Bad moderating

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Post by First Chairman » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:17 am

I read a prelim match at Penn Bowl between Duke and Case Western Reserve four months after I moved from Cleveland to Durham. Talk about conflicts of interest cancelling out.
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)

User avatar
rchschem
Yuna
Posts: 779
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 7:36 am
Location: Durham, NC

Post by rchschem » Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:23 pm

Trust but verify. In the rare occasions I read for my own team, I expect to be challenged by the gallery (not that I try to create cases where I should). It's my job to remain so transparently impartial that there's no chance of impropriety. I'd like to think I do so.

If I were coaching I would subject the reader to the same degree of scrutiny. This situation should not be encouraged, but in a state which is still growing its QB program, our enthusiasm sometimes leaves us with fewer staff than necessary.

This honor system I believe in does not apply to schools playing in their own tournaments, though. I don't believe that should happen regardless of any safeguards maintained by the tournament staff. I can't prove their honesty by observation.

Eric

User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Post by First Chairman » Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:36 pm

I would suspect that in academia, the sense of academic integrity and honor should be presumptive. Certainly it is expected by the time students attend college, but that should not excuse any of us who work in secondary education. In instances where coaches are asked to read, they obviously know they cannot wear the hats of being a coach and being an official at the same time. I think a lot of us can do that job very well.

It is up to the TD to be sure that conflicts of interest in this sense occur rarely if ever at an event. But when people are short-staffed, I would expect most of us would adhere to the ethical obligations of the situation. Certainly when the stakes are very high (as in a state or regional or national championship), coaches should not have to read in matches where their kids are involved or in matches where their kids' outcome may be influenced by the game. (Hence one advantage of divisional play, as opposed to random draws after every round or swiss-pairing the field.)

The alternative is to have all coaches be available to read. If there is honor among thieves, then we will be able to use Golden Rule mentality (or maybe it's Prisoners' Dilemmas :) ) to be sure things are run well. Otherwise, our tournaments are all going to be extremely short-staffed.
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)

brownboy79
Rikku
Posts: 329
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2005 7:22 pm

Post by brownboy79 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:15 am

At Kentucky's NAQT state a few weeks ago, we were given a moderator with obvious bias against our school. I normally wouldn't care too much, but on the last question with the other team leading by 10, they buzzed in with the correct answer and he ruled them 'incorrect'. I had originally agreed with them, so I made up a name, and it was wrong. When he came up with the answer as the one the other team gave and we complained, he said that he ruled the answer as 'hesitation'. The answer was given within three seconds and he definitely said 'incorrect'. The other coach protested on our behalf, but the mod would hear none of it. After the match, he fed us some crap about the best team having won.
In the first round of the playoffs we met the same team with the same moderator. We ended up winning 450-150 and the moderator wouldn't shake hands with our team. It was just a bad experience.

User avatar
JohnAndSlation
Wakka
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:41 pm
Location: Park Ridge, IL
Contact:

Post by JohnAndSlation » Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:07 pm

Ouch. I'm sorry. That hurts...a lot.

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

Post by jonpin » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:37 pm

The moderator having a grudge against your team, refusal to shake hands, and snarky comments like "The best team won" are completely unnecessary. However, as best I can tell one of the following should have happened:
1. If the mod started saying "time" or "-5" before the other team started their answer, then, obviously it was wrong due to not in time.
2. If the mod didn't start saying "time" before the other team started their answer, it would've counted and they would've won anyway.

If we're going to say that he was calling time and said so after the other team gave their answer, then saying "Incorrect" or "Minus five" would be appropriate. To do otherwise would imply that the answer wasn't incorrect and was too late, thus essentially revealing the answer.
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

Tegan
Coach of AHAN Jr.
Posts: 1975
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:42 pm

Post by Tegan » Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:06 am

jonpin wrote: 1. If the mod started saying "time" or "-5" before the other team started their answer, then, obviously it was wrong due to not in time.
2. If the mod didn't start saying "time" before the other team started their answer, it would've counted and they would've won anyway.

If we're going to say that he was calling time and said so after the other team gave their answer, then saying "Incorrect" or "Minus five" would be appropriate. To do otherwise would imply that the answer wasn't incorrect and was too late, thus essentially revealing the answer.
This moderator seems to me to be someone in the wrong line of work...but a question:

As a moerator, I learned long ago that many teams looked at my mouth to start saying "time" to know when to buzz in. I have since started waiting until after the clock has just expired, so anyone ringing in when I say "time" is clearly over the limit. I know that time has expired, and no one has ever complained about it.

Is this "bad form"?

User avatar
Howard
Yuna
Posts: 967
Joined: Fri May 09, 2003 5:42 pm
Location: Ellicott City, MD

Post by Howard » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:13 am

Tegan wrote:As a moerator, I learned long ago that many teams looked at my mouth to start saying "time" to know when to buzz in. I have since started waiting until after the clock has just expired, so anyone ringing in when I say "time" is clearly over the limit. I know that time has expired, and no one has ever complained about it.

Is this "bad form"?
I'd say it depends on the rules. Most tournaments I've experienced don't have timers and hence the rule is that time is over when the moderator says it's over. In this case, I'd say it's bad form. I'd also say it's bad form if the teams cannot see the timer. I.e., I don't particularly see anything wrong with knowing when time will be called and then using the maximum time available. Why shouldn't teams be able to watch your mouth to determine how much time they have?
John Gilbert
Coach, Howard High School Academic Team
Ellicott City, MD

"John Gilbert is a quiz bowl god" -- leftsaidfred

NoahMinkCHS
Yuna
Posts: 827
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Athens, GA / Macon, GA
Contact:

Post by NoahMinkCHS » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:14 am

It would probably be nice to see the timer (I think Jeopardy! does this), but it's not really feasible -- there has to be a large, visible clock that gets re-set to 3 seconds (or whatever) after every single question, which would probably get tedious... especially if you don't have a designated timing official, a luxury few tournaments can afford. I think most players with any experience can "feel" when the three seconds is up, anyway.

User avatar
Howard
Yuna
Posts: 967
Joined: Fri May 09, 2003 5:42 pm
Location: Ellicott City, MD

Post by Howard » Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:49 pm

NoahMinkCHS wrote:I think most players with any experience can "feel" when the three seconds is up, anyway.
I've found timing to vary greatly by moderator. But I agree that experienced players, after hearing time being called a few times by a particular moderator, will figure out that moderator's timing.

Furthermore, I'd add that it would be nice to have a warning before time is called in any instance where the player cannot see the official clock, especially in instances where the moderator is self-timing at his own pace. For example, counting silently to two, saying "answer please," or "ring to answer," or whatever else may be appropriate for the situation, then pausing, and then saying "time." This way we're not ever in the cryptic area of when time is going to be called because we cannot tell how fast or slowly the moderator is counting.
John Gilbert
Coach, Howard High School Academic Team
Ellicott City, MD

"John Gilbert is a quiz bowl god" -- leftsaidfred

User avatar
Sir Thopas
Auron
Posts: 1330
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:10 pm
Location: Hunter, NYC
Contact:

Post by Sir Thopas » Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:40 pm

NoahMinkCHS wrote:It would probably be nice to see the timer (I think Jeopardy! does this)
As a former Kids Week contestant, I can safely say that this is not true. There is, however, a timer that goes off automatically (although Alex himself tends to jump the gun a bit.

Locked