Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

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Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:38 pm

All the mirrors are finished. Discuss away.

Much thanks to Billy Beyer (all of the science), Ahmad Ragab, Charlie Dees, Matt Weiner, Brice Russ, Lane Silberstein, Ian Mackenzie, Luke Rego, Sean Platzer and Mike Bentley for their contributions! Stan Young of Chipola gets special appreciation for writing a whole packet, as do the Washington University folks for writing three. My apologies if I've forgotten anyone, but if I did, thank you, too!
Last edited by ValenciaQBowl on Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:40 pm

I thought the tournament did its job as a novice tournament. The newer players playing on the questions seemed to be having fun. There were a few instances of things being too hard (for instance, the Oe/Abe/Tanizaki bonus might be 'canonically' easy, but new players had pretty much never heard of these authors) and more tossups than I would have liked were either long or transparent (the Hessians immediately come to mind as falling in the latter category). Overall, though, I thought this was a pretty acceptable novice tournament.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:47 pm

I agree with your point about length, Mike. As I noted in the other thread about the trend toward long questions, I think I let myself be too much influenced by the length of questions we've all been seeing in other types of tournaments; for the fields playing DB, the extra line was rarely (if ever!) differentiating, so I plan next year to focus on keeping questions tighter.

The Hessians question is below. It was a late replacement question that I wrote, and I was concerned about transparency in it. I figured the first line was pretty good, as I'd be impressed with a novice getting it on "Convention Army," and then I figured that Bemis Heights may not be very easy for the Revolutionary War to much of the field. But you're probably right that after the Franklin clue most folks who are going to know it at all are going to have it. Unfortunately, I picked an answer on which it seems hard to write a non-transparent question.
. These troops made up the majority of what was known as the Convention Army, troops given parole after the Battle of Bemis Heights. Many believe Benjamin Franklin wrote the satire titled “The Sale of [these troops],” which purported that a certain count wanted more of them to die in battle, as the British paid only for dead ones, not wounded ones. First seeing action at the Battle of Long Island, they later were the majority of those surprised by Washington’s crossing of the Delaware, after which 900 were captured. Coming from Zerbst, Waldeck, and Brunswick, FTP name these paid conscripts who nonetheless are generally known by the name of one region of Germany, troops who helped the British in the American Revolution.
ANSWER: Hessians (accept German troops or mercenaries before “Germany” is mentioned)
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:49 pm

Well, it seemed like most of the longer questions were in the sciences, which I assume Billy wrote most of. Most (but not all) of the non-science stuff was at a reasonable length.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by tiwonge » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:05 pm

When will the packets be posted?
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:20 pm

They've been sent to George, but let's allow the guy get those Supermelts and shakes out first.

PS--thanks, George!
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:15 pm

ValenciaQBowl wrote:They've been sent to George, but let's allow the guy get those Supermelts and shakes out first.

PS--thanks, George!
I am putting these in a folder for posting now- I will put a link in this post when it is up

EDIT: http://collegiate.quizbowlpackets.com/a ... eltaBurke/

I have no idea why packets 3 and 7 are listed first, and am looking into it
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by The Toad to Wigan Pier » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:06 pm

Frater Taciturnus wrote:
I have no idea why packets 3 and 7 are listed first, and am looking into it
It's because they have a capital D as opposed to a lower case d.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:11 pm

The Toad to Wigan Pier wrote:
Frater Taciturnus wrote:
I have no idea why packets 3 and 7 are listed first, and am looking into it
It's because they have a capital D as opposed to a lower case d.
I hate computers
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by The Toad to Wigan Pier » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:19 pm

Frater Taciturnus wrote:
The Toad to Wigan Pier wrote:
Frater Taciturnus wrote:
I have no idea why packets 3 and 7 are listed first, and am looking into it
It's because they have a capital D as opposed to a lower case d.
I hate computers
And the Rs are capitalised as well
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:23 pm

Since it's being a pain in your patoot, double thanks, George!
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Charbroil » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:24 pm

Packets 1, 3, & 7 still show up first because they're the only ones with the "r" in "round" capitalized.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:33 pm

this should now be fixed
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Papa's in the House » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:42 pm

Some of my favorite questions from this tournament (through round 4):
-The Confederate Navy tossup (though I doubt I'll ever see this again)
-The grand jury tossup (though, by the judge's preliminary hearing it became transparent)
-The Britain's Got Talent bonus (but first name of the judges should be acceptable, since that is what is shown on screen)
-The standard deviation bonus (keep it up with these types of questions)
-The A. Huxley novels bonus (but "the Savage" should be acceptable since that is what he is referred to throughout the book)

Some of the worst questions of this tournament (mostly through round 4):
-The frogs tossup (I don't understand why they keep coming up, but if you're going to make it common link, stick to one subject area)
-The Bryan tossup (transparent once you mentioned popular speech and Secretary of State)
-The Congressional Black Caucus tossup (semi-transparent by the time "racial epithet" is used, completely transparent upon noting Roland Burris)
-The Holmes, Sr. tossup (there are two important Oliver Wendell Holmes', so the Sr. or Jr. should be needed, especially before the giveaway)
-The Nash tossup (the 1994 Nobel in Economics is placed somewhat early)
-The stigmata tossup (I know what this is, but could not recall the name so gave "receiving the wounds of Christ" (or something similar) somewhere in the middle of the question; it seems like this should be acceptable as an alternative, but that may just be me)
-The prisoner's dilemma tossup (plea bargaining is a stock clue, based on textbooks I have read alone)
-The Lincoln tossup (mentioning Carl Sandberg in the first line was unfortunate)

My overall thoughts of the tournament:
I enjoyed it for the most part, but the link between tossups answered by my team and science bonus parts was unbearable (though I realize this is mostly a result of chance). It also seemed like the bonuses were not of consistent difficulty across subject areas (though I should note that I am operating under the assumption that most bonuses should have at least one part converted, even if the team knows nothing about the subject area unless it came up in quiz bowl).

EDIT: Changed around some terminology/phrasing and removed trash notes (as they are either inherently good/bad based on the player). Note for some of you, I did, in fact, play this tournament (at Wash U), but it seems the packets have changed since I played it (based on some of the stuff I went through).
Last edited by Papa's in the House on Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:48 pm

You must not know what transparent means. Hearing a clue that is unambiguously about somebody, like that Nash won the Nobel Prize that year, and then buzzing off it, is not transparent, it means you buzzed off a clue. I'm not a fan of Nobel clues, but I fail to see how that makes a tossup transparent.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:52 pm

Also, I have to disagree about the "first name of judges" being acceptable, since these are real people. If a bonus asked for Paula Abdul, I don't think I should be able to say "Paula."
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:17 pm

Dude, please stop using terminology you don't understand - the vast majority of the things you listed are not "transparent". They're clues you knew. Huge difference.

Also, I'm not really sure what you mean about the frogs tossup - all three subsets of clues in that tossup seem to be drawn from literature.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:28 pm

Thanks for the feedback, Charles.

For now I'll just take time to respond to your thoughts about the Lincoln toss-up. First, here 'tis:
Carl Sandburg describes buying some brass knuckles in this historical figure’s “city” in his poem “Knucks.” Vachel Lindsay described this man “pacing up and down . . . near the old court house” in his poem with a title stating that this man “walks at midnight,” while Edwin Arlington Robinson called him “The Master” in another poem. His best known poetic chronicler described him in “This Dust Was Once the Man” as well as in a poem in which he apostrophizes him as “the fallen Western star,” the poem “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” FTP who is this historical figure whom Walt Whitman also apostrophized as “O Captain! My Captain!”?
A. Abraham Lincoln
I'm afraid I'm not really sympathetic to the argument of one being "crippled by knowledge" if one is going off of an association. Sandburg wrote poems on WC Bryan and Teddy Roosevelt, to name two important figures off the top of my head, so in my mind it was rational for the two teams involved in your match to wait. But of course if any of you had read the fine poem "Knucks" and remembered that the speaker buys brass knuckles in Springfield in it, then you'd have gotten the toss-up there. I don't think one should suggest, however, that hearing "Sandburg" mentioned early would freeze one from buzzing, since the clue didn't say something like "Sandburg wrote poems about this historical figure!"

Having said that, I can see the possible value of reversing the first and second clues. Keep it coming!
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by swwFCqb » Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:53 pm

I haven't looked over the set yet, but the one tossup I remember hating was the one on Mt. Fuji, which began by stating how many people climb it every year, and giving the period its climbers are most active, right before dropping that an artist made "36 views" of it. Looking past the fact that "36 views" was dropped half way through the question rather than near the giveaway (I'd like to think that this clue is fairly well known, even amongst novices/cc players/etc., but feel free to call me out on this if I'm wrong), are the clues preceding "36 views" really buzzable? I'm at best an "average" college player, but I feel that these clues are unbuzzable even for the most well knowledgable players out there. If you're going to write a tossup on a mountain peak, which IMO is really tough to do well and pyramidally, at least stick to some concrete clues that people have a chance at knowing.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:54 pm

starwarsguy6 wrote:Some of my favorite questions from this tournament (through round 4):
-The Confederate Navy tossup (though I doubt I'll ever see this again)
-The grand jury tossup (though, by the judge's preliminary hearing it became transparent)
-The Britain's Got Talent bonus (but first name of the judges should be acceptable, since that is what is shown on screen)
-The standard deviation bonus (keep it up with these types of questions)
-The A. Huxley novels bonus (but "the Savage" should be acceptable since that is what he is referred to throughout the book)

Some of the worst questions of this tournament (mostly through round 4):
-The Flash Forward bonus (if you were going to do something like this, you could have at least made the full leap and asked about Warehouse 13)
-The frogs tossup (I don't understand why they keep coming up, but if you're going to make it common link, stick to one subject area)
-The Bryan tossup (transparent once you mentioned popular speech and Secretary of State)
-The Congressional Black Caucus tossup (semi-transparent by the time "racial epithet" is used, completely transparent upon noting Roland Burris)
-The dunking on Lebron tossup (again, what is it with this coming up in QB)
-The Holmes, Sr. tossup (there are two important Oliver Wendell Holmes', so the Sr. or Jr. should be needed, especially before the giveaway)
-The Nash tossup (transparent once you mention the 1994 Nobel in Economics)
-The stigmata tossup (I know what this is, but could not recall the name so gave "receiving the wounds of Christ" (or something similar) somewhere in the middle of the question; it seems like this should be acceptable as an alternative, but that may just be me)
-The prisoner's dilemma tossup (it is completely transparent once you mention plea bargaining, which is one of the most used examples for the prisoner's dilemma)
-The Lincoln tossup (mentioning Carl Sandberg in the first line paralyzed my team into not buzzing in (it was the third to last tossup in the round we had it) due to its transparency despite knowing that he wrote about Lincoln. When discussing it with them afterwards we all had the same reaction "there's no way the writer would mention Sandberg in the first line if he was writing a pyramidal question" and subsequently we lost the match for being crippled with knowledge. Please try to get the order of clues correct next time)

My overall thoughts of the tournament:
I enjoyed it for the most part, but the link between tossups answered by my team and science bonus parts was unbearable (though I realize this is mostly a result of chance). It also seemed like the bonuses were not of consistent difficulty across subject areas (though I should note that I am operating under the assumption that most bonuses should have at least one part converted, even if the team knows nothing about the subject area unless it came up in quiz bowl).
Wow, that's got to be the worst attempt at tournament criticism I've seen in a long time. I suggest that you stop trying to impress people and learn what is actually good and bad in questions before attempting this again.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by tiwonge » Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:30 pm

swwFCqb wrote:I haven't looked over the set yet, but the one tossup I remember hating was the one on Mt. Fuji, which began by stating how many people climb it every year, and giving the period its climbers are most active, right before dropping that an artist made "36 views" of it. Looking past the fact that "36 views" was dropped half way through the question rather than near the giveaway (I'd like to think that this clue is fairly well known, even amongst novices/cc players/etc., but feel free to call me out on this if I'm wrong), are the clues preceding "36 views" really buzzable? I'm at best an "average" college player, but I feel that these clues are unbuzzable even for the most well knowledgable players out there. If you're going to write a tossup on a mountain peak, which IMO is really tough to do well and pyramidally, at least stick to some concrete clues that people have a chance at knowing.
I agree. I buzzed on this, but slightly before "36 views." I think that preceding the "36 views" was something about woodcuts or prints, and that's when I buzzed. It was before I heard the number 36, at least. And there's not much more before then, unless the dates July 1st and August 27th have some significance.
12. Almost 200,000 people climb this mountain every year, with the most popular time being between July 1st and August 27th, while the huts and other facilities are still operating. One artist is best known for his woodblock print series Thirty-Six Views of this mountain. It is still an active volcano that last erupted in 1707 and is well-known for its almost perfectly shaped cone. For ten points, name this highest mountain in Japan located on the island of Honshu.
Answer. Mount Fuji
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:44 pm

tiwonge wrote: And there's not much more before then, unless the dates July 1st and August 27th have some significance.
I'm like 95% sure those dates are just the formal beginning and end to the main Fuji climbing season, which gets really damn busy during that season, especially in late July when the rainy season has cut down on how damn hot it is.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:55 am

[quote="starwarsguy6"]
-The dunking on Lebron tossup (again, what is it with this coming up in QB)
-The Holmes, Sr. tossup (there are two important Oliver Wendell Holmes', so the Sr. or Jr. should be needed, especially before the giveaway)
-The Nash tossup (transparent once you mention the 1994 Nobel in Economics)
-The prisoner's dilemma tossup (it is completely transparent once you mention plea bargaining, which is one of the most used examples for the prisoner's dilemma)
-The Lincoln tossup (mentioning Carl Sandberg in the first line paralyzed my team into not buzzing in (it was the third to last tossup in the round we had it) due to its transparency despite knowing that he wrote about Lincoln. When discussing it with them afterwards we all had the same reaction "there's no way the writer would mention Sandberg in the first line if he was writing a pyramidal question" and subsequently we lost the match for being crippled with knowledge. Please try to get the order of clues correct next time)
quote]

1.) It is a perfectly good tossup, and you felt the need to complain about it because it comes up in QB too much? A tournament that has a trash/CE distribution is going to have stuff like this. Don't say it is a bad question because you don't like it.

2.) Again, if you were playing this set (and not reading it off of the internet) it would be no concern to you. Yes there are two extremely famous Oliver Wendell Holmes, but that have nothing in common (other than their names).

4.) You used information you gathered from hearing other packets to get a tossup. Seems to me you are on your way to being a good quizbowl player!

5.) See number 4
6.) Horrible excuse for not buzzing. Because Sandberg is from Chicago (which is in Illinois!) doesn't make him an automatic easy clue for Lincon (who was associated with Illinois). Also, Abraham Lincon Walks at Midnight seems more famous to me that Knucks.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:51 am

TheLessFamousEthan wrote:
starwarsguy6 wrote: -The dunking on Lebron tossup (again, what is it with this coming up in QB)
-The Holmes, Sr. tossup (there are two important Oliver Wendell Holmes', so the Sr. or Jr. should be needed, especially before the giveaway)
-The Nash tossup (transparent once you mention the 1994 Nobel in Economics)
-The prisoner's dilemma tossup (it is completely transparent once you mention plea bargaining, which is one of the most used examples for the prisoner's dilemma)
-The Lincoln tossup (mentioning Carl Sandberg in the first line paralyzed my team into not buzzing in (it was the third to last tossup in the round we had it) due to its transparency despite knowing that he wrote about Lincoln. When discussing it with them afterwards we all had the same reaction "there's no way the writer would mention Sandberg in the first line if he was writing a pyramidal question" and subsequently we lost the match for being crippled with knowledge. Please try to get the order of clues correct next time)
quote]

1.) It is a perfectly good tossup, and you felt the need to complain about it because it comes up in QB too much? A tournament that has a trash/CE distribution is going to have stuff like this. Don't say it is a bad question because you don't like it.

2.) Again, if you were playing this set (and not reading it off of the internet) it would be no concern to you. Yes there are two extremely famous Oliver Wendell Holmes, but that have nothing in common (other than their names).

4.) You used information you gathered from hearing other packets to get a tossup. Seems to me you are on your way to being a good quizbowl player!

5.) See number 4
6.) Horrible excuse for not buzzing. Because Sandberg is from Chicago (which is in Illinois!) doesn't make him an automatic easy clue for Lincon (who was associated with Illinois). Also, Abraham Lincon Walks at Midnight seems more famous to me that Knucks.
This post isn't much better.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by millionwaves » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:23 am

Everyone who is not a board staffer: stop meta-criticizing people's posts right now. Thank you.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:03 am

millionwaves wrote:Everyone who is not a board staffer: stop meta-criticizing people's posts right now. Thank you.
:w-hat:

We're not allowed to criticize other posts for being meaningless? What is this meaning of this statement.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:13 am

Since this is somewhat relevant, and I don't want to clutter the other thread with tangents, here are what are sure to be the two most-cited definitions in my upcoming Hart's Dictionary of Quizbowl Criticism

I think we've harped on this recently, but "transparent" means that you can figure out the answer without knowing the actual specific clues. At worst, a transparent clue will tell you something that narrows down the answer to only one thing for all players with basic knowledge of the answer at hand. A tossup on "Hungary" that mentions an obscure figure with a very Hungarian-sounding name would be incredibly transparent. A tossup on Don Quixote that talks about a lot of Spanish names and a crazy guy going around and doing crazy-guy things would be pretty transparent, too, even if a bunch of people know the actual events going on.

A similarly misused word is “stock.” Most basically, this word means that a particular clue comes up in quizbowl enough that many people with sufficient packet experience associate it with the answer. It typically refers to a clue that often comes up at the beginning of a question, even when a lot of people buzz off of it repeatedly (these clues are alternately called “chestnuts”); one could say that the fact that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet is stock, but the word is usually reserved for clues that are misplaced too early, too often. Stock clues happen when people keep putting the fact that Cuchulainn has seven eyes with seven pupils each, or the fact that there are things called Wadati-Benioff zones in subduction zones, into the leadins of questions on those topics. Sometimes, especially in older tournaments, “stock” evokes a sense of trivial unimportance. A lot of people know that Shakespeare supposedly wrote that terrible poem on his grave about disturbing his bones, but it’s not really important enough to come up in a tossup, let alone in the beginning where it will create an immediate buzzer race. These trivial clues are no longer pervasive in the college game.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Huang » Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:27 am

theMoMA wrote: A similarly misused word is “stock.” Most basically, this word means that a particular clue comes up in quizbowl enough that many people with sufficient packet experience associate it with the answer. It typically refers to a clue that often comes up at the beginning of a question, even when a lot of people buzz off of it repeatedly (these clues are alternately called “chestnuts”); one could say that the fact that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet is stock, but the word is usually reserved for clues that are misplaced too early, too often. Stock clues happen when people keep putting the fact that Cuchulainn has seven eyes with seven pupils each, or the fact that there are things called Wadati-Benioff zones in subduction zones, into the leadins of questions on those topics. Sometimes, especially in older tournaments, “stock” evokes a sense of trivial unimportance. A lot of people know that Shakespeare supposedly wrote that terrible poem on his grave about disturbing his bones, but it’s not really important enough to come up in a tossup, let alone in the beginning where it will create an immediate buzzer race. These trivial clues are no longer pervasive in the college game.
I've recently (past year or so) been told that "stock" clues do not exist in any meaningful way anymore. Is there a general consensus on whether or not this is true?
My second question: Is it still ok to drop "stock" clues (like Wadati-Benioff) early in TUs? Or does it just depend on whether or not the targeted audience reads old packets or not?
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Papa's in the House » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:11 am

theMoMA wrote:Since this is somewhat relevant, and I don't want to clutter the other thread with tangents, here are what are sure to be the two most-cited definitions in my upcoming Hart's Dictionary of Quizbowl Criticism

I think we've harped on this recently, but "transparent" means that you can figure out the answer without knowing the actual specific clues. At worst, a transparent clue will tell you something that narrows down the answer to only one thing for all players with basic knowledge of the answer at hand. A tossup on "Hungary" that mentions an obscure figure with a very Hungarian-sounding name would be incredibly transparent. A tossup on Don Quixote that talks about a lot of Spanish names and a crazy guy going around and doing crazy-guy things would be pretty transparent, too, even if a bunch of people know the actual events going on.

A similarly misused word is “stock.” Most basically, this word means that a particular clue comes up in quizbowl enough that many people with sufficient packet experience associate it with the answer. It typically refers to a clue that often comes up at the beginning of a question, even when a lot of people buzz off of it repeatedly (these clues are alternately called “chestnuts”); one could say that the fact that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet is stock, but the word is usually reserved for clues that are misplaced too early, too often. Stock clues happen when people keep putting the fact that Cuchulainn has seven eyes with seven pupils each, or the fact that there are things called Wadati-Benioff zones in subduction zones, into the leadins of questions on those topics. Sometimes, especially in older tournaments, “stock” evokes a sense of trivial unimportance. A lot of people know that Shakespeare supposedly wrote that terrible poem on his grave about disturbing his bones, but it’s not really important enough to come up in a tossup, let alone in the beginning where it will create an immediate buzzer race. These trivial clues are no longer pervasive in the college game.
Thank you for posting this. I will attempt to change my use of these words to better suit these definitions.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by millionwaves » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:59 am

Whig's Boson wrote:
millionwaves wrote:Everyone who is not a board staffer: stop meta-criticizing people's posts right now. Thank you.
:w-hat:

We're not allowed to criticize other posts for being meaningless? What is this meaning of this statement.
It's gentle enough: This thread is for discussing Delta Burke 2009; it's not for discussing what people think of other people's posting styles. Those posts clutter up a thread which can be kept more productive by focusing on discussions of the set in question. If they proliferate, they often derail a thread entirely. In that vein, this is the last post I want to make on the subject in this particular thread, but I encourage you to contact me if you have any more questions related to this or would like to discuss it.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Gautam » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:46 am

Huang wrote: My second question: Is it still ok to drop "stock" clues (like Wadati-Benioff) early in TUs? Or does it just depend on whether or not the targeted audience reads old packets or not?
Avoid using those, especially if you're thinking of using such clues early in questions. It's really hard to judge the target audience of a field (we've gotten it wrong several times recently) so it's probably not a good idea to estimate things like "90% of the field may not have heard of this stock clue" or whatever.

I'll say that if you can find interesting clues to add some substance to a stock clue, it's okay to use those stock clues occasionally given that the set of clues (substantive clues describing stock clue + stock clue) you've used are pyramidal. For instance, it's probably okay if you're writing a tossup on subduction zones and drop "Wadati-Benioff zones" after concisely describing Wadati-Benioff zones in the middle/late-middle zone of the tossup. I'll also say that such constructions might not always be feasible, as they may end up having coy language or terribly opaque and unbuzzable clues.

If we're talking about a large number of questions (eg. a whole tournament) the number of stock clues in such a set of questions should limit to zero as the difficulty of the tournament and/or the experience of the field increases.

It is kind of dependent on the judgment of the editor of the set, but if you're a new writer looking for some editing experience, I'd advice against the constructions I've described above.

EDIT:
Huang wrote:
theMoMA wrote:These trivial clues are no longer pervasive in the college game.
I've recently (past year or so) been told that "stock" clues do not exist in any meaningful way anymore. Is there a general consensus on whether or not this is true?
Yeah, I agree.

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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:41 am

Stock clues are bad, but even worse is writing that goes out of its way to avoid the appearance of a stock clue, resulting in unbuzzable stuff. I agree with the general specifics of what Andrew is saying: the idea of not using stock clues is to avoid egregious misplaced clues that for whatever reason, have become quizbowl-famous (while I do not recommend using it a lot, in this case the packet archive could be your friend to make sure you avoid using the same lead-in for a work that has been used in nine other tossups), or even worse, using dumb clues that are famous bits of trivia but unimportant academically (almost all biography clues for scientists, etc.). But don't stress too much about "OMG is this stock."
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:46 am

Yeah; coyly referring to a rifle that fires an umbrella (this play features a firearm whose discharge results in an unexpected non-bullet object that you could use to shield yourself from the rain or sun!) is probably worse than shouting about the rifle that sprouts an umbrella in Who's Afraid, simply because all that coyness does is reward people who are extra-primed for a relatively meritless clue.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:11 pm

Still hoping to actually hear things about questions in this set!
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:12 pm

ValenciaQBowl wrote:Still hoping to actually hear things about questions in this set!
Having looked through the set, I'll have some comments about stuff later.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:19 pm

One shouldn't hand-wring over "stock clues" for a tournament at this level. The best game for the new college/community college players who are this set's target audience will be had on questions with important, interesting clues regardless of their previous appearance frequency; indeed, I think this is precisely the place to re-use old clues, if they're good clues, which, of course, some old clues are and some aren't.
In fact, I'd go as far as say that at this level the end of avoiding clues that have frequently appeared in the past, even in light of the cogent reasons that that's desirable at higher levels, is of debatable merit and in all events of negligible import next to the end of having interesting and relevant clues. Pedagogically, old, good clues contain useful information that players will get rewarded for knowing few other places, since harder tournaments as a tendency use fewer of them*. From a gameplay standpoint, use of old clues isn't as likely to break the game as on higher levels, since there will be a much smaller average time per player devoted to having studied them, among other reasons. Concomitantly, any tournament at this level that doesn't incorporate a lot of clues that have come up frequently in the past is bound to fail to fill what I see as its proper role as well as it might.

MaS

*Or, at least, harder tournaments use many fewer old clues for answers that a newer player is likely to have heard of, which is really the issue. My impression is that harder tournaments as a tendency re-use clues for harder answers pretty frequently.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Gautam » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:43 pm

ValenciaQBowl wrote:Still hoping to actually hear things about questions in this set!
Yeah, so, I read a couple of packets from this to freshmen on our team, and they were pretty happy playing it. The buzz distribution was decent (i.e. middle clues weren't too hard) and a seemed to be converting bonuses well. I thought a few of the bonuses could have used an extra clue to modulate difficulty better, but it was pretty good overall.

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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:36 pm

My feeling from reading a couple of packets is that this tournament shows the progression of Delta Burke from a somewhat idiosyncratic tournament to something closer to the circuit norm for novice tournaments. I think it accomplishes this without losing the distinctly Borglumian feel or the ultra-accessibility that the field demands. Few tournaments are designed for true novices or draw a lot of true novice teams, but this one is clearly designed with both in mind. It seems to accomplish its goals pretty well.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:38 pm

theMoMA wrote:My feeling from reading a couple of packets is that this tournament shows the progression of Delta Burke from a somewhat idiosyncratic tournament to something closer to the circuit norm for novice tournaments. I think it accomplishes this without losing the distinctly Borglumian feel or the ultra-accessibility that the field demands. Few tournaments are designed for true novices or draw a lot of true novice teams, but this one is clearly designed with both in mind. It seems to accomplish its goals pretty well.
This is awesome. I can't wait to start using it for practices for my kids then. I just hope it doesn't still have bonuses on "name these Florida highways," etc.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by tiwonge » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:59 pm

I think that the answers were slightly skewed towards Florida, but not too badly. There were slightly more answers about Florida (Osceola and the Florida Keys bonus are two I can think of offhand) than about other parts of the country (4 Corners, North Carolina, Maryland, Columbia River, Mt. Ranier), but not too bad, and none of the Florida-related questions I can remember were local knowledge things.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:10 pm

Mmmmmmm, Borglumian feel . . . . .
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:38 am

Some points about the bonus stats from the five sites at which this set was used:

69 total teams played at the five sites. Only one team, the impressive Chipola Blue guys, cracked 20 points per bonus, and barely, with 20.22.

Only nine other teams broke 15 ppb, with one of those being the Case Western team led by Steven Wellstead, who, though we were very happy for him to come down for the Valencia tournament, probably doesn't fit the "true novice" label (though he was playing nearly solo).

20 more teams broke 10 ppb (including Boise State, who hit it on the nose).

So only 30 of the 69 participating teams could average more than one part correct per bonus. And I distinctly remember switching out some bonus parts that seemed too easy because I remembered the criticism from those who played the DB set at the Penn HS tournament (again, not the right novice audience) last year that many bonuses didn't have middle or hard parts, but instead three "easies" or two "easies" and a "middle."

But what the above numbers suggest to me is that those of us on this board tend to be serious players/coaches who may forget where the preponderance of teams at this level really are.

Just as one example, this was the first bonus in the tournament:
This term refers to the twelve years following the Civil War in the former Confederate states. FTPE:
A. What is this term denoting the de facto occupancy of the South by federal troops?
ANSWER: Reconstruction Era
B. Created immediately after the war, this federal agency, headed by Oliver O. Howard, was established to protect former slaves and even whites made destitute after the ravages of the South.
ANSWER: Freedmen’s Bureau (or Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands)
C. The Reconstruction era ended when this man became president, as he agreed to remove all federal troops from the South in return for electoral college votes to win over Samuel Tilden.
ANSWER: Rutherford B. Hayes
That seems to me like a bonus without a hard part; at an ACF Winter site I think we could reasonably expect 30s by every team in the tournament. At the Valencia tournament, however, teams got 300 points on it in 15 matches for an exact 20 average. Of course, there were a bunch of 30s, balanced by a bunch of 10s (no zeroes--yay!). Obviously, we had some variation in bonus difficulty, and I tried to put harder stuff in later packets, many of which didn't get played anywhere but Valencia. But if some teams are getting 10 on that bonus, you can see why I try to make most of the bonuses pretty gentle.

Anyway, I'm not sure what all of this means, but I'm interested in what others think.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:44 am

Personally. I felt that the bonuses were easier than ACF Fall and NAQT's Invitational sets. I am not sure if this was the intended difficulty, but I don't remember any bonus where I was thinking "Man, that was a hard bonus."
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:21 pm

Oh, yeah?!!! Then how come you didn't average 30, tough guy!!!

But seriously, you guys were likely the best team at any of these sites, so your reaction should be that way. My bonus philosophy is that the top 2-4 teams should break 20 ppb, and generally shouldn't find any bonus they'd overall find "hard," though indeed some individual bonus parts should be. The latter must've been the case with your team, since you averaged "missing" one part per bonus.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:26 pm

For comparison, Steven Diamond's team put up 16.34 PPB at ACF Fall. Playing on a pretty similar team, they put up 15.58 PPB at Delta Burke. For a tournament trying to be easier than ACF Fall, I think that the bonus conversion for this tournament was a bit too low.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:22 pm

I completely agree, Mike. And as you wrote upthread:
There were a few instances of things being too hard (for instance, the Oe/Abe/Tanizaki bonus might be 'canonically' easy, but new players had pretty much never heard of these authors)
That was a good example of a bonus that I shouldn't have allowed in this set. And to make matters worse, the bonus was actually KAWABATA/Abe/Tanizaki, with Kawabata being a little less known to novices than Oe, I think.

At the Valencia site, 90 points got scored on that bonus in 15 rounds, 50 by those show-off Chipola teams, meaning only one part got answered in four of the other 13 games, zero in the other nine (including, embarrassingly, by my Valencia Red team, who will be gravely disciplined).

This helps ground me for next year: I have no doubt that I unnecessarily allowed myself to worry that with mirrors at non-CC sites, I should allow more rigor in the bonuses. But next year I'd rather err on the side of having 25% of the teams around or above 20 ppb rather than concern myself with any complaints from elite players/teams that the bonuses were too easy.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by SnookerUSF » Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:21 pm

ValenciaQBowl wrote: This helps ground me for next year: I have no doubt that I unnecessarily allowed myself to worry that with mirrors at non-CC sites, I should allow more rigor in the bonuses. But next year I'd rather err on the side of having 25% of the teams around or above 20 ppb rather than concern myself with any complaints from elite players/teams that the bonuses were too easy.
I don't know if I would change your overall bonus editing strategy from this year for next. I would say that perhaps there were a few bonuses and a few bonus parts that were too difficult, but I think, and if I am wrong I am sure I will be summarily corrected or ignored, that Novice tournaments have some different goals in mind then say ACF Nationals. Like, shouldn't these kinds of tournaments also be good introductions to the game as currently played, besides being a tournament which attempts to fairly assess levels of ability. I mean Oe, Abe, and Tanizaki are important Japanese authors (I hope this claim isn't controversial), and that they are certainly a part of the game of quizbowl is also not debatable (issues of over-representation aside): why not introduce these kind of authors at a Novice tournament (that is, bonuses are the place to do it)?

But don't get it twisted, this is obviously not a strategy that can be or ought to be applied to every bonus, or even some bonuses, but I think you Chris are an experienced enough editor to decide that for a given subject matter (perhaps the hard sciences excluded) the risk of a low conversion rate is worth introducing this particular material because of its 1)intellectually compelling nature or 2)its ubiquity in the game as it currently stands (YOU GOTTA KNOW these Japanese authors).
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:56 pm

Fair enough, so make those dudes a hard part. The point Chris is making, I think, is not that none of those dudes should have come up, but that a bonus entirely of them isn't the way to go. I agree with that.

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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by SnookerUSF » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:51 pm

Captain Sinico wrote:Fair enough, so make those dudes a hard part. The point Chris is making, I think, is not that none of those dudes should have come up, but that a bonus entirely of them isn't the way to go. I agree with that.
I guess I like to have my medicine all at once, if I know its good for me. I guess that's probably a better strategy, to me it seems more worthwhile to introduce them as a group, but that is probably more of a function of how I learn than anything else.
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Re: Delta Burke 2009 Discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:35 pm

Next year's first bonus answers: Japan, Mishima, Kano no Chomei (the last part will not include the title of "Account of My Hut," just a description)!

But yeah, I like the idea of broadening folks at this tournament, but more in the way Mike is noting, as I think these players have much less of a built-in "knowledge web" to connect such stuff to.
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