Late Game

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Late Game

Post by jeremylu » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:13 am

So we went to a JV tourney and on the last tossup, we were down by 5. We were taking it easy, and the other team negged on something about [QUESTION CONTENT IN A SET THAT IS STILL BEING USED --the mgmt] at the end. So we ended up winning, but this was not agaisnt a very good (relatively) team. So what should our strategy be when we are down (close) on the last tossup? Should our strategy change if we're the team with the lead?
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Re: Late Game

Post by Cold Stone Steve Austin » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:12 am

If it is a close game and the last tossup could decide who wins, no matter which side is ahead, I would do the following:

1. Avoid negging at all costs.

How to not neg on the last tossup:

1. Write down what the tossup is asking for. For example, if the tossup begins, "A play by this author begins with the line...", write down "author" so you don't buzz in with the play or a character in the play.
2. Don't buzz on something that you think is a buzzword. For example, if you hear "this man fought at the Battle of Little Bighorn", don't buzz in with Custer unless you hear a clue about his Civil War service or something, because the answer could be Sitting Bull or Crazy Horse.

If the other team negs, please don't buzz until the tossup is over unless you're down by 45 and you need the powervulch, or if you are down by 35 and you aren't confident that you can 30 the bonus. Obviously, if you hear "For ten points", you are out of power.
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Re: Late Game

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:18 am

jeremylu wrote:So we went to a JV tourney and on the last tossup, we were down by 5. We were taking it easy, and the other team negged on something about [QUESTION CONTENT IN A SET THAT IS STILL BEING USED --the mgmt] at the end. So we ended up winning, but this was not agaisnt a very good (relatively) team. So what should our strategy be when we are down (close) on the last tossup? Should our strategy change if we're the team with the lead?
Simpler strategy: don't neg previous tossups and Go Learn More Things.
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Re: Late Game

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:53 am

Hidehiro Anto wrote:If it is a close game and the last tossup could decide who wins, no matter which side is ahead, I would do the following:

1. Avoid negging at all costs.

How to not neg on the last tossup:

1. Write down what the tossup is asking for. For example, if the tossup begins, "A play by this author begins with the line...", write down "author" so you don't buzz in with the play or a character in the play.
2. Don't buzz on something that you think is a buzzword. For example, if you hear "this man fought at the Battle of Little Bighorn", don't buzz in with Custer unless you hear a clue about his Civil War service or something, because the answer could be Sitting Bull or Crazy Horse.

If the other team negs, please don't buzz until the tossup is over unless you're down by 45 and you need the powervulch, or if you are down by 35 and you aren't confident that you can 30 the bonus. Obviously, if you hear "For ten points", you are out of power.
Remember, these tactics ONLY apply to the last tossup and not to the first 19
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Re: Late Game

Post by The Polebarn Hotel » Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:32 am

Sniper, No Sniping! wrote:
jeremylu wrote:So we went to a JV tourney and on the last tossup, we were down by 5. We were taking it easy, and the other team negged on something about [QUESTION CONTENT IN A SET THAT IS STILL BEING USED --the mgmt] at the end. So we ended up winning, but this was not agaisnt a very good (relatively) team. So what should our strategy be when we are down (close) on the last tossup? Should our strategy change if we're the team with the lead?
Simpler strategy: don't neg previous tossups and Go Learn More Things.
I'm sorry, but is this supposed to be helpful?

Hidehiro did a good job summing up good strategies on the last question, if the game is within 30 or so points. If it distracts you too much to write down the pronoun used, then of course you shouldn't. But be extra alert on the last tossup and don't neg. There's not much else to say. The strategy isn't all that different on the last tossup.
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Re: Late Game

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:14 pm

Crazyflight wrote:
Sniper, No Sniping! wrote:
jeremylu wrote:So we went to a JV tourney and on the last tossup, we were down by 5. We were taking it easy, and the other team negged on something about [QUESTION CONTENT IN A SET THAT IS STILL BEING USED --the mgmt] at the end. So we ended up winning, but this was not agaisnt a very good (relatively) team. So what should our strategy be when we are down (close) on the last tossup? Should our strategy change if we're the team with the lead?
Simpler strategy: don't neg previous tossups and Go Learn More Things.
I'm sorry, but is this supposed to be helpful?

Hidehiro did a good job summing up good strategies on the last question, if the game is within 30 or so points. If it distracts you too much to write down the pronoun used, then of course you shouldn't. But be extra alert on the last tossup and don't neg. There's not much else to say. The strategy isn't all that different on the last tossup.
If the margin is ever _that close_, especially in a low scoring game on a JV-level set, the difference lies in the bonus parts that are not converted. Surely when you go 11ppb (110 bonus over 10 tossups), the only way you can go is up. We can advise all we want about this "final tossup, what do I do" strategy, but the fact is you won't find yourself in these situations (at least not amongst such perceivably low competition, as the OP indicates) if you just learn more stuff.

The same applies to higher level quiz bowl, it's simpler to just know more (get that third part of a bonus, get the tossup before that famous stock clue everyone is buzzing on).
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Re: Late Game

Post by The Polebarn Hotel » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:42 pm

Sniper, No Sniping! wrote:
If the margin is ever _that close_, especially in a low scoring game on a JV-level set, the difference lies in the bonus parts that are not converted. Surely when you go 11ppb (110 bonus over 10 tossups), the only way you can go is up. We can advise all we want about this "final tossup, what do I do" strategy, but the fact is you won't find yourself in these situations (at least not amongst such perceivably low competition, as the OP indicates) if you just learn more stuff.

The same applies to higher level quiz bowl, it's simpler to just know more (get that third part of a bonus, get the tossup before that famous stock clue everyone is buzzing on).
You can't say that learning things and getting better will alleviate the possibility of a close game. It depends on the level of the teams that are being played against. No matter how good you get, there will always be that chance that the game will be close, whether it's two teams that average 11ppb or 25ppb. The team that previously averaged 11ppb may improve and beat the team that they earlier could only beat by a small margin, but they may still face trouble against stronger teams. It's ambitious to know more, and a good goal to have, but not only is it unrealistic, it's not helpful to the subject. The chances of a team getting so good that they will, without fail, beat every other quiz bowl team in competition, is very low. Knowing stuff is great. But you can't dwell on the past when you're in the present. If in the present, you are at the last tossup and the score is 315-320, it will not help at all to use your advice of knowing more to edge them out. If I'm in the match, I'm thinking short-term strategies that will help me maximize efficiency.
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Re: Late Game

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:44 pm

Sniper, No Sniping! wrote:
Crazyflight wrote:
Sniper, No Sniping! wrote:
jeremylu wrote:So we went to a JV tourney and on the last tossup, we were down by 5. We were taking it easy, and the other team negged on something about [QUESTION CONTENT IN A SET THAT IS STILL BEING USED --the mgmt] at the end. So we ended up winning, but this was not agaisnt a very good (relatively) team. So what should our strategy be when we are down (close) on the last tossup? Should our strategy change if we're the team with the lead?
Simpler strategy: don't neg previous tossups and Go Learn More Things.
I'm sorry, but is this supposed to be helpful?

Hidehiro did a good job summing up good strategies on the last question, if the game is within 30 or so points. If it distracts you too much to write down the pronoun used, then of course you shouldn't. But be extra alert on the last tossup and don't neg. There's not much else to say. The strategy isn't all that different on the last tossup.
If the margin is ever _that close_, especially in a low scoring game on a JV-level set, the difference lies in the bonus parts that are not converted. Surely when you go 11ppb (110 bonus over 10 tossups), the only way you can go is up. We can advise all we want about this "final tossup, what do I do" strategy, but the fact is you won't find yourself in these situations (at least not amongst such perceivably low competition, as the OP indicates) if you just learn more stuff.

The same applies to higher level quiz bowl, it's simpler to just know more (get that third part of a bonus, get the tossup before that famous stock clue everyone is buzzing on).
Many national championship games have come down to final tossups. Endgame strategy is a legitimate thing to be asking about, especially if you're a newer player.

The only difference between a 5-point game and a tie game is that if the tossup goes dead and no one negs, there's more quizbowl. In either of these situations, you get the tossup, you win the game, you neg and you lose the game (unless you're up 5 and the other team can't convert the tossup)

Assuming you're not bouncing back bonuses, you should try REALLY REALLY hard to not neg but still buzz if you're up. If you're down 45, buzz in power if you want a shot.
If there are bounceback bonuses, it's a whole new ball game and there's a ton more strategy that goes into it, but if you're up you're likely best off not buzzing. Definitely don't buzz if they missed it. Still no negging. If you're down just try to get the tossup. Also no negging.

TL;DR don't neg the last tossup.
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Re: Late Game

Post by Cody » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:55 pm

There is never a situation where you are better off giving the team the tossup instead of getting it.

You have to do the math to decide on a strategy and it depends largely on what you can expect the other team to get on a bonus (e.g. up 30, you are better off letting them get the tossup than negging as long as they are not likely to 30 the bonus).
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Re: Late Game

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:45 pm

The context of endgame strategy in a JV tournament is different from that off a national tournament finals.

The simpler solution is when possible (and I'm talking if you have low PPB, as is the case with the OP) is just get better and learn stuff to turn the margin around. The difference between two teams that have comparable PPB of 11 as opposed to a PPB of 25 is the 11PPB isn't getting the easier parts of bonuses down (they're not knowing the plot of a novel, they don't know who wrote a certain book, they don't know a law of thermodynamics etc). Two teams with PPB's such as 25 (as found in national tournament finals) on the other hand aren't leaving a lot of points on the table as opposed to two teams with 11ppb.

My simple advice is get the PPB up and get better before worrying about "end game strategy". The points you cover later that you otherwise would've missed makes many late-game situations obsolete.

Also:
many national championship games have come down to final tossups. Endgame strategy is a legitimate thing to be asking about, especially if you're a newer player.
So in other words, lets totally not encourage younger players to get better and instead teach them how to strategize like LASA and Bellarmine do in a hotel ballroom in late May?
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Re: Late Game

Post by Kyle » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:34 pm

Sniper, No Sniping! wrote:Also:
many national championship games have come down to final tossups. Endgame strategy is a legitimate thing to be asking about, especially if you're a newer player.
So in other words, lets totally not encourage younger players to get better and instead teach them how to strategize like LASA and Bellarmine do in a hotel ballroom in late May?
First of all, let's all be reminded that, unless your username is green or red, you don't get to determine what can or cannot be discussed on this forum. Second, games come down to the final tossup all the time, not just in national championship games, and it's quite reasonable for a newish player to ask the opinions of more experienced players about how to deal with that sort of situation. You're obviously correct that worrying about any facet of in-game strategy is less important to a team's fortunes than learning more, but that doesn't mean we can't talk about it.

The reality is that there are times when it is beneficial to be more aggressive and times when one should be more conservative. Here are some fairly straightforward examples. If you are behind by 45 going into the last tossup in a format that has powers, you should try to buzz in very early to power the tossup because if you don't, you will lose. If you are ahead by 50 points going into the last tossup, you should not buzz in. This all may sound obvious, but I remember watching an extremely experienced college player neg on question 19 with an 85-point lead in the semifinal of an mACF tournament; his team lost the game in overtime.

The most fundamental rules here are that, late in the game, you absolutely have to know what the score is and you have to be on the same page as your teammates. Both keeping score and playing as a team are skills that can be practiced and reinforced, and if I were a coach or captain of a newish high school team I would talk about this in practice.
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Re: Late Game

Post by Cheynem » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:26 pm

This obviously can happen to experienced teams. I remember at a Penn Bowl a few years ago, in a game with almost all experienced players:

-our team had an insurmountable (or something like that the other team could only tie) lead unless we negged going into tossup 20. We promptly negged.
-the other team's best player opted not to vulch or even pick up after our neg, instead deferring to someone who had not been scoring all game but in a moment of hesistance raised his buzzer to indicate he knew it
-that player promptly fumbled a guess and got it wrong

My point here isn't to embarrass any of the teams involved, but note that even in a game like this, where half the people in the room had multiple years playing, title wins, and major playoff appearances, mistakes happened, to a certain extent because we weren't communicating wisely. Good communication is a skill that even very good teams should work on.
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Re: Late Game

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:02 pm

If you're in a situation where the game is within 15 or so, and whichever team answers the tossup probably wins, you should try your best to play that question like you would any other. The major difference is that both teams are going to be under a lot of stress and perhaps prone to jittery buzzes - take a deep breath, clear your mind, and focus entirely on the question being read.
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Re: Late Game

Post by jeremylu » Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:01 pm

For people talking about improving, that's not an issue right now, because the rest of my tourneys are MS, and we average 300+ PP20TH and 20+ PPB. We have had many close games, especially a 100+ comeback that got us to MSNCT. We went really aggressive, and the captain buzzed on A CLUE to answer a QUESTION. But we've also had a time when we lost to the regional MS powerhouse when we were too passive. The answer was AN ANSWER but we were too nervous to buzz (and also unsure).

Usually we "play not to lose" as our coach says, and when we have, say a 60 point lead going into the last tossup, we just lay off on our buzzers.
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Re: Late Game

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:41 pm

Crazyflight wrote:
Sniper, No Sniping! wrote:
jeremylu wrote:So we went to a JV tourney and on the last tossup, we were down by 5. We were taking it easy, and the other team negged on something about [QUESTION CONTENT IN A SET THAT IS STILL BEING USED --the mgmt] at the end. So we ended up winning, but this was not agaisnt a very good (relatively) team. So what should our strategy be when we are down (close) on the last tossup? Should our strategy change if we're the team with the lead?
Simpler strategy: don't neg previous tossups and Go Learn More Things.
I'm sorry, but is this supposed to be helpful?

Hidehiro did a good job summing up good strategies on the last question, if the game is within 30 or so points. If it distracts you too much to write down the pronoun used, then of course you shouldn't. But be extra alert on the last tossup and don't neg. There's not much else to say. The strategy isn't all that different on the last tossup.
Well it's helpful to improve, however if you improve as Tom suggested (which I suggest you do!) you'll just end up in the same situation against a better team, so we're back to the original question. So endgame strategies are most definitely relevant no matter your skill level. For instance, national championships often come down to the last tossup. The problem with Go Learn More Things is that both teams are presumably Learning More Things at about the same rate come national championship time, so Learning More Things usually only gets you a chance at executing proper strategy to come out on top.
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Re: Late Game

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:01 pm

Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. wrote:If you're in a situation where the game is within 15 or so, and whichever team answers the tossup probably wins, you should try your best to play that question like you would any other. The major difference is that both teams are going to be under a lot of stress and perhaps prone to jittery buzzes - take a deep breath, clear your mind, and focus entirely on the question being read.
Having seen many high level teams play, what has impressed me most is how they never loose their cool in important late-game situations. Odds are, if you are watching the finals of a tournament like ACF Nationals or Chicago Open, and one team is down by 150 points with 5 tossups left, that team is certainly going to be aware of the fact that they need to answer virtually all of the remaining questions, but they won't be visibly upset, stressed, or jittery. They'll be confident in the fact that it's still mathematically possible, and that all they need to do is get 4-5 tossups in a row, something that any good quizbowl team has done at many points over the course of its season.

The other team, coincidentally, won't be playing any different either because of their lead. They will also have done the math and know that it's still not decided.
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Re: Late Game

Post by jeremylu » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:17 pm

Hi, sorry for talking about qustions and stuff.

In a recent tournament, my teamamte knew the answer before I buzzed. IT was the last tossup and if we got it, we would have won. The team knew way more then us, and they also do well in high school tourneys. So then I negged later and y teammate got mad at me, which I don't blame. But should he have buzzed earleier? He said he was unsure and wanted to listen more.
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