Georgia 2007-2008

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rchschem
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by rchschem »

NoahMinkCHS wrote:I believe, as I think most TDs do, that you don't want to match up good teams in the prelims if you can help it.
What's the alternative? Good teams against bad teams? Bad teams against bad teams (of course, the other half of the rooms would be good teams against good teams again)? How does matching good teams against bad improve playoff seeding? Or more to the point, eliminate the easy bracket complaint?

In all the tournaments I've run or helped run, with the exception of the Right Triangle Open the last two years when we've been able to do real-time Swiss-pairing, I've never worried about good teams playing good teams, unless it's all they do. Every team should be equally screwed--that's the only option.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Gunnells »

If you look at the full UGa results, the team that unquestionably had the toughest break was Brookwood B. They put up decent PPG despite playing Walton, Norcross, Alpharetta, and Chattahoochee (in a horrible crossover draw). Given the field, there's no way they would have gone 1-4 with a typical draw.

The team was 11th in PPG despite their schedule. It is not unreasonable to suspect they would have been among the eight playoff qualifiers with a different preliminary placement.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Ben_Dodson »

anyone else getting really excited about State? I think Georgia is unique in having 4 teams ranked in the top 25 with

1. Chattahoochee -16
2. Brookwood -22
3. Walton -23
4. Norcross -25

Just thought that was interesting.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by AdamL »

Ben Dodson wrote: Rankings
Ah, I was confused by this until I realized you were talking about Byko's ratings and not the poll results.

I would say something about State, except I have a colossal headache because the cameras broke tonight while we were filming High Q and we had to stand up there on the set for a prolonged period of time... bright lights and such messed me up after a while. But in any case, there isn't much more to say about State... it's going to be the most competitive one I can remember from my 4 years. Looking forward to it.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by hookemhorns10 »

Ben_Dodson wrote:anyone else getting really excited about State? I think Georgia is unique in having 4 teams ranked in the top 25 with

1. Chattahoochee -16
2. Brookwood -22
3. Walton -23
4. Norcross -25

Just thought that was interesting.
This is especially impressive after noting that these schools have played without their full A-team at many tournaments. However, we are not getting much love from those who have cast mid season polls, sadly.

Oh, and Brookwood is pumped for state as well.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by theblitzer »

I've seen enough Varsity predictions; anyone have any predictions for the JV championship next month? I've noticed that some teams that have very strong varsity teams and relatively weak JV team, or vice-versa. Do you think any of the top schools that have a shot to win the Varsity championship have a similar chance in the JV?

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by ragnarok2012 »

theblitzer wrote:I've seen enough Varsity predictions; anyone have any predictions for the JV championship next month? I've noticed that some teams that have very strong varsity teams and relatively weak JV team, or vice-versa. Do you think any of the top schools that have a shot to win the Varsity championship have a similar chance in the JV?
Brookwood JV and Walton JV and Alpharetta JV are pretty strong. Proportionately, Walton V and Alpharetta V are not as strong but are still good.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by krazydragon »

From what I've seen, I'd say the JV State Championship is also "up for grabs."

However, I'm willing to presume from what I've seen so far this year(at least results wise), that Walton, Brookwood, and Alpharetta have the best chance of winning it, with Walton being the most prominent forerunner.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Gunnells »

hookemhorns10 wrote:
Ben_Dodson wrote:anyone else getting really excited about State? I think Georgia is unique in having 4 teams ranked in the top 25 with

1. Chattahoochee -16
2. Brookwood -22
3. Walton -23
4. Norcross -25

Just thought that was interesting.
This is especially impressive after noting that these schools have played without their full A-team at many tournaments. However, we are not getting much love from those who have cast mid season polls, sadly.

Oh, and Brookwood is pumped for state as well.
I wouldn't worry about the subjective polls. Dorman has enough connectivity to the Mid-Atlantic that it is nigh indefensible to place anyone ahead of Dorman A, yet several voters did. Everyone has a tendency to overrate whoever is local, and few of the Mid-Atlantic teams travel southward to see anyone beyond Dorman.

If you'd asked the second best (or 30th best) team in Vermont what they thought of Champlain Valley's chances against a team from South Carolina before they actually played James Island, they would've probably been pretty confident. Things eventually sort themselves out.

I'm sticking by my predictions for varsity state:
1. Chattahoochee
2. Brookwood
3. Walton

Norcross doesn't have a single victory over these schools that doesn't somehow merit an asterisk. If we play well, we have a good shot at 4th.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Well, I mean, it is actually defensible to nominate someone who beat Dorman (granted I agree that Dorman is the strongest team out there). Now if Dorman were totally undefeated against Whitman and TJ that would be different.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Byko »

Athena Starwoman wrote:Well, I mean, it is actually defensible to nominate someone who beat Dorman (granted I agree that Dorman is the strongest team out there). Now if Dorman were totally undefeated against Whitman and TJ that would be different.
Eh, sort of. The fact that Whitman and TJ both have at least 3 times the number of losses that Dorman does have a decent amount to do with it, even if Whitman's schedule is harder than Dorman's (and TJ's is even more so). It's very close.

As for Georgia, discounting the rest of the field (which may not be the best assumption, but I'll make it anyways), here's how the numbers handicap the top 4 teams' chances to win:

Chattahoochee: 34.8%
Brookwood: 22%
Walton: 21.9%
Norcross: 21.3%

Pretty much any game between any 2 of Brookwood, Walton, and Norcross would be predicted to be about a 50-50 chance of winning for either team. Granted, this is also with having accounted for the results from the Berry College tournament, so this could change a little, but I'd guess Norcross's win over Brindlee Mountain would help cancel out its loss to Central Gwinnett.

I'm starting to ramble, so I'll stop here for now.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Well yeah, hence why I think that Dorman is the #1 team in the country. However, I still think that people who would nominate TJ or Whitman as number #1 actually have a much more arguable reason to do so than if Dorman hadn't lost to them. At the same time, I don't think that any other team than those three have any arguable way to be nominated for first.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Ben_Dodson »

Um yea, let's not turn Georgia's Comparison thread into a discussion about Dorman again. I think once was enough.

After 4 preliminary matches tonight, three teams went undefeated. Top team that is not undefeated is Walton. Ranked in order of point average, they are:

1. Norcross (4-0) 305 ppg
2. Brookwood (4-0) 262.5 ppg
3. Chattahoochee (4-0) 250 ppg
4. Walton (3-1) 220 ppg; lost to Chattahoochee
5. Central Gwinnett (1-2) 180 ppg; lost to Parkview and Brookwood (?) Central had 1 bye round.

Norcross plays Brookwood in the prelims tommorow.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Gunnells »

1. Chattahoochee
2. Brookwood
3. Walton

Norcross ... {has} a good shot at 4th.
Sadly, I was quite prescient. Congratulations to Chattahoochee on their much deserved state title.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Ben_Dodson »

Semis:

Chattahoochee def Walton
Brookwood def Norcross

Finals

Chattahoochee def Brookwood

Consolation round:

Walton def Norcross.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by CSQuizJags »

In AAAA:

Top four
1- Lakeside (which ran the table at 7-0)
2- McIntosh (6-1)
3- Heritage (5-2)
4- Cedar Shoals (4-3)- not bad for a group of 2 seniors and 4 freshmen, if I may say so :)
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by AdamL »

Congrats goes out to Brookwood as well, who made it an extremely close game: We were up 160-70 at the half, and then they came back to tie it up, 180-180, after 15. In the last 5 tossups, CHS converted the first 3 but failed miserably at the bonuses (0'd two of them), so it was still anyone's game, and going into the last tossup the score was 230-220 in favor of CHS. Brookwood negged, so we let the tossup go and the match ended with us winning by 10. *Whew*

We also played Walton twice (one in prelims), and they were very good. A few too many negs kinda killed them, though. We never had to play against Norcross. Centennial was as good as expected, but Alpharetta had a pretty disappointing outing (I believe they went 2-4(?) in the prelims and didn't make the 8-team playoff). They had to play against the likes of Chattahoochee, Norcross, Centennial, and several other top teams in the prelims (I think Walton, but I can't remember aside from Norcross/Centennial/Us), so that sucked for them. Central Gwinnett was much better than I gave them credit for. Previously, I had been questioning their ability (only having seen them play at Berry where we had a pretty awful game), but they were definitely solid. Does anyone know how old their players are?

IIRC, the other quarterfinalists were Central Gwinnett, Centennial, Etowah, and Roswell(?). I think.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Gunnells »

Central Gwinnett's full lineup will be back next year. Norcross is looking into changing some graduation test scores to keep up. Sorry Ben.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by jrbarry »

Congrats to AdamL, ERountree and all the Chattahoochee players. They are a deserving State Champion for sure.

I felt this 5A State was as open going in as any I remember.

It is interesting that our top four finished in the same order we four are ranked in Byko's national rankings. Hmmmmm.....

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Byko »

jrbarry wrote:It is interesting that our top four finished in the same order we four are ranked in Byko's national rankings. Hmmmmm.....
See, I'm not crazy! Er, the computer's not crazy--we all know that I am!

Seriously, sounds like a great competition. I'm also surprised to see my Georgia alma mater, McIntosh, actually go to state, let alone come in 2nd--great to see them working to get on the map!
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by theblitzer »

At state, Alpharetta actually went 3 and 4, but you are correct that they didn't make the playoffs. Congratulations to Chattahoochee, 2008 GA State Varsity Champions, as well as the other 3 teams that made it to the top 4; Brookwood, Walton, and Norcross.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Rountree »

This was a very good tournament. The Championship Game was back and forth for all 20 questions. Brookwood, as I have said repeatedly on this forum, is the Team to beat at State every year; I am very proud of my team for winning the State Championship against such a strong opponent. Walton and Norcross made very solid showings as well, something that didn't surprise anyone in 5A. They should both be strong next year, especially Walton.

I thought the questions were very good and well-edited. The only odd thing was the complete disappearance of mythology in the playoffs; it was replaced by an extra fine arts question. That was a little unusual, but not terribly frustrating for me or my team. Congratulations to all the 5A teams that showed up to compete in the tournament for a job well-done. I look forward to next year's tournament and the opportunity to defend our crown.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by AlphaQuizBowler »

I was looking around the Quizbowl Wiki and found this:
Central-Macon had several team members named to GATA All-State teams as voted by coaches in each classification.

Year Class Players
2002 AAA Kricket Davis, Noah Mink
2003 AAA Jayanthi Narain, Noah Mink, Balaji Narain
2004 AAA Noah Mink, Balaji Narain
2005 AAAA Sameer Gupta, David Musselwhite
Are All-State teams still voted on each year?
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by kCobain911 »

AlphaQuizBowler wrote: Are All-State teams still voted on each year?
Since no individual scores are kept at state tournaments, it would be extremely vague and subjective except for one or two obvious ones. Besides, most of the GA coaches on this board are anti-individual.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by AKKOLADE »

Have full results been posted for GATA states yet?
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by jburnsOHS »

Varsity A:
1. Baconton Charter School
2. Brookstone
3. Athens Academy
4. Hebron Christian

Junior Varsity A:
1. Hebron Christian
2. Savannah County Day
3. Providence Christian
4. Baconton Charter School

Region Winners, A:
Region 1. Baconton Charter
Region 3. Savannah County Day
Region 4. Brookstone
Region 5. Providence
Region 8. Athens Academy

Varsity AA:
1. Paideia
2. Bleckley County
3. Creekview
4. GACS

Varsity AAA:
1. Westminster
2. Dunwoody
3. Davidson Fine Arts
4. Jackson

Varsity AAAA:
1. Lakeside
2. McIntosh
3. Heritage
4. Cedar Shoals

Varsity AAAAA:
1. Chattahoochee
2. Brookwood
3. Walton
4. Norcross
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McDonough GA

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by AlphaQuizBowler »

JV State AAAAA Results:
1. Brookwood
2. Alpharetta
3. Walton
4. Centennial

I didn't like the preliminary format. It seemed that some schools got off with a much easier draw than others. Anyone else care to comment on this?
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Xerxes »

The semifinal game against Brookwood was one of the most frustrating I have ever played...

I couldn't recall the title of Heart of Darkness, even though I knew it near the lead-in clue.

I also said the Orestes trilogy, instead of the Oresteia trilogy.

I think those two buzzes could have changed the outcome of the match, because the final score was 170 -230.

Considering that the #2 and #3 teams (I'm not sure about Centennial) both had two prelim losses, some draws may have been disproportionately difficult.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by hookemhorns10 »

Wow, so our sophomores pulled it out. I can testify to their willingness to study and prepare for this tournament. They wanted it...like, a lot.

I wanted to come to see the rising varsity players for the 2008-2009 season, but I had other plans. Looks like next year will be interesting...
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by centralhs »

It seemed to me that the questions yesterday were quite a bit more difficult than the J.V. State questions have been the last couple of years. This is in no way a complaint or criticism, simply an observation. I am all for challenging questions. I just wondered if other teams also felt the questions were more difficult.

As for whether some teams had a draw consisting of more difficult teams than others... there was a small field in AAAAA and only a tiny group of teams that would truly be considered weak at a larger, "regular" tournament. It came down to varying degrees of "strong", so every team had some top teams in their schedule. This resulted in no team going undefeated in prelims and several unquestionably strong teams having at least 2 losses.

On an unrelated note, does anyone know why Grayson did not participate in either the Varsity or J.V. State tournaments this year? I was surprised by their absence at both.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by AlphaQuizBowler »

After looking at previous packets from JV States, I think that the toss-ups this year did a better job of starting with harder lead-ins. This is a good treand, and I hope next year all the questions can begin with difficult and unique lead-ins. The actual answers, though, seemed to be at the same difficulty level as past years. The math was incredibly easy, including the question: Give the slope-intercept form of a linear equation. And there were WAY too many slope questions. Pre-calculus questions were absent from the set. Because the math repeated so often, I think its distribution should be reduced, unless the question writers can come up with enough different questions.

The bonuses, on the other hand, were incredibly easy. This is disappointing, because the low difficulty made the bonuses unimportant because all but a few were 20'd by most teams. Because we only have two bonus questions, I would be in favor of raising the difficulty of the second bonus so that most teams get 10 and the top teams get 20.

Every team had some top teams in their schedule, but some teams had more than others. Alpharetta had a schedule of Centennial, Brookwood, Jenkins A, Central A, and Walton, and went 3-2. Four of those teams made the top 8, and 3 of them made the top 4. Centennial played Alpharetta, Duluth, Central B, Roswell, and Jenkins B, and went 4-1. Only 2 of those teams made the playoffs, and only one made top four.

The prelims would have been better if the twelve teams were divided into two 6-team brackets, and each team play every other team in their bracket. This would make the schedules more even.

On the subject of absent teams, where was Norcross? They have finished fairly high in the tournaments that I've seen this year.

EDIT: Who writes the JV State packets?
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Xerxes »

I don't think the lead-ins were very difficult. I think precisely the opposite. I would give specifics, but I ?think? JV state is edited NAQT.

Yes...I was really tired of slope-intercept problems. I know this isn't the place to discuss, but the math distribution should have definitely been downplayed.

A lot of teams really improved since UGA - specifically Chatt (although I think they were missing their captain at UGA).

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Andrew's a Freshman »

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:On the subject of absent teams, where was Norcross? They have finished fairly high in the tournaments that I've seen this year.
Norcross was disappointed in not being able to participate. We were hoping for the first time this year outside the Brookwood tournament, where we lost in the quarterfinals to Dorman, to have our full team present (plus a fifth player, hopefully). However, our captain was out of town for Passover which started that night, and another one of our strong players and I were at the FIRST robotics championship which ended on that Saturday.

There's always next year, well, for me there's always next year.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by quizbowl »

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:I didn't like the preliminary format. It seemed that some schools got off with a much easier draw than others. Anyone else care to comment on this?
This happens at most every tournament where the preliminaries are set up with round-robin groups. Swiss Pairing eliminates this.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by centralhs »

In a comparison of Alpharetta's draw and Centennial's draw... yes, Alpharetta's draw was slightly harder. For the sake of those who weren't at the tournament, though, and who might be reading this board and interested for whatever reason -- Centennial actually played 3 teams who made the playoffs, not just 2 (Alpharetta, Duluth and Central B.)

And to clarify about my earlier post -- I was not asking whether players/coaches felt the questions at this tournament were easy or hard based on their own merit. I would think that any strong team of experienced J.V. players (as the vast majority of teams in AAAAA were at this tournament) would find any standard J.V. questions easy. The only way to have harder questions would be to use Varsity level questions. What I was pointing out was that, in my view at least, the questions were more challenging than those of the J.V. State tournaments from the last 2-3 years.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by quizbowl »

I have no doubt the draws were uneven. My point is that they never are, it really isn't something up for discussion. As much as I hate to say it, with round-robin preliminaries, it's something you have to deal with.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by AlphaQuizBowler »

In a comparison of Alpharetta's draw and Centennial's draw... yes, Alpharetta's draw was slightly harder.
This "slightly harder", in a tournament with only 5 preliminary rounds, can make a huge difference. One loss can keep a team out of the playoffs. Even the fact that some teams played worse teams than others made a difference, as those who played worse teams had inflated PPG and that affected playoff seeding. That is another problem with the disparate schedules, that the playoff seeding was wacky.
The only way to have harder questions would be to use Varsity level questions.
I disagree with this. I think that the difference between Varsity and JV is answer space; you can ask some things in Varsity that you can't in JV. However, I think that in JV you can still have an obscure lead-in, and then hard, middle, and easy clues to differentiate teams' levels of knowledge.

Here's an example of the problems with the questions from the 2006 JV Tournament:
Bad question:
His best-known and most influential work was published around the year 300 BC. That book, now known as The Elements, made him influential in the world of mathematics. Who was this ancient mathematician who is considered "The Father of Geometry"?
Answer:Euclid

It begins with a non-unique lead-in, as I think more than The Elements was published around that time. And then the first clue is one that 90% of the players would know. These same problems showed up in the tournament on Saturday.
Xerxes wrote:I don't think the lead-ins were very difficult. I think precisely the opposite. I would give specifics, but I ?think? JV state is edited NAQT.
I didn't say that the lead-ins were difficult, just that they were better than previous years sets. I did note that I hope the sets will improve their lead-ins next year. If it is edited NAQT, it must be heavily edited, because even A-set questions are better than some of the ones we heard.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Epic Fail Guy »

Hey, I'm moving to Georgia from Illinois and have my choice of 3 highschools. so naturally, my choice will be the one with the best quizbowl program.
What can you guys tell me about the programs of

Warner Robins High School
Houston County High School
Northside High School.


Thanks in advance,
Epic Fail Guy.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by NoahMinkCHS »

EFG,

I'm from Macon, which (as you may know) is roughly half an hour north of Warner Robins. To be honest, HS quizbowl in Middle Georgia is unfortunately not as strong as it should be/could be/has been in the past. The three big Houston County schools, in particular, all seem to be good-to-great public schools but lack correspondingly-good quizbowl. Things may have changed in the four years since I was in high school, but I've been in fairly good touch with the Ga HS circuit through these boards and my affiliation with the UGA program, and none of those schools have come on my radar from competing at big tournaments.

I suspect all those schools you're considering are something like sleeping giants -- they have resources, they have large, academically-strong student bodies, and they really just need a dedicated coach or a really dedicated crop of students that I hope you'll consider leading. They may have a team that does local tournaments and just doesn't travel, but with strong regional tournaments at places like Brookwood, Walton, Savannah Country Day, and UGA (among others) plus GATA State and JV State -- all within a two-ish hour drive -- whatever school you go to can find a lot of opportunities to play good competition, if they ever made the effort.

I don't know much about the schools themselves otherwise, except that WRHS and Northside are huge football schools (WRHS has a great tradition, while NHS hasn't lost a game in the last two seasons) while HCHS hasn't had that kind of athletic success (and may be more academically-focused?). I also know three teachers from my high school (Central-Macon) who moved to Northside last school year; I doubt any of them would want to lead a quizbowl team but they're all great people and assets to the school, I'm sure.

Good luck with the move. Middle Georgia is a great place to live, and Houston County is really an up and coming community. Let me know if there's any other way I can help.
Noah
Georgia '08

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by jburnsOHS »

Quiz Bowl is basically non existent in Houston County, however I think Houston made an appearance at one tournament somewhere this year, the first Houston county school appearance at a tournament in years and years. As Noah said, quiz bowl in GA has mostly been confined to the metro Atlanta area. Outside of there, there are few traveling teams.

Move instead to Ola High in Henry County instead! :grin:
It'd only be an hour and half-2hr commute for your parent(s).
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Epic Fail Guy »

Ouch.

What are the odds of being able to maybe start a new tradition or build a strong team?

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by jburnsOHS »

It all depends on whether or not you can find a coach willing to make the effort; alas quiz bowl coaches in Georgia seem to be an endangered, graying species.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by jrbarry »

State JV Tournament musings...

1. Questions were written by experienced quiz bowlers who are now at UGA and Agnes Scott and Georgia Tech. I thought they were good and consistent. I am planning on recommending to the GATA State Board (15 of us meet on May 9-10) that we go to a NAQT A set for the 2009 State JV Tournament. That set would be edited (by our State Quizmaster) to our questions formula and bonus requirements (two-part). We'll see if that passes. For the best teams, the bonuses tended to be relatively easy. That is to be expected in a JV tournament that attempts to represent the whole state and all classes of schools.

2. The number of teams who participated in both our varsity and jv state tournaments was down this year. This appears ot be a longterm trend both in Georgia and in South Carolina. That is most distressing. As coaches depart their coaching duties, too many schools have simply dropped quiz bowl altogether. As for schools that do have teams that compete, some of those teams will simply refuse to compete in our state tournaments because they feel they cannot win. That is unfortunate.

3. In a division (AAAAA) that only had 12 teams competing, a team's prelim draw doesn't mean much since 8 of the 12 teams advanced to the playoffs. I think, regardless of the draw, the best 4 teams made it to the Final Four. I was impressed that all 8 of the top AAAAA teams were very strong and
competitive.

4. Our team, Brookwood, was pleased at our performance at State JV. It was the first time this year that we had our top 5 sophomore players at one tournament. I guess that was timely.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by AlphaQuizBowler »

I agree, Mr. Barry, that the questions were overall of a good quality, but some things stuck out as problems. One such problem that bugged me was non-unique lead-ins. These included "One of the first American writers to make a living from writing", "One of Shakespeare's first comedies to be performed", "Galileo invented one of these objects", and the one that really tripped me up: "This process ends with the production of glyceradehyde-three-phosphate".

Also, questions that require multiplication by pi should not be included. It doesn't feel right to get a question after a team misses by leaving an answer in terms of pi instead of multiplying by 3.14.

I would enjoy playing JV State on an edited A-Set next year.

One team that surprised me was Central Gwinett. We hadn't played them before, and the A Team beat us in a close preliminary match. They managed to qualify two teams for the playoffs, and their freshman team gave Brookwood its only loss of the tournament. They will have a JV Team to look out for next year.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Xerxes »

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:I agree, Mr. Barry, that the questions were overall of a good quality, but some things stuck out as problems. One such problem that bugged me was non-unique lead-ins. These included "One of the first American writers to make a living from writing", "One of Shakespeare's first comedies to be performed", "Galileo invented one of these objects", and the one that really tripped me up: "This process ends with the production of glyceradehyde-three-phosphate".
Allow me to add: "She published most of her works anonymously..."

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Ben_Dodson »

Xerxes wrote:
AlphaQuizBowler wrote:I agree, Mr. Barry, that the questions were overall of a good quality, but some things stuck out as problems. One such problem that bugged me was non-unique lead-ins. These included "One of the first American writers to make a living from writing", "One of Shakespeare's first comedies to be performed", "Galileo invented one of these objects", and the one that really tripped me up: "This process ends with the production of glyceradehyde-three-phosphate".
Allow me to add: "She published most of her works anonymously..."
I did not attend the JV State tournament, so I did not hear the questions; however, based on your quotes I really do not see how those are bad questions. Your definition of "non-unique" seems to imply that a question must begin with a clue that sets specific parameters that only one answer can fulfill. If this is the case, then you are asking way too much. No tournament set has questions only like that. Part of the skill of a quizbowl player is to interpret, infer, think, and basically guess the answer since if you always wait for that 100% certainly, you'll lose a lot of toss ups. Every question can't be powered immediately, and you should not expect it to. If that was the case, then imagine all the Lit questions starting with "He wrote *insert obscure work here*". At that point, you stop using induction and you are a only a mindless drone regurgitating meaningless facts.

In my humble opinion, "One of the first American writers to make a living from writing" is not "non-unique" at all. The words "first", "American", and "to make a living from writing" already key you into a very specific time frame and culture to choose from. Furthermore, you now know that the question is Lit, so at that point you are scrolling through your list of 1800's-ish American male writers. Meanwhile, the less skilled player on the other team might be going through their list of the hundreds of American writers and be at a disadvantage.

The Shakespeare question is also unique since you know they are asking for an Elizabethan Shakespearean comedic play. That's about 7-8 plays, while someone unaware of which plays were comedies or Jacobean might have to choose from 20+ plays. Immediately the more knowledgeable player has the advantage. The Galileo one, well if it's a telescope then it's really easy for a lead-in, but that's not what you're discussing. If it's not the telescope, then there's only so many things that Galileo invented and it also sets you on that track. I have no idea how the biology question is non-unique. How processes end with the production of that? It's hard, but I bet someone could buzz after that. And finally that last one narrows the question down to female, probably in the last 200 years, not famous during her time, and it's Lit. For JV, I'd bet the answer was Dickinson. If not, well there's not that many more choices.

In all, those lead-ins sounds fine to me, especially for JV. I don't think calling them "non-unique" would be very fair considering you are not suppose to power every question right away. That'd just be boring. Using induction, buzzing when you are 60%, infering the answer based on that one thing you learned from your 2nd grade teacher's wall poster behind the finger paints, well that on the other hand is some damn fun quizbowl.

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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by aestheteboy »

Ben_Dodson wrote:Your definition of "non-unique" seems to imply that a question must begin with a clue that sets specific parameters that only one answer can fulfill. If this is the case, then you are asking way too much. No tournament set has questions only like that.
Not really. Also, it's not like you don't use the ability to "interpret, infer, think, and basically guess" for well written questions (i.e. ones with uniquely-identifying clues)
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by DumbJaques »

They are non-unique because you could have totally masterful knowledge of everything pertaining to the answer (or the group of answers, ie anything it could possibly be at that point) and still have no idea what the answer was. Indeed, having masterful knowledge in these cases might even be a hindrance, as someone who has heard of fewer authors/inventions/etc. that fit the criteria will probably buzz with an answer that ends up being right while the player with superior knowledge is pretty much unable to make a reasonable buzz at that point. That's sort of the opposite of what we try to do with good tossups, generally. Is a clue that says "this person was an early American author" more helpful than a clue that says "this person was male?" Well, of course, but it's not in any way definitively helpful in that you could buzz off that clue. If you have a clue that no one could conceivably make a knowledge buzz off of, it's not a good clue. If you give a "non-unique" clue that obviously points to only one figure, it's going to be a transparency issue. So basically, these clues are not great to use, and are certainly inferior to actual clues about the answer that don't make broad generalizations.

To be clear, I don't think anyone is objecting to language like "this american author wrote a novel about Wolf Larsen," but rather "this American author wrote lots of long novels. Period." Put in actual clues that are uniquely identifying.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Yeah, those kinds of questions are not "damn fun" quizbowl, they are sucky quizbowl. And saying that it is impossible to come up with a tournament using questions containing uniquely identifying clues is empirically not true. Pretty much every high quality collegiate set produced in the last 5 years can more or less boast that, as well as high school tournaments like Gonzaga's, Vanderbilts', UMD's, I'd like to think Hunter's, and plenty others.
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Re: Georgia 2007-2008

Post by STPickrell »

Ben_Dodson wrote:Your definition of "non-unique" seems to imply that a question must begin with a clue that sets specific parameters that only one answer can fulfill. If this is the case, then you are asking way too much. No tournament set has questions only like that.
It depends on what you define as a lead-in.

'He was a Civil War defensive genius.'
'His artillery commander set up defenses at Marye's Heights before the Battle of Fredericksburg.'

One is a non-specific lead-in for James Longstreet, whereas the other is 100% specific and points entirely to James Longstreet.
Part of the skill of a quizbowl player is to interpret, infer, think, and basically guess the answer since if you always wait for that 100% certainly, you'll lose a lot of toss ups. Every question can't be powered immediately, and you should not expect it to. If that was the case, then imagine all the Lit questions starting with "He wrote *insert obscure work here*". At that point, you stop using induction and you are a only a mindless drone regurgitating meaningless facts.
Even with *obscure work here*, there is a degree of inferring. If said work sounds French, you're immediately thinking 'French authors.' I will freely start throwing in induction-favoring clues about 2/3 through my VHSL-length tossups -- e.g. 'His (obscure play) opened in (year) at (theater) in Oslo' in a TU about Ibsen. Or, maybe in a TU about Antony and Cleopatra, throw in something about 'friends, Romans, countrymen' or Alexandria.

Given that there's only one known Norwegian playwright at the JV level, this is a perfectly good lead-in that rewards both knowledge *and* intuition. Usually, a highly-knowledgeable player will, if they don't know the obsecure Ibsen play, know that there's only one known Norwegian playwright.

My point is that it is entirely possible to reward both knowledge and intuition in a question's opening clues.

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