Three team matches

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Three team matches

Post by friendswithdave » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:45 pm

First time poster here - Woo Hoo!

I'm new to the whole Quiz Bowl thing, but I'm learning quickly. Does anyone have any experience with matches between three teams at one time. I know this is common for game shows, but seems uncommon or unheard of for Quiz Bowl. What gives? Three team matches seems to make sense to me.

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Re: Three team matches

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:03 pm

friendswithdave wrote:First time poster here - Woo Hoo!

I'm new to the whole Quiz Bowl thing, but I'm learning quickly. Does anyone have any experience with matches between three teams at one time. I know this is common for game shows, but seems uncommon or unheard of for Quiz Bowl. What gives? Three team matches seems to make sense to me.
Objections generally include:
1) People like it when tossups rebound, i.e., when they can be answered by the other participants after one team negs. This is impossible to implement with three-team formats: if one team negs and more than one of the teams knows the answer at the moment the first team negged, then the team that converts it (all teams that want to buzz will hold down the buzzer while the buzzer isn't cleared) will either be random or always one team (I don't know enough about buzzer wiring to say for sure, and I imagine it depends on the type of system). Either result doesn't work for a fair game.
2) A team that would beat either of its opponents to most of the questions might lose a three-way game, even though it would win either individual matchup. Simplify by saying that it's a tossups-only format and there are three subjects--lit, science, history. Team A has strengths 5-0-0, Team B has strengths 3-3-3, and team C has strengths 0-0-5. Team B could beat either team on the strength of its abilities in its opponents' two off subjects in head to head matches, but would only be able to manage tossups in the second off-subject in a three team match. This actually happened to a Michigan team at a past incarnation of, I think, Penn Bowl.
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Re: Three team matches

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:06 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:This actually happened to a Michigan team at a past incarnation of, I think, Penn Bowl.
Illinois Open.
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Re: Three team matches

Post by cvdwightw » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:35 pm

The objective of any good quizbowl tournament is to determine the tournament champion. Three-team tournaments inherently make this a problem. The problem Andy alluded to occurs when Team B would beat both Team A and Team C in head-to-head matches, but points that it would earn against Team A are stolen by Team C and points that it would earn against Team C are stolen by Team A, such that team B actually appears to be the worst of the three teams!

Another goal of a good tournament is to accurately rank the non-champions. This becomes an issue with three-team matches occurs when one team is significantly better than the other two teams. This happened in the 2002 Southern California HS State Championship, in which a circle of death was broken by a three-team championship match. Los Alamitos nearly doubled the combined score of the other two teams; it was impossible to accurately rank the other two teams, because they were both answering so few tossups that it largely became a test of "whose knowledge overlaps less with Los Alamitos."

One way to get around these inherent problems has been proposed by the people behind BAAL; however, I have heard mixed reactions from people who have actually played this format.
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Re: Three team matches

Post by friendswithdave » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:45 pm

Thanks so much for your prompt replies. Both informative and educational. About how often is the three-team format used? Less than 1%? 1-5%? 5-15%? More?

Thanks again!
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Re: Three team matches

Post by Wall of Ham » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:55 pm

Panasonic Academic Challenge (now some other jumble of letters) used to have up to 6 teams playing at once. I think they did it by moving on to the next tossup after any incorrect answer, and penalizing that team the amount of points the tossup was worth (?).


Most buzzer systems don't have lockout wiring for three separate teams, so it's not used in any tournament you'll find on this board (I think).
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Re: Three team matches

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:58 pm

friendswithdave wrote:Thanks so much for your prompt replies. Both informative and educational. About how often is the three-team format used? Less than 1%? 1-5%? 5-15%? More?

Thanks again!
Essentially unheard of in the modern college game or the parts of the high school circuit that are run in any substantial way by college quizbowlers or former college quizbowlers. Probably used in some league formats, particularly because league formats often have a lot in common with the local TV format (which likes three-side games because of Jeopardy!, I guess). But I don't have much knowledge of league formats.
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Re: Three team matches

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:14 pm

I think the three-team format is common on TV shows so they can fit the highest number of schools on their schedule. Washington, DC's "It's Academic", for example, could not fit 81 schools into a season very easily with a two-team format. Besides that, two-team is better because it serves an important comparative purpose
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Re: Three team matches

Post by the return of AHAN » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:16 pm

Wall of Ham wrote: Most buzzer systems don't have lockout wiring for three separate teams, so it's not used in any tournament you'll find on this board (I think).
This. If you check out QuizCo.com, they offer a multi-team buzzer system, but I know of no other vendors outside of them. But, as has been alluded to, I don't know how easy it'll be to find schools willing to play this format. For example, I know of nowhere in Illinois where more than 2 teams play at a time, but your results may vary.
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Re: Three team matches

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:33 pm

Wall of Ham wrote:Panasonic Academic Challenge (now some other jumble of letters) used to have up to 6 teams playing at once. I think they did it by moving on to the next tossup after any incorrect answer, and penalizing that team the amount of points the tossup was worth (?).


Most buzzer systems don't have lockout wiring for three separate teams, so it's not used in any tournament you'll find on this board (I think).
I played this from 2004-2006, and at that time other teams could pick up a correct answer after an incorrect one was given, but I think there was only one more chance at it. Maybe? I've tried to block it from my memory. The penalization policy was as stated, though.

In a nutshell, the multiple teams method was miserable.
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Re: Three team matches

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:56 pm

Wall of Ham wrote:Panasonic Academic Challenge (now some other jumble of letters) used to have up to 6 teams playing at once. I think they did it by moving on to the next tossup after any incorrect answer, and penalizing that team the amount of points the tossup was worth (?).


Most buzzer systems don't have lockout wiring for three separate teams, so it's not used in any tournament you'll find on this board (I think).
At CAC this happens. 6 teams play 3 rounds worth 5,10, and 15 points and if one team buzzes in, it is deducted the corresponding points for a wrong answer and no one else gets to buzz. It is extremely frustrating if a team decides to simply buzz on the first word in an attempt to make a comeback, and thankfully pretty much every major competition is between 2 teams.
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Re: Three team matches

Post by Tanay » Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:59 pm

cvdwightw wrote: One way to get around these inherent problems has been proposed by the people behind BAAL; however, I have heard mixed reactions from people who have actually played this format.
Well, BAAL is still three teams playing at once. They invite four teams over to a central site and then those teams each play three games out of four (one team gets a bye in each round). The same problems Dwight outlined exist when playing BAAL formats, as it makes for a wildly unpredictable game that doesn't necessarily award the most educated team. Last year, for example, Mission San Jose A finished 12th and Berkeley A finished 13th. These are some of the best teams on the West Coast, and they get slaughtered by the unpredictable nature of three-way quiz bowl. This isn't to discredit the three-way format altogether, as I'm sure there are legitimate ways to implement it (we have played good three-way matches like Bellarmine/MSJ A/MSJ B and Bellarmine/MSJ A/San Mateo in the past), but the BAAL format isn't it.
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Re: Three team matches

Post by ppreston » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:07 pm

Down here in Florida the state & national tourneys (National Tournament of Academic Excellence (NTAE), nee Panasonic Academic Competition (PAC), aka Commisioner's Academic Challenge (CAC), aka Disney-style, aka Reedy Creek Improvement District, aka ad nauseum...), as some have noted, play six teams at once. The problem is, no bouncebacks. A buzzer system once witnessed by me however gave me a vision of the possible future. It kept track of who buzzed in first, second, etc. So conceivably you could play 3+ teams with an NAQT set and keep track of everything. One can dream, can't one?
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Re: Three team matches

Post by rjaguar3 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:01 am

ppreston wrote:Down here in Florida the state & national tourneys (National Tournament of Academic Excellence (NTAE), nee Panasonic Academic Competition (PAC), aka Commisioner's Academic Challenge (CAC), aka Disney-style, aka Reedy Creek Improvement District, aka ad nauseum...), as some have noted, play six teams at once. The problem is, no bouncebacks. A buzzer system once witnessed by me however gave me a vision of the possible future. It kept track of who buzzed in first, second, etc. So conceivably you could play 3+ teams with an NAQT set and keep track of everything. One can dream, can't one?
I made a computer lockout system that recognizes order of buzzing. I'm trying to find where I put it, though.
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Re: Three team matches

Post by jonah » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:09 am

BuzzerSystems.com also has one of those. I can't think of any non-hypothetical circumstance in which it's worth $400, but maybe someone will develop one.
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Re: Three team matches

Post by nobthehobbit » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:19 am

jonah wrote:BuzzerSystems.com also has one of those. I can't think of any non-hypothetical circumstance in which it's worth $400, but maybe someone will develop one.
Well, depending on how you run a singles event... but that's not worth $400.
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Re: Three team matches

Post by I'm a goff (in case you couldn't tell) » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:17 am

The QuizWizard II (aka The Knot) also allows play for either 3 or 4 teams of 4 (depending on the model) and displays who buzzed in first, second, and third.

The drawback is that there are no lights, and the moderator has to announce who buzzed. Very time-consuming for timed matches.
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Re: Three team matches

Post by ppreston » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:32 pm

Allow me to begin with the note that my HS team is the four-time FHSAA state champion. We got these big signs around Wauchula to prove it. So when I say that I far prefer NAQT & PACE style to the Disney/NTAE/CAC/Panasonic style, I'm not just being all sour-grapish. But the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) endorses it, and our trophies look just like the ones for football, etc., which is sort of cool, and so it would probably take a lot to change that. However I do have my dream. Why so many different styles? The goal should be for Quiz Bowl to have one unified set of rules, and as many leagues and divisions and companies, etc. as needed, like football, basketball, or curling. Is anyone working toward this sort of consolidation? The only way to achieve this that I could see would be for the two (do I presume incorrectly?) dominant, and at least somewhat similar, national's styles (NAQT & PACE) to work together on a synthesis of rules, while remaining seperate entities. Charter a manifesto and give it a fancy name like "the Official Rules of Quiz Bowl" or somesuch. Two provisions could be that 1) questions would be pyramidal, but the last line would be usable by design solo for a short question style, and 2) it would be possible to play head-to-head or 3+ teams at a time. This is my dream that I hereby run up the proverbial flagpole across the Rubicon.
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