How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

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How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:13 pm

Hello quizbowl. I thought I could start a constructive discussion about in-game and out-of-game behaviors that may be offputting to new teams, old teams, or really anybody (but mostly new teams). I started this with some people on a Discord and I thought I would open it up further.

A FEW BEHAVIORS IN QB THAT I AM PROBABLY GUILTY OF
-Being condescending to newer teams as a moderator by saying things like "come ON its just ______" or "you should know that" or "it's obviously _____"
-As a player, saying how easy a question is or how obvious a clue is
-As a captain, berating your teammates by saying "you should know that" or something similar
-As a player, saying something like "oh that team isn't very good" or "oh they don't have [captain], we can take 'em"

What other quizbowl behaviors should we be avoiding?
Last edited by Sima Guang Hater on Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quizbowl Microaggressions

Post by Quantity of Books v. Kansas » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:19 pm

Don't laugh when someone negs, unless it's very clear to you that they are also laughing and poking fun at themselves. At my first ever tournament, players on the opposing team laughed at one of my negs and it was extremely discouraging. This goes for moderators too: I can very vividly recall a moderator laughing at me during my second or third tournament for guessing Commodore Barry when the correct answer was Commodore Perry.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Cheynem » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:25 pm

Don't talk during the other team's bonuses. Don't complain that is too easy or interject that you know the parts. Nobody cares (obviously, there are times when this is fine, I'm speaking generally and all the time here).

Don't assume that the other team knows or cares about quizbowl culture. I'm not saying you can't tell stories or explain aspects of the game, but be reasonable.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by ErikC » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:29 pm

The people who go "can I" when the other team misses a bonus part. It's not a huge deal but it makes the games go a bit longer, looks a bit selfish, and is a bit of a show-off.

Older, more experienced players that don't engage their teammates - everyone does it every once in a while on a bonus part, but some veterans definitely do it more than others. I had good teammates for this when I first started playing so I got used to the teamwork, but other new players aren't so lucky sometimes.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by connor.mayers » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:32 pm

I'm very guilty of of telling a teammate "oh that's what I thought it was" or "I should have gotten that earlier" after they answer a tossup.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Your Genie Felon, Me » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:43 pm

connor.mayers wrote:I'm very guilty of of telling a teammate "oh that's what I thought it was" or "I should have gotten that earlier" after they answer a tossup.
I've been trying to get myself to say "good buzz" or "nice buzz" when I want to say those things.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by bluejay123 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:44 pm

1. Laughing at inappropriate times at maybe inappropriate material. NASAT 2016, there was a TU on "cervix," that my brother answered, leaving the other team in hysterics. Being the only female in the room, it was pretty unnerving.

2. Moderators blatantly taking sides/favoring one team over the over. This is evident when teams are all buddy/buddy with staff--not a bad thing outside of the game, but during the game I feel they should be as impartial as possible.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:56 pm

Probably a controversial suggestion - stop calling trash "trash" and refer to it as pop culture or whatever.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by everdiso » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:16 pm

Almost every suggestion in here is good, and starting to follow these is, I think, very important. Another one I'll suggest: after another player, on your team or the other one, gets a tossup, never say "I should've buzzed!", "So it was just (the answer)!" or anything else suggesting you knew the answer but weren't buzzing. Getting a tossup in quizbowl is supposed to be a rewarding experience, even if just for a moment (though in some cases, for along time). It's a case in which you proved that you knew the topic better than anyone else. That's a good feeling. This is especially important for new players, who need rewarding experiences to encourage them to stick with the game. Following up someone's gets by saying that you also knew it means that the player who actually got the question is robbed of that rewarding feeling of being the one who best knew the question. If new players, who are probably getting few questions to begin with, hear that someone else in the room already knew the answer after they do get tossups, they're likely to be very discouraged in their own knowledge.

We should all try to follow the suggestions in this thread. I myself have been guilty of what Erik pointed out - boasting that I know answers to the other team's bonus - and I need to cut that out.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:51 pm

A little while back I interviewed some club presidents on what they did to retain players and make people feel socially included - for those who'd like to learn from Dazhai in agriculture I think the responses were good.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by cat » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:55 pm

Your Feline Genome wrote:
connor.mayers wrote:I'm very guilty of of telling a teammate "oh that's what I thought it was" or "I should have gotten that earlier" after they answer a tossup.
I've been trying to get myself to say "good buzz" or "nice buzz" when I want to say those things.
Just want to say I really like this idea because it's 1) always better to be supportive of your teammates rather than constantly competing with them and 2) a good look, since it shows cameraderie is a big part of quizbowl.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by vinteuil » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:13 pm

connor.mayers wrote:I'm very guilty of of telling a teammate..."I should have gotten that earlier" after they answer a tossup.
I find that replacing this with (more accurate in any case) "I should know more about that" goes a long way.

That said, I don't think that "you should know that" is uniformly an issue—obviously, it shouldn't be said as a "how can you possibly not know that??" (been guilty of this), but judicious "this is a good thing for you to know!" has been very helpful for me (and other players I've talked to) in the past.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Mnemosyne » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:29 pm

I do a lot of these things at tournaments, even though I hate when other people do them, and I usually feel guilty afterwards when I'm not in locked-in-tournament-mode anymore. In my experience a lot of players in the "very competitive" category do this, and we should all be less obnoxious in general.

I'll also add that when I was in the most oppressive phase of my career, when we were a 10 PPB team going 0-10 at tournaments, we had an opposing player/team chuckle after we 0'd a physics bonus in the last round of ACF Regionals. That was a rage-inducing motivating experience that helped us get over the hump from always losing to not always losing.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Cheynem » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:32 pm

I find a lot of my personal mannerisms differ depending on who I'm playing with and against. Obviously, for longtime teammates, you will develop your own code of conduct--I'll speak differently playing with Andrew, Rob, or Carsten, for example, than new players (I probably won't very loudly curse and pound the desk, for example, if a freshman outbuzzes me than when Carsten does [as I've done at least twice]). Similarly, if I'm reading and everyone in the room is a friend and it's a summer open, that's different than a more professional setting. Or if I'm playing against people I'm friends with, I can chuckle more at their bad guesses or outright mock them if it's David Seal.

I think all of those are fine, but it's just that you get locked into these behaviors, and they don't translate as well when you are playing against or with people who might not be as familiar. For that matter, your own teammates can be fine with what you say, but it can still be off-putting to other teams.

I'll also note that one way to realize how behaviors can come off is trying your hand at something you're not familiar with or super good at. At a New Year's party, I played a board game I was relatively unfamiliar with that involved teams. I made a bad play, and my teammate kept loudly bringing it up the rest of the night ("Yeah, it's hard to win when your partner..."). I think he was trying to be good-natured, and I wasn't like seething, but it rubbed me the wrong way. Think of those experiences when you're playing quizbowl (if you're the experienced one).
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Perturbed Secretary Bird » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:22 am

I'm definitely guilty of the answering-bonuses-if-other-teams-don't-know, as well as many other types of "oh I should've known that/did know that but didn't buzz" behaviors.

Within games, it's also very demoralizing when one teammate yells at another in the middle of the match or gives feedback like "this is why we keep you around" (ie, the alternative is that we don't). Of course, some of this behavior is hard to regulate because matches are very emotional and there's lots of adrenaline everywhere. Maybe the balance is to be extra motivating/kind between matches? From my experience with being a very emotional person during tournaments and having been on very emotional, easily tilt-able teams in the past, I think that reaching out to teammates during downtime is also a good idea. Even if it's just a "hey, would you like to go get a coffee during the bye" or showing them a distracting cute baby animal youtube video (or whatever floats your boat), I think that can help with team cohesion, mood, and would hopefully make a more welcoming environment when directed at new players.

Outside of games, I've definitely been guilty of not trying hard enough to make sure everyone is comfortable with rooming situations. I projected my okay-ness with co-ed hotel sharing onto others, and I am very sorry that it made people uncomfortable. Especially if you have only a few non-male teammates, try to reach out and make sure everyone is comfortable with their accommodations.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Jason Cheng » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:23 am

This is a non-obvious one of which I’m a huge offender: it’s extremely demoralizing to other players in the room (at practice, in tournaments, on your team, on the opposing team) when you consistently buzz on something before anyone else does and proceed to say something like “Wow what a bad buzz” or “I should’ve gotten that earlier” or “that was so obvious” about your own buzz—especially at Southern California tournaments, the people who have experienced a high enough level who can afford to/are able to say things like that are few and far between, and sometimes almost non-existent. In general, I’d assume the people who are thinking about things like club and circuit retention are the same ones who can belittle their own buzzes because they have this mental image of stronger players they’ve gone against who’d get it there/beforehand.

To the person who has doubts as to whether they want to keep devoting time to quiz bowl as a college extracurricular and doesn’t have the same skill/experience as you do, all they see is you consistently beating them to tossups on stuff they know nothing about and then complaining about how “everyone” knows this
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Guile Island » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:29 am

It's a little thing, but as much as I tend to curse like a sailor when playing quizbowl, it's not a great look when you're playing against a bunch of people you don't know who are new to the game.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:31 am

I don’t recognize many people at tournaments because I don't really go to the, often and i don't do a good job of introducing myself out of fear that it'll be the fourth year in a row I've done that with Auroni or something, so I basically walk around in fear of making a social faux pas.

I'm sarcastic if I let myself be. I try not to do that with people I don’t know well but especially not with strangers. I also try not to be sarcastic as often as I have been in the past.

I think sarcasm is a very common social crutch in quiz bowl and is something we should all be mindful of.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Aaron's Rod » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:37 am

Shake the other team's hands after matches and say "good game" or whatever.

At Delta Burke this year I really painfully lost a game by 5 points, and I tried to make myself look busy to avoid it. Somebody on Loyola waited very persistently by where I was sitting until I shook his hand. He was right and I was wrong and being a huge baby.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by mhayes » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:46 am

Don’t make fun of people for not knowing things. This is especially true if you’re an adult staffer at a high school or middle school tournament.

A young player’s lack of knowledge in any area should not be met with ridicule or incredulity. It should not be a topic of conversation in a game room or even in a control room.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by CPiGuy » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:48 am

Aaron's Rod wrote:Shake the other team's hands after matches and say "good game" or whatever.

At Delta Burke this year I really painfully lost a game by 5 points, and I tried to make myself look busy to avoid it. Somebody on Loyola waited very persistently by where I was sitting until I shook his hand. He was right and I was wrong and being a huge baby.
And do this before you throw your notebook down exasperatedly and swear at yourself for playing badly and negging your teammates out of their categories (sorry, OSU B, for doing that at Regs after losing to you by 10).
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:53 am

I'll second the advice about telling new players things like "nice buzz". It's really amazing how much small compliments can mean to people.

In my long quizbowl career, the most off-putting thing I saw was players throwing a hissy fit when they were beaten to tossups by their own teammate. In my opinion this was much worse than any fashion, hair care, or personal hygiene faux pas I ever witnessed. It's a team game. Unless a terrorist has strapped a bomb to you that will go off if you score less than 50 PPG, your teammate getting a tossup is a good outcome you should be happy about.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Who Cares About Nausinous » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:03 am

One detail that I think someone else mentioned is trying to engage as many teammates as possible during bonuses. Not only is it very discouraging to leave someone out, but it's a very good habit for your team to have to let every member participate in the bonuses instead of, say, the two folks who are good at science being the only ones talking during the science bonus. There is something that the weaker link of the team will know when the rest of you don't, and it'll get your team more points and make new players feel really good about themselves.

I'll just say that this is one of the things that I think about the most after tournaments instead of good buzzes that I had. If there was some bonus part that I knew, it feels great to contribute it.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:05 am

Jason Cheng wrote:This is a non-obvious one of which I’m a huge offender: it’s extremely demoralizing to other players in the room (at practice, in tournaments, on your team, on the opposing team) when you consistently buzz on something before anyone else does and proceed to say something like “Wow what a bad buzz” or “I should’ve gotten that earlier” or “that was so obvious” about your own buzz—especially at Southern California tournaments, the people who have experienced a high enough level who can afford to/are able to say things like that are few and far between, and sometimes almost non-existent. In general, I’d assume the people who are thinking about things like club and circuit retention are the same ones who can belittle their own buzzes because they have this mental image of stronger players they’ve gone against who’d get it there/beforehand.
This is an excellent point that I'd love to emphasize, and this is something I'm guilty of. There's a particular psychological weight on "good" players and teams to always do better on their categories, to never drop a clue or a bonus part, etc, etc. It behooves people to not berate themselves in front of teams and players for whom the game is fresh and new (or really, in front of anyone, but when playing against another plugged-in team of veterans they're more likely to understand the attitude).
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:52 am

One time I invited another college team to eat dinner at the Heidelberg after I directed an MU event, and there was one player who was very plugged into the forums on the team, while the teammates very much weren't. I proceeded to have this incredibly awkward conversation where I kept having to steer the plugged in player away from relentlessly discussing quizbowl in-crowd gossip, both because there was no universe where it didn't come off as both boring and weird to these new teammates to be fixated on talking about a bunch of grad students from the internet, but also because the whole point of the exercise was for me to try and make new human connections with another team, and if I wanted to ramble on about Jerry and Matt Weiner I could hop in a chatroom to do it.

That unfortunate dinner has left me sensitive to the fact that quizbowlers talk way too much about quizbowl incrowd shit around people who aren't in the crowd. I think lots of us blur the line between being passionate about the actual game and being obsessed with all sorts of extraneous details that don't actually matter if you want to convince people to stick to quizbowl. It's a lot more fun to learn about people's lives outside of the game when becoming friends, and you should have the confidence that you are an interesting enough conversationalist to not have to fall on the forums/chat/irl drama involving people who aren't in the room as a crutch, because most people don't have a reason to care.

Similarly, the only times I've not regretted introducing an outside friend to a quizbowl friend is when the quizbowl conversation is kept as close to zero as possible.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:34 am

If somebody other than you gets a question, don't complain that it's a bad question or a bad clue, even if it is a bad question. If there is a protestable problem, then protest in an undramatic way. If it would be a protestable problem but you know the protest is going to be moot because your team is going to win by triple digits, then just keep your mouth shut.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by bmccauley » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:19 am

mhayes wrote:Don’t make fun of people for not knowing things. This is especially true if you’re an adult staffer at a high school or middle school tournament.

A young player’s lack of knowledge in any area should not be met with ridicule or incredulity. It should not be a topic of conversation in a game room or even in a control room.
I wholeheartedly agree with this--and pretty much the rest of the thread. I don't think most, if any, players/moderators intentionally do these things but the little things that others have mentioned can really turn people off--especially new players or lower scoring players--from the game. I know I've heard players be very excited about their first power or even their first correct answer and then get the "we should have known that on____" from the other team and feel a lot less accomplished on that buzz.

Looking at the HS perspective here: another thing I'd like to see (assuming it is an untimed match) is moderators in bottom re-bracketed groups and novice divisions making sure to encourage players on what they are doing well. The top teams are usually already bought in to coming back and playing again, but those new teams may have that one experience determine their future involvement. Losing a few seconds to say good buzz or awesome job 30-ing the bonus can really make a team that had a rough day feel better about the experience and want to do it all again. As a TD, don't always throw newer moderators into lower brackets and novice divisions--try to make sure you get positive people who can help ensure a good experience is had by those teams...especially in afternoon rounds.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Ben Dillon » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:27 am

A lot of this just falls under two points:

1. It's a team game, not an individual game, so you should be nothing but supportive of your teammates. You're in this together.

2. It's a game against another team, so you should be nothing but dignified to your opponents. Sportsmanship applies.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by AGoodMan » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:00 pm

One thing that really irritated me is other people saying "yeah that's a stock" on a clue I correctly buzzed on.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by CodyJohansen » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:45 am

Just what is it that makes today's quizbowl so different, so appealing? One word:

H A I R C U T S

Seriously though, seperate practices for noobs and experienced players (a) allows freshmen to get questions and actually enjoy the game instead of getting trampled and (b) encourages older kids to come to practices where they can hear engaging, difficult questions and not be put on FTP. Obviously creatiing an unaccepting club culture (through racism/sexism/whateverism or just being creepy and annoying) is a major negative.

Also, make practices a thing people actually want to attend. Chris Borglum is and should be every club leader's role model regarding practices. Valencia practices are like: tossup tossup tossup "hey, do any of you know who hubert rupert is? No? <quack> Well here's some of his paintings. Here are the stock clues about him. Here are the real-life important thingns about him. Anyone knowwho David Lynch is? <quack> let's watch Rabbits." and not only do they win stuff all the time, but they have a lot of fun as a club. tl;dr if people see quizbowl as a place to learn cool, fun stuff, they're more likely to be into it than if they think it's just some dumb game you play to show ivy-league scrubs how much edumacateder you are.

Also gummy bears.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by SpanishSpy » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:13 pm

Piggybacking off of the general "don't drown newcomers in QB community nonsense," I also propose don't submerge newcomers in with your club's injokes off the bat. I was the newcomer in that position when I came to William & Mary, and part of me wanted to quit in part because of it.

The other part was that the club bureaucracy at the time (which was really just an old boys' club) was focused solely on nationals-level difficulty, as they were preparing to play at nationals. For the love of all that is holy, structure your practices such that novices can actually answer things. It does wonders for morale.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by nightreign » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:04 pm

I haven't posted on here in years, I don't really play much quiz bowl, and I'm slightly nervous about posting this here when I know it's not anonymous. But as someone who joined quiz bowl and other activities in college and then decided that she liked the other activities better, I think I have something to contribute. (Also, let it be known that not all of these are things that I've seen at the school in my signature. I've been involved with the trivia community for several years and some of these I've seen from people for whom I remember neither a name nor a face.) So, here are some behaviors I've found a little off-putting:

-I agree with the "bad buzz"/"I should know that" thing
-Calling trash clues "trash" doesn't bug me as much as just the way that some people treat them. I happen to be good at sports and current music and sometimes people say things that are meant to be compliments, like "you could be so helpful to the team because of that!" but the implication is that the best players don't really care to learn those things and that's why they need me to help.
-Acting like quiz bowl is inherently the best form of trivia and that someone who played quiz bowl should automatically be the best at other forms of trivia (HQ, J!, LearnedLeague, etc.)
-Also just the whole idea that some things are more "worthy" of knowing than others. Again, this isn't everyone, but some people act like there are subjects (young adult literature, pop music, sports, lifestyle/celebrities, etc.) that are just inferior and that knowledge of those things shouldn't be encouraged. Maybe someone on your team loves that stuff. Highbrow and lowbrow culture aren't mutually exclusive, but I've seen people who kind of disparage knowledge of that stuff. Sure, maybe it's less helpful for quiz bowl. And part of why I didn't like quiz bowl as much as I thought I would was about my personality and nothing anyone else did, since my trivia strengths lie more in areas less asked about in QB. But I've seen, both online and in person, people involved with quiz bowl outright or indirectly disparage things that I love.

All of those were off-putting to me, and it's a large part of why I've become less involved with trivia in general. It's less of any specific incident and more that I think the culture can sometimes be toxic and I think people do these things without even realizing it. So I think it's worth taking a step back and watching the kinds of things you say and realizing that not everybody is always on the same page.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Cheynem » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:39 pm

As the defending trash national champion (for 8 years), I obviously do like popular culture questions besides regular quizbowl. What I tried to do when I was at the U of Minnesota was try to make the overall program was a welcoming place for people who prefer such things over regular quizbowl while making sure the team was not falling into trash capture.

What this means was that there were a few people who clearly preferred playing trash stuff than regular quizbowl, but they were also people who would be willing to staff tournaments and provide some service to the team (which are great things). We wanted such people to be involved on the team, so we would run and attend trash tournaments (which many of us liked doing anyway) or just do informal team events where we would read trash packets.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by csheep » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:01 pm

nightreign wrote:I haven't posted on here in years, I don't really play much quiz bowl, and I'm slightly nervous about posting this here when I know it's not anonymous. But as someone who joined quiz bowl and other activities in college and then decided that she liked the other activities better, I think I have something to contribute. (Also, let it be known that not all of these are things that I've seen at the school in my signature. I've been involved with the trivia community for several years and some of these I've seen from people for whom I remember neither a name nor a face.) So, here are some behaviors I've found a little off-putting:

-I agree with the "bad buzz"/"I should know that" thing
-Calling trash clues "trash" doesn't bug me as much as just the way that some people treat them. I happen to be good at sports and current music and sometimes people say things that are meant to be compliments, like "you could be so helpful to the team because of that!" but the implication is that the best players don't really care to learn those things and that's why they need me to help.
-Acting like quiz bowl is inherently the best form of trivia and that someone who played quiz bowl should automatically be the best at other forms of trivia (HQ, J!, LearnedLeague, etc.)
-Also just the whole idea that some things are more "worthy" of knowing than others. Again, this isn't everyone, but some people act like there are subjects (young adult literature, pop music, sports, lifestyle/celebrities, etc.
) that are just inferior and that knowledge of those things shouldn't be encouraged. Maybe someone on your team loves that stuff. Highbrow and lowbrow culture aren't mutually exclusive, but I've seen people who kind of disparage knowledge of that stuff. Sure, maybe it's less helpful for quiz bowl. And part of why I didn't like quiz bowl as much as I thought I would was about my personality and nothing anyone else did, since my trivia strengths lie more in areas less asked about in QB. But I've seen, both online and in person, people involved with quiz bowl outright or indirectly disparage things that I love.

All of those were off-putting to me, and it's a large part of why I've become less involved with trivia in general. It's less of any specific incident and more that I think the culture can sometimes be toxic and I think people do these things without even realizing it. So I think it's worth taking a step back and watching the kinds of things you say and realizing that not everybody is always on the same page.
I take a lot of issue with this post because the bolded sections read, to me, like someone who was simply (as you youself admit the possibility) mismatched with what quizbowl -is-.

Quiz bowl is avowedly antithetical to most of the trivia formats you mentioned - HQ, J!, LL - in its pursuit of pyramidality. In fact, it was a long-fought battle before Bad Quiz Bowl formats were driven away, and is still an ongoing battle in many areas of the country, not to say globally. While I respect people who do well at other formats, and in no way assume that quiz bowl success translates 1:1 to success at other trivia formats, I think it's rather pointless to point out that quiz bowl doesn't reward knowledge/expertise in those other formats, because that's simply not what quiz bowl is.

I say this, mind you, as someone who plays LearnedLeague and HQ/knockoffs. There are plenty of areas to get your fix of pop culture/"trash"-oriented trivia, including within the scope of quiz bowl plus many others (aforementioned game shows/formats, bar trivia, etc.). Quiz Bowl doesn't need to also cater to that.

I acknowledge that my perspective may also be skewed as someone who attended high school in a region that's dominated to this day by Bad Quiz Bowl, and therefore didn't really get to play quiz bowl during that time, and then went to what was more or less a trash captured school, that spent the first ~2 - 3 years of my college life with a very trash-heavy culture, which essentially prevented me from playing quiz bowl for that time as well.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:14 pm

Quiz bowl success actually does translate pretty well to success in LearnedLeague and other trivia formats (at least half of my A rundle is current or former quizbowlers), whereas the reverse is generally less true (LearnedLeague imports crossing over and becoming good at quiz bowl is a far rarer, if even extant, occurrence). Based on my admittedly anecdotal evidence, Quizbowl-to-HQ crossover doesn't seem significantly less seamless. The dominant Jeopardy! runs of Ken Jennings, Matt Jackson, and Dave Madden, as well as consistent victories for quizbowlers in the Teen and College tournaments, indicate that quiz bowl also crosses over very well to this form of trivia, whereas, again, I do not know of any cases of the reverse happening. That would seem to indicate that quiz bowl is better at measuring knowledge (the nominal goal of all forms of trivia) than the competitions you mentioned. HQ is a fun thing that my teammates and I usually do after practice, Jeopardy! was a very significant part of my childhood, and I'm in a Facebook group for quizbowlers in LearnedLeague (there are a lot of us), but there's no ambiguity about where those things stand in relation to quiz bowl, nor should there be.

EDIT: The sentence:
That would seem to indicate that quiz bowl is better at measuring knowledge (the nominal goal of all forms of trivia) than the competitions you mentioned
shouldn't necessarily be taken to mean that I think this should be the end goal of quiz bowl, but that Jeopardy!, LearnedLeague, and HQ all market themselves to varying degrees as tests of knowledge where only the smartest survive; my intent was to point out an irony in the fact that Quiz Bowl seems to be better at serving this purpose.
Last edited by An Economic Ignoramus on Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by nightreign » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:16 pm

csheep wrote:
nightreign wrote:I haven't posted on here in years, I don't really play much quiz bowl, and I'm slightly nervous about posting this here when I know it's not anonymous. But as someone who joined quiz bowl and other activities in college and then decided that she liked the other activities better, I think I have something to contribute. (Also, let it be known that not all of these are things that I've seen at the school in my signature. I've been involved with the trivia community for several years and some of these I've seen from people for whom I remember neither a name nor a face.) So, here are some behaviors I've found a little off-putting:

-I agree with the "bad buzz"/"I should know that" thing
-Calling trash clues "trash" doesn't bug me as much as just the way that some people treat them. I happen to be good at sports and current music and sometimes people say things that are meant to be compliments, like "you could be so helpful to the team because of that!" but the implication is that the best players don't really care to learn those things and that's why they need me to help.
-Acting like quiz bowl is inherently the best form of trivia and that someone who played quiz bowl should automatically be the best at other forms of trivia (HQ, J!, LearnedLeague, etc.)
-Also just the whole idea that some things are more "worthy" of knowing than others. Again, this isn't everyone, but some people act like there are subjects (young adult literature, pop music, sports, lifestyle/celebrities, etc.
) that are just inferior and that knowledge of those things shouldn't be encouraged. Maybe someone on your team loves that stuff. Highbrow and lowbrow culture aren't mutually exclusive, but I've seen people who kind of disparage knowledge of that stuff. Sure, maybe it's less helpful for quiz bowl. And part of why I didn't like quiz bowl as much as I thought I would was about my personality and nothing anyone else did, since my trivia strengths lie more in areas less asked about in QB. But I've seen, both online and in person, people involved with quiz bowl outright or indirectly disparage things that I love.

All of those were off-putting to me, and it's a large part of why I've become less involved with trivia in general. It's less of any specific incident and more that I think the culture can sometimes be toxic and I think people do these things without even realizing it. So I think it's worth taking a step back and watching the kinds of things you say and realizing that not everybody is always on the same page.
I take a lot of issue with this post because the bolded sections read, to me, like someone who was simply (as you youself admit the possibility) mismatched with what quizbowl -is-.

Quiz bowl is avowedly antithetical to most of the trivia formats you mentioned - HQ, J!, LL - in its pursuit of pyramidality. In fact, it was a long-fought battle before Bad Quiz Bowl formats were driven away, and is still an ongoing battle in many areas of the country, not to say globally. While I respect people who do well at other formats, and in no way assume that quiz bowl success translates 1:1 to success at other trivia formats, I think it's rather pointless to point out that quiz bowl doesn't reward knowledge/expertise in those other formats, because that's simply not what quiz bowl is.

I say this, mind you, as someone who plays LearnedLeague and HQ/knockoffs. There are plenty of areas to get your fix of pop culture/"trash"-oriented trivia, including within the scope of quiz bowl plus many others (aforementioned game shows/formats, bar trivia, etc.). Quiz Bowl doesn't need to also cater to that.

I acknowledge that my perspective may also be skewed as someone who attended high school in a region that's dominated to this day by Bad Quiz Bowl, and therefore didn't really get to play quiz bowl during that time, and then went to what was more or less a trash captured school, that spent the first ~2 - 3 years of my college life with a very trash-heavy culture, which essentially prevented me from playing quiz bowl for that time as well.
I admit that part of my problem is likely that I'm just not that into quiz bowl. That said, I still think that the culture can be toxic. The problem I've noticed isn't that quiz bowl doesn't have enough trash, but that some people (not all) in quiz bowl disparage those things, whether directly or implied, and that has made me not feel welcome. That's an issue, whether or not a person thinks the activity of quiz bowl is for them.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Aaron's Rod » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:37 pm

Oy vey, guys. Younger(?) college woman posts something very reasonable about things that drove her away from quizbowl and then older and/or accomplished quizbowl guys go nitpicking strawmen.
csheep wrote: I take a lot of issue with this post because the bolded sections read, to me, like someone who was simply (as you youself admit the possibility) mismatched with what quizbowl -is-.

Quiz bowl is avowedly antithetical to most of the trivia formats you mentioned - HQ, J!, LL - in its pursuit of pyramidality. In fact, it was a long-fought battle before Bad Quiz Bowl formats were driven away, and is still an ongoing battle in many areas of the country, not to say globally. While I respect people who do well at other formats, and in no way assume that quiz bowl success translates 1:1 to success at other trivia formats, I think it's rather pointless to point out that quiz bowl doesn't reward knowledge/expertise in those other formats, because that's simply not what quiz bowl is.
Sit Room Guy wrote:[...]That would seem to indicate that quiz bowl is better at measuring knowledge (the nominal goal of all forms of trivia) than the competitions you mentioned.
Both of these excerpts are baffling to me. Pretty much all of Aria's post is about how different subject interests within quizbowl shouldn't be seen as lesser, and different formats in competitive knowledge can be fun. She's not saying that the content of the questions has to change or anything, just don't be an asshole to people who like "lowbrow" things or other formats of trivia. Just because you think quizbowl is the Holy Grail of competitive academic activities doesn't mean that people shouldn't like HQ/LL/J!/etc., and in fact like them better for various gameplay or content reasons. Being a tyrannical purist to newcomers is exactly how we don't make quizbowl more approachable and inclusive.

(Side note, don't pretend like quizbowl is the be-all-end-all of knowledge tests. If we really wanted to see who knew the most stuff we'd just take a written exam instead of having to worry about buzzer speed or tilting or whatever. Quizbowl seems to do a really good job of differentiating which team Knows The Most Quizbowl-Relevant Stuff, but let's not pretend like it's some sort of singular Platonic ideal [not to mix metaphors] when it comes to testing knowledge.)
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Progcon » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:43 pm

Sit Room Guy wrote:Quiz bowl success actually does translate pretty well to success in LearnedLeague and other trivia formats (at least half of my A rundle is current or former quizbowlers), whereas the reverse is generally less true (LearnedLeague imports crossing over and becoming good at quiz bowl is a far rarer, if even extant, occurrence). Based on my admittedly anecdotal evidence, Quizbowl-to-HQ crossover doesn't seem significantly less seamless. The dominant Jeopardy! runs of Ken Jennings, Matt Jackson, and Dave Madden, as well as consistent victories for quizbowlers in the Teen and College tournaments, indicate that quiz bowl also crosses over very well to this form of trivia, whereas, again, I do not know of any cases of the reverse happening. That would seem to indicate that quiz bowl is better at measuring knowledge (the nominal goal of all forms of trivia) than the competitions you mentioned. HQ is a fun thing that my teammates and I usually do after practice, Jeopardy! was a very significant part of my childhood, and I'm in a Facebook group for quizbowlers in LearnedLeague (there are a lot of us), but there's no ambiguity about where those things stand in relation to quiz bowl, nor should there be.
This all may be true, but Aria has a very strong point that should not be dismissed. Sports were really my first real passion aside from extremely nerdy video game things and LEGOs because of the 2006 and 2007 Detroit Tigers and it can be frustrating to see knowledge about sports and music and movies, etc. be disparaged as less important or relevant than academic knowledge. I could easily make the argument that in day-to-day life, it's a lot more helpful to be able to talk to people about sports or pop culture news than the difference between a Borel set and a Baire set. That all said, I do--and will continue--to call pop culture "trash" and I think it's quite telling that my series of trash tournaments has been called "FTP". We should respect and value knowledge of all kinds and I think elitism about what game we play--or what format we engage in--is really strange to people outside this community.

When I tell people that I don't enjoy nor watch Jeopardy! or play any other trivia things besides quizbowl, they get confused. They assume that I play quizbowl because I enjoy trivia but that's nowhere near the case. I tried LL for a season and felt it was a chore but that doesn't mean the knowledge is any less "real" or "legitimate" or whatever en-vogue word we use to praise knowledge that quizbowl values at any point in time. There are people out there who know more about pop music and movies than academics know about their own field and that's cool. In a thread titled "How We Can Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive", I think the answer should be clear that we should accept anyone who wants to have fun playing questions, and is a generally cool, agreeable person. I really like what Mike Cheyne said about making "trash players" comfortable at practice and with the club. Having cool people around to hang out, staff, assist in the day-to-day of a club (more work than a lot of people would think) is important and honestly, if someone who only knew "trash things" wanted to join the team, I'd be more excited than anything. If anyone wanted to join the club for any reason: to hang out, to staff, to play academic events, I'd be glad to have them.

We ought to talk about recruiting and building teams at the collegiate level more, but it is not easy and people are busy in college especially as they become sophomores and juniors and move off campus, get jobs, do research and start applying for grad school. Collegiate quizbowl needs to take a good long look in the mirror and ask itself if it wants to be accepting and take all comers or favor hard academic knowledge above all. I think it's important to reiterate that some of the most valuable team members do not have to be good at collegiate quizbowl or even play!

On an aside relating to the whole thread, I think the advice of Athena and Coach Dillon is really good. Be considerate while you are playing (something I need to get better at especially w.r.t swearing) and try to remember that there are other people in the room besides you. Another thing that I think it worth mentioning is reaching out and greeting new players and teams at your tournaments. I try to say "Good morning. How are you coach?" to every coach that comes to our high school tournaments, and I think hosts should work towards creating a professional, fun and relaxed environment that encourages continued participation in quizbowl. This means don't swear around high school players and remember that you are representing your university and club. A lot of high school coaches are volunteers or parents and they should be valued and respected.

Edit: Alex eloquently wrote a post with a lot of the things I wanted to say.
Last edited by Progcon on Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:26 pm

Aaron's Rod wrote: Both of these excerpts are baffling to me. Pretty much all of Aria's post is about how different subject interests within quizbowl shouldn't be seen as lesser, and different formats in competitive knowledge can be fun. She's not saying that the content of the questions has to change or anything, just don't be an asshole to people who like "lowbrow" things or other formats of trivia. Just because you think quizbowl is the Holy Grail of competitive academic activities doesn't mean that people shouldn't like HQ/LL/J!/etc., and in fact like them better for various gameplay or content reasons. Being a tyrannical purist to newcomers is exactly how we don't make quizbowl more approachable and inclusive.
I really don't think either of us were denying that different formats can be fun or that we like them (Let me reiterate that I enjoy doing all of these things but acknowledge that all of them aren't really as rigorous as quiz bowl). Saying that other formats are better, however, will very understandably rub some quizbowlers the wrong way if you do it (see: what happened a couple years ago when Scott Blish did that on this very forum; if someone else could find the link that would be dandy), just as going on the LL forum yelling about how QB is better would be somewhat tactless. Having enough people who prefer bad formats in a club, too, is how trash capture and/or teams playing bad formats happens. Like Michael, I'm probably hypersensitive to this because I missed out on two years of playing nats because of it. No one's advocating being an asshole to people who like trash. A certain amount of intra-club evangelism conducted with tact on the merits of pyramidal quiz bowl, though, is both entirely justified and something I wish I'd done in high school.

P.S. Yay I'm an honorary Old for the purposes of this argument now even though Aria and I are the same age (I'm pretty sure). I'll take it I guess.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Aaron's Rod » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:11 pm

Sit Room Guy wrote:P.S. Yay I'm an honorary Old for the purposes of this argument now even though Aria and I are the same age (I'm pretty sure). I'll take it I guess.
Come on Jakob, you won NASAT and I wrote:older and/or accomplished quizbowl guys
Let me rephrase some of this--I didn't mean to imply that Jakob or anybody else in this thread was being a tyrannical purist, only that doing so is bad and invariably drives people away. I can certainly see how my post reads that way, and I apologize.

In general, we spend a lot of time navel-gazing about how we can keep people interested in quizbowl and why people leave. We only rarely actually hear from people who have been driven away by quizbowl. For that reason, I felt that a deconstruction of Aria's post was really counterproductive, because we were lucky to hear from her, especially when she admitted that she was
nightreign wrote:slightly nervous about posting this here when I know it's not anonymous.
Feedback from a perspective like Aria's is really valuable, and I wish we got more of it.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:20 pm

Aaron's Rod wrote: In general, we spend a lot of time navel-gazing about how we can keep people interested in quizbowl and why people leave. We only rarely actually hear from people who have been driven away by quizbowl. For that reason, I felt that a deconstruction of Aria's post was really counterproductive, because we were lucky to hear from her, especially when she admitted that she was
nightreign wrote:slightly nervous about posting this here when I know it's not anonymous.
Feedback from a perspective like Aria's is really valuable, and I wish we got more of it.
That's 100% fair; my posts were probably too confrontational. Besides the one point I took exception to, everything else in Aria's post was extremely valid and should be taken into account by the community at large (myself included). I apologize for any role I played in exacerbating the aforementioned nervousness about posting here and thank Aria for doing so.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:54 am

Aria, do you think that you probably would have drifted away from quizbowl due to the inherent structure of the game compared to your interests/skillset, or do you think you could have gone either way on it and the behaviors you mentioned above helped convince you that you should do something else?
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by acrosby1861 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:20 pm

nightreign wrote: -Calling trash clues "trash" doesn't bug me as much as just the way that some people treat them. I happen to be good at sports and current music and sometimes people say things that are meant to be compliments, like "you could be so helpful to the team because of that!" but the implication is that the best players don't really care to learn those things and that's why they need me to help.
Cheynem wrote:As the defending trash national champion (for 8 years), I obviously do like popular culture questions besides regular quizbowl. What I tried to do when I was at the U of Minnesota was try to make the overall program was a welcoming place for people who prefer such things over regular quizbowl while making sure the team was not falling into trash capture.

What this means was that there were a few people who clearly preferred playing trash stuff than regular quizbowl, but they were also people who would be willing to staff tournaments and provide some service to the team (which are great things). We wanted such people to be involved on the team, so we would run and attend trash tournaments (which many of us liked doing anyway) or just do informal team events where we would read trash packets.
I like how doing trash packets isn't just an isolated thing. My high school team last year had a few new people who started out answering the pop culture questions more than anything else since those were the questions they were the most comfortable answering. As much as I wanted to do more of the packets like the ones we do at tournaments, we sometimes did trash packets at practice to encourage people to stay and to let them know that there are questions out there geared toward what they were comfortable with. And because trash doesn't come up that often. In the end, we ended up retaining those new people for longer than we probably would have if we didn't do the trash packets in the first place.
nightreign wrote: -Also just the whole idea that some things are more "worthy" of knowing than others. Again, this isn't everyone, but some people act like there are subjects (young adult literature, pop music, sports, lifestyle/celebrities, etc.) that are just inferior and that knowledge of those things shouldn't be encouraged. Maybe someone on your team loves that stuff.
This hasn't happened to me personally, and I'm aware that pop culture is an extremely small part of the distribution. But there might be times where the fate of a match (whether you win or lose) can depend on how much you know about pop culture because matches could come down to the last tossup or bonus, which just so happens to be pop culture due to subject distribution and the order the subjects are in for that packet. So if you're on a team that doesn't know much pop culture and you wind up in this situation, you're in trouble. As a result, there is use in knowing this kind of stuff, and if you're on a team that does have at least one member who is into pop culture, give that member time to shine.

Again, I've never been in that scenario where we win or lose based on a pop culture question, but that doesn't mean it can't happen.
nightreign wrote:I'm slightly nervous about posting this here when I know it's not anonymous.
Yeah. This is me whenever I post something here, so I feel the need to word everything correctly. It's good to know that there's at least one other person who feels this way.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Couch's Kingbird » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:09 am

acrosby1861 wrote:
nightreign wrote:
I'm slightly nervous about posting this here when I know it's not anonymous.
Yeah. This is me whenever I post something here, so I feel the need to word everything correctly. It's good to know that there's at least one other person who feels this way.
Will second (third?) this as well. I've definitely felt that the quiz bowl community can be very insular- good/vocal players tend to dominate, and honestly with in-jokes too- and it does make it harder for people to get involved in the community (even for somewhat experienced players). It might be self-created, but I've felt the need to "fit in" during tournaments, as well as being "on guard" while posting or talking to people about quiz bowl stuff. It's why I generally prefer to lurk (despite trying to get myself to be more vocal/involved/posting more/etc.). Curious to know if others feel the same.

That being said, I'm definitely guilty of a lot of stuff people have mentioned on this thread ("that was stock," "should've buzzed earlier," "you should know that," etc.) as well as contributing to the insularity, and I'm glad people are open about discussing this.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Rather Wild Indeed » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:52 pm

A lot of responses on this thread seem to indicate that a large portion of players who are very involved in quiz bowl circuits think that toxicity comes from other quiz bowl players, but this has not been my experience at all. This is likely because the quiz bowl community is centered around the Illinois area to the Northeast. What I have witnessed in my brief quiz bowl visits to larger tournaments with a larger moderator pool (like nationals), are moderators who clearly believe that there are some ways which quiz bowl MUST work or else the players are heathen.

At one such tournament I went to, in a room that was running ahead of others, in rounds which were untimed, one moderator clearly believed that quiz bowl had to be an activity which was entirely silent unless a player was buzzed in. Now, I know that there are times when talking during a round is taboo for obvious reasons, but I think that a "nice power" or "good buzz" in the time between a tossup and bonus is perfectly acceptable (tell me if I'm wrong here) and some chatter during the halftime scorecheck and substitutions is also OK. Obviously this moderator did not share that opinion.

I was in this moderator's room for two rounds. The start of the first round went ok, the moderator was a little rude, but I chalked it up to her being nervous on the first round of the day. By the second half, however, she was mocking us by sarcastically replicating our "good buzz" comments which was alright, I can deal with a little sass. In the second round though, she openly referred to us a "the peanut gallery". I feel as if the first introduction of a newer team to the larger quiz bowl community is an openly toxic and insulting moderator, that would create a bad taste in their mouth.

I don't think that the moderator is entirely at fault here, she had some preconceived notions about quiz bowl that are created by an environment. I just think that experienced quiz bowlers need to be aware that people play the game differently and need to understand that there are many valid ways to play quiz bowl.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:18 pm

Toystory (bull) wrote:A lot of responses on this thread seem to indicate that a large portion of players who are very involved in quiz bowl circuits think that toxicity comes from other quiz bowl players, but this has not been my experience at all. This is likely because the quiz bowl community is centered around the Illinois area to the Northeast. What I have witnessed in my brief quiz bowl visits to larger tournaments with a larger moderator pool (like nationals), are moderators who clearly believe that there are some ways which quiz bowl MUST work or else the players are heathen.

At one such tournament I went to, in a room that was running ahead of others, in rounds which were untimed, one moderator clearly believed that quiz bowl had to be an activity which was entirely silent unless a player was buzzed in. Now, I know that there are times when talking during a round is taboo for obvious reasons, but I think that a "nice power" or "good buzz" in the time between a tossup and bonus is perfectly acceptable (tell me if I'm wrong here) and some chatter during the halftime scorecheck and substitutions is also OK. Obviously this moderator did not share that opinion.

I was in this moderator's room for two rounds. The start of the first round went ok, the moderator was a little rude, but I chalked it up to her being nervous on the first round of the day. By the second half, however, she was mocking us by sarcastically replicating our "good buzz" comments which was alright, I can deal with a little sass. In the second round though, she openly referred to us a "the peanut gallery". I feel as if the first introduction of a newer team to the larger quiz bowl community is an openly toxic and insulting moderator, that would create a bad taste in their mouth.

I don't think that the moderator is entirely at fault here, she had some preconceived notions about quiz bowl that are created by an environment. I just think that experienced quiz bowlers need to be aware that people play the game differently and need to understand that there are many valid ways to play quiz bowl.
Note to moderators: let people have fun playing quiz bowl and encourage their teammates as long as it doesn't get into gloat-y territory. As long as they're not hurting anything or impeding the timely progress of the tournament (which Rishik's team clearly wasn't), don't do any of this.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by 1.82 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:42 pm

Sit Room Guy wrote:Note to moderators: let people have fun playing quiz bowl and encourage their teammates as long as it doesn't get into gloat-y territory. As long as they're not hurting anything or impeding the timely progress of the tournament (which Rishik's team clearly wasn't), don't do any of this.
Neither you nor I know the specifics of this situation, and I don't know how many tournaments you've moderated or what insights you've thereby gained into tournament administration, but this dictum is either so vague as to be meaningless or else actively harmful. The biggest cause of delays in tournaments and the main thing that turns thirty-five-minute rounds into fifty-minute rounds is supposedly harmless chatter. Talking between questions always impedes the timely progress of the tournament, and moderators should always err on the side of shutting it down. Otherwise you get situations like Columbia B at 2016 ICT, where in spite of the presence of trained staff, one team has so much fun playing quizbowl that they hear 2.5 standard deviations fewer than the average number of questions (a difference of nearly one standard deviation from the second-slowest team). When players on one team have fun by talking among themselves, not only does it impede everyone's fun by making the tournament drag on longer and getting them home later, but it specifically impedes the fun of the other team that has to put up with it. The job of a moderator is to facilitate teams' having fun by answering questions.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by Cheynem » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:47 pm

Moderators should cut down on the chatter, absolutely. I don't know if the moderator was attempting to do that in the example above, or if there was some level of mockery going on (the former is okay, the latter is not).
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by El Salvadoreno » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:52 pm

According to Rishik, his team said things like "good buzz." Literally almost every team I know does this in some capacity, and only saying things like this does not cause the game to go 15 minutes longer. Speed should be a priority, but we should not make this the No Fun League while we are at it (I don't know about what happened with Columbia at ICT, but I doubt these scenarios are comparable). Halftimes, in contrast, should not require a long amount of discussion and should be kept pretty quick. If there is no real reason to take a minute or two, don't.

Edit: Grammar
Last edited by El Salvadoreno on Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Can We Make Quizbowl More Approachable and Inclusive

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:11 pm

1.82 wrote: Neither you nor I know the specifics of this situation, and I don't know how many tournaments you've moderated or what insights you've thereby gained into tournament administration, but this dictum is either so vague as to be meaningless or else actively harmful. The biggest cause of delays in tournaments and the main thing that turns thirty-five-minute rounds into fifty-minute rounds is supposedly harmless chatter. Talking between questions always impedes the timely progress of the tournament, and moderators should always err on the side of shutting it down. Otherwise you get situations like Columbia B at 2016 ICT, where in spite of the presence of trained staff, one team has so much fun playing quizbowl that they hear 2.5 standard deviations fewer than the average number of questions (a difference of nearly one standard deviation from the second-slowest team). When players on one team have fun by talking among themselves, not only does it impede everyone's fun by making the tournament drag on longer and getting them home later, but it specifically impedes the fun of the other team that has to put up with it. The job of a moderator is to facilitate teams' having fun by answering questions.
I certainly have enough experience to know there are more effective ways to cut down on chatter than what Rishik is describing. I'll note that my policy in this regard has never caused delays to any tournament I've staffed; the logistical issues in skype tournaments I've run are probably significantly more attributable to me being a high schooler who didn't fully grasp how quiz bowl worked at the time if that's what your aside about "insights into tournament administration" was referring to. I also have enough experience to know that it's perfectly possible to read thirty-five-minute rounds without mocking the people you're reading for. I know high-school me (especially in my earlier career) would not have had fun getting roasted for telling my teammate "good buzz" even if I did get to answer some questions that round.
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