"A" Team and "B" Team Distribution: Where to Put Your Eggs

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Journeyman
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"A" Team and "B" Team Distribution: Where to Put Your Eggs

Post by Journeyman »

This year is our team's first year in participating at independent tournaments. I have a total of 9 students, distributed as thus: 3 leading, very good players, 3 good supporting players, and 3 newbies. I'm aiming to do two teams at the tournaments, but I would like to ask how I should distribute the teams. I'm considering splitting them like:

A:
2 very good
2 supporting

B:
1 VG
1 supporting
3 newbies

Or should I put all three excellent players on the A team and let the supporting players and newbies fend on the B team? How do other teams approach this issue of dividing up your talent?
Travis Blankenship
Berea College '10
Berea Community High School
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Re: "A" Team and "B" Team Distribution: Where to Put Your Eggs

Post by Capitoline »

Journeyman wrote:This year is our team's first year in participating at independent tournaments. I have a total of 9 students, distributed as thus: 3 leading, very good players, 3 good supporting players, and 3 newbies. I'm aiming to do two teams at the tournaments, but I would like to ask how I should distribute the teams. I'm considering splitting them like:

A:
2 very good
2 supporting

B:
1 VG
1 supporting
3 newbies

Or should I put all three excellent players on the A team and let the supporting players and newbies fend on the B team? How do other teams approach this issue of dividing up your talent?
In your first couple tournaments, you might consider balancing the teams in terms of ability, so your new players can learn from the "very good" ones. Other than that, it generally helps to have diverse knowledge on each team (it's better to have specialists in various categories than four art players).
Ben Cushing
Phoenixville '14
Penn '18

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heterodyne
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Re: "A" Team and "B" Team Distribution: Where to Put Your Eggs

Post by heterodyne »

Journeyman wrote:This year is our team's first year in participating at independent tournaments. I have a total of 9 students, distributed as thus: 3 leading, very good players, 3 good supporting players, and 3 newbies. I'm aiming to do two teams at the tournaments, but I would like to ask how I should distribute the teams. I'm considering splitting them like:

A:
2 very good
2 supporting

B:
1 VG
1 supporting
3 newbies

Or should I put all three excellent players on the A team and let the supporting players and newbies fend on the B team? How do other teams approach this issue of dividing up your talent?
The way we've always attempted to do it is to divide up teams so that each team has a good coverage of as much of the distro as possible, weighting it towards the A team. For instance, if we only have one FA specialist, he or she would go on the A team. If we had two history specialists, the better one would go on the A team and the not as good one would go on the B team.
Alston [Montgomery] Boyd
Bloomington High School '15
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Corry
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Re: "A" Team and "B" Team Distribution: Where to Put Your Eggs

Post by Corry »

I have always preferred the latter method: put your good players on the A-team, and let the "less good" players do things for themselves. In my opinion, you should never put a good player on the same team as a novice player if you can help it. It is not important that novice players win games-- instead, it is more important that they learn to enjoy quiz bowl.

If I were a person who had never played quiz bowl before, I would not enjoy being stuck on a team with some quiz bowl prodigy who gets 100 points per game while I only get to answer maybe 3 questions in the entire tournament. That just turns me off from coming to future tournaments. If your B-team ends up worse off at the end of the tournament because it didn't have any really good players, so be it. At least the novices got to answer a few more questions each round.
Corry Wang
Arcadia High School 2013
Amherst College 2017
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

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Santa Claus
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Re: "A" Team and "B" Team Distribution: Where to Put Your Eggs

Post by Santa Claus »

This Urn Is So Grecian wrote: The way we've always attempted to do it is to divide up teams so that each team has a good coverage of as much of the distro as possible, weighting it towards the A team. For instance, if we only have one FA specialist, he or she would go on the A team. If we had two history specialists, the better one would go on the A team and the not as good one would go on the B team.
This is a good strategy, especially if one has a large team and can pick and choose from several qualified players.

Regarding what Corry said, it's always nice to have another team for novice players if possible, whether it be B or C or G. Ideally, the players who aren't able to answer as often should have as much fun at QB tournaments as those who are power machines. It wouldn't be fair to place someone on a team where not only are their few opportunities to buzz are taken but where they have to feel inadequate next to someone. *Pareto efficiency cough cough*
Kevin Wang
Arcadia High School 2015
Amherst College 2019

2018 PACE NSC Champion
2019 PACE NSC Champion

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zachary_yan
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Re: "A" Team and "B" Team Distribution: Where to Put Your Eggs

Post by zachary_yan »

My high school coach would usually try to have the most talented players on different as to try to qualify as many of our players to NAQT nationals as possible. (any member of a team that earns an invitation is eligible to play at HSNCT no matter their performance). Of course this really only applicable for schools that usually field more than two teams at tournaments.
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Re: "A" Team and "B" Team Distribution: Where to Put Your Eggs

Post by t-bar »

zachary_yan wrote:(any member of a team that earns an invitation is eligible to play at HSNCT no matter their performance)
It's actually even broader than this: a school qualifies a certain number of teams for HSNCT, and then when nationals rolls around they can choose to put whoever they want on those teams, in whatever combination they want, regardless of whether those players played on the teams that earned the berths. The rules for the PACE NSC are similar in that there is no sense of "player qualification," but they are slightly more lenient when it comes to conditions under which you can qualify multiple teams.
Stephen Eltinge
TJHSST 2011 | MIT 2015 | Yale 20??
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