Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

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Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

What is the point of reading quickly if there's no timer? I understand that you can't read like "Name... for 10 points... this Italian explorer... famous... for..." or something, but some of the readers i've encountered read as fast as that speedtalking Micro Machines commercial guy from the 80's. It's totally not necessary. Great, you have wonderful moderating skills, now slow down so we can understand you.
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Re: 2008 Panasonic Academic Challenge: Illinois wins!

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores »

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:What is the point of reading quickly if there's no timer? I understand that you can't read like "Name... for 10 points... this Italian explorer... famous... for..." or something, but some of the readers i've encountered read as fast as that speedtalking Micro Machines commercial guy from the 80's. It's totally not necessary. Great, you have wonderful moderating skills, now slow down so we can understand you.
It's all about comfort, at least, for me it is. I can read better and more comfortably if I'm reading faster. I can't quite explain why, though. It's just like how some people read (like, books) quicker than others: comfort.
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Re: 2008 Panasonic Academic Challenge: Illinois wins!

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Well, okay, i get that, i know what you're trying to say. Compare me reading things aloud to most ordinary teachers in my school and i'm definitely faster yet i can enunciate pretty well. But some of the readers we encounter are just so unbelievably fast that i can't imagine HOW this is a "comfort" for them to read so quickly that even the coach of a team can't understand what they're saying.

For HSNCT, i know, they have to be fast for the timer and while i still listen to those podcasts and can't understand about every third word at times, i understand why they do it. Anybody else, no, it's not okay. These competitions are not about you, they are about the kids and making the quality of the game the best possible to ensure their success and enjoyment.
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Re: 2008 Panasonic Academic Challenge: Illinois wins!

Post by Djibouti »

Personally, whenever I'm able to moderate (not HSNCT or PACE, but in general) I like to read at the fastest pace that I can still enunciate clearly. Playing, I personally preferred a fast reader, as well - you don't get to the end of the question forgetting the entire beginning and I also liked a relatively high tempo. A slow moderator kills tempo and can get in the way of momentum. The game just seems to drag. I guess as long as the moderator can enunciate (note: a fast moderator that can't be understood sucks on all counts), then it's okay to read fast. It's not all about speed but clarity, though speed is preferred if it also carries clarity.

Also, keep in mind the length of a game at PACE. I liked the longer game (because it meant very good pyramidal questions), but a slow reader means the tournament can't keep pace and provide the same amount of games before say 5:00 (if I remember 2007 correctly).
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Re: 2008 Panasonic Academic Challenge: Illinois wins!

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

I think there've been threads on reading speed before and I remember identifying with a comment that Jerry made. I'm actually less likely to stumble over my words if I read quickly, because I'm thinking less about the words on the page. (This is why I only remember questions from HSNCT that I didn't like: I don't really hear my words otherwise.)
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Re: 2008 Panasonic Academic Challenge: Illinois wins!

Post by Byko »

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:What is the point of reading quickly if there's no timer? I understand that you can't read like "Name... for 10 points... this Italian explorer... famous... for..." or something, but some of the readers i've encountered read as fast as that speedtalking Micro Machines commercial guy from the 80's. It's totally not necessary. Great, you have wonderful moderating skills, now slow down so we can understand you.
This pretty well matches my viewpoint on moderating as well. I place a huge emphasis on clarity when I'm reading, particularly in national-level competition, and as a result, I am probably slower than many other readers. But I have yet to be told my someone that I wasn't able to be understood, even when I have to push myself beyond my comfort zone reading at HSNCT. I've had a couple times when someone asks for me to slow down, and I really make an effort to do so--sometimes, it ends up working better than others, but usually, it isn't a problem.


(Mods--should this be split off into a separate thread?)
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by AlphaQuizBowler »

I always thought that the reason moderators read quickly, even in untimed formats, was to keep the tournament on schedule.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas »

I've been told I'm one of the worst readers to have for any team just because I have some sort of terrible disconnect between the reading part of my brain and my mouth. In such, I read extremely fast, do not enunciate clearly and occasionally drop words altogether because my brain has already processed the words on the page while my mouth has not. Worse yet, it sounds completely fine to me, and I am incredulous when people tell me I read too fast and drop words.
The better moderators I have had read with quickness, but they are also very deliberate and pronounce every part of the word. Slowness is fine with me, as long as I can still string the words together in my head.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

People seem to forget that , as William Horton noted, tournaments have schedules and they aren't magically independent of moderator speed. Just because there isn't a clock doesn't make it excusable to take more than 30 minutes to read 20 tossups and bonuses, and if 1 moderator does this they drag the whole tournament with them. This means there is always going to be some aspect of quick reading if you want a tournament to be smooth.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by BuzzerZen »

The correct speed to read a tournament is "fast".
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Howard »

BuzzerZen wrote:The correct speed to read a tournament is "fast".
I'm going to say that I disagree with this, especially at the high school level. Ultimately, the reading should be tailored to meet the needs of the teams playing.

My experience is that reading too fast, even if precise and clear, discourages comprehension and thought, two of the primary things that should be important in quiz bowl.

That being said, most college teams seem to prefer fast reading in an effort to get through as many gamesets as possible in a reasonable amount of time. When reading for a college tournament, I tend to read as fast as I believe I can while retaining clarity. (I welcome feedback on this, too. I know you were in my room at Sun-N-Fun a couple times, Evan. What were your thoughts about my speed and clarity?)

On the other hand, at most high school tournaments, I tend to read at a speed that I'm sure lends itself to an appropriate level of comprehension.

And at PACE, my speed was in the middle. I figured the better teams would expect me to read faster than my typical high school pace.

As long as the desired speed isn't unreasonable-- I, too recognize tournaments have schedules-- I think it's best to read at a speed that's comfortable for reader and teams alike.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat »

I know that there were moderator evaluation forms at HSNCT. Were those just for NAQT purposes, or will we get to see what teams thought of our reading some time?

In terms of reading speed, I've always thought the best pace was as to read as fast as possible while staying understandable.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Howard wrote:My experience is that reading too fast, even if precise and clear, discourages comprehension and thought, two of the primary things that should be important in quiz bowl.
I don't think that this is true.

1) Reading too fast is different from reading fast, Evan's initial statement. Studying too much is bad; maybe it will make my head explode.
2) You say that comprehension and thought should be important. I would say that part of your conception of quiz bowl is learning to think and comprehend quickly. So fast reading encourages the development of those skills. Reading slowly does not foster the development of those skills.
3) I don't personally think that comprehension and thought are parts of the game of quiz bowl per se. Narrowing an answer space to one item (or to a few items) is certainly pretty far separated from traditional modes of thought.
4) Making comprehension and thought easier makes lateraling easier, which is something we want to discourage. Consequently, I think that it's better to read faster.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Tegan »

BuzzerZen wrote:The correct speed to read a tournament is "understandable".
corrected.

This of course is a matter of perspective. As some have said: they are probably understood better when they read faster. That is not universally true for all moderators.

When you are running a tournament, even if they are not reading a timed match (as at HSNCT), the tournament needs to run on time .... and I find the number one reason that tournaments get slowed down is slow moderators. This is a problem.

Ideally, you would have a team of moderators who are all understandable and who read at a speed that can keep the tournament moving. You may have a moderator who is understandable, but if they are holding things up, that is being fair to no one, especially the players who are sitting around waiting. In reality, it is very difficult to get that from a team of moderators.

On the other hand, a moderator who reads at a rate faster than their ability to be understood is not helping the players either. This is where I disagree wtih BuzzerZen. I have met a very small number of moderators who fit this bill, but sadly they tend to think that they are doing no wrong, even after they have been told "bring it under Mach 4". I have seen great teams have very unenjoyable matches in this case.

I've been told I read fast, and have been occasionally asked to read slower, but only on occasion. I have asked: "Am I not being understood?" If they say "Oh no, we could understand you." Then I go back to my old way of reading, as this seems to be a team who typically thinks slower and is trying to get a little more time to think things over. That's not acceptable, and in that sense, I agree with BuzzerZen .... along with: a lot (though not all) of the better teams prefer a faster moving tournament because it makes it easier to stay focused; thus an inferior team will try and slow things down to break the focus of the better team that's used to a faster pace. That's also a wrong reason to slow things down.

At least that's my two bits.

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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by BuzzerZen »

Well, when I say that games should be read quickly, I of course think that moderators should be intelligible. If you can't read quickly and intelligibly, you need to practice your moderating.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Okay, it seems like the guys who like the lightning speed reading think that there are only two types of people in the world: those who think reading fast is the only thing any intelligent person would ever do, and those who think reading with pure comprehension and enunciation is best.

There should kinda be a middle ground here. There is.

For example.

When i'm reading for a Delaware/Charter tournament (as i'm usually requested to do because i'm "one of the better ones") i'm usually done my matches before most moderators. Do i read insanely fast? Obviously not or i wouldn't have started this thread. But am i getting done in good time? You bet i am. I have parents and coaches compliment me on my reading and i don't think i've ever been told to slow down or speed up. No, i'm never read for a timed match, but i don't even like those types of matches anyway (another entire discussion).

Maybe i'm really just not as smart as i thought i was, because i seriously have listened to 6 or 8 of the HSNCT matches online and i can't understand small portions of the questions at times. I really can't imagine would my kids would be like there, it would frustrate them to no end and there's nothing they could do.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by sabine01 »

BuzzerZen wrote:Well, when I say that games should be read quickly, I of course think that moderators should be intelligible. If you can't read quickly and intelligibly, you need to practice your moderating.
There's also much to be said for keeping the round moving, Evan. In my case, I'm not a breakneck-speed reader (in fact, I'm similar to Byko in speed and philosophy, since he taught me almost everything I know) but I certainly get through a PACE/mACF round in a reasonable amount of time.

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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores »

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:I really can't imagine would my kids would be like there, it would frustrate them to no end and there's nothing they could do.
Like Evan said, practice your moderating speed. If your kids are used to a fast speed, they'll do better overall. If they're used to slow moderators, then that's probably the only speed they'll be able to play on.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by theattachment »

After experiencing a lot of really bad moderators and really good ones in high school, I think there is a link between a mod that I want to slap upside the head and how slowly they read. Fast readers make rounds have flow, cause you to actually listen to questions, and (unless you're me, who seems to slur every tenth word) actually make you clearer. Read as fast as you realistically can.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by aestheteboy »

I was eventually going to start a thread about this, so I'm glad it was brought up. Reading fast rewards quick recall more and knowledge less than reading slow does. Unless the question involves lateral thinking or playing against the packet, a buzz is preceded by 1. recognizing a clue and 2. associating that clue with the answer. The first part is knowledge and the second part is quick recall. Reading fast hurts players with poor recall more than reading slow does, because more clues are read in the lag time between 1 and 2, allowing for more buzz opportunities for the less knowledgeable team.
Certainly, I'm not saying that that's unfair. Recall will always be a part of quizbowl. What I'm saying is that reading slow is fairer if the goal is to reward the most knowledgeable team. Part of the problem I have with NAQT is that all the aspects of their game favor quick recall: 2 seconds rule, short questions, and timed format (which leads to fast reading). Maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of all the negs I had at HSNCT were a result of failing to recall in time. I'm a lot more comfortable with fast readers in ACF and mACF format, where none of that is true.
Again, I realize that recall is part of the game, but I think that it should remain a small (at least, relative to knowledge) part of the game.

Also, the implied "you wouldn't complain if you were better" arguement is pretty unconstructive.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by AlphaQuizBowler »

I agree with Daichi about fast readers getting in more clues while someone's trying to recall a previous clue. At the HSNCT mirror I attended, it was frustrating to miss power while trying to recall a clue. For example, I couldn't recall Uncle Tom's Children for Richard Wright and I missed power by a word because by the time I remembered, the reader had read a better-known character's name. If another team had buzzed during that time, it would have been even more frustrating.

I agree that giving players longer than 2 seconds after they buzz would alleviate this problem to some extent.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant »

It's also annoying when a reader just breezes through the text with no regard to punctuation you'd think there isn't any and wonder when one sentence ends and the next begins.

Or when one inserts pauses. In the middle of a sentence then they just charge right into the next one with no break between the two semi-Shatneresque.

fsb, who agrees that readers should keep as quick a tempo as they can as long as it's comfortable for both the reader and the players
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by sweaver »

Reading fast is good: reading fast without enunciation is bad. You must "punch" words, and pronounce as accurately as you are able. I read fast at tournaments: I do not read so fast that I cannot be understood, and I do not sacrifice clarity for speed.

Sure, I've experienced readers who read excrutiatingly slow. That's as bad as one who reads too fast. My point, in another thread, was that when you are reading so fast that a team asks you to slow down, perhaps multiple times, you should slow down. To not do so is rude, inconsiderate, and contrary to promoting good competition.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Perhaps you should speak up and tell the moderator to slow down again when he asks the room "is my reading OK?" I know you are discussing our match against you at the NSC, and our moderator was told to slow down partway through the first period, then asked at the end of the first period if he had slowed down and was reading fine, at which point the room agreed he was fine. If you had a problem, you should say it intstead of continuing this passive-aggressive stuff.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Tegan »

BuzzerZen wrote: If you can't read quickly and intelligibly, you need to practice your moderating.
I totally agree ..... but I also think that after a few years of trying, there comes a time when the tournament director has to make a call ..... if the moderator is not doing the job (bad pronunciation, doesn't know how to enforce rules, won't enforce rules, or slows the tournament down), they have an obligation to the players to tell that moderator that as much as they are loved,and their efforts appreciated, that it is time to bring in a moderator who can >>insert doing their shortcoming better than they can<<.

Unfortunately, my experience with this is that tournament directors are far too loyal to their people ..... long after the plug needs to be pulled, they stick with poor moderators.

Further, moderators need to be told when they are screwing up. I pushed to start moderator rating a few years ago at our state tournament .... partially because I wanted to see how I was doing, and also because I knew there were complaints about others, and I thought empirical data might finally spark changes. After the first year, I was at the AdCo meeting, and we were told "all of the moderators rated excellently" .... which told me either we were just lied to, or most of the coaches at state that year didn't know what was going on. I just stopped asking after that.

Bad moderators bear responsibility for their actions, but >>legitimate<< issues need to be addressed as well by TDs.

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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

sweaver wrote:My point, in another thread, was that when you are reading so fast that a team asks you to slow down, perhaps multiple times, you should slow down. To not do so is rude, inconsiderate, and contrary to promoting good competition.
At the Richard Montgomery Tournament in May, a reader who shall remain unnamed refused to slow down after being requested to do so, then was asked again and seems confused, then when prompted by me "you were asked to slow down; you didn't" gave me a menacing stare and slowed down by about 20%, and by the end of the packet had resumed his normal speed.

Yes the matches were timed. It didn't matter. It was too fast. These are the types of things i'm complaining about.

It was the first timed NAQT-style tournament we'd ever been to, and while we know we can't just keep avoiding them, we really did not like it at all.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Blackboard Monitor Vimes »

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:
sweaver wrote:My point, in another thread, was that when you are reading so fast that a team asks you to slow down, perhaps multiple times, you should slow down. To not do so is rude, inconsiderate, and contrary to promoting good competition.
At the Richard Montgomery Tournament in May, a reader who shall remain unnamed refused to slow down after being requested to do so, then was asked again and seems confused, then when prompted by me "you were asked to slow down; you didn't" gave me a menacing stare and slowed down by about 20%, and by the end of the packet had resumed his normal speed.

Yes the matches were timed. It didn't matter. It was too fast. These are the types of things i'm complaining about.

It was the first timed NAQT-style tournament we'd ever been to, and while we know we can't just keep avoiding them, we really did not like it at all.
With all due respect, your team honestly needs to get used to it. My first tournament ever, along with two classmates, was timed NAQT. We didn't ask the moderators to slow down; we got used to the format. Your team isn't going to perform well if they don't learn to adapt to different formats. Personally, my hearing sucks. I'm much more likely to ask a moderator to speak up than slow down, whether they're reading quickly or not, so I don't care as much about this issue as some other people in this thread. Enunciation is the most important thing, whether it's affected by speed, volume, or anything else. As long as the moderator can be understood, it's on your players to get used to the format if it has a clock necessitating quick readers. The sooner they can do that the better. However, at an untimed tournament I guess I can understand asking a reader to slow down as long as the room doesn't start lagging behind and delaying the tournament.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Well, i know what you mean. But it was their first time with a tournament like that, and he was the only one reading ridiculously fast, so really it could have just stayed on par with the other readers and been fine.

I know you're right though. It was just frustrating when even i got lost during questions, listening to them. And on these long questions, when you miss one or two words, it's really hard to train your brain to catch up with the rest of the question instead of instinctively trying to figure out what words you missed.

When i listen to t he HSNCT podcasts (i just listened to a couple a minute ago) it happens about every third or fourth question. The reader stumbles (that guy in at least the first 10 matches messes up once every question it seems) and i completely lose it.

It does teach teams discipline and listening skills, however... i will admit that.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:it's really hard to train your brain
EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE
Caesar Rodney HS wrote:It does teach teams discipline and listening skills, however... i will admit that.
Exactly!

Make conditions harder, rather than easier, and those conditions will distinguish between experienced and unexperienced teams both. Make them easier, and they distinguish only between the bottom part of the field, and much worse in games between top teams and between a top team and a bottom team.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Sir Thopas »

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:When i listen to t he HSNCT podcasts (i just listened to a couple a minute ago) it happens about every third or fourth question. The reader stumbles (that guy in at least the first 10 matches messes up once every question it seems) and i completely lose it.
Yeah, so:

1) The mic may not pic everything up, so it may have been clearer in person.
2) Stop fixating on Dwight Kidder. He's not representative of every fast reader.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by cdcarter »

So it seems to be that you guys are arguing the same point to each other with weirder wording. Let's boil it down to two sentences.

You should read at a level, speed, and clarity where you can be understood and you don't hold up the tournamet. There is no need to go faster or slower than this.

Everyone agree?
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by AndyShootsAndyScores »

cdcarter wrote:So it seems to be that you guys are arguing the same point to each other with weirder wording. Let's boil it down to two sentences.

You should read at a level, speed, and clarity where you can be understood and you don't hold up the tournamet. There is no need to go faster or slower than this.

Everyone agree?
Agreed, except in the case of timed formats. If you read somewhat on the slow side, you might need to push your speed a little bit.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

With a timed format really all you need to do is make sure you can get through at least 20 tossups in however much time you have. With NAQT's length caps it's just hilariously easy to do that if you are a competent moderator.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Ondes Martenot »

The mic may not pic everything up, so it may have been clearer in person
Slighlty off topic, but the podcasts of the prelim rounds for the 2008 NAQT HSNCT have pretty lousy quality. Must have been some technical issue. That's probably one reason you're having trouble hearing everything. The sound quality for the playoff games seem a lot better, so try listening to them instead.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by AKKOLADE »

So, a good moderator can be summarized in the following quotes:

"Be quick, but don't hurry." - John Wooden
"Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
"Know how quiz bowl works, have some understanding of basic rules of pronunciation, and for God's sake, be able to adjust to typos because those are always going to happen." - Fred Morlan
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Matthew D »

good summary Fred
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by theattachment »

metsfan001 wrote: 1) The mic may not pic everything up, so it may have been clearer in person.
2) Stop fixating on Dwight Kidder. He's not representative of every fast reader.
In the case of the first day, neither of these points could be any more true. They seemed to have better mics on the tables than for Dwight, and it doesn't help that Dwight is not the best of readers. He's competent, but he's far from the top. Him doing podcasts may be something to look in to next year, namely in his not doing them.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Byko »

metsfan001 wrote: 1) The mic may not pic everything up, so it may have been clearer in person.
2) Stop fixating on Dwight Kidder. He's not representative of every fast reader.
Having worked in broadcasting for a couple years previously, you're exactly right on #1: when reading, you MUST pretty much work even harder on your enunciation because the mic will not pick everything up. Unfortunately, that probably means slowing down somewhat, which just won't work at HSNCT if you want to get through the entire packet.
Last edited by Byko on Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Howard »

rienzi0711 wrote:It's also annoying when a reader just breezes through the text with no regard to punctuation you'd think there isn't any and wonder when one sentence ends and the next begins.

Or when one inserts pauses. In the middle of a sentence then they just charge right into the next one with no break between the two semi-Shatneresque.
The past couple tournaments I moderated, this is a good example of what some of the questions actually looked like. I'm not trying to imply that punctuation and grammar are more important than content, but having correct punctuation and grammar will have a positive impact on the readability and the understandability of the questions. The more experienced readers are very good at correcting these things on the fly.


Deesy Does It wrote:With a timed format really all you need to do is make sure you can get through at least 20 tossups in however much time you have. With NAQT's length caps it's just hilariously easy to do that if you are a competent moderator.
This depends on the abilities of the teams in the room. With good teams, I tend to be able to get through about 20-24 questions. With teams that listen to nearly the entire tossup and bonus, I tend to get through 16-18 questions.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Howard wrote:
Deesy Does It wrote:With a timed format really all you need to do is make sure you can get through at least 20 tossups in however much time you have. With NAQT's length caps it's just hilariously easy to do that if you are a competent moderator.
This depends on the abilities of the teams in the room. With good teams, I tend to be able to get through about 20-24 questions. With teams that listen to nearly the entire tossup and bonus, I tend to get through 16-18 questions.
The graph of questions readable at a given speed as a function of team quality is concave up, though, I think. The best possible team combination buzzes as early as possible on every tossup and needs little bonus information to 30 every bonus. Each cycle doesn't take too long. The worst possible team knows nothing, so you read every tossup in turn, never reading a bonus. Each cycle takes slightly longer. The longest time taken, where you have to read everything, is where your room has mastered the giveaways, and nothing else, so they answer every tossup on the last word.

For HSNCT, i practiced on the sample nationals packet until I could read 23 tossup / bonus cycles in their entirety in 18 minutes, and I've never had a comprehensibility complaint (except one tournament when I hadn't slept the night before). It's all practice.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Matthew D »

I will agree with that also Andrew.. the more I have read in practice the better I have gotten... still have a ways to go but I am still practicing..
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Captain Sinico »

From all perspectives, it is imperative for a tournament to use its time efficiently. Therefore, the right course of action is to read at the quickest comprehensible speed. In fact, this is more important in un-timed tournaments, not less. To a very high degree of approximation, un-timed tournaments proceed the speeds of their slowest readers. On the other hand, rounds in timed tournaments will almost certainly end when time is up no matter the reader's speed (it's still right to read quickly at timed tournaments because getting through the most questions possible falls under the rubric of efficient use of time.)
Also, it seems to me unfair from a game play standpoint for a team to demand that a reader slow down simply because that team would prefer a slower reader. On the contrary, the only fair thing is for a reader to maintain as close to an uniform, quick-while-comprehensible pace as is possible.

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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by aestheteboy »

ImmaculateDeception wrote:To a very high degree of approximation, un-timed tournaments proceed the speeds of their slowest readers.
This is precisely the reason that there is no need for experienced moderators to read at "the quickest comprehensible speed." Every tournament has at least one moderator who is slower than the most experienced group of readers (and most have a lot more than one). So, the only person who needs to read at "the quickest comprehensible speed" (according to your idea) is the slowest moderator.
ImmaculateDeception wrote:Also, it seems to me unfair from a game play standpoint for a team to demand that a reader slow down simply because that team would prefer a slower reader. On the contrary, the only fair thing is for a reader to maintain as close to an uniform, quick-while-comprehensible pace as is possible.
Well, I can see why uniform speed is desirable, although I don't necessarily agree with it. But why do you argue that reading fast is innately more fair? I argued in the earlier post that reading faster than necessary to keep the tournament going is innately unfair. What do you think about the arguement I made?
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Captain Sinico »

The proposal to have readers all read at the limiting reader speed is impracticable because it relies on unobservable data. In order to implement your proposed practice, we'd need a priori knowledge of when the slowest room will finish each round. In an untimed tournament, no such data are available, even to a modest degree of approximation. Therefore, the only good practice that I can see is to have readers read at their quickest comprehensible pace.
Your argument that quick reading is punitive to knowledge is flawed because it does not consider the following. All else equal, reading slower entails getting through fewer questions, in the form of fewer questions heard per timed round, or fewer rounds per un-timed tournament, or longer un-timed tournaments with fixed numbers of rounds and the concomitant increase in scarce resources required to attend them. Hearing fewer questions also penalizes knowledge, so there's an important trade-off that your premises don't acknowledge.
Furthermore, I don't agree with the argument itself. I think the consideration time gained by slower reading is negligible. I also think that the argument dictates an ideal format consisting of, like, reading one word and not reading the next until all players acknowledge that they don't wish to buzz on that word which, I think we can agree, would suck. Basically, your argument misses what I think is the point of the game: quizbowl, by design, rewards who knows more faster, not just who knows more; or, if you like, it measures who knows more by seeing who knows it faster.

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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by mithokie »

Going as fast as you possibly can is probably not the best idea if you are not able to read with proper inflection and punctuation. If you can go 200 mph and people can comprehend your words, take it a notch down (say to 180 mph) so that you can emphasize the punctuation. Read the punctuation. Maybe even take a quick breath between sentences.

I do believe that a focus on the actual speed of the reading is a little misplaced. Reading speed must reach a critical comprehensible level to be fair to the competitors. I think that the way a reader controls a room before, after, and between questions has much more to do with his/her ability to get through a packet in a reasonable amount of time, than the actual speed of the questions being read. Cutting out the off-topic comments... getting to a bonus immediately after a toss-up is answered correctly, being strict with the stated time limits for the bonus parts, and toss-up responses will all be rather important in getting through a lot of questions in decent time.

That's my 2 cents...
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Byko »

AHS Eagles wrote:I think that the way a reader controls a room before, after, and between questions has much more to do with his/her ability to get through a packet in a reasonable amount of time, than the actual speed of the questions being read. Cutting out the off-topic comments... getting to a bonus immediately after a toss-up is answered correctly, being strict with the stated time limits for the bonus parts, and toss-up responses will all be rather important in getting through a lot of questions in decent time.
I think it's refreshing to hear a coach say that, and I think you're right on.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Tegan »

Byko wrote:
AHS Eagles wrote:I think that the way a reader controls a room before, after, and between questions has much more to do with his/her ability to get through a packet in a reasonable amount of time, than the actual speed of the questions being read. Cutting out the off-topic comments... getting to a bonus immediately after a toss-up is answered correctly, being strict with the stated time limits for the bonus parts, and toss-up responses will all be rather important in getting through a lot of questions in decent time.
I think it's refreshing to hear a coach say that, and I think you're right on.
I continue to be amazed at how many coaches and players think it is status quo to have running commentary between questions. The best suggestion (I think) is Coach Beeken's ... just keep on rolling .... they'll learn to stop.

Though, I do have to disagree that even if you are not having this problem, I know of moderators that are unbelievably slow, and either need to learn to speed things up or need to be invited to not read any more.

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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Ugh, it's even worse when there's a timer. I remember having to call a timeout at a timed tournament so I could tell one of our moderators to stop with the conversation after she had eaten up about 3 minutes of time talking. I mean really, how disconnected can you get from your surroundings that you would think the timed matches are acceptable to talk through.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

Tegan wrote:I continue to be amazed at how many coaches and players think it is status quo to have running commentary between questions. The best suggestion (I think) is Coach Beeken's ... just keep on rolling .... they'll learn to stop.
As one of those players that keeps talking, I'll second this (keep on rolling.) The best way to cut down on talking between questions is to cut down on the time between questions.
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Re: Moderator Speed (from Panasonic Thread)

Post by theattachment »

To couple with that, I've seen a team call time after they missed a bonus because they were talking to complain about how the moderator shouldn't have read the bonus; instead, they should wait on the team. I cannot remember a single time in a match where I wanted to slap someone more. Not only did they waste their own time (and got rightly penalized for it) but they proceeded to waste everyone else's time by lodging the dumbest protest I have ever heard.
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