The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

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The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by the return of AHAN » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:55 pm

So, for those of you who don't frequent the IL board, I staged a scholastic bowl tournament at our middle school last Saturday and retained a pyramidal-style question writer, as well as the volunteer services of a local expert who reviewed and offered revisions of each question set. What happened? Well I sent out a questionnaire to the coaches where I asked;
1.) How difficult was it for your kids to answer the questions?
2.) How clearly were the questions written?
3.) Please give your general impression of pyramidal-style toss-ups.

COACH A:
1.) Just right; I would've appreciated knowing in advance that the question type would be different from typical meets even at the state level (rebuttal: Use of pyramid-style was clearly explicated in the initial tournament letter on December 4th, 2007).
2.) Hit-and-miss; The question style impacted the clarity rather than the writing
3.) They have a different rhythm which can throw the kids off at first. I know this question style is used at the high school level so I like using them as preparation. A little warning would've been nice.

COACH B:
1.) Just right;
2.) Fairly clear
3.) Somewhat negative; I did not like that if a student took a risk- the answer was easy by the end. (Odd that this comment came from a coach whose team swept their pool...)

COACH C:
1.) somewhat hard
2.) Almost always clear
3.) Positive experience

COACH D:
1.) Toss ups were good. Many of the bonus were too easy, like improper fractions to mixed numbers. In one match we went back and forth 30 for one team and 30 for the other.
2.) Questions were clear; I liked that often if you buzzed in early, you answered the wrong question.
3.) Great! Hope to see them again!

COACH E:
1.) Toss-up difficulty was just right; It took us a while to adjust to the new format .
2.) Clarity was hit-and-miss
3.) The problem is consistency—This is the only time my kids see them the whole year. It makes anticipation more difficult to change question types.

COACH F:
1.) Just right; I loved the format. The questions certainly covered Middle School curriculum.
2.) Very clear
3.) Great! Hope to see them again!

COACH G:
1.) Just Right--- however we have seldom experienced these types of questions- I feel after
having them for awhile, they are ideal--- however, many of them were very wordy------------
Overall, I would prefer shorter more direct answer type questions- with possibly a few of the pyramidal type
thrown in!
2.) felt that many questions were too wordy in the toss ups—and several bonus questions were so easy that if you won the toss up you were nearly assured the extra 20 pts also.
3.) No strong feeling either way
Jeff Price
Barrington High School Coach
Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Tegan » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:42 pm

It is never easy. It is easier when you get things to change from the top, down; which will be impossible in the case of the IESA, unless it becomes very difficult to find a question writer to fulfill the particular wants of the IESA.

The push for pyramidality in the high schools began when the former state provider consistently refused to check their questions for accuracy and incorrect clues/answers. When a critical mass of complaints was reached, and no action was taken, a new provider was allowed in. As the state moved into pyramidality, more and more leagues and tournaments made the switch to better prepare for state.


Unfortunately, as long as the current provider meets the standards of the IESA coaches, this is likely to not change.

However, don't let this stop you. This process is important in helping prepare players for the future. It provides for a fairer and better game.

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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:23 am

I liked that often if you buzzed in early, you answered the wrong question.
:w-hat:
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by cdcarter » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:02 am

AndyShootsAndyScores wrote:
I liked that often if you buzzed in early, you answered the wrong question.
:w-hat:
Yea, were these like really bad hoses or something?
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by harpersferry » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:32 am

The greatest part is that it seems like the coach wants hoses.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:19 am

Indeed, I was puzzled by that comment, too, as Reinstein went to great lengths to insure what type of answer was being asked for was made clear within the first line or so. I think this coach had a hard time paying attention to the whole question. I mean, on this particular toss-up re: Jefferson Davis, many a kid buzzed early to give Robert E. Lee...

Toss-up #11 (History), Match 1:
Like most West Point graduates, this famous southerner took a position with the U.S. Army as a frontier soldier in the Pacific Northwest, where his job was to keep the peace between white settlers and Indians. In 1845, he was elected to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Congress. At this time, he became known as a defender of slavery and of states' rights. In 1861 he became President of the Confederate States of America. Who was he?

Given that the first clue isn't unique to Jeff Davis, would you consider this to be a hose?
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:24 am

I would consider that a hose due to the high probability that Lee would be answered at that point and still be correct (not to mention any number of other answers).
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:41 am

leftsaidfred wrote:I would consider that a hose due to the high probability that Lee would be answered at that point and still be correct (not to mention any number of other answers).
This was the only possible hose I could find when perusing the 1st toss-up set. Would it be fixed by moving the part about representing Mississippi to earlier in the Q, then?
Fred, Can I e-mail you the whole round to get your opinion of the full set?

jprice at cusd220 dot org
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:46 am

You're certainly welcome to; I can't guarantee when I'll send a response as I have a backlog of PACE invites to get out & some wvquizbowl.org work to do, but I'd certainly be happy to give some help when I can.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:47 am

I'd also be inclined to move the Mississippi Senator portion to earlier in the question, possibly as "This West Point graduate served as a Mississippi Senator etc etc"
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:51 am

e-mail address?
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:52 am

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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:20 pm

BarringtonJP wrote:Toss-up #11 (History), Match 1:
Like most West Point graduates, this famous southerner took a position with the U.S. Army as a frontier soldier in the Pacific Northwest, where his job was to keep the peace between white settlers and Indians. In 1845, he was elected to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Congress. At this time, he became known as a defender of slavery and of states' rights. In 1861 he became President of the Confederate States of America. Who was he?

Given that the first clue isn't unique to Jeff Davis, would you consider this to be a hose?
I wouldn't consider this a hose, since it doesn't uniquely identify a wrong answer. But it is an excellent example of how not to write questions about Civil War-era figures. Consider that every clue in the first sentence applies to George Pickett as well as Jefferson Davis, so that no one can buzz in with actual knowledge before "elected." This kind of ambiguity- that quickly identifies a class ("19th century American soldiers") long before it identifies any specific answer- is far worse at a lower difficulty level, because at the middle school level it is far more likely that random guessing is rewarded if only a handful of plausible answers exist in this space.

More generally: I've seen lots and lots of tossups about Civil War generals with leadin clues about their time at West Point and service in the Mexican War. These clues are almost always a bad idea: it's very easy to find obscure clues about the American Civil War that reward actual knowledge, whereas no one in their right mind memorizes that "he graduated 17th in the West Point class of 1844, and was promoted to captain in August 1847..."
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by First Chairman » Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:57 pm

I'll agree.. it's not a hose... it's just simple bad clue choices like saying...

This President was born in Virginia. ...

I also have a pet peeve of ending an entire tossup with "Name him.", "who is he/she", and "where is it." Jokingly, one should just write "Buzz in now and say [the answer.]" :cool:
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Scott » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:33 pm

I am attend a middle school and greatly prefered the pyramidal questions at ACE to the speed testers in the Kentucky State tournament.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:21 pm

Thanks to Mr. Price for running this tournament and putting in a lot of time and effort to make it work.

The criticisms of the Davis question are appropriate, and it's something I should have flagged. They don't make the question completely illegitimate, but they do increase the chance of a buzzer race, and one of the most important jobs of a writer/editor is to make buzzer races less likely. In the case of Jefferson Davis, some of the best lead-ins possible focus on what happened to him after the war.

As has been pointed out, a lot of the criticisms from middle school coaches mirror what we've heard before from high school coaches. If your only goal is to do well in the state tournament, then you want questions similar to the state tournament. Also, teams like to practice on questions similar to the ones at tournaments. So, there is some legitimacy to the complaints in terms of coaches wanting to make their teams more competitive. However, if some of the goals of Scholastic Bowl are to reward knowledge and inspire students to increase their knowledge (which of course they are), then tournaments like this are a big step in the right direction.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by the return of AHAN » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:06 am

COACH H:
1.) Questions were somewhat hard. My kids do better with fast-paced match. They have trouble waiting for the whole question. They often buzz early with wrong answer because the 'real' question comes at the end.
2.) Questions were fairly clear
3.) Generally negative; Not my favorite - TAKE TOO LONG - EXTEND MATCH TIME - SLOW PACE DOWN
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:39 am

TAKE TOO LONG
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by dtaylor4 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:02 am

They don't if you buzz in and get them right after one line!

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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by cvdwightw » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:43 pm

I think there's this misconception about the "real" question. Suppose instead of x points for getting the question at any time it was x+10 points for getting it off the first sentence, then a pause for kids to buzz, x+5 points for getting it off the second sentence, then a pause for kids to buzz, and x off the third. Now clearly any well-written question is going to have "real" clues at the x+10 and x+5 point levels, and reward kids above and beyond just getting the answer. Would coaches complain if their kids got 20 points instead of 10 for an early buzz (in effect, making the shorter but harder questions worth more points)?

I think this is the gimmick behind powers, and why I am all in favor of using it to some degree at all high school events with pyramidal questions - if you had a chance for 15 and 20 points and you blew it, coaches don't see that as "unfair" when the other team gets 10 compared to "you buzzed in and got it wrong, ha ha, you could have gotten it off this easy clue and look they're getting the same amount of points they would have gotten". More than anything, it's a way of "appeasing" the coaches who don't get the whole idea of why pyramidality is inherently good. Besides, I'm sure all those :chip: fanatics would much prefer a one-line tossup with ridiculously obscure clues about Abraham to a four-line tossup that ends "FTP name this father of Isaac", even if half of them couldn't answer the former.

With regards to pace, I'm not sure the coach has ever seen an NAQT event between two good teams. Those games have some of the best fast-paced action around, and THEY'RE ON PYRAMIDAL QUESTIONS. Plus, they feel faster because the questions are getting answered well before the FTP. Was this tournament timed? Perhaps adding the clock will increase the perception of a faster-paced game.

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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by the return of AHAN » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:49 pm

No, it wasn't timed. I've only been to one middle-school tournament where time was a mitigating factor and the other coach called a timeout to eat up as much of the clock time (it didn't stop for timeouts) when leading late in the game. :mad:
Anyway, more feedback:

COACH I:
1.) Difficulty was just right
2.) Questions were mostly clear
3.) Great! Hope to see more!
Jeff Price
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:54 pm

Not stopping the clock for a timeout is one of the stupider things I've heard.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:57 pm

BarringtonJP wrote:... the other coach called a timeout to eat up as much of the clock time (it didn't stop for timeouts) ...
gah
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:39 pm

BarringtonJP wrote:the other coach called a timeout to eat up as much of the clock time (it didn't stop for timeouts)
!

:w-hat:

HOW IS THAT A TIMEOUT WHAT MADNESS IS THIS
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by cdcarter » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:41 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
BarringtonJP wrote:the other coach called a timeout to eat up as much of the clock time (it didn't stop for timeouts)
!

:w-hat:

HOW IS THAT A TIMEOUT WHAT MADNESS IS THIS
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by harpersferry » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:04 pm

This is why there needs to be more sanity in middle school.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Siverus Snape » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:24 pm

BarringtonJP wrote:...time was a mitigating factor...
Correct me if I'm wrong, Mr. Price, but it doesn't sound like you meant that the game was timed in the normal way but rather that they were going to stop play at a certain clock time regardless of the match--perhaps because of lateness issues. That doesn't make it a much better situation, or a much cooler decision by the coach, but it would be at least more sane.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by the return of AHAN » Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:49 pm

That's precisely what I meant, Siva. I guess I don't know what 'normal' is since that's the only time I've ever been in a tournament where the rounds were 'timed'. That is, they ended at a certain time on the clock. Later in that same tournament, we played this same team in the 3rd place match, and the coach argued that one of my players 'blurted' a toss-up answer, when in fact he answered when the moderator (a rather elderly gent who struggled with names.... 'Aakash' came out 'OshKosh') just pointed at him and nodded. Now, as anyone who knows IESA rules knows, this meant the question should rebound to the other team, never mind his answer was right. The moderator, asked if we should just throw out the question in the face of such a protest to which I angrily replied, "NO! I WANT THE POINTS WE EARNED!" It was just about as PO'd as I've ever been at another coach. Ultimately, the TD decided a new question should be asked and I had to let it go.
File that away as reason 872 to adopt the IHSA's version of the 'blurt' rule. This is my 3rd and final year of my term on the Advisory Committee and I'm hoping 3rd time is a charm.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:32 pm

BarringtonJP wrote:File that away as reason 872 to adopt the IHSA's version of the 'blurt' rule.
Or, alternately, reason 92837465 to not have a "blurt rule" at all.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by cornfused » Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:26 pm

Uh, under the IHSA blurt rule, you wouldn't get the points there, either, Mr. P. Point and nod isn't acceptable...

But yeah, the blurt rule sucks.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by the return of AHAN » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:48 pm

cornfused wrote:Uh, under the IHSA blurt rule, you wouldn't get the points there, either, Mr. P. Point and nod isn't acceptable...

But yeah, the blurt rule sucks.
4-D-1c. If a player after triggering the lockout system and gaining possession, but before being recognized by the moderator, blurts out the answer; the only penalty is that a correct answer will be worth 5 points instead of 10 points. An incorrect answer will simply be ruled as incorrect with no penalty.
4-D-1d. The moderator will have the authority to decide whether a player has answered before being recognized.

My whole point was that this wouldn't have been such an issue when the opposing coach wanted to complain about a 'blurt' if it would have just been a 5 point penalty, never mind 4-D-1d that says its the moderator's determination. You, as a veteran player, surely see the difference between 5 points + bonus vs. a lost score and no bonus opportunity, right?
But if this moderator's method of point, nod, say "uh, yeah," or "Go ahead" was sufficient prompting for both sides throughout the first half, but suddenly becomes unacceptable to the other coach on our 3rd toss-up in a row in the 2nd half... How, exactly, do I coach my team? I'm all ears.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:39 am

BarringtonJP wrote: But if this moderator's method of point, nod, say "uh, yeah," or "Go ahead" was sufficient prompting for both sides throughout the first half, but suddenly becomes unacceptable to the other coach on our 3rd toss-up in a row in the 2nd half... How, exactly, do I coach my team? I'm all ears.
Move to another state where you have less football coaches.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by dtaylor4 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:44 am

BarringtonJP wrote:4-D-1d. The moderator will have the authority to decide whether a player has answered before being recognized.

My whole point was that this wouldn't have been such an issue when the opposing coach wanted to complain about a 'blurt' if it would have just been a 5 point penalty, never mind 4-D-1d that says its the moderator's determination. You, as a veteran player, surely see the difference between 5 points + bonus vs. a lost score and no bonus opportunity, right?
But if this moderator's method of point, nod, say "uh, yeah," or "Go ahead" was sufficient prompting for both sides throughout the first half, but suddenly becomes unacceptable to the other coach on our 3rd toss-up in a row in the 2nd half... How, exactly, do I coach my team? I'm all ears.
You ask the coach whether the interpretation will be retroactively applied to all tossups in that game. If it is the moderator's discretion, then where exactly is the room for the opposing coach to argue? The only way I see the opposing coach getting his/her way is if the moderator is incompetent and won't stand up to the coach.

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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by the return of AHAN » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:27 pm

dtaylor4 wrote: The only way I see the opposing coach getting his/her way is if the moderator is incompetent and won't stand up to the coach.
DING! DING! DING!
We have a winner!

I try not to be a jag when I'm coaching, really I do. Thus I don't do a lot of correcting of moderators unless they specifically ask how they're doing at a break. I don't jump up and complain about a kid changing his answer when we're up 200 (because half the mods I encounter don't understand/remember this rule), or about someone passing a paper 2 seconds before the bonus is done being read, or berate my players publicly when they screw up, etc. etc. And yet I've somehow been tagged with the "Bobby Knight of scholastic bowl" moniker at our conference's AD meetings (That's an insult, right?).
Maybe I should just take a good book to the matches and not hang on every question, letting someone nudge me when it's over.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:33 pm

BarringtonJP wrote:...or about someone passing a paper 2 seconds before the bonus is done being read...
:w-hat:
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Ford08 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:54 pm

My coach and I have written some sets for our middle school. My coach and I have decided that one liners might be the best for those guys. We figure if they learn facts and can develop a strong base then the details will come later. Most of the stuff that our freshman are learning is this way (this is our first year for middle school) and they are now starting to build. So discuss do you all think that this is a good idea?
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:01 pm

Ford08 wrote:My coach and I have written some sets for our middle school. My coach and I have decided that one liners might be the best for those guys. We figure if they learn facts and can develop a strong base then the details will come later. Most of the stuff that our freshman are learning is this way (this is our first year for middle school) and they are now starting to build. So discuss do you all think that this is a good idea?
Depends. If you want them playing one-liner stuff, then go fo this. Otherwise, you probably want to introduce them to pyramidal questions as soon as you can.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:09 pm

I would personally like to see what would happen if middle schoolers started practicing then playing on A-sets. At programs like Hunter and I think GDS, a lot of their middle school players practice alongside their high school team, and attend high school tournaments. I would personally like to see increased middle school attendance at some HS stuff, as I think all of these things would help streamline middle schoolers into awareness of good quizbowl.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Ford08 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:13 pm

See this is what I have been trying to do. I try and get some of the tossups (science, History, Literature) longer and make them about 4 lines. While every thing else keep around two lines to one line. Once the stuff starts to get automatic I think we will make the transition to about 4 or 5 lines. I live in Missouri and the change is being made gradually in HS. There are still a lot of schools that want 1 liners for varsity play, and it is hard to keep matches at a resionable length on our mandatory MSHSAA sets of fifty questions with 4 part bonus in 3rd and 4th quarters. That is one reason that Mo cannot go too pyramidal. I think it is stupid. I wouldn't care if a match lasted and hour and a half as long as the questions were lengthy and had substance. This is why it is hard to judge for our Middle school. I do not want to get them used to something they might not get the chance to play on. But I think I will start to do nothing but stuff about 4 lines to longer.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Ford08 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:15 pm

by Deesy Does It on Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:09 pm

I would personally like to see what would happen if middle schoolers started practicing then playing on A-sets. At programs like Hunter and I think GDS, a lot of their middle school players practice alongside their high school team, and attend high school tournaments. I would personally like to see increased middle school attendance at some HS stuff, as I think all of these things would help streamline middle schoolers into awareness of good quizbowl.
Yah, I totally agree. I actually let our Middle school coach have about 20 000 questions worth of Pickrell and intoduced him to the stanford packet archive. It is a lot easier for me to do that though because he is my Baseball coach and I am his TA.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Tegan » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:46 pm

BarringtonJP wrote:And yet I've somehow been tagged with the "Bobby Knight of scholastic bowl" moniker at our conference's AD meetings (That's an insult, right?).
I would not consider that to be an insult ..... unless the AD's all went to schools other than Indiana, in which case, they think they are insulting you.
BarringtonJP wrote:Maybe I should just take a good book to the matches and not hang on every question, letting someone nudge me when it's over.
One match I moderated, a team was getting ripped while the coach was reading the paper. The coach asked me for the score when it was over, and I told him that they had lost by one point.

"Wha..... really!"

"No coach, I was just checking to make sure you were paying attention."

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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Blackboard Monitor Vimes » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:15 pm

BarringtonJP wrote: Maybe I should just take a good book to the matches and not hang on every question, letting someone nudge me when it's over.
There's a coach in my area who frequently grades papers during matches. Had she been doing this during a crucial early season game rather than paying attention, Gov B would have qualified for NAQT rather than her team. Her protest on a bonus answer cost us 10 points; we lost by 5. So it seems to me that it is definitely to your team's advantage to be paying attention, however frustrating that can be sometimes.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by NoahMinkCHS » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:36 pm

Hey Ford, have you/would you consider having some of the quarters (probably the bonus quarters) be only longer questions, and the others be only shorter? It sounds like you're mixing both types together, which is fine I guess, but can be frustrating because it changes the rhythm of the questions. If you're trying to "convert" teams, that may be a better way to ease them in.

If invitationals aren't required to have 50 questions/4 quarters, I would suggest trying something like:
10-15 short tossups
10 long tossups w/ bonus
maybe 10 more shorties, if people really demand them

You could even throw in a worksheet or something to make it a true "four quarters" match. The NAC (Questions Unlimited's national tournament), while deeply flawed in many ways and completely unrecommended by me, at least has a pretty good format that might go over in Missouri. It's not the greatest thing, but when you're in that transitional period, you really do have to throw some bones to both ends of the spectrum to have a successful event. Hopefully, teams will realize the long tossups have a lot of inherent advantages, but they'll have to play them first.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:44 pm

I'm curious what format is used for middle school games in Missouri. Is it identical to the Missouri state format?
For what its worth, in and around Kansas City a lot of high school tournaments use variations on the MSHSAA format that incorporate lightning rounds, worksheets, or both, but it seems like in a lot of the state the MSHSAA format is the untoucheable standard, with a few shining beacons of decent straight tossup-bonus events here and there.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by the return of AHAN » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:59 pm

AndyShootsAndyScores wrote:
BarringtonJP wrote:...or about someone passing a paper 2 seconds before the bonus is done being read...
:w-hat:
In Illinois, that constitutes illegal communcation. You're to wait until the bonus question is completely finished being read before you attempt to communicate. In my experience it has been REALLY hard to enforce as you, the moderator, have your eyes on what you're reading. This is why IESA State Series calls for a separate timer and scorekeeper that are not coaches, so they can serve as extra sets of eyes and ears for the moderator.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:05 pm

Man Illinois is screwed up.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:49 am

Re: "illegal" "communication" - it's because the bonus is read all at once. If you're passing papers, you might as well talk. If you're talking, or the papers are rustling, you might make it hard for the other team to hear the rest of the bonus, which could be considered unsportsmanlike conduct by some unsportsmanlike coach.

Man, we need to switch to ACF format bonuses soon.

I would also say not to use one-liners at middle school. One-liners foster the idea of only having one clue. Really really short pyramidal questions, even if it's only two-three clues, foster the idea of having multiple clues. There's nowhere to go from the first mindset except harder answer selection - the second mindset can breed both harder answer selection AND more and harder clues. If your practice goes through a majority of short pyramidals, followed by longer pyramidals at the end of the practice, you can get students used to longer questions and foster the idea of the shorter tossups being a part of the longer tossups. You can't do it starting from one-liners.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:47 am

Requesting Illinois change the rule from "illegal communication" to "ill communication", as I read it like that the first time and now have Beastie Boys stuck in my head.
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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Tegan » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:13 pm

styxman wrote:Man, we need to switch to ACF format bonuses soon.
I actually bounced this around a bit, since it looks like we might actually have this proposed at the AdCo meeting this Spring. One objection: It will be awfully tough on the middle school kids coming up who don't do it that way. I don't see it having a chance of passing with the AdCo currently set up the way it is (there are supposed to be three Chicago area reps, but there are now only two), compared to the four from other zones of the state ... all of which are represented by Class A coaches if I recall).

Besides, if that's the case, the IHSA should institute the "no gum chewing rule", that pi = exactly 3.14 rule, and the "drop your pencils like diseased ferrets rule when times is called" rule.

Seriously, moderating at the middle school level is much harder than at the high school level. There are so many frickin' idiosynchratic rules governing what and when players can or can't do something that the moderator invariably misses them, and it stands as an invitation for coaches to but in and start fights. Frankly, I'd be more tempted to penalize a coach for opening their yaps than for a player who forgot to put a pencil down at the right time.

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Re: The Great Middle School Pyramidal Experiment

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:32 am

Tegan wrote:
styxman wrote:Man, we need to switch to ACF format bonuses soon.
I actually bounced this around a bit, since it looks like we might actually have this proposed at the AdCo meeting this Spring. One objection: It will be awfully tough on the middle school kids coming up who don't do it that way. I don't see it having a chance of passing with the AdCo currently set up the way it is (there are supposed to be three Chicago area reps, but there are now only two), compared to the four from other zones of the state ... all of which are represented by Class A coaches if I recall).
I don't see it passing this year, if it's brought up. The only thing I could see this as viable this year is if there's some way to "legitimize" ACF format bonuses as an alternative bonus style in Illinois - but holy crap not both in the same game/tournament/State Series PLEASE NO. Right now, it's Earlybird, Northwestern, Decemberist, and NT Varsity versus the rest of the state. I'd say more teams need to be exposed and more tournaments need to switch before IHSA will really do anything about it - not a slight on the IHSA (for a change), because, to someone outside this board, it doesn't look like there's widespread demand for it yet.

Basically, if a couple tournaments would be interested in switching to NAQT untimed 20/20 next year, it'd do a world of good. Even A-level sets at this point. I'm talking to a few tournaments in this area about switching...if it's just us on the boards interested, people will shrug it off as the Chicagoans with their platinum sculls and ice skates again...but if the Winnebago/Sterling/Kaneland/Auburn/Boylan/etc. tournaments switch and the area Class A teams start liking it (like some already have at the Decemberist), there'll be a much better chance for a switch throughout the state.

Here's an interesting question that I haven't really seen well answered - and this might be better suited for the Illinois thread - what is the argument for Illinois format bonuses?
Besides, if that's the case, the IHSA should institute the "no gum chewing rule", that pi = exactly 3.14 rule, and the "drop your pencils like diseased ferrets rule when times is called" rule.
That's my new name for the pencil rule when I moderate next year. Thank you.
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