NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

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NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by AKKOLADE »

Use this thread for the discussion of questions from the HSNCT this past weekend.

If you're going to play a mirror of the HSNCT and are actually going to read this thread for the purpose of cheating on high school questions, you're a pathetic human being who needs to reconsider your priorities in life.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas »

"There are 11 dukes in the peerage of Great Britain. For 5 points each, name any 6 of them. Note that dukes only in England or Scotland will not count."

"In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry won the Quidditch Cup for the first time. For 5 points each, name his 6 teammates."

What the hell are these bonuses doing in the playoffs and finals, let alone merely even existing? The latter garnered a reaction from the crowd which will surely be heard on the podcast---everyone felt that they were punched in the gut at that moment. There were many other bad questions in this set but I forgot to pick up our set so I don't have it in front of me, unfortunately.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

A Harry Potter list bonus? Ouch.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by theattachment »

Two problems with "econ" bonuses:

First, the one that applied economic concepts to quiz bowl was the worst social sciences bonus I've seen in ages. Seriously, a dude likes literature questions more so they become a better currency?

Second, according to a guy that sits on the Minneapolis Fed and is the dad of one of the B players/one of the chaperones, biflation doesn't exist.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by evilmonkey »

A bonus in playoff round 15, 16, or 17 (the mod in our consolation game room stopped the clock in shock after this bonus was completed):
Part 1: "The son of Philip IV..." ANSWER: Charles II
Part 3: "His son, Charles II..." ANSWER: Philip IV

(Note: I may have flipped these two. But it was bad.)

Also:
Bonus Part - First 3 playoff rounds
"Name this state which held primary elections by mail" - Oregon
Semifinal Round - Tossup
"... and held primary elections by mail" - Oregon
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by fluffy4102 »

Give the ethnicities of the following leaders,
"Joseph Stalin from Georgia" or something along those lines...
Everybody was going "WTF?"

Either that or the reader accidentally slipped. We just found it strange.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova »

theattachment wrote:Two problems with "econ" bonuses:

First, the one that applied economic concepts to quiz bowl was the worst social sciences bonus I've seen in ages. Seriously, a dude likes literature questions more so they become a better currency?

Second, according to a guy that sits on the Minneapolis Fed and is the dad of one of the B players/one of the chaperones, biflation doesn't exist.
The first bonus was in fact wacky, but only in that the bizarre context the writer decided to put the question in made the relatively straightforward answers much harder to pull.

As to the second, this post on the World Economic Forum blog seems to suggest otherwise. (Either way, I have no primary knowledge of the topic.)
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Blackboard Monitor Vimes »

The Catcher in the Rye TU was a bit ridiculous, in my opinion. I played it in a scrimmage because it came up after we got knocked out, but I'd have been mad if it had been a real game. The question listed chapter numbers and places in NY. It was absurd. I'm also not convinced that no one else visited Penn Station in the same chapter as Holden Caulfield. I waited for two more locations because it was a scrimmage and I had time, but in a real game, I'd probably have been annoyed even if I got the TU.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Stat Boy »

My nominee for worst question:

"It will land during our tournament... let's hope it doesn't burst into flames like the bird it's named after. "

Get it? It's clever because it's called the Phoenix probe. Like the bird. :mad: :cry: :lol: :chip:
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by NMBlumberjax »

i bet there were some obscure social history questions just like the AP US History exam this year with labor unions
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas »

NMBlumberjax wrote:i bet there were some obscure social history questions just like the AP US History exam this year with labor unions
then again mabe not
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by The Atom Strikes! »

metsfan001 wrote:
NMBlumberjax wrote:i bet there were some obscure social history questions just like the AP US History exam this year with labor unions
then again mabe not
I thought that there was a bonus about the Knights of Labor, but then again, they're not that obscure...
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas »

SwissBoy wrote:
metsfan001 wrote:
NMBlumberjax wrote:i bet there were some obscure social history questions just like the AP US History exam this year with labor unions
then again mabe not
I thought that there was a bonus about the Knights of Labor, but then again, they're not that obscure...
Oh, we must have had a bye that round.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Byko »

metsfan001 wrote:What the hell are these bonuses doing in the playoffs and finals, let alone merely even existing?
I'll bet $82 that I can tell you who writes most of these list-style bonuses.

(Those of you who are old school probably know exactly what I'm saying.)
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat »

If I remember right, there was a tossup on diabetes that basically started "it's type two form..." Admittedly the wording was different, but this is how I understood it. Not good.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Stat Boy »

One more thing: it's inexcusable to mention Erwin Rommel in the first clue of a Capporetto tossup, especially in the finals.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Stat Boy »

it's type two form...
I believe that question also mentioned "adult onset" in the first clue.

Edit: And the first clue about the course of the disease mentioned the Islets of Langerhans.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by wexs883198215 »

I believe the diabetes question started by mentioning something about the amount of people that get diagnosed, and then it mentioned the type one form, where the immune system does not recognize blah blah blah
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Byko »

Stat Boy wrote:One more thing: it's inexcusable to mention Erwin Rommel in the first clue of a Capporetto tossup, especially in the finals.
I don't think they make any distinction in the content of rounds between early rounds, playoffs, and finals. I know PACE, however, has done that in the past--to what extent that has continued, I don't know.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by The Atom Strikes! »

The tossups that incited the most irritation for me were:

1: A tossup on Bill Richardson with his tenure as secretary of energy as 2nd clue. This is probably the 2nd-most important thing that Bill Richardson has actually done. Anybody with any familiarity should have gotten that right there.

2: A tossup on Dotstoevsky with a plot summary of Crime and Punishment in the 2nd clue.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

Stat Boy wrote:
it's type two form...
I believe that question also mentioned "adult onset" in the first clue.

Edit: And the first clue about the course of the disease mentioned the Islets of Langerhans.
And the Islets of Langerhans were still worth FIFTEEEEEEEEEEN.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Stat Boy »

The Richardson tossup also mentioned his 3rd most famous post, UN amabassador, in the first clue.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by The Laughing Man »

I thought that the literature this year was definitely a step up from previous years and the literature toss ups were generally well done. The answer selection seemed better than in previous years; it was nice to see answer selections like Pere Goriot as opposed to Balzac. The only egregious literature toss up I can remember was the Catcher in the Rye one. It is a shame that a question about a book so rich with potential lead ins had one about locations in the book that was not of a high enough difficulty and led to a buzzer race. The other problem was the bonus variability. While most literature bonuses were of an appropriate difficulty especially those that were author, then work, then character, there were a couple gimme 30s: the Japanese author bonus, the bonus where the 3rd part was Elie Wiesel and probably a lot of others I don't remember.

The visual art was much weaker. I know that writing visual art is hard, I have tried and failed miserably. Nonetheless, it stood out as the weakest part of the set and considering how little of it there is, it really would be nice if it were good. The only art question I can remember that began with visual clues,the one on La primavera, was really transparent and gave extremely famous clues in the beginning. Madame X is overasked, and the fact that there are only a few visual clues that can be used from it leads to a lead in that didn't discuss the painting itself and was fairly transparent. The Titian lead in was probably too easy; I have very little Titian knowledge, but was able to power because Giorione's Sleeping Venus is quite famous and the fact that Titian made its background is quite known. I think that the art could be greatly improved simply by expanding the number of paintings that are asked about because NAQT really only asks about a tiny tiny number. There are plenty of paintings that would be almost universally converted, but are less asked at the high school level. Why not a question on something like The Death of Sardanapalus instead of Madame X?

First post, yay.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by NMBlumberjax »

I certainly hope there was at least 1 question on a video game
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

What is your purpose in posting all the time about your musings about hypothetical situations in the tournament? Yes, there was at least one video game question that I can remember.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by NMBlumberjax »

Dude im sorry, just wondering about it because i really do have a good time with quizbowl
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

Stat Boy wrote:One more thing: it's inexcusable to mention Erwin Rommel in the first clue of a Capporetto tossup, especially in the finals.
As David said, NAQT does not distinguish the finals packet(s) from the rest of the tournament.

Secondly: I find it hard to believe that that Rommel clue is actually better-known than the material at the end of the tossup. (...it saw Austro-Hungarian forces push through the front line and rout the Italians, leading to a confused retreat. For 10 points--name this 1917 battle whose aftermath is featured in A Farewell to Arms.) Are there going to be buzzer races when two of the best teams in a tournament both happen to know the same leadin clue? Yes. That's why we play entire packets instead of deciding the national championship on individual tossups.

In related news: please contact me (jthoppes (AT) berkeley (DOT) edu) if you would like to register complaints about the history questions in this tournament.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox »

Byko wrote:
metsfan001 wrote:What the hell are these bonuses doing in the playoffs and finals, let alone merely even existing?
I'll bet $82 that I can tell you who writes most of these list-style bonuses.

(Those of you who are old school probably know exactly what I'm saying.)
I see your $82 and raise you $61. :wink:
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico »

NMBlumberjax wrote:Dude im sorry, just wondering about it because i really do have a good time with quizbowl
Purchase HSNCT set. Read set. Problem solved.

You are hereby forbidden by me from posting in this thread (including to reply to this post.) Posting in this thread will result in your being banned. Sorry; you need to spend some more time reading and figure out what this board is about before making your volume of posts. Please feel free to enjoy any of our other threads.

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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Xerxes »

fluffy4102 wrote:Give the ethnicities of the following leaders,
"Joseph Stalin from Georgia" or something along those lines...
Everybody was going "WTF?"

Either that or the reader accidentally slipped. We just found it strange.
He meant the country Georgia, which is where Stalin was originally from...

Edit: Oh. Didn't read carefully enough...
Last edited by Xerxes on Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by wwellington »

My guess is that he means the reader said the answer in the question.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by theattachment »

wwellington wrote:My guess is that he means the reader said the answer in the question.
Yeah, seeing as though it's right... it definitely was just a reader slip-up that people were confused about.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by millionwaves »

theattachment wrote: Second, according to a guy that sits on the Minneapolis Fed and is the dad of one of the B players/one of the chaperones, biflation doesn't exist.
Hey,

Actually, I believe I've heard this come up in my classes as a problem specific to developing economies, especially China. It probably isn't something that the Minneapolis Fed needs to worry about too much. You can see Yale reference a Wall Street Journal article on it here and googling the term provides a number of links to reputable sources on the subject.

Of course, that doesn't mean it makes sense to have it come up in a high school quizbowl tournament.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by NKCtrashman »

Don't forget two tossups on Taiwan in the same round.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley »

I hope this isn't breaking some big NAQT trade secret, but it seems like some of the more egregious questions were ones written several years ago when various tropes like 30-20-10 bonuses and "list all the members of X" bonuses were more in vogue than today. On the positive side, it shows that NAQT is generally moving away from problematic questions like those bonus types. In general, there were a lot less of those bonuses at this tournament than HSNCTs in previous years which is good.

I don't know how the editing side of NAQT works, but I'd like to see more discretion taken on the inclusion of old questions. Quizbowl is a game that changes very quickly, and by using questions from 2004 or earlier with what appears to be a minimal amount of editing since that period, it appears to me that some poor quality questions make their way into the tournament because of this policy.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova »

NKCtrashman wrote:Don't forget two tossups on Taiwan in the same round.
It was actually a tossup and a 30-20-10 bonus. So, basically, two tossups.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Magister Ludi »

NAQT literature has bothered me for the last several years, and after this tournament I think its time to address these issues. The literature at this tournament was very inconsistent and often encouraged lateral reasoning. About half of lit questions were well written, while the rest were poor and reflected regressive writing standards.

Many tossups on writers devoted the first two sentences to pointless biographical trivia, and then listed a well known work leading to unnecessary buzzer races. This focus on biography also manifested itself in the arts most notably in the stephen foster 30-20-10 bonus which for the 30 clue said that this composer died poor, for the 20 clue said that the composer lived in New Orleans, and only mentioned his actual music in the 10 point clue. Also any questions encouraged lateral reasoning such as the Catcher in the Rye tossup or the Stephen Crane tossup just rewarded people for making the most obvious guess. The Crane tossup said he reported on the Spanish-American War (which applies to many people) and then mentioned Black Riders. This just begged someone to guess Crane after Spanish-American War and then devolved into a buzzer race. If I had the questions in front of me I could point out lots of examples of similar problems.

Also the tossups on works often featured stock clues in the first line. Just in the last few rounds I remember a tossup on the Bell Jar that started by saying the protagonist spent time at a fashion magazine, and the question on "hell is other people" from No exit had a leadin about a the bronze mantelpiece. The bonuses varied wildly. They ran from bonuses on Walcott-Heaney-Pinsky and applying the Medieval humors to literary characters to bonuses on Jonah-Nineveh-Moby Dick and Death, Muraski-Basho-Kawabata, Venice-Steppenwolf-Glass Bead Game. The abundance of the archaic 30-20-10s and list bonuses were tedious and reflect lazy writing. I could go on and on with examples of poorly executed lit questions in this tournament, but suffice to say NAQT needs to change their writing standards to make the literature more consistent and substantive to reward knowledge and not foster trivia and lateral reasoning.

I realize that some of these questions were written years ago before the standards changed, but I dont think this is a valid excuse considering this is a national championship featuring some of the strongest teams and players ever seen in high school.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner »

Magister Ludi wrote:applying the Medieval humors to literary characters
Yes, this. Allow me to point out not only the obvious (that these questions are inane and if you aren't good enough to 30 them they are so incomprehensible that they seem like they are written in another language) but also the fact that, by requiring people to have very deep knowledge of two separate topics, then writing in the never-justified "5 for one, 10 for two, 20 for three, 30 for four" structure, you are depressing scoring to a very, very large degree. There is no way the distribution of points across teams on that bonus looked anything like the distribution on a regular lit bonus. Isn't this a significant problem?
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

So I don't remember what thread it's in but an NAQT writer just talked to me and let me know that the Harry Potter bonus was, in fact, under the literature heading, with the sub-category being children's literature. NAQT, cut this stuff out, Harry Potter is not literature, it's pop culture, and you should be nothing short of ashamed of yourselves for allowing trash to drive out more academic questions than it already has with your insane trash distribution.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by btressler »

I have a plea to add to Charlie's:

If the answer is a six-part list, couldn't we have 10 seconds to think?

My team was already rattled by that point, so even pulling 15 was good.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

Deesy Does It wrote:So I don't remember what thread it's in but an NAQT writer just talked to me and let me know that the Harry Potter bonus was, in fact, under the literature heading, with the sub-category being children's literature. NAQT, cut this shit out, Harry Potter is not literature, it's pop culture, and you should be nothing short of ashamed of yourselves for allowing trash to drive out more academic questions than it already has with your insane trash distribution.
I never understood the penchant for including children's lit in quizbowl. I remember an amusing tossup from some tournament on "Goodnight Moon" that invoked a New Yorker parody of it, but for the most part, unless you're making use of some heavy criticism clues, I just don't see the rationale for including these kinds of questions in the literature distribution. I realize that I'm making the somewhat-controversial assumption that there is a divide between "real" and "other" literature, but I do think that the literature questions should be reserved for works of actual literary merit; most children's literature (and certainly Harry Potter) does not fit this description.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner »

grapesmoker wrote:I never understood the penchant for including children's lit in quizbowl.
http://www.doc-ent.com/qbwiki/index.php?title=Funn
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

If i get my hands on the set sometime soon, I'll definitely be able to post in more detail, but I didn't like the order of clues in a few tossups. Several, especially in science, defined a term and then proceeded to say nothing of consequence until a brain-dead giveaway. Alternatively--the tossup on -1 that led in with "11111111" and then gave the product of "ijk?" It was negged, so I don't know where it would have come otherwise, but I'm pretty sure that's very, very easy for a competent CS player. I don't like common link tossups on numbers.

NAQT managed to write a horrible Huis Clos tossup once more--there are three that I can think of in all, and probably more that I just never played. A hint: get a writer who has read the goddamn play to write a tossup on it. Elements of the setting--the Second Empire room, the presence of three chairs and no mirror, the bronze mantelpiece--are things those who have read the play will never, ever forget. They are also things that people who wish to fraud the play will never, ever forget. The fact that they're the things that you think ought to be a leadin just having read a summary of the play indicates that people wishing to get it off a summary will memorize, too. Moral: Don't give frauders FIFTEEEEEEEN. It's forty pages and it's great, so one shouldn't write on it without reading it. Since it's part of the tiny domain in literature that I can still get on the college level, tossups on it that don't suck are appreciated.

I also have some comments on the myth (myth? where?) that I'll be able to get to, again, if/when I get a hold of the actual set, since I didn't take down notes on myth specifically.

It's a poor idea to recycle topics from the 03-04 set so explicitly (there were some extremely similar tossups and bonuses) if you're going to use that set for scrimmages the night before. Not many of the best teams play the scrimmage rounds, because typically they'll not really benefit from them--want to hear a nationals set for the 12th time? not really--and because they'd rather relax or read better questions to each other. Thus, reading decent and ambitious teams a set that contains a good amount of material that'll come up the next day produces bad results. I won't pretend that you can avoid all overlap, but you can avoid having tossups and bonuses with the same answers. I counted about a dozen.

Final point: LIST BONUSES and 5/10/20/30 ARE NO FUN. I can't imagine the last time I enjoyed having to come up with six answers in five seconds, especially when the six answers are almost always off the periodic table. Match the character to the dominating humor? Seriously? I know the humors and what they're said to indicate and I still couldn't thirty that; apparently we have different opinions of what dominates inside some characters' hearts.

But most egregious is having a list bonus in the finals. I know several posters have noted that there's no delineation made between the finals, playoffs, and preliminary rounds. It's time for that to change. We need to save the questions with the least amount of suck for the late rounds of the playoffs. I respect Charter a lot, but their comeback against Whitman was ignited by a World of Warcraft question, and their defeat of Dorman wasn't exactly on a great packet, either. I reject the notion that "list these Quidditch players" has any place in academic quiz bowl. There's a difference between chlidren's literature > Hans Christian Andersen and children's literature > Harry Potter. The former could be a lit bonus, though I'd sigh, and the latter is trash. Even dare to write a deep bonus on Quidditch--how about some of the teams in the British league, including the team that Ron accuses Cho of jumping on the bandwagon for, and maybe something about the World Cup? It would have no hard part, it really can't be a very good bonus, but I don't know if NAQT would consider that an issue anymore. I'd love for that to be proven wrong.

I think there's a simple principle that we have to operate on here: quiz bowl is not a spectator sport. Some of these bonuses--the Harry Potter one included--seemed to be written to get the audience to laugh at how difficult (and therefore, because the topic is stupid, ill-conceived) they were. Doesn't this sound like the discussion of "classic pop culture" in the Missouri distribution, and how it seems to be written so that adult spectators can chuckle about "their day" and how they know some answers? Isn't this the same reason :chip: and CBI are full of hoses, so that the audience can feel smarter than the players for not buzzing in?

We should be writing these questions for the teams playing, not the teams watching. Really, it's little wonder that the entire audience, watching as a fantastic TJ team was threatened by a very good but not similarly talented Charter team, couldn't help but laugh at the set. There is an increasing amount of showmanship at the HSNCT, and I hope that it's not becoming :chip: . I worry that it will.

I know that I've been less diplomatic than I ought to be, and if I've offended anyone not affiliated with NAQT, I apologize. There are also many people affiliated with NAQT whom I respect, and with whom I have a decent relationship. I hope not to sunder that. But I think what's most important here is that things change radically with the NAQT format and with its writers, or else it will lose any legitimacy it has. If I have to hurt my relationships with some people to make sure that NAQT knows it ought to change, though I'd rather it weren't necessary, I'll sacrifice that.

But please--R., or somebody--tell us what you're going to do to make sure this doesn't happen again.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox »

I meant to post this after ICT, but my complaint is the same for HSNCT. Any question related to law in this set was either anti-pyramidal, ridiculous, or flat out poorly worded. Sometimes all three. The abortion question was precisely that: an abortion. A nasty coat-hanger one too. If by some minor miracle a person buzzed in on Gonzales congrats, you managed to avoid the buzzer race on how abortion was legalized by Roe. Which it wasn't. Roe (and for that matter Roe's companion case Doe v. Bolton, which really does some of the heavy lifting in terms of establishing a right to abortion) CONSTITUTIONALIZED the right to abortion, it did not legalize squat. In many states abortion was already legal.

The gay marriage bonus was also problematic because the first two parts were ridiculously easy and the third, while not necessarily easy, was insanely vague. If you're going to ask "which provision of the constitution do people think could force gay marriage on states that don't want it blah blah blah" the 14th Amendment gaurantee of equal protection is a way more tenable legal argument (particularly with states that have an ERA in their state constitution) than the Full Faith & Credit Clause. Anyone who says that FF&CC can be used for that purpose either has an incredibly liberal viewpoint of law, is ignorant, both or neither (i.e. they're lying) because there is an exception to FF&CC which says that any state that wants to not recognize contracts in another state because it violates their public policy can do so. This is why every state banning gay marriage explicitly states "it is the public policy of this state that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Writ of certiorari: high schoolers don't know it. They always guess habeas because it's the only writ they know. I'm as guilty of that one as the writer in this set.

On a positive note, I did not have to gnash my teeth over a q about Marbury creating the concept of judicial review. So this could have been worse.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by Stat Boy »

Writ of certiorari: high schoolers don't know it. They always guess habeas because it's the only writ they know.
What?
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores »

allythin wrote:Writ of certiorari: high schoolers don't know it. They always guess habeas because it's the only writ they know. I'm as guilty of that one as the writer in this set.
Not exactly true. Not only did I know it when it came up in the bonus for other team, the other team seemed to have heard of it, they just couldn't get the right pronunciation. This may not be true for most of the other teams, but I figured it was.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by yoda4554 »

allythin wrote:I meant to post this after ICT, but my complaint is the same for HSNCT. Any question related to law in this set was either anti-pyramidal, ridiculous, or flat out poorly worded. Sometimes all three. The abortion question was precisely that: an abortion. A nasty coat-hanger one too. If by some minor miracle a person buzzed in on Gonzales congrats, you managed to avoid the buzzer race on how abortion was legalized by Roe. Which it wasn't. Roe (and for that matter Roe's companion case Doe v. Bolton, which really does some of the heavy lifting in terms of establishing a right to abortion) CONSTITUTIONALIZED the right to abortion, it did not legalize squat. In many states abortion was already legal.

The gay marriage bonus was also problematic because the first two parts were ridiculously easy and the third, while not necessarily easy, was insanely vague. If you're going to ask "which provision of the constitution do people think could force gay marriage on states that don't want it blah blah blah" the 14th Amendment gaurantee of equal protection is a way more tenable legal argument (particularly with states that have an ERA in their state constitution) than the Full Faith & Credit Clause. Anyone who says that FF&CC can be used for that purpose either has an incredibly liberal viewpoint of law, is ignorant, both or neither (i.e. they're lying) because there is an exception to FF&CC which says that any state that wants to not recognize contracts in another state because it violates their public policy can do so. This is why every state banning gay marriage explicitly states "it is the public policy of this state that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Writ of certiorari: high schoolers don't know it. They always guess habeas because it's the only writ they know. I'm as guilty of that one as the writer in this set.

On a positive note, I did not have to gnash my teeth over a q about Marbury creating the concept of judicial review. So this could have been worse.
Write of certiorari was definitively taken in my room by a middle-of-the-pack team; it's really not that hard. Also, I wrote the abortion tossup; not the best thing I wrote for the tournament, but definitely not horribly bad. I noted to Jeff when submitting it there was a bit of a jump in difficulty at the end (for I could not find of better transition clues at the time), but by the end of the second sentence you get rather clearly "this is a practice relevant to women's history that a bunch of people have wanted to get rid of," followed by "there have been recent rulings and laws involving a particular form of it." I mean, if you're waiting for the Clue You 100% Know, those clues may be a bit rough, but I think they're dense, historically relevant, and point pretty clearly in the right direction without being too horribly transparent or requiring too much lateral thinking. Also, though I don't remember if Jeff or I added the word, "legalized" misleads no one and it takes up fewer characters against the question cap than "constitutionalized."
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by BuzzerZen »

allythin wrote:Writ of certiorari: high schoolers don't know it.
I don't think that's quite fair; certiorari definitely came up in the AP Government curriculum.
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by evilmonkey »

Stat Boy wrote:
Writ of certiorari: high schoolers don't know it. They always guess habeas because it's the only writ they know.
What?
Better yet, :w-hat: ????

But seriously, I remember a discussion a while back of the HS canon, and among the things it included were anything that was part of an AP class. Writ of certiori certainly comes up in AP Gov. Therefore, I don't see a problem with said writ.

EDIT: Yea, what Silby said
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Re: NAQT HSNCT Question Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

allythin wrote:I meant to post this after ICT, but my complaint is the same for HSNCT. Any question related to law in this set was either anti-pyramidal, ridiculous, or flat out poorly worded. Sometimes all three. The abortion question was precisely that: an abortion. A nasty coat-hanger one too. If by some minor miracle a person buzzed in on Gonzales congrats, you managed to avoid the buzzer race on how abortion was legalized by Roe. Which it wasn't. Roe (and for that matter Roe's companion case Doe v. Bolton, which really does some of the heavy lifting in terms of establishing a right to abortion) CONSTITUTIONALIZED the right to abortion, it did not legalize squat. In many states abortion was already legal.
This is a bizarre complaint, especially characterizing a buzz on Gonzales v. Carhart as a miracle. Hello, it's one of the landmark abortion decisions of the last decade. The quibble about whether Roe legalized abortion or not is also a pointless semantic debate; after Roe states became unable to prohibit abortion outright, but since NAQT has a character limit, I'm not shocked or appalled that they used "legalized" as shorthand for this.
The gay marriage bonus was also problematic because the first two parts were ridiculously easy and the third, while not necessarily easy, was insanely vague. If you're going to ask "which provision of the constitution do people think could force gay marriage on states that don't want it blah blah blah" the 14th Amendment gaurantee of equal protection is a way more tenable legal argument (particularly with states that have an ERA in their state constitution) than the Full Faith & Credit Clause. Anyone who says that FF&CC can be used for that purpose either has an incredibly liberal viewpoint of law, is ignorant, both or neither (i.e. they're lying) because there is an exception to FF&CC which says that any state that wants to not recognize contracts in another state because it violates their public policy can do so. This is why every state banning gay marriage explicitly states "it is the public policy of this state that marriage is between a man and a woman."
Uh, what? DOMA exists specifically to protect against an FF&CC argument for gay marriage; there is no such exception in the Constitution to the FF&CC. The exception you're talking about is Supreme Court precedent. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that bonus part was pointing towards FF&CC as an answer to the exclusion of the 14th Amendment, but if I'm wrong about that, then that would be the actual problem in the question, rather than this esoteric legal wrangling.
Writ of certiorari: high schoolers don't know it.
Yes they do.
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