Moderator Training Resources

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Captain Sinico
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Moderator Training Resources

Post by Captain Sinico »

I'm trying to help a college-run tournament in my area to improve. They have a lot of good resources: a whole college of a university behind them (the college head is personally involved!,) a ton of excellent volunteers, and they've even begun using good questions as of last year. They even seem to be persuaded to adopt a standard schedule, which is outstanding for me,

What they don't have is a good way to train their volunteer moderators. Who can suggest some good stuff to send them? I'm aiming for things that interested and probably pretty intelligent but not necessarily experienced people can benefit most from in terms of likelihood of walking in the door and running a reasonable game. We all know by now that randos won't always pan out and will sometimes be disasters, but I'll take slightly trained randos any day! Bonus if it applies best to mACF or IHSSBCA formats.

I've already shared PACE's excellent moderator tips and PACE's "What is Quizbowl?" video and NAQT's basic rules video, as well as a couple compiled moderator tips and instruction lists that I've used through the years which some of you may be already familiar with.
Mike Sorice
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Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
Member, ACF (Emeritus), IHSSBCA, & PACE
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vinteuil
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Re: Moderator Training Resources

Post by vinteuil »

I put together a checklist a few years ago that I think still holds up: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FTe ... sp=sharing
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Captain Sinico
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Re: Moderator Training Resources

Post by Captain Sinico »

Thanks, that is pretty good. You should strike the part where it says "say "answer?" on second 4 (of a tossup)" since that's not a rule anywhere and all.

Anyone else have stuff?
Mike Sorice
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Member, ACF (Emeritus), IHSSBCA, & PACE
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vinteuil
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Re: Moderator Training Resources

Post by vinteuil »

Captain Sinico wrote:Thanks, that is pretty good. You should strike the part where it says "say "answer?" on second 4 (of a tossup)" since that's not a rule anywhere and all.
Yikes, good catch.
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Captain Sinico
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Re: Moderator Training Resources

Post by Captain Sinico »

vinteuil wrote:
Captain Sinico wrote:Thanks, that is pretty good. You should strike the part where it says "say "answer?" on second 4 (of a tossup)" since that's not a rule anywhere and all.
Yikes, good catch.
I still want to figure out where and when that started one of these days! It's a great example of a meme in the original meaning of the word.
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-2020) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
Member, ACF (Emeritus), IHSSBCA, & PACE
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UlyssesInvictus
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Re: Moderator Training Resources

Post by UlyssesInvictus »

Captain Sinico wrote:
vinteuil wrote:
Captain Sinico wrote:Thanks, that is pretty good. You should strike the part where it says "say "answer?" on second 4 (of a tossup)" since that's not a rule anywhere and all.
Yikes, good catch.
I still want to figure out where and when that started one of these days! It's a great example of a meme in the original meaning of the word.
A good number of local formats have rules like this: IMO there's probably some ingraining from there. (Worse, a lot of local formats don't let the player answer at all until they're designated, even if they're clearly the only ones buzzing, or the moderator has obviously turned to look at the player...)
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Mike Bentley
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Re: Moderator Training Resources

Post by Mike Bentley »

What is the logic for not prompting for answer on tossups? On bonuses the main purpose is "you better say something or I'm going to call time". I don't really see the downside to having that for tossups as well.
Mike Bentley
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Captain Sinico
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Re: Moderator Training Resources

Post by Captain Sinico »

Mike Bentley wrote:What is the logic for not prompting for answer on tossups? On bonuses the main purpose is "you better say something or I'm going to call time". I don't really see the downside to having that for tossups as well.
I prefer that it not be done, but I acknowledge that it's arguable. I'd be happy to argue about it elsewhere (while owning that I opened this...)

The logic of not training brand new, inexperienced moderators to do that is that it's not in the rules to do it and it's expressly against some rules. Consider, e.g.
PACE Rule D.9. wrote:While a tossup is live, the moderator may not ask any players or teams to give an answer, or provide any verbal warning that time is about to expire, while a tossup is live.
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-2020) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
Member, ACF (Emeritus), IHSSBCA, & PACE
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Captain Sinico
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Re: Moderator Training Resources

Post by Captain Sinico »

UlyssesInvictus wrote:A good number of local formats have rules like this: IMO there's probably some ingraining from there. (Worse, a lot of local formats don't let the player answer at all until they're designated, even if they're clearly the only ones buzzing, or the moderator has obviously turned to look at the player...)
You're discussing a different rule, I think. I'm well aware of that one – the tournament I'm helping here used it this very year.
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-2020) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
Member, ACF (Emeritus), IHSSBCA, & PACE
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Mike Bentley
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Re: Moderator Training Resources

Post by Mike Bentley »

Captain Sinico wrote:
Mike Bentley wrote:What is the logic for not prompting for answer on tossups? On bonuses the main purpose is "you better say something or I'm going to call time". I don't really see the downside to having that for tossups as well.
I prefer that it not be done, but I acknowledge that it's arguable. I'd be happy to argue about it elsewhere (while owning that I opened this...)

The logic of not training brand new, inexperienced moderators to do that is that it's not in the rules to do it and it's expressly against some rules. Consider, e.g.
PACE Rule D.9. wrote:While a tossup is live, the moderator may not ask any players or teams to give an answer, or provide any verbal warning that time is about to expire, while a tossup is live.
Yeah to be clear we should train moderators on the rules, but I think it's worth reconsidering this rule.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008
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theMoMA
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Re: Moderator Training Resources

Post by theMoMA »

My main issue with prompting for an answer on tossups, which perhaps Mike shares, is that many moderators are already very lenient with their five-second tossup countdowns, and many of those moderators also tend to be overly generous after prompting for an answer on bonuses. I think the effect of changing the rule might be that players in some rooms functionally have 7-10 seconds to answer after a tossup, which seems outrageously long to me.
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