtaylor4 wrote:
The HSNCT also has a lot more teams in one location, thus finishing in the top 10-15% at HSNCT does not make one a trophy whore.

Also, a more apt "comparison" would be the past two NSCs, which gave team trophies to the top 16 out of 64 and 60, respectively.


Just to clarify, I never meant to call anyone attending those tournaments a "trophy whore," I just meant that "trophy whoring at NAC is not necessarily the easiest thing to accomplish."
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Public safety diving » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:33 pm

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:
dtaylor4 wrote:
The HSNCT also has a lot more teams in one location, thus finishing in the top 10-15% at HSNCT does not make one a trophy whore.

Also, a more apt "comparison" would be the past two NSCs, which gave team trophies to the top 16 out of 64 and 60, respectively.


Just to clarify, I never meant to call anyone attending those tournaments a "trophy whore," I just meant that "trophy whoring at NAC is not necessarily the easiest thing to accomplish."

No, but it's easier to get a trophy at NAC than it is at NSC or HSNCT if you're not a top-50 team, due to the much weaker field at NAC and the lower-quality questions.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:08 pm

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:despite the NAC being very "gameshowy" as a whole in its structure, history, and playstyle, HSNCT videos are made very readily available while a recording of an NAC game will be impossible to find, and HSNCT finals had a really cool projected signboard for the audience while NAC finals had nothing for the audience to look towards for score.

That is all I have to say regarding this tournament for now.

This ain't really what people mean by "gameshowy."
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby nadph » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:12 pm

Fred wrote:
Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:despite the NAC being very "gameshowy" as a whole in its structure, history, and playstyle, HSNCT videos are made very readily available while a recording of an NAC game will be impossible to find, and HSNCT finals had a really cool projected signboard for the audience while NAC finals had nothing for the audience to look towards for score.

That is all I have to say regarding this tournament for now.

This ain't really what people mean by "gameshowy."

I think he means to say that NAC has all of the drawbacks of the gameshow format with none of the benefits, while HSNCT has most of the benefits without the drawbacks.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Matt Weiner » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:43 pm

Hey guys, I know it became cool for a while to pretend good and bad are just social constructs, maaaaaaan, and it's so UNCIVIL to point out terrible things when we see them, but the NAC is an absolute sham on any level (as ethics, as education, or as quizbowl), there's no excuse for going, and you only make yourself look totally uninformed about what good quizbowl is when you claim that NAC is anything less than 100% worthless because it's now "pyramidal" according to whatever you think that means. Anyone else need a reality check?
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby 40 characters in search of a username » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:46 pm

Yeah, whether the NAC is making strides towards pyramidality isn't really important, as there are still a ton of reasons not to go [not to mention, do you really want your national tournament held on "almost pyramidal sometimes" questions?]. NAC is still the absolute worst national tournament; there's no point in trying to give it credit for improvement or whatever else.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Matthew Jackson » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:57 pm

I'm confused, Sam. I remember meeting you in person at Prison Bowl, where you individually and your team generally seemed to notice and enjoy the good aspects of the tournament and of modern quizbowl. You also seem to have spent many words over the past few weeks publicly defending NAC, and attempting to point to the good in it. How do you square these things?

To make it clearer more generally: NAC still can't run smoothly without offering teams a whopping 31 byes over two days, runs a three-day single-elimination tournament in which most teams only get six games, has question content that is 50 to 75 percent unacceptable (to use your numbers), and takes a full day to correct a tournament-deciding win-loss record error. That's not "run pretty smoothly" and "improving" - that's wholly unacceptable and has been for ages. If a horribly-written, horribly-understaffed event offering so little for so high a price tag seems justifiable to the inexperienced teams playing it (and don't forget Chip's long record of ethical failures, even if he didn't add to it this year), that's all the more reason to show them there's a whole world out there where teams can play ten games of wholly-acceptable questions in ten rounds at multiple tournaments a year. And that those teams have their pick of not one, but two national competitions where they can get at least 166% of the game time for a smaller price tag, right now, in 2012, which makes this event an irrelevant waste of time even if there were any chance of it improving. No one who knows better should be anywhere near this event, and that it's entirely possible to get people to know better - do you see that, or do you not?
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Auroni » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:57 pm

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:Overall comments on the tournament: on the whole, the tournament was run pretty smoothly, as is expected with so few rooms, the only hitch being a fire drill which still did not push things back too much. As for the question quality, pyramidality has certainly increased from past years, with most questions being at least vaguely pyramidal, and the "speed check" type questions more often occurred in the form of questions which were unanswerable or did not indicate what they were looking for for a while: there were not too many painfully short "Who was the first President?" type questions. There were still a few hoses, though few that were clearly intended to be so, an one of the largest question related issues were horribly defined answer lines (without listing other acceptable things), and the audio questions, though occasionally a nice touch, were weird and were often repetitive (including 3+ "which of the 'three B's' of classical music wrote this? questions). As I mentioned before, the same questions will be used at Chicago, so I can't give question specifics, though if anyone wants to ask me privately I can give "highlights."

The biggest issue we encountered was a question which decided our semifinal match, which prompted multiple protests from us, which were all turned down, though it was an awful and rather incorrect question it was not thrown out, and this caused us to lose though the game would have otherwise been tied. (again, I am pretty sure that I cannot divulge the details due to the whole using same questions at the same site, but if anyone wants to ask me privately who clearly isn't going to Chicago, go ahead). The other issue the team encountered was that, when one of our preliminary wins was accidentally recorded as a loss, it took far too much effort to have the win granted to us: after speaking to four different officials, it still took close to an entire day just to be accepted for it to be accepted that we won a game that we won.


You realize that your repeated entreaties to us that Chip is better than before amounts to you being a Chip apologist, right?
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Public safety diving » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:11 pm

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:Though the question format is improving, it still has a long way to go, and the couple of organizational issues that I pointed out were certainly frustrating.

Glad to see NAC's improving. If it keeps doing that every year, it should be at an acceptable form sometime within the next three or four decades!
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Fake 4-ball » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:16 pm

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:The biggest issue we encountered was a question which decided our semifinal match, which prompted multiple protests from us, which were all turned down, though it was an awful and rather incorrect question it was not thrown out, and this caused us to lose though the game would have otherwise been tied. (again, I am pretty sure that I cannot divulge the details due to the whole using same questions at the same site, but if anyone wants to ask me privately who clearly isn't going to Chicago, go ahead). The other issue the team encountered was that, when one of our preliminary wins was accidentally recorded as a loss, it took far too much effort to have the win granted to us: after speaking to four different officials, it still took close to an entire day just to be accepted for it to be accepted that we won a game that we won.

If this isn't an indicator to stop going to this tournament, I don't know what is.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:12 am

Tokyo Sex Whale wrote:
Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:Overall comments on the tournament: on the whole, the tournament was run pretty smoothly, as is expected with so few rooms, the only hitch being a fire drill which still did not push things back too much. As for the question quality, pyramidality has certainly increased from past years, with most questions being at least vaguely pyramidal, and the "speed check" type questions more often occurred in the form of questions which were unanswerable or did not indicate what they were looking for for a while: there were not too many painfully short "Who was the first President?" type questions. There were still a few hoses, though few that were clearly intended to be so, an one of the largest question related issues were horribly defined answer lines (without listing other acceptable things), and the audio questions, though occasionally a nice touch, were weird and were often repetitive (including 3+ "which of the 'three B's' of classical music wrote this? questions). As I mentioned before, the same questions will be used at Chicago, so I can't give question specifics, though if anyone wants to ask me privately I can give "highlights."

The biggest issue we encountered was a question which decided our semifinal match, which prompted multiple protests from us, which were all turned down, though it was an awful and rather incorrect question it was not thrown out, and this caused us to lose though the game would have otherwise been tied. (again, I am pretty sure that I cannot divulge the details due to the whole using same questions at the same site, but if anyone wants to ask me privately who clearly isn't going to Chicago, go ahead). The other issue the team encountered was that, when one of our preliminary wins was accidentally recorded as a loss, it took far too much effort to have the win granted to us: after speaking to four different officials, it still took close to an entire day just to be accepted for it to be accepted that we won a game that we won.


You realize that your repeated entreaties to us that Chip is better than before amounts to you being a Chip apologist, right?

Well, that's not entirely equivalent; it could be well true that NAC is better than before, though it's not particularly relevant to us (since it doesn't change the fact that the most expedient thing to do with NAC is to get rid of it), and if he's saying that it's improved because it has, that's just honesty, not apologism.

If anything makes him a "Chip apologist" it's the assertion that the tiny steps NAC is taking towards legitimacy ought to matter to us at all. "Better than before" is no longer enough, or any excuse, because everyone knows how to be a million times better than NAC and if Chip wanted to be actually good--not just to do some sad lip service to pyramidality just to stay in business, or something--he COULD do that.\
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:28 am

RuAqua wrote:I'm confused, Sam. I remember meeting you in person at Prison Bowl, where you individually and your team generally seemed to notice and enjoy the good aspects of the tournament and of modern quizbowl. You also seem to have spent many words over the past few weeks publicly defending NAC, and attempting to point to the good in it. How do you square these things?


I think the issue here (or "how I square these things") is the distinction between "my opinion of the NAC" and my attempt to tell the truth about the NAC in a somewhat unbiased manner.

So, as for my opinion of the NAC:
Throughout this school year, I tried my best to move my team away from NAC style quizbowl towards pyramidal style quizbowl (as I personally find it to be superior in testing academic knowledge and blah blah I don't think I need to defend this position to anyone here): I brought the team to as many pyramidal tournaments as possible (6 pyramidal tournaments + 3 NHBB regionals - notably when you saw us at Prison Bowl we neglected to attend an NAC style tournament which my school was hosting, and prior to this Irvington had attended only 1 typical pyramidal tournament ever in a ~20 year history) and despite trying to sway their opinion towards HSNCT, the team decided against it and there is not much you can do when you are outvoted. As for this specific NAC, for many of the reasons which have been cited many many times - the limited number of rounds offered, the issues with questions, and, perhaps most of all, issues relating to the "ethical failures" you mentioned such as that protest which caused what to me seems a very unsatisfying end to a game - I do very clearly realize that it is inferior to the other nationals and would never intend to imply otherwise or to imply that it would be my desire to attend the tournament again.

As for the facts of the NAC:
When I say it was "well-run," I mean that it ran on schedule and with little confusion and such - this is not to imply that the organization or structure of it was good or optimal, as it certainly was not.
When I say that the questions are "improved," I do mean that - this tournament had higher quality questions that more appropriately distinguished teams - this is not to say that the questions were quality or something I would want to distinguish national teams - only that they are better. Something can be "better" while being pretty awful especially when compared to NSC/HSNCT, which this was, so

Tokyo Sex Whale wrote:You realize that your repeated entreaties to us that Chip is better than before amounts to you being a Chip apologist, right?


no, I never intended to be an apologist, merely to accurately report on the events of the tournament. If I said "The NAC is the same awful tournament it has always been," that would not be true, as there is clearly something going on such that the tournament is trying to improve itself, this does not make it good, I am not apologizing for Chip, I am not trying to say "NAC is better everyone, let's go," I am just trying to say what actually happened - if anything, to some small extent I do view the tournament's improvement as a negative as the less legitimate it appeared to my team the more likely they would be to lean towards HSNCT.

Matt Weiner wrote: you only make yourself look totally uninformed about what good quizbowl is when you claim that NAC is anything less than 100% worthless because it's now "pyramidal" according to whatever you think that means.


In the purely simplified sense of "multi-clue tossups with easier clues after the harder clues," there were more such tossups at this NAC than I could note at any previous one. In terms of being a set of pyramidal quizbowl questions where here pyramidal quizbowl means "well written and fair questions written in the pyramidal style as to best distinguish teams with varying levels of knowledge" I would agree that this tournament is essentially worthless, especially as determining some sort of a "national champion" is kind of useless when the teams worthy of such a title (like Bellarmine) are not present.

Glad to see NAC's improving. If it keeps doing that every year, it should be at an acceptable form sometime within the next three or four decades!


True. (not in the sense that we have any reason to wait to see that day, true in the sense that "it is so far away from being acceptable that its not worth while")

So again, I apologize if I seemed to be a defender of the tournament, I attempted to give a somewhat unbiased report of what happened. What happened does not include finding the many fewer games offered (though as a semifinalist we got a whopping 9 games! (sarcasm)) to be unacceptable, it does not include the fact that the protest that I mentioned angered my team and me greatly, and it does not include many other things.

William Crotch wrote:If this isn't an indicator to stop going to this tournament, I don't know what is.


I didn't really need an indicator, though perhaps my team got a few indicators that will have gotten to them - but we did go, so I just tried to recount what we experienced, not to defend our going or defend the tournament or anything like that.

(And hopefully this will be the last time I will have to make a post like this as my stance will be clear)
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby nadph » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:04 am

Many thanks for the clarification, Sam.

On an unrelated note, it's pretty disappointing to see teams like Father Duenas (from Guam, I think) coming to this. :chip:'s in general been much better at pulling "international" teams than HSNCT or PACE, I believe, and I'm willing to bet he cold-called or emailed FD after he saw their performance at Guam History Bowl. I don't know if NAQT or PACE has ever sent letters to or called teams (I recall Jeff saying NAQT has done or has the capability to do such a thing), but this seems like an instance where it would've been immensely helpful - if not pulling them outright away from NAC, at least making them more aware of the more legitimate options.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Great Bustard » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:39 am

What I find incredible is that Father Duenas sent two teams to NHBB and a team to NAC. I, unlike probably anyone reading this, have not only directed a quizbowl tournament on Guam, but have personally been to Father Duenas. It's not exactly a wealthy school, but somehow, they managed to send teams to the mainland twice in two months. A conservative estimate yields a total of $25,000 being spent for them on travel. Whoaaaaa.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby nadph » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:55 am

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:What I find incredible is that Father Duenas sent two teams to NHBB and a team to NAC. I, unlike probably anyone reading this, have not only directed a quizbowl tournament on Guam, but have personally been to Father Duenas. It's not exactly a wealthy school, but somehow, they managed to send teams to the mainland twice in two months. A conservative estimate yields a total of $25,000 being spent for them on travel. Whoaaaaa.


Not to divert this too much, but is Guam's circuit mainly based on QU?

And yeah, spending that much on the two trips seems incredible - and also troubling, since I don't know how good an experience they'll have at the NAC (though based on Sam's impressions, it'll probably be not so great, though not horrible) and worry they might no longer be interested in coming to any nationals should they end up having a bad time, as has happened in the past.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby bird bird bird bird bird » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:33 pm

David has been there and I haven't, but my impression is that Guam tournaments have used QU questions for many years now (and that NHBB Regionals was the first pyramidal tournament hosted there).
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Re: 2012 NAC

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:29 pm

I definitely agree that it would be a good idea for NAQT/PACE/someone to follow up on NHBB's more "out of the way" areas for outreach - assuming that Father Duenas even knows of HSNCT's existence (and they very well may not), they evidently never had an opportunity to qualify for HSNCT, and it probably doesn't occur to many teams to apply for wild-card berths (though I am sure that Father Duenas, being farther from an (all subject) pyramidal tournament geographically than probably any other team ever, would have been likely to earn one).
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