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Post by theattachment » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:19 pm

klwalton33 wrote: I PROMISE you that this year's tourney will be much better written that last year's -- I handled the bulk of the question writing and I intentionally tried to make some more "knowledge bowl-ish" as I was hoping to get more KB-focused teams there. This year, questions will be written by many very talented writers (all of which frequent this forum I am sure) so I think it will be much better. And it's following NAQT format for the most part.
We made Kirk realize the errors of his ways by making a semi-KB question set. There will be no intentional hoses in this set, nor will there be tossups that can be spoken without taking a breath. If anything, the format's almost to the mACF side of pyramidal tossup-bonusdom.

Another nice thing is that we're trying to avoid geographic exclusivity with the questions. Last year the set was heavily Minnesotan, namely with the volume of questions relating to the city of Eden Prairie and its few notable exports. This year we're making it less centered around questions that only we in the Southwest Suburbs would know and more to a general canon.

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Post by klwalton33 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:26 pm

theattachment wrote:
klwalton33 wrote: I PROMISE you that this year's tourney will be much better written that last year's -- I handled the bulk of the question writing and I intentionally tried to make some more "knowledge bowl-ish" as I was hoping to get more KB-focused teams there. This year, questions will be written by many very talented writers (all of which frequent this forum I am sure) so I think it will be much better. And it's following NAQT format for the most part.
We made Kirk realize the errors of his ways by making a semi-KB question set. There will be no intentional hoses in this set, nor will there be tossups that can be spoken without taking a breath. If anything, the format's almost to the mACF side of pyramidal tossup-bonusdom.

Another nice thing is that we're trying to avoid geographic exclusivity with the questions. Last year the set was heavily Minnesotan, namely with the volume of questions relating to the city of Eden Prairie and its few notable exports. This year we're making it less centered around questions that only we in the Southwest Suburbs would know and more to a general canon.
Um... yeah I can't promise we're TOTALLY steering away from Minnesota based questions. Having said that, I will immediately stop writing any more questions that have an exclusive Minnesota feel to them. But be sure to brush up a little bit on the local teams for the few questions in there.

And in defense... there were only TWO questions last year that mentioned anything about someone from Eden Prairie, and one of them made his mark at Hopkins High School. So enough of that! :razz:

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Post by STPickrell » Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:18 pm

klwalton33 wrote:Um... yeah I can't promise we're TOTALLY steering away from Minnesota based questions. Having said that, I will immediately stop writing any more questions that have an exclusive Minnesota feel to them. But be sure to brush up a little bit on the local teams for the few questions in there.
Why would questions about Golden Gopher athletics, Minneapolis pro teams, and Minnesota High School League sports would be unacceptable?

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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:35 am

STPickrell wrote:and Minnesota High School League sports would be unacceptable?
That just got asked? If you really want to write about broadly askable things and attract people, then asking about Chaska's football team from the last season or other meta like that seems like a really bad idea. If you announced that half the sports questions in your set involved high school teams in Virginia then I would also be totally uninterested in playing your product because those are bad things to ask about.
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Post by First Chairman » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:41 am

I am sure Shawn's being a it sarcastic, but I also will admit that if we're talking about "local" questions, one would be surprised how little students know about their own state or state governments. To clarify, I have been used to seeing and do not consider it "in bounds" for national-caliber games unless those items are generally knowledgeable. If we're doing this for the sake of television producers who want to attract local people to watch, I'd expect a few questions on who the mayor of a major town is. (I defer to my North Carolina colleagues to talk about how they put in asking who the Secretary of State for North Carolina is in their PLQB events.)

But sure... we need more high school/junior-league hockey questions. :) On the other hand, I may have met the Governor of Virginia, but I'd be very hard-pressed to know that many other people of importance in the state. And heck, I am technically a state employee!
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Post by STPickrell » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:33 am

Deesy Does It wrote:
STPickrell wrote:and Minnesota High School League sports would be unacceptable?
That just got asked? If you really want to write about broadly askable things and attract people, then asking about Chaska's football team from the last season or other meta like that seems like a really bad idea. If you announced that half the sports questions in your set involved high school teams in Virginia then I would also be totally uninterested in playing your product because those are bad things to ask about.
I think we're derailing the MN thread here ... I won't get my feelings hurt if we split this off. :)

Single-state meta I define as anything that is easy to hard for teams in that state, but nearly impossible for teams outside that state.

The key to single-state meta is that the teams attending need to all be from that state. If I were asked to generate packets for a NJ tournament that involved teams from outside NJ, I wouldn't include ANY single-state meta.

For example, I've tried to remove the Virginia meta from my Missouri sets. I've also put in some Missouri meta after running it by my Missouri colleagues and have asked them to write some Missouri meta.

There's no pro sports teams in Virginia. The further south you go, the less the DC teams are cared about (at least from what I have heard.)

Virginia and Virginia Tech get covered fairly extensively by local media all around the state. Asking questions about them in a VHSL set would certainly not be out of place. So instead of Tim Tebow, I might ask about Chris Long.

Asking maybe 2-3 questions in a 48-match season about VHSL competition (e.g. who are the defending SB champs, who are the defending football champs, etc.) is not beyond the pale.

Even in music -- I can ask about Missy Elliott (Portsmouth, VA) instead of Jay-Z (somewhere not in VA).

In current events, we asked about Taylor Behl last year in VHSL sets -- as opposed to the runaway bride or any of the other missing maidens. That'd probably be a hard bonus part for a national set last year, but it got more coverage in Virginia.

Geography, I ask about cities and towns in Virginia. Asking a VHSL team to name cities of 30-40k in Virginia is reasonable. Asking said teams to name cities of 30k-40k in Missouri is not reasonable.

If it turns out that score sheet analysis reveals otherwise, I will pare down the amount of meta.

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Post by cvdwightw » Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:16 pm

I would hate for you to define "single-state meta" for California. Even in the less-broad "Southern California" circuit, we're drawing from two or three different CIF Sections, at least one of which has like 11+ divisions in some sports. Asking a San Diego Section team which team won the CIF-Southern Section Division III-A basketball championship last year is a stupid idea. Also while asking about Antonio Villaraigosa or Duncan Hunter or even maybe Mike Carona are probably not bad (since they're more-or-less nationally known to varying degrees, thus somewhat negating the "local edge"), asking for the head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is probably a bad idea.

I think single-state meta (or single-area meta, or whatever you want to call it) should be restricted to things that are notable nationally, but with clues that can give the question a more local flavor. Mentioning some famous person's connection to a local high school is one such way to do this; asking about that school's sports teams (unless they get occasionally shown on ESPN or something) is not a way to do this.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:29 pm

You can come up with all sorts of explanations for why teams "should" or even do know questions about high school sports in their state, but you really have to step back, look at the big picture, and say "holy hell, I'm asking questions about high school sports!" at some point to realize why it's a bad idea.

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Post by Tegan » Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:15 pm

When I ran the South Metro Conference, we would occasionally do this (like twice in three years). When I started doing the State Questions, this came up as a potential topic. This idea was nixed very quickly. In more recent years, I seem to think that I did read one question about Illinois high school sports once.

Can't frickin' wait until some bone head writes the bonus question:

Identify the first four schools to win the IHSA Bass Fishing Tournament.

That alone should convince you: bad idea!

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Post by theattachment » Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:00 am

Matt Weiner wrote:You can come up with all sorts of explanations for why teams "should" or even do know questions about high school sports in their state, but you really have to step back, look at the big picture, and say "holy hell, I'm asking questions about high school sports!" at some point to realize why it's a bad idea.
In an effort to rerail the thread we were talking about in the first place...

Last year's sets, in addition to being two-line for most of the way through and having the occasional garden variety hose, seemed to have a sports distribution that was 60% minor players for the Minnesota Twins. The first question of the set was on Tom Brady that was based on one of his Michigan teammates going to Eden Prairie. Granted, they avoided too many "Eden Prairie is the best at football" questions, but the point was less adding local meta to questions and more having the answer space avoid geographic exclusivity. Making questions be Minnesota Bowl (a problem that's come up in some recent NAQT sets, but we'll discuss that later) is what we're avoiding this go-around because regardless of who plays the packets, it's lame to have answers that you know only you can answer because Dino Ciccarelli used to live in your house.

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Post by klwalton33 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:42 am

theattachment wrote:Making questions be Minnesota Bowl (a problem that's come up in some recent NAQT sets, but we'll discuss that later) is what we're avoiding this go-around because regardless of who plays the packets, it's lame to have answers that you know only you can answer because Dino Ciccarelli used to live in your house.
REALLY?!? The very one he, um, wore less outside than he should have? Man, that's like, historic or something.

Look, I'll be the first to admit that last year's questions certainly could have been better and were written with no real standard to follow. But I also intentionally wrote a lot about MN sports, in part because I'm a gigantic MN sports rube, and figured that might be the case with many others from here as well. I also figured the questions would probably not be seen outside the state of MN. I would say if a tourney is held in a particular state and is made up of all (or nearly all) teams from that state, then meta questions aren't THAT bad... but of course I might be in an extreme minority.

Oh Deesy -- trust me, as a former player on the team, I can tell you with great certainty that there is NOTHING notable to write about Chaska's football team....

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Post by cdcarter » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:24 am

klwalton33 wrote: Look, I'll be the first to admit that last year's questions certainly could have been better and were written with no real standard to follow. But I also intentionally wrote a lot about MN sports, in part because I'm a gigantic MN sports rube, and figured that might be the case with many others from here as well. I also figured the questions would probably not be seen outside the state of MN. I would say if a tourney is held in a particular state and is made up of all (or nearly all) teams from that state, then meta questions aren't THAT bad... but of course I might be in an extreme minority.
I think part of the problem is few people know a ton about MN sports. You can ask about MSHSL teams, and somebody might get them, but unless your questions are about the Twins, the Vikings, the Wild, and maybe the Saints and Gophers, you don't have a lot to write about with the knowledge that the tossup won't go dead. You don't want to be TRASH and write about sitcoms that played for two episodes then got canceled.

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Post by klwalton33 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:42 am

I don't think any questions are EXCLUSIVELY about MNHSL sports. A couple last year were on MN athletes who came up through the HS ranks here but are actually doing their thing in the pros now. So, while the questions made mention of their high schools, the beefy part of the questions asked more about what they are doing now.

I'm pretty sure I cut that out this year - if it's about MN, then it's about the pro teams and Gophers. And even then, we've cut down on that too.

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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:24 pm

I think a serious point is being missed here - you don't have to write a set with sports dominated by any form of Minnesota sports to make it accessible and enjoyable. Unless the whole set is as Minnesota-themed as the sports seem to be, then that gives a really unfair bias to teams that know a lot more about Minnesota sports but don't know as much about all the non-Minnesota related topics. And in any circumstances I still can't find it acceptable to write questions about a professional's career in high school, I don't care what the context is.
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Post by theattachment » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:35 pm

Deesy Does It wrote:I think a serious point is being missed here - you don't have to write a set with sports dominated by any form of Minnesota sports to make it accessible and enjoyable. Unless the whole set is as Minnesota-themed as the sports seem to be, then that gives a really unfair bias to teams that know a lot more about Minnesota sports but don't know as much about all the non-Minnesota related topics. And in any circumstances I still can't find it acceptable to write questions about a professional's career in high school, I don't care what the context is.
Exactly. The reason we're avoiding sports questions relatable only to Minnesotans is because we don't need to to make it accessible. We can write plenty of good Tom Brady lead-ins that don't involve former members of the MSHSL's upper eschelon. We can write plenty of biography questions about all-star caliber players instead of ones that play for our local team. There's material that is answer space level out there that need not be within a local bias.

I'll only disagree with Charlie in saying that there are contexts that make sense to mention their high school. If it's used as a common link in a bonus because three really famous people graduated together, it works. Also, if it's used to differentiate players who had no college career it's definitely reasonable to mention it.

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