General 2012 DI SCT thoughts here

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General 2012 DI SCT thoughts here

Post by theMoMA » Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:08 pm

This year's SCT was edited by Jeff Hoppes, Andy Watkins, and me. Jeff and Andy put in a ton of work and deserve a lion's share of the credit for any success this tournament enjoyed. I'm also very grateful to our subject editors and writers, in particular Andrew Yaphe, Seth Teitler, and Selene Koo, who all wrote many questions and edited many more, all of them excellent. I would be remiss without mentioning R. Hentzel, Chad Kubicek, Ken Jennings, Samer Ismail, and Matt Bruce, who all helped us out (and many of whom worked on the DII set that, from what I've heard, was very well-received). Finally, Kyle Haddad-Fonda, Matt Weiner and Jonathan Magin stepped up and wrote clutch questions down the stretch, for which we are incredibly grateful.

This was my first experience working on a large NAQT editing project, and it was a good one. There are a few differences between editing for NAQT and editing a circuit tournament, but my impression was overall positive. I encourage anyone interested in editing to consider working for NAQT.

My main goals, when editing, were:

1. To reject questions that I thought didn't tested for knowledge that at least some segment of people care about, or that I thought were simply too hard.
2. To get all questions up to the basic par of containing pronouns in every sentence. I noticed maybe two sentences that evaded my efforts here.
3. To rewrite any tossups that I didn't think would elicit a substantial number of buzzes before "for 10 points" to include more late-middle clues. Reading through the set, there were still some questions that were pretty tough until the giveaway.
4. To rewrite any bonuses that I didn't think had a true easy part to have a true easy part. There were some bonuses that slipped through the cracks.
5. To rewrite any bonuses that had harder-than-usual middle or hard parts. Again, this was not a perfect system.
6. To rewrite questions in NAQT's "classic" categories (geography, mixed, trash, politics, current events) to be significantly easier, and in many cases, more interesting.
7. To get rid of unnecessary or confusing connecting language, especially needless stringing together of sentences with "and."

I would say that I made changes (some of them very minor, some as drastic as entirely rewriting a question) to 95% of the questions in the set. As you can see, most of my editing concentrated on making this tournament easier.

So basically, I'd like to hear what people have to say about the set in general. How did you like the difficulty, the clues, the questions in NAQT's pet categories, etc.?
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Re: General DI set thoughts here

Post by theMoMA » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:37 pm

I'd still be very interested to hear what people have to say about the DI set generally. It seems like most of the commentary has concentrated on DII difficulty and a few specific comments on individual questions to this point, but I'm curious to know what this set can accomplish better in future years.
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Re: General DI set thoughts here

Post by marnold » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:46 pm

Well, if you want me to grasp at straws, I thought the trash was overly TV heavy.
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Re: General DI set thoughts here

Post by theMoMA » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:06 am

marnold wrote:Well, if you want me to grasp at straws, I thought the trash was overly TV heavy.
For reference, TV is guaranteed 5/5 of the pop culture/sports distribution (sports is 8/7, music is 5/5, film is 5/5, computer games is 1/1, Broadway is 1/1, comics is 1/0).

Pop culture-other is 2/2 (those four questions were on poker, pro wrestling, board games, and reddit).

Pop culture-misc is 4/5 (those questions were on movie actors (2), TV anti-drug campaigns, an animated TV character, radio/TV/film westerns, the blues, "angels" (with one or two TV clues)).

It's possible that the pop culture-misc shaded towards TV (4 of the 9 questions had at least one TV clue or part).
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Re: General DI set thoughts here

Post by swwFCqb » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:38 am

Regarding the difficulty, I was personally very pleased with how much it was dialed back from last year, especially on bonuses (it was interesting: when I looked back to last year's stats I noticed that our two-man DI team this year had a higher PPB than last year's four man team). I don't remember hearing very many bonuses without a discernible easy part (the only one I remember thinking that might have been a little tough was the Katherine Anne Porter bonus, but I'm willing to chalk that up to major knowledge gaps), and the medium parts seemed to be much more reasonable this year than last. The tossups, too, were interesting and for the most part accessible. Kudos to the editors and writers for a job well done, especially on an expedited schedule.
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Re: General DI set thoughts here

Post by Cheynem » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:44 am

I don't have a lot of thoughts--it seemed like a very solid, entertaining set. There were a few klunkers that I'll try to explore in the individual question thread, but for the most part it was fine. I thought the trash seemed to vacillate very much from super old stuff to very recent stuff, but everything was generally pretty accessible (the hardest trash part I can recall was having to name Gwen Verdon without Bob Fosse). The trash did a good job by making sure one part was easy, which is nice, because I think NAQT does the "Name these three Chicago Bears..." or "Name these three Adam Sandler movies..." style bonuses a lot.
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Re: General DI set thoughts here

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:23 pm

It's been a while, I know, but I wanted to add if I haven't already that the decrease from 26/26 to 24/24 in the DI packets was a net positive change, in that it increased the likelihood of a more representative share of questions within the constraints of the clock, and made it more likely that the most competitive matches could get through all the questions. (While shaving off a statistically significant number of questions on the writers' end to boot.) Is NAQT planning to make this change for the Division I ICT as well? I encourage it.
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Re: General DI set thoughts here

Post by Important Bird Area » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:34 pm

RyuAqua wrote:Is NAQT planning to make this change for the Division I ICT as well? I encourage it.
Edit: because Jeff can't read

Yes, the ICT will also have 24/24 packets.
Last edited by Important Bird Area on Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: reading comprehension
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Re: General DI set thoughts here

Post by Black-throated Antshrike » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:50 am

bt_green_warbler wrote:
RyuAqua wrote:Is NAQT planning to make this change for the Division I ICT as well? I encourage it.
Edit: because Jeff can't read

Yes, the ICT will also have 24/24 packets.
DII and all other (standard) sets are like this now right?
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Re: General DI set thoughts here

Post by Important Bird Area » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:55 am

Yes. 24 is actually the lower bound on tossups given NAQT's tiebreaker format. (20 for normal games, 3 for tiebreakers, one more in case of moderator error)
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