Wednesday, August 12, 2009

BCQC August Open Quizzes - report

Date: 9 Aug 2009

It was a fairly doomed Sunday to hold a quiz, with H1N1 flu casualties swirling around (and draining participant courage), an auto strike, prize shortfall due to logistics and so on. Our thanks to the 70 odd people who participated in one or the other quiz last Sunday.
We will provide finalists with their remaining prizes as soon as we have managed to arrange for them from Landmark. Thanks are in order to Blaft Publications & Landmark for prizes, and especially to Persistent for use of their auditorium, especially on a day like that.

The 'Emergency' Quiz

Set & Conducted by:: Suraj Menon

1st: Yasho+Siddharth, 2nd: Angad+Yash M, 3rd: Harish+Dharmendra; (finalists) Keyur+Saransh, Vikram+Gaurav, Shubhodeep+Sridip

Circumstances forced us into drastic changes reminiscent of Ashes Tests at Edgbaston or Headingley. The Literature quiz had to be postponed (will happen in the next cycle), and so became a General quiz. Luckily, Suraj stepped into the breach and considering that he had half a night to put together a set of elims & finals, he did an excellent job.

Despite the health conditions of the city, about 20 teams arrived to take part in the prelims (our thanks to them) and the finals saw a very fresh lineup. Suraj had about 50 questions and a 'Amul ads' written round. Most of the questions were interesting and Suraj's peculiar brand of histrionics were on show. One day, we'll get him to do an entire Kerala quiz.

'Questionable Intelligence'

Set & Conducted by:: J. Ramanand

Results (corrected standings)
1st: Yasho+Yash M, 2nd: Suraj+Siddharth, 3rd: Salil+Aniket; (finalists) Harish+Dharmendra, Kaustubh+Mohit, Keyur+Saransh

The term 'Questionable Intelligence' was perhaps an accurate reflection (once again) of the quiz-master's tendencies to tie everyone into unnecessary knots with his format-mongering. Since the same person is writing this report (sort of like Genghis Khan pillaging the hapless and then reporting on the scene for Amnesty International), he prefers to let participants comment on the content, while he offers to depose in front of the enquiry commissions.

The quiz consisted of three 'sets' (the last only for the top 3 after two rounds), with normalised scoring. This resulted in teams not necessarily winning based on most questions answered across the quiz, but with relative performances in each set. The problem was that the division of questions among sets was largely artificial. This system worked better in a previous quiz, where each set was based on a different theme.

So essentially teams were being judged for attempting a similar number of questions, and could be penalised for doing badly in one set. The first two sets had 14+2 connects each across 6 teams, while the last had 10 across 3. I still think these are similar attempt-wise. But another ill-advised option to see more than one question at a time in the final only served to confuse matters more. Teams found the last round tough and scored very little, leading to a lot of confusion.

For which this QM asks forgiveness and is thankful that people were polite enough not to complain too much. Some of these ultra-experiments were tried because the audience was a lot more familiar and likely to be considerably more tolerant, of which rather undue advantage was taken :-). This QM/reporter has been a vocal critic of several untried experiments and confusing quizzes, so will await brickbats/raps on knuckles/egg showers if flung!

Would like to thank Aditya Gadre & George (and a couple of nameless others) for kindly offering comments on questions. Aditya's input, in particular, helped shape the elims - this was at least one improvement on this QM's last strange elims adventure.

Please do let us know what you thought of both quizzes by leaving comments below.


Harish Kumar said...

First set of top-of-the-mind feedback -
1. Liked the elims a LOT. Used Prezi! :)
2. Way too many experiments in the finals - could have spaced out the same no. in 2 or even 3 different quizzes.
3. IM very personal O, a few (more than 1 or 2) left-of-the-field Asiatic Cheetahs - would have known in advance that those would go unanswered but would definitely get the oohs once the answer is given. 1 or 2 per quiz is ok; not more than that.Twisti Twosti or whatever it was, was an example.
4. The last round was a disaster - no one in the audience knew what was going on.
5. For a change, the connects didn't hit the right chord - the one with the mallu audio was too high-level an answer.Even after the last clue, I had to give it as the answer against my will. The same with the one with the Copernicus image.
6. The 'answer with one member of the team' penalty seemed very strange. Didn't understand what the objective of the penalty was.
7. Had a re-think on the idea of giving only salient points in the q since it is strictly following the path chosen by the QM. Giving the whole wiki page as some QMs do may be a better bet in some cases - lets us find our own path and take guesses; not confined to the unidirectional path laid out by the QM.

Harish Kumar said...

Loved the Emergency quiz although I had to unfairly kiss 2 points away to France.

Aditya said...

send me the final finals. I want to see these sadistic mallu audio questions.

SURAJ said...

We were 2nd not third!!!!!!!!!!!!

LLC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nikhil said...

No draft-picks (3 member teams) for this quiz ?
Was it because of the turnout which seemed pretty decent?

Aniket said...

I loved the quiz. The elims were good and the finals were just great. I thought it was a much more audience-friendly and pop-culture filled quiz by JR's standards. I personally liked the last round, it did give some variety to the whole quiz. However, I think care should be taken that the audience doesn't feel left out during such rounds. And I agree with Harish, one or two of the connects could be done away with. But overall a very enjoyable quiz which covered for the great screw up that was the points system.

Yasho said...

@LLC- The links dont work.

The quiz was wonderful, and the scoring system allowed us a great opportunity to make a comeback, but it was akin to running through the diameter of a racing track :)