DAFT 2009 Discussion - Set Cleared

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DAFT 2009 Discussion - Set Cleared

Post by Huang » Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:47 pm

The first mirror of Dunbar Fall will be occurring this weekend. This post/thread will be a holding spot for all non-question specific discussion and will of course later on be a thread for question specific discussion. I will make a more thorough post as soon as all mirrors are finished. Before the set is released, question feedback from players at these mirrors can be sent to: huang.sundi@gmail.com

Set: http://quizbowlpackets.com/archive/2009DAFT.zip
Last edited by Huang on Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by at your pleasure » Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:41 pm

Here are my thoughts on this set:
-This set skewed difficult. There were some tossups that were way too hard to be tossups, bonuses that were either impossibe or had 2-3(reasonable) hard parts, and other difficulty issues.
-Distribution: Some areas seemed overrepresnted/underrepresented(not sure how much I should say). Also, way too many questions on individuals.
-Repeats: these happened, up to and including bonuses where the answer to the third part was in the second part.
-The tossup construction was mostly fine, except for the ususal handful of transparent tossups.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by wexs883198215 » Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:45 pm

Other than what Matt and Doug have said, the excessive mention of various capitals to make bonus parts easier was really irritating, since it takes away from having to know, say, literature if you are given the capital of the country of origin of some author as well as clues about them.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:47 pm

The cross categorical stuff HAS TO STOP. No more geography clues in lit bonus questions. No more history clues in science questions. No more basically general knowledge clues like all over the place. NAQT has tried to stop doing this, so does the rest of the world, including this set.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:51 pm

Doink the Clown wrote:Here are my thoughts on this set:
-This set skewed difficult. There were some tossups that were way too hard to be tossups, bonuses that were either impossibe or had 2-3(reasonable) hard parts, and other difficulty issues.
-Distribution: Some areas seemed overrepresnted/underrepresented(not sure how much I should say). Also, way too many questions on individuals.
-Repeats: these happened, up to and including bonuses where the answer to the third part was in the second part.
-The tossup construction was mostly fine, except for the ususal handful of transparent tossups.
If you remember any of those difficult tossups or bonuses, I'll take a double look at them.
I'm not sure how I feel about questions on works. I initially had an approximately 3:1 ratio but was later convinced that writing more TUs on individuals wouldn't be detrimental to the tournament by a couple people I asked.
Let me know of all repeats as these should be easy to fix.
Also let me know which tossups you remembered to be transparent.
Last edited by Huang on Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:56 pm

Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:The cross categorical stuff HAS TO STOP. No more geography clues in lit bonus questions. No more history clues in science questions. No more basically general knowledge clues like all over the place. NAQT has tried to stop doing this, so does the rest of the world, including this set.
Were there any instances of these in the tossups?
Anyhow, I will elaborate later (possibly after I fix up more dire issues) why I did these in the bonuses.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:38 pm

I've received a large amount of comments from Sarah Angelo and Matt Jackson along with a couple others regarding what to fix in this set. Hopefully a more polished version will be ready for use at the upcoming main site.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Geringer » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:39 am

Sandy,

I moderated your set today, and overall I thought the tournament was a very good effort. Especially at my mirror, your tournament has exposed several "up and coming" teams to the national format, and for that, you should be thanked.

While I don't want to condone repeats, I realize that in a tournament of this size, repeats are going to happen. Considering the care you took in constructing this set, I cannot, in good conscience, criticize you about that. However, one major issue sticks out in my mind that has not been addressed in this thread so far:

This set seemed to have been written from an extremely biased viewpoint, and these biases came through loud and clear throughout the packets today. Academic neutrality was severly compromised, and some of the teams that I moderated for today expressed concerns about some of these unnecessary criticisms.

1. If you're writing a current events tossup, it is completely unnecessary, and even downright unhelpful, to use adjectives like "moronic," "obnoxious," and "idiotic" when referring to politicians and their platforms. On the same token, praising a political viewpoint does nothing for the players, either. It was instantly clear that you, the primary author, have a steadfast hatred for a certain wing of politics. Quizbowl should not be a place to further your political viewpoints.

2. Your religion questions seemed to be equally biased at points. While there were no adherents to one specific faith in my room, calling the holy texts of this faith "blatant intellectual dishonesty" and "plagiarized" is extremely offensive. I have absolutely no idea why this would ever be considered acceptable in any medium, let alone a question meant to portray academic fact. On that same note, using words like "supposedly" and "claimed" in some tossups while not using those terms in all tossups furthered the feeling of bias. I don't know what your religious beliefs are, but I can certainly make conjectures based on the treatment of concepts in your set. Quizbowl should not be a place to further your religious viewpoints.

3. The term "morbidly obese" comes up twice, and neither instance is truly factual nor useful. If I was talking about "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," for instance, calling the mother morbidly obese is actually helpful. While the term in itself isn't offensive, in the context of one of your questions, it only seems to further the negative treatment of a subject of one of your questions.

If you're considering sprucing up your set for future mirrors, I feel like these issues need to be addressed.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by jonah » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:07 am

I endorse the above post by Jeff. In the morning, I will have more to say about it, as well as about Sandy's extremely unprofessional, incorrect, and offensive response to our constructive criticism.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:18 am

Macho Man for Expediency wrote: 1. If you're writing a current events tossup, it is completely unnecessary, and even downright unhelpful, to use adjectives like "moronic," "obnoxious," and "idiotic" when referring to politicians and their platforms. On the same token, praising a political viewpoint does nothing for the players, either. It was instantly clear that you, the primary author, have a steadfast hatred for a certain wing of politics. Quizbowl should not be a place to further your political viewpoints.
The term "morbidly obese" comes up twice, and neither instance is truly factual nor useful. If I was talking about "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," for instance, calling the mother morbidly obese is actually helpful. While the term in itself isn't offensive, in the context of one of your questions, it only seems to further the negative treatment of a subject of one of your questions.
If you carefully read the questions, there were multiple instances of both political parties coming under attack. So this seems more like a case of selective memory.
2. Your religion questions seemed to be equally biased at points. While there were no adherents to one specific faith in my room, calling the holy texts of this faith "blatant intellectual dishonesty" and "plagiarized" is extremely offensive. I have absolutely no idea why this would ever be considered acceptable in any medium, let alone a question meant to portray academic fact. On that same note, using words like "supposedly" and "claimed" in some tossups while not using those terms in all tossups furthered the feeling of bias. I don't know what your religious beliefs are, but I can certainly make conjectures based on the treatment of concepts in your set. Quizbowl should not be a place to further your religious viewpoints.
So questions don't get revealed, I'll email you the sources I used to write that TU
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:17 am

If you carefully read the questions, there were multiple instances of both political parties coming under attack. So this seems more like a case of selective memory.
How about you just recognize that high school coaches and players come from multiple different political backgrounds and that you need to avoid any kind of wording in a high school set that will make you sound on the offensive. Being balanced in your negativity is not excuse enough, it's just plain inappropriate at this level and will do damage to your future market no matter what you do. All of these interjections I'm reading above are unacceptable. High school quizbowl should always be truly neutral.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:10 am

Macho Man for Expediency wrote:
1. If you're writing a current events tossup, it is completely unnecessary, and even downright unhelpful, to use adjectives like "moronic," "obnoxious," and "idiotic" when referring to politicians and their platforms. On the same token, praising a political viewpoint does nothing for the players, either. It was instantly clear that you, the primary author, have a steadfast hatred for a certain wing of politics. Quizbowl should not be a place to further your political viewpoints.
I'd like to point out that this is something that all quizbowl writers for current events need to take a look at. I know that it's hard to be unbiased when writing about a politlcal topic, but there are steps that everyone should take to make sure you eliminate all bias as possible. This isn't the first time I've heard about a blatant bias before and there have been several questions I've heard throughout my career that I could detect a pretty heavy bias in. I'm thinking NAQT used a quote from "The Huffington Post" as a clue last year, although I don't remember it too well and it may have been OK in context.

Anyway, I'm not gonna get offfended over Sandy's political views personally, but I'd still say it's probably not wise to keep a harsh tone in the questions. Other people may have a problem, and that could hurt Dunbar's efforts to host future tournaments.

EDIT: I'm not saying that all quizbowl writers are biased, most are pretty good about being neutral. Also, if Sandy's questions are as biased as people are indicating, I'd just like to point out that may give some players I know an advantage because they primarily get info from news sources that would refer to a certain wing of politics in that light. Not only are biased current events questions offensive and unethical, they also can unfairly help players of one politcal persuasion or another.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:45 am

I will note that the word "idiotic" was never used in this set. However, "moronic" and "obnoxious" indeed were used. I will re-evaluate whether or not to keep or get rid of these interjections.

Explanation for why this happened in the first place if anyone cares:
So most of those current event questions were written in August. If I remember correctly, August was a crucial time for healthcare reform. After hours of consuming cable news, I was in a particular foul mood when writing those questions. Thinking I had seen colorful commentary in past sets, I decided it wouldn't hurt to add some of mine into the set. Clearly, many people disagree. So the set ends up with a handful (maybe 5-7?) instances of controversial questions. In no way is this explanation a valid excuse for what happened, it is purely an explanation for what several people have called unnecessary.

As a proponent of free speech (limited in the sense that obscene materials, as defined by the law, should be dutifully censored), I may have made a lapse in judgment. If anyone was offended, please do realize it was, in a lesser way, an attempt at humor and, in a greater way, a result of relatively first time writing. I never did write a current events question for any of the past tournaments I contributed to (BATE, HAVOC, Fall Novice, and etc.) and certainly never took a great deal of my time to actually read past current event questions written by organizations like HSAPQ and NAQT. I understand the need for those two organizations to stay neutral but I had possibly wrongly thought house-written sets would be allowed a bit more freedom.

I will now go meditate and rethink.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:52 am

soaringeagle22 wrote:Also, if Sandy's questions are as biased as people are indicating, I'd just like to point out that may give some players I know an advantage because they primarily get info from news sources that would refer to a certain wing of politics in that light. Not only are biased current events questions offensive and unethical, they also can unfairly help players of one politcal persuasion or another.
They were biased in the sense I used "moronic" and "obnoxious" to describe them. I heavily doubt such words would give any player an advantage. Rather, as I posted previously, it was an attempt at colorful commentary. However, I will be in deep thought contemplating whether to get rid of these adjectives.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:26 am

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:
If you carefully read the questions, there were multiple instances of both political parties coming under attack. So this seems more like a case of selective memory.
How about you just recognize that high school coaches and players come from multiple different political backgrounds and that you need to avoid any kind of wording in a high school set that will make you sound on the offensive. Being balanced in your negativity is not excuse enough, it's just plain inappropriate at this level and will do damage to your future market no matter what you do. All of these interjections I'm reading above are unacceptable. High school quizbowl should always be truly neutral.
Exactly. Why risk alienating anyone when you're gaining nothing through the actions that are causing alienation?
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:27 am

Also, there was a trash question about movies/actor that had some really inappropriate lines/clues in it. I was reading this question to a middle school team and it felt very awkward in the room.

Also, why you felt like making the last 5-6 packets harder and harder is beyond me. Do that for like the last 1 or 2 for the finals or something. There were a lot of discouraged teams at TJ yesterday, knowing they might not break 100 points in rounds 9 or 10. Some just left early, sick of playing on what they felt were impossible questions. This shouldn't happen.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:34 am

Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:Also, there was a trash question about movies/actor that had some really inappropriate lines/clues in it. I was reading this question to a middle school team and it felt very awkward in the room.
That trash question has been fixed. I agree it was truly inappropriate.
Also, why you felt like making the last 5-6 packets harder and harder is beyond me. Do that for like the last 1 or 2 for the finals or something. There were a lot of discouraged teams at TJ yesterday, knowing they might not break 100 points in rounds 9 or 10. Some just left early, sick of playing on what they felt were impossible questions. This shouldn't happen.
This was a result of me stupidly ordering the tossup answers by difficulty by having all the easier tossups in the beginning rounds and all the harder tossups in the later rounds. This was an obvious mistake. Although, I don't think there were necessarily any "impossible" questions. If there were, let me know. Collectively, sure, I can see the later rounds being a bit cumbersome for new teams. As for teams leaving early, that's rather unfortunate. I do agree that my set needlessly contributed to this. But leaving a tournament early is never acceptable unless the TD had prior knowledge of it. I remember Dunbar felt like leaving EFT early, but we still stuck around because quizbowl teams just shouldn't do that.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:43 am

I agree with everything you said, but that doesn't change the fact that these teams FELT like the questions were impossible. Were they? Absolutely not. But there were a lot of new/inexperienced teams at TJ, and to ask them to stay from 9am-6pm and play 10-11 games, when the last 5-6 of them were just harder and harder... it's rough. I like reading to younger teams as i moderate, and i did that a lot yesterday... but it got increasingly difficult to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative as the day went on. Teams don't want to play matches with final scores of 80-35. Maybe in Perfect Quizbowl Land, that would be fine, but with novice teams, you have to give them all sorts of reasons to want to play for like 7 hours.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:55 am

Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:I agree with everything you said, but that doesn't change the fact that these teams FELT like the questions were impossible. Were they? Absolutely not. But there were a lot of new/inexperienced teams at TJ, and to ask them to stay from 9am-6pm and play 10-11 games, when the last 5-6 of them were just harder and harder... it's rough. I like reading to younger teams as i moderate, and i did that a lot yesterday... but it got increasingly difficult to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative as the day went on. Teams don't want to play matches with final scores of 80-35. Maybe in Perfect Quizbowl Land, that would be fine, but with novice teams, you have to give them all sorts of reasons to want to play for like 7 hours.
Yes some of these points are valid. As a freshman, I remember playing my first real pyramidal tournament, Vanderbilt Fall ABC. I do remember feeling the questions were impossible but that only made me realize how little I knew. It also made me realize how utterly poor I was at maintaining the attention span required for listening to pyramidal questions. I might have maybe cracked 5 PPG that day. And this wasn't even in the varsity division of the tournament. I also don't think my team even broke 200 for a majority of the games. We were lucky to break 100 in a few games.

Do I wish this tournament had even difficulty throughout the rounds? Absolutely

A team leaving a tournament before it finishes because a team feels the questions being used are impossible is, while understandable, still questionable behavior. Teams usually pay $50 - $70 in registration fees and it seems that leaving a tournament early would be financially wasteful. I will however make next year's set, if it happens, more even difficulty-wise. And I will certainly not make the same mistake of ordering the difficulty of the answers by rounds.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:01 am

Cool. Yeah, Sandy, don't let the negative criticism of this set bring you down. There were many moments of awesomeness throughout the set. I also personally loved the easiness of the "easy" bonus questions... i believe you can never have "too easy" questions. Just avoid the cross-categorical clues and it's fair for everyone.

I trust that if you write another one of these (or assist in doing so), you'll learn from the mistakes and have a really great all-around set. I look forward to reading more of them in the future.

And don't forget the fact that you kinda saved the entire TJ tournament yesterday, as well. Maybe it was some dumb luck, but to have good, fair, pyramidal questions ready for a tournament at the drop of a hat was pretty great. Thanks, again, for that.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:46 am

Personally, I loved parts of this set, especially the additional politics and philosophy. Almost every tossup gave people ample chance to demonstrate their knowledge. While the easy parts became understandably tiresome to the better teams, they weren't a problem. An easy part SHOULD be 10 free points to anyone awake. During the later rounds, however, bonus difficulty ranged from gimme 30's to bonuses where the easy part was a category quiz question at PACE. Still, it was a good effort with good results, and I certainly enjoyed playing it yesterday.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:57 pm

soaringeagle22 wrote:I'm thinking NAQT used a quote from "The Huffington Post" as a clue last year, although I don't remember it too well and it may have been OK in context.
IS #76, packet 15 wrote:C. Rosen is now a blogger at this left-wing website founded by a Greek-American who once ran for governor of California.

answer: _Huffington Post_
I don't think this demonstrates liberal bias (although I haven't looked for bonus parts about right-wing media outlets).
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:07 pm

bt_green_warbler wrote:
soaringeagle22 wrote:I'm thinking NAQT used a quote from "The Huffington Post" as a clue last year, although I don't remember it too well and it may have been OK in context.
IS #76, packet 15 wrote:C. Rosen is now a blogger at this left-wing website founded by a Greek-American who once ran for governor of California.

answer: _Huffington Post_
I don't think this demonstrates liberal bias (although I haven't looked for bonus parts about right-wing media outlets).
As far as I know, this was the NAQT State set from two years ago which I don't think Nick ever played. Personally, I have never seen NAQT display any political bias.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:52 pm

That's not the question I was thinking of. I think this one was from IS-81. I could be wrong (or maybe even imagining it) though, and like I said before it could have been OK in context. I just think I remember something about the Huffington Post mentioned in a question.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:28 pm

I can't find anything Huffington-related in IS #81.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:36 pm

Than maybe I was completely imgaining it. Oh well. Still, one question that may or may not have had a bias (and apparently doesn't exist) in all of the NAQT questions I've heard between the two NAQT tourneys we went to, plus HSNCT, plus numerous sets in practice is a fairly good track record for you all. Especially since the one thing I thought was questionable didn't happen apparently. :smile:
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:18 pm

Huang wrote:
2. Your religion questions seemed to be equally biased at points. While there were no adherents to one specific faith in my room, calling the holy texts of this faith "blatant intellectual dishonesty" and "plagiarized" is extremely offensive. I have absolutely no idea why this would ever be considered acceptable in any medium, let alone a question meant to portray academic fact. On that same note, using words like "supposedly" and "claimed" in some tossups while not using those terms in all tossups furthered the feeling of bias. I don't know what your religious beliefs are, but I can certainly make conjectures based on the treatment of concepts in your set. Quizbowl should not be a place to further your religious viewpoints.
So questions don't get revealed, I'll email you the sources I used to write that TU
Do you think that the tossup is acceptable because you used "sources" to write it? That's still offensive and subjective. I'm sure that for whatever holy text you wrote about, there are an equal number of sources supporting it. I mean, I could write a clue about James Joyce saying, "In works such as Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, his stream-of-consciousness style was confusing and disordered," and I'm sure I could find a "source" to back me up. But that doesn't mean that I should write a clue like that when I can just as easily say, "His Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is an example of stream-of-consciousness style."
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:22 pm

Macho Man for Expediency wrote:
3. The term "morbidly obese" comes up twice, and neither instance is truly factual nor useful.
Since I buzzed off of that phrase, I can confidently say that it was, in fact, useful.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:29 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote: I'm sure that for whatever holy text you wrote about, there are an equal number of sources supporting it
If believers in said holy text were the sources, sure. But I assure you these were legitimate scholarly sources I extracted from.
Anyhow, as has been said, I've been rethinking it over for the entire day. I will post a more elaborate post on what I plan to do later tonight.
Sandy

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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by millionwaves » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:43 pm

Hey, I think we've discussed religion enough in this thread. If you guys would like to continue the conversation, please do so elsewhere.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:24 pm

All concerns regarding politics and religion have been fixed to my knowledge. Although I had initially thought a house-written set would allow for more freedom, I certainly understand why these questions in particular must be corrected. I invite anyone to email me any additional concerns they had while playing the set.
Sandy

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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by the return of AHAN » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:17 pm

Redacted - Mgmt
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:21 pm

Woody Paige wrote:Redacted
This has been fixed
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:28 pm

I've redacted the above information as it probably gave away too much information.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:09 am

One non specific criticism I have is the preponderance of quotes in bonus parts. These are tedious for moderators to read and rarely offer anything helpful for teams. There are a number of bonus parts where the prompt is like "Name this author who wrote ____, and who also once said [Quote]."
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:12 am

I'll reiterate this, too. The quotes were interesting for someone like me who teaches History and is also certified in English/Language Arts, but almost entirely unhelpful for the quizbowl players. They were filler, to be honest. And they made some bonus clues unnecessarily long.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:26 am

Here's some other general comments:

*This is a strong house-produced set. The tossup answer selection is quite good and for the most part, bonuses are well selected as well. Dunbar should be justifiably praised for these strengths.

*The big issue I have with tossups is just too much of a fear that they will be answered quickly. Many times there were tossups that seemed confoundingly deep (even for college) at the first two lines. This is unnecessary in high school in my opinion, aside from maybe national championship tournaments.

*Bonus parts tended to skew wacky for the hard part, like some random really hard work from an author. I was especially distressed to see some bonus parts continually flagged during playtesting as too hard pop up.

*There were a few "here's 10 points if you're alive" bonus parts that I really don't care for, including a few flagrant cross-disciplinary ones. I'm not talking about geography lit here, but rather general knowledge and science.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:56 pm

Cross post from announcement thread:
Huang wrote:The set was indeed too hard for the bottom bracket teams. Ordering answers by difficulty from round 1 to round 12 was a terrible idea. I also need to recalibrate my difficulty gauge even more than I did over the summer.
Even rounds 1 to 4, which were heavily playtested and edited over the summer, did not achieve the desired conversion rates at this particular tournament.
Four to five months is too short of a timespan for me to write a complete set even with a lot of help coming from other people. I should start writing sets a lot earlier.
Maybe this can happen again. But some things will need to change for that to happen including me relearning difficulty and listening more to others who have written good difficulty-appropriate tournaments before.
Sandy

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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by at your pleasure » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:44 pm

Are the questions cleared now?
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by t-bar » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:47 pm

Doink the Clown wrote:Are the questions cleared now?
I don't think they'll be cleared until the Bergen mirror on December 5.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by dbarman » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:50 pm

As of now, they are not cleared yet because mirrors are still scheduled. Sorry.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:37 pm

Hey, I would like to thank everyone who made this set possible for tournament play. Questions should be posted on the archives soon.

Neutrality Issues
This has been pretty thoroughly discussed in the thread already.

Grammar Issues
This hasn't been discussed as thoroughly as I thought it should have. Let me know of any grammatical errors that habitually appeared in the set. I'm aware of some errors of which I decided were, at least at the time, necessary to preserve a pyramidal structure.

Difficulty Issues
The root of the difficulty issues in the set stemmed from poor planning and an early fundamental misunderstanding of how quizbowl difficulty worked on my part. Poor planning included ordering answers by difficulty so all the "easy" answers appeared in the early rounds while the "hard" answers appeared in the later rounds. Playtesting the set helped fix some of my early fundamental misunderstandings of how quizbowl difficulty worked but clearly I didn't listen as well as I should have. Whatever set I work on next, I'll make sure to avoid the ordering issue which caused some of the difficulty issues in the set.
Bonus difficulty was very hard to fix after I realized just how absurd some of my early answer choices were. About 95% of the questions were already written before I realized this. When I broadened the topic of some bonuses, I ran into problems with repeats and cross-disciplinary clues. I'm aware of wildly fluctuating bonus difficulty. I urge those who wish to discuss this issue more in depth to find threads on bonus difficulty in the Collegiate Discussion section of this message board. I learned how wrong I was in that one thread by Ryan Westbrook "A Reasonable Theory of Bonus Consistency". I will fix these bonus difficulty issues in later sets I write for by asking for the opinions of experienced editors of good tournaments on whether certain bonus parts are appropriate or not. I will also try to rectify my poor understanding of bonus difficulty. But I do hope most of the tossup answers were appropriate.


From what I can tell, these were the three main issues with the set. Again, I don't think I can stress enough how repentant I am for inadvertently making the later rounds much harder than the early rounds, at least for inexperienced teams, due to stupidly ordering the answers by difficulty when I first selected them. I eagerly await the poster who skims this post and decides to post, "Oh my god, this set got so much harder in the later rounds." Yes, I understand how and why this happened. I also know how to prevent this so it won't happen again (which includes not ordering answers by difficulty).



As alluded to, a lot of people were responsible for making this tournament possible.

Writers were accredited in the set via writer tags: "<Huang>" (I left what I wrote untagged)
Benji, Shen, and Thomas from LASA were instrumental in completing a sizable portion of this set
Jason Loy was incredible at producing quality questions at a very fast rate
Many other Missouri quizbowlers were also instrumental in completing sizable portions of this set
Aaron Cohen also offered at the last moment to provide some quality science questions
My teammates Ping and Brian were also very helpful in finishing the bonuses in the later rounds and even writing some quite solid tossups.

Bruce Arthur, Carsten Gehring, and Mike Cheyne were very reliable when it came to playtesting many questions in this set.
I asked many times for the advice of various quizbowlers when writing in subject areas of this set including Adam (pretty much everything), Alvin (pretty much everything), Andy (science), Charlie (specifically music but also pretty much everything), Eric (science), Naren (science), and Trygve (literature). Hopefully I didn't forget anyone else who really helped me in certain subject areas, but I probably did due to a not so accurate memory. Many other quizbowlers also offered bits of advice. The list would just be too long if I listed all of them. I will certainly listen even more closely in the future to the advice of these experienced writers/editors.
Adam Liem, Cameron Orth, Fred Morlan, Jeffrey Hill, and Mike Cheyne were instrumental in proofreading a significant number of the packets. I also greatly appreciated the detailed feedback Matt and Sarah gave after the TJ mirror. Their feedback fixed many of the typos and blatantly repeated answers or awfully constructed bonuses that plagued small parts of the set.

It is certainly possible some errors weren't corrected due to my oversight. I apologize in advance for these. I'll take responsibility for the criticism concerning any of the questions in the set. As head editor, it was very much my responsibility to fix any less than ideal questions submitted to me by the various generous freelancers who contributed to this set. Hopefully next year's set will be possible and hopefully it'll be better. I'll bookmark this thread to make sure the same unfortunate mistakes in this set won't be repeated in next year's set (which I hope will exist).
Sandy

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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Dante (Bichette) » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:03 am

I also felt that while for the vast majority the answers to the tossups were pretty valid for high school, the distribution was a little wacky. Specifically, there were at least five RMP tossups (of which I believe four were philo) in one round. The hard parts of the bonuses were also too hard; asking about the 7th most famous Thomas Mann work is a little silly when you could have done Mario and the Magician, Joseph and his Brothers, or even Felix Krull.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:45 am

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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Ondes Martenot » Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:49 am

This is is everything I wrote for this tournament

Chem (all tossups): phenolphthalein, glycine, priestly, halogens, hund's rule, gibbs free energy, teflon, nernst equation

Bio (tossups): porifera, ATP, thiamine, histones, prion, leprosy, bryophytes, cnidaria, alveoli bonuses: apoptosis/lysosomes/tay-sachs cell membrane/fluid mosaic/davson danielli rods/retina/purkinje effect cortisol/steroid/cushing's syndrome pituitary gland/hypothalamus/rathke's pouch

history: talbot v. seeman/marbury v. madison/marshall uss maine/hearst/weyler bay of pigs/castro/grayston lynch robert perry/treaty of kanagawa/fulton james iv/flodden field/scotland otto I/henry I/battle of lechfeld october manifesto/nicholas II/witte peasant's rebellion/wat tyler/richard II seventh crusade/saint louis/battle of taillebourg henry the navigator/order of christ/prester john wallachia/vlad the impaler/moldavia bonfire of the vanities/savonarola/alexander VI abbassid caliphate/baghdad/hulagu khan zulus/isandlwana/cetshwayo war of the pacific/treaty of ancon/atacama desert maximillian I/battle of puebla/war of reform

A lot of these bonuses seem very difficult, especially in history. Let me know if you have any comments.
Aaron Cohen, Bergen County Academies '08, RPI '12, NYU-???, NAQT writer, HSAPQ writer, PACE writer

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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:59 am

Dante (Bichette) wrote:I also felt that while for the vast majority the answers to the tossups were pretty valid for high school, the distribution was a little wacky. Specifically, there were at least five RMP tossups (of which I believe four were philo) in one round. The hard parts of the bonuses were also too hard; asking about the 7th most famous Thomas Mann work is a little silly when you could have done Mario and the Magician, Joseph and his Brothers, or even Felix Krull.
I modified the normal ACF distribution to have 1/1 each of art (paintings and sculptures) and music (compositions and operas)
I defined "social science" (2/2) as philosophy, economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and linguistics.
I probably should have disclosed this beforehand. Although, I'm not sure there was a round that had 5 RMP TUs. The max should've been 4. Let me know which round this was.

Edit: In addition to poor planning, my status as a relatively mediocre player caused some of the really hard parts to appear. Six months ago (and probably still the case with other literary writers besides the next two I'll mention), it wouldn't have been far-fetched of me to believe Philip Roth was just as famous as William Faulkner. I'm in the process of fixing this deficiency for next year.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:26 pm

So I noticed the first round has random emboldened text from when I was messing around with how to put powers in for next year. I'm going to send George the corrected set.
Sandy

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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:25 pm

Huang wrote:So I noticed the first round has random emboldened text from when I was messing around with how to put powers in for next year. I'm going to send George the corrected set.
received and posted as such.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by jonpin » Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:20 pm

Vary your prose. As a moderator, I think I said "titular" about 100 times yesterday, and use of the same description 3-5 times in a tossup ("This philosopher did X. This philosopher wrote Y. In 1839, this philosopher said Z.") gets tedious. In some cases, I can see it for the first half to conceal gender, but frequently it happened with non-people ("this entity" appeared in one question at least 4 times). "It" is perfectly acceptable.

I second the comments of people saying that bonuses that go "Name this obscure work", "Name the semi-obscure author", "Name the country he's from with capital at Berlin" are bad because (1) they're cross-category and take away from legit literature or whatever questions, and (2) they tended to be screw you/screw you/here's ten points.
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Re: DAFT 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:22 pm

jonpin wrote: I second the comments of people saying that bonuses that go "Name this obscure work", "Name the semi-obscure author", "Name the country he's from with capital at Berlin" are bad because (1) they're cross-category and take away from legit literature or whatever questions, and (2) they tended to be screw you/screw you/here's ten points.
This has been gone over already: http://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8707
Sandy

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