Answering With Multiple Answers

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Answering With Multiple Answers

Post by cchiego » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:46 pm

I first noticed this happening at ACE Camp a few summers ago and now it's fairly regular (i.e. once or twice a tournament in matches that I've been reading) at college-level tournaments, plus I've seen it happen at HS nationals as well.

Here's how it works: a player rings in on a tossup and then starts a long-winded answer, something like "well, it could only be X or Y... it could be X but it's not, so I'll say Y" or "Oh I know this, it's A which is also B?" or "I think they mentioned the Luftwaffe and the Flying Tigers, so while it could be the Japanese Air Force... it's going to have to be the American Air Force." Any of these answers may be more or less emphasized, seemingly at random.

This isn't blitzing; this is giving multiple substantive answers. It also strikes me as fishing for the right answer by repeating a lot of related potential answers out loud and seeing if the moderator says "correct" after any of them (along with perhaps gaining some extra time to answer). This unfortunately isn't out of the normal on bonuses--and should be the responsibility of the moderator to not fall victim to it then by asking the captain if that's their answer as soon as a potential answer is directed--but it's simply unacceptable on tossups.

Per ACF and NAQT rules, at least to the best of my understanding, I neg people who do this if the first complete substantive answer that they give is X, A, or the Luftwaffe [respectively for each of the examples above] and those answers are not promptable for the right answer. This seems to make people angry, but Thinking Out Loud is something that should be done in cheesy pop songs, not in giving an answer to a quizbowl question. Yes, non-substantive stuff like "Oh so this is just X" or "I studied this last night! It's B!" is fine. But once you start giving proper nouns, you're giving a substantive answer. The first completed substantive word out of your mouth is your answer to a quizbowl question; plan accordingly [except if you're at the PACE NSC, where rule H2 in last year's rules problematically seemed to encourage saying lots of answers and then claiming that you've "misspoken" on the first one, but even then doesn't allow this kind of chaining of answers together].

I have also heard from other moderators that players are starting to argue that they didn't "direct" a given answer on a tossup towards the moderator and claiming that only directed answers should be accepted. This is absurd and wrong. Please don't do this, players!

Given that this seems to happen fairly regularly, I'm curious if I'm just reading something in the rules wrong or if other moderators are letting players get away with this. Either way, I think the ideal line for the answer that a moderator evaluates needs to be drawn at the first completed substantive word of an answer and that players should play accordingly.
Chris C.
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Re: Answering With Multiple Answers

Post by Cheynem » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:52 pm

I feel like the problem here can be resolved more by moderators making sure what an actual answer is, rather than imposing dogmatic rules on people for "thinking out loud." If someone says, for example, "well, that clue's about Lyndon Johnson, so this is the guy who hated John Kennedy, had an affair with Adlai's Roy Cohn!", to me, first of all, it's obvious that the person is answering Roy Cohn. Obviously if the person is significantly pausing in between names or is taking longer than 5 seconds (or however long), neg him, but if you're a bit confused, why not just simply ask the person what his or her answer is (i.e., be patient for a few seconds instead of immediately saying right or wrong until you're sure what is being answered). It's moderator discretion here, so if you do think the answer given was the intended answer and you neg them, you can't protest it, but I have seen plenty of times where moderators for no reason will accept anything they hear even if it is not a directed answer, and I think it's best to err on caution.
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Re: Answering With Multiple Answers

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:56 pm

cchiego wrote:but Thinking Out Loud is something that should be done in cheesy pop songs
Chris is just mad he doesn't have a quarter million on him right now.

(I also agree with Mike that moderators can figure out what's directed at them and rule on that. Obviously if a player pauses and looks at the mod that's their answer and you rule on it).
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Re: Answering With Multiple Answers

Post by Cody » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:11 pm

Just ask "what is your answer?"
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I write lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
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