IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

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IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by Carlos Be »

I am pleased to announce IO SATURNALIA, an easy college set that will be available for mirrors beginning September 12, 2020. Difficulty-wise, IO SATURNALIA will be within the range of recent iterations of ACF Fall.

IO SATURNALIA will be converted from the high school set SATURNALIA. By expanding our audience in this way, we aim to achieve economies of scale that will allow us to compensate our writers without having to charge restrictive prices.

Writers/Editors

I, Justine French, will be head editor. The set will be produced by a diverse group of high school and college writers who were selected through an open application process as described in this thread. The subject editors are as follows:

Literature: Robert Condron and Connor Mayers
History: Avinash Iyer and Laurence Li
Science: Eric Yin, Justine French, and Karan Gurazada
Fine Arts: Dylan Bowman and Jeffrey Ma
Religion: Nick Dai
Mythology: Justine French
Philosophy and non-Econ Social Science: Ethan Ashbrook
Economics: Justin French
Geography: Daniel Ma
Current Events: Benjamin McAvoy-Bickford
Popular Culture: Lalit Maharjan
Other: Benjamin McAvoy-Bickford

Set Details

Tossups will be hard-capped at 6 lines of 10 point Times New Roman. Bonuses will be kept concise. We will use the following 20/20 (20 tossups, 20 bonuses) distribution:

4/4 Literature
1.25/1.25 Long Fiction (i.e. novels, novellas, epics), .75/.75 Drama, 1/1 Poetry, .5/.5 Short Fiction (i.e. short stories), .5/.5 Other

4/4 History
1/1 US History, 1.5/1.5 European History (including ancient), 1.5/1.5 World History (including ancient)

4.5/4.5 Science
1/1 Biology, 1/1 Chemistry, 1/1 Physics, .5/.5 Math, .33/.33 Astronomy, .33/.33 Computer Science, .33/.33 Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science

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

2.5/2.5 "RMPSS"
.75/.75 Religion, .75/.75 Mythology, .33/.33 Philosophy, .66/.66 Social Science (split evenly between Econ, Psych, and Other)

2/2 Other
.75/.75 Geography, .42/.42 Popular Culture, .42/.42 Current Events, .42/.42 Other

Mirrors

The mirror fee will be $25 per team, except for house teams, which will be free. We're looking for mirrors in all circuits— please email me at [email protected] if you would like to request a mirror, or if you have any questions about the set. Thank you!

We will be offering a $5 per team discount (so that the mirror fee is $20 per team) for hosts which record individual question stats. For tossups, this means counting the number of powers, negs, 10s, and times the tossup was read. For bonuses, this means counting the number of teams that convert each part as well as the number of times the bonus was read. If you plan on using online scoresheets, Shawrisheets has added the ability to record the individual question stats that we are looking for.

It is looking less and less likely that it will be possible to host in-person mirrors of Io Saturnalia, particularly in the fall. If in-person mirrors are unsafe, we will aim to have regional online mirrors instead. If a host would like to hold a mirror targeting multiple regions, we will allow this, provided enough teams in the targeted regions agree that this is a good idea. Similarly, if a team cannot attend its region's mirror, then we will allow them to attend another mirror if there is space.

Note: IO SATURNALIA will be converted from the high school set SATURNALIA. If you have read or scorekept for a mirror of SATURNALIA, then you cannot play IO SATURNALIA. We will coordinate mirrors so that college staffers will have a chance to play IO SATURNALIA before having to staff SATURNALIA.

Eligibility

High school teams will not be allowed to play IO SATURNALIA, because we want them to play SATURNALIA. Any college student may play IO SATURNALIA; however, we reserve the right to block teams from playing if we determine that they are too skilled. If a team is too skilled to play ACF Fall or SUN, then it is likely that that team is too skilled to play IO SATURNALIA.
Last edited by Carlos Be on Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by Carlos Be »

(post reserved for list of mirrors)
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Re: IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by Here Comes Rusev Day »

I'm extremely glad more and more tournaments at this level are happening, especially with the pretty good group of new writers you have there.
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Re: IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by Ciorwrong »

Is there a particular justification for why all of religion, mythology, philosophy and social science are all reduced for this event? This doesn't seem to align with recent college events. Having pop culture be almost as present as social science is not in any way indicative of what the college canon is like, and IMO, is a disservice to novice teams and players. Additionally, having geography be as common as religion and mythology and larger than social science and philosophy is basically what a high school set would do. ACF Fall, for example, has a very reasonable distribution for its audience IMO that aligns very well with the rest of the collegiate calendar outside of its pop culture distribution.

Additionally, as someone who worked on Spartan Housewrite with its 1.5/1.5 World History distribution, I would conjecture that this will make history harder than the modal set of this difficulty. Aside from country answerlines, the world history answerspace can be very limited especially when you want to clue things outside of the 20th century history/European colonization.

I am not the target audience of this set but I think this is an issue that warrants being raised. I understand that Justine has their own canon opinions and idiosyncrasies but I think for an easy college event to be widely mirrored, the community at least deserved a justification for all these sub-distributional changes.
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Re: IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by Auroni »

Progcon wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:59 pm Additionally, having geography be as common as religion and mythology and larger than social science and philosophy is basically what a high school set would do.
This may have something to do with the fact that this is a high school set (with some conversions).
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Re: IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by Ciorwrong »

Auroni wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:03 pm
Progcon wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:59 pm Additionally, having geography be as common as religion and mythology and larger than social science and philosophy is basically what a high school set would do.
This may have something to do with the fact that this is a high school set (with some conversions).
Is it not reasonable to change some of the distributions when converting from a high school set to a college set? I understand that this is an additional taks that much be done, but I think for a genuine collegiate novice event, the distribution should more closely mirror the modal easy college set. I admire the ingenuity of such an event and its attempts to reach the economy of scales necessary for a profitable event because high school writing really doesn't pay much at all.
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Re: IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by Auroni »

Progcon wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:06 pm
Auroni wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:03 pm
Progcon wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:59 pm Additionally, having geography be as common as religion and mythology and larger than social science and philosophy is basically what a high school set would do.
This may have something to do with the fact that this is a high school set (with some conversions).
Is it not reasonable to change some of the distributions when converting from a high school set to a college set? I understand that this is an additional taks that much be done, but I think for a genuine collegiate novice event, the distribution should more closely mirror the modal easy college set. I admire the ingenuity of such an event and its attempts to reach the economy of scales necessary for a profitable event because high school writing really doesn't pay much at all.
As anyone who has edited tournaments before knows, it's a substantial amount of work to write new or extra questions for a tournament. It's already a considerable effort to, for instance, convert D1 to D2 SCT each year, and those two tournaments have identical distributions. Here, several questions would have to be discarded and many new questions would have to be written to accord with your proposal. Also, it's difficult not to sympathize with the desire to write less social science and philosophy for an easy tournament, given that those areas have a much smaller accessible clue and answerspace at this difficulty.
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Re: IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by Ciorwrong »

Auroni wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:21 pm
Progcon wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:06 pm
Auroni wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:03 pm
Progcon wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:59 pm Additionally, having geography be as common as religion and mythology and larger than social science and philosophy is basically what a high school set would do.
This may have something to do with the fact that this is a high school set (with some conversions).
Is it not reasonable to change some of the distributions when converting from a high school set to a college set? I understand that this is an additional taks that much be done, but I think for a genuine collegiate novice event, the distribution should more closely mirror the modal easy college set. I admire the ingenuity of such an event and its attempts to reach the economy of scales necessary for a profitable event because high school writing really doesn't pay much at all.
As anyone who has edited tournaments before knows, it's a substantial amount of work to write new or extra questions for a tournament. It's already a considerable effort to, for instance, convert D1 to D2 SCT each year, and those two tournaments have identical distributions. Here, several questions would have to be discarded and many new questions would have to be written to accord with your proposal. Also, it's difficult not to sympathize with the desire to write less social science and philosophy for a low-difficulty tournament, given that those areas have a much smaller accessible clue and answerspace at this level.
I don't exactly appreciate this level of condescension given I'm editing a collegiate novice event right now.

I admitted it's a substantial amount of work and was asking for justification on some of the unusual distributional changes such as the 1.5/1.5 World History. I don't disagree that social science and philosophy have a very small answerspace at this difficulty, but ACF Fall and similar tournaments make it work. Justine is of course entitled to use whatever distribution they desire to, but I would also like a justification. It is my opinion, and one that I don't think is entirely unreasonable, that an event run for collegiate novices at least use a distribution that somewhat mirrors harder collegiate events. I'm all for variety in distributions, but I don't think it is unreasonable to want some level of standardization at the low level so the ramp up to 1/1 philosophy, 1/1 religion, etc. in harder events is not so stark.

Of course, I applaud the decision to have more collegiate novice events. I would project that this event is a better preview of collegiate quizbowl than NAQT collegiate novice or running some high school set, but again, I'm asking for a simple justification of some unusual distributional choices such as extra science. Ideally, this is run in my region and I will try to staff if possible. I apologize for mucking up this thread and would encourage this conversation to move to a more appropriate subforum.
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Re: IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by A Dim-Witted Saboteur »

Not to contradict Harris too directly, but I don't think the 1.5/1.5 world for Spartan Housewrite generated too much adverse commentary on the difficulty of that segment of history in particular, and nothing about the experience of editing a distribution with that specific change suggested to me that it isn't feasible at lower levels. I'm willing to allow that his experience might've been different, though.
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Re: IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

AP world is one of the most commonly taken APs and the quizbowl audience comes from a diverse array of cultural backgrounds. 1.5/1.5 world is fine.
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Re: IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by Carlos Be »

Progcon wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:59 pm Is there a particular justification for why all of religion, mythology, philosophy and social science are all reduced for this event? This doesn't seem to align with recent college events. Having pop culture be almost as present as social science is not in any way indicative of what the college canon is like, and IMO, is a disservice to novice teams and players.
First, this distribution is comparable with many recent college events. Mythology is regularly less than 1/1. Philosophy is often reduced at lower levels (even EFT and Sun God had less than 1/1 philosophy). Delta Burke, a comparable easy college set, has .5/.5 social science according to this distribution, and .5/.5 is less than .66/.66.

Second, there isn't really a "modal set of this difficulty." ACF Fall is the only easy college set that is widely mirrored, so it is fallacious to act like there is an established canon for this level. Furthermore, we do not want this set to be trickle-down quiz bowl. A big problem with easy difficulty levels is that they take clues from hard packets and not from out-of-qb sources. We don't think we could write 1/1 philosophy and 1/1 social science without relying on the qb canon.

That last point ties in with a more general idea. We view easy college as a level worth playing in itself, not as a minor-league for hard difficulties. Many players will "advance" to harder levels, but many will not. Thus, there is no more reason that easy college quiz bowl should reflect hard college quiz bowl than that high school quiz bowl should reflect college quiz bowl.

Finally, with regards to history, our primary goal is hitting our target difficulty. We are confident that we can hit this target while having slightly more world history. If later in production it becomes clear that we cannot, then we will adjust the distribution as necessary. We will not fill out world history with badly-written tossups or tossups that are too hard.
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Re: IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by Ciorwrong »

justinfrench1728 wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:41 pm
Progcon wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:59 pm Is there a particular justification for why all of religion, mythology, philosophy and social science are all reduced for this event? This doesn't seem to align with recent college events. Having pop culture be almost as present as social science is not in any way indicative of what the college canon is like, and IMO, is a disservice to novice teams and players.
First, this distribution is comparable with many recent college events. Mythology is regularly less than 1/1. Philosophy is often reduced at lower levels (even EFT and Sun God had less than 1/1 philosophy). Delta Burke, a comparable easy college set, has .5/.5 social science according to this distribution, and .5/.5 is less than .66/.66.

Second, there isn't really a "modal set of this difficulty." ACF Fall is the only easy college set that is widely mirrored, so it is fallacious to act like there is an established canon for this level. Furthermore, we do not want this set to be trickle-down quiz bowl. A big problem with easy difficulty levels is that they take clues from hard packets and not from out-of-qb sources. We don't think we could write 1/1 philosophy and 1/1 social science without relying on the qb canon.

That last point ties in with a more general idea. We view easy college as a level worth playing in itself, not as a minor-league for hard difficulties. Many players will "advance" to harder levels, but many will not. Thus, there is no more reason that easy college quiz bowl should reflect hard college quiz bowl than that high school quiz bowl should reflect college quiz bowl.

Finally, with regards to history, our primary goal is hitting our target difficulty. We are confident that we can hit this target while having slightly more world history. If later in production it becomes clear that we cannot, then we will adjust the distribution as necessary. We will not fill out world history with badly-written tossups or tossups that are too hard.
Fair enough thank you for explaining. For completeness, it's worth noting that SUN has 1/1 social science, 1/1 religion and 1/1 myth and I don't think any of it is particularly challenging for engaging in "trickle down quizbowl." The topic of "trickle down quizbowl" especially for high school and easy sets probably deserves its own thread. The FST distribution and ILLIAC distributions are also publicized as well even if their difficulty isn't identical to what this tournament is aiming for. It's also worth noting that mythology is routinely more common at lower levels than at harder levels. For various reasons, some high schoolers come in to college knowing a lot of mythology.

I hope this tournament is widely ran and I think this would be a great first tournament on the calendar.
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Re: IO SATURNALIA (easy college, Fall 2020)

Post by Carlos Be »

Io Saturnalia is now 90% written and 55% edited. The original post has been updated to reflect the following announcements:
We will be offering a $5 per team discount (so that the mirror fee is $20 per team) for hosts which record individual question stats. For tossups, this means counting the number of powers, negs, 10s, and times the tossup was read. For bonuses, this means counting the number of teams that convert each part as well as the number of times the bonus was read. If you plan on using online scoresheets, Shawrisheets has added the ability to record the individual question stats that we are looking for.

It is looking less and less likely that it will be possible to host in-person mirrors of Io Saturnalia, particularly in the fall. If in-person mirrors are unsafe, we will aim to have regional online mirrors instead. If a host would like to hold a mirror targeting multiple regions, we will allow this, provided enough teams in the targeted regions agree that this is a good idea. Similarly, if a team cannot attend its region's mirror, then we will allow them to attend another mirror if there is space.
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