Minnesota '09-'10

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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by DLSqb10 »

By the way, which teams are going to SnowCAT (because DLS will be actually stacking our A team for this tourney, and send multiple teams)?
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by David Riley »

:w-hat: (in reference to Charlie's post above, not the one immediately preceding!)
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by GeneVan »

By the way, which teams are going to SnowCAT (because DLS will be actually stacking our A team for this tourney, and send multiple teams)?
Chanhassen is sending one team to SnowCat.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by nafitzgerald »

I didn't attend TOMCAT (instead opting to play ACF Winter, which turned out to be a wise decision), but while we have this distribution here courtesy of Jeff, I'll throw a few things out there in relation to Thursday night league play.

In this distribution, we have something like the following. My math might not be exactly correct, but bear with me.
25.8% science (including all math)
18.8% history
15.9% literature (not including religious literature)
7.6% geography
7.2% trash
7.0% current events
6.3% fine arts
4.5% RMP (including religious literature)
4.4% other/mixed (foreign language, mixed academic/trash)
2.7% social science

I'm going to assume this is roughly what league (which is run on 89A, for any non-Minnesotan observers) looks like. The announcement for TOMCAT says:
The tossups will be shorter and easier than those at most NAQT events, but will cover the same breadth of topic areas as NAQT's regular sets. For those teams familiar with the Minnesota High School Quiz Bowl league, they will be similar to the warm-up questions that comprise phase 1.
I'm willing to accept that A sets are not intended for experienced quiz bowl players like myself, and frankly, this seems like a fairly reasonable distribution given that this is intended for novices. What I want to address here is having a tournament-wide distribution versus a per-packet distribution.

Last Thursday, our first round (against St. Louis Park B) was a 720-120 blowout. Now, I do think we are better than SLP B, but that packet seemed to really go our way, with quite a bit of history and literature. The second round was a very close victory over Minnetonka A. Minnetonka A is a fine team, but I think we're also significantly better than them. For comparison, they earlier lost to our B team. In the round we played them, it felt like there was a ton of current events and trash, two areas which we are notoriously bad at.

Now, I am not saying that all packets should be like the first round, nor am I criticizing Minnetonka for the excellent performance they put up in the second round (which certainly saw them score points in more academic categories as well). I am saying that if all packets were halfway between the first round and second round, I would be happier (and I don't see why other people would be less happy). If NAQT packets are 23/23 (I believe IS packets are, but I don't have one on hand right now), why can't we have something like:

6/6 science
5/4 (or 4/5) history
4/3 (or 3/4) literature
2/2 geography
2/1 (or 1/2) trash
2/1 (or 1/2) current events
2/1 (or 1/2) fine arts
1/1 RMP
1/1 other/mixed
1/0 (or 0/1) social science

This would maintain the NAQT distribution over the course of a tournament and reduce variation between packets. Thoughts?

(Wow, that was a big post. Sorry.)
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

This has already been addressed, and NAQT has said that they do in fact put in parameters per packet, and that the concept of a tournament-wide distribution is solely so they can properly count up subjects that they don't think should come up in every packet, not so that they can have a computer randomly make a game with 5 geography tossups at its whim.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by nafitzgerald »

Hmm, okay. I sure look dumb now, don't I? :oops: :lol:

It's possible that it was just a perception bias. I'd still like another look at those packets, though; my team and I weren't the only ones to get that impression. I'll report back if and when we get a copy of the set.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Important Bird Area »

Thanks, Charlie.

I'm looking at the round-by-round distribution for TOMCAT right now, and it looks fine to me.

(some samples: every packet had either 2 or 3 British lit; the 23 chemistry tossups in 12 rounds had 2 in each round except for the last with one; every round had exactly 1 North American geography)
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by mtimmons »

Central might send a team to SnoCAT but we'll be missing Martin if we come so won't be contending for the championship in any case.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by DLSqb10 »

Looks like they finally updated results for the league matches.....
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by mtimmons »

DLSqb10 wrote:Looks like they finally updated results for the league matches.....
Speaking of the league I think the single elimination playoffs are highly unfortunate espically the way that they are seeded as the top East team and the second West team always meet in quaterfinals and the second East team and the top West team also meet in quaterfinals. Which basically means that there will almost certainly be Eden Prairie vs. De La Salle and Chaska vs. Central matches in the quaterfinals, which means some top teams will inevitably not make quaterfinals while some other teams will make semifinals playing much easier games. A better format would to increase the number of playoff games and make it double bracket round robin or something like that.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Coelacanth »

mtimmons wrote:A better format would to increase the number of playoff games and make it double bracket round robin or something like that.
This is probably true, but as things are currently structured the playoffs are all run on one evening. Now, you could certainly argue for a two-tiered playoff structure, with the 16 teams playing some kind of bracketed round robin the first week, and some subset of those teams qualifying for another RR the following week. I'm sure there are reasons for the current format that go beyond "because we've always done it that way", but we'll definitely look at tweaking the playoff format for next year.

If we do stay with the single-elim, I think we'll probably look at adjusting the locked-in "East 1 vs West 2", etc, situation.

That said, back to TOMCAT. I was impressed with some of the teams I hadn't seen much of this year, notably De La Salle. There was also a lot of play at the level that said "this team made a good decision in not going to ACF Winter". Look, TOMCAT (or as I kept trying to get R to rename it due to the new location, RYE TOAST) is what it is: short, easy questions with a bizarrely arbitrary scoring system. It's a fun, low-pressure event that shouldn't be taken too seriously. I hope everyone had a good time.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by nafitzgerald »

Brian Weikle wrote:There was also a lot of play at the level that said "this team made a good decision in not going to ACF Winter".
I'm not entirely sure what you meant here, but for the sake of clarity: I certainly don't think Gaurav or anyone was suggesting that every team should go to ACF Winter. Experienced players that were looking for a more serious academic tournament (as Max seems to have been, for instance) would have been better served by Winter. As you said, TOMCAT "is what it is," and teams that want it to be something it isn't should look elsewhere. I don't think this makes TOMCAT a "bad" tournament any more than Winter's difficulty makes Winter a "bad" tournament: they are just aimed at different audiences.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Important Bird Area »

mtimmons wrote:In the TOMCAT format, the first ten tossups are 10 points, the next ten are 15 points, the next ten are 20, and the last ten are 25 despite uniform difficulty.
R. informs me that the last section of this ("uniform difficulty") is not true; in fact, we sort the packets such that the more difficult questions are usually worth more points.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Coelacanth »

nafitzgerald wrote:
Brian Weikle wrote:There was also a lot of play at the level that said "this team made a good decision in not going to ACF Winter".
I'm not entirely sure what you meant here, but for the sake of clarity: I certainly don't think Gaurav or anyone was suggesting that every team should go to ACF Winter. Experienced players that were looking for a more serious academic tournament (as Max seems to have been, for instance) would have been better served by Winter. As you said, TOMCAT "is what it is," and teams that want it to be something it isn't should look elsewhere. I don't think this makes TOMCAT a "bad" tournament any more than Winter's difficulty makes Winter a "bad" tournament: they are just aimed at different audiences.
Agree completely. Sorry if I did not make that clear.

My point was simply that the "TOMCAT" questions were difficulty-appropriate for a large portion of that field.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Coelacanth »

bt_green_warbler wrote:
mtimmons wrote:In the TOMCAT format, the first ten tossups are 10 points, the next ten are 15 points, the next ten are 20, and the last ten are 25 despite uniform difficulty.
R. informs me that the last section of this ("uniform difficulty") is not true; in fact, we sort the packets such that the more difficult questions are usually worth more points.
Within the context of short tossups, A-series answer space, is it really possible to have 4 distinct difficulty levels? Is there enough difference in difficulty to justify some questions being worth 2.5x as much as others?

I read for the whole event, including the finals, and I didn't notice any difference in conversion rates from one "quarter" to another. Of course, espeically with the stronger teams, all the questions were being converted at a 90%+ rate so it would be hard to see much of a difference. I did notice that the computational math tended to be clustered in the 25-point round; a couple of teams also picked up on this and noted the implied lack of equity.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by mtimmons »

bt_green_warbler wrote:
mtimmons wrote:In the TOMCAT format, the first ten tossups are 10 points, the next ten are 15 points, the next ten are 20, and the last ten are 25 despite uniform difficulty.
R. informs me that the last section of this ("uniform difficulty") is not true; in fact, we sort the packets such that the more difficult questions are usually worth more points.
Hmm. Sorry for any misunderstanding. Though, empircally looking at Central's prelim rounds the earlier rounds were converted less: 58 of the first's rounds tossups were converted, 61 in the second round, 63 in the third round, and 61 in the fourth round all out of 70. Admittably, Central'smatches saw conversion that as probably on the high side and most of the tossups not converted probably were to us negging on them but the difficulty change seemed to go unnoticed by us and several moderators.

Also it's good to hear that there may be changes to the league playoff format next year. Another possible improvement to the league that was suggested last year was playing the playoff matches on harder questions which would probably make them more fair as play off teams are presumablely at least able to handle at least regular IS level questions.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by DLSqb10 »

mtimmons wrote:Also it's good to hear that there may be changes to the league playoff format next year. Another possible improvement to the league that was suggested last year was playing the playoff matches on harder questions which would probably make them more fair as play off teams are presumablely at least able to handle at least regular IS level questions.
Agreed, it would probably be a better measure of a team's ability if harder questions were used in the playoffs
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man »

DLSqb10 wrote:By the way, which teams are going to SnowCAT (because DLS will be actually stacking our A team for this tourney, and send multiple teams)?
Saint Thomas will be sending 1 team, but we'll be missing the most awesomely named Quizbowler of all time: Will Rock.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by at your pleasure »

der_ubermensch wrote:
DLSqb10 wrote:By the way, which teams are going to SnowCAT (because DLS will be actually stacking our A team for this tourney, and send multiple teams)?
Saint Thomas will be sending 1 team, but we'll be missing the most awesomely named Quizbowler of all time: Will Rock.
Any relation to Buzzer Rock from Blake HS in Maryland?
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Boeing X-20, Please! »

Doink the Clown wrote:
der_ubermensch wrote:
DLSqb10 wrote:By the way, which teams are going to SnowCAT (because DLS will be actually stacking our A team for this tourney, and send multiple teams)?
Saint Thomas will be sending 1 team, but we'll be missing the most awesomely named Quizbowler of all time: Will Rock.
Any relation to Buzzer Rock from Blake HS in Maryland?
We had both an Adam and Will Smith at D&G this weekend
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Coelacanth wrote:I did notice that the computational math tended to be clustered in the 25-point round; a couple of teams also picked up on this and noted the implied lack of equity.
Unsurprising, since computational math is the hardest to convert of NAQT's categories. So if questions were, in fact, sorted to put the harder questions generally later, the most valuable questions would all be computational math (and maybe philosophy).
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by tl »

I'm going to lurk less.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by future »

Any news on NASAT tryouts? I do remember seeing that that HSAPQ tryout set would be available in March, and we don't really have any tournaments scheduled in March, so....
I mean, I can't imagine that the tryouts (if they are held) would have more than 10-15 people or use too many resources.

Also, I wish there were more central lightning rounds in the future of the League. I have heard very few true literature lightning rounds, and science comes up around once per meet. Much more common are geography, politics, world facts, "name the word which...", and cross-disciplinary "name the person"; these stuff are all easy to list.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by nafitzgerald »

Martin Camacho wrote:I have heard very few true literature lightning rounds, and science comes up around once per meet. Much more common are geography, politics, world facts, "name the word which...", and cross-disciplinary "name the person"; these stuff are all easy to list.
I actually remember a prevalence of some different types of lightening rounds, but I think it might be better to hold off on criticism of IS 89A until we have actual copies of the packets, so that we can say, "looking at the packets, I see that there were X geography lightening rounds, and that's too many" rather than "I seem to remember a lot of geography lightening rounds." (Especially since not all of us play the same two lightening rounds.) I suspect that much of what you're saying is true, but actual data is indisputable, while memory is not (see: my bad post above).
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Cheynem »

Now that school is back on and we see each more on a regular basis, Minnesota's team will try to talk about a potential tryout for the HSAPQ All-Star thing soon.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by tl »

Tryouts would definitely be strange. There doesn't seem to be a great criteria for judging individuals with an aim of formulating a team when they are matched up against each other as opposed to being on a team. Some individuals might contribute more on bonuses or whatnot, or they might fill a niche. I know that it's not hard to just run a singles tournament and take the top 6 scorers, but somehow in the back of my mind that feels a bit flawed.

Also, I feel that the questions used should involve greater difficulty than normal HSAPQ packets, which in my experience, have been somewhat easy and perhaps prone to buzzer races among top teams. These concerns will probably be considered by the hosts, but I'm just putting them out there.

March already has MUT. So maybe a different weekend in March. Funding is also an issue, most likely the biggest one.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by David Riley »

If I may....check the Illinois and Ohio forums to see how we have handled this.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by theMoMA »

If the players are fine with turning over the decision to a consortium of college players, we'd be willing (speaking for myself here) to keep stats based on areas of the distribution and make a recommendation of the strongest team based not only on overall performance, but also based on coverage of various distributional areas, etc. I don't know exactly what the power structure of who decides who's on the team is, but we could at least make a recommendation, if not a binding decision.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by fizzball »

Hey, my nephew is a freshman at Anoka and joined the QB team. Are they a factor on the MNQB scene? I think they're technically a Knowledge Bowl team--are KB schools exclusive to that format?
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Important Bird Area »

nafitzgerald wrote:I actually remember a prevalence of some different types of lightning rounds, but I think it might be better to hold off on criticism of IS 89A until we have actual copies of the packets, so that we can say, "looking at the packets, I see that there were X geography lightning rounds, and that's too many" rather than "I seem to remember a lot of geography lightning rounds."
No need to wait, I'll just go ahead and post the distribution of the lightning rounds:

Science 6
Literature 5
History 5
Geography 5
Fine Arts 3
Sports 3
Pop Culture 3
Miscellaneous 24

We write a lot of miscellaneous lightning rounds (of the form "name these famous Germans" or "name these things that start with K") to try to prevent the lightning round from coming down to an all-or-nothing "does your team have a specialist in this subcategory?"
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by theMoMA »

fizzball wrote:Hey, my nephew is a freshman at Anoka and joined the QB team. Are they a factor on the MNQB scene? I think they're technically a Knowledge Bowl team--are KB schools exclusive to that format?
Knowledge Bowl doesn't require exclusive participation, though a lot of KB teams do not play quizbowl. This is usually because of some mixture of the coach not being familiar/comfortable with the format, not wanting to go to more events, or simply not knowing about the greater world of academic competition beyond KB.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Strongside »

theMoMA wrote:
fizzball wrote:Hey, my nephew is a freshman at Anoka and joined the QB team. Are they a factor on the MNQB scene? I think they're technically a Knowledge Bowl team--are KB schools exclusive to that format?
Knowledge Bowl doesn't require exclusive participation, though a lot of KB teams do not play quizbowl. This is usually because of some mixture of the coach not being familiar/comfortable with the format, not wanting to go to more events, or simply not knowing about the greater world of academic competition beyond KB.
Yeah. What Andrew said is accurate. In general quiz bowl is dominated largely by public schools in the west and south metro, several private schools, some public schools in Minneapolis/St. Paul, as well as some first ring northern suburb schools.

Schools in the Anoka-Hennepin District, and that area in general tend not to be involved in quiz bowl, which is kind of unfortunate.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by OctagonJoe »

Quick SnowCAT results for the curious:

1. St. Thomas
2. DLS A
3. EP A
4. Blake A

Pretty solid showing from a lot of teams, although it's too bad Minnetonka decided they couldn't make it.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by tl »

I've decided that I'm not a fan of single-elimination.
Thoughts?
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by at your pleasure »

tl wrote:I've decided that I'm not a fan of single-elimination.
Thoughts?
I very much doubt anyone on this site is a fan of single-elimination.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man »

tl wrote:I've decided that I'm not a fan of single-elimination.
Thoughts?
Speaking of that, what happened in the round with DLS?
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by tl »

Doink the Clown wrote: I very much doubt anyone on this site is a fan of single-elimination.
Obvious. Unfortunately it continues to be prevalent.
der_ubermensch wrote: Speaking of that, what happened in the round with DLS?
The second half of the packet wasn't very good for us. Two pop culture questions and one geography question I believe comprised the last 3 or 4 tossups. DLS got them and they won. There were a few buzzer races at the end on some random questions as well. If NAQT had increased the distribution of academic (ie. lit/sci/hist) questions, moving them from the 21st-24th tossups into the first 20 and shifted some pop culture or general knowledge/common link stuff later, it would have been a better packet. Congrats on your win, btw.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by mtimmons »

Speaking of unusual formats, what is up with 18 question games? This is the second tournament this year in Minnesota featuring this (the first was EFT at Macalester). I question how much time it saves and how it affects the fairness of games. Also, it seems like at SnowCAT they could have switched one team from the bracket with seven teams to the one with five teams, which would have saved 2 rounds and been easier, faster, and fairer than the shorter games. Also a rebracket into 6 4-team brackets would have been preferable to single elimination. And although there was a fair amount of trash, IS-90 seemed to be better than most other NAQT sets, so I commened NAQT for at least being somewhat responsive and improving things though I think more could be done.
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by GeneVan »

Speaking of unusual formats, what is up with 18 question games?
I don't understand this either. It obviously couldn't save enough time to justify its use and even if it did there was an hour and a half lunch which totally unnecessary.
Austin Wilder

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Cheynem
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Cheynem »

The tournament at Macalester switched to 18/18 after lunch in an ill-advised attempt to recoup time. In my opinion, it saves little time and dramatically affects the outcome of games. I don't know why anybody would use it and implore people who have used it or are thinking of using it to not use it.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

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theMoMA
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by theMoMA »

I can't speak for SnowCAT, but the attempt at using 18-tossup matches at Macalester was a classic case of the hosts taking it out on the players when they caused their own tournament to run long.
Andrew Hart
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tl
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by tl »

mtimmons wrote:IS-90 seemed to be better than most other NAQT sets.
I agree. It was pretty good in the prelims. What I felt was that a lot of the power markings were inconsistent. Some named dropped famous works early in power, while others did not reward players for deep knowledge and were pretty much impossible to power.
Tony Leng
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by Important Bird Area »

tl wrote:What I felt was that a lot of the power markings were inconsistent. Some named dropped famous works early in power, while others did not reward players for deep knowledge and were pretty much impossible to power.
Please feel free to email me the details; we'll be happy to fix it (or at least "keep this in mind when you powermark IS #94).
Jeff Hoppes
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by mtimmons »

Also, looking at stats one thing I saw was the round 4 had very low conversion across the board at SnowCat. No room converted more than 15 tossups, which even though there were only 18 tossups read is still pretty low. It seemed like across the board teams just failed to put up many points that round. In my room, for example, only half of the tossups were converted and that's what I averaged alone in other rounds.
Max Timmons
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by DLSqb10 »

Are we all done with league play now?
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man »

DLSqb10 wrote:Are we all done with league play now?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3-eavMSBnk
Alex Gerten
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by DLSqb10 »

Hahaha, I enjoyed that....so it begins
Losha Ndemeno-Tegomoh, DeLaSalle High School '10
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by mrichardquinn »

I wanted to remind you of Armstrong's pop culture tournament on 2/27/10. The original announcement is above in this forum.

Some updates:

Based on feedback from players and coaches, we will have 6 randomly sorted preliminary rounds from 9-12, lunch from 12-1, and 16 team single eliminations playoffs from 1-4 and scrimmaging available for those eliminated.

Please have coaches register by Sat 2/20

Our current field is:
-Athens (2)
-Hill-Murray (2)
-St. Thomas Academy (3)
-Mounds Park (3)
-Benilde-St. Margaret’s (4)
-Hopkins (2)
-Mound Westonka (2)
-Armstrong (2-4)
-Cooper (3-4)
-St. Agnes (expressed interest)
-Wayzata (expressed interest)
-Chaska (expressed interest)

I have gotten a few questions about what kind of questions we will be asking, here is the distribution system we used to write the packets.
Per packet- toss ups / bonuses will be divided by these categories:
3: Television- (shows/actors/characters)
3: Film- (films/actors/characters)
3: Music- (artists/bands/songs)
3: Celebrities- (US weekly/People/TMZ/Tabloids)
3: Sports- (teams/athletes/emphasis on major sports)
2: Consumer culture- (ads/products/fads/fashion/trends/video games)
1: Popular literature- (books/comics/graphic novels)
1: Internet- (facebook/myspace/viral videos)
1: Miscellaneous- (stuff that doesn't fit well into above categories)

Hope to see you there, we're looking forward to it.

-Matt Quinn
-Armstrong Quiz Bowl Coach
Matt Quinn
Armstrong Quiz Bowl Coach 2000-2016
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by gaurav.kandlikar »

League playoffs happened last Thursday, and if I remember the results of the 3rd place game correctly, the standings were:

1) EP
2) St. Thomas
3) Chaska
4) St. Louis Park

The single elimination structure meant that teams like De La Salle and Central were out of the games pretty early, which was unfortunate. Though it doesn't affect me personally, I still think that tweaking the playoffs structure for next year's games would be a good idea, as would finding a way to use harder questions for the games. I heard complaints from multiple teams and coaches on Thursday about the set, and I continue to think that A sets are not a good way to differentiate between the top few teams in the state.

Hope to see all of you guys at future tournaments.

Gaurav
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Re: Minnesota '09-'10

Post by mtimmons »

Yeah as Gaurav said and people have been saying for a while the playoff structure is terrible. Not only is it single elimination but very poorly brackted single elimination at that. While one quaterfinal match saw the two highest scoring teams by ppg in prelims play another saw Blake and SLP both fairly good teams but neither top 4 in state. The SLP example is particulary frusturating as they beat no top teams thoughrout the entire season, lost twice to both EP and Chaksa and finished fourth for De La Salle and Central a single loss to EP or Chaska knocked them out of the quatefinals. More legit questions would also help immensly. Lightning rounds are particulary frusturating as they not really quiz bowl but can decide games. Some suggestions for next year would be to run either the entire league or just playoffs on IS level questions, eliminate lightning rounds, redo the playoff bracket so East 1 doesn't play West 2 and East 2 doesn't play West 1 in quaterfinals, and to make playoffs double elimination.
Max Timmons
St. Paul Central High School 2012
MIT 2016
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