Ghetto Warz Discussion and Moon Pie Complaints

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Ghetto Warz Discussion and Moon Pie Complaints

Post by cvdwightw »

Often on this board we are so consumed by our spite for horrible questions that we fail to praise teams for improvement in tournament direction and question writing/editing. That said, I'd like to reverse this trend by publicly commending USC for an excellently run tournament. Put simply, Ghetto Warz IV was the culmination of a concerted effort by USC to run a good tournament, and it showed. There is no question that this was the best Ghetto Warz ever, by far.

First off, the tournament ran without a hitch despite having the meeting room and game rooms in different buildings, both I and UCI forgetting to bring buzzer systems (thankfully not a problem due to a last-minute cancellation), and the lack of an accessible men's room in the game room area. We were able to get through 10 academic rounds, 1 traditional Ghetto Warz Trash Packet, 1 excellent audio round, an awards ceremony, and a singles tournament using the RC Cola packets, and still be out of the entire thing around 8:00.

Perhaps it was the suckitude of the Moon Pie packets (out of the 5 packets we heard, the TD tallied 13 "Major Packet Problems"), but the packets edited by the Ghetto Warz staff were mostly good. Based on past Ghetto Warz I can't believe I'm saying this, but the Moon Pie mirrors could have certainly benefited from a packet swap with Ghetto Warz. The two USC packets were the best I heard all day, and our packet despite all of its inherent problems was also pretty good. Were they objectively good? Probably not, but I would say they were objectively average, which is an encouraging step up from the much-savaged past Ghetto Warz. UCI still can't write packets (I plan to work on that next year), but even these were good compared to the Moon Pie packets.

So, I guess the purpose of this is twofold. First, USC really does deserve a great heap of praise for taking a historically much-maligned tournament and turning it into something that would be, while not yet good, respectable by the standards of most of the quiz bowl community. Second, Moon Pie sucked. There's unfortunately no other way to say it, and I think the thing that pisses me off most about it is that it just had to happen when USC was making an effort to significantly improve the quality of the questions they themselves wrote and edited.

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Post by Dennis »

First off, I'd like to thank Athul and the rest of BU for running a mirror of Moon Pie, which ran smoothly and had probably the most elaborate awards ceremony I've seen so far.

However, I'd like to echo those sentiments about the Moon Pie questions. I was disappointed with the lack of editing, particularly with the large number of repeated clues/answer space throughout the packets. We also saw a return to the 30-20-10 bonus, as well as particularly lazy bonuses. Questions that were ostensibly written as literature or history contained a slew of trash clues, and many tosses contained giveaways in the first line or were transparent from the get-go. I don't know if we can talk about the questions yet, but there were quite a few questions with the aforementioned problems. In all, I think the lack of editing left something to be desired, at least for me.
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Post by Sima Guang Hater »

I'll echo my teammate Dennis' sentiments and thank Athul and the BU squad as well for having us. But I have some points to make here:

-Science biography = bad. "blah blah blah he did work in thermodynamics. FTP, name this Lord...". Seriously, this sort of question should never be seen, ever. People who have famous theorems or results, fine, they're fair game, but notpeople who have one famous thing named for them and also wrote tracts criticizing Darwininsm and uniformitarianism. And if they don't have interesting results named for them, don't write the tossup.

Also, random biographical info in the middle of otherwise decent questions completely screw up the pyramidality. Gee, they said Swiss, and it sounds mathematical, I'd better buzz now.

-Element questions; they are very rarely good, and in this case they were terrible. The Iridium tossup didn't even have the clue about the K-T boundary. There are far, far more important things to ask about than elements for your 1/1 chemistry requirement than AP Chem knowledge that rewards the, well, unique class of players who memorize the periodic table over people who actually have chem knowledge. Periodic table memorization is not chem knowledge, seriously.

-Anyone else remember Weiner's Law? Tossups on things like sex changes and the G-spot shouldn't count as legit bio questions, or legit questions period, and I really don't find it amusing to have to answer questions on these things over actual knowledge. It's also a little disturbing that both of those appeared in the same packet along with a tossup on Kanye West's "Late Registration". There seemed to be a 3/3 Trash distribution going.

-So many of the academic questions had trash clues in the middle (Frank Lloyd Wright, for example); seriously, if you're writing a trash question, write a trash question in its entirety. Otherwise, keep it academic until the very end at least. Same with Bonuses; I'm as much of a fan of Lorna Dane as the next guy, but she shouldn't come up as a clue for Polaris in an astronomy bonus unless its trash. Maybe a bonus on relatives of Magneto (coming your way soon, I'm sure), but not astronomy.

-I'll echo my teammate's disappointment with the editing; usually, one or 2 repeats sneak into the set, but this many?. And he's right, there were a LOT of very transparent tossups, and even more tossups with "[useless clue 1], [useless clue 2], [GIVEAWAY]". I'll give the editors the benefit of the doubt here; perhaps the packets were submitted late or something, or maybe they had a reason for having the questions arranged this way that I simply cannot understand.

-Worse than that were the sheer number of list bonuses with clues like "Alexander Portnoy" for Portnoy's complaint. I was especially pissed off with the bonus with "name the Nobel Prizewinning physicists from the year that he won and the nobel citation". That's just lazy writing.

-There were questions in this set that looked like they were copied straight out of an NAQT packet. They even still had the power mark. That's even lazier.

All for now.

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Okay I'll admit we're guilty of the Swiss mathematician one and the Nobel Prize citation one. Perhaps the latter is lazy writing indeed, but if it provides the proper difficulty, what's the problem with it? Well I can't be sure it is in fact sufficiently difficult, after all I didn't write that one (or the aforementioned tossup). Also we had one writer who gave us 3 super transparent tossups, and I did my best to fix them before saying "you know what, I'll let the tournament editor(s) handle this." Speaking of that though, it was weird how we weren't asked to replace ANY questions or given any kind of feedback, so how much editing actually happened is questionable.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

Wall of Shawarma wrote:Okay I'll admit we're guilty of the Swiss mathematician one and the Nobel Prize citation one. Perhaps the latter is lazy writing indeed, but if it provides the proper difficulty, what's the problem with it? Well I can't be sure it is in fact sufficiently difficult, after all I didn't write that one (or the aforementioned tossup). Also we had one writer who gave us 3 super transparent tossups, and I did my best to fix them before saying "you know what, I'll let the tournament editor(s) handle this." Speaking of that though, it was weird how we weren't asked to replace ANY questions or given any kind of feedback, so how much editing actually happened is questionable.
What's wrong with it is that someone who uses some aspect of the physicist in question's work every day in a lab might not get points on that because he hasn't read their nobel citation (which is the problem with most science bio in general, but stupid clues that at least eventually lead to anyone with knowledge about a subject getting points are better than no clues). Also, I think we've established repeatedly on this board that you can't trust Charlie to edit anything. That being said, editors don't usually ask you to replace questions or give you feedback while they're editing. It is their job (even if they don't do it) to fix your questions. You should provide the best packet you can, though, since the editors can do a better job on the set as a whole if they don't have to deal with your laziness.

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Post by No Rules Westbrook »

That being said, editors don't usually ask you to replace questions or give you feedback while they're editing. It is their job (even if they don't do it) to fix your questions.
Yeah. Let's get down some protocol for the way this stuff usually works/should work, in case it might help some people who could be confused. If I'm editing a tourney and I get your packet, I'm probably not going to send it back to you or ask you to rewrite stuff unless it's just patently obvious to me that you're acting in bad faith - I'm going to make the just assumption that you wrote the best packet that you could muster and I'm going to either work with it or pitch it depending on the time limits and the other packets available. If some people offer feedback or constructive criticism, then that's nice of them, but it's not common and it's time consuming and (to me at least) it's of very dubious utility. There are plenty of places where you can go to find out how to write good packets, there are other packets you can look at and imitate, and there are plenty of people who will help you write passable packets while you're writing them and tell you what's good and bad (for example, in the chat room). There's no doubt that editors rarely do their job as well as they should, and that won't change in the near future. However, the quality of the questions given to those (non)-editors could possibly improve, if only through a slow creep.

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Well for TIT we were asked to rewrite a handful of questions, and I thought that worked out really well because it's better than a) editors having to do more work or b) crappy questions being left alone, or c) occasionally one person writing the whole packet for a team because he/she is the only one who writes decently, at least getting feedback/rewrite tasks encourages improvement for developing writers. Specifically dealing with the Nobel bonus, now that I look at it the first two at least were pretty easy and gave nearly the most important stuff the scientists were known for, so what's the problem? I think we established in some discussion on Sectionals that you can't ask people about exactly what they did in a science lab.

Edit: You know it was my goal with our packet to incorporate as much participation as possible, which is good because we had 4 writers, but 14/14 came from novices (then 6/6 was from me but I'm used to writing for GSAC, which is a bit different of course), so inevitably it had some rough spots, but it was our second time writing so this criticism is good - we'll get better.
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Post by grapesmoker »

Wall of Shawarma wrote:Okay I'll admit we're guilty of the Swiss mathematician one and the Nobel Prize citation one. Perhaps the latter is lazy writing indeed, but if it provides the proper difficulty, what's the problem with it? Well I can't be sure it is in fact sufficiently difficult, after all I didn't write that one (or the aforementioned tossup). Also we had one writer who gave us 3 super transparent tossups, and I did my best to fix them before saying "you know what, I'll let the tournament editor(s) handle this." Speaking of that though, it was weird how we weren't asked to replace ANY questions or given any kind of feedback, so how much editing actually happened is questionable.
I have a lot of things to say about this tournament, and virtually none of them are good. However, instead of spending too much time reflecting on the problems of this particular event, I'm going to incorporate the mistakes made by this set into my guide to question writing, which I've been working on during the past week. Hopefully I'll be done today, and it will contain explanations of why the above reasoning doesn't produce good quizbowl, and so forth.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

You know it might not produce good quizbowl but if the TD/QE doesn't say it needs to be fixed what incentive do I have to go through more trouble writing questions for people? Basically if people sent me stuff that was too atrociously bad I would tell them to rewrite (which I did several times), otherwise I'd do some editing to keep the question usable so to a large extent I left writers responsible for quality, because I don't want it to be so much editing that it boils down to me and maybe one other person writing all the questions. Also probably a quarter of them came in pretty late so I wish I had more time to spend editing those.
Last edited by Zip Zap Rap Pants on Sun Apr 29, 2007 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

Wall of Shawarma wrote:You know it might not produce good quizbowl but if the TD/QE doesn't say it needs to be fixed what incentive do I have to go through more trouble writing questions for people? Basically if people sent me stuff that was too atrociously bad I would tell them to rewrite (which I did several times), otherwise I'd do some editing to keep the question usable so to a large extent I left writers responsible for quality, because I don't want it to be so much editing that it boils down to me and maybe one other person writing all the questions. Also probably a quarter of them came in pretty late so I wish I had more time to spend editing those.
Welcome to the world, dude. I'm not sure what you think tournament editing is like, but let me lay it out for you. Most teams are lazy and/or irresponsible. A good, responsible editor will write large amounts of questions in their area(s) to cover the total crap that's going to come in, since it's gonna come in the week before the tournament anyway. Trouble is, most editors aren't that awesome or can't justify being that responsible when there's real work to be done. If a team submits early, no matter how bad their packet is, they become the editor's new favorite group of people. The editor's not gonna send the packet back though, because if a team submits a bad packet, sending it back saying "this is crap, fix it" will almost definitely result in nothing but animosity from the team, since they probably don't know what to fix anyway. It's faster and more efficient for the editor to do it himself than for him to give instructions that almost definitely won't be followed in any timely manner if at all. So imagine yourself in that position. You want to produce the best set possible so people enjoy themselves, but teams are sending in lazy, crappy packets the weekend before the tournament (if that). Would you like to be in that position? No, right? So maybe next time as leader of your group try to actually produce a decent packet. If you don't, you'd better not even try to criticize the tournament, since your bullshit was inevitably a cause, however minor, of every problem the tournament had.

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Post by grapesmoker »

Wall of Shawarma wrote:You know it might not produce good quizbowl but if the TD/QE doesn't say it needs to be fixed what incentive do I have to go through more trouble writing questions for people? Basically if people sent me stuff that was too atrociously bad I would tell them to rewrite (which I did several times), otherwise I'd do some editing to keep the question usable so to a large extent I left writers responsible for quality, because I don't want it to be so much editing that it boils down to me and maybe one other person writing all the questions. Also probably a quarter of them came in pretty late so I wish I had more time to spend editing those.
I'm not really sure what incentives have to do with anything here, nor do I really care whether the blame should be placed on you, your late teammates, or the editors (I'm guessing you all share some responsibility). I just want to address the issue of editors sending questions back: it takes me about as long to actually write an email explaining what is wrong with a question as it does to fix the question myself, and if I send it back, there is no guarantee that it will return to me in a usable fashion (or at all). Given that my time is valuable to me and that I have more confidence in my abilities than those of most of the people submitting packets to me, I'm not even going to bother sending things back because it's a gamble that I'm sure to lose. If you doubt the wisdom of this strategy, please take a look at the submitted vs. edited versions of the ACF Regionals packet, and then tell me whether you think that the people who produced the originals would have been able to rewrite their faulty questions to the satisfaction of the editors.
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Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Not only what Jerry and Eric said, but most TDs and editors (especially of smaller and ancillary events) are just not very capable/knowledgeable. Very often, people like you, Wall, and your teammates, need to take it upon themselves to write passable packets and improve their writing abilities or these tourneys aren't going to get better. Demanding that editors provide "incentive" for you to write better stuff is nonsense; the packet you send is not a first draft that gets graded and returned with red marks on it.

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Post by DumbJaques »

While mostly good points are being made here, it falls into the ever-popular "patently ridiculous" to in any way hold Matt or W&M for the general suckage of the tournament. Not that I'm saying everyone's doing that, but when # of posts about the WM packet approach posts about the tournament in general . . .

Anyway, someone please let us know if the questions are fine to talk about because I want to hear the horror stories.

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Hoss Cartwright wrote:
Wall of Shawarma wrote:You know it might not produce good quizbowl but if the TD/QE doesn't say it needs to be fixed what incentive do I have to go through more trouble writing questions for people? Basically if people sent me stuff that was too atrociously bad I would tell them to rewrite (which I did several times), otherwise I'd do some editing to keep the question usable so to a large extent I left writers responsible for quality, because I don't want it to be so much editing that it boils down to me and maybe one other person writing all the questions. Also probably a quarter of them came in pretty late so I wish I had more time to spend editing those.
Welcome to the world, dude. I'm not sure what you think tournament editing is like, but let me lay it out for you. Most teams are lazy and/or irresponsible. A good, responsible editor will write large amounts of questions in their area(s) to cover the total crap that's going to come in, since it's gonna come in the week before the tournament anyway. Trouble is, most editors aren't that awesome or can't justify being that responsible when there's real work to be done. If a team submits early, no matter how bad their packet is, they become the editor's new favorite group of people. The editor's not gonna send the packet back though, because if a team submits a bad packet, sending it back saying "this is crap, fix it" will almost definitely result in nothing but animosity from the team, since they probably don't know what to fix anyway. It's faster and more efficient for the editor to do it himself than for him to give instructions that almost definitely won't be followed in any timely manner if at all. So imagine yourself in that position. You want to produce the best set possible so people enjoy themselves, but teams are sending in lazy, crappy packets the weekend before the tournament (if that). Would you like to be in that position? No, right? So maybe next time as leader of your group try to actually produce a decent packet. If you don't, you'd better not even try to criticize the tournament, since your bullshit was inevitably a cause, however minor, of every problem the tournament had.
First off I WANT editors to send stuff back to me if it needs to be totally replaced (Ryan and Jerry, I'm not talking about the stuff that just needs minor fixing), TIT did that, it creates 0 animosity (especially when I send it in early), I want to get suggestions and create better questions before they get used. Edit: In fact, in my opinion it's not unreasonable for editors to insist teams replace bad stuff. Secondly how can I criticize this tournament when I didn't even go to it? That actually is part of my point about our questions, we sent in some freelance, hard to criticize that when it's better than nothing...
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Post by ezubaric »

Wall of Shawarma wrote:First off I WANT editors to send stuff back to me if it needs to be totally replaced
Well, not all writers are like you. We once had a team withdraw after we sent back the packet for rewrites. If that happens, you waste whatever time you spent on the packet, you have one packet fewer, and your field has to be reworked. I think most people just take what they can get, rewrite tons of questions, and hope for the best.
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Post by setht »

Wall of Shawarma wrote:Specifically dealing with the Nobel bonus, now that I look at it the first two at least were pretty easy and gave nearly the most important stuff the scientists were known for, so what's the problem?
Depending on what's in each citation, it might not be terrible, but it's still a rather boring way to write the question. I think most people agree that getting points for knowing Nobel prizewinners (or any other kind of prizewinners) off of the year in which they won is not particularly worthwhile, so giving the year doesn't count as a (good) clue. This leaves the citation quote. In some cases the citations say enough about the physicist's really important work, e.g. "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his explanation of the photoelectric effect" for Einstein, to make a passable (or near-passable) clue. In some cases, the citations don't say anything of use: I think my favorite in this regard may be the citation for Compton ("for his discovery of the effect named after him").

Going back to Einstein: if you're going to write a bonus part on Einstein's Nobel-winning work, you certainly don't need to include the bit in his citation about "his services to Theoretical Physics." I'd advise cutting the year, cutting the citation, and just saying "he explained the photoelectric effect." This is still crappy, but it has as much real content as the original version, and it gets to the point. Better yet, do a little reading on the photoelectric effect and put in something more about what Einstein said about it: "explanation in terms of photons," "work function," something about frequency rather than intensity--any of these would make for better clues, I think.

In summary, clue content should be chosen to highlight why some subject is important, or interesting, or funny. I think the year some guy won a Nobel and the things other people said in the citation are generally not funny or particularly interesting, and any important work mentioned in a citation should be extracted and expressed in your own words, possibly with some extra clues.
Wall of Shawarma wrote:You know it might not produce good quizbowl but if the TD/QE doesn't say it needs to be fixed what incentive do I have to go through more trouble writing questions for people?
I think you say it yourself: your incentive should be that you want to produce "good quizbowl."

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Post by Matt Weiner »

ezubaric wrote:Well, not all writers are like you. We once had a team withdraw after we sent back the packet for rewrites.
Is that when you printed out the packet, marked it up with red ink, and mailed it back to them, all the while claiming that I was the one editing your tournament for some reason? Because I've been meaning to talk to you about that and now seems like as good a time as any.

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Post by grapesmoker »

Wall of Shawarma wrote:Ryan and Jerry, I'm not talking about the stuff that just needs minor fixing
You missed the point of my post. I'm not talking about "minor fixes," where "minor" means something I can change without consulting reference sources (like clue order, wording, etc.). I'm talking about "this question is unsuitable for playing." It remains easier for me to write the question all over than to send it back and pray that it will be returned to me in a usable form.
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Post by SnookerUSF »

Gents,

One thing that I have found genuinely helpful in writing better packets and attempting to contribute to "good quizbowl" is to ask for commentary from editors after the fact. Ezequiel Berdichevsky was kind enough to send me significant commentary after last year's Chicago Open.

I know that does not solve the immediate problem of bad packets at the current tournaments of focus; however, it is something that a number of the experienced and well regarded editors can do for newer contributers to the game. This I think is a much more reasonable request from question writers than having these editors that are already "in the weeds" and overwhelmed in the weeks and days before a tournament request specific rewrites or attempt to rehabilitate packet authors while furiously trying to bring a tournament together. Let me emphasize that the request should come from these newer contributers.

Also, if some of the more vocal and active members on this board would be willing and have the time to do so, I am sure that there are a number of aspiring authors that would appreciate constructive comments on packets that have already been submitted to previous tournaments.

I would hold that the majority of the responsibility and therefore blame for the quality of the finished product lies with the packet authors and not tournament editors outside the obvious, such as overall tournament distribution, repeats, overlooked grammatical/spelling errors and format/presentation of questions.

Also, I appreciate and look forward to Jerry's Question Writing Guide in the coming days.

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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

I and others have many times offered to provide this very service upon request, and the offer stands. At least, starting after I graduate...stupid "real work."

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Post by ezubaric »

Matt Weiner wrote:Is that when you printed out the packet, marked it up with red ink, and mailed it back to them, all the while claiming that I was the one editing your tournament for some reason? Because I've been meaning to talk to you about that and now seems like as good a time as any.
Well, first off, I'm glad that we could discuss this through the most appropriate means possible, but I'm afraid I have no idea what you're talking about. Since you're making this public, here is the e-mail that we sent (written by someone else ... I was against sending anything and if I were to send anything it would have been more encouraging). I also edited it to remove parts that could identify parties; these are marked by <>.

<snipped par that would id the team, confirms that packet got in, there were some problems>

I intend to put
enough work into this packet to make it useable for the tournament, but
I will require some replacement questions from your team. Here's what I
want, as soon as possible, but I expect them by next Tuesday morning at
the latest:

1) a new painting tossup, replacing <PAINTING> (it may be possible to
write a good tossup on the <PAINTING>, though I doubt it, but the one
turned in was completely unacceptable; it would have been a buzzer race
on the second line)
2) a new mythology tossup, replacing <GOD> (this answer is way too hard
for a tossup; I don't know if the trashy giveaway makes it answerable
for some people, but questions should have giveaways pertaining to the
actual question. You're writing a myth question, not a trash one-liner.)
3) a philosophy tossup (there was none in your packet)
4) a mythology bonus (there was none in your packet)
5) a mythology bonus (there was none in your packet)
6) a new painting bonus, replacing the <PAINTER> 30-20-10 (this bonus type
was explicitly not allowed in the packet guidelines)
7) a new history bonus, replacing the <THEME> bonus (You have two questions on
<WAR>, one tossup and one bonus

<snip, talking about options for editing / what to do if they can't write the questions, that they should have read the instructions, understanding that they are a newer team, etc.>
I'm not saying that this was the right course of action (I didn't think so at the time, even), and it caused the team to withdraw rather than play at a tournament, which is the exact opposite of the result we wanted. I post it now, however, to respond to Matt, who was never mentioned in the e-mail (even in the snipped parts ... it made it rather hard to find in GMail, as I thought his name would at least appear in the e-mail).

This is was the first and last packet that I rejected from a tournament I was involved with editing (I learned my lesson).
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What you don't know...

Post by Your Genial Quizmaster »

Before further debate on Moon Pie, there's something those of you who weren't at Moon Pie itself don't know: We had a switch in editors about a month ago. I got buried in a major rush project at work, and David Moore (who was originally slated to assist) bravely offered to step in and take over as editor-in-chief of Moon Pie while I worked on RC Cola. He got some proofing help from Oklahoma and one brief read-through from me, but he put in the bulk of the work. So when you evaluate it, be gentle, it's his first time.

Having read through many of the originals, I can vouch for the fact that David did clean things up considerably from the raw material. While moderating Saturday, I saw several problem questions and repeats that I missed on my read-through -- and so did David. He is interested in constructive criticism, as he's enough of a glutton for punishment that's he's agreed to take on editorship of COTKU this fall.

The #1 problem with Moon Pie may sound familiar, but it was even worse than usual: We got too few packets from too few teams at too late a date. We received a whopping two packets by the official deadline, one of which we opted to set aside for high school use due to degree of difficulty. We were still receiving team packets as late as Tuesday night for Moon Pie (and if you think that's bad, we got one submitted for RC on Friday night, after we'd already finalized the set.) It appears that the old days of packet submission are virtually dead, and if it hadn't been for the writing efforts of our partners (Boston U. St. Olaf, and especially Oklahoma) and a swap of raw materials with Ghetto Warz, Lord knows what we'd have done. That also accounts for some of the repeats, which were between Ghetto Warz rounds and the original Moon Pie set.

So we've redesigned our entire tournament process to move past the packet submission issue in the future. This was in the works before Moon Pie and finalized Saturday night at Provino's after the tournament, and was not a response to anything posted here. We've lined up a different editor for each of our three collegiate tournaments for 2007-08. We've also assigned assistant editors for each tournament, including some with a science background (something no one at UTC claims to be strong at) and some who will be editing for sentence structure and readability only. We will invite but not require packet submission, and we anticipate that the bulk of the writing will be done by us and possible partner sites -- pretty much what Moon Pie wound up being, only from now on we'll be expecting it. Other schools that would be interested in sharing the load and running concurrent events in 2007-08 are invited to e-mail us at utcquizbowl [at] gmail [dot] com.

I will personally edit only one collegiate tournament next year, Sword Bowl, to be held in January 2008. It will be geared for less experienced teams, smaller colleges, and junior college teams. It will be canonical and will contain some answers you have heard of even outside of quizbowl. It will not include eight-sentence tossups, or bonus answers who weren't among Robert Trent's 15 favorite Nigerian authors, so I'm sure it will not meet the standards of some. If you consider such tournaments to be beneath you, feel free to stay away.

One last note, guaranteed to stir some controversy:

I find it amusing that people have posted criticism to this forum, and then declare that the existence of these posts means "we've established repeatedly on this board"... anything. This board is a very useful forum and I learn a lot from the exchange of ideas. But it is a discussion board, not a governing body. The act of posting your opinion here and having a few of your friends agree is not the quizbowl equivalent of rapping the gavel and declaring a new man law. It does not mean that the 30-20-10 or 5-10-15 bonus, or questions on geography/military history/history of science/etc., or anything else you don't like is therefore considered verboten. Get over yourselves.

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Post by Matt Weiner »

ezubaric wrote:Well, first off, I'm glad that we could discuss this through the most appropriate means possible, but I'm afraid I have no idea what you're talking about. Since you're making this public, here is the e-mail that we sent (written by someone else ... I was against sending anything and if I were to send anything it would have been more encouraging). I also edited it to remove parts that could identify parties; these are marked by <>.
I don't know dude, it seems that Swarthmore somehow got the impression that "I" did the above. They could be horribly distorting the facts as many people in quizbowl are wont to do, but I'm getting kind of tired of being blamed for shit I had nothing to do with.
Your Genial Quizmaster wrote:I find it amusing that people have posted criticism to this forum, and then declare that the existence of these posts means "we've established repeatedly on this board"... anything. This board is a very useful forum and I learn a lot from the exchange of ideas. But it is a discussion board, not a governing body. The act of posting your opinion here and having a few of your friends agree is not the quizbowl equivalent of rapping the gavel and declaring a new man law. It does not mean that the 30-20-10 or 5-10-15 bonus, or questions on geography/military history/history of science/etc., or anything else you don't like is therefore considered verboten. Get over yourselves.
The arguments about 5-10-15 are rock solid. There is no reason to use it, ever. 30-20-10 is more of a stylistic preference and if you want to keep writing the laziest bonuses possible I guess that's your prerogative. But if you keep using 5-10-15s it just seems like you are intentionally writing demonstrably bad questions just to spite those highfalutin' Internet Yankees who have the gumption to tell you how to do things.

Also, who is David Moore other than some guy at UTC? Has he ever written a good question in his life? Who are these editors you've lined up? How many people who have never written a good question do you think need to be piled on a tournament in order to make it good? You say this board is for discussion but you seem to be unaware of how we keep discussing how terrible your tournaments are and exactly why this is the case. Why don't you just mirror Terrapin, MLK, Penn Bowl, or another good tournament with controlled difficulty that takes place in January instead of foisting another Sword Bowl on the innocent quizbowl public?

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Post by ezubaric »

Matt Weiner wrote:I don't know dude, it seems that Swarthmore somehow got the impression that "I" did the above. They could be horribly distorting the facts as many people in quizbowl are wont to do, but I'm getting kind of tired of being blamed for shit I had nothing to do with.
It could be that they were miffed that we enlisted your help to help with last minute Penn packets and not theirs. Perhaps that got turned into "Matt wouldn't help us," and perhaps that morphed into "Matt didn't like our packet." But really, that's all I know. We (and Penn) were really glad to get your help with PARFAIT, and I wouldn't want it to seem that you were in any way the "bad cop."

But, so that this post is still on topic, I don't think that feedback after the packet is written is that helpful (either before or after the tournament). People tend not to care about things that are over and done with. I tried to give instant feedback on questions through Jerome (the online questions submission system I built at Caltech), though only experienced question writers actually looked at and commented on the questions as they made their way through the editing process. Perhaps its just that Jerome was too clunky and wasn't ready for prime time.

Seth and Charles had good ideas by having teams submit half-packets to tournaments (too lazy to recall/look up which ones). It's more overhead on the part of editors, but it got questions in their hands earlier (at least in theory), and it allowed serious problems to be corrected between the first half-packet and the second. Why didn't that catch on?
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Post by Matt Weiner »

P.S.
Principal ores with this element include tincal and kernite. A metalloid with a +3 oxidation state, it can form icosahedral crystals in pure form, but it typically exists as a hydrated compound used in fiberglass, adhesives, and detergent. Mined from the Mojave Desert, this is, FTP, what element with 5 protons in its nucleus?

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Re: What you don't know...

Post by Captain Sinico »

Your Genial Quizmaster wrote:So we've redesigned our entire tournament process to move past the packet submission issue in the future. This was in the works before Moon Pie and finalized Saturday night at Provino's after the tournament, and was not a response to anything posted here. We've lined up a different editor for each of our three collegiate tournaments for 2007-08. We've also assigned assistant editors for each tournament, including some with a science background (something no one at UTC claims to be strong at) and some who will be editing for sentence structure and readability only.
I, for one, think this is a pretty good idea if you can do it right. One thing to keep cognizant of is the fact that a lot of inexperienced people probably won't have much more success than just one inexperienced person, so you'd do well to have someone who really knows what they're doing overseeing the whole operation.
Your Genial Quizmaster wrote: We will invite but not require packet submission, and we anticipate that the bulk of the writing will be done by us and possible partner sites -- pretty much what Moon Pie wound up being, only from now on we'll be expecting it.
I think this is a not-so-good idea. Having experienced (and, unfortunately, contributed to) the now-pandemic problem of people submitting things (extremely) late or not at all, I know and understand how big an issue it is and what a large impact it can have on a tournament. That said, I think the answer is actually something like the converse approach, that is to say, actually require timely question submission if people are going to play. Maybe couple this with requesting, like, half a packet rather than a whole one or reducing fees a little. I halfway tried this approach with the Matt Cvijanovich Memorial Novice Tournament with some positive results and I think I'd like to give it a go all the way through next time around.

MaS
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Post by NotBhan »

Matt Weiner wrote:P.S.
Principal ores with this element include tincal and kernite. A metalloid with a +3 oxidation state, it can form icosahedral crystals in pure form, but it typically exists as a hydrated compound used in fiberglass, adhesives, and detergent. Mined from the Mojave Desert, this is, FTP, what element with 5 protons in its nucleus?
Er ... do forgive me, but I'm totally missing the point of your quoting this question. Is this supposed to be an example of a bad question or a good one or what?
"Keep it civil, please." -- Matt Weiner, 6/7/05

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Post by quo.vadio »

I take full responsibility for the quality of the Moon Pie Editing. It was my first attempt at editing a tournament solo, and I was completely unprepared for the amount of time that had to be spent on the mundane parts of editing. I will be the first to admit that a number of inexcusable mistakes were made simply because of my own poor time management. I make no excuses. I was embarrassed by the final product. I will say that I appreciate the graciousness of those playing in Chattanooga that saw the editing for what it was, but did not feel the need to pile on. However, I will not stop writing or editing. I will simply learn from the mistakes I made.

I will be coming back to these pages to see what all of you think, in order to learn for the future. However, I will make no attempts to apoligize for, explain, or defend any specific mistakes. I have seen too many legitimate discussions on this board devolve into petty bitchfests by the self-proclaimed arbiters of the game. While there are a number of legitmate complaints to be made about this set of Moon Pie questions, I do not agree with all of your assessments, nor do I feel beholden to them. I will take the advice quietly and grow as a writer and an editor.

One more thing: Any attempt to place the blame for the quality of these questions on Charlie is tragically misguided. The editing was my sole responsibility.

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Post by grapesmoker »

quo.vadio wrote:I take full responsibility for the quality of the Moon Pie Editing. It was my first attempt at editing a tournament solo, and I was completely unprepared for the amount of time that had to be spent on the mundane parts of editing. I will be the first to admit that a number of inexcusable mistakes were made simply because of my own poor time management. I make no excuses. I was embarrassed by the final product. I will say that I appreciate the graciousness of those playing in Chattanooga that saw the editing for what it was, but did not feel the need to pile on. However, I will not stop writing or editing. I will simply learn from the mistakes I made.
One step forward...
I will be coming back to these pages to see what all of you think, in order to learn for the future. However, I will make no attempts to apoligize for, explain, or defend any specific mistakes. I have seen too many legitimate discussions on this board devolve into petty bitchfests by the self-proclaimed arbiters of the game. While there are a number of legitmate complaints to be made about this set of Moon Pie questions, I do not agree with all of your assessments, nor do I feel beholden to them. I will take the advice quietly and grow as a writer and an editor.
...and two steps back.

If you disagree with what you read on here, you should make your opinion known, not because we're magical game arbiters, but because it makes sense to air substantial disagreements. If you plan on continuing as a tournament editor in the future, it's important for people to know your editing philosophy. I'm particularly interested to hear which complaints about Moon Pie are illegitimate.
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Post by quo.vadio »

It is not the airing of disagreements that I object to. It is the tone that many on this forum adopt that bothers me.

But, just to be fair, there are several things I disagree with, but the particular example on my mind when I said that originally was this: I personally object to phrases such as "actual knowledge." Any thing that is known is knowledge. I understand that questions about Sexual Reassignment Surgery and the Grafenberg Spot ride the edge of what some people consider "academic." But for the entire 10 years that I have been involved with quiz bowl, I have seen questions about diseases, body parts, and medical procedures. I do not see the need to omit these questions just because some people are made uncomfortable by the mention of naughty bits. And just because there exist those who would shout out a "giggity" when one of these things is mentioned, doesn't mean they are no longer "actual knowledge."

If and when I feel I can adequately express any further disagreements, and as I learn more about my own editing philosophy I will share those thoughts with this forumn. However, I will not allow myself to be drawn into catty slapfests. I enjoy quizbowl, no matter the nature of my involvement. I would like to continue enjoying it.

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Post by wd4gdz »

Your Genial Quizmaster wrote:For Moon Pie 2005 we joined in the J'Accuse/Blast/Bergeron/etc. combined effort and passed along raw packets for you & the others in that cohort to edit. I offered to help and was told it wasn't needed. That was OK with me -- it's not like I needed more tournaments to edit. But I should have reconsidered when I sought you out at the NAQT ICT at Tulane just to personally thank you for it, only to be brushed off as if I was selling Amway.

The reaction we got to that tournament from the attendees was worse than any tournament we've ever hosted (with one exception -- also a straight mirror that we didn't edit.) We were told by more than one established team that if we did it again, they would not attend. And I didn't throw you under the bus, did I? No, I have never once stated that in this forum, and wouldn't do so now, except that you asked.
Moon Pie 2005 was my favorite tournament (in terms of question quality) that I ever went to at UTC. I didn't think it was too hard, and I was a freshman at the time playing solo.

---

One minor complaint from the 2007 Moon Pie is that two of the packets that weren't used were actually pretty good, and I wish they had been used instead of the one with questions on the Koran and left-handedness, and that one with the Lord of the Flies tossup.

Due to the variety of packets, there were the most upsets and strange match results that I have ever seen at a tournament.

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Post by SnookerUSF »

wd4gdz wrote:One minor complaint from the 2007 Moon Pie is that two of the packets that weren't used were actually pretty good, and I wish they had been used instead of the one with questions on the Koran and left-handedness, and that one with the Lord of the Flies tossup.

Due to the variety of packets, there were the most upsets and strange match results that I have ever seen at a tournament.
As a personal rant, the Lord of the Flies tossup was truly, truly upsetting. Mentioning the words: Ralph, the other boys, and island in the first sentence was disheartening. I was playing the very talented and experienced Chris Borglum and was down a scant 20 points, and though I have no issues losing to Chris (since I have done so far too many times to count) it was really infuriating to lose that way.

The other complaint is more general and concerns the number of repeats. Is there some tried and true method for excising repeats, I can't imagine one person being able to catch all of them efficiently and effectively. Is there some secret for such a fortuitous happening?

After reading the last two rounds that night in the hotel room, I believe there were 4 or 5 pretty good packets and maybe an additional 1 or 2 passable ones. One of the issues in which I faced in submitting a packet (I was the sole writer and hence deserve most of the blame for the South Florida submission, some of the tossup answers were Vespasian, Debye, Casimir, Go Tell it on the Mountain, John Bell Hood, Transfiguration, The Social Contract) is that the request for difficulty was easy to moderate for the circuit. I think I personally leaned on the side of moderate for most of the packet.

The circuit is a rather fragmented and highly regionalized entity. It is perhaps as troublesome a term as "canon." I would imagine that easy to moderate in the Illinois, Michigan corridor is probably more difficult than in the southeast-also it seems from this rather fractious discussion there are very different expectations about what a packet of questions should sound like.

In submitting questions I was trying to write to a national audience, and it seems that that audience is quite different than those in attendance at Moon Pie in Chattanooga. I suspect that for some of the submissions from those individuals or teams who are used to playing tournaments from various areas in the country also submitted packets which skewed the overall aesthetic, and hence comments regarding the incredible deviation in difficulty and style are appropriate and understandable.

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Post by grapesmoker »

SnookerUSF wrote:One of the issues in which I faced in submitting a packet (I was the sole writer and hence deserve most of the blame for the South Florida submission, some of the tossup answers were Vespasian, Debye, Casimir, Go Tell it on the Mountain, John Bell Hood, Transfiguration, The Social Contract) is that the request for difficulty was easy to moderate for the circuit. I think I personally leaned on the side of moderate for most of the packet.
Lest anyone think I'm a pinata of hatred, let me just say that I thought this was one of the better packets. The questions mentioned above were actually mostly pretty good; the Debye tossup was one of the better science questions that I saw in any of the packets and contained some truly interesting information (although the Casimir effect question could have used some work).
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Post by OleGriz »

While the questions could have been improved for Moon Pie, the major problem seemed to be inconsistent editing. One of the tossups that I had written to be submitted for one of St. Olaf's packets (about the Four Horsemen of Reaction) was altered (and improved) from the version I had submitted, while in several packets there were significant typographical and formatting errors. Tossups would be on multiple pages, necessitating a page turn to see the answer as well as finish reading. In one packet, find and replace had been used to put point values for the bonuses instead of identifying letters, but this was also applied to tossups, which then featured references to such things as M.(10) Escher. I don't know if this was the result of late submissions, but as a moderator I found these far more troublesome than the occasional poorly written toss-up, and a more important target for improvement.

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Post by Your Genial Quizmaster »

Ole Griz is right. When I gave David a basic "how-to" list for editing, I neglected to mention page breaks, so I'll take the blame there. I guess I've gotten spoiled -- in the mid-Nineties when I was just an occasional moderator, page breaks were virtually nonexistent, and I've made a point of it for years, but fortunately now they're so commonplace that I take them for granted. I went through after midnight Friday night and put them in. I also spotted the search-and-replace error, and fixed those; my favorite was the reference in the Moby Dick bonus to "Aha(10)" which left me wondering how "Take On Me" would sound if converted to a sea shanty. The revised set didn't get sent out till 12:04 AM, by which time St. Olaf had already wisely made their copies (not sure about Okla. & BU.) So I apologize.

David's already added it to his list of lessons learned. During the tournament, when people like Ahmad Ragab gave him frank constructive criticism (stated civilly, and leavened with encouragement -- a model for us all), he took it to heart.

I'm looking forward to COTKU, and not just because for once I won't have to edit it within two weeks of also editing a high school set.

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Post by waspman23 »

quo.vadio wrote: But, just to be fair, there are several things I disagree with, but the particular example on my mind when I said that originally was this: I personally object to phrases such as "actual knowledge." Any thing that is known is knowledge.
Well said.

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Post by Matt Weiner »

I made a constructive post over in the other thread that may be worth discussing.

http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewto ... 1702#51702

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Post by SnookerUSF »

Matt Weiner wrote:Well-known chestnuts re-used as tossup leadins as if people have never heard old packets. Bird in Space being charged a customs duty is a guaranteed buzzer race even at the high school level. Why would a leadin that was questionable ten years ago be the leadin again now? What does this accomplish except first-clue buzzer races in every game between teams from the top 3/4 of the field? (7)
If indeed Matt is correct as regards "the high school level" and I have no reason to doubt this since his experience in writing for the high school level far exceeds mine, then with regards to that tossup I believe he makes a "difficult-to-dispute causal chain" of explanation.

But in general, and I ask this question genuinely, I have my opinions but they are not set in stone or even in non-Newtonian silly putty:

Do we consistently insure as editors/writers that no tossup will be a buzzer race on the first clue for the top 2 or 3 teams even though such a clue may pass quite innocently for the mediocre/younger teams?

It seems that one of the ways such clues become tasty chestnuts for each new generation of players is just this sort of thing. Yes, teams read old packets and good coaches/players make a note to point these out, but there are many packets and not enough hours in the day. Good players and players that want that status should study independently; yes, but sometimes those clues don't get picked up.

Moreover, wherever the above clue about the customs case comes in the tossup it will be a knee-jerk buzzing event, right? (There are a few possible exceptions...but, I think this is true especially in this particular instance) If the goal is pyramidicity, (a noble and worthwhile goal indeed) then this clue and all such chestnuts become regulated further and further in the packet until they are near giveaways. This process repeats itself a few times, without recycling, and we are left with a limited clue space which places an extreme burden on new players to keep up, and writers to be constantly more inventive.

Now the second part of this lemma is welcomed in my opinion, writers (I) should be driven and rewarded for inventiveness; however, the first part is somewhat bothersome. I think in the Brancusi question, that clue is genuinely interesting and makes for good coffeshop conversation (I understand that quizbowl is primarily about competition and not specifically designed for edification, but there is an edifying aspect which is seductive for a number of players, myself included) I would hope that players 10 years from now still get to hear it once and a while, perhaps in high school like originally stated, and if so-great, but there are many clues on the college level which are equally tasty for its quick conversion and charm.

I hope I have made myself clear insofar as I see a distinction between my question, and stock issues concerning the rapid expansion of the canon or pyramidicity. I am also not suggesting that every tossup have a chestnut (or worse an obvious and uninteresting clue *see signature*) before the giveaway which is easily recognizable to top teams, especially on any level above a novice or a lower-level invitational-but those clues have a emblematic nature which makes them memorable and interesting (to read and write) both to new players and occasionally older players who might have missed it while pursuing the "Philadelphia Experiment" or 2000 ACF Nationals.

Thanks for your time. I look forward to your responses.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

That's definitely an issue that's been brought up, and I wouldn't want either bad consequence (tossups becoming more and more about stacking leadins, interesting facts falling by the wayside) to be a big problem. The solutions are several-fold:

*We can put interesting anecdotes in bonuses, where clue ordering is not important.
*We can stop worrying about putting clues like "customs duty" as the second or third from the last clue in a Bird in Space tossup, even though we know anyone who reads old packets will get it there, and accept that it's okay for people to use semi-fraudulent knowledge at the end of a question.
*We can find new, equally interesting facts that satisfy the discrimination-among-good-teams criterion and use them to start tossups.

I try, with varying degrees of success, to use all of these methods.

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Post by STPickrell »

I wonder, really, what percentage of rooms would answer a Bird in Space tossup if I put it in VHSL sets.

Let us remember that the high school quizbowl universe is a large place. Very good teams will know the stock clues to tossups that go dead in other rooms -- simply because they work harder and have read over old ACF and NAQT sets which contain those clues.

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Post by Matt Weiner »

StPickrell wrote:I wonder, really, what percentage of rooms would answer a Bird in Space tossup if I put it in VHSL sets.

Let us remember that the high school quizbowl universe is a large place. Very good teams will know the stock clues to tossups that go dead in other rooms -- simply because they work harder and have read over old ACF and NAQT sets which contain those clues.
I know that there would be more than one game played on that VHSL set statewide where both teams know that same clue, and thus it's probably innappropriate to be the first clue in the tossup. That doesn't mean you can't use it at all. More relevantly, I know that the field at a UTC college tournament knows what Bird in Space is, and almost all of them also know that clue, making it completely ludicrous to use it as the first clue in the tossup.

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Post by Your Genial Quizmaster »

Cross-posting this to both the Moon Pie discussion and its spinoff...

When I was looking through the archives, I found a discussion thread that deserves to be brought into this one. The first post does an excellent job of laying out the biggest issues that editors face, and the unfortunate consequences, but it does so in a respectful and constructive tone:

http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3351

Virtually every word of that applies to Moon Pie, except that we were also breaking in a new editor-in-chief. David & I, and others associated with the UTC program, are already taking the painful lessons of Moon Pie to heart and applying them to next year's tournaments, and some of those steps parallel the advice from that post. As noted earlier, we've divvied up the duties so no one will be editor-in-chief for more than one collegiate set next year, and David's already started writing questions for COTKU while I'm doing the same for our fall high school tournament.

Of the three main points of the post, the one we're struggling with the most is the third. How do we enforce packet submission requirements and deadlines, without driving a high percentage of people out of the game? There are too few strong, active programs with continuity as it is. In 2006-07 we tried varying combinations of carrot and stick...

http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3148
http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3412
http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3581

Yet we still didn't get even as many submissions as we did last year. And many of them were from earnest new teams with no question-writing experience whatsoever. I have copied one classic example below; since it was never used, the author can't be identified and ridiculed by name. This is word-for-word as submitted, except that I reordered the bonus parts for your amusement.

These paintings were created in the 19th century. For 10 points each when I name the painting, you give me the artist.
1. The persistence of Memory
Answer: Salvador (Felipe Jacinto) Dali (y Domenech)
2. Guernica
Answer: Pablo Picasso
3. The Thinker
Answer: Auguste Rodin


Obviously the question is unusable, but you can't completely throw out all the subpar questions. The biggest reason is that there just aren't enough good ones to start with (again, a situation eloquently discussed in the aforementioned post.) There's also the issue of rewarding a good faith effort. At Moon Pie, per my request, David set aside a submitted packet that was much closer to high school level difficulty. That team's coach later told me that his team had worked hard on those questions and was very discouraged. When time permits, I try to take the usable answers and giveaway clues, and write a whole new question around it, so at least people can see the difference. I did a lot of that for RC Cola, including four or five freelance questions written by a seventh grader. (Oh, if only the average college player was as willing to write as that young lady!) David did a good deal of similar rewrites for Moon Pie but underestimated how much time it would take to overhaul them all, just as the post cited above described.

We're working on a new approach to packet submission for the fall; if you have any thoughts, feel free to share them here and/or e-mail us at utcquizbowl [at] gmail [dot] com.

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No Rules Westbrook
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Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Why must this be so difficult? Look, it's really not rocket science...there are objective standards by which those in the know have come to measure qb tournaments: either your tourney is great or terrible or somewhere in between. It's not a matter of why or how, the tournament is what it is based on question quality. Every editor gets a pantload of shitty and mostly unusable questions; I have no doubt that you get a double pantload, given the teams submititng. Whatever, doesn't matter. Your tournaments are crappy. If you're happy with that status for whatever reason, then fine, continue forward.

But there's no use in attempting to sidestep this truth by cobbling together defenses that are either obvious (editor didn't know what he was doing, teams submitted junk) or completely unbelievable (the persistent insistence that you tirelessly edit packets, striving for quality...or edit packets at all).

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ArloLyle
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Post by ArloLyle »

Ryan Westbrook wrote:If you're happy with that status for whatever reason, then fine, continue forward.
I hate to get into the middle of this, but it seems like there are more than a few people here who aren't of this mindset, that somehow UTC tournaments are poisoning quizbowl nationwide. Though, for whatever reason people keep coming back year after year. Maybe that's because UTC dominates the Southeast as far as hosting goes and there aren't as many options as there are in other regions. That is beginning to change with Georgia, Georgia Tech, some of the Florida schools, and a handful of others. Though even for some schools in the region that don't have a lot funding or members who can shell out money to travel to tournaments in Florida (yes even those of us in Athens) or other places there aren't a whole lot of options.

I went to both RC Cola and Moon Pie and enjoyed myself. They were by no means the worst tournaments I went to during this academic year. Sure they both could have been better, but I had fun and that's how I generally measure tournaments. I don't get too bent out of shape about question quality unless they are really bad (yes that Lord of the Flies question that has been mentioned here was ridiculous) and I would bet, though I have no proof other than the vast number of teams who knowingly go to mediocre tournaments, that there is a sizable group of people (probably who don't post here) around that nation that agree with me. I'm not saying this as a way to advocate mediocre questions. I just don't think that the world is going to end when a TD doesn't edit his packets as well as someone else could have.

I can say for Georgia that they have a very large and active group now that is excited not only about playing but also running tournaments. They have a solid group of good question writers who are obsessed with question quality and a lot of people who are getting experience. While I won't be there I fully expect them to become a much more active part of the Southeast that runs good tournaments and I would be interested to see how that changes, if at all, how other tournaments in the region are run.

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