Scobol Solo Distro

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Scobol Solo Distro

Post by Stained Diviner »

Here are my current thoughts on the distribution for Scobol Solo next year:
4 Science (Bio, Chem, Phys, Other)
4 Lit (US -1900, US 1900-, British, World)
4 History (US -1900, US 1900-, European, World)
3 Math (curricular conceptual, extracurricular conceptual, computational)
2 Fine Arts (Art/Architecture, Music)
1 Religion/Mythology
1 Social Science/Philosophy
1 Current Events/Geography

The math depends on whether Jonah, I, and a few others can come up with 40 noncomputational math tossups. The current thinking is that we would write 20 that a person could answer by the giveaway if they paid attention in courses through standard Precalc and 20 that involve Calculus, Statistics, and topics that are not necessarily covered by the standard high school curriculum. Anybody have any idea on whether or not we'll be able to pull that off? (Please don't mention potential answers, since the last thing we need is to lose potential answers.) There would still be one computational math question per round, which is down from the three that there have always been in the past. This is my decision--I believe that computational math has some value. To some extent, this will be an experiment to see if a tournament can have an amount of math that is proportional to its place in the high school curriculum while keeping most of the math noncomputational.

I also am not sure whether my breakdowns of Lit and History are ideal and would appreciate feedback on that. Keep in mind that most of the questions need to be easy based on the fact that it is a solo tournament that draws a wide variety of skill levels.

For the sake of comparison, last year's tournament had 3.5 Science (depending on the content of the Geography/Earth Science/Astronomy question), 3 Lit (US, Brit, World), 3 History (US, European, World), 3 Math (pretty much all computational), 2 Fine Arts, 1 Religion/Mythology, 1 Nonfiction, 1 Interdisciplinary, 1 Vocabulary, 1 Current Events, and 0.5 Geography.

Also, the tournament will be mirrored at PORTA, since it filled here last year and there seems to be interest from people in Central Illinois who want to play a full-day solo tournament but don't want to drive four hours for it. Anybody else outside Illinois can mirror it, and I will make it easy for those mirrors to remove the computational math if they want to--they can just go with 19 question rounds or insert their own question in each round. I believe that the question quality in general has improved each year, and my goal is for that to keep happening. I welcome any volunteer who wants to help me with the questions.
David Reinstein
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by Boeing X-20, Please! »

Westwon wrote:Here are my current thoughts on the distribution for Scobol Solo next year:
4 Lit (US -1900, US 1900-, British, World)
4 History (US -1900, US 1900-, European, World)

I also am not sure whether my breakdowns of Lit and History are ideal and would appreciate feedback on that. Keep in mind that most of the questions need to be easy based on the fact that it is a solo tournament that draws a wide variety of skill levels.
For History, I think that it would be best to just have the 4th TU rotate between the 3 categories you had before (i.e. 1.33/0 each US Euro and World). According to STATS, World Lit is only converted by about a 1/4 of the field, so I would propose making it 1.5 each US and Brit and 1 World.
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by kayli »

I think the non-comp math part is plausible. I'll help write some questions if you want.
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by jdeliverer »

What kind of tossup conversion across the board are you looking for? I've noticed that your answer space seems somewhat more inclusive than many other high school tournaments. You'll probably be hard-pressed to find 40 tossups with minimal repeats year-to-year if you want to have over 60% conversion, but really even a 40% conversion rate would be a step up from the computation.
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by bcarbery »

Will the categories be announced before every question and have the same order for every round?

I agree with Nolan on the History and Lit distros.
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by Stained Diviner »

I'd like to get the conversion over 60%. 30 of the 40 questions need to be easy, since the others will be used as Championship, Replacement, and Tiebreaker questions.

The categories probably will continue to be announced and in the same order each round, as they have been in the past, which is a consequence of having category champions. When somebody figures out a way to have the tallying done by computer, which probably won't happen by next year, then I'll be able to mix the order and not announce the categories.
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by jonah »

Westwon wrote:The categories probably will continue to be announced and in the same order each round, as they have been in the past, which is a consequence of having category champions. When somebody figures out a way to have the tallying done by computer, which probably won't happen by next year, then I'll be able to mix the order and not announce the categories.
I might do this over the summer. A higher priority is getting a real job, as well as actually writing some questions.
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by CometCoach72 »

Any proposed date for your tournament or the mirror?
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by Stained Diviner »

They'll both be November 20.
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by Stained Diviner »

So as not to take a more interesting thread further afield, the current projected Scobol Solo distro for next year is US History, European History, World History, Military History, US Literature, British Literature, World Literature, Poetry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Other Science, Art/Architecture, Music, Religion/Mythology, Social Science/Philosophy, Current Events/Geography, Curricular Math, Extracurricular Math, and TBD. The math will all be noncomputational. TBD will be a third noncomp math question, Interdisciplinary, or the splitting of Current Events and Geography, and it will be announced long before the tournament takes place.

Anybody interested in helping to write the math should contact Jonah--work has already begun. Anybody interested in writing other things should contact me. Writers will not be paid.

I am now optimistic that our tallying system will be worked out this year to allow the categories to be in a random order, meaning that categories will not be announced for each question but that we will still be able to award ribbons and track stats in all twenty categories. (I think it would be interesting if other tournaments were able to figure out a way to track stats in each of the big three categories, but that's probably a topic for another thread and would add work to already overworked TD's/statskeepers.)
David Reinstein
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by Auks Ran Ova »

Just out of curiosity, what's your thinking behind the divisions of history and literature? Singling out "military history" and "poetry" is certainly nonstandard; I'm just wondering what made you do that.
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by jonah »

Ukonvasara wrote:Just out of curiosity, what's your thinking behind the divisions of history and literature? Singling out "military history" and "poetry" is certainly nonstandard; I'm just wondering what made you do that.
Answering on behalf of Reinstein—four history and four literature questions make sense. We do category awards for the person/people who answer the most questions in a given category, which requires that there be twenty distinct categories. The natural divisions of history are world, Euro, and US; and the three natural divisions of lit are world, Brit, and US; and there's no natural way to make four divisions out of each of those, so Reinstein came up with military and poetry as a best attempt. I would've liked to see the history be world, Euro, US through reconstruction, and US after reconstruction, but Reinstein rejected that idea; and I didn't have anything better to suggest for literature. I'm sure he would like to hear other suggestions that make four distinct categories out of each of history and literature.

Speaking on behalf of myself, there is no way the TBD will be a third noncomp math. I would like to see the fine arts be expanded from two to three, with the divisions being painting, classical music, and other (evenly split between architecture/sculpture and other classical music like opera).
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

I would be surprised if too many people were bothered by US, British, European, world lit. I'd probably seek to divide Euro, rather than US, into two categories (perhaps by date, perhaps by location).
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by Huang »

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:I would be surprised if too many people were bothered by US, British, European, world lit. I'd probably seek to divide Euro, rather than US, into two categories (perhaps by date, perhaps by location).
Maybe ancient history could work?
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

Huang wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:I would be surprised if too many people were bothered by US, British, European, world lit. I'd probably seek to divide Euro, rather than US, into two categories (perhaps by date, perhaps by location).
Maybe ancient history could work?
Or ancient + pre-Renaissance Europe.
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by jonah »

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:I would be surprised if too many people were bothered by US, British, European, world lit. I'd probably seek to divide Euro, rather than US, into two categories (perhaps by date, perhaps by location).
I would agree for a regular tournament, but Solo has 128 players, many of whom are frankly quite bad. I think 2/0 non-US/Brit would be a conversion disaster. Poetry, on the other hand, is pretty accessible. I'm not saying I love the split as it is—I don't—but I don't think your proposal is the way to go.
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by Stained Diviner »

Last year's conversion stats are here. I think that 1 European Lit and 1 World Lit per round would probably be a bad idea for a regular level high school tournament and a disaster for this one, though it could work fine for more difficult tournaments.

Jonah's reasons above are basically the ones I am using. This tournament does not use a standard distribution because it uses 20 different categories that are each 1/0. Last year, when I wasn't sticking to a strict distribution for these unusual categories, 13 of the 60 History questions I wrote were Military History, and 12 of the 60 Literature questions I wrote were Poetry. I figured that it wouldn't be too much of a change this year to write 20 out of 80 History as Military History and 20 out of 80 Literature as Poetry.
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by Auks Ran Ova »

jonah wrote:the three natural divisions of lit are world, Brit, and US; and there's no natural way to make four divisions out of each of those
Well, pretty much every other tournament under the sun (mACF tournament, that is) uses US, Brit, Euro, and world (or world/ancient, due to answer space issues), but I certainly understand the issues filling out Euro and world -- which, on the other hand, might be mitigated for this tournament since it's tossups-only.
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Re: Scobol Solo Distro

Post by Kwang the Ninja »

I think as far as difficulty goes, European lit is significantly easier for players unfamiliar with the quizbowl canon (which I assume is the demographic you are aiming for) than world lit, simply because you have topics (such as Don Quixote, Candide, War and Peace) that are firmly ingrained within the traditional Western (non-quizbowl) canon, and that most educated people should be familiar with.
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