Poorly Run Event Stories

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

Postby Unome » December 14th, 2014, 3:20 pm

What are Excel?
I hope that's sarcasm. :)
Or possibly satire in reference to grammar :D
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Postby thisusernameistaken » January 14th, 2015, 8:35 pm

Ugh Minnesota States Food Science 2013. Procter gave her team the answers and then multiple teams showed up to the wrong time slot, but instead of turning them away the proctor let them in without realizing that there were too many teams for the number of stations. Ended up some teams didn't get to go to all the stations. Luckily someone discovered her team had answers identical to the key and the event was thrown out.
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Postby Chris_L » January 14th, 2015, 10:58 pm

For me the worst has to be when Elastic Launch Glider was held in a classroom at Regionals. So many broken gliders, and awful times all around.
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Postby nxtscholar » January 15th, 2015, 1:53 am

So with regards to codes and algorithms, I emphasize that I myself did not compete in it, and that the people who did for my school were happy with it (after all, both teams placed and got 2nd and 6th).

However, here is the issue that other schools had. It was ridiculously easy. I know prior users said everyone should be comfortable using excel as a platform, but when everyone is ridiculously adept at it, and the problems are also easy, then the main issue herein lies with the tiebreaker of time. Well, here's what one of my friends at a different school thought about it:

"Okay codes. I was first session. Freaking 4 questions. FOUR. One of them, the proctor messed up on because he didn't realize that there was a single function to solve that. Okay......... me and my partner just wasted 5 minutes trying to come up with an alternative solution cuz we figured he wanted us to. Then proctor tells us we're allowed to use that function, he just messed up. (Also, 5 minutes counted a lot, since we were all done in like 15 minutes.) The other three questions were so easy. So easy. I can't imagine any team getting them wrong, unless they legit know nothing about algorithms and/or excel. We finished them before your JP teams 1 and 2 (they were in our session). Also, another question was also wrong. We told the proctor, and he fixed it. I think we should have gotten brownie points, but whatevs, idrc. Official rules state tiebreakers are (in order), points on certain questions, time, and parentheses used. It probably came down to time taken. But did he measure the time taken? Nope. He talked to use for like 10 minutes in the beginning and didn't keep track of when we started. So how was he even supposed to figure out time for different sessions. And after that he was like, okay send it to my email. But you can't go on Safari unless we're watching you. There were two people, and JP teams got them first, so they got to send theirs first, even though we were done right after JP team 1 called done, cuz we were actually done for a little while after he told us we could just use the easy formula for that one question. (JP team 2 got the other proctor before we got him.) So annoying. But that's not even what it came down to, since JP team 2 beat team 1 and our team 2 beat team 1. He probably did it based on parentheses, and our team wasn't even slightly worried about that because of the order of the tiebreakers. So annoyed"

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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Postby chalker » January 15th, 2015, 8:19 am

So with regards to codes and algorithms, I emphasize that I myself did not compete in it, and that the people who did for my school were happy with it (after all, both teams placed and got 2nd and 6th).

However, here is the issue that other schools had. It was ridiculously easy. I know prior users said everyone should be comfortable using excel as a platform, but when everyone is ridiculously adept at it, and the problems are also easy, then the main issue herein lies with the tiebreaker of time. ......
So the main crux of your concern with the event is that one particular event supervisor made a 4 question test and messed up some of the basic event implementation issues like keeping time? Things like that happen all the time in other events, yet we don't generally completely discount the concept of the event as a result. I'm sure with a little bit of thought anyone could come up with some questions that are NOT 'ridiculously easy' to answer. For example, given a number, return the prime number that is closest in value to that number (either greater or lesser than).

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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Postby nxtscholar » January 15th, 2015, 3:40 pm

It's not really the crux of my argument, because I have none. I didn't compete in the event; I'm just relaying the thoughts of others. :P When I first said that I predicted this would be poorly run, I just meant that I could see a lot of people finding fault with the event being run at my regions.

I'm just passing on what people have said at regions on here since I believe you wanted to know what people thought since you provided insight on this event.

My personal thoughts? People should just learn to adapt to problems, since it affects people evenly, for the most part. I did Wright Stuff at regions, and yes, I can complain about how the E/S left the HVAC system on, how there were 50 people creating mini currents in the air just by walking, how the ceiling was only 16 ft of working space and they chose a bad room and so on - resulting in numerous schools coming in with 2-3 min flights getting only ~1 min - but again, it was a condition we all had to work with and I know how hard it can be to organize tournaments.

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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Postby Verdigris » January 19th, 2015, 7:03 am

While we were taking Road Scholar at the regional, the proctor told us that one of the questions had no answer because it referenced a point on the map that hadn't actually been marked. As we took the test, I noticed that the two questions after it also couldn't be answered for the same reason, so all 3 questions were tossed out.

Not too bad compared to some of the other mishaps mentioned, but I think whoever made the test needs to pay a bit more attention next time. :P
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Postby megan » January 23rd, 2015, 10:44 am

This is pretty mild compared to others, but at states last year the proctor for Water Quality accidently printed off the answer document for the previous year's test instead of the current year's answer document. We were just about to start the exam when he noticed. Unfortuantely we had to just scrawl our answers in the margins of the wrong answer sheet. On top of that it was a station-type exam where each station had a couple questions of the exam (completely unnecessary in my opinion), so it was already hectic enough. Hoping this year's exam goes better :D
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Postby mjcox2000 » January 23rd, 2015, 2:58 pm

Write It Do It was really bad at the Kenston invitational - for one, writers didn't get a structure to write off of, just a picture, and the colors in the picture were off. The structure was basically some straw pieces arranged on a sheet of paper, and the picture might have been enough to write off of if they'd included the whole sheet, but part of it was cut off, leaving me with no idea about the scale or position of the pieces on the paper - is that design in the center, or near a corner? Is that a 1" or 1.5" straw piece, and is it orange or pink?
Also, in most tournaments, they have doers in one room while the writers are writing. The proctors had 2 rooms to operate in, but for whatever reason, they only used one of them. They had the doers wait outside the room while the writers wrote, then kept them outside for a few minutes after we (the writers) left, so we passed them as we left and someone who wanted to cheat could have told their partner all about the structure because they weren't paying any attention to the competitors outside.
Also, remember how I said the structure was straw pieces on a piece of paper? They were just laying on the paper, not attached to it or anything. And the doers' desks were slanted, and straws roll - need I say more?
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Postby Skink » January 25th, 2015, 4:36 pm

Also, in most tournaments, they have doers in one room while the writers are writing. The proctors had 2 rooms to operate in, but for whatever reason, they only used one of them. They had the doers wait outside the room while the writers wrote, then kept them outside for a few minutes after we (the writers) left, so we passed them as we left and someone who wanted to cheat could have told their partner all about the structure because they weren't paying any attention to the competitors outside.
This happens. There was an invitational once where writers did, in fact, tip off their partners just after having left the room before the doers were rounded up. It resulted in skewed results against the teams following the rules, so I pushed for the event to be thrown out seeing as how it was compromised. I didn't win that one, but, on the other hand, I haven't seen this happen again since, either!


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