New ACF Rules

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Matt Weiner
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New ACF Rules

Post by Matt Weiner »

OK, as has been noted on the board, the old ACF rules are kind of incomplete and outdated, so I wrote some new ones (using the PACE NSC rules as a base, with permission). Mike Sorice, Eric Kwartler, and Jason Paik provided a lot of input on this document as well. I want to see what everyone has to say about these so that a revision which is as satisfactory as possible can be adopted before Regionals.

Note that the rules are intended to be useful for any tournament running a 20/20 untimed format, so they have lots of stuff about high school tournaments, collegiate invitationals not edited by ACF, and so forth.

Anything objectionable, unclear, etc should be noted in this thread so we can talk about it.

The proposed new rules

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Post by BuzzerZen »

The rules are inconsistent between the use of "his" and "he", and "his/hers" and "he/she" in reference to "a player". Since using "he" to refer to an anonymous individual is incorrect, please standardize to either "he/she" or "they". I would recommend "they" myself; "he/she" is really inelegant.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

More importantly, we have to make sure we correctly use the serial comma.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

Much like packet editors often are, I was torn over the conflict between strictly "correct" grammar and absolute clarity. It would be nice if someone else did a copy-edit on the final version of the rules once the content is locked down.

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Post by Mike Bentley »

In regard to that Supreme Court Case rule, should it really be acceptable to take "Gibbons" or "Ogden" by themsevles for "Gibbons v. Ogden"? This is something of a murky subject, as cases like Roe v. Wade are often referred to just as "Roe". At the very least, giving the less popular name of a case (like "Wade" in Roe v. Wade) seems like it should at the most be a prompt.
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Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Since using "he" to refer to an anonymous individual is incorrect, please standardize to either "he/she" or "they". I would recommend "they" myself; "he/she" is really inelegant.

...

Hear that? It's the deafening sound of my silence, please admire my heroic restraint when every bone in my body aches for me to be hideously inflammatory.

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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

I once wrote a tossup using "they" as a singular pronoun -- not because I wanted to be gender inclusive, but because I wanted to experiment and see if it was a viable way to end the practice of having to use "this ruler" in tossups about female rulers. This was the Akhenaten tossup from History doubles, for those who want to go take a look at it.

It failed miserably. Even I was confused when I was reading the question and I was the one who wrote it.
Last edited by Skepticism and Animal Feed on Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Sima Guang Hater »

Dolemite wrote:STOP OPPRESSING WOMEN WITH YOUR PHALLOCRATIC DOGMA RYAN WESTBROOK
Don't you mean womyn?

And I like the changes, mostly. I'm especially glad you're getting rid of the silly rule about not giving the answers to bonus parts right after they're given, since no one really follows that anyway.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

Well, honestly, these rules are most stringently enforced at ACF nationals. We're going to urge hosts to follow them at ACF regionals, and we hope that most if not all hosts will. It's just impossible to guarantee. There is a reason for every rule in the document, but for a host struggling to keep the tournament together, following a long and complicated set of rules can be distracting and unmanageable.
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Post by Scipio »

I like the new rules. I would, however, like to suggest an slight emendation, specifically to section D.10 involving accidental disclosure of answer: I would like to propose that in such an event a new tossup be read whether it will affect the game or not.

Just a suggestion.
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Post by The Goffman Prophecies »

Regarding rule C.5:

What in particular led you to specifically identify the University of California, Cal State and SUNY systems? How do they differ from other large state university systems like the University(ies) of Maryland?

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Post by grapesmoker »

GoffManProphecies wrote:Regarding rule C.5:

What in particular led you to specifically identify the University of California, Cal State and SUNY systems? How do they differ from other large state university systems like the University(ies) of Maryland?
I think it would be pretty hard to make the case that UCLA or UCSD are "branch campuses" of Berkeley. I don't know to what extent this applies to places like Michigan, Minnesota, or Maryland, but I get the impression that all of those institutions have one "main" campus that is the most prestigious and then a lot of "satellite" campuses that are less so. Perhaps that's the logic behind the rule.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

Yes, in that in that those systems are much more decentralized. Maryland has a clear main campus, College Park, as does UT, Austin. California's I believe is technically Berkeley, but to say UCLA or even UC-Irvine (especially now) is any less important from a qb perspective is ridiculous. Similarly, while I think Binghamton might be nominally SUNY's main campus, not main enough. That section is to prevent someone at UCLA using the rule to play for Berkeley, etc.

Edit: Yeah, what Jerry said.
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Post by The Goffman Prophecies »

grapesmoker wrote: I think it would be pretty hard to make the case that UCLA or UCSD are "branch campuses" of Berkeley. I don't know to what extent this applies to places like Michigan, Minnesota, or Maryland, but I get the impression that all of those institutions have one "main" campus that is the most prestigious and then a lot of "satellite" campuses that are less so. Perhaps that's the logic behind the rule.
I would agree with that designation. I'm not familiar with the Michigan or Minnesota organizations, but I would argue that Maryland - Baltimore County and Maryland - Eastern Shore are not branch campuses, but universities in their own right as well, as defined by the University System of Maryland.

There's no doubt that College Park is the "flagship", but I think we should find a way to distinguish between branch campuses and separate institutions.

Edit based on KC's response:

I hate to bring athletics into this, but it seems like the delineation is that in the Cal and SUNy systems, there are multiple Division 1 schools within the system. If you were to write this to consider any Division 1 institution as a separate university, this would also affect Maryland, Texas and North Carolina.

Just like anyone at UCLA or UCI wouldn't be able to play with Berkeley, should someone from UNC Charlotte be allowed to play with Chapel Hill?
Last edited by The Goffman Prophecies on Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by STPickrell »

On protests:

(1) I would make outright game official errors protestable (e.g. a moderator tries to give double neg fives on a tossup and refuses to believe the player on the second team.)

(2) I would put in language allowing the other team to concede even if the matter was not protestable -- e.g. player says an answer, moderator says the answer is incorrect, and someone on the other team admits the answer was correct.

(3) I would resolve all protests if PPG is to be used as a tiebreaker.

I agree with Seth on reading a replacement question for the other team regardless of whether it would affect the game outcome.

As for switching teams -- would/should it be permissible to allow a player loaned to a chimera team to play again for that team? E.G. A school brings 9 players on 2 teams. They loan player #9 to a chimera team and both teams make the playoffs. I would be inclined to allow players on a chimera team to rejoin their regular teams, ESPECIALLY if chimera teams are ineligible to make the playoffs.

For eligibility -- I would allow students taking a class in the summer to be eligible for EITHER the preceding or following year but not both. Someone may not know they will take a summer class until that March or April (e.g. teachers renewing certification, etc.) I would also explicitly state that students taking classes for required professional certification or other job requirements are eligible.

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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

STPickrell wrote:On protests:

(1) I would make outright game official errors protestable (e.g. a moderator tries to give double neg fives on a tossup and refuses to believe the player on the second team.)
I buy this, somewhat, but there's a problem. Unfortunately, such things are the moderator's word against the team's, and oftentimes the teams are untrustworthy. The moderator, however, has no agenda. If the other team corroborates the error, then fine.
(2) I would put in language allowing the other team to concede even if the matter was not protestable -- e.g. player says an answer, moderator says the answer is incorrect, and someone on the other team admits the answer was correct.
Why would this not be protestable? I suppose if the moderator didn't hear the person properly, but even then it should still be moderator discretion. That being said, in most cases if the whole room says he said it right, the moderator will accept that. Also, if the moderator is confused, s/he will prompt the person in question.
(3) I would resolve all protests if PPG is to be used as a tiebreaker.
This is complete folly. This would hold the tournament waaay up. Perhaps all tiebreakers should be decided on BC or tiebreaker matches only, but you can't possibly resolve every protest.
As for switching teams -- would/should it be permissible to allow a player loaned to a chimera team to play again for that team? E.G. A school brings 9 players on 2 teams. They loan player #9 to a chimera team and both teams make the playoffs. I would be inclined to allow players on a chimera team to rejoin their regular teams, ESPECIALLY if chimera teams are ineligible to make the playoffs.
Are you kidding me? No! The team that gets to the playoffs plays in the playoffs. That's COMPLETE bullshit. You decide on team composition at the beginning of the tournament, and if you realize that it was a mistake, you change it up for the next tournament. If Maryland A wins the tournament, Maryland A wins the tournament. Not Maryland.
For eligibility -- I would allow students taking a class in the summer to be eligible for EITHER the preceding or following year but not both. Someone may not know they will take a summer class until that March or April (e.g. teachers renewing certification, etc.) I would also explicitly state that students taking classes for required professional certification or other job requirements are eligible.
Uh do you realize why the eligibility rules exist? The spirit of the rules are to prevent people who take one class just for quizbowl purposes to be eligible. Allowing people who take one summer class to play for a team that year would allow people to do exactly that! As for a professional program, what exactly do you mean? It's not like Harvard has a car mechanic training program. The only trade-related things are, say, law, medicine, etc. In theory, the rule should say anyone who's there taking classes at a school (and only that school) leading toward some sort of degree or certification. Maybe.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

Is there a reason to limit roster sizes to 6?

Is there ever a reason not to prompt a given Chinese or Japanese name?

I don't understand why pronunciation and conferring are not protestable. If it is a frivolous protest, the moderator will rule against it. If the protester has something intelligent to say, which is possible, they/he/she/it should be able to say it.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

You limit the roster to 6 people because if you have more than 6 people on a roster you should have two teams. That being said, I'm willing to move on that point.

Yes. The baseline rule is that to be correct, what you say has to have the same number of syllables as the correct answer AND have the consonants in order. If either of those things are violated, then you're wrong, no matter what language the answer is in. There is simply no argument. That being said, saying "Hoka" for "Haiku" might not fly. The two conditions above are necessary, but not sufficient.

As to conferring, what is there to protest? There are rules. If you talk to someone during a tossup about anything that could possibly relate to the answer, that's conferring. If you write something analogous on a pad and show it to your teammate, that's conferring. If you hold your buzzer up in the air to say "I know it, don't buzz," that, as stated in section E.6, is not conferring. As to the adjective "substantive," that is at the moderator's discretion to decide. There really isn't much room there, though, as anything you say could be interpreted as substantive in some context. Also, the moderator is more trustworthy than the team, as the moderator has no agenda.

Anyway, if you don't confer, this won't be an issue. So don't fucking confer. Because that's cheating.
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Post by cvdwightw »

Kit Cloudkicker wrote:
STPickrell wrote:(1) I would make outright game official errors protestable (e.g. a moderator tries to give double neg fives on a tossup and refuses to believe the player on the second team.)
I buy this, somewhat, but there's a problem. Unfortunately, such things are the moderator's word against the team's, and oftentimes the teams are untrustworthy. The moderator, however, has no agenda. If the other team corroborates the error, then fine.
Moderator/other official incompetence should be challenged. If a team feels that a moderator does have an agenda, then they should be able to protest (for instance, if a moderator were to give extra clues not from the bonus to a team as in "It's the standard third part of this bonus", the team should be able to request a new moderator).
(3) I would resolve all protests if PPG is to be used as a tiebreaker.
This is complete folly. This would hold the tournament waaay up. Perhaps all tiebreakers should be decided on BC or tiebreaker matches only, but you can't possibly resolve every protest.
For most collegiate tournaments, the outcome of a protest (<90 points) is not going to be significant enough to bump a team into or out of playoffs. Most tournaments with good officials and good questions will not have multiple protests, so this is a moot point. For high school tournaments where tiebreakers are used to seed teams for an n-loss-elimination tournament, this may be more valid.
For eligibility -- I would allow students taking a class in the summer to be eligible for EITHER the preceding or following year but not both. Someone may not know they will take a summer class until that March or April (e.g. teachers renewing certification, etc.) I would also explicitly state that students taking classes for required professional certification or other job requirements are eligible.
Uh do you realize why the eligibility rules exist? The spirit of the rules are to prevent people who take one class just for quizbowl purposes to be eligible. Allowing people who take one summer class to play for a team that year would allow people to do exactly that! As for a professional program, what exactly do you mean? It's not like Harvard has a car mechanic training program. The only trade-related things are, say, law, medicine, etc. In theory, the rule should say anyone who's there taking classes at a school (and only that school) leading toward some sort of degree or certification. Maybe.
This is probably most important for determining community college eligibility, since a lot of times they do have programs designed for certification rather than an actual degree. I suppose this could function under the "equivalent work" clause.

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Post by DumbJaques »

Is there ever a reason not to prompt a given Chinese or Japanese name?
Certainly. If you're hearing a tossup on the illustrious Prince Ai of Qi, whose given name is sometimes transliterated as "Chiang," and you buzz in and say "Chiang," it's not only not correct in the sense that first names aren't really promptable (bob), but it also easily refers to several other more famous people, most prominently Chiang Kai-shek. Chiang would almost certainly be accepted without prompt if it were a tossup on Chiang Kai-shek, so a prompt in essence could give away that the question doesn't refer to anyone surnamed Chiang, thus giving the incredibly narrow field of people who know about Ai of Qi but not Chiang Kai-shek a most unfair advantage! These people are scum anyway and deserve to be shot.

As an actual response to the question, I sort of split between the clear objection that first names should not be promptable and calling Mao "Zedong" is equivalent to buzzing in and answering "George" for a tossup on Washington, and the real reluctance to penalize someone for lacking deep knowledge of sometimes confusing Asian nomenclature. I support the rule as it's written now, where it allows for exceptions when the Prince Ai of Qi tossup shows up under the PACE science distribution this year.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

Going back to my 2nd point and Eric's response, I was referring to:
For names from cultures in which the family name precedes the given name, such as Chinese or Japanese names, the family name is necessary to receive credit for a correct response. The player can give either the native order of naming, with family name first, or the Anglicized order, with family name last, as an acceptable answer. As indicated by the packet, the moderator may prompt the answering player for the family name if the given name is answered by itself, though this should not be expected in all situations.
Specifically, I was referring to "though this should not be expected in all situations." I would prefer that this situation always be promptworthy, but maybe that's just my opinion.

As to my third point, I would think that it would be acceptable for one team to state that somebody on the other team was reading the notes of another player during the tossup or that the other team's pronunciation of Stednal should not be acceptable for Stendhal. I know that you shouldn't cheat, but the issue here is what you should do if your opponent is cheating and the moderator doesn't notice, or if the moderator makes a mistake that can be explained.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

I think in that case most moderators would listen to the other team, but they would still have discretion. What it means basically is that the decision is ultimately the moderator's. If you think someone said something wrong etc you can bring it up, but not as a formal protest to be heard by the TD and/or protest committee.
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Post by Ben Dillon »

Kit Cloudkicker wrote:
STPickrell wrote: As for switching teams -- would/should it be permissible to allow a player loaned to a chimera team to play again for that team? E.G. A school brings 9 players on 2 teams. They loan player #9 to a chimera team and both teams make the playoffs. I would be inclined to allow players on a chimera team to rejoin their regular teams, ESPECIALLY if chimera teams are ineligible to make the playoffs.
Are you kidding me? No! The team that gets to the playoffs plays in the playoffs. That's COMPLETE bullshit. You decide on team composition at the beginning of the tournament, and if you realize that it was a mistake, you change it up for the next tournament. If Maryland A wins the tournament, Maryland A wins the tournament. Not Maryland.
I'm inclined to side with Cloudkicker on this one, though without resorting to the language :) An admittedly farfetched situation: If both the chimera team and the loaning team made the playoffs and played each other, player #9 could throw the match.
Last edited by Ben Dillon on Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Coelacanth »

First and foremost, thanks to everyone who worked on this. I agree that these were due for a refresh.

There seems to be a lot of effort spent on eligibility rules for non-ACF events. Maybe I'm missing something, but why does ACF have an opinion on who should be eligible for an invitational tournament run by a high school? I would prefer to see some very clean rules for eligibility at "official" ACF events, and have the suggestions for other tournaments in an appendix or something.

Quibble on Rule D.4: "Since incorrect answers on completed or already-negged tossups do not change the score, they do not, in and of themselves, lose the game." Pretty sure an already-negged tossup has already lost the game for the other team.
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Post by grapesmoker »

The rules are official rules for ACF events, but they are also rules that may be used by any independent tournament. We encourage the use of these rules for independent tournaments because we think they are good rules, so the attempt was made to cover all the bases for any tournament that might end up using them. Of course, any independent event may choose not to abide by those rules, but in case they want something clear-cut without having to formulate the rules on their own, they have the option of using ours.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

you can bring it up, but not as a formal protest to be heard by the TD and/or protest committee.
Thanks for clarifying. That makes sense to me.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:In regard to that Supreme Court Case rule, should it really be acceptable to take "Gibbons" or "Ogden" by themsevles for "Gibbons v. Ogden"? This is something of a murky subject, as cases like Roe v. Wade are often referred to just as "Roe". At the very least, giving the less popular name of a case (like "Wade" in Roe v. Wade) seems like it should at the most be a prompt.
The rationale for the rule is basically that cases are normally referred to by single party names in textbooks and so forth. Once we have that understood, we combine it with the any-order rule (a necessity since almost every case was in reverse order at the appellate level) to allow for respondent-only naming.
STPickrell wrote:(1) I would make outright game official errors protestable (e.g. a moderator tries to give double neg fives on a tossup and refuses to believe the player on the second team.)
I can put in a note about improper rule enforcement being protestable immediately, though the TDs will have to figure out what to do about it on their own since there's no way to describe the right way to rectify every possible situation.
(2) I would put in language allowing the other team to concede even if the matter was not protestable -- e.g. player says an answer, moderator says the answer is incorrect, and someone on the other team admits the answer was correct.
No objection.
(3) I would resolve all protests if PPG is to be used as a tiebreaker.

I agree with Seth on reading a replacement question for the other team regardless of whether it would affect the game outcome.
Not feasible at most tournaments--and if there's extra questions to replace botched ones, then there's extra questions to play off ties.
As for switching teams -- would/should it be permissible to allow a player loaned to a chimera team to play again for that team? E.G. A school brings 9 players on 2 teams. They loan player #9 to a chimera team and both teams make the playoffs. I would be inclined to allow players on a chimera team to rejoin their regular teams, ESPECIALLY if chimera teams are ineligible to make the playoffs.
Definitely not. That is a practice that is not in line with the spirit of these rules. With that said, I expect a lot of people to be using the rules as a basis for their tournaments, but putting their own local modifications onto them.
For eligibility -- I would allow students taking a class in the summer to be eligible for EITHER the preceding or following year but not both. Someone may not know they will take a summer class until that March or April (e.g. teachers renewing certification, etc.) I would also explicitly state that students taking classes for required professional certification or other job requirements are eligible.
No objection to part 2--as Eric said, the point of the rules is to exclude people from signing up for a badminton class just to play tournaments with a school team. So if they are legitimately in school anyway, they should be eligible, regardless of what the goal of their program is.

Not sure what to do about summer classes. Most schools I'm familiar with treat the summer as the end of the prior academic year. The eligibility notes for UG and D2 in the rest of the rules say that the academic year for quizbowl eligibility starts in the fall as well. So I'm leaning towards including legitimate summer classes as an eligibility trigger for the previous fall and spring. I know there are some cases where this wouldn't entirely make sense (like freshmen getting a head start on things by taking a summer class before their first year) but those people would obviously be eligible the next year anyway because they would continue to take classes in the fall.
DumbJaques wrote:As an actual response to the question, I sort of split between the clear objection that first names should not be promptable and calling Mao "Zedong" is equivalent to buzzing in and answering "George" for a tossup on Washington, and the real reluctance to penalize someone for lacking deep knowledge of sometimes confusing Asian nomenclature. I support the rule as it's written now, where it allows for exceptions when the Prince Ai of Qi tossup shows up under the PACE science distribution this year.
ReinsteinD wrote:Specifically, I was referring to "though this should not be expected in all situations." I would prefer that this situation always be promptworthy, but maybe that's just my opinion.
What is meant by that clause is pretty much what has been deduced above: "Zedong" is not promptable because his name is always given as "Mao Zedong" (when it's not just given as "Mao"), and if you know anything at all about Chinese names you should be able to tell what the family name is. "Yukio Mishima", on the other hand, is even more common than "Mishima Yukio" in the English sources, so that would be a prompt.
Coelacanth wrote:Quibble on Rule D.4: "Since incorrect answers on completed or already-negged tossups do not change the score, they do not, in and of themselves, lose the game." Pretty sure an already-negged tossup has already lost the game for the other team.
True. That will be fixed.

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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

if you know anything at all about Chinese names
A-ha, an opening for me to make an argument on analogy.

It is settled precedent on hsquizbowl that moderators should not be strict about pronunciation, because a question about a given thing is meant to test your knowledge about said thing, not to test your knowledge about the phonology/phonetics of a given language.

Is it also not the case, then, that a tossup about Chairman Mao is designed to test your knowledge about him, not to test your knowledge about Chinese cultural practice? If so, then quizbowl should be very lenient about prompting on foreign names from cultures with divergent naming conventions.

Of course, this could easily be abused -- if there is a tossup about some Hungarian dude whose name I don't know, I can buzz, wait five seconds, say "Janos" or "Miklos", claim I didn't know about Hungarian surname-first naming conventions, get prompted, and get a totally undeserved additional five seconds to make up some plausible sounding surname. Chris Ray or Peter Austin or somebody might be able to pull a similar trick about Chinese people. But there are also a lot of people who legitimately lack knowledge about foreign naming conventions, and I think if you're strict, more of those will get undeservedly hurt than loop-hole exploiters like me who will get undeservedly helped.
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Post by aestheteboy »

Matt Weiner wrote:What is meant by that clause is pretty much what has been deduced above: "Zedong" is not promptable because his name is always given as "Mao Zedong" (when it's not just given as "Mao"), and if you know anything at all about Chinese names you should be able to tell what the family name is. "Yukio Mishima", on the other hand, is even more common than "Mishima Yukio" in the English sources, so that would be a prompt.
You mean that "Yukio" would be promptable, not that "Yukio Mishima" would be promted, right?
Bruce wrote:Is it also not the case, then, that a tossup about Chairman Mao is designed to test your knowledge about him, not to test your knowledge about Chinese cultural practice?
I would argue that "knowledge about Chairman Mao" includes the knowledge that his last name is not Zedong but Mao.

After a cursory examination, I didn't see any rule about compound last names. Is Marquez promptable in ACF for Garcia-Marquez?

Also, I am confused as to to what the intention of G.3. is. Specifically, why are "idiomatic or literal English translations" acceptable for foreign titles? It seems like the rule gives opportunies for players to earn points with ambiguous knowledge. And it definitely makes it harder to resolve protests since it's hard to determine what's a reasonable translation and what's not if you don't speak the language.
The reason In Search of Lost Time should be acceptable is because it is known in English by that name, and it has been published under that title, not because it is the literal translation of "a la recherche du temps perdu."
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

But I think the point you're missing about titles is that if it's right it's right, even if it's not the commonly used name for something. I mean, The Makioka Sisters is the only title that is ever used in English for that book, but if you answered Light Snow or something similar to that it should totally be accepted because the actual Japanese title, Sasameyuki, more or less translates as such, and it shows a legitimate understanding of the book to award points. While yes, that is somewhat extreme (it's the only example off the top of my head, although I know there are others), it doesn't change that it's right, even if it means that it takes extra time to confirm it. Although this is where extensive alternate answers should be listed so that we can avoid such protests.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

I actually disagree with this rule. Only accepted translations should be accepted, as only accepted titles of works in English should be accepted. If I were to answer a tossup on Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back with Jay and Silent Bob Fight Back, that would be incorrect. Similarly, there are reasons for why works are translated in given ways, and the scholars who translate said works are in a better position to make those calls than some qb jackass who obnoxiously decides to make one up himself. The criterion should be that the answer must reflect a translation accepted by the academic community. This can be established in the case of literature by going on, say, Amazon.com and searching for the answer given, or even just googling it so see if any reputable websites come up. For works of art, the answer should reflect a title conferred on the work by one or more of the museums in which it has been housed. For instance, "Embarkation for Cythera" and "Pilgrimage to Cythera" are both acceptable titles, as one or more identical original copies of the painting have been known by those names. It just simplifies things to do it this way, and it's not hurting anyone. If you allow idiomatic translations, that's one step away from allowing someone to get away with just saying, "That one by Watteau with all the people who go to the island and there's a grassy mound and umbrellas and stuff."
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Post by theMoMA »

Hmm, I disagree with what Matt and Eric are saying.

Zedong should be promptable for Mao. I really don't see how it's not. I mean, the person who answers Zedong is clearly not trying to exploit their knowledge of Chinese nomenclature to guess a common non-familial name just to get prompted and buy time, or something like that. It's clear that they legitimately do not know which part of the answer is required, and I don't understand why that would be punishable by a non-prompt. In general, I'd say it should be common practice to prompt on the non-familial name of Asian nomenclature, as well as any other culture in which the familial name comes first, or similarly different nomenclature (prompt on Sturluson for Snorri, etc).

As for book titles, the only people who are likely to be answering with literally translated titles are people who have actually read the books in their original language. It seems like those people are the kind of folks that we want to be giving as much leniency as possible in this situation. So yeah, I'm all for allowing "No Football in the first month of Ma'anen" or whatever the literal translation of The Silent Cry is.

Generally, when I write questions on people with non-formulaic names, I like to specifically instruct to prompt on the first name. Similarly, I always include a literal translation of foreign works titles that are different from their English-language counterparts as alternate answers.

I guess I feel like not doing this rewards procedure over knowledge (especially in the case of foreign nomenclature, which seems to punish newer players disproportionately), which I don't think is the point of quizbowl.

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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

aestheteboy wrote: I would argue that "knowledge about Chairman Mao" includes the knowledge that his last name is not Zedong but Mao.
This would be inconsistent with the pronunciation rule, unless you can explain why naming customs are different from pronunciation. Certainly, they both require knowledge of things other than who the person was and what they did, and there are many scenarios where you can gain legitimate (not to mention list) knowledge of Chairman Mao without also learning a single thing about how Chinese is pronounced or what order Chinese people use for their names.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

aestheteboy wrote:You mean that "Yukio" would be promptable, not that "Yukio Mishima" would be promted, right?
Yes.
After a cursory examination, I didn't see any rule about compound last names. Is Marquez promptable in ACF for Garcia-Marquez?
Standard practice is that it is not and, while I sort of want to be as lenient as possible, I can't come up with any rational argument for departing from convention here. "Garcia Marquez" and "van Buren" are the only acceptable names for those people, and neither Garcia, nor Marquez, nor Buren would be accepted or prompted.

The rules will be clarified to add the above.
Also, I am confused as to to what the intention of G.3. is. Specifically, why are "idiomatic or literal English translations" acceptable for foreign titles? It seems like the rule gives opportunies for players to earn points with ambiguous knowledge. And it definitely makes it harder to resolve protests since it's hard to determine what's a reasonable translation and what's not if you don't speak the language.
My argument here is that you can translate other things where no (seemingly as arbitrary as any other standard) rule of "what has been published" applies. There are plenty of things in history and other fields that are not originally in English, and we don't go hunting down an ill-defined quest to find the "right" English translation of those things; rather, we accept all plausible answers.

The incentive for players to avoid giving ambiguous answers is that those who continually do so will occasionally lose points to denied protests and will earn a reputation as jackasses who try to show off their esoteric knowledge and slow down the tournament in the process instead of just giving a standard answer.

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Post by DakarKra »

With regards to titles, I agree with Andrew and disagree with Eric, solely because of the issues I've run into as a classicist. Taking, for example, the very problematic epic of Lucan, this work is known by several possible names, and thus accurate knowledge of the work can potentially be displayed by any: Pharsalia is suggested by a single line in Book IX and a passing reference by Statius; De Bello Civili is the title attested to by the manuscript tradition; Bellum Civile was the title advanced by John Henderson and others and the title used to refer to the work in one of my classes; and the first line "bella per Emathios plus quam civilia campos" has also been suggested by Susan Braund, though I know of no support. Admittedly this is an extreme example, but this is a work which has come up before and it is one which I have missed because I was unaware of the Pharsalia title before hearing that question and it's not one that I've run into in any context as a classicist, apart from learning where it came from (and I realize that I'm now begging for the jackass moniker from Matt). Furthermore, translated titles can differ more radically from the original than a simple choice of synonym (Endgame comes to mind). Thus, I believe leniency with foreign titles can often be very important for the people who work with the works most closely, but this is something which should be reflected in the answer line and prompts and not left to the individual readers alone.

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Post by cvdwightw »

Matt Weiner wrote:
After a cursory examination, I didn't see any rule about compound last names. Is Marquez promptable in ACF for Garcia-Marquez?
Standard practice is that it is not and, while I sort of want to be as lenient as possible, I can't come up with any rational argument for departing from convention here. "Garcia Marquez" and "van Buren" are the only acceptable names for those people, and neither Garcia, nor Marquez, nor Buren would be accepted or prompted.
I am curious where this convention comes from. To me, this seems just as plausible an example of "naming conventions that disproportionately punish younger players" as the East Asian last names clause. I'd hate for one player to make a good buzz on Yukio Mishima and be negged for answering "Yukio" without a prompt, followed by a novice team thinking "The clues point to Yukio Mishima, but that guy got negged for answering Yukio". Analogously, if a player made a good buzz on David Lloyd George and was negged for answering "George", followed by a novice team thinking "This is David Lloyd George, but that guy was negged for it", this would also keep players from making a reasonable (and in fact correct) guess. Also in both cases, if the player is prompted and can't get the necessary part out, then this does provide "extra" information to the opposing team, but it's no worse than if someone buzzes in on a question on Buridan with "Abelard...no, wait, it's Buridan" (usually containing anywhere from one to six expletives).

In both situations, prompting rewards a player for correct knowledge about the person but incorrect knowledge about the naming convention; disallowing a response penalizes players for incorrect knowledge about the naming convention and can occasionally confuse players (especially novices) who attempt the rebound. I just can't see where you can allow one such convention and disallow the other.

Hopefully this is a rational enough argument for departing from convention.

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Post by Captain Sinico »

Well, the best argument against all this naming nonsense is a slippery slope one. Should we prompt on Ishima for Mishima? After all, a person who says Ishima is demonstrating some knowledge of Mishima's name. We are punishing young players who don't know the name very well relative to others by not prompting it. And yet, I can think of nobody who would argue that we ought prompt that (and if anyone does, well, I and many people disagree.)
Now, the only difference between these two cases is that we're claiming that the reason that people don't know someone's family name is a naming convention they're unfamiliar with. I claim that it it not the duty of a moderator to determine why someone gets a name wrong and reward them if it's a reason they couldn't be expected to avoid. The only duty is to determine whether the answer is right or not.

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Post by cvdwightw »

Mike, I understand your point, and while I agree with your last couple of sentences, I do think it's the editors' job to determine why someone with knowledge might reasonably get a name wrong.

Let's say you're at a crappy tournament edited by some first-time editors, and this packet contains tossups on Mishima Yukio and David Lloyd George. Furthermore, you're in a room with an inexperienced moderator that's just volunteering and so is likely to accept whatever is underlined as the answer. Now, I would argue that even this amazingly incompetent editing staff would not write the answer as "Mishima Yukio" without random computer error. However, it is plausible that the answer on the page could be changed to "Mishima Yukio" and the moderator would not question it. Similarly, on a David Lloyd George question, this bungling editing team could give the answer as "David Lloyd George", because, well, Lloyd's a common enough first name, it would make sense for that to be his middle name, and again, the moderator would be none the wiser.

Now, I don't know why you would be at such a tournament, but this could have happened during the dark days of West Coast quizbowl (I don't think it did, but I had other things like "Biff Loman" changed to "Biff Loman" happen). I think what I'm trying to say is that there's a difference between plausible but incorrect underlining and implausible underlining, and in the first case the incorrectly underlined portion should be promptable.

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Post by Stained Diviner »

It doesn't have to be a slippery slope. The rule could read that any response that includes a complete part of a real person's name is worth at least a prompt unless it is clearly a first name following modern Western standards.

If people really think that George, Zedong, and Marquez are not promptworthy, then the rule probably is fine as is. I disagree, especially with meets involving high school students.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

But look, you're arguing that error is probable for various reasons. I agree. However, the relevant point is that it is still error and I see no need (as a writer, editor, or moderator) to relax the requirement that the correct answer be given just because it is likely that an incorrect answer will be given by people who don't know the answer well enough. That is the nature of quizbowl; you're at an advantage if you know more stuff.
I don't see how we can claim someone knows a whole lot about Mao Zedong (say,) yet doesn't know enough about him to know how Chinese names are formed. Mao is Chinese, so not understanding that naming convention betrays a fatal lack of depth of knowledge (about the context of the answer, at least; I don't see how it's not a lack of depth on the answer itself since no text is going to call him "Zedong.") I see nothing wrong with punishing that.
So, basically, my point is that unless you want to change the rules so that any complete part of any name merits a prompt, you're engaging in special pleading. I also still contend that even a change to prompting any complete part of a name, though consistent and defined, is a slippery slope. I see no compelling reason why, say, a complete given name is more meritorious than a family name missing only a letter or syllable. In fact, to my eyes, the latter case is not only much closer to the right answer, but also a much more common error and an error probably stemming from a mistake in recall or speech rather than a lack of knowledge. And yet, nobody is arguing that we should reward such a wrong answer. So, why, if we reward one wrong answer (a given name that is not a common referent for a person) should we not reward another that is plausibly better (say Ishima for Mishima or Amdinejad for Ahmadinejad?)
Finally, think that the claim is misguided that relaxing this stricture is pedagogically favorable. From the perspective of teaching, it is much better to punish the incorrect answer than let it fly. It is, after all, still incorrect, so what's to say it will fly elsewhere? Where's the motivation to learn the actual correct answer? I think it's best to neg those kids and then tell them "That person's family name is Mao; sometimes family names go first for the Chinese" or "The dude's last name is Garcia Lorca, nor Garcia. Spanish names are compound sometimes" after the neg. I know damn well that I'd never take that neg again and I'd also have learned the rudiments of one of these apparently obscure (?) naming conventions.

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Post by grapesmoker »

I don't understand any of the objections to the naming rule. So what if an editor makes a mistake and underlines "Yukio" instead of "Mishima?" This is totally irrelevant because answering "Yukio" in any context is still incorrect, and if that was what was underlined on the page, I would protest that this is neither correct nor promptable; likewise, you cannot answer "Marquez" or "Llorca" for "Garcia Marquez" or "Garcia Llorca" because those are the correct last names of those individuals. This can, conceivably, create some problems when we're dealing with long Spanish names, but in all cases, there are acceptable last names by which these people are known, and anything else is not acceptable.

Yes, we should generally err on the side of knowledge and not on the side of pedantry, but one component of knowing something about a person is knowing about that person's actual name, and if that places a slight additional burden on players, I'm more than happy for that to be the case.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

See, Jerry and I agree completely. Case closed.

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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Sorice, I think there is a clear distinction between giving outright wrong information and giving correct information in incorrect order. I think your attempt to conflate the two is an extremely cheap form of argument.

If you want to be a hard-ass about foreign naming conventions, then you're probably also going to be forced to tighten the current pronunciation rules, or otherwise you are going to have to explain why you distinguish between the idea that pronunciation is not an integral part of knowing about something (which this board has near-unanimously concluded it is not) and the idea that the naming conventions of the culture to which somebody belongs IS an integral part.
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Post by DumbJaques »

If you want to be a hard-ass about foreign naming conventions, then you're probably also going to be forced to tighten the current pronunciation rules, or otherwise you are going to have to explain why you distinguish between the idea that pronunciation is not an integral part of knowing about something (which this board has near-unanimously concluded it is not) and the idea that the naming conventions of the culture to which somebody belongs IS an integral part.
Well, there are a number of empirical differences between pronunciations and naming conventions, or at least I would argue that there are for our purposes. For one thing, for numerous foreign words there are going to be a number of pronunciation interpretations that have some kind of claim to legitimacy. No one can legitimately claim that "Zedong" is an appropriate way to refer to Mao, period. Another issue is that pronunciation is not just a knowledge issue, it's a performed task. I think I theoretically know kind of how to pronounce certain French names, but I can't really do it correctly. There's also the issue that someone could have aquired tons of information (which we like rewarding) about Hong Xiuquan from reading a book about him, which wouldn't necessarily explain how his name was pronounced then or is pronounced now or could be pronounced in one of a fucking billion different dialects of Chinese. It would establish that his family name is Hong. It's not so much an issue of knowing an "odd naming convention" or anything like that as it is the very reasonable expectation that someone knows what the surname is.
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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Well, on the other side, the similarity between pronunciation and naming convention is that it is very possible to learn about somebody without learning how names are done in their culture and how things are pronounced in their linguistic group.

I can imagine dozens of scenarios where somebody learns the name of a famous Chinese person without learning what the surname is. Say I read a novel set in 1981, and one of the characters discusses watching the evening news and hearing that Hua Guofeng has been removed from power. Then I get a bonus that asks me "This Chinese leader was removed in 1981." I have learned the name of the guy, but I have NOT learned anything about Chinese naming conventions.
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Post by grapesmoker »

Bruce wrote:I can imagine dozens of scenarios where somebody learns the name of a famous Chinese person without learning what the surname is. Say I read a novel set in 1981, and one of the characters discusses watching the evening news and hearing that Hua Guofeng has been removed from power. Then I get a bonus that asks me "This Chinese leader was removed in 1981." I have learned the name of the guy, but I have NOT learned anything about Chinese naming conventions.
Then you should always say "Hua Guofeng," because you will always be correct in this case. That's what I do when I'm not sure.
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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

grapesmoker wrote:
Bruce wrote:I can imagine dozens of scenarios where somebody learns the name of a famous Chinese person without learning what the surname is. Say I read a novel set in 1981, and one of the characters discusses watching the evening news and hearing that Hua Guofeng has been removed from power. Then I get a bonus that asks me "This Chinese leader was removed in 1981." I have learned the name of the guy, but I have NOT learned anything about Chinese naming conventions.
Then you should always say "Hua Guofeng," because you will always be correct in this case. That's what I do when I'm not sure.
Obviously, but the very logic behind doing that rests on us having knowledge that in other countries, people might put surnames first. Again, I am claiming that it is a false assumption to say that all people will have this knowledge, and that this knowledge is distinct from knowing enough about a given person to deserve 10 points.
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Post by AKKOLADE »

Bruce wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
Bruce wrote:I can imagine dozens of scenarios where somebody learns the name of a famous Chinese person without learning what the surname is. Say I read a novel set in 1981, and one of the characters discusses watching the evening news and hearing that Hua Guofeng has been removed from power. Then I get a bonus that asks me "This Chinese leader was removed in 1981." I have learned the name of the guy, but I have NOT learned anything about Chinese naming conventions.
Then you should always say "Hua Guofeng," because you will always be correct in this case. That's what I do when I'm not sure.
Obviously, but the very logic behind doing that rests on us having knowledge that in other countries, people might put surnames first. Again, I am claiming that it is a false assumption to say that all people will have this knowledge, and that this knowledge is distinct from knowing enough about a given person to deserve 10 points.
While I've still yet to have time to sit down and do an in-depth study of the rules, I definitely want to support Bruce's argument here as someone who in high school had no idea that Chinese names functioned this way.

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Post by grapesmoker »

Bruce wrote:Obviously, but the very logic behind doing that rests on us having knowledge that in other countries, people might put surnames first. Again, I am claiming that it is a false assumption to say that all people will have this knowledge, and that this knowledge is distinct from knowing enough about a given person to deserve 10 points.
If a person's knowledge of other cultures is really that limited, then that's their problem, I fail to see why the rules should be modified in order to effectively reward ignorance. I don't agree with your premise that it is "distinct from knowing enough about a given person to deserve 10 points," since no one learns about these things in a vacuum (your fictional example nonwithstanding). I have no problem negging a person once for answering "Marquez" and then having them remember that the name is "Garcia Marquez." In the final analysis, those 10 points aren't going to make any real difference, but the knowledge acquired will.
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Post by grapesmoker »

leftsaidfred wrote:While I've still yet to have time to sit down and do an in-depth study of the rules, I definitely want to support Bruce's argument here as someone who in high school had no idea that Chinese names functioned this way.
I was in the same boat until I was negged for answering "Marquez," as per my example above. I've never made that mistake again.
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