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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 9:23 pm 
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The Regionals questions from today (Rounds 1-8 and the three tiebreaker sets) have been posted here: https://sites.google.com/site/ohioacade ... /questions

(Writers - please remember Rounds 9 and 10 were not released and questions will be saved for next year)

I served as head editor for the set and wrote the math, and I would love to hear any feedback (good or bad), whether it be here or privately.

Your other writers by subject were:

Emily Bingham - Literature
Steven Wellstead - History
Rohin Devanathan - Science, Geography, Philosophy
Michael Czupryn - Fine Arts
Sayeef Moyen - Social Science, Religion
John Xiang - Mythology

I hope everyone enjoyed the questions today!

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Joe Czupryn
OAC Committee Executive Director
Sidney Coach 2012-2015
Northmont Assistant Coach 2008-2011
Northmont '08


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 7:51 am 
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Is anything going to be done about calculating conversion rates on particular categories in just the category portion? I have read through some of the packets since they have been posted. I would be interested in knowing if the conversion rates for each category was similar to the others. To be clear, I'm not talking about question A and B in a category being balanced. I would include the tossup in the category in this as well. Certain categories seem harder to me. That could be personal bias and I just wonder what the data shows.

I have enjoyed reading the set. I am asking because I have a data and science mind. I hope you know that I am not questioning your editing or the work your team did.

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Joshua Queen
Physics Teacher
Chillicothe Quiz Bowl Coach
Ohio QuizBowl Alliance Tournaments: https://docs.google.com/a/olsd.us/docum ... sp=sharing
"Yes we play quiz bowl in southern Ohio."


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 8:37 am 
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ThePocketProtector wrote:
Is anything going to be done about calculating conversion rates on particular categories in just the category portion? I have read through some of the packets since they have been posted. I would be interested in knowing if the conversion rates for each category was similar to the others. To be clear, I'm not talking about question A and B in a category being balanced. I would include the tossup in the category in this as well. Certain categories seem harder to me. That could be personal bias and I just wonder what the data shows.

I have enjoyed reading the set. I am asking because I have a data and science mind. I hope you know that I am not questioning your editing or the work your team did.


I know that Josh did this last year with the State scores but we have had no discussion of doing it for Regionals. I think naturally some categories are going to trend toward less points though just by the nature of what is learned in school versus what isn't. For instance, life science team questions are generally probably things that you would talk about somewhere in a high school classroom (biology, anatomy, etc.); however, world literature or fine arts is asking about specific works that unless you took a very niche class, you would have little or no exposure to outside of quiz bowl. I still think it would be interesting to see! I just don't have the justification to make the time to do all of the collecting and data input right now unfortunately.

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Joe Czupryn
OAC Committee Executive Director
Sidney Coach 2012-2015
Northmont Assistant Coach 2008-2011
Northmont '08


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 11:21 am 
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Location: Delaware, OH
I had a very detailed post that thoroughly explained all of the strengths I found in the set, while describing a couple problems, but unfortunately phpBB logs you out if you're writing something in the post window for over 30 minutes and will not save your work, so I'm not wasting more of my beautiful Sunday rewriting everything I had written.

I thought the category rounds were excellent. I thought there was good balance, and I thought they were interesting. The tossups were hard to predict, which I liked.

Alphabet rounds had good balance and good rungs of difficulty. There was no easy 19 or 20, I felt.

Thought by and large the questions did a good job of making quiz bowl material interesting and relevant to the students, and I thought it also made classroom material relevant to quiz bowl (e.g. Life Sciences category on "ecological succession.")

Two problems... and this certainly isn't to undermine everyone's hard work and the great set that was produced.

#1: there were two questions that had bad lead-ins. The tossup on _elephants_ in round two mentions "two of these creatures named Castor and Pollux" after the introductory clause "as a result of a food shortage" in the first line. Player buzzed in on Pollux and said "giants". Don't know if literal giants befit Castor and Pollux, but "giant stars" I believe do. Anyways, long story short, there was only one buzzable clue to that point and the student gave an answer that could fit. More to the point, it's just not a good lead-in unless there's something to the effect of "they're not twins, but two of these creatures" or "they're not giants, but". The other question with a bad lead-in was in round 5, the final round question on James _Buchanan_. Player buzzed in on the first clue (which was "this president's inauguration coincided with a deadly sickness") and buzzed in on sickness and before the National Hotel clue was mentioned, answering (William Henry) Harrison. I am pretty well-aware that for most players, that's not enough to go off of, particularly if you're exposed to a lot of pyramidal quizbowl; however, given there are many teams that play Regionals with no pyramidal experience, we need to recognize that they likely may take buzzes like that because it's what they expect naturally in a first-line. Like the _elephants_ one, this one could've used a "he's not WH Harrison, but..."

#2: every Greco/Roman mythology question should come with distinctions in the answerline/brackets as to whether or not the Greek/Roman analog to a diety is acceptable, not acceptable, and why that's the case. It's a bit much to assume that every reader in the state can, on the fly, explain why an answer of "Diana" is not acceptable for questions on "Artemis" if a team in the room argues why it should be acceptable (and no, "this Greek diety" in the first line of a question is not going to be enough for people that don't know anything about mythology. Draw it out in the answerline!) This didn't happen in my room, but a reader at my site expressed his concern to me about how he wasn't sure how to handle it in the room had the team that answered "Diana" tried to protest it in the room (this was water cooler talk, and we had turned in our packets by then, so neither of us realized the first clue says "this Greek diety", which is still not enough.) Obviously, it could've just easily gone to Sedlack in the control room had a protest been launched, but still, I (and probably others) would really like to see clearly spelled out "accept/do not accept" explanations on the paper for Greco-Roman myth tossups, since there can be some gray area.



This was a really good set, all in all, truthfully, and perhaps later on today or this week I'll get a chance to drop by and offer more praise. Sorry if this post comes off as cranky or mean-spirited: I wanted to highlight all of the positives of this set, but there are too many for me to rewrite in a time crunch, and I thought it would be imperative to mention my two concerns (particularly the latter) since States is Saturday. Just frustrated everything got deleted, and am in a time crunch.

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Thomas Moore
Ohio Wesleyan '18


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 11:41 am 
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Actually, I'll write some praises quickly.

Steven Wellstead did a great job of writing the history, I feel. I thought very highly of the "nineteenth century events" category for World History, which was, I believe, in round 2. All in all, he did a great job of writing about world history that is relevant and interesting, which I feel is necessary for the Regional level. The fact he didn't just choose to write about a bunch of battles or wars, I liked.

Emily Bingham's literature categories were A+; the Am Lit category round on "families", I liked a lot. I'm assuming Emily wrote the tossup on "Ireland" in round seven, in the final round. That was a great literature tossup!

Everyone else did a pretty good job; I can't speak too much to math or sciences, but Rohin's geography was great. "Coffee production" category was very appropriate for a finals packet (great tossup on Guatemala!)

Good balance; good clues by and large; good answerlines.

Even though my previous post may have been a little particular on the only few negatives of the set, I still think this was an awesome set and everyone involved should be proud of the work done. Ohio got to play a very good set yesterday. I am hoping next years' iteration (and future ones) will still be written by J Czupryn and crew.

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Thomas Moore
Ohio Wesleyan '18


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 4:47 pm 
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Get Lynned wrote:
I had a very detailed post that thoroughly explained all of the strengths I found in the set, while describing a couple problems, but unfortunately phpBB logs you out if you're writing something in the post window for over 30 minutes and will not save your work, so I'm not wasting more of my beautiful Sunday rewriting everything I had written.


I've definitely learned this the hard way myself. If you're planning a long post, I've found that writing it in a Word doc then copying/pasting it over to the forums seems to be a good policy.

Get Lynned wrote:
#1: there were two questions that had bad lead-ins. The tossup on _elephants_ in round two mentions "two of these creatures named Castor and Pollux" after the introductory clause "as a result of a food shortage" in the first line. Player buzzed in on Pollux and said "giants". Don't know if literal giants befit Castor and Pollux, but "giant stars" I believe do.


So I was in the same room as Tom all day (and thus saw everything he did), and yeah, I felt bad about this one when it went down. After doing some very cursory post-tournament research, however, I was not able to find that the mythological Castor and Pollux were giants or any sort of other special mythological creature…from what I found, they appear to have just been twin humans, one immortal and the other not (anyone more knowledgeable on the subject can feel free to note if I am wrong here). With that said, I still probably shouldn’t have been so coy and just said “animal” instead of “creature” to prevent any players from thinking of the mythological twins. My apologies if any other players got tripped up on that.

As for a possible answer of “giant stars”, I personally wouldn’t really feel sympathetic to such an answer given that stars couldn’t really be described as “creatures” (also, I can’t find that both Pollux and Castor are actually “giant stars”, only that the former is). But I get your point about possible ambiguity.

Get Lynned wrote:
The other question with a bad lead-in was in round 5, the final round question on James _Buchanan_. Player buzzed in on the first clue (which was "this president's inauguration coincided with a deadly sickness") and buzzed in on sickness and before the National Hotel clue was mentioned, answering (William Henry) Harrison. I am pretty well-aware that for most players, that's not enough to go off of, particularly if you're exposed to a lot of pyramidal quizbowl; however, given there are many teams that play Regionals with no pyramidal experience, we need to recognize that they likely may take buzzes like that because it's what they expect naturally in a first-line. Like the _elephants_ one, this one could've used a "he's not WH Harrison, but..."


Even if one subscribes to the popular narrative that WH Harrison died due to a sickness he caught on his inauguration day (which is disputed by historians), I don’t think it would make sense to say that his illness “coincided” with the inauguration – there would be a better argument for WH Harrison as an answer if the clue stated that the inauguration “caused” or “led to” a deadly sickness. Perhaps I’m splitting hairs here, though, and it’s certainly possible a majority of people agree with you that this wording could easily be misconstrued. As a former player, I’m definitely aware that it’s easy to misinterpret clues in the heat of the moment. I’m curious if this same issue popped up in other rooms. As with the “elephants” tossup, I apologize if this lead-in led to a lot of wrong buzzes.

From the perspective of a reader, it would have been nice to see more widespread use of pronunciation guides. I tried to be very cognizant to include them in my history questions, but they seemed to be pretty rarely used elsewhere. I probably had the most trouble with the science questions, which I feel is generally the case for many readers due to the often esoteric terms that are utilized. One specific thing that I did as head editor in past years to help with pronunciation specifically for science terms was use an interpunct to separate syllables. To take a random example from Round 1, “propylthiouracil” could have been changed to read as “propylˑthioˑuracil” (hopefully this is the correct way to pronounce this word?). I feel like doing this makes those long science terms much easier to quickly parse for readers (who, as has been noted many times before, have widely varying levels of experience at Regionals). Hopefully this is something future writers/editors will keep in mind and try to implement if possible. With all that said, I recognize that pronunciation guides are far back on the list of issues to address in a question set, so this is more of a minor criticism. Certainly they are nice to include in your sets, but definitely not something that is critical IMO.

If anybody else wishes to share any of their criticisms of the history questions (I also wrote the government portion of the “U.S. Government / Economics” category questions), please do not hesitate to do so. Thank you to Tom for kicking off discussion.

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Steven Wellstead
Fisher Catholic High School, Class of 2007
Case Western Reserve University, Class of 2011
NAQT Writer


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 6:04 pm 
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swwFC wrote:
From the perspective of a reader, it would have been nice to see more widespread use of pronunciation guides. I tried to be very cognizant to include them in my history questions, but they seemed to be pretty rarely used elsewhere. I probably had the most trouble with the science questions, which I feel is generally the case for many readers due to the often esoteric terms that are utilized. One specific thing that I did as head editor in past years to help with pronunciation specifically for science terms was use an interpunct to separate syllables. To take a random example from Round 1, “propylthiouracil” could have been changed to read as “propylˑthioˑuracil” (hopefully this is the correct way to pronounce this word?). I feel like doing this makes those long science terms much easier to quickly parse for readers (who, as has been noted many times before, have widely varying levels of experience at Regionals). Hopefully this is something future writers/editors will keep in mind and try to implement if possible. With all that said, I recognize that pronunciation guides are far back on the list of issues to address in a question set, so this is more of a minor criticism. Certainly they are nice to include in your sets, but definitely not something that is critical IMO.


This is something I have to do better at. I will never deny I am terrible at this. As a reader, I hate pronunciation guides, but I am not living in a bubble, I know most people do not and need them that are volunteering at Regionals. Secondly and probably more importantly, I am terrible at writing pronunciation guides, which is why I tend to shy away from doing it on anything I write. A definite big thanks to Steven for all of those that he did for his questions - it was great!

Definitely something to strive to improve in future years if I am awarded the bid again.

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Joe Czupryn
OAC Committee Executive Director
Sidney Coach 2012-2015
Northmont Assistant Coach 2008-2011
Northmont '08


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