Philly Experiment?

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Philly Experiment?

Postby SnookerUSF » Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:30 am

There was something in the early days of my quizbowl experience that I would like to more about: it was called the Philly Experiment. IIRC, there were more than one of these, and they were in the summer, and were apparently difficult. Can someone shed light?
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Re: Philly Experiment?

Postby btressler » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:49 pm

[disclaimer: this is all from memory, and subject to revision]

I played in the Summer 1995 version, which I seem to remember had 30 teams in two groups of fifteen. My teammates were Eric Hilleman, Tom Drucker, and someone whom Eric knew. We (or more appropriately Tom and Eric) won one of the brackets at 11-3, but lost our semi. I seem to recall Tom Waters being on the team that lost the other semi. I think our team name was "The Guns of August". I remember a group of four of the best female players on the circuit at that time playing as "Victoria's Secret Weapon" and almost making the semi from the other bracket.

The following year (I think) there were 25 teams and they did a round robin over two days. I think the winning record was 22-2 or 21-3. I read that year.

In those years, the questions were CBI-ish in topics and style, but tossups were generally 4 sentences in length. For example, in said semi-final I actually managed to get a tossup that started "Compiled by the Labor Department, it overestimates inflation..." Not really a good first clue for the CPI by today's standards.
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Re: Philly Experiment?

Postby Important Bird Area » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:19 am

Second Bill's disclaimer.

The 6th (?) and final edition of this happened in summer 2000, and was moved from Penn to GWU. I believe it was packet submission, and decent quality by the standards of the time. We sent one Princeton team, which beat 3 Boys and a Goy in the final.
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Re: Philly Experiment?

Postby Birdofredum Sawin » Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:55 am

Oh man, Philly Experiment!

I also played in the 1995 tournament, which was the summer after my freshman year of college. My team (which was me, Guy Jordan, and two people I forget) lost in the finals to, I think, "Three Boys and a Goy." I want to say that the game went to the last tossup, when one of my excitable teammates heard a clue which he thought was about Ursula K. LeGuin; alas, it was a question on Sigrid Undset. That tournament was also notable for featuring one of the first "superteams" -- Tom Waters, Jim Dendy, the late Al Whited, and somebody else played together for the first time to much fanfare, then promptly lost in the semifinals.

The 1996 installment was better -- I believe it was edited by my Virginia teammate Chris Sloan, and it was won by a team led by me and John Sheahan. I want to say that there wasn't one in 1997, which is why I set up the Maryland Open to supplant it? Though I could be misremembering that.

It could very roughly be said that the Philly Experiment was to Tennessee Masters (among summer tournaments of that era) what ICT now is to ACF nationals. Or that was the perception at the time, though if we were to look back at the questions now it would likely be hard to discern much of a difference between the events.
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Re: Philly Experiment?

Postby Matt Weiner » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:03 pm

bt_green_warbler wrote:Second Bill's disclaimer.

The 6th (?) and final edition of this happened in summer 2000, and was moved from Penn to GWU. I believe it was packet submission, and decent quality by the standards of the time. We sent one Princeton team, which beat 3 Boys and a Goy in the final.


This was my first college tournament. It featured us playing half of our games against 2 of the other 9 teams due to one of the last-ever uses of "ladder play," a requirement for "foreign language" questions that befuddled the entire field (I think I wrote a tossup on Granada entirely in Spanish, and every single one of these questions was cut by the editor since he couldn't communicate what it was he wanted to the packet submitters), and a Willie Chen packet that included, among other memorable moments, a tossup with the answer line "angel dust" that I negged because I couldn't come up with anything after being prompted on "PCP."
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Re: Philly Experiment?

Postby haynesm » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:10 am

My original post had a bunch of the facts wrong, so I submitted a replacement post below.

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Last edited by haynesm on Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Philly Experiment?

Postby haynesm » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:26 am

This is the post with the corrected information...

I went to the Philadelphia Experiment tournament once or twice in the mid-1990s. Apparently my memory is pretty darn vague, as when I tried to reconstruct the team I played with in 1996 a few minutes back the only part I got right was "some guy from Michigan State whose name I don't recall."

Fortunately, I stumbled across a 1999 message board post about that tournament, so I can say that the team was myself, Greg Seroka (of MSU), Benoy Chacko
(of UM), and Jamie Brault (of WMU). As I recall, we got our rear ends handed to us a bunch the first day of the tournament. The second day we did much better with a highlight being our defeat of a team consisting of Andrew Yaphe, John Sheehan, John Edwards, and Alice Chou.

From another message board post, I see that the team finished 12-8, in 9th place. We were one of only two teams to beat the 19-2 team led by Yaphe. And from yet another message board post, I see that I was the low scorer on our team with a record of 33 tossups and 10 interrupts in the 20 matches. Benoy was 7th overall in the tournament going 71/10.

Glad to see that the QB community is alive and well. Thanks for the trip down (faded) memory lane.

-Michael Haynes
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-Michael Haynes
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Re: Philly Experiment?

Postby cornfused » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:45 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:I think I wrote a tossup on Granada entirely in Spanish

Wonderful.
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Re: Philly Experiment?

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:33 pm

I don't have any light to shed on this from personal experience or anything, but here are the questions from the 2nd and 3rd iterations of this:

1995: http://quizbowl.stanford.edu/archive/phl95/index.html
1996: http://quizbowl.stanford.edu/archive/phl96/index.html
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Re: Philly Experiment?

Postby Magister Ludi » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:26 am

Was part of this tournament's schtick to sprinkle in joke questions? The one packet I randomly clicked on had entire tossups that read: "15. FTP, say you made ten thousand dollars last year. Answer: "You made ten thousand dollars last year."
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Re: Philly Experiment?

Postby Cheynem » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:27 am

At least such questions will not result in first-clue buzzer races.

I kid, Ted, I kid.
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Re: Philly Experiment?

Postby cornfused » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:23 pm

"11- Edward Furlong, Leonardo DiCaprio, or Johnathan Brandis. FTP, which one
has NOT had a hit single in Japan in the past year and a half?

A: JOHNATHAN BRANDIS"


Anyone know what the heck this question is referring to for the DiCaprio mention?
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Re: Philly Experiment?

Postby fryede » Tue May 29, 2012 7:20 pm

Birdofredum Sawin wrote: It could very roughly be said that the Philly Experiment was to Tennessee Masters (among summer tournaments of that era) what ICT now is to ACF nationals. Or that was the perception at the time, though if we were to look back at the questions now it would likely be hard to discern much of a difference between the events.


I recall going to both TPE and TM in '95 and/or '96. I remember Philly being very enjoyable and Knoxville being a protracted series of kicks to the nuts.

The real details, however, are lost to the mists of time.
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