Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

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Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by magin » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:41 pm

Right now, Ahmad Ragab and I are writing a difficult experimental tournament to be played the weekend of the 2009 HSNCT. There will be powers and superpowers, and likely bonuses. Since last year's tournament ran late, I've been thinking about the options of splitting the tournament up into 2 days, running it Sunday after the HSNCT concludes, or starting earlier Saturday night. If you're coming, please indicate what you'd prefer. I'm happy to answer any questions about this tournament, either here or over email (I'll make a formal announcement later in the year). If anyone wants to contribute questions, that would be terrific; please email me at jsmagin at yahoo dot com. Hopefully, it be as well received, and better written, than last year's tournament.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Sir Thopas » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:45 pm

I'd rather it not be Sunday night. Other than that, I'm in. I think starting earlier Saturday would be best.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:46 pm

Coral Gardens and Their Magin wrote:starting earlier Saturday night
would be optimal. I'm totally in, by the way.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:53 pm

If I'm there (which is less sure because of the date than NSC) then I'm in.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:00 pm

What if, like, we did the draft and 3 rounds on Friday, and the rest of the games on Saturday.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:10 pm

I think the issue at Gaddis last year was that people left HSNCT, went to get dinner all over the Chicago metro area, and then trickled back in. We spent a lot of time waiting for a relatively small number of VIPs without which the tournament could not take place.

Why not just have Gaddis catered this year? You can get a big name restaurant so all the people who view HSNCT as culinary tourism will be appeased.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Important Bird Area » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:21 pm

Sir Thopas wrote:starting earlier Saturday would be best.
This.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Mike Bentley » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:22 pm

It'll be interesting to see how bonuses end up working in a tournament like this. What are the targetted conversion rates for the easy, medium and hard parts of the bonuses?
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Auroni » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:56 pm

I'd prefer saturday night, but split it and run it however you want to make it all perfect. I, too, would like to know what the planned conversion rates of the bonuses are.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:57 pm

Yeah, it seems like we wasted an enormous amount of time last year milling around confused about whether the tournament was about to start, being sent to dinner and back, and then doing the endless draft. If you can just tell people to report somewhere immediately after their moderating duties end, have the draft order lists ready at that time, and institute a 15-second clock on draft picks, then we can gain back more than enough time to do bonuses without ending any later than last year, if not actually ending earlier.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:14 pm

I'm also in for starting earlier Saturday. Matt's suggestions sound pretty good.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Important Bird Area » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:04 am

have the draft order lists ready at that time, and institute a 15-second clock on draft picks
Suggestion: hold the draft in AHAN a few days prior to the tournament. Then if there are last-minute signup players left over, randomly assign them.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by magin » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:20 am

Actually, I was going to allow players to select their own teams for this tournament, because it will be somewhat unique. Basically, there are going to be teams of four players, two teams in a room playing a round robin, or a modified one, like other tournaments. However, instead of playing against one another, both teams collaborate on the tossups and the bonuses, with the object being to score as many points possible on the packet. So, if teams A and B combine to score 500 points in round 1, they each have a score of 500 after round 1. Then, if team A and team C combine to score 600 points in round 2, while team B and team D combine to score 400 points, after two rounds, team A would have 1100 points, while team B would have 900 points, and so on. At the end of the tournament, the teams will be ranked by points, with the team scoring the most points being the winner. Individual stats and prizes will still be kept, of course.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by cornfused » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:36 am

Coral Gardens and Their Magin wrote:Actually, I was going to allow players to select their own teams for this tournament, because it will be somewhat unique. Basically, there are going to be teams of four players, two teams in a room playing a round robin, or a modified one, like other tournaments. However, instead of playing against one another, both teams collaborate on the tossups and the bonuses, with the object being to score as many points possible on the packet. So, if teams A and B combine to score 500 points in round 1, they each have a score of 500 after round 1. Then, if team A and team C combine to score 600 points in round 2, while team B and team D combine to score 400 points, after two rounds, team A would have 1100 points, while team B would have 900 points, and so on. At the end of the tournament, the teams will be ranked by points, with the team scoring the most points being the winner. Individual stats and prizes will still be kept, of course.
That's a really cool idea.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by DumbJaques » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:37 am

instead of playing against one another, both teams collaborate on the tossups and the bonuses, with the object being to score as many points possible on the packet. So, if teams A and B combine to score 500 points in round 1, they each have a score of 500 after round 1. Then, if team A and team C combine to score 600 points in round 2, while team B and team D combine to score 400 points, after two rounds, team A would have 1100 points, while team B would have 900 points, and so on. At the end of the tournament, the teams will be ranked by points, with the team scoring the most points being the winner. Individual stats and prizes will still be kept, of course.
Er, what happens if someone negs then? It seems like in this situation people "benefit" score-wise if everyone just lets the tossup go to the end, which is of course resoundingly not fun. In any event, I can't imagine preferring that to regular playing.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by magin » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:40 am

There are no negs. There will probably be something like three buzzes per tossup per room. I mean, the idea is to encourage people to buzz if they know stuff early. You can get 30 or 20 points for early buzzes on tossups, and that's not insignificant. Also, we're trying our best not to reward fraud, but to write good, clue-dense questions about important topics.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:44 am

Call me old fashioned but I think this sounds way too wacky. I think this event will be more enjoyable just playing it as regular games.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Auroni » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:57 am

I also think that this isn't the best place for your new format's debut, Jonathan.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by millionwaves » Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:28 am

JelloBiafra wrote:I also think that this isn't the best place for your new format's debut, Jonathan.
If not here, where? I sort of think that if he's willing to put the effort into writing a bunch of really high quality questions for this, he can set his own terms. While I'm not sure how much fun the format will or won't be (truthfully, I'm pretty skeptical), I have confidence that the questions will be excellent. If I'm at HSNCT this year, I intend to play this and will acquiesce to whatever format Magin deems appropriate.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by theMoMA » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:08 am

It seems to me that this format is really dependent on round-to-round consistency. You wouldn't want your game "against" the best non-you team in the field to be on a really hard packet, for example. Even the tiniest bit of fluctuation in difficulty between rounds will lead to unfair scores.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Auroni » Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:17 am

Eh, I actually take back my disapproval of this idea. If it means getting to play amazingly awesome and hard questions, then so be it.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by cvdwightw » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:02 pm

I don't think there is anything "new" about the format. Perhaps Jerry or someone else from that era can elaborate, but I was under the impression that Berkeley was playing an extremely similar "Modified Italian" format in practice in the early 2000s. The only new idea is how the tournament winner is declared, as I don't think Berkeley ever used this for a tournament.

That said, if I show up to HSNCT, I will either write/staff or play, depending on how much Jonathan and Ahmad and whoever else feel that I would contribute.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:46 pm

I wish there were some way of dissuading Jonathan of the wisdom of his pet format here, as the idea of making a tournament into a collaboration-fest baffles me. But, I agree that it's his prerogative and I'll surely play whenever this is held, provided I'm at HSNCT, though I'd lobby for anything that isn't splitting up into 2 days.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by grapesmoker » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:01 pm

This is an interesting format; I'm not sure how well it will work but that won't stop me from playing.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by SepiaOfficinalis » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:02 pm

I tend to think that the idea behind the collaborative tournament is that when you're drafting teams anyway, the tournament field is basically always the players against the packets anyways. The teams don't mean anything overall, so the way in which they are divided only serves to make the effort competitive (and maybe reward the person who does the drafting?)
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:07 pm

I'll give this a shot
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:22 pm

I tend to think that the idea behind the collaborative tournament is that when you're drafting teams anyway, the tournament field is basically always the players against the packets anyways. The teams don't mean anything overall, so the way in which they are divided only serves to make the effort competitive (and maybe reward the person who does the drafting?)
Why must you persist in saying incomprehensible things? Teams always matter. The whole point is to make your team win, no matter who or what is on it.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Captain Sinico » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:26 pm

Is it quizbowl? Sort-of? Then I'm playing!

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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Mike Bentley » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:35 am

Coral Gardens and Their Magin wrote:Actually, I was going to allow players to select their own teams for this tournament, because it will be somewhat unique. Basically, there are going to be teams of four players, two teams in a room playing a round robin, or a modified one, like other tournaments. However, instead of playing against one another, both teams collaborate on the tossups and the bonuses, with the object being to score as many points possible on the packet. So, if teams A and B combine to score 500 points in round 1, they each have a score of 500 after round 1. Then, if team A and team C combine to score 600 points in round 2, while team B and team D combine to score 400 points, after two rounds, team A would have 1100 points, while team B would have 900 points, and so on. At the end of the tournament, the teams will be ranked by points, with the team scoring the most points being the winner. Individual stats and prizes will still be kept, of course.
With three buzzes per room and with as many as 30 points on the table at the beginning of tossups, I'd imagine there would be a lot of early guess buzzes just to try to score more points (there's no huge penalty if you don't get the tossup correct). Would a player be able to buzz in again if he got it wrong earlier? Will there be conferring on tossups?

Would bonuses be collaborative? If not, a winning strategy would be to convince the weaker team to never answer a tossup, since they would be getting less points for everyone by answering on average fewer bonuses.

I think this format will also make the competition much more variable among the weaker teams in the field. Their ranking compared to each other will be highly dependent on if a good team they're playing gets a good packet or not. Additionally, matches between teams at the bottom would be very unimportant in this format. Since so many of their points would come from playing the top teams, it would make a lot of bottom bracket games rather pointless.

As others have mentioned, this is a format where packets must have consistent difficulty compared to each other, although it matters not that much if there is consistent difficulty between questions in a packet.

You're free to do what you want, but I think this would be better as a normal tournament.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by magin » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:57 am

Mike,

You can't buzz in again if you get it wrong. Bonuses will be collaborative, and there will not be conferring on tossups. Also, this tournament is sort of a test of a theory of mine, in that people like playing good questions not to score points, but because they like knowing stuff, and being recognized for that with points. With that in mind, we're trying to write interesting, non-transparent questions on cool and important things. Also, the bonuses will be on important stuff, but they'll be quite hard. It's going to be difficult to get points on bonuses by knowing stock clues (maybe 10 points here and there). I think that this tournament will remove the element of gaming the questions based on direct competition, which should ideally allow for a better measurement of what people actually know.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by evilmonkey » Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:38 pm

I'll play or read.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by DumbJaques » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:31 pm

To be frank, I really dislike this idea. I'll explain below, but I also think Trygve's point (that Jonathan is taking the time to write this set, and should be able to set his rules) is somewhat misguided purely in principle). I'd say that the opinions and experience of the people playing the set should really matter - if I write a CO history tournament, but decide everyone gets 5 buzzes each and buzzes on every 7th word are worth 80 points, well then I shouldn't be able to do it like that just because I wrote the questions. Of course, if people generally approve of this, then that's all fine, but if there's a decent amount of objection (as I do personally hope there will be), I'd hope Jonathan will listen.

I think this format is a bad idea because, essentially, it's about taking away the element of competition from quizbowl. I suppose this is something Jonathan advocates, and in theory I guess you could make the argument that you're "competing" against everyone by scoring total points, but really I don't view this as competition. It's akin to answering questions on a test for the highest score at academic decathlon or something. All the meaningful elements of strategy while playing another team, and more importantly all the enjoyment of playing a competitive round is really lost. It's basically like taking advantage of an amazing field and assuredly excellent questions to run a giant practice where stats are kept. That seems pointless. I'm also just wary in general of things that reduce the competition element of quizbowl, as that kind of stuff has some very negative manifestations in a number of instances.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by cvdwightw » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:28 pm

I'm going to disagree with Chris, for a very simple reason.

When we played Impossible Speedcheck at Berkeley, there were anywhere between like 6 and 11 people playing at any given time, one buzz per person. I think Chris has said before that this is a non-ideal way to play quizbowl. Yet, I felt like I was playing against the packet; not in the bad way where you're playing buzzer chicken but in a good way where the packet's trying to beat you by giving you clues and answer choices that no one's going to get. I felt a small victory every time I got a question; I felt a smaller victory every time someone else got a question.

Now, I know that I have some pretty crazy and ridiculous ideas about quizbowl, but it seems to me that playing against the packet (in a good way) can be equally fun to playing against another team, if the questions are hard enough that the packet is the challenging situation, not the other team. I'd argue that in matches between two teams of widely disparate ability, it can be even more fun, as neither team really has to mope about not getting the bonus in "their" topic, plus the lesser team can feel like they're contributing, or learn things from the better team.

If, for instance, the "packet" got 10 points for every unanswered tossup and bonus part, then the goal is to have eight players beat the packet. Negs would probably have to be added to make this work, as well. There's a different kind of strategy involved - do I buzz now, trying to earn extra points, or do I hang back in case everyone else is wrong, and try to pick it off near the giveaway, so that the packet doesn't get any points? I think that, if pulled off correctly, this kind of matchup can be just as exciting as a head-to-head matchup. If done poorly, it does suck, but I have faith that Jonathan and Ahmad can pull it off.

The "winning team" would be the one who combined with another team to "defeat" the packet the most times; ties would be broken by total points.

If people really think this is a bad idea, one could try the Stanford Singles format. In this format, everyone draws a number, and plays with 3 other random people against 4 other random people in each game. Winner is on the most winning teams. This completely eliminates the need for a draft, and if the number of players is known ahead of time, then a simple schedule can be easily created. There's some randomness involved in who you play with and against each round, but a player who can "carry" a team will almost always end up on more winning teams than other players. In addition, this format gives people the opportunity to play with all sorts of teammates over the course of a tournament.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:54 pm

I have to question the assertion that removing the element of competition from this tournament is a bad idea. Nobody in favor of Jonathan and Ahmad's format, or Jonathan and Ahmad themselves, favors removing the element of competition from quizbowl overall. But to play a novelty experiment like this in which competition is not the focus of the format gives us a chance to have fun with the knowledge-based aspect of quizbowl undistracted by the competitive element. The point, at least as I see it, is simply to enjoy what everyone agrees will most likely be excellent questions. Sure, the amusement of playing competitively and beating another team is lost. But it's a great opportunity to play, as Dwight said, against the packet, to test your own knowledge, to have fun playing with people with whom you usually wouldn't share a team, and to answer these questions. While playing last year's Gaddis, I saw other people buzz in on questions and be absolutely thrilled with the answer choice, simply because it was a pet topic that they might not have had the opportunity to invoke knowledge about in any other forum. I think this alone more than makes up for the fun of competing directly against another team.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by DumbJaques » Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:20 pm

But to play a novelty experiment like this in which competition is not the focus of the format gives us a chance to have fun with the knowledge-based aspect of quizbowl undistracted by the competitive element. The point, at least as I see it, is simply to enjoy what everyone agrees will most likely be excellent questions. Sure, the amusement of playing competitively and beating another team is lost. But it's a great opportunity to play, as Dwight said, against the packet, to test your own knowledge, to have fun playing with people with whom you usually wouldn't share a team, and to answer these questions. While playing last year's Gaddis, I saw other people buzz in on questions and be absolutely thrilled with the answer choice, simply because it was a pet topic that they might not have had the opportunity to invoke knowledge about in any other forum. I think this alone more than makes up for the fun of competing directly against another team.
I interpret this argument as essentially that competition is a negative, or at least has a tangibly negative effect on the knowledge element. I've certainly never felt this way (quite the opposite, in fact), and your final point about viewing this as just an opportunity to play with people, have fun, answer questions, and enjoy knowledge doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Are any of those things untrue about a normal format? I certainly don't think so. Watching people buzz in during the game at get an awesome answer may "make up" for the lack of competition, but this happens (as you've said) during regular friendly competition as well. Essentially we're discussing the need to make up for a shortcoming that uses plusses that are present whether or not your remove the element in question, so removing it makes little sense to me on that ground. I wouldn't ever call the competition element "distracting," but other people evidently feel differently.
When we played Impossible Speedcheck at Berkeley, there were anywhere between like 6 and 11 people playing at any given time, one buzz per person. I think Chris has said before that this is a non-ideal way to play quizbowl.
I don't remember saying that, but it's certainly fine for a tossups-only format. Depending on the field teams might work better, or that might work better. The fact that there are people getting multiple buzzes isn't what I find negative about the proposed format, it's the idea that there are teams, but there aren't teams, that there's no real competition, and that as Mike brought up, the best "strategy" might be for one person to take wild guess early, then everyone just sit and wait for the question to end. In fact, it's the fact that this format would create this kind of strategy to be necessary for teams to have the best shot of "winning" that most turns me off about the format; I seriously doubt anyone would put that much thought into the grand scheme of how to best score the most total points (I certainly wouldn't), but it's hardly eliminated the idea of strategy affecting gameplay. It's made it more obtuse, and perhaps it will result in the majority of people not using strategy and just sitting there answer questions written exam-style, but it seems like a bad way to best realize the format's stated goal.

I guess in theory you can have fun by thinking "should I buzz in now, or wait to prevent the packet from getting points," but I don't really think I would - certainly not as much fun as a normal quizbowl match, which is really the main point I'm making. Are any of these things really absent in a normal game? At a tournament like Gaddis, with draft-made teams of roughly equal (and considerable) strength and very difficult questions, is the enjoyment of playing with people you don't usually join up with, of playing a somewhat collaborative effort against a monstrous packet, and of enjoying the knowledge of everyone around really lacking to any degree that we need to institute this kind of stuff? The experiences people are positing this tournament will provide are the experiences people already have with quizbowl.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by grapesmoker » Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:59 pm

Are these minutia really worth arguing over? It's not like quizbowl is switching to Jonathan-style rules tomorrow; he writes the tournament, he gets to say how it takes place. There's no need to turn this into a discourse on the merits of competition or whatever.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:36 pm

So wait a minute:

Two teams play a game "together". However, only one person in the room can get any one tossup correct. At the end, the teams are ranked using math from first to last.

Where exactly is the lack of competition? Individuals can still compete against other individuals. The pride and reputation you get from beating a famous quizbowler to one of his pet topics is the same. The superiority you can feel over another player by beating him to a question is untouched. The person who first yells out the answer to a bonus part still gets to broadcast to the world the fact that he knows the answer, and accrue any reputational changes accordingly. Teams are still ranked based on how many points they scored. It's still better for your team to get more tossups rather than less. You still end up ranking above or below other teams at the end of the tournament.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:55 pm

Again, I want to say that I'd play this no matter what the format ends up being, and I'm glad people are working to write good high-level questions like these. But, just for some academic quibbling here, I think Chris is dead on with every point he makes questioning the wisdom of this format.

There's already lots of collaboration and mutual respect amongst players in quizbowl, even though we play on competitive teams trying to beat each other. Especially at events like these, the environment is usually quite laidback - all kinds of people chat with each other what they knew and when they knew it, who their favorite Inuit mythological character is, and so on. I don't understand what evil of direct competition we're trying to overcome. When someone beats me to a good question, I don't feel angry at them or the packet...rather, I'm legitimately happy that people know stuff...and in turn, I am propelled by the competition aspect to get better so that next time they do not beat me to such a question. The fact that there is "direct competition" doesn't make me hostile to other people getting better and learning stuff - quite to the contrary, I think it's what drives the game. I think you lose a lot by ditching the competitive aspect because the majority of people who play this game (if not Jonathan) are driven by that aspect to learn stuff and make themselves better.

This game isn't about playing against inanimate packets, it's about playing against people. That's what makes it a game, a skill, a competition. If it's not that, why not just get everyone together in a room and have a big round-table discussion where we all discuss our favorite academic topics? Or maybe Jonathan would just prepare a list of things for us all to chat about - "The Goophered Grapevine! Okay, who wants to start the discussion?!"
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Mike Bentley » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:50 pm

Whig's Boson wrote:You still end up ranking above or below other teams at the end of the tournament.
Probably my biggest issue with this format is that more so than the regular format these rankings don't necessarily reflect that ability of one team compared to a team of similar ability.

Say we had a two game tournament, where Teams C and D were several times better than Teams A and B:
Match 1:
Team A beats Team B 150 to 125
Team C beats Team D 400 to 375

Match 2:
Team C beats Team A 250 to 100
Team D beats Team B 450 to 50

Total Scores:
Team A: (525, 1-1)
Team B: (725, 0-2)
Team C: (1025, 2-0)
Team D: (1225, 1-1)

Team C would win a regular tournament, but because they had an off game against Team A (but still beat them), they will lose out to Team D in total points. One could make the argument that Team D would have beaten Team C had they played on Packet 2 rather than Packet 1, but it's very hard to make the argument that Team B deserves to be ranked above Team A simply because Team C had an off game in Round 2.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by magin » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:01 pm

I feel like Chris and Ryan are making some poor arguments, so hopefully I'll be able to rebut them. According to Chris, my proposed format is akin to taking a test, or holding a giant practice. However, I question both of those statements. Chris, do you enjoy answering good tossups and bonuses, or just when you're competing directly against other teams? If the latter, I suppose you won't enjoy my tournament very much, but it's your choice to attend, being a side event. Secondly, it still is a competition, given that I think every team will be ranked pretty fairly as a result of playing all the games. Not only that, but I contend that direct competition creates a form of tension between players and teams which is removed when players play against the packet (only in the good way that Dwight described). Again, I'm not advocating replacing regular tournaments with my format, but I'd like to test some of my hypotheses about quizbowl while providing an enjoyable tournament.

Ryan seems to think I'd prefer just discussing my favorite subjects to playing quizbowl. This seems like a bizarre assertion, since instead of announcing a discussion about Charles Chesnutt, I announced a quizbowl tournament. I'm sorry that some of you don't think you'll have fun without head-to-head competition, but this is just a novelty tournament; I hope people will show up and play with an open mind, but if not, I'm not making you play.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by swwFCqb » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:04 pm

If I attend HSNCT, which I most likely will, then I would love to play this. It may not be quizbowl in the traditional sense, but it sounds like fun nonetheless.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by magin » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:10 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:
Whig's Boson wrote:You still end up ranking above or below other teams at the end of the tournament.
Probably my biggest issue with this format is that more so than the regular format these rankings don't necessarily reflect that ability of one team compared to a team of similar ability.

Say we had a two game tournament, where Teams C and D were several times better than Teams A and B:
Match 1:
Team A beats Team B 150 to 125
Team C beats Team D 400 to 375

Match 2:
Team C beats Team A 250 to 100
Team D beats Team B 450 to 50

Total Scores:
Team A: (525, 1-1)
Team B: (725, 0-2)
Team C: (1025, 2-0)
Team D: (1225, 1-1)

Team C would win a regular tournament, but because they had an off game against Team A (but still beat them), they will lose out to Team D in total points. One could make the argument that Team D would have beaten Team C had they played on Packet 2 rather than Packet 1, but it's very hard to make the argument that Team B deserves to be ranked above Team A simply because Team C had an off game in Round 2.
Mike, in my opinion, the more rounds, the fairer the final results will be. I'm not planning to run a two or three round tournament, since I think that would indeed be very prone to giving poor measurements. The more rounds, the better the measurement.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by DumbJaques » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:33 pm

Chris, do you enjoy answering good tossups and bonuses, or just when you're competing directly against other teams? If the latter, I suppose you won't enjoy my tournament very much, but it's your choice to attend, being a side event.
Yeah, I like that a whole lot. I can't imagine how anyone would really dislike quizbowl if nobody else was around. That's why I also enjoy reading packets, learning about things, and going to practice. This sidesteps the crux of my argument, that the same amount of knowledge-based fun is had in this format as in normal formats, but the value of the competition and enjoying playing against people (contrary to Bruce's zero-sum assessment, competition isn't just about what happens when you win - beating people to buzzes, demonstrating some odd "superiority" thing or whatever - but about an entertaining match that pushes both teams more than just sitting there and answering questions does). To answer your question, yes, I enjoy that, but I'd enjoy it just as much as a regular tournament and wouldn't sacrifice the competition. Obviously the reason I'm posting in this thread is because I assuredly would love to play on these questions whether in this format or any other; I'm just arguing what I see as a gainless modification of format that also introduces some problems (that Mike does a better job of outlining than I do). As for the "if you don't like it, you don't have to play thing," I find that sort of dismissive, but for the record, if I'm at the HSNCT, I'll play and enjoy myself no matter what.
Not only that, but I contend that direct competition creates a form of tension between players and teams which is removed when players play against the packet (only in the good way that Dwight described).
That's fine, and I think this is main point of contention. I feel as if your response posits that I'm only interested in competition, while I think the reality is I see competition as a secondary or tertiary positive (to question quality, enjoying the tournament in general, hanging out with people, etc), while you see competition as a negative. I think that's a fine debate to have (perhaps it's what you aim to kick off with this event), so I'll look forward to doing so, and look forward to a set that will assuredly be excellent in all the ways Gaddis was last year. As Jerry has said, it's mostly pointless to have a big issue over this; the fact that you're taking the time to write a great event is fare more important than quibbling over it, and I'm perfectly willing to accept whatever you'd like to do - I only wanted to raise a few questions I had about what the format change added, as you invited.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:51 pm

the value of the competition and enjoying playing against people (contrary to Bruce's zero-sum assessment, competition isn't just about what happens when you win - beating people to buzzes, demonstrating some odd "superiority" thing or whatever - but about an entertaining match that pushes both teams more than just sitting there and answering questions does)
So you derive pleasure from:
(1) being incentivized to buzz early; and
(2) playing another team that is also incentivized to buzz early

Is this what falls under your definition of "entertaining game" and/or "competition"? I'm trying to figure out what you're talking about so I can engage you in a discussion on it.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:04 am

Yeah, like Jerry says, I think this whole debate really boils down to what you see as the merits or demerits of competition in general, and this is no place to discuss that expansive topic. I look forward to the event.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by ... and the chaos of Mexican modernity » Sun Dec 21, 2008 7:57 pm

I would play this if it was earlier on Saturday.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:59 am

Um, how much earlier? It's, like, impossible for people playing/staffing the tournament to also participate in this during the actual running of the HSNCT.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:32 am

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:Um, how much earlier? It's, like, impossible for people playing/staffing the tournament to also participate in this during the actual running of the HSNCT.
Perhaps he was referring to the "starting earlier Saturday night" option Jonathan mentioned in his original post?
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Wed Dec 24, 2008 2:34 pm

Assuming I can make it to HSNCT, I will play this.
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Re: Experimental Tournament for the 09 HSNCT

Post by at your pleasure » Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:08 pm

How does one sign up to play this?
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