This is a really long post, so if it gets to the tl;dr point, just read the end.
For all you out-of-staters, the IHSA has until this point (and hopefully longer) had a policy of salutary neglect and doesn't say "no nationals" or "no good tournaments" like other state organizations do. In the four years I played under IHSA rules, I did not once seen the blurt rule put into effect. I'd even go so far as to say it's never made a difference in a competitive match. So you all can moan about it all you want, but it really makes about as much of a difference as what kind of shirt you wear to a match (pun intended). After moderating turnabout, I've seen that these "raw talent" teams are more than capable of playing these questions. Complain about the neutering of mACF bonuses all you want, but this is still an effective way to introduce this format to a new group of people. Next year, this area will probably drop those rules, as players and more importantly, coaches, will be more familiar with how this works.
It's important that you guys remember that the moderators that run these tournaments are volunteers. Most of the dudes writing your housewritten questions are also volunteers. So while you might be right to complain about how horrible they are or how your favorite category got slighted, you're not the one filling that seat and the majority of the time you're not the one writing questions. If you don't like the fact that your moderators aren't salivating at pyramidal tossups, then find a ton of staffers that do. Oh wait...there was a college tournament this weekend and you can't? I guess it's a wash, then.
Finally, I will return to the purpose of this thread. NAQT has a consistent distribution that includes a lot of trash, geography, and current events. Their amount of the above categories has been pretty consistent recently and I'm pretty sure the fine folks over at NAQT aren't trying to fool you. Furthermore, when Jeff (I think it was Jeff) went back to look at cross-disciplinary giveaways in past IS sets, there actually weren't that many. Most of the ones he found were geography cross-disciplinary giveaways, which isn't all the uncommon for regular packets. I don't think I need to remind you that NAQT, like many other companies, exists to make money. If they felt like their question distribution was hurting their business, they would change it. The folks over there have been running an increasingly successful operation, so apparently people like this format. On top of all that, they've brought legitimate quizbowl to a lot of new teams.
While I personally agree with a lot of what you have the say, Zahed, your comments here are symptomatic of an increasing amount of people who expect every team in the state to roll over and start reading Kant (in German). For crying out loud, Bradley-Bourbannais was eating up every bit of that A set I read last week. Five years ago you would never catch that team within a hundred miles of a power mark. Brad and Kristin need a huge pat on the back for what they've done in their area, and I think we all can learn from their example of hands-on, local improvement of quizbowl. Keep up the good work, everybody.
R. Jeffrey Geringer
Saint Viator '09
Illinois '13, '14