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Much of this page really doesn't accord with my understanding of prompts.

  • Maybe I am only viewing this through the lens of NAQT's rules, but there is no such thing as "close enough"; rather, prompts are for answers that are correct but are also ambiguous (NAQT rule I.3.a), answers that are correct but have a different level of specificity in a non-ambiguous manner (I.3.b), and (rarely) certain cases of interrupted bonus answers (I.3.c).
  • In my opinion, the "moderators will occasionally use their discretion" portion should point out that, although it may be true that some moderators do this, they should not be doing it, and in doing so they run a substantial risk of creating problems related to fairness and protest adjudication. They also have less time and ability to reference the rules/correctness guidelines (and are therefore much more likely to make wrong judgments) to decide whether to prompt than do writers, editors, and protest committee members.
  • I'm not a fan of the "Punic Wars/second Punic war" example, especially as the sole example—because those are different categories of answers and, in common phrasings of questions on that war, the prompt might not be appropriate. A regnal number (or epithet) example might be better, or a Johnson/Harrison/Roosevelt example (I would avoid Adams and Bush because those have more complicated issues).
  • I don't think it's true that "questions are not typically written precisely enough to allow only a single correct answer". They can be, and should be, in almost all cases—that's a core principle of quizbowl! Rather, I think prompts are a recognition that sometimes players may give answers (to questions that are written precisely enough to allow only a single correct answer) that are correct but insufficiently specific, and/or may not be able to tell what level of specificity is appropriate.

Also, some ideas for expansion of this page:

  • More than one example
  • Rules and correctness guidelines about when prompting is and isn't appropriate
  • Rules related to resolving protests around prompts (including the controversy about this)
  • "Anti-prompts"
  • The wording used for prompts, in general ("prompt", "more", etc.) and in the case of questions that specify how to prompt (e.g., "Which number Henry?")

Jonah (talk) 18:03, 16 June 2021 (CDT)

This may be a good example of a prescriptive/descriptive distinction in writing qbwiki articles. In theory, prompts are for "answers that are correct but are too general or otherwise ambiguous." In practice, in most non-NAQT tournaments, listing prompts for answers that are "close enough" (likely to be given by someone who "recognizes clues" or in the same Anki deck as the correct answer, etc) has become a huge trend. "Questions are not typically written precisely enough to allow only a single correct answer" is an unusually honest diagnosis of what leads to these monster answer lines that instruct to accept or prompt on 15 things that aren't actually right for the clues given. Matt Weiner (talk) 20:27, 16 June 2021 (CDT)

All good points. Will incorporate when able. -Kevin Wang (talk) 00:20, 17 June 2021 (CDT)