Best Team in the World?

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
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Best Team in the World?

Post by canaanbananarama »

Dug up while I was procrastinating for two final exams coming in six hours:
http://www-scf.usc.edu/~quizbowl/tw3/TW ... il.html#t6

Can this be real? Is this some team from out of the state of California? Really, what's going on here? I'm willing to believe that there are some amazing high school players out there, but one who can post 230 PPG...and still be extremely mediocre on bonuses? Can the one USC person who actually reads these boards expound on this team (one I've never seen in two years of being active on the CA high school circuit and three years of being passively interested)? They won the tournament, 11-0 by the way. The other teams, with the exception of one that sucked, are all So Cal regulars.

Whatever the case, I see a bright future for this Basileus at Auburn University-Montgomery.

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Post by steven-lamp »

Well, I've been studying my Philosophy and just got through with my term paper defending pragmatism as the best method of evaluating god's existence, and I googled the school, and I found Amelia Earhart High School in North Hollywood, CA. Maybe that's the school?
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Post by Stained Diviner »

My guess is that this tournament did not use NAQT questions. The number of powers for all teams is on the high side, and the bonus conversion is a little too even--the bad teams got 15 points per bonus. If it was NAQT questions, then it must have been their easy packets.

Even so, WOW!
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Post by zwtipp »

The tournament used NAQT questions. The team was a one person team so he weas obviously going to put up amazing points.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

Could "Basileus" be am amalgamation of stats from several people? Also, one has to consider the possibility, given that these were NAQT questions, that someone's already seen them.

MaS

NB: I'm not accusing anyone of cheating, just suggesting an explanation of odd data.
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Post by NotBhan »

One-person team or not, it's hard to imagine someone going 71/80/2 in eight rounds on an NAQT set and then averaging just 16 points per bonus. Seems likely to be a series of stat errors, if I had to guess.

P.S. Amelia Earhart is listed as Earhart Continuation School ... anyone know what a continuation school is? At least in this case, Earhart seems to be a small high school of about 100 students and a few teachers. I think it's within a few blocks of the much larger North Hollywood HS, but I couldn't find any indication that the two schools are related.
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Post by First Chairman »

I'm trying to recall... how well did you do Charles? :) We are aware of the few wunderkinds that came out from California, but I can't remember if this performance is at all comparable.

If it is statistical errors, that's a lot of errors to put in to SQBS to result in that skewed a result (if certified). Too bad no one from USC is available to comment. One would think that the shock value from that statistic would have made its way here.
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Post by zwtipp »

E.T. Chuck wrote:I'm trying to recall... how well did you do Charles? :) We are aware of the few wunderkinds that came out from California, but I can't remember if this performance is at all comparable.

If it is statistical errors, that's a lot of errors to put in to SQBS to result in that skewed a result (if certified). Too bad no one from USC is available to comment. One would think that the shock value from that statistic would have made its way here.
Umm...I'm from USC and I have already been available to comment. It was not a stat error, it was a one person team who was joined later in the day by another person. They had not seen the questions before. I don't know too much about the person other than what I've said. If Mik, our team president see this, he might have more to say.
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Post by DumbJaques »

From what I understand, the tournament used a particularly easy NAQT A pack and featured extremely weak competition. Even so, I'd say this kid most be pretty good, although 15 ppb (on NAQT As) is pretty subpar. At the very least, I'd be interested to play against this team.
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Post by canaanbananarama »

Dr. Chuck wrote:
I'm trying to recall... how well did you do Charles? :) We are aware of the few wunderkinds that came out from California, but I can't remember if this performance is at all comparable.
A. I'm not very familiar with these NAQT lower level invitational packets and exactly how much of a deviation they are from the standard packets. Thus in some ways I can't entirely judge the performance with full accuracy.

B. In my senior year of high school, playing completely solo in a weak field, I would have gladly taken about 130 PPG. About 100 short of this guy. Even now, having been through three years of college, I doubt I could club baby seals with a ferocity to the tune of 230 PPG; in fact, I doubt that any of the five best players on the West Coast could achieve this feat. However, any of those five players and myself would easily be able to notch 20 points a bonus on standard high school invitationals packet; from what I gauge of the few times I've played the standard (non-A level) packets, I would get a bonus conversion somewhere below 25. Therefore, this incompetence on bonuses makes very little sense to me; if you have such knowledge that you're one power away from a grail round in which half of the tossups went for power, you have no business only getting half of your bonus points, and in so doing finishing well in the lower echelon of a field full of "weak" opponents in that stat.

C. I also find it particularly amazing to note the 35 to 1 power to neg ratio. Even if a really good player could be a dynamo on easy questions such as these to the point where they were racking up 200 PPG, to me, easy questions lends itself to less clues which oftens lends itself to a phenomenon called hose bowl. This is most notable in CBI, but to a lesser extent exists in NAQT. If you buzz with the aggressiveness to get 70 powers, you're going to double digit neg five numbers because the clues lead you astray.

D. That being said, if this is legitimate, this is the most impressive individual performance in the history of NAQT high school tournaments. Ever. Easy packets or not.

Charles Meigs

P.S. For the USC guy who made sure to point out his existence, does this guy/girl have a name? And as speculation has suggested, is this in fact Amelia Earhart High School of North Hollywood. Or something entirely different?
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Post by Dan Greenstein »

NotBhan wrote:One-person team or not, it's hard to imagine someone going 71/80/2 in eight rounds on an NAQT set and then averaging just 16 points per bonus. Seems likely to be a series of stat errors, if I had to guess.
Maybe this guy is an avatar of Subash Maddipotti, sent to keep his American friends company while he is on the other side of the world.
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Post by rylltraka »

1. The player's actual name is Paul, and he was a one (and two, for some games, with a friend of his) man mercenary team who was in Los Angeles for odd reasons and contacted me. He was unofficially respresenting his high school, Amelia, which I believe off memory is in Ohio. He had no intention of qualifying or winning the tournament, and will not be going to nationals. At least, from our tournament.

2. The stats are not in error. Our statperson, Grace, did a fantastic job, and whatever conclusions can be drawn from the bonus rate are dealing with the correct numbers. These were A packets.

3. I had no idea he would do this well. If so, I might have declined his offer to participate.

4. It's harder to type now because the keyboard and my hands are so cold. Ah, Oregon, you fickle mistress.

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Post by First Chairman »

Yeah, there is an Amelia High School in Ohio, but they have never really impressed me on the table of statewide results there. The school is closer to the Cincinnati area, but I do not recall them playing at Justin's tournament so far as I know.
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Post by solonqb »

Amelia, if I remember correctly, is a rural high school in Southwest Ohio, that I can't recall ever doing too well.

EDIT: They're in Batavia, Clermont County, just SE of Cincinnati. But still, never an OAC superpower to my knowledge.
Last edited by solonqb on Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by zwtipp »

canaanbananarama wrote:Dr. Chuck wrote:
I'm trying to recall... how well did you do Charles? :) We are aware of the few wunderkinds that came out from California, but I can't remember if this performance is at all comparable.
A. I'm not very familiar with these NAQT lower level invitational packets and exactly how much of a deviation they are from the standard packets. Thus in some ways I can't entirely judge the performance with full accuracy.

B. In my senior year of high school, playing completely solo in a weak field, I would have gladly taken about 130 PPG. About 100 short of this guy. Even now, having been through three years of college, I doubt I could club baby seals with a ferocity to the tune of 230 PPG; in fact, I doubt that any of the five best players on the West Coast could achieve this feat. However, any of those five players and myself would easily be able to notch 20 points a bonus on standard high school invitationals packet; from what I gauge of the few times I've played the standard (non-A level) packets, I would get a bonus conversion somewhere below 25. Therefore, this incompetence on bonuses makes very little sense to me; if you have such knowledge that you're one power away from a grail round in which half of the tossups went for power, you have no business only getting half of your bonus points, and in so doing finishing well in the lower echelon of a field full of "weak" opponents in that stat.

C. I also find it particularly amazing to note the 35 to 1 power to neg ratio. Even if a really good player could be a dynamo on easy questions such as these to the point where they were racking up 200 PPG, to me, easy questions lends itself to less clues which oftens lends itself to a phenomenon called hose bowl. This is most notable in CBI, but to a lesser extent exists in NAQT. If you buzz with the aggressiveness to get 70 powers, you're going to double digit neg five numbers because the clues lead you astray.

D. That being said, if this is legitimate, this is the most impressive individual performance in the history of NAQT high school tournaments. Ever. Easy packets or not.

Charles Meigs

P.S. For the USC guy who made sure to point out his existence, does this guy/girl have a name? And as speculation has suggested, is this in fact Amelia Earhart High School of North Hollywood. Or something entirely different?
I think Mik's answer is the defnitive one. I read 5 rounds before lunch since that was all the time I was able to spare before I headed to the Coliseum to watch the rape that was the USC-UCLA game. Due to my leaving early, compounded with the fact that I never read for the team/person in question means that the knowledge I had of the situation was just what I heard.

On another note, I'm not sure how much knowledge you have of quiz bowl on the east coast, but I think the top few players on the east coast could put up similar PPG numbers. As for the bonus conversion, I'm not really sure what to make of that. It may be a very large breadth with a bit less depth. And the argument that you need breadth to power that many questions, though somewhat valid, I think doesn't apply to this situation. Anyone who practices regularly with college packets and does fair could probably get a huge number of powers. I recall reading and being disgusted with how easy some of the powers were. Many times I thought that some clues before the power mark would be giveaways in college packets and maybe in some upper level HS packets, such as PACE-NSC.
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Post by First Chairman »

Yep... then it is too bad he won't play at any nationals. I'm sure :chip: would put him in his Hall of Fame after two games... then find some way to rig the tournament... Sorry... he never does that (anymore). :)

I'm sure he aspires to meet and beat :kenj: .
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Post by dafirenze »

If I remember correctly, he performed much more consistently in the playoff rounds, converting a much higher portion of his bonus questions. Dear USC people, I would be interested in seeing the his playoff stats if possible?

I also understand that players in Ohio have a vastly different format from the NAQT's, one with a much heavier emphasis on math and science, two categories that he seemed to struggle in, and considerably less 'toss-ups' to garner points from.
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Post by The Time Keeper »

dafirenze wrote:If I remember correctly, he performed much more consistently in the playoff rounds, converting a much higher portion of his bonus questions. Dear USC people, I would be interested in seeing the his playoff stats if possible?

I also understand that players in Ohio have a vastly different format from the NAQT's, one with a much heavier emphasis on math and science, two categories that he seemed to struggle in, and considerably less 'toss-ups' to garner points from.

Talking about yourself in third person, eh? Well played.
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Post by miamiqb »

if this kid is from ohio, what is to say if he had not heard all of the tossups before at a different NAQT tourney using the same set? And his bonus conversion could be explained by the fact that not all the bonuses are read at NAQT tournaments. Thus he got the ones he knew and blanked on the rest.
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Post by The Time Keeper »

miamiqb wrote:if this kid is from ohio, what is to say if he had not heard all of the tossups before at a different NAQT tourney using the same set? And his bonus conversion could be explained by the fact that not all the bonuses are read at NAQT tournaments. Thus he got the ones he knew and blanked on the rest.
The USC tournament was the first to use that particular question set according to naqt.com.

The bonus conversion thing is really weird though.
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Post by bigtrain »

zwtipp wrote:I think the top few players on the east coast could put up similar PPG numbers.
Chris Ray would probably be able to do this playing solo over the course of 8 rounds on 22-24 questions a round (just like this Basileus player) against people who didn't buzz at all on introductory level NAQT packets. However, against solid teams like Torrey Pines, La Jolla and Arcadia, each of which put up over 500 points in games that day, I don't think even Chris Ray is not capable of getting near 230 ppg.

Edit: If these questions were really as easy as I'm being told they were, then Chris could do it...I think. But how can you be 12th in points per bonus in a field of 17 with stats like that?
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Post by dafirenze »

Maybe since this kid was seeing more than 3/4 of the bonus questions he just ran into more questions that he didn't know. Maybe he didn't feel the need to take things so seriously since he was crushing the opposition. Maybe he didn't think about the questions and just passed on them in an attempt to get through all the questions. Maybe his domination of 11 rounds of questions was just a fluke. I saw this kid play, and it was just scary. I would've felt intimidated playing him. I'm sure he felt pity, and I remember him letting a few teams get out of negative points just to save them the embarassment. At least that's what he told me. However, in the second round of the playoffs, he creamed one team 840-0, so I doubt his claim of mercy.
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Post by The Time Keeper »

dafirenze wrote:Maybe since this kid was seeing more than 3/4 of the bonus questions he just ran into more questions that he didn't know. Maybe he didn't feel the need to take things so seriously since he was crushing the opposition. Maybe he didn't think about the questions and just passed on them in an attempt to get through all the questions. Maybe his domination of 11 rounds of questions was just a fluke. I saw this kid play, and it was just scary. I would've felt intimidated playing him. I'm sure he felt pity, and I remember him letting a few teams get out of negative points just to save them the embarassment. At least that's what he told me. However, in the second round of the playoffs, he creamed one team 840-0, so I doubt his claim of mercy.
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Post by ericblair »

Perhaps he's in good with a tossup writer??? :shock:
That'd be possible, right?

This is definitely unheard of. I've seen some EXTREMELY talented players over the years and they could possibly put up those number in the tossups if it was a REALLY good day with horrible competition. The thing is, these extremely talented players wouldn't do that poorly on bonuses. And very rarely would someone throw the bonuses on purpose. Any eager player would try to go for the most points possible to try and break some sort of record. I know that I would. Judging by the cover up (assuming it is a cover up) of "dafirenze" I'd imagine this type of person wouldn't hold back, either.

And I think people here are giving this guy too much credit so soon. This guy is only known for his performance at one tournament. If he comes out to other tournaments and puts up impressive numbers against better competition then I will acknowledge his superiority in the game.
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Post by quizbowllee »

When was this tournament held? I had the impression that when Charles said he "dug it up" in his first post, that this was a tournament from a few years back... Was this a recent event?
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Post by The Time Keeper »

I'm pretty sure this was from USC's tournament held on the 3rd.
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Post by canaanbananarama »

Certain things:

1. The tournament did happen December 3, 2005, which I have neglected to mention up until this point. My use of the term "dug up" was not in reference to it being something far on the backburner in terms of time, but rather location-it wasn't posted anywhere, and I only happened upon the statistics by blowing off work by looking at various west coast circuit teams' websites.

2. True, I don't have any experience playing any teams on the East Coast and can make no statements as to whether some Chris Ray from a school I don't know could post such figures. If he could, he's a really great player who's on a level completely elevated above any player I ever played in high school. I still would doubt that any high school player, no matter how impressive, could post such high and consistent scores, especially without higher amounts of negs taken. And it really isn't relevant what Chris Ray could do. This isn't Thomas Jefferson or Governor's School or some other East Coast powerhouse that we're talking about. This is a team in Ohio that by all accounts, was a lower-tier team at least up until last year; given the descriptions given by the two Ohioans, it would surprise me very much to hear that this team beat Santa Monica A, Torrey Pines, Edison, etc., which are quality teams.

3. Does anybody from the Ohio area have any way of getting in touch with the coach of this Amelia high school team? It would be interesting to see what he/she thought/even knew about Amelia going all the way to So Cal and throttling the competition.

4. If I've given any notes of praise for this team and its accomplishments, it's only for the accomplishments on paper. Every superlative comment I've made about them is very tongue in cheek; I'm very skeptical about this whole situation.

5. For the USC people, was there any amount of controversy/bitterness/dispute on the part of the vanquished So Cal schools? Obviously, it comes off as crass to question a team's victories, but given the statistical evidence and almost total obscurity of the team, it wouldn't be completely uncalled for.

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Post by Stained Diviner »

Anybody want to try digging a little deeper on this one? Were the same questions used somewhere else on an earlier date? Was it possible to order them as practice questions?

The numbers just don't add up. If you took a top college bowl player and told him to power one-third of the questions in an easy high school packet, that player would get more than two negs over the course of eight rounds. Additionally, that player would get 25 points per bonus. There is no proof of cheating, but it is suspicious.

Ohio is an active state. Why hasn't this kid made his presence known? With a different format, he might not break records. However, he should be pretty darn good in any format.
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Post by NotBhan »

ReinsteinD wrote:Anybody want to try digging a little deeper on this one? Were the same questions used somewhere else on an earlier date? Was it possible to order them as practice questions?

The numbers just don't add up. If you took a top college bowl player and told him to power one-third of the questions in an easy high school packet, that player would get more than two negs over the course of eight rounds. Additionally, that player would get 25 points per bonus. There is no proof of cheating, but it is suspicious.

Ohio is an active state. Why hasn't this kid made his presence known? With a different format, he might not break records. However, he should be pretty darn good in any format.
Regarding the first paragraph, as mentioned above, the initial use of the set was at TWAIN III and at a Minnesota tournament on Dec 3rd. Nor could someone have ordered the questions as practice questions.

Regarding the second paragraph, I agree with both statistical notes (the likelihood of getting more powers and a higher bonus conversion), but I can see where someone might tank the bonuses through inattention. As the day goes on, it can be hard to keep concentration while playing solo, especially when you're up by a large margin -- that might explain why the Amelia bonus conversion started in the 20s and slipped down as the day went on. A one-man team is also more likely to zero bonuses.

And who knows, maybe the guy is an inexperienced quizbowl player (home-schooled, perhaps?) who just knows a lot of stuff and who didn't stay focused on round-robin bonuses because of inexperience or ambivalence. It seems like it would take A LOT of lack of focus to have that low of a bonus conversion, since those A sets are significantly easier than a regular IS set, but I don't think it's impossible. It's still a weird collection of stats, in any event.

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Post by AKKOLADE »

dafirenze wrote:Maybe since this kid was seeing more than 3/4 of the bonus questions he just ran into more questions that he didn't know. Maybe he didn't feel the need to take things so seriously since he was crushing the opposition. Maybe he didn't think about the questions and just passed on them in an attempt to get through all the questions. Maybe his domination of 11 rounds of questions was just a fluke. I saw this kid play, and it was just scary. I would've felt intimidated playing him. I'm sure he felt pity, and I remember him letting a few teams get out of negative points just to save them the embarassment. At least that's what he told me. However, in the second round of the playoffs, he creamed one team 840-0, so I doubt his claim of mercy.
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Post by solonqb »

dafirenze wrote:If I remember correctly, he performed much more consistently in the playoff rounds, converting a much higher portion of his bonus questions. Dear USC people, I would be interested in seeing the his playoff stats if possible?

I also understand that players in Ohio have a vastly different format from the NAQT's, one with a much heavier emphasis on math and science, two categories that he seemed to struggle in, and considerably less 'toss-ups' to garner points from.
Ha ha ha. Heavier emphasis on math and science? This person must have never played OAC.
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Post by BobGHHS »

OAC SUCKS!... plain and simple...

We drudged through thre hell-region last year, having to get through Solon and then Copley to get to states last year... and we did so, then we got there and got b****slapped and Copley ended up beating everyone there and winning the state for the umpteenth time...

The question author will remain nameless...

In the words of the great Joe Bellas, "OAC is the great equalizer..."

It amazes me that some teams only play OAC, and the only one consistently good every year in it is Copley... and go figure, they blow in any format where they can't confer, like NAQT...

I think the 230 ppg seems too out there.... I doubt the kid was from Amelia, Ohio... For one, their team is never that great... and two, why the hell would he go all the way to Cali to play in an NAQT tournament when he's within driving distance of Culver, Dunbar, etc. and he could just play there?

If it is completely for real... I hope the coach of his school's team realizes what he has and tries to do something with it.
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Post by bigtrain »

they blow in any format where they can't confer, like NAQT...
The inability to confer in NAQT and other pyramidal formats is probably the only rule which I do not support.
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Post by NoahMinkCHS »

bigtrain wrote:
they blow in any format where they can't confer, like NAQT...
The inability to confer in NAQT and other pyramidal formats is probably the only rule which I do not support.
Funny... I guess it's just based on where I'm from and how we do things, but to me, conferring on toss-ups makes me much less likely to view something as "legitimate" quiz bowl.

Back on topic -- This guy got almost 10 points on each tossup (just off the 15/10/-5 on the tossup) but had that kind of bonus conversion? From a kid from a school hardly anybody knows and nobody thinks is any good? Seems highly doubtful. The home school theory does make some sense, but I'd like to think one needs some sort of real quiz bowl background to anticipate powers that well, especially with so few negs.

One of the best individual players I ever saw in person was Jonathan Hess (Irmo '02). His senior year he nearly-single-handedly took second place at NAQT Nats and (for what it's worth) first at NAC. He averaged like 110 PPG at NAQT against top-flight competition (and with a teammate "stealing" about a tossup per round). And I don't think he could have put up 230, even on an A set, even against crappy schools (though I know some of the schools at USC are far from "crappy"). So ... what gives?
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Post by insaneindian »

those stats do seem a bit rediculous. la jolla wasnt bad by any means last year at HSNCT and he got 18 of the tossups against them? seems a bit strange, especially because nobody has ever heard of a good Quiz Bowler from that school. :shock:
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Post by DumbJaques »

Chris Ray would probably be able to do this playing solo over the course of 8 rounds on 22-24 questions a round (just like this Basileus player) against people who didn't buzz at all on introductory level NAQT packets. However, against solid teams like Torrey Pines, La Jolla and Arcadia, each of which put up over 500 points in games that day, I don't think even Chris Ray is not capable of getting near 230 ppg.

Edit: If these questions were really as easy as I'm being told they were, then Chris could do it...I think. But how can you be 12th in points per bonus in a field of 17 with stats like that?
Whether or not I could do that (I'm leaning toward "not," for several reasons), the real issue here is not that this kid did so well, but that there were a few discrepancies. A few big ones. First of all, on NAQT As, at least in my experience, it is possible to power that many questions providing you're a really good player, you're playing solo, and the competition is bad. But NAQT As are shorter, easier, etc. than regular IS questions, and as such you can't help but get into a faster rhythm. Combined with the occasional questionable lead-in, bottom line is that when you play like that, with that many powers, you are going to neg more than two times. I don't know any players, current or past, who would put up numbers like that and neg in only one game. That's simply not the nature of the game. What makes this even more suspicious is that in my experience, the best way to "tell" if someone has seen the questions before is if they never neg. Obviously not to say that low-neg players are cheaters, but in situations in which packets are accessible and people start having suspiciously uncharacteristic games, it makes sense that nobody who has seen the questions would have horrible negs. It's not quite as suspicious as negging with something that's actually the answer to the following tossup in the round (that's happened too), but it is pretty unusual.

Second, as everyone has said, the ppb thing. I don't think I could put up 230, even on As, mainly because of the neg thing and because some questions in areas I'm not so good in (especially math) I would probably be unable to get. There's just no way I could consistently get 10 powers a game and not neg 3 times. I would probably end up putting up a lot less than 230, but I feel certain I would do a whole lot better on the bonuses. It just doesn't make any sense. Assuming dafirenze is in fact being a moron and is this kid, the claim of coming to things he doesn't know as well doesn't make a whole lot of sense. After all, how do you pick up over 20 tossups per game and have gaps on big enough subjects to zero that many bonuses? Considering the powers he allegedly got, he had to 30 a decent number of the things he "knew." That means to balance out to that average, he needed a fair amount of zeros, which seems unlikely for anyone who put up those numbers. Remember, these are NAQT A packets. Even math/science bonuses contain a gimme clue or two. Nobody puts up 230 ppg and has no idea who is associated with both brownian motion and the photoelectric effect, to reference an A bonus from last year.

Also, dafirenze, if you're this kid just say so. Even if you're trying to cover up a horrible quizbowl cheating scandal, it looks a lot more suspicious for you to not want to acknowledge yourself. And really, if you're not this kid, who are you?
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Post by STPickrell »

"dafirenze" could be someone from UCLA or elsewhere in SoCal that just helped out. But the fact that this person is 100% new is somewhat suspicious.

Did anyone verify that the guy was actually a student? Even if it were a ringer of some sort, Charles Meigs' comment "I doubt I could club baby seals with a ferocity to the tune of 230 PPG" rings true.

At the same time, I am a bit surprised that such an obvious talent would not make an immediate impact on any format. Torrey Pines and some of the other SoCal teams while not world-beaters are certainly not bad teams. Do any members/coaches post on here?

Does Amelia play in any tournaments or do they show up at OAC districts (or whatever the first set of qualifying tournaments are) and get creamed every time?

I don't think it's Amelia County, Virginia. You can see their stats on virginiascholasticbowl.org if you are that interested in delving into the minutiae of Virginia results. :wink: But they finished last in their district.

I think this mystery might be cleared up if one of the Ohio folks called this Amelia ... offered to set up a NAQT scrimmage or something?
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Post by The Time Keeper »

StPickrell wrote:"dafirenze" could be someone from UCLA or elsewhere in SoCal that just helped out. But the fact that this person is 100% new is somewhat suspicious.
A couple minutes of mediocre internet detective work show that it's almost definitely this kid. His email address listed is [email protected](editedtopreventspam)gmail.com. The player from Amelia is named Paul. Googling "'paul harold' amelia" returns a couple results showing that Amelia, OH has a qb player named Paul Harold, and that he's going or goes to USC or something like that.
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Post by insaneindian »

about the negs, what if for some strange reason, he was in one or two rooms virtually all day and those scorekeepers were novices and they didnt keep track of neg 5s. just a thought...
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Post by zwtipp »

About 2/3 of the rooms only had one person to read and scorekeep, but those were the most experienced members of the team and I doubt they would have made such a mistake.
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Post by dafirenze »

You're right about two things: I was on the Amelia team, and my name is Paul (though I don't appreciate you posting my e-mail address). But you forget that there were two people on the team-- my friend, and myself. Basileus, and Medea. I wasn't able to attend the entire tourny, but I heard all about it on the flight back. The team has had some success the past few years in the OAC format; I'm surprised you couldn't uncover that information, considering your other sleuth skills. To answer any other lingering questions you might have, I made the arrangements with the tournament director, because I might just end up going to USC and will probably continue playing some form of quizbowl (Though I'm sure you're more concerned about Baslieus than me). As for all the criticisms, it seems absurd to talk about things which are require specific knowledge (questions), in the abstract. If you weren't there, then you don't know how easy or difficult the questions were; when the powers came in; if there were early giveaways; etc.. There were also other factors involved, such as the 'scare factor', which made players on other teams perform irregularly. I'd keep in mind that the only thing Basileus got for winning this tournament... is a book (and when he reads this, a few laughts). It was more about the fun and the experience than anything else. To expel any doubt, no, neither of us cheated and we've certainly never had those questions before; the toss-ups were just easy and the competition quite poor. I think the good players might be underestimating themselves, I feel sure at least some of the ones you mentioned, and certainly Noah (from Solon) could've done just as well as my friend and me.

P.S. Noah, big fan of yours, hope to play you sometime in college. Honestly though, I'd say about 1/4 (certainly 1/3 of the team round points) of the points in OAC format are math or science related.
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Post by The Time Keeper »

Your email shows up under all of your posts, I wouldn't have mentioned it had it not been publically viewable.
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Post by zwtipp »

Dolemite wrote:Your email shows up under all of your posts, I wouldn't have mentioned it had it not been publically viewable.
I believe it is only publicly viewable to mods since I cannot see it.
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Post by The Time Keeper »

zwtipp wrote:
Dolemite wrote:Your email shows up under all of your posts, I wouldn't have mentioned it had it not been publically viewable.
I believe it is only publicly viewable to mods since I cannot see it.
It appears that you're right. I was unaware of my special email address viewing abilities.
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Post by insaneindian »

damn, you must be really good.
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Post by canaanbananarama »

The Grapico Kid writes:
You're right about two things: I was on the Amelia team, and my name is Paul (though I don't appreciate you posting my e-mail address). But you forget that there were two people on the team-- my friend, and myself. Basileus, and Medea. I wasn't able to attend the entire tourny, but I heard all about it on the flight back. The team has had some success the past few years in the OAC format; I'm surprised you couldn't uncover that information, considering your other sleuth skills. To answer any other lingering questions you might have, I made the arrangements with the tournament director, because I might just end up going to USC and will probably continue playing some form of quizbowl (Though I'm sure you're more concerned about Baslieus than me). As for all the criticisms, it seems absurd to talk about things which are require specific knowledge (questions), in the abstract. If you weren't there, then you don't know how easy or difficult the questions were; when the powers came in; if there were early giveaways; etc.. There were also other factors involved, such as the 'scare factor', which made players on other teams perform irregularly. I'd keep in mind that the only thing Basileus got for winning this tournament... is a book (and when he reads this, a few laughts). It was more about the fun and the experience than anything else. To expel any doubt, no, neither of us cheated and we've certainly never had those questions before; the toss-ups were just easy and the competition quite poor. I think the good players might be underestimating themselves, I feel sure at least some of the ones you mentioned, and certainly Noah (from Solon) could've done just as well as my friend and me.

P.S. Noah, big fan of yours, hope to play you sometime in college. Honestly though, I'd say about 1/4 (certainly 1/3 of the team round points) of the points in OAC format are math or science related.
Why were you flying back with this guy, and where were you flying to, for that matter? The USC calendar clearly shows that you guys had final exams the week after you attended this tournament, so it makes no sense for you to have flown back to Ohio presumably twice within a period of less than two weeks. And you "might just end up going to USC?" Be you ever so humble, college boy.
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Congrats on the fancy scholarship. Enjoy hell (in its downtown Los Angeles campus). Based on this, I can say with certainty that your team won this tournament fraudulently, no matter what else happened.

And Noah is a fine player, one whom I'll assume would have done excellently playing at this tournament, but I'll contest that he would not have done excellently to that level. A glance at the NAQT website shows that while he led the nation in powers, he also garnered 1.7 negative fives---per round!

And feel free to divulge the actual name of the player who performed these feats of strength, unless you think that we might discover that the track record wouldn't match that tournament's results.

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Post by AirJay »

here is the other thing...even if you are good you will neg at times because you do not know the difficulty of the questions walking in...thus making it hard to narrrow down answers as the tossup is read. I have played on a one man team and have averaged a bit but nothing close to 230.

And I do think that Buselius is going to USC next year, if you catch my drift.
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Post by nancydf64 »

This topic is very interesting. My son and Paul are friends. (And no, my son was not his teammate in the competition at USC) They both attended Amelia High School in Amelia, OH. They both participated on the Academic Team there. I can attest to Paul's superior knowledge because I have seen it in his HS competitions and in the times he has spent at my home with my son and their friends during their "Game Nites." Paul is also a very sweet, kind, funny and polite teenager. You probably couldn't meet a nicer kid.

To even suggest that he may have cheated in any way is absolutely ridiculous. Why can't people just accept the fact that Paul is one of a few people that have great intelligence, can apply it, can see where a question is going before it's asked? Wouldn't we all like to be so gifted?

To the writer who suggested that Amelia, OH is a rural community in SW Ohio.... You might want to research that a bit better. Amelia is a suburb of Cincinnati, OH. It's located in Clermont County which is one of the fastest, if not the fastest, growing counties in Ohio. When I'm sitting in standstill traffic on one of the 4-lane highways within 1 to 4 miles of my house, I often WISH I was in a more rural area.

To the coach from Garfield HS...shame on you for degrading any high school athlete! I find it unethical and shameful that you could even make a post such that you did. I will forgive you for that since I assume that you're a first year teacher or coach. Maybe Amelia HS's Academic Team didn't get to any State Tournament, but they did very well over the past years. It has been a work in progress, and I'm proud to say that Paul, my son, every other member of the team, and their coach have worked very hard to achieve their goals of demonstrating that excellence in academics can be fun and rewarding.

To all of you academic nuts.... Congrats on your successes. Keep up the good work! You ARE our future!
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Post by MLafer »

Interesting. The person that identifies himself as Paul Harold writes:
You're right about two things: I was on the Amelia team, and my name is Paul (though I don't appreciate you posting my e-mail address). But you forget that there were two people on the team-- my friend, and myself. Basileus, and Medea.
Ok, so it sounds like the person posting under "DaFirenze" is the player named "Medea", aka Paul Harold, who scored a measly 15 ppg at the tournament in question.

Next we have someone claiming to be a "parent" post the following:
I can attest to Paul's superior knowledge because I have seen it in his HS competitions and in the times he has spent at my home with my son and their friends during their "Game Nites."
as well as
To even suggest that he may have cheated in any way is absolutely ridiculous. Why can't people just accept the fact that Paul is one of a few people that have great intelligence, can apply it, can see where a question is going before it's asked? Wouldn't we all like to be so gifted?
This seems to imply that the person that scored such impressive numbers was in fact, Paul himself, which contradicts the previous post by DaFirenze.

I, for one, am unwilling to accept the testimonial of a so-called parent about a player's skill in quiz bowl, as they most likely have no first-hand experience in the game and would not be able to determine just how big an outlier 230 ppg (with the already noted poor PPB and (edit: high) T/N ratio) is.

In addition, I am more than willing to assume that someone who has concealed his identity, lied about his current or future college (see article posted by Charles), and possibly posted under a fake name for some sort of pathetic "appeal to authority" in order to defuse the impending crisis (admins, I'd like to see the IPs of these two users) would have no qualms whatsoever about cheating in a quiz bowl tournament.
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Post by solonqb »

dafirenze checks out to AOL, the parent checks out to fuse.net, a Cincinnati area ISP.
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