VHSL State results

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VHSL State results

Post by STPickrell » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:14 pm

Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Rappahannock County all win VHSL titles. Congratulations!

Problems included a couple of repeats (cut and paste errors on my end) and one math question with a wrong answer (which we corrected in time).

Group A:
Lebanon 180, Nandua 120
Rappahannock Co. 260, Auburn 45
Radford 160, West Point 110
George Mason 220, Honaker 85

Rappahannock Co. 280, Lebanon 95
George Mason 220, Radford 115
Nandua 210, Auburn 135 (elim)
Honaker 220, West Point 100 (elim)

Rappahannock Co. 205, George Mason 180
Radford 225, Nandua 100 (elim)
Honaker 180, Lebanon 170 (elim)

Radford 240, Honaker 130 (elim)

George Mason 245, Radford 140 (elim)

Rappahannock 245, George Mason 200 (elim)

Group AA:
James Monroe 200, Cave Spring 165
Charlottesville 190, Spotswood 95
Heritage 190, York 155
Western Albemarle 150, Salem 145

James Monroe 225, Charlottesville 135
Heritage 230, Western Albemarle 115
Cave Spring 200, Spotswood 175 (elim)
Salem 150, York 140 (elim)

James Monroe 275, Heritage 150
Cave Spring 220, Western Albemarle 140 (elim)
Charlottesville 250, Salem 140 (elim)

Charlottesville 245, Cave Spring 175 (elim)

Heritage 280, Charlottesville 120 (elim)

James Monroe 235, Heritage 135 (elim)

Group AAA:
Maggie Walker 220, EC Glass 125
Ocean Lakes 200, James Robinson 165
Thomas Jefferson 240, Henrico 75
Hickory 225, Fauquier 145

Maggie Walker 285, Ocean Lakes 105
Thomas Jefferson 270, Hickory 155
James Robinson 200, EC Glass 145 (elim)
Henrico 190, Fauquier 175 (elim)

Thomas Jefferson 230, Maggie Walker 200
Hickory 255, James Robinson 140 (elim)
Ocean Lakes 185, Henrico 180 (elim)

Hickory 235, Ocean Lakes 185 (elim)

Maggie Walker 240, Hickory 160 (elim)

Thomas Jefferson 280, Maggie Walker 170 (elim)
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Seraph5 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:51 pm

Congrats to all three teams on their championships!!!
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by pretzeldude92 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:16 am

.
STPickrell wrote:
Group A:
Rappahannock Co. 260, Auburn 45
George Mason 220, Honaker 85

Rappahannock Co. 280, Lebanon 95
George Mason 220, Radford 115

Rappahannock Co. 205, George Mason 180

George Mason 245, Radford 140 (elim)

Rappahannock 245, George Mason 200 (elim)
Ms. Giles looked it up when Mason's coach Scharff and I were there, and this was the first time in scholastic bowl history that two teams from the same district have finished 1-2 at states. Furthermore, this season, at least since regionals, no one (other than us) has gotten within 85 points of Mason, and no one (other than Mason) has gotten within 105 points of us.

In my life, I have played Mason 31 times. 12-19 overall, each of us with a state title. But the great rivalry has now finished.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by pretzeldude92 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:58 am

BTW, are the questions cleared for discussion/mention in our local newspaper?
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by STPickrell » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:12 pm

pretzeldude92 wrote:BTW, are the questions cleared for discussion/mention in our local newspaper?
All VHSL tournament (district, region, state) questions are cleared. Regular season questions may be used by Avery so they are not (yet) cleared.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by intothenegs » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:11 pm

Hey, so correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Magister Ludi an acceptable alternative for The Glass Bead Game? I got negged on that because apparently the Glass Bead Game was the only acceptable title.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Captain Sinico » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:19 pm

intothenegs wrote:Hey, so correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Magister Ludi an acceptable alternative for The Glass Bead Game? I got negged on that because apparently the Glass Bead Game was the only acceptable title.
Well, it really ought to be.

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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:26 pm

intothenegs wrote:Hey, so correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Magister Ludi an acceptable alternative for The Glass Bead Game? I got negged on that because apparently the Glass Bead Game was the only acceptable title.
It's been published in English as both and both are acceptable in standard quizbowl; in short, yes.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:37 pm

intothenegs wrote:Hey, so correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Magister Ludi an acceptable alternative for The Glass Bead Game? I got negged on that because apparently the Glass Bead Game was the only acceptable title.
This is something that seems to happen all the time. I sat there through half the question trying to figure out which title they wanted, since protesting in VHSL can be difficult (something that really ought to change). There's no point in having two "judges" in the room when there are still things they can't resolve (which seem to be most things, in my experience). Did you try protesting it, Chuhern? I'm curious, since I don't know of anyone who's had success protesting anything but incorrectly printed math calc answers.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by intothenegs » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:44 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:
intothenegs wrote:Hey, so correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Magister Ludi an acceptable alternative for The Glass Bead Game? I got negged on that because apparently the Glass Bead Game was the only acceptable title.
This is something that seems to happen all the time. I sat there through half the question trying to figure out which title they wanted, since protesting in VHSL can be difficult (something that really ought to change). There's no point in having two "judges" in the room when there are still things they can't resolve (which seem to be most things, in my experience). Did you try protesting it, Chuhern? I'm curious, since I don't know of anyone who's had success protesting anything but incorrectly printed math calc answers.
I did protest it, but it didn't end up making a difference at the end of the match so the judges never really resolved it...

But in general, I felt that that is one area where VHSL can improve- giving all the acceptable answers to a question, instead of just one and assuming players will know which one the question writer is thinking of.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by pretzeldude92 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:50 pm

When we were playing Auburn, as inconsequential as it was, I answered the Albigensian Crusade question, and then they asked me to spell it. I spelled it Albeginsian, and was marked wrong. Should it have been? It's a moot point, but the consonants were in the right order...

And math calculation answers = :roll:

What was the confusion with the math question during round 6 with the factoring cubes?
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:13 pm

pretzeldude92 wrote:When we were playing Auburn, as inconsequential as it was, I answered the Albigensian Crusade question, and then they asked me to spell it. I spelled it Albeginsian, and was marked wrong. Should it have been? It's a moot point, but the consonants were in the right order...

And math calculation answers = :roll:

What was the confusion with the math question during round 6 with the factoring cubes?
In most tournaments, you would have been given credit since that's phonetic. If VHSL would consider using circuit moderators who commonly offer to read for things(members of local college teams, etc) rather than various volunteers who are, quite frankly, too old to hear half of what's said to them and know very little about quizbowl, this would be less of a problem. At one point, I had to repeat an answer about 5 times. This goes along with my complaint about staffing rooms with four people and then having exactly none of them know what they're doing. We had a lot of issues with people not knowing rules. This should not happen at a "state championship," imo.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by pretzeldude92 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:57 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:In most tournaments, you would have been given credit since that's phonetic. If VHSL would consider using circuit moderators who commonly offer to read for things(members of local college teams, etc) rather than various volunteers who are, quite frankly, too old to hear half of what's said to them and know very little about quizbowl, this would be less of a problem. At one point, I had to repeat an answer about 5 times. This goes along with my complaint about staffing rooms with four people and then having exactly none of them know what they're doing. We had a lot of issues with people not knowing rules. This should not happen at a "state championship," imo.
Agreed. I think it is a good idea to have coaches (not that all coaches know the rules either) and moderators with experience manning things. And there is no real need to have that many people in a room like you said. Seriously, the judges were consulted ONCE for clarification the entire day, I think, at least in our matches. I heard there were boatloads of protests in AA though, says my dad.

EDIT: Although, the VHSL has come a long way since my sophomore year, when we had to deal with back-to-back rooms with awful readers and subsequently were forced to miss lunch.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Sinneo » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:35 pm

intothenegs wrote:Hey, so correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Magister Ludi an acceptable alternative for The Glass Bead Game? I got negged on that because apparently the Glass Bead Game was the only acceptable title.
We were negged on a few as well. I buzzed in early and answered The Mighty Five when the acceptable answers were The Five and the Mighty Handful. I'm pretty sure my answer was interchangeable with the other two, yes? A teammate also answered the Obedience Experiment when the correct answer was the Milgram Experiment; not sure if they can be used interchangeably but I would say so.
EDIT: Although, the VHSL has come a long way since my sophomore year, when we had to deal with back-to-back rooms with awful readers and subsequently were forced to miss lunch.
Yes, those days were pitiful. Though I admit, recently the readers have been some of the best I've ever heard . At least they are typically given pronunciation guides on the pitifully hard words...unlike HSAPQ.
At one point, I had to repeat an answer about 5 times. This goes along with my complaint about staffing rooms with four people and then having exactly none of them know what they're doing.

Ugh, I clearly and explicitly pronounced my answers in a particular game and the poor quizmaster couldn't hear me, constantly telling us to speak louder. The three judges all nodded that it was correct but I was forced to repeat the answer several times.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Tower Monarch » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:41 pm

Sinneo wrote:
intothenegs wrote:Hey, so correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Magister Ludi an acceptable alternative for The Glass Bead Game? I got negged on that because apparently the Glass Bead Game was the only acceptable title.
We were negged on a few as well. I buzzed in early and answered The Mighty Five when the acceptable answers were The Five and the Mighty Handful. I'm pretty sure my answer was interchangeable with the other two, yes? A teammate also answered the Obedience Experiment when the correct answer was the Milgram Experiment; not sure if they can be used interchangeably but I would say so.
Yes, the name of the Russian composers is any one of those three and the experiment iis actually named Milgram Obedience, so if anything the given response is better. These things happen everywhere, as even Prison Bowl managed to leave out Magister Ludi among the acceptable answers.
Sinneo wrote:
EDIT: Although, the VHSL has come a long way since my sophomore year, when we had to deal with back-to-back rooms with awful readers and subsequently were forced to miss lunch.
Yes, those days were pitiful. Though I admit, recently the readers have been some of the best I've ever heard . At least they are typically given pronunciation guides on the pitifully hard words...unlike HSAPQ.
I don't get the point here, as it is generally agreed that pronunciation guides hinder more than help... I'll refer you to the thread in the collegiate discussion forum. As for reader quality, I wasn't there this year, but if any VHSL competition had some of the best you've heard, it probably suggests more that you haven't attended quality events rather than genuine success there.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by STPickrell » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:01 pm

The match 6 computation question. The printed answer was wrong, but the correction we initially provided was also wrong.

As for alternate acceptable answers: these should be allowed. I have always stressed to quizmasters, judges, etc., that the paper is not infallible. I will work with Dr. Barnes to ensure wording to this effect is placed in the manual.
MLWGS-Gir wrote:If VHSL would consider using circuit moderators who commonly offer to read for things(members of local college teams, etc) rather than various volunteers who are, quite frankly, too old to hear half of what's said to them and know very little about quizbowl, this would be less of a problem.
I posted an advertisement for two Group Coordinator positions that paid $133 + travel + hotel + meals. Only one person replied, and I ended up bringing on a (non-circuit) coach as a group coordinator.

I have posted here on the past asking for (paid) question writers and received minimal response (sometimes zero responses, other times one.)

Am I being overly pessimistic if I wonder how many 'circuit moderators' would have responded to a call for unpaid volunteer positions, especially on the date of ACF regionals?

Consider this post an open call for quizmasters with circuit experience to work at the 13th VHSL Scholastic Bowl State Championships on February 27, 2010, at the College of William & Mary. You may email the volunteer coordinator, Don Darnton, at dcdarnton at aol dot com.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:14 pm

Ok, the ACF Regionals date was a problem this year. But I know someone who was turned down as a reader for VHSL Regionals seemingly solely on the basis that he was under the age of 50. Also, perhaps you've had trouble getting writers because no one wants to work under the standards VHSL has apparently been using when they have other things they consider worthwhile to be doing? I know I wouldn't. Is there a distribution or line limits or anything at all regarding writing regulations? I tried paying attention to that this weekend but didn't notice anything particularly consistent beyond the math. Perhaps I'm being a tad mean, but I find it ridiculous that out of four moderators at Regionals, one was good. The same moderator was the only good one we had at States. When your tournament starts at 10 because of staff meetings, I think a degree of competency/familiarity with the rules and basics of reading would be nice.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:27 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:Perhaps I'm being a tad mean
No, not really.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by STPickrell » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:54 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:Ok, the ACF Regionals date was a problem this year. But I know someone who was turned down as a reader for VHSL Regionals seemingly solely on the basis that he was under the age of 50.
The only tournament I have direct influence over staffing is states. I'm not sure of what happened at the Central Region tournament.

We can begin creating official qualification guidelines that district/region directors can use. Former players that remain in state can also begin volunteering for VHSL events. In many cases, volunteers are fellow teachers begged to help out at the last minute.

If officials are not following the rules, we can include frequently-violated rules in 'points of emphasis' that the VHSL reminds everyone associated w/ Scholastic Bowl on a district/region level. Past years' points of emphasis have focused on more egregious violations, such as not playing any form of quizbowl to determine district/region champs, or not allowing protests until after a period has ended.
Also, perhaps you've had trouble getting writers because no one wants to work under the standards VHSL has apparently been using when they have other things they consider worthwhile to be doing? I know I wouldn't. Is there a distribution or line limits or anything at all regarding writing regulations?
Line limit is 6 lines in 12-point Times New Roman.

Distribution:
Math 7: Arithmetic 3.5, Algebra 1.5, Geometry 1.5, Math terms 1
Science 12: Biology 4, Chemistry 2.5, Earth science 2, Physics 1.5, Famous scientists 1, Computer science 1
Social studies 12: US history 4, World history 4, Geography 2, Other social studies 2
English 12: US literature 4, World literature 4, Vocabulary/common link 2, Grammar 1, Foreign language 1
Miscellany: Current events 2, Pop culture 2, 'Classic' pop culture 2, Visual fine arts 1.5, Audio fine arts 1.5, Religion 1.5, Mythology 1, Philosophy 0.5
I tried paying attention to that this weekend but didn't notice anything particularly consistent beyond the math. Perhaps I'm being a tad mean, but I find it ridiculous that out of four moderators at Regionals, one was good. The same moderator was the only good one we had at States. When your tournament starts at 10 because of staff meetings, I think a degree of competency/familiarity with the rules and basics of reading would be nice.
The readers were coaches and other people that have worked at the state, region, and district level before. If some more detail other than 'they were bad' can be included (were protests about things like Magister Ludi/Glass Bead Game lodged?) I'd be most appreciative.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:11 am

Examples of various bits of bad staffing: ridiculous slowness (understandable and minor), having no earthly idea whether or not an incorrect buzz during the second reading of a math question was a neg or not and ignoring BOTH coaches who said it wasn't, generally inability to pronounce and/or hear words, an inability to work the timer when that was presumably the person's only responsibility, and extremely varied handling of people writing things to teammates after that team had negged (in a fairly common "oh man, now I know what this is" manner that could not possibly be construed as conferring) ranging from ignoring it to whispering about it amongst judges and then telling a team to stop it in an unnecessarily hostile manner (how dare you break our rules that you didn't know about and may not actually exist, basically). That and question quality made this the most frustrating qb experience of my life. I really, sincerely hope that things will improve and hope that I am not being unreasonable. Also, just a suggestion: I noticed that all the rooms were set up with things really far apart. If your judges/quiz masters can't hear half of what's said to them, putting teams closer to them seems like a good idea. I don't know in how many of the rooms used that would have been feasible, but for some at least it would have been.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Sinneo » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:39 am

Tower Monarch wrote: I don't get the point here, as it is generally agreed that pronunciation guides hinder more than help... I'll refer you to the thread in the collegiate discussion forum. As for reader quality, I wasn't there this year, but if any VHSL competition had some of the best you've heard, it probably suggests more that you haven't attended quality events rather than genuine success there.
What I meant to say was that out of the four times I've been in the State Tournament, this was likely the best reading I've heard, though our team only heard three different readers.

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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:14 am

STPickrell wrote:Am I being overly pessimistic if I wonder how many 'circuit moderators' would have responded to a call for unpaid volunteer positions, especially on the date of ACF regionals?
People read at things all the time and do not expect to be paid, but if the tournament continues to be on the date of ACF Regionals (not to mention the NAQT CCCT, which also took away two very good moderators from Richmond) then of course you're going to have problems getting anyone involved in collegiate quizbowl to come. I can suggest some people who might be able to come anyway; for example, Andrew Feist lives in Norfolk and routinely reads at things in Richmond and Williamsburg, and the entire W&M team was presumably available since they (shockingly) did not attend ACF Regionals this year. I was not asked for suggestions on who to contact this year, but keep those names in mind for the future.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by mithokie » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:52 am

Regarding AJ's Comment:
I answered the Albigensian Crusade question, and then they asked me to spell it. I spelled it Albeginsian, and was marked wrong
It was not a case of the reader not knowing the rules; after the match she said she was trying to check for consonants when she asked you to spell it. Based on what I heard, I was very surprised she did not rule it correct. We had that happen to us on Lilloukalani (Am I even spelling that right?) at Regions last year. As you mentioned, it did not come into play into the final score as we suffered the worst VHSL beatdown in my 4 years as coach in that match. BTW, Congratulations AJ and Rappahannock County on your state championship.

Someone mentioned that the state readers were the best state readers they have heard. I would agree with that statement wholeheartedly.
Sinneo wrote:
EDIT: Although, the VHSL has come a long way since my sophomore year, when we had to deal with back-to-back rooms with awful readers and subsequently were forced to miss lunch.
Yes, those days were pitiful. Though I admit, recently the readers have been some of the best I've ever heard . At least they are typically given pronunciation guides on the pitifully hard words...unlike HSAPQ.
I don't get the point here, as it is generally agreed that pronunciation guides hinder more than help... I'll refer you to the thread in the collegiate discussion forum.
I am personally a big fan of pronunciation guides, when I am reading. If I am dealing with words I have never seen before or with foreign names, I find it helpful to have the guide. I think there are readers who do not know how to read when they are in place, and that they could be more of a hinderance than a help for some of the readers, but I imagine that many readers like having them as well.

Just my 2 cents...
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Carolus Magnus » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:39 pm

I would like to add in my own congratulations to all teams in the tournament. :party:

On the complaints of the tourney, I would like to agree that the quiz masters in most cases were quite mediocre. Perhaps there should be a hearing test for all quiz masters that desire to take place... Because after being questioned to repeat "Zachary Taylor" and "Jormungandr" multiple times, I got quite tired of my answers falling on nearly-deaf ears. :lol: Even my coach heard what I was saying, and my voice projection was in the opposite direction of him.

However, the QM during the final auditorium matches (HHS vs. Radford, Radford vs. GM, and GM vs. Rapp) was one of the best I've heard all year. He had good delivery and excellent projection, not to mention his hearing was good enough to pick out differences between "Penwick Papers" and "Pickwick Papers" and also "Rabbit" to "Babbit". :smile: Perhaps I can recruit our local QM for next year; he is excellent at his "night job". :cool:
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Patriotic Spore » Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:37 pm

Was that Can-You-Take-It guy? He's my favorite QM. (I forget his name, but he wears tweed and teaches at St. Gertrude's.)
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Sinneo » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:21 pm

Patriotic Spore wrote:Was that Can-You-Take-It guy? He's my favorite QM. (I forget his name, but he wears tweed and teaches at St. Gertrude's.)
Ah yes, I forget his name as well but he is a great quizmaster. He did some reading at the 07-08 State Tournament and livened up the game quite brilliantly.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:24 pm

Patriotic Spore wrote:Was that Can-You-Take-It guy? He's my favorite QM. (I forget his name, but he wears tweed and teaches at St. Gertrude's.)
You are thinking of Mr. Harris, Eliza. He also coaches the occasionally-present St. Gertrude team. I think they went to Cave Spring this year.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by pretzeldude92 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:49 pm

Yeah, he's a really great QM. He was better than the boring lady we had our second match (I have no idea who she was, but I almost fell asleep.) My dad had fun reading, and I've been told he's a good reader, but he knows the rules from 4 years of VHSL + other moderating ventures.

New question: there isn't a VHSL rule on mascots/other items on tables is there? In our third match, the quizmaster/judges required that we remove food from the table (craisins, and I'm hypoglycemic basically), as well as our mascot (which was a sheep). They said that it was distracting. I tried to protest by stating, "It's only a sheep!." Nonetheless, I complied. Note the irony.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:58 pm

pretzeldude92 wrote:Yeah, he's a really great QM. He was better than the boring lady we had our second match (I have no idea who she was, but I almost fell asleep.) My dad had fun reading, and I've been told he's a good reader, but he knows the rules from 4 years of VHSL + other moderating ventures.

New question: there isn't a VHSL rule on mascots/other items on tables is there? In our third match, the quizmaster/judges required that we remove food from the table (craisins, and I'm hypoglycemic basically), as well as our mascot (which was a sheep). They said that it was distracting. I tried to protest by stating, "It's only a sheep!." Nonetheless, I complied. Note the irony.
No one made me move Gir, who was sitting in my hat (which I place on the table at VHSL competitions due to a QM's angry insistence freshman year). Is the sheep really big? Perhaps your sheep actually got noticed...Gir is rather small. It still shouldn't be a problem. Do they think you have answers written on the sheep? But I've come to expect unnecessary things from VHSL, like the copious amounts of paper wasted since they appear to be convinced that leaving the same one until it's full will result in OMG CHEATING even when people rarely stay in the same room. But yeah, you should be allowed to have your sheep. That's silly.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by pretzeldude92 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:05 pm

I would assume that the sheep was merely an innocent lamb, and three of our four quizmasters didn't have a problem. And considering we usually have 4 mascots that take up the length of a table, this shouldn't be a problem. Of course, since it's Very Hateful of Silent Lambs...
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Carolus Magnus » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:29 pm

Of course they made you remove the lamb, everyone knows that stuffed sheep have telepathic abilities that relay you the answers to all of the questions! The all-knowing sheep are no secret to VHSL moderators! :lol: :lol:

I usually take my wristwatch off while I'm on the table, and sit it in front of me. Albeit, it isn't a mascot, but I certainly haven't gotten any comments referring to its removal. Some moderators are picky about that kind of thing... however, doesn't it specifically state in the rules that "good luck" tokens may be placed on the table? :roll:
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by jbarnes112358 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:06 am

I thought the readers were fine as readers, though there may have been a few bad calls as noted above. As for the issue of hearing answers is concerned, I wish people would lay off the ageism thing. Auditory acuity naturally declines with age, so if the moderator can't understand you, speak up already. Yell it out if you have to. Part of the problem is that some players mumble and more or less whisper their answers. The problem is exacerbated at W&M by having players seated too far away from the moderator in cavernous rooms. That being said, there is rarely any reason to require a player to spell an answer to get credit. It is not a spelling bee. ( it's not Mathcounts either, but I digress.)
Last edited by jbarnes112358 on Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:33 am

jbarnes112358 wrote:I thought the readers were fine as readers, though there may have been a few bad calls as noted above. As for the issue of hearing answers is concerned, I wish people would lay off the ageism thing. Auditory acuity naturally declines with age, so if the moderator can't understand you, speak up already. Yell it out if you have too. Part of the problem is that some players mumble and more or less whisper their answers. The problem is exacerbated at W&M by having players seated too far away from the moderator in cavernous rooms. That being said, there is rarely any reason to require a player to spell an answer to get credit. It is not a spelling bee. ( it's not Mathcounts either, but I digress.)
I mean, I think the issue being complained about isn't "Darn old people and their having bad hearing!" but rather that people who may be hard of hearing are being placed in a situation where they need to be able to hear and distinguish a very fine difference that may chance an outcome, a place that I would hope we can agree is not where they should be. The complaint here to seems seems to be of a latter variety, wherein the students are saying, "hey can we have staff who are able to preform the responsibilities that come with their position in the tournament/match." If a moderator either cant see the word on the paper/computer screen or cannot make the words clear and read at a reasonable pace, would you not replace that moderator if a better alternative is available?
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by jbarnes112358 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:17 am

The issue with moderators is not necessarily how well they see or hear, or how old they are. It really is a matter of experience. People should be recruited who have experience with quizbowl beyond VHSL. People who are familiar with moderating will generally know if they are qualified. We need more people, like John Harris, who are quality, experienced moderators to step up and let people know they are available.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by STPickrell » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:41 pm

There is a rule about everyone starting with blank sheets of paper. I'm not overly worried about this rule, but if a solid explanation why this rule should be removed is presented, I am open for persuasion.

As for other objects, a strict reading of the 'table cleared' rule can lead to being asked to take stuff off the table. That seems a little overzealous.

Many unwritten circuit norms have to be explicitly codified (and written so that they can't be exploited) for VHSL or any other 'association' quizbowl. This way, they can be applied everywhere, including areas where there are few/no circuit teams.

So let's see ... suggestions from the thread.

1. Seat players closer to the officials so everyone can hear each other better.
2. Attempt to recruit officials (esp. moderators) with experience in circuit quizbowl. This ought to be done on the district and region level as much as possible, as well.
3. Make a point of emphasis that players can protest answers they believe are equivalent to the one on the answer sheet. There's already an instruction to quizmasters that says they can discount incorrect answers on the paper and accept answers they believe are equivalent.
4. Ask if there was a reason food/drink/mascots were forced off the table, or if it was just assumed that no one would force players to take them off the table.
5. Post-neg conferring. I think silent note-passing should be tolerated, but not any verbal discussion.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:44 pm

Mr. Pickrell, your understanding of the suggestions is excellent. I think that's very much what we've been trying to say. Now, there isn't so much an argument against the blank paper rule as there is a lack of a reason for it, but I'll try. One thing you may not be considering is that, at many tournaments, players keep notebooks to write down answers/clue they find interesting so they can go out and learn things about them later. This is not possible under the current rules. The use of half sheets at States limits waste somewhat, but the massive amounts of paper being thrown out for no good reason still bothers my teenage sensibilities. At least recycle them, please. I think the reasoning behind the rule was a fear of cheating, but if players start the day with blank sheets and only write down math stuff and answers that have come up, there's nothing to fear on that front unless there are repeats. Perhaps I'm too trusting and people would still find ways to exploit this. Really, the paper issue is a minor quibble compared to other things anyway.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:54 pm

Well, the deal probably is this Sarah - in Missouri, the same rule exists because of the fact that there are a bunch of teams who will, upon being given a piece of paper, immediately start writing down lists of elements, presidents, pythagorean triples, and all kinds of other quick guides for themselves, and then they would try to take these from game to game and simply expand on them. They put the starting each game with a fresh sheet rule in place because a lot of coaches viewed teams coming in with extra help to be unfair. So that to me at least suggests there is a little more substance to the complaint, especially in an activity with so many coaches who are just trying to get ahead and not play the game for the sake of playing the game. However, as good quizbowl increases, it seems to me that lots of those problems will dissipate since there's not a whole lot a list can do to help you then other than maybe jog your memory.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by STPickrell » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:11 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:Mr. Pickrell, your understanding of the suggestions is excellent. I think that's very much what we've been trying to say. Now, there isn't so much an argument against the blank paper rule as there is a lack of a reason for it, but I'll try. One thing you may not be considering is that, at many tournaments, players keep notebooks to write down answers/clue they find interesting so they can go out and learn things about them later. This is not possible under the current rules. The use of half sheets at States limits waste somewhat, but the massive amounts of paper being thrown out for no good reason still bothers my teenage sensibilities. At least recycle them, please. I think the reasoning behind the rule was a fear of cheating, but if players start the day with blank sheets and only write down math stuff and answers that have come up, there's nothing to fear on that front unless there are repeats. Perhaps I'm too trusting and people would still find ways to exploit this. Really, the paper issue is a minor quibble compared to other things anyway.
OK, when the rule was put into place, I was thinking of someone chancing upon a 'goldmine' of info (e.g. periodic symbols, common formulas, list of presidents, etc.) written by that seat's past occupant, while others get a blank sheet of paper and/or drool.

I know I was more 'write-y' than most players when I played, writing down random thoughts, ideas, etc. as a TU was read. OTOH, it always made sense to me - 'new match, new sheet of paper.'

I'll mention the recycling.

Finally: Any college players in Virginia, graduating seniors who wish to remain in-state, or other interested parties who wish to read at any VHSL events -- districts, regions, and states -- please contact me at shawn_pickrell@yahoo.com. I will put you in touch with the appropriate people for that district. In some districts, the moderator can receive a small stipend in the $15-$25 range; in others, it is purely a labor of love.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by STPickrell » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:56 pm

I have been cleared to mention that as of May 1, I am resigning as VHSL Scholastic Bowl Commissioner.

I would like to spend more time with my wife and daughter, and believe I am ready to serve my community in areas aside from academic competition. On a professional level, I believe the time has come to pass the torch and that I have simply run my course as a question writer for the high level of competition in the Commonwealth.

I hope to moderate at the occasional competition in Northern Virginia as well as at VHSL States.

I have mentioned the potential involvement of HSAPQ to the VHSL, and the reforms suggested by HSAPQ (mostly changes in the distribution, including the removal of computation math tossups) will be discussed at the meeting.

The job duties of the Commissioner will include:
(1) Provide the questions used in VHSL regular season and tournament competition. The Commissioner may subcontract this role (preferably to HSAPQ). Should a sub-contractor fall through, you will need to at least write questions for district, region, and state tournaments.
(2) Direct the state tournament (last Saturday of February).
(3) Oversee rules clinics attended by coaches across the state in September and October.
(4) Attend the Advisory Committee meeting as a non-voting (but assuredly participating) member.
(5) Answer questions about tournament/regular season logistics from coaches and athletic directors. Some teams in Southwestern Virginia also have out of district competitions and so will need questions for those matches.

While I cannot speak for the VHSL, experience with the VHSL format is probably very much a plus, as well as experience in running tournaments and writing questions, will certainly be needed. I suspect someone that has graduated college would be preferred, but cannot say so authoritatively. On the other hand, college students would be more than welcome to assist, both as officials and as question writers.

Please contact me with any questions about compensation, etc. I will want my successor to be someone who can build upon the steps I have taken with regard to pyramidal questions, accepting circuit norms where possible, etc.
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Re: VHSL State results

Post by jbarnes112358 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:55 pm

Shawn,
I would like express my appreciation for all the hard work you have put in on behalf of VHSL Scholastic Bowl competition. The quality of competition has progressed during your time as commissioner. You have always been willing to listen to suggestions and to try to keep up with modern trends in quizbowl, in spite of some of the inevitable inertia against change. Hopefully, your successor will continue the efforts to move the VHSL Scholastic Bowl to the next level. Thanks again.
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