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CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:34 am
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
If anybody still remembers the first event of CO weekend (and I'm not sure even I do), feel free to leave your feedback in this thread.

A few issues I'll address up-front:

(1) Evan Nagler proofread all the packets, which was very awesome of him. Unfortunately, some non-proofread questions snuck into the final set. What happened was that I had two folders of packets on my desktop, one proofread and one not. They had similar names. I must have alternated between the folders while distributing the TU's into packets. This would also explain the repeat in the Finals packet, which I apologize for.

(2) In line with last year's discussion, I made an effort to make the tournament more accessible to those who practice actual academic history; this was done in part by writing more TU's on crops, resources, and social phenomena, but also by an increased use of clues from primary sources in lead-ins. I figure since real historians are all about primary sources, they would be at an advantage on those early clues, but those clues would still be uniquely identifying and concrete. Andrew Wehrman was really helpful on this.

(3) Some people on IRC were curious about the distribution. This is what it was:

1/1 Britain
2/2 Western Europe (Iberia, France, Italy, Germanic world)
1/1 Eastern Europe (West Slavs, South Slavs, Balts, Vlachs, Magyars, Grecians)
1/1 Russia
1/1 Classical World
1/1 Colonial America
1/1 19th Century America
1/1 20th Century America
1/1 Latin America
1/1 China
1/1 Japan
1/1 Subcontinent
1/1 Other Asia (Korea, Indonesia, Turks, Persians, Israel)
1/1 Africa and Araby
1/1 Grab-Bag

(4) Unfortunately, I won't have time to write this event again next year. I hope somebody else can take over and keep it going, because I look forward to playing this event next year.

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:18 pm
by theMoMA
This tournament was very entertaining to me as someone who doesn't particularly enjoy history questions, and a lot of that was because of the creative tossup answers like "the United States and Japan," "inoculation for smallpox," "Pakistan's nuclear program," and "letters of Abigail Adams."

Distributionally, I thought that the set covered basically the entire spectrum of askable Japan stuff, which was a little excessive.

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:36 pm
by Strongside
I enjoyed this tournament. It was well written, and I was pleased with the level of challenge the tournament provided.

The main thing that I didn't like about the tournament were the tossups where it was necessary to accept "obvious equivalents." I feel that these tossups tend to be confusing and too subjective, and moderators often have to struggle with whether to accept, prompt, or count as incorrect. I realize that last year's tournament was criticized for not enough social history questions, so I suppose this alleviated it. I don't advocate banning all tossups like this, and my dislike of these tossups are partially because they don't cater to my strengths as much as I would like.

As for the distribution I felt Japan was overrepresented, and the U.S. was underrepresented.

In no way did this have a major effect on my enjoyment of the tournament, as it was very well written, and any tournament that is exclusively history is awesome.

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:39 pm
by cdcarter
I got to score keep for this, and that was a lot of fun to see all these good teams play this set. The set seemed really awesome. I really liked some of the way out there tossup and bonus selections, and the "You are BLANK, a BLANK in TIME PERIOD POLITY FTPE" bonuses were a cool way to do a bonus, that you wouldn't see in other tournaments.

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:52 pm
by fleurdelivre
cdcarter wrote:I got to score keep for this, and that was a lot of fun to see all these good teams play this set. The set seemed really awesome. I really liked some of the way out there tossup and bonus selections, and the "You are BLANK, a BLANK in TIME PERIOD POLITY FTPE" bonuses were a cool way to do a bonus, that you wouldn't see in other tournaments.
I also enjoyed this bonus series (seppuku daggers = awesome).

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:06 pm
by Sir Thopas
fleurdelivre wrote:
cdcarter wrote:I got to score keep for this, and that was a lot of fun to see all these good teams play this set. The set seemed really awesome. I really liked some of the way out there tossup and bonus selections, and the "You are BLANK, a BLANK in TIME PERIOD POLITY FTPE" bonuses were a cool way to do a bonus, that you wouldn't see in other tournaments.
I also enjoyed this bonus series (seppuku daggers = awesome).
The best part was when reader Quentin spent the first two parts thinking Publius was an actual Roman senator, and was thus very confused with the present tense and other stuff.

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:08 pm
by Auroni
Damn. I'm pretty excited to see this set now.

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:21 pm
by Matt Weiner
Some of the questions on non-proper nouns such as "people who passed civil service exams" left people who more or less knew what was going on in the clues at a loss to deduce what exactly the writer was going for. Most of them did not have this problem, though, and the questions on stuff like indigo and Israeli invasions of Lebanon were interesting new directions. There was some inconsistency in bonus difficulty, especially in terms of whether the easy part of a bonus was supposed to be really easy or not from one question to the next, but I thought the tossups were very good on the whole.

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:58 pm
by No Rules Westbrook
Yeah, this tournament was a vast improvement over last year's set and, on the whole, quite enjoyable. People have mentioned some questions that might have been better reconsidered (like "historians," which was strange, and "people who passed examinations" which led me to confusedly neg with "scholars"). But, some of those creative ideas turned out really well - writing on "indigo" is a particularly good idea, given its importance, and the fact that it wasn't transparent or confusing. I was pretty out of it on Friday night for some reason or another, but even so, I really enjoyed a number of questions - the authors were not afraid to wander into topics that don't often get asked about in tossup form (and bonuses too), and that's awesome for events like this. This ranks as my favorite all-history event, of those that I've played.

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:20 pm
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Yeah, what I should have done with the TU on "people who passed the Chinese imperial examination" was just change it into a TU on "mandarins" or "chinese civil servants". I think that would have been far less confusing and would have allowed for more clues (such as on chinese civil servants before and after the examinations period).

According to the original author of that TU, he first intended it to be a TU on "chinese civil service exams", but found that he could not write a TU on that subject that wasn't transparent.

How do people feel about the relatively recent history that came up in this tournament, e.g., tossups on things like Bill Clinton and 9/11? Or the TU on homo habilis? Should these things have a place in mACF history outside of my CO side events?

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:33 am
by Maxwell Sniffingwell
Homo habilis stood out as not being history. But 9/11 and Clinton worked fine, though they were a bit easy due to its recent nature.

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:11 am
by pray for elves
cornfused wrote:Homo habilis stood out as not being history. But 9/11 and Clinton worked fine, though they were a bit easy due to its recent nature.
In the room where I was reading both 9/11 and Bill Clinton went until just before FTP.

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:48 pm
by ClemsonQB
DeisEvan wrote:In the room where I was reading both 9/11 and Bill Clinton went until just before FTP.
Same. (Except of course that I was playing, not reading)

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:31 pm
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Also, did the West Coast mirror of this happen?

Re: CO History Doubles Discussion

Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:56 pm
by Schweizerkas
DJ Shadow wrote:Also, did the West Coast mirror of this happen?
Um, sort of. It was planned for Sunday evening, but there were only about 6 or 8 of us around at that point. Also, apparently we technically were not supposed to be in the rooms past 5 pm (although no janitors ever came to kick us out). Oh yeah, I believe all the buzzer systems were either gone or broken by that point as well. So, we decided to just play some informal matches, 3 teams playing simultaneously in a single room. We ended up playing either 3 or 4 rounds. A team of me and Bill Rowan went either 2-1 or 3-1 to "win" the "tournament."