Illinois '08-'09

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:33 am

Woody Paige wrote:And finally, who gets to turn the page to lucky 13 shortly???
Haha, Illinois, I stole your milestone.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by rjaguar3 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:34 am

I would have gotten PAGE 13!!!, but someone beat me. :twisted:

But seriously, I think the scholarships to ACE camp would be a good idea. As a testimonial, I will say that when I first went to ACE camp in my sophomore year, I took the Literature major because no one else on WN was a good lit player. After taking lit in sophomore and junior years, I became a very good player in Lit. Not as good as people like John Brown, mind you, but still good enough to really improve WN.

Sure, the Florida experience was FUNN, but I think it would be better for Illinois quizbowl to promote better quizbowl to non-powerhouse teams in this manner.

And as for the non-pyramidal tournaments, there will be a lot of resistance to those dying out. Kaneland uses Platypus Questions, which reward list-knowledge (since I strongly believe they are computer-generated), and WN and many other area teams still go there year after year because they believe that a tournament with bad questions is better than no tournament at all. What should we do about this?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:13 am

First of all, Glerum, I meant that there was additional math other than probability (in the Kickoffs).....and math computation is here to stay in Illinois for the time being, so get used to it. :roll: [Don't mean to be rude, I haven't had my morning caffeine jolt yet].

And how dare Minnesota usurp our beloved thirteenth page! :twisted:

I agree with Zahed's concerns re ACE scholarships. Yes, it's a great idea, esp. to help a good team become an elite team. But I agree that they should be given only to promising students, and from potentially strong programs. I wouldn't want it to go to someome from a casual program whose coach has no desire for his/her team to get better. But Messrs. Gauthier and Reinstein make good points that it will take awhile; most of the state is neither willing nor able to embrace good quiz bowl. In all fairness to SOME of them, they are either 1) ignorant of good quiz bowl [and hopefully we can convert these folks], 2) don't have the resources or 3) are fighting very strong anti-intellectual traditions.

I also applaud Jeff Price and the Northwestern crew for their efforts at improving middle school quiz bowl. By bridging the gap, hopefully--as Reinstein points out--we will be 100% improved in the next ten years, maybe sooner [I'll be 62 then, God willing--yikes!].
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by cornfused » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:02 am

Hey, Coach Riley, are you still interested in bringing a team or two up to Appleton on December 7th?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:04 pm

I'll have to check the logistics,etc., and I could possibly bring two teams.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by at your pleasure » Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:04 pm

WN and many other area teams still go there year after year because they believe that a tournament with bad questions is better than no tournament at all. What should we do about this?
My idea would be to get the host to run the tournament on better questions or set up a alternative event with better questions and encourage teams to skip Kaneland for that. I'm sure you could use an A-set without starting a riot.
However, there will always be teams who focus on local formats and televised competitions.The important thing is that they are stopped from blocking teams who want to focus on good quizbowl.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Stephen Colbert » Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:48 pm

Awehrman wrote:Northwestern University cordially invites you to its middle school scholastic bowl tournament: Junior Wildcat 2009 to be held on our Evanston, Illinois, campus February 21, 2009.
Streator Northlawn will likely be sending one team (with two working buzzer sets, more if needed) to Northwestern’s Junior Wildcat tournament. Expect an e-mail confirming this shortly. What will be the bonus format?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:21 pm

As much as I love talking about bad math questions, ACE camp, junior high tournaments, and breaking the threshold of the 13th page, I’ll “diverge” to comparisons... incidentally what this forum is called.

Auburn and New Trier are really good. New Trier is better head-to-head so far, but I think they are about even. Harvard will paint clearer picture. I don’t think either of them is unbeatable, though. We’ve been ahead at the half in both our games against Auburn, and if Ben has an off day, New Trier has an off day.

I’d probably put Carbondale and us in the “second tier”, and maybe Stevenson. We’ve played Carbondale once, and they beat us pretty handily, but I think we might be a little closer than the Earlybird score. Hopefully my sentiments will ring true on Saturday. As for Loyola, I guess Joe’s pretty good, but I don’t like talking about us. Stevenson is a sleeper. The best thing about them is that all five of their players get tossups. None of them come remotely close to Ben or Siva, but they are a formidable squad for sure.

I haven’t seen or paid attention to many other teams, but BG, H-F, Fremd, IMSA, WWS, all seem pretty good I guess.

For individuals, Ben and Siva are probably the best. Ben will always put up bigger numbers because Michael isn’t sitting next to him, but I think they are about equal. I will say that Ben’s ridiculous amount of powers (by Illinois standards, anyways) continues to impress me. I always want to call him a history freak, but he powers a lot of other stuff too. Siva is the same way, but he is calmer at the buzzer, so it doesn’t show as much. I think both have the potential to be all-HSNCT/NSC team.

Talking about Siva reminded me, Michael is really good too. It doesn’t show because Siva steals his thunder, but Michael would put up crazy stats if he was on any team not named Auburn, New Trier, Loyola, or Carbondale. People who play him at Solo will learn this.

I would say more about the Carbondale trio, but I don’t see them that much. They are all very cool dudes.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:57 pm

Because Jack understandably doesn't want to talk about Loyola, I'll do it.

I don't think there's another current player on the circuit who's improved as much as Jack has over the last two years. Nobody in Illinois really has good nationals-level depth in literature knowledge, but Jack comes closest. Joe is an excellent player, but given that he's more consistent and unassuming than anything else, his quality is not always obvious. It seems like Loyola has been able to make some progress in shoring up its science gaps (Catherine(?) has been a contributor in that regard in our matches against them).

Rather than focusing on head-to-head comparisons, I'll mention my thoughts about the national competitiveness of the top few teams.

Auburn has a good chance of doing really well at PACE (probably more suited to us) and NAQT, especially by Illinois standards. Last year's experience was extremely helpful--which is why I urge any teams on the verge of breaking out to go to PACE NSC. I'd love to see us make the championship bracket of 12 at PACE.

I would not be surprised to see New Trier crack the top 10 at NAQT HSNCT this year. Ben is ungodly in the categories that are emphasized by NAQT--current events, geography, history--and he's very good at nearly everything else. I expect him to finish in the top ten individually there. If they do go to PACE, they will definitely make some noise, but the Cohen advantage will be somewhat less overpowering.

Last year, Carbondale placed something like 27th at PACE, and they've brought back literally every contributor. They're probably the most balanced team in the state right now, at least in terms of who gets their points. They have a lot of potential, and they should do quite well at nationals. I haven't played them enough to get a better feel than that.

Right now, Loyola seems like the kind of team that could conceivably make the top 20 at PACE or NAQT. That's assuming consistently solid play, which I'm pretty sure they're capable of. If they catch a few breaks and make a few upsets, I could see them doing even better.

So that's four Illinois teams that could find their way into the top 25 teams in the nation.

Of the good teams left...I really don't know. We haven't played Stevenson, which seems like the team with the next best chances at the national level. Assuming that all good teams go, how many do you think will advance to the playoffs at HSNCT?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by cornfused » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:51 pm

Also, weird question - who of the top teams other than Loyola is planning on playing the Decemberist on December 6th? Because if you wanted to pull a Loyola and possibly make it a two day trip, I've got room for more.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:57 am

I can't wait for Harvard Mirror...last year, after losing to Loyola in an excellent final at the Knights' Challenge, I left in chagrin, thinking I had lost in my last legitimate match inside my own school. I'm so glad we're hosting a top-quality (I hope) varsity tournament now, and I hope it's here to stay. Predictions, anyone? Aside from the four we always talk about, I think a team that could make some noise will be IMSA. It'll be a interesting tournament, I know that much.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:20 am

I, too, am looking forward to the Harvard Mirror tomorrow. Back to comparisons...

First of all, don't underestimate Stevenson. They have a solid record of coming from behind, and Julia (who was pretty outstanding as a sophomore) hasn't played yet due to other commitments; I don't know if she's Jack's match in literature but she knows enough to scare him a bit (although Jack doesn't scare eassily :grin: ).

I agree with everything that''s been said so far about the teams above. I would also keep Stevenson, Fremd, WWS, and BG on the radar screen, and Springfield as well.

Now, as their coach with a 15-year perspective, I WILL talk about Loyola. I have had some great captains in my time, but I don't think I've had any who have been as energetic, enthusiastic, and dedicated as Jack has been and continues to be. He always has the best interests of the team at heart, and his improvement has really been astonishing within such a short time. Joe is probably the most intellectual player in the state right now, and even though he's noted for social studies is a true generalist. Catherine, Danny ("Mad Dog"), and Christian make solid ccontributions, mostly in science and math, and I think they could do even more if they were a little more aggrerssive on the buzzer (same applies to my B-team).

In addition, I've thrown caution to the wind this year and have taken my fr/so (my C team) to all varsity tournaments thus far. They don't win many matches, but they are consistently improving, and by the time they become seniors (watch out for Marcel and Raman especially) should be a force to be reckoned with.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:35 pm

Just a quick announcement: Because of a problem with Auburn's power grid, the tournament will be held at the freshman campus, which is adjacent to the main building, accross the football field. You will essentially go to the same place, just not the same building. More details soon.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:13 pm

NOVEMBER 14, 2008 – A statewide scholastic bowl competition scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 15, has been moved to Auburn High School’s freshman campus, 520 North Pierpont Avenue, while electrical repair work takes place at the main campus on Auburn Street. Auburn is hosting 15 other teams, traveling from as far away as Quincy, in the Midwest Harvard Mirror tournament. The event is open to the general public, and admission is free. Spectators and participants should use the freshman campus’ main entrance. Students and staff at the main campus were dismissed Thursday when a power outage left parts of the building without electricity. A generator provided temporary power so that classes could resume Friday; however, electrical repairs taking place over the weekend require the scholastic competition to relocate.

^That's the official announcement posted on district 205's website.

Directions info:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=520+N.+Pi ... 2&t=h&z=16
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:31 pm

Aub-ZH wrote:NOVEMBER 14, 2008 – A statewide scholastic bowl competition scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 15, has been moved to Auburn High School’s freshman campus, 520 North Pierpont Avenue, while electrical repair work takes place at the main campus on Auburn Street. Auburn is hosting 15 other teams, traveling from as far away as Quincy, in the Midwest Harvard Mirror tournament. The event is open to the general public, and admission is free. Spectators and participants should use the freshman campus’ main entrance. Students and staff at the main campus were dismissed Thursday when a power outage left parts of the building without electricity. A generator provided temporary power so that classes could resume Friday; however, electrical repairs taking place over the weekend require the scholastic competition to relocate.

^That's the official announcement posted on district 205's website.

Directions info:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=520+N.+Pi ... 2&t=h&z=16
Thanks for the map, Zahed. See everyone tomorrow for what should be an excellent tourney.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:53 pm

The location of the Freshman Campus is not quite clear from the Google map. In that image, the building you want is to the west of the address marker. I'm pretty sure that you should enter from the southernmost of the two drives leading to that complex. So if you're turning from Auburn Street, you should see the main campus immediately on your right while on Pierpont. Follow the road past the stadium, skip a drive that leads to the side of the Freshman Campus, and take the next drive on the right to get to the front door.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:51 pm

Any reports from Auburn?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:54 pm

I have results for the top 5 teams:

1. Carbondale A
2. New Trier
3. Auburn A
4. Loyola A
5. Wheaton-Warrenville South A

Recap: We started the day with four rounds of power matching. Auburn A finished 4-0, beating Carbondale and Loyola. The other four that finished in the top 5 had 3-1 records, with New Trier losing to Carbondale, I believe. For the championship playoffs, we played a round robin of the top 5 teams. Auburn beat WWS and Loyola and lost a couple pretty close matches to Carbondale and New Trier. New Trier lost to Carbondale in the round robin, so Carbondale finished 7-1 and NT and Auburn finished 6-2. Because NT beat Auburn head-to-head, we decided to forgo a tiebreaker match and awarded New Trier second place.

The questions were quite difficult, harder than any regular season Illinois tournament I've played (and harder than I remember the PACE NSC being). That said, the answer set was pretty accessible, and I didn't hear anybody complain. The upper-difficulty playoff rounds were a different story; they probably wouldn't have been out of place at a lower-middle college tournament. Scores in the top bracket were thus considerably lower than they were throughout the rest of the day.

All in all, I'm glad that we were able to host such a challenging tournament, and I'd like to thank all the teams for coming out, especially Carbondale and their 6.5 hour drive. I'd say today proves that A. the difference between the top teams is less than advertised and B. Illinois teams still have a long way to go to be considered elite on a national level.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Deviant Insider » Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:41 pm

New Trier's morning loss was to Loyola--we didn't play Carbondale or Auburn until the afternoon. Siva got everything else right. The tournament was very well run.

No comments on the questions are allowed until tomorrow night.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:24 am

I really liked the questions, especially for asking questions on African writers other than Achebe for once (e.g. Fugard, Soyinka). :smile:

Auburn ran a great tournament. One team pulled out the last minute and we had to put in a composite teamn, who actually finished sixth or seventh, I believe! I hope Auburn continues to host this mirror, we need (and are gradually getting) more tournaments like this in Illinois.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by mlaird » Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:24 pm

I'm really interested to hear about the lower brackets of the tournament and whether or not they liked sticking around for the entirety of the tournament. The re-bracketing round robin is something that is done often in other states, but single-elimination is the norm here. While this is certainly a good thing for the top teams, my concern has always been for the lower bracket teams who are playing inconsequential matches. I know most people will contend that the more they play, the better they'll get, but my point is that some of those bottom-tier teams might just get bored after ten rounds.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:17 pm

I'm also interested to hear the answer to Laird's question.

A very tentative Scobol Solo schedule is now up.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:33 pm

Before an answer is given, I would think in order to make it worth people's time, a consolation playoff parallel to the upper level probably would have been a good idea, as people would have something to play for. I question, though, whether or not it would undermine an upper level team that did not win any hardware.


Also, Mr. Reinstein, do the numbers following some of the schools represent seeds as determined by you/the coach in respect to that school itself? I'm aware that Auburn's final info didn't get submitted until today.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by mlaird » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:15 pm

Aub-ZH wrote:Also, Mr. Reinstein, do the numbers following some of the schools represent seeds as determined by you/the coach in respect to that school itself? I'm aware that Auburn's final info didn't get submitted until today.
Yes. The coach seeds the players.

Reinstein: good call on putting school names with player names this year.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:16 pm

Shcool wrote:tentative Scobol Solo schedule
round three bonny jain yesssssssssss please don't change it

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:56 pm

Dude...assuming I get Auburn 3, I have to face Joe Ahmad in round four if I win three times. Assuming I lose, I have to fight Jerry Chang. And assuming my hasty scrolling up and down was correct...I don't want to track any more.

Predictions early: A Siva v. Ben final, followed by some combination of Jack, Joe, Bonny, and the Carbondale Three.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:00 pm

Don't count Michael out for the finals; he made them last year against similarly tough competition.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:03 pm

That was a completely unintentional and stupid omission. Of course Michael will contend...I'd venture to put him in the top 3-5.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Chichono » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:07 pm

Yeah, I think those final picks are pretty decent, but I would also say definitely don't count Michael out. However, I really just can't see Bonny getting to the finals...
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:34 pm

My prediction for the top 8:
Ben (morning champion) over Siva; the others, in no particular order: Joe Ahmad, Jack Glerum, Tony Cao, Jerry Chang, Michael Jiang, and Carl Butt.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Kanga-Rat Murder Society » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:09 pm

Since this thread has developed into the Solo prediction thread, I might as well give mine. My prediction of who will be in the finals is probably guaranteed to be wrong as I have only looked at my schedule. However:

Locks: Siva, Michael Jiang, Ben Cohen, Joe Ahmad, Tony Cao
Other finalists: Jack Glerum, Jerry Chang, Paul Botros, Zach (Stevenson)
Other possible finalists: Zahed, David Garb, Andrew (MS), Alex Cash (WWS), Bonny, Carl (Springfield), Someone from HF
Last edited by Kanga-Rat Murder Society on Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:14 pm

Has Zach Blumenfeld been a monster this year? There's been a lot of buzz about him.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by harpersferry » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:21 pm

I'll pick Siva to repeat as morning champ, but a close match with Ben to decide it. Other finalist predictions: Michael, Joe, Jack, and Carbondale takes over for auburn in putting three in the finals.

I think from preliminary tournament results, these are the players on the top teams, and it's pretty clear they are all strong in their own right (see ACE for some of them). Weird stuff always happens, so probably one or two of my predictions won't make it, but I see kind of a bunch of people in a pack behind these guys. A few are more strong as generalists, which will favor them in the morning but can hurt in the finals because of overextension and full-point negs. Sometimes specialists in the finals do better if they are deep (assuming of course, they don't have to divy up their speciality with someone else).

From the schedule, it looks like Auburn is taking the whole team. I approve. The power matching makes this tournament fun even if you are young.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by the return of AHAN » Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:04 am

Aub-ZH wrote:Has Zach Blumenfeld been a monster this year? There's been a lot of buzz about him.
Amigo, Zach B. was a freaking monster as a 5th grader, starting and scoring plenty for a Daniel Wright JHS team that took the 3rd place trophy in IESA; the first of 5 consecutive top 3 finishes for DW (state champs his 7th & 8th grade years), which overlap 4 straight sectional runner-up finishes for a certain Barrington Station team. :sad: :sad:
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:10 am

Nick, fremd isn't sending anybody. The only problem I have putting 8 in the finals is that anything can really happen with the desperation shot, I'm sure Mr. Reinstin has something creative planned, but I have always been skeptical of a written test deciding the best of 24 players (correct me if I'm wrong on that)

I play Siva in the fifth round if I get that far without suffering a loss, I guess we will see on Saturday.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:11 am

Well, I'm aware he was a middle school monster. How has his HS career been? I have never seen him play, not even when we played Stevenson at state...
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by cornfused » Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:39 am

I'd love to see Carl Butt in the finals... word is that he's considering Lawrence. Carl, if you read this, I really WILL get around to emailing you.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:41 am

I won't make any predictions since I have 15 of my team members entered, but Solo is a high quality event and easily the most fun of all annual quiz bowl events in Illinois. People who aren't entered don't know what they're missing! :party: :party: :party: :party: :party:
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:49 pm

My predictions for solo:

Locks: Siva, Tony, Ben
Almost Locks: Michael, Paul, Joe
More likely than not: Jerry, Jack,

That's who I think will go 6-1, with Siva repeating as morning champ

The following people I think will be at least in the Desperation Shot, but depending on bracketing could do more:
Zahed, Alex Cash, Zach, Someone from HF, Bonny, Carl. Then again, a lot of people make the desperation shot, so it really could go to anyone.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by MLaudermith » Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:52 pm

mlaird wrote:I'm really interested to hear about the lower brackets of the tournament and whether or not they liked sticking around for the entirety of the tournament. The re-bracketing round robin is something that is done often in other states, but single-elimination is the norm here. While this is certainly a good thing for the top teams, my concern has always been for the lower bracket teams who are playing inconsequential matches. I know most people will contend that the more they play, the better they'll get, but my point is that some of those bottom-tier teams might just get bored after ten rounds.
If I may, I like to interrupt the Solo predictions to respond to Mr. Laird's question. I meant to comment on the Harvard Mirror earlier but couldn't find the time.

My team was in the lower bracket after lunch (though we had to leave at 4:00 and skipped the last two rounds). My starters really enjoyed being able to play in extra matches against comparable teams. For them, the winning and losing was pretty inconsequential (at least at this tournament), since we knew going in that we wouldn't be leaving with a trophy. Playing competitive matches throughout the day was what made it fun. For my players, the thrill comes from answering a pyramidal toss-up somewhere before the giveaway. I brought two Frosh-Soph players with for the experience and they definitely were bored by the end of the day, but I think that stemmed from frustration, rather than time.

I suppose having a Consolation Champion would be nice, but for the lower bracket it would be almost meaningless given the number of toss-ups that go unanswered. The players are there because they want to play (at least in theory) and should have no complaint about gettin more opportunites to do so, so long as the tournament runs in a timely fashion. I know the coaches are a different matter entirely, but if you're upset about your team having to stick around 3 more hours, playing quizbowl and GETTING BETTER, then the trophy was never an issue to begin with.

Personally, I loved both the questions (or about 95% of the answer selection) and the format for Auburn's Harvard Mirror and my team benefitted from both. It should be the standard Illinois format (math remains open for debate) and I hope more tournaments adopt it.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:57 pm

I pretty much agree with David. Michael's a lock though, with the other three he mentioned.

I think I'll look like a sore loser if I criticize the Solo after Saturday, so I’ll do it now. Basically, I think the distribution needs work. I will not start a math fight, because I dislike them and Mr. Reinstein will continue to write math questions no matter what I or anyone else says. The current distribution is as follows.

History: World, US
Literature: US, Brit, World
Science: Bio, Phys, Chem
Art: Visual, Music
That other thing: Algebra, Geo/Trig, “Pyramidal”

So that takes up 13 of the 20 questions per round. The other seven are the following:

Interdisciplinary
Current Events
Vocabulary
Religion/Mythology
Pop Culture
Geography/Earth Science/Astronomy
Nonfiction

Interdisciplinary can be done well and can be done poorly. I hope it’s the former. I’m a little torn on Current Events, because I think it’s a decent category, but it reminds me too much of NAQT-ness. Vocabulary… honestly? This isn’t English class. Religion/Mythology should be broken into two, and frankly, a Philosophy category wouldn’t hurt either (Economics might be too much to ask of a high school tournament, but maybe a little bit?). I don’t think a trash category should be in an individual tournament. You are trying to find out who is the most knowledgeable player, not the one who watches ESPN and MTV. There are trash tournaments for trash people, just as there are math competitions for math people. Again, Geography/Earth Science/Astronomy could and should be broken down. As a literature person, nonfiction bugs me the most. Are you going to ask Leviathan and The Prince ten times over? I’m cool with nonfiction questions, but it assuredly shouldn’t be its own category. And finally, is Europe not part of the world anymore? If you are going to subdivide history and literature, Euro should not be lumped in with World.

Scobol Solo is one of the most fun tournaments of the year, but it would be the most fun if the distribution is changed, imo. Thoughts?

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:52 pm

Jack, I agree with you on most points. Given the assumption that Solo will have computational math, which I think is a fair assumption regardless of whether I like it or not, I think the three categories should be collapsed to two: algebra/calculus and geometry/combinatorics, and correspondingly, history should be expanded to be world/European/US. That leaves thirteen questions as you indicated, just distributed a bit differently.
Regarding the other seven, I agree that nonfiction should be contained within the other literature categories. Having read and suggested edits for several drafts of the questions, I was generally very happy with the interdisciplinary questions you expressed concern about. I think that vocabulary shouldn't remain as it is; perhaps changing it to "language arts" and including questions about linguistics and grammar and such would be a good alternative — still a lot to be 5% of every round, but it's an improvement and there's no other place for the linguistics questions I really do believe belong in the tournament. I'm happy with pop culture and current events, but in order to make this all work they're getting reduced to one category in my plan.
The geography/earth science/astronomy is a somewhat weird mashup in my opinion. I also think that there needs to be a social science category (which would swallow up geography, plus include your economics along with psychology, sociology, anthropology, and perhaps international relations). There are also interesting and askable science topics besides bio, chem, physics, earth sci, and astronomy (computer science, for example), so I propose changing earth science/astronomy to "other science".
I agree that a single question on religion/mythology and none on philosophy is insufficient. I propose having two questions on RMP per round. That leaves us with the following, obviously in no particular order:
1. world history
2. American history
3. Euro history
4. world lit
5. American lit
6. Brit lit
7. bio
8. physics
9. chem
10. visual art
11. music
12. algebra/calc
13. geometry/combinatorics
14. interdisciplinary
15. pop culture/current events
16. language arts
17. RMP
18. RMP
19. other science
20. social science

Thoughts?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:18 pm

My only critique on that is I would like keep Pop Culture and Current events seperate, and maybe get rid of one of the RMP. I might be a little biased in that I really do love pop-culture (hence my teams obsession with the one Naqt set we've played): however, I feel that solo tests knowledge about everything not just "academic" knowledge.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:44 pm

No dude, Jonah's proposed distribution is way better than the one you want. Religion, Mythology, and Philosophy are all important categories that should combined come up more than current events or trash.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by leapfrog314 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:45 pm

jonah wrote: 1. world history
2. American history
3. Euro history
4. world lit
5. American lit
6. Brit lit
7. bio
8. physics
9. chem
10. visual art
11. music
12. algebra/calc
13. geometry/combinatorics
14. interdisciplinary
15. pop culture/current events
16. language arts
17. RMP
18. RMP
19. other science
20. social science
I like it. I agree that pop culture and current events should be one, mostly because I think current events should be like 2% of the distribution, not 5%. All Illinois tournaments need more RMP (especially more philosophy) and I also agree with your regrouping of math questions and expansion of history. In general, Solo could stand for fewer weird categories (Current Events, Interdisciplinary, Vocabulary) and more important ones (RMP, social science).
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:04 am

I'm going to start here by defending the status quo.
First, one of the things I did before deciding how to make adjustments for this year was look at last year's conversion stats. They can be found at the end of this thread. Last year's scores were low, and I didn't want to make changes that would lower them further, which is why I kept Language Arts/Vocabulary as a category.

Second, Nonfiction and Vocabulary already accomplish some of the things that people want to replace them with would do. Here are the Nonfiction and Language Arts answers from last year:
Nonfiction
Opening rounds: Domesday Book, Gulag Archipelago
Odd rounds: DesCartes, Hiroshima, Montaigne, Julius Caesar, Orwell, In Cold Blood
Championship: Roman historians worksheet, Schweitzer, Black Boy

Language Arts
Opening rounds: Canopy, Liberal
Odd rounds: Empirical, Arbitration, Siren, Premise, Sequester, Materialism
Championship: Person suffixes worksheet, Sophist, Bowdlerize

These are very catch-all categorizes, but they do give me a way of asking some questions that are related to philosophy and social science without repeating the answer space year after year or blowing people out of the water. I generally try to fit a little bit of econ into those categorize, but, looking at the lists above, I must admit that I failed in that aspect last year. Anyways, I try to make it so that the Language Arts/Vocabulary questions are academic in nature for the most part. As the circuit gets stronger and more academic, the Nonfiction category probably should evolve to include more social science, though I would prefer to keep it as Nonfiction because it gives me more flexibility in terms of including some writers/books that are noteworthy but don't fit easily into quizbowl categories.

As far as Geography is concerned, that's probably a thread in itself. I personally am glad that it is there, though on the other hand I don't have any urge to make it show up in every round.

I love Current Events. I probably should consider lessening it, but that will be difficult because I really really like it and, other than NAQT, I feel like it does not come up enough throughout the year.

I think RMP has less of a place in high school than it does in college. The canon is relatively small once you get out of Greek mythology, and I think it is pushing an upper limit to have over half of the rounds at a tournament contain a Greek mythology tossup. I also think it is excessive for a tournament to have five questions that start off, "This religion..." or "This holiday..."

Two points I'll agree on: There should be some Computer Science, though not a lot. Also, a third history question per round would be an improvement. If you combine those with a shift in Nonfiction to include more social science/econ/philosophy, I think that over time this tournament will get better in the opinions of many of the above posters. Even though you won't be able to play in it in the future, you'll always be welcome as a Moderator.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:49 am

On the subject of Solo distribution: I like the gist of what has been proposed, especially an increase in the humanities categories. That said, I see one problem with Jonah’s proposed distribution, and that is the nature of the categorical split. Solo rewards category winners, so you can’t really do 2 tossups of the RMP category in the current split.

So here’s my addition to the discussion. Reinstein posted his defense before I could post mine, so I’m leaving what I said and adding my retort to Reinstein’s retort to some of my points, placed with **:
I don’t like linguistics/grammar/vocab at 1 out of every 20 questions. I don’t really like it at more than 4 or so per tournament, but you have to divide the distributions into even 20ths for the category prizes. I also don’t really like a full category for nonfiction – it seems like most of the questions in the past have been heavy on modern works of note (the Freakonomics of the world), books that can’t really fit in the literary canon yet with a few historical works of nonfiction thrown in for small measure. I’d combine these into a general literature-esque category.
**Seeing Vocab as a category to improve scores does make some sense, and seeing nonfiction and vocab work to implement social sciences into the distribution is a positive aspect that I hadn’t considered. For the time being, I can accept this.**
I don’t like the US/Brit/World lit split. I’d prefer US/Euro/World if it’s 3 per 20 and US/Brit/Euro/World if it’s 4 per 20. I think it should be 4 per 20, that extra question almost certainly being pulled from math.
I like the world/Euro/US history split. I also do like current events, as it helps to keep the previous three categories purely academic, if the question writer can’t do that himself (not something I’m worried about with Reinstein). The NAQTness of CE isn’t terrible – it’s when NAQT does it more than once per match that it sucks. On that note, I’m lumping geography and current events together, possibly calling it the NAQT category.
For RMP, I’ve never been a fan of lumping the three together into one category. Now, in a normal 20/20 packet, it doesn’t influence anything really, but Solo’s category prizes make it a little dicey. I’d prefer 1 religion/myth and 1 philosophy. Now, philosophy is the weak link of RMP at the high school level. I would combine philosophy with psychology and sociology for this tournament, unless I hear a good argument against the synergy of those three (which there likely is…I’m going on feel here.)
**Re: the size of the myth canon. I feel that, by implementing the myth common link tossup I’ve seen used to great effect in other packets, you can work on bringing down the percentage of questions that are solely on Greco-Roman myth. I’m not much of an expert on R/M other than that, so I’ll leave that there.**
I’m not sold on including computer science in Solo right now. Obviously, it’s not canonized enough to be its own category. I don’t think it fits well in an “other science” category with earth sci and astronomy, and I don’t think that it should be joined with noncomputational math in this tournament.
And finally, I’m of the position that computational math is bad and shouldn’t be included. I guess this resigns my distribution to the “after the revolution” pile, but that’s OK with me. I can wait another year or so :)

1. US Lit
2. Brit Lit
3. Euro Lit
4. World Lit
5. Nonfiction/Vocabulary/Grammar
6. Religion/Mythology
7. Social Science (Philosophy/Psych/Soc/Econ)
8. US History
9. Euro History
10. World History
11. Geography/Current Events
12. Biology
13. Chemistry
14. Physics
15. Earth Sci/Astronomy/Comp. Sci.
16. Non-Computational Math
17. Music
18. Visual Art
19. Pop Culture
20. Interdisciplinary

I’m seeing 4 lit, 4 history, 1 literature-esque (vocab), religion/mythology (sort of the middle ground between lit and history) 1 history-esque (social sciences), 5 science, 2 fine art and 2 miscellaneous. I like this split.
Brad Fischer
Head Editor, IHSA State Series

Winnebago HS ('06)
Northern Illinois University ('10)
Assistant Coach, IMSA (2010-12)
Coach, Keith Country Day School (2012-16)

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:15 am

styxman wrote:That said, I see one problem with Jonah’s proposed distribution, and that is the nature of the categorical split. Solo rewards category winners, so you can’t really do 2 tossups of the RMP category in the current split.
Lots of your ideas are good points in my book and it's strictly a matter of difference of opinion between us. However, I don't understand why you make the statement above. There are two ways to deal with the RMP category ribbons: if RMP is to be one lump category for ribbon purposes, then the category's winner is still the person who answered the most RMP tossups correctly; it's just a matter of having to add two numbers for each round. If three ribbons are to be given — one each for R, M, and P — then this can still be done; it just requires keeping track of which rounds had R, M, and P questions in which one. It's slightly more difficult to track than the other option, but extremely doable.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:25 am

jonah wrote:
styxman wrote:That said, I see one problem with Jonah’s proposed distribution, and that is the nature of the categorical split. Solo rewards category winners, so you can’t really do 2 tossups of the RMP category in the current split.
Lots of your ideas are good points in my book and it's strictly a matter of difference of opinion between us. However, I don't understand why you make the statement above. There are two ways to deal with the RMP category ribbons: if RMP is to be one lump category for ribbon purposes, then the category's winner is still the person who answered the most RMP tossups correctly; it's just a matter of having to add two numbers for each round. If three ribbons are to be given — one each for R, M, and P — then this can still be done; it just requires keeping track of which rounds had R, M, and P questions in which one. It's slightly more difficult to track than the other option, but extremely doable.
Yeah, I suppose that's true. I hadn't considered the option of keeping track of which rounds had which subcategory.
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Head Editor, IHSA State Series

Winnebago HS ('06)
Northern Illinois University ('10)
Assistant Coach, IMSA (2010-12)
Coach, Keith Country Day School (2012-16)

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by cornfused » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:20 am

Lots of good suggestions going on here, but...
styxman wrote:1 literature-esque (vocab), religion/mythology (sort of the middle ground between lit and history) 1 history-esque (social sciences).
Brad, why are you trying to fit RMP and SS into lit or history?
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