Welcome to the 2011 SCT discussion

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Welcome to the 2011 SCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

Welcome to the 2011 SCT thread.

I'd like to thank everyone who helped write, edit, and host this year's SCT.

Update: it's Saturday afternoon, so I'll start adding players to this group as the sites finish up.
Jeff Hoppes
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Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred

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Re: Welcome to the 2011 SCT discussion

Post by Steve Watchorn »

By the way, never mind my post about wanting to be added to this thread. Sorry!
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Re: Welcome to the 2011 SCT discussion

Post by Susan »

No worries; I put some instructions after your post to make sure everyone knew what to do.
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Re: Welcome to the 2011 SCT discussion

Post by Cheynem »

My quick, off the cuff thoughts were that this tournament was of a good quality. Answer lines seemed reasonable. The "mischief causing" elements of the distribution were minimized--current events generally hit very notable and important people (rather than just "ELECTION BOWL 2010"); geography, while perhaps tiresomely overpresent at times, did ask about things people would be expected to know about for the most part; and the fringe lit was very much restrained, with an appreciated wiggle room for interesting topics like Damon Runyon.

My biggest issues were in terms of difficulty. This set was pretty hard. It was not so much because of the answer lines (although some of the stuff as third parts for bonuses were too hard). Rather, there seemed to be a large number of bonuses where the easy part seemed needlessly obfuscated or not enough clues were given. If SCT is intended to be a regular difficulty tournament, the easy part of bonuses should be more clearly an easy part, I would say. For example, just looking at packet one:

Philoctetes/Sophocles (off only Philoctetes)/Lemnos are the parts. This is an okay structure I would say, but I am not sure what is supposed to be the easy part. Very few clues are given for the second two parts. Compare this to another bonus from that packet Procopius/Alexiad/Byzantine. Byzantine is a clear easy part with clear easy facts given. Another bonus in which I see no harm in making one part more pronouncedly the easy part is Athens/Cambridge/Graves. Again, I'm not sure what's the easy part--you could give more slamdunk "easy" clues for either Athens or Graves, which I think would be a good move. Those are just examples from the first packet. I feel like teams should have bonus conversions at SCT more in keeping with bonus conversions seen at regular difficulty tournaments throughout the year.
Mike Cheyne
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Re: Welcome to the 2011 SCT discussion

Post by cvdwightw »

I agree somewhere around 100% with Mike. This tournament was a heck of a lot of fun, if a couple of shades more difficult than expected (I suspect that the D1 set was, in fact, well above Regular Difficulty when compared among reasonably-equivalent teams to something like Terrapin, though I haven't run the numbers). I do agree that if NAQT is going to retain below-average non-circuit teams playing in D1, they need to bite the bullet and hand out pity 10s on a lot of bonuses, and make the challenge for experienced/good teams getting 20s and 30s. I believe there's some terrible sports analogy about golf course lengths waiting to be made in regards to this.
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Re: Welcome to the 2011 SCT discussion

Post by Gautam »

To continue tournament discussion a la Bruce, I thought this tournament was more or less unremarkable. I didn't immediately perceive the difficulty to be too hard, but that's probably because a majority of the last few tournaments I've played or been involved with have been on the harder end of the difficulty ladder. I guess in retrospect most of the bonuses were slightly less difficult than MO... the few easier bonuses sprinkled in improved conversion and made it seem even less difficult, though not by that much.

I was annoyed by the distribution of questions within packets quite a few times. I think in most of the games we played, there were few tossups that went dead, so the tossup and bonus number roughly correspond. In such cases, it was really annoying to see a river-geography bonus follow a river-geography tossup, a packet with two element tossups drawing heavily on clues from earth science. I didn't maintain my usual notebook for this tournament, so I'll have to look at the packets themselves to figure out the exact set of instances which bothered me.

I though the CE was mostly all right, though there's some weird things that always seem to show up. This year was surely the year of the opposition party leader bowl, what with tossups on both Milliband and Ignatieff. I guess I was just hoping that we wouldn't see more questions on OPLs of France, Mexico, Germany, Australia, etc.

Rest of the tournament was good. Physics and math were particularly enjoyable, even though they were a little harder than the rest.
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Re: Welcome to the 2011 SCT discussion

Post by setht »

I'm particularly interested in any "take-home messages for producing ICT this year/SCT next year" that people might have to share--things that need work are probably most useful to hear about, but things that went well can also be useful to hear about.

I think a fair number of the complaints I've seen so far about the DI set (e.g. lack of bonus difficulty regularization) can be traced to having so much of the set produced so late in the game; hopefully this will not be the case with ICT and going forward. If anyone is interested in trying to prevent this sort of situation in the future, the most useful thing is probably writing/editing questions for SCT/ICT, but working on lower level stuff is actually also very helpful--I think much of what happened with SCT this year stems from many of NAQT's SCT writers only getting a chance to turn their attentions to SCT after clearing out other sets that were in dire straits shortly before SCT.

Thanks,
-Seth
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Re: Welcome to the 2011 SCT discussion

Post by setht »

setht wrote:I'm particularly interested in any "take-home messages for producing ICT this year/SCT next year" that people might have to share--things that need work are probably most useful to hear about, but things that went well can also be useful to hear about.
Seriously, I'm very interested in any feedback regarding systematic shifts in writing/editing that people would like to see. My impression is that the writing/editing corps for ICT will be largely the same as for SCT, and since I think a lot of the issues with the SCT set came from set editing taking a back seat to writing a lot of the set quite late in the game, I am getting started on working on ICT now (and thank goodness I'm not starting from scratch). So, please post here or email me if you have suggestions on anything that should change for ICT, and please do it sooner rather than later. I am personally interested in feedback regarding DI questions, but I'm sure the folks who are going to work on the DII set would also be glad to hear feedback regarding DII questions.

Thanks,
-Seth
Seth Teitler
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Re: Welcome to the 2011 SCT discussion

Post by Golran »

Not sure where this goes, but I had clicked the get invoice button and it came up with an error- what address do I send the check to? (It'll be in the mail by Tuesday)
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Re: Welcome to the 2011 SCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

Golran wrote:Not sure where this goes, but I had clicked the get invoice button and it came up with an error- what address do I send the check to? (It'll be in the mail by Tuesday)
I believe Chad just dealt with this; any team that would like an invoice and has not received one yet, please email me.
Jeff Hoppes
President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred

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