Penn Bowl XIV

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Dan Greenstein
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Penn Bowl XIV

Post by Dan Greenstein »

As you may have heard (or not heard, considering how mediocre the Penn people have been about making announcements), Penn Bowl XIV is scheduled for today (January 22). Apparently there are about 24 teams attending, which may reduce delays, yadda yadda yadda.

Oh yeah, and a major snowstorm (8-13 inches of snow between mid-morning and midnight) is scheduled to plow into Philadelphia this very day.

Combine that with the yearly security issues at Penn. You probably know from previous years that they have a police officer on premises at all times during the competition, and that lots of doors tend to be locked. Rumor has it there are even more security complications this year.

Discuss and/or predict how many teams will actually show up.
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The Goffman Prophecies
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Post by The Goffman Prophecies »

Here's what I can add:

Penn Security wants a list of all attendees. Nick Walters found out that this was necessary Friday morning (the DAY BEFORE).

The total number of teams is 22 right now, and unless I can convince two of our freshmen to be on a team by themselves, we'll probably be one team of 5 instead of two teams of 3 and 2, respectively. We've had 3 players back out in the last 24 hours, including one around 1am this morning.

I have to leave in about 45 minutes, and I'm seriously doubting that we'll make it back to College Park tonight.
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Rothlover
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Post by Rothlover »

Combined with the one Maryland Drop and Delaware, looks like a field of 20 teams, including a stacked Rochester A.

If things got really miserable, expect a couple of other teams to have issues.

edit: anyone have results yet?
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Post by UFeng »

18 teams actually showed up. It was fine until shortly before lunch when the snow started to come down. The UF folks had no problem with the snow- probably because the novelty is there....

Anyway, with the 18 there were two brackets of 9 and then the top three in each played each other and so forth down the line. In the final round of the tournament UF defeated Rochester for their only loss of the tournament and won Penn Bowl. The UF team received a giant trophy for their win...oh wait, scratch that.
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Post by Rothlover »

Who were on the UF and Rochester teams by any chance, if you know?
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Post by UFeng »

UF
Kevin Comer (who won the tournament's scoring award)
John Allan
Michael Napier
Jeff Zahnen

I know that Rochester had both Bush and Elsner, I don't know anyone else.
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Post by Rothlover »

Anything else to note from the tournament? Individuals, impressive scores, scorers?
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Post by UFeng »

Lots of early buzzes, but primarily because questions had very poor lead ins. The first two playoff packets were hideous...hoses and such which were complicated by the fact that they were egregious buzzer races. Plenty o' repeats- Richard III came up three times and there were other things which indicated a very low (if any) amount of editing.

The playoff packets just came from teams who didn't show up- which makes one wonder what questions were written by the tournament editors (if such people exist). On a high note, the rounds did run very quickly.
Last edited by UFeng on Fri Jan 28, 2005 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by vandyhawk »

The tournament did run pretty quickly once they figured out the re-bracket following 4 last-minute cancellations, but the questions were another story. From what we heard, Samer dumped a bunch of unedited stuff on the Penn folks, who weren't really prepared or experienced enough to edit them. There were some good rounds and some really bad ones as a result, with some buzzer races early on and others leaving you baffled as to how that question could just have been read at a major tournament. It was difficult to get in a rhythm, and I think the highest individual score was 53 ppg as a result of all that. It was also very difficult to distinguish amonst the teams, as we finished 5th in our bracket despite having considerably better bonus conversion than two teams finishing ahead of us (I only know this b/c I had to lend my computer to them to do stats since they discovered they couldn't install SQBS on the HQ's comp, and I had the program on my laptop). Fortunatley security turned out to be much more lenient than imagined at first, and we were able to go in and out without any problem. Oh yeah, I'm wondering what happened to some of the submitted packets...neither ours nor Rochester A's were used - apparently some got lost in the transfer from Samer to Penn or something, so there should have been some higher quality questions available instead of hearing multiple "name the obscure pope from years" and similar stuff in the playoffs. Anyway, it seems like the Penn people tried to do the best they could under the circumstances, but the lack of experienced editing was a major downfall.
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Post by Rothlover »

If they were done on your laptop, do you have the stats by any chance?
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Post by vandyhawk »

I do, but I emailed them to the Penn guys, and I'll let them post them since it was their tournament...
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Post by The Goffman Prophecies »

UFeng wrote:UF
Kevin Comer (who won the tournament's scoring award)
John Allan
Michael Napier
Jeff Zahnen

I know that Rochester had both Bush and Elsner, I don't know anyone else.
Fred, Micha and Gordon were all there. I slept through our match with them, so I don't know who the fourth was.
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Post by mrsmiley4 »

Yeah... kinda less than impressed with the editing job done at this tournament. As much as I like Richard III (the man and the play) there was really no reason to have three tossups on the man (I believe there was a bonus on Bosworth Field as well). There were, admittedly, some decent packets interspersed here and there, but as far as consistency went the tournament was sort of lacking-- lots of repeats, uneven distributions (there were at least three packets in which science questions were severely underrepresented), poor wording, non-pyramidal clues, and at least one packet where the bonus-writing procedure seems to have been to look at some lists and copy off some factoids. (I would like to second the disbelief at the Obscure Popes by Years of Reign bonus, as the only reason that we got any points on that at all was by random guessing.)

I realize that to some extent the problems with editing were not the fault of PADT what with the last minute hand-off and all, and that there's only so much you can do with some packets (um, including the Maryland packet... yes, we are ashamed). Actually, moreover, considering how many rounds we played the tournament proceeded in a fairly efficient manner. At the same time, I think that the teams that braved the blizzard might have been better served had Penn decided to postpone the tourney and do the editing properly rather than run it off the half-assed packets that we actually got this weekend.
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Matt Weiner
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Post by Matt Weiner »

I was emailed stats for the prelims; here they are until Penn puts them up.

http://www.hsquizbowl.org/Penn%20Bowl%2 ... dings.html
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Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure our three losses (Rochester, UF, and Yale C) was good enough for third, but since playoff records weren't kept, it's kind of a moot point.

I'll also agree with the general consensus that the questions were a bit dissapointing (what with the buzzer races, repeats, and whatnot). One can only hope that this was just a temporary setback, and that perhaps Penn would be willing to consider contracting outside help with editing well in advance next year, in order to keep it running at a decent level. I do have to commend them on the logistics, though; delays between rounds were less then I've ever noticed them to be; perhaps a smaller Penn Bowl may be better.
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Post by Leo Wolpert »

benjaminthedonkey wrote:One can only hope that this was just a temporary setback, and that perhaps Penn would be willing to consider contracting outside help with editing well in advance next year, in order to keep it running at a decent level.
I actually heard that they refused outside help from no fewer than two people who offered it. I don't know why they didn't accept. After all, nobody was holding a gun to their heads, am i rite?
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An apology

Post by samer »

I simply want to apologize to those teams that showed up and were less than impressed with the question quality.

The main reason why postponing was our last option was that at least one school (Florida) was flying in.

As of the Sunday before the tournament, I expected to have a good 20-30 hours over the next four days to do editing. Unfortunately, life decided otherwise; it was one thing after another.

In retrospect, I should have handled things differently. To those teams that were disappointed, I'm sorry.
samer dot ismail -at- gmail dot com / Samer Ismail, PACE co-founder, NAQT editor
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