Illinois '10 - '11

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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by mrgsmath » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:54 pm

Actually, KCD, Macomb, and Galena all tied in their pool at 4-1 beating each other. Macomb came out of the pool on points.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Geringer » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:19 pm

Some brief comments on the questions after reading sectionals at Latin.

1. Tossup length and quality varied dramatically. While I suspect that this might be a symptom of different question writers having different styles, I find it frustrating to see six line tossups with a high clue density followed up by a ten-line stinker that may or may not have a give-away in the first line. Coming from me, and I am admittedly a poor editor that made a lot of mistakes in my Fremd set, giving the editing duties of such a large tournament to more than one person could be a solution. I will always maintain that having Dan-Don (or any other person, for that matter) to bounce tossups or edits off of improved my tournaments and a similar system for the IHSA will improve their tournament.

2. The driver's ed question was abominable and quite frankly nonconvertible. Likewise, I feel like a lot of the miscellaneous categories were filled with the typical bullcrappery we've all come to loathe.

3. The length of math comp bonuses were problematic. From a reading standpoint, it took forever to read the entire bonus. This not only gives the controlling team a huge time advantage to solve the first couple parts, but the length and complexity of individual bonus parts or individual equations within said bonus parts put a lot of stress on the reader for total accuracy and putting the wrong stress on an 'end quantity' could screw a team. I concede that state series math questions require some degree of difficulty, but part of the reason for low conversion could be this audible complexity.

4. I sensed a lack of history questions within that general social studies category but I have not crunched the numbers, so my perception could be skewed.

5. Spelling bonuses had much higher conversion than any other category. The questionable academic value of spelling aside, easy (or hard) bonuses add to the "tilt" that a given round can have, and we should be actively avoiding tilt in any win-or-go-home games.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:34 pm

There are three or four people who read the entire set after a complete rough draft is created.

Miscellaneous, Spelling, and Computation are there because, as far as the IHSA can tell, everybody wants them. The IHSSBCA Open Letter (which deals with only Miscellaneous of these three concerns) so far has generated many more complaints than signatures. If I don't get more signatures soon, then those questions will be here to stay forever. They may be here to stay anyways, but unless something changes soon there won't be a point in even asking for changes.

History is supposed to be 3/3 out of 30/30. Nobody has complained about this, so as of right now there is no reason to believe that it will change.

IHSSBCA wrote an Open Letter so that it would be easy for people to support us on a few basic issues--this way people don't have to take the time to write their own letters. It appears so far that we did not make it easy enough, but there is still time. In 2020, when IHSA is still using all-at-once bonuses with Spelling and Drivers Ed, you'll be able to say that you posted on a message board that the IHSA doesn't read that Drivers Ed is bad ten years ago but for some reason that didn't change anything.

EDIT: Sorry for being frustrated. I hope it doesn't sound like Jeff is the target of my frustration or a part of the problem, because he deserves better.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by mlaird » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:42 pm

All-State Teams for this year:

Class A 1st Team All-State
Alex Kling - Chicago (Latin)
Cheryl Wassenaar - Palos Heights (Chicago Christian)
Christofer Hamilton - Rockford (Keith Country Day)
David York - Litchfield
Greg Dzuricsko - Lisle
Justin Brooks - Petersburg (PORTA)
Michael Swartz - Lisle
Peter Huston - Greenville
Roy Slick - Byron
Tristan Willey - Macomb

Class A 2nd Team All-State
Adam Fisher - Litchfield
Alison Rump - Williamsville
Beau Manuel - Farina (South Central)
Duncan Ryan - Peoria Heights
Gus Block - Kewanee
Jared Bowman - Toledo (Cumberland)
Marc Reiter - Fieldcrest HS
Michael Holdsworth - Sherrard
Peter Matthews - Elmhurst (Timothy Christian)
Tyler Ingram - Toledo (Cumberland)

Class AA 1st Team All-State
Abid Haseeb - Rockford (Auburn)
Andrew Deveau - Chicago (St. Ignatius)
Andrew Wang - Winnetka (New Trier)
Ben Carbery - Oak Park (O.P.-River Forest)
Ben Chametzky - Carbondale
Blake Tutt - Bensenville (Fenton)
Kevin Malis - Lincolnshire (Stevenson)
Lloyd Sy - Rockford (Auburn)
Nolan Winkler - Wilmette (Loyola)
Webster Guan - Aurora (IMSA)

Class AA 2nd Team All-State
Aaron Siebrass - Chatham (Glenwood)
Chris Olsen - Champaign (Centennial)
Eric Ordonez - Aurora (IMSA)
Jacob Powers - Rolling Meadows
Johnny Smith - Springfield (H.S.)
Mike Korte - Chatham (Glenwood)
Nolan Maloney - Aurora (IMSA)
Saad Sheikh - Rockford (Auburn)
Srinivas Panchamukhi - Carbondale
Zach Blumenfeld - Lincolnshire (Stevenson)

Please let me know if you see any spelling errors before I get the certificates printed up.
Last edited by mlaird on Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Coach G » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:23 pm

Matt - I think all of the AA players' names are spelled right. For class A, I'm sure the Keith player's name is spelled with just an "f", not "pf". I don't know for sure about the other class A names. . .esepcially Greg's surname :smile:
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Coach G » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:24 pm

And, I meant to add to the prior post, congratulations to all of these wonderful, dedicated players.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by bike waffles » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:28 am

Coach G wrote: esepcially Greg's surname :smile:
gregs last name is spelled correctly
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Aaron Goldfein » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:21 am

This list seems to favor students who are the best on their team. For example, I believe Zach Blumenfeld deserves to be on 1st team because he put up impressive numbers all season, which is made even more impressive by the fact that he had to do that while playing with Kevin Malis.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by jonah » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:04 am

IHSA State liveblog (sorry, link edited out to cover my butt). Email or IM me for access.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by the return of AHAN » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:11 pm

Holy cow! Stevenson loses to IMSA! I respect IMSA and Dr. Prince, but I can't say I saw that coming.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Edward Elric » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:21 pm

Moving Day wrote:Holy cow! Stevenson loses to IMSA! I respect IMSA and Dr. Prince, but I can't say I saw that coming.
With Math intensive and Science Intensive questions I kind of can.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Deviant Insider » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:04 pm

The Championship matchups are already set: Macomb vs Lisle, IMSA vs Auburn.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Deviant Insider » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:25 pm

Congrats to IMSA and Lisle
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:54 am

Edward Elric wrote:
Moving Day wrote:Holy cow! Stevenson loses to IMSA! I respect IMSA and Dr. Prince, but I can't say I saw that coming.
With Math intensive and Science Intensive questions I kind of can.
On the one hand, that's possibly a thing; on the other hand, IMSA out-tossuped Stevenson 5-1 in "literature" (the one Stevenson buzz being linguistics) and (I think) 4-1 in "history." Of course, there only being 3 actual history tossups makes that count mean less.

In my opinion, this set of questions was among the best I've heard from the IHSA, with the VERY notable exceptions of computational math (always bad, naturally), social studies (all of it --- history + geography + CE + etc.), and non-computational geometry. The distribution really needs to add more straight history questions and tone down the current events; tossups on the Japanese nuclear facility are way too fraudable during the week that it happened, and I don't know what the hell a terrible Jasper Johns question was doing in the current events category (ostensibly because he won some recent award, I guess? aarrrrgh).

I'm pretty firmly on the record as saying the IHSA State titles are worth considerably less respect than, say, NAQT State or New Trier Varsity, to say nothing of nationals. That will be the case until we get a distribution without clunker questions like that abominable handout bonus and without computational math. Things like single elimination regionals, 20/20 matches, or bonus format are things that we need to be talking about, but they don't in and of themselves make this an illegitimate tournament. There were too many terrible, terrible questions. Furthermore, we found ourselves really upset with the venue this year as well. These are things that are both relatively easy to fix in the short term. It doesn't take a statewide consensus to say "don't play quizbowl in rooms directly above a functioning basketball arena." It doesn't take an open letter to say "don't write handout questions asking players to identify the letter represented by these corporate logos, then read a sentence constructed from them."

We've done, frankly, a terrible job of working to forge the entire state of Illinois into a community where we can talk about computational math and anti-pyramidality as "bad quizbowl." In a world where Masonics and IHSA are the only "problem" tournaments in a 9 month schedule, it's really easy to just not care about computational math debates once March ends. But if we're going to have an IHSA State Series that the champions feel comfortable winning and the runners-up feel confident that they lost to the best competition on the best questions, we can't just tell Ron McGraw every other year that a couple dozen people want something different and expect to be taken seriously. We need to host more tournaments like Greenville's, PORTA's, Springfield's, and Fenton's, where we introduce good quizbowl to teams like Wauconda and Keith Country Day and we bring more people into this vibrant community of respect and comraderie that, to outsiders, apparently looks like a bunch of Chicago arrogant pricks trying to impose hell on everyone else.

IMSA won today on the good questions and the bad questions, and there were enough of the good questions that it makes the victory at least partially legitimate, and the margins of victory make it relatively clear that if you took the bad questions out, they still would have won (although I didn't see the Auburn match, that was my interpretation from Auburn and IMSA people afterwards). Is it a legitimate state championship? Not by the aesthetics of quizbowl, but is it at least good enough to not be embarrassed? Yes, under the circumstances above. But we have to work so that, in the future, we don't have to make such lengthy qualifications about our "state champions."

And we have to work towards nationals, because that is the true measure of a great quizbowl team. No matter your preferences for NAQT, PACE, or both -- study hard, play ATROPHY and Prison Bowl and Midwest Championship, and good luck at nats. The title of "IHSA state champion" may have been crowned today, but "best quizbowl team" won't be settled until June.

Congratulations to everyone at state today, and may your seasons finish strong.
Brad Fischer
Head Editor, IHSA State Series

Winnebago HS ('06)
Northern Illinois University ('10)
Assistant Coach, IMSA (2010-12)
Coach, Keith Country Day School (2012-16)

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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by JackGlerum » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:05 am

I support your ideas.

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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by dtaylor4 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:21 am

JackGlerum wrote:I support your ideas.
His ideas are nothing new.

These problems have been around for years. Until the old guard gets out, it's not changing.

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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by JackGlerum » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:24 am

Oh I know it's nothing newfangled or profound; I simply think it's good to hear it this time of year.

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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by dtaylor4 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:10 am

JackGlerum wrote:Oh I know it's nothing newfangled or profound; I simply think it's good to hear it this time of year.
And it's been said this time every year for how long?

I get that it sucks, but it's a broken record. To change the IHSA, it has to be done from the top. Only then will the hundreds of teams follow.

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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:11 am

dtaylor4 wrote:
JackGlerum wrote:Oh I know it's nothing newfangled or profound; I simply think it's good to hear it this time of year.
And it's been said this time every year for how long?

I get that it sucks, but it's a broken record. To change the IHSA, it has to be done from the top. Only then will the hundreds of teams follow.
But what motivation does the top have to do anything? Especially in a world where we keep attempting these open letters saying "look at all the people who want change!" and as many people or more write directly to Ron McGraw saying "look at all of us who don't, and look at how they're trying to unilaterally ruin everything!" Whether or not that's accurate - after all, had anyone been at the IHSSBCA meeting where the last letter was discussed, they could have easily said "don't do this, we don't agree with you" - doesn't matter.

We need to keep doing these letters to continue putting pressure on the top, but without simultaneously talking to the teams to get more on board with the letters, we won't see progress.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:32 am

There has not been a large number of people complaining to the IHSA year after year. About 15 years ago, I got about 45 coaches to sign a petition complaining about question quality, and that is by far the largest group they have ever heard from. Last year, about five people wrote letters about question quality, which represented a large spike upwards compared to the amount of feedback they usually get.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:36 pm

dtaylor4 wrote:
JackGlerum wrote:Oh I know it's nothing newfangled or profound; I simply think it's good to hear it this time of year.
And it's been said this time every year for how long?

I get that it sucks, but it's a broken record. To change the IHSA, it has to be done from the top. Only then will the hundreds of teams follow.
That's crap. They aren't going to do anything unless they're pressured to do so. Kvetching on this message board is not enough; I guarantee you that hardly anyone in IHSA reads this board, particularly with any regularity. You need to get organized and actually exert pressure on the organization if you want to accomplish anything.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by helios » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:48 pm

Fred wrote:I guarantee you that hardly anyone in IHSA reads this board, particularly with any regularity.
We should change this, then. I'm sure that there are dozens of IHSA coaches who would learn a lot from these boards and don't even know they are here. Getting the word out can't be too hard if we (the Illinois quiz bowl community) just try. I feel that having more people reading these opinions (however often they are expressed) will lead to more people thinking about how the system works and what needs to be changed.

The crucial step, of course, is to turn thinking into doing, but that always seems to be a much larger challenge.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Aaron Goldfein » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:37 pm

The IHSA is not there to decide what is and is not best or the quiz bowl community. It's there to listen to what its membership schools are telling it, and frankly, if you put to a vote whether or not we should adopt the changes presented in the IHSSBCA letter, one vote for each IHSA school, it would probably be voted down. The problem is not with the IHSA; it's doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing.

If we want to change the way the state runs, then we'll need to change majority opinion. And to do that, we need to run Good Quizbowl tournaments in areas where they are otherwise not present, convince long standing tournaments run on IHSA format to switch to a national format, and, perhaps most importantly, petition leagues to switch from IHSA format by offering them something they can't refuse; faster matches, higher quality questions, and, as best as we can arrange it, cheaper questions. Only when a majority of IHSA schools actually want to make the switch to Good Quizbowl and it is financially feasible to do so will the IHSA make the switch.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:06 pm

(I realize that I haven't posted my list of complaints about the Peoria Civic Center on this board yet; Kristin and I are editing the essay, and we'll have it up shortly.)
On the venue change front, I thought we had a good hope to get it moved from Peoria. After all, all of the teams noticed the noise issue, all of the moderators noticed the noise issue (including noted people-with-non-negligible-IHSA-authority Sister John Baricevic and Rob Grierson), and I think the AdCo would agree that the noise issue is a problem (especially as two of the seven coached on Friday). But then I read this article in Peoria's paper:
http://www.pjstar.com/business/x9456399 ... ut-Madness

As it turns out, the Civic Center pays an annual $200,000 to the IHSA to influence them putting the IHSA Boys Basketball in Peoria, and as a result of this good relationship, the IHSA brings other events to the Peoria Civic Center - currently, chess, speech, and Scholastic Bowl, with dance potentially on the way. These extra events bring extra tourism dollars to Peoria, making that $200,000 seed a more powerful lure. If the IHSA moves Scholastic Bowl, Peoria loses tourism dollars and finds the basketball seed money less worthwhile. It's very likely that, if the IHSA really is considering adding dance to their list of events and putting that in Peoria, they're happy with the current Peoria agreement and wouldn't want to risk it. It's entirely possible that the IHSA wouldn't consider moving Scholastic Bowl in fear of losing that upfront cash from basketball, no matter how bad the venue is for Scholastic Bowl currently. I'd previously advocated for moving to Bloomington, Springfield, or Champaign - more central locations with more readily available collegiate staff - but if the IHSA views Scholastic Bowl as an extra arm pulling in the basketball money, that's probably not viable anymore, no matter if we have a 7-0 AdCo vote bolstered by Baricevic, Grierson, Reinstein, and a thousand students physically in the IHSA office. Hopefully, we can talk to the PCC about moving the games to a quieter location or something. I still think we petition the IHSA to move it out of Peoria, but if/when they say no, this is almost certainly why.

So -- a lesson to other states. If you don't have a quizbowl competition organized by your state's athletic organization, KEEP IT THAT WAY.

ETA: Another option - and likely a better option - is asking to move the State Finals back one weekend. This would put it back on a Saturday with little resistance, and gives the Peoria tourism a boost on a weekend that currently doesn't have any IHSA events in Peoria. You'd have to imagine you'd get more Friday night hotel rooms used by Scholastic Bowl from parents who don't have to miss Friday's work than the Thursday nights we're ostensibly using right now. It also removes the hassle of the Boys Basketball noise filtering up, which leaves only the unsavory lunch deal in place of the current three venue problems. Getting two out of three isn't shabby at all.
Last edited by Irreligion in Bangladesh on Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Bonito » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:34 pm

Not to detract from this thread, but Macomb is pretty good at things.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Coach G » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:34 pm

Brad - The previous weekend they have the class 1A and 2A basketball finals at the PCC; that is not an "empty" weekend. I don't know if there really is anywhere in the PCC that would be far enough removed to not hear the basketball-related noise. It has been noticeable in at least some of the rooms every year we have been there. That includes when we were scheduled in other rooms near the theater, before they made the addition (or remodeled?) where we are now.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Dominator » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:17 pm

Bonito wrote:Not to detract from this thread, but Macomb is pretty good at things.
Yes. I know Tristan reads these boards, so Tristan: come to ATROPHY. Use your Masonic money, stay overnight if you have to, but come compete in Chicago. It would be great to have another nats-quality team in our fields.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:53 pm

Coach G wrote:Brad - The previous weekend they have the class 1A and 2A basketball finals at the PCC; that is not an "empty" weekend. I don't know if there really is anywhere in the PCC that would be far enough removed to not hear the basketball-related noise. It has been noticeable in at least some of the rooms every year we have been there. That includes when we were scheduled in other rooms near the theater, before they made the addition (or remodeled?) where we are now.
I meant "back" in the equally-impossible-to-parse sense of "one week later," because to me saying "moving it forward a week" sounds like it's happening a week sooner than originally planned, which is what "back" usually also means. ENGLISH LANGUAGE HOW DO YOU WORK

So, take two: Let's make Scholastic Bowl finals the Saturday of the week after the week it's been on the last few years.
Brad Fischer
Head Editor, IHSA State Series

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Northern Illinois University ('10)
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by No Electricity Required » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:25 pm

Dominator wrote:
Bonito wrote:Not to detract from this thread, but Macomb is pretty good at things.
Yes. I know Tristan reads these boards, so Tristan: come to ATROPHY. Use your Masonic money, stay overnight if you have to, but come compete in Chicago. It would be great to have another nats-quality team in our fields.
First of all, on behalf of my team, thanks, Greg.

Regarding ATROPHY: At first I thought it wasn't possible for us to make it to ATROPHY since I thought it would be just too much to add that tournament after we already decided we needed to add NSC. As of the past half-hour I've thought about it and think that there might be a slight chance our team could go to ATROPHY. It appears that we would only have to leave at about 5 am which isn't bad (since staying overnight is not an option for reasons I don't feel like going into right now), but I doubt the school would let us go (I'm told that we aren't allowed to travel anywhere near Chicago because the school thinks it's too far). If it isn't possible, I'm thinking I would like to use some of the Masonic money that was supposed to come my way to fund a solo appearance, assuming it would be okay that I do that. I'll try to get some stuff figured out tonight.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:16 am

I think that Brad makes a lot of good points in his longish post upthread, and I wanted to respond to them and add in some other thoughts about the current state of Illinois Scholastic Bowl/Quiz Bowl. Unfortunately, I got carried away and went on way too long. I hope that at least some people will excuse the length and self-indulgence of this post, which is attached.

To address one other issue he mentioned and another issue that came up after his post...

Based on what I have seen and heard, the IHSA questions this year were better than they have been the past year or two, though there were still serious issues that should be addressed, some of which are due to IHSA rules/distribution, and some of which are due to bad decisions by the writers and editors. Brad correctly points out that IMSA and Lisle should be proud of their accomplishments—all the teams faced the same issues, and there is no reason to believe that any team won by just answering all the bad questions, and there were good questions in the set.

As to the idea that we just need a little exposure to good practices outside of Chicago, here are some tournaments that are not in the Chicagoland Region: U of I Earlybird (DAFT); SCOP Novice at NIU and Springfield; Kickoffs at Champaign, Greenville, PORTA, and Sterling (IS); HFT at Rockford Auburn; PORTA Frosh/Soph (A Set); Turnabouts at Carbondale, Champaign, Greenville, and Sterling (A Set); Auburn Frosh/Soph (house); IMSA’s tournament at Bloomington; Springfield VJV (IS & A); Huskie Bowl; PORTA (IS); WUHSAC (house, very close to Illinois); Belvidere North (IS); and Greenville (HSAPQ). That’s a lot of pretty good quizbowl, and there may be some good ones I missed. If somebody thinks that all of the good competitions are in Chicagoland, they are wrong. If somebody thinks Chicagoland teams want change but downstate teams don’t want change, they are wrong. If the stereotype is out there that downstate teams just play single-liners asking about tractors, then the people to blame are the people who wrongly believe that stereotype despite the clear evidence that it is false. On the other side of the coin, if anybody believes that all or most Chicagoland coaches are strong advocates in improving quizbowl, that statement is unfortunately just as false.
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David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)

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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:11 am

I like Reinstein's document (with the exception that Calibri is a terrible font and, on top of that, reminded me of the IHSA packets), but a few notes:

The "driverless" tossup from State, which Reinstein cites on the bottom of page 2 as "the worst tossup at State this year", was categorized as technology, not driver's ed, though it's still in miscellaneous. I also disagree with his statement that he "can't really blame the writers/editors for it".

I think the editorial in the Peoria newspaper that Reinstein references on page 3 was actually a criticism of the academic value of Answers Plus questions. (Okay, not really.)

The food issue portion misses the issue of dietary restrictions on what people can eat. It is my understanding that one vegan's situation was handled extremely rudely by Ron McGraw personally, and there was certainly no vegan option among the catering menu provided.

There has been at least one south-of-I-80 mirror of a set produced out-of-state, the mirror of last year's Ben Cooper Memorial Tournament hosted by Centennial in Champaign.

Other than that, I like the document and endorse the vast majority of it, particularly its overall conclusion: we've got a lot of issues stemming from a lot of causes, and there's no way to deal with them that satisfies the three conditions of being efficient, effective, and possible.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:53 am

U of I Earlybird (DAFT); SCOP Novice at NIU and Springfield; Kickoffs at Champaign, Greenville, PORTA, and Sterling (IS); HFT at Rockford Auburn; PORTA Frosh/Soph (A Set); Turnabouts at Carbondale, Champaign, Greenville, and Sterling (A Set); Auburn Frosh/Soph (house); IMSA’s tournament at Bloomington; Springfield VJV (IS & A); Huskie Bowl; PORTA (IS); WUHSAC (house, very close to Illinois); Belvidere North (IS); and Greenville (HSAPQ).
Just wanted to note that in addition to Wash U (very very close to Illinois), there are also good tournaments at St. Louis University, Villa Duchesne HS, Oakville, and Ladue Horton Watkins. We're hopefully going to be able to expand that lineup even further next year for St. Louis. I'm a former longtime resident of Belleville, so I would definitely love to help get teams like Althoff, Bellevilles East and West, O'Fallon, etc. to come participate in our extremely close circuit to help get them exposed to good quizbowl. Some of these teams already have gone to WUHSAC in the past, but not enough. If someone can give us a mailing list for the Illinois teams in an hour-ish radius of St. Louis we could make sure to send them our announcements.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:40 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:If someone can give us a mailing list for the Illinois teams in an hour-ish radius of St. Louis we could make sure to send them our announcements.
I just emailed you.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:47 pm

Reinstein's list is wonderfully comprehensive. Each problem is explained accurately in its historical context and current situation. It reminded me of how we got to where we are now, and I think we have a history lesson to learn before we can start seeing positive results in both the quantity and quality of good quizbowl, both in the IHSA state tournament and the regular circuit.

There are two ways that we can introduce players, coaches, etc. to good quizbowl, and we have been doing both to various levels of success. We can invite teams to good quizbowl tournaments, and we can engage in discussion/debate/etc. with new coaches and players. It's pretty much impossible for those two methods to not overlap, but we need to focus more on the former method, both on its own during the week and at tournaments on Saturdays.

We got to where we are in good quizbowl through years of debate and tinkering. The first Illinois pyramidal housewrite, 2005 New Trier Varsity, had spelling, computation, and single elimination playoffs. We didn't have epiphanies that we didn't like those things; we hashed it out with discussion over time. If you participated in those discussions and debates, you found your perception of quizbowl shaped. If you didn't and found yourself at a tournament like 2010 New Trier Varsity on the excellent GSAC set, you probably saw quizbowl leaving you behind. We need discussion with more coaches and players to minimize that feeling of getting left behind.

To be fair, it's hard to have these debates properly at a tournament. Tourneys go fast. That's why this message board has been such a powerful force for good quizbowl. Without it, I doubt we'd be anywhere near where we are now. Of course, getting people to this board is an initial hurdle to be cleared. Simply saying to a coach at a tournament, "hey, if you had fun today, go to HSQB and meet some strangers on the internet!" doesn't work. We need to do outreach - physically going to schools, talking with their coaches one-on-one, assisting with a practice, giving them the packet archive, giving them a tourney calendar with invitations and contact info, inviting them to HSQB, and the like. That first impression will be the difference, greatly increasing the probability that a school will join the overall circuit.

My opinion that that first impression will be the difference is based on how various teams have responded to other methods of introducing them to good quizbowl. Last year, I was offered the job of finding questions for Winnebago's conference as they switched away from one-line Platypus written questions; I set them up with an IS set/IS-A set, set every coach up with a set of the rules and a full practice set of questions beforehand, and saw tossup conversion jump from an average of 75% for the best teams and 20% for the middle teams on Platypus to 80% for the top teams and 66% for the middle teams. (Low team conversion wasn't tracked well because I wasn't given full stats.) Everyone saw an improvement in scores, even accounting for 10 extra bonus points. And yet, the conference voted overwhelmingly to return to Platypus for this year. My failure is almost certainly attributable to not properly communicating the change to teams beforehand, and it's had even farther reaching effects - Winnebago's invitational tournament switched from an NAQT IS-set to Question Bank this year. On the other hand, Stillman Valley, a school in Winnebago's conference, participated in the first round of SCOP meetings with Auburn, played SCOP Novice and Auburn's pyramidal F/S tournament, and their players appreciate pyramidality. It's a strong start, although there is more work to be done. This is what we have to do.

But anecdotal evidence isn't great, especially not without a causality theory. My thought is that the discussion we took part in over the years engendered our displeasure with "bad quizbowl." Gradual and continuing education about good quizbowl brings with it an understanding of the problems of bad quizbowl, and that understanding is what makes us cringe when we hear "Family and Consumer Science" in the state championship match. On the other hand, simply being offered a plate of good quizbowl next to a plate of bad quizbowl - even with a menu explaining the pros and cons - can lead to the idea that they are simply different options, both potentially viable at different times in the season or different sites. This isn't to say a tournament like, say, Greenville Comet Open (used HSAPQ this year) isn't a good thing - it's obviously great. But Greenville's conference uses terrible questions because a majority of the coaches haven't fought for good questions, because they haven't been a part of these discussions until Coach Winter's recent work. Give it time, and I think Jay will have great success in transforming his conference into good quizbowl, because Jay is a nice, reasonable guy who has and will put in the work to BOTH talk with his colleagues and run good tournaments. Of course, we all do put in this work; we all need to put in more.

So, if outreach is the answer to two major problems - the vast difference between "number of schools that play IHSA Regionals" and "number of teams on the regular circuit," and the general acceptance of good quizbowl - it only really helps new teams, new coaches, and new players, and it only helps build the regular circuit. Nothing I've said so far deals with the IHSA State Series or Masonics beyond "if we talk with more people, there will be more popular support for good quizbowl." Most of Reinstein's list is therefore unaccounted for.

The problem is that, politically, we have very, very little authority to cause change in the IHSA State Series and the official IHSA rules. I would actually argue that we have no authority, as the AdCo is the best we've got at the moment and its advice is not binding at all. The closest we can come to real authority is majority popular support, and we're not there. The work to get to majority popular support is work that improves the regular circuit at the same time, and so that is where our focus needs to be. There's a huge dichotomy between the relaxed, efficient, educational, and competitive national format-based regular circuit and the idiosyncratic IHSA State Tournament with all the faults Reinstein described. Our work has already made that dichotomy drastic. If we now expand outreach efforts to make the dichotomy widespread, we can hope to see a change in popular opinion over time.

To sum up: we need to talk to teams who don't currently participate in the circuit. We need to seek them out, talk to them about good quizbowl practices, introduce them to the circuit (and the community, on HSQB and elsewhere!), and then work to make sure they can make it to the circuit events. Reinstein's list properly notes that the long list of bad quizbowl practices makes it hard to talk about one single idea. In my opinion, debate and discussion with new teams has to begin with pyramidality. The educational and competitive benefits to pyramidality are the foundation of everything that good quizbowl cares about; without it, computational math can make sense in quizbowl and the three part national format bonus loses one of its two main benefits - the easy-medium-hard structure. Start with pyramidality. Talk with a new coach about the benefits of pyramidality. Attend a practice at their school, and before reading a packet of Fall Novice/SCOP Novice/Collaborative Middle School (GO TO MIDDLE SCHOOLS TOO!), talk to the students about pyramidal structure. After pyramidality, we can talk about things like computational math and one-part-at-a-time bonuses and miscellaneous questions and question quality.
Brad Fischer
Head Editor, IHSA State Series

Winnebago HS ('06)
Northern Illinois University ('10)
Assistant Coach, IMSA (2010-12)
Coach, Keith Country Day School (2012-16)

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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by jonah » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:25 pm

styxman wrote:The first Illinois pyramidal housewrite [was] 2005 New Trier Varsity
Actually, the earliest I have is a 2000 set written by the ABT (IHSA-format bonuses; about IHSA distribution). There's also 2004 Earlybird (normal bonuses; about normal distribution). There was also a tournament hosted by the UChicago team in the mid-90s that was relatively pyramidal, but I don't have it.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by No Electricity Required » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:23 pm

I have been planning to help with the lack of mirrors south of I-80 by trying to get Macomb mirroring Fall Novice next year for our F/S tournament and some regular difficulty set for our varsity tournament. I am, however, not sure if I can get our varsity tournament to not have single elimination playoffs.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by dtaylor4 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:19 pm

jonah wrote:
styxman wrote:The first Illinois pyramidal housewrite [was] 2005 New Trier Varsity
Actually, the earliest I have is a 2000 set written by the ABT (IHSA-format bonuses; about IHSA distribution). There's also 2004 Earlybird (normal bonuses; about normal distribution). There was also a tournament hosted by the UChicago team in the mid-90s that was relatively pyramidal, but I don't have it.
Earlybird was a housewrite until 2008.

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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Deviant Insider » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:24 pm

A few IHSSBCA things to be aware of:
I probably don't have your signature for the open letter.
The deadline for applying for an IHSSBCA Grant is April 15. This is a strict deadline.
I have posted a list of who has RSVP'd for the IHSSBCA Banquet. The deadline to let me know about it is Monday.
We are now accepting applications for IHSSBCA Liaison. The deadline is June 1.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Deviant Insider » Fri May 06, 2011 5:16 pm

I am about to step down from coaching, at least temporarily. PACE NSC next month will be my last coaching gig for a long time. New Trier will still host and enter the same tournaments next year as we usually do. In all likelihood, I am going to write the Masonic Tournament next year. (If anybody wants to help me, send me an email, but the format is going to remain pretty unusual.) I will remain active with the IHSSBCA, though I don't know whether or not I am going to continue as Chair--that will be decided in August. I'll still be around.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Geringer » Mon May 09, 2011 6:38 am

Westwon wrote:I am about to step down from coaching, at least temporarily. PACE NSC next month will be my last coaching gig for a long time. New Trier will still host and enter the same tournaments next year as we usually do. In all likelihood, I am going to write the Masonic Tournament next year. (If anybody wants to help me, send me an email, but the format is going to remain pretty unusual.) I will remain active with the IHSSBCA, though I don't know whether or not I am going to continue as Chair--that will be decided in August. I'll still be around.
:cry:
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun May 29, 2011 8:33 am

Congrats to Illinois teams on their performance yesterday, all of whom finished .500 or better.

Stevenson was 8-2, with Malis 15th.
Carbondale was 7-3, with Chametzky 18th.
Chatham Glenwood, IMSA, Lisle, and Loyola were 6-4, with Dzuricsko 34th and Winkler 48th.
Belvidere North and Springfield were 5-5, with Minarik 16th.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun May 29, 2011 11:14 am

UPDATE:
Glenwood lost in Round 17, so they are tied for 65th.
Lisle and Loyola lost in Round 19, so they are tied for 33rd.
Carbondale lost in Rounds 18 & 20, so they are tied for 21st.
IMSA lost in Round 21, so they are tied for 13th.
Stevenson is still in the winners bracket playing Round 21 against duPont Manual.

Further update: Stevenson wins Round 21 and is one of two undefeated teams left.

Stevenson lost Round 22 to LASA and will play Centennial in Round 23. They are one of seven teams left in the tournament.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Aaron Goldfein » Sun May 29, 2011 5:07 pm

Stevenson takes 4th place. Congratulations!
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun May 29, 2011 10:22 pm

That's the best finish by an Illinois team in the history of HSNCT.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon May 30, 2011 2:48 pm

The deadline to apply to become an IHSSBCA Liaison is June 1, which is very soon.
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Wackford Squeers » Mon May 30, 2011 9:59 pm

Westwon wrote:The deadline to apply to become an IHSSBCA Liaison is June 1, which is very soon.
Was my application received?
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Re: Illinois '10 - '11

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon May 30, 2011 10:18 pm

yes
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