Multiple Answers to a Tossup?

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JamesIV
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Multiple Answers to a Tossup?

Post by JamesIV » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:02 pm

Hello all,

I was recently at a tournament where an issue came up with a history tossup (I'll try to be as general as possible, because I'm not sure whether the set is available for discussion, and I'd hate to cause that kind of problem). The question began something like this: "This ruler's reign saw country A invade country B, where they clashed at the Battle of C." At this point, I buzzed in and answered with the name of the ruler of country A at the time of the battle in question. The mod said this was wrong, I negged, and the question continued. After this point, it became clear that the question was asking for the ruler of country B, with which our opponents duly answered.

It didn't end up making a difference to the outcome of the match or the tournament, but I'm curious as to what the etiquette/protocol is as far as this kind of thing goes. There was no indication, one way or the other, at the point I buzzed, which country was desired. Should I have negged on an answer that was correct to the point the question had proceeded? Basically, I feel that, as regards the first line, the question had two correct answers. But, I grant that I am relatively new to Quizbowl, and this may be protocol I'm just unaware of.

Thoughts?
Spencer J. Weinreich
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Skepticism and Animal Feed
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Re: Multiple Answers to a Tossup?

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:07 pm

If your answer was correct at the time you buzzed, you should have been ruled correct. That is, if every single clue read up to that point was correct for the answer you gave.

If, however, there had been some previous clue (like, "This ruler was advised by Person X"), which was not true of your answer, then you're out of luck.
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Steeve Ho You Fat
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Re: Multiple Answers to a Tossup?

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:16 pm

Yeah, if what you said was the lead-in, the question should have a note (accept ruler of A before X clue that differentiates him from ruler of B).
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Down and out in Quintana Roo
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Re: Multiple Answers to a Tossup?

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:30 pm

Really, good questions should not have these problems. Every clue from the beginning of a tossup should be uniquely-identifying, or at least give an important clue but only after many unique ones previously. I'm curious where this question arose and the quality of the set in which it appeared.
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JamesIV
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Re: Multiple Answers to a Tossup?

Post by JamesIV » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:13 pm

Joe N wrote:Yeah, if what you said was the lead-in, the question should have a note (accept ruler of A before X clue that differentiates him from ruler of B).
Yeah, it was the lead-in, and that was what I thought should have happened.

As far as the set goes, I think it was an HSAPQ set, but I'm not sure. It was actually a pretty good set, as I recall, very well balanced as far as difficulty and subject matter goes, etc. It was just the one question that caused a problem.
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Re: Multiple Answers to a Tossup?

Post by Duncan Idaho » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:29 am

JamesIV wrote:The question began something like this: "This ruler's reign saw country A invade country B, where they clashed at the Battle of C." At this point, I buzzed in and answered with the name of the ruler of country A at the time of the battle in question. The mod said this was wrong, I negged, and the question continued. After this point, it became clear that the question was asking for the ruler of country B, with which our opponents duly answered.
I'm in agreement with Mr. Chrzanowski that good writing should be able to avoid this. Since the question isn't in front of me, I can't really judge, but it seems that giving the country's name is too early a clue to be the lead-in. The question could avoid this by saying "This ruler's reign saw country A invade this ruler's country..."
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the return of AHAN
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Re: Multiple Answers to a Tossup?

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:28 am

Not the thread I thought it would be... I was thinking it would be about something like this recent toss-up from a popular, Wheaton IL-based provider.... "In any order, name the four US presidents who died of natural causes while in office."
Yes, that was really a toss-up. :aaa:
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Re: Multiple Answers to a Tossup?

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:46 pm

Because I don't believe is cleared(I hope this isn't revealing much), there was a question that had an issue with missing answer lines. A question had a leadin about country a (the tossup was about country b, which is specific to country a) and the first clue only stated country and the answer our opponent buzzed in and answered should've been correct considering the answer they gave was correct given the clue, because the clue they buzzed in on didn't state the question was looking for a specific entity. Not that this significantly altered the outcome of our game, but there's a problem with this.
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