New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Old college threads.

What Date Would You Prefer?

Early January 2010
15
34%
Early May 2010
9
20%
Late June 2010
15
34%
July 2010
2
5%
August 2010
3
7%
 
Total votes: 44

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New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Mike Bentley » Sat May 02, 2009 2:12 am

I'm putting a feeler out for interest in a new national trash tournament in 2010. This tournament would be written by an editing team including myself, and would be a one day tournament. The questions would primarily target things that I think are relevant for current undergraduates (essentially the questions would be similar to ASS and Chris McCray, but perhaps a bit harder). The tournament would be open to all teams, and there would be no need to qualify.

My preferred date for this tournament would be in late June of 2010, although I'm open to changing this if the majority of interested parties preferred another date. I'd probably try to find a host in the Mid-Atlantic or Chicago area.

Also, if you're interested in helping out with this tournament, let me know (mike000@umd.edu). I'd probably only be able to write about 1/3 of this tournament max on my own, so I'd need significant contributions from other editors.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by swwFCqb » Sat May 02, 2009 2:17 am

This sounds like a cool idea, although personally I'd rather see it closer to the end of the spring semester, in the April/May area.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Mike Bentley » Sat May 02, 2009 2:21 am

swwFCqb wrote:This sounds like a cool idea, although personally I'd rather see it closer to the end of the spring semester, in the April/May area.
There is no room for a tournament in this time period. All the dates in April are claimed, and people have finals in May.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by swwFCqb » Sat May 02, 2009 2:23 am

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:
swwFCqb wrote:This sounds like a cool idea, although personally I'd rather see it closer to the end of the spring semester, in the April/May area.
There is no room for a tournament in this time period. All the dates in April are claimed, and people have finals in May.
That's true come to think of it; consider my revised vote for January then.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Dan Greenstein » Sat May 02, 2009 9:57 am

One option not in the poll is late March. All of the college/open national tournaments tend to cluster in April, due to finals being in May and spring breaks in March. They also tend to avoid Easter because that weekend would see lowered attendance due to people hanging out with their families. Here are the available weekends for late March to late April in 2010:

March 27-28: possible but unlikely date for either ACF or TRASH
April 3-4: claimed by Easter
April 10-11: claimed by NAQT
April 17-18: likely date for either ACF or TRASH
April 24-25: likely date for either ACF or TRASH

One question I have always had is how much of a hindrance spring break is. This is relevant because a few schools have spring break periods that involve the late March weekend. My observation has been that those people who are really into quizbowl will not let spring break be a hindrance and actually take advantage of the break in academic action, while those people who like quizbowl but are not strong about their involvement tend to use spring break as an excuse not to attend tournaments. (This may deserve its own thread, but I present it here because of the target audience of this tournament.)
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Mike Bentley » Sat May 02, 2009 5:25 pm

Dan Greenstein wrote:One option not in the poll is late March. All of the college/open national tournaments tend to cluster in April, due to finals being in May and spring breaks in March. They also tend to avoid Easter because that weekend would see lowered attendance due to people hanging out with their families. Here are the available weekends for late March to late April in 2010:

March 27-28: possible but unlikely date for either ACF or TRASH
April 3-4: claimed by Easter
April 10-11: claimed by NAQT
April 17-18: likely date for either ACF or TRASH
April 24-25: likely date for either ACF or TRASH

One question I have always had is how much of a hindrance spring break is. This is relevant because a few schools have spring break periods that involve the late March weekend. My observation has been that those people who are really into quizbowl will not let spring break be a hindrance and actually take advantage of the break in academic action, while those people who like quizbowl but are not strong about their involvement tend to use spring break as an excuse not to attend tournaments. (This may deserve its own thread, but I present it here because of the target audience of this tournament.)
I guess that's an option, but I tend to feel that national tournaments are too clustered at the moment. I think if ACF Nationals and ICT were farther apart, for instance, ACF Nationals would get more teams to show up to it. Thus, I wouldn't want to try to force another national tournament into this crowded time period.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by lasercats » Sat May 02, 2009 9:33 pm

Also, at least one school has spring break every week of march, so the 27th-28th would likely conflict with at least one team.
I voted for January, because I think it is not worth the trouble to organize a team over the summer (also, it can be very difficult to get school funding).
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by dtaylor4 » Sat May 02, 2009 9:49 pm

I would actually support pairing this with ACF Winter, if at all possible.

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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Mike Bentley » Sat May 02, 2009 11:31 pm

dtaylor4 wrote:I would actually support pairing this with ACF Winter, if at all possible.
Unless you plan on making ACF Winter a non-mirrored tournament this isn't going to work.

If my intentions weren't clear, by "national trash tournament" I mean a tournament along the lines of TRASHionals or ACF Nationals. This would be held at one site, rather than throughout the country, with the intention of declaring a national champion.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by MichaelKearney » Sat May 02, 2009 11:59 pm

So, it's a tournament with no requirements to get in, held at one site? It seems like what you're proposing is a Master's-Level trash tournament, but geared toward undergraduate players. Wouldn't that just crown a Chicago regional champion of "Things thought to be relevant to 19-year-olds"? I'm all for more tournaments per year, but how would this be a Nationals-style tournament, and not just Teen Trashmasters?
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Kevin » Sun May 03, 2009 12:00 am

On a slightly unrelated note, I'd love to see a widely-mirrored, packet-submission trash tournament along the lines of GARBAGE to be paired with ACF Fall or another fall tournament, so that teams traveling to a fall academic tournament have a chance to play some trash, too. I think it's the sort of thing that might help schools trying to recruit and retain new members--"come play quiz bowl this weekend, one day is just trash." And there's something of a dearth of trash tournaments in the fall--what's out there beside UTC's October event and their December TrashMasters (which, due to falling near most schools' exams, is almost impossible for college teams to attend)?

You imply that your target audience would be people of undergraduate age, but those people are a) least likely to have the money to travel a long way and b) most likely to depend upon money they can get from their school. As already mentioned, I feel like it would be hard for people to get their schools to pay up for a summer tournament, which may not be a problem for schools that have well-funded teams who control their own purse-strings, but is a problem for everyone else. I also think that college teams who have to beg for money from their administrations would have a harder time justifying a trip to a trash national championship than to ICT or ACF Nationals.

I don't see what makes this tournament that different from something like CO Trash or Trashionals or TrashMasters, aside from younger-skewing questions. Are you really gunning to get a lot of (undergraduate) college students going, or are you just admitting that your writing would skew younger than some of the other trash tournaments out there? If it's the former, I think you're in a tougher situation, but if it's the latter I think you'd probably get a similar crowd regardless of when you hold it.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun May 03, 2009 12:10 am

I can't speak for Mike but I imagine his goal is to hold a national trash championship on good questions, which TRASH has notably failed to do. Also, I think there are more than enough "full weekends" of quizbowl already and that adding more Sunday tournaments to create even more two-day events is going to drive away casual players, not reel them in.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Cheynem » Sun May 03, 2009 12:26 am

I think Mike's idea is great.

Also, there was a fair number of trash events last fall--besides the ones you mentioned, there was MO Trash and TRASH Regionals. TRASH Regionals will be back next year and I'm sure some other house-written trash thing might pop up. We really don't need more than like 3, 4, full-out trash tournaments a semester, do we?

I also am pretty skeptical about new teams being enticed by trash. You might just get teams who find it fun to play trash and don't play anything else. The drawing point for ACF Fall should be well-written, very accessible questions that are interesting to play.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun May 03, 2009 12:28 am

Matt Weiner wrote:I can't speak for Mike but I imagine his goal is to hold a national trash championship on good questions, which TRASH has notably failed to do. Also, I think there are more than enough "full weekends" of quizbowl already and that adding more Sunday tournaments to create even more two-day events is going to drive away casual players, not reel them in.
Yeah, this is pretty much my goal.

Addressing the issue of crowing a "teen champion", I guess you can view it that way, but I'm primarily interested in presenting everyone with good, fair questions on topics where, generally, there is a level playing field between different age groups. It's been my observation that teams like College Park Retirement Castle and Brick Barientos and friends do just fine on tournaments I've edited, whereas I can't really say the same for teams otherwise trash-strong college-based teams (with perhaps one or two exceptions).

In general, the primary goal of this tournament is to provide a high quality trash tournament against a national field to crown a trash national champion. I would certainly hope that both college-based teams and teams with individuals well over the college age will attend this tournament. If you have significant philosophical issues with the types of questions I wrote for tournaments like Chris McCray or ASS, please let me know so we can at least discuss them before the production of this set gets under way.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun May 03, 2009 12:39 am

MichaelKearney wrote:So, it's a tournament with no requirements to get in, held at one site? It seems like what you're proposing is a Master's-Level trash tournament, but geared toward undergraduate players. Wouldn't that just crown a Chicago regional champion of "Things thought to be relevant to 19-year-olds"? I'm all for more tournaments per year, but how would this be a Nationals-style tournament, and not just Teen Trashmasters?
Heh, yeah man, who needs that 'recent trash' Wang Chung where it at amirite amirite

brb playing the frankie goes to hollywood video game

Edit: To give actual content, the idea that this would be just a "Chicago regional champion of 'Things thought to be relevant to 19-year-olds'" is unnecessarily dismissive of a tournament that would likely fill a hole currently left unserved by the present market.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Kevin » Sun May 03, 2009 1:23 am

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:In general, the primary goal of this tournament is to provide a high quality trash tournament against a national field to crown a trash national champion. I would certainly hope that both college-based teams and teams with individuals well over the college age will attend this tournament.
That I can understand. In that case, I think it's probably better off somewhere in the summer, since the April/May is crammed with other national tournaments and January runs into some of the same break issues as March depending on when exactly schools come back from the holidays. I'd definitely be interested in playing this, or in contributing my meager writing skills if I can't make it out whenever/wherever this runs.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by dtaylor4 » Sun May 03, 2009 1:46 am

Kevin wrote:That I can understand. In that case, I think it's probably better off somewhere in the summer, since the April/May is crammed with other national tournaments and January runs into some of the same break issues as March depending on when exactly schools come back from the holidays. I'd definitely be interested in playing this, or in contributing my meager writing skills if I can't make it out whenever/wherever this runs.
This also creates the issue of people who will be elsewhere during the summer.

Any date chosen will notably exclude people, depending on their schedule. Therefore, the best date is the one that would exclude the least, which could be influenced by a number of factors (location, price, date, etc.)

Depending on my planned exam schedule (by this time next year, I may be taking the CPA), I would be willing to staff and/or write.

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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by MichaelKearney » Sun May 03, 2009 1:53 am

I think that it's unnecessarily dismissive of the Chicago Open Trash Tournament, which is a really hard, house-written, single location event that is heavily attended by undergraduate teams. Which is the same thing as what Mike's proposing, but this one would crown a "Champion". Which is my main problem...I get that some people have a problem with TRASH's questions, but they're at least trying to appeal to a larger audience, whether or not you believe they succeed in that. At the outset, this seems to be writing questions with a specific audience in mind, which invalidates the idea of a fair event.

If Mike's intent is to produce a balanced set, that's cool. (But people are still gonna bitch about it skewing old/young/squirrel-friendly/sexist)
If the idea is to create a set that "trash-strong college-based teams" will do well on, then you've gotta question the criteria for being that kind of team.
And after that, you're still talking about a specific location, which will benefit certain teams more than others. I think the best idea would be to have GARBAGE be what it was supposed to be originally, a competitor to TRASH with regionals and a nationals. GARBAGE was a weird packet-submission multi-location tournament with a lot of last-minute editing, and Matt's postponing Fake TRASHionals a bunch because of fine-tuning, and pretty much writing the whole thing by himself, I guess. Why aren't these two tournaments combined? You'd have good editing, and an actual field to take people from.

(Also, I was not playing the Frankie Goes To Hollywood video game, I was listening to my Depeche Mode cassette tapes while watching reruns of Airwolf.)
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Habitat_Against_Humanity » Sun May 03, 2009 2:21 am

MichaelKearney wrote:I get that some people have a problem with TRASH's questions, but they're at least trying to appeal to a larger audience
I guess the prospect of questions on 1950s novelty country music acts and kitty litter really appeals to the masses.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by MichaelKearney » Sun May 03, 2009 2:43 am

Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:I guess the prospect of questions on 1950s novelty country music acts and kitty litter really appeals to the masses.
You can always find clunkers in every set. ASS II had questions on "The GameFAQS Forums" and "End of Ze World", Trashmasters had "The UK Christmas Number One Single" and "Robot King". Doesn't mean they weren't trying.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun May 03, 2009 11:11 am

MichaelKearney wrote:I think that it's unnecessarily dismissive of the Chicago Open Trash Tournament, which is a really hard, house-written, single location event that is heavily attended by undergraduate teams. Which is the same thing as what Mike's proposing, but this one would crown a "Champion". Which is my main problem...I get that some people have a problem with TRASH's questions, but they're at least trying to appeal to a larger audience, whether or not you believe they succeed in that. At the outset, this seems to be writing questions with a specific audience in mind, which invalidates the idea of a fair event.

If Mike's intent is to produce a balanced set, that's cool. (But people are still gonna bitch about it skewing old/young/squirrel-friendly/sexist)
1) CO Trash wasn't heavily attended by undergraduate teams. It's an open event. Looking at the stats from last year. I count four all undergrad teams, plus a fifth that has Eric Douglass as a member.

2) The idea that writing with a "specific audience in mind" invalidating the event is wrong. In fact, writing without a specific audience in mind is worst in my opinion. You need to recognize who your tournament is aimed towards and write to that group. ACF Fall is written to a specific group, ICT is written to a specific group, TRASHionals is written to a specific group.

3) People will complain about everything.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun May 03, 2009 11:14 am

I don't want to get into another general thread about the problems with TRASH's questions because this is Mike's thread about his tournament, but I do just want to note that you don't have to balance "young" v "old" in a set. All you have to do is write questions on things that younger people will be familiar with, and everyone will be served fairly. Old trash players know what was on TV in 2008, just as much as young trash players do--oftentimes more, as network television is squarely aimed at middle-aged people, not collegiate undergraduates. However, it doesn't work in reverse; questions on 1975 television are exclusionary to the non-musty.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun May 03, 2009 12:27 pm

MichaelKearney wrote:I think that it's unnecessarily dismissive of the Chicago Open Trash Tournament, which is a really hard, house-written, single location event that is heavily attended by undergraduate teams. Which is the same thing as what Mike's proposing, but this one would crown a "Champion". Which is my main problem...I get that some people have a problem with TRASH's questions, but they're at least trying to appeal to a larger audience, whether or not you believe they succeed in that. At the outset, this seems to be writing questions with a specific audience in mind, which invalidates the idea of a fair event.
First, I think that the Chicago Open Trash Tournament is a great tournament that I enjoy playing every year. However, this is a tournament that last year didn't even have a finals match. I'm of the opinion that 10 rounds with a field of about a dozen teams in the middle of a packed schedule doesn't really make a national tournament. It's a great open tournament, but I don't think it servers this purpose.

Next, I do not think that targetting questions that younger people will know "invalidates the idea of a fair event". As Matt stated, the stuff on TV and the music on the radio in 2008 is the same for everyone. There are perhaps a few areas that do not transcend to older demographics as well (maybe recent videogames, Internet culture), but at the same time the older demographics presumably at least have some advantage on the 50% or so of questions based on culturally relevant things froms the 1980s and before. It's not like there aren't going to be questions on stuff like "Thriller" or "Bewitched" in this tournament. With a potentially greater exposure to these type of things just due to experience, I don't see why the older demographic's occassional disadvantage on niche areas that they may not keep up with anymore isn't offset by these questions. At the same time, trying to keep these questions to things that a large majority of the field has still heard of in 2009 (i.e. fewer of the "you had to be alive and watching TV in 1985" type questions and more of the "this may have originally aired when you were alive an watching TV in 1985, but it still airs and is midly popular in syndication today" type questions).
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun May 03, 2009 12:38 pm

In regards to a GARBAGE Nationals, I would have no problem making this tournament GARBAGEionals 2010 or whatever, if GARBAGE agrees to that. However, I am currently unaware of GARBAGE's plans for next year's operations.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Demonic Leftovers » Sun May 03, 2009 2:46 pm

I fully support this idea. As an author of CO Trash I don't find this insulting or dismissive of that tournament at all. CO Trash isn't supposed to be a national championship. Also I would rather be able to play in a new national championship. As for the skewing younger issue, I think that the questions should have a greater proportion of answers on more recent things. Mike is completely right when he says that more recent trash is accessible to everyone in a way that old trash isn't. Additionally new trash has a wider range of reasonable things to ask about. Some of the more ephemeral pieces of popular culture from recent memory are askable about in a way that the equivalent from the 80's or 70's isn't. Ultimately I wasn't satisfied with the TRASHIONALS set (and know of others who weren't as well) and I don't believe that TRASH is going to create a sufficiently better set next year. I think that there is a need for a new Trash national championship and this tournament can fill that role.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Cheynem » Sun May 03, 2009 2:55 pm

Also, I probably would be right in saying a lot of people who play both academic and trash quiz bowl would prefer it if trash tournaments were written more in keeping with the standards of academic quiz bowl. I realize that some people disagree with this--that's cool, I don't write for TRASH and certainly they have the right to write how they wish. But at least from reading and playing various TRASH packets, the writing seems to operate on different principles than, say, trash tossups that end up in ACF packets. Mike Bentley's other trash tournaments and the CO trash stuff for the most part are written in a way reflective of the principles of academic quiz bowl writing and it would be great to see that philosophy on a national tournament level.

(This isn't really meant as a swipe at TRASH, it's more of an "apples and oranges" deal. If you want specifics, I guess I could break down a TRASH packet and show the different writing philosophy underlining it, but that's a different thread)
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by rylltraka » Sun May 03, 2009 5:01 pm

If you're going to call your tournament a nationals set, I would prefer it if you had some sort of qualification process, through a tournament earlier in the year (whatever that might be). It would certainly add credibility to billing it as a championship.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by swwFCqb » Sun May 03, 2009 5:31 pm

rylltraka wrote:If you're going to call your tournament a nationals set, I would prefer it if you had some sort of qualification process, through a tournament earlier in the year (whatever that might be). It would certainly add credibility to billing it as a championship.
ACF Nationals doesn't have any sort of qualification (that I know of at least), but I'm pretty sure most everybody would consider that a legitimate national championship; so I don't think there necessarily has to be any sort of qualification in order for there to be legitimacy. There wouldn't be an argument here if there was, but if there isn't then I don't think it will take anything away from the tournament itself.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by DumbJaques » Sun May 03, 2009 7:12 pm

Hey, I'm hosting a qualifying event right here, in this thread. You can qualify for this tournament right now*, by doing either of these things:

1) Posting in this thread.
2) Not posting in this thread.

Congratulations!


*pending approval by someone in any way affiliated with this event.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by fizzball » Tue May 05, 2009 5:58 am

Dunno if I'd play, but this ex-TRASH writer is cool with this. Competition makes everyone better (in theory anyway). I voted for January.

If this new tournament is supposed to attract the same wide market that TRASH shoots for, I suggest that it incorporate lames. They seem to be wrongly dismissed as a gimmick by recent trash writers. Lames help fix age gaps, help teams deal with a huge answer space (which is still going to be quite large despite the contracted space discussed so far), and could be a useful metric for determining what goes over poorly in actual game play, thereby improving future sets.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by BMHight » Tue May 05, 2009 9:52 am

I'd like to second most of what Greg said (although I've never been part of TRASH) and suggest that the "save" be utilized, primarily for the purposes of allowing a team to play a lamed bonus if they felt that it played to their knowledge base (and that happens a lot in trash tournaments I've played in) and to note what bonuses are being passed on by both teams.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Cheynem » Tue May 05, 2009 11:00 am

I am opposed to lames because they seem to provide a little bit of rationale for writing specialized bonuses ("Oh, well, they've got a lame, so it's okay to write this bonus that asks them to name three characters from Angel"). If bonuses are written well, there is no need to fix age gaps or deal with answer spaces.

Also, if for whatever reason, lames end up being used, then, yes, I agree with Brian that the save should be used.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue May 05, 2009 11:03 am

Lames don't make sense when you write good questions, because there is no reason to expect the first part of the bonus to be the easiest one, or to give you a sure idea of where the question is going. Writing bonuses like "name these three songs by the Delfonics" that go easy-medium-hard in order is a very outdated style that I don't expect this tournament to use.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Birdofredum Sawin » Tue May 05, 2009 11:51 am

Yeah, I agree with Matt here. The thinking behind the "lame," as I understand it, is "you'll be able to tell from the first sentence of the bonus whether you'll be able to do anything on this question." But that only holds true if the bonus lead-in is something like "Name these three characters from Veronica Mars, none of whom is Veronica Mars." On a question like that, the team can say "hm, we don't know any other characters from the show; so we can be almost certain we're going to zero this; so we ought to lame it." But modern quizbowl doesn't favor that kind of bonus structure. Certainly in one of my trash tournaments you might have no idea what the first part is talking about, but that's generally because I've decided to write the bonus in the order hard-easy-medium or hard-medium-easy.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by MichaelKearney » Tue May 05, 2009 12:43 pm

I don't think the lame makes it ok to write bad questions. I mean, if you were writing bad questions, letting teams skip one of them doesn't change the other 18-19 bad bonuses. And if you've got good, well-written, easy-medium-hard questions, you can't possibly guarantee that all of them will follow the same difficulty curve.

From what I've seen in trash tournaments, the lame provides yet another age-balancing technique. Easy-Medium-Hard about PS3 games wouldn't be a badly written bonus, but some people don't have PS3s. A bonus on NASCAR might not be everyone's cup of tea, even if it's fairly written. And you're not only using them on questions where you know you'll get 0. It adds an interesting bit of strategic depth when you're on the last question and you need 20 points, and you weigh the benefits of a random question vs one that you're not so sure about.

I think that it might actually IMPROVE packet quality, since most trash writers like to shove their terrible bonuses in the back of the packet, and now there's a greater chance of those questions being played.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Cheynem » Tue May 05, 2009 12:50 pm

I'm just not a fan of this "age-balancing" talk. I can hardly be the only person who watches old TV reruns AND watches what's on now, or, say, has played Atari/NES games and some games for the PS3. If we are afraid of bonuses falling flat to a particular age group, perhaps they are genuinely too ephemeral. I'm also not a fan of this whole strategy thing. I like my quiz bowl the way I like my hamburger: plain and simple. You know the answers to well written questions or you don't. I don't like this idea of "Well, we know the first part to this bonus that starts off with a NASCAR clue, but we probably don't know the second, so maybe we should lame it so we can get a different one." I realize other people may find it exciting and if Mike wants to use it in this tournament that is his prerogative. But I do not.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by fizzball » Tue May 05, 2009 1:00 pm

Lames usually give you the first bonus part before a team needs to make a decision. Here are some questions from 2007 Chris McCray and 2006 Gottfried Keller -- two "modern", well-regarded tournaments -- that follow exactly that kind of bonus structure. I'm not saying they're bad questions; they aren't. But in all cases, they could lead a team to say "hm, we don't know much about this; we could get 10 off the first bit but little else, or we could fraud our way to 10 by saying the same thing thrice...we're better off laming this."

5) Who wouldn't want to see Bob Saget in a sweater and short shorts? Answer the following questions about everybody's favorite sitcom featuring the Olsen Twins FTPE:
[10] Danny Tanner had three daughters: one played by the Olsen Twins, one played by the sister to Growing Pains' Mike Seaver, and one played by what actress who announced that she had a meth addiction in 2006?

7). Christian Rock. Yeah. Answer the following questions about a certain Christian Rock band, FTPE.
[10] Originally known as The Legend of Chin, this group includes vocalist Jon Foreman amongst its members. Their most recent release was the album Oh! Gravity.

17) Answer the following questions about a comedy website, FTPE.
[10] Launched in 2001, this “media for the masses” site has been the subject of much controversy due to claims by other sites, notably Something Awful and Newgrounds, that the site profits from stolen content.

3. It’s easy to talk shit about Tim Duncan, but show your real knowledge of Demon Deacons basketball by identifying these other Wake Forest stars, FTPE:
[10] Even though he’s in India, Subash Maddipoti is still wont to wax rhapsodic about the dominant performance by this guard in the 1995 ACC tournament. He was taken with the 19th pick by Detroit in that year’s draft, and went on to have a negligible pro career.

. Name these people, none of whom is Leo Wolpert, who won World Series of Poker bracelets despite having little experience, FTPE.
[10] Often considered the world's best female poker player, she won the 2000 Kansas City Lowball event despite learning the rules of the game mere hours before the tournament started.

15. The title character was married to a waitress named Diane and a real estate agent named Nicki, among others. FTPE:
[10] Name this long-running sitcom, in which the title character’s cross-dressing brother Steve ended up married to his nemesis.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue May 05, 2009 1:32 pm

I don't understand why it is that just because your team may not like a subject in trash, that makes it a good idea to have lames. I can confirm that in academic tournaments, there are lots of teams that don't want to hear any number of different categories (every time an organic chemistry bonus comes up the Mizzou team groans). Just because we are bad at those subjects doesn't mean it's a great idea to let us not have to deal with it. In fact, I think it makes the game fairer to not have lames because it forces you to either be good in a subject or take your deserved licking when it comes to points.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Rothlover » Tue May 05, 2009 2:53 pm

The lame has long excused overly nichefied bonuses, regardless of how well structured they are within easy medium and hard since they say to the writer "Ok, I can have this name three PD James [that's a thing right]? novels" and if teams don't know trash lit, they can use their lame. In reality though, it just allows daylight for a bonus (or bonuses) in there that appeases the writer more than it meets the notion of a well-balanced packet, which is universally accepted to make "good" quizbowl.
If you have, for instance, a video game bonus where the easy part is Dig-Dug, you can hardly claim old people don't need to know that, similarly, if you have a female 70s artist bonus with an easy part of king or mitchell, you can hardly claim a team of 18 year olds don't need to know that. On top of that, deciding on lame usage wastes several minutes a round. The only argument one can make for a lame/save in perfectly executed packets, is one of "strategery," and I don't really see that as relevent in putting together a good set. Thats just me.

Also, Mike, I think in your attempt to nicely word "relevance" for undergraduates, you made it seem, at least to me, that you would lessen the amount of "old" stuff in the packets. I now get that you didn't mean this particularly. I think the goal should be to ask on actual "significa" and largely avoid the fleeting. For instance, baseball can be 50% pre-2000 and be as accessible and relevant to good 18 year olds as 90% post 2000 baseball, or same goes with 50/50 pre 1990 TV vs 25/75 or some such thing. If the philosophy is more concrete and ratios more laid out, I'd be happy to work in my areas.

(If more recent posts make this seem dated, I apologize, I wrote it a while ago, it didn't go through initially).
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Cheynem » Tue May 05, 2009 3:10 pm

Dan's on the money here, although judging by Mike's previous track record, it looks like important older stuff will certainly be a huge component of any of his sets.

This was discussed on the IRC and my views are sort of a synthesis of several folks. First of all, any "good" trash tournament cannot be specifically age or era segregated. It doesn't matter if everyone playing is a 20-year-old undergrad, you should be able to answer questions on, say, Mickey Mantle, the Beatles, All in the Family, and Jaws (I chose rather easy things here but you get my drift). They're indisputably important, they have huge resonance today, and even if you weren't alive for them, you know about them.

What I would argue would make a good "undergrad-relevant" tournament would be to eliminate or lower the focus on the more ephemeral trash questions from the older era, such as, say, Clem Labine, the Strangeloves, the show Phyllis, or the actor Clu Gulagher. Those things just don't have the resonance today and while they might work for the occasional bonus part, probably shouldn't be tossed up.

Now, that leads to something that I suppose might raise some hackles, but I would argue that more ephemeral trash from the CONTEMPORARY era is okay. This is because the players have lived through it and are more likely to remember it or have it resonate with them. I am not saying that makes it okay to write on like the spot starter for the Marlins or some failed TV show from three years ago, but, like, a dude like Chan Ho Park, whose importance to baseball is probably less than that of Clem Labine's, is probably fair tossup game, while Labine is not. I hope this makes sense.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Howard » Tue May 05, 2009 3:25 pm

Cheynem wrote:I'm just not a fan of this "age-balancing" talk. I can hardly be the only person who watches old TV reruns AND watches what's on now, or, say, has played Atari/NES games and some games for the PS3.
As has already been addressed, I don't think Mike intends to leave out older things, just to limit their scope to things that are significant. While I might 30 a bonus on Carter Country, I doubt anyone under the age of 35 would be able to do that. I'd also be reasonably likely to 30 a bonus on Get Smart or Hogan's Heroes, but those are much more likely to be known by a significant swath of the tournament.

Additionally, one must consider that the majority of players would be expected to be in the 18-25 age range. Constructing the questions in such a way as they're inappropriate for that age range does little other than discourage those people from attending.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Dan Greenstein » Tue May 05, 2009 7:34 pm

I have a question about lames: Can someone recall whether lames have been used in an academic tournament? I ask because the concept of a lame is not necessarily a trash concept. Rather, it just seems that way because they are almost exclusive to trash tournaments. I have seen many more general arguments for and against lames, but I want to avoid seeing lames being argued for or against because they are used in trash tournaments, most notably at TRASH tournaments. That being said, it is up to the tournament organizers to decide, and they may use their lack of lames, compared to TRASHionals, as a drawing point for their tournament.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by fizzball » Wed May 06, 2009 7:30 am

FWIW I think Charlie and Dan's points are mostly excellent. Adding time to a format that can easily run long; (ir)relevance of strategy; and the idea that teams should just suck it up and get better on certain things: While I may not agree with all of them, these philosophical arguments against the lame are stronger than claims related to question quality.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Broad-tailed Grassbird » Thu May 07, 2009 6:45 am

MichaelKearney wrote:
From what I've seen in trash tournaments, the lame provides yet another age-balancing technique. Easy-Medium-Hard about PS3 games wouldn't be a badly written bonus, but some people don't have PS3s. A bonus on NASCAR might not be everyone's cup of tea, even if it's fairly written. And you're not only using them on questions where you know you'll get 0. It adds an interesting bit of strategic depth when you're on the last question and you need 20 points, and you weigh the benefits of a random question vs one that you're not so sure about.
You make a good point here, but it shouldn't be any different than academic quiz bowl. The fact some people don't have PS3s could easily substituted for no one on the team has taken biochemistry or read South American lit. Peoples interests vary. With that said, any team that has an undergraduate male should be able to get a 10 in the PS3 games bonus.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by BuzzerZen » Thu May 07, 2009 9:00 am

nalin wrote:With that said, any team that has an undergraduate male should be able to get a 10 in the PS3 games bonus.
You got your gender roles in my quizbowl!
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu May 07, 2009 12:54 pm

I sure don't know, or care, about PS3!
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by creed_of_hubris » Mon May 11, 2009 11:42 pm

I think you'd have better luck working with a regionals model, if nothing else to give people a taste of your tournament. While I have no doubt you'd get a decent field if you ran it in the mid-atlantic or the mid-west, you want a nationals, so you want to pull people from all over -- and it can be a tall order to get people to fly across the country to play a tournament, especially a trash tournament, where people are often on their own dime. You will probably find it easier to convince people to fly to your event if they've played in one of your tourneys before and enjoyed it.

Looking at the long-term, because of the finance issues, I'm not really sure that two "national" tourneys trying to attract 20+ teams are viable. That of course shouldn't stop you from organizing one!
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Cheynem » Tue May 12, 2009 12:56 pm

Well, Mike's not exactly a babe in the woods when it comes to doing trash tournaments. He's edited at least two very well written and received tournaments on the East Coast and I've consistently found his trash packets to be very strongly put together. That said, I can see people who have never played his stuff before to be a little reluctant to shell out for a national tournament experience blindly.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun May 17, 2009 9:43 am

Regarding lames, I don't have a strong opinion either way. While I do think they foster the "well this badly structured bonus can be lamed, so whatever" mentality, I don't plan on writing questions with that mindset. I also don't think they add significant time to the match (no more than maybe 30 seconds). However, they do introduce a decent amount of guessing, especially since the easy part isn't always the first part. The decision on whether or not to have lames will be made at a later date.

Regarding holding a regional tournament before this one, that's not going to happen because I simply don't have the resources to write one. Again, if you want a rough idea of what the questions will be like for this tournament, consult ASS II or Chris McCray or the packets I wrote for Penn Bowl Trash or GARBAGE.
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Re: New National Trash Tournament in 2010?

Post by First Chairman » Tue May 26, 2009 1:22 pm

Odd question: would this be a college-student-only event?
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