NJ Academic Team Association

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Great Bustard
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NJ Academic Team Association

Post by Great Bustard » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:53 am

Greetings NJ teams and coaches and fans of NJ quiz bowl,
I am interested in putting together a state organization for NJ to help facilitate the growth of quiz bowl throughout the Garden State. I am perfectly willing to take the lead on this, despite my work with the NHBB, as I think I can put in enough effort to make it worthwhile, even for the remainder of this year, and then particularly so looking ahead to the future (see other post on leagues).
For the balance of this year, what I have in mind is simply the following: interested coaches ($20) and students ($5) pay a nominal fee. All of this money goes towards putting together an end of year awards banquet at an appropriate location. We can probably reserve a room for free at a restaurant to do this, so unless the money would have to go for that, this money would go entirely towards personalized plaques for an All-State Team. The number of students on the All-State team would probably be 5, and we'd do at least a JV (9th and 10th) and Varsity division. We might also have some other awards too, depending on what ideas everyone has. Paying the $20 or $5 would also bring with it voting privileges for the end of year awards.
At the dinner, we could also discuss ways to help New Jersey quiz bowl grow. Bergen & Passaic Counties (Bergen Academies and a few other schools aside), along with nearly all of South Jersey need a boost. I am interested in putting together a league(s) for next year, so we can talk about that, along with getting a web site up, finding sponsors, media outreach, etc.
Anyway, I'm going to throw out the week of May 14 as a week worth doing this (after APs, before Nationals) - would that work for anyone interested? Also, in keeping with the principle of maximum inclusivity, this organization would be a NJ state org. and would be concerned with QB in NJ, but membership would be open to anyone with an interest in NJ quiz bowl, even outside NJ or those no longer affiliated with a high school (like yours truly).
Obviously all comments and suggestions are eagerly anticipated and welcomed. Just throwing this out here as an idea whose time, IMHO, has come, and I'm volunteering my legwork (esp. after April 17) to help make this happen.
Cheers,
David
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

Charbroil
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Re: NJ Academic Team Association

Post by Charbroil » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:36 pm

Wouldn't another use of the money be funding a team to go to NASAT?
Charles Hang
Francis Howell Central '09
St. Charles Community College '14
Washington University in St. Louis '19 (President, 2017-19)

Owner, Olympia Academic Competition Questions, LLC
Question Writer, National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC and National History Bee and Bowl

Great Bustard
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Re: NJ Academic Team Association

Post by Great Bustard » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:44 pm

Sure, if that's what students and coaches would be more interested in. I do think, though, that a plaque that doesn't cost much (say, $10-$15) is something that top students would be interested in and even though NASAT is close this year, it would be significantly more expensive than the amounts I suggested to send a team in all likelihood. But if people would prefer that, fine by me. I just want to see NJ get organized and grow.
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

Edward Powers
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Re: NJ Academic Team Association

Post by Edward Powers » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:49 pm

An awards dinner, an All State Team and possible discussion of selecting a NJ team for NASAT all seem like worthwhile goals to me.

However, I am not sure what other coaches think. Further, just speculating of course, some might be wary of a statewide organization because they want to maintain flexibility in their scheduling. Additionally, some might fear that such an organization cold become top heavy and overly bureaucratic. Of course none of this is necessarily so. But just take my school as an example. We went to 9 tournaments in the Fall, and before all is said and done, maybe we will attend another 9 this Winter & Spring. All were essentially inivtationals and we could pick & choose which to attend. Is your idea that leagues would replace this? Or is your idea to tap the great talent pool that NJ has in order to encourage more schools to get involved and involved consistently? I would be more interested in that than in leagues per se, but I am willing to discuss any idea or set of ideas.

So, thanks for starting this Dave. What do other coaches or players or interested parties think?
Ed Powers
Coach
SJHS Academic Team
Metuchen, NJ

Great Bustard
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Re: NJ Academic Team Association

Post by Great Bustard » Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:49 am

We're in complete agreement here. I don't want a league structure to supplant invitationals. At most, I'm thinking of something that would meet, say, once a month from Oct-Apr or something like that. I think at some level a league would give some structure and a reason for being to schools that don't have a team and should. Here's a list of ten schools just like that in Bergen County alone
1. Bergen Catholic
2. Don Bosco
3. St. Joseph's (the other one!) of Montvale
4. Paramus
5. Midland Park
6. Ramapo
7. Indian Hills
8. Tenafly
9. Dwight Englewood
10. Northern Valley Old Tappan
I could go on and on and on. Many of these schools do compete in, or at least know of, The Challenge. So, a league could be a concrete way to build on that in a way that invitationals find it harder to do, since, unless an invitational is so close and easy to do, most schools right now won't seek them out. I am considering coaching one of these schools on a volunteer basis next year, schedule and such permitting.
Here's another idea: how about a league that operates on a ladder/card system? That might allow for both top teams and newer/improving teams to compete under the same banner/logistics. This would be easier for me to help set up than two different leagues; one for Bergen County schools and one for top teams from the NYC area.
Finally, to get the ball rolling, I'm going to throw out Wednesday May 18 as a day for a meeting of sorts. This can be anything from Coach Powers and I having coffee to an awards banquet to whatever. Just throwing out that as a date, though any day that week would work for me. Thoughts from everyone else?
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

Edward Powers
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Re: NJ Academic Team Association

Post by Edward Powers » Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:42 pm

Dave,

It seems we are in agreement about essentials, so I would love a cup of coffee on May 18th. Maybe other interested parties would as well?

But could you clarify what you mean by a ladder/card system? I do not think I understand what you mean by this as it applies to leagues.

But I do enjoy a good cup of coffee and good conversation.
Ed Powers
Coach
SJHS Academic Team
Metuchen, NJ

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