Here's the announcement. The difficulty we're going for here is roughly NAQT IS; you should err on the side of easier for Regionals and harder for States. If you have any questions feel free to ask Cathy, myself (brian at briansaxton dot org) or any other member of the OAC committee.
The OAC Committee wrote:The Ohio Academic Competition Executive Committee is accepting bids for questions in the OAC format for the 2010 regional and state tournaments. The tournaments will be held April 24, 2010,and May 1, 2010, and require a total of 10 sets of questions for the regional tournaments, and 8 sets for the state finals, plus four sets of tie-breakers. A set of questions is defined as three questions with answers provided in each of the following categories: American Literature, Mathematics, World History, Fine Arts, Life Sciences, World Literature, U.S. Government/Economics, Physical Sciences, World Geography, and U.S. History; plus twenty alphabet round questions with answer sheet, and twenty lightning round questions and answers. A set of tie-breakers is defined as 5 lightning round questions and answers. The winning bidder will be required to deliver the questions to me by March 15, 2010.
Please submit a full set (one round) of questions to Cathy Mullins ([email protected] dot edu; remove the *NOSPAM*) along with your required fee, by December 1, 2009. The sample round doesn't have to be pristine but does have to be in OAC format. The winning bidder will be notified by December 14, 2009.
To assist you in preparing your bid, I have attached a question writing guide created by a member of the OAC executive committee (copied below). Also, please refer to the OAC webpage for more information on the format.
Thank you for your interest!
OAC Question Writing Guide wrote: Category Rounds
• Each of the questions in a category set should follow a general theme (e.g., works of a certain author, physical laws dealing with a certain concept, etc.).
• It is imperative that team questions represent the same level of difficulty within each category. In addition, knowing the answer to the first team’s question should not make the second team’s task markedly easier.
• Questions with a clearly defined set of three answers, such that it is easy to guess what the tossup answer will be before it is asked, are strongly discouraged. This also applies to team questions that ask for two works by an author, followed by the name of the author for the tossup.
• Since each part can be guessed as many as three times, multiple choice questions add a substantial element of chance to the game and are strongly discouraged.
• As far as generally possible, the categories within a match should be the same general level of difficulty. Violating this rule can disadvantage teams that specialize in particular categories; e.g., a team with science specialists is uniquely disadvantaged if the science categories are much harder than the rest of the match and no one scores any points on them.
• Team questions should contain at least two uniquely identifying clues and ideally should be no longer than two lines in 11 point Times New Roman.
• Tossups should consist of at least six uniquely identifying buzzable clues, arranged in order of difficulty from hardest to easiest. Vague clues (e.g., about styles of works) that apply to more than one possible answer should not be used. Limit tossups to less than six lines in 11 point TNR. The tossup should point to the answer from the first clue; questions that take sharp turns in subject matter or unduly invite incorrect early buzzes are strictly forbidden.
• Questions should represent academic content (i.e, literature categories on currently popular, non-literary authors, fine arts categories on recent films, and government categories on Jon Stewart and The Onion are not recommended.) This sort of thing unduly devalues the knowledge of teams with specialists in certain areas.
• Questions which give an advantage to teams from one area of Ohio over another are strongly discouraged, particularly in the State set.
• Team questions should be answered by about 50-60% of the field. Tossups should be answered by 75-90% of teams if read all the way through.
• Obviously, all the answers in an alphabet round should begin with the same letter.
• Try to contain the questions to one page.
• If regnal number or full name is required, that should be specified in the question. Since prompting is obviously impossible in a worksheet round, teams should be warned in advance if they must specify more than the usual amount of information to distinguish their answer.
• An alphabet round should generally have three difficulty gradations:
o Six easy questions (that 90% of the field should get)
o Eight medium questions (targeting 50% of the field)
o Six hard questions (requiring specialist knowledge, targeting 20% of the field)
• Hence, the average conversion of the alphabet round should be about 10-11. 20’s should be rare but not unheard of, and the top few teams should average around 15-17 throughout a tournament.
• It is good to include an extra obscure clue to increase learning, but most (not necessarily all) of the alphabet round questions should fit on one line of 11 point TNR.
• The alphabet round should be distributed roughly as follows:
o 3-4 Science including math (no math calculation)
o 3-4 History
o 3-4 Literature
o 2-3 Fine Arts
o 2-3 Rel/Myth/Phil, emphasizing myth
o 1-2 Social Science
o 1-2 Geography
o 1-2 Trash/GK
In general, the lightning round questions should follow the earlier-elucidated rules for tossups, except shorter; they should be around 2 lines of 11 point TNR and include 2-3 uniquely identifying buzzable clues arranged pyramidally. The lightning round should follow the same distribution earlier identified for the alphabet round. The average team should be able to answer 15 of the lightning round questions if they played the round against empty chairs.