Monday, December 18, 2006

November 2006 BC Regular Open Quiz - QM's (Samrat's) views

A tightly contested quiz, decided on the last few questions. I was surprised seeing that only 3 out of 60 Qs were left unanswered. Though I believe in setting workable and not too difficult questions, but this was a superb performance by the teams by any standards. Hats off to the quality of the teams. Plus it helped that there were 3 member teams. It definitely improves the chances of getting the answers right.

Anand and Vibhendu were somewhat disadvantaged by losing their partner in the middle. It didn't strike me at that time, or we could have arranged a replacement from the 10th-11th team in qualifying, as those guys missed out by only 1 point and they were also newcomers to BCQC.

The differential point system was not appreciated by the teams in general. My rationale for having it was that it is not possible to set questions of equal difficulty level. And in quizzes I have seen people crib that the other team got a sitter and they after getting a toughie also get same points. So I decided to put Qs in buckets of 4 pointers or 6 pointers and try it out. But after the experience of this quiz I also feel that there isn't much merit in continuing with that in future quizzes. As simple and difficult levels are so subjective, and especially in a eclectic and polymath gathering as these Pune Open quizzes are. It is simply not possible for any QM to get it right. So just mix "your" simple and difficult questions, have equal points and hope that the randomness of IR will neutralize the effects.

There were some issues regarding the distribution of points for the connect. Teams felt there was some arbitrariness in awarding of points. In my opinion I did it to the best of my understanding. Teams felt that the break-up should be specified in advance, but in most of the connects it is not possible to be so clear, plus saying that sometimes dilutes the question. So I feel teams should just give it their best shot and leave the rest to the judgement of the QM. And as standard practice QM should not give clues midway, and not comment on part right answers.

The first two teams performed superbly, answering some good ones directly as well as on passes, and deserved their positions, though it could easily have been reversed. The rest of the teams were also at their heels all the time and had their moments.

We had more people in the finals this time, but the purpose was not served exactly, we wanted more new people, but it was just a re-hash of the old hands. It seemed to be an extended BC and BQC gathering. The 10th-11th team if they had qualified would have brought some new blood, missed out narrowly. Hope their time will also come.

Overall it was an enjoyable quiz for me, seeing the enthusiastic and lively teams battling it out in the right spirit, with a decent and supportive audience.

:: Samrat

3 comments:

Abhishek said...

any results, comments from the History Channel quiz?

brijesh said...

Hmm..Differential scoring can be an interesting concept.

Its not entirely redundant.

But then the difficulty level should be a cut above the rest.

Or one round can be tried, where there are 2-3 sub-questions which a team has to crack in full to get 2,4,6 points.You answer one sub-qn u get 2 points, u get a try to answer the next one only if you answer the first one correctly. And difficulty levels can be decided by QM.....so differential marking in the hands of a good quizzer can be interesting.

And for new faces to come onto stage the only way is to have draw of lots so that super teams are not formed.

For this the top quizzers should be put in one group, so that no team has more than one ultra quizzer.
This will also help people get acquainted with strangers. It prevents people from combining in such a way that they avoid exposing their weaknesses by forming superteams made up of specialists.

And a personal view....Four member teams like they follow in KQA discourages all & sundry, where quizzing cartels are formed and some quizzers attain Superhuman personas by covering up their deficiencies by picking two specialists and having a third member, who is also an allrounder..
The consequence is hardly any question passes in a 4 member quiz, and even if it passes, it is cracked by the next two teams in line. The beauty of quizzing is when the question passes 5 teams and the 6th team has the satisfaction of answering it..

Personally i feel 2 member teams exposes ur weaknesses and forces you to improve your weak areas. In other ways, Do or Die!

Rishi said...

I also believe a 4 and 6 points scoring system is arbitrary, since the points allocated to a question depend entirely on the QM's subjective impression of difficulty which, despite good intentions, may not be the same as the participant's perceptions.

Re: no. of people in a team, I think three is optimum. 4 becomes unwieldy and promotes cartels. Two is fun, but it makes for unbalanced teams and uneven outcomes. A three member team ensures the best balance of teams on stage. Also, and this is subjective, I've enjoyed myself most in three member teams!

As for "forcing you to improve your weak areas", I belong to a school of thought which holds that your quizzing should flow from your knowledge, and not the other way around. I don't want to learn about a subject merely because it is an FAQ in a quiz. Although I might learn something new in a quiz, and explore it out of interest. But that's a different issue.