Poorly Run Event Stories

For anything Science Olympiad-related that might not fall under a specific event or competition.
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MadCow2357
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by MadCow2357 » April 30th, 2019, 6:09 pm

syo_astro wrote:
John Richardsim wrote:
MadCow2357 wrote: Probably because less well prepared teams were able to do equally as well or perhaps better than the well prepared teams.
But how well-prepared teams are is judged by the competition, so as far as anyone's concerned, the "less prepared" teams are actually better prepared than the "more prepared" teams, so there's really no objectivity to it.

It also seems like the top teams were able to do very well in almost all events, which kind of refutes that claim as well.
+1 (I know I'm not supposed to, but I can't help it)

To MadCow and Cowboy: ...c'mon. You know outright you're saying teams that place lower are less well prepared *at every event*???...without judgement, you should know that's going to be a tough argument to make. Adding to John, this has zero to do with individual events (pairs). There are plenty of users here that would (and have) demolished competition at their events though their team didn't do as well. Even if you come back with statistics confirming that, yes, teams that placed lower overall did well at individual events....so what?

A note: We're not saying there may not have been individual event issues or things that were really too easy...but you have to come back with a bit better of an explanation then:P.
I think there's been a misunderstanding. If the tests were that much easier, then there would be smaller margins between the scores of well-prepared participants and less well prepared participants. Just a few errors made by more well-prepared participants could mean the difference between medaling and bombing.

I was not saying that teams who place lower are less well-prepared for every event. I do not deny that there are amazing individuals who compete on less-successful teams and do extremely well in their events. I am simply saying that more successful teams, on average, will people that are "well prepared", and will therefore do much better as a team. Those individuals placing highly in their events don't usually affect how well the most successful teams perform in their events overall. This is all assuming that they are given tests of the right difficulty and design to differentiate the well prepared folks from the not-so well-prepared. So the most reasonable explanation for the "phenomenon" that occurred would either be bombing (possible), or just extremely easy tests that were unable to differentiate the clear differences in knowledge between more knowledgeable and less knowledgeable competitors (bombing in a content event is generally more unlikely).

EDIT: I read Cowboy's post wrong, I assumed that he meant top placing teams had many events that placed below 30 or 50, not that the 30th and 50th place teams medaled. So overall, my long post above was completely unnecessary. It seems that I was the misunderstanding :D
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by MIScioly1 » April 30th, 2019, 6:30 pm

TheCowboyandhisArk wrote:Most of the tests at Michigan States were too easy, there were 1st place meadals down to 30th place, and placings down to 50th.
I competed at MI States for 4 years in high school, and I tend to agree with your statement in general. However, just because a team that places low overall gets a medal does not mean that a test was bad. Even teams that place lower might have a strong event or two. A good science olympiad test will differentiate between the top teams and those in the rest of the pack. A test in which several teams get hundreds or everyone gets a zero doesn't help separate teams. For what it's worth, without getting into too much detail, in Thermodynamics C at MI States (I was one of the supervisors), the top performing teams were separated from the rest by substantial margins on the written test (as were the lower-scoring teams). I actually really liked the distribution I ended up with. Hope those who did that event liked the test :D
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by sfa78 » May 1st, 2019, 5:31 am

syo_astro wrote:
John Richardsim wrote:
MadCow2357 wrote: Probably because less well prepared teams were able to do equally as well or perhaps better than the well prepared teams.
But how well-prepared teams are is judged by the competition, so as far as anyone's concerned, the "less prepared" teams are actually better prepared than the "more prepared" teams, so there's really no objectivity to it.

It also seems like the top teams were able to do very well in almost all events, which kind of refutes that claim as well.
+1 (I know I'm not supposed to, but I can't help it)

To MadCow and Cowboy: ...c'mon. You know outright you're saying teams that place lower are less well prepared *at every event* (or at least on average)???...without judgement, you should know that's going to be a tough argument to make either way. Adding to John, this has zero to do with individual events (pairs). There are plenty of users here that would (and have) demolished competition at their events though their team didn't do as well. Even if you come back with statistics confirming that, yes, teams that placed lower overall did well at individual events....so what?

A note: We're not saying there may not have been individual event issues or things that were really too easy...but you have to come back with a bit better of an explanation then or rather just point to specific events:P.
An example is the Div. B Solar System test, which was said to be too easy. Our team placed 20th, along with 16th and 19th for the top two teams. While I know individuals can do exceptionally well in an event, where the whole team does not, this could not have been the case here. This was one of our very best events; our team placed first in the Regionals test with a big margin only to come lower than every other team from our region at States. Having written and graded an invitational SS test, I also have a good idea about how well prepared other teams were in this event.

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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by TheCowboyandhisArk » May 2nd, 2019, 6:37 am

Selundar wrote:
So yeah, easy tests can, in fact, lead to teams that may not be as well prepared to place much higher than teams that have poured several hours more into an event. I can’t speak for MI States, but I know that this kind of thing can definitely happen and skew results. Hopefully, this didn’t affect a significant number of events.
The number one complaint I heard from my teamates at state was the test was too easy. I heard that even after tie breakers, what really distinguished teams was handwriting in some events.

The problem with easy tests is everybody does so well, that one simple mistake, such as a misinterpretation of handwriting, can throw of a test wildly. causing a team that normaly does well to tank.
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by Thedude » May 5th, 2019, 10:04 am

According to one of my friends, in thermo, the proctors were really cluelss, and this was at state.
Apparently, Bonham put globs of airogel on their box and it extended far pst the box boundaries but the proctors didnt care.
They ended up getting second

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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by axolotl » May 5th, 2019, 8:52 pm

This is way too long ago but I would still like to rant!
Went to an invite last season and took a herp test; it was with one of my best friends who I could only work with once or twice since she had other priorities on Saturdays, but still the best partner ever. Took the test, turned it into the guy and walked out early bc it was kind of short, but that's ok. We expected to place since it was a smaller tournament but then lo and behold we don't place. Which is fine, bc sometimes you don't do as well as you thought right? We get the test folder back and there's no test and we got DQed along with like 10 other teams just in herp. Seems they just lost a good stack of tests and pretended they didn't.
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by linzhiyan » May 5th, 2019, 8:57 pm

axolotl wrote:This is way too long ago but I would still like to rant!
Went to an invite last season and took a herp test; it was with one of my best friends who I could only work with once or twice since she had other priorities on Saturdays, but still the best partner ever. Took the test, turned it into the guy and walked out early bc it was kind of short, but that's ok. We expected to place since it was a smaller tournament but then lo and behold we don't place. Which is fine, bc sometimes you don't do as well as you thought right? We get the test folder back and there's no test and we got DQed along with like 10 other teams just in herp. Seems they just lost a good stack of tests and pretended they didn't.
thanks for listening to my rant
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by jaggie34 » May 5th, 2019, 9:00 pm

Is thermo at every single competition except nationals and maybe Penn and MIT a viable option for a poorly run event story?
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by dxu46 » May 5th, 2019, 10:41 pm

jaggie34 wrote:Is thermo at every single competition except nationals and maybe Penn and MIT a viable option for a poorly run event story?
Pretty much. Add competitions where notable alumni (hi pika) have supervised (like Indiana) to the list, though

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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by Unome » May 6th, 2019, 6:37 am

jaggie34 wrote:Is thermo at every single competition except nationals and maybe Penn and MIT a viable option for a poorly run event story?
Georgia B Thermo is pretty good :P
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