Accurate Timing during Tournaments

This forum is for discussing tournament formats, question styles, strategy, and such.
Post Reply
Vito Corleone
Kimahri
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:25 pm

Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Vito Corleone » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:39 pm

So I've both played at a variety of tournaments, and moderated a couple, and have come across the same issue multiple times: a lack of accurate timing for answering tossups and bonuses. As far as I am aware, no tournament format (excluding Academic League) requires a clock to be used to determine time spent/left for answering questions. I have seen several instances of timing discrepancies within a single match which could easily have been resolved by using a stopwatch or other timing device, and have personally been negged several times for hesitating on an answer within a time interval that was clearly (by my watch) within the stipulated time for answering.
I feel that introducing clocks into quizbowl matches would eliminate some degree of human error and lead to a better and more beneficial environment for all players. Please feel free to give your advice on the feasibility/logistics/any other aspect of introducing timing devices into a moderator's supplies for a tournament.
Thomas Freedman
Torrey Pines '18
"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." - Keyser Soze

alexdz
Rikku
Posts: 384
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:29 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by alexdz » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:15 pm

In my experience, the biggest difficulty would be related to who is operating the timer. If you expect an additional staffer to do so, tournaments will suffer from an extreme lack of staff. If you are suggesting that the moderator also run a stopwatch/timer in addition to reading duties (and possibly scorekeeping as well: in Missouri, the most experienced of us often end up moderating and scorekeeping at the same time already), there's a whole other set of difficulties, such as moderators trying to time while also reading answerlines to determine prompts, determining who gave an answer (in formats with more strict recognition or deferring rules), and maintaining some semblance of coordination (i.e., holding onto packets, keeping tossups and bonuses separate, etc.) while trying to hold onto and operate a stopwatch.

EDIT: Scorekeepers have enough to do besides worry about timing. Their paperwork is often the only official record of a match and must be very accurate. They should be doing nothing except paying attention to the game play. This is doubly true when the scorekeeper and moderator are the same person.
Last edited by alexdz on Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Alex Dzurick
====
Owner/Editor, SAGES Quizbowl Questions
Coach, Harcum College (PA)
====
Former midwesterner (South Callaway - Mizzou - UIUC) coping with life on the east coast.

User avatar
The Stately Rhododendron
Rikku
Posts: 450
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:18 pm
Location: Heart's in the woods

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:20 pm

Vito Corleone wrote:So I've both played at a variety of tournaments, and moderated a couple, and have come across the same issue multiple times: a lack of accurate timing for answering tossups and bonuses. As far as I am aware, no tournament format (excluding Academic League) requires a clock to be used to determine time spent/left for answering questions. I have seen several instances of timing discrepancies within a single match which could easily have been resolved by using a stopwatch or other timing device, and have personally been negged several times for hesitating on an answer within a time interval that was clearly (by my watch) within the stipulated time for answering.
I feel that introducing clocks into quizbowl matches would eliminate some degree of human error and lead to a better and more beneficial environment for all players. Please feel free to give your advice on the feasibility/logistics/any other aspect of introducing timing devices into a moderator's supplies for a tournament.
To quote Nandor Tanczos (my favorite New Zealand politician): "When I look at the state of the rivers, our atmospheres and our people, I don't need a watch to tell me what time it is!"

There's this bizarre idea in your post that time is absolute, and there exists a mechanical system for accurately determining it. The idea of a 5 second period for answering isn't about a distinct quantity (5 seconds). Here 5 seconds refers to a sense of space, or the accepted length of how long a pause is before it becomes unreasonable. Yes, every moderator has their own idea of how long a pause is. In my mind that is not a problem. I don't need my sense of time, already distorted by the nature of our capitalist society, furthermore controlled by a timer that you, for whatever reason, believe is better at determining how long a pause is than humanity!
IKD
Yale 18
Oakland Mills 14
"I am the NAQT beast I worship."

User avatar
Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant
Yuna
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:05 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:34 pm

If there has to be an official timepiece for responses, it is easier to just watch the second hand on an analog clock face than it is to fiddle with a stopwatch.
Farrah Bilimoria
Formerly of Georgia Tech and Central High School (Macon)

User avatar
jonpin
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 2028
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:45 pm
Location: BCA NJ / WUSTL MO / Hackensack NJ

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by jonpin » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:09 pm

Some forms of the Zeecraft have a built-in 5 or 10-second timer. Using any sort of timing device for a 2- or 3-second count is folly because of the impossibility of instantly starting the timer at the precise moment. The moderator is the arbiter of time and there is no reasonable way around that nor, in my opinion, reason to change that.
Jon Pinyan
Coach, Bergen County Academies (NJ); former player for BCA (2000-03) and WUSTL (2003-07)
HSQB forum mod, PACE member
Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

"A [...] wizard who controls the weather" - Jerry Vinokurov

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:36 pm

The Stately Rhododendron wrote:There's this bizarre idea in your post that time is absolute, and there exists a mechanical system for accurately determining it. The idea of a 5 second period for answering isn't about a distinct quantity (5 seconds). Here 5 seconds refers to a sense of space, or the accepted length of how long a pause is before it becomes unreasonable. Yes, every moderator has their own idea of how long a pause is. In my mind that is not a problem. I don't need my sense of time, already distorted by the nature of our capitalist society, furthermore controlled by a timer that you, for whatever reason, believe is better at determining how long a pause is than humanity!
I really don't know what to do with this, but this thread has some more observations on the possibility of humans becoming more accurate at calling time properly.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Sailing away on my copper boat

dollmi
Lulu
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:51 am

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by dollmi » Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:34 pm

Our local league uses all Zeecraft systems. You have 10 seconds at the conclusion of every toss-up and 10 second at the conclusion of every bonus to give an answer. Don't do this!! Trust me! I wish we could change this rule, but it is a hold over from when we played bad questions.

An extra student is usually used to run the buzzer, and they frequently zone out. At least once during the game, someone has to remind them to set the time. (This is true if it is a student or another adult. Some schools in our league use an adult, and they have the same problem.)

You also run into reset issues. The clock reads zero and you think the buzzers are reset, but the buzzers are locked out. We could change the setting, but then the moderator needs to determine if the buzz occurred before or after the buzzer. Oh, and our system is set differently from every other team in our league. When we run the league championship, the person timing in each room needs to figure out how the buzzer system works before we can start play in that room.

On bonuses, you still have to determine if the answer was started before or after the buzzer.

In short, no way of measuring time is perfect. The current system is an efficient way to do it.
Missy Doll-Osterhout
Coach, Manheim Township High School

Couch's Kingbird
Wakka
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:11 pm

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Couch's Kingbird » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:30 pm

I feel like adding in a timepiece- watch, stopwatch, on a buzzer system, etc.- would just make a match more complicated and inefficient. You'd need a third staffer (unless the mod or scorekeeper is going to time, which isn't happening), plus, timing five-second spans of time, right after a player buzzes or the question finishes, would be complicated.

I've seen moderators count time by swinging their hands back and forth and personally, I think that's the best way to do it.
Julia Tong
Middlesex MS 2011-2014
Darien 2014-2018; Co-Captain 2015-2018
Barnard 2018-2022
Member of the Connecticut Quiz Bowl Alliance: ctquizbowl.org

User avatar
Sima Guang Hater
Auron
Posts: 1849
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:33 pm

The Stately Rhododendron wrote:I don't need my sense of time, already distorted by the nature of our capitalist society, furthermore controlled by a timer that you, for whatever reason, believe is better at determining how long a pause is than humanity!
I'm guessing you're not majoring in Physics at Yale.
Eric Mukherjee, MD PhD
Washburn Rural High School, 2005
Brown University, 2009
Medical Scientist Training Program, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2018
Intern in Internal Medicine, Yale-Waterbury, 2018-9
Dermatology Resident, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2019-

Member Emeritus, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer, NAQT, NHBB, IQBT

"The next generation will always surpass the previous one. It's one of the never-ending cycles in life."

User avatar
Mewto55555
Tidus
Posts: 708
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:27 pm
Contact:

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Mewto55555 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:42 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
The Stately Rhododendron wrote:I don't need my sense of time, already distorted by the nature of our capitalist society, furthermore controlled by a timer that you, for whatever reason, believe is better at determining how long a pause is than humanity!
I'm guessing you're not majoring in Physics at Yale.
I don't understand why everyone complains about 5 seconds -- they are really getting 20 seconds, as every day exists in a 4-day Time Cube. Physicists have been forbidden by the education system to acknowledge the truth of Time Cube, and it seems this ignorance extends to physics players as well.

You are educated stupid, Eric Mukherjee. Stop upholding the GREENWICH MYTH.
Max
formerly of Ladue, Chicago

User avatar
at your pleasure
Auron
Posts: 1670
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:56 pm

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by at your pleasure » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:54 pm

The Stately Rhododendron wrote:
Vito Corleone wrote:So I've both played at a variety of tournaments, and moderated a couple, and have come across the same issue multiple times: a lack of accurate timing for answering tossups and bonuses. As far as I am aware, no tournament format (excluding Academic League) requires a clock to be used to determine time spent/left for answering questions. I have seen several instances of timing discrepancies within a single match which could easily have been resolved by using a stopwatch or other timing device, and have personally been negged several times for hesitating on an answer within a time interval that was clearly (by my watch) within the stipulated time for answering.
I feel that introducing clocks into quizbowl matches would eliminate some degree of human error and lead to a better and more beneficial environment for all players. Please feel free to give your advice on the feasibility/logistics/any other aspect of introducing timing devices into a moderator's supplies for a tournament.
To quote Nandor Tanczos (my favorite New Zealand politician): "When I look at the state of the rivers, our atmospheres and our people, I don't need a watch to tell me what time it is!"

There's this bizarre idea in your post that time is absolute, and there exists a mechanical system for accurately determining it. The idea of a 5 second period for answering isn't about a distinct quantity (5 seconds). Here 5 seconds refers to a sense of space, or the accepted length of how long a pause is before it becomes unreasonable. Yes, every moderator has their own idea of how long a pause is. In my mind that is not a problem. I don't need my sense of time, already distorted by the nature of our capitalist society, furthermore controlled by a timer that you, for whatever reason, believe is better at determining how long a pause is than humanity!
While this is perhaps correct in some sort of meta-historical sense(see E. P. Thompson's excellent essay "Time, Work-discipline, and Industrial Capitalism") it is probably rather irrelevant to any discussion of quizbowl timing rules.
Douglas Graebner, Walt Whitman HS 10, Uchicago 14
"... imagination acts upon man as really as does gravitation, and may kill him as certainly as a dose of prussic acid."-Sir James Frazer,The Golden Bough

http://avorticistking.wordpress.com/

RexSueciae
Rikku
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:24 am

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by RexSueciae » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:04 pm

To the best of my knowledge, the only organization in my area that mandates the use of an official timekeeper during regular quizbowl tournaments is the VHSL Scholastic Bowl (i.e. the ineptly run state-sponsored academic competition that somehow grew to be part of the athletic program). Scholastic Bowl tournaments, rather than being hosted by experienced staffers or professional quizbowlers, are usually held by participant high schools within the conference / district / whatever up until the state championships. This exacerbates the already pressing problem of finding sufficient staff in areas that are new to quizbowl--if yet another person is required for every room, possibly with specialized equipment, and this somehow becomes standard, I foresee the growth of quizbowl being greatly stunted by this new imposition.
Vasa Clarke

Maggie Walker '14
Virginia '18
William and Mary '21

User avatar
1992 in spaceflight
Auron
Posts: 1293
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: St. Louis-area, MO

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:10 pm

There's a simple solution, really-just use your fingers to count down the seconds and move your arm like a metronome. I do this at every tournament I read, and I haven't had a team complain about my timing yet.

(I do agree that this has been a problem at tournaments, especially at NSC-I saw inconsistent application of timing on the bouncebacks all throughout the tournament)
Jacob O'Rourke
Washington (MO) HS Assistant Coach (2014-Present); MOQBA Secretary (2015-Present)
Formerly: HSAPQ Host Contact; NASAT Outreach Coordinator (2016 and 2017); Kirksville HS Assistant Coach (2012-2014); Truman State '14; and Pacific High (MO) '10


"And here we are as on a darkling plain, Swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night."
Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach.

User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15258
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:16 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:
The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
The Stately Rhododendron wrote:I don't need my sense of time, already distorted by the nature of our capitalist society, furthermore controlled by a timer that you, for whatever reason, believe is better at determining how long a pause is than humanity!
I'm guessing you're not majoring in Physics at Yale.
I don't understand why everyone complains about 5 seconds -- they are really getting 20 seconds, as every day exists in a 4-day Time Cube. Physicists have been forbidden by the education system to acknowledge the truth of Time Cube, and it seems this ignorance extends to physics players as well.

You are educated stupid, Eric Mukherjee. Stop upholding the GREENWICH MYTH.
As the guy who got yelled at for renaming everything on this forum after TIME CUBE one day, I fully endorse this post.
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

User avatar
Excelsior (smack)
Rikku
Posts: 379
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:20 am
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:05 pm

alexdz wrote: If you are suggesting that the moderator also run a stopwatch/timer in addition to reading duties (and possibly scorekeeping as well: in Missouri, the most experienced of us often end up moderating and scorekeeping at the same time already), there's a whole other set of difficulties, such as moderators trying to time while also reading answerlines to determine prompts, determining who gave an answer (in formats with more strict recognition or deferring rules), and maintaining some semblance of coordination (i.e., holding onto packets, keeping tossups and bonuses separate, etc.) while trying to hold onto and operate a stopwatch.
Using a stopwatch would certainly be onerous; however, using a Zeecraft box or something like it, where you just push a button to trigger a visible countdown, is not so much so. For any form of quizbowl following standard ACF timing rules ("5 seconds for everything" and no overall game timers), I think it would be feasible for even a one-person room to operate a 5-second Zeecraft-like timer box. (I'm not just blindly hypothesizing here; OAC obeys timing rules not entirely dissimilar to ACF's timing rules, and uses Zeecraft-like timer boxes to great effect.)
Ashvin Srivatsa
Corporate drone '?? | Yale University '14 | Sycamore High School (OH) '10

User avatar
Auks Ran Ova
Forums Staff: Chief Administrator
Posts: 4042
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:32 pm

The problem with this plan, of course, is that Zeecraft buzzers are piles of hot garbage that fall apart if you glare at them.
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
Member, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer and Editor, NAQT

User avatar
Guile Island
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 783
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:45 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Guile Island » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:48 pm

I'm also convinced those hand-held Zeecraft buzzers are designed for ogres. Seriously, who out there has big enough hands to make holding those things enjoyable?
Dylan Minarik
PACE (Former Director of Communications, 2018-19 season)

Northwestern '17
Belvidere North High School '13

JRPG Champion, BACK TO BACK Robot Slayer

Joshua Rutsky
Tidus
Posts: 594
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 9:59 am
Location: Hoover, AL

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:45 pm

This seems to me like one of those impossible situations to resolve. Let's say that we did something like, oh, I don't know, adopting a set of rules that specify time allowable for a response. This then produces the next problem -- who counts the time? So we add rules to say that the moderator must clearly count time using a standard "One Mississippi-two Mississippi-three Mississippi" count, at which point someone complains that a) college kids moderate too quickly and slur all the words together, leading to a shorter count than for those of us in Southern states, who pronounce every syllable as if it were three and as if we expect each to come with a footnote, or b) someone decides that this isn't clear enough, and requires a timing device or something similar. Either way, human error still gets introduced in the form of all the points made upthread, and that's really what this comes down to--that in any given tourney, you are going to have different moderators from room to room, and you simply will have to adapt to them. The variance really shouldn't be large enough to make or break your team, but if it is, then it is incumbent upon you, as the party who is being, in your opinion, slighted on this issue, to ask the moderator as a point of procedure, in a clear but polite way, to count the response window using a hand swipe or some similar gesture for you. This is a minor request, and if it is made POLITELY, rather than in the form of "You just screwed me out of a toss-up because you short-counted me, you jerk, now will you please learn the rules?", I would imagine that most moderators would be more than willing to accommodate your request. It has been a truly rare event in my experience in quiz bowl where a moderator has flat-out rejected a request on my part of any sort related to the match, and even rarer when it was done rudely--I can honestly only think of two cases in over ten years.
Joshua Rutsky
Coach, Hoover High School, Hoover, AL
Member of the Qwiz Team!

User avatar
Benin Rebirth Party
Yuna
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:46 pm
Location: Farhaven, Ontario

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:19 pm

The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:There's a simple solution, really-just use your fingers to count down the seconds and move your arm like a metronome. I do this at every tournament I read, and I haven't had a team complain about my timing yet.

(I do agree that this has been a problem at tournaments, especially at NSC-I saw inconsistent application of timing on the bouncebacks all throughout the tournament)
It's frustrating if the team can see the finger-seconds being different than timer-seconds at timed NAQT events (or even to a watch or a phone). You can tell the reader if they are generally fast or slow, but it'll still fluctuate throughout the day.
Joe Su
Lisgar 2012, McGill 2015, McGill 20--

FINALIST -- 2017 ILQBM MEME OF THE YEAR

User avatar
Sniper, No Sniping!
Tidus
Posts: 706
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:25 pm
Location: Pickerington, OH

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:49 am

In standard 20/20 tossup:bonus format, your perceived difference between five seconds and five and a half or six seconds is rather trivial. Similar to basketball refereeing and the ten-second count, no two five-second counts are going to be alike or precise. What does matter is the reader's application of the count. If a reader's five seconds turns out to be five and 1/2, or God forbid four or six, it is paramount that timing is applied with 100% consistency. The same holds true for counts that most closely resemble five seconds.

Electronic timers do not justify their utilization in formats where the most extensive usage of one is a ten-seconds-for-each-part computational math bonus given the constant re-setting of the time and stopping of alarms every, single, cycle. Electronic timers are great for HSNCT because they hold readers accountable for their moderation of the game, i.e. not letting teams talk in between the question cycles or before bonuses (let alone the reader giving their two cents that no one asked for). They're also great for one-minute, four-minute, whatever-minute rounds for the same purpose. But your typical Saturday NAQT shindig? Nah.
Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue? wrote:I've seen moderators count time by swinging their hands back and forth and personally, I think that's the best way to do it.
In my opinion, this the second-best way to do it. The first-best way to do this is making this exact same motion being described while also "chopping" the fingers, e.g. if I'm doing this with my left hand to the team that is sitting opposite to me on my right, I straightly clench my hand (think of one of those turkeys you would make with your hands, now close the gaps between fingers only using that same hand) and after the first swing, fold down the thumb, swing, then fold down the index finger, swing, then fold down your middle finger, etc. I always do this because a) especially with newer teams, this indicates what the count is at (if I have only my thumb folded down, they're at four seconds, if I have my thumb and index finger folded down, they're at three seconds etc) and b) it also holds me accountable if I were to screw up. If the team that buzzes on the tossup or has bonus parts to answer is on my left, I do the exact same motion with my right hand. If I'm reading tossups that go to the very end before someone buzzes in, I raise my right elbow (to be clearly seen) and count down from my right to the left, folding down the pinky, then my busted up ring finger, etc (five... four...).

The only tournament I know of that even comes close to, and mostly relies on, accurate timing is the Ohio Academic Competition due to the fact the state tournament mandates clocks, which are almost always the countdown timers found on certain Zeecraft consoles, and the first 5/7 of the questions have to be played on the timer. But I know there are obviously other formats across this great country that utilize the clock for longer than one minute.

EDIT: Oh wait, I see Jacob beat me to the punch with what I was trying to describe with the finger countdown, by a day or two.
Thomas Moore
Lancaster Fisher Catholic HS c/o 2014
Ohio Wesleyan University c/o 2018

User avatar
Captain Sinico
Auron
Posts: 2840
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Champaign, Illinois

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Captain Sinico » Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:07 pm

I do use a timer for pretty much all matches I moderate and don't find it onerous at all. I wear a watch with a digital second display. After the appropriate start point (usually when I recognize or whatever,) I look at the watch, and then call time when the number is one plus the answer time, modulo 60, higher than it is when I first look - ergo basically 6 higher than current number in a 5-second format. Players get like 5.5 seconds on average, but it's really easy to do and much more both accurate and precise than keeping time by dead reckoning. I can also count finger time while doing this. It's not hard at all.

Also, IHSA (now) mandates use of a stopwatch for almost all timings*. Last year, the rules allowed moderator dead reckoning for shorter timings while encouraging use of a watch, but a coach (at my Regional, while playing my team) flipped out over this for some reason and the rules were accordingly changed.

*There are like 5 different timings in IHSA format, ranging from 3-30 seconds. FORMATZ!
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
ACF
IHSSBCA
PACE

User avatar
Captain Sinico
Auron
Posts: 2840
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Champaign, Illinois

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Captain Sinico » Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:27 pm

Matthew J wrote:I really don't know what to do with this, but this thread has some more observations on the possibility of humans becoming more accurate at calling time properly.
Here's an important caveat to people reading the above thread. I add this because people at tournaments seem confused, and because I've seen people (including me) get screwed by moderators not knowing or not enforcing the rules, and because the above thread muddies the waters as to what they are.

You absolutely must, always and in every case, prompt for an answer after four seconds, before calling time, on a bonus part in an ACF format. You do not, ever, call time before saying something like "Answer, please." If you call time without prompting for answer on a bonus, you are depriving a team of a fair chance to answer.

You absolutely must not, ever, prompt for answer at four seconds after a buzz on a tossup in an ACF format. You only say (equivalents of) "correct," "incorrect," "time," or "prompt for more information" (and, rarely, "say that again" or "spell that.") If you give a time cue prompt on a tossup, you are providing the team that buzzed with unfair extra time and assistance.

The reason the above are true is: those are the rules of the game. If you don't like a rule, that's fine; lobby to change it. If you as a moderator don't enforce some rules, you are a bad moderator. That's doubly so if your lack of enforcement be intentional, unilateral, or unannounced.
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
ACF
IHSSBCA
PACE

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Auron
Posts: 5782
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: Accurate Timing during Tournaments

Post by Mike Bentley » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:23 pm

If I ever get around to finishing that USB buzzer program I've half created, there was a way in there to automatically count 5 seconds after a buzz. You could also hit a shortcut key to display a 5 second timer for bonus parts. In my limited testing, it was easier than looking at your watch since it was in the context of where you were reading questions from (and you didn't need to remember on what second you started counting).
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

Post Reply