How to attract new members

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How to attract new members

Postby Antonio777100 » Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:33 pm

First of all, the quizbowl team has about 10 members that come to practice on average, but about 8 of us are going to graduate within the next 2 years. I wanted to know how other teams try to recruit new members. The most common problem that we find when it comes to recruiting is that some freshmen and sophomores come, but ending up saying "I don't know anything" or "I'm not smart enough". Even though I have told them that it is not about being smart, but about being willing to learn, they are still intimidated. What do all of you think we should do?
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Re: How to attract new members

Postby Black-footed cat » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:16 pm

My school was in a similar situation a few years back, where over half our team (and most of our scoring) graduated. I think it’s important to show the fun, social aspect of playing quiz bowl in the beginning, so that people will actually want to come to things. Try to befriend younger non-players so they might at least have some incentive to sit in on practices, even if it’s just to hang out with friends at first.

Antonio777100 wrote: The most common problem that we find when it comes to recruiting is that some freshmen and sophomores come, but ending up saying "I don't know anything" or "I'm not smart enough". Even though I have told them that it is not about being smart, but about being willing to learn, they are still intimidated. What do all of you think we should do?

This year, I read middle school packets and novice questions at our first few practices so that new players could build up confidence in their abilities. I also try to emphasize how you don't need to know every single topic in order for quiz bowl to be worthwhile. Everyone will be able to answer a few things based off previous knowledge and their own specific interests, and they'll improve even by just listening to more questions in practice.
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Re: How to attract new members

Postby dhumphreys17 » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:45 pm

j.wu wrote:This year, I read middle school packets and novice questions at our first few practices so that new players could build up confidence in their abilities.


This. Pseudo-scientifically speaking, people have a "know" box and a "don't know" box. So if there's nothing in John Doe's "know" box, he'll get discouraged and quit. If nothing is in John Doe's "don't know" box, he'll get bored, and he might stick around because he's good, but eventually he'll get tired of playing and quit as well. (This never happens.) But if there's *some* stuff in John Doe's "know" box and other stuff in his "don't know" box, then that will motivate him to **learn more stuff**, and he'll stick around. The best way to create this motivation is to use easier packets, which are more likely to place stuff in people's "know" boxes.
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Re: How to attract new members

Postby SpanishSpy » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:36 am

At the College's activities fair this year I had a pitch that got us over a hundred signatures, with an ultimate yield of about ten members of the team, mostly freshmen, with three returners, including myself.

This was the pitch:

Me: DO YOU KNOW THINGS?

Freshman: Uh, yes, I think (or something similarly confused)

Me: OF COURSE YOU KNOW THINGS! You couldn't get through twelve years of mandatory public education without knowing a few things! If you didn't know things, you wouldn't have gotten into William & Mary!* If you didn't know things, you'd be at UVA!**

Freshman: So what club are you from?

Me: I'm from the Quizbowl team! We know things competitively!

Freshman: What is Quizbowl?

Me: It's like Jeopardy, but team based and we're all broke.

Freshman: [laughs] You guys seem cool. [signs up]



*Replace as needed
**Nothing against UVA but harnessing interscholastic rivalry helps. Replace with your school's rival as needed.


This pitch, delivered energetically and aggressively to passerby, got us the team we have now.
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Re: How to attract new members

Postby Snoopy » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:28 am

Well, the president prior to me got a bunch of popular kids to join. Every week thereafter in my senior year, when I put him in charge of recruitment, there was a revolving door of idiots going in and out of the club. BUT! There were a few gems in there too, which will soon form the backbone of the club. My advisor also aggressively recruited her freshman students, but they all wound up being even worse than the others. But hey, we got members, right?
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Re: How to attract new members

Postby Corry » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:16 pm

SpanishSpy wrote:At the College's activities fair this year I had a pitch that got us over a hundred signatures, with an ultimate yield of about ten members of the team, mostly freshmen, with three returners, including myself.

This was the pitch:

Me: DO YOU KNOW THINGS?

Freshman: Uh, yes, I think (or something similarly confused)

Me: OF COURSE YOU KNOW THINGS! You couldn't get through twelve years of mandatory public education without knowing a few things! If you didn't know things, you wouldn't have gotten into William & Mary!* If you didn't know things, you'd be at UVA!**

Freshman: So what club are you from?

Me: I'm from the Quizbowl team! We know things competitively!

Freshman: What is Quizbowl?

Me: It's like Jeopardy, but team based and we're all broke.

Freshman: [laughs] You guys seem cool. [signs up]



*Replace as needed
**Nothing against UVA but harnessing interscholastic rivalry helps. Replace with your school's rival as needed.


This pitch, delivered energetically and aggressively to passerby, got us the team we have now.


Surprisingly, this pitch is remarkably similar to the pitch I used in my sophomore and junior years at Amherst (straight down to the "DO YOU KNOW THINGS?!" opening).
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Re: How to attract new members

Postby Antonio777100 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:57 pm

Thanks for all of the advice.
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Re: How to attract new members

Postby bretthogan43 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:44 pm

I don't know what the deal is, but freshmen show up by the droves to our high school's practices every year. This wasn't the case my own freshman year; I was the only freshman on a senior-laden squad. Our school does have somewhat of a middle-to-high school pipeline, though our middle school team just flat-out sucks and I have a significant amount of malice for their current sponsor. However, being involved with quizbowl previously more than likely drives them to be on the team once they reach high school. The problem is they don't know good quizbowl and have been to ZERO invitational tournaments. I do my best to impart some knowledge and "pro" tips on them, and they seem to be willing to learn. Hopefully it works.

To get to the point of this post, befriending and recruiting some younger kids is probably your best option. However, if your middle school has a team then it really shouldn't be a problem.
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Re: How to attract new members

Postby Johann » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:24 am

Hi,
I am now working at La Salle Academy in NYC and want to start a quiz bowl team. I am open to suggestions but want to know if there are any leagues in or near the City with regular tournaments.
Thanks

Johann

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Re: How to attract new members

Postby 2017 in amusement parks » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:25 pm

Johann wrote:Hi,
I am now working at La Salle Academy in NYC and want to start a quiz bowl team. I am open to suggestions but want to know if there are any leagues in or near the City with regular tournaments.
Thanks

Johann

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As far as I know there are no leagues in the city, though Long Island has a regional competition that (I think) uses modified NAQT questions.

There are, however, many tournaments in the city on an annual basis, including the Columbia Cup (October, December, March), Hunter's novice tournament (October), Hunter's "Prison Bowl" (March/April), and Bard Early College's tournament this year. If you're willing to venture a little outside the city, there is LIFT at Kellenberg (Uniondale), Darien Invitational (Darien, CT), BASQT at Bergen Academies (Hackensack, NJ), and several others that can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=19982
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Re: How to attract new members

Postby jasongg17 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:39 pm

Johann wrote:Hi,
I am now working at La Salle Academy in NYC and want to start a quiz bowl team. I am open to suggestions but want to know if there are any leagues in or near the City with regular tournaments.
Thanks

Johann


Yay, more teams in NYC! One bit of advice following up on Michael's is that tournaments in New York tend to fill up quite quickly (because established stalwarts especially from New Jersey but also from a few other places in the northeast like to come in and sign up early) so definitely pay attention to the tournament announcement threads.
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Re: How to attract new members

Postby QuizDan » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:40 am

I'm from Poland but there is no problem to find 10 members, but the problem is to organise transport to tournament place ( Warsaw) no one want to pay share from own pocket, school doesn't want to spend money and they do treat this seriously, anyway We have meetings once a week to keep practising.

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