Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

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Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by rhentzel »

Based on the results of NAQT's 2008 post-ICT survey, input from our writers and editors, and general feedback from our players and coaches, NAQT has decided to make several changes to its 2009 Sectional Championship Tournaments and Intercollegiate Championship Tournament. Those changes are detailed on our website:

http://www.naqt.com/college/2008/sct-po ... anges.html

The survey results were announced in an earlier thread, but they can be found here:

http://www.naqt.com/ict/2008/question-s ... sults.html
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

These changes seem to be good.
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by swwFCqb »

I agree, as well, for the most part. Why, though, is the character limit only being expanded for the DI set and not the whole field??
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by vcuEvan »

swwFCqb wrote:I agree, as well, for the most part. Why, though, is the character limit only being expanded for the DI set and not the whole field??
My guess would be so that they can use up some of the blacklog of shorter questions. I am curious about whether DI questions will make up half the DII set like usual since they're all too long.

I really like these changes though.
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

swwFCqb wrote:I agree, as well, for the most part. Why, though, is the character limit only being expanded for the DI set and not the whole field??
I presume for the same reason that it's not being expanded for high school, too. Since the questions between the two divisions are easier (and sometimes very similar, maybe with a leadin removed) this means that more DII questions will hit the former 425 character cap. That's a good thing, certainly.

I do have one request--instead of just seeing "increase by x%," could we see the actual new numbers on the distribution? It'd be helpful to know what's been done, especially since we're dealing with percents of percents (i.e. 10% more philosophy notably doesn't mean rounds will now be 15% philosophy; it means that they'll be 5.5%).
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by Saiem »

everyday847 wrote:
swwFCqb wrote:I agree, as well, for the most part. Why, though, is the character limit only being expanded for the DI set and not the whole field??
I presume for the same reason that it's not being expanded for high school, too. Since the questions between the two divisions are easier (and sometimes very similar, maybe with a leadin removed) this means that more DII questions will hit the former 425 character cap. That's a good thing, certainly.

I do have one request--instead of just seeing "increase by x%," could we see the actual new numbers on the distribution? It'd be helpful to know what's been done, especially since we're dealing with percents of percents (i.e. 10% more philosophy notably doesn't mean rounds will now be 15% philosophy; it means that they'll be 5.5%).
yeah dude, mark twain. "There are only three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics"

While the changes are headed in the right direction, I really don't think its enough, though I'll reserve that judgment until we see it in practice and such.
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by Magister Ludi »

This is a good first step. The character limit increase and the addition of an extra minute to each half are excellent changes. However some of the distribution changes are really as significant as they might seem. The twenty percent increase of myth only raises it from 1.9% to 2.28%.
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by cvdwightw »

Three threads about generally the same thing? Oh well, if you guys want to see my incredulity about one of the survey responses, go to one of the other threads.

Assuming a standard per-packet distribution of 26/26, I get the following:

Current Events -10%: From 49 questions in a 15-round set (SCT) to 44, or from 59 in an 18-round set (ICT) to 53.

Geography -20%: From 50 questions in a 15-round set to 40, or from 60 in an 18-round set to 48.

Myth +20%: From 15 questions in a 15-round set to 18, or from 18 questions in an 18-round set to 21.

Popular Culture -20%: From 55 questions in a 15-round set to 44, or from 66 questions in an 18-round set to 53.

Sports -20%: From 27 questions in a 15-round set to 22, or from 33 questions in an 18-round set to 26.

Philosophy +25%: From 22 questions in a 15-round set to 27, or from 26 questions in an 18-round set to 33.

This corresponds to a net of 23 questions cut from a 15-round set, or 28 question cut from an 18-round set.

My question is: what is taking the place of the 23 or 28 net questions that are being cut in this new distribution?
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

cvdwightw wrote:My question is: what is taking the place of the 23 or 28 net questions that are being cut in this new distribution?
Maybe their packets will now be 25/25? Their primary reason for having shorter questions was having more questions a match, after all. (That said, they're also lengthening matches, so my real answer is who knows.)
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Change we can believe in? I doubt it, but it's change, and that's part of the battle I guess.
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by cvdwightw »

Actually, I emailed R about it, and he got back to me already. Based on his response (the weights are changing, so the other categories will be slightly increased) and my resulting calculations, I expect the following distribution:

Literature 16.3%
History 19.4%
Science 19.4%
Fine Arts 8.1%
RMP 6.8% (1.0% R, 2.3% M, 3.5% P)
Social Science 4.6%
Geography 5.1%
General Knowledge 5.8%
Current Events 5.7%
Pop Culture 5.7%
Sports 2.8%
Foreign Language 0.2%

For instance, assuming 15 packets of 26/26 at SCT, I expect the following rough distribution:
History 76/75 or 75/76
Science 76/75 or 75/76
Literature 64/63 or 63/64
Fine Arts 32/31 or 31/32
General Knowledge 23/22 or 22/23
Pop Culture 23/22 or 22/23
Current Events 23/22 or 22/23
Geography 20/20
Social Science 18/18
Philosophy 14/13 or 13/14
Mythology 9/9
Religion 4/4
Foreign Language 1/1 or 0/2
Total: 390/390

And assuming 18 packets of 26/26 at ICT, I expect the following rough distribution::

History 91/91
Science 91/91
Literature (non-RM) 77/76 or 76/77
Fine Arts 38/38
General Knowledge/Mixed 27/27
Current Events: 27/26 or 26/27
Pop Culture: 27/26 or 26/27
Geography: 24/24
Social Science: 22/21 or 21/22
Philosophy 17/16 or 16/17
Sports 13/13
Mythology 11/11
Religion 5/4 or 4/5
Foreign Language 1/1 or 0/2
Total: 468/468

Praise or pillory away.
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by rylltraka »

I'm actually really excited and happy about these changes. I think they're doubtlessly for the best and a worthwhile compromise that helps to correct the flaws of previous NAQT tournaments without making the radical changes some seem to think NAQT requires
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by cvdwightw »

Hey, I've done a little bit more work on this.

Over a 15-round distribution, NAQT has 180 more questions than ACF. I've assumed that the "other" in the ACF distribution is distributed roughly 60% PC/30% sports/10% current events, and that RMP is split in ACF with 1 question in each category and the fourth split between myth and philosophy. Here's how they differ:
GK: +45
CE: +42
Hist: +31
Sci: +31
PC: +27
Sports: +13
Geo: +10
Lit: +7
SS: +6
Phil: +5
FL: +2
Myth: -5
Religion: -7
Fine Arts: -27
Total: +180

Over an 18-round tournament, this comes to the following:
GK: +54
CE: +50
Hist: +38
Sci: +38
PC: +31
Sports: +15
Geo: +12
Lit: +9
SS: +7
Phil: +6
FL: +2
Myth: -5
Rel: -9
Arts: -32

What does this mean?
1. In this and future years, SCT/ICT should not have the dramatic "excess" of geography that people are complaining about. We're only looking at about 2/3rd of a question "extra" per round.
2. Roughly 75% of the "extra" questions are in the "non-academic" categories, plus geography and foreign language.
3. The only category that is "significantly" underrepresented (more than 1 question less in an NAQT packet than in an ACF packet) is fine arts.

Also, I've taken this opportunity to make my "ideal" NAQT distribution. The requirements:
1. The starting point for the first 20/20 in each packet is the standard ACF distribution for 18 rounds. You can assume whatever you like for the actual distribution of PC/CE/GK/Sports. You may change the amount of any given category by no more than 9 total questions (e.g. if you don't think philosophy is as important as ACF makes it, you can excise 9 total philosophy questions and add those elsewhere).
2. The starting point for the remaining 6/6 per packet is the "NAQT excess" over the 18-round ICT, which for each category is calculated as (# of questions in category over 18 rounds of NAQT - # of questions in category over 18 rounds of ACF).
3. From the excess 6/6, questions may be taken from one category and moved to another category, but no more than 9 questions may be excised from a single category (there is no limit on the amount of questions that may be added to a single category). This means that, over the 18-round ICT, you are changing the amount of any given category by no more than 1/0 or 0/1 every other round.

I took 9 questions each from GK and CE, 8 questions each from history and science, 6 questions from PC, 5 from philosophy, and 2 from Sports. I added 32 to arts, 9 to religion, 5 to mythology, and 1 to literature. What this means is that except for fine arts, this distribution differs from NAQT's distribution by no more than 1/0 or 0/1 every other round; furthermore, each packet contains the full 20/20 of an ACF packet.

This is what I get:
Literature 21.3% (including 1.9% religion and 2.9% mythology)
History 18.6%
Science 18.6%
Fine Arts 11.5%
Geography 5.1%
Pop Culture 5.0%
General Knowledge 4.8%
Current Events 4.7%
Social Science 4.6%
Philosophy 3.0%
Sports 2.6%
Foreign Language 0.2%
Total: 100.0%

Comment on "my ideal NAQT distribution" or create your own "ideal NAQT distribution."
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Has there been a "foreign language" tossup or bonus at a recent SCT or ICT?
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

I'm not going to be anal enough to crunch numbers, but I think just about any experienced proponent of good academic quizbowl would immediately react to those numbers as follows:

Current events and general knowledge needs to go down, fine arts need to go up.
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by Cheynem »

5% pop culture + 2.6% sports + 4.7% current events (which at least in NAQT forms I'm familiar with, frequently is basically trash) equals more than 12%, more than fine arts. I think that's bad.
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by Important Bird Area »

Cheynem wrote:4.7% current events (which at least in NAQT forms I'm familiar with, frequently is basically trash) equals more than 12%, more than fine arts. I think that's bad.
We're also going to make sure that "trash" current events fall under pop culture, so that questions actually classified as current events have some measure of academic relevance.
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by Brian Ulrich »

bt_green_warbler wrote:
Cheynem wrote:4.7% current events (which at least in NAQT forms I'm familiar with, frequently is basically trash) equals more than 12%, more than fine arts. I think that's bad.
We're also going to make sure that "trash" current events fall under pop culture, so that questions actually classified as current events have some measure of academic relevance.
I've actually been editing this way for a couple of years now. Sometimes there are exceptions for high school, where I'm willing to allow the kidnapped child stories, but in college I'm not afraid to recode stuff under the "celebrity stuff" sub-category of Pop Culture, or some other suitable place. Interpretations of individual questions may differ, but a lot of what you consider TRASH is probably in something like PC or GK even if it happened recently.

By the same token, I try to make sure actual CE questions deal with important developments in ongoing issues, as opposed to just being something ripped from the headlines. Global energy politics are more likely to show up than a rash of people being eaten by sharks in late January.
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by Mike Bentley »

Matt, will you be changing the distribution for FICHTE II to reflect these changes?
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by Matt Weiner »

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Matt, will you be changing the distribution for FICHTE II to reflect these changes?
Good idea. Yes, I'll be using the information posted about this year's distribution and length rules, while still using the past two or three years of ICTs as a guide for difficulty, since I don't have any access to this year's questions in advance.
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Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

Post by Cheynem »

Yeah, it would be great if current events could become more "academic-y." The biggest challenge, at least in my experience, is to eliminate "stealth trash" (like Sarkozy clues that just talk about Carla Bruni's singing career) or obvious issues of transparency (so that it turns into a game of who read the news last month).
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