ANNOUNCEMENT: Terrapin Open (Spring 2020)

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Borrowing 100,000 Arrows
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ANNOUNCEMENT: Terrapin Open (Spring 2020)

Post by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:40 pm

The Maryland Academic Quiz Team is pleased to announce Terrapin Open, an open tournament for spring 2020.


Difficulty

The target difficulty of Terrapin Open is halfway between ACF Regionals and ACF Nationals. This corresponds to 3½ dots on the scale used by the college quizbowl calendar.

A third of the tossup answerlines will be ACF Fall difficulty, a third of the tossup answerlines will be ACF Regionals difficulty, and no more than a third will be above ACF Regionals difficulty (with at most one CO-only answerline per category).

Note that this means Terrapin Open will be more difficult than 2019 Terrapin, and will be similar in difficulty to PIANO, its predecessor in the pre-nationals spring open slot.


Eligibility

This is an open tournament, meaning that there are no eligibility restrictions.


Editing

The editing team includes myself (Caleb Kendrick), Emmett Laurie, Graham Reid, Ewan MacAulay, Joelle Smart, Naveed Chowdhury, Ophir Lifshitz, and Ethan Strombeck. Questions will also be written by Anson Berns, Justin Hawkins, Sam Rombro, and members of MAQT, including Vishwa Shanmugam, Jack Lewis, Alex Echikson, and Jakobi Deslouches.

This set will have 15 packets plus an extra packet of tiebreakers. Tossup length will be soft-capped at 8 lines (in 10-point Times New Roman after power-marking), and bonus length will be soft-capped at 7 cumulative lines.

The set is about 15% written as of August 15.


Distribution

4/4 Literature
1/1 American Literature
1/1 British Literature
1/1 European Literature
0.75/0.75 World Literature
0.25/0.25 Classical Literature

4/4 History
1/1 American History
1/1 European History (Post-Classical)
1/1 World History
1/1 Other History (Commonwealth, Ancient/Classical, Historiography/Archaeology)

4/4 Science
1/1 Biology
1/1 Chemistry
1/1 Physics
1/1 Other Science

3/3 Fine Arts
1/1 Painting and Sculpture
1/1 Classical Music
1/1 Other Fine Arts

1.5/1.5 Beliefs
1/1 Religion
0.5/0.5 Mythology

2.5/2.5 Thought & Other Academic
1/1 Philosophy
1/1 Social Science
0.5/0.5 Other Academic

1/1 Modern World (incorporating current events and geography)


Mirrors

Terrapin Open will be available for mirrors starting on February 22, 2020, and ending on March 29, 2020. The most preferred dates for mirrors are February 22, February 29, and March 7, before most schools go on spring break.

The mirror fee is $50 per team (including house teams).

We are seeking mirrors of Terrapin Open in the following regions (subject to change):

Northeast:
Mid-Atlantic: UMD (tentatively February 22)
Southeast:
California:
Midwest:
Canada:
UK:
Online: (maybe, would likely be on a Sunday after in-person mirrors)

We are seeking bids from hosts that can guarantee internet access for moderators to use online scoresheets. Moderators will be trained to use online scoresheets that will be used to create detailed stats.

Email me at jckend@umd.edu for mirror requests or other inquiries. Please do so as early as possible, ideally before November 15, so that we can start announcing mirrors by November 30.

This post will be maintained with information about new mirrors, editors, progress updates, or any other changes.

EDIT: Naveed Chowdhury has joined the editing team as our religion and mythology editor.
Caleb K.
Maryland '24, Oklahoma '18, Norman North '15

Daedalus
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Terrapin Open (Spring 2020)

Post by Daedalus » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:50 pm

Borrowing 100,000 Arrows wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:40 pm
The target difficulty of Terrapin Open is halfway between ACF Regionals and ACF Nationals... no more than a third will be above ACF Regionals difficulty (with at most one CO-only answerline per category).
How can you write a Nats-minus tossup on a CO-only answerline?
Adam Fine
UCLS 2015
Yale 2019
Chicago 2050 (approx.)

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Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Terrapin Open (Spring 2020)

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:40 am

Daedalus wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:50 pm
Borrowing 100,000 Arrows wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:40 pm
The target difficulty of Terrapin Open is halfway between ACF Regionals and ACF Nationals... no more than a third will be above ACF Regionals difficulty (with at most one CO-only answerline per category).
How can you write a Nats-minus tossup on a CO-only answerline?
It's called VCUO 2015

(EDIT: to be clear not sure how I felt about the mega hard answers in that set, but it is doable within bounds)
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

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ThisIsMyUsername
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Location: New York, NY

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Terrapin Open (Spring 2020)

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:28 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:40 am
Daedalus wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:50 pm
Borrowing 100,000 Arrows wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:40 pm
The target difficulty of Terrapin Open is halfway between ACF Regionals and ACF Nationals... no more than a third will be above ACF Regionals difficulty (with at most one CO-only answerline per category).
How can you write a Nats-minus tossup on a CO-only answerline?
It's called VCUO 2015

(EDIT: to be clear not sure how I felt about the mega hard answers in that set, but it is doable within bounds)
What is that tournament citation even supposed to mean?

If a tournament is written well, its stated difficulty determines the ceiling of how hard the answerlines can be. If I'm writing a Regs-level tournament, I can include answerlines that would be appropriate at Regs, Fall, HS, etc.; but not answerlines that are "Nats-only." Something becomes "Nats-only" by virtue of the fact that it would produce an unacceptable buzz distribution at Regs (e.g. goes dead in too many rooms, has no one buzzing in the first half, etc.).

By definition, a "CO-only answerline" is appropriate only for...CO! So, that statement in the initial announcement is concerning because it raises two possibilities: Possibility #1 is that "Nats-minus" difficulty will be produced by averaging out questions of varying difficulty. That is what is generally referred to as "lack of difficulty control." Possibility #2 is that most of the tournament will be of well-controlled Nats-minus difficulty, but the remainder will be questions that the editors admit belong to a completely different tournament (jumping up from 3.5 dots to 5 dots).
John Lawrence
Yale University '12
King's College London '13
University of Chicago '19

“I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.” - G.K. Chesterton

Borrowing 100,000 Arrows
Lulu
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:29 pm

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Terrapin Open (Spring 2020)

Post by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:58 pm

To clarify, what we meant by there will be "at most one CO-only answerline per category," is that there will be at most one extremely novel, or non-canonical tossup per category. We think that other tournaments have done this successfully in the past (e.g., VCU Open 2015), and we think that their philosophy was well-justified (though others may disagree). In any event, we are not going to write a lot of tossups on crazy answerlines. We want this set to be accessible to teams of many different skill levels.
Caleb K.
Maryland '24, Oklahoma '18, Norman North '15

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