VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
Locked
User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:03 am

This is the general announcement for the second annual VCU Fall High School Tournament. This is a high school academic quizbowl tournament to be hosted by the quizbowl club of Virginia Commonwealth University on Saturday, November 7 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. The tournament is open to any high school team that wishes to attend.

LOCATION/DIRECTIONS: The tournament will take place in Harris Hall on our Monroe Park campus (aka "Academic Campus"). The nominal address of the building is "1015 Floyd Ave" if you need to put something into your map software of choice, but you may have an easier time finding the side of the building that faces the intersection of Main Street & Harrison Street, just west of the University Student Commons. Please meet in room 2104 of Harris between 8:15 and 8:45.

AFFILIATION: This tournament will seek affiliation with the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence and will be an opportunity to qualify for the National Scholastics Championship (pace-nsc.org), which is run by PACE and will occur in June 2010.

QUESTIONS: The questions will once again be a mirror of the Harvard Fall Tournament. The question format will be straightforward ACF; that is, games of 20 tossups with 30-point bonuses, untimed. A sample packet from a previous Harvard high school tournament may be found at http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~cbowl/sample.pdf. The difficulty of the questions will be somewhat less than last year's. The questions will be distributed for free in electronic format once they are done being used in other regions.

FORMAT: Our ideal tournament format is for the maximum 24 teams. The teams will be divided into four brackets of six teams each and play five-game round robins in rounds 1-5. The teams will then be ranked. Over rounds 6-11, each first and second place team will play its counterparts in the other three brackets, each third and fourth place team will do the same, and each fifth and sixth place team likewise, to produce a final ranking. The tournament championship will be decided by a final of up to two games if necessary.

In the event that fewer than 24 teams register, or that we are able to expand the field and host more than 24 teams, the format will change accordingly. All teams will be offered a minimum of 9 games in any format. Trophies will be awarded to the top four teams, and book prizes will be awarded to the top eight individual scorers.

REGISTRATION AND FEES:
-The fee structure is as follows:
Base fee: $70 per team. There is no limit to the number of teams who can attend from one school.
Buzzer discount: $5 off school's total fee for each fully functional system (control box and eight activators all work)-no limit to # of systems you can bring
Staff discount: $15 off school's total fee. This could be a coach, parent, student who is not playing, etc. Team-provided staffers will keep score for various games not involving the team with which they are affiliated. Volunteer staffers must stay through all the games (except finals) in order to receive credit for their school. There is no limit to the number of staffers you can bring.
Minimum fee: The minimum fee is $0 (you can bring enough buzzers and staffers to eliminate your entire fee via discounts, but you cannot have a "negative fee.")
-To register, e-mail me at mattweiner.vcu@gmail.com with the number of teams, buzzers, and staffers you want to bring, and an email address where you can be contacted with details. Feel free to share this announcement with any schools that you think would be interested in attending. There is no further registration form or other action needed on your part in order to be officially registered; you only need to e-mail me at that address with the information requested. Posts made in this thread will not be considered official registrations; you must e-mail me.

METHOD OF PAYMENT: All teams must pay by the day of the tournament. We prefer to accept payment in person right before the tournament starts, but we will accept checks by mail ahead of time if your procedures require it. Teams who do not pay by the day of the tournament will be charged a $25 penalty and will have two weeks to pay their total amount before we start mailing letters to your school administration about it.

We can accept cash, personal checks, or checks from school, school district, or quizbowl club funds. We have no ability to process purchase orders, credit cards, Paypal, or any other forms of payment. Checks should be made out to "Quizbowl at VCU," and not any other person or entity. Bringing forms of payment outside of the three listed will be considered nonpayment and subject you to the $25 late payment penalty.

If you require a pre-tournament invoice in order to have a check cut, let us know by October 20 so that we can send you the paperwork in time. If you do not let us know about this requirement by October 20, and it causes you to come to the tournament without your payment, then you will be subject to the $25 late payment penalty.

TEAM & ROSTER SIZE: There may be a maximum of six players on one team's roster, up to four of whom may play at one time. There will be no exceptions to this rule. If you bring more than six players, you must register a second team to have all of them play. There is a halftime substitution opportunity in each game. Each player may appear on only one team's roster throughout the day-no switching from the B team to the A team, etc. Teams may also play shorthanded with only three players. Teams consisting of fewer than three players may not play without my express prior permission.

FOOD: Neither breakfast nor lunch will be provided by the tournament. There are several eateries within walking distance of campus buildings and a vast cornucopia within a ten minutes' drive; maps and suggestions will be provided at the tournament.

Please e-mail me if you have any further questions. I'm looking forward to seeing a wide variety of teams from Virginia and surrounding states on November 7.

Matt Weiner
Tournament Director, VCU Fall High School Tournament II
mattweiner.vcu@gmail.com

List of registered teams (to be updated as registrations come in):

Clover Hill
Collegiate A
Collegiate B
Douglas Freeman
Georgetown Day A
Georgetown Day B
Hanover A
Hanover B
JR Tucker
Maggie Walker A
Maggie Walker B
New Kent A
New Kent B
Rappahannock A
Rappahannock B
Thomas Jefferson A
Thomas Jefferson B
Warwick
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
Self-incompatibility in plants
Rikku
Posts: 350
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:59 pm
Location: Dover, Delaware

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Self-incompatibility in plants » Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:57 pm

CR is very interested in going to this with one team.
Trey Taraila
Caesar Rodney 2010
University of Delaware 2014

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:40 pm

Bumping this thread (sorry) to say that GDS is expressing interest. We'll register somewhere between 1 and 3 teams, none of which will include me.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Sailing away on my copper boat

wexs883198215
Wakka
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:02 pm
Location: Stanford, California

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by wexs883198215 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:19 pm

WJ is expressing interest as well, though only for one team
Kuo-Kai Chin
Walter Johnson High School '11
Harvard University '15
Stanford University School of Medicine '19

User avatar
t-bar
Tidus
Posts: 631
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:12 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by t-bar » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:42 pm

Is anybody officially registered for this yet?
Stephen Eltinge
TJHSST 2011 | MIT 2015 | Yale 20??
ACF member | PACE member | NAQT writer

User avatar
Down and out in Quintana Roo
Auron
Posts: 2907
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:25 am
Location: Camden, DE
Contact:

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:50 pm

We won't be able to make this trip. SAT conflicts.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
CRHS '97-'01
University of Delaware '01-'05
CRHS quizbowl coach '06-'12
http://crquizbowl.edublogs.org

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:15 pm

t-bar wrote:Is anybody officially registered for this yet?
Collegiate and JR Tucker are, and I'm awaiting some e-mails from people who posted in this thread and other usual suspects.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

wexs883198215
Wakka
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:02 pm
Location: Stanford, California

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by wexs883198215 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:42 pm

Hey, it looks like our coach will be occupied on that day so WJ won't be coming to this.

Sorry about that.
Kuo-Kai Chin
Walter Johnson High School '11
Harvard University '15
Stanford University School of Medicine '19

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:51 pm

The Virginia teams have begun to register for this tournament, and we have quite a nice local field. Teams from DC and beyond who wish to attend are encouraged to sign up soon. I will need to cut off registration at some point earlier than "the day before the tournament" in order to make sure we have enough good readers for the field size.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

lagazzaladra
Lulu
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:05 am
Location: Alexandria, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by lagazzaladra » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:05 pm

Just a heads up, TJ's trying to get two teams to this. We'll let you know ASAP whether or not that's going to happen.
Seoup Youn
TJHSST 2011

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:44 pm

GDS is also tryna get 2 teams to this, plus or minus 1 team, despite the fact that I personally can't make it to this tournament.. We'll be sure to register when we get the details ironed out.

EDIT: We've registered two teams.
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Sailing away on my copper boat

User avatar
Galstaff, Sorceror of Light
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 2238
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:40 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:47 pm

I'm fairly certain we determined at practice earlier this week that we can get 2 teams to this, so you should have a registration from us soon.
Sarah Angelo Luongo,
Maggie L. Walker Governor's School 2010 / UVA 2014 / VCU School of Education 2016
President, PACE
Subject Editor, NAQT
Member, ACF

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Matt Weiner » Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:04 pm

The registration deadline for this is now 10 PM on Wednesday. I need an e-mailed registration before then from any team that wants to play if you want your spot guaranteed, since I do need to make sure we are properly staffed.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:21 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:The registration deadline for this is now 10 PM on Wednesday. I need an e-mailed registration before then from any team that wants to play if you want your spot guaranteed, since I do need to make sure we are properly staffed.
We had a few more registrations since I posted this, so I'm going to declare the field closed at the current 18 teams, since that's as many as I'm sure we can staff adequately. Further registrations will be waitlisted pending a dropout or more staff showing up.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
Down and out in Quintana Roo
Auron
Posts: 2907
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:25 am
Location: Camden, DE
Contact:

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:53 pm

Wondering how this is going... wish we could have made it there.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
CRHS '97-'01
University of Delaware '01-'05
CRHS quizbowl coach '06-'12
http://crquizbowl.edublogs.org

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Matt Weiner » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:06 pm

Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:Wondering how this is going... wish we could have made it there.
We have a makeup game coming to a close shortly, after which we'll go to round 8, the first of three playoff rounds. Once this last prelim game is done I'll post prelim stats.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Matt Weiner » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:37 pm

Here's the prelim stats from a while ago: http://results.scobo.net/SQBS.aspx?org= ... =standings

We have one playoff round left; MW A and MW B are both undefeated and are playing each other in the effective first game of a three-game final. I have TJ A and and TJ B in my room; the winner of this game will be the third-place team, and the loser will be fourth.

Questions are too long, too hard, and too unproofread. We'll be going elsewhere for our fall tournament packets next year. Hopefully Harvard will clear up some of the issues before next week's iterations.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15256
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:40 pm

These bonus conversions are godawful, from the view point of "successfully writing quiz bowl questions".
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

sageorator
Lulu
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:27 pm

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by sageorator » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:02 pm

FredMorlan wrote:These bonus conversions are godawful, from the view point of "successfully writing quiz bowl questions".
Harvard Fall was probably exceptionally hard for this particular group of teams.

I can't comment on the set because I haven't seen it, but something to this effect isn't too surprising.
John Lavender-Stott
Blacksburg High School '10

User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15256
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:17 pm

I feel all right saying "only four teams above 15 ppb", "almost half of the field under 10 ppb" and "anyone scoring 2.86 ppb" indicate that the tournament did a really bad job being written for high schoolers.
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6557
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Cheynem » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Exactly. Tournaments for high school (really almost all tournaments in general with some modest exceptions for collegiate opens and various national championships) should not be written purely for the top teams in the country. High school tournaments should be accessible and playable for the majority of high school teams in the country.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

sageorator
Lulu
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:27 pm

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by sageorator » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:31 pm

FredMorlan wrote:I feel all right saying "only four teams above 15 ppb", "almost half of the field under 10 ppb" and "anyone scoring 2.86 ppb" indicate that the tournament did a really bad job being written for high schoolers.
...Yeah, it seems that this was perhaps excessively difficult for HS. I'm simply saying that most of these schools are not all that experienced and it could probably be expected that they would struggle some. Not to this extent obviously, but at least some.
John Lavender-Stott
Blacksburg High School '10

User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5640
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:34 pm

A birdy flew into my window and told me Maggie Walker A went undefeated in the playoffs and is now playing a final against Waggie Walker B.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

wexs883198215
Wakka
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:02 pm
Location: Stanford, California

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by wexs883198215 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:35 pm

Those numbers seem pretty awful, but we should also look at the field that is playing these questions. I mean it is pretty clear that there are only three upper-level teams here (no disrespect to any team that is not Gov A, Gov B, or TJ A). If you look at the rest of the field, it would be hard to imagine them scoring 20 points per bonus in other tournaments.

I think most of us thought that IS-86 was well written and did not complain about the bonuses being too hard (at least too much, as far as I remember). TJ A got 21ppb as opposed to 17ppb at RM, and TJ B got 16ppb as opposed to 15ppb at RM. GDS A without Matt Jackson obviously got a lower ppb, but even GDS B did better on this set than on IS-86.
Kuo-Kai Chin
Walter Johnson High School '11
Harvard University '15
Stanford University School of Medicine '19

wexs883198215
Wakka
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:02 pm
Location: Stanford, California

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by wexs883198215 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:37 pm

EDIT: Stupidity removed
Kuo-Kai Chin
Walter Johnson High School '11
Harvard University '15
Stanford University School of Medicine '19

User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5640
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:41 pm

No dude, because 6 posts up Matt said they were both undefeated.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:54 pm

A different little birdie flew in my window and told me the tournament ended up something like this:

1) Maggie Walker A
2) Maggie Walker B
3) TJ A
4) TJ B
5) GDS "A"
6) Freeman

I take it combined stats will be available soon.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Sailing away on my copper boat

User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15256
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:24 pm

wexs883198215 wrote:Those numbers seem pretty awful, but we should also look at the field that is playing these questions. I mean it is pretty clear that there are only three upper-level teams here (no disrespect to any team that is not Gov A, Gov B, or TJ A). If you look at the rest of the field, it would be hard to imagine them scoring 20 points per bonus in other tournaments.

I think most of us thought that IS-86 was well written and did not complain about the bonuses being too hard (at least too much, as far as I remember). TJ A got 21ppb as opposed to 17ppb at RM, and TJ B got 16ppb as opposed to 15ppb at RM. GDS A without Matt Jackson obviously got a lower ppb, but even GDS B did better on this set than on IS-86.
Yes, but there's a difference between 20 ppb and 10 ppb. I'm not asking that every team be able to put up amazing points on this set. I'm asking that there be a basic level of accessibility to the questions that allows lower level teams to be able to score points.

Consider that this tournament had a good number of teams that aren't known for being active on the circuit. Do you think that scores of 80-50, 130-40, 90-60 or 100-35 are going to help those teams decide that they should go to more quiz bowl?

Also, those slight differences between the scoring for the top three teams on this set compared with IS-86 have absolutely no effect on the main statement being made here: There is a level of accessibility that is considered "regular difficulty" on the high school level. This means that new and/or less capable teams can attend this events and feel a certain level of comfort with the content as far as being able to get questions right. Harvard said this tournament would meet that level of accessibility. It's pretty clear that Harvard was significantly wrong about this and produced a set that is probably appropriate for a Weekend of Quizbowl type event.
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

Lightinfa
Wakka
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:21 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Lightinfa » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:40 pm

RyuAqua wrote:A different little birdie flew in my window and told me the tournament ended up something like this:

1) Maggie Walker A
2) Maggie Walker B
3) TJ A
4) TJ B
5) GDS "A"
6) Freeman

I take it combined stats will be available soon.
Just take note that MW A and B were composed differently than normal. A was Tommy, me, and two other Juniors who were getting back into the game, while B was Sarah, Greg and three others rotating.
JR Roach
Maggie Walker, 2011

wexs883198215
Wakka
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:02 pm
Location: Stanford, California

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by wexs883198215 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:58 pm

What I was thinking was that if more upper-mid level teams had shown up, the stats would probably be less alarming, but looking at other tournaments, it is true that this seems like an absurd percentage of teams getting PPBs under or around 10.
Kuo-Kai Chin
Walter Johnson High School '11
Harvard University '15
Stanford University School of Medicine '19

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Matt Weiner » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:59 pm

I'll have playoff and combined stats ready by the end of the weekend.

I'd like to express my disappointment that we ended up running a tournament that was so-so at best. I've worked hard to make people come to expect better from VCU, and we're doing things such as never mirroring the Harvard tournament again and making inquiries that will allow us to get better facilities and quicker average moderators in the future.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
Mechanical Beasts
Banned Cheater
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:54 pm

Now that I'm awake, I should comment that we're all too acutely aware of the problems with the current iteration of the set--I wish I'd been in the loop for, well, any of them--and we'll be working through this week to correct all of them.

If anyone wants to send us specific question criticisms, groups of questions to look at, confusing phrasing, et cetera, that would be a big help.
Andrew Watkins

User avatar
Down and out in Quintana Roo
Auron
Posts: 2907
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:25 am
Location: Camden, DE
Contact:

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:07 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:Now that I'm awake, I should comment that we're all too acutely aware of the problems with the current iteration of the set--I wish I'd been in the loop for, well, any of them--and we'll be working through this week to correct all of them.

If anyone wants to send us specific question criticisms, groups of questions to look at, confusing phrasing, et cetera, that would be a big help.
Why did you say this set would be more accessible than last year's? I know you weren't the editor this time around but doesn't all of Harvard hold some responsibility here for promising something that turned out to be 100% false? I'm hearing people tell me that this set was actually HARDER than last year's, which was already the hardest HS tournament i've read through.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
CRHS '97-'01
University of Delaware '01-'05
CRHS quizbowl coach '06-'12
http://crquizbowl.edublogs.org

User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15256
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:37 pm

It's important to remember that the chief editor for this set is Dallas Simons, not Andy Watkins. I'm not saying Andy is absolved from blame, but I would say the issue is not entirely the "Andy Watkins is the new Ryan Westbrook" meme that's been sweeping the quiz bowl internets.
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

User avatar
Down and out in Quintana Roo
Auron
Posts: 2907
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:25 am
Location: Camden, DE
Contact:

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:43 pm

FredMorlan wrote:It's important to remember that the chief editor for this set is Dallas Simons, not Andy Watkins. I'm not saying Andy is absolved from blame, but I would say the issue is not entirely the "Andy Watkins is the new Ryan Westbrook" meme that's been sweeping the quiz bowl internets.
I know, Fred, i made sure to reference that in my post where i said i knew he wasn't the editor. But he has been posting for HFT announcements basically, which said that the difficulty would be brought down a step or so. And then when you see posts like this coming from respected coaches in Georgia who will be mirroring this in a few weeks...
centralhs (Cathy Hirsch/Central Gwinnet) wrote:The questions are designed to be slightly harder than the average high school tournament; however, I have been assured that the questions will be much more accessible to high school students than the set used at last year's Harvard Fall tournament. If you attended the Harvard Mirror last year at Rabun Gap (or another location), please don't let that dissuade you from attending this year.
...then there is a problem.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
CRHS '97-'01
University of Delaware '01-'05
CRHS quizbowl coach '06-'12
http://crquizbowl.edublogs.org

User avatar
Mechanical Beasts
Banned Cheater
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:47 pm

Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:Why did you say this set would be more accessible than last year's?
Because I wrote a set of 60/60 science that was two big ol' steps down from last year's. I saw zero questions that had been written by non-me before the night before the tournament when I was randomizing. There were a couple of out-there answer choices that I pointed out; I was told by their author that they were fine, and that was that. Even so, I assumed that those would be a couple of outliers, not that the other writers on the set would completely switch goals.

Another way of putting it is this: last year, we actively aimed to have hard questions, what with the harder upper playoffs and everything. (We also had me writing social science back when I didn't know Talcott Parsons was hard.) This year we did not have that goal, or if some non-me people had it, they never told me.

I am to blame because as president of the club I should not have allowed myself to be made unaware of the state of the tournament by other people. But there was no physical way to reach out through my computer and change what they were doing as they were doing it.

Procrastination on the part of some parties, from what I can glean, left large (large) chunks of the tournament unfinished until this past week, at which point there was no longer time, as far as I can tell, for things like "editing."
Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:
FredMorlan wrote:It's important to remember that the chief editor for this set is Dallas Simons, not Andy Watkins. I'm not saying Andy is absolved from blame, but I would say the issue is not entirely the "Andy Watkins is the new Ryan Westbrook" meme that's been sweeping the quiz bowl internets.
I know, Fred, i made sure to reference that in my post where i said i knew he wasn't the editor. But he has been posting for HFT announcements basically, which said that the difficulty would be brought down a step or so.
i was made to believe that that was the case; I make posts because I am the TD.
And then when you see posts like this coming from respected coaches in Georgia who will be mirroring this in a week...
centralhs (Cathy Hirsch/Central Gwinnet) wrote:The questions are designed to be slightly harder than the average high school tournament; however, I have been assured that the questions will be much more accessible to high school students than the set used at last year's Harvard Fall tournament. If you attended the Harvard Mirror last year at Rabun Gap (or another location), please don't let that dissuade you from attending this year.
...then there is a problem.
By a week, you mean a month. And rest assured, the set will look very different by this coming Saturday.
Andrew Watkins

User avatar
Huang
Rikku
Posts: 442
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:29 pm

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Huang » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:17 pm

Taking a quick look at the stats of the top teams, this set doesn't seem harder than last year's set (not to say this year's set isn't hard).

Last year's prelim stats
Hunter: 23.54 P/B
State College: 22.73 P/B

This year's prelim stats
Maggie Walker "A": 24.57 P/B
Maggie Walker "B": 23.29 P/B
Thomas Jefferson A: 21.57 P/B

Round Report observations:
Last year's stronger overall field only broke 200 PPG twice in 6 rounds
This year's weaker overall field broke 200 PPG four times in 7 rounds
Last year's field only broke 15 P/B once in 6 rounds
This year's field broke 15 P/B three times in 7 rounds

This year's bonuses don't seem as hard as last year's bonuses. The 8-line 10 pt font tossups do seem more distressing than last year's 5-line 10 pt font tossups. However, I would be really surprised if this year's set was harder than last year's advance packets. I played last year's set and didn't think it was at all "too hard." It was certainly hard but not impossible. This year's set doesn't seem to have been accessible to the non-elite teams of the field based on the stats. However, I do think that last year's set would've been even less accessible to those teams.

I agree this year's set is hard (based solely on the stats) but I don't think it's fair to accuse Harvard of not making an honest effort to make this year's set a bit more accessible than last year's set.
Last edited by Huang on Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sandy

User avatar
Mechanical Beasts
Banned Cheater
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:24 pm

Huang wrote:I agree this year's set is hard (based solely on the stats) but I don't think it's fair to accuse Harvard of not making an honest effort to make this year's set a bit more accessible than last year's set.
While the round report is interesting, I'd be shy of the first bit of analysis, which is too focused on the top teams. Maggie Walker is a great team. They may be stronger right now than State College or Hunter were at this time last year--if they're much stronger, then their bonus conversion only being a little higher indicates that the set could well be harder. But I digress. What's important is that the best teams in the country are going to do really well on sets that are too hard, too, because they spend a good deal of their time playing college tournaments. (Tommy scoffs at your lack of knowledge of God's Bits of Wood!)

That is, at least, heartening evidence.
Andrew Watkins

User avatar
Skepticism and Animal Feed
Auron
Posts: 3174
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:43 pm

Much of HFT (except Andy's parts) were written at question-writing parties where most of the non-Andy people were in attendance together and had an idea of what the others were doing. Having attended most of these, I can assure you that the non-Andy writers also made a conscious effort to make the tournament easier than last year's.

Nevertheless, Harvard will be looking over the set in the next week and making changes. If any coach or player at the VCU site wants to contact us in private and tell us about any questions or bonus parts that were especially egregious difficulty-wise, we would appreciate it.
Bruce
Harvard '10 / UChicago '07 / Roycemore School '04
ACF Member emeritus
My guide to using Wikipedia as a question source

User avatar
Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite
Auron
Posts: 1122
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:46 pm
Location: Fairfax, VA
Contact:

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:48 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
Huang wrote:I agree this year's set is hard (based solely on the stats) but I don't think it's fair to accuse Harvard of not making an honest effort to make this year's set a bit more accessible than last year's set.
While the round report is interesting, I'd be shy of the first bit of analysis, which is too focused on the top teams. Maggie Walker is a great team. They may be stronger right now than State College or Hunter were at this time last year--if they're much stronger, then their bonus conversion only being a little higher indicates that the set could well be harder. But I digress. What's important is that the best teams in the country are going to do really well on sets that are too hard, too, because they spend a good deal of their time playing college tournaments. (Tommy scoffs at your lack of knowledge of God's Bits of Wood!)

That is, at least, heartening evidence.
The weirdness in the round report would probably be due to the byes in the tournament. For example, TJ A, Gov A, and Gov B all played in round 1, while none of them played in round 2.
Harry White
TJHSST '09, Virginia Tech '13
Member, PACE
Tournament Database Search by Team
Will run stats for food

lagazzaladra
Lulu
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:05 am
Location: Alexandria, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by lagazzaladra » Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:08 pm

so while everybody bashes Harvard for producing such a hard set, I'm going to say that this was actually the best and most consistent set that I have played in my three years of quizbowl. A lot of the questions were hard, yes, but there were a lot more that if you actually THOUGHT about the clues rather than just try to listen for word associations, they made sense and you could get the answer. Furthermore, people who haven't even seen the set probably shouldn't criticize the editors on the basis of "I heard this guy tell me that this set was hard" or "this ppb/ppg sucks. clearly the set is the only thing to blame." I can think of very few sets (HSAPQ included) that do a good job of letting people who have never played any sort of academic competition before, which was essentially the field at VCU, play for the first time and get something like 10-15 ppb. So at the very least, Harvard was consistent with their difficulty and had actually very few repeats and other such issues than a lot of other tournaments. I think that if you've edited or made major contributions to any tournament, you will understand that this always happens, and anyone who complains about them is welcome to write a tournament without these issues to prove me wrong.

On a happier note, thanks to VCU, Matt Weiner, George Berry, and everyone else who ran the tournament yesterday.
Seoup Youn
TJHSST 2011

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:03 pm

My judgment from reading the packets was that the bonus answers were more reasonable on average last year, though the conversion stats make me wonder if this is true. This field was not just MW, TJ, and green local teams. In addition to GDS teams that acquitted themselves well in Matt's absence, there were teams such as Freeman and Collegiate, who have very good players and are capable of finishing in the top 30-40 at PACE or NAQT nationals. There is no reason that they should be missing second bonus parts more often than getting them in any "high school difficulty" set.

The tossup answers were largely OK, though the tossup construction was really bad. There is no reason to write an 8+ line tossup with nothing buzzable for a non-elite team before the giveaway. That's not the point of pyramidal tossups. If you write tossups like this, you don't understand how tossups are supposed to work. The profligate mechanical errors in the questions, combined with the length and the overly difficult middle clues, made it very difficult for some of our moderators to finish games quickly, and that convergence's effect on our tournament is what displeased me the most about this set.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:15 am

Matt Weiner wrote:I'll have playoff and combined stats ready by the end of the weekend.
Did this happen?
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Sailing away on my copper boat

Magister Ludi
Tidus
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:57 am
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Magister Ludi » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:50 am

Harvard will be heavily editing this set over the next week to bring down the difficulty and edit out the typos. We would love to hear from people in this thread who actually played or read at the tournament to email us with specific bonuses or tossups they found problematic. I find it humorous that several high school students who played the set have praised it, while some internet luminaries (such as Charlie Dees and Mike Cheyne) that have not seen or read the set have decided to bash it. I hope everyone can look at the final version of the set (when it is released next Sunday), and make a judgment for themselves based on the objective content of the set.

I think that many of the low conversion rates stem from the fact that few mid-level and upper level teams attended VCU's site (other than TJ and Maggie Walker). I think the stats at the Harvard site will be much more revealing about the actual difficulty of the set. I think one problem about this set's reception is they way different parties perceived what the goal of the set was supposed to be. We were not trying to write a HSAPQ style set. We were distinctly trying to write a deeper high school tournament that maintains high school appropriate answer choice but has more clues and deeper clues than one would see in a HSAPQ or NAQT set. Several top players and coaches for top level teams praised our set last year for pedagogical value. HFT challenged them with new material that gave them a chance to learn deeper clues and information that helped prepare them for nationals. We want to retain this pedagogical value while keeping the tossup answers on high school appropriate material. We obviously don't want 8 line tossups and we will cut many tossups down, but we will not be reducing every tossup to 5 lines. In our original post for HFT when we said we were writing a high school difficulty tournament we meant the bonuses on Roland Barthes and tossups on crazy math concepts would be gone, it did not mean we would be writing a HSAPQ tournament.
Ted Gioia - Harvard '12
Editor ACF, PACE

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

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by jonah » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:05 pm

Magister Ludi wrote:I hope everyone can look at the final version of the set (when it is released next Sunday)
Isn't it being mirrored at Auburn (Rockford, IL) on December 12?
Jonah Greenthal
National Academic Quiz Tournaments

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6557
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Cheynem » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:07 pm

Well, Ted, I guess I apologize for "bashing" this set. If you're referring to this thread, I simply stated that the stats make it seem like this was too hard of a tournament. If you're referring to the IRC, I can't remember everything I said, but I don't recall ever "bashing" the set, just again arguing that it was too hard. Note that I have seen questions from this set and heard answers from those who played it, so I'm not just totally talking from ignorance here.

I would be happy to look at the final version of the set and make a more informed judgment. I certainly respect the hard work Harvard puts into producing this set and would like to see them continue to do so.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

User avatar
Mechanical Beasts
Banned Cheater
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:45 pm

jonah wrote:
Magister Ludi wrote:I hope everyone can look at the final version of the set (when it is released next Sunday)
Isn't it being mirrored at Auburn (Rockford, IL) on December 12?
Yeah; Ted's wrong on this point. It's being mirrored by Central Gwinnett on 12/5 and UCSD on 11/21, too.
Andrew Watkins

jbarnes112358
Tidus
Posts: 664
Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 5:58 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by jbarnes112358 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:26 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:I'll have playoff and combined stats ready by the end of the weekend.
Are they ready yet?
John Barnes
Maggie Walker Governor's School

"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo."

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VCU Fall Tournament II -- November 7, 2009

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:35 am

Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

Locked