2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:51 pm

Let me say this as the PPB guy: PPG is better for seeding within one tournament site.
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by jonpin » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:23 am

Stefan HSQBRankovich wrote:Let me say this as the PPB guy: PPG is better for seeding within one tournament site.
But that's only true when teams play equal or close-to-equal schedules, and that's not the case at HSNCT. I arbitrarily picked two 7-3 teams with PPT/PPB inversion and looked at their strength of schedule:
GNS went 7-3, 318.3 PP20, 18.75 PPB while playing a schedule that totaled 56-44 with 6 playoff teams and 1 winners' bracket team (La Jolla, who beat them by 300+). They lost their first game to 5-5 Torrey Pines-B.
Torrey Pines A went 7-3, 294.1 PP20, 19.08 PPB playing a schedule that totaled 61-39 with 8 playoff teams and 3 winners' bracket teams. Their marquee result was a third game win over 7-3 Livingston-A.

So both were 7-3 and went to playoffs where GNS had the 30 card and TP-A had the 39 card. Both lost their first game and won their second game. TP-A had to "punch up" in their Round 19 game while GNS had a lesser opponent. They both lost Round 20, and the fact that Torrey Pines had to play Chattahoochee was due to the latter's upset loss to High Tech the previous round, so that's not at issue. Still, over the tournament, TP had better PPB but lesser PPG because of the harder schedule they had to play. I don't think it's a coincidence that the team which was underranked won their first few games while the team that was overranked lost their first game.
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by Valefor » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:36 am

Al Hirt wrote:Playing in the podcast room was the coolest experience of my high school quizbowl career. Hopefully they're posted soon, because that's something that can greatly improve outreach and get school administrators excited about their teams as well.
Glad you enjoyed it! :grin: Echoing what Jonah has said, podcasts will be posted as soon as I am able to edit them--each round's recording is about 30 minutes long, and I need to cut out everything but the 19-20 minutes of gameplay, adjust audio levels, etc., and then listen to everything again to make sure there are no problems with the mp3s--and get the files back to Jonah. This, of course depends, on my schedule, but I would cautiously estimate that I should have the time to get this done by (hopefully) no later than late June / early July. :smile:
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by mithokie » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:33 am

Stefan HSQBRankovich wrote:Let me say this as the PPB guy: PPG is better for seeding within one tournament site.
Most tournaments seed based on PPG (if they're not playing off ties) when teams come from the same bracket, but PPB when teams come from different brackets due to the unequal schedules. With the card system, teams have widely varying schedule difficulties, so PPG is probably more indicative of how difficult your schedule was, than it is indicative of how strong your team was.

I understand the logistical advantages of the card system and cannot offer a better way to run a 272 team tournament. The card system does not do a good job of ranking teams outside of the top several teams and the bottom several teams. As the ultimate purpose of HSNCT is to crown the best team in the country, I do feel that the tournament format does a good job of determining a champion. As teams that finish Saturday with 5-5 records and below clearly are not the best teams in the country. Due to the unequal schedule paths faced by teams, I would not feel comfortable saying that all teams with 6-4 records are really better than all of the 5-5 teams, or that one 6-4 team with a higher PPG is better than another 6-4 team with a lower PPG. I do feel that the card system fairly identifies all of the teams that have a legitimate shot of winning the championship.
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by setht » Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:56 pm

jonpin wrote:I arbitrarily picked two 7-3 teams with PPT/PPB inversion and looked at their strength of schedule:
GNS went 7-3, 318.3 PP20, 18.75 PPB while playing a schedule that totaled 56-44 with 6 playoff teams and 1 winners' bracket team (La Jolla, who beat them by 300+). They lost their first game to 5-5 Torrey Pines-B.
Torrey Pines A went 7-3, 294.1 PP20, 19.08 PPB playing a schedule that totaled 61-39 with 8 playoff teams and 3 winners' bracket teams. Their marquee result was a third game win over 7-3 Livingston-A.

So both were 7-3 and went to playoffs where GNS had the 30 card and TP-A had the 39 card. Both lost their first game and won their second game. TP-A had to "punch up" in their Round 19 game while GNS had a lesser opponent. They both lost Round 20, and the fact that Torrey Pines had to play Chattahoochee was due to the latter's upset loss to High Tech the previous round, so that's not at issue. Still, over the tournament, TP had better PPB but lesser PPG
Jon, I'm generally in agreement with you up to this point—as best I can tell, all these numbers are correct.

But I don't think those numbers justify the following interpretation:
jonpin wrote:because of the harder schedule they had to play.
Note that the difference in PPB is 0.33, which translates to a difference of one bonus part per 30 bonuses. I think there are lots of plausible explanations for the (tiny!) difference in PPB going the other way from the (also small) difference in PPG. For example:
-TP negged more than GNS (30 negs in the prelims for TP vs. 17 for GNS). Perhaps they played the tossups more aggressively than they should have, so their PPG suffered.
-natural variation in PPB (take any team's performance on bonuses, chop it up into 30-bonus segments, and I'm confident you'll find a typical variation of more than 1 part per 30-bonus segment).
-variation in PPB and/or PPG due to playing different rounds. Note that TP and GNS only played on the same packet in 4 out of 10 games.

It could well be that PPG is not the best way of ordering playoff teams with a given prelim record, for tournaments where teams can have different sets of prelim opponents and hear different packets. But it's not at all clear to me that PPB is better. Or that either one is reasonably good in an absolute sense.

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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by Al Hirt » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:23 pm

Out of curiosity, why not consider powers per 20TH as tiebreakers if you want to still consider the value of tossups? Good teams will power questions against everybody, since they'll be attempting to beat teams to the question in competitive matches and certainly won't hesitate to buzz if they know the answer in less competitive matches. You'll still have the issue of teams having less powers when they play top opponents, but you can probably get a better sense of their skill level and depth of knowledge.

Granted, I have no knowledge if this has been suggested earlier and shot down, but in a tournament like HSNCT when teams don't play the same rounds let alone same games, it seems to be a reasonable alternative.
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by theMoMA » Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:13 pm

I just split (hopefully all of) the discussion of press coverage and placed it in the "theory" forum here.
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by setht » Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:46 pm

setht wrote:-natural variation in PPB (take any team's performance on bonuses, chop it up into 30-bonus segments, and I'm confident you'll find a typical variation of more than 1 part per 30-bonus segment).
It occurs to me that this isn't quite the right comparison to make. We're talking about a difference of 0.33 PPB over about 120 bonuses, or about 4 parts out of 120 bonuses. So the relevant question is how the natural variation in a team's performance over 120 bonuses compares with 4 parts. And, assuming teams' distribution of bonus performance isn't too crazy, 4 parts in 120 bonuses would roughly correspond to 2 parts in 30 bonuses, not 1.

Statistics wonkery aside, I think the point I wanted to make there stands: I'm inclined to believe that it's not at all unusual for a team's performance on bonuses to vary by 4 or more parts from one set of 120 bonuses to the next (or by 2 or more parts per set of 30 bonuses).

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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by setht » Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:53 pm

Al Hirt wrote:Out of curiosity, why not consider powers per 20TH as tiebreakers if you want to still consider the value of tossups? Good teams will power questions against everybody, since they'll be attempting to beat teams to the question in competitive matches and certainly won't hesitate to buzz if they know the answer in less competitive matches. You'll still have the issue of teams having less powers when they play top opponents, but you can probably get a better sense of their skill level and depth of knowledge.

Granted, I have no knowledge if this has been suggested earlier and shot down, but in a tournament like HSNCT when teams don't play the same rounds let alone same games, it seems to be a reasonable alternative.
I don't remember whether this has been suggested before, or tested in any meaningful way. My guess would be that powers per 20TH would be too noisy: sample sizes are small, and there's all sorts of stuff feeding into power rate aside from Real Knowledge.

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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:03 pm

I'm of the opinion that PPB is fairer than PP20TH due to differences in schedules, as people have already pointed out.

That being said, a year or two ago I looked at some Sunday matches where Saturday's PP20TH and Saturday's PPB predicted different winners, and I found that PP20TH was a slightly better predictor than PPB. It's a small sample space, so it wouldn't shock me if it went the other way a different year due to statistical noise. The reality is that when two teams have the same record, one has a better PP20TH, and the other has a better PPB, then the two teams are in the same ballpark.
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by jonah » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:39 pm

setht wrote:
Al Hirt wrote:Out of curiosity, why not consider powers per 20TH as tiebreakers if you want to still consider the value of tossups? Good teams will power questions against everybody, since they'll be attempting to beat teams to the question in competitive matches and certainly won't hesitate to buzz if they know the answer in less competitive matches. You'll still have the issue of teams having less powers when they play top opponents, but you can probably get a better sense of their skill level and depth of knowledge.

Granted, I have no knowledge if this has been suggested earlier and shot down, but in a tournament like HSNCT when teams don't play the same rounds let alone same games, it seems to be a reasonable alternative.
I don't remember whether this has been suggested before, or tested in any meaningful way. My guess would be that powers per 20TH would be too noisy: sample sizes are small, and there's all sorts of stuff feeding into power rate aside from Real Knowledge.
On top of that, it has the same problem as PPB, in that it discards half of the game. (Actually, more than that, since it also discards 10s.)
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by Lo, a momentary rabbit-stage » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:38 pm

Forewarning that this post isn't meant to sound bitter or salty, it's just that our own experiences as far as PPB / PP20TH ranking are the ones I can most easily point to.

We had what I would consider an extremely hard prelim schedule, playing 1 eventual T-53, 2 T-34, 4 T-21, and 1 T-13 (not to mention that many of these teams, like Bloomington, Centennial, and Richard Montgomery ended up placing lower than expected). As a result, there was a fairly large disparity between our PPB (which is notably usually abnormally low for how we perform) and our PP20TH. Ignoring W-L, our PPB would rank us 18th, while our PP20TH ranked us 31st.

The fact that we were seeded for playoffs based on PP20TH meant that we were unfortunate enough to get the 28 card, which first pitted us up against eventual-T13 Ezell-Harding (we won by around 200), and then immediately placed us against the first seed. After our loss to Western Albemarle, we were matched up against the still-really-good Torrey Pines, and unfortunately lost to end up T-34.

Obviously, this is one data point, and it's also too easy to completely attribute the difficulty of our schedule to this ranking. However, the general consensus about a card-based system with this many teams is that it's very good at distinguishing between the top teams but falls off pretty quick. The main drawback of doing a card-based prelims seems to be that it can lead to overly hard schedules - which are certainly annoying, but by themselves are not as destructive. The problem really occurs when the destructive effect of having really hard prelims carries over into playoff seeding. It seems a lot more logical therefore to use a schedule-independent metric like PPB to ensure that - providing a team wasn't just screwed out of playoffs by bracketing - a team's luck or lack thereof in playoff metrics is irrelevant to the schedule they get in playoffs.

I'd like to insert a clarification that I'm not championing PPB as a metric for distinguishing between teams at all. I think it actually falls quite short of a more holistic theoretical ranking and is still not impervious to bad luck / bonus draws (see: our game vs TP). However, I also know that asking for playoff seeding based on what I'd consider an ideal system (a mixture of PPB and PP20TH / Power Rate adjusted to the average PPB of the opponents played in prelims) is unreasonable and probably comes with many flaws, so PPB seems like the most just.
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by Al Hirt » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:26 pm

Lo, a momentary rabbit-stage wrote:Forewarning that this post isn't meant to sound bitter or salty, it's just that our own experiences as far as PPB / PP20TH ranking are the ones I can most easily point to.

We had what I would consider an extremely hard prelim schedule, playing 1 eventual T-53, 2 T-34, 4 T-21, and 1 T-13 (not to mention that many of these teams, like Bloomington, Centennial, and Richard Montgomery ended up placing lower than expected). As a result, there was a fairly large disparity between our PPB (which is notably usually abnormally low for how we perform) and our PP20TH. Ignoring W-L, our PPB would rank us 18th, while our PP20TH ranked us 31st.

The fact that we were seeded for playoffs based on PP20TH meant that we were unfortunate enough to get the 28 card, which first pitted us up against eventual-T13 Ezell-Harding (we won by around 200), and then immediately placed us against the first seed. After our loss to Western Albemarle, we were matched up against the still-really-good Torrey Pines, and unfortunately lost to end up T-34.

Obviously, this is one data point, and it's also too easy to completely attribute the difficulty of our schedule to this ranking. However, the general consensus about a card-based system with this many teams is that it's very good at distinguishing between the top teams but falls off pretty quick. The main drawback of doing a card-based prelims seems to be that it can lead to overly hard schedules - which are certainly annoying, but by themselves are not as destructive. The problem really occurs when the destructive effect of having really hard prelims carries over into playoff seeding. It seems a lot more logical therefore to use a schedule-independent metric like PPB to ensure that - providing a team wasn't just screwed out of playoffs by bracketing - a team's luck or lack thereof in playoff metrics is irrelevant to the schedule they get in playoffs.

I'd like to insert a clarification that I'm not championing PPB as a metric for distinguishing between teams at all. I think it actually falls quite short of a more holistic theoretical ranking and is still not impervious to bad luck / bonus draws (see: our game vs TP). However, I also know that asking for playoff seeding based on what I'd consider an ideal system (a mixture of PPB and PP20TH / Power Rate adjusted to the average PPB of the opponents played in prelims) is unreasonable and probably comes with many flaws, so PPB seems like the most just.
This is what basically happened to my team. The combined record of our opponents was 69-31, and we ended up facing two T-13 Teams (beating both of them), two other T-34 teams (beating both of them), two T-21 Teams (lost to both of them), one 8-2 team that had an anomalously early ending Sunday (beating them), and losing to the second place team of the tournament in LASA A. Now, we were sufficiently blown out in our three losses against RM A, DCC B, and LASA A, but we shouldn't (at least in theory) have been penalized for winning earlier games. Some mixed approach that minimizes difficulty for those calculating statistics would probably be fairest.

Obviously, it's not like this affected greatly our chances of winning the tournament (which were 0), and a worthy national champion is certainly crowned under the present system. But when placement and other things that school administrations may care about (read: trophies), the system should be made as fair as possible. Teams that have higher PPGs from beating up on weaker opponents are not necessarily better than nor deserve to be seeded higher than teams that have slightly lower PPGs based off tough schedules.
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by mithokie » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:33 pm

We missed playoffs due to losing 5 games in prelims. What I say next is not meant to complain about the system just because it worked against us. We were the only 3-1 team that had to play a 4-0 team. We also had the unfortunate luck of drawing a 6-2 team when we were 5-3. We played 4 teams that ended up 7-3 or better in our prelim matches. Was this just bad luck, or were the cards stacked against us? I understand that a true Swiss pair system is not logistically achievable due to the shear number of teams involved.

It would be nice if there was a way for the strength of schedule to be incorporated into rankings and/or seedlings of teams. I know that NAQT has a system for seeding its collegiate teams based upon strength of performance in matches against unequal competition (d-value I think). Could something like this be used to seed/rank teams rather than relying on just pp20th?
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:11 pm

mithokie wrote:We missed playoffs due to losing 5 games in prelims. What I say next is not meant to complain about the system just because it worked against us. We were the only 3-1 team that had to play a 4-0 team. We also had the unfortunate luck of drawing a 6-2 team when we were 5-3. We played 4 teams that ended up 7-3 or better in our prelim matches. Was this just bad luck, or were the cards stacked against us? I understand that a true Swiss pair system is not logistically achievable due to the shear number of teams involved.

It would be nice if there was a way for the strength of schedule to be incorporated into rankings and/or seedlings of teams. I know that NAQT has a system for seeding its collegiate teams based upon strength of performance in matches against unequal competition (d-value I think). Could something like this be used to seed/rank teams rather than relying on just pp20th?
A similar thing happened to North Kansas City a few years ago. The gist of it is that after four rounds, there are 17 4-0 teams, so one of them will have to play down and face a 3-1 team. After that, the card with your number on it is either 4-1 or 3-2, so now the card system cannot guarantee the holders of that card an even match.
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by jupiter » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:56 am

mithokie wrote:We missed playoffs due to losing 5 games in prelims. What I say next is not meant to complain about the system just because it worked against us. We were the only 3-1 team that had to play a 4-0 team. We also had the unfortunate luck of drawing a 6-2 team when we were 5-3. We played 4 teams that ended up 7-3 or better in our prelim matches. Was this just bad luck, or were the cards stacked against us? I understand that a true Swiss pair system is not logistically achievable due to the shear number of teams involved.

It would be nice if there was a way for the strength of schedule to be incorporated into rankings and/or seedlings of teams. I know that NAQT has a system for seeding its collegiate teams based upon strength of performance in matches against unequal competition (d-value I think). Could something like this be used to seed/rank teams rather than relying on just pp20th?
A similar problem happened to my team (LASA B). We were 5-2 and had to play up against Guilford B, who was 6-1. We won that match and then had to play High Tech (who we had already played up against earlier and lost) and then Auburn. We lost both of those games, as those teams ended up at 8-2 and we ended up at 6-4. Our C-team, who we know we are better than, ended up at 7-3 because of an easier schedule. But there is nothing that can be done about teams playing up or playing down unless the number of teams is a power of two, and the attendance of HSNCT is not going to drop to 256 or grow to 512 any time soon, so we just have to live with it. The playoffs sort it out because the better teams will win over the teams who got a good draw on Saturday.
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by mithokie » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:18 pm

Interesting, High tech was our 4-0 opponent when we were 3-1. So, they played at least 3 games where they were playing a teams with a worse record. This policy of matching up teams with uncertain records does make it easier to determine how many even-record matches there will be in a given round, but it also increases the likelihood of a few teams having several matches where they are playing up or down. If the initial seeding was done well, then it is much more likely that the team playing with the worse record will lose the uneven matches. It seems to me that it might be a better idea to design the card system assuming that the disadvantaged team will lose, and then try to avoid further uneven matches for those teams that were playing at a disadvantage. Of course, you also have to consider the effect of an upset in one of this uneven matches, as it may create a large advantage or disadvantage for a team in one of those situations.
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by Deviant Insider » Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:34 pm

mithokie wrote:Interesting, High tech was our 4-0 opponent when we were 3-1. So, they played at least 3 games where they were playing a teams with a worse record. This policy of matching up teams with uncertain records does make it easier to determine how many even-record matches there will be in a given round, but it also increases the likelihood of a few teams having several matches where they are playing up or down. If the initial seeding was done well, then it is much more likely that the team playing with the worse record will lose the uneven matches. It seems to me that it might be a better idea to design the card system assuming that the disadvantaged team will lose, and then try to avoid further uneven matches for those teams that were playing at a disadvantage. Of course, you also have to consider the effect of an upset in one of this uneven matches, as it may create a large advantage or disadvantage for a team in one of those situations.
This is done about as much as it already can be done, especially in the last round because it is so important.

Blacksburg's last match was a 5-4 vs 5-4 match, with the winner going on to the playoffs. Blacksburg had a tough road to get to 5-4, but they had a fair shot at 5-4. I understand the fact that anything can happen in one match, and Blacksburg's chances would have been better if they had an easier opponent in their 9th match, but there was an attempt to make things as fair as they could be under the circumstance that perfectly equal strength-of-schedule was impossible.

LASA B was the victim of two upsets they didn't play in. 6-1 Maggie Walker beat 7-0 High Tech A, and LASA B played the loser of that match. Then, 6-2 Hinsdale Central beat 7-1 Auburn A, and LASA B played the loser of that match. If Maggie Walker had lost, it would have been 6-2 vs 6-2. If Hinsdale Central had lost, it would have been 6-3 vs 6-3.
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by mithokie » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:15 pm

Not complaining, just wondering if there was a way to decrease the number of unequal record matches. I understand that there may not be. With the Maggie Walker match that you just cited, I now count at least 4 matches where High Tech A played with a record 1 better than an opponent. Is there a reason that NAQT doesn't cap the field at 256 since that number would work so much better with the card system?
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by Important Bird Area » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:58 am

mithokie wrote:Is there a reason that NAQT doesn't cap the field at 256 since that number would work so much better with the card system?
In general, we would much rather tolerate a low level of different-record prelim games than turn 16 (or more) teams away from our national championship.
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former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

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

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Important Bird Area
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Re: 2015 NAQT HSNCT: Congratulations Arcadia!

Post by Important Bird Area » Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:12 pm

Podcasts from the 2015 HSNCT are now available.
Jeff Hoppes
President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

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

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