Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28/15)

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Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28/15)

Post by atai » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:11 am

On behalf of the Hunter College High School Quizbowl Team, I'm pleased to present the eighth iteration of our yearly Prison Bowl! The tournament will occur on Saturday, March 28, 2015. Our fortress is located at 71 E 94th St between Park Ave and Madison Ave in Manhattan, New York. This tournament will be directed by Albert Tai (myself) and Sarah Hamerling herself. Feel free to contact us with any questions at hchsqb@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you guys in March!

Registration
Registration is now open! Until February 18, up to two teams from a school will be officially placed in the field; additional teams will placed on a waitlist. The last day to register is Monday, March 23, 2015.

You may register by filling out this Google Form. No other form of registration will be accepted, including but not limited to emails, chats, snail mail, and "holla[ing]" at me. After registration is completed, a confirmation email will be sent shortly to the email provided.

Teams are limited to 6 players each. The field is currently capped at 24 36 teams.

Question Set
Prison Bowl VIII is a regular difficulty set written by the Hunter team. For an idea of the difficulty, see previous Prison Bowls. This year's distribution is as follows:
- 4/4 Literature
- 4/4 History
- 4/4 Science
- 3/3 Arts
- 2.5/2.5 Religion, Mythology, Philosophy
- .8/.8 Social Science
- .6/.6 Geography
- .6/.6 Trash
- .8/.8 Current Events

Apologies to you mathemagicians out there, but computational math will not be part of our set.

We're hoping to see Prison Bowl mirrors all over the the country! Email us at hchsqb at gmail dot com if you are interested in hosting.

Tournament Format
The tournament will be around 8 untimed rounds of 20 tossups and 20 bonuses. The tournament will be run on ACF rules; in short, there are negs but no powers or rebounding bonuses.

The tournament will consist of bracketed round-robin prelims and rebracketed round-robin playoffs, the details of which are to be decided and announced after the field is determined. Teams should expect to play 5 morning rounds and 3 afternoon rounds. Ties will be played off, packets permitting. We'll also have book prizes for top scorers!

Check-in will start at 8:00 and run until 8:45. Please arrive before 8:30 so we can get round 1 started at around 9:00. The final playoff rounds and award ceremony will conclude at around 5:00 or 6:00 in the afternoon.

Fee Structure
Inflation hasn't been bad enough for our prices to rise, so fees will be the same as last year's:

$80 for the first team from a school
$70 for each subsequent team
-$5 for each working buzzer set
-$10 for each experienced staffer
$40 minimum fee per team

We accept checks made out to "HCHS Quiz Bowl" and cash. Please bring checks on the day of the tournament! Travel discounts and special circumstances can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the tournament directors via the comment section in the registration form, or by email (hchsqb@gmail.com).

Transportation and Food
Our school is located at 71 East 94th Street, New York, NY, 10128, between Park and Madison Avenues. It is very close to the 96th street stop on the 6 train line, and can also be reached by the m1-4 buses along Madison and the crosstown m96 bus along 96th. There is a bus drop-off area at our school on Park, and cars can park at Majestic Car Park on 94th between Park and Lexington.

We'll provide breakfast consisting of bagels, complete with top-notch spreads like butter, cream cheese, and jam. Coffee and juice will also be provided. We'll also give you guys a map detailing the many eclectic eateries that can be visited for lunch.

Current Field (Teams/Buzzers/Staff)

(31/36)
Bethlehem (1/1/0)
Darien (1/0/0)
Livingston (4/2/1)
Emmaus (1/0/0)
St. Luke's (1/0/0)
High Tech (2/2/0)
North Babylon (2/3/0)
Deep Green (1/1/0)
Bergen (2/2/0)
Wheatley (2/1/0)
St. Joe's (3/2/0)
Bronx Science (2/0/0)
Trinity (2/0/0)
Ramapo (1/0/0)
Gotham (1/0/0)
Ithaca (1/1/1)
Scarsdale (1/1/0)
Kellenberg (1/3/0)
Columbia Secondary (1/1/1)
Stuyvesant (1/0/0)

Waitlist:
Last edited by atai on Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:19 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by Northern Central Railway » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:37 pm

Is the registration form for this going to be posted?
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by atai » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:08 pm

The registration form is up! It can be found at this link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1jWcXYI ... 4/viewform
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by atai » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:27 pm

UPDATE: The field is now half-full! Get registering!
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by atai » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:59 am

UPDATE: We have decided to raise the field size to 36 teams! Register now for those last few spots!
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by tnalfalfa » Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:12 am

We will be updating stats (more or less) live: http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/2805
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by atai » Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:44 am

Full stats are now up.

Thanks for coming, everybody! From what I saw, the set was well-liked, and I hope that we ironed out all our logistical issues and ran the tournament as smoothly as possible.

Championship standings were as follows:
1. High Tech B (385) v. 2. Bethlehem (235)
3. Livingston A (290) v. 4. Bergen A (225)
5. High Tech A (385) v. 6. Kellenberg (170)
7. Darien (340) v. 8. Ithaca (200)
9. Livingston B and Livingston D (both forfeited)

I'd like to publicly thank the VCU team and Rohan Nag for helping us write questions.
Albert Tai
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Columbia University '20

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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:12 pm

atai wrote:Full stats are now up.
Could you please post combined stats when you have the opportunity?
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by heterodyne » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:05 pm

What's up with the weird High Tech a/b inversion?
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by High Dependency Unit » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:28 pm

I’m rather reluctant to post this, but my team had a disappointing experience at this tournament, and it was certainly the worst-run tournament we’ve been to. The tournament was understaffed, poorly run in general, and there were several issues with the question set.

Despite the fact that Hunter found the resources to raise their field size to 36 teams from 24 (and wound up with 30, and just 26 in the afternoon), I didn’t see a single scorekeeper all day, the only exception being when Guy Rabner stepped in to read for a poor moderator and that mod kept score. Did Hunter even have enough staff to run a quality 24-team event? Rounds ran very slowly (the moderator Guy Rabner stepped in for couldn’t seem to finish a round in under 35 minutes, and that round was when Eric of Bethlehem was getting a ton of early buzzes), and we finished round 5 of the preliminaries a bit after 12:30 (let’s say 3 hours and 15 minutes for 5 rounds=39 minutes a round). When we had Rabner for a reader, we easily had ten minutes to stand around and talk before the other team showed up.

The afternoon was so much worse. Despite being told to be back by 1:30, playoff schedules were not posted until about 2:00. Rounds still ran fairly slowly, and there was this disaster where the moderator read the wrong packet (and that shouldn’t have happened in the first place) to Livingston A and B (I believe). Instead of giving Livingston A and High Tech A a different packet to read the following round, they just sat around in the game room for an hour (approx. 2:40-3:40), and then made up the game after the remainder of the playoff rounds were over, which definitely delayed some of the crossovers. Did Hunter not have a replacement packet at the time? There is a rumor that you guys “Frankensteined” a packet on the spot, but I don’t know it was true (considering you claimed to have 13 rounds, I hope it wasn’t, but the fact that you didn’t immediately issue a replacement packet suggests that you may not have had a complete packet available). The 5 playoff rounds ran until 5:30, and then we had to wait close to 30 minutes for crossovers to be organized (and it inexplicably seemed as though the other half of the championship bracket was running slower than ours). We finished the tournament at about 6:35, and other teams were still playing.

The question set was plagued with errors, including the repetition of clues and even entire questions, including one instance where the same tossup was there twice in a row. The set almost certainly wasn’t play-tested, and it didn’t look like you guys had time to proofread or even edit the entire set. Among other things, there was also a significant variance in the difficulty of the bonuses, particularly in the playoffs and crossover rounds, and some surprisingly easy lead-ins (and I’d love the creation of a private subforum to discuss specific questions), but the main issue with the set was the fact that moderators often had to retrieve replacement questions.

Albert, I hope you can learn from this experience to produce a error-free set and run a successful tournament next year, but it looks like we will be seeking other options.

Regardless, congratulations to High Tech B and Bethlehem!
Michael Borecki
Middlesex Middle '13,
Darien (co-captain) '17,
Bowdoin College (club president) '21
NHBB Regional Coordinator
www.ctquizbowl.org

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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by jonpin » Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:49 pm

I was a good bit disappointed with the set, and I won't go into details on questions because there are mirrors to be played elsewhere, but my issues with that were separate from my issues with the day-of organization of the tournament itself, at least through the morning. The individual awards were announced very close to 1:30 and I'm not sure why it took such a long time after that to announce the playoff brackets. Something I've found to be useful as a TD is to ask teams to confirm at their last prelim round if they're coming back for consolation rounds. That way you don't have to spend so long planning those groups and then reworking them when this team or that team says they have to leave.
Right from the start, there were errors with repeats. Round 2 had three exact repeat bonuses from Round 1. Besides those copy-and-paste repeats were a number of factual repeats, like a tossup and bonus on the same person with significant overlap of clues. There were also some really blatant factual errors. I reported on a few of these on the day of, but at one point I asked if the set was being used elsewhere. When I was told it wasn't, I stopped reporting these errors, because it wouldn't accomplish anything. Knowing that the set is to be mirrored, I'd like a copy of the questions so I can scan through and identify whatever errors I can remember. I also stopped mentioning the errors because I was told that the packet-reading error had resulted in having to come up with a replacement round which the TDs were focusing all of their attention on.
After round 10 ended, the makeup round had to be played, but one semifinal group had sorted itself out 4-3-2-1-0 while the other was 4-2-2-1-0 with the one game to play. The teams that were to play ninth place agreed to leave. At that point, the seventh place game could've started and importantly the final could've started without waiting. Kellenberg could've been told "You'll play the fifth place game against a team to be determined, but that'll take a while" and decided if they wanted to stay or not. But there was very little communication to teams milling about in the meeting room, for up to an hour, waiting to find out what was next.
Bergen waited around for our third place game, and it was a very tightly contested battle with Livingston A, but the packet was besieged by a number of flaws. First, the round had 19 tossups. A replacement tossup was attached, but then they discovered that'd already been used in the make-up game, so we got a new replacement tossup 20. When I perused the packet while waiting for the make-up game to end, I specifically said "Bonus 9 is a repeat" but nothing was done about that. A few more questions were repeats from the make-up game. There was a runner bringing replacements, but the whole thing was exacerbated by the fact that we were playing a floor down and on the opposite corner from the control room, for no apparent reason. Where were Hunter's buzzers, and why weren't they set up in the rooms closest to HQ to use those in the final? The third place game ended after 18.5 questions, because we just didn't have anything left to read, but the margin was big enough that the game was decided.

I don't want to come across as bashing or unfairly negative. Running a tournament is hard, and writing your own set is ridiculously hard. But it is not something to be taken lightly, and not to be put off to the last minute or the last week, and the problems with yesterday's tournament certainly made it appear that's what happened.
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by High Dependency Unit » Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:30 pm

jonpin wrote:Right from the start, there were errors with repeats. Round 2 had three exact repeat bonuses from Round 1. Besides those copy-and-paste repeats were a number of factual repeats, like a tossup and bonus on the same person with significant overlap of clues. There were also some really blatant factual errors.... Knowing that the set is to be mirrored, I'd like a copy of the questions so I can scan through and identify whatever errors I can remember.
Seconded. I'd also like to give feedback on some questions for a variety of reasons besides repeats or factual errors.
jonpin wrote:After round 10 ended, the makeup round had to be played, but one semifinal group had sorted itself out 4-3-2-1-0 while the other was 4-2-2-1-0 with the one game to play. The teams that were to play ninth place agreed to leave. At that point, the seventh place game could've started
From what I know, our match (7th place) started before the last semifinal group game was completed, but that was still well after both us and Ithaca had finished round 10.
jonpin wrote:the whole thing was exacerbated by the fact that we were playing a floor down and on the opposite corner from the control room, for no apparent reason. Where were Hunter's buzzers, and why weren't they set up in the rooms closest to HQ to use those in the final?
While walking around looking for HQ (which was hard to find), I noticed several rooms that were on the same hallway that HQ was actually on and had buzzers set up but were empty. It also would've helped if HQ itself had been in a more central location.
Michael Borecki
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by jonpin » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:09 pm

Mucho Macho Man wrote:
jonpin wrote:After round 10 ended, the makeup round had to be played, but one semifinal group had sorted itself out 4-3-2-1-0 while the other was 4-2-2-1-0 with the one game to play. The teams that were to play ninth place agreed to leave. At that point, the seventh place game could've started
From what I know, our match (7th place) started before the last semifinal group game was completed, but that was still well after both us and Ithaca had finished round 10.
I did notice that, however the championship game started much after yours did, and that was already set in stone without needing the makeup game.
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by gettysburg11 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:16 pm

For us, our tournament experience ended before it could really begin. Despite assurances that there would be available parking for our school district van since it wouldn't fit in the suggested parking garage, our coach ended up circling the area desperately looking for a spot for over an hour, being stopped by a cop and told to go park in New Jersey in the process, and ultimately finding nothing. We got to play essentially one match before we made the decision that we needed to leave before things got any worse.

That was the rationale behind our abrupt exit, if anyone was curious. So I suppose this is a lesson for future years: find some other method of transportation. Although it appears we may have had less of a headache than those of you who stayed the course.

Oh, and I also noticed the bunch of empty classrooms on the same floor of the control room when we were waiting around trying to see if there would be a solution to our parking issue. I too wondered why they weren't being used.
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by misterchilton » Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:59 pm

Hi all,

Thank you for your feedback on the set and the logistics of the tournament itself. This was my first time as advisor for a team running a house-written tournament, and I certainly learned a lot for next year. Among other things, we’re going to adopt Mr. Rabner’s suggestion to password protect all rounds so the wrong packet can’t be read, and I think we’ll keep it capped at 24 teams in the future. Mostly I want to apologize to Emmaeus, who were unable to participate because of the lack of parking. I think that accounting for their absence, along with the mistaken packet, helped to contribute to the long delay. We should have communicated more clearly, however, with the teams who were waiting and I apologize for that.

Our team is heavy on underclassmen and I feel confident that they’ve gained a lot of valuable experience that will help us run a more efficient and error-free tournament next year. I’ve asked Albert to set up the subforum for your comments as Mr. Pinyan suggested. In the meantime, please send me any further feedback directly at CChilton@hccs.hunter.cuny.edu.

Congratulations, of course, to High Tech and to Bethlehem!
Christopher Chilton
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by atai » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:50 pm

Trust me, in my two nights of introspection after this tournament, I've already thought of about everything that has been said here to various degrees. As someone who has played in many tournaments as well, many of your points are certainly justified.
Mucho Macho Man wrote:The question set was plagued with errors, including the repetition of clues and even entire questions, including one instance where the same tossup was there twice in a row. The set almost certainly wasn’t play-tested, and it didn’t look like you guys had time to proofread or even edit the entire set. Among other things, there was also a significant variance in the difficulty of the bonuses, particularly in the playoffs and crossover rounds, and some surprisingly easy lead-ins (and I’d love the creation of a private subforum to discuss specific questions), but the main issue with the set was the fact that moderators often had to retrieve replacement questions.
Though Prison Bowl was a collaborative team effort, I feel that it is my responsibility to apologize for any quality drops from last year’s set, as I was very involved in the editing process. Prison Bowl has always been about emulating professional and collegiate writers, and unfortunately, this year’s Hunter team was comprised mostly of lowerclassmen who were relatively new to the game. It was basically up to a small group of people, myself included, to edit the Hunter questions. While Max Schindler could write an entire side-event by himself, I have not yet reached his level and experience. And we did not anticipate that these questions would require so much time to edit. I’m not saying that our team bit off more than it could chew, it’s just that we lacked the foresight in starting the question-writing process a little earlier to accommodate these new writers. Some of us worked really hard on this set, but as a consequence of all this, we did not have as much time for compilation and playtesting as we would have liked. At the end, logistics may have taken second fiddle to trying to write an enjoyable set. I do realize that this is not an excuse for any substandard questions; I’m just providing an explanation because as people who paid money to pay this thing, you guys definitely deserve one.

As you probably inferred from my previous statement, due to time constraints, this question set didn’t fulfill our vision, and we’d like to bring it up to our historically high standards before our next mirror. Therefore, we’ve decided to make a subforum for any constructive criticism that you might have about the set. It can be found here.
jonpin wrote:After round 10 ended, the makeup round had to be played, but one semifinal group had sorted itself out 4-3-2-1-0 while the other was 4-2-2-1-0 with the one game to play. The teams that were to play ninth place agreed to leave. At that point, the seventh place game could've started and importantly the final could've started without waiting. Kellenberg could've been told "You'll play the fifth place game against a team to be determined, but that'll take a while" and decided if they wanted to stay or not. But there was very little communication to teams milling about in the meeting room, for up to an hour, waiting to find out what was next.
Noted, Mr. Pinyan. Valid criticism that I certainly agree with—I’ve also subject to tournaments with long wait times, and have gotten agitated by them as well. I guess that I was so preoccupied with packet proofreading and Sarah was so preoccupied with statkeeping that a logistical factor that was equally as important temporarily slipped my mind.

Looking back at this tournament, and just my life in general, I'm sure that there are infinitely many things that I could've done better. But, hey, there's no use in having 20/20 hindsight if you're not going to use it for the future.
Last edited by atai on Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by High Dependency Unit » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:07 pm

I'd like to at least say that although, yes, there were some issues with the set, I liked alot of the history questions (I don't remember them all, but I really like alot of the ones I do remember). I feel like there was a good amount of "fresh" stuff that is good to ask about but typically isn't tossed up.
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Darien (co-captain) '17,
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by atai » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:01 pm

Discussion forum can be found here!
Western Leader wrote:What's up with the weird High Tech a/b inversion?
They split their rosters, having Rohan and Adithya on B and Julian on A. Not sure why.
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Re: Prison Bowl VIII @ Hunter College High School, NYC (3/28

Post by jonpin » Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:39 pm

To join the private forum:
From any page on the HSQB forums, in the top-left corner, hit USER CONTROL PANEL. Select the "Usergroups" tab. Then scroll down to "2015 Prison Bowl discussion", select it, and at the bottom of the page, next to where it says "Join selected", hit "Submit".
Someone from Hunter will have to approve your membership in the group (to verify that you are someone who attended the tournament, as opposed to someone who may be attending a future mirror), and when they do, you'll get an email informing you that you have been accepted. At that time, the forum will appear from the front page of the HSQB forums.

If you have any questions on this process, please send me a private message on the forums, or email me.
Jon Pinyan
Coach, Bergen County Academies (NJ); former player for BCA (2000-03) and WUSTL (2003-07)
HSQB forum mod, PACE member
Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

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