LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

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LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by jacob.egol »

Duke Quiz Bowl is excited to announce the Mid-Atlantic regional online mirror of Longhorn Invitational Tournament, a medium-difficulty set written by members of the UT Austin quiz bowl team! Further details about the set can be found here.

I, Jacob Egol, will be directing this tournament. Please direct any questions about this tournament to me at [email protected] or post them in this thread. We hope to see you online soon!

Time and Place:
This tournament will be held on September 5, 2020 on Discord, with Round 1 beginning at 9:00 am Eastern Time. A link to the tournament server will be sent to all registered teams during the week of the tournament.

Rules:
We will use ACF gameplay rules, with the inclusion of powermarks.

Eligibility:
This LIT mirror is open to teams from any of the following states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina, plus Washington, DC.
Any team which complies with ACF's eligibility rules may play LIT.*
After further clarification with the editors, closed high school teams are allowed to sign up for this mirror as long as they are from within the region outlined above. However, given the large region which this mirror will now cover, we encourage all high school teams who wish to play LIT to sign up for one of LIT's high-school-only mirrors. We apologize for all of the back-and-forth decisions and for the confusion which this may have caused.
* Given that LIT has been postponed from spring 2020, the set editors are allowing collegiate players to play for schools with which they were affiliated as of March 1, 2020. Players who have graduated since then and enrolled in a program at a different institution may choose to play for their previous or for their current affiliation. (This policy does not apply for new undergraduate freshman, who may not play this mirror with a closed high school team.)

Registration:
Registration for this tournament closed on Thursday, September 3.

Fees and Payment:
As we are unsure of what funding and budgets may look like for clubs this semester, we are striving to make our LIT mirror as accessible as possible.
Base fee: $80 per team
Team-provided staff discount: $20 off of your school's total registration fee for the first EXPERIENCED staffer, and $10 off for each subsequent staffer; staff must be able to read a round in 35-40 minutes and must have functional laptops. Schools may supply as many staffers as they please, but will not be discounted beyond their minimum fee.
"New to quizbowl" discount: $20 off of the total registration fee for any school whose teams have never played a regular-difficulty (not exclusively novice) collegiate academic tournament before September 1, 2019 and whose players have not formerly played such tournaments for another school.
Minimum fee: $50 per team

For payment, Venmo would be easiest, but we are totally flexible and will accommodate whatever payment method is best for each team (including PayPal, Zelle, and check). Teams will be provided with an invoice and an account/address for payment once they register. Any questions or concerns regarding payment should be sent to me directly.

Field Size:
This tournament's field has currently reached its third soft cap at 22 teams; teams are welcome to register for a waitlist via the Google Form linked under "Registration." If we have sufficient staff, then our next (and likely our final) field expansion will occur once we reach 24 teams. A viewable spreadsheet with teams in the field and on the waitlist can be found here.

Conduct:
Duke Quiz Bowl is committed to fostering an environment in which everyone feels safe and welcome. In light of the broader discussions in the quiz bowl community, the editors have written a code of conduct for all LIT mirrors (for reference, the code is posted in the main thread for LIT, linked at the beginning of this post). This code will be circulated to all registered teams for their players to review before the tournament; all players will be required to acknowledge that they have read the code and will adhere to it before they are allowed to play the tournament.
Last edited by jacob.egol on Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:55 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by buffaloz1331 »

I assume that since Maryland and Virginia are both listed, schools in DC are not exempt from playing this tournament?
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by jacob.egol »

buffaloz1331 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:21 am I assume that since Maryland and Virginia are both listed, schools in DC are not exempt from playing this tournament?
The main post has been updated to reflect that teams from Washington, DC are included in this mirror.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by a named reaction »

According to the spreadsheet, Columbia has registered a team for this tournament despite the fact that New York is not one of the states included in the first post of this thread or in the Mid-Atlantic region on the overall LIT announcement. I don't much care whether they play this mirror or the Northeast one (though if you want to call me Eric Bork I guess I can't stop you), but I'd appreciate it if we could get an explicit confirmation that teams can ask the LIT editors for permission to play mirrors outside of their own region, since I can't find any reference in the LIT announcement thread to any such process.

EDIT: I didn't notice that the comment on the spreadsheet saying that Columbia had been granted permission from the editors, but I'd still appreciate it if the editors could explicitly note the possibility of such exemptions in the global LIT announcement, so teams who aren't paying attention to this thread and may feel less confident than Columbia in asking for permission to do something that is not explicitly allowed may be assuaged.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

a named reaction wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:03 pm According to the spreadsheet, Columbia has registered a team for this tournament despite the fact that New York is not one of the states included in the first post of this thread or in the Mid-Atlantic region on the overall LIT announcement. I don't much care whether they play this mirror or the Northeast one (though if you want to call me Eric Bork I guess I can't stop you), but I'd appreciate it if we could get an explicit confirmation that teams can ask the LIT editors for permission to play mirrors outside of their own region, since I can't find any reference in the LIT announcement thread to any such process.

EDIT: I didn't notice that the comment on the spreadsheet saying that Columbia had been granted permission from the editors, but I'd still appreciate it if the editors could explicitly note the possibility of such exemptions in the global LIT announcement, so teams who aren't paying attention to this thread and may feel less confident than Columbia in asking for permission to do something that is not explicitly allowed may be assuaged.
As a point of clarification, I emailed the editors to request an exception given the following:
  • The Northeast mirror has not been announced.
  • It is possible that, when it is announced, the Northeast mirror date will conflict with an IKEA mirror date elsewhere, and Gerhardt and I need to be available to resolve protests etc. on such dates for our particular categories.
Given this, I think it was eminently reasonable to petition for an exception. We look forward to playing you all!
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by a named reaction »

Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that Columbia was doing anything wrong; I just thought that it would be desirable for the LIT editors to put in the LIT global announcement that exemptions from the geographical restrictions are available and will be granted for good reasons so that everybody knows that and doesn't have to assume anything.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Bensonfan23 »

These concerns have now been addressed in LIT's main thread. In short, yes teams can request reasonable exceptions from LIT's editors and a list of granted exceptions will be kept in that post for transparency. Thanks for everyone's interest in playing LIT!
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by jacob.egol »

There are two weeks left until this tournament and there's still room in the field for more teams! We hope to see you on Discord soon!
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by jacob.egol »

Our field has now reached its first cap at 18 teams— thanks for all of your interest in playing our mirror! Pending the acquisition of more staff, we may expand the field. In the meantime, teams are still welcome to sign up for a spot on the waitlist (via the same Google Form linked in the original post).
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by jacob.egol »

We have expanded our field to 20 teams and have moved 2 teams up from the waitlist. Pending the acquisition of more staff, we plan to expand the field again if we reach 24 teams. (It would be very helpful if any teams that sign up between now and Thursday bring a moderator.)

Teams are still welcome to sign up for the waitlist (via the same Google Form linked in the original post) by this Thursday, September 3.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by jacob.egol »

Since we now have enough moderators to run a 22-team field, we have moved two additional teams up from the waitlist. However, in order to avoid byes and make things more logistically sound, we are still hoping to expand to a field of 24! Teams are still welcome to sign up by tomorrow night for a spot on the waitlist (via the same Google Form linked in the original post). (And if you can bring a moderator, we'd really appreciate it!)
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows »

This tournament really drove home several problems with holding tournaments online. During the tournament, Chase Chiang of Princeton was caught cheating (I have no idea why the final stats don't contain some indication that this occurred). From what I've heard, adressing the cheating situation was the main reason the tournament ran so far behind schedule. Moreover, it appears that at least some players on Duke's house team were also cheating. Angikar Ghosal from Duke went from a 5-21-12 performance on MWT, a tournament significantly easier than LIT, to an impressive 30-26-18 performance yesterday. I think that these players should, at the very least, receive temporary bans from playing online events and the stats should be amended to reflect the fact that they cheated.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by jacob.egol »

Borrowing 100,000 Arrows wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:25 pm This tournament really drove home several problems with holding tournaments online. During the tournament, Chase Chiang of Princeton was caught cheating (I have no idea why the final stats don't contain some indication that this occurred). From what I've heard, addressing the cheating situation was the main reason the tournament ran so far behind schedule. Moreover, it appears that at least some players on Duke's house team were also cheating. Angikar Ghosal from Duke went from a 5-21-12 performance on MWT, a tournament significantly easier than LIT, to an impressive 30-26-18 performance yesterday. I think that these players should, at the very least, receive temporary bans from playing online events and the stats should be amended to reflect the fact that they cheated.
The stats which are posted are not official/final. Those will be coming later today.
I will address the cheating allegations and our club's response to them when I post the final stats. In the meantime, I will say that the cheating allegations were not the only reason which caused the tournament to end late, since there were also issues with assigning teams to their playoff rooms that caused the playoffs to begin 30-40 minutes late.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Inscrutable Fox »

Borrowing 100,000 Arrows wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:25 pm This tournament really drove home several problems with holding tournaments online. During the tournament, Chase Chiang of Princeton was caught cheating (I have no idea why the final stats don't contain some indication that this occurred). From what I've heard, addressing the cheating situation was the main reason the tournament ran so far behind schedule. Moreover, it appears that at least some players on Duke's house team were also cheating. Angikar Ghosal from Duke went from a 5-21-12 performance on MWT, a tournament significantly easier than LIT, to an impressive 30-26-18 performance yesterday. I think that these players should, at the very least, receive temporary bans from playing online events and the stats should be amended to reflect the fact that they cheated.
We will be addressing the cheating allegations concerning Princeton later today and, as Jacob emphasized on the Discord yesterday and again above, we are finalizing stats as we deal with this matter. We would thank everyone for their patience on the matter in letting the editors and tournament hosts sort through the evidence and present it before leveling public allegations and suggesting bans.

Please do contact me with any evidence you have for cheating from Angikar. To my knowledge, there is none beyond his statlines, and I would think that we have learned something this summer about being careful of using such measures as the sole evaluation of whether or not someone has cheated.

I do acknowledge that Angikar's stats seem highly anomalous and am willing to ask him to produce his search and text message history from yesterday and explain each buzz, as was done in the course of investigation for the other case yesterday.

I will also offer my personal perspective, having gotten to know Angikar well in the last year. He truly does have deep knowledge, having, as a first semester sophomore, TA'd and/or tutored nearly every intro STEM course at Duke (he's moved on to grad level chem) and competed successfully in an international linguistics bee as a high schooler. He's consistently impressed me at practice with the buzzes he gets across subjects, always accompanied by the explanation with his legitimate knowledge of the subject, and he's improved significantly over the summer. Moreover, as a person, he's incredibly enthusiastic about quiz bowl for the thrill of it, and he is a bit... erratic. At MWT he slept through rounds and woke up to power four in a row in one round, took 7 shots of caffeine yesterday, etc.

I understand that my personal attestations to Angikar's character and ability do not do anything for people who do not know him. If people want to take it up with the editors or some other higher arbiter since our team also ran this tournament, we will again address these concerns. For the matter of future tournaments, I'm also willing to sit with him in person to ensure he is not cheating (we're both in the Durham area) - if I appear to be too biased for the task to anyone, I'm also happy to accept if there is some other third party willing to do so to establish that Angikar is capable of performing at such a high level without cheating.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows »

Inscrutable Fox wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:07 pm
Borrowing 100,000 Arrows wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:25 pm This tournament really drove home several problems with holding tournaments online. During the tournament, Chase Chiang of Princeton was caught cheating (I have no idea why the final stats don't contain some indication that this occurred). From what I've heard, addressing the cheating situation was the main reason the tournament ran so far behind schedule. Moreover, it appears that at least some players on Duke's house team were also cheating. Angikar Ghosal from Duke went from a 5-21-12 performance on MWT, a tournament significantly easier than LIT, to an impressive 30-26-18 performance yesterday. I think that these players should, at the very least, receive temporary bans from playing online events and the stats should be amended to reflect the fact that they cheated.
We will be addressing the cheating allegations concerning Princeton later today and, as Jacob emphasized on the Discord yesterday and again above, we are finalizing stats as we deal with this matter. We would thank everyone for their patience on the matter in letting the editors and tournament hosts sort through the evidence and present it before leveling public allegations and suggesting bans.

Please do contact me with any evidence you have for cheating from Angikar. To my knowledge, there is none beyond his statlines, and I would think that we have learned something this summer about being careful of using such measures as the sole evaluation of whether or not someone has cheated.

I do acknowledge that Angikar's stats seem highly anomalous and am willing to ask him to produce his search and text message history from yesterday and explain each buzz, as was done in the course of investigation for the other case yesterday.

I will also offer my personal perspective, having gotten to know Angikar well in the last year. He truly does have deep knowledge, having, as a first semester sophomore, TA'd and/or tutored nearly every intro STEM course at Duke (he's moved on to grad level chem) and competed successfully in an international linguistics bee as a high schooler. He's consistently impressed me at practice with the buzzes he gets across subjects, always accompanied by the explanation with his legitimate knowledge of the subject, and he's improved significantly over the summer. Moreover, as a person, he's incredibly enthusiastic about quiz bowl for the thrill of it, and he is a bit... erratic. At MWT he slept through rounds and woke up to power four in a row in one round, took 7 shots of caffeine yesterday, etc.

I understand that my personal attestations to Angikar's character and ability do not do anything for people who do not know him. If people want to take it up with the editors or some other higher arbiter since our team also ran this tournament, we will again address these concerns. For the matter of future tournaments, I'm also willing to sit with him in person to ensure he is not cheating (we're both in the Durham area) - if I appear to be too biased for the task to anyone, I'm also happy to accept if there is some other third party willing to do so to establish that Angikar is capable of performing at such a high level without cheating.
I feel very confident that Angikar was cheating. If I didn't, I wouldn't have made this accusation. In the game we played against Duke, he was, as I recall, the only person in the room without their camera on. He also pulled several random hard parts after claiming he had "no clue what this is." I don't care about hearing his retroactive justification of his answers. If he can Google clues to get a tossup, he can also use Google to explain why he got the tossup!

I feel like you and Duke *do* have an overt bias in this situation, and that it's very clear cut to any outsider looking in. On the whole, this tournament was a very frustrating experience, not only because it lasted 12 (!!) hours, but because it seemed that there were multiple clear cases of cheating. Given what happened, I feel that Duke should consider partially refunding team's entry fees, and future online tournaments should bar Angikar from competing.

EDIT: Also, he didn't power four in a row at MWT, because, in his best game at MWT, he only powered 2 tossups! Moreover, blaming a bad tournament on sleep deprivation only explains so much, Jack and I played Regs this year on less than three hours of sleep, but the difference between that performance and our normal performance was not this dramatic.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by tusk of gullinbursti »

Inscrutable Fox wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:07 pm Please do contact me with any evidence you have for cheating from Angikar. To my knowledge, there is none beyond his statlines, and I would think that we have learned something this summer about being careful of using such measures as the sole evaluation of whether or not someone has cheated.

I do acknowledge that Angikar's stats seem highly anomalous and am willing to ask him to produce his search and text message history from yesterday and explain each buzz, as was done in the course of investigation for the other case yesterday.

I will also offer my personal perspective, having gotten to know Angikar well in the last year. He truly does have deep knowledge, having, as a first semester sophomore, TA'd and/or tutored nearly every intro STEM course at Duke (he's moved on to grad level chem) and competed successfully in an international linguistics bee as a high schooler. He's consistently impressed me at practice with the buzzes he gets across subjects, always accompanied by the explanation with his legitimate knowledge of the subject, and he's improved significantly over the summer. Moreover, as a person, he's incredibly enthusiastic about quiz bowl for the thrill of it, and he is a bit... erratic. At MWT he slept through rounds and woke up to power four in a row in one round, took 7 shots of caffeine yesterday, etc.

I understand that my personal attestations to Angikar's character and ability do not do anything for people who do not know him. If people want to take it up with the editors or some other higher arbiter since our team also ran this tournament, we will again address these concerns. For the matter of future tournaments, I'm also willing to sit with him in person to ensure he is not cheating (we're both in the Durham area) - if I appear to be too biased for the task to anyone, I'm also happy to accept if there is some other third party willing to do so to establish that Angikar is capable of performing at such a high level without cheating.
I don't want to be overly accusatory to y'all here, but from being in the room when Princeton was formally accused of cheating I know that the moderators were monitoring them for several games and that was why you were confident in accusing them.

The reason there is no evidence as to whether or not Angikar was cheating is that you did not monitor him, despite being warned that his behavior was very suspicious IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TOURNAMENT. You had an opportunity to determine whether or not he was guilty and instead of taking it, you offered the same excuse that "it's normal for him." Now that multiple people have expressed concern about Angikar's performance you cannot simply claim that there being no evidence either way was the inevitable outcome.

I don't mean to accuse y'all of covering up cheating, which I don't think you were doing, I simply think you let your biases get in the way of addressing this when it came up initially as an issue, and that that is something you should keep in mind when y'all play house teams in the future. I understand not wanting to believe your teammates could be cheating, but it is your responsibility as the people running the tournament to respond to suspicious behavior with due diligence.

I would hope that you will in the future respond to suspicion against any Duke players with the same level of concern as you would against any other player.
Last edited by tusk of gullinbursti on Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by no ice »

Borrowing 100,000 Arrows wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:25 pm Moreover, it appears that at least some players on Duke's house team were also cheating. Angikar Ghosal from Duke went from a 5-21-12 performance on MWT, a tournament significantly easier than LIT, to an impressive 30-26-18 performance yesterday.
I cannot address the cheating allegations since I am no longer affiliated with Duke Quizbowl and was not present at this tournament, but I do think it is willful misrepresentation on your part to only use Angikar's MWT stats, despite the fact that he put up better stats on much harder sets against much stronger competition at in-person tournaments that took place more recently than MWT.

A week after MWT, he put up 6-18-7 at D1 SCT, including a 60 point game against a full-strength UVA A. Two weeks after that, he put up 5-11-9 on Terrapin Open. Again, this is not meant to disprove cheating allegations, only to paint a more clear picture that you seem to have intentionally distorted.

Also, as someone who played next to him two consecutive weeks at MWT and SCT, I can say for sure that Angikar was significantly impaired by sleep deprivation, and that ended up making MWT by far the most unpleasant tournament of my quizbowl career. I took some photos of him literally asleep in the middle of a match (lmao), and I ended up buying him multiple caffeinated beverages and forcing him to consume them. I pulled an all-nighter for multiple tournaments last year, including MWT, but I was not as affected by sleep deprivation as he was at MWT. However, this says nothing at all about his LIT performance, and it is entirely possible he cheated.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows »

no ice wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:28 pm
Borrowing 100,000 Arrows wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:25 pm Moreover, it appears that at least some players on Duke's house team were also cheating. Angikar Ghosal from Duke went from a 5-21-12 performance on MWT, a tournament significantly easier than LIT, to an impressive 30-26-18 performance yesterday.
I cannot address the cheating allegations since I am no longer affiliated with Duke Quizbowl and was not present at this tournament, but I do think it is willful misrepresentation on your part to only use Angikar's MWT stats, despite the fact that he put up better stats on much harder sets against much stronger competition at tournaments that took place more recently than MWT.

A week after MWT, he put up 6-18-7 at D1 SCT, including a 60 point game against a full-strength UVA A. Two weeks after that, he put up 5-11-9 on Terrapin Open. Again, this is not meant to disprove cheating allegations, only to paint a more clear picture that you seem to have intentionally distorted.

Also, as someone who played next to him two consecutive weeks at MWT and SCT, I can say for sure that Angikar was significantly impaired by sleep deprivation, and that ended up making MWT by far the most unpleasant tournament of my quizbowl career. I took some photos of him literally asleep in the middle of a match (lmao), and I ended up buying him multiple caffeinated beverages and forcing him to consume them. I pulled an all-nighter for multiple tournaments last year, including MWT, but I was not as affected by sleep deprivation as he was at MWT. However, this says nothing at all about his LIT performance, and it is entirely possible he cheated.
I picked MWT because it was recent and around the same difficulty. Going from 6 powers on D1 SCT to 30 powers on LIT is quite a jump. Eric Wolfsberg, who only got 22 powers on LIT, put up 17 powers on D1 SCT (playing against a stronger field too!) I'm beyond frustrated with Duke. It's perfectly clear what happened here. Not only did you run a tournament that was a logistical nightmare, you're now attempting to ignore an obvious instance of cheating by one of your own players. I think you owe to the teams involved to partially refund their registration fees.
Last edited by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows on Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by John Quincy Adams's Alligator »

Inscrutable Fox wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:07 pm
Borrowing 100,000 Arrows wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:25 pm This tournament really drove home several problems with holding tournaments online. During the tournament, Chase Chiang of Princeton was caught cheating (I have no idea why the final stats don't contain some indication that this occurred). From what I've heard, addressing the cheating situation was the main reason the tournament ran so far behind schedule. Moreover, it appears that at least some players on Duke's house team were also cheating. Angikar Ghosal from Duke went from a 5-21-12 performance on MWT, a tournament significantly easier than LIT, to an impressive 30-26-18 performance yesterday. I think that these players should, at the very least, receive temporary bans from playing online events and the stats should be amended to reflect the fact that they cheated.
Please do contact me with any evidence you have for cheating from Angikar. To my knowledge, there is none beyond his statlines, and I would think that we have learned something this summer about being careful of using such measures as the sole evaluation of whether or not someone has cheated.
I addressed this privately as well, but I want to re-emphasize in case anyone thinks Caleb is making purely statistical arguments that we had qualitative reasons to be suspicious of his performance as well. In our game Duke took an inordinately long time to pull a bonus part that in my mind you either know you know or you don't (hard part with extremely basic description of answerline with limited to no quizbowl exposure) after basically staying quiet for the first 6-8 seconds. There were no complaints or audible attempts to remember or any cue at all that would indicate the answer was known before 8 seconds had passed and the answer was said. We found this extremely suspicious. I've heard offhand that at least one other team had a similar experience with a late bonus pull. Obviously this isn't damning in itself - I don't think you can accuse a player for cheating because they don't have their camera on, or because they get one or two late bonus pulls, and I think its often hard to accuse a player because their stats are anomalous, but there is evidence in all 3 categories that suggests at the very minimum he shouldn't be allowed to play again without supervision, but really most likely that he should face consequences.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by buffaloz1331 »

I'd like to echo Caleb's, Lyra's, Vishwa's frustrations about Angikar—this may be read as being angry/whatever about the Duke House team beating us, fine, but that's not what this is. After getting a little under 2 p/g in prelim games 1-4, he put up 8 against us in round 5. I understand that players are streaky, but especially if his best power count prior to this was 6 on ICT/5 on MWT, I'd think this is reason to be a little bit suspicious. I'd like to echo what people have said about him being silent for most of the bonus, then suddenly getting an answer, or pulling an answer after saying at the beginning "I have no idea what this could be"—this could just be theatrics, but I think it is suspicious when put in context with the other things that happened. I'm sympathetic to Annabelle's explanation, but it is nearly identical to the explanation they gave when we pointed out that there may be cheating going on after round 5. It seems that we were not the only ones to point out the anomalies in Angikar's play style. I will not go so far as to say that Duke intentionally covered up cheating from their house team, but as Lyra said, it is a very bad look that the TDs knew there was suspicion, and rationalized Angikar playing anyways, in a way that I don't think they would have had it been a player from a different team. Additionally, Angikar was never playing with the camera on, a rule which was not strictly enforced, but which you would think [if it were an anti-cheating measure] would be enforced strictly for Angikar after accusations were made. The way that cheating was handled at this tournament made me sad—I also wanted to make clear that though some editors for the set were in the tournament server to observe the matches/questions and help moderate the tournament, and some were thrust into a position wherein they were dealing with issues of cheating, I don't hold any of the editors/set-side people responsible for things that went wrong with the tournament yesterday. In fact, I appreciate all the work they put into this set and thought it was enjoyable to play.

That said, I'd like to thank the TDs for allowing us to enter into the tournament on such late notice, after we debated for a couple of weeks over whether or not we wanted to attend this mirror or another, undetermined high school mirror later on. All things considered, I'm glad I followed my gut instinct, and that we were able to play this set at all. A minor note—not sure to whom to address this, but our round 6 match vs UNC is missing from the posted stats. This was really fun to play, thank you to all the other teams, as well as the writers and editors, and to the TDs for organizing.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by moneyman101 »

Regarding the stats from this tournament, I think that the stats from Princeton A's opponents should be kept. My teammates (as well as other teams) studied hard to put up the stats they did during their games against Princeton A, and I think they should be recognized for it. One suggestion of how to do this was suggested by Conor Thompson in the QB Discord: "the games should be recorded as N TUH, where N is the number of tossups the cheater's team didn't convert"

Overall, even though the tournament ran long, I had a lot of fun (other than the Duke game, though my concerns about that were thoroughly expressed in past posts). I would like to thank the TDs/mods for running the tournament well even in these unfortunate circumstances.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Richard_Posner »

Hello, I am Angikar Ghosal and the next post, I would like to respond to the accusations made against me.

If the tournament directors want to forfeit Duke's games just to give the benefit of the doubt, I still maintain my innocence.

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Last edited by Richard_Posner on Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Richard_Posner »

Hello, my name is Angikar Ghosal, from Duke. I have been told about the cheating allegations against me. I would maintain that I am completely innocent, and the accusations are untrue.

1) Regarding the video being off, my internet was really spotty. I had to disconnect and reconnect multiple times.
2) Regarding 'getting hard bonuses', my knowledge in literature, regarding plots, is very low. However, once the author is mentioned, I can get other books by the author, even if I have no idea about the plot.
3) I had no sleep the night before Michigan Winter Tournament, and I only started playing quizbowl in college. My EFT PPG was 8, my Penn Bowl PPG was 25, I am improving and will improve more.
4) Honestly, I have no idea how anyone can possibly in-game Google questions and get them within 5 or 6 words of the tossup. In any case, I did not cheat - I played very, very aggressively and thus got 18 negatives too, my highest ever count of negatives. My 110 against Georgetown was an anomaly, against Maryland, I only scored 25. I am not sure why and how I would cheat, and then lose 4 games.
5) The 8 powers against Georgetown, I was really lucky in that round, and got tossups regarding stuff I read on Quora. I did get two rounds where I only scored 25, and the mean score was around 50, which was not an exceptional score.

In any case, as cheating is a big concern for the quiz community (as with the Princeton case), I VOLUNTARILY withdraw myself from the next few tournaments of online quizzing at least (else someone else will again be suspicious). Let it be known that I maintain my innocence, and doing this just to make sure no doubt can occur in an environment of low supervision (online quizzing).

I have sent my search histories of Bing and Google to Annabelle to further prove my point, and can go through a tossup-by-tossup explanation if anyone else wants. If merely statistical anomalies were reason enough to accuse someone, there would be too many players 'suspicious' of cheating.

Regarding the other issue, of Ashish and I making jokes of a sexual nature, I sincerely apologize if it made anyone uncomfortable. Our intentions were not to harass anyone, but only a bad attempt to joke regarding me knowing some [things] [allusions to possible set content redacted --mgmt]. I understand that this is no explanation or excuse, and promise not to make jokes like that in the future to make a more inclusive environment.

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Last edited by Richard_Posner on Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by jacob.egol »

Apologies for the delayed response– we’ve been sorting everything out over the course of the day.

To clarify what happened yesterday– the first cheating allegations which I received were regarding Princeton A, and those concerns came from editors who had been independently spectating on Princeton A’s games and witnessed questionable behavior from Chase over multiple rounds of play. I stepped out of moderating round 7 at the half to discuss this issue in the control room with those who noticed it, and then we discussed the issue with Princeton A, who subsequently dropped Chase from playing for the rest of the day. This whole process caused a prolonged delay in starting round 8. The rounds then proceeded, pending more thorough investigation. Until we could thoroughly review both sides of the matter, we did not adjust any stats or make a premature decision. Earlier today, I emailed Princeton's captain with our final determination on their case, and we had Princeton A retroactively forfeit all of their games (except for one prelim match which Chase did not play).

While all of this was happening with Princeton A, and while I was continuing to try and move the tournament along, I received an inquiry from a player asking who to contact about a “suspicious player.” I referred him to the editors, and at that point, I had absolutely no idea that this was about an individual on Duke’s house team. In fact, it wasn’t until much later in the day that Angikar’s name was even mentioned to me, and at that point it was very close to the end of the tournament. I was not informed of any specific cheating allegations against him until after the tournament. It was my understanding that only a general description of his anomalous conversion and statline was the gist of people’s complaints, so the matter was set aside for the time being. We regret that we were so caught up in trying to put out the first fire that we didn’t delve into this second issue immediately.

Fast forward to when Caleb first posted in this thread today. I was planning to be discreet to the extent possible with naming names, especially until we had come to definitive conclusions about both matters, so it was really disappointing that Caleb namedropped Chase and Angikar. At that point, we had only just made a determination about Princeton A, posted those revised stats, and were starting to turn our attention to Angikar. Annabelle’s post about Angikar from this afternoon does not detract from the fact that we were still simultaneously pursuing the allegations against him— we were diligently working through a lot of stuff and our silence was NOT a cover-up! Nor was it a biased attempt to sweep the allegations under the rug!

As more specific information came in about Angikar today from various sources, we made the decision to have our house team also retroactively forfeit all of their games. (The corrected stats have been uploaded and are located here.) Our club is currently determining the appropriate consequences for all of Angikar’s actions.

As far as the delays yesterday, I apologize that the tournament ran too long.  Running an online tournament of this size and caliber was extremely difficult, and the delays were caused both by technical issues with setting permissions in the Discord server, as well as by dealing with the other matters. I assure you that we have been doing the best that we can to sort through everything under the circumstances.

And finally, please know that all that our club wanted to do was provide a fun outlet for everyone during this pandemic to continue to play the game that we all love. We wish that everything had gone smoothly, and we appreciate the support.
Last edited by jacob.egol on Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Inscrutable Fox »

I want to acknowledge that I handled this incident badly yesterday. My personal convictions aside, I did owe it to everyone involved in this tournament to treat the incident with more diligence.

I was not the tournament director, but I was also helping out in the control room and did happen to see messages in the GDS chat mentioning that Angikar’s stats seemed bizarre. I responded at the time saying that the performance didn’t seem atypical for Angikar to me, and failed to follow up further. I very much regret not doing so - I wrote the comments off as complaints about a strong performance, and as has been pointed out, that was not fair for me to do. If I had been more diligent, we would perhaps not have quite so much of a mess - I hadn’t been aware he was playing with his camera off and that, among other measures, could clearly have provided more evidence to the details of the situation.

This was the extent of anything I knew about Angikar and alleged cheating at the tournament - we were not aware of the rest of the evidence until today. As is evident, it was not placed in high priority relative to finishing the tournament at as reasonable an hour as possible and cheating allegations in the top bracket. This is not an excuse, but it is the truth of the context.

I will stand by what I have said personally about Angikar. However, I want to be clear that we did not attempt to cover anything up, and I am sorry to the editors and everyone who staffed and played our tournament for not handling any suspicions with proper gravity.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by king_crimson »

Thanks for clearing this up.

Although this tournament did have some logistical issues, I really did enjoy the questions and had a great time playing the tournament, even for 12 hours.

Thanks for the LIT team for writing a fun, challenging set and the Duke team for hosting!
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by efleisig »

Princeton Quiz Bowl does not tolerate cheating. We are pursuing a thorough investigation of the allegations against Chase.

Because we take this issue very seriously, we are still in contact with the tournament organizers, requesting and sharing evidence to assess it judiciously as we have not yet come to a conclusion. We will provide our documentation and conclusions on this matter to the community as quickly as we can properly investigate it.

Please contact the tournament organizers and me directly if you have any evidence of cheating so that this matter can be resolved justly and thoroughly.
Last edited by efleisig on Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by thebluehawk1 »

As more specific information came in about Angikar today from various sources, we made the decision to have our house team also retroactively forfeit all of their games. (The corrected stats have been uploaded and are located here.) Our club is currently determining the appropriate consequences for all of Angikar’s actions.
This may seem pedantic, and maybe you plan on being more specific later, but I think its important to be clear, have you concluded that Angikar did indeed cheat? Or are you saying all the games are forfeited for now until you have conducted an investigation?

With regards to not name dropping people: I think this can be discussed elsewhere, but especially now when the opportunity for cheating is so high, hosts and or editors should lay out a specific process for handling suspicion of cheating. Undue accusations could drive innocent people who worked really hard away from the game, but maintaining the integrity of games should always be a high priority.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows »

I'm happy this was resolved. I hope other Discord tournaments learn from the mistakes that were made here by not offering an overly ambitious number of games, not atrempting to create all the afternoon roles during lunch, and having adequate protocols in place to deal with cheating.

Jacob, I feel like you have a lot of nerve scolding *me* when you caused this tournament to run extremely late due to *your* poor planning, and *you* did nothing about cheating despite being made aware of it *during* the tournament. I only named names because I contacted a member of the writing team about Angikar's cheating, and, based on what I heard from them, I got the general impression that you didn't have any interest in pursuing the matter further. I also got the impression that you weren't going to publicly acknowledge what happened with Princeton either. Online tournaments are already very taxing to play, but the delays and cheating made this tournament especially unenjoyable. The dismissive tone you've used in responding to my very legitimate grievances has been extremely infuriating.

Anyway I hope this fiasco won't detract others from playing a very good set.
Last edited by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows on Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

For what it's worth, I don't think 11 is an overly ambitious number of games. I've played several online tournaments that went at a clip of ~45 minutes per round, which would make for a tournament of 9 hours with a 45 minute lunch break, or 9 to 6. I will not impose any constraints on how many rounds the IKEA mirrors offer, but we are planning to have Discord template servers with bots for role assignment (including for playoffs) to greatly facilitate things and prevent fiascos such as this event (not to mention mandatory cameras) to replicate the in-person experience as well as possible.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Richard_Posner »

I believe I have replied adequately to your concerns. Look, I never played quiz-bowl before coming to the USA, I have never really posted on forums, but the way you all insinuate stuff about me is kind of mean.

If I ever get a 56 point average in any future tournament, I will go back and revisit this tournament, okay? For now, it is ultimately word of older people against mine.

Now that you have been successful in driving me out of some tournaments, I just request you to not 'assume' my guilt because I settled. I had no choice but to close the issue, unfortunately I do not have more proof beyond my Bing/Google history, which I guess none of you care about.
Last edited by Richard_Posner on Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows »

Richard_Posner wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:46 am I believe I have replied adequately to your concerns. Look, I never played quiz-bowl before coming to the USA, I have never really posted on forums, but the way you all insinuate stuff about me is kind of mean.

If I ever get a 56 point average in any future tournament, I will go back and revisit this tournament, okay? For now, it is ultimately word of older people against mine.

Now that you have been successful in driving me out of some tournaments, I just request you to not 'assume' my guilt because I settled. I had no choice but to close the issue, unfortunately I do not have more proof beyond my Bing/Google history, which I guess none of you care about.
Yeah dude, an easily edited search history is definitely all the evidence I need to believe that you went from a below average player to a top 25 caliber player in six months. I'm pissed that you cheated, but I'm even more pissed that, once you were caught, you didn't own your mistake and apologize like an adult. If you don't make a sincere apology for your actions, I think that you should receive a permanent ban.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Santa Claus »

There's a lot for prospective hosts to learn from the mistakes of this tournament's logistics. It seems many of the issues could have been solved with better planning, especially regarding Discord-specific things like creating and assigning roles, so for any future hosts reading this thread I will note that there's been a fair amount of discussion of how to run online tournaments (for instance, the Discord templates and Zoom guide + discussion found here) and Karan and Alejandro have each developed bots that automatically set up Discord servers. The Discord also has a dedicated channel for discussing the logistics of online tournaments and a host of people able to give advice on various fronts. One can only imagine that the hosts would have had an easier time dealing with the atypically large number of problems happening at the same time if they weren't simultaneously juggling problems setting up their server properly.

Perhaps we could all remember that running tournaments is hard when you've never done it before, and how it's perhaps not a good look for a top-scorer grad student on a top 5 team who has never TD'd a tournament (let alone an online tournament) to namedrop people suspected of cheating in a public forum before any official statements by the hosts and to yell at said undergrad hosts online for hours about how they should have updated the final stats (which were out within 24 hours of the tournament's end) to expunge the stats of someone caught within six rounds and how they should not listen to the very obvious liar saying very obvious lies.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows »

Santa Claus wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:55 pm Perhaps we could all remember that running tournaments is hard when you've never done it before, and how it's perhaps not a good look for a top-scorer grad student on a top 5 team who has never TD'd a tournament (let alone an online tournament) to namedrop people suspected of cheating in a public forum before any official statements by the hosts and to yell at said undergrad hosts online for hours about how they should have updated the final stats (which were out within 24 hours of the tournament's end) to expunge the stats of a cheater caught within six rounds and how they should not listen to the very obvious cheater saying very obvious lies.
As I explained above, the reason I made a public post is that it seemed from conversations I had after the tournament that Duke had no interest in pursuing the allegations against Angikar, and, likewise, didn't want to publicize the Princeton incident. I named names because Duke was, in my opinion, handling the incidents in an extremely untransparent and unprofessional fashion. I also didn't "yell" at the hosts for hours about updating their stats. I only mentioned that once, in my very first post. Again, because I had heard from others that Duke was simply going to let the results stand without any public announcement about the cheating (which I found extremely shady). Also, I have, fwiw, TD'd a few high school tournaments back in my Oklahoma days so I have some idea what's involved.

The tournament delays made me frustrated, but I understand it happens. What's far more frustrating is that no one on Duke, other than Annabelle in her last post, has really taken accountability for the mistakes they made, and have instead taken to chiding me for pointing out the obvious problems.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by reindeer »

The "top-scorer grad student on a top 5 team" thing bears repeating, though. When you're in a position that powerful & prominent, your actions can disproportionately affect others and you have an obligation to keep that in mind. Having even one person, let alone two (!), cheat at your tournament is very difficult, most people are not experienced at it, and there is basically no community-level guidance available about how to handle it. Why would anyone agree to host anything if they knew that one of the risks was being publicly excoriated because they didn't optimally handle that incredibly challenging situation? I'm impressed with Annabelle and others' performance under intense pressure and I hope that the lessons learned here can lead to better support for others in future.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows »

reindeer wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:58 pm Why would anyone agree to host anything if they knew that one of the risks was being publicly excoriated because they didn't optimally handle that incredibly challenging situation? I'm impressed with Annabelle and others' performance under intense pressure and I hope that the lessons learned here can lead to better support for others in future.
Well, they managed to handle the situation involving Princeton correctly, while ignoring a virtually identical complaint against one of their own players. That's what stinks about this! There was no equitable process in place, and again, had I not posted, I don't think this would've been resolved as quickly (if it all!) I don't know what about Duke's response warrants being impressed!
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Auroni »

Borrowing 100,000 Arrows wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:11 pm
reindeer wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:58 pm Why would anyone agree to host anything if they knew that one of the risks was being publicly excoriated because they didn't optimally handle that incredibly challenging situation? I'm impressed with Annabelle and others' performance under intense pressure and I hope that the lessons learned here can lead to better support for others in future.
Well, they managed to handle the situation involving Princeton correctly, while ignoring a virtually identical complaint against one of their own players. That's what stinks about this! There was no equitable process in place, and again, had I not posted, I don't think this would've been resolved as quickly (if it all!) I don't know what about Duke's response warrants being impressed!
Did you gloss over or are you purposefully ignoring upthread where it was stated that they were too overwhelmed handling the Princeton situation during an already not smooth-running tournament to be able to handle the Duke team cheating to the best of their ability?
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows »

Auroni wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:28 pm
Borrowing 100,000 Arrows wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:11 pm
reindeer wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:58 pm Why would anyone agree to host anything if they knew that one of the risks was being publicly excoriated because they didn't optimally handle that incredibly challenging situation? I'm impressed with Annabelle and others' performance under intense pressure and I hope that the lessons learned here can lead to better support for others in future.
Well, they managed to handle the situation involving Princeton correctly, while ignoring a virtually identical complaint against one of their own players. That's what stinks about this! There was no equitable process in place, and again, had I not posted, I don't think this would've been resolved as quickly (if it all!) I don't know what about Duke's response warrants being impressed!
Did you gloss over or are you purposefully ignoring upthread where it was stated that they were too overwhelmed handling the Princeton situation during an already not smooth-running tournament to be able to handle the Duke team cheating to the best of their ability?
Telling the mod "hey we got a tip about this player" takes no effort. Some minimal attempt to look into the Angikar situation would have been very easy. I don't know what happened behind the scenes with the Princeton situation, but I also fail to see how this should have delayed the tournament to the extent that it did. I hope more people can give us more details, but, given all I've seen over the past two days, Duke really shit the bed here. All I want is an acknowledgement of that from the TD, a real acknowledgement that one of their players cheated (instead of Jacob's extremely hedged non-response), and an apology.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by entropy »

reindeer wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:58 pm Having even one person, let alone two (!), cheat at your tournament is very difficult, most people are not experienced at it, and there is basically no community-level guidance available about how to handle it.
I think Olivia makes a very relevant point here. With the increase in online tournaments, there's almost certainly going to be a rise in cheaters, and with it a rise in TDs who are going to need to know how to deal with cheaters. Would it be possible for the community or an organization such as PACE or ACF to create a guide to handling cheaters for TDs? As someone who TDed an online tournament with a cheater present, I know that TDs are very prone to second-guessing their own judgement, so it would be very helpful for multiple TDs or otherwise experienced figures to come together and create a guide to simplify the process of dealing with cheaters.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by sonstige »

naan/steak-holding toll wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:54 pm (not to mention mandatory cameras) to replicate the in-person experience as well as possible.
So first: I actually had considered playing this particular LIT mirror (Looking at you, UVA --- if you need an extra body that was halfway decent at answering things several years ago, call me!).

But one thing that I wanted to add (and apologies if this was already addressed elsewhere on the boards): I think the purpose of the camera during these events serves two main points. The first, obviously: to try to spot whether someone is possibly Googling something, nefariously using a phone, etc. Fine.

Yet I also would say: the camera further helps establish that the player is really the player. While that's kind of obvious, there's still the scenario where that player potentially has one or more colleagues standing nearby with whom they're consulting in real-time (at which point: the player is really a collective). Having a history player standing over my shoulder during an online tournament would almost certainly boost my performance dramatically, and without a camera how would anyone know?

(One asks: "But wouldn't the player's mic catch this?" --- Not necessarily if the player's headset has an independent mute toggle, for example!)

(One also asks: "How realistic is it that someone would have one or more co-conspirators just hanging around?" --- I dunno, I live with someone capable of using the internet quickly...and who simply just knows stuff that I don't; so I'd say, this condition is entirely plausible for a camera-less person trying to get an advantage)

Anyway, if an internet connection is too unreliable to support a camera (which was claimed in this thread) ... then consider upgrading your internet? Or: don't play online quizbowl, at least not competitively?

(and not saying that any of this was the case here ... I just wanted to add my 2-cents for why I think not having a camera should certainly raise flags for anyone involved in an online event --- and why I endorse the idea that "mandatory" cameras for such events is very much reasonable)

Cheers.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by jacob.egol »

I apologize if anyone found my previous post misleading or incomplete in any way, and for the delay in this follow-up response. The tournament and its aftermath have been extremely time-consuming, and I recognize that everyone would like more information and closure as soon as possible. But Duke does not give us off for Labor Day, and I had two classes today as well as an exam.

I would first like to reiterate that the allegations against both Chase and Angikar have been taken seriously and the fact that no widespread immediate communication was made as soon as the tournament ended was not because we were ignoring the situation. We simply needed more time to look at all of the issues and sort everything out. Starting on Saturday night, Jerry and I marked Princeton's games as forfeits in the stat files, and we prepared an email to send to Princeton regarding our decision about Chase the following morning.

Regarding the timing of the complaint against Angikar and my knowledge of it, I honestly did not know the specifics of the cheating allegations against him until after the tournament ended. Before making this post, I reviewed the timeline of events more carefully. Angikar’s name was brought up briefly during my conversation with the editors about Chase. At that time I asked whether the complaint was related to Angikar talking excessively and out of turn (which would not have been surprising given his past record), and they replied that his statline was irregular. There was no further evidence provided then— only a suspicion that Angikar was cheating— and at that point I was swamped with the allegations against Chase and needed to finish out a tournament that was already running very behind schedule. It was my understanding that some further inquiry was going to be made in the meantime by those in the control room. As TD, I apologize that the issue concerning Angikar was not my main focus, and I understand that especially because he and I are members of the same club, I should have devoted more of my attention to the matter earlier. I should have proactively made a greater effort to understand the full extent of the allegations, and I’m deeply sorry for that.

Our determination regarding Chase is that he did cheat— that decision stands. Editors who were spectating noticed suspicious behavior and subsequently observed him for several successive rounds before calling me into the control room halfway through Round 7 to discuss the matter. At that point, I immediately told Princeton A that cheating allegations had been leveled against Chase, and he was removed from play by his teammates beginning with Round 8. Based on Chase’s behavior on camera as witnessed by several people, including two editors, we have concluded that disqualifying Princeton was the correct course of action. The materials provided to me by Princeton’s team in defense of Chase are not sufficient to explain Chase’s behavior or defend the allegations against him. In the hope of providing helpful information for future tournaments, some of the observed behavioral evidence included:
  • Extensive typing (much more than what is required to type “buzz”) only during a tossup and his own team’s bonuses (especially on questions with google-able quotes and titles, and turning his face away from the camera to do so) always returning his focus to the camera in time to buzz before FTP. This behavior was not observed during opponents’ bonuses.
  • Changed lighting on his face while clicking/typing, indicating that a screen had changed to a different tab.
Our determination regarding Angikar—unlike our decision about Chase—cannot be informed by independent observation from the day of the tournament due to the circumstances outlined above and in previous posts. As mentioned above, we recognize that we gravely erred in not giving greater attention to the allegations against Angikar while the tournament was running. We agree that the evidence offered by multiple posters in this thread against Angikar raises valid suspicions of him cheating. However, Angikar maintains his innocence, and we cannot determine unequivocally that he cheated because his camera was off at the time in question. Nevertheless, we affirm our decision to disqualify the Duke house team from this event, and as a club, we will not be allowing Angikar to compete in future online tournaments.

The only reason why we chose to not require everyone to keep their cameras on while playing is that several teams complained prior to the tournament of experiencing lag and/or connectivity issues when they use video on Discord. We were trying to ensure a smooth experience for all participants, but in retrospect, requiring video for everyone at all times would clearly have been the better plan.

Our club has compiled some advice based on our experience:
  • Implement a video policy that requires all participants to turn on their webcams or else not participate unless their opponent allows them to play without their video turned on. This would be dealt with on a round-by-round, opponent-by-opponent basis, with the understanding that players’ behavior would be under much greater scrutiny if their cameras are turned off. (I see that the IKEA team has already implemented this.)
  • For rebracketing, create roles like "top-bracket-seed-1" and "top-bracket-seed-2" which can be more easily assigned to teams. This would save huge amounts of time from not having to manually assign teams to their rooms, for multiple rounds.
    Ideally, there should be an extra member on staff to address cheating allegations when they occur. This staff member would monitor the accused cheater in rounds.
  • Provide a clear framework and timeline for responding to cheating allegations. This allows for an unambiguous, centralized system for reporting cheating that clearly delineates what will be expected when people are accused of cheating.
We hope we've provided closure to the issues from Saturday, and ultimately, we hope that our experience with this tournament will provide valuable lessons for future TDs of online tournaments.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by meebles127 »

sonstige wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:30 pm
naan/steak-holding toll wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:54 pm (not to mention mandatory cameras) to replicate the in-person experience as well as possible.
Anyway, if an internet connection is too unreliable to support a camera (which was claimed in this thread) ... then consider upgrading your internet? Or: don't play online quizbowl, at least not competitively?
Are you trying to further the structural barriers that exist in quizbowl? Many students prior to the pandemic did not have internet at home at all, and while those gaps have been closed somewhat, many students now have internet through programs such as Comcast Internet Essentials which, frankly, suck. While this might be less of an issue for college students, who are more likely to be on campus or living in university housing, it is still a serious issue that is absolutely relevant. Students should not be negatively punished or excluded from activities due to issues outside of their control. If a player having their camera turned off allows them to be able to play quizbowl, and they are subsequently held to a higher standard as a result, then I believe that is a net good. I will also go as far to say that someone who lies and says they have shitty internet in order to be granted a petition to not use a camera, and then goes on to cheat makes them a worse person then had they simply cheated.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by sonstige »

meebles127 wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:12 pm
sonstige wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:30 pm
naan/steak-holding toll wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:54 pm (not to mention mandatory cameras) to replicate the in-person experience as well as possible.
Anyway, if an internet connection is too unreliable to support a camera (which was claimed in this thread) ... then consider upgrading your internet? Or: don't play online quizbowl, at least not competitively?
Are you trying to further the structural barriers that exist in quizbowl?
Yep --- you caught me. Quizbowl should have all of the barriers possible so only the elite can participate! (so, so much sarcasm)

Look: all I'm saying is that without a camera, the opportunities for cheating are substantially increased. If I was singular in this opinion, then I wouldn't expect events like IKEA (per Will's post) would declare cameras "mandatory".

Equate this to pre-COVID-world quizbowl. Imagine being in a room where all but one player can see each and the moderator, but that one player is behind a curtain. You know this player has a computer and the internet. Would you still want to compete against them?

I wouldn't.

It's 2020. If you can't have access to reliable internet, then maybe consider not playing online quizbowl (which is an entirely elective activity). To hold all players in a room to a standard but one is inherently unfair --- and if I were to pay to play such an event, I'd be pretty bummed if there were permitted exceptions to this that could give someone a competitive advantage.

Just like I'd be bummed if I played a real-life event and someone sat behind a curtain with a computer and a buzzer (and maybe one or more friends who could mutually communicate without anyone else knowing). Not having a camera is not that different.

Sure, I get the concern: quizbowl has barriers! But if the bare-minimum for online play is to have internet sufficient to stream video in order to support a fair tournament experience that simulates an in-situ event as closely as possible, then players should expect to meet this requirement else expect to raise eyebrows.

I mean: maybe the guy behind the curtain isn't cheating...but there will always be a fog of uncertainty. If you're cool with that, that's great. But not everyone is.

And of course, not all communities have great internet providers. Maybe some people still are on DSL or use AOL disks and a dial-up modem. If that is your circumstance, then you've failed to meet the minimum requirements for the game in its current form (in my opinion, anyway!).

If a TD is OK with players sans cameras at their events, that's their decision. But I'd feel uncomfortable participating in such an event, much as I would playing against a guy behind a curtain.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Cheynem »

We're moving far beyond the actual tournament (maybe move the last few posts to a different thread?), but I think the dilemma in 2020 is that ordinarily, a person who might not have the tech means to participate in online quizbowl can just play in person tournaments, but those aren't an option now. So when you say "consider not playing online quizbowl," it really means "consider not playing quizbowl period."

Look, I get it. Cheating sucks and we need to prevent that. Even though my Internet is horrible because I live in rural America (there is LITERALLY no option better than what I have! I can't even get cable TV or a phone signal!), I agree that minimum requirements like webcams are a good thing. I generally think the policy of tournaments like IKEA (which I believe you agreed with) makes sense. People should be required to use webcams or cameras unless they have a particularly good reason (where the TD can can give the approval) or if other teams in a match agree. Obviously if you put up suspicious numbers or engage in suspicious behavior I would also say the TD has a right to require a webcam anyway.

I just do not think that basically saying "if you don't have super high speed Internet, then don't play quizbowl in 2020 [or 2021?]" is a good policy at the moment.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Illinois Admin »

jacob.egol wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:58 pm I apologize if anyone found my previous post misleading or incomplete in any way, and for the delay in this follow-up response. The tournament and its aftermath have been extremely time-consuming, and I recognize that everyone would like more information and closure as soon as possible. But Duke does not give us off for Labor Day, and I had two classes today as well as an exam.

I would like to say thank you Jacob for providing this further explanation and information. I do have one other question that I think needs to be answered. Are there any plans to report these allegations, the evidence for them, and the conclusions the hosts came to regarding them to NAQT or ACF? I would imagine that they would have a strong interest in being directly informed of what was found with regards to this.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by kingblanke »

Hi Brad, yes, we will report these allegations, the evidence for them, and the conclusions we made to ACF and NAQT when we get the chance to.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by sonstige »

Cheynem wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:53 pm We're moving far beyond the actual tournament (maybe move the last few posts to a different thread?)
Probably, yeah.
Cheynem wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:53 pm
So when you say "consider not playing online quizbowl," it really means "consider not playing quizbowl period."
That's a tough one. As much as I want to say "Well, the minimum requirement to in-person quizbowl is to physically be there!" ... I can already anticipate the response: "Yeah, but schools often help fund transportation to a real-world tournament. A school isn't funding your home internet for a virtual tournament!".

So really I can't give a fair response to this. Still, I'd want to know in advance if all players at an online event will have a camera or not. Should the TD permit camera-less play, then maybe it needs to be captured somewhere as to which players participated sans camera. This could be good for future reference when trying to compare performances across multiple events ("Hey! The tournaments Mike played online with no camera, he did 37% better than he did on other comparable events historically!" ... or whatever).

And this is certainly not to camera-shame people. As said, I'd see this as a method of providing a more complete, honest picture of the tournament as it occurred.

At this point: this is probably a tangent from the original thread (if we weren't there already!).
Cheynem wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:53 pm Cheating sucks and we need to prevent that. Even though my Internet is horrible because I live in rural America (there is LITERALLY no option better than what I have! I can't even get cable TV or a phone signal!), I agree that minimum requirements like webcams are a good thing. I generally think the policy of tournaments like IKEA (which I believe you agreed with) makes sense. People should be required to use webcams or cameras unless they have a particularly good reason (where the TD can can give the approval) or if other teams in a match agree. Obviously if you put up suspicious numbers or engage in suspicious behavior I would also say the TD has a right to require a webcam anyway.
Agreed --- and maybe that's the solution here: going into a match, if a player has no camera, the other team would need to approve of that player's participation in the match. Is that fair?

Well: given the inherent risks for teams competing against someone without a camera, it might be the only fair option that still allows that player to participate. Or, simply flag that player in the stats as being camera-less?

As I wouldn't be OK with someone playing behind a curtain in real-life, I can see where some people just wouldn't care either way...especially if the person behind the curtain isn't putting up uncharacteristically explosive numbers. *

* Where this gets tricky for me is: what to do if a known, top-tier player participates in an online event without a camera. But that's probably a separate discussion, really.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by efleisig »

Princeton Quiz Bowl has now investigated the allegations of cheating against Chase Chiang. We have documented our results here.

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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows »

I'd like to thank Jacob for his last post, which I thought was really thoughtful. I'm still not totally happy with how things have played out, but it's fairly rare that we get any kind of closure in cheating scandals. Hopefully we can all learn from this experience, and have a better season as a result.
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Re: LIT Mid-Atlantic Mirror @ Discord (9/5/20)

Post by Inscrutable Fox »

My intention is not to distract from the above discussion or inflame things further, but I wanted to add a couple closing thoughts of my own, independent of our club, on the cheating allegations at our mirror and the experience of dealing with them.

I’d like to point out how harmful jumping directly to the forums to level accusations can be. We were not contacted by UMD at all before Caleb’s post appeared on the forums. We did fail to communicate with the community and I’ve detailed my own extensive failings above. I am not trying to deny that my own incompetence led to a mishandling of Angikar’s case. I’m sorry that Caleb and others felt we would not have addressed the situation if he had not publicly called us out. I understand that this situation was sensitive for all parties involved and I’m sorry that our silence was interpreted as a lack of attentiveness. Your grievances are legitimate.

However, I also feel strongly that there was a way to handle this more sensitively and empathetically and with respect to the fact that people have other important life obligations beyond running and completing a cheating investigation the day after a tournament. It’s incredibly disheartening to see message after message speculating on our malevolence. We have tried to balance our obligation to the larger community and to a thorough investigation against the desire to give our teammate a fair process and the right to defend himself. We were wrong not to investigate thoroughly the day of. Is it so wrong that afterwards, in the absence of information beyond his stat line, I would want to offer my personal experiences on him? And that we wanted to review the situation before giving you all a public execution as people only then came forward with more evidence after? And it’s worth pointing out that though cheating is unacceptable, I don’t think it’s an insignificant harm that if we are wrong we have potentially irreparably damaged someone’s passion for quiz bowl and this community.

We have also been under enormous pressure to act quickly. Prominent older members of the community complained immediately after the tournament. There was subsequent speculation that we were engaging in a coverup. Whether anyone argues that we could have taken a longer period of time and posted some brief assurance we were investigating, the nature and source of the accusations against us left us feeling like we had to get something definitive out as soon as possible. This is not to say we rushed through the investigations - we didn’t, at the cost of putting everything else in our lives on hold and at no small cost to our own mental health. So, you got a quick response. However, Jacob got to take an exam burdened by the weight of serious accusations against our club and him personally, and I get to give a medical school interview tomorrow after questioning my own judgment and competence so badly in the last couple days that I contemplated resigning as president of Duke Quiz Bowl and/or stepping away from quiz bowl. Your words and their tone have real-life impacts, and we are real-life people who suffered those impacts.

I don’t share anything about my personal situation to garner sympathy. I just want to express that though we deserved to be called out for our mistakes, and I appreciate everyone who did so constructively, I’m also deeply disappointed with how we have jumped to assuming the worst in each other. This felt like a witch hunt.

It’s very easy to judge from the outside and much much more difficult to navigate these decisions. As Olivia said, there is little to no community guidance and formal protocol on how to deal with such unfortunate circumstances. In addition to the lessons Jacob laid out, I hope we can also have productive discussions on how to respond with consideration for others and awareness of how one’s positioning can affect those with less prominence in the community.
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