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Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:10 pm
by lchen
Thank you to my teammates and everyone else who helped produce this set, and thanks to all the teams who hosted mirrors! The Prison Bowl set will be posted on quizbowlpackets.com. We'd love to hear your thoughts about the set and any suggestions for improvement.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:13 pm
by Frater Taciturnus
lchen wrote:Thank you to my teammates and everyone else who helped produce this set, and thanks to all the teams who hosted mirrors! The Prison Bowl set will be posted on quizbowlpackets.com. We'd love to hear your thoughts about the set and any suggestions for improvement.
http://quizbowlpackets.com/archive/2010Hunter/ for packets. add a .zip to the end for the zip file.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:21 pm
by SoLegit12
Why the decision to go shorter?

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:31 pm
by lchen
SoLegit12 wrote:Why the decision to go shorter?
Isn't 5-6 lines per tossup pretty standard? Last year people thought the questions were too long and dragged on, so we made a conscious effort to trim out unnecessary verbiage and clues that were useless or too hard.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:20 am
by Mechanical Beasts
lchen wrote:
SoLegit12 wrote:Why the decision to go shorter?
Isn't 5-6 lines per tossup pretty standard? Last year people thought the questions were too long and dragged on, so we made a conscious effort to trim out unnecessary verbiage and clues that were useless or too hard.
Yeah; the best explanation here for "why the decision to go shorter" would inevitably be "it makes the questions play better for the target audience of the tournament."

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:35 am
by Down and out in Quintana Roo
In round 6, there was a bonus on Canadian geography that said that "this river" flows northwest and some other things (don't feel like looking it up), then the answer was the St. Lawrence. TJ protested since they messed it up (from that wrong clue) and it almost mattered in the game they played against CR.

EDIT: fixed the round number

EDIT: Okay fine here it is:
[10] This large North American river mainly drains the Great Lakes Basin and snakes northwest through the US and Canada.
ANSWER: St. Lawrence River

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:37 am
by lchen
Ah, okay. Thanks for pointing that out. I'm really sorry for all the factual errors!

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:41 am
by kayli
I'm reading this right now, and overall I really like this set. The only issue I have is that some of the bonus parts don't have clear easy-medium-hard progressions, and some bonuses fluctuate a lot in their difficulty. This didn't happen too much from what I can see. Excellent work!

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:21 pm
by nadph
Is it standard practice to use Leon Foucault (Foucault's Pendulum) as a giveaway for Michel Foucault? I haven't seen it done before...

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 9:24 am
by centralhs
The last line of the question reads "Name this French author of Discipline and Punish, who has a namesake pendulum." The phrase "namesake pendulum" would certainly tip most high school students off to the answer of "Foucault", but it implies that the pendulum is named after the author of Discipline and Punish which it isn't.

This is a sloppy attempt at a giveaway, in my opinion, but it is the only such problem that I noticed in an otherwise superb set.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 10:53 am
by Down and out in Quintana Roo
To be honest, i think someone like Foucault (who is incredibly important to the field of sociology, criminology, and the theory of justice as well) is just a little too hard to toss up on a so-called "regular" set. Yeah he's someone you should know if you study those fields, but it's a name that i never heard of until my third year of college when i had to read Discipline and Punish for a Poly Sci class. Now i do know how significant he is at this point and i've been able to tell my kids just as much, but it's something most high schoolers just don't know. He's a lot safer to leave as a bonus answer, or as a harder tossup answer in a finals or nationals packet. Having, as Cathy said, a "sloppy" giveaway just makes that more clear. If you have to construct a mostly-wrong or off-topic giveaway about someone, then that's a good clue that he/she shouldn't be a tossup answer, if we really are shooting for high tossup conversion.

The same goes for those history tossups (and this was not a problem in this set but i see it elsewhere more often) about a country that just throw the capital out there at the end of the question in hopes that teams pick it up there, which nothing else in the question was about political geography at all.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 12:02 pm
by Down and out in Quintana Roo
A positive remark i wanted to also make about this set was the simplicity, brevity, and clarity of the bonus clues/questions. Recently, i know there's been an effort to include boatloads of clues for the bonuses, and that's fine i guess, but sometimes it's just off the charts. I really liked that a lot of bonus questions in this set just simply started off with, for example, "Answer the following about Argentinian literature, for 10 points each." Perfect. I don't need two sentences about Borges, then another long sentence of clues before it finally asks you to give his name. Just get to the important stuff. This set did that, it made rounds so incredibly quickly, and it made teams and moderators happy.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 2:30 pm
by lchen
nadph wrote:Is it standard practice to use Leon Foucault (Foucault's Pendulum) as a giveaway for Michel Foucault? I haven't seen it done before...
Whoops, it must have slipped my mind that they were two different people... :oops:
But yeah, I agree that it wasn't too great of a giveaway and probably shouldn't have been written for this set. It was originally written for the second finals packet, then moved to the first finals packet before the last mirror. I don't think it was played at any of the mirrors, so thankfully no one was tripped up by that.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 5:41 pm
by Charbroil
We've been using this set for moderator practice, and I second the comments about bonus variability. On the other hand, the tossups are really well done--they do a good job of being reasonably difficult questions on easy answers.

Incidentally, the Mohammed bonus in the second packet contains a factual error--the trip to Medina occurred in 622, not 662 as asserted in the packet.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:09 pm
by ryandillon
Just would like to say thanks for the shout out to my main man Heinrich Boll.

Awesome set btw.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:41 pm
by Rompimientos del Centauro
ryandillon wrote:Just would like to say thanks for the shout out to my main man Heinrich Boll.
In retrospect that tossup probably did not belong in a regular difficulty set and should have been put in the finals.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 8:49 pm
by at your pleasure
I think it was in the finals. I definitely rember it coming up in the finals at VCU.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 9:02 pm
by Twelve Doors of Mali
I think it was in the finals. I definitely rember it coming up in the finals at VCU.
At the VCU mirror, the finals were Round 10. There are 14 packets in the set, though.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Thu May 06, 2010 3:16 pm
by Gautam
Charbroil wrote:We've been using this set for moderator practice, and I second the comments about bonus variability. On the other hand, the tossups are really well done--they do a good job of being reasonably difficult questions on easy answers.

Incidentally, the Mohammed bonus in the second packet contains a factual error--the trip to Medina occurred in 622, not 662 as asserted in the packet.
To clarify, I'm pretty sure it was 632.

We went through this set for a little while, and it seemed mostly fine. There were a few questions which were out there in terms of difficulty level, and some which seemed to lack a proper easy/medium part (like the bonus on Herman Wouk/Doctorow/Miller), but most seemed okay.

--Gautam

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Thu May 06, 2010 3:57 pm
by Cheynem
It's not bad, but it's kind of odd that the trash seems to be heavily '80s, early '90s topics.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Fri May 07, 2010 1:59 am
by gyre and gimble
I'm thinking a tossup on Panipat might be too difficult for this level. Maybe I wasn't paying attention or maybe I just don't know enough about Indian history in general (I don't) but I've never seen it come up as a TU answer at high school difficulty.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Fri May 07, 2010 9:44 am
by Rompimientos del Centauro
Sorry about the questionable tossups and fluctuating bonuses, we'll work on that for next year. We will also fact-check more carefully to avoid errors.

Re: Prison Bowl III discussion

Posted: Fri May 07, 2010 10:27 am
by Deviant Insider
Overall, the difficulty level was very good. This set had the highest tossup conversion rate of any set used in Illinois this year--close to 95%. While the field was strong because it was split, with only the top half using this set, the field was not over-the-top incredible--my one-man team was missing our one man, and we beat three teams and took another to overtime.