Masonics

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Masonics

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:42 am

Let's talk about Masonics. Sectionals are this Saturday, and close to 300 schools are expected to participate. State is in two weeks. Participation is free, and you get money if you do well. The questions set will get posted in a few weeks, but the Sectional questions cannot get posted until State is over. Once we are sure that all Sectionals have been played, feel free to discuss specific questions, but don't assume that the Sectionals will all be played on time--wait until you have confirmation. Here are my brief summaries of some of the major issues in no particular order.

Sectional & State Structure: There are 18 Class A Sectionals and 12 Class AA Sectionals this year. Each Sectional has at most 12 teams, who are broken into two pools. The pool winners play for 1st place, and the pool runner ups play for 3rd place. The top four teams get money, and the top team advances to state. A similar format is used at state, though the Class A format is changed a little bit because there are 18 teams. The Sectional and State sets each have eight rounds--six rounds for round robin, one round for the 1st and 3rd place matches, and one emergency round. EDIT: It's actually five rounds for round robin, two rounds of single elimination (with a 3rd place match played at the same time as the championship), and one emergency round. In the first round robin round, the winner of one pool plays the runner up of the other pool.

Match Structure: The matches consist of 6 toss-ups, 8 team-works, 6 toss-ups, 8 team-works, and 4 toss-ups. The team-work questions work just like IHSA bonuses (see below), though control alternates on each question rather than going to a team that gets a toss-up. I have heard complaints on this format, with teams complaining that it is boring and/or unfair. I don't think this format is necessarily horrible, and I don't know whether it has been conflated with the move to Questions Galore (since reversed) two years ago, or if the complaints are legitimate. With the growth of mACF format across the state, it is frustrating that the state tournaments still are not moving in that direction, which I do get.

Bonus Structure: As I said, the bonus structure is the IHSA read all parts at once and then give teams 30 seconds to confer structure.

Distribution: I don't want to give away a more detailed summary on the distribution here than is publicly available. The distribution is very heavy on Lit/LA, Math, Science, and Social Studies, with a little bit of other things. The math tossups are all noncomputational, and the math team questions are all computational. There is a lot more math than teams are used to, unless teams are used to the IHSA distribution. There were some slight improvements made for this year, moving the Lit/LA more in the direction of lit (including the elimination of spelling) and the Social Studies more in the direction of history, though the distribution generally is close to IHSA.

Question Sources: This year, I am the primary question writer. Donald Taylor wrote the Brit Lit, World Lit, Religion, and Mythology--because the lit is skewed towards US, that amounts to 1/9 of the questions. There is a long history of various question providers, with Answers Plus writing during the 1990s, some equally bad companies for a few years after that, two good years of Aegis, followed by two years of Questions Galore. My current plan is to keep writing the questions each year, though nothing is set in stone. Though the distribution has some flaws, I think the question quality this year generally is good. Of course, it's not my job to judge.

Pool Placement: The Masonic Tournament for most of its history was single elimination with a consolation bracket. The Masons used several different methods over they years to place teams into brackets--some years they seeded teams based on points scored at Sectionals, some years they put all the large schools on one side of the bracket, some years they put all the Chicagoland teams on one side of the bracket. Some of these issues are lessened because of pool play and the expansion to two classes. I do not know how teams are placed into pools at Sectionals or State, and knowing how it is done one year is no guarantee that you will know how it is done the next year.

Tiebreakers: An issue I just learned about a few days ago is that if a match is tied at the end of regulation, the tiebreaker is the team that answered the most tossups, and the second tiebreaker is the team that answered the first tossup. This was not done to save money--there are a lot of extra questions at the end of each round that I thought were tiebreakers when I wrote them.

Rules: Teams must wear matching tops, no hats are allowed, and teams are not allowed to play practice matches at the tournament site on the tournament date.

I would love to get a set of priorities for improving the tournament. The Masonics are willing to listen to us and consider changes (though of course all final decisions are theirs), and they are willing to work hard to put together a tournament.
Last edited by Yellow-throated Honeyeater on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Masonics

Postby in on these shenanigans » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:46 am

Thank you very much for posting this. One question - how did the distro changes like "no spelling" and "if math comp, then it's a bonus" change come about? Was that your unilateral decision, or did you convince the Masons that that was OK?
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Re: Masonics

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:01 am

Nothing was unilateral.

The committee in charge of this tournament has a big meeting each April at which they discuss major changes. This year, for the first time I know of, a few coaches were invited. I could not make it for personal reasons, but David Adkins, Mark Grant, Sharon Lorinskas, and Jay Winter went. At that meeting, the decision was made to drop computational math tossups and to make me an offer to write the questions.

The offer from the Masons is very specific--several pages long. When I looked at the distribution, I told Dale Thayer that there were a few things I wanted increased and a few things I wanted decreased. Based on my suggestions, they changed their offer a little bit. One of the changes was the elimination of spelling. The distribution did not change a lot, but it did change for the better. I accepted their second offer.
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Re: Masonics

Postby in on these shenanigans » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:15 am

Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:Nothing was unilateral.

The committee in charge of this tournament has a big meeting each April at which they discuss major changes. This year, for the first time I know of, a few coaches were invited. I could not make it for personal reasons, but David Adkins, Mark Grant, Sharon Lorinskas, and Jay Winter went. At that meeting, the decision was made to drop computational math tossups and to make me an offer to write the questions.

The offer from the Masons is very specific--several pages long. When I looked at the distribution, I told Dale Thayer that there were a few things I wanted increased and a few things I wanted decreased. Based on my suggestions, they changed their offer a little bit. One of the changes was the elimination of spelling. The distribution did not change a lot, but it did change for the better. I accepted their second offer.


Had I known this a week ago, I would have bought cupcakes for you guys at Sunday's meeting! You guys are doing really great behind-the-scenes work to improve Masonics and IHSA, and the state thanks you for it.
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Re: Masonics

Postby tinioril » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:37 pm

IMSA defeated WWS for the sectional championship after losing to them in the morning. An advantaged final would have been cool.
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Re: Masonics

Postby Dominator » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:08 pm

tinioril wrote:IMSA defeated WWS for the sectional championship after losing to them in the morning. An advantaged final would have been cool.


Yeah, but you'll have to wait for IHSA Sectionals for that next game.

On a related note, WWS has improved a lot since the last time we saw them. If the ruling from Ron McGraw hadn't come down this week, our A team would have been at ACF Regs today and WWS would have definitely beat our B team to win the sectional.
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Re: Masonics

Postby Coach G » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:02 pm

A few comments about today's Masonic Sectionals:

(1) The questions were a significant improvement over the last two years. Thanks, David.
(2) At the site we attended (Belvidere North), things went pretty smoothly, the moderators did a good job, and we were done playing seven rounds shortly after 3 p.m. (I think we started round 1 at around 9:15, and had a lunch break of a little more than an hour). Thanks, John B. Do any of you remember when we used to spend from a little after 8 a.m. until nearly 4 p.m., but played only 4 (or 5, if you were the consolation champ) rounds?
(3) One rule that really should be changed is how ties in scores at the end of a round are settled. The new rule this year was that the team with the most tossups is declared the winner, and if they are tied for that, then the team that answered the first tossup correctly is the winner. I don't know why this rule was put in, since I believe there were extra questions provided that could have been used to break a tie. It's a bad rule for several reasons, the main one being that it has the effect of retroactively counting one or more tossups twice. Fortunately, there were no ties at our sectional. Were there any at any other sites?

And, for those interested, results: 1st - Rockford Auburn (7-0), 2nd Belvidere North (6-1), 3rd Rockton Hononegah (5-2), 4th - Sterling (4-3).
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Re: Masonics

Postby tintinnabulation » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:40 pm

Coach G wrote:(1) The questions were a significant improvement over the last two years. Thanks, David.
(2) At the site we attended (Belvidere North), things went pretty smoothly, the moderators did a good job, and we were done playing seven rounds shortly after 3 p.m. (I think we started round 1 at around 9:15, and had a lunch break of a little more than an hour). Thanks, John B. Do any of you remember when we used to spend from a little after 8 a.m. until nearly 4 p.m., but played only 4 (or 5, if you were the consolation champ) rounds?
(3) One rule that really should be changed is how ties in scores at the end of a round are settled. The new rule this year was that the team with the most tossups is declared the winner, and if they are tied for that, then the team that answered the first tossup correctly is the winner. I don't know why this rule was put in, since I believe there were extra questions provided that could have been used to break a tie. It's a bad rule for several reasons, the main one being that it has the effect of retroactively counting one or more tossups twice. Fortunately, there were no ties at our sectional. Were there any at any other sites?

Thanks again for the improvement in questions. I appreciated not having to doubt every dubious sounding-answer. The distro wasn't my favorite, but it was fine.

Our site (Farmington) was running late and we were forced to skip our lunch break. We had to made do with quietly munching Cheez-its during the semifinal round. We didn't leave until slightly before four, so I guess we got done relatively on time. Also, the tiebreakers were a horrible idea, but thankfully, our team didn't have to use them.

Does anybody know anything about a "no writing during tossups" rule? One coach said that they were told not to write during tossups in their first round and wondered why we were writing. After a quick look-through, they moderator said he couldn't find any rules against it, but I would like to make sure for Masonic State, if anybody knows for sure.

And was there seriously a rule that if a tossup was negged, the moderator had to start again from the beginning?

Farmington site results: 1st-Peoria Christian 2nd-Elmwood 3rd-Abgindon 4th-Farmington
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Re: Masonics

Postby abnormal abdomen » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:27 pm

Yeah, although some of my strongest subjects were somewhat marginalized at this tournament, I was pleased with the way the questions turned out. There were some legitimately challenging things at this tournament, which is always a good experience when such things come up an appropriate frequency.

On another note, I'm sure it's been discussed at length somewhere, but I really wanna hear more about the whole concept of guaranteeing both teams 8 (?) controlled bonuses. I mean, I guess the team that's supposed to win should still win, but I'm bothered by the fact that teams don't necessarily have to "earn" their bonuses by previously getting a tossup. I mean, those guaranteed bonus parts do amount to a lot of points. If someone wants to do some mathematical analysis on why it's not a big deal or something, by all means, explain that. At this point, though, I have an issue with it.
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Re: Masonics

Postby the return of AHAN » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:59 pm

I endorse the Reinstein question set employed. There wasn't a hose in sight, and alternating bonuses with matching categories is a good thing ( I'm under the impression it wasn't this way last year?). Anyway, as for the format, Abid is correct. Teams not having to EARN bonuses keeps them in the game, more so than they otherwise would be. For example, At the conclusion of 31 questions, it was Stevenson 310, Barrington 300, with Stevenson ahead in the TU battle, 8-6. But we negated that edge with a 90-50 advantage on the 1st 6 bonuses questions of period 4. So, though the final score shows a tight match, Stevenson would've likely won fairly easily in a 'normal' match, instead of sweating what was their closest match of the day.
Anyway, the BHS team enjoyed the tournament this year.
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Re: Masonics

Postby David Riley » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:22 am

This bonus format is similar to what was used at the old Richards tournament, but I think Reinstein can explain it better than I can (though I'll try). I think it was done to give low scoring teams a chance.
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Re: Masonics

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:39 am

The categories matched last year. Actually, I have been told that they matched even more than this year--that the two questions were basically on the same topic rather than just being in the same subcategory. This year, there could be one question on George Washington and another on Bill Clinton, whereas last year it would be more likely that you would get two questions on George Washington.

If each team answers half the tossups, then this format is effectively the same as mACF unless you really want to get into some detailed analysis. If one team dominates the tossups, then this format is effectively the same as mACF in that the dominant team will win, though this format will give a closer score.

The biggest difference between the formats is that the Masonic format gives less weight to tossups than mACF, even though Masonics gives 15 points for tossups. In a mACF match, if your team gets two more tossups than your opponent, it's a very big advantage because the other team has to get more bonus points with fewer bonus opportunities. In a Masonic match, that two tossup advantage is lower because both teams have the same number of opportunities to answer additional questions. You could argue that mACF overvalues tossups and that lowering their role in determining who wins is a good thing, though it seems to me that this is largely a value judgment.

In my opinion, the second biggest difference between the formats is that the Masonic format is less likely to produce very low scores between weak teams. Even if only half the tossups get answered, the teams still get other opportunities to earn points.

Perhaps the third biggest difference is that it is less annoying to get slaughtered. If Joe's School For Kids Who Aren't So Bright plays Auburn, Auburn will still win, but Joe's School will get to control some bonuses. This isn't really a competitive difference, since it doesn't impact the outcome. There are 240 points available on tossups, and it is difficult to imagine a team getting a three-digit lead on tossups but blowing so many bonuses while their opponent picks them up that the team with the tossup advantage loses.

Masonic format puts a little extra pressure on the writer--if some of the bonuses don't have easy parts or hard parts, then team scores are based on luck rather than knowledge, and the role of tossups becomes even smaller. To some extent, though, you always have to trust the writer. If the last two years had been Questions Galore writing mACF, there would have been no reason to be happy about that situation.
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Re: Masonics

Postby thrillhouse » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:03 pm

I agree with most of the comments here. The questions were tremendously better than they have been in the past years (thanks, David and Co.); the matches were kept closer and, for the most part, higher scoring because of the structure; and we kept on good time (though I found the 15 minute break after Round 2 pointless). Lastly, while our sectional at Bloomington never came down to a tie (and I cannot emphasize how immensely pleased I am with not having to enforce this rule, and wondered to myself how the coaches and I could cut a backroom deal to do a real tiebreaker if the situation were to arise), I wonder if it did come up at any Sectional – or how teams will react to it if this happens at the state meet. While change happens slowly when there are 50 pages of rules and structure, I do hope an amendment can be made before that time. All in all, things went well.
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Re: Masonics

Postby David Riley » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:09 pm

Welcome to the boards, Tim!
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Re: Masonics

Postby shrey96 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:21 pm

This is the second year I've played at Masonic and the questions were much, much better than last year. I thought the Oswego East site ran pretty smoothly on the whole.

There were a couple of problems with pronunciation of answer lines (by players, not moderators) during our 3rd place match vs. Wheaton North, like "Veblen" being pronounced "Verblen" and "Chiaroscuro" being pronounced "Chiascuro", but the moderators handeled the issues really well.

Again, though I kinda dislike the formatting of Masonics, I thought it was a much better experience than last year. We also finished at like 3:30, which was pretty great considering our team was expecting to come home by 4:30 or 5. :grin:
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Re: Masonics

Postby David Riley » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:36 pm

Welcome to the boards, Shreyas! Don't worry too much about pronunciations, though.....I was once conversing with a friend of mine who is otherwise very intelligent (reads about 60 books a year and regularly attends symphony and opera even though he has a wife and three young children) yet he pronounced the word aficionado as "aff-ee-KAHN-doh".
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Re: Masonics

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:58 pm

All the Sectionals did in fact happen yesterday, so public comments on individual questions are allowed. Unfortunately, I am going to have to refrain from quoting questions for the next two weeks and request that others with copies of the questions do the same.

I do not know the answers to Brittany's questions upthread. I would suggest that a coach going to State (possibly hers) either email Dale Thayer with them or ask them at the Coaches Meeting the morning of the tournament. I also think it probably is a good idea for coaches or moderators who will be at State to respectfully ask Dale Thayer to reconsider the tiebreaker rule, and I am about to contact him about it now. They already have extra questions, so this really is just a matter of them deciding what they think is best.

EDIT: Let me repeat what I said upthread: I would love to get a set of priorities for improving the tournament. The Masonics are willing to listen to us and consider changes (though of course all final decisions are theirs), and they are willing to work hard to put together a tournament.
I'll add the obvious point that, though I gave some reasons why I think the Masonic format is reasonable, that doesn't mean that everybody has to think it is.
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Re: Masonics

Postby Goole by-election, 1971 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:04 pm

I feel like some of the answerlines in this set were out of place (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Louis VII, and Isaac Singer come to mind), but overall it was pretty good. Definitely a step up from QG even if I'm not a huge fan of the format.
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Re: Masonics

Postby the return of AHAN » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:58 pm

ITT, I learn that I, apparently, am the only one amazed that no one else knew the works of Isaac Singer. :neutral:
(yes, those three answer lines Dylan mentioned went dead in our games, too.)
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Re: Masonics

Postby Aaron Goldfein » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:32 pm

I think the next big step should be to move towards part-by-part bonuses for non computational math. For no other reason, it'll make matches faster. And if matches get faster, there may come a time that the Masons are willing to go to ~9 rounds and we'll avoid single elimination.
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Re: Masonics

Postby dtaylor4 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:56 pm

Aaron Goldfein wrote:I think the next big step should be to move towards part-by-part bonuses for non computational math. For no other reason, it'll make matches faster. And if matches get faster, there may come a time that the Masons are willing to go to ~9 rounds and we'll avoid single elimination.


Wait, what? If you want to move to part-by-part, it has to be universal. That being said, any more changes are going to be gradual. I think for next year, the aim should be making further tweaks to the distro (no industrial arts, more FA, fixing the tiebreaker situation).

Also, as Reinstein indicated, I wrote the Brit Lit, World Lit (Achebe was too hard, in retrospect), Religion, and Myth. If you have any comments or questions about it, shoot me a message.
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Re: Masonics

Postby DoubleAW » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:41 am

dtaylor4 wrote:
Aaron Goldfein wrote:I think the next big step should be to move towards part-by-part bonuses for non computational math. For no other reason, it'll make matches faster. And if matches get faster, there may come a time that the Masons are willing to go to ~9 rounds and we'll avoid single elimination.


Wait, what? If you want to move to part-by-part, it has to be universal. That being said, any more changes are going to be gradual. I think for next year, the aim should be making further tweaks to the distro (no industrial arts, more FA, fixing the tiebreaker situation).

Also, as Reinstein indicated, I wrote the Brit Lit, World Lit (Achebe was too hard, in retrospect), Religion, and Myth. If you have any comments or questions about it, shoot me a message.


Although I'm not a lit-oriented guy (aside from poetry) I can say that other than the Singer and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter questions, nothing was really out of place or overly difficult. No one in our room knew Singer, and only one person (who was out) recognized The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, but otherwise they all seemed to draw some sort of recognition.
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Re: Masonics

Postby tintinnabulation » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:24 pm

DoubleAW wrote:
dtaylor4 wrote:
Aaron Goldfein wrote:I think the next big step should be to move towards part-by-part bonuses for non computational math. For no other reason, it'll make matches faster. And if matches get faster, there may come a time that the Masons are willing to go to ~9 rounds and we'll avoid single elimination.


Wait, what? If you want to move to part-by-part, it has to be universal. That being said, any more changes are going to be gradual. I think for next year, the aim should be making further tweaks to the distro (no industrial arts, more FA, fixing the tiebreaker situation).

Also, as Reinstein indicated, I wrote the Brit Lit, World Lit (Achebe was too hard, in retrospect), Religion, and Myth. If you have any comments or questions about it, shoot me a message.


Although I'm not a lit-oriented guy (aside from poetry) I can say that other than the Singer and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter questions, nothing was really out of place or overly difficult. No one in our room knew Singer, and only one person (who was out) recognized The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, but otherwise they all seemed to draw some sort of recognition.

I got Achebe, knew The Heat is A Lonely Hunter (I was out), and that Louis VII question? Knew who he was but couldn't come up with his number. I think Achebe was appropriate, but there could have been more easier clues at the end of the question.
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Re: Masonics

Postby mrgsmath » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:01 pm

Aaron Goldfein wrote:I think the next big step should be to move towards part-by-part bonuses for non computational math. For no other reason, it'll make matches faster. And if matches get faster, there may come a time that the Masons are willing to go to ~9 rounds and we'll avoid single elimination.


The major obstacle to going part-by-part is that the Masons do not look at them as bonuses, but rather a "Team-Work" sessions. They believe the interaction over all the questions is an important part of the event. It is the main reason they changed in the first place. They have been very pleased with the results and I think they will unreceptive to the one-at-a-time concept.
As one who sat in the meetings with the Masons last year and helped formulate some of the changes, my advise at this time would beto let them know how pleased you were with the questions this year and other positive points. While some minor suggestions could be offered, such as tie-breakers and perhaps a 9th round for the double elimination problem(though such a change would necessitate 2 more rounds of questions, don't forget the State meet, bringing the need to 18 sets plus staff costs).
I strongly urge all coaches to send letters to both your local sponsoring lodges, as well as to Dale Thayer expressing your thanks for their sponsoring the event as well as your willingness to help improve the program.
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Re: Masonics

Postby mrgsmath » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:11 pm

On another note. I know it sounds Hokey, but I have always had my team captain acknowledge our sponsoring lodge during the team introductions. You may not realize, but your local Masonic lodge actually pays for your team to compete, and a minor gesture to recognize tht is not too much to offer.
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Re: Masonics

Postby jonah » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:18 pm

mrgsmath wrote:The major obstacle to going part-by-part is that the Masons do not look at them as bonuses, but rather a "Team-Work" sessions. They believe the interaction over all the questions is an important part of the event. It is the main reason they changed in the first place. They have been very pleased with the results and I think they will unreceptive to the one-at-a-time concept.
The claim that part-by-part bonuses are incompatible with conferring as a team is not now and has never been true.
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Re: Masonics

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:18 pm

There is a perception by many people used to IHSA Format that what Coach Grant says is true. Teams used to mACF know how to confer on its bonuses, but teams new to the format sometimes wait for five seconds hoping that a teammate will say the answer, and coaches who see it as a diversion from IHSA sometimes get the impression that mACF format removes conferring.
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Re: Masonics

Postby jonah » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:39 pm

Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:There is a perception by many people used to IHSA Format that what Coach Grant says is true. Teams used to mACF know how to confer on its bonuses, but teams new to the format sometimes wait for five seconds hoping that a teammate will say the answer, and coaches who see it as a diversion from IHSA sometimes get the impression that mACF format removes conferring.
I understand that it is a moderately common misconception. My point is that it is just that, a misconception, and statements that are false should not get in the way of positive change.
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Re: Masonics

Postby mrgsmath » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:05 pm

jonah wrote:
Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:There is a perception by many people used to IHSA Format that what Coach Grant says is true. Teams used to mACF know how to confer on its bonuses, but teams new to the format sometimes wait for five seconds hoping that a teammate will say the answer, and coaches who see it as a diversion from IHSA sometimes get the impression that mACF format removes conferring.
I understand that it is a moderately common misconception. My point is that it is just that, a misconception, and statements that are false should not get in the way of positive change.


While the "truth" may be that confering and part-by-part bonuses may be made compatible, the "reality" is that for the majority of the Masonic teams it is not, and that is the point I was making. The Grand Lodge sees the reality that exists and is therefore unconvinced by the arguement of your "truth", and they will not be the ones to change the status quo and seek to prove your point. Rather it is better to focus efforts for part-by-part on the IHSA, which I think is more receptive, and "show" that the two can be made compatible. hen I think you will be in a better position to change the Masonic's format.
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Re: Masonics

Postby the return of AHAN » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:33 pm

DoubleAW wrote: No one in our room knew Singer, EXCEPT FOR MR. PRICE

Fixed your post. Come on, I was proud of myself for remembering that from my own high school literature class in the mid 80s! More Yiddish authors in the distro! :grin:
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Re: Masonics

Postby jonah » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:07 am

mrgsmath wrote:
jonah wrote:
Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:There is a perception by many people used to IHSA Format that what Coach Grant says is true. Teams used to mACF know how to confer on its bonuses, but teams new to the format sometimes wait for five seconds hoping that a teammate will say the answer, and coaches who see it as a diversion from IHSA sometimes get the impression that mACF format removes conferring.
I understand that it is a moderately common misconception. My point is that it is just that, a misconception, and statements that are false should not get in the way of positive change.
While the "truth" may be that confering and part-by-part bonuses may be made compatible, the "reality" is that for the majority of the Masonic teams it is not, and that is the point I was making. The Grand Lodge sees the reality that exists and is therefore unconvinced by the arguement of your "truth", and they will not be the ones to change the status quo and seek to prove your point. Rather it is better to focus efforts for part-by-part on the IHSA, which I think is more receptive, and "show" that the two can be made compatible. hen I think you will be in a better position to change the Masonic's format.
If the Masons would rather make decisions informed by myths than facts, then they are working in bad faith and — however nice it would be to have a Masonic tournament that doesn't suck — there is no hope; we are wasting our time on trying to convince them.
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Re: Masonics

Postby mrgsmath » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:28 pm

If the Masons would rather make decisions informed by myths than facts, then they are working in bad faith and — however nice it would be to have a Masonic tournament that doesn't suck — there is no hope; we are wasting our time on trying to convince them.


I couldn't disagree more. First it is not a myth that the majority of the schools who participated Saturday in the Masonic Sectionals would have been ill-prepared as well as opposed to the form of bonuses under discussion. The Grand Lodge's decision was therefore based on the facts on the ground, not on arguments that others would make that they should facilitate a change towards a better form. (A form, I might add, that the Masons don't recognize as better only different).

Secondly, I recall that you felt that efforts to move towards non-comp math questions was hopeless as well, yet the Masons were willing to change on that issue with only minor objections from one member. Given time and hopefully a change in the IHSA's process for bonuses the Masons can be persuaded to change as well. I feel they will change when the teams are prepared, rather than force the change on the teams.

Thirdly, while certainly different and perhaps not to some team's liking, the tournament was far from "sucking" for most of the teams participating. I understand the passion that many have for the form of competition that you favor. But, the questions were a dramatic improvement over the past and the format was one that most everyone was able to adapt to to without much difficulty. Ultimately I saw little change in expected outcomes, and at least at my site I heard no complaints about the format.
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Re: Masonics

Postby Dominator » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:42 pm

jonah wrote:If the Masons would rather make decisions informed by myths than facts, then they are working in bad faith and — however nice it would be to have a Masonic tournament that doesn't suck — there is no hope; we are wasting our time on trying to convince them.


To say that the Masons are engaging in mythology that bonus conferral is impossible in ACF format is a ridiculous application of slippery slope. There is less teamwork in ACF bonuses than Masonic format "teamwork questions" for no other reason than that more time is allowed for conferral: 3*3<30 (or 3*5<30, depending on timing rules, but still valid). If the Masons truly value teamwork, then they have every reason to continue this format, and the only reasonable alternative would be to suggest one-at-a-time bonuses with 10 seconds per part.

I cannot understand how we are accusing a group that volunteers countless hours and some $50,000 annually supporting our activity of acting in bad faith. They prefer a different format, but they have done a very good job running tournaments across the state and have even adopted many of our suggestions.
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Re: Masonics

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:11 am

Though today's tournament is the only use of its questions, people should be cautious about posting information about individual questions during the day due to the possibility of emergency rounds being used or some pools/classes running ahead of other pools/classes. That being said, once the top four in each class have been determined, people can post what they want to post, and given the fact that this is an unusual tournament and match format and a tournament with a lot at stake, posts don't have to focus on the questions. The questions will be available online in the near future.

Good luck to all teams!
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Re: Masonics

Postby dtaylor4 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:49 pm

Carbondale is undefeated after beating IMSA and Stevenson.

Auburn and Macomb are playing for second place, as Latin has run the table.

This is after round 4.
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Re: Masonics

Postby Charles Martel » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:52 pm

carbondale v auburn
imsa v latin
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Re: Masonics

Postby Cubfan125 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:00 pm

Never mind, misread someone else's post
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Re: Masonics

Postby crs@mchsi.com » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:49 pm

Does anyone have Class A information? Thank you!
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Re: Masonics

Postby dtaylor4 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:46 pm

IMSA 370, Latin 255
Auburn 325, Carbondale 275
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Re: Masonics

Postby jonah » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:57 pm

dtaylor4 wrote:IMSA 370, Latin 255
Auburn 325, Carbondale 275
Donald has clarified to me that this was the semifinals.
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Re: Masonics

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:33 pm

AA

1. IMSA
2. Auburn
3. Carbondale
4. Latin School

A

1. Peoria Christian
2. Peoria Heights
3. Carlinville
4. Keith Country Day
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Re: Masonics

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:09 pm

The questions have been sent to the archive. Until then...

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter wrote:One character in this novel is told about a scam artist named B.F. Mason and is then criticized for being too demanding on his sons Hamilton, Karl Marx, and Willie. Another character, Harry Minowitz, wonders if Mozart is a Nazi. At the end of Part One of this novel, one of the characters leaves to visit Spiros Antonapoulos in an asylum. Name this work about Dr. Benedict Mady Copeland, Biff Brannon, Mick Kelly, Jake Blount, and deaf-mute John Singer written by Carson McCullers.


Louis VII wrote:This king called an abbot named Suger “Father of the Country” after appointing him as a regent for two years. He became king because his brother, who would have been Philip the Second, died young, and this man’s son later became Philip the Second. Early in his reign, this king burned the town of Vitry over a dispute with Theobald the Second of Champagne. Name this 12th century French king who, along with Conrad the Third of Germany and this king’s first wife Eleanor of Aquitane, went on the Second Crusade.


Isaac Bashevis Singer wrote:This author wrote a book about a man who marries a Communist named Celia and has an affair with Liza before becoming more religious. In addition to that work about Joseph Shapiro, this author wrote a novel about a man who is surprised when his wife Tamara, like him, moves to New York City. He also wrote a short story about a man who runs outside upon hearing that his parents have risen from their graves. That character, who believes everything he is told, is Gimpel the Fool. Name this author of The Penitent and Enemies, A Love Story who also wrote The Magician of Lublin and often wrote in Yiddish.


Those are from Sectionals, and Dylan is correct that they are more difficult than the Sectionals questions generally.

This one from State led to a protest in the morning match between Carbondale and IMSA:
phoneme wrote:These can be classified as either grave or acute, and they can also be classified as either compact or diffuse. Most sources claim that there are forty-four of these units in the English language, and a list of them based on Latin is called the IPA. Some of these are classified as fricative or sibilant, though the primary classification, based on whether there is any closure of the vocal tract, is between vowels and consonants. Name this small unit of sound.


IMSA buzzed very early with accent. The first clue is not uniquely identifying, which is my fault. They ended up throwing out the question, and Carbondale got the replacement to win the match.

Congratulations to all the teams that played today.
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Re: Masonics

Postby dtaylor4 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:57 pm

Aristophanes bonus wrote:Identify the following concerning Greek comedies.
1. In this work, the women of Athens and Sparta refuse to have sex with their husbands until they stop warring against each other.
2. In The Clouds, this figure runs the Thoughtery, which Strepsiades ends up burning to the ground after being beaten by his own son.
3. In The Frogs, he strains his back while rowing Charon’s boat. Fed up with the playwrights that are alive, this god ends up taking Aeschylus back to earth with him.

1. Lysistrata [accept Lysistrate]
2. Socrates
3. Dionysus [accept Bacchus]


I am aware of the error, I mis-typed Thinkery it when I wrote it, and didn't catch it in proofing.
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Re: Masonics

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:37 am

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Re: Masonics

Postby Dominator » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:12 pm

Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:Sectionals questions
State questions


I'll have more to say once IHSA season is over and I have more time, but until then let me just offer a heartfelt and sincere THANK YOU to Mr. Reinstein for writing this set. This set did a great job of being very challenging, accessible enough, and able to differentiate teams within the Masonic format. Instead of having a state championship decided on knowledge of Eat Pray Love, it was decided on A Doll's House and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. My players and I found the entire Masonic experience orders of magnitude better, and the difference in questions was by far the largest part of that. I intend to pass these feelings on to Mr. Thayer, and I think it would be good for others who feel the same way to do so as well.

I will have some criticism to offer in the spirit of making next year's questions even better and certainly not to imply that anything I'm saying diminished the enjoyability of the set. In general, the first few clue or two of tossups was very rarely getting buzzed, and so I think replacing an early clue for a more traditional middle clue would not change the results much and would lead to earlier buzzing. Other than that, my criticisms will be a few specific examples of "This leadin was not uniquely identifying" (although you already know which one I mean) and "These bonuses were too hard or easy compared to the rest of the set".
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Re: Masonics

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:39 pm

Dominator wrote:A Doll's House and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich


Your words are so kind that I'll try to forgive you for selecting out two questions from Donald to praise ;)

Here is the distribution. This is the number of tossups and team questions from Sectionals and State each rather than combined. This includes the Emergency Round but not the Extra Questions at the end of each packet.

Bio/Chem/Physics: 18/20
Other Science: 14/12
Noncomp Math: 16/0
Comp Math: 0/32
History: 12/18
Other Social Studies (including Religion): 20/14
Literature (including Myth): 25/26
Language Arts: 7/6
Fine Arts: 9/0
Miscellaneous: 7/0

Let me try to blunt the criticism a little bit by saying that this is an improvement over past years. Also, I am looking for advice on what the top priorities for change should be rather than holding this up as a model.
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Re: Masonics

Postby in on these shenanigans » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:45 pm

Can you post the answer lines in economics, if it's easily looked up and you don't have to parse the packets to do so?
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Re: Masonics

Postby dtaylor4 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:58 pm

Economics

Sectionals
R3: Bear/Blue Chip/Arbitrage, Oligopoly/Cartel/Monopsony
R4: Adam Smith
R6: Yield
R7: Thorstein Veblen

State:
R3: Comparative Advantage/Ricardo/Hecksher-Olin, Malthus/Mises/Say
R4: Keynes
R6: Coase
R7: Walras
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Re: Masonics

Postby in on these shenanigans » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:22 pm

dtaylor4 wrote:Economics

Sectionals
R3: Bear/Blue Chip/Arbitrage, Oligopoly/Cartel/Monopsony
R4: Adam Smith
R6: Yield
R7: Thorstein Veblen

State:
R3: Comparative Advantage/Ricardo/Hecksher-Olin, Malthus/Mises/Say
R4: Keynes
R6: Coase
R7: Walras


My original feeling was that Econ was way, way over-represented, but it's just stacking it late that makes it feel that way. That said, having that much social science (add Econ plus Psych, Soc, etc.) compared to Fine Arts (one question, EITHER art or music, per match, and the Masonic literature claims it's roughly 10%!!) is a crime, so that's the first distributional change that needs to happen.

Looking at the state econ material, if you add in the bonus on taxes that included the Pigouvian third part, you're looking at some really difficult stuff. Coase is fair game to tossup at a state championship (and it was semifinals, so that's good), but who is Walras? Also, the R3 bonus wasn't fairly split; of those six answers, comparative advantage and Ricardo are both arguably easier than Malthus - even if you don't take to that argument, it's clear that the Ricardo bonus is far easier to 20 than the Malthus bonus. I'd argue that Friedman (used as a clue in the Bernanke question) could have been put to better use balancing that pair of bonuses by replacing Say.
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Re: Masonics

Postby dtaylor4 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:33 pm

The Language Arts categories (grammar, vocab) must go. IMO, it was the worst in terms of question quality by category. Bump the actual lit/myth up to the big 3.

I'd cut 1-2 cycles from each of the big 3 and add them to FA.
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