IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:27 am

On another note, I didn't see any of IHSA's pet categories. No drivers' ed, and the the consumer science was just science with a home-ec twist. There was a pretty stupid bonus on roof styles, though. I wasn't playing at the time, though.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Stephen Colbert » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:34 am

Charley Pride wrote:On another note, I didn't see any of IHSA's pet categories. No drivers' ed, and the the consumer science was just science with a home-ec twist. There was a pretty stupid bonus on roof styles, though. I wasn't playing at the time, though.
Yeah, the agriculture tossup was basically a cleverly-disguised history tossup on the Homestead Act and the Family/Consumer Science tossup was pretty much a science tossup on surfactants. For whatever reason, the roof bonus was categorized as vocabulary.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:37 am

Stephen Colbert wrote:
Charley Pride wrote:On another note, I didn't see any of IHSA's pet categories. No drivers' ed, and the the consumer science was just science with a home-ec twist. There was a pretty stupid bonus on roof styles, though. I wasn't playing at the time, though.
Yeah, the agriculture tossup was basically a cleverly-disguised history tossup on the Homestead Act and the Family/Consumer Science tossup was pretty much a science tossup on surfactants.
I did the best I could when assigned to write crap categories. I'll have more to say about the set in general and my contributions to it later.

By the way, I lend my strongest endorsement to Nathan's earlier post.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Dan-Don » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:02 am

jonah wrote:By the way, I lend my strongest endorsement to Nathan's earlier post.
Same here. I'm currently forming a plan (which will likely come to nothing because I'm lazy) whereby I get anyone and everyone who cares about good quizbowl (via a facebook event or something) to send emails to McGraw all at the same time. If people want to join in on this, I want the emails to be be of the quality of Nathan's post. If this is a stupid idea (it probably is), tell me.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:38 am

I wrote the following questions from this set:
Round 1: tossups on flux (physics), tritone (music theory), Waiting for Godot (Brit lit)
Round 1: bonuses on the works of Oscar Wilde (Brit lit), objects used in electromagnetism studies (physics), SI derived units (physics), the Brownings (Brit lit)
Round 2: tossups on Volta (physics), surfactant (family and consumer science), Macbeth (Brit lit), Snell's Law (physics)
Round 2: bonuses on sound waves (physics), works of James Joyce (Brit lit)
Round 3: tossups on gravity (physics), Robert Louis Stevenson (Brit lit), the Homestead Act (agriculture), holograms (physics)
Round 3: bonuses on sheet music symbols (music theory), rotational mechanics terms (physics)
Replacement tossups: "Invictus" (Brit lit), transverse waves (physics)
Replacement bonuses: inventions in agriculture (agriculture), pendulum stuff (physics)

Many of those questions were edited from my original submissions, mostly in the form of disallowing alternative answers by specifying things like "one word answer" or "starts with S".

Comments on these are welcome. I wrote all of these over the summer, notably before writing 2009 NTV, so I acknowledge that they are of poorer quality than my NTV questions. This is not a defense, merely an explanation of the timeline for writing these questions. I will make an analogous post to this after Sectionals, and will have much more to say about the writing process after the State Series concludes.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Matt Bardoe » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:14 am

jonah wrote:
Many of those questions were edited from my original submissions, mostly in the form of disallowing alternative answers by specifying things like "one word answer" or "starts with S".
This editing is definitely a problem and is something I will want to bring up at the advisory committee meeting. Changes of this form generally make it less likely that students that know the information being asked are scored wrong on silly technical details. I hope that we can make a change on this type of editing.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by David Riley » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:25 am

Nathan--I totally agree with your post, but it will be a very slow process, too slow for most of the students we see on the weekends.

In addition to said coaches, we will have to overhaul the public school systems in most of this state to focus more on academics and less on their basketball teams (there, I said it). The lack of basic academic knowledge has been clear to me when I have read in lower brackets at tournaments (and I'm not speaking of B teams here) and Lit 101, Science 101, etc. information goes dead, At first (we're talking c. 1995 here), I attributed this to lack of tournament experiences, but then I got a look at some of the curricula and thought otherwise. Public school curricula are empashizing process at the expense of content, and the two should go hand-in-hand. Even if you accept the premise that quiz bowl goes beyond the curriculum canon, content areas in these curricula need to be strengthened. Until and unless this happens, we are fighting a very long uphill battle.

Then, knowing most of the players in the IHSA "inner circle", most of them do not want change and yearn for the "good old days". They refuse to get rid of computational math and miscellaneous categories such as driver's ed and home ec, er...i mean, domestic science....as they are curricular.

Well, perhaps. But I see two diverging philosophies here: 1) those of us who see quiz bowl as a naturally elitist activity that favors the best and the brightest, and 2) those that see it as just another form of trivial pursuit...and never the twain shall meet.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Stephen Colbert » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:21 pm

The slow process of change is no longer acceptable. Change has generated a state series that is no more legitimate than it was ten years ago. Then, many of us didn’t know any better. Now, we do. The process of tweaking the distribution and rewriting the IHSA rules has made the state series no more palatable to anyone. I do not believe that the changes in the distribution, the emphasis on pyramidality, or the elimination of hoses qualify as progress. We are not progressing when the editor and many of the writers of the state tournament fail to act on those changes. We cannot progress when those same people have a fundamental misunderstanding of pyramidality and disconnect from the present-day high school canon. Moreover, we're certainly not progessing when the majority of coaches in this state oppose such changes.

There are coaches in Illinois who will never accept change. Their view of progress is a return to the scholastic bowl of old—a giant leap backward in time. These are the people we’re trying to placate. These are the people with whom we’re trying to compromise. But, they can’t be placated and they won’t compromise. They’ve made no attempt at either with us. In the face of progress, they throw temper tantrums. Sure, their motivations sound so pure. They want to “protect” the history and tradition of scholastic bowl. They want to prevent the activity from becoming inaccessible to the majority of the state. But, the justification for and reasoning behind their resistance to progress is not pure. Simply put, they’re lying and they’re afraid. Their egos can no longer be inflated and their backs no longer patted when scholastic bowl transitions from a game of luck to a game of skill. They refuse to attend tournaments where good quizbowl is played because they know they will lose. Coaches, including some who have won multiple state tournaments, will be exposed as lucky at best and fraudulent at worst. These coaches write, distribute, and sign petitions counter to the wishes of their own players. They label those fighting for change—the people who are acting on the wishes of their own players—as misguided and brainwashed. They attack their players or call them out for "knowing too much" if they mention good tournaments, good questions, or the principles of good quizbowl. They retaliate against or punish students who want to practice on pyramidal questions and mACF bonuses. These coaches are not protecting scholastic bowl. They have no intention of doing so. They are protecting themselves. They are actively preventing the academic growth of their students. This is not honorable; it’s despicable. It is the exact opposite of what it means to teach or to coach.

Slow progress is not progress at all. I don’t accept that quizbowl is an elitist activity. In fact, I think it’s exactly the opposite. Good quizbowl represents an amazing opportunity for students from all different schools (from urban to rural) and of all different backgrounds (from rich to poor) to be exposed to knowledge they might otherwise never gain. I agree that fundamental changes must be made to strengthen the curricula at schools across the state. But, we don’t have the power to make those changes. We can make changes to scholastic bowl in the state of Illinois. Good quizbowl is the only opportunity many students in Illinois have to be exposed to academic content that supplants and goes beyond the curricula. We should celebrate that possibility. I consider it “opportunity”, not “elitism”. For this reason, teachers and coaches from all over the state should demand an immediate change to good quizbowl. Scholastic bowl in Illinois should not be about testing only what we’re certain everyone already knows. Instead, it should be about encouraging students to explore and to learn new things. Anyone who stands in the way of such progress does not deserve the label of teacher or coach.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:35 pm

Stephen Colbert wrote:So, while moderating a Class A sectional at Princeton, one recurring thought crept into my mind. The high school canon continues to expand upwards, but very few teams in Illinois are growing along with it. This makes it nearly impossible to craft a state series which adequately differentiates between top-tier, nationally competitive teams and simultaneously remains accessible to remainder of the state. Assuming it is possible, this edition of the state series, at least today, did neither. The set lacked any sense of identity or consistency. It’s painfully clear that there are writers with a very limited grasp of pyramidality. For every well-written, clue-dense, pyramidal toss-up, there were ten others penned by writers who haven’t a clue. The IHSA needs to be encouraged to re-think their question writing and editing process entirely. The compromise between good and bad quizbowl evident in the questions, distribution, and rules of the IHSA has created a product universally hated. Today, to me at least, was proof positive that the IHSA state series has become totally illegitimate. Those interested in playing good quizbowl should recognize it as such and move on. Supporters of bad quizbowl can do whatever they want with it and, for all I care, declare themselves state champions of what we’ll know to be fraudulent. Or, the IHSA can devote itself to making real changes that have a positive impact of on the scholastic bowl players and students of Illinois. An editing team with its fingers on the pulse of modern quizbowl should be appointed. The members of this editing team and the writers they choose to employ should be made public. The editors/writers should have access to all the questions produced for the set and work as a team to craft a singular and consistent product. The ongoing and ever-changing debate over tossup/bonus format needs to be put to an end. Pyramidal tossups and mACF bonuses have been proven superior. It is time that teams in Illinois, and more importantly the scholastic players of Illinois, make the decision between legitimacy and illegitimacy. I cannot in good conscience support the existence of a competition that does not seek to reward the most knowledgeable team. I rarely hear scholastic bowl players, suburban or downstate, complaining about the mACF format. Instead, I see inflexible coaches—coaches unfamiliar with the format, unwilling to learn, afraid to be exposed—standing in the way of progress. For the good of the activity and its participants, these coaches must either accept reality or, in the best interest of the students they claim to support, step aside.
While this is a very good post, the first part of it is incorrect. For one thing, good pyramidal questions allow writers/editors to create questions that work for a variety of levels. For another thing, there are some aspects of the State Series that allow writers to tailor their questions to the audience. Teams are seeded at the local level, so there are no early round matches between good teams, meaning that lead-ins don't need to be extremely difficult. It is single elimination, so the bad teams leave after a few rounds, meaning that you can have a decent-size high school canon. I'm not saying that this was done--I'm just saying that the job can be done.

Also, the reason the various debates are ongoing is that there are a lot of people who disagree with the board consensus. We polled coaches, and most of them wanted to keep things as they are. Also, if you look at which tournaments attract large numbers of schools, you'll see that there is no correlation between quality and quantity, the reason being that a lot of coaches don't care and that the number who prefer academic quizbowl is canceled out by the number who prefer traditional Scholastic Bowl. The IHSA, which does not pay much attention to Scholastic Bowl, has no reason to think that coaches are wrong. Other than I believe one letter Brad wrote on a single issue, nobody on this board (myself excepted) has ever contacted the IHSA about anything. In the past year, some people on this board have written articles for IHSSBCA, which is a good way to communicate with coaches, but it needs to be a sustained effort.

As for the letter writing campaign:
If you want to write a letter/email, do it soon. The IHSA Advisory Committee generally meets in April or May, so send in your letter by the end of March. Send copies to McGraw, me, Grierson, the editor if you know who that is, and anybody on the IHSA Advisory Committee you have ever met or are geographically close to. I would recommend that you think about what the IHSA can and cannot change about its tournament. If you are a current Illinois high school student, be very careful of the tone of your letter--IHSA has a lot of power, and they love to use it. Even if you are not a current Illinois high school student, tone matters, since the IHSA and Advisory Committee members quickly dispose of letters they don't like.

Do write letters. This board is a good place to float ideas, but the people who make decisions as to the IHSA and Masonics are not on this board, so what is said on this board will have only an indirect impact on them at best.

(I don't have time now to respond to the latest post.)
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:49 pm

Westwon wrote:
Stephen Colbert wrote:This makes it nearly impossible to craft a state series which adequately differentiates between top-tier, nationally competitive teams and simultaneously remains accessible to remainder of the state.
While this is a very good post, the first part of it is incorrect. For one thing, good pyramidal questions allow writers/editors to create questions that work for a variety of levels. For another thing, there are some aspects of the State Series that allow writers to tailor their questions to the audience. Teams are seeded at the local level, so there are no early round matches between good teams, meaning that lead-ins don't need to be extremely difficult. It is single elimination, so the bad teams leave after a few rounds, meaning that you can have a decent-size high school canon. I'm not saying that this was done--I'm just saying that the job can be done.
Under the current structure, this cannot be done. Most fundamentally, it's not true that good teams don't face each other in the first round or two: Barrington and Libertyville played each other in round 1, for example. Neither of them were ever in serious contention for a state title, but they are both good teams who require very well-written questions to correctly differentiate between them.

Furthermore, questions that appropriately differentiate between good teams will necessarily be long and begin as quite difficult, which the vase majority of teams in the state not only don't need, but despise. The first several clues of such a question will be wasted on most of their audience and will make them angry, but they still have to be present to get the correct result from a few matches.

Finally, writers don't have control over what rounds their questions go in. We can suggest things, but (just like everything else) we ultimately have no say in it. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that I can't write a shortish question to differentiate between Podunk South and Mediocre Team Township intended for round one, while also writing a challenging question that starts out very difficult and put it in the state finals. The present system just doesn't allow for writing and using questions that will make the right choices without causing more problems.

I also think it's worth noting that your post, Reinstein, assumes that single elimination continues in regionals, which should change. If it becomes some form of round robin, as I hope it will, your arguments become even less valid.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Stephen Colbert » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:52 pm

Westwon wrote:While this is a very good post, the first part of it is incorrect. For one thing, good pyramidal questions allow writers/editors to create questions that work for a variety of levels. For another thing, there are some aspects of the State Series that allow writers to tailor their questions to the audience. Teams are seeded at the local level, so there are no early round matches between good teams, meaning that lead-ins don't need to be extremely difficult. It is single elimination, so the bad teams leave after a few rounds, meaning that you can have a decent-size high school canon. I'm not saying that this was done--I'm just saying that the job can be done.
To reiterate, I don't believe it to be impossible. I just don't believe the current editing/writing team is capable.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:57 pm

Stephen Colbert wrote:Slow progress is not progress at all.
Except...It is. I disagree on this one. No, it's not the pace we'd like, and no, it's not enough yet, but it is going in the right direction. This was definitely the best written state series I've been to.
Stephen Colbert wrote: I don’t accept that quizbowl is an elitist activity. In fact, I think it’s exactly the opposite.
Except...it is an elitist activity in a way. In the same way that any competition is. Any legitimate competition will have people that are the "best" at it and others that don't cut the mustard. The distinction goes back to what Riley just said:
Riley wrote:I see two diverging philosophies here: 1) those of us who see quiz bowl as a naturally elitist activity that favors the best and the brightest, and 2) those that see it as just another form of trivial pursuit...and never the twain shall meet
The only way it's not elitist to some degree is if anyone can play and we don't keep score.
Stephen Colbert wrote:...Good quizbowl is the only opportunity many students in Illinois have to be exposed to academic content that supplants and goes beyond the curricula. We should celebrate that possibility. I consider it “opportunity”, not “elitism”.
Really? What about reading? The only opportunity exhibit knowledge of super-curriculum material perhaps, but nobody needs quizbowl to learn.
Stephen Colbert wrote:For this reason, teachers and coaches from all over the state should demand an immediate change to good quizbowl. Scholastic bowl in Illinois should not be about testing only what we’re certain everyone already knows. Instead, it should be about encouraging students to explore and to learn new things. Anyone who stands in the way of such progress does not deserve the label of teacher or coach.
Again, harsh. I really dislike that notion of "does not deserve to be a teacher". One's quizbowl philosophy is not related to one's ability to educate. If some would like quizbowl to reinforce things they are teaching, that on it's face seems like a perfectly fine educational goal.

Undoubtedly though, so is encouraging students to go above and beyond, and that may be the difference between the two schools of thought. In all honesty, with the exception of a few "meh" questions, the regionals were not that bad. Most questions were at least moderately pyramidal and I found no hoses of note. It seemed to me like a good academic competition...it just wasn't anything near the standards of these boards. What it was was quizbowl for everyone, which on some level it needs to be. For the same reason they allow metal bats in high school baseball, the state series will never be played on an HSAPQ set. Unlike tournaments people choose to go to, the state series is essentially for everyone...and on some level the questions need to reflect that.

So, yes, there was room for improvement, which I think will keep coming slowly but surely...but it was without question far better than a decade ago and perhaps not too far from where it needs to be.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:29 pm

Ike Pappas wrote:This was definitely the best written state series I've been to.
Really? It was horrendous, and I've been playing in the state series for three years now. I'll be honest: I may not fully recall how the questions were in the past. So, yes, you may be right in that these are the best state series questions, but it's akin to comparing getting pooped on twice and getting pooped on once; the latter is definitely better, but neither option is acceptable in any way whatsoever. With the IHSA, it's not a matter of better or worse; it's a matter of less poopy or more poopy. Either way, the IHSA is pooping on us.

So your post should have read:
Ike Pappas wrote:This was definitely the state series in which I saw the least people get pooped on.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:31 pm

Interrobang made a comeback, by the way, as a spelling bonus part.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:32 pm

How is that a spelling bonus part?

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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:37 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:How is that a spelling bonus part?

"Please spell "Mongols?!" as spoken in a tone of surprise and bewilderment. You have ten seconds."
Something about it being a combination of the question mark and exclamation point.

Also, the morons included "hyphen" and "dash" as two separate answers.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:37 pm

The bonus was to, given a description of how a punctuation mark is used, spell the name of the mark.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:44 pm

Ike Pappas wrote:It seemed to me like a good academic competition...it just wasn't anything near the standards of these boards. What it was was quizbowl for everyone, which on some level it needs to be. For the same reason they allow metal bats in high school baseball, the state series will never be played on an HSAPQ set. Unlike tournaments people choose to go to, the state series is essentially for everyone...and on some level the questions need to reflect that.
You are conflating question quality with question difficulty. If Regionals needs to be easier than a typical HSAPQ set, then that's one thing. If it needs to have spelling bonuses and computational math tossups, that's another.

If the only thing IHSA was interested in here was easy questions, they could use the same league set HSAPQ produces for VHSL. But...
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:45 pm

Ike Pappas wrote:What it was was quizbowl for everyone, which on some level it needs to be. For the same reason they allow metal bats in high school baseball, the state series will never be played on an HSAPQ set.
So like, the whole point of HSAPQ, and the idea of regular level pyramidal quizbowl, is that it is real pyramidal quizbowl for everyone regardless of skill or region. Saying that the IHSA set needs to be bad so it can cater to a wider audience is patently ridiculous and suggests a flawed understanding of what pyramidal quizbowl is about.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Kanga-Rat Murder Society » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:51 pm

I really do not understand how one can defend this tournament. What makes this the best written state series yet? By my count, Round 3 had ten acceptable tossups out of thirty. Assuming the ratio is the same for bonuses, that means that we can expect three good TU-bonus cycles per match, and that is assuming that all of the tossups are answered. There is no reason that I should have been able to look at the set last night and know exactly which questions were written by people on this board. But I did.

Everything about these questions sucks. I would say that a majority of these answers are not in the quizbowl canon and are not taught in schools. So, what then are we rewarding? As far as I can tell, it is a random knowledge base. Nothing about that is Scholastic.

Also, there were a ton of questions that either had their easiest clue come first, or did not say what they were asking for until the end. These are classic examples of being hindered by good quizbowl. When one understands the way pyramidal questions work, they will probably not buzz with the obvious answer based off of the first clue. Somebody who plays bad questions assumes that it is the obvious answer, and thus gets the points. When a tournament claims to be pyramidal, it actually needs to be pyramidal. Personally, I would rather see one liners than some of these pseudo-pyramidal questions. At least that way people are not hindered because they are familiar with actual pyramidal questions. Those tossups remind me of our match against Loyola at Fremd last year. These questions were very prevalent at that tournament, and we won that match because we knew that, yes, the question would really be that bad.

I would argue that this was the worst state series that I have seen. While others may have featured bad questions, this was the first tournament that I remember that outright punished teams for playing good quizbowl. The whole "good question, bad question" thing must have made it extremely confusing to know when to buzz. At least in the past, one knew the questions sucked enough that they could treat every tossup like a one liner.

I hope that all of the regional champions recognize the flaws in these questions as you played them. Hopefully, you can see that you probably got a fair amount of tossups not because you knew more, but because you could understand the intent of the writer better.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:52 pm

I'm not speaking of question style, I'm referring to answer space...pyramidal is great, but a lot of Illinois teams aren't going to get HSAPQ questions even on the giveaway.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:57 pm

Ike Pappas wrote:I'm not speaking of question style, I'm referring to answer space...pyramidal is great, but a lot of Illinois teams aren't going to get HSAPQ questions even on the giveaway.
What I'm saying is that unless the bottom 10% of Illinois teams are substantially worse than the bottom 10% of Virginia (completely disconnected from the DC/MD/hardcore VA circuit), the answer space for HSAPQ's league set (particularly the early rounds for VHSL districts and such) is easily more accessible than this IHSA set.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:00 pm

At the Loyburn tournament, the bottom 3 placing A teams all averaged over 170 PPG.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:03 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:At the Loyburn tournament, the bottom 3 placing A teams all averaged over 170 PPG.
This has nothing to do with what I'm saying. That stat is quite possible...but if you look at those teams, I bet they did not lose in the first or second rounds of their regionals. Teams that attend such tournaments, even the bottom feeders, are not the teams in question here.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by The Time Keeper » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:07 pm

Ike Pappas wrote:What it was was quizbowl for everyone, which on some level it needs to be. For the same reason they allow metal bats in high school baseball, the state series will never be played on an HSAPQ set. Unlike tournaments people choose to go to, the state series is essentially for everyone...and on some level the questions need to reflect that.
You're comparing using good questions to forcing high school baseball players to use wood bats. I'm not going to dig through the archives to find a worse sports analogy, but rest assured that this one sucks.

Perhaps a better analogy would be that using the current awful questions is like if high school baseball used wiffleball equipment so no one could get hurt and runs were assigned semi-randomly instead of when a player crossed home plate so that sometimes extremely overmatched teams could keep games close or even win.

Last year I read an HSAPQ set at a tournament in Michigan where as far as I can remember, aside from Detroit Catholic Central the field consisted of some teams who could be considered perennial mid/top-tier teams at the state level and the rest were teams who mostly just play local league type games and had little or no exposure to the national standards of quizbowl we're all familiar with. I had to read until the end of the question quite a few times, but things didn't go dead all that often and when they did, I wasn't met with blank stares when reading the answer lines to the teams. Regular HSAPQ sets are perfectly appropriate for teams with any quizbowl experience and don't need to be patronized with bad questions.

I'm pretty sure people have written decent pyramidal questions at the middle school level before. The answer lines can be anything you want, it's the formatting of the question that matters.

Edit: And as for any hypothetical teams who would put up 30 PPG and 3 PPB on an HSAPQ set, maybe they would benefit from seeing that this is what real quizbowl is and being given pointers on how to improve at it from people interested in growing the game.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:11 pm

Pat Freeburn wrote:
Ike Pappas wrote:What it was was quizbowl for everyone, which on some level it needs to be. For the same reason they allow metal bats in high school baseball, the state series will never be played on an HSAPQ set. Unlike tournaments people choose to go to, the state series is essentially for everyone...and on some level the questions need to reflect that.
You're comparing using good questions to forcing high school baseball players to use wood bats. I'm not going to dig through the archives to find a worse sports analogy, but rest assured that this one sucks.
Good questions aren't wood bats, hard answer space is. Rest assured, I am 100% for pyramidal questions. I'm referring only to answer space here.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:18 pm

And Pat is arguing that you are wrong about the answer space that HSAPQ's normal sets provide. I am arguing that you're at least wrong about their regular-minus-one sets.

In any event, if that's what you believe, why are you using this assertion to defend (in even the smallest way) IHSA Regionals? You can accomplish easy questions without any terrible things, so you don't need to wistfully say "well, this is the best we could get, considering that we have to cater to everyone..."
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by The Time Keeper » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:25 pm

Ike Pappas wrote: Good questions aren't wood bats, hard answer space is. Rest assured, I am 100% for pyramidal questions. I'm referring only to answer space here.
How much easier can the question space be made for a high school tournament before it becomes impossible to differentiate between the good teams and the great teams? I don't think that any truly bad teams in quizbowl should be spat upon and ignored, but the top priority should always be to accurately place the top teams.

The trend over the last few years of the best teams becoming amazing compared to the best teams of the early 2000s while the middling and bad teams are basically the same has created a huge disparity in talent at just about every tournament, but I think the solution is to help those weaker teams who care about the game improve and bring them into the community as best we can. The weaker teams who don't want to make an effort shouldn't be catered to in any way, although they obviously shouldn't be outright scorned for having other priorities while still wanting to play quizbowl every now and then.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:17 pm

This year's set probably was better than last year's.
hayyyyyy guys so liek i wrote sum totes awesome tossups 4 regionals today that i want 2 share with u.

interrobang - umm wikipedia says this is a nonstandard punctuation mark so i thought itd be cool for a tossup. with grammar questions, you gotta go big or go home!!!

carapace - on three, spell a turtle shell. one, two, three, C-A-R-A-P-A-C-E duhhhhhhhh

white triangle - omg my FAVORITE category... drivers ed!!!!! what's a yield sign on the pavement???? A WHITE TRIANGLE THAT'S WHAT

recant - i <3 vocabulary

kaskaskia river - who loves illinois geography? i do. and so do u.

ampullae of lorenzini - i mean, cmon, who doesn't know/love shark organs? shit, i shoulda saved that for sectionals its so good

pappus's centroid theorem - i don't know why this went dead. i've known that since liek 4ever

myocardial infarction - no, NOT HEART ATTACK OR CARDIAC ARREST. hahahaahahah i tricked youuuuuuuuu

township - what's a subset of counties in illinois?!?!?!? townships, har har har. i cant believe you didnt know that. i'm awesome.

squeegee - i creamed myself when i thought of this. SPELL A COOL WORD WITH 4 Es. what a question.

surd - okay, you got me here. this is too easy for high school math.

charles mound - we live in a flat state!!! how could you now know the highest goddamn peakkkkkkkk???????

SEE YOU ON SATURDAY

LOVE,

IHSA
I'll stay away from the bats analogy. In response to Jonah's response to me, I'll say that my suggestion of writing for the round can easily be overdone and must be done in moderation. I am not blaming the writers for the fact that it was not done this year because it was outside of the control of the writers.

As far as compromise is concerned, there are people on both sides unwilling to compromise. IHSA Scholastic Bowl, however, will always represent some compromise. Also, it will always be towards the slow end of change. People demanding change here, however, have not pushed for change. Write to the IHSA and for the IHSSBCA and give people some ideas on how to move forward.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:20 pm

Westwon wrote:In response to Jonah's response to me, I'll say that my suggestion of writing for the round can easily be overdone and must be done in moderation.
Well, I did precisely what the editor asked for: submitted my questions in the order I wanted them used, from regionals to state (not differentiating between rounds within each level). My recommendations were mostly ignored.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Dan-Don » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:43 pm

Ike Pappas wrote:
Pat Freeburn wrote:
Ike Pappas wrote:What it was was quizbowl for everyone, which on some level it needs to be. For the same reason they allow metal bats in high school baseball, the state series will never be played on an HSAPQ set. Unlike tournaments people choose to go to, the state series is essentially for everyone...and on some level the questions need to reflect that.
You're comparing using good questions to forcing high school baseball players to use wood bats. I'm not going to dig through the archives to find a worse sports analogy, but rest assured that this one sucks.
Good questions aren't wood bats, hard answer space is. Rest assured, I am 100% for pyramidal questions. I'm referring only to answer space here.
Good answer lines are, regrettably, few and are between for IHSA Regionals. You can't tossup say, Wole Soyinka, because 90% of the teams playing will have no idea who you are talking about, no matter that he is very canonical. And yet, a tossup on someone as obvious as Mark Twain isn't sufficient either, because even a pyramidal question on him is likely to contain clues so famous that even the worst team in Illinois will recognize them, leading to contests of buzzer speed. So it seems the IHSA's solution, instead of finding a middle ground, is just to throw pyramidality to the wind and differentiate teams based on Spelling (or what have you) knowledge. Therefore, the IHSA's problem lies with both poor answer space (ANSWER: H-Y-P-H-E-N) and lack of pyramidality ("This American play's setting is based on a New Hampshire town..."). No progress is going to be made until the IHSA fixes both issues, never mind the format for right now. [After all, I'm assuming the Virginia format isn't ideal, but well-written questions from HSAPQ (that actually reward the more knowledgeable team) are more important than fixing a broken format for the time being.]

EDIT: Coherence. And, also, perhaps Twain isn't the best example. But insultingly easy answer space for Regioals doesn't help the problem much either, even when written pyramidally. We don't want "IHSA IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!" to become a meme.
Last edited by Dan-Don on Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:53 pm

Mark Twain is a fine answer for IHSA Regionals, as are many things that actually came up, such as Mona Lisa, Entropy, Magellan, Tritone, Waiting For Godot, Our Town, Pei, Euler, and Thyroid.

(This was written before I saw Dan-Don's edit.)
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Cody » Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:24 pm

Dan-Don wrote: Good answer lines are, regrettably, few and are between for IHSA Regionals. You can't tossup say, Wole Soyinka, because 90% of the teams playing will have no idea who you are talking about, no matter that he is very canonical. And yet, a tossup on someone as obvious as Mark Twain isn't sufficient either, because even a pyramidal question on him is likely to contain clues so famous that even the worst team in Illinois will recognize them, leading to contests of buzzer speed. So it seems the IHSA's solution, instead of finding a middle ground, is just to throw pyramidality to the wind and differentiate teams based on Spelling (or what have you) knowledge. Therefore, the IHSA's problem lies with both poor answer space (ANSWER: H-Y-P-H-E-N) and lack of pyramidality ("This American play's setting is based on a New Hampshire town..."). No progress is going to be made until the IHSA fixes both issues, never mind the format for right now. [After all, I'm assuming the Virginia format isn't ideal, but well-written questions from HSAPQ (that actually reward the more knowledgeable team) are more important than fixing a broken format for the time being.]

EDIT: Coherence. And, also, perhaps Twain isn't the best example. But insultingly easy answer space for Regioals doesn't help the problem much either, even when written pyramidally. We don't want "IHSA IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!" to become a meme.
(Bolding mine)

Yes, that's why we have this little thing called a pyramidal structure, this way, people who know the less famous stuff get the question before the people who know only the more famous stuff. Then there's that giveaway where any player who knows something about Mark Twain should be able to get it.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't IHSA already impossible?!
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Dan-Don » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:45 pm

Meh. I'm not really saying anything new, just reiterating that the questions are bad. I felt thought this thread was becoming too bogged down in stupid things, especially sports analogies, and wanted to remind everyone that the statement "the IHSA needs to write better questions" need not be so complicated.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by rjaguar3 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:54 pm

Yeah, I read for regionals at WWS yesterday, and I'll also be doing sectionals.

How could we get this far in the thread without mentioning the best answer line of the night (and a great screenname), about none other than the leading pioneer in Family and Consumer Science, Ellen Swallow Richards?
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by mlaird » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:18 pm

Allan Caidic wrote:Yeah, I read for regionals at WWS yesterday, and I'll also be doing sectionals.

How could we get this far in the thread without mentioning the best answer line of the night (and a great screenname), about none other than the leading pioneer in Family and Consumer Science, Ellen Swallow Richards?
Dude, I wrote that bonus. I was at a complete loss for this damn category. My fourth part was originally a famous American author who was also involved in the Family and Consumer Science movement (which would have put some legit academic knowledge in the bonus). I submitted Richards as a fifth part that was only to be used if the editor found a problem with that American author part. Guess what happened. I really could not think of anything else to do for that bonus that would not be outright rejected because of not fitting into the correct category. I figured an impossible part that no one could get was preferable to a computational question about sunscreen SPF.

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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:36 pm

The Mauritius Command wrote:a computational question about sunscreen SPF.
[interrobangx3]
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Aaron Goldfein » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:38 pm

Charley Pride wrote:
The Mauritius Command wrote:a computational question about sunscreen SPF.
[interrobangx3]
Hey, we can make fun of the IHSA questions all we want, but I can at least say this. Interrobang went dead last year, but this year I was all over it. Maybe the whole point of asking such absurd questions is that that way they'll stand out and we'll actually learn something!
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Stephen Colbert » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:48 pm

I completely agree that those of us calling for change need to do a better job of communicating our opinions to the IHSA and of educating the scholastic bowl community of Illinois. I have found there to be reasonable people on both sides of the issue. I find myself frustrated with both the process and pace of change. I credit the continuing efforts of the leadership and members of the IHSSBCA for having a profound effect on quizbowl in Illinois. However, the makeup of the IHSA scholastic bowl advisory makes substantive change unlikely and maybe even altogether impossible. The recent changes to the IHSA rulebook are steps in the right direction. But, based on the questions from yesterday, they have not been properly implemented by the editor and many of the writers of the state series. I’m sure they too are reasonable people with good intentions. However, it is clear that many of the writers are out of touch with the high school canon and lack the quality and experience necessary to write clue-dense, well-structured, and accessible pyramidal tossups. Unfortunately, I don’t see a pathway to substantive change. If we cannot agree on eliminating/reducing non-academic categories, how can we even initiate a discussion about changing bonus formats or moving away from computational tossups?

I feel like we’re quickly approaching a stalemate. As I mentioned earlier, I have little confidence in the ability of the current editing/writing team to create questions that are both accessible and able to differentiate between top-tier teams. I do believe it is possible. I can only relate the following anecdote from the Princeton regional. I moderated a match with a final score of 91-65. For a match with 30 thirty tossups, that works out to a combined PPTH of just over 5. At my regional, a tossup on Robert Louis Stevenson went dead after mentions of Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The same goes for a pretty decent tossup on Bach. Now, Bach is clearly in the high school canon. But how can you possibly write a tossup on Bach with early and middle clues capable of differentiating between top teams when even the simplest of giveaways goes unanswered. Honestly, the only way a Bach tossup would have been converted at this particular regional is if it ended “Who is this composer with a last name beginning with the letter “B” that isn’t Beethoven or Brahms?”. I would hope that’s not necessary, but I don’t see any other alternative.

There is already a huge gulf between the top and bottom teams in Illinois. I’m interested in what we can do to minimize that separation, not by handicapping the better teams, but by improving the weaker ones. Bad quizbowl seeks to reduce the gap by introducing elements of luck and trickery. Good quizbowl educates and teaches its practitioners. Teams attending primarily good quizbowl tournaments appear to have performed better and scored higher at regionals than those attending primarily bad quizbowl tournaments (or no tournaments at all). I think that’s a pretty safe conclusion to make. We know good quizbowl works. Above all things, the spread of good quizbowl is the best tool to raise the level of competition. The stronger teams may continue to get better at a much faster rate. But, all teams will have the potential for growth. I know my previous posts have been harsh. However, I firmly believe that coaches opposed to good quizbowl limit the potential of their players to develop academically. I don’t necessarily think they do so intentionally or willingly and I have previously outlined some of their motivations for opposing change. And, I believe their opposition to good quizbowl doesn’t mesh with what it means to be a coach or teacher (even though they may be skilled at both).

I may be misinterpreting the definition of elitism. When I hear charges of elitism in scholastic bowl, it usually accompanies the argument that well-funded and usually suburban school districts have an advantage over poorer and primarily rural school districts. These districts often have access to a wider student base, a more well-developed curricula, better technology, etc. This may translate to better standardized test scores, graduations rates, number of students attending college, etc. However, I don’t believe it necessarily translates to quizbowl success. It’s very possible I’m incorrect and I’m certain that a counter-argument can and will be made. But, at least anecdotally, I played on teams at Streator High School capable of competing with and occasionally beating teams like New Trier, Loyola, IMSA, etc. (this was during an era of bad quizbowl). So, why can’t this be the case today? I coached many of Streator’s current players during middle school and know they have the talent and capability to be competitive with any team in the state (in fact, they were during middle school). It isn’t a big surprise that Streator’s coach is the poster boy for bad quizbowl. When a coach disallows his team from attending good tournaments or practicing on good questions—when his players are too intimidated to even mention concepts of good quizbowl—that coach has set his team up to fail. That team cannot possibly be competitive at the regional (let alone state or national level), not because of the size of their school or the median income of their district, but because they’re coached by someone who is too afraid he’ll be exposed as fraudulent when winning is no longer a matter of buzzer speed and incredible luck.

Fortunately, most situations are not this extreme. Nonetheless, the majority of coaches in Illinois still subscribe to bad quizbowl. As I said, most are reasonable people, they just don’t like change. Change can be unfamiliar. It requires effort—learning and teaching a new format. Obtaining questions can be expensive, especially when Questions Galore floods the market with low quality and cheap product. Change is unpopular and finding opponents or tournaments, especially in downstate Illinois, means longer travel times. I think sometimes we make the arguments for good quizbowl a little overcomplicated. A lot of coaches in Illinois don’t understand the difference between a lead-in and a giveway or the meaning of mACF and HSAPQ, let alone what the big debate is over computational math. I think we need to make the argument for good quizbowl much simpler. Brad, Greg, and Jonah touched on this in their case against computational math. Well-written tossups and bonuses serve to educate and encourage learning. Bad quizbowl tests only reflex and recall. I believe this must be the focus of the argument for good quizbowl. This is precisely why the best teams in Illinois play almost exclusively good quizbowl. Yes, good teams will seek out good quizbowl. But, good quizbowl creates good teams in a way that bad quizbowl does not. The best players, coaches, and teams know this and it’s about time the rest of Illinois figures it out. I know everyone doesn’t think this way and I know that change can be overwhelming. But, why would a coach not want to play in a format that best serves to educate his/her students and to foster their academic development? Isn’t that the ultimate goal of scholastic bowl?
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by adeveau » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Aaron Goldfein wrote:
Charley Pride wrote:
The Mauritius Command wrote:a computational question about sunscreen SPF.
[interrobangx3]
Hey, we can make fun of the IHSA questions all we want, but I can at least say this. Interrobang went dead last year, but this year I was all over it. Maybe the whole point of asking such absurd questions is that that way they'll stand out and we'll actually learn something!
I mean, if you want to learn about interrobangs, I guess that's cool, but that's not the point of quizbowl.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:38 pm

*awkwaaaard* :shock:
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by adeveau » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:00 pm

Charley Pride wrote:*awkwaaaard* :shock:
I'm bitter, of course, but interrobangs are objectively ridiculous.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:08 pm

adeveau wrote:
Charley Pride wrote:*awkwaaaard* :shock:
I'm bitter, of course, but interrobangs are objectively ridiculous.
Of course.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Wackford Squeers » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:27 pm

The worst part of the day was having to pretend that winning this was reason to celebrate.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by TheDoctor » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:39 am

Stephen Colbert wrote: Fortunately, most situations are not this extreme. Nonetheless, the majority of coaches in Illinois still subscribe to bad quizbowl. As I said, most are reasonable people, they just don’t like change. Change can be unfamiliar. It requires effort—learning and teaching a new format. Obtaining questions can be expensive, especially when Questions Galore floods the market with low quality and cheap product. Change is unpopular and finding opponents or tournaments, especially in downstate Illinois, means longer travel times. I think sometimes we make the arguments for good quizbowl a little overcomplicated. A lot of coaches in Illinois don’t understand the difference between a lead-in and a giveway or the meaning of mACF and HSAPQ, let alone what the big debate is over computational math. I think we need to make the argument for good quizbowl much simpler. Brad, Greg, and Jonah touched on this in their case against computational math. Well-written tossups and bonuses serve to educate and encourage learning. Bad quizbowl tests only reflex and recall. I believe this must be the focus of the argument for good quizbowl. This is precisely why the best teams in Illinois play almost exclusively good quizbowl. Yes, good teams will seek out good quizbowl. But, good quizbowl creates good teams in a way that bad quizbowl does not. The best players, coaches, and teams know this and it’s about time the rest of Illinois figures it out. I know everyone doesn’t think this way and I know that change can be overwhelming. But, why would a coach not want to play in a format that best serves to educate his/her students and to foster their academic development? Isn’t that the ultimate goal of scholastic bowl?
Teams don't improve at quizbowl out of the blue; they have to have a solid introduction to it. Whether it's done by students attending ACE camp, by coaches attending SchoBowlFest, or by word-of-mouth, that introduction has to happen. We need to extend a hand to new programs and schools with limited resources. To that end, the NIU Quiz Bowl Association is proposing a Scholastic Community Outreach Program run by a consortium of colleges and senior quiz bowlers around the state. The program would distribute study resources to students in participating high school programs and provide them with once- or twice-yearly workshops on study tactics and online resources. Participating teams would also receive a discount at associated tournaments (including the NIU Huskie Bowl and, if it's run again, the Decemberist) to help defray costs and allow attendance at more tournaments. We're hoping to work collaboratively with the IHSSBCA to expand this program to as many schools as possible.

I'd love to have participation from as many schools as possible. The time spent will be minimal; I can provide all materials, and all that will be required of any program is a few days spent at one or two local high schools by a member of a college team or by an experienced and willing quiz bowl community member. If your program is interested in participating, please contact me at NIUquizbowl AT gmail DOT com.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Boeing X-20, Please! » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:56 am

TheDoctor wrote:The program would distribute study resources to students in participating high school programs and provide them with once- or twice-yearly workshops on study tactics and online resources.
Question Writing would be a very excellent topic as well that I would hope you run something on, although you may have just lumped that under study tactics.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Matt Bardoe » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:18 am

Westwon wrote:
As for the letter writing campaign:
If you want to write a letter/email, do it soon. The IHSA Advisory Committee generally meets in April or May, so send in your letter by the end of March. Send copies to McGraw, me, Grierson, the editor if you know who that is, and anybody on the IHSA Advisory Committee you have ever met or are geographically close to. I would recommend that you think about what the IHSA can and cannot change about its tournament. If you are a current Illinois high school student, be very careful of the tone of your letter--IHSA has a lot of power, and they love to use it. Even if you are not a current Illinois high school student, tone matters, since the IHSA and Advisory Committee members quickly dispose of letters they don't like.

Do write letters. This board is a good place to float ideas, but the people who make decisions as to the IHSA and Masonics are not on this board, so what is said on this board will have only an indirect impact on them at best.

(I don't have time now to respond to the latest post.)
I am very willing to read your ideas. I am on the Advisory Committee so email me at mbardoe at gmail dott com.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by TheDoctor » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:48 am

Extinction threshold wrote:Question Writing would be a very excellent topic as well that I would hope you run something on, although you may have just lumped that under study tactics.
I did; the backbone of my study tactics presentation is the suggestions made on these boards. On that note, thanks, everybody!
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by Geringer » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:34 am

Aaron Goldfein wrote:
Charley Pride wrote:
The Mauritius Command wrote:a computational question about sunscreen SPF.
[interrobangx3]
Hey, we can make fun of the IHSA questions all we want, but I can at least say this. Interrobang went dead last year, but this year I was all over it. Maybe the whole point of asking such absurd questions is that that way they'll stand out and we'll actually learn something!
Dude, you're missing the point. When I can use IHSA answer lines as comedy clues in my trash tournament, you know that something is horribly wrong.
The Mauritius Command wrote:a computational question about sunscreen SPF.
We 20'd that *stuff* sooooo hard.

EDIT: Profanity isn't becoming of the high school section.
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Re: IHSA Regional Results and Discussion

Post by CometCoach72 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:19 pm

Stephen Colbert wrote: Fortunately, most situations are not this extreme. Nonetheless, the majority of coaches in Illinois still subscribe to bad quizbowl. As I said, most are reasonable people, they just don’t like change. Change can be unfamiliar. It requires effort—learning and teaching a new format. Obtaining questions can be expensive, especially when Questions Galore floods the market with low quality and cheap product. Change is unpopular and finding opponents or tournaments, especially in downstate Illinois, means longer travel times. I think sometimes we make the arguments for good quizbowl a little overcomplicated. A lot of coaches in Illinois don’t understand the difference between a lead-in and a giveway or the meaning of mACF and HSAPQ, let alone what the big debate is over computational math. I think we need to make the argument for good quizbowl much simpler. Brad, Greg, and Jonah touched on this in their case against computational math. Well-written tossups and bonuses serve to educate and encourage learning. Bad quizbowl tests only reflex and recall. I believe this must be the focus of the argument for good quizbowl. This is precisely why the best teams in Illinois play almost exclusively good quizbowl. Yes, good teams will seek out good quizbowl. But, good quizbowl creates good teams in a way that bad quizbowl does not. The best players, coaches, and teams know this and it’s about time the rest of Illinois figures it out. I know everyone doesn’t think this way and I know that change can be overwhelming. But, why would a coach not want to play in a format that best serves to educate his/her students and to foster their academic development? Isn’t that the ultimate goal of scholastic bowl?
I knew that change was coming to my program when my students were able to tell the difference between good questions and bad. It did not take me to tell them that what we played on at Kickoff, Turnabout, Springfield, and our own Comet Open was good, and the conference questions and Masonic questions were not. They formulated their own judgments and opinions and as a byprodct of their coach being a a bit outspoken himself, they were not afraid to tell me what they felt. Good for my students.

TheDoctor wrote: Teams don't improve at quizbowl out of the blue; they have to have a solid introduction to it. Whether it's done by students attending ACE camp, by coaches attending SchoBowlFest, or by word-of-mouth, that introduction has to happen. We need to extend a hand to new programs and schools with limited resources. To that end, the NIU Quiz Bowl Association is proposing a Scholastic Community Outreach Program run by a consortium of colleges and senior quiz bowlers around the state. The program would distribute study resources to students in participating high school programs and provide them with once- or twice-yearly workshops on study tactics and online resources. Participating teams would also receive a discount at associated tournaments (including the NIU Huskie Bowl and, if it's run again, the Decemberist) to help defray costs and allow attendance at more tournaments. We're hoping to work collaboratively with the IHSSBCA to expand this program to as many schools as possible.

I'd love to have participation from as many schools as possible. The time spent will be minimal; I can provide all materials, and all that will be required of any program is a few days spent at one or two local high schools by a member of a college team or by an experienced and willing quiz bowl community member. If your program is interested in participating, please contact me at NIUquizbowl AT gmail DOT com.
If you are willing to extend that to the south, bring it on down. I'd be more than willing to either host you down here or somehow learn myself and be a "trainer" for my program and others.
Jay Winter
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