Louisiana 12-13

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Mnemosyne
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Louisiana 12-13

Post by Mnemosyne » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:21 pm

We've been working this summer on improving the Louisiana circuit. Ryan McLaren and Tulane have created a Gulf Coast Quiz Bowl Association website at gcqba.com. While I've been waiting for the semester to begin, I've been working on collecting contacts for Louisiana schools, as communication is a huge problem here. Chris Romero invited me to staff at Texas Quiz Bowl camp, where I was given the opportunity to experience great Quiz Bowl firsthand, and in the next two weeks or so I'm going to begin visiting local schools and talking to them about pyramidal QB, the internet resources, nationals, etc. We decided on three dates to run good events, those being 9/29, 10/20, and 11/17, seen below.

Our schedule looks like this right now:

9/22 Alexandria A+ Bowl (http://alexandriabowl.org LAAC kickoff tournament)
9/29 NAQT A-Set at Chapelle High School
10/13 Tournament at Episcopal School of Acadiana (LAAC tournament, but I'm talking to them about making it pyramidal)
10/20 SCOP Novice at Louisiana Tech (tentative as I don't have a team formed, but I'm confident I can get things running smoothly in time)
11/17 Tournament at Tulane (not sure what set is planned)

History Bowls on 1/26 and 3/2 at LSMSA and Zachary High School, respectively.

If things aren't looking promising for the 10/20 tournament by mid-September we'll have to adjust and figure something out. The last thing I want is a poorly run tournament.

No one's ever really tried to change the Louisiana Quiz Bowl culture so it'll take a few months to see if people are up for change or not.


We can turn this thing around.
Nick Collins
C. E. Byrd '12 (Shreveport, LA)
Louisiana Tech '16, '17
University of Virginia

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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by TulaneKQB » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:28 pm

I don't know if I would say that "no one has ever really tried," but Nick and I have been doing what we can this summer to raise the level of quiz bowl here up from where it is now. I should mention that ULL is planning to host something in the spring, and that the dates we've listed above (i.e. 9/29, 10/20, and 11/17) were chosen with input from local coaches about free dates on their schedules, so hopefully we'll have decent turnout.

edit: I also want to make it clear that I share Nick's enthusiasm about raising the level of play and national presence of the LA circuit; we have some really good, competitive teams here that are barely blips on the national radar. We're hoping that increased exposure to high-quality tournaments at Tulane, Tech, ULL, (hopefully) LSU, Loyola-New Orleans, etc. will motivate those HS teams to look beyond their local LAAC event and improve the level of competition statewide.
Ryan McLaren
President, Tulane University Krewe of Quiz Bowl (2009-12)
Member, Louisiana Quiz Bowl (http://www.louisianaquizbowl.org/)
Tulane University Law School '15

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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:54 pm

I'm glad to hear this. I would say a couple things -

Unless your school has an EXTREMELY streamlined method of creating clubs and handling room reservations, it will probably be really hard to get things organized enough to run a tournament in October. At MU we ran our first tournament in November when it had taken until October for them to approve our club, and it was VERY messy and understaffed, even though I had lots of experience behind the scenes directing other events at my high school going in. November and December both are probably dates when you would be more able to run this tournament without going insane.

Also, it will take more than a few months for you to get an idea of how much you can change the culture of quizbowl there. In MOQBA we had our fair share of tournaments that were basically duds, and lots of teams emphatically pledged that they hated pyramidal style and would stop going to our stuff. In the first year all we could really do was try and find a small group of teams who did show up to some of our stuff, didn't complain, and were maybe, just maybe, interested in incorporating some pyramidal questions into their practices, and, if they got involved enough, doing things like going to nationals or hosting their own tournament in a year. This was a really tiny group of teams in our first year, and our second year it still wasn't that big of a group, and they weren't really getting all that good. It wasn't really until year 3 when we finally got a group of, like, 5-10 teams to really start figuring out how to prepare effectively and get better quickly, with a growing crowd of other teams who were getting their feet wet and coming to a few of our events. Finally, in year 4 of MOQBA, we were able to get a large sized group of teams to start prioritizing good quizbowl at all times and prepare accordingly, and more importantly, we were getting tons of teams from all levels of competitiveness to show up to lots of our events (like, 5+, some going up above 10). So if year 1 ends seeming not too satisfying, don't worry about it - it can take you quite a while before good quizbowl starts to really sink in anywhere, and the great thing is if you have an effective long term strategy of convincing teams who like you to start hosting their own events down the line and fill up the calendar with good events, then the rest will follow and you'll start to see really astounding change.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by mhayes » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:26 pm

Mnemosyne wrote:10/13 Tournament at Episcopal School of Acadiana (LAAC tournament, but I'm talking to them about making it pyramidal)
Nick, I'm an alum of ESA, so if you'd like, I can also make some calls to explain the merits of pyramidal quiz bowl. One of their faculty members is my former teammate at ULL, so I can speak with him about this as well.

Also, I agree with Charlie that it will be difficult for a new club to get something organized by October, especially since you guys are so far away from the rest of Louisiana's college teams (who might otherwise help you staff). I don't think your task is impossible, but you might consider choosing a later date if it seems like October is too soon.
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The Ununtiable Twine
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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:11 pm

Changing the quizbowl culture in Louisiana is going to be a difficult task, I tried for several years. Unfortunately, LSU's team was just about nonexistent during my tenure, Tech didn't exist (not even the idea of it), and whatnot. However I do have significant experience trying to change the culture (the majority of it, most likely) but honestly I could only do so much (and had some success but I believe that eradicating Chip-bowl in Louisiana is a very difficult task that I didn't really take on but sponsors were more than receptive to coming to pyramidal events. Another issue is the Spring schedule as far as other academic competitions is concerned. You will most probably have your average attendance decrease in by 200-300% in the Spring, that is a big problem for growing our game, and so it's not necessarily as much of a question of quizbowl culture that needs to be changed for us to succeed but academic competition culture. Please PM me regarding this matter, LA people.
Jake Sundberg
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Alabama '10-14
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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:16 pm

For instance, to give a little insight into the made up statistics that I threw out there, ULL's fall tournament had 34 teams in attendance, while NAQT State had 8 total teams. This is most unfortunate and suggests that quizbowl, on average, is not prioritized in Louisiana at the high school level in Spring.
Jake Sundberg
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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by Mnemosyne » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:50 pm

I agree with the sentiments that 10/20 is too early of a date. Like I said, if things don't seem like they're moving smoothly asap, then I'll reschedule. Out of the 3 tournaments we're hosting, 2 of them will be in the deep south of Louisiana, and I'd really like to have a quality tournament up here as soon as possible. The other option was switching with Tulane for the 11/17 date, but I think I'll have finals that week, and I honestly don't know how much time college finals will take. I would hate to plan for 11/17 and then be unexpectedly swamped with finals. Moving it back is definitely an option, though; we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Nick Collins
C. E. Byrd '12 (Shreveport, LA)
Louisiana Tech '16, '17
University of Virginia

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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by TulaneKQB » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:19 am

To add to what Nick said: we've discussed moving the 10/20 tournament from Tech to Tulane if it doesn't seem like they'll be able to host something. Like he said, we would both like to reserve a date for the teams in the northern part of the state that sometimes can't make the trip to New Orleans; however, if in the first couple of weeks of school at Tech it seems as though they won't be able to accommodate a small-medium sized tournament (which would be totally understandable), then that event may be in the greater-New Orleans area instead. With that date 2+ months away, I imagine Nick will be assessing his situation and making a decision about the site soon.
Ryan McLaren
President, Tulane University Krewe of Quiz Bowl (2009-12)
Member, Louisiana Quiz Bowl (http://www.louisianaquizbowl.org/)
Tulane University Law School '15

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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by Sandlapper » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:24 pm

Are any of these events open to Mississippi schools? I am a veteran of NAQT states that is new to south Mississippi, and I have been sorely disappointed with what passes for quiz bowl on our side of the border.

I'm also curious about the strongest NAQT programs around. We once faced a New Orleans private school at Brookwood, but their players were overwhelmed by the structure and question depth. I'd like to know what our measuring stick should be as we try to build a program from scratch, and I'd also be interested in purchasing a durable buzzer set. No phone jack connectors please.

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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by Important Bird Area » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:42 am

Try "The Officiator" from Anderson Enterprises.
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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by cchiego » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:36 pm

Sandlapper wrote:Are any of these events open to Mississippi schools?
I'm sure out of state teams are allowed to attend at least some of these tournaments; in fact, a Georgia school traveled all the way from Snellville to play in a ChipBowl tournament in Louisiana! Isn't that something?
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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by Kevin » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:26 pm

Sandlapper wrote:Are any of these events open to Mississippi schools?[/b][/i]
I can't speak for everyone, but you're certainly more than welcome to attend the tournament we'll be hosting at Chapelle HS in Metairie. More info here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13439

Also, I would expect that most tournaments will be happy to have you--just make sure you're not going to two different tournaments using the same question set. The New Orleans area is a short drive from most of southern Mississippi, so I certainly hope to see some Mississippi schools at tournaments this year.
Kevin Marshall
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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by jrbarry » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:58 pm

Chris:

After 26 years of coaching the Brookwood Academic Team, I finally got my last wish which was to enter my team in a tournament at LSU. I earned two degrees from LSU and am a Baton Rouge native. We won first place with a team which had never heard even one QU question in practice or elsewhere. Interestingly enough, it was the best run quizbowl tournament hosted by a college/university that I have ever attended. And I have been to quite a few college run tournaments down through the years. I was impressed. The QU questions were, as I supsected, typical and not to my liking. But, the 8 kids I took enjoyed the trip and seemed pleased to have "won it for the old coach."

So, yes, it is "interesting" that a team from Georgia went to a Chip question event at LSU, but interesting maybe not for the reasons you surmise.
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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by Cheynem » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:10 pm

Perhaps you could have held off on achieving your lifelong wish until LSU actually used a question set from an ethical, reputable company.
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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by Mnemosyne » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:22 am

As predicted by everyone, getting a team started isn't too easy. As of now, a tournament at La Tech is indefinitely postponed. I'm still working on getting the team going, of course, but it's just taking longer than expected.
Nick Collins
C. E. Byrd '12 (Shreveport, LA)
Louisiana Tech '16, '17
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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by Kevin » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:29 pm

Anyone have any thoughts on the season so far? Looks like Jesuit is the team to beat, at least in the southern half of the state. But Ben Franklin, Lusher, and Lafayette are certainly capable of competing with Jesuit. Anything going on up north?
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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by Mnemosyne » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:53 pm

Not a lot going on up north. Anacoco is the best team I've seen, and they're probably in the second tier mentioned above of teams capable of competing with the top.

Cedar Creek is pretty good at LAAC and has a ton of potential to upset Jesuit for the LAAC championship, of which Jesuit has won like 4 straight. I'm not sure if they would be in that second tier or in a third tier right below it. I have no idea how well they'll do in pyramidal matches.

But yeah. South >>>> North
Nick Collins
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Louisiana Tech '16, '17
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Re: Louisiana 12-13

Post by TulaneKQB » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:59 pm

To my knowledge, here are the non-LAAC tournaments for the remainder of Spring 2013:

3/2 Louisiana State NHBB at Zachary HS (Zachary, LA)

4/6 NAQT State at ULL (Lafayette, LA)*

4/13 BHSAT at Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
Link: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14119

In terms of next year, I'd like to see more tournaments, especially early in the Fall and early in the Spring (i.e. before Mardi Gras). This will take some extra planning in the Summer/over Winter Break, but I think that we are capable of putting something on now that we've improved somewhat with organization. I'd also like to see more high schools hosting NAQT/PACE/HSAPQ-style tournaments. Kevin Marshall and Chapelle did a great job with their tournament in the Fall, but we've had a difficult time so far convincing other high schools to host.

Finally, I'd like to see more activity in the North/Central parts of the state, or at least outside of the New Orleans area. I know that there are teams in Shreveport, Lafayette, etc. that are eager to play better sets, but it's a lot to ask for them to come 3-5 hours to New Orleans for everything. If you're at a high school or a college in another part of the state and you're interested in hosting an NAQT/PACE/HSAPQ-style tournament, please let me or another member of GCQBA know and we'll do everything in our power to make sure that it's a success.

As always, if anybody has any events to add (including our friends in Texas, Arkansas, and Alabama), feel free to contact me or post it here.

*I've recently had difficulty contacting Jeffery Wichers at ULL to discuss this tournament. If anybody has his ear or knows what's going on at ULL, please let me know.
Ryan McLaren
President, Tulane University Krewe of Quiz Bowl (2009-12)
Member, Louisiana Quiz Bowl (http://www.louisianaquizbowl.org/)
Tulane University Law School '15

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