The Role of a Moderator

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The Role of a Moderator

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:18 pm

I was moderating at a tournament at my alma mater, RM, when I got a round 5 matchup between #CashCrew C and Gonzaga. Both teams came into the game 1-4, and #CashCrew C consisted of two people, one of whom had never played quizbowl before, neither of whom seemed to care about quizbowl, at least not in that moment. I had them in an earlier round and they joked about wanting to score -100 by negging all 20 questions, but frankly I didn't think they were serious. But then they started with talking with Gonzaga about it before the game and both brought up the fact that this was the round before lunch. Neither team was in contention so they decided they would alternate negs through tossup 20, decide the winner on a tiebreaker tossup, and run to Chipotle.
I expressed the fact that I thought this was ridiculous but didn't really see it as my place to stop it. (#CashCrew C won the tiebreaker and won the game, -40-(-50)) This raises the question: Do moderators need to interject in situations like this? Can they? If two teams agree to something not sportsmanlike and go along with it, am I in any position to stop them? Should I have brought in the TD to threaten with being kicked out of the tournament? And from a more philosophical standpoint, do moderators as "adults" at HS tournaments have a duty to promote a scholastically sophisticated environment, or is the role of a moderator to solely read the questions and enforce the rules?
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by pajaro bobo » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:04 pm

It wouldn't have been worth it to try to kick them out but there was zero need to humor them so that they could make a joke out of the tournament/waste volunteers' time. No coaches/adults were present with the teams?

I would have flat-out refused to read. Might as well leave the score as 0-0.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:16 pm

I know this is in hindsight, but between the cost of the two teams's registration costs, the fact an adult (or n+1) took time out of their Saturday, and moreover the fact someone paid for them to play, it's totally ridiculous two teams decided to do that. It's also kind of a slap in the face to a team that may have been screwed bracketing wise for the afternoon, although I imagine these two teams probably finished in the bottom two of their prelim pool anyways.

Honestly, in that position at that time I don't think I would've done differently than you. But when you consider the bigger picture, it really is a bad thing and for future reference it may be better to have TD intervention.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:27 pm

Charter does not condone their actions in any way. No one in authority at charter (few B team and
lower players were attendimg independently) even knew these two players were attending. Hopefully someone from RM sees this, as I would like to apologize on the behalf of those two players. This behavior would not be tolerated at any tournment charter would host. Now to find a consequence for these two...
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Lo, Marathon Ham! » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:31 pm

I apologize for the actions of the members on our team and do not condone their actions whatsoever. I will have a serious chat with them about their future in quiz bowl. I had heard them joking about it but did not think they were serious. Honestly I found it funny at first and since they paid for themselves thought nothing of it, however I realize that this was disrespectful and unsportsmanlike. We were not affiliated with Wilmington Charter in any way, shape, or form at this tournament. If you have any specific complaints about the conduct of these team members please feel free to send me a pm or email. This is the first time I have seen them do something like this and I will make it a point the next time I see them to discuss why this was wrong even if yet wanted to get to lunch faster. As a mod in the situation I would have warned both teams that they would receive forfeits if they continued. Once again I am deeply apologetic for the misconduct of my teammates.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Reesefulgenzi » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:34 pm

shady jawn wrote:Charter does not condone their actions in any way. No one in authority at charter (few B team and
lower players were attendimg independently) even knew these two players were attending. Hopefully someone from RM sees this, as I would like to apologize on the behalf of those two players. This behavior would not be tolerated at any tournment charter would host. Now to find a consequence for these two...
In our round they did not intentionally neg/waste time, although they did joke about it.

For the "alternate negging" game, I don't think the reader should have to indulge those teams; leaving the score as "0-0" or "forfeit" should be fine.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Lo, Marathon Ham! » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:54 pm

I have contacted the people at RM. This match will be a forfeit for our C team since they decided to troll and displayed such unsportsmanlike conduct. Once again I am very sorry about what occurred.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by zachary_yan » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:50 pm

I vaguely remember hearing about something like this that happened once, and in that case they made the individuals involved pay back some of the registration fee. If any of Charter's money was used to enter these two kids into the tournament, you guys have all the right to politely ask for it back. On the other hand, part of me feels like it's not entirely their fault that the individuals at hand, and for that matter many other individuals who participate in quizbowl, didn't take the event seriously enough. I don't mean to equate the two, but some tournaments have neg prizes, and by some interpretation encouraging bad play. That being said though, what they did was unsportsmanlike and I'm not going to defend the actions of these people.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Edward Powers » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:55 pm

Raynell,

If it was clear to you from the outset that the two teams were determined to make a mockery of the match, then I agree with the idea of never reading a question, forfeiting both teams, and discussing expulsion from the tournament with the TD. If on the other hand you thought they were initially joking, I would have read 4-6 toss-ups to discern a clear pattern of negs. If at that point they were in fact alternating negs, then, to protect the integrity of Quizbowl in general and of RM's tournament in particular, I would have refused to continue, forfeited both teams and just let them go early to lunch while going to the TD to discuss expulsion. I also would have sought out coaches if they existed in order to tell them what had happened in the hopes that the coaches would discipline their teams as well.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:36 pm

The great power a moderator has is to neg. This power is useless when a team is intentionally negging. Likewise, the great power a TD has is to kick you out of the tournament or forfeit one of your wins. Again, useless when the team is intentionally tanking to get out of the tournament early.

I don't feel comfortable giving moderators the power to shut down a game/refuse to read because of perceived immature/inappropriate conduct. Yes, the conduct in this case was absurdly egregious, but the next time this principle is applied it might be a much grayer area.

Ultimately, I'm not sure that escalating this issue to the TD and figuring out a punishment on the spot would have been the least bad solution. It could have created additional delays or issues for the tournament. Some things are best punished by the court of public opinion and reputational loss to the offender, and I think this is one of them.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Great Bustard » Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:37 pm

As a rather frequent TD, I would at the least want this brought to my attention. I think that the egregiousness of this is in direct proportion to the outcome of it swinging the draw. If PPG mattered (as it usually does in NHBB), then a team tanking a match will have a negative impact on the tournament and the legitimacy of the results. It sounds like that wasn't the case here, but still, this behavior should be nipped in the bud, and I encourage everyone hearing intonations of a team doing this to actively dissuade them from doing so.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:12 pm

For the record, this is against NAQT rules*, and it could be interpreted as against HSAPQ's** (and I guess ACF's).

*Section K.1
**Section B.1
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Lo, Marathon Ham! » Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:31 pm

Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant wrote:For the record, this is against NAQT rules*, and it could be interpreted as against HSAPQ's** (and I guess ACF's).

*Section K.1
**Section B.1
Since there are rules in place against this, you can be assured the members of our C team at this tournament will be dealt with severely (they probably won't see a buzzer again for a while). Once again I am sincerely apologetic about this incident. I am not sure what rules the tournament was using but regardless, how they behaved is unacceptable in any setting.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Edward Powers » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:19 pm

In general I would agree with Bruce that escalating the issue is probably not the most prudent response. However, in this case It became clear to the moderator, Raynell, that at some point a mockery WAS being made of the match. Now moderators are part of the staff and are not ciphers. We rely on their maturity and judiciousness in every match they read. Sometimes they will err, but most times even these errors are covered by rules and more often than not they are forgiven and forgotten by 99.9% of the teams, who habitually embody and display an understanding of the need for sportsmanship when such errors inevitably occur.

But that was not the case in this specific situation---at some point early in the match it became very, very clear to Raynell that the 2 teams could care less about integrity, sportsmanship and all the other virtues we hope teams will exhibit. Of course Raynell decided not to escalate this and read to the conclusion of the match. I have no argument with his decision on the spur of the moment, but clearly HE felt uncomfortable with it, hence his request for advice here. And since both teams wanted to leave early for lunch anyway, I see nothing wrong with a Moderator, in this case Raynell, stopping the match, allowing the teams to go to lunch, with this gentle warning to both teams: That their standing in the tournament might be changed upon their return, once Raynell told them that he would bring their behavior to the attention of the TD. This is hardly a punitive escalation, and, if anyone was "escalating" the issue it was the 2 teams, not the very tolerant and patient Raynell in this case. Further, to ask moderators NOT to make such decisions simply because they are "only" moderators could undermine and demean the clear authority that they must have in a room. And if moderators who refused to tolerate such egregious behavior were to be chastised for overstepping their authority--- in effect blaming the victim here---then who would ever want to moderate with such principles in place? Obviously TD's should have final say, in conjunction with the moderator's eye-witnesses testimony about what happened. To do otherwise would render moderator's as mere ciphers, and I would be uncomfortable with that. And in this specific case, the TD would have a whole lunch period to arrive at a judicious solution, with Raynell fulfilling his obligations while the TD exercised his.

Of course Bruce is correct about being wary of circumstances which are less clear or "more grey", if you will. Hence the need for prudent judgment among moderators. My guess is that most would agree that in such cases moderators should try to be as understanding and as thoughtful as possible, in effect trying to "de-escalate" whatever grey issues have arisen and thus teaching sportsmanship as the moderator proceeded. However, in this case, where Raynell clearly felt uncomfortable enough to seek the advice of the community, there was no such "grey" area.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Nick » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:27 pm

If we are trying to promote respect in (and for) quizbowl, we may want to start by disallowing names like "#CashCrew."
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by RexSueciae » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:41 pm

Nick wrote:If we are trying to promote respect in (and for) quizbowl, we may want to start by disallowing names like "#CashCrew."
I...what? Maybe I'm missing a cultural reference, but what's wrong with that pseudonym?
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by The Polebarn Hotel » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:43 pm

Nick wrote:If we are trying to promote respect in (and for) quizbowl, we may want to start by disallowing names like "#CashCrew."
There's a line between disrespect and having fun. It's a pseudonym. I don't see how that could possibly be a good place to start.

Ultimately, the two teams paid to play, so I think they should have been read to. However, they did break the rules regarding sportsmanlike conduct, and should have been punished as a result of that. This could potentially set a precedent.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:58 pm

Nick wrote:If we are trying to promote respect in (and for) quizbowl, we may want to start by disallowing names like "#CashCrew."
This post exemplifies my concerns about expanding the power of moderators to punish teams for "disrespecting the game". You create a broad power in response to one unusually egregious incident (that happens maybe 2-3 times a decade, a liberal estimate) you may end up with moderators exercising it against teams whole sole offense is a hip-hop history reference or quoting 2Chainz lyrics after each power, or something else that kids these days might do. I dare say there are more potentially villainous moderators out there than potentially villainous teams.

I'm not sure what a TD can really do about a team that is trying to tank during the tournament. You can kick the team out, which has...exactly the same effect as allowing teams to throw their own games. Other teams are now sitting in a room by themselves during a bye instead of getting to hear 20 bonuses after their opponents neg everything.

Appropriate responses by the TDs in this case (IMO) would be to ban the perpetrators from future tournaments for some period of time, demand an apology, or even public shaming. Appropriate responses by the schools the teams represented include asking for the money they spent on sending them to the tournament refunded. This is all post-tournament, though.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Lo, Marathon Ham! » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:03 pm

I take blame (I guess?) as the person who came up with name #CashCrew. I don't see anything wrong with the name...we have played under pseudonyms at other tournaments (#Moenation, Subanation, etc.) and have worked hard at these tournaments to do well and our A and B team here did nothing wrong. Regarding the C team I am not sure why they made this decision, but I know they will be having a serious chat with our coach and other members of the team tomorrow where we will discuss what could possibly have gone through their heads as they came to the decision to purposefully neg the match. There will be consequences for this behavior, in the worst case being dismissed from the team and possibly detentions (yes, this is within our coach's power). As we discuss their punishment further, I appreciate that Raynell brought this to light as otherwise we may have not discovered it until they participated in another tournament where a similar situation could occur. But my thoughts are that our choice of pseudonym is not a factor, after all don't we play quiz bowl to have fun? What they did was not fun for anyone, but I am sure our opponents had a good laugh about our pseudonym and so did we. As far as money, they paid for themselves so the school won't ask for them to pay back, but yes, we will be banning these two (if not kicking them out) from playing tourneys for a certain period of time. I hope their actions do not affect our eligibility to play in future tournaments as it was just two kids whose plans no one knew about, and not the entire team. I offer my sincerest apologies for their actions.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Nick » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:23 am

Raynell mentioned a "scholastically sophisticated environment" and I think that environment is somewhat undermined by allowing fun/silly pseudonyms.

If a tournament is going to allow students to play on a team that is undermanned, unchaperoned, unaffiliated with a school, self-funded AND allowed to play with the name #CashCrew, then that tournament is implicitly communicating "this is not a very serious interscholastic academic event" and the moderator shouldn't be terribly surprised when the team does something they think is silly, like purposefully neg all the questions.

Not all tournaments or TDs have the same goals/interests and I don't fault RM for making the decisions they made. I just think its difficult to seriously say "quizbowl is legitimate and important" meanwhile allowing teams to be called "hashtag-Cash-Crew."

If a team pays money to hear questions, then I think they have a right to neg those questions (they clearly had fun; as did their opponents). I also don't think those two students should be penalized for "throwing" a match that they technically won, especially by a school with which they were not affiliated.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:45 am

Nick wrote: If a team pays money to hear questions, then I think they have a right to neg those questions (they clearly had fun; as did their opponents). I also don't think those two students should be penalized for "throwing" a match that they technically won, especially by a school with which they were not affiliated.
This was, more or less, my thinking in regards to all of this. It should be noted that this tournament had the dreaded "tournament-director-as-reader" issue, so even if I wanted to bring it to his attention I don't think I could have.

I was aware of this plan and they took the time to discuss it, but this was such a preposterous situation (as Bruce said, a twice-a-decade type thing) that I thought it was best to read on as I normally would.

In hindsight, I probably should have tried a bit harder than I did to convince them to not partake. As someone who has never taught anything besides ACE camp, and is not used to being an "adult figure," this is not something that really occurred to me. If I were someone who had experience working with kids and felt that I had a duty to be that type of person, I probably would have acted differently. So I see why Mr. Powers is coming from a different perspective, that of someone who teaches children for a living as opposed to me, who in many ways still is one.

With the whole team name situation, I think that it sort of defeats the purpose (though I'm not sure how many schools are checking this website for every tournament in the area, scouring for their school's name) of operating under a pseudonym by making a pseudonym so ridiculous that it is very clear that it is a pseudonym, hashtags or otherwise. If they played as "Delaware Prep" or "Williamston Charter" or something then they could have gone under the radar better than "#CashCrew"

Another tangential note on pseudonyms: RM didn't know what team Reese's Pieces was until they showed up at the tournament. If you're registering under a pseudonym, you should tell the TD what school you are actually fro bracketing purposes.

EDIT: In regards to the forfeiture issue, I commend Mohan for taking responsibility and forfeiting the game and it's an important step in the post-tournament process. That being said, since this was a game played within the rules of the tournament (since this was a housewrite, NAQT/HSAPQ rules don't necessarily apply), with all players involved complicit to what happened, shaking hands (and getting burritos) after the game, with no protests, it would be amiss for a forfeit to have been forced on #CashCrew C
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Lo, Marathon Ham! » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:05 am

As far as the whole #CashCrew thing goes it wasn't really to "fly under the radar". As long as the name wasn't that of our school then the administration would be fine. We had always thought of the idea of playing as something twitter themed and after it was allowed at MIT (names later changed on stats) we didn't think much of it when we registered here. If there are members of the quiz bowl community opposed to us playing with such a pseudonym for a team name or our actual pseudonyms during the tourney (Slim Shrady and @MoeMoney) then we will make sure not to do this again and rather make better, more quiz bowl appropriate names such as Northern Delaware Academy and play as say Mike and Sam. If there are people who wish to further discuss our choice of name/ comment and give us advice on what our pseudonyms should be to be quiz bowl appropriate please feel free to message me. As far as the forfeit goes, I feel the idea originated from the two C team members (who are more used to the format of NHBB). Upon realizing there were negs, from what I have heard from them, they thought it would be funny and efficient to neg through the game to get to lunch. We have already sent them multiple emails explaining why what they did was wrong and have sent them the URL to this thread so they can observe what the responses are to their foolish decision. I expect a full apology from them to the TD and Raynell within the week. For future tournaments, we will reconsider the kinds of pseudonyms we use and will try and use those that are academically stimulating and not those that refer to completely unrelated pop culture.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Edward Powers » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:50 am

Mohan,

Guilt by association should never be enforced against your other Charter teams, and as one who has moderated matches for those teams on a fair number of occasions this year I must say that those teams were and are exemplary in their respect for all that is best in Quizbowl. The larger issue here goes beyond any particular school, and I am sure the community reading this forum realizes that your multiple apologies for your teammates is genuine and sincere.

And I would agree that bringing up pseudonyms here as the issue only muddies the waters---as a general rule, those teams are every bit as courteous as those not using them, IMO, but I think we all can agree with Nick that scoring for such teams sometimes frustrates both moderators and TD's unnecessarily.

Additionally, I understand Raynell's point about being younger and not being a teacher, but he did ask for advice, so I gave the advice I did to encourage him to respect the inner voice of disquiet he felt as he continued to read. Hopefully the next time he faces similar disrespect he will not indulge such behavior and the inherent disrespect for him that such behavior reveals and that his inner voice, teacher or not, apparently understood.

Finally, to argue that since the teams paid to play they are entitled to be read to commercializes the match and undermines quizbowl's larger goals. Using this reasoning, a team having heard the questions before (this happened at U Penn's QuAC this year) could demand to proceed through the tournament and whip every opponent because they "paid" to hear questions. At some point, rules are rules and moderators and TD's must enforce them, even if such enforcement will lead to loss of fees or byes later in the day. Not to enforce the rules will allow the nihilists among us to rule the day, and that should never be allowed. And I agree with Bruce---such behavior is no doubt extremely rare, and doubtless its rarity so startled Raynell that he read 21 TU's to 2 teams unworthy of such patience. But however rare it might be, moderators and TD's need to thoughtfully deal with it if and when it occurs. Hopefully the community's responses here to Raynell's' request will help everyone think through what needs to be done when a similar event occurs in the future. Naturally, we all hope such events are as rare as Bruce suggests they are.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:23 am

Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant wrote:For the record, this is against NAQT rules*, and it could be interpreted as against HSAPQ's** (and I guess ACF's).

*Section K.1
**Section B.1
Farrah's post basically sums it up; every existing rule set of which I'm aware establishes that teams may not fix or throw games, that doing so is a form of unsportsmanlike or disorderly conduct, and that moderators do have the power do so something about it in extreme cases such as the one Raynell laid out in the first post. As far as I know nobody, not even Andy Watkins, has ever used, let alone misused, this power [perhaps because very few people ever bother to Learn The :capybara: Rules], so I'm not too worried about Bruce's concern.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by feeder123 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:31 am

Where is the other team in this discussion? The only team that has been discussed here has been #CashCrew C. :sad:

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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Howard » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:58 pm

RyuAqua wrote:
Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant wrote:For the record, this is against NAQT rules*, and it could be interpreted as against HSAPQ's** (and I guess ACF's).

*Section K.1
**Section B.1
Farrah's post basically sums it up; every existing rule set of which I'm aware establishes that teams may not fix or throw games, that doing so is a form of unsportsmanlike or disorderly conduct, and that moderators do have the power do so something about it in extreme cases such as the one Raynell laid out in the first post.
Unless I'm reading something wrong, sanctions are to be determined by the TD, not the moderator. This is important because, unless a particular penalty is prescribed by the rules, having sanctions decided by a single party helps ensure consistent penalty across violations.

If this were me and I'd had my full wits about me, I think I'd have approached it like this:
"Hey, guys, I understand you are hungry and want to eat, but your proposed solution causes more problems than it creates. For one, I'll need to hold you here while I consult with the tournament director, interrupting his game in the process. Really, your game and the entire tournament will progress much better if you play the game normally."
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Mark Wolfsberg » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:48 pm

I pulled into reading this entire discussion. Entertaining.... What a soap opera :)

While I agree that pseudonyms are not relevant to the situation, I will say that I don't like them for the following reasons:
1. Unless they are accompanied by a description of who the team actually is, they prevent the TD from seeding the tournament accurately.
2. It prevents opponents from knowing what they are up against before the match.
3. Both 1 & 2 can be viewed as unsportsmanlike. In general, I things should be open & above board; rather than hidden & sneaky.

I'd be cool with ( HS Name -C (pseudonym))

Also I am left wondering what happened to the losing team. Why do they get a pass that #Cash-Crew did not.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:04 pm

In essentially all cases, the TD knows what school the pseudonym represents and can seed them accordingly.

As for the teams knowing other teams' identities in advance, it is generally a good practice for pseudonymous teams to use a single consistent pseudonym (rather than changing it for each tournament they attend).
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Howard » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:03 pm

Mark Wolfsberg wrote:Also I am left wondering what happened to the losing team. Why do they get a pass that #Cash-Crew did not.
I don't think anyone got a pass. The last time I looked at the stats, both teams showed forfeit. If you're asking about the discussion here, no one from the other school has bothered to enter the discussion. The fact that Wilmington Charter has participated in the discussion in a reasonable way makes them look better.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Kyle » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:00 pm

Howard wrote:The fact that Wilmington Charter has participated in the discussion in a reasonable way makes them look better.
I agree that the leadership of the Wilmington Charter club has looked better in this thread by being willing to apologize publicly for the behavior of some of its club's members. In the interest of accuracy, however, let's not forget that two other people with IP addresses from Wilmington, Delaware, created accounts in order to post anonymously in this thread demanding that Gonzaga also be criticized. The second of these posts was deleted after its poster again violated board rules by editing out some especially objectionable content for which he or she had already been warned.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Mark Wolfsberg » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:59 pm

Howard wrote:
Mark Wolfsberg wrote:Also I am left wondering what happened to the losing team. Why do they get a pass that #Cash-Crew did not.
I don't think anyone got a pass. The last time I looked at the stats, both teams showed forfeit. If you're asking about the discussion here, no one from the other school has bothered to enter the discussion. The fact that Wilmington Charter has participated in the discussion in a reasonable way makes them look better.
I agree with you on that
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by czheng0708 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:03 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:In essentially all cases, the TD knows what school the pseudonym represents and can seed them accordingly.

As for the teams knowing other teams' identities in advance, it is generally a good practice for pseudonymous teams to use a single consistent pseudonym (rather than changing it for each tournament they attend).
Great Neck South has consistently used "West Egg" as our pseudonym.TDs and other teams in my area are beginning to recognize West Egg as GNS and it has definitely made communication issues of the past less frequent. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with having fun with pseudonyms so long as it's appropriate (using "West Egg" has produced a couple of good laughs here and there).

But out of curiosity (and this isn't directed toward Charter in any way), is there something the quizbowl community can do about keeping players interested enough to finish prelims appropriately? Is there something else we can use as motivation/incentive to finish prelims strongly even if the team isn't in contention?
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:09 pm

czheng0708 wrote:But out of curiosity (and this isn't directed toward Charter in any way), is there something the quizbowl community can do about keeping players interested enough to finish prelims appropriately? Is there something else we can use as motivation/incentive to finish prelims strongly even if the team isn't in contention?
Even if a team is out of championship contention, they should still aim to finish as high in the standings as possible. It is very likely that the final match of the prelims can still decide which playoff bracket a team enters, provided of course that there are afternoon brackets.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Al Hirt » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:02 pm

czheng0708 wrote:
bird bird bird bird bird wrote:In essentially all cases, the TD knows what school the pseudonym represents and can seed them accordingly.

As for the teams knowing other teams' identities in advance, it is generally a good practice for pseudonymous teams to use a single consistent pseudonym (rather than changing it for each tournament they attend).
Great Neck South has consistently used "West Egg" as our pseudonym.TDs and other teams in my area are beginning to recognize West Egg as GNS and it has definitely made communication issues of the past less frequent. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with having fun with pseudonyms so long as it's appropriate (using "West Egg" has produced a couple of good laughs here and there).

But out of curiosity (and this isn't directed toward Charter in any way), is there something the quizbowl community can do about keeping players interested enough to finish prelims appropriately? Is there something else we can use as motivation/incentive to finish prelims strongly even if the team isn't in contention?
Likewise, with East Brunswick and Deep Green. In our case, the only reason we even bother using pseudonyms is that we'd rather not end up in trouble with our rather stringent administration.

One thing that I've seen that certainly works is what Livingston (usually the largest tournament in the area as well) doing "DI, DII, and DIII" competitions, allowing lower bracket teams to still play with a competitive spirit in the afternoon. In fact, our C team came away with a "DIII" trophy and since 3 of 4 were newbies, it was a good way to get them in a "quiz bowl state of mind" if you will. I'd recommend other organizers to consider these ideas.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by zachary_yan » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:27 pm

I guess since the discussion has turned to "role of pseudonyms" now, just wondering, what kinds of reasons, school administration related or otherwise, would a team want use a pseudonym.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:47 pm

Pseudonyms are useful is a school or coach is particularly against a team attending a certain event. In the school's case, it may be because they don't want some unchaperoned high schoolers representing their institution [wisely, it would seem in this case]. I did some sneaking around in high school with pseudonymous teams because my coach thought that pyramidal tournaments were a waste of time when I could be studying for It's Academic or something.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Guile Island » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:09 am

There's nothing wrong with using pseudonyms at all, but this is also coming from somebody who had to drive himself to many tournaments to play solo or unaffiliated his senior year of high school. Just please, please, please inform the Tournament Director of what school you actually are or lots of things can get screwed up. It's even in your best interest to do this if you want to ever be properly seeded.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:06 am

But out of curiosity (and this isn't directed toward Charter in any way), is there something the quizbowl community can do about keeping players interested enough to finish prelims appropriately? Is there something else we can use as motivation/incentive to finish prelims strongly even if the team isn't in contention?

In Ohio, a recent thing that has been happening, and hopefully will continue to happen, is requiring all teams and finish every game they are required to play or risk having an invoice sent to the school office billing the team/school for games they did not play.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Mark Wolfsberg » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:59 pm

This discussion makes me wonder;

Since Pseudonyms seem to be for people playing outside the confines of their school's administration, Do the rules require all members of a team to be from the same school? Could, for instance, a player from Bethlehem team up with a player from Ithaca and play in a NYC tournament under an "UPSTATE" pseudonym?
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by High Dependency Unit » Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:37 pm

The rules generally require teams to be made up of players from the same school.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by czheng0708 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:33 pm

Mark Wolfsberg wrote:This discussion makes me wonder;

Since Pseudonyms seem to be for people playing outside the confines of their school's administration, Do the rules require all members of a team to be from the same school? Could, for instance, a player from Bethlehem team up with a player from Ithaca and play in a NYC tournament under an "UPSTATE" pseudonym?
I generally PM or email the tournament director about eligibility of a player when playing using a pseudonym.
zachary_yan wrote:I guess since the discussion has turned to "role of pseudonyms" now, just wondering, what kinds of reasons, school administration related or otherwise, would a team want use a pseudonym.
We have to use pseudonyms when our school isn't funding it because they don't want to be liable for anything that happens. During school-sanctioned tournaments, they purchase insurance in the event that we are hurt. If we went as "Great Neck South" without the approval of the school and someone got hurt, there would be major problems between the team and school administration. But when we go as "West Egg", the school is no longer liable. So, we kind of do it at their request.
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Re: The Role of a Moderator

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:45 pm

Mark Wolfsberg wrote:This discussion makes me wonder;

Since Pseudonyms seem to be for people playing outside the confines of their school's administration, Do the rules require all members of a team to be from the same school? Could, for instance, a player from Bethlehem team up with a player from Ithaca and play in a NYC tournament under an "UPSTATE" pseudonym?
This is very very bad, never ever do this unless the tournament announcement explicitly allow it (which none of the tournaments you will likely play should)
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