IHSA 2013

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IHSA 2013

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:40 pm

Weather permitting, 500+ Scholastic Bowl teams will compete today. Good luck to all teams. Feel free to share your experiences here.

Because there are a lot of sites and some weather warnings, I recommend waiting 24 hours before discussing individual questions. The questions will never be posted.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by TheDoctor » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:57 pm

Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:The questions will never be posted.
But maybe someday they'll be among the ACTUAL REAL QUESTIONS in the Scholastic Bowl section of the IHSA Peak Performance Center.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:25 pm

Class A and Class AA results
Last edited by Deviant Insider on Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Dominator » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:24 pm

Why does the IHSA State series disdain good questions?
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by dtaylor4 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:39 pm

Or accessible ones?

Looking at the Class A scores, I see quite a few games where < 100 points was enough to win games.

EDIT: This included a regional championship.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Charles Martel » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:42 pm

I think the worst Class A teams may be unable to put up 100 points on almost any set.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:43 pm

Yeah, this question set was depressing. Can't say more until all games are reported, and probably won't waste my time then, but Sectionals had better be better. (They won't be.)
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by heterodyne » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:44 pm

I felt that a lot of these questions, while written in a manner that would be easy to someone with base knowledge of the subject material, fell outside of the canon. The question difficulty felt variable, but that can be blamed on the fact that the questions in general were short and some were not that pyramidal, so question that fell within the canon were easy (Lord of the Flies, The Sun Also Rises) but the ones that fell out of it were hard. Also, what is up with the M-S regional?

Edit: I accidentally a word.
Last edited by heterodyne on Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by thomaki23 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:06 am

I think that the questions were very well written and the match was well moderated. We won two close matches to advance to Sectionals. Kudos to IHSA for not having terrible sets as we are used to!
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Dominator » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:28 am

thomaki23 wrote:I think that the questions were very well written and the match was well moderated. We won two close matches to advance to Sectionals. Kudos to IHSA for not having terrible sets as we are used to!
If this is an improvement over what you are used to, then that is not a compliment to the IHSA but rather a condemnation of the alternative.

Congratulations to your team for winning and all. You should definitely be proud and excited. But I wish that you could be proud, excited, and stimulated.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by CometsCoach » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:04 am

Congratulations to all teams who made it out of their Regional tonight, and will take another crack at some different opponents on Saturday.

I'm going to refrain from comment on the set, but I will comment on some of the crazy results. It looks like most regionals went lock-step with what was expected, until you look at the Belleville Althoff Regional and the Alton HS Regional. I never could have predicted the upsets that happened in those two, with Mt. Vernon and Collinsville emerging from those sites. Kudos to both teams for getting to play another day.

I think I'm pretty safe in saying that this Saturday in Greenville will be an interesting one to say the least between the teams not named Carbondale.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Emil Nolde » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:52 am

CometsCoach wrote: I think I'm pretty safe in saying that this Saturday in Greenville will be an interesting one to say the least between the teams not named Carbondale.
Surely you jest, we've never played Collinsville and have no idea what to expect from them. Anyway, congratulations to Mt. Vernon, you guys totally earned it. I don't think anyone is happier than us about new and interesting developments in downstate Scholastic Bowl.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:15 pm

All the Sectionals happened last night, so people can discuss individual questions.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:27 pm

Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:All the Sectionals happened last night, so people can discuss individual questions.
Regionals. Do not discuss the Sectionals questions.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by TheDoctor » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:27 pm

Apart from general problems with clue-ordering and poor answer selection throughout the Regional questions, literature stands out to me as a particularly weakly edited category this year. Several questions (see Wilde and Goethe) contain clues that almost solely pertain to a single work, and which only mention that they are asking for that single work's author in the very first and very last phrases of the tossup. When a player buzzed in in the final with Faust, I was so certain he was right that I only bothered to look at the answer line because I wanted to make sure that the question was looking for Faust rather than Doctor Faustus.

Essentially, the editing on these questions is clumsy at best and nonexistent at worst. Players going forward may wish to take time to study the most obscure of governmental positions and specific bills co-sponsored by notable 60s politicians, and to write down the pronoun at the start of every tossup, since they are not likely to hear it again.
Last edited by TheDoctor on Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:29 pm

The social studies in this set is worthless-- the tossups on Petra, United States Trade Representative, a 12-line tossup on "socialization" -- not to mention others I've thankfully forgotten -- show complete ignorance of what is important to high school quizbowl, and the tossups on the Flavian dynasty, Ted Kennedy, and Bali show complete ignorance of what a helpful clue is.

The tossup on the Tokugawa shogunate decided to namedrop "Tokugawa Shogunate" in the last line, thereby only allowing "Edo Period" as acceptable. This tossup should be celebrated as one of the few quizbowl questions whose giveaway makes it harder.

I remind any and all teams unsatisfied with the "end" of their seasons to visit NIU in April for ATROPHY, so you can get this taste out of your mouth.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by abnormal abdomen » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:49 pm

I think that, with each subsequent year, Illinois quizbowl runs through this cycle of consistently-run quality tournaments, and then we hit the end of the year and we face some less-ideal tournaments (to say the least). The work of Mr. Reinstein and Donald Taylor seems to have been conducive to improvements as far as the Masonic tournament is concerned, and I think that's something that we should recognize as being a major step in Illinois.

Every year though, we rehash the same flavor of complaints about the IHSA state series. I know it was really prominent when I played, and it seems to be the same now as well. I think I asked something similar in past years, but where are we as far as potential for change is concerned? I understand that there is a certain type and format of scholastic bowl that is desired by a select group of higher-ups which many of us find, on the whole, to be pretty bad. I also do understand, though, that we have (I think?) some people who have been trying to get things to change. How has this year's set been different from past years? How has it been similar? Is there any potential for change in the near future? I feel like the state series is pretty close to what was going on when I first started out as a freshman. Yeah, we've gotten rid of things like spelling and driver's ed, but the dissatisfaction seems pretty heavy right now. I'm not calling for some bizarre revolution or anything, I just want to know if this is something that is still foreseeable for many years to come.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:43 pm

Orangutan Surfing Civilization wrote:we've gotten rid of things like spelling and driver's ed
Those categories both still exist.

The rules are locked in until after the 2015 State Series, but the distribution can still be changed, as can certain things like the matching tops rule. I am cautiously optimistic that the current AdCo's makeup may be conducive to that.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by shrey96 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:47 pm

Orangutan Surfing Civilization wrote:How has this year's set been different from past years? How has it been similar? Is there any potential for change in the near future?
Format-wise, I can appreciate the changes, I guess. The point values are more like regular quizbowl, as are the bonuses, and the distribution has gotten a lot better. It's not "quizbowl" yet, but there has been positive movement in that direction.

But question-wise, the set was atrocious - at least as bad as last year's. Being a science player, I want to cite two tossups here:

1. Anaphylactic Shock in round 1 - I know I haven't been around the quizbowl circuit as long as most players on this forum, but I think that this answerline was totally inappropriate for high school level Scholastic Bowl. It didn't prompt on "allergic reaction," either. Luckily, we had a scrimmage round on that question, so it didn't end up mattering too much, but my teammate did pull it on knowledge he apparently gained from the movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

2. Doppler Effect in round 3 - a fine choice for an answerline; a horrible idea to drop redshift and blueshift in (if I remember correctly) the first sentence.

I'm sure there were more that I can't remember, but I think that this year's question set was atrocious. I also think the questions got worse as the night progressed. It's a shame that the good changes in IHSA match format were almost for naught. What's the point of having part-by-part bonuses when all three parts shouldn't have been asked about in the first place? What's the point of changing the point value of tossups if the tossups are still abysmal?

And as for potential for change - I sure hope there is. I have a dream that one day, the frosh/soph at Metea Valley that worked so hard this year to make us a school worth mentioning won't have to end their season with this...
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:51 pm

shrey96 wrote:1. Anaphylactic Shock in round 1 - I know I haven't been around the quizbowl circuit as long as most players on this forum, but I think that this answerline was totally inappropriate for high school level Scholastic Bowl. It didn't prompt on "allergic reaction," either. Luckily, we had a scrimmage round on that question, so it didn't end up mattering too much, but my teammate did pull it on knowledge he apparently gained from the movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
This was "miscellaneous", actually (presumably "family and consumer science"). In any event, I don't agree that it was an inherently problematic answer line, but it was a horrible question, and "allergic reaction" or "allergy" should have been promptable.
shrey96 wrote:2. Doppler Effect in round 3 - a fine choice for an answerline; a horrible idea to drop redshift and blueshift in (if I remember correctly) the first sentence.
The second, but yes, the question was really bad.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by dtaylor4 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:06 pm

jonah wrote:
shrey96 wrote:1. Anaphylactic Shock in round 1 - I know I haven't been around the quizbowl circuit as long as most players on this forum, but I think that this answerline was totally inappropriate for high school level Scholastic Bowl. It didn't prompt on "allergic reaction," either. Luckily, we had a scrimmage round on that question, so it didn't end up mattering too much, but my teammate did pull it on knowledge he apparently gained from the movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
This was "miscellaneous", actually (presumably "family and consumer science"). In any event, I don't agree that it was an inherently problematic answer line, but it was a horrible question, and "allergic reaction" or "allergy" should have been promptable.
When I read this, given the giveaway, I did prompt on it.

Answers I saw as way out of place in this set (I can't completely comment on R3, as I don't have access to it):
Henry Mancini
COINTELPRO
aliphatic
Murakami/elephant
agent nouns
Tender Land
Dave Brubeck
The "rhetoric" bonus
Trouble in Tahiti

Other errors/issues:
The "cat" part of the Norse myth bonus is poorly worded and inaccurate
Who gives two flying ****s about Amarillo being the helium capital

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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:11 pm

Murakami wouldn't have been out of place at State, ditto Brubeck at Sectionals or State -- but Sister John has traditionally not been one to listen to writers' recommendations for "this question should go at this level."

I wonder how many people learned the difference between "alphabet" and "syllabary" via a neg last night.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by African threadfish » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:15 pm

After moderating two rounds last night, I am definitely worried about what is in store for my middle school team come the end of April :roll: As bad as the IHSA questions tend to be, I can assure you that the IESA ones are 10 times worse. We've gotten spoiled with well run tournaments on REAL questions. The end of the season is such a let down with IHSA and IESA. Progress is being made, but we still have a ways to go!

Good luck to all in their Sectionals, and may the questions not be too random and obscure :wink:
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by dtaylor4 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:49 pm

in on these shenanigans wrote:Murakami wouldn't have been out of place at State, ditto Brubeck at Sectionals or State -- but Sister John has traditionally not been one to listen to writers' recommendations for "this question should go at this level."

I wonder how many people learned the difference between "alphabet" and "syllabary" via a neg last night.
I saw this first-clued on the Japanese clue.

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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by heterodyne » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:55 pm

in on these shenanigans wrote:Murakami wouldn't have been out of place at State, ditto Brubeck at Sectionals or State -- but Sister John has traditionally not been one to listen to writers' recommendations for "this question should go at this level."

I wonder how many people learned the difference between "alphabet" and "syllabary" via a neg last night.
I negged with alphabet. >.> I also negged on the anaphylactic shock with histamine reaction. There were several of these that I felt were extremely general at the beginning. I think the Murakami one, while borderline, was ok for this difficulty.

EDIT: @ Donald that's what happened in several of our tournament rooms.
Last edited by heterodyne on Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by cornfused » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:56 pm

dtaylor4 wrote:The "cat" part of the Norse myth bonus is poorly worded and inaccurate
Could you be more specific?
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Emil Nolde » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:07 pm

cornfused wrote:
dtaylor4 wrote:The "cat" part of the Norse myth bonus is poorly worded and inaccurate
Could you be more specific?
Freya's chariot, unless I'm mistaken, is actually pulled by leopards, and I was greatly dismayed when my answer wasn't accepted.

Something else that was a bit frustrating was just how it was written to make you second-guess yourself. Prime example was the bonus on Nietzsche. We twentied it, not because I didn't actually know Also Sprach Zarathustra (actually, the clue was pretty derivative, iirc something about meditating under a waterfall, which is pretty lame) but because I'm thinking "OK, there's no way this is going to be Also Sprach Zarathustra, because that'd just be way too easy." So, I guessed The Case of Wagner and did a huge facepalm. You shouldn't be penalized for assuming that there's going to be some sort of BASIC difficulty gradation within the bonus.

Also, someone already mentioned it, but that Goethe question was absolutely terrible. First some ridiculous editing/translation clue that I can't remember and I'd be willing to bet literally no one buzzed on, to an extremely buzzable clue from one of the most important works in the history of Western literature. The other team negged with the work they were describing (Faust) which in the first place is a symptom of shoddy writing, and it created such a buzzer race that I accidentally vulched it. And it's not like better clues weren't available, they could've dropped something from either Wilhelm Meister book, or perhaps something from Goethe's poetry, or maybe even a clue from The Sorrows of Young Werther. All of those would've been at the very least better than what they DID go with, but no, they dropped the poodle line. That may have been one of the most . . . disgruntling moments I've ever experienced.
Also rather regrettable was the Atticus Finch tossup. While not as repugnant as the Goethe question, it really had problems with specific language and being identifiable. Again, it's not because the good question doesn't exist, and that makes it all the more aggravating.

EDIT:
dtaylor4 wrote:
in on these shenanigans wrote:Murakami wouldn't have been out of place at State, ditto Brubeck at Sectionals or State -- but Sister John has traditionally not been one to listen to writers' recommendations for "this question should go at this level."

I wonder how many people learned the difference between "alphabet" and "syllabary" via a neg last night.
I saw this first-clued on the Japanese clue.
I second this.
The Brubeck question really was difficult. How many of the sites saw it go before they mentioned his death?

Also atrocious was the categorization of the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame bonus being classified as FA, despite a conspicuous lack of Ieoh Ming Pei.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by dtaylor4 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:21 pm

thyringe_supine wrote:
cornfused wrote:
dtaylor4 wrote:The "cat" part of the Norse myth bonus is poorly worded and inaccurate
Could you be more specific?
Freya's chariot, unless I'm mistaken, is actually pulled by leopards, and I was greatly dismayed when my answer wasn't accepted.
Care to quote your source for Freyja's chariot being pulled by leopards? In paragraph 24 of the Gylfaginning, Freyja is said to drive her cats and sit in her chariot.

Even if that were true, Thor was told it was a cat's paw, not a cat itself.

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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by heterodyne » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:26 pm

thyringe_supine wrote: Freya's chariot, unless I'm mistaken, is actually pulled by leopards, and I was greatly dismayed when my answer wasn't accepted.
They are cats, although I did not hear that bonus.
thyringe_supine wrote: Something else that was a bit frustrating was just how it was written to make you second-guess yourself. Prime example was the bonus on Nietzsche. We twentied it, not because I didn't actually know Also Sprach Zarathustra (actually, the clue was pretty derivative, iirc something about meditating under a waterfall, which is pretty lame) but because I'm thinking "OK, there's no way this is going to be Also Sprach Zarathustra, because that'd just be way too easy." So, I guessed The Case of Wagner and did a huge facepalm. You shouldn't be penalized for assuming that there's going to be some sort of BASIC difficulty gradation within the bonus.
I would like to point out that while you are a very good RMP player, these questions are written for a regional level. I did not hear that bonus, but I'm assuming that one part was Nietzche and the other one was fairly easy. For a regionals audience, I would say that Also Sprach Zarathustra is great enough difficulty. Also Sprach Zarathustra requires at least some knowledge.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Emil Nolde » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:43 pm

dtaylor4 wrote:
thyringe_supine wrote:
cornfused wrote:
dtaylor4 wrote:The "cat" part of the Norse myth bonus is poorly worded and inaccurate
Could you be more specific?
Freya's chariot, unless I'm mistaken, is actually pulled by leopards, and I was greatly dismayed when my answer wasn't accepted.
Care to quote your source for Freyja's chariot being pulled by leopards? In paragraph 24 of the Gylfaginning, Freyja is said to drive her cats and sit in her chariot.

Even if that were true, Thor was told it was a cat's paw, not a cat itself.
No, I can't, and like I said, there's a good chance I'm just plain ol' wrong. However, it seems suspicious that something I came up with unconsciously was that close. I guess at some point I heard 'cats' in connection with her chariot, and misinterpreted it in an admittedly amusing way, because now that I think about it, it's a rather unlikely premise, considering the geographical implications and such.
This Urn Is So Grecian wrote:I would like to point out that while you are a very good RMP player, these questions are written for a regional level. I did not hear that bonus, but I'm assuming that one part was Nietzche and the other one was fairly easy. For a regionals audience, I would say that Also Sprach Zarathustra is great enough difficulty. Also Sprach Zarathustra requires at least some knowledge.
The issue has rather little to do with the audience the set is aimed at-- regardless of how knowledgeable the teams are, the bonuses should not be of uniform difficulty. In terms of what you actually knew of that bonus, it's either going to be zero or thirty, because anyone who knows enough about Nietzsche to identify him without hearing Also Sprach Zarathustra will surely know that he wrote a work of that name. On any good questions, if you know how many points were scored, you should be able to guess which of them were converted with a high degree of accuracy.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by heterodyne » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:48 pm

thyringe_supine wrote: The issue has rather little to do with the audience the set is aimed at-- regardless of how knowledgeable the teams are, the bonuses should not be of uniform difficulty. In terms of what you actually knew of that bonus, it's either going to be zero or thirty, because anyone who knows enough about Nietzsche to identify him without hearing Also Sprach Zarathustra will surely know that he wrote a work of that name. On any good questions, if you know how many points were scored, you should be able to guess which of them were converted with a high degree of accuracy.
What was the other part of that one? That could make a difference, if ASZ was supposed to be a medium part (which I could maybe understand).
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by dtaylor4 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:52 pm

This Urn Is So Grecian wrote:
thyringe_supine wrote: The issue has rather little to do with the audience the set is aimed at-- regardless of how knowledgeable the teams are, the bonuses should not be of uniform difficulty. In terms of what you actually knew of that bonus, it's either going to be zero or thirty, because anyone who knows enough about Nietzsche to identify him without hearing Also Sprach Zarathustra will surely know that he wrote a work of that name. On any good questions, if you know how many points were scored, you should be able to guess which of them were converted with a high degree of accuracy.
What was the other part of that one? That could make a difference, if ASZ was supposed to be a medium part (which I could maybe understand).
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by heterodyne » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:55 pm

I am not sure how they linked Kierkegaard to Nietzsche, but ok. In that case, Kierkegaard could have been considered the hard part. Either way, I probably would have picked Ecce Homo or The Gay Science or even something about "god is dead" or Apollonian vs Dionysian but w/e.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Emil Nolde » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:59 pm

One of the most influential philosophers of the nineteenth century is a 'hard' part?
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by heterodyne » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:13 am

thyringe_supine wrote:One of the most influential philosophers of the nineteenth century is a 'hard' part?
Listen, I'm talking about intentions, not actuality. There were plenty of bonuses that did not really have a hard part. I just am going off of the general idea that the most tangentially related part is normally intended to be hard.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:14 am

Kierkegaard is a fine hard part for the high school level.

EDIT: Even if it's not the hard part, the idea that Kierkegaard is too easy for a high school tournament is patently ridiculous.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:28 am

Is the problem here that you were unable to answer a question about a book because you did not recognize the description of an important part of the book?

(I'll have more to say about more important issues tomorrow.)
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by MorganV » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:31 am

I did not play it, but since James obviously did not know enough about the clues to be able to confidently answer "Also Sprach Zarathustra", I would assume it was an acceptable hard part.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by cornfused » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:49 am

dtaylor4 wrote:
thyringe_supine wrote:
cornfused wrote:
dtaylor4 wrote:The "cat" part of the Norse myth bonus is poorly worded and inaccurate
Could you be more specific?
Freya's chariot, unless I'm mistaken, is actually pulled by leopards, and I was greatly dismayed when my answer wasn't accepted.
Care to quote your source for Freyja's chariot being pulled by leopards? In paragraph 24 of the Gylfaginning, Freyja is said to drive her cats and sit in her chariot.

Even if that were true, Thor was told it was a cat's paw, not a cat itself.
http://community.fortunecity.ws/roswell ... nning.html

Appears to me that the Midgard Serpent is disguised as a cat here, and Thor can't get even one paw off the ground. I don't think that that (saying that Thor fails to lift this animal) is inaccurate.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by cornfused » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:58 am

thyringe_supine wrote:The other team negged with the work they were describing (Faust) which in the first place is a symptom of shoddy writing,
Attention must be paid. The question gave you "one of this author's works" right away - if one "in that work" makes you forget what the hell is being asked for, it's your own fault.
thyringe_supine wrote:Also, someone already mentioned it, but that Goethe question was absolutely terrible. First some ridiculous editing/translation clue that I can't remember and I'd be willing to bet literally no one buzzed on
Maybe it wasn't converted, but the fact that the Urfaust had Gretchen as damned, while Faust has her saved, is in fact quite a big deal.
thyringe_supine wrote: to an extremely buzzable clue from one of the most important works in the history of Western literature.
Yes. I f$%*ed that clue up - just didn't realize how known it was. If you forgive that clue, the tossup goes into Werther and Faust in a totally reasonable way... but you can't forgive that clue 'cause it's very badly placed.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by cornfused » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:02 am

thyringe_supine wrote:Also rather regrettable was the Atticus Finch tossup... it really had problems with specific language and being identifiable. Again, it's not because the good question doesn't exist, and that makes it all the more aggravating.
How do you mean? Yes, it was giving dialogue clues, but the dialogue in question comes from his defense of Tom Robinson and from his speech that concludes it's, well, a sin to kill a mockingbird. And there's four lines of plot clues with names 'n' stuff, too.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by cornfused » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:05 am

As you all may be guessing from my responses, a large amount of the literature and FA was mine. I'm not defending all of it - the poodle clue was terribly placed; An American Tragedy was too hard; Murakami was probably not OK for Regs - but I don't think the Atticus tossup was at all horrible. Likewise, I don't feel that having an author tossup really only be about one work is automatically bad - if Wilde will convert better than Earnest, why not give your Earnest tossup an easier answer line, as long as you hammer the players over the head with "This author" a bunch of times?
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:26 am

I want to thank Abid for asking some important questions. Unfortunately, I honestly don't know what the future holds. Frankly, I thought the Advisory Committee did a good job last year moving forward on several issues. I think there are reasons to be optimistic that forward progress will continue, but no guarantees.

Unfortunately, one change by the Advisory Committee that did not get finalized was the elimination of Language Arts. The Advisory Committee approved it, and the Legislative Committee did not. We do not know whether it was actually voted on by the Legislative Committee. Because of that, you are all experiencing 1/1 Language Arts each round. Please don't be too critical of the writers and editors if those questions are bad. We are not miracle workers.

In addition to that, there is some Art Theory and old-fashioned Miscellaneous. So it goes.

I was the Math Subject Editor this year, and I was one of four Editors who get to give feedback on the whole set before it gets sent to the IHSA. Frankly, I'm a little disappointed over the reaction to this year's set, because I did think it was an improvement over other IHSA sets. (Am I the only one who remembers the fax that was sent to Regionals last year?) Obviously, people should be honest if they don't like it, so if it wasn't good, then say it wasn't good.

I also thought the Lit and Art History was the best part of the set. There were some questions that were too hard for IHSA Regionals, but there weren't a bunch of questions that were too hard for high school quizbowl or were on unimportant topics. Frankly, when I was editing, I made few suggestions about the Lit because I liked it.

Some of the questions called out above were written by me. I didn't choose to put Flavian dynasty and history of Bali questions in Round 0 or an anaphylaxis question in Round 1, but I did rewrite the original versions, and the words you saw were my words. I apologize for not adding a note to prompt allergy/allergic, but I didn't think the question was poorly written. In general, I avoided changing too many answers because I was told not to. The head editor prefers to defer to the writers and subject editors when it comes to answer selection. There were a few cases when I convinced her to change an unworkable answer, but she did not want to change answers because I thought they were too difficult, and the other editors tended to disagree with me.

There were only three suggestions for Regional questions by me that were just ignored, and complaints about those questions haven't been raised yet. Another edit I suggested was botched, and there were a small number where I probably wasn't clear enough. (This may be due to the fact that some of the Regional Head Moderators worked together and made the changes, but the questions were used as is at most sites.) This was my first time in this role, and I may have been less effective than I should have been. Frankly, I held back a little bit, since I thought more of my suggestions were going to be rejected than actually were.

Part of the issue here may be trust. With many sets, you learn to trust the set because question after question is a well written question on something appropriate. With this set, you got some questions on topics that didn't belong, so that trust did not get built up, and the good questions don't cancel that out. This stands out because many people are used to playing on sets considerably better than this one week after week.

In any case, if this set is bad, then I apologize, since I was one of the people responsible for it. I honestly didn't think it was as bad as people are making it out to be, but my opinion is not the one that matters here, and I understand why people are saying what they are saying.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by TheDoctor » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:18 pm

Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:the Advisory Committee did a good job last year moving forward on several issues.
I rather expect that this is, at the very least, a contributing cause of the overall reaction to the questions. For the first time, the format at Regionals felt comfortingly familiar. Long timing rules still caused matches to drag a little, but overall, the feel was much closer to real quizbowl games, and the elimination of the very immediate frustration generated by awkward bonus format (for example) threw the questions themselves into sharp relief.
Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:We are not miracle workers.
I also feel that this may be a large part of why you're seeing criticism of questions that you perhaps would not expect to be called out. There hasn't been as much reaction to the really strange things that happened (see Agent Noun), but we also didn't expect a lot from those questions, and have probably mentally written them off as lost causes in nonredeemable categories. The more standard questions, therefore, stand out even more. They're being compared to real quizbowl more than they have been in the past, and because of that there is a feeling that they could have achieved more than they did. The questions that are standing out to the readers and the players who have commented so far are the ones that we've seen written well in packet after packet, and that's the new benchmark.

Several of the complaints here have been on questions that may have been toeing the line of clunkers in other sets, but in this set we expected them to be the redeeming elements of what has otherwise been in the past a flood of baffling categories in an endless stream of tedium. With less of the tedium remaining as contrast, they did not meet that goal, and thus felt worse than they actually were as questions.
Leucippe and Clitiphon wrote:I also thought the Lit and Art History was the best part of the set. There were some questions that were too hard for IHSA Regionals, but there weren't a bunch of questions that were too hard for high school quizbowl or were on unimportant topics. Frankly, when I was editing, I made few suggestions about the Lit because I liked it.
I stand by my original critique. The questions that stood out to me were in Literature. This is partly because that's my area of expertise, and I feel that other people have a better sense of what happened in other categories. This is also partly because I expected the Literature to be exceptional in comparison to a flood of inescapably bad questions in terrible categories, and those categories were in many places skirted or buried (in selecting a tiebreaker question in one round, for example, I happened to notice a replacement question about Man Caves, which pretty much speaks for itself). Additionally, the truly terrible questions in the set were obvious. I don't need to comment on them because we all know they were bad and there's no chance of improving them in the future. There is a chance of improving Literature in the future.
Leucippe and Clitiphon wrote:Part of the issue here may be trust. With many sets, you learn to trust the set because question after question is a well written question on something appropriate. With this set, you got some questions on topics that didn't belong, so that trust did not get built up, and the good questions don't cancel that out. This stands out because many people are used to playing on sets considerably better than this one week after week.
Absolutely.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by heterodyne » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:09 pm

dtaylor4 wrote: Who gives two flying ****s about Amarillo being the helium capital
Didn't see this earlier, but I'd like to note that for some reason a member of my team (Sam D.) knew that and first-lined the question. But I agree, it's kind of (very) unrelated to the actual question, and he got that not because of science knowledge, but because of weird town :chip: .
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:29 pm

dtaylor4 wrote:Who gives two flying ****s about Amarillo being the helium capital
What was the context of this?
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:32 pm

It was the first clue in a helium tossup.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by cornfused » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:22 pm

Loyola wins the Maine South Sectional, with the last round finishing at 11:10 AM.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by TheDoctor » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:36 pm

Keith wins the Keith sectional on points scored against fellow 2-1 teams Morrison and Newman Central Catholic.
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Re: IHSA 2013

Post by mrgsmath » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:15 pm

Quincy Notre Dame will make their first trip to the State Finals after going 3-0 in Sectional play.
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