2006 NAQT HSNCT

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
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I was glad to see Sam Lederer at a tournament . . .

Post by bigmac »

. . . as a reader. Please kill all of the comparisons of our team with '05 TJA. All points in their favor granted. If anything, this weekend should demonstrate how very impressive it was that they went undefeated last year. That was a once-in-a-lifetime team. I for one enjoyed this tournament with its more wide open field. All of the upsets made for a an exciting and unpredictable tournament. As Dr. Barnes said, "this is a marathon, not a sprint."

I was so proud of how our team pulled it together on Sunday against such excellent competition after dropping some late games on Saturday. We had a bit of a letdown once the adrenaline rush of playing Gov in Round 9 wore off. Sure, we struggled with some nerves in the final, but finally relaxed enough to follow our worst half of the season with our best.

Our hats off to State College, who played their best quiz bowl of the year on the weekend that it mattered. They sure did dominate those science tossups. Congratulations also to an excellent Gov team, who, like SC, will be scary at PACE, not to mention '07, when they return three.

For those duped by individual statistics into mistaking Chris's teammates for a bunch of stiffs, what can I say? Consider how the top scorers from the top teams did against us (bouncebacks don't count) and then you get an idea of their ability. Even with Chris, they averaged 3 powers a game in the prelims and at least that many in the playoffs. If you are not convinced of our program's staying power, then we will do our best to convince you otherwise next year.

The number system worked very well and the vast majority of readers were excellent. Our favorite had to be David (?) from Texas. You have to love a clear, decisive reader who guarantees that you will hear every tossup.

That Mounds Park student, whom we played in the first round, was absolutely terrific. His five powers against us made for the best individual performance that I saw by an opposing player.

The Canadian team, though not really playing on a level playing field given the American emphasis, was very strong also. It really makes me wonder how the Japanese quiz show is going to go, even aside from the language issue. What is the common body of knowledge there?
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Post by Stained Diviner »

Dr. Chuck--points had nothing to do with the Saturday rounds. It was all based on what matches you won, which meant that there was absolutely no waiting between matches. This allowed them to get through 12 rounds (with each team playing ten and sitting two) by 5:00 with a good lunch break.

Byko--My point is that cards 33-64 should have played against cards 65-96. This is instead of cards 33-64 playing against each other, which is what happened. This would lead to a fairer schedule throughout the day and would eliminate, or at least lessen, the need for the modifications you describe. This would continue in the third round with cards 17-32 playing against cards 33-64 for the 2-1 pairings (because there are more in the 33-64 range, many of them would play each other). This pattern could continue cleanly for the first seven rounds. Even near the end, if a 6-1 team loses to drop down to 6-2, then they should play a 5-2 team that wins rather than another losing 6-1 team. This would avoid situations like Brookwood, where they dropped down to 6-4 by playing one elite team after another.
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Post by First Chairman »

ReinsteinD wrote:Dr. Chuck--points had nothing to do with the Saturday rounds. It was all based on what matches you won, which meant that there was absolutely no waiting between matches. This allowed them to get through 12 rounds (with each team playing ten and sitting two) by 5:00 with a good lunch break.

Byko--My point is that cards 33-64 should have played against cards 65-96. This is instead of cards 33-64 playing against each other, which is what happened. This would lead to a fairer schedule throughout the day and would eliminate, or at least lessen, the need for the modifications you describe. This would continue in the third round with cards 17-32 playing against cards 33-64 for the 2-1 pairings (because there are more in the 33-64 range, many of them would play each other). This pattern could continue cleanly for the first seven rounds. Even near the end, if a 6-1 team loses to drop down to 6-2, then they should play a 5-2 team that wins rather than another losing 6-1 team. This would avoid situations like Brookwood, where they dropped down to 6-4 by playing one elite team after another.
Okay, that makes a bit more sense on the time/logistics standpoint... though again... having some way for teams to sort themselves out by their own performance aside from a binary W/L result would be more ideal (avoid the possible downward spiral schedule of playing consecutive elite teams on similar spirals). And I agree with your assessment about what cards "should" have been played.
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But wait there's more...

Post by First Chairman »

bigmac wrote:. . . as a reader. Please kill all of the comparisons of our team with '05 TJA. All points in their favor granted. If anything, this weekend should demonstrate how very impressive it was that they went undefeated last year. That was a once-in-a-lifetime team. I for one enjoyed this tournament with its more wide open field. All of the upsets made for a an exciting and unpredictable tournament. As Dr. Barnes said, "this is a marathon, not a sprint."
Agreeing... albeit a "lifetime" in high school quiz bowl is maybe 5 years. State College 1999-2000 and Thomas Jefferson 2004-2005 are the only two teams to win the NAQT/PACE double. The State College dynasty at that time was extremely impressive for that era of quiz bowl. The fact that State College is a prime contender for this year says a lot, and they cannot be overlooked... not that there will be that sort of a problem at PACE.
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Post by conker »

Notjustolddeadwhiteguys wrote:In response to the comment on the increase in politics, current events, and "trash," I did notice that as well, but having thought about it, isn't cultural literacy important in the REAL WORLD? I know quizbowl is far from that, but when you talk with people in the office, or at a cocktail party, which will be more valuable--knowing all the specifics visually and symbolicly of the Arnolfini Wedding, or the past policy of a local legislator? I think having this shift in distribution will make the average quizbowler focus more on the world around them(yes, even on things like sports and pop culture), instead of just knowing random esoteric things from ancient history or dead white guy books(if you haven't guessed it already, I'm not a humanities person).
To answer a question on the Arnolfini Wedding, you don't need to know the symbolism--but you do need to know what the painting looks like. And that's part of cultural literacy, something that could come up at a cocktail party. The fact that questions are still being asked about these artistic works 300 or 400 years later means that they must be culturally significant. Current events and pop culture have their place in quiz bowl, but they should not represent a significant portion of the questions. Gwen Stefani and Olympia Snowe may seem important today, but more than likely they'll be socially irrelevant in 30 years.
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Post by grapesmoker »

Notjustolddeadwhiteguys wrote:In response to the comment on the increase in politics, current events, and "trash," I did notice that as well, but having thought about it, isn't cultural literacy important in the REAL WORLD? I know quizbowl is far from that, but when you talk with people in the office, or at a cocktail party, which will be more valuable--knowing all the specifics visually and symbolicly of the Arnolfini Wedding, or the past policy of a local legislator? I think having this shift in distribution will make the average quizbowler focus more on the world around them(yes, even on things like sports and pop culture), instead of just knowing random esoteric things from ancient history or dead white guy books(if you haven't guessed it already, I'm not a humanities person).
Clearly the quizbowl distribution should be adjusted to reflect the most advantageous thing to talk about at cocktail parties. And memorizing sports records and what happened on the latest American Idol is surely more important in both social and cultural terms than whatever those "dead white guys" might have done or written.

Really, you would have to not only be completely ignorant of history, literature, and the arts, but be convinced that this ignorance is a positive thing to seriously make this argument. Maybe instead of not being a humanities person you could, you know, become one by, like, reading books and stuff. Of course, I understand it's much easier to just ask the distribution to accomodate your pre-existing preferences for sports, pop culture, and the politics of local legislators. I suspect that this mindset is what's at fault for the shock that most high school players experience when they start playing the collegiate game; all of a sudden, the answers aren't obvious anymore, and you have to have real knowledge and a desire to learn in order to succeed. Too many people, instead of rising to that challenge, or at least acknowledging its legitimacy, instead want the game to change for them and use silly arguments about the "real world" (aside: you're in high school, what exactly do you know about the "real world" again?) as justifications for their own laziness.
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Post by e_steinhauser »

A couple of very general observations about the HSNCT from a reader's perspective:

1. Contrary to some of the posts here, I didn't notice any shift in distribution or emphasis from previous sets. I think some of the reaction may be coming from the use of some current event-type leadins to other questions. I cannot recall any round that had more than two "trashy" tossups in the first 20 questions.

2. Power-marking seemed to be a bit more generous than in previous sets, but it was consistent throughout the set. Bonus difficulty seemed a bit more variant.

3. I was very impressed by the quality of teams present at the tournament. The final matches I watched were extremely well-played.

4. Despite the crazy logistical challenges of this event, everything went very smoothly. I only recall a few delays, most of which were on Sunday while making the playoff matching.

5. Not really a comment on the HSNCT per se, but this weekend just reinforced my irritation at the inclusion of computation tossups in high school events. Particularly in matches between non-elite teams, it completely interrupts the flow of the game and leads to the dreaded dead air. I've heard all the arguments before for their inclusion, and I understand many state associations demand it ... but that still doesn't make it good quizbowl.


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Post by Stained Diviner »

you're in high school, what exactly do you know about the "real world" again?
Be careful--I'm 38 and still in high school. And aren't you in grad school?

While cocktail parties are a bad justification for anything, quiz bowl distributions included, I do not consider a question on Olympia Snowe to be trash. She will be irrelevant in 100 years, but she is a powerful person in the world we live in--this week alone, her opposition to the Constitutional Amendment of the Month is helping people to see how ridiculous our Congress has become. Most people have never heard of her, and that is a bad thing.

Also, there are legitimate reasons to put pop culture in quiz bowl. If you want to argue against it that's fine, but you might want to do so without calling people lazy.

Then again, you might want to criticize people for welcoming a new member to the board. It's up to you.
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Post by conker »

ReinsteinD wrote:While cocktail parties are a bad justification for anything, quiz bowl distributions included, I do not consider a question on Olympia Snowe to be trash. She will be irrelevant in 100 years, but she is a powerful person in the world we live in--this week alone, her opposition to the Constitutional Amendment of the Month is helping people to see how ridiculous our Congress has become. Most people have never heard of her, and that is a bad thing.
Don't get me wrong--I am all for Olympia Snowe's inclusion in quiz team tournaments, but if she and fellow "in-the-spotlight-at-the-moment" celebrities are getting questions at the expense of Mozart or the Arnolfini Wedding, that would be unfortunate.
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Post by jrbarry »

I did not feel that the questions were any more trashy than normal NAQT sets. NAQT questions are the trashiest ones we play on all year. And you must count ridiculous trashy references that make answering so-vcalled academic tossups possible. It seems there is more than 10% trash in every NAQT set.

NAQT questions are so very well edited that it makes me wish they would cut back on the trash. I would hope that they would have onoply ONE trash question in each match and it would be a bonus not a tossup.

What frustrates me the most, however, about NAQT Nationals is not the question formula, but the darn speedreading that many moderators seem determined to use. QUIT USING TIMED MATCHES! Some readers are more proud of how many tossups they get through than they are of speaking clearly and plainly. And, while I am at it, extend the amount of time a team gets to confer on bonuses to 7 seconds. A prompt at 4 seconds is ridiculously quick. If NAQT would abandon timed matches, they could revert to bounceback bonuses.

I feel that teams from the Southeast are at a disadvantage because we play a game that is much more deliberate. Southern speech patterns are much more deliberate as well. WE NEED MORE SLOW-TALKING SOUTHERNERS READING! Yea Eric Bell!! :-)
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Post by Trevkeeper »

But if they didn't have timed matches theyd either have to have less rounds or things would get all messed up because some rooms would finish before others or such, or both.

Also, I will be the first to stick up for trash in packets, but I could see how people think there is too much. I think 1/1 is suitable (in the first 20), 2/2 at most. Also, if it is an academic question (i.e. a social studies or lit tossup or bonus), then I think the trash should be left out. Leave the trash for the trash tossups and bonuses themselves.
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Post by grapesmoker »

ReinsteinD wrote:
you're in high school, what exactly do you know about the "real world" again?
Be careful--I'm 38 and still in high school. And aren't you in grad school?
Ha ha. Because being a high school teacher is the same as being a student. And, yes, I'm in grad school, but then I'm not going around making claims that quiz bowl distributions should reflect the "real world."
While cocktail parties are a bad justification for anything, quiz bowl distributions included, I do not consider a question on Olympia Snowe to be trash. She will be irrelevant in 100 years, but she is a powerful person in the world we live in--this week alone, her opposition to the Constitutional Amendment of the Month is helping people to see how ridiculous our Congress has become. Most people have never heard of her, and that is a bad thing.
It was not obvious to me from the thread that Olympia Snowe was the politician in question. I was thinking on a far more local scale than a US Senator; as such, she certainly isn't trash.
Also, there are legitimate reasons to put pop culture in quiz bowl. If you want to argue against it that's fine, but you might want to do so without calling people lazy.
In the post I was replying to, the original poster quite clearly expressed his disdain for history, literature, and art with the justification that it was "esoteric" or written by "dead white guys." That's not an argument, that's a polemic, and a stupid one at that. On top of this, the original poster also said that he wasn't a "humanities guy." Well, it's my not so humble opinion that everyone ought to be a humanities guy to some extent. Everything in that post suggested to me an unwillingness to learn the material in question and instead a desire to change the distribution to things that the original poster was already interested in or knew. If you don't want to call that lazy, that's your prerogative.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

Oh Mr. Barry, I'm terribly sorry that some of us moderators upset you this weekend. You're right, we should all slow down to accomodate the slow speed at which you claim the southeast plays quizbowl. Next time I read for you at an HSNCT, I'll make sure to slip into the slow, drawling Texas accent I use at home when reading to the slow teams down here and punt all regard for the clock.

Or maybe you should just stop expecting the rest of the country to change for you and accept the fact that there's a reason for the rule. NAQT ran 12 rounds with 128 teams playing between roughly 9:30 and 5:30 on Saturday. In Georgia, we'd apparently probably still be there.
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Post by QuizBowlRonin »

ekwartler wrote:Oh Mr. Barry, I'm terribly sorry that some of us moderators upset you this weekend. You're right, we should all slow down to accomodate the slow speed at which you claim the southeast plays quizbowl. Next time I read for you at an HSNCT, I'll make sure to slip into the slow, drawling Texas accent I use at home when reading to the slow teams down here and punt all regard for the clock.

Or maybe you should just stop expecting the rest of the country to change for you and accept the fact that there's a reason for the rule. NAQT ran 12 rounds with 128 teams playing between roughly 9:30 and 5:30 on Saturday. In Georgia, we'd apparently probably still be there.
While I think Coach Barry is injecting a little bit of sarcasm in his post (hint hint), I still think he's doing a disservice to his students by claiming they can't listen to the "speed-reader" moderators. I know that Brookwood kids are a lot sharper than the impression he makes in his post. (Re: BHS Debate).

Otherwise, I'll have none of that "The Man is Keeping the South Down" diatribe. Let's squelch the "NAQT is biased against the South" talk, right now.
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Post by brownboy79 »

Maybe Mr. Barry is being sarcastic, but he has a very good point. Aside from NAQT Nationals and State, every tournament we go to over the year has bounce back bonuses. On top of that, The timed matches we use in Kentucky generally have a lot of time left over, rather than a lot of questions left over, an inevitable result in many NAQT games. Bounce back keeps many teams in a game. It seems that this format makes tossups all that matter in a match.
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Post by grapesmoker »

brownboy79 wrote:Maybe Mr. Barry is being sarcastic, but he has a very good point. Aside from NAQT Nationals and State, every tournament we go to over the year has bounce back bonuses. On top of that, The timed matches we use in Kentucky generally have a lot of time left over, rather than a lot of questions left over, an inevitable result in many NAQT games. Bounce back keeps many teams in a game. It seems that this format makes tossups all that matter in a match.
Maybe this is just my bias from not having ever played on bouncebacks, but doesn't that kind of run counter to the idea that the bonus is a reward for getting the tossup? So, if you want the bonus points, you'd better get the tossup. Otherwise, it seems to me that a team could get many fewer tossups but if they got a couple of bonuses on categories of their expertise while the other team couldn't convert many of the bonus points, they'd win. That doesn't strike me as very fair.
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Post by QuizBowlRonin »

brownboy79 wrote:Maybe Mr. Barry is being sarcastic, but he has a very good point. Aside from NAQT Nationals and State, every tournament we go to over the year has bounce back bonuses. On top of that, The timed matches we use in Kentucky generally have a lot of time left over, rather than a lot of questions left over, an inevitable result in many NAQT games. Bounce back keeps many teams in a game. It seems that this format makes tossups all that matter in a match.
See:

http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1841
http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1432

Coach Barry claims NAQT is in the "dark ages" with regards to bounceback bonuses. The college game has NEVER had bounceback bonuses, and there are legitimate reasons why, which I don't have time to get into with this post.
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Post by e_steinhauser »

So, anyone care to explain why a team should earn bonus points when they never did anything to warrant a bonus in the first place?

You want the bonus? You get the tossup. It's that simple.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

e_steinhauser wrote:So, anyone care to explain why a team should earn bonus points when they never did anything to warrant a bonus in the first place?
umm, because they answered it correctly? You don't want a team to get bounceback points scored against you, you answer it correctly first, it's fairly simple. I like games that are more knowledge-based like that.
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Post by brownboy79 »

Granted, since 4th grade I have always played with bounce back, I am definitely biased. That said, it seems ridiculous to associate 30 extra points with a couple milliseconds on the buzzer. Perhaps this is more accentuated by the fact that the South plays more speed questions, where shorter times are more of an issue, but even in the North buzzer races occur, and 30 pts seem like a high value on a couple milliseconds.
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Post by e_steinhauser »

Matt Morrison wrote:umm, because they answered it correctly? You don't want a team to get bounceback points scored against you, you answer it correctly first, it's fairly simple. I like games that are more knowledge-based like that.
They answered nothing; the other team beat them to the tossup. Whether or not the tossup-answering team is able to cash in on its bonus opportunity is entirely out of the non-answering team's hands, and that's the way it should be.

I fail to see any reason why a team that lost out on the tossup (a contest which provides the winner's team an opportunity to earn more points via an aptly-titled "bonus question") should be able to share in any of those extra points.

If you want a "more knowledge-based" game, why don't we just give a written test? That's more knowledge-based than an orally-based buzzer game that relies on reflexive speed and recall.
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Post by Chris Frankel »

brownboy79 wrote:Granted, since 4th grade I have always played with bounce back, I am definitely biased. That said, it seems ridiculous to associate 30 extra points with a couple milliseconds on the buzzer. Perhaps this is more accentuated by the fact that the South plays more speed questions, where shorter times are more of an issue, but even in the North buzzer races occur, and 30 pts seem like a high value on a couple milliseconds.
Really, that's the primary reason I see people (ok, it's not really people, just one particularly abrasive and persistent coach's pet topic that always gets shouted out no matter how little others care about it) getting so worked up about wanting bouncebacks. It all boils down to "all I do is drill my team with lists and flash cards for a speed-based local format, and rather than adapt and encourage my players to read books, study, and expand their academic horizons, so they can compete with more knowledgable teams who actually do the latter and consistently beat my team at national formats that have evolved past speed and list memory play, I'd rather bitch about it incessantly and demand everything conform to my interests."

As Eric said, "You want the bonus? You get the tossup." The whole point of having pyramidal tossups is to differentiate levels of knowledge among players and allow the most knowledgable to get the tossup and answer the bonus. If you have problems losing buzzer races, then maybe you should do some in-depth studying and question writing so you can learn those early clues instead of just memorizing giveaways and hoping you can win the speed check.
"They sometimes get fooled by the direction a question is going to take, and that's intentional," said Reid. "The players on these teams are so good that 90 percent of the time they could interrupt the question and give the correct answer if the questions didn't take those kinds of turns. That wouldn't be fun to watch, so every now and then as I design these suckers, I say to myself, 'Watch this!' and wait 'til we're on camera. I got a lot of dirty looks this last tournament."
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Post by Matthew D »

Boy this thread is going way off track....
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Post by QuizBowlRonin »

Chris Frankel wrote:As Eric said, "You want the bonus? You get the tossup." The whole point of having pyramidal tossups is to differentiate levels of knowledge among players and allow the most knowledgable to get the tossup and answer the bonus. If you have problems losing buzzer races, then maybe you should do some in-depth studying and question writing so you can learn those early clues instead of just memorizing giveaways and hoping you can win the speed check.
While we in the college game have the luxury of longer pyramidal questions in ACF and certain NAQT questions, it is important to note that the high school game does have more speed checks, and in many cases what leadins they have are fluff.

I doubt there is much reading in the primary literature one can do to defeat speed checks in CBI - I think the same holds for some of the high school game.
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Post by First Chairman »

Good heavens, can't we all get along?

If you want bounceback bonuses and untimed rounds, why didn't you (Brookwood and Dunbar) attend PACE NSC again? I think you (Brookwood) had said previously because your captain said he preferred going to NAQT and that you really didn't care so much about being nationally competitive. No problem for me... but if that's your reason for attending, I don't understand the issue that NAQT is somehow or another biased against the Southeast. NAQT's rules are straightforward and did not change for any specific one team out of the 128 that attended.

I understand scheduling conflicts. If that's the reason, there's no point in continuing the argument.

Again, we are more than welcome to allow southeastern teams (and teams from any part of the US that want to play on our questions) that like untimed, reboundable bonuses to play at PACE. I do not know why you don't... maybe because you would rather complain about how slow our readers are. :cool:

PACE has been doing reboundable team questions since 1998. We have data that show much much it really affects the game. We aren't interested in changing the college game to include it, but we do have the data that suggests how much a game truly changes when you have it compared to when you don't.

Please... let's get back to point and civility.
Last edited by First Chairman on Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Dan Greenstein »

jrbarry wrote:I did not feel that the questions were any more trashy than normal NAQT sets. NAQT questions are the trashiest ones we play on all year. And you must count ridiculous trashy references that make answering so-vcalled academic tossups possible. It seems there is more than 10% trash in every NAQT set.

NAQT questions are so very well edited that it makes me wish they would cut back on the trash. I would hope that they would have onoply ONE trash question in each match and it would be a bonus not a tossup.

What frustrates me the most, however, about NAQT Nationals is not the question formula, but the darn speedreading that many moderators seem determined to use. QUIT USING TIMED MATCHES! Some readers are more proud of how many tossups they get through than they are of speaking clearly and plainly. And, while I am at it, extend the amount of time a team gets to confer on bonuses to 7 seconds. A prompt at 4 seconds is ridiculously quick. If NAQT would abandon timed matches, they could revert to bounceback bonuses.

I feel that teams from the Southeast are at a disadvantage because we play a game that is much more deliberate. Southern speech patterns are much more deliberate as well. WE NEED MORE SLOW-TALKING SOUTHERNERS READING! Yea Eric Bell!! :-)
Want minimal trash, with the one trash question a game being a bonus?

PACE NSC has that.

Want a minimum of trash clues in questions about academic subjects?

PACE NSC has that.

Want untimed matches?

PACE NSC has that.

Want longer conferral times on bonuses?

PACE NSC is not going to give seven seconds, but it can provide more time to answer than at NAQT HSNCT.

Want bounceback bonuses?

PACE NSC has those.

So basically, with the exception of the extremely slow readers, you want NAQT HSNCT to be PACE NSC.
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Post by First Chairman »

And I will add to Dan's points a response to Eric Steinhauser:

You want a format where calculation tossups are verboten?

PACE NSC has that.
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Post by dschafer »

Congratulations to RM on their victory. Ever since our first tournament this year, it was clear that they would be one of the teams to beat this year at NAQT, and they haven't let up since. Good luck in Japan!

For power matching, I've never seen it done where the order of losses/wins matters... I certainly know that it's not standard for Swiss pairing.

With regards to e_steinhauser's comments on the math; I wasn't at HSNCT this year, but the math I've heard so far in the podcasts has been decent-to-poor in quality. I'm certainly biased towards math (I did miss NAQT for the math national tournament ARML), but it seems to me that I have yet to see a valid reason to exclude well-written computational math. If poorly-written or short (my oft-used example being "Find 123 times 456."), computational math can be bad, but I've yet to see a category where a poorly-written or short question isn't bad. Rather than divert this topic further, I'll reference my post in a previous math thread, where I extensively defended well-written math computation: http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1978.
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Post by Byko »

jrbarry wrote:What frustrates me the most, however, about NAQT Nationals is not the question formula, but the darn speedreading that many moderators seem determined to use. QUIT USING TIMED MATCHES! Some readers are more proud of how many tossups they get through than they are of speaking clearly and plainly. And, while I am at it, extend the amount of time a team gets to confer on bonuses to 7 seconds. A prompt at 4 seconds is ridiculously quick. If NAQT would abandon timed matches, they could revert to bounceback bonuses.
Rick, I'm with you on this one. I haven't read at HSNCT the last couple of years but did this year, and I was pleased to see it wasn't quite as bad in that regard as in previous years. In years past, I would hear moderators comparing how much time they left on the clock at the end of the game as if THAT were the real contest. It's not. That said, though, there definitely are some people who care more about getting through all the questions regardless of reading quality instead of maybe only getting through 24 or 25 questions but doing so very clearly. Only once did I get through the entire packet all weekend, but I'm certainly much more pleased with the fact that teams were clearly happy with my speaking clearly (a couple of them asked me in advance to emphasize that because of several moderators they had had in earlier rounds).

Folks, don't deny it--it exists. And we all know it's 10 times worse at the ICT, which is why I'll stick to Division II if I ever read there again.
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Post by Kechara »

jrbarry wrote: What frustrates me the most, however, about NAQT Nationals is not the question formula, but the darn speedreading that many moderators seem determined to use. QUIT USING TIMED MATCHES! Some readers are more proud of how many tossups they get through than they are of speaking clearly and plainly.
I tend to agree, but I am a bit biased after staying home from work sick after pushing my voice to be fast and clear at the same time.

Another issue that I heard a lot of this weekend with the timed matches, and one reason Rick may be so concerned about 4 seconds on bonuses, is that several readers were not actually giving 2 seconds on tossups and 4 seconds on bonuses. I never had Brookwood, so I can't comment on how long they were taking to confer, but I heard issues of moderators expecting an answer within a second after the buzz and at about 2-3 seconds on bonuses.
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Post by davinci »

One thing that I noticed is that quite few questions from the HSNCT were almost blatant repeats of questions from the ICT (which were also podcasts). The question on Lolita and even one in the finals on Great Dismal Swamp had essentially the exact same clues. A few of the bonuses seemed to be compied as well.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

I'll agree that there were some problems with the math--namely, too many of the math questions were pre-Algebra word problems.

The reason you deserve points for a bonus bounceback is that you know something that your opponent does not. It's usually the same reason you get points on a tossup. It also punishes teams that are completely ignorant in an area--their opponents can steal those bonuses.
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Post by Romero »

The punishment for not knowing a bonus is not getting any "bonus" points off the particular question. To turn your arguement around, why should the team who did not know the tossup be given points for knowing the bonus.

Reinstein your arguement is circular. You claim that the team which doesn't know the bonus should be punished. You also claim that the team that doesn't know the tossup should be rewarded.

The bounceback is a facet in the minority among competitions. Just because it is locally prevalent does not make it a viable game aspect. The issue is simple-- want a bonus, get the tossup.

It is as simple as the definition of "bonus," something given in addition. Logical consistency dictates the extinction of the bounceback. The team which has better knowledge gets a tossup. That team is rewarded with an opportunity to gain additional points on a bonus. If they do not answer the bonus correctly they do not get any points (and hence are punished for lack of knowledge). It makes no sense, in any case, to reward a team for not knowing.

Can anyone cite an example from ANY competition where a team is rewarded for inferior play?
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Post by insaneindian »

Romero wrote:Can anyone cite an example from ANY competition where a team is rewarded for inferior play?
NAC. Trailing team chooses lightning round first. But then again, that's NAC.
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Post by NotjustoldWASPs »

I guess since my devil's advocate argument got ripped to shreds in the twenty hours since I last visited the forum, maybe i should defend myself further.

First off, Grapesmoker, by saying that I'm not a humanities person does not mean I totally disdain history, art, and literature...I wouldn't be doing quizbowl if I didn't have some appreciation for the wide ranging topics covered by potential questions. And yes, i DO read. A lot. Just maybe works of science fiction, or books about particle physics rather than tomes about Byzantium.

The point of my argument was to defend NAQT, as it is my personal favorite quizbowl format, and the biggest complaint I had been reading up to that point was on distribution. I just decided to take this and run with it, and since it was late at night after sleeping next to nothing the night before, I began rambling.

My interest in quizbowl started when I was still learning a lot early on in high school, and the questions were interesting because I had not heard the same thing over & over fifty times. I like change, and manipulations of facts and variables, which is probably why I'm a science & math person and not a humanities person. I mean, what's past is past, what's written is written, and there's only so many ways one can write a question on a specific event in history, but what I like about NAQT is that it writes questions on new material, be it current events, trash, or maybe more obscure bits from the pool of historical or scientific information.

Now I know that people are going to say "Isn't the point of quizbowl to learn and recall facts from the same canonical clues?" I'll agree with that statement, but I'm just saying that, as a personal preference, I like some variety and variability in the questions I hear, and seemingly random bits from pop culture or government provide that.
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Post by davinci »

For the discussion about moderators....
I thought the moderators were very clear at the NSNCT, they were all very fast, but they were clear and enunciated well. We had one incident with a moderator who was mistaken with a rule and when proven wrong made up another reason for denying the answer and refused to admit it, but that was just once.
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Post by jbarnes112358 »

My 2 cents worth on the speedreading issue:

I do appreciate readers getting through as many questions as possible. But, in several cases we were not quite getting all the information because it was coming so quickly and not always so clearly. Some readers seem to have the knack of being able to read quickly and understandably, while other readers become a mumbling blur when then they go too fast. At times I could tell our kids were focusing in a perplexed manner trying to process the reader. On several occasions our players missed a key word or two early that kept us from getting a power, or simply created confusion about where the question was going.

I know having 10 minute halves would add approximately 40 minutes to the tournament. But, it would go a long way towards alleviating the problem. You could also drop a question or two, but then you would, well, have fewer questions. I understand the time vs number of questions tradeoff. However, there are ways the problem can be ameliorated.

This is a minor issue with me. For the most part I was impressed with the quality of the moderators. They all seemed experienced and handled themselves admirably.

We don't normally play on timed rounds during the year. So, our players have to adjust to the speed reading at nationals. Both teams have to listen to the same reader. So, in that sense it is fair. If some teams are accustomed to slower reading southerners (like myself) they may possibly have a more difficult adjustment. But, they need to learn to survive in the real world, and the real-world is full of Yankees :smile:
Last edited by jbarnes112358 on Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Romero wrote:
Reinstein your arguement is circular. You claim that the team which doesn't know the bonus should be punished. You also claim that the team that doesn't know the tossup should be rewarded.
It actually seems pretty simple to me. Teams with knowledge should be awarded points based on the knowledge they have. The "bonus" aspect of the questions comes from the fact that you have the advantage of having more time to answer them and you get first dibs on them for getting a tossup. It always seemed odd to me that the "bonus" for getting a 10 point tossup could be an easy 30 points in addition to that. Now, if you're talking about related bonuses, then the argument against bouncebacks makes more sense because bouncebacks become redundant since a team has already demonstrated knowledge in that area by getting the tossup. Also, sometimes bouncebacks can't be used for the simple sake of time. In a one-day tournament, bouncebacks might eat up a total of a half hour max, but after a bunch of lunch delays and stuff that could make a difference.
e_steinhauser wrote:
If you want a "more knowledge-based" game, why don't we just give a written test? That's more knowledge-based than an orally-based buzzer game that relies on reflexive speed and recall.
Wow, way to trash quizbowl (unless it's the BoB seeding test or you're using worksheets only). I thought PACE's goal, in fact, part of its name, was academic excellence, and indeed establishing a game less reliant on "reflexive speed and recall." I mean sure, NAQT is exciting and all, but the matches often end up closer just because either team can get a lot of questions on things they know a little bit about. I think there should be some academic value to quizbowl so you can't just go and study frequency lists all night, show up in a regional tournament for your state organization, win, and go to one of Chip's sites (or any other national, for that matter). From my experience, PACE-style tournaments are about much more than speed and quick recall; usually the team that knows more wins.

Of course, the style of tournament or whether or not bouncebacks/rebounds are employed often doesn't make a difference in outcome, but still I think it gets to the root of what good quizbowl should stand for and encourage (more academics or entertainment? to me speedier tournaments often have more entertainment value). I state these opinions despite the fact that I usually score much better on NAQT questions than other styles, but anyway, sorry for the digression, back to your regularly scheduled moderator speed discussion....
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Post by First Chairman »

e_steinhauser wrote:If you want a "more knowledge-based" game, why don't we just give a written test? That's more knowledge-based than an orally-based buzzer game that relies on reflexive speed and recall.
I do... it's High School Celebrity Shoot, and after 10 years, a lot of people in quiz bowl actually like it. But I wouldn't want to run a national "quiz bowl tournament" like that. It tests a different set of skills, but it allows for the "wallflower" players to gain confidence. That's something that standard match play doesn't usually provide.

As everyone knows, I also run Decathlon, but we won't go there again.
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Post by DumbJaques »

For the discussion about moderators....
I thought the moderators were very clear at the NSNCT, they were all very fast, but they were clear and enunciated well. We had one incident with a moderator who was mistaken with a rule and when proven wrong made up another reason for denying the answer and refused to admit it, but that was just once.
What exactly happened with that, again?
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Post by jrbarry »

Good Lord in Heaven! I was KIDDING about the Southeast kids being slow! NO one is discriminating against us. Some of you Texans need to get a sense of humor. Don't go NUCULEAR on us! :-)

Most of the readers we had were fine, but would have been better if we all just read at a normal speed. Some of the readers seemed in some kinda hurry to prove something.

In case some of you do not know, bounceback bonuses simply mean that the team who answered the tossup correctly gets first shot at the bonus. First shot is their reward. But no team should be able to get exclusive right to a 30-point bonus because they answered a 10-point tossup.

Fortunately, despite some doubters and the college bowl scene, bouncebacks are spreading.
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Post by jbarnes112358 »

PACE and NAQT are both good formats. It is good to have a variety of quality quizbowl. Bounceback or no bouceback? Pros and cons both ways.
Last edited by jbarnes112358 on Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Romero »

I believe this is in reference to my call...

There was an issue on my calling stalling on computation answers. I got flustered as the team protested the call while the clock ran. I was mistaken as to time which students could use after buzzing to compute (2 seconds). I ruled the student took too much time, which as a moderator discretion issue is not protestable. In any case, WJ won the match.
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Post by jrbarry »

Dr Chuck:

Brookwood attended NAQT for four reasons.

1. My seniors (all 4) wanted to try-out for Jeopardy.

2. We practice with NAQT questions 80% of the time all year.

3. We wanted to compete in what clearly is the premier national tournament these days.

4. The timing (June 2-4) was perfect for us and for me.

I wish PACE all the good fortune possible. I like your questions and your match format.
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Post by davinci »

Well it was a math computation question, and so our math person buzzes in and takes a breath to compose himself, seeing as he is a freshmen who we moved up after our #3 player had to take the SAT's and this was his first full NAQT tournament ever. He then says the correct answer, 3.4, and it was a fairly simple question: just root 3 (rounded) times two. However, the moderator immediately says, "no-response" and deducts a -5 penalty, and my team is thinking what the hell. The other team attempts the bounceback and gets it wrong. We then ask the mod why he didn't accept the answer and he says that on math questions you don't get the 2 seconds, you have to say it immediately. We then pull out a copy of the rules and read the section to him, which obviously showed that he was completely wrong. He then proceeded to say that he didn't accept the answer because there was an "unnatural pause" and that "he could tell that the person was still calculating in his head." It couldnt have been an unnatural pause because he hadn't said anything yet, it was just *breath* 3.4 and as for the calculating in your head, in every other toss-up aren't you allowed to quickly just compose your thoughts? Besides not making any sense, the moderator was also very arrogant about how he was 100% sure he was right about the whole thing, especially seeing as even when he was proved completely wrong, he had to make up another wrong reason why he was "right" and that he somehow "knew" what a player was thinking.

Editted for grammar.
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Post by First Chairman »

jbarnes112358 wrote:PACE and NAQT are both good formats. It is good to have a variety of quality quizbowl. Bounceback or no bouceback? Pros and cons both ways.
Thanks... and vive la difference! As mentioned before, PACE has the data now to determine whether reboundables really make a difference in the game, and based on our cohorts, there seems to be relatively little impact having rebounds.

As one other student player commented, the PACE format is certainly a bit more "alien" than standard toss/bonus. On the other hand, it means everyone is on a more level playing field since the PACE format is not commonly run in any part of the country. It's not that I wouldn't mind more people trying, but it's nice to have everyone at our tournament competing with a similar level of format anxiety.

Note to self: must remember to buy Kudos bars...
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Post by jbarnes112358 »

E.T. Chuck wrote:As mentioned before, PACE has the data now to determine whether reboundables really make a difference in the game, and based on our cohorts, there seems to be relatively little impact having rebounds.

I would be interested in seeing the data.
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Post by Romero »

davinci wrote:Well it was a math computation question, and so our math person buzzes in...
Though I will applaud the WJ coach for knowing rule "G6. Computation tossups." I will chastize him for not recalling some other rules.

"G.7 Decisions as to whether players have exceeded the allotted time to signal or to answer may be rendered only by the game officials of a given match and are not protestable."

"J.1 Protests may be lodged only by an active player or by the official coach at the end of a half, the end of the game, or during a timeout."

"G.12. Illegal conferring"

I did make a mistake and attempted to move on. I apologize if my being flustered or my attempt to keep the match on pace was perceived as arrogance.
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Post by First Chairman »

jbarnes112358 wrote:
E.T. Chuck wrote:As mentioned before, PACE has the data now to determine whether reboundables really make a difference in the game, and based on our cohorts, there seems to be relatively little impact having rebounds.
I would be interested in seeing the data.
Dr B: I think I posted it up somewhere on the board. I have to go through a search to find it. Regardless, I think we can go back into all the data, but the most any team has ever stolen points in a match is 120 points (I believe), with median being around 35 points (ballpark). Regardless, I know I did that look-through from all the past stats of the NSC which are posted on the PACE website.
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Post by davinci »

Excuse my team for having some common sense when it comes to encountering a "rule" they have never heard of or witnessed.

Seeing how it was the fourth or fifth round I wonder how you judged such math questions in the previous rounds.

We definitely called a timeout, so there was no "illegal conferring" of anysort, although you can continue to make up judgements if you want to.

You never admitted you were wrong or gave the pretense of such in the match, the possible 40 points would have affected our prelim rankings, albeit not much, but they still would have affected it.

You can try to hide behide the "moderator discretion" even though it was obvious he gave the answer within 1.5 seconds even.

You also began the match by telling our captain: "Alex I really didn't like your post in the forum about teams from DC..."
Last edited by davinci on Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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