New Hampshire Quizbowl?

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New Hampshire Quizbowl?

Post by Maury Island incident » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:41 pm

I know I'm not from New Hampshire, but the possibility of New Hampshire quizbowl is a topic that probably merits some attention. I know some teams like Portsmouth Christian and Hanover have competed at HSNCT before, Nashua South is becoming an active team this upcoming year, and a Phillips Exeter team might happen. I also know there is some kind of a bad quizbowl league format in the state that seems to have a good number of participants, and some teams do NHBB as well. I feel like New Hampshire teams can easily come to Massachusetts and Vermont tournaments without much of an issue. Can some people who know more about quizbowl in the state please enlighten me on the subject?
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Re: New Hampshire Quizbowl?

Post by kcommo » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:34 pm

The New Hampshire Quiz Bowl League is the state tournament, and unless things have changed in the last couple of years, they play 10-minute matches of all tossups using Academic Hallmarks questions. The league is run by Bill Murphy, the longtime Hanover coach. The Granite State Challenge, the NH Public Television tournament in Beall Bowl format, also plays a big factor in the state's competition as schools that are competing in that tend to be much more active each season.

Here in Vermont, we have a fair amount of contact with New Hampshire schools. Hanover (a school district that also includes Norwich, VT) plays in our league as well as the NHQBL so they compete in nearly all our tournaments. We also typically see a couple other schools at PHAT each year, though there hasn't been much consistency about which schools that has been. Hanover has also held a "Twin State" tournament pitting top Vermont teams against top New Hampshire teams the last few years, though it hasn't drawn much interest from Vermont in the past as it's been after our season is mostly over. They are trying to do it November this year to improve attendance.

As for teams, Portsmouth Christian appears to be emerging as a serious program to go along -- or surpass -- Hanover. Besides that, there have been other teams that have been briefly very competitive and ambitious over the years -- Salem, Derryfield and Manchester West jump to mind -- but they haven't kept it up more than a year or two. Philips Exeter had a pretty good team building in the mid 2000s, but their coach died a couple of years ago and I think they're more or less starting over now.
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Re: New Hampshire Quizbowl?

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:38 pm

PEA had a very strong showing on MITFAT, so i expect that they can repeat their success in later tournaments. Hopefully a few non-Exeter teams from New Hampshire can attend some MA tournaments as well.
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Re: New Hampshire Quizbowl?

Post by Maury Island incident » Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:50 am

Bishop Guertin and Nashua South both either have attended or will attend MA tournaments this year.
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Re: New Hampshire Quizbowl?

Post by a bird » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:43 pm

Kevin's overview is solid (if overly diplomatic), but if anyone has questions about the NH Quiz Bowl League (or its questionable practices) I can try to answer them. (I graduated from Hanover in 2013.)

I hope that Massachusetts tournament hosts make an effort to recruit New Hampshire teams, since I doubt good quizbowl events will happen in New Hampshire in the near future. It sounds like there's been some progress toward this, so kudos on that.
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Re: New Hampshire Quizbowl?

Post by troyharris » Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:31 am

I think the New Hampshire circuit is improving. This past year there was one obvious team that stood out in Bishop Guertin, at least on the NAQT Circuit, and as always they were very good on the NH circuit as well. Not many teams play on the NAQT Circuit due to financial and geographical challenges. They stick to the NH Quiz Bowl League, which is competitive, but structured much differently than NAQT. Kingswood H.S. in Wolfeboro was the overall champion this year in a very competitive championship. It is a tricky transition to play on both circuits, mainly because there are no negs on the NH Circuit. Players used to buzzing without penalty in NH find that to be a very poor strategy in pyramid-structured questions. This my was the first time in the past three years that my sons' team at Plymouth Regional played in multiple NAQT tournaments, and while it was a growing experience for them learning how to play teams more experienced with pyramid style questions, Coach Fogarty uses them frequently at practice and they steadily improved all year as a team, making it to SSNCT with a seventeenth place finish. Hopefully will continue to compete at NAQT regional tournaments around New England this year.
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Re: New Hampshire Quizbowl?

Post by cchiego » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:48 pm

troyharris wrote:It is a tricky transition to play on both circuits, mainly because there are no negs on the NH Circuit. Players used to buzzing without penalty in NH find that to be a very poor strategy in pyramid-structured questions.
You don't have to use negs in pyramidal tournaments; it's totally fine to make small modifications like not using negs if that matters to local teams. There are lots of different formats that you can use, but the key should be that the questions are fair (i.e. pyramidal) for the teams and players.

What might be a larger difference between formats is that the AUK/Academic Hallmarks questions are atrocious. If anything, you're more likely to buzz in incorrectly during an AUK question because of a swerve or hose and a lack of specifying what the question's even asking for. Playing AUK encourages memorizing old questions due to question recycling and places a focus on trying to guess "where the question is going" rather than actually challenging teams based on knowledge. It's pretty stunning that the NH Quizbowl League site openly admits that for its tournaments, "All of the questions are recycled toss up questions."

Given that schools are paying $100 per school for this league, it seems eminently possible to have that $$ go to purchasing fair questions that haven't been played by NH teams before (!) rather than the AUK atrocities.
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