Ontario 2014-15

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Ontario 2014-15

Post by bsmith » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:00 pm

All Ontario competitions are over and I sent out next year's provincials host call, so I may as well start the 2014-15 news thread.

Firstly, the host call for the ONQBA provincial championship was sent to the universities and a few active high schools. Because of conflicts with March break, Easter, and university activities, I proposed a date of March 7, 2015 in the host call. Further details of the championship will come when the host is determined, after the submission deadline of September 30.

Teams are welcome and encouraged to host regular season events. For most parts of the province, I would recommend sticking with novice and/or NAQT IS-A level sets. Ottawa will probably cover the full range of difficulties over the course of the year.

Like usual, I will send mailings out in September with information and tournament announcements. If you would like to run a tournament and have it included in the mailings, contact me by, say, September 21.

I will be on the lookout for another teacher labour dispute. Their contract ends August 31, and all signs point to the union getting ready for a strike. We, of course, hope that nothing happens, but if it is a strike rather than job action, it may be over relatively quickly- and we'll avoid the drawn-out problems of 2012-13.

Finally, some people are already aware of this, but I have been, and will continue to be, paid by SchoolReach for writing services. In the aftermath of this past provincials, I am taking on an extensive writing effort this summer. I do not have editorial control, but questions will look different. I am declaring this for the sake of transparency, but I anticipate that my quizbowl efforts will resume once SchoolReach writing wraps up with minimal conflict.

Good luck to all the teams!
Ben Smith
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by Theodore » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:15 am

How likely is a teacher labour dispute now, given the Liberal majority victory?

I think the #1 thing the Canadian circuit needs is more presence in Toronto. Of course, the universities will have to bid, but I think a provincials hosted in/near the GTA would greatly help.

Also, will the ONQBA hold a (online) meeting this summer?
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by bsmith » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:08 pm

Theodore wrote:How likely is a teacher labour dispute now, given the Liberal majority victory?
The same. Last year, OSSTF had one of the largest strike funds in Canada- enough for about 20 days for every teacher, longer if they rotate. This past month, they voted to increase the levy for the strike fund. The Liberals are planning a wage freeze or another unpaid day for high school teachers. Unions don't pass on a month of strike funding just to accept a pay cut.

From a quizbowl perspective, I think an October strike (lasting a few weeks) is more likely than a year of "job action". Any HS quizbowl tournaments will probably be cancelled during a strike, but we would try to continue like 2012-13 if it's just an activities stoppage.
Also, will the ONQBA hold a (online) meeting this summer?
Patrick and/or Joe should schedule one.
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:09 pm

bsmith wrote:
Theodore wrote:Also, will the ONQBA hold a (online) meeting this summer?
Patrick and/or Joe should schedule one.
This will happen after the high school year is over to allow for maximum participation.
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:57 am

We need to consider that Canadian History Bowl and Bee may come to Canada and leave spots so that their tournaments can be properly held. Regionals being moved to January helps clear February space for CHBB regionals. CHBB Nationals would be anytime between ICT and Reach Provincials.

We should also have a definite plan on how McMaster, Toronto, and Waterloo will work their tournaments this year. I'd like to see at least one regular season tournament on IS-A (hopefully a Canadian version) hosted at each one of those schools. I will not be much help for writing that because of PADAWAN commitments , but Jeff and R know that this is what I want to eventually happen.
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:08 pm

SCOP Novice is going to be mixed into the ICCS, PADAWAN, ACF Fall weekends and will likely be held at Lisgar and organized by CB.

I assume OQT is going to be under the control of the Ottawa Team. NAQT still needs to send me details about this, but somewhere along the lines of a 2.5/2.5 replacement is what we'll have to do.

I'm looking to do BELLOCO on December the 6th in Ottawa if the field seems appropriate.

On January 31st, we're going to do something, most likely a Reach style event again. However this time we're going to get questions from NAQT in some form, and will modify them ourselves. I think this will be another good step into making Reach for the Top style A Somewhat Reputable Thing.

Ottawa CHB Nationals is between SCT, George Oppen and whatnot in February. Carleton wants to do this.

CHBB Nationals is tentatively May 2nd and 3rd at Lisgar. This lets Ottawa teams not have to travel to Toronto two weekends in a row.
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by bsmith » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:23 am

pandabear555 wrote:On January 31st, we're going to do something, most likely a Reach style event again. However this time we're going to get questions from NAQT in some form, and will modify them ourselves. I think this will be another good step into making Reach for the Top style A Somewhat Reputable Thing.
I know why this is happening- "Reach style" means KV will show up. Nevertheless, I don't think you'll find transplanting quizbowl questions to Reach style to be a simple matter, unless you're planning 20 who-am-I and 20 team scramble questions (which would be unfair to teams actually expecting the Reach format).

I'm not sure how you can "Reach-ify" quizbowl questions without a rewrite from scratch. Bonuses can't be easily used as 30/40 point category questions: quizbowl bonus parts are not written with the assumption that players are competing for them on buzzers. Even tossups don't translate well: the clues are spread over multiple sentences, so selecting a single sentence for a snapper wouldn't provide much variation of clue difficulty. No, you pretty much have to write from scratch, like in earlier years. If you decide to undergo such an effort, I can provide the subject and question type distribution that I'm using for my "Reach project".

Reach itself will look different next year. About a third of the questions will come from me, with the remainder from the regular stable of writers that still want their questions used. I obviously can't give specifics, but there will be less "typical Reach" (wordplay, spelling, birth dates) and more "typical quizbowl" (worldly topics, multiple clues, alternate answers).
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:09 am

bsmith wrote: I know why this is happening- "Reach style" means KV will show up. Nevertheless, I don't think you'll find transplanting quizbowl questions to Reach style to be a simple matter, unless you're planning 20 who-am-I and 20 team scramble questions (which would be unfair to teams actually expecting the Reach format).
This will also let a lot of Southern Ontario teams come. Last year, we got UTS to come, and they said other teams wanted to come too, but wasn't given enough time to plan.

So what do you want to see? Obviously we all want to see the tournament on that weekend to be a quizbowl tournament like it was in 2013. It's either the abomination we saw last year (which I only managed to salvage through running the tournament itself smoothly) or baseline level a collection of good questions written by a reputable question source.
bsmith wrote: I'm not sure how you can "Reach-ify" quizbowl questions without a rewrite from scratch. Bonuses can't be easily used as 30/40 point category questions: quizbowl bonus parts are not written with the assumption that players are competing for them on buzzers. Even tossups don't translate well: the clues are spread over multiple sentences, so selecting a single sentence for a snapper wouldn't provide much variation of clue difficulty. No, you pretty much have to write from scratch, like in earlier years. If you decide to undergo such an effort, I can provide the subject and question type distribution that I'm using for my "Reach project".


As much as I and many other people would just prefer a generic mirror of a tournament, it's very unlikely as Lisgar's coaching staff want it very much to be a Reach-style tournament. If nobody takes control to make it even somewhat decent and teams from outside Ottawa come, there's no way they would ever want to come back.If I can get it, we're going to use NAQT's Minnesota set, which already has an amount of assorted snapper style questions and directed team questions of a single category. It also has lots/lots of regular A-series level tossups and bonuses. NAQT bonuses are easier to convert to 30-point categories because you see way more "For 10 points each, answer the following about..." than other sets. The bonus parts aren't fully pyramidal, but neither is Reach. Just browsing through the NAQT Sample Packet from IS-114A, many of the bonuses can be used. We're still going to write about 10% from scratch to build in the extra Canadian based content.
bsmith wrote: Reach itself will look different next year. About a third of the questions will come from me, with the remainder from the regular stable of writers that still want their questions used. I obviously can't give specifics, but there will be less "typical Reach" (wordplay, spelling, birth dates) and more "typical quizbowl" (worldly topics, multiple clues, alternate answers).
This is good; however, with a limited amount of time and the obvious demand for a reach event in Ottawa this winter, I think cannibalizing a NAQT set is the most efficient way to go. I think this will only compliment and not harm your work with Reach to transition Ontario into good questions.

I also think in the long run, it would be wise to have an ever growing NAQT take over Reach writing as they did in Minnesota and Missouri.
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by Theodore » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:08 am

Not clear what your plan is, but I interpret (please correct me if I'm wrong) that you intend on advertising Quizbowl as Reach. Don't do that; it just leads to confusion.
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:30 am

Theodore wrote:Not clear what your plan is, but I interpret (please correct me if I'm wrong) that you intend on advertising Quizbowl as Reach. Don't do that; it just leads to confusion.
Unrelated bonuses (E.g. FTPE answer these questions about Colonel John By) make very good categories. 60 second rounds make good assigned/relay questions as well as category questions considering we're not going to use all of them for assigned/relay. Advertising quizbowl as reach isn't appropriate.
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by Theodore » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:37 am

pandabear555 wrote:
Theodore wrote:Not clear what your plan is, but I interpret (please correct me if I'm wrong) that you intend on advertising Quizbowl as Reach. Don't do that; it just leads to confusion.
Unrelated bonuses (E.g. FTPE answer these questions about Colonel John By) make very good categories. 60 second rounds make good assigned/relay questions as well as category questions considering we're not going to use all of them for assigned/relay. Advertising quizbowl as reach isn't appropriate.
Okay, I was mistaken; sorry for the misunderstanding.

I will find it highly amusing when readers who are accustomed to reading Quizbowl will say something like "For 10 points each" instead of "30 point open on X topic"
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by bsmith » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:30 am

This will be confirmed in time for the week of September 22 mail-outs, but proposed ONQBA participation discounts for the provincial championships in March could be (school selects ONE of the following that apply):
-$40 for hosting an ONQBA event --> previously $50
-$15 for participating in two (prior to provincials) events
-$10 for winning an ONQBA event
-$5 for participating in one (prior to provincials) event --> previously nothing

Discounts would be shifted from hosting to one-time participation. Three years of the hosting discount has only resulted in one new school hosting (Colonel By; though Bell hosted an event after provincials had passed). Meanwhile there were teams at last year's provincials that had participated in one tournament but had no discount available to them.

Any History Bowl tournaments would not technically be an ONQBA event (it would be IHBB "jurisdiction"), but teams can count that participation toward the provincials discounts. SchoolReach regionals and "Reach-style" events would not count.

Also, if any clarification is needed: these participation discounts are only applied to provincials admission fees. Hosts of other tournaments are allowed to offer whatever discounts they wish (buzzers, staff, distance, multiple teams, etc).
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by bsmith » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:42 am

A separate concern, but related to comments upthread:

A teacher strike in Ontario is unlikely. A portion of the OSSTF strike fund was transferred to the BC union over the summer to help sustain the BC teacher strike (which itself is probably ending today).
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by bsmith » Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:41 am

The host of the 2015 ONQBA provincial championship will be decided between bids from Lisgar Collegiate Institute and Queen's University. The ONQBA executive should make a selection before the end of this weekend.
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Re: Ontario 2014-15

Post by bsmith » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:40 pm

Lisgar Collegiate Institute will host the 2015 ONQBA provincial championship on March 7, 2015.

An announcement will be prepared after some final details are arranged.
Ben Smith
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