Finish your tournaments

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theMoMA
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Finish your tournaments

Post by theMoMA »

I and anyone else who's ever edited a collegiate quizbowl tournament understand that it takes a long time and a lot of work to edit a tournament. It's hard, and it's hard to get done. I've been in the tough position of knowing that I couldn't deliver the number of questions I promised. Collaborators renege on writing, time budgeting goes wrong, and other commitments get in the way of finishing. But we need to start learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them. Full academic tournaments simply can't be produced the way we're producing them now. It results in poor question quality, shoddy editing, uneven difficulty, and ultimately, subpar tournament experiences.

Editors of collegiate quizbowl events: Stop depending on people writing questions for their bye rounds a day before the tournament. Stop budgeting the actual tournament running time for writing questions. Stop starting the writing and editing process too late to finish on time. Stop putting off writing the editors' packets, because you can always start that now. These are all problematic attitudes that lead to tournaments that are late, incomplete, and not as good as they should be. Finally, stop acting like the community owes you some kind of lateness-independent response your late tournament if their playing experience was significantly altered by your inability to do what you said you were going to do. You do not get to dictate how people react to your failure to complete your tournament.

Pick a format, determine the correct number of packets to ensure a fair tournament, and produce that number of packets. If you fall behind, ask for help as soon as possible. It's as simple as that.

There's nothing wrong with showing empathy to the plight of our peers who screw up, or stepping in to help when it happens. We know how hard this work is. But we have to start holding everyone to a higher standard, and it starts with adhering to that standard ourselves.

This post is not intended to start a discussion. What is there to discuss? Do what you say you're going to do, and be open in asking for help if you fall behind. Hold the rest of quizbowl to that standard, sure, but most importantly, uphold it yourself.
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Re: Finish your tournaments

Post by AKKOLADE »

I think tournaments should not be completed because
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Mechanical Beasts
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Re: Finish your tournaments

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

With every iota of my heart and soul I endorse what Andrew has posted.
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Re: Finish your tournaments

Post by felgon123 »

Having been very disheartened reading this thread, I would like to ask if anyone else thought that I was accusing the community of any wrong-doing or trying to dictate how you reacted to my failure to complete a tournament, as that was certainly not my intent.
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Mike Bentley
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Re: Finish your tournaments

Post by Mike Bentley »

I am a bit curious to figure out what happens to tournaments that fall way behind, especially those that are mostly or entirely house-written. With these type of tournaments you typically know exactly how many questions you need to write and in what categories, allowing you to pretty easily make a schedule for how many questions you need to finish per day or week to finish the tournament. If it turns out that by week two you are 75% behind where you thought you would be, why not ask for hep then? If the people working on your tournament aren't producing what they said they would, get in contact with them immediately and demand results. If they're unwilling to produce what they need to, get someone else immediately if possible.

I realize that this is a bit more difficult in packet submission tournaments. Packets come in late, they're of variable quality and have an unknown number of repeats. However, you can still make general estimates and over compensate with editor's questions in the event that you don't have enough work to do after a particular deadline.
Mike Bentley
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at your pleasure
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Re: Finish your tournaments

Post by at your pleasure »

allowing you to pretty easily make a schedule for how many questions you need to finish per day or week to finish the tournament.
This helps, but only if you set it to how much you actually write. If you are a slow writer and only write around 1/1 a day, pretending you can write 4/4 a day is a recipe for disaster.
One other thing I wonder about is how much of a role taking on too much writing and directing plays into this, especially with things like Darger(cancelled so the main event could be finished) and ROBOT(kind of the same thing).
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Re: Finish your tournaments

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:I am a bit curious to figure out what happens to tournaments that fall way behind, especially those that are mostly or entirely house-written. With these type of tournaments you typically know exactly how many questions you need to write and in what categories, allowing you to pretty easily make a schedule for how many questions you need to finish per day or week to finish the tournament. If it turns out that by week two you are 75% behind where you thought you would be, why not ask for hep then? If the people working on your tournament aren't producing what they said they would, get in contact with them immediately and demand results. If they're unwilling to produce what they need to, get someone else immediately if possible.
Some people believe that they will produce far more (with no sacrifice of quality) with an immediate, looming deadline and are not troubled to realize that their writing rate in June isn't quite what it is in January. I'll admit that I myself will write faster with such a deadline, but I know that I lose quality and I only find myself under such a deadline working on getting packets in by early deadlines for submission events; I don't believe I've let that happen yet on tournaments.
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Re: Finish your tournaments

Post by AKKOLADE »

felgon123 wrote:Having been very disheartened reading this thread, I would like to ask if anyone else thought that I was accusing the community of any wrong-doing or trying to dictate how you reacted to my failure to complete a tournament, as that was certainly not my intent.
I don't think Andrew set out to create this thread solely because of CaTO. There have been other events that have had similar problems recently.
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Re: Finish your tournaments

Post by grapesmoker »

felgon123 wrote:Having been very disheartened reading this thread, I would like to ask if anyone else thought that I was accusing the community of any wrong-doing or trying to dictate how you reacted to my failure to complete a tournament, as that was certainly not my intent.
You seemed pretty surprised that only a few people ended up writing questions for their bye round. I don't know why that's so surprising, considering that you dropped it on people at the very last minute. Just because you put out the call and no one answers doesn't mean it's somehow other people's fault that the tournament didn't get done.

I'm with Andrew 100% on this; I meant to post something to this effect, but he's said exactly what I wanted to say. If you seriously think that you can produce questions at the rate required to write the near entirety of a tournament within a week's time, I want some of whatever you're smoking. I think it's quite obvious that if it weren't for the general goodwill of the community in helping out and basically writing half of VCU Open and a good chunk of whatever finally got produced for CATO/TACO, both of those tournaments would have been smoldering half-finished wrecks. You can't keep exploiting the good will of writers who are willing to help out every time you run into a problem because at some point, those people are just going to let you hang.

I think both VCU Open and CaTO/TaCO would have been much improved if instead of trying to write two tournaments, that team had worked together and just written one solid one. There's no shame in canceling something because you don't think you can deliver on the promise to write what you committed to; it's much better to have one full, competent event rather than two haphazardly thrown-together ones.
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