Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

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jsugrue
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Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by jsugrue »

I am pleased to announce Penn Bowl 2021 (Penn Bowl XXIX) for the Fall semester of 2021. We plan to run this tournament (in-person) at the main site on Saturday, October 23, 2021.

QUESTIONS

This tournament will be written by a team of writers from Penn. The team of editors consists of Taylor Harvey (Am. Lit + film in Other Arts), Margaret Tebbe (Brit. + Euro Lit), Jordan Brownstein (World Lit + Phil.), Emmett Laurie (Am. + World Hist.), Tracy Mirkin (Euro + Other Hist.), Jonathen Settle (Physics), Paul Lee (Chem.), Shan Kothari (Bio. + Other Sci.), Michael Yue (Music + auditory Other Arts), Aseem Keyal (Painting + visual Other Arts), NourEddine Hijazi (Belief), Harris Bunker (SS), and Nitin Rao (CE/Geo/Trash/Misc.). Nitin Rao will head-edit. There will be 15 packets of power-marked questions not longer than 7.25 lines (including bolding for power). The target difficulty is roughly the same as past Penn Bowls, though we have introduced a difficulty-marking system this cycle to to improve consistency in meeting that difficulty.

The distribution we are using is as follows:
4/4 Literature (1/1 American, 1/1 British, 1/1 European, 1/1 World)
4/4 History (1/1 American, 1/1 European, 1/1 Other, 1/1 World)
4/4 Science (1/1 Biology, 1/1 Chemistry, 1/1 Physics, 1/1 Other)
3/3 Arts (1/1 Music, 1/1 Painting, 1/1 Other)
2/2 Belief (encompassing religion and myth)
1/1 Philosophy
1/1 Social Science
1/1 Geography, CE, Trash, and Miscellaneous

Each packet will also have a tiebreaker tossup from literature, history, or science.

HOSTING

At the main site, we will use the following fee structure:
Base fee: $120 per team
Working buzzer discount: $5 each
Approved moderator discount: $15 each
Travel discount: $10 (more than 200 miles one way according to Google Maps)

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

METHOD OF PAYMENT (borrowed from Cody Voight)

All teams must pay by the day of the tournament. We prefer to accept payment in person right before the tournament starts, but we will accept checks by mail ahead of time if your procedures require it. Teams who do not pay by the day of the tournament will be charged a $25 penalty and will have two weeks to pay their total amount before we start mailing letters to your school administration about it.

We can accept cash, personal checks, or checks from school, school district, or quizbowl club funds. We have no ability to process purchase orders or credit cards, but we will accept Paypal and Venmo. Bringing forms of payment outside of the three listed will be considered nonpayment and subject you to the $25 late payment penalty.

All checks must be made out to either "Alex Moon" or "Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania". If you bring a check not made out to either "Alex Moon" or "Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania" and have no other method of paying for the tournament, you will be subject to the $25 late payment penalty. If you address your checks to "Penn Quizbowl", we will not be able to accept them. If you require a pre-tournament invoice or W9 in order to have a check cut, let us know early enough for your school to process the payment. We can generally send you an invoice the same day.

MIRRORS

We are looking for mirrors in all regions. The mirror fee will be $40 per team. Mirrors of this tournament should aim to run on either October 23rd or 30th.

CURRENT MIRRORS:
Northeast: Harvard, 10/30
Lower Mid-Atlantic: Virginia Tech, 10/30
Southeast: Florida, 10/23
Great Lakes: Pitt, 10/23
Midwest: UChicago, 10/30
North:
South Central: UT Austin, 10/30
Mountain West:
California:
Northwest:
Canada: Queen's, 10/23
United Kingdom: Cambridge, 10/23
Please contact [email protected] if you're interested in hosting a mirror or have any other inquiries.
Last edited by jsugrue on Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:07 pm, edited 14 times in total.
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by jsugrue »

Update:
We are still looking for mirrors for Penn Bowl on the 23rd and 30th. If your school has any interest in hosting, please email us at [email protected].
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by jsugrue »

Registration is now open for Penn Bowl! In accordance with the University of Pennsylvania's policies, we are asking that every person who intends to come be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, each attendee is required to have a Green Pass through Penn's Open Campus system. More information can be found here.

The form for signing up can be found here. Our tournament cap will be 30 teams; additional teams will be placed on a waitlist.

CURRENT FIELD (Teams/Buzzers/Staffers):
Virginia (1/2/0)
Maryland (2/0/0)
Cornell (1/0/0)
Columbia (2/2/0)
Rutgers (2/1/1)
Johns Hopkins (2/3/0)
Princeton (2/1/0)
Carnegie Mellon (1/2/0)
Swarthmore (2/3/0)
Last edited by jsugrue on Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:27 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by jsugrue »

URGENT:

We are still looking for mirrors in the following areas:

North
Mountain West
California
Northwest

If your club is affiliated with one of these regions and you would like to host a mirror of Penn Bowl, please email [email protected] as soon as possible. We are still asking for mirrors on 10/30 and 10/23; however, we understand that this might be a quick turnaround and would be willing to discuss dates other than those listed.

Your club may also host an online mirror - keep in mind, though, that we may ask you to host a superregion to ensure that all interested teams can play Penn Bowl.
Last edited by jsugrue on Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by Subotai the Valiant, Final Dog of War »

What are the details for the start/end times of the main site event?
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by jsugrue »

Subotai the Valiant, Final Dog of War wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:16 am What are the details for the start/end times of the main site event?
Our opening meeting will be at 9:15 in Meyerson Hall, and we will likely go into the early evening.
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by jsugrue »

Update:
We will be closing our registration and finalizing the field on Wednesday, October 20 at 11:59 PM EST. If you or your team would like to register for the main site, please do so by then. Additionally, if you would like to cancel or change your registration, please do so by the date above. Any teams that drop after this Wednesday (aside from legitimate health/emergency reasons) will be responsible for paying the entirety of their registration fees.
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by Arabidopsis failiana »

I just want to share some feedback about how the tournament was run, because it's non-ideal to be finishing round 11 just before 8 pm. The morning rounds were slow. There was a delay in going to start the first rounds, and it wasn't clear why we were waiting at the beginning. It seemed like inexperienced readers were paired together while experienced readers were also paired together. I understand the value in pairing friends together to make the tournament more interesting for volunteer staffers, but the slower rooms really held up the tournament. The advanced stats stuff, like tracking the buzzpoints, tended to extend the transition time between questions with inexperienced staffers, while the timing on bonuses was also really long in some rooms (5 seconds became more like 15 seconds). There was also a long wait (like 15 minutes) for the finals to start even though we knew who was in the finals as soon as round 11 finished; we spent time waiting for Maryland B to finish their game even though it wouldn't have been a problem for them to come in a few minutes late, and then they didn't even come watch the finals.

It's understandable to have some delays in the first in-person tournament in quite some time, and I'm sympathetic with the challenge of keeping a lot of parts moving together. Some of the teams/players also contributed to the problem, including my team who was late getting back from lunch, which I'm sorry for. Overall, I think staffers could benefit from having a little more urgency and should be reminded of the importance of moving efficiently between questions and between rounds.
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by jsugrue »

Congratulations to Virginia for winning Penn Bowl over Maryland A in a one-game final! All the final stats can be found here. Feel free to PM me if you find any mistakes/errors.

Thank you to all the teams that attended Penn Bowl this year! Additionally, we'd like to thank all our staffers - both club members and external staffers (David and Antonio) for their hard work and dedication over what was, inevitably, a long day.

Additionally, there is a private discussion forum for the set - if you have any feedback or would simply like to discuss the questions, feel free to join!

Mark: I appreciate the feedback! Adjusting back to in-person quizbowl has been a challenge for Penn. As a club with many underclassmen and new members, this was a first for many of the individuals involved. We did our best to disperse our strongest staffers, and worked with our newer members to get them up to speed. However, there were bound to be some hitches, and we apologize for that. This has been a learning experience for our club, and we're eager to get out there and do it even better next time <3
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by Tippy Martinez »

I have a couple of thoughts about Penn Bowl that I'd like to share.

First off, I'd like to thank the Penn club for hosting this tournament. Hosting an in-person tournament right now can be very tricky with the number of restrictions that universities have put in place, so I commend the Penn team for not just taking the easy route and hosting online. Even though this tournament did run very late I personally did not mind this, especially since the moderation staff at this tournament was very competent and did their best to move the tournament along. It was also very cool to see a bunch of fresh faces staffing this tournament.

My teammates and I would also like the commend the editors and writers of this set immensely. Vishwa and Caleb agreed that this was probably the best Penn Bowl they've ever played or read. As thus I would heavily encourage anyone that still has the chance to play this set.

I do have two main complaints about this tournament though.

Firstly, the seeding for the preliminary rounds was highly bewildering. I'll have to speculate at least a little bit here because I don't know the exact specifics of how this tournament was seeded, but nonetheless. It appears that Virginia and we were seeded 2 and 3 overall for this tournament, which seems pretty baffling. To not seed the team with by far the best active college quiz bowl player #1 overall seems ridiculous, especially since teams like Columbia A and Cornell A seemed to be missing some of their top players. These seeding issues led to very lopsided prelim brackets, which can easily be seen in the stats. My goal here is not to shame anyone; rather, I think this is a good opportunity to highlight that seeding is very important! Simply having another set of eyes or two to look at your seeds in order to catch glaring errors can go a long way.

My second complaint is in regards to how a prelim tiebreaker was broken at this tournament. After prelims, both Maryland B and Rutgers B finished 3-3 to tie for fourth in the Pearl bracket. Maryland B had significantly more points per game, 6 more powers, more 10s, and nearly a third fewer negs. Rutgers B had a PPB that was 0.05 better. And for some reason, that tie was then broken by PPB. I'm mad at this for two main reasons: 1) PPB was not announced as the tiebreaker before this tournament happened and 2) Using PPB over PPG for a tiebreaker when teams have the same opponents is not standard practice in college quiz bowl. Regardless of the intent behind this decision, it was highway robbery. More than anything I think this situation highlights just how flawed PPB tiebreakers are and that they should not be used in most cases.
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by Tippy Martinez »

Arabidopsis failiana wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:29 pm we spent time waiting for Maryland B to finish their game even though it wouldn't have been a problem for them to come in a few minutes late, and then they didn't even come watch the finals.
I made the request to wait because I was told by the staffers that their final game was on TU 19 and usually find it inappropriate to pause a match to let spectators in, nonetheless a final. The second part of your statement is also blatantly false; JJ had to drive the Rutgers team back to New Jersey and as such did not stay, but the other members of our B team watched.
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by Arabidopsis failiana »

Sardorbek Eminov wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 5:03 pm
Arabidopsis failiana wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:29 pm we spent time waiting for Maryland B to finish their game even though it wouldn't have been a problem for them to come in a few minutes late, and then they didn't even come watch the finals.
I made the request to wait because I was told by the staffers that their final game was on TU 19 and usually find it inappropriate to pause a match to let spectators in, nonetheless a final. The second part of your statement is also blatantly false; JJ had to drive the Rutgers team back to New Jersey and as such did not stay, but the other members of our B team watched.
I'm sorry, I definitely misremembered what exactly happened then. We were waiting and then we did end up starting without anyone else coming in, but they came in after a few questions had already been read after lots of hand signals through the door. I just remembered where JJ said he had to go and not who exactly came into the room. And I don't blame you for wanting to let them watch if possible, because I would want the same with my team, but I also didn't want to delay any longer when I had a 5 hour drive ahead of me; this example just shows how some rooms moved a lot slower than others which ended up delaying the tournament.

Regarding the seeding, it was definitely imperfect but it was redeemed by the fact that the top 6 teams were clearly top 3 in their brackets and able to make the top playoff bracket. I absolutely agree with your comments about Maryland B and the wrong tiebreaker decision being made, though.
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by jsugrue »

Sardorbek Eminov wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:53 pm I have a couple of thoughts about Penn Bowl that I'd like to share.

First off, I'd like to thank the Penn club for hosting this tournament. Hosting an in-person tournament right now can be very tricky with the number of restrictions that universities have put in place, so I commend the Penn team for not just taking the easy route and hosting online. Even though this tournament did run very late I personally did not mind this, especially since the moderation staff at this tournament was very competent and did their best to move the tournament along. It was also very cool to see a bunch of fresh faces staffing this tournament.

My teammates and I would also like the commend the editors and writers of this set immensely. Vishwa and Caleb agreed that this was probably the best Penn Bowl they've ever played or read. As thus I would heavily encourage anyone that still has the chance to play this set.

I do have two main complaints about this tournament though.

Firstly, the seeding for the preliminary rounds was highly bewildering. I'll have to speculate at least a little bit here because I don't know the exact specifics of how this tournament was seeded, but nonetheless. It appears that Virginia and we were seeded 2 and 3 overall for this tournament, which seems pretty baffling. To not seed the team with by far the best active college quiz bowl player #1 overall seems ridiculous, especially since teams like Columbia A and Cornell A seemed to be missing some of their top players. These seeding issues led to very lopsided prelim brackets, which can easily be seen in the stats. My goal here is not to shame anyone; rather, I think this is a good opportunity to highlight that seeding is very important! Simply having another set of eyes or two to look at your seeds in order to catch glaring errors can go a long way.

My second complaint is in regards to how a prelim tiebreaker was broken at this tournament. After prelims, both Maryland B and Rutgers B finished 3-3 to tie for fourth in the Pearl bracket. Maryland B had significantly more points per game, 6 more powers, more 10s, and nearly a third fewer negs. Rutgers B had a PPB that was 0.05 better. And for some reason, that tie was then broken by PPB. I'm mad at this for two main reasons: 1) PPB was not announced as the tiebreaker before this tournament happened and 2) Using PPB over PPG for a tiebreaker when teams have the same opponents is not standard practice in college quiz bowl. Regardless of the intent behind this decision, it was highway robbery. More than anything I think this situation highlights just how flawed PPB tiebreakers are and that they should not be used in most cases.

Re:seeding, Virginia was the first seed, but we seeded 1 & 3 in one bracket and 2 & 4 in the other (as opposed to 1-4 and 2-3). This may not be the right system for seeding, but it was what we decided to go with.

The choice to tiebreak by PPB was, admittedly, the wrong choice. I was under the impression that PPB tiebreaks were the norm across the board, and opted to go with it in the moment. I apologize for that, and I'll know that going forward.
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by The Sawing-Off of Manhattan Island »

jsugrue wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 6:04 pm Re:seeding, Virginia was the first seed, but we seeded 1 & 3 in one bracket and 2 & 4 in the other (as opposed to 1-4 and 2-3). This may not be the right system for seeding, but it was what we decided to go with.

The choice to tiebreak by PPB was, admittedly, the wrong choice. I was under the impression that PPB tiebreaks were the norm across the board, and opted to go with it in the moment. I apologize for that, and I'll know that going forward.
It's usually standard practice to snake seed to make sure brackets are balanced (so 1-4 2-3 in this case) since otherwise one bracket will end up objectively stronger than the other. Going to re-up what Connor said though - we really enjoyed this tournament and for me, it was a blast to play one last Penn Bowl!
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

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Sardorbek Eminov wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:53 pmMy second complaint is in regards to how a prelim tiebreaker was broken at this tournament. After prelims, both Maryland B and Rutgers B finished 3-3 to tie for fourth in the Pearl bracket. Maryland B had significantly more points per game, 6 more powers, more 10s, and nearly a third fewer negs. Rutgers B had a PPB that was 0.05 better. And for some reason, that tie was then broken by PPB. I'm mad at this for two main reasons: 1) PPB was not announced as the tiebreaker before this tournament happened and 2) Using PPB over PPG for a tiebreaker when teams have the same opponents is not standard practice in college quiz bowl. Regardless of the intent behind this decision, it was highway robbery. More than anything I think this situation highlights just how flawed PPB tiebreakers are and that they should not be used in most cases.
did maryland b try scoring 2.84 more bonus points? :)
jsugrue wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 6:04 pmRe:seeding, Virginia was the first seed, but we seeded 1 & 3 in one bracket and 2 & 4 in the other (as opposed to 1-4 and 2-3). This may not be the right system for seeding, but it was what we decided to go with.
While snake seeding is normally the preferred choice, it doesn't matter much for the top 4 because you went from a bracketed round-robin to a crossover. The seeding simply changed who played in the prelims vs playoffs. Where it has a big effect is at the bracket cut-offs – instead of 8 v 9 and 7 v 10, you have 7 v 9 and 8 v 10. (This effect increases based on the number of brackets you have – for 3 brackets of 6 that split 3/3, the matches are 7 v 12, 8 v 11, and 9 v 10 for snake seeded and 7 v 10, 8 v 11, and 9 v 12 under your scenario. This makes it much harder for seeds #7 and #10 to make top bracket and much easier for seeds #9 and #12.) Given that seeding is more of an art than a science, the adverse impacts of this are small for two brackets, but it's still important to maintaining a competitive balance for teams trying to make the top bracket.
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Re: Announcement: Penn Bowl 2021

Post by Mike Bentley »

For tournaments below maybe 30 teams, I like to send out seeds ahead of time and let teams know I'm open to arguments for why they should be changed. (But it's important to also make it clear that you're not bound to make any changes to the seeding.) Teams often have the most information and most passion. I don't need to respect all requests, but there have definitely been times when I've made changes for the better after hearing team feedback.
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