QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Cheynem »

I'm not a full member of HSAPQ, but I did write some freelance questions for either this set or another one (can't quite remember which). I deeply encourage those who felt specific questions had cliffs, extreme difficulty, or other problems to write to HSAPQ representatives with specific details. Otherwise, writers like me see general, vague complaints on these threads, feel bad, and have no way of knowing what was right or wrong.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by lagazzaladra »

Thanks to Mehdi, Chris White, and anyone else on the Upenn team/the other coaches that came out and made this an excellent tournament.

As far as this set goes and ignoring power placement, random countries/regions showing up repeatedly, and grammatical errors, I think this set was great for top-tier teams, but it's pretty obvious that most of the teams in the field probably didn't enjoy 8+ tossups going dead in their rounds. It's been said before, but high school questions are getting really difficult, and people writing for high school tournaments, especially top college players, need to start considering the bottom 20-30% of the field. I did enjoy the music though.

The math calc in the rounds I wasn't really opposed to, but my teammates and I were sort of taken by surprise because we were also under the impression that HSAPQ didn't use math calc. One of the math calc questions, though, was really confusing and nobody on our team could really figure what the question was asking, much less how to calculate the answer. In the least arrogant way possible, I think if TJ A can't figure out that bonus, it should either be reworded completely or thrown out. I'll email the HSAPQ people about it later with specifics I guess.

As far as individual matches go, it was fun to finally play Hunter, Charter, DCC, and State College for the first time, and as always, it was great playing St. Anslem's, and, CR.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by wexs883198215 »

Journey to the Planets wrote:It's a little scary to think that State College, Hunter, and TJ are all returning everyone next year.
Now's not a bad time to start having nightmares about State College in 2011-2012 :grin:
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by TheKingInYellow »

If by State College you mean Hunter, I agree
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Judson Laipply »

I am predicting a 585-575 HSNCT Final between State College and Hunter in 2012.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by wexs883198215 »

Well it'll be interesting to see if Hunter and other teams can catch up to State College, because there's a pretty big gap right now, I would say.

And of course we can't forget about that dude named Tommy who seems to be pretty good at quizbowl or something like that :grin:
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

One more observation about the set.

Trey and i noticed that, on the Literature tossups, the heavy majority of them were on authors (as answers), not works. This cost us as we're not very good at biography clues and deep knowledge of the fourth or fifth most important works of authors, but we are very good at deep knowledge of important works, which is why we powered or got most of the Lit questions where a novel or a poem was the answer line.

Did anyone else notice this?
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Edward Powers »

A belated thanks to the Penn Quizbowl Team for hosting an excellent tournament. And a special thanks to Mehdi for his creative compromise on the final format---allowing 8 to participate kept the overall general excellence of the the final Championship bracket, allowing the best of the best to compete, as was contended for by Graham & Matt prior to the tournament. But your compromise also put everyone else in the field on notice that one loss did not necessarily eliminate them, thus giving everyone a chance at those last two spots in the Championship bracket if they did not go undefeated---the point for which I and others contended. Plus, your compromise gave participants in the Championship bracket an added bonus---two extra quality matches. So thank you for your creativity.

A belated congratulations as well for the the exceptional performances of State College and Saint Anselm's. You certainly have set the bar admirably and amazingly high for the rest of us. (And thanks to the SC Assistant Coach for a wonderful free cup of coffee when it was most desperately needed!!!---I hope to return your kindness & generosity in the near future).

Finally, my only complaint has already been addressed by Mehdi---which was a request for perhaps a 90 minute lunch rather than only one hour---it will give the time necessary to do the precise stats essential for the afternoon bracketing, while simultaneously allowing schools that wish to do so some leisure time to see Penn's beautiful campus a little bit without rushing back only to wait for 45 minutes or so for stats to be completed---a win-win situation, I think. So thank you, Mehdi, for quickly addressing this issue as well. Finally, you should know my kids had a great time and want to come again next year, and I gather many other schools agree with this assessment, given earlier comments in this forum.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Huang »

Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote: on the Literature tossups, the heavy majority of them were on authors (as answers), not works.
I am pretty sure this is done because most writers are more famous than their works. So less experienced teams will have a better shot at them when the giveaway is read.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:One more observation about the set.

Trey and i noticed that, on the Literature tossups, the heavy majority of them were on authors (as answers), not works. This cost us as we're not very good at biography clues and deep knowledge of the fourth or fifth most important works of authors, but we are very good at deep knowledge of important works, which is why we powered or got most of the Lit questions where a novel or a poem was the answer line.

Did anyone else notice this?
I certainly did. I wasn't too happy about it, either, but if someone from HSAPQ can justify/explain it, I'd be willing to listen.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Matt Weiner »

The explanation is "coincidence;" that's what people wrote literature questions on for this set.

We have the capability, in QEMS, to track how many questions are on authors and how many on works and change the course of writing if the balance is upset, so I suppose that will be done in the future. However, I also think that when we write tossups on authors, we generally avoid "biography clues" and unimportant titles and focus on the same sorts of knowledge that would allow you to get a work tossup. For example, a tossup on Jack Kerouac would mostly have clues from On the Road, etc.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Huang wrote:
Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote: on the Literature tossups, the heavy majority of them were on authors (as answers), not works.
I am pretty sure this is done because most writers are more famous than their works. So less experienced teams will have a better shot at them when the giveaway is read.
No, i know this Sandy, and believe me, i like easy questions when it comes to Lit. The problem was that i think there should be more of a balance between authors and works asked about. For instance, REDACTED

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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by AKKOLADE »

I don't think "literature answers mostly on authors rather than works/characters" is a HSAPQ, but a regular high school difficulty tournament thing.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

FredMorlan wrote:I don't think "literature answers mostly on authors rather than works/characters" is a HSAPQ, but a regular high school difficulty tournament thing.
I don't have stats on this set, but let's say it's 75% author tossups. If you were to switch that to 75% work tossups, you would be making two tossups per round substantially harder. Given that the "this set is 25% harder than regular difficulty tournaments" claim was based on a total of about twenty tossup outliers, of which I'd dispute about half, you would ask that HSAPQ commit roughly the same sin you're condemning Tourn-9 for.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Nevermind. Because of my redacted statement, i guess it's impossible to make my point here. I was just saying that it's very easy to write simple tossups on works, just as easy as it is to cave in and write them on authors too. But okay.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:Nevermind. Because of my redacted statement, i guess it's impossible to make my point here. I was just saying that it's very easy to write simple tossups on works, just as easy as it is to cave in and write them on authors too. But okay.
That's very true, and it's very true that author/work balance is an important thing to monitor for a set.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by TheKingInYellow »

I personally like author toss-ups, because they reward arguably deeper/more difficult (maybe I'm not expressing this well) knowledge, and at the same time are ultimately more gettable than work tossups. My personal opinion would be that work tossups (in high school) would be both substantially easier to power and more difficult to get at the end. Maybe I'm full of UNPLEASANT SUBSTANCES though

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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill »

I always thought it was standard practice for most question writers, be it NAQT, HSAPQ, et al., to do more tossups on Authors and make the bonuses more work-oriented. But I could be wrong, that's just what I've observed.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Dante (Bichette) »

I don't think we've had our full A team once this year, at this tournament we were missing York, who's our second leading scorer most times. Graham probably would have crushed us at lit anyway, but York's lit presence is a presence. We were also missing David at HFT.

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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by wexs883198215 »

I thought conventional wisdom said that author toss-ups are more vulnerable to list knowledge, not necessarily deep knowledge?
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Huang »

wexs883198215 wrote:I thought conventional wisdom said that author toss-ups are more vulnerable to list knowledge, not necessarily deep knowledge?
Yeah but not if you mention all of them at the giveaway.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill »

wexs883198215 wrote:I thought conventional wisdom said that author toss-ups are more vulnerable to list knowledge, not necessarily deep knowledge?
Not if they're well written to include plots and characters in the meat of the tossup and only include the titles at the end of the question.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

Inkana7 wrote:
wexs883198215 wrote:I thought conventional wisdom said that author toss-ups are more vulnerable to list knowledge, not necessarily deep knowledge?
Not if they're well written to include plots and characters in the meat of the tossup and only include the titles at the end of the question.
Well, no. Memorizing characters and plot descriptions is only slightly harder than memorizing titles. I don't mean to brag, but I've one-lined plenty of author questions without reading a single thing they wrote. Conversely, I've never been able to one-line a tossup on a work without taking the time to read it. Well-written work tossups give readers a chance to beat out flashcard-hoarders, but the average author tossup does not. There's a thread in the collegiate section discussing this problem.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill »

Journey to the Planets wrote:
Inkana7 wrote:
wexs883198215 wrote:I thought conventional wisdom said that author toss-ups are more vulnerable to list knowledge, not necessarily deep knowledge?
Not if they're well written to include plots and characters in the meat of the tossup and only include the titles at the end of the question.
Well, no. Memorizing characters and plot descriptions is only slightly harder than memorizing titles. I don't mean to brag, but I've one-lined plenty of author questions without reading a single thing they wrote. Conversely, I've never been able to one-line a tossup on a work without taking the time to read it. Well-written work tossups give readers a chance to beat out flashcard-hoarders, but the average author tossup does not. There's a thread in the collegiate section discussing this problem.
Truth. I suppose I didn't go into enough depth. Author tossups are more vulnerable to list knowledge and work tossups do reward real knowledge better. But author tossups can be less vulnerable if written in the above way. I never [meant to] argue that Author tossups are less vulnerable. Work tossups are much harder to fraud and list-learn. I didn't make that clear.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

We seem to be 3 buzzers short.

We usually have 11 buzzers in our box since with our bizarre way of hooking them up, we've found a way to connect 11 at once.

We now have 8. Someone has misplaced a few of them.

If anyone noticed 3 extra SVBZ buzzers in their set... please find a way to get them to me and send me a message.
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Re: QuAC II at UPenn in Phila., PA (11/21/09)

Post by TheKingInYellow »

Journey to the Planets wrote:
Inkana7 wrote:
wexs883198215 wrote:I thought conventional wisdom said that author toss-ups are more vulnerable to list knowledge, not necessarily deep knowledge?
Not if they're well written to include plots and characters in the meat of the tossup and only include the titles at the end of the question.
Well, no. Memorizing characters and plot descriptions is only slightly harder than memorizing titles. I don't mean to brag, but I've one-lined plenty of author questions without reading a single thing they wrote. Conversely, I've never been able to one-line a tossup on a work without taking the time to read it. Well-written work tossups give readers a chance to beat out flashcard-hoarders, but the average author tossup does not. There's a thread in the collegiate section discussing this problem.
With work questions at the college level, I think you're right, Matt. But there are a number of basic high school works (Emma, The Bell Jar) that I can routinely first line without having read. The problem I see with work toss ups at the basic high school level, is that for the majority of teams, you've either read the book, in which case you get the question early, or you haven't, in which case you maybe get it off the give away.
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