HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

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HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Thu May 29, 2014 5:33 pm

Hi all,

The ninth annual Harvard Fall Tournament will be held on November 15, 2014. As in the past, the set will be house-written and I will be serving as head editor. We’re bumping the date a week later than our normal Veterans Day date, due to the SAT date on November 8.

You can register for the tournament by sending an email to holubmoorman AT college DOT Harvard DOT edu. Please use "HFT Registration" as the subject header and indicate clearly how many teams you will be bringing. If you're not sure, give us a range and we'll make a note of it but "maybe" teams won't be guaranteed a spot in the field until you confirm a definite number.

The Set

Like last year, we are planning to write 15 power-marked rounds, with the last two being special finals packets of slightly higher difficulty than the other 13. Each packet will include the following:

4/4 Literature (1/1 American, 1/1 European, 1/1 British, 1/1 World/Ancient/Misc)
4/4 Science (1/1 Biology, 1/1 Chemistry, 1/1 Physics, 1/1 Math/CS/Earth Science/Astro/Other)
4/4 History (1/1 American, 1/1 World, 2/2 European/British/Ancient)
3/3 Fine Arts (1/1 Painting/Sculpture, 1/1 Classical Music, 0.5/0.5 Other Visual, 0.5/0.5 Other Auditory)
2/2 Social Science / Philosophy / Misc. Academic
1/1 Religion
1/1 Mythology
1/1 Geography/Modern World

Each packet will also include a tiebreaker tossup from literature, history, or science.

Difficulty will be similar to last year’s set. There will be a mix of answerline difficulties: many will be things tossupable in an NAQT A-set, many will be regular high school difficulty, and a few will push into nationals-level difficulty. Emphasis on “a few,” though—we’re really aiming to ask about canonical topics in deep, interesting ways.

Other small changes:
1) The social science and philosophy distributions have been reduced slightly. In most rounds, there will be three questions (TUs and bonuses combined) allotted to social science and philosophy, with the remainder being miscellaneous academic common links. Some rounds might have two combined, depending. Social science, and to a lesser extent, philosophy, is going to heavily emphasize concepts over specific people and works.
2) Geography will emphasize human geography. “Modern World” will encompass post-2000 events, including current events. No, we won’t be tossing up any anime subgenres.
3) Painting and sculpture have been combined.

Mirrors

We’re looking for mirror sites in the Georgia area, the Kentucky/Ohio area, Southern California, Illinois, Texas, and the DC/MD/VA area. The mirror fee will be $15 per team and the tournament may be mirrored up until three weeks before HSNCT, which is when I will upload the set online for those who wish to practice on it. If you're interested in using our questions for your tournament, you can send me an email at holubmoorman AT college DOT harvard DOT edu.

Tournament Format

We have a preliminary field cap of 32 teams, with prelim and playoff round robins plus crossover matches between the top two playoff brackets. This may expand, depending on staff and room availability. EDIT: The field has been expanded to 36 teams.

Fee Structure

$90 base fee
-$5 buzzer discount
-$5 staff discount

Current Field (Teams/Buzzers/Staff):

AMSA (1/2/0)
Wilmington Charter (2/0/0)
Hingham (2/1/0)
Lexington (2/1/0)
Loudoun County (1/1/0)
Dorman (2/2/0)
Nashua High School South (1/1/1)
State College (6/2/0)
Kellenberg (3/3/0)
Ithaca (1/1/1)
E.O. Smith (3/2/0)
Brookline (1/0/0)
Hunter (3/1/0)
Bishop Guertin (1/0/0)
Acton Boxboro (2/1/1)
Bethlehem Central (1/2/0)
Dunbar (1/0/0)
Boston Latin School (1/0/0)
Phillips Academy (2/0/0)
Last edited by hydrocephalitic listlessness on Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:20 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:55 am

Barring a field expansion, this tournament is now half-full. Teams planning on coming should send in their registrations soon (if you've already sent one and don't see your school listed under "Current Field," PM or email me).
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:09 am

With Kellenberg's registration, the field for HFT is now full. A field expansion at this point doesn't seem likely, but I'll start a waitlist for interested teams, in case any teams currently in the field drop out.

HFT has also been platinum certified by PACE, meaning that the top 25% of the field will qualify for NSC.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by rpirrie » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:10 am

Hello--Can you please put E. O. Smith down as the first team on the wait list? We'd be a 2/2/0, but I am willing to make that 2/2/1. If you can get more volunteers to read can you expand the field? Thanks.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by atai » Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:35 pm

Hi! Hunter would like to wait on that waitlist as well. We'd be a 2/1/0.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:15 pm

The field has been expanded to 36 teams (field and wait list are up-to-date).
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by atai » Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:26 pm

Due to resounding interest, Hunter would like to put a 3rd team on the waitlist.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by rpirrie » Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:54 am

Please add a third team from E. O. Smith to the list as well. Thanks.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Mark Wolfsberg » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:27 am

Bethlehem Central (NY), Winners of PHSAT, are interested in attending. Can you add us to the wait list.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by atai » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:32 pm

Hey guys,
If you still need another buzzer set, Hunter can bring not one, but two!
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Mark Wolfsberg » Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:30 pm

Bethlehem would bring two Buzzer sets & Moderator(s) if needed
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by SHM » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:56 am

Paul Laurence Dunbar from Kentucky would like to bring one team. Please let us know if an opening occurs as we will have to purchase airline tickets as soon as possible.
Thanks,
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Mark Wolfsberg » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:20 am

Who else is psyched up for this totally stacked tournament ?

Looking at the list of top teams attending has got to get you excited, or maybe worried.....
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:23 pm

State College A defeated Wilmington Charter A in a one-game final. Stats will be up once Ben Zhang, Raynor, and I are able to combine all of our scoresheets.

Thanks to all the teams who came today, and especially to their volunteers! I'm sorry the tournament took longer than expected--we had several unexpected issues happen in the SOCH (some staffers didn't show up, a few rounds were read out of order, etc.) that caused major delays, meaning we couldn't re-bracket several teams for quite a while. I'd also like to apologize to Bethlehem Central and Acton Boxboro, who were unjustly penalized as a result of miscommunications between the SOCH and me. I hope that everyone enjoyed the set, and that these issues didn't kill the day for too many teams.

I'll be setting up a private usergroup forum for the discussion of the set soon--we'd love to hear your input for future mirrors.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:16 pm

Thank to Harvard for a great tournament. although the set was quite difficult, we did indeed enjoy. Congrats to State• College on the win.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:34 pm

Schmidt Sting Pain Index wrote:Thank to Harvard for a great tournament. although the set was quite difficult, we did indeed enjoy. Congrats to State• College on the win.
Yes

Despite the delay, the staffers were very professional and the set was enjoyable. Congrats to State. College for winning, and CSW for placind 2nd
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Mark Wolfsberg » Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:55 pm

We Just got back the Bethlehem. On the way home, the team all said that despite the fact that I blew my top over the situation in the first afternoon round, they all enjoyed the tournament a lot. They said they thought the question set was excellent.

I sincerely hope you will consider consolidating the tournament into a single location next year.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:38 am

The location situation was not ideal. I booked the entirety of the SOCH during the summer, only to have them email me a few weeks ago that they had screwed up and had to take away half of our rooms. By that point, there weren't enough rooms available to host the tournament across two buildings, let alone one, so we had to go with the three-building setup. Next year, like in the past, HFT will be run in either the Yard or the SOCH, not both.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by mrkirkmath » Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:02 pm

The delays and whatnot at the SOCH were largely outside of your control, Willy, and not your fault, though I might suggest that if the need does exist to have the tournament held over multiple buildings, whomever is put in charge of that building is not expected to read as well. I never caught the name of the individual who seemed to be running things there - he checked in teams in the morning and was reading in room 106 - but he truly seemed to be doing the best that he could at keeping things running smoothly, despite also trying to keep his own game moving. If he were more available, I'm sure the situation that developed could have been dealt with more efficiently. As you said, there was a shortage of staff, and I'm sure that this situation was not planned.

The content of questions was great, with I think just the right level of difficulty. Ithaca's team had a great time, and we look forward to poring over the individual results.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Mark Wolfsberg » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:48 pm

mrkirkmath wrote:The delays and whatnot at the SOCH were largely outside of your control, Willy, and not your fault, though I might suggest that if the need does exist to have the tournament held over multiple buildings, whomever is put in charge of that building is not expected to read as well. I never caught the name of the individual who seemed to be running things there - he checked in teams in the morning and was reading in room 106 - but he truly seemed to be doing the best that he could at keeping things running smoothly, despite also trying to keep his own game moving. If he were more available, I'm sure the situation that developed could have been dealt with more efficiently. As you said, there was a shortage of staff, and I'm sure that this situation was not planned.

The content of questions was great, with I think just the right level of difficulty. Ithaca's team had a great time, and we look forward to poring over the individual results.
Great Post. I was great for our guys to get to compete with Ithaca at the tournament. I feel like you are our sister upstate team. I agree on the delays. We completely expect them at every tournament we go to. I also agree with you that people running the tournament should probably not be reading until the later rounds. Although to be honest, the Harvard guys were good readers. But, you need the folks running the tournament, to be able to do that. When they went to multiple locations it meant they were going to need more people to administer and not read.....

One weird little thing; since Harvard is one of the epicenters of college QB, it would have been cool if they were able to talk to the kids about college QB a little and maybe hand out some small Harvard QB chochkys(sp?) to the kids.

Once again we enjoyed our saturday at Harvard.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:07 pm

I wasn't at this tournament and can't comment on the circumstances that resulted in a random parent reading in a room and repeatedly reading the wrong packet, but I am amazed that Harvard thought, in 2014, that it was a good idea to just give staffers all the packets and trust them to do the right thing.

For Harvard and anyone else who is planning to run a tournament, you MUST restrict packet access to only the packet that a moderator is supposed to read in the immediately upcoming round!

There are several ways to do this:
1: Paper packets - give out round n+1's packet when a scorekeeper returns the scoresheet from round n.
2: Passwords on packets - give out all the packets as individual files with a password on them. When round n's scoresheet is returned, give the moderator the password to the round n+1 packet.
3: Google drive (our club has used this method for literally scores of tournaments in 4 years with no problems) - Set up a throwaway Google account. Give all the staffers the password to the account. At the start of each round, upload that round's packet to Google drive. After all the rooms have completed a round, delete that round's packet. Obviously this requires reliable wi-fi; if you aren't confidant in having that, you shouldn't use this method.

I'm sure there are other ways to do this, but it is totally unacceptable for a TD to ever give a moderator excess packets.
Last edited by Steeve Ho You Fat on Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:17 pm

Madagascar Serpent Eagle wrote:I wasn't at this tournament and can't comment on the circumstances that resulted in a random parent reading in a room and repeatedly reading the wrong packet, but I am amazed that Harvard thought, in 2014, that it was a good idea to just give staffers all the packets and trust them to do the right thing.
I can explain why this happened. The plan was that all staffers, including third-party ones, were supposed to have laptops/tablets, with electronically distributed packets. However, for reasons that are still unclear, a reader (one, across all the rooms) arrived without one. Making an on the spot decision, I had one of my staffers print out all the packets for the prelims at once, under the logic that this would be better than having that staffer have to run to a building computer between every round and print out a packet anew.

The issue that arose was that this reader then mistakenly read bonuses from rounds 3-5 during round 1 (though we wouldn't even realize until round 3 that she'd read from multiple other rounds). In retrospect, the best idea would have been to keep the packets myself and only give her one every round--but really unfortunately, it was an on the spot action, and I didn't exactly have the time to come up with a full plan, given that I was still in the middle of registering teams and directing other staffers (in addition to thinking it fairly harmless, aside from security concerns, to give this reader all the packets and just have them go through the pages in order, as they were printed).

If you want to hear more about this, I'd rather we do it in the subforum.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by at your pleasure » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:38 pm

UlyssesInvictus wrote:
Madagascar Serpent Eagle wrote:I wasn't at this tournament and can't comment on the circumstances that resulted in a random parent reading in a room and repeatedly reading the wrong packet, but I am amazed that Harvard thought, in 2014, that it was a good idea to just give staffers all the packets and trust them to do the right thing.
I can explain why this happened. The plan was that all staffers, including third-party ones, were supposed to have laptops/tablets, with electronically distributed packets. However, for reasons that are still unclear, a reader (one, across all the rooms) arrived without one. Making an on the spot decision, I had one of my staffers print out all the packets for the prelims at once, under the logic that this would be better than having that staffer have to run to a building computer between every round and print out a packet anew.
Given that it is reasonable to assume that most students at Harvard own computers and that at least a few tournament attendees probably had brought laptops with them, wouldn't it have made more sense to see if someone could loan her a laptop for the duration of the tournament or even better yet budget for someone forgetting their laptop or having it not work and make sure in advance to have a spare laptop or two on hand?
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:59 pm

UlyssesInvictus wrote:If you want to hear more about this, I'd rather we do it in the subforum.
Screw you, why can't we criticize Harvard in public?

To be slightly less flippant, Harvard has had a surprising amount of issues with TDing in the last few years given its status as a large and active club. In approximately increasing order of severity, Harvard has failed to issue receipts, failed to provide basic logistical information and refused to help acquire that information, played house teams at a tournament that ran extremely late due to a lack of staff, and now apparently given an entire day's worth of questions to someone totally unknown to the club (and affiliated with a competing team too!). While I'm sure everyone appreciates that Harvard is willing to host tournaments, a prerequisite to hosting a tournament is being prepared to host the tournament and this includes having information needed to send to teams and appropriate staff. New TDs, of course, make mistakes, but surely there are enough experienced people at Harvard that they can advise the new people? Surely, if a team asks a question about a basic tournament function like parking, a TD who doesn't know can ask someone or do some research on a campus website to find out? I also don't understand what the benefit of discussing a logistical/organizational failure in a private forum would be other than to shield Harvard from public criticism - it isn't the content of the questions that matters, it's what was done with them.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:01 pm

at your pleasure wrote:Given that it is reasonable to assume that most students at Harvard own computers
Reasonable.
at your pleasure wrote: and that at least a few tournament attendees probably had brought laptops with them, wouldn't it have made more sense to see if someone could loan her a laptop for the duration of the tournament
Not so much--I didn't see a single student with a laptop in the SOCH, and I imagine they'd be extremely loath to loan one if they did (and the same for me asking).
at your pleasure wrote: or even better yet budget for someone forgetting their laptop or having it not work and make sure in advance to have a spare laptop or two on hand?
Well, it's not exactly like Harvard gives us access to a laptop cart. There weren't any extra staffers in the SOCH who might have been able to bring extra laptops, but I guess we could have borrowed unused laptops from the staffers not in the SOCH and distributed those to the SOCH beforehand--definitely doable (for the record, this is two among three). A little unreasonable to ask those staffers to give up their laptops to strangers, though, and in a building nowhere near where they were (in addition to them probably actually using the laptops for homework or what not between rounds). Still, I do regret not having some kind of backup for the laptops. (I'm just annoyed that we essentially did have a backup--printing paper packets--only for that to balloon up to an even worse problem).
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Guile Island » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:03 pm

Hey everybody: don't tell people how to post. But also don't try to avoid discussion of perfectly relevant quizbowl topics on the quizbowl forums.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:10 pm

Madagascar Serpent Eagle wrote:
UlyssesInvictus wrote:If you want to hear more about this, I'd rather we do it in the subforum.
Screw you, why can't we criticize Harvard in public?
Well, you can do this, and I actually welcome it, but I'm trying to preserve personal details about non-Harvard affiliated people. Feel free to discuss the other problems--before painting the long, detailed picture, I just wanted to make sure only people who already knew the person involved were being given more details.

That said, please stop trying to associate Harvard with Harvard QB. If you have an issue with the club, don't let your stereotypes about the university as a whole taint your other arguments (especially since you have a reasonable amount of other evidence below).
Madagascar Serpent Eagle wrote: To be slightly less flippant, Harvard has had a surprising amount of issues with TDing in the last few years given its status as a large and active club. In approximately increasing order of severity, Harvard has failed to issue receipts, failed to provide basic logistical information and refused to help acquire that information, played house teams at a tournament that ran extremely late due to a lack of staff, and now apparently given an entire day's worth of questions to someone totally unknown to the club (and affiliated with a competing team too!). While I'm sure everyone appreciates that Harvard is willing to host tournaments, a prerequisite to hosting a tournament is being prepared to host the tournament and this includes having information needed to send to teams and appropriate staff. New TDs, of course, make mistakes, but surely there are enough experienced people at Harvard that they can advise the new people? Surely, if a team asks a question about a basic tournament function like parking, a TD who doesn't know can ask someone or do some research on a campus website to find out? I also don't understand what the benefit of discussing a logistical/organizational failure in a private forum would be other than to shield Harvard from public criticism - it isn't the content of the questions that matters, it's what was done with them.
I won't comment on your examples, since I either didn't even know they'd happened before you brought them up (and thus would be unlicensed to explain them/defend them/concede them as awful). (At least before discussing them with people involved/letting them comment).

It also wasn't a whole day's questions--it was the first five rounds. You're strongly valid in pointing out the person in question was affiliated with another team. I'm glad security-wise this never became a problem, but I suppose if it did you could criticize me as much you wanted for trusting it wouldn't be a problem (well, I guess you can do that even without it having been a problem).
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:11 pm

the charm wrote:Hey everybody: don't tell people how to post. But also don't try to avoid discussion of perfectly relevant quizbowl topics on the quizbowl forums.
See my above post for why I asked to move this to sub-forums. Actually, at this point, I'd rather just explain the full details--of this PARTICULAR--problem in PM. Continue with your other criticisms here, it's not like I'm trying to argue I was blameless.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Lo, Marathon Ham! » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:12 pm

I'd like to say that even with some logistical flaws, this tournament ran well and did conclude in a somewhat timely manner. Sure things did happen which caused delays and things like that, but there is no reason to blow them out of proportion. The Harvard team did a great job of responding to all the crises that arose and while certain things went wrong, they did their best. Some things were out of their control and with other things perhaps could have been handled a little better. This tournament was extremely enjoyable and the questions were simply amazing! Definitely tied for my favorite set of all time (alongside Penn Bowl 2014).
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:15 pm

We provided parking information to teams this year. We did utilize round-by-round distribution at Penn Bowl, but I thought that our situation of having multiple locations at HFT would potentially lead to that system causing delays.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:17 pm

MoeMoney wrote:...the questions were simply amazing! Definitely tied for my favorite set of all time (alongside Penn Bowl 2014).
Thanks for saying that! I really want to praise Will for this here, since Will definitely was responsible for putting the personal stylistic touch on the set as a whole. I suppose now I'm allowed to ask that specifics be discussed in the subforum?
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Cheynem » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:21 pm

Question specific discussion obviously should go in the sub-forum, yes.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by at your pleasure » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:22 pm

UlyssesInvictus wrote:
at your pleasure wrote:Given that it is reasonable to assume that most students at Harvard own computers
Reasonable.
at your pleasure wrote: and that at least a few tournament attendees probably had brought laptops with them, wouldn't it have made more sense to see if someone could loan her a laptop for the duration of the tournament
Not so much--I didn't see a single student with a laptop in the SOCH, and I imagine they'd be extremely loath to loan one if they did (and the same for me asking).
at your pleasure wrote: or even better yet budget for someone forgetting their laptop or having it not work and make sure in advance to have a spare laptop or two on hand?
Well, it's not exactly like Harvard gives us access to a laptop cart. There weren't any extra staffers in the SOCH who might have been able to bring extra laptops, but I guess we could have borrowed unused laptops from the staffers not in the SOCH and distributed those to the SOCH beforehand--definitely doable (for the record, this is two among three). A little unreasonable to ask those staffers to give up their laptops to strangers, though, and in a building nowhere near where they were (in addition to them probably actually using the laptops for homework or what not between rounds). Still, I do regret not having some kind of backup for the laptops. (I'm just annoyed that we essentially did have a backup--printing paper packets--only for that to balloon up to an even worse problem).
Right, perhaps I should clarify-I specifically meant 'ask staffers and team members if they could loan a laptop for the duration of the tournament, ask one of these groups in advance, or better yet check out a laptop from the library(I have checked and it seems you can do this at Harvard) a day in advance'.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:25 pm

Laptop checkout is for three hours, and there's no library within a 15-minute walk of where Raynor was, so that wouldn't have really worked.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:30 pm

UlyssesInvictus wrote:That said, please stop trying to associate Harvard with Harvard QB. If you have an issue with the club, don't let your stereotypes about the university as a whole taint your other arguments (especially since you have a reasonable amount of other evidence below).
Uh, sorry I didn't write "The Harvard University College Bowl Team" (which a quick Google seems to indicate is your official name) out every time I said Harvard? I don't really know what you're talking about here.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:38 pm

UlyssesInvictus wrote:
Madagascar Serpent Eagle wrote:
Screw you, why can't we criticize Harvard in public?
Well, you can do this, and I actually welcome it, but I'm trying to preserve personal details about non-Harvard affiliated people. Feel free to discuss the other problems--before painting the long, detailed picture, I just wanted to make sure only people who already knew the person involved were being given more details.

That said, please stop trying to associate Harvard with Harvard QB. If you have an issue with the club, don't let your stereotypes about the university as a whole taint your other arguments (especially since you have a reasonable amount of other evidence below).
Given that it's fairly standard among the community to refer to teams simply by the (generally shortest convenient) name of their schools, I don't think Joe is trying to say anything about your institution of higher learning. I'm not interested in warning you for telling people how to post over this, but I would calm down a notch and listen to what Joe and others are saying about things Harvard the team, not the largely-irrelevant-to-the-discussion school, could learn from. No one likes to be criticized, but something I've noticed in my many years here is that that often leads to productive suggestions being ignored, and I caution you, as a person I've met and respect, away from this mistake.

Speaking of productive suggestions, when I run a digital tournament (as I did a number of times at UVA), I ask all of my staffers to bring a laptop, regardless of whether I plan to have them reading or scorekeeping, and always check in advance whether team-provided staff will have laptops. I'm also not sure that I've ever asked team-provided staff to run a room solo; if I did, it was someone I knew to be very experienced. What you can accomplish by having all of your people bring their laptops is ideally pairing scorekeepers who listened and brought computers work with moderators who were unable to. This way, every room has a computer and no one is sending their valuable piece of equipment away with a random stranger. If this particular tournament was truly so short staffed that an inexperienced team-provided person was running a room solo, then that's something you should ask people better than me at staff recruitment about dealing with, but in general my method has worked and is one I would recommend to anyone trying to use digital packets.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:44 pm

The staffer in question wasn't running a room solo, and initially was only slated to keep score, but requested to read due to poor math skills. Due to a miscommunication, I thought this staffer was bringing a laptop. We had something like 10-12 staffers/volunteers combined either drop out in the few days before the tournament or not show up the day of, which left us in a bit of a bind.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by west neg, new york » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:59 pm

In the email all staffers received a few days prior to HFT, bringing a computer to read questions was mentioned, albeit briefly. That being said, I don't think the availability of laptops would have been a issue at all had the reading snafu not occurred. The packets were sent out to the rest of the readers in two sets, one for the morning and one for the afternoon, and no one else seemed to have a problem reading the correct questions to teams. I'll leave it to Raynor to explain the details of what happened at the SOCH if anyone wants to know, but it seems to me that Harvard as a club and Raynor in particular made an appropriate effort to correct what at the time appeared to be a minor problem (the missing laptop) that ended up turning out in a way that none of us really expected.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:18 am

The Laughing Cavalier wrote: Given that it's fairly standard among the community to refer to teams simply by the (generally shortest convenient) name of their schools, I don't think Joe is trying to say anything about your institution of higher learning. I'm not interested in warning you for telling people how to post over this, but I would calm down a notch and listen to what Joe and others are saying about things Harvard the team, not the largely-irrelevant-to-the-discussion school, could learn from. No one likes to be criticized, but something I've noticed in my many years here is that that often leads to productive suggestions being ignored, and I caution you, as a person I've met and respect, away from this mistake.
Thanks for putting it this politely, Sarah. I think you're right, and I apologize for the incorrect and hasty generalizations.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Amizda Calyx » Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:46 am

Were the pages in each packet, like, not stapled together? I am confused as to how the reader managed to mix up the bonuses if there weren't any loose papers--surely it would be anti-intuitive to tear open a new packet every 6 bonuses.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by jonpin » Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:48 am

hydrocephalitic listlessness wrote:The staffer in question wasn't running a room solo, and initially was only slated to keep score, but requested to read due to poor math skills. Due to a miscommunication, I thought this staffer was bringing a laptop. We had something like 10-12 staffers/volunteers combined either drop out in the few days before the tournament or not show up the day of, which left us in a bit of a bind.
In all honesty, this seems to be the source of all other problems that occurred at HFT, and you need to figure out why this happened and how to not have it happen again. I ran a middle school tournament a few weeks ago, and in the last two weeks leading up to it, I went from "confident" to "panicked" to "reassured" to, on the day of, "almost panicked again" on staff recruitment. My captains and I wound up putting out a volunteer sign-up sheet ~4 days beforehand asking people to confirm they would attend, and when it turned out that several of our staffers were only available for the afternoon, my students spent Thursday and Friday trying to find people with any degree of competence they could, which enabled us to pull the tournament off with almost no issues that were publicly visible. Still, the last-minute desperation made us realize that next time, we need to send out that volunteer sign-up sheet much earlier, so that we know what our needs are.
HFT originally announced a field of 32 and then expanded it to 36. That implies that you had enough staff for 36 (and "enough staff" includes a TD and building captains if your tournament is separated). It's sure possible that you had the staff and then a dozen people bailed on you. Again, if this is the case, you need to go to those people and ask what the hell happened, because their inability to show up puts the reputation of your quiz bowl team as a host for tournaments in jeopardy. If you have an extra 6 people, then you have the ability for 2-3 people to be solving problems, to communicate stats between buildings, to distribute packets, to remove problem readers, to resolve protests should they come up. In other words, to run the tournament!

My team was not attending HFT (they briefly asked last year if we might attend, and I said that the cost of an overnight trip before nationals would be prohibitive), but I personally was there through sheer coincidence. I was at Harvard with my school's math team, and while they competed, I saw buzzers set up, and decided to swing by the headquarters. Ben Zhang (who for his work throughout the Northeast HSQB circuit deserves sainthood) asked me to help fill out scoresheets and update SQBS and while I was doing that, I had someone come in asking where his team was supposed to be, and noting that his team had been through a lot of crap thus far in the day. I attempted to get him a schedule while noting that I wasn't actually with Harvard QB and thus couldn't answer for the rest of his concerns, and he quite rightly asked, "Well isn't there SOMEONE running this tournament?" Thanksfully, at that time Ben walked back in and we were able to solve the problem for then. But when I left, I was thinking that the tournament (which as of 5:00 was getting Round 8 scoresheets in, to my memory) was one more screw-up away from falling completely apart.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Mark Wolfsberg » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:02 am

UlyssesInvictus wrote:
Madagascar Serpent Eagle wrote:I wasn't at this tournament and can't comment on the circumstances that resulted in a random parent reading in a room and repeatedly reading the wrong packet, but I am amazed that Harvard thought, in 2014, that it was a good idea to just give staffers all the packets and trust them to do the right thing.
I can explain why this happened. The plan was that all staffers, including third-party ones, were supposed to have laptops/tablets, with electronically distributed packets. However, for reasons that are still unclear, a reader (one, across all the rooms) arrived without one. Making an on the spot decision, I had one of my staffers print out all the packets for the prelims at once, under the logic that this would be better than having that staffer have to run to a building computer between every round and print out a packet anew.

The issue that arose was that this reader then mistakenly read bonuses from rounds 3-5 during round 1 (though we wouldn't even realize until round 3 that she'd read from multiple other rounds). In retrospect, the best idea would have been to keep the packets myself and only give her one every round--but really unfortunately, it was an on the spot action, and I didn't exactly have the time to come up with a full plan, given that I was still in the middle of registering teams and directing other staffers (in addition to thinking it fairly harmless, aside from security concerns, to give this reader all the packets and just have them go through the pages in order, as they were printed).

If you want to hear more about this, I'd rather we do it in the subforum.
I score kept in this room starting in round 2 through 5 after the issue had happened. I did not see what happened but I believe it is more likely that the packets were mixed up when handed to the reader than that she mixed them up....
given that she was handed all the packets at once, which seems really strange to me, I think it's not fair to blame the reader. BTW She was a very good reader.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Mark Wolfsberg » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:20 am

Can we expect to see stats today. I'd really want to see how State College stacked up against Bethlehem minus the round where they were read questions W/O Bethlehem there. See all the above posts for why that situation happened.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:31 am

UlyssesInvictus wrote:That said, please stop trying to associate Harvard with Harvard QB. If you have an issue with the club, don't let your stereotypes about the university as a whole taint your other arguments (especially since you have a reasonable amount of other evidence below).
raynor plz
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:38 am

Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon wrote:
UlyssesInvictus wrote:That said, please stop trying to associate Harvard with Harvard QB. If you have an issue with the club, don't let your stereotypes about the university as a whole taint your other arguments (especially since you have a reasonable amount of other evidence below).
raynor plz
I'd encourage future participants to make sure they're properly distinguishing the target of their criticism between Harvard's quiz bowl team, Harvard University, Harvard Square, the MBTA station at Harvard, Jeremy Lin, John Harvard, "Harvard" Eddie Grant, current Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba John Harvard, Havarti cheese, Harvard Bridge, the Harvard Crimson, the Alabama Crimson Tide, the city of Harvard located in Nebraska, the Harvard Mark I, Mark I. Fox, Harvard-Westlake School, and Dartmouth. Failure to do so will lead to confusion as to who is actually being criticized in a thread about the Harvard Fall Tournament.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by The Time Keeper » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:40 am

Mark Wolfsberg wrote:Can we expect to see stats today. I'd really want to see how State College stacked up against Bethlehem minus the round where they were read questions W/O Bethlehem there. See all the above posts for why that situation happened.
The TD and various staffers in charge of stats have probably and rightfully been dedicating more time to trying to put out any fires caused by the various slip-ups that occurred during the tournament, so stats may take longer to be posted than usual.

That said, posts where people request stats usually begin a chain reaction that ends horribly, so we have a policy of not allowing such for future reference.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Mark Wolfsberg » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:54 am

OK,

Sorry about that. I did feel a little guilty when I posted that. I also feel that the Harvard QB folks have been beaten on enough. My Son told me this AM that he really wants to come back next year. The thing for him was how great the question set was.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:25 am

Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon wrote: current Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba John Harvard
Harvard hasn't been Lieutenant General for a while now, it's some Chinese dude called Phillip Lee now. This is not meant to be construed as an attack on the ability of Harvard alumni to become viceregal representatives in Canada provinces, and I apologize in advance if it is.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by The Time Keeper » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:33 am

Mark Wolfsberg wrote:OK,

Sorry about that. I did feel a little guilty when I posted that. I also feel that the Harvard QB folks have been beaten on enough. My Son told me this AM that he really wants to come back next year. The thing for him was how great the question set was.

No problem! You should see some of the people of days past who have wanted stats and been vocal about it, you're definitely one of the good ones.
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Re: HFT IX @ Harvard (11/15/14)

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:47 am

We'll get stats up as soon as possible. It might take a couple days, though, because most of the scoresheets are with Ben in New York.
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