Running a Middle School Tournament

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tktennis
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Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 7:33 pm
Location: Daphne, Alabama

Running a Middle School Tournament

Post by tktennis » Thu May 28, 2015 10:41 pm

Hey all!

So our team apparently qualified for NAQT nats in Dallas this year three times, and our coaches had never told us.

This compounds the greater issue of, as with all teams, many times we are unable to make it to tournaments due to lack of funds.

So, our varsity teams are wondering if we can run a middle school tournament in order to fund ourselves.

This is wondering if there is anything I should look out for? Our area has a local MS league, but they aren't affiliated with NAQT or anything of the sort. We would probably attempt to have high school write the questions (or I could just do it myself for a one day tournament...) Our players already moderate the MS league matches.

Anything I'm missing? What is an acceptable entry fee? Anything else I should have on-site?
Trent Kannegieter
Captain, A Team
Bayside Academy '17
Daphne, Alabama
trentkannegieter@gmail.com

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I'm a goff (in case you couldn't tell)
Quizbowl Detective Extraordinaire
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 10:25 pm
Location: Wichita, KS

Re: Running a Middle School Tournament

Post by I'm a goff (in case you couldn't tell) » Fri May 29, 2015 7:42 am

tktennis wrote:So, our varsity teams are wondering if we can run a middle school tournament in order to fund ourselves.
Absolutely. There's (theoretically) nothing that would preclude you from hosting a high school tournament, either.
tktennis wrote:This is wondering if there is anything I should look out for? Our area has a local MS league, but they aren't affiliated with NAQT or anything of the sort. We would probably attempt to have high school write the questions (or I could just do it myself for a one day tournament...) Our players already moderate the MS league matches.
I would advise strongly against trying to write questions for your first tournament. Even at the middle school level, writing a tournament's worth of questions, and then editing, revising for content and difficulty, and compiling the sets is a significant effort. It's very easy to significantly underestimate the amount of time required to complete such an effort, especially on your own**. Look for questions from a reputable vendor; NAQT and SCOP are probably your best options; watch the Middle School forum for more details about the latter and any other sets that might potentially become available.
tktennis wrote:Anything I'm missing? What is an acceptable entry fee? Anything else I should have on-site?
Entry fees should be enough to cover your tournament expenses, including the cost of procuring questions from a vendor and any other expenses (photocopying is often a big one). Balance that along with any entry fees you may have paid for tournaments in the past, or what other tournaments customarily charge in your state/region. The tournament database may be useful here; it's easy to search through and find past tournaments based on difficulty level or location.

I don't remember if anyone has written anything more recent (probably, but I'm procrastinating on some other work and don't want to look it up right now), but this guide to directing a tournament from UC-Berkeley covers most of the major things you'd want to consider and prepare for when hosting a tournament. Again, you can always ask questions here, too; many of us have experience directing tournaments and have learned what to do/not do from experience.


**All that said, part of becoming a better quizbowl player is learning how to write questions and how to write them well. I don't want to discourage or dissuade you from trying your hand at writing questions; there are a number of resources on the forums here to help you through that process. Writing practice questions is something you should absolutely do, and there are plenty of people willing to help you and provide feedback either in private or through forum posts.
Dan Goff
HSQB sysadmin

Virginia Tech '13
South Carolina '15
and a couple other places
Not Thomas Dale HS

STAAATS

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