A pyramidal Canadian championship?

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A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:45 am

This is a project well worth considering. There are two major obstacles:

1) There would need to be a lot of Canadian content written for such a set. NAQT does not yet have enough Canadians on staff to do this, but I suspect it would be fairly straightforward if half a dozen or so experienced Ontario players were to sign on as writers (and one of them volunteered to edit the set for Canadian-specific issues).

2) Bigger problem: we would need outreach and qualifying tournaments outside of Ontario. Right now, a large number of the Canadian teams interested in pyramidal quizbowl are already attending the NAQT Ontario championship. Getting enough teams from other provinces to fly to a central site (almost certainly Ottawa?) would be a big challenge.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by njsbling » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:49 am

This sounds like a great idea! I am fairly confident that a Vancouver event with NAQT questions will happen sometime in the Fall and I would be happy to help with outreach for other areas as needed.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Theodore » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:22 am

I love this idea, but to be honest I'm not sure we have enough interested teams/schools to support a championship, as Quizbowl is only present in pockets in Alberta and Ontario. Ontario Provincials this year has about 10-15 teams, and there are probably fewer teams that exist in Alberta.

I'm neither experienced nor knowledgable on outreach, but should the strategy be "establish a circuit, then host a national championship" or "use a national championship to incentives teams to establish circuits"?

If this does occur, I would strongly encourage it to hold it in Toronto. It's by far the most populated region in Canada, and has a large number of Reach schools. The strong Ottawa teams (e.g. Colonel By, Lisgar, Bell) would almost certainly attend a Toronto-hosted nationals anyways; no need to hold it near us. This strategy was employed by the ONQBA for Ontario Quizbowl Provincials: the bid was awarded to McMaster to encourage teams from the Greater Toronto Area & Golden Horseshoe to attend, rather than holding a tournament in or close to Ottawa, where many of the already-established Quizbowl teams call home.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:50 am

I worry that NAQT is going to seriously overextend itself if it keeps adding on national championships, especially if there is limited interest beyond the thoughts of the few people who come up with the ideas for them on this forum. The only feasible way to make the set happen, in my view, would be to use a version of an already-existing set (either the last IS-set of the year, or DII SCT, or SSNCT) and then swap out questions for additional Canadian content. I'm no expert on the Canadian circuit, but I also suspect the field for this event would be very small -- how many Canadian invitationals have there even been thus far which have attracted a double-digit number of teams? You'd also have to ensure that people actually do on-the-ground work to establish more invitationals on acceptable questions throughout the year, and AGGRESSIVELY target teams which only play Reach or other bad local formats and retain them for future years by showing them that NAQT's format is better/worth it. Until you can launch with 30 or so teams, this event probably isn't worth NAQT's writing power or the cost of international travel for staff, and I doubt that's possible unless a bunch of people make a concerted effort to make a viable first run in 2016 by doing the prior ground work.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:57 am

The only feasible way to make the set happen, in my view, would be to use a version of an already-existing set (either the last IS-set of the year, or DII SCT, or SSNCT) and then swap out questions for additional Canadian content.
This is what we would do; I didn't mean to imply that we would either write a brand-new set or send a large number of NAQT staff to Canada (think instead 1-2 NAQT staff plus ONQBA).
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:57 pm

CLARIFICATION: As this may have brought confusion in another thread, in Ontario at least, people refer to Quizbowl as the 20/20 tossup bonus format that NAQT, HSAPQ, ACF, or independent housewrites provide. :chip: style trivia, whether run by Reach or not, is always refereed to "Reach style". I never refer to "Reach" as "bad quizbowl", even though Reach is bad, it is just referred to as "Reach". Quizbowl in this post is strictly referring to good quizbowl.

The Canadian Championship would be a great idea, but would probably have to start in Ontario and then expand outwards. I can't speak for Non-Ontario teams, though.
bt_green_warbler wrote:
The only feasible way to make the set happen, in my view, would be to use a version of an already-existing set (either the last IS-set of the year, or DII SCT, or SSNCT) and then swap out questions for additional Canadian content.
This is what we would do; I didn't mean to imply that we would either write a brand-new set or send a large number of NAQT staff to Canada (think instead 1-2 NAQT staff plus ONQBA).
This is what Ben Smith has done for his NAQT tournaments over the years, in which he replaces 1/1 per packet with Canadian content. Unfortunately, for the handful of tournaments I've done, I only had time to modify, with permission, one of the sets.

In the Ottawa, region, we had 3 tournaments on recognized sets in 10/11, 4 in 11/12, 4 in 12/13, and 4 so far this year with either an IS-A or LIST IV mirror slated for April but generally are not well received except by the established teams because the questions are too long and there's not enough trash. Attendance has dipped from 10-12 to 7-9 teams. If what it takes to get more people interested is to run all of a year's novice and IS-A packets in as many places as possible, that's what it may ultimately lead to.

I think the biggest problem we have is a lack of overall effort and time form the collegiate players in general to help get the high schools interested. A lot of successful Reach players become successful in the university circuit (Not only Will Nediger). We have enough people in the province to fully staff a well run 30+ team tournament, whether this consists of current collegiate players or people who have been removed from the circuit, but not enough of those active and willing to run a high school event once every two months or so.
bt_green_warbler wrote:
2) Bigger problem: we would need outreach and qualifying tournaments outside of Ontario. Right now, a large number of the Canadian teams interested in pyramidal quizbowl are already attending the NAQT Ontario championship. Getting enough teams from other provinces to fly to a central site (almost certainly Ottawa?) would be a big challenge.
I don't think this is a big problem (yet). There are more teams with Reach teams in Ontario than other provinces combined. Having 10-12 team provincial quizbowl tournaments would be great, but getting Ontario to be as well established as second tier US states I think would be an important first step, and then the other provinces will notice and come.

When I staffed Reach Provincials last year I thought that it would be extremely beneficial if one or more people who aren't just actively involved quizbowl players, but actual executives of NAQT, PACE, or HSAPQ to be there and not only aggressively recruit teams, but also to form an unbiased opinion of the format and be able to criticize them without being a former player. It's one thing to hear Patrick Liao and myself talk to teams, but it's another if the president of NAQT was there to talk about their game. There will be 40 teams there, of which 10 or so will have some quizbowl experience, but a big enough of a market to tap into. There's enough time between games to read about 15/15 worth of a regular high school packet. On the Saturday of Reach Provincials, which will be May 10th this year, all teams will have checked in as of 2pm and done with their exhibition games by 5, which leaves 5 hours or so to try and convince teams to play a mini-quizbowl tournament "under the hood" because all teams are already there, and they'll be missing a gala dinner in which two of the the hours is spent on playing a true/false trivia game anyways. Although this would be a prime time and location to try and get new teams to test out quizbowl, it would be extremely hard to accomplish this without the Reach staff figuring out, but the advantage is that about 30 or so teams who have never played quizbowl before would be available to advertise to.

I also feel it's hard for myself to talk to the Reach staff without feeling like a victim of their actions, and an outsider would have a better chance at convincing them that good quizbowl is the way to go.

TL;DR I think a non-former reach member of NAQT, PACE, or HSAPQ should come to Reach for The top Ontario Provincials and/or Nationals and help us recruit teams to play quizbowl. I think if we were to have a NAQT championship, run by NAQT in Ontario, we would have sufficient staff willing to make minimal financial sacrifices to staff the event and help Canadian-ify the set. If dealing with the whole country is hard at first, I think there's no problem to just get Ontario under control.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:07 pm

RyuAqua wrote: You'd also have to ensure that people actually do on-the-ground work to establish more invitationals on acceptable questions throughout the year, and AGGRESSIVELY target teams which only play Reach or other bad local formats and retain them for future years by showing them that NAQT's format is better/worth it. .
Unfortunately once we do get a team interested into quizbowl, the team itself tries to play in tournaments as much as possible, but once they graduate, there's no one else left, because except in the rare case (Lisgar, Sir Winston Chuchill, Westmount... and Woburn to some degree), coaches and other players don't care enough about Quizbowl because of the focus on Reach. Coaches don't care enough about Quizbowl to take it seriously, and I don't know of any coach that actively encourages the players to play Quizbowl. Some coaches have the "I let the students choose what they want to play" mentality (which I was lucky enough to have in high school) but too many of them don't want to get involved in the quizbowl front.

A lot of us Canadians want to see an expansion and continuation of high school quizbowl in Ontario coupled with less power in Reach's hands, but unfortunately a lot of these efforts have gone fruitless, and people can't just give the time it needs to establish a circuit that will last for many years.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by bsmith » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:43 pm

I welcome any attempts by quizbowl organizations to set up a national championship, though I recommend having a presence in more provinces first, and that is beyond what I have been able to accomplish. I tried Quebec and New Brunswick back in 2008-09, but only one or two schools had interest at the time. For the latter, KVHS will play quizbowl within the province, but there isn't much capability or initiative to organize a tournament- partly because there is no university quizbowl presence in the Maritimes.

That being said, my experience with Niagara in 2011 showed that new regions are willing to try it, but they need a lot of hand-holding. When a "quizbowl leader" isn't around to organize things, they'll revert back to just playing Reach. Similarly, Alberta quizbowl is completely dependent on the few experienced people at U of A.

I suspect NAQT, NHBB, and the like have more professional clout for outreach than ONBQA, which consists of me writing nice letters to schools in September and searching for coach email addresses. They also have more credibility than the ONQBA, which, from a teacher's perspective, is just an unorganized bunch of students.
pandabear555 wrote:I thought that it would be extremely beneficial if one or more people who aren't just actively involved quizbowl players, but actual executives of NAQT, PACE, or HSAPQ to be there and not only aggressively recruit teams, but also to form an unbiased opinion of the format and be able to criticize them
No, or certainly not without the prior consent of Reach. Why would Reach tolerate someone attending their tournament telling their customers to stop coming? Would you tolerate the reverse? This is the disagreeable antagonism I was referring to elsewhere.

In my view, it would be much better to have some cordiality with Reach. Quizbowl in new areas will inevitably have to go through regional coordinators (for contacts, room reservations, equipment, etc), so it’s best to be on good terms. I know some of you don’t agree that approach, but let me get through provincials, and I’ll raise more discussion then.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:21 pm

Matt Jackson and Ben Smith make good points. The worst thing that could happen is that this is launched prematurely and it doesn't get repeated in the future, so I really don't see this happening for at least 2-3 years. The circuit has plenty of room to grow and that growth must happen before a Canadian HSNCT happens. That being said, the attractiveness of qualifying for a tournament in Canada that they have a shot at winning, could be a massive boon in circuit growth.

On the subject of running high school tournaments, I think universities should run them more, but right now the financial incentives for doing so are pretty low for a lot of work. The typical entry fee for a HS quizbowl tournament is something like $40-$50 CAD, a fraction of the $120 CAD for university tournaments. Take away discounts and a mirror fee, and you're looking a much less. This is however, like the matter of how to deal with Reach (I think we shouldn't), is a matter for another day.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by fett0001 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:37 pm

Why are fees so much lower?
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:42 pm

bsmith wrote: No, or certainly not without the prior consent of Reach. Why would Reach tolerate someone attending their tournament telling their customers to stop coming? Would you tolerate the reverse? This is the disagreeable antagonism I was referring to elsewhere.

In my view, it would be much better to have some cordiality with Reach. Quizbowl in new areas will inevitably have to go through regional coordinators (for contacts, room reservations, equipment, etc), so it’s best to be on good terms. I know some of you don’t agree that approach, but let me get through provincials, and I’ll raise more discussion then.
Sorry if I sounded harsh, but after all these years of them ignoring our pleas to make Reach better and more acceptable...what's left to do? Reach has the potential to be a very successful format if they changed a number of things. I've tried to speak with them on good terms. I had an email conversation going with their tech guy, but didn't go anywhere. They didn't respond to Alex Rochon's letter, etc, etc.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Camelopardalis » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:41 pm

This is a fascinating thread, and I'd really like to dive in to this discussion in a constructive way. Unfortunately, I can't until tomorrow for school reasons.

Without fully going in to the comments above, NAQT has offered a "Best Canadian Team" award at the HSNCT for several years, but has never had enough teams meet the threshold to even offer the award. I think it would be unwise to jump from this to a Canadian championship in one year.

That's not to say that I don't genuinely appreciate your enthusiasm, Jeff. But I believe the effort and marketing focus that would go in to making this tournament even feasible (especially by ONQBA) is best spent on local activities. First priorities should be strong annual tournaments in Toronto, London, Hamilton, and Guelph, an active group of schools other than Lisgar, Colonel By, and Bell that will travel for quizbowl tournaments, and a group of staffers that can be relied upon to staff events in the province on a very regular basis, like every 2-4 weeks (I am not in this group, obviously).
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:08 pm

fett0001 wrote:Why are fees so much lower?
I would guess that initially, a lower fee was the only way to attract a lot of teams that were used to having their school pay their Reach entry fees for regional competitions in advance. It seems to have stuck.
pandabear555 wrote: Sorry if I sounded harsh, but after all these years of them ignoring our pleas to make Reach better and more acceptable...what's left to do? Reach has the potential to be a very successful format if they changed a number of things. I've tried to speak with them on good terms. I had an email conversation going with their tech guy, but didn't go anywhere. They didn't respond to Alex Rochon's letter, etc, etc.
It's been obvious for years that Reach only makes a show of reaching out to former players for reform and advise. I think that in the hope that our advice would be followed, none of us have made suggestions that go beyond very simple things like publishing a set distribution, underlining required parts in an answerline, and some other basic elements of good quizbowl, yet these changes have consistently failed to materialize.

Reach is bad, knows it's bad, but has no incentive to change. They run a business and are probably (?) making a profit and can reasonably expect to do so in the future unless things change. In short, they're the Toronto Maple Leafs of the high school academic (or in Reach's case, not so much) competition scene.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Camelopardalis » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:45 pm

TedGan wrote:If this does occur, I would strongly encourage it to hold it in Toronto. It's by far the most populated region in Canada, and has a large number of Reach schools. The strong Ottawa teams (e.g. Colonel By, Lisgar, Bell) would almost certainly attend a Toronto-hosted nationals anyways; no need to hold it near us. This strategy was employed by the ONQBA for Ontario Quizbowl Provincials: the bid was awarded to McMaster to encourage teams from the Greater Toronto Area & Golden Horseshoe to attend, rather than holding a tournament in or close to Ottawa, where many of the already-established Quizbowl teams call home.
I agree with Ted that if this tournament were to happen, Toronto would be the best place to do it. Ottawa is clearly Ontario's quizbowl hotspot, but I would worry that quizbowl would become an Ottawa-only pursuit the more it becomes focused here. By placing it in Toronto, teams like Lisgar, Colonel By, Bell would still attend, but teams like UTS, Woburn, Assumption, Ridley, Waterloo, etc. would have much more incentive.
pandabear555 wrote:This is what Ben Smith has done for his NAQT tournaments over the years, in which he replaces 1/1 per packet with Canadian content. Unfortunately, for the handful of tournaments I've done, I only had time to modify, with permission, one of the sets.
I just wanted to reiterate that this strategy has worked well in the past. This is what we did for all of the Guelph Provincials as well as the two TWIs, and even though it doesn't completely remove the American references, there's enough Canadian content to make it relevant to students. I would support continuing to do this going forward.
pandabear555 wrote: I think the biggest problem we have is a lack of overall effort and time form the collegiate players in general to help get the high schools interested. A lot of successful Reach players become successful in the university circuit (Not only Will Nediger). We have enough people in the province to fully staff a well run 30+ team tournament, whether this consists of current collegiate players or people who have been removed from the circuit, but not enough of those active and willing to run a high school event once every two months or so.
I think this is true, to an extent. We have many folks interested in helping and staffing - when I tried to get staff for the aforementioned tournaments, there was never a problem, and virtually everybody was really enthusiastic about the idea of growing high school quizbowl. The issue is that despite ONQBA, we haven't coordinated or disseminated work as much as we could. That's not to say that we should kick ourselves; we've made great strides over time, but we'll need to improve the way we set goals and work towards them.
bt_green_warbler wrote:2) Bigger problem: we would need outreach and qualifying tournaments outside of Ontario. Right now, a large number of the Canadian teams interested in pyramidal quizbowl are already attending the NAQT Ontario championship. Getting enough teams from other provinces to fly to a central site (almost certainly Ottawa?) would be a big challenge.
I agree; this would be a huge challenge. Population notwithstanding, Canada is a large country, and it's difficult to get any team other than Kennebecasis to fly anywehere. The best strategy here would be to focus on local events, and try to meld them later. Sinan Ulusoy has done great work in Alberta, and I believe that quizbowl would work in Maritime provinces at both high school and university levels, but would require some more quizbowlers living there. At present, there are none.
pandabear555 wrote:When I staffed Reach Provincials last year I thought that it would be extremely beneficial if one or more people who aren't just actively involved quizbowl players, but actual executives of NAQT, PACE, or HSAPQ to be there and not only aggressively recruit teams, but also to form an unbiased opinion of the format and be able to criticize them without being a former player. It's one thing to hear Patrick Liao and myself talk to teams, but it's another if the president of NAQT was there to talk about their game. There will be 40 teams there, of which 10 or so will have some quizbowl experience, but a big enough of a market to tap into. There's enough time between games to read about 15/15 worth of a regular high school packet. On the Saturday of Reach Provincials, which will be May 10th this year, all teams will have checked in as of 2pm and done with their exhibition games by 5, which leaves 5 hours or so to try and convince teams to play a mini-quizbowl tournament "under the hood" because all teams are already there, and they'll be missing a gala dinner in which two of the the hours is spent on playing a true/false trivia game anyways. Although this would be a prime time and location to try and get new teams to test out quizbowl, it would be extremely hard to accomplish this without the Reach staff figuring out, but the advantage is that about 30 or so teams who have never played quizbowl before would be available to advertise to.
I don't think it is a good idea at all to do quizbowl-type events at Reach. As bad as they are, I don't think we should risk making a scene, coming off as the bad guys, getting banned, etc. - I think it would do more harm, publicity-wise, for us to be seen as doing something "sneaky" at Reach, and for us to do it openly would require Reach approval.

I can't emphasize enough or agree with Ben more - antagonizing Reach is not a good idea. They are a business, and their only incentive to change is if it improves their bottom line. Our concerns are very ethereal to them. To beat Reach, we need to provide a better product at a better price. And that means better tournaments.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Great Bustard » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:00 pm

A brief note here. As I have mentioned before, IHBB is planning on launching our Canadian Division in 2014-15. We will do outreach trips, invest heavily in a mailer campaign, and we have a reporter at a major Canadian newspaper interested in doing a feature on us. We will then send the article, if it materializes, to schools. If we do this, and we almost certainly will, we will go in big, and make it happen. IHBB has the unique advantage of being able to contact history teachers, which works far better because it is more targeted, than just mailing principals/headmasters/activities directors/whomever. If we can get 18 teams in Malaysia, we can make Canada happen too. Expect 8-10 regional events: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Windsor, London, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax or something like that, and a National Championships, most likely in Ottawa. We will then promote good quizbowl to these teams, and they will eventually expand into it. If nothing else has worked with Canada, this eventually will, though we're talking a solid 5-10 year process here. But we're in this for the long haul, and ultimately, this will be the strategy we use to bring the buzzer and the pyramidal tossup from everywhere from Nunavut to Nouakchott.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by bsmith » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:32 pm

Standard-winged Nightjar wrote:A brief note here. As I have mentioned before, IHBB is planning on launching our Canadian Division in 2014-15.
I wish you luck, and hope you succeed. There are some quizbowlers scattered around the country that would probably help.
Expect 8-10 regional events: Vancouver,
Vancouver has a busy Reach circuit, and I suspect this would actually be the easiest region to work with, despite the university quizbowl scene disappearing.
Edmonton, Calgary,
The Alberta team would know if this would work as two separate regions, or just make one. There is also a tiny rural Saskatchewan Reach circuit near Lloydminster that would logically be assigned to Edmonton. Alberta, of all places, is the most active area for junior-level Reach.
Winnipeg,
This is a relatively isolated and smaller population base, but there are some active teams. Northwestern Ontario (eg: Thunder Bay) is usually lumped with Manitoba in competitions.
Windsor, London,
Unless you know teachers in Windsor or have a tie-in with Detroit, I would just lump that area into London. Western (the university itself, not the club) has hosted Reach regionals, and would be the most likely partner in the area for this.
Toronto,
We had zero teams from Toronto play quizbowl this year. The only Toronto public schools we've had since 2010 have been without coaches. I believe the single greatest hurdle to quizbowl in Ontario is… Saturday. In the aftermath of last year's labour dispute, the public teacher's union clarified their policies about extra-curriculars and emphasized that teachers have their own personal time outside of school hours. Despite union assurances that clubs and sports would return to normal, in effect, that resolution has turned Ontario's extra-curriculars into Monday-Friday, 9-to-5 activities. There are no "Friday night lights" in Ontario- sports are done weekdays after lunch (eg: Toronto's boys hockey championship was on a Tuesday at 1:45 PM). Teachers doing activities on weekends need to either get approvals (and funding) for paid weekend time and substitutes, or keep it quiet from the union. Most teachers don't want either hassle, and avoid weekends except for something really serious like a sports provincial championship.

University-based quizbowl organizers depend on Saturdays, but Saturdays don't mesh with Ontario teachers. IHBB should consider weekday events for adoption in this province.
Montreal,
En français, this would be easy- even the Québec government would work with you. In English, there are not enough high schools students (Québec sends students off to colleges after Grade 11) for meaningful competition. Unfortunately, Reach in Québec only survives because attendance and coordination is propped up by college students.
and Halifax or something like that,
If you can partner with Dalhousie (they run Nova Scotia Reach and a few other quizzes), Halifax is a logical choice for the area. If not, New Brunswick is where the teams are at. Saturdays are not an issue in the Maritimes, just a lack of people who know about quizbowl.

Overall, if I were to pick the 5 "hottest" cities, I would say Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto (if they get on-board), Ottawa, and Saint John/Moncton NB.

Finally, despite having a history teacher focus, it wouldn't hurt to have local Reach collaboration, even if only for facility reservations, buzzers, and avoiding date conflicts.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Camelopardalis » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:58 pm

bsmith wrote:Saint John/Moncton NB.
I agree with Ben that this is an awesome idea, I'm sure many Canadian quizbowlers will support your cause.

I also agree that the Maritimes would be a great place to have a circuit, and it's already easily one of the strongest Reach regions on a per capita basis.

- NB has historically been strong at Reach, and some of their schools like Kennebecasis Valley, travel to Ottawa for tournaments (albeit mostly Reach)
- The relatively small size of the area makes travel easy
- There are essentially as many small and large universities in NS and NB that could support quizbowl programs as there are in Ontario (Dalhousie, King's, UNB, Mt. Allison, St. FX, UPEI, UCB...)
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Great Bustard » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:36 am

Ben and Chris,
Thanks for the advice! I've just talked to our webmaster about starting the design for our Canadian website, and we'll be making outreach plans soon. Regarding the whole Saturday concern; would this hold as well for a National Championship? I can think of some ways (after school events, events on holidays, etc) that could get around the Saturday issue at the regional level, but for a Canadian Nationals, we'd need to do it on a weekend. I would be happy with 12-16 teams for a Nationals the first year, though hopefully, we could get about 20-25. We've run a European Championships the last two years with 6 and 12 teams respectively (expecting about 20 this year for that), so it's certainly possible to have an enjoyable Nationals with a small field size. Also, I'd be open to additional tournaments beyond the places I mentioned if we get contacts (especially people who can direct without having us to fly someone in) in other areas. But as long as we can muster 6 teams in a region, I will fly someone in to run it, if needed.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by bsmith » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:29 am

Great Bustard wrote:Regarding the whole Saturday concern; would this hold as well for a National Championship? I can think of some ways (after school events, events on holidays, etc) that could get around the Saturday issue at the regional level, but for a Canadian Nationals, we'd need to do it on a weekend.
Sports and Reach are able to hold national championships on weekends. It's the events at the local level that are held on weekdays.

Please note that it is entirely possible to run local events in Ontario on weekends: quizbowl happens here. We just don't have very much teacher participation (not counting Lisgar, of course!).
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:46 pm

Camelopardalis wrote:
- NB has historically been strong at Reach, and some of their schools like Kennebecasis Valley, travel to Ottawa for tournaments (albeit mostly Reach)
The unfortunate thing is that KV is only funded to go out of province to play Reach for the Top, and do not have the support to come to one of the many yearly quizbowl events in Ottawa.

I have one question, though; how does something like History Bowl help bridge a gap between Reach and good quizbowl? It seems to be if not enough people want to play quizbowl, even less people/coaches would want to attend a subject specific event.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:54 pm

pandabear555 wrote: I have one question, though; how does something like History Bowl help bridge a gap between Reach and good quizbowl? It seems to be if not enough people want to play quizbowl, even less people/coaches would want to attend a subject specific event.
I don't know about bridging a gap between Reach and quizbowl, but I think it's easier to recruit for history bowl because the history teacher/department is a natural target (e.g. a "hey if you have four kids who love history, here's a thing for you" email) that you lack for quizbowl.

EDIT: As I've mentioned elsewhere, the 4Q format of history bowl might make for a more palatable transition from the varied question formats in Reach and the rigid tossup-bonus cycle of quizbowl. I don't think this will be a huge factor though.
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Theodore » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:32 am

pandabear555 wrote: I have one question, though; how does something like History Bowl help bridge a gap between Reach and good quizbowl? It seems to be if not enough people want to play quizbowl, even less people/coaches would want to attend a subject specific event.
As Patrick stated, approaching a history teacher saying "Do you like history?" works a lot better than approaching an administrator and saying "Do you like trivia/quiz games?" or something vague but true such as "Do you like academically-rewarding activities?". Yes, Quizbowl consists of academic subjects, but its broadness of topics sometimes makes it look like a trivial trivia game (I know that it isn't, but that's how a lot of people unfamiliar to Quizbowl see it). To me, the specificity is a definite strength in outreach.

One of the most common complaints of pyramidal Quizbowl is that the questions are too long, so a four-quarter game might be a good bridge. Probably asking for a lot as History Bowl is relatively recent, but perhaps Mr. Madden has an example of a region that had no good pyramidal Quizbowl, had its first exposure to good Quizbowl from History Bowl, then also began pyramidal non-NHBB Quizbowl afterwards?
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Re: A pyramidal Canadian championship?

Post by Great Bustard » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:12 am

Theodore wrote:
pandabear555 wrote: One of the most common complaints of pyramidal Quizbowl is that the questions are too long, so a four-quarter game might be a good bridge. Probably asking for a lot as History Bowl is relatively recent, but perhaps Mr. Madden has an example of a region that had no good pyramidal Quizbowl, had its first exposure to good Quizbowl from History Bowl, then also began pyramidal non-NHBB Quizbowl afterwards?
Virtually no one complains that IHBB questions are too long, and they're certainly 4-5 line tossups. The length issue is more of a problem if everyone is waiting until the end to buzz. IHBB questions are easier (for now) than NHBB, but still certainly pyramidal. As for examples of regions that first got pyramidal quizbowl from NHBB and then started branching over, I'd cite Oregon as a good example. The fact that Stoller won our middle school nationals last year, and then sent their kids on that team to three different high schools helps. Within the USA, South Florida (Chaminade and Archimedean) and Westchester County, NY (Scarsdale, Horace Greeley, Irvington, etc.) have certainly seen a good amount of pickup in teams playing NHBB and then branching out into other pyramidal events. There are certainly other examples. Internationally, we're just getting off the ground, really, in Asia, and Europe is a total desert for quizbowl of any sort beyond IHBB and Schools Challenge in the UK. Again, the branching out from IHBB to quizbowl is both a) basically inevitable but b) going to take a good long while, like 5-10 or even more years. Where we find people who want to run with quizbowl and a concentration of good schools this process will go quicker.
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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.
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