2011 HSNCT discussion

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Sniper, No Sniping!
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Mon May 30, 2011 4:12 pm

sir negsalot wrote:A lot of the geography was very hard, like a tossup on The Gambia
The Gambia isn't the hardest thing thats ever come up in the Geography canon, considering its the smallest country in Africa.

edit: Mainland Africa, that is...
Last edited by Sniper, No Sniping! on Mon May 30, 2011 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Unicolored Jay » Mon May 30, 2011 4:37 pm

CavsFan2k10 wrote:
sir negsalot wrote:A lot of the geography was very hard, like a tossup on The Gambia
The Gambia isn't the hardest thing thats ever come up in the Geography canon, considering its the smallest country in Africa.
I'm pretty sure it isn't the smallest African country out there (island countries beat it, an there are likely a few others), but agree with you that it isn't too hard.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon May 30, 2011 4:42 pm

I guess it's just not an hsnct thread until Stephen Fontenot engages in his weird third-party sore loserism and accuses the winning team of benefitting from a blown timing call based on no evidence. I for one find this incredibly disrespectful towards both the achievement of the winning team and the sportsmanlike grace shown by the runner-up, both now and in 2009.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by etchdulac » Mon May 30, 2011 5:29 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:I guess it's just not an hsnct thread until Stephen Fontenot engages in his weird third-party sore loserism and accuses the winning team of benefitting from a blown timing call based on no evidence. I for one find this incredibly disrespectful towards both the achievement of the winning team and the sportsmanlike grace shown by the runner-up, both now and in 2009.
Do you contest the assertion? Your reply seems to entirely ignore my post's actual subject.

The evidence is online for all to make their own judgment; thus, there is not "no" evidence. It is part of the discussion of this event, both now and in 2009, to consider the things which affect the outcome. My post in 2009, should you choose to dig it up, met with a sequence of agreements, including from Henry Gorman. I see no reason such incidents should be swept under the rug, though you are entitled to your own opinions on how to nurture a positive image of an event.

Am I "being told how to post" here? Do please let me know.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon May 30, 2011 5:39 pm

Overall, the set for this tournament was pretty decent, sufficient for crowning a legitimate high school national champion, and playable throughout. With that said, it had some issues which seem eminently fixable in future years:
-- I'm in agreement with earlier posters that the bonuses had some wild consistency issues. A large part of this set's bonuses seemed to have three middle parts; still other hard parts seemed to be really, really out there. Though perfect bonus consistency isn’t possible in a set this big, it’d be good for future first-eyes set editors to ensure that every bonus has a clearly-justifiable easier and harder part.

--The tournament as a whole seemed to contain lots of "just plain obscure" material rather than important-but-difficult material. Extreme examples include asking for the songwriter of “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav” and this tournament’s tossup on the xylophone, which opened with a clue about Havergal Brian. How many quizbowlers have reliably heard of Havergal Brian ever, let alone in high school? (Or Hovahness below collegiate-Nationals level, for that matter?) Especially when space for clues in each question is so limited, it's important that hard clues be justifiably knowable by players who've studied the material, and not just random.

--I also feel as though far too many questions were mixed or relied upon cross-category clues to fill themselves out. I don’t have too much problem with mixed pure academic questions in some controlled number, as long as they’re properly pyramidal/easy-middle-hard, but this set seemed to run wild with them in a way that I didn’t like, particularly when I had to fill that part of the set’s distribution. As I’ve said earlier, I urge NAQT to eliminate Mixed_Impure_Academic altogether as a possible question category; having trash clues in an academic tossup, a trash part in an academic bonus, or vice versa is a sure way to piss off teams in close matches and is a rather silly way to increase conversion.

--With a 9-minute clock, the move down to 24/24 from 26/26 was definitely a good decision. 24/24 makes the load easier for writers and more readily divisible into coherent per-packet distribution; a distribution out of 24/24 makes it more likely that even the unfortunate 18-tossup games get through a better share of subjects in the intended packet.

--I'd urge NAQT to consider the following for future HSNCTs: keeping the packets at 24/24, expand the time to 10-minute halves and increase the character limit in tossups to 500 (the same as DI SCT since 2009). Given the many discrete levels of knowledge that high schoolers have now, the luxury of one extra clue in the middle of each tossup would allow for better distinction between teams at basically every level, particularly early-on in the playoffs, where a stray difficulty cliff or buzzer race can scuttle a year’s worth of effort put in by a team. (Especially if the beginnings of tossups stay as difficult as they were at this tournament, that leadin-difficulty alone is enough to justify to me the need for another middle clue in each question.) The extra time spent in-game could be offset by shrinking the field back to a more manageable size so that teams only have four or five byes again.

--About that (edit to better express/add on to that thought): This field was ludicrously huge; at 224 teams, I think NAQT has hit the absolute maximum of what any space can realistically handle without incurring major difficulties for teams attempting to get from one room to another, and has to think about actually shrinking the field for the first time. This tournament was solidly-handled despite three of five elevators being broken at one point (mad, mad props to Joel Gluskin and co. for handling all that), but beyond the solely logistical level, I think the explosion of unprepared teams playing HSNCT isn't necessarily a great thing for those teams whose year-end trip consists of getting beaten a lot or for the playoff-contender teams paying to play as many meaningful games as possible. In order to keep logistics controllable, keep the playoff format as good as it can be, and ensure that there's a field that benefits from competition on this set, I'd also encourage NAQT to question whether bigger is always better with regards to field size. In addition to ratcheting back the field size some, it may be worth revising the qualification procedures so that teams in the top 15% of an A-set tournament no longer qualify (thereby encouraging more circuits to run the IS-set tournaments for proper qualification), and adding a little more discretion to the selection of wild card bids. Out of curiosity, how many teams in the HSNCT field qualified from performance on an A-set alone, and how many wild-card bids did NAQT reject for the 2011 HSNCT?

--I’d also like to see the reduction of Pop Culture, Current Events, Mixed, and probably Geography from their current levels (when added together, 6.3/6.9 of each packet) to about 1/1 each (4/4 of each packet), with a corresponding uptick in underrepresented, convertible subjects such as Social Science, Arts, Mythology, European lit, world lit, and Religion, accompanied by some other tweaks in the distribution. The HSNCT distribution needn’t be tied to the same convertibility concerns that an IS-set has, and I feel as though this reduction would improve the quality of competition between teams on the academic knowledge that they spend the most time preparing for.

--For the sake of full disclosure, I should note that I did contribute to the set. Here's what I wrote:
Round 1: Muller, Gates of Hell
Round 4: Rousseau
Round 6: Michelangelo
Round 11: suras
Round 13: Praxiteles
Round 15: Ulysses (misc tossup), histones/acetyl/ubiquitin
Round 16: Books of the Dead / Ma’at / ka, speciation/adaptive radiation/allometric
Round 17: Hardy-Weinberg / genetic drift / Lotka-Volterra
Round 18: Adler
Round 19: Mahabharata / Pandavas / Sanjaya
Round 20: angiosperms
Round 24: Porifera, Darius I, Avesta, the sun (misc)
Round 26: dogs in psych, Resurrection
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Mon May 30, 2011 6:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Mon May 30, 2011 5:43 pm

Fred's Ed Wood bonus shows how to correctly do "old" trash in a high school tournament - relegate the old content to a single part, while connecting it to modern pop culture in the other two. If you're going to do trash questions on old things for high schoolers - and really, this tournament had entirely too much of that, as noted here - you have to make it a hard part and then move on to things that people have more probability of caring about. That Andy Griffith bonus was, I'm betting, a bonus written intended for college level play that found itself in the set near the last minute for lack of questions.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by samer » Mon May 30, 2011 5:45 pm

Scobowls and Speedos wrote:Agreed. I didn't have a problem with any of the geography questions, and the difficulty was probably at a good level for a national tournament. The only thing I found interesting is that Eritrea and Ethiopia were both tossed up and they are bordering countries (in fact, Eritrea was once part of Ethiopia)
As a minor point, I don't think that having a question on Eritrea or Ethiopia should preclude the other from being in the same set, though I can easily agree that they shouldn't be in the same packet. [My rule of thumb is that if a topic isn't important enough to come up about once every two rounds, it probably shouldn't come up twice in one packet (e.g., two questions on British poetry would be OK, but two questions on John Donne would not).]
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Mon May 30, 2011 6:21 pm

jonah wrote:
Andrew's a Freshman wrote:
Ar$oni$t$ Get All the Girl$ wrote:Even so, the bonus cycle far too difficult. If I remember correctly, the bonus parts tested a very high level of math knowledge (Calculus 3 up?) which is inaccessible to most students. I just don't think it's reasonable for players (even those who only do science) to know things about vector and scalar spaces in high school.
That bonus set doesn't seem indicative of the math computation as a whole, though I don't think I played the round it was in. While computation was a drag, it seemed appropriate for the most part.
That bonus was not computational. (On that note, I should clarify that when I say I edited math, I am referring only to noncomputational math.) I agree that it was slightly too difficult; more fundamentally problematic is that it didn't really have an easy, a medium, and a hard part—I suspect it was 30 or 0 in almost every case. That bonus was also from before I took over as math editor; I made a note to work on it, but unfortunately never got to it.
One person isn't indicative of a trend, but I 10'd it, getting the part on path integrals from Physics C, annoyingly missing curl, and not ever having heard of the other part. I thought the theoretical math was challenging, but national tournaments are supposed to be hard.

One question on theoretical math: what was the acceptability of "toroid" for the torus tossup? I answered that around the rotating around an axis clue and got negged and ended up losing the game by like 10 points more than the value of the protest, so it didn't get adjudicated, I was just curious.
1) I don't know about the existence of CMBs in general, but they seemed to be very probability "roll the dice" heavy from what I read on Saturday.
Yeah, for me I felt like "I haven't taken statistics and don't know how to do that crazy nCr and nPr stuff, so I should just guess some big numbers" on probably the majority of math comp bonuses I got.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by pray for elves » Mon May 30, 2011 6:25 pm

Joe N wrote:One question on theoretical math: what was the acceptability of "toroid" for the torus tossup?
Jonah can probably answer this one better because he has the question text, but "toroid" definitely should not have been acceptable as it includes annular shapes made by rotating things other than circles around an axis. It might have been promptable early in the question depending on what the early clues were, but then you're at best protesting that you should have been prompted, which is generally a recipe for failure.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Great Bustard » Mon May 30, 2011 6:45 pm

Aha! So you are responsible for the Gaudi bonus.

No offense, but why was that bonus so simple? It's right on the You Gotta Know list which my school generally expects new people trying out for the quiz bowl team to know. Other posters seem to share the sentiment that it stuck out as a finals-match bonus.
If knowing Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi, and a bunch of obscure buildings in Barcelona not to mention the entirety of the YGK lists is a prerequisite for joining your school's quiz bowl team, then I think you have taken the arms race that is high school quiz bowl difficulty into the realm of mutually assured destruction.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 30, 2011 7:20 pm

Ar$oni$t$ Get All the Girl$ wrote: a lot of the bonuses seemed really hard. The one that stuck in my mind was the one on scalar fields where I think the easy clue was path integral. This isn't really something normal high school students come close to covering in their classes so that one was perplexing. Also, I think I answered contour integral for that but it was counted wrong. Do you have the text of that bonus?
round 17 wrote:For 10 points each--give the following about conservative vector fields:

A. The value for this type of integral of the field around any oriented simple closed curve must be zero.

answer: _line_ integral or _path_ integral

B. The field must be expressible as the gradient of one of these scalar quantities.

answer: (scalar) _potential_ function

C. If the field's domain is simply connected, this operation applied to the field -- written as "del cross" -- must be zero.

answer: _curl_
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 30, 2011 7:24 pm

Hilarius Bookbinder wrote:The quality of the packets slid notably near the end of the playoffs. The bonus difficulty in the finals struck me as quite uneven, which is unfortunate. I heard a rumor that the finals packets were the last assembled; I didn't think NAQT's computer system worked this way, but if this is true, why is this the case? The finals should, if anything, be done first if possible.
I'm disappointed to hear this. As Jonah noted, this rumor is untrue, but I think I can explain how it got started. NAQT's computer system assembles all the packets at once, but the Saturday and Sunday rounds had different printing deadlines. Thus, on Thursday afternoon while rounds 1-16, 27 were being printed, rounds 17-26 were still being reviewed by the editors. Effectively this should have meant that we had extra time to ensure the quality of the playoff packets; my apologies that this turned out not to be the case.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 30, 2011 7:28 pm

PennySalem wrote:I found it a bit odd that there was a question on Syracuse and a question on Sicily in the same packet (I think it was Round 5). It seems like that would have favored those who are knowledgeable in Mediterranean history a lot.
These should certainly not have been in the same packet. My apologies.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill » Mon May 30, 2011 7:39 pm

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:
Aha! So you are responsible for the Gaudi bonus.

No offense, but why was that bonus so simple? It's right on the You Gotta Know list which my school generally expects new people trying out for the quiz bowl team to know. Other posters seem to share the sentiment that it stuck out as a finals-match bonus.
If knowing Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi, and a bunch of obscure buildings in Barcelona not to mention the entirety of the YGK lists is a prerequisite for joining your school's quiz bowl team, then I think you have taken the arms race that is high school quiz bowl difficulty into the realm of mutually assured destruction.
I think UNESCO World Heritage Sites would be a typical list to at least have one person glance through. As part of a finals packet it was essentially a free 30. This of course leads into a debate as to whether or not there should be explicitly-arranged finals packets.
Last edited by Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill on Mon May 30, 2011 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 30, 2011 7:43 pm

RyuAqua wrote:In addition to ratcheting back the field size some, it may be worth revising the qualification procedures so that teams in the top 15% of an A-set tournament no longer qualify (thereby encouraging more circuits to run the IS-set tournaments for proper qualification), and adding a little more discretion to the selection of wild card bids. Out of curiosity, how many teams in the HSNCT field qualified from performance on an A-set alone, and how many wild-card bids did NAQT reject for the 2011 HSNCT?
There were at least six rejected wildcard bids that I am aware of.

I don't have statistics to hand re: how many of the attending teams had only qualified on A-sets.

I think we've had this discussion about A-set qualifiers before, but here's the brief summary of why we let teams qualify on these introductory questions:

1. Assume for the moment that there is some field containing many inexperienced teams for which an A-set is appropriate. (You may choose to disagree with this, but if you do then your policy recommendation to NAQT should be "abolish A-sets" rather than "change the HSNCT qualification procedure.")

2. Assume the best team in this field wants to attend HSNCT. (It's easy to find examples of regions where a team that projects to go, say, 5-5 at HSNCT is the best team in an area with many weaker teams.)

3. Then, under the proposed "no A-sets qualify" policy:

The team that wants to go to HSNCT has to choose between its nationals bid (IS only) and running a larger tournament that will attract more teams (on the introductory set). Might be Catch-22 if they need to attract 20 teams to a fundraiser, etc. Furthermore, the team trying to qualify might not even get to make that decision: they might not be the ones hosting the tournament.

In short, we think adopting a "no introductory sets provide HSNCT bids" policy would hurt the growth of the circuit out of all proportion to the marginal benefit gained by switching a few tournaments from the introductory set to the regular set. (Which we can absolutely encourage anyway without changing our qualification policies.)
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Mon May 30, 2011 7:47 pm

I remember last year someone suggested that NAQT just make it so fewer teams (say 10%) qualify from an A set than from an IS set. That way regions with newer circuits that didn't have very many experienced teams could play more appropriate sets for them, while the top one or two teams from that region could still qualify.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 30, 2011 7:49 pm

rpond wrote:
nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:
Aha! So you are responsible for the Gaudi bonus.

No offense, but why was that bonus so simple? It's right on the You Gotta Know list which my school generally expects new people trying out for the quiz bowl team to know. Other posters seem to share the sentiment that it stuck out as a finals-match bonus.
If knowing Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi, and a bunch of obscure buildings in Barcelona not to mention the entirety of the YGK lists is a prerequisite for joining your school's quiz bowl team, then I think you have taken the arms race that is high school quiz bowl difficulty into the realm of mutually assured destruction.
I think UNESCO World Heritage Sites would be a typical list to at least have one person glance through. As part of a finals packet it was essentially a free 30. This of course leads into a debate as to whether or not there should be explicitly-arranged finals packets.
Here's the first part of the bonus in question:
round 26 wrote:The Palau Guell mansion is found in this European city, which also contains a monument commemorating Columbus' return from the New World. For 10 points each--

A. Name this city also home to the undulating Casa Mila housing complex.

answer: _Barcelona_
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by etchdulac » Mon May 30, 2011 7:55 pm

Lest I focus on the rare negatives:

*Among the many things NAQT should be commended for is its ability to run on time despite the far-from-ideal elevator situation. At 9 in the morning I felt fairly certain that we would wind up significantly behind, but I underestimated the effect of the six byes in helping people to get around with time to spare.

*Joel, Nathan, Tim, Matt and anyone else involved in logistics and resource management clearly has this routine down. Friday night we had buzzer issues in our scrimmage room, and those were addressed easily. Joel handled the playoff card situation really well, and kept information on playoff brackets quickly and readily available upstairs. Matt, Nathan and Tim coordinated well on redirecting finished readers Sunday to further tasks.

*Though the questions weren't immaculately line-edited, the very few typos I ran into on the fly were easy to decipher. Alternate answer lines were helpful and seemed to be present whenever necessary. Pronunciation guides were rarely intrusive and were present in most places where they could conceivably be needed.

*As I noted elsewhere, Harry White, Mr. Reinstein and whoever else may have been involved in creating the google doc spreadsheet took a great idea and executed it very well. Their expertise made updating the bracket on Sunday an easy task for me, befitting the Lancelot Link villain in my avatar. Great work.

*Though I obviously didn't see a lot of other people moderate, the volunteer group as a collective seemed well-prepared and on the same page Friday night and Saturday morning, perhaps moreso than in the prior four HSNCTs I've worked.

*The protest committee, even with its members moderating across several rooms Sunday, functioned efficiently when gathered, and having overheard just a few disputes, it seems to me they were thorough in ensuring they reached the proper call.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon May 30, 2011 8:13 pm

The evidence is online for all to make their own judgment; thus, there is not "no" evidence. It is part of the discussion of this event, both now and in 2009, to consider the things which affect the outcome. My post in 2009, should you choose to dig it up, met with a sequence of agreements, including from Henry Gorman. I see no reason such incidents should be swept under the rug, though you are entitled to your own opinions on how to nurture a positive image of an event.
You do realize the rule is "An answer to a tossup must begin within 2 seconds after the player has been recognized," don't you? It's not 2 seconds after a player buzzes in, it's 2 seconds after Hentzel makes eye contact or something similar with the player who buzzed in (definition of recognition according to NAQT is "When a player has signaled, a game official will acknowledge ("recognize") the player by name, by number, by pointing toward the player, or merely by looking at the player"). So yeah, you sitting out in the audience judging an answer that comes barely over 2 seconds after the buzzer goes off is a completely unqualified position to judge timing, because the true ability to judge timing entails being able to watch Hentzel recognize the player. Given the amount of time it takes when you watch the video, there is no sane way anybody can think there wasn't enough time as per the rules for State College to get that tossup right, same as when Gorman won that game in 2009. You are in fact ignorantly denying these teams the legitimacy of their title by judging their games on rules which aren't actually in effect.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon May 30, 2011 8:30 pm

etchdulac wrote:Do you contest the assertion? Your reply seems to entirely ignore my post's actual subject.
I just timed the thing in question. From buzz to the answer given on tossup 21 is approximately 3.53 seconds per my stopwatch. This is not recognition to answer, this is buzz to answer. Recognition to answer is absolutely less than 3.5 seconds. I have no idea when there was recognition in there, since the camera was not on Hentzel.

Per NAQT's rule G.4:
An answer to a tossup must begin within 2 seconds after the player has been recognized. An answer begun after the moderator has said "Time" will be treated as no answer. Ties between the player and the moderator are decided in favor of the player.
If you're willing to try and say that the results of this match were illegitimate on the basis of this single moment in time, which reduces to a team possibly being given as much as 1.5 seconds extra but most likely as little as a couple of tenths of a second if anything, then you have to be absolutely certain. I see no way you can be certain, making this whole derail of the discussion of a quality national championship in a quality academic competition asinine.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by etchdulac » Mon May 30, 2011 8:36 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:You do realize the rule is "An answer to a tossup must begin within 2 seconds after the player has been recognized," don't you? It's not 2 seconds after a player buzzes in, it's 2 seconds after Hentzel makes eye contact or something similar with the player who buzzed in (definition of recognition according to NAQT is "When a player has signaled, a game official will acknowledge ("recognize") the player by name, by number, by pointing toward the player, or merely by looking at the player").
You are right; this is a distinction I was not considering. Since recognition is such a vague concept for NAQT's rules and all timing is down to moderators' discretion, the Schrödinger question issue is by no means a hose, and is more a good/bad fortune issue relative to the other timing rulings made in the same match(es) with regard to how quickly State College's player was recognized, and thus had to answer.
Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:You are in fact ignorantly denying these teams the legitimacy of their title by judging their games on rules which aren't actually in effect.
State College's title is absolutely legitimate, and I apologize if my earlier post suggested anything otherwise. The bonus difficulty variability and the subjective timing rulings are things we live with in quizbowl, and when finalists are so evenly matched, as they have been for at least three years now, the results of these games can come down to minute things. That is not to suggest however that anyone was wronged.

Again, if my original post saying "the final was greatly influenced by bonus variability and luck of the bonus draw" and that "in a tight final, these minor things simply become magnified" was interpreted to degrade the quality of the champion, I apologize. Those things are not "wrong" or "evil"; they are quizbowl. I think either potential final victor would've been valid; I think a title for a State College program that has been so close so many times only to be denied all but once prior... it's a good thing.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by jonpin » Mon May 30, 2011 8:42 pm

etchdulac wrote:You are right; this is a distinction I was not considering. Since recognition is such a vague concept for NAQT's rules and all timing is down to moderators' discretion, the Schrödinger question issue is by no means a hose, and is more a good/bad fortune issue relative to the other timing rulings made in the same match(es) with regard to how quickly State College's player was recognized, and thus had to answer.
That's not a hose. A hose is a question that tricks a person into giving an answer other than the answer line. There isn't a word for whatever this was (or rather would have been if it was anything, which it wasn't).
State College's title is absolutely legitimate, and I apologize if my earlier post suggested anything otherwise. The bonus difficulty variability and the subjective timing rulings are things we live with in quizbowl, and when finalists are so evenly matched, as they have been for at least three years now, the results of these games can come down to minute things. That is not to suggest however that anyone was wronged.
For the record, had this been a neg, unless LASA picked it up plus 30 on the bonus, SC still would have won.
I think a title for a State College program that has been so close so many times only to be denied all but once prior...
at HSNCT. They were the winners of the first four NSC's.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Mon May 30, 2011 8:45 pm

Can I take this time to advocate for NAQT extending the 2 second rule to 5 seconds before being timed out after buzzing in? I think it only leads to annoying discussions like this as the human error of += 0.5 seconds or whatever is much more pronounced when giving 2 seconds to answer compared to 5 seconds.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon May 30, 2011 8:47 pm

Hilarius Bookbinder wrote:For example, Queens of the Stone Age and Audioslave questions from things done ten years ago aren't really easy enough, though they might have been in 2003 when they were probably written, and questions on Twin Peaks and the Andy Griffith Show are targeting a time well before the players were born. (Also, Harold Miner? Really?)[/list]
I can't find the Queens of the Stone Age text; it wasn't under PC:M: at least, or as far as I can tell (I just read every question that I can think of that would be tagged PC:M:).

I have to say that I disagree with the idea that a band that last had a hit in 2006 is irrelevant to the audience, particularly in the case of the Audioslave bonus.

I also disagree with the idea that anything before the players' lifetime is, by rule, "irrelevant." The Andy Griffith Show has been on television for perpetuity; the Rolling Stones' songs have been part of American pop culture forever, and that includes now. There are subjects from old trash that are viable to be the basis of questions

I was asked to tone down the basketball bonus down, which I did some. In hindsight, I didn't do it enough by leaving Miner in as a hard part. I'm sure you could probably argue that Miner is notable as a two-time winner in some "well, if they really care about basketball, they'd know him!" way, but I'd disagree with it given more time to think about it.

Edit: Evan tells me he thinks I characterized his argument incorrectly, and that he meant "that things that were irrelevant from before a player's lifetime were asked about." I disagree with this in the sense that the Andy Griffith show isn't, to me, "irrelevant from before a player's lifetime."
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by etchdulac » Mon May 30, 2011 8:48 pm

Fred wrote:I see no way you can be certain, making this whole derail of the discussion of a quality national championship in a quality academic competition asinine.
The 3.5 seconds is comparable to the Gorman-Dorman incident; that was my initial assertion. I apologize for wording things in a way that could be interpreted as suggesting the result was invalid; this "derail" that I've created was not my intention, but is my fault.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by jonpin » Mon May 30, 2011 8:49 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Can I take this time to advocate for NAQT extending the 2 second rule to 5 seconds before being timed out after buzzing in? I think it only leads to annoying discussions like this as the human error of += 0.5 seconds or whatever is much more pronounced when giving 2 seconds to answer compared to 5 seconds.
As long as there is a clock, 5 seconds is too long in my opinion, but I do think it should be stretched to 3. Three seconds is plenty of time to give an answer without stalling.

In fact, even should the clock suffer a not-necessarily-untimely death, 3 seconds is still plenty of time to give an answer without stalling.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon May 30, 2011 8:51 pm

State College's title is absolutely legitimate, and I apologize if my earlier post suggested anything otherwise. The bonus difficulty variability and the subjective timing rulings are things we live with in quizbowl, and when finalists are so evenly matched, as they have been for at least three years now, the results of these games can come down to minute things. That is not to suggest however that anyone was wronged.
You may not think what you are doing is questioning the legitimacy of a title by throwing out a casual post questioning a key timing decision that affected the outcome of the match, but that's basically the logical implication of that post, and it's worse because it's not actually grounded in facts about the rules. I will risk telling people how to post I guess, but in a discussion about something as important as a national championship for high schoolers, if you are going to question something that directly determined the outcome of the tournament, you need to really think through what the implications of that are and then need to make sure you are 100% right before you say anything, or else there can be a lot of problems and persistent rumors that will spawn and break down people's perceptions of a great achievement.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Connie Prater » Mon May 30, 2011 8:51 pm

I don't want to sound biased (I'm from the Atlanta area, but I had to fly down from Chicago), but I really liked Atlanta as a tournament site. The elevator situation and the really loud parade weren't ideal, but other than that, I think everyone appreciated the food court and in general the plethora of reasonably priced restaurants within walking distance (with a couple of friends I walked down just a few blocks to Mellow Mushroom), whereas it was pretty difficult to find a meal that costs less than $10-$15 within a 10 minute walk from the Hyatt Regency O'Hare.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon May 30, 2011 8:57 pm

styxman wrote:Fred's Ed Wood bonus shows how to correctly do "old" trash in a high school tournament - relegate the old content to a single part, while connecting it to modern pop culture in the other two. If you're going to do trash questions on old things for high schoolers - and really, this tournament had entirely too much of that, as noted here - you have to make it a hard part and then move on to things that people have more probability of caring about. That Andy Griffith bonus was, I'm betting, a bonus written intended for college level play that found itself in the set near the last minute for lack of questions.
You are categorically declaring something that is absolutely not true. Saying there is only one worthwhile way to make a bonus for high schoolers about older pop culture, by relegating it to the hard parts of bonuses, is missing the point as badly as writing a whole bonus for high schoolers dedicated to The Jeffersons. There are things that are enduring which high schoolers still will know that came out 50 years ago that you can safely write a whole bonus on because high schoolers actually do know them. There are lots of high schoolers who still listen to music from then, and lots of high schoolers who have seen TV shows from then, etc. There is no reason you can't write a whole bonus at a national championship about someone like Marvin Gaye, and there is no reason you should always relegate that material to a niche portion of a few bonuses.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by jonah » Mon May 30, 2011 9:00 pm

Joe N wrote:One question on theoretical math: what was the acceptability of "toroid" for the torus tossup? I answered that around the rotating around an axis clue and got negged and ended up losing the game by like 10 points more than the value of the protest, so it didn't get adjudicated, I was just curious.
As Evan said, "toroid" should not be acceptable. I'm not sure whether it should be prompted—on one level, a torus is a specific type of toroid; on another, it feels like prompting on, say, "quadrilateral" for "rhombus", which we generally do not do. (Also, while it is certainly frustrating, I don't think "I should've been prompted" is a possible protest; correct me if I'm wrong.)
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by etchdulac » Mon May 30, 2011 9:01 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:You may not think what you are doing is questioning the legitimacy of a title by throwing out a casual post questioning a key timing decision that affected the outcome of the match, but that's basically the logical implication of that post, and it's worse because it's not actually grounded in facts about the rules. I will risk telling people how to post I guess, but in a discussion about something as important as a national championship for high schoolers, if you are going to question something that directly determined the outcome of the tournament, you need to really think through what the implications of that are and then need to make sure you are 100% right before you say anything, or else there can be a lot of problems and persistent rumors that will spawn and break down people's perceptions of a great achievement.
I agree and apologize, and have no issue with being told this in this forum. Though my original assertion that the two incidents are similar stands, I think everything said in the excerpt above is valid. I would remove or revise portions of that post so that they are not viewed in retrospect, but I know I'm not supposed to do that. I will instead amend the original post; mods PM me if what is done is unsatisfactory.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by pray for elves » Mon May 30, 2011 9:02 pm

Fred wrote:stuff
I should clarify what I mean. I don't object to things from before a player's lifetime, and I don't think I said that anything from before a player's birth is irrelevant. I think that there were irrelevant or not-so-relevant things asked about from before the players' lifetimes, and those subjects should be limited to only things that are of the utmost importance if they are tossups or the theme of a whole bonus, or one bonus part otherwise. The Rolling Stones are fine and Marvin Gaye is probably fine. It may be that the Andy Griffith Show was a very highly converted bonus, and I'm wrong about that too. As far as Velvet Revolver and QotSA, I had teams in my room zero both of those bonuses. Admittedly, one data point is not a sample for extrapolation, but I would be curious to see the conversion levels on those bonuses (if those data are kept this year).

The trash was, on an individual question level, solid to good. The problems with it were in a few answer choices, in my opinion, and in the computerized distribution and issues with that.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Connie Prater » Mon May 30, 2011 9:11 pm

Something that was touched on by a lot of the people in this thread: variable bonus difficulty. I definitely agree. One example I found kind of funny was "Emma Zunz" in the Borges bonus. I've noticed this coming up several times as lead-ins in kind of hard college events. I don't know why it's such a trendy clue for him now, and that's kind of beside the point, but I think it's a bit too hard for a hard part at HSNCT. Too-hard hard parts happened quite a bit in this tournament, and it contrasted quite a lot with some of the easier bonuses in the tournament.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Lion81 » Mon May 30, 2011 9:52 pm

jonpin wrote:
Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Can I take this time to advocate for NAQT extending the 2 second rule to 5 seconds before being timed out after buzzing in? I think it only leads to annoying discussions like this as the human error of += 0.5 seconds or whatever is much more pronounced when giving 2 seconds to answer compared to 5 seconds.
As long as there is a clock, 5 seconds is too long in my opinion, but I do think it should be stretched to 3. Three seconds is plenty of time to give an answer without stalling.

In fact, even should the clock suffer a not-necessarily-untimely death, 3 seconds is still plenty of time to give an answer without stalling.
If we change the rule to 5 seconds, then you have as much time to answer a tossup as you do a bonus. That's way too much time. You're supposed to know the answer when you buzz. 2 seconds is perfect and I dont think most people want this changed. If more time is given, you have to assume people will take advantage of it, so what happens if you have 3 seconds and you answer in 3.2 seconds? I think the best solution is just to ask moderators to be more mindful of the rule and enforce it more strictly. Even in professional sports, judgement calls are made. No matter what we do, human error is going to play some factor and I think the role that it plays in quiz bowl is already relatively small compared to other competitions.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Guile Island » Mon May 30, 2011 9:56 pm

Mega Man tossup and QOTSA Bonuses? I picked the wrong rounds to have byes<_<.

EDIT: Or at least one of them is in a playoff round I didn't hear.
Last edited by Guile Island on Mon May 30, 2011 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Cassian » Mon May 30, 2011 9:56 pm

First of all, I want to congratulate State College on their HSNCT championship. Julie, Graham, Monica, Christoph and David are truly a class act, and LASA was proud to share the stage with them in the finals at this tournament. Their victory was well-deserved and hard-won, and I applaud their effort.

As to the tournament itself, I thought it was well-run (thanks to Joel, et. al. for that) and, despite the construction at the hotel, that the venue was far superior to the Hyatt O'Hare. The questions were of appropriate difficulty and seemed to distinguish the top teams in a manner befitting the quiz bowl national championship. There were a couple of surprises in the top 15 or so teams, but I don't think anyone was surprised to see State College, LASA, Bellarmine and Stevenson at the top of this tournament. Also, I know lots of people back in Austin appreciated all the live coverage - the video, the blogs, etc. - and I hope to see that coverage expanded in future iterations of the tournament.

Thanks to everyone at NAQT for a great experience, and I'm sure LASA will be back next year. With Kealing having won MSNCT and lots of underclassmen on the lower LASA teams, I'm pretty sure quiz bowl is here to stay in the ATX.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by nadph » Mon May 30, 2011 10:07 pm

Could someone post the question on "the hearth" that came up during the playoffs (I forget which round)? We were playing Dorman when it happened and I think both teams buzzer-raced on the Charles Reade clue.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Mon May 30, 2011 10:08 pm

King of Carrot Flowers wrote:Mega Man tossup and QOTSA Bonuses? I picked the wrong rounds to have byes<_<.
I wish we got to play the round with NFL Clergyman. I heard that was an awesome Bonus.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon May 30, 2011 10:11 pm

Lion81 wrote:If we change the rule to 5 seconds, then you have as much time to answer a tossup as you do a bonus. That's way too much time. You're supposed to know the answer when you buzz. 2 seconds is perfect and I dont think most people want this changed. If more time is given, you have to assume people will take advantage of it, so what happens if you have 3 seconds and you answer in 3.2 seconds? I think the best solution is just to ask moderators to be more mindful of the rule and enforce it more strictly. Even in professional sports, judgement calls are made. No matter what we do, human error is going to play some factor and I think the role that it plays in quiz bowl is already relatively small compared to other competitions.
I don't think you know what you're talking about. Lots and lots and lots of tournaments, probably the vast majority of pyramidal tournaments, use 5 seconds on the tossups. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a format that allows players a little more time to think and make sure their answer is right, and whether or not it's the same time limit as bonuses is pretty irrelevant.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Mon May 30, 2011 10:15 pm

Just remembered: it's not as important as other things going on on Sunday, but teams not in the playoffs should have been told not to watch the first playoff round if they wanted to play scrimmages. Or maybe they were told that and some teams didn't get the message: we had that issue in at least two rooms in our group. Obviously it's not nearly as vital an issue as making sure the playoffs proper run smoothly, but it's still something to consider.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon May 30, 2011 10:42 pm

nadph wrote:Could someone post the question on "the hearth" that came up during the playoffs (I forget which round)? We were playing Dorman when it happened and I think both teams buzzer-raced on the Charles Reade clue.
round 20 wrote:One tax on these objects was known as the kapnikon. An English tax on these things was repealed in 1689, a few years after one attempt to evade that tax caused a fire. The title of a Charles Reade novel pairs this item with a cloister, while a 19th-century novel describes a (*) cricket who chirps in one. For 10 points--name this source of household heating, of which the Greek goddess was Hestia.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon May 30, 2011 11:19 pm

Balboa wrote:
Fred wrote:My questions:
  • Round 26: Winged Victory TU, Gaudi bonus
Aha! So you are responsible for the Gaudi bonus.

No offense, but why was that bonus so simple? It's right on the You Gotta Know list which my school generally expects new people trying out for the quiz bowl team to know. Other posters seem to share the sentiment that it stuck out as a finals-match bonus.
Yeah, I am responsible for it. I don't think that's it's particularly easy, least of all as painstakingly obvious as you believe it was.

Edit: Here's the text of it:
The Palau G\:uell [gwell] mansion is found in this European city, which also contains a monument commemorating Columbus' return from the New World. For 10 points each--

A. Name this city also home to the undulating Casa Mil\'a [KAH-zuh mee-LAH] housing complex.

answer: _Barcelona_

B. The Palau G\:uell and Casa Mil\'a were both designed by this architect.

answer: Antoni _Gaud\'i_ [gao-DEE] (i Cornet)

C. Gaud\'i's most famous work is this organic Barcelona {basilica} that was consecrated in 2010 despite being incomplete.

answer: (Bas\'ilica I Temple Expiatori de la) _Sagrada Fam\'ilia_ or (Basilica and Expiatory Church of the) _Holy Family_
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Mon May 30, 2011 11:36 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:
styxman wrote:Fred's Ed Wood bonus shows how to correctly do "old" trash in a high school tournament - relegate the old content to a single part, while connecting it to modern pop culture in the other two. If you're going to do trash questions on old things for high schoolers - and really, this tournament had entirely too much of that, as noted here - you have to make it a hard part and then move on to things that people have more probability of caring about. That Andy Griffith bonus was, I'm betting, a bonus written intended for college level play that found itself in the set near the last minute for lack of questions.
You are categorically declaring something that is absolutely not true. Saying there is only one worthwhile way to make a bonus for high schoolers about older pop culture, by relegating it to the hard parts of bonuses, is missing the point as badly as writing a whole bonus for high schoolers dedicated to The Jeffersons. There are things that are enduring which high schoolers still will know that came out 50 years ago that you can safely write a whole bonus on because high schoolers actually do know them. There are lots of high schoolers who still listen to music from then, and lots of high schoolers who have seen TV shows from then, etc. There is no reason you can't write a whole bonus at a national championship about someone like Marvin Gaye, and there is no reason you should always relegate that material to a niche portion of a few bonuses.
That's a fair call - I was pretty strong with my language there. Older topics could benefit from a hybridization with newer topics in trash questions for high schoolers; as you go farther back in time and relevancy, that benefit becomes greater and questions should make use of it more often. For example, it seems fewer networks are syndicating 50s/60s/70s shows as you go along, but similar decades' classic rock stations don't seem to be dying off as quickly, so perhaps TV relevancy tapers off faster than music relevancy, and so maybe TV bonuses should have more such hybridization than music bonuses.
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Black-throated Antshrike » Mon May 30, 2011 11:41 pm

bt_green_warbler wrote:
round 17 wrote:For 10 points each--give the following about conservative vector fields:

A. The value for this type of integral of the field around any oriented simple closed curve must be zero.

answer: _line_ integral or _path_ integral

B. The field must be expressible as the gradient of one of these scalar quantities.

answer: (scalar) _potential_ function

C. If the field's domain is simply connected, this operation applied to the field -- written as "del cross" -- must be zero.

answer: _curl_
Depending on what your school does in a Calc BC class, this could be taught. Also this should be taught as well as in Physics C's
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by jonah » Mon May 30, 2011 11:54 pm

Andrew Jackson's Compatriot wrote:
bt_green_warbler wrote:
round 17 wrote:For 10 points each--give the following about conservative vector fields:

A. The value for this type of integral of the field around any oriented simple closed curve must be zero.

answer: _line_ integral or _path_ integral

B. The field must be expressible as the gradient of one of these scalar quantities.

answer: (scalar) _potential_ function

C. If the field's domain is simply connected, this operation applied to the field -- written as "del cross" -- must be zero.

answer: _curl_
Depending on what your school does in a Calc BC class, this could be taught. Also this should be taught as well as in Physics C's
Sorry, I don't agree with this. It's not part of the BC curriculum; even my BC class, which taught some stuff beyond the BC curriculum, didn't go near it. And there's no reason to teach this in Physics C, either, since the curriculum only requires the integral form of Maxwell's equations.
Jonah Greenthal
National Academic Quiz Tournaments

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Ondes Martenot
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Ondes Martenot » Mon May 30, 2011 11:54 pm

Here is the stuff I wrote for this tournament

Packet
1: Nero bonus, silicon
2: Henry VII, mormons, Ives
3: October Manifesto bonus
4: Richard II, Great Northern War bonus, kings of rome, hudson river school bonus, raman spec
5: Congo crisis bonus, walter mondale
6: Vandals,
7: bonus on psych experiments
8: Nicholas I, distillation bonus, Idaho
9: Malta
10: Solon bonus
11: cycloid
12: European border lines, council of trent
13: louis-philippe
14: diophantine bonus; eugene ionesco, prohibition bonus
15: World War one treaties bonus
16: Nehru, Kate Chopin
17: Luncheon of the boating party
18: Montezuma
19: Eugene McCarthy, bonuses on Gram staining, bolivia, countee cullen, tossup on Chechnya
20: Oath of the Horatii, fluorescence, bonus on tanzania
21: chirality, bonus on allergies, grameen bank
22: bonus on strait of hormuz
23: blackhawk war, barbizon
24: bonuses on carpentier, leopold and loeb, wikileaks
25: hydrogen peroxide, bonus on homo erectus
26: venus cupid folly and time, t cells, ethers
27: carbon nanotubes, bonus on u.s. congresses
Aaron Cohen, Bergen County Academies '08, RPI '12, NYU-???, NAQT writer, HSAPQ writer, PACE writer

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Sniper, No Sniping!
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Tue May 31, 2011 12:57 am

Couple questions;

For the round that Warsaw, Poland was an answerline, that wasn't officially the Geography question, correct?

Also, can someone post the Jeremy question?
Thomas Moore
Lancaster Fisher Catholic HS c/o 2014
Ohio Wesleyan University c/o 2018

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tiwonge
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by tiwonge » Tue May 31, 2011 1:02 am

bt_green_warbler wrote:
RyuAqua wrote:In addition to ratcheting back the field size some, it may be worth revising the qualification procedures so that teams in the top 15% of an A-set tournament no longer qualify (thereby encouraging more circuits to run the IS-set tournaments for proper qualification), and adding a little more discretion to the selection of wild card bids. Out of curiosity, how many teams in the HSNCT field qualified from performance on an A-set alone, and how many wild-card bids did NAQT reject for the 2011 HSNCT?
I think we've had this discussion about A-set qualifiers before, but here's the brief summary of why we let teams qualify on these introductory questions:

1. Assume for the moment that there is some field containing many inexperienced teams for which an A-set is appropriate. (You may choose to disagree with this, but if you do then your policy recommendation to NAQT should be "abolish A-sets" rather than "change the HSNCT qualification procedure.")

2. Assume the best team in this field wants to attend HSNCT. (It's easy to find examples of regions where a team that projects to go, say, 5-5 at HSNCT is the best team in an area with many weaker teams.)

3. Then, under the proposed "no A-sets qualify" policy:

The team that wants to go to HSNCT has to choose between its nationals bid (IS only) and running a larger tournament that will attract more teams (on the introductory set). Might be Catch-22 if they need to attract 20 teams to a fundraiser, etc. Furthermore, the team trying to qualify might not even get to make that decision: they might not be the ones hosting the tournament.

In short, we think adopting a "no introductory sets provide HSNCT bids" policy would hurt the growth of the circuit out of all proportion to the marginal benefit gained by switching a few tournaments from the introductory set to the regular set. (Which we can absolutely encourage anyway without changing our qualification policies.)
I might also point out the situation here in the northwest which may be similar in other areas with a low quizbowl presence. Last year, we just ran introductory tournaments because quiz bowl was new to the area. Treasure Valley won our Spring tournament and got an invitation to the HSNCT through it. They didn't do well, finishing 3-7 (which wasn't too bad considering their inexperience), I think, but were inspired to work hard and improve. This year, they finished 6-4 (and did qualify via a regular tournament that we held this year--mostly because I knew that TVMSC was planning to go to nationals, so I wanted to run a slightly more difficult packet for them). A no A-sets qualify policy would take away what would be a learning experience for what could be a decent team in a new area.
Colin McNamara, Boise State University
PACE
Idaho Quiz & Academic Teams

jonah
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by jonah » Tue May 31, 2011 1:04 am

CavsFan2k10 wrote:For the round that Warsaw, Poland was an answerline, that wasn't officially the Geography question, correct?
No; it fell into the "mixed academic" category.
Jonah Greenthal
National Academic Quiz Tournaments

Khanate
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Re: 2011 HSNCT discussion

Post by Khanate » Tue May 31, 2011 10:54 am

I did not enjoy this Atlanta Hyatt nearly as much at the Chicago one (Aside from the fact that there was a food court rather than one McDonalds). Maybe it was just me, but I found the upstairs game rooms were smaller than those in Chicago, and there was a leaking ceiling sprinkler in one room which bothered some of our players. Also, the Chicago Hyatt seemed to have much more open conference room floor than this venue, which I preferred. I thought this venue was particularly inferior to the venue of last year's HSNCT because almost all rooms were the larger conference room and the walkway seemed to add a dimension to the tournament.
Adil Khan
Chattahoochee '11
Duke Dec '15
NAQT writer

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