State of quizbowl in Mass

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State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby jessbowen » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:46 pm

Hi All,

I'm interested in hearing from others about the state of quiz bowl in Massachusetts. AMSA hosted a tournament yesterday and only drew 12 teams from 7 schools. I heard from other schools, but often accompanied by stories of towns with new transportation rules or schools with chaperone rules that made it difficult or impossible for teams of interested kids to be able to participate. Many schools' programs are completely student driven with little or no school/faculty support. This can make a program difficult to have long-term viability as kids graduate and its difficult to replace that enthusiasm. It also makes it hard to maintain an up-to-date contact list. Or perhaps I'm over reacting and it was just bad timing or coincidence.

Is Quiz Bowl in Mass dying? HSQS has auditions next weekend. There is a list of over 100 schools who are attending. (http://www.wgbh.org/articles/High-Schoo ... on-9-14035). Why are so few of these schools uninterested or unable to play the circuit? What can we do to reach out to them? Is funding the only hurdle? Would a free tournament drum up any interest?

If you're at a school that's not coming to tournaments, please let us know what's stopping you. What other thoughts can people offer about this?
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Re: State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby Thiccasso's Guernthicca » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:35 pm

I only joined quiz bowl halfway through last year (very regrettably), so I may not be qualified to speak on the behalf of the quiz bowl community (which I've learned is a surprisingly vast one). However, as a relative newcomer, I would like to offer my two cents.

I would hypothesize that the AMSA tournament had a low turnout because of the November 1 early applications deadline looming on the horizon for seniors. We ourselves had considered going to that tournament, but ultimately decided against it because of said deadline. I would point to the MIT Fall Tournament and the Harvard Fall Tournament as examples of tournaments with higher interest, due to the fact that they're more accessible for Boston-area teams (being right in Cambridge) and were/are held during less hectic times. Obviously, I'm not saying that the AMSA tournament was scheduled poorly – it was just unlucky for everyone.

I've also been told that many schools in the area have lost their top players, so turnout in the early months of the year has probably diminished a bit as they work to rebuild their teams. I don't think the low turnout for this tournament should be a cause of worry!
Last edited by Thiccasso's Guernthicca on Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby Ozymandias314 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:39 pm

Nick Rommel mentioned in a post in the "State of Good Quizbowl" thread that Massachusetts quizbowl has built up through a sort of "grassroots approach". Indeed, many teams in the state, my school's included operate with little to no input from coaches. However, as mentioned before, the state of quizbowl then really depends on the enthusiasm of students in each school. I agree with Wonyoung's reasons for why CMFT4 attracted such a small amount of teams, but its also worth noting that there have never been (HFT aside) tournaments in MA with a field size greater than 24-28, while tournaments in the tri state area (and others I suppose) regularly attract 24 teams or more.
I suppose what I'm interested in is perhaps somehow promoting quizbowl through WGBH. Even among the 16 teams who qualified this year for season 9, there are several who have either never, or very occasionally go to pyramidal tournaments (based off NAQTs database). I know that WGBH probably won't ever officially sponsor non-quizshow formats, but I think if they just made No. 8 on this (http://www.wgbh.org/articles/Frequently ... tions-7157) page more obvious, more schools would eventually venture into pyramidal/good quizbowl. (Although god forbid they start playing NAC).
Anyways, even if we could get all 16 qualified teams to consistently participate in the circuit, we'd get a pretty strong field of 24-32ish teams each time (A teams, B teams, and possibly C teams), which would really be optimal for the growth of quizbowl in this state.
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Re: State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:18 pm

Ozymandias314 wrote:Nick Rommel mentioned in a post in the "State of Good Quizbowl" thread that Massachusetts quizbowl has built up through a sort of "grassroots approach". Indeed, many teams in the state, my school's included operate with little to no input from coaches. However, as mentioned before, the state of quizbowl then really depends on the enthusiasm of students in each school. I agree with Wonyoung's reasons for why CMFT4 attracted such a small amount of teams, but its also worth noting that there have never been (HFT aside) tournaments in MA with a field size greater than 24-28, while tournaments in the tri state area (and others I suppose) regularly attract 24 teams or more.
I suppose what I'm interested in is perhaps somehow promoting quizbowl through WGBH. Even among the 16 teams who qualified this year for season 9, there are several who have either never, or very occasionally go to pyramidal tournaments (based off NAQTs database). I know that WGBH probably won't ever officially sponsor non-quizshow formats, but I think if they just made No. 8 on this (http://www.wgbh.org/articles/Frequently ... tions-7157) page more obvious, more schools would eventually venture into pyramidal/good quizbowl. (Although god forbid they start playing NAC).
Anyways, even if we could get all 16 qualified teams to consistently participate in the circuit, we'd get a pretty strong field of 24-32ish teams each time (A teams, B teams, and possibly C teams), which would really be optimal for the growth of quizbowl in this state.


WGBH actually did promote CMFT on their Facebook page and if they continue to do so I'm sure it would help the maintenance of good quizbowl. I am very pleasantly surprised that there will be 24 teams at PAWT next weekend, including many from new schools like Marlborough and Mansfield and a greater amount of teams from typical contenders like A-B and Framingham. I think we're fine, especially if you consider how many teams are playing tournaments in MA this year that didn't last year (Hanover, Marlborough, Mansfield, Whitman-Hanson, Sharon, Concord-Carlisle)
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Re: State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby Thiccasso's Guernthicca » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:40 pm

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov wrote:WGBH actually did promote CMFT on their Facebook page and if they continue to do so I'm sure it would help the maintenance of good quizbowl. I am very pleasantly surprised that there will be 24 teams at PAWT next weekend, including many from new schools like Marlborough and Mansfield and a greater amount of teams from typical contenders like A-B and Framingham. I think we're fine, especially if you consider how many teams are playing tournaments in MA this year that didn't last year (Hanover, Marlborough, Mansfield, Whitman-Hanson, Sharon, Concord-Carlisle)


Adding onto what Nick said, WGBH also promoted PAWT, which could explain why, along with the more convenient timing, the field filled up to 24 rather quickly, with many new teams (including newly-qualified quiz show teams) accounted for.
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Re: State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby Ozymandias314 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:06 pm

Well, another season has certainly flown by...and I must say, it's been a fun one.

7 Massachusetts Teams will be at HSNCT in May, representing 6 schools, while AMSA will also be at PACE, so it's safe to say that the higher tier of MA quizbowl is still somewhat intact.

Looking at the bigger picture, field sizes ranged from around 12-24, with an average about perhaps 18 teams per tournament, which is not bad at all. We're attracted some new teams from quiz show, and I look forward to continuing that next year to keep up the steady growth of the circuit.

In terms of graduating talent, several teams will take a hard hit (Phillips, AMSA, A-B, Andover), but I will choose to remain cautiously optimistic about number of novices that will begin to undertake this great enterprise and play this great game with all of us.

And yes, thanks to all the teams that have made this season so great for me
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Re: State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby PHegde » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:26 pm

In regards to what Vincent said about seniors graduating from many teams, there's a good chance that A-B quizbowl disappears altogether after this year. Almost every single player that we have brought to tournaments is a senior, and we have almost zero underclassmen membership. While I think we can field maybe one full team at each tournament next year, it remains to be seen whether students in our club will be motivated enough to continue playing.

However, I really enjoyed seeing so many new teams at BAIT, and if more of them to come to quizbowl tournaments more regularly, I can see the MA circuit expanding in the coming years.
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Re: State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby AGoodMan » Tue May 01, 2018 2:18 pm

Perhaps Harvard can run a novice tournament next year (maybe on SCOP or something) - nothing is set in stone of course, but we'll see what we can muster up.
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Re: State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov » Tue May 01, 2018 5:50 pm

Lexington will most likely host ATHENA II as well as LIVMIT next year. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by how well the circuit has continued to grow. I think teams like Bromfield, Boston Latin, and Barrington will play much bigger roles next year to replace some of the teams that are taking hits. I can also think of at least one player on every team that seems talented and dedicated enough to continue their school's team so I'm pretty confident that the circuit will stay healthy.
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Re: State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby Thiccasso's Guernthicca » Tue May 01, 2018 10:09 pm

AGoodMan wrote:Perhaps Harvard can run a novice tournament next year (maybe on SCOP or something) - nothing is set in stone of course, but we'll see what we can muster up.


Several very strong players in the circuit are matriculating at Northeastern as well, and they have expressed interest in helping run more tournaments (especially for novices). I think one thing that has traditionally made it difficult for teams in our circuit to "break through," so to speak, is the lack of novice tournaments – it may be jarring to lose by 400 points at your first tournament – so this is definitely something that I can foresee being helpful for the growth of quizbowl around here.

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov wrote:Lexington will most likely host ATHENA II as well as LIVMIT next year. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by how well the circuit has continued to grow. I think teams like Bromfield, Boston Latin, and Barrington will play much bigger roles next year to replace some of the teams that are taking hits. I can also think of at least one player on every team that seems talented and dedicated enough to continue their school's team so I'm pretty confident that the circuit will stay healthy.


Barring catastrophic developments, BAIT II is almost definitely happening next year as well. I also agree that there's a ton of young talent on the circuit – Boston Latin and Barrington are almost entirely underclassmen – as well as plenty of returning talent. As far as my own team goes: we're returning three members on Belmont A (Cam, Eliana, and Matthew, who will not be at HSNCT) and promoting my brother to replace me. Given our rapid rise over the course of this year from mediocre to one of the best in the area, I can see Belmont being one of the major players next year, if not for the fact that we return more talent than most teams. As far as teams that take a hard hit from graduation this year, obviously AMSA, Acton-Boxborough, and Andover are the three that easily come to mind, but AMSA and A-B have strongly established programs (the former having a very good coach) and Andover returns half of their prospective HSNCT team. While their firepower will definitely diminish next year, I have confidence they can recover.

On the whole, I think that this year's circuit far surpassed any of our expectations. MA quizbowl has gone from one or two good teams to quadruple that number – we're sending seven teams (nine, if you count our Hanover friends) to HSNCT! I never tire of saying how thankful I am to have spent my first (and last) year of high school quizbowl playing with all of you, and I have no doubt that the circuit will continue to thrive when us old seniors are gone.
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Re: State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby slumpgod » Wed May 02, 2018 6:39 pm

I agree that this year has been great because of how competitive and balanced the circuit has been, and it was great to see all the new teams that started coming to tournaments.

Too many good players will be moving on after this year. Sky, Prat, Caleb, Eric, Anna, Wonyoung, Abhiram, Will, Thomas, Andrew, Frank, and myself all will graduate. There are many more, but these are just the seniors I know best, so please do not confuse my unfamiliarity with disrespect. Teams will need to look to younger players to fill in the gap and compete. Teams like Lexington, Phillips, and Belmont all have established stars already and teams like AB, AMSA, and Andover will need to rebuild more.

I believe that one thing is certain: there will be no lack of opportunity to play quiz bowl and keep the circuit thriving. Many teams hosted tournaments this year, and those tournaments should run again. Hanover and Plymouth also ran tournaments that attracted teams from MA. I also see no reason why High School Quiz Show won't be held again. This year's addition of Maine and Rhode Island to the tournament also proved to be influential, as Barrington High School has shown themselves to be a tremendous team with incredible potential. There should be a net increase in the number of teams playing the tournament.

Thanks for a great season everyone. I've only been playing for a little over a year (March 2017), but I've deeply enjoyed every tournament and I wish it didn't have to end so soon. Best of luck to all teams attending HSNCT/PACE!
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Re: State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby troyharris » Wed May 02, 2018 10:28 pm

I hope that Plymouth will be hosting again next year, as it was great to kick off the season at home. We would love to see more teams from around NE come up. Hopefully we can start getting the ball rolling after PACE. Thanks to all the teams that did host this year, and it looks like at least 3 NH teams may be active next year, as Merrimack has now dipped it's feet in the water for 2 events. Good luck to all the New England teams going off to HSNCT and PACE as the season wraps up.
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Re: State of quizbowl in Mass

Postby cthewolf » Thu May 10, 2018 12:31 pm

Big shoutout to all the seniors graduating this year. I think one big potential issue is contact for tournaments as most of the club captains/presidents are seniors(Neil, Frank and Prat come to mind). Please reply to this thread with the new contact person's name and email if your school is in this situation. Good Luck to all at HSNCT!
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