The Inevitable Distribution Discussion

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cvdwightw
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The Inevitable Distribution Discussion

Post by cvdwightw » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:09 pm

So in the 2009 ICT thread, Jeff noted that NAQT would look into raising the amount of fine arts "if the surveys are even remotely consistent with what seems a strong consensus among players on this board."

There are two obvious questions:
1. Were the surveys even remotely consistent with this consensus?
2. If so, did NAQT do anything about it?

Also, way back in the original FIChTE thread, Matt Weiner noted that the hardest part about writing to the 2008 NAQT distribution (since revised) was finding an acceptable amount of "real" current event answer topics without getting stale. I'm no current events connoisseur, but it seems like this kind of issue has been plaguing NAQT as well.

As I tend to do in these sorts of threads, I'm going to propose four minor tweaks to the SCT distribution that would make NAQT far more acceptable to us vocal players without significantly compromising the experience of the "silent majority."

Tweak one: Remove 3/3 or 4/2 PC and a corresponding 2/1 or 1/2 Sports, to give a hard 2/2 per packet cap on pop culture/sports. Remove 0/1 Mixed-Impure-Academic to give a hard 1 question per packet cap. Add the resultant 5/5 to FA-Music-Composers_Works. I have yet to hear a good reason why NAQT cannot find space for 1/1 non-opera classical music per 26/26 packet.
Tweak two:Remove 3/3 CE to give it the same weight as geography and put it in various parts of RMP. I don't see why NAQT can't have at least 2/2 RMP per 26/26 packet, especially if the conversion rates for R and M hold up like they do at the high school level.
Tweak three: Stop making foreign languages its own separate top-level category and just throw it in social sciences. It's one question per tournament, it shouldn't get its own top-level category.
Tweak four: Make the American history and European history more equal (I have no idea if NAQT actually did this after the 2009 ICT, but it didn't seem like it). Right now I have to contort subdistributions to get European history up to even 28/28, while American history is guaranteed 32/30. Counting ancient Greek and ancient Roman history as "European," I think a fair trade would be to dump 3/3 American history into History:Misc_Europe and then we'd have European history at 28/28 guaranteed and American history at 29/27 guaranteed.

None of these changes, either by themselves or in total, seem drastic, and any of them can be implemented by themselves or in combination with other changes. Do "circuit regulars" see any or all of these potential changes as beneficial or at least "a step in the right direction"? Does NAQT have good reasons why it can't or shouldn't make any or all of these changes? I'd be interested to see what both sides have to say.
Dwight Wynne
socalquizbowl.org
UC Irvine 2008-2013; UCLA 2004-2007; Capistrano Valley High School 2000-2003

"It's a competition, but it's not a sport. On a scale, if football is a 10, then rowing would be a two. One would be Quiz Bowl." --Matt Birk on rowing, SI On Campus, 10/21/03

"If you were my teammate, I would have tossed your ass out the door so fast you'd be emitting Cerenkov radiation, but I'm not classy like Dwight." --Jerry

samer
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Re: The Inevitable Distribution Discussion

Post by samer » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:50 pm

cvdwightw wrote:Tweak one: Remove 3/3 or 4/2 PC and a corresponding 2/1 or 1/2 Sports, to give a hard 2/2 per packet cap on pop culture/sports. Remove 0/1 Mixed-Impure-Academic to give a hard 1 question per packet cap. Add the resultant 5/5 to FA-Music-Composers_Works. I have yet to hear a good reason why NAQT cannot find space for 1/1 non-opera classical music per 26/26 packet.
Right now, the distribution is set up so that visual arts (including sculpture, etc.) are ~1/1, and musical arts (including opera) are ~1/1 in every packet. So should both halves be increased, with the extra music going to non-opera, or is a visual/musical balance not necessary/desirable? [Please note that I'm not advocating one position over the other.]
Tweak two:Remove 3/3 CE to give it the same weight as geography and put it in various parts of RMP. I don't see why NAQT can't have at least 2/2 RMP per 26/26 packet, especially if the conversion rates for R and M hold up like they do at the high school level.
What is traditionally lumped together as one category (RMP) is actually split across four different top-level codes (Literature, History, Theology, and Philosophy); combining all of those, RMP already is 2/2 per packet.
Tweak three: Stop making foreign languages its own separate top-level category and just throw it in social sciences. It's one question per tournament, it shouldn't get its own top-level category.
If it's going to get the same number of questions either way, I don't see how that makes a difference.
Tweak four: Make the American history and European history more equal (I have no idea if NAQT actually did this after the 2009 ICT, but it didn't seem like it)! Right now I have to contort subdistributions to get European history up to even 28/28, while American history is guaranteed 32/30. Counting ancient Greek and ancient Roman history as "European," I think a fair trade would be to dump 3/3 American history into History:Misc_Europe and then we'd have European history at 28/28 guaranteed and American history at 29/27 guaranteed.
I'd have no problem with this.
samer dot ismail -at- gmail dot com / Samer Ismail, PACE co-founder, NAQT editor

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Re: The Inevitable Distribution Discussion

Post by cvdwightw » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:26 pm

samer wrote:
cvdwightw wrote:Tweak one: Remove 3/3 or 4/2 PC and a corresponding 2/1 or 1/2 Sports, to give a hard 2/2 per packet cap on pop culture/sports. Remove 0/1 Mixed-Impure-Academic to give a hard 1 question per packet cap. Add the resultant 5/5 to FA-Music-Composers_Works. I have yet to hear a good reason why NAQT cannot find space for 1/1 non-opera classical music per 26/26 packet.
Right now, the distribution is set up so that visual arts (including sculpture, etc.) are ~1/1, and musical arts (including opera) are ~1/1 in every packet. So should both halves be increased, with the extra music going to non-opera, or is a visual/musical balance not necessary/desirable? [Please note that I'm not advocating one position over the other.]
Ah, I misread the distribution - I thought there was 16/16 painting, not 16/16 visual arts. I think people would certainly like to see the "meatier" portions of their respective subcategories (painting and non-opera music) slightly increased, with a respectively decrease in pop culture. Removing that 5/5 would then bump painting and composers/works up to 11/11 each.
Tweak two:Remove 3/3 CE to give it the same weight as geography and put it in various parts of RMP. I don't see why NAQT can't have at least 2/2 RMP per 26/26 packet, especially if the conversion rates for R and M hold up like they do at the high school level.
What is traditionally lumped together as one category (RMP) is actually split across four different top-level codes (Literature, History, Theology, and Philosophy); combining all of those, RMP already is 2/2 per packet.
I'm assuming the part I'm not counting is religious history? It seems those questions often focus more on the history rather than the religious aspects, but at least the explanation makes sense.
Dwight Wynne
socalquizbowl.org
UC Irvine 2008-2013; UCLA 2004-2007; Capistrano Valley High School 2000-2003

"It's a competition, but it's not a sport. On a scale, if football is a 10, then rowing would be a two. One would be Quiz Bowl." --Matt Birk on rowing, SI On Campus, 10/21/03

"If you were my teammate, I would have tossed your ass out the door so fast you'd be emitting Cerenkov radiation, but I'm not classy like Dwight." --Jerry

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