Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

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cvdwightw
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Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by cvdwightw »

Chris's post reminded me that we did, in fact, have a good discussion about rules as recently as last year's discussion about the creator-creation rule. Unfortunately, the discussion sort of petered out before anyone really did anything about one of the last posts in the thread:
Coelacanth wrote:What's the solution? It's fairly obvious to me. Get rid of the creator/creation rule altogether. It's obsolete. Modern question-writing standards are such that the ambiguities it was designed to address no longer exist. Pretty much all author tossups say "this author" in the first few words; similarly, you will always see "this novel" or "this poem" or "this work". There's no need for the player to give both pieces of information because the question has already made clear which one it is looking for.
I think that Brian Weikle (in the quoted post) and Matt Jackson (in an earlier post in the thread) make a fairly compelling argument that the creator-creation rule is a relic from a time in which bad question writing permeated the landscape. The creator-creation rule and similar blitz rules seem to be useful for only two things: (1) avoiding penalizing a player who recognizes a concrete clue before any indication of the category of answer is given; (2) awarding points to a player who isn't paying attention and doesn't know the category of the answer when buzzing.

Community consensus that "Attention Must Be Paid!" seems to undermine any arguments in favor of (2), and good question writing seems to undermine any arguments in favor of (1). In addition, a number of increasingly inane examples (culminating in "staph, Stephen Hawking, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, bumblebee") showed how blitz rules tend to break down when a moderator has imperfect knowledge of the answer.

I would like to hear other people's arguments in favor of either keeping the blitz rules or eliminating them altogether.
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by dtaylor4 »

When a player buzzes in, the player should have the right to think out loud before directing an answer towards the moderator.

The issue I see is when a player goes on for more than the allotted five seconds.

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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

What are we supposed to gain by making this change, exactly? It seems like it would only result in players getting negged for knowing the clue, but saying the wrong thing because they missed a pronoun. I agree that "attention must be paid," but there have to be limits. For one thing, it's nice to be able to tell newer players that if they've missed a pronoun (something very easy to do when you haven't been playing for five years,) they can blitz and still get it right. Moreover, there are plenty of sets whose infrequent or ambiguous use of pronouns makes them difficult to play even for experienced players. Right now, the blitz rule helps to alleviate that problem. A rule change, however, would apply equally to every set, no matter how confusing the questions. In an ideal world, maybe there would be no need for this rule. Even now most players don't use it more than once or twice a tournament, if that. However, it does serve to help players receive points for good knowledge when they might not have otherwise, potentially not even for reasons that were their fault. I just don't think that eliminating the blitz rule would give us anything in return to make up for that.
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by Auroni »

Yeah, Matt is absolutely correct here. This is a matter of empathy for the player. Attention must be paid, but it's often very hard to pay that attention when a large number of questions every year don't lucidly and repeatedly specify what they are looking for.
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

If anything is a "relic of the past", it is the attitude that we should have strict rules about what a player can acceptably do after buzzing. In every other way, we are giving the player more freedom: getting rid of recognition rules, being more aggressive about listing alternate or promptable answers, emphasizing that pronunciation doesn't count, and now even considering an "anti-prompt". Getting rid of the blitz seems like a step backwards into the dark ages.
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by grapesmoker »

Even as someone who thinks you should be paying attention I don't see any problem with the blitz rule. This is a non-issue.
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I similarly disapprove of getting rid of blitzes, there's no reason to make it harder to correctly answer questions.
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen »

cvdwightw wrote:
Coelacanth wrote:What's the solution? It's fairly obvious to me. Get rid of the creator/creation rule altogether. It's obsolete. Modern question-writing standards are such that the ambiguities it was designed to address no longer exist. Pretty much all author tossups say "this author" in the first few words; similarly, you will always see "this novel" or "this poem" or "this work". There's no need for the player to give both pieces of information because the question has already made clear which one it is looking for.
I think that Brian Weikle (in the quoted post) and Matt Jackson (in an earlier post in the thread) make a fairly compelling argument that the creator-creation rule is a relic from a time in which bad question writing permeated the landscape. The creator-creation rule and similar blitz rules seem to be useful for only two things: (1) avoiding penalizing a player who recognizes a concrete clue before any indication of the category of answer is given; (2) awarding points to a player who isn't paying attention and doesn't know the category of the answer when buzzing.
Would saying something like "Dante's Inferno" or "Handel's Messiah" then be unacceptable?

Along similar lines, how wrong (both according to current or hypothetical rules and in people's opinion) would it be to give the answer "H.G. Wells' Invisible Man"? If I say the author, I've demonstrated that I have the knowledge to disambiguate between the two works that the "obligatory 'the'" rule is designed to make me disambiguate. (Plus, most determiners don't co-occur in English, so it's a more natural thing to say anyway.) Obviously, saying "Invisible Man…(pause)…BY H.G. WELLS" isn't good; that would be like correcting yourself (and since there's no possessive construction there, you couldn't fall back on the double determiner defense). But if I demonstrate the knowledge of which "Invisible Man" it is without being prompted (or starting to say the wrong one and then correcting myself), then is there any other reason not to hold this answer to the same standard as the vast majority of things with leading articles?

By the same token, what about "Faulkner's Hamlet"?
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by dtaylor4 »

Distance model wrote:
cvdwightw wrote:
Coelacanth wrote:What's the solution? It's fairly obvious to me. Get rid of the creator/creation rule altogether. It's obsolete. Modern question-writing standards are such that the ambiguities it was designed to address no longer exist. Pretty much all author tossups say "this author" in the first few words; similarly, you will always see "this novel" or "this poem" or "this work". There's no need for the player to give both pieces of information because the question has already made clear which one it is looking for.
I think that Brian Weikle (in the quoted post) and Matt Jackson (in an earlier post in the thread) make a fairly compelling argument that the creator-creation rule is a relic from a time in which bad question writing permeated the landscape. The creator-creation rule and similar blitz rules seem to be useful for only two things: (1) avoiding penalizing a player who recognizes a concrete clue before any indication of the category of answer is given; (2) awarding points to a player who isn't paying attention and doesn't know the category of the answer when buzzing.
Would saying something like "Dante's Inferno" or "Handel's Messiah" then be unacceptable?

Along similar lines, how wrong (both according to current or hypothetical rules and in people's opinion) would it be to give the answer "H.G. Wells' Invisible Man"? If I say the author, I've demonstrated that I have the knowledge to disambiguate between the two works that the "obligatory 'the'" rule is designed to make me disambiguate. (Plus, most determiners don't co-occur in English, so it's a more natural thing to say anyway.) Obviously, saying "Invisible Man…(pause)…BY H.G. WELLS" isn't good; that would be like correcting yourself (and since there's no possessive construction there, you couldn't fall back on the double determiner defense). But if I demonstrate the knowledge of which "Invisible Man" it is without being prompted (or starting to say the wrong one and then correcting myself), then is there any other reason not to hold this answer to the same standard as the vast majority of things with leading articles?

By the same token, what about "Faulkner's Hamlet"?
As long as there's no immediate pause, I would accept them without hesitation. The clear distinction is made, so I see no issue.

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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by bmcke »

I've never seen a new or casual player actually use the blitz rule. To make the rules generous, at least at beginner levels, I'd rather be allowed to prompt on answers that are just the wrong category. When someone gets negged for naming work instead of author, for instance, it's often just that they were nervous or that they weren't expecting to answer the tossup. This would fly in the face of attention-must-be-paid, but it would help prevent new players from getting discouraged.
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by Ben Dillon »

Aren't we starting to slice really thinly the line between blitzing and providing harmless extra information? If I respond "Franklin Delano Roosevelt" instead of just "Franklin Roosevelt", is that blitzing? If I give the creator along with the creation, does the moderator need to decide whether the player was trying to buy time and/or trying to ignore the given preposition?

Shouldn't this whole thing work on the principle of "player provided the correct answer with no extra incorrect information within the allotted time"? If so, the creator/creation rule doesn't need to exist as a separate entity.

So, a followup: Suppose a player provides extra incorrect information, such as "Poe's Thanatopsis". Should it be incumbent on the second player to correct that extra info? It is on "Jeopardy", but of course we're not bound by game show rules :)
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by grapesmoker »

Ben Dillon wrote:Shouldn't this whole thing work on the principle of "player provided the correct answer with no extra incorrect information within the allotted time"? If so, the creator/creation rule doesn't need to exist as a separate entity.
That's an excellent way of putting it.
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by JamesIV »

bmcke wrote:To make the rules generous, at least at beginner levels, I'd rather be allowed to prompt on answers that are just the wrong category. When someone gets negged for naming work instead of author, for instance, it's often just that they were nervous or that they weren't expecting to answer the tossup. This would fly in the face of attention-must-be-paid, but it would help prevent new players from getting discouraged.
I don't think this makes sense, and I think there's a difference between this and blitzing. If the tossup is on The Canterbury Tales, the case could be made that "The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer" is an answer with some extra, but, crucially, correct, information. I would argue that it could almost be considered an extended form of the title of the work.

But, to say that someone could simply answer "The Canterbury Tales" and be prompted, when the answer lines reads "Geoffrey Chaucer" seems nonsensical to me. It's not so much a question of "Attention-Must-Be-Paid," so much as a question of a blatantly incorrect answer. The Canterbury Tales did not write Troilus and Criseyde, etc. I don't think the reverse would work, either. I couldn't see prompting on "Geoffrey Chaucer" for one of his works. Geoffrey Chaucer" is not a collection of stories told by a group of pilgrims on their way to a titular shrine.

The only exception I could see would be if the entire tossup for "Geoffrey Chaucer" was based on The Canterbury Tales, although even then I would hope the question had made it clear that the author was wanted, and not a work.
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by DumbJaques »

Yeah, it seems like this has been thoroughly shot down but just in case people are still on the fence: This is a terrible idea, blitz rules are fine, and getting rid of them serves beyond no purpose except perhaps to protect us all from the haunting specter of all those times we've been in a game and someone has buzzed in and mixed in the correct answer among four unrelated, randomly generated nouns.

There are some rule changes we should actually enact because there have been numerous situations in which people have been unfairly punished for knowing things. We do not need to worry about rule changes for absurd fictional situations, even if said rule changes might theoretically make sense in a dystopian alternate reality. I mean, if we used the devolution guns from the Super Mario Bros movie to make those tiny-headed dinosaur things, they'd technically be eligible under the rules provided they're working towards a degree. . . but I don't think we really need to petition ACF to protect us from this dire, looming threat.
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by cvdwightw »

grapesmoker wrote:
Ben Dillon wrote:Shouldn't this whole thing work on the principle of "player provided the correct answer with no extra incorrect information within the allotted time"? If so, the creator/creation rule doesn't need to exist as a separate entity.
That's an excellent way of putting it.
Fair enough. I also think this is a good way of putting things.
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Re: Rule Amendment Proposal: Eliminate Blitz Rules

Post by Sima Guang Hater »

cvdwightw wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
Ben Dillon wrote:Shouldn't this whole thing work on the principle of "player provided the correct answer with no extra incorrect information within the allotted time"? If so, the creator/creation rule doesn't need to exist as a separate entity.
That's an excellent way of putting it.
Fair enough. I also think this is a good way of putting things.
I third this.
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