Delta Burke 2016 Discussion

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Delta Burke 2016 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:36 pm

Howdy! Feel free to blast away regarding this year's DB set.

At the Orlando iteration, six out of 24 teams averaged 15 or more ppb--and one of those teams was a spoiler with two staffers on it, and one was UCF (not a CC, obviously). Fifteen of the teams averaged 11.49 ppb or less. Chipola, who clobbered everybody they played, averaged 20 ppb on the nose.

I tried hard to have easy medium parts, but they still probably weren't quite easy enough for my field. Meantime, I see that at Northern Illinois, only two of the eight teams finished under 20 ppb (and Illinois C was at 19.4). So I'm sure the hard parts were mostly pretty easy for most of the teams.

I'm not sure how to bridge this gap. And maybe it's not necessary--as long as the much-more-experienced novices at the four-year college mirror sites don't mind, it's okay with me if they crush the bonuses. But I've got to try to keep making accessible but interesting bonus parts for my CC teams.

I'm interested in your comments. I really think that the lead-ins for toss-ups were pretty challenging, even for mirror sites, so let me know if you agree.
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Re: Delta Burke 2016 Discussion

Post by TylerV » Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:33 pm

So I'll preface this by saying that I am obviously not the intended target for this set and as such will avoid making any comments about specific questions being too easy, instead aiming to make broad comments about the set itself and commenting where answerlines were too hard.


The first thing I am going to address is the lead-in for the Meiji Restoration tossup. As written now, it can apply to any period of history before 1869 but more specifically I believe the Tokugawa shogunate is the best answer. If it was written as "After the establishment of this period" or something along those lines it would be fine.

Next I will comment on things that stuck out to me in a round by round basis.


Round 1:
Assassinating JFK: This struck me as kinda hard but I think the writer did a good job of putting in important information other than the standard quiz bowl fare.


Japan: I haven't taken my War in the Pacific class yet but the lead-in for this strikes me as really hard, I think the 2nd clue, using the official name for 731, would have been better. I really like the theme of this question overall and I think the writer did a good job sticking to it.


Kundera/Czech Republic/Leo Tolstoy: Hearing this bonus and a different lit bonus ask for Czech (language) seems suboptimal.


Danish/Geisha/Turkey: I don't like the way this bonus asked for Turkey. I know that Orhan Parmuk is a Turkish author but wasn't able to use that knowledge to answer the part. It's entirely possible that this bonus was meant to be answered by someone who has knowledge of Snow, not just Parmuk, but I think that makes it too hard of a hard part.


Round 2:


Colin Kaepernick: I'm going to use this question to talk about the sports in this set in general. If there are going to be bonus parts giving you 20 points for knowing the Patriots and Tom Brady than this question is too hard. I understand Kaepernick's recent relevance due to the protests but tossing up a tier 3 quarterback, tier 4?, using a clue about his college career and who he is dating doesn't seem like a good idea.


LA/Tom Bradley/Zoot Suit Riots: I haven't heard all the rounds so it's possible he came up in a later round but I don't understand why you avoided dropping Rodney King for LA. Additionally, I think Tom Bradley is too hard of a hard part, in comparison to some of the other bonuses, but I admit this isn't an area I specialize in.


Round 3:


Twenty-dollar bill/Tubman/Stephen Decatur: I thought this was a really interesting way to ask for Stephen Decatur and was immediately amused that he was ever on currency.


Round 4:


Patriots/Tom Brady/Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett: I don't think the last part was a good idea for a variety of reasons. A for 5 points each bonus part strikes me as archaic and not a good idea, I know at our site Neg 5 was actually incapable of accepting a numbered that ended in 5 as a valid input.


As for the actual content I think Garoppolo is a fine hard part at this level...Jacoby Brissett not so much. I would have been able to convert it myself but that's due to me spending too much time on /r/nfl rather than anything else.


Round 5:


Apartheid: Like the JFK tossup I think this tossup tried to avoid a lot of the standard quiz bowl fare, unlike the JFK tossup, I don't think this one did a very good job. I can only ever find sources referring to the "Western Areas Removal Scheme", not a "Western Areas Campaign." I'm also not an expert but I'm not sure how important the Group Areas act was.


I think this tossup was very figure outable and transparent to experienced quiz bowl players, but knowing that's not what your target audience is, this question strikes me as odd.


Vincent Van Gogh: I am going to use this tossup to talk about a general trend I noticed in the set, partly because this was the first time I noticed and because I have a specific issue with the clue. Why are you putting art film in with painting art tossups? In regards to Dreams, I have never heard of it, a possible failing on my part, and believe it is far too hard and takes up far too much space for where it is in the question. I also have an issue for taking a question testing a player's knowledge on the works of Vincent van Gogh and adding in a clue that has nothing to do with van Gogh as an artist. This is something I noticed on several art questions and each time they stuck out to me like a sore thumb.


Inca/Pizarro/Huayna: The hard part on this bonus seems too hard for the intended difficulty.


Round 6:


Bringing fire to mankind: The answerline for this says to accept clear equivalents but I don't know how far that extends. Does this mean you can accept "creating fire"? Regardless, I think the answer line needs to be expanded.


Earthquake: I don't know what this tossup is supposed to be. I buzzed on the Greece-Turkey clue, but I don't understand the inclusion of a German poet, the closing of the Kanto earthquake through architecture, or the science clues.


Seine: This is speaking from a position of someone who has played this game for 4 years but this question just seemed to be "FRENCH RIVER FRENCH RIVER FRENCH RIVER" over and over again. I don't think that was necessarily an issue but I think for this reason the Seine works better as a bonus part.


Christmas stories by Dickens: I think this should have been a toss up on just "Christmas" or just "Charles Dickens" but not both.


Journey to the West/Pig/Dream of the Red Chamber: I think the first two parts of this bonus were fine but I'm not sure if I agree with the hard part. Dream of the Red Chamber, at least in my mind, is the hardest of the Four Classic Novels and I think Water Margin would have worked well here.


That being said, I really enjoy that the lead-in referenced Monkey and thus stops confused players for trying to answer the first part with it.


Churchill/Gallipoli/Attlee: This is a nitpicking thing, but I generally don't enjoy bonuses taking away possible answers without a valid reason. By asking "on this Turkish peninsula" players can no longer answer Dardanelles as they would have been able to if it was just asking for the campaign. I think this is a situation which would almost never occur but I think in general it's a good thing to keep in mind.


Round 8:


Lobster: I've addressed this before but I really really don't understand why the 2015 film Lobster is in this tossup.


Mayan: The earlier lords of the underworld tossup mentions Xibalba, it doesn't say it's specifically Mayan so I don't know if this is an issue for you or not.


Round 9:


September: I think this question is pretty hard throughout for the intended field.


In general, there were some things that concerned me, mainly references to things that had happened within the last few days. I hope that these questions were specifically set aside, or edited, to remain current rather than having been written from scratch.


I also didn't like this iteration of the set as much as I liked last years but I think if your goal was to increase bonus conversation you did a good job, albeit leaving some things unbalanced.
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Re: Delta Burke 2016 Discussion

Post by TylerV » Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:33 pm

Accidental Double Post
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Re: Delta Burke 2016 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback, Tyler. I'm too lazy to comment on all your points, but I'll hit a few:
Kundera/Czech Republic/Leo Tolstoy: Hearing this bonus and a different lit bonus ask for Czech (language) seems suboptimal.
This doesn't bother me. The Czech language clue references R.U.R., so there's no overlap in my mind.
Danish/Geisha/Turkey: I don't like the way this bonus asked for Turkey. I know that Orhan Parmuk is a Turkish author but wasn't able to use that knowledge to answer the part. It's entirely possible that this bonus was meant to be answered by someone who has knowledge of Snow, not just Parmuk, but I think that makes it too hard of a hard part.
Indeed, I reckon that clue doesn't make it clear that the "Asian country" in question is actually Pamuk's home country, but someone with a passing sense of what Snow is about would know it. But I see your point--that's pretty hard for a CC field.
Additionally, I think Tom Bradley is too hard of a hard part, in comparison to some of the other bonuses
The Bradley Effect was talked about a lot in the lead-up to the election, but I watch that stuff more than most people, so maybe it's not as easy as I thought.
A for 5 points each bonus part strikes me as archaic and not a good idea, I know at our site Neg 5 was actually incapable of accepting a numbered that ended in 5 as a valid input.
Well, I am an extant organism from the archaic times, but that wasn't my bonus. One of those out of 260 bonuses seems okay with me. And this is a reminder that SQBS is the best.
I can only ever find sources referring to the "Western Areas Removal Scheme", not a "Western Areas Campaign."
Google "Western Areas Campaign" and check out "Readings in Popular African Fiction." That's where I saw it. Is it hard? Yeah! I do like some tough lead-ins, as it's how I learn from writing this tournament. Still, I see your point.

Okay, and now I'm too lazy to even keep quoting. Let's see:
--I like my Dickens Christmas tales toss-up answer line, but I might end up the only one.
--Some of the art toss-ups are "mixed," meaning we might indeed bring other types of clues in, as we also did in the Renoir toss-up.
--Why do you hope that the super-current events weren't written from scratch? I certainly wrote, for instance, the Leonard Cohen bonus on Friday morning after he died--the day of my tournament. I'm not sure I understand why you would dislike this; I'm happy to have folks get some points from having read the paper or watched the news or checked their Twitter feed that day.

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this year's tournament as much as last year's, but I'm glad some of the history was good for you (it's worth noting that the JFK assassination and Japan questions you cited were by UCF's Peter Torres, who indeed tried to bring in some interesting clues for his history submissions).
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Re: Delta Burke 2016 Discussion

Post by wd4gdz » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:42 am

I'll be my usual defensive self and respond to your comments about some of my questions:

Assassinating JFK - "This struck me as kinda hard"
What is hard? The answer line, or the clues, or...?

Colin Kaepernick - "this question is too hard"
People who watch the NFL know who is he, and lots of people who don't watch the NFL will know him for the national anthem stuff, so it seems like a good, inclusive answer line

Patriots/Tom Brady/Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett:
I think you may have said that the first part was too easy (although I think you'd have to watch sports to be able to get the medium Patriots part, as opposed to the easier Brady part, which is answerable by people who don't watch sports). As far as having a [5 each] instead of [10], it seems that ACF is down with that, when they say "You may, very occasionally, write a bonus with four parts, two worth 5 and two worth 10."

Van Gogh - "Why are you putting art film in with painting art tossups?"
Why not? It's not like you had to watch the film to be able to get the tossup there. Van Gogh is certainly one of the easiest artists to write a tossup on, and after the first couple of tossups you write on Van Goh, you want to mix it up a bit. Here's the part of the tossup concerning the film:
"This man .. was played by Martin Scorsese in the Kurosawa film Dreams, in which a man enters into his paintings of the Langlois Bridge at Arles and a wheatfield with crows. In that film, this artist explains a bandage by saying "I was trying to complete a self-portrait. I just couldn't get the ear right, so I cut it off."

Earthquake - "I don't know what this tossup is supposed to be"
It's called a mutli-disciplainary tossup. I'm guessing you don't like them, but it's not like they are super rare. I seem to recall Matt Jackson writing some recently for NSC.

Lobster - "I really really don't understand why the 2015 film Lobster is in this tossup."
I'd say The Lobster is artsy enough to be included in a fine arts tossup.

September - "pretty hard throughout"
The last half of the tossup gives easy clues about Black September/Munich Olympics and the 9/11 attacks. I think those things are kind of famous.
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Re: Delta Burke 2016 Discussion

Post by TylerV » Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:04 am

wd4gdz wrote:Assassinating JFK - "This struck me as kinda hard"
What is hard? The answer line, or the clues, or...?
I thought the clues were hard compared to standard Assassinating JFK tossups. However, I think the clues used were important and that it was a good question.
wd4gdz wrote: Colin Kaepernick - "this question is too hard"
People who watch the NFL know who is he, and lots of people who don't watch the NFL will know him for the national anthem stuff, so it seems like a good, inclusive answer line
You are misconstruing my complaint with this tossup. I am saying two main things. 1. Having Colin Kaepernick be a tossup when another bonus established that you can get 20 points for basic NFL knowledge means that either the bonus is too easy or the tossup is too hard. 2. Colin Kaepernick, as an NFL player, is much less important than other players from an insular point of view. He's barely a starter on a bad team. However, I admit that I looked over the fact that the National Anthem controversy helps the question be converted by non-NFL fans.
wd4gdz wrote: Patriots/Tom Brady/Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett:
I think you may have said that the first part was too easy (although I think you'd have to watch sports to be able to get the medium Patriots part, as opposed to the easier Brady part, which is answerable by people who don't watch sports). As far as having a [5 each] instead of [10], it seems that ACF is down with that, when they say "You may, very occasionally, write a bonus with four parts, two worth 5 and two worth 10."
This bonus isn't asking people to identify a middling NFL team from its head coach but rather *the* NFL team of the last 16 years. I'll concede that this isn't as easy as I first thought but it doesn't change that I think it would be a good medium at a High School novice tournament. As for the [5 each] I will concede this as a style dispute and move on.
wd4gdz wrote:Van Gogh - "Why are you putting art film in with painting art tossups?"
Why not? It's not like you had to watch the film to be able to get the tossup there. Van Gogh is certainly one of the easiest artists to write a tossup on, and after the first couple of tossups you write on Van Goh, you want to mix it up a bit. Here's the part of the tossup concerning the film:
"This man .. was played by Martin Scorsese in the Kurosawa film Dreams, in which a man enters into his paintings of the Langlois Bridge at Arles and a wheatfield with crows. In that film, this artist explains a bandage by saying "I was trying to complete a self-portrait. I just couldn't get the ear right, so I cut it off."


I think that it is certainly an interesting way to clue Arles and him cutting off his ear but I think that it lends itself more to a bonus than a tossup. The way it is written too much of the tossup is dedicated to just the film rather than any clues about the artist himself. For instance, the Italy film tossup didn't have "This country is home to a Nicola Salvi designed fountain, which was completed by Pietro Bracci, in Trevi which was shown in La Dolce Vita." Sure the Trevi Fountain is important to Italy, and it can easily be put into film tossups to give an easier clue, but Nicola Salvi and Pietro Bracci have no place in a Italian film tossup.
wd4gdz wrote:Earthquake - "I don't know what this tossup is supposed to be"
It's called a mutli-disciplainary tossup. I'm guessing you don't like them, but it's not like they are super rare. I seem to recall Matt Jackson writing some recently for NSC.


Apologies for how this came across, I was very tired when writing my original post. The source of my original tossup was that I believed the earthquake tossup was the 4th history tossup rather than, what I believe, is supposed to be Seattle. I have no issues with a cross-discipline tossup perse but their inclusion has to be consistent across the set. I don't remember any other cross-discipline tossups but it is possible I am mistaken.
wd4gdz wrote:Lobster - "I really really don't understand why the 2015 film Lobster is in this tossup."
I'd say The Lobster is artsy enough to be included in a fine arts tossup.


I could also use Chungking Express as a clue in a tossup on California, it is certainly artsy enough, that doesn't mean its accessible or good for the tossup.
wd4gdz wrote:September - "pretty hard throughout"
The last half of the tossup gives easy clues about Black September/Munich Olympics and the 9/11 attacks. I think those things are kind of famous.
Apologies for the poor wording that led to this confusion. I thought the 9/11 clues were fine and a good way to end the question. However, the rest of the clues, especially the ones before Munich, were too hard for the tossup, and I think the Munich Massacre clue was too hard for where it was.

I think most of my issues with the set come down to stylistic differences, which I would gladly discuss more over facebook or private messaging if anyone so desires, and do not want to appear as if I hated the set. I thought the set turned out good and the fact that the majority of my complaints can fall under the umbrella of stylistic differences shows that.
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Re: Delta Burke 2016 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:41 pm

Hey, I know that those of you who played this did so anywhere from ten to three months ago, but now that I've posted the DB 2016 set on the archive, I'm hoping that anyone who uses it for practice will consider offering some feedback. We're deep in the throes of generating the 2017 edition, and I'd love to know what people thought about last year's set.
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