NAC Chicago

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btressler
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Post by btressler »

solonqb wrote:Word on the grapevine is that NAQT wants to keep the HSNCT in Chicago and work on increasing the number of teams. Maybe this will have some sort of effect on Chip's final phase, and is also meant to compete more strongly with him? Let us all hope so.
Indeed in the post-HSNCT questionaire there is mention that the Crowne Plaza bid on nationals again. Teams are asked whether they think it would be a good idea to have nationals in a fixed locale. (I voted no, I like the changing locales.)

But before you conclude this will indeed happen, the Myrtle Beach association also rebid immediately after hosting. We haven't been back yet (but I hope we do in the future). So I guess the question becomes: will the field be as strong if the tournament continues to rotate locations?

If the tournament were to stay in Chicago, IMO it would be because of the increased attendance and NAQT's strength in the midwest, not to directly compete with NAC.

The team rankings of NAC are now up: http://www.qunlimited.com/rank05.htm

I too think that a lot of teams at NAC have a chance to win the title. To illustrate how much luck is involved here, just take a look at our statistics. We are 6th out of 114 teams in points per game. Just makes me scratch my head. You'd think the "sixth highest scoring team" might have a chance to progress far into the tournament. But we were the 16 seed in our phase for the second year running.

It also appears that the team with the most points per game, Rockford Auburn, exited in the round of 16 in their playoff.

The schedule you draw can make or break you. One coach at New Orleans was telling me that she was sure Chip makes all the "good" teams play each other and gives the "little guy" a chance with an easier schedule.

On a final note, we played eight rounds at NAC. I think I protested at least four times. I hate doing it, because the vague questions just invite it. At HSNCT we played 14 rounds. The number of times I protested: zero. See, I can play nice now and then :)

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Post by Romero »

Two instances which I know best. Back when I was a participant, my team requested a schedule change to accomodate missing players. Chip agreed initially, but later reneged and forced us into a play shorthanded or forfeit situation.

One of my college teammates recounts a situation where in a particular game a stump the experts questions asked to name the two fathers of modern philosophy. The team buzzes in and gives an answer which does not match the answer on the paper. The team protests on factual basis at which point Chip informs them that he has no reference materials and it is their responsibility to supply reference material if they wish for the protest to be considered. They go to the nearest Barnes and Noble and buy a reference which verifies their answer. When presented with facts, Chip declines the protest on the basis of tournament expediency (he would have to recalculate the playoffs).

This situation demonstrates the problematic nature of "opinion" questions. Chip just as soon ask what is my favorite color. NAQT and PACE questions all have factual questions which revolve around facts like what is the title of the book written Thomas Mann that centers on Hans Castrop. There is one answer. The only protest possible involves questions of translations or procedure. Even if there were a factual protest, NAQT (and I am sure the same is true with PACE) has available references.

I believe that both of these situations would have been non-issues, had :chip: just kept his word. The perception is that arbitrary decisions such as these are mechanisms of favoritism for or against teams whose results are for or against Chip's interests. It is undeniable that certain results feed into to QU propagranda. How often do we here stories of coaches whose teams do extremely well the year they retire or teams who excel as newbies. These motifs reinforce the belief that NAC can be won by ANY team and the school that has been loyal for 10 years will be rewarded.
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Post by First Chairman »

In checking the photo of :chip: and Brad:

Red shirt... blue suspenders... green jacket... :w-hat: ????

Someone call the Fab Five on him... fast! :phone:
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Post by Ben Dillon »

I've been to about 5 NAQT events in the past 5 years, so I'm no stranger to the format. And I seem to recall a Led Zeppelin bonus at one of those tournaments, so NAQT isn't entirely academic, either, although they are more so than QU.

I'm not saying I want a lot of pop culture, but neither do I want the ultra-obscure. At one of the NAQT events my team attended this past year, both Nigerian authors and organic chemistry were bonus topics, neither of which is on a par with high school knowledge.

The bottom line for my team is that they simply didn't like the NAQT format. When I pressed to find out what they didn't like about it, they couldn't put their finger on it, although they did say they didn't like the timed halves.

I'm not firmly in Chip's camp, if that's what you're probing for, but I've not been won over by another format either. I also consider it somewhat ridiculous that we have at least four different national champions in quiz bowl.

Thus the theory topic "Unified Format". With all our brainpower, we should be able to come up with some amalgam that would attract everyone. If we can't, we may well be waiting for the day when one or more formats fold, as was suggested by another post.
Last edited by Ben Dillon on Sat Jun 18, 2005 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Romero »

Just as your team might dislike NAQT for some reason (time halves, obscure topics, whatever), other teams may like it for those same reasons. I have known of some teams whose taste for a particular format grows with experience and practice.

The diversity of tastes is what makes it impossible to truly unify a national championship. Unlike say college sports which has a central oversight organization that ordains a single legitimate championship, fortunately quiz bowl lacks that on both the high school and college levels.

Imagine a scenario in which one organization did gain a monopoly and eliminated its competition. I believe that organization's events would eventually grow stale. Competition keeps efforts and products fresh. Those products which are inferior will be driven out of the market and others will rise in their place.
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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox »

Ben Dillon wrote:I've been to about 5 NAQT events in the past 5 years, so I'm no stranger to the format. And I seem to recall a Led Zeppelin bonus at one of those tournaments, so NAQT isn't entirely academic, either, although they are more so than QU.

I'm not saying I want a lot of pop culture, but neither do I want the ultra-obscure. At one of the NAQT events my team attended this past year, both Nigerian authors and organic chemistry were bonus topics, neither of which is on a par with high school knowledge.
I'm not going to discuss organic chemistry and instead will leave that to my science bretheren, but high schools commonly memorize lists of Nobel Prize winners and when they hit the lit. list learn at the minimum the name "Wole Soyinka." Even if that and the fact that so few African writers earn this distinction didn't make him gettable and attractive for the high school level, recognize that over the years, he and Chinua Achebe have become increasingly recognized as gettable and their works are taught in high school curriculums, usually at the senior level. Long story short: if people were only asked about what you knew about, there'd always be a tie.
Thus the theory topic "Unified Format". With all our brainpower, we should be able to come up with some amalgam that would attract everyone. If we can't, we may well be waiting for the day when one or more formats fold, as was suggested by another post.
[/quote]

I'm gonna sidestep the fact that you're talking with Chris Romero (AKA Sybil) and implying that he has brainpower and briefly touch on this "Unified Format" idea. There's an old saying that assuming my grandmother was quoting it correctly despite the Evan Williams is something like "You can please no people all of the time, some people most of the time, and all people none of the time." Something to consider.

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Post by wd4gdz »

Ben Dillon wrote: At one of the NAQT events my team attended this past year, both Nigerian authors and organic chemistry were bonus topics, neither of which is on a par with high school knowledge.
I'd have to disagree. I read Things Fall Apart in 10th grade. While I went down the physics route for science, many of my friends took organic chem, and many more read Burger's Daughter in 12th grade.

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Post by First Chairman »

I need to check my AP chemistry texts, but I am pretty sure that organic chemistry, especially constituent groups, are covered.
College Board AP Chemistry syllabus wrote: Introduction to organic chemistry: hydrocarbons and functional groups (structure, nomenclature, chemical properties). Physical and chemical properties of simple organic compounds should also be included as exemplary material for the study of other areas such as bonding, equilibria involving weak acids, kinetics, colligative properties, and stoichiometric determinations of empirical and molecular formulas.
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/tes ... .html?chem

I will grant we won't ask straight up what a "CH3" group is, but that's where depth of knowledge does come in. By all means though, if we go overboard, don't hesitate to tell us. Better yet, be part of the question-writing team (if you are not competing).

On the other hand, on world literature, I admit it is a topic that is discussed in terms of how much and how extensive we should cover non-British, non-American literature. But Soyinka is a very notable author in academia.
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Post by quizbowllee »

Ben Dillon wrote: I'm not saying I want a lot of pop culture, but neither do I want the ultra-obscure. At one of the NAQT events my team attended this past year, both Nigerian authors and organic chemistry were bonus topics, neither of which is on a par with high school knowledge.
That's a VERY weak argument. As coaches, its our job to make sure our teams know this stuff. On par with high school knowledge???!!! If that's the criteria, then this game would be pretty pitiful. The idea should be "on par with knowledge attainable to motivated high school quiz bowl players who want to succeed in the game." Under that criterion, African authors are MORE than acceptable.

At first, my team didn't like NAQT or PACE because "it was too hard." Well, tough. They wanted to be able to win tournaments with the knowledge they ALREADY had. Unfortunately, that was possible in Alabama, but it wasn't gonna cut it abroad. Now that they have played NAQT and PACE regularly, they HATE the shorter-questioned formats and scoff at teams that know no better.

As for :chip: 's tournaments... My team was invited, but the kids looked at their website and just laughed. They were primarily responsible for which tournaments we chose to attend, and they chose wisely.
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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

Organic Chemistry not being a high school topic? I go to a school with 550 kids and even I learned ochem this year. Yes, I'm in advanced chem...but our basic Chem class dabbled in it enough to know structures and naming of alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes.

How long has it been since you took a high school chemistry class?
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Post by Matt Weiner »

Of course NAQT has some trivia/trash elements. That's long been a bone of contention from many people, not the least of which is myself. But I've maintained (even in the face of NAQT people saying it's more like 10%) that this accounts for no more than 20% of NAQT's material. Ideally it would be closer to 5%, but the other 80% being reliably academic material is a hell of a lot more than Chip can muster, as well as written better in itself. And that's the real issue here: Even when Chip does deign to realize that he's not writing for the Jeopardy audience, we get things like this:
12. Hemingway chose a verse from Ecclesiastes as the title of which of his novels?

Ans. The Sun Also Rises
http://www.qunlimited.com/tossup.html

This year, PACE NSC happened to include this tossup:
The protagonist plays three-handed bridge with an Englishman named Harris and billiards with the successful Count Mippipopolous. In this novel, we meet Bill Gorton on a fishing trip, while Mike Campbell goes on ahead to the hotel with his new girlfriend. A key moment occurs during Montoya’s discussion with the main character, about the cautionary tale of Algabeno, in order to discourage his former lover’s romance with Pedro Romero. For 10 points, the line “Robert Cohn was once middle-weight champion of Princetonâ€
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Post by solonqb »

Matt Weiner wrote: I can find one of those rubber hammers that doctors hit your knees with for about $5. Paying Chip five hundred times as much to test your reflexes seems like an unwise investment.
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Post by prewitt81 »

Preliminary round results are now up.

http://www.qunlimited.com/national.htm
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Post by Romero »

:chip: needs a better camera...I am sure he can afford it :grin:
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Post by First Chairman »

Romero wrote::chip: needs a better camera...I am sure he can afford it :grin:
Given his wardrobe malfunctions, are you sure? :)
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Post by mf_2 »

Romero wrote::chip: needs a better camera...I am sure he can afford it :grin:
who is that guy on the picture?
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Post by AKKOLADE »

mf_2 wrote:
Romero wrote::chip: needs a better camera...I am sure he can afford it :grin:
who is that guy on the picture?
Chip Beall; he's the guy that runs NAC (refer to your other post for info on that).
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Post by STPickrell »

Regarding Organic Chemistry -- we studied that in chemistry for about three weeks -- we at least knew the prefixes, what an R-Group was and what types of atoms could link the different kinds of compound types, etc.

This was non-AP in 1992, FWIW.

My understanding is that the African authors have been added in the past few years (they weren't covered in the early 1990s) but I'd certainly write about Achebe at the VHSL District level.
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My personal Chip fix story

Post by etchdulac »

If anybody still wants to know about Chip fixes:

Someone on this board mentioned Chip's penchant for putting all the good teams in one bracket. Such an arrangement happened in the Houston area city tournament in 1994-95, then televised and sponsored by Texaco.

A brief qualifying round was used to narrow the field to 32 and seed the field. The remainder of the matches were televised. There were two very odd things about this single-elimination bracket:

1) instead of having #1 face #32 and so on down to #16 vs. #17 in the first round, #1 faced #17 and so on down to #16 vs. #32.

2) More disturbingly, the top bracket featured the #1, #3, #4, #5, #6 and #7 seeds. #1 faced #5 in the second round.

My team (Strake, seeded #26th) was a beneficiary of both oddities. We reached the semifinals having faced the #10, #14 and #8 seeds. We lost to #2 seed St. John's by 20 points, and then Memorial buried St. John's in the final (that'll be of interest later). It was pointed out throughout that Chip rigged things very nicely for us -- he had his reasons, and we were a good soap opera storyline. Then, at nationals in DC, he scheduled us to face Memorial in the room where he was moderating and scorekeeping. It was, in essence, the Houston final he wanted to have, and some argued, the Houston final he tried to set up. Stunningly, we beat Memorial at nationals, and there was at least one repeat question in the set for that round.

Let me elaborate on that... I grew up an avid little quiz-bowl geek, had years of his Texaco episodes videotaped and had gone to nationals at Rice just to watch for years. When Chip re-used questions, I had heard them before, whether or not I was conscious of it at the time. Chip knew who I was, had seen us over and over again at city shows and nationals, and once I was in high school playing, he did what he could to prod us along. We qualified for nationals out of that rigged city bracket.

Having witnessed Nationals tournaments between 1991 and 1996, I saw my share of suspicious things. But my favorites were always the things :chip: just plain screwed up. I'm sure OU/Broken Arrow's Mr. Bell will remember the classical music audio 60-second round that he set up to run longer than 60 seconds (10 6-second clips don't work when there are pauses between the clues).

Anyway, point is: Chip Beall is a businessman and marketing guy (a schemester of the Music Man variety in the eyes of many), so he saved money (or effort) by re-using questions from previous years knowing that only a few people could possibly notice. I really only know of one other person who'd qualify as such a beneficiary, and I wasn't about to complain.

I have no reason to think he's stopped this practice, though I obviously don't know, as I haven't attended any of his events in 9 years.
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Post by Byko »

I've heard some stories that I probably shouldn't share here in a public forum. But this does seem to make sense when combined with how he used to do bizarre seedings for the NAC even into the late 1990s, having first-round matchups like #4 vs. #10, #5 vs. #9, #6 vs. #8, and #7 vs. #12 all in a 20-team single-elimination tournament. None of us could understand it.

etchdulac, did you play for Strake Jesuit in Houston back in 1995-96? I think we may have met several times before--I used to play for Clear Lake in '95-'96.
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95-96

Post by etchdulac »

Clear Lake! Ellen Harley was one of the coolest coaches I ever met. She had me moderate at her tournament my freshman year of college, I think.

I was at Strake from 92-96. If you remember that team's captain, that's me. Did you move in from out-of-state for that one year? I remember that vaguely.

Stories you shouldn't share in a public forum sounds fun. IM me sometime or something.
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Regarding High school level

Post by fluffy4102 »

It's interesting that say that all information is high school level. There's the presence of classical music or music theory references. There are many indeed. It's not as if there's something wrong with the presence of the questions, but if we were to argue that something wasn't on the high school level, you would have to argue that it's the music questions. Not everybody knows the characteristics of a sonata (the expositions, development, recapitulation, the variety of allegro tempi, key modulation, etc.). It's in-depth knowledge that very few people comprehend at the high school level. It's not even something you learn in a music theory AP class. However, the inclusion of these question types are valid like the organic chemistry mentioned because quiz bowl participants are able to learn from other fields of expertise or interest, not from just reading lists.
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