another bounceback debate

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Post by jrbarry »

What exactly do you mean, a more NAQT-like format? SCD will use 20 T's and 20 B's I think (maybe 15 instead of 20). THANK GOD SCD will use bounce-backs unlike NAQT who remains in the "Dark Ages" on that issue.

I would say that SCD will use the best of NAQT (their questions) and omit the worst of NAQT (no bounce-backs, no timed matches, and no speed-reaqding moderators)

I am glad you are bringing your kids to play in Savannah. SCD is always a good tournament.

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Post by jewtemplar »

jrbarry wrote:THANK GOD SCD will use bounce-backs unlike NAQT who remains in the "Dark Ages" on that issue.
I won't go into the timed-untimed (and thus the fast/leisurely moderator) debate, but I don't know exactly why you are so dogmatic on the bounceback issue. You seem to imply that almost all of the tournaments (in my experience) outside of the Southeast remain in the "Dark Ages". Tournament directors decide against bouncebacks not because they haven't "seen the light", but for purposes of rewarding teams who get tossups. Pyramidal tossups are designed to reward teams with deep knowledge, whereas bonus clues must necessarily be easier than those used in the beginnings of tossups. I would sooner reward a team that can buzz and doesn't know the bonus than a team that sits and picks off. Quiz bowl is not purely a test of knowledge, in my opinion. Is it not possible for respectable minds to disagree?
Pardon my thread derailing.

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Post by Dan Greenstein »

jrbarry wrote:What exactly do you mean, a more NAQT-like format? SCD will use 20 T's and 20 B's I think (maybe 15 instead of 20). THANK GOD SCD will use bounce-backs unlike NAQT who remains in the "Dark Ages" on that issue.

I would say that SCD will use the best of NAQT (their questions) and omit the worst of NAQT (no bounce-backs, no timed matches, and no speed-reaqding moderators)
Hmm, the PACE NSC has bouncebacks, untimed matches and, by extension, no need to speed-read. Will we be seeing Brookwood travel down to Orlando for a "Tournament of the Enlightenment?"

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Post by gosaints »

I'm not really concerned about the bonus bouncebacks. I'm fine with them as it can often serve to keep both teams engaged during the matches (especially blowouts). I do wish SCD would use the powers and negs; they make tossups more exciting in my opinion.

I was told by the TD that they would only be using 15 of the 24 tossups. The great thing about NAQT sets is that the topic balance is usually excellent. The use of only the first 15 questions in a set means that there is a decent chance that a number of topics won't be represented in any given match if those questions are later in the packet. I wish they would consider using 20.

Another idea would be for the SCD folks to weed the trash out of the sets (pop culture, sports, etc.). This would leave at least 15 academic tossups to play with a couple of spares per set for tie breakers. This really wouldn't take long to do and I think most people would be fine with it.

I don't see why the lack of bouncebacks is really such a bad thing (being able to confer out loud makes things so much easier). We play in a number of different formats each year and my kids seem to like the untimed NAQT tournaments with 20 tossups, powers, negs, and no bouncebacks best. All the different formats have good and bad points.

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Post by jrbarry »

1. Bounce backs reward knowledge. Why should 20-30 points be reserved ONLY for the team who gets a tossup? That team deserves first shot. But, should they NOT know it, the second team should get a shot. Why have so many points tied to a millisecond on a buzzer as is so often true when one team barely beats the other to a tossup? Anyone who REALLY seeks to reward deep knowledge should FAVOR bounceback bonuses.

2. I use the term "Dark Ages" to refer to the older way of playing, i.e. with no bouncebacks.

3. I do not prefer powers or negs. Just my preference.

4. I prefer 20 tossups per match to 15. I think SCD may revert to 20 in their playoffs.

5. It is hard for me to get over the fact that the worst-run national competition I have ever attended was run by PACE at Furman a few years ago. Absolutely pathetic. I hear that has not been the case in the ensuing years, but, alas, wants are unlimited and resources are limited. We can only do 1 or 2 a year. Once burned, yada yada... Perhaps I shall return to PACE one day if the powers that be will let me in at that time.

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Post by quizbowlmike »

Reasons not to have bouncebacks:

-I remember many years ago when i was playing for a team that really didnt know that much and we were playing in a tournament with bouncebacks. when we were playing against a good team and they negged early, it was to our advantage not to answer the question because they would get more points on the bonus than we would. that just shouldnt happen. rewarding a team for not getting a tossups just doesnt make sense logically. even if it's only rewarding a team for knowing more, bouncebacks encourage teams not to buzz in at the end for an easy answer if they are not a well rounded team. encouraging teams not to buzz is not productive in the development of younger players.

-Another point, a team that does not answer a single tossup should not be able to win a round, which is possible based on bouncbacks.

-There's no such thing as a bounceback in college.

-They make rounds go longer.

On other format notes:

-I'm for powers, the jury's still out on negs.
-Rounds need to be at least 20 tossups, especially if it's NAQT for reasons of balance.
-Untimed rounds are good for non-national tournaments, but i can see how timed rounds would be useful for nationals where everyone should be a veteran.

Finally, PACE ran very smoothly last year. In my humble opinion, it was ran better that Brookwood last year, where our team never got a playoff schedule despite asking multiple people in Brookwood shirts and asking at the reader room.
My views in no way represent those of the UF College Bowl team. (by request)

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Post by First Chairman »

The other difficulty of having reboundable/bounceback bonuses is the issue of protests. It is much more complicated to deal with the effects of challening and resolving tossups or bonus parts when you have reboundable bonuses.

It also can confuse the heck out of staff-folks who are not used to reboundable bonus parts. Okay, that's maybe an instance where we have to break habits, but I can probably say that a good majority of the country plays quiz bowl without reboundable bonus parts (completely eyeballing this), so the source of experienced readers is limited for this caveat in the rules. I don't know if I would call playing the game without reboundable bonuses "the Dark Ages" because it certainly hasn't caught on in any national format other than PACE, and we do not hold a position that all of quiz bowl must (emphasis on "must") play with reboundable bonuses. [Of course, since I know of virtually no other tournament outside the Southeast that runs straight-up toss/bonus format with reboundable bounses, the implication that the rest of the country is playing quiz bowl in the "Dark Ages"... I'll just let that pass and say, I tried my best :) .]

One advantage of bounceback bonuses is that as writers and editors we can actually write HARDER bonus questions. You cannot write binary or choice bonus questions (identify these rocks as igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic... or worse, name these types of rocks). So I agree with Rick on the point that reboundable bonuses actually can reward deeper bases in knowledge... depending on how that is executed.
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Post by NotBhan »

In reply to Mr. Barry, I can tell you that Valencia CC, this year's host of the PACE NSC, has a lot of experience with running organized and timely tournaments. I've moderated at 15 or so tournaments at Valencia over the past 7 years, and nearly all (if not all) have run smoothly and on time (or acceptably close to being on time). Valencia has an experienced cast of moderators loitering in the area, and the classroom buildings are more localized than at most colleges (which helps with multiple-building tournaments). I can't speak for any other aspect of the tournament, but I can tell you that based on my experience, the PACE NSC should be a well-run tournament bearing no resemblence to the aforementioned past debacle at Furman.

--Raj Dhuwalia, not affiliated in any way with PACE, and also not speaking for the University of Florida

P.S. Since this became a separate bounceback bonus thread while I was typing, I'm neutral on the bounceback bonus thing. I'd never seen it in a tournament until I read at the PACE NSC in June, and I see both the upside and potential downside of it. I've used it for practices in the past, and it does keep both teams attentive during the bonuses.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

Bounce backs can make a match take a LONG time. In the four quarter format that a lot of Southeastern schools use, the effect is not as pronounced since only part of the match has tossups with bonuses, but in a 20/20 match it can really add up. This isn't as much of a factor at a tournament like the NSC where two days are allotted and matches are fairly long to begin with, but at a local event where several rooms might have a lot of unanwered bonus parts, it's understandable that the drawbacks might outweigh the benefits.

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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

Before this gets carried away into the discussions of the eliteists (too late, perhaps), remember, it's not all good teams in quiz bowl. There are subpar teams out there who would have their opinion, and it'd go something like this.

Bouncebacks are the only thing keeping us playing this stupid game.

If there were no bouncebacks, there would have to be negs, correct? Because if you answer TU 1 correctly, with no bouncebacks and no negs, what's to stop you from buzzing in on one word for every next question?

So throw out bouncebacks and throw in negs to our game. We're already not a very good team, but we're trying to get better....two problems that we (as most, if not all lesser teams have) are a lack of knowledge and a lack of buzzer speed. The knowledge we can work on.

But we can't get faster at the buzzers with negs. Remember now, we're not playing on an all-star team, or a TJ, or a Governors, we're playing on Podunk High here. No all-stars, just trainees, trainees that are punished for making a mistake.

Negs are good for containing buzzer hogs at high levels. This does NOT mean the lower levels, where players are trying to get into it. If bouncebacks were banned, the lower 20% of schools in quiz bowl would stop playing eventually, because they can't do anything buzzerwise.

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Post by Tegan »

This is a pretty neat conversation here......

In Illinois, we use rebounds (part of the reason why we, unfortunately, don't have many NAQT contests....even with modification, many of their bonuses don't allow for it....even though I really like their style of question)....it also means no 30-20-10 or 50,000-20-15-10-5-1-0.5 style bonuses.

I compare it to football. The pro rules and college rules and high school rules are not the same.....and what generally prevents them from being the same is:
1. Issues of physical play (the pro game can be rougher, and more of hte safety rules are dispensed with as you move up in level)

2. high school and college is not professional, and as such, there are certain rules to elp keep "the little guy" in the game. If those rules don't exist, pretty soon there are no more "little guys"....jsut two teams playing for the state championship in September, shaking hands, and saying see you next year.


The rebound, in my opinion, gives aid to the little guy....and is also a defense against the one man gang. A one man team can beat you on the toss-up a lot.......but on the bonus, it is much more difficult. I think the rebound rewards the better TEAM....while the fast buzz is for the great individual (certainly a team of great indidualS should win nearly every time). Especially at the lower levels, Negs can kill the confidence of a player. I don't mind them, but I would say that they should be reserved for the college level or tournaments for elite high school teams only.

As you move up......say into college (or even an accepted elite high school tournament, where only the best are there), I would have no problem removing rebounds (except that, again, I think the one man gang has a better chance to win); though as Styxman said, if you remove the rebound, negs have to go in).

There are a small number of Illinois coaches who don't like the Illinois format (rebounds, no negs, strict toss-up/bonus). I for one like it for high schools (I would not advocate it at all for the college level). I think some players (and coaches) get a bit cutthrat on their outlook on competition, and as such they want rules that favor the elite teams. I don't have a problem with that, per se, but the elite teams shouldn't need too much protection. If no one looks out for the little guy, they will start to go away....and where does that leave us?

Three years ago, I took over a struggling program that was a part of a conference that, in my opinion, made it very difficult for struggling teams to improve (note: not win, improve). They restricted your ability to play outside the conference. As a result, I felt it necessary to withdraw from the conference to get my team the chances to play teams more at our level, develop the confidence, and allow my team to improve. If we don't give the little teams a chance to improve.....the competition will go away.

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Post by Dan Greenstein »

If the mechanics of the game are changed to better benefit the teams at the lower end of the spectrum, does the quizbowl circuit as a whole benefit? After all, everyone would still play by the same rules. The "elitist" teams are still going to pummel Podunk High School's C team. No matter how many teams enter a tournament, someone is going to finish last. To change the rules to benefit the little guy suggests we should accept mediocrity. This is not France.

It is easier to become a better player in quizbowl than in other "sports." It takes years to develop the physical ability to play football, or the musical ability to play violin. For quizbowl, all you have to do is gain experience, which helps with mechanics, and knowledge, which you can do simply by opening a book. I will not say more, since they are probably multiple threads in the archives dealing with improving at quizbowl.

By the way, if you think this is a "stupid game," why are you still playing it and/or posting on a quizbowl message board?

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Post by gosaints »

With regards to negs, I don't think a loss of 5 points is really that big of a deal. The real punishment that comes as a result of an early and incorrect buzz is that the other team will get to hear the entire tossup with no pressure.

Our motto: If you're not negging then you're not trying. :-)

I do think that having powers and negs makes tossups more interesting. My kids always get a rush when they "power" a question.

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Post by Tegan »

Dan Greenstein wrote:This is not France.
Now hang on there D.G....there's no need to go hitting below the belt. No one's getting to the point where we're suggesting a cheese and wine break at the half :wink:
I don't think anyone is asking to water down the competition and I would hope no one is saying "let us pity the weak by making the game easier". On the contrary, I think that there should be tougher questions.....the more different questions there are, the more whole teams are pushed to get better.
The bonus rebound is not that unsimiliar to that in basketball and even football. I really think that you need to let the other team at least get something.....not a handicap to "level the playing field", but a legitimate chance to score. If a team is that elite, they will get the TU, and they will sweep the bonus....'nuff said, they win, the other team goes home...they had their chance......but if you have the one man gang...they might beat you on 10-12 toss-ups, but may not know enough to get the bonus. Is it fair as a team competition when the rules allow one player to so dominate? I would argue "no", and I would argue that even in pro sports, it wouldn't be allowed....in baseball, Babe Ruth had to wait through 8 batters to get his next at-bat...should he be allowed to bat every time? Even a quarterback can't win without the offensive line. I think rebounding helps to validate academic bowl competitions as team competitions. If high school academic bowl is just about winning, then I would argue that it is no better than the other sports with players and coaches who would win "at any cost". Yes, winning is the ultiamte goal in any match......but at the high school level there should be emphasis on improvement, learning the material, learning to win and lose with grace and dignity, and yes, sportsmanship. That is not a "French" concept as you put it.......I think it is good educational sense at the high school level.

I don't think it is wrong to demand that the weak teams earn a victory by geting better. Coaches (and players) need to get educated that this is a competition, and if you expect to win, you should expect to put in the time it takes to get better.

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Post by NotBhan »

Ignoring the sports/music analogies (of which little good can come) of the previous couple of posts ...

1. 30-20-10 bonuses should be usable in a bounceback format -- after the 30-point clue, Team A gets a shot, then Team B, then the 20-point clue for Team A, etc. (Of course, Team B might unwittingly help Team A get the next part of the bonus by eliminating a possible answer, but if so, that's simply a consequence Team B must face for not getting the tossup.)

2. I don't see why negs and bouncebacks would be mutually exclusive items. (And yes, I did read the arguments of the previous few posts.) (But I've lost the will to address them in detail.)

3. I don't see why a neg would make that big a difference to a player. True, it's been a longlonglong time since I started, and I was never a scrub, but why would it make such a difference? In a non-neg format, assuming that only one buzz per team is allowed, a player who buzzes in early and gets the question wrong still locks out the player's team. The loss of (say) 5 additional points shouldn't make _that_ big a difference, relatively speaking.

4. Rather than try to structure rules to help the bottom of the field (and I'm fine with that, to a degree), a better way to keep the weaker teams involved is (1) to write good pyramidally-structured questions on accessible topics and (2) to structure a tournament so that the weaker teams get a chance to play each other. For instance, many collegiate tournaments will have teams divided randomly into several groups, and they play a round robin within that group. After that, the top (say) two teams in each group play the top teams from other groups, the middle teams play each other, and the lowest-ranked teams play each other. True, that can be tough if the tournament is limited to a handful of rounds or has 70 teams, but it's a good way to let teams play others of similar strength.

As for part (1), pyramidally-structured tossups give the advantage to the team with more knowledge of the subject (which is only fair) but allow less experienced teams to have a fair shot at the end, assuming the topic is well chosen.

*********
Anyway, as for the bounceback topic, I'm not sure it makes that great a difference in outcome. Logically, it should increase the probability that the more experienced team will win. The only case in which that _should_ affect the outcome is if the team with less experience is quicker on the buzzer.

As an addendum, although bouncebacks make a match longer, I don't think they make it _that_ much longer, since the bonus parts aren't actually being re-read.

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Post by Stained Diviner »

Bonus questions as a whole rarely affect who wins or loses a match. The number of tossups is tied or the team with fewer tossups wins the match less than 10% of the time. Bouncebacks, a subset of bonuses, are very rarely going to affect who wins or loses.

I think the only real pro is that they make the match more enjoyable for the team that is losing. The only real con is that they make matches longer. (If you make each match ten minutes longer, then you make the tournament more than one hour longer, meaning you will either change the format to allow for fewer matches or get home late for dinner.) I prefer having bouncebacks, but they are low on the list of priorities. (I also prefer not having negs, but that is also low on the list.) Maybe some tournament could do bouncebacks in the morning qualifiers but not in the afternoon championships if they wanted to have some variety.

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Post by jrbarry »

In our Region and state tournament, we have played bounce-backs for over 10 years. We play 20T's in varsity and 15 T's in JV. Using bouncebacks has little effect on the time it takes to play the match. 3-5 extra seconds per bonus part is not much.

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Post by jrbarry »

quizbowlmike wrote

"PACE ran very smoothly last year. In my humble opinion, it was ran better that Brookwood last year, where our team never got a playoff schedule despite asking multiple people in Brookwood shirts and asking at the reader room"

Sorry you didn't get a playoff schedule at Brookwood last year. I would say Brookwood is "ran" pretty well for a very large tournament. But, we do try to improve every year though we sometimes fall short of that.

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Post by rchschem »

We play BBs in our tournament, both on pyramids and directed category questions, and both times we've run the thing it has finished early. I haven't noticed in the other tournaments I've been to that it really added a lot of time to the tournament. I would think that if bouncebacks add 10 minutes per round, the readers need to pick up the pace.

By my calculations, that would be 30 extra seconds per question in a 20Q round, and most places that use them play that the BB response must be instantaneous. It shouldn't add any time at all!

And I disagree with the concept that a team that can't get a tossup shouldn't be able to win a round. Should a team that can answer 20 tossups be considered better than one that can answer 60 bonuses (if 3 part?)? I would be more embarrassed that my team couldn't get enough bonus points to win working together than if my team got shut out on TUs.

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Post by First Chairman »

My own opinions on these issue of making sure the "little guy" is involved in the game: yes, there are ways to do it, and we should be sure that whatever format we play (or create) that we don't alienate the middle of the bell curve.

PACE does not use negs but does use powers in only one portion of the game. Throughout the game reboundable bouncebacker bonuses are used.

I have also kept interest among "average" tier teams by putting in worksheet rounds. I think that is a more equitable means of making sure that weaker teams score points and are involved than bounceback bonuses. On the other hand, that goes into philosophical discussions of whether written handout rounds are "true" quiz bowl.

In timed matches, 3-5 seconds makes a difference. In PACE format for which you can get up to 28 tossups, 3-5 seconds per bonus part means you can add up to 290 (5x20 + 5x8 + 5x30) seconds to the length of the game, not counting the breaks. Five minutes is a pretty long time for PACE matches. NAQT rounds: assuming 30-point 3-part bonuses x 28 tossups: 5x28x3 = 420 sec = 7 minutes. Considering each half has 9 minutes of play time, bouncebacks would potentially reduce the number
of tossups that a team could potentially answer in a timed match. And if you have a slow reader...

If my math is totally on crack, please tell me... I'm sure I miscalculated somewhere.
Last edited by First Chairman on Mon Dec 13, 2004 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by First Chairman »

Regarding the philosophy of the "unfair result" of having a team with fewer tossups winning a match...

Again, the only way that in my opinion you get unfair results is that the bonuses are written significantly less difficult than tossups. Of course, the exclusive bonus depends so much on luck of the subject of the bonus... But I think that properly formatted games using reboundable bonuses will strive to get as many tossups to be answered, then hit with more difficult questions the bonuses.

The way we write bonuses anyway, a team that gets the tossup should automatically get another 10-15 points added because we like the give-me-points first-question in bonuses. Is that necessarily fair for the opposing team?

It is a real philosophical question of whether we are balancing the rewards of outstanding individual play vs. team depth of knowledge... a discussion that will always be on the table.

PS. Another option is to actually make bonus questions as a whole worth as much as the tossup question. I would love to work that out in a game format, and to a point Ohio format tries to do that (flaws with their version of bouncebacks notwithstanding).

Anyone out there want to do tossup/bonus with a maximum value of 15 points on bonuses? What do we do about negs or powers for that matter? Discuss...
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Post by No Sollositing On Premise »

I personally am okay with bouncebacks on bonuses during practice, but it gets REALLY tiresome when you play a lot of such matches in a row, like the PACE group play, where we were so tired by the end of the day that none of us could concentrate in our final few matches. I actually prefer timed matches because they always feel so intense and add a new dimension of time management to game strategy, but that's just me (I'm a pretty intense person in general).

Despite what Dr. Chuck is saying regarding his calculations of how much time bonuses take up, I think that his numbers are a bit skewed, because in NAQT matches one is especially tempted to rush through bonuses (and sometimes interrupt bonuses) and in PACE matches the more leisurely pace makes bonus questions usually longer than 3-5 seconds. Lastly, I found the general quality of readers to be somewhat better at NAQT than PACE, and a slow reader is the true best indicator that a match is going to be a long one.

Anyway, back to the bouncebacks argument, I don't think that Dr. Chuck's calculations should be all that valid because let's be honest, those time restrictions are always longer than advertised, especially on bonus times.
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Post by First Chairman »

jrbarry wrote:quizbowlmike wrote

"PACE ran very smoothly last year. In my humble opinion, it was ran better that Brookwood last year, where our team never got a playoff schedule despite asking multiple people in Brookwood shirts and asking at the reader room"

Sorry you didn't get a playoff schedule at Brookwood last year. I would say Brookwood is "ran" pretty well for a very large tournament. But, we do try to improve every year though we sometimes fall short of that.
And I'm sure those of us at PACE would also say the same thing (in bold) about the NSC since the beginning, including at and since the 2000 NSC.
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Post by Leo Wolpert »

styxman wrote: Before this gets carried away into the discussions of the eliteists (too late, perhaps), remember, it's not all good teams in quiz bowl. There are subpar teams out there who would have their opinion, and it'd go something like this.
Pretty much anyone can become a member of the "elite," or at least get extremely close to being a "good team." This has been shown time and time again. Thus, calling others' "eliteists" [sic] is folly. Why shouldn't quizbowl reward those who have the most knowledge? Perhaps your time would be better spent accumulating and retaining knowledge rather than appealing to some sort of nonexistent quizbowl class struggle.
Tegan wrote: 2. high school and college is not professional, and as such, there are certain rules to elp keep "the little guy" in the game. If those rules don't exist, pretty soon there are no more "little guys"....jsut two teams playing for the state championship in September, shaking hands, and saying see you next year.
I sure don't remember any rules to help my team ("the little guys") during my HS football days. When we had to play the defending state champs for homecoming, the score started 0-0, the refs called penalties on us just like they called penalties on our opponents, and they handed us our worst ass-kicking of the season. Yet, TJ still has a football team (which actually made the playoffs this year for something like the first time ever).

Perhaps teams lose in football because they aren't as big, fast, strong, or talented as the other team. Just like teams lose in quizbowl because they don't have as much depth/breadth of knowledge and recall/buzzer speed as the other team.
Tegan wrote: The rebound, in my opinion, gives aid to the little guy....and is also a defense against the one man gang. A one man team can beat you on the toss-up a lot.......but on the bonus, it is much more difficult. I think the rebound rewards the better TEAM....while the fast buzz is for the great individual (certainly a team of great indidualS should win nearly every time). Especially at the lower levels, Negs can kill the confidence of a player. I don't mind them, but I would say that they should be reserved for the college level or tournaments for elite high school teams only.
Actually bonuses themselves already reward the better TEAM. That's why a team composed of great indidual [sic] specialists often wins tournaments. And so what if negs kill someone's confidence? To use another football analogy, missing a tackle can kill the confidence of a defensive player. But you don't see high school football being turned into two-hand touch to preserve the poor, undersized safety's confidence.
Tegan wrote: Yes, winning is the ultiamte goal in any match......but at the high school level there should be emphasis on improvement, learning the material, learning to win and lose with grace and dignity, and yes, sportsmanship.
The same could be said for any non-professional sport. Yet losing high school basketball teams don't lobby to change the rules specifically to "level the playing field." A basketball coach who asked for rims to be lowered because "we score more points on 9-foot rims, and "9-foot rims are the only thing keeping us playing this stupid game" would be an object of ridicule.

I've had enough horrible sports analogies today (both the ones I've read and the one's I've created). I'll stop now.

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Post by samer »

Tegan wrote:This is a pretty neat conversation here......

In Illinois, we use rebounds (part of the reason why we, unfortunately, don't have many NAQT contests....even with modification, many of their bonuses don't allow for it....even though I really like their style of question)....it also means no 30-20-10 or 50,000-20-15-10-5-1-0.5 style bonuses.
One fundamental point to note:

The Illinois bounceback format is, even for tournaments with bouncebacks, rather unusual: all the bonus parts are read before teams start to confer. Most bounceback formats--including PACE--read bonuses one part at a time, with bouncebacks if a part is missed.

It is this difference, not the concept itself, that makes many NAQT bonuses (and PACE bonuses, too) unusable in IL format.[/i]
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Re-Bracketing or Power Matching

Post by pblessman »

NotBhan wrote:4. Rather than try to structure rules to help the bottom of the field (and I'm fine with that, to a degree), a better way to keep the weaker teams involved is (1) ... (2) to structure a tournament so that the weaker teams get a chance to play each other. For instance, many collegiate tournaments will have teams divided randomly into several groups, and they play a round robin within that group. After that, the top (say) two teams in each group play the top teams from other groups, the middle teams play each other, and the lowest-ranked teams play each other. True, that can be tough if the tournament is limited to a handful of rounds or has 70 teams, but it's a good way to let teams play others of similar strength.
I'd like to redirect the discussion to a different thread (*PLEASE SEE MY NEW THREAD IF YOU'D LIKE TO RESPOND*), which I see very eloquently started by Raj here- why so many tournaments don't rebracket or power match to give everybody the opportunity to play similar strength teams...

I believe rebracketing or power matching benefits everybody! The strongest teams don't spend the entire morning beating up on the weakest teams to get a shot at the other really strong teams in a single elimination format in the afternoon, and the weakest teams don't get crushed all morning long just to have to go at lunch after five matches...

So how about trying out power matching or rebracketing? It works great at NAQT Nationals, and I've used it successfully at my tournaments... We normally play a morning round robin and then rebracket in the afternoon... and you'd be amazed how intense the matches in the lowest six team afternoon bracket (teams 13-18) can become. And these teams gather valuable experience... and get their money's worth! In the RR and the single elimination format, the team that gets the most playing experience AND the most bang for the buck is the winner... that somehow doesn't seem fair to me.

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Post by Admiral »

Eh......I can see both sides here. I've moderated for years, and if you are adding that much time, you need to read faster.
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Post by First Chairman »

I have had moderators read an It's Academic round (no bouncebacks, straight up tossups or directed team questions) consistently... taking them 30 minutes to read a round it normally takes me 10.
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Post by quizbowllee »

To bounceback or not to bounceback. That is the question.

OK. I met Dr. Barry for the first time at the ASCA coaches' meeting here in Alabama. He was the guest speaker and he conducted a wonderful workshop on coaching quiz bowl. I admired his incredible love for the game and his dedication - both things that we have in common. I noticed that he and I share many coaching strategies. However, we also have a few vast differences in opinion. This has become obvious in this thread...

I'm not a big fan of bouncebacks. My kids (those that I coach) used to think that bounceback was the only way. However, this year they have changed their minds completely.

Consider the word "bonus." It implies in of itself that someone or some team is being rewarded for something. Why should a team that just allowed the other team to score on them be rewarded?
My team is unbelievable weak in math. In a bounceback format, they may opt NOT to answer a math tossup that the other team has missed simply to avoid the math bonus that we are likely to "zero" and the other team is likely to get 20 or 30 on. In non-bounceback competition, such as NAQT (in our opinion the best format - if only it wasn't timed...), they will be much more agressive on the buzzer. Of course, in NAQT, the bonuses don't always match the category of the tossup (the pros and cons of this can be argued elsewhere).

At any rate, I would state that those formats that still use bouncebacks are in "the dark ages," not vice-versa. If a team can't answer tossups, why give them a bonus? Regardless, though, we will play in virtually any format available to us.

Just my two cents.

-Lee

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Post by jrbarry »

Team A answers a tossup and therefore earns a bonus. Team A may have beaten out Team B by only a millisecond to that tossup. To lock out 20-30 bonus points because of the knowledge based on ONE tossup which MAY have been earned only by a millisecond is NOT rewarding knowledge.

Lee: it isn't that team B doesn't know the answer or is just sitting there. It is SPEED in some cases that makes the difference. That speed MAY be based on deeper knowledge and, if that is true, bounceback bonuses shouldn't be a problem for the more knowledgable team. But I have seen enough teams with superficial knowledge take the guess and get it right when the more knowledgable team waits because their players KNOW more possibilities as answers.

Quiz bowl matches should PRIMARILY reward knowledge. Bounceback bonuses do that.

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Post by MLafer »

Team A answers a tossup and therefore earns a bonus. Team A may have beaten out Team B by only a millisecond to that tossup. To lock out 20-30 bonus points because of the knowledge based on ONE tossup which MAY have been earned only by a millisecond is NOT rewarding knowledge.

Lee: it isn't that team B doesn't know the answer or is just sitting there. It is SPEED in some cases that makes the difference. That speed MAY be based on deeper knowledge and, if that is true, bounceback bonuses shouldn't be a problem for the more knowledgable team. But I have seen enough teams with superficial knowledge take the guess and get it right when the more knowledgable team waits because their players KNOW more possibilities as answers.
If you want to award points based solely on knowledge, then why not just take a written test instead of playing quiz bowl? Yes, it sounds silly, but it sounds like you want to take the *game* aspect completely out of quiz bowl. The game involves buzzer speed, it involves confidence in buzzing, and it involves knowing when risks need or need not be taken.

Pyramidal questions are the best possible way to test which team has the most knowledge, but they can only do so much. If both teams are so hapless that the only thing they know about Melville is that he wrote "Moby Dick" then speed is the only way to determine who gets that Melville tossup. If you find that on every tossup your team is getting in a buzzer race with the other team, then I suggest you either go to a tournament that has better questions, or your team should learn earlier, more obscure clues so that they don't have to depend on speed.

As for the situation where the more knowledgeable team sits because they know more possible answers, this is again an issue of question quality (and player confidence). Good questions should be written so that the "burden of knowledge" is eliminated. For me there is nothing more annoying than when a player on a team yells something like "I knew it was that!" after the other team buzzes with the correct answer. If they "knew" it was "that", they should have buzzed in and said "that".

As for bouncebacks, the main issue for me aside from the time issue is one several people have already addressed: by correctly answering a tossup you can potentially cause harm to your own team. How can you possibly justify this? If you know your opponent is weak in math and you are a great math team, while your opponent is a good lit team and you aren't so hot at it, you end up getting 10 points for the tossup, while handing your opponent 20-30 points on that lit bonus that comes up after it. It seems patently absurd to me.

You say quiz bowl matches should primarily reward knowledge. I argue that not having bouncebacks do this equally as well as bouncebacks, without any of the inherent flaws already mentioned many times.

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Post by quizbowllee »

Dr. Barry says: Team A answers a tossup and therefore earns a bonus. Team A may have beaten out Team B by only a millisecond to that tossup. To lock out 20-30 bonus points because of the knowledge based on ONE tossup which MAY have been earned only by a millisecond is NOT rewarding knowledge.

Lee: it isn't that team B doesn't know the answer or is just sitting there. It is SPEED in some cases that makes the difference. That speed MAY be based on deeper knowledge and, if that is true, bounceback bonuses shouldn't be a problem for the more knowledgable team. But I have seen enough teams with superficial knowledge take the guess and get it right when the more knowledgable team waits because their players KNOW more possibilities as answers.

Quiz bowl matches should PRIMARILY reward knowledge. Bounceback bonuses do that.
We've all been in "buzzer races" that don't go in our favor. And yes, that often means that a team is beaten by a fraction of a fraction of a second. That sucks when it happens... But, that's the nature of the game. Yes, quiz bowl should award knowledge, but you must throw the speed factor in. As much as I HATE sports analogies in quiz bowl, I shall now swallow my pride and make one: As with any competition, timing and speed is an issue. Would you say that a race shouldn't count when a runner only wins by a tenth of a second? What about a batter who swings just a millisecond too late? Should we give him a hit because he was SO close? Of course not. One must realize, especially when top tier teams compete, that often they know a lot of the same stuff. Hence, when that give away clue is read, there will be a buzzer race. How is such a "tie in knowledge" broken? By the fastest buzzer. Be it by 10 seconds, 1 second, or one nanosecond, the team that wins deserves the bonus. Likewise, they deserve to "block" the other team from that bonus. Its just part of the game.

Now, that being said, here in Alabama we have bounceback bonuses. And, like in Illinois, both parts are read at once (ie - not one at a time.) I don't complain about the bouncebacks in our state organization because I go in knowing that we have them. Likewise, I know going into NAQT that they do not. What I'm trying to get at is that when you go into a tournament, you know the nature of the beast. If you don't like the beast, you can choose not to face it.
Lee Henry
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Cullman, AL

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Post by samer »

Just to point something out here: in a format like PACE (or, presumably, NAQT), it *almost* doesn't matter whether you have bouncebacks or not.
As a general rule, only a small percentage of matches at the NSC are decided on bouncebacks, and those matches are usually between evenly-matched teams. I have yet to see a team near the bottom upset a much stronger team on bouncebacks.

[On a related note, it fascinates me that, thanks to Don Reid, the de facto combination of interrupts and bouncebacks in QB--yes to the interrupt penalty, no on bouncebacks--is arguably the least logical of the four possibilities.]
samer dot ismail -at- gmail dot com / Samer Ismail, PACE co-founder, NAQT editor

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