Quick disclaimer: I do both math team and quiz bowl, so my feelings on this issue are rather biased.

For the Countdown round at Mathcounts (which of all math competitions best resembles quiz bowl), students have 45 seconds from the start of the question, which is projected for them to read onto a screen. The fact that such projections cannot be done in NAQT competition, the need for pyramidal style tossups, and the difficulty of Mathcounts vs. NAQT math questions eliminate most of the math from the countdown round from the pool of potential quiz bowl math questions.

I would agree with what

**mentalchocolate** said about the trig questions; for example, if an identity that a math specialist would know makes the problem much easier, then the question may be powerable; on the other hand, anyone familiar with the material should be able to get it by the end of the 10 seconds after the questions end. Pyramidal math is hard to write, but not impossible, and works just as well as any other style of quesiton when done right.

My feelings on calculus are similar to those of

**insaneindian**: there are plenty of NAQT questions on AP Bio, AP Chem, AP Physics, AP U.S. History, AP Euro, and AP Psych; why not AP Calc? If a pyramidal style question can be written on a concept in calculus, I don't see any reason not to use it. If it were in the playoffs of a national tournament, I wouldn't even think a multivariable calculus question would be unreasonable.

E. T. Chuck wrote:Identifying the "tricks" in most math problems is the difficult part of those questions, but this is not the same skill as one would use on a "normal" quiz bowl question.

I find that when I am doing math questions, it is a quite similar skill that I use. When a question on an artist/treaty/molecule is started, I begin to recognize some of the information that is given, and when I have enough information to answer with confidance, I do so. Math questions add a step: first, the information in the question is given, then the trick/method needed to solve the problem must be identified, then finally the actual math must be done. This additional step (the computation itself) is what I find the extra 10 seconds is for. Additionaly, just like information at the end of a "regular" question gives away the answer, information at the end of a math computation tossup should give away the method needed.

I certainly disagree with abolishing math tossups; they cater to a specific audience, but then again, what type of question doesn't?

EDIT:

I actually read Countdown a few months ago, if it is the book I'm thinking of. It was very interesting; I'd highly recommend it.