College History Bowl 2015 announcement

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College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:55 pm

This tournament will be held on Sunday, March 29 (the day after ICT) at Georgia Tech. The set will be co-written by a team including myself and Mike Cheyne. Style, distribution, and difficulty will be quite similar to the widely lauded 2014 set. Standard ACF rules will apply, with the sole exception that tossups will have powermarks worth 15 points. The set will be 16 packets in length, with the plan to reserve 3 for finals/tiebreakers and play as many of the remaining 13 for the whole field as the field size allows, format-wise.

Cost: $225 base cost per team
Discounts: -$75 for being a solo team
-$50 for providing a competent reader (someone who can run a room by him/herself to the standard of competently reading a game in 30 minutes; this discount is for people who traveled to Atlanta with your team at your team's expense and may not be claimed for anyone else without prior permission from me)
-$10 for providing a working (see NAQT definition) buzzer system

You may apply multiple staff and buzzer discounts, so long as all staff meet the listed criteria and all buzzers are working systems, until your fee drops to $0. You cannot have a "negative fee."

The tournament will be held in the Chemical Engineering building at Georgia Tech. It is possible to walk to this area from the ICT hotel, which is just under 2 miles away. Those who do not wish to walk may travel by cab or bus for a nominal amount. Thus, we do not plan to arrange carpools.

I plan to pre-register teams on Saturday evening immediately following the ICT at the hotel so that Sunday morning can just be a very brief check-in and dealing with any CHB participants who were not present at ICT, followed immediately by starting games at 8:45 AM. Checks should be made out to "National History Bee & Bowl" and are the preferred method of payment. Cash will also be accepted on-site.

Any college team is eligible to play CHB, regardless of your plans to play the ICT, and no pre-qualification is required. High school teams are also permitted to play this tournament, which will not share any question content with this year's NHBB high school sets. However, all teams must consist of eligible players attending the same school; no open/mixed/exhibition teams are permitted.

Please e-mail me at mattweiner.vcu@gmail.com to register for this tournament.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 (basic announcement)

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:30 pm

I figured this would happen, but this definitely made my day. Thanks for putting this together again, Matt & co.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 (basic announcement)

Post by Sam » Wed Nov 26, 2014 8:13 am

Is there a plan to have an open online (or offline) mirror of this as there was last year?
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 (basic announcement)

Post by bradleykirksey » Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:44 pm

We're really looking forward to this tournament.

Do you have a ballpark figure about how much it'll cost yet?
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:24 am

Full information has been added to the original post in the thread.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Cheynem » Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:11 pm

I should begin playtesting my questions fairly soon--let me know if you are definitely not going to be playing this or any possible open/online mirrors (and, of course, have some experience in playing or writing history questions).

In the interest of open disclosure, the set is currently 25% done, but we are moving at an extremely rapid pace (almost all of that was completed in a couple weeks). Provided our current pace continues (and it should actually escalate), this set should be finished on time.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 (basic announcement)

Post by Great Bustard » Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:49 am

Sam wrote:Is there a plan to have an open online (or offline) mirror of this as there was last year?
Yes, we will do this. I myself look forward to playing it again, as long as the date works. It would be good to do this prior to NHBB high school Nationals for HS teams who are interested in trying a harder set for practice. Date suggestions are welcome - perhaps Easter Saturday (4/4)?
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Great Bustard » Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:51 am

Cheynem wrote:I should begin playtesting my questions fairly soon--let me know if you are definitely not going to be playing this or any possible open/online mirrors (and, of course, have some experience in playing or writing history questions).

In the interest of open disclosure, the set is currently 25% done, but we are moving at an extremely rapid pace (almost all of that was completed in a couple weeks). Provided our current pace continues (and it should actually escalate), this set should be finished on time.
Further to this, I will guarantee this set is done and edited on time, and will take all necessary measures to ensure it. People can book flights with that in mind.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 (basic announcement)

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:23 pm

Great Bustard wrote:
Sam wrote:Is there a plan to have an open online (or offline) mirror of this as there was last year?
Yes, we will do this. I myself look forward to playing it again, as long as the date works. It would be good to do this prior to NHBB high school Nationals for HS teams who are interested in trying a harder set for practice. Date suggestions are welcome - perhaps Easter Saturday (4/4)?
I don't have a particular date to suggest, but I would guess it would be better to do this on a Sunday when there are fewer other quizbowl tournaments conflicting with it.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:37 pm

Maybe it's just because I've been out of the loop at Tech for a few years, but which chemical engineering building are we talking about here? I don't have anything to do with this tournament, but I figure others might need that clarified.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by adamsil » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:55 pm

Farrah, it's Ford (ES&T). As the point contact at GT, I can provide directions to teams as needed.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:40 am

Could we get a field update?
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Cheynem » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:09 am

As you have probably heard, Matt Weiner's resignation from quizbowl is a thing and will at the bare minimum significantly affect this set.

Here's a honest summary of how we got to be here.

In the summer, Matt asked me to work on a "team" writing Collegiate History Bowl. I received no information about this for many months. In December or January, he finally got the QEMS2 distro/set up and it was clear that I was the only other person on the "team." I said I would write half of the set and he said that was fine, I could write whatever I wanted, and he would write the rest as it was his full time job. I expressed some concerns about this, suggested we should bring some more people aboard, and was assured it was fine. I told Matt I would probably write mostly American history and that certain topics (classics, Asian history) he would have to write by himself. He said fine.

I began writing and finished 170 bonuses (about half) and began working on 170 tossups. By the time I finished 80 tossups and 170 bonuses, Matt had written only two tossups. I posted a note about our progress on the forums, I sent an e-mail to Dave Madden half quizzically inquiring about what guarantees were in place, and still, roughly three weeks away from completion (this is not counting any editing), we were sitting at about 37% completion. Not good.

I say this not to impugn Matt necessarily, but just to say the facts. This set was already on the wobbly road to completion prior to Matt quitting, as it would require a doable if rather herculean writing and editing performance before then.

I am currently talking with Matt Jackson and Dave Madden about what to do with this. I want to be honest because I am the one who has had the most to do with this set (not Matt Weiner, not Dave Madden, me):

I think this set would be best served being rescheduled/delayed. I have had several people graciously volunteer to write about 40 or so questions (Mike Bentley, Matt Jackson, Ike Jose). I am sure if we pooled our resources, we could complete a set, but I am reluctant about such a hodgepodge, largely unedited set being a tournament that would decide a national championship and that teams would pay money to play. Furthermore, my own mental state is largely exhausted by this project; I'm not up to writing anything more than the 90 tossups I promised to write, and I have no time or interest in editing any of this together to make a consistent state of quality or difficulty. Furthermore, I wonder if everyone's team could be better spent on other things, such as NSC, NASAT, ICT, ACF Nationals, HSNCT, etc.

What I think we have is just the mother of all extenuating circumstances; when a head editor disappears of a housewritten tournament, you're in trouble. We could finish something, but I have my doubts as to the quality. And to be frank, I don't have the time or energy to wrangle it.

What I DO have though is again, more than a third, almost a half of a tournament's worth of questions. This would be an excellent foundation for a future Collegiate History Bowl (next year, with a proper team) or some sort of summer History Open that can be appended as an event to whatever materializes (which if run in the summer, I would be willing to write the whole thing with the additional time).

None of this is set in stone right now, as I said but I wanted to get my feelings out because I have already had people e-mailing me, volunteering to write questions, which I truly appreciate. However, speaking as the person most informed about this project, I would suggest rescheduling it. I am sympathetic to teams already blowing money on hotels/flights and I'm sorry about that if you end up screwed out of it (I share your pain, as I'm going to be screwed out of lots of money too!). If there is a surplus of teams who have already done this, I would be more inclined to give them something.

I regret what has happened and invite people to give feedback here or privately.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by theMoMA » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:16 am

I agree with Mike 100%. What he's not saying should hopefully be obvious to everyone else: Mike has put a lot of work into writing a bunch of great questions, and they don't deserve to be spoiled on a thrown-together event.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Cheynem » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:57 am

For those who didn't want to read all of the above missive, here's my five main reasons why I think this tournament should be rescheduled/cancelled. Two are selfish, three are not.

1. All of the planning for the tournament aspects of it was being done by Matt. I don't even know who's registered for it! I know Georgia Tech was handling the facilities side of it, but we'd have to get a new TD, staff wrangler, etc.

2. The tournament, even if people chipped in to finish the missing 170/170, would have a feeling of variability in difficulty and quality and one not well suited to require teams to pay so much and compete for a national championship on.

3. There are more pressing projects to work on. I myself could be working on MUT and NASAT, not to mention ICT, ACF Nationals, NSC, people's other collegiate tournaments, etc.

4. I'd selfishly prefer to use my questions for an event I could be at and could have more time/ability to work on.

5. I selfishly do not wish to work on this set anymore and was on the verge of rage-quitting it myself before this week.

I have had a lot of people offering their help and requesting that this set continue. I genuinely appreciate it! I'm also genuinely sorry that it's come to this. If enough people are really interested in saving this set and if the teams involved are okay with what will assuredly be a hodgepodge completed project, I guess I can live with that. But I've explained why I think doing such a thing is not the best idea.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:07 am

In keeping with the unnumbered point Mike just made, he has graciously permitted me to make the following post.

I am willing to contribute to a group effort if there's enough determination that this tournament should or must go on, to the tune of 40-50 questions with some dust-up comments on other people's stuff. I think that a decent number of experienced retiree writers exist out in the world for such a group to materialize if there is willpower, and suspect that such a group, commenting on each other's work, could produce a solidly playable set. However, I don't want to strain Mike's patience or make him keep doing this if a big groundswell of willpower doesn't materialize. I could just as well concede that this tournament is a lost cause (more even-handedly: I see that this a low enough priority for the community at large that it's not a worthwhile use of resources over the next three weeks if most people, myself included, are otherwise strained on more important projects).

If you ARE a groundswell of willpower, or would like to be, please email me at REDACTED, CCing Dave Madden at director@historybowl.com some time within the next 48 hours; let me know who you are, what your past experience writing hard questions is, and how many questions you expect you could contribute between now and March 22.

I make no promises that this event will or won't get cancelled (I'm literally not anything w/r/t this tournament) but I am willing to gather info to that extent as a favor to Mike and Dave as determinations continue about what to do.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Cheynem » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:50 am

How any teams are even signed up for this?
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:56 am

Cheynem wrote:How [m]any teams are even signed up for this?
I suspect that we'll have to wait to hear from Dave about the logistical side of things. Speaking personally, I booked a flight late Sunday so I could help staff this event and that hasn't changed.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:15 am

I tend to agree with Mike's rationale for postponing the tournaments, especially on the "effort spent throwing this together could be better funneled toward the many other tournaments that could use it" front--especially given that the specific events that have left this tournament in the lurch have left many others, affecting greater numbers of teams, in similar situations.

I am loath to suggest anything that would distract collegiate teams from completing and submitting their ACF Nationals packets (HINT HINT) but perhaps some sort of guerrilla tournament could be run after ICT? I'd be pretty satisfied even just having the day to hang out in Atlanta, but if people want a tournament to play, the community certainly has the power to generate one, using less effort overall than would be required to write half of CHB to the expected level of quality.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:17 am

If this was rescheduled past the end of the academic year, would it have similar past roster clauses that were put in place at 2014 CHB after 2013 CHB did not take place?
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:28 am

Ukonvasara wrote:I am loath to suggest anything that would distract collegiate teams from completing and submitting their ACF Nationals packets (HINT HINT) but perhaps some sort of guerrilla tournament could be run after ICT? I'd be pretty satisfied even just having the day to hang out in Atlanta, but if people want a tournament to play, the community certainly has the power to generate one, using less effort overall than would be required to write half of CHB to the expected level of quality.
We'd definitely be in for something like this. It seems like there are enough teams that have submitted their Nationals packets to make a guerrilla tournament workable and non-distracting.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Cheynem » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:36 am

Here's some raw numbers to chew on if you have or are thinking about e-mailing Matt/Dave:

We need 255/167 left to be finished in about three weeks (not counting any editing). The largest categories with holes are Greek history (17/17), Roman/Byzantine (16/9), Russian/Eastern (16/14), Euro 1401-1788 (16/13), Euro 1789-1932 (16/11), and East Asia (16/13).

Having had some time to sleep and process this and having been told by Dave that he'll defer to Matt Jackson and my decision, I will say this, in particular directing this at teams who were planning on playing it:

We can finish a set. A team of me, Matt Jackson, Ike Jose, Will Alston, Cory Haala, Bruce Arthur, and maybe Cory Haala have agreed to write some combination of questions. Is that what teams playing this want, though? To decide a national title on a rushed set with little full editing? A similar collapse happened last year with DEES which also required a herculean amount of questions in a three week span (but had the benefit of packet submission)--it received praise but also I think some implied acknowledgment that it wasn't the best it could have been.

I have also been in communication with Adam Silverman of Georgia Tech, who said that for what it's worth, a guerrilla tournament would be unlikely to use Georgia Tech's facilities to the vast cost in renting rooms. He also noted some "unavoidable logistical issues" in using GT's buildings and the fact that currently GT was providing "0 staff" (to be very clear, none of this is GT's fault in anyway; Adam had told Matt, the TD, about this a long time ago). This also creates another headache in that we don't just need someone to write a set, we need someone to serve as a TD, staff coordinator, and financial reimbursor for Georgia Tech as it is unlikely anyone on their end can do it. Adam was also clear that they remain committed to running CHB if necessary.

My recommendation remains that we simply reschedule this. If Dave wants to persist in running a College History Bowl, I'd be happy to recruit people and conduct a less rushed, high quality writing process that will produce a set for next year that can even use some fudged eligibility. If we want to pull the plug on this project in the absence of Matt Weiner (note that CHB has now been dramatically kneecapped at the last minute two out of its four years of existence, this might be a sign), I'd be happy to write the whole thing myself and run it as a summer open with no eligibility constraints.

Again, I'm most interested in hearing from the people who actually are playing the tournament.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:30 am

For the sake of maximum transparency, to add to the above: From what I hear Madden is busy until Monday and no final announcement or decision will be made either way until then. As such it is very important that all people who might be interested in helping get to me and Dave over the next day.
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by grapesmoker » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:16 am

I am not involved in this tournament in any way, neither as a writer nor, obviously as a player. I'm just a guy who's written lots of questions in my life, for what that's worth. I would suggest to people that they would receive a better tournament experience from an event whose completion was not rushed in the final weeks; tournaments like this, with multiple writers spanning multiple topics (even within the same general discipline) really benefit from the opportunity to do a twice-over and get feedback about questions. That won't happen with a tournament that gets thrown together at the last moment, and that's not at all a reflection on the excellent writing team. In addition, the logistical issues are going to make putting this event on a real hassle. I think everyone would be better served by giving Mike and the rest of the crew time to write, edit, and organize a high-quality event sometime next year than by an event that this already-overworked group would be able to put together in the short time remaining in the current season.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Galadedrid Damodred » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:41 pm

I support both the idea of delaying College History Bowl to 2016 and the idea of running a guerrilla tournament the day after ICT. The former will result in a higher quality set and a more fulfilling national championship experience (especially with relaxed eligibility requirements to allow people graduating this year to play CHB next year), while the latter will give everyone who already made plans to leave on Sunday evening the opportunity to participate in a fun quizbowl event that day.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:53 pm

I have received permission to relay the following official message from David Madden, who does not have access to the forums at this juncture:
David Madden wrote:Hi guys,
Two points here:
1. The first is that if a critical mass of people have booked flights and non refundable hotel rooms to play the set on Sunday, then I think they, at a minimum, should have a say in this. Not sure what a critical mass is, but say maybe at least 3-4 teams or so. On the other hand, Weiner was handling all of the logistics of this, so I have no idea who actually signed up.
2. The second thing is that I think there very much remains an audience for this and the fact that it might not run 2 out of 4 years is nothing more than a reflection of, and I'm putting this mildly, poor planning on Matt Weiner's part. I do think this is a worthwhile endeavor, and that drawing conclusions off two years of one person's ineptitude doesn't accomplish much.
3. Lastly, I would, however, strongly make the case that whatever writing talent that could go into this somewhat ambivalent effort could be certainly put to good use on lots of remaining NHBB sets, especially Nationals, but also the Olympiad. At this point, I think that would be a better use of people's time.

So, my vote is to cancel unless there's an outcry among those who had signed up, and especially anyone who had paid money to that effect. Feel free to pass along my thoughts to the forums - I'm awol until Monday now with my Asian tournaments to run. -David
As I understand it, a final decision won't be handed down from David Madden until Monday when he gets back, so continue to use this thread to voice your views if you have strong ones either way and he will take them into account.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Great Bustard » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:22 pm

Matthew Jackson wrote:I have received permission to relay the following official message from David Madden, who does not have access to the forums at this juncture:
David Madden wrote:Hi guys,
Three points here:
1. The first is that if a critical mass of people have booked flights and non refundable hotel rooms to play the set on Sunday, then I think they, at a minimum, should have a say in this. Not sure what a critical mass is, but say maybe at least 3-4 teams or so. On the other hand, Weiner was handling all of the logistics of this, so I have no idea who actually signed up.
2. The second thing is that I think there very much remains an audience for this and the fact that it might not run 2 out of 4 years is nothing more than a reflection of, and I'm putting this mildly, poor planning on Matt Weiner's part. I do think this is a worthwhile endeavor, and that drawing conclusions off two years of one person's ineptitude doesn't accomplish much.
3. Lastly, I would, however, strongly make the case that whatever writing talent that could go into this somewhat ambivalent effort could be certainly put to good use on lots of remaining NHBB sets, especially Nationals, but also the Olympiad. At this point, I think that would be a better use of people's time.

So, my vote is to cancel unless there's an outcry among those who had signed up, and especially anyone who had paid money to that effect. Feel free to pass along my thoughts to the forums - I'm awol until Monday now with my Asian tournaments to run. -David
As I understand it, a final decision won't be handed down from David Madden until Monday when he gets back, so continue to use this thread to voice your views if you have strong ones either way and he will take them into account.
Yes, I'll wait until then.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:28 pm

My preference would be for a delay.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:04 pm

David Madden wrote: 1. The first is that if a critical mass of people have booked flights and non refundable hotel rooms to play the set on Sunday, then I think they, at a minimum, should have a say in this. Not sure what a critical mass is, but say maybe at least 3-4 teams or so. On the other hand, Weiner was handling all of the logistics of this, so I have no idea who actually signed up.
That describes our situation. Again, I can only speak for us, but we budgeted for this tournament's registration fee, and in the case of a guerrilla tournament, could definitely cough up whatever portion of that fee was going to Georgia Tech for facility expenses. It doesn't have to be free.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by minusfive » Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:25 pm

The King's Flight to the Scots wrote:My preference would be for a delay.
I think I speak for several teams (Ottawa, McMaster, and Waterloo) travelling together when I second this. A delay hurts nothing, and could get us a more favorable venue, while rushing this tournament will potentially lead to a sub-optimal tournament and a hefty fee for GT's facilities.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by gyre and gimble » Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:20 pm

Cheynem wrote:My recommendation remains that we simply reschedule this. If Dave wants to persist in running a College History Bowl, I'd be happy to recruit people and conduct a less rushed, high quality writing process that will produce a set for next year that can even use some fudged eligibility. If we want to pull the plug on this project in the absence of Matt Weiner (note that CHB has now been dramatically kneecapped at the last minute two out of its four years of existence, this might be a sign), I'd be happy to write the whole thing myself and run it as a summer open with no eligibility constraints.
I think a delay would be better as well, but like I expressed last year, I'm against fudged eligibility because you're effectively getting rid of any legitimate "2015" or "2016" CHB in favor of a combined one that doesn't reflect the field for any real year. To give what should sound like an extremely selfish example (I'm using it because it works, not because I care a whole lot about it) my team or Maryland would probably be favorites to win in 2016 because Penn and Virginia graduate strong history players, but that would never happen if we implemented 2014 CHB eligibility rules. What I'm trying to say is if you combine two years' worth of tournaments you're screwing up both of them. I'm not trying to back out of playing good teams or anything, I'm just making an argument about what I perceive as an illegitimate tournament practice.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Auroni » Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:24 pm

The King's Flight to the Scots wrote:My preference would be for a delay.
This is our preference as well.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Guile Island » Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:12 pm

From the perspective of someone who had registered for this tournament already: I would rather play a good tournament later than a rushed tournament at the original planned time.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by armitage » Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:34 pm

We'd be interested in a guerrilla event if there's some way to work out rooms, but we'll accept whatever decision the writing team makes.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:42 pm

For selfish reasons, I would find a delay to be nice because it would mean I'd have some chance of playing a physical site of this tournament, though I don't mind (and am even excited by the idea of) working on this project to have it completed by its target date. My main question is, though, how would people propose the final set actually be played? Would it be played at a series of regional sites, or would there be some effort to organize an actual national championship, requiring people to make additional flight/travel plans? I personally would still really like to see this tournament end up being an actual history competition between college teams as intended and not as a summer open event (though that would be fun).
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Cheynem » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:00 pm

The simplest solution would be just to push this back until presumably ICT weekend 2016 with no qualifiers necessary and probably some fudged eligibility, although we certainly can discuss Stephen's points.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by AKKOLADE » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:33 pm

Matthew Jackson wrote:
David Madden wrote:2. The second thing is that I think there very much remains an audience for this and the fact that it might not run 2 out of 4 years is nothing more than a reflection of, and I'm putting this mildly, poor planning on Matt Weiner's part. I do think this is a worthwhile endeavor, and that drawing conclusions off two years of one person's ineptitude doesn't accomplish much.
While there's no way to downplay Weiner's massive screw up here, and I'm sure as hell not going to do it, I think it's foolish to assign this 100% to him. If your plan was "have Matt Weiner write like 95% of every single NHBB question" with Weiner's track record of screwing up writing projects that he's clearly trying to Leeroy Jenkins like a dumb ass, then you might want to sit down and do what you can to make sure you never come up with a plan that bad again.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:56 pm

Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon wrote:
Matthew Jackson wrote:
David Madden wrote:2. The second thing is that I think there very much remains an audience for this and the fact that it might not run 2 out of 4 years is nothing more than a reflection of, and I'm putting this mildly, poor planning on Matt Weiner's part. I do think this is a worthwhile endeavor, and that drawing conclusions off two years of one person's ineptitude doesn't accomplish much.
While there's no way to downplay Weiner's massive screw up here, and I'm sure as hell not going to do it, I think it's foolish to assign this 100% to him. If your plan was "have Matt Weiner write like 95% of every single NHBB question" with Weiner's track record of screwing up writing projects that he's clearly trying to Leeroy Jenkins like a dumb ass, then you might want to sit down and do what you can to make sure you never come up with a plan that bad again.
Yeah after this, if it wasn't obvious after CHB 2013, no tournaments of this scale and importance should ever be assigned to a single person ever again.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Cheynem » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:22 am

Yes, assuming this will be delayed, what I would plan to do would be:

*find a series of co-editors and writers that match the needs in the set
*plan on extensively writing in the summer and fall
*be able to playtest and edit in the spring leading up to the tournament
*setting up a series of deadlines and transparency to reassure teams

I don't want to pick on Dave too much, but I think he should have been more vigilant of this project. I have no idea what assurances he was getting from Matt that led him to guarantee completion, but it wasn't enough.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Great Bustard » Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:09 pm

As mentioned, I'll respond when I have more time next week. There were a lot more specifics here, and at the risk of telling people how to post, I kindly ask that people reserve judgment until all the pertinent facts are aired.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:50 pm

Great Bustard wrote:As mentioned, I'll respond when I have more time next week. There were a lot more specifics here, and at the risk of telling people how to post, I kindly ask that people reserve judgment until all the pertinent facts are aired.
I can only hope this doesn't go down the "here is my diary entry about Greg Bossick" route again.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by DumbJaques » Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:41 pm

I doubt anyone wanted to play this tournament a great deal more than I did. That said, I agree that having people to cobble together an entire set in three weeks is not viable. At the same time, I absolutely agree with Dave Madden that CHB is really important and can be a great part of quizbowl. Unfortunately I have real concerns about how seriously it will be taken if there's a second great disaster.

I have one idea that I think might be worth thinking about; if it still doesn't seem like a great plan, hey, we all get it. But I think it might have a shot:

The biggest problem with crowdsourcing a tournament like this (in a thankfully less frantic analog to what happened this weekend finishing the NHBB set) is that many of the people who you'd call on for that are playing. To me, the natural fix to this seems to be organizing a heroic packet submission effort. This is, to be clear, NOT the case for a guerrilla tournament as people have suggested. Indeed, my hope is that by drawing on submissions we could free up the editors (Matt? Mike?) to create a decently polished set. There are a few potential issues with this:
-It's late in the game for packet submission: Sure is, but this is the most extraordinary of extraordinary circumstances. I think we could get something together from most teams within a week (so by the end of next weekend), leaving the editors two weeks to put them together. That isn't easy but it's doable, if and only if enough contributors come out of the woodwork this weekend.
-Can we expect teams to really submit whole packets in a week? Maybe not. It might have to be fewer than whole packets. Half packets are incredibly more doable, even for teams without 4 real capable history writers). 12/12 in a week for 3-4 people is pretty doable, and I for one can commit to that even if my teammates write literally nothing.
-But we don't know how many teams are coming: Yeah, that's a real problem. We need to figure that out. This whole plan might just not be workable, because half packets won't be enough given who's playing.
What about repeats? You could solve this either by assigning teams certain answer lines (if you're the "pick all answerlines first" kind of editing crew) or just dealing with it. Given that many of the questions to be written are in categories that are almost totally blank, it seems like this could be dealt with somewhat by the distribution.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT THING HERE: Have teams who are submitting packets IMMEDIATELY send you an answer distribution, that you can then share with all the free agent contributors to avoid repeats on that end. If editors are so inclined, this could also enable them to say "don't write that because it's impossible."
-(And this is my favorite point) But people will just write a bunch of fucking Tricon garbage for this: I'd like to propose that, for this one tournament, quizbowl's status symbol be moved by popular acclamation from writing really hard stuff on crazy shit to writing really good tossups on important things. Demonstrate your historical knowledge and writing ability by giving the editors something they can really work with. Don't write about what "needs to come up more," or your 4th-favorite Canadian cabinet member from 1941-1942. Write good questions and show off that you can write good questions, because otherwise you won't get a tournament.

I think the above represents the only path to a good 2015 History Bowl. Other paths will result in a bad 2015 tournament (which we all seem to agree is least optimal), or perhaps a good History Bowl that isn't actually 2015 (or equally bad, as Stephen says, is never actually 2016) - or, maybe more likely, no History Bowl at all.

That said, though this path is probably the best one, it may well not be good enough. That's fine, and we all understand what the limitations are. But I think it's worth a good think by everyone.

Oh, and for god's sake's, email or post if you'd been planning on playing this tournament (and also if you'd be willing to write, say, 12/12 by next weekend).
Chicago planned on coming; I would write 12/12 excellent questions for this tournament.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:01 pm

As I just said in the IRC, I tend to think people should stop trying to force CHB to happen this year when (a) the remaining person in charge of it clearly does not want it to and (b) working out logistics for it this year, on this short notice, seems prohibitively difficult. While it's nice to see such an outpouring of support and interest, I think people are overlooking the non-"more questions are needed" problems. I think it'd really be in the community's best interest to turn the focus of their altruism and writing efforts to the many other current projects that need it, and run a full, properly done CHB next year (probably with some eligibility changes, I'd imagine--perhaps something involving crowning a currently-enrolled and an "open" champion, maybe?).

Now, some sassier comments:

Perhaps the members of Chicago's A team should redirect their desire to write "12/12 excellent questions" to their ACF Nationals packet, which as far as I know we have not yet received.

I remember now! It's "how dare you impugn the great name of Tricon". Kind of an anticlimax, but whatever.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:15 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:As I just said in the IRC, I tend to think people should stop trying to force CHB to happen this year when (a) the remaining person in charge of it clearly does not want it to and (b) working out logistics for it this year, on this short notice, seems prohibitively difficult. While it's nice to see such an outpouring of support and interest, I think people are overlooking the non-"more questions are needed" problems. I think it'd really be in the community's best interest to turn the focus of their altruism and writing efforts to the many other current projects that need it, and run a full, properly done CHB next year (probably with some eligibility changes, I'd imagine--perhaps something involving crowning a currently-enrolled and an "open" champion, maybe?).

Now, some sassier comments:

Perhaps the members of Chicago's A team should redirect their desire to write "12/12 excellent questions" to their ACF Nationals packet, which as far as I know we have not yet received.

I forgot what the other one was but I'll edit it in here if I remember it and NO ONE WILL BE THE WISER
this is a good post, except for that last part because you just got ownnnnnnned
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by DumbJaques » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:18 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
Perhaps the members of Chicago's A team should redirect their desire to write "12/12 excellent questions" to their ACF Nationals packet, which as far as I know we have not yet received.
As the next deadline for ACF Nationals is March 15 and the proposed deadline for this would be after that (and considering the 12/12 in question is actually already done), this is irrelevant even if engaging in Weinerian conflation weren't beneath both you and the validity of your major point about what quizbowl should focus on.
Ukonvasara wrote:As I just said in the IRC, I tend to think people should stop trying to force CHB to happen this year when (a) the remaining person in charge of it clearly does not want it to and (b) working out logistics for it this year, on this short notice, seems prohibitively difficult. While it's nice to see such an outpouring of support and interest, I think people are overlooking the non-"more questions are needed" problems. I think it'd really be in the community's best interest to turn the focus of their altruism and writing efforts to the many other current projects that need it, and run a full, properly done CHB next year (probably with some eligibility changes, I'd imagine--perhaps something involving crowning a currently-enrolled and an "open" champion, maybe?).
Look, this is completely reasonable. But I have no idea how you came to the conclusion I was trying to "force" CHB to happen this year when I explicitly said I saw only a single possible path for that to happen, but fully acknowledged that path might not be viable anyway and that everyone would understand if that were the case. I don't see anything particularly objectionable here.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:25 pm

I think you're taking my main point more personally than I intended, but that's my fault for not making it more clear--the idea was that many people, you included, are putting a lot of variously-directed sound-and-fury effort into trying to organize writers for a tournament that I'm pretty sure Mike doesn't want to oversee the rushed completion of, and would rather finish out at a better pace for a later date. There's nothing wrong with you making your suggestion, and I have nothing against you personally; I was just providing a voice for the "delay" side.

As to your other point, I think accusing me of "Weinerian conflation" is beneath *you*. A somewhat fairer, less deliberately pithy version of what I said might go something like this: quizbowl as a whole tends to have something of an issue with priorities and not taking on more work than it can handle--a leading theory for how this issue with CHB came up in the first place! My advice, patronizing as it may sound, is to focus on the tasks in front of you before volunteering for others. In conclusion, submit your ACF Nats packets!
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Cheynem » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:29 pm

Chris' argument would make sense if there were editors.

There aren't.

I explicitly told Matt Weiner way back when I was not an editor, I was just going to write questions. There aren't any editors for this set. I don't have time to cull repeats, share answer lines with teams, and remove ridiculous ideas. Matt Jackson isn't an editor; he just happened to e-mail Dave Madden. While I agree with Chris' idea in principle, the fact there are no editors in charge of this set means that if anything is going to happen, it's basically going to be a series of people flinging in questions at the last minute. I doubt either myself or Matt Jackson want to be in charge of coordinating packet submissions.

(This would be a decent idea for a future History Bowl event)
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by DumbJaques » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:03 am

I think I misread the situation to be that you couldn't edit because of how much writing requirements you also had, and that Matt was potentially available to edit. Looking back nothing really suggests that to be the case; consequently my proposal doesn't work, and I revert to the other position I indicated - there is no other good path to making this tournament happen on its original date.

Perhaps there's a possibility of running this as a day-after event at some end-of-the-year high school event that needs lots of staffers (I'm not sure if such an event exists). But that may not give people enough time to get everything together even then, and this would of course only hold if it could happen without impacting other events.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Ike » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:49 am

Ukonvasara wrote:... In conclusion, submit your ACF Nats packets!
I wrote questions for ICT all week because I don't have any nationals packets to edit. I am currently writing tossups for ACFNATIONALS because I have no team questions to edit. Outside of one to two days of work of touch-ups on my q's, I do not have stuff that I could be doing (except trying to organize a playtesting session I guess, but that requires a couple days notice at the minimum for those who want to playtest.) If I don't receive any packets by the next deadline, I'm booking a ticket to Aruba. Hell isn't other people, it's when you find out that all tossup 20s at Nationals is on Dog with a Blog, which Mattbo has since memorized to perfection, all because I decided to spite everyone for not submitting a packet on time but trying to cobble together something for CHB.
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Re: College History Bowl 2015 announcement

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:15 am

Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon wrote:
Great Bustard wrote:As mentioned, I'll respond when I have more time next week. There were a lot more specifics here, and at the risk of telling people how to post, I kindly ask that people reserve judgment until all the pertinent facts are aired.
I can only hope this doesn't go down the "here is my diary entry about Greg Bossick" route again.
I agree with this sentiment and strongly suggest that you [Dave Madden] share ONLY what you believe is utterly necessary for the quick regeneration of consumer confidence. I suspect that this can be accomplished in two or three sentences, such as "Matt Weiner was supposed to write all of NHBB and/or subcontract out parts of sets as he saw fit. He was not able to do so with the diligence that I needed. He then quit, and other plans are in the works for future years."
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
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