2006 NAQT HSNCT

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Post by Stained Diviner »

Can anyone cite an example from ANY competition where a team is rewarded for inferior play?
I'm assuming you've heard of draft choices. By losing the World Series last year, the Astros got to pick ahead of the White Sox. Then again, the Astros can't compete with the Texans when it comes to good draft positions. There's also the example from basketball where the team losing the first jump ball gets the ball out of bounds in the future.

I personally don't think it's the end of the world that there are no bouncebacks. You can't have lots of rounds with lots of questions in one day if you have bouncebacks, and I want lots of rounds with lots of questions in one day. There are good reasons for bouncebacks (and if those reasons are circular if you use the word 'bonus', then use the word unbuzzered), but the timing issue is a good reason not to have them.

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Post by Romero »

Damn, attacking the Texas professional sports teams...hitting where it hurts...In case you are wondering I live in Dallas...The mavs are doing ok this year.

But seriously, I don't think the draft qualifies. No team gets points on draft day or is declared the official winner or loser. I was speaking in regards to competition. Maybe a good parallel might be if when the Mavs miss a free throw, the Heat were given a chance to take one of their own and steal a point. I am not sure that one would go over well with NBA fans.

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Post by Kechara »

[quote="E.T. Chuck] Note to self: must remember to buy Kudos bars...[/quote]

Don't, I have a couple coupons for them

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Post by MahoningQuizBowler »

Just a couple observations...

1. With bouncebacks, it is possible--although highly unlikely--that a team can win a match without answering a tossup correctly. That seems wrong to me.

2. This was my first time reading at a national tournament. I read the even-numbered rounds on Saturday in room 232. I know I saw Brookwood; I can't remember if I read for them or not. I tried not to fall into the trap of reading so fast I couldn't understand myself, but after listening to others, it makes me want to learn and practice getting faster and having more clarity so I can get through a 26-tossup round without difficulty. I think I averaged about 20.

3. If I was coaching, I would want as many tossups read as possible...especially if I was on the losing end of the scoreline. Just ask the current champion.

4. Who had the best individual performance in a single game? The best I saw was Joel Knight, DCC v Walt Whitman, 8-1-1 for 125 in the playoffs.

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Post by First Chairman »

ReinsteinD wrote:
Can anyone cite an example from ANY competition where a team is rewarded for inferior play?
I'm assuming you've heard of draft choices. ...
Whoa whoa whoa... I think that's a completely different situation. I hope we are talking about actual play on the field, not the construction of parity within a sport. (Even if I admit there is some interesting pinching on the choice of examples.) I doubt that having a higher draft pick is any consolation for losing the World Series or Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup...

P.S. Jess: thanks for the heads-up. Will refrain.
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Post by popculture »

My take (because you asked):

NAQT clearly strives to create a single effect in each of its matches, that I can't completely describe other than its being marked by, what I would call, frenzied desperation. This effect is created by its questions, rules, and treatment.

The questions are confusing; NAQT clearly goes out of its way to make it so. Frequently, the players do not know what's going on until the third sentence. By not labelling the questions, players (if they're like me) are often asking themselves "Is this history or literature?" [pause] "Or art?" [dramatically raise one eyebrow while looking at camera, place hand on chin]. The early clues in each question often contain much larger, more difficult words, leaving those without large vocabularies clueless, even if they have the knowledge. Powers are remarkable, not only for the knowledge necessary, but because the powerer sees light where others see darkness.

The rules stress speed of thought. After the final clue, teams have only two seconds to ring in. For bonuses, teams barely have time to confer. Teams can see the clock, which makes the losing team aware at how frenziedly desperate they have to be. NAQT wants answers and they want them now. They are looking for the QB equivalent of the Phoenix Suns (sorry for the pop culture, just thought I'd inject some of the "real world" into my post; I'm at a cocktail party). Bouncebacks make the game more fair (I'm sorry, but it's true); the reason NAQT does not have bouncebacks (by my reckoning) has nothing to do with not wanting to reward the team that was too stupid to get the tossup. It is entirely because bouncebacks take away from the breakneck pace they are aiming for.

The game is read quickly. Moderators are asked to keep a "good clip," though unfortunately many become consumed by this goal at the expense of clarity. After a correct bonus part is given, the moderator does not say "Correct" or "Ten points for (team name)" instead they immediately plunge into the next part or next tossup. Maybe some think that the moderators should slow down, but when I was down by 50 with a minute to go, my only complaint was that the speed of sound in air is 340 m/s and the humidity wasn't helping any. I blame the humidity for our 5 point loss to Minnetonka. And Steve Bartman (oops. sorry).

NAQT matches have a different atmosphere than other formats. There is an intensity and desperation that is palpable throughout, especially when you hit the two-minute warning. (And with the dramatic 2nd half of the final this year, I don't know why there is so much malaise surrounding this tournament.) The effect created not only rewards knowledge and speed, but also confidence, vocabulary, and the ability to think on your feet. I hear those come in handy in the "real world."

If not for the mirror tournaments this post would be richly illustrated with applicable examples of questions to create a masterful tapestry of insight. Instead, you got this.
Last edited by popculture on Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

I realize that sports analogies of bonus bouncebacks is beating a dead horse and going further off topic, but here is the one I think is most relevant:

If a football team scores a touchdown, they of course get a chance at an extra point or two-point conversion. If that attempt is blocked, fumbled, or intercepted, should the defensive team have an opportunity to return the ball for a two-point 'touchdown'? The NFL says No. The NCAA says Yes. Link.

I could come up with lots of cases of bad things being rewarded: fouling at the end of a basketball game or throwing the ball into the ground at the end of a football game, giving the other team the ball after a basketball or football team scores, possession arrows, etc. However, those examples probably are no more relevant than draft picks.

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Post by BuzzerZen »

popculture wrote: The questions are confusing; NAQT clearly goes out of its way to make it so. Frequently, the players do not know what's going on until the third sentence. By not labelling the questions, players (if they're like me) are often asking themselves "Is this history or literature?" [pause] "Or art?" [dramatically raise one eyebrow while looking at camera, place hand on chin]. The early clues in each question often contain much larger, more difficult words, leaving those without large vocabularies clueless, even if they have the knowledge. Powers are remarkable, not only for the knowledge necessary, but because the powerer sees light where others see darkness.
I don't really see how this doesn't describe any well-written quiz bowl question. The task of the quiz bowl player is to apply his knowledge to the words being read to him in order to narrow the answer space until he can come up with an answer. Labelling questions does a good deal of the job for the player. I've never really known anyone who had much trouble distinguishing between history and literature and science in a quiz bowl question; I don't see how that can be construed as an unfair challenge. Also, not knowing what's going on until the third sentence just means the question is pyramidal -- i.e., someone out there (possibly many people) knows more about the topic at hand than you do. Vocabulary is an important component of knowledge -- your argument that difficult words rob people of points is ridiculous. Knowing the specialized vocabulary of a field is vital to understanding -- why do you think just about every textbook you've ever seen has bolded words scattered about? Knowing "harder" words is a legitimate means of stratifying knowledge.

You seem to construe NAQT as some sort of lightning round with longer questions, and I have no idea why. Moderators go quickly because hearing more questions makes a majority (not all, I realize) of teams happy. All but one of our moderators at NAQT were both quick and clear. And is there anything wrong with intensity? The only time I felt any desperation was when we had our one bad moderator of the day, who read slowly.

To summarize: What are you complaining about that isn't actually a good thing?
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Post by First Chairman »

ReinsteinD wrote:I realize that sports analogies of bonus bouncebacks is beating a dead horse and going further off topic, but here is the one I think is most relevant:

If a football team scores a touchdown, they of course get a chance at an extra point or two-point conversion. If that attempt is blocked, fumbled, or intercepted, should the defensive team have an opportunity to return the ball for a two-point 'touchdown'? The NFL says No. The NCAA says Yes. Link.

I could come up with lots of cases of bad things being rewarded: fouling at the end of a basketball game or throwing the ball into the ground at the end of a football game, giving the other team the ball after a basketball or football team scores, possession arrows, etc. However, those examples probably are no more relevant than draft picks.
Well, quiz bowl as most of us had seen it created (College Bowl) was based on basketball concepts. That's why we have "tossups" and "bonuses" because bonuses are free-throws. Of course, if you miss the free throw, sometimes the opposition gets a chance to rebound and get the ball back. Regardless one team gets the chance to score first.

We're sort of getting into strategery. Being ahead in a game by 10 with 8 seconds on the clock with a tossup about to be read, in NAQT you can spike the tossup by intentionally negging and still win as the clock runs out. At PACE NSC, if you are ahead by at least 5 on the last stretch round tossup, and the opposing team misses the question, you don't answer the last tossup correctly (because reboundable bonuses keep the opposition in the game if you do). This is the weirdness of formats, but good teams recognize these simple strategic points.

On the gratifying side for me: the bounceback bonus concept for me as a writer gives me assurance that my bonus questions aren't impossible. When I introduced it for Case teams, they liked it because it kept the teams in the game (mind that OAC format allows for reboundable bonuses too, so it's not as much of a shock; granted, the way they do rebounds in OAC format is another issue). To me, I am not going to be completely wedded to rebounding bonuses, but I'm not adverse to it in the high school game.
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Post by DumbJaques »

popculture wrote:
Chris Ray can power one in every 8.6 tossups he hears. I can write a five-paragraph essay in 3 1/2 minutes. I guess it's safe to say that we had two very different approaches to high school.
You know, I found myself complaining about how 90% of NAQT questions left me feeling like they were too long, too obscure, too confusing, etc. too. . .



. . . at my first tournament. The fact is that if you practice, you won't feel that way. If the timer bothers you, practice with the timer. If the question length bothers you, practice on it, or better yet practice on ACF or PACE or something and you'll be praying for the brevity of NAQT. As for not being able to figure out what subject it's in, why does that matter? IF you KNOW something, you should be able to buzz. And for the record, it's not really hard to figure it out. When a question begins "A screaming monkey stands in the foreground" and you buzz in with "Tarzan," you're a moron.

Any quizbowl team that practiced sufficiently on NAQT questions would not feel overwhelmed by them at nationals. If you play on those questions for a year, you're not going to get caught off guard. However, you probably WILL be caught off guard, as it seems you were, if you don't prepare for them. But you know, this is nationals. How about practicing for it?

As for your comment about our respective scholastic approaches, I don't know what you mean, perhaps you can clarify. I'm also not sure what the standards at Loyala, but your 3 1/2 minute essays must be awesome. Five whole paragraphs you say? Amazing, we sure never write anything that long over here. . .

From what I can glean from Illinois threads/your stats, you were one of the better teams in your state format, but got beaten by some fairly mediocre teams at nationals. For all your "powers are too hard" complaints, you had more powers by almost double than most teams you lost to, and less powers by a very significant margin than some teams you beat. NAQT does seem frenzied and a bit ridiculous the first time you play it, especially if it's with timers and at nationals. But you shouldn't be playing it for the first time if you go to a national tournament. It's ridiculous, even if there are no competitions in your area, order some questions.

Basically, you're saying that NAQT is too hard and fast, but there are a whole lot of teams who finished lower than you who don't think that, because they PRACTICED. You should have too. Quit blaming the format or the humidity or whatever for dropping games.
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Post by First Chairman »

popculture wrote:Chris Ray can power one in every 8.6 tossups he hears. I can write a five-paragraph essay in 3 1/2 minutes. I guess it's safe to say that we had two very different approaches to high school.
Just adding to Chris' remarks...
Pray you don't have me grade your five-paragraph essay. :) Decathlon lets me read some interesting essays; Kaplan's writing samples entertain me otherwise.

I think it's safe to say that you have had different approaches to high school quiz bowl. The skills you were rewarded for in IHSA/Illinois format are different enough compared to playing on NAQT-length or -format.

Using another analogy, you don't just go from practicing for 100-yard dashes to running a 5K. You do have to get acclimated. A lot of kids probably could ace the SAT without preparing for it, but you won't see many winners of the national spelling or geography bee arise without any preparation whatsoever. Many times there are kids I see in Decathlon who do not even pick up a study guide who walk into the state competition think they'd win; and they're shocked when they don't rack up a metal.

However, I am intrigued by your perspective... but I also agree preparation makes a difference. I think it's harder to win the NSC because everyone has to prepare (no one runs PACE format regularly enough to get accustomed to it); getting used to reboundable bonuses when you never played on them before, the category quiz, the distribution of points all test coaches and players beyond just the simple tossup/bonus format or even four-quarters. Why do I resist changing the game format so much? Among the more important reasons: it's to level the playing field a little bit by making all teams really prepare to play. The many teams who have competed at PACE NSC from Illinois have done well because we strongly encourage them to prepare for our event on our past questions, and we are sure that if you did prepare for the NSC, your team would perform quite well on our set.

EDIT:
Now I will admit not every team wants to do this type of preparation for nationals. I don't know what I can say about that; I'd rather know what to expect and not get stressed out by unfamiliar formats. That's why some of the better teams travel (like Detroit Catholic Central); they get to see teams from other parts of the country and measure their own progress.

But I know a lot of teams and coaches are not used to preparing teams in this manner for a tournament, much less even a national. It's like not planning a trip to Europe... you'll feel more lost than take on a deliberate course unless you do plan.

So in the end, each program has to decide: do you want to get better? If so, you have to take your practices a little more seriously and deliberately prepare for the competitions you compete in that you are not familiar with. Team Illinois won't walk into Orlando without practicing for that format and expect to finish in the final matchup; you shouldn't either.
Last edited by First Chairman on Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by grapesmoker »

I would agree that the NAQT game moves very fast. Other reasons aside, it's something that makes me enjoy it less than I enjoy ACF, which tends to have longer tossups and more time to think after buzzing. But this is the nature of the timed game, so there's not much you can do about it as long as you accept the premise of playing on the clock. At a monster tournament like HSNCT, the logistical problems that could be caused by moderators taking a different amount of time to read a round would be devastating, probably necessitating the use of the clock.

As for figuring out the category, that's just part of the game. It's quite easy to do as long as the question is written properly and all the pronouns are in the right place.
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Post by brownboy79 »

Chris,
Your attack isn't totally fair. I have played NAQT for the past two years, and at my first national tournament, I was dominated. I (probably) negged more in ten games than in those two years. Even if he has practiced NAQT, odds on, a 128 team tournament is more than he has ever been to. Kentucky format sucks too, and I am pretty horrible at it, the comparison is apples to oranges. If popculture is good at Illinois format, good for him, it is hard to be good at real questions and shitty questions at the same time.

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Post by First Chairman »

brownboy79 wrote:Chris,
Your attack isn't totally fair. I have played NAQT for the past two years, and at my first national tournament, I was dominated. I (probably) negged more in ten games than in those two years. Even if he has practiced NAQT, odds on, a 128 team tournament is more than he has ever been to. Kentucky format sucks too, and I am pretty horrible at it, the comparison is apples to oranges. If popculture is good at Illinois format, good for him, it is hard to be good at real questions and shitty questions at the same time.
In contrast though, you've been to Brookwood and Vandy. You have at least attended one large national-like event at Brookwood and another at Vanderbilt. I don't know whether this fellow went to those events regularly enough. I also am pretty sure the Illinois state series is huge but not under one roof.

Even so, to be fair, most if not all the teams at NAQT have never attended a 128 team tournament like that, so I don't think the size issue is a significant factor. There are factors though...
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Post by DumbJaques »

Chris,
Your attack isn't totally fair. I have played NAQT for the past two years, and at my first national tournament, I was dominated. I (probably) negged more in ten games than in those two years. Even if he has practiced NAQT, odds on, a 128 team tournament is more than he has ever been to. Kentucky format sucks too, and I am pretty horrible at it, the comparison is apples to oranges. If popculture is good at Illinois format, good for him, it is hard to be good at real questions and shitty questions at the same time.
It's not really that hard, but whatever. I wasn't attacking him for not being good at NAQT, because obviously his team is better than a lot of those 128 teams. I was attacking him for blaming it on a "fast and confusing and hard" format that I suspect the team did not prep for. My criticisms were completely immaterial to how good or bad he is at either format. But you shouldn't not practice, go in unprepared, and then complain about the format as the reason you didn't do well. That was my only problem, along with the comment about our relative high school experiences which I still can't figure out at all.
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Post by brownboy79 »

I have not been to Brookwood. Our team has a local Freshmen/Sophomore tournament on the same date. As for Vandy, it is big, but nowhere near the scale of team quality as I saw at NAQT. Anyone's first time there is pretty awe-inspiring. My team was rather weak, but we had fun, made the playoffs, and had excellent moderators. Now that popculture has gotten over the initial shock of a tournament on such a large scale, I advise him to start studying for next year, when he will not have a valid reason for being upset at the tournament.

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Post by MCDoug »

For what it's worth, Brookwood does, at least yearly, attend a tournament without bouncebacks and moderated by 4-8 NAQT moderators, that being the UF fall tournament. Also, they usually take 1st or 2nd, so obviously the players can handle the format just fine. If there are any other southern teams out there that want to practice more tournaments in the NAQT format (although untimed, but still with moderately fast readers), they are welcome to take a shot at our tournament, as teams like Brookwood, Walton, Pensacola, Vanguard, and others typically do.

I do agree with many of the points about bouncebacks and untimed rounds, but NAQT has its format and PACE has its format, and I believe most people know what they are getting into when they sign up to go to a certain tournament.

Oh, and congrats to RM for winning, I remember seeing them play at PACE two years ago and last year and thought that they were a good, fun team to watch/read for.

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Post by popculture »

I give up. This forum is way too hard to advance any sort of opinion. Each post is read while under the impression that the poster is complaining about something. I went to lengths (albeit it was close to one a.m.) to wipe all aspects of complaining out of my post, and yet within twelve hours five people have attacked me and my team's preparation, and Chuck even went out of his way to mention I am a bad writer (an unprecedented slam in a usually civil forum).

The most negative word I could find in my post was "confusing." BuzzerZen said "I don't really see how this doesn't describe any well-written quiz bowl question." I don't really see where we disagree. I pointed out that the moderators read fast, saying "Maybe some think that the moderators should slow down, but..." Then I am attacked because my post complains about fast readers. (I had 10 excellent moderators, btw) I say "There is an intensity." I hear "What's wrong with intensity?" Has any competitor complained about intensity in a national tournament? Obviously, there is nothing with intensity. Obviously I am not complaining.

To sum: I write a post about the effect (namely, intensity, which is unanimously agreed to be a good thing) which is created by NAQT. I do this by summarizing good aspects of NAQT. BuzzerZen writes "To summarize: What are you complaining about that isn't actually a good thing?" Can you see why this is frustrating?

My problem likely arose because when I was joking or being facetious, I did not use the proper emoticons, or say "lol." This lead DumbJaques to visualize me walking out of the daVinci room screaming, "F----- humidity! If not for that, sound would have traveled to our table at up to 1/85th of a second sooner! Clearly robbed us of a victory! Forget about our unanswered bonus parts." Does that sound like a rational complaint? Or do I sound like I was joking? I'm sorry I did not place an emoticon to make it clearer.

I was most frustrated by attacks on our preparation and exposure to formats. Loyola Academy seeks out NAQT tournaments and even hosts NAQT state. Our coach purchased NAQT question packets to prepare us for the tournament. We've gone to out-of-state tournaments. We scrimmaged against New Trier in the two weeks prior to nationals. I, individually, worked very hard to increase my knowledge base. I don't want to hear "...because [other teams] PRACTICED. You should have too." Where do you guys get off judging our program's hard work? We have one of the best, most committed and respected coaches in the country. I don't want to hear that he sheltered us from other formats or that he didn't hold practices.

Everyone (at least, who's posted) read my post as a whiny complaint about NAQT. DumbJaques said "You're saying that NAQT is too hard and fast." BuzzerZen said "Vocabulary is an important component of knowledge -- your argument that difficult words rob people of points is ridiculous. Knowing the specialized vocabulary of a field is vital to understanding." Contrast this to what I actually said: "The effect created not only rewards knowledge and speed, but also confidence, vocabulary, and the ability to think on your feet. I hear those come in handy in the "real world."" Does that sound like I'm whining? Do I sound bitter towards NAQT? I intended my post as a defense of NAQT in response to criticisms such as fast moderators and no bouncebacks that were in previous posts. If you read it over again, you'll see it.

To clarify the closing comment (which was, in fairness, not very clear): "Chris Ray can power..." -- clearly he spent high school amassing an incredible amount of knowledge. This directly lead to his outstanding tournament and his team's trophy and trip to Japan. I wrote the 5 paragraph essay (which is a standard homework assignment where I'm from) in my post in 3 1/2 minutes (roughly the length of a high school passing period). This was intended as a self-deprecating joke. I apologize if it came off as an attack on Chris, whose accomplishments I respect completely. I will take it down.
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Post by First Chairman »

popculture wrote:I give up. ... Chuck even went out of his way to mention I am a bad writer (an unprecedented slam in a usually civil forum).
Dude: That's not what I meant at all... at least not seriously. (But if you want me to critique one of your essays, I'd be glad to give it a Decathlon grade out of 1000 points. :cool: ) I hope you were somewhat joking when you said you could write a 5-para essay in 3.5 minutes when you compared to Chris powering the number of tossups that he does. Admit that you opened yourself up to that... so be careful next time. (I've learned that lesson and keep forgetting it.) If you're claiming that you meant it as a joke, then read my response as such too... you can't have it both ways.

I'm wondering why are you reading our posts with so much personal criticism? It does take a while to be able to stop injecting one's own emotions into someone else's posts... but the frustration from what it appears to me is that you're not willing to listen to what we are saying. Maybe we're not on the same wavelength on what you are saying, but I do think I know what you are trying to communicate in regards to your frustrations... if what you are writing are frustrations.
My problem likely arose because when I was joking or being facetious, I did not use the proper emoticons, or say "lol." ...
That's the impediment of internet forum communication. Sometimes I quickly read and totally miss when a post is meant to be a joke or has some ulterior emotion behind it.
I was most frustrated by attacks on our preparation and exposure to formats. Loyola Academy seeks out NAQT tournaments and even hosts NAQT state. Our coach purchased NAQT question packets to prepare us for the tournament. We've gone to out-of-state tournaments. We scrimmaged against New Trier in the two weeks prior to nationals. I, individually, worked very hard to increase my knowledge base. I don't want to hear "...because [other teams] PRACTICED. You should have too." Where do you guys get off judging our program's hard work? We have one of the best, most committed and respected coaches in the country. I don't want to hear that he sheltered us from other formats or that he didn't hold practices.
Then ... what was the point of your comment?
The questions are confusing; NAQT clearly goes out of its way to make it so.
Forgive me and everyone else but it sounded whiny and trite. I know I am picking on one quote out of the entire body of your posts, but still... If you didn't mean to make it sound whiny, but if the audience reads it as whiny, don't blame the audience for not being able to read your mind. This comment isn't just aimed at you personally... it's an issue of general communication that gets taught in many college freshman courses (at least at Duke, it also includes grant-writing and effective communication workshops for scientists!). [Chris scoops my additional thoughts on this subject in his reply...]

Chalk this experience up as a learning experience. We're not out to beat you up, but recognize the limitations of electronic communication. I'm sure if we all were talking about this over ... well... pizza, that we'd all be very helpful and sympathetic. We're trying to help you out, but you should be more aware of how you sound (peers over at Weiner) when you post stuff on an internet bb.
Last edited by First Chairman on Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by brownboy79 »

Seconded fully.

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Post by DumbJaques »

The questions are confusing; NAQT clearly goes out of its way to make it so. Frequently, the players do not know what's going on until the third sentence. By not labelling the questions, players (if they're like me) are often asking themselves "Is this history or literature?" [pause] "Or art?" [dramatically raise one eyebrow while looking at camera, place hand on chin]. The early clues in each question often contain much larger, more difficult words, leaving those without large vocabularies clueless, even if they have the knowledge. Powers are remarkable, not only for the knowledge necessary, but because the powerer sees light where others see darkness.
You also said all that. For whatever you said later, I think this was what made the people who disagreed with you a little taken aback. NAQT does not go out of its way to make its questions confusing, that's a ridiculous assessment. A tossup that begins "It was written on the occasion of" clearly tells you its something that was (wait for it) written. To use a slightly less direct example, if you start a tossup with "she had a heart too soon made glad," it's not hard to figure out that the phrase is a quote and not the NAQT staff's assessment of a historical figure. What's confusing about that?

I don't know what tossups you were reading, but I don't think it's fair to teams and players to make a claim to the effect of "players had no idea what was going on until 3 sentences in." Take Hammond high school (MD), for example. They finished 3-7, but had a 3 person team that didn't compete a lot at NAQT this year. I know those players can figure out what a questions wants before 80% of it is over, just because they don't do as well at NAQT as they do at other events doesn't mean it's a lack of comprehension.

If you were spending your tossups asking yourself if something is lit or art or whatever, you should probably stop. How does it helP? It doesn't seem to make any difference to me at all. If you know it, what's the problem? And, as previously stated, the tossups are pretty obvious in what they want 95% of the time.

Lastly, I felt your comment about the vocabularly or whatever in the opening clues was asinine. If you'd really go back over the tossups, you'd see there are plenty of tossups that never approach what could be called advanced language. NAQT, for whatever side you want to criticize them from, has always made their questions relatively straightforward. The only "big words" that would be associated with an answer are those you would know only if you know the topic. So while you might not know how the crap to pronounce Kukulcan, I'm fairly certain most people are able to comprehend "this god is associated with Kukulkan." If you don't happen to know who Kukulkan is, then you shouldn't get the question over someone who does. But I can't possibly see what point you're making about vocabulary leaving anyone "clueless." I guarantee you no teams posted their record they did because they knew more synonyms than the other team.

This was the part of your post I took issue with, and what I imagine everyone else did too. It had very little to do with the examples you cited in your response to us. And for the record, Dr. Chuck HARDLY insulted your writing or anything like that. If you're allowed to say something ridiculous about writing school assignments in 3 minutes, Dr. Chuck certainly isn't out of line in making a little joke about how bad something like that would be. It didn't have anything to do with YOU, he wasn't suggesting it would be bad because you wrote it, but because it took 3 1/2 minutes. You're more than welcome to voice your opinion, but respect the right of everyone else to voice theirs too. No one was visualizing you screaming obsceneties, and no one made their posts because you failed to use emoticons or whatever. We disagreed with you, chill out.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

To back up popculture, I often can't figure out what category an NAQT question is in for a few sentences. Many start out with anecdotes that could be about real people or fictional people. As somebody from Illinois used to getting the category announced before the question, it is a little disorienting. My team, like popculture's, enters two NAQT tournaments per year and one or two others where categories are not announced and practices often on NAQT, and we also enter 10+ per year, including all the Frosh/Soph tournaments around here, where the categories are announced. In the end, we are more comfortable when categories are announced. That doesn't mean that NAQT should change--it just means that we are a little uncomfortable. That didn't stop popculture or New Trier from being above average this weekend, and that doesn't imply that we would have won any more matches with categories.

To back up Dr. Chuck, he is correct that if we were sitting around a table we would have a better understanding of each other's intentions and would be agreeing with each other much more often.

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Post by grapesmoker »

One of the major problems with many NAQT questions is their writers' resistance to the proper use of pronouns. I refer particularly to the so-called "list tossup" in which a list of things with some common characteristic is given and one must then figure out the common link. In any tossup, whether of the "common link" style or not, the first pronoun (and the first clue) must unambiguosly identify the answer, and that pronoun should appear as soon as possible to prevent any confusion.
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Post by First Chairman »

ReinsteinD wrote:To back up popculture, I often can't figure out what category an NAQT question is in for a few sentences. Many start out with anecdotes that could be about real people or fictional people. As somebody from Illinois used to getting the category announced before the question, it is a little disorienting. My team, like popculture's, enters two NAQT tournaments per year and one or two others where categories are not announced and practices often on NAQT, and we also enter 10+ per year, including all the Frosh/Soph tournaments around here, where the categories are announced. In the end, we are more comfortable when categories are announced. That doesn't mean that NAQT should change--it just means that we are a little uncomfortable. That didn't stop popculture or New Trier from being above average this weekend, and that doesn't imply that we would have won any more matches with categories.
Following up Jerry's remarks... have you ever looked and/or practiced on any past NSC questions?
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Post by Stained Diviner »

I do think that, generally speaking, PACE questions do use pronouns and wording in a way that generally makes it easier to tell whether the description refers to fact or fiction. This in some ways is confirmation of popculture's claim that NAQT questions could be purposely confusing.

I'm not making value judgements here. Both teams have to make sense out of the same clues, so it is fair. And NAQT's questions are clear enough so that a student knowledgeable about the topic can figure out what's going on.

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Post by insaneindian »

(Not trying to thread jack...)

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/quickie
Dan Shanoff wrote:Congrats to Montgomery H.S. (Rockville, Md.) on winning the National H.S. Quiz Bowl title. My alma mater, Walt Whitman H.S. (Bethesda, Md.), finished 16th. D'oh.
Now if we could just get them to televise it. :razz:
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Post by jrbarry »

[quote="MCDoug"]For what it's worth, Brookwood does, at least yearly, attend a tournament without bouncebacks and moderated by 4-8 NAQT moderators, that being the UF fall tournament. Also, they usually take 1st or 2nd, so obviously the players can handle the format just fine. If there are any other southern teams out there that want to practice more tournaments in the NAQT format (although untimed, but still with moderately fast readers), they are welcome to take a shot at our tournament, as teams like Brookwood, Walton, Pensacola, Vanguard, and others typically do.

Bouncebacks are not the real problem when attending NAQT Nationals. It is easy to adapt to having no bouncebacks even though we usually play with bouncebacks. What is hard for us is to adapt to such a speeded-up game.

I do agree with many of the points about bouncebacks and untimed rounds, but NAQT has its format and PACE has its format, and I believe most people know what they are getting into when they sign up to go to a certain tournament.

We certainly know what NAQT is gonna be like before we go. We just think it could be better. That motivates said criticism.

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Post by bigmac »

insaneindian wrote:(Not trying to thread jack...)

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/quickie
Dan Shanoff wrote:Congrats to Montgomery H.S. (Rockville, Md.) on winning the National H.S. Quiz Bowl title. My alma mater, Walt Whitman H.S. (Bethesda, Md.), finished 16th. D'oh.
Now if we could just get them to televise it. :razz:
Thanks for spotting that. I had not seen it. BTW, no one has yet mentioned that your team, Wilmington Charter, may be poised for a serious run for next year with all of those young scorers; WC B had a pretty big upset win. Were those teams balanced out?

As for televising it, something tells me top-level quiz bowl would need a genius of a producer to make it watchable TV . . .

But you might be amazed at who is interested. A researcher from MTV spoke with me for a while yesterday and it sounds like someone from the network wants to atone for its past sins and put together some kind of NAQT-like quiz bowl series or special. This is all very much in the research/concept stage. While she seemed to have some interest in the community surrounding it, what this researcher really would like right now is footage from this past weekend's games. I mentioned the podcasts, but they want video, video, and more video. They expressly do not want "regular televised quiz bowl" like It's Academic, etc., they want the real thing that the 128 qualifying teams played this weekend. Please contact me if you have (and are willing to share) footage and I will pass along the contact info. If you have video from a state NAQT event, they might be interested in that as well.

Who knows. I never thought that poker would be as entertaining a spectator sport as it seems to have become. Or that Vegas would have odds on the spelling bee. Did the national organization meeting institute a lifetime ban for betting on quiz bowl? No reason not to be proactive.
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Post by The Toad to Wigan Pier »

bigmac wrote:
Please contact me if you have (and are willing to share) footage and I will pass along the contact info. If you have video from a state NAQT event, they might be interested in that as well.
I know the Japanese did some recording and there was that other guy, whose name I cannot recall(I think Dr.Barnes knows his name), who was recording matches for a documentary.

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Post by Kechara »

bigmac wrote: As for televising it, something tells me top-level quiz bowl would need a genius of a producer to make it watchable TV . . .

Who knows. I never thought that poker would be as entertaining a spectator sport as it seems to have become. Or that Vegas would have odds on the spelling bee. Did the national organization meeting institute a lifetime ban for betting on quiz bowl? No reason not to be proactive.
I've been maintaining for a couple years now that a network could get people to watch good quizbowl (that isn't dumbed down so they can play along) the same way they get people who don't know jack about poker strategy to watch World Series of Poker...backstories to make the tension seem more intense and a heck of a color commentator.

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Post by yangsta »

Kechara wrote:
bigmac wrote: As for televising it, something tells me top-level quiz bowl would need a genius of a producer to make it watchable TV . . .

Who knows. I never thought that poker would be as entertaining a spectator sport as it seems to have become. Or that Vegas would have odds on the spelling bee. Did the national organization meeting institute a lifetime ban for betting on quiz bowl? No reason not to be proactive.
I've been maintaining for a couple years now that a network could get people to watch good quizbowl (that isn't dumbed down so they can play along) the same way they get people who don't know jack about poker strategy to watch World Series of Poker...backstories to make the tension seem more intense and a heck of a color commentator.
TV loves not only high intensity, but sharp rises in the level of intensity.

Examples:
The all-in in no limit Texas Hold 'em
Final Jeopardy!
The sudden loss of unbanked winnings in The Weakest Link

All the game/reality shows out there (with notable exceptions) seem to include high-stakes components.

Not saying that NAQT should try to get on TV by adding the 60-second 100-point-per-question lightning round to each game, but that'd get it on TV sooner :roll:

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Pot limit Omaha is always my favorite game, but I guess that's coming from a card player's standpoint, just as my negative opinion on lightning rounds or wagering points is coming from a player's standpoint. But you're right, Battle of the Brains probably has their lightning bonus round and the 20 points for all correct part for the same reason, it swings the game big time. Speaking of poker, anyone up for some at PACE?
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Post by First Chairman »

Probably one thing would make it more pallatable to be on TV:

Swimsuits
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Post by insaneindian »

bigmac wrote:BTW, no one has yet mentioned that your team, Wilmington Charter, may be poised for a serious run for next year with all of those young scorers; WC B had a pretty big upset win. Were those teams balanced out?
We put all the seniors on one team and the JRs, sophs and one frosh on the other team. EDIT: now that I think about it, there was a junior on A team, but he's skipping senior year for Duke. :neutral:

Henry (the frosh) really amazes me. He hasn't really learned the science stuff and hasn't taken any history classes yet, so I wonder what he'll be like senior year. Here's hoping for the best.
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Post by Byko »

insaneindian wrote:Henry (the frosh) really amazes me. He hasn't really learned the science stuff and hasn't taken any history classes yet, so I wonder what he'll be like senior year. Here's hoping for the best.
Right around lunchtime, I happened to catch Bill Tressler and ask how the team was doing (having read for the A team earlier). He was with the B team, told me they were 4-0, and couldn't say enough positive things about them and how hard they had worked getting ready for NAQT. Congrats to all you guys out there, and I'll be really looking forward to seeing a solid team from Charter next year.
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Post by wwellington »

Probably one thing would make it more pallatable to be on TV:

Swimsuits
Um...how would that make it MORE palatable?

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Post by The Time Keeper »

E.T. Chuck wrote:Probably one thing would make it more pallatable to be on TV:

Swimsuits

what

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Post by BuzzerZen »

Is it just me, or is this thread becoming a giant pile of ridiculous?

I guess that's par for the course.
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Post by quizbowllee »

I guess I will weigh in a little on what I thought of the tournament.

First, I'm ashamed to say that we were more majorly outclassed than I had anticipated. I think this is due to the overall field being stronger than last year. I KNOW that our team has improved majorly since last year, yet our performance at the HSNCT was only marginally better than last year. I honestly thought that we'd make the top 10 this year, but I was WAY, WAY off!

As for the questions, I know I'm not supposed to discuss specifics, but there was one question that REALLY, REALLY bordered on being a hose. In fact, I kinda feel like the question was - in fact - designed to get people who had a working knowledge of a a certain book to neg on it. I think everyone who didn't have a bye that particular round knows what question I am referring to. I always praise NAQT for their superior questions, and I will continue to do so, but this one tossup was just so egregiously horrible that I can't believe the good folks at NAQT let such a steaming pile of excrement defile their otherwise excellent question set. I may also be a bit upset about said tossup because I'm fairly certain that us negging it cost us a match.

Finally, a huge congrats to Richard Montgomery. I didn't have the pleasure of seeing them play, but I had predicted their victory for a while. I sincerely hope I get the opportunity to catch them at PACE (hopefully not stomping us in the dirt, though).

Also, congrats to Danville. I see a Danville-Brindlee Mountain rivalry growing! Coach Knupp is a great guy and a fantastic coach, and I look forward to giving Danville another run for the small schools championship next year.



Looking forward to PACE.

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Post by Chico the Rainmaker »

Lee, I may be wrong, but I believe that since NAQT posted the podcasts we are allowed to discuss specific questions now (people playing in the mirrors aren't supposed to view these threads)
Matt Weiner wrote:Now that NAQT has posted the podcasts, we'll follow their lead and ask people who may be playing the mirror to refrain from reading any threads in the high school zone until that time, on the honor system. You may discuss the tournament now.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

ReinsteinD wrote:To back up popculture, I often can't figure out what category an NAQT question is in for a few sentences. Many start out with anecdotes that could be about real people or fictional people. As somebody from Illinois used to getting the category announced before the question, it is a little disorienting. My team, like popculture's, enters two NAQT tournaments per year and one or two others where categories are not announced and practices often on NAQT, and we also enter 10+ per year, including all the Frosh/Soph tournaments around here, where the categories are announced. In the end, we are more comfortable when categories are announced.
So tell me, Mr. Reinstein, you want to start a national organization dedicated to providing pyramidal questions (which, last time I checked, means questions that go from hard clues to easy ones), and you're "uncomfortable" on questions that, oh no, don't tell you exactly what they're all about from the get-go? I mean god forbid a question not specify whether the person, place, or thing that is its subject is real or not, then knowledge of real and fictional things might come into play. Maybe before you even open your mouth about pyramidality or any such thing you should become more comfortable with questions that actually exhibit it.
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Post by quizbowllee »

RandomScreenname wrote:Lee, I may be wrong, but I believe that since NAQT posted the podcasts we are allowed to discuss specific questions now (people playing in the mirrors aren't supposed to view these threads)
Matt Weiner wrote:Now that NAQT has posted the podcasts, we'll follow their lead and ask people who may be playing the mirror to refrain from reading any threads in the high school zone until that time, on the honor system. You may discuss the tournament now.

Very well. The "Bride and Prejudice" question was the single worst tossup I've heard all year long. It was a hose.

I'm familiar with the movie. And I would've been hosed. I thought Andy had it right when he buzzed in and said "Pride and Prejudice." I thought some of the names sounded a littel odd (Balraj Bingley), but I also heard a lot of strange pronunciations throughout the tournament.

Sorry, but I felt that this tossup bordered very closely on Chip Beal territory.

However, that question was the exception. I thought most of questions were excellent - which made this beast just stick out like a sore thumb.
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Post by AKKOLADE »

BuzzerZen wrote:Is it just me, or is this thread becoming a giant pile of ridiculous?.
I do not know what is going on. We have E Tom suggesting people get into swimsuits, random feuds boiling over, debate over the national organization somehow starting in here, debates over NAQT's format and some kid randomly including his actions in brackets. I understand what's going on as well as Brick Tamland.

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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

That Bride and Prejudice question may have been in bad taste, but it wasn't in any way a hose. I read it, the first word was the first name of the main character in Bride and Prejudice, a name that clearly never appears in Pride and Prejudice. Maybe people should stop complaining about getting hosed when in fact what happened was they tuned out until they heard DARCY and buzzed.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

Maybe before you even open your mouth about pyramidality or any such thing you should become more comfortable with questions that actually exhibit it.
I am used to having categories announced before the question. I apologize. I also apologize for being from Chicago, liking ice cream, being a morning person, driving a Honda, and whatever else somebody might find offensive about me. It's hard to know where the next rant will come from.

Thank goodness I didn't say categories should always be given.

If you want to complain about my question preferences, the best place is here.

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Post by leapfrog314 »

I, for one, despite being a pitiful Illinoisian (on Reinstein's team, in fact) think that NAQT's lead-ins are perfectly good. I think that not announcing categories is a good thing in some regards. Players don't have know the general direction of the question too early, and if the question is written right, they can still buzz in early with the right answer. (If I power an NAQT question, that's because it's entirely obvious to me that there's only one direction the question is going.)

But Coach Lee has reminded me of something that I noticed this year. There were a LOT of questions with dumb punnish giveaway endings. The Bride and Prejudice question asked for a title that sounded like Austen's...then there was the naval captain with a "preadolescent" name, the painting with two "diplomats"... Does the last clue really have to be about the answer itself, and not more information? (New Trier capitalized multiple times on these, by the way, so I'm not being sour.)

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Post by First Chairman »

leftsaidfred wrote:
BuzzerZen wrote:Is it just me, or is this thread becoming a giant pile of ridiculous?.
I do not know what is going on. We have E Tom suggesting people get into swimsuits, random feuds boiling over, debate over the national organization somehow starting in here, debates over NAQT's format and some kid randomly including his actions in brackets. I understand what's going on as well as Brick Tamland.
Yeah, I'm being really silly. Just stress relief from all this tournament organizing and packing.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

We were the benefactors of that Bride and Prejudice question, other team negged but Lydia and I were both thinking early that it probably was something other than Pride and Prejudice (we'd both seen Bride and Prejudice, for me I watched it in my British Lit class). I also noticed one question in the tournament that was flat out wrong. When our A team was playing Mounds Park, they had a bonus question basically asking for the income tax amendment, which Mounds Park said was the 16th, but the moderator said it was the 17th. Despite being ratified in the same year, the income tax amendment is the 16th one and the direct election of senators one is the 17th. Also, I think there were a handful of repeats on bonus answers, but with different questions, and I suppose that's not too bad since it wasn't on tossups.

Also, did anyone notice that there were some really weird questions in the first half of round 8? Maybe it's just me because both teams negged all over the place (we were playing Mission San Jose). There was one time when Mission buzzed in with (upon a prompt, thermo)nuclear fission, and the moderator and scorekeeper talked to each other for about 10 minutes and decided it was a neg. The answer was nuclear reactor, but at that point in the tossup there was hardly anything definitely distinguishing the two from each other.
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Post by quiz4life »

I hope you do not mind me throwing a few kudos to my former team Shanghai and their performance at NAQT. 7-3 and an overall 16th place is darn good. But what makes it even more impressive, from a very biased point of view, are two things 1) Shanghai played in just ONE tournament the entire year, that being with KMO questions in Manila. Other than that they practice amongst themselves. 2) Only the team captain is a member of the "A" team. The principal would not allow any non-seniors to miss school. As such the rest of the team members, though fine players, were basically made-up of team B & C members. Two of which had never played in any tournament. A big loss was the young sophomore who is the math, music and art stand-out. Yes Matt this is the kid who scored a 5 on AP Calc as a freshman :smile: My guess is that with their true A team Shanghai would have placed in the top ten.
Because school is now over the A team will be attending NAC.
Also someone mentioned the "International Cup" unless Shanghai (SAS) played an unofficial match v. Lisgar it seems the 16th place is a bit higher than 25th, thus the "cup" goes to SAS.
There was one more team there that I used to coach though that was back in 94 (I took them to UF's and Brookwood's tournaments) so kudos to Pensacola.
Congrats to all the teams and I hope to see you in a couple of years as I build a new team.
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Post by Byko »

Matt Morrison wrote:We were the benefactors of that Bride and Prejudice question
Yep, same thing happened in my room. Regardless of whether it was written well or not (I don't have enough knowledge to say one way or the other), I didn't like the question.
Matt Morrison wrote:I also noticed one question in the tournament that was flat out wrong. When our A team was playing Mounds Park, they had a bonus question basically asking for the income tax amendment, which Mounds Park said was the 16th, but the moderator said it was the 17th. Despite being ratified in the same year, the income tax amendment is the 16th one and the direct election of senators one is the 17th.
I was done moderating by that point in time, at it was in the Sunday playoffs, but I remember hearing that and thinking it didn't sound right. That seems like a fundamental mistake that NAQT should have caught in playtesting pre-tournament.

What stood out to me was the number of repeats on bonuses from the practice rounds I had read the night before. I read one bonus on Friday night on Hero-Leander-Hellespont, and the exact same three answers come up again on Saturday. And that happened at least 3-4 times in Saturday's rounds. I'm not saying there's a problem, it just was particularly interesting that the same sets of answers would recur.
Matt Morrison wrote:There was one time when Mission buzzed in with (upon a prompt, thermo)nuclear fission, and the moderator and scorekeeper talked to each other for about 10 minutes and decided it was a neg. The answer was nuclear reactor, but at that point in the tossup there was hardly anything definitely distinguishing the two from each other.
There was an awkward pause followed by a neg in our room on that one. Between the way the question was worded and the part of the answer underlined, there was a lack of clarity.

Maybe it's just me, but I just found this set of questions not edited as well as previous sets of theirs that I've seen/read. I would hope most of them had been written and edited long in advance as opposed to the San Antonio Spurs question that mentioned them being knocked out of the NBA playoffs two days before.
Dave Bykowski
Furman '00
Michigan '02
PACE 1998-2009
Director, JROTC National Academic Bowl Championship

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