Illinois '08-'09

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by cornfused » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:30 pm

500th post!

So basically with the exception of Carbondale, WN is the "main site" for Kickoff this year?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:04 pm

Hardwood Flooring wrote:So basically with the exception of Carbondale, WN is the "main site" for Kickoff this year?
Indeed. Like all Illinois activities/sports, 95% of the good teams are at one location.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:44 pm

Yet of all the regions that are going to WN, only four will make it to IHSA state. hmmm...now isn't that curious.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:04 pm

Is there a standard distribution we can expect at Kickoff?

I figured:
4/4 history/SS/geo
4/4 literature
4/4 science
4/4 math
2/2 Fine arts
2/2 miscellanious

is that wrong? or is there no right answer?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:39 pm

That should be right.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:36 pm

BGSO wrote:4/4 math
shit i haven't studied my dice probabilities in a while

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:53 pm

JackGlerum wrote:
BGSO wrote:4/4 math
shit i haven't studied my dice probabilities in a while
Make up for it by repainting your room but not the walls or the floor.

Bonus points if you use a ladder that in some convenient units is of integer length. Double bonus if that ladder has length 4, 8, 12, etc.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:29 pm

Or if you're coloring a poster green while leaving one-inch thick frames blank every one inch from the center.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:56 pm

Also note that a 6x6x6 cube has the same volume as its surface area. This little nugget came up at an HSNCT two years ago.

Do we have to give you ALL the answers, man?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by STPickrell » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:26 pm

Don't forget your card probabilities and your trig identities.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by vcuEvan » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:14 pm

Add a dartboard and a couple of trains and we've just about summed up the extent of quizbowl math.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:25 pm

Close, but if Aegis goes all out like last year, we've got a few imaginary number bonuses, a related rates problem, and at least a handful of derivitives and integrals in there too.

Kick off predictions:

1st: Auburn
2nd: NT
3rd: Loyola
4th: Stevenson

Making The round of eight (I seem to remember 16 teams making it to the playoffs last year)
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Fremd
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Other sites: Carbondale, and Springfield win respectively
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:33 am

Don't forget the ever-important algebra with pets.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by I'm a goff (in case you couldn't tell) » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:48 am

Adamantium Claws wrote:Add a dartboard and a couple of trains and we've just about summed up the extent of quizbowl math.
Wrap it in a Mobius strip and stuff the whole shebang in a Klein bottle.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:06 am

A.F. wrote:
Adamantium Claws wrote:Add a dartboard and a couple of trains and we've just about summed up the extent of quizbowl math.
Wrap it in a Mobius strip and stuff the whole shebang in a Klein bottle.
Then throw the bottle in the ocean.

Best of luck at Kickoff tomorrow! (If you're at the Sterling mirror, say hi, cause I don't think I know of anybody on the boards who will be there.)
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:25 pm

First off thanks to everyone for running/participating in such a well-run tournament.

RECAP: FIrst off, thanks to the IHSSBCA and everyone at Wheaton North for running such a large tournament successfully. We had no major complaints in terms of the tournament structure itsself other than one or two brutally slow moderators.

Here are some conclusions based off the matches that we played:

First off, we do not see IMSA being a serious threat to anyone this year, in our match against them Bonny played for 8 questions, 3 of which he "powered". The rest of their team provided little or no suppourt and I expected them to at least have someone that knows basic lit considering the cicumstances they carry as an elite "Boarding schoool". Why their coach chose to watch his team fall 70 points while Bonny used his talents to keep score puzzles both of us.

Next, we also both thought that the brackets were not fair. Wheaton North's bracket seemed much easier than the blood bath that our B team was stuck in, consisting of Maine South, Loyola B, and New Trier. We are not complaining about our bracket, however we think they could've been organized with a much more equal distribution.

In terms of the questions I (David) felt that they were of a good clue distribution; However, after practicing for the past few months on more difficult questions I found it difficult to acclimate to the much easier answer canon. On that topic, there were a fair number of typos (or at least what we think to be typos/misread) that could've affected the outcome of the match. I think the question about Hadrian's namesake well may have decided the match between us and Fremd.

In terms of our performance we feel our team played well, we played about as good as we could've hoped for and we still were rather far away from matching Loyola. We do feel, however that our performance today will "inspire" the rest of our team and our coach to pursue our scholastic team with a more demeanor.

Could somebody post the playoff results/scores if available.

Once again, thanks to everyone for a great Saturday of fun, and we'll see you at Solo (not Auburn :sad: )


David and Nick

P.S. New avatar=too good to be true, when that came up our whole room was in a fit of laughter for a good minute or two. :party: :party:

EDIT:added like the whole post
EDIT2: Y'all posted while we wrote this.
Last edited by BGSO on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:17 pm

What are you, Golic and Greenie?

In all honesty, it was a great tournament, well-run, and for the most part, the questions were pretty good. The competition was diverse to say the least. There were a few interesting situations, and more than a few excellent matches. It's great to officially get the IHSA season underway, and I look forward to more great tournaments. It'll be interesting when the fairytale ends and we play real IHSA format.

Results of WN:
1. Auburn
2. Loyola
3. New Trier
4. Stevenson
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:39 pm

I thought the questions were pretty good, too; it's too bad Aegis can't write more tournaments.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by mlaird » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:43 pm

Reinstein told me to, so I am here to make it known that the Kickoff questions are cleared for specific discussion, so talk about individual questions all you want. Also, if you have any comments about the new bonus format, drop it here. I'm excited that this can become the future of Illinois quizbowl, since, I think, these bonuses were some of best our company ever produced. Writing and reading mACF is just so much easier.

I hope one thing that became apparent is just how poorly math questions fit in with the other subjects of quizbowl. It seemed like every time a math question came up, it was its own microcosm. I think we wrote like, maybe, two computational tossups that were longer than one line. I know, as a reader, both the short tossups and the unique way of doing math bonuses disrupted the flow of the whole round. I'm really just not sure how math can be done well in Illinois. If anyone knows of any example tournaments that have good math questions that fit in with the rest of the questions, I'd love to hear about them.

P.S. I like that this new board software tells us if people post while we write our posts! That's pretty nifty!

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:23 pm

Nifty it is, Mr. Laird.

I was a believer in math questions before today. I hate them now.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by leapfrog314 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:29 pm

Aub-ZH wrote:I was a believer in math questions before today. I hate them now.
Hey, join the club. Especially in ACF format, it becomes quite clear that math questions are entirely different from other quizbowl questions. Also, the sooner you guys decide to stop using math questions, the sooner I get to stop writing lots of them, kthx.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by gack1224 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:07 am

Congratulations to LaSalle-Peru who won the Kickoff at Sterling (followed by Moline, Bloomington, and Boylan).

For all math comp we ended up using the old format. One ought to be chosen to avoid using multiple formats. And in this experiment, we could only have 18 tossups per round (so we did not, unfortunately, get the "I can see Russia from my house" bonus).

I have little preference between the two bonus formats other than the number of points. If a person answers a tossup, they should be rewarded and with the bonus of 30, the opposing team could potentially gain a 20 point advantage (and "win" the question).

Given, I understand, that the team in control would have to miss all three parts, I still believe tossups ought to be more than a third of the bonus. I would prefer each tossup to be worth 15 or the bonus to have more or less parts so as to be no more than two times the tossup.

I can understand that the team in control has first hack at the questions, but they may as well not answer the question if they are unsure of the bonus in a match that they are winning.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by mlaird » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:10 am

gack1224 wrote:For all math comp we ended up using the old format. One ought to be chosen to avoid using multiple formats.
This is what the rules changes dictated for, so you did the right thing. The questions were even written with this specifically in mind.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:17 am

gack1224 wrote:I have little preference between the two bonus formats other than the number of points. If a person answers a tossup, they should be rewarded and with the bonus of 30, the opposing team could potentially gain a 20 point advantage (and "win" the question).

Given, I understand, that the team in control would have to miss all three parts, I still believe tossups ought to be more than a third of the bonus. I would prefer each tossup to be worth 15 or the bonus to have more or less parts so as to be no more than two times the tossup.

I can understand that the team in control has first hack at the questions, but they may as well not answer the question if they are unsure of the bonus in a match that they are winning.
I have tons of things to say on the subject of the Sterling kickoff site, but I'm going to get in here right now to say this --

With bouncebacks, this is a good point and one to be considered. I'm not sure which way I stand just yet, but it's a question to ponder.

Without bouncebacks, I like 10 pts and 30 pts because it's the national standard, because it provides a very strong tangible benefit to getting the tossup to stop your opponent from potential 30 pts, and because it makes a tossup answer equal to a bonus answer - knowing "one fact" is always the same number of points, tossup or bonus. (I really support ending bouncebacks in ACF formatted bonuses).
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:36 am

Before I begin this mini-rant, congrats to Auburn. Tore us up again, but you guys are really fun to play against.
mlaird wrote:I hope one thing that became apparent is just how poorly math questions fit in with the other subjects of quizbowl. It seemed like every time a math question came up, it was its own microcosm
Aub-ZH wrote:I was a believer in math questions before today. I hate them now.
Everyone who participated in this thread is saying, "O RLY?"

Also, to prove the limited math canon, all three of these came up today
A.F. wrote:a Mobius strip
Adamantium Claws wrote:a dartboard
everyday847 wrote:a 6x6x6 cube
My biggest complaint for Aegis was the easiness, though it's hard to make it appropriate for all levels when the other three (inferior) regions are playing on the same questions. Like the IS-79 questions at Northwestern, the number of buzzer beaters, FIFTEEEEENS, and bonus sweeps decided a lot of games. Ones I remember were "has a house in Cushing, Maine in it" and straight novel-author-protagonist bonuses of well known works (see: Stranger-Camus-Meursault and Metamorphosis-Kafka-Gregor Samsa). Again, I can't really rip on Aegis for stuff like this because a huge percentage of teams were not able to convert bonuses like these, for whatever reason.

I think Wheaton North did an okay job. While I can't imagine hosting an infallible 50+ tournament, a bunch of stuff could have happened and didn't. David alluded to it, but the home field advantage was unbelievably egregious. WN, one of the more respected programs (right?), slotted their A team in a pool with "no favorite" (as opposed the ~8 other ones) in a blatant attempt to secure a post-lunch spot. Bad karma I guess, as they missed the playoffs. Also... no individual stats whatsoever. I didn't expect them to use a program (god forbid!), but no "top ten" or "all tournament team" or anything. And I'm not saying this because I wanted recognition for something; I doubt I would have gotten anything, I just like to see how Siva, Ben, Michael, Joe, etc stack up. And finally, having people who read FTPE as "eff tee pee ee", Faust as "Fost", and titular as "tit-you-lure" moderate the playoffs was absurd. Other than all that, this tournament was flawless!

I'm really looking forward to the next two weekends. I hope the HFT mirror lives up to the hype of good questions, and Solo is always fun.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by leapfrog314 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:45 am

JackGlerum wrote:people who read FTPE as "eff tee pee ee"
We tried to edit out any FTPE or FTP or the like in our questions, but apparently some slipped through. That one would be our bad.

As to the predictability of math, we dodged the bullet on a FEW of the predictable topics...do we get points for that? I was going to put in a "Mario, Luigi, and Joe are fixing a bathroom; it takes Mario x hours..." tossup but Nick wrote a Joe the Plumber question and didn't let me add the repeat.

As to the difficulty of the questions, I'm going to let Brad comment on how teams did at the Sterling kickoff.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:52 am

It's late and I don't want to mistype everything, but I think I've got a half decent "Why comp math is necessary for Illinois teams" rant coming up.

Also, Jack I agree with everything you said, especially some of the powers that were gotten on questions, however I was talking with Brad, and I think had the questions been any harder, the tournaments elsewhere but WN may have revolted.

And I don't remember mobious strips or a dart board, though I almost wish that the calculus had gone to a bit more depth then simple derivitives and integrals. I also felt that there were a disproportionate amount of imaginary number bonuses, and base conversion. But now I am just getting picky
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:56 am

BGSO wrote:It's late and I don't want to mistype everything, but I think I've got a half decent "Why comp math is necessary for Illinois teams" rant coming up.

Hey - before you write that rant, wait for my post. You'll thank me for saving you some time.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:13 am

alright, you first
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:19 am

styxman wrote:
BGSO wrote:It's late and I don't want to mistype everything, but I think I've got a half decent "Why comp math is necessary for Illinois teams" rant coming up.

Hey - before you write that rant, wait for my post. You'll thank me for saving you some time.
I'll save you both the trouble: it's not.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:46 am

My computer crashed, I lost the post, and I don't feel like typing it all out as kindly as I had it. So let's pretend that I'm being cordial as I rip this region to shreds.

The statistics from this tournament will make your eyes bleed when they're compiled and posted tomorrow. Keep in mind 18 tossups per match, 5 prelim matches for each of 26 teams, 3 playoff matches for each of 8 teams.

Highlights from the stats:
*The average points per game in the prelims for all teams was under 120. Playoff teams only: 160 points per game. Non playoff teams - 96 points per game.
*The top seed by points, Moline, put up 940 points (188 PPG) in a pool featuring 4 of the 6 worst teams in the tournament by points. No team hit 200 PPG for the tournament.
*In fact, only 12 times in the entire tournament did a team score more than 200 points.
*Only once in 73 total games did a team top 300 points (LaSalle Peru, 310 in round 2). After the 310, the next highest score was 220 points.
*The top bonus conversion in the playoff matches was around 11.
Again, full stats will be up tomorrow.

It's more than just low numbers, however. The general level of play will be generously referred to as mediocre. In my rooms alone, I witnessed the following incredibly easy tossups go dead -- Avogadro's Number (given the number), the American Revolutionary War (given Saratoga), Euler (given namesake of e), Lavoisier, Thomas Hardy (given Jude and Tess), Our Town, period of a sine function (in one of the semifinals, no less). When teams were getting tossups, it was always on the giveaway clues - out of 144 tossups read, I saw no more than 3 tossups answered within the first 60% of the tossup, and a poll of moderators at lunch told of similar results. While there were some questions that were, in my opinion, probably too hard for Kickoff (heck, I wrote a couple of them myself, especially in music), they amounted to no more than 1 or 2 per round. Teams were struggling to answer 12 out of 18 questions per match; the ten-member all tournament team ranged from 46 ppg to 24 ppg.

I could continue with horror stories of questions, but that's not what has me disturbed by the results of this tournament. Numerous coaches came to me and expressed their dislike of the questions in a manner that was absolutely disheartening. Every coach that spoke of the questions noted that the answers were too obscure and that the tossups were too long. What's more, they agreed to the general concept that these questions were "good for the Auburns/New Triers/Loyolas, but not good for them," that they don't care what NAQT does, or what Team Illinois does, or what the rest of the nation does. They consistently accused the top tier schools as elitist and removed from the "real world." They overwhelmingly saw tossups that no one knew even by the giveaway, and lines and lines of extra clues that were therefore useless. Cheryl Christianson admitted that she was considering boycotting the use of Aegis for next year's Kickoff without serious changes, including dropping question length by "at least 3 lines." Most of these coaches are absolutely ignorant of the basic concepts of good quizbowl, and it's coming to a boil. This has got to be addressed, and I'm hoping it starts tomorrow.

Re: math - it got lost. Just read everything else that's been said already instead. Computational math is bad.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by the return of AHAN » Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:47 am

styxman wrote: ...Cheryl Christianson admitted that she was considering boycotting the use of Aegis for next year's Kickoff without serious changes, including dropping question length by "at least 3 lines." Most of these coaches are absolutely ignorant of the basic concepts of good quizbowl, and it's coming to a boil. This has got to be addressed, and I'm hoping it starts tomorrow.

Re: math - it got lost. Just read everything else that's been said already instead. Computational math is bad.
FWIW, I spoke with the aforementioned coach at Moline Frosh/Soph and she was anti-ACF then, but I let her rant.
Since scholastic bowl has been around since the 80's, people have come to see scholastic bowl as a reflection of scholastic curriculum, with some non-academic things such as sports, movies, etc. sprinkled in. There are some coaches and administrators who look at it as the ultimate interdisciplinary academic competition. If you yank math, you'll cause them to reassess their opinion of the activity, and I don't mean in a good way.
Bottom line? People who want to see the elimination of math in Illinois are going to have as much trouble as football coaches who might hope to eliminate the illegal formation penalty, or basketball coaches looking to eliminate the mid-court line. These would seem to be small nuances, but the games would look completely different and turn off "purists". I think some of you need to realize the only people agitating for change, at this point, don't even amount to 10% of the players and coaches in the state. Take it from me, change in a scholastic bowl organization has to be in baby steps. It took me 3 years of work and crusading just to get the IESA to alter the 'blurt rule' to conform to the IHSA version. THREE FREAKING YEARS for that single, common-sense adjustment! Chew on that.
[/sanctimonious preaching]
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:56 am

Woody Paige wrote:If you yank math, you'll cause them to reassess their opinion of the activity, and I don't mean in a good way.
No one says "yank math." But ask those people if they think that the academic study of math consists of calculations or understanding. If they don't answer immediately, tell them to ask a math teacher, for god's sake. These people can't seriously defend a position in support of computational math with a "it is more academic" argument; they must be covering for a "it is helping us win" argument.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Kanga-Rat Murder Society » Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:58 am

styxman wrote: The statistics from this tournament will make your eyes bleed when they're
Highlights from the stats:
*The average points per game in the prelims for all teams was under 120. Playoff teams only: 160 points per game. Non playoff teams - 96 points per game.
*The top seed by points, Moline, put up 940 points (188 PPG) in a pool featuring 4 of the 6 worst teams in the tournament by points. No team hit 200 PPG for the tournament.
*In fact, only 12 times in the entire tournament did a team score more than 200 points.
*Only once in 73 total games did a team top 300 points (LaSalle Peru, 310 in round 2). After the 310, the next highest score was 220 points.
*The top bonus conversion in the playoff matches was around 11.
Those numbers truly are horrible. We were the tenth seed by points and averaged well over 200 ppg in a bracket with two or three other teams that averaged more than 150 points. Also, we went over 200 points in all of our games except one (where we scored 170). Four of our seven games saw both teams going over 200 points. And we are a mediocre team. The Loyolas, Auburns, and New Triers were averaging over 300 PPG (and keep in mind that we played 16 toss-ups, not 18). These numbers show a tremendous gap between the Chicago area and the rest of the state, which seems more prevalent this year than it has in the past.
styxman wrote: Numerous coaches came to me and expressed their dislike of the questions in a manner that was absolutely disheartening. Every coach that spoke of the questions noted that the answers were too obscure and that the tossups were too long. What's more, they agreed to the general concept that these questions were "good for the Auburns/New Triers/Loyolas, but not good for them," that they don't care what NAQT does, or what Team Illinois does, or what the rest of the nation does. They consistently accused the top tier schools as elitist and removed from the "real world." They overwhelmingly saw tossups that no one knew even by the giveaway, and lines and lines of extra clues that were therefore useless. Cheryl Christianson admitted that she was considering boycotting the use of Aegis for next year's Kickoff without serious changes, including dropping question length by "at least 3 lines." Most of these coaches are absolutely ignorant of the basic concepts of good quizbowl, and it's coming to a boil. This has got to be addressed, and I'm hoping it starts tomorrow.
I know that this opinion will not be popular, but I think that the questions at Wheaton North should be different than those at other sites. When playoff teams are averaging 160 PPG, you know that the questions are too hard. Personally, I liked the question difficulty and I know that Garb thought that they were too easy. This shows that you can never satisfy both tournaments, and that the only way to satisfy everybody is to have multiple tournaments with multiple questions.

I am guessing that this will lead many of you to say that this will do nothing but give teams the impression that they are good, when really they are just playing easy questions. That said, there is a point where a team goes from motivated to discouraged. One needs to find questions that motivate teams without discouraging them. I know that our B team (who went 0-5 and averaged about 55 PPG in the bracket of death) was pretty discouraged and were probably not motivated. Hopefully, the teams that win in places like Sterling will try to challenge themselves in the future by attending harder tournaments.

The next logical question is how do we bridge the gap between Chicagoland and the rest of the state. My answer is that we use the IHSSBCA money to pay for some kids to go to ACE. The coaches are correct when they say that most of the IHSSBCA money is going to rewarding the great players instead of helping future great players develop. In order to fix this, they should stop spending money on sending a team to Orlando. Instead, give two ACE scholarships to the teams that win at Turnabouts. This way, money is being spent to help non-traditional powers to develop talent that they clearly have. I know that going to ACE Camp played a huge role in turning our team for an above average team into a good team (that played better than any team that went to Sterling), and I know that it can do the same to other teams. My plan would also consist of adding another Turnabout at a place like Bloomington, to appeal to places who do not want to go to Chicago and are too far away from Carbondale. By following this plan, we will see new teams emerge as powers throughout the state.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Chichono » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:20 pm

It was only the math and some of the astronomy questions that were too hard, generally everything else was a little too easy in my opinion
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:54 pm

See Ben I disagree, I thought for the most part the math was very average nothing compared to last year which featured some related rates and a Optimization or two. One thing I did get out of this was that I need to relearn pascal's triangle, learn how to find the determinant of a 3x3x3, and learn number bases. I felt that the math was a good distribution and fit right in the canon, however I always wonder what would happen if higher level math was put in, maybe some partial derivatives or normalizing vectors.

Now back to my math in scholastic bowl rant:

I'd like to start this out by saying that I am a big fan of math in general, I love math and the thought of integrating something while someone else is trying to do the same thing no more than five feet away from you is a pretty awesome feeling; However, I do agree that math has no place in quizbowl, it seems to ruin the flow of good matches, and its canon is very limited by the math curriculum taught in schools today.

On that note however I feel that there is absolutely no way that the math component can be eliminated from scholastic bowl at this point in time. One of the main reasons of this is the fact that all schools teach math, and you could take most of the teams in state and they can do most of the math in a round. Compare that to a category like lit, where most of the knowledge must come from resources besides the class room(sure there's things like the odyssey or Catcher in the Rye). Brad kind of alluded to the opposite of this, but I bet if you compared the amount of Literature questions to math, there would be a relatively large gap between the percents of those questions answered.

I also think that math can serve as a good bridge between good pyramidal questions, and cheap one liners. As the community tries to convert Illinois from bad to good, I think that math can be used to anchor the more reluctant teams, as you keep one thing the same to almost distract them.

Also, I really like Nick's idea, I will say that the only reason our team is as good as we are this year is because of ACE and the wonderful program Mr. Barry and his staff run.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by gack1224 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:02 pm

JackGlerum wrote:My biggest complaint for Aegis was the easiness, though it's hard to make it appropriate for all levels when the other three (inferior) regions are playing on the same questions.
While the "inferiority" to Chicagoland may be true in some ways, you don't have to be arrogant about it. By the way, if Kickoff is becoming too easy, you can always host (or attend) a better tournament.
styxman wrote:Every coach that spoke of the questions noted that the answers were too obscure and that the tossups were too long. What's more, they agreed to the general concept that these questions were "good for the Auburns/New Triers/Loyolas, but not good for them," that they don't care what NAQT does, or what Team Illinois does, or what the rest of the nation does.
BG MSL Champs wrote:Those numbers truly are horrible. We were the tenth seed by points and averaged well over 200 ppg in a bracket with two or three other teams that averaged more than 150 points. Also, we went over 200 points in all of our games except one (where we scored 170). Four of our seven games saw both teams going over 200 points. And we are a mediocre team. The Loyolas, Auburns, and New Triers were averaging over 300 PPG (and keep in mind that we played 16 toss-ups, not 18). These numbers show a tremendous gap between the Chicago area and the rest of the state, which seems more prevalent this year than it has in the past.
...
I know that this opinion will not be popular, but I think that the questions at Wheaton North should be different than those at other sites. When playoff teams are averaging 160 PPG, you know that the questions are too hard. Personally, I liked the question difficulty and I know that Garb thought that they were too easy. This shows that you can never satisfy both tournaments, and that the only way to satisfy everybody is to have multiple tournaments with multiple questions.
This is an argument about the quantity of teams participating versus the quality of the teams. I would argue that by using different questions at each site, you're going to set back the regions using easier questions and increase the gap between the Chicago region and other regions. Rewarding a poorer level of knowledge is probably not the way to go.

I now believe F/S questions need to be harder and much more like Varsity questions in format and (at times) in difficulty. This is the best way to teach teams (and especially coaches) the level of play expected. Difficult questions do not need to be uninteresting. Motivation could come from knowing the answer but not knowing every clue.
BG MSL Champs wrote:The next logical question is how do we bridge the gap between Chicagoland and the rest of the state. My answer is that we use the IHSSBCA money to pay for some kids to go to ACE.
Great idea.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:46 pm

I echo Cresston's sentiment in that fresh/soph questions can be harder. But the questions last night were awfully easy, but don't take it from me. My brother, a freshman, not the best freshman on our team, and a person who had only played one other tournament in his entire life (Moline) thought the questions weren't bad at all. And maybe I'm being shallow, but the only difference I see between Auburn's F/S players who go to varsity tournaments and varsity teams from weaker programs is the amount of work they put in. I can't imagine why there's any other reason a freshman at Auburn with no experience should be more comfortable than a player with multiple years of experience. If you want to complain about the difficulty of questions, at least show that you're improving from year to year. Maybe I sound arrogant or elitist, but why should teams who put in a lot of work have to respond to the teams that don't seem to? Because Nick called his own team mediocre (which they probably aren't--they're pretty good), I'll use Buffalo Grove as an example. The players put in a ton of work, and they show they're getting better and better. They don't get disheartened if they get mauled by some of the top-top-tier teams, because it only encourages them work only harder, showing them a tangible standard of what they could be. No one at Carbondale or New Trier or Loyola was born good at scholastic bowl; it required a degree of preparation. Teams complaining about questions is like an NFL team asking for the size of the football to be reduced because they're not strong enough to throw it very far.

By the way, the Bears will win.

*Edit: Spelling*
Last edited by Charley Pride on Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:57 pm

BG MSL Champs wrote:I am guessing that this will lead many of you to say that this will do nothing but give teams the impression that they are good, when really they are just playing easy questions. That said, there is a point where a team goes from motivated to discouraged. One needs to find questions that motivate teams without discouraging them. I know that our B team (who went 0-5 and averaged about 55 PPG in the bracket of death) was pretty discouraged and were probably not motivated. Hopefully, the teams that win in places like Sterling will try to challenge themselves in the future by attending harder tournaments.
There is more than a bit of truth to what is being said here. Don't get me wrong - I've seen some discouraged teams. A match at last year's Kickoff went 0-0 until tossup 15, and ended 10-0. A team at The Decemberist averaged 7 ppg in the morning.

That said, Cresston is absolutely right when he says:
This is an argument about the quantity of teams participating versus the quality of the teams. I would argue that by using different questions at each site, you're going to set back the regions using easier questions and increase the gap between the Chicago region and other regions. Rewarding a poorer level of knowledge is probably not the way to go.

I now believe F/S questions need to be harder and much more like Varsity questions in format and (at times) in difficulty. This is the best way to teach teams (and especially coaches) the level of play expected. Difficult questions do not need to be uninteresting. Motivation could come from knowing the answer but not knowing every clue.
This is exactly how quizbowl should be. Rewarding a poorer level of knowledge is NOT quizbowl, so we shouldn't do it! Motivation needs to come from knowing the answer but not every clue!

Talking to coaches, I heard difficult tossup answers as a common complaint, and I said that a good set of questions will allow teams to know 85-90% of tossup answers by the giveaway, so that the competition is focused on what clue you buzzed in on. When I said it, I mentioned tossups that I remembered being overly hard; after the tournament, actually looking at the packets, I noted those overly hard tossups and realized that they came up at a rate of 1 or 2 per round, which is in line with what I'd said. When I post the Sterling stats, look at what the tossup conversion rates are, then, if you have the packets, read those packets and tell me if the answer selection is too hard.
These teams simply do not have a grasp of the canon at the moment - maybe because it's early, maybe because they aren't studying the same canon we are. What's more, they actively pushed back against the canon by professing not to care about NAQT or what the nation is doing.
Aub-ZH wrote:Maybe I sound arrogant or elitist, but why should teams who put in a lot of work have to respond to the teams that don't seem to?
Why is this (perceived by some to be) arrogant??? This is a competition!
The answer, sadly, is geography. The teams at Sterling feel distant enough to Chicago that they don't have to play by the same standard, and that ANY attempt to force it on them is aggressive and, yes, arrogant. This is what we're fighting against.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:09 pm

styxman wrote:These teams simply do not have a grasp of the canon at the moment - maybe because it's early, maybe because they aren't studying the same canon we are. What's more, they actively pushed back against the canon by professing not to care about NAQT or what the nation is doing.
I find it hard to believe that any team that can't answer basic questions about Hardy, or Kafka studies. I think the ( or rather a) bigger problem that seems to be coming out of this is that coaches do not know how to coach their team. IF the average mediocre team practices for one hour a week reading crappy questions, then there is the problem.

Alot of coaches do not understand that there is basic information that everyone should know, and better yet that information is AVAILABLE WITH A SIMPLE GOOGLE SEARCH. So many teams have no idea of basic literature or SS that is almost hard to watch. Looking at everything Brad has said, its starting to make me think that the way to make Illinois better is to properly infrom coaches on how to coach their teams. If the quality of team starts to increase, so will their demand for better questions.

I have no idea how one would go about making coaches better. But if every team in the state was to know the carleton lists, and the NAQT "You gotta know" lists, the disaster that was Sterling probably would not have happened.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:18 pm

BGSO wrote:
styxman wrote:These teams simply do not have a grasp of the canon at the moment - maybe because it's early, maybe because they aren't studying the same canon we are. What's more, they actively pushed back against the canon by professing not to care about NAQT or what the nation is doing.
I find it hard to believe that any team that can't answer basic questions about Hardy, or Kafka studies. I think the ( or rather a) bigger problem that seems to be coming out of this is that coaches do not know how to coach their team. IF the average mediocre team practices for one hour a week reading crappy questions, then there is the problem.

Alot of coaches do not understand that there is basic information that everyone should know, and better yet that information is AVAILABLE WITH A SIMPLE GOOGLE SEARCH. So many teams have no idea of basic literature or SS that is almost hard to watch. Looking at everything Brad has said, its starting to make me think that the way to make Illinois better is to properly infrom coaches on how to coach their teams. If the quality of team starts to increase, so will their demand for better questions.

I have no idea how one would go about making coaches better. But if every team in the state was to know the carleton lists, and the NAQT "You gotta know" lists, the disaster that was Sterling probably would not have happened.
One of the coaches I talked to mentioned the You Gotta Know lists as something he's used, and that he felt did nothing today. (His team put up 64 PPG and went 2-3). Another coach mentioned that there was nothing to help for studying purposes; when Kristin offered the idea that she had study guides and lists, he stormed off.

They know that there are ways to study for this quizbowl - there obviously must be, as Auburn/NT/Loyola use them to good effect. They don't want those ways. They want to be lesser than those teams, spend less time studying, and go to tournaments putting up 200 ppg on popsicle stick riddles every other Saturday in January only. We have to change that mentality before we can teach them how to coach and how to study.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by leapfrog314 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:22 pm

BG MSL Champs wrote:The next logical question is how do we bridge the gap between Chicagoland and the rest of the state. My answer is that we use the IHSSBCA money to pay for some kids to go to ACE.
This is a really good idea. It makes more sense than paying for teams to go to nationals, because (1) most of the teams who aren't already going to nationals are just going to be discouraged by attending, and (2) it actively helps worse quizbowl programs grow, which helps the climate of the entire state.

Here's my conception of tournaments like Kickoff and Masonic Regionals, which are attended by a great many teams, some very strong and some not. As Brad said, those tournaments should have accessible answers, where an average team ought to know 90% of the tossup answers by the giveaway. However -- and this is where pyramidality comes in -- the first two clues or so should be able to distinguish a top team from a good team, the middle of the question should distinguish a decent team from an average team, and the end should distinguish a below-average team from a team that doesn't really know what's going on.

If we cut out "three lines" of each tossup, then there are two possible outcomes: Either the Wheaton North playoffs are 100% buzzer races, and should just be replaced by coin flips, or the Sterling playoffs never buzz in before the giveaway. Having longer questions allows the same tournament to be suitable in stronger and weaker regions.

And honestly, if a tossup ending with "...Saratoga. Name this 18th century war which ended when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown." goes dead in a room of high schoolers, I don't think the problem is that our tossups are too long, or too difficult, or anything else. Quizbowl is an activity which celebrates knowledge. There are different levels in quizbowl because we can't expect a middle-schooler to know about Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, or a high-schooler to know about the Stern-Gerlach experiment, or an average college student to know about The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.

BUT, and here's my point -- if high-school coaches are complaining that we are being elitist by foisting on them questions about Avogadro's number, the American Revolution, and Our Town, I don't know how to respond. Quizbowl is an activity designed for people who know stuff, or at least like to know stuff. If you like to know stuff but don't: read some books, go to ACE, read old packets. If you don't know stuff and you are outraged that we're writing questions about (gasp) academic subjects, I don't know how to help.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:23 pm

From what I remember of the toss-up selection, I find it hard to believe that no more than 7 toss ups and bonuses a match could be found on those lists. I would say every lt question (minus a few more obscure ones) could be found on either the NAQT or the Carleton lists. I don't have the packets (other coaches sniped them from our rooms, is there any way to get them?) however the Aegis questions were the epitome of basic high school canon.

I also just realized, where was the shakespeare? I don't remember there being more than one or two questions on it.


EDIT: 7 tossup or bonuses, considering alot of the Fine arts questions/bonuses could be taken straight from the Carleton, I find it hard to beleive a team putting up 70 points a game is working hard, more like hardly working. It is really easy for a coach to give his team a list, another to make them learn it.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:34 pm

I could see this kind of uproar happening if Delaware's televised tournament, the Comcast Academic Challenge, started using pyramidal questions at all (god forbid). I could honestly see many teams around here complaining like you guys have said you hear a few doing so in Illinois.

It's a shame.

Maybe it's a generational thing? I bet a lot of the coaches are just used to the "old ways" from a decade or two ago, when questions like "what is the capital of Namibia?" were perfectly fine.

Teams that aren't 100% dedicated to good quizbowl are just going to have to face the facts and realize that they're going to fall further and further behind the ones who are. It's not as simple as studying lists or even reading packets, it takes more work than that, and truly there are many teams not willing to put that effort in. Unfortunately it's something i see in a not-so-insignificant number of my kids as well. As the New Triers and Charters and Thomas Jeffersons of the circuit continue to pull away from many others, this is a debate that could really cause a rift, and even as we who support good quizbowl see this as the opportunity to have big goals for which to shoot and lofty competition with whom you aspire to meet and compete... i could see the exact opposite happening in many areas where teams will simply stop playing altogether if they see this growing gulf as insurmountable.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by vcuEvan » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:41 pm

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:i could see the exact opposite happening in many areas where teams will simply stop playing altogether if they see this growing gulf as insurmountable.
Good. There has been a growing movement of accessibility in all levels of the game across the country. Writers are working very hard to make sure their questions are as accessible as they can be. It sounds like the writers of this tournament tried to do that too. When it gets to the point that teams don't want to play on these questions, I say fine. I welcome an insurmountable gulf between teams who want to play quizbowl and teams who want to play trivial pursuit.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:55 pm

Adamantium Claws wrote:
Caesar Rodney HS wrote:i could see the exact opposite happening in many areas where teams will simply stop playing altogether if they see this growing gulf as insurmountable.
Good. There has been a growing movement of accessibility in all levels of the game across the country. Writers are working very hard to make sure their questions are as accessible as they can be. It sounds like the writers of this tournament tried to do that too. When it gets to the point that teams don't want to play on these questions, I say fine. I welcome an insurmountable gulf between teams who want to play quizbowl and teams who want to play trivial pursuit.
I, personally, would love that difference. I'd be able to moderate only good quizbowl, and then I'd get to see 300-200 games rather than 80-70 games. I'd be able to moderate with moderators who can read quickly so that teams don't finish five games of 18/18 with ACF bonuses in five hours. (I didn't do a great job of mentioning this, because it's been a quality-of-play attack on Sterling this year, but it's official - the Illinois-ACF bonus switch cut 10 minutes off my games and nothing off the other moderators at Sterling. It's their pace that's making the games take longer.)

The only problem I have with this is that, if that gulf arises and the 2008 LaSalle Peru's of the future don't know about good quizbowl, they'll have no ability to see what good quizbowl is and the good individual or good team is missing out.
But, meh, I'd be willing to put in some work to email coaches of good teams in crapbowl that there are alternatives, as well as new coaches, and it'd be worth it to enjoy good quizbowl more often.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:08 pm

The fact that coaches denigrate, oppose, and fail to prepare their teams for real questions is the precise (and, really, only) reason their teams fail on real questions - it's consistently been shown that every single other factor can be overcome by effort. If a coach were railing against such in my presence, they would hear exactly that. The right thing to do is to keep hammering them with real questions until there are no fake questions left to play and they either change their ways or retire. Quizbowl would be better without such people unless they change their attitudes.

MaS

PS: Also, David, you make an argument for including math, but why must this math be computational? I don't see any reason it must, even uncritically accepting your argument.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by cornfused » Sun Nov 09, 2008 5:05 pm

gack1224 wrote:
JackGlerum wrote:My biggest complaint for Aegis was the easiness, though it's hard to make it appropriate for all levels when the other three (inferior) regions are playing on the same questions.
While the "inferiority" to Chicagoland may be true in some ways, you don't have to be arrogant about it.
That's not arrogant. It has been statistically proven - on this page of this thread, even - that the other three regions are inferior to Chicagoland at quizbowl. If you're inferring that he meant inferior in some arena/way other than quizbowl, that's your thought, not his.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by gack1224 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 5:19 pm

I think that would be the point; that through statistics and comparison you can indirectly say that teams did poorly overall in a particular region rather than discounting not only the region, but every player and coach in the area. The particular reference seemed to be a claim, rather than a warrant like stats, by itself.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sun Nov 09, 2008 5:43 pm

gack1224 wrote:I think that would be the point; that through statistics and comparison you can indirectly say that teams did poorly overall in a particular region rather than discounting not only the region, but every player and coach in the area. The particular reference seemed to be a claim, rather than a warrant like stats, by itself.
While in general I do agree that evidence, preferably statistical, should back up a claim, in this case it's been born out by years of tournaments. Auburn doesn't even go to Sterling's Kickoff anymore, even though it's an easier drive.
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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