Improving PPB

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VinaiRachakonda
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Improving PPB

Post by VinaiRachakonda »

Hey Guys,

So without our top player, who is graduating, our young team has a very poor PPB of around 15. I understand we need to study a lot more to improve this to our goal of 20+. But, are there any tips, tricks, or studying methods I can do that are devoted to improving PPB. Elevating this for our team will help us win games that should have been ours.

Thanks
Vinaichandra Rachakonda
Eleanor Roosevelt High School Quiz Team
Class of 2016

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Re: Improving PPB

Post by Beevor Feevor »

As far as ppb goes, I find that a lot of teams overestimate how important it is to have spectacular points per bonus. Obviously you want to be converting the bonuses as 30s all the time, but as far as comparisons between teams, it's usually a lot more important to get tossups than to get bonuses. By just keeping even with the tossup count and not letting the other team answer more than 7 or 8 questions, you can usually ensure victory unless the ppb difference is decently high (like 5 or above).

My suggestion as far as raising ppb is to get a good grasp of the "canon" of high school Quizbowl. By reading lots of packets, it's easy to get a sort of formula in your head for what bonuses will look like. For example, in a bonus where the easy part of the bonus is Jane Austen, learning the titles of Jane Austen works and how they come up can easily boost a 10 to a 20 on a Jane Austen bonus. Remember that writers need their bonus conversion not to be pathetically low for tournaments that they write (with accessibility being especially important on the high school level), so the answers to the medium and easy parts will not be out of your reach.

One thing to avoid is to aim for hitting 30s consistently right away. While that's obviously the goal, it will be a lot better for your team to work towards getting 20s consistently instead of getting lots of 10s and some 30s occasionally. The hard parts to many high school sets can get less predictable, and without putting in the requisite amount of hours studying the content and getting real knowledge of it, it can be difficult to 30 them. Reach for what's accessible first. If your team usually 10s computer science bonuses, 3 hours of study in that area can improve your bonus conversion in that category to 20 permanently, instead of spending around 40 hours getting familiar with literature to an extent where your team can 30 bonuses instead of 20ing them. They'll have the same effect on your ppb, so take the easier option before the harder one. Message me if you have any other questions, but that should help!
Eric Xu
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Schmidt Sting Pain Index
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Re: Improving PPB

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index »

Just learning things in general and your typical quiz bowl studying should obviously increase your PPB in addition to your ability on tossups. When you are studying (from books, wikipedia, quinterest, etc.), take a second to imagine what a possible 3-part bonus would be at a ceratin difficulty level, as if you were writing a bonus, except you don't have to actually write it. Doing the same thing with tossup leadins also helps. For example, when I am studying a certain country or historical figure, I might come across a certain fact and think "this might be a good hard part/leadin." This has helped my bonus conversion tremendously. Aside from that, bonuses at the high school level can get preditable. Once we got to the point where we felt we were better than certain teams (in terms of beating them in a game of quiz bowl) yet our PBB lagged a bit behind theirs, we went through old packets and used those to study. In addition to helping us learn things that come up in tossups, that helped us to not derp on stuff that is common and pick up on patterns across sets in a certain year or across the history of a certain set.
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Re: Improving PPB

Post by The Stately Rhododendron »

Read bonuses.
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VinaiRachakonda
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Re: Improving PPB

Post by VinaiRachakonda »

Thank you all who replied to this thread. Your advice is very useful and I will relay it to my team
Vinaichandra Rachakonda
Eleanor Roosevelt High School Quiz Team
Class of 2016

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Re: Improving PPB

Post by VinaiRachakonda »

"As far as ppb goes, I find that a lot of teams overestimate how important it is to have spectacular points per bonus. Obviously you want to be converting the bonuses as 30s all the time, but as far as comparisons between teams, it's usually a lot more important to get tossups than to get bonuses. By just keeping even with the tossup count and not letting the other team answer more than 7 or 8 questions, you can usually ensure victory unless the ppb difference is decently high (like 5 or above).

Correct me if I am wrong, but basically, you are saying that having a considerable toss-up difference is more important than having a high PPB. So then, why are rankings based on PPB and not on things related to tossups? Is this because bonus are considered the "true tests of knowledge"?
Vinaichandra Rachakonda
Eleanor Roosevelt High School Quiz Team
Class of 2016

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Re: Improving PPB

Post by Cody »

VinaiRachakonda wrote:Correct me if I am wrong, but basically, you are saying that having a considerable toss-up difference is more important than having a high PPB. So then, why are rankings based on PPB and not on things related to tossups? Is this because bonus are considered the "true tests of knowledge"?
(a) PPB is much more opponent-independent than any other statistic we currently have. (b) the teams that get a lot of tossups get a lot of points on bonuses.
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Re: Improving PPB

Post by AKKOLADE »

Cody wrote:
VinaiRachakonda wrote:Correct me if I am wrong, but basically, you are saying that having a considerable toss-up difference is more important than having a high PPB. So then, why are rankings based on PPB and not on things related to tossups? Is this because bonus are considered the "true tests of knowledge"?
(a) PPB is much more opponent-independent than any other statistic we currently have. (b) the teams that get a lot of tossups get a lot of points on bonuses.
As the guy who runs HSQBRank.com, let me respond to this with the following:

Yup.
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Re: Improving PPB

Post by Tanay »

Schmidt Sting Pain Index wrote:Just learning things in general and your typical quiz bowl studying should obviously increase your PPB in addition to your ability on tossups.
Einhard wrote:As far as ppb goes, I find that a lot of teams overestimate how important it is to have spectacular points per bonus. Obviously you want to be converting the bonuses as 30s all the time, but as far as comparisons between teams, it's usually a lot more important to get tossups than to get bonuses.
This is all the information you need. To address briefly the difference between getting good at tossups and getting good at bonuses, Berkeley has had a related problem at the last three college national tournaments we attended; namely, our rank in the field by PPB often ends up quite a few spots higher than our actual placement. This is because our gameplay on tossups (fostered by spending plenty of time seriously playing good competition in practice and at tournaments) is likely less polished than that of many teams we play. Take the time and effort to go to good tournaments when they are nearby, and just keep learning. I think that if you are able to set some goal regarding your team's performance on tossups (cutting out negs?) and it helps you get just one extra tossup every match, you will benefit far more than you would by adopting any of the few "bonus-specific" strategies prescribed here. If any of this seems tedious, just keep reading and studying, and you'll inevitably boost your team's performance by whichever factor you might choose to measure it.
Tanay
ex-Berkeley, ex-Bellarmine

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