NYC Area Champions League / NJ State League

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Great Bustard
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NYC Area Champions League / NJ State League

Post by Great Bustard »

So, along with putting together a state association for NJ (see other post), I'm also interested in putting together potentially both a NYC area champions league (for, say 6-20 of the top schools throughout the tri-state area) along with more specifically, trying to get NJ organized into leagues, the way that a number of other states (VA, IL, KY, AR, VT, KY, and LA come immediately to mind) have been organized.
I am willing to serve as league coordinator and set this up, if teams are interested. For that matter, even if the initial interest isn't there, I'm willing to spend some time this summer or after April 17 (History Bee Nationals) this year approaching schools that haven't done qb or only do tournaments like The Challenge or BRITE. I know the current budget situation in NJ makes this difficult, but I really do think that enough schools would be interested in doing this to get it off the ground. Coach Powers at St. Joe's indicated his interest to me in this, other usual suspects, what's your take?
All the details can and will get worked out later, but for now, just holler if you're interested in either the NYC area champions league (Hunter, Kellenberg, HHH, White Plains, Greeley, etc.... outside NJ, this is for you too), or if you're a NJ school with an interest in doing a state-based league. We can talk more about this here on the boards, at the proposed NJ awards dinner, at Ridgewood for the NJ History Bee and Bowl on 3/19 (shameless plug), or even at HSNCT or NSC (at NHBB Nationals, I'll have my hands full).
Anyways, hope to get some feedback here and I hope this can be the start of something great, if the interest is there.
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

Edward Powers
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Re: NYC Area Champions League / NJ State League

Post by Edward Powers »

I would love any idea that encouraged good quizbowl and which drew all interested teams from our region together for high quality competition. Anyone who has played Hunter or Kellenberg or Bergen or Greeley or White Plains or an SHP over the years, to mention only some of the most obvious of our region's most successful programs, knows that these tend to be consistently excellent programs and it is generally a pleasure to play such teams. So if we could figure out a way to bring such programs together on some regular basis, without overdoing it, while still allowing each its own flexibiltiy as well, I would be fully in favor of supporting such ideas and the competitions they would engender. But as I stated on the NJ thread dealing with this topic of greater organization, I also suspect that many teams would be wary of any organization that could deprive them of significant portions of the flexibility they currently enjoy.

So, how honor years of independence & flexibilty in scheduling while also organizing the region as well?

Do other coaches or players or interested parties have any ideas? Would anyone like to meet? etc., etc., etc.

And thanks Dave for starting this thread.
Ed Powers
Coach
SJHS Academic Team
Metuchen, NJ

Great Bustard
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Re: NYC Area Champions League / NJ State League

Post by Great Bustard »

To address Coach Powers' concerns regarding flexibility; I would never want to replace the current lack of a state organization for NJ with one that started setting any sort of aggravating and counterproductive rules, such as meshing in with the state athletic association (apples and oranges), having restrictions on teams traveling out of state or competing at too many tournaments (this is sad in so many ways), or having any sort of top-down decision making structure.
I think the most important thing is just to encourage the development of quiz bowl among the many, many good schools in NJ that have either no team or a team that isn't anywhere near as active as it could be and for schools that do have such programs, to bring their coaches (and students - I think student input is good and we shouldn't overlook this) together to pool best practices, coordinate scheduling, put together state all-star teams, etc. Another thing that I want to avoid: dragging the format wars into this. Since the majority of NJ schools that participate in academic competition do so in BRITE or The Challenge or other variants from the standard formats, I don't want factionalism on this point to overwhelm the prerogative of promoting quiz bowl writ large.
From my understanding, this is how GATA works in Georgia; this seems like a good model. There are plenty of state orgs. out there that can point the way forward (or help us avoid pitfalls) in NJ. I am willing to commit serious time and effort to this, but I don't want to come across as wanting to control things either. It's more that I could suggest some approaches, hear what people would like to do with this, and then help put that into practice.
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: NYC Area Champions League / NJ State League

Post by Edward Powers »

I agree that dragging format wars into this would be foolish. And I also agree that study of other state leagues could shed much light on practices to model and practices to avoid. But what about a regional model, an umbrella organization, that simultaneously encourages the flexible type of state organizations you discuss more fully on the NJ forum?

Your NHHB shows that you possess excellent organizational ability, so why not combine your two obvious concerns---the larger NYC Tri-State Region---NY/NJ/CT---and your own personal passions---your home state of NJ and your home county of Bergen---in a larger umbrella organization, using flexible "federal" principles (to shamelessly plagiarize from our Constitutional practices)?

But these are just some ideas in response to your original posts, and there is no need to get too specific too soon. And since your real concern seems to be one which encourages more and more schools to become active and to develop their programs at their own pace, while maintaining concern for the schools that are already quite active across the region, then surely you are, IMHO, correct to suggest that yours is an idea whose time has come.

So, I would be willing to have that cup of coffee you've mentioned on the NJ thread on May 18.

I'm curious if other interested parties in the larger NYC region might enjoy good conversation and some good coffee on the 18th as well?
Ed Powers
Coach
SJHS Academic Team
Metuchen, NJ

Blahhunter
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Re: NYC Area Champions League / NJ State League

Post by Blahhunter »

I think Hunter would definitely be interested in participating in this sort of activity, though at the same time we would also prefer that there be a format that is somewhat more representative of standard quiz bowl in general (there can be a decent amount of flexibility of this, and I think having a general format to start would be useful). To that end, I suppose that these scrimmages/matches be held on easier sets around the level of NAQT A, FNT, and HAVOC. Developing a true circuit in the tri-state region that does not run on Chip would be very exciting. In addition, I think it would be very productive if those playing in this league were those new to quizbowl at large and not veterans; only once the circuit emerges can the "Champions" aspect of the league truly arise.

Just to put the idea out there for a possible format:
15 tossup/bonus cycles (3-part, 30 point bonuses, 10 point tossups with +5 for powers, no negs)
10 question lightning round
Standard quiz bowl distribution with a focus on slightly easier questions.
Zihan Zheng
Hunter College High School '13

Great Bustard
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Re: NYC Area Champions League / NJ State League

Post by Great Bustard »

Any league would really need to have different levels of competition to fly. The good news is that there are a ton of good schools in the greater NYC area that could be great at qb. The bad news is that even more than having easier questions, there needs to be a system in place (kind of like a ladder or card system) that gives schools competitive matches against teams in their own ability levels. Even with new schools this can vary wildly; some new schools will have kids who will take to qb like a fish to water and can be nationally top 100 teams with relatively little preparation. Others will enjoy the activity, but only if they're not overwhelmed.
Personally, I have about 8 quiz bowl irons in the fire at the moment, so I'm somewhat reluctant to take the lead in organizing this (at least for now), but I can definitely help, and as Ridgewood's coach for this year, would be willing to sign us up. Any other takers besides St. Joe's, Hunter, and Ridgewood?
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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ryanrosenberg
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Re: NYC Area Champions League / NJ State League

Post by ryanrosenberg »

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:Any league would really need to have different levels of competition to fly. The good news is that there are a ton of good schools in the greater NYC area that could be great at qb. The bad news is that even more than having easier questions, there needs to be a system in place (kind of like a ladder or card system) that gives schools competitive matches against teams in their own ability levels. Even with new schools this can vary wildly; some new schools will have kids who will take to qb like a fish to water and can be nationally top 100 teams with relatively little preparation. Others will enjoy the activity, but only if they're not overwhelmed.
Personally, I have about 8 quiz bowl irons in the fire at the moment, so I'm somewhat reluctant to take the lead in organizing this (at least for now), but I can definitely help, and as Ridgewood's coach for this year, would be willing to sign us up. Any other takers besides St. Joe's, Hunter, and Ridgewood?
Put Ardsley down as interested, especially for this year.

An idea to address David's concerns: what about establishing a firm division system? Maybe Novice, Main, and Premier, with teams self-selecting which division to play in. This would allow teams to play against their own level of competition and gradually get better.
Ryan Rosenberg
Webmaster, ACF | Member, PACE

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