Good quizbowl

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Good quizbowl is a designation which refers to those quizbowl conventions, questions, and tournaments that reward teams for demonstrating differing levels of academic knowledge held in a fair and consistent manner.

  1. Questions that primarily reward knowledge of a topic over buzzer speed, as exemplified by tossups that contain many clues arranged in rough order from most obscure to least obscure (pyramidality) and bonuses/team rounds that contain "easy", "medium", and "hard" parts.
  2. Tossups and bonus parts whose clues uniquely point to their desired answer or (in the case of multiple-answer bonus parts, common links, or "name's the same" tossups) set of answers.
  3. A range of topics from subjects people should and do know much about to subjects that are not as well-known but nevertheless important (the collective set of these subjects is called the canon).
  4. A distribution of questions that primarily emphasizes the academic nature of quizbowl and eschews spelling, "excess" general knowledge or trash, and other "fluff".

Competitions which deviate from the fairness and competitive spirit of good quizbowl by lacking the above are bad quizbowl or not quizbowl.

Though use of the tossup-bonus format is not essential to good quizbowl, an overwhelming majority of good quizbowl tournaments use that format.

Proponents of good quizbowl sometimes divide into game-oriented good quizbowl, which states that the primary purpose of each game is to fairly differentiate which of the two opposing teams is better, and learning-oriented good quizbowl, which states that quizbowl should be primarily a meditative, cerebral experience that allows players to learn, both in breadth and in depth, about subjects which one may have some or no familiarity by reading, writing, and playing questions.