Packet feng shui

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Packet feng shui is the art of constructing appealing quizbowl packets. While there is no consensus on what constitutes good packet feng shui, there are general rules on what not to do.

Truly randomized packets often give off vibes of "bad feng shui". The search is currently underway for an algorithm that can create pseudo-random question ordering while following the rules of packet feng shui.

Rules of Packet Feng Shui

  • The packet should not contain strange line or page breaks that disrupt the flow of the question. If a question straddles two pages, it should be moved down so that the entirety of the question is on a single page.
  • No two consecutive tossups should come from the same category. Similarly, a maximum of two out of any five consecutive tossups should come from the same category.
  • Categories with multiple tossups and bonuses should be roughly equally distributed between halves.
  • No more than three tossups in a half should be from the same category.
  • Each half should contain questions from a minimum of four different categories.
  • Trash and other non-academic subjects should not be the subject of the first tossup or bonus in the packet, nor should they be in the last three tossups of the packet.
  • Conversely, in packets for timed tournaments, the back of the packet (beyond 20/20) should not contain a significant amount of the questions in any single category in that packet.