IHBB Canadian championships

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bsmith
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IHBB Canadian championships

Post by bsmith »

I’m sure David will have his own comments later, but the Canadian championships of the International History Bee & Bowl were held at Lisgar CI on Saturday.

In the Bowl:
Varsity: Lisgar CI (Ottawa)
Junior Varsity: Royal St. George’s (Toronto)
Middle School: Selwyn House (Montreal)

In the Bee:
Varsity: Cameron of Colonel By SS
Junior Varsity: Gareth of UTS
Middle School: Darcy of Loyola

As a reader, I was impressed at how well the “non-quizbowl” teams held their own against the Ottawa teams, especially in junior varsity. Selwyn did well in the JV and MS divisions despite having no buzzer experience of any kind, and Royal St. George’s comfortably won JV even with little Reach experience.

In varsity, I think the absence of Waterloo CI and half of Colonel By was noticeable, but Lisgar built on their close loss to CB at ONQBA provincials to finally win a tournament this year.

I was impressed by the questions (roughly 90% of which were used at US nationals) and how they were still answerable by the novice teams, though, through no fault of that emergency writing crew, it was beyond the depth of most of the middle school players.

I think IHBB is in good shape to continue next year. They got through to Toronto, which is important, and the Montreal teams are enthusiastic, despite being new to any quiz competition. Two target sites for next year could be New Brunswick (arguably the second strongest province after Ontario) and Winnipeg (where nearly every high school is enrolled in Reach, and there are a few private schools that could tap funds for travel). Allowing a little more time between regionals and nationals could also help qualified teams sort out their funds and logistics; I think the southwest Ontario teams were stuck with only one month’s notice. Finally, because of how well the US national set worked in Canada, I think the Canadian local sites should use a modified US regional set rather than the modified international set.

Thanks to the Maddens for running the event, that whole writing crew for the questions, the many university players that came in to staff, and the teams for attending.
Ben Smith
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Re: IHBB Canadian championships

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit »

I would like to thank David and Nolween Madden for their stellar work organizing and recruiting teams from across the country for this tournament. I would also like to thank Ben Smith for sending me a bunch of Canadian history questions that required minimal editing before being thrown in to the set, Joe Su for doing the heavy lifting in the assembling of the set from US NHBB nationals and NHBB A, and Brendan McKendy for helping slot in questions in the final stages of packet assembly.

Having learned from the mistakes this year, there's lots of things that Joe Su and I have learned about packet assembly that will be fixed for next year when hopefully things aren't as hectic for NHBB sets as they were this year. For one, the middle school set will be converted from NHBB C or B instead of just a shorter version of US NHBB Nationals, and done well before nationals.

I believe that the Canadian history questions are not being used for any other NHBB tournaments, and should be open for discussion.
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Re: IHBB Canadian championships

Post by Lighthouse Expert Elinor DeWire »

This tournament was really well run. We had a lot of amazing staffers from the GTA who came up as well as many Lisgar alumni who helped read/scorekeep throughout the day. This was definitely a good way to end the first season of IHBB Canada. Lisgar was an very good place to have held a tournament of this sort; we certainly a very large network of skilled alumni and local staffers who can effectively moderate quizbowl games. We also got the rooms at no cost. However, I think future versions of Nationals should almost always be held in Toronto, as that's where you're going to get the most teams.

I think this tournament cost waaaaaay too much - A team of 4 is paying $430 for 9 rounds of quizbowl. A lot of this money is coming out of student's pockets.
bsmith wrote: In varsity, I think the absence of Waterloo CI and half of Colonel By was noticeable, but Lisgar built on their close loss to CB at ONQBA provincials to finally win a tournament this year.
This was my first year staffing NHBB stuff, but the fact that I can say that "Colonel By lost in the finals because they were missing their science player" means something's not right. I believe history bowl should continue to have historical non-history questions, but completely void of non-history clues before the giveaway if possible.
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Re: IHBB Canadian championships

Post by Lighthouse Expert Elinor DeWire »

Of course, the biggest thanks goes to the Maddens for their recruitment of teams from all around, and for directing this wonderful event.
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Re: IHBB Canadian championships

Post by Great Bustard »

The Last 20 Stanley Cup Winners wrote: I think this tournament cost waaaaaay too much - A team of 4 is paying $430 for 9 rounds of quizbowl. A lot of this money is coming out of student's pockets.
This needs to be seen in its proper context. Yes, Varsity and JV teams were only guaranteed 5 rounds in the Bowl, but almost all teams played at least 6, and the Bee had 4 rounds rather than 3. Proportionally, this was considerably less expensive than US Nationals, and only 1 student (shout out to Jason from British Columbia!) needed to fly to attend (compared with the majority of teams at US Nationals). Moreover, while it's obvious that National Championships have added costs for organizers (and hence are much more expensive than regionals) due to travel, awards, staffing and other expenses, please keep in mind here specifically the manifold start-up costs that Nolwenn and I encountered in setting up IHBB Canada this year. This included 3 trips to BC/AB, ON, and ON/QC/NB/NS to recruit, building a website, opening accounts (and figuring out how we need to be incorporated in Canada), thousands of emails sent to history teachers, and all of this knowing full well that we aren't likely to even break even in Canada until probably our 3rd year. And that, again, doesn't even include the fact that Nolwenn and I rely on tournament revenues for our living. If you factor that in, this tournament was very affordable. Next year, the price will almost certainly increase, but so can the number of rounds (and ideally, this will be a 2 day event like our other international championships). The growth of quiz bowl everywhere, and especially launching new national circuits and championships does not happen by accident, nor can it happen without a committed investment of time and money. Charging $102.50 Canadian per student (about $80 US) to do both the Bee and the Bowl in a National Championship, which for many is a once or twice in a lifetime experience is a bargain by any reasonable standard.
Aside from that, Nolwenn and I are very happy with how IHBB Canada turned out this year. I'll have more to say in a subsequent post on the matter of where we go from here, but it was great to get IHBB Canada off the ground, have a new national tournament which went great, and give hundreds of students a chance to compete, including many for whom it was their first quizbowl experience of any sort. Many thanks to Joe, Ben, Patrick, Brendan, Ruth Crabtree at Lisgar, our Nationals staff, and our Regionals Directors for making this all possible. We really appreciate your help!
The Last 20 Stanley Cup Winners wrote: This was my first year staffing NHBB stuff, but the fact that I can say that "Colonel By lost in the finals because they were missing their science player" means something's not right. I believe history bowl should continue to have historical non-history questions, but completely void of non-history clues before the giveaway if possible.
I don't really follow this. I went back and checked and the two history of science tossups in the final match were well-written and very much emphasized the historical side of the science in question. As for being completely void of non-history clues, that's largely a matter of definition, and if you look at that definition strictly, impossible. All tossups are going to have some information contained within that is not historical, strictly-speaking (even if just the usual matters of linguistic clues / possible answerlines given difficulty range / etc. are taken into account). On the other hand, though, compared with the sets I used to get in the first year or two of HSAPQ, there have been far fewer questions submitted to NHBB that are straight up geography than there used to be. As for other tangential subjects (fine arts, RMP, lit, history of science, etc.), I haven't noticed there being too much of an issue here either this year.
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Re: IHBB Canadian championships

Post by Considered Harmful »

First off, thanks to everybody (especially the Maddens of course) who made this tournament happen. All of us from Lisgar had an awesome time.

Anyways, though I found that the "non-history" tossups generally did a good job at approaching the topics from a historical perspective, I'm inclined to agree with Joe that there was one science tossup in the final that was a bit problematic, in that one of the first hints was (as I remember it, at least) unambiguously science and in no way history. Had that hint come later in the tossup it would've been fine, but it's probably not a good thing that we got 30 points off a hint that wasn't really history-related.
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Re: IHBB Canadian championships

Post by Great Bustard »

This man hypothesized the existence of an “aperiodic crystal” that contains genetic information in his book What is Life? In the paper “Quantization as an Eigenvalue Problem”, this man presented a result often stated as the Hamiltonian of psi equals energy times psi. Eugene Wigner extended an idea named for this man by proposing Wigner's (+) “friend”; in this man's original setup, a radioactive source determines whether a (*) hammer shatters a container of poison and kills an animal. For 10 points, name this Austrian physicist, the namesake of a thought experiment involving a simultaneously living and dead cat.
ANSWER: Erwin Schrodinger <EM> {I}

Is this the tossup in question? (I'll take this out of the Euros/Asians set, obviously. If not, what was the answerline?) I'm no scientist, but this looks formulated reasonably historically from my perspective, even thought there's an equation referenced in the question.
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Re: IHBB Canadian championships

Post by Considered Harmful »

That was the one. I suppose that the way it's worded does technically make it all historical, but I'm still unsure as to whether the details regarding the equation really should be there. The issue (as I see it) is not that it's lacking any historical context, but that the hint is inviting a buzz based not on its historical aspect, but on the contents of the equation, which themselves aren't really history-related.
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Re: IHBB Canadian championships

Post by Oh No You Didn't »

hey dude u know that anyone who's looked at the history of the schrodinger equation would know what it looks like right?
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Re: IHBB Canadian championships

Post by Cody »

Around occasionally wrote:That was the one. I suppose that the way it's worded does technically make it all historical, but I'm still unsure as to whether the details regarding the equation really should be there. The issue (as I see it) is not that it's lacking any historical context, but that the hint is inviting a buzz based not on its historical aspect, but on the contents of the equation, which themselves aren't really history-related.
Yet the contents of the equation are of supreme importance to science history. Sure, you're going to learn that in a QM class, but that doesn't detract from the historical aspect of the raw equation.
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Re: IHBB Canadian championships

Post by Considered Harmful »

I still feel that most of the buzzes will be happening because of science knowledge and not science history knowledge, but you guys are probably right that the historical significance justifies it being there.
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Re: IHBB Canadian championships

Post by 8-) »

Great tournament.

I agree that the 2016 nationals should be held in Toronto since the established Ottawa teams would travel anywhere, and Toronto has shown the highest interest at their regionals and most potential for growth (considering the number of schools in the area).
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