2016 CO Trash: Conversion stats spreadsheet

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2016 CO Trash: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by theMoMA » Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:42 am

I have compiled detailed (and hopefully interesting) conversion stats based on the scoresheets. You can find it here (you'll need to request access from me).

On the spreadsheet, light orange represents 0-1 standard deviations below mean conversion, darker orange represents 1-2 stdevs, and darkest orange represents 2-3 stdevs below. The analogous color coding holds for light through darkest green (0-1, 1-2, and 2-3 stdevs above, respectively).

There are several tabs across the bottom that display different breakdowns of the data (by packet, by author, by category, etc.). You can feel free to download the sheet and play around with it yourself. (If you come up with anything cool, such as a subcategory breakdown, please email the results to me and I'll put it on the main sheet!)

Let me know if you see any mistakes on the sheet as well.

You shouldn't be able to share the sheet with anyone, but if I mess up and allow sharing, please don't share. This would obviously be a very bad thing for anyone who hasn't already played the set to see.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by theMoMA » Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:53 pm

I believe that everyone who has already requested access to the spreadsheet should have it, but I may have missed some people; if you didn't get approved, send me an email and I'll get you on there.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by theMoMA » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:42 am

I added a tab for subdistro conversion rates among the big-four topics as well.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Habitat_Against_Humanity » Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:04 pm

I'm a little late to the party after returning from vacation, but this sort of thing is really awesome.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Rothlover » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:37 pm

This is indeed fascinating. I wish there were individual stats by category, but I don't think that serves any purpose like set evaluation. I'd have never guessed baseball was by far the lowest scoring distribution. If anything, I'd have guessed the tu answer lines were a bit easy relative to other categories. The power percentage seems about as high as any category though, which makes me think there's a big gap between good baseball players and the average team. A few of the baseball bonuses certainly seemed hard even to my ears though (like the foreign born players bonus, which I believe the other team 0'ed.)
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by theMoMA » Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:28 pm

Naveed and I were discussing the sports conversion, and came to the conclusion that sports players in trash are perhaps like science players in academic quizbowl. That is, it's a category that people who know the other three big-four categories are least likely to know, and a category that teams without a dedicated player who follows the subject are likely to flail at, dragging down conversion by 0ing bonuses and letting tossups go dead.

Looking through the category breakdown, sports questions were powered and 30d at above-average rates, but the overall conversion was dragged down by a high rate of negs, dead tossups, and 0d bonuses. Some of those bonus 0s really shocked me; three rooms, for instance, 0d a bonus that told you every possible clue about Red Grange, including that he went by the first name "Red"; two rooms 0d a bonus whose easy part asked for the team that Jacob DeGrom and Matt Harvey played for; etc.

The takeaway for me is that I should make sure, when writing the next iteration of the event, to be aware that a solid chunk of teams are going to flail at easy parts like "what college did Blake Griffin go to" or "name a Dutch Hall of Famer who played for the Twins." I don't intend to make every easy part touch-your-butt easy in the next iteration, but it's good to know the kinds of easy parts that are relatively difficult for teams that evidently don't have a sports player.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by ryanrosenberg » Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:44 pm

theMoMA wrote:Naveed and I were discussing the sports conversion, and came to the conclusion that sports players in trash are perhaps like science players in academic quizbowl. That is, it's a category that people who know the other three big-four categories are least likely to know, and a category that teams without a dedicated player who follows the subject are likely to flail at, dragging down conversion by 0ing bonuses and letting tossups go dead.

Looking through the category breakdown, sports questions were powered and 30d at above-average rates, but the overall conversion was dragged down by a high rate of negs, dead tossups, and 0d bonuses. Some of those bonus 0s really shocked me; three rooms, for instance, 0d a bonus that told you every possible clue about Red Grange, including that he went by the first name "Red"; two rooms 0d a bonus whose easy part asked for the team that Jacob DeGrom and Matt Harvey played for; etc.

The takeaway for me is that I should make sure, when writing the next iteration of the event, to be aware that a solid chunk of teams are going to flail at easy parts like "what college did Blake Griffin go to" or "name a Dutch Hall of Famer who played for the Twins." I don't intend to make every easy part touch-your-butt easy in the next iteration, but it's good to know the kinds of easy parts that are relatively difficult for teams that evidently don't have a sports player.
I agree with the first two paragraphs here, but I reject the idea that the sports distribution should be made easier because some teams didn't find anyone who knows sports. It's not like it's a secret part of the distribution. If your team doesn't have anyone who cares about sports, you should be getting 0s on sports bonuses, just like how I would 0 nearly every bio bonus at CO.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Progcon » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:23 am

Granny Soberer wrote:
theMoMA wrote:Naveed and I were discussing the sports conversion, and came to the conclusion that sports players in trash are perhaps like science players in academic quizbowl. That is, it's a category that people who know the other three big-four categories are least likely to know, and a category that teams without a dedicated player who follows the subject are likely to flail at, dragging down conversion by 0ing bonuses and letting tossups go dead.

Looking through the category breakdown, sports questions were powered and 30d at above-average rates, but the overall conversion was dragged down by a high rate of negs, dead tossups, and 0d bonuses. Some of those bonus 0s really shocked me; three rooms, for instance, 0d a bonus that told you every possible clue about Red Grange, including that he went by the first name "Red"; two rooms 0d a bonus whose easy part asked for the team that Jacob DeGrom and Matt Harvey played for; etc.

The takeaway for me is that I should make sure, when writing the next iteration of the event, to be aware that a solid chunk of teams are going to flail at easy parts like "what college did Blake Griffin go to" or "name a Dutch Hall of Famer who played for the Twins." I don't intend to make every easy part touch-your-butt easy in the next iteration, but it's good to know the kinds of easy parts that are relatively difficult for teams that evidently don't have a sports player.
I agree with the first two paragraphs here, but I reject the idea that the sports distribution should be made easier because some teams didn't find anyone who knows sports. It's not like it's a secret part of the distribution. If your team doesn't have anyone who cares about sports, you should be getting 0s on sports bonuses, just like how I would 0 nearly every bio bonus at CO.
I can definitely see where Andrew is coming from though. Perhaps it is harder to gain sports knowledge through osmosis than other it is categories. I would have 10d the "Leave it to Beaver" bonus because even though I've never seen the show, I know it exists. It's harder to accumulate low level sports knowledge which leads to people not knowing Alex Smith is the quarterback of the Chiefs.

I ran into this same problem while writing 4/4 sports for FTP. Even though the sports was easier than this set, when I read it at MSYSTERIUM at Waterloo, many teams still 0d bonuses and I had tossups on All Star pitchers go dead. I think a good solution would be have to the 10s on sports bonuses be easier but have harder powers on tossups. I thought some of the powermarking on sports tossups was a little too generous.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by theMoMA » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:37 am

To be clear, as I said above, I'm not necessarily going to try to make the easy parts easier; I just said that it's good to know that these bonus parts weren't converted by several teams when writing the next iteration.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Progcon » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:02 am

theMoMA wrote:To be clear, as I said above, I'm not necessarily going to try to make the easy parts easier; I just said that it's good to know that these bonus parts weren't converted by several teams when writing the next iteration.
I apologize for if there was any misunderstanding on my part of your intentions.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Rothlover » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:45 am

I mean it's a really interesting sheet to comb through and I can/would have longer thoughts. Impressive how high the overall conversion rate was too, and that even the hardest tu's had a few gets. I was surprised the Nagle tu had some conversions. I only vaguely recalled he was a person at the giveaway. The other really hard tu I can think of off the top of my head was the Decline of Western Civilization. I'm impressed that even 4, I think, people got that. Had I not watched a couple of the films (and saw the 3rd this week) in the week prior, I would've needed until the giveaway to get that, and I know that until Shout released them, the 2nd volume was really hard to find, and I believe it couldn't be found legally. I don't know where power ended on that. I feel like it should've gone almost all of the tu. I'm not sure if the super high conversion rate purely reflects field skill level, writer skill level the two in some relatively equal ratio. The numbers bear out though that this is basically exactly the sort of set you'd want for a nationals in trash. (I'd probably want a bit higher difficulty myself in such things, but know I'm in the minority, and the set was really good at differentiating teams when you consider how tightly bundled a few teams were after the top 2 really.)
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by theMoMA » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:24 am

Yeah, I think the conversion numbers jibe really well with my own particular targets for the set. There are a few areas of discrepancy (I was more generous with allowing powers than Rob and Carsten, for instance), but for the most part, tossup and bonus conversion were pretty similar across author, category, round, and subcategory, which is what I would like to see.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Rothlover » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:45 am

Is the set available yet for those of us who played to scrutinize? I feel like that's better for the question discussion, at least as far as attempting to make insightful points for the other thread/s.

The set was exceptionally balanced. I have always throught that overall difficulty evenness is the most important thing for a trash set (and pretty much for an academic set) from a gameplay standpoint. I think it's valid whether you are writing novice/fall q's or a masters set where youre target is 10 points per bonus or something. It is also good there were a decent number of solidly harder tus, since that answer line variability minimizes the ability to just lateral your way to points. I don't know if a trash set ever pulled this off as well as this one (the only ones I can 100% say succeeded in balance were the yaphe/subash/zeke CO trashes, and I can't remember them exactly enough to say whether this was def better or not.)
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by theMoMA » Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:37 am

I think Rob or Carsten is planning to send out the set to those who played soon. Needless to say, these copies cannot be circulated to anyone who didn't play.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Cheynem » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:38 am

I'd like to see the set be harder. And less powers.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Sam » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:23 pm

theMoMA wrote: Looking through the category breakdown, sports questions were powered and 30d at above-average rates, but the overall conversion was dragged down by a high rate of negs, dead tossups, and 0d bonuses. Some of those bonus 0s really shocked me; three rooms, for instance, 0d a bonus that told you every possible clue about Red Grange, including that he went by the first name "Red"; two rooms 0d a bonus whose easy part asked for the team that Jacob DeGrom and Matt Harvey played for; etc.
I was presumably present when these bonuses were being read and still have no idea who these people are.

EDIT: That's not a criticism of the set; I think it supports your overall point that sports is a category where it's possible for players to know almost nothing.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Ndg » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:33 pm

Sam wrote: sports is a category where it's possible for players to know almost nothing.
So is every other category... I don't see why sports is special in this respect.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Sam » Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:53 pm

Ndg wrote:
Sam wrote: sports is a category where it's possible for players to know almost nothing.
So is every other category... I don't see why sports is special in this respect.
The conversion stats that started the discussion suggest that empirically that's not true, though.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Ndg » Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:25 pm

I was addressing the implication that it's not possible for someone to know "almost nothing" about another area of the trash distribution.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Rothlover » Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:01 pm

I think there is a lot of validity to the assertion though that the floor for sports knowledge is lower than the floor for other major parts of the distro (I'd argue that the floor for knowledge of other niches just as low if not lower, like how I can easily see a team of 4 who don't read comic books averaging like 5 PPB on comic book bonuses, same with video games.) Logically, I think it's much easier to pick up basic music knowledge by osmosis for instance. Like, a team of 4 people who wanted to play trash is going to have someone who at least encounters major musical works/artists, even if it's over the radio at where they're shopping, vague entertainment and gossip articles or whatever. Film and TV have a lot of the same factors, though it's becoming harder to casually know some tv with how fragmented viewing is now and how the increasing rise of streaming means you don't have to encounter information on shows you aren't actively seeking out. With sports, I know personally, If I'm not at least semi-following a sport, I have a good chance of 0'ing a bonus on that sport that is focused on a time I wasn't following it. It's not nec hard to have 4 people who aren't following at least one of the major sports. That's just my logical reasoning behind the above assertion and data from this tournament.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by theMoMA » Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:58 pm

I think Dan's logic basically tracks my thinking. TV and film are obviously closely related; people who care about one tend to know something about the other, simply because of the crossover of actors, directors, writers, etc., and quizbowlers who know a little bit about film and TV are pretty likely to be playing trash tournaments, since those categories make up 40% of the distribution. And almost everyone likes some kind of music, and it's hard to be alive without broadly being aware of various popular songs throughout the years.

There are a lot of people who don't care much about sports, however, ranging from the insufferable people who post "sports lol" on their Facebook on Super Bowl Sunday (apologies if this is you, but if it is, please stop) to the people who casually follow their hometown teams but don't really pay attention to the broader world of sports. I'd venture that there are quite a few people who fall into these categories, and that's why sports has more 0s and dead tossups than other areas of the distribution.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Cheynem » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:09 pm

I'd hesitate to say there's something specifically unique about sports that is applicable to all trash (perhaps data from other sites can be mined). Sure, people who don't follow sports can't get sports questions, but I also think in general, sports questions end up subtly being written harder than some other categories (maybe this is what Dan is getting at). Andrew expresses surprise that people couldn't get Red Grange off of the easiest clues or know that Harvey/Syndegaard pitches for the Mets, but these probably are comparably harder than, say, having a hazy idea of what Leave It to Beaver is or who John Oliver is. I'm not complaining about this, but I think it is tricky for people who know sports to realize how hard the subject can be for people who don't. The other point is that the field might have consisted of teams not well composed for sports knowledge (although this would have surprised me, looking at the teams). I don't know if that makes sports harder than other topics per se--for instance, if you asked me questions on music or video games, I wouldn't do very well on them, but I'd do okay on sports. I don't think sports is any harder to learn about or like there's a non overlapping web of knowledge between sports knowledge and other topics.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Rothlover » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:21 pm

I think it's a bit of both Mike, the idea of whether you encounter the things casually in your life and whether sports needs relatively harder answer lines. I mean, like the Honus Wagner tossup could have somehow been on the Pirates with lots of old clues about Wagner, Fred Clarke etc, and even a giveaway saying the team is in Allegheny county or something, but that seems to be going super hard for 100% conversion while at the same time frustrating the people who actually have any degree of knowledge. Like that "baseball tu" the wording confused me, and then it dropped the D.R. town and I had to buzz and say "baseball prospects?" I don't know where the q could've gone from there, and the conversion data bears out that that was heavily powered, as was the Wagner tu and a bunch of the other baseball. I'd be curious how inelastic sports knowledge is at trash, like if the answer lines were relatively insane, like tus on Dixie Walker. There were a lot of top-notch baseball players playing this set. A trash "trash masters" type set would be an interesting guage of how various areas scale.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by ErikC » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:37 pm

I dislike that I am necroing this badly, but I found the above conversation so interesting that I am going to anyway. While preparing my own trash packets for my silly side event I have thought about why I wanted to write such a thing in the first place.

I think Mike is right here that sports is subtly harder than other categories, but I think that is for two reasons.

1. Music is almost never hard as sports, and when it is, often it is just some obscure stuff that occupies the space between notable for quality and notable for popularity. I have not heard very many tossups in trash tournaments that truly tested deep knowledge of a good deal of genres, and I think that's because music questions are often written by people who like some music but aren't fanatics about it.

The Decline and Fall tossup was a step in the right direction (even if I negged it because I predictably fudged the name) but it's disappointing when so much of what you appreciate about music is never in trash tournaments that you didn't write for.

2. Sports is much easier to not encounter in a good deal of people's lives. I am casually aware of some basic things about most sports played in Canada but some people I know don't even know those things. I don't think that's a problem individually, but when you get really deep tossups about 1930s baseball players while "hard" music is some average American hard rock song that a bunch will know at the end, then of course there's going to be a discrepancy. Side note: from a Canadian experience, college sports are even more inaccessible, but that's not really important.

Now, I don't think sports should be the category that changes for the future hard trash tournaments. I recognize how much some people enjoy hard sports questions with deep answerlines but very convertible powers or hard parts of bonuses that truly reward being a major Dodgers fanboy. If anything, I want those sort of questions for music; there is a sort of canon of artists in a good deal of genres that people interested will know about that is never really scratched. And from my experience, plenty of people in quizbowl are familiar with these artists, even if they aren't huge trashheads. Compare this to film, where the critical canon is covered quite well in both academic and trash tournaments. I've heard several tossups on movies like Do the Right Thing and Clerks in trash and academic tournaments, while I can't recall ever hearing a tossup on Sly & the Family Stone or My Bloody Valentine.

For now follow the useful but usual response to comments like this; I will write the kind of questions I want to hear.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by theMoMA » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:30 pm

I have made the spreadsheet public to anyone with the link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by 1.82 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:23 am

Erik Christensen's post seems to me to be begging the question, premised as it is on the notion that sports answerlines are in general intrinsically harder than music answerlines. The (now publicly available) conversion data at this tournament really don't bear that out, at least in terms of tossups; at the Chicago site, the number of sports tossups that went dead was almost exactly the same as the number of music tossups that went dead. This doesn't suggest that sports was systematically less accessible than music.
ErikC wrote:I am casually aware of some basic things about most sports played in Canada but some people I know don't even know those things. I don't think that's a problem individually, but when you get really deep tossups about 1930s baseball players while "hard" music is some average American hard rock song that a bunch will know at the end, then of course there's going to be a discrepancy.
I don't think that this is an accurate assessment of this tournament. The only baseball tossup that would fit that bill was the tossup on Johnny Pesky (which was in fact an outlier in terms of difficulty, such that the tournament would get pretty unpleasant for most people to play if there were many more of them); all the other tossups on individuals were either on fairly contemporary players and managers (Mike Piazza, Giambi brothers, Kirk Gibson, Adrian Beltre) or on very well-known Hall of Famers (Honus Wagner, Don Drysdale).

In general, I felt that the sports questions and music questions in this set both took the eminently reasonable approach of asking about contemporary material directly and cluing older content in common links and other more general questions. A tournament with harder answerlines would necessarily produce more dead tossups, which would be particularly frustrating in a trash tournament. Nobody really likes playing have-you-heard-of-this bowl, but at least with academic tossups, when something goes dead, it's an inducement to learn more to get better. On the other hand, with trash, questions are presumably being asked about subjects not because they meet any intrinsic standard of importance but because they're things that people might know about. When nobody gets a tossup on Maynard Ferguson (as happened in this tournament, where that tossup went dead in 70% of rooms) it just means that people don't care about Maynard Ferguson.

It might be that this tournament's music tossup selection in terms of genre was suboptimal for determining music knowledge; I'm not qualified to judge that. (Certainly it didn't have much of the Canadian synthpop that I like, but I figure that knowledge of Purity Ring's oeuvre is not common enough to be worth asking about.) On the other hand, if the questions weren't asking about hard enough material, one would expect for a preponderance of music powers on common-link tossups, but in fact there were 12% fewer music powers than sports powers. I'm skeptical that there's a vast groundswell of music knowledge that wasn't tested because the music answerlines weren't hard enough.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:38 pm

Missed the sports discussion, but to respond to Erik's post --

Sports Canadians care about are incredibly different from what the target audience for pretty much any non-Canadian trash field cares about. A generally aware Canadian isn't going to get stuff at a level harder than "regular/regular-minus" on stuff you don't see everyday on Sportscentre. As a hockey fan who is aware of other sports moreso than people like Erik but less than the average American or people like Paul Kasinski who likes all sports, those names all seem familiar to me, but I wouldn't be able to answer tossups on them. This wouldn't be harder than a Canadian-oriented sports distribution tossing up Jennifer Jones, Cindy Klassen, Alexandre Despasties, or Wendell Clark.

I don't think any sports I've read or played recently, including reading ACRONYM today, was particularly more difficult than the rest of the set.

Also, I really don't know why sports is only 1/1 "other" while three league sports are all have 1/1 to themselves. It's surprising to me that people care so little about other stuff, especially Olympics and Soccer.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by CPiGuy » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:03 pm

raffi_-_c-a-n-a-d-a.mp3 wrote:Also, I really don't know why sports is only 1/1 "other" while three league sports are all have 1/1 to themselves. It's surprising to me that people care so little about other stuff, especially Olympics and Soccer.
I agree -- there should be 5 roughly equal distributions, with the second two being American/Canadian Other Sports and International Other Sports.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:18 pm

raffi_-_c-a-n-a-d-a.mp3 wrote:Also, I really don't know why sports is only 1/1 "other" while three league sports are all have 1/1 to themselves. It's surprising to me that people care so little about other stuff, especially Olympics and Soccer.
This discussion has happened before: far more people (read: Americans), both in quizbowl and in life, follow professional and college football, professional and college basketball, and baseball, than any other sport, with the possible exception of NASCAR (generally unpopular among quizbowlers, so an increase in auto racing questions would please few and displease many). I would actually be sympathetic to a slight decrease in the baseball distribution and a slight increase in "other", mostly in the sometimes-overcorrectingly-neglected soccer and hockey, to deal with the imbalance there, but decreasing the number of questions on the most popular sports in favor of a 60% increase in questions on the less popular ones seems unwise.

CO Trash had a 1/1 per-packet other sports distro (13/13 total), broken down like so:
3/2 hockey
3/3 soccer
1/1 cars
1/1 golf
1/2 tennis
1/0 punchsport
1/1 Olympics
2/3 misc.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Progcon » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:38 pm

Auks Ran Ova wrote:
raffi_-_c-a-n-a-d-a.mp3 wrote:Also, I really don't know why sports is only 1/1 "other" while three league sports are all have 1/1 to themselves. It's surprising to me that people care so little about other stuff, especially Olympics and Soccer.
This discussion has happened before: far more people (read: Americans), both in quizbowl and in life, follow professional and college football, professional and college basketball, and baseball, than any other sport, with the possible exception of NASCAR (generally unpopular among quizbowlers, so an increase in auto racing questions would please few and displease many). I would actually be sympathetic to a slight decrease in the baseball distribution and a slight increase in "other", mostly in the sometimes-overcorrectingly-neglected soccer and hockey, to deal with the imbalance there, but decreasing the number of questions on the most popular sports in favor of a 60% increase in questions on the less popular ones seems unwise.

CO Trash had a 1/1 per-packet other sports distro (13/13 total), broken down like so:
3/3 hockey
3/3 soccer
1/1 cars
1/1 golf
1/2 tennis
1/0 punchsport
1/1 Olympics
2/2 misc.
This seems perfect to me. When I play trash, I basically only get sports and it is disappointing to me when writers try to push obscure sports just because they are obscure. Sports question should reward people who follow, discuss and watch sports. Being aware of some obscure rugby or cricket player seems less important to me than being able to hold a conversation about the career of Peyton Manning. I thought the sports in CO Trash were really good because they rewarded knowledge all across sports. Quizbowl players seem to be the worst (among major sports) at baseball questions as I don't think many people have beaten me to baseball questions though I barely follow MLB much anymore. I followed religiously when I was a kid (2006 Tigers favorite team ever), but can't follow to the extent needed to be considered a superfan. I would bet this experience is shared by at least a couple quizbowlers. Cutting baseball to like .8/.8 and increasing hockey and soccer seems okay. I might try that in FTP2.

Soccer and hockey are cool but I'd like to see an increase in college football and college basketball. College football is really the second most popular sport in America by TV numbers and the fans are super passionate. There's tons of cool history stuff from pre World War I to ask about or clue, and there are some memorable games and players that almost all fans should know like Reggie Bush, Desmond Howard, Dough Flutie that didn't have amazing pro careers but were legends in college. College basketball likewise has similar traits that can be clued more.

I wrote almost all the sports in FTP and the sports in that packet were probably too hard compared to this tournament. I tried to cater to hardcore sports fans like myself by having lots of clues about contracts, teammates, etc. I do think clues about statistics generally suck because that's not why I follow sports at all. I, and I would imagine most other sports fans, follow sports because we have an emotional connection to a team or the storylines intrigue us. For example, I follow the Lions because my dad and I have watched the games since I was a kid, and on the storyline front, following the Warriors last year was interesting to see if they would be the greatest team of all time (that didn't happen :lol: ). Making questions about how many hits a specific player got or what his season batting average was encourage memorization and honestly just suck to play. I'd rather hear a clue about a memorable speech, play, or game that the player was in than his specific stats. I think a bonus about fielding stats in baseball or true shooting percentage in basketball could be interesting but please stop cluing these things unless they were historic in some ways like DiMaggio's hitting streak.

To get back to the topic, the sports in CO Trash were really strong and I look forward to playing the next iteration.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Cheynem » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:43 pm

I would guess that quizbowlers actually know more about baseball than most other sports, particularly in terms of historical baseball (maybe not current).
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Progcon » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:03 pm

Cheynem wrote:I would guess that quizbowlers actually know more about baseball than most other sports, particularly in terms of historical baseball (maybe not current).
Oh yeah historically definitely. Baseball also has the longest history of any major sport. I've just heard the most grumbling about baseball questions and, anecdotally I've seen the most easy bagels on bonuses about baseball. I think NBA knowledge seems to be the most plentiful among quizbowlers, but maybe I'm wrong there because these claims are going to be hard to measure empirically aside from using conversion stats as a proxy which assume all questions are of similar difficulty.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by theMoMA » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:50 pm

Perhaps this is clear from the general flavor of CO Trash, but I prefer a set of trash questions to touch on both "high" and "low" culture. Because the history of baseball is a large component of America's cultural history, and because (as Mike said) quizbowlers tend to know a bit about baseball history, I think baseball deserves to be represented about as often as football or basketball, assuming some chunk of those questions are spent testing for the sports history component (not just writing more modern baseball questions, which I agree that quizbowlers are generally less likely to know than modern football or basketball).

A fair number of the baseball questions in the set were on sports history, and I slotted a few others that were so far onto the "cultural history" side of things that they were no longer "sports" questions (such as the tossup on "Major League Baseball" from Supreme Court decisions about the antitrust exemption and the tossup on the "baseball" industry of the Dominican Republic) into the "other" chunk of the distribution.

I don't really understand Harris's point about not cluing stats unless they're "historic in some ways." Although I agree that something like "this guy had 204 hits in 2005" is a pointless clue, stats can give helpful contextual information. For instance, a clue like "this guy set the single-season doubles record for a catcher" is an interesting and helpful clue, although perhaps that's "historic." Something like "this guy was in the top three of qualified MLB pitchers in ground ball rate each year from 2007-2010" is less historic, but to my mind, it's also interesting and helpful. I acknowledge that not all people might find such clues interesting and helpful, but that doesn't make them bad or unworthy of inclusion.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Progcon » Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:22 pm

theMoMA wrote: I don't really understand Harris's point about not cluing stats unless they're "historic in some ways." Although I agree that something like "this guy had 204 hits in 2005" is a pointless clue, stats can give helpful contextual information. For instance, a clue like "this guy set the single-season doubles record for a catcher" is an interesting and helpful clue, although perhaps that's "historic." Something like "this guy was in the top three of qualified MLB pitchers in ground ball rate each year from 2007-2010" is less historic, but to my mind, it's also interesting and helpful. I acknowledge that not all people might find such clues interesting and helpful, but that doesn't make them bad or unworthy of inclusion.
I don't think that ground ball rate is a particularly good clue because of the opportunity cost. In other words, a more memorable clue could go there and have it be more evocative. Ground ball rate definitely tells you something from quantitative data about a player's pitch selection, contact rate, etc. but it doesn't seem as interesting to me as a clue about a memorable strike out he got or a famous blown save or something. I'm assuming these clues are early in the question and I also think it's hard to be uniquely identifying with these clues because based on a cursory google search, it seems that players with high ground ball rates such as Hernadez and Keuchel tend to have high ground ball rates in subsequent years. (This makes sense, in time series data, you use previous time period observations as an explanatory data for your prediction.) If I heard a question with that clue, I'd have a hard time narrowing down my thoughts and would think (okay so this is a pitcher like Keuchel or Rick Porcello who are ground ball pitchers). So I suppose this could be a good lead-in, but I think for a middle clue of a 6 or 7 line tossup, I'd want something else.

This may be getting too far afield (heh), but my main issue with stats in sports questions are they seem kind of trivial sometimes. Like a baseball fan should know what OPS is and someone who actually looks at stats should know the normalization in OPS+ for park effects, etc, but I don't think it is really reasonable to learn specific stat lines and rankings for a specific player. Historical stat things are well-worth asking about as I did in my FTP question on getting the Hitting Triple Crown. Statistics are to be used primarily to compare players but even as a Tigers fan who argued online for Trout for the 2012 AL MVP, I find stat inclusions to be often boring. They also often go over the listening player's head just as a clue about the sedimentation rate would go over a non-science player's head.

It also is a little frustrating and repetitive when most stat clues are in baseball questions when there are advanced stats in all major sports now. In basketball, we have all the 82games.com stats, Hollinger stats like PER, sportVU information but they never get referenced perhaps because James and others pushed advanced stats in baseball first. Football has Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus stuff that is extremely interesting but hard to clue.

Again, this is a general point about sports questions that applies to a very small part of clues in a tournament. I'm sure there are various example from FTP where I wrote similar clues but in the ideal world, there would be enough evocative moments in a player's career (or post career) to not have to reference specific stats. I don't remember any examples from CO Trash that made me think "oh that's a useless clue" for what it's worth. I think a tossup on a specific stat or a bonus about stats in a particular sport could be really cool and I'd be into that.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Cheynem » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:50 pm

I would like more wrestling questions.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Silverman » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:56 pm

Progcon wrote:It also is a little frustrating and repetitive when most stat clues are in baseball questions when there are advanced stats in all major sports now. In basketball, we have all the 82games.com stats, Hollinger stats like PER, sportVU information but they never get referenced perhaps because James and others pushed advanced stats in baseball first. Football has Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus stuff that is extremely interesting but hard to clue.
I mean, you just answered your own question, right? "James and others pushed advanced stats in baseball first," so the casual fan is far more aware of such stats. OPS is on ballpark scoreboards nowadays, Fox is doing broadcasts where they discuss live Statcast numbers, WAR routinely gets mentioned on broadcasts, and so on. I admittedly watch less basketball than I do baseball, but I've rarely seen PER or similar on NBA games, and football is even worse. I'm not saying the numbers don't exist, but there's not been a proliferation of them in non-stathead circles like there has been in baseball.
Progcon wrote:I think a tossup on a specific stat or a bonus about stats in a particular sport could be really cool and I'd be into that.
There definitely exist such questions. I definitely remember a bonus on stats from various sports in SCT 2014 (WHIP, goals-against average, and I don't remember the third part). That being said, more than one or two of those per tournament would likely get annoying.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:59 pm

Cheynem wrote:I would like more wrestling questions.
More than 88% of the questions were written by quizbowl's very own Edge and Christian, so technically...
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Cheynem » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:01 pm

But all those questions by Cory Haala...ugh.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by Progcon » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:04 pm

Silverman wrote: I mean, you just answered your own question, right? "James and others pushed advanced stats in baseball first," so the casual fan is far more aware of such stats. OPS is on ballpark scoreboards nowadays, Fox is doing broadcasts where they discuss live Statcast numbers, WAR routinely gets mentioned on broadcasts, and so on. I admittedly watch less basketball than I do baseball, but I've rarely seen PER or similar on NBA games, and football is even worse. I'm not saying the numbers don't exist, but there's not been a proliferation of them in non-stathead circles like there has been in baseball.
I definitely did answer my own question :lol: . My point was that baseball stat clues seem boring to me partially because it's the only sports where stats come up in QB. It explained why I hold this personal opinion. It is pretty cool that there had been a stat bonus at SCT but I agree that more than like 1/1 stat questions would be kinda dumb. I'll try to work some stats from these other sports into the sports in FTP2 and see how that goes. You are 100% correct that they aren't talked about as much as in baseball which is unfortunate because I think they can be helpful when seeing why a player or team is good beyond the box score.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by ErikC » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:23 pm

To be honest I am unqualified to really talk about sports so I am willing to believe this wasn't that hard. However, looking through the music questions now, it strikes me how little music tossups were about albums and artists compared to the bonuses, while there was plenty of tossups on individual songs. I think a focus on songs for tossups does two things: it forces the inclusion of clues that feel more like trivia or "oral history" than deep knowledge of the music, and limits how much music you are really asking about. For example, the bonus on black metal included a whole sub-genre (and sub-culture), while a tossup about Rikki Don't Lose That Number only really is about one song. I also think these questions are less forgiving - one could know a lot about Bob Dylan's music and not know Maggie's Farm. In comparison, the bonuses had a good variety of artists and asked about some neat cultural aspects of music (the PBR&B label, the Moog synthesizers). Tossups about artists are simply easier to giveaway, and even if I don't like the idea about a LL Cool J tossup people definitely got it. Several song or common link tossups went dead 3 or 4 time; that's more than the Revolution Will Not Be Televised while all the rooms converted What's the Story Morning Glory and Cake.
Our Lady Peace wrote:It might be that this tournament's music tossup selection in terms of genre was sub-optimal for determining music knowledge; I'm not qualified to judge that. (Certainly it didn't have much of the Canadian synthpop that I like, but I figure that knowledge of Purity Ring's oeuvre is not common enough to be worth asking about.) On the other hand, if the questions weren't asking about hard enough material, one would expect for a preponderance of music powers on common-link tossups, but in fact there were 12% fewer music powers than sports powers. I'm skeptical that there's a vast groundswell of music knowledge that wasn't tested because the music answerlines weren't hard enough.
I think there is a fair amount of music that simply never gets asked about that plenty of people I know in Ontario know, but I can't speak for other places. I don't think all of these things are things that would be harder or go dead; they are just things that the writers of the tournament haven't heard of, and that's ok. My original comment was more about the music that comes up in trash tournaments in general, but CO was one example where the music just seemed to b
Our Lady Peace wrote:Nobody really likes playing have-you-heard-of-this bowl, but at least with academic tossups, when something goes dead, it's an inducement to learn more to get better. On the other hand, with trash, questions are presumably being asked about subjects not because they meet any intrinsic standard of importance but because they're things that people might know about.
This is enormously subjective, but I would argue that there is some level of standard of importance. Most of what I am saying here is just my opinion as an elitist so I am not arguing from a very objective view point here.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:23 am

one could know a lot about Bob Dylan's music and not know Maggie's Farm.
I realize this was just a quick comment for example's sake, but no. One could know a little about Dylan and not know "Maggie's Farm," I guess, but beside it being a major song in his repertoire, it is the performance of that song that's usually trotted out (or included in a video clip) when people discuss his super-famous "going electric" at Newport in 1965. It's fine for a trash toss-up, especially at CO.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by ryanrosenberg » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:41 am

ValenciaQBowl wrote:
one could know a lot about Bob Dylan's music and not know Maggie's Farm.
I realize this was just a quick comment for example's sake, but no. One could know a little about Dylan and not know "Maggie's Farm," I guess, but beside it being a major song in his repertoire, it is the performance of that song that's usually trotted out (or included in a video clip) when people discuss his super-famous "going electric" at Newport in 1965. It's fine for a trash toss-up, especially at CO.
Agreed, although I think the original point about focusing more on albums and artists as answer lines is a good one. Songs are very rarely the unit of analysis in music reviews or criticism; even in The Digital Age (TM) most albums are important (and a much wider source of clues).
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by ErikC » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:07 pm

Granny Soberer wrote:
ValenciaQBowl wrote:
one could know a lot about Bob Dylan's music and not know Maggie's Farm.
I realize this was just a quick comment for example's sake, but no. One could know a little about Dylan and not know "Maggie's Farm," I guess, but beside it being a major song in his repertoire, it is the performance of that song that's usually trotted out (or included in a video clip) when people discuss his super-famous "going electric" at Newport in 1965. It's fine for a trash toss-up, especially at CO.
Agreed, although I think the original point about focusing more on albums and artists as answer lines is a good one. Songs are very rarely the unit of analysis in music reviews or criticism; even in The Digital Age (TM) most albums are important (and a much wider source of clues).
I wasn't saying Maggie's Farm wasn't viable for a tossup (especially for an artist like Bob Dylan), it's just more difficult than just asking for Dylan and it means you cover less material. Someone could love all of Dylan's music after Bringing It All Back Home and know all the songs by heart, but they might not know the one song they don't really listen to that much compared to someone who really like one individual song. Considering Maggie's Farm was converted at all the rooms, that was perhaps a bad example. I think for the level of CO Trash, there should be more emphasis on notable albums that tests a range of knowledge about the music versus an individual song where some clues are more or less just people discussing the song.
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by theMoMA » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:30 pm

A countervailing phenomenon is the fact that many music fans listen to songs, but don't necessarily know the names of the album on which they appeared. I've been a fan of Bob Dylan's music for nearly my whole life, but I'm not necessarily sure I could correctly identify the album on which "Maggie's Farm" appears, despite writing that question (and listening to that song many times). Many older songs also appear on compilation albums, and many streaming services list those albums when that song plays on a station or playlist.

Very famous albums are always ok to toss up, and the occasional tossup on a more obscure album is also fine, but I don't think it makes a lot of sense to reorient the entire music distribution to focus on album tossups. I will note that, in addition to the several tossups on individual songs in the tournament, there were also a few tossups on famous albums (such as Carole King's Tapestry), and many tossups that went wider than a tossup on a single song in various ways (the answer was an artist/band or a common link, etc.). I think the latter is almost always a better way to branch out into a wider array of clues than a tossup on an album that's not particularly memorable. (But I do find it a bit odd to argue that it's somehow worse than the alternative to ask about a particular song; we ask about very specific things in tossups in all areas, both academic and trash, because quizbowl tests about knowledge both deep and wide.)
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Re: Conversion stats spreadsheet

Post by ErikC » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:37 am

theMoMA wrote:A countervailing phenomenon is the fact that many music fans listen to songs, but don't necessarily know the names of the album on which they appeared. I've been a fan of Bob Dylan's music for nearly my whole life, but I'm not necessarily sure I could correctly identify the album on which "Maggie's Farm" appears, despite writing that question (and listening to that song many times). Many older songs also appear on compilation albums, and many streaming services list those albums when that song plays on a station or playlist.
Well I think it is stupid to say that listening to albums is the "better" way of listening to music, it definitely is the traditional way of listening to a artist's work by choice, and I would say the preferred the way most true musicheads listen.
theMoMA wrote:Very famous albums are always ok to toss up, and the occasional tossup on a more obscure album is also fine, but I don't think it makes a lot of sense to reorient the entire music distribution to focus on album tossups. I will note that, in addition to the several tossups on individual songs in the tournament, there were also a few tossups on famous albums (such as Carole King's Tapestry), and many tossups that went wider than a tossup on a single song in various ways (the answer was an artist/band or a common link, etc.). I think the latter is almost always a better way to branch out into a wider array of clues than a tossup on an album that's not particularly memorable. (But I do find it a bit odd to argue that it's somehow worse than the alternative to ask about a particular song; we ask about very specific things in tossups in all areas, both academic and trash, because quizbowl tests about knowledge both deep and wide.)
I'm not saying reorient the entire music distribution around albums. I still prefer artist tossups the most. But there are plenty of albums that I think could be written about without much dead rates, that would have less arcane and more informative hard clues than individual songs. Perhaps a different permutation of CO Trash would have this balance, I don't have that big a sample here.
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