New ACF Rules

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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

grapesmoker wrote:since no one learns about these things in a vacuum
Except people in quizbowl frequently learn things in a vacuum. The majority of all questions in a quizbowl tournament are bonuses, which test nothing more than awareness of existence; this is what tossups become too after a certain point.

Quizbowl players memorize lists. They hear clues in tossups or bonuses about things they never knew about before, and say to themselves "I have no fucking clue what x is, but I know that when I hear it, I should say y". Nobody goes and studies all things in depth; or at least most people don't.
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Post by grapesmoker »

Bruce wrote:Except people in quizbowl frequently learn things in a vacuum.
Then, too bad. Seriously, are you fishing for sympathy here or what?
The majority of all questions in a quizbowl tournament are bonuses, which test nothing more than awareness of existence; this is what tossups become too after a certain point.
You've been around too long to not actually understand the mechanics of the game, so I'm just going to have to assume you're engaging in pointless distortion in order to somehow effect a totally pointless rule revision. Yes, sometimes questions test "awareness of existence," but they also test this thing called "knowledge," and I can testify to the fact that knowing things (like, knowing them for real) actually helps you get points in quizbowl.
Quizbowl players memorize lists. They hear clues in tossups or bonuses about things they never knew about before, and say to themselves "I have no fucking clue what x is, but I know that when I hear it, I should say y". Nobody goes and studies all things in depth; or at least most people don't.
You cannot extrapolate from your personal experience to everyone else. I know, when your quizbowl/life philosophy includes such tenets as "not reading literature," it may be hard to conceptualize that some people actually do read literature, or learn about philosophy, or have a genuine interest in whatever it is that's being asked about in the question.

This discussion is patently stupid and I don't see any part of it that's not turning into an apologia for ignorance. Yes, there is a cultural component to knowledge, so what? God forbid you should be asked to know such things as that in some cultures the name order is reversed, or that some people have compound last names. Boo fucking hoo, cry me a river while I play the world's smallest violin for you.
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Post by cvdwightw »

I can see arguments on both sides of the debate, and while my personal preference is opposite that of Jerry and Mike, I would be fine if their point of view was implemented in the rules.

My issue is that it appears to me that the "Chinese last name" and "Compound last name" gray areas should be treated analogously. That is, they should either both be promptable, or both not. The ACF Rules currently allow the possibility of prompting on one, but not the other. If there's a good reason other than "convention" for doing this, fine, but I just can't see how any argument for or against prompting in one case can't be analogously translated to the other case. I would strongly advise clarifying this rule to either "prompt on given name (for East Asian last names) or partial last name (for compound last names)" or "do not accept or prompt on given name (for East Asian last names) or partial last name (for compound last names)". As long as the ACF Cabal makes one of these two decisions to remain consistent, I would be okay.

For what it's worth, NAQT Rule I.10 mandates prompting on partial last name.

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Post by grapesmoker »

cvdwightw wrote:I can see arguments on both sides of the debate, and while my personal preference is opposite that of Jerry and Mike, I would be fine if their point of view was implemented in the rules.

My issue is that it appears to me that the "Chinese last name" and "Compound last name" gray areas should be treated analogously. That is, they should either both be promptable, or both not. The ACF Rules currently allow the possibility of prompting on one, but not the other. If there's a good reason other than "convention" for doing this, fine, but I just can't see how any argument for or against prompting in one case can't be analogously translated to the other case. I would strongly advise clarifying this rule to either "prompt on given name (for East Asian last names) or partial last name (for compound last names)" or "do not accept or prompt on given name (for East Asian last names) or partial last name (for compound last names)". As long as the ACF Cabal makes one of these two decisions to remain consistent, I would be okay.

For what it's worth, NAQT Rule I.10 mandates prompting on partial last name.
This is the relevant portion of the rules (G.4) which relates to the question of last names:
The ACF rules wrote: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.
All I can deduce from this is that there might be situations in which the given name might be promptable, and if such situations arise, they will be noted in the packet. Personally, I cannot think of any situation in which this could occur, and I certainly agree that the rule should be the same for each situation, namely, first names are not promptable, nor are partial answers where compound names are required.
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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

grapesmoker wrote: You cannot extrapolate from your personal experience to everyone else.
I do this where? Memorizing lists, getting bonus points on fraudulent knowledge, and adopting a "if hear x buzz with y" standard in the absence of real knowledge were all around well before me and will be around well after me. I know about these things because I have seen other people -- even good players -- do them.

Yes, there is a cultural component to knowledge, so what?
You do, however, do a good job identifying the main disagreement between us. You agree with this, I do not, that's why we're yelling at each other. People who agree or disagree with us can adopt or not adopt the positions we've laid out.
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Post by STPickrell »

Bruce wrote:I do this where? Memorizing lists, getting bonus points on fraudulent knowledge, and adopting a "if hear x buzz with y" standard in the absence of real knowledge were all around well before me and will be around well after me. I know about these things because I have seen other people -- even good players -- do them.
As someone that has never had any real knowledge, I also play by the 'who else could it be?' rule. Heck, I remember hearing a Maryland team in 1996 sweep a chromosomal abnormality bonus because there were only four or five possible chromosomal abnormalities possible back then.

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Post by Captain Sinico »

Bruce wrote: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.
It's not an issue of incorrect order (which has never been important.) It's an issue of giving so little information that the answer it wrong. If you want to use your alloted time to give enough information to specify a correct answer, I don't think anyone cares what order it's in.
Also, I didn't say the information was wrong, I said the answer was wrong. It is. You attempt to conflate the two is an extremely cheap form of argument.
Bruce wrote: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.
Simple. For one, people know many things that they don't learn verbally, so their translation of written words they know (and even know well) into speech may be imperfect without indicting their knowledge per se. Secondly, even if everyone did know how to pronounce everything, many differences exist regarding how things should be pronounced. I see no cause or utility for declaring one or some of these more right than others, the purpose of language being to communicate information. Therefore, I see no compelling need to tighten pronunciation rules.

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Post by grapesmoker »

Bruce wrote:
Yes, there is a cultural component to knowledge, so what?
You do, however, do a good job identifying the main disagreement between us. You agree with this, I do not, that's why we're yelling at each other. People who agree or disagree with us can adopt or not adopt the positions we've laid out.
What position are you disagreeing with? Are you saying there is no cultural component to knowledge? Or are you just saying that one shouldn't need even minimal (and I seriously do mean like minimal) awareness of other cultures in order to get points on questions relating to those cultures?

All knowledge is cultural to some extent. Focusing on the humanities for the moment, what you seem to miss is that the range of topics covered by most quizbowl packets is quite far beyond the range of American culture. You cannot just assume that American/European modes of address, for example, are somehow "standard" (they are of course standard in the operative sense in Western nations, but this does not necessarily translate to a quizbowl standard) but that a Chinese or Japanese mode of address is "non-standard" and therefore not worth knowing. (Parenthetically, I might add that Hungarian names are also often written in reverse to what we are used to, but whatever).

Let me just state my position clearly: Only the proper family name of a person, where proper is defined as "proper within that person's culture" is an acceptable answer for that person. Fortunately for us, just about any person that I can think of who has a proper name possesses a given and a family name. The order of writing those names may be different in different places, but there family name is always there. I don't understand what the objection is to this practice other than vaguely worded complaints about cultural knowledge, nor do I see any way in which this rule is unfair to anyone. Please lay out your objections to these points if you have them.
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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

grapesmoker wrote:
Bruce wrote:
Yes, there is a cultural component to knowledge, so what?
You do, however, do a good job identifying the main disagreement between us. You agree with this, I do not, that's why we're yelling at each other. People who agree or disagree with us can adopt or not adopt the positions we've laid out.
What position are you disagreeing with? Are you saying there is no cultural component to knowledge? Or are you just saying that one shouldn't need even minimal (and I seriously do mean like minimal) awareness of other cultures in order to get points on questions relating to those cultures?

All knowledge is cultural to some extent. Focusing on the humanities for the moment, what you seem to miss is that the range of topics covered by most quizbowl packets is quite far beyond the range of American culture. You cannot just assume that American/European modes of address, for example, are somehow "standard" (they are of course standard in the operative sense in Western nations, but this does not necessarily translate to a quizbowl standard) but that a Chinese or Japanese mode of address is "non-standard" and therefore not worth knowing. (Parenthetically, I might add that Hungarian names are also often written in reverse to what we are used to, but whatever).

Let me just state my position clearly: Only the proper family name of a person, where proper is defined as "proper within that person's culture" is an acceptable answer for that person. Fortunately for us, just about any person that I can think of who has a proper name possesses a given and a family name. The order of writing those names may be different in different places, but there family name is always there. I don't understand what the objection is to this practice other than vaguely worded complaints about cultural knowledge, nor do I see any way in which this rule is unfair to anyone. Please lay out your objections to these points if you have them.
My position is simply that we are playing quizbowl in the western world, where western ideas and western culture are hegemonic. Independent of our judgement as to whether or not this is a good thing, and independent of our judgement as to whether or not something else should be the case, it is a reality that we cannot assume that all players are aware of how other cultures do things, especially because there are numerous ways in which people can learn things without learning about the underlying culture.

As such, it is unfair to penalize people for not having that underlying cultural knowledge, because it adds an additional standard to just knowing the names of things.

(Keep in mind that I am arguing that a Chinese first name should be promptable, not acceptable by itself)
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

[quote:82c82f4349=\"ACF\"]12. Players are not expected to know the exact pronunciation of every answer. Therefore, any reasonable attempt at pronouncing an answer will either be ruled correct or result in a prompt for spelling (to be evaluated under rule G.11), and any answer with the correct consonant sounds in the correct order will be accepted. For example, “Stend-HALE” or “STOON-dahl” are correct for Stendhal; “STED-nahl” or “STINK-dahl” are not. Within reasonable accommodations for those with speech impediments or heavy accents, which preferably are disclosed before the start of the game, moderators have complete discretion to judge or further prompt the pronunciation of a response, and such rulings are not protestable[/quote:82c82f4349]
To me, the best way to determine whether a player has basically said the name correctly is to ask said player to spell the answer. Again, the rule is that the consonants must be in the correct order. How is this unfair, exactly, especially given the explicit exceptions allowed for those with speech impediments? If you do learn something from a book, maybe you don\'t know how to say it, but you read the word, which means you should know whether it\'s "S" T" "N" "D" "L" (H being silent and thus unnecessary) or "S" "T" "D" "N" "L."

This discussion inevitably has to go back to the issue of quizbowl being a game. I mean, sorry, but quizbowl is not just some written test of whether you know the author of a book or the name of a painting, and showing your thought processes doesn\'t get you any credit. It requires players to know how to answer the questions. I\'m sorry if that disadvantages players who haven\'t been playing for that long, but really, these rules are (or will be) publicly available, and in no other game or sport is "not knowing the rules" an excuse.
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Post by grapesmoker »

Bruce wrote:My position is simply that we are playing quizbowl in the western world, where western ideas and western culture are hegemonic. Independent of our judgement as to whether or not this is a good thing, and independent of our judgement as to whether or not something else should be the case, it is a reality that we cannot assume that all players are aware of how other cultures do things, especially because there are numerous ways in which people can learn things without learning about the underlying culture.
First, I just want to point out that a catch-all term like "Western" is useless here, because the West is not some monolithic cultural block and there are plenty of differences across nations. But never mind that.

But back to your central complaint: so what? Yes, we cannot assume familiarity with any cultural norms at all. Nevertheless questions are written every day on some highly culture-specific things that implicitly assume some familiarity with the culture in question. For example, questions on Islam or Hinduism are asked frequently, and if you want to answer these questions with anything better than stimulus-response kind of play, you're going to have to learn something about those cultures. And yet I don't hear anyone calling for the elimination of non-Western religions from the RMP category.
As such, it is unfair to penalize people for not having that underlying cultural knowledge, because it adds an additional standard to just knowing the names of things.
Knowing the name of the thing requires knowing its correct name. Since the correctness of nomenclature is a question of culture, the only way to see what the correct nomenclature is, is to look at how the culture itself refers to the person. Therefore, the requirement of giving the correct name is equivalent to the requirement of giving the name as recognized by the culture in which the name originates. QED.
(Keep in mind that I am arguing that a Chinese first name should be promptable, not acceptable by itself)
No, it should not. See above argument.

In the end, cultural ignorance is not an excuse, any more than scientific ignorance is an excuse. Would you also buzz in on a physics question and answer "condensate" for "Bose-Einstein condensate" and complain when you weren't prompted? Would you plead that because the majority of people are ignorant of scientific nomenclature (however else we wish that this might be) that we should not place on people the demand of knowing the actual names of things? I am guessing not, although I don't know for sure, but your proposal is functionally equivalent to this scenario. If anyone negs with the wrong answer for this reason, they will be told the correct answer afterwards and the reasons will be explained to them; thus they will become wiser and never make that mistake again.
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Post by magin »

The new rules look pretty good to me, although I don't support not allowing people to correct themselves when answering tossups. It seems plausible to me that someone could buzz in with knowledge, accidentally begin to say the wrong thing, and subsequently correct himself or herself. Penalizing someone for misspeaking doesn't really seem like the spirit of college quizbowl. Of course, I don't think people should be able to say the wrong answer, then realize it after a couple of seconds and correct themselves, but letting people correct themselves once before they finish giving the answer seems like it would promote knowledge over the "game" aspects of quizbowl.

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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

Uh, how can you guarantee that the individual misspoke rather than realized he was incorrect midway through his answer? Sorry, people who accidentally say something when you mean something else (something I also find only tenuously acceptable), but we at ACF don't trust you.
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Post by grapesmoker »

magin wrote:The new rules look pretty good to me, although I don't support not allowing people to correct themselves when answering tossups. It seems plausible to me that someone could buzz in with knowledge, accidentally begin to say the wrong thing, and subsequently correct himself or herself. Penalizing someone for misspeaking doesn't really seem like the spirit of college quizbowl. Of course, I don't think people should be able to say the wrong answer, then realize it after a couple of seconds and correct themselves, but letting people correct themselves once before they finish giving the answer seems like it would promote knowledge over the "game" aspects of quizbowl.
Oh yeah, I forgot to bring this up but now that it's out there, I agree with this 100%. If you haven't finished giving your answer and you catch yourself halfway into giving an incorrect one, there's no reason not to let you correct yourself. However, if the last word is out of your mouth, it's a done deal.
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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

grapesmoker wrote: First, I just want to point out that a catch-all term like "Western" is useless here, because the West is not some monolithic cultural block and there are plenty of differences across nations. But never mind that.
I'd be the first person to agree with that, but remember it was you who introduced such generality into the conversation by saying "American/European" in your previous post, and I was just playing within your paradigm.
But back to your central complaint: so what? Yes, we cannot assume familiarity with any cultural norms at all. Nevertheless questions are written every day on some highly culture-specific things that implicitly assume some familiarity with the culture in question. For example, questions on Islam or Hinduism are asked frequently, and if you want to answer these questions with anything better than stimulus-response kind of play, you're going to have to learn something about those cultures. And yet I don't hear anyone calling for the elimination of non-Western religions from the RMP category.
Obviously, actually learning deep knowledge about things (including context, underlying culture, etc.) is going to let you answer a lot more questions than not having deep knowledge. I never disputed this, despite the fact that you seem to think I do. But quizbowl is a game about reflexively learning the names of things, and learning about things is merely a tool useful towards the goal of quizbowl, not the goal of quizbowl in and of itself.
Knowing the name of the thing requires knowing its correct name. Since the correctness of nomenclature is a question of culture, the only way to see what the correct nomenclature is, is to look at how the culture itself refers to the person. Therefore, the requirement of giving the correct name is equivalent to the requirement of giving the name as recognized by the culture in which the name originates. QED.
This is perfectly fine logic, which I ultimately don't reject. Remember, in the end, I still want the culturally correct name. I just favor leniency due to the possible burden of attaining that cultural knowledge.
In the end, cultural ignorance is not an excuse, any more than scientific ignorance is an excuse. Would you also buzz in on a physics question and answer "condensate" for "Bose-Einstein condensate" and complain when you weren't prompted? Would you plead that because the majority of people are ignorant of scientific nomenclature (however else we wish that this might be) that we should not place on people the demand of knowing the actual names of things? I am guessing not, although I don't know for sure, but your proposal is functionally equivalent to this scenario. If anyone negs with the wrong answer for this reason, they will be told the correct answer afterwards and the reasons will be explained to them; thus they will become wiser and never make that mistake again.
I don't get the analogy. Bose-Einstein condensate fits in very well with common nomenclature that we might expect any American to understand. It's the same kind of nomenclature found in "Joe's Auto Parts". Moreover, scientific nomenclature is universal, so if we're testing knowledge of it, being strict is not unfair to people from one particular part of the world or another.
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Post by magin »

Uh, how can you guarantee that the individual misspoke rather than realized he was incorrect midway through his answer? Sorry, people who accidentally say something when you mean something else (something I also find only tenuously acceptable), but we at ACF don't trust you.
Well, if you realize you're incorrect during the process of beginning your answer, and correct yourself within a reasonable amount of time (immediately), I think your answer should be accepted. Yes, quizbowl is a game played with certain constraints, but I don't think allowing people to correct themselves immediately during tossups is going to lead to cheating, or people getting points they don't deserve. Instead, I think it's going to lead to people being rewarded for knowing stuff. For example, at ACF Nationals, I buzzed on the Beethoven piano sonatas tossup and said Mozart's piano sonatas, though I meant Beethoven. My answer was wrong, and I didn't correct myself, so I deserved to be negged for being a fool. Hypothetically, though, if I (or anyone else) had said Mozart's-no, Beethoven's piano sonatas, I think that's acceptable. It isn't trying to take advantage of the rules or game the system. I think it would make quizbowl less like a game without removing the essential elements which make quizbowl a game.

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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

Maybe I'm retarded, but I still don't understand how that's acceptable. How can you possibly guarantee that this "Mozart's-no, Beethoven's" person didn't just have a sudden revelation and adjust very quickly? That's certainly not outside the skill set of many if not most of the people participating in this discussion. Say the right thing the first time or don't get points. I mean, in ACF you have 5 seconds to answer; it's not like you're under pressure to say something immediately, so why shouldn't you be able to be careful about your answer?
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Post by Matt Weiner »

OK, here is what I'm going to do to the document in light of recent topics of interest.

(By the way, nobody really appointed me custodian of the rules, other than when I told some other ACF people I was going to do this and got no objections. It should be implicit that since no one at ACF can make anyone do anything, except at ACF Fall and Regionals and even then not as much as you'd think, my unilateral promulgation of the rules is probably going to be modified or ignored by many tournaments anyway, so don't worry if you are really in love with the idea of accepting "Rohe" for "Mies van der Rohe"--you can do what you like at tournaments you direct.)

--there will be no prompting or accepting of answers like "Marquez" or "Yukio." The arguments above against doing this have convinced me that it is better to be consistent, and the proper consistent choice is to exclude what are, ultimately, not the last names of these people. However, just as saying "Gassendi, Pierre" would be 100% acceptable, saying "Yukio Mishima" will be 100% acceptable. At the same time, the "common pseudonym" rule will apply to names which are often shortened in the relevant sources--just as Saki is always acceptable for H.H. Munro, so "Pablo Picasso" is acceptable for Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, since he's often referred to as (Pablo) Picasso even if you think his actual last name is "Ruiz y Picasso."

--literal translations of titles will continue to be acceptable, because there is often no standard to decide on what the "right" translation is. Knowing what a specific museum calls a painting or what an American publisher called a translated novel is pretty far afield from the sort of real/primary knowledge we're trying to reward, and often there is no such fact anyway. Again, this is almost never going to come up--City and the Dogs/Time of the Hero situations are rare, and I don't expect people to intentionally give ridiculous translations all the time and jeopardize their points and reputations. If editors are diligent about providing obvious translations, this won't ever be an issue. Even if they are not, it may come up one or two times a year in situations where it actually has to be ruled upon.

--I am not opposed to the idea of letting people correct themselves (it was in fact included in my original draft) but it's a very complicated thing to specify once you start thinking about it. If people can elucidate exactly how and when this situation should be allowed, I can try to come up with a precise rule for it.

Please continue to examine the rules for potential problems.

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Post by magin »

Maybe I'm retarded, but I still don't understand how that's acceptable. How can you possibly guarantee that this "Mozart's-no, Beethoven's" person didn't just have a sudden revelation and adjust very quickly? That's certainly not outside the skill set of many if not most of the people participating in this discussion. Say the right thing the first time or don't get points. I mean, in ACF you have 5 seconds to answer; it's not like you're under pressure to say something immediately, so why shouldn't you be able to be careful about your answer?
Well, there are two possible reasons for someone to correct themselves and change an incorrect answer into a correct answer: they know the correct answer, but began to say the wrong thing, or they were going to say an incorrect answer and suddenly realized what the correct answer was. I submit that instances of the first type are much more common than instances of the second type; if you know the answer, it's much more likely for you to realize that you're saying the incorrect answer than for you to suddenly recall it all of a sudden. And in any case, is the second instance all that egregious? I don't see what's so awful about someone suddenly recalling the correct answer while in the process of saying the incorrect answer; they still legitimately came up with the correct answer. I agree with Jerry that once you stop giving your answer, it's either right or wrong, but before then, what's so bad about letting people correct themselves once?

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Post by Captain Sinico »

The problem is that trying to let people correct themselves means that the moderator has to try and judge what they meant to say. I don't think that's a very good idea. The only tenable proposition is to put the onus on players to say what they mean and have the moderators judge what they say (the only observable.) After all, why should I assume that the most recent thing someone said is what they meant to say any more than the first thing they said? Why is it more fair to take away someone's points if they first say the right thing, then a wrong thing than it is to give someone points if they first say a wrong thing, then the right thing?
Also, we get five seconds to make sure we're going to say what we mean, which should be enough. Allowing people to correct themselves is tantamount to allowing more time for some people (the mistake-prone, or people gaming the system.) Like, if I wait seven seconds, then say the right answer, I'm wrong because it's after time. Why is it therefore fair to say I am right if I wait four seconds, say part of a wrong answer for three seconds, then correct myself? I don't think it is.
Perhaps, therefore, it is fair that people should be allowed to retract answers during the thinking period but not after? So if I go "This is I. M. Pe... er... I mean, Phillip Johnson" and I start saying Phillip before my five seconds are up, I get credit (assuming Johnson is the answer.) I can't see much objection to that (nor much reason for it... but anyway.)

MaS

[EDIT: finished points; sorry, posted prematurely.]
Last edited by Captain Sinico on Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by magin »

As a practical rule, I think letting people correct one piece of information once before they finish giving the answer should do it. In the aforementioned Beethoven's piano sonatas example, someone could correct themselves if they said Mozart's piano sonatas or Beethoven's string quartets, but not Mozart's string quartets, since both pieces of information are unrelated to the actual answer. Additionally, someone saying Mozart's-no-Chopin's-no-Beethoven's piano sonatas would not be accepted, since they missed their chance to correct their answer the first time.
ImmaculateDeception wrote:Perhaps, therefore, it is fair that people should be allowed to retract answers during the thinking period but not after? So if I go "This is I. M. Pe... er... I mean, Phillip Johnson" and I start saying Phillip before my five seconds are up, I get credit (assuming Johnson is the answer.) I can't see much objection to that (nor much reason for it... but anyway.)
Sounds good to me.

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Post by The Atom Strikes! »

Perhaps the best standard would be the answer-finishing standard. If somebody has finished their answer, they cannot take it back, but if they haven't, they get one chance to do so.
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Post by The Time Keeper »

How about if you get five seconds to formulate your response after you buzz in and you still make a mistake you are just wrong?

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Post by grapesmoker »

Bruce wrote:But quizbowl is a game about reflexively learning the names of things, and learning about things is merely a tool useful towards the goal of quizbowl, not the goal of quizbowl in and of itself.
Well, I guess you could say that the goal of quizbowl is to score points or whatever, but that's a pretty pessimistic view of the game. Quizbowl people are, in general, much more erudite than the average person; I won't make any general claims about the direction of the causative chain, but speaking strictly for myself, I have learned many things from quizbowl that I would not have been exposed to otherwise. Perhaps learning things is not the goal of the game, but I think it encourages it.
This is perfectly fine logic, which I ultimately don't reject. Remember, in the end, I still want the culturally correct name. I just favor leniency due to the possible burden of attaining that cultural knowledge.
There is no such burden. This "burden" of which you speak is entirely mythical; its extent is being negged on a single tossup and having it explained to you afterwards. This is not rocket science here, it's a piece of information that's probably acquired within the first two weeks of playing quizbowl.
I don't get the analogy. Bose-Einstein condensate fits in very well with common nomenclature that we might expect any American to understand. It's the same kind of nomenclature found in "Joe's Auto Parts". Moreover, scientific nomenclature is universal, so if we're testing knowledge of it, being strict is not unfair to people from one particular part of the world or another.
First of all, scientific nomenclature is by no means universal, since there is frequently dispute about what is named after whom due to things like simultaneous discoveries and so on. There are plenty of things in physics and math which are known by several different names depending on who you ask. Also, understanding this nomenclature is no harder than understanding the nomenclature of different cultures.

On second thought, the analogy works better if the answer under consideration is something like "Einstein condensate." (Although I would accept "Einstein-Bose condensate" even though this is not a canonical way of describing it because the order in the case of science things named after people doesn't matter most of the time.) This is an answer that's equally as incomplete as saying "Marquez" for "Garcia Marquez." Clearly, the person knows something about BECs, but part of the process of acquiring knowledge in any field is mastering the relevant vocabulary, and "Einstein condensate" is just not part of the lexicon, any more than the "Gibbs-Duhem equation" could be called the "Duhem equation" or the "Gibbs equation," the latter being even more problematic because there are ostensibly many things that could be called the "Gibbs equation."
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Post by grapesmoker »

Dolemite wrote:How about if you get five seconds to formulate your response after you buzz in and you still make a mistake you are just wrong?
During the course of the match, especially if it's close, it's very easy to forget about those 5 seconds. I think the guidelines Jon is offering are reasonable; Mike's counterexample wouldn't work, because if it's taking you 3 seconds to try and say the answer, you are either trying to give the full title of a long work (in which case I find it unlikely that you're going to reverse yourself mid-sentence) or you're just stalling for time and there's a pause in there somewhere, at which point the moderator should call you for pausing anyway.
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Post by cvdwightw »

Matt Weiner wrote:--I am not opposed to the idea of letting people correct themselves (it was in fact included in my original draft) but it's a very complicated thing to specify once you start thinking about it. If people can elucidate exactly how and when this situation should be allowed, I can try to come up with a precise rule for it.
I think the following are necessary, though not sufficient, conditions for when this should be allowed:
1. There is no significant pause between the given answer and the corrected answer. I propose the standard one-second pause. Since the answer must be started within the five-second answer period anyway, I feel this is a fair discrimination between time periods when this is acceptable and not acceptable.
2. The answer is incomplete. There are two categories to this. The first is that multiple categories are sought within the answer, and if the player were actually correct at the point he/she begins a correction, would have to be prompted. I realize this punishes people for answering "Beethoven's Piano Sonatas--no, Concertos" while "Mozart's, no Beethoven's Piano Concertos" would be okay; however, in the first case a plausible answer satisfying all three categories sought (composer, instrument, type of work) in the underlined answer has been given while in the second case the answer of "Mozart's", had Mozart been correct, would still need to be prompted. The second category is that the entirety of the answer seeking only one category has not yet been given. Thus, "transcen--no, irrational" and "Federico--no, Gabriel Garcia Marquez" would be acceptable, while "transcendental, no, irrational" and "Garcia Lorca--no, Garcia Marquez" would not.
3. Only one relevant piece of information is changed (this is similar to what Magin typed up while I was still typing this).
4. The correction is not construed as an attempt to slow the game down (and thus gain more time to come up with the correct answer).

Additionally, for completeness, my suggested directions for the moderator:
1. The moderator must accept the corrected answer, regardless of whether the original answer was correct or incorrect. Accepting both the original and changed information as directed leads to incorrect examples of blitzing.
2. If a player's attempt to change an answer is interpreted as an attempt to slow the game down (for whatever reason), the moderator should rule a pause, impose any accompanying penalties (e.g., -5) and should clearly delineate this without any indication of what, if any, parts of the answer were correct.

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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

grapesmoker wrote:During the course of the match, especially if it's close, it's very easy to forget about those 5 seconds.
So don't forget about the rules of the game while playing in it. Basketball is a very intense sport, yet if you forget about say, the 3 second violation, you still get penalized. How is your argument even possibly rational?
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Post by grapesmoker »

Kit Cloudkicker wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:During the course of the match, especially if it's close, it's very easy to forget about those 5 seconds.
So don't forget about the rules of the game while playing in it. Basketball is a very intense sport, yet if you forget about say, the 3 second violation, you still get penalized. How is your argument even possibly rational?
If you forget this rule, you will be penalized. The question is not whether or not you will be penalized but whether the rule makes sense in the first place. I am arguing that the rule is not a good one, so the argument is rational in that I am arguing for a reconsideration of the rule. Because it's easy to forget about these 5 seconds and because there is nothing about this rule that I see as integral to the spirit of the game (unlike the 3-second violation which has a specific purpose in basketball) I think we should change it.
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Post by cvdwightw »

The argument probably is closer to that of a check swing in baseball. Now, if I remember correctly, a check swing is considered a swing if (1) the barrel of the bat has crossed the plate and/or (2) the player's wrists have rotated. Otherwise, the pitch is treated as if the batter didn't swing. How is a check swing any different than a player who begins an answer, then changes his mind in the middle of the answer? There's similar rules for pump fakes in basketball, the "tuck rule" in football, etc. If you're going to go the sports analogy route, I think these are far more relevant.

What Dolemite's saying is analogous to "if the player started a swing, it counts as a strike if he doesn't connect", or "if the player starts the motions for a shot, he needs to release the ball immediately". This just doesn't make sense to me. Nor does "a player can never, under any circumstances, correct himself in the middle of what he realizes to be an incorrect answer".

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Post by theMoMA »

Well anyway, here's an answer-changing rule I'd propose:

As long as a player does not say the last word of an answer, and as long as there is time left in the five seconds of allotted answer time, a player is allowed to change their answer for any reason. The moderator will not accept the first answer (even if it is correct!) once the player obviously makes an effort to correct it. The moderator will cut the player off and award -5 or no penalty as required if he deems that stalling, intentional or unintentional, is occurring.

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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

I think this is complete bullshit, but hey, I'm willing to compromise. The rule should be as follows:

A) If any answer is completed, it is the answer counted
B) No corrections whatsoever should be allowed after 5 seconds has passed.
C) The moderator has COMPLETE discretion over whether an answer was completed, and his/her ruling is non-protestable.

Sorry, but any delay in giving the answer after the 5 second rule signifies stalling. So, if you try to pull that shit, you get it wrong and, if I'm reading, you get a kick in the nuts.
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Post by The Time Keeper »

cvdwightw wrote: What Dolemite's saying is analogous to "if the player started a swing, it counts as a strike if he doesn't connect", or "if the player starts the motions for a shot, he needs to release the ball immediately". This just doesn't make sense to me. Nor does "a player can never, under any circumstances, correct himself in the middle of what he realizes to be an incorrect answer".
If anything it's closer to saying "If a player starts the motion for a shot and leaves his feet, he needs to have taken a shot (or otherwise gotten rid of the ball) before he hits the ground again." Meaning that if a player commits himself to giving a uniquely identifying attempt at an answer such as the earlier example of "This is Mozart's, wait no, Beethoven's piano sonatas," he should be considered incorrect. Stumbling over various words/sounds that aren't an obvious attempt at giving a specific answer are fine (I guess this could require some moderator discretion but I really don't think it's hard to distinguish).

Continuing bad sports analogy funtime, I liken a player yelling out an incorrect answer before trying to correct it as his buzzer is still lighting up/making noise as opposed to collecting his thoughts for the few seconds he knows he has to a basketball player at the free throw line immediately throwing up his shot the instant he receives the ball from the ref instead of taking some of his ten seconds to make sure he puts up the best shot possible. If he misses because he's a spaz and got caught up in the moment that's too bad.

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Post by theMoMA »

Kit Cloudkicker wrote:I think this is complete bullshit, but hey, I'm willing to compromise. The rule should be as follows:

A) If any answer is completed, it is the answer counted
B) No corrections whatsoever should be allowed after 5 seconds has passed.
C) The moderator has COMPLETE discretion over whether an answer was completed, and his/her ruling is non-protestable.

Sorry, but any delay in giving the answer after the 5 second rule signifies stalling. So, if you try to pull that shit, you get it wrong and, if I'm reading, you get a kick in the nuts.
I think Eric's proposed rules are succinct and effective. And more importantly, they basically abolish most if all chances that the person is trying to game the system.

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Post by Mike Bentley »

It seems like this correction business would just introduce unneeded complexity into the already difficult job of being an inexperienced moderator. In practice, if you start an answer immediately before the "time" mark, the moderator will let you give the whole answer, regardless of the fact that you've only really given the first part of answer before the "time". I see no reason why most moderators wouldn't then let people change their answers well after the five second mark.

I can also absolutely see unscrupulous Quizbowl players narrowing an answer down to two things, buzzing, beginning to give an answer, looking at the moderator's facial expressions, and then changing or not changing his answer based on what he sees.

How often does stuff like this occur that we actually need a rule to prevent this? If you fuck up, you fuck up. As has been stated, you have five seconds.

Edit: In case it wasn't clear, my main objection is that it add unnecessary complexity to moderating. Sure, there are check swings in baseball and other similar rules in other sports. But you almost always have an experienced ref judging these things, not what is often some Freshman or draftee pulled in to fill the moderator ranks.
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Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Man, people really care about rules, don't they? It's not right that I should post in this thread, since I hate rules, but I think a little of my iconoclastic attitude may help here. I mean, come on folks, part of the beauty of the spirit of ACF-style play (for me at least) is that it doesn't get bogged down with a lot of this shit. As Kwartler alluded to in another post, it should shun the idea of being too much a "game."

Someone who corrects their answer before spitting out the final syllable of whatever they're saying should be given points, bottom line. There's nothing which says you have to spend your five seconds, or any part of it, in quiet contemplation. You can spend it going "The answer to this question is..." or you can spend it banging your head against the table. The point is, if you haven't given a complete answer (finished that last syllable) - you're neither right nor wrong until you do.

Now, can this be abused? Sure. Like Bentley says, it's quite feasible that a player could read a moderator's face and change answer mid-stream. The answer to this, plain and simple, is moderator discretion...first of all, mods should not tip off whether they're right or wrong in any way until they've completed the answer. But, if they do and the situation is "egregious" - i.e. it's clear the player didn't have a real change of heart but switched answers because he read the moderator or whatever, then it should be disallowed.

Could the tactic be used to slightly prolong the five seconds? Sure. Big deal. If you start your answer at the four and a half second mark and change it sometime just after the five second mark, big deal...allow the answer, give people their points, stop being pedantic. Again, though, if the situation becomes egregious - player is dallying changing answers around the eight second mark, in comes moderator discretion, and it's cut off. Simple.

On the name-prompting thing, I'm pretty much with Jerry, except for maybe a few borderline cases. You can't prompt Garcia for Garcia Marquez, you just can't. There are way too many "but what about new players" or "what about new moderators" arguments being made here - people need to acquire the skill of playing quizbowl if they're going to play quizbowl. That means you lose ten points every now and then and get better by realizing what you're supposed to say next time.

More generally - with collegiate ACF-style play, I think that there are (or should be at least) a set of general principles hovering over a very basic framework of rules and procedures. For instance, and I've used this example before - if you make an early impressive buzz and appear to be on the verge of giving an answer, I'll give you 7-8 seconds to do so, and I don't care that this isn't the black-letter rule. It comports with my notion of the justice principles behind this game, and I'll be consistent and fair about it. Since this thread is fond of that spectre known as quizbowl sports analogies - think of it like the many unwritten rules of sports. Those aren't getting mentioned in this thread, and I suspect some people would cry that they are unfair, but I disagree and think that they should be central to the game - again it's part of the practice of becoming a quizbowl player, learning and understanding those principles, and not bothering with windy and unnecessary codifications (see, this one).

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Post by Coelacanth »

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:I can also absolutely see unscrupulous Quizbowl players narrowing an answer down to two things, buzzing, beginning to give an answer, looking at the moderator's facial expressions, and then changing or not changing his answer based on what he sees.
Not mentioned here, but I think equally likely, is the player responding to the reactions of his/her opponents or teammates. Scenarios:

You've just been beaten on a buzzer race and are still on the edge of your metaphorical seat when you hear your opponent give what you know to be the wrong answer. You give a short sigh of relief and pick your buzzer back up. Said opponent realizes he must be wrong and corrects himself.

Your teammate just beats you on a tossup, and starts to give the wrong answer. You slam your buzzer down in disgust, shout "No!" or otherwise react to picking up a neg on a tossup you knew cold.

Granted, the latter scenario could be construed as conferring and would earn your team a neg even if the answer was corrected.

This issue of "when is it too late to make a correction" came up in a famous appeal case in contract bridge a few years ago. One of the things they added as they attempted to clarify the relevant Law was the notion that if anything happens that might indicate to the player that he's done the wrong thing, it's too late.

I'm not sure where I stand on the issue of allowability of corrections. I'm still scarred by the memory of losing a game when an opponent's answer of "Span-portuguese" was accepted. But I think if you do allow for corrections, you must spell out that a player cannot correct his answer if there has been any reaction to his initial response, from moderator or otherwise.
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Post by Ben Dillon »

Do we need to cover situations where calculation questions are corrected midstream? Allowing a five-second buffer to correct a math answer defeats the purpose of giving those answers immediately.
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Post by cvdwightw »

Ben Dillon wrote:Do we need to cover situations where calculation questions are corrected midstream? Allowing a five-second buffer to correct a math answer defeats the purpose of giving those answers immediately.
Standard college tournaments do not have any calculation questions. High schools using this set of rules should feel free to add whatever rules on calculation questions they feel are necessary.

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Post by creed_of_hubris »

I agree that you need to clarify what happens when the moderator screws up on something procedural like recognition and the opposing team calls them on it. Maybe creating some class of protest that cannot be reviewed outside the room -- you can protest, but if the moderator rules against you, that ends the situation, and there is no appeal.


In rule H7.3, which covers situations where a tossup has to be thrown out, the rule suggests that if this situation occurs:

(1) team a answers tossup and is ruled correct, and gets a bonus
(2) tossup is later thrown out for procedural reasons
(3) a replacement tossup is read for both teams
(4) team a correctly answers the replacement tossup

then

(5) team a gets a new bonus to replace the old one

That seems wrong to me. Team a should keep their old bonus points. You get some problematic situations otherwise, like teams protesting their own tossups to get rid of bagels, or teams going from winners to losers by failing to convert as many bonus points the 2nd time through.

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Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

[quote="ACF"]12. Players are not expected to know the exact pronunciation of every answer. Therefore, any reasonable attempt at pronouncing an answer will either be ruled correct or result in a prompt for spelling (to be evaluated under rule G.11), and any answer with the correct consonant sounds in the correct order will be accepted. For example, “Stend-HALEâ€

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Post by NoahMinkCHS »

After not checking this thread awhile, I see I'm a bit late to the party, but I had a thought about the answer-correction debate. A problem with the policy of "Allow the answer to be corrected until the point the answer is complete" is this: It's often not at all clear when the answer is complete. Take a question that asks about a general who ran for President; a player buzzes and answers "Winfield Scott--no! Taylor!" Now consider...

--Let's suppose the correct answer was Zachary Taylor. "Winfield Scott" is a complete answer... but so is "Winfield Scott Hancock". Do we award 10 points on the correction, or do we rule "Scott" incorrect?

--What if the correct answer was actually Winfield Scott? A complete answer of Scott had been given; then again, the player might have given an incomplete answer of Hancock that he corrected to Taylor, which is wrong either way. If we're trying to go by the book (sorry, Ryan), do we award points?

The point I'm trying to make is this introduces layer upon layer of complexity and contention, whereas (what I take to be) the status quo -- the first answer you give is what you give, and a correction is just helping the other team -- is fairly simple to judge. Of course, then there's the problem (that I've seen numerous times) of a player correcting a wrong answer and flustering the reader, who doesn't know how to react and comes up with an ad hoc solution like reading a new tossup to one or both teams.

In other words, I don't know the solution. But "complete answer" isn't always a term with a clear meaning.

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