Harvard Fall Tournament (11/10/07) in Cambridge, MA

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Harvard Fall Tournament (11/10/07) in Cambridge, MA

Post by Kyle »

I am pleased to announce that the Harvard College Bowl Club will host the second annual Harvard Fall Tournament on Saturday, November 10, 2007 in Cambridge, MA.

I (Kyle Haddad-Fonda) will serve as chief writer/editor for the tournament and Dennis Sun will be our tournament director. To register or to ask any questions, please email Dennis (dsun [at] fas.harvard.edu).

Our questions

- House-written questions
- Untimed rounds
- 20 tossups and 20 bonuses

Our questions are relatively long by high school standards (but some of last year's were too long and I'll fix that) and they have a distribution heavily weighted toward academic topics (1/1 trash per round).

(A sample round from last fall's tournament is available on our website. You can purchase the other 11 rounds of last year's tournament for $20 if you email me (kfonda [at] fas.harvard.edu), or starting June 1 you can take advantage of our special summer vacation discount and buy them for just $10.)

Questions from the 2007 HFT will be emailed to all participating teams after the tournament and will be available for other teams to purchase at that time.

Fee structure

$70 base fee
$60 additional teams from the same school
-$10 buzzer discount
-$10 travel discount for more than 200 miles (as determined by Mapquest)

Long distance teams

For teams coming from far, far away, further discounts are negotiable. We want to attract as many New England teams as possible, but we also want to open this tournament up to teams from other parts of the country with juniors and seniors who might be interested in seeing our beautiful campus and playing some high quality quiz bowl in the process. If you need information about travel arrangements or hotel recommendations (not that anywhere around here is cheap), please email Dennis.

Logistics

Our tournament will be held in Sever Hall (note change of venue from last year). Dennis will give specific directions to competing teams more or less six months from now. We will probably begin the tournament at a reasonable hour to allow teams from the New York area time to make it here in one day (with, obviously, an ungodly early start on the road).

Disclaimer

I reserve the right to change the date of the tournament if ACF Fall is scheduled for the same date instead of on the traditional first Saturday in November. The date is also notably not an SAT date or an ACT date. I'm learning from experience.
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Post by Kyle »

I sent personal emails to 41 schools today about this tournament and I felt like bumping my thread. I got positive reactions from several nationally competitive teams and, in looking online for them, noticed something interesting: AirTran flights from Baltimore to Boston for only $59 one-way and a nice hotel room within walking distance for only $125. Expensive, yes, but not prohibitively so, particularly if you have juniors and seniors who want to see Boston-area colleges. Let me know if you have any questions: kfonda [at] fas.harvard.edu.

We expect to run swiss pairs to accommodate a diverse field and, if the demand is there, may run playoffs on more challenging questions than the preliminaries.
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Post by conker »

As Kyle mentioned, we have already heard from several competitive teams not only in the New England/Mid-Atlantic region, but throughout the East coast and beyond. We would like to encourage all teams, including those not within driving distance, to at least consider attending our tournament, and as such, we are offering generous discounts to teams that have to travel far to get here--and more for those who have to fly. Please let me know if you are interested or if you have any other questions. My e-mail is: dsun #at# fas.harvard.edu.

I have been addressing a few teams' concerns regarding hotels. In general, it is best to book early, as rooms tend to run out quickly (a few hotels are already completely booked for November). The hotels around Harvard Square are quite expensive, but there are more options available in Boston, and public transportation is convenient and accessible. If you have a car, then there are some very affordable hotels just outside Boston.

Although admittedly the trip is expensive, Boston and Cambridge are beautiful cities with several great colleges, and as Kyle said, if you have juniors or seniors interested in touring colleges in the area, the trip would be well worth it.
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Post by Kyle »

I just wanted to post a sort of field update to say that we now expect MLK, Thomas Jefferson, Dorman, at least part of Moravian's team, probably Hunter, hopefully Gonzaga (right, Ted?), and all of New England.
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Post by catsasslippers »

Stuyvesant should probably be coming.
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Post by segregold »

Which teams have confirmed that they are going to this tournament? Some people on RM would like to go, but Boston is six or seven hours away and we would like to have some knowledge of the field first.
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Post by Kyle »

TJ, Dorman, MLK, Stuyvesant, and Moravian for sure. I've heard things ranging from "we're trying to come" to "almost certainly" from the likes of Gonzaga, Hunter, and State College. At the moment, I think that's it for the teams you would have played semi-frequently. From what I have heard from Adam, there is also surprisingly strong representation from Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley (in addition to Moravian, there was interest from the likes of Allentown Central-Catholic, Emmaus, and Scranton). There is also a big contingent of New York / New England schools, several of whom played at the HSNCT but most of whom did not. Quiz bowl up here in the northeast is not as well developed, shall we say, as it is in places like Virginia and Maryland, but we're getting more teams each year and I almost think the game is catching on a little.
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Post by BroNi »

Kellenberg should be there, with 2 (3) teams and 3 buzzers.
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Post by conker »

The tournament is in two weeks, and it's time for a field update! Since the last update, we have also managed to bring the enigmatic Shanghai American School on board...

Allentown Central Catholic
Bromfield
Concord-Carlisle
Dorman
E.O. Smith (2)
Edgemont
Half Hollow Hills (2)
Hunter
Kellenberg (2)
MLK Magnet
Moravian Academy
Needham
Norwich Free Academy (2)
Phillips-Exeter
Seton Hall Prep
Shanghai American School
Simsbury (2)
State College (4)
Stuyvesant (2)
Suffield High School
Thomas Jefferson (2)
Walt Whitman

(Please let me know immediately if there are any omissions.)

It is not too late to register! Please e-mail me (dsun AT fas.harvard.edu) with your school name and the number of teams and buzzers you intend to bring. Thank you!

Dennis Sun
Tournament Director
Last edited by conker on Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:57 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Post by Kyle »

Eh, not Moravian. But everybody else. Sorry for the confusion.
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Post by Kyle »

I'm still coming to grips with the fact that my campus is a tourist site, a process that should have occurred during my freshman year when a tourist followed a student into our dorm and asked (in Chinese) if she could use our bathroom. After that, we put up a big sign on the bathroom that said "not a public bathroom" in Chinese. I also get my picture taken a lot while walking between classes. Yesterday I paused so that a man could take a picture of his wife and, as I passed, he told his wife in Chinese that I was a "genuine Harvard student," which is true, I guess, but it's kind of annoying to have it pointed out when all I want to do is go to the library.

Anyway, a lot of people have been emailing asking about tours of Harvard after the tournament. There is a group that gives tours and if there are enough of you then they will give one immediately after the tournament for what should be a reasonable rate (which decreases, obviously, in proportion to the number of people in the group). I'm happy to set this up for you — so email me (kfonda at fas dot harvard dot edu) if you want in on this just so I'll have a rough estimate of how many people want to play tourist. Depending on numbers and what time some of you are getting in, the same thing could probably arranged for Friday evening. I recognize that for many of your teams our tournament is doubling as an opportunity to see our fine campus. So let me know.

Also, if you are driving to our tournament in something large (like a bus), that would be good to know as well so that I can find somewhere for you to park. It shouldn't be a problem, I'd just like to know ahead of time.

Finally, Whitman registered to Dennis yesterday and Dennis didn't tell me until today, which was the source of my confusion in the other thread. Sorry for that. We really are very competent, we just have too many people working on this tournament.
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Post by conker »

Just to let everyone know that we are capping the field for this tournament at 32. We already have 27 confirmed teams, and we would like to give as many different schools the chance to participate as possible. Registration will be handled on a first come, first serve basis. Teams that are interested in coming should register by e-mailing me with number of teams and buzzers ASAP.

I've also updated the field list.
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Post by closesesame »

I think TJ is bringing 3 teams to the tournament. How much time do we have to get things in order?
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Post by conker »

Hi Naren,

I just marked TJ down for 2 teams. However, because the field is almost full, the third team would have to come as standby.

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Post by conker »

Thank you everyone for your prompt responses. Our field is now full. However, we are still accepting teams on the waitlist (these will probably mostly be schools in the region and alternate teams from schools that are already attending the tournament).
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Post by Kyle »

Quick results: Whitman is very, very good.

We played five rounds with a Swiss pairing system and then organized the field into brackets of eight. We insisted on finishing the 7-game round robin in the top bracket so that the good teams that traveled to Harvard from around the country would all get the opportunity to play each other. The result was pretty much chaos, but the games got played. The top eight, represnting seven states, were:

Dorman
E.O. Smith
Hunter
MLK
State College
Stuyvesant
Thomas Jefferson
Whitman

Whitman went undefeated in the top bracket to win. Dorman lost to Whitman and came in second. State College finished third. E.O. Smith was declared our "New England champion."

Dennis should have full stats from the prelims and from the top brackets within 24 hours and the stats from the other brackets (which didn't play a full round robin) as soon as possible. In the meantime, content yourselves with the following humorous negs:

"Mongolia?" for "Italy"
"Forest Gump?" for "Douglas MacArthur"
"poinsettia?" for "minature golf"
"Swedish?" for "Japanese"
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Post by closesesame »

Quick results: The question distribution at the tournament was somewhat random. I noticed that in the playoffs, all of a sudden the lit distribution in rounds went up to practically 80% of the round, plus you had the ONE sports trash question in the tournament (which Mohit got, so I won't complain, but still, you get the idea that the tournament difficulty and quality completely changed). GG on the phonons and numerical integration, not so much GG on the 7 lit questions in a row - granted I like math, science, and geography very much. However, speaking of Whitman, our DC area buddies seemed to agree that the distributions went somewhat randomly between the rounds. Congrats to them, though, they played remarkably today and deserved the win.

What was up with 7 playoff rounds?! We played more games in the "playoffs" than in the prelims...
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Post by yisun »

I was in charge of part of the bracketing for the tournament. We noticed that a number of high school tournaments had around 5 prelim rounds; the full round robin for the playoff bracket was to ensure that all the teams who traveled a long way to play in the tournament got the chance to face each other.

I just looked through the playoff packets, and I can't find any packet with more than 4-5 lit tossups.

I'm glad you enjoyed the phonon and numerical integration questions; I wrote those and was wondering whether they would be too difficult for this tournament.
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Post by Megalomaniacal Panda on Absinthe »

yisun wrote: I'm glad you enjoyed the phonon and numerical integration questions; I wrote those and was wondering whether they would be too difficult for this tournament.
They absolutely were too difficult for this tournament. Those might have qualified as third parts for bonuses, but that's pretty much it. Not that I didn't know them; I did, and I got them. I thought that, if anything, the numerical integration question was too transparent and the leadin for phonons too easy. Which doesn't change the fact they were out of place in a high school tournament. I thought the math theory was a little out there in terms during the playoffs, and I say this as a person who loves pure math and plans on majoring in it. But such things didn't detract from overall question quality, which was very high.

Also, I do, like Naren, have memories of some round which I perceived to have like seven literature questions (actually, was it our match against you guys?). Not that I'm complaining; I'm equally inclined to the humanities and science/math, but it seemed a little out of whack. This may just have been a matter of perception, but we can check when the packets get sent out. But yeah, on average, I thought that there was definitely some variation from round to round in terms of distribution, but I don't think its effect was more than marginal, shrill and irritated comments I made while playing notwithstanding.

I loved the round robin playoffs. To play seven games against that level of competition was an extremely rare opportunity. This was definitely my favorite tournament of the year and I suspect it will keep that spot for a good while to come.

To add a humorous neg, I said "the thyroid" for "The Waste Land". In my defense, I misheard the first few words as 'Graves' disease.'

Also, Dorman was amazing and intimidating. I really look forward to more matches against them. I was quite impressed with State College as well; they played consistently and extremely well.

The trip was probably the most surreal experienece of my life. At about two A.M in Penn Station in New York, we encountered a large man (some would say man-bear) who could only be described as a larger, more primeval incarnation of Jerry Vinokurov, who accosted us and roared (like, not yelling, actual roaring) at us, possibly with tears of rage in his eyes. He will forever be known in our hearts and minds as "subway Jerry." Also, one of our cab drivers drove at 85 miles per hour, disliked the concept of lanes, claimed to be able to beat up Chris Ray, and resembled a portly Borat.
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Post by Kyle »

Adam and I tried to assign the questions to packets in a balanced way, assigning each tossup a numerical difficulty value and making sure the rounds ended up equal, etc. My suspicion after moderating for the top bracket is that most of that effect was entirely lost on the best teams in attendance, for whom the hardest history and lit tossups were still too easy. And similarly lost on those teams in the lowest bracket. One coach went up to Dennis and complained about the Palestinian bonus (Palestinian, Mahmoud Darwish, Edward Said) and said, "Nobody cares about Palestinian literature. It's not important. Why is that in the tournament?" Which is kind of offensive, I guess, but looking past that...these teams aren't only playing at different levels — they're approaching the game with entirely different ideas about the scope of human knowledge and why it's important. I believed until yesterday that it would be possible, with pyramidal questions and Swiss pairing, to please teams of all calibers. At this point, I'm willing to concede that Ted Gioia was right that the best teams needed entirely different packets. I didn't realize just how good the top teams are these days.

I do think the 5 + 7 format was the right thing to do. It was important for us that the teams who traveled here to play would get to play each other. It wouldn't have been a successful tournament if, for example, Dorman had not played TJ, or State College had not played MLK.

Regarding the science questions — you're right, of course, the difficulty and quality varied. Regarding the trash — you heard 12 rounds, which means twelve trash tossups. Four of the 12 were sports: lateral, Secretariat, Greg Maddux, and Ebbets Field. Regarding the lit in the playoffs —

ROUND SIX:
Jorge Luis Borges
Wilfred Owen
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
ghosts (off King Richard III, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Hamlet)

ROUND SEVEN:
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Catch-22
Great Expectations
Cholera (off the Secret Garden, A Farewell to Arms, Death in Venice, and Love in the Time of ~)

ROUND EIGHT:
Invisible man
Italy (off Italo Calvino, Luigi Pirandello, and Umberto Eco)
George Bernard Shaw
Oliver Goldsmith

ROUND NINE:
Doctor (off The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Cancer Ward, and ~ Zhivago)
Lillian Hellman
Agatha Christie
Thomas Hardy

ROUND TEN:
Robert Frost
Kim
Things Fall Apart
O Captain! My Captain!

ROUND ELEVEN:
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Jay Gatsby
The Wild Duck
Margaret Atwood

(This was the most objectionable packet in terms of lit because it got “randomizedâ€
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Post by catsasslippers »

This might just be sour grapes because Danny Zhu wasn't there, and thus we were completely incompetent at all things mathy, but it seemed like there was a lot of mathy stuff. 1/1 Comp. Sci.? 2/2 math? Who knows how much physics--it felt like there was very little Bio. and more chem than Bio., but clearly an over representation of Physics. I was however glad to see some Earth Science but, there seemed like a lot of Astronomy.
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Post by conker »

Stats for the prelims and top bracket will be posted soon. The other brackets might take a little longer.
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Post by yisun »

There was 15/0 math, (<4)/4 comp sci, 15/15 physics total in the tournament.

The math theory was written to have answers that everyone in the room would know of, which did make the questions a bit weird, but it's nearly impossible to give six lines of clues on any high school math topic.

It's confusing to me how things like phonons and numerical integration are considered too difficult when "Palestinian, Mahmoud Darwish, Edward Said" is seemingly at an acceptable difficulty level. I've never heard of the last two, and I was a fairly good student of the humanities in high school, and I don't know if these were part of the high school canon back then. Granted, I'm not complaining that they don't have a place in quiz bowl -- I agree that they do -- but they don't seem to correspond to any part of any high school curriculum that I've ever seen. On the other hand, the last two lines of every question that I wrote for this tournament contained clues that I learned about in a class in high school -- and most of the earlier clues i knew about from extracurricular things. Of course, I'm a pretty big fan of math and science, but isn't the high school student who reads Darwish or Said similarly interested in literature?
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Post by Kyle »

There was actually more like 18/0 math, I think. There was 5/4 science in every round, of which 1/1 each was bio, chem, and physics. Math was 1/0 and then there was 1/1 "other science," which included earth science, computer science, astronomy, and about three additional math tossups.

The full distribution was:

4/4 History
4/4 Literature
5/4 Science and math
2/2 Religion, mythology, philosophy (there were 10/10 of each in 15 packets)
2/2 Art and music (1/1 of each)
1/1 Geography
1/1 Social science
1/0 Trash
0/1 Current events
0/1 Miscellaneous non-science

We take a break from our discussion to bring you results of the preliminaries and the top bracket:

http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~cbowl/index.cgi?p=hft2res

Also, the reason Dorman and MLK played only six games in the playoffs is that the round between them was postponed because the bonuses were printed illegibly and the game was never made up. Totally our fault and I apologize.
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Post by Neptune »

I definitely enjoy math and science the most, but I still learned about Darwish and Said in my AP World class. However, I feel that numerical integration was not a good question because everyone obviously knew what it was but not how to call it. My teammate (who got to answer after everyone buzzed at the same time) referred to it as integration, finding a definite integral, etc. One of his answers was basically the definition of numerical integration, but we did not get the points because we have not referred to it by that name in our multi variable calculus class.
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Post by aestheteboy »

yay for our homies at Whitman!!

IMO, neither phonon/numerical integration nor palestinian lit bonus are appropriate for a HS tournament. I'm sure the top teams can handle them (and want them), but I don't think it's fair for the lower half of the field.
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Post by catsasslippers »

I have just one more word about the science: Plastics. Oh my.
As far as the music was concerned, the answer choices seemed appropriate, but all of the music tossups and PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH seemed to be little more than chord progression, and a list of instruments.
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Post by yisun »

However, I feel that numerical integration was not a good question because everyone obviously knew what it was but not how to call it.
I did know what this was called in high school, but perhaps that's because I took a class called "Numerical Analysis".
IMO, neither phonon/numerical integration nor Palestinian lit bonus are appropriate for a HS tournament. I'm sure the top teams can handle them (and want them), but I don't think it's fair for the lower half of the field.
I think my point is that the lit canon extends beyond what any single high school student would read and what is covered in any single class (not just Palestinian lit, but many other answers), so math and science things that aren't covered necessarily everywhere should be okay as well. I admit that they might be pretty hard for the lower half of the field, but aren't there things in the canon for which this is also true?
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Post by Stat Boy »

Having a round robin in the playoffs for a tournament in which teams travel as far as they did for this one seems reasonable to me, but the ratio of 5:7 did seem a little out-of kilter, and slightly smaller playoff brackets would have both allowed other teams to play more games.

IMO, the Palestinian literature bonus was more of a current events/world question, especially given Said's controversial views.

Aside from numerical integration, phonon, and the awkwardly worded question on public goods, the playoff questions were excellent.
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Post by BroNi »

Just a comment from a coach and a TD about the schedule....

I bring as many teams to as many competitions as I can. I bring them to play and compete. I don't really want to travel a long distance to have my C team play 4 or so games, then have to sit around the whole day waiting for the A team to be eliminated. I also don't like the idea that my C team plays some of the best teams in the nation....we all know what that does to their morale.

I found yesterday's tournament to be a wonderful attempt to address these concerns. They took 5 rounds to sort out the teams by ability, and then let them play 7 (or so) rounds against similarly talented teams. Yes, there were some hiccups. It could have been a little better organized. And I still have some reservations about the card system....even as minor a point as trying to find one of your teams when you haven't seen them for a round or 2. But for now, given the dichotomy of teams that attend tournaments nowadays, I think this is the best attempt to let as many play who want to, against those of whom they have a chance!

Kudos to Kyle, Dennis and the Harvard team. Thank you. I may be in touch next year when our tournament comes around for some advice.
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Post by Megalomaniacal Panda on Absinthe »

yisun wrote:There was 15/0 math, (<4)/4 comp sci, 15/15 physics total in the tournament.

The math theory was written to have answers that everyone in the room would know of, which did make the questions a bit weird, but it's nearly impossible to give six lines of clues on any high school math topic.

It's confusing to me how things like phonons and numerical integration are considered too difficult when "Palestinian, Mahmoud Darwish, Edward Said" is seemingly at an acceptable difficulty level. I've never heard of the last two, and I was a fairly good student of the humanities in high school, and I don't know if these were part of the high school canon back then. Granted, I'm not complaining that they don't have a place in quiz bowl -- I agree that they do -- but they don't seem to correspond to any part of any high school curriculum that I've ever seen. On the other hand, the last two lines of every question that I wrote for this tournament contained clues that I learned about in a class in high school -- and most of the earlier clues i knew about from extracurricular things. Of course, I'm a pretty big fan of math and science, but isn't the high school student who reads Darwish or Said similarly interested in literature?
As someone who reads the Feynman lectures, does in fact use numerical analysis (insofar as it's related to solving partial differential equations), and, if I don't plan on reading Dariwsh, I've at least read a few of Said's articles, I would contend that phonons and numerical integration were not good tossup topics.

Honestly, had this been an introductory college tournament, or had it even been a tournament explicitly designed specifically for the ten top high school teams tin the country, I would have been delighted to see both of those things come as tossup answers, but to use them as something besides the third part of bonuses at this level seems ridiculous. The lit, science/math, and, to some degree, history, canons already extend pretty far out of what's taught in school (at the very least what's taught in my school), and more than being okay with that, it's one of the major reasons I enjoy quiz bowl.

I don't much like Said or anything he says, and I think he's an example of why much as I enjoy literature, philosophy, and the fine arts, I would be unlikely to consider any division of the humanities as more than an auxiliary major, but he's a pretty appropriate second or third part of a bonus in high school, much as phonons or numerical integration would have been legitimate third parts of a bonus. In all three of those cases, however, they would have been utterly out of place as tossup topics.

To give an example, I could write a tossup about crystal field theory where the last two lines were stuff covered in my AP Chemistry class; that doesn't make it reasonable as a tossup topic. I don't know what school you went to, but it's one I would have liked to go to if you were learning about phonons and numerical analysis in actual classes. Have some pity for us who have to learn organic chemistry solely from Open Courseware notes and topology from our parents' old textbooks.

Let me reiterate that I thought most of the answer selection, even in math theory, was fine. I would go so far as to say most of the clue selection was fine as well, I just wish I had been reading my algebraic topology book more assiduously.

Also, I saw barely any computer science. A tossup on like, trees, or heaps, or something along those lines would have been nice (I know there was a bonus on it). Similarly, if you're willing to throw in a bunch of math theory, you could at least go all the way and add in some more organic chemistry, biochemistry, and higher level biology stuff, which I found underrepresented.

All of this said, though, it's worth reiterating that I thought the tournament was on the whole extremely well written, and that in general the difficulty in clue and answer selection was well calibrated.

Sorry for the long post.
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Post by Diplomacy Guy »

I don't want to weigh in on the distribution, but I just wanted to reassure Shantanu that he doesn't need to get his hearing checked.

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Post by yisun »

Honestly, had this been an introductory college tournament, or had it even been a tournament explicitly designed specifically for the ten top high school teams tin the country, I would have been delighted to see both of those things come as tossup answers, but to use them as something besides the third part of bonuses at this level seems ridiculous.
I guess they were partially aimed at the best schools in the nation for the playoffs, but I do agree that the difficulty varied quite a bit and it would have been better to normalize it. As a high school player, I was always frustrated by the math and science questions, and I wasn't even playing against teams that were close to the level of the top teams at this tournament, so I wanted to write about some more difficult things.
I just wish I had been reading my algebraic topology book more assiduously.
Apologies for the large number of clues coming from this topic; I'm taking it this semester, so I guess it was more present in my mind.
Also, I saw barely any computer science. A tossup on like, trees, or heaps, or something along those lines would have been nice (I know there was a bonus on it).
I did write a Scheme tossup that went dead in the two playoff rooms I heard it in, so I guess this was another error in judgment on my part. Where I come from (CA), a fair number of high school students know about it from school (I believe a couple schools use it as a teaching language), but apparently this is not very true nation-wide.
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Post by Mike Bentley »

Yeah, Scheme is not even a good idea in tournaments below ACF Regionals difficulty. You'd be better off asking about a much more universal language like Java, C, C++, Javascript, etc.
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Post by DumbJaques »

In my opinion you absolutely do not need two packet sets for the top teams and the "rest of the pack." I've found that, generally, teams that show up at pyramidal tournaments can tolerate 5-6 lines of question, which is more than enough to write a good, pyramidal question on an answer most teams should know. Several of the answers discussed in this thread would be unreasonable tossups at ACF fall or even EFT, so that's more an issue of a young but very good club putting together a house written tournament, and I'm sure it's one they'll learn from. If I may encourage a single lesson: "what I learned/knew about in high school" is an entirely pointless way to decide or justify asking about something. Things that are much more valid are "has this ever come up in hs in this way" or things like that. Also, there are tons of people with lots of tournament writing experience who have made themselves available to be consulted if you're on the fence about a topic (this goes for, obviously, everyone and not just Harvard).

Haha Palestinian literature bonus. From the stats, you probably don't want 5 tossups going dead amongst teams in the (lower half) of the top 12 in the playoffs.
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Aside from the fact that Whitman is just clearly very solid, I think other high school teams should look at their attendance at college events as a significant part of their ability to actually convert questions on very difficult things. Most of the top bracket at this tournament is obviously qualified to attend, and would do very well at, most collegiate events. I'd really like to see some of the other top hs teams show up, particular to sets like ACF fall, which almost certainly had an easier answer selection than several hs tournaments during the year.

EDIT:

Oh yeah, I know you did a playoff round robin, but it's kind of lame to have teams with basically the same record (the canceled Dorman game not withstanding) and declare one the winner because their win in the 2-game series between those teams occurred in the second round robin. I'm sure the tournament was getting late (perhaps prohibitively so), but that's kind of a bummer for Dorman, who had certainly earned the right to a final.
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Post by conker »

DumbJaques wrote: Oh yeah, I know you did a playoff round robin, but it's kind of lame to have teams with basically the same record (the canceled Dorman game not withstanding) and declare one the winner because their win in the 2-game series between those teams occurred in the second round robin. I'm sure the tournament was getting late (perhaps prohibitively so), but that's kind of a bummer for Dorman, who had certainly earned the right to a final.
Our plan all along was to play a final only if two teams were tied after the playoff round robin, and because Dorman had already lost a game and Whitman had finished undefeated, we deemed a final unnecessary. The preliminaries didn't count for anything after the rebracketing.
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

But I think what Chris is saying is that in this kind of set up the preliminaries, just like at a college tournament, should have affected the final standings, and that because Dorman beat Whitman at one point in the day (by a solid margin, not that that is important) then Dorman had a legitimate right to play another match against Whitman after the pool was finished, and then have whoever won that be the winner.
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Post by jrbarry »

For the one or two of us left in the US who prefer single-elimination playoffs, and prearranged preliminaries, I prefer a tournament in which one plays a team only ONE time all day. I understand my kind of tournament system does not guarantee that, but the chances of it happening are less.

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