Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

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Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theMoMA » Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:11 am

All mirrors have concluded. Please feel free to post answers in the ongoing discussion.
Last edited by theMoMA on Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:25 am

Very well written questions from the universities and great moderating staff at Vandy. There were a few answers that I thought were a little obscure for high school level, and I would've preferred the addition of powers and negs, but those are my only complaints.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by aestheteboy » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:46 am

I heard a rumor that the set was test played on an IRC channel, which hs players access frequently. I hope it isn't true . . .
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:16 am

aestheteboy wrote:I heard a rumor that the set was test played on an IRC channel, which hs players access frequently. I hope it isn't true . . .
When packets are tested "in" #quizbowl, it's more accurate to say that the testing is organized in there and then held in a separate channel, where entry into the test channel is carefully supervised. No one copies & pastes questions into the channel when it's possible people playing those questions will see them.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by Mike Bentley » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:15 pm

If anyone has complaints about specific questions, please let me know at mike000@umd.edu so we can consider changing them for the Maryland mirror.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theattachment » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:09 pm

Notes on the tournament @ MN:

1. Dear God Dorman is really really good. We haven't seen anyone play within the same planet of them all year, and we picked a really bad time to have one of the worst streaks I've experienced on that team. If they don't get it within five words (which I counted seven in the three matches I saw) they'll beat you by a split second on every single race. EVERY SINGLE ONE. If we weren't so exhausted it would have been more of a pleasure to get slaughtered by them.

2. DCC is also a lot better than I ever guessed. In playing them, we knew that we were ahead, but we didn't realize how close it was until halftime (up by 15) and after the match (feeling like we ran a marathon). They make you grind out wins because they keep within a question that you know they can get.

3. Admittedly we had a bad day. On a usual one where we've at least seen each other once in a week, let alone practiced, we could probably have gotten a lot closer against them and would have run up more scores. That said, we didn't and had a bad day anyway.

4. Awesome set.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by swwFCqb » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:34 pm

The set seemed pretty good for the high school level as a whole. There were a couple questions where you could tell that its writer stayed up till 5am writing it, but you'll have those in every set. The biggest problem I had with the set was differing bonus difficulty, but overall it didin't detract that much from the set.

As a reader of this set, I would have definately liked to have seen the set edited better for grammar. There are an abundance of grammatical mistakes, most of which probably could have been avoided with a play-testing of the set. In one round in particular (Round 8), every tossup had the words "for ten points each" instead of just "for ten points." I don't know how that passes through the editing process, but you should definately fix that, because even though I knew every question had that mistake, I still tripped over it several times. I don't know if these mistakes were related to the fact that the questions were sent to us at 8:30 the morning of the tournament, but if it was, then might I suggest trying to get the questions produced earlier so either you or the tournament host has a chance to play-test them or read them through for errors. Please don't take this the wrong way, as I'm trying to be as constructive in my criticism as possible, but if you guys promise sets then you should have them ready and sent out days in advance. I'm not bashing any certain someone or any certain team, as I don't even know whose sets were sent to us that morning, but it might have helped had they been finished a while back.

Again, please don't take these comments the wrong way. All parties involved produced a fine set, and our tournament at Cleveland was quite a success, as it sounds like it was at all other locations using it.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theMoMA » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:31 pm

Here's the thing about having packets ready early. In the last four weeks, I have written or edited somewhere around 800 questions. I produced nearly two packets for both the PACE Spring Qualifier and the Minnesota/Maryland set, and about the same for PACE NSC. In the middle, I wrote nearly two packets worth, and edited much of the rest of, a college novice set. I even had my packet for this tournament entirely written weeks in advance, before problems with our fourth PACE Spring packet resulted in my using nearly all of it for that. My teammates Rob and Gautam were similarly swamped with producing quality packets for the quizbowl community.

It's fine and dandy to proclaim that packet should be written earlier. And I'll agree, they really should. However, those proclaiming this are often inexperienced with the process of producing a set, so let me just make it very clear...it takes a lot of hard work to produce a quality tournament set with minimal repeats and few if any clunker questions, while preserving appropriate and uniform difficulty. I'm not arguing that we shouldn't make a better attempt to be prompt with our questions in the future, but I want to make it very clear that delivering a tournament midweek rarely happens for a reason: It's really hard to do.

I sincerely apologize to you and Brian, and Vanderbilt, about our tardiness on completing our share of the packets. But I can't help but feel that it is less than tragic that you had to stumble over a couple of grammatical errors, or find-and-replace mishaps, in what was undoubtedly one of the best high school sets produced this year. Having read the set personally, I chanced upon perhaps two or three egregious typographical or grammatical errors that were truly confounding, and Mike Bentley and I agreed that this was actually one of the better sets in terms of proofreading that we've seen, once we perused the packets again. The reality of the situation is that because of the constant revisions that tossups and bonuses go through, often at the hands of different editors, there are going to be omitted or repeated words, slight misspellings, and the like. I even made an attempt to go through all of the packets when I was powermarking them and fix errors that I found, but there are still always going to be slip-ups.

That being said, I'm curious to hear what the issues of bonus difficulty were...do you mean from packet to packet, or from category to category, or what?
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by swwFCqb » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:54 pm

theMoMA wrote:Here's the thing about having packets ready early. In the last four weeks, I have written or edited somewhere around 800 questions. I produced nearly two packets for both the PACE Spring Qualifier and the Minnesota/Maryland set, and about the same for PACE NSC. In the middle, I wrote nearly two packets worth, and edited much of the rest of, a college novice set. I even had my packet for this tournament entirely written weeks in advance, before problems with our fourth PACE Spring packet resulted in my using nearly all of it for that. My teammates Rob and Gautam were similarly swamped with producing quality packets for the quizbowl community.

It's fine and dandy to proclaim that packet should be written earlier. And I'll agree, they really should. However, those proclaiming this are often inexperienced with the process of producing a set, so let me just make it very clear...it takes a lot of hard work to produce a quality tournament set with minimal repeats and few if any clunker questions, while preserving appropriate and uniform difficulty. I'm not arguing that we shouldn't make a better attempt to be prompt with our questions in the future, but I want to make it very clear that delivering a tournament midweek rarely happens for a reason: It's really hard to do.

I sincerely apologize to you and Brian, and Vanderbilt, about our tardiness on completing our share of the packets. But I can't help but feel that it is less than tragic that you had to stumble over a couple of grammatical errors, or find-and-replace mishaps, in what was undoubtedly one of the best high school sets produced this year. Having read the set personally, I chanced upon perhaps two or three egregious typographical or grammatical errors that were truly confounding, and Mike Bentley and I agreed that this was actually one of the better sets in terms of proofreading that we've seen, once we perused the packets again. The reality of the situation is that because of the constant revisions that tossups and bonuses go through, often at the hands of different editors, there are going to be omitted or repeated words, slight misspellings, and the like. I even made an attempt to go through all of the packets when I was powermarking them and fix errors that I found, but there are still always going to be slip-ups.

That being said, I'm curious to hear what the issues of bonus difficulty were...do you mean from packet to packet, or from category to category, or what?
Again, as I said before, I was not trying to take shots at you or anyone else. Although I have never written a packet of my own, I realize that it must been painstaking long to go through 12 packets making sure the information is correct, grammatical errors are taken out, etc. True, I have never experienced what that is like, and I'm sure that if I had I wouldn't have been so critical. With that said, however, I didn't make that previous post because I was outraged that the packets had errors in them and I wanted to bitch and moan about it on the forum....rather I did it because you guys (Mike Bentley in particular) asked for feedback. And that was my feedback. Again, as I said before, it did not detract from the tournament experience from either a player's or reader's standpoint. I agree it was overall a very good set, and for the most part the grammatical errors didn't hinder my ability to read (apart from a second or so pause to figure out what to say, which really isn't a huge deal). That was one of the things, though, that I could pick out from the tournament that I believed could have used a little bit more work. Frankly, if someone said that my biggest problems were a few grammatical errors in my questions, and not the questions themselves, then I would be very happy that was the only issue. Obviously there are going to be grammatical errors in the sets, and I realize that; however, I was just taken aback at how some of them (e.g. the "for ten points each" in each round 8 tossup) could have been overlooked when it was quite obviously an error.

Again, this was just my feedback. I wasn't taking shots, or calling anyone out; I was just doing what you guys asked for.

As for the bonuses, the issue that I had was that some of them seemed to be lacking easy-middle-hard clues. There were some that seemed to have two easy parts and a hard part, or two easy parts and a crazy hard part, and there was one in Round 12 (bonus 16) that, IMO, contained three easy parts. Overall, there wasn't much change in difficulty from packet to packet, or even bonus to bonus (which is a lot harder for me to gauge since I am really shitty in certain categories), it was just that the issues seemed to be contained within each individual bonus. Again, please don't crucify me for this...these are just my opinions and I'm just trying to give some feedback so that maybe it can be a little bit better.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:23 pm

theMoMA wrote:Here's the thing about having packets ready early. In the last four weeks, I have written or edited somewhere around 800 questions. I produced nearly two packets for both the PACE Spring Qualifier and the Minnesota/Maryland set, and about the same for PACE NSC. In the middle, I wrote nearly two packets worth, and edited much of the rest of, a college novice set. I even had my packet for this tournament entirely written weeks in advance, before problems with our fourth PACE Spring packet resulted in my using nearly all of it for that. My teammates Rob and Gautam were similarly swamped with producing quality packets for the quizbowl community.

It's fine and dandy to proclaim that packet should be written earlier. And I'll agree, they really should. However, those proclaiming this are often inexperienced with the process of producing a set, so let me just make it very clear...it takes a lot of hard work to produce a quality tournament set with minimal repeats and few if any clunker questions, while preserving appropriate and uniform difficulty. I'm not arguing that we shouldn't make a better attempt to be prompt with our questions in the future, but I want to make it very clear that delivering a tournament midweek rarely happens for a reason: It's really hard to do.

I sincerely apologize to you and Brian, and Vanderbilt, about our tardiness on completing our share of the packets. But I can't help but feel that it is less than tragic that you had to stumble over a couple of grammatical errors, or find-and-replace mishaps, in what was undoubtedly one of the best high school sets produced this year. Having read the set personally, I chanced upon perhaps two or three egregious typographical or grammatical errors that were truly confounding, and Mike Bentley and I agreed that this was actually one of the better sets in terms of proofreading that we've seen, once we perused the packets again. The reality of the situation is that because of the constant revisions that tossups and bonuses go through, often at the hands of different editors, there are going to be omitted or repeated words, slight misspellings, and the like. I even made an attempt to go through all of the packets when I was powermarking them and fix errors that I found, but there are still always going to be slip-ups.

That being said, I'm curious to hear what the issues of bonus difficulty were...do you mean from packet to packet, or from category to category, or what?
This was a bit uncalled for..
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theMoMA » Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:16 am

AndyShootsAndyScores wrote:This was a bit uncalled for..
Look, dude, it's incredibly frustrating to put hundreds of hours into writing good sets, then hear constant complaints about things that are quite simply minor problems (and in this case, a noticeably smaller-than-average number of minor problems), like a find-and-replace error that adds an accidental "each" to the "For 10 points," or a few garbled sentences, repeated words, etc. In fact, I'd much rather hear criticism like "god, tossup 4 in packet 8 really blew, you should make it more pyramidal" instead of harping on minor things like typos (especially in a set that doesn't have many of them!).

Also, my post isn't addressed to just Steven, but to a large segment (that probably doesn't include Steven) who seem to think that good packets simply fall from the sky, and that the only things that prevent us from sending packets perfectly on time and without any grammatical errors or typos is shear laziness.

And I am quite open to hearing criticisms of this set; I'm interested to hear what the purported issues with bonus variability were, for example. But it's frustrating when these important issues are only briefly elucidated (which I understand has a lot to do with the prohibition about talking about answers), and the majority of the discussion is dedicated to nearly unavoidable inconveniences that really aren't that big of a problem, anyway.

I don't quite understand why you're trying to be a big internet honcho by calling me out on "uncalled for" discussion. I think Steven has a bit of a misconception about how easy it is to "get the questions produced earlier so either you or the tournament host has a chance to play-test them or read them through for errors." And I'm trying to help him understand why that doesn't happen. So my point here isn't to call out Steven or anything; on the contrary, I hope that my language and tone have made it perfectly clear that I'd like to keep this discussion on a high plane of civility. I just hope that we can focus on the real issues with the questions, and not harp on the minor problems that this thread has thusfar been discussing.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:19 am

The following people may moderate this forum:

The moderators

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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by evilmonkey » Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:26 am

theMoMA wrote:
AndyShootsAndyScores wrote:This was a bit uncalled for..
Look, dude, it's incredibly frustrating to put hundreds of hours into writing good sets, then hear constant complaints about things that are quite simply minor problems (and in this case, a noticeably smaller-than-average number of minor problems), like a find-and-replace error that adds an accidental "each" to the "For 10 points," or a few garbled sentences, repeated words, etc. In fact, I'd much rather hear criticism like "god, tossup 4 in packet 8 really blew, you should make it more pyramidal" instead of harping on minor things like typos (especially in a set that doesn't have many of them!).
Well, since not all mirrors are completed, isn't that about the extent of comments that can be posted in the thread at the moment?
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:28 am

You can certainly speak in general teams, such as "I think your science questions were lacking a certain amount of science" or even the aforementioned "TU x in round y was terrible."
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by aestheteboy » Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:24 pm

Edited to remove the (possible) mention of an answer. . . was there really even any answer revealed in this post?
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:25 pm

Well thanks asshole, now I can't go to K-state next week.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by Mike Bentley » Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:27 pm

Hey guys there is a mirror still going on so don't mention specifics.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by millionwaves » Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:01 pm

Deesy Does It wrote:Well thanks asshole, now I can't go to K-state next week.
Well, he only mentioned one question. Would it be possible to replace that specific question with a different one, since it's now unblind to the world?
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by aestheteboy » Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:05 pm

What? Both were examples that I came up with.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:12 am

aestheteboy wrote:Edited to remove the (possible) mention of an answer. . . was there really even any answer revealed in this post?
Yeah from what I've heard there was no actual tournament answer mentioned in this post. Daichi ain't stupid, yo.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:33 am

Ukonvasara wrote:
aestheteboy wrote:Edited to remove the (possible) mention of an answer. . . was there really even any answer revealed in this post?
Yeah from what I've heard there was no actual tournament answer mentioned in this post. Daichi ain't stupid, yo.
There was a tournament answer in his examples, actually.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by quizbowl » Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:51 pm

He made up something, and said he exaggerated how easy they were. And if you had to look up the answer to the question he "gave away" then you are a pathetic quizbowl player.

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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:10 pm

quizbowl wrote:He made up something, and said he exaggerated how easy they were. And if you had to look up the answer to the question he "gave away" then you are a pathetic quizbowl player.
Whether he made it up or not, he discussed a question that has not been cleared. He gave an answer away to a question that some have not played on yet.

Don't insult others when you have no idea what you're talking about.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by quizbowl » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:25 pm

aestheteboy wrote:What? Both were examples that I came up with.
aestheteboy wrote:Edited to remove the (possible) mention of an answer. . . was there really even any answer revealed in this post?
We don't know whether or not that was an actual bonus answer. If it was then I stand corrected. But it seemed to me that he was making an example of how easy some of the questions were. And that was not a personal attack on you, I'm sorry if it seemed that it was.

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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:51 pm

quizbowl wrote:
aestheteboy wrote:What? Both were examples that I came up with.
aestheteboy wrote:Edited to remove the (possible) mention of an answer. . . was there really even any answer revealed in this post?
We don't know whether or not that was an actual bonus answer. If it was then I stand corrected. But it seemed to me that he was making an example of how easy some of the questions were. And that was not a personal attack on you, I'm sorry if it seemed that it was.
I know he thought they were examples, but as improbable as it is, one of them was the subject of a tossup and he gave the answer to it. I also read his post before it was edited, so I actually do know this. Luckily, I've already played on these questions.

No offense taken. To be honest, I didn't even quite understand who you were attacking, so it's all good.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by aestheteboy » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:56 pm

Wow, I suppose it's ultimatley my fault, but this silliness makes me not want to try to give constructive criticisms again. :neutral:

Yes, I probably could have come up with better and safer examples had I thought a little more. But, no, I didn't "discuss" any question from the tournament; I think I made it clear that I came up with my own examples. The fact is, whatever example I may come up with, it is going to be a potential answer to "a question some have not played yet" (unless I resort to meaninglessness like "Chris Ray is easy even at the HS level - everyone knows him" and "Tianhui Shen is ACF Nats difficulty - what were you thinking?"). Leaving it uncertain as to whether the answer came up in the tournament gives out less information (in fact no information at all) than systematically ruling out any answer that came up in the tournament, especially because HS answer space is limited to begin with. In any case, that wouldn't have been impossible anyway because I had only heard 9 packets. So, I feel like you did more damage than good by making it obvious that my "examples," indeed were used in the tournament.
EDIT: I started writing this before the two previous posts, so I'll just post it anyway.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theMoMA » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:35 pm

It would be nice if you would reiterate your whited-out point with some actually non-revealing examples, since then we could discuss the issue.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by Mike Bentley » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:01 am

If I recall correctly, I believe his point was that the easy parts of bonuses fluctuated a bit too much. There were some bonuses where the easy part was stuff like "Who wrote Grapes of Wrath?", essentially giving every team 10 points, while other bonuses didn't necessarily have these parts.

I agree that the bonus difficulty was not as great as it could have been, but I think it was pretty good overall. Achieving perfect bonus consistency is essentially an impossible task, as you may notice from it being a complaint at pretty much every tournament ever. There were certainly some things that stood out in my mind as being harder than the rest, but I didn't think that there was anything really egregious. I tried to change all such offenders in the week I had to edit this tournament, but, again, I didn't catch everything.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theMoMA » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:17 am

Yeah, I thought that that was the argument.

Here's what I claim. There is no minimum threshold for giveaway difficulty in high school quizbowl. The ten-point part of the bonus should be engineered so that nearly 100% of teams can answer it correctly. This means that these parts will range from "Name this cherry-tree-chopping first president" to "Name this fascist poet of some Cantos." One of those is obviously something that a first grader could answer, and one is something that is much harder, but is still within the threshold of answerability that it is appropriate.

There are plenty of college tournaments where the difficulty is such that the most obvious clues are sometimes omitted as being too insultingly easy, but there is no way that high school quizbowl is an appropriate arena for making the easy parts of bonuses harder.

If there were issues with some "easy parts" being too hard, that's one thing that we can work on fixing. But there's no such thing as an easy part in high school quizbowl being too easy.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by DumbJaques » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:33 am

If there were issues with some "easy parts" being too hard, that's one thing that we can work on fixing. But there's no such thing as an easy part in high school quizbowl being too easy
Well, of course there is. Points aren't free, you need to have some kind of basic understanding, you don't get ten points just for being able to produce some kind of grunt. As Andrew correctly says, sometimes that basic understanding really is just "this guy was president during the civil war." In some areas, that basic understanding is just always going to be a bit different and it becomes impractical and unnecessary to really reach for uniform easy parts. But it's probably not the greatest idea to make some very good points (that this is a really, really minor thing that, when you really get down to it, doesn't really have an impact on any games) by tossing out not-so-great absolutes like "no easy part can ever be too easy."

Realistically there are tons of issues to refine with sets before you get to ones that don't affect the outcomes of games in any significant way. If we're at the point where this is one of the biggest problems with the set, that's not too bad a place to be it. Perhaps the problem may lie, as Andrew said, with some easy parts being a bit too hard. But I similarly don't buy that there's a problem with one easy part being "who wrote the grapes of wrath" and another being "who wrote the cantos." Which games are being decided by a tenned bonus on Steinbeck that would have been zeroed if the book given was Tortilla Flat or something?
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theMoMA » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:55 am

I mean, the implication is that you have a cohesive subject that a bonus will be based on. So maybe there is a lower threshold (which I don't think needs to be elucidated, because it's obvious...if something is worth writing a bonus on or not) and things like "grunt" or "spell Washington" clearly fail to meet that threshold.

Anyway, I think that once you've identified something that fits the constraints and requirements of quizbowl askability, there is basically no lower limit of difficulty at the high school level.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by aestheteboy » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:01 pm

theMoMA wrote:Here's what I claim. There is no minimum threshold for giveaway difficulty in high school quizbowl. The ten-point part of the bonus should be engineered so that nearly 100% of teams can answer it correctly.
What? I don't understand where you are coming from about this. Aren't the questions (tossups and bonuses) structured to distinguish between the team with more knowledge and the team with less knowledge? What's the point of having "nearly 100%" 10s - wouldn't it be essentially the same thing as having two bonus parts?
And sure, inconsistent difficulty is a problem. I'm not saying the few problems here and there were all that conspicuous; I'm not saying it's easy to have catch and fix those problem; I'm not saying bonus consistency is as important as tossup pyramidality. But let's not look at "Name this cherry-tree-chopping first president" and "Name this fascist poet of some Cantos" and say that's not a problem. There are 10 point games in quizbowl, and the lower-end teams do inevitably get affected by the inconsistency of the easy-part.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theMoMA » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:27 pm

The point of having nearly 100% conversion of at least one part is to reward teams for getting tossups, dude.

There is absolutely no problem with the difference in easiness between Washington and Pound as easy answers once you've established that both are appropriate subjects for a high school level bonus. If the subject (like say, Ben Okri) is too hard to be the subject of a bonus, then it shouldn't be the easy part.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by aestheteboy » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:30 pm

theMoMA wrote:The point of having nearly 100% conversion of at least one part is to reward teams for getting tossups, dude.

There is absolutely no problem with the difference in easiness between Washington and Pound as easy answers once you've established that both are appropriate subjects for a high school level bonus. If the subject (like say, Ben Okri) is too hard to be the subject of a bonus, then it shouldn't be the easy part.
Did you just come up with some arbitrary standards (near 100% conversion rate for easy part/difficulty inconsistency is not undesirable) for hs quizbowl, or are those accepted in the college circuit as well?

If it's the former, well, from now on, please feel free to assume that we won't throw a tantrum whenever we 0 a bonus. Please also feel free to make powers worth 25 points and tossups worth 20 points, with bonuses two-parts instead of three, if for some reason you feel that getting tossups should be rewarded with 10 points plus chance at 20 instead of just chance at 30. Also, please feel free to assume that we want luck/chance to play as small a role in the outcome as possible; we don't want to see a team beat another equally good (bad) team just because it got the free 10 bonus instead of no free 10 bonus.

If it's the latter, I'll talk your word for it, but I have to say I'm really really disillusioned by college quizbowl. I guess it's all just an act when college players promote principles like "appropriate difficulty for the audience" and "reward knowledge."
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:36 pm

aestheteboy wrote:
theMoMA wrote:The point of having nearly 100% conversion of at least one part is to reward teams for getting tossups, dude.

There is absolutely no problem with the difference in easiness between Washington and Pound as easy answers once you've established that both are appropriate subjects for a high school level bonus. If the subject (like say, Ben Okri) is too hard to be the subject of a bonus, then it shouldn't be the easy part.
Did you just come up with some arbitrary standards (near 100% conversion rate for easy part/difficulty inconsistency is not undesirable) for hs quizbowl, or are those accepted in the college circuit as well?

If it's the former, well, from now on, please feel free to assume that we won't throw a tantrum whenever we 0 a bonus. Please also feel free to make powers worth 25 points and tossups worth 20 points, with bonuses two-parts instead of three, if for some reason you feel that getting tossups should be rewarded with 10 points plus chance at 20 instead of just chance at 30. Also, please feel free to assume that we want luck/chance to play as small a role in the outcome as possible; we don't want to see a team beat another equally good (bad) team just because it got the free 10 bonus instead of no free 10 bonus.

If it's the latter, I'll talk your word for it, but I have to say I'm really really disillusioned by college quizbowl. I guess it's all just an act when college players promote principles like "appropriate difficulty for the audience" and "reward knowledge."
There is always the offchance that a team will make a stupid mistake and miss the so-called "free" part of the bonus. From my personal experience, this has happened several times.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theMoMA » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:41 am

aestheteboy wrote:
theMoMA wrote:The point of having nearly 100% conversion of at least one part is to reward teams for getting tossups, dude.

There is absolutely no problem with the difference in easiness between Washington and Pound as easy answers once you've established that both are appropriate subjects for a high school level bonus. If the subject (like say, Ben Okri) is too hard to be the subject of a bonus, then it shouldn't be the easy part.
Did you just come up with some arbitrary standards (near 100% conversion rate for easy part/difficulty inconsistency is not undesirable) for hs quizbowl, or are those accepted in the college circuit as well?

If it's the former, well, from now on, please feel free to assume that we won't throw a tantrum whenever we 0 a bonus. Please also feel free to make powers worth 25 points and tossups worth 20 points, with bonuses two-parts instead of three, if for some reason you feel that getting tossups should be rewarded with 10 points plus chance at 20 instead of just chance at 30. Also, please feel free to assume that we want luck/chance to play as small a role in the outcome as possible; we don't want to see a team beat another equally good (bad) team just because it got the free 10 bonus instead of no free 10 bonus.

If it's the latter, I'll talk your word for it, but I have to say I'm really really disillusioned by college quizbowl. I guess it's all just an act when college players promote principles like "appropriate difficulty for the audience" and "reward knowledge."
Look, I have no idea where you're getting off with this tirade. It's a common goal for pretty much every "regular-difficulty" tournament (in college too) to keep bonus conversion over 10 for almost all of the teams, while allowing good teams to flirt with or break 20 (and sometimes even 25, for high school). The generally accepted number for the conversion of the easy part in regular college tournaments is 90%. The reason for this is that people like getting points, and bonuses are designed at least partially as a reward to teams for getting the tossups correct. If you've got a problem with this, you're going to have a problem with quizbowl at all levels.

It's almost impossible to keep the easy parts consistent with things that people outside quizbowl know. My argument is that if 10 of 10 teams know that Pound is a fascist who wrote the Cantos, and 10 of 10 teams know that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree and was the first president, well, those two things are equal in difficulty even if one seems much easier. If 8 of 10 know Pound, well, that's not ideal, but it's still acceptable because we can only do so much.

Perfect uniformity is impossible to achieve, and even the most ideally balanced bonuses will still have easy parts that vary from somewhere in the 80s to 100%. That's just how it works. But just because we can't get it right all the time, does not mean that we should (or can) eliminate all 100% conversion parts.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by aestheteboy » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:04 pm

theMoMA wrote: Look, I have no idea where you're getting off with this tirade.

If you felt that I was a little hostile, you would be correct and shouldn't be surprised. I thought your earlier response was just a lazy excuse to dodge what I intended to be a sincere, constructive criticism. In any case, your last response seemed a lot more reasonable and meaningful, and I thank you for it.
theMoMA wrote: The generally accepted number for the conversion of the easy part in regular college tournaments is 90%. The reason for this is that people like getting points, and bonuses are designed at least partially as a reward to teams for getting the tossups correct. If you've got a problem with this, you're going to have a problem with quizbowl at all levels.

Personally, I think this is a ridiculously high number, and I suppose I will be having a problem with quizbowl at all levels, but I won't lay an arguement against the "accepted" view of the college circuit. I will say, however, that for whatever reason the most experienced writers have failed to achieve this goal, pretty miserably too. If 90% of the teams are getting the easy part, then at least 90% of the teams should have 10 ppb (and it's assuming that they don't get the middle and hard part at all!!); this simply isn't happening (Look at ACF regionals). Moreover, if 50% should be getting the middle part and 10% should be getting the hard part (I chose the number somewhat arbitrarily, but any thing lower seems inconsistent with the 90% figure), an average team should be getting 15ppb; this isn't happening at all either.

As for the bonus inconsistency, (as I said earlier) I agree with you, it's impossible to fix it entirely, and it's not as bad as some other problems. I just had a problem with your earlier post because you implied that bonus inconsistency doesn't matter at all, rather than that it was relative minor.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theMoMA » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:46 pm

So how about instead of hostilely accusing people of being unprincipled and lazy, you probe around and make sure you're not missing something first?

Also, you're not really understanding how bonuses are written at the college level. Tournaments are written for a certain target audience. For tournaments where that target audience is novice teams, like ACF Fall, MUT, or EFT, there are rarely teams in the field that are at a skill level below the target skill level. So if you look at the ACF Fall stats, you'll find that almost all teams break 10 PPB, the average is close to 15, and the top teams are over 20.

For regular difficulty tournaments, the target audience is teams who have a little more experience than the novice target audience. This means that some teams who aren't at that skill level will play, and probably average under 10 PPB. We all strongly encourage these teams to play, so that they can get experience on the next level of questions, even if they're not quite at the level of skill that the tournament was written for. If you focus on teams in the target audience, you'll find that college editors do a pretty good job making sure that most of them break 10 PPB, the average is around 15, and the top teams are flirting with or cracking 20.

All in all, you should probably do a little bit more fact-finding before you start claiming that people who write your tournaments are lazy and unprincipled, or that experienced college writers are failing miserably. You're not the first person who's thought about bonus consistency, and college editors really do spend a lot of time optimizing the bonuses in their sets, no matter if it's ACF Nationals or a high school tournament.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:23 pm

Hey, calm down.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by Mike Bentley » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:53 pm

Well maybe this discussion can be improved now that Kansas State has canceled their mirror. You can now talk about the specific questions.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by aestheteboy » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:35 pm

I'm pretty meticulous about my language; I'm sorry you were so offended that I called your post lazy, but I stand by what I said. And yeah, I do "probe around" looking for data and asking for opinions.
theMoMA wrote:Also, you're not really understanding how bonuses are written at the college level.
Sure, I don't. That's why I asked you what the procedure/practices are at college level. I based my response pretty much based on what you said.
theMoMA wrote:A common goal for pretty much every "regular-difficulty" tournament (in college too) to keep bonus conversion over 10 for almost all of the teams . . . The generally accepted number for the conversion of the easy part in regular college tournaments is 90%.
How do you expect me to know that this rule applies only conditionally to, well, "regular-difficulty" tournament that is ACF Regionals?

In any case, I think the point you just made supports what I was trying to suggest: all tournaments have a target difficulty, rather than some set formula about the percentage of conversion; to expect that, even with the weakest teams in picture, an easy part would be converted at 90% naturally makes the easy part too easy for the "target difficulty."
Now, I understand that you guys, the writers, decide the "target difficulty." Since it's April, and since it's one of the few opportunities where we get to play a set written by competent, experienced college writers, I naturally expected that this "target difficulty" would be an appropriate, pre-nationals level. But I'm not even basing my criticisms on that expectation. Given that this tournament was not advertised as JV or novice, I just thought that some of the easy parts were too easy for any regular-season hs tournament. (I will point them out once I get the set, if you would like me to).
As I said earlier, this was a wonderful set. I really appreciate your and your fellow writers' effort. That's not going to stop me from pointing out some problems if I see them. I believe everything I said is perfectly valid and will defend them further if it seems logical and necessary to do so. That's all.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:52 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Well maybe this discussion can be improved now that Kansas State has canceled their mirror. You can now talk about the specific questions.
Australian authors was the example mentioned that was also a tossup.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theattachment » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:26 am

So speaking of criticizing individual questions...

1. There were very few clues that stuck out to me as misplaced, but Minnesota 2 (Rob's packet) tossup 3 made me feel as though my knowledge of noted obscure pop-punkers Millencolin, a band that hasn't done anything in the past four years (save for Nikola Sarcevic's really bad solo albums) was worth less than a mildly successful and much more famous band in Hellacopters, whom I'm sad to say are breaking up. It's still an awesome question with an awesome format (the "Hey, this writer's from this country" sort of question pops up a lot but I had yet to see it applied to trash) that if I wasn't as tired I would have done better on, but I'd say it was the only one that stuck out to me.

2. During our match against DCC, one of their players negged on the Go Down Moses question in Minnesota 1 with "The Bear," then protested because he said it was then talking about that story. In hindsight, he was more wrong than I had thought. Not only was the clue he buzzed on notably not from "The Bear," but the first words denote with decent enough certainty that it's looking for Moses over stuff from Moses. That said, the HS game doesn't have a prevalence of questions that have different answers if you're not listening. Either we need to have more of them so people listen to questions (my hope) or we need to eliminate them.

3. I know that it's the way it's often done, but the lit bonus form of "semi-major work leadin, name the work. This dude wrote this work. This is a minor work/character of this dude," came up way too often to the point of being really annoying. There's many ways to write lit bonuses, including "Name these works of [insert author here]," "Name these authors or works from this country," or common links of archetypes of characters. Unfortunately, of the 48 straight literature bonuses I counted (not including ones that are fine arts with a little bit of lit/philosopher works, both of which had high occurences of the "work, dude wrote work, other work/other character" form) 28 had that form. 58% of the bonuses in the literature distribution had that form. The most egregious was the first packet's Madame Bovary bonus that featured, "Name this author of Madame Bovary," as the second part. I understand that it's the best way to crank out a lit tossup really quickly (I've done it myself), but when almost three out of five have the exact same form it gets really old really fast. In the future, writers should try to use different forms and only have that style pop up once out of four bonuses.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theMoMA » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:59 am

Let me make it clear that I'm not attempting to dissuade you from posting about things that you thought came up short in this set. I do think you should reconsider the strategy of misrepresenting others' opinions and being unnecessarily combative, because it detracts from the kind of dialog that helps us write better sets. It's kind of absurd to call out someone's opinion as "lazy" without even attempting to understand it, and I really don't see any other way to describe what you're doing. I'm not so much offended as I am annoyed that you've brought so much animosity to the table for reasons I can't understand.

I certainly didn't expect you to assume I was wrong about how college bonuses are written, and look for examples proving that end, which is why I didn't initially provide a lengthy explication of why bonuses are the way they are in college tournaments. I have absolutely no problem explaining this now that you've inquired, but again, I wish you'd stop assuming that I'm just trying to pull the wool over your head somehow.

As for bonuses and target difficulty, if you find anything in my packet (which is labeled "Round 7 - Minnesota 1"), feel free to criticize; I sight-edited some of the other packets, but this is the only one I can speak for personally. From talking to collaborators, I would assume that most of us wrote with the goal of having most teams convert one part per bonus at minimum, while trying to keep the easy part somewhere between 80 and 100% conversion.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by Gautam » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:59 pm

theattachment wrote:So speaking of criticizing individual questions...

3. I know that it's the way it's often done, but the lit bonus form of "semi-major work leadin, name the work. This dude wrote this work. This is a minor work/character of this dude," came up way too often to the point of being really annoying. There's many ways to write lit bonuses, including "Name these works of [insert author here]," "Name these authors or works from this country," or common links of archetypes of characters. Unfortunately, of the 48 straight literature bonuses I counted (not including ones that are fine arts with a little bit of lit/philosopher works, both of which had high occurences of the "work, dude wrote work, other work/other character" form) 28 had that form. 58% of the bonuses in the literature distribution had that form. The most egregious was the first packet's Madame Bovary bonus that featured, "Name this author of Madame Bovary," as the second part. I understand that it's the best way to crank out a lit tossup really quickly (I've done it myself), but when almost three out of five have the exact same form it gets really old really fast. In the future, writers should try to use different forms and only have that style pop up once out of four bonuses.
Uhh, this method is one of the best ways to discourage rampant guessing on the 2nd and third parts which usually happens if the bonuses always go in easy-medium-hard order. It seems to me to be the fairest way of writing a bonus with easy, medium, and hard parts which reward appropriate knowledge.

Taking the Madame bovary example, try writing it like this:
Identify the following about a French author and his works, FTPE:
A. Blah blah Blah wrote about Madame Bovary.
Answer: Gustave Flaubert
B. ....
And now you'll notice that there aren't really any medium difficulty parts left that appropriate for a regular difficult HS tournament. I mean, sure you can write a bonus on Flaubert, Salammbo, and Sentimental Education, but I really doubt that the 2nd and 3rd part are going to be converted by more than 5% of the teams.

Also, there are very few common link bonuses writeable where the answers are NOT the first three things you can think of that fit the description, unless, of course, you want to be badgered by left turn bonuses. I certainly don't want to write that kind of stuff. When we're mass producing questions (which can also get really old really fast) and when time is of essence, aesthetics tend to be less important than writing pyramidal questions of appropriate difficulty. Bonuses should have more than one clue and should be interesting, but we let things slip sometimes. I'm pretty sure that most of the bonuses did indeed feature atleast two (hopefully interesting) clues, but we'll try to be better about it in the future.

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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by The Atom Strikes! » Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:09 pm

If we can talk about specific questions, I noticed a few questions with especially egregious clue placement. The three that immediately spring to mind are the Ummayyad question that had "moved to Spain" in power, the Nietzche question that discussed "Apollonian and Dionysian" concepts in the first clue, and the tossup about Faust that mentioned Adrian von Leverkuhn, the protagonist of Doctor Faustus, within power. Otherwise, I thought that the tournament was generally fairly good. It would be one of my favorite High School sets this year, along with the TJ Housh Classic.
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theattachment » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:17 pm

gkandlikar wrote:
theattachment wrote:So speaking of criticizing individual questions...

3. I know that it's the way it's often done, but the lit bonus form of "semi-major work leadin, name the work. This dude wrote this work. This is a minor work/character of this dude," came up way too often to the point of being really annoying. There's many ways to write lit bonuses, including "Name these works of [insert author here]," "Name these authors or works from this country," or common links of archetypes of characters. Unfortunately, of the 48 straight literature bonuses I counted (not including ones that are fine arts with a little bit of lit/philosopher works, both of which had high occurences of the "work, dude wrote work, other work/other character" form) 28 had that form. 58% of the bonuses in the literature distribution had that form. The most egregious was the first packet's Madame Bovary bonus that featured, "Name this author of Madame Bovary," as the second part. I understand that it's the best way to crank out a lit tossup really quickly (I've done it myself), but when almost three out of five have the exact same form it gets really old really fast. In the future, writers should try to use different forms and only have that style pop up once out of four bonuses.
Uhh, this method is one of the best ways to discourage rampant guessing on the 2nd and third parts which usually happens if the bonuses always go in easy-medium-hard order. It seems to me to be the fairest way of writing a bonus with easy, medium, and hard parts which reward appropriate knowledge.
I tend to disagree, particularly in cases where the writer has either A. More canonical stuff than the book being asked, or B. The book being asked is more apt to have more stuff known about it than binary knowledge. While it does make for a medium-easy-hard setup, you have to watch for stuff that just tests reading a list instead of actually knowing the book.
gkandlikar wrote: Taking the Madame bovary example, try writing it like this:
Identify the following about a French author and his works, FTPE:
A. Blah blah Blah wrote about Madame Bovary.
Answer: Gustave Flaubert
B. ....
And now you'll notice that there aren't really any medium difficulty parts left that appropriate for a regular difficult HS tournament. I mean, sure you can write a bonus on Flaubert, Salammbo, and Sentimental Education, but I really doubt that the 2nd and 3rd part are going to be converted by more than 5% of the teams.
If there's little to write the bonus on, I would shy away from making it a bonus and instead either put the non-canonical works into the lead-in of a tossup about Flaubert or make the bonus go something like this. I'll sub Madame Bovary for The Grapes of Wrath because I know it better...

It begins with a hitchhiker finding his old reverend, only to hear his family is about to leave their farm. FTPE...:
[10] This John Steinbeck novel follows the trails of Oklahoma's Joad family as they search for work in California during the Dust Bowl.
Answer: The Grapes of Wrath
[10] This paroled murderer, the second son of the Joad family, is the protagonist of The Grapes of Wrath.
Answer: Tom
[10] This Joad daughter gets pregnant from the lowlife Connie, only to stillbirth the child in the end, causing grief for her and the rest of the Joad family.
Answer: Rose of Sharon

This bonus avoids list-esque knowledge a lot more than Madame Bovary. Having Tom as a second part may be too easy (sub him for Reverend Casy, mayhaps) but it gives points only to someone who actually knows the story instead of someone who saw the book's spine.

I'll say this though: if it's well-written with someone gettable because of only one canonical work (i.e. Flaubert -- agreed, a Sentimental Education bonus part would get nothing but quizzical looks in most rooms) using a "Work/Author/Other Work or Minor Character" form is fine. The issue I had wasn't totally with the form, but the fact that 3/5 of the bonuses had that form, most egregiously on two by Charles Dickens. Because almost all of his works are in the high school curriculum and canon, you can make bonuses exclusively about Hard Times, Tale of Two Cities, etc. and avoid giving points for the fact that, duh, Dickens wrote it (which both of the Dickens bonuses did). In short, when you ask a question about a book, there are more important things than who wrote it.
gkandlikar wrote: Also, there are very few common link bonuses writeable where the answers are NOT the first three things you can think of that fit the description, unless, of course, you want to be badgered by left turn bonuses. I certainly don't want to write that kind of stuff.
What about writers from a country bonuses (which pop up often), books that take place in a certain area/time period, writers who talk about being pregnant, or other bonuses like that? There's plenty of stuff that, if it's given the proper amount of time, can be done for a bonus at any level. It just kind of sucks to have few of those per set. Which brings me to this...
gkandlikar wrote: When we're mass producing questions (which can also get really old really fast) and when time is of essence, aesthetics tend to be less important than writing pyramidal questions of appropriate difficulty. Bonuses should have more than one clue and should be interesting, but we let things slip sometimes.
I'm guessing that you're referring to the fact that, along with this set, most to all of the writers also had ACF sets, MUT to write/edit, and stuff for PACE to write. While that is a commendable effort, what I've seen from y'alls that I've talked to and have heard wind of from Bernadette about all this was that it was an insane endeavor that isn't recommended to do by anyone. This was an awesome set (the best I've played all year, in fact) and I thank you for the work you put into it; that said, if a complaint is that because of time constraints the set couldn't be tweaked into as good of a set as it could be/as good as the writers wanted, then cut back on a set or the amount of packets written. This set, in my mind, was about the same difficulty as the PACE set with less bad questions and repeats. There isn't a need to release two sets of equivalent difficulty so close to one another.

I'll close by reiterating this: I don't mean to offend the editors for stuff relating to bonus theory. They did a prodigious amount of work to make an amazing product and they deserve all the accolades possible. When the only problems I can say are either minor clue things or stuff that I find endemic in QB, they should be proud of themselves.
Colin O'Donnell -- ex-Eden Prairie High School (man, that feels nice to say), eventually University of Minnesota

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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theMoMA » Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:23 pm

Even if we had time to "change" those bonuses, we wouldn't have done it because they were perfectly fine (good, even!) bonuses for the high school level, and rewarded knowledge over lack of knowledge, while maintaining the standards of difficulty that were appropriate. What more could you possibly want?!
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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by theattachment » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:05 am

theMoMA wrote:Even if we had time to "change" those bonuses, we wouldn't have done it because they were perfectly fine (good, even!) bonuses for the high school level, and rewarded knowledge over lack of knowledge, while maintaining the standards of difficulty that were appropriate. What more could you possibly want?!
I think you missed most of my points, Andrew...

For one, I'm saying that for some topics there is a place for that kind of bonus, namely when there are no second parts in the guy's work because only one title and his name are canonical. In the case of the two Dickens works in the tournament, this was far from the case. On Great Expectations, getting Uriah Heap as the third part was like getting a Christmas present. It wasn't a difficult bonus part, and when Dickens himself came up in a bonus that was quite the same it should have been rewritten.

This brings me to another point. You guys did actually have time to "'change' these bonuses." You also had a responsibility to as the head editors. Instead, you wrote one of your packets the night before and left effectively the entire tournament pretty unedited. That's how 3/5ths of the bonuses sounded the same. That's how you had repeats. My issue now isn't the fact that you used that format. I understand that you think it's perfectly fine and that we disagree. What I dislike (and what I've disliked about the non-NAQT sets that I've encountered this year) is that the editors didn't actually edit. They just compiled. Andrew, your comment was rather flippant about the fact that you didn't have time to edit the set. When that's your job, shouldn't you make time to do it?
Colin O'Donnell -- ex-Eden Prairie High School (man, that feels nice to say), eventually University of Minnesota

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Re: Minnesota/Maryland/Vanderbilt/Cleveland/K-State tournament

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:36 am

Hey everybody, calm the hell down!
Yeah, in a perfect world every editor would have plenty of time to fix problems and every question would be immaculate. But having been there I can tell you, editors get behind from all kinds of things - school, other question writing responsibilities like submitting required packets to college tournaments (and in Andrew's case, working on MUT, the PACE style set, the actual PACE NSC, NAQT writing, all on top of this tournament), and just plain old having other things in your personal life get in the way. This happens with almost every tournament in existence, there is a rush to write it in the last couple of weeks. I think something you hear every tournament editor say is "I wish I had an extra week to work on the set," so, I mean, if the questions are mostly good, then accept it and stop ragging on TDs as much. Now, if the questions sucked, then of course say it, but by looking over the packets these seem to me to be top notch questions for the HS circuit, and if every tournament were like this the world would be a lot closer to being perfect, even with the flaws in it.
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