2009 ICT discussion

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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by jagluski »

A.F. wrote:Something that I think has come up in other places (but I don't recall where offhand), but would be a great idea - especially for tournaments of this size - would be an official cell phone contact number for each team during the tournament.

Can't find a team and need them to play a tiebreaker? Call them, have them come to the control room, and resolve the situation accordingly. Obviously this doesn't work so well when you're in a building with spotty cell phone reception, but it's certainly more optimal than spending 10 minutes going "Hey, has anybody seen Team x?" "Great, we've got Team X, but now where is Team Y?"

Dan, you are correct in this statement. Honestly, we did realize that we should get every team's cell phone number, but it was too late already (probably the Monday or Tuesday before the ICT). We got several, but not enough. This will be part of the registration form next year for this exact reason.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Mike Bentley »

Various thoughts:

It's hard to tell because I wasn't playing the tournament (and haven't seen too much of last year's set), but the increase to 500 characters in tossups seemed like it coincided with a decent increase in quality of the tossups. It seemed like most of the tossups were decent from my end, although there were still too many clunkers for a national caliber tournament.

It seemed like there was less CS this year than in previous years. Perhaps that's due to the (justified) reduction in the "technology" category which in previous years resulted in a lot of psuedo-CS stuff. In general, though, I'd prefer to see slightly more than what ended up in the tournament.

I continue to question who enjoys geography questions and why they make up such a huge (more than 5%) part of the NAQT distribution. The top teams routinely seemed to do poorly on geography bonuses, and they continue to be supremely uninteresting.

It seems like there still is a pretty big correlation between the date a question was written and its quality. While there are obviously exceptions, tossups and to a lesser extent bonuses written as early as 2003 or 2004 are not going to make very good questions in 2009. I realize that the editors do change these questions, but often times these measures aren't enough to prevent bad questions from getting into the set. I do somewhat see why these questions are used, as various categories, notably geography and science, seem to take forever to get filled by the NAQT writing hordes. The ultimate solution seems to be get better writers and editors to write and edit more questions for this tournament.

Also, I'd like to apologize for what ended up becoming crappy tossups I wrote on Elizabeth of Russia and Frederick Douglass. I ran into problems with the character limit for the former, and thus couldn't sufficiently mask that this was a Russian female ruler early on, narrowing the answer field down to about 3 answers. The latter would probably also be better served with a longer character limit so there would be less of a cliff between "Fifth of July Speech" (which I thought was more famous than I guess it ended up being) and publisher of "North Star".
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Mike Bentley »

Also, some specific question gripes:

Where did the question on The Frieze of Life go after The Dance of Life? If I recall correctly, that was still in power, and is pretty much the most famous painting in that series unless I'm mistaken.

The Ivo Andric tossup gave a pretty good description of The Bridge on the Drina still in power. As someone who has read this book, I don't think I'd have much of an advantage buzzing on this question compared to someone who is vaugely aware that The Bridge on the Drina involves viziers and building a title structure.

I agree that there was no real easy part to the elevator videogame bonus. A better description of Metal Gear would have made this a better bonus.

There were plenty of others (as well as plenty of good questions), but I can't remember them off hand. Maybe they'll come back to me at some point in the future.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Where did the question on The Frieze of Life go after The Dance of Life? If I recall correctly, that was still in power, and is pretty much the most famous painting in that series unless I'm mistaken.
round 16 wrote:One work in this collection shows a man in a black suit dancing with a woman in a red dress, while another shows a crowd of men in top hats behind a girl in an orange cap. In addition to ~The Dance of Life~ and ~Anxiety~, it includes a painting of a red-haired vampire and another in which a kneeling (*) mother clasps the hand of ~The Sick Child~. ~The Scream~ is part of--for 10 points--what {Edvard Munch} series whose title suggests a continuous band of relief sculpture around the top of a Greek temple?
Bentley Like Beckham wrote:The Ivo Andric tossup gave a pretty good description of The Bridge on the Drina still in power. As someone who has read this book, I don't think I'd have much of an advantage buzzing on this question compared to someone who is vaugely aware that The Bridge on the Drina involves viziers and building a title structure.
round 3 wrote:This man wrote about an Austrian teacher who disappears in "A Summer in the South," while the miserly Miss Raika is the title character of the last novel in a trilogy including ~The Days of the Consuls~. His best known work describes the construction of a ~han~, or caravanserai, near a structure built by a vizier at the place where he was separated from his (*) mother by men collecting the sultan's tribute of children from the Balkans. For 10 points--name this Bosnian author of ~The Bridge on the Drina~.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

Yeah, for that Andric tossup to have the plot of Bridge on the Drina in power is kind of poor, I think. There are at least a couple of other intermediate Andric clues that could go there.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by theMoMA »

It was really frustrating to run into two packets of seven trash/geo/ce tossups that basically eliminated us from the ability to get into the championship game. Just looking at the raw stats, we still managed to score points, power questions, and convert bonuses, but two packets with multiple geography, CE, and trash tossups just seems egregious, and contributed to two of our losses.

There are also a few tossups per packet that seem to do a poor job of managing the limited space available because of the character limit. One style of this has a bunch of leadin-difficulty clues followed by a steep difficulty cliff. The contrasting style leads in with things that are more famous than leadin clues should be.

The character limit shouldn't necessarily mandate that all common-link tossups be the "fill in the blank in these various titles" category, but there seemed to be an inordinate number of those.

Those various issues with the questions and packet distribution, and the protest situation, really colored my experience of this tournament. Like many recent NAQT tournaments, my feeling is that the set was in general good, but the games were still decided on bad questions, uneven bonuses, and poorly distributed packets. It was probably the best-produced NAQT tournament I've played, but as a contending team, it's still extremely frustrating and disappointing to feel like suboptimal questions and bad distributing contributed as much to our losses as how we played.

That said, congrats to Chicago. They were a step above everyone else at Dallas, and it showed.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by theMoMA »

I would also add that NAQT's results-displaying format is really ridiculous for a tournament like this. I hope I speak for everyone in saying that I would like to be able to see stat lines over the whole tournament in a sortable area. I understand that NAQT gives out scoring awards based on prelims, but why does this mean that we can't see the overall lines somewhere (preferably, all in one place)? The current system basically takes the SQBS reports and puts them into a format that is less useful.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by DumbJaques »

the protest situation
Actually, I also wanted to mention something about this - NAQT has been sort of laughably unprofessional in resolving ICT protests in the past, and it's something that does not seem to have advanced with the same progressive improvement that has marked other areas of the event.

I won't discuss the Minnesota protest because I don't have much firsthand knowledge, but for the second time in three years Maryland was involved in a protest whose handling was just plain insulting. It is of little consequence whether the protest was right or wrong - after the tiebreaker it didn't affect the outcome of the game with Florida State anyway and it may very well have been the correct ruling (for reference, the question was whether "Pomp-eh-doo" was acceptable for Madame Pompadour), but the way it was handled was really poor. We protested, our moderator took the protest to headquarters, and apparently ran into some group that included Emily Pike and some other random people. My understanding is that, when informed of our protest (I know nothing about French, but my teammate's reasoning was that 'R' is one of several consonant that most be pronounced in the language), the people in the room apparently exchanged a couple minutes of dialogue and established that none of them was familiar with the pertinent rules governing French grammar, or had never had of such a rule themselves. The protest was then summarily rejected with no further explanation then "well, the three people who happened to be in the room had not heard of what your protest hinged on." No attempts were made to actually, you know, verify the facts in question, and no explanation was given to us (presumably as there was nothing to explain).

This entire thing, if I'm accurate in my perception of how it went down, is just ridiculous. It's not acceptable for a national tournament. If somebody makes a protest, "well, I haven't heard of that" is not a resolution. This situation seems like a less egregious version of what happened with the Arminius debacle, which was so poorly handled that it baffles me how NAQT could still be so cavalier about dealing with these issues. Games are being decided on these rulings, games which affect the results of a national event - spend more than a few minutes asking some people within earshot what they casually know about something! It also puts the moderator in a very unfortunate place, when they are in the position of transmitting to the teams a ruling that seems at the least unprofessional and at the most unfair. I don't think I'd be willing to tell a team "your protest was denied because these people refused to look it up," and we were fortunate to have a moderator who is much more even-keeled than I am. We were also fortunate in that neither this ruling, or a similar case of ruling sans explanation or logic two years ago, affected the overall result of the match after the tiebreakers occurred. As I doubt very much that we'll be that lucky in the future, I'd really like to see this kind of stuff more suitably addressed. It does not take that long to adequately resolve protests, and if people were stressed about going over the time limit and getting kicked out of the rooms by the hotel, then it should be even more evidence of why hosting the ICT in this location was such a bad idea.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

theMoMA wrote:It was really frustrating to run into two packets of seven trash/geo/ce tossups that basically eliminated us from the ability to get into the championship game. Just looking at the raw stats, we still managed to score points, power questions, and convert bonuses, but two packets with multiple geography, CE, and trash tossups just seems egregious, and contributed to two of our losses.
We barely beat Wash U on packet three, and we barely beat Illinois on packet thirteen, so you won't see me complaining about that. That said, I agree that the NAQT distribution ought to be more academic; as I've said on the IRC, at the moment I don't honestly know whether we are "better" on academic subjects than y'all are; ICT failed to decide that question at all. Our game against Chicago was not as close, but replace the geography with something else (or even with geography that someone with an academic interest in geography would care about), and tweak a few other things, and who knows: we'd at least have kept it much closer.

This is why I look forward to ACF: you'll get a chance to (decisively, perhaps) beat us if you're the better academic team, and we, too, have a chance to eke out a win against you on academic material. And, honestly, if many of the top teams post-ICT say that the results of ICT make them look forward to another tournament when they can get a real result, I think things need to change.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

theMoMA wrote:The character limit shouldn't necessarily mandate that all common-link tossups be the "fill in the blank in these various titles" category, but there seemed to be an inordinate number of those.
I was very happy to see more social science than I expected in the ICT set, but I was quite disappointed that the vast majority of pure social science/philosophy consisted of fill in the blank common links. At a national tournament, there is no excuse to not tossup works!
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

tetragrammatology wrote: I was very happy to see more social science than I expected in the ICT set, but I was quite disappointed that the vast majority of pure social science/philosophy consisted of fill in the blank common links. At a national tournament, there is no excuse to not tossup works!
This claim -- that the "vast majority" of these tossups "consisted of fill in the blank common links" -- is actually not true. For instance, here are all the philosophy tossup answers in this year's ICT:

Plato's Sophist; Epictetus; "common sense"; "folly"; Lyotard; Nozick; Horkheimer; "ethics"; Hegel (from clues about his followers); "method"; "Russia" (from Russian thinkers); the Chinese Room argument; the problem of evil.

In retrospect, there could have been more answers on individual works, but I think that was merely a quirk (I didn't set out NOT to write on works, I just ended up writing these particular tossups). In general, when I look at a tossup like this one, I don't see why it is any less suitable for a national tournament than a tossup on, say, "The Postmodern Condition" itself:

This man collaborated with Jean-Loup Thebaud on a work comprised of seven days of dialogues about the idea of justice. In addition to ~Just Gaming~, this one-time member of the ~Socialism or Barbarism~ school used Lacanian ideas to attack structuralism in ~Discours, figure~. He introduced the idea of the (*) "{differend}," but is best known for a "report on knowledge" published in 1979. For 10 points--name this French thinker who was incredulous toward {meta-narratives} and wrote ~The Postmodern Condition~.

answer: Jean-Fran\,cois _Lyotard_ [lee-oh-tard]

However, I'm more interested in the general notion of "common link" tossups. I think this term is bandied about a bit freely in modern quizbowl parlance. First, as I've said on previous occasions, in some sense almost any tossup can be described as a "common link" tossup. For instance, this tossup is certainly a common link tossup:

In New Guinean myth, these animals are seen as reincarnations of the goddess Hainuwele [HYE-noo-WEL-ay]. During the Thesmophoria, held in honor of Demeter, these animals were tossed into underground chambers and left to rot for a year. In Egyptian myth, Seth changed into one of these while (*) fighting Horus. In the Book of Matthew, Jesus cast some demons into a group of these that then rushed into the sea. For 10 points--name this animal whose flesh may not be eaten by devout Jews or Muslims.

answer: _pig_s (or _swine_; accept _boar_s or _hog_s)

But this tossup is one too:

This author wrote about a man maddened by the "worn-off eyelids" of his lover in "The Leper," and he wrote about a woman who is a "love-machine / With clockwork joints of supple gold" in "Faustine." He wrote "I am tired of tears and laughter / And men that laugh and weep" in "The Garden of (*) Proserpine," while his best known work begins "When the hounds of spring are on winter's traces" and goes on to describe a boar hunt. For 10 points--name this Victorian poet of ~Atalanta in Calydon~.

answer: Algernon Charles _Swinburne_

In the first tossup, the "link" is "these are all mythical/religious incidents involving [this animal]," and the key to answering the tossup is figuring out that [this animal] = "pig." In the second tossup, the link is "these are all poems written by [this author]," and the key to answering the tossup is figuring out that [this author] = "Swinburne." In either case, you might figure that out by happening to know one of the clues described ("oh, Seth changed into a pig that time"; "oh, Swinburne wrote 'Faustine'"). Or you might work your way to the answer by some quick deductive reasoning ("who could this be? It's an English poet, I guess; sounds sort of decadent; he wrote about Greek mythology -- there's a strong chance it's Swinburne, but I'll wait for a decisive clue like, say, the best-known line from his major poetic work").

Obviously common link tossups can be written in a somewhat perfunctory fashion ("this word appears in X. It also appears in Y"), but then, so can any kind of tossup ("This novel includes character X. It also includes character Y.") Assuming the questions are written well, I really don't see why one type of tossup should be, in theory, superior to any other. My own sense of "modern quizbowl aesthetics" is that hearing nothing but tossups of the same type (e.g., old-school "Biography Bowl") becomes monotonous, and that in general it's a good idea to ask about a mix of people, individual works, and concepts.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

I wouldn't think that you, or anyone else sane, would set out to write tons of common links for a tournament of this caliber or level, but in the future more tossups on works or harder thinkers (like the Lyotard tossup that you pointed out) would be great, especially when considering the abbreviated nature of NAQT tossups does not lend itself to lots of explanation of the contents of the works or titles discussed.

Regarding the swine/pigs tossup, it is a fine idea for a tossup, but there seemed to be a difficulty cliff between the clues in power and the story of Jesus casting out the demons from the swine.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Captain Sinico »

I think you've missed the point of Andrew's post: you're letting your terms get the better of you, since it's not clear what "common link" means in this context. I'd actually like to see how you (and various people) define that term.

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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

Captain Sinico wrote:I think you've missed the point of Andrew's post: you're letting your terms get the better of you, since it's not clear what "common link" means in this context. I'd actually like to see how you (and various people) define that term.

MaS
I feel that the term "common link" applies not only to the question structure delineated by Andrew above but also to answer space. To me, common link answer spaces often bring together similar elements/things/concepts that are not usually grouped together in the author/work or creator/creation sense. In that sense, the Swinburne question is a common link in structure, but it's not a common link in regards to answer space. The latter is harder to write well, usually, and questions of this type often end up as weaker tossups than those about works or authors. Those were the common links that seemed to be slightly over-represented for my taste at ICT.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

I think the distinction (because even tossups on works are, using a broad and abused definition, "common links" on that work [after all, each clue appears in that work or is related to it]) is that what properly ought to be called a "common link" tossup bridges more than one context. For example, a tossup on Swinburne is not properly a common link because it stays firmly nestled in the context of, er, Swinburne. A tossup on the problem of evil or the Chinese room, similarly. But a tossup on pigs will bridge multiple contexts, since it draws on many stories about pigs, and that tossup on "positivism" talked about legal positivism and logical positivism and other positivisms. Same with science tossups that ask about the many uses of some letter.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

tetragrammatology wrote: I feel that the term "common link" applies not only to the question structure delineated by Andrew above but also to answer space. To me, common link answer spaces often bring together similar elements/things/concepts that are not usually grouped together in the author/work or creator/creation sense. In that sense, the Swinburne question is a common link in structure, but it's not a common link in regards to answer space. The latter is harder to write well, usually, and questions of this type often end up as weaker tossups than those about works or authors. Those were the common links that seemed to be slightly over-represented for my taste at ICT.
This is helpful -- I think a lot of people who criticize "common link" tossups have something like this in mind. But, empirically, I'm not at all sure that this is true. Are you suggesting that it is somehow inherent in the nature of questions of this type (tossups on "similar elements/things/concepts") that they "often" end up weaker? I don't think that's the case. I do think it's true that when they fail, they fail more spectacularly, but that's often because the "linked" answer was poorly chosen. It's easier to see why a tossup on "lying face down in the mud" (or whatever it was) is a bad idea than it is to see why a tossup on, say, "very obscure philosopher who is unknown to almost everyone at a given tournament" would be. With the latter you can just shrug and say "maybe I should have known that," whereas with the former it's much more natural to say "that was a clever idea which really didn't pan out." But in practice, I think both those questions may be on par.

I certainly think it's true that, in general, a good tossup on an answer like "method" (as it figures in various philosophical works) is harder to write than a good tossup on an answer like "Robert Nozick." In fact, this is exactly why I've previously argued (against, I believe, Jonathan Magin) that it's not a great idea to assert that "most social science tossups should be on concepts rather than books or people." My argument, as I recall, went something like this: good tossups on concepts are actually very hard to write unless you're an expert in the field; and if you aren't an expert, you'd be better off writing a relatively "safe" if banal tossup on something like a person (which is harder to screw up) than taking a flyer on a concept tossup.

So, I agree with the general assertion that "tossups on similar elements/things/concepts are hard to write well." But that isn't obviously an indictment of the particular "tossups on similar elements/things/concepts" which appeared at this year's ICT. (Unless you think the mere existence of so many tossups of that nature in a tournament like this will "set a bad example for younger writers" or something.) In particular, I'll claim that I actually know a few things about philosophy and about how to write philosophy questions, and that this year's ICT tossups which fall under this discussion (e.g. "method" or "the problem of evil") were pretty much fine for nationals-level play.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by magin »

Birdofredum Sawin wrote:I certainly think it's true that, in general, a good tossup on an answer like "method" (as it figures in various philosophical works) is harder to write than a good tossup on an answer like "Robert Nozick." In fact, this is exactly why I've previously argued (against, I believe, Jonathan Magin) that it's not a great idea to assert that "most social science tossups should be on concepts rather than books or people." My argument, as I recall, went something like this: good tossups on concepts are actually very hard to write unless you're an expert in the field; and if you aren't an expert, you'd be better off writing a relatively "safe" if banal tossup on something like a person (which is harder to screw up) than taking a flyer on a concept tossup.
Since you've brought it up, my argument was not "the majority of social science tossups should be on concepts rather than works or people," but actually "considering the small size of the askable social science canon at most tournaments, we should consider writing more tossups on concepts for social science rather than expanding to more difficult thinkers or books." It's certainly true that it's hard to write good questions on concepts without a sizable amount of knowledge, but I wanted that thread ("Concept Tossups in the Social Sciences") to discuss ways to write good concept tossups so circuit writers could perhaps write better ones.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Strongside »

I don't have a ton to say about this, but I think it is worth noting that this was by far the best ICT ever written. All the rule changes that were made since last year were good, and I liked the new distribution better. There was a noticeable lack of list bonuses, multiple choice bonuses, and bonuses that were not 10-10-10. I thought the academic stuff was really well written, and there were lots of exciting things that came up. Thanks to all of the writers and editors for their work on the set.

The only other thing is that I was wondering if NAQT tracked and/or tabulated the conversion rate for each tossup. I remember R. posted some of the conversion rates for last year's ICT, and I am curious to see what this year's were. It's not a big deal if they weren't tracked, but I figure I'd ask.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Yeah, it'd be neat to see some stats you could pretty easily run, given conversion data: the least converted tossups, the most powered (as a proportion of correct buzzes) tossups, the most negged tossups, etc.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by jagluski »

everyday847 wrote:Yeah, it'd be neat to see some stats you could pretty easily run, given conversion data: the least converted tossups, the most powered (as a proportion of correct buzzes) tossups, the most negged tossups, etc.
This data should be available in the near future, if I am not mistaken. We kept all the scoresheets from the tournament and the intent is to track exactly this kind of information. The data just needs to be tabulated first, but it should be available on the website, similar to last year. In addition to tracking most/least converted tossups, we can track information about specific categories. For example, maybe Category xxx was too difficult and not converted often.


(EDIT: It appears that I may have misspoken about the release of this data last year and potentially for this year. I know that the data was tabulated and reviewed interally amongst NAQT, but it appears that it may not have been released for public consumption (ie I was mistaken). We are tracking all of this data again this year, but as with the prior mistake, I am not sure if it will be released to the community this year. Apologies for the error...it was not my intent to mislead anyone.)
Last edited by jagluski on Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

This comment is probably not helpful, but here goes anyway. From the questions I've seen, posted here and elsewhere, it seems that this ICT saw significant improvements.

But, there remains a certain quality to many if not most of the questions which makes them, I think, less-than-optimal when judged by the standards of sound modern QB theory. I think this quality is largely caused by the character limit, and I'm not sure it can be cured. This constant need in writing NAQT questions to make them conform to a character limit creates all sorts of problems...clue spacing issues, difficulty cliffs, buzzer races, fraudability, suboptimal phrasing, inadequate and trite elucidation and descriptions as clues, and so on. Philosophy tossups are probably a great example - when I write them (whether on books, people, concepts, or whatever), I find that it's often very difficult to even keep those tossups to under 7 or 8 lines, and still obtain what looks to me like a satisfactory layering of clues. This is true because philosophy is a good example of a subject where good clues often require some substantial explanation; it's very tough to describe an important idea or theory in six or seven words and move on. I think that there are a pretty limited selection of answers and subjects where you can be as fast and short with clues as the character limit of NAQT requires you to be, without being forced to make some unfortunate compromises.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

Birdofredum Sawin wrote:I certainly think it's true that, in general, a good tossup on an answer like "method" (as it figures in various philosophical works) is harder to write than a good tossup on an answer like "Robert Nozick." In fact, this is exactly why I've previously argued (against, I believe, Jonathan Magin) that it's not a great idea to assert that "most social science tossups should be on concepts rather than books or people." My argument, as I recall, went something like this: good tossups on concepts are actually very hard to write unless you're an expert in the field; and if you aren't an expert, you'd be better off writing a relatively "safe" if banal tossup on something like a person (which is harder to screw up) than taking a flyer on a concept tossup.

So, I agree with the general assertion that "tossups on similar elements/things/concepts are hard to write well." But that isn't obviously an indictment of the particular "tossups on similar elements/things/concepts" which appeared at this year's ICT. (Unless you think the mere existence of so many tossups of that nature in a tournament like this will "set a bad example for younger writers" or something.) In particular, I'll claim that I actually know a few things about philosophy and about how to write philosophy questions, and that this year's ICT tossups which fall under this discussion (e.g. "method" or "the problem of evil") were pretty much fine for nationals-level play.
I am not so much against the questions that were presented (I think they were fine), but rather just the form of the common link, since I enjoy learning about works and thinkers through tossups a bit more than concepts, since they are harder to convey in such a short space. It's just personal taste.

In regards to your first paragraph, this is exactly why many common link questions often fail or fall short of being a great question: they are very difficult to write in ways that accurately convey information in a fair and pyramidal way, especially when NAQT's character limit is taken into consideration.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

No Rules Westbrook wrote:But, there remains a certain quality to many if not most of the questions which makes them, I think, less-than-optimal when judged by the standards of sound modern QB theory. I think this quality is largely caused by the character limit, and I'm not sure it can be cured. This constant need in writing NAQT questions to make them conform to a character limit creates all sorts of problems...clue spacing issues, difficulty cliffs, buzzer races, fraudability, suboptimal phrasing, inadequate and trite elucidation and descriptions as clues, and so on.
Ryan:

No one doubts that there are examples of these flaws in the ICT. But in the course of editing I saw very few of these that could be fixed simply by raising the character limit; I would be surprised if they were more than (as a guess) 5% of the set. I also believe that most, if not all, of the examples mentioned here could have been improved by better writing and editing within the existing character limit (eg, apparently Mike Bentley both misjudged the difficulty of Douglass's Fifth of July speech, which could have been moved forward in the question and replaced with something better-known to ease the cliff effect.) More generally: the move of the character limit from the old 425 characters to this year's 500 resulted in a substantial decrease in the amount of these problems I saw as a history editor, so it's not necessarily obvious to me that further increase is needed right now.

I don't really care about defending the character limit, and wouldn't lose any sleep if it were adjusted to 650 or whatever tomorrow, but I don't believe that the presence of the limit is the root of all problems with ICT tossups.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Ken Jennings »

cvdwightw wrote: I will say that the Izanami question was not very good (the "died giving birth to the god of fire" lead-in is a mid-level clue at even a Regionals-level tournament; I won't debate whether it should still be power, but it should definitely not be the first clue). Also the Coatlicue question seemed like an easy power, but maybe that's just because Rob Carson and I were playing that packet (I'm assuming that the power mark was right before "Huitzilopochtli," as it never got that far).
This deity died while giving birth to a god of fire, after which her husband was so incensed that he cut the baby into eight pieces, out of which eight mountain gods emerged. After dying while giving birth to Kagu-tsuchi, this deity became the ruler of the (*) underworld, and tried to trap her husband there when he came to reclaim her. For 10 points--name this goddess of the earth and darkness in {Japanese myth}, the wife of Izanagi.
She is first mentioned sweeping, for penance, on the way to Tula, as recorded by Bernardino de Sahag\'un [sah-ah-GOON]. Before her 400 sons could kill her, she gave birth to a war god who decapitated a moon goddess. Her children wanted her dead because she had become pregnant again after putting a ball of (*) feathers into her bosom. After being impregnated with an obsidian knife, she gave birth to Coyolxauhqui [koh-yohl-ZAW-kee]. For 10 points--name this "Lady of the Skirt of Snakes," the mother goddess of the Aztecs.
Both of these are apparently just misjudged difficulty on my part--the Coatlicue tossup more egregiously so, since I added initial clues to the submitted tossup in an attempt to make it more delimiting sooner. Is "Tula" so early the main gripe there? I agree, it turns out that definitely cues "Aztec" much earlier than I meant to, and I should have left it out.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by cvdwightw »

Ken Jennings wrote:
She is first mentioned sweeping, for penance, on the way to Tula, as recorded by Bernardino de Sahag\'un [sah-ah-GOON]. Before her 400 sons could kill her, she gave birth to a war god who decapitated a moon goddess. Her children wanted her dead because she had become pregnant again after putting a ball of (*) feathers into her bosom. After being impregnated with an obsidian knife, she gave birth to Coyolxauhqui [koh-yohl-ZAW-kee]. For 10 points--name this "Lady of the Skirt of Snakes," the mother goddess of the Aztecs.
Both of these are apparently just misjudged difficulty on my part--the Coatlicue tossup more egregiously so, since I added initial clues to the submitted tossup in an attempt to make it more delimiting sooner. Is "Tula" so early the main gripe there? I agree, it turns out that definitely cues "Aztec" much earlier than I meant to, and I should have left it out.
The Tula clue primed "Aztec," and it was a quick buzzer race (won by Rob) off of "400 sons." I'm not sure that the priming of "Tula" was all that bad - I suppose there are other Aztec goddesses that might be tossupable at the nationals level - but the story about Huitzilopochtli killing his 400 brothers before they could kill mommy is well known to at least Rob and I. Again, I'm not sure how much of this was because Rob and I are fairly good myth players and how much of it was because of misplaced clues. The Izanami lead-in was definitely misplaced, though.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by matt979 »

A.F. wrote:Something that I think has come up in other places (but I don't recall where offhand), but would be a great idea - especially for tournaments of this size - would be an official cell phone contact number for each team during the tournament.
Cell phone contact number should have been on the ICT 2009 registration form, but wasn't. It took until less than a week before the tournament for us (ICT planners) to realize we needed them, hence the e-mail I sent to our team contacts. We wound up with 30 phone numbers representing just over half the field.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by matt979 »

DumbJaques wrote:It is of little consequence whether the protest was right or wrong - after the tiebreaker it didn't affect the outcome of the game with Florida State anyway and it may very well have been the correct ruling (for reference, the question was whether "Pomp-eh-doo" was acceptable for Madame Pompadour), but the way it was handled was really poor. We protested, our moderator took the protest to headquarters, and apparently ran into some group that included Emily Pike and some other random people.
I will take full responsibility for this one, as we (more precisely I) resolved it too hastily.

For benefit of those who did not attend the ICT: NAQT had exactly 12 lower- and lobby-level meeting rooms (we were promised 13 when we signed on with the hotel; it's unclear to me how 13 became 12). Rather than split up a pod, we decided to have games in those 12 rooms, and a control room on the 11th floor. All of DII, plus 25% of DI, were on the 11th and 12th floors. We decided that the least problematic way to handle scoresheet intake and packet distribution for those 12 rooms was for one of the 12 to be the point of contact for all 12. I had two staff with me (by the way, thank you from the bottom of my heart, Alabama people), one who kept score and one who stood outside the door to prevent the scoresheet/packet exchange from interrupting games. For obvious reasons I think NAQT should never again resort to this if it can be at all avoided, though in general it worked.

The moderator from this game brought the protest to me, that he had accepted an answer of [pom-pa-"deux"] (forgive anything that gets lost in my relating of what I heard from him) but the other team asserted that this answer should not be acceptable.

I called to the control room upstairs, and had the moderator speak directly to the NAQTers there; feedback from upstairs (the aforementioned Emily Pike, et al) was to deny this protest. Meanwhile, Andrew (one of the readers feeding into my room) expressed confidence in the correctness of the original ruling, while offering to call his wife (fluent in French) to confirm. Unfortunately (given what we now know), I deemed the call to the wife to be unnecessary, and we sent back the ruling without ever knowing which teams were involved.

The hasty/mistaken protest resolution was my fault, specifically from placing too much weight on the fact that three other NAQT members had agreed with the initial ruling (with nobody disagreeing). I do think that on questions of pronunciation, the protesting team has a high hurdle to overcome, but in this case I'm chastened to find that further research would have probably led to a reversal.

Contrast to the Tsvangarai protest, where a moderator did not accept "Vangarai" (as it was not the standard [CHAHN-gih-R-EYE], and the moderator deemed that any plausible phonetic pronunciation would have included the initial "Ts" sound). We had a split decision on that one, complicated further by a dispute between the player and the moderator over whether the player had offered to spell the name. The fact that we did not know until after the tournament that the player offered (or claimed to offer) is also unprofessional, and would be compelling evidence in favor of a rule that NAQT always check with the protesting team before deciding a protest, rather than trusting the moderator correctly to convey the issue at hand.

In any case, I'm quite embarrassed that we (apparently) screwed up at least the Pompadour protest, especially since key NAQT members never actually heard the resolution after giving their opinion.

We will have extensive internal discussion about this, in particular regarding whether:
  • every relevant NAQT member/editor should be consulted about a protest, even after there is unanimous agreement among most of them
  • every protest resolution should include the deciders actively, directly hearing out the team who protested rather than using the moderator as a go-between
  • pronunciation protests should involve a modicum of research, either to determine whether a pronunciation is commonly accepted by respected parties, or to rule that pronunciation out
Matt

P.S. I wasn't involved in resolving the 2008 Maryland protest, but most of the text above is taken (and lightly edited) from what I e-mailed to Chris.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by cdcarter »

matt979 wrote: For benefit of those who did not attend the ICT: NAQT had exactly 12 lower- and lobby-level meeting rooms (we were promised 13 when we signed on with the hotel; it's unclear to me how 13 became 12). Rather than split up a pod, we decided to have games in those 12 rooms, and a control room on the 11th floor. All of DII, plus 25% of DI, were on the 11th and 12th floors. We decided that the least problematic way to handle scoresheet intake and packet distribution for those 12 rooms was for one of the 12 to be the point of contact for all 12. I had two staff with me (by the way, thank you from the bottom of my heart, Alabama people), one who kept score and one who stood outside the door to prevent the scoresheet/packet exchange from interrupting games. For obvious reasons I think NAQT should never again resort to this if it can be at all avoided, though in general it worked.
I'd like to note that there was also a DII room on the 6th floor, and one on the 5th. I know it blew for me on the 6th floor to have my stats room on the 11th, and it was probably even worse for whoever was on the 5th floor. This logistically was pretty lame, although being able to call up to the stats room from our room when we had the crazy D2 teams going to the wrong room madness was useful.

Moving to that, was it totally impossible to print a new schedule for DII? The playoffs schedule confused a ton of teams who were in the bracket with the byes, and I know at least one game had to be re-read...
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Sir Thopas »

matt979 wrote:Contrast to the Tsvangarai protest, where a moderator did not accept "Vangarai" (as it was not the standard [CHAHN-gih-R-EYE], and the moderator deemed that any plausible phonetic pronunciation would have included the initial "Ts" sound).
That should be allowed. You can't expect people to pronounce Shona correctly, especially the whistled sibilants. Thinking that the weird [ts] glide would be marginalized is rational.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl »

I was the reader in question in the match in which an FSU player said "pom-pah-doo" for Madame Pompadour. I didn't hesitate in taking it, as I tend to think of French words as having somewhat unemphasized 'r' sounds at the end sometimes, though I pretend no actual knowledge of French pronunciation.

If there's blame to be taken, I should get most of it, as I was firm in the mods' room that what the FSU player said should be fine--the question was nearly over, there was no chance he might have been trying to answer with Georges Pompidou or anything, and the sound of the -oo at the end did have that faint whiff of the unenunciated 'r' at the end. Andrew was willing to call Alice, but I was the one who suggested that by this time unanimity of reaction of NAQT folk and readers meant we should just go into the overtime questions.

I tend toward giving the player the benefit of the doubt in such situations. I know Chris may want to point out that in an earlier round I didn't take his use of the preposition "on" for "in" (e.g. "Short Ride ON a Fast Machine"), as that clearly changes the title (though one could argue the sound of "on" could be nearly enunciated as "in" or something). But in the case above, it seemed to me like clear knowledge was being demonstrated by the FSU player.

Though this is purely anecdotal, my co-coach Boris, who's French, thought such a pronunciation by an American was fine. Still, I know Chris's main complaint is that no one in the moderator's room looked up the pronunciation rules online or anything, but for what it's worth, had we seen that, I still would have urged the FSU player's answer to be taken. Why? Well, if you answer a toss-up on Thomas Carew by saying "ca-roo," I think it would be accepted anywhere, though indeed that name is properly pronounced "ca-ree." The question wasn't asking about proper French pronunciation of the final 'r' in a name. But anyway, I'm okay with apologizing to the Maryland team for not urging NAQT to look the word up online and/or call a French speaker. Fortunately for y'all, someone on your team has heard of Thomas Chatterton.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

French is weird. We should be very lenient about taking different pronunciations of French words. Frankly, I think that whoever protested "pom-pah-doo" for Madame Pompadour is a big jerk for doing so.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Matt Weiner »

Whig's Boson wrote:French is weird. We should be very lenient about taking different pronunciations of French words. Frankly, I think that whoever protested "pom-pah-doo" for Madame Pompadour is a big jerk for doing so.
I also did not accept this pronunciation in another game (where, IIRC, the margin of victory was such that it didn't matter). My reasoning is that there is a reasonably common English word, "pompadour," obviously derived from the person's name, that everyone should know how to pronounce; that the NAQT rules on pronunciation are even stricter than the ACF rules, which nonetheless require all consonants to be present, correct, and in order; and that there is in fact a historical figure named Pompidou, so that the error makes the answer into another plausible one.

The relevant NAQT rules, in any case:
Pronunciations do not have to be exact. A plausible or phonetic pronunciation is usually acceptable, unless it demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about the correct answer (e.g., Malcolm the Tenth is not acceptable for Malcolm X). As a general rule, while leeway may be given to vowel sounds, consonants should be in the correct order (e.g., Olduvai is not the same as Olvudai), and syllables should not be added or omitted.

It is not the case, however, that "vowels do not matter." Correctly pronounced answers are always acceptable. Plausible pronunciations of answers according to standard English phonetics are acceptable, so long as they do not create ambiguity. Plausible pronunciations of answers according to other languages may or may not be acceptable depending on the exact context. For instance, mee-jee, mye-jye, and may-ih-jee would all be acceptable for Meiji. Moo-joo or may-jay would be incorrect. The intent of this rule is to avoid penalizing players for learning by reading without an opportunity to hear words pronounced correctly.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by cvdwightw »

Matt Weiner wrote:The relevant NAQT rules, in any case:
Correctness Guidelines wrote:27. Pronunciations do not have to be exact. A plausible or phonetic pronunciation is usually acceptable, unless it demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about the correct answer (e.g., Malcolm the Tenth is not acceptable for Malcolm X). As a general rule, while leeway may be given to vowel sounds, consonants should be in the correct order (e.g., Olduvai is not the same as Olvudai), and syllables should not be added or omitted.

28. It is not the case, however, that "vowels do not matter." Correctly pronounced answers are always acceptable. Plausible pronunciations of answers according to standard English phonetics are acceptable, so long as they do not create ambiguity. Plausible pronunciations of answers according to other languages may or may not be acceptable depending on the exact context. For instance, mee-jee, mye-jye, and may-ih-jee would all be acceptable for Meiji. Moo-joo or may-jay would be incorrect. The intent of this rule is to avoid penalizing players for learning by reading without an opportunity to hear words pronounced correctly.

29. A player may be prompted to spell a phonetically close response. In such cases, the exact spelling is not always required (e.g., a player says muh-NAY and is prompted. A response of M-A-N-A-Y would be sufficient to remove ambiguity with Monet.)
It seems to me that rule 29 is more applicable than rule 27 or 28. There is, in fact, a notable "Pom-pah-doo," but it's not unreasonable that whoever answered that was under the impression that the "r" sound was silent (because, you know, as Bruce said, French is weird, and a lot of r's are barely pronounced - it's not unreasonable for someone who hears the French pronunciation, being unfamiliar with the "hey we put r's in places where we barely pronounce them" rule, to understand "Richard Coeur de Lion" as "Ree-SHAHD COO de lee-ON"). It would, then, seem proper for the moderator to ask for a spelling to see if the player was indeed aware that there was an r at the end of the name.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

I find Matt's argumentum ad furniture strange and unconvincing.

If you are truly concerned that a player intended to answer with the name of a 20th century man for an question that was clearly about a 17th century woman, I think the best thing to do would have been Susan's suggestion: make them spell it.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by matt979 »

cvdwightw wrote:It seems to me that rule 29 is more applicable than rule 27 or 28. There is, in fact, a notable "Pom-pah-doo," but it's not unreasonable that whoever answered that was under the impression that the "r" sound was silent (because, you know, as Bruce said, French is weird, and a lot of r's are barely pronounced - it's not unreasonable for someone who hears the French pronunciation, being unfamiliar with the "hey we put r's in places where we barely pronounce them" rule, to understand "Richard Coeur de Lion" as "Ree-SHAHD COO de lee-ON"). It would, then, seem proper for the moderator to ask for a spelling to see if the player was indeed aware that there was an r at the end of the name.
This is indeed something I think we should encourage moderators to do in borderline situations. (I don't know to what extent protests were covered in the staff meeting, as I was going around taking care of last-minute things while both the staff meeting and player's meeting took place.)

I'm probably about to start a separate thread about general protest resolving procedures (I'm mildly surprised there aren't more offshoot threads as, for example, I found the "Common Links" thread very well-expressed and enlightening). Meanwhile, sticking with the specifics of pronunciation protests:

Say you were tasked with ascertaining (with on-line research, and/or the phone numbers of people who might have language-specific expertise) whether a particular pronunciation should be acceptable in quiz-bowl. What on-line resources would you find most helpful? What general approach would you take to the research? How much weight, if any, would you give to the existence of the moderator's initial ruling (as distinct from the moderator's explanation of said ruling)?

Thanks,
Matt
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

matt979 wrote:Say you were tasked with ascertaining (with on-line research, and/or the phone numbers of people who might have language-specific expertise) whether a particular pronunciation should be acceptable in quiz-bowl. What on-line resources would you find most helpful? What general approach would you take to the research? How much weight, if any, would you give to the existence of the moderator's initial ruling (as distinct from the moderator's explanation of said ruling)?
It seems to me that a tournament the size of ICT should have people staffing or at least contactable by phone that are reasonably competent with French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, German, and Japanese phonology. Why not just ask them?
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

Could someone please post the text of the Hegel tossup? It's relevant to a point I'd like to make about length of questions and how that affects their quality.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

grapesmoker wrote:Could someone please post the text of the Hegel tossup? It's relevant to a point I'd like to make about length of questions and how that affects their quality.
round 1 wrote:Augusto Vera worked to popularize this man in France in the 19th century, while an Italian school devoted to him was led by Bertrando Spaventa. During the 1930s, an influential course on the correct reading of this thinker was delivered in Paris by Alexandre Kojeve. Moncure Conway was a leader of the (*) Cincinnati school devoted to this thinker, though the St. Louis school is better known. For 10 points--name this German philosopher who wrote ~The Science of Logic~ and ~The Phenomenology of Spirit~.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Matt Weiner »

matt979 wrote:
cvdwightw wrote: It would, then, seem proper for the moderator to ask for a spelling to see if the player was indeed aware that there was an r at the end of the name.
This is indeed something I think we should encourage moderators to do in borderline situations.
In this situation, it would have served solely to give a player two chances to answer the question after, essentially, being told his first answer was wrong (like being prompted on Adams for John Quincy Adams, which NAQT/ACF/etc do not allow, for that very reason). That does not seem fair to the other team. Rather than handing out free points, not writing on hard to pronounce answers, or any other terrible solution, the proper procedure seems to be to have the moderators make their best judgments and, if those judgments are wrong, raise protests to overturn them which are actually adjudicated in some sensible way, rather than the way in which they have been addressed in the past.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by matt979 »

cornfused wrote:It seems to me that a tournament the size of ICT should have people staffing or at least contactable by phone that are reasonably competent with French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, German, and Japanese phonology. Why not just ask them?
I'm inclined to call this necessary but insufficient. Someone competent with French could indicate whether the French would(n't) ever give some particular pronunciation, but what we'd often need to determine is whether that same pronunciation passably conveys clear and precise knowledge from an English-speaking quiz player about whose familiarity with foreign phonetics we make no default assumptions.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Cheynem »

I would also welcome a separate thread on protests and feel free to move this to that thread when Matt eventually creates it.

Twice at ICT there were mild protests involving my team. In neither time did it make any difference at all in the final outcome. In the first instance, Bernadette answered "Doric...peoples" for the tossup on "Dorians." She was ruled incorrect. I have no idea if it should have been, but since it was a close game and the tossup did not (as far as I know) specifically disallow the taking of "Doric people," I protested. (If the tossup did specifically say "do not accept Doric," then the reader never made this clear) The reader and scorekeeper seemed a little confused about what to do and it took both teams basically saying "note it and move on" before we could actually move on. This isn't a big deal, but it does strike me as perhaps reflecting that moderators were not being properly briefed on what to do during protest situations.

The second time was handled better--this was what I alluded to earlier with the "Hap"/"Happy" issue in Death of a Salesman. Toronto said "Hap" on their bonus and was ruled incorrect, even though Happy is clearly referred to as Hap throughout the play. Both Minnesota and Toronto protested that this should have been correct and the decision was made to award Toronto an extra 10. I am not sure what would have happened if neither team could come to a consensus.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by DumbJaques »

French is weird. We should be very lenient about taking different pronunciations of French words. Frankly, I think that whoever protested "pom-pah-doo" for Madame Pompadour is a big jerk for doing so.
I mean, if you think Phil Durkos is a gigantic jerk, I guess that's your delusional right - I made the protest after he told me the answer was wrong. It seems plain enough that not only is the answer technically wrong, but at least one other competent moderator made such a ruling, so I'm not clear why you think any person making such a protest is automatically an asshole.

I'll just reiterate my original point - I do not care what the ruling should have been, and I actually really do accept the argument that it's plausible to think that you drop the R in that word - I think it's a tough call because you have to draw the line somewhere when you answer something that could be acceptable for multiple answers, but I would have been perfectly fine hearing that the protest was denied because it seemed plausible that a large group of people could think that was the standard pronunciation. My issue is with the poor, poor way NAQT handled the protest, and the poorer way which Chris was reduced to transmitting it to us. I vehemently disagree with Chris that he somehow bears the brunt of the blame - the person in charge of protest resolution (or, perhaps more accurately, the problematic protest system which has resulted in numerous problems in the past) is the culprit here.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

Matt Weiner wrote:In this situation, it would have served solely to give a player two chances to answer the question after, essentially, being told his first answer was wrong (like being prompted on Adams for John Quincy Adams, which NAQT/ACF/etc do not allow, for that very reason). That does not seem fair to the other team. Rather than handing out free points, not writing on hard to pronounce answers, or any other terrible solution, the proper procedure seems to be to have the moderators make their best judgments and, if those judgments are wrong, raise protests to overturn them which are actually adjudicated in some sensible way, rather than the way in which they have been addressed in the past.
Haven't looked up the ACF rule, but NAQT does explicitly ask for prompting on Adams in this case. The true "free points" situation would be "prompt on John Adams" which is obviously a bad idea.
standard NAQT answer line for JQA wrote:answer: John _Q_uincy _Adams_ (prompt on "Adams"; do not accept "John Adams" or "J. Adams")
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Matt Weiner »

That's weird and I would suggest changing it. On a similar note (since this also came up in a not-affecting-the-outcome way in a game I was reading) why did this packet set instruct to prompt on "Zaire" for DR Congo? The name was changed twelve years ago. Is there an official time limit for when the prompt will no longer be given? I assume, for example, that nobody should expect to be prompted if they buzz in with "Serendib" for Sri Lanka.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

round 13 wrote:This nation's city of Mbuji-Mayi was, when known as Bakwanga, the capital of the so-called Mining State of South Kasai. Its namesake "pedicle," known in French as the (*) "Katanga boot," is a salient that nearly divides its southern neighbor in two, and near it is the nation's second-most populous city, Lubumbashi. Its Orientale and Bandundu provinces border Sudan and Angola, respectively. For 10 points--name this African nation governed from Kinshasa.

answer: _Democratic Republic of_ the _Congo_ or _DRC_ (accept _Congo-Kinshasa_ early; prompt on "Congo"; do not prompt on "Republic of (the) Congo"; prompt on "Zaire")
I inserted the prompt because of the historical content in the first sentence. On further inspection, the name change of the city (1966) predated the switch to Zaire (1971), so the prompt probably shouldn't be there, and I apologize if this somehow changed the outcome of an ICT game.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

Matt Weiner wrote:That's weird and I would suggest changing it.
For reference, here's the answer line for John Adams:

answer: _J_ohn _Adams_ (prompt on "Adams").

"Prompt on Adams" strikes me as entirely normal for these two (and parallel with the treatment of the Johnsons, Harrisons, and Roosevelts). Accepting plain "Adams" as John Adams doesn't work (among other reasons, because there are contexts where he could be confused with Samuel), and I think it's fairly clearly wrong to neg someone for unmodified Adams on any of these.

In related news, anyone have any concerns with this answer line?

answer: _G_eorge _H_(erbert) _W_(alker) _Bush_ (accept _Bush the elder_ or _Bush 41_ or clear knowledge equivalents; prompt on "Bush" or "George Bush"; do not accept "George W(alker) Bush")
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I'm curious, would you prompt on a tossup about the Republic of the Congo if someone only said "Congo?"
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

Recent usage has been "yes," so unmodified "Congo" results in a prompt for either a full name or Kinshasa/Brazzaville.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by jonpin »

Matt Weiner wrote:That's weird and I would suggest changing it.
Assuming, you're talking about prompting on "Adams", why? It's my understanding that "Adams" would be prompted for either of them, but that "John Adams" would be outright rejected for JQ Adams.

Also, note this:
ACF Rules wrote:18. For individuals who share both a first and last name with another person who may be reasonably expected to be an answer in the same general category, some further form of identification may be required, at the discretion of the packet editors. In such cases, this identification need only be enough to distinguish the correct answer from the plausible incorrect answer, and need not be formal or complete. [...] On a question looking for the 43rd U.S. President, “George Bush” will earn a prompt in order to distinguish from the 41st president. At that point, “George W. Bush,” “the second George Bush,” “George Bush the younger” or similar such answers are all acceptable, since the player needs only distinguish the correct answer from the incorrect one, and does not need to demonstrate knowledge of George Walker Bush’s full name.
This appears to be saying (since it states "share both a first and last name") that "John Adams" would be prompted for either president, which to me seems weird. That is probably not what would ever happen in practice, and I honestly haven't played enough recent quiz bowl to know if "George Bush" would get prompted or rejected on a tossup asking for GWB, but if it is the latter, the ACF rules need to be updated to clarify.
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Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Post by Matt Weiner »

Yeah, I think I misread Jeff's original post; this:
bt_green_warbler wrote:Haven't looked up the ACF rule, but NAQT does explicitly ask for prompting on Adams in this case. The true "free points" situation would be "prompt on John Adams" which is obviously a bad idea.
standard NAQT answer line for JQA wrote:answer: John _Q_uincy _Adams_ (prompt on "Adams"; do not accept "John Adams" or "J. Adams")
does in fact make sense. Still, I think the "Pompidou/P-o-m-p-a-d-o-u-r" situation is more in line with my original claim of getting two cracks at the question, which shouldn't happen.
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