Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

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Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Cheynem » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:46 pm

I'm not so fine with the clock!

To answer the thread's question, timed quizbowl is not so raven. It puts inordinate pressure on moderators, so even very good moderators sometimes have difficulty making it through twenty NAQT-length questions in a half. As a moderator, there have been times when I get panicked when I start to stutter a word. When normally this wouldn't be a problem and I could perhaps start over a sentence, on the clock, I get freaked out and I don't think this is good for moderators to get freaked out. I'm actually okay with the shorter length and timing rules for NAQT, it's just that the timer adds even further stress.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Ondes Martenot » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:10 pm

NAQT's opinion is that hearing more tossups of a shorter length is more or less equivalent to hearing less longer tossups. I basically I'm fine with this, but what happens when you only hear 17-18 tossups a round because you don't have the greater moderator. Then you're hearing fewer tossups that are themselves a bit short to begin with.

If NAQT truly believes in this more tossups that are shorter policy, why don't they just change the rules so that you hear 24 tossups a round in a collegiate game and eliminate the clock. Wouldn't that make everyone happy?
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Coelacanth » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:36 pm

Ondes Martenot wrote:If NAQT truly believes in this more tossups that are shorter policy, why don't they just change the rules so that you hear 24 tossups a round in a collegiate game and eliminate the clock. Wouldn't that make everyone happy?
Not necessarily. Under that scenario, you have some games with ~ 18 minutes of gameplay time and others with ~ 28. Granted, a solution to this would be "have uniformly awesome moderators in every room". At ICT, with 32 rooms in play simultaneously, and at SCTs, some of which are staffed by new-to-the-circuit ACUI-type folks, you just don't have that.

Thus, in a practical sense, the clock enforces a consistency of game length that facilitates the efficient running of tournaments. Whether the benefit of this outweighs the negatives like the ones Mike mentioned is left as an exercise for the individual participant.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:54 pm

Yeah, I'd prefer to have a tournament with potential waits between rounds than a tournament where a random fraction of a packet is left unread, since that is responsible for innumerable undesirable results.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Unicolored Jay » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:23 pm

On day 1 of our tournament in February, we ran timed NAQT rounds, which caused some criticism over the results, of which a slow reader reading in a close game between two good teams may have altered results.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:37 pm

Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast wrote:On day 1 of our tournament in February, we ran timed NAQT rounds, which caused some criticism over the results, of which a slow reader reading in a close game between two good teams may have altered results.
This happened at the CCCT with a reader we had. I feel that moderators should be held to the same standard as a player. We all know who can and cannot moderate at a high level. I think if a national-level tournament is being played, every moderator should be able to get through at least 20 tossups in 18 minutes. Even at ICT, we had two readers who struggled to get through 18 questions in 20 minutes, and that is not really fair for the players. I am sure everyone will agree that going from a good, fast moderator (Chris Borglum or Ahmad Ragab come to mind for me) to a moderator who does not read exceedingly fast or simply does not follow good moderator etiquette (i.e. making comments between questions, taking too long to call time on a question, etc) completely throws you off of your game and the general flow you have for the game.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Monk » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:11 am

Practicalities aside, I as a player find timed quizbowl to be a lot more fun.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Kanga-Rat Murder Society » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:28 pm

Well, people are forgetting that timed tournaments really can save time. Take, for example, the UIC SCT. There were two moderators that were consistently hitting 14-16 tossups in a game. If it takes the slowest reader twenty minutes to read sixteen tossups, then it would probably take them ten minutes to complete the remaining tossups. Multiply that by the fourteen rounds that we played, and we are talking about two and a half hours saved.

This calculation is probably understating the effect of the clock, as it fails to account for the fact that those halfs often took a minute longer than they should have (because the readers started reading the tossups with a few seconds on the clock). It also does not account for the fact that people read faster when the clock is on. When one takes everything into account, I think the clocks probably saved us more than three hours at that SCT. It allowed for us to play a double round robin, which made the tournament more legitimate than 10 rounds without a clock.

Are nationals different than sectionals? Of course, but there were still some moderators who were only getting through eighteen tossups. If you add another ten minutes per round (for the extra questions as well as the slower reading), the tournament finishes at nine (assuming no dinner break, which there probably would be). All this considered, I just think the clock makes more sense. Is it perfect? No. But I feel like it is the best option availabe.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Cheynem » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:31 pm

Well, that's sort of a devil's compromise, to use a term I invented. You save time and play more rounds, but the rounds are much shorter and may contain distribution quirks that warp the game.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by dtaylor4 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:27 pm

BG MSL Champs wrote:Well, people are forgetting that timed tournaments really can save time. Take, for example, the UIC SCT. There were two moderators that were consistently hitting 14-16 tossups in a game. If it takes the slowest reader twenty minutes to read sixteen tossups, then it would probably take them ten minutes to complete the remaining tossups. Multiply that by the fourteen rounds that we played, and we are talking about two and a half hours saved.

This calculation is probably understating the effect of the clock, as it fails to account for the fact that those halfs often took a minute longer than they should have (because the readers started reading the tossups with a few seconds on the clock). It also does not account for the fact that people read faster when the clock is on. When one takes everything into account, I think the clocks probably saved us more than three hours at that SCT. It allowed for us to play a double round robin, which made the tournament more legitimate than 10 rounds without a clock.

Are nationals different than sectionals? Of course, but there were still some moderators who were only getting through eighteen tossups. If you add another ten minutes per round (for the extra questions as well as the slower reading), the tournament finishes at nine (assuming no dinner break, which there probably would be). All this considered, I just think the clock makes more sense. Is it perfect? No. But I feel like it is the best option availabe.
How about I cite our SCT, where we still had long wait times despite having the clock? With or without the clock, you need good readers for the tournament to not suck. Bad/slow readers screw up a tournament one way or the other.

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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:38 pm

One of the things i don't like/understand about timed matches in NAQT is why that particular length of time was chosen at all. Everyone knows that a "regular" match of quizbowl should take about 30 minutes, possibly 35 if you have a couple inexperienced teams or a less-than-perfect moderator. It's hard to complain too much about a 35-minute game, at least this is true for pretty much every high school event i've been to in the last 4 years. For example, i've never been to a tournament where more than 6 rounds were completed before lunch, and even 6 is rare... the usual is 4 or 5, resulting in an average actually closer to 40-45 minutes for each full round.

But yet NAQT decided to make rounds so much faster, just 9 minutes for each half, for a less than 20-minute match. I don't think anybody realistically wants a match that's off the clock to finish in 20 minutes (or, at least, would certainly never require it), so why are we making moderators read so much faster to fly through as many questions as possible in less than 20 minutes?
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:52 pm

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:Everyone knows that a "regular" match of quizbowl should take about 30 minutes,
This certainly was not true when NAQT was starting up; CBI had two eight minute halves, right? And high school quizbowl was pretty fragmentary... what was that like?
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Cheynem » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:56 pm

When I was in high school, it was ten minute halves. For some reason, when I was in high school, timed matches never bothered me, mainly because the whole thing seemed so arbitrary to begin with--the idea of distribution, believe it or not, was something I didn't think of until last year. When I played NSC in 2002, I remember thinking how slow moving it was because of the lack of a timer.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Monk » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:20 pm

Seriously, playing twenty-minute rounds is much more fun. If you're ahead, you don't spend so much time being anxious about the other team rallying, and if you are behind, you lose fast and play again, which means basically a rain of questions, compared to a gradual meting out.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Cheynem » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:52 pm

You actually probably get more questions in an untimed match, which means even if that mean old Seth Teitler is stomping your face in, you have a chance to one-line that tossup 20 on "Vile Bodies" or whatever that you may not get in a timed match.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by nobthehobbit » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:37 pm

Cheynem wrote:You actually probably get more questions in an untimed match, which means even if that mean old Seth Teitler is stomping your face in, you have a chance to one-line that tossup 20 on "Vile Bodies" or whatever that you may not get in a timed match.
Well, that depends greatly on how long the questions are (and, of course, how good the staff are). The two SCTs I read I think I averaged in the neighbourhood of 24 TU/game (and as I recall that was back when halves were 9 minutes each); I don't think I could have done that on ACF/circuit questions in 20 minutes, even if no one chatted between questions.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Cheynem » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:48 pm

But you don't need the clock to do this--just have the moderator read 24 NAQT-length tossups.
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Re: Is timed quizbowl still awesome? (split from trash thread)

Post by Captain Sinico » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:01 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
Carangoides ciliarius wrote:Everyone knows that a "regular" match of quizbowl should take about 30 minutes,
This certainly was not true when NAQT was starting up; CBI had two eight minute halves, right? And high school quizbowl was pretty fragmentary... what was that like?
I think CBI's halves were like 5 or 6 minutes. Maybe 7? Their questions were, like, 1 sentence long and could usually be answered after like 5 words and the rules said the round just kept going until time ran out, so a good team could get through 30 or so if they caught the rare competent reader.

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