Tournament Discussion

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Cheynem
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Cheynem »

I'm glad you think I have culinary knowledge, but I certainly wasn't buzzing there, I was reading.

For the record, I hate most food questions, but that's because I don't eat things.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by mtimmons »

Tanay wrote:
mtimmons wrote:There seemed to a general lack of economics questions in this tournament as well.
Amartya Sen, national debt, trusts, demand, Paul Samuelson, Malthus, GDP, and firms are all things I can find on the answer document. Of the 36 social science questions, 8 of them are economics, meaning it made up about 22% of all social science. You may have ended up playing fewer of the packets that had economics questions.
That makes sense. I think I heard about half of these. I thought the Amartya Sen question was philosophy as well.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Auroni »

mtimmons wrote: On the Diamond tossup I wonder if there might be better clues for Peter Diamond than MIT economist who won the Nobel in 2010 as that says nothing about why he is known and I'm not sure how helpful the MIT clue is in distinguishing Diamond from Mortenson and Pissarides for non-MIT students. There seemed to a general lack of economics questions in this tournament as well.
Is he not best known for his work with search economies? Also, as Tanay pointed out, more than a fifth of this tournament's social science (which I would love feedback on! I tried to deviate from the quizbowl norm in this category in hopefully interesting ways) was econ. Also, I take full responsibility for the falsifiability tossup, which had ambiguous clues and resulted in protests at many sites. I will post further about this question in a bit.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Chimango Caracara »

As others have said, I thought this tournament was easier than "regular difficulty." Since an easier tournament was Auroni's intent, I respect that outcome and I think he and the other editors did an okay job being consistent about difficulty, although many bonuses handed most teams 20 points and a good chunk of those had much easier hard parts than others. However, I think that making a tournament billed as regular difficulty "too easy" makes it harder to distinguish between teams. At our site, for example, most of the teams had very similar records rather than producing a gradation of wins.

It seems like a lot of people prefer shorter questions, but I think you lose a lot of context on both tossups and bonuses when you cut out extra information. At this tournament, most bonuses seemed fine in this respect, but it seemed like many tossups could have used some more middle clues.

Some people are comparing this tournament favorably to VCU Closed, but I think I preferred the latter since it had a few more creative questions. A lot of questions at this tournament felt a bit perfunctory (although there were some interesting outliers like peaches in mythology, Maitreya, paintings of Alexander the Great and Blowup.

I don't think that tournaments should have more earth science/astronomy than chemistry, but it certainly seemed like this one did. Can we move on from the silly reducing chemistry in the distribution thing? No one wants to reduce physics and most physics questions are on a few fundamental concepts. In my opinion, there are more things to write about in chemistry.

I'm glad that the Auden tossup was apparently changed to avoid the buzzer races that seem to happen on most Auden tossups, especially since the new leadin was from one of my favorite poems.

The Editors 4/VCU packet had interesting history questions.

I liked the idea of the temperature biology question. In general I liked that the biology wasn't very disease-centric, and there were some cool questions on animals.

I liked the bonus on poetry about fruit.

I think Persepolis was my favorite answerline of the tournament.

I don't think The Rope should be in power for Plautus, and I don't think Too Late the Phalarope should be anything but the second-to-last clue before Cry, The Beloved Country for Paton.

The Empire State Building question seemed extremely transparent.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by mtimmons »

Tokyo Sex Whale wrote:
mtimmons wrote: On the Diamond tossup I wonder if there might be better clues for Peter Diamond than MIT economist who won the Nobel in 2010 as that says nothing about why he is known and I'm not sure how helpful the MIT clue is in distinguishing Diamond from Mortenson and Pissarides for non-MIT students. There seemed to a general lack of economics questions in this tournament as well.
Is he not best known for his work with search economies? .
Was that work described later in the question? If so never mind. I'm under the impression that the other thing he is known for is being rejected by Senate Republicans for a Federal Reserve post.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Auroni »

I suppose I'll take a moment to respond to people calling this tournament "easier than regular difficulty." I envisioned this tournament as representative of what regular difficulty college quizbowl should look like: tossup answers on a bell-curve difficulty, bonuses following the 90-50-10 model, and meaningful games between teams of all skill levels. Obviously, this was incredibly imperfectly realized; looking at the set as I was actually moderating yesterday, I did remember thinking to myself "yeah, that's probably a gimme 20" or "man this packet probably had too many hard tossups." But still, I think we produced a set that still distinguished between the best players; I only noticed a couple of first line or first clue buzzes all day and none of the much-feared buzzer races on the first clue that people predicted to be endemic to short tossups. Of course, my evidence for this is all anecdotal.

I capped every tossup question at 7 lines and every bonus part at 2. There were a few questions that slipped under the cracks, but I was a real hard-ass about enforcing this. For one major and one minor reason, essentially: I've noticed in many questions, a lot of clues use really torturous, sometimes confusing, often unnecessary phrasings that could be instead replaced by something way simpler. I cut a lot of these phrasings to get questions within the limit, and I think the set was that much more readable for moderators because of that. The minor reason is that I thought that seven lines of clues was more aesthetically satisfactory to me specifically. I didn't mean this cap to be prescriptive for future writers/editors; I love clue-dense questions as much as anyone else. If you want to use 8 or 9 lines, then be my guest.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling »

Tokyo Sex Whale wrote:Also, I take full responsibility for the falsifiability tossup, which had ambiguous clues and resulted in protests at many sites. I will post further about this question in a bit.
I should clarify that I was the one who wrote that tossup, and I didn't realize that the "swan" clue would be such a hose for induction. I did a bit more research, and I realized that even the previous clue about Hempel's Raven Paradox could also be construed as a clue for induction since the problem of induction and falsifiability as conceived by Karl Popper are so inextricably bound. I don't think saying "it's not induction" at the beginning of that line would necessarily solve the problem, either, since it would perhaps make it too transparent.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by at your pleasure »

Could someone post the somewhat discussed tapestries question?
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Chimango Caracara »

Kuandian Manchu Autonomous County wrote:Could someone post the somewhat discussed tapestries question?
UVA wrote:16. A piece of art in this medium contains the letters “A E,” representing Anne of Brittany’s motto “A ma vie,” emblazoning a central fountain surrounded by animals. In France, Beauvais and Gobelins were the main sites of their manufacture. John D. Rockefeller bought seven of them from the La Rochefoucauld family, illustrating the Hunt of the Unicorn. Pope Leo X commissioned Raphael to create a set of 10 designs for these works, including The Miraculous Draught of Fishes and The Sacrifice at Lystra, known as his (*) “cartoons.” A more famous one includes a depiction of Bishop Odo and shows an English king taking an arrow out of his eye. For 10 points, name these works of colorful threads woven together on a loom, such as the “Bayeux” one.
ANSWER: a tapestry
On an unrelated note, after playing the rest of the tournament's packets at practice, I was a lot happier overall with the set. A lot of the submitted packets had questions I liked.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Fond du lac operon »

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:I would also like to thank the editor of the math questions for writing properly structured math tossups with clues that we learn in class - I felt this was the most solid set of math tossups in quite some time.
As the guy who keeps saying "people should write better math tossups" (which Marshall Steinbaum may or may not have interpreted as "MATH ALL PACKET EVERY PACKET") I'll second this -- this tournament had genuinely important things for early clues in a lot of the math questions, and there were I believe only one or two instances of boring common-link tossups on words like "normal" or "simple" or whatever. So, yeah, if you want a model for how to write math, you could do a hell of a lot worse than this tournament.

I do think that maybe a few too many of the bonuses were "standard-issue quizbowl", as when my easyish-but-kind-of-interesting bonus part on birdsong in music got replaced by a part on "Pines of Rome" with totally predictable "Pines of Rome" clues. But this is a minor quibble (as is the "this one tossup on falsification sucked!" thread, honestly -- it did suck, but it's one tossup.) Overall, I really liked the tournament, and hope to see more excellent tournaments from the Berkeley and/or OSU folks in the future.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley »

This tournament was fun. I liked the modern world stuff for the most part and the science history. There were more clunkers than I would have liked (Empire State Building comes immediately to mind), but not enough to ruin the experience.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Unicolored Jay »

Fond du lac operon wrote:
I do think that maybe a few too many of the bonuses were "standard-issue quizbowl", as when my easyish-but-kind-of-interesting bonus part on birdsong in music got replaced by a part on "Pines of Rome" with totally predictable "Pines of Rome" clues. But this is a minor quibble (as is the "this one tossup on falsification sucked!" thread, honestly -- it did suck, but it's one tossup.) Overall, I really liked the tournament, and hope to see more excellent tournaments from the Berkeley and/or OSU folks in the future.
I had to change that bonus some because it was a repeat with a Messiaen tossup I wrote. Empire State Building is also my fault; I wasn't sure how it would play at all since I don't really have any knowledge about it. What exactly made it transparent/bad?
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Sam »

Fond du lac operon wrote:I believe only one or two instances of boring common-link tossups on words like "normal" or "simple" or whatever. So, yeah, if you want a model for how to write math, you could do a hell of a lot worse than this tournament.
Answer lines like these allow the question to ask about math at different levels and equally importantly, in different subfields. The tossup on the totient function, for example, seemed pyramidal and had interesting clues, but if you don't know number theory you're not going to get it early regardless of however much other math you know. It goes without saying this isn't specific to math questions, although I think the reuse of many terms makes it work especially well there.

This was a well written tournament that I enjoyed playing. One thing that did strike me was the variance between packets, at least at our site. Looking at round reports, bonus conversion ranged from just under 15 to over 21.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by ObsidianFoot »

So, I wanted to ask about two particular tossups:

I was somewhat annoyed by the Malta tossup, on which I buzzed with "Iceland" after hearing the leadin about Barbary corsairs abducting people from this nation as slaves. I was thinking about the Tyrkjaranid, in which Murat Reis enslaved about 400 Icelanders. Apparently, the Sinan Pasha mentioned in the tossup was not in Iceland, but is that really enough to eliminate Iceland as an answer? I"m thinking of the aforementioned Kievan Rus' question, which had to be further qualified, since The Tale of Bygone Years is too obscure to rule out Byzantium.

Also, on the Hague tossup, I negged with "London" on the clue which mentioned the German invasion of Belgium. The Schlieffen Plan violated Belgian neutrality, which was guaranteed by the final settlement on Belgian independence, the 1839 Treaty of London. According to Marshall, there was also a Hague Convention on Belgian neutrality?
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Ringil »

Didn't Murat Reis also notably sack Ireland and a lot of other Mediterranean islands? Given that, it seems extremely risky to buzz on him getting some slaves somewhere (especially when the guy mentioned wasn't actually him!).
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Tanay »

Einhard wrote:Although I don't remember it too well due to Maryland A quickly 30-ing it, could I see the bonus on Okri?
Answer some questions about The Famished Road, for 10 points each:
[10] The Famished Road was a breakthrough novel for this Nigerian author. Jeffia Okwe witnesses the downfall of his corrupt father, a shady businessman, in this author’s debut novel, Flowers and Shadows.
ANSWER: Ben Okri
[10] The Famished Road is considered an example of this genre of literature, in which elements of fantasy are inserted into otherwise regular situations. One Hundred Years of Solitude is considered an exemplar of this literary genre.
ANSWER: magical realism
[10] In The Famished Road, Jeremiah is repeatedly arrested for his profession, in which he produces these items. In an Athol Fugard play, Sizwe Banzi asks Styles for one of these items, which evokes sudden memories of a servant named Lydia in July’s People.
ANSWER: photographs
In retrospect, perhaps it was questions like these that made for lots of easy 20s. That being said, I don't think Okri has assimilated into the canon enough to be a "gimme 10" for everyone, so this was likely a really, really straightforward 20 for most decent teams, but a challenging 20 for new teams.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Tees-Exe Line »

ObsidianFoot wrote:According to Marshall, there was also a Hague Convention on Belgian neutrality?
Just to clarify, I was referring to Article V of the Hague Convention of 1907 (as I imagine the question was as well), which includes a guarantee of the territorial inviolability of neutral powers in general. I think Charles' point is apt--the Treaty of London (1839) is what created modern Belgium and gave it the British and French guarantee.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

Tanay wrote:
Einhard wrote:Although I don't remember it too well due to Maryland A quickly 30-ing it, could I see the bonus on Okri?
Answer some questions about The Famished Road, for 10 points each:
[10] The Famished Road was a breakthrough novel for this Nigerian author. Jeffia Okwe witnesses the downfall of his corrupt father, a shady businessman, in this author’s debut novel, Flowers and Shadows.
ANSWER: Ben Okri
[10] The Famished Road is considered an example of this genre of literature, in which elements of fantasy are inserted into otherwise regular situations. One Hundred Years of Solitude is considered an exemplar of this literary genre.
ANSWER: magical realism
[10] In The Famished Road, Jeremiah is repeatedly arrested for his profession, in which he produces these items. In an Athol Fugard play, Sizwe Banzi asks Styles for one of these items, which evokes sudden memories of a servant named Lydia in July’s People.
ANSWER: photographs
In retrospect, perhaps it was questions like these that made for lots of easy 20s. That being said, I don't think Okri has assimilated into the canon enough to be a "gimme 10" for everyone, so this was likely a really, really straightforward 20 for most decent teams, but a challenging 20 for new teams.
This bonus was totally fine and in no way a "gimme" 20, for what it's worth.
Last edited by The King's Flight to the Scots on Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Cheynem »

I thought the lit bonuses did tend to skew easier, but I guess I'll say:

1. This is not necessarily a problem, as it seemed like the harder bonus parts were in history.

2. The Okri bonus wasn't one of them. Okri is a fine middle part for regular difficulty, and photograph is actually a very good lit hard part.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by ObsidianFoot »

Ringil wrote:Didn't Murat Reis also notably sack Ireland and a lot of other Mediterranean islands? Given that, it seems extremely risky to buzz on him getting some slaves somewhere (especially when the guy mentioned wasn't actually him!).
Oops. I guess this is what I get for not actually looking at a question when I refer to it. I thought I heard "Murat Reis" at the time, but I guess not.

That said, given that the famous Ottoman admirals and Barbary corsairs all raided a lot of places for slaves, I still don't think that naming Turgut Reis and Sinan Pasha is enough to be a uniquely identifying leadin.
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Re: Tournament Discussion

Post by Auroni »

This set is now clear (apart from people playing it for NASAT tryouts, who have it in their best interests not to read this thread for the sake of actually selecting the team with the greatest chances to do the best at that tournament). I'm sending this over to the db for posting. Can a moderator make it public?
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