My proposed IHSA distribution

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My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by rjaguar3 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:31 am

With the AdCom meeting coming up, I think it's appropriate to start talking about proposed changes. Because of the sheer variety (taken in the bad sense) in questions, I think the category distribution needs to be refined to make the packet guidelines more specific and emphasize academic questions. Now I know that the IHSA probably will not spring for an ACF-like distribution, but I think this distribution minimizes the preponderance of questions from bad categories while emphasizing questions that reward learning and academic knowledge.

Here it goes:
LITERATURE & LANGUAGE ARTS 6/6
A. 4/4 Literature (based on academically important works), including at least the following
a. 1/1 US Literature (but no more than 3 questions)
b. 1/1 British Literature (but no more than 3 questions)
c. 1/1 World Literature (but no more than 3 questions)
B. 1/1 RMP, taken from the following
a. At most 1 question from religion
b. At most 1 question from mythology
c. At most 1 question from philosophy
C. 1/1 choice, taken from two different ones of a, b, or c below:
a. Literature (the non-full subdistribution)
b. RMP (the subdistribution not used)
c. Any one of the following:
i. Vocabulary (which should be uniquely identifying without resorting to limiting the number of words, syllables, or letters, or giving letters in the word or phrase)
ii. Grammar (should be based primarily in grammatical theory)
iii. Literature theory (including forms of literature as well as concepts central to understanding the structure of literature)
iv. Linguistics

FINE ARTS 4/4
A. 1/1 Art History
a. No more than 1/1 painting
b. No more than 1/1 sculpture
B. 1/1 Music History (academically important music as would be studied in a normal music appreciation class, such as [but not limited to] classical, opera, jazz, or ragtime)
a. At least 1 question from classical music (but no more than 1/1)
C. 1/1 Visual and Performing Arts
a. At most 1 question from Artistic Dance
b. At most 1 question from Architecture
c. At most 1 question from Musical Theatre
D. 1/1 Choice taken from two different ones of a, b, c, or d below:
a. Art History (in accordance with above guidelines)
b. Music History (in accordance with above guidelines)
c. Visual and Performing Arts (from subdistribution not used)
d. Any one of the following:
i. Art Theory
ii. Music Theory

SOCIAL STUDIES 6/6
A. 3/3 History, including at least the following:
a. 1/1 US History (but no more than 3 questions)
b. 1/1 European History (but no more than 3 questions)
c. 1/1 World History (but no more than 3 questions)
B. 1/1 Geography (with clues primarily relating to geography, as opposed to history, demographics, etc.)
C. 1/1 Social Sciences
a. No more than 1 question from Psychology
b. No more than 1 question from Sociology
c. No more than 1 question from Economics (questions should pertain to the curriculum of an advanced macro- or microeconomics course, and should refrain from consumer education topics such as personal finance, consumer banking, the stock market, corporations and their symbols and slogans, and the like)
D. 1/1 Choice
a. Up to 2 questions from History (in accordance with above guidelines)
b. No more than 1 question from Geography
c. No more than 1 question from Social Sciences (from subdistribution not used)
d. No more than 1 question from Current events


SCIENCE 6/6
A. 4/4 Major sciences, including at least:
a. 1/1 Biology (but no more than 3 questions)
b. 1/1 Chemistry (but no more than 3 questions)
c. 1/1 Physics (but no more than 3 questions)
B. 1/1 Minor sciences, taken from the following:
a. At least 1 question from Astronomy (but no more than 1/1)
b. At least 1 question from Earth Science (but no more than 1/1)
C. 1/1 Choice, taken from two different ones of a, b, or c
a. Major science (in accordance with above guidelines)
b. Minor science
c. Health (primarily biologically based)

MATH 6/6
A. 4/4 computational math (should be focused primarily on applying math techniques learned in a high school curriculum—NOT IN CRUNCHING NUMBERS), including at least the following:
a. 1/1 Algebra (but no more than 3 questions)
b. 1/1 Geometry, Analytic Geometry, and Trigonometry (but no more than 3 questions)
c. 1/1 Calculus and Pre-Calculus (but no more than 3 questions)
B. 1/1 noncomputational math theory and history (concepts from mathematics, including theorems, mathematical entities, and mathematicians and groups of people from their significant mathematical achievements)
C. 1/1 choice, including any two different ones of a, b, c, or d below:
a. Pyramidal math tossup (a series of short problems with the same answer, arranged in descending difficulty order)
b. Math theory and history
c. Computer programming and scripting (should be focused on programming languages and theory, and should be based on an advanced curriculum of a computer programming course—hardware and technology questions should be avoided)
d. Computational math—either:
i. Taken from A above (in accordance with above guidelines)
ii. General math (a catch-all for any math not covered in A; again, this should be primarily based on applying high-school level math concepts)

MISCELLANEOUS 2/2
A. 3 questions from:
a. Interdisciplinary (either 1 question or 1/1) (consists of academic clues on an answer from multiple major category distributions, or for a bonus, a set of related answers from different academic disciplines)
b. Pop culture (either 1 question or 1/1)
B. 1 question from any of the following:
a. Interdisciplinary or pop culture (in accordance with above guidelines; in particular, this means each will have 1/1)
b. Agriculture
c. Consumer education (personal finance, consumer banking, stock market, corporations and their symbols and slogans, etc.)
d. Drivers education (based on Illinois Rules of the Road)
e. Home economics
f. Industrial arts
g. Journalism
h. Technology

Let me know what you think. I'm always open to suggestions for improvement.
Greg (Vanderbilt 2012, Wheaton North 2008)

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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:23 am

I like Greg's overall structure. One thing I would like to see more of is History, but I'm not sure what the best way is to increase it within this structure.

To add more background to the IHSA Advisory Committee Meeting, it will take place on Monday, May 4. The absolute final deadline for submitting agenda items to Ron McGraw and Cheryl Mitchell at IHSA is April 27, though the sooner the better.

IHSSBCA recently took a survey of coaches. Based on that survey, IHSA formatted bonuses are here to stay. The only subcategories that might be eliminated are Programming/Scripting and Artistic Dance, and Spelling must be added. I can start a new thread about that survey in the near future, but I think that Greg's suggestions merit a good discussion. Unfortunately, for the discussion to be practical, it cannot involve crossing out a lot of the topics he lists, even though in a perfect world that is what would happen. Such changes are many years off, if they will ever happen.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:38 am

I am not a fan of the proposed cut of Programming Language/Scripting. I know that it may be more of a corner case than other categories, but computing is only becoming more important as part of a well rounded education and to the working world as a whole. Programming questions should still find a home as an occasional 1/0 or 0/1 one or two rounds a tournament.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by BuzzerZen » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:16 am

Dresden The Moderator wrote:I am not a fan of the proposed cut of Programming Language/Scripting. I know that it may be more of a corner case than other categories, but computing is only becoming more important as part of a well rounded education and to the working world as a whole. Programming questions should still find a home as an occasional 1/0 or 0/1 one or two rounds a tournament.
Contrariwise, questions about programming and programming languages tend to be the computer science equivalents of computational math or history of science questions. Certainly computer science ought to be a part of any "minor science" distribution, but writing tossups on Java or Python or for-loops or list bonuses on "operators consisting of the same character twice" are not what high school computer science questions should look like. A well-written tossup on a programming language wouldn't be terrible, but most tossups on programming languages are pretty terrible. Elementary topics from data structures (stacks, queues, trees, heaps, linked lists, hash tables), algorithms (sorting, searching, recursion), and theoretical computer science (P and NP, Turing machines, runtime complexity) come up frequently (sometimes ad nauseum) in high school quiz bowl, and can more than account for a 1-per-round computer science distribution.

Also, you won't find many people in quiz bowl who think that what is important in the "working world" is a reasonable criterion for inclusion in a quiz bowl tournament.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:32 pm

BuzzerZen wrote:
Dresden The Moderator wrote:I am not a fan of the proposed cut of Programming Language/Scripting. I know that it may be more of a corner case than other categories, but computing is only becoming more important as part of a well rounded education and to the working world as a whole. Programming questions should still find a home as an occasional 1/0 or 0/1 one or two rounds a tournament.
Contrariwise, questions about programming and programming languages tend to be the computer science equivalents of computational math or history of science questions. Certainly computer science ought to be a part of any "minor science" distribution, but writing tossups on Java or Python or for-loops or list bonuses on "operators consisting of the same character twice" are not what high school computer science questions should look like. A well-written tossup on a programming language wouldn't be terrible, but most tossups on programming languages are pretty terrible. Elementary topics from data structures (stacks, queues, trees, heaps, linked lists, hash tables), algorithms (sorting, searching, recursion), and theoretical computer science (P and NP, Turing machines, runtime complexity) come up frequently (sometimes ad nauseum) in high school quiz bowl, and can more than account for a 1-per-round computer science distribution.
I'm sure this will be a point of contention, but I actually prefer computer science to be part of the math distribution than the science, dispite it's name. But I agree that there is more than enough material, and it should be used. The issue is that the canon is raw and underformed, so question writers have a difficult time with it.
BuzzerZen wrote: Also, you won't find many people in quiz bowl who think that what is important in the "working world" is a reasonable criterion for inclusion in a quiz bowl tournament.
This is of course true. Otherwise we'd have more questions on proper memo etiquette and making day off requests in triplicate. :lol:

The point I intended to make before failing miserably was that computer science is becoming more and more a part of modern life, both as an academic interest and a practical/professional one, and as such deserves to be in the quiz bowl canon going forward.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:50 pm

Dresden The Moderator wrote:This is of course true. Otherwise we'd have more questions on proper memo etiquette and making day off requests in triplicate. :lol:

The point I intended to make before failing miserably was that computer science is becoming more and more a part of modern life, both as an academic interest and a practical/professional one, and as such deserves to be in the quiz bowl canon going forward.
And the point Evan was making was that "programming/scripting" is a different animal and ought to be treated as such.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by BuzzerZen » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:53 pm

everyday847 wrote:
Dresden The Moderator wrote:This is of course true. Otherwise we'd have more questions on proper memo etiquette and making day off requests in triplicate. :lol:

The point I intended to make before failing miserably was that computer science is becoming more and more a part of modern life, both as an academic interest and a practical/professional one, and as such deserves to be in the quiz bowl canon going forward.
And the point Evan was making was that "programming/scripting" is a different animal and ought to be treated as such.
Yeah, when the IHSA distribution already has such spurious elements as driver's ed and vocabulary, advocating a "programming" distribution is fighting the wrong battle.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by mlaird » Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:16 pm

Shcool wrote:IHSSBCA recently took a survey of coaches. Based on that survey, IHSA formatted bonuses are here to stay. The only subcategories that might be eliminated are Programming/Scripting and Artistic Dance, and Spelling must be added. I can start a new thread about that survey in the near future, but I think that Greg's suggestions merit a good discussion. Unfortunately, for the discussion to be practical, it cannot involve crossing out a lot of the topics he lists, even though in a perfect world that is what would happen. Such changes are many years off, if they will ever happen.
It is also noteworthy that a poll of current and former players is being conducted by myself and one of the IHSSBCA Student Liasons, and that it tells a very different story from the results of the coaches poll. In this poll, the bonus format debate is much closer and Spelling, Speech, Artistic Dance, Agriculture, Family Consumer Sci, Industrial Arts, Consumer Ed and Driver's Ed are being voted "Eliminated" by a majority or close to a majority.

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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by jonah » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:09 pm

Since Matt brought it up, I'll state that I am the other person running this players' survey. It is open to current and former players of Illinois high school Scholastic Bowl. If you are eligible and have not yet voted, please contact me or Matt (jonah at jonahgreenthal dot com or mlaird1 at gmail dot com, respectively [did I really have to specify the respectively?]) for a link to it.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by JackGlerum » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:59 pm

I'm not trying to bash Greg's or anyone else's ideas in this post. In fact, I support some of it. But,

News flash: this fight isn't worth fighting. Three things will always hold true.

1) IHSA is a sports organization that isn't in-touch with updated quizbowl.
2) People don't want to and/or are afraid to change.
3) No matter how "good quizbowl oriented" teams can be, they will never stop attending IHSA.

Because of #1, writing letters of complaint/protest won't work.
Because of #2, taking coaches' polls won't work.
Because of #3, boycotting won't work.

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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by David Riley » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:59 am

I think change is possible, but not as quickly as you would like it. Consider that we now have

--codified rules (even if we don't like a lot of them)
--pyramidal questions (granted they aren't perfect, but you should have seen the questions c. 1995)
--round-robins at Sectional and State
--seeding for the state series (in some sectionals, whoever made it to the state tournament in the old days was pretty much luck of the draw)

Not to mention we have students like you, Siva, et al., former students like Mike Laudermith who are now coaching, and coaches like Mr. Reinstein who care seriously about this activity. You can't give up hope!
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Tegan » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:14 am

JackGlerum wrote:I'm not trying to bash Greg's or anyone else's ideas in this post. In fact, I support some of it. But,
Because of #1, writing letters of complaint/protest won't work.
This in fact is not true, for reasons I won't discuss publicly.
JackGlerum wrote:Because of #2, taking coaches' polls won't work.
This is (sadly) likely to be true.
JackGlerum wrote:Because of #3, boycotting won't work.
I would think that if the players, en masse, decided not to attend, and publicly stated their reasons, it would garner attention. It may be true that the school will pay a penalty, but I would have a hard time believing that the school would in turn cause a problem for the students in an extra curricular activity for choosing not to show up for a match.

Yes, a coach involved in such a decision would face consequences. They are (usually) contractually obligated to follow through on attending such things. However, if the coach could demonstrate that they were not involved, I think the students would be fairly insulated (the coach may still lose their job if the school administration is short sighted enough, but if the players are willing to live with that to make a statement, then so be it).

The easy way out for the school would be to take a page from Chipapalooza: the team competes all season. When the playoffs arrive, the team walks, and the frosh-soph team, or some team off the streets show up to keep the coach's job secure and the heat off the school from the IHSA. Of course, the school isn't really boycotting, and with the school making an early exit, no one really cares. If enough of the better teams did this, the stature of the state tournament would be greatly reduced in the community, though it would not be elsewhere. Other schools would be grateful for the opportunity to win in a watered down field, and a chorus of voices would hail a renaissance in Illinois quizbowl. In the end, this doesn't work.

Rather than boycott, the better teams should continue to show up and win big and demonstrate the advantages of playing on better formats. Boycotting and allowing lesser teams to advance and win only plays into their hands.

It would help if the people raising the bigger public alarm were the teams who are doing the winning. I can tell you that the default response to any complaint from a team that does not win, no matter the logic or correctness of their complaint, is "sour grapes".

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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:52 am

David Riley wrote:in some sectionals, whoever made it to the state tournament in the old days was pretty much luck of the draw
I would argue that's still sometimes true.
Tegan wrote:Rather than boycott, the better teams should continue to show up and win big and demonstrate the advantages of playing on better formats....It would help if the people raising the bigger public alarm were the teams who are doing the winning.
Isn't that pretty much already what's happening, instead resulting in claims of elitism?
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:55 am

To a large extent, Jack is correct, though it depends on how strictly you define "won't work".

The best tournaments are generally run by individuals or small groups of people who care deeply about Scholastic Bowl and put their vision into place. IHSA Scholastic Bowl is run not just by committee, but by a series of committees and people generally composed of people who don't have a compelling vision of what Scholastic Bowl should be. As such, it will never be the best tournament in the state by any measure other than number of teams. There are many factors that make it the way it is, one of which is people pushing for good Scholastic Bowl.

However, it generally has improved over the years, and it will continue to improve. That improvement is due to people making their cases to the powers that be, sometimes having their ideas accepted and at other times having their ideas rejected. Will the tournament be much different next year or the year after? No, but it is much better now than it was ten years ago, and there is a possibility that it will be much better ten years from now.

I don't think there is any way to boycott without looking like a petty elite jerk. I wouldn't look at somebody who did so that way, but I'm usually in the minority. Most of the opinions that people would consider boycotting over are minority opinions, and a lot of people think that those opinions are minor details anyways.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Tegan » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:34 pm

jonah wrote:
Tegan wrote:Rather than boycott, the better teams should continue to show up and win big and demonstrate the advantages of playing on better formats....It would help if the people raising the bigger public alarm were the teams who are doing the winning.
Isn't that pretty much already what's happening, instead resulting in claims of elitism?
That is happening, however it is happening in forums like this. The more directed complaints are what will sound a resonance. Again, I think a public forum is not the proper place to address this.

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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by JackGlerum » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:12 pm

I agree with most of what's been said, but after the weekend of IHSA State, how can we think that change is in the future? IHSA advocates glossy programs, a color guard, and a dress code but asks questions about computational spelling and driver's ed? Maybe I was the only one disillusioned by the whole thing.

I repeat, this is a fight not worth fighting. We are blessed to have fabulous tournaments from October to February. I am especially thankful to attend both national tournaments in May. So, why are we willing to put on the "good quizbowl blinders" for a two week period of watered down quizbowl in March? I'll tell you why. IHSA is "the state championship". Even players from top teams will tell you that they enjoy saying that they are state champs. Hell, Auburn, undoubtedly the brightest beacon of good quizbowl in the state, has a permanent sign in front of their school that reads "2008 IHSA Class AA State Champs". And who can blame them? When a non-quizbowler friend, interested parent, or interviewer asks you about your season, it's pretty sweet to say that you went downstate and kicked ass.

I, like Mr. Egan, implore players from Carbondale and Auburn to write letters to Mr. McGraw. However, as stated in my original post, I doubt that it will achieve anything because IHSA quizbowl is written, edited, and organized by people who act like they've never been to a pyramidal tournament before (with exceptions, of course).

I don't enjoy playing "Mr. Pessimistic" or "Captain Obvious", but I think it has to be said.

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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:38 pm

JackGlerum wrote:I repeat, this is a fight not worth fighting.
This is not a fight. It consists of a very small number of people writing at most one letter a year. It consists of a very small number of people attending one meeting a year. People should continue to do this. It is at times a very frustrating process, but nobody is devoting 18 hours a day, or even a half hour a day, to it.

The other stuff Jack says is correct. I'm glad that there are glossy programs and a color guard, even though they are not high on my priority list. I'll add that the reason there is computational spelling and driver's ed is because of coaches rather than because of the IHSA. I'll also add that the IHSA Tournament is not horrible--it has its good and its bad. A lot of tournaments are better than it, and a lot of tournaments are worse. As Jack implied, there are several teams that only go to tournaments that are very good but make an exception for IHSA, and I think those teams are making a reasonable decision all things considered.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Tegan » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:25 pm

JackGlerum wrote:Maybe I was the only one disillusioned by the whole thing.
No. I had two coaches and two players (not affiliated with Loyola) note the same thing. You have to understand: the IHSA knows how to stage events; they have been doing this for over a hundred years. There is no one who really understands the intricacies of quizbowl, and certainly no one with the passion for it that players and coaches have. From that it is often hard to communicate with them problems. Sometimes, they get the message (like when they pulled the last commercial contract ... like when they went to round robins ...), and other times they don't perceive a problem when there is one. Other times, the see problems where we don't (like moving the tournament to Fridays). We had some years where we were taking two steps forward, and no more than a half step back. Recently, it is like we have been taking two steps back, and not much forward. Frustrating? Yes. My frustration stems from the players not getting what they need, or (along the same lines) casual players and coaches holding things up for those that are more passionate and concerned.

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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:04 pm

Getting back to the original post, here is my version. Some of the changes I made to Greg's suggestions were to keep the new version within range of the current distribution. I'm not going to justify every change right now, since there are a lot of small ones, but I'll be back if anybody wants to suggest changes to my distribution or is wondering why I did some particular thing.

SCIENCE 6/6
A. 5/5 Major Sciences:
a. 2/2, 2/1, or 1/2 Biology
b. 2/2, 2/1, or 1/2 Chemistry
c. 2/2, 2/1, or 1/2 Physics
B. 1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Astronomy
b. Earth Science
c. General Science
d. Health

MATH 6/6
A. 5/5 Computational Math:
a. 2/2 Algebra/Pre-Calculus
b. 1/1 Analytic and Synthetic Geometry
c. 1/1 Trigonometry
d. 1/1 Calculus
B. 1/1 Noncomputational Math, taken from two different ones below:
a. General Math
b. Math History
c. Logic and Computer Science

SOCIAL STUDIES 6/6
A. 4/4 History:
a. 2/1 or 1/2 US History
b. 2/1 or 1/2 European History
c. 1/1 World History
B. 1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Geography
b. Current Events
c. Government
C. 1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Psychology/Sociology
b. Religion
c. Economics
d. Philosophy/Political Science

LITERATURE & LANGUAGE ARTS 6/6
A. 5/5 Literature:
a. 2/1 or 1/2 US Literature
b. 2/1 or 1/2 British Literature
c. 1/1 World Literature
d. 1/1 Mythology
B. 1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Grammar/Usage
b. Spelling
c. Speech
d. Vocabulary

FINE ARTS 4/4 (Pop Culture questions should not be classified as Fine Arts)
A. 1/1 Painting History
B. 1/1 Classical Music History
C. 1/1 Architecture/Sculpture
D. 1/0 or 0/1 taken from one below:
a. Opera
b. Jazz
E. 1/0 or 0/1 taken from one below:
a. Music Theory
b. Art Theory
c. Musical Theatre

MISCELLANEOUS 2/2
1/1 Interdisciplinary
1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Journalism
b. Sports
c. Technology
d. Agriculture
e. Family Consumer Science
f. Driver’s Education
g. Industrial Arts
h. Pop Culture
i. Consumer Education
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Tegan » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:23 pm

Mine is more along the line of Dr. Reinstein's:

SCIENCE
Same .... no more than one "health" question every four rounds.

MATH
Same

SOCIAL STUDIES 6/6
Same

LITERATURE & LANGUAGE ARTS 6/6
2 caveats:
1. Pop literature defaults to pop culture.
2. No more than one grammar, spelling, speech, vocabulary question every three rounds.

FINE ARTS 4/4 (Pop Culture questions should not be classified as Fine Arts)
Rather than singling out jazz by itself, I would claim it as "non-pop" music. I'm not sure what other than opera and jazz to put in,

MISCELLANEOUS 2/2
Driver's Ed out, the others not to appear in any form more than once every three rounds.

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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by BGSO » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:31 pm

Tegan wrote:Mine is more along the line of Dr. Reinstein's:

Rather than singling out jazz by itself, I would claim it as "non-pop" music. I'm not sure what other than opera and jazz to put in
I disagree, questions on Carmen have a more important place than questions on scat and Ella Fitzgerald, not to mention a much broader answer space.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Tegan » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:17 pm

BGSO wrote:I disagree, questions on Carmen have a more important place than questions on scat and Ella Fitzgerald, not to mention a much broader answer space.
I would agree that opera (being around much longer than jazz) has a broader answer space, and could be argued to have more historic relevance.

I think what Dr. Reinstein and I were saying is that when writing a music question, you want to avoid any pop music at all (that would obviously go in pop culture). However, given that music theory is separate, and classical is a separate distribution, then what non-pop music is really left? Opera and jazz would fit (as Dr. Reinstein noted) ... I'm almost certain that there must be something I'm not thinking of that might also belong, but I can't think of it (hence I want with a "non-pop" label).

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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by jonah » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:35 pm

I was always under the impression that opera (well, most of what we think of when we say "opera") was part of classical music.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:26 am

I actually copied ACF guidelines in separating opera from classical music. It could fit within classical music for obvious reasons, though the types of questions often are different since opera questions are often based on plots. I think it also is done to control the number of opera questions, since opera questions are very easy to write.

As far as other topics that could go with opera and jazz, I could think of several, but I am hesitant to add them because it would mean adding categories that generally would lead to weak questions. Some examples would be World Music (in the old-fashioned sense of music outside the European tradition), Blues, Folk, Avant-Garde, Ballet, Gospel, and American Popular Music Pre 1950.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by at your pleasure » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:42 am

I'm inclined to remove art theory as a separte category and make the extra question an additional visual arts question.
My arts subdistro would be:
4/4 arts:
2/2 legitmate music(includes 20th century art music, of course). No more than 1/0 or 0/1 opera.
2/2 visual arts:
1/1 painting
1/1 other visual(architecture, scupture, graphic arts, and so on and so forth).
Really, about what Rienstien's proposing without the theory subdistro and with somewhat looser requirements.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by jonah » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:26 am

Shcool wrote:I actually copied ACF guidelines in separating opera from classical music. It could fit within classical music for obvious reasons, though the types of questions often are different since opera questions are often based on plots. I think it also is done to control the number of opera questions, since opera questions are very easy to write.
Interesting. I guess I need to start reading the ACF document more carefully.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Matt Bardoe » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:13 am

I think that these proposals are very much what is needed for the state series. It will be nice to have more specific distribution to the questions. My only suggestion is make the Social Studies 5/5 on history topics. I don't know how to break down the 5/5 between US/Europe/Rest of the World. One suggestion might be:

SOCIAL STUDIES 6/6
A. 5/5 History:
a. 2/1 or 1/2 US History
b. 2/1 or 1/2 European History
c. 1/1 World History
d. 1/1 Ancient History (Before 800 CE)
B. 1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Geography
b. Current Events
c. Government
d. Psychology/Sociology
e. Religion
f. Economics
g. Philosophy/Political Science

I think that Reinstein's and Greg's proposals both point to us giving the traditional canon a greater emphasis. These more strict guidelines could help. I don't know about Tegan's addition of "not more than x in every y rounds". That seems hard for anyone other than the person editing the questions to keep track of. So I don't think guidelines like that are for the rule book so much as a great suggestion for the lead editor. In the last state series, I felt that Economics was a topic that often lead to the deadly 10 second wait, the only topic that was more so was Programming and Scripting. BTW, on programming and scripting, where are those small school teams arguing vehemently for that to topic to be banished? I am sure that there are very few small schools that are able to teach programming. Even though many programming and scripting questions were obvious for those that know java, there are lots of people that don't know java, and it is hard to even give a reasonable guess if you don't know the particulars of that language. This is another reason I think that programming and scripting should be out. Obviously, Driver's Ed out. Let's keep the topics to the big categories, US/EU/World/Ancient History, US/Brit/World Lit, Alg/Geom/Trig/Calc, Bio/Chem/Phys, Painting/Sculpture/Classical/Opera, Sports/PopC/Inter. We want these topics to be at least 25 of the 30 questions, if not 27 of 30. The only topic that isn't on that list that doesn't go dead on a regular basis is Mythology. Answering questions in more fun than not. Focus on these, and we will have high scoring fun competitions, that will also encourage students to focus on what has long been considered the most important parts of a liberal education. We have a good game now, but how can it be more fun?

I also would like to thank the people that write the IHSA tournament for not making the SCT questions noticeably harder than the previous rounds. The questions difficulty should be as close to the same in each round. Questions packets are our playing field, and in most competitions they try hard to "even the playing field". These suggestions on defining the distribution of questions more will help with that.

I would also love to see some suggestions for 20 question distribution, because I think that 20 questions are generally more fun. Thirty questions just leads to too many games that are over long before the end, or maybe there should be some kind of mercy rule... In the state series, what is the point of a game that ends 191-0 (Porta vs Ilini Central Regional Semifinal this year), OUCH. What a painful game to moderate that would have been! Did we need to go through 30 questions to find out that Porta is better than Illini Central. In how many games did the lead change between questions 21 and 30? Probably no more than 15 games out of 400-500? What percentage of games was that?


Sorry, feeling a little ranty today.

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Last edited by Matt Bardoe on Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by mlaird » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:34 pm

Matt Bardoe wrote:I would also love to see some suggestions for 20 question distribution, because I think that 20 questions are generally more fun. Thirty questions just leads to too many games that are over long before the end, or maybe there should be some kind of mercy rule... In the state series, what is the point of a game that ends 191-0 (Porta vs Ilini Central Regional Semifinal this year), OUCH. What a painful game to moderate that would have been! Did we need to go through 30 questions to find out that Porta is better than Illini Central. In how many games did the lead change between questions 21 and 30? Probably no more than 15 games out of 400-500? What percentage of games was that?
I think 20 questions is a good idea for the State Series, too. At least, for Regionals, and maybe Sectionals. I think State should still be 30 questions; that AA championship match this year was ridiculous.

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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by harpersferry » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:37 pm

I think if we took out the poor questions in regionals and sectionals we'd have about 20 legit questions per round right now.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by jonah » Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:00 pm

Irving Alva Edison Hobophone Inventor wrote:I think if we took out the poor questions in regionals and sectionals we'd have about 20 legit questions per round right now.
I think you'd have about three words left, actually. And if you distributed those three words evenly among forty questions (20/20), some coaches would still complain that the questions were too long.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Matt Bardoe » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:13 pm

For 20 Questions what about:

SCIENCE/MATH/SOCIAL STUDIES/LIT&LANG ARTS split 17 TU and 17 PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH. The extra-Tossup/ and bonus must come from the A listing of the topic, e.g. if there are 5 TU in Science 4 will come from the Major Sciences.

SCIENCE 4/4 or 4/5 or 5/4
A. 3/3 Major Sciences:
a. 1/1 Biology
b. 1/1 Chemistry
c. 1/1 Physics
B. 1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Astronomy
b. Earth Science
c. General Science
d. Health

MATH 4/4 or 4/5 or 5/4
A. 3/3 Computational Math:
a. 2/2 Algebra/Pre-Calculus
b. 1/1 Chosen from
a. Analytic and Synthetic Geometry
b. Trigonometry
c. Calculus
B. 1/1 Noncomputational Math, taken from two different ones below:
a. General Math
b. Math History
c. Logic and Computer Science

SOCIAL STUDIES 4/4 or 4/5 or 5/4
A. 3/3 History:
a. 1/1 US History
b. 1/1 European History
c. 1/1 World History
B. 1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Geography
b. Current Events
c. Government
d. Psychology/Sociology
e. Religion
f. Economics
g. Philosophy/Political Science

LITERATURE & LANGUAGE ARTS 4/4 or 4/5 or 5/4
A. 3/3 Literature:
a. 1/1 US Literature
b. 1/1 British Literature
c. 1/1 World Literature/Mythology
B. 1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Grammar/Usage
b. Spelling
c. Speech
d. Vocabulary


FINE ARTS 2/2 (Pop Culture questions should not be classified as Fine Arts)
A. 1/1 Painting/Architecture/Sculpture History
B. 1/1 Classical Music History
C. 1/0 or 0/1 taken from one below:
a. Opera
b. Jazz
D. 1/0 or 0/1 taken from one below:
a. Music Theory
b. Art Theory
c. Musical Theatre

MISCELLANEOUS 1/1
1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Interdisciplinary
b. Journalism
c. Sports
d. Technology
e. Agriculture
f. Family Consumer Science
g. Driver’s Education
h. Industrial Arts
i. Pop Culture
j. Consumer Education
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Deviant Insider » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:18 am

If you cut off our Sectional matches after 20 questions, we would have lost to Maine South and beaten Loyola. In both cases, the distribution of the last 10 questions was the same as the first 20.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:16 am

Shcool wrote:If you cut off our Sectional matches after 20 questions, we would have lost to Maine South and beaten Loyola. In both cases, the distribution of the last 10 questions was the same as the first 20.
And maybe with forty questions, you would have lost to Maine South and beaten Loyola, just like after twenty. Like, I get that you're arguing that more questions gives a more correct result, ceteris paribus, but at some point you start trading off number of matches and/or question quality for question quantity, and judging from what everyone thought of the latter, I think we may have reached that point.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Deviant Insider » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:35 am

I have my doubts for this particular tournament that fewer questions would result in more matches or better questions. If that trade gets offered, then I will accept it.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Tegan » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:40 am

Scorebook wrote:If you cut off our Sectional matches after 20 questions, New Trier would have lost to Maine South and Maine South would have beaten Loyola.
Sorry Dr. Reinstein, I'm not seeing the merits of your argument. :razz:

Seriously, A long standing issue has been question quality .... hence the idea that more questions = better chance the better team will still win. But, if we cut each match to 20 questions at Regionals and Sectionals, you are eliminating roughly 40/40 and 30/30 .... it is not true to say all of the worst questions would be eliminated, but a large percentage of them would be.

The question is ultimately moot, as the downstate reps have been clear on 20 questions being too short (for teams to travel two hours, get slaughtered, and go home), and that moving to a round robin would take too long.

Personally, I would rather see Regionals go to 20 in the early rounds and 30 for the finals, if round robin isn't going to happen.

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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:31 am

Tegan wrote:The question is ultimately moot, as the downstate reps have been clear on 20 questions being too short (for teams to travel two hours, get slaughtered, and go home), and that moving to a round robin would take too long.

Personally, I would rather see Regionals go to 20 in the early rounds and 30 for the finals, if round robin isn't going to happen.
So really they just are measuring time/rounds in terms of questions, I guess, right? So if we're looking at four and three round tournaments of 30/30, under 20/20 (were we to keep the same number of questions) we'd get six and 4.5 rounds.

I guess that's the clincher: if they're not willing to acknowledge that their organization can only deliver three or four 20/20 rounds of good quizbowl (if that), and that's too short, so they beef it up with crap--yeah, that's a problem.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:39 am

everyday847 wrote:beef it up with crap
rjaguar3 wrote:4/4 computational math
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by rjaguar3 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:10 am

Matt Weiner wrote:
everyday847 wrote:beef it up with crap
rjaguar3 wrote:4/4 computational math
I agree that computational math is crap. I don't think we'll get anywhere by shooting for the moon and trying to remove all computation. Mind you, under the current rules, matches of 30/30 can have up to 8 computational tossups.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:24 am

rjaguar3 wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:
everyday847 wrote:beef it up with crap
rjaguar3 wrote:4/4 computational math
I agree that computational math is crap. I don't think we'll get anywhere by shooting for the moon and trying to remove all computation. Mind you, under the current rules, matches of 30/30 can have up to 8 computational tossups.
This is the most horrifying thing i will read today.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by rjaguar3 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:49 am

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:
rjaguar3 wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:
everyday847 wrote:beef it up with crap
rjaguar3 wrote:4/4 computational math
I agree that computational math is crap. I don't think we'll get anywhere by shooting for the moon and trying to remove all computation. Mind you, under the current rules, matches of 30/30 can have up to 8 computational tossups.
This is the most horrifying thing i will read today.
This doesn't mean that there HAVE to be 8 computational tossups, or that all the computational tossups have to be math. In past State Series, we've had computational tossups in Chemistry, Physics, and Agriculture (I know...).
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Deviant Insider » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:59 am

This year featured Computational Health based on an application of SPF.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by jonah » Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:02 pm

Not that the category usually makes a difference in terms of how unpleasant it is, but the health and agriculture ones and stuff are good for a laugh. Of course, there's also computational biology, where everyone starts applying the Hardy-Weinberg principle before any numbers are actually said. This year featured computational spelling, and Matt's and my idea for a computational driver's ed question is the sort of thing that's likely to pop up eventually.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by dxdtdemon » Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:14 pm

What does computational spelling involve? Something using the number of letters that a word has or something?
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by jonah » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:06 pm

quantumfootball wrote:What does computational spelling involve? Something using the number of letters that a word has or something?
Yeah. Add that number to the number of letters in some other word, multiply by the number of letters in another...ugh.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Matt Bardoe » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:22 pm

With regard to the fact competitions between New Trier/Maine South/Loyola might have been different with 20 questions rather 30 questions, with due respect, I say ok. This will make the competitions more fun for some. The 3 point basket has made college basketball more fun for teams and fans, because it keeps the games close. These are great teams that on any given day might defeat one another. In thinking about other competitions, it seems that championships are generally a combination of luck and skill. The New England Patriots lost only one game a couple years ago, and that made it so they came in second. I would be alright with 20 questions in the regional, and 30 in sectionals and SCT, but it does violate a general principle I believe we are working toward here which is that the questions are kind of the playing field. The playing field does a lot to define the game, and there should be some regularity to playing fields.

It does seem that with more definition to the distribution, and fewer questions, we would have less space for computational spelling, driver's ed, spf calculations, and your various train clues.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by at your pleasure » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:09 pm

While I agree with Matt that 20 questions is acceptable, I agree for different reasons. Assuming that the 10 question reduction is done by removing the rotten c ategories(insert anti-computation and vocational ed screed no._) there would be a higher proportion of meaningful questions and less margin for bizarre results because there are fewer chances for probematic point awarding.
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by AKKOLADE » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:19 pm

So before we get into a discussion about how many questions should be used in IHSA, I want to ask this: what can be done to help fix the format the IHSA uses?
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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Tegan » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:42 am

FredMorlan wrote:So before we get into a discussion about how many questions should be used in IHSA, I want to ask this: what can be done to help fix the format the IHSA uses?
1. Format decisions are controlled by the Advisory Committee. In the past, provided decisions to not cost any money, the IHSA Board has always approved all format changes made by the AdCo.

2. In years past the representatives were more open to make what I would consider "good changes", though there was still reluctance from predominantly downstate people to drop subjects like Drivers Ed.

Last year, the change in bonus format failed by one vote (it was actually a tie). The representatives for Central and North-Northwestern Illinois blocked every change from taking place.

In order for any change to clear the AdCo, it must have the support of a majority of the present members.

The make up of the Board is:
1 -- Far Southern Illinois (currently an administrator who traditionally has not attended, though he is new, he might)
1 -- Central Illinois
1 -- North and western Illinois
1 -- Southern and eastern Illinois
1 -- south and southwest suburbs of Chicago
1 -- north and northwest suburbs of Chicago
1 -- city of Chicago (which is being filled for the first time in over 10 years)

Despite representing only about 40% of the population of the state, the four non-Chicago area reps control most of the vote. Last year, the two suburban Chicago reps were there with the central and North/Northwest rep. Every vote was tied 2-2, which meant failure to pass.

It is my personal opinion that, because of the current make up of the Board, it will be very difficult to make any changes that the downstate representatives do not approve of (and it is further my opinion that there is little that most people on this board would like to see that they approve of. I will not be submitting the bonus format change for a vote this year, because I see little point. I am going to try and see if we can look at changing the matching tops rule (this went to defeat last year 2-2), and eliminating a few of those miscellaneous categories that we keep talking about (all defeated 2-2). I am also going to submit a guide for writing questions that I hope to include in the case manual. It is my hope that we can better define some things that really do not belong in our questions. I say it is my hope, because much of the "counterpoint" argument is against changes that favor "elite" teams (read: Chicago area teams).

That being said: writing letters has helped in the past. Anyone living in Central Illinois or in the Rockford/Quad Cities area can try and write some letters to their rep. We can hope that reading some polite yet passionate letters will cause a change of heart. Letters can come from coaches, players, former players, tournament directors, and officials.

Aside from that, it will take a change in the Board membership before any change can occur. That is not likely until at least 2011 or 2012.

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Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon May 04, 2009 10:26 pm

Here is the new distribution, as passed by the IHSA Scholastic Bowl Advisory Committee:

SCIENCE 6/6
A. 5/5 Major Sciences:
a. 2/2, 2/1, or 1/2 Biology
b. 2/2, 2/1, or 1/2 Chemistry
c. 2/2, 2/1, or 1/2 Physics
B. 1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Astronomy
b. Earth Science
c. General Science
d. Health

MATH 6/6
A. 2/2 Algebra/Pre-Calculus
B. 2/2 Geometry/Trigonometry (including Analytical Geometry)
C. 1/1 Calculus
D. 1/0 or 0/1 Combinatorics/Probability/Statistics
E. 1/0 or 0/1 taken from one below
a. General Math
b. Number Theory

SOCIAL STUDIES 6/6
A. 3/3 History:
a. 2/1 or 1/2 US History
b. 2/1 or 1/2 World History
B. 2/2 taken from two different ones below:
a. Geography
b. Current Events from the past year
c. US & Comparative Government
C. 1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Psychology/Sociology
b. Religion
c. Economics
d. Philosophy/Political Science

LITERATURE & LANGUAGE ARTS 6/6
A. 5/5 Literature:
a. 2/1 or 1/2 US Literature
b. 2/1 or 1/2 British Literature
c. 1/1 World Literature
d. 1/1 Mythology
B. 1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Grammar/Usage
b. Spelling
c. Speech
d. Vocabulary

FINE ARTS 4/4
A. 2/2 Art History
B. 1/1 Classical Music History
C. 1/0 or 0/1 taken from one below:
a. Opera
b. Jazz
c. Musical Theatre
D. 1/0 or 0/1 taken from one below:
a. Music Theory
b. Art Theory

MISCELLANEOUS 2/2
A. 1/1 Interdisciplinary
B. 1/1 taken from two different ones below:
a. Journalism
b. Sports
c. Technology
d. Agriculture
e. Family Consumer Science
f. Driver’s Education
g. Industrial Arts
h. Pop Culture
i. Consumer Education

Each round will have at least four computational tossups, with at most five math computational tossups and at most one science computational tossup, and no computational tossups outside math and science.

This was the main accomplishment. The wording of several rules was clarified, and there will be a little bit of leniency with matching tops, though matching tops are still required.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)

jonah
Auron
Posts: 2297
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: My proposed IHSA distribution

Post by jonah » Mon May 04, 2009 10:43 pm

So we dumped artistic dance and programming/scripting, but nothing else, correct?

What about computational bonuses?
Jonah Greenthal
National Academic Quiz Tournaments

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