Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by pretzeldude92 » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:34 pm

Updated Bull Run District Standings through two nights

October 20 at Rapp

Rappahannock Co 260, Clarke Co 130
George Mason 260, Manassas Park 40
Strasburg 175, Madison Co 90

Rappahannock Co 305, Madison Co 60
Clarke Co 220, Manassas Park 80
George Mason 260, Strasburg 90

Rappahannock Co 170, George Mason 155
Clarke Co 220, Madison Co 90
Strasburg 220, Manassas Park 130

November 3 at Strasburg

Rappahannock Co 270, Strasburg 95
Madison Co 190, Manassas Park 115
George Mason 185, Clarke Co 160

Rappahannock Co 260, Manassas Park 115
Strasburg 180, Clarke Co 130
George Mason 250, Madison 90

Standings:
Rappahannock Co 5 0 1265 (253 ppm)
George Mason 4 1 1110 (222 ppm)
Strasburg 3 2 760 (152 ppm)
Clarke Co 2 3 855 (171 ppm)
Madison Co 1 4 520 (104 ppm)
Manassas Park 0 5 480 (96 ppm)
Last edited by pretzeldude92 on Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by intothenegs » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:33 pm

Today was the scrimmage day for VHSL AA Battlefield District. I only have results for James Monroe, though I will post scores for our other district matches if I can get them.

James Monroe 290 Caroline 35
James Monroe 385 Spotsylvania 10

So I never really felt this until today; I don't know if it was like this before, or if today was just particularly bad: VHSL questions are horrible, especially in the first match we played today. I think the distribution is at least 30% Trash and General Knowledge, there was an ungodly high amount of computation questions, and the tossups all had stock clues or giveaways on the first line. When I go to tournaments, I'll hear stuff I don't know and say, 'Hey, that sounds important. It would probably help me to learn that' and write it down. I feel VHSL is 'Hey, I don't know that answer. Too bad I don't spend my life playing board games and watching crappy television shows.' Trash is okay, but it should not be every other question. The academic questions all had cute beginnings about useless anecdotes and didn't test whether players had actual deep knowledge about that topic. I mean, our team is playing an NAQT A-Set in practice right now, and I feel that those questions are many times superior to the crap we are being fed by VHSL.
Chuhern Hwang
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:34 pm

Amen.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:36 pm

VHSL has been that way for the duration of my career. According to our assistant coach Mrs. Lasswell, it used to be worse. Apparently you've only recently been exposed to enough good quizbowl to notice.

I know some of the lower-tier coaches are finally getting fed up as well, so hopefully changes will be made eventually, especially if HSAPQ manages to take over. I don't know if that's still being discussed or not... Sorry it's too late for any changes to benefit you, Chuhern. I still hope for improvements for my senior year.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by intothenegs » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:28 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:VHSL has been that way for the duration of my career. According to our assistant coach Mrs. Lasswell, it used to be worse. Apparently you've only recently been exposed to enough good quizbowl to notice.

I know some of the lower-tier coaches are finally getting fed up as well, so hopefully changes will be made eventually, especially if HSAPQ manages to take over. I don't know if that's still being discussed or not... Sorry it's too late for any changes to benefit you, Chuhern. I still hope for improvements for my senior year.
It is absolutely necessary for HSAPQ or someone who can write good questions to take over, or for VHSL to begin writing more acceptable questions. There were at least 6-7 computation questions out of 50 questions in a match, and there was one question I heard that went to "FTP" before it gave an identifying pronoun, which ended up being a buzzer race. How do those questions help anyone? They certainly don't help decent or good teams answer by their depth of knowledge, and they certainly don't help lower-level teams improve at quizbowl. Quizbowl is a meritocracy- teams that put hard work into expanding their academic knowledge are rewarded and beat the teams that sit on their butts. But I feel that VHSL, in its attempts to make their tossups answerable by low-level teams, has neglected many of the teams that actually care about quizbowl. Why, for instance, was there only a single physics question in a tossup round in which there were three pop culture/sports question and two general knowledge questions entirely unrelated to academic material?

I have only played one HSAPQ set, but my experience with it was overwhelming positive. If HSAPQ takes over VHSL in the next few years, or if VHSL begins writing pyramidal questions that reward actual knowledge, that will be a giant step in the right direction.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:59 pm

Ok, so VHSL has next to no one writing for it, and the set of good writers is laughably smaller. Turns out a few bad writers writing a huge load of bad questions vastly outweighs the contributions of whatever good writers they have, like Dan Goff.
intothenegs wrote: if VHSL begins writing pyramidal questions that reward actual knowledge, that will be a giant step in the right direction.
Good luck with that. Regardless of Pickrell's posturing, I think he would have to be willing to accept actual pyramidality as that would allow the good teams, that he claimed (as was noted on the deceased older QBwiki) that have been killing everyone for years, to have a better chance, something that would go against his usual attitude. But I figure the real sticking point will be the "distribution" of the sets. HSAPQ doesn't do computational math, so that could be a sticking point.
MLWGS-Gir wrote:]According to our assistant coach Mrs. Lasswell, it used to be worse. Apparently you've only recently been exposed to enough good quizbowl to notice.
Yes, VHSL used to be easily one of the worst in existence, whereas now it is merely unacceptable. The only decent time I ever had playing VHSL was when I played the Central Region tournament in 07 on a mix of painkillers after having my foot put back together 2 days beforehand. If I was a high school coach, I would never even read it in practice; the massive variety of better materials, that can actually teach students important things is so great that VHSL based practice would be outlandish and wasteful.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by pretzeldude92 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:44 pm

Frater Taciturnus wrote:If I was a high school coach, I would never even read it in practice; the massive variety of better materials, that can actually teach students important things is so great that VHSL based practice would be outlandish and wasteful.
I can agree with this, and if I were a coach, I would do the same. Likewise, my coach minimizes the VHSL sets he reads at practice. Nonetheless, they are still read for three reasons:

1) They are easily accessible.
2) They are the format we play on most (because we can't afford most other outside tournaments, and my coach hasn't bought any other NAQT sets from online).
3) The younger kids who join the quiz bowl team to participate (as much as this sometimes frustrates me) do better on these sets. Since they fundamentally won't work to get better, but we don't expel them, we need to do something with them. Thus, these kids are read the VHSL sets when others of us are read NAQT/PACE/better sets.

I would prefer to play on better sets, but I am at the mercy of my coach. Thus, I study these sets independently.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by STPickrell » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:23 pm

VHSL Regular season questions:
1/2 written by Avery (odd matches)
1/2 written from my MSHSAA state sets (even matches)

I turned to Avery when (1) NAQT never got back to me and (2) other good vendors announced plans to leave the business or scale back (I apologize for not contacting HSAPQ earlier, but they don't want to write questions for formats that have comp math tossups.)

MSHSAA are pyramidal but in the manner of an anthill being pyramidal. They are definitely not as good as what I write for most years. Avery is Avery.

I was suffering from extreme burnout in spring 2008, due to having written/overseen 68 VHSL and 55 MSHSAA matches (4,823 tossups and 1,485 bonuses).

Moving/settling in took up most of the time I use in writing regular season matches.

Tournament questions will be fresh and will be written to the standards of 2006-07 and 2007-08 VHSL matches.

For criticism: try to differentiate between the subject areas. Are some subject areas worse than others? I do have different writers (including myself) for different subject areas, although as the 'captain' all blame rightly gets shifted onto me.

Math is 6-7 of each 50. That's in the rulebook, and a coaches' movement can get that changed easily although it would be a year's delay. Changes must be approved by a majority of coaches.
I know some of the lower-tier coaches are finally getting fed up as well, so hopefully changes will be made eventually,
I'd be interested to hear what the lower-tier coaches are getting fed up with -- whether the questions are 'too long too hard too confusing' or whether their criticisms match those heard on this board.

Compare my questions from 2000-01 to the ones from 2006-07 and 2007-08. They have gotten more pyramidal and clue-dense over the years. Whether the improvements have been enough is for the Virginia quizbowl community, both on and off this board, to decide.

If the game in Virginia has moved past my ability to help it, it is a moment of progress for the game in Virginia.

In that case, it is best to arrange a transition that is smooth and is not a step backwards for Virginia quizbowl.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:03 pm

Mr. Pickrell, the particular coach I overheard speaking with Dr. B. really likes the 20/20 TU/B format rather than the current one. I believe he also mentioned question quality in general.

Anyway, in regards to the HSAPQ bid, would it be so terrible to arrange a compromise by having them write the bulk of it and someone else (like yourself) write the math calc? With fewer questions for you to focus on they could presumably become better, and it seems to me like this would improve question quality a lot overall.

As for what's wrong with the VHSL questions, it isn't so much specific areas as hoses and/or questions that are impossible to answer until almost the end and possibly other things that I've managed to forget since last season...
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:09 pm

STPickrell wrote:Math is 6-7 of each 50. That's in the rulebook, and a coaches' movement can get that changed easily although it would be a year's delay. Changes must be approved by a majority of coaches.
Can you explain more about how this works? I only see the distribution listed as an "interpretation" of a section of the VHSL Scholastic Bowl Manual that is copied from the general VHSL Handbook. I don't see anything about the procedure for changing it anywhere.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:48 am

If VHSL does not have the resources to produce a quality set for these regular season games, the obvious response is the need to scale back or even eliminate those regular season games, not outsource to terrible vendors and further reduce product quality. Time and effort on terrible sets would be better served producing a reduced, higher quality set in almost all instances.

Shawn, I understand that you feel burned out, after what certainly must have been a very difficult writing season. But if NAQT is going to provide questions for VHSL, then that is x number of questions that they can't use in a tournament set to sell to Virginia teams.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by STPickrell » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:39 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:Mr. Pickrell, the particular coach I overheard speaking with Dr. B. really likes the 20/20 TU/B format rather than the current one. I believe he also mentioned question quality in general.
If massive discontent has spread to teams that practice seriously, sometimes make regionals, go to tournaments, etc., then in that case the game has moved on past me (see above).

I wanted to make sure it was criticism similar to what is here as opposed to the 'oh noes too many words' criticism from Virginia's equivalent of the 'ACF is impossible' crowd.
Anyway, in regards to the HSAPQ bid, would it be so terrible to arrange a compromise by having them write the bulk of it and someone else (like yourself) write the math calc? With fewer questions for you to focus on they could presumably become better, and it seems to me like this would improve question quality a lot overall.
I wouldn't have a problem with that. HSAPQ might and I will let them consider that alternative.
As for what's wrong with the VHSL questions, it isn't so much specific areas as hoses and/or questions that are impossible to answer until almost the end and possibly other things that I've managed to forget since last season...
OK, fair enough. If someone has the time I'd like to review a set of this year's states with someone more familiar with modern quizbowl technique.
Matt Weiner wrote:Can you explain more about how this works? I only see the distribution listed as an "interpretation" of a section of the VHSL Scholastic Bowl Manual that is copied from the general VHSL Handbook. I don't see anything about the procedure for changing it anywhere.
The actual handbook does refer to math. Changed to the actual handbook would require the lengthy process.

So it would be possible to move the math to the directed rounds.

A change like this would probably need some sort of coaches' approval this spring. From what I know of Lisa Giles, the VHSL director, she wouldn't be opposed to such a change, but she'd want to at least survey coaches.

I apologize for earlier thinking it'd need Executive Committee approval and wouldn't go into place until 2010-11. Eliminating math entirely would require that executive committee approval and couldn't go into place until 2010-11. Moving math to the directed rounds *could*, if the Advisory Committee surveyed coaches in the spring, be done for 2009-10.
Frater Taciturnus wrote:If VHSL does not have the resources to produce a quality set for these regular season games, the obvious response is the need to scale back or even eliminate those regular season games, not outsource to terrible vendors and further reduce product quality. Time and effort on terrible sets would be better served producing a reduced, higher quality set in almost all instances.
Problem being is that some districts will turn to other vendors who can provide the questions needed.
Shawn, I understand that you feel burned out, after what certainly must have been a very difficult writing season. But if NAQT is going to provide questions for VHSL, then that is x number of questions that they can't use in a tournament set to sell to Virginia teams.
Actually the deal I proposed would've been more lucrative financially for NAQT, and given the high penetration of house-written and HSAPQ-written tournaments the demand for NAQT sets is a little lower in VA.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by intothenegs » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:37 pm

STPickrell wrote: I wanted to make sure it was criticism similar to what is here as opposed to the 'oh noes too many words' criticism from Virginia's equivalent of the 'ACF is impossible' crowd.
Well, I won't deny that many coaches prefer shorter questions; but I think longer questions, and especially questions with better clues that have identifying pronouns, will help teams learn more and become better. The short questions right now don't encourage many of those teams to improve. And I feel that pandering to those who don't necessarily care about academics by loading VHSL sets with sports and pop culture is not the right direction to go in.
Frater Taciturnus wrote:If VHSL does not have the resources to produce a quality set for these regular season games, the obvious response is the need to scale back or even eliminate those regular season games, not outsource to terrible vendors and further reduce product quality. Time and effort on terrible sets would be better served producing a reduced, higher quality set in almost all instances.
Problem being is that some districts will turn to other vendors who can provide the questions needed.
I agree with George that VHSL should cut down on the number of sets produced to boost quality; does any team ever play 68 VHSL matches in a year? Also, given what I've heard about Brice Avery, I am not exactly excited that my district competition will be decided by his questions. I do understand that you've had to produce many, many sets recently, but I do hope you will try and improve any sets you make from now onward.

I don't really know what my situation will be a year from now and I know my question-writing abilities have never really been tested, but since I'll be out of high school next year, I'd be willing to write a bit for VHSL and hopefully bring a bit more pyramidality, if you are interested in my doing so, Mr. Pickrell.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:52 pm

Does VHSL really produce 68 sets? That strikes me as entirely unnecessary. Our VHSL season last year consisted of 19 games between Districts, Regionals, and States.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Matt Weiner » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:50 pm

Yeah, I'm not sure what the purpose of having a VHSL "regular season" is in the first place. Quizbowl already has a "regular season;" there's invitational tournaments hosted in every part of Virginia now. It seems like the problem of "oh where oh where will we find someone to write a million math questions" and the problem of VHSL butting up against normal quizbowl could be solved in one fell swoop by replacing the regular season VHSL set with a piece of paper that says "if you want to play something before VHSL districts, then go to tournaments on Saturdays!"
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by intothenegs » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:02 pm

Battlefield District Match Results (I have them all now for that day now!)

1. James Monroe 3-0
2. King George 2-1
3. Chancellor 2-1
4. Caroline 1-2
5. Courtland 1-2
6. Spotsylvania 0-3

James Monroe 280 Courtland 75
Chancellor 220 Caroline 70
King George 175 Spotsylvania 105

James Monroe 190 King George 95
Chancellor 155 Spotsylvania 70
Caroline 135 Courtland 120

James Monroe 335 Caroline 20
Courtland 80 Spotsylvania 55
King George 130 Chancellor 90

I will reiterate that the questions (especially from the second packet we played today) were horrible. I think the packets by Mr. Pickrell and Mr. Avery are easily distinguishable- Mr. Pickrell's packets have a bunch of useless anecdotes, but tend to be at least somewhat academic, while Mr. Avery's packets have the worst answer selection I've heard, have no academic content at all, and are not preferable to finding my butt with my hands.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by intothenegs » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:31 pm

So Charlottesville is still really good. I think my team will have chances against them, but they are still definitely better than our team (James Monroe) right now. Their bonus conversion (at least in our match) didn't seem too strong, but they were very good at getting tossups early and not negging. Based on what I've seen so far, here's my basic thoughts on Virginia in general:

1. Gov: Undoubtedly the best team in Virginia, their team is extremely balanced in all subjects and they don't seem to neg a lot. And their team is young and will only improve and become more amazing.
2. TJ: Naren is amazing, but I think TJ negs too much and while they are great on science, they're not absolutely amazing on non-science stuff.
3. Charlottesville: Sam Bailey is really good, and he doesn't seem to neg much. The rest of Charlottesville is pretty solid too, and I think they're still most likely to win AA States this year.
4. James Monroe: I'm probably ranking my own team a bit too high, but we have occasional flashes of brilliance when we're not zeroing science and literature bonuses. And we're extremely inconsistent sometimes.
5. Cave Spring: Definitely knows some deep knowledge, considering the stats they've put up. Kathryn is quite a good player.

I've left Rappahannock County off this list for the time being since I haven't played them yet. I have strong feeling they'd be anywhere from 3-5 on this list. I've also left Robinson off since I don't anything about them, either. Gov B would be by #6 pick and Collegiate would be my #7 pick, since I feel they're strong teams but a bit inconsistent in their results. And I'm sure there are plenty of other amazing teams I haven't talked out which belong on here, but which I just haven't heard about.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by pretzeldude92 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:39 pm

I think you are overestimating our team. But I have a feeling we will be playing at CSI, if JM attends, so you would be able to rank us then.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:57 pm

intothenegs wrote:2. TJ: Naren is amazing, but I think TJ negs too much and while they are great on science, they're not absolutely amazing on non-science stuff.
Admittedly, what you faced was the normal TJ B team and a team consisting of myself (usually on A team) and three C team members. But yeah, I'll agree with you about the negs.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by intothenegs » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:15 pm

hwhite wrote:
intothenegs wrote:2. TJ: Naren is amazing, but I think TJ negs too much and while they are great on science, they're not absolutely amazing on non-science stuff.
Admittedly, what you faced was the normal TJ B team and a team consisting of myself (usually on A team) and three C team members. But yeah, I'll agree with you about the negs.
My #2 ranking for TJ A is based on what I saw from UVA three weeks ago when TJ had what I think was most of its A Team. I mean, TJ is still better than us at non-science stuff, but while I tend to get beat to humanities stuff by Gov and WJ before I even know what they're talking about, I feel TJ tends to have slightly less deep knowledge in that area.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by aestheteboy » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:07 pm

Hey Chuhern, you're most definitely underrating your own team.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by intothenegs » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:40 pm

aestheteboy wrote:Hey Chuhern, you're most definitely underrating your own team.
I wouldn't say so. I think that until we can put up more consistent results, my team can't really be considered close to elite teams in the region (or even to Charlottesville). We still regularly lose to teams that have ppb that are 5 points under ours and that have ppg more than 100 less than us. So, while we certainly know some stuff, we certainly don't know how to actually play a competitive match against teams at our level.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by pretzeldude92 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:52 pm

Bull Run District Night 3

November 17 at Clarke Co.

Rappahannock Co. 200, George Mason 180
Manassas Park 160, Strasburg 145
Clarke Co. 170, Madison Co. 140

Rappahannock Co. 300, Clarke Co. 90
Strasburg 230, Madison Co. 90
George Mason 215, Manassas Park 45

Rappahannock Co. 245, Madison 90
Manassas Park 130, Clarke Co. 115
George Mason 185, Strasburg 90

Standings:
Rappahannock Co. 8 0 251 ppm
George Mason 6 2 211 pm
Strasburg 4 4 153 ppm
Clarke Co. 3 5 154 ppm
Manassas Park 2 6 102 ppm
Madison Co. 1 7 105 ppm
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by intothenegs » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:06 pm

James Monroe's results from todays Battlefield District Meet (I will post scores for all matches once I get my hands on them):

James Monroe 240 Spotsylvania 80
James Monroe 310 Chancellor 20
James Monroe 265 Courtland 85

So, more spelling and computation questions today. How wonderful.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by pretzeldude92 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:03 pm

Bull Run District Night 4

December 1 at Madison Co.

Rappahannock Co. 310, Manassas Park 100
Clarke Co. 180, Strasburg 135
George Mason 240, Madison Co. 130

Rappahannock Co. 290, Strasburg 110
George Mason 250, Clarke Co. 120
Madison Co. 170, Manassas Park 155

Rappahannock Co. 10 0 261 ppm
George Mason 8 2 218 ppm
Clarke Co. 4 6 153 ppm
Strasburg 4 6 147 ppm
Madison Co. 2 8 114 ppm
Manassas Park 2 8 107 ppm
Last edited by pretzeldude92 on Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by sageorator » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:58 pm

Blacksburg scrimmaged Pulaski tonight.

Blacksburg A 270 Pulaski A 100
Blacksburg B 190 Pulaski A 130

I was skeptical about the complaints about the questions, but I have to concur. I have a great deal of respect for Shawn Pickrell and what he has done for quizbowl in Virginia, but this was bad.Only about 2/3 of the questions were academic, and I think I'm being generous. The literature, art, and history questions were terrible and some bordered on trash. Hopefully, though disappointingly doubtfully, this was just this set. After reading HSAPQ questions recently, this was quite an abrupt change.

How am I supposed to study or practice for these questions?
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Blacksburg High School '10

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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by intothenegs » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:19 pm

sageorator wrote: I was skeptical about the complaints about the questions, but I have to concur. I have a great deal of respect for Shawn Pickrell and what he has done for quizbowl in Virginia, but this was bad.Only about 2/3 of the questions were academic, and I think I'm being generous. The literature, art, and history questions were terrible and some bordered on trash. Hopefully, though disappointingly doubtfully, this was just this set. After reading HSAPQ questions recently, this was quite an abrupt change.

How am I supposed to study or practice for these questions?
I'll concur again. And mention that there was another spelling question today, which I don't believe belongs in any form of quizbowl. And I'll lament the fact that all but two of the schools in my district are unwilling to even try mACF. And point out that having trash on random shows and actors that aren't culturally significant from the many decades ago is an extremely stupid idea. And hope that Shawn Pickrell writes a decent regionals/states set.

Battlefield District today:
James Monroe 285 King George 50
James Monroe 310 Caroline 45
James Monroe 330 Spotsylvania 50
Chancellor defeats Spotsylvania
King George defeats Chancellor
Courtland defeats Chancellor
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by STPickrell » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:38 pm

District, region, and state tournament sets will be at the same standards (length, answer selection, etc.) I wrote in previous years.
Shawn Pickrell, HSAPQ CFO

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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by sageorator » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:43 am

Blacksburg scrimmaged Northside last night.

Blacksburg A 275 Northside A 35
Blacksburg B 220 Northside B 20

The questions were somewhat better tonight. More of Pickrell's questions and less of Avery's. However, I did have my first experience with spelling questions. That was interesting. The art questions in particular have been disappointing this year as they're either bad or nonexistant.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by pretzeldude92 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:38 am

After yesterday's CSI III, I am inclined to believe that the top four AA teams in the state are Cave Spring, Charlottesville, JM, and Heritage-Lynchburg. I think that Blacksburg would definitely be in the next tier, and among those five I have played only Cave Spring (who beat us by 50 I think) and Blacksburg (who has lost to us twice). Bassett isn't bad either, and we only narrowly beat them.

For A, Honaker is pretty good, and the scores in the matches in which we played them are not indicative of how good they really are. Auburn's not bad either, and I think they really should've finished higher than 10th. We've beaten George Mason twice in close matches, and play again tomorrow.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by pretzeldude92 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:00 pm

December 15 at George Mason

Rappahannock Co. 275, Madison Co. 50
Clarke Co. defeated Manassas Park
George Mason 215, Strasburg 140

Rappahannock Co. 320, Clarke Co. 90
Strasburg 150, Madison Co. 120
George Mason 225, Manassas Park 150

Rappahannock Co. 300, George Mason 165
Manassas Park 165, Strasburg 110
Madison Co. defeated Clarke Co.

Standings:
Rappahannock Co. 13 0 269.6 ppm
George Mason 10 3 214.2 ppm
Clarke Co. 5 8
Strasburg 5 8 143.8 ppm
Manassas Park 3 10
Madison Co. 3 10
Last edited by pretzeldude92 on Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by intothenegs » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:54 pm

Results from the Battlefield District:
James Monroe 330 Caroline 40
James Monroe 290 Chancellor 120
King George defeats Chancellor
Courtland defeats Chancellor

Scrimmage:
James Monroe B 150 King George B 100

Today was James Monroe's last "regular season meet," which is good, because playing VHSL has been a rather unenjoyable activity this year. The district set in general was rancid; there were occasional good tossups, but they were extremely rare and were very much drowned out by "spell this word," "if 'the' is sung on B in 'such-and-such song,' what note is this other word sung on?," and "Bob takes this many hours to do a project, Jerry takes this many hours to do a project, find how much time it takes for them to do it together" and other random occurrences of the some of the worst questions I have ever heard. Many questions were unpyramidal at best; a tossup on George Washington (This is not from the set) probably would've been like "This man was a land surveyor before he became a general. He later became president and delivered a famous farewell address. Name this president who came before John Adams." In other words, no real clues anywhere. Many questions did not have specifying pronouns before their giveaway, and the answer line of many questions didn't necessarily specify equivalent answers. In one question on a something Chinese, I gave the Hanyu Pinyin name for that answer yet was counted wrong because apparently the answer space only had the Wade-Giles spelling. And the matches written by Bryce Avery contain useless "general knowledge" and extremely bad answer selection.

In short, I feel that VHSL has not produced a set that is able to distinguish good and bad teams this year; I hope that this will be a problem which Shawn Pickrell and coaches of teams in Virginia will be willing to tackle and to improve on, so that a match won on VHSL questions can actually have a degree of validity to it, and don't come down to who can spell, who can do cute computation, and who can give answers in outdated romanizations.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Sir Thopas » Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:38 pm

intothenegs wrote:In one question on a something Chinese, I gave the Hanyu Pinyin name for that answer yet was counted wrong because apparently the answer space only had the Wade-Giles spelling.
!!!!

What the hell is this, 1965?
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by cdcarter » Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:46 pm

Sir Thopas wrote:
intothenegs wrote:In one question on a something Chinese, I gave the Hanyu Pinyin name for that answer yet was counted wrong because apparently the answer space only had the Wade-Giles spelling.
!!!!

What the hell is this, 1965?
No, it's just bad quizbowl. Calm down.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Sir Thopas » Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:53 pm

i hear quizbowl was bad in 1965
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by STPickrell » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:15 am

Tournament matches will be written to standards seen in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. i.e. more clues and a more canonical answer selection.

About math computation: this is something (currently) 90% out of my control.

I can suggest the reduction/removal/transfer of math comp questions until I'm blue in the face; I recommend *coaches* agitate for these changes as they will be more listened to. There is no shortage of coaches agitating for good quizbowl in Virginia.

Other things such as 'bad literature,' 'unpyramidal,' etc., can and will be worked on.

After the season ends I will reassess.

I have also heard feedback -- mostly negative -- from coaches/players who do not frequent this board.
Shawn Pickrell, HSAPQ CFO

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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:14 pm

I have also heard feedback -- mostly negative -- from coaches/players who do not frequent this board.
I think you should have expected this when you got in a business deal with a guy who has a reputation as one of the worst vendors out there. I know you seem to be chummy with Avery, but, like, when all of us say his questions are atrocities on the level of Pol Pot's Killing Fields, that's because his questions are terrible, not because we just select one person to ceremonially pillory or anything like that. Thank God your constituency seems to have noticed that, and at this point all I can really say is "I told you so" about hiring Bryce.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by STPickrell » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:42 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:
I have also heard feedback -- mostly negative -- from coaches/players who do not frequent this board.
I think you should have expected this when you got in a business deal with a guy who has a reputation as one of the worst vendors out there. I know you seem to be chummy with Avery, but, like, when all of us say his questions are atrocities on the level of Pol Pot's Killing Fields, that's because his questions are terrible, not because we just select one person to ceremonially pillory or anything like that. Thank God your constituency seems to have noticed that, and at this point all I can really say is "I told you so" about hiring Bryce.
1. I attempted to negotiate with NAQT but they never did get back to me with a counter-proposal. I offered them a sum which I am nearly certain would have been much more than they would make from selling questions to tournaments in Virginia.
2. I was not aware of HSAPQ's existence at the time -- they also have an aversion to computational math tossups, which I have been led to believe are necessary. Getting rid of math is pretty non-negotiable, but I have come to realize putting math in the directed rounds -- similar to bounceback bonuses -- may be achievable/acceptable. I encourage coaches to submit proposals to the Advisory Committee.
3. I wanted to keep my customer base together for the 2008-09 season so (if necessary) a new vendor could pick up the contract and thus make it profitable. In Missouri and most other states with a 'state series vendor', the state series vendor must contact conferences, tournaments, etc., individually to market his wares. In Virginia he/she/they have a large guaranteed market due to the contacts/customers I have collected over the years. The money (in Missouri and Virginia at least) is in the sale of regular season questions.
4. Coaches in Virginia probably have higher expectations for question quality than others states. This is due partially to the efforts of TJ and Maggie Walker, as well as my questions being the 'baseline' for quality for teams around the entire state.
5. For 2009-10 I hope to have have HSAPQ write the questions or to form a new consortium with additional writers so I won't have to write 1,000+ tossups.
Shawn Pickrell, HSAPQ CFO

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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by pretzeldude92 » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:17 pm

Bull Run District Night 6 at Manassas Park

Rappahannock Co. 270, Manassas Park 65
George Mason 235, Madison Co. 85
Clarke Co. 190, Strasburg 155

Rappahannock Co. 320, Strasburg 75
George Mason 190, Clarke Co. 135
Manassas Park 190, Madison Co. 80

Rappahannock Co. is 15-0 (273 ppm), and therefore receives the number one seed in the district tournament on January 17th.
George Mason is 12-3 (214 ppm) will receive the second seed.
Clarke Co. is 6-9 (149.6 ppm).
Strasburg is 5-10 (140 ppm).
Manassas Park is 4-11 (117.1 ppm).
Madison Co. is 3-12 (105.4 ppm).
Last edited by pretzeldude92 on Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by intothenegs » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:56 pm

The Battlefield District Tournament was today. Questions were an improvement, as they weren't as horrible as the regular season questions, but they weren't really great either. Still, I'd like to thank Mr. Pickrell for producing at least a relatively decent set. Results:

Round 1
Chancellor d. Caroline
Spotsylvania d. Courtland

Round 2
James Monroe 315 d. Chancellor 125
King George d. Spotsylvania

Round 3
James Monroe 305 d. King George 140
Chancellor 190 d. Courtland 155
Caroline d. Spotsylvania

Round 4
Chancellor d. Caroline

Round 5
King George d. Chancellor

Round 6
James Monroe 285 d. King George 125
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by STPickrell » Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:00 pm

Chuern, any more specific comments on my questions please email me on Facebook or on shawn underscore pickrell at yahoo period com ...
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Patriotic Spore » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:06 pm

My team and I have issues with the many grammar toss-ups in VHSL. Just throwing that out there.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Patriotic Spore » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:35 am

Capital District Meet was last night. Henrico came in first, with Hanover as runner-up. I don't remember the actual scores, though. Hanover's decent - they have a few OK players, but they tend to buzz in too early and neg a lot. The final match was something like Henrico 280-Hanover 115.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by STPickrell » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:28 am

Patriotic Spore wrote:My team and I have issues with the many grammar toss-ups in VHSL. Just throwing that out there.
2/3 of grammar questions are directed ("quick! conjugate this verb!") and 1/3 are grammar concepts, such as 'verb mood,' the word 'shall,' etc. Of course I put in the much-maligned font tossups (I've asked about Times New Roman and Courier New) in this category. HSAPQ tells me there will be no more of those.

This is a holdover from the days when questions had to be taken from the SOL's. While I am personally agnostic on it (it's not a sine qua non the way multi-clue tossups are for me), I am not aware of a giant constituency supporting their staying around.

On the other hand, I'm trying to distill the 'wish list' into a list of recommendations and see what we can try to pass this year and then pass in future years.

I encourage anyone reading this to submit letters to me shawn underscore pickrell at yahoo dot com explaining why math computation tossups make Scholastic Bowl a lesser competition. Or, if they think math computation tossups are great, let me know. Right now there's 2 a match out of the 30 tossups.

This is a change I believe will improve the competition, allowing HSAPQ to produce questions worthy of the excellent teams participating.

This will also allow me to focus on watching Eurovision videos.
Shawn Pickrell, HSAPQ CFO

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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by pretzeldude92 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:00 pm

Bull Run District Tournament

Strasburg 190, Manassas Park 180
Clarke Co. defeated Madison Co.

Rappahannock Co. 330, Strasburg 120
George Mason 310, Clarke Co. 160

Rappahannock Co. 240, George Mason 225
Clarke Co. defeated Manassas Park (elim)
Strasburg defeated Madison Co. (elim)

Strasburg defeated Clarke Co. (elim)

George Mason 245, Strasburg 190 (elim)

George Mason 250, Rappahannock Co. 195

Rappahannock Co. 250, George Mason 215 (elim)

So, George Mason's 9 straight district title streak was broken. Both teams advance to regionals at George Mason on January 31.

Oh, and the questions were an improvement over the regular season questions.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:04 pm

I don't have scores, as I was at ACF Winter, but Maggie Walker went 5-0 to win the Colonial District, with Freeman coming in second and also advancing to Regionals.
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by whsacademicteamcaptain » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:33 am

In the Peninsula district Warwick High and Menchvile High advance. Three other districts comprise the AAA Eastern Region. Here are there teams advancement to the regionals
PD- Warwick first, Menchville second
Beach District- Ocean lakes first, First colonial second
Eastern district- Maury first, Wilson second
Southeastern district- Hickory first, Oscar Smith second

Princess Anne and Hampton High Schools were both eliminate this year which is unusual because they are powerhouses

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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by kamikaze » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:59 pm

Region IV Tournament
January 31st

Round 1
Tazwell v. Blacksburg
Bassett v. Salem
Tunstal v. Graham
Cave Spring v. Richlands
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by intothenegs » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:16 pm

The AA Region I Tournament will be next Wednesday, February 4 at Poquoson High School.

Round 1 pairings:
James Monroe vs. Grafton
New Kent vs. Nottoway
King George vs. Park View
York vs. Powhatan
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Re: Non-DC Metro Virginia 2008-09

Post by pretzeldude92 » Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:35 am

I know that they are two weeks away, but does anyone have any predictions about VHSL states? The brackets are in the other thread, if needed.
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