DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

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DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by chatt_r »

RM is happy to announce that we will be hosting the first ever Dangerously Excellent Academic Tournament (Housewritten), AKA DEATH, on September the 12th, 2009.
The tournament will be 20/20 pyramidals, with the number of rounds and tournament structure to be based on the
number of entries, though we will try to give everyone 10 games (if they choose to stay that long). THE CAP IS AT 30 TEAMS
As in the past, we will use timers to ensure that the tournament runs in a timely manner. The pricing is as follows
$60 per team
-$5 for multiple teams ($115 for 2 teams, 165 for 3 etc)
-$5 per buzzer set (maximum of 3 per school)
-$10 for driving over 200 miles
+$10 for buying the questions
-$5 for pre-registration (which is from now until Sept 8)

The answers will all be things 4/5 quizbowlers have heard of. We want this tournament to be a good way to get competitive early-season practice and see
where younger players fit.

The question break-down will be:
(NOTE THIS IS REVISED)
5 history
5 Lit
1 Geo
3 Sci
1 RMP
1 Math Comp
2 Art/music
2 trash/ current events/ General Knowledge

In reality, this may not be the actual composition of every packets, but it is what we are aiming for as we compile the packets. There WILL be computational math.

Also, we plan to hold a trash tournament during lunch, either singles or team, depending on popular demand, with a $10 participation fee (if team) and $5 if singles.

All questions come with the RM quality assurance which states: "If you are not satisfied with the quality of our questions, we assure you we apologize."
More importantly, there will be a free breakfast courtesy of McArr food industries, and very useless prizes.

If you want to register or have questions, please email me at [email protected].
Last edited by chatt_r on Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by t-bar »

chatt_r wrote: The question break-down will be:
6 history
6 Lit
4 Art/music
2 trash/ current events
2 other
Why is there no science, social science, or RMP?
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by at your pleasure »

The answers will all be things 4/5 quizbowlers have heard of.
I thought this was being written by RM, not by the combined forces of Andy Watkins and Ryan Westbrook.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Bananaquit »

t-bar wrote:Why is there no science, social science, or RMP?
This. If you actually forgot three major categories, disregard the following. I don't like the idea of high school tournaments becoming vanity-type events, which is what this looks like. Several of the more important subjects are being left out, and comp math inserted, for no apparent reason. I do not think this distribution would at all make for a good test of HS teams' abilities, as
chatt_r wrote:We want this tournament to be a good way to get competitive early-season practice and see
where younger players fit.


says the goal of the tournament is.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

chatt_r wrote: 2 other
What's "other"? Not to belabor the point, but is this where the other categories are going to fit in? Or will this be compmath, geo, and other things like film?
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by ieppler »

stats plz
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Anti-Climacus wrote:
The answers will all be things 4/5 quizbowlers have heard of.
I thought this was being written by RM, not by the combined forces of Andy Watkins and Ryan Westbrook.
You wish we were that generous!

But yeah: this sounds like a terrible distribution for a tournament. If you don't have a player capable of writing science or RMP, get a vendor set.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by at your pleasure »

get a vendor set.
Or find something to mirror.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
Anti-Climacus wrote:
The answers will all be things 4/5 quizbowlers have heard of.
I thought this was being written by RM, not by the combined forces of Andy Watkins and Ryan Westbrook.
You wish we were that generous!

But yeah: this sounds like a terrible distribution for a tournament. If you don't have a player capable of writing science or RMP, get a vendor set.
Agreed. There's no NAQT tournament in the DC region as of yet: perhaps you could fill that demand? You could save the questions you've already written and add in the missing categories over the next year.

Also:
Bananaquit wrote: I do not think this distribution would at all make for a good test of HS teams' abilities, as
chatt_r wrote:We want this tournament to be a good way to get competitive early-season practice and see
where younger players fit.


says the goal of the tournament is.
This definitely applies to us. We've (hopefully) signed on a new player to fill the Ginnungagap that is our team's knowledge of science, and I don't want his first tournament experience to be a day of getting very few questions.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Kouign Amann »

chatt_r wrote:As in the past, we will use timers to ensure that the tournament runs in a timely manner.
This also seems like a bad idea.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot »

Are you trying to make your program a laughingstock or is that an unintended side effect?
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Self-incompatibility in plants »

We want this tournament to be a good way to get competitive early-season practice and see
where younger players fit.
What about the early players who are good at science, rmp, or social science? How would one see where they "fit" when their subject areas (which are fairly important ones) are completely absent? Being so early in the year, I can't help but to share the fear that Matt has for his new science player for other new players attending this tournament. I'm not necessarily opposed to vanity sets in High School, but ones that leaves out social science, rmp, and SCIENCE(!), seem a little ridiculous to me. I'm aware the tournament is quickly approaching, but I feel it would be worth it to try and incorporate a decent amount of the missing subjects into DEATH, even if that amount is still less than what most would expect from a typical HS set.

It would definitely be nice for someone from RM to get on soon and try to explain themselves, before I, and others, assume the worst about this tournament...

EDIT: added a few more thoughts
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by chatt_r »

The distribution posted was based on the questions written over the summer by the RM players.
However, I can see that there are several holes in it, and I apologize for the hypocrisy of omitting those major categories and still calling this a well-distributed early season tournament.

5 history
5 Lit
1 Geo
2 Sci
1 RMP
1 Math Comp
3 Art/music
2 trash/ current events/ General Knowledge
Is the new distribution.

Also, I am curious as to why timers seem like a bad idea.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

chatt_r wrote:The distribution posted was based on the questions written over the summer by the RM players.
However, I can see that there are several holes in it, and I apologize for the hypocrisy of omitting those major categories and still calling this a well-distributed early season tournament.

5 history
5 Lit
1 Geo
2 Sci
1 RMP
1 Math Comp
3 Art/music
2 trash/ current events/ General Knowledge
Is the new distribution.
You do realize that this has absolutely nothing to do with the distribution of any other tournament anywhere and will give novices zero idea of how their knowledge might be used ever again, right?
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Angry Babies in Love »

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
chatt_r wrote:The distribution posted was based on the questions written over the summer by the RM players.
However, I can see that there are several holes in it, and I apologize for the hypocrisy of omitting those major categories and still calling this a well-distributed early season tournament.

5 history
5 Lit
1 Geo
2 Sci
1 RMP
1 Math Comp
3 Art/music
2 trash/ current events/ General Knowledge
Is the new distribution.
You do realize that this has absolutely nothing to do with the distribution of any other tournament anywhere and will give novices zero idea of how their knowledge might be used ever again, right?
Just because we have more tossups in one category or fewer in another in comparison to other tournaments doesn't mean that they won't have an idea about how their knowledge is used. No tournament is the same, and I feel that this is similar enough to other tournaments to give novices the gist of it.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Blackboard Monitor Vimes »

chatt_r wrote:The distribution posted was based on the questions written over the summer by the RM players.
However, I can see that there are several holes in it, and I apologize for the hypocrisy of omitting those major categories and still calling this a well-distributed early season tournament.

5 history
5 Lit
1 Geo
2 Sci
1 RMP
1 Math Comp
3 Art/music
2 trash/ current events/ General Knowledge
Is the new distribution.

Also, I am curious as to why timers seem like a bad idea.
This is why you start with a distribution and have your writers work towards it, which is important to keep in mind for anyone starting a housewrite. Otherwise you end up with a distro that isn't based on the answer space available at your target difficulty level (also a good thing to have) or any sort of principle whatsoever but rather random chance.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

rmgeokid wrote:Just because we have more tossups in one category or fewer in another in comparison to other tournaments doesn't mean that they won't have an idea about how their knowledge is used. No tournament is the same, and I feel that this is similar enough to other tournaments to give novices the gist of it.
None of the things you say in this post are the least bit true.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by AKKOLADE »

I would like to advise that RM mirror or purchase a set for use rather than doing a house-write. While writing questions is a great way to get better, I don't believe that there is enough experience at RM to put together a good tournament.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Bananaquit »

At the very least, you might want to postpone this for a while until you've filled in all the distributional gaps.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Self-incompatibility in plants »

chatt_r wrote:The distribution posted was based on the questions written over the summer by the RM players.
However, I can see that there are several holes in it, and I apologize for the hypocrisy of omitting those major categories and still calling this a well-distributed early season tournament.

5 history
5 Lit
1 Geo
2 Sci
1 RMP
1 Math Comp
3 Art/music
2 trash/ current events/ General Knowledge
Is the new distribution.
Still flawed, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. For the aforementioned reasons, I support RM trying to mirror or purchase a set. However, if you you guys still want to stick with writing your own set, I think you should remove one out of the two trash/current event questions per set, and replace it with a science question, as that would be another step in the right direction, and would not require a complete overhaul of what you already have.

edit: grammar
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Kouign Amann »

chatt_r wrote:Also, I am curious as to why timers seem like a bad idea.
If I am correct in assuming that by "timers" you mean standard quizbowl clocks, you may wish to see various NAQT discussion threads for evidence and discussion of the generally anti-clock sentiment prevalent in quizbowl today.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

FredMorlan wrote:I would like to advise that RM mirror or purchase a set for use rather than doing a house-write. While writing questions is a great way to get better, I don't believe that there is enough experience at RM to put together a good tournament.
Bananaquit wrote:At the very least, you might want to postpone this for a while until you've filled in all the distributional gaps.
Greg and Fred have given the best practical advice anyone can at this point. Not to put salt in the wound, but may I suggest that you listen to the boards this time? Some posts have been harsh, but in the end, everyone has the best interests of the ~30 teams participating at heart. Raynell and Raj, both of you clearly want to hold a good tournament, so here's the short of it:

No matter how well written, no set with those distributional anomalies can provide fair competition or gauge new talent in the setting of a standard tournament.

EDIT: Clarity
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

FredMorlan wrote:I would like to advise that RM mirror or purchase a set for use rather than doing a house-write. While writing questions is a great way to get better, I don't believe that there is enough experience at RM to put together a good tournament.
Yeah, again, this is pretty much all that needs to be said.

RM, don't hold this tournament based on what you've said so far. I can promise you, teams that you expected to show... will not show.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by chatt_r »

I appreciate the concerns voiced by some of you about being able to host a solid tournament by September 12th, but I am positive that we will be able to run one with high-quality sets, regardless of the change in distribution. Our current distribution is similar to NAQT distribution, except it focuses more on the "major" subjects and less on the "minors". While I have confidence in our ability to produce a good tournament, it's your confidence in us that allows us to have a field. I would like to emphasize that poor question quality will not be a factor in this tournament.

About timers: timers/clocks present a problem when readers read at different paces. As of the end of the last school year, this was not a problem. However, if a discrepancy in reading speed arises, we will certainly re-evaluate our timer policy. Also, we plan to use 10 minute halves (as opposed to the usual 9 minute ones) in order to increase the number of questions heard.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Do you think that Science is a minor category? Or at least, that History and Lit are at least 67% more important, each?
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Golran »

chatt_r wrote: Our current distribution is similar to NAQT distribution, except it focuses more on the "major" subjects and less on the "minors".
But your current distribution has as much Science (a noted major subject) as Art/Music (a noted minor subject), and that is if you include math comp as science.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

chatt_r wrote:Our current distribution is similar to NAQT distribution, except it focuses more on the "major" subjects and less on the "minors".
Actually, that's, like, exactly like NAQT. Maybe you meant to say HSAPQ...
chatt_r wrote:About timers: timers/clocks present a problem when readers read at different paces. As of the end of the last school year, this was not a problem. However, if a discrepancy in reading speed arises, we will certainly re-evaluate our timer policy.
Uh, you mean you might literally take clocks away halfway through the tournament or something?
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

chatt_r wrote:it's your confidence in us that allows us to have a field.
See, here's the thing. Everything that you are saying, including your bonkers distribution, inspires less than zero confidence in your likely field.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by AKKOLADE »

chatt_r wrote:I appreciate the concerns voiced by some of you about being able to host a solid tournament by September 12th, but I am positive that we will be able to run one with high-quality sets, regardless of the change in distribution. Our current distribution is similar to NAQT distribution, except it focuses more on the "major" subjects and less on the "minors". While I have confidence in our ability to produce a good tournament, it's your confidence in us that allows us to have a field. I would like to emphasize that poor question quality will not be a factor in this tournament.
Hey dude,

First of all, you're wrong about the NAQT distribution stuff. Comparing your stuff with NAQT's for the HSNCT (and assuming you're doing TU/bonus as well), they do approximately 7/6 science + math comp per round. If you exclude math comp, they do 5/6. You're doing 3/3 science, which is half of what NAQT does. Additionally, you're doing 20/20 per round while NAQT does 26/26 per round, which means you're doing notably more literature and history per round than they do.

But that's not the most important thing. The most important thing is that you're very inexperienced writers, who are attempting to write an acceptable tournament for teams in the most demanding area of the country.

Now, don't get me wrong - this is an awesome goal. If you choose to continue, then by all means I wish you the best of success. But I would advise you to reconsider.

However, I discourage you from trying to do this on your own. If you're doing 15 rounds of 20/20 that's 600 questions with no repeating subjects. You must make sure that every single subject chosen is appropriate for the difficulty level and not a repeat. You must make sure that every single question is well written, appropriate for the difficulty level, proofread and edited. You must do this in the next month.

You have, as far as I can tell, no one with any real previous quiz bowl question writing experience working on this project. This is going to make completing this project with any real success infinitely harder.

I've seen people attempt similar projects on these boards before with no real experience, and most times they end poorly. Questions end up being written on subjects that are entirely too hard or obscure, questions don't get done, questions have bad clues in them... it happens fairly often.

I'd also like to warn you as to what happens if you house write and do poorly - specifically, this.

If you host a tournament with questions from a vendor or mirroring something else, guess what? You get a free pass if the questions suck. People can't really get angry with you (unless you made a bad decision in your source, of course). But if you write bad questions, all that annoyance will be put on you by your customers. This will further hurt the image of Richard Montgomery's tournaments (once again, look at that link I provided above regarding this) and make it harder to draw teams in the future. People are already skeptical of your ability to pull this off, in no small part due to last year's fiasco. The distribution, particularly with its abnormal science portion, is starting to cause problems on its own.

Note that I'm not blaming you for last year's problems at all; unfortunately, that will be associated with Richard Montgomery-organized tournaments for at least the foreseeable future. Another bad tournament will only compound this problem; a good one will help reverse this. I hope I don't need to tell you how key this tournament is not just to your team's success in holding future tournaments, but also for the Maryland area as a whole.

So, it's for this reason that I encourage you to use NAQT, HSAPQ, the fall novice set if it's not being used somewhere else in your area, a mirror of a set provided by an experienced team from a college, whatever. I am just very certain that this will end up much worse for you than any other situation.

I hope that I haven't offended you - that is certainly not my intent. But I do think it's important that you be told plainly just what exactly you're facing and why it's not the best path.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by at your pleasure »

Er, Fred, the thread you linked to was for a tournament run on a vendor set. Granted, there were still non-vendor related problems like the inexplicable lack of stats.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

No, that was exactly the point. Read the thread more Doug... see the first question (i) asked? There were SUPPOSED to be house-written questions. Look how that turned out. And it STILL was a huge debacle.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by AKKOLADE »

My apologies; I seem to have only remembered the early discussion of using "some" house-written questions, and not the fact that they went to a NAQT set. Which was really confusing at the time.

I guess I can turn this into a lesson of "look at what all can go wrong for you even if you use a vendor's set, and consider how much harder you're making things for yourself as a first time host."

(P.S. Stats weren't the biggest problem of the day, terrible bracketing and general mismanagement was)
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by at your pleasure »

No, that was exactly the point. Read the thread more Doug... see the first question (i) asked? There were SUPPOSED to be house-written questions. Look how that turned out. And it STILL was a huge debacle.
Ah; I'd just looked at the edited first post and only really remembered that it was an NAQT set.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

For posterity...
FredMorlan on Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:14 pm wrote: Hey,

Not really wanting to pile on here, but the reaction I've seen from RM in this thread to criticism regarding their bad idea, in addition to your spotty past performance of hosting tournaments, is enough to make me not want to take any teams I coach there this year or next.
What clairvoyance.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by AKKOLADE »

Well, I think it's important to point out a difference between this thread and the one from a year ago: mainly, Rajarshi is showing a willingness to at least listen to others, which is really good. Keith did not react in such a manner.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by t-bar »

I don't mean to pile on here, nor is this an endorsement of NAQT's questions, but according to http://www.naqt.com/schedule.jsp the closest NAQT tournaments to the DC area are in Princeton, NJ, Pittsburgh, PA, and Uniondale, NY. Assuming DC-area teams still want to go to HSNCT, they will probably want a way to qualify besides state championship tournaments. Which is a long-winded way of saying that using NAQT questions would offer benefits besides alleviating some (admittedly not all) of people's concerns about question quality.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by TheKingInYellow »

Or you could all go to Pittsburgh, which would make that tournament much more exciting
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by chatt_r »

We talked to NAQT, and they agreed to let us run IS-86 as a Nationals Qualifier on September 12th.
IS-86 is the same set being run in Princeton.
Needless to say, this changes a few things about the tournament, and a new thread about it will be posted shortly.
Rajarshi Chattopadhyay
Richard Montgomery HS

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Self-incompatibility in plants
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Self-incompatibility in plants »

chatt_r wrote:We talked to NAQT, and they agreed to let us run IS-86 as a Nationals Qualifier on September 12th.
IS-86 is the same set being run in Princeton.
Needless to say, this changes a few things about the tournament, and a new thread about it will be posted shortly.
Excellent move. Thank you.
Trey Taraila
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University of Delaware 2014

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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

Self-incompatibility in plants wrote:
chatt_r wrote:We talked to NAQT, and they agreed to let us run IS-86 as a Nationals Qualifier on September 12th.
IS-86 is the same set being run in Princeton.
Needless to say, this changes a few things about the tournament, and a new thread about it will be posted shortly.
Excellent move. Thank you.
Agreed. Thanks a lot, Raj.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Raj, I just want to say thank you very much for learning from RM's past mistakes when it came to hearing requests from experts on the board. I hope this move will help your tournament be even better run since you won't have to worry about writing your questions and can instead focus solely on logistics and building a good reputation for your future tournaments to get good fields. My dying request for this tournament would be that you also come to the board for help finding a format if you have a weird number of teams, so that the strange/inherently unfair format from last year doesn't make a reappearance. If you do that, I think you will find more players positively reacting to your event, which is what everyone wants for you.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by AKKOLADE »

chatt_r wrote:We talked to NAQT, and they agreed to let us run IS-86 as a Nationals Qualifier on September 12th.
IS-86 is the same set being run in Princeton.
Needless to say, this changes a few things about the tournament, and a new thread about it will be posted shortly.
Cool beans, dude. If you need advice on running this tournament, please post on the forums or send me an email. I'd be happy to help out however I can.
Fred Morlan
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

If you're going to make a new thread, you should do so quickly. Since this tournament is only a week or two into many school's years, they're going to need as much time as possible to get official word to their administrations and school boards for the travel permission.

Needless to say, we'll be there, hopefully with 2 teams.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Self-incompatibility in plants »

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew wrote:If you're going to make a new thread, you should do so quickly. Since this tournament is only a week or two into many school's years, they're going to need as much time as possible to get official word to their administrations and school boards for the travel permission.

Needless to say, we'll be there, hopefully with 2 teams.
This seems to be the only tournament that our members in marching band can make (due to their many TOBs on Saturdays), so there is a potential that we would bring 3 teams, so as to try and give them a chance to compete at some point in the fall. I just wanted to give you guys a heads up about the potential for CR bringing 3 teams.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by lagazzaladra »

I suppose I'll go ahead and express interest in this on behalf of TJ. We'll probably bring around two or three teams and two buzzer sets.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by at your pleasure »

I'll go ahead and express intrest from Whitman.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Kouign Amann »

St. Anselm's is interested.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by Angry Babies in Love »

There will be a new thread shortly.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by AKKOLADE »

Hey Raynell, if you'd prefer, we could just split this one so that the discussion regarding the house write goes elsewhere and this thread remains the one about the tournament.
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Re: DEATH at Richard Montgomery 09/12/09

Post by chatt_r »

Unfortunately, I don't know how to split a thread, but I made a new one to announce RUMBLE ON THE PIKE 2009.
Get excited.
Rajarshi Chattopadhyay
Richard Montgomery HS

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