RESULTS: VHSL Regional/District Tournaments (Jan-Feb 2007)

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RESULTS: VHSL Regional/District Tournaments (Jan-Feb 2007)

Post by STPickrell »

Some of the districts have regulars posting/reading, others don't. Suggestions can be made here or in the discussion thread; while I don't really care where they go, the moderators might.

I'd appreciate it if discussion of specific District questions waited until around Feb. 10 and Region questions until around Feb 17th.

I'll be editing this page when I get results, so check back every few days.

Levels of play vary wildly, with some districts having a fairly high level of play and others being much more raw. Ditto for the teams -- others are fairly well-oiled operations. Others may just take their four highest GPAs and practice them once before a tournament, with predictable results.

VHSL questions are probably between NAQT and NAQT "A" level packets in difficulty. About 80% of the tossups are 2-3 sentence multi-clue and I am working to banish areas that don't lend themselves well to pyramidality to the team round. While I do not begin to compare them to NAQT or PACE questions, I would certainly stand them up against Patrick's Press, Academic Hallmarks, Questions Unlimited, etc.

Group AAA results:

Northern Region (DC suburbs)
* Thomas Jefferson defeated Hayfield, 220-110, in the final of the Northern Region's tournament. Both are advancing to states, it's TJ's 10th and Hayfield's 2nd trip to Williamsburg. Robinson was third and Woodson fourth. Annandale and Oakton were tied for fifth and Loudoun Valley and Yorktown (I think) were tied for seventh.
* Individual district results will be put up as soon as I remember which teams are in which district.

Eastern Region (Va. Beach and environs)
* Princess Anne won the Region title over Ocean Lakes.
* Princess Anne won the playoff to win the Beach District's regular season.
* Kecoughtan won the Peninsula District with a 9-0 record. Hampton were second with a 7-2 record. Neither team was kept under 200 points all season. I don't have tournament results yet.
* The Eastern District has finished their season, but I do not have results.
* Hickory won the Southeastern District's regular season. I do not know who won the tournament.

Central Region (Richmond and environs)
* Maggie Walker won the Central Region round-robin by going 7-0. Henrico High School makes its debut at states by going 6-1 in the round-robin.
* Maggie Walker won the Colonial District's round-robin and Douglas Freeman beat out Deep Run by total points for second place.
* Henrico won the Capital District's tournament, defeating Lee-Davis 270-135.
* Matoaca won the Central District, beating Thomas Dale 170-155.
* Clover Hill won the Dominion District over Cosby. Not sure of the score.

Northwest Region (everywhere else)
* Albemarle defeated E.C. Glass to win the Region title. I will have the score in a couple days.
* E.C.Glass won the Western Valley District with GW-Danville placing second.
* Albemarle won the Commonwealth District regular season. Colonial Forge won the tournament.
* Fauquier and Osbourn Park qualified from the Cedar Run. Osbourn's streak of nine consecutive trips to Regionals was broken.
* Gar-Field and C.D. Hylton qualified from the Cardinal.

Group AA results:

Region I (Eastern Virginia):
* Tabb won the Region tournament and Riverbend placed second. This is only the 2nd time in 10 years that Poquoson did not qualify.
* James Monroe won the Battlefield season and tournament. Riverbend was runner-up in the tournament.
* The Southside has completed their competition but I do not know who won it.
* The Bay Rivers has completed their competition but I do not know who won it.
* Arcadia is a member of the Shore District although they are AA in size. I think if they win the district, they get to go to regions.

Region II (Northwestern and Central Virginia):
* Charlottesville won the Region II title over Monticello, 210-160 and 200-165.
* R.E. Lee-Staunton won the Valley District regular season and Harrisonburg won the tournament.
* James Wood won the Northwestern District. (My alma mater, Warren County, placed last with a 2-12 record.) They also won the tournament, 230-180, over Brentsville.
* Charlottesville and Monticello advanced from the Jefferson District
* Dominion won the Dulles District over Freedom High School.

Region III (Roanoke-Lynchburg):
* Heritage won the Region III tournament 250-125 over Cave Spring. This is Cave Spring's first apperance and Heritage has made something like three or four appearances.
* Heritage, Brookville and Appomattox County advanced from the Seminole District.
* Cave Spring won the River Ridge's regular season and tournament. Salem was 2nd and Blacksburg 3rd.
* Alleghany won the Blue Ridge's regular season and Northside won the tournament.

Region IV (southwestern Virginia):
* Patrick County won the Region tournament over Graham. This is Patrick's second appearance; Graham made three appearances back in the late 1990s.
* Patrick County won the Piedmont District. Bassett was second. The district uses their SCAEL format which is similar to MACC/SWAC.
* Abingdon won the Highlands District over Virginia High School 235-110 and 180-175 (they had to win twice.)
* Graham and Richlands advanced from the Southwestern District.

Group A Results:

Region A (eastern Virginia):
* West Point won Region A, 160-150, over Mathews. West Point made some appearances at state in the late 1990s and this is Mathews' first apperance.
* Mathews went 8-0 to win the Tidewater District. They beat West Point in the tournament final as well, 210-185.
* Chincoteague and Arcadia advanced from the Shore District. Apparently their organizers thought the extra matches from last season would suffice for this season's competition.
* Franklin and Windsor advanced from the Tri-Rivers.
* Lancaster and Rappahannock advanced from the Northern Neck.

Region B (central Virginia):
* Wilson Memorial won the Shenandoah District regular season (Patrick's Press) and Luray won the tournament (VHSL questions).
* Altavista and William Campbell were first and second in the Dogwood District.
* Randolph-Henry won the James River's regular season. They use a MACC-type format, although their all-around competition is simply a regular Scholastic Bowl match. I'm not sure who won the tournament.
* George Mason defeated Rappahannock County to win the Bull Run District tournament.

Region C (Roanoke-Bristol):
* Radford won Region C over Parry McCluer 235-125. This is Radford's 7th win in 10 years of Scholastic Bowl.
* Radford won the Three Rivers over Floyd County, 320-110. Auburn, 3rd place finishers, will go in Floyd County's stead.
* Holston defeated Northwood, 190-170, to win the Hogoheegee.
* Parry McCluer won the Pioneer District meet and Highland was second.
* The Mountain Empire does not play Scholastic Bowl. Their principals appear to have decided that MACC is enough for their academic competition needs. Galax usually has fielded a team, qualifying by sending a facsimile to the correct locations, but this apparently didn't happen this year.

Region D (far southwestern Virginia):
* Honaker won the Region D tournament 145-105 for their fourth Region title in five years over Twin Springs (I think this is their first trip to Williamsburg)
* Honaker won the Black Diamond regular season and tournament. Hurley was the tournament runner-up.
* Twin Springs and Thomas Walker advanced from the Cumberland.
* Coeburn and Clintwood were eligible to advance from the Lonesome Pine. They play their PACE (nothing to do with Tom Chuck's PACE) format which is even more restricted in subject area than the MACC format. Actually, Saint Paul won the PACE season, but are in the Cumberland District (they therefore don't play Scholastic Bowl.) Apparently, this year, the Lonesome Pine teams did not go to the Region Tournament. This is the first time neither team has gone to Regionals.
Last edited by STPickrell on Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:20 pm, edited 23 times in total.

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If anyone cares (VHSL results) ...

Post by Encyclopedia Brown »

Any word on the Dominion District as of yet? I know Clover Hill is almost always there, but I haven't seen anything.

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Post by el chupacabra »

When did we start using a playoff when two teams had the same district record? I was surprised when I heard that we (PA) would have to go to a playoff, even though we beat Ocean Lakes in the regular season.

And the playoff match is set for this Thursday at Kempsville.

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Post by sabine01 »

Shawn...

1) Aye -- VHSL gets as much billing here as any of the other HS tourneys.

2)Suggestions/Discussion are probably better off in the HS discussion forum.

~ Tricia

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Re: If anyone cares (VHSL results) ...

Post by jbarnes112358 »

dsfquizbowl wrote:Any word on the Dominion District as of yet? I know Clover Hill is almost always there, but I haven't seen anything.
According to sources, Clover Hill won and Cosby (Chesterfield County's new high school) took second.

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Post by olsb25 »

The playoff is only in case of a tie for first place. Besides, we pretty handily beat the team that PA lost to, and our loss to PA was pretty close (thanks to our 15 negs), so who's to say who the better team is?

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Post by STPickrell »

For the record -- Ocean Lakes accumulated the 15 negs over two matches -- 60 tossups total. The Beach District plays two VHSL games and adds the scores from both matches.

I have no idea on when a playoff was instituted -- this is part of the VHSL's policy of giving districts a wide berth.

Does Cosby have seniors yet? I know this is their first year, and I notice they went to several tournaments and did fairly well. If they did this without the benefit of seniors I am impressed.

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Post by olsb25 »

PA won the playoff by 15 points.

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Three Rivers District

Post by mithokie »

Floyd County said they will be unable to attend the Region C tournament and Auburn High School (3rd place TRD finishers) will go in Floyd County's Space.

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Maggie Walker (B really) won the central region in group AAA and Henrico came in second. It's interesting to note that, as far as I know, Henrico had far fewer points in the tournament than 3rd place finisher Douglas Freeman, and yet they beat them head-to-head. I wish all regional tournaments would go to round robin like this tournament so as to give all teams more games to play.

Question stuff edited out.

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Post by jbarnes112358 »

Matt Morrison wrote:Maggie Walker (B really) won the central region in group AAA and Henrico came in second. It's interesting to note that, as far as I know, Henrico had far fewer points in the tournament than 3rd place finisher Douglas Freeman, and yet they beat them head-to-head. I wish all regional tournaments would go to round robin like this tournament so as to give all teams more games to play.
I would not say that Henrico had "far fewer points." By my reckoning, Henrico had a total of 130 fewer points than Freeman which is only an average of less than two questions (out of 50) per round. Points notwithstanding, Henrico did beat Freeman head-to-head by 90 points. But, Freeman was just coming off an emotionally draining, disappointing loss to Maggie Walker, which may have affected them a bit. In any case, both of them are excellent teams.

I agree with you on the round-robin format. I believe that, in general, it does a good job of sorting out the teams. Of course, you need a small field. Eight or ten teams would be about as large as I would want to push the round-robin format.

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Sorry about the "far fewer" part, I heard it was a 200+ point difference but I didn't see the stats firsthand so I didn't actually know plus I didn't think about how 200 would average (since that would still be only about 3 questions per round out of 40 or 50 counting bouncebacks). Yeah I guess they were pretty close then.

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Post by jbarnes112358 »

More details on the Central Regional Tournament can be found here:
http://virginiapreps.rivals.com/showmsg ... 14&style=2

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Post by STPickrell »

Matt, please refrain from openly discussing VHSL series questions until all Region tournaments are concluded. (Mods, to that goal, please cut the offending parts of Matt's post.) I have cut and pasted your post and will repost it when the tournaments are completed.

(Edit: Matt, thanks.)

If quality has gone downhill, then I have myself to blame.

Thanks,
Shawn
Last edited by STPickrell on Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by jbarnes112358 »

StPickrell wrote:
If quality has gone downhill, then I have myself to blame.


Shawn
Actually, quality has gone up. I appreciate the new longer, more pyramidal style of your toss-ups. Some of the readers complained a bit, but so be it.


I am sure Matt did not realize the questions were still in use. Whether the moderator redacts Matt's post or not, it might be best to throw out those questions. The damage may already be done.

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

I thought every region used different questions, isn't that why we always used to get other regions' questions from a year we competed in to practice on? Maybe I'm delusional... But if indeed different regions use the same questions, I deeply apologize, I really thought they all used different ones. Has the policy changed recently or something?

Anyway, in part to rehash the points that were edited out, I'd have to go back and look at the tossups to verify all this, but generally most were pretty good and pyramidal, the only problems were 1) the math questions were pretty short, but it's hard to make math questions pyramidal even if they're longer, and I always thought VHSL had a disproportionate amount of math anyway but it's hard to change that I guess, 2) some questions (besides even the offending two I mentioned) seemed to have easy clues pretty early, but players were basically challenged to come up with the specific exact term for something, so most of the question time was spent trying to think of what to say. This was probably not intentional but the two I mentioned before and maybe a couple of lit questions ended up like this from what I saw, 3) sometimes pyramidality was basically replaced by obscurity (and by that I don't mean difficulty) and nebulousness, in the sense of a bad artist tossup or a long name's the same style tossup. I don't know if any bad artist ("Born in France, he painted in X style with vibrant reddish colors and used the symbolism of...") or name's the same tossups actually came up, I'm just saying some tossups had that kind of unclear obscurity until the last sentence, you catch my drift. As evidence of this, I observed players waiting till the end to buzz on an answer that was not that difficult fairly often, because there wasn't solid information until the last sentence or two. With all this being said, probably 2/3rd's of the tossups didn't fall under my second and third points and were genuinely very good. I can't say whether they've improved or not as I didn't pay attention to last year's VHSL questions very much and I didn't see any rounds then.

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Post by jbarnes112358 »

Yes, some of the questions had the flaws you mention, but on the whole they are improved. VHSL is moving in the right direction; the nuances will hopefully follow.

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Post by STPickrell »

There are times, of course, when my editors and I are inaccurate in our assessment of what players know. If we underestimate, we have every room buzzing in on the first clue; if we overestimate, the tossup goes dead in every room.

Virginia coaches support pyramidal questions. In fact, in last year's coaches survey, more coaches favored a PACE length (i.e. longer than what we have now) over a one-clue buzzer-beater length!

Even from the beginning, the need for "layered" (the term used by many in VHSL at the beginning) questions was discussed.

I am proposing at this year's Advisory Committee meeting that subjects that do not lend themselves well to pyramidality (most computational math, grammar, foreign language, etc.) be put into the directed rounds. This would mean that all tossups would be pyramidal.

Letters from coaches, players and alumni of the VHSL program in support of (or against) this proposal are greatly appreciated.
Last edited by STPickrell on Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

I'm still wondering though, do the different regions use different questions, or was that at least an old practice?

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Post by STPickrell »

Matt Morrison wrote:I'm still wondering though, do the different regions use different questions, or was that at least an old practice?
AFAIK, the regions have always used the same questions, even under Mr. Sandy.

Region IV chose not to order my questions this season; I suspect teams there got to play on the Auk.

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Post by msuter »

I have been associated with Va. SB since its inception and, to my knowledge, all regions in the state played the same questions if they secured them from the "official" question provider for VHSL--we were given strict warnings about discussing the regional questions until all regional tournaments were completed. Regions that played different questions purchased them from some other source.

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

My deepest apologies for mentioning the questions then. I was probably thinking of the policy of how regions can choose to get questions elsewhere. Honestly though, if those two questions HAVE to be replaced now, it's probably for the better, as almost everyone in the room and their brother knew generally what the answer was right off the bat - it was just a matter of choosing one's words carefully in answering. I still regret my posting of information on the questions though, and it won't happen again.

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Post by el chupacabra »

Princess Anne defeated Ocean Lakes in a third game playoff (both teams had lost once already) to win the Eastern Region title in what turned out to be a very competitive three games between the two teams.

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Post by STPickrell »

Takling a break from ranking state questions for difficulty ...

The brackets this year:
Eastern 1 (Princess Anne) vs. Northwest 2 (EC Glass)
Central 1 (Maggie Walker) vs. Northern 2 (Hayfield)
Northwest 1 (Albemarle) vs. Central 2 (Henrico)
Northern 1 (Thomas Jefferson) vs. Eastern 2 (Ocean Lakes)

Region II 1 (Charlottesville) vs. Region IV 2 (Graham)
Region I 1 (Tabb) vs. Region III 2 (Cave Spring)
Region IV 1 (Patrick County) vs. Region I 2 (Riverbend)
Region III 1 (Heritage) vs. Region II 2 (Monticello)

Region B 1 (George Mason) vs. Region D 2 (Twin Springs)
Region A 1 (West Point) vs. Region C 2 (Parry McCluer)
Region D 1 (Honaker) vs. Region A 2 (Mathews)
Region C 1 (Radford) vs. Region B 2 (Rappahannock County)

They are cleverly set up so the two teams from each region won't play until the third round.
Last edited by STPickrell on Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:21 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Qualifications

Post by pretzeldude92 »

In Region B, Rappahannock County lost to George Mason twice in the Bull Run district final 250-120 and 270-160 in order to advance to Regionals.

The Regular Season Standings were
George Mason 12-0, Rappahannock 9-3, Clarke County 5-7, Strasburg 3-9, and Manassas Park 1-11.

Tournament placings were 1. George Mason, 2. Rapp, 3. Manassas Park, 4. Strasburg, 5. Clarke

Madison County does not have VHSL quiz bowl.
Last edited by pretzeldude92 on Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Qualifications

Post by STPickrell »

pretzeldude92 wrote:In Region B, Rappahannock County lost to George Mason twice in the Bull Run district final 250-120 and 270-160 in order to advance to Regionals.

The Regular Season Standings were
George Mason 12-0, Rappahannock 9-3, Clarke County 5-7, Strasburg 3-9, and Manassas Park 1-11.

Tournament placings were 1. George Mason, 2. Rapp, 3. Manassas Park, 4. Strasburg, 5. Clarke

Madison County does not have quiz bowl.
Madison shows up at UVA tournaments occasionally ... I think a lot of their quizbowl pool does forensics where they've won several titles.

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Post by mithokie »

Region C Results @ Holston HS (Damascus, VA)

Round 1:
Auburn 150 Highland 140
Radford 235 Northwood 100
Holston Bye
Parry McCluer Bye

Round 2:
Auburn 180 Holston 175
Radford 225 Parry McCluer 175

Round 3:
Northwood 160 Highland 135 (Highland Eliminated - Tied 5th place)
Parry McCluer 215 Holston 130 (Holston Eliminated - Tied 5th place)

Round 4:
Radford 245 Auburn 80
Parry McCluer 150 Northwood 105 (Northwood Eliminated 4th place)

Round 5:
Parry McCluer 210 Auburn 80 (Auburn Eliminated - 3rd place)

Round 6:
Radford 235 Parry McCluer 125 (Parry McCluer Eliminated - 2nd place)
(Radford 1st Place)


10 Matches, 3250 total points, 325 points per match

Congratulations to the Parry McCluer Fighting Blues (1st time in state tourney) and the Radford Bobcats (9th time to state and 7th Region C Championship in 10 years) for advancing to the state tournament, and thanks to Holston HS for a well run tournament.

Matt Beeken
Auburn HS

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Region B Tournament

Post by pretzeldude92 »

Region B results:

1st. George Mason (defeating Rapp 275-95 in the final, and 260-190 earlier in the tournament)
2nd. Rappahannock County
3rd. Randolph-Henry
4th. Altavista
t5th. William Campbell and Wilson Memorial
t7th. Cumberland and Luray

1st Round: Rapp 180, Wilson Memorial 140
George Mason 270, Luray 30
Randolph-Henry 160, William Campbell 135
Altavista 160, Cumberland 135

2nd Round: George Mason 260, Rapp 190
Randolph-Henry 200, Altavista 140
William Campbell 220, Cumberland 155 (elim)
Wilson Memorial 185, Luray 155 (elim)

3rd Round: Rapp 285, William Campbell 100 (elim)
Altavista 190, Wilson Memorial 85 (elim)
George Mason 270, Randolph-Henry 125

4th Round: Rapp 290, Altavista 70 (elim)

5th Round: Rapp 225, Randolph-Henry 70 (elim)

6th Round: George Mason 285, Rapp 95 (Rapp finishes 2nd)

4805 points total, 343.21 points per match

Congratulations to the George Mason Mustangs for their regional title, and to the Rappahannock County Panthers for their first trip to the state tournament in quiz bowl.

Thanks to Gretna High School for the great tournament, and thanks for providing such yummy refreshments.


* Interesting Fact: Rappahannock County is 15-0 in VHSL when not playing George Mason and 0-7 when they are.
Last edited by pretzeldude92 on Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by kamikaze »

Here are the Region III results from Saturday:

Round 1
Heritage defeated Blacksburg
Salem defeated Alleghany
Brookville defeated Northside
Cave Spring 315 defeated Appomattox 50

Round 2
Heritage defeated Salem
Cave Spring 280 defeated Brookville 145
Blacksburg defeated Alleghany (elim)
Northside defeated Appomattox (elim)

Round 3
Heritage 255 defeated Cave Spring 160
Brookville defeated Blacksburg (elim)
Salem defeated Northside (elim)

Round 4
Salem defeated Brookville (elim)

Round 5
Cave Spring 275 defeated Salem 110 (elim)

Round 6
Heritage 250 defeated Cave Spring 125 (elim)

Congratulations to Heritage for winning the Region III tournament. Definitely an impressive performance by their team. We look forward to seeing them at States later this month.

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Post by STPickrell »

As a note: Discussion of VHSL District and Region questions is now permitted, as all state tournament participants are now determined. Some VHSL questions may make it into a tournament in Missouri but we will be careful to not use questions that achieve infamy.

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Post by STPickrell »

This is the first-ever VHSL states I have missed and hopefully will be the last for many years.

A
George Mason 295, Twin Springs 40
West Point 185, Parry McCluer 130
Mathews 210, Honaker 140
Radford 205, Rappahannock County 140

George Mason 250, West Point 145
Radford 190, Mathews 150
Parry McCluer 150, Twin Springs 100 (elim)
Rappahannock County 270, Honaker 85 (elim)

George Mason 240, Radford 160
Mathews 200, Parry McCluer 160 (elim)
Rappahannock County 180, West Point 145 (elim)

Mathews 290, Rappahannock 85 (elim)

Radford d. Mathews (elim)

George Mason d. Radford (by over 150 I hear!)

AA
Charlottesville 225, Graham 95
Cave Spring 215, Tabb 130
Riverbend 170, Patrick County 150
Monticello 215, Heritage 195

Charlottesville 235, Cave Spring 185
Monticello 215, Riverbend 125
Tabb 250, Graham 60 (elim)
Heritage 280, Patrick County 90 (elim)

Charlottesville 200, Monticello 160
Tabb 190, Riverbend 175 (elim)
Heritage 230, Cave Spring 160 (elim)

Heritage 300, Tabb 170 (elim)

Heritage 240, Monticello 185 (elim)

Charlottesville won by 5 over Heritage to win their third straight AA title (I think)

AAA
Princess Anne 280, E.C. Glass 115
Maggie Walker 205, Hayfield 200
Henrico 240, Albemarle 180
Thomas Jefferson 230, Ocean Lakes 140

Maggie Walker 245, Princess Anne 210
Thomas Jefferson 260, Henrico 160
Hayfield 285, E.C. Glass 120 (elim)
Ocean Lakes 205, Albemarle 150 (elim)

Thomas Jefferson 250, Maggie Walker 180
Henrico 165, Hayfield 155 (elim)
Princess Anne 225, Ocean Lakes 150 (elim)

Princess Anne 230, Henrico 185 (elim)

Maggie Walker 250, Princess Anne 190 (elim)

Maggie Walker defeated Thomas Jefferson twice to win Group AAA title. Scores forthcoming after the awards ceremony.

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Post by BuzzerZen »

The two Gov/TJ games in the finals were both extremely close. Gov beat us by 15 in round 6 and by 45 in round 7. Congratulations to them for their win.

I feel that the questions have continued their upward trend in quality, though I still take issue with some of the features of the distribution, like the vocabulary-type questions, and with the math questions in general, which continue to be fairly simple-minded. Also, I hereby propose a ban for all eternity on questions to which the answer is "vectors."

Anyway, thanks to the various organizers for putting on a good tournament.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Radford defeated Mathews 195 to 185 after a crazy protest situation that thankfully did not end in an angry mob trying to stone me. The final was 270-115 George Mason. GMHS looked extremely impressive, in fact on the directed questions they scored 110 against Radford (compared to some AAA teams perhaps it's not that impressive but I just think it's cool when a team can score more than their share of 10 directed questions). I hope they enjoy my little note on the bracket board...

My apologies to all group A teams and everyone really for our group going so slow and holding everything up. In the early rounds I should have told quizmasters to start earlier/whenever they were ready. Rappahannock County I especially feel sorry for since they didn't have a chance to eat lunch because they were stuck in the two rooms of death (York and Tidewater B) for so long - and by room of death I'm not talking about the difficulty of the teams but the difficulty in getting through rounds (even after hearing one agonizing period of tossups I had to get out of there). The protest situation took a long time too.

To add to Evan's banned list, I suggest we ban language/vocab/grammar/math from the tossup rounds unless the quality improves dramatically (math can be written way better and longer than that if people know how, vocab is terrible because it's usually a "name's the same" situation that leads to protests, and can we please never ever see "translate this word from French GO!" questions?). Shawn I know a lot of this you agree with anyway and think that we should move that stuff to directed rounds, but if it stays in tossup rounds for next year it has to improve where possible. I also noticed a lot of the science tu's were 1 hard sentence, 1 easy/semi-giveaway sentence, 2-3 lines, that was it. Sometimes there would be a middle sentence, but it would often just have atomic masses/other numbers that are rarely useful. The pyramidality on those needs to increase/have more mid clues, heck maybe our club's science freak (math/comp science double major, used to take a lot of chem classes thinking he'd major in that) can help write those one day.

Also, can we ban obscure Indian authors, as well as trash lit? It's not really lit. Tom Clancy novels and Harry Potter questions come to mind...

Overall though the pyramidality and difficulty was much better than in Regionals, and a lot of the problems I had with Regionals appeared far less frequently. The quality was impressive most of the time with inconsistencies here and there. A job well done by the authors.
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Post by pretzeldude92 »

As a member of Rappahannock's team, I appreciate you saying that. We don't know if the Mathews match would have changed, and I doubt it, but yes, the readers were extremely slow.

Overall, I think the coordination was pretty good. We would suggest signs being posted, since some of our parents were confused about parking and such.

And we were thrilled to finish fourth and then cheer George Mason onto victory. Cause Rapp loves George Mason. :grin:

George Mason beat us seven times this season like I said earlier. The closest we ever got was 70 points, where we were only behind by ten at one point in the third round. The trouble is, George Mason is graduating three of four starters, but so are we. However, unlike them, the captain remains...

Oh, and Bull Run District Ownage at the state tournament... 1st and 4th isn't bad.

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Post by The Toad to Wigan Pier »

Another area in need of reform is what I will dub “trash computer scienceâ€

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Post by STPickrell »

I heard Charlottesville defeated Heritage by five to win the title.

"Name's the same" or "word origin" can be pyramidal; I just need to be very careful when writing them. Also, any question where the answer can be pronounced two or more ways will need to be so noted. On the other hand -- if these questions open a host of ambiguities, perhaps they are better off slightly reduced and in the directeds as well.

As for the one-sentence math, grammar and foreign language -- Matt's right. I'm starting to think they look weird when paired next to a group of fairly pyramidal, three-sentence literature and history tossups.

Can someone associated with TJ (and Gov if at all possible) send me some examples of their pyramidal math tossups? I liked the one dschafer posted in some other thread, the one that was used this season and essentially reduced to "what is 12 * 9 / 2?"

While I might be able to get minor tweaks made (and banishing non-pyramidal categories to the directeds is one of them), the math is not going away any time soon.

For the record here is the distribution.

TJ and Gov players/alumni: please get your AD or principal to make suggestions to the VHSL.

Math 7: Arithmetic 2.5, Algebra 1.5, Geometry/Trig 1.5, Non-computation 1.5
Science 12: Biology 4, Chemistry 2.5, Earth Science (geology, astronomy, meteorology, environmental science) 2, Physics 1.5, Computer science 1, Famous scientists 1
English 12: US lit 4, World lit 4, Vocab 2, Grammar 1, Foreign language (Spanish, French, Latin, languages) 1
Social studies 12: US history 4 (1 each pre-1825, 1826-1890, 1891-1945, 1946-2005), World history 4 (1 each pre-500 AD, 500-1700, 1700-1899, 1900-2005)
Miscellany 12: Popular culture 4 (2 pre-1988, 2 1989-present), Newsworthy current events 2, Fine arts 2 (visual and audio 1 each), Religion 1.5, Mythology 1, Philosophy 0.5

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Post by jbarnes112358 »

StPickrell wrote: Social studies 12: US history 4 (1 each pre-1825, 1826-1890, 1891-1945, 1946-2005), World history 4 (1 each pre-500 AD, 500-1700, 1700-1899, 1900-2005)
Miscellany 12: Popular culture 4 (2 pre-1988, 2 1989-present), Newsworthy current events 2, Fine arts 2 (visual and audio 1 each), Religion 1.5, Mythology 1, Philosophy 0.5
The Social Studies does not add up. Are the missing points geography?

I find it sad that Mythology, Philosophy, and Fine Arts, all together, have less emphasis than pop culture. How can pre-1988 pop culture be on equal footing with fine arts? Isn't this competition called scholastic bowl?


Evan is correct. our final two matches vs. TJ were highly competitive and both came down to the luck of the draw on the questions. In our first meeting against them in the prelims, TJ beat us by a comfortable margin. It seems like we only can manage to beat TJ at VHSL states about every 3 or 4 years. I guess this was just our year to do it.

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

StPickrell wrote: Math 7: Arithmetic 2.5, Algebra 1.5, Geometry/Trig 1.5, Non-computation 1.5
Science 12: Biology 4, Chemistry 2.5, Earth Science (geology, astronomy, meteorology, environmental science) 2, Physics 1.5, Computer science 1, Famous scientists 1
English 12: US lit 4, World lit 4, Vocab 2, Grammar 1, Foreign language (Spanish, French, Latin, languages) 1
Social studies 12: US history 4 (1 each pre-1825, 1826-1890, 1891-1945, 1946-2005), World history 4 (1 each pre-500 AD, 500-1700, 1700-1899, 1900-2005)
Miscellany 12: Popular culture 4 (2 pre-1988, 2 1989-present), Newsworthy current events 2, Fine arts 2 (visual and audio 1 each), Religion 1.5, Mythology 1, Philosophy 0.5
It's pretty ridiculous how specific the distribution is on US and World history, I mean, I would put overall question quality ahead of trying to force writers to write for set time periods. The sheer amount of of math is pretty high (14%?! it should only be half that, maybe 10% tops), and I think it would be better to have fewer, longer math questions. Physics seems kind of low, and it's odd having "famous scientists" as a separate category, that should be rolled into the whole science distribution, within reason, as long as there arent like 5 scientist questions, and the ones that are present describe important stuff the scientists' did/discovered and not their life story &c (to keep it more sciency). Foreign language questions are just such a niche thing they shouldnt be present because only someone who's taken classes in that language can be reasonably expected to know a lot of the questions (ie, anybody *should* be able to get most of the questions in SB as long as they study up or practice on the stuff and have taken basic or required classes, and keep up with the news too, so expert type answers are bad).

Oh and it's really depressing how arts and rmp get the shortest of short ends of the stick.
Last edited by Zip Zap Rap Pants on Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by dschafer »

I haven't seen VHSL questions this year, so I am speaking in the abstract here:
StPickrell wrote:Can someone associated with TJ (and Gov if at all possible) send me some examples of their pyramidal math tossups? I liked the one dschafer posted in some other thread, the one that was used this season and essentially reduced to "what is 12 * 9 / 2?"
The question you referenced was in the finals, so I personally think most math computation should probably be a bit easier than that particular question was. While the actual computation was not hard, I was a little opaque when giving away the method in the middle of that tossup.

On the subject of pyramidal math in general (and at the risk of pulling this thread off-topic): in a long-dead thread, I wrote the following about math computation:
I try to structure mine somewhat like this:

1. Start with "Pencil and paper ready", and give statement of problem.
2. Mention brute force way of solving problem, while giving subtle clue as to what the question is asking.
3. Mention subtle, probably faster way of solving problem
4. Straight out ask problem, and end with "You will have 10 seconds"
While my thoughts on pyramidal math have changed slightly since then, I think that using something similar to this format allows pyramidal math tossups to be feasible. I think one of the main keys to this idea (which I did not emphasize enough in the original thread) is at the end of step 1: "give statement of problem." All necessary information and numbers should be given as soon as possible; this allows someone who knows how to solve the problem immediately to interrupt, and also avoids "buzzer-races" on the final piece of information.

Gov people: Does Palmer post/read these forums? I would be interested in seeing his thoughts on VHSL math / math computation in general.

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Math questions

Post by pretzeldude92 »

In response to Matt, "The sheer amount of of math is pretty high (14%?! it should only be half that, maybe 10% tops), and I think it would be better to have fewer, longer math questions," I disagree. One of the biggest problems in this state is the ability to do math. Limiting the number of math questions is selling out to all education critics that our math system is horrible. And having state championship teams that would win because of a limitation of math questions is sad. For example, in the seven times we played George Mason this year, of the two or three math tossups each match, we probably got 70%, they got 20%, and neither team got 10%. In the state championship match, I don't remember Mason getting more than one math question correct.

If anything, math questions need to get harder, and there needs to be as many of them as lit/science/social studies. Most math questions involve factoring and averages and such. This is eighth grade and Algebra I math.

And I'm not just saying that because our team is good at math. It's embarrassing to the state of Virginia if we limit math questions for high caliber teams.
Last edited by pretzeldude92 on Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Math questions

Post by AKKOLADE »

pretzeldude92 wrote:In response to Matt, "The sheer amount of of math is pretty high (14%?! it should only be half that, maybe 10% tops), and I think it would be better to have fewer, longer math questions," I disagree. One of the biggest problems in this state is the ability to do math.
When did quiz bowl become a replacement for an actual, in-classroom education? Why can't math be taught by teachers?

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Post by vcuEvan »

While we're critiquing VHSL format.

What is the purpose of the full repeat after each neg. Repeating information that both teams have already heard seems like a waste of time.

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Post by First Chairman »

I just want to remind the masses: I don't know who in the VHSL power structure dictated the game format/rules or how amendments could be made... but I am fairly sure that Shawn can only do so much without raising the ire of a lot of other admins and teachers across the state.

That said, I know I am an opponent of math tossups since I feel it is not representative of the realistic conditions of doing math calculation problems in a math class much less a reflection of the real interesting questions facing mathematics.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

iambusyeating wrote:While we're critiquing VHSL format.

What is the purpose of the full repeat after each neg. Repeating information that both teams have already heard seems like a waste of time.
Yeah the other group coordinators and other staff people and I were talking about that and pretty much agree that's ridiculous. If you didn't pay attention to the tossup it's your fault. Also, allowing 10 seconds to elapse after a tossup is read is a lot, it should just be 5, and then maybe we could cut out the timers and timekeepers and not have 7,000 people staffing. Having timekeepers isn't that bad it's just that often they end up being inexperienced people who don't know what they're doing and hold up games.

And I agree with Fred when it comes to pretzeldude's math comments - I think it's a high amount of math not because it's hard or anything, but because for good quizbowl standards that's too high especially for non-pyramidal tossups. People should know more math, but similarly, people should take some foreign language courses. This doesn't correlate to the number of questions asked about them though, and for the latter I don't think any questions should be asked. I really don't think having slightly more math in Scholastic Bowl is going to prompt school systems across the state to beef up their math departments, especially when the questions are, as pretzeldude said, not that difficult. It's a real shame that categories like that push out RMP and arts too.
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Re: Math questions

Post by jbarnes112358 »

pretzeldude92 wrote:
If anything, math questions need to get harder, and there needs to be as many of them as lit/science/social studies. Most math questions involve factoring and averages and such. This is eighth grade and Algebra I math.

And I'm not just saying that because our team is good at math. It's embarrasing to the state of Virginia if we limit math questions for high caliber teams.
I agree. Maybe we don't need 14% math questions, but the ones we get should be more than who can multiply two numbers fastest or who can factor a polynomial fastest. Why do we need 5% of the questions from a category called arithmetic? The majority of the math distribution is from subjects that many of the advanced students that make up these teams had in middle school.

Where is the calculus? Where is the probability? Where is the statistics? ( I don't mean multiple questions on competing a mean or median.) Where is the set theory? Where is the logic? How about matrices?

Also, the problems should be more conceptual and less routine computation. Mathematical terms are probably okay if the same ones don't come up in every tournament (Yeah, like "vector").

If there are going to be computational math questions, they should reward the student who knows a better way to solve it in the short time given. For example, Most students could not add the first 19 positive integers in 10 seconds unless they knew the answer was (19)(20)/2 = (19)(10) = 190. This requires actual conceptual mathematical knowledge, not just speedy arithmetic ability.

Excuse the pun, but VHSL math questions seem to be reduced to the lowest common denominator. In spite of the 14%, we are really deemphasizing the math by what is being asked. I realize that we can't assume that every student has learned math beyond the pitifully minimal math requirements we put on our students in public education. But, especially at the state level of competition, we can assume that most teams have some players who are beyond the more elementary mathematics, and if not, they are probably not going to be the kind of students who can do the elementary computations quickly enough either.

If the argument is that students cannot be expected to know math beyond the minimal graduation requirements, then what about all the other parts of the question distribution that are not in the minimum graduation requirements?

I believe we should deemphasize pure speed computation. We should, instead, have simpler computations in the context of creative problem solving. Giving hints as intermediate clues, as someone mentioned above, is one way to introduce pyramidality.

Don't shy away from things like calculus, especially in districts where they offer calculus, and certainly at the state AAA level, where I would expect all schools do offer it. And if calculus is going to be there, I don't mean, "What is the derivative of y = x^3," which becomes a pure buzzer race because everybody in calculus immediately knows the answer to that.

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Re: Math questions

Post by Matt Weiner »

pretzeldude92 wrote:If anything, math questions need to get harder, and there needs to be as many of them as lit/science/social studies.
Math is part of science in quizbowl. A small part. Also, we don't have "social studies," we have history. The fact that VHSL has not caught up to standard tournaments in this regard is one of its shortcomings.
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Post by aestheteboy »

Matt Morrison wrote:Foreign language questions are just such a niche thing they shouldnt be present because only someone who's taken classes in that language can be reasonably expected to know a lot of the questions (ie, anybody *should* be able to get most of the questions in SB as long as they study up or practice on the stuff and have taken basic or required classes, and keep up with the news too, so expert type answers are bad).
Well it's also true for other subjects too, like math (and to a lesser degree science).
Most people who haven't taken calculus wouldn't know how to integrate. In MCPS, the earliest you can take Calculus is in 11th grade unless you skip or something.
I'm fairly certain that there are more hs players who have taken Spanish or French than there are hs players who have taken Calculus.

It's hard to write good FL tu or bonus, but I don't think it's impossible.

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Re: Math questions

Post by jbarnes112358 »

Matt Weiner wrote: Math is part of science in quizbowl. A small part. Also, we don't have "social studies," we have history.
Do I detect a bit of personal bias in this statement? :smile:

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Re: Math questions

Post by First Chairman »

jbarnes112358 wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote: Math is part of science in quizbowl. A small part. Also, we don't have "social studies," we have history.
Do I detect a bit of personal bias in this statement? :smile:
My bias: we don't have social studies, we have "social sciences" now. But even that doesn't really include psychology, anthropology, sociology, etc.
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Post by STPickrell »

Lots to reply to here! I will pass on subject-specific commentary to the people who write those questions, or have taken said commentary in if I wrote them.

Tom is correct -- I have some room in which to operate but cannot make massive changes without at least some consideration of other people's feelings. I would rather attempt to persuade reluctant coaches/administrators (who are not be on this board, or may exist solely in my fears and imagination) of why we want to make things a certain way than simply dictate to people what the True Scholastic Bowl Path will be.

Matt, I invite you to design what you consider the ideal VHSL distribution would be. Remember there are 55 questions -- 35 tossups and 20 directeds (there's five spares included.)

I would present it to the Advisory Committee, provided you give an explanation the categories you want removed should be removed -- i.e. why do certain subjects reduce the competitive aspects of the match? At the least it would provide input and the basis for discussion from outside the system.

The full repeat after negs:
I have proposed to the Advisory Committee that we eliminate this requirement and allow the reader to resume reading from a salient point in the question. I agree 100% that it is cumbersome to read three sentences when someone negs on the next-to-last word. This should be up to the reader.

Math:
I don't think it is going away, unless the force of many athletic directors and principals makes it so. I got it reduced from 11 to 7 per match back in 2002, and the VHSL indicated they did not want to reduce it further in the absence of feedback from member schools. (Personally, I am not opposed to reducing (heh) the amount of math.)

In previous years, my math writers made use of fairly novel math concepts, such as the law of cosines, Heron's formula, etc. Sadly, in many cases, 10 seconds was not enough to solve the problems -- even for Adam Fine or myself when we edited the questions. (Some teams didn't even know where to begin the problem solving, either.) Hence, the movement to the lowest common denominator (heh).

I have proposed to the Advisory Committee that we provide 30 seconds to answer computation math questions. This will allow us to write more interesting mathematics questions, giving the players enough time to perform the needed calculations. If players from experienced teams can solve the math in 5 seconds, and a less experienced team needs 15 seconds, everyone is accommodated.

I have also proposed to the Advisory Committee that all tossups be pyramidal. This will mean that computation tossups will be as pyramidal as possible, and that "brute-force" math questions can be moved to the directed rounds.

By using pyramidality, we can also re-introduce various formulas and laws, by explaining during the question how to solve the problem. In this way, the question is accessible to all, but still rewards the most knowledgeable teams. (In addition, foreign language and grammar can be moved to the directed rounds.)

Here's a tossup I cooked up. Let me know what you think.

THIS IS A COMPUTATION QUESTION. You are trying to find the area of a triangle with sides of length 4, 8, and 10. This seems impossible, but with Heron's formula becomes much easier. Calculate the semiperimeter, s, by adding the lengths of the sides and dividing by two. Then, multiply s, s minus a, s minus b, and s minus c, where a, b, and c are the sides. Then take the square root of that product; fortunately, this radical doesn't need to be reduced. Therefore, what is the area of a triangle with sides of length 4, 8, and 10?

ANSWER: _square root of 231_ (the square root of 11 * 7 * 3 * 1)

Calculus and other areas:
I am not sure what has changed since I was in school, but I am under the impression that most schools offer Calculus AB as a 12th grade course.

If this is still the case for even a significant minority of school systems, I really cannot in good conscience recommend calculus be included in the district competitions, and cannot moving past the first semester of Calc AB in region and state competitions.

Math is not a subject where one can easily read up on it independently, as is the case with literature and history.

Other areas -- probability, stats, matrices, etc., can and should be covered whenever possible.

Foreign language:
Many school districts do not offer anything other than Spanish. I might ask the Advisory Committee their opinion on keeping foreign language in the distribution. Personally, I am agnostic on this issue.

Social studies:
I forgot the rest of the social studies distribution -- Geography is 2 per match and Other Social Studies is 2 per match. Geography is 20% Virginia, 40% US and 40% World, and Other Social Studies is split about 40% finance/econ, 40% law/civics, 20% psych/sociology/education topics (e.g. answers like "Standards of Learning" and "phonics."

As for specificness, I don't mind moving the time yardsticks (maybe change pre-500 AD for world history to pre-1000 AD) but would prefer to keep some sort of yardstick in there to prevent "clumping" (i.e. we don't want 4 18th century world history questions, or 4 questions on the 1865-1900 era of US history).

Miscellany:
In addition, the miscellany distribution should have 3 fine arts (1.5 each visual and audio.)

As for pop culture (I include sports in pop culture) being over-represented, for VHSL it is 7.27% of the questions. If I remember correctly, NAQT has a similar, if not higher, percentage. We had pop culture at 3 per match, but in a coaches' survey in 2006, coaches indicated by a reasonable margin that they wanted to increase the number to 4 or 5 per match. A small percentage (20% or so) wanted to reduce it to 1 or 2 per match, and a very small (10% or so) wanted to toss it entirely. Again, as with the math, pop culture will not be gotten rid of or sharply reduced (as in down to 1 or 2) in the absence of VHSL membership making the request for that change.

That was long.

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