Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

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Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Stained Diviner »

The 2014 Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl Sectionals are this Saturday. Good luck to all teams. Feel free to put comments, questions, and complaints in this thread.

I wrote the science, math, and fine arts. Donald Taylor wrote the literature, social studies, and miscellaneous. Feedback on several questions was given by Jonah Greenthal and Tom Egan.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by dtaylor4 »

As a reminder, please refrain from discussing question specifics until it is established that all events are done. Given the nature of the Sectionals, some will obviously be done before others.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Southern Double-collared Sunbirb »

The metea sectional was won by IMSA. Metea finished 2nd, Wheaton North 3rd, Naperville North 4th. It was close.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by jonah »

Ydiwa wrote:The metea sectional was won by IMSA. Metea finished 2nd, Wheaton North 3rd, Naperville North 4th. It was close.
Almost a derangement! (of a derangement)
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by thrillhouse »

2014 AA Masonic Sectional @ Bloomington

1. Bloomington
2. Normal Community
3. University High School (Normal)
4. Streator Township
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Stained Diviner »

Stevenson, Carbondale, Greenville, and Rockford Auburn also won Sectionals today.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by schen »

Fenwick sectional results:

1. Latin
2. OPRF
3. Hinsdale Central
4. UChicago Lab
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Saltasassi »

Fremd Sectional Results:

1. Fremd
2. Fenton
3. Evanston
4. Loyola

Congrats to all teams who played today! Our final match against Fenton was extremely close. Hats off to them for such a good game!
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Gibberish Nonsense »

Results from Fremd:

1. Fremd
2. Fenton
3. Evanston Township
4. Loyola
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by dtaylor4 »

Glenwood results:

1. Springfield (270-240, sweeping the last 4 TUs)
2. Macomb
3. Glenwood
4. Lincoln

I have been made aware of an in accuracy in the R+J bonus. That's all on me.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by garciaja »

1. Champaign Centennial
2. Mahomet-Seymour
3. Champaign Central
4. Danville
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

1. Keith (7-0)
2. Oregon (5-2)
3. Pecatonica (5-2)
4. Somonauk (5-2)

I much, much, MUCH prefer the full round robin schedule we had this year to the 2 pools of 5 schedule we had last year and the 2 pools of 6 schedule that IMSA had while I was there; the tiebreaking rules aren't right, but it just felt like a better day of quizbowl for everyone involved. The 2 through 4 places were better decided, teams 5-8 all got to play more than 4 or 5 rounds, and no one went home winless (due to a circle of death at the bottom), when pool play usually sends 2 teams home empty.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Stained Diviner »

All of the results are already posted. Use the link at the top of this thread.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by dtaylor4 »

in on these shenanigans wrote: I much, much, MUCH prefer the full round robin schedule we had this year to the 2 pools of 5 schedule we had last year and the 2 pools of 6 schedule that IMSA had while I was there; the tiebreaking rules aren't right, but it just felt like a better day of quizbowl for everyone involved. The 2 through 4 places were better decided, teams 5-8 all got to play more than 4 or 5 rounds, and no one went home winless (due to a circle of death at the bottom), when pool play usually sends 2 teams home empty.
Explain how to do it better with only 7 packets.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

Create more sectionals until you have 8 teams in each or write more questions. That's how much of an improvement it was -- it was so significantly better as to suggest such outlandish things in the hopes of positive change.

There might be more feasible options, but I'm too busy banging my head against the NAQT State formatting wall. First things first...
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by dtaylor4 »

Below is my opinion on the set after seeing it played live. I am not going to talk about David's stuff in detail, as I cannot look at the raw questions at this point.

In my areas, there were a couple of questions where the difficulty was a bit higher than where I feel it should be (the Conrad tossup being the example that springs to mind).

With the tossups, I did try to find different things to ask about (see the sales tax and patents TUs). Some things worked, some didn't. Some of the things I wrote about in the odd-ball areas (industrial, grammar, etc.) mandated by the distribution worked, some didn't.

On bonuses, I tried to find different ways to ask about easy things, including using the middle and hard parts of bonuses to utilize harder prompts on easier topics (such as Calaveras County and Pearl). This did lead to some apparent mis-matches on bonuses, which can only really be caught by either doing playtesting once the set is put together, or me trying to "pair up" bonuses as I write them.

On the whole, I think the difficulty was spot-on again. I liked the scoring change of making everything 10, to give more weight to the bonuses. In terms of changing up the format, I'd like to see the first and last periods switched. I've discussed switching to the old Richards format (8 TUs, then 8 Bs, then 8/8), but have changed course. That format does not make every TU worth the same amount of points, which (to me) is a problem.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by dtaylor4 »

in on these shenanigans wrote:Create more sectionals until you have 8 teams in each or write more questions. That's how much of an improvement it was -- it was so significantly better as to suggest such outlandish things in the hopes of positive change.

There might be more feasible options, but I'm too busy banging my head against the NAQT State formatting wall. First things first...
The former is fraught with problems. You'd have to write more questions anyway, as you'd have to completely re-do the state format on account of more teams qualifying.

If the Masons are willing to expand the # of questions written, then I think concrete proposals should be drawn up as to what to do with them, and those proposals should be presented at the post-tournament meeting the Masons hold (this year, it was in mid-April on a Saturday). Assuming it is in Riverton again, I will be there (hopefully on time, unless I have to go in on a Saturday to close the month/quarter again, ****ing 5300), and will gladly host anyone willing to make the trek.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by JHuh33 »

Did anybody else think there was an issue with the molality/molarity bonus part?
Not sure exactly what the question was, but Prerak was certain the first part was molality.
Moderator mistake?
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by jonah »

JHuh33 wrote:Did anybody else think there was an issue with the molality/molarity bonus part?
Not sure exactly what the question was, but Prerak was certain the first part was molality.
Moderator mistake?
Here is the question that I assume you mean:
Round 4 wrote:This measurement is also known as substance concentration.
Name this ratio of the moles of solute and the liters of solvent.
Answer: molarity (or molar concentration; do not accept "molality")
This is not quite right, but it's closer to molarity than molality. The problem is that the denominator should be "liters of solution", not "liters of solvent"; these are different because the solute has nonzero volume.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by dtaylor4 »

Following on from last year, I will once again be entering into SQBS all scoresheets (including rebounds) sent to Dale. Last year, two sectionals did not submit, hopefully that is rectified this year.

Once they are done, I will send the raw files to all parties who would like them. If you are one of them, reply here.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Stained Diviner »

I believe that Sterling Newman won Class A and IMSA won Class AA today. Congrats to all the teams who played, and thanks to the Masons, particularly Dale Thayer, for overseeing the event.

The sets have been sent to the archive, though they aren't showing up yet. The R&J and molarity questions were corrected before posting.

EDIT: In the meantime, the questions are here.
Last edited by Stained Diviner on Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by dtaylor4 »

A:
1) Newman Central Catholic
2) Carterville
3) Litchfield
4) Cumberland (Toledo)

AA:
1) IMSA
2) Fremd
3) Stevenson
4) Auburn

Overall, I gathered that all had a positive experience, and the questions went over well, with 1-2 quibbles.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Dominator »

dtaylor4 wrote:Overall, I gathered that all had a positive experience, and the questions went over well, with 1-2 quibbles.
I was one of the people who expressed some quibbles to Donald, but I want to stress that on the whole, this was a very good set. The questions were challenging enough to differentiate between the best teams in the state (which is really hard to do in Illinois) and still quite creative in finding things to ask about that are important yet often overlooked.

Other than a small number of factual errors, the feedback I expressed to Donald was about trying to improve the set given the unusual format in which it is played. With only 16/16 per round and teams as closely matched as they were at the state tournament, every perceived problem with the set was amplified. The biggest offender, in my opinion, was that some bonus pairs were not of the same difficulty level (particularly in math). Having the hard part of your team's bonus being significantly harder than the other team's, for example, played out as a 10 or 20 point penalty for the unlucky side, and given how close some of the matches were (in Pool A and the semifinals, for instance), those differences mattered.

Now, I'm not saying that these issues cost anyone any games. Perfectly uniform difficulty is at best a myth anyway, and each team had plenty of opportunities to win each game. However, I also think that Donald and David are good enough at what they do that they could find a way to improve their already-great set for the future.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by dtaylor4 »

Dominator wrote:
dtaylor4 wrote:Overall, I gathered that all had a positive experience, and the questions went over well, with 1-2 quibbles.
I was one of the people who expressed some quibbles to Donald, but I want to stress that on the whole, this was a very good set. The questions were challenging enough to differentiate between the best teams in the state (which is really hard to do in Illinois) and still quite creative in finding things to ask about that are important yet often overlooked.
Caveat: I cannot speak for David's questions.

This year, in an effort to improve answer rates, I made a conscious effort to be creative with the answer lines. Either later this month or early next month, Dale will be sending me the scoresheets from the sectionals that sent them in. My hope is to have these entered before the Masonic committee re-convenes (the preliminary date is 4/12), as I will be at that meeting again this year.

Next year, the bonuses I write will be written with the intent to have specific ones paired up.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Stained Diviner »

I did all the bonus pairing, so any problems with that this year are my fault. There is a google doc link to the questions above, and I am happy to receive feedback of that here or via email.

On the one hand, this format makes bonus difficulty differences easier than normal to deal with, since a bonus only needs to match the difficult of the bonus it is paired up with. On the other hand, it is somewhat difficult because when one or two pairs don't match up, it stands out more than typical bonus variability does, and such decisions just come down to my imperfect sense of what seems to be equivalent. It does help me to tell me when my sense was particularly bad.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

The only pair that stood out to me as "wow, was that unfair" was the Round 1 "algebra" bonus that gave "geometric sequence"/(find the first term, given the 3rd term and ratio=2)/(find the infinite sum, given first term and ratio=1/something), then "group"/"distributive property" (from *only* the clue "rings are groups with an extra operation that has this property over the other operation")/(run this silly computation using distribution).

The first bonus is 20 points for anyone who's had a basic lesson in sequences and can divide by 2 twice -- I've got middle schoolers who have been taught what a geometric sequence is -- and 30 points for a very, very small extra bit of information (that formula, which is usually covered in the same lesson, though my middle schoolers don't have that yet). The second bonus is 10 points for that computation, which isn't as trivial as it could have been (indeed, our opponent missed it), 20 points for being able to figure out that "over the other operation" is a phrase related to distribution, and 30 points for someone who's had an abstract algebra class.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by dtaylor4 »

After having a conversation with Dr. Prince after the tournament, one thing I am going to recommend is that the tiebreakers/replacements be completely re-worked.

This year, each pack had a set of 5 tossups and 4 teamwork questions as replacements in each of the 8 rounds. This adds up to 40/32 for each tournament that usually gets wasted. This adds up to two entire packets + 8 tossups per tournament that almost no one hears.

As of right now, my recommendation will be to have the writers produce another 16 teamwork questions (8 for each set), and go from 8 rounds to 10. The extra 8/8 would instead go towards a dedicated set of replacements/tiebreakers that would be kept by the TD and used as necessary.
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Re: Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl 2014

Post by Stained Diviner »

The set is now in the database (as is SCOP).
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