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PB11 Packet Requirements
Penn Bowl 11: The Penn Bowl Identity
Packet Requirements


Last Updated: 17 August 2001



Introduction

This document contains the packet requirements for Penn Bowl 11. These requirements are largely the same as those for Penn Bowl 10.

Schools sending one team are required to submit a packet of 21 tossups and 21 boni.

Schools sending two teams are required to submit a packet of 36 tossups and 36 boni.

For schools sending three or more teams, please contact the PADT as soon as possible regarding packet requirements.

Please submit all packets directly to the tournament director. Please do not mail them to the Penn Bowl account.

The deadlines are at 11:59:59 PM EST as follows (all dates are Mondays):

Extremely early deadline (-$30/-$15): 29 October 2001
Very early deadline (-$20/-$10): 12 November 2001
Early deadline (-$10/-$5): 26 November 2001
Regular deadline: 10 December 2001

An automatic extension of 72 hours beyond the above deadlines will be granted provided that at least 50% of a school's required questions are submitted by the deadlines above.

PADT reserves the right to charge late fees or to deny registration to teams that have not submitted the required packets by the regular deadline. Such penalties will be announced during the first week of December.





Difficulty

Packets should be accessible to all teams competing. Packets that are inordinately difficult will be returned for rewriting.

Tossups:

Aim for as high an overall tossup conversion rate as possible. Avoid questions that are likely to go dead in every room: the bottom two teams in a bracket should be capable of answering at least two-thirds of the tossups as written. This is not the same thing as saying that teams should "recognize the answer."

[Last year, the overall tossup conversion rate was 72%. We are aiming for an overall conversion rate of 83-87%.]

Boni:

While 30s and 0s should be rare, zeros should be rarer than 30s. Questions should be written so that teams with at least rudimentary knowledge of a subject will get some points, but are not likely to get all the available points. For example, do not write a bonus along the lines of "Name these geological features related to glaciers that aren't eskers, fjords, or moraines," or "For 10 points each, name these works by French economist Claude Frederic Bastiat."

[Last year, the overall bonus conversion rate was 42%. We are aiming for an overall conversion rate of 50-55%.]



Distribution

Like last year, we are using a new distribution which we hope will result in a higher overall question quality, and fewer "wasted" questions.

We have not explicitly specified exact distributions. However, we expect that all teams will exercise common sense, and will submit packets that are diverse with respect to time, location, and content both within and across categories. We reserve the right to reject any packet that fails to show a reasonable attempt at diversity. A good rule of thumb is this: If a subject could not reasonably be expected to come up once every other packet, it should not come up twice in your packet. The term "subject" here means the narrowest category that will include both questions. As an example: having two questions on pre-Civil War American history is acceptable; having two tossups on slave rebellions is not.

The numbers in the table represent the total number of questions required in each category or subcategory, which must be split evenly between tossups and boni. For example, "4 questions" means 2 tossups and 2 boni, not 3/1 or 1/3 (or 4/4); 3 questions means 2/1 or 1/2, etc..

Subjects listed as encouraged are exactly that: we would like to see them written, but, for various reasons, we are not explicitly requiring them in all packets.

Finally, please note the "special requirements" under History and Literature. These do not require extra questions to be written, but should be met within the framework laid out above.

Do you need to follow this distribution exactly to the letter? No. Minor omissions in an otherwise well-written packet are acceptable, though gross deviations are not. [For example, if you're short half a history bonus and have half a lit bonus too many, we won't reject your packet. But don't try to send us, for example, a packet with five European lit tossups.]
 
 

ONE TEAM

TWO TEAMS

Science [S]

6
12

Human biology (genetics, anatomy, diseases, etc.)

0-1

1-2

Other biology

1-2

2-3

Chemistry

1-2

2-3

Physics

1-2

2-3

Mathematics and computer science, max 1 each

0-1

1-2

Other sciences, max 1 each

1-2

1-3

History of science

0-1

0-2

Computer Science is for questions on the operation of computers and computer programs. Questions on specific programs, web sites, etc., belong under Popular Culture or Your Choice.

Questions whose answers are people or that focus on historical facts are considered History of Science.







Literature [L]

6
12

US

2-3

3-5

British and other English

2-3

3-5

European, max 1 per language; includes ancient

0-1

1-3

Non-Western

0-1

1-3

Literary theory/criticism/terminology

0-1

0-2

Special requirement: 1-3 Qs (one team)/2-6 Qs (two teams) on poetry, drama, and short stories.
Up to 3 Qs on "genre" literature: "popular", children's, science fiction/fantasy, mystery (max 1 each).



Questions should be spread out across time; your questions should ideally cover at least three different centuries. Questions on religious texts belong under Rel/Myth/Phil, not Literature. Questions on romance novels cannot go here.







History [H]

6
12

US

1-2

3-5

Canada

0-1

0-1

Europe, max 2 per country

2-3

3-5

Latin America, Africa, and Asia, max 1 per country

1-2

2-3

Ancient, before AD 732

0-1

1-2

Special requirement: Max 1/3 of your Qs on military history, max 1 per war.



Also, be sure your questions are spread out across various time periods.







Current Events [C]

2
4

US Political/social

0-1

1-2

World Political/social

0-1

1-2

Business and industry

0-1

0-1

Questions should cover events since May 1, 2001. Avoid crime-of-the-week questions. Questions on celebrities and athletes belong under Popular Culture.







Popular Culture & Sports [P]

4
8

TV

0-1

1-2

Movies

0-1

1-2

Music

0-1

1-2

Other, in different fields

0-1

1-2





Professional team sports, max 1 per sport

0-1

1-2

Other sports

0-1

1-2

Encouraged -- women's sports, content before 1995







Fine Arts [A]

4
6

Classical music, not opera or jazz

1-2

2-3

Visual arts, not film

1-2

2-3

Opera and jazz, max 1 each

0-1

0-2

Film

0-1

0-1

Other fields, max 1 each

0-1

0-1

The distinction between Film in Fine Arts and Movies in Pop Culture is a relatively arbitrary one. But, for example, "Un Chien andalou" does not belong under Pop Culture, while "Tomcats" does not belong under Fine Arts.







Religion/Myth/Philosophy [R]

4
6

Religion, max 1 per religion

1-2

1-3

Mythology, max 1 per culture

1-2

1-3

Philosophy, max 1 per school

1-2

1-3

Encouraged -- Questions on non-Western religions and philosophies.







Social Sciences [O]/Geography [G]

4
6

Psychology

0-1

0-1

Economics

0-1

0-1

Government and law

0-1

0-1

Anthropology, archaeology, and sociology

0-2

0-2

Other social sciences, max 1 per field

0-2

0-2

Questions on specific court cases and laws go under History, not Social Sciences.






Geography

1-2

2-4

Geography questions should have different types of answers and cover different continents.





   

Your Choice [Y]

6
6

Foreign languages and word origins

1-2

1-2

Your Choice

4-5

4-5

Questions on foreign languages may go under another category if more appropriate; word origin questions must involve more than single etymological clues.

The only restrictions on Your Choice questions are: (1) max 1 TU and 1 bonus per major category above, and (2) no duplication of information.







TOTALS

42
72

21/21
36/36




Question Styles, etc.

TOSSUPS



BONI





Formatting and Submission

DO NOT USE AUTOFORMATTING.

We have provided sample files illustrating formatting for packets sorted by category and for randomized packets. Please follow these samples closely in preparing your packet.





Unacceptable Packets

PADT reserves the right to reject packets that contain gross violations of the above guidelines, or that are essentially unusable as written. Please note that any discounts that might have been earned will be forfeited if they are rejected. [If corrected quickly enough, though, the discounts can be re-earned.]

In addition, please note that a $10 fine will automatically be levied if: (a) the text of any tossup exceeds seven lines, (b) the text of any bonus exceeds eleven lines, or (c) the text of any bonus contains more than four prompts.


Questions/Comments/Suggestions

Please contact the Penn Bowl staff.