Quizbowl Team Structure

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APoikonen
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Quizbowl Team Structure

Post by APoikonen »

As an avid quizbowl parent who periodically engages in great dialogue of the age old debate of athetics versus academic teams with our local administration and board of education, I would appreciate any feedback from high school players, coaches, etc. on what is happening outside the borders of the Heartland of Kentucky. My latest mutterings (some call it venting, rants, rave or some version thereof) is an attempt to support the academic team with more than one coach (i.e. we have 1 coach that is suppose to take care of 3 levels (Freshman/JV/Varsity) of quick recall/quizbowl, written assessment testing and future problem solving. I just could imagine of the reaction of this community if our three levels of basketball teams only had one coach and no assistant--they would be recalling the board of education and anything associated with it.. Better yet--they will not allow parent volunteers alone with the team--as there has to be a "certified school employee" with the team during practice sessions but when I questioned the policy of "open gym" for the athletic teams--there was some stuttering in the response---which is still unanswered.

Before, I rant and rave to the administration and board, I would appreciate any feedback on the following questions:

1. How many practices does your team have a week? Length of practices.

2. How many tournaments/matches do you have a year?

3. How many coaches do you have for your team (i.e. Freshman/JV/Varsity)?

4. Total number of students on your academic team

5. How many quizbowl teams does your school have?

6. School name and student population?

7. Any other comments/concerns about support of academic teams you might want to share will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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solonqb
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Post by solonqb »

We generally try to practice twice a week, 2 hours a practice, with material getting more difficult (some college packets) as the year moves on and Nationals draws nearer. We attend anywhere from 12-15 tournaments during our regular season (which is admittedly more than most). We have one coach and about 8 kids regularly show up for our one academic team (we don't have enough underclassmen to break it up into freshmen/JV, but we sometimes field a B team when more than 4 show)

My advice to you would be to encourage your kids to write questions for practice and for any tournaments you might host. We sorely regret not doing this earlier. Some of your more motivated students might enjoy takiong random packets from the Stanford Archive, opening them in Word and playing them as they scroll down the page. If the administration is giving you problems, end run around them. Hold the practices at homes, deaffiliate at times if necessary. We certainly wouldn't have been at Dunbar if we had crossed all our official i's and dotted all our t's.
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Stained Diviner
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Post by Stained Diviner »

1. We typically practice once per week for 2-3 hours with two rooms going at once, though there is no such thing as a typical week.
2. We are competing on 15 Saturdays this year. That typically involves 1 or 2 hours total driving and 7 or 8 hours at the competition. Exactly what constitutes a competition is not always the same thing--most go by Illinois rules with about 30-40 teams present. On Saturdays, we have either varsity or Frosh/Soph but not both. We also compete on 10 weekdays within a conference with varsity and Frosh/Soph going at the same time.
3. We have three coaches. Most teams I know have two. When I became a father and my co-coach became a wife at almost the same time several years ago, my school allowed us to take on a third. I also had to convince them that the program was growing so that adding a coach could be justified in terms of student involvement. My school is in a very wealthy area and can spend money when it benefits kids.
4. We have about 15 who are dedicated to the team and another 20 who participate when it is convenient to them.
5. Varsity and Frosh/Soph
6. New Trier in Winnetka, IL. We have over 4000 students, making us the fifth largest school in a state with over 1000 high schools.
7. When making comparisons between scholastic bowl support and athletic support, I think it is unfair to compare us to football or basketball. We don't get as much support as they do, but that is due to the fact that nobody gets as much support as they do. Fairer comparisons come between scholastic bowl and, for example, wrestling, cross country, or soccer. Even that comparison is only fair if the scholastic bowl team has been around for several years and is stable.
I do think that your request to let a parent be in charge of some practices is reasonable. It is probably more reasonable than unsupervised gym time at a high school. You may want to sit down with a board member or administrator you find reasonable and see if something can be worked out. Offer to pay for a background check if it will make a difference and if you don't mind.

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dtaylor4
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Post by dtaylor4 »

1: 1 1/2 hours, usually 3 days a week
2: Four weekday v/jv triangulars, 10-15 Illinois tourneys a year
3: One coach, but for some tourneys, a former player volunteers as coach
4: 7 (two seniors, four sophomores, and a freshman)
5: 1
6: Douglas MacArthur, 1305
7: IMO, Quizbowl is the one activity that best prepares students for college and beyond.

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Irreligion in Bangladesh
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Re: Quizbowl Team Structure

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

APoikonen wrote:
1. 1 2-hour practice per week, 2 1.5 hour practices per week in March for state series.

2. Tourneys: 4 F/S, 8-10 Varsity...10 conference matches and conference tourney for both...state series for varsity.

3. 1 Head Coach (Varsity), 1 Assistant Coach (F/S coach) 1 Assistant (sub coach for either, moderates if needed)

4. 6 Seniors, 2 Juniors, 3 Sophomores, 5 Freshmen

5. 2- V and F/S

6. Winnebago HS, 550ish

7. Don't let anyone tell you you can't do something. Home practices, like Solon said, are a great way to get around that.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

APoikonen
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Post by APoikonen »

Keep the comments coming. This is great stuff. I appreciate your posts.
It really gives me justification of why 1 coach--cannot handle 54 players in 3 different areas (i.e. quick recall/quizbowl, future problem solving and written assessment).

Keep the ideas flowing.

Thank,

Al

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pblessman
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Post by pblessman »

1. How many practices does your team have a week? Length of practices. 2 45 minute practices per week all year long... to be expanded to 1 45 min practice per week all year plus 3 2 hour practices per week during the "core" season (winter) next year.

2. How many tournaments/matches do you have a year? 10-15 tournaments... 80-120 games

3. How many coaches do you have for your team (i.e. Freshman/JV/Varsity)? 2 coaches

4. Total number of students on your academic team. ~10 committed players + 10 occasional attendees

5. How many quizbowl teams does your school have? 3: Varsity A and B and Frosh/Soph

6. School name and student population? Culver Academies: 750 students

NoahMinkCHS
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Re: Quizbowl Team Structure

Post by NoahMinkCHS »

I'll answer these from my high school experience, since nobody else from my school (or anywhere nearby) posts here. Hope it helps.

1. How many practices does your team have a week? Length of practices.
We generally had 2 or 3 practices a week for an hour and a half each, though we'd often start a little while after the bell rang, so not quite the full time. We'd extend that or add more that week if we had a big tournament (State or something) coming up.

2. How many tournaments/matches do you have a year?
I know one year we had 14 tournaments. I think that was the high for my time, but we generally had somewhere between 10 and 15.

3. How many coaches do you have for your team (i.e. Freshman/JV/Varsity)?
My first year, we had separate varsity and JV practices with 2 different coaches; the varsity coach also ran a mixed practice. The JV coach left to run Decathlon, so for the last 3-3.5 years, we had one (exceptionally dedicated) coach who did all 3 practices.

4. Total number of students on your academic team
Usually 8-15, with varying degrees of committment.

5. How many quizbowl teams does your school have?
Two, I guess; we usually had varsity and JV teams, or sometimes an A and a B, depending on tournament.

And since you mentioned some other activities, I should say we also have an Academic Decathlon team and Math Team, each with their own coach distinct from the Academic (Quiz Bowl) Team coach.

6. School name and student population?
Central HS, Macon, Ga... 1200-1400

7. Any other comments/concerns about support of academic teams you might want to share will be appreciated.
--As to the rule about parents at practice: I know in our system, they required a certified teacher to attend tournaments; my mom (a school counselor) "coached" my team at one tournament in middle school and once in high school when the real coaches couldn't come. As for practice, I don't think there was such a rule; it never came up, but I know a number of other clubs would meet without the advisor present -- either after s/he left or if s/he wasn't at school that day. I'm surprised they allow an open gym at your school but won't allow a parent to run practice.

--Funding-wise, we generally had any tournaments (excluding nationals) paid for by the system, including travel. We didn't have the newest buzzers or anything, but from what I've heard on here previously, our resources exceeded many teams. I do think school boards should agree to at least that basic level of funding, and a reasonable coaching staff. With 54 (!) students, it's almost unbelievable that you have only one coach -- anything with that many students involved shouldn't have a problem convincing the school board that it's worth supporting. (*but see note at end)

And while holding practices at home is commendable and, assuming you don't also have some rule against it, a good idea, I don't think deaffiliation would be the answer. Assuming you're getting any money, including a coach's stipend, I wouldn't go too far off that path. If Noah (solonqb) is referring to playing some tournaments outside of your status as a school team, then I can see circumstances where that might be useful, and has been done before. But, again, if you're getting anything from the school, make sure you're completely within their rules on that, if any exist, and that you make it clear to all involved that you're NOT playing as a school team. A team from Florida did that last year and there was some debate... so be careful.

Best of luck to you and your team. I'd love to hear back from you on how things are progressing. With parents like you, I imagine the team will be in good shape, especially if you can get the board to wise up.

Noah Mink
Central (Macon) High School c/o 2004
University of Georgia c/o 2008

---------------------
* Though we did have a controversy a little while back about hiring a second band director for a program with over 100 students... while the football team justified 9 coaches. I guess it really depends on how much extra money you'd need and how it would be perceived to benefit the school. But academics, after all, should be what schools are about...right?

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quizbowllee
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Post by quizbowllee »

OK - this may blow your mind...

1) We generally try to practice for about an hour and 1/2 a day right after school. I also have a class period during school for the High School team.

2) My high school team went to 18 tournaments this year. Middle school went to around 8.

3) I am the only coach...

4) I have 10 high schoolers, and about 10 middle schoolers.

5) Here's where its tricky, as I have a 6th grade team, a middle school team, a JV, and a Varsity team. This does not include the various "B" teams therein.

6) Brindlee Mountain High School and Brindlee Mountain Middle School.
High School - about 150 students
Middle School - about 450 students

7) I have somehow managed to coach all of these teams rather successfully this year... However my middle school team has suffered. Next year I will be given a class for the middle school team, too. That will help (however, this comes at the expense of me giving up my planning period...)

We are not at all in a "rich" school system, so all of our money comes through the hard work of the team and the parent volunteers. For example, in order to get the nearly $10,000 it costs us to get to both NAQT and PACE this year, we have had a car wash, hosted two tournaments, a bake sale, a cell-phone drive, set up concessions at sporting events, and had a yard sale.

If need be, I can have a parent run a separate room at practices, but I've never done this.
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iamsam
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Post by iamsam »

Your dedication to the program clearly shows.
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Post by jrbarry »

1. I have TWO teams: a varsity (10-12) and a Freshman team. Varsity pracvtices 1.5 hours twice a week. Freshmen practice every Friday for
1.5 hours.

2. We attended 17 varsity tournaments in 2004-2005. We ended up 138-8.

3. I am the head coach and receive the smallest supplement my school system has. I have one longtime assistant who is supplented by our booster club/parent group. I will have a second assistant (former player) on board in 2005-2006.

4. Varsity Team is 18 kids practicing in 2 rooms. Freshman Team (much more informal) is anywhere from 40 to 10 kids.

5. I field 1-4 varsity teams in varsity tournaments and 2-4 teams in JV tournaments. My sophomores play both ways.

6. Brookwood High School in suburban Atlanta area has 3100+ students, 9-12.

7. We raise MOST of our team's financing. We do that through the two large tournaments we sponsor plus community involvement/booster club.

I have coached quiz bowl for 25 years now.

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cvdwightw
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Re: Quizbowl Team Structure

Post by cvdwightw »

Since, like Noah Mink, I am the only active board member from my school (actually, with the retirement of Steve, from my entire area), I'll try to answer from my high school experience.

1. We had at most 3 practices a week, for about 30 minutes each. My senior year we had two additional 2-hour practices (of which only about 90 minutes was actual practice) in May to prepare for nationals.

2. Between 3 and 8 tournaments a year, including nationals.

3. As far as I know we have never had more than two coaches. We do not compete in any format that segregates between Varsity/JV/Freshman, except for some tournaments where JV is determined by "junior or lower class standing," so there is no need to run segregated practices. In some parts of San Diego county they do have separate Varsity/JV/Freshman competitions, and from I recall many of the schools have a separate coach per team.

4. At the height of the program there were about 11 or 12 committed students. Then in 2001 all of them graduated and the program's still rebuilding numbers-wise, though I've heard they're back up to about 10 people.

5. Depends on the tournament, but never more than two. We also have an Academic Decathlon team that has sent as many as 2 full teams and 1 partial team to the county tournament while I was there. For much of my high school career the quiz bowl coach(es) doubled as Academic Decathlon coach(es), though in the past and currently the two are coached by different teachers.

6. Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, CA; due to being in a district that's going to open its second new high school in 5 years, we've had enrollment anywhere between roughly 2000 and 3300.

7. I don't know how it works at your school, but at mine, almost every head coach, in athletics and otherwise, also teaches at the school, and many of the assistants/lower level coaches teach as well. If you can convince a couple of teachers to help out with coaching the kids, that would definitely make it easier to justify having multiple coaches; however past attempts by members of this board to recruit new coaches, especially to keep a program alive, have fallen short.

Also, I don't think that comparing quiz bowl to sports is the best thing. Comparing it to the school music program, or theater, or similar-type programs would be better, because, like quiz bowl and unlike athletics, none of these programs are strictly governed by an entity outside and above the school (I say strictly, because while a league may place certain restrictions on some things, a team can still opt to participate in tournaments outside the league's jurisdiction; not so with athletics).

Lastly, I don't know how the board is going to supervise practice sessions that aren't at the school. Tournament attendance is one thing, since (at least in my district) it's treated like an official field trip, but practice is entirely different. If they disallow extra practices off school grounds, then they also have to work to make sure that (God forbid!) the basketball team doesn't get together to play a pickup game, or the baseball team doesn't go play catch. As far as I know, if an official coach isn't involved, they can't touch it.

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Re: Quizbowl Team Structure

Post by Tegan »

APoikonen wrote:
1. How many practices does your team have a week? Length of practices.

2. How many tournaments/matches do you have a year?

3. How many coaches do you have for your team (i.e. Freshman/JV/Varsity)?

4. Total number of students on your academic team

5. How many quizbowl teams does your school have?

6. School name and student population?

7. Any other comments/concerns about support of academic teams you might want to share will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.
1. We have typically practiced once a week for one and a half hours, but we are going to four days a week next year (one team practice, and subject specific tutorials on the other days). Same time duration.

2. We do not have a league, but each of our frosh-soph team usually plays about 7 tournaments a year, and our varsity team gets in close to 12.

3. We have two coaches. We choose to split up duties according to levels.

4. We typically have a grand total of about 20 team members.

5. We have a varsity and frosh-soph.

6. Maine South High School.....about 2300 students.

7. It is very difficult to convince players to focus in just one or two activities after their sophomore year...they still feel that unless they join 40,712 activities that no college will touch them. We are tightning up our attendance requirements to hopefully reduce the "hangers on" and have a more potent (if not smaller) team.

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zwtipp
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Re: Quizbowl Team Structure

Post by zwtipp »

APoikonen wrote:1. How many practices does your team have a week? Length of practices.

2. How many tournaments/matches do you have a year?

3. How many coaches do you have for your team (i.e. Freshman/JV/Varsity)?

4. Total number of students on your academic team

5. How many quizbowl teams does your school have?

6. School name and student population?

7. Any other comments/concerns about support of academic teams you might want to share will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.
1. Two practices a week. One on monday for JV and inexperienced varsity for 1.5 hours. One on thursday open to everyone for 1.5 hours.

2. We go to around 20 tournaments a year. Normally end up with around 130 matches for the varsity. Our high is around 25 tournaments I think.

3. 2 coaches although one is strictly a volunteer. Really only have one team and field JV teams from that team.

4. around 20 people although we get some who show up randomly during the year depending ont their schedule. A group of about a dozen show up to nearly every practice.

5. 1 team, the middle school started a team this year but they have yet to compete.

6. Tippecanoe High School 800 students

7. Parents are probably the main source of support for our team although our district has been great. We've been more successful than many of the sports team over the last few years.
Athletics, especially football and basketball are always going to get priority over other programs such as quiz bowl because the money brought in by athletics is far more than quiz bowl can bring in.
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