Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

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Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Peter Sloman » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:50 pm

I'm pleased to confirm that Oxford University Quiz Society will host a European SCT on Saturday 6 February 2010. Contrary to previous plans, this tournament will be held in St John's College, Oxford, and will be a one-day tournament. We plan to start the tournament at 10.45am prompt. We will be happy to recommend inexpensive accommodation in Oxford to teams travelling long distances.

Full details of rules and eligibility requirements for the SCT can be found on the NAQT website: http://www.naqt.com. This tournament is open to universities in ACUI's Region One, and is particularly designed for those in the UK and continental Europe. We will run separate Division I and Division II tournaments if there are sufficient entries to make this feasible.

The schedule of fees for this tournament, as agreed with NAQT, will be as follows:
Base fee £65
New school discount £25
Multiple teams discount £15 (for each team after the first)
Buzzer discount £5 (maximum one per team)

For more information, or to register your team, please contact me at peter.sloman (at) queens.ox.ac.uk. Payment for this SCT should be made by cheque to Oxford University Quiz Society, and not through NAQT's online payment system. Further details of the field for this tournament and other information will be posted on this thread as soon as it becomes available, and will be sent out to entrants by email.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Peter Sloman » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:04 pm

Field update for SCT Oxford (as at Jan 27, 2010):

Division I

University of Manchester
University of Oxford
University of Warwick A
University of Warwick B
Imperial College, London [added Jan 30, 2010]
University College, London [added Feb 4, 2010]
Oxford Brookes University [added Feb 4, 2010]

Division II

(No entries so far)

Additional teams have expressed an interest in taking part; I'll add them here when their interest is confirmed.
Last edited by Peter Sloman on Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Kyle » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:23 pm

I just wanted to say that the absolute best part about this tournament is that a break will be included on the schedule at teatime.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Charbroil » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:21 am

Why all Division I teams? Are there no undergraduate only Quiz Bowl teams in England?
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Kyle » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:55 am

That's correct, there are no undergraduate-only quizbowl teams in England. You should come over here next year and play in our SCT, Charles.

EDIT: Obviously this turned out not to be a true statement.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:35 am

Are there community colleges in Britain?
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by bsmith » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:35 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:Are there community colleges in Britain?
Wikipedia says: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fu ... in_England

I assume "further education" (as opposed to "higher education") would be the community college equivalent, although they are open to students as young as 16.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Kyle » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:44 pm

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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by marnold » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:00 pm

England has made Kyle Haddad-Fonda an HSQB all-star. Any IP originating in Canada should be automatically given that image as its avatar.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Kyle » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:42 am

Through four rounds:

Oxford A 3-1
Manchester 2-2
UCL 2-2
Warwick A 2-2
Imperial 2-2
Oxford B 2-2
Oxford Brookes 2-2
Warwick B 1-3

Beat that, other SCT sites!
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Kyle » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:03 pm

Congratulations to the University of Manchester, which won by clearing the field. A full summary, which will include a description of a four-way tiebreaker for the last spot in the top bracket, will follow shortly.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:09 pm

This just ended?

How long of a teatime break did you all take?
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:59 pm

Frater Taciturnus wrote:This just ended?

How long of a teatime break did you all take?
ITT England is five time zones ahead of the continental United States
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:14 pm

well, he posted that they were getting ready to start around 4:30 america time, so 9:30 England time. Lets say the tournament started at 5/10. He announced the tournament had ended at 2 PM america time, so 7 pm England time. By my (likely poor) math, there is an upper bound of 16 rounds with a fixed time of 20 minutes of 5 plus like 5 minutes of transition, which comes out to 6 hours and 40 minutes if you used every single packet. Imagine there was like an hour break for lunch, meaning that tea time must have lasted about an hour assuming our hypothetical start and end times.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Kyle » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:27 pm

It started at 10:45 because we postponed it so that Manchester could take the train, then it finished at 6:00. Short tournament! (And, I want to note, one that finished only ten minutes behind our schedule)
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by dxdtdemon » Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:52 pm

Had some of the American trash in this set been replaced with British trash?
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Kyle » Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:37 pm

quantumfootball wrote:Had some of the American trash in this set been replaced with British trash?
Actually, we replaced every question about the United States with one about the Queen.

EDIT: I should add that I did the stats and then gave them to others to post on the website, which I don't have access to. Not knowing what to do, I did what I have done for four years: I emailed a copy of the stats to Brian Young and begged him to deal with it. So stats should be posted soon, one way or another. I'm leaving it to Peter to post the full recap of what happened in this thread.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:55 pm

Kyle wrote:
quantumfootball wrote:Had some of the American trash in this set been replaced with British trash?
Actually, we replaced every question about the United States with one about the Queen.

EDIT: I should add that I did the stats and then gave them to others to post on the website, which I don't have access to. Not knowing what to do, I did what I have done for four years: I emailed a copy of the stats to Brian Young and begged him to deal with it. So stats should be posted soon, one way or another. I'm leaving it to Peter to post the full recap of what happened in this thread.
I will host any stats sent to me.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by byoung » Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:47 pm

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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by at your pleasure » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:22 pm

Interesting stats.What's up with the bonus conversion?
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Kyle » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:13 am

Dave Breger wrote:Interesting stats.What's up with the bonus conversion?
Well, obviously this particular set didn't do a good job of differentiating among the seven of the eight teams with bonus conversions between 8 and 10. The only game that I moderated was part of the first part of the tiebreaker mess, a game in which the first five bonuses were zero'd. By and large, you could expect zeros on all sports bonuses, most American politics bonuses (but not necessarily American history), all American geography, all science bonuses, much of the literature (including books that are especially common in American high schools), and all of the R/M/P. Within R/M/P I'm including especially Jewish content, which for certain reasons relating to quizbowl demographics is much, much easier in the United States than it is over here. Another reason for low bonus conversion is the incredible degree of specialization in the British education system, which produces physicists who don't know any chemistry and whatnot. The other thing you have to remember is that Alison, who played only half of the tournament (and was its leading individual scorer), was the only person involved who had ever played a tossup-bonus tournament on what are derisively called "American questions," and even she hadn't done it for three years. And with the exception of Alison, the top players in this country were staffing the tournament, not playing in it.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:52 pm

Kyle wrote: Within R/M/P I'm including especially Jewish content, which for certain reasons relating to quizbowl demographics is much, much easier in the United States than it is over here.
I blame Edward I.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Peter Sloman » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:54 pm

Report on SCT Europe, 6 February 2010

Eight teams turned out for the 2010 NAQT Sectional Championship Tournament at Oxford. Two of those teams (Imperial College London and the University of Warwick A team) consisted solely of undergraduates and were thus eligible to compete for the Division II title as well as the undergraduate title. All eight teams, however, played on the questions for Division I.

The preliminaries featured a round-robin among all eight teams. At the end of four rounds, six teams were even with records of 2-2. By the end of seven rounds, the field had still not sorted itself out: there was a four-way tie for fourth place. The records at the end of the first round-robin were as follows:

5-2 Manchester
5-2 University College London
4-3 Oxford A
3-4 Imperial College London
3-4 Warwick A
3-4 Oxford B
3-4 Warwick B
2-5 Oxford Brookes

The leading individual scorers in the preliminaries were Oxford A’s Alison Hudson with 40.83 ppg, UCL’s Patrick Cook with 38.00 ppg, and Warwick A’s Chris Christmas with 32.86. The top five scorers are all undergraduates.

At the end of round seven, teams were re-bracketed into two brackets of four. The four-way tie for the fourth spot in the top bracket was broken by a mini-tournament held on half packets. The teams were seeded for this tournament by their bonus conversion through the first six rounds. Warwick A defeated Imperial (85-20) and Oxford B defeated Warwick B (65-50) on the first half of the packet. Warwick A then defeated Oxford B (120-25) on the second half of the packet. Warwick A thus received the fourth seed in the upper bracket, while Oxford B received the top seed in the lower bracket.

The two brackets then each played a three-round round-robin. The records after that round-robin were as follows:

8-2 Manchester
6-4 University College London
5-5 Oxford A
4-6 Warwick A

6-4 Oxford B
5-5 Warwick B
3-7 Oxford Brookes
3-7 Imperial College London

Manchester University were therefore very worthy winners of the overall (Division I) title, and Warwick A took the Division II (and undergraduate) title.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Peter Sloman » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:17 pm

Interesting discussion on bonus conversion. I think it would be useful to provide for comparison some historical stats from UK teams playing on NAQT questions. The following are taken from the NAQT website; "Masoquizm" is a tournament we host occasionally, played off the previous spring's ICT questions and with no restriction on team composition (i.e. most of the players are no longer students, and many are veteran quizzers).

Masoquizm III, November 2009: top PPB was 13.94 by Broken Hearts (one of the best buzzer teams ever produced by the UK, I'd say)
Masoquizm II, May 2006: top PPB was 13.92 by Milhous Warriors (a team containing Kevin Ashman, currently ranked the world's number one quizzer)
Masoquizm I, October 2003: top PPB was 16.39 by Boreal Forest (an earlier incarnation of Broken Hearts)
ICT 2000: Oxford A achieved 13.68 PPB, Oxford B achieved 8.27 PPB, Cambridge achieved 11.54 PPB

If anyone else can find other similar stats, then please post them here. For what it's worth, I think it's clear that even the very best British teams find NAQT bonus questions pretty challenging, and that a question distribution designed (rightly) with American and Canadian students in mind does not correlate quite as well with the knowledge base of British university students.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:55 pm

Peter Sloman wrote:Chris Christmas
best. name. ever.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Kyle » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:34 pm

Terrible Shorts Depot wrote:
Peter Sloman wrote:Chris Christmas
best. name. ever.
Naturally, I told him that when I was keeping score in one game that he played. He took it well.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:53 pm

Peter Sloman wrote:For what it's worth, I think it's clear that even the very best British teams find NAQT bonus questions pretty challenging, and that a question distribution designed (rightly) with American and Canadian students in mind does not correlate quite as well with the knowledge base of British university students.
Outside of the required American history and American literature in quizbowl on this side of the ocean, what aspects of the distribution do you think are not equally accessible to British students? I should point out that I'm pretty sure NAQT has a required British history and literature component in its distribution; ACF definitely does.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:57 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
Peter Sloman wrote:For what it's worth, I think it's clear that even the very best British teams find NAQT bonus questions pretty challenging, and that a question distribution designed (rightly) with American and Canadian students in mind does not correlate quite as well with the knowledge base of British university students.
Outside of the required American history and American literature in quizbowl on this side of the ocean, what aspects of the distribution do you think are not equally accessible to British students? I should point out that I'm pretty sure NAQT has a required British history and literature component in its distribution; ACF definitely does.
I'm also curious to how often British teams play NAQT or ACF style tournaments, how often they practice, how often people on these teams study for questions, etc. ICT is a hard tournament and it's rare that the best teams in America (teams that practice, compete and study all the time and are benefited from the obvious boost in getting stuff like American current events and American History) eclipse 20 ppb on the set. I don't think that 13 ppb or so is too off the mark for what the top teams in Britain should be getting playing on an unaltered ICT set until the circuit develops there some more.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Kyle » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:20 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
Peter Sloman wrote:For what it's worth, I think it's clear that even the very best British teams find NAQT bonus questions pretty challenging, and that a question distribution designed (rightly) with American and Canadian students in mind does not correlate quite as well with the knowledge base of British university students.
Outside of the required American history and American literature in quizbowl on this side of the ocean, what aspects of the distribution do you think are not equally accessible to British students? I should point out that I'm pretty sure NAQT has a required British history and literature component in its distribution; ACF definitely does.
I'm also curious to how often British teams play NAQT or ACF style tournaments, how often they practice, how often people on these teams study for questions, etc. ICT is a hard tournament and it's rare that the best teams in America (teams that practice, compete and study all the time and are benefited from the obvious boost in getting stuff like American current events and American History) eclipse 20 ppb on the set. I don't think that 13 ppb or so is too off the mark for what the top teams in Britain should be getting playing on an unaltered ICT set until the circuit develops there some more.
There are exactly five of us who practice for NAQT tournaments, and Alison was the only one of the five who played in this tournament. The low scores reflect lack of practice more than anything else. The tournament yesterday had a collection of very well educated people with very specialized knowledge in particular areas who didn't know what they were doing. Accordingly, it's hardly a surprise to find some twenties, a few thirties, and very, very many zeros.

Jerry, I do have one specific example that I want to post in reply to your question, but I'm going to do it in the private SCT discussion forum.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Peter Sloman » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:20 pm

Well, technically Kyle is right that only five Oxford players are training specifically for the ICT, but we have a squad of about 30 students that practices weekly on questions from American tournaments. Most of the Oxford squad have now played tournaments on NAQT questions, either in Masoquizm or at yesterday's SCT; many have appeared on Britain's televised programme University Challenge, which is similar to the old College Bowl TV show. (About half of the teams which took part in yesterday's SCT were teams from the current or previous series of University Challenge.) At Oxford, we also run an annual intra-mural tournament that involves over 30 teams and takes place over four weeks; I believe Cambridge and Durham universities run similar tournaments.

One of the aims of hosting the SCT in Oxford is to try to stimulate other tournaments in the UK, so that more people over here can play more high-quality quiz bowl.

Jerry - sport is an obvious subject area in which Britons find it difficult to keep up with American knowledge. We have a fair few baseball fans in the Oxford quiz bowl scene, but in general baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and gridiron are very much minority interests over here. I'd also mention some of the more obscure American politics questions - one Senate question comes to mind to which I don't think any Oxford student of my acquaintance would have known the answer (except perhaps Kyle and Alison), but I will say no more because the Mid-Atlantic teams are still to play off the questions.

I suspect that the issue is not merely US knowledge, but the perspective from which Americans see (and learn about) other parts of the world. For example, I imagine that Central and South America and the Pacific bulk larger in American than in British news coverage; the converse is probably true for Europe, and maybe for parts of the former British empire such as South Africa and the Indian sub-continent. British players can sometimes find American-sourced questions on "world" literature, history, and geography particularly challenging as a result of this. Of course, this should remedy itself over a period of time, because players who have such global knowledge become particularly valuable to their teams.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:45 pm

I'm legitimately unaware of how things work over in Britain, so I would find it interesting to know if there are differences in the representation of how history and literature are taught across the pond. I would imagine that the large emphasis on American history in pre-collegiate education is gone. What about literature? In America, I think there is a lot of British literature that is taught alongside American literature, because authors like Shakespeare, the Brontes, Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, etc. are considered to be useful teaching tools and are viewed as an important part of our literary culture, alongside books like The Scarlet Letter, Moby Dick, and some more modern stuff. In England, is American literature treated the same way we treat British lit, or would you say that due to the abundance of British lit available or maybe some kind of bias towards British culture, there is probably less of an emphasis given on learning the literature of America?
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Peter Sloman » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:01 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote: In England, is American literature treated the same way we treat British lit, or would you say that due to the abundance of British lit available or maybe some kind of bias towards British culture, there is probably less of an emphasis given on learning the literature of America?
The latter. In secondary school, out of maybe a dozen texts which I studied for examination purposes in English literature, only one (David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars) was an American text. There was a smattering of American poetry, but I don't remember any American drama. In history, I took one paper (GCSE: taken at age 16) comparing US and German experiences in the inter-war period; that was all the American history that was on offer. I suspect my experience was fairly typical in this regard.

[EDIT: I also took an English lit paper on Catch-22 - I don't know how I forgot that! I don't think it alters my main point.]
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Edmund » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:34 pm

Hi, to introduce myself before I weigh in with my tuppence worth, I'm one of the staff who moderated the SCT and I'm part of the Oxford team training for the ICT this year.

I think what Kyle has said about bonus conversion issues in Europe is very much an issue of perspective and practice rather than knowledge. If you are an educated Brit and you read newspapers, you may know something about US Senators, Departments of State, rivers, modern American literature, South American politics, etc., but considering that the SCT is being set to discriminate an audience who will see far more of this, you have to expect a lot of zeroes on these sorts of topics.

Certainly we believe that American literature does not weight equally with British literature as far as the English language goes. Most of us have read To Kill A Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye but that hardly equates to the necessary depth, unless we are, of course, lit specialists. Particularly, Peter is right to note that the distribution of world geography, history, literature and politics doesn't square too well either. Of course NAQT has lots of questions about Europe, but also an awful lot on the Americas (more part of your trading bloc than for us) which again tends to slip past us.

And it is right to note that a lack of familiarity with the NAQT style (particularly the strict five seconds on bonuses) will have been an issue for most of the participating teams. That said most teams performed very creditably in consideration, and we do freely admit that when we take on American tournaments we must expect to know a little bit more about life across the Pond.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by The Atom Strikes! » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:03 am

I would agree with Mike Bentley's commentary above. Given that the ACF and mACF tournaments that are played all over America aren't played in the UK, and, I would imagine that most players in the UK did not play the game in its pyramidal form in high school, and the different foci of education systems, I'd say that the sort of bonus conversion we see here is perfectly respectable. I imagine that as the circuit develops, we'll see it climb.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:06 am

If someone in the UK wants to run a mirror of ACF Regionals, we can work something out. Get in touch with me if you're interested at grapesmoker@gmail.com.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Mike Bentley » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:16 am

grapesmoker wrote:If someone in the UK wants to run a mirror of ACF Regionals, we can work something out. Get in touch with me if you're interested at grapesmoker@gmail.com.
Yeah I'd posit that ACF events are probably more international friendly than NAQT events. You'll get a lot less of American pop culture, sports, current events and geography.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by at your pleasure » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:44 am

[quote]Particularly, Peter is right to note that the distribution of world geography, history, literature and politics doesn't square too well either.[/quote
I'm genuinely curious about this. Could you elaborate? For what it's worth, American quizbowl does have definite and strong biases towards certain areas(modern Japanese literature in particular is heavily overrepresented) but not necessarily(although frequently) Central/South America.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Pilgrim » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:01 am

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:If someone in the UK wants to run a mirror of ACF Regionals, we can work something out. Get in touch with me if you're interested at grapesmoker@gmail.com.
Yeah I'd posit that ACF events are probably more international friendly than NAQT events. You'll get a lot less of American pop culture, sports, current events and geography.
The ratio of European to American history is much higher in ACF, also.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Kyle » Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:06 am

Well, oddly, the pop culture wasn't really a problem. The sports were a huge problem.

Jerry, re: ACF regionals — there was strong consideration of a delayed mirror of Penn Bowl, then of a delayed mirror of T-Party, neither of which seems to have happened. Certain transplanted American quizbowlers (namely me) are interested in actually playing a tournament this year. But it relies on the kind of field we could attract.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Peter Sloman » Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:35 am

Just to elaborate on Kyle's point: what we have in Britain is a generation of student quizzers who, apart from the Oxford club and some of the Manchester players, were until this weekend completely unfamiliar with NAQT questions (except in the highly edited form used for intra-mural tournaments over here) and rules. That's why it was so satisfying on Saturday to see so many people playing (and enjoying) an NAQT tournament.

Now that the SCT has taken place, I'm optimistic about the possibility of getting a field together for a mirror of a tournament. But term finishes here in about a month's time, so that might have to wait until after Easter.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Edmund » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:53 am

I'm genuinely curious about this. Could you elaborate? For what it's worth, American quizbowl does have definite and strong biases towards certain areas(modern Japanese literature in particular is heavily overrepresented) but not necessarily(although frequently) Central/South America.
I would argue that, as far as foreign countries are concerned, UK news reports (neglecting where we may be fighting wars at the minute!) the detailed politics of:

MAJORLY - France, Germany, "EU activities", USA
MORE THAN SOMEWHAT - rest of Europe, Japan, China, Russia
LITTLE - Canada, Australia, NZ, south Asia, Middle East
VERY LITTLE - Africa, central and south America, south-east Asia.

The detail in which history and literature are discussed match fairly well to that. Particularly Mexico and the American wars of independence against Spain occur frequently in NAQT packets which is not something that we know anything about at all. Same deal authors from those regions. So there are major blind spots in our world. Quite possibly, NAQT distribution is actually good and fair, and our general knowledge is not. I hope this explains a little, anyway; no excuses are intended.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:35 pm

Edmund wrote:American wars of independence against Spain
Blast my elementary teachers, I knew the texts were all mestizo propaganda designed to keep us from going bilingual!
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Pilgrim » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:56 pm

Zip Zap Rap Pants wrote:
Edmund wrote:American wars of independence against Spain
Blast my elementary teachers, I knew the texts were all mestizo propaganda designed to keep us from going bilingual!
You may or may not be aware, but in addition to "America" being the location of a certain group of "United States," it sometimes also refers to a large landmass divided into "North" and "South" sections.
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Re: Announcement: NAQT SCT Europe in Oxford, 6 Feb 2010

Post by Edmund » Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:10 pm

...many of whose countries fought for their independence against Spain as distinct from precisely one who fought a War of Independence against Great Britain. Thank you.

"Latin American wars of independence..." if you prefer. I struggle to think of a better collective term.
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