NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
Great Bustard
Auron
Posts: 1457
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:23 pm
Location: DC, NJ, and everywhere else
Contact:

NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Great Bustard » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:52 am

Discuss NHBB Nationals Here

Liveblog for Friday (courtesy of Harry White): http://www.coveritlive.com/index.php?op ... &width=470
David Madden
Ridgewood (NJ) '99, Princeton '03
Founder and Director: International History Bee and Bowl, National History Bee and Bowl (High School Division), International History Olympiad, United States Geography Olympiad, US History Bee, US Academic Bee and Bowl, National Humanities Bee, National Science Bee, International Academic Bowl.
Adviser and former head coach for Team USA at the International Geography Olympiad

User avatar
Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite
Auron
Posts: 1136
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:46 pm
Location: Fairfax, VA
Contact:

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:07 pm

Until the liveblog starts in earnest (probably around 7:30 for the first round of the Quizbowl portion of the USGO), I'm going to be posting stuff on Twitter with the hashtag #nhbb.
Harry White
TJHSST '09, Virginia Tech '13, PACE Member
Tournament Database Search
Quizbowl Schedule Generator
Will run stats for food

User avatar
Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite
Auron
Posts: 1136
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:46 pm
Location: Fairfax, VA
Contact:

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:12 pm

And the liveblog is up!
Harry White
TJHSST '09, Virginia Tech '13, PACE Member
Tournament Database Search
Quizbowl Schedule Generator
Will run stats for food

User avatar
Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite
Auron
Posts: 1136
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:46 pm
Location: Fairfax, VA
Contact:

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:47 am

Saturday's liveblog is up!
Harry White
TJHSST '09, Virginia Tech '13, PACE Member
Tournament Database Search
Quizbowl Schedule Generator
Will run stats for food

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

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:16 am

Thomas Moore
Lancaster Fisher Catholic HS c/o 2014
Ohio Wesleyan University c/o 2018

tabstop
Wakka
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:48 am
Location: NNVA

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by tabstop » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Mr. Scogan wrote:http://www.historybowl.com/bowl_varsity ... hp?pool=19 these are transposed FYI
I don't know what this means. (This might mean that we fixed it when we checked against the scoresheets.)
Andrew Feist
Treasurer, ACF | VP of Technology, PACE

mithokie
Rikku
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:39 pm
Location: Blacksburg, VA

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by mithokie » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:31 pm

If you look at the rows, the scores are fine. If you look at the grid in columns it looks like the scores are inverted.
Matt Beeken
Blacksburg High School
Math and Physics Teacher
(2012-??)ACE Coach, Blacksburg HS
(2010-12) ACE CO-Coach, Blacksburg HS
(2011-12) Science MACC Coach, Blacksburg HS
Volunteer Assistant (2009-2010) ACE Coach, Blacksburg HS
mbeeken AT mcps DOT org

Eddie
Rikku
Posts: 445
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Eddie » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:51 pm

Is there a more updated version of this playoffs schedule with the semifinals results?
Eddie Kim
he/him/his
local lad, no major affiliations

User avatar
Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite
Auron
Posts: 1136
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:46 pm
Location: Fairfax, VA
Contact:

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:58 pm

kibinai wrote:Is there a more updated version of this playoffs schedule with the semifinals results?
I'm not sure, but I can tell you that LASA, Maggie Walker, Dorman, and Bellarmine advanced in the Varsity division, and Northmont and Centennial will be in the JV finals.
Harry White
TJHSST '09, Virginia Tech '13, PACE Member
Tournament Database Search
Quizbowl Schedule Generator
Will run stats for food

User avatar
Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite
Auron
Posts: 1136
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:46 pm
Location: Fairfax, VA
Contact:

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:08 am

Last edited by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite on Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Harry White
TJHSST '09, Virginia Tech '13, PACE Member
Tournament Database Search
Quizbowl Schedule Generator
Will run stats for food

User avatar
jonathanmarx
Wakka
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:28 am

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by jonathanmarx » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:20 am

huff paste wrote:Sunday's liveblog.
Is it supposed to be redirecting to the History Bee homepage?
Jonathan Marx
Richard Montgomery '13
Yale '17

User avatar
Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite
Auron
Posts: 1136
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:46 pm
Location: Fairfax, VA
Contact:

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:55 am

That has been fixed.
Harry White
TJHSST '09, Virginia Tech '13, PACE Member
Tournament Database Search
Quizbowl Schedule Generator
Will run stats for food

Great Bustard
Auron
Posts: 1457
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:23 pm
Location: DC, NJ, and everywhere else
Contact:

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Great Bustard » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:12 pm

Congratulations to Bellarmine A (Sameer Rai as a solo team), Northmont (JV), Plymouth Regional (Varsity Small School), and Rolla (JV Small School) for being the 2013 National History Bowl High School National Champions!
David Madden
Ridgewood (NJ) '99, Princeton '03
Founder and Director: International History Bee and Bowl, National History Bee and Bowl (High School Division), International History Olympiad, United States Geography Olympiad, US History Bee, US Academic Bee and Bowl, National Humanities Bee, National Science Bee, International Academic Bowl.
Adviser and former head coach for Team USA at the International Geography Olympiad

User avatar
jonpin
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 2037
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:45 pm
Location: BCA NJ / WUSTL MO / Hackensack NJ

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by jonpin » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:56 am

More to come, of course, but just to throw on the Bee champions:

Sameer Rai of Bellarmine, the #1 seed after prelims, won the Varsity Bee. In the race to 12, it took him approximately 25-30 questions. The other finalists were Jonathan Leidenheimer of George Marshall (7 points for 2nd), Ben Jones of LASA (4 for 3rd), and Jason Fern of Athens Academy (2 for 4th).

Connor Wood of Maggie Walker defeated Nirav Ilango of Chattahoochee to win the JV Bee, 12-5. The 8-person semifinal was a tense affair. Nirav had secured his spot in the final, and with three questions left, Connor, Noah Cowen and Tajin Rogers (co-#1 seed after prelims) were all tied at 4 with Sam Blizzard (the other #1 seed) at 3. Connor got the last three tossups of the semifinal to secure the other spot in the final.

We'll put this all up in text form within the week, but here is the poster with the layout for the Bee championship rounds
Jon Pinyan
Coach, Bergen County Academies (NJ); former player for BCA (2000-03) and WUSTL (2003-07)
HSQB forum mod, PACE member
Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

"A [...] wizard who controls the weather" - Jerry Vinokurov

User avatar
WSchneider
Lulu
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:18 pm
Location: Newton, MA
Contact:

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by WSchneider » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:44 pm

It may be a little early for this already, but I had nothing better to do this morning so I wrote up my notes from this weekend. There are far too many to post here so I put them into a google-doc for anyone interested to read at their own leisure.

Open Letter Concerning the 2013 National History Bowl and Bee

I had a good time this weekend. Thanks a bunch to the NHBB for being organized and putting this together!
William Schneider
Kings Park HS 2007-2011
RPI 2011-2014

willi@mschneider.me

Edward Lansdale
Lulu
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:43 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Edward Lansdale » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:50 pm

I had no stake in the tournament except as a staffer, and I do not have an opinion either way about the organization of the tournament. I did feel, however, that I should comment on some aspects of the set used at NHBB. (If the set isn't cleared yet, I would request a moderator to move this to a private forum, or redact specific references).

1) There were several repeats. The "Night of the Long Knives" tossup came up twice; on the second occasion I had to use a tiebreaker tossup and give the team that got it a bonus from the unused lightning round topic; unlike the other second quarter questions, this meant the TU and bonus were not related (i.e. of the same topic). More worryingly, the League of Nations mandate tossup was repeated during the Varsity final. Someone mentioned that the previous time it popped up was during the Geo Olympiad quiz; this does not mean that it is not a problem, as both Sameer Rai and most likely some of the LASA players had also played in the USGO quiz.

2) There were major packet assembly issues; I had several packets with repeated, missing or blank pages, and on one occasion in the Bee I did not have a Question 35 or extras, and had to retrieve a previous round's packet to complete the round. Also, there were typos and/or ambiguous grammar in most packets, at least for a few questions.

3) Pronouns were often ambiguous; one tossup's giveaway began "For ten points, this predecessor to the European Union was a "Community", when it was asking for the resources that community focused on (coal and steel), and a protest in my room was ruled in favor of the team that had answered with "European Coal and Steel Community".

4) For the bee rounds, several readers in my group who were history teachers and/or studied history in graduate school believed they found factual inaccuracies in several of the questions (one being: the "fascist party" tossup claimed Victor Emmanuel III was forced out by Mussolini when in fact the monarchy was ended in 1946 by a plebiscite; I do not remember the rest). I advised them to note the number at the bottom right of the tossup and contact HSAPQ about it.

5) The pronunciation guides given were a massive distraction. Unlike normal packets where the guide appears in parenthesis after a difficult proper noun, in these packets they came before, constantly forcing me to stop mid-sentence only to find they were supposed to help with pronunciation of a name that would be easier to pronounce just by looking at the proper spelling. Also, there was no consistency with where these guides appeared; reasonably common or easy to pronounce names like Poitiers had guides in multiple packets, but unfamiliar or multisyllabic ones didn't.

I just feel that HSAPQ could have done a much better job with the set, and their effort fell short of the mark for a product being used at a nationals-tournament with 198 teams.
Mirza Ahmed
New York University '12
Keck Graduate Institute '15

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

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:14 pm

Hi: I'll be happy to listen to any feedback about the set, though I would politely request that issues with whatever copy machines were used that produced missing pages be directed to the good people at FedEx Office, and that Mirza take a closer look at what the actual wording of the "coal and steel" question was. The one true repeat was a user error in moving questions around, so apologies for that.

For those who didn't figure this out from playing, our philosophy on the geography tournament, after consultation between Dave and HSAPQ, was to reward actual knowledge about the world and its cultures, as opposed to useless trivia about the lengths of rivers or the highest point in Alexander County, Illinois. Hopefully now that people have seen this in action they will know how to prepare for the tournament moving forward (more learning things, less staring at maps).
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6613
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Cheynem » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:20 pm

In regards to the Mussolini thing:

"came to power after their leader overthrew Victor Emmanuel III" is how the clue was worded. This is kind of inelegantly worded, but effectively Mussolini through his March on Rome and thuggery took power in Rome away from Victor Emmanuel III. Victor remained king and was not removed until the actual plebiscite. I agree the wording could be improved, but i would dispute this being a factual "inaccuracy" that prompted any serious confusion from people who knew what was going on.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

User avatar
Beevor Feevor
Rikku
Posts: 330
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:03 am
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Contact:

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Beevor Feevor » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:51 pm

Other than some little issues like Haiti being called an island in one of the finals packets, the League of Nations mandates coming up twice, and one question in the second round of a packet that was on the Blitz and that didn't have an actual answer line, causing some confusion in my room, I think this set was generally pretty good. When will it be posted online and where?
Eric Xu
Western Albemarle High School '15
University of Virginia '19

User avatar
Schmidt Sting Pain Index
Wakka
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:18 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:16 pm

There was an issue in the packets in the Afternoon bracket. In one of our matches, one question literally just had "For ten points" as the entire question, according to our reader. He promptly followed the proper protocol and just read the replacement question at the end of the match. In the next round, that same exact replacement question from the previous round came up in the first quarter. My team obviously first lined it as we had gotten in the last match. We promptly alerted the reader that we had heard the question in the previous match, as it was clearly unfair to our opponent. He stated that he would get a new question if it altered the outcome of the match. Luckily, that did not happen and a much worse situation was avoided. Besides, this problem, there were a few issues with repeat questions . Overall, I thought the tournament was directed really well, aside from a few delays. Congratulations to all teams/players who won awards!
TWO-TIME HSNCT PARTICIPANT
TWO-TIME NSC PARTICIPANT
THREE-TIME NHBB PARTICIPANT
Varun Wadhwa
Charter School of Wilmington '15
University of Delaware (2013-)
Newark, DE

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

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:28 pm

shady jawn wrote:There was an issue in the packets in the Afternoon bracket. In one of our matches, one question literally just had "For ten points" as the entire question, according to our reader.
I don't see this in the copies of rounds 6-10 that I sent off; can you provide more info about what match and quarter it was in so we can investigate whether it was an error on HSAPQ's side in packet compilation or just something caused by the copy machines?
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

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

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:40 pm

Questions: http://www.hsapq.com/assets/nhbb/nationals/

I corrected the ambiguous wording in the "fascism" tossup and the single use of "island" in the Haiti tossup before posting these. I didn't do anything to the answer line in the Battle of Britain question, the wording posted from the "coal and steel" tossup, or the mythical "tossup that just said For 10 Points" because none of these issues are present in the versions of the packets I had, which are identical to the versions I sent to NHBB two weeks ago. I assume the problems there arose from issues with copy machines or moderators.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill
Rikku
Posts: 270
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 6:08 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:59 pm

I'll agree that the online score-submission and posters were great ideas. However, the former was bogged down by some technical errors, mainly in the form of match-ups not being listed properly. This was especially prevalent during the afternoon rounds, when a bunch of teams in my bracket were double-listed and triple-listed (not to mention that one JV morning bracket wasn't finalized at first, leading to my bracket's wildcard team not knowing they were a wildcard). Of course, there's also the issue that not everyone has a smartphone or laptop, plus free wi-fi was not a guarantee (I got lucky and managed to pick up Crystal City's wi-fi in my suite). The poster was a great back-up for that, but it would've been nice to get some easy way to hang it up (a coach managed to hang it over a picture in my suite during the morning rounds, but I had no such luck in the afternoon).
I'm glad that this year's nationals ran a lot more smoothly than previous years, even with the addition of an entirely new event. Clearly a lot of effort was put into redeeming NHBB from a logistical standpoint, and I believe it paid off.
Robert Pond
Kings Park '10
Stony Brook '14
University of Victoria '18
Anonymous wrote:naqt is much worse than plagiarism could ever hope to be

Edward Lansdale
Lulu
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:43 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Edward Lansdale » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:24 pm

The posters was a good idea, but it clearly was not used in the sense they were meant to be used. They contained pre-filled data about where teams from each group were supposed to go for their afternoon rounds (bracket, room or meeting place, site captain, time etc) based on their prelim rankings, but only one out of 6 teams in my morning group bothered to drop by to ask about their afternoon placements (and have the coach sign off in agreement with their team's ranking). I noticed most other posters had blanks in the coach/captain's signature field, so this was not unique to my group. I assume that there were other methods of contacting coaches to let them know of their teams' ranking and afternoon location, but things could have been made simpler by having the site captains complete their posters and have coaches hang around for 5 minutes after Round 5 in the site captain's room to find out the afternoon game details.

EDIT: Also, I didn't understand the system for "verification" of scores on the poster. The stats people were seemingly just comparing the scores reported on-line and on the poster, something I had already done before bringing the posters and scoresheets down, before writing 'verified' on the poster. If I had entered the wrong score for a match on both the online system and the poster (not implausible if there were teams with similar names; I had a St. Joseph's and a Mt. St. Joseph's in my afternoon bracket), there would have been no way to find the error.
Mirza Ahmed
New York University '12
Keck Graduate Institute '15

User avatar
Corry
Rikku
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:54 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Corry » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:20 pm

I just want to chime in and say that the online schedule/score system at NHBB Nationals last weekend was the best idea I've ever seen implemented at any quiz bowl tournament (from a player's perspective). I really hope to see more national tournaments using this sort of system in the future.

That being said, the implementation of the online schedule was still glitchy at times. For the afternoon rounds, it seems like teams were often double-listed as placeholders. However, it wasn't clear that the double listings were meant as placeholders, so it was very confusing for a while. Also, the schedule for our afternoon bracket went down completely for about a half hour, for reasons I'm still unsure of.
Corry Wang
Arcadia High School 2013
Amherst College 2017
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

Northern Central Railway
Wakka
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:23 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Northern Central Railway » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:43 pm

1971 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season wrote: EDIT: Also, I didn't understand the system for "verification" of scores on the poster. The stats people were seemingly just comparing the scores reported on-line and on the poster, something I had already done before bringing the posters and scoresheets down, before writing 'verified' on the poster. If I had entered the wrong score for a match on both the online system and the poster (not implausible if there were teams with similar names; I had a St. Joseph's and a Mt. St. Joseph's in my afternoon bracket), there would have been no way to find the error.
Not correct. The process for score verification was first making sure that the online scores matched the actual scoresheets themselves. This helped make sure that when the online system assigned teams to afternoon brackets, they were assigned correctly. The posters were then checked against the online/scoresheet results, to make sure that each team was listed in the correct order of finish and therefore definitively knew where to go in the afternoon. In one case, the morning order of finish wasn't listed correctly on a poster and two teams had to be called to be informed of where they should actually have been going for the afternoon, which we could correctly do because we had the actual scoresheets as well as the online to go off of. This method helped insure data redundancy so that last year's Iolani fiasco had no chance of happening again.
Andrew Ibendahl
Nashville (IL) '04
DePauw '08
Former Coach, Mountain Lakes (NJ)

tabstop
Wakka
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:48 am
Location: NNVA

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by tabstop » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:09 pm

Corry wrote:I just want to chime in and say that the online schedule/score system at NHBB Nationals last weekend was the best idea I've ever seen implemented at any quiz bowl tournament (from a player's perspective). I really hope to see more national tournaments using this sort of system in the future.

That being said, the implementation of the online schedule was still glitchy at times. For the afternoon rounds, it seems like teams were often double-listed as placeholders. However, it wasn't clear that the double listings were meant as placeholders, so it was very confusing for a while. Also, the schedule for our afternoon bracket went down completely for about a half hour, for reasons I'm still unsure of.
That's very generous of you to say, but the duplicated data was basically my idiocy (underestimating how easy/likely it was to happen, and therefore having the "fix" choke and die in the middle). When the missing schedules came back, that was when it should have been fixed.
Andrew Feist
Treasurer, ACF | VP of Technology, PACE

Edward Lansdale
Lulu
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:43 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Edward Lansdale » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:44 pm

Northern Central Railway wrote: Not correct. The process for score verification was first making sure that the online scores matched the actual scoresheets themselves. This helped make sure that when the online system assigned teams to afternoon brackets, they were assigned correctly. The posters were then checked against the online/scoresheet results, to make sure that each team was listed in the correct order of finish and therefore definitively knew where to go in the afternoon. In one case, the morning order of finish wasn't listed correctly on a poster and two teams had to be called to be informed of where they should actually have been going for the afternoon, which we could correctly do because we had the actual scoresheets as well as the online to go off of. This method helped insure data redundancy so that last year's Iolani fiasco had no chance of happening again.
Ahh, okay. I was just surprised how quickly the stats from my group were verified, so I assumed you were just going off the online stats. I am glad to know the system worked well and the mistake you referred to did not affect the tournament.
Mirza Ahmed
New York University '12
Keck Graduate Institute '15

Southern Double-collared Sunbirb
Lulu
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:33 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Southern Double-collared Sunbirb » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:17 pm

I really liked the liveblog, even if it was intermittent. Good coverage of a few selected USGeo matches, too bad you couldn't get them all.

(a bit offtopic) The one annoying thing was the rampant misgendering-- I am genderqueer. I would very, very much prefer everybody not to use male pronouns when referring to me, and use xe/xir (as in my sig) instead. Especially for those whom I have notified of this before, and yet persist in doing so. No ill-will, just consider this a general reminder for everyone.
Maia Karpovich
IMSA (2011-2014)
Oklahoma (2014-2018)
she/they

Northern Central Railway
Wakka
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:23 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Northern Central Railway » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:26 pm

1971 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season wrote:
Ahh, okay. I was just surprised how quickly the stats from my group were verified, so I assumed you were just going off the online stats. I am glad to know the system worked well and the mistake you referred to did not affect the tournament.
Site captains such as yourself who wrote legibly and entered all your results online (and correctly) before returning to the stat room with your poster made the stat room very happy.

The majority of site captains were good about entering at least some of their results online or calling us with scores before they returned with their poster. Links to post stats in the afternoon could have been communicated better, but even then a few site captains managed to figure it out on their own anyway, which was nice.
Andrew Ibendahl
Nashville (IL) '04
DePauw '08
Former Coach, Mountain Lakes (NJ)

User avatar
jonpin
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 2037
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:45 pm
Location: BCA NJ / WUSTL MO / Hackensack NJ

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by jonpin » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:31 am

Unlike NHBB I and II, I do not have an epic 4-page post of complaints with NHBB III; however unlike the first two, I was intimately involved in the operation of the tournament and so both have a conflict of interest in praising the tournament, plus a lack of perspective of not having been "in the field" throughout the day. My teams were both in the hotel the entire tournament, which was less of an experience but less of a headache for my other chaperone.

The cross-checking procedure went as follows:
In the morning rounds, electronic entry was done either by site captains or by us. In the latter case, it was after the site captain called in the scores (I insisted that such calls be actual vocal communication, not voice mails, not texts, not emails) or upon the delivery of scoresheets. In some cases, a DC-based site captain didn't call in any scores or a hotel-based site captain didn't deliver scoresheets until the conclusion of their pool. This meant that we had to wait until we got the 15 scoresheets, then enter them quickly before we could check. What we checked was the order, record, and points (if needed for tiebreaking purposes or for any 4th place JV team) on the poster vs. the website. It is, admittedly, possible that both would be fouled up in the case where a site captain recorded a game wrong on the poster AND entered it wrong on the website or read us the wrong score over the phone. What I tried to get site captains to do when calling scores in was read them off the scoresheet; that was both easier for me to enter and more independent than reading the numbers the person just put on the poster. Our defense against that possibility was intended to be the poster sign-off, in practice teams frequently vanished before signing the poster and learning their new destination. In the future, that should be mentioned in the opening meeting as a thing for teams to do before leaving their morning sites. The biggest problem that occurred here that was not website-based was that some JV site captains did not bring back their scoring posters, leaving us unable to verify the standings and meaning it was around 1:30 before we could confirm the wild cards (luckily Madden had asked for and I had suggested a contingency for the case of a tie for the 3rd wild card, which amazingly happened). It is standard quiz bowl operating procedure not to adjudicate protests that do not affect the outcome of a game; I am fully aware that such protests could still affect wild card (and later, bracket) placing, but support a consistent rule that they not be processed.

In the afternoon rounds, there were two forms of electronic entry: Andrew Feist's website and my Excel spreadsheet. Whether by site captains or by one of the Andrews after delivery of the scoresheets, scores were entered into the website. Then the scoresheets were passed to me, whereupon I entered them into my spreadsheet (like Andrew F, I had done setup in advance to where I entered the teams into brackets and the rows of the spreadsheet were automatically populated with the matchups; entering an entire bracket could be done in 2-3 minutes). After all 15 scoresheets were entered, one of us would read off the teams' wins and points, and correct any errors (there were a few, due to typos or hard-to-read scoresheets, etc.). Once all the groups in JV were done, we read off the top 16 teams and Madden entered them on the bracket, then I went back to finish the Varsity groups before we read off 1 to 32. There were a few countbacks that we needed to do (for instance: Athens, Plymouth, and USNashville were all 5-0 1300* in the afternoon, so they were seeded 7-8-9 based on their morning results; *-Athens appears as 1301 due to winning a game in OT, but this was treated as identical to 1300). Besides the double-check, the utility of my spreadsheet was that it also automatically populated the printable brackets which were made available outside the Grand Ballroom. Playoff announcements were scheduled for 6:45pm, and at that minute I was literally printing brackets, having sent the files to Madden so he could project them on the big screens in the Ballroom. I got upstairs with the paper brackets just in time for the meeting to let out.

On Sunday, a nearly identical setup was used to Saturday afternoon. The only distinction was that for sake of consistency, the Andrews flipped a coin to decide one of them to handle all Varsity scores and the other to do all JVs. I lagged behind at the end, partially because I was doing both (a bit of pridefulness that I could handle that myself) and partially because I had overslept and thus had to run back upstairs for 15 minutes mid-morning to pack up my room. We got the JV 1-20 cross-checked by shortly after our 1pm deadline, and the Andrews went to read the Varsity Bowl Semifinals while I finished entering the Varsity Bee numbers. When I finished, I checked my numbers against the website and it matched perfectly (thank goodness!). I then took the posters and ran up to the ballroom hallway. With the assistance of my students and Mike Z of Seton Hall running interference, I filled out the posters while the JV Final was played and was thus able to get the groups announced right afterwards. My penance for oversleeping and being slow to get the Bee playoff draw done was not getting to read the Dorman-Bellarmine semifinal (which I heard was epic).

Things that didn't work optimally over the course of the weekend, why, and how to fix them:
* Friday night. The biggest complaint I have it one that's already been addressed: The Sports and Entertainment History Bees are getting axed. They are and I think always have been more of a squandering of staff and attention than they attract, and while I am grateful that it was a very few times that we in the tab room had to chase away someone with scores for them, we could've certainly used another runner or two for the USGO. Something else that is far more game-showy that everything else in this admittedly game-showy competition is the Opening Buzz. Kill it with fire, Madden. Please.
* Saturday. Make sure that site captains for away sites in the morning are highly competent and can be trusted to enter data in a timely fashion and return everything that is needed. Many hotel site captains couldn't enter their own scores, this could be solved by at least the site captain rooms getting internet access included, even if getting it for all rooms at the group rate or even all of the rooms NHBB directly booked itself is too much. Another source of delay was that DC sites that had to call in results would frequently be met with dropped calls, because the cell signal in Roslyn sucked. I don't know what can be done about this. I repeat my insistence from last year that each team should be asked, within the last two weeks before the event, for a cell phone number where they can be reached during the competition to fix no-shows or assignment corrections. The glitch that caused a 10-team bracket with three Rolla's in it is a known issue which will clearly be fixed for next year. There are a couple ways to get around that, and I think Madden's insistence on sorting the teams within the afternoon groups by alphabet caused Feist to have to rework the code in a way that unintentionally caused the problem. Still, if I had done the pre-tournament data entry I had intended to do (the week leading up to NHBB was packed), I would have been able to have a list of six teams in each bracket which we could enter onto the posters by hand. After some delay, this is what Andrew Ibendahl eventually did. Being the lowest of the low priorities, the Peach consolation group may have been doomed from the start.
* Saturday night. I actually think this went pretty well for the most part. Ending after three knockout rounds was a very good idea; it was already almost 10 at that point. Maybe have separate control rooms for the JV and Varsity brackets, since the JV games were all in Arlington and the Varsity games were in Ballrooms or Capital; that way there's less "walk all the way across the hotel and then back" time. One thing to work on is that Madden insisted literally for weeks that he had rooms and moderators all assigned for the knockout games and they'd be pre-filled in on the posters before we had anything to do... and they weren't. So moderator assignments for each round were still ad hoc, and when some people were left out of reading round 1, Madden promised them a shot to read round 2. I disagree with this, because you need the best of the best reading at this stage, and you need to have the backbone to tell non-elite readers to shut up and scorekeep (or if they can't coherently do that, go to bed).
* Sunday. After the number of questions I fielded at the pre-Bee staff meeting, both reasonable and frighteningly inane, there was no excuse for some of the indecipherable scoresheets that got handed in to us. There were a few awkward situations that got dumped on us: people switching divisions as late as Saturday night, or in one amazing case during the tournament, a successful protest on behalf of someone that--to our knowledge--didn't actually exist, and unannounced no-shows. We can't plan for those things, and we can't adjust the schedule that late, so some rooms had as few as 4 or in very rare cases 3 students while others had 6 or frequently in JV 7. What Will suggested, having paper schedules given to each reader in advance of everyone who should be in their rooms at all times, I begged for repeatedly over the last 12 months and was told it would happen. We didn't have nearly as much downtime Saturday morning as expected, so we couldn't do it in the tab room. I thought someone else might have done so, but when I asked at 11 and found out it hadn't happened, I was upset, but it was too late to start the process. It might not have mattered, given the number of changes that apparently happened late in the game.
* Sunday afternoon. The Bowl matches started 15 minutes late (and given the size and scope of this thing, I considered that OK, others are free to disagree), but the tournament as a whole ended 45 minutes late despite generous time windows for each event. Not having been present for everything, it's my takeaway that this was because after every activity that occurred in the ballroom, there was a 20 minute pause for more people to get awards. I think there was 30 minutes of lag time between the JV Bee ending and the Varsity Bee starting; by that time, I had officially switched my blue polo for a white "Coach" polo and mentally checked out, so I don't know what was going on that whole time (the "newspaper" protest did not cause any delay, as it was resolved long before the two-player JV final ended). While giving a plaque to every playoff team is a good thing, maybe the Sunday awards can be shortened by giving a plaque to each reader on their way to a first-round knockout game; they can present the plaque to the losing team immediately following the match.

I am proud of how this tournament wound up and--pending its unfortunate continued overlap with National Science Bowl--think I will likely bring the team back for NHBB IV. I would like to make a couple comments about my (admittedly limited) interactions with teams and team-affiliated people over the weekend:
My position was stat chief. My primary role was to make sure the tournament ran on time, something that by and large happened. A significant impediment to that is having to deal with people asking for updates; we had a help desk for that. If there is a bona fide correction that needs to be made, I ask coaches (or in the case that a team has no coach, a single student) try to address the situation calmly. Your whole team barging in and demanding to know why your score went down disrupts our process and slows down everything. Telling us that in the future, the rules of the tournament should be different is not something that we have the authority to do and is again not conducive to us turning around the stats in a timely fashion. Or that the rules should be different in the present, for that matter. And to the coach who texted me to expand the Varsity Bee playoffs to 40 students, someone who I respect greatly, but who I discovered after I finished entering my side of the data sure enough had a student sitting in the 33-40 range, shame on you.
Similarly, to any staff member who I may have curtly asked to leave the tab room at any point over the weekend, I hope you understand my reasoning is the same. Especially as the stakes get higher, and the number of staffers required gets smaller, I just don't have the time to cater to everyone.
Jon Pinyan
Coach, Bergen County Academies (NJ); former player for BCA (2000-03) and WUSTL (2003-07)
HSQB forum mod, PACE member
Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

"A [...] wizard who controls the weather" - Jerry Vinokurov

djones
Wakka
Posts: 219
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:06 pm
Location: Northmont High School

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by djones » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:12 am

I want to publicly praise everyone involved with the planning, organization and running of this tournament. While I am sure that there were things that went wrong behind the scenes, there was nothing at all that was visible to me or my team at any time during the weekend.

Despite a few things starting 10-15 minutes behind schedule, they always got caught back up. Our JV national semifinal bowl match was scheduled to end at 9:45 Saturday evening, and ended 4 minutes early. The JV bee was scheduled to end at 12:15 Sunday afternoon and my kids were done 8 minutes early. While I am sure there were some instances where things were slower than that, I never heard one complaint from a coach the entire time in any of the areas where I was.

Dave Madden was on top of things the entire weekend, and you could tell that the support system he had in place was solid and that he trusted them. He personally handled a missing scoresheet issue for the Bee playoff to ensure that everything was correct. The stats room did a fantastic job, and I loved being able to pull up the online stats on my phone throughout the day.

I for one thought the questions from HSAPQ were very good. There were a couple of repeat things that were mentioned by others (one in Rd 12 that had appeared earlier comes to mind), but nothing too major given the number of questions that they produced for the Geo, Bowl and Bee. A couple of strange answer lines, but all in all I was very impressed with the question quality. Great job to Matt and his team.

I was hopeful that this tournament would have been an improvement over last year, and they more than exceeded my expectations. There will always be things that pop up that you don't expect- this is only the third iteration of this event. But to have so thoroughly addressed the multitude of things that went wrong last year in such an efficient manner is fantastic.

So kudos to Dave, Eric, Nick, the stats team and all of the others who made this event possible. It was a great weekend of quiz bowl.
David Jones
Coach, Northmont High School

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

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:00 am

I want to thank NHBB for a pretty well-run tournament, definitely a lot better than last year's iteration. A few commentaries

- The "opening buzz" should be done away with. It isnt interesting at all. My coaches thought that ceremony along with a video game tossup on Joan of Arc was "a bad idea".

- Honoring the coaches who brought the most teams to NHBB isn't interesting as a participant and makes the ceremonies seem a bit "much".

- I want to praise Mirza Ahmed for the job he did in the afternoon handling two very unusual and awkward situations; the first being the "no answerline" problem with the Battle of Britain tossup and the unusual situation that played from that. We also were the team that answered ECSC for "coal and steel". Admittedly, I think my teammates' answer was wrong and the protest launched by the other team was well-justified. I was pretty shocked the ruling went in our favor and I want to praise Archmidean (our opponents in that round) for being pretty graceful and cool about everything, it was a great game against you guys that ultimately decided the final playoff spot.
Thomas Moore
Lancaster Fisher Catholic HS c/o 2014
Ohio Wesleyan University c/o 2018

User avatar
jonpin
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 2037
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:45 pm
Location: BCA NJ / WUSTL MO / Hackensack NJ

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by jonpin » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:47 am

One additional note: I don't have much to say about the questions, because I only heard or read Bowl packets 11, 12, 16, and small parts of the semifinal and final; and the finals Bee packet. From what I saw, most of it was solid work with a few clunkers. Though I am a member of HSAPQ, I took no part in the writing or construction of this set for obvious reasons.
Jon Pinyan
Coach, Bergen County Academies (NJ); former player for BCA (2000-03) and WUSTL (2003-07)
HSQB forum mod, PACE member
Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

"A [...] wizard who controls the weather" - Jerry Vinokurov

User avatar
Masked Canadian History Bandit
Rikku
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:23 pm

Mr. Scogan wrote: The "opening buzz" should be done away with. It isnt interesting at all. My coaches thought that ceremony along with a video game tossup on Joan of Arc was "a bad idea".
So I wrote this question, and I'll defend it as a fine trash question drawing on accessible clues from minor trash categories. I have no idea what the "opening buzz" is, but if it's anything like the first pitch of a baseball game, it was a terrible choice to use a trash tossup for this purpose.
Mr. Scogan wrote: I want to praise Mirza Ahmed for the job he did in the afternoon handling two very unusual and awkward situations; the first being the "no answerline" problem with the Battle of Britain tossup and the unusual situation that played from that. We also were the team that answered ECSC for "coal and steel". Admittedly, I think my teammates' answer was wrong and the protest launched by the other team was well-justified. I was pretty shocked the ruling went in our favor and I want to praise Archmidean (our opponents in that round) for being pretty graceful and cool about everything, it was a great game against you guys that ultimately decided the final playoff spot.
I don't want to impugn any quality moderating by Mirza Ahmed, but if the missing answerline was "Battle of Britain," shouldn't a moderator at NHBB Nationals be able to recognize what the answer by reading the rest of the question?

I don't see why an answer of "European Coal and Steel Community" shouldn't be accepted for a tossup on "coal and steel" that only has clues referring to the ECSC.
Patrick Liao
Lisgar Collegiate Institute 2011, University of Pennsylvania 2015, University of Toronto Faculty of Law 2019
President, Ontario Quizbowl Association (ONQBA)
Support the ONQBA on Facebook!

Edward Lansdale
Lulu
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:43 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Edward Lansdale » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:57 pm

Masked Canadian History Bandit wrote: I don't want to impugn any quality moderating by Mirza Ahmed, but if the missing answerline was "Battle of Britain," shouldn't a moderator at NHBB Nationals be able to recognize what the answer by reading the rest of the question?
Well, I admit to oversight in not realizing straight-away that the answerline to the tossup was missing. This was a Q2 question with a bonus; the answer to the bonus part was "the Blitz"; I assumed this to be the answer to the tossup when first reading it. I am not a history specialist, and I was trying to read at a brisk pace, so it wasn't immediately obvious to me that the answer should have been "Battle of Britain" and not the "blitz(krieg)". Of course, once the missing answerline was discovered, I figured it should have been Battle of Britain, but I did not feel I was in a position to rule on what the answer should be without consulting the protest committee.

Because I had already not accepted Fisher Catholic's answer of Battle of Britain and taken Ridgewood's answer of the blitzkrieg, the protest committee asked me to throw out the question entirely and use a replacement tossup (and bonus from unused Q3 topic).
Masked Canadian History Bandit wrote: I don't see why an answer of "European Coal and Steel Community" shouldn't be accepted for a tossup on "coal and steel" that only has clues referring to the ECSC.
Admittedly, the rest of the tossup did ask for the "resources" and not the "Community", but the start of the giveaway clue seemed to point to ECSC, which is why I accepted the answer, noted the protest, and resolved it at the end of the game.
Last edited by Edward Lansdale on Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mirza Ahmed
New York University '12
Keck Graduate Institute '15

User avatar
jonpin
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 2037
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:45 pm
Location: BCA NJ / WUSTL MO / Hackensack NJ

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by jonpin » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:07 pm

I'll throw in a couple more remarks:
* In case anyone is wondering why their Bee seed might not have matched up with what appears online, the tiebreaker procedure for seeding students into the playoffs was highest top score, highest next score, highest next score, etc. (or equivalently, most 13s, most 12s, etc.); if students had the same line, they were seeded in alphabetical order by last name. There may be a few cases where that tiebreaking criteria were messed up, and for that I apologize. Obviously, no paper tiebreakers would be used to eliminate anyone: JV had a clean break, and varsity had the two-player tie for 32nd which was played off with a sudden death tossup. The semifinal groups were constructed to have (if the seeds played out), the 1 and 4 seeds in one semifinal and the 2 and 3 seeds in the other, then the second and third place students from the other two quarterfinals.
*
Matt Weiner wrote:I didn't do anything to the answer line in the Battle of Britain question [...] because none of these issues are present in the versions of the packets I had, which are identical to the versions I sent to NHBB two weeks ago. I assume the problems there arose from issues with copy machines or moderators.
For what it's worth, I do think I looked at a paper packet when I first heard this report, and the question skipped right from the tossup to the bonus without an answer line. How or when that happened confuses me.
* It's worth noting that as far as I know, the Bee and Bowl were written as a block, but the USGO was completely separate. HSAPQ wrote the quiz bowl portions, but I do not believe they wrote the multiple choice or short answer rounds, and should not be held responsible for any repeated information or answers between for instance the USGO short answer section and a Bowl packet.
Jon Pinyan
Coach, Bergen County Academies (NJ); former player for BCA (2000-03) and WUSTL (2003-07)
HSQB forum mod, PACE member
Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

"A [...] wizard who controls the weather" - Jerry Vinokurov

Edward Lansdale
Lulu
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:43 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Edward Lansdale » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:14 pm

To add to my earlier post about the set (to which Eric Xu and Varun Wadhwa already noted further issues that I missed), some moderator directions were unclear. The "Dewey Defeats Truman" answerline in round 12 said (accept reasonable equivalents); I accepted an answer of Dewey beats Truman on the basis of the person demonstrating clear and obvious knowledge of the event, but I did note the protest by the other team and would have resolved it if it mattered (it didn't). However, given that it was a title/newspaper headline, I do not see why "reasonable equivalents" should be accepted, and having such instructions merely opens the door to more protests and delays.

I staffed every college tournament this year except WIT and TIT, and three local high school tournaments (all written by HSers) and I found more confusing directions in this set than any other one. For a tournament that is still staffed largely by non-quizbowl people, this is hardly ideal, which is why I reiterate that HSAPQ dropped the ball on this one. If 200 teams are paying $500 to play a set, it needs to be proofread and playtested to death, and it is quite obvious it wasn't.
Mirza Ahmed
New York University '12
Keck Graduate Institute '15

User avatar
The King's Flight to the Scots
Auron
Posts: 1466
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:11 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:56 pm

1971 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season wrote:To add to my earlier post about the set (to which Eric Xu and Varun Wadhwa already noted further issues that I missed), some moderator directions were unclear. The "Dewey Defeats Truman" answerline in round 12 said (accept reasonable equivalents); I accepted an answer of Dewey beats Truman on the basis of the person demonstrating clear and obvious knowledge of the event, but I did note the protest by the other team and would have resolved it if it mattered (it didn't). However, given that it was a title/newspaper headline, I do not see why "reasonable equivalents" should be accepted, and having such instructions merely opens the door to more protests and delays.
The answer accepted reasonable equivalents because it was a tossup on "this object" with an answerline of the "Dewey Defeats Truman" newspaper, rather than a tossup on the headline "Dewey Defeats Truman." There's a very obvious distinction here, analogous to accepting "Anna" in a tossup on the character "Anna Christie," for instance.
Admittedly, the rest of the tossup did ask for the "resources" and not the "Community", but the start of the giveaway clue seemed to point to ECSC, which is why I accepted the answer, noted the protest, and resolved it at the end of the game.
You're misrepresenting the tossup here. Here's what it said:
One group overseeing these commodities was replaced with a "Research Fund" for them after its chartering treaty expired in 2002. That group, which regulated these things, was last led by Albert Coppe, fifteen years after selecting (zhahn moe-NAY) Jean Monnet as its first president. That group regulating these commodities was announced in the Schuman Declaration. For 10 points, a precursor to the European Union was a “Community” formed by France and Germany to oversee what two resources?
ANSWER: _coal_ and _steel_ [prompt on partial answer]
The tossup never asks for a "group" or an "organization," though all the clues are about the coal and steel community. I think I'd have accepted that answer on the blitz rule (since "European Coal and Steel Community" adds additional correct information to the requested answer), but the tossup itself is very clear.
Matt Bollinger
UVA '14, UVA '15
Communications Officer, ACF

nich0103
Lulu
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 1:40 am

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by nich0103 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:24 pm

The packet I read also was missing the Battle of Britain answer line, but had the Blitz as the only bolded answer (for the bonus). When someone rang in and said, "Battle of Britain," I ruled it wrong just because it was a super early buzz in our room and I hadn't read the rest of the question. When I read a little more of the question and realized the answer was indeed Battle of Britain, I went ahead and credited the team with the answer (the other team hadn't buzzed yet).
Preston
Past Moderator for NAQT events and National History Bowl/Bee

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6613
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Cheynem » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:50 pm

As someone who works for HSAPQ (even though I'm not speaking for them or have any real authority), I'm irritated by the statement we "dropped the ball" on this set. Are there things that could be improved upon? Certainly. We're not perfect, there were some problems with this set (as there are with all sets). But I would like a little bit more feedback on this apparent plethora of "confusing directions"--the examples given here so far tend to be a non included answer line (which is obviously bad, but didn't seem to really confuse or screw over any teams) and some questions that were a little misinterpreted (the coal and steel question seems fine, the Dewey Defeats Truman one was asking for the newspaper). I'm not saying this because I dislike people who criticize my work or to be mean, but as someone who puts in time and effort on a set, I recognize the difference between "there are some problems that could be fixed" and "dropped the ball," which implies large failings. I dispute the latter.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

Edward Lansdale
Lulu
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:43 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Edward Lansdale » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:09 pm

Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. wrote: The answer accepted reasonable equivalents because it was a tossup on "this object" with an answerline of the "Dewey Defeats Truman" newspaper, rather than a tossup on the headline "Dewey Defeats Truman." There's a very obvious distinction here, analogous to accepting "Anna" in a tossup on the character "Anna Christie," for instance.
Most moderators would happily accept an answer that is a reasonable alternative to the word "newspaper" (e.g. headline/article/news item/Chicago Tribune before mention) without the (accept reasonable equivalents) direction. What is not clear with the given direction is whether an alternate phrasing of the headline is acceptable (e.g. would a rambling answer like "that headline that said Truman lost to Dewey" still be correct, even though the actual bolded and underlined part was not spoken verbatim). The "reasonable equivalents" suggest that should be accepted, since it still indicates knowledge of the object (the headline) and the event that prompted it (inaccurate report of an election outcome based on exit polls/phone surveys).

I may have been wrong to accept "Dewey beats Truman" without waiting for reference to the "object" (or prompting), but even if the answer given was "Dewey beats Truman headline", it would almost certainly have been protested by the other team. In the absence of the reasonable equivalent direction, I would not have accepted the answer. This is why I said the set should have been playtested further, and unnecessary or potentially confusing directions (and pronunciation guides) should have been dispensed with.
The tossup never asks for a "group" or an "organization," though all the clues are about the coal and steel community. I think I'd have accepted that answer on the blitz rule (since "European Coal and Steel Community" adds additional correct information to the requested answer), but the tossup itself is very clear.
I fail to see how this negates my assertion that the rest of the tossup asked for these resources (or commodities or things), but the first part of the giveaway pointed to a community. A player who tuned out earlier in the tossup because they didn't know what the resources are would quite likely buzz upon hearing "precursor to the European Union". This does not indicate knowledge of the resources or the addition of extra information, but simply a reflex buzz on a clue that refers to a predecessor of the EU.
Mirza Ahmed
New York University '12
Keck Graduate Institute '15

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6613
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Cheynem » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:23 pm

If you tune out in a tossup and then just buzz when you hear words, why is that the question's fault?
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

User avatar
The King's Flight to the Scots
Auron
Posts: 1466
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:11 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:27 pm

1971 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season wrote:
Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. wrote: The answer accepted reasonable equivalents because it was a tossup on "this object" with an answerline of the "Dewey Defeats Truman" newspaper, rather than a tossup on the headline "Dewey Defeats Truman." There's a very obvious distinction here, analogous to accepting "Anna" in a tossup on the character "Anna Christie," for instance.
Most moderators would happily accept an answer that is a reasonable alternative to the word "newspaper" (e.g. headline/article/news item/Chicago Tribune before mention) without the (accept reasonable equivalents) direction. What is not clear with the given direction is whether an alternate phrasing of the headline is acceptable (e.g. would a rambling answer like "that headline that said Truman lost to Dewey" still be correct, even though the actual bolded and underlined part was not spoken verbatim). The "reasonable equivalents" suggest that should be accepted, since it still indicates knowledge of the object (the headline) and the event that prompted it (inaccurate report of an election outcome based on exit polls/phone surveys).

I may have been wrong to accept "Dewey beats Truman" without waiting for reference to the "object" (or prompting), but even if the answer given was "Dewey beats Truman headline", it would almost certainly have been protested by the other team. In the absence of the reasonable equivalent direction, I would not have accepted the answer. This is why I said the set should have been playtested further, and unnecessary or potentially confusing directions (and pronunciation guides) should have been dispensed with.
OK, that answerline could have been fleshed out further, but yes, "the headline that said Truman lost to Dewey" is a "reasonable equivalent" under most any definition of those words. Your argument makes no sense: you're saying that because we included the "reasonable equivalent" direction, you accepted a correct answer, and therefore...we shouldn't have included it?
Matt Bollinger
UVA '14, UVA '15
Communications Officer, ACF

Edward Lansdale
Lulu
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:43 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Edward Lansdale » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:28 pm

Cheynem wrote:As someone who works for HSAPQ (even though I'm not speaking for them or have any real authority), I'm irritated by the statement we "dropped the ball" on this set. Are there things that could be improved upon? Certainly. We're not perfect, there were some problems with this set (as there are with all sets). But I would like a little bit more feedback on this apparent plethora of "confusing directions"--the examples given here so far tend to be a non included answer line (which is obviously bad, but didn't seem to really confuse or screw over any teams) and some questions that were a little misinterpreted (the coal and steel question seems fine, the Dewey Defeats Truman one was asking for the newspaper). I'm not saying this because I dislike people who criticize my work or to be mean, but as someone who puts in time and effort on a set, I recognize the difference between "there are some problems that could be fixed" and "dropped the ball," which implies large failings. I dispute the latter.
Maybe there wasn't "large failings", but the fact remains that the set required an inexperienced or semi-experienced moderator corps to resort to a judgement call (or stop the game to get further instructions) on more occasions than ideal. I am not doubting that other sets have their issues; the ones I have read this year had their fair share. It's just that some more oversight on the part of HSAPQ (proofreading and playtesting) would have ironed out some of the issues, and I feel that wasn't done, but at a large national tournament, there is no excuse for that to be the case.
If you tune out in a tossup and then just buzz when you hear words, why is that the question's fault?
Because if ECSC is considered an acceptable answer to such a question, that seems to reward random guessing and not true knowledge.
Mirza Ahmed
New York University '12
Keck Graduate Institute '15

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6613
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Cheynem » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:31 pm

How does that reward random guessing?! It's the right answer! It contains exactly the right answer!
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

Edward Lansdale
Lulu
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:43 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Edward Lansdale » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:31 pm

Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. wrote: OK, that answerline could have been fleshed out further, but yes, "the headline that said Truman lost to Dewey" is a "reasonable equivalent" under most any definition of those words. Your argument makes no sense: you're saying that because we included the "reasonable equivalent" direction, you accepted a correct answer, and therefore...we shouldn't have included it?
No, I am saying the inclusion of such a direction prodded the moderator into accepting answers that would almost definitely be protested by the other team. The other team cannot see the "reasonable equivalent" direction and have a right to protest what they think is an incorrect title that was only accepted because the direction allows alternative phrasing.
Mirza Ahmed
New York University '12
Keck Graduate Institute '15

Edward Lansdale
Lulu
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:43 pm

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Edward Lansdale » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:32 pm

Cheynem wrote:How does that reward random guessing?! It's the right answer! It contains exactly the right answer!
It is the right answer, but the person arrived at it after waking up from tuning out, not because they whittled down the possible answers and settled on this one. Knowledge of what the predecessor to the EU was should not be rewarded as a correct answer to a tossup about commodities.
Mirza Ahmed
New York University '12
Keck Graduate Institute '15

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6613
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by Cheynem » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:35 pm

First of all, it doesn't matter how you come up with a right answer.

Secondly, the person in this case is buzzing on a clue that corresponds to the right answer and says the right answer (in a slightly expanded form). This is completely, unabashedly not a problem.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15274
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

Re: NHBB Nationals Discussion Thread

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:49 pm

1971 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season wrote:
Cheynem wrote:How does that reward random guessing?! It's the right answer! It contains exactly the right answer!
It is the right answer, but the person arrived at it after waking up from tuning out, not because they whittled down the possible answers and settled on this one.
If you follow this logic to its conclusions, couldn't you just as easily argue that pyramidal tossups are bad because if you miss an early clue, you can still hear the giveaway and get the question right?
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

Locked