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Guide for Moderators

Official rules: We are playing by-the-book with NAQT rules. These can be found on the web at http://www.naqt.com/rules.html

Scoring: Generally, familiarize yourself with the rules distributed in this packet. It is likely that you will be running the match room alone, so you need to be both a reader and scorekeeper. The game will move along better if you handle the scoring quickly. The scoresheet is simple enough to maintain. If a team answers a tossup correctly, mark down 10 points under the appropriate team in the tossup column, in the row for the question you are reading. Since we are playing with NAQT rules, a team which answers before the "power tossup mark" (you have to see a question packet for this to make sense) receives not 10 but 15 points for the tossup. Mark a -5 if a team interrupts and answers incorrectly at any point before you have completed the question. Mark down the bonus points awarded to the team, as well as the possible number of points on that bonus. (This is necessary in case of a protest). Unless you are very quick at arithmetic, it is probably better to wait for halftime to total the scores; it keeps the match moving, and you are less likely to make an error in totaling. Speaking of errors, if a student or coach is available in the room, they should keep an unofficial board score. Scoresheets may be collected by a runner during the tournament. If you have scoresheets left at the end of the morning or afternoon rounds, turn them in to the tournament headquarters. If you would like a coach or player who is sitting out to keep the official scoresheet, they may, provided both teams agree to it.

Reading: Although we are not playing timed rounds, we are on a fixed, tight time schedule. It is imperative that you move through the match quickly. It keeps it exciting for the students, helps you to build a reading rhythm, and ensures that the tournament does not fall behind schedule. There is nothing worse than a behind-schedule tournament. That said, it would be foolish to sacrifice clarity and good diction for speed. It is quite possible to move through a question per minute, which will keep things well on track. It is important to prompt teams for their answers; calling "time" three seconds after completing a tossup, and prompting for an answer after three to five seconds of consultation on a bonus are appropriate and often necessary measures. Do not think you are being charitable and accommodating by allowing teams to think for ten or fifteen seconds before answering a bonus. This is both a violation of the rules, and a surefire way of falling behind.

Room Setup: You have also been given a buzzer lockout system for use in the room. The setup and operation (if you haven't used one before) is straightforward (just ask any teenager for help if you're stymied!). Most important is that you "clear" the system after an answer is given to a tossup, to allow players to buzz in at the next appropriate time. If a buzzer system malfunctions, be creative and reasonable in working around it. It is possible that extra systems will be available to substitute for inoperative units. Contact tournament headquarters for this.

Match Procedure: Typically, once things have settled down, each team should introduce itself and its players, testing each buzzer as they go. Teams may have name cards or plaques. Of course these are welcome, but are not necessary, as we are not playing with strict recognition rules. In general a moderator may set his or her own policy on recognizing a student who has signaled to answer a tossup. After introductions, the game begins immediately with a tossup, and continues uninterrupted through the tenth tossup (and bonus if applicable). A short break for halftime should be permitted. If a team substitutes players during the half (which they are permitted to do only at halftime), these players should introduce themselves. Then on to questions 11 through 20. The captains should sign the official scoresheet when the match is complete, and teams should move along to their next match.

Irregularities and Questions: As stated in the official rules and regulations, protests which cannot be resolved in the match room should be brought to the attention of the Tournament Director, or the designated Supreme Adjudicator for the building. Also, any questions or concerns you should have as a moderator should be brought to the Tournament Director.

Warm and Fuzzy Wrapup: Of course, we are all here to have fun, and the moderator in a match probably has the most control over that. If you foster an energetic but casual environment, everyone will benefit more than if you are a cold and unfriendly moderator. I have the utmost respect for the moderator who is friendly but in-charge, a fine reader, and runs an efficient, exciting match. So good luck and good reading.

Ben Horwich

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   © 2002 Princeton University College Bowl  –  last updated 2/19/02