2017 SCT general discussion

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Important Bird Area
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2017 SCT general discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:10 am

This is your discussion thread for big-picture issues about the 2017 NAQT SCT (either division). If you'd like to discuss the specific text of a particular question, please use the two threads available for that purpose.
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by AGoodMan » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:40 am

Here are my (and my team's) very quick, general thoughts for DII:
1. My teammate Michael Yue complained about a general lack of music tossups in the set. I had the same feeling about Bible questions, but that's only because I really like Bible tossups.
2. There were a few "oddball" inclusions, such as Mystery Science Theater 3000.
3. Baseball questions: I very much appreciated the Roger Maris & catcher tossups.
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by vinteuil » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:46 pm

randomguy1997 wrote:Here are my (and my team's) very quick, general thoughts for DII:
1. My teammate Michael Yue complained about a general lack of music tossups in the set. I had the same feeling about Bible questions, but that's only because I really like Bible tossups.
2. There were a few "oddball" inclusions, such as Mystery Science Theater 3000.
3. Baseball questions: I very much appreciated the Roger Maris & catcher tossups.
As always (probably not for the better, but you or someone on your team should have known this going in), the NAQT distribution has not changed, and you should only expect about 2 "classical" music tossups in every 3 rounds. (And at least some of the 1.4/1.4 trash will inevitably be "oddball.")
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by Panayot Hitov » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:43 pm

randomguy1997 wrote: 2. There were a few "oddball" inclusions, such as Mystery Science Theater 3000.
This tossup was the highlight of my life
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:49 pm

randomguy1997 wrote:Here are my (and my team's) very quick, general thoughts for DII:
1. My teammate Michael Yue complained about a general lack of music tossups in the set. I had the same feeling about Bible questions, but that's only because I really like Bible tossups.
The SCT set has a total of 2/2 questions in Christian literature.
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former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by Milhouse » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:04 pm

randomguy1997 wrote:Here are my (and my team's) very quick, general thoughts for DII:
There were a few "oddball" inclusions, such as Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Also the (DII at least) question about the Kennedy assassination in Clickhole and The Onion, which I also enjoyed.
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by The Billiards Fool » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:10 pm

I think the most notable thing I noted from SCT was the sports. This is my first college NAQT tournament, and maybe this is more frequent than I know, but in high school I felt NAQT (and to a lesser extent housewrites) had very low expectations for people's sports knowledge. While history tests the depth of people's history knowledge, etc, sports tended to ask about commonly known teams, super famous players, and the like, which meant big sports fans always felt like what I assume someone like Jordan Brownstein would feel like playing an A-set. This set's sports was awesome. More specifically:
1. The Oladipo/Indiana/Ibaka bonus was fun
2. Whoever wrote the following two questions I would like to thank forever: Pat Venditte/A's/I forget the third part (If any NAQT member could post that bonus I'd like that) and the Catcher question. Venditte is interesting and not super common, and the use of sabermetric clues in the catcher tossup was awesome. Didn't think I'd ever play a question with UZR in it. So whoever wrote these (and the non-baseball was great too though I can't remember every question right now) thanks!

EDIT: I had a lot of fun with this set. It was one of the best NAQT sets I can remember playing so thanks for that as well!
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by AGoodMan » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:14 pm

Neggman wrote:2. Whoever wrote the following two questions I would like to thank forever: Pat Venditte/A's/I forget the third part
I absolutely agree with Emmitt about the Venditte/Athletics/Omaha cycle. It was a fantastic bonus.
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by theMoMA » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:19 am

Jonah wrote the Venditte bonus, and I was very pleased with its inclusion in the set. I wrote the tossup on catchers, which focused almost entirely on efforts to quantify catcher defense.

I edit a lot of sports for NAQT (between Andrew Yaphe and me, I think we edit all of it). My philosophy on sports questions for general-audience tends to be to focus on things that people who are generally aware of the sports world, with the third parts and early clues geared toward people who really follow the sport in question closely.

There are a couple of areas in the distribution (current events, sports, trash, and some general knowledge and miscellaneous) that, unlike most quizbowl categories, don't really have a canon to study. When writing or editing in these areas, I think it makes sense to focus on topics that a wide swath of the field is likely to know, with the hard parts/early clues geared toward knowledgeable players. If you ask about topics that are themselves not very well known among the general pool of quizbowl players, and only the people who follow sports (or trash, or current events) very closely are aware of them, it's very hard to hit conversion targets.
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by Silverman » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:31 am

theMoMA wrote:I wrote the tossup on catchers
Thank you for making me almost drop my buzzer at hearing Dayn Perry's name come up in a tournament. Maybe we'll get a Carson Cistulli sports/lit crossover bonus at some point.
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by The Billiards Fool » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:10 am

theMoma wrote:
If you ask about topics that are themselves not very well known among the general pool of quizbowl players, and only the people who follow sports (or trash, or current events) very closely are aware of them, it's very hard to hit conversion targets.
Fair enough. I hadn't really thought about that this way before (I think I mostly just was sad at how easy sports bonuses tend to be and was semi-salty without really thinking about conversion targets). That said, definitely still going to hope for questions like the Venditte one (thanks Jonah!), etc. Thanks for the explanation though :) and thanks for the sports quality in this set. As pretty much the opposite of a NASCAR fan I still thought the Tony Stewart question was a great question on a big event in the last year of sports.
Silverman wrote:
Maybe we'll get a Carson Cistulli sports/lit crossover bonus at some point.
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by John Ketzkorn » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:49 am

I think for the most part the literature in the DII set was well put together, and I want to thank the writers/editors for their time and energy they poured into the set.


There were, however, a sizable handful of questions that seemed too difficult for DII SCT and wouldn't really be out of place in DI or possibly even at DI ICT.

Fitzgerald, Poe, and Tale of Genji come immediately to mind. Top heavy clues that lead to buzzer races on clues out of power (Bernice Bobs Her Hair Mystery of Marie Roget, Lady Aoi respectively). I hope these clunkers can be fixed for ICT and the toss-ups can be properly scaled down to reward players for knowing clues as opposed to having everyone sit through the hard clues and four/five way buzzer racing at common high school clues.

Overall, I enjoyed this set despite it seeming significantly harder than last years. Thanks to everyone who helped put it together!
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by The Billiards Fool » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:16 am

So I've seen in other threads the claim that D2 SCT was tougher this year than in years past. While obvious player quality is something we can't account for, does anyone have data on average ppbs and power numbers for this year as compared to the past?
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by jonah » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:10 am

Neggman wrote:So I've seen in other threads the claim that D2 SCT was tougher this year than in years past. While obvious player quality is something we can't account for, does anyone have data on average ppbs and power numbers for this year as compared to the past?
I'm planning to look at this soon, though I'm traveling this weekend and don't know if I'll have time before Monday.
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by The Billiards Fool » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:55 pm

jonah wrote:
Neggman wrote:So I've seen in other threads the claim that D2 SCT was tougher this year than in years past. While obvious player quality is something we can't account for, does anyone have data on average ppbs and power numbers for this year as compared to the past?
I'm planning to look at this soon, though I'm traveling this weekend and don't know if I'll have time before Monday.
awesome thank you!
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:27 pm

Neggman wrote:So I've seen in other threads the claim that D2 SCT was tougher this year than in years past. While obvious player quality is something we can't account for, does anyone have data on average ppbs and power numbers for this year as compared to the past?
Here's what we found:

2016: 25.9% power rate, 87.5% tossup conversion, 17.04 field-wide ppb

2017: 21.9% power rate, 83.2% tossup conversion, 16.62 field-wide ppb

So this year's set was a bit more difficult.
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by The Billiards Fool » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:13 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
Neggman wrote:So I've seen in other threads the claim that D2 SCT was tougher this year than in years past. While obvious player quality is something we can't account for, does anyone have data on average ppbs and power numbers for this year as compared to the past?
Here's what we found:

2016: 25.9% power rate, 87.5% tossup conversion, 17.04 field-wide ppb

2017: 21.9% power rate, 83.2% tossup conversion, 16.62 field-wide ppb

So this year's set was a bit more difficult.
Hm, so I guess I cannot really comment on its difficulty as a value judgement, since this was my first D2 SCT. But I guess while I, like I think many people I assume, love playing some sets that result in fun statistics (read: lots of powers and high ppbs), I think this set was a very enjoyable difficulty level.
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by John Ketzkorn » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:29 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
Neggman wrote:So I've seen in other threads the claim that D2 SCT was tougher this year than in years past. While obvious player quality is something we can't account for, does anyone have data on average ppbs and power numbers for this year as compared to the past?
Here's what we found:

2016: 25.9% power rate, 87.5% tossup conversion, 17.04 field-wide ppb

2017: 21.9% power rate, 83.2% tossup conversion, 16.62 field-wide ppb

So this year's set was a bit more difficult.
Is it possible that this could be broken down by category? Literature had several questions that could've been converted straight into DII ICT questions and some in that subset still would've been too top heavy in clues. I remember a lot of buzzer races on later clues because I didn't recognize anything early in the question (including things I've read / studied extensively).

Bonuses seemed fine for the most part. Although some noticeable variance with difficulty occurred. "Lord of the Flies / Pig / Golding" comes to mind as something too easy when compared to other literature bonuses.

As I said in my previous post, I had no complaints about a majority of the literature, but it felt like some of the converted down toss-ups, didn't have enough clues that lowered difficulty cliffs. I also think toss-ups like Jonathan Franzen and White Teeth are answer lines that are more suited for a national tournament than a regional, but it's probably okay because both reward knowledge about important contemporary literature.
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Re: 2017 SCT general discussion

Post by jonah » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:37 pm

I don't expect to have detailed (category-by-category) conversion stats ready before the summer. What Jeff posted before came from SQBS data.
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