Starting with the 2006-2007 season, several rules have been modified or added in order to close loopholes, clarify intent, and promote consistency of interpretation across the various tournaments. These changes deal with the rules regarding acceptable answers. Rules changed or added include Rule 29, Rule 30, and Rule 33.
Old Rule 29
Unless otherwise stated in the question, players may use abbreviated answers, such as last names only, nicknames, acronyms, etc. Chemical symbols are not acceptable for element names, unless specifically requested in the question. Numbers in astronomical catalogs are not acceptable for the names of astronomical objects, unless specifically requested in the question.
However, proper names, quotations and titles must be exact. Neither “Sonnets In the Portuguese” nor “Sonnet From the Portuguese” are acceptable for “Sonnets From the Portuguese,” for example.
Revised Rule 29
Unless otherwise stated in the question, players may use abbreviated answers, such as last names only, acronyms, etc. However, unless specifically requested, chemical symbols are not acceptable for element names, numbers in astronomical catalogs are not acceptable for the names of astronomical objects. For all married women, we will not accept the form of her husband’s name. “Mrs. George W. Bush” would not be an acceptable answer for Laura Bush.
Proper names, quotations and titles must be exact. Neither “ Sonnets In the Portuguese” nor “Sonnet From the Portuguese” are acceptable for “Sonnets From the Portuguese,” for example.
Explanation of Rule 29 Changes
The changes are in the first paragraph, and both are intended to require a player to show clear and precise knowledge in order to receive credit for an answer. Nicknames are generally no longer acceptable as answers. Particularly in entertainment and sports, many people have both multiple nicknames, and nicknames that are only known in particular regions. Keeping track of them all is problematic. College Bowl Company question writers and editors evaluate common nicknames on a case-by-case to determine if they should require a prompt, and will include on the question card any nicknames in the very rare instances they are deemed appropriate as an answer or for a prompt. Local Moderators and Judges will not need to make spot decisions on nickname acceptability that could conflict with decisions made at other tournaments, or in other rooms at the same tournament.
Giving a woman’s husband married name does not demonstrate clear and precise knowledge when the woman is the answer. Rather than waste match time and prompt on each occasion that answers are given in this form, it is more elegant procedurally to instruct players and game officials that answers in this form will not be accepted.
New Rule 30
In questions dealing with performing artists, we will only accept the professional name of the artist, unless specifically called for in the question. “Thomas Mapother” would not be an acceptable answer for “Tom Cruise.”
Explanation of Rule 30 Change
This new rule is intended to simplify both the writing/editing and judging processes. Determining birth names for entertainers has proven problematic. It can be very time consuming, and usually reliable information sources often differ on this issue. Experience and feedback received indicate that it is extremely rare for players to give birth names for performers. This rule simplifies question production issues and, like the revised Rule 29, serves to standardize practices across all Intramural and Regional Championship Tournaments. We realize there are some cases where a performer has used both his real name professionally and multiple professional names (Sean “Puff-Daddy,” “Puffy,” “P-Diddy,” etc. Combs comes to mind), and these special instances will be handled on the question card on a case-by-case basis.
As this new rule does not replace or modify an existing rule, all subsequent rules have been renumbered.
Old Rule 32
The Moderator has the option of asking the player for “more specific information” in order to determine if the answer was correct. On questions requiring multi-word answers, if an answer is incomplete (yet not incorrect), the Moderator must ask for “more specific information.” Such questions will include the word “Prompt” as a note below the answer.
For example, if the player answers “Roosevelt,” the Moderator must ask for more information, to elicit “Teddy” or “Franklin.” A Moderator may ask a player to spell a response to determine if s/he was correct, for example to distinguish between the phonetically similar “Monet” and “Manet.”
Revised and Re-numbered Rule 33
If a question includes the word “Prompt” as a note below the answer, the Moderator can ask the player for “more specific information” to determine if an answer was correct. On questions requiring multi-word answers, if an answer is incomplete (yet not incorrect), the Moderator must ask for “more specific information.” A Moderator may only prompt once per question on toss-ups, or per question part on bonuses.
For example, if the player answers “Roosevelt,” the Moderator may ask for more information, to elicit “Teddy” or “Franklin.” A Moderator may ask a player to spell a response to determine if s/he was correct on phonetically similar answers, i.e. “Manet” or “Monet.”
Explanation of Revised and Re-numbered Rule 33
The changes are in the first paragraph. Prompts are put on question cards to assist game officials in determining if a player correctly answered the question. Rule 29 allows players to give minimal information on an answer, and prompts are the mechanism to reconcile the common player practice of responding and giving the minimum information necessary with the need to be clear and precise in distinguishing between similar and related answers.
Feedback received indicates that the officiating of prompts needs to be standardized across individual tournaments, and sometimes among how they are officiated in individual game rooms within the same tournament. The rule change now specifies that game officials should only prompt when it is indicated on the card, and they may only prompt once per question or question part.
Every effort is made to include all likely prompting situations on the question card. Moderators should pre-read questions before the match to familiarize themselves with potential prompting situations, and must follow them when instructed on the question card to do so. If the card does not indicate a prompt, the Moderator should not prompt. While no question production system is perfect, there is already a discrepancy review process (renumbered Rules 42 through 50) for resolving issues. In questions of prompting, it is better to utilize the existing process then to allow Moderators discretion in prompting that can vary from room to room.
It is also necessary to standardize the number of prompts allowed on a question. The old rule 32 set no limit, and some Moderators and Judges interpreted this to mean that multiple prompts were allowed. This created situations such as the following:
The answer on the toss-up card is “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” with the words “King” and Jr.” underlined to indicate the minimum information needed to clearly and precisely distinguish the answer. A player signals, is recognized, and answers “King;” is prompted to be “more specific” and answers “Dr. King;” is prompted again and answers “Dr. Martin King;” is prompted yet again and answers “Dr. Martin Luther King;” is prompted a final time and answers “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” and the answer is accepted.
Multiple prompts interrupt the flow of the game, are not applied consistently, and either intentionally or unintentionally waste game time. The rule has been clarified to indicate that players get one prompt, and no more, per toss-up answer or bonus part. If, after the single “more specific” prompt, the player has still not given at least the minimum information underlined on the card, the answer will be deemed incorrect.
Please do not hesitate to email Tom Michael or call him at 800-234-2695 x106 if you have any questions about these rule revisions.