Housewriting a MS Set

Dormant threads from the middle school section are preserved here.
Locked
User avatar
Bolt52
Lulu
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:57 pm
Location: Greenbelt, MD

Housewriting a MS Set

Post by Bolt52 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:37 pm

At my school, our team is taking initiative to grow a Middle School program in our county/region by hosting a house written MS tournament. Understand that the schools that we are trying to get to come either have no existing program or one only for Science Bowl. I was hoping that someone could give us advice for this tournament. When should we run it? What is too hard a question for MS? How should we go out editing our set? What format should we choose so that the tournament is good yet still enjoyable for a younger crowd? Pretty much, we would like advice as to the logic of getting MS teams into quizbowl as well as to how to host a good MS tourney? Thanks!
Hunter Whaples
Freshie Class of 2017
Eleanor Roosevelt HS Team A '14

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying 'till you run out of cake.
-GLaDOS

User avatar
the return of AHAN
Auron
Posts: 1907
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:40 pm

Re: Housewriting a MS Set

Post by the return of AHAN » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:30 am

Have you reviewed the CMST sets in the tournament archives? If not, you should start there.
Jeff Price, Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

User avatar
Cody
2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year
Posts: 2277
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:57 am
Location: Richmond

Re: Housewriting a MS Set

Post by Cody » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:34 am

I would strongly suggest you purchase a MS set from NAQT - they have a lot of experience in the area, and buying a set will take a lot of pressure of you to produce good questions [writing a set is no small endeavor].
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I wrote lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16).
Quizbowl at VCU

User avatar
Corry
Rikku
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:54 pm

Re: Housewriting a MS Set

Post by Corry » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:48 am

I actually tried writing a housewritten middle school set last year (because we had already used up this year's CMST, and we were too cheap to actually pay NAQT for stuff).

My main observation from that experience is that housewriting your own middle school set probably isn't worth the effort. Writing appropriately easy quiz bowl questions is tough-- unless they have a lot of prior experience, most of your teammates will probably not be very good at writing quiz bowl tossups yet, especially for middle schoolers. If you actually go through with this, it's very likely that your questions will be too hard (or at best, inconsistent in terms of difficulty).

Instead, I'd recommend checking out NAQT's middle school sets. The price is a bit steeps ($35 flat cost + $10 per team), but if you can afford it, the questions from NAQT are assured to be high-quality and (perhaps just as importantly) consistent in terms of easiness.
Corry Wang
Arcadia High School 2013
Amherst College 2017
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

fett0001
Tidus
Posts: 646
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:50 am

Re: Housewriting a MS Set

Post by fett0001 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:22 pm

In paying for NAQT questions, payment is not required up front. You run your tournament and then pay out of the proceeds.
Mike Hundley
PACE Secretary
Martinsville High School 2001-2005
Virginia Tech 2005-

User avatar
zachary_yan
Lulu
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:56 pm

Re: Housewriting a MS Set

Post by zachary_yan » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:24 pm

Please don't follow the advice in the next paragraph. --Mgmt.

I almost feel like if you wanted to run a very cheap middle school tournament, you could just grab some easier set from online and use that. You can make a reasonable assumption that a middle schoolers from a region not known for good quizbowl are going to know about online packet archives much less have read any particular packet set.

User was banned for a week for suggesting that tournament hosts steal from the packet archive for new tournaments. --Mgmt.
fett0001 wrote:In paying for NAQT questions, payment is not required up front. You run your tournament and then pay out of the proceeds.
So what happens if your tournament doesn't make any money or loses money? I would assume that being able to pay back NAQT would be requisite to running a tournament on their questions in the first place.
Wayzata '13
St. Olaf College
Wayzata middle schools assistant

jonah
Auron
Posts: 2293
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Housewriting a MS Set

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:31 pm

zachary_yan wrote:I almost feel like if you wanted to run a very cheap middle school tournament, you could just grab some easier set from online and use that. You can make a reasonable assumption that a middle schoolers from a region not known for good quizbowl are going to know about online packet archives much less have read any particular packet set.
This isn't something people are as clear about as they should be, but sets are generally posted to the packet archives for practice/study purposes only, not to be used for tournaments (or other inter-school matches) or any money-making endeavor.
zachary_yan wrote:
fett0001 wrote:In paying for NAQT questions, payment is not required up front. You run your tournament and then pay out of the proceeds.
So what happens if your tournament doesn't make any money or loses money? I would assume that being able to pay back NAQT would be requisite to running a tournament on their questions in the first place.
Not speaking officially for NAQT, but just like anything else, you owe money for a product (in this case, the license) you purchase even if you weren't able to make money with it. You should set entry fees appropriately such that you won't lose money.
Jonah Greenthal
National Academic Quiz Tournaments

User avatar
Important Bird Area
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5445
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:33 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Contact:

Re: Housewriting a MS Set

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:57 pm

zachary_yan wrote:
fett0001 wrote:In paying for NAQT questions, payment is not required up front. You run your tournament and then pay out of the proceeds.
So what happens if your tournament doesn't make any money or loses money? I would assume that being able to pay back NAQT would be requisite to running a tournament on their questions in the first place.
Speaking officially for NAQT: hosts should set appropriate entry fees so that this doesn't happen. (If your tournament somehow loses money, you still need to pay our invoice.)
Jeff Hoppes
President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred

User avatar
jonpin
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 2026
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:45 pm
Location: BCA NJ / WUSTL MO / Hackensack NJ

Re: Housewriting a MS Set

Post by jonpin » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:58 pm

zachary_yan wrote:Please don't follow the advice in the next paragraph. --Mgmt.

I almost feel like if you wanted to run a very cheap middle school tournament, you could just grab some easier set from online and use that. You can make a reasonable assumption that a middle schoolers from a region not known for good quizbowl are going to know about online packet archives much less have read any particular packet set.

User was banned for a week for suggesting that tournament hosts steal from the packet archive for new tournaments. --Mgmt.
The proper NO DON'T response has already been registered, but this is bad for several reasons. Just to be sure, the Quiz Bowl Packets archive has the following note at the very top:
Everything posted here is copyright the writers and tournament hosts. Not the archives. It is illegal to make money from the use or sale of these questions without the explicit permission of the owners.
Really, really, do not do this.
fett0001 wrote:In paying for NAQT questions, payment is not required up front. You run your tournament and then pay out of the proceeds.
So what happens if your tournament doesn't make any money or loses money? I would assume that being able to pay back NAQT would be requisite to running a tournament on their questions in the first place.
Though different places have different expenses (some schools make extracurricular activities pay for janitors and other building costs, trophies, breakfast and/or lunch, etc.), the cost of an NAQT middle school set is $10/team + $35, provided you post the stats. If you run a 10-team tournament, that's less than $15/team total. Given that the typical registration cost for a tournament is above $50, it should definitely be possible to pay out of the proceeds. In any case, counting up the costs is part of the planning process for any event, be it quiz bowl tournament, lemonade stand, or corporation.
Jon Pinyan
Coach, Bergen County Academies (NJ); former player for BCA (2000-03) and WUSTL (2003-07)
HSQB forum mod, PACE member
Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

"A [...] wizard who controls the weather" - Jerry Vinokurov

User avatar
Cody
2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year
Posts: 2277
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:57 am
Location: Richmond

Re: Housewriting a MS Set

Post by Cody » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:02 pm

zachary_yan wrote:I almost feel like if you wanted to run a very cheap middle school tournament, you could just grab some easier set from online and use that. You can make a reasonable assumption that a middle schoolers from a region not known for good quizbowl are going to know about online packet archives much less have read any particular packet set.
Sets are not posted or distributed so that you can run tournaments on them – this is completely unacceptable. This is also completely unacceptable from a question security standpoint – you can't just handwave this very serious problem.
zachary_yan wrote:So what happens if your tournament doesn't make any money or loses money? I would assume that being able to pay back NAQT would be requisite to running a tournament on their questions in the first place.
This, however, is not a serious problem – educate yourself on running a tournament before creating crazy hypothetical situations to persuade people against the correct course of action.
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I wrote lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16).
Quizbowl at VCU

User avatar
Corry
Rikku
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:54 pm

Re: Housewriting a MS Set

Post by Corry » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:05 am

Everybody seems outraged at the suggestion that people would run a normal (paid) tournament on practice sets, but as far as I can tell, I don't think that's what Zachary Yan was actually suggesting. Instead, it seems to me that he was talking about free "outreach" tournaments, where teams don't actually pay a registration fee or anything.

Arcadia did this last year-- we ran an outreach tournament on CMST for Arcadia middle schools only, sans registration fees. Anybody from an Arcadia middle school could just sign up to play for free. It was intended to get middle schoolers in our district interested in quiz bowl, not to earn revenue or determine what middle school was actually best at quiz bowl in a region. If this is in fact the kind of the tournament that Zachary is referring to, I don't see anything particularly egregious about running it on an old copy of CMST or SCOP Novice or something.
Corry Wang
Arcadia High School 2013
Amherst College 2017
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

Jason Cheng
Rikku
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:23 am

Re: Housewriting a MS Set

Post by Jason Cheng » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:24 am

Zachary Yan's suggestion actually strikes me as a good one in the right situation. For example, I directed the outreach tournament Corry is talking about (http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/1497/), and it took a lot of bureaucratic maneuvering for us to run that tournament at no cost but labor from ourselves. I would definitely have just pulled question sets off the archive if CMST didn't exist.

Arcadia is a mostly suburban city with a total area of around 11 square miles, and we have three middle schools which all feed around 200-300 students to Arcadia High School packed in that area. None of our 42 participants had ever heard of quiz bowl before--Corry and I literally drove over to each school during lunch on several occasions to meet with random teachers and secretaries and demonstrate quiz bowl to middle schoolers. In that case, I don't expect any of those students to have stumbled upon and read every middle school packet on the archive. Since no one's making any profit off of the tournament either, there's no tangible moral dilemma in simply using an old set uploaded on the archive for outreach purposes alone in order to save costs, which it looks to me like Zachary is saying.

No money ever changed hands for Arcadia's middle school outreach tournament, which was one of our initial goals. Had we not been able to use CMST or avoid paying over $300 for using four rooms (the required fee Arcadia HS charges for facilities and janitorial services), I might have just used an old set from the archive in order to make sure that we achieved the same result. It's no different from running an info meeting and reading old questions to potential applicants in order to demonstrate what quiz bowl is like.
Jason Cheng
Arcadia High School 2013
UCSD 2017
PACE
http://www.socalquizbowl.org

User avatar
Auks Ran Ova
Forums Staff: Chief Administrator
Posts: 4025
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: Housewriting a MS Set

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:55 am

While in general I wouldn't advocate running tournaments, even free ones for non-quizbowl schools, on publicly-posted questions, there are definitely some prerequisites should you still be interested in going that route: you should absolutely contact the writers/editors of the tournament for permission, and you should also work out something with those editors regarding having the questions temporarily taken off of the database as at least a partial security measure. In general, though, I would still advise against this.
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
Member, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer and Editor, NAQT

Locked