ACF Fall discussion

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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Pilgrim »

Lapego1 wrote:
ClemsonQB wrote:Minor Distribution Quibble:

I don't have the set right in front of me, so I can't point out all the specifics and may be forgetting something, but I remember dudes from Roman history being really overrepresented. Like, off the top of my head, I can recall tossups on Crassus, Marcus Aurelius, Domitian, Mark Antony, Augustus and Hadrian. Which made up 6 tossups in the eleven rounds I played. I don't recall a single tossup on events from ancient history, or any person from ancient history that wasn't Roman (i.e. no Egyptian rulers, Greeks, Persians, etc.).
We heard some of that Roman stuff but also two bonuses on Greek history, both of which seemed to involve the Greco-Persian wars (there was a battles bonus, and one involving Themistocles IIRC); I don't recall any tossups on Greek but that could just be my memory.
There was a Thucydides tossup in the Missouri packet and the Macedon tossup mentioned earlier in this thread, as well as a bonus on Solon. I ended up having to cut most of what few Greek submissions there were, since everybody decided to write about Marathon.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Lapego1 »

Yeah, you're right. I knew I was forgetting something.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by ClemsonQB »

Pilgrim wrote:
ClemsonQB wrote:Like, off the top of my head, I can recall tossups on Crassus, Marcus Aurelius, Domitian, Mark Antony, Augustus and Hadrian. Which made up 6 tossups in the eleven rounds I played.
For what it's worth, this means that the seven rounds that you didn't play contained zero Roman history tossups (unless you count Attila) since those were the only ones in the tournament. Roman history was probably a little overrepresented, but that was mainly a product of a lot of people submitting Roman history tossups, and less part of my nefarious plan to shoehorn more of my favorite subject into the distribution (of the 3/3 ancient European history that I wrote, 1/0 was Republican Rome, 1/1 was Imperial Rome, 1/1 was Greek, and 0/1 was Byzantine, which I feel is pretty fair).
Oh alright. With this knowledge, 6 out of 18 rounds containing 1/0 Roman history seems adequate.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo »

Let me start by saying that I loved this tournament. As many people have pointed out already, it was significantly easier than last year's Fall, but for all its accessibility it kept the clues good and the subject material interesting. I thought the trash of all things was especially well done.

Tossups I especially liked: Il Trovatore, Cormac McCarthy, James Agee, Sicily, Quetzlcoatl, and many others.

A few specific criticisms:
The 3rd of May 1808. That clue about the painting having a companion piece narrowed it down way too quickly.

I felt the Water Goblin was slightly too early for Dvorak.

Other than that, fantastic job.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

cursednine wrote:I felt the Water Goblin was slightly too early for Dvorak.
Seconded.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by SepiaOfficinalis »

Just to second some complaints about bonus variation, I think too many bonuses didn't even try for difficulty variation (which I honestly support in general, I think PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH should be easy or hard more or less entirely by whether you are good within some random subject) but since it's not this tournament's goal I'll complain anyway. The instance that stands out to me was consecutive PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH to the other team on cave/forms/Republic and Endgame/Beckett/Godot. Painful as it is to not get my favorite playwright and a well-loved philosopher, those were 60 pts I would've felt bad getting. I mean, I guess Endgame sort of rises to the level of medium clue, but even if you want to write a pure Republic bonus, there are at least 10 named things from it that would make good highly novice-accessible answers (Gyges, myth of the metals, guardians, analogy of the line, Thrasymachus...) But good set, a lot of fun (couldn't say that for MO.)
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Cheynem »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:But good set, a lot of fun (couldn't say that for MO.)
Yeah, not as much of those damn clues, huh, Tom? :grin:
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:Just to second some complaints about bonus variation, I think too many bonuses didn't even try for difficulty variation (which I honestly support in general, I think PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH should be easy or hard more or less entirely by whether you are good within some random subject) but since it's not this tournament's goal I'll complain anyway. The instance that stands out to me was consecutive PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH to the other team on cave/forms/Republic and Endgame/Beckett/Godot. Painful as it is to not get my favorite playwright and a well-loved philosopher, those were 60 pts I would've felt bad getting. I mean, I guess Endgame sort of rises to the level of medium clue, but even if you want to write a pure Republic bonus, there are at least 10 named things from it that would make good highly novice-accessible answers (Gyges, myth of the metals, guardians, analogy of the line, Thrasymachus...) But good set, a lot of fun (couldn't say that for MO.)
I'm sorry. Those things you listed off from Republic are not "highly novice-accessible answers" by any means.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Captain Sinico »

I'm inclined to disagree there, actually; that bonus does seem pretty easy.

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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling »

Late to the party, I will post my own addition to the general lovefest for the questions at the first ACF Fall I've played in my seven years in the college game. The list of things I can remember being unhappy with is short.

One was the placement of Weber's definition of the state as the second clue in the question on him. Could be that this is not the most sociologically important thing he did, but defining the state in terms of a monopoly on the legitimate use of force is certainly the most famous to political scientists of all statements Weber ever wrote, and political science students are legion, so this quote isn't a lead-in or an early clue. It was an anxiety-inducing, unsettling buzzer race, but it was over quickly and there weren't many more (or Mandy Moore).

Another was the overall length of bonus parts. In some other thread I'll get into whether packets should be designed for people to learn from them while playing (no, I won't; I'm chicken), but I felt there were too many clues (and words) in each bonus part, especially nominally easy parts. When the easy clues came first, our team would interrupt anyhow, and when the hard ones came first, several times we'd find moderators would just blah-blah over them and get to the stuff that was guaranteed points. An average shortening by about a clue of each bonus part might have saved an hour over the course of a long tournament; folks can get tired even of the really good stuff if it takes till 9:00 to be through with all of it.

Very interested in laying eyes on the set again, but if you'd prefer, I can wait till it is up on the ACF archive; how long will that be?
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:Just to second some complaints about bonus variation, I think too many bonuses didn't even try for difficulty variation (which I honestly support in general, I think PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH should be easy or hard more or less entirely by whether you are good within some random subject) but since it's not this tournament's goal I'll complain anyway. The instance that stands out to me was consecutive PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH to the other team on cave/forms/Republic and Endgame/Beckett/Godot. Painful as it is to not get my favorite playwright and a well-loved philosopher, those were 60 pts I would've felt bad getting. I mean, I guess Endgame sort of rises to the level of medium clue, but even if you want to write a pure Republic bonus, there are at least 10 named things from it that would make good highly novice-accessible answers (Gyges, myth of the metals, guardians, analogy of the line, Thrasymachus...) But good set, a lot of fun (couldn't say that for MO.)
Also this. I don't know how much better this can be done, so I was again chicken about speaking up on it myself, but there were two distinct camps of bonuses: the ones obeying the celebrated 90-50-10 rubric and the ones that had no true hard part. My impression is that my team really benefited from randomly drawing more of the latter than our opponents (see: game against Illinois D).
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

Captain Scipio wrote:I'm inclined to disagree there, actually; that bonus does seem pretty easy.

MaS
I merely meant that those things weren't "highly accessible" to novices, not that the bonus was sufficiently difficult. There are other ways to craft that bonus to make it sufficiently distinguish between teams.

I would agree with Gordon that there seemed to be two different bonus camps, one with the 90-50-10, and another with one easy part and two medium parts. The Plato bonus was an obvious example of the latter. I don't know how I feel about this, honestly, since there were times when I felt, like Gordon, that games were affected by the variation in bonuses. On the other hand, we did gain a lot of points from them. I guess I would prefer that the tournament were composed of one kind of bonus or the other.

EDIT: In regards to "too many clues" in the bonus parts, ACF Fall is intended to serve as an introduction to collegiate quizbowl of the non-NAQT/HCASC/CBI variety. The more clues teams and players hear, the more they learn, and hopefully because they learn, they will improve/enjoy quizbowl far more.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by marnold »

William Afham wrote:EDIT: In regards to "too many clues" in the bonus parts, ACF Fall is intended to serve as an introduction to collegiate quizbowl of the non-NAQT/HCASC/CBI variety. The more clues teams and players hear, the more they learn, and hopefully because they learn, they will improve/enjoy quizbowl far more.
I understand this and too a great extent agree, but some of the easy parts were just arduous, especially as a moderator. I don't have any specific examples at the moment, but reading two lines of bonus lead-in, two lines of clues then 3 words of "find your ass" seemed to slow the game down more than anything. Obviously the fact that this was my biggest complaint about the tournament means it was solid, but it is something that I was thinking about posting and I see others agree.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by ValenciaQBowl »

I haven't seen the set yet, but I'd like to second Mr. Arnold's point generally. I believe strongly in the didactic aspects of question writing but also think that excessive verbiage in bonus parts is annoying when coupled with a really easy clue at the end. I don't mind the 2-3 line bonus lead-in offering some deep background on the upcoming subject, but if it does, then the three parts should be briefer. The toss-ups should be doing the bulk of the didactic work.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Captain Sinico »

I don't know; I guess it depends on how you define "highly accessible." I'll just say that those are things I expect a large fraction of novices (and even decent high school players) to know.

MaS

EDIT: I see I've misunderstood what you're saying because I'm retarded (this argument is not highly idiot-accessible...) Okay, so I think some of those things would have been better used as a hard part and, while some of them are even better-known than some parts of the actual bonus (to wit: the analogy of the metals is wicked famous, probably moreso than the concept of forms per se.) Either way, there isn't much from the Republic that's way over anyone's head.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Matt Weiner »

The Golden Trough wrote: when the hard ones came first, several times we'd find moderators would just blah-blah over them and get to the stuff that was guaranteed points
The usefulness of extra clues in bonus parts is a debatable topic, but the idea that moderators are excluding clues from questions on the fly based on their conception of what teams need to hear is alarming. Anyone reading this who is going to moderate any quizbowl, in any format, in the future: Do not do this.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by theMoMA »

ACF Fall strove to keep bonus prompts below two lines (there were probably one or two bonus parts per packet that spilled over into a third line, and plenty that were below two), so even if there were bonus parts that had harder clues and an easier later part, they shouldn't have contributed to the lengthening of games by more than a few minutes each.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Kevin »

I haven't read through the packets, but after playing them at MSU on Sunday:

Favorite toss-up: Manny being Manny. Unfortunately I was beaten to it, but what a great sports question.

Least favorite, or at least the one I dislike because I got it wrong: The Robert Bork question started off with an anecdote about his video rental records becoming public. I jumped in with Clarence Thomas, who also had his video rental records leaked--the main difference being that the former's video rentals were not at all interesting, whereas the latter's (leaked shortly after his tempestuous confirmation hearings) included pornography. Now, I'm pretty sure the wording of the clue would never have allowed Thomas to be a correct answer--I buzzed after a part about the Video Privacy Protection Act, which has to refer to Bork. Nevertheless, I found it a little frustrating that there was a lead-in describing an incident very similar to one that happened involving a similar figure.

Now, if no one else negged with Thomas I guess it's just my own fault.

Difficulty level: I thought it was pretty dead on where it needed to be. We played EFT this year and while I liked that tournament I thought the bonuses were too hard. We had a better team at ACF Fall, but we still went from 9 points a game to 17, a pretty sizable jump. We're certainly not a great team by any stretch, but I feel like that's a much more reasonable PPB for us to have at an intro-type tournament. Obviously, I have no problem with the fact that EFT turned out to be a bit harder, but I do think that ACF did a much better job of having at least one easy bonus part in each question. There was one particular game against Alabama A at EFT where we got 11 toss-ups and only managed 60 total bonus points, with a seemingly endless stretch of zeroes on bonus questions. It's incredibly frustrating to do quite well on toss-ups and then hit a brick wall over and over again on bonuses; I think ACF did a good job of avoiding that.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling »

theMoMA wrote:Even if there were bonus parts that had harder clues and an easier later part, they shouldn't have contributed to the lengthening of games by more than a few minutes each.
There were 14 rounds. A few minutes each adds up to about the hour I thought could have been saved. Pretty much what M. Arnold said.

Now I'm going to depart and go sulk about not having played the packet with the "Manny being Manny" question.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by BuzzerZen »

who is this Manny
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Matt Weiner »

BuzzerZen wrote:who is this Manny
He is cooking baseballs on a grill in left center as we speak.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by PaladinQB »

Matt Weiner wrote:
BuzzerZen wrote:who is this Manny
He is cooking baseballs on a grill in left center as we speak.
No he isn't, he's making soup on the food tv.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo »

Sorry for the late post; I just wanted to make a note about a question I wrote for fall. My Mendelssohn symphonies tossup featured several tempo clues ("allegro gurriero," "saltarello presto"). Some of you may remember that I spoke out against the use of such clues in the EFT discussion thread. What I should have said was that I dislike tempo clues that are not uniquely identifying. For example, most symphonies up until Beethoven always featured a slow second movement (andante, adagio) and a scherzo (or, earlier, a minuet) third; a practice which many later composers also followed. As a result, saying "in the second movement, marked andante" is often unnecessary. However, I don't see anything wrong with uniquely identifying tempo clues; as far as I know, the Italian symphony is the only work ever written with the fourth movement marked "Saltarello presto."

Also, I'd like to qualify my remark about clues on the auditory content of musical works: they're fine as long as they are unique (i.e. the high opening bassoon solo in the Rite of Spring). When combined with theory clues, they work even better.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion (don't read, players at U Wash. site)

Post by Mike Bentley »

So we ran this tournament two days ago at UW and I was very happy to see that things went over very well. The six teams that attended this tournament (which consisted of teams that all had at least some players playing in their first non-Knowledge Bowl tournament) all seemed to enjoy themselves, and there were several instances where I saw some pretty promising buzzes on clues.

I thought there was some variability in packet difficulty, but within a packet the difficulty was pretty good. I played against some of the people at the TRASH tournament while we were waiting for teams to arrive on Sunday morning and I could see how one could make the argument that the set didn't do the world's best job of distinguishing between the elite players, but I don't think that should be the primary aim of ACF Fall. The questions did a great job of distinguishing between newer players, and resulted in a lot of competitive matches.

Thanks to the editors for producing a quality set.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion

Post by MiltonPlayer47 »

Is the set posted anywhere?
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Re: ACF Fall discussion

Post by swwFCqb »

Not yet, since there's still a mirror to be played at Lawrence I think, although one of the editors might email you the set i you wanted to look it over.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion

Post by dtaylor4 »

swwFCqb wrote:Not yet, since there's still a mirror to be played at Lawrence I think, although one of the editors might email you the set i you wanted to look it over.
Lawrence is mirroring T-Party. It should be cleared, as Washington's mirror is done.

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Re: ACF Fall discussion

Post by swwFCqb »

My bad. I thought somebody was mirroring it a month later, in December.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion

Post by theMoMA »

The set is cleared for posting. I will send the most updated set to Chris Carter for inclusion on quizbowlpackets.com
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Re: ACF Fall discussion

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Re: ACF Fall discussion

Post by Cheynem »

After rereading some of the questions:

-Aaaagh, I can't believe it took me as long as it did to get that "Love" common link trash toss-up. Buddy Love is referenced right in the first line.
-The SNCC question seems a mite too easy, what with references to John Lewis and civil rights very early.
-Excellent Link toss-up. Not a whiff of transparency. This went down to almost the end in our room and we had solid video game knowledge.
-Another "looks much easier on paper" toss up that I can't believe I didn't get right away: Sinclair Lewis, who I did a graduate presentation on last semester. My English prof would not be pleased.
-That's an excellent Magneto toss-up too. A guy in our room got it on the first sentence, but all of the clues are solid but not transparent.
-Not liking the "fruit" common link trash toss-up.
-I can't judge Bible toss-ups at all, but the Paul one seems flagrantly easy.
-I think the Ernest Hemingway toss-up is not very well written as it seems to imply that the plots of To Have and Have Not and For Whom the Bell Tolls are the plots of the stories "Islands in the Stream" and "True at First Light." This is probably the result of some editing.

Overall an excellent set of packets, though.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion

Post by SepiaOfficinalis »

Cheynem wrote:After rereading some of the questions:

-Aaaagh, I can't believe it took me as long as it did to get that "Love" common link trash toss-up. Buddy Love is referenced right in the first line.
Man, that reminded me of one of my favorite pieces of knowledge to get points off of when I got it on the second line. It reminded me of why that was one of my favorite packets that I think I've played. Thanks, Andrew. An evening put to good use.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

Cheynem wrote: -I can't judge Bible toss-ups at all, but the Paul one seems flagrantly easy.
It was quite the easy question, I will say. I have spoken to Rob about the quality of the Bible questions overall, as they were somewhat lacking in pyramidality. Still, it is a difficult subject to judge if one has little first-hand knowledge of it.
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Re: ACF Fall discussion

Post by Cheynem »

I guess the big question regarding Biblical characters, books, and events is how far from the Bible itself one wants to go. If you write a BIble toss up like a literature one where you only describe events that happen in the Old and New Testaments, I think it can get difficult. Like the Paul toss-up. You're describing some of the main events in the New Testament in the first line.

On the other hand, the Thomas toss-up was better because it used a solid mixture of Biblical and "tradition" clues. I'm not saying every Bible toss-up needs to use non-Bible clues, but it might help resolve non pyramidal issues.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

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