Cross-disciplinary giveaways and IS-76

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Important Bird Area
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Cross-disciplinary giveaways and IS-76

Post by Important Bird Area »

My last look at cross-disciplinary giveaways in NAQT questions examined the 2009 SCT and so was posted on the password-protected board for that tournament.

Recently the question was asked here: the cute giveaway may be dying at the college level, but how prevalent is it in NAQT's IS sets?

So I took a look through IS-76. (Chosen as the most recent IS set clear for public discussion.)

Like any other IS set, this one contained 360 tossups.

15 are GK, which can't have a cdg (they're already supposed to be multi-disciplinary).

26 are computation, which typically don't do this. (I guess it's possible to write a tossup of the form ...divide 17 by 2 and you'll get--for 10 points--this result that also names a Federico Fellini-directed film... but I feel comfortable asserting that this doesn't happen very often even without having actually checked the math in this set.)

That leaves 319 tossups, of which 21 had cross-disciplinary giveaways (6.58%). Surprisingly, this set actually had fewer of these than the 2009 SCT (30/339, 7.5%).

What doesn't surprise me is that IS-set giveaways tend strongly toward geography; most NAQT history or current events tossups about countries will contain a geography clue somewhere near the end of the question. Personally, I think a tossup of the form "FTP an 1815 congress was held in what city, the capital of Austria?" is fine and does nothing to undermine the academic nature of a distribution.

I was pleasantly surprised at how few questions gave away their answers with PC: or SP: clues; the net one here is a tossup on Gone with the Wind that mentions Vivien Leigh at the end.

Net redistribution of clues:

geography +13
myth +1
pop culture +1
religious literature zero
literature zero
sports zero
science -1
visual art -1
music -1
current events -6
history -7

There were an additional five tossups with giveaways that I considered "cute."
Jeff Hoppes
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former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred

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Matt Weiner
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Re: Cross-disciplinary giveaways and IS-76

Post by Matt Weiner »

bt_green_warbler wrote:I was pleasantly surprised at how few questions gave away their answers with PC: or SP: clues; the net one here is a tossup on Gone with the Wind that mentions Vivien Leigh at the end.
You'd probably have an easier time making the case that the film Gone With the Wind is academic as "misc fine arts" than that the book is academic as literature.
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Re: Cross-disciplinary giveaways and IS-76

Post by Whiter Hydra »

bt_green_warbler wrote: geography +13
myth +1
pop culture +1
religious literature zero
literature zero
sports zero
science -1
visual art -1
music -1
current events -6
history -7
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's a net loss of 1 giveaway.
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Re: Cross-disciplinary giveaways and IS-76

Post by Important Bird Area »

hwhite wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's a net loss of 1 giveaway.
This is why I don't edit computational math. I left out:

general knowledge +1
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Re: Cross-disciplinary giveaways and IS-76

Post by Awehrman »

You'd probably have an easier time making the case that the film Gone With the Wind is academic as "misc fine arts" than that the book is academic as literature.
Oh, come on! I don't think the Southern Literary Journal would even exist without Gone With the Wind! Love it or hate it, it's an absolute staple of southern literature and is and will continued to be studied in academic circles. The same goes for the film of course. Gone with the Wind does not require a crossover giveaway to make it more accessible, however. I doubt that the Vivien Leigh giveaway would be anymore gettable than a Scarlett O'hara one.
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Re: Cross-disciplinary giveaways and IS-76

Post by Ike »

Oh, come on! I don't think the Southern Literary Journal would even exist without Gone With the Wind! Love it or hate it, it's an absolute staple of southern literature and is and will continued to be studied in academic circles. The same goes for the film of course. Gone with the Wind does not require a crossover giveaway to make it more accessible, however. I doubt that the Vivien Leigh giveaway would be anymore gettable than a Scarlett O'hara one.
I think you are missing Matt's point. HSers are highly likely to know Gone With the Wind through the fine arts film, rather than the actual novel, because of the film's influence. Therefore, you should label it as that.

Hey Jeff, could you do a similar analysis for leadins?
I remember a Bingham tossup that began with his Senate Career, even though his archaeological exploits would be a different category. I also think that since IS-76 is a designed to be a state level set, NAQT is a tiny bit more conscious about the clues they use.

Thanks
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Re: Cross-disciplinary giveaways and IS-76

Post by Important Bird Area »

Ike wrote:I also think that since IS-76 is a designed to be a state level set, NAQT is a tiny bit more conscious about the clues they use.
This is not in fact the case; all five IS sets are (at least in theory) on a level playing field for both difficulty and question quality.
Ike wrote:Hey Jeff, could you do a similar analysis for leadins?
I remember a Bingham tossup that began with his Senate Career, even though his archaeological exploits would be a different category.
Sure, although I don't expect to find any significant pattern in these.
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VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
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Re: Cross-disciplinary giveaways and IS-76

Post by Important Bird Area »

OK, here we are.

Cross-disciplinary leadins:

+ 12 history
+ 3 literature
+ 1 pop culture
+ 1 general knowledge
-1 music
-2 social science
-3 science
-5 geography
-6 current events

The only two features of note are:

1. History, which was worst-hit by cross-disciplinary giveaways, gets a bunch of clues back here. In particular, a substantial number of NAQT's cross-disciplinary questions are history-geography hybrids, and these are found in both the geography and history distributions. (I think there is a small net surplus of geography clues that tends to cluster in the giveaway clues, but remain to be convinced that these will ever have a significant impact on tournament outcomes.)

2. Current events questions show a large net loss of clues to other disciplines both in the leadins and in the giveaways. This shouldn't really be surprising, since it's hard to constrain a tossup's clue space within the last five or so years of newsworthy events; I think it's perfectly ok to fill a current events need with a leadin about the early career of Robert Mugabe.
Jeff Hoppes
President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred

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Re: Cross-disciplinary giveaways and IS-76

Post by master15625 »

I feel stupid right now, but what does "cross-disciplinary" mean?
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Re: Cross-disciplinary giveaways and IS-76

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

master15625 wrote:I feel stupid right now, but what does "cross-disciplinary" mean?
blah blah blah his most famous opera, NIxon in China. For 10 points, identify this modern composer who shares his name with the second PotUS.
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