2013 NAC

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2013 NAC thread split

Post by Couch's Kingbird » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:45 am

The reason Middlesex went to the JNAC is because we received a letter inviting us to the JNAC. I'm not sure if this is normal procedure for QU, though.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Post by High Dependency Unit » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:45 pm

:chip: sent us a letter last year? That wouldn't surprise me though.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Post by Couch's Kingbird » Wed May 01, 2013 2:47 pm

They did.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed May 01, 2013 9:10 pm

We get one every year. He stages an event in Chicago, which draws virtually zero local teams.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Post by 1915 in philosophy » Thu May 02, 2013 10:15 pm

Well run tournament i must say, may need to work on questions if he wants to compete on a national level with naqt

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Re: 2012 NAC

Post by Couch's Kingbird » Fri May 03, 2013 8:06 pm

Well run because they have a lot less teams then NAQT tornaments. And I think "may need" is a bit of an underststement.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Post by ProfessorIanDuncan » Sat May 04, 2013 12:02 am

It's not well run because there's less teams, it's because those teams play 6 prelim games over the space of 2 days which (barring hotel fire drills, which happened last year to us) is pretty easy to manage.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Post by High Dependency Unit » Sat May 04, 2013 1:29 pm

We know about the fire drill, as we were playing at the time. It's also well run at the Washington location because there are just six game rooms.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Post by Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sat May 04, 2013 3:10 pm

It should be noted that while NAC generally "runs well" strictly in terms of rounds happening on time, there are still often various other in how it is run, including but not limited to protest resolution inconsistencies or scoring inaccuracies/issues.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Post by High Dependency Unit » Tue May 21, 2013 2:47 pm

Why is Irvington still going to the NAC? Why?
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2013 NAC

Post by The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) » Tue May 21, 2013 3:24 pm

geolawyerman wrote:Why is Irvington still going to the NAC? Why?
Why is this thread still getting necro-ed? Why?

I split the recent posts out into a new topic for the 2013 NAC (and archived the old one to avoid further posting there) --JTH
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue May 21, 2013 4:07 pm

If a tournament is only capable of offering 6 games to its competitors, even though from the looks of it there are *42* rounds of competition across two full days from sunrise to sunset, and then uses single-elimination playoffs despite having the means to write 36 more packets than are needed for the prelims, it is by definition not "well-run." It is poorly run, because it willingly wastes a huge amount of time for the people who attend when all those rounds could easily be compressed into an afternoon. To say that the NAC runs well because the "rounds run on time" is to miss the issue completely. It doesn't matter that the rounds themselves are only a half-hour long when it offers half the number of either legitimate national over a longer time span, despite its high price tag. (And that's before we even consider the unchanging terrible writing, the long history of rigged games, and the desertion of the field by almost every good team.) The NAC runs poorly, and attempts to say otherwise have to set the bar for "well" so low that the word loses all meaning and encompasses any event with no standards. The best thing to do with the letter - which I'm led to believe is something that Chip still sends to as many schools as he can look up or jot down from other national tournaments' field listings - is to ignore it and just walk away.

From the looks of the schedule they posted, Millburn, Ardsley, Altamont, Hawken, and Copley [EDIT: apparently not Manheim Township; sorry!] are also going, of teams that have some presence or mention on these boards.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Mike Wong » Tue May 21, 2013 5:17 pm

Does anyone know which Stevenson is attending the DC site?
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by dollmi » Tue May 21, 2013 7:46 pm

RyuAqua wrote:
From the looks of the schedule they posted, Millburn, Ardsley, Altamont, Hawken, Copley, and Manheim Township are also going, of teams that have some presence or mention on these boards.
Let me clarify. Manheim Township at NAC is Manheim Township Middle School. Manheim Township High School will be attending HSNCT and NSC. We have switched to pyramidal quiz bowl.
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Re: 2012 NAC

Post by Scaled Flowerpiercer » Thu May 23, 2013 2:26 pm

geolawyerman wrote:Why is Irvington still going to the NAC? Why?
I do not know, I am no longer with the team, being in college and all, but I tried my best to get them to stop going in my last year.

As for other decent teams going, I presume Ardsley might be going because they didn't qualify for anything else (not that that that makes it a good idea).
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Northern Central Railway » Thu May 23, 2013 3:04 pm

RyuAqua wrote: From the looks of the schedule they posted, Millburn, Ardsley, Altamont, Hawken, and Copley [EDIT: apparently not Manheim Township; sorry!] are also going, of teams that have some presence or mention on these boards.
From looking at the QU site, Milburn (with one 'l') is in the middle school field. A cursory google search shows that there is at least one Milburn middle school not in NJ.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Howard » Thu May 23, 2013 6:10 pm

RyuAqua wrote:To say that the NAC runs well because the "rounds run on time" is to miss the issue completely.
This is about the only thing I disagree with in the whole post, and at that only because it's a matter of individual/team opinion what facets of the tournament are the most important. Maybe they enjoy time between games to go do other things. I don't know. Personally, I wouldn't spend that entry fee for that small a number of games for the primary reason that the entry fee is meant to pay for the actual tournament, not the time spent doing things other than the tournament.
RyuAqua wrote:The best thing to do with the letter - which I'm led to believe is something that Chip still sends to as many schools as he can look up or jot down from other national tournaments' field listings - is to ignore it and just walk away.
While I don't have direct experience with the Middle School tournament, I can vouch that Chip has sent us NAC invitation letters because of one or more "accomplishments" on our part that were nearly meaningless.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri May 24, 2013 11:24 am

Howard wrote:
RyuAqua wrote:To say that the NAC runs well because the "rounds run on time" is to miss the issue completely.
This is about the only thing I disagree with in the whole post, and at that only because it's a matter of individual/team opinion what facets of the tournament are the most important. Maybe they enjoy time between games to go do other things. I don't know. Personally, I wouldn't spend that entry fee for that small a number of games for the primary reason that the entry fee is meant to pay for the actual tournament, not the time spent doing things other than the tournament.
What will it take to get you to drop the ridiculous "if people feel like it, then it's OK" stream of bull :capybara: you can't stop yourself from spouting even when you know other people are right? Anybody who's actually put in the effort to run, say, a high quality 24 team tournament that guarantees everybody 10 games and sends everybody home before 5 should be extremely offended at the idea that Chip half assing his job that we've put in way more effort on is acceptable just because some people who have no idea what is good are OK with it. It's a delusion that he gets away with by doing the absolute minimum amount of work possible then bilking his audience, and just because some people aren't bothered by it makes it no less obnoxious to those of us who put in more work on a regular invitational than he does on his entire 3 stage national championship.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri May 24, 2013 11:27 am

And that doesn't even begin to touch on how ridiculous the organizers of both PACE and HSNCT should see that argument.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by jonpin » Fri May 24, 2013 12:48 pm

Howard wrote:
RyuAqua wrote:To say that the NAC runs well because the "rounds run on time" is to miss the issue completely.
This is about the only thing I disagree with in the whole post, and at that only because it's a matter of individual/team opinion what facets of the tournament are the most important. Maybe they enjoy time between games to go do other things. I don't know. Personally, I wouldn't spend that entry fee for that small a number of games for the primary reason that the entry fee is meant to pay for the actual tournament, not the time spent doing things other than the tournament.
Even at this it fails miserably. I could buy the concept of a team wanting to spend some time exploring the city they've travelled to, sightseeing, etc. But the schedule for NAC doesn't even do that well. One team I picked from the Washington schedule plays Friday at 11:15, 1:15, 1:45, and 5:15, then Saturday at 5:30 and 8:00. One middle school team plays 8:45, 9:45, 4:15 on Friday, then 8:30, 11:30, 7:30 on Saturday. What are they supposed to do for their two hours between games Saturday morning. Are they allowed to watch other games (this is a serious question, are questions used for multiple rounds or can teams watch other matches on their byes?), or do they go back to their rooms? They certainly don't have time to leave the hotel and go anywhere.

No, this is a rather pathetic excuse on NAC's behalf. A team which is traveling to a national quiz bowl championship should totally expect to play quiz bowl for most of their time there.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Fri May 24, 2013 4:31 pm

jonpin wrote:
Howard wrote:
RyuAqua wrote:To say that the NAC runs well because the "rounds run on time" is to miss the issue completely.
This is about the only thing I disagree with in the whole post, and at that only because it's a matter of individual/team opinion what facets of the tournament are the most important. Maybe they enjoy time between games to go do other things. I don't know. Personally, I wouldn't spend that entry fee for that small a number of games for the primary reason that the entry fee is meant to pay for the actual tournament, not the time spent doing things other than the tournament.
Even at this it fails miserably. I could buy the concept of a team wanting to spend some time exploring the city they've travelled to, sightseeing, etc. But the schedule for NAC doesn't even do that well. One team I picked from the Washington schedule plays Friday at 11:15, 1:15, 1:45, and 5:15, then Saturday at 5:30 and 8:00. One middle school team plays 8:45, 9:45, 4:15 on Friday, then 8:30, 11:30, 7:30 on Saturday. What are they supposed to do for their two hours between games Saturday morning. Are they allowed to watch other games (this is a serious question, are questions used for multiple rounds or can teams watch other matches on their byes?), or do they go back to their rooms? They certainly don't have time to leave the hotel and go anywhere.

No, this is a rather pathetic excuse on NAC's behalf. A team which is traveling to a national quiz bowl championship should totally expect to play quiz bowl for most of their time there.
As someone who has played at NAC, I vaguely remember not being allowed to watch other matches. Our coach taught us juggling in the lobby at one of the buildings at Marymount and we played Flash games in the computer lab in two of our breaks.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Fri May 24, 2013 5:43 pm

I thought I remembered watching other matches, but then my memories of NAC are pretty hazy by now.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by High Dependency Unit » Fri May 24, 2013 5:47 pm

I had no problem watching other matches last year. The one thing :chip: does do is use the same preliminary questions at each site.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Howard » Fri May 24, 2013 7:02 pm

Horned Screamer wrote:What will it take to get you to drop the ridiculous "if people feel like it, then it's OK" stream of bull :capybara: you can't stop yourself from spouting even when you know other people are right? Anybody who's actually put in the effort to run, say, a high quality 24 team tournament that guarantees everybody 10 games and sends everybody home before 5 should be extremely offended at the idea that Chip half assing his job that we've put in way more effort on is acceptable just because some people who have no idea what is good are OK with it. It's a delusion that he gets away with by doing the absolute minimum amount of work possible then bilking his audience, and just because some people aren't bothered by it makes it no less obnoxious to those of us who put in more work on a regular invitational than he does on his entire 3 stage national championship.
There is nothing ridiculous about the concept that teams should be able to compete in whatever format(s) they wish for whatever reason(s) they wish. Failure to grasp this concept will result in diminished attendance at tournaments. You can feel good about the effort you put in-- and, deservedly you should-- but if it doesn't address the needs, wants, and desires of the teams in the area and a trend of diminishing attendance occurs, I think we need to ask ourselves why this is occurring and make moves to correct it.

I also find it dubious that you have any idea how much time Chip puts into anything. This isn't meant to demean the amount of time you (or others) invest into a tournament but simply to point out that I believe you're issuing a comparison not well supported by fact. Nor, in my opinion, is the amount of work invested in a tournament the overriding factor-- although it does deserve some consideration if we can be reasonably accurate in measuring such a thing-- in determining a tournament's value. For example, someone like you would be far more efficient at producing a tournament that I would myself.

I have no problem with organizers accurately describing their tournaments and teams being able to choose which to attend based on the descriptions. On the other hand, I don't particularly think Chip accurately describes the NAC. That, combined with question issues, combined with the poor value mentioned in my previous post will probably be enough to keep me from ever entering a team in the NAC.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sat May 25, 2013 10:48 am

What are they supposed to do for their two hours between games Saturday morning. Are they allowed to watch other games (this is a serious question, are questions used for multiple rounds or can teams watch other matches on their byes?), or do they go back to their rooms? They certainly don't have time to leave the hotel and go anywhere.
As there were somewhat conflicting answers given to this above: teams can indeed watch any other matches during the tournament (they are actually somewhat encouraged to, all the game rooms have far more seats for the audience than are ever filled). Chip uses different questions for each of the 24 or so rounds, even though he uses the same questions at the three sites. However, having watched round last year, you do end up feeling like you have cheated almost - though Chip seems mostly able now too avoid pure repeats of the exact same question, repetition of clues between rounds was not uncommon, so the more games you saw, the more likely you could pick up a question on a repeated clue that your opponent did not get a chance to hear.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by jonpin » Sat May 25, 2013 9:13 pm

Howard wrote:
Horned Screamer wrote:What will it take to get you to drop the ridiculous "if people feel like it, then it's OK" stream of bull :capybara: you can't stop yourself from spouting even when you know other people are right? Anybody who's actually put in the effort to run, say, a high quality 24 team tournament that guarantees everybody 10 games and sends everybody home before 5 should be extremely offended at the idea that Chip half assing his job that we've put in way more effort on is acceptable just because some people who have no idea what is good are OK with it. It's a delusion that he gets away with by doing the absolute minimum amount of work possible then bilking his audience, and just because some people aren't bothered by it makes it no less obnoxious to those of us who put in more work on a regular invitational than he does on his entire 3 stage national championship.
There is nothing ridiculous about the concept that teams should be able to compete in whatever format(s) they wish for whatever reason(s) they wish.
"They bought their tickets. They knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash!" I think it's our moral duty as supporters of good quiz bowl to try to prevent teams from getting fleeced by charlatans.
Failure to grasp this concept will result in diminished attendance at tournaments. You can feel good about the effort you put in-- and, deservedly you should-- but if it doesn't address the needs, wants, and desires of the teams in the area and a trend of diminishing attendance occurs, I think we need to ask ourselves why this is occurring and make moves to correct it.
What are you even talking about?
HSNCT attendance in recent years: 200, 224, 240, 256.
NSC attendance in recent years: 64, 60, 60, 64.
NAC varsity attendance in recent years: 121, 136, 114, 127.
Do you see diminishing attendance for the major nationals?

Some people want to go to a quiz bowl tournament to screw around for seven hours, some people want to go to a quiz bowl tournament to play quiz bowl. I say we address the needs, wants, and desires of the latter.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sat May 25, 2013 9:36 pm

Teams don't go to NAC to see sites, they go because Chip sends invitations (usually by mail or phone) to any team who is willing to go, especially those with no connection to the wider quizbowl community. For most of those teams, they don't know there are better tournaments, or quite honestly aren't good enough to qualify for them.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by High Dependency Unit » Tue May 28, 2013 9:39 pm

Has anyone ever considered inviting some of these teams to pyramidal tournaments?
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by cchiego » Tue May 28, 2013 10:21 pm

geolawyerman wrote:Has anyone ever considered inviting some of these teams to pyramidal tournaments?
Many of these teams DO know about good quizbowl now and do attend pyramidal tournaments during the year; in fact, I'm increasing convinced most of them know exactly what they're doing. As Pingry showed this year, you can be a team that can't go better than .500 at a regular NAQT tournament and yet become a NATIONAL CHAMPION at the NAC. When you're a sucker for trophies and meaningless awards, what's the issue with playing a crappy tournament with bad questions, few matches, and dubious ethics?

I get that there are sometimes institutional barriers that prevent teams from breaking away from ChipBowl easily, but as High Tech, Manheim Township, and several of the NYC area schools have shown, it can easily be done in a relatively short time once players and coaches recognize the merits of good QB. Yet as the number of competent teams still at NAC keeps declining, it perversely presents more of an opportunity for decent-but-not-spectacular teams to stick to ChipBowl, provided they value trophies over anything else.

Hopefully we'll see some of the good LA schools recognize the value of good QB (Lusher, Franklin, and Jesuit have been to a number of pyramidal tournaments this year thanks to the efforts of good QB pioneers in LA) and perhaps snatch back some of the other schools like Watson Chapel and Hawken (who made the playoffs at HSNCT when they went a couple of years ago). We should also applaud schools like Benton (AR) and Grand Junction (CO) who have been consistent HSNCT attendees despite the lack of good quizbowl and the overwhelming anti-pyramidal attitude in their areas; I hope anyone who read for them at HSNCT gave them encouragement.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Northern Central Railway » Tue May 28, 2013 10:47 pm

cchiego wrote:
Many of these teams DO know about good quizbowl now and do attend pyramidal tournaments during the year; in fact, I'm increasing convinced most of them know exactly what they're doing. As Pingry showed this year, you can be a team that can't go better than .500 at a regular NAQT tournament and yet become a NATIONAL CHAMPION at the NAC. When you're a sucker for trophies and meaningless awards, what's the issue with playing a crappy tournament with bad questions, few matches, and dubious ethics?
In the case of Pingry (who regularly goes to good quizbowl events in the competitive Northern NJ circuit as Chris pointed out), I get the impression the students run the team more than the coach, who doesn't know particularly much about the difference between QU/NAQT and isn't a sucker for trophies as far as I can tell.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by njsbling » Tue May 28, 2013 10:58 pm

cchiego wrote:
geolawyerman wrote:Has anyone ever considered inviting some of these teams to pyramidal tournaments?
We should also applaud schools like Benton (AR) and Grand Junction (CO) who have been consistent HSNCT attendees despite the lack of good quizbowl and the overwhelming anti-pyramidal attitude in their areas; I hope anyone who read for them at HSNCT gave them encouragement.
I read for Grand Junction in Consolation on Sunday. I talked to their coach and she seemed interested in running a tournament with NAQT questions in the Fall and said she could probably get many of the teams from the local league to play.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Howard » Wed May 29, 2013 1:08 pm

jonpin wrote:"They bought their tickets. They knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash!" I think it's our moral duty as supporters of good quiz bowl to try to prevent teams from getting fleeced by charlatans.

Fair enough. For what it's worth, I agree with this, although I think the board may paint a skewed perspective. I already listed the reasons I would probably never attend.
Failure to grasp this concept will result in diminished attendance at tournaments. You can feel good about the effort you put in-- and, deservedly you should-- but if it doesn't address the needs, wants, and desires of the teams in the area and a trend of diminishing attendance occurs, I think we need to ask ourselves why this is occurring and make moves to correct it.
What are you even talking about?
HSNCT attendance in recent years: 200, 224, 240, 256.
NSC attendance in recent years: 64, 60, 60, 64.
NAC varsity attendance in recent years: 121, 136, 114, 127.
Do you see diminishing attendance for the major nationals?
There's been declining attendance in the DC area for years. It was common to see 64 teams at a tournament with another 5 to 10 on the wait list. It's very rare to see a tournament with 32 teams now. In fact, many have on the order of 16 to 20. Not too long after the decline in attendance, organizers simply shifted their plans for a smaller number of teams rather than investigating the reasons for lower attendance and trying to fix the issue.

But I think you're missing the point a little. The statement was meant to serve as a general premise. Even if we're expanding nationally, we still need to be observant of local declines (and national when they happen) and be open to addressing the issues causing the decline, no matter what they are.
jonpin wrote:Some people want to go to a quiz bowl tournament to screw around for seven hours, some people want to go to a quiz bowl tournament to play quiz bowl. I say we address the needs, wants, and desires of the latter.
And at the same time, if we threaten to leave the arena of people using buzzers and answering questions, we indeed need to start questioning our purpose.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Wed May 29, 2013 2:03 pm

Howard wrote:But I think you're missing the point a little. The statement was meant to serve as a general premise. Even if we're expanding nationally, we still need to be observant of local declines (and national when they happen) and be open to addressing the issues causing the decline, no matter what they are.
If the issue is truly that some teams want speedbowl or chip questions, as you say it is [and I don't really think that's the problem], then tough. This isn't something worth compromising over.
Howard wrote:And at the same time, if we threaten to leave the arena of people using buzzers and answering questions, we indeed need to start questioning our purpose.
I'm not entirely sure what this is supposed to mean, but if it's more weird insinuation that all formats that involve "using buzzers and answering questions" have merit and should be considered, then, no, they don't. This is the format and making concessions to include lightning or, god forbid, worksheet rounds are intellectually dishonest and futile anyway.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Wed May 29, 2013 2:51 pm

Howard wrote:There's been declining attendance in the DC area for years. It was common to see 64 teams at a tournament with another 5 to 10 on the wait list. It's very rare to see a tournament with 32 teams now. In fact, many have on the order of 16 to 20. Not too long after the decline in attendance, organizers simply shifted their plans for a smaller number of teams rather than investigating the reasons for lower attendance and trying to fix the issue.
The declining number of teams attending tournaments in the DC area is due to clubs not doing a very good job of reaching out to teams. Question quality has nothing to do with it.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Howard » Thu May 30, 2013 6:52 pm

Emily Krok wrote:
Howard wrote:But I think you're missing the point a little. The statement was meant to serve as a general premise. Even if we're expanding nationally, we still need to be observant of local declines (and national when they happen) and be open to addressing the issues causing the decline, no matter what they are.
If the issue is truly that some teams want speedbowl or chip questions, as you say it is [and I don't really think that's the problem], then tough. This isn't something worth compromising over.
No matter what, we're not going to satisfy everyone. Do I think some teams stopped attending tournaments because of pyramidal questions? Sure. Is it enough teams that this should be a significant concern? I don't really know. The bigger issue is that we continue to pretend these problems are imaginary. Okay, that's hyperbole. But realistically, I don't see tournament organizers (as a whole-- I know there are exceptions) or the DC community at large actively working to identify issues and work them out. I don't intend this to be limited to question type. Nor am I convinced question type is even a main issue. I'm not sure why you think my point here has anything to do with speed, pyramidal, or anything else. I purposely didn't mention those things for two reasons. I don't think the argument should be narrowed to that potential issue, and I don't think it's the largest issue anyway.

I've previously come to this board and reminded or informed people that coaches who do not regularly check here tell me that they do not enjoy attending tournaments with pyramidal questions because they spend their morning rounds getting beaten badly, and then they don't feel like staying for the consolation games because their team is largely depressed. The typical reaction is that these coaches don't really exist and I'm making things up for my own personal "agenda." While it seems rather clear that pyramidal questions set up a construct by their very design for such occurrences to occur, that doesn't mean that the solution needs to be to move away from pyramidal questions. There are modifications to the typical game schedule that can be made to combat such issues and work at making sure teams play more games with other teams near their own abilities.

When I come here and say there are teams that only want to play a 1/2 day of quizbowl, the typical reaction is that they should want to play more quizbowl. We need to realize that we're never going to make people into things they aren't. If we have a significant number of teams that only want to play 1/2 day, we need to work at setting things up so that can occur. And it doesn't mean that everyone needs to be limited to 1/2 day, either.

Programs seem content to run 20 team tournaments. I cannot stress enough this is a recipe for disaster. By natural attrition, programs will come and go. The smaller the number of schools with a program, the more likely it is new programs will not start and the activity in general will suffer. In all seriousness, if we cannot get more than 20 teams to a tournament in the Baltimore-DC metro area something is wrong in a major way.

It's no secret that I don't agree with your assessment of not worth compromise (although I don't particularly like the Chip questions I've seen). At the same time, I respect your opinion and position. I just hope that doesn't mean we fail to investigate why we're not getting more teams, and not necessarily in times of horrible attendance, either.
Emily Krok wrote:
Howard wrote:And at the same time, if we threaten to leave the arena of people using buzzers and answering questions, we indeed need to start questioning our purpose.
I'm not entirely sure what this is supposed to mean, but if it's more weird insinuation that all formats that involve "using buzzers and answering questions" have merit and should be considered, then, no, they don't. This is the format and making concessions to include lightning or, god forbid, worksheet rounds are intellectually dishonest and futile anyway.
It means that at some point, we do need to question whether we're serving our purpose and make sure that our changes don't move us so far away that we're nowhere close to our goal in the first place. While my statement is close to my personal position, it isn't intended to force this position on anyone else. I don't know if this is what you meant, but if you're saying "the format is the format and we're not changing anything for any reason," then we may as well admit that we're setting up the activity for our own ego. There's a host of things that can change. We can move to an all tossup format. We can change the number of questions in a game. We can allow conferring on tossups. We can change the scoring any number of ways. Power marks are an excellent example of a welcomed change. All I'm saying is that we need to consider change that will expand quizbowl up until the point where it doesn't meet a reasonable definition of quizbowl any more.

Although I don't personally like them, I don't follow that a worksheet round is necessarily intellectually dishonest.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Howard » Thu May 30, 2013 6:57 pm

huff paste wrote:
Howard wrote:There's been declining attendance in the DC area for years. It was common to see 64 teams at a tournament with another 5 to 10 on the wait list. It's very rare to see a tournament with 32 teams now. In fact, many have on the order of 16 to 20. Not too long after the decline in attendance, organizers simply shifted their plans for a smaller number of teams rather than investigating the reasons for lower attendance and trying to fix the issue.
The declining number of teams attending tournaments in the DC area is due to clubs not doing a very good job of reaching out to teams. Question quality has nothing to do with it.
Although "nothing" is perhaps a little too strong a word, this is largely the point I was trying to make. Organizers are simply planning for a small number of teams (i.e., not actively trying to get more) and not worrying about the larger issues causing the lack of attendance.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling » Thu May 30, 2013 7:47 pm

Howard wrote: I've previously come to this board and reminded or informed people that coaches who do not regularly check here tell me that they do not enjoy attending tournaments with pyramidal questions because they spend their morning rounds getting beaten badly, and then they don't feel like staying for the consolation games because their team is largely depressed. The typical reaction is that these coaches don't really exist and I'm making things up for my own personal "agenda." While it seems rather clear that pyramidal questions set up a construct by their very design for such occurrences to occur, that doesn't mean that the solution needs to be to move away from pyramidal questions. There are modifications to the typical game schedule that can be made to combat such issues and work at making sure teams play more games with other teams near their own abilities.

When I come here and say there are teams that only want to play a 1/2 day of quizbowl, the typical reaction is that they should want to play more quizbowl. We need to realize that we're never going to make people into things they aren't. If we have a significant number of teams that only want to play 1/2 day, we need to work at setting things up so that can occur. And it doesn't mean that everyone needs to be limited to 1/2 day, either.

Programs seem content to run 20 team tournaments. I cannot stress enough this is a recipe for disaster. By natural attrition, programs will come and go. The smaller the number of schools with a program, the more likely it is new programs will not start and the activity in general will suffer. In all seriousness, if we cannot get more than 20 teams to a tournament in the Baltimore-DC metro area something is wrong in a major way.
Tanay Kothari and I have started running the California Cup series of tournaments this year, which strictly uses good, pyramidal sets. We've had to deal with the things you're describing, but we also greatly increased the number of schools in the Bay Area that play quiz bowl in a more long-term sense. We've had to deal with teams straight up leaving in the middle of the tournament because they were crushed in the morning rounds (although that can be rectified when we get a much larger field and are able to split into divisions beyond JV and Varsity). But many of the ways in which you would address the issue would dilute the quality of the game. For one, the coaches who bring teams to this game should realize that their teams will be at the receiving end of a shellacking from more experienced teams/teams who actually study, and any notions to the contrary are pure fantasy. Quiz bowl is just as competitive as their local athletic competitions or debate or whatever, and they should not be operating under the delusion that they're going to play an easy game Trivial Pursuit with buzzers. NAQT sets are more for those teams that want to be able to catch a break with trash and general knowledge in between the academic stuff, but even then teams have to realize that the game is fundamentally one that holds itself to high academic standards. Declining attendance can occur for any number of reasons, but the solution is not to dilute the quality of the game. It's to let teams play other teams of a similar skill level, hold more novice events, and generally listen to the concerns of new teams (without compromising on the core aspects of the game, of course). I don't think programs are necessarily content to run 20 team tournaments; it seems they've just accepted the reality of what's happening around them. But really, if teams are unwilling to put in the effort to get better and learn more things, then there's really nothing that can be done for them.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu May 30, 2013 8:58 pm

John, the problem with your analysis is that it doesn't match the readily available facts.

Any coach making the argument that he doesn't like some particular format because teams sometimes lose to other teams in that format is engaging in bad faith. Any competitive game in which we keep score will have winners and losers. People can and do lose, and lose by a lot, and lose every game they play for years at a time, at Chip nationals or in It's Academic. If you believe that competition is bad and we should not subject high school students to the trauma of being declared the losers of something, that's your prerogative. If you don't believe that and aren't prepared to argue for it, then bringing it up to criticize one format out of many is not logically sound. Coaches who cling to bad quizbowl formats using fallacious reasoning are not people whose "preferences" we should cater to; they are people we should replace if they cannot be convinced to change their minds.

The fundamental issue here seems to be similar to the one that plagued discussions of NAQT around 2004. Are people born with innate quizbowl preferences which it is neither possible nor desirable to change through reasonable argument, meaning that we should offer all sorts of different tournaments and let the chips fall where they may (pun intended), or make all decisions based on some democratic process in which we count up which innate, unchangeable quizbowl value system currently has more adherents? Or is there, in some or all matters, a right and wrong way to do things, with "right" being defined here as the way which makes quizbowl more fair towards the team who knows more and more likely to reward certain skills and behaviors, such as studying academic material over studying trivia or buzzer speed?

Other facts you're ignoring are the simple reality that, in many places, large numbers of teams do in fact play real questions and enjoy them. Virginia is one of those places. HSAPQ's VHSL questions are played by 290+ schools in the Commonwealth out of around 310 public schools. We haven't received a complaint about them being "too long" or "too difficult" for over three years. Perhaps Virginia is a state where there are 290 teams who are just born national contenders and love questions that are for some reason inappropriate for the 274th-best team in any other state; while I think the educational system here is better than the national average, I don't think it's better by enough to justify such an adventurous belief as that. The other possibility is that people, in this case HSAPQ, can and do write questions of appropriate length and difficulty for teams at various levels of skill from a diverse assortment of school types. Illinois has an NAQT state tournament so popular that they need to implement qualification for it. VCU and UVa's invitationals routinely hit their field cap. HSNCT turned away a huge waitlist this year. NSC just expanded to its largest size ever and in the course of a single day filled almost all the spots made available. There are areas all over the country where tournaments on real questions which promote themselves properly to their target audience have no trouble attracting as much interest as they can handle or more. Are there teams, somewhere (mostly in the DC-Baltimore area) who have readily accessible real quizbowl tournaments and choose to shun them in favor of fake questions only? Sure. But this is not the normal case, and it is already the extreme minority. In most places, coaches are reasonable and most of them quickly see the value of NAQT and HSAPQ when it is made available to them. The only reason Chip and the Auk have a stranglehold on Nebraska and other areas like that is because of the lack of better tournaments to play. As soon as NAQT or HSAPQ sets something else up there, Nebraska and all the rest will enthusiastically join the good quizbowl movement just like everyplace else has. The story of good high school quizbowl doesn't really begin until 2003 or so, and the progress it's made in 10 years is astonishing. By 2020 there will be almost nothing left of the fake circuit in North America. When there are 5000 teams playing real tournaments and just 20 It's Academic diehards left, it will look only slightly more foolish than it does now to advance the argument that good quizbowl is failing and is doing so because of some ingrown need to run fake tournaments in order to engage teams who are not national contenders.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by njsbling » Thu May 30, 2013 10:18 pm

Matt Weiner wrote: The only reason Chip and the Auk have a stranglehold on Nebraska and other areas like that is because of the lack of better tournaments to play. As soon as NAQT or HSAPQ sets something else up there, Nebraska and all the rest will enthusiastically join the good quizbowl movement just like everyplace else has.
This is something I will be working on this summer (getting in contact with people in areas like Nebraska and trying to get good questions used at tournaments). I have a good start with the Grand Junction, CO circuit.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Thu May 30, 2013 10:33 pm

Howard wrote:Although "nothing" is perhaps a little too strong a word, this is largely the point I was trying to make. Organizers are simply planning for a small number of teams (i.e., not actively trying to get more) and not worrying about the larger issues causing the lack of attendance.
You've made a lot of vague statements, but what would your ideal tournament look like? Our team has been trying to bring Baltimore-area schools into the circuit (we got Westlake, Hammond, Atholton, and ER to come to our tournament this year) and has had moderate success, with a pyramidal set. All the players who stick to It's Academic (that I've met) aren't against what they call "NAQT questions", they just have no knowledge of the circuit (I met one person who wanted to go to our tournament, but their coach told them it was cancelled, even though it obviously wasn't). Yes, our tournaments have small fields, but we really don't have the amount of staff needed for any larger tournaments.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Thu May 30, 2013 11:42 pm

Mr. Joyboy wrote:
Howard wrote:Although "nothing" is perhaps a little too strong a word, this is largely the point I was trying to make. Organizers are simply planning for a small number of teams (i.e., not actively trying to get more) and not worrying about the larger issues causing the lack of attendance.
You've made a lot of vague statements, but what would your ideal tournament look like? Our team has been trying to bring Baltimore-area schools into the circuit (we got Westlake, Hammond, Atholton, and ER to come to our tournament this year) and has had moderate success, with a pyramidal set. All the players who stick to It's Academic (that I've met) aren't against what they call "NAQT questions", they just have no knowledge of the circuit (I met one person who wanted to go to our tournament, but their coach told them it was cancelled, even though it obviously wasn't). Yes, our tournaments have small fields, but we really don't have the amount of staff needed for any larger tournaments.
Yeah I think John could do better than demean people for not doing enough to spread the circuit, especially when people are very much doing the thing he claims they aren't doing. There have been plenty of pyramidal tournaments in the mid-Atlantic that have successfully recruited teams to good quizbowl and many of you have done good work in expanding the circuit. To further the point, the rest of us out in flyover country happen to be great at spreading good quizbowl too, and we're doing it by hosting tournaments large and small and with good questions and formats! The fact that some tournaments have small fields is usually for a lot of good reasons, but apparently in John Gilbert Funtime Fantasyland you can just pull 40 moderators out of the air and magically get every school in the state of Maryland to go to your quizbowl tournaments, and if you don't then you're causing the death of academic competition through your refusal to use bad formats and do magic.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by the return of AHAN » Fri May 31, 2013 12:19 am

It appears the Chicago site will have an Illinois-based team that I recognize; Ottawa Wallace, a very small school who did well among small schools in IESA State Series. The only NAQT event they played, to my knowledge, wasThe Keith Tournament.
Can't claim to know the coaches, but best of luck anyway!
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Howard » Fri May 31, 2013 7:12 pm

Perhaps I haven't worked quite hard enough at keeping my personal format opinions out of this discussion. I don't think it does us any good to re-enter an argument regarding them as we already know where it will end up. And my response to Charlie probably helped us steer down that path. So I apologize if I've had a part in leading us down that path; it wasn't my intent.

I still maintain it's a sound position that if we aren't cognizant and reactive to team preferences in tournament format that attendance will suffer. And I purposely did not take a side as to what teams would prefer when I made that statement. Realistically, I'm open to the idea that pyramidal quizbowl may be the preferred format for a majority of teams. And the statement was meant to reflect that organizers of tournaments of all formats need to work at continually assessing this. If it means that speed tournaments move to pyramidal, I'm okay with that. If it means organizers eventually abandon hoses and questions three lines long with the easiest clue within five words, I think we even have improvement.
List of Fighting Spirit characters wrote:...and generally listen to the concerns of new teams (without compromising on the core aspects of the game, of course).
This. This is the number one thing we can do to assess what we need to do to expand. And I'll add that we should consider any team playing one tournament a year or less to be "new." I've even brought up the idea of creating divisions before and that has been largely dismissed as well. As a coach, I don't reasonably expect that my current team are going to score many points against top-tier teams. And I'd be surprised if similarly capable teams thought differently.

To suggest that we work to make games more evenly matched is much different from eliminating winning and losing. I cannot recall any tournament my team attended where I thought anything more than ranking ability was gained for either team in a match between one of the top teams in a tournament and one of the bottom teams. The better team has about as close to zero competition as it can get, and the losing team can't hear enough of the tossup to be able to learn anything at its level. Choosing to enter a lower division is already conceding that a team cannot win against the teams in the upper division, in essence admitting a loss before it happens.

I'll readily admit that I'm ignorant of the facts regarding VHSL. If you have 290 teams, then you're obviously doing something incredibly right. That number is much higher than I would have expected, and I'd say you've largely found the keys to success. On the VCU and UVa tournaments hitting their field caps, I'm less than convinced this has any significance. If we look back over 5 years or so, what were these caps? If I recall, the last VCU tournament we attended (at New Kent), was reported to be the most successful ever, and had something on the order of 24 teams. Most successful ever implies you're heading in the correct direction, but 24 teams indicates there's much more potential. We need to ask ourselves, then, why are there so many teams participating in VHSL compared to the VCU and UVa tournaments? Maybe this is just a Baltimore-DC area issue. If so, that still doesn't excuse us from trying to fix it.
Mr. Joyboy wrote:You've made a lot of vague statements, but what would your ideal tournament look like? Our team has been trying to bring Baltimore-area schools into the circuit (we got Westlake, Hammond, Atholton, and ER to come to our tournament this year) and has had moderate success, with a pyramidal set. All the players who stick to It's Academic (that I've met) aren't against what they call "NAQT questions", they just have no knowledge of the circuit (I met one person who wanted to go to our tournament, but their coach told them it was cancelled, even though it obviously wasn't). Yes, our tournaments have small fields, but we really don't have the amount of staff needed for any larger tournaments.
For my team, I think their ideal tournament would consist entirely of tossups and would allow conferring. At the same time, I'm realistic and don't expect large numbers of these. I doubt we're in any sort of majority, either. We'd be content with a large tournament where we could play most of our games with teams near our ability. I'm disappointed that we couldn't make it to your tournament; the date just wouldn't work out for us.

And you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the attendance at the last tournament didn't reach the limit necessitated by staffing, so if the implication is that attendance was low for staffing reasons, I don't believe that to be true. At the same time, we as a community need to realize that staffing is important. One of the poor performances (among many) at the last tournament we hosted (2005) was the staff. I've reached the conclusion that for most pyramidal tournaments to be successful with large numbers of teams, coaches will need to read/scorekeep. Parents and other teachers who are not familiar with the structure of the game and questions often do not work out well. I've offered to staff in some way nearly every tournament (that made such an option availble) my team has entered, sometimes without any compensation, and sometimes for the specific purpose of the organizer being able to expand the tournament. I've even staffed tournaments and offered or provided buzzers when my team couldn't attend. Currently, most tournaments offer a small discount to staff. If outside staffers are important enough, we should make staffing mandatory, increase the staffer discount (which may require a higher base entry fee), or issue a significant penalty for not staffing. Stating that necessary staffing is some sort of fantasy is taking the positino that we're never going to be able to hold a decent-sized tournament and that we're content with a major metro-area tournament having 16 or so schools represented by 24 teams. Are we? I'm certainly not.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri May 31, 2013 7:25 pm

So, to summarize: You think quizbowl should change to be more like what people who want quizbowl to be terrible want to see, in order to attract those people. Many others disagree with you. Repeat once every six months from 2005 to the end of time.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Angstrom » Fri May 31, 2013 7:54 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:So, to summarize: You think quizbowl should change to be more like what people who want quizbowl to be terrible want to see, in order to attract those people. Many others disagree with you. Repeat once every six months from 2005 to the end of time.
Wait, what the heck? Why is everything this guy about tournament structure says ignored in favor of complaining about his complaining about pyramidality? I guess he could do a better job of not complaining about pyramidality, but that part is easy enough to ignore right?

How is upper and lower divisions, or a Swiss card system, or any other system in which there are less high-team-low-team games, terrible? It's good enough for HSNCT. It seems logical to try and match teams against other teams of appropriate difficulty, and I don't think it's pandering to bad quiz bowl to try and honor that.

Am I misreading his posts and giving him too much credit? I just don't understand why "catering to new teams" is a code word for "you want to make quizbowl terrible". Is there a context that, as a quiz bowl relative newbie, I don't know about?
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri May 31, 2013 8:09 pm

Yes, there's the context of John Gilbert being a tireless crusader for the legitimacy of It's Academic, of his posting (in this very thread) that everyone's "preferences" are equally valid and should be catered to, and the fact that he defends rather than mocks people who claim to want more games against teams of their level but then leave tournaments early before bracketed afternoon rounds, which are nothing but games between teams of the same level and are created for that purpose.

Card-pairing and other forms of power-matching are awful concepts that exist in the HSNCT solely from the necessity of needing to do something with 256 teams and the possibility of taking 80 teams to the playoffs to cover for its near-total lack of precision in ranking teams. It is not fair or practical in local tournaments that want to use bracketed playoffs. As far as multiple divisions being a panacea, I don't quite agree; at the same time, it's an idea that does have its place in some tournaments, but hardly seems like it will solve the issue of tournaments that are too small to have one division as it is.

In general, to answer your question directly, the answer to why "everything this guy about tournament structure says [is] ignored" is because everything he says proceeds from factually false premises (high school quizbowl is dying, teams don't play good tournaments, you can't attract new or less skilled teams to tournaments on good questions) and/or ridiculous, wrong opinions (it's okay to play Chip Beall, quizbowl is just glorified practice for televised game shows). When people are consistently, obstinately, and self-interestedly wrong for several hundred posts over the course of a decade and won't listen to those who have proven themselves to know better, ignoring them is a great idea.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Fri May 31, 2013 8:12 pm

Howard wrote:And you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the attendance at the last tournament didn't reach the limit necessitated by staffing, so if the implication is that attendance was low for staffing reasons, I don't believe that to be true.
We reached the limit. 3 teams were no shows. However, some teams who registered w/ buzzers unfortunately didn't bring them. After that, one buzzer system didn't work. That left us w/ the exact number of buzzers needed. I think that we might have had 1 extra staffer (w/ 1 reader per room), but the staff level fluctuated over the day, so at many points, we had the exact number of staff needed.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Deviant Insider » Fri May 31, 2013 10:47 pm

If you think that there is not enough outreach in your area, then my recommendation is to do more outreach. Hoping that other people will do more outreach is ineffective.
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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Howard » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:49 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:Yes, there's the context of John Gilbert being a tireless crusader for the legitimacy of It's Academic, of his posting (in this very thread) that everyone's "preferences" are equally valid and should be catered to, and the fact that he defends rather than mocks people who claim to want more games against teams of their level but then leave tournaments early before bracketed afternoon rounds, which are nothing but games between teams of the same level and are created for that purpose.
I also don't understand why it is so hard to grasp that once a team becomes disheartened, there is little that can be said or done to bring them back. This largely does not happen with my team because I've told them in advance what to expect. But we need to keep in mind that not all coaches-- especially not new ones-- have the ability to foresee the end result. I was once in a position where I didn't foresee a disheartening end result, and it didn't feel good for me or the team. But it was what it was. The team and I both learned from it.

These are high schoolers, no question, but remember they're teenagers. I've known few teenagers whose minds functioned with good adult reasoning in most circumstances. And, over more than a twenty period, I've been involved with some rather impressive teenagers. Largely, they're still in the learning period for these skills. So, I ask you, how can you defend a tournament set-up which works to dishearten the lower teams early on, then wonder why these teams get discouraged to the point they've given up, and finally pretend it's all the team's fault and not at all related to the tournament structure?
Matt Weiner wrote:As far as multiple divisions being a panacea, I don't quite agree; at the same time, it's an idea that does have its place in some tournaments, but hardly seems like it will solve the issue of tournaments that are too small to have one division as it is.
At some point a decision needs to be made. I've seen enough and received enough feedback from other coaches to be convinced we're missing out on a quite large number of teams in the Baltimore/DC area simply because too many teams spend their morning rounds playing teams they have difficulty answering a couple tossups against. So, we can remain in the endless cycle of not creating more divisions because we don't have enough teams, and not having enough teams because the early matches are too skewed. Or, we can try to do something about it. I've proposed a solution. Perhaps if you don't think it's a good one, you can propose something different that you think will achieve the desired result.
Matt Weiner wrote:In general, to answer your question directly, the answer to why "everything this guy about tournament structure says [is] ignored" is because everything he says proceeds from factually false premises (high school quizbowl is dying, teams don't play good tournaments, you can't attract new or less skilled teams to tournaments on good questions) and/or ridiculous, wrong opinions (it's okay to play Chip Beall, quizbowl is just glorified practice for televised game shows). When people are consistently, obstinately, and self-interestedly wrong for several hundred posts over the course of a decade and won't listen to those who have proven themselves to know better, ignoring them is a great idea.
I apparently made a mistake in thinking your response earlier was actually intended to be constructive. I'm under no such delusion here, but I'll give a genuine response nonetheless.

Attendance at tournaments in the Baltimore/DC area has been declining for a large number of years. And I challenge you to provide convincing evidence to the contrary. I've already given my personal observations as to how I reached this conclusion. You didn't reply to my point/question about field size at VCU or UVa tournaments and what the actual cap number was. And if my memory serves, the bulk of these tournament in Richmond or Charlottesville drew significant portions of their field from the DC area, 1.5 to 2.5 hours away. Is it your position that 20 to 24 team field sizes in a major metropolitan area is a-ok? If so, we can just end the discussion now as we're never going to make progress if you don't see the problem.

Additionally, assessing field size at national tournaments does little to assess progress at the local level. Nor is it necessarily a good indicator of quizbowl development as a whole, as by definition, these tournaments attract only the best teams in the country. It is a good barometer for how we're progressing in number of teams in the top couple tiers on a national level. These are important distinctions. If we're going to assess local development, we need to look at local data. Your VHSL example was very good for this not only because it's a relatively localized area, but because it also includes teams at all levels.

It readily follows from my cited evidence of poor attendance that teams aren't playing pyramidal tournaments. We can have a discussion regarding doing something about this, or we can just pretend that it'd be much better to return to a nonproductive argument regarding the benefits of pyramidal, speed, or other questions, in turn doing nothing to address the situation. This isn't the first time you've entered a discussion of things of relative importance, and tried to make it an ad hominem argument that "John Gilbert disagrees with me on a major issue; he is therefore evil." I don't have much interest in logical fallacy.

It has never been my opinion that we cannot get teams to play on pyramidal questions. It has always been my opinion that teams will vote with their feet and are doing so every tournament of every season.

It's difficult for me to accept your conclusions regarding Chip/NAC at face value when I see you use fallacious arguments in discussions with me and fiercely criticize Princeton for minor issues with an all-around well received high school tournament because of, at least as it appears to me, a grudge you hold/held against them for an action they made the previous year. So, yes, I have yet to be convinced there is any standing here for any of us to have the right to tell anyone what the should or should not be interested in doing.

There's no reason pyramidal quizbowl cannot be practice for televised gameshows. Sure, many things don't match up well, but there's no dispute that there are things to be learned that are mutually beneficial. At the same time, I'm under no delusion that anything other than a very small minority of teams use it this way. Nor is this the sole purpose behind our participation. At some point in the future, my team's goals may be different, but I doubt I'll be moving anytime soon from the principle that my team should be able to set and work toward its own goals. And I reject any argument that implies someone from outside the school, school system, and state should be able to decide for us what our goals should be. This defeats one of the main purposes of extracurricular activities in the first place: to help students learn how to accomplish things.

And I'll once again step out before getting into a discussion regarding what I think are the benefits of nonpyramidal formats. That wasn't the purpose of my original post, and despite the fact this seems to be heading there already, I'd rather not see this discussion devolve the way the ones did in the past. I accept that nothing I say will change opinions on this board about the issue, and that those with viewpoints opposing mine believe they're correct for very good reason.

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Re: 2013 NAC

Post by Howard » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:54 pm

Mr. Joyboy wrote:We reached the limit. 3 teams were no shows. However, some teams who registered w/ buzzers unfortunately didn't bring them. After that, one buzzer system didn't work. That left us w/ the exact number of buzzers needed. I think that we might have had 1 extra staffer (w/ 1 reader per room), but the staff level fluctuated over the day, so at many points, we had the exact number of staff needed.
So, if tournament entries matched the cap, which in turn matched the amount of staff, I don't think we can look just to staffing as a source of the problem. I.e., additional staff would not have resulted in more teams. At the same time, it's a reasonable conclusion that you do need more staff (and buzzers) to accomodate more teams if we take actions that result in more teams.

And if I had known you were in danger of needing buzzers, I'd have brought ours by. Seriously, if we're not attending a tournament at OM, I'd be happy to let you guys borrow our buzzers to help ensure a successful event. Don't hesitate to ask.
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"John Gilbert is a quiz bowl god" -- leftsaidfred

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