Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
Locked
User avatar
Kilroy Was Here
Rikku
Posts: 354
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:29 pm
Location: Michigan

Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by Kilroy Was Here » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:20 pm

Favorite bad moderator moments.

"English Civil war?"
"...prompt?"
"War of the Roses?"
"Power!!!"

"Adams?"
"Prompt"
"John Adams"
"Prompt"
"John Quincy Adams"
"Hoooray you go it!"
Collin Parks
University of Michigan '18

"Aragorn was the famed king of Gondor, while the Iberian kingdom was Aragon. Both parties were aware of this coincidence: we have a journal entry from Aragorn that expresses his anger at receiving mail meant for King Peter IV of Aragon for the umpteenth time."~ CommodoreCoCo

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

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:36 pm

One that sticks out in my head in my short playing career would be seeing a moderator prompt on a state when the question starts "This U.S. city...".
Thomas Moore
Lancaster Fisher Catholic HS c/o 2014
Ohio Wesleyan University c/o 2018

David Riley
Auron
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:27 am
Location: Morton Grove, IL

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by David Riley » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:44 pm

My favorite (the Illinois people have all heard this story) was about 15 years ago at a state qualifier:

The untrained moderator first pronounces the word "matrices" as "mattresses". Both teams howled and the moderator got very defensive. I called a time out and asked my team to cut her some slack as she was untrained.

A little further along, she got a question about factorials and thought that the exclamation points meant to read the numbers "with feeling". Now the teams really howled and she stormed out of the room.

While it was funny then, an untrained moderator should NEVER read for any type of qualifier or championship. If the host of such can't provide competent moderators, then they probably shouldn't be hosting.
David Riley
Coach Emeritus, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois, 1993-2010
Steering Committee, IHSSBCA, 1996 -
Member, PACE, 2012 -

"This is 1183, of course we're barbarians" -- Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter"

Cubfan125
Lulu
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:00 am

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Cubfan125 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:58 pm

Ignore this.
Last edited by Cubfan125 on Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Alex Kling
Latin School of Chicago class of 2012
Williams College class of 2016

User avatar
Irreligion in Bangladesh
Auron
Posts: 2069
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 1:18 am
Location: Winnebago, IL

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:04 am

Cubfan125 wrote:Here's one my team ran into just last saturday:
blah blah question content blah blah edit that out blah
Brad Fischer
Head Editor, IHSA State Series

Winnebago HS ('06)
Northern Illinois University ('10)
Assistant Coach, IMSA (2010-12)
Coach, Keith Country Day School (2012-16)

Cubfan125
Lulu
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:00 am

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Cubfan125 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:07 am

Sorry -- my bad. Thanks for catching that.
Alex Kling
Latin School of Chicago class of 2012
Williams College class of 2016

User avatar
Scaled Flowerpiercer
Wakka
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:03 pm
Location: Irvington, NY

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Scaled Flowerpiercer » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:08 am

There was one incident where someone's accent made it impossible to distinguish between the words "this," "that," and "the," which, given how demonstrative pronouns tend to indicate what is being asked for, led to a fair amount of confusion. The same moderator also contemplated the acronym "MLB" for some time, finding it to be a very strange combination of letters.

I also remember a time when Dvorak was not accepted by a moderator who did not know how to pronounce the name; there will always be imperfect readers, there isn't much that can be done about it other than tournament directors making the effort to train moderators.

Oh, and it isn't so much bad moderating so much as a hilarious mistake, but for a :chip: category named A E I O U (something to do with vowels...) my coach asked me how to pronounce it, believing it to be a French word.
Samuel Donow
Irvington High School '12
Williams College '16

User avatar
Charles Martel
Wakka
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:21 am

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Charles Martel » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:11 am

I think there's no reason to really complain about (although it's fun to joke about),
A. Moderators making mistakes that can be easily corrected, like not accepting an answer that should have been due to pronunciation. I (in an embarrassing moment) once rejected "Faber" on a tossup on "Weber", not having heard the correct pronunciation before. The team protested after I finished, and I accepted their answer. No harm done
B. Moderators mispronouncing a word in an understandable way. The best advice to untrained moderators for pronouncing words is, IMO, to pronounce everything you don't know phonetically. You'll get everything wrong, but people will know what you're trying to say.
Adam Kalinich
MIT 2012-
Illinois Math and Science Academy 2009-2012

Dan-Don
Yuna
Posts: 966
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:05 pm
Location: Evanston
Contact:

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Dan-Don » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:33 am

whitesoxfan wrote: I think there's no reason to really complain about (although it's fun to joke about),
A. Moderators making mistakes that can be easily corrected, like not accepting an answer that should have been due to pronunciation. I (in an embarrassing moment) once rejected "Faber" on a tossup on "Weber", not having heard the correct pronunciation before. The team protested after I finished, and I accepted their answer. No harm done
It's "VEY-ber." I hope the team that you gave points to for an incorrect answer had a fun time joking about you.
Dan Donohue, Saint Viator ('10), Northwestern ('14), NAQT

User avatar
Charles Martel
Wakka
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:21 am

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Charles Martel » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:29 am

"Faber" is how I heard it, and they might have pronounced it right. Even if they didn't, it's a reasonably close pronunciation, clearly an attempt at the correct pronunciation, and closer than mine.
Adam Kalinich
MIT 2012-
Illinois Math and Science Academy 2009-2012

jonah
Auron
Posts: 2303
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by jonah » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:30 am

whitesoxfan wrote:"Faber" is how I heard it, and they might have pronounced it right. Even if they didn't, it's a reasonably close pronunciation, clearly an attempt at the correct pronunciation, and closer than mine.
Jeez, Adam, why didn't you have your hand right on their vocal cords to check whether or not they voiced the first consonant?
Jonah Greenthal
National Academic Quiz Tournaments

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

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:08 am

In order to try and extract something serious out of this last business: Don't both the NAQT and HSAPQ rules contain passages allowing moderators to ask for more specifics on an unclearly-heard or unclearly-pronounced answer? (The canonical example there is a player that says [muh-NAY] to answer a painting question, which could be "Monet" or "Manet", who the moderator asks to "spell it".) In a situation like Adam's in the future, do the existing rules permit moderators to ask something like "give me the first consonant you said" in order to more accurately determine whether the answer is acceptable?
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Sailing away on my copper boat

User avatar
Dominator
Tidus
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Dominator » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:15 am

RyuAqua wrote:In order to try and extract something serious out of this last business: Don't both the NAQT and HSAPQ rules contain passages allowing moderators to ask for more specifics on an unclearly-heard or unclearly-pronounced answer? (The canonical example there is a player that says [muh-NAY] to answer a painting question, which could be "Monet" or "Manet", who the moderator asks to "spell it".) In a situation like Adam's in the future, do the existing rules permit moderators to ask something like "give me the first consonant you said" in order to more accurately determine whether the answer is acceptable?
I think this is too harsh. Is there really a Veber (pronounced closest to "Faber") we are worried people will confuse with the author of Protestant Ethic? The most reasonable explanation here is that a team knows the right answer but not the right pronunciation, which should not be penalized (especially considering it is a very common consequence of self-study, which quizbowl seems to like). I think the only way to avoid this situation is to work patiently with new moderators until they learn about Weber, Euler, Goethe, and the rest.
Dr. Noah Prince

Normal Community High School (2002)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2004, 2007, 2008)

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy - Scholastic Bowl coach (2009-2014), assistant coach (2014-2015), well wisher (2015-2016)
guy in San Diego (2016-present)
President of Qblitz (2018-present)

Image

User avatar
Down and out in Quintana Roo
Auron
Posts: 2907
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:25 am
Location: Camden, DE
Contact:

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:45 am

It's been my rule of thumb after 6 years of moderating tournaments that it's better to be extremely lenient with pronunciation. Sure, the quizbowl elites (TOP TEAMS) will say that it's better for a player to just learn the answer after getting it wrong, but i fervently disagree. I've seen young players completely shut down during a game after being negged for not knowing how to pronounce a name and butchering it such that the moderator didn't accept it. That does not encourage that player to continue; it gives him or her another reason to think they are not good enough compared to the teams that "just know stuff."

For instance, i've seen a player, years ago, negged for pronouncing W. S. Maugham as "MAW-gum." Ludicrous. We do not need to be looking for additional ways to make players incorrect; in fact, we need to be doing exactly the opposite.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
CRHS '97-'01
University of Delaware '01-'05
CRHS quizbowl coach '06-'12
http://crquizbowl.edublogs.org

David Riley
Auron
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:27 am
Location: Morton Grove, IL

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by David Riley » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:19 pm

About twenty=odd years ago, a question in art history had the clues shells, curlicues, etc. The student answered "rococo", to which the moderator replied "Well I'll accept that, but down here we say "baroque".
David Riley
Coach Emeritus, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois, 1993-2010
Steering Committee, IHSSBCA, 1996 -
Member, PACE, 2012 -

"This is 1183, of course we're barbarians" -- Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter"

User avatar
Steeve Ho You Fat
Auron
Posts: 1004
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:48 pm

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:52 pm

If this thread has become "laugh at bad moderators," I'll throw in the story of Ohio's local-format regionals a few years back where our team was really confused after hearing several questions in a row about "Bar-coo" art. Then, at states (with a different person), I was asked to spell my buzz of "Cure-isle", and when I responded with "Kurile" got a confused stare for about 30 seconds before "Well...there's not an e at the end...but...I guess I'll give it to you." The next year, the same guy refused to accept "government murdering people" for a rather bizzare question of capital punishment, despite my accurate description of the phenomenon.
Joe Nutter
PACE Treasurer
Michigan State University '14
Walnut Hills High School '11

User avatar
the return of AHAN
Auron
Posts: 1932
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:40 pm

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by the return of AHAN » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:12 pm

Well, if we're piling on, at a tournament last year, on bad questions, my team captain buzzed a toss-up about the artist who painted "The Scream," and said (what sounded like) "Edvard Moonk." Before the moderator even opened her mouth, I knew what was coming... She ruled incorrect, and our opponent promptly rebounded with (what sounded like) "Edward Munch." Luckily, I won the argument when the opposing coach immediately gave way, but still.... :mad:
Jeff Price
Barrington High School Coach
Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

User avatar
Broad-tailed Grassbird
Tidus
Posts: 712
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:27 pm
Location: Somewhere nice.
Contact:

Re: What do you do about bad readers at tournaments?

Post by Broad-tailed Grassbird » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:46 am

Plan Rubber wrote:If this thread has become "laugh at bad moderators," I'll throw in the story of Ohio's local-format regionals a few years back where our team was really confused after hearing several questions in a row about "Bar-coo" art. Then, at states (with a different person), I was asked to spell my buzz of "Cure-isle", and when I responded with "Kurile" got a confused stare for about 30 seconds before "Well...there's not an e at the end...but...I guess I'll give it to you." The next year, the same guy refused to accept "government murdering people" for a rather bizzare question of capital punishment, despite my accurate description of the phenomenon.
More data for the quest to figure out Joe Nutter's convoluted political beliefs.
Nalin
Scranton Middle School (2000-2003)
Brighton High School (2003-2007)
Michigan State University (2007-2011)
Semi-Retired (2012-present)

User avatar
Unicolored Jay
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:28 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by Unicolored Jay » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:42 am

Once, I was initially negged for pronouncing Jacques-Louis David's last name correctly because the moderator didn't know that the painter's last name is not pronounced like how it reads.
RyuAqua wrote:In order to try and extract something serious out of this last business: Don't both the NAQT and HSAPQ rules contain passages allowing moderators to ask for more specifics on an unclearly-heard or unclearly-pronounced answer? (The canonical example there is a player that says [muh-NAY] to answer a painting question, which could be "Monet" or "Manet", who the moderator asks to "spell it".) In a situation like Adam's in the future, do the existing rules permit moderators to ask something like "give me the first consonant you said" in order to more accurately determine whether the answer is acceptable?
I do this all the time when I'm not exactly sure what exactly was given as an answer, but I don't think enough moderators at local tournaments are aware of even the rules about this, let alone know the correct pronunciation of such things.
Jasper Lee
University of Tennessee
The Ohio State University '14
Solon High School '10

Kyle
Auron
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Ifrane, Morocco / Oxford, UK / Issaquah, WA

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by Kyle » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:54 pm

A moderator at a college tournament at Brown contributed quite a lot of new ideas for the expansion of the quizbowl canon, including the tournament debuts of "Austrian aborigines" and Heracles' labor to defeat the "Namibian lion."
Kyle Haddad-Fonda
Harvard '09
Oxford '13

User avatar
Scaled Flowerpiercer
Wakka
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:03 pm
Location: Irvington, NY

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:32 pm

In :chip: games, there is no such thing as underlining, etc. to guide what constitutes an acceptable answer, so once when I answered a question which mentioned a "two word term" with "the dust bowl," the moderator was really unsure of accepting the answer, because of that third word I threw in the beginning.
Samuel Donow
Irvington High School '12
Williams College '16

User avatar
Rococo A Go Go
Auron
Posts: 2246
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:08 am
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:34 pm

My sophomore year in high school we came across a moderator who read a question that was SUPPOSED to use the phrase "this warm blooded organism", although she said something somewhat similar except not at all. Another moderator once referred to our assistant coach as being "on the pot" after she left for the bathroom, and once got so angry during a match that he picked up our buzzer system and slammed it into the ground.
Nick Conder
Louisville, KY

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."--Eugene V. Debs

User avatar
Coelacanth
Rikku
Posts: 276
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:41 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by Coelacanth » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:05 pm

Kyle wrote:"Austrian aborigines"
I was once subjected to the opposite; we were asked about an Australian composer which turned out (I think) to be Mozart.
Brian Weikle
I say what it occurs to me to say when I think I hear people say things. More, I cannot say.

User avatar
Important Bird Area
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5501
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:33 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Contact:

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:34 pm

Kyle wrote:the tournament debuts of "Austrian aborigines"
the Hallstatt culture is IMPORTANT and should come up at tournaments MORE OFTEN
Jeff Hoppes
President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:59 pm

Kyle wrote:A moderator at a college tournament at Brown contributed quite a lot of new ideas for the expansion of the quizbowl canon, including the tournament debuts of "Austrian aborigines" and Heracles' labor to defeat the "Namibian lion."
Is this the same tournament where Horatio Kitchener was "killed by a German mime?"
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

Kyle
Auron
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Ifrane, Morocco / Oxford, UK / Issaquah, WA

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by Kyle » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:08 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
Kyle wrote:A moderator at a college tournament at Brown contributed quite a lot of new ideas for the expansion of the quizbowl canon, including the tournament debuts of "Austrian aborigines" and Heracles' labor to defeat the "Namibian lion."
Is this the same tournament where Horatio Kitchener was "killed by a German mime?"
It was a slow and painful death, too -- he got trapped inside an invisible box and starved. But no, that was a different tournament. And the moderator said "mine" quite clearly, it's just that Jerry misunderstood.
Kyle Haddad-Fonda
Harvard '09
Oxford '13

nadph
Rikku
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:21 pm

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by nadph » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:28 pm

Coelacanth wrote: I was once subjected to the opposite; we were asked about an Australian composer which turned out (I think) to be Mozart.
Quizbowl really needs to stop asking about minor figures like Mozart and concentrate on the real greats like Percy Grainger.
Nikhil Desai
Bellarmine College Prep '12
Stanford '12-'15, '18

User avatar
cornfused
Auron
Posts: 2160
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:22 pm
Location: Des Moines, IA

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by cornfused » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:49 pm

Kyle wrote:A moderator at a college tournament at Brown contributed quite a lot of new ideas for the expansion of the quizbowl canon, including the tournament debuts of "Austrian aborigines" and Heracles' labor to defeat the "Namibian lion."
Was there a tossup on Neanderthals?


EDIT: I have been apparently beaten to this joke. Whoops.
Greg Peterson

Northwestern University '18
Lawrence University '11
Maine South HS '07

"a decent player" - Mike Cheyne

User avatar
cornfused
Auron
Posts: 2160
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:22 pm
Location: Des Moines, IA

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by cornfused » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:52 pm

The Hub (Gainesville, Florida) wrote:My sophomore year in high school we came across a moderator who read a question that was SUPPOSED to use the phrase "this warm blooded organism", although she said something somewhat similar except not at all. Another moderator once referred to our assistant coach as being "on the pot" after she left for the bathroom, and once got so angry during a match that he picked up our buzzer system and slammed it into the ground.
I believe that some time in the past an Illinois moderator (Coach Riley?) read a question that mentioned "hadrons" to a couple of Catholic schools, only he made a similar error.
Greg Peterson

Northwestern University '18
Lawrence University '11
Maine South HS '07

"a decent player" - Mike Cheyne

User avatar
pray for elves
Auron
Posts: 1047
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:58 pm
Location: 20001

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by pray for elves » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:11 pm

My team once lost a game in high school because the moderator thought that "biochemistry" should be acceptable for "organic chemistry" since those are "totally the same thing."
Evan
Georgetown Law Alum, Brandeis Alum, Oak Ridge High Alum
Ex-PACE, Ex-ACF

User avatar
ryanrosenberg
Auron
Posts: 1328
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 5:48 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by ryanrosenberg » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:41 pm

I've had a moderator who took a solid two minutes to determine that pi/5 and one-fifth pi were not equivalent.
Ryan Rosenberg
North Carolina '16 | Ardsley '12
PACE | ACF

David Riley
Auron
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:27 am
Location: Morton Grove, IL

Re: Reminisce about moderator mishaps here

Post by David Riley » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:45 pm

Yes, Greg, that was me....and with two Christian schools as the opposing teams! :oops:
David Riley
Coach Emeritus, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois, 1993-2010
Steering Committee, IHSSBCA, 1996 -
Member, PACE, 2012 -

"This is 1183, of course we're barbarians" -- Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter"

Locked