Thoughts on Delta Burke Questions?

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
Locked
User avatar
ValenciaQBowl
Auron
Posts: 2442
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:25 pm
Location: Orlando, Florida

Thoughts on Delta Burke Questions?

Post by ValenciaQBowl »

I'm not sure how much Mehdi et al. edited the Delta Burke set before using it at QuAC (it sounds like they wanted to do quite a bit), but I'm interested in reactions to the questions from their site and JS Reynolds CC. I assume the questions were easier than what the best HS teams are used to, but of course I write them for the CC field in Florida; more than half the players at Delta Burke this year indicated this was their first or second tournament ever, so obviously I have to consider that part of the audience.

I plan to post the DB set as we used it in Orlando to the Stanford Archive soon; I've asked the Penn folks and those at JSR CC in Virginia to allow me to just post my set. I hope their variants will be made available by e-mail to those interested (including me!).

Otherwise, how did they play?
Chris Borglum
Valencia College Grand Poobah

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8414
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Thoughts on Delta Burke Questions?

Post by Matt Weiner »

I wouldn't call them bad questions or anything, and, on a point relevant to the end of this sentence, I certainly think they were far better for the collegiate field than NAQT IS would have been, but I think they demonstrated the inherent flaw in trying to use the same questions for novice collegiate tournaments and normal high school tournaments. The elite high school teams are, by definition, not "novices" at any level of quizbowl short of regular collegiate difficulty. Conversely, lower-level high school teams don't know things in the low-level collegiate canon. So, you end up with questions that are too easy for some of the field and too hard for the rest of it when you play the high school divisions. Collegiate quizbowl and high school quizbowl are different, and I don't think the compromises that are made necessary when people try to force them together are really productive for any segment of the players.

Stuff like using the Illinois Novice for Weekend of Quizbowl still makes some sense since that event is explicitly for elite HSers and the writers can take that challenge into account, but since both Penn and JSR (and Florida State) were normal HS events with diverse fields, I think a set intentionally written for the various needs of a high school field would have been superior.

In the collegiate division, my only complaint would be that some of the bonuses seemed to have three parts of exactly the same difficulty. In a novice event, you of course don't want to go off the deep end with the hard part, but half of these questions could have just been one-part, thirty-or-nothing bonuses that asked if you had heard of a particular thing. Otherwise, I think the questions were pretty good for the field and this was a productive event in the Mid-Atlantic, where we don't usually have novice tournaments, and I'd like to see it return in the future.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
ValenciaQBowl
Auron
Posts: 2442
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:25 pm
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: Thoughts on Delta Burke Questions?

Post by ValenciaQBowl »

That all makes sense. We had some of the same problems here since only the top five or six teams were capable of at least converting every toss-up by the end; we'd get scoresheets with two elite teams scoring 650-700 points combined and also two 'C' teams finishing 40-25. And there was near revolt by a lot of players/coaches after Ahmad's round (unfairly, I thought, though that pack does ramp up quite a bit), but players on Chipola and my Red team all liked it. It's hard to find the median when writing for that broad an audience.
Chris Borglum
Valencia College Grand Poobah

User avatar
Frater Taciturnus
Auron
Posts: 2463
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:26 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Thoughts on Delta Burke Questions?

Post by Frater Taciturnus »

I plan to post the DB set as we used it in Orlando to the Stanford Archive soon; I've asked the Penn folks and those at JSR CC in Virginia to allow me to just post my set. I hope their variants will be made available by e-mail to those interested (including me!).
Um, why can't the sets both be posted?
George Berry
[email protected]
they/them/their(s)
--------------
J. Sargeant Reynolds CC 2008, 2009, 2014
Virginia Commonwealth 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,
Douglas Freeman 2005, 2006, 2007

User avatar
Theory Of The Leisure Flask
Yuna
Posts: 843
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 11:04 am
Location: Brooklyn
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on Delta Burke Questions?

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

Matt Weiner wrote:Collegiate quizbowl and high school quizbowl are different, and I don't think the compromises that are made necessary when people try to force them together are really productive for any segment of the players.

Stuff like using the Illinois Novice for Weekend of Quizbowl still makes some sense since that event is explicitly for elite HSers and the writers can take that challenge into account, but since both Penn and JSR (and Florida State) were normal HS events with diverse fields, I think a set intentionally written for the various needs of a high school field would have been superior.

In the collegiate division, my only complaint would be that some of the bonuses seemed to have three parts of exactly the same difficulty. In a novice event, you of course don't want to go off the deep end with the hard part, but half of these questions could have just been one-part, thirty-or-nothing bonuses that asked if you had heard of a particular thing. Otherwise, I think the questions were pretty good for the field and this was a productive event in the Mid-Atlantic, where we don't usually have novice tournaments, and I'd like to see it return in the future.
Three quick things, and one not-as-quick thing:
1) Out of curiosity: did you see the original Delta Burke set, or just the version edited for QuAC and RIOT?
2) What exactly, beyond making the the hard bonus parts harder (and possibly making the easy bonus parts easier), should we have done to make the set more appropriate for our (high school) field?
3) Man, the Mid-Atlantic used to be lousy with novice tournaments; there was SNEWT, Baby Hen, and DSHIT back when I was playing. It seems that the novice tournament in general has taken a hit and I agree it would be good to bring at least the non-IS ones back.

4) I'm curious and possibly somewhat misinformed/ignorant: could you elaborate a little more on what besides difficulty level and the presence of coaches/leagues makes HS and college quizbowl so different, especially in this age where the ACF guidelines and distributions are taking hold at good HS events, and elite high schoolers are regularly playing and even winning college tournaments?
Chris White
Bloomfield HS (New Jersey) '01, Swarthmore College '05, University of Pennsylvania '10. Still writes questions occasionally.

User avatar
ValenciaQBowl
Auron
Posts: 2442
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:25 pm
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: Thoughts on Delta Burke Questions?

Post by ValenciaQBowl »

George, I posted in the QuAC thread in the Announcements section that it was okay with me for both sets (the DB as we played it in Orlando/Tallahassee and the set edited for RIOT/QuAC) to be posted at Christian Carter's sites per his request. Whether he'll want to put the DB on the collegiate one and the RIOT one on the HS site, I don't know--that will be up to him. I just figured Stanford's instructions on the archive suggest they don't want two sets with huge overlap, so I preferred to keep the DB set there, as six previous years of DB are also there.

Chris, I think what Matt is saying (and with which I agree as regards a typical CC tournament) is that, while there is no doubt the top HS teams are competitive with good college programs, there's a wider disparity in skill and experience from the top teams to the bottom teams, so by writing for the elite teams you end up with lots of teams getting single-digit bonus conversion, which appears to be the case with many teams at both QuAC and RIOT. So one has to try to balance good, challenging openers in toss-ups with an answer space that is accessible to truly novice HS (or CC) players. T'aint always easy to do.
Chris Borglum
Valencia College Grand Poobah

Saiem
Wakka
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 1:45 am
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on Delta Burke Questions?

Post by Saiem »

I thought the set was okay, but the bonuses were indeed very easy 30s and a 10 if you had heard of what the bonus was about. I am actually quite surprised that the teams at the FSU tournament averaged below 100 points a game from teams 11 to 18. The Pensacola teams certainly had no problem with the questions, and as one of the best teams in Florida, they did well in how many ppg they averaged. Maybe it was because the field was relatively weak, but averaging lower than 100 points per game on these questions is not what I'd expect, even from the more mediocre teams. I thought the tossups were for the most part good, no real complaints. I contributed some of the math for the FSU packets (non-computational) and I'm not sure those got moved to the rest of the packets that I would like to hear about.
Saiem Gilani
Florida State '12, '1X

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2621
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: Thoughts on Delta Burke Questions?

Post by Adventure Temple Trail »

Have these been posted/Where are these posted? I missed this tournament and would like to see the questions.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

User avatar
Lapego1
Tidus
Posts: 675
Joined: Sun May 02, 2004 8:06 pm
Location: Richmond, VA/Philadelphia, PA

Re: Thoughts on Delta Burke Questions?

Post by Lapego1 »

RyuAqua wrote:Have these been posted/Where are these posted? I missed this tournament and would like to see the questions.
Sorry, I guess I missed this. The edited version has been forwarded to Chris Carter for inclusion on his website. Hopefully, he'll post here when it's up. If you want the set before then, you can e-mail [email protected].
Mehdi Razvi
Maggie Walker Gov. School '07
University of Pennsylvania '11

"A goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid."
-James D. Watson (1928-)

cdcarter
Yuna
Posts: 945
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:06 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on Delta Burke Questions?

Post by cdcarter »

Lapego1 wrote:
RyuAqua wrote:Have these been posted/Where are these posted? I missed this tournament and would like to see the questions.
Sorry, I guess I missed this. The edited version has been forwarded to Chris Carter for inclusion on his website. Hopefully, he'll post here when it's up. If you want the set before then, you can e-mail [email protected].
http://quizbowlpackets.com/archive/quac2008.zip
Sorry it took so long!
Christian Carter
Minneapolis South High School '09 | Emerson College '13
PACE Member (retired)

User avatar
Lapego1
Tidus
Posts: 675
Joined: Sun May 02, 2004 8:06 pm
Location: Richmond, VA/Philadelphia, PA

Re: Thoughts on Delta Burke Questions?

Post by Lapego1 »

Note, I think there's a ridiculous error I forgot to fix which had "ethane" acceptable for ethylene. Please forgive my sleepless transgression.
Mehdi Razvi
Maggie Walker Gov. School '07
University of Pennsylvania '11

"A goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid."
-James D. Watson (1928-)

Locked