Illinois 06-07

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Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:25 pm

I thought about moving rock music from Music to Pop Culture this year, and I probably will make the move next year. This year was consistent with past years--most students got two rock music questions out of seven total music questions. The four answers this year were My Girl, Chuck Berry, The Sex Pistols, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Outside of the Championship Match, my questions are not the hardest ones in Illinois each year. That distinction belongs to whatever tournament Mr. Egan writes for. And I say that with complete respect.

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Post by brasso » Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:10 pm

Tegan wrote:
SIVster716 wrote:Yeah, that would be mine, Mr. Egan. Thanks for picking it up. I think it fell out of my bowl when I was carrying it.
Are you folks coming to Wheaton North on Saturday? If so, I will bring it along. If not, I will mail it out this week.
Hello, my school will be going to Wheaton North as well. I haven't been to a regular IHSA tournament in a while...is it 20 questions per round or 30?

Also does anyone know which of the top schools are entering, besides Wheaton North and Maine South. Hopefully the fewer the better and we can have a chance =P

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Post by dtaylor4 » Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:58 pm

Wheaton has 20, AFAIK, only the IHSA State Series uses 30 a match.

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Post by mlaird » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:07 pm

brasso wrote:Hello, my school will be going to Wheaton North as well. I haven't been to a regular IHSA tournament in a while...is it 20 questions per round or 30?

Also does anyone know which of the top schools are entering, besides Wheaton North and Maine South. Hopefully the fewer the better and we can have a chance =P
What school are you from, brasso?

The Kickoff will only have 20 questions per round, and the questions were written by Aegis Questions. You can find samples similiar to the questions that will be used on Saturday here: http://www.aegisquestions.com/samples.html

As for top teams that will be there:
Maine South
Maine East
Wheaton North
Deerfield
St. Ignatius

Notably Absent due to question writing conflicts:
New Trier

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Post by mlaird » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:13 pm

mlaird wrote: As for top teams that will be there:
Maine South
Maine East
Wheaton North
Deerfield
St. Ignatius

Notably Absent due to question writing conflicts:
New Trier
Scratch that, Maine East is not on the list, but I neglected all-time universal uber-IHSA-class-A-champion Latin, Fenwick, Stevenson and Fremd (though none of these return as strong as they were last year).

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Post by Tegan » Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:10 pm

mlaird wrote:
mlaird wrote:

Scratch that, Maine East is not on the list, but I neglected all-time universal uber-IHSA-class-A-champion Latin, Fenwick, Stevenson and Fremd (though none of these return as strong as they were last year).
Hmmm .... its 8:15 .... does Coach Riley know that you are still up?

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Post by Siverus Snape » Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:41 pm

As far as I know, Scholastic Bowl is about the only sport/competitive activity whose participants predominantly refer to teams and players as "strong" or "weak." I just thought that was kinda strange. Especially since those adjectives have the least applicable secondary meaning to Scholastic Bowl.

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Post by David Riley » Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:15 am

I'll amend this somewhat:


Teams who work with what they have but don't do well because they consistently face the Latins and the Auburns of the world = weak

Teams who do not work and whine when they consistently face a Latin or an Auburn = scrub



Anyone up for a tournament with NO pop culture questions?

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Post by Tegan » Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:37 am

David Riley wrote:I'll amend this somewhat:
Teams who work with what they have but don't do well because they consistently face the Latins and the Auburns of the world = weak
Teams who do not work and whine when they consistently face a Latin or an Auburn = scrub
I hate to sound left-wing here, but I'm not sure that labels like this are especially helpful in determining good teams from not-so-good teams, and are not necessarily kind.

For example ..... IMSA for the past several years has been running into Wheaton North and not advancing past the sectional level. Does that make them "weak"? I would say, no. Schools like Hoffman Estates have had trouble beating teams like Fremd in recent years, but I would not characterize them as "weak". Last year, we beat IMSA, but could not come close to touching Fremd, Auburn, or Maine East. Our only match vs. New Trier was close, but a loss. Does that qualify the 2005 Maine South team as weak? We won over 60% of our games, with a vast majority of our opponents having winning records (since we don't have a conference schedule to fatten up on).

Of course, this also depends on the style of play. In NAQT format, Illinois teams as a whole are weak because, IMO, the question distribution is slanted heavily to the humanities, whereas Illinois' tournament format is more balanced in its inclusion of math and science. By the standards of the national tournaments, most Illinois teams are "weak", but I find that characterization glib, and based on outdated prejudices. I think more and more the issue is one of format rather than one of teams not working hard or teams having a predilection for buzzer beater questions (at least the more successful teams, on the whole).

When out-of-state teams come to Illinois (like DCC to Homewood-Flossmoor) or Culver, they tend to do well, but rarely win whole tournaments because (I would guess) that they are not as familiar with having to answer so many science and (especially) math questions. This does not make them weak by any stretch, just because they could not beat a Fremd, Auburn, or New Trier.

Besides, one team's "weak" is another team's "monster strong". I think the system you are suggesting is a bit arbitrary.

Just my two bits. Besides ..... the last time someone said "Stevenson isn't that strong" ..... they won the state touranment.

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Post by mlaird » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:08 pm

Oh, so that's what the elusive "Nabaztag" looks like.

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Post by JWyPlatinum » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:49 pm

The last time Stevenson won, we had them beat if it wasn't for poor writing in math questions.
Thank you Bill Beaird, for countless years of excellent teaching and coaching. My Hall of Fame candidate for 2007.

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Post by mlaird » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:59 pm

JWyPlatinum wrote:The last time Stevenson won, we had them beat if it wasn't for poor writing in math questions.
Classy.

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Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:06 pm

JWyPlatinum wrote:The last time Stevenson won, we had them beat if it wasn't for poor writing in math questions.
And obviously it wasn't because you didn't get other questions right.

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Post by cornfused » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:05 pm

Bad math questions, eh?

7) This is the sixth root of 531,441. For ten points, identify this four-letter word beginning with "n", similar to the German for "no".
Answer: nine (prompt on "eight")

8) What feature of a graph resembles a horizontal asymptote when you tilt your head 90 degrees to the left?
Answer: vertical asymptote

If they were better than these, stop complaining.

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Post by johnboy81918 » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:06 pm

cornfused wrote:Bad math questions, eh?

7) This is the sixth root of 531,441. For ten points, identify this four-letter word beginning with "n", similar to the German for "no".
Answer: nine (prompt on "eight")

8) What feature of a graph resembles a horizontal asymptote when you tilt your head 90 degrees to the left?
Answer: vertical asymptote

If they were better than these, stop complaining.
OMFG, that's so bad, it's funny! Sorry, I can't help but laugh at those ^_^

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Post by Siverus Snape » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:26 pm

Where were those questions from, Greg?

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Post by JohnAndSlation » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:49 pm

Greg, you remember that book from last year? With the God-awful questions? Whatever happened to it?

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Post by Tegan » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:16 am

I too would like to know the source of these questions so that they may be eradicated from the planet .......

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Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:44 am

I love those questions! I decided to write some myself:
This is the seventh root of 2,097,152. It sounds like what you did with your breakfast.

This number is forty-seven squared. It sounds like woo thousand, woo hundred and wine.

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Post by Siverus Snape » Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:12 am

ReinsteinD wrote:This is the seventh root of 2,097,152. It sounds like what you did with your breakfast.
I seriously spent five seconds trying to think what number rhymed with "barf" or "vomit." And no, that doesn't say anything about what I did with my breakfast.

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Post by David Riley » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:05 am

JWyPlatinum [sic]: What were those questions? After 14 years worth of question sets, I often think bad is in the mind of the beholder.

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Post by mlaird » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:43 pm

David Riley wrote:JWyPlatinum [sic]: What were those questions? After 14 years worth of question sets, I often think bad is in the mind of the beholder.
I'm sure that he's referring to the '05 IHSA State Series pool play match where Morton lost to Stevenson by something like 10 points. Stevenson, of course, went on to win the state championship. Wow. How did I remember that?

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Retraction

Post by JWyPlatinum » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:26 pm

Yeah, sorry. Very juvenile of me. I was just reminiscing about the "glory days" and saw something about Stevenson that triggered bitter memories. Yes, not classy, and yes, there were plenty of other questions we could have answered. My apologies. I'm just saying they were definitely beatable.
Thank you Bill Beaird, for countless years of excellent teaching and coaching. My Hall of Fame candidate for 2007.

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Post by cornfused » Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:59 pm

Actually, I made those questions up on the spot. Please don't hurt me.

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Post by Siverus Snape » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:19 am

Nice. The numbered questions were a good touch, but for the future, two "math" tossups probably wouldn't be in consecutive order.....unless that "tournament" was just that bad.

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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:52 am

Best of luck to all at today's Kickoff! Remember, as Laird said, that any comments about the questions would be great to see here.

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Post by Siverus Snape » Sat Nov 18, 2006 8:13 am

Are we allowed to use specifics in discussing the questions?

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Post by mlaird » Sat Nov 18, 2006 8:24 am

SIVster716 wrote:Are we allowed to use specifics in discussing the questions?
Yes, you may.

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Post by David Riley » Sat Nov 18, 2006 6:20 pm

I thought the questions at Saturday's Kickoff were some of the best that I had seen in a long time; a good mix of the high school curriculum and more challenging questions, and very conscientious attention to distribution of subjects. A few but minimal glitches here are there re repeats of bonus parts but overall a great job!

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Post by MJG » Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:20 pm

The questions were very good. There was one mythology tossup that failed to specify whether the proper anwer was Greek or Roman, so the girl on my team waited for it and it never came. Other than that I have no complaints. Facebook bonus, YAY!

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Post by Siverus Snape » Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:22 pm

I too fully commend and thank Aegis for a job well done. There are a few suggestions I have that could help you guys do an even better job, however.

1. Overall, you did a good job with uniform difficulty of questions. However, in the semifinal round, in the midst of some truly pyramidal questions of high quality, there was one earth science question that started out by mentioning that the answer had intrusive and extrusive types. To me, that is not a lead-in. That's probably a clue that comes second or third to last, because the vast majority of people who are familiar at all with types of rocks in general and igneous rocks in particular are going to know intrusive and extrusive from the get-go.

2. On the math bonuses, we had a hard time figuring out whether the questions were ordered by ascending or descending difficulty, which matters a lot when you're assigning parts. The order of difficulty seemed to switch around a lot, and though it didn't end up ultimately causing any harm to us, it did cost us some points when we had our weakest math players having to work on the hardest math problems because the top math people were already working on other ones and couldn't write them down.

3. In the earlier rounds, the questions were rather easy very early. I was wondering whether this might have been in an effort to not discourage and disgruntle some of our fellow Illinois brethren who are not used to pyramidal questions, in which case I completely understand. If that's not the case, then there's a big area for improvement, though I did notice that the questions did get progressively harder each round for the most part, which is hard to do.

4. I wonder if this also is affected by the factor I mentioned directly above, but we noticed an oddly large number of base conversion math questions and practically zero traditional trig. The only truly trig questions I can remember are period questions, unless you count the "sinusoidal" spelling question. This is especially odd when you consider that there was a substantial amount of calculus, however basic.


But all in all, as Coach Riley said, the questions were very very good. It was definitely apparent that the questions were done by recent and current players who wrote them the way they would have liked to play with. (If that makes any sense to you at all.)

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Post by MJG » Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:28 pm

And I suppose I should post the results from Sterling as best as I remember them:

1. Auburn (John Brown and Siva-All Tournament)
2. Morrison (Eliot Driver-Top Morning Scorer)
3. Moline (Bonnie Jain-AT....I recognized him from PBS when he won the National Geo Bee last year, which makes him a freshman if I am correct)
4. Newman
5. Sterling (Matt Gerken and Tom Say-AT)
6. Rock Island
7/8. Boylan
7/8. Guilford

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Post by MJG » Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:50 pm

Responses to Siva and other comments on the questions:

1. To teams as powerful as Auburn, I can definitely see those questions being construed as easy. But you have to stop and think about all levels of teams competing. In the morning, even we won all our matches by 100 points or more and broke 300 twice. However, I think that at most 4 or 5 out of the 24 teams present would call the questions easy. So they might have been easy at, say the Wheaton North site, but for the "average" teams in the morning, they were just about right.

2. I'm not an earth science person at all, so I could be totally off base, but the kid on my team who ended up getting that one (definitely competent in that area) didn't seem to know it from that alone. I think we all have a tendency to think of things we know really well as things that are "giveaways" or "easy".

3. I concur for the most part on the math bonuses, but I don't consider it a given that the question writers SHOULD nake the bonuses in clear ascending or descending order of difficulty.

4. I remember a little trig, some of it in physics questions. Another area I felt ignored was philosophy, though that could be a legit decision based on the fact that philosophical books and topics rarely come up in the highschool curriculum. Scratch that, in Sterling's rudimentary and subpar curriculum.

5. Too many combination/permutation questions in relation to other math topics.

6. There was a ton of questions that would be categorized as Social Studies: Other instead of something specific or Math: Other. Maybe the questions were too weird to be put into a more concrete categories, but if so there sure was a lot of weird questions.

7. Also seemed to be a lot of technology questions, and no Religion. Not a bad or good thing, really, just something I wasn't used to.

NOTE: Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the questions and thought they were great. Especially the tossup on Kim Jong-Il that started with his odd movie-watching habits. Much of the above is probably nitpicking.

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Post by Alejandro » Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:39 am

I enjoyed the question set a lot, but I do have a few reservations about the packet:

1) Some of the questions were extremely similar to the ones we had at DVC earlier this week (for example, the court cases bonus with Engels v Vitale)
2) Bonuses from one round would show up as similar bonuses in the next round (for example, the second World War II operations bonus had 3 operation names previously mentioned in the last round).
3) Going along with Siva, it seemed like every round had a base conversion bonus. I would've liked to see more diversity in the math bonuses.
4) There seems to be a lack of philosophy, religion, and economics questions.

Other than that, though, it was a great set. Good job!

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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:59 am

MJG wrote:And I suppose I should post the results from Sterling as best as I remember them:

1. Auburn (John Brown and Siva-All Tournament)
2. Morrison (Eliot Driver-Top Morning Scorer)
3. Moline (Bonnie Jain-AT....I recognized him from PBS when he won the National Geo Bee last year, which makes him a freshman if I am correct)
4. Newman
5. Sterling (Matt Gerken and Tom Say-AT)
6. Rock Island
7/8. Boylan
7/8. Guilford
Would I be correct in saying that these were the afternoon matchups?

Auburn v. Sterling
Moline v. Rock Island

Morrison v. Guilford
Newman v. Boylan

With Auburn v. Moline and Morrison v. Newman in the semis?

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Post by Trevkeeper » Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:12 pm

It appears no one posted the WN results yet.

1. St. Ignatius
2. Maine South
3. Wheaton North
4. Libertyville

St. Ignatius only had three players.

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Post by Siverus Snape » Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:27 pm

Talk about some upsets. Congratulations to Springfield and St. Ignatius!

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Post by leapfrog314 » Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:31 pm

Nick, Matt Laird, and myself moderated at the Wheaton North Kickoff, and noticed many of these problems ourselves. I have several comments to offer on the matter.

Siva, we did indeed try to make the questions easy by the end, because there are some teams that only play in their conference and Kickoff. In the morning, I moderated four matches where both teams barely broke 100.

The overload of base conversion was entirely our fault. Same with the repeats of some topics.

I shied away from answers with trig functions, because there are so many ways you can answer. I wrote a few bonuses, but each part had at least three reasonable answers that had to all be accounted for (due to trig identities) and it was getting totally out of hand. If anyone has suggestions for this problem, I'd be glad to hear them.

As to math bonus difficulty, they are now supposed to go from 1 (hardest) to 4 (easiest). This was a new guideline change, and we didn't coordinate that very well. Though, most parts should have been fairly even in difficulty within each bonus.

Matt and Alejandro: philosophy, religion, and economics don't come up all that much in the packets we hear. We could try adding more in the future, but we didn't want to add things that people would be mad about. The technology was designed to be very easy (Google, Linux).

In general, Laird, Nick, and I thought that the questions were good, but that the packets were very rough. There were repeats, and the occasional awful question that shouldn't have been in there at all. This is a consequence of the fact that we pulled Kickoff questions out of a larger pool of questions intended for all our tournaments and conferences. In the future, we will be revising a lot about the way we put together sets, but we were generally pleased with each question itself.

If you have any other comments of any sort, please send them our way, either on this board or privately if you would prefer (aegis@aegisquestions.com).

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Post by MJG » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:02 pm

The first afternoon round was actually Sterling vs. Morrison
(We had what can only be called a TOTAL implosion and still only ended up losing by 80 points or so)
Auburn must have played Rock Island

I'm not 100% about the others.

Do other teams find that they have a big performance dropoff going from morning to afternoon? Obviously you are playing better teams in the afternoon, but it seems to me that when our team gets into the afternoons, we, for lack of a better term, suck, and ALWAYS end up placing below our seed number.

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Post by cornfused » Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:28 pm

Odd coincidence - of the top four at the Solo, only Greg Gauthier played in a Kickoff. Go figure...

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Post by Tegan » Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:31 pm

SIVster716 wrote:Talk about some upsets. Congratulations to Springfield and St. Ignatius!
I would question to a certain extent if these were upsets:

1. Bloomington is an otherworldly team for sure, but Springfield is no scrub team. They are quality.

2. Three people as they may have had (which is one more than they had when the finished in the top 4 at Northwestern), St. Ignatius is a really well rounded team .... definitely not a one man show. For as good as Luke is (and he is very good), Steve and Connor were both making very important contributions.


I will throw this one out for consideration for any and all current and future question writers to think about:

As you write questions for later playoff rounds, the questions should get harder. I thought overall, this was accomplished by the folks at Aegis ..... who wrote some really great questions. To mimic Coach Riley, issues were minimal, and I think will be addressed in the future.

However .....

As you write questions to be harder, you can generally still assume that there is a "giveaway" at the end, and thus you still get a large percentage of questions getting answered (just not necessarily as "monster beast powers"). The math, on the other hand, which did not always have a "clue" to getting it done (which is fine), became disproportionately more difficult than other categories. I don't think this was the intent, but I think the math specialists (Greg Gauthier and one or two others not withstanding) became a little more hamstrung than other specialists in the later rounds.

Having said that: if your conference is not using Aegis questions, get on the ball and start using them! These are as "for real" a set of questions as you will see written by any company in Illinois!

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Post by Siverus Snape » Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:33 pm

cornfused wrote:Odd coincidence - of the top four at the Solo, only Greg Gauthier played in a Kickoff. Go figure...
Wait, both you and Kristina weren't there? I guess that does reduce the extent of the "upsets" (not to take away from Springfield and St. Ignatius).

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Post by Tegan » Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:21 pm

SIVster716 wrote: 2. On the math bonuses, we had a hard time figuring out whether the questions were ordered by ascending or descending difficulty, which matters a lot when you're assigning parts. The order of difficulty seemed to switch around a lot, and though it didn't end up ultimately causing any harm to us, it did cost us some points when we had our weakest math players having to work on the hardest math problems because the top math people were already working on other ones and couldn't write them down.
Back in the day when we took the job of writing State questions from the "question writing professionals" and gave it to former coaches, Dr. Grierson and I had a talk about this. He was adamant about the "toughest" part of a math bonus being last, and the "easiest" being first. I contemplated that, because I thought this might be giving an advantage to teams with strong math people. We make no special consideration in other subjects. I think the state has continued with this philosophy, though, as then, I'm not sure if this is good or bad.

Of course the flip side: If a team not strong in math is in control, the team getting the rebound would want the easy part first, since there is achance it will be killed fast, and they should then be able to get one or maybe two parts on the rebound; the chances of which are reduced if it is on the back end.

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More on the questions from kickoffs.

Post by Matt Bardoe » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:03 am

I thought the questions were good overall, and some of the most egregious problems were already noted here. Some other things that made me go "Hmmmm..."

A couple of 3 part bonuses that had very simple answers. One was a reference to "Back to the Future" movies.

Another was about the 3 kinds of acids.

These bonuses were too easy to sweep.

My personal opinion is that the fewer parts the more difficult the questions should be. So a questions in a questions with 3 parts, each part should be more difficult than the average 4 part bonus. After all, in a 3 part bonus each correct answer is worth more points than in a 4 part bonus.

I also believe that the there should be at least one difficult part to a bonus. I don't think that a bonus should be a 20 point gift to the other team. An example of this woud be the IMDB bonus where a team had to identify the top 4 movies from pretty clear descriptions. Isn't there a slightly obscure movie anywhere on this IMDB list. The top 4 are:

Lord of the Rings: Return of the king
Godfather I and II
and Shawshank Redemption.

Just my opinion, and again the questions were good overall, and I really liked the fact that almost every tossup was gettable.

Good Work,

Matt Bardoe

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Post by Trevkeeper » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:26 am

I'll take credit (blame, more like) for the bad Back to the Future bonus. IIRC, I had just finished watching one of the movies (and it's quite possibly my favorite trilogy of all time) so I felt keen to write a question. A better choice would have been to write a bonus about the characters, because as has been pointed out to me a few times yesterday and today, that bonus was way too easy/straightforward.

brasso
Kimahri
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Post by brasso » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:46 am

Talk about bad luck...first we got put into the same pool as St. Ignatious then we had to play Maine South in the first round.

leapfrog314
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Re: More on the questions from kickoffs.

Post by leapfrog314 » Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:16 am

Matt Bardoe wrote:I really liked the fact that almost every tossup was gettable.
And that was really the point. While some players have complained that the tossups were too easy, others have complained that they were absolutely too difficult. In fact, we just got an email that many central Illinois coaches were fed up with the question difficulty to the point that they do not want to return to the Kickoff. We really tried to hit the right difficulty for a statewide tournament, and in my opinion, we succeeded on that account.

If anyone wants to hear more questions like the Kickoff, except more challenging, I strongly recommend that they attend the New Trier Varsity tournament on December 16.

I would also like to assure the coaches that we will definitely work hard to prevent any packet fiascos like those that occurred at the Kickoff. It was our first tournament, and we've learned a lot. Our apologies again.

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Jax
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Post by Jax » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:32 pm

Hello everyone. First time on. very exciting. I never realized scholastic bowl had such intense discussions outside of the competitions. I am Jackson from Libertyville, and I wish all a wonderful scho-bowl season and thanksgiving. Btw, are you guys attending the Richards tournament? Have a nice day!

Tegan
Coach of AHAN Jr.
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Post by Tegan » Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:04 pm

Jax wrote:Hello everyone. First time on. very exciting. I never realized scholastic bowl had such intense discussions outside of the competitions. I am Jackson from Libertyville, and I wish all a wonderful scho-bowl season and thanksgiving. Btw, are you guys attending the Richards tournament? Have a nice day!
Always good to see another great program being represented on the board. Libertyville is a program with real history, an always bright future ..... and the present almost never looks bad. Wilkommen!

Maine South will be in Oak Lawn on the Second.


Tom Egan

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Irreligion in Bangladesh
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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:58 pm

How many teams here are planning on going to the U of I solo tournament? I'm thinking about running an NAQT tournament on that Saturday, but I don't want to pull teams from U of I that are already planning on going there. I'm looking at 18 teams (some from my area that aren't on the boards) - if I get 18, I can probably guarantee 14 games for every team that goes. Is anyone interested?

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