It's Academic discussion

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It's Academic discussion

Post by VishnuRachakonda » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:43 am

Split from the discussion of DC-area novice tournaments --Mgmt.

Hi:

I'm also from ER, and in terms of novice competition, it is rare as far as I know. RM had a novice set in the fall (we didn't attend, we hope to next year), and that's all I can think of right now. I would recommend going back through all the posts for the past year or two in the "Regular Season Announcements" section to more accurately take stock of the novice competition across the nation.

This is going to be controversial maybe, but an idea is for you is to use the It's Academic TV Show or its questions as a preliminary training ground for your students to get into the concept of trivia first, before entering the DC area's daunting and difficult quiz bowl circuit. Unless you have students themselves actively plying these forums, reading the how to improve and best of the best threads, it is extremely challenging to just jump in and develop the capacity to compete in the pyramidal quiz bowl played around these here parts. Even then, it is still super tough (we're still trying to crack the ceiling to compete with the best consistently).

Additionally, I think you guys jumped on to the scene late this year, when the sets are tougher. AFAIK, you played the HSAPQ regional and the state. The regional was fairly easy, but would be very tough for a new team. The state would have been extremely difficult. When you start up again next year, you'll have easier tournaments in the fall, and more opportunities to choose from. I'm not a coach, but I would first worry about my students enjoying the concept of trivia to being with (hence the It's Academic suggestion) and trying to get them to memorize all the basic info (capitals, US presidents, etc. to start, then the NAQT You Gotta Know stuff).

I don't know much about your team, but that's my advice to start! Hope it's useful! Contact me if you have questions. We've been through the same learning phase you are going through (maybe a bit less jarring) and we're more than happy to help.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by Auroni » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:06 pm

VishnuRachakonda wrote:This is going to be controversial maybe, but an idea is for you is to use the It's Academic TV Show or its questions as a preliminary training ground for your students to get into the concept of trivia first, before entering the DC area's daunting and difficult quiz bowl circuit.
That's a horrible idea for many reasons. In order to get new players used to the concept of quizbowl, they should be made to, you know, actually play quizbowl.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by RexSueciae » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:47 pm

Auroni wrote:
VishnuRachakonda wrote:This is going to be controversial maybe, but an idea is for you is to use the It's Academic TV Show or its questions as a preliminary training ground for your students to get into the concept of trivia first, before entering the DC area's daunting and difficult quiz bowl circuit.
That's a horrible idea for many reasons. In order to get new players used to the concept of quizbowl, they should be made to, you know, actually play quizbowl.
Seconded. The only thing that most television shows are good for is to get your school's name out there. People play on television for publicity, not to improve their quizbowl skills. (If you're trying to get funding for quizbowl from your school, that's another thing entirely; for some reason, administrators like it when you can point to the television and say, "look, that's us!")
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by Bolt52 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:49 pm

RexSueciae wrote:
Auroni wrote:
VishnuRachakonda wrote:This is going to be controversial maybe, but an idea is for you is to use the It's Academic TV Show or its questions as a preliminary training ground for your students to get into the concept of trivia first, before entering the DC area's daunting and difficult quiz bowl circuit.
That's a horrible idea for many reasons. In order to get new players used to the concept of quizbowl, they should be made to, you know, actually play quizbowl.
Seconded. The only thing that most television shows are good for is to get your school's name out there. People play on television for publicity, not to improve their quizbowl skills. (If you're trying to get funding for quizbowl from your school, that's another thing entirely; for some reason, administrators like it when you can point to the television and say, "look, that's us!")
I wouldn't go straight the say that the suggestion was horrible. Being a freshman on our team, I was very inexperienced at the beginning of the year (Didn't do MS Quizbowl at all). We spent a lot of time preparing for the T.V. show at the beginning of the season instead of just focussing on standard Quizbowl. I have to say that, at least for myself, the preparation for T.V., memorizing capitals, presidents, etc. created an enjoyable atmosphere that created the base that I needed for standard Quizbowl. I think that Don Bosco should certainly look into going onto It's Academic next season.

Standard Quizbowl has it's place, and that is place is giant, but at the end of the day, however that base knowledge can be acquired - be it from Bad or Good Quizbowl, it will help with everything.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:20 pm

It's Academic is a net negative for quizbowl -- I can't think of a worse thing for an aspiring team to do than sign up for something that schedules its tapings on Saturdays and will make you worse at quizbowl. If having an existing program at your school helps recruitment, that's good for you, but schools that get quizbowl going without IA are basically asking to make their trip to a more active/competitive team much more rocky by engaging with it.

Generally, I think that any team that is at all serious (like, even to the point of "practicing for two hours a week and going to a tournament on average once every other weekend" serious) will be able to become reasonably competitive at normal tournaments very quickly. If DBCR has regular practices and goes to the tournaments in their area for the rest of this school year and then starts up again in August, then by October they will be able to win 4 or 5 games and feel comfortable with the material on an ordinary NAQT or HSAPQ set. Getting from the starting gate to that point is really simple both in terms of figuring out what to do and finding the time to do it. Getting from there to actually contending to win tournaments is the real challenge.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by VishnuRachakonda » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:39 am

I think I'm going to go ahead and stand by my initial suggestion. We at ER have had to go through the same learning curve you've had with the transition to a new coach and more awareness for real pyramidal quizbowl. We've used It's Academic and its format as an easy vehicle to make QB more accessible, which I don't think it particularly is right now. Please feel free to contact any of us for help- we've been where you are very recently.

It's also disappointing to see others on this board so violently disagree with the It's Academic point but fail to provide any other relevant advice.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by Cody » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:07 am

I think Matt provided some excellent advice and I encourage the DBCR coach to take it since Matt is the most knowledgeable person in this discussion both with respect to quizbowl and building new programs.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:07 pm

I will just add briefly, as a former DC high schooler myself, that it's eminently possible to study basics such as "capitals, presidents, etc." for the sake of quizbowl, while or after playing quizbowl questions. One need not read or watch It's Academic to get a grip on that information quickly.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by Cheynem » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:26 pm

Bill Tressler suggested playing the A-set tournament, which seems like relevant advice.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:05 pm

There's also nothing wrong with playing a regular-difficulty tournament. Yes, you struggle against some of the nationals-calibre teams in the morning (and even then you'll learn lots by watching them play!), but in the afternoon playoff rounds you'll be playing against teams of your own level on questions that 90% of the teams in existence should be able to answer.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by Howard » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:18 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:It's Academic is a net negative for quizbowl
This is arguably false. There are 162 schools in the Baltimore-DC area that participate in It's Academic each year. Pyramidal quizbowl continues to stumble along, with most weekend tournaments drawing around 20 teams (not schools, teams), and I have cannot think of a regular attender from the metro area whose pyramidal team did not develop from a team constructed primarily to compete on It's Academic. I assert that pyramidal quizbowl would be nearly nonexistent in the Baltimore-DC area were it not for It's Academic in the first place.
Matt Weiner wrote:...will make you worse at quizbowl.
And this is patently false. There is not a single thing in practicing for or competing on It's Academic that can possible make a player worse at pyramidal quizbowl. Not the learning of material. Not the answering of questions. Not the thought processes behind answering the questions. Not the thinking skills developed. Not a single thing.

There's no question that It's Academic and pyramidal quizbowl are different animals. And I agree that practicing It's Academic will not make you anywhere near a top pyramidal quizbowl player. The show may help your team get exposure and in turn funding which you can use for pyramidal quizbowl, and it may help you with decision-making and some facts, but it'll never be efficient as a pyramidal quizbowl practice and learning resource.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by Auroni » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:21 pm

Howard wrote:And this is patently false. There is not a single thing in practicing for or competing on It's Academic that can possible make a player worse at pyramidal quizbowl. Not the learning of material. Not the answering of questions. Not the thought processes behind answering the questions. Not the thinking skills developed. Not a single thing.
That's a nice simplification. In reality, getting better at quizbowl involves developing a mindset for how to process and sort new information you're being exposed to. Playing one-liners destroys your ability to do that, and even if you learn a fact that you didn't know before about an academic subject, it'll be completely useless to you.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by Howard » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:41 pm

Auroni wrote:That's a nice simplification. In reality, getting better at quizbowl involves developing a mindset for how to process and sort new information you're being exposed to. Playing one-liners destroys your ability to do that, and even if you learn a fact that you didn't know before about an academic subject, it'll be completely useless to you.
Not all the questions are one-liners. While I cannot recall any that involved more than three tiers of information, even the tiers that are present encourage processing of information.

And even if we assume it this processing and sorting aren't utilized skills, answering these questions doesn't destroy any abilities. Your argument is that if a person learns one thing it's impossible to learn something else. That's not believable, either.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by Theodore » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:46 pm

Howard wrote: I have cannot think of a regular attender from the metro area whose pyramidal team did not develop from a team constructed primarily to compete on It's Academic. I assert that pyramidal quizbowl would be nearly nonexistent in the Baltimore-DC area were it not for It's Academic in the first place.
This seems to be a post hoc analysis to me. Just because the It's Academic team came first doesn't mean that playing It's Academic helped the transition/growth to pyramidal Quizbowl.
Howard wrote: I assert that pyramidal quizbowl would be nearly nonexistent in the Baltimore-DC area were it not for It's Academic in the first place.
This is a very interesting point you raise. You may be right; I'm not sure whether a pre-existing non-pyramidal Quizbowl format is a pro (people already interested in quiz competitions) or a con (attachment to the old non-pyramidal format prevents growth/transition into pyramidal questions).

Paying (I don't know how high the costs are, but it appears to me that non-pyramidal is usually substantially more expensive than pyramidal) to attend a non-pyramidal tournament in hopes of gaining publicity and thus funding for pyramidal Quizbowl seems counterintuitive to me.

Whether non-pyramidal Quizbowl makes you worse or not at pyramidal Quizbowl, the bottom line is: the best way to improve at pyramidal Quizbowl is playing pyramidal questions. Playing non-pyramidal questions may or may not help a little bit, but in the end it's not worth the time and money, as there are numerous superior alternatives out there.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by heterodyne » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:50 pm

Howard wrote:
Auroni wrote:That's a nice simplification. In reality, getting better at quizbowl involves developing a mindset for how to process and sort new information you're being exposed to. Playing one-liners destroys your ability to do that, and even if you learn a fact that you didn't know before about an academic subject, it'll be completely useless to you.
Not all the questions are one-liners. While I cannot recall any that involved more than three tiers of information, even the tiers that are present encourage processing of information.

And even if we assume it this processing and sorting aren't utilized skills, answering these questions doesn't destroy any abilities. Your argument is that if a person learns one thing it's impossible to learn something else. That's not believable, either.
Having played on one line questions in middle school and having made the transition to real questions, I can say that playing one-liners does in fact make it a lot harder to be good at quizbowl. My freshman year, I negged a lot. The lateral thinking skills that playing one-line questions had taught me were simply not applicable. The random insignifica that I had memorized only distracted me. The fact is that keeping up a bank of knowledge that includes those random dates and facts takes time and effort, and that time and effort could better be used on pyramidal questions and studying them.

While you are definitely correct that processing of information is a skill that is used in pyramidal quizbowl, it is a very different type of info processing. The questions are structured in a fundamentally different way and to reduce the different types of parsing needed for the different types down to a single "processing info" skill is, quite frankly, ridiculous. It's similar to saying that juggling will make you a better tennis player because they both involve hand-eye coordination. Sure, they do, but wouldn't your time be better spent practicing tennis?
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more It's Academic posts

Post by Howard » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:53 pm

Theodore wrote:Paying (I don't know how high the costs are, but it appears to me that non-pyramidal is usually substantially more expensive than pyramidal) to attend a non-pyramidal tournament in hopes of gaining publicity and thus funding for pyramidal Quizbowl seems counterintuitive to me.
There are no costs beyond transportation to play on It's Academic. In fact, teams that progress to the championship game receive prize money. So, if you're doing this solely for the exposure and money, there's little reason to not just pile into a car and go to the studio, avoiding pretty much all costs beyond gasoline.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by RexSueciae » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:04 pm

Let's put it this way:

Questions on It's Academic test knowledge to an extent. You know, for instance, that the player who just buzzed in with the correct answer is aware that Henry VIII's first wife was Catherine of Aragon. What It's Academic is bad at is testing depth of knowledge (questions are typically shorter than regular quizbowl questions due to on-air time constraints and a desire to keep things "interesting" for the folks at home) and comparative levels of knowledge between teams (since questions are shorter, there's no guarantee that the other team also has Henry VIII knowledge but lost the buzzer race). Learning information will help you do well on It's Academic. Learning information, funnily enough, will also help you do well in academic quizbowl. But simply playing It's Academic in and of itself won't get you better at actual high school quizbowl.

There's also the matter that televised quizbowl usually doesn't ask about quite the same stuff that comes up in good quizbowl--because of the need to put on a show that viewers can follow along with (and/or feel superior to the players when they know the answer) they'll include a lot more trash, current events, and the like in lieu of harder stuff like philosophy, most sciences, and some literature. The set of information that you must learn for It's Academic and that for quizbowl are thus not entirely congruent.

If you want to play, that's fantastic. You might have fun, you might even win, and your grandparents will be thrilled to see their darling on the screen. But doing well on It's Academic doesn't necessarily translate to success elsewhere. If you're already established as a team, of course, you'll probably dominate at It's Academic since you've already learned enough real knowledge to do well enough on fake knowledge questions. Before this thread was split, though, the discussion was on good options for a novice-level team to get into pyramidal quizbowl, and It's Academic is certainly not the best choice for that sort of thing.
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Re: Beginner-level competition in DC/MD/VA area

Post by Howard » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:06 pm

Turner Island wrote:Having played on one line questions in middle school and having made the transition to real questions, I can say that playing one-liners does in fact make it a lot harder to be good at quizbowl. My freshman year, I negged a lot. The lateral thinking skills that playing one-line questions had taught me were simply not applicable. The random insignifica that I had memorized only distracted me. The fact is that keeping up a bank of knowledge that includes those random dates and facts takes time and effort, and that time and effort could better be used on pyramidal questions and studying them.

While you are definitely correct that processing of information is a skill that is used in pyramidal quizbowl, it is a very different type of info processing. The questions are structured in a fundamentally different way and to reduce the different types of parsing needed for the different types down to a single "processing info" skill is, quite frankly, ridiculous. It's similar to saying that juggling will make you a better tennis player because they both involve hand-eye coordination. Sure, they do, but wouldn't your time be better spent practicing tennis?
I do not pretend to claim that these are the same exact skills. Nor am I asserting that It's Academic will make a player significantly better at pyramidal quizbowl. My premise was and is that it won't make you worse. Trying to play pyramidal quizbowl exactly the same way It's Academic is optimally played will not help and may actually hurt a pyramidal quizbowl score, but there's no reason to play them in the same exact way. I say your analogy actually holds to some degree. There's some small amount of skill overlap, so there's a marginal improvement. But you'd never walk onto a tennis court and attempt to win a tennis match by juggling. And I agree, if you're focusing on pyramidal quizbowl, the most efficient route to improving in that venue is to play more pyramidal quizbowl and take advantage of the large volume of questions available at quizbowlpackets.com.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by zachary_yan » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:54 pm

Has good quizbowl ever reached out to the producers of It's Ac to attempt to make some reforms the gameplay?

edit: okay so I said something silly, shame on me
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:05 pm

Alright, guys, we get it -- you variously either love It's Academic or love posting words and will do so even if you have nothing to say (who cares how vociferously a tournament "claims to be the most educational quiz format," especially when none of the events we're discussing actually makes such a claim?) But this is a factual question -- how does a new team get moderately good at quizbowl? The answer is, by practicing for and attending quizbowl tournaments, not by signing up for a non-quizbowl activity that teaches you destructive quizbowl habits and will directly impede your ability to attend tournaments. The people letting their anti-quizbowl agendas get in the way of providing good advice to a new team coming here asking for help should rethink what kind of behavior they are engaging in.
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Re: more It's Academic posts

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:07 pm

Howard wrote:There are no costs beyond transportation to play on It's Academic.
I'm sure you've had this explained to you dozens of times, but I guess I'll give it another quixotic shot: it's not monetary cost that's so damaging about It's Academic, it's opportunity cost. Every Saturday spent taping It's Ac is a Saturday not spent playing real quizbowl. There are certainly potential monetary benefits, but even setting aside its own dubious question quality, It's Ac is not going to help you get better at quizbowl, and can in fact work to your detriment.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Cheynem » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:08 pm

I mean...I don't get what John Gilbert is saying.

I agree that juggling isn't tennis, right. So like practicing juggling is not going to help you at tennis. I agree that it's not like if you juggle, your tennis skills magically erode, but like if you spend a lot of time practicing juggling instead of practicing tennis (or spend money going to juggling tournaments instead of tennis matches), that doesn't really help you at all.

I'll also note that the vast majority of people who have done well at quizbowl who have emerged from It's AC have only negative things to say about it.

If the original people who were asking about quizbowl are still reading this thread, please don't listen to anything Zachary Yan says, by the way, he has been banned on occasion for saying horribly incorrect things.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:40 pm

For me, It's Academic isn't fun and the questions are dumb. What made me good at quizbowl is that I have something referred to as "real knowledge" . What made be better was practice. It's Academic never helped. Apparently ER thinks it's good. I don't agree. John Gilbert has some opinions on it's Academic that have been mentioned plenty of ttimes before. There's no need to make this a big deal.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Auroni » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:54 pm

Mr. Joyboy wrote:For me, It's Academic isn't fun and the questions are dumb. What made me good at quizbowl is that I have something referred to as "real knowledge" . What made be better was practice. It's Academic never helped. Apparently ER thinks it's good. I don't agree. John Gilbert has some opinions on it's Academic that have been mentioned plenty of ttimes before. There's no need to make this a big deal.
Except it does matter, because we don't want new teams accepting lies as truth at a formative stage in their quizbowl lifetimes.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Bloodwych » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:10 pm

From experience I will say that the novelty of the show wore off rather quickly and that, by the time I was more deeply engaged with quizbowl, it tended only to get in the way of tournaments I wanted to play.
Howard wrote:My premise was and is that it won't make you worse.
I am not sure why you keep insisting that this is true.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Bolt52 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:12 am

Giovanni I Participazio wrote:From experience I will say that the novelty of the show wore off rather quickly and that, by the time I was more deeply engaged with quizbowl, it tended only to get in the way of tournaments I wanted to play.
Howard wrote:My premise was and is that it won't make you worse.
I am not sure why you keep insisting that this is true.

Can someone please elaborate about how this isn't true? All I know is that at the beginning of the season ER spent the majority of the time reviewing 'for the show.' Now I had never done Quizbowl before and by preparing 'for the show' I was able to gain the foundation of QB knowledge and become an exponentially better player. What is it about the show specifically (other than opportunity cost) that everyone hates so much?
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:22 am

It trains you to do things like buzz in immediately with wild guesses and spend practice time on things that are irrelevant to real quizbowl (like predict "hoses" or study the verbatim text of questions from past years to be able to buzz in on the third word of recycled questions). I would also urge you NOT to discount the fact that it competes with quizbowl by taping on Saturdays, because the context of this discussion is "a team asking how to get better at quizbowl." We're not comparing the ability of "a team with whatever the IA knowledge base is" to a team that does nothing, we're comparing it to a team that uses all the time that could be used on IA specifically for building the quizbowl knowledge base! It's entirely obvious that spending available time (whether that's 1 hour a month or 10 hours for any particular team) on quizbowl rather than not-quizbowl will be more efficient, even just looking at the issue of learning what will come up and discounting the bad habits IA inculcates and the fact that it forces you to miss multiple quizbowl tournaments per year to participate.

The premise that there can be no quizbowl without It's Academic is as ridiculous as every other time John has brought it up, given that 99% of quizbowl teams in the country formed without being IA teams first, and I still have seen no explanation for what makes the DC-Baltimore area so fundamentally different than the rest of North America that only it must be assumed to have required this process of development. It's a particularly weird assertion given that we're talking here specifically about a team in Maryland that is emerging without IA -- though I understand how threatened John must feel by that fact.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by pajaro bobo » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:39 am

Bolt52 wrote:Now I had never done Quizbowl before and by preparing 'for the show' I was able to gain the foundation of QB knowledge and become an exponentially better player.
Regardless of whether or not It's Academic really does make you worse at quizbowl (maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, I couldn't care less), surely you agree that playing real quizbowl will help you get better more than playing It's Academic ever will. I mean, it's pretty simple: You want to be a better quizbowl player, so go to quizbowl tournaments.

You say you got better at QB by "preparing for the show". Why are you attributing your improvement to It's Academic? You got better because you studied period (and I'll assume that you meant that you actually studied academic stuff, as opposed to the things Matt Weiner says about trying to study the It's Academic metagame). And what's a better place to test your knowledge on the stuff you studied than a quizbowl tournament?

Vishnu mentioned that ER uses the show to make QB more "accessible". Does he mean that tournaments run on A sets and other novice sets not accessible enough? I'm genuinely curious about why he said that.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:26 am

As glad as I am that people who admit to having no idea what It's Academic even is are joining in on the discussion, it's time to put on my "2 time It's Academic finalist" hat and talk a little bit about why there are better ways to prepare.

First of all, while John Gilbert has participated in a variation of this discussion 100+ times and knows what's up, it would be nice to remember that Eleanor Roosevelt is also basically a very new team and could be treated a little more gently. That said, It's Academic is a poor way of preparing for quizbowl. In high school, my team almost exclusively practiced for It's Academic, which I guess gives you a very shaky sort of knowledge base for real quizbowl, but is really no better than studying one of those Campbell's Quiz books or an Uncle John bathroom reader. In quizbowl, there's something called the "canon," which is basically everything that is generally agreed upon as the answers that should come up in quizbowl. You'll notice that, because there's a canon, things recur, like, all the time. [After going to a few tournaments, you're eventually gonna start to remember the name Tomas Mann, for example.] The cool thing about the canon is that it means when you go tournaments held at or written by different schools, there's still not going to be a terrible amount of variation between the things that come up. [Compare this to high school quizbowl six years ago, where I went to some tournament in Maryland that had a category round on "Famous Transvestites."] The canon is a good thing, because it means that learning things for quizbowl is less daunting than it could be; there are a limited amount of things that could be asked about.

Now, the problem with It's Academic [ignoring the fact that the questions are 2 lines long and aren't pyramidal at all] is that its canon is entirely different. Also, smaller. One trade secret of the show is that they outright recycle questions. [The classic example I remember from these questions being drilled into my head in high school is that, if a question begins "Not many words in the English language begin with X," the answer is Xanadu. Enjoy your free points, It's Ac players.] So learning stuff like that is pretty much the opposite of helpful for quizbowl. Even the legitimate things they ask about don't always come up in quizbowl; It's Academic happens to love the Norwegian author Ole Rolvaag, who normal quizbowl has rightfully agreed is too difficult to ask about in high school. If you're studying or playing It's Academic, you're learning a different canon. Not only that, but you're playing the game in an entirely different way; contra John Gilbert's claim, the questions really aren't pyramidal at all. They don't really care about the order of clues, especially because buzzer races are good TV. My main point is that It's Academic provides you a base of knowledge that could be useful in quizbowl, sure, but it's not going to be that useful, and you might as well just study for quizbowl if you want to play quizbowl.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Howard » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:03 pm

Auroni wrote:Except it does matter, because we don't want new teams accepting lies as truth at a formative stage in their quizbowl lifetimes.
And this was the point behind my post in the first place. I disputed exactly two of Matt's statements:
Matt Weiner wrote:It's Academic is a net negative for quizbowl
and
Matt Weiner wrote:...will make you worse at quizbowl
.

In the former case, I don't believe it to be true and stated my reasoning that in the DC area pyramidal quiz teams developed out of It's Academic teams. Additionally, I believe It's Academic existed prior to other widely known quiz competitions. As such in can be argued that It's Academic was the reason for the exposure of and interest in other quiz tournaments. Others don't agree and have made reasonable arguments that at least cast doubt on my assertion. The fact that these arguments exist is why I used the phrase "arguably false" in my original post.

In the latter case, I've seen nothing to successfully counter my argument that Matt's statement is patently false. Opposing arguments have all centered around irrelevant issues (such as It's Academic only marginally helps with pyramidal quizbowl or causes players to work on things that are irrelevant to pyramidal quizbowl). I do not dispute these claims; I only assert they are irrelevant to the assertions by Matt and myself.

And since there seems to still be confusion even after I explicitly said
howard wrote:And I agree, if you're focusing on pyramidal quizbowl, the most efficient route to improving in that venue is to play more pyramidal quizbowl and take advantage of the large volume of questions available at quizbowlpackets.com.
I'll even point out that I agree with Matt's premise
Matt Weiner wrote:how does a new team get moderately good at quizbowl? The answer is, by practicing for and attending quizbowl tournaments.
So, to be 100% clear, I have no agenda beyond truth and the exposure of falsehoods. Not only do I not care how Don Bosco Cristo Rey (or any other new team) would like to spend their quiz time-- I believe this is a decision best left to the individual team and school-- I will even help guide them to tournaments that fit their agenda just as I have done for other teams in the past. From my perspective, the agenda seems to be on the end of those making false and/or largely unsupportable statements in favor of one format over another, such as the ones I addressed in my initial post in this thread.
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Howard wrote:There are no costs beyond transportation to play on It's Academic.
I'm sure you've had this explained to you dozens of times, but I guess I'll give it another quixotic shot: it's not monetary cost that's so damaging about It's Academic, it's opportunity cost. Every Saturday spent taping It's Ac is a Saturday not spent playing real quizbowl.
First, this statement was in direct response to "paying to attend," so relating it to opportunity cost is only taking it out of context. Second, Matt's assertion was not that a team would fail to improve due to lack of pyramidal quizbowl practice, it was "will make you worse." I do not argue against the fact that missed opportunities will restrict improvement, because this is a valid assertion. So, was the intent, in fact, to refer to opportunity cost? If so, it seems pretty simple that we can take a step back and agree on that assertion.

And if that's the case, when do we draw the line? Do we discourage teams from Math Olympiad, Science Bowl, Computer Bowl, taking standardized tests, or certain religions? This is where the whole thing seems pretty silly to me. There's nothing forcing organizers to hold tournaments on Saturdays. They can hold them after school or on Sundays if they'd like. To schedule simultaneously to another organization that already has had a well-established Saturday schedule for years and pretend that organization is then prompting an attendance issue is a bit backward.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by pajaro bobo » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:17 pm

something similarly dumb wrote:As glad as I am that people who admit to having no idea what It's Academic even is are joining in on the discussion ...
Georgia has something similar.

But whatever, man.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Cheynem » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:08 pm

I would not discourage individual STUDENTS from playing Math Olympiad, Science Bowl, Computer Bowl, taking standardized tests, or practicing certain religions (in the case of the latter, this only an issue for individuals). The question is different when discussing teams, which are really the focus of the first two and It's Academic (or Knowledge Bowl or any pseudo quizbowl esque activity). In this case, yeah, if you are a quizbowl team seeking to improve and establish a quizbowl program, then yes, I would discourage a focus on any of those other activities because it will take away time and resources from quizbowl--in the same way that playing two sports with similar schedules (I dunno, basketball and hockey?) is difficult.

I have nothing inherently against It's Academic, as I don't really know what it is other than reading an It's Academic Book of Fun that I received as a prize at some Carleton tournament. But I don't see anything wrong in saying that it is a net negative to quizbowl in the same way that any activity that detracts in terms of time and resources is. In particular, It's Ac is more pernicious than other activities because it is faux-quizbowl and thus can cultivate bad playing habits (as attested to by the successful quizbowl alums who have It's Ac experience).

I agree with you that tournaments can be held at different times other than Saturdays. Matt Weiner runs a number of Sunday tournaments, for example.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by zachary_yan » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:19 pm

Purely speculating as an outsider here, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. In terms of preparation for quizbowl, there seems to be an underlying assumption that teams who are exposed to pyramidal quizbowl instantly become competent teams because of the superiority of the format. Even in strong good qb circuits have teams that are frankly not very good at quizbowl. Basically, if It's Ac were to disappear tonight, it's not like the majority of the teams would embrace good qb with open arms and start becoming powerhouses.
Vishnu mentioned that ER uses the show to make QB more "accessible". Does he mean that tournaments run on A sets and other novice sets not accessible enough? I'm genuinely curious about why he said that.
I'll let Vishnu give his answer, but if it's true that It's Ac doesn't cost a thing to teams monetarily speaking, I can see how it's more accessible. Also regarding opportunity costs, it's not like EVERY instance of a studio taping conflicts with a good quizbowl tournament. Furthermore, according to the It's Academic schedule, teams that anyone would considered serious quizbowl teams like RM, St. Anselms, GDS, and Blair are due to appear on the show, so I suppose this means it's possible that teams can have success in good quizbowl and participate on It's Ac.

It's ac definitely allows for horrible gameplay like hoses and buzzer beaters, but at least there's a still knowledge component involved. Also topics from within the good qb canon come up frequently and appropriately, and the Rolvaag thing is a minor exception.

I'm not entirely convinced that bad quizbowl is entirely bad for the good circuit per se, but as long as teams are wary enough that pyramidal qb is more engaging and substantive competition, good quizbowl should be just fine. TV shows like High Academic or It's Hometime High-Q or whatever can just become some sort of playful diversion if they continue to be bad qb. Any teams that fail to realize this probably wouldn't have any success in good quizbowl anyways. I'd like to see It's Academic disappear or get replaced with something better as much as anyone else on the forum, but it can't be the only thing that is driving teams away from good quizbowl.

edit: removed claim about Sue Ikenberry's coaching career
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:16 pm

Zachary, I seriously encourage you to stop guessing/conjecturing, and just let other people speak, in situations where you don't have any firsthand knowledge or experience about the topic at hand. For example: I actually went to Georgetown Day School, and I can tell you that Sue Ikenberry stopped actively coaching the quizbowl team there in 2008.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by zachary_yan » Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:51 pm

Matt, I know I have zero person experience with anything outside of a small corner of Minnesota, but it doesn't seem like it takes too much effort to get properly informed about the nature of It's Academic, for instance. Plus only claims I made in that post (after editing) that's anywhere near "speculation" probably are "teams play It's Ac because it's essentially free", "teams can play it's academic and be good at pyramidal quizbowl", and critiquing how people think that teams that start playing pyramidal quizbowl will become better at said activity.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Cheynem » Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:52 pm

I think Matt was referring to your claim that Ikenberry was a current It's Ac supporter/coach of GDS.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:59 pm

zachary_yan wrote:Furthermore, according to the It's Academic schedule, teams that anyone would considered serious quizbowl teams like RM, St. Anselms, GDS, and Blair are due to appear on the show, so I suppose this means it's possible that teams can have success in good quizbowl and participate on It's Ac.
Back when I was in high school, the entirety of our It's Academic practice and participation was to begrudgingly select three people to go on a Saturday morning that could be better spent playing an actual tournament of 10+ rounds as opposed to a single 20-minute round, and have them go. Had that TV show been wiped off the face of the earth, we would not have complained one bit.

One other thing that people have not mentioned about the TV show is that only three people can participate at a time. It's hard for a club to grow in numbers if it focuses on an activity that only three people can take part in.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Kouign Amann » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:00 pm

zachary_yan wrote:Furthermore, according to the It's Academic schedule, teams that anyone would considered serious quizbowl teams like RM, St. Anselms, GDS, and Blair are due to appear on the show, so I suppose this means it's possible that teams can have success in good quizbowl and participate on It's Ac.
It's because their coaches make them do it.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by zachary_yan » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:03 pm

@Sikenberry twitter on 9 Mar 2014 wrote: GDS will go to the "It's Academic" playoffs this year! April 26th conflicts with History Bowl AND Academic WorldQuest, but it's all good!
@Sikenberry account on 12 Dec 2010 wrote: "It's Academic" taping yesterday! GDS pulled off a pretty good-looking victory, so we live to fight another day.

About Ikenberry's support of It's Academic, she apparently posted these tweets.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:11 pm

Howard wrote:In the former case, I don't believe it to be true and stated my reasoning that in the DC area pyramidal quiz teams developed out of It's Academic teams. Additionally, I believe It's Academic existed prior to other widely known quiz competitions. As such in can be argued that It's Academic was the reason for the exposure of and interest in other quiz tournaments. Others don't agree and have made reasonable arguments that at least cast doubt on my assertion. The fact that these arguments exist is why I used the phrase "arguably false" in my original post.
It may or may not have been that DC Quizbowl grew out of It's Academic. It doesn't matter. It's also the case that college Quizbowl originated from CBI, and yet it is as healthy as ever despite College Bowl having been defunct for several years now. Where something originated from does not give legitimacy to it.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Lo, Marathon Ham! » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:54 pm

I just wanted to say that a quiz bowl show may not be a bad thing even if it is run on a "bad" quiz bowl set. Before the Comcast challenge ended here it appears far more Delaware teams were involved in good quiz bowl as well. Now, it's just us. The shows may help to motivate schools to encourage participating in more quiz bowl events thus leading to a positive impact on good quiz bowl participation. A large prize and TV publicity is also an added bonus for the administrations. What has good quiz bowl done to encourage administrations about it's validity? Good quiz bowl is a standard set by the quiz bowl community that many administrations probably don't understand. Thus, if having a game show helps to enhance the good quiz bowl experience in the area and get more teams involved, then I don't think there is too much of a problem.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:35 pm

MoeMoney wrote:I just wanted to say that a quiz bowl show may not be a bad thing even if it is run on a "bad" quiz bowl set. Before the Comcast challenge ended here it appears far more Delaware teams were involved in good quiz bowl as well. Now, it's just us. The shows may help to motivate schools to encourage participating in more quiz bowl events thus leading to a positive impact on good quiz bowl participation. A large prize and TV publicity is also an added bonus for the administrations. What has good quiz bowl done to encourage administrations about it's validity? Good quiz bowl is a standard set by the quiz bowl community that many administrations probably don't understand. Thus, if having a game show helps to enhance the good quiz bowl experience in the area and get more teams involved, then I don't think there is too much of a problem.
To explicate upon what Mohan has stated, Quiz Bowl has an inherent issue with establishing credibility from the perspective of an outsider (such as school administration and parents). With the lack of cash prizes/sponsorship/trophies at most events, nothing really exists to rationalize a school paying a ton of money for students to attend. I think NHBB has done a much better job of working at this, and in my experience, important people recognize NHBB much more than normal quiz bowl, which is seen as kind of "shady." It's Academic has obviously established credibility among such people, and thus continues to succeed. It makes a lot of sense why many non-elite players/team would prefer it. Honestly, as a freshman starting out in quizbowl, I would have much preferred playing something like It's Ac over real quiz bowl. If one cannot get questions even at the end (or only buzz in at the end) and does not receive any direction or method of improvement, what is the point in playing good quiz bowl, if all you are really interested in is answering some trivia questions? In my experience, until a magic light bulb went off and I suddenly figured out how to study for quiz bowl half-way through last year, pyramidal questions were honestly overwhelming, even A-sets. I have started to realize that pyramidal quiz bowl does indeed have a high barrier of entry. Even as someone who was relatively knowledgeable entering high school (I knew a lot of trash/CE, read a lot, had random knowledge in various subjects because I was fairly intellectually curious, deep geography knowledge, read wikipedia for fun in middle school, etc.), quiz bowl was really difficult. If one is not indoctrinated into a team which instills good studying practices (or any studying practices) within new members, how can they be expected to adjust to pyramidal questions? Sorry for this semi-rant, I just felt like it would be somewhat relevant to mention. As for advice to Eleanor Roosevelt, I think that something more accessible for new members would be to read bonus questions at practices. They are an essential facet of good quiz bowl, and will introduce players to the format, canon, and basic facts of quiz bowl, while not overwhelming them with pyramidal tossups.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by zachary_yan » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:27 pm

Schmidt Sting Pain Index wrote:Honestly, as a freshman starting out in quizbowl, I would have much preferred playing something like It's Ac over real quiz bowl. If one cannot get questions even at the end (or only buzz in at the end) and does not receive any direction or method of improvement, what is the point in playing good quiz bowl, if all you are really interested in is answering some trivia questions? In my experience, until a magic light bulb went off and I suddenly figured out how to study for quiz bowl half-way through last year, pyramidal questions were honestly overwhelming, even A-sets. I have started to realize that pyramidal quiz bowl does indeed have a high barrier of entry. tossups.
I think this is more just a failure on the part of quizbowl to intruct new players and teams on how to do play. It seems like there are enough younger players that don't have a clue how to do well in quizbowl to make me suspect that coaches and advisors don't give the guidance they should. Most of the time it seems like they don't know what to do either. There are few organized youth sports (except for like very young and very recreational players) that don't educate people on how to play the game, so should seem absurd that anyone would want to play quizbowl and not at least prepare a little bit. Furthermore, as people have said already, it really doesn't take too much effort to become competent at pyramidal quizbowl enough to enjoy it. Showing new teams how to thoroughly prepare and study for quizbowl, rather than just giving logistical details, should be something that happens (and more so if it's already happening).
To explicate upon what Mohan has stated, Quiz Bowl has an inherent issue with establishing credibility from the perspective of an outsider (such as school administration and parents). With the lack of cash prizes/sponsorship/trophies at most events, nothing really exists to rationalize a school paying a ton of money for students to attend. I think NHBB has done a much better job of working at this, and in my experience, important people recognize NHBB much more than normal quiz bowl, which is seen as kind of "shady."
It seems like some people don't really help quizbowl in this regard by something of an anti-establishment mind set. For example, refusing to work with athletics and activities associations at all costs. On the other hand, it's good to know that that good quizbowl can cooexist with preexisting organizations like in Virginia, Illinois, and Missouri.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by RexSueciae » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:52 pm

zachary_yan wrote: I think this is more just a failure on the part of quizbowl to intruct new players and teams on how to do play. It seems like there are enough younger players that don't have a clue how to do well in quizbowl to make me suspect that coaches and advisors don't give the guidance they should. Most of the time it seems like they don't know what to do either. There are few organized youth sports (except for like very young and very recreational players) that don't educate people on how to play the game, so should seem absurd that anyone would want to play quizbowl and not at least prepare a little bit. Furthermore, as people have said already, it really doesn't take too much effort to become competent at pyramidal quizbowl enough to enjoy it. Showing new teams how to thuroughly prepare and study for quizbowl, rather than logistical details, should be something that happens (and more if it's already happening.
Unless I have misread your post, this is a relatively decent point. Quizbowl outreach (that wasn't supposed to be a pun) is kinda important, and while television quiz shows are a pretty good way of raising awareness (honestly, the first I heard of this activity was watching Battle of the Brains on TV), good quizbowl needs to be waiting in the wings to snag new players and not let them go to waste answering nonpyramidal, trivial, misleading, and inane questions that were written by a geriatric producer and whoever he could scrape together on the day before the next episode was to be filmed.
zachary_yan wrote: It seems like some people don't really help quizbowl in this regard by something of an anti-establishment mind set. For example, refusing to work with athletics and activities associations at all costs. On the other hand, it's good to know that that good quizbowl can cooexist with preexisting organizations like in Virginia, Illinois, and Missouri.
This, on the other hand, is really stupid. A quick jaunt to the quizbowl wiki reminds us that the Illinois High School Association tolerates plagiarism and housewrites questions on things like computational math, not to mention "Agriculture, Family Consumer Science, Drivers Education, Industrial Arts, and Consumer Education," for their statewide competition. The Missouri State High School Activities Association does a lot of stupid things, and hiring NAQT to write their questions has only partially alleviated their problems (fortunately, they're still better than Kansas). I have played in the VHSL Scholastic Bowl; the questions are from HSAPQ but still contain computational math and foreign languages, and the recent redistricting within the VHSL has utterly screwed everything up. The reason why many good quizbowl advocates in those states shun those organizations isn't because of obstinacy, but because those organizations have serious structural flaws (and are filled with people who don't understand quizbowl, don't care very much because football is more exciting, or both). At this point, I would go so far as to say that in Virginia, Illinois, and Missouri, good quizbowl has never been accepted by any of their respective statewide athletic governing bodies.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by zachary_yan » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:00 am

RexSueciae wrote: At this point, I would go so far as to say that in Virginia, Illinois, and Missouri, good quizbowl has never been accepted by any of their respective statewide athletic governing bodies.
Still, it's definitely made a LOT of progress in the next few years. and despite the glaring flaws these formats have, I'm sure what's there now would have been considered near good quizbowl standards only a couple of years ago. And besides, elements of bad qb still in those formats are probably on their way out also pretty soon anyways.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:03 am

Another quick point I'd like to bring up: Who actually appreciates good quiz bowl? Again, put yourselves in the shoes of one of administrators of a state organization such as those previously mentioned. How will they understand that one-line questions are bad? How will they realize that foreign language is bad? Moreover, imagine as if you were a beginner (getting questions at the end, etc.). How will you realize that its better to play pyramidal questions, when you don't even understand all the additional clues? Why would you oppose foreign language questions, when they would get replaced by a question on Emily Bronte for example, who you have never heard of and couldn't care less about? I think a lot of "good" quizbowl advocacy fails to promulgate its message to such people.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by RexSueciae » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:06 am

zachary_yan wrote:
RexSueciae wrote: At this point, I would go so far as to say that in Virginia, Illinois, and Missouri, good quizbowl has never been accepted by any of their respective statewide athletic governing bodies.
Still, it's definitely made a LOT of progress in the next few years. and despite the glaring flaws these formats have, I'm sure what's there now would have been considered near good quizbowl standards only a couple of years ago. And besides, elements of bad qb still in those formats are probably on their way out also pretty soon anyways.
The IHSA has apparently gotten worse this year as a side-effect of all the good writers resigning in protest and/or being fired for reporting plagiarism. VHSL Scholastic Bowl hasn't gotten worse in terms of questions in the past few years, although the redistricting nonsense that occurred right before this year's season automatically takes them down a few notches. I have had no contact with the MSHSAA; hopefully some Missouri player can give firsthand information. Kansas is a post-apocalyptic quizbowl wasteland and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by zachary_yan » Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:25 am

RexSueciae wrote:The IHSA has apparently gotten worse this year as a side-effect of all the good writers resigning in protest and/or being fired for reporting plagiarism. VHSL Scholastic Bowl hasn't gotten worse in terms of questions in the past few years, although the redistricting nonsense that occurred right before this year's season automatically takes them down a few notches. I have had no contact with the MSHSAA; hopefully some Missouri player can give firsthand information. Kansas is a post-apocalyptic quizbowl wasteland and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
(Note:I'm not directly responding to either posts here, these are just some assorted thoughts I had) I don't know if it's just me misunderstanding what "good quizbowl" means, but what I'm talking about here are the fact that good questions are used. The term kinda gets conflated with what I'd consider "bad conduct" or "bad organizations" for whatever reason, and there certainly have been problems with good quizbowl events. Things like plagiarism is horrible and all, but at least some of these organizations have acknoledged that their questions suck. Plus wikipedia says that IHSA as a whole has been the center of tons of athletics related problems anyways, so it's not just a problem with quizbowl.
I think a lot of "good" quizbowl advocacy fails to promulgate its message to such people.
There's been a lot of talk about administration allotting funding to events they know about or seems more official, like :chip:, It's Ac, Comcast or whatever. I feel like one solution would be for good quizbowl to ally itself with some established organization, rather than trying to be the renegade band of revolutionaries its been for most of its existance. It would also be nice if there was actually an actual overarching organization that oversees quizbowl in particular regions, as opposed to these "alliances" that seem to exist. However, the Missouri and Texas Quizbowl Alliances seems like a good model for such an organization.

Also, it would probably benefit the cause of good quizbowl if people would be less negative. As you can see, a lot of what's communicated to school administrators and new teams goes along the lines of something like " :chip: etc. sucks and here's 5 reasons why". I admit I don't know much about marketing, but this type attack ad strategy isn't as effective as much as people might hope it is. I don't feel like administration often isn't pursuaded to help an aspiring pyramidal team out because people say these kinds of things. I think I read a Dave Madden post about this , but I can't find it right now. Of course if you want to allow yourself to elaborate about this here, Dave.

Why can't someone just talk to the It's Academic producers and explain to them that the show hurts quality academic competition? Also I don't see how ratings would really matter to them since show is always broadcast on the Saturday morning time slot, which I'm guessing means it isn't the hottest show they have on their lineup.

Edit: removed incorrect details about IHSA plagiarism scandal, but the point should still be clear
Last edited by zachary_yan on Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:35 am

zachary_yan wrote:
RexSueciae wrote:The IHSA has apparently gotten worse this year as a side-effect of all the good writers resigning in protest and/or being fired for reporting plagiarism. VHSL Scholastic Bowl hasn't gotten worse in terms of questions in the past few years, although the redistricting nonsense that occurred right before this year's season automatically takes them down a few notches. I have had no contact with the MSHSAA; hopefully some Missouri player can give firsthand information. Kansas is a post-apocalyptic quizbowl wasteland and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
(Note:I'm not directly responding to either posts here, these are just some assorted thoughts I had) I don't know if it's just me misunderstanding what "good quizbowl" means, but what I'm talking about here are the fact that good questions are used. The term kinda gets conflated with what I'd consider "bad conduct" or "bad organizations" for whatever reason, and there certainly have been problems with good quizbowl events. Things like plagiarism and David Reinstein being fired for doing the right thing and reporting it is horrible and all, but at least some of these organizations have acknoledged that their questions suck. Plus wikipedia says that IHSA as a whole has been the center of tons of athletics related problems anyways, so it's not just a problem with quizbowl.
I think a lot of "good" quizbowl advocacy fails to promulgate its message to such people.
There's been a lot of talk about administration allotting funding to events they know about or seems more official, like :chip:, It's Ac, Comcast or whatever. I feel like one solution would be for good quizbowl to ally itself with some established organization, rather than trying to be the renegade band of revolutionaries its been for most of its existance. It would also be nice if there was actually an actual overarching organization that oversees quizbowl in particular regions, as opposed to these "alliances" that seem to exist. However, the Missouri and Texas Quizbowl Alliances seems like a good model for such an organization.



Also, it would probably benefit the cause of good quizbowl if people would be less negative. As you can see, a lot of what's communicated to school administrators and new teams goes along the lines of something like " :chip: etc. sucks and here's 5 reasons why". I admit I don't know much about marketing, but this type attack ad strategy isn't as effective as much as people might hope it is. I don't feel like administration often isn't pursuaded to help an aspiring pyramidal team out because people say these kinds of things. I think I read a Dave Madden post about this , but I can't find it right now. Of course if you want to allow yourself to elaborate about this here, Dave.

Why can't someone just talk to the It's Academic producers and explain to them that the show hurts quality academic competition? Also I don't see how ratings would really matter to them since show is always broadcast on the Saturday morning time slot, which I'm guessing means it isn't the hottest show they have on their lineup.
Lol, I was just about to make a post saying these two exact things. In addition, I find that the phrase "bad quiz bowl" is really terrible, and it seems common sense as to why people should not use it. I have some strong feelings about some other possibly ineffective methods employed in quiz bowl, which I might talk about when I get some time in a few months.
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Re: It's Academic discussion

Post by VishnuRachakonda » Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:26 pm

I think Varun and the others have done a great job elucidating the accessibility point I was referring to. QB has a tough barrier to entry. It's not particularly established and you have to look damn hard for info on it when compared to other scholastic activities like debate, Science Bowl, Model UN etc. which also don't have a "bad" form making entry more difficult.

I only got onto the forums within the past year and have really began to get into this sport recently. I suggested It's Academic based practice as a way of getting into quiz bowl because that's exactly how I got into this activity and became a somewhat competent player who has fun going to tournaments. I think Matt Weiner corrected a lot of the prejudices I had, but I was simply suggesting using the fun (and official) sense of It's Ac and faster paced quiz competition as a means of getting students interested in the quiz competition idea itself. I never suggested DBCR join the TV show (which is probably impossible, since I heard there's already a waiting list for new teams and stuff).
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