Brief results--Hoover Invitational

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castrioti
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Brief results--Hoover Invitational

Post by castrioti »

The Hoover Invitational Tournament (ASCA format) was held today at Hoover High School in Alabama.

Here are brief results (for those who don't/can't read the ASCA website):

Varsity Division (3 pools, round robin, followed by playoffs)

1: ASFA
2: Brindlee Mountain
3: Indian Springs

Also in the top 5, though I don't remember who finished where:

Bob Jones
LAMP

somewhere in the neighborhood of 23 Varsity teams competed.

JV Division

1: LAMP
2: Buckhorn
3: ASFA

I don't have the number of JV teams.

--Wesley

(EDIT: moderator: if you feel this is misplaced, please move it to the correct area--can't submit results to the database for some reason)
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DVader
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Post by DVader »

Overall, I thought the tournament went pretty well. There were some timing problems and a bit of miscommunication among the tournament staff, but both problems were resolved and didn't hurt the quality of the tournament. The questions were fine usually except for the hoses and multipart answer tossups. The worksheets were quite clever in their themes (Carpets and Musical Books of the Bible) and also quite challenging.

On our road through the playoffs we defeated Auburn, Bob Jones, and Brindlee by comfortable margins each time. We lost our first game to Decatur because of morning doldrums but still managed to win our pool anyway. As to overall results, Bob Jones (4th place) has momentum problems; they had gone undefeated (including against Brindlee) until facing us. Losing to us probably did not help them out much in the consolation game though. Brindlee is still weak in the non-fine arts areas, which hurt them in the finals against us (the mathematical symbols worksheet didn't help much either). Anyway, congratulations to all the top finishers in varsity and JV (including our new JV team!) and to the all tournament team people, 1. Daniel of Cullman, 2. Andy of Brindlee, 3. me, and the others (sorry I don't remember their names).
David John Gagne,
University of Oklahoma
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quizbowllee
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Post by quizbowllee »

I'll comment on the tournament itself here, and about the teams and their apparent strengths/weaknesses in the "Comparisons" thread.

First, I know I have a tendency to be over-critical of tournaments, and I'm going to try very hard to avoid being as uncouth as I was last year (the ASFA worksheet fiasco is a prime example of what I'm trying to avoid).

However, I do have some things to say about the Hoover tournament - both good and bad.

The bad first: The questions. We're still way too tolerant of bad question writing. I think Andy (Brindlee Mountain's team captain) summed it up best by saying "It really sucks when you answer a question right, but then they change the queston." This happened SOOO many times! For example, he buzzed in very early on a question about "Metamorphoses" by Ovid - and gave the answer "Metamorphoses." The question had already said "This work..." However, he was told he was incorrect, only to have the question go on to ask for the title AND the two authors that wrote works by that title. Hence, the "correct" answer was "Metamorphosis by Ovid and Kafka." This is just one of dozens of questions written this way.

I would also disagree with David about the worksheets. These were written by the folks at Mental Floss Magazine, and as such they were a lot more "trivia" than "academia" - with the exception of maybe the math symbols sheet. I think that the fact that the average scores on the worksheets (at least in the rounds I saw) were about 45 says it all. Also, 20 questions on rugs???

OK, enough of the bad. I do have some positive comments. First off, for the most part I thought the moderators did a good job. There were not too many problems there, and that's quite an accomplishment for a team that had never hosted a tournament before. Also, I thought it ran rather smoothly. The only real time delay I noticed was between the prelims and the finals in the Varsity division - but that gave us time to listen to and/or watch the end of the Alabama game, so it was fine.

Anyway, thanks to Mr. Rutsky and all of the people who worked on the tournament - all in all I'd say it was a success. I do wish that we could avoid such blatant hoses in our questions here in Alabama, but at least there are an abundance of tournaments to attend.
Lee Henry
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Quiz Bowl Coach - West Point High School (Cullman, AL)
President - Alabama Scholastic Competition Association (ASCA)
Joshua Rutsky
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Good, bad, and ugly

Post by Joshua Rutsky »

With due respect to Lee, I disagree with his assessment of the tournament we hosted as being loaded with hose questions. Hoses are in the eye of the beholder, and we went to great lengths to assure that there were no such questions. A few may have gotten through, just as errors occur at times in any ten round tournament, but to categorize them as common is plain misleading. Take the question cited, for example. Here is the actual question text:

"The first was a book first distributed in roughly 8 AD. The text is divided into three bookos, each dealing with a series of mythological stories about transformations. The second was written much later, in 1915, but a Czechoslovakian author. In it, the central character awakens to find himself changed into a human-sized insect. Name the authors of both Metamorphoses and Metamorphosis."

In my opionion, this question is certainly NOT a hose. The first two words of the question, "THE FIRST", indicate this is a question referring to multiple things. If a player jumps on the description and isn't listening to the question itself, that's not a hose--that's just agressive guessing, and while it will work for a team at times, it works against them as well.

The carpet worksheet referred to was not 20 questions on rugs. The answers included The Big Lebowski, Steppenwolf, carpet bombing, carpet vipers, Terry PRatchett, Walt Disney World, Will Smith, and the American Civil War-- only 7 of the answers were directly related to carpet or carpet names. Again, I see this as a fairly diverse themed worksheet. I can understand having a problem with the math symbols sheet, which is in a single knowledge area--i didn't much like the stadium worksheet we had last year, or the one where we were given the year and had to fill in the nobel prize winner. I prefer diverse sheets where someone from the team who knows more than one area can contribute. That's just me.

Anyhow, I hope this clarifies what I feel were a couple of misconceptions about our tournament. Regardless, I thought that ending on time was a major success, and hope people will return if we have it next year.

Best,

Joshua
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steven-lamp
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Post by steven-lamp »

I'd call that question a hose, because "the first" indicates "the first [of works of this name]" instead of the author. I would have buzzed in and said Metamorphoses, and been miffed to find the answer to be Kafka/Ovid. Questions need to be explicitly clear as to what they need for an answer (work, author, event, etc.) in the first sentence, and using a pronoun or non-specific noun can easily accomplish this.
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alkrav112
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Post by alkrav112 »

Ok, I didn't even attend this tournament, but there is definitely something wrong with the sample question. Usually, the pronouns in the question match up with the desired answers; in this case, "IT" does not exactly correspond to "OVID" and "KAFKA." Honestly, after the clue 8 B.C., I would have rung in with "Metamorphoses," and would have been quite upset when it was wrong. I can see where, if the majority of questions were similar to this, people might have been upset.
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Post by quizbowllee »

OK - upon further examination of the "Carpet" worksheet, I concede that I was overly critical.

However, that Metamorphosis question is without a doubt a big hose. I think that perhaps the problem in Alabama is that coaches and question writers don't know what constitutes a hose.

The question could have easily been "de-hosed" by writing it like this:

Two answers required. These two authors had similarly named works several centuries apart. The first was a book first distributed in roughly 8 AD. The text is divided into three books, each dealing with a series of mythological stories about transformations. The second was written much later, in 1915, by a Czechoslovakian author. In it, the central character awakens to find himself changed into a human-sized insect. Name the authors of both Metamorphoses and Metamorphosis.

Answer: Kafka and Ovid

This way, the question is prefaced with the appropriate "two answers required," which should ALWAYS be present on tossups with multiple-part answers. Secondly, the beginning lets the players know that you are looking for authors and not a work. The "pronoun rule" should ALWAYS apply to tossups. The first pronoun of the tossup should refer to the answer. If it doesn't then the moderator should be instructed to prompt.

I'd also like to make sure that Joshua knows that I mean no disrespect to him or to his team. His tournament was great, and we had fun. We'll be back next year. I'm just really trying to see the quality of question writing in Alabama improve. My players are to the point where they don't even want to go to tournaments in Alabama anymore because of the questions. We've never been hosed in an out-of-state tournament. The rules do not allow it. In fact, such a question is grounds for protest.

Also, not every question at Hoover was like this. There were many very good questions. The problem was that there were about 3 or 4 of these hoses per round - and we never knew which questions were legit and which weren't. There were several that described a work and then suddenly asked for the author at the end. There were also a number that wanted artist AND work, but didn't preface with the appropriate "Two answers required."

Again, there were more good questions than bad. But, I just feel that questions with misleading pronouns and no multi-part prefaces should be avoided at all costs, and that the rules should explicitly forbid them as they do in most states where - unfortunately - teams are more successful than they are in Alabama....
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach - West Point High School (Cullman, AL)
President - Alabama Scholastic Competition Association (ASCA)
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Post by Captain Sinico »

Just to concur, that question is undeniably a hose, which is not "in the eye of the beholder." To the extent that a quizbowl question ever asks for anything before the end, that question is clearly asking for The Metamorphoses/The Metamorphosis until the last sentence, when the requested answer abruptly changes. This is so because the question says "The first..." so the answer to a non-hose question must be whatever is logically equivalent to "The first," i.e. The Metamorphoses/The Metamorphosis. Noting that two answers will be required when two answers are required is good practice, but even that wouldn't solve this issue.

MaS

PS: I don't mean to dump on this tournament as I have no idea what it was like; given what everyone else had to say, I'm sure it was fine. I'll split this off into theory if we want to keep discussing hoses in general.
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Post by quizbowllee »

ImmaculateDeception wrote:
PS: I don't mean to dump on this tournament as I have no idea what it was like; given what everyone else had to say, I'm sure it was fine. I'll split this off into theory if we want to keep discussing hoses in general.
I, too, want to reiterate the fact that I'm not saying that the tournament was bad. I'm simply trying to give some constructive criticism about a handful of the questions. I always come across like a jerk on this board, but that's really not my intention. I know VERY well how much hard work goes into a tournament, and Hoover did not err in the slightest when it came to hosting.

In fact, I don't even know where the questions came from. I get the impression that they were written by the Hoover team. If so, then it should be very easy to fix the hose problems in the future. Again, though, I want to point out that most of the questions were fine. The problem was that the sporadic hose caused my teams to become uncharacteristically gun-shy - and that without a doubt played a part in our two losses. No hard feelings, though. I simply want to see the game improve across the board in Alabama - and the acceptance of hoses is something that needs to be fixed.
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach - West Point High School (Cullman, AL)
President - Alabama Scholastic Competition Association (ASCA)
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