Integrity in NHBB Events

Announcements, results, and discussion for single subject events including but not limited to National History Bee and Bowl, the US Geography Championships, and Science Bowl. DO NOT discuss specific question content from any sets that have not been announced as clear.
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Vembanad
Lulu
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:20 pm

Integrity in NHBB Events

Post by Vembanad »

Dear NHBB players, staff, and community members,
I’m aware that by posting this so closely before nationals it’s unlikely that any change will be made (particularly given that earlier missives of mine remain unanswered), but it’s still an issue that I believe is worthy of discussion. NHBB’s integrity policy for online gameplay is outdated and ineffective. Pre-tournament emails have stated that “IAC's cheating and integrity policy can be boiled down into a rather short sentence - Don't cheat, and don't try to cheat.” The policy further notes that all students must have cameras and microphones on at all times; it does not officially mention the de facto policy requiring that all players have one hand up at all times. In an ideal world, with good-hearted players who value the spirit of the game more than illegitimately-earned titles or clout, this set of requirements would be more than enough to ensure a lack of cheating. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case.
Relative to Quiz Bowl, History Bowl events seem to have had a large number of suspected cheaters, with widespread rumors at regional tournaments coupled with perceptions that NHBB will do little when confronted with possible instances of cheating. Most prominently, in addition to one or two players who were kicked from the tournament, a player on a high-performing team at the 2020 Nationals held online in December was widely agreed to have cheated based on video evidence from the semifinals and finals, but was cleared by NHBB due to the (reasonable) desire not to declare anyone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I do not have any way of knowing whether that player cheated for sure (although I trust the accounts of my JV players after playing that player’s team), but it seems that it should be evident that more stringent guidelines are necessary to at least alleviate these concerns -- this would also lead to the positive effect of clearing those wrongly suspected! NAQT and PACE have both mandated that players have both hands visible during matches, something which I've found to be very effective during regional tournaments, and I call on NHBB to do the same to protect the legitimacy of their tournaments.
Cerulean Ozarow
Hunter '21
Vembanad
Lulu
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:20 pm

Re: Integrity in NHBB Events

Post by Vembanad »

I have no idea whether this post had any impact on the decision but I am glad to learn that (as of May 11th) NHBB has implemented a two-hand policy for Nationals.
Cerulean Ozarow
Hunter '21
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