Numberwang! is an exclamation used to describe computational math questions that emphasize calculation at the expense of actual math knowledge.
While math computational questions are generally bad quizbowl, many are less bad and are not Numberwang! For a math computational question to be Numberwang!, it must satisfy one of the following two conditions:
- It requires no actual math theory beyond the fourth grade level. (This includes long division, fraction arithmetic, and the like.)
- It requires some actual math theory, but that theory is dwarfed by excessively complex calculation. For example, asking a player to compute the area of a circle with a radius of 3 is not Numberwang!, but asking a player to approximate that area to the nearest hundredth is Numberwang!, because multiplying by 3.14 should not be the key part of the problem, and since a fourth grader can multiply by 3.14 just as well as a high schooler, this does not distinguish teams based on actual math knowledge.
If a player answers a Numberwang! question correctly, it is preferred for the moderator to yell "That's Numberwang!" so that everyone in the room can truly recognize how significant of an achievement it must be to solve fourth-grade-level math problems.
- Wordwang!--a similar concept with vocabulary questions