Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

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Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by the return of AHAN » Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:41 am

1st: Barrington Station A
2nd: Buffalo Grove Twin Groves
3rd: Barrington Station B
4th: Lake in the Hills Marlowe

Other quarterfinalists: Cary JHS A, Barrington Station C, Millburn Central A, Millburn West A

What did we learn today?
According to the question writer, Tunis is an African nation,
The names of the 5 sisters in the All-of-a-Kind Family book series is somehow a viable 20-point bonus,
It's OK to write a Super Bowl bonus about 3-time winners, and REUSE it 4 years later (Quote: "In 39 Super Bowls, ... 7 teams have win 3 or more Super Bowls... name 5 of them). Fortunately, NY Giants was not an answer issued by my team!

OK, seriously now... We learned that Lake in the Hills Marlowe, seeded #3 in our sectional, is the real deal this year. My A team beat them in the semifinals, by a score of 188-186, and was lucky to have done so. We out-toss-upped them 8-7, but converted only 12.5 PPB (out of 20), as opposed to Marlowe's 14.3 PPB. Their math skills are good and they showed head-turning depth of knowledge on literature topics. I thought it a possible aberration, but an inspection of the 3rd place match sheet revealed a 16.7 PPB conversion rate to my B team's 11.9 PPB, this difference was exacerbated by Marlowe's 32-4 edge in rebounding missed bonus parts in that match. Nonetheless, my B team held on for a 201-199 win by virtue of their 9-6 TU edge.
We also learned that the Marlowe coaches still have no compunction about mixing it up with the mods. Apparently, in that 3rd place game, one of their math bonus answers of (-3x + 1)^2 was not accepted, as the paper only stated (3x - 1)^2. Ironically, had I been in the room, I probably would've backed her up and yielded the points. The math teacher of the two allegedly declared in front of the whole room, "I'm a math teacher. These questions aren't written by math people, and you're not either!" However, I wasn't there and the moderator shined her on by moving on and saying "We'll see if it makes a difference." So, at match conclusion, with a 2 point difference, the senior moderator who had done the championship and the Antioch coaches were debating the issue, and they backed the mod's original ruling of 'incorrect'. Again, I stayed way far away as I've had my fill of run-ins with the Marlowe coaches over these past 7 years, but my 'B' kids were very turned off by the whole display, such that one of them told me later, "I wanted to say, "jeez, just give it to them if it's that important to them."")
(Remind me again why I quit inviting them to the Barrington Tourney?? Oh, right.)
Jeff Price, Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:39 am

Woody Paige wrote: We also learned that the Marlowe coaches still have no compunction about mixing it up with the mods. Apparently, in that 3rd place game, one of their math bonus answers of (-3x + 1)^2 was not accepted, as the paper only stated (3x - 1)^2. Ironically, had I been in the room, I probably would've backed her up and yielded the points. The math teacher of the two allegedly declared in front of the whole room, "I'm a math teacher. These questions aren't written by math people, and you're not either!" However, I wasn't there and the moderator shined her on by moving on and saying "We'll see if it makes a difference." So, at match conclusion, with a 2 point difference, the senior moderator who had done the championship and the Antioch coaches were debating the issue, and they backed the mod's original ruling of 'incorrect'. Again, I stayed way far away as I've had my fill of run-ins with the Marlowe coaches over these past 7 years, but my 'B' kids were very turned off by the whole display, such that one of them told me later, "I wanted to say, "jeez, just give it to them if it's that important to them."")
(Remind me again why I quit inviting them to the Barrington Tourney?? Oh, right.)
Can you explain to me why protesting an answer that's actually correct is considered improper behavior? I'm puzzled; having "mix[ed] it up with the mods" a few times myself, I don't really understand how what the coach did was wrong, even if she was a little bit forceful about it.
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:45 am

Woody Paige wrote:The math teacher of the two allegedly declared in front of the whole room, "I'm a math teacher. These questions aren't written by math people, and you're not either!"
This is the worst insult ever written.
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by Wall of Ham » Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:07 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:
Woody Paige wrote: We also learned that the Marlowe coaches still have no compunction about mixing it up with the mods. Apparently, in that 3rd place game, one of their math bonus answers of (-3x + 1)^2 was not accepted, as the paper only stated (3x - 1)^2. Ironically, had I been in the room, I probably would've backed her up and yielded the points. The math teacher of the two allegedly declared in front of the whole room, "I'm a math teacher. These questions aren't written by math people, and you're not either!" However, I wasn't there and the moderator shined her on by moving on and saying "We'll see if it makes a difference." So, at match conclusion, with a 2 point difference, the senior moderator who had done the championship and the Antioch coaches were debating the issue, and they backed the mod's original ruling of 'incorrect'. Again, I stayed way far away as I've had my fill of run-ins with the Marlowe coaches over these past 7 years, but my 'B' kids were very turned off by the whole display, such that one of them told me later, "I wanted to say, "jeez, just give it to them if it's that important to them."")
(Remind me again why I quit inviting them to the Barrington Tourney?? Oh, right.)
Can you explain to me why protesting an answer that's actually correct is considered improper behavior? I'm puzzled; having "mix[ed] it up with the mods" a few times myself, I don't really understand how what the coach did was wrong, even if she was a little bit forceful about it.
Yea, not accepting a clearly correct answer goes completely against the entire philosophy of quizbowl, and heck, of learning in general. If this happened to me in middle school, I would be tempted to quit quizbowl forever. In this case, the math teacher was completely justified to be mad, and it is with the moderators that the blame should lay, in not looking deeply enough at this protest to find it correct. I mean, its not even some small language error, but mathematics, the language of universal truth.

This for some reason really makes me angry.
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:22 pm

I'm similarly annoyed that somehow it's a bad thing to get frustrated over a protest that is being botched.
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by Tegan » Sun Apr 19, 2009 2:10 pm

Whenever I get a chance to talk to newer mods, I tell them that (and mind you, this applies to an Illinois perspective):

1. There is a rule that grants the moderator absolute power.
2. As in the comic book, with power comes responsibility.
3. You are required to listen to a coach's first few protests. Only after you note a trend that they are without merit do you get the right to ignore them.
4. Coaches/players do not have the right to be jerks, but the best way to head off coaches/players being jerks is to make sound, logical decisions based on what is right, not necessarily the "word" of the rule. I don't mean to go back and equate this to sports, but this is exactly what happens when better refs in football, basketball, etc know when to not penalize a team for doing what is right.

If a coach would have said this to me, I would have given her team the points, and thrown her out for losing her cool. However, I would like to think that I would have never let the situation escalate to this because I would have listened, I would have offered her a chance to prove her point (which, as a math teacher, should have been easy), and given the points and only then moved on.

This is a detail that far too many tournament hosts overlook, and tends to completely wreck tournament experiences for players:

4. If you know there is a person who you are considering to be a mod, and they have some sort of god complex, don't ask them. They will not be any help, and could cause a lot of harm.

5. Instruct all mods to listen to coaches/players. This does not mean that you automatically act on what they want, but you had better listen to them.


A few years ago, I was at a tournament where the mod was acting in a grossly unprofessional manner. He was threatening to kick the opposing coach out of the tournament for asking a calm, reasonable question. I immediately reported this to the TD. I was informed that he was new. Nothing like "I will talk to him", etc. Other coaches reported similar run ins throughout the day. The rest of the mods at said tournament at least asked professional, though were poor (did I mention: this was a state qualifier tournament). In the last round, I and the other coach approached the TD and asked for a different moderator, as easily one of the best mods in the state was sitting in the audience, and was neutral to both teams.

We got reamed out by the TD. In a public e-mail sent to his moderators later, we were labeled "unprofessional" for asking for a better mod. The reason given: these are new mods; they have to learn sometime. I guess a state touranment qualifier was a good time to teach new moderators??? :roll:

6. TDs: know your mods .... forget tradition or seniority. You assign the right mod for a given match. Rooms where fewer questions are bound to be answered can use a slower mod. Playoff matches need better mods (I'm not going to say "experienced", because that too much implies "older/veteran"). TDs have to get out of this rut of grabbing three people out of the hall and throwing them in front of rooms with minimal training.

7. Having said all of that, TDs need to start making a statement about jerk behavior with coaches and players. Are there bad mods .... definitely. Are there good mods who make mistakes? Yes. Should bad mods/good mods who make mistakes have their mistakes pointed out to them .... yes! However, that doesn't justify boorish behavior. Unlike a lot of the coaches in my state, while I do insist on good sportsmanship, my approach does not involve legislating it. There is a particular team I have had runs ins with twice as a mod. In one case, a player on that team was talking, and another player rang in from said team with a bad answer, because he didn't listen .... yelling at his coach and blaming me. In a second instance, the team and coach as a whole (and I am not going into details as it is a well known story) acted in an unsportsmanlike way. These are but two incidents in a long running litany of problems reported by multiple coaches/players. They still get invited to tournaments, and I opt not to moderate when I know they will be there. I feel that especially when there is a track record (I'm not talking isolated incidents) of boorish behavior, TDs need to let the coach know .... if it still happens again, the coach needs to be told why they are not being invited, and that when things get set right, then you get to come back.

In short: TD's absolutely owe a responsibility to players (and coaches) that the mod will do what is right, and will do so in a professional manner. Conversely, TDs need to be willing to defend a mod from boorish behavior when the player/coach is out of line, and the mod was in the right.

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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by the return of AHAN » Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:50 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:
Woody Paige wrote: ... had I been in the room, I probably would've backed her up and yielded the points......
Can you explain to me why protesting an answer that's actually correct is considered improper behavior? I'm puzzled; having "mix[ed] it up with the mods" a few times myself, I don't really understand how what the coach did was wrong, even if she was a little bit forceful about it.
I didn't say she was wrong to protest that answer. I DID say that this is a coach who has developed a track record of being difficult to deal with at tournaments when things don't go her way. Years ago, at this same tournament, an old, doddering moderator was periodically just pointing at the kids and saying, "uh huh" to acknowledge who buzzed in. Well, at the start of the 2nd half of the 3rd place game, she decided to protest our first correct toss-up answer with the now-obsolete "blurt rule" since my player answered with just being pointed at, but before his name was said. This led to a similar summit with the TD who decided the TU needed to be replaced, which made me quite bitter as my captain had simply adjusted to what that moderator was doing. This was simple gamesmanship at its worst.
As for her unsuccessful protest, of course, with well-written questions, the kinds of issues that lead to such disputes wouldn't be so commonplace.
Jeff Price, Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by the return of AHAN » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:44 pm

FredMorlan wrote:
Woody Paige wrote:The math teacher of the two allegedly declared in front of the whole room, "I'm a math teacher. These questions aren't written by math people, and you're not either!"
This is the worst insult ever written.
Meh, if it's the moderator I think it was, she made a point of introducing herself as a special ed teacher at the school prior to each match, so that may have been the motivation behind it. Again, at the time I only knew there was an argument going on over some answer given and only got the details much later. I do find it curious that they could answer the other 4 factoring questions flawlessly yet chose that moment to factor a perfect square with the negative in the lead coefficient, assuming that was her actual answer. Odd, but that may be the way she teaches it. To continue that stream of consciousness, though, would the factorization of x^2 + 6x + 9 be acceptable if expressed as (-x - 3)^2 ? What if they said (-(-(-3 - x)))^2? They're equivalent to (x + 3)^2, after all.
Jeff Price, Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:55 pm

I mean, if it's correct, it's correct. It just becomes pretty unlikely that students will give that answer with the complexity of saying "quantity negative quantity negative quantity negative three minus x end quantity end quantity end quantity squared" and so you don't have to worry much about it.

Really, this is an argument against computational math: many computational math questions have a tremendous number of equivalent answers (or at least promptable ones; I think you should prompt answers that aren't in simplest form, for example), and that's a pain to deal with.
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by the return of AHAN » Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:09 pm

everyday847 wrote:I mean, if it's correct, it's correct. It just becomes pretty unlikely that students will give that answer with the complexity of saying "quantity negative quantity negative quantity negative three minus x end quantity end quantity end quantity squared" and so you don't have to worry much about it.

Really, this is an argument against computational math: many computational math questions have a tremendous number of equivalent answers (or at least promptable ones; I think you should prompt answers that aren't in simplest form, for example), and that's a pain to deal with.
And I think if I, a gifted math teacher, had written the same bonus, I wouldn't have thought to write anything other than (3x - 1)^2 either, except maybe (3x - 1)(3x - 1).
And that's the real issue here. Though, the promptability of an answer extends beyond math. To whit, my A team had a home ec TU in the prior match, also against the aforementioned school, that went, "Why would prosciutto, pancetta, gammon, [BUZZ Barrington]"
Given: They all come from a pig.
INCORRECT
"Why would prosciutto, pancetta, gammon, bacon, and ham be grouped together?"
[BUZZ Marlowe]
Given: They are all cured meats?
INCORRECT
The correct answer is "They are all types of pork."
Given this was the infamous "Chunnel doesn't equal Channel Tunnel" moderator, I didn't bother to open my mouth, outside of a slight groan. :roll:
Jeff Price, Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by at your pleasure » Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:28 pm

Interestingly enough, these problems can be summarized as follows:
1. Incompetent moderation(not accepting wholly equivalent answers like "comes from a pig" for "types of pork" and "chunnel" for "channel tunnel").
2. Bad questions(math calculation is debatable but suspect, list questions are plain terrible).
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by Tegan » Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:50 pm

Woody Paige wrote:1
What did we learn today?
According to the question writer ...
BTW ... who claims credit for writing this?

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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by the return of AHAN » Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:47 pm

YOU have to ask???
QG, of course.
:oops:
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by Wall of Ham » Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:38 am

everyday847 wrote:Really, this is an argument against computational math: many computational math questions have a tremendous number of equivalent answers (or at least promptable ones; I think you should prompt answers that aren't in simplest form, for example), and that's a pain to deal with.
Well, this really isn't the case of simplest form. If the answer is 4, then 12/3 shouldn't be accepted for it if the question asked for the simplest form, or if its stated that that's what they want in the rules, like NAQT does, I believe. But (-3x+1)^2 is as valid as (3x-1)^2 or (1-3x)^2 as simplest form answers, which is why I find the ruling objectionable. If the answer given was like ((-1)(3x-1))^2 then that might be questionable.

EDIT: In other words, lets not turn this thread into a discussion of the validity of computational math questions. Again.

EDIT2: Also, I don't necessary blame the question writer for not including these alternative answers; I think its really the protest commitee's fault for not catching this.
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by Tegan » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:57 am

Woody Paige wrote:YOU have to ask???
QG, of course.
:oops:
QG has hardly cornered the market on bad questions ... are you sure about the recycling of the Super Bowl question?

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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by the return of AHAN » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:59 am

Tegan wrote:
Woody Paige wrote:YOU have to ask???
QG, of course.
:oops:
QG has hardly cornered the market on bad questions ... are you sure about the recycling of the Super Bowl question?
Given that the questions starts, "In 39 Super Bowls..." This clearly excludes the last few from consideration, no? Consequently, the New York Giants (winners of SB42, which gave them 3 Lombardi trophies) were NOT listed as an acceptable answer. So, I feel comfortable that this got recycled, unless the writer is in the habit of writing obtuse sports history questions (i.e. Who had the most career home runs in major league baseball, as of 1971?).
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Re: Antioch Invitational Tournament VI Results

Post by rjaguar3 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:59 am

Speaking of this, I can say for a fact that Questions Galore does reuse questions from set to set and year to year. I have counted two questions that were identical between 2006-07 QG set and an 2009 episode of WNAB Quizbusters.

In light of this, buying QG for your tournament is absolutely unacceptable, as there is the possibility that someone playing could have heard the questions previously.
Greg (Vanderbilt 2012, Wheaton North 2008)

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