TRASH regs discussion

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Rothlover
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TRASH regs discussion

Post by Rothlover » Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:17 pm

Is it now ok to discuss Regs? I take it all the events are over at this point?

I am wondering if the Cali Reg kept any stats beyond w/l and top scorers (i.e. was any stat program employed?) Seriously, if you are running an organization that gives out bids to stuff (to create an idea of scarcity that is pretty odd when you consider how many teams ultimately showed up), you would think it would be a host requirement that accurate, detailed stats are kept at every site, which I hear NAQT does. I would love to know what goes into the bid decisions anyway. For instance, if anyone besides the winning team and Brock get bids to TRASHionals, that would be absurd. Same goes for the winner and host bid of the SW reg. I think 7 of the 8 teams in our region had higher BC's than anyone in the SW, and that included Andy Walz who went 2-8, who I am betting would have won the SW playing solo, if quality of opponent is any indicator.

Anyway, going from the regions that have posted stats, here are the teams I think have clearly earned bids at this point, not counting host schools.

Whoever won Brock and SW.
Both ASU teams, since they are beasts
I'll guess USC, and risk angering Mrs. Raut
Maybe Matt Bruce's team?
College Park
Whoever these Screen Door people are
Pirhana Club, which I am guessing is the Allentown Club
Florida
I'm guessing wherever Dren Rollins played (obviously stats aren't up yet, since we can't have those without gloriously wrong answers.)
NYU A:nimu
Gerbils
Brandeis A
BU
Kennans
O'Reilly
Sorenson people
Lafer/Long
Licensce to IL
Brian Rostron's Safari
Andy Walz
Iowa
Tia
Nancy Boys
Carleton (all guesses since the stats aren't up)
Whoever wins colorado


So thats 27 non-hosts. Anyone disagree with those? Obviously, if hosts followed the lead of BU, Illinois and Del in putting stats up quickly, people could know things.

Anyone have any idea where TRASHionals is going to be? I hear announcing locations that require travel is good thing.

As for the q's, I think they were better than last year's set, but still NOT GOOD. I will save details for when someone confirms we can discuss the q's.

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Re: TRASH regs discussion

Post by fizzball » Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:18 pm

Rothlover wrote:Anyone have any idea where TRASHionals is going to be? I hear announcing locations that require travel is good thing.
The announcement typically comes at or just after Trashmasters.

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Timbaland / Pharrell Williams

Post by sobek22 » Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:11 am

I enjoyed the questions overall, and I thank TRASH as always.

I do have a bone to pick with one toss-up in particular, though. The toss-up to which I am referring mentioned that Timbaland was from Virginia Beach. Timbaland is from Norfolk; however, Pharrell Williams is from Virginia Beach. Pretty bad neg bait there.

-Adam

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Stats

Post by Coelacanth » Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:04 am

I think TRASH said they were going to put the stats on their website once all the regionals were done. I do know that they asked us all to use SQBS to facilitate that.

In temporary lieu of that, and given my web provider's complete inability to make anything simple enough for me to do it, here (in text form) is the team standings page from the Upper Midwest regional.

Upper Midwest TRASH Regionals Team Standings

Gumm
Team W L T Pct PPG PAPG Mrg 10 -5 P/N BHrd BPts P/B
Rev. Ted Haggard's Methamphetamine Gay Sex Romp 8 0 0 1.000 377.5 83.8 293.8 104 10 0.00 104 2030 19.52
The Octagon 6 2 0 0.750 209.5 132.5 77.0 72 10 0.00 72 1006 13.97
Everything I Know About Sex, I Learned at Jesus Camp 5 3 0 0.625 143.1 207.0 -63.9 52 5 0.00 52 650 12.50
Make Romance Explosion 4 4 0 0.500 184.4 211.2 -26.9 60 14 0.00 60 945 15.75
Ghosts of Carleton Past 3 5 0 0.375 173.8 183.8 -10.0 60 12 0.00 60 850 14.17
Disgruntled Spice Merchants 3 5 0 0.375 165.0 181.9 -16.9 55 12 0.00 55 830 15.09
Coetzee.cx 3 5 0 0.375 91.2 195.1 -103.9 40 7 0.00 40 365 9.12
We Love Paisley 2 6 0 0.250 137.9 227.5 -89.6 49 8 0.00 49 653 13.33
The F***ing Ocean 2 6 0 0.250 133.2 192.9 -59.6 51 18 0.00 51 646 12.67


Zimmerman
Team W L T Pct PPG PAPG Mrg 10 -5 P/N BHrd BPts P/B
Tia and the TRASHmen 8 0 0 1.000 343.1 118.1 225.0 96 9 0.00 96 1830 19.06
The Nancy Boys 7 1 0 0.875 300.6 136.2 164.4 84 14 0.00 84 1635 19.46
Grand Theft Buggy: Amana Colonies 5 2 1 0.688 193.6 170.7 22.9 56 10 0.00 56 845 15.09
Cultural Knowledges for Make Benefit Glorious State of Iowa 5 3 0 0.625 263.8 149.4 114.4 83 8 0.00 83 1320 15.90
Guess What's Under Our Kilts 4 3 1 0.562 152.9 182.9 -30.0 48 11 0.00 48 645 13.44
The Dark Horses 3 5 0 0.375 111.2 194.4 -83.1 47 6 0.00 47 450 9.57
Hot Carls 2 6 0 0.250 105.7 259.3 -153.6 38 15 0.00 38 435 11.45
Probed in Sheffield 1 7 0 0.125 61.4 270.7 -209.3 25 10 0.00 25 230 9.20
Squirrels of Discord 0 8 0 0.000 81.2 275.0 -193.8 18 9 0.00 18 190 10.56

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Post by jazzerpoet » Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:32 am

For instance, if anyone besides the winning team and Brock get bids to TRASHionals, that would be absurd. Same goes for the winner and host bid of the SW reg.
The winner of TRASH Regionals Southwest was Alcoholics Synonymous (Tulsa). We (Tulsa) also hosted the tournament, so we technically have earned two bids to TRASHionals; of course, we will only accept one of our bids, so as to allow another team the opportunity to compete at TRASHionals. I honestly did not expect to win Regionals; we were just playing for fun.
I think 7 of the 8 teams in our region had higher BC's than anyone in the SW, and that included Andy Walz who went 2-8, who I am betting would have won the SW playing solo, if quality of opponent is any indicator.
To be fair, with the exception of one team (Grumpy Old Men), every team at the Southwest Regional was composed entirely of college students; moreover, only 3 or 4 grad students competed, meaning that almost the entire field was comprised of undergrads. Now, I am sure that the competition would have been better if everyone in the field were alive when Nixon was president, but alas, we did not have the luxury.
Obviously, if hosts followed the lead of BU, Illinois and Del in putting stats up quickly, people could know things.
Well, if you had checked the thread for the Southwest Regional, you would have learned that we posted the stats on Monday, just two days after the tournament ended.

For those of you who were too lazy to check, stats are online at: <http://www.orgs.utulsa.edu/academicbowl/tournaments.htm>

Lastly, to actually add something to your original post, I will say that if Andy Walz and Co. does get an invitation to TRASHionals, they probably will not accept it. Unless something catastrophic happens, Andy should be re-joining Alcoholics Synonymous for our third consecutive appearance at TRASHionals.

Also, though some of the teams in the Southwest did not put up nearly as good PPB as teams in other regions, they are by no means pushovers. However, if recent precedents remain, I expect, at most, two teams to come from the Southwest Region: us (Tulsa) and Toss Us Another Bagel (OSU A).

Cheers!
Angelo Malabanan

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Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:38 am

I think the questions showed a lot of improvement over last year. Particularly, the birthday clues which made up seemingly 25% of tossup leadins in 2005 were down to about 1 per packet this year (of course there is never any reason to have them at all, but this is a step in the right direction.) There were a few tossups that suffered from a preponderance of leadins and a lack of middle clues--the Sanford and Son one comes to mind; it talked endlessly about various versions of the show that were NOT made, and actors who were NOT cast on it, and then went into a buzzer race on "show where a black guy owns a junkyard." In the future I'd suggest a de-emphasis on "TV almanac" type knowledge and more clues along the lines of "in one episode, such and such happens" when writing a tossup on a television show. It seems like rewarding people for looking up behind-the-scenes anecdotes about failed attempts to produce a show, rather than for watching a show, penalizes primary knowledge in favor of studying.

I also recall that bonus difficulty seemed quite uneven at times, with nigh-impossible third parts such as knowing the title of Beth Orton's rarities album going to one team, then another team getting a bonus with no discernible hard part. I need to get my hands on the questions to give better examples.

Overall, though, I want to re-emphasize that this was a lot better than the 2005 set and I was fairly happy with it as a sometime casual player of trash.

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Post by Rothlover » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:52 am

Angelo, I knew you guys posted stats, I just was throwing out a few examples of teams that got stats up quickly. Also, thanks to the Minn person for putting up that sqbs table. If Octagon was Carleton, I'd guess their BC was, in fact a bit low for a bid, so I'd probably change that from my initial list. Also, is anyone else amazed by the volume of Borat themed team names? Seems like one in five teams was doing something on that theme (Coetzee.cx being one of the brilliant exceptions.) Knowing TRASH's propensity for q's on shit that just came up, I was surprised there was no Azimat Bagitovich tu (of course, we only heard 10 packets, so its possible we missed something), or the like, certainly that is a more accessible answer choice and more FUNN than, say, Tito Fuckin' Ortiz.

My biggest problem with the set is the combination of shortish questions and a lack of substantive clues. This can create the effect of "blah blah blah, buzz you fucking moron." On the other hand, there were plenty of "figure it out" type q's, which tended to go to us, but were as unfullfilling as a Kids' size Frostee (example that comes to me off-hand "This movie saw the first $20 paycheck for a female. The autobiographical" buzz Me: Uhm, Julia Roberts made money and Erin Brocovich was about a person. Moderator: 10 points.) The adage, there is no shame, only points tends to hold, but shouldn't a question feel like something you at least earned?

Another q that pissed me off was the "Squid and the Whale" tu. I've seen that movie twice, watched all the special features etc, and the lead-in starts "its title refers to an exhibit buzz." That is the sort of crap one can cull from a couple of reviews of the damn movie. In particular, if the title is unimportant, it will come up in most reviews, so this lead-in could allow some shmuck to get it 6 words in. A better lead-in would have said "one character in this film angers his father by calling himself a philistine, while that father told one of his students "I want to be in your mouth." The title comes from a site the younger son (insert character name) often visited with his mother (insert character name) at the Museum of Natural History." I think, off the top of my head, that helps create levels of actual knowledge, and I did that in 60 seconds. Questions have moved forward in the last ten years precisely for the purpose of avoiding surface knowledge and speed to overwhelm actual knowledge. It doesn't take much to improve things, and this was especially an issue in our region, where the teams had their shit together so a finely-tuned set would've improved things.

That Tito Ortiz tu was beyond insane, and I can think of at least 5 other tus that were of similar "what the fuck is this tu selection doing here." I read the fucking trades and I couldn't pull the name of that dude Jenna is with (never mind that there are about 8 people she is cited with,) and Ken Shamrock or Dan Servern are about the only UFC fighters I could see as being remotely tuable at that level.

(If this seems like rambling, its because I am writing this as I go through my notebook.) Other shit from round one was the Village Voice tu that was "blah blah, Norman Mailer." I could've named 10 current writers for the voice and come up with a few other good historical lead-ins (hell, the lead-in could've even referenced its coverage of the city crises of the late 70's which it is known for, without making the q too transparent, since there are like 6 tuable NY-centered papers.) Cobb Salad tu could ONLY be that(lead-in eliminated the only other oldish tu-able salad), to the point where those of us who knew it were second guessing it as the answer. Banker tu was so absurdly transparent I could see the moderator through it, same with long snapper (Hay! its some football role rarely employed but still potentially useful!)

What was with the fixation on UPN/WB/CW? The Girlfriends tu just reminded me that it seemed like there were 7-8 CW related q's. Seriously, what the fuck? Lion's Gate lead in with "Hay, its a studio named for a bridge!" Flock of Seagulls had too few real clues (lesser song titles instead of reality tv appearances would've been nice) before launching into "a couple of hairdressers." One Packet also had 1/1 Christmas Story between that bonus and the tu on Red Ryder, and it seemed like every packet had 2 references to something, which led to running "... theme packet" jokes. Having a tu on a Marvin Gaye album that wasn't "Whats going on" was beyond the pale, especially since that question would've been good if those clues had referred to said album.

There was frustrating over underlining or answer selection that could bite a team in the ass. For instance "Bad Faith" on our team, buzzed in early on one tu and said "Humpty," for which he was negged, because he couldn't understand what more was wanted. Buzzing in after a line on that tu and giving a correct answer shouldn't be negged. Another tu that had this problem was an "Eskimo Pie" tu, which I am guessing was negged by many teams with "Klondike Bar," since the Klondike Bar came along less than a decade after the eskimo pie, became much more famous, and also uses the story of the indecisive kid wanting both chocolate and ice cream as its genesis.

What the fuck was the creator of the L Word doing as a tu? Seriously, what the fuck? I took a neg on that with "Miranda July," because all that seemed to vaguely fit and was pretty amazed with where the q went by the end. Was this some tu meant to fullfill the tournament distribution of GLBTQJNKFMEG:Executive Producers: No one will know ? If so, mission accomplished. Hell, tus on Shane, Sarah Schuster or even that horrible theme song would have been approriate to satisify both those who want tus on shows about attractive carpet munchers AND those who want tus that won't go dead.


Spain is not part of Latin America. I get lost around my house, and I know that.

As Matt alluded to, that Sanford and Son tu was indefensibly horrid. It is always good when you've seen 2/3rds of a shows seasons and know that someone on the other team does as well, yet the tu still devolves into 7 people hitting their buzzer at the first real actor named.


One thing alluded to by the Minn person, and I think it can't be stressed enough is that this set was mostly "fuck you anyone born after 1985!" There was so much niched shit from the childhoods of people in their late 20's to early 40's that you'd have to think youngins were like "Nu? wheres the shit we might have a shot at," which was of course balanced out by tus on things TRASH writers imagine college freshman like. Seriously, why the fuck did I need to ever hear the term "cowpunk" in my life, especially in reference to a music genre. I don't see people in academic, say, writing bonuses on Photorealistic Op-Art influenced by Color Field Theory.

Bonuses did seem to vary wildly, and a couple of teams seemed flummoxed by that, including us.

Still, this set was a step up from last years, which included such gems as that Aristocrats tu that tasted like Azimat Bagitovich's ass (I had Sacha Baron Cohen confirm this,) among other problems. It is good to see the quality trending forward, even if it is doing so at a slower pace than agitators like myself (and people who want questions that are par with the field,) would like. I am not launching into a screed to be a partisan dick, I do the same thing with academic shit that pisses me off, so this is just a mark of consistancy on my part, and I do thank the TRASH people for putting the set together, since I do believe playing beats not playing, and I would like to think the writers took some pride in this product, and I obviously have nothing against (basically all) the TRASH writers on a personal level, so I don't want them feeling like I am pointlessly dumping on them.

Also, is the formula for TRASHionals bid allotment out there? It is bad enough one organization doesn't reveal theirs.

I cut short the examples because I didn't want to end up writing 3500 words, since people have short attention spans and such, and I'm lazy.

So, in summary, problems I noted: 1. lots of flotsam in q's creating q's that didn't do a good job of differentiatiting between the top teams and rewarding actual knowledge. 2. wildly inconsistant difficulty. 3. annoying bias towards old folk 4. See Ullsperger's Lemma on noted MEAN site qbwiki.com .



--Pickrell out!

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Post by theMoMA » Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:49 am

First of all, Rothlover basically summed up a lot of my reactions to this tournament. In general, I had a great time and am looking forward to playing the tourney next year. But I have some concerns too.

Observations of a shitty trash player:

The overriding theme: Fuck you anyone born after 1985. Popular 1980s and early 1990s culture is what you're graded on at this tournament.

Exhibit A: where are the internet questions? I think there was only one popular internet phenomenon tossup all tournament (Brokeback to the Future). There should be questions on YTMND, shock sites, ebaumsworld stealing shit, Ted Stevens... This would balance out some of the age gap.

Exhibit B: Where are the current sports questions? Cater some questions to the fantasy sports crowd that knows current sports in and out, because this is age-unspecific. There's a lot of sports in the canon, but it seems like there was at least one fairly old sports history question for every current sports question.

Exhibit C: Where are the classic rock questions? One topic that old and new alike should be able to agree on is this kind of music, yet most music is 1980s or early 1990s pop (things that were popular when you were a kid but not when I was a kid). There was a question on the Yardbirds, but aside from that I felt like the music canon pretty much encompasses two time periods: from Rick Springfield to Warrant, and from Maroon 5 to present. There wasn't a single Beatles question (there may have been a McCartney question on his personal life though).

Exhibit D: Where are the mid 1990s video games questions? Nearly every video game I've ever heard a TRASH question on is either a current release or an NES-era title. A brilliant exception being a Johnny Cage question in practice. Counterstrike, Starcraft, Command and Conquer, Super Smash, Mario 64...these are the games that freshmen grew up on.

This is the most frustrating part of TRASH: most of the questions are written by the type of people who succeed at these tournaments for the kind of people who succeed at these tournaments. The distribution seemed something like 10% pre 1980, 40% 1980-1993, 20% 1993-2000, 30% 2000-present.

Don't get me wrong. It was lots of fun, and I'll be doing it again next year for sure. Our team even had some brilliant moments, beating the Octagon in our final game and holding our own against most of the teams besides Iowa.

One final note: Viva Coetzee.cx!!!

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Re: TRASH regs discussion

Post by btressler » Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:03 am

Rothlover wrote:So thats 27 non-hosts. Anyone disagree with those? Obviously, if hosts followed the lead of BU, Illinois and Del in putting stats up quickly, people could know things.
In turn, I would like to praise those involved with SQBS. TRASH did specifically ask us to use the program for homogenity of results. SQBS is easy to use, and the built-in FTP posting was the part I appreciate the most. This was the first time I had the results on the web before I even left the tournament.

As for the questions, I agree with most of what was said above. Could I encourage TRASH to adopt the model in use for ACF Fall in terms of difficulty? Having one easy, one medium, and one difficult part per bonus (when possible) would help the aforementioned difficulty swings. Regionals is likely to have a wide variety of abilities, and having the questions match all of the knowledge bases is a good thing.

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Post by MLafer » Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:06 am

I really wish Trash would try to diversify their answer selection a little bit. Maybe this is because they have a similar editing staff every year and no packet submission, but it always seems like the same crap comes up every year. There is so much stuff that can be asked about in pop culture that it's just kind of sad that there are so many repeats.

Examples: Spirited Away, Family Circus, mama mia, milton bradley, flock of seagulls (using that same hairdresser clue every time too), pixar, Sun records, scrabble, gallagher, "Stan", john o'hurley, Gary Larson, Jason Robards, under armor

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Post by Coelacanth » Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:22 am

Rothlover wrote:
One thing alluded to by the Minn person, and I think it can't be stressed enough is that this set was mostly "fuck you anyone born after 1985!" There was so much niched shit from the childhoods of people in their late 20's to early 40's that you'd have to think youngins were like "Nu? wheres the shit we might have a shot at," which was of course balanced out by tus on things TRASH writers imagine college freshman like.
As the "Minn person" alluded to here, I don't remember alluding to this, but I do have a point to make about it. TRASH is an OPEN competition, meaning everyone from "college freshman" (sic) to "people in their early 40s" somehow needs to compete on the same questions. When my team of mid-30-somethings sits down against a team of undergrads, I know before the game even starts that there will be 3-4 tossups (mostly on "old school" stuff) that we're going to get, and 3-4 tossups (mostly on contemporary music, or any video game) that we will have no shot to get. When you're talking "pop culture", there's going to be no universal consensus on what's "culturally relevant" when you are dealing with players who are literally from entirely different generations.

I'd echo the opinion that this set was an improvement on previous years, but as the age gap between current college students and people like me continues to widen, this generational issue will become more and more of a problem. Maybe I'm just a dinosaur and should just go away and let the kids have their fun, but if TRASH is promoting an open competition, when I put my money down I want to know that I will at least have a chance to compete. Maybe TRASH should go to a student-only model. Maybe TRASH should adopt student and veteran divisions (or TRASHU and TRASH Classic as I like to call them), with mostly-the-same but some customized questions (ala NAQT's D1 and D2 sets).

This is a fine line that TRASH is trying to walk, and I give them credit for doing as well as they do. Given that this was their first set following some significant personnel turnover, I think overall they did a fine job. Not perfect, and some of the warts have already been alluded to in this thread, but I think we all got our money's worth.

Brian

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Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:52 am

I agree with most of theMoMA's criticisms about this tournament.

I am of the opinion that there ought to at least be a "TRASH Fall" tournament in the vein of ACF Fall that that appeals much more to current undergraduate players with slightly easier questions with a distribution that more accurately reflects current popular culture.

Coelacanth's idea of having two divisions in TRASH is interesting, although it may have some trouble in practice. At the very least it would probably raise the price for the tournament, as the editors would have to do additional work in writing probably 25-30% more questions for the differences between the two brackets. Also, I think it would be hard to implement the different brackets in some TRASH regionals sites. I imagine there would be a few sites where there would only be a few teams from each division, and playing each other over and over again might not be all that fun.

In summary, I would really like to see some big changes in the TRASH format to more appeal to current college students. There should still be place for older questions, as TRASH is an open tournament, but if the organization added another division or another tournament with a more current distribution I think things would be a lot more enjoyable.

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Post by pray for elves » Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:57 am

As someone born in 1986 who can hold their own at TRASH, I can say the answer selection was not at all good for me. (I played as Mike Jones the football player at NE Trash Regs.)

In defense of the Tito Ortiz question, our team got it, but only because Delano happened to know too much about UFC. Even so, it took him to the end to get it.

One annoyance: I got negged on a question because of a moderator not saying something correctly. This person is a very good moderator, but s/he slipped up by saying "this franchise" instead of "the franchise" on the Need for Speed question, leading me to buzz. That's not the fault of the question, but the question was also not very good, especially since there are a lot more popular games coming out than Need for Speed Cobalt (Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, anyone?).

A good portion of the questions were completely inaccessible to me, and had we assembled a team from Brandeis consisting of only currently-enrolled students, we would have lost miserably in most rounds. Chris (a.k.a. Mike Jones the Rapper) carried our team with his ridiculous knowledge of television.

I agree that there was not enough current sports. Also, I feel like there should be more than one soccer question per day, but most people will probably disagree with me.

One unfortunate event was that a group of New York-related questions (two Broadway Shows, the Village Voice, and a couple of others) came up in the second half of one packet (which happened, of course, as we were playing NYU A, rendering the game unwinnable). Maybe the editors just didn't realize that they were all New York-related.

Things I was disappointed in:
-no South Park or Futurama that I recall (correct me if I'm wrong; I don't remember any)
-not enough current sports
-not enough classic rock (this is one area where I could compete with 30-40+ year olds, but there weren't any questions except for the Yardbirds)
-too much pre-1990 television and movies (not way too much, but it should be slightly more balanced with stuff students can get)

And an unrelated nit-pick for Passner: the character name is Azamat Bagatov, not Bagatovich.

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Post by mrmaguda » Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:05 pm

I managed to get the Tito Ortiz tossup just because I am one of the few people who will admit to seeing Cradle in the Grave in theaters.

This year's question set was definitely a lot better than last year's Regionals.

And yeah, unless TRASHionals is in Saint Louis or someplace close to it, I plan on making my triumphant return to the Alcoholics Synonymous team for TRASHionals.

Andy Walz

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Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:40 pm

ikillkenny wrote:I am of the opinion that there ought to at least be a "TRASH Fall" tournament in the vein of ACF Fall that that appeals much more to current undergraduate players with slightly easier questions with a distribution that more accurately reflects current popular culture.
There was a "TRASH junior bird" for two or three years that fit what you are describing, but it dissolved when TRASH adopted the "let writers quit, halfheartedly solicit people to replace them, then never write back to applicants" policy and became unable to produce a third set each year as a result.

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Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:00 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
ikillkenny wrote:I am of the opinion that there ought to at least be a "TRASH Fall" tournament in the vein of ACF Fall that that appeals much more to current undergraduate players with slightly easier questions with a distribution that more accurately reflects current popular culture.
There was a "TRASH junior bird" for two or three years that fit what you are describing, but it dissolved when TRASH adopted the "let writers quit, halfheartedly solicit people to replace them, then never write back to applicants" policy and became unable to produce a third set each year as a result.
If the TRASH writers don't have the time to write a third packet set, why not make it an optional packet submission tournament? I'm sure most teams could put together at least a half packet of trash for such a tournament, and it would hypothetically save the writer's time (although there would still be a lot of duplicate checking and editting).

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Re: TRASH regs discussion

Post by I'm a goff (in case you couldn't tell) » Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:06 pm

Rothlover wrote: Whoever these Screen Door people are
Pirhana Club, which I am guessing is the Allentown Club
To answer your questions:
1) Screen Door = Jason Keller, Ben Gross et al.
2) Yes, it's Allentown

I agree with some of the other concerns expressed about answer selection. Especially in the music category, it seems like there were a disproportionate amount of questions about indie music. The 1/1 Christmas Story packet was a bit out of place. I'm glad I held of on the UFC question as well, though the wrestling submission holds bonus was amusing.

An earlier poster mentioned a neg on the Need For Speed question because the moderator said 'this' franchise. We (Green Eggs and Dan; I was Danny Tanner) had the same thing happen to us. I could swear that i heard the moderator say "this franchise" and another player on my team negged with that same answer after being prompted. I wonder if the question wasn't written that way?

Our team was entirely 20-somethings, and I think that definitely helped. I don't think anyone born after about 1983 might have been old enough to remember much about Due South. In a match against one of the Charter teams, one of their players confessed that they had never heard of Nine Inch Nails. I'm not sure he was out of diapers, if not still a twinkle in his father's eye, when The Downward Spiral was released.

I'll admit - I played pretty well on the set and enjoyed the questions. I agree, they were definitely an improvement over last year's set, but accessibility definitely needs to improve. Of the top four teams in the Mid-Atlantic, I don't think one of them had a player under 24, and half of those teams are 30+. I think that says something about the age bracket that TRASH is writing towards.

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Post by Rothlover » Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:27 pm

Coelacanth wrote:
Rothlover wrote:
One thing alluded to by the Minn person, and I think it can't be stressed enough is that this set was mostly "fuck you anyone born after 1985!" There was so much niched shit from the childhoods of people in their late 20's to early 40's that you'd have to think youngins were like "Nu? wheres the shit we might have a shot at," which was of course balanced out by tus on things TRASH writers imagine college freshman like.
As the "Minn person" alluded to here, I don't remember alluding to this, but I do have a point to make about it. TRASH is an OPEN competition, meaning everyone from "college freshman" (sic) to "people in their early 40s" somehow needs to compete on the same questions. When my team of mid-30-somethings sits down against a team of undergrads, I know before the game even starts that there will be 3-4 tossups (mostly on "old school" stuff) that we're going to get, and 3-4 tossups (mostly on contemporary music, or any video game) that we will have no shot to get. When you're talking "pop culture", there's going to be no universal consensus on what's "culturally relevant" when you are dealing with players who are literally from entirely different generations.


Brian
Brian, I apologize. I meant to say Oklahoma person (Angelo I guess), who noted that the players in his region were mostly UG. Wasn't trying to put words in anyone's mouth.

I should clarify that I think the answer selection regarding contemporary stuff, i.e. the stuff that is allegedly popular among college UG's tends to miss the mark.

Also, I forgot about that Dog from Due South tu. Again, what the fuck? Way to not actually reward those of us who watched Due South (all 4 of us.)

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Post by pray for elves » Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:27 pm

In response to all of this talk about "TRASH Fall", I'd just like to point out to people that BU hosted a trash Junior Bird on October 21 (the Emily Deschanel Memorial Tournament, I believe it was called), written in-house, and they did a fine job of it. Their questions were appropriately aimed at undergraduates and there were almost no ungettable questions for a good undergraduate team. Obviously, it would be greatly beneficial to see such a thing done again in the future, but since both of the primary writers (Nathan Bragg and Jack Brounstein) are graduating this year it seems unlikely.

My only gripe about that tournament was the way Nathan's and Jack's packets were predictably different, but now I'm getting into a whole different discussion...

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Post by Rothlover » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:26 am

DeisEvan wrote:In response to all of this talk about "TRASH Fall", I'd just like to point out to people that BU hosted a trash Junior Bird on October 21 (the Emily Deschanel Memorial Tournament, I believe it was called), written in-house, and they did a fine job of it. Their questions were appropriately aimed at undergraduates and there were almost no ungettable questions for a good undergraduate team. Obviously, it would be greatly beneficial to see such a thing done again in the future, but since both of the primary writers (Nathan Bragg and Jack Brounstein) are graduating this year it seems unlikely.

My only gripe about that tournament was the way Nathan's and Jack's packets were predictably different, but now I'm getting into a whole different discussion...
Yeah, that BU set was pretty good for a first effort, or in general, for that matter. I was meaning to note that at some point, I guess this is a good time to note that the set looked up to snuff.

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Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist » Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:46 am

DeisEvan wrote:
Things I was disappointed in:
-no South Park or Futurama that I recall (correct me if I'm wrong; I don't remember any)
-not enough current sports
-not enough classic rock (this is one area where I could compete with 30-40+ year olds, but there weren't any questions except for the Yardbirds)
-too much pre-1990 television and movies (not way too much, but it should be slightly more balanced with stuff students can get)
I just got bak into the country after a month overseas, so still digesting this thread, but I can say that

There was a South Park bonus, but it appears to have been shoved to bonus 20 in round 5 and a Futurama reference in a tossup in round 15, so you probably just missed them.

My own personal preference is to scale back music about acts that peaked in the '70s and '80s in favor of acts whose first significant output came after 1990, but I don't know how the music was distributed.

Would you put a numerical value on how much pre-1990 TV and movies is too much? I have also heard from some people (including some undergrads) that things like Hitchcock or film noir classics sometimes get underrepresented.

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Post by Rothlover » Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:34 am

I definately think good and good old film and foreign film etc is underrepresented in TRASH and most trash. There is plenty of legit old stuff young players will be familiar with, in my opinion, just would have to use good judgement.

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Post by mcoen » Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:57 am

In case anyone wants to email feedback outside of this discussion, please feel free to send it along to me at mcoen_bu at yahoo dot com.

Mark

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Post by pray for elves » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:05 am

QuizbowlPostmodernist wrote:
I just got bak into the country after a month overseas, so still digesting this thread, but I can say that

There was a South Park bonus, but it appears to have been shoved to bonus 20 in round 5 and a Futurama reference in a tossup in round 15, so you probably just missed them.

My own personal preference is to scale back music about acts that peaked in the '70s and '80s in favor of acts whose first significant output came after 1990, but I don't know how the music was distributed.

Would you put a numerical value on how much pre-1990 TV and movies is too much? I have also heard from some people (including some undergrads) that things like Hitchcock or film noir classics sometimes get underrepresented.
I played at BU/New England TRASH Regs, and we only played 10 rounds, so that would explain not getting the Futurama tossup. The South Park bonus being pushed to #20 would also explain that not coming up. That's just personal taste though, so it's not really a big deal, although those are probably the two most popular animated shows on the quiz bowl circuit.

I understand your preference to scale back music that's pre-1990 in favor of post-1990, but one thing that can also be done is ask a few questions about hard topics on really famous bands from the 60s and 70s a little more often than happened in this tournament. The only tossup or bonus I heard that could be considered classic rock was the Yardbirds tossup. If you want to remove some of the 80s stuff, I'm all for it; I guess the fact that most of the editors and writers for Regionals grew up in the 80s may have caused that.

One problem with bringing more post-1990 music into play is that there are now tons of current indie rock questions that are ungettable for about half the people. This is only a problem because sometimes there are questions about extremely obscure bands. It's perfectly reasonable to think that a solid team could get 0 points on an indie rock bonus because they don't know any of the three being asked and don't guess correctly. In fact, this happens quite frequently.

As far as movies and TV go, there obviously still needs to be some balance, but I would agree that Hitchcock is more gettable than some things that get asked. Film Noir is more gettable than many movies that get watched. I know I'd be buzzing on the Maltese Falcon long before anything on obscure works of Clark Gable. Undergraduates don't have much of a chance of getting obscure movies and television from the 70s up to the mid-80s. Unless, of course, it's TROLL 2, conclusively the worst movie ever made.

I believe TV and Movies are each 4/4 or so in TRASH packets. In that case, I'd say probably 3/3 TV and 2/2 movies should be 1990-present in order to make it more gettable for undergrads. Also, as far as pre-1990 movies and TV go, they should be slightly less obscure at the Regionals level than they have been. Save the really obscure stuff for TRASHionals, when it's all fair game. With post-1990 TV, everyone is on equal ground, unlike pre-1990 TV, where older people clearly have an advantage.

One particular TV toss-up that stands out in my mind as being lousy is one that I actually got at these regionals: the Rolling Stones question. Has anyone ever heard of this show? From what I heard, in every room here it went dead until the band giveaway, and in some rooms it went dead because people zoned out after realizing they didn't know it. It was essentially "blah blah blah shares its name with the band who released Sticky Fingers" buzz.

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Post by Kilby » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:23 am

DeisEvan wrote:One particular TV toss-up that stands out in my mind as being lousy is one that I actually got at these regionals: the Rolling Stones question. Has anyone ever heard of this show? From what I heard, in every room here it went dead until the band giveaway, and in some rooms it went dead because people zoned out after realizing they didn't know it. It was essentially "blah blah blah shares its name with the band who released Sticky Fingers" buzz.
Two comments:
1) The Rolling Stones is a sci-fi novel by Robert Heinlein, not a TV show.
2) It was answered in correctly before the albums clue in the room I was moderating.

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Post by Kilby » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:26 am

Sorry, I meant "answered correctly." I miss the edit button.

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Post by pray for elves » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:42 am

My mistake. The way I heard it read, I could have sworn I heard the moderator say "this show". Apparently I haven't read enough of Heinlein's slightly less well known works.

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Trash Regionals Southeast

Post by drollins » Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:59 am

In case anyone still cares, here's the link for complete stats for TRASH SE Regionals at GPC Clarkston.

http://www.gpc.edu/~gpcqbt/trash06standings.htm :cool:


And yes, I did play there. My tag-team partner and I finished second to the unholy UGA/Florida alliance (Franklin, Zahnen, etc.) and hopefully will be receiving a bid (Which I think we deserve, especially with what could have happened if we fielded a full team). And for those who criticize that TRASH tends to skew towards older players.... TRASH
is the best media for young players. I truly believe that. Adding John Kilby as a writer is a good step in that direction. He'll do his best to influence more content for younger players, and hopefully others will follow that will do the same. That being said... I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and the competition was excellent as is reflected by the standings.


Peace out... Happy Thanksgiving.... Don't forget TrashMasters on 12/2.

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Re: Trash Regionals Southeast

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:19 pm

drollins wrote:And for those who criticize that TRASH tends to skew towards older players.... TRASH is the best media for young players.
This brilliant argument has convinced me.

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Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist » Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:24 pm

Well, the music was just my personal preference, not necessarily how the questions fell for TRASH. I could make the argument that more music bonuses should be cross-genre to compensate for a more fragmented musical landscape without any true mainstream anymore. But really, that's part of a whole other discussion.

In the interest of spurring useful feedback, I have a couple of questions that might guide discussion

-What were your favorite or least favorite questions?
-What were some overrepresented or underrepresented subcategories? (Please include numbers as to what you perceived to be the case and what you think should be the case.)
-What bonuses did you lame? What bonuses did it shock you to see other teams lame?

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Re: Trash Regionals Southeast

Post by Rothlover » Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:40 pm

drollins wrote:In case anyone still cares, here's the link for complete stats for TRASH SE Regionals at GPC Clarkston.

http://www.gpc.edu/~gpcqbt/trash06standings.htm :cool:


And yes, I did play there. My tag-team partner and I finished second to the unholy UGA/Florida alliance (Franklin, Zahnen, etc.) and hopefully will be receiving a bid (Which I think we deserve, especially with what could have happened if we fielded a full team). And for those who criticize that TRASH tends to skew towards older players.... TRASH
is the best media for young players. I truly believe that. Adding John Kilby as a writer is a good step in that direction. He'll do his best to influence more content for younger players, and hopefully others will follow that will do the same. That being said... I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and the competition was excellent as is reflected by the standings.


Peace out... Happy Thanksgiving.... Don't forget TrashMasters on 12/2.
Before I go to sleep, just wanted to note yet another field where the 2nd place team was as strong as the 7th place team from the Midwest region. Just beating a dead horse for the benefit of those people who give out the bids.

Also, is TM the whole weekend, or is there some other event too? I may have the cash to make it down there, do people do theme rounds and such?

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Re: Trash Regionals Southeast

Post by Kilby » Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:24 pm

Rothlover wrote:Also, is TM the whole weekend, or is there some other event too? I may have the cash to make it down there, do people do theme rounds and such?
Trashmasters itself will be a one-day event. For the Sunday after, there will be an event that I am currently working on. It will most likely end up being an all-audio tournament (likely multi-disciplinary instead of just music), but I'm open to suggestions (specifically, I'm trying to create a format that will work under the time constraints and would like some ideas). Everyone who either plays or staffs at TRASHionals will be able to play for free.

Back to your regularly scheduled TRASH Regionals discussion...

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Post by MLafer » Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:05 pm

DeisEvan wrote:One problem with bringing more post-1990 music into play is that there are now tons of current indie rock questions that are ungettable for about half the people. This is only a problem because sometimes there are questions about extremely obscure bands. It's perfectly reasonable to think that a solid team could get 0 points on an indie rock bonus because they don't know any of the three being asked and don't guess correctly. In fact, this happens quite frequently.
Just curious, what were the questions that you thought were "extremely obscure"?

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Post by pray for elves » Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:16 am

MLafer wrote:Just curious, what were the questions that you thought were "extremely obscure"?
OK, so that may be a slight exaggeration on my part; I'm having trouble thinking of anything I heard at TRASH Regionals this year that would qualify as "extremely" obscure, at least offhand. I do recall a few lesser-known indie bands coming up as bonus parts, but I shouldn't really complain about that unless there's more than one obscure part in the same bonus. I don't have the TRASH Regionals set, so I can't find any or remind myself of some. I apologize. Today's just not my day, I guess.

At the FOGHAT mirror there were definitely some obscure bands (Guided by Voices, the BoDeans, Citizen King, Saliva, and others). Of course, that's not entirely relevant since this is the TRASH Regionals discussion.

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Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist » Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:43 am

DeisEvan wrote:At the FOGHAT mirror there were definitely some obscure bands (Guided by Voices, the BoDeans, Citizen King, Saliva, and others). Of course, that's not entirely relevant since this is the TRASH Regionals discussion.
Yeah, this could probably be split off into a separate discussion on obscure/non-obscure music in trash tournaments, but I find it fascinating.

I'll admit to knowing 3/4 of the bands cited. Then again, my tastes may be a bit skewed, as noted.

-Guided By Voices seems like one of those bands that has been around awhile with a loyal fanbase and some critical acclaim, but minimal chart success. I do think that indie rock is going to feel inherently obscure to some people. It's called indie for a reason. I also may be more aware of them than the average indie non-fan (I listen occasionally, but not faithfully) since I am from near where they were based.

-I hear the BoDeans on the radio at least once a week, but that might be a Midwest regional thing. I'd be curious to here what other people say

-Saliva is one of those generic alt-metal bands that all sound pretty much the same to me. I'll admit that part of the reason that I know who they are is that they have had music used in professional wrestling, but I also remember lead singer Josey Scott performing Hero with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback for the Spider-Man soundtrack.

-Never heard of Citizen King

Do you consider them obscure as tossup answers or obscure as the middle (or hard) part in a bonus? Guided By Voices can be a problematic tossup answer, especially since there is no easy giveaway, but there are obviously people out there who will get it. The BoDeans and Saliva less so, but it might be hard to find enough meaningful clues to easily write more than an average quality tossup on them.

Since you mentioned classic rock as one of your interests, what classic rock acts would you consider to be of similar obscurity as the bands you mentioned? (Would they still be "classic" if they are obscure?)

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Post by pray for elves » Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:18 am

QuizbowlPostmodernist wrote:-Guided By Voices seems like one of those bands that has been around awhile with a loyal fanbase and some critical acclaim, but minimal chart success. I do think that indie rock is going to feel inherently obscure to some people. It's called indie for a reason. I also may be more aware of them than the average indie non-fan (I listen occasionally, but not faithfully) since I am from near where they were based.
I'd never heard of them before, and the people I knew who were at the tournament with me had also not heard of them.
QuizbowlPostmodernist wrote:-I hear the BoDeans on the radio at least once a week, but that might be a Midwest regional thing. I'd be curious to here what other people say.
Back when I listened to the radio more often I never heard the BoDeans, but the radio stations in Knoxville, TN are not that good. I have yet to hear them on any of our Boston stations.
QuizbowlPostmodernist wrote:-Saliva is one of those generic alt-metal bands that all sound pretty much the same to me. I'll admit that part of the reason that I know who they are is that they have had music used in professional wrestling, but I also remember lead singer Josey Scott performing Hero with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback for the Spider-Man soundtrack.
I'm not a wrestling fan (although I do know a little about mid-80s to mid-90s wrestling, but just enough to scrape by when it comes up). I'm also not into alt-metal, so maybe that would explain this one.
QuizbowlPostmodernist wrote:-Never heard of Citizen King
Glad I'm not the only one.
QuizbowlPostmodernist wrote:Do you consider them obscure as tossup answers or obscure as the middle (or hard) part in a bonus? Guided By Voices can be a problematic tossup answer, especially since there is no easy giveaway, but there are obviously people out there who will get it. The BoDeans and Saliva less so, but it might be hard to find enough meaningful clues to easily write more than an average quality tossup on them.
I would consider them too hard as a tossup answer, definitely. One of the problems I had was that the BoDeans and Citizen King were two parts to the same bonus (a Wisconsin small-time bands bonus; luckily my team didn't get it as our bonus). For many teams, that would be a washout ten (the other part was Garbage, which almost anyone would get) if they'd already used their lame.

As the hard part of a bonus, it's not so bad. As the medium part, it's pressing it, unless you're at a masters-level or national level tournament, because you want teams to get 10 points on the bonus with baseline knowledge, and 20 with decent knowledge; that's not happening with Saliva as the medium part for most people.

Also, NYU A and their ridiculous indie music knowledge were not there at BU's FOGHAT mirror, so things went dead all over that they might have gotten.
QuizbowlPostmodernist wrote:Since you mentioned classic rock as one of your interests, what classic rock acts would you consider to be of similar obscurity as the bands you mentioned? (Would they still be "classic" if they are obscure?)
Some people consider classic rock a genre; I consider it as more of a time period, since bands that sound like AC/DC are considered classic rock at the same time as bands like Pink Floyd (and those two sound nothing alike, obviously). The thing about that time period is that not having lived through it, the really obscure bands are not the ones I'd know. The best example of a lesser-known band of that vintage that's been asked would be 10cc, which was a tossup answer in the ejaculation round at FOGHAT, I believe. The MC5 have also come up, but they are now to a lesser extent sort of what Robert Johnson was, in that they were not popular at the time but then became popular later. Of course, the MC5 are still not that popular. In all honesty, I wouldn't mind the occasional album tossup on a huge-name band like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, etc.

Honestly, with indie rock, there are so many indie-popular acts now, like Sigur Ros, Sufjan Stevens, Iron and Wine, and more. These are more gettable than what I've mentioned before. These come up sometimes, but fore every time they come up there's seven more indie bands I've never heard of. Surprisingly, I think I've only heard one question on Death Cab for Cutie, who are indie rock but are also very popular. I'm not asking for trash to get easier, because I like hard questions, but TRASH Regionals did have a complete absence of my favorite music.

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Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:46 am

Citizen King is a one-hit wonder from the late 90s with "Better Days (And the Bottom Drops Out)", a pseudo-rap song. To keep the three of four theme going though, I am familiar with Saliva (unfortunately) and know of Guide By Voices, but I don't really know the BoDeans.

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Post by Kilby » Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:06 am

DeisEvan wrote:One of the problems I had was that the BoDeans and Citizen King were two parts to the same bonus (a Wisconsin small-time bands bonus; luckily my team didn't get it as our bonus). For many teams, that would be a washout ten (the other part was Garbage, which almost anyone would get) if they'd already used their lame.
Looking back at that particular FOGHAT bonus, I agree that Garbage is an easy 10 and that the Citizen King part is definitely the hardest (I couldn't quite pull the name of the band at the tournament... I remember Atlanta's alternative radio station playing the song, but I don't think I've ever heard it since it was originally released). I have a difficult time considering the BoDeans to be a hard-level question, especially since the clue given was what would be the appropriate giveaway for a BoDeans toss-up: they did "Closer To Free," the theme song to the show Party of Five.

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Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist » Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:54 am

DeisEvan wrote: Honestly, with indie rock, there are so many indie-popular acts now, like Sigur Ros, Sufjan Stevens, Iron and Wine, and more.
It's funny because I know Sufjan Stevens, have vaguely heard of Sigur Ros, and don't know Iron and Wine.

Recent music seems so hit-or-miss. I sometimes wonder what would happen if one selected answers for a music theme round by throwing darts at a list of the top 1000 songs recorded since 2000 that have been downloaded by the 18-22 demographic on iTunes this year.

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Post by mmb5 » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:03 am

Matt Weiner wrote:There were a few tossups that suffered from a preponderance of leadins and a lack of middle clues--the Sanford and Son one comes to mind; it talked endlessly about various versions of the show that were NOT made, and actors who were NOT cast on it, and then went into a buzzer race on "show where a black guy owns a junkyard."
Actually, I liked that question, since I got it off the people who were in the failed pilots. One man's trash is another man's treasure...

No complaints here. This is a hard thing to pull off year after year and you can't bat 1.000 on every question.


--Mike

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Post by fizzball » Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:25 pm

DeisEvan wrote:
QuizbowlPostmodernist wrote:-Guided By Voices seems like one of those bands that has been around awhile with a loyal fanbase and some critical acclaim, but minimal chart success. I do think that indie rock is going to feel inherently obscure to some people. It's called indie for a reason. I also may be more aware of them than the average indie non-fan (I listen occasionally, but not faithfully) since I am from near where they were based.
QuizbowlPostmodernist wrote:Do you consider them obscure as tossup answers or obscure as the middle (or hard) part in a bonus? Guided By Voices can be a problematic tossup answer, especially since there is no easy giveaway, but there are obviously people out there who will get it. The BoDeans and Saliva less so, but it might be hard to find enough meaningful clues to easily write more than an average quality tossup on them.
I would consider them too hard as a tossup answer, definitely.
I don't have the questions in front of me, but I'm reasonably confident that Guided by Voices was only used as a bonus part at FOGHAT. There was a lot of Chicago content in that particular bonus (dealing with a local concert-poster artist with some national reknown), so I can't imagine how it went over at any of the mirrors.

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Post by Kilby » Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:44 pm

fizzball wrote:I don't have the questions in front of me, but I'm reasonably confident that Guided by Voices was only used as a bonus part at FOGHAT. There was a lot of Chicago content in that particular bonus (dealing with a local concert-poster artist with some national reknown), so I can't imagine how it went over at any of the mirrors.
I looked at the questions and you are correct in that it was part of a bonus about the work of an artist (other parts were the Human League and Iron & Wine). I don't think the bonus skewed to any particular geography (each part has the structure of "he designed a poster for this group" that did the following songs, albums, etc.).

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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Nov 22, 2006 4:15 pm

mmb5 wrote:Actually, I liked that question, since I got it off the people who were in the failed pilots. One man's trash is another man's treasure...
Failed pilots is ok as one leadin clue, it just didn't need to be five clues leading to a hasty difficulty dropoff. I imagine you still would have gotten it had the question mentioned one of the failed attempts, then talked about episode plots, then used the giveaway clues.

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Post by MLafer » Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:19 pm

DeisEvan wrote: OK, so that may be a slight exaggeration on my part; I'm having trouble thinking of anything I heard at TRASH Regionals this year that would qualify as "extremely" obscure, at least offhand. I do recall a few lesser-known indie bands coming up as bonus parts, but I shouldn't really complain about that unless there's more than one obscure part in the same bonus. I don't have the TRASH Regionals set, so I can't find any or remind myself of some. I apologize. Today's just not my day, I guess.

At the FOGHAT mirror there were definitely some obscure bands (Guided by Voices, the BoDeans, Citizen King, Saliva, and others). Of course, that's not entirely relevant since this is the TRASH Regionals discussion.
You were probably thinking of the bonus that had Animal Collective and Tortoise as answers. Unfortunately my team did not get this bonus as it was my favorite of the tournament. It showed a willingness to ask about things that your typical TRASH player may not know about. I cannot consider them obscure, though. I think we can use last.fm and rateyourmusic as decent gauges of what people are listening to these days...at least internet savvy folk (and why should we worry about the general populace? we don't in academic quiz bowl). Last.fm fans for some of the bands mentioned:

Animal Collective 2,375,020 plays scrobbled on Last.fm
Tortoise 904,472 plays scrobbled on Last.fm
Guided by Voices 1,557,437 plays scrobbled on Last.fm
Saliva 591,634 plays scrobbled on Last.fm


Meanwhile...

BoDeans 26,674 plays scrobbled on Last.fm
Citizen King 28,877 plays scrobbled on Last.fm

Rateyourmusic votes for their most popular albums:

Animal Collective - Feels 718 ratings
Guided by Voices - Bee Thousand 548 ratings
Tortoise - Millions Now Living Will Never Die 597 ratings

BoDeans - Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams 22 ratings
Saliva - Back Into Your System 94 ratings
Citizen King - Mobile Estates 14 ratings

Obviously these results are skewed by the fact that some of the bands are one hit wonders. I think in general one-hit wonders (real one-hit wonders, not say, A-Ha, who had two hits plus a famous theme to a Bond movie) should be relegated to bonus parts as they were at Foghat, while popular indie bands like the ones asked about the bonus can continue to be asked about in bonuses, or even moved to tossups. I guarantee they'll be answered more than the country and NASCAR questions, at least in areas outside of the South.

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Post by BigFlax » Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:30 pm

I can't say I had much of a problem with them, though it probably helps that I was able to put up my best scoring at a TRASH tournament since Regionals 2003.

I think the "TRASH is unfair to younger players" argument is just a variant on the standard "There's too much of [x subject] in [y format]" argument that comes up approximately once a week in the quiz bowl community. I can't say I've ever noticed a significant bias towards one time period or another in TRASH, although I suppose that could just be because I manage to bridge them fairly well usually. That said, I don't see what's wrong with asking as many questions about the 80s as about the past five years - there are plenty of older TRASH players, and even not-so-old players, who remember the 80s, so it's not like these questions are being written for no one who was even there, and besides that I think it's inarguable that tons of stuff from the 80s still holds "relevance" as trivia.

I think Mike Burger's breakdown of time periods for Ann B. Davis questions - which asks for an equal distribution between the last six months, last fifteen years, 1980s, and pre-1980s for movies, TV, and music, and an equal distribution between the very recent (last 2 years) and less recent (anything before that) for sports - is more than fair and is probably more or less emulated in the TRASH breakdown, though without the entire set in front of me I can't test that hypothesis. Still, whining about questions to which you didn't know the answer just comes off like sour grapes. Very few 80s or earlier questions were inaccessible even to younger people, I think; the elders in the field just had an advantage. But the younger people should have an advantage on more recent subjects that should cancel that out. If teams like the Keenans and O'Reillys are so successful it's because they're able to keep accumulating new information in addition to what they may know about the 70s or 80s, not because all the questions lean toward the latter.

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Post by BigFlax » Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:35 pm

Just to add to that, since I can't edit it in, anyone concerned about not knowing enough older information should try writing a few packets based on Mike's distribution requirements. I'm certainly not anywhere near old enough to have watched (much less listened to) "Have Gun - Will Travel," but having written a question on it for, I think, a Monty Burns tournament a couple years ago, I was familiar with the clues. In general packet writing is probably as good a study guide as exists in Trash, if not in quiz bowl overall. The lack of writing experience probably contributes as much to the "older knowledge gap" of many players who are still in their undergrad years as anything else.

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Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist » Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:05 pm

MLafer wrote: I think we can use last.fm and rateyourmusic as decent gauges of what people are listening to these days...at least internet savvy folk (and why should we worry about the general populace? we don't in academic quiz bowl). Last.fm fans for some of the bands mentioned:
I guess I really can write a tossup on Keane (4,246,801 plays scrobbled on Last.fm) and Muse (15,683,750 plays scrobbled on Last.fm), or I could if I had British Aspiration Syndrome. I guess I'll have to settle for writing questions on Air (6,154,304 plays scrobbled on Last.fm)

Yay for metrics that give us numbers like:

System of a Down - 20,733,394 plays scrobbled on Last.fm
The Rolling Stones - 5,781,136 plays scrobbled on Last.fm

or

James Blunt - 3,677,981 plays scrobbled on Last.fm
Elton John - 2,147,704 plays scrobbled on Last.fm

or

Ben Harper - 2,013,918 plays scrobbled on Last.fm
Average White Band - 64,608 plays scrobbled on Last.fm

or

Sugababes - 1,207,027 plays scrobbled on Last.fm
Chuck Berry - 473,898 plays scrobbled on Last.fm

or

Sigur Ros - 7,616,921 plays scrobbled on Last.fm
ABBA - 1,346,817 plays scrobbled on Last.fm

Now, we can have a lot of fun plugging in numbers and having fun (least scrobbled artist I have ever written a tossup on....so far, Jermaine Jackson).

Thanks for introducing me to another useful tool in answer selection. Of course, popularity is just one answer selection criterion. Other things to consider include historical importance and critical acclaim (although the highest rated album of 2006 on metacritic right now is Ali Farka Toure).

I'm also unsure that the internet-savvy audience should be allowed to weigh heavily. I'm not sure that I would want the video game subdistribution to be influenced by what I can read on Slashdot. It's sometimes easier to do so, but so is writing questions solely out of Wikipedia. And sites like last.fm probably have a disproportionate number of indie music fans relative to the entire universe of internet-savvy people, since those are the people who are most likely to seek out sites like last.fm to find more music.

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Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist » Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:47 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
mmb5 wrote:Actually, I liked that question, since I got it off the people who were in the failed pilots. One man's trash is another man's treasure...
Failed pilots is ok as one leadin clue, it just didn't need to be five clues leading to a hasty difficulty dropoff. I imagine you still would have gotten it had the question mentioned one of the failed attempts, then talked about episode plots, then used the giveaway clues.
Regardless of whether that question was well-written, I would argue that there are a diverse number of approaches to writing questions with the same answer. For a TV show, one can write tossups where the narrative threads through backstage and creative details, casting from minor recurring characters all the way to the leads, or plot lines. I don't believe in some sort of autonomy of the television program, where what you see on the screen is all that is significant. While certainly, the bulk of the importance of a show is tied up in what you watch at the appointed time, it is not the entirety of what can be asked about a show. There is room within a set for an occasional question dealing with things that are less significant than the plotlines, but still significant. Is the process by which the lead role was cast significant? Maybe, maybe not, depending on the show.

A properly diverse question set shouldn't sound like a bunch of monotonous, mad-libbed tossups, but that's really a quizbowl theory debate which isn't specific to trash. I have vague plans to bore people with a long theory post about that eventually.

P.S. The buzzer race should have been on "sitcom starring Redd Foxx," which came after the FTP, but before it was mentioned that the title characters own a junkyard, although the African-American nature of the cast was mentioned before the FTP.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:35 pm

BigFlax wrote: That said, I don't see what's wrong with asking as many questions about the 80s as about the past five years - there are plenty of older TRASH players, and even not-so-old players, who remember the 80s, so it's not like these questions are being written for no one who was even there, and besides that I think it's inarguable that tons of stuff from the 80s still holds "relevance" as trivia.
The problem is not questions on old stuff per se, it's questions on specific old stuff that people in college today have no hope of knowing firsthand. Sure, ask as many questions about Stevie Wonder, Soylent Green, and the Immaculate Reception as you want--just about anyone who will be showing up at a trash tournament will get that stuff by the end. But asking about TV shows like Airwolf that went off the air in 1980something and don't regularly re-run today on cable? How are you supposed to know that without either being old, or studying some book of TV shows? Is trash really going to live up to the ACF straw man of "if you don't know it, study an almanac or write a question on it and stop complaining"? Just because it's trash doesn't mean you can ignore a fundamental principle of good question writing, which is that primary knowledge is to be rewarded over studying for quizbowl.

If it wasn't clear before I'll say it now: this point applies much more strongly to the TV category than anything else. Movies, sports, and music persist forever; TV doesn't.
I think Mike Burger's breakdown of time periods for Ann B. Davis questions - which asks for an equal distribution between the last six months, last fifteen years, 1980s, and pre-1980s for movies, TV, and music, and an equal distribution between the very recent (last 2 years) and less recent (anything before that) for sports - is more than fair and is probably more or less emulated in the TRASH breakdown, though without the entire set in front of me I can't test that hypothesis.
The equally subjective sense I got from TRASH regionals was that there was a category called 1975-1990, and a category called 2003-2006, and that's what got asked. The 90s and the really old stuff (which, by the way, is equally accessible or equally inaccessible to all age groups--no reason not to ask about Yogi Berra or The 39 Steps, is there?) didn't appear very much at all.
Still, whining about questions to which you didn't know the answer just comes off like sour grapes.
That's a really stupid thing to say.

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Post by Rothlover » Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:42 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
BigFlax wrote:

Still, whining about questions to which you didn't know the answer just comes off like sour grapes.
That's a really stupid thing to say.



Yeah, good trash players have no right deciding what seems reasonable or unreasonable. Once a set has been completed, its fucking shariaa. Nevermind that there was plenty of complaining going on about questions answered by the person registering a complaint.

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