SCT Discussion Thread

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Birdofredum Sawin
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SCT Discussion Thread

Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

So, did people think this was a good tournament? I may not "speak for NAQT," as the often-mocked phrase goes, but I'm still interested in hearing what everyone thought of SCT.
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Post by grapesmoker »

Well, since I was quick to pillory NAQT when SCT sucked last year, let me (try to) be the first to say that I think this year's edition was a vast improvement over last year. Like, an order of magnitude.

First, I was happy to see no-content clues essentially disappear from the set. Stuff like "this guy did some irrelevant things for ten points who discovered benzene" was nowhere to be found. The questions were generally about as clue-dense as you could be in a four or five line tossup. Gone were list tossups and list bonuses, which was also wonderful. The "nacuties" were also gone; I don't think I spotted a single one the whole tournament. They were replaced by actual clues with actual content. Excess verbiage appeared to have been trimmed to a maximum, another positive thing. The science questions had real science clues (even the element questions weren't bad) and the math questions in particular I thought were great.

I'm still not a fan of the distribution, which I think places too much emphasis on geography, current events, and pop culture at the expense of art, social science, and myth/philosophy. But overall, I thought this was a very good SCT, and I'd like to thank Andrew and the other NAQT editors for their work on this set. I look forward to an ICT of similar quality.
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Post by cdbarker »

As a reminder, though it was discussed last week:
This came directly from R last week:
The Division I and Division II SCT questions will overlap. Some questions will be exactly the same, some will be modified versions. When questions are shared (whether or not they are identical), they will appear in the same round of the DI and DII sets. CC SCTs will use Invitational Series #66. The Division II SCT and Invitational Series #66 questions will also overlap. Again, some questions will be identical, others will be modified. However, shared questions are not constrained to appear in the same packet of the DII SCT as in Invitational Series #66. This shouldn't be an issue since those two sets will not be used at a single site.

The Division I SCT questions will have no overlap with Invitational Series #66. There are no (non-CC SCT) college tournaments scheduled that are using Invitational Series #66. However, if you plan to recruit high school players to staff your SCT, then they must only work in DI rooms or avoid playing in a future tournament that uses IS #66. You would also need to exercise care in your statistics headquarters to ensure that they did not inadvertently see the DII questions.
So basically, any Division I question is fair game for discussion, any D-II question only must wait until after May 12, the last scheduled use of IS-66.

I hope that this makes sense to people, but if not, please email me and I'll get you a clarification.
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Post by Mike Bentley »

I agree that this was an improvement on last year's Div I set, but it still had some problems, mostly in the case of the distribution.

Seriously, do we still need 2/2 geography per packet? Who enjoys this? Why was this ever such a large part of the quizbowl canon? A lot of these tossups seemed to plateau in difficulty, with few players able to get them before the giveaways in the rounds I played in.

I also do not understand NAQT's love for contemporary politicians. I see the value of current events questions a lot more than geography questions, but you don't need to make almost all of your current events identifications of who is ruling what country.

I was also a little upset to only see 1 computer science tossup over 14 rounds of play (although it could have been possible that they were hiding at the end of packets... due to some odd scheduling we were in the same room 7 times with a moderator who didn't have a scorekeeper so we routinely only heard 19 or 20 tossups per packet). There were a few more bonuses (something around 2 or 3), but they weren't of the highest quality out there. Both the perl and the database bonuses came down to "have you programmed these before?" and didn't really ask anything about theory. The constructor tossup and the Java inheritance bonus weren't too bad, though.

All that said, it was nice to see the removal of most of the list bonuses, and I don't think I heard a single 15-15 bonus the entire day. The tournament was definitely better than what I heard from last year's Div I set, and if the distribution changed I think this would have been a very good tournament.
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Post by DumbJaques »

I echo Jerry's sentiments about question quality for div 2. They were much closer to HSNCT and much more distanced from IS than last year's, which is a very good thing. Andrew, in case you had a hand in it, I found the lit tossups to in particular to be of a much higher quality than expected, so thanks. Bonuses were appropriately tough, powers were on the whole appropriately difficult to get. Good questions.

As for the distribution, I was not so happy. I like trash, but it seemed that sports made up a ridiculous amount of the trash in the set, and within that baseball and hockey were particularly overrepresented. I am sure this is completely unrelated to the personal sentiment toward the great Ice Gladiators on the part of any potential question writers. Keep in mind, I thought the trash questions were written well enough, but the answer selection left much to be desired. Also, there seemed to be a very low amount of art and mythology. These concerns aside, the question quality in the set really makes me look forward to the ICT.
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Post by magin »

I also thought that the questions were much better than the ones last year, and I was pleased with the literature questions, which generally rewarded people for reading stuff. To echo Jerry, I liked the math questions too, although the tossup on odd perfect numbers was immediately transparent. I thought the fine arts, myth, and social science was pretty much fine, and I would have liked more of those questions. My biggest problem wasn't really with any of the questions, but with the distribution; it seemed like there was at least 3/3 geography/current events/contemporary world politics per round, and most of those questions blended together (I don't recall anyone enjoying or powering any of those questions, whereas I thought that people did enjoy/were able to use real knowledge to answer early the questions in the other academic subjects and the trash). Also, this is not a problem with the questions, but only having two seconds to answer tossups seemed a little extreme, to me, and punished people who knew things but didn't have them immediately on the tip of their tongue. I don't think that matches would be significantly delayed by letting players have five seconds to answer. But overall I enjoyed the questions, though I would have enjoyed myself more if the geography/politics questions were replaced by questions from the other categories.
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Post by dtaylor4 »

magin wrote:only having two seconds to answer tossups seemed a little extreme, to me, and punished people who knew things but didn't have them immediately on the tip of their tongue. I don't think that matches would be significantly delayed by letting players have five seconds to answer. But overall I enjoyed the questions, though I would have enjoyed myself more if the geography/politics questions were replaced by questions from the other categories.
I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. I probably got negged half a dozen times just b/c of the "tip of the tongue" snafu.

Along with Chris, I noted the glorious absence of Myth. I nailed all of the Myth I heard, which to my count was 4 tossups.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

ikillkenny wrote: Seriously, do we still need 2/2 geography per packet? Who enjoys this? Why was this ever such a large part of the quizbowl canon?
1. Yes

2. (It's all about) Me :cool:

3. Because the distribution is like that on the high school level and it's hard to justify putting in more music questions (for instance) than geography questions. Is 2/2 out of 26 really all that bad?

I also noticed the trash was sports heavy especially in hockey and baseball, though I did get a boxing tossup. I selfishly look at it this way, our math/science guy gets mad at the college canon because there's no (edit: computational) math, but he's great at baseball/hockey (which is one of the areas of trash I'm really weak in), so for him it's just compensation. Hmm perhaps I should formally postulate a theory about how players who are good in one area that most other players hate are generally really good at the other areas most other players hate, using a single example as evidence (hey at least it's more scientific than Liberty's biology deparment). Actually now that I think of it both of the captains I had in my high school days fit this model, so maybe I've got something going here (qb wiki page, anyone?).
Last edited by Zip Zap Rap Pants on Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by wwellington »

Is 2/2 out of 26 really all that bad?
It is when it seems like it's all Canadian geography.
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Post by dtaylor4 »

wwellington wrote:
Is 2/2 out of 26 really all that bad?
It is when it seems like it's all Canadian geography.
If it's all Canadian, I want more of it then. One of my teammates is from Montreal, and cleaned up on those.
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Post by Mike Bentley »

Matt Morrison wrote:
ikillkenny wrote: Seriously, do we still need 2/2 geography per packet? Who enjoys this? Why was this ever such a large part of the quizbowl canon?
1. Yes

2. (It's all about) Me :cool:

3. Because the distribution is like that on the high school level and it's hard to justify putting in more music questions (for instance) than geography questions. Is 2/2 out of 26 really all that bad?
Just out of curiosity, where have you acquired your knowledge about geography? I am genuinely confused how this is considered an academic type of subject, and I'd like to know where people who enjoy geography questions get their knowledge in the area.

And yes, 2/2 geography (and more in case of a few packets) is far too much in a packet as it crowds out other questions. Mythology was hardly represented at this tournament, many areas of sociology (such as economics) didn't come up almost at all, and there were several other areas that are much more relevant to the collge curriculum than geography that were underrepresented in this tournament.

Edit: Also, the geography questions seemed to be similar in style to each other. For the most part, the questions asked about physical landmarks, capitals, etc. I'd have less of a problem with them if they incorporated other subjects into them.
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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

ikillkenny wrote: Edit: Also, the geography questions seemed to be similar in style to each other. For the most part, the questions asked about physical landmarks, capitals, etc. I'd have less of a problem with them if they incorporated other subjects into them.
Also, the literature questions seemed to be similar in style to each other. For the most part, the questions asked about characters, plotlines, etc. I'd have less of a problem with them if they incorporated other subjects into them.
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Post by vandyhawk »

grapesmoker wrote: I'm still not a fan of the distribution, which I think places too much emphasis on geography, current events, and pop culture at the expense of art, social science, and myth/philosophy.
magin wrote:it seemed like there was at least 3/3 geography/current events/contemporary world politics per round, and most of those questions blended together
I agree almost whole-heartedly with these sentiments. Were the results of the survey from last summer discarded or something, or are they just going to take longer to incorporate? I got a little tired of hearing tossups asking to name the country from elections, rulers, etc. Philosophy, myth, and social science were noticeably lacking (though I did come across more buried at the end of packets), and I remember some social science being fairly difficult when it did appear, like the Geertz bonus. I felt like art was a little more prevalent this year, and on the whole was pretty decent. I don't mind the amount of trash, but definitely agree that baseball and hockey were over-represented, especially hockey. I thought hockey had finally been cut back last year, but seemed to jump right back up this year. The music questions were pretty good, like Sufjan Stevens and The Shins, though unfortunately we knew nothing about Tool.

I agree that questions had a lot less fluff in general, and contained mostly real clues. There didn't seem to be many "fraudulent" powers to be had like last year, with the exception of the luminiferous ether question - what else could it have possibly been by the first 1.5 sentences, where the power mark was? It's always harder to come up with examples of the good questions b/c they don't stick with you as much as the bad ones, but overall, the tossups were well written and of appropriate difficulty. I do feel the need to point out what I thought were a few bad science tossups though. I have never in my life heard of the "insular cortex" of the brain, and that's saying a lot given what I do. I also fail to see the importance of "quagga," an extinct variety of zebra. A couple others had rather easy info early on, like saying Goldman equation in the Nernst tossup or listing the hormones secreted by adrenal glands, but at least these still required actual knowledge.

My primary complaint, though, besides the age-old distribution issue, was with the inconsistency of bonus difficulty in some rounds. Our bonus conversion, over rounds with similar numbers of tossups, ranged from 11 to 21. Part of this is on us, but part of it is also having bonuses ranging from naming random commands from perl and one about quorum sensing, with the other parts of that being vague descriptions of anthrax and dental plaque, to naming the three best-known DNA replication enzymes or astronomical limits. All these examples have been from science b/c that's what I remember best, but it wasn't limited to that area. I remember lit ranging from a very easy Mishima/Temple of the Golden Pavilion/Sea of Fertility bonus to harder stuff like naming Holden Caulfield's siblings based on their writings or something.

My intent wasn't to make this post too negative, because I enjoyed the tournament and appreciate the work that went into it. Overall, it was a good set, definitely better than last year. I just think it could've been better with the distribution changes discussed nearly to exhaustion and a little more consistency in bonus difficulty.
Last edited by vandyhawk on Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

I'll have my own comments shortly but I was wondering about all the people complaining about hockey questions. I only remember one, I think it was on Dominic Hasek. I was actually going to list the move to a mostly baseball/football focus in the sports distribution as a positive. Was there a lot of hockey in bonus 24 or other places that I might not have heard it?
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Post by UERD »

I thought it was a reasonable tourney. Unfortunately, this is my first NAQT college competition, Div. II, (although we did mostly NAQT in high school, including two trips to HSNCT), so please forgive me if I slip up and make some less-than-astute observations.

I agree that at least some of the packets were rather sports-heavy; I think I recall at least one where there were two sports questions and one or two pop music questions, all within close vicinity of each other. I'm not sure exactly how the distribution worked, but I felt that there was at least one science-heavy packet.

I also agree that I liked the science questions, especially when fewer of them involve naming a scientist's obscure discoveries and more emphasis upon actual principles, objects, or experiments.

A personal nitpick I had was with a particular question involving large floating objects, where I thought the answer that was provided was not broad enough (although I don't think I'm at liberty to discuss the exact question yet, not sure exactly what the policy on that is).

Overall, I thought the questions were reasonably good, better than those at HSNCT and maybe somewhat easier, (and, tangentially, kudos to Harvard for running a well-organized tournament where the biggest snafu was not having the door to the building unlocked in advance).
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Post by vandyhawk »

Matt Weiner wrote:I was wondering about all the people complaining about hockey questions. I only remember one, I think it was on Dominic Hasek. I was actually going to list the move to a mostly baseball/football focus in the sports distribution as a positive. Was there a lot of hockey in bonus 24 or other places that I might not have heard it?
The ones I remember are tossups on Hasek and Bobby Orr, and a bonus on the Beanpot. Either I convinced myself there were more based on the complaints of people when they came up, or other people can come up with some more. If it really was only 2/1, that's not unreasonable. Also, I don't think over-representation of baseball is really a bad thing. Most people know baseball, basketball, and football, so may as well go heavy on those areas.
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Post by grapesmoker »

I got a tossup on Bobby Orr at this tournament. Now I can die a happy man. Oh yeah, and things like "luminiferous ether" are terrible ideas for writing about and you should never do it. Fortunately, that was our bye round.
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Post by Red-necked Phalarope »

UERD wrote:A personal nitpick I had was with a particular question involving large floating objects, where I thought the answer that was provided was not broad enough (although I don't think I'm at liberty to discuss the exact question yet, not sure exactly what the policy on that is)
If you're talking about the 'tori' question, that was in DI and therefore nitpick-able. I negged with 'pagodas' on that one, which was probably one of my worse answers of the weekend.

I'm sort of in the middle regarding most of the criticism. I like that NAQT generally includes more non-strictly-academic/trash questions than most mACF tournaments, but I agree that some tweaking needs to be done within these general parameters. 2/2 geography, especially, is probably twice as much as any reasonable tournament should have.

There were at least a few NAQTies in the packets ("a blue fountain" and "the opposite of a constructor", among others), but they were fewer from what I remember of last year's SCT.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

So, overall I thought this set was pretty good for what it was, though I wanted to point out a few weak spots more as a lesson to future writers in any format than a giant gripe with this tournament. It should go without saying that there were a lot of frustrated/angry people who lost games because three or four tossups in a row were on unimportant, non-academic things. But in this post I'm looking more to discuss specific strategies for writing tossups in any category than to re-iterate well-known facts about the shortcomings of the distribution.

-Misplaced clues: "the self educated man" is the second-most prominent character in Nausea; surely he doesn't need to be the second clue and a power. Glenn Gould shouldn't be halfway through a tossup on the Goldberg variations. "Human pyramids" doesn't need to be in the middle of an Abu Ghraib tossup. Let's try to watch for this stuff in general, as it just makes for buzzer races in important games.

-Ill-advised tossup answers/no middle clues: there wasn't a whole lot of "what the hell is that" too-hard stuff in the tossups, but there were some things that just have super-hard leadins and buzzer-race giveaways, and don't have any middle clues to put in. These questions gave me the impression that someone stumbled upon the fact that thing X is actually named after thing Y and set out to write a GK tossup reflecting that allegedly interesting fact, and didn't scrap it when he couldn't really make the question work. For example:

The “Littleâ€
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Post by Captain Sinico »

I want to agree with most of what's been said about the set, especially with the praise for it on the whole and with the calls to hem in geography and make marginal improvements in science. This was the best SCT set I've heard. I want especially to praise the fact that fine arts seemed to be represented with something like the normal frequency (much to the audible chagrin of a certain team, one round actually contained two (2) classical music questions.)
Please continue this trend and extend it to RMP. Mythology in particular is interesting, accessible, and just all-around great; please ask me questions about it.

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Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

Just so this doesn't become the 100th tournament discussion thread to become derailed by a discussion of hockey questions, I thought I'd remark that there were exactly four hockey questions in the set. A tossup on Hasek, a tossup on Orr, a bonus on the Beanpot tournament, a bonus on "players who were second to Wayne Gretzky in various stats." That's it, over 16 packets.
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Post by Kyle »

I'm not afraid to admit that I like geography. I've always liked geography and I still like geography, inside or outside the context of quiz bowl. I recognize that that is a minority opinion in this community, but that's not what I want to talk about. Rather, I think the major issues are how the geography tossups that Matt mentioned were written.

My guess is that most people who know only one thing about Kazakhstan know its capital. The fact that Astana used to be called Aqmola (and that for a few years in the 1990s [i.e. in most college players' recent memory] Aqmola appeared as the capital of Kazakhstan on every map printed in the US) is in my opinion much, much easier than everything that comes between the word "Aqmola" and the FTP.

Also, the fact that there is a canal between the Volga and the Don called, curiously enough, the Volga-Don canal, is too easy for so early in the question. The problem in this question isn't so much the numbers (you can live with the fact that they call the canal "60 miles long") as the choice of clues for the beginning of the tossup. I think that someone who did a little research could easily come up with more interesting geography clues that would make people on this board not mind quite so much having to sit through geography tossups.

Other than that, though, I liked most of what I heard and read of the questions. I spent the morning running around and the afternoon reading in Div. II, so I haven't had a chance to look at a lot of the Div. I questions, but I'm excited to have the chance to play on them at the ICT in April. Congratulations to all the teams who will qualify.

Finally, I'm pretty sure that I know which tossup UERD mentioned, since we also had a protest on it at our tournament. I checked and it does not correspond to a tossup in Div. I, so don't talk about it.
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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Birdofredum Sawin wrote:Just so this doesn't become the 100th tournament discussion thread to become derailed by a discussion of hockey questions, I thought I'd remark that there were exactly four hockey questions in the set. A tossup on Hasek, a tossup on Orr, a bonus on the Beanpot tournament, a bonus on "players who were second to Wayne Gretzky in various stats." That's it, over 16 packets.
What was the ratio of questions about hockey to questions about other sports?
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Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

Bruce wrote:
Birdofredum Sawin wrote:Just so this doesn't become the 100th tournament discussion thread to become derailed by a discussion of hockey questions, I thought I'd remark that there were exactly four hockey questions in the set. A tossup on Hasek, a tossup on Orr, a bonus on the Beanpot tournament, a bonus on "players who were second to Wayne Gretzky in various stats." That's it, over 16 packets.
What was the ratio of questions about hockey to questions about other sports?
There were slightly more questions on each of baseball, football, and (I think) basketball than on hockey. I don't feel like doing a complete tally, but it was something like 6:6:5:4 on those sports. Also, there were many more questions on pop culture other than sports than questions on sports (by about a 2:1 ratio).
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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

That's still major overrepresentation for hockey. I'm sorry, it's just not a major sport in North America anymore.

6:6:5:2 may be more appropriate.
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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox »

Bruce wrote:That's still major overrepresentation for hockey. I'm sorry, it's just not a major sport in North America anymore.

6:6:5:2 may be more appropriate.
6:6:5:4 seems more than adequate representation to me. Saying it's "not a major sport in North America" first discounts the existence of Canada, and is really code for "I don't like it." If you're not going to demonstrate it's irrelevance, don't advocate for reducing it.
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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Andrew can tell you that I don't like basketball, and yet I'm not calling for its elimination. I don't appreciate having thoughts put into my head, or motives put into my heart.
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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox »

Bruce wrote:Andrew can tell you that I don't like basketball, and yet I'm not calling for its elimination. I don't appreciate having thoughts put into my head, or motives put into my heart.
You're still not supporting the argument that hockey deserves less than co-equal status with anything other than an assertion. And the phrase you're looking for is words in your mouth.
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Post by Mike Bentley »

allythin wrote:
Bruce wrote:That's still major overrepresentation for hockey. I'm sorry, it's just not a major sport in North America anymore.

6:6:5:2 may be more appropriate.
6:6:5:4 seems more than adequate representation to me. Saying it's "not a major sport in North America" first discounts the existence of Canada, and is really code for "I don't like it." If you're not going to demonstrate it's irrelevance, don't advocate for reducing it.
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Seems like a major sport to me.

And don't get me wrong, I don't dislike hockey. It's just that compared to football, basketball, baseball, and even soccer in the US it just isn't something that Americans care about.

Yes, NAQT also serves Canadian teams, but I still don't think it justifies such a large percentage of the sports questions.
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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox »

ikillkenny wrote:
allythin wrote:
Bruce wrote:That's still major overrepresentation for hockey. I'm sorry, it's just not a major sport in North America anymore.

6:6:5:2 may be more appropriate.
6:6:5:4 seems more than adequate representation to me. Saying it's "not a major sport in North America" first discounts the existence of Canada, and is really code for "I don't like it." If you're not going to demonstrate it's irrelevance, don't advocate for reducing it.
Washington Post wrote:During the [2006] playoffs, OLN is averaging 0.4 rating, which is well below the 0.7 ESPN had at the same time in 2004. NBC's telecasts have averaged a 1.1 rating, off from the 1.5 ABC pulled two years ago. There's a sliver of good television news: the Eastern Conference finals between Carolina and Buffalo last week was one of the most watched OLN programs ever. But that's a far cry from the big national television presence that Bettman and NHL owners hoped to achieve when they expanded in the 1990s."
Seems like a major sport to me.

And don't get me wrong, I don't dislike hockey. It's just that compared to football, basketball, baseball, and even soccer in the US it just isn't something that Americans care about.

Yes, NAQT also serves Canadian teams, but I still don't think it justifies such a large percentage of the sports questions.
And that's how I wanted this discussion to go. Take notes Bruce. Thank you, ikillkenny (not sure who you are).
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Post by Stained Diviner »

Television Ratings:
2006 World Series: 10.1/17
2006 NBA Finals: 8.5/?
2006 NHL Finals: 2.3/4
2006 Super Bowl: 41.6/62
The Super Bowl is not a fair comparison because it is one game vs series championships. Still.
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Post by First Chairman »

This is not an important point: but outside the usual big 4 (if you can include NHL), what other professional sports were covered?

I suppose if we really wanted to include TV ratings comparisons, let's check out NASCAR, which probably pulls in more viewers than the NHL and perhaps the NBA.

Granted, there is always the question of "should people know more about hockey" but we should know more about many other sports which we really don't give a damn about (skeleton, gymnastics, cycling, handball).
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Post by dtaylor4 »

E.T. Chuck wrote:Granted, there is always the question of "should people know more about hockey" but we should know more about many other sports which we really don't give a damn about (skeleton, gymnastics, cycling, handball).
I've heard questions on rugby and Australian football in previous packets, and have even written questions on them. If I had my way, there would be more of them, but I highly doubt that the rest of the quizbowl community shares my sentiments.
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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox »

Perhaps Olympic sports should be its own subdistribution? That should cover the underrepresented sports Dr. Chuck mentions.
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Post by First Chairman »

I'm guessing NAQT already has a subdistribution on those sports (heck I usually subscribed to one whenever I considered writing a packet). I just wasn't sure if the arguments here for "hockey is overrepresented" can be measured a bit more objectively against the totality of pop culture/sports/misc. Even so, we can split hairs a lot: boxing probably should be covered more, but I'm at a complete loss how. No one cares about professional boxing now (or at least compared to the golden eras of the 20's, the 60's and the post-Rocky 70-80's), but I'd think one should ask about Cassius Clay/Mohammed Ali et al. for the sake of the history of 20th century sports.

Again, this is a minor point in the overall scheme of things. We can nitpick about distributions as we perceive it. I just wanted to know if the other sports were more represented relative to hockey or what.
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Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

Birdofredum Sawin wrote:Just so this doesn't become the 100th tournament discussion thread to become derailed by a discussion of hockey questions, I thought I'd remark that there were exactly four hockey questions in the set.
Hey, I provided these numbers because I DIDN'T want this thread to be derailed by a discussion of hockey! I guess this is a textbook illustration of Arthur's Rule of Quizbowl Discussions: Nothing can be done to contain a debate about the representation of hockey in quizbowl once it gets started.
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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox »

Birdofredum Sawin wrote:
Birdofredum Sawin wrote:Just so this doesn't become the 100th tournament discussion thread to become derailed by a discussion of hockey questions, I thought I'd remark that there were exactly four hockey questions in the set.
Hey, I provided these numbers because I DIDN'T want this thread to be derailed by a discussion of hockey! I guess this is a textbook illustration of Arthur's Rule of Quizbowl Discussions: Nothing can be done to contain a debate about the representation of hockey in quizbowl once it gets started.
Or it's an example of someone starting off a statement with a qualifier and then the statement does the exact opposite of what the qualifier purports like "I don't mean to be rude, but [INSERT RUDE STATEMENT HERE]." Take your pick.
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Post by AuguryMarch »

dude sean, i don't mean to be rude, but you are being a total asshole for no reason (not to mention dense).

first of all andrew was posting to head off a discussion of exactly how many hockey questions there were and what followed. your response points out the result of his post had the ironic effect of encouraging further conversation. that's fine, but andrew's point was about his intention, in the hopes of steering back the conversation. in that way, your post was just being needlessly caustic. an alternate explanation is that you simply fail to understand the difference between consequences of actions and their underlying intent. so i have to ask, are you autistic?

finally, when was the last time you played naqt or any academic quizbowl for that matter? why are you even posting on this thread? because of your abiding love for hockey? i dont get it.

edit: just to clarify these questions are rhetorical. please stop posting to this discussion thread.
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Post by jhn31 »

I'd like to point out that there were 0 college baseball questions in the packet. I always include a college baseball question when I write a packet for a tournament, and every single time it's been rejected.

College baseball, I realize isn't a big deal in most of country, but it is in the Deep South, mostly Mississippi and Louisiana. (When MSU played a Superregional at Cal State-Fullerton a few years back, there were more MSU fans there than CSF fans.)
But if we're going to include a bunch of hockey questions to satisfy Canadians and Northerners, there should be at least one college baseball question in 15 rounds.
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Post by First Chairman »

Andrew, what can I say... hockey must be the pink elephant of quiz bowl. Once you start talking about it... :wink:
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Post by grapesmoker »

See, if NAQT didn't have so much trash, we could avoid having this discussion, which we shouldn't be having in the first place. Seriously, college baseball? How about collegiate rugby or rowing or some other stupid sport that no one pays attention to? For the record, there were zero questions on Heinrich Boll; I realize that doesn't matter to most people, but it does to me. If we're going to include hockey to satisfy Canadians and college baseball to satisfy LSU/MSU, I think there really should be a 2/2 Heinrich Boll distribution for a tournament of 16 packets.
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Post by cvdwightw »

Attempt to bring this discussion back:

I thought this was a good set, and I don't really have a problem with the overrepresentation of geography and trash. It was nice to see more arts and more philosophy than I remembered there being last year. I was also pleasantly surprised to see no badly written tossups on the Laplace transform or Cryptonomicon. Also, I think NAQT includes mythology under its literature category; if they're going to do that, they should make sure that a certain percentage of that category (say 15-20% of their literature questions) are on myth.

It's nice that, like most tournaments, we can pick out and isolate the bad questions as opposed to disparaging the tournament as a whole. I think my only real problem was what I felt were misplaced power marks in several tossups. The Buccaneers should not have still been power in the Wharton question, and Raney should not have still been power in the nickel question, for example.
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Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

grapesmoker wrote:See, if NAQT didn't have so much trash, we could avoid having this discussion, which we shouldn't be having in the first place. Seriously, college baseball? How about collegiate rugby or rowing or some other stupid sport that no one pays attention to? For the record, there were zero questions on Heinrich Boll; I realize that doesn't matter to most people, but it does to me. If we're going to include hockey to satisfy Canadians and college baseball to satisfy LSU/MSU, I think there really should be a 2/2 Heinrich Boll distribution for a tournament of 16 packets.
I quote from the following thread: http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1808
grapesmoker wrote:Looking at the quotes next to my own name only reinforces my belief that much of this is based on hearsay. "An up-and-comer who loves astrophysics and Heinrich Böll" is a judgement that, as far as I can tell, is probably based on the science I edited for this year's BLaST/J'Accuse/Moon Pie extravaganza. My former teammate Seth Teitler was (and is) the astrophysicist, and I think I wrote all of one tossup on Heinrich Boll in the last 3 years.
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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox »

AuguryMarch wrote:dude sean, i don't mean to be rude, but you are being a total asshole for no reason (not to mention dense).

first of all andrew was posting to head off a discussion of exactly how many hockey questions there were and what followed. your response points out the result of his post had the ironic effect of encouraging further conversation. that's fine, but andrew's point was about his intention, in the hopes of steering back the conversation. in that way, your post was just being needlessly caustic. an alternate explanation is that you simply fail to understand the difference between consequences of actions and their underlying intent. so i have to ask, are you autistic?

finally, when was the last time you played naqt or any academic quizbowl for that matter? why are you even posting on this thread? because of your abiding love for hockey? i dont get it.

edit: just to clarify these questions are rhetorical. please stop posting to this discussion thread.
Settle down. I wasn't trying to start a fight with Andrew, I was aiming for playful ribbing and evidently misfired. Sorry. Second, don't feed me or anyone else for that matter that "you no longer play therefore don't speak" crap. I moderate and help with tournaments when I can. And it's not like I'm criticizing the status quo either, in fact I'm saying it sounds about right until someone convinces me otherwise. I'm very glad to hear that this SCT was a very positive experience for most involved.

And as for your edit Paul: I don't know where you get off being dismissive. If you don't want people to respond to you, don't talk to them.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

So, anyway.

I was reminded by the mention of art that some of the visual art tossups were lacking. For the most part I liked the music tossups, but art tossups were few and far between, and had leadins like "this painting has a cottage owned by a guy with an English name in it" and "this painting has a giant bird eating people in it." I think easily 50% of quizbowl knows to buzz with The Hay Wain and The Garden of Earthly Delights there--those aren't really unique clues, but they are, by chance, well-worn clues for those paintings in 1997-era packets, and that seems to be the model that whoever wrote these particular tossups adopted.

I get the sense that the overall arts distribution was expanded, but the weirdly large ratio of auditory to visual arts was unchanged, and the writing of the visual questions was not given sufficient care.
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Post by Howard »

Somebody please edit MattMorrison's post. He played in DII.

edit: Wow, that was fast. Thanks, Matt.
Last edited by Howard on Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

E.T. Chuck wrote:This is not an important point: but outside the usual big 4 (if you can include NHL), what other professional sports were covered?

I suppose if we really wanted to include TV ratings comparisons, let's check out NASCAR, which probably pulls in more viewers than the NHL and perhaps the NBA.
Yeah I've always thought that there should at least be SOME NASCAR/CASCAR/IRL/F1 etc. questions in every tournament. Based on ratings I'm pretty sure NASCAR is second only to the NFL, and based on attendance it's first (but it's hard to top it when almost every major track seats over 100,000 nowadays and they sell out most of the time). Last year at HSNCT though I powered a well-written tossup on Talladega Superspeedway, but I felt bad about it because we were playing the Canadian team. Also I commend PACE for throwing some NASCAR in the NSC; there was some Jeff Gordon question last year I knew off of the first clue ("His first race was Richard Petty's last"), but that's because I know way too much about this stuff. Yesterday in practice we went over the last two D2 Sectional rounds, which we didn't get to in the tournament, and there was a Cale Yarborough tossup I powered very early (off the bat I knew realistically it could only be one other person, and then "South Carolina" eliminated that because very few drivers are from there). Other than that though I didn't notice any racing questions, unless there was one in the first round, since we had a bye then and haven't yet seen that round.

I know some people might think racing questions are way too hard, but really, how difficult would a Danica Patrick, Michael Andretti, Juan Pablo Montoya, or Jack Roush (to leave the realm of drivers) question be to write/answer?

(Mods: I'm not 100% certain the Yarborough question was taken from DI, though it's pretty difficult for an IS packet and it was in round 16 I believe, so edit as necessary.)
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Post by cdbarker »

Matt Morrison wrote: (Mods: I'm not 100% certain the Yarborough question was taken from DI, though it's pretty difficult for an IS packet and it was in round 16 I believe, so edit as necessary.)
It was a D-I question, I do thank everyone for their concern and vigilance on this front.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

I, for one, was upset at the inclusion of only one question that tangentially mentioned Jai Alai. I mean, what the fuck? It's practically the most popular sport in the entire Basque country.

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Post by vandyhawk »

ImmaculateDeception wrote:I, for one, was upset at the inclusion of only one question that tangentially mentioned Jai Alai. I mean, what the fuck? It's practically the most popular sport in the entire Basque country.
I liked that question overall though. I felt less bad about not knowing jai alai would have been exempted under the old internet gambling bill when my friends who run pocketfives (big online poker website) couldn't name it either.
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