Old time bonus formats

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Skepticism and Animal Feed
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Old time bonus formats

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:19 pm

When I began playing college quizbowl in 2004, there were still some wacky bonus formats being used. They were beginning to be phased out then, and we were explicitly told by our elders not to use them and to use the standard three-part bonus instead, but they definitely came up in mACF events, including packets just 1-2 years old being used in practice.

Here are some of the ones I remember:

5-10-15
Three part bonus, but the first part was worth only 5 points, the second part was worth 10 points, the third part was worth 15 points. The first part was really easy, the third part was hard.

10-5, 10-5, 10-5
Three part bonus, but each part had a hard clue and an easy clue. If you got it off the hard clue, you got 10 points. If you missed it off the hard clue, they read you the easy clue and you got only 5 points.

30-20-10-5
There was only one answer, but 4 clues of decreasing difficulty. If you got it off the first clue, you got 30 points. If you needed the second clue, you got 20 points, and so on. Sometimes there was an insultingly easy 1 point clue at the end. Many variations of this.

5-5-10-10
A 4 part bonus, with two easy parts worth 5 points each and two hard parts worth 10 points each.

For 5 points each, with an extra 5 for all correct,
Pick a category that contains only 5 things. Make the player list as many things from that category as they can. 5 points for each. If they can get everything in the category, give them an extra 5 points.

For each of the following, say whether it is true of x, true of y, true of both, or true of neither
This could be a three part bonus with parts worth 5 points each, or it could be a 5-10-15 or even a 5-5-10-10. Point was, the writer picked two things that are both similar and different. As a college freshman I wrote one like this that was "For each of the following, say whether it is true of Budapest, true of Bucharest, true of both, or true of neither".
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by jonah » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:40 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:19 pm
30-20-10-5
There was only one answer, but 4 clues of decreasing difficulty. If you got it off the first clue, you got 30 points. If you needed the second clue, you got 20 points, and so on. Sometimes there was an insultingly easy 1 point clue at the end. Many variations of this.
One of the variations that I think is worthy of special mention is the 40-30-20-10-1, which is like what you said except the 40-point clue would be something like "He was a scientist" and the 1-point clue would be something like "His name rhymed with Schmalbert Schmeinstein". (Sometimes it was just 40-30-20-10 or 30-20-10-1.)

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:19 pm
For 5 points each, with an extra 5 for all correct,
Pick a category that contains only 5 things. Make the player list as many things from that category as they can. 5 points for each. If they can get everything in the category, give them an extra 5 points.
Another variation on this was "For 5 [points] for one [part], 10 for two, 20 for three, or 30 for all four." I'm pretty sure this wasn't necessarily limited to four-item universes, but could just have four normal parts scored that odd way.
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by Cheynem » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:53 pm

I remember the 40-30-20-10-1 thing more from trash bonuses, but I can't remember if there were any other variants to that.
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by women, fire and dangerous things » Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:14 pm

At my very first tournament, my team impressively zeroed a 40-30-20-10-1 bonus which asked you to identify Sylvia Plath's "Daddy" from quotes, where the 1-point quote was "Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through."
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by Habitat_Against_Humanity » Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:19 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:19 pm


5-10-15
Three part bonus, but the first part was worth only 5 points, the second part was worth 10 points, the third part was worth 15 points. The first part was really easy, the third part was hard.
I always had a spot in my heart for these types because these were the only 3-part bonuses on which a team could score 0,5,10,15,20,25, or 30 points (aside from that 10-5, 10-5, 10-5 nonsense; those are stupid) and still be similar to "good quiz bowl"
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by Mike Bentley » Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:49 pm

Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:19 pm
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:19 pm


5-10-15
Three part bonus, but the first part was worth only 5 points, the second part was worth 10 points, the third part was worth 15 points. The first part was really easy, the third part was hard.
I always had a spot in my heart for these types because these were the only 3-part bonuses on which a team could score 0,5,10,15,20,25, or 30 points (aside from that 10-5, 10-5, 10-5 nonsense; those are stupid) and still be similar to "good quiz bowl"
Eh of all these alternate bonus formats, I like the very occasional 10-5/10-5/10-5 the best. The classic way to do thee is "Identify these things from niche pop culture topic, for 10 points each. If you need another clue, you'll only get 5 points." I think MUT may have been the last college tournament to do this. They obviously add to the time it takes to play a bonus, but can be a nice variation every once in a while.
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by jonpin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:16 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:19 pm
10-5, 10-5, 10-5
Three part bonus, but each part had a hard clue and an easy clue. If you got it off the hard clue, you got 10 points. If you missed it off the hard clue, they read you the easy clue and you got only 5 points.
This could also be done in two waves, either 15-10 or 15-5. I seem to recall some examples of the form "Name these plays from a list of characters for X points. If you need a plot description, you get Y points."
For 5 points each, with an extra 5 for all correct,
Pick a category that contains only 5 things. Make the player list as many things from that category as they can. 5 points for each. If they can get everything in the category, give them an extra 5 points.
Sometimes to get the extra points, you'd need to put them in a specified order.
For each of the following, say whether it is true of x, true of y, true of both, or true of neither
This could be a three part bonus with parts worth 5 points each, or it could be a 5-10-15 or even a 5-5-10-10. Point was, the writer picked two things that are both similar and different. As a college freshman I wrote one like this that was "For each of the following, say whether it is true of Budapest, true of Bucharest, true of both, or true of neither".
From my memory, usually each part would be straight up 10 or 0. Of all the novelty bonus formats, this is probably the one that stuck around the longest (honest question: has NAQT formally retired it?) and is the most defensible.
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by theMoMA » Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:20 pm

Mike Bentley wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:49 pm
Eh of all these alternate bonus formats, I like the very occasional 10-5/10-5/10-5 the best. The classic way to do thee is "Identify these things from niche pop culture topic, for 10 points each. If you need another clue, you'll only get 5 points." I think MUT may have been the last college tournament to do this. They obviously add to the time it takes to play a bonus, but can be a nice variation every once in a while.
I think this is correct. Rob and I found these amusing and would include exactly one of them in the pop culture/other part of the distribution for each version. (The one I'm remembering right now was a bonus that asked you to identify places from the lyrics to the Beach Boys' "Kokomo," with 5 points if you needed a geography clue.) I wouldn't mind seeing one in the wild in a whimsical or open event in the future if someone comes up with a fun idea.
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by jonah » Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:32 pm

jonpin wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:16 pm
For each of the following, say whether it is true of x, true of y, true of both, or true of neither
This could be a three part bonus with parts worth 5 points each, or it could be a 5-10-15 or even a 5-5-10-10. Point was, the writer picked two things that are both similar and different. As a college freshman I wrote one like this that was "For each of the following, say whether it is true of Budapest, true of Bucharest, true of both, or true of neither".
From my memory, usually each part would be straight up 10 or 0. Of all the novelty bonus formats, this is probably the one that stuck around the longest (honest question: has NAQT formally retired it?) and is the most defensible.
We didn't hold a ceremony, but all NAQT bonuses must be three parts worth 10 points each, with the parts being actual sentences (not fragments), and the parts must be distinct (i.e., not "For 10 points each—name the three Xes").
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by Ike » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:16 pm

A team submitted an unusually fun bonus for ACF Nationals 2015. It had two hard parts, and I was loathe to cut either since they were both so cool. Rob Carson suggested reviving the 10/10/5/5 structure so we could have the two hard parts-cake and eat it too.
1. This building is currently the tallest steel-supported brick building in the world. For the stated number of points:
[10] For 10 points, name this New York art deco skyscraper which was the world’s tallest building, until the construction of the Empire State Building.
ANSWER: Chrysler Building
[5] For 5 points, the original Art Deco style associated with handicraft transitioned into this variant which emphasized curvy lines to make it suitable for mass production. Examples of it include the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in LA.
ANSWER: Streamline Moderne [or Art moderne]
[5] For 5 more points, Streamline Moderne influenced this science-fiction inspired style that uses starburst ornaments. The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign is an example of this style named after a West Hollywood Coffee Shop.
ANSWER: Googie Architecture
[10] For those final 10 points, the “Theme Building” of this Los Angeles building complex resembles a giant UFO and is in the Googie style. That Theme Building is supported by three, massive, curved white supports.
ANSWER: Los Angeles International Airport [or LAX]
Speaking about today's game, I think it's okay to have a bonus whose fundamental structure reduces down to the standard 10/10/10 -- it's even desirable in my opinion, since it shakes things up a bit.
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:35 am

Y'all will probably hate this, but at early Delta Burkes (from 1998 till about 2007, I figure) I would have exactly one bonus in the tournament, usually coming in Round 7 or after, which had four five-point parts, and which asked the team captain to designate a player to answer one part based on an announced category (like American history or Romantic poets or cellular biology). Obviously, the captain had to designate herself/himself for one part. The players weren't allowed to communicate to tell the captain they wanted to answer a category. The nutty idea was that the captain should have some idea who would be best to answer a question in a certain category.

Teams got a ten-point bonus if they got all four parts, all of which were easy parts by today's definition. I weirdly still kind of like this idea, especially for truly novice teams. But I got rid of it when university teams around the country started asking to mirror the set.
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by Cheynem » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:00 am

There was a local format (more like a local tournament) in my home state, in which the rounds were normal 20/20 (maybe normal 10 minute halves, which was common back then). But there was a lightning round in the half--but a "one on one" lightning round--the moderator read four categories, and each person on the team took a category and squared off against a solo player on another team. While this could be both very thrilling and very demoralizing, there was also the aspect of strategy--I remember once taking "science" as a category because everyone else had better categories.
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by Milhouse » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:01 am

ValenciaQBowl wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:35 am
Y'all will probably hate this, but at early Delta Burkes (from 1998 till about 2007, I figure) I would have exactly one bonus in the tournament, usually coming in Round 7 or after, which had four five-point parts, and which asked the team captain to designate a player to answer one part based on an announced category (like American history or Romantic poets or cellular biology). Obviously, the captain had to designate herself/himself for one part. The players weren't allowed to communicate to tell the captain they wanted to answer a category. The nutty idea was that the captain should have some idea who would be best to answer a question in a certain category.

Teams got a ten-point bonus if they got all four parts, all of which were easy parts by today's definition. I weirdly still kind of like this idea, especially for truly novice teams. But I got rid of it when university teams around the country started asking to mirror the set.
This seems interesting, but problematic if a team has fewer than four players (and especially if they only have one).
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:16 pm

Sure, in such cases it's not ideal! We rarely had teams with fewer than four at DB back then, but I did have a note saying a person could be selected more than once if there were fewer. But we never saw a solo or even duo team before the Kelson reign of terror in Florida CCs began in 2010.
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:11 pm

The trash tournament Ann B. Davis had the feature where once a game a player could answer a bonus all by themselves and if they got all three parts they earned 60 points, but if they got any part wrong they earned 0 points. I don't think I'm the only specialist who dreamed of one day seeing that in an academic tournament.

In high school, where bonuses were worth 20 points, there was something called a "7, 6, 7" and I think the way it worked is getting one bonus part earned you 7 points, getting two bonus parts earned you 13 points, and getting all three parts earned you 20 points, though I am very hazy on this.
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:28 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:11 pm
The trash tournament Ann B. Davis had the feature where once a game a player could answer a bonus all by themselves and if they got all three parts they earned 60 points, but if they got any part wrong they earned 0 points. I don't think I'm the only specialist who dreamed of one day seeing that in an academic tournament.

In high school, where bonuses were worth 20 points, there was something called a "7, 6, 7" and I think the way it worked is getting one bonus part earned you 7 points, getting two bonus parts earned you 13 points, and getting all three parts earned you 20 points, though I am very hazy on this.
Oh yes, the old IHSA format. 20 point bonuses varied from 3-5parts and were read at once so you had weird splits. In particular when the 3 part bonus bounced back it wa s split 7/6/6 so you could only steal 19 points on the bounceback!
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:48 pm

Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:28 pm
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:11 pm
The trash tournament Ann B. Davis had the feature where once a game a player could answer a bonus all by themselves and if they got all three parts they earned 60 points, but if they got any part wrong they earned 0 points. I don't think I'm the only specialist who dreamed of one day seeing that in an academic tournament.

In high school, where bonuses were worth 20 points, there was something called a "7, 6, 7" and I think the way it worked is getting one bonus part earned you 7 points, getting two bonus parts earned you 13 points, and getting all three parts earned you 20 points, though I am very hazy on this.
Oh yes, the old IHSA format. 20 point bonuses varied from 3-5parts and were read at once so you had weird splits. In particular when the 3 part bonus bounced back it wa s split 7/6/6 so you could only steal 19 points on the bounceback!
If you swept an old IHSA 3-part bonus on the bounceback, you got all 20 - it was only if the teams split correct answers that you had a full bonus worth 19 points. The first part a team got was always worth 6, so as not to give the bounceback team an extra point for free.
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by John Ketzkorn » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:14 am

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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by Picasso's Middle Name » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:52 pm

ValenciaQBowl wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:35 am
Y'all will probably hate this, but at early Delta Burkes (from 1998 till about 2007, I figure) I would have exactly one bonus in the tournament, usually coming in Round 7 or after, which had four five-point parts, and which asked the team captain to designate a player to answer one part based on an announced category (like American history or Romantic poets or cellular biology). Obviously, the captain had to designate herself/himself for one part. The players weren't allowed to communicate to tell the captain they wanted to answer a category. The nutty idea was that the captain should have some idea who would be best to answer a question in a certain category.

Teams got a ten-point bonus if they got all four parts, all of which were easy parts by today's definition. I weirdly still kind of like this idea, especially for truly novice teams. But I got rid of it when university teams around the country started asking to mirror the set.
I remember coming across this bonus format back in the day, and thought it was a super fun idea. Anytime I write a vanity packet for just hanging out, or for our Summer Camp "All-Camp" game, I try to include at least one "designation" section of questions.
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Re: Old time bonus formats

Post by tiwonge » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:14 pm

CBI had some bonuses that were just one question, worth 20 points or 25 points, I think. (They often had bonuses worth fewer than 30 points total. I read on here somewhere that it was possible for a team to answer more than half the TUs and answer all bonus parts correctly and still lose because the bonus values weren't standardized at 30. I mean, I doubt this ever happened, but it's possible.)

I still occasionally (this year or last year, or maybe it was in practice reading a somewhat recent packet) where one of the 10 point bonus parts is split into two pieces, with 5 points for each piece. I think the most recent example I remember was an Egyptian mythology question, maybe from last year's FST?
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