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Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:28 am
Having recently started a team, I've had quite a bit of trouble finding anybody willing to join. I go to a gifted school, so I don't see why there's nobody interested besides 4 freshman (myself and friends of mine, basically) and a sophomore. Does anyone know of any good tactics to get people interested? So far I've made announcements at assemblies and posted signs in the hallway, but that hasn't seemed to help. There are, though, 3 ideas I've been told might work but that I haven't had a chance to implement yet: intramural tourney, teachers vs. kids, and, well, actually going to tournaments and coming back victorious. If anyone knows other good strategies, please share. =/
Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:48 am
The intermural tournament might work also the teachers vs the students would work also.. problem is getting teachers that would want to play.. I am going to try to do that next year with my junior high team but good word of mouth has been my best friend so far. Get a good core group and it will build from there.
Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:35 am
Another thing that might help is using incentives to get kids to attend practice. I'd suggest offering free food and/or drinks (if your school allows that) at one or two practices to get people in the door. You could also ask your teachers to incorporate a buzzer system into their classroom activities (they're a fun way to review facts before a test). Try actively recruiting people who have done well in other academic competitions or make high grades or show a strong interest in areas that fit into the quiz bowl canon. If all else fails, grab random people from the hallway and make them sit through a practice. Best way to get more interest though is to train your current group really well (NAQT's website has a good list of study materials) and bring back a few trophies (the bigger the better). Where are you from btw? I'm guessing somewhere in NY.
Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:05 am
Thanks, I'll try the food thing; that's worked for other clubs at the school, now that you mention it.
Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 5:59 pm
New York has always been a somewhat gerrymandered quiz bowl sate. For example, Delaware-Sullivan-Ulster counties used to have a very strong program, but rarely played outside of their own leagues.
You miight contact Stuyvesant, they have a (very strong) team, and there are also teams in Long Island and Westchester. Have your coach do some promotion chatter! Once you start playing regularly (and as you said, coming home victorious) others will likely want to join.
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:20 am
I don't know how your school's "personality", so to speak, is, but given that it's a gifted school, some of the following might appeal:
-chance for college visits (like if you go to a tournament at Princeton or something) (... not to mention other travel opportunities. Think you could get the school to help pay for a nationals trip somewhere cool?)
-chance to compete/represent the school, by doing something you're already good at (academics)
-chance to gain deeper knowledge/get a leg up on classmates (can't tell you how much more stuff made sense to me when we got to it in class after having heard it at quiz bowl practice for years)
I guess a lot of that is geared toward the stereotypical gifted program/people; I know with the "school within a school" type program I did in HS, only the third idea would have actually motivated anyone. I assume some places are different, though.
Whatever you end up doing, best of luck. Thanks for helping grow the game.
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:59 am
I agree it depends on the climate of the school.
I also would suggest "extra credit" as an incentive. :)
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:05 am
All of the above are good ideas. I'll add some from a coaches perspective:
--in my program, players earn letters (like an athlete).....that helps a little.
--we have an end of the year banquet (like the sports teams)
--we garner support within the faculty by giving out awards (honorary varsity letters) to faculty who help us out.
--I set scoring criteria for a season, and award pins as motivators for players.
--don't underestimate winning at this point. As your program wins (and there is little more fun than that), they will come out. Don't get down if the going gets tough at first. Keep working it will come around.
I think especially at this stage: keep it fun, and they will come. This sounds a lot how I started three years ago: five juniors, and a total of 8 frosh and soph. This year we had 14 varsity, and 21 frosh-soph.
I echo Noah by saying the best of luck, and thanks for doing what you can to add a new team. Plese come back and ask good questions of this group, they're overall pretty good at giving insight, and want to help young teams starting out.
Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:27 pm
Ahoy there, Metsfan! This is Doug Yetman, Team A Captain at Stuyvesant. I hadn't the slightest idea there was another team from NYC. This is a very welcome surprise.
Garnering interest was never a problem for us; it was maintaining
interest that became a problem. At our first meeting, eighty students showed up. The room was packed. It was marvellous. Within two months, all but twelve were gone, and of those, only half are really serious players. Our numbers have not grown since September. Granted, we managed to get a few genuinely brilliant people, but it is a source of continued frustration that Stuyvesant, one of the finest public high schools in the country, could not retain more players.
Here's the rub: when you start a quizbowl team, everything else is already established, and the most intelligent students have already been dragged into something else, be it debate, math team, robotics, what have you. This September, you might try (as we plan to) to get freshmen interested early, before they have become tied up in some other obligation. As for now, you might try an in-school tournament, where students create teams themselves. It worked out okay for us. Teachers vs. students sounds like a definite attention-getter.
Going out to a tournment and winning can definitely create some buzz. You will also find that funding comes much, much easier after you've proven your ability. Stuyvesant's major sources for club/pub/team funding (the Student Union, the Parents and Alumni Associations) were quite tight-fisted with us. Yet when Team A won State College's tournament, and yours truly won the individual award, the money came a good deal easier.
Our President, Connie Tao, should definitely have a good deal more to say. She can be reached at [email protected]
. Publicity, funding, holding tournaments, getting teachers interested...she knows it all. Best of luck, and do keep us updated. This is very exciting for me personally, as I would love to see (and of course, play against) another NYC team. Stay in touch.
Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:02 pm
Remember also, there's nothing wrong with starting with four freshman and a sophomore. If you guys work, you could be really killer in a couple of years. And by then, you might have built enough attention and interest that the program will continue.
Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:55 am
Better yet, tell your President to join this group.
Re: Garnering Interest
Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:58 pm
metsfan001 wrote:Having recently started a team, I've had quite a bit of trouble finding anybody willing to join. I go to a gifted school, so I don't see why there's nobody interested besides 4 freshman (myself and friends of mine, basically) and a sophomore. Does anyone know of any good tactics to get people interested? So far I've made announcements at assemblies and posted signs in the hallway, but that hasn't seemed to help. There are, though, 3 ideas I've been told might work but that I haven't had a chance to implement yet: intramural tourney, teachers vs. kids, and, well, actually going to tournaments and coming back victorious. If anyone knows other good strategies, please share. =/
Hey metsfan001. I'm from another NYC team that started only last year, and it seems that you have some of the same problems we had and in a way still have. If you want any advice or if you want to establish inter-team relations and perhaps scrimmage, please contact me at [email protected]
Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:32 pm
Something I heard from a player in PA was doing the intramural tournament, but doing it as a trash tournament (all pop-culture questions). Alternatively, you can do an intramural trash tournamnet as a fundraiser that teams have to pay to participate in. Either way, introducing the idea in something that's all pop culture gives a much wider segment of the school and idea of who y'all are and what y'all do. Even if you attract interest among people that wouldn't be good players at this point, that doesn't mean they won't become good players if they get into the idea or that they won't bring in friends of theirs who might be better players than they are.