Sunday, March 17, 2013

The March Open 2013 - Report

Set and Conducted by : Hari Nair, Debanjan Bose and Suraj Prabhu
Flavour : General
Format : 23 question elims worth 25 points
6 teams + drafts in finals. 3 written rounds and 3 sets of 12 IB questions. Infinite Pounce.

1st : Team 5 : J Ramanand, Aniket Khasgiwale and Omkar Yarguddi (draft) - 210 pts
2nd : Team 2 : Ranajeet Soman, Aditya Chandorkar and Payas A. (draft) - 160 pts
3rd : Team 4 : Omkar Dhakephalkar + 1, Samrat Sengupta (draft) - 125 points

Other teams on stage were : Rohan Danait, Vibhav Bhave and BV Harish Kumar (draft)
Ramesh Gopalakrishnan, Debashish Padhee and Venkat Srinivasan (draft)
Parminder Singh, Pritesh Sinha and Arnold D'Souza (draft)

The elims were decent but a little entertainment heavy. There were a couple of really good questions and no obvious peters. The highest was 14 (our team) followed by JR and Khasgi (13) and there was a clutch of teams on and around 8.
The finals had 3 written rounds all of which were good and most questions could be worked out. The 3 slabs of IR were with infinite pounce but the abundance of QMs helped in going through checking pounces. For the first half it was very close with Ramanand's team, our team and Vcat's team separated by 5 points. By the last IR round Ramanand's team had a decent lead over us but weren't out of reach. We had consolidated our second position. The winners did so comfortably in the end and the second and third spot too were decided well before the end.

There were some questions which raised eyebrows (BDFL prominently) because of NSFW material and The Mother Rule was clearly not followed.The quiz was Ent heavy but most questions were interesting and the quiz was enjoyable.

PS: 10 points are not worth giving some answers as was seen today (unfortunately experienced first-hand by me). :)


Aniket Khasgiwale said...

I felt the entire quiz was very unbalanced. This was basically an entertainment quiz with a few other topics thrown in. Also, even within entertainment the bias towards western ent was very strong - there were almost no questions on Bollywood or on Indian music, which was surprising. Another topic which was barely covered was sport. I understand that the QMs were probably more comfortable with western ent, but a general quiz needs to have a good spread of questions from different topics. You can't just fill it up with questions from your pet topics.

The whole idea of conducting a BC open general quiz is that you should challenge yourself to ask questions of a higher calibre across a larger variety of topics. That is probably the best way of improving as a QM. Today's quiz felt more like a BC session - where you generally ask questions on one or two topics , without too much framing etc. For a formal quiz, I think a lot more effort needs to go in.

I know that setting questions on topics in which one isn't very interested seems a boring and difficult task. However, there are a lot of interesting fundae in such topics as well which, after sufficient research, can be made into good questions. Obviously, a bias will always remain in any quiz, but there should at least be an attempt towards minimizing it.

The first BC open general quiz that I had conducted was quite severely criticized on this very blog, for reasons not too different from the ones I have mentioned. But I took that feedback seriously while setting my next quiz, which turned out to be much better. Hence I decided to write such a long comment, as I feel honest feedback always helps as long as it is taken in the right spirit. After all, a better quiz is something that all of us will enjoy and appreciate.
One last thing, which I feel is completely unpardonable. The quiz was scheduled to start at 2 PM, but not one of the 3 QMs reached the venue before 2:40 PM. All the participants were waiting for the QMs to turn up and start the quiz. That is really a shame.

Arnold said...

Firstly, who is Vcat? Do you mean Ardeshir Jussavala? I will not comment on the selection of topics, as I haven't set a quiz before and I expect it's pretty hard to do a good one. Personally I have no problem with the Western bias as I wouldn't have gotten any Bollywood/Indian questions anyway. Also, the late start (unpardonable as it may be) was fortunate for Salil and I, so yay!

Ranajeet said...

QMs not turning up on time is a crying shame. The starting time was decided few days in advance after speaking with the QMs. Unpardonable as Aniket says.

Meghashyam Shirodkar said...

Yes, I too wanted to ask...Who is Vcat? Do you mean Ardeshir Jussavala? Also, was my good friend Isha Badlani at the quiz too?? WSWW? HMSG??

Ramanand J said...

A couple of clarifs from the post: I'm not a fan of the "Mother Rule", because if we only asked things which most of our moms knew, then we'd have a very limited breadth of topics indeed. Instead, a broad range of topics, a mix of the new and unknown with some old wine in new bottles would be great to have: let's call it the "oi maa!" rule, just for kicks.

Similarly, NSFW stuff is fine as long as it is interesting. A bunch of 'sounds' is merely sophomoric :)

Aniket covered most of what I wanted to crib about, so I'll begin with the positives:
1. Hardly any 'peters', which is great. Even experienced QMs don't seem to be able to get that right.
2. Some interesting little topics (I wish we had more of them)
3. The "bounce+pounce" was handled well, without any wastage of time, and with assurance.
4. Most of the answers were well-explained

I think most participants yesterday were of a college variety, so such a quiz must have been amusing. But having "seen that, done that" (that's what she said, I suppose, and made the "sounds" to boot), I'd prefer if a BCQC General Open aspired to higher standards in everything: organisation, punctuality, presentation and design, lack of confusion as to what was required of the exact answer, avoiding mid-pitch round table conferences between the QMs as to what the question was about, and generally providing more value to an afternoon beyond the amusing but inexpensive thrills that usually satisfy a college-level event.

Also, 60 points (i.e. 6 regular questions worth) for a written round testing one's knowledge of American comedic stars, was a little too much. Same for book covers. The coins-notes round was perfect though - enough variety of people and professions, and good clues to boot.

On the other hand, nice to see so many new faces in the finals; would love to hear what some of them thought.

Supreeth said...

I'm nowhere near a quizzer as you guys are, but I started attending BCQC sessions a while ago, and this was my third 'formal' quiz. Have to say I loved every bit of it. It was funny, quirky and workable, and for a Jr. College guy, a bit overwhelming, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, partly because of the questions, and partly because I was (am still) in awe of the quizzers who were answering it.

Yenonymous said...

Thanks for the feedback guys. Sorry for the delay. we were lost. Also, apologies for the heavy ent leaning questions. Thank you Hari S Nair fur putting the Gen in our gen quiz.

We had a lot of fun working on the quiz but we must agree that it was very haphazard organization that surprisingly didnt go as bad as we expected. We hope to improve and feed off your valuable feedback and all that jazz...and ahem...

If per chance, we've offended,
Think but this and all is mended,
Might as well been have an entertaining eveing with cheap thrills
Instead of watching Debanjan Bose OD on prescription pills!

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Aniket for such a frank feedback. Needs to be taken in the right spirit by the QMs, so that they can improve.

One observation, was that all us veterans - Me,Vcat,BVHK,Maitreyi,Arnold and Salil were in the draft picks, in spite of the low turnout !!

My +ves and -ves

>Unbalanced spread of questions for a Gen quiz
>The NSFW questions are best avoided in the Opens, especially as we conduct quizzes in 3rd party locations, allow kids. So we need to be extra careful
>Lit round could have been framed better, with regards to clues/book selection
>The SNL connect did not merit so many points

> Overall quiz conducting was good, pounces,part answers handled well by QMs
> Liked the currency round
> Mostly original questions, very few peters


Anonymous said...

My +1 was Pranav Pawar

-Omkar D

Ramanand J said...

It could be said that, on this occasion, the draft picks were much 'stronger' (on paper) than the teams in the final (with no offence to them). It just reflected the topics in the prelims, of course, and perhaps made for a good change. As I wrote elsewhere, it was good to meet with the next generation of college quizzers.

After a long while, a report+discussion worthy of these BCQC blogs. Plus a poem to boot.

Ranajeet said...

People show up unbelievably late; not just this quiz but for the past few opens. Showing up half an hour late seems to be the norm. The timing needs to be taken way more seriously. Showing up earlier than Avaneendra is not saying much. Showing up on time is.

Yash Marathe said...

Showing up later than Avaneendra is physically not possible, even if you send the theory of relativity to Guantanamo and waterboard it. There is absolutely no excuse for the QMs showing up late (having done so on at least one occasion, I speak from experience). It is bad enough that we start sessions 30 minutes or so after they have been scheduled to, but the Opens, at least, need to start on time.

Content-wise, I haven't looked at the quiz yet, but from the comments it seems to have been a fairly decent effort despite the bias towards Western Ent.

Also need details on Virat's red-in-the-face answer unworthy of the points it was awarded.

Vcat said...

I will set quiz.

Have done some questions.