Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

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Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Flash Bomba » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:20 pm

I go to a public school, where quiz bowl isn't a class or anything but a student-run, student-managed club. As we're not very well known on campus, our school's quiz bowl team has basically been me pressuring friends who would be good at this stuff to join.

I was wondering how other people have dealt with this problem. Have you guys done anything different and/or more successful?
Last edited by Flash Bomba on Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Attacting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by kayli » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:32 pm

You could try initially having incentives to come try out quizbowl: pie, pizza, pop, popcorn, etc.. Other than that you should just try to inform people and have your teammates inform people too. Not much you can do other than that.
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Re: Attacting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Tanay » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:51 pm

Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:You could try initially having incentives to come try out quizbowl: pie, pizza, pop, popcorn, etc.
This is a ridiculous idea. If you have
Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:pie, pizza, pop, popcorn, etc.
, keep it for yourself.

What our team did was a teachers vs. students exhibition game during a school rally. This can either work really well or very poorly depending on who wins. We ended up winning and got a lot of attention that we wouldn't have otherwise.
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Re: Attacting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:59 pm

Tanay, that's great, but you're forgetting the most important word in the original post: "public."

There aren't a lot of regular, public, non-rich schools that are going to let you either a) have a rally where your team is the center, or b) at all include your team in a rally that is likely for the the football or basketball or wrestling or whatever team. You are neglecting to see the problem that lies in public schools and their lack of interest in optional academic programs that will generate them little press and no revenue.

You just have to start small. Recruiting with friends is fine, but putting announcements in your daily bulletin is a good idea, as is just asking your teachers if they can spare you 30 seconds before class to talk about your team with your classmates.

You'd be surprised how many kids i get to come just from me saying "yes, anyone can come to practice." Many of them think they have to be ON the team before they're "allowed" to come. So i bet the interest is there more than you think (i'm a regular public school too), but you have to encourage people to come and make it as fun and as accessible as possible, while still introducing them to good quizbowl.
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Re: Attacting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Tanay » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:17 pm

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:Tanay, that's great, but you're forgetting the most important word in the original post: "public."

There aren't a lot of regular, public, non-rich schools that are going to let you either a) have a rally where your team is the center, or b) at all include your team in a rally that is likely for the the football or basketball or wrestling or whatever team. You are neglecting to see the problem that lies in public schools and their lack of interest in optional academic programs that will generate them little press and no revenue.
As far as public schools are concerned, it looks like New Trier was able to do a similar thing in the past (based on the presence of a faculty v. students packet from the Stanford Archive), so they might be a good source on how to make this happen. It doesn't even have to be at a rally-- you can even just find four teachers and play in a classroom (hopefully with an audience of interested students and some active advertising that the event will happen) after school.

Another thing we did was to set up a Quiz Bowl game for our school's Freshman Orientation. We wrote a few packets of short, pyramidal questions and let each homeroom pick four kids to represent them. It worked fairly well from a logistical standpoint and we got our largest crowd of interested underclassmen this year.
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Re: Attacting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:38 pm

Just talking to people is one thing that definitely helps. If you have any honors type classes or your school, talk to kids that are in those. Also, talk to different teachers around the school and see if they can recommend students who are very knowledgable. More than likely, you'll find at least a few willing to help out in that way.

Other forms of communication are key as well. If your school has announcements over a loud speaker or television at the beginning and end of each day, submit something to those people so they can read it during them. This will allow kids who may not have known about the team (but would be interested) to find out when your meetings are and other crucial details. And if you're having success keep announcing your results throughout the year too, because kids want to be part of a winning team even if it's quizbowl. Also, putting up posters and hosting an "interest check" meeting towards the beginning of the year can help attract people to join.
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Re: Attacting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by jonah » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:40 pm

NoWayItsTanay wrote:As far as public schools are concerned, it looks like New Trier was able to do a similar thing in the past (based on the presence of a faculty v. students packet from the Stanford Archive), so they might be a good source on how to make this happen. It doesn't even have to be at a rally-- you can even just find four teachers and play in a classroom (hopefully with an audience of interested students and some active advertising that the event will happen) after school.
At the end of every year, the team would play a packet against faculty members, generally ones who we had as teachers or otherwise liked. I don't know about the 2010 match, but in 2009 they used an HSAPQ packet no one had read, in 2008 a custom Aegis packet, and prior to that, Reinstein wrote it. (The switch was made in 2008 largely so that Reinstein could play.) It was lots of fun, but it wasn't a public spectacle or anything—just an opportunity for us to (usually) beat our teachers.
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Re: Attacting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Flash Bomba » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:44 pm

I think the issue with the faculty is that our school's teachers are generally pretty busy and thus unwilling to help. I'm pretty sure I should be able to find four who would be willing to, but I'm not sure how long it would take.

Also, it would definitely have to be in a teacher's classroom, rather than in a larger setting, due to the lack of support the administration would give.

I would like to do freshman orientation-like stuff (because I've only been able to get my friends our team is now all seniors except for one junior), but we don't have homerooms or anything that organizes kids together.


On a totally unrelated note, I realized that I spelled attracting wrong in the title :oops: ...Is there any way to change that.

Edit: Fixed the title. No longer looks so weird.
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Re: Attacting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by cvdwightw » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:07 pm

t3hr0xx0rz wrote:I think the issue with the faculty is that our school's teachers are generally pretty busy and thus unwilling to help. I'm pretty sure I should be able to find four who would be willing to, but I'm not sure how long it would take.
Actually, this reminded me of something. California schools (and possibly schools in other states) are supposed to be funded by a certain amount per student. They are supposed to also get extra money to help with students in specific areas, and I believe one of those areas is "gifted and talented" (I don't know where that money goes or what that money's designed to do, especially since the "gifted and talented" level at the high school starts blurring with IB/AP stuff). Because such money exists, your school should probably have a "Gifted and Talented Education" coordinator that, at minimum, keeps track of how many "gifted and talented" kids are at the school. I'd imagine that this person would be able to point you in a direction towards attracting other students that might be interested in quizbowl (e.g. gifted and talented students and their friends).
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by David Riley » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:36 pm

If anyone even deignd to suggest to a certain arena in this state that quiz bowl was only for the "gifted and talented", then they had better do so wearing an inpenetrable suit of armor :grin:

We tried a faculty vs. student match for a numbe of years. We had fun, but no audience. Then, last year, we tried a solo facultry vs. varsity contest (students could sign up ahead of time to challenge their teachers) and to generate more interest, members of the quiz bowl team were not allowed to participate. I wouldn;t say the resulting interest mushroomed, but it was higher than we had ever had.

I have to say, though, that I am not looking for a really large team. With more people hosting better tournaments, they are less likely to use "volunteer" moderators and unlikely to accept multiple teams from the same school until the invite list's A teams have responded (we rarely have more than 15 competent moderators on a given weekend).

I would suggest that you experiment with what's been mentioned in this thread and see what works for you.

Oh, and WHICH University High School? If it's the one affiliate with U. Chicago, you should be able to generate ample interest, no?
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Susan » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:08 am

David Riley wrote: Oh, and WHICH University High School? If it's the one affiliate with U. Chicago, you should be able to generate ample interest, no?
This seems pretty unlikely, since the high school affiliated with UChicago is the Lab School.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Joe Romersa » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:20 am

myamphigory wrote:
David Riley wrote: Oh, and WHICH University High School? If it's the one affiliate with U. Chicago, you should be able to generate ample interest, no?
This seems pretty unlikely, since the high school affiliated with UChicago is the Lab School.
Its the University High School affiliated with UC Irvine? (I think). Anyways, its down in Southern California.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Papa's in the House » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:27 am

David Riley wrote:Oh, and WHICH University High School?
Yeah, this is pretty much what I was wondering, too. Depending on which university you are affiliated with, you could likely get their help.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Carambola! » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:58 am

8th graders are easier to rope in to quizbowl, our team has found. If University only has one feeder Jr. High or Middle School, it would be advantageous to go to an old teacher and perhaps drum up interest there. Get as many emails as you can and hold practices as frequently as you can on easy questions.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:07 am

What we do at RM is have one or two people go around to freshmen classes and give a little speech. Now this will require teachers who are nice enough to give up a few minutes of class time, but if you can pull it off it's definitely a good recruiting tool.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by David Riley » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:23 am

Middle school recruitment has not worked very well for us. We have some 200 feeder schools (we're a private high school), ranging from 1 to 50 or more students from those schools in our freshman classes. Our major feeder schools are definitely of the "funn" school of academic competitiion; most of my players who join and stick with it are either from a public feeder school or else were the only person from their middle school to come to us.

Last year we hosted a tournament with Bill Tressler's four-quarter set, and had positive results, but I'm not sure if it will pay off in recruitment to our f/s team this year.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Susan » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:19 am

Tanay wrote:Another thing we did was to set up a Quiz Bowl game for our school's Freshman Orientation. We wrote a few packets of short, pyramidal questions and let each homeroom pick four kids to represent them. It worked fairly well from a logistical standpoint and we got our largest crowd of interested underclassmen this year.
This seems like a more effective strategy to me than exhibition games or things like that--playing quizbowl, even if you're very new to it, is more fun than watching quizbowl. Even if you can't get this homeroom-team system to work out, you could always try to get people to sign up on their own (which would make it a little harder to get teams, so offering, and advertising, some sort of prize would probably help).
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by DrCongo » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:27 am

What we do is set up a table in our coach's classroom at open houses and let people walk in. I definitely suggest doing this if your school has one. Also, as mentioned above, we have a table set up at freshman orientation. Like others are saying, the best way to get kids on quiz bowl is to just get your name out there in any way possible.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by cvdwightw » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:04 pm

David Riley wrote:If anyone even deignd to suggest to a certain arena in this state that quiz bowl was only for the "gifted and talented", then they had better do so wearing an inpenetrable suit of armor :grin:
I'm not suggesting that it's only for the gifted and talented. I'm suggesting that the gifted and talented students are a good place to start when looking for people who might be interested in this sort of thing, if you have to recruit by word of mouth instead of via "exhibition matches" or other spectacles.
laserphaser wrote:If University only has one feeder Jr. High or Middle School, it would be advantageous to go to an old teacher and perhaps drum up interest there.
University is a public high school in Irvine USD. Because Southern California school districts are wacky (or maybe it's just the ones I know about), there is one middle school that fully feeds into University, one K-8 school that fully feeds into University, and one middle school that feeds into two different high schools, one of which is University. This kind of prevents any "go recruit at middle school" ideas for activities that only one high school in the district has.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Tanay » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:51 pm

DrCongo wrote:What we do is set up a table in our coach's classroom at open houses and let people walk in.
We did this too. It's a solid idea.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Kahloon » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:54 pm

NoWayItsTanay wrote:
DrCongo wrote: What we do is set up a table in our coach's classroom at open houses and let people walk in.

We did this too. It's a solid idea.
In addition to doing the table at the open house, we try advertising to the incoming freshmen to our magnet program (~50 GT kids all over the county) to attend our summer practices. Those summer practices usually have some sort of food.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by ryandillon » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:09 pm

I don't know if this is a plausible idea, but this is how I (and a fair amount of people in my quiz bowl program) got started.

In the summer, our coach sent out a letter to like 20 or so freshmen with good grades or test scores. I'm really not sure which or how he found this out, but maybe there's a way. Then the freshmen who were interested came in three Wednesdays before school started for two hour practices. I liked it a lot because going to a new school and stuff it just kind of gave me somewhere I felt secure before I started. It was also a lot of fun just meeting new people with a similar interest. We also get many kids who just join up during school and stuff, but I think the summer practice stuff did a lot to help me stick with it.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by David Riley » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:31 pm

Yeah, i've had moderate success with a variation on this theme: I always host summer practices and invite incoming freshmen, I usually get from 3-7 people, but it has been successful.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Flash Bomba » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:17 am

Yes, we are the University High School in Irvine, as Dwight said. Unfortunately, while our school has a lot of GATE kids, most of them are just the really study-bookish kids who are too busy studying and haven't read enough outside of test-related work to be very good at quiz bowl, and if they can't be good, then a lot of them decide to spend their time in other clubs where they can get leadership positions. Our school basically is filled with kids wanting leadership positions in clubs; I had to give about five or six people board positions out of about 12 just so they would stay in the club.

Second issue: we basically don't have a coach. We have an advisor, but he doesn't care enough about us (or other clubs) to spend even the slightest amount of time helping us. I don't believe because of that we can have any access to students' scores and doubt we can organize any sort of schoolwide event that we will have support for. This basically makes anything publicity-related totally based off us kids and our own resources.

I think a second question is: What kind of kids are attracted to quiz bowl, and would play for fun?

Edit: Now some sentences make sense.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by ninjaluc79 » Wed May 11, 2011 3:10 am

Okay, let me ask you a question.

Sure, it is easy to recruit gifted, talented, cream-of-the-crop students with that lot of knowledge, assuming they are interested.

But what if somebody shows up, desperately wants to join the quiz club but feels like he can't make it because his/her grades suck, will you let him try out for the team?
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed May 11, 2011 9:46 am

ninjaluc79 wrote:But what if somebody shows up, desperately wants to join the quiz club but feels like he can't make it because his/her grades suck, will you let him try out for the team?
In America, grades have almost nothing to do with quizbowl. Participation in quizbowl is based entirely on how interested the person is and, to a lesser extent, how good the person is (but most teams will let anyone join and won't kick you off for being bad).

In fact, some of the best quizbowl players in America have horrible grades. And many people with extremely high grades are medicore or even just plain bad at quizbowl.

The only limit is that at some schools, you are not allowed to participate in ANY kind of activity (no sports, no quizbowl, etc.) if your grades are below a certain point. But this point is usually very low and few people have grades that bad. But it's the only common way in which low grades can stop you from playing quizbowl in the US.
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Re: Attracting People to Quiz Bowl

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Wed May 11, 2011 3:22 pm

This is absolutely true. In fact, one of my favorite academic competitions from my own high school years, the Academic Decathlon, was set up in such a way that teams were REQUIRED to field two students each with A, B, and C or lower averages. In my experience, the A students at the national level were all largely equal; the real challenge for a good coach was to find the truly gifted B and C students and motivate them to hit full potential for the competition.

In 10 years coaching quiz bowl, I have yet to have a valedictorian on my team. The bulk of my players aren't even in the top 20-30 of their class.
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