Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

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Magritte's Pipe
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Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Magritte's Pipe » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:25 pm

First of all, I apologize if this has been answered in an earlier thread. I did do a search to find another thread on this topic, but then again my technical skills are rather subpar.

Last year my team had the great fortune to get 3rd place in the small school division of HSNCT. The players were thrilled - we overachieved in the playoffs. However, the nice trophy the team won for their efforts presented a major problem. We had to fly out of Atlanta back to Pennsylvania that night, and to my knowledge airlines don't let you hold a trophy in your lap as though it is an infant. Fortunately, we had a parent/chaperone along who was more resourceful than me. He managed to get together a box, packing material and some tape, and after some rather comical efforts we had the trophy packed up just well enough that we could check it as luggage with some hope that the airline's baggage handlers wouldn't break it to pieces.

Long story short, the trophy got home in one piece, but it made me wonder what other teams do. Even if I don't face this problem in the future (admittedly a happy problem to have in most respects), other people might benefit from the solutions some of you have found over the years. Heck, I can't go to the NAQT homepage anymore without looking at that huge trophy Bellarmine won and wondering, "how'd you get that back to California?"
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:22 pm

Doesn't NAQT have an option for shipping if no one claims their prize at the ceremony? I feel like I've heard of this before somewhere.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:37 pm

Magritte's Pipe wrote:Heck, I can't go to the NAQT homepage anymore without looking at that huge trophy Bellarmine won and wondering, "how'd you get that back to California?"
We secured assistance from NAQT in getting a large cardboard box. Then we basically broke it up, packed it, and put it back together once we were in California.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Habitat_Against_Humanity » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:56 am

I believe one of Chicago's 2009 ICT trophies was disassembled at the airport, put in a carry on and reassembled later.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by mtn335 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:09 am

During the set-up time period for HSNCT (or the other Nationals tournaments), NAQT volunteers and staff unbox all the trophies and assemble the team ones. There's always a bunch of boxes and a large heap of packing material at the end of this and my recollection is that it's set aside somewhere for teams to use if they want. I'm sure anybody who asked would be invited to help themselves to whatever's needed.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Emil Nolde » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:25 am

We seem to have developed a tradition for accidentally messing up our trophies from New Trier. Usually Nike is maimed in some way, but once the column got all loose and off-center. Now that I think about it, the Nike statuette is probably a lot more fragile that the lamp of knowledge. Also, sometimes I get slightly frustrated that quizbowl trophies tend to be pretty generic like that. It could be much cooler looking. Perhaps you could have someone seated at a desk, buzzing, or maybe just a golden buzzer on top. Or maybe a brain.

Also, what about trophies that don't lend themselves to being easily disassembled? In Illinois, the Masonic trophy, as well as the IHSA Top 4 trophies are rather unique and clunky, and I don't think they look like they could be unscrewed.

But in general, this is a good problem to have.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Cassian » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:15 am

Usually, I've found flight attendants are very nice about the trophies. The last time HSNCT was in Chicago, they found a place for it in the coat closet in the front of the plane on the flight home and then gave it to me when we landed. The last two years I've been able to put it in the overhead bin and haven't had an issue.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:43 am

Cassian wrote:Usually, I've found flight attendants are very nice about the trophies. The last time HSNCT was in Chicago, they found a place for it in the coat closet in the front of the plane on the flight home and then gave it to me when we landed.
I believe this is what happened to UChicago's 2005 Div II ICT trophy. The pilot even made an announcement over the intercom that a winning quizbowl team was on board, much to the extreme embarrassment of one of my teammates.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:26 am

If I recall correctly, the airport check-in people at Chicago and Pittsburgh respectively were both pretty nice about our 2011 DII ICT and ACF Nationals trophies. I think it was at Chicago where the lady at the check-in desk even offered to help us find packing tape with with to cover some of the more fragile edges of the trophy, so it didn't snap off. (Matt Jackson would have to confirm if I'm remembering this correctly.) I think in future, if I ever again am in danger of winning a national tournament, I would consider bringing some bubble wrap and tape with me, so I wouldn't have to fear so much for the trophy.

Coming home from 2012 ICT, however, I had us take a 21-hour train journey back to NYC instead of flying back, in order to save money. Practically every single person who passed us on the street or in the station on the way to boarding the train and about half the people on the train itself stopped to ask us what we'd won. At first, Matt and I (finicky to the point of being pedantic as we are), explained that we hadn't won anything; we had gotten third. But this got really irritating; we were both rather angry and depressed that we had gotten third (UVA had beaten us so decisively that we were glumly predicting that they were going to win ACF Nationals too), so we stopped telling them that. But still, they couldn't understand what on earth a "quiz tournament" is, and so we had to explain that too. After a while, I was really tempted to just make up what kind of competition we had competed in. (e.g. "Alchemy. This trophy was originally made of a completely different alloy.", "Cage-fighting. I wouldn't stand so close to Kevin. It's not good to make him nervous…", etc.). The luggage rack was too precarious a place for the trophy, so I had to sleep in my train seat with the trophy between my legs, which was very uncomfortable. I do not recommend transporting a trophy by train to any of you.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:08 pm

Also, just don't take 21-hour trains when there are shorter options. It's a pretty quaint experience, but it takes all sorts of forever.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:10 pm

Oh, if you think bringing a trophy home from a quizbowl tournament is hard, let's talk about bringing trophies TO a quizbowl tournament. I'd love to hear how NAQT gets its gadzillion trophies to the ICT/HSNCT sites.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:28 pm

We have the trophy suppliers ship them directly to the tournament site.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:49 pm

I think it was at Chicago where the lady at the check-in desk even offered to help us find packing tape with with to cover some of the more fragile edges of the trophy, so it didn't snap off.
I think we actually used some wrap from one of those luggage-wrapping machines (like this) that they use to deter theft (and then package-taped it together - do not actually run your trophy through the luggage-wrapping machine because the various doodads that stick out of it will surely break). This is generally a good practice for trophy transportation, and should be available at most major airports.

Aside: Amtrak, while a wonderful thing in general, is less-than-ideal for cross-country transportation. High-speed rail when?
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:25 pm

Excelsior (smack) wrote:
I think it was at Chicago where the lady at the check-in desk even offered to help us find packing tape with with to cover some of the more fragile edges of the trophy, so it didn't snap off.
I think we actually used some wrap from one of those luggage-wrapping machines (like this) that they use to deter theft (and then package-taped it together - do not actually run your trophy through the luggage-wrapping machine because the various doodads that stick out of it will surely break). This is generally a good practice for trophy transportation, and should be available at most major airports.
Yes, that's the stuff we used. Worked pretty well I thought.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by theMoMA » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:34 am

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:After a while, I was really tempted to just make up what kind of competition we had competed in. (e.g. "Alchemy. This trophy was originally made of a completely different alloy.", "Cage-fighting. I wouldn't stand so close to Kevin. It's not good to make him nervous…", etc.).
On the way back from my high school's Chipbowl finals defeat, my friend Jon was walking through airport holding our rather large runner-up trophy. An elderly lady walked up to me and asked what we had won it for. I pointed to Jon and said, "See that guy over there? That's the best male cheerleader in the United States." She muttered something vaguely congratulatory while giving me a weird look and walked away.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:44 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:But still, they couldn't understand what on earth a "quiz tournament" is, and so we had to explain that too. After a while, I was really tempted to just make up what kind of competition we had competed in. (e.g. "Alchemy. This trophy was originally made of a completely different alloy.", "Cage-fighting. I wouldn't stand so close to Kevin. It's not good to make him nervous…", etc.).
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The second rule of quiz bowl is you DO NOT talk about quizbowl.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by ryanrosenberg » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:42 pm

I'm interested to hear how Sameer's attempt to transport his NHBB hardware went.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by ProfessorIanDuncan » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:19 pm

I'm interested to hear how Sameer's attempt to transport his NHBB hardware went.
He curled himself up in the bowl trophy while clutching the other one and had someone mail it back to California
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Thu May 02, 2013 2:49 pm

I'm sure this has already been mentioned, but NAQT's trophies can easily be taken apart. When we won Small School in 2010, we just disassembled the trophy and put it in my suitcase.
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Re: Travelling with large trophies - a logistical problem

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Thu May 02, 2013 2:50 pm

theMoMA wrote:
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:After a while, I was really tempted to just make up what kind of competition we had competed in. (e.g. "Alchemy. This trophy was originally made of a completely different alloy.", "Cage-fighting. I wouldn't stand so close to Kevin. It's not good to make him nervous…", etc.).
On the way back from my high school's Chipbowl finals defeat, my friend Jon was walking through airport holding our rather large runner-up trophy. An elderly lady walked up to me and asked what we had won it for. I pointed to Jon and said, "See that guy over there? That's the best male cheerleader in the United States." She muttered something vaguely congratulatory while giving me a weird look and walked away.
While walking back to my dorm with our (then) 3rd Place UG trophy after ICT last year, I told several people I had won a hot dog eating contest.
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