NASAT 2012/field size

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NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:23 pm

As we look ahead to the 2012 edition of NASAT, one major focus will be on attracting more teams to the tournament. Panasonic often got more than 30 teams, and we think we can hit a similar number.

I would like to know what teams who already attend the tournament would think of making it more PAC-like in some aspects (ie: hold it at a hotel or resort, have more formal meals and awards presentations) while keeping the existing question and format parameters. This may result in an increase in the entry fee. The idea would be to attract states who formerly played PAC and are not, as yet, on board with the idea of playing good quizbowl in the basement of a university academic building among a very casual atmosphere. Of course, I would also like to hear from anyone else who has an opinion on this matter, including former PAC participants.

Some other notes:

I personally agree with the feedback regarding the need to award individual prizes rather than trophies to teams that are mixed-school in nature, and will be recommending that HSAPQ adopt this policy for next year regardless of what kind of venue is used for the tournament.

I also think that, if HSNCT and NSC continue to be on consecutive weekends, it will be to everyone's benefit if there is an empty weekend before NASAT, and will likewise be suggesting this when the date is decided.
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:33 pm

The single biggest issue preventing a team from Delaware from attending (and probably other states) is the cost. It's already high enough that no high school that has a quizbowl team in Delaware (yeah, all three of them) would realistically pay for any portion of it. We already have a hard enough time getting our school to pay more than our entry fee to Nationals (which they didn't even pay in time last year), so this would be 100% out of my/my kids'/my kids' peers' pockets. I realize that this is not really a for-profit organization here and that fees are probably as low as they can reasonably be, but when a state can't even come that's only a 90-minute drive away from this event last weekend, raising the price to offer some more amenities and perks is not a good idea. We want to play quizbowl but just don't have the money to do it.
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:41 pm

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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:01 pm

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:The single biggest issue preventing a team from Delaware from attending (and probably other states) is the cost. It's already high enough that no high school that has a quizbowl team in Delaware (yeah, all three of them) would realistically pay for any portion of it. We already have a hard enough time getting our school to pay more than our entry fee to Nationals (which they didn't even pay in time last year), so this would be 100% out of my/my kids'/my kids' peers' pockets. I realize that this is not really a for-profit organization here and that fees are probably as low as they can reasonably be, but when a state can't even come that's only a 90-minute drive away from this event last weekend, raising the price to offer some more amenities and perks is not a good idea. We want to play quizbowl but just don't have the money to do it.
Well said. HSNCT and NSC are charging teams that in many cases either a) have hosted tournaments and have money from that or b) can shake the administrative money tree, but NASAT is completely out of the pockets of the players. That's definitely the glaring issue that's keeping teams away.
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:12 pm

Wurzel-Flummery wrote:
Carangoides ciliarius wrote:The single biggest issue preventing a team from Delaware from attending (and probably other states) is the cost. It's already high enough that no high school that has a quizbowl team in Delaware (yeah, all three of them) would realistically pay for any portion of it. We already have a hard enough time getting our school to pay more than our entry fee to Nationals (which they didn't even pay in time last year), so this would be 100% out of my/my kids'/my kids' peers' pockets. I realize that this is not really a for-profit organization here and that fees are probably as low as they can reasonably be, but when a state can't even come that's only a 90-minute drive away from this event last weekend, raising the price to offer some more amenities and perks is not a good idea. We want to play quizbowl but just don't have the money to do it.
Well said. HSNCT and NSC are charging teams that in many cases either a) have hosted tournaments and have money from that or b) can shake the administrative money tree, but NASAT is completely out of the pockets of the players. That's definitely the glaring issue that's keeping teams away.
I'm sure this is easier at some schools than others but I will just note that Team VA '10 was able to get some money from our respective schools to cover their specific kids, so it's not completely impossible, though I'm still surprised we had such success with that as last-minute as we tried it. Organizing teams earlier in the year would probably help both in terms of begging administrations and having time to fundraise through other means.
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Edward Powers » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:19 pm

I would love to see more teams come, but it is already financially difficult to support a team, so anything that raises prices might backfire. Further, although the field was small this past weekend, it attracted players from many of the best teams this year. LASA, Bellarmine & Stevenson were merely three of about a score of the very best teams in the country to send players to College Park this past weekend, so the calibre of the play on the whole was very good, especially considering the wonderfully challenging nature of the questions. So, is a larger but probably more expensive tournament preferable to a smaller but more reasonably priced one, especially if the latter continues to at least attract players from many of the Top 20 teams or so?? Hard to know.

An FYI on the issue of raising funds; take the following for what it is worth:

New Jersey probably helped its players get school funding by naming its players as "All State Performers". This method of describing our players resonated with many administrators in our sports-crazed state, since we name "All State" teams in every major interscholastic sport played in NJ. I know that as soon as I informed my administration that two of our players were elected to the All State Team, with one elected to the FIRST Team, qualifying that player to go to Nationals, my administrators beamed with pride and approved subsidizing 100% of my player Alex's costs, as well as my own chaperoning costs. In addition, 3 of our other 4 players had similar school support. Only one player paid out of pocket. So, if you live in a state that is also fanatic about its sports, perhaps using the local laudatory terminology typically used to describe annual sports heroes might help as well, inspiring your administrators to also financially support a trip to NASAT for one of your school's academic stars.

Might such a strategem work anywhere else? How about in Delaware, Coach Chryz?
Last edited by Edward Powers on Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by sir negsalot » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:26 pm

Some sort of letter with a fancy logo on fancy paper in a fancy envelope using fancy words might help
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Edward Powers » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:39 pm

sir negsalot wrote:Some sort of letter with a fancy logo on fancy paper in a fancy envelope using fancy words might help
You've understood my essential idea quite well, and it is the kind of thing that might help National All Stars pay for NASAT. It certainly cannot hurt, and here is the irony: The fancy letter, logo, envelope and words would actually signify something truly fancy, the existence on such an administrator's campus of one of the best players in his home state. Might not such a fancy quizbowl player deserve the same type of financial help that a local sports star gets when that star is so accomplished that he or she also gets invited to some national athletic tournament half-way across the country?
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Mnemosyne » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:00 am

What exactly is the price on this? I keep seeing how expensive this is being thrown around and I haven't seen numbers anywhere. I think I might try to get my coach to talk to LAAC later in the year about getting a Louisiana team together depending on various things. Although we'd probably get destroyed considering how terrible Louisiana Quiz Bowl is (from what I've seen).
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by centralhs » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:47 am

I think that an increased communication effort is needed to publicize this tournament. A surprising number of coaches and players don't read this forum, so old fashioned means of communication (letters "on fancy paper" mailed to state organizations, e-mails to coaches, etc.) would help make more people aware that the tournament exists. Making announcements about the tournament earlier in the year would also help. I don't think any announcement was made (on this forum, at least) until late January.

While I don't think it is essential for the NASAT to be held at a fun resort like Disney World in order to be successful, it might draw some teams that probably wouldn't come otherwise. Some teams who are sitting on the fence about paying large amounts of money to travel to the tournament might decide to come if they can combine it with a trip to Disney World or whatever.
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Susan » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:32 am

Has HSAPQ considered seeking sponsorship for NASAL to possibly help underwrite the cost of making it more PAC-like? Corporate sponsorship might also help legitimize the tournament in the eyes of whatever state bodies formerly organized teams for PAC.
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Edward Powers » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:49 am

The price has the following 4 components for all teams that are not from the immediate vicinity:

First, the Registration Fee of $525.00 (or $505.00 if you bring a buzzer system);

Second, a Transportation Fee which will vary depending upon distance traveled as well as the mode of transportation; a California team with 5 players would have required 5 round-trip tickets to Maryland, plus ground transportation unless someone local helped with that. Conversely, the DC & Maryland teams probably had relatively insignificant transportation costs. But what about Texas? Illinois? Ohio? Kentucky? Missouri? Georgia? New Jersey rented a large SUV which ended up costing circa $600.00, but we were, relatively speaking, coming from a small distance compared to other teams;

Third, Hotel Costs that would vary depending upon the quality of the hotel, the number of rooms needed and the number of nights needed. Minimally 2 rooms for 2 nights, and more likely 3 rooms for at least 2 nights, so add roughly $600.00 to $1000.00 for these expenses; again, local teams might not need to assume such costs, but most would.

Fourth, out of pocket food costs of roughly $75.00-$100 for the weekend, again depending upon obvious variables.

So, if students are paying for this out of pocket, the costs can be quite substantial except for teams that are in the vicinity. My guess is that teams that traveled any distance had to come up with anywhere from $1800-$3600 per team, depending upon flight costs.

On top of this, most of players at this tournament had just attended the HSNCT or the NSC or both, each of which would have had costs that would doubtless fall in a similar range, but probably at these latter tournaments students were more likely to receive greater financial support since they were representing good old alma mater. Nevertheless, it is my understanding that even for these nationals, students almost always contribute some funds themselves, meaning NASAT is drawing upon fields of players who have invested in one or possibly two nationals already.

Hence the probable need to find ways to convince schools to support a 3rd national where the team itself represents the state rather than the school specifically. As I stated upthread, I think all but one of the New Jersey kids was subsidized virtually 100% of the costs by their local school districts because we named them "All State Honorees"; in New Jersey earning such an honor carries immense weight, and even in the case of the one student who did pay out of pocket, I suspect it might have been because he was the last player to indicate his interest, giving him too little time to persuade his administration to help. Thus, the idea of "fancy letters in fancy envelopes" discussed above might actually help in many states, and, if you think it might, why not try it to support NASAT in the future? It certainly cannot hurt.


One final thing for HSAPQ to consider: Since hotel costs can vary widely (costs for the NSC in Evanston were roughly double those for the HSNCT in Atlanta) perhaps HSAPQ can try to work with decent local hotels to get block deals that might lead to some significant savings for the teams involved.
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Ben Dillon » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:06 pm

From the Indiana perspective, not finding funding to defray the expense ended up prohibiting us from attending, but other factors were at play too.

All-Star #1 probably would not have attended, or would have attended at most one day, as his family had planned a trip to France. NASAT can't control this, except to have the date nailed down as early as possible so that potential players can clear their schedules as early as possible.

All-Star #4 definitely would not have attended, as his team won the New Orleans phase of NAC and he would have been required to be there for the Chicago phase. NASAT can control this by avoiding the NAC, but that's not a motivating reason. (Creating a "bye week" would be a better reason.)

Silly thought: If HSNCT were to vacate Memorial Day weekend, NASAT should pounce on that.
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:30 pm

Ben Dillon wrote:Silly thought: If HSNCT were to vacate Memorial Day weekend
It is very likely that HSNCT will remain on Memorial Day weekend.
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by jbarnes112358 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:18 pm

Three Nationals on three consecutive weekends is difficult, especially when they intermingle with exams and graduation, etc.
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Re: NASAT 2012/field size

Post by Romero » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:57 pm

Would it be possible to move NASAT to March maybe. Some other time in the year would help immensely I bet.

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