Weiner's Laws

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Weiner's Laws, named for Matt Weiner, are a set of adages about quizbowl, especially about its social dynamics.

Original laws

These seven laws were originally "codified" in the mid-2000s.

Weiner's Law #1

You are neither cute nor clever. Question writers and message board posters who think they have created something cute and/or clever should consult Weiner's Law #1 to discover their error.

Weiner's Law #2

No one who announces their retirement from quizbowl ever stays retired; all such people actually have played in at least one further tournament after their announced retirement date.

Weiner's Law #3

The social and hygienic quality of individuals and teams is directly and positively correlated with the quality of the quizbowl formats preferred. I.e., ACF supporters are more well-groomed than NAQT fans, who are in turn better-kempt than trash players.

  • Weiner's Law #3 is the universal principle that explains the empirical "Law of Quizbowl Funk in Trash Tournament Meeting Rooms."

Weiner's Law #4

Anyone who invokes their quizbowl-playing skill in order to settle an argument about politics, question styles, or anything else will lose their next game to whomever they were arguing with.

Weiner's Law #5

Any public complaints about a topic "never coming up" in quizbowl or in a particular format will trigger the near-instantaneous production of multiple examples of that topic coming up. In other words, all complaints about topics not coming up are from people who would know that such topics actually do come up if they played more tournaments.

Weiner's Law #6

The more authors a packet has, the worse it will be.

  • The Durgin Exception: This only applies to 4+ authors.
  • To clarify: This generally does not apply to submitted packets containing questions from multiple teams that have been combined by editors; it was created primarily to deal with packets from, e.g., UTC tournaments, which often feature as authors the members of the contributing team, anywhere from eight to eight thousand people who have freelanced questions for the tournament, the names of random obscure high schools whose students have presumably done the same, and the words "your genial quizmaster".

Weiner's Law #7

People in college have no business dating anyone still in high school.

Other laws

Weiner's Law #8

No amount of mathematical wizardry attempting to generate advanced quizbowl statistics can make up for the fact that the underlying data on basic stat reports just aren't that detailed.

This putative law, though never officially codified, was an observation often made by Weiner in various venues.

Proposed New Laws For 2008–2009

Postulate A: As a thread about high school quizbowl in Illinois grows longer, the probability of some team being accused of cheating approaches 1. The probability of any evidence being displayed alongside this assertion remains at 0.

Postulate B: No one who dramatically proclaims their intent to take a board issue to e-mail will ever actually write the e-mail. Posts such as "I have 400 examples of you writing tossups about topics that Archrival State knows cold just to spite my team, but I won't further degrade this thread by bringing them up in public, I'll contact you privately" are, without exception, grandstanding attempts to get the last word in a debate and level scurrilous charges while looking as if you are taking the high ground.

Postulate C: The less related to quizbowl a given activity is, the less competent quizbowl players are at performing it.

Weiner's Law of Quizbowl Pizza Wormholes: You will never see anyone eating more than two slices of pizza at a tournament, yet if you order less than half a pizza per person you will run out. Amusingly, Matt Weiner failed to heed his own axioms at the 2012 Collegiate National History Bowl, resulting in a slight, though predictable, pizza shortage.

See also