Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

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Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Great Bustard » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:49 am

Congratulations to our new National Champions!

National History Bowl, Varsity Division - LASA, Austin, TX
National History Bowl, Junior Varsity Division - James E. Taylor High School, Katy, TX

National History Bowl, Varsity Division, Small School Classification - Tippecanoe High School, Tipp City, OH
National History Bowl, Junior Varsity Division, Small School Classification - Aptakisic Junior High School, Buffalo Grove, IL

National History Bee, Varsity Division - Jakob Myers, Naperville North High School, Naperville, IL
National History Bee, Junior Varsity Division - Douglas Simons, High Tech High School, Lincroft, NJ

US Geography Olympiad, Varsity Division - Eugene Wang, BASIS Tucson North, Tucson, AZ
US Geography Olympiad, Junior Varsity Division - Kyle Yu, Westlake High School, Westlake, OH

US History Bee, Varsity Division - Cole Timmerwilke, Auburn High School, Rockford, IL
US History Bee, Junior Varsity Division - Jaya Alagar, Alagar Homeschool, Pittsburgh, PA

As usual, discuss away about the weekend, and I'll chime in later this week with my thoughts. Thanks for coming and for all of your support of NHBB and USGO!
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Milhouse » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:51 am

Can a private forum be created for discussion of question content?
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Large Adult Song » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:07 am

Two immediate things:

Content repetition. I'll hold off discussing the actual answerlines until that gets cleared, but there were clear instances in the bowl of the same answer appearing two, and possibly three, times. If the eligible pool of answers is "anything that has happened in the past", as it has once been worded, I don't see why this was not avoided.

Bee rooms. Why did some rooms have four people, while other rooms had seven or eight? I was also told that Sunday morning, there were competitors who had registered for the Bee yet were not on the site. Some accurate seeding matters, sure, but that doesn't explain how in some rooms, everyone could reach 8 points with the absences of negs or four dead questions.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:06 am

Collared Scops Owl wrote:Content repetition. I'll hold off discussing the actual answerlines until that gets cleared, but there were clear instances in the bowl of the same answer appearing two, and possibly three, times. If the eligible pool of answers is "anything that has happened in the past", as it has once been worded, I don't see why this was not avoided.


Answer repetition, or clue repetition?

I don't want to get into a quizbowl theory debate, but in general having the same answer appear multiple times (say, multiple questions on Alexander Hamilton) is not considered to be an offense, as long as the questions don't use the same clues. This is especially the case during something like NHBB where they need to write thousands of questions that have to be kept accessible to an enormous field.

Clue repetition (say, two questions that mentioned that Alexander Hamilton wrote The Continentalist Papers) would be a far more serious offense, as it would allow people to buzz in on something they learned earlier that day from a question that maybe wasn't read in the room their opponent was in.

(The examples are all made up - I have never seen or played on this year's NHBB questions)
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Milhouse » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:13 am

There was a bunch of clue repetition, both between and within events.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby ScottF » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:18 am

Collared Scops Owl wrote:Two immediate things:

Content repetition. I'll hold off discussing the actual answerlines until that gets cleared, but there were clear instances in the bowl of the same answer appearing two, and possibly three, times. If the eligible pool of answers is "anything that has happened in the past", as it has once been worded, I don't see why this was not avoided.

Bee rooms. Why did some rooms have four people, while other rooms had seven or eight? I was also told that Sunday morning, there were competitors who had registered for the Bee yet were not on the site. Some accurate seeding matters, sure, but that doesn't explain how in some rooms, everyone could reach 8 points with the absences of negs or four dead questions.



I heard this often throughout the weekend as well.
And as to there being no offense to repeated answer lines, consider a player who has heard the answer a specific answer twice already, and hesitates to buzz and say it a third time, or to answer the same country on consecutive questions.
Last edited by ScottF on Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby J. Young » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:17 pm

In the set for the JV Bowl finals there was a tossup with mostly repeated clues from the 2014 Bee Nats set.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby 1.82 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:51 pm

As has been mentioned, there were many repeats this weekend, both across sets and in the same set. We've all been lectured many times about how the same answerline can be used twice in the same tournament if the clues are different, so I'll state that that's not what happened here; there were many instances of clues being repeated nearly verbatim. It may not be possible to avoid repeats among all the sets used over the course of the weekend, and it is my understanding that NHBB has not attempted to do so, but there is obviously no reason for the same clue being used twice in the span of just a few rounds. The set also suffered from a lack of proofreading (many times while reading I had to change the order of words to parse them into clauses that made sense) and from general feng shui issues (a tossup on one thing followed immediately by a tossup on a subset of that thing is a bad combination that should be avoided, even if one question is an arts question and none of the clues are repeated).

It appears that all of these problems could have been avoided had the set been completed earlier. Given the timetable for writing, there clearly was no time to check for repeats or to proofread all the questions or anything of that nature. This is rather dismaying considering this tournament has been in the works for a full year, but I trust that this will be improved for next year.

On the whole, I think this tournament ran fairly well, with no major issues. I would be remiss not to mention the excellent work that Will Mantell does to keep things running.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Irreligion in Bangladesh » Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:16 pm

I'll have more to post in responses as I get settled at home, but a few quick notes:

*Please do not post specific question content here, as some of these questions may be used in IHBB Championship sets in Canada, Europe, and Asia. (The bulk of those sets derives from NHBB A-set, but NHBB Nats are used to fill in replacements for questions that get kicked for being too American, etc.) I'll e-mail to request a private discussion forum now.

*I will make two exceptions to the above rule. The first is to respond to Jon Pinyan's note in the other thread that a question referred an event on Wednesday. A few weeks ago, I wrote a tossup on "the effort to |put a woman on American paper money|" for the current events distribution; it was originally written in the hypothetical future tense, so it got re-written into the successful past tense on Wednesday night after the news broke. I'm exempting this from the "no public discussion" rule because there's no way I am putting that tossup in IHBB sets; while it surely isn't the most American-centric question in the set, please don't try to use this as a line in the sand and start naming things that are obviously also not going into IHBB. :smile:

The second is to respond to Justin Young's note in this thread re: a repeat from 2014 Bee.

2014 NHBB Nats Bee wrote:The army of this country had a popular marching song in which the narrator sees a flower that shares a name with his beloved Erika. A song from this country is "the rotten bones are trembling." A song used by this country whose official name was "The Flag on High" was named in honor of Horst Wessel, a member of a paramilitary group that wore brown shirts. For the point, name this country whose songs included the Panzerlied of the Wehrmacht and the anthem of the Hitler Youth.
ANSWER: Nazi Germany


2016 NHBB Nats Bowl wrote:One song of this country’s army is about a girl whose shares a name with a flower called “Erika”. All the verses of one song used in this country start with the word “storm” repeated six times. A song from this country, “Forward! Forward!” was first performed in a film about Herbert Norkus. One national anthem of this country was also called “The Flag on High.” A song used by its tank units was featured in the 1965 film Battle of the Bulge. For ten points, name this country whose songs included "Vorwarts! Vorwarts!," "Horst Wessel Lied," and "Panzerlied."
ANSWER: Nazi Germany


I don't have encyclopedic knowledge (yet!) of what old NHBB sets have asked, which is an unfortunate asymmetry given that reviewing old packets is a good thing for practicing students to do. If I did know it had been done in the past, this tossup on Nazi songs would have survived -- there are enough different middle clues here that it's clear it wasn't plagiarized or anything -- but it definitely wouldn't have chosen the same leadin, as that's the dumbest place to repeat something in a question like this.

*I would like to thank Cameron Amini, Logan Anbinder, Colby Burnett, Mike Cheyne, Raynell Cooper, Jason Fern, Eliza Grames, Charles Hang, Melanie Keating, Bob Kilner, Alec Krueger, Mathew Laird, Arthur Lee, Andrew Leung, Bruce Lou, Ani Perumalla, Grace and Noah Prince, Ryan Rosenberg, Andrew Salij, Mike Sorice, Kristin Strey, Tyler Vaughan, Chris White, and Mike Wong for their immense help producing the various sets used this weekend, as well as the various people who helped brainstorm, playtest, proofread, and provide general support the last few days -- the weekend is such a blur that I'm sure I'm forgetting people, and I apologize deeply for that. They deserve all the praise in the world for helping this tournament come together, and I'm exceptionally grateful for all their help.

*The weekend's tournaments were not finished in a timely fashion that allowed the necessary proofreading; those parts of the set that were finished in time got that proofreading and were good, and those parts that I was rushed in finishing did not and were flawed as a result. There is nothing I can give but an apology to the readers I tripped up and the players I confused, and a promise that I will do better next year with this year's experience under my belt.

More later, but for now, thank you again to everyone who volunteered or played this weekend!
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby bluejay123 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:24 pm

J. Young wrote:In the set for the JV Bowl finals there was a tossup with mostly repeated clues from the 2014 Bee Nats set.


Yeah, I totally agree with Justin's point. Also, the bee playoffs for 2016 has questions dangerously close in subject matter to those in 2015.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Cody » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:48 am

Oh c'mon -- repeats between years with sets of this size and such specific subject matter are unavoidable and practically guaranteed!
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby AKKOLADE » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:10 am

bluejay123 wrote:
J. Young wrote:In the set for the JV Bowl finals there was a tossup with mostly repeated clues from the 2014 Bee Nats set.


Yeah, I totally agree with Justin's point. Also, the bee playoffs for 2016 has questions dangerously close in subject matter to those in 2015.

Like history???

C'mon y'all. C'mon.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby ProfessorIanDuncan » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:53 am

Regarding repeating answer lines:
Obviously some answer lines are broad and well known enough to use completely different clues (for example something like a country like France/UK/US/Germany). However, something I saw at least once was that there were questions whose answer lines were people or events that went in a different direction than another tossup on that same answer line. However, probably about a line before the giveaway you'd get a clue that already came up, because its one of the most famous things about that person or event. I think at some point answer lines become too specific for them to be repeated and that clue repetition is inevitable, so in this situation repetition of answer lines is an issue.

Sorry, if my attempt to avoid divulging answer lines has turned this into mangled garbage.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Smith » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:50 am

I definitely agree with the above posts that clues were repeated, specifically for related answer lines in the bowl (I have 2 specific examples in mind). My team was also pretty miffed about a lightning round where getting the 7th and 8th parts were conditioned on getting the 6th part correct, as the clues were references to the previous answer line. We obviously didn't get the 6th part, so we couldn't get the next 2 parts even though we knew the subject matter. All said, we definitely enjoyed the difficulty of the set (although a couple answerlines were too much, but that's probably to be expected) and had a blast.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby J. Young » Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:06 pm

Cody wrote:Oh c'mon -- repeats between years with sets of this size and such specific subject matter are unavoidable and practically guaranteed!

It probably was not necessary to use the same first line clue about Erika, why not instead use a clue from one of the other songs mentioned in the tossup, like Panzerlied or Horstwessellied?
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Cheynem » Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:36 pm

I think the issue there is in order to know to use a different lead-in, you'd have to look up the set from last year. While to some degree this is perhaps a good idea, it also is a bit unrealistic, particularly if you weren't involved in the production of the set last year.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby TylerV » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:02 pm

J. Young wrote:why not instead use a clue from one of the other songs mentioned in the tossup, like Panzerlied or Horstwessellied?


I don't think you understand what is being said here. The reason the writer didn't use a different clues, and as a result a different lead-in, is because they weren't aware the other toss up existed. The question from 2014 Nationals can only be found, from what I can tell, by either A) looking at every single question for that tournament, B) searching for one of the exact clues using aseemsdb, or C) searching for "Nazi Germany" and digging through all the questions that exist. This isn't a case of writers being lazy, or deliberately reusing clues, but rather not having the time to dig through every question. I understand that has a player it can be frustrating to see the exact same lead-in multiple times, and I'm not saying this isn't an issue that should be examined, but I don't think you're being fair to a writer who put a lot of effort into the question.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Cody » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:10 pm

J. Young wrote:
Cody wrote:Oh c'mon -- repeats between years with sets of this size and such specific subject matter are unavoidable and practically guaranteed!

It probably was not necessary to use the same first line clue about Erika, why not instead use a clue from one of the other songs mentioned in the tossup, like Panzerlied or Horstwessellied?
To pile on, what you are suggesting here is that every writer of every history bowl set know every previous set in its entirety. Thousands and thousands of questions worth. Does that sound reasonable?
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Sima Guang Hater » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:00 am

Cody wrote:
J. Young wrote:
Cody wrote:Oh c'mon -- repeats between years with sets of this size and such specific subject matter are unavoidable and practically guaranteed!

It probably was not necessary to use the same first line clue about Erika, why not instead use a clue from one of the other songs mentioned in the tossup, like Panzerlied or Horstwessellied?
To pile on, what you are suggesting here is that every writer of every history bowl set know every previous set in its entirety. Thousands and thousands of questions worth. Does that sound reasonable?


I want to stand up a little for Justin's point of view here to say that yes, in an ideal situation, editors should search recent old sets to check for repeated recent leadins, but this is much lower on the priority list than making sure the questions are well-written and that there's no repeats within the set.

Also, please post this set somewhere.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Cheynem » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:05 am

Yeah, I mean I understand Justin's point and I think it's a good one and Brad has said it's a good one, but it's also something that, well, understandably happens and sometimes it's just bad luck. Now that Brad has edited a set, he has a better idea of what came up this year too, so it will be less likely for this to happen next year.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Cody » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:40 am

I can understand how editors of college or high school sets may wish to do so -- it's only about 320 or less tossups per set (barring HS nationals) and history, for example, is only 64 of those, which is easy enough. The history bowl sets constitute thousands of tossups per year all on history....so yes, I would say expecting any writer to wade through that morass is actually extremely unreasonable and actually a flat-out impossibility if your complaint centers on a 2-year old set! No editor or writer has time to wade through that many questions, much less when they need to produce an unreasonable number of questions throughout the year (so high that the sets apparently featured many and numerous proofreading errors and some repeats).

So, no, Justin's point is in fact a bad one, especially in this instance but even in a more general sense. Editors and writers of tournaments with extremely large packet sets don't have the time nor should be required to cross-reference their questions with previous iterations of their tournament! Any complaint of this nature should be responded to on its merits, which are none.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Cheynem » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:40 am

I agree it is unreasonable to expect an editor to have to cross-reference and search through previous years sets to avoid answerline or clue repeats; I was just referring to the idea that an editor would (should?) probably have some idea of what has been written on, particularly if it is somewhat unique or stands out (i.e., the Nazi song tossup). I don't think we're really disagreeing on expectations for editors.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby jonpin » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:42 am

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:Also, please post this set somewhere.


The set is not clear because many of the questions will be adapted for use in other markets. So instead, please open a private discussion forum for commentary on individual questions.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Great Bustard » Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:55 pm

I will post tomorrow on the above comments, plus some other thoughts, but I'm particularly interested in people's reaction to the following:

1. The new individual event playoff scoring system (6, 5, 4, 3, -2, -1)
2. The playoff draft and tiebreakers
3. The written exam portion of USGO
4. Taking only the top 2 teams out of the morning rounds

If anyone wants to comment on these four points, I'd greatly appreciate it.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby bluejay123 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:55 pm

I really enjoyed the playoffs point system-- I felt that it rewarded knowledge in the form of the whole sequential point system thing. Although, I felt that the neg 1 at the end of the question (when the moderator had finished) was a bit harsh and discouraged educated guessing...

The USGO written test was really well done. Despite the fact that I had no idea about one of the questions, the rest of it was pretty much human geography. However, the quizbowl rooms... I was in a room that had 4 people (including myself) which was a bit strange, and I propose 2 reasons for it:
1) people just voluntarily drop out of the USGO QB portion (which is puzzling to me, because the competitors paid to compete)
2) people get lost on the way to the rooms
...
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby rhegde » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:22 pm

I was also a big fan of the new format of the playoffs as it discouraged frauding/guessing through the penalty for negs. I also think that the 1 point penalty at the end of the question was good, because it pretty much eliminated the frustrating strategy of people buzzing in at the end of the question without knowing the answer, in order to ensure others don't get the points.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Cody » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:38 pm

Uh, I have heard some very disturbing things that were announced this weekend:

-the possibility of 3 teams playing at once if the buzzer system permitted
-teams (potentially just the top seed) being able to LITERALLY choose who they play
-a number of during-tournament rule changes that weren't announced beforehand, including the new scoring system for the bee

Are these accurate?
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby TylerV » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:05 pm

Cody wrote:Uh, I have heard some very disturbing things that were announced this weekend:

-the possibility of 3 teams playing at once if the buzzer system permitted
-teams (potentially just the top seed) being able to LITERALLY choose who they play
-a number of during-tournament rule changes that weren't announced beforehand, including the new scoring system for the bee

Are these accurate?


1. In one of the pools, there was a three way tie between Stevenson, Auburn, and Westview (OR). This was broken by a 3-way match whose winner advanced to the playoffs automatically, whose 2nd place team went to play a different team, not involved in the three way tie, for a chance to get to the playoffs, and the third team being knocked out.

2. I'm not sure which teams were allowed to pick but at one point in the playoffs LASA was able to select Napervile North

3. As far as I can remember, the scoring rules for the bee had been announced for a while. The earliest reference I can find for them is the rules pdf on the NHBB website which were updated 4/15 but I believe that they were announced before that.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby swimmerstar » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:19 pm

Three teams were allowed to choose their opponents in the varsity division.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Milhouse » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:19 pm

Two 10 question tiebreaks on three-team buzzer systems occurred.

For the Bowl quarterfinals the top three seeded teams (based on placement in the Saturday Evening pools, then Saturday Evening record, then Saturday Evening points) chose which of the bottom four seeds to play (IIRC, Hunter chose Auburn, LASA chose Naperville North, and Lexington chose Richard Montgomery, leaving Bethlehem to play Westview). For the Semifinals, the top seed (LASA, as original 1 seed Hunter lost to Auburn) chose from the lower two remaining seeds.

To my knowledge, the facts that all the (to be fair, somewhat odd) changes that did occur would were made public knowledge a while ago.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Cody » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:59 pm

Well the last one was the least important, anyway.

For the first two: I am nigh-literally floored that either of those things were floated as ideas, much less BOTH, much less either happened, much less BOTH happened. There is no universe in which either of those are good ideas. Most importantly (not that the other isn't very important), a three-way match is evidently and massively unfair and I'm flabbergasted that it happened.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby J. Young » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:16 am

Cody wrote:Well the last one was the least important, anyway.

For the first two: I am nigh-literally floored that either of those things were floated as ideas, much less BOTH, much less either happened, much less BOTH happened. There is no universe in which either of those are good ideas. Most importantly (not that the other isn't very important), a three-way match is evidently and massively unfair and I'm flabbergasted that it happened.

The playoff team draft wasn't a new thing for this year's tournament - it had been done before, at last year's MS Nats.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby jonpin » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:18 am

The format for stuff was announced on the website for a few months:
In the playoffs, teams will be seeded based on results from the afternoon’s matches (same method as the Varsity) from 1-24 in the Varsity and 1-16 in the JV. The 6 Varsity group winners and top 2 second place teams then advance, as do the 4 Junior Varsity group winners. Ties are played off both within the group between 2-1 teams, and, in the Varsity, among second place teams at 2-1 (assuming there aren’t exactly two teams at 2-1) with a three-way buzzer tiebreak if needed. Evening tiebreaks consist of one quarter of 10 powermarked tossups without bonuses.

[itemized list of how the wild card "tiebreakers" work, of which this one is the one that I think wound up occurring]
5 teams at 2-1: Teams ranked 1 and 5 on pts. play one tiebreak; Teams ranked 2, 3, and 4 on pts. play another.

Ties on points for seeding are broken by afternoon order of finish, record, then pts., then morning order of finish, record, and pts. if needed. Then sudden death tossups.

The top 3 Varsity teams and top Junior Varsity team (as determined by record, then point total in the evening rounds, followed by record and point total from afternoon rounds, then morning rounds, then sudden death) then get to select their opponents for the first playoff round on Sunday (i.e. Varsity quarterfinals, JV semifinals). In the Varsity, the top remaining semifinal seed then can select its semifinal opponent.


If anyone was surprised, it's because this was in a massive wall of text. That said, yeah, I don't like these ideas. I thought the pinnacle was the wild card procedure to have three teams play a 10-question playoff, but the stir in the audience when the draft was announced was massive (someone on the team sitting behind me said "That's completely :party:-ing stupid!"). In theory, I don't think the draft is completely awful, since group champions are not necessarily better than group runner-ups, but are seeded higher. Hunter made a reasonable choice (pick the weakest group champion, rather than one of the apparently-stronger second place teams). I'm actually surprised that LASA chose to play a third match against Naperville, which had defeated them on Saturday afternoon.

The bee playoff format was originally posted on the website as being used for the whole tournament (which would've been a disaster), but Madden did post here and alert all coaches by email about a week in advance that the prelims would have the traditional scoring, and the playoffs would have the new scoring system.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:09 pm

FWIW, I wrote the vast majority of Bee/Bowl auditory questions both last year and this year (not that Nazi songs Q though), and specifically tried to make sure that subjects and clues were different from last year. I have no idea what was asked before 2015, and I wouldn't expect people who weren't involved in the production of NHBB last year to be able to even do that.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby hokie168 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:49 pm

Cody wrote:Well the last one was the least important, anyway.

For the first two: I am nigh-literally floored that either of those things were floated as ideas, much less BOTH, much less either happened, much less BOTH happened. There is no universe in which either of those are good ideas. Most importantly (not that the other isn't very important), a three-way match is evidently and massively unfair and I'm flabbergasted that it happened.


In theory, I don't think there's anything wrong with the general idea of letting teams choose their opponents with the top seed making the first choice and moving on down. It prevents potential degenerate cases in which a team has incentive to win by less or even tank a game in order to get an easier playoff route- one of the best examples of this was the 2012 Olympic badminton scandal, which could have been avoided if teams got to choose their playoff opponents. On a longer timescale, it's theoretically possible that a top NBA team may decide that it prefers its matchups against the #7 and #3/6 seeds instead of the #8 and #4/5 seeds to the point of outweighing home advantage in the conference finals.

In practice, it is the responsibility of the tournament organizers to choose a format that prevents perverse incentives, quizbowl has a decently high amount of potential variance in a single game, and quizbowl scouting is nowhere near advanced enough to make a huge difference via matchups. With that in mind, I would guess that it's probably not worth the extra time and effort it takes to have a playoff draft.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Everything in the Whole Wide World » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:47 pm

If you're going to have three team matches- which are dumb because it greatly increases the chance for randomness, a cold streak causing a loss, and general fairness- at least have only three team matches so some teams don't get an immense advantage as a result of all the aforementioned reasons. When matches within the same tournament have different rules (which different team counts absolutely are), you are setting things up to give certain teams absurd legs up well beyond the realm or fair play or reward for a high seeding.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Great Bustard » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:28 am

As usual, I've got a lot to say, so I'll break this up into a number of posts over the next few days, but to start, thanks to the over 1000 students, 263 teams, and numerous coaches, parents, and supporters who attended our 6th National Championships last weekend. Separately, but certainly no less importantly, thanks to all of the numerous staff members who dedicated their weekend, and in some cases, much more time both before and afterwards, to working on the tournament. While there are too many people to mention individually, a few heroes of the weekend certainly deserve to be named. Andrew Feist, as the sole remaining full-weekend member of last year’s stats crew, ably guided the stats room throughout the weekend. His online scoring system, draws, and ability to process changes for individual events within seconds was of tremendous importance in terms of making sure everyone ended up where they needed to be when they needed to be there. That happened to a remarkable degree despite the lateness with which I submitted the draws to Andrew for which I apologize.

Ben Zhang, Arthur Lee, and Niki Peters were also a huge help with stats throughout the weekend. Brad Fischer led the question writing effort – while he thanked the writers in his post, I will second my thanks, and in particular to Tyler Vaughan, Bruce Lou, Shravan Balaji, Arthur Lee, and everyone who wrote on short notice in particular. Marshall Mullins was a phenomenal help throughout the weekend with troubleshooting and working on whatever needed an extra hand; he has become an indispensible part of NHBB this year, and I am very grateful for all his hard work. Will Mantell, as in years past was the rock of the staff, and on very short notice got all of the staff assigned and placed as needed (Will had also designed a computer system that generated placements which made things especially efficient too). Raynell Cooper did his usual great work in various capacities, produced NHBB TV, and together with Jason Flowers wrote the USGO exams (Raynell handled most of the multiple choice exam, Jason handled most of the written exam). Jay Wickliff of Thomas Jefferson helped way more than could ever have been expected in all sorts of ways, from helping with clean up to soothing parents to leading the crew that went off site to the American Indian Museum. Eric Huff and Nick Clusserath got the buzzers up and down, sold souvenirs, and handled protests, and managed a staff of their own in the process. John Garner of Newnan and Chris Ngoon made the flag procession happen during the Opening Ceremonies. My parents, Sue and Tim, were huge helps throughout Nationals week, particularly in terms of handling the accounting and moving things to and from Arlington. And my wife Nolwenn was as always my partner in the help desk, logistics, and sleep deprivation, and a tremendous help from start to finish – especially as she is now directing our Canadian Championships this weekend, less than a week after US Nationals concluded. One final thank you, which I’ll elaborate on shortly, goes to Jon Kaufman who was the event coordinator at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. After the issues we encountered last year, Jon was on top of things from start to finish, a pleasure to work with, and responsible in large part for the success of the weekend.

Now to turn to the weekend itself. For now, I’ll highlight five things that went well, and five things that need improvement. I’ll continue to comment on other matters over the weekend.

What went well

1. The hotel
I won’t get deep into the issues we faced with the hotel last year, except to say that in 2015, the hotel did its best to make running Nationals impossible, with 4 separate waves of room switches, the last of which occurred literally at the 11th hour on Friday night. This year, thanks largely to Jon’s efforts, the hotel was as on the ball as they were off it last year. I was absolutely delighted at how well they prepared for us, helped out on short notice with various requests, saw off a potential problem not of their own devising (this is the fault of Marriott’s internal booking system, which the individual Crystal Gateway Marriott has no control over) with regards to double bed room requests, and treated everyone with courtesy and respect. The hotel issues were the biggest problem with our 2015 Nationals, and this year, the hotel logistics were outstanding. I am not aware of any major issues that we or any teams had with the hotel (having said that, if you are reading this and you did, please email me.)

2. The playoff changes
I’ve been following the discussion above and will respond at length tomorrow or Sunday on the points people have raised. However, I strongly urge people who are commenting on the draft, the tiebreaker format, and the playoff structure in general to both a) go back and reread the discussion after last year’s Nationals and read specifically why the new procedures were implemented and then b) having done that, look at how things played out. I’m having an extremely hard time seeing how the 8 teams who played on Sunday were not the 8 best teams in the field. 7 of those 8 were also originally Madden ranked 1-8, with the lone outlier being Naperville North (who was notably hard to seed as Jakob played solo, had never been to NHBB Nationals before, and only played one qualifying event all year, and that was in Central Illinois against a much weaker field, so I could never really see how he stacked up against, say Auburn or Loyola). Moreover, while this was the first year in 6 years where the winner was not Madden ranked #1 coming in, LASA was Madden ranked #2, and, after Nationals, I believe they are the best history team in the country, or at least the best who were at Nationals. I’m having a real hard time seeing how the playoff structure – eclectic and new though it may be – is somehow unfair or unsuited to its job of allowing the tournament to sort the teams by ability. It is my firm belief, which I’ll flesh out in greater detail in the coming days, that as far as the Bowl at least is concerned, this tournament was either at Pareto optimization in its format, or very, very close to it.

3. USGO Written Exam
This was new ground for us, as we had never before had a written component to USGO. Jason Flowers, who has stepped up and become a huge contributor to USGO, wrote the exam almost in its entirety, and I’m very pleased with the results. The exam is meant to take USGO farther away from geography facts and closer to application of concepts, critical thinking, and constructing arguments, which are the hallmarks of the International Geography Olympiad. We’ll see if our written scores improve at the 2016 iGeo, but this was a step in a good direction for us, thanks to Jason’s work. Having seen the scores, I do think we’ll want to add some easier questions to this next year – there was certainly plenty of room at the top for differentiation, so expect next year’s exam to be slightly easier, and perhaps slightly less human geography. Having said that, for a first shot at this, I think Jason did an outstanding job.

4. Saturday and Sunday logistics (broadly conceived)
Were there issues and minor delays on Saturday and Sunday? Yes, though with a tournament of this complexity and magnitude, that’s almost inevitable. Notably, there were a few pools that started late on Saturday morning (somehow, the American Indian Museum got leftover geography questions though Raynell delivered the right questions in enough time that this didn’t lead to any structural delays for the start of the afternoon), the Bee started 15 minutes late on Sunday (though most rooms then finished on time, if not early), and there was an awkward protest situation that called me away from watching the JV Bowl final and which led to a 15 minute delay in getting the Bee playoffs going. But, overall – nothing major. The schedule is devised to have time built in at various points to allow for some margin for error, and that worked very well. Considering again the magnitude of 263 teams and a separate Bee competition with nearly 400 students, I’ll certainly take it.

5. The Opening Ceremony
It’s a commonplace on these forums to downplay the role of pomp and circumstance, but I hope we’ve moved to a place where the community recognizes the role that that can play in showcasing the importance of academic competition. The flag procession, the national anthem, and recognizing a few of the many people who make NHBB possible were highlights of the weekend for me. With a bit more planning for next year, we can bring that up a further notch (with more music, slideshow integration, honorary flagbearers based on performance at regionals, etc.) and perhaps by bringing back a keynote speaker, though this year, the schedule didn’t allow for it. I also personally love having the USHB final in the Opening Ceremony, and this year in particular, it was a great match with Cole Timmerwilke winning in a very tight match over Luke Tierney of Hunter and David Kilbridge (who despite being a 12th grader had never been to our Nationals before, and had only ever played once at regionals) of Brighton, NY.

What needs fixing

1. Friday logistics (broadly conceived)
What I am by far most frustrated about with regards to the tournament is something almost no one upthread has mentioned, which is how Friday turned out. Friday was to be honest my most stressful day of running NHBB since 2012, and I never want to be in the position we were in on Friday again. It’s not that the whole day was problematic (it wasn’t), but for various reasons (see points 2 and 3 below), I was often pulled away in different directions, and because of that, scrimmages, staff check in, and team check in started late, the scoring system was confusing for the USGO and USHB playoffs more than it needed to be, and the Sports and Entertainment Bees were not well coordinated. That is all on me, and not on the directors - Chris Ngoon, Niki Peters, Marshall Mullins, and Robin Richards - to whom I apologize for not having things better coordinated and explained before they were set to run those. My plan was to sit down on Friday afternoon and come up with a plan for how those were to be run, but that should have happened much earlier. In the end, I was tugged in too many different ways, and these were never given a chance to be run well.

For next year I am definitely calling at a minimum a hiatus to NHBB’s direction of the Sports and Entertainment Bees. If someone wants to take on running them and the set production for those, great, and I’ll provide the room space (a la NAQT’s policy for side events), but I don’t want any part of these. I would like there to be some form of side event on Friday evening, so I’ll put out a call for someone with sets, but we need to cut back on Friday until we’ve proved that we can run the other events (and not just USGO and USHB, but the check in process, scrimmages, the opening meeting, the coaches’ reception, and the staff meeting at least at the level we have the Saturday and Sunday events down to). By taking these off the agenda, and by condensing the staff meetings to just one at 10pm (with a separate one Saturday morning at 8am for the few staff unable to make it there at 10pm Saturday) instead of 2 at 8 and 10:30, we can push the Opening Meeting back to 7:30, which will give us 30 more minutes of needed breathing room. This will be of huge help to running USGO, and getting that off on time, and finished in time for the USHB playoffs to end well before the Opening Meeting.

One further benefit of not running the Sports and Entertainment Bees is that it will be somewhat less stress on the writers too. Perhaps seeing if there are various other trash sets available (I think one is written in Ohio each year), those could be run instead, provided that it could run from 8:30-10:30 and no later, and that again, someone else who’s not part of NHBB leadership takes charge of this.

2. Question production timetable
I don’t want to get into great detail here in terms of how this needs to improve because this is Brad’s bailiwick and I’ll leave it to him to comment as needed, but this was the first Nationals where questions were being written during the tournament, and that should never have happened. Having said that, the major consequences of that were not so much in the quality of the set (which was still certainly worthy of a National Championship, and frankly, I was astounded at how good a set it was considering the late hour of its completion), but rather that it drew people (Brad and myself in particular), away from other things that we really should have attending to instead. The Friday issues were the biggest knock off effect from this, though here and there, there were issues that arose throughout the weekend because of this.
Nevertheless, now that Brad has gone through a full cycle of set production, I am highly confident he knows what steps need to be taken in order to tighten this up next year. Part of this has been that the balance of how much to produce internally versus how much to outsource has been a tricky one to strike, but for next year, this should get much easier with added experience. Separately, I am also fully committed to ensuring that the USGO multiple-choice exam gets written this coming summer (Raynell and I will be flying to four continents together as part of the massive IHBB outreach trip in June and July in advance of the Olympiad and will have oodles of time on flights to hammer this out).

3. My Schedule / Communication / Draw Production
This is the last year I’ll ever run a tournament on the weekend prior to Nationals. It’s far more important that all time I have for the two weeks, minimum (and in reality, it’s for most of the preceding 6 weeks), goes into Nationals. Some of the issues I needed to fix in the days prior to Nationals were things that would have been far less problematic had I had a bit more planning time. This then spilled over into things that I had planned for the few days prior to Nationals, including ensuring that the draws came out on time, and that emails #3 and #4 went out when I had said they should.
I don’t want to overstate the problem here, since again, for Saturday and Sunday, with very few exceptions, teams and students did get the message in time (we emailed, we posted online, we posted on the walls of the hotel, we had this all at the help desk, etc.). Also, for Friday, while there were certainly issues, it didn’t seem as if students knowing where they needed to report was a systemic problem. But, based on past years, we’ve generated a reasonable expectation that draws for each event are available at a minimum 2 days in advance, and we need to return to that in 2017, as well as sticking to the email timetable that I had original said.

4. The website
This is a relatively straightforward problem with a relatively straightforward solution, but thanks in large part to the increasing ubiquity of smartphones, the larger field size, and especially the free wifi in the game rooms, our website had much more traffic than in years’ past, and was slow, if not impossible to load throughout much of Saturday. Next year, I’ll contact our hosting provider, and upgrade the server capabilities so that this is avoided and that everyone who tries to access the website can do so.

5. Enhanced Delegation
Just in general, our staff this year featured more highly skilled people available to help with certain things than ever before. Next year, I need to do a better job of parceling out as much as possible, from scrimmages, to check in, to scoring posters, to site captains’ bags, etc. etc. etc. I will make a major effort to bring in more staff by early afternoon on Thursday, which will help considerably in getting everything done that needs to get done. Contrary to what some people might (reasonably) think, my ideal Nationals would be spent getting 6 hours of sleep each night, watching and reading a few matches, and getting a chance to mingle more with coaches and students. I’m confident we’ll get there, and I’ll make as much as an effort as I can to get there for 2017.

Okay, that’s almost 3000 words, so that’s enough for now. I’ll try and comment a bit further on the specifics of what some people have said upthread over the next day or two, and there are a few other general things that I’d like to comment on too (e.g. Bee playoff format, the cut in the morning being 2 teams rather than 3, etc.), but those can wait a bit. Thanks again to all who came and assisted with our 6th National Championships! You have my wholehearted thanks and admiration for helping make possible our largest tournament ever.
Last edited by Great Bustard on Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Great Bustard » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:37 am

As an aside, this is the fourth year in a row that the winner of the Varsity Bowl was the Runner Up from the year before!

2016 - LASA (had lost to Saratoga in 2015)
2015 - Saratoga (had lost to LASA in 2014)
2014 - LASA (had lost to Bellarmine in 2013)
2013 - Bellarmine (had lost to Hunter in 2012)

So look out for Lexington next year! They return Devin and Colin, who both were top 20 in the Varsity Bee prelims. Other teams who could easily be ranked very high next year include Hunter, High Tech, Naperville North, LASA and Westview. To be determined on April 23, 2017...
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Smith » Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:49 am

Unfortunately we only return Colin from this year's team, although we have a few freshman/sophomores who put up good numbers at a couple regional history bowl tournaments this year.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Great Bustard » Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:07 pm

Smith wrote:Unfortunately we only return Colin from this year's team, although we have a few freshman/sophomores who put up good numbers at a couple regional history bowl tournaments this year.


Sorry about that; somehow Devin's grade was marked as 11 on one of the stat websites; I'll fix that.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Ndg » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:45 pm

The decision to abandon the trash bees is a very, very good one. That seemed to be what put Friday over the edge from "extremely busy" to "absolute chaos". It might allow for some buffer time to be built into the Friday schedule, lack of it being the key difference between Friday and the other two days.

The number one thing I want to see is better coordination of staff on Friday. It turned out that I had been scheduled to staff both the entertainment bee and the geography playoffs, which were at the same time. I ended up staffing neither because I was never told where to go for the Geography playoffs, and I couldn't even find anyone in charge of anything by that point on Friday. I didn't find out about staffing the entertainment bee until well after it had started, in part because there was no one checking people in at 12:15 when I actually had time to do so, and in part because we were directed to check in "anytime after noon", which to me implied that we weren't going to be receiving additional Friday assignments at check-in.

The best solution would be to send an email each Friday staffer well in advance listing all of the events he is staffing, and the time and place to which to report from each. It's frustrating to get this information piecemeal throughout the day, never being sure if you've missed anything.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Halved Xenon Stinging » Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:38 pm

Xochicuicatl Cuecuechtli wrote:Can a private forum be created for discussion of question content?


?
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby thesouthindian » Sun May 01, 2016 8:00 am

Great Bustard wrote:I will post tomorrow on the above comments, plus some other thoughts, but I'm particularly interested in people's reaction to the following:

1. The new individual event playoff scoring system (6, 5, 4, 3, -2, -1)
2. The playoff draft and tiebreakers
3. The written exam portion of USGO
4. Taking only the top 2 teams out of the morning rounds

If anyone wants to comment on these four points, I'd greatly appreciate it.


Although I did not participate in the Nationals (I was LITERALLY as far away as one could be), here are my two-cents based on discussing it with myself and my friends:

1. I personally feel that it is not a good system. One of the ways that you win the competition is by guessing, and this really doesn't encourage that. Hence, the very nature of the Bee changes from rewarding logical deduction and educated guesses to rewarding brute 'mugging-up' and regurgitation of facts, which was not as emphasised as before.

2. Didn't hear much flak or praise for it, so I'll pass on this

3. That must've been a welcome addition. Again, this enables the assessment of skills to be truly multidimensional, turning into a test of both knowledge and analysis, the latter of which the field of Geography, i think, emphasises.

4. Again, another EXTREMELY welcome addition. It allows teams to compete with other teams in their own leagues, and prevents any unwinnable 'David and Goliath'-esque situation for 'weak'-er teams

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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Great Bustard » Sun May 01, 2016 12:27 pm

Halved Xenon Stinging wrote:
Xochicuicatl Cuecuechtli wrote:Can a private forum be created for discussion of question content?


?


Yeah, can a moderator or admin do this? I tried looking into it but didn't see where I could create a private forum, so if someone can set that up, that would be great.
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Important Bird Area » Sun May 01, 2016 1:02 pm

Creating private forums is restricted to admins. I'll take care of this later today after SSNCT is over (unless another admin who isn't moderating this afternoon decides to do so in the meantime).
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby acrosby1861 » Sun May 01, 2016 2:47 pm

Great Bustard wrote:I will post tomorrow on the above comments, plus some other thoughts, but I'm particularly interested in people's reaction to the following:

1. The new individual event playoff scoring system (6, 5, 4, 3, -2, -1)
2. The playoff draft and tiebreakers
3. The written exam portion of USGO
4. Taking only the top 2 teams out of the morning rounds

If anyone wants to comment on these four points, I'd greatly appreciate it.


I'm not sure if my opinion counts for anything because I didn't go to Nationals this year, so none of this would really apply to me. I'm going to write about the playoff system and the 2 teams.

My opinion about the playoff scoring system:

Pros about the scoring:
If you know more information, you get rewarded with more points. Also, getting docked points gives you an incentive to actually listen to the question.

Cons about the scoring:
If you make an educated guess and you guess wrong, you lose points. You're basically getting penalized for educated guesses. I get it if you mishear the question and answer accordingly (this happened to me at least twice during Nationals playoffs last year). You lose points because you didn't listen. But suppose you didn't mishear it and guessed...?


My opinion about the whole "taking the top 2 teams from each morning bracket" thing:

Pros about taking the top 2 teams:
If two teams in a particular morning bracket are really good, then yeah, those teams deserve spots in the upper bracket.
Taking the top 2 teams would narrow the field more, so you don't have to worry about as many teams still in contention.

Cons about taking the top 2 teams:
What if the team that placed third in its morning bracket just barely loses out on one of the top 2 spots due to a really close game (like they lose by ten or something)? I think that should be taken into consideration as well.

To be honest, I think taking the top 3 teams per bracket would be better because there could be a good team that placed third due to a bad packet (or multiple bad packets). Gives those teams a chance to redeem themselves in the upper bracket in the afternoon.

Again, I didn't go to Nationals this year, so I wouldn't know firsthand about any one part of the above.
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Los Alamitos High School (CA), 2017
--History Bowl Team 2013-2017
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Important Bird Area » Sun May 01, 2016 3:07 pm

Great Bustard wrote:
Halved Xenon Stinging wrote:
Xochicuicatl Cuecuechtli wrote:Can a private forum be created for discussion of question content?


?


Yeah, can a moderator or admin do this? I tried looking into it but didn't see where I could create a private forum, so if someone can set that up, that would be great.


This private forum has been created. Select "2016 NHBB Nationals Discussion" from your user control panel to request access.
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President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby High Dependency Unit » Sun May 01, 2016 3:58 pm

Great Bustard wrote:I will post tomorrow on the above comments, plus some other thoughts, but I'm particularly interested in people's reaction to the following:

1. The new individual event playoff scoring system (6, 5, 4, 3, -2, -1)
2. The playoff draft and tiebreakers
3. The written exam portion of USGO
4. Taking only the top 2 teams out of the morning rounds

If anyone wants to comment on these four points, I'd greatly appreciate it.


I was not there, but I think the new scoring system is definitely a good idea. My recollection of playoff rounds last year was two wild guesses early, which made it hard to make an educated guess, and then a buzz for the point. In this system, you can make an educated guess even when 2 people have buzzed in incorrectly, because the payoff is at least 3 versus the -2 penalty. I like the idea of rewarding deeper knowledge, but I think this system also makes the vagaries in the packet even more prevalent. If you get lucky with a couple of tossups that come up, it seems like that would have an even greater weight now.

I think the playoff draft is a good idea unless it takes up a significant amount of time.

Finally, I think it's a good idea to take only the top 2 teams out of the morning rounds. It means there are roughly 50 upper tier teams in varsity, so all the top teams will advance 99% of the time, and creates better afternoon competition. Teams near the middle of the pack also won't have to get slaughtered in several matches, and there's a greater margin of error for the upper tier teams to advance to the playoff rounds.
Michael Borecki
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Bowdoin College '21
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Noble Rot » Sun May 01, 2016 7:15 pm

Okay, I'm just going to throw in my two cents.

I did like taking only the top two teams from the morning into the upper brackets for the afternoon; it created a more intense competition for the afternoon, with better teams squaring off against each other. It was definitely much more difficult than last year's afternoon brackets, and the games tended to be much better and closer.

With regards to the new scoring system for the bee, I have mixed feelings (please note that my views are biased by the fact that I didn't advance past the first round of playoffs in the bee). I do think it's a good idea to reward good knowledge with extra points. However, as has been pointed out, I think the new scoring system tends to penalize people for attempting to think laterally, which is an important skill in quizbowl, and shouldn't be discouraged. I also think the new system makes the questions much more packet-dependent, because if you get a good four or five questions in you niche area, you have between 20 and 30 points really quickly, which would then allow you to breeze past questions you don't know and still advance to the next round, which really shouldn't be something someone is able to do. While I'm not entirely against the new scoring system, I do think it could be improved in the following manner:

• Make the question worth 4 points for super-power, 3 points for power, and 2 points for the end of the question and after the question has finished. My idea with this is that, for most questions being played at the playoff level, getting the question right before "for the point" requires about the same knowledge as getting the question after it has finished, so someone who buzzes in a word before the question finishes really shouldn’t get an advantage over someone who buzzes in just after the last word. This also helps the transition into this format, because it’s the same as the 4th quarter of bowl matches.
• Reduce all penalties to one point, regardless of whether the neg came during or after the question. The idea that someone attempting to make an educated guess during the question gets penalized more than someone attempting to do that after the question seems a bit weird to me. Whoever buzzes in during the question must have at least some knowledge relative to the question in order to make the guess, so they shouldn't be more penalized then someone who waits till the end of the question and gets it wrong.

I have opinions on the draft and three-team matches as well, but I’ll wait to post them until the full explanation is given, as that may answer a few questions I have.
Alex Echikson
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Re: Discuss 2016 NHBB Nationals Here

Postby Nate714 » Sun May 01, 2016 9:00 pm

Basil II wrote:
• Make the question worth 4 points for super-power, 3 points for power, and 2 points for the end of the question and after the question has finished. My idea with this is that, for most questions being played at the playoff level, getting the question right before "for the point" requires about the same knowledge as getting the question after it has finished, so someone who buzzes in a word before the question finishes really shouldn’t get an advantage over someone who buzzes in just after the last word. This also helps the transition into this format, because it’s the same as the 4th quarter of bowl matches.
• Reduce all penalties to one point, regardless of whether the neg came during or after the question. The idea that someone attempting to make an educated guess during the question gets penalized more than someone attempting to do that after the question seems a bit weird to me. Whoever buzzes in during the question must have at least some knowledge relative to the question in order to make the guess, so they shouldn't be more penalized then someone who waits till the end of the question and gets it wrong.



I personally agree with this. Many of the times during USHB and NHB Playoffs, I took educated guesses based on the question. I felt that since I had relative knowledge on the subject being asked, I shouldn't be negged more than the person who waits until the final "obvious" clue to buzz in. However, I feel like since this is the first year that NHBB did this, they will only improve on scoring from here on out and will work with the NHBB and Quiz Bowl Community in order to develop the scoring system into something that is fair for everyone.
Nathan Finn
Leonia High School '19
Leonia Quiz Bowl Varsity Captain, '17-'18
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