Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

This forum is for tournament announcements, updates, and results (official or otherwise).
Post Reply
User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

Oxford University Quiz Society are planning on hosting an online mirror of Oxford Open 2020 on Saturday, 27th June.

The set was played here in February, and was well received. The set is regular difficulty, with the science answer lines shading on the easier side. Though there are some more British answerlines, this year’s set sits firmly within the canon of Quizbowl, and we think that Americanization, which in the past has not always been particularly successful, may not be needed. We would be interested in hearing thoughts on this.

This would be an open mirror, but, as at the British site, we will provisionally reserve half the spots for collegiate teams. Recent British experience has shown that it is completely practical to hold 20+ team mirrors on Zoom, so the initial field cap for this tournament will be 20 teams, with possible room for expansion, if we can secure the moderators.


A sign up and team formation sheet is available here

Please register using this form as well - we will get in touch about paying closer to the time.
Registration will close 1 week before the tournament, on June 20th.

Please read the following guides prepared by UK Quizbowl on best practices for Zoom quizbowl: Guide 1 and Guide 2

We will likely have a test run for everyone in the days before to familiarise everyone with playing over Zoom.

The distribution of the tournament is as follows:
1/1 Biology
1/1 Physics
2/2 Chemistry and Other Science (12/12 Chem, 14/14 Other Science across the set)
1/1 British Literature
1/1 Anglophone Literature
1/1 European Literature
1/1 World/Miscellaneous Literature (10/10 World, 3/3 Misc incl. Latin/Ancient Greek)
1/1 History up to 1100 CE
1/1 History 1100-1600 CE
1/1 History 1600-1900 CE
1/1 History 1900-Present
[There is a subdistro which ensures an even spread of British/European/World/Misc]
1/1 Visual Fine Arts
1/1 Auditory Fine Arts
1/1 Other Fine Arts
3/3 Thought, including Religion, Philosophy, and Social Science (e.g. Law, Politics, Economics, Linguistics, etc.), but NOT Myth.
1/1 Geography/Other Academic
1/1 Miscellaneous


The mirror fee for this tournament is $50 per team.
Last edited by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone on Sun May 17, 2020 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
Illinois Admin
Wakka
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:11 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror

Post by Illinois Admin »

Is this planned as tossups only or tossups + bonuses?
Bradley McLain
2015- Rockford Auburn High School
2019 - BS Psychology - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2021 - MS in Social Work - University of Texas at Austin

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

Illinois Admin wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 10:45 am
Is this planned as tossups only or tossups + bonuses?
Tossups and Bonuses.
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

Very pleased to see such initial strong interest in the tournament - please do keep signing up! - we will announce the date based on votes received in the evening (BST) this Saturday.
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

The first post has been updated with the date of the tournament, and some new information.
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

Thanks to everyone who has signed up, and especially to those who have registered so far - we're approaching our initial 20 team field cap, so I am currently seeing if we can secure enough mods to expand to 24 teams - for now, sign up ASAP to be sure of a place in the field!
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ames, Iowa

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by CPiGuy »

Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 1:57 pm
I am currently seeing if we can secure enough mods to expand to 24 teams
Recruiting mods from open advertisements has been pretty effective for other online tournaments in the past -- I would recommend putting out a feeler on the quizbowl Discord for interested parties.
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

User avatar
naan/steak-holding toll
Auron
Posts: 2246
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:53 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Based on the experience of this past weekend's CamO, I would strongly advise against a Zoom tournament, or at least against having a team of people who aren't super-experienced with running Zoom breakout rooms being bracket captains / mods. I'd personally prefer Discord, as ICT and similar events have shown that Discord is similarly very easy to scale, and most of the DECAMERON games we've played via chat have been fine.

I would also vote against Americanization, the British content introduces a lot of bonus difficulty variance but it's interesting to listen to and does meaningfully differentiate teams in the tossups.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor
Permanently A Cancelled Eccentric (not-PACE)

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6759
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Cheynem »

I'm not playing this tournament, but in regards to Americanization:

-I don't really think Americanized versions of CamO have worked out that well in years past.
-In many cases, it's not really that the questions are "too British" but that they (by "they," I mean the offending questions) weren't, er, very good (i.e. questions on very specific or niche topics that would be the equivalent of minor American athletes or state election trivia). Last year's set was fine. As the tournament's overall quality improves, there's less of a need to replace questions I think.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

Here Comes Rusev Day
Lulu
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:22 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Here Comes Rusev Day »

Cheynem wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:05 pm
I'm not playing this tournament, but in regards to Americanization:

-I don't really think Americanized versions of CamO have worked out that well in years past.
-In many cases, it's not really that the questions are "too British" but that they (by "they," I mean the offending questions) weren't, er, very good (i.e. questions on very specific or niche topics that would be the equivalent of minor American athletes or state election trivia). Last year's set was fine. As the tournament's overall quality improves, there's less of a need to replace questions I think.
For what it's worth (I'm not sure if Oxford Open ended up being Americanized last year), Oxford Open last year was probably one of the better tournaments on the calendar given difficulty and quality as Mike says, at least for me as a washed up open player playing on "regular" difficulty. I do agree that the British content frequently ends up being way too esoteric and difficult (I'm thinking of Cambridge Open), especially if it plays that way for the British audience.
Zach Foster
North Myrtle Beach High School '09
George Mason University '13
University of Central Florida '15

User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ames, Iowa

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by CPiGuy »

I oppose americanization because playing hilariously hard niche british content is an important part of the experience, especially at a low-stakes event like an online open
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

naan/steak-holding toll wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:01 pm
Based on the experience of this past weekend's CamO, I would strongly advise against a Zoom tournament, or at least against having a team of people who aren't super-experienced with running Zoom breakout rooms being bracket captains / mods. I'd personally prefer Discord, as ICT and similar events have shown that Discord is similarly very easy to scale, and most of the DECAMERON games we've played via chat have been fine.

I would also vote against Americanization, the British content introduces a lot of bonus difficulty variance but it's interesting to listen to and does meaningfully differentiate teams in the tossups.
We're running all our society practices on Zoom, with people who are modding OOT learning what they need to do on Zoom - my intention is that every mod will be more than up to speed with what they need to do, and similarly I as TD will be practising room assignments etc.
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

gyre and gimble
Tidus
Posts: 730
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:45 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by gyre and gimble »

naan/steak-holding toll wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:01 pm
I would also vote against Americanization, the British content introduces a lot of bonus difficulty variance but it's interesting to listen to and does meaningfully differentiate teams in the tossups.
Agreed. I would suggest, though, that the very British bonuses have easy parts replaced with things you would expect most American quizbowl players to know.
Stephen Liu
Torrey Pines '10
Harvard '14
Stanford '17

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

gyre and gimble wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 8:13 pm
naan/steak-holding toll wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:01 pm
I would also vote against Americanization, the British content introduces a lot of bonus difficulty variance but it's interesting to listen to and does meaningfully differentiate teams in the tossups.
Agreed. I would suggest, though, that the very British bonuses have easy parts replaced with things you would expect most American quizbowl players to know.
I am planning to do this as part of the editing process (and ensuring that the more British TUs have sensible giveaways and so on)
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
nickdai
Lulu
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:36 pm

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by nickdai »

Past versions of Oxford Open were not powermarked. Is there an intent to powermark this year’s edition?
Nicholas "Nick" Dai
戴若涵

Black Mountain Middle School '17
Westview High School '21
Honorary Member of Del Norte High School's Quizbowl Team

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

nickdai wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:29 pm
Past versions of Oxford Open were not powermarked. Is there an intent to powermark this year’s edition?
No.
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

A reminder please for teams to register using the google form (looking at Harvard A and B, MIT, and 'vro')

Edit.
We also now have enough mods confirmed for 24 teams.
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

I have now emailed all the registered teams - let me know if you haven't received and email and expected to!
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

I've not had an email response from MIT, Berkeley, vro, or Koyaaniscottie - please reply, or let me know that you've not got it - (MIT, I'm aware my first email didn't go through, but you've not since responded to the resent emails)
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

The logistics email with links to the Zoom room (and backup Discord channel) has been sent out to team contacts. Please let me know if you haven't received them (though I will not reply until morning UK time now)
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ames, Iowa

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by CPiGuy »

This tournament was super fun, thanks to everyone involved in running it!
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

Megachile dupla
Wakka
Posts: 218
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 9:51 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Megachile dupla »

Thanks to Oli for running a good tournament and to all of the moderators.
Tejas Raje
Cornell '14

User avatar
naan/steak-holding toll
Auron
Posts: 2246
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:53 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

I'd like to take a moment to public apologize to Oli and other moderators for my frustration over a protest resolution that effectively decided this tournament, no doubt aggravated because this was my last event with my beloved teammates Harrison and Rafael. There was a very unfortunate situation where a tournament-deciding game was decided via a protest, in which the protesting team changed the substance of the protest after the game, despite the fact that the protest was on a tossup in the first half of the game. Under the ACF rules, such protests should only be filed during the first 10 tossups of the game, and changing such protests retroactively seems to violate the spirit of the rule in this situation. This was not made better by the fact that the protesting team vigorously contested the TD's resolution on their original protest. This made the outcome of this tournament feel extremely illegitimate, in my view.

Ultimately, the later-filed protest was resolved in the correct manner and the tournament was essentially decided on account of this - but I found it rather objectionable that the protesting team completely violated ACF rules with regards to the filing of their protest, but nonetheless took advantage of ACF rules and received a tossup read solely to them as part of the resolution because it was a "should have been prompted" situation. I should have brought this up at the time, and I apologize for not doing so.

I respect the informal nature of online events, but in the future, I would suggest that ACF rules be strictly adhered to in such situations to prevent such conflicts from boiling over. I would also suggest that vigorously arguing with a moderator in a private room is not an acceptable form of affecting resolution, which I think all parties involved can agree to.

Thanks again for hosting this event.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor
Permanently A Cancelled Eccentric (not-PACE)

Stinkweed Imp
Lulu
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:33 pm

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Stinkweed Imp »

naan/steak-holding toll wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:00 am
Under the ACF rules, such protests should only be filed during the first 10 tossups of the game, and changing such protests retroactively seems to violate the spirit of the rule in this situation.
The spirit of this rule appears to me to be to prevent teams from holding up a tournament by declaring a lot of protests at the end of a game, or trying to protest a question in a previous round. If the team is correct and the question was wrong, then why should the exact procedure of filing the protest matter? I think that quizbowl protest rules should, with some reasonable restrictions, grant teams the opportunity to be given points for their knowledge, and not have protest approval being contingent on exactly following a (in my opinion, overly strict) rule. A stricter application of ACF protest rules can only result in fewer protests being granted to factually correct teams.
James Malouf
La Jolla '17
UC Berkeley '21

Bensonfan23
Wakka
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 7:50 pm

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Bensonfan23 »

naan/steak-holding toll wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:00 am
but nonetheless took advantage of ACF rules and received a tossup read solely to them as part of the resolution because it was a "should have been prompted" situation.
Without even knowing the specifics of this exact situation, here's a healthy reminder that this portion too of ACF's rules is inherently unfair and needs to be changed to begin with.
Last edited by Bensonfan23 on Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ryan Humphrey
UT Austin (Cell & Developmental PhD Program, 2018-?)
Duke University (Biology and History, Class of 2018)
George Washington High School (Charleston, WV, Class of 2014)
Former PACE Member (2017-2019)

User avatar
Santa Claus
Wakka
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:58 pm

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Santa Claus »

Thanks to all the staffers who helped make this tournament happen today.

I'll be honest, I did not have a great time during this tournament. Even the very best online sets are still much worse than playing in person, so there's a lot of this that can be reasonably attributed to the online aspect of the experience. Even then, it felt terrible to play this tournament. Is this the worst tournament I've ever played? Probably not. But over the course of the eleven hours that it took to play eleven rounds of quiz bowl I grew increasingly frustrated about the flaws in the set and the tournament's logistics.

I can forgive the logistics - they weren't perfect, but running such a large tournament is no small feat and it went off relatively smoothly. I will say that the clarity of the reading was one of the strengths of the tournament - I never felt that I had any trouble understanding anyone. Nevertheless, there were some hiccups. Always asking for directed answers is nice in theory, but it really wears you down when literally no answer is being taken without being explicitly directed. I was overall happy with the moderating at the tournament, but there's no reason it couldn't be improved at future events.

The set is another matter. It felt like a lot of the answerlines weren't fleshed out enough and the difficulty swings were very noticeable. The British content that was supposedly toned down remained stubbornly unconvertible, and frankly a lot of questions (British and otherwise) were not very good. I would imagine that a not-insignificant part of my displeasure came from being a science player, as that slice of distro repeatedly came far, far below my expectations for a set in [current year] - I don't know if I can think of a single science tossup that I enjoyed in any sense beyond the ironic. I could go into more detail, but suffice to say it was not good for a plethora of reasons.

I had already entered this year's iteration of the event with some dread thanks to the reputation of past sets; while I'll probably find myself playing this again next year, I can only hope that some earnest attempts to fix these problems are made to improve the experience, as I can't imagine that these frustrations are unique to me or to this informal mirror.
Kevin Wang
Arcadia High School 2015
Amherst College 2019

2018 PACE NSC Champion
2019 PACE NSC Champion

User avatar
A Dim-Witted Saboteur
Memerator
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:31 pm
Location: Lansing

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by A Dim-Witted Saboteur »

naan/steak-holding toll wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:00 am
I'd like to take a moment to public apologize to Oli and other moderators for my frustration over a protest resolution that effectively decided this tournament, no doubt aggravated because this was my last event with my beloved teammates Harrison and Rafael. There was a very unfortunate situation where a tournament-deciding game was decided via a protest, in which the protesting team changed the substance of the protest after the game, despite the fact that the protest was on a tossup in the first half of the game. Under the ACF rules, such protests should only be filed during the first 10 tossups of the game, and changing such protests retroactively seems to violate the spirit of the rule in this situation. This was not made better by the fact that the protesting team vigorously contested the TD's resolution on their original protest. This made the outcome of this tournament feel extremely illegitimate, in my view.

Ultimately, the later-filed protest was resolved in the correct manner and the tournament was essentially decided on account of this - but I found it rather objectionable that the protesting team completely violated ACF rules with regards to the filing of their protest, but nonetheless took advantage of ACF rules and received a tossup read solely to them as part of the resolution because it was a "should have been prompted" situation. I should have brought this up at the time, and I apologize for not doing so.

I respect the informal nature of online events, but in the future, I would suggest that ACF rules be strictly adhered to in such situations to prevent such conflicts from boiling over. I would also suggest that vigorously arguing with a moderator in a private room is not an acceptable form of affecting resolution, which I think all parties involved can agree to.

Thanks again for hosting this event.
As the person who filed this protest, I'd like to apologize on behalf of myself and my teammates for allowing and, to some extent, causing, an argument over the protest to escalate. However, given that it was organically mentioned by the TD that although the initial ground of our protest would've been denied, another answer I gave afterward was erroneously denied rather than prompted, it seems to me that given full information and the sort of procedures Will recommends, the same ruling would have been arrived at. For what it's worth, I personally was unaware that we were playing for the outcome of the entire tournament until well after the protest was filed, and contested the ruling on the tossup in question only because I wanted to receive points for what I felt was a demonstration of my knowledge on the topic.

That aside, I hope we can put this to bed since this kind of subtweeting really serves no one. It is kind of a shitty way to lose a tournament, and I've certainly been really angry myself about tournaments I've played that were resolved in this way (as I'm sure we all have), but declaring the tournament illegitimate like this isn't really productive.
Jakob Myers
MSU '21, Naperville North (IL) '17
"No one has ever organized a greater effort to get people interested in pretending to play quiz bowl"
-Ankit Aggarwal

SortesVirgilianae
Kimahri
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:58 pm

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by SortesVirgilianae »

Santa Claus wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:52 am
Always asking for directed answers is nice in theory, but it really wears you down when literally no answer is being taken without being explicitly directed. I was overall happy with the moderating at the tournament, but there's no reason it couldn't be improved at future events.
As one of the moderators at this tournament, I realise that my policy of always asking for answers to be explicitly directed annoyed a lot of people. I'm afraid I still defend this. I realise that it's irritating for players when they have to add "Paris, directed" when asked what (e.g.) the capital of France is during an easy bonus part. However - when moderating online, I can't read the same voice tone/body language cues that I would be able to use when moderating in person. I don't want to waste a lot of time and energy trying to read, from the tone of your voice, whether you're directing an answer or just discussing; I also do NOT want to risk assuming that an answer is directed when you're just discussing it with your team-mates, in a confident tone.

So, with apologies for the inconvenience - I think that having to ritually add "directed" to all your bonus answers is very much the least bad option here.
Alex Hardwick
Cambridge 2013-16
Oxford '2016-?

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

Thank you to everyone who played yesterday, and congratulations to Vro for clearing the field, and to Will Alston for top scoring.

I also want to thank my team of moderators, who did a sterling job all day - many of them kept an excellent pace during the rounds, and generally let me know quickly if they were experiencing technical difficulties.
(the request for a directed answer on every question, though annoying for some questions where the answer is probably clear, is, to my mind, better than the moderator accepting a seemingly directed answer, but actually just a forcefully said discussion among the team)
Finally, thank you to Claire Jones, Evan Lynch and Joseph Krol for coming in very late in the day to help speed up the moderation of the final rounds when multiple moderators across more than one country suffered internet outages etc. (and apologies also to Evan for getting annoyed at him when the online spreadsheets were not working during the rebracket)

I would like to apologise for the two logistic screwups on my part - the delay at starting in the morning, and the length of the rebracket. Both of these could and should have been avoided, and added an unneeded hour onto the long day. The patience and good humour of all the teams is to be commended, especially those in the middle bracket in the afternoon. (kudos also to the Singnila team for their epic overnight play)
The logistics of Zoom itself functioned very smoothly from my end as TD - the moving of teams between rooms was quick, and I don't think any delays followed from that aspect. I'd be interested to see (and perhaps take part in) a discord video tournament of the same scale - we in the UK had issues with Discord videos before, but others have reported more success, and I know it is still under active development as part of the platform.

Thank you to everyone who has messaged me about the set, and aspects they enjoyed. On the British aspect, there was work done to extend the prompts and shift giveaways around, but not extensive rewriting. To be blunt, this is a British-written set, and you should expect British content, and perhaps less obviously, other content seen through a different national and educational perspective. Every British team has laughed their way to zero on a set on American sports, or 19th century state history or myriad other things that require active study from our side of the Atlantic. One or two tournaments a year where you experience the opposite does not seem a great hardship to me: Quizbowl is an international game. (The difficulty of full Americanization can be seen from the difficulty of Briticizing tournaments as we do for our newer players, where it is often dozens of hours of work). When the set is posted, I and the rest of the writing and editing team would love constructive feedback and discussion - before that, please feel free to PM me here or on discord with points.

To Vro and Columbia, I should have resolved that protest in a more formal manner, taking a written substitution from the protesting team, and can only cite my tiredness at the end of the day as slight mitigation. Ending the tournament on such a down pains me, and I hope that the rest of the day's quiz was enjoyable.

There are still two finals packets, which I offer to read on Discord next weekend at some point.

Stats will follow this afternoon.
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
naan/steak-holding toll
Auron
Posts: 2246
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:53 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

A Dim-Witted Saboteur wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:09 am

That aside, I hope we can put this to bed since this kind of subtweeting really serves no one. It is kind of a shitty way to lose a tournament, and I've certainly been really angry myself about tournaments I've played that were resolved in this way (as I'm sure we all have), but declaring the tournament illegitimate like this isn't really productive.
I wouldn't say the whole tournament is illegitimate, but the outcome "felt" that way because it just wasn't a proper resolution - most normal procedure was not adhered to, except the part that was least advantageous to my team, and this basically decided the outcome of the entire event. Which is shitty, and feels doubly shitty because it was the last game of my last tournament with this iteration of the team.
Last edited by naan/steak-holding toll on Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor
Permanently A Cancelled Eccentric (not-PACE)

User avatar
naan/steak-holding toll
Auron
Posts: 2246
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:53 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Separately, I'd like to take the opportunity to defend this tournament. I understand that it's written for a broader quiz audience in the UK, and so you're going to get:
  • Science questions will be easier than the other material, as the audience just lacks the knowledge to do well on the harder science questions - if I had to guess, Science is still probably one of the hardest categories for the audience despite the easier content. Can't really speak to the quality (I suspect it might not have been there)
  • Continental European stuff will also be harder, as a lot more people will be familiar with it through travel, while "world" stuff will be easier
  • British stuff is...well, British, and it's like US stuff in the US. Big surprise that it's harder!
  • Various other things will be a bigger deal in one country as opposed to another (won't cite examples, but from speaking with the mods this definitely appeared to be the case, even when the content in question wasn't "British" per se)
All of these things seemed predictable. Perhaps the audience should have been told, since not everyone (such as myself) has the advantage of conversing with a lot of the Brits about these issues.

I'm also basically fully in agreement that we can "deal with it" if we want to play British tournaments, or hire an Americanizer on our own end to tweak the question set and maybe add a few replacements. That's what's done with BSQC already, and if we want some big tournaments on British sets with a bunch of mirrors to play optimally, that's what we'll need to do.

Taking the above into account, this set otherwise felt pretty similar to a bunch of other regular-ish tournaments - there was a decent amount of bonus variance, lack of prompts, cliffs, and perhaps a bit too much reliance on titles which led to buzzer races; but there's plenty to be worked with here, and a cross-pond collaboration is a promising avenue forward. A lot of these things just get caught by having an experienced editor doing oversight and that experience is hard-earned!
Last edited by naan/steak-holding toll on Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor
Permanently A Cancelled Eccentric (not-PACE)

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Sin
Posts: 6029
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Mike Bentley »

Yeah I had an enjoyable enough experience at this tournament even if there were definitely areas for improvement. I suspect Kevin's impressions were slightly skewed by the last match of the tournament being by far the worst for our team. Stingy answer lines, some bad use of the tag "description acceptable," some moderator errors (understandable given the size of this tournament and the fact that it was like 2 AM at this point) and a couple of clunkers led to an hour-long match with six protests in it. Prior to that, there was enough to have a good time. I'd have preferred that bonuses at least get a second look from an American to avoid the ~1 per packet that were likely 0ed by almost all teams but having played a tournament like VETO I came into this expecting that.

And thanks again to Oxford for hosting such a large tournament that extended so late into the night.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
A Dim-Witted Saboteur
Memerator
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:31 pm
Location: Lansing

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by A Dim-Witted Saboteur »

SortesVirgilianae wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:08 am
Santa Claus wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:52 am
Always asking for directed answers is nice in theory, but it really wears you down when literally no answer is being taken without being explicitly directed. I was overall happy with the moderating at the tournament, but there's no reason it couldn't be improved at future events.
As one of the moderators at this tournament, I realise that my policy of always asking for answers to be explicitly directed annoyed a lot of people. I'm afraid I still defend this. I realise that it's irritating for players when they have to add "Paris, directed" when asked what (e.g.) the capital of France is during an easy bonus part. However - when moderating online, I can't read the same voice tone/body language cues that I would be able to use when moderating in person. I don't want to waste a lot of time and energy trying to read, from the tone of your voice, whether you're directing an answer or just discussing; I also do NOT want to risk assuming that an answer is directed when you're just discussing it with your team-mates, in a confident tone.

So, with apologies for the inconvenience - I think that having to ritually add "directed" to all your bonus answers is very much the least bad option here.
I actually liked this part of the tournament personally, it reduced a lot of ambiguity that normally goes with deciding whether to take answers in online tournaments.
Jakob Myers
MSU '21, Naperville North (IL) '17
"No one has ever organized a greater effort to get people interested in pretending to play quiz bowl"
-Ankit Aggarwal

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

Stats are available here - Let me know if there are any errors!

Edit. Playoffs stat report now carries over the one game from prelims.
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Sin
Posts: 6029
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Mike Bentley »

A Dim-Witted Saboteur wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:18 pm
SortesVirgilianae wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:08 am
Santa Claus wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:52 am
Always asking for directed answers is nice in theory, but it really wears you down when literally no answer is being taken without being explicitly directed. I was overall happy with the moderating at the tournament, but there's no reason it couldn't be improved at future events.
As one of the moderators at this tournament, I realise that my policy of always asking for answers to be explicitly directed annoyed a lot of people. I'm afraid I still defend this. I realise that it's irritating for players when they have to add "Paris, directed" when asked what (e.g.) the capital of France is during an easy bonus part. However - when moderating online, I can't read the same voice tone/body language cues that I would be able to use when moderating in person. I don't want to waste a lot of time and energy trying to read, from the tone of your voice, whether you're directing an answer or just discussing; I also do NOT want to risk assuming that an answer is directed when you're just discussing it with your team-mates, in a confident tone.

So, with apologies for the inconvenience - I think that having to ritually add "directed" to all your bonus answers is very much the least bad option here.
I actually liked this part of the tournament personally, it reduced a lot of ambiguity that normally goes with deciding whether to take answers in online tournaments.
Eh, I disliked this policy. It ended up adding a lot of unnecessary time to the rounds. My preference is for moderators to just take right answers in online bonus parts if they use their judgement that a team isn't really debating. This will result in a few cases where a team will get credit for an answer they'd have changed their mind on, but (a) given how unimportant bonuses are in determining the outcome of matches and (b) how long online tournaments wit bonuses take, I think this is an acceptable compromise. Similarly, if moderators prompt for an answer and the teams don't have it immediately, they shouldn't wait for more discussion to happen,especially if they haven't already heard the team discussing the right answer. i.e. "Mod: Answer please? Player 1: Uh, well, what do you think? [in my opinion you cut it off here] Player 2: I dunno, maybe it's this wrong answer. Player 1: Ok, it's wrong answer. Moderator: No."

Having 10 seconds to confer was nice enough, but the problem with doing this is that it leads to more variance in bonus timing. Moderators who are already very slow counters and who don't adjust can really slow down tournaments giving the full 10 seconds (I counted 25 seconds for a bonus part in one round we played). Since in practice mods end up giving 4-5 seconds after an "answer please" any future online tournament with 10 second bonus prompts should ask mods to prompt around 6 seconds in.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
naan/steak-holding toll
Auron
Posts: 2246
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:53 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

I think the "directed" part was fine too - once you got into the cadence of it, it removed ambiguity. Just a case of something worth getting used to. Mods did a very good job enunciating and were generally jolly individuals too.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor
Permanently A Cancelled Eccentric (not-PACE)

Here Comes Rusev Day
Lulu
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:22 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Here Comes Rusev Day »

Thank you a lot to the friends overseas for staying up till the wee hours of the morning hosting this to entertain some Americans wanting to play quizbowl. I generally thought the set was delightful to play (I think there is some sort of expectation you have to have going in with a British set, if you do that it makes it more enjoyable), especially the Other Fine Arts and the European History parts of the tournament. There were obviously a few clunkers, as with any set, and some logistics stuff that really didn't end up hurting anything too bad and didn't take away from the experience. Thank you again and everyone stay safe out there!
Zach Foster
North Myrtle Beach High School '09
George Mason University '13
University of Central Florida '15

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Sin
Posts: 6029
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Mike Bentley »

By the way, is this set now clear? Is there a discussion forum?
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

I will be reading the two Finals packets tonight on the discord at 11 pm BST/6pm EDT this evening.
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

User avatar
Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Wakka
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Oxford Open Online Mirror - Saturday 27th June

Post by Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone »

Thanks to everyone who turned out to play the finals packets last night - according to the discord scoring bot the Top 10 scorers were

Code: Select all

itamar
75
tejas
65
Erik Christensen
35
cabibbo-kobayashi-maskawa
30
Krol [Cambridge]
25
JLaw
20
r_hi
10
swapnil garg
10
Max Brodsky (High Tech)
10
Nick Jensen
5
I've uploaded the set as both pdfs and a zip with all the docs to the archives.

Thank you to everyone who has paid for the mirror - I believe the last team we're awaiting payment from is Chicago.
Oliver Clarke
King Edward's School, Birmingham '11
Oxford '16
St Andrews '18
Oxford '21

Post Reply