Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

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Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by the return of AHAN »

Petition forwarded to IHSSBCA members

PS: Don't shoot the messenger.
Jeff Price
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Stained Diviner »

It wasn't forwarded to this member.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by David Riley »

Time to counterattack!
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by AKKOLADE »

As asinine as I think the whole business is and while I don't understand why they are anti-"ACF Formatted Bonuses",
David Riley wrote:Time to counterattack!
Why not respond with a counter-petition?
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by David Riley »

That would be the kinder, gentler way of what I suggested above...
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by the return of AHAN »

FredMorlan wrote: while I don't understand why they are anti-"ACF Formatted Bonuses",
I'll handle this one....
The argument set forth last night was that ACF bonuses discourage teamwork and prevent some students who need that 30 seconds to think over a question and retrieve the information from being a part of the team. That is, the skill set for playing the activity is narrowed to just the quick thinkers. Oh, it was also mentioned that writing things down was an important part of some kid's thinking process.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by AKKOLADE »

David Riley wrote:That would be the kinder, gentler way of what I suggested above...
Well, I'm fresh out of bayonets, so...
Woody Paige wrote:I'll handle this one....
The argument set forth last night was that ACF bonuses discourage teamwork and prevent some students who need that 30 seconds to think over a question and retrieve the information from being a part of the team. That is, the skill set for playing the activity is narrowed to just the quick thinkers. Oh, it was also mentioned that writing things down was an important part of some kid's thinking process.
I will not sidetrack this thread... I will not sidetrack this thread...
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by the return of AHAN »

Again, don't shoot the messenger, Fred. But I think anyone participating in the forthcoming IHSSBCA meeting needs to know what they arguments being presented are and decide now on how to refute them.
Jeff Price
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Awehrman »

All of this seems very silly and petty to me. The petition does not offer any specifics on why ACF bonuses discourage teamwork. I would argue that they encourage more practice as a team (it's important that team members know what other team members know), and ultimately require more teamwork to be succesful. I wonder if some compromises could be made, however. Missouri (not a paragon of quizbowl excellence by any means) has 4-part rebounding bonuses where each part is read individually and is worth 5 points. Would that work for them? Alternatively what if math questions were left in the Illinois format, and all other bonuses changed over to ACF? I think calculation bonuses work fairly well in the Illinois format, but all other types do not. If math questions were handled differently (as they are on tossups already), it might also be easier to cast them aside in the future or at certain tournaments.

I am curious as to how my ACF style bonuses go over at my upcoming middle school tournament. If middle schoolers can handle them (which I am sure they can), these teams will have even less of a leg to stand on.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

Remember how I said in the other thread about how pyramidality wasn't up for debate? Of the coaches I know on this list (about 75%), only Nick Pitz has not said (to me or others) that the pyramidal questions were bad. So the coaches on this list won't accept the "IHSA bonuses aren't being written anymore, we have to switch to ACF or we'll lose tournaments" argument because they would just yell "Excellent! Kill the ACF bonus problem AND the pyramidal question problem at once!"

I think the IHSSBCA has to come down with some sort of sweeping dictum that questions must be written to emphasize depth of knowledge for the benefit of both strong and weak players (strong players buzz on early clues, weak players learn from early clues). Pyramidal style - that is, multiple clues ordered in descending order of difficulty - is the only acceptable style of tossup question under this dictum, and multi-clue bonus parts that are gradually different in difficulty are the only acceptable bonus questions. The IHSSBCA needs to define this as good, and this needs to be forceful so that these coaches know that this is the main point. We're switching to ACF format not because it's inherently good (it is, but bear with me), but because we're running out of good IHSA format questions.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by AKKOLADE »

Woody Paige wrote:Again, don't shoot the messenger, Fred. But I think anyone participating in the forthcoming IHSSBCA meeting needs to know what they arguments being presented are and decide now on how to refute them.
Yeah, any rants I'm presently internalizing would definitely not be aimed at you.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Stained Diviner »

IHSA has already mandated pyramidal tossups.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK »

Awehrman wrote:...Missouri (not a paragon of quizbowl excellence by any means) has 4-part rebounding bonuses where each part is read individually and is worth 5 points. Would that work for them? Alternatively what if math questions were left in the Illinois format, and all other bonuses changed over to ACF? I think calculation bonuses work fairly well in the Illinois format, but all other types do not.
I think these are both excellent compromises, and a great place to start in the great Illinois overhaul. It's undeniable that non-rebounding bonuses change the entire strategy of the game, and thus is a change that needs to come slowly. Individual yet rebounding bonuses are a good middle man.

And I am personally a supporter of computational math in bonuses, so leaving those Illinois style sounds excellent to me.

The key here is easing these changes in. Its already been happening in a somewhat guerilla way, but now its time for official changes. It must be done a bit at a time to avoid uproar though. As its been said before, Illinois is on the edge right now, and things must be done perfectly to avoid a schism.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by harpersferry »

Since when were negs on the table? Kickoff didn't have negs, did it?
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Stained Diviner »

This petition is to a large extent in reaction to the IHSSBCA Kickoffs, which had rebounding bonus parts and math bonuses in IHSA format.

John is correct about the negs, though. My sense is that several of the coaches who signed the petition have never attended a tournament that had negs, though that is not the main point of their petition. I don't think anybody has ever suggested to the IHSA that they should use negs. (I'm not saying that it would be unreasonable, just that it hasn't come up. Similarly, nobody has ever suggested a major overhaul of the distribution that would include eliminating or significantly reducing math, though the distribution gets tweaked pretty much every year.)
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by the return of AHAN »

Awehrman wrote:All of this seems very silly and petty to me. The petition does not offer any specifics on why ACF bonuses discourage teamwork. I would argue that they encourage more practice as a team (it's important that team members know what other team members know), and ultimately require more teamwork to be succesful. I wonder if some compromises could be made, however. Missouri (not a paragon of quizbowl excellence by any means) has 4-part rebounding bonuses where each part is read individually and is worth 5 points. Would that work for them? Alternatively what if math questions were left in the Illinois format, and all other bonuses changed over to ACF? I think calculation bonuses work fairly well in the Illinois format, but all other types do not. If math questions were handled differently (as they are on tossups already), it might also be easier to cast them aside in the future or at certain tournaments.

I am curious as to how my ACF style bonuses go over at my upcoming middle school tournament. If middle schoolers can handle them (which I am sure they can), these teams will have even less of a leg to stand on.
Andrew, How soon do you plan to send that info to the participating coaches?
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: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Awehrman »

Jeff, I sent out the information on the bonus format to teams about a month ago. I have tweaked it a little bit since then but not substantially. If you didn't receive it, let me know. We also updated the tournament information on our website: http://groups.northwestern.edu/quizbowl ... 9/info.doc
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Captain Sinico »

Dresden The Moderator wrote:It's undeniable that non-rebounding bonuses change the entire strategy of the game, and thus is a change that needs to come slowly.
I think you've perhaps misunderstood this issue. Nobody is calling for non-rebounding bonuses; this petition is against bounses that rebound part-by-part rather than all-parts-at-once (which is known as "ACF format" in Illinois for reasons unknown.) I don't think really anyone has a huge issue with part-by-part rebounding.

To speak to the more general point, the response to these objections is the same as it's always been: teams have 30 seconds to confer on both types of bonus, so using one or the other ought not significantly* change the extent to which teamwork matters or the amount of writing time available. In fact, part-by-part rebounding should actually lend itself to more teamwork, since it can reasonably allow work while the clues are read. Further, what I'm saying here is normatively right, too: teams used to working in this and similar formats can and do collaborate very effectively at all levels. So, I don't see how these objections can really obtain, popular as they evidently are in some circles.

MaS

*I acknowledge there are some secondary effects that may slightly reduce the effective collaboration time in part-by-part rebounding bonuses (e.g. if two parts of a three part bonus are blindingly obvious, maybe a team can spend almost the whole 30 seconds on the third, hard part in wholesale rebounding; the same is probably not true for part-by-part rebounding.) However, I argue that, for one, these are not significant (10 seconds vs. 30 seconds shouldn't be that different, even in the extreme case, which only applies to a small fraction of questions, all of which are poor, etc.) and, for two, that there are countervailing effects (teams can try to predict and discuss subsequent parts or, even if they do not discuss aloud, are primed for subsequent parts by earlier parts; teams should have more total collaboration time if they can work during the clues, which is more reasonably attainable for part-by-part rebounding, etc.) that more than compensate for these.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

How would I be able to write an email to these coaches en masse arguing as a Missourian even we don't use their strange timing rules and nobody else int he United States (or world) does, and that somehow quizbowl works and flourishes without it?
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Stained Diviner »

The email addresses are all on the IHSSBCA website, but I would advise against going down that path. The response will be that Scholastic Bowl in Illinois has flourished with our rules, which is why we have so many teams and the last two national championships, if there actually is a response.

Seriously, if you think they care about what you have to say, then read the petition again. If that doesn't work, remember all the wonderful conversations you had on the Missouri boards.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Matt Weiner »

Captain Scipio wrote:To speak to the more general point, the response to these objections is the same as it's always been: teams have 30 seconds to confer on both types of bonus, so using one or the other ought not significantly* change the extent to which teamwork matters or the amount of writing time available.
I think you are playing into a dishonest framing of the argument by the anti-quizbowl coaches to even address these nonsense concerns. The idea that anyone could actually be concerned about some abstruse notion regarding the relative value of the sort of "teamwork" encouraged by IHSA-format bonuses versus the sort of "teamwork" encouraged by normal bonuses seems too ludicrous to be anything but a smokescreen for other interests. Likely culprits such as a general fear of change, the refusal to admit that quizbowl exists outside of Illinois and does well without the restrictions Illinois puts on it, or grudges against other changes supported or wrongly thought to be supported by the same people pushing for a change in the bonus format, should be addressed directly. Don't play the game that the anti-quizbowl people want to play; it's stacked so that you cannot win.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Do I care whether they listen to me?
ANSWER: no
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Captain Sinico »

Matt Weiner wrote:I think you are playing into a dishonest framing of the argument by the anti-quizbowl coaches to even address these nonsense concerns.
And I think that you're playing into your opponents' hand by refusing to even present a reasonable discourse on this topic (before declaring that everyone who disagrees is wrong, arguing in bad faith, etc.) These bonuses are new to this area and probably hadn't been encountered by most of these coaches before. Further, many of them may not be aware of other quizbowl. Further, even if neither of those things is true, I think a reasonable but inexperienced person could hold the view this petition expresses. Consequently, I see no reason to impute bad faith to people who disagree with me at this juncture. On the contrary, I see every reason not to: even if I can't win over the people who say they disagree, they're still a very small minority at this point; there's a vast number of people whose views are unknown and who may be won over by reasonable discourse, or lost by a refusal to engage.
In fact, I'll go even further: I don't think these concerns are "nonsense" per se. Teaching teamwork is a fine value for this game so, if part-by-part rebounding did, in fact, curtail teamwork, that would have to consequently be counted against it (though that probably would not change my opinion that a change to it would be a positive good for Illinois, given its many other benefits.) I just don't think these concerns really apply, i.e. I don't think that part-by-part rebounding curtails teamwork to any appreciable extent and I further think that it imputes many, many other benefits.
To speak more generally, I don't see what I have to gain by not engaging. I can't decree what quizbowl will be in this state (and you, Matt Weiner, certainly can't.) The best way I see to change it for the positive at this point (given all the other things I already do and have done) is to engage in this process and others like this. If you disagree, that's fine: it would seem it's something about which we must disagree in that case.

MaS
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Matt Weiner »

Well, I would say the dozens of demonstrable instances of the people in question or their close ideological compatriots acting in bad faith would be an excellent reason to impute bad faith to said people, but this is nothing we haven't discussed before.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by STPickrell »

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:Do I care whether they listen to me?
ANSWER: no
Ill-thought actions at this junction may delay the development of quizbowl in Illinois for 4-5 years, if not longer.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Captain Sinico »

Matt Weiner wrote:Well, I would say the dozens of demonstrable instances of the people in question or their close ideological compatriots acting in bad faith would be an excellent reason to impute bad faith to said people, but this is nothing we haven't discussed before.
Hastily generalize much? Anyway, even if I accept what you're saying uncritically, it doesn't refute my argument. That is to say, even if the petitioners here are acting in the worst of bad faith, I still hold that I can still win over the vast numbers of non-petitioners by a fluent, reasoned defense of my position. Just as I doubt Huxley was really out to convince Wilberforce or Lincoln, Douglas, so too am I not out to convince these petitioners if they are dishonest as you claim (which, I'll remind you, you haven't really done anything to establish.) Rather, I'd then try to educate and persuade the vast number of potentially undecided coaches and players, which is still the primary objective in my way of seeing things.
Again, I can't unilaterally decide this issue (outside of the tournaments I run) and I can't silence or exclude the people who disagree with me. My options are: engage and reasonably defend what I see as the best practice, argue in bad faith myself, or be silent. Of those, I find it hard to believe that any reasonable person would select other than the first, but I've been wrong before.

MaS
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Captain Sinico »

STPickrell wrote:
Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:Do I care whether they listen to me?
ANSWER: no
Ill-thought actions at this junction may delay the development of quizbowl in Illinois for 4-5 years, if not longer.
What is this supposed to mean? How do you know whatever it is you're saying here, anyway?

MaS
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

The petition said wrote:We ask that President Reinstein cease this activity and work towards different goals for the improvement and expansion of Illinois Scholastic Bowl.
I'm curious as to what their goals and associated actions are. Right now, the status quo is a split state, so it's unlikely that their goal is simply keeping it. They'll either want A: a reversion to pyramidal questions in IHSA bonus format, which goes against the academic aims of quizbowl due to the dearth of quality IHSA questions, B: a reversion to nonpyramidal questions in IHSA format, which goes against the academic aims of quizbowl due to not being quizbowl, C: something else that may or may not be reasonable or acceptable.

I agree with Sorice - we need to talk to them. If this is simply a cover for not liking anything more progressive than spelling questions, which I highly suspect is the case, then we'll find that out in conversation and summarily explain to them why their actions are anti-quizbowl and will not be supported. Stressing the necessity of the bonus switch - there are no good IHSA questions anymore - will assist in finding if this is their argument.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Stained Diviner »

In response to Mike's last point: Giving the people who started the petition an easy way to classify their opponents as jerks would not help this situation. To some extent, Pickrell is making similar points to yours.

In response to Brad: I think their point is that IHSSBCA should do more to promote Scholastic Bowl generally, such as All-State, the Awards Dinner, SchoBowlFest, keeping a calendar, and so forth rather than push an agenda as to what constitutes good Scholastic Bowl. Traditionally, that is what we have done.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK »

Shcool wrote:In response to Brad: I think their point is that IHSSBCA should do more to promote Scholastic Bowl generally, such as All-State, the Awards Dinner, SchoBowlFest, keeping a calendar, and so forth rather than push an agenda as to what constitutes good Scholastic Bowl. Traditionally, that is what we have done.
This makes sense. Why should a regulatory body do something besides host events and bookkeeping? :roll: :roll:

To someone who was at the meeting: Was any of this discussed at the meeting?
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

Shcool wrote:In response to Brad: I think their point is that IHSSBCA should do more to promote Scholastic Bowl generally, such as All-State, the Awards Dinner, SchoBowlFest, keeping a calendar, and so forth rather than push an agenda as to what constitutes good Scholastic Bowl. Traditionally, that is what we have done.
Good point. If the conversation goes on and we find that this is true, we can point to this:
IHSSBCA Mission Statement wrote:The purpose of the IHSSBCA is to increase awareness and support of the public, school leaders, and parents for high school Scholastic Bowl competition in Illinois; to provide opportunities for Scholastic Bowl coaches to meet and cooperate in the development and communication of coaching techniques, tournament formats, and other ways of improving the quality of competition with integrity and the highest possible standards; and to promote recognition of participants, coaches, and programs.
Seems pretty clear to me that it's one of the IHSSBCA's self imposed jobs to push an agenda as to what constitutes good Scholastic Bowl and to communicate that concept to member coaches, teams, and tournaments. Acceptance of non-pyramidal quizbowl is not something the IHSSBCA can do. If keeping IHSA format bonuses makes it harder to proliferate good quizbowl when an alternative is so readily available, it is the IHSSBCA's job to explore that alternative. These coaches are not in favor of the alternative, so we need to find out why this is. We have an idea - the burden is on them to communicate A: what they don't like about it (something they have been doing) and B: what they suggest instead.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by at your pleasure »

Prehaps something that could be tried more fruitfully is the presentation of empirical evidence that mACF style bonuses do not have the defects that these coaches ascribe to them and work better than Illinois style bonuses(say, videotapes of well-moderated games played on mACF style bonuses).
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by STPickrell »

Shcool wrote:In response to Mike's last point: Giving the people who started the petition an easy way to classify their opponents as jerks would not help this situation. To some extent, Pickrell is making similar points to yours.
This is entirely what I meant.

I agree entirely with Mike in that being against ACF-style bonuses is a position that can be held in good faith.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by cvdwightw »

STPickrell wrote:I agree entirely with Mike in that being against ACF-style bonuses is a position that can be held in good faith.
By assuming the anti-ACF bonus crowd is acting in good faith, and working to counteract the "good faith" arguments, one of two things will happen: first, reasonable discourse on the issue will arise as the relative merits vs. demerits of the two bonus formats are debated, and as the pro-ACF crowd ostensibly has a much wider base to stand on, they should be able to convince a large number of undecided coaches with well-intentioned rhetoric. The second is that members of the anti-ACF bonus crowd will start making arguments like "But that's the way we've always done it!" or "We don't care about getting better, we just want to win tournaments!" and thus be revealed as bad faith actors. We should always assume that each individual coach is a good faith actor, and therefore able to engage in constructive discourse and possibly be persuaded by superior arguments, until his/her actions speak otherwise.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Matt Bardoe »

In the interest of getting all the issues out on the table. I will try to communicate some of the issues that I did hear, and I agree that these are good-faith arguments held by people who want the best for their teams. Some of these teams don't play scholastic bowl at tournaments. They play on weeknights and play the other team twice in one night. They don't want the game speeded up. They have no need to get through more games in the "morning round" and be more efficient in the "afternoon". To them if they spend an hour in the car to get to play two matches that take less time, it means that they spent all that time in van for less playing time. That is their world. We need to be cognizant of that.

To them IHSA format is not broken, and the Kickoff was not a revelatory experience. So they are doing the right thing and fighting what they see as needless change that is spearheaded by a few schools, that they don't feel that much love for in the first place.

Arguments that have no sway:

* A more "national" format
* Faster matches
* Question shortage (they don't feel it (yet))
* Preparation for nationals

I remain agnostic on the whole thing until I have to actually vote on something.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by jakestouffer »

Having just finished a conference tournament in a place where there are two VERY strong class A programs (Winnebago, Byron) and some folks who get out and do tournaments, there was some good discussion about the bonus format changes that people perceive as being in the works.

I think that, at the very least, folks in our conference feel like the quality of questions in Illinois format is lacking. For us, we are exploring a new question writer, which is a good step in a good direction. The arguments on both sides of these Illinois arguments are valid, and all coaches have the best interests of their team in mind. I personally feel that the only thing that will cause change to come is a GRADUAL shift. I have been very eager to jump in and play PACE, NAQT and, of course, IHSA format this year, but there were some at the conference meeting that were in the dark about there being different formats AT ALL. I don't feel like these are unreasonable people, but that Scholastic Bowl achieves a different end for them.

Personally, I think that a change in bonus format would be great. I think that rebounding vs. non-rebounding bonuses can be talked about forever, but I think that is an argument that maybe needs to be shelved initially. Perhaps 3 part bonuses for ten points each that rebound would be a better way to start the discussion. With 5 seconds to answer each part, it might still speed things along. And, there is ALWAYS discussion among kids before the answer gets to the moderator. If folks see that, then they might be more apt to that particular change. Also, maybe keeping comp math in the mix as is, making the bonuses 3 parts instead of 4, and then reducing the number of bonus math questions a bit would allay the fears of it being eliminated altogether.

I think that a lot of folks feel like it has to be one way or the other on bonus formats, question style, etc. I personally feel that this is what causes the "great divide" in Illinois Scholastic Bowl, not the lack of wanting to be successful. If we explore the grey area, determine as a group what changes would benefit us all after seeing them in competition, and then move forward with larger format changes we might all be better served.

My $.02 as a coach and teacher. :)

Jake
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK »

Who won the Big North tourney?
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by AKKOLADE »

Matt Bardoe wrote:To them if they spend an hour in the car to get to play two matches that take less time, it means that they spent all that time in van for less playing time. That is their world. We need to be cognizant of that.
So why can't they play more matches at these meets?
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by jakestouffer »

So why can't they play more matches at these meets?
I think that the feeling is that, being in a spread-out conference like ours, they want to be home at a decent hour over a trip or 2 less during the course of the conference season. I would like to see our conference go to a twice-a-season format where we play each school twice, with there being 4 matches each night. But as we know, Illinois format lends itself to 45+ minute matches and would probably create a longer evening with some burned-out kids. A shorter format, even a few minutes shorter, and some better moderators would help these issues.

At some small schools, the Scholastic Bowl superstar is also your Math Team or WYSE team or Basketball superstar. It is tough to pull a kid in that many directions and have them be successful at any of it. The longer the evening, the more that kid suffers sometimes.
Who won the Big North tourney?
Byron won both levels. They beat us (R-B) in the varsity final 220-170. It was their year, but we matched up really well against them. The formats of these other tourneys has helped us immensely this year! This is the same varsity group that pulled a 5th place conference finish last year, lost its two strongest players to graduation, and had never been to a match outside of the BNC. The top 4 were Byron, RB, Burlington Central, and Winnebago.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK »

That's how a lot of the confrences work. I was in the Big North conference, a conference of 12. Each team had a "traveling partner", another team that would be at the same location with you every week of conference, but that you didn't play until the last week of the season. Each week we would play two matches, until the last week, when we played three. For a few of the schools in our conference (Genoa-Kingston etc.) this, the conference tourney, and their inevitably quick exit from Regionals was their only play all year. They just aren't motivated.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

It really bothers me to see Nick Pitz's name on this list.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by jonah »

FredMorlan wrote:
Matt Bardoe wrote:To them if they spend an hour in the car to get to play two matches that take less time, it means that they spent all that time in van for less playing time. That is their world. We need to be cognizant of that.
So why can't they play more matches at these meets?
A lot of teams just aren't interested. I think what Mr. Bardoe is getting at is that in Illinois, there are about 500 high school scholastic bowl teams, and probably fewer than 150 enter any tournaments besides the IHSA state series and the Masonic series, plus perhaps their conferences. Many teams just don't have the motivation of the teams that we mostly see posting here, and that's what leads both to charges of elitism (because of course the teams that don't go to any independent tournaments don't want to spend resources on improving those) and the difficulty of implementing change in Illinois schobowl, since the IHSSBCA still can't ignore the opinions of all those members, but those members will neither benefit from improvements nor are exposed to potential ones, so it's just about impossible to get anything changed.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by AKKOLADE »

Okay, but Mr. Bardoe* brought up that teams don't want to go to their weekly events and instead of play two matches that take 45 minutes each, play two matches that take 30 minutes each. Why can't they just play three matches that take 30 minutes each?

*And don't interpret me as trying to vilify Mr. Bardoe; he just brought up a point that I think has an easy solution.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Stained Diviner »

This was one of the most surprising reactions at last year's IHSA meeting. Currently in Class A (smaller schools), Regionals have four rounds of 30/30 on a Tuesday night, so that's four to five hours of playing time in addition to driving time and eating time, which I thought would be too much. When we stated that the different format took less time, which would shorten Regionals, the two Class A coaches there said that they didn't really care. Regionals take place once a year, so they just deal with it.

Many of the conferences play two or three matches of 20/20 on weekday nights, so the timing is less of a problem the rest of the year. The reason they play quads and triangular meets is that it makes their schedule for the year work out well. This varies a lot from conference to conference, depending on how many teams they have, how spread out they are, and the preferences of the coaches.

The other surprise came at Kickoffs. Because many moderators were not used to the format and were not firm in calling time, the matches took just as long. The format has saved time at New Trier Varsity Tournaments, but that's because the moderators are used to it.

Adding to Bardoe's list of arguments that have no sway: The questions are easier to write and the scoring is easier. I have had a number of coaches state this year that we shouldn't change things because a lot of teams are happy with the way things are. As with anything, issues get very complicated because the adherents on each side don't always agree with each other on why they believe what they do.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Captain Sinico »

It sounds like people are still not understanding this issue. Let me delineate the two different versions of the IHSA-type bonus that people have in mind:
1. A leadin and the prompts for several parts are read. A block of conferring time (usually 30 seconds) of is allowed, which can be terminated by the controlling team. The controlling team then tries to answer all parts en bloc, then the other team tries en bloc for the parts that the controlling team didn't get. There are generally 3-6 parts worth 20 points, though that isn't necessarily so. This is what most people mean by IHSA or Illinois style; I call this block rebounding.
2. A leadin and the prompt for the first part are read. Some conferring time (generally 10 seconds, though the amount could easily be adjusted for non-three-part bonuses to conserve the total time between types) is allowed, which can be terminated by the controlling team. The controlling team then tries to answer that part, then the other team tries for that part if the controlling team didn't get it. The prompt for the second part is read, etc. There are generally three parts worth 30 points, though that isn't necessarily so. This is what most people (in this context) mean by "ACF" style; I call this part-by-part rebounding.

So, the "speeding up/keeping it slow" issue is a red herring. Bonuses in one format, as currently construed, take just as long as bonuses in the other to a very high degree of approximation. In both, prompts are read, then some amount (the lesser of 30 seconds and as long as the controlling team wants in the current regime) of consultation had, then answers given. It seems that people are conflating wholesale changes of format (to a non-rebounding type, e.g. NAQT, or to a type with less conferring time, e.g. NAQT) with what's actually on the table, namely a change in bonus type from block-rebounding to part-by-part rebounding. Please don't conflate those two things.
Indeed, proposals like Mr. Stouffer's GRADUALism, which, though I may agree with it, to my view contains a 50% reduction in conferring time are, in fact, far more radical than what's on the table. It seems like a change to part-by-part rebounding (and nothing else necessarily) is literally the smallest change possible.

To motivate that claim, I'll point out the following equivalence: every block-rebounding bonus having parts with unitary answers* is exactly equivalent to a part-by-part-rebounding bonus, as the same bonus can be played sensibly under either set of rules, changing only (and slightly) the order in which things happen. Thus, we could hold almost any IHSA tournament using part-by-part rebounding with a simple change in rules, without changing the questions at all. However, the converse does not hold: there are many part-by-part rebounding bonuses that wouldn't make sense with block rebounding+.
Thus, we can directly see that the part-by-part rebounding bonus is more general and allows a wider latitude, often in very important ways, to question writers. It is my opinion and that of many others that that latitude is necessary to produce quality questions, but even laying that argument aside for a moment, it is beyond doubt that this change of rules does not necessarily entail a change in questions by the equivalence I posed above. So, I don't see what legs proposals to refuse to change the rules in this way could possibly have.

MaS

*The restriction to unitary answers excludes bonuses that only have answers in relation to other answers and therefore only make sense answered en bloc, like list matching or ordering bonuses. If those are necessary, they can be included and block-rebounded as exceptions to the normal format, as they were in college quizbowl for many years (though no longer are as they're no longer included at all.) So even this one small class of exceptions makes no real argument against a change to part-by-part rebounding.
+One broad and important class of these are bonuses that reveal or imply the answer to an earlier part in a later part, as a very large fraction of bonuses in most prevalent quizbowl formats (ACF, NAQT, HSAPQ...) do.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Stained Diviner »

Mike's description of the issue is accurate, but we are still getting some resistance from some coaches who understand the issue. The two main points I have heard from them are:
1) The current format ultimately allows for more conferral time, which many coaches like, because it allows teams to take more time to discuss the parts they consider worthy of discussion. Additionally, because the current format requires students to write down each answer and discuss it a few seconds later, the information becomes easier for the students to remember.
2) If the primary beneficiary of a change are the question writers, then it is not worth the effort to change, because any change is going to have a period of adjustment and the activity exists for the students rather than the adults.

Of these arguments, I think that the second one is easier to shoot down, since making it easier for the writers to write good questions means that students will hear better questions. Some people don't respond to that argument, however, because they believe that the questions now in use are just fine and not in need of improvement.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by at your pleasure »

With respect to your first part, prehaps a sort of compromise could be instituted, where teams that do not take the full ten seconds for conferall on one part can have that time added to the next part? To illustrate this proposal, let's say your are given a 3-part bonus with 10 seconds conferral time per part. The first part is ridiculously easy, so you do not really need to confer on that and only use 2 of your ten seconds. Then, or the next bonus part, you are given the usual ten seconds plus the 8 you did not use, so you have 18 seconds to confer on the harder part. Again, you do not use all of this time-say, 11 seconds are left. This leaves 21 seconds for the next part. You still use the same amout of time(30 seconds) and the bonuses still bounce-back one at a time. However, you still get more time for bonus parts that require more time to hash out.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK »

That seems nice in theory, but would be a logistical nightmare. No way that flies.
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by Captain Sinico »

Dresden The Moderator wrote:That seems nice in theory, but would be a logistical nightmare. No way that flies.
Yeah, I'm inclined to agree. I'd thought of the sort of "time banking" compromise that Doug has proposed, but discarded it for this reason, or, more precisely, that the logistical complexity introduced probably outweighs the value of improvement in the mind of someone already skeptical about this change. I suppose that such a format could be resorted to rhetorically as a ladder to getting part-by-part rebounding (to be discarded when people are more willing) but, as a serious practical proposal, I don't think it's very good.
I think a better counter to the first part of Reinstein's first point, i.e. that part-by-part rebounding cuts down conferring time in a meaningful way, is that it's just not normatively true. My experience is (do people agree here?) that, for one, the fraction of parts of block-rebounding bonuses on which a teams spend more than 10 seconds conferring is small; that, for two, even among those, the fraction in which time beyond 10 seconds makes a positive difference between a right and wrong answer is small; and that, for three, even among that small fraction of a small fraction of instances in which a bonus format change would matter to the score of one team, the fraction of instances in which it would change the outcome of a match on net (to do which it would have change the score of one team without correspondingly changing that of the other by more than the final difference in score) is itself a small fraction of a small faction of times. So I should formally predict that this a second-order effect (can be observed a small fraction of a small fraction of the time) in scores and a fourth-order effect (matters a small fraction of a small fraction of a small fraction of a small fraction of the time) in the outcome. That is to say, it just ain't going to matter a whole hell of a lot, all else equal (including questions, which we can hold constant by the equivalence I posed earlier.)
We can move beyond that order-of-magnitude analysis with some simple observations if we're really interested.
A counter to the second part of Reinstein's first point, that the current format requires things to be written down whereas the new format wouldn't, is that it's likewise not really true. Plenty of players and teams play block formats without writing things down (I didn't when I played, for example) while plenty of teams play part-by-part formats and write plenty of things down. That's purely a matter of how a team is trained.
It may be that writing an answer down is less incentivized by a part-by-part format as compared to a block format, but I'd dispute even that. Knowing the answer to a previous part is often eminently useful in determining answers to later parts in a part-by-part format. As I said, teams can and do write just as much down in part-by-part formats.

So, okay, we see that the objections raised are based on supposed changes of uncertain sign and seemingly small magnitude. Balanced against these are the fact that, for players, a part-by-part format allows access to a much wider variety of bonuses, including ones that can treat subjects in greater depth. Surely that has to be worth a great deal to anyone interested in fostering young minds. More concretely, surely it has to be worth a lot more than those very small effects.

MaS
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Re: Petition Against ACF Formatted Bonus

Post by jakestouffer »

Captain Scipio wrote:Balanced against these are the fact that, for players, a part-by-part format allows access to a much wider variety of bonuses, including ones that can treat subjects in greater depth. Surely that has to be worth a great deal to anyone interested in fostering young minds. More concretely, surely it has to be worth a lot more than those very small effects.
Well, that might be another argument against it right there.

To give a team that is well versed in far-reaching subjects even MORE points per bonus or, at the very least HELP on answers on bonuses would be seen as a competitive disadvantage to weaker teams. Plus, if bonuses are made to be 30 points, that would put a weaker team down even more per question.

The flip side is that this bonus format change could conceivably help the weaker teams on the part by part bonuses. But, these are the teams that are sometimes successful in matches because they play teams that do not know all parts of a block bonus OR teams that do not know enough about a block bonus to be successful. Coaches will fight to keep their team competitive. My feeling is that there might be resistance because, and correct me if I am wrong, it makes getting the toss-up even more important to have a part-by-part bonus and some coaches feel like it will make their team less competitive on the state level.

Initially, teams that have never done (or rarely do) part-by-part bonuses will feel like they are at a competitive disadvantage. This is why there has to be gradual change. Not everyone is in Scholastic Bowl to be an innovator. The argument can be made that fostering young minds has very little to do with format change. That said, I completely agree with the need for change, but I think that we have to be aware that this may be a prevalent feeling among coaches. In all of my dealings as a music teacher, there has never been such spirited discussion about innovation. More power to you all!

Thanks!

Jake
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