With the 2015 San Diego Academic Leauge season coming to a close in a few weeks, I think we should all take the opportunity to mock it as relentlessly as possible. The quality of questions has begun to improve slightly, but are still almost entirely terrible, and often wrong. The best strategy seems to be to memorize every question, as it will invariably appear again in the next few games. In fact, one bonus was read in all of our games but one, and all of them have been reused from last year. The only possible explanation for some things is that the questions are randomly generated and never proofread, because that is the only possible explanation for two questions on Theodore Dreiser in the same round (both using the same clue), a tossup on Thomas Mann being followed by a bonus on Thomas Mann, and this bonus:
1. What is the multiplicative identity ?
2.What is the additive identity?
which was followed on the next tossup by this bonus:
1. 1 is which identity ?
2. 0 is which identity ?
Other interesting questions include ones that say the title of Roman Emperors was Caesar, that Andrew Johnson was his own vice-president, that Nigeria is majority Muslim (which has not been true since 2009) and that Korea was partitioned in 1948 (which has never been true). Also, this was the Thomas Mann tossup:
In 1889, Mark Twain wrote about his career as a steamboat captain in Life on the Mississippi. Who wrote Death in Venice?
And these are just the terrible questions. Other problems include ties being broken by coin flip, coach written questions, and this description of moderators,
Moderators will need a sense of humor with which to control a tense
and tension-building situation. More than anyone else involved, the moderator
must be able to sense problems and anxieties and be able to put contestants at ease
without showing favoritism to one team or the other. Moderators must be
“performers” for the spectators, while at the same time representing authority to the
contestants and knowledge to everyone
just to name a few of the countless other terrible things which I will post as soon as I find a copy of the notoriously elusive rules