Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

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Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by scottsmith81 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:00 pm

We will be conducting the Southeastern Academic Challenge with high school, middle school, and JV divisions, for teams in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama. We would like to invite your school to join us.

Date: March 19, 2011. Games start at 9 a.m., est. finish time is 5:30.

Place: Central High School, 2155 Napier Avenue, Macon, Georgia, 31204

Entry Fee: $75 per team

Register: http://www.qunlimited.com/ordereg.htm or by phone, 800-868-1518.

The Field: Our upper and lower limits are: high school division 8-48 teams; middle school 8-32, JV 7-16.

The Questions: We hold ourselves to the highest standards of question quality and academic relevance. Tossups in pyramidal style.

Format: four-quarter NAC format, see http://www.qunlimited.com/rulesreg.htm

Top Teams: will qualify for the National Academic Championship.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:17 pm

As always, the laundry list of unethical, anti-quizbowl behavior by Questions Unlimited means that no school with an ounce of academic integrity can justify sending a team to this tournament.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:41 pm

I said it in that other thread last semester, but I feel like I could die of embarrassment right now.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Matt Weiner » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:58 am

List of wrestling-based comic books wrote:I said it in that other thread last semester, but I feel like I could die of embarrassment right now.
Could you possible talk to your old coach or teachers about this? It's possible they just don't know who they are dealing with and would respond reasonably if informed.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:32 pm

I imagine that it is far too late to cancel this particular event, but I will see what I can do for the next academic year since I will be attending school in Macon for the next couple years, which will make it much easier to influence things. Good quizbowl really needs to spread to the fall line.

edit: oh ugh I see that Bibb middle schools are also all into Quiznet.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:46 pm

Y'know, when :chip: contacted us to host this, he said he'd be there as a moderator. I think I'll go to this just to meet the man himself (I never got the QU experience in high school).
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:00 pm

List of wrestling-based comic books wrote:Y'know, when :chip: contacted us to host this, he said he'd be there as a moderator. I think I'll go to this just to meet the man himself (I never got the QU experience in high school).
Be sure to bring an Amulet. :chip: has been known to cause various status effects.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:06 pm

DarkMatter wrote:Be sure to bring an Amulet. :chip: has been known to cause various status effects.
I am known to become paralyzed when exposed to high levels of stupid, but Mr. Brown said he hadn't gotten any word that :chip: would be coming. TD is some Nick Rolader (sp?) guy.

This should be... interesting. As I recall from Wednesday, there's something like five teams each in the two high school divisions (and like three of them are Central), and eightish in the middle school division.

Apparently this year's freshmen from Miller, Central's feeder school, went to the New Orleans nationals last year, which is how the QU stuff carried over to Central. Reviews from both Central and Rutland people (talked to them at GATA Fall last semester) seem to be mixed, though.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:14 pm

I think I need an entire night of that online quizbowl tester thing to get over this.

There were seven high school teams and nine middle school ones. I didn't see the actual schedule, but I don't think they separated varsity and JV high school, and just gave a top JV team award. Prelims were a round robin (I guess) and playoffs were single elimination.

Match format was kind of odd, and I say that as someone who played things like lightning rounds back in high school. Ten 10-point questions with no bonuses, then four questions with four-part 5-10-15-20 bonuses (you played through 10 tossups until all four got answered), then a ten-question lightning round, then ten 20-point questions with no bonuses. The way bonuses worked was if the controlling team got a part wrong, that part bounced back to the other team, and the remaining parts went unread. "Tossups in pyramidal style" is a lie, of course, though they did range from fine to godawful. I think the bonuses were in general a bit more bearable since you can't get hosed on them. I took notes throughout the prelims, and it might be easiest just to transfer them here like a liveblog. Except not live. I don't know if there're any more regionals, or even if all the regionals use the same set, but I'll refrain from posting specifics for now.

The matches started around 9:10. I get there late, around 9:30ish. In the bathroom, I can hear everything going on in the room across the hall, and I'm like "he needs to shut the door". I go back into the hall and "holy crap is that :chip: ?" He wasn't wearing green, though.
I post myself outside the room Mr. Brown's reading in and wait for the round to finish.
I feel bad that I can't direct some parents who just arrived to a schedule.
The Weaver MS coach walks by and calls our brand new building "remodeled". GTFO.
Round 1 ends, I apologize for being late, and my :chip: suspicions are confirmed.
As I'm surveying some horribly-made graphs on graduation test scores in the stats room, I note that Nick is taking stats on Excel. :w-hat: I excused the Bleckley County kid at GATA Fall for using it, but a college player should know better. Though now I wonder if SQBS can handle the odd format.
:chip: notes lack of Bibb schools
argh Central and Rutland might attend NAC
moderators don't seem very experienced

Round 2
Yeah, so the questions are not all pyramidal. Also, a bonus asking the occupation of a famous person famous for said occupation is just inane at the high school level.
Attn everybody running tournaments: stop making horizontal scoresheets
I apologize to the coaches and parents who aren't reading this but might have noticed and not have liked my eyerolling during rounds. I really tried to restrain myself. It was directed at the questions, not your players if that's what you thought.
Back in the stats room, Nick mentions staffing/running tournaments at Brookwood and UGA. Oh yes, tell us about those UGA tournaments. Did you take stats on Excel there, too?
Apparently not only the teams, but also the readers are going from room to room.
According to :chip: , Brookwood planned on coming to this, but decided to go to Jag Bowl instead because it would better prepare them for state. I can't back up or refute the assertion that Brookwood planned to attend :chip: Regionals, but no kidding about preparation for state (or preparation for just about anything).

Round 3: Central vs Central
oh god I want to shoot myself
there was a singing question
For some tossups, you definitely have to wait until the end, else you get hosed.
spelling ugh
:chip: paraphrase: the best middle schools are from around here. I don't make these things up.
Also, at NAC, moderators who are college players are "junior moderators". ok

Round 4: Weaver vs Creekland (MS)
Horrible questions aside, Creekland A did seem to know a lot of stuff and it would be nice to see them (as well as the rest of the field) on good questions.
There were two definite non-unique leadins that I noted, one of which triggered a hose.
Tossups requiring multiple answers not saying so until the middle or end of the question.
I didn't notice until someone pointed it out back in the stats room, but there was at least one obvious factual error in the lightning round.
A terrible question about a government agency that also talked about a biblical figure.
There was also a theme in the first eight tossups of the bonus round, but not the last two, and none that I can recall in other rounds.
:chip: really does sound like an announcer type
he also called us "Macon Central" argh

Round 5: a really vague lightning round question with a really general answer. Central guy gave a specific answer that I wasn't sure would be correct-- upon looking at the Wikipedia article, I see that it was correct.

Lunch: the worst lunch round I have ever had (including that UGA ACF Winter). I was under the impression that Central people would order a pizza, or we'd all go somewhere. The room I was in finished last in round 5 (slow reader), and while I was trying to figure out what was going on, the players went with their parents to a restaurant, and Mr. Brown wanted to stay in the building to keep an eye on things and just got stuff from the vending machine. I had to call and get my sister to drop off some Chik-fil-A. I am pretty sure :chip: got stuff for him and Nick, but the offer did not extend to the other staffers/host. Since we live so far from the school, I spent most of round 6 eating.

That's basically it, my observations of :chip: Southeast Regionals. I scorekept for round seven, and the first two playoff rounds (the second with the man himself... !). By that time my mother had arrived to take me home, and I'd had enough.

It was really painful sitting through all those terrible, inane questions, but mainly I'm disappointed that, as I alluded to above, none of the coaches or players from those schools are going to read this or any of the other :chip: threads we have here and become convinced that they should stop doing QU stuff.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by leafette » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:52 pm

All is not lost. I have shared this thread with my child's coach.

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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:26 pm

Going from your email (and not to backseat mod), are you a Creekland parent? I remember the player's name since apparently everyone pronounces it wrong, she was saying before that semifinals match.

I'll post question specifics and additional reflections next week after all the regionals listed on the QU site have finished.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by mhayes » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:13 pm

List of wrestling-based comic books wrote:Also, at NAC, moderators who are college players are "junior moderators". ok
That is sad, but hardly surprising. It's always the terrible quiz bowl formats/leagues that have ridiculous rules like this.

At least they still allow college students to moderate in some regard. I know of at least one format that doesn't allow college players to read at all.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:54 pm

I would first like to take the time to say that the official soap of the NAC is Grandpa's Wonder Pine Tar Toilet Soap. I am not sure how this ties into the laws of quizbowl funk.

According to the QU website, all the regional tournaments are finished (I guess they're done by now. Who cares, really?). I don't know if they actually used the same sets, though. I hope they used different sets because Oak Mountain, which sent both a high school and middle school team to the Macon tournament, sent a middle school team to the Montgomery site last month. It is possible that the two were made up of different players. It's impossible to say if there were any other schools at multiple sites, since the fields are not posted online (at least, I can't find them). Because of this and the fact that registration is done through QU and not the hosts, I say that any instances of players hearing the same questions twice are entirely QU's fault.

Here are the questions I found most egregious. They are quoted to the best of my ability, basing it on my notes and memory.

A bonus part asking for Vivaldi's occupation. This is just degrading at the high school level, much less a "regional championship". Plus, there are other possible answers aside from the given "composer", such as violinist, priest (you know, il Prete Rosso), and music teacher.

A tossup asking for the player to sing the refrain of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Deja vu, I know.

A tossup on Jerusalem beginning with a clue on the Jewish Temple.

A tossup beginning "They swim through the ocean in schools... " Guy got hosed answering "fish"; answer on the page was "dolphins"

Another tossup beginning something like "They are made of a platform held up by cables... " I can't remember if "bridge" was mentioned in that leadin, but either way it's non-unique because that describes both suspension and cable-stayed bridges. Of course, only suspension was given in the answerline.

A lightning round question on antibodies describing them as a type of white blood cell, when they are actually proteins released by white blood cells.

A tossup on the National Weather Service that went on about how NOAA sounds like Noah and how NOAA might have consulted Noah when they established the NWS.

The theme I mentioned in my earlier post was a bird theme for the first eight questions, and not for the last two. I really cannot recall if there was any such thing in any of the other packets. One of these was one on mockingbirds that started with the words "Atticus Finch". I'm surprised no one in our room got hosed by not waiting and giving the whole title, though I can't say whether it happened in any of the other rooms (and if they did, whether the moderators would have counted them correct).

A lightning round question "what does a bunsen burner burn?" My initial thought was the sort of glassware or reagents you'd use with the burner, but the provided answer was "gas". The guy from Central gave "butane", which certainly is a flammable gas, but I really had no idea what specific gases bunsen burners use. Luckily, it did not make a difference either way in the match. Afterward I looked it up and, sure enough, butane is sometimes used for burners. God, what an awful question.

Unfortunately, in the next round there was a lightning round question that made a difference. "From what continent did people colonize Polynesia?" I think there was also an "in the 12th century" in there, but I can't remember. Anyway, the given answer was South America, but the team insisted that that was impossible and that the answer must be Asia. I don't know, and :chip: 's research on the Internet was inconclusive. I'm surprised he didn't call up some scholar specializing in Polynesia like I read about in Tom Egan's 2005 report (I am also disappointed that there weren't any unburied presidents questions).

Some questions seemed Middle-Georgia-specific, like one that involved cardinal directions and states.
Another was a geometry question about points on a sphere-- the sphere being the Earth and the two points being Macon and Atlanta. I think it's just me, but I couldn't quite understand what the question was going for. Need to see it again.

A tossup on Judas starting with a clue about his kiss. Seriously.

A William Tell tossup with the first real clue being "opera by Rossini", and then a plot summary. Now, I am no great judge of difficulty, but I am pretty sure that there are only two Rossini works that can get tossed up at the middle school level: that and The Barber of Seville. Mentioning the composer at the beginning considerably narrows down the potential answers.

The tossup "What do you do with a menorah?"

Now, I know that we get on our teammates' cases when they vulture, but at least we base those buzzes on unique clues. Why anyone would vulch on QU questions, as I saw several times on Saturday, is beyond me when it's clear that the questions are hoses by design.

A few other things: I came in under the impression that rounds would be timed, but I think I was confusing :chip: with CBI. In fact, only the lightning round has any timing rules. There's nothing about how long you have to buzz or answer. Kind of awkward when no one's answering and you aren't sure when to call time.

Also, during that semifinal round :chip: read, he did make nice remarks to Creekland, like how one of their players did well in last year's tournament. He would also occasionally stop between questions to note someone making a good buzz (if such a thing exists in QU). Worst of all, I thought, was adding "We are looking for a location in Spain" to the end of a question on the Alhambra.

Now that I've witnessed a QU tournament firsthand, I can now legitimately* recommend against teams attending their events. I know that there are some real quizbowlers trying to improve QU by writing (presumably the better questions were by these people), but until a greater portion of the questions improve, it just isn't worth attending. It just pains me that three schools I attended and played for attended this tournament, and that schools all over Bibb County are using :chip: 's product. All of the schools there could have heard decent questions at Jag Bowl and MS CATT. It also frustrates me that, because of the small field, Central probably won't get a cut of the revenue when they lack a buzzer set. If not for the fact that the aforementioned tournaments were held the same day, with a good set and advertising they could have gotten at least some profit.

It also reinforces that we made the correct decision in declining to host this tournament. Don't know if :chip: ever realized that I was the one who denied him the college venue he originally wanted.

*Not that I really care about "legitimacy", but some people do ascribe to the "don't criticize tournaments you didn't witness" school of thought.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:09 pm

List of wrestling-based comic books wrote: A tossup on the National Weather Service that went on about how NOAA sounds like Noah and how NOAA might have consulted Noah when they established the NWS.
I am so embarrassed I live in the same area code as Questions Unlimited.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:17 pm

Oh and there was also a tossup that I am pretty sure claimed that the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and not the Labrador Retriever, is the most popular dog in the US. I'd like another look at that one to be 100%.
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Edward Elric » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:00 pm

CavsFan2k10 wrote:
List of wrestling-based comic books wrote: A tossup on the National Weather Service that went on about how NOAA sounds like Noah and how NOAA might have consulted Noah when they established the NWS.
I am so embarrassed I live in the same area code as Questions Unlimited.
Dude I live 5 minutes away from Questions Galore headquarters. I feel ya pain. :sad:
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by centralhs » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:35 am

List of wrestling-based comic books wrote: The tossup "What do you do with a menorah?"
I'm curious to know what answer they were seeking for this one. Stick candles in it? Light it? What else?

The question about the sphere, Macon and Atlanta sounds kind of humorous. I'll say one thing about these horrible questions: at least they aren't boring!
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:47 am

I didn't look to see exactly what they had on the paper, but basically variations of "light it up".
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:07 pm

What do you do with a menorah?
But Scott Smith promised that Questions Unlimited was writing high quality pyramidal questions, and that we should give them a second chance! He wouldn't be lying to get customers now, would he?
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Re: Southeastern Academic Challenge (GA) 3/19/2011

Post by mhayes » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:22 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:
What do you do with a menorah?
But Scott Smith promised that Questions Unlimited was writing high quality pyramidal questions, and that we should give them a second chance! He wouldn't be lying to get customers now, would he?
Either that or the guys at QU don't actually know what it means for questions to be pyramidal.

Whichever it is, it's still inexcusable.
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