What is your definition of a good Quiz Bowl player?

Anything that's on topic but doesn't fit elsewhere, including related events that might be of interest to quizbowl players (KMO, Science Bowl, etc).
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What is your definition of a good Quiz Bowl player?

Post by CaptainKirk » Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:21 pm

This topic came up in conversation the other day, and my team isn't sure of how to rank ourselves. For example, I am the captain of my team and have won individual scoring awards in both tournaments I have gone to this year (yeah, two tourneys is kinda sad, but our funding is on the rise!). However, I am almost nonexistant in games against well-known schools. Does anyone have a sort of tiered ranking system that you use? Like Novice, Okay, Good, Great, Awesome, Legend, and so on? And what do you think is better in your mind: A generalist who can at least put a knowledgeable guess on 95% of the questions, or a subject specialist who almost never misses a question on one or two topics?
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Re: What is your definition of a good Quiz Bowl player?

Post by abnormal abdomen » Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:12 pm

Individual stars in quizbowl are common, but the whole one-person show thing often happens by necessity, i.e. they're the most committed member of the team, so they study the most and try to get the most coverage. If you have four people who are all really committed to getting good at quizbowl, however, it's a good idea to split categories up based on interest (e.g. I am interested in science already so I will study science). The toughest opponents I played against at national quizbowl tournaments were almost always ones that had multiple players who had multiple categories close to locked up. If we were playing a team with a superstar, that team still often had one or two other specialists around to snag a couple extra questions or bonus parts. This is not to say that a team with just one superstar isn't able to win tournaments/titles, but dividing and conquering subjects tends to be really helpful. It also makes it such that people can focus on studying the things they want to study, as much as possible.

Don't worry about too much about tiers for individual players, except for novice vs. experienced players. No need to put labels on things that serve no real purpose in the grand scheme of things.
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Re: What is your definition of a good Quiz Bowl player?

Post by Goofy Evanescence Vine » Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:02 pm

A team of specialists is usually better because no one can know everything and a team of good specialsists will usually beat a generalist who could easily beat every individual on the team. A good generalist can beat an team of average players, but at higher levels of competition where questions are harder and opponents are better, it rewards to specialize more and sucessful generalists generally get rarer. My team currently consists of players who are decent generalists but quite good our own specialties and we fairly often are able to beat teams where the majority (or entirety) of scoring comes from a single player, especially in close games where PPB is a deciding factor.
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Re: What is your definition of a good Quiz Bowl player?

Post by The Lutes of Dependency » Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:37 pm

A lot of good points are brought up in this thread. If a team is made up of generalists that don't want to specialize, there's a big chance that they won't act as a team (which can result in a lot of unnecessary negs).

I guess, to answer your question, a good Quiz Bowl player is someone who has both good generalist knowledge and specialist knowledge. They have deep knowledge in a specific category but they can make knowledgeable guess in other people's categories if the need comes up. This is not even a catch-all definition, as Abid mentioned. I know some players (including a certain alum from my own school) who can finish very well in a very competitive field with little support from teammates (or even playing solo).
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Re: What is your definition of a good Quiz Bowl player?

Post by Beevor Feevor » Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:49 pm

I think that a good Quizbowl player is someone who can get out of Quizbowl what they seek to get out of it. That might seem a little abstract, but we all do the activity for different reasons. For some people, Quizbowl is a means to quickly become familiar with a broad range of topics, and find out which ones are truly interesting to them. Those players will probably end up being good generalists. For others, Quizbowl might be good because it allows them to demonstrate their deep knowledge of subjects that they have obtained elsewhere; those people would probably be good specialists in that area.

Now, of course, there is the competitive aspect to it as well, but by and large, Quizbowl isn't really an activity that is solely focused on the competitive aspect. There aren't huge cash payouts or anything, and while the glamour of being "the best" at something can be really appealing, and does appeal to many people, Quizbowl is a way for intellectually curious people to explore that in a fun and social environment. Skill-wise, you put in the same amount of attention into the game as you feel like it deserves and that works for you, and you end up roughly proportional to where that all falls out.

Bottom line, tiers do exist, and yes, some players get higher PPGs and power rates than other players. However, you're not a "bad" Quizbowl player if you just want to attend practices and tournaments for the social aspect of it, or to jot down notes in only one subject while not being "competitive". It may be a different question than what you're asking, but I've wanted to type this for a bit, so I might as well do it now.
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Re: What is your definition of a good Quiz Bowl player?

Post by johntait1 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:00 pm

I think that a lot depends on individual situations and that its really hard to make generalizations. Sometimes one player has to answer everything because other people just don't have enough time to study. On our team we try to specialize to get some quicker buzzes on various buzzes. Personally I think a "good" quizbowl is one that helps make the activity more fun for everyone involved. Lastly, it really depends on what your teammates and competition are like in terms of PPG. At the last tournament when I played locally without our other A team members I put up like 90 PPG and was like tournament top scorer, but at PACE last year my PPG was more like ~30 PPG. Yet a personally had a lot more fun at PACE because I was getting a lot more good buzzes and it was more fun to play with a team. So scoring isn't really everything for me: personally, I care more about the fun of answering questions about some really awesome stuff that happened in history.
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