I ought to just let this thread lie, but there's something that's been gnawing at me since it started. Jerry said:
Oh shit, the problem with every tournament ever and then some! I don't know what the problem with your region is, but I suspect it's because everyone knows UTC hardly does any editing anyway and since apparently a total of 2 teams care about good quizbowl at all, this is what you get.
And Eric said:
Also, I think we've established repeatedly on this board that you can't trust Charlie to edit anything.
Believe it or not, this led me to spend several days wondering if you were right and I was wrong. Not so many years ago, people talked about UTC's tournaments as though they were the gold standard of independent tournaments; now they're talked about as though they're American Standard, as in toilet fixtures. I wondered, am I that out of touch?
So finally, being a reference librarian by training, I went back to see if Eric is right and it has
been established repeatedly on this board that I can't be trusted to edit anything.
Guess what? It hasn't.
Here's what I found when I checked recent discussion threads and the World of High School Quizbowl archives regarding tournaments I edited. When it says "silence' below, it means that there were no comments either way on the quality of the questions. You may disagree, but I feel a lot like an umpire: if I get the calls right, usually silence is the best I can hope for.
Sword 07: faint praise. There was one critical post, but it was from me.
COTKU 06: silence
Moon Pie 06: silence
Sword 06: We know the story -- Penn Bowl, playd on the beta versions, got ripped. However, there were no complaints posted from the three sites that played on the final set.
COTKU 05: "pretty good", minor complaints (too many duplicates)
Moon Pie 05: silence
Sword 05: silence
COTKU 04 and Harvard mirror: silence
While I was at it, I checked the Yahoo! qb group and here's what I found there:
COTKU 04 and Harvard mirror: silence
Moon Pie 04: silence
Sword 04: silence
COTKU 2003: strong praise
Moon Pie 03: Buzzerfest thanked us for "cooperating on a mirror which made this tournament significantly better than it would have been"
Sword 03: silence
COTKU 2002: mixed reviews -- "generally fine" but complaints that the bonuses were too long, unevenness of packets (from swap), etc.
[I remember that one well. We had 27 teams, of which exactly four submitted full packets.]
Moon Pie 2002: no complaints from our field, but there were complaints from another site where they were used -- inconsistent degree of difficulty, too many repeats, etc.
Sword 2002: silence, except generic thanks from Samer for Sword Bowl questions used to fill Penn Bowl gaps
COTKU 2001: major complaints, but they were all about the quality of packets received from another tournament
Moon Pie 2001: some praise, some complaints about a few packets in particular by newer teams
Sword 2000: active praise
I pointedly didn't check on COTKU 2000 because whether or not I actually got ripped, I should have been. I was in the throes of a divorce and wasn't worth a damn; luckily some good friends stepped in and picked up the slack, and the tournament survived.
I also found two comments on Yahoo! that run counter to the prevailing theory that UTC's tournaments are too easy. Clemson commented that COTKU 1999 & 2000 as practice questions were "over our heads" for a new team. Similarly, other players at Missouri complained to Jason Mueller in fall 2004 that he started them off with Moon Pie questions, and they wanted something easier like Trivial Pursuit.
So on purely empirical evidence, there was not
a consensus that I'm a bad editor, at least up to this point. In fact, it would appear that my tournaments have improved since the early oughts. I'm sure some of you will step in to fill the void and offer retrospective criticism of past UTC tournaments, if for no other reason than to justify what's been said in the past week. Still, I can take a little comfort in the meantime.