Montana 2010-2011

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FlamingPiWalrusWizard
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Montana 2010-2011

Post by FlamingPiWalrusWizard » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:56 pm

The season's over, and though last year's topic was pretty small, the Montana quizbowl discussion can only grow!
PACE NSC was fun and a great learning experience, and coming off of that I would really like to see Montana's circuit expand this year.
I thought I would establish some ideas and goals for the 2010-2011 season:
1. Promote good quizbowl and attempt to lessen the influence of (eliminate) Chip/poor quality/buzzer race tournaments throughout the state.
2. Host at least one tournament, preferably 2-3 tournaments if at all possible.
3. Attend tournaments (that we don't host) with pyramidal questions. (In-state and out-of-state, as in Idaho or Washington)
Although I don't know of any schools that host quizbowl tournaments with pyramidal questions besides us, hopefully we can encourage them to.
4. Get better at quizbowl, by actually having a team that studies. We practice enough, but we need to grow more enthusiastic about writing questions and
studying. Attending more tournaments (and other good quizbowl tournaments) should fuel this enthusiasm.
5. Introduce other schools/inactive schools to free question resources and good quizbowl to promote a competitive atmosphere, thus inspiring teams to study in order to win.
6. Qualify for and attend the 2011 PACE NSC, with the goal of performing better than this year.
7. We should do a housewrite!
8. Encourage Montana quizbowl players/coaches to visit and contribute to this board, including other Frenchtown players.

That's all I can think of for now except to do a fairly pointless team preview, considering that we won't be playing any of the frequent visitors of this board very often:
As far as the Frenchtown team goes, we return me, Mary, and Michael (of Totally Awesome Dudes fame) from the NSC team, but lose Taylor (chemistry) and Joe (history/lit). So as long as I get better at history and literature, and someone replaces Taylor for chemistry/bio, we should be on track to qualify for NSC as long as we study and start writing questions regularly. We have a lot of potential in the incoming sophomore class, I've heard exciting rumors of the freshmen, and the seniors might surprise us this year. Let's make an effort to improve quizbowl in Montana this year, okay?
Eamon, Frenchtown High School '12
Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly,
Man got to wonder, why, why, why?
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land,
Man got to say, he understand.

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Re: Montana 2010-2011

Post by kathryn » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:40 pm

I agree. It would be wonderful to start establishing Montana as a state with a highly competitive quizbowl circuit. In addition to setting up several more tournaments and hopefully encouraging more schools to participate, improving the quality of questions is probably one of the first topics that will need to be addressed. Any ideas on how to encourage other schools to start new teams and to exchange race-to-the-buzzer questions with pyramidal ones?

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FlamingPiWalrusWizard
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Re: Montana 2010-2011

Post by FlamingPiWalrusWizard » Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:28 am

I'm thinking we should talk to Stevensville and Beaverhead County High School about hosting tournaments, because Stevensville helped co-host our tournament last year and they have competed in all of our hosted tournaments. Beaverhead County sent a team to the HSNCT in 2008, (with Shafaieh!) and they send teams to all of the major tournaments in Montana, including the three teams they sent to Brainfreeze. Noting their interest in pyramidal questions, (NAQT) they are a likely candidate for the hosting of a pyramidal question tournament, I think. We should also talk to the Sentinel coach, because he seemed enthusiastic about competing in the future, and hosting a tournament would be one way to do that. It would be cool to have another tournament in the Missoula area as well. Mr. J sent emails to the tournament directors of the Great Falls Invitational and the Southwest Montana Academic Olympics at MSU in Bozeman asking them to please consider using pyramidal questions because of their greater academic content and emphasis on knowledge rather than speed, so hopefully both tournaments will use HSAPQ or NAQT questions next year. As far as Skyview goes, I'm not sure. Mr. Mcfate's been on the forums before, so he can speak for himself. Skyview has attended NAC for at least the past couple of years, and the tournaments they have hosted have been non-pyramidal, but perhaps Skyview will consider using pyramidal questions at some point.
Eamon, Frenchtown High School '12
Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly,
Man got to wonder, why, why, why?
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land,
Man got to say, he understand.

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Re: Montana 2010-2011

Post by Great Bustard » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:21 am

The National History Bee and Bowl will be holding the Montana History Bee and Bowl at Skyview High School in Billings on Feb. 5 with March 5 as a snow date. Registration opening on Nov. 10 and much more information is online at www.historybee.com and www.historybowl.com. Click on the Montana dot on the map for more information specifically on the Montana tournament. Hope to see as many Montana schools as possible there!
David Madden
Ridgewood (NJ) '99, Princeton '03
Founder and Director: International History Bee and Bowl, National History Bee and Bowl (High School Division), International History Olympiad, United States Geography Olympiad, US History Bee, US Academic Bee and Bowl, National Humanities Bee, National Science Bee, International Academic Bowl.
Adviser and former head coach for Team USA at the International Geography Olympiad

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Re: Montana 2010-2011

Post by Newtonfreak » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:53 pm

Here are a few of my thoughts.

I understand the desire for increased use of pyramidal questions, but for the exception of a few teams with great players not many of the questions are being answered until the last portion is read. The Skyview teams always likes to play with tougher questions because it rewards those who have deeper knowledge and everyone hates being eliminated on a buzzer beater. However, at this point in the development of academic tournaments in Montana we need to make the competitions at such a level that teams can experience success answering questions to insure they have fun. Otherwise it will be a hard sell to get the schools that throw a team together to compete to want to continue and become a part of a more organized and growing program.

For the most part, I believe that the Novice questions are the best pyramidal type of questions for the current level of the teams in the state. That being said, it takes a very good reader to consistently pull off the twists and turns that often seem to make the first part of the question even more difficult than needed. Writing really good pyramidal questions that flow for the reader and competitor is hard to achieve. I'd personally like to see the pyramid a little shorter so that more more questions could be asked and answered. The encouragement is in knowing the answer. The fun is being able to score with the answer. The motivation to wanting to get better, for the majority of players, lies in experiencing the encouragement and fun that takes place during a competition.

Things are moving slowly forward in the area of academic competitions. At this point, anything is better than nothing. I'm mindful to encourage and support anyone who fields a team or hosts a tournament, even when the tournament questions or style are not to my liking. Being forced to adjust to the various styles makes our team better. Coach J. and I hope to have a Montana state academic championship this year and the first MT vs WY academic all-stars competition will be held in Sheridan WY in June.

Montana Academic competitions are beginning to gain some momentum so lets keep up the recruiting!
Rich McFate
Skyview Academic Coach 1992-Present
Skyview High School
1775 High Sierra Blvd.
Billings MT 59105

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Re: Montana 2010-2011

Post by FlamingPiWalrusWizard » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:13 am

Glad to see you here on the forums, Coach McFate!
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you in some areas here.
for the exception of a few teams with great players not many of the questions are being answered until the last portion is read.
I see this as a positive for pyramidal questions. If some questions aren't being answered until the giveaway clue, then the question plays the same role as a one line question and has the potential to result in a buzzer race. However, pyramidal questions do an excellent job of differentiating between teams with varying depths of knowledge, and that is why I believe they are superior to one-line questions that usually end up in a buzzer race. Students tend to have different levels of knowledge in certain areas, which is why pyramidal questions are more rewarding to students than one line questions. For example, buzzing in on Faulkner early on (in a pyramidal question) because you've read The Sound and the Fury and the question talks about specific plot points in the book is at least seven times more rewarding than answering the question at the giveaway ("For ten points, name this Southern Gothic author of The Sound and the Fury"). Pyramidal questions give you the personal satisfaction that comes from knowing more than other competitors, not from having faster thumbs than them.
at this point in the development of academic tournaments in Montana we need to make the competitions at such a level that teams can experience success answering questions to insure they have fun.
I agree wholeheartedly. I believe pyramidal questions are the best venue for ensuring teams have fun. Pyramidal questions are not more difficult than one line questions. Each pyramidal question contains what is essentially a one line question in the giveaway clue. Pyramidal questions reward players who know more. This is why they are better than one line questions. People are going to have fun if they buzz in early because they've read a ton of poetry or studied a specific topic in their science class. What's not fun is entering a buzzer race match after match, which happens in tournaments with one-line questions. The level of academic content in pyramidal questions tends to be greater than in one line question tournaments as well.
For the most part, I believe that the Novice questions are the best pyramidal type of questions for the current level of the teams in the state.
I would say this is definitely true most of the time. However, for tournaments that allow teams to qualify for national competitions, standard question sets (HSAPQ sets, (non A) NAQT sets, or housewrites) should be used so that teams will have an experience closer to what they contend with at the national level.
The more schools that host pyramidal novice tournaments, the better.
That being said, it takes a very good reader to consistently pull off the twists and turns that often seem to make the first part of the question even more difficult than needed. Writing really good pyramidal questions that flow for the reader and competitor is hard to achieve.
Could you elaborate on what you mean by "twists and turns"? Well written pyramidal questions are difficult to produce, but companies such as NAQT and HSAPQ have extensive experience producing high-quality question sets that are well-edited and easy to understand for the competitors.
The motivation to wanting to get better, for the majority of players, lies in experiencing the encouragement and fun that takes place during a competition.
Absolutely! Pyramidal questions are the best catalyst for fun, by greatly reduce buzzer races and making players feel like they earned their answer because of their outstanding knowledge. On the other hand, being dominated by much better teams (like what happened to us at HSNCT two years ago) is a great inspirational tool. At the statewide level, especially for newer teams, being overwhelmed isn't as likely to inspire teams, but it will show teams what they can become through effort, practice, and fun.
At this point, anything is better than nothing. I'm mindful to encourage and support anyone who fields a team or hosts a tournament, even when the tournament questions or style are not to my liking.
Anything is not better than nothing. I'm not trying to be a question snob here, but I would like to attend a novice pyramidal question tournament way more than a one-line question or buzzer race tournament. If someone were hosting a one-line tournament, I would urge them to consider hosting a pyramidal question tournament such as the Fall Novice Tournament (which they could get for free) or an NAQT IS-A set, which they could pay for with a small fee for teams in attendance. If the goal of quizbowl is to encourage learning (and learn through the questions) while having fun, then pyramidal questions do a much better job of that. This is not to say we wouldn't attend a non-pyramidal question tournament, so please invite us if you host one! :smile: Please consider using pyramidal questions for future endeavors, though.
Coach J. and I hope to have a Montana state academic championship this year and the first MT vs WY academic all-stars competition will be held in Sheridan WY in June.
Woohoo, this should be fun! :party: I look forward to playing Skyview teams this year, and thanks for taking time to post on this board. You guys are coming to Brainfreeze, right? If not, we'll see you on your home turf.
Eamon, Frenchtown High School '12
Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly,
Man got to wonder, why, why, why?
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land,
Man got to say, he understand.

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Re: Montana 2010-2011

Post by Important Bird Area » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:02 pm

FlamingPiWalrusWizard wrote:However, for tournaments that allow teams to qualify for national competitions, standard question sets (HSAPQ sets, (non A) NAQT sets, or housewrites) should be used so that teams will have an experience closer to what they contend with at the national level.
In related news: I don't believe NAQT has any tournaments (at all) scheduled in Montana for this year. If Skyview or Frenchtown or anyone would be interested in hosting a state championship this spring, please write to us: (hosting (at) naqt (dot) com) (The state championship set is available for the low cost of: absolutely free!)

Wyoming, in addition to free state championship questions, is also eligible for our free high school questions for expanding the circuit program.
Jeff Hoppes
President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred

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Re: Montana 2010-2011

Post by Great Bustard » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:08 am

I had a great time directing the Montana History Bee and Bowl this evening, and it seems like the 18 teams that came to a weekday tournament in Billings in our first year (I'm really happy about this number) had a great time too. Thanks to all teams that came and I hope the National History Bee and Bowl played a constructive role in furthering the growth and development of academic competition in Montana. We'll be back next year on a Saturday, and look to bring in more new teams and new schools, including schools new to all forms of quizbowl.
David Madden
Ridgewood (NJ) '99, Princeton '03
Founder and Director: International History Bee and Bowl, National History Bee and Bowl (High School Division), International History Olympiad, United States Geography Olympiad, US History Bee, US Academic Bee and Bowl, National Humanities Bee, National Science Bee, International Academic Bowl.
Adviser and former head coach for Team USA at the International Geography Olympiad

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