Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

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Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by BobGHHS » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:12 pm

Just copying these over from our Ohio forum. Teams were bracketed both days into brackets of 6 and then rebracketed into brackets based on record/wildcards.

Saturday Stats:

Prelims: http://results.scobo.net/resultmenu.asp ... sick&id=39

Playoffs: http://results.scobo.net/resultmenu.asp ... sick&id=40

Sunday Stats:

Prelims: http://results.scobo.net/SQBS.aspx?org= ... =standings

Playoffs: http://results.scobo.net/SQBS.aspx?org= ... =standings

Saturday ran on NAQT IS-102 and Sunday ran on the Harvard Fall Tournament set, modified to include powers and with bounceback bonuses.

I can't really comment too much on gameplay since I was only there to read the playoffs on Sunday, but Northmont, DCC, Olmsted Falls and Copley were impressive as usual.
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:54 pm

Hopefully somebody from Culver will respond about the allegations levied against them this weekend.

The OAC board has been fun to read, for once, about this: http://www.createphpbb.com/oac/viewtopi ... mforum=oac
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:18 pm

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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by pblessman » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:15 pm

I did respond on the OAC board but will cross-post here:

Andrew Van Duyn just emailed me to let me know about this discussion, as nobody has (yet) contacted me directly and I do not normally read the OAC boards. This might also explain why I was NOT aware of the fact that Sunday's tournament was using the Harvard Fall Tournament questions (I just looked through all of Bob's emails, and unless I missed something somewhere I did not see where he said that he was using the HFT questions). If I had been aware of Solon using HFT questions, I would not have brought my team to Solon. The only reason we travel six hours each way it to be able to play two tournaments that we have not heard before.

As to why we did not recognize on Sunday that we'd heard the same set, I can clearly say why I did not recognize the questions: I did not travel with my team to Rockford-Auburn (another four hour trip, btw), as my Assistant Coaches were in charge that day. Andrew maybe should have recognized the questions, but he has assured me that he was unaware of having heard the questions. Personally, I have no problems believing this as it honestly starts to blend... maybe not for others, but after over 100 games this year already in competition plus probably 200 practice matches, it's hard to decide whether any particular game we read is one that we have already heard or whether some clues are familiar because similar clues were used in other games.

Obviously I am very sorry that we participated in Sunday’s tournament (even though we didn’t intentionally participate in a tournament using the same questions we’ve already heard). Competing on the same questions we’ve heard before doesn’t provide us with an accurate idea of where we stand compared to the teams we faced, and our wins against DCC and Olmsted Falls should of course be invalidated. Our performance from Saturday (5th place with decisive losses to Copley and Olmsted Falls) more accurately reflects where we fit in.

Apart from the impact on other programs, I am also sorry about in a sense wasting my team’s time and resources. This is for me almost the biggest issue and also why have a hard time understanding why people would think we would do this intentionally. The trip cost us 20% of our annual budget…the only reason I can justify the long trip is to get two tournaments out of this, and I ALWAYS make sure that none of the NAQT tournaments we attend conflict with each other. Bob has used a variety of vendors for Sunday, but he has always advertised it as PACE, and for some reason I believed Sunday’s set was going to be one we didn’t hear… I should have been more diligent in double-checking the provider of the questions, but I was honestly unaware of the set being used.

I hope the above serves as an explanation and a sufficient mea culpa regarding this situation. I wanted to also address some of the other “questions” regarding Culver and/or myself regarding “cheating.” This is the first time I’ve heard of this as well, so if I am not addressing some points, please let me know:

1. Videotaping: I videotaped my team at exactly two tournaments in my life: Last year’s Solon Two-Day Tournaments. I was “inspired” by the fact that every sport I know videotapes and wanted to explore whether reviewing videotape of matches might be helpful in getting my team to be better. Looking at posture during matches and how they conferred during bonuses were areas that I thought might be studied and reviewed after matches. As it turns out, I have simply not have the time to look at those tapes, so nothing has become of this. Maybe this was a silly idea, but I am surprised that “cheating” would be considered a possible motive. Bob handed out the questions after each of those tournaments, so I am unsure what unfair advantage I could possibly have gotten from having those tapes.

2. Leaving room during TO’s or half-time: I am guessing there might be some formats (OAC?) which do NOT allow teams and/or coaches to leave the room during a TO or half-time, but as far as I can tell NAQT does NOT have such a rule, and I have played against many teams where the coach has left the room with the team during a timeout or halftime. Again, I am unsure on what the suggestion here is… that I was providing answers to my students based on having the questions beforehand? As somebody else pointed out, if this was the case we/I have done an awfully bad job of this, e.g. by not getting my students ready for that last question in the first Olmsted Falls match by making sure they know the final answer (the question went dead).

3. Walking behind the moderator: What? I don’t even know what people are talking about here. I have never read an answer off a question set and I have NEVER passed an answer to a player of mine in any match. If people think I am sitting too close, walking behind somebody, whatever, please let me know. I don’t even want to give the appearance of impropriety.

Please let me know if there are other concerns from the “years of cheating accusations” I should address. This is honestly the first time I am hearing of them (and I am also honestly a bit upset about the accusations being wagered). I guess I find it REALLY perplexing that somebody would think this was NOT a mistake. Why would I send my team on an overnight to Rockford (four hours away) and then to another tournament the other way (six hours away) to first steal questions and then do a bad job of using the stolen information to come in fourth in a tournament? If I REALLY wanted to steal questions, wouldn’t it have been easier to provide my team with the answers to the tournament I run myself? Where we came in third?

Either way, I hope people can look at Culver, Andrew, and me and give us the benefit of the doubt. Even if Andrew’s performance on Sunday was inflated beyond where he SHOULD have been, he is the real deal. Every tournament he has competed in he has been one of the top scorers, putting up some amazing stats. And the reason for his improvement (and therefore ours) is simple: He has put in ENORMOUS time studying, just like any of the other great players we faced over the weekend (and have faced in Illinois the past months).

Alrighty- I will stop now. Please accept my (and our apologies) for a stupid oversight on our part and please for the future don’t mentally handicap us or our tournaments. Also, please let me know directly in the future if you have any concerns about me, my program, or any of my players. I care greatly about quizbowl, and I hope I have proven this over the past 11 years of coaching. I would never intentionally cheat or let my players do so.
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:58 pm

I'm willing to believe that Culver didn't go to Solon's tournament intending to play a set they'd already heard. What I can't believe, though, is that any quiz bowl player can sit through 10 rounds of a tournament they'd already played and not notice. After the first round, something goes off in your head and you think "These questions sound familiar." After the second round I can't imagine how you could still have any doubts. Every tournament has its quirky questions that you remember, either because they were on a favorite subject of yours, or because they had unique clues, or because they made the difference in a close match.
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by cherenkov » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:03 pm

I really did not recognize that it was the same set. Nothing "quirky" really stood out to me, and I guarantee if it had I would have said something about it. Also, my jump in scoring I simply attributed to being different questions. I didn't put two and two together I guess.
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by Ras superfamily » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:12 pm

cherenkov wrote:I really did not recognize that it was the same set. Nothing "quirky" really stood out to me, and I guarantee if it had I would have said something about it. Also, my jump in scoring I simply attributed to being different questions. I didn't put two and two together I guess.
If this set was anything other than "quirky" then I must have been playing a different game of quiz bowl than you for the past year. I cannot believe for one second that you didn't know what was going on when you made ridiculous buzzes on very hard answer lines. Any player will recognize a packet from just two months ago, and I'm sure any player would remember 10 and a half packets for much longer than that.
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by jonpin » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:13 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:I'm willing to believe that Culver didn't go to Solon's tournament intending to play a set they'd already heard. What I can't believe, though, is that any quiz bowl player can sit through 10 rounds of a tournament they'd already played and not notice. After the first round, something goes off in your head and you think "These questions sound familiar." After the second round I can't imagine how you could still have any doubts. Every tournament has its quirky questions that you remember, either because they were on a favorite subject of yours, or because they had unique clues, or because they made the difference in a close match.
I agree. Last year, while serving as unofficial advisor for my old high school's team, I led practices, and frequently sat at the buzzers while students read (in preparation for the tournaments we host). We had a vast supply of old NAQT sets, and there was one round where I realized about midway through that it seemed familiar, and in fact had a relatively sure feeling it was from a specific tournament I had attended while in college. About four years earlier. And I realized this over the course of a packet, not an entire set. If I'm reading at practice, and I start to read a round that we heard back at the beginning of the year, or even last spring, almost every single student will say by the second tossup, "We've heard this one."

The excuse that a player didn't recognize an entire tournament he had played just a few months prior is incredibly see-through.
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by pblessman » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:38 pm

Jon- I would've said the same thing just a few years back, but I honestly can't say it anymore. I used to ALWAYS know when we've heard a packet or set before, but since we've quadrupled (easily) the number of packets we read in a year from probably about 100 just five years ago to well over 400 (plus additional packets players read on their own time- I know Andrew's plan included reading one packet a day by himself) I personally don't always remember the packets as one's we've read (unless it's been very recent). I do remember specific clues, but if you're reading 8,000 TUs and 24,000 bonuses a year it's not always clear whether these are just clues you remember which have been used before, or whether the whole question/packet/set is a rerun.

Another point I'd like to mention is that in practice you are thinking there might be a chance that you've heard the packet before... in a tournament you are giving the packet/set the "benefit of the doubt" that it's new, just like I am hoping people can give Andrew (and his sidekicks) the benefit of the doubt that he did not know the set was one he had heard before. Again- WHY would Andrew not speak up during the tournament? It makes no sense... He understands how these things work, and he knows that it would not be in our (or his) interest not to speak up.

Either way, in the end, it is my responsibility to make 100% sure we haven't heard a set before we play on, so please blame me for this fiasco. I didn't do my due diligence and wasted my school's money and my students' time (and caused a medium-sized poop storm on the boads). Mea culpa, so please direct the blame where it belongs, with the adult. It was an honest mistake on my part, but a preventable one, and I am accepting responsibility.

Anybody want to talk about how awesome the Indiana Rotary State Championships look to be in twelve days? Pretty please? :grin:
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:03 am

How can you say, Phil, that your top player Andrew has gotten so good because of the huge amount of time he puts into studying... yet he can't remember packets that he saw in a tournament just like a couple months ago?

You're not the only team that practices on tons of packets each year. I can't read a single repeat packet in practice anymore without somebody ("best" player or not) saying "hey we did these before, this is the packet with that Ironman tossup that somebody negged and said Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" or something (actually, that one's true).

I absolutely believe that you, Phil, had no idea what was going on. But for a team captain who can hit 100ppg and studies packets constantly, it's really laughable to believe that he had no clue that these were the same questions he had heard just a couple months earlier.
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by lauren.coil » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:08 pm

To Andrew's defense, I was at the Rockford tournament, and then I was present for the 1st half of Sunday and had to leave at lunch time. I was present at both tournaments, maybe I should have recognized the questions so if that was my mistake, I apologize sincerely. I am new to this and frankly, so many answers/topics are the same from tournament to tournament it becomes a jumble. There weren't any of those "quirky" questions (like ones where Harold and Kumar might be an answer) like there are in NAQT packets which tend to be the ones that trigger kids (and me) in practice. Andrew is a young man of integrity and I fully believe that if he had recognized the questions he would have immediately spoken up. He puts in an amazing amount of time on Quizbowl and he is a great team leader helping younger students to develop an interest in a really fun activity, and I know that he feels these accusations of cheating deeply, so I would ask that coaches especially, refrain from attacking a student. He is a kid, a mature kid, but still a kid and I find it deplorable that adults would attack a student in such a public forum. If anyone has any comments or questions for me I can be reached at my Culver email address below.

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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by kayli » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:41 pm

In defense of Andrew and Culver, I think that him not recognizing the questions is very plausible. As a player, I tend to hear a lot of packets, and in practice, when we play old packets that I've heard in a tournament, sometimes I don't recognize them at all. Call it bad memory, but you don't always pick up the quirks and nuances of packets consciously when you hear them again especially after you've played so many other packets.

Also, if Culver wanted to cheat, they'd probably be smarter about it. Most of the time cheaters try to cover their tracks in one way or another, but this was not the case here. Both of the stats clearly say "Andrew Van Duyn" so there's no name changing nonsense here. Surely, if Culver didn't want to be caught, they'd try to at least get rid of this glaring flaw in their plan. Additionally, I don't think anyone really wants to cheat at some meaningless tournament. No offense to the Solon people, but this tournament means almost nothing from what I can gather except maybe a trophy and a couple pats on the back. I think it's a bit more farfetched to say that the Culver people were cheating than that they were simply negligent.

This is all not to say that Culver is inculpable. They should have inquired beforehand about the set being used, and not knowing doesn't make their actions right. I think this is an important lesson: Tournament directors need to be sure they say what set they're using, and coaches need to be sure they have not heard a set that they have heard before.
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:16 pm

Right, exactly. The issue at hand is clearly not that they intentionally, systematically cheated... or Andrew's stats would have to have improved by more than ~20%. (Unless his goal was very strange indeed: "cheat blatantly, and don't do well enough to win or get very close to winning, including when you could have won some close games" is a weird strategy. I agree that both Culver and Solon screwed up a bit here, but it wasn't a conscious "let's be awful now, okay?" effort.
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:20 am

I think we can agree that the adage "When you assume..." applies here, as we were very quick to judge the situation.

However, I think we can agree though hearing the questions x2 however undoubtedly gives teams an unfair advantage.

I can recognize packets I played from months ago, based solely on the bonuses/tossups and remembering what team I played against them on and what round they were. It wouldn't be coincidental at all in my opinion that the tossup (Note: This isn't a real question to my knowledge that's been heard this year and is uncleared) on the 1998 Tulane Green Wave football team (which is a. very specific and b. relatively old and would probably be considered a higher difficulty than your usual recent events sports question) came up in round 7 in a previous tournament, for example.
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by BRizzle » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:44 pm

"removed"
Last edited by BRizzle on Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by pblessman » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:20 pm

BRizzle wrote:If I didn’t fully, 100% believe that Andrew is lying
I am, once again, perplexed by he unwillingness of some not to accept that it is POSSIBLE/PLAUSIBLE that Andrew did not realize he had played the set before. Whether any particular player/coach thinks/believes/knows that he/she would have recognized the questions from 10 weeks earlier, is not the question here. The question is: Is it POSSIBLE/PLAUSIBLE that Andrew did not recognize the questions?

YOU DO NOT KNOW HE IS LYING! Period. I also do not know 100% that he is NOT lying, however I've spoken with him several times about the topic, and before that have spent almost as much time with him over the last three years as with my own children. I think I am more qualified to decide whether he is lying or not. I am as sure as I can possibly be that he is not lying. Bob Weiser and Jason Jones have also both stated that they don't believe there was any wrongdoing on Andrew's part. I am not sure why others can't come to the same conclusion.

I am VERY disappointed by this... not just this specific post, but the general atmosphere here... The lack of giving people the benefit of the doubt, professional courtesy, and treating people like, well, people. I'd NEVER tell anybody what to post, as that's the one offense not permitted on this board, but what's with the hate? Seriously?

I for one, do not want to be a propagator of hate- our community is to small to get in to feuds and such silliness. Some might think that I wouldn't want Olmsted Falls and Northmont to attend my tournaments in the future, but nothing could be further from the truth. Having the best Midwest Championship possible is in the best interest of all the teams present (incl. my own), and therefore I hope both teams come. Hope to see you May 14!

P.S.: For future reference, if people give me a compliment, the familiar "Blessman" might be acceptable (such as "Nice three-pointer, Blessman!"). However, in the context of such sentences as "I am not accusing Blessman of any cheating," I would think a "Mr." or "Coach" would be nice. Not that I'm telling people what to post.

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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by OFallsJC » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:10 pm

pblessman wrote: Some might think that I wouldn't want Olmsted Falls and Northmont to attend my tournaments in the future, but nothing could be further from the truth. Having the best Midwest Championship possible is in the best interest of all the teams present (incl. my own), and therefore I hope both teams come. Hope to see you May 14!
I really wish we could come, especially since the field is looking so strong, but the date is just bad for us.
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:25 pm

pblessman wrote:P.S.: For future reference, if people give me a compliment, the familiar "Blessman" might be acceptable (such as "Nice three-pointer, Blessman!"). However, in the context of such sentences as "I am not accusing Blessman of any cheating," I would think a "Mr." or "Coach" would be nice. Not that I'm telling people what to post.
No, you are telling people what to post, and that is against forum rules. You especially can't do something against the rules and then say "not that I'm doing what I just did!"
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:40 pm

I am VERY disappointed by this... not just this specific post, but the general atmosphere here... The lack of giving people the benefit of the doubt, professional courtesy, and treating people like, well, people. I'd NEVER tell anybody what to post, as that's the one offense not permitted on this board, but what's with the hate? Seriously?
You really can't understand why the quizbowl community is highly intolerant of suspected cheating? Cheating, the massive problem that tainted the results of a national title last year, and almost tainted the results of the All-Star championship? Cheating, which Dimitri Halikias got proven of doing right when your team was brought into question about it, demonstrating that there is a real problem and that Amit was not a one-time thing? Cheating, the activity that ruins all meaning that this game can have? You really have to wonder why people behave so intolerantly when a team is alleged to be cheating?
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Re: Solon Two-Day (February 19-20, 2011)

Post by TheDoctor » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:28 am

pblessman wrote:I am VERY disappointed by this... not just this specific post, but the general atmosphere here... The lack of giving people the benefit of the doubt, professional courtesy, and treating people like, well, people. I'd NEVER tell anybody what to post, as that's the one offense not permitted on this board, but what's with the hate? Seriously?
I genuinely feel bad about posting this, but I feel it should be pointed out. It's one thing to say that one person might not notice playing multiple rounds of a set s/he had already played (which, considering several rather eccentric or unusual answer lines, is extremely unlikely), but I count three players on your team who appear in the stats from both tournaments. The benefit of the doubt has been given to you, Coach Blessman, but it is far more difficult to apply to such a gross mistake as was made by your players at Solon. Every experienced player I have known, even those as experienced as yours, has been able to identify within a few questions a set that s/he has played before. It is simply ridiculous to suggest that of THREE players (note: not one, but three), there was not one who failed to recognize that the set your team was playing was familiar.

I believe that it is unfair to assume that anyone from your team willfully cheated, considering the fact that stats from both tournaments were posted and anyone who meant to cheat would likely have attempted to cover his/her tracks. Their fault lies, rather, in not reporting their recognition to you or the tournament director as soon as they recognized the set.
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