Sports Teams as Answerlines

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Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by joshxu » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:42 pm

When sports teams (e.g. Chicago Bears, San Diego Padres, Calgary Flames) are the answer to a question (either tossups or bonuses), usually either the city name (Chicago, San Diego, Calgary) or the nickname (Bears, Padres, Flames) is acceptable.

I don't believe that simply stating the name of the city where a team is from shows a deep enough understanding to be deemed correct.

***** Both of these questions are publicly viewable on NAQT.com's Sample Questions page
2018 MSNCT Packet 23 wrote: Since 2013 this NBA team has been coached by a former head coach of the Australian menʹs national team. Brett Brown coaches this team, which lost an NBA‐record 28 consecutive games in 2015. “The (*) Process” resulted in Ben Simmons playing on—for 10 points—what Pennsylvania‐based team?
answer: Philadelphia 76ers [“seventy-six”-ers] (accept either underlined portion; accept Sixers)
2018 SSNCT Packet 24 wrote: In 2017 this NBA teamʹs ownership sold its WNBA [“W-N-B-A”] team, which became the Las Vegas Aces. R. C. Buford is the general manager of this team. In 2014 this team made Becky Hammon the first woman to be a full‐time NBA coach. This team un‐retired Bruce (*) Bowenʹs jersey number in 2015 for former Portland Trailblazer LaMarcus Aldridge. Kawhi [kuh-WYE] Leonard is coached by Gregg Popovich [“POP-uh”-vitch] on—for 10 points—what NBA team from Texas?
answer: San Antonio Spurs (accept either underlined portion)
In both of these cases, the final hint of the tossup mentions the geographical location of where each team plays. For the 76ers tossup, one could hear "Pennsylvania-based team" and logically guess "Philadelphia" (despite not knowing anything about the 76ers or the NBA) simply because they know that Philadelphia is a major city in Pennsylvania. Likewise, a player could hear "team from Texas" and guess "San Antonio" (despite not knowing anything about the Spurs or the NBA) as a 1/3 guess between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

In such cases, players are awarded 10 points not for sports knowledge, but for knowing major cities. While these situations are highly uncommon, I have seen them almost play out in real tournaments (I saw someone buzz "Buffalo" on a tossup whose last line was something like "name this New York baseball team") and have definitely seen them in intrasquad games.

Even when a team's geographical location is not mentioned during the tossup, I still don't think it's good to simply accept city names.

***** This highly-controversial tossup was copied from the HSNCT discussion thread: http://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewto ... =2&t=21357.
HSNCT Round 14 wrote:In December 2015 a player on this team was forced to retire due to persistent blood-clot issues. A player on this team is the only teenager to have won a scoring title in a North American sports league. In 2000 this team revived a familiar (*) logo, which shows an animal on skates. Goalie Matt Murray and center Sidney Crosby play on—for 10 points—what NHL team that won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017?

answer: Pittsburgh Penguins (accept either underlined portion) [Pascal Dupuis retired due to blood clots.]
Even though this tossup doesn't mention anything about where the Penguins play, one can still not know anything about them or the NHL and still convert it. Someone watching the news could see reports about "celebrations in Pittsburgh over second straight Stanley Cup" and register "Pittsburgh" in their minds. Again, a player would be awarded ten points not for sports knowledge, but for randomly coming across a news report.

Even though such situations are extremely rare, they still may happen. So I personally believe that city names should be prompted on for sports teams (i.e. prompt "Pittsburgh" for "Pittsburgh Penguins").
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by jonah » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:51 pm

Quizbowl generally favors accepting answers in forms that experts/professionals very commonly use, as long as they are not ambiguous within the domain of discourse (e.g. "NHL teams"). (There might be some other potential deficiencies I haven't thought of, but that's the gist.) It is common in both casual and formal discourse about sports teams to refer to them by the city name, so city names are acceptable when not ambiguous (e.g. "Chicago" wouldn't be acceptable for a question on an MLB team, though it would generally be promptable).
joshxu wrote:In both of these cases, the final hint of the tossup mentions the geographical location of where each team plays. For the 76ers tossup, one could hear "Pennsylvania-based team" and logically guess "Philadelphia" (despite not knowing anything about the 76ers or the NBA) simply because they know that Philadelphia is a major city in Pennsylvania. Likewise, a player could hear "team from Texas" and guess "San Antonio" (despite not knowing anything about the Spurs or the NBA) as a 1/3 guess between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

In such cases, players are awarded 10 points not for sports knowledge, but for knowing major cities.
Such guesses (if successful) demonstrate knowledge of what cities have applicable teams, or else they demonstrate luck. Quizbowl is generally happy to reward very minimal levels of knowledge when low-level questions get to the giveaway, and luck is pretty much unavoidable. Sometimes people guess "Dickens" for author questions, or "Smith" for any questions on people, etc., and once in a while they get lucky. Fully blind city-guessing is not much different.

joshxu wrote:
HSNCT Round 14 wrote:In December 2015 a player on this team was forced to retire due to persistent blood-clot issues. A player on this team is the only teenager to have won a scoring title in a North American sports league. In 2000 this team revived a familiar (*) logo, which shows an animal on skates. Goalie Matt Murray and center Sidney Crosby play on—for 10 points—what NHL team that won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017?

answer: Pittsburgh Penguins (accept either underlined portion) [Pascal Dupuis retired due to blood clots.]
Even though this tossup doesn't mention anything about where the Penguins play, one can still not know anything about them or the NHL and still convert it. Someone watching the news could see reports about "celebrations in Pittsburgh over second straight Stanley Cup" and register "Pittsburgh" in their minds. Again, a player would be awarded ten points not for sports knowledge, but for randomly coming across a news report.
In coming across said report, the player learned something about sports. In answering the question based on that learning, the player did exactly what one is supposed to do when answering questions. They have therefore earned their points.
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by joshxu » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:59 pm

jonah wrote:Such guesses (if successful) demonstrate knowledge of what cities have applicable teams, or else they demonstrate luck. Quizbowl is generally happy to reward very minimal levels of knowledge when low-level questions get to the giveaway, and luck is pretty much unavoidable. Sometimes people guess "Dickens" for author questions, or "Smith" for any questions on people, etc., and once in a while they get lucky. Fully blind city-guessing is not much different.
But such city-guessing is not always fully blind. Like in the 76ers question, Pennsylvania only has two cities that would likely be home to a major sports team, so a guess of Philadelphia would be 50/50. On the other hand, by guessing "Smith" on a "this person" question, they are truly making a "fully blind" guess.
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by Cheynem » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:19 am

I would agree that in some instances the giveaway lends itself to easy guessing ("Name this Massachusetts based sports team" can--but not always--lead to a correct guess of "Boston"). On the other hand, there is no easy guessing possible in that Penguins tossup you posted, as Pennsylvania is not mentioned at all.
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by Progcon » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:33 am

I don't really see the issue. In any sports question I have written on a team in FTP, POMMSS, or whatever, I usually have something like _Detroit Lions_ [accept either] because it will be obvious from the context of the question that I am looking for, say, a NFL team. Of course, there is a prompt if it's a city like Los Angeles or New York where there are multiple teams in a given sport. But if someone buzzes in with "Chicago" on a tossup on the _Chicago Bulls_, I fail to see a reason to prompt them and make sure they know that the _Bulls_ are a team and not respond with the Bears.

When broadcasters, fans journalists, etc. talk about sports, it's perfectly natural and acceptable to refer to a team by its city (eg. Dallas) or team nickname (Mavericks/Mavs). I don't see why quizbowl should be any different here. As Jonah says, easy questions are going to be easy at the giveaway, and it's up to the question author to make sure people can successfully differentiate themselves by knowledge before the giveaway of "FTP, name this NL team from Wisconsin" is read. Are there really that many sports questions where this is an issue, and how is this any different than having a tossup on Senegalese history end with "FTP, name this African country with capital at Dakar?" Geography and history knowledge are highly correlated, but if someone only knows it after Dakar, they only got the history tossup with "geography knowledge". I don't think is a huge issue.
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by joshxu » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:04 am

If "Milwaukee" is acceptable for a Brewers question asking about an "NL team from Wisconsin", people who have absolutely no sports knowledge could easily guess it based on geography. Baseball and geography are totally separate, and the role the city of Milwaukee has played on the Brewers franchise is minimal. On the other hand, geography and history are very closely related, and the city of Dakar has played an important role in Senegalese history.
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by Cheynem » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:37 am

The "Brewers" are called the "Brewers" because they are in Milwaukee.

What if you revised the giveaways so they didn't have any geographical clues at all (which I don't mind doing necessarily for harder difficulty levels)?
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by matthewspatrick » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:12 am

2018 MSNCT Packet 23 wrote: Since 2013 this NBA team has been coached by a former head coach of the Australian menʹs national team. Brett Brown coaches this team, which lost an NBA‐record 28 consecutive games in 2015. “The (*) Process” resulted in Ben Simmons playing on—for 10 points—what Pennsylvania‐based team?
answer: Philadelphia 76ers [“seventy-six”-ers] (accept either underlined portion; accept Sixers)
Arguably one could require a prompt on just "Philadelphia", as the city has had more than one distinct NBA franchise (the Warriors started in Philly before moving west in 1962).

Similarly, a question asking for a "Major League Baseball" team and whose answer is the Yankees should perhaps indicate a prompt on "New York", as the New York Giants were once a thing. However, if the question asked for an "American League" team, "New York" uniquely identifies the franchise.

[Edit: if I had a do-over on this, I'd have mentioned the Giants and the Mets, who at least presently claim to be a Major League team and are listed as such in the standings.]
2018 SSNCT Packet 24 wrote: In 2017 this NBA teamʹs ownership sold its WNBA [“W-N-B-A”] team, which became the Las Vegas Aces. R. C. Buford is the general manager of this team. In 2014 this team made Becky Hammon the first woman to be a full‐time NBA coach. This team un‐retired Bruce (*) Bowenʹs jersey number in 2015 for former Portland Trailblazer LaMarcus Aldridge. Kawhi [kuh-WYE] Leonard is coached by Gregg Popovich [“POP-uh”-vitch] on—for 10 points—what NBA team from Texas?
answer: San Antonio Spurs (accept either underlined portion)
"San Antonio" uniquely identifies an NBA franchise. Accepting either the city or the team name should be fine here.
Last edited by matthewspatrick on Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by Cheynem » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:13 am

Are we not counting the Mets as a New York team (good move, if questionable)?
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by matthewspatrick » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:19 am

Cheynem wrote:Are we not counting the Mets as a New York team (good move, if questionable)?
Unintentionally left out the Mets, but now I wish I had done it purposefully as a joke. I guess I got tunnel vision on historical collisions which got resolved when one of the teams moved or folded.
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by ryanrosenberg » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:21 am

Cheynem wrote:Are we not counting the Mets as a New York team (good move, if questionable)?
The Mets are clearly a New York team. Whether or not they are a "Major League Baseball" team is still up for debate.
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by jonah » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:33 am

joshxu wrote:
jonah wrote:Such guesses (if successful) demonstrate knowledge of what cities have applicable teams, or else they demonstrate luck. Quizbowl is generally happy to reward very minimal levels of knowledge when low-level questions get to the giveaway, and luck is pretty much unavoidable. Sometimes people guess "Dickens" for author questions, or "Smith" for any questions on people, etc., and once in a while they get lucky. Fully blind city-guessing is not much different.
But such city-guessing is not always fully blind. Like in the 76ers question, Pennsylvania only has two cities that would likely be home to a major sports team, so a guess of Philadelphia would be 50/50. On the other hand, by guessing "Smith" on a "this person" question, they are truly making a "fully blind" guess.
Doesn't bother me much at low levels. What if the "this person" question were "this 19th-century author" or "this British author" or something? Then there are (depending on the level) a couple dozen plausible answers, so it's not 50/50 but it's 5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5 or whatever. How much does the "plausible answer space" have to be narrowed down before rewarding blind-within-the-space guessing is unacceptable? I don't care to try to figure that out or enforce it; there are a million more important things editors should be paying attention to. And don't forget that knowing what answers are within the space is knowledge.
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by joshxu » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:02 pm

Progcon wrote:When broadcasters, fans journalists, etc. talk about sports, it's perfectly natural and acceptable to refer to a team by its city (eg. Dallas) or team nickname (Mavericks/Mavs). I don't see why quizbowl should be any different here. As Jonah says, easy questions are going to be easy at the giveaway, and it's up to the question author to make sure people can successfully differentiate themselves by knowledge before the giveaway of "FTP, name this NL team from Wisconsin" is read. Are there really that many sports questions where this is an issue, and how is this any different than having a tossup on Senegalese history end with "FTP, name this African country with capital at Dakar?" Geography and history knowledge are highly correlated, but if someone only knows it after Dakar, they only got the history tossup with "geography knowledge". I don't think is a huge issue.
joshxu wrote:If "Milwaukee" is acceptable for a Brewers question asking about an "NL team from Wisconsin", people who have absolutely no sports knowledge could easily guess it based on geography. Baseball and geography are totally separate, and the role the city of Milwaukee has played on the Brewers franchise is minimal. On the other hand, geography and history are very closely related, and the city of Dakar has played an important role in Senegalese history.
Cheynem wrote:The "Brewers" are called the "Brewers" because they are in Milwaukee.
On a theoretical tossup about Senegalese history with "name this African country with capital at Dakar" as a giveaway, a person would answer "Senegal" if they know that Dakar is its capital. If they don't know about Dakar, they would just be country guessing, and they would have no less reason to guess "Guinea" or any other small African country. On the other hand, if a player has never heard of the Milwaukee Brewers, they could hear "name this NL team from Wisconsin" and guess (correctly) "Milwaukee" because it's far and away the largest city in Wisconsin, and therefore by far the most likely to have a professional baseball team. Obviously, such guessing wouldn't work with "name this NFL team from Wisconsin."
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by John Ketzkorn » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:16 pm

This "debate" seems to more boil down to "how much should the giveaway of tossups give away" than "Should we accept the city name for sports teams?" I think it's fair to expect people don't have any knowledge on the subject if they've let the tossup go to the end. As a result, it's also fair to expect a buzzer race on the very last clue (at least at lower difficulties) and to be ready to crack the giveaways --as that in it of itself is a skill that quiz bowl tests.

For instance, a give away on Schubert's Unfinished 8th symphony almost always ends:
Name this symphony by Franz Schubert that was left incomplete.
You don't need to have absolute knowledge of Franz Schubert or his 8th symphony to convert this. You don't even need to know who Franz Schubert is to convert most tossups on his 8th symphony!

Another example would be time-reversal in physics. A giveaway might read
Name this process that views a clock running backwards.
It requires you to still figure out exactly what the hint is giving you and to buzz in / convert it before the other team.

Just because quiz bowl is riddled with giveaways that don't require you to have knowledge of the subject, doesn't mean we should cut them. Players have come to expect the end of the tossup as something that will help them figure out what the hell is going on. I also believe that high conversion rates promote more quality games as teams are tested on not only their ability to convert tossups at the end, but also their knowledge on the bonuses (where a majority of the points lay anyway).
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:14 pm

Wait, why is it bad that the giveaway is accessible? Dead tossups are bad for quizbowl.

If you don't like somebody answering a Milwaukee Brewers tossup because they got it off geography rather than sports knowledge, your remedy is to learn more about sports so you can beat them to it on the sports clues next time. I would say the same to somebody complaining about any easy giveaway.
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Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Post by cthewolf » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:27 pm

Bruce's post reminded me of the PUBG creator's comments about the redzone: "If you’re dying to the red zone then, I’m sorry but you’re not a very good player.".

I would definitely agree that either part of the answer should be acceptable with the only exception being multiple teams with the same location or name. This happens in very few cases like Charlotte Bobcats (let's face it, they were nowhere near good to have a question written about them unless it's a bonus on MJ's "subpar" management career) vs Hornets or the somewhat more realistic New Orleans Hornets vs Charlotte Hornets, however mentioning a player usually takes care of the first and mentioning the state or sport usually takes care of the second possibility.

This is what I meant about MJ, it's pretty interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiSFS4wsMrg.
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