Sunday, February 05, 2006

A few Surmises on the 'Steal' Variation

Just for completeness, here is stated the steal variation on IR (introduced by Brijesh):

  1. Passing is as per normal IR order.
  2. Before the team on the direct answers, any other team might intrude and get points (+ve and -ve) as per the correctness of their response.
  3. These teams are thereby omitted from the regular passing order.
  4. Those teams who have not 'stolen' in this way, can continue as normal.

At the two instances that this has been tried out the scoring rule was : +10/-10

Why I Like it:

  1. As said before, the closer a system is to written elims, the fairer it is. True in this case.
  2. Rewards people for surety of answers.
  3. Independent of passing order, length of passing chain etc.
  4. Teams blame only themselves for knowing the answers and not answering, other than the standard(pls. pardon) 'i-knew-it-but-never-came-to-us' routine.

Why I Don't Like it:

  1. A great burden on the precious time of quizzers (?), venues, audience etc.
  2. NOT great for people watching in the halls. It gets very boring - QMs having private discussions with the teams.
  3. Maybe, takes away a bit from the guessing part of quizzing. Rewards exact perfect knowledge to reasoned, logical guesses. But that is how competitive quizzing is these days.(sigh!)


I really feel is system mein kuch dam hai. It really has enough things going for it, to make it a really, major viable option to IR. And yes, I also think that it is a much major 'variation' on IR - than the others we've had, to really call it a variation. A couple of suggestions though:

  • To make the time wastage at a minimum, make it clear that you do not encourage steals. This may seem a bit antithetical but making the points system +10/-20 would make the odds for a team, who is 'reasonably confident' to defer answering - and thereby reducing number of such steals, and thereby time.
  • I think for large, big-money quizzes to involve the audience we need to take a cue from the much hated Derek. On BQC, they have a similar funda where teams type in their answer and the audience can see it, and that sort if thing. In fact the whole clandestine, the secret's between the QM and the audience would actually make the people sitting extremely excited and interested. However alas!, no joy for low-budget, technologically handicapped quizzes like ours.
  • Also since there is no audience at BCQC, that certainly makes 'steal' ka palla bhari, for use at meetings.

Think for the day: Is there any way of combining graded points award system (points proportional to no. of teams answering) with steal ?




siddharth said...

As many quizzers already know, i love this format and have been rooting for it ever since i saw it. One place where I sincerely feel there is no point having this system is technical quizzes...where either there are a lot of connects or many 'put fundaes' type questions. In those sort of quizzes questions do very regularly pass all around the teams and the quiz master decides later how points are to be distributed, and hence very less instances in which two or more teams would go for the answer.

Abhishek said...

oh yes - i forgot to mention what happens when you don't use this format -

you have to face the wrath of the dani-boy.

Shriniwas Kulkarni said...

Hey I have an Expensive Alternative to the problem faced by the QuizMaster-

PC's to each team. They Type the Answer and the No Steal Ones will type asterix.

Write a socket program that picks these answers and imediately the QM knows who stole Right & wrong (With help from his/her worthy assistant). Also if any team doesnt steal then that team will raise a flag, so that they get the next opportunity.

- Advantages of Using Software is that It will also act as a timer and the stealing teams will have to be very quick.
We can have a "Audience only projector" that shows who answered what.

Whose gonna give 7 comps for Quiz ??
Not a Portable Idea.

Abhishek said...

'On BQC, they have a similar funda where teams type in their answer and the audience can see it, and that sort if thing. '

- Thanks for making it more clear.

siddharth said...

Dream on shrinivas. The steal thing can work out just as fast as a regular quiz given that there are two assistants to the QM who know all the answers and the QM is strict about how much time he wants to allow for the steals before the first team answers, depending on the difficulty level of each question. It will be ages before quizzes of the sort we have, get to use 7 odd networked keypads and displays.

niranjan said...

Question-marks with respect to 'steals':

1. Stealing on purpose: May happen in college quizzes, where you can get your 'other team(s)' to win at the cost of your team being in the negative.

2. What if the 'direct' team is sure about the answer? Are they robbed off the points on account of someone else being confident of their own knowledge?

If we really want more fairness, it would be good to pose each question to every team and give out the answer at the end (of course, it would need a Bharat-Bhushan QM to carry it off ;)) The 'human' touch of basing your answer on others' would still be there, but there would be no problems of directs/the-good-team-kept-blocking-us, etc. I also liked Shamanth's idea about giving more points if less number of teams answered correctly. All this may not be very practical, but one needs to think on these lines as well.

Ramanand said...

Niranjan, in the Brijesh format, the question cannot be blocked by one team on a suicide mission. The qn is open to all teams before the team to which it is a direct has answered. The question doesn't cease to go around even if other teams have "stolen" points. Similarly, the direct team will eventually get its chance - only it won't fear losing points.

As for more-for-less, we tried it a couple of months ago. Teams write down answers - and the split of marks were inversely proportional to the # of teams answering. Issues: harder to do in practice, but can be experimented more with. I would ideally love this being done in elims!

Anonymous said...

more-for-less : This has been done by arul mani in a quiz that I attended at IIT-Kgp..but the answers were to be written..worked out quite passing-steals concept..dont know if this is common, though

- anand(vit)