My Thoughts on Virtual Paper part 2

Amazing! After about a month of nothing new, has produced at least 4 articles within the past two weeks! Some people on the message board theorized that the staff all disappeared, and, while I cannot speak for the rest of them, I truly was out of my mind these past couple months: traveling to the Florida qualifiers for Bible Quizzers, the DC Invitational, and the FQA Finals (at which I competed); doing mandatory community service for one of my college classes; and working overtime–because guess what, folks? I’m engaged! On March 5th, I asked the love of my live, Heather Rigsby, to marry me, and now we’re scheduled to be wed next summer after we have both completed our schooling. But now I’m back in the swing of things, and am able to get involved with again.

As usual, I would like to take the time to thank all of you for returning for a second edition of My Thoughts on Virtual Paper. I truly intended to compose this article much sooner than I actually did, and actually had to consider integrating an analysis of the Colorado Invitational. After much debate in my mind, I decided to exclude some information regarding the CI, not because I think that it is inferior, and not because it contradicts my article today, but rather, because I was not in attendance. Last time, we discussed the fairly controversial topic (well, at least to me) of “Highest Quizzers” and I would love to continue that discussion using another recent real-life example. Once again, I would like to use the best team in the nation, PVKY. Who better to draw my illustrations from, AND give dap to at the same time?

For my next example regarding Team vs. Quizzer, I want to make clear to you that my example is fairly complicated, so much so that I cannot accurately express my entire thought process; however, I will try my best. And I am sorry for putting Aaron and Autumn Wells in the hot seat again; I believe they best exemplify my point in this instance, not because they are undeserving, but rather, because I have seen them do well on multiple occasions, and I hope that relaying that information to you all would be acceptable. I will use the two of them and two different tournaments, both of which I attended, to illustrate my point. Once again, let me emphasize that the point of this article is not to influence any feelings toward or against PVKY and the Wellses; rather, I use their quizzing performance only as an example that reflects itself in other situations.

New Year’s Classic 2006:
Strictly regarding PVKY, both Aaron and Autumn competed on the same team, and their combined efforts certainly did not go unrewarded. Neither of them, however, was able to achieve the victory of being the Highest Quizzer (however, such a reward is not foreign to either of them), and, for a couple reasons, it was completely unachievable. Explain? Consider that both Aaron and Autumn are great quizzers, capable of leading a team to victory at a national tournament; however, if they are on the same team, being the highest quizzer and being the best team are two different objectives, and unfortunately they cannot both be achieved. If, say, Autumn’s goal was to be number 1 Highest Quizzer, then Aaron would have to slow down, give Autumn more opportunities to answer, and thus jeopardize winning the tournament. The same situation is also the case if those names were reversed, and Aaron wanted to be number 1. Of course, this is not always the case for PVKY, but, at such a competitive tournament, slowing down could be tragic. Do remember that PVKY did have a loss earlier in the day and won the tournament finals by only ten points. Any faltering at all could have resulted in a second loss and an elimination. Thus, in my mind, it was very clear that neither Aaron nor Autumn had the goal of being the highest quizzer that day; their goal was more focused toward the team victory.

The record stands as Aaron being above Autumn on the highest quizzer list for the NYC. The record also stands that, at the CI, very little changed. Aaron was above Autumn, PVKY had a loss from earlier and won the tournament finals by only ten points. Granted, CI was more competitive, and they had to beat FBC-CF, but I think there is no difference between the two tournaments when it comes to PVKY stats.

West Virginia Midseason Invitational 2005:
Instead of embellishing this tournament and my presence in it, let me state the facts only.

– There were two (actually, three, with the elementary team) PVKY teams.

– One team had Aaron and Josh; the other had Autumn.

– Autumn’s team received two losses before Aaron’s team received their first. The first loss was in a two-team quiz (against UCF), and the second was in the finals against UCF and Aaron’s team. Both losses were determined on the last question.

– Aaron’s team, from a combination of great quizzing and UCF’s inept quizzing style during the last quiz, won the tournament, but not before losing once to UCF in two-team quizzing.

– No surprise when I found out, but may be surprising to you all: Autumn was highest quizzer; Aaron was below her.

Clearly, at this tournament, things were different from Colorado or Athens. The entire dynamic of the Highest Quizzer competition, and the Quizzing tournament competition, was changed, not because the Midseason had overall weaker teams, but rather, because Aaron and Autumn were on separate teams.

I don’t think I’m out of line when I say that Aaron is PVKY’s #1 and Autumn is #2. I also think it’s fair to say that their success is due to both Aaron and Autumn’s efforts combined. So why, I ask, did Autumn achieve highest quizzer, and why did Aaron’s team win? The answers to both those questions prove the relative insignificance of the Highest Quizzer stat and emphasize the success of PVKY’s undefeated record.

Autumn is a great quizzer—so much so that she took her team by herself to the finals, with all high wins. And, unlike Aaron, she had few errors and less people on her team with whom to compete. A great quizzer + little competition from the rest of the team always = Highest Quizzer.

But Autumn’s team was weaker. Though she achieved Highest Quizzer, she was unable to escape two losses and elimination from the tournament. Aaron’s team won because of the team’s depth (Aaron and Josh), something I believe should always prevail.

So while Autumn is normally a #2, she was able to do well and achieve Highest Quizzer because she had no Aaron to compete against. Yet Aaron, with a stronger team, lost the ability to beat Autumn in Highest Quizzer and instead gained the victory.

“Okay, Jesse, this is a way too long article and I still don’t get your point.”

My final point: To determine the value and success of a quizzer, you must factor the Highest Quizzer stat, the value of the quizzer to their team, and the competition that quizzer must face, both on their own team and their opponents’. Don’t get me wrong; the Highest Quizzer stat is indeed a factor, but many people only look at that. That, in my opinion, is an injustice to those quizzers who quiz on a top-level team and gives extra dap to single quizzers on a weaker team.

I would think the fairest evaluation of the top ten quizzers would be to have all ten quizzers compete over the entire book of Matthew in a ten-team, 40-question, no-quiz-out quiz. From there, the quizzer with the highest score would be the best, and so on. I guarantee that, in such a quiz, you would see several people not answer any questions correctly, simply because they have been on a weaker team all year. Of course, realistically it would be hard to conduct such a quiz, but it would be highly competitive, and, in my opinion, truly test the skill of an individual.

Still confused? Ask me at

Part three of My Thoughts on Virtual Paper will discuss my personal experience with the Highest Quizzer list, including my UCF team and my experience with FBC-CF and the FQA over the past 4 years.


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