Illinois '07-'08

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Tegan
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Tegan »

I got to moderate for all of the rounds. I saw a minority of teams that clearly were not prepared. However, for the most part, the kids seemed to do very well. I was actually shocked at the point in some questions where the players were ringing in, and their ability to either give reasonable answers or correct ones. I thought it was overall a very positive experience for the players, and I didn't hear but one complaint from one coach (whose team was clearly not prepared, pretty much demanded personal treatment because her team wasn't used to these rules, and then complained "these questions are soooo long" My impression is that she didn't know enough about what was going on to have a valid complaint.

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Stephen Colbert »

pasedpawn wrote: Finally, how did the students and coaches respond to them?
For what it's worth, I heard no complaints about the questions from the team of primarily sixth-graders I was with nor from any of their opponents. The set, particularly the toss-ups, by and far exceeded my expectations. In the matches I saw, I can think of very few questions that became buzzer races, which is quite the exception for middle school scholastic bowl in Illinois. The field, as always, contained some of the premier teams in the state (and has been quite indicative of how they would fair in the state series). But, I thought the rest of the field, at least in the pool I was in, had seriously improved over the last few years. Now, it's possible this is because I was with a much weaker team than usual or that our pool was extra-strong, but I thought all of the teams we played would be competitive (if not victorious) in any tournament/regional/sectional in the state. So, my hat is off to Mr. Price and this tournament for definitely advancing scholastic bowl, at this level, throughout the region. Anyway, back to player-reaction to the questions, the kids (most of whom woke up around 4 AM that morning) insisted on playing the three playoff rounds on the bus ride home, much to my pleasure and dismay (I could read questions twenty-four/seven, but even I was exhausted at this point).
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

BarringtonJP wrote:I requested that Quillin's Questions base the literature toss-up questions off of the 2008 Rebecca Caudill Award nominees (20 of them) and this seemed to be well-received as I warned the coaches of this months ago, giving their kids ample time to read those books. Those teams that did were rewarded for their diligence. Clearly, some teams ignored the advice! Anyway, cutting down the answer space made the literature questions much more competitive, and they went dead no more than 20% of the time.
So you told everyone what the answers would be in advance? Honestly, Mr. Price, thanks for running this tournament - it's great to see pyramidality at all levels of play - but that's my one bone to pick. I'm not sure having the answer space be THAT small is ever a good thing.

I played "Battle of the Books" in 5th and 6th grade... it was fun, but I wouldn't consider it quizbowl.

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by AKKOLADE »

SchoBowlMaster wrote:How about PORTA winning Class A? They flew under everyone's radar, even though they won many tournaments and won the (possibly) hardest sectional, Farmington, Peoria Heights, and Peoria Christian, and won convincingly against Byron for the title. How about Cody, Isaac, and Simon for All-state?
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by harpersferry »

One more question: how long were the tossups (in lines)?

Mr. Price, by no means take the following as an attack. I think it's great you're always on the boards and as active as you are with middle school. I'll echo Greg in saying thanks for running the tournament. I'm as much opening up a discussion about middle school lit and kiddy lit in general as the specifics of your tournament (which for the record I never attended since I my middle school team only played some local catholic schools before IESA).

First off, as a lit guy I don't agree with what you did with the answer space. That said I will make several qualifiers. First, my opinion is partially personally biased because of hypothetic indignation of putting myself as a player in that situation. Second, I don't believe you diverged that far from normal middle school. From my experience in middle school, the lit is already in my book pretty sad. I have a list from eons ago, and I'd say 90 percent is kiddy lit. For example: Siva, to prepare for middle school lit, memorized all of the Newberry winners. The knowledge of even basic lit knowledge is severely lacking. I remember the question "Who wrote The Good Earth" going dead. Finally, you did it completely legitimately, as you advertised it ahead of time and you had reasoning behind it. What is not acceptable to me is having an entire category of, for example, the simpsons (Richards) and not tell anyone beforehand.

I have a few suggestions that might keep in line with the "I want to encourage them to study" sentiment, while moving away from the extreme case you took this year. If you are going to define the answer space, try defining a different one. Maybe the NAQT top 100 frequency list? Or maybe add in the Radcliffe publishing list that ACE always gives out to Lit 1? These are sets of proven works that are going to come up and cover a relatively wide time and space. Then when they study, at least they're studying something worthwhile that will come up in high school. I'd kill to have a freshman coming in who knows just those "who wrotes," and even better if they knew something about them. On the flip side, a freshman who can tell me the title of the third chapter of last year's Caudill nominee has about the same amount of useful knowledge, for high school purposes, as someone who has done absolutely nothing. You can ask Siva, but I don't believe he's ever converted points in an important game from those Newberry winners, and those are some of the jems of kiddy lit from half the century. You may also consider having separate subcategories like "Children's lit," "20th century novels (taken from radcliffe or modern library)," etc.

Regarding kiddy lit in HS: I can see tolerating some of it at the F/S level, but I think it has absolutely no place on varsity, unless it can show to be time-tested and only then sparingly. Auburn F/S used to have some kiddy lit with the idea that it harkens back to middle school and it might be easier to convert if more players had been likely to have read it. Then one year we had an overdose, and we did away with most of it. There were still a few, but I'd prefer to stick with the philosophy of giving them a taste of what is coming up.

Ultimately, it may come back to what everyone thinks the purpose of middle school is. If it's to have fun and promote preparation, then what you did is accomplishes that. If, however, it's to give kids a taste of high school, then maybe middle school lit should come more in line with it. Either way, nobody is suggesting that we start asking tossups on Borges or Saramago in middle school. Maybe there is a balance between children's lit and more grown up stuff.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by JackGlerum »

A little belated... found some nice articles about Wheaton North and Auburn in the local papers.

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=154191&src=2
http://www.rrstar.com/communities/x39090782

I had to split after our last game, but I was pleased to see that it was a competitive championship game between Stevenson and Auburn. Congrats to Auburn, they deserve it, especially John, the senior anchor who I don't think gets talked about as much as he should at times. Great way to end his career. Also, their bus-load of fans was... awesome.

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by JackGlerum »

SchoBowlMaster wrote:How about PORTA winning Class A? They flew under everyone's radar, even though they won many tournaments and won the (possibly) hardest sectional, Farmington, Peoria Heights, and Peoria Christian, and won convincingly against Byron for the title. How about Cody, Isaac, and Simon for All-state?
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

SchoBowlMaster wrote:How about PORTA winning Class A? They flew under everyone's radar, even though they won many tournaments and won the (possibly) hardest sectional, Farmington, Peoria Heights, and Peoria Christian, and won convincingly against Byron for the title. How about Cody, Isaac, and Simon for All-state?
Also, I'm not entirely sure of your definition of convincingly, but 34 points isn't it in my book. I wasn't there, so I don't know if Byron picked up garbage time points or what, but everything I've heard about all the matches down state seems to indicate very close matches.

Seriously though, the only reason they haven't been talked about here is that Matt Bardoe (Latin's coach) and I (former player for Winnebago) are the only Class A representatives. Because Class A is almost completely outside of Chicago, and this message board is almost completely Chicago, PORTA really did fly under the radar. On the other hand, the tournaments down south are weak, and from the looks of things PORTA didn't beat Bloomington or Springfield (the two big powers around there this year) or win any tournaments except a weak Masonic regional, a weak IHSA Regional (where you didn't top 260/900 points in a game, and failed to break 200 in one game*), and a strong IHSA sectional (in terms of Class A).

This isn't to say PORTA sucks, but in my opinion and to my knowledge, PORTA didn't beat Bloomington or Springfield, didn't play against Latin, didn't beat Fairfield*, didn't beat Sterling on quality questions at Masonic State, and didn't convincingly beat Byron. Feel free to pose a counter-point, as I would like to see it (PORTA surprised me with the Byron win, so I'd like to know more about them) and I GREATLY appreciate more Class A schools participating on the boards.

* I don't like using points or virtually meaningless games as a metric when I don't know how the games actually went...I don't know if you (or anyone else in situations like these) played subs after the game was cinched (or potentially pool, in the Fairfield game), or what. It is still worth pointing out, of course, mostly to check to see if such an extenuating circumstance came into play.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I just keep having this suspicion that SchoBowlWizard might happen to play for PORTA.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by the return of AHAN »

Thanks for the comments, and no, I won't take any of it as an attack. I'm already thinking about next year and how to handle the literature. Do I go back to the old distribution? Do I run with the 2009 nominees? When I did this, I did it with the hope that it would move these kids to read, not just study some lists. Make no mistake... Some questions had answers that called for an author or the title, but my writer did a decent job of also asking questions ABOUT THE BOOKS. That separated the wheat from the chaff, for sure. Also, the playoff round questions were more about the past winners and that was NOT on explicit agenda, yet they still got answered. And everyone thought it was totally appropriate that the answer to the last question of the final morning round was ... Rebecca Caudill.
:razz:
I know you hope that middle school scholastic bowl can better prepare kids for high school scholastic bowl, but I think you're losing sight of the fact that 'kiddy lit' as you call it, is appropriate for 6th graders, while Catcher in the Rye or The Autobiography of Malcolm X??? Not so much. Now, trust me, I do have a couple of kids I'm totally grooming to be the lit killers in high school. But if I tell the tournament field the lit questions are coming from the high school canon, I'm going to get an earful from coaches who really don't give a rat's ass of whether or not they're preparing the kids for IHSA. As Nathan pointed out, my tourney has become a pretty good proving ground for teams with state championship aspirations. The last three tourney champs won Class AA the same year, and the past two Class A champs have played at my tournament, too. This is the explicit reason I hold my tournament; to gather the better teams yearning for better competition than what they see in their conference. I like to think I'm at least accomplishing that.

It's tough to answer the question about the number of lines as the columns with the questions were not the width of the page. There was a 9 line question where the answer was American Idol, and Jordan Sparks was the 20th and 21st words in the question.
There was a 10-line question about Jefferson Davis, but the 'president of the confederate states of america' didn't come up until the 67th word.

Here is the answer space for the literature questions in the moring rounds: *The Slash, Amik, The FBI, *Defiance, *Mary Downing Hahn, *MVP, Newfoundland, Tobin, *Trouble Ride a Fast Horse, Navajo, *Schwa, *Worth, *Drumming, *East, *Penderwick, Linder, Rebecca Caudill. (*indicate a title or author from the 2008 list)
So, 10 of the 17 could be gleaned from just studying a list of the authors & books, while the rest required knowledge of the book.

The toss-up answer space for the championship round was:
x to the 4th power, *Ella, acid rain, Capital punishment, geo-caching, complement, hypothalamus, peanut, Mozart, Kruggerrand, Alamo, Anne Sullivan, 7, Bicycle accident, Myopia, Amsterdam, *Frindle, Panda, Eugene Cernan, -22.
Book titles are marked with *.
And only two bonuses were swept in the championship.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by the return of AHAN »

Tegan wrote:I didn't hear but one complaint from one coach (whose team was clearly not prepared, pretty much demanded personal treatment because her team wasn't used to these rules, and then complained "these questions are soooo long" My impression is that she didn't know enough about what was going on to have a valid complaint.
E-mail me with the name... I'd love to know who this was as 'these rules' is a bullschmidt comment as the only 'rule variance' from IESA scholastic bowl employed was the IHSA blurt rule, and I've done it each year for the past three years. The only non-IESA school was Holy Cross and they were winning, so I can't imagine her whining about, you know, WINNING!
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

This may be completely wrong, but shouldn't a HS lit player be able to dominate on middle school lit questions? This is just like if you stuck Jerry, Seth, or any of the college guys into a HS match - they should be able to dominate.

I consider myself to be a pretty solid HS-level lit player. And I would've gotten (with book-specific giveaways) TWO of the seventeen "lit" questions (Caudill, Frindle.) With general giveaways (e.g. "name this book, whose title is the opposite of 'West'") that number goes up to a staggering 8.5/19 (Caudill, Frindle, East, MVP, Newfoundland, Navajo, Schwa, The FBI, and maybe Ella.) And it's worth noting that Frindle isn't even on the Caudill list, as it's old enough that I read it for this kind of competition in fifth grade.

It seems to me that you completely removed Literature from your tournament, replacing it with the Jeopardy-style category of 2008 Caudill Award Nominees.

I'm with John - if you want to give everyone the answer space, you could either do the Radcliffe lists or even the all-time Caudill lists - ask about books that won the Caudill. In my opinion, books like Harry Potter 1, The Giver, Frindle, Hoot, Matilda, and The Indian in the Cupboard come a lot closer to being notable then, say, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, with all due respect to Kate DiCamillo.

Or you could keep the answer space to [all works that are notable for anyone and appropriate for 6th graders.] The Wind in the Willows fits the bill, as does Romeo and Juliet. Beloved... not so much. Naked Lunch, no. But I read 1984 in fifth grade and Animal Farm in sixth with no big problems, and, well, Watership Down DID make that Modern Library list that never seems to go away.

All that being said, yeah, that move was legit. It's totally okay to change the distribution like that, as long as you tell everyone in advance.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Stat Boy »

cornfused wrote:that Modern Library list that never seems to go away.
What kind of "readers" made the readers' list? Did Modern Library properly block its survey distribution of Scientologists?
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Is it bad that I read Naked Lunch around 8th grade?
Anyway, on a more serious note why is it so taboo to have middle schoolers be knowledgeable about important literature? I think this emphasis that schools are giving towards "young adult" crap is totally insane, and I remember in my middle school a ton of dissatisfied kids were actually reading books like The Catcher in the Rye, Jane Eyre, and all kinds of other standards of literature, not the worthless fluff that is youg adult "lit." Shouldn't we be supporting kids reading actual classics instead of trash?
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Tegan »

SchoBowlMaster wrote:How about PORTA winning Class A? They flew under everyone's radar, even though they won many tournaments and won the (possibly) hardest sectional, Farmington, Peoria Heights, and Peoria Christian, and won convincingly against Byron for the title. How about Cody, Isaac, and Simon for All-state?
1. Congrats to PORTA ..... they have had a long standing tradition, and followed up a third place finish with a championship.

2. 165-131 does not (I suspect) equal "convincing" to most people. That's barely more than a single question. Unless that 131 was a come from behind effort after the match has been "locked". Interviewing the moderator afterward, they claimed it was a close match.

3. I find it extremely unlikely that any team deserves three All-State players.

4. Hardest sectional?
Wheaton North - WWS - Naperville North - IMSA
Stevenson - Fremd - Lake Zurich - Buffalo Grove
Loyola - New Trier - Maine South - OPRF
Bloomington - Dunlap - Quincy - Springfield
Latin - Seneca - Peotone - Bishop McNamara
Winnebago - Morrison - Byron - Newman Central Catholic

I give PORTA fullest props for winning a hard fought state title, but I'm not willing to acknowledge that the sectional would rank as "toughest".

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by kCobain911 »

I see no problem with young adult lit. Of course there are benefits to reading books that broaden ones horizon and stuff like that, but its no reason to push aside an entire "genre" of literature.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I think it's safe to say we've pushed aside Romantic dime novels, series murder mysteries by people like Jan Evanovich, and stuff like that because they are not of any literary quality, so I see no reason to make an exception for young adult "literature" which is, for the most part, equally bad.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Tegan »

Regarding the whole "Middle School lit debate":

I agree with what Athena, (if that IS your real name, Charles Dee) and Greg are saying/implying about literature at the Middle School level. There's certainly zero wrong with a MS player reading more advance literature, and there is nothing wrong with asking some questions about that.

My experience from working middle school - high school - college level, is that the level of literature at the high school level is far closer to the college level than middle school is to high school. Part of this, I suspect, has to do (partially) with the level of vocabulary and understanding of things (such as) symbolism in more advanced literature. While I do not wish to paint with too broad a brush, there is a lot of more advanced literature that is difficult to understand, even for very intelligent students of that age, because they lack the experience to interpret what they are reading. The middle school students who can read and understand Naked Lunch, I would guess, are the minority, even among the brightest.

There's another issue: when you play in an area where pyramidality is already the style of choice, then there is little lost in making the questions harder and more challenging. However, when you are first introducing this style in an area, or at a particular level, if the questions are too wide open, then you run the risk of scaring people off, and assuring that pyramidality never takes hold for a very long time.

While I would certainly not make it a regular facet of placing so specific a limit on a subject area, I think it wasn't a bad idea to do that here. I know that Coach Price has been trying to get better question quality at the middle school level, and I am but one person who realizes how difficult that can be. It sometimes needs to be done more delicately, at least at first.

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by kCobain911 »

Deesy Does It wrote:I think it's safe to say we've pushed aside Romantic dime novels, series murder mysteries by people like Jan Evanovich, and stuff like that because they are not of any literary quality, so I see no reason to make an exception for young adult "literature" which is, for the most part, equally bad.
Sorry, are we talking about reading for enjoyment or for writing questions about?

Edit: grammar
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I definitely wasn't talking about reading for enjoyment.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by dtaylor4 »

Could someone split this off into Theory?

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by kCobain911 »

Deesy Does It wrote:I definitely wasn't talking about reading for enjoyment.
Ah, miscommunication. Yea, I would not want questions on Romance novels. But in my state, our middle school questions depended a lot on the school curriculum. To put in questions about upper level novels like Naked Lunch or Beloved would require either a school change in curriculum or somehow encouraging kids toward these books. You may have read it, but I am betting most teams could not answer it. From what I remember, the most lit we got in middle school questions were Charlotte's Web and Winnie the Pooh.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Stephen Colbert »

BarringtonJP wrote:
Tegan wrote:I didn't hear but one complaint from one coach (whose team was clearly not prepared, pretty much demanded personal treatment because her team wasn't used to these rules, and then complained "these questions are soooo long" My impression is that she didn't know enough about what was going on to have a valid complaint.
E-mail me with the name... I'd love to know who this was as 'these rules' is a bullschmidt comment as the only 'rule variance' from IESA scholastic bowl employed was the IHSA blurt rule, and I've done it each year for the past three years. The only non-IESA school was Holy Cross and they were winning, so I can't imagine her whining about, you know, WINNING!
One thing along this line...in one match, the other team's coach, while timing, insisted upon verbally indicating when five seconds were left during each bonus question. She then suggested that she was pretty sure they do it this way at "state" and all the "big tournaments" too. Funny, I think I've been at most of those tournaments the last few years, and don't remember it working quite that way. So, while I thought it was pretty pointless, I didn't really object, in my effort to go an entire year avoiding any conflict and because I'm basically nothing more than an occasional fill-in coach. So, anyway, during every bonus she would get around to shouting out "five", which both teams and the moderator promptly and repeatedly confused with "time"; players went silent, pencils went down, etc. After about three times, she glanced over at me and said, "I think I'll just stick with saying 'time'".
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Also, naked Lunch really isn't that "deep" or impressive, it's basically William S. Burroughs getting high and writing down a ton of bodily function jokes that can get really grotesque. It's just insanely vulgar.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

Deesy Does It wrote:I remember in my middle school a ton of dissatisfied kids were actually reading books like The Catcher in the Rye, Jane Eyre, and all kinds of other standards of literature, not the worthless fluff that is youg adult "lit." Shouldn't we be supporting kids reading actual classics instead of trash?
Deesy Does It wrote:Also, Naked Lunch really isn't that "deep" or impressive, it's basically William S. Burroughs getting high and writing down a ton of bodily function jokes that can get really grotesque. It's just insanely vulgar.
QFT on both.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

Tegan wrote:
SchoBowlMaster wrote:How about PORTA winning Class A? They flew under everyone's radar, even though they won many tournaments and won the (possibly) hardest sectional, Farmington, Peoria Heights, and Peoria Christian, and won convincingly against Byron for the title. How about Cody, Isaac, and Simon for All-state?
1. Congrats to PORTA ..... they have had a long standing tradition, and followed up a third place finish with a championship.

2. 165-131 does not (I suspect) equal "convincing" to most people. That's barely more than a single question. Unless that 131 was a come from behind effort after the match has been "locked". Interviewing the moderator afterward, they claimed it was a close match.

3. I find it extremely unlikely that any team deserves three All-State players.

4. Hardest sectional?
Wheaton North - WWS - Naperville North - IMSA
Stevenson - Fremd - Lake Zurich - Buffalo Grove
Loyola - New Trier - Maine South - OPRF
Bloomington - Dunlap - Quincy - Springfield
Latin - Seneca - Peotone - Bishop McNamara
Winnebago - Morrison - Byron - Newman Central Catholic

I give PORTA fullest props for winning a hard fought state title, but I'm not willing to acknowledge that the sectional would rank as "toughest".
3. Auburn does. Name 18 Class AA players you'd rather have than Michael Jiang, especially for SS, and I feel that All-State has a bit of an unfortunate generalist bias anyway*. Also, the argument for 3 from a Class A school is probably not terrible...Byron had three players in the top 5 of Big Northern Conference players, so there are statistics to support the three of them, and they had all done very well against top area teams (Sterling, East, Boylan, Winnebago, etc.), and adding in the quantity of games played, they could get Aaron in 1st team and Zack and Marc in 2nd team. (Would I put them there? I haven't seen who else is on the list, so I can't say. ... although I apparently can for Michael Jiang)

4. Umm...that Winnebago sectional wasn't really competitive at all....well, it was competitive in the definition of "the games were close," but to be honest Byron's been leagues ahead of all three of those teams all year long. Morrison couldn't top 50 ppg in the consolation playoffs at Bago's tournament, and neither could Newman. Bago's been a good team, but their only marquee win this year was over Boylan, a team that then proceeded to choke in Regionals against a subpar Hononegah team. The only reason the games were close was that nobody could convert a bonus to save their life.

In terms of Class A sectionals, I'd probably take PORTA's over Latin's, then Byron's simply because there were multiple teams that have actually played a significant amount of games...but there's a huge drop off between Latin and Byron.

*Actually, let's do this. When do All-State results come out? If not soon, anyone want to try to guess?**

**Since when do I use asterisk footnotes?
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Stained Diviner »

Is it bad that I read Naked Lunch around 8th grade?
Yes!

As far as the overall middle school lit discussion is concerned, I think the best solution is balance. Books like Hoot or Frindle probably belong in the miscellaneous category when it comes to high school or college, but I have no problem using them as middle school literature. That being said, to see one 21st century book after another come up in the questions was too much. There should be at least 1/1, and preferably 2/2, per round of basic high school literature--top junior high students should know who Twain, Whitman, Shakespeare, Dickens, and Homer are even though very few are going to be familiar with plot, quote, and character details.

Don't ask a Burroughs question, though. Too many students would start weeping and assume the fetal position.

Also, people should know that the questions were edited by me and Price. We didn't change the answer space much, but we changed all the lit questions asking for titles so that the author was mentioned at the end rather than the beginning. We also made changes like making sure the Declaration of Independence tossup didn't use the word 'Declaration' three times or mention July 4, 1776 in the first half of the question. As far as the answer space is concerned, keep in mind that Price didn't write the questions.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by the return of AHAN »

No, I didn't write the questions, but I approved, nay asked for, the definition of the literature answer space. I have received permission from Cheri Quillin to publish the first round in it's entirety...
Shoot me an email and I'll send it to you. (jprice @ cusd220 dot org)
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by the return of AHAN »

Stephen Colbert wrote:For what it's worth, I heard no complaints about the questions from the team of primarily sixth-graders I was with nor from any of their opponents. The set, particularly the toss-ups, by and far exceeded my expectations. In the matches I saw, I can think of very few questions that became buzzer races, which is quite the exception for middle school scholastic bowl in Illinois. ..... the kids (most of whom woke up around 4 AM that morning) insisted on playing the three playoff rounds on the bus ride home, much to my pleasure and dismay (I could read questions twenty-four/seven, but even I was exhausted at this point).
I think, lost in all the hoopla regarding answer space, that the above post makes the best argument for trying to spread pyramidal toss-ups further into Illinois middle school scholastic bowl.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by JackGlerum »

styxman wrote:Actually, let's do this. When do All-State results come out? If not soon, anyone want to try to guess?
If I did the All-State selections, this is how it would go. I can't speak for Class A, since I play on a AA team, and since I assume many of the Class A all state-ers are from "a land beyond I-80," a land which I'm not familiar with! Not going to include my teammates either.

1st Team
Ben from NTHS
Bonny from IMSA
Caitie from SHS
Curt from WWSHS
Greg from WNHS
Hunter from BHS
Jimmy from MSHS
John from AHS
Siva from AHS

2nd Team
Bruce from REHS
Gene from OTHS
Jonathan from WNHS
Justin from SHS
Kevin from WNHS
Michael from AHS
Robert from NTHS
Tom from SHS
Tony from CCHS
Vamsi from NNHS

Might be some odd-balls in there, but I can only speak for what I've seen, and a little from what I've heard.

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by the return of AHAN »

cornfused wrote:And it's worth noting that Frindle isn't even on the Caudill list, as it's old enough that I read it for this kind of competition in fifth grade.
linked for untruth
cornfused wrote:It seems to me that you completely removed Literature from your tournament, replacing it with the Jeopardy-style category of 2008 Caudill Award Nominees.
You may have me on that point, but knowing that literature goes dead so often when using, say, Questions Galore questions about random 21st century books not on anyone's list, it just seemed like a good way to get the players interested in, you know, checking out book from the Library. If ever there was a year for me to not do this, this year was it, as I have a girl who has memorized the synopses of every Newbery Medal winner. In the end, it probably had no impact on the tournament outcome as B.G. Aptakisic took the consolation trophy despite not entering until just a few weeks prior to the tournament and getting virtually no warning about the specialization. River Forest Roosevelt took 2nd in state last year and won the tournament.

I have solicited comments about the questions via a survey. Comments from coach A:
"we have seldom experienced these types of questions- I feel after having them for awhile, they are ideal--- however, many of them were very wordy------------ Overall, I would prefer shorter more direct answer type questions- with possibly a few of the pyramidal type thrown in!
... but my students did not like the heavy weight on Caudill at all.- there were few if any questions on sports, TV movies and other general information items, yet there were quite a few on home economics--------- ????????? even distribution of subject material? "
Comments from Coach B:
"Questions were almost always clear, level of difficulty was just right. I loved the format. It certainly covered middle school curriculum. The lack of IESA distribution was not a problem. I liked the theme... Our school has a contest that challenges the kids to read all 20 books so it was no problem."

So, given that IESA middle school distribution forr 30/20 state series is as follows:
Mathematics (includes computers): [6/4]
Language Arts (vocab, grammar, spelling, & lit): [6/4]
Science: [6/4]
Social Studies (includes civics, history, geography, & ugh consumerism, I mean, consumer economics): [6/4]
Fine Arts (music, drama, art): [2/1]
Vocational Education (agriculture, industrial arts, home ec): [2/1]
General Information (sports, TV, movies, pop music (& country), health & fitness): [2/2]

How would you all write the distribution for a 20/15 tourney for Illinois middle schoolers? Feel free to make up new categories.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by actoftheapostle »

styxman wrote:*Actually, let's do this. When do All-State results come out? If not soon, anyone want to try to guess**?

Not including my teammates
1st team:
Joe from LA
Ben from NTHS
Hunter from BHS
Greg from WNHS
Curt from WWSHS
Bonny from IMSA
Caitie from SHS
Tony from CCHS

2nd team:
Robert from NTHS
Bruce from REHS
Vamsi from NNHS
Mike from LA
Jonathan from WNHS
Paul/Jerry from CCHS?
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Tegan »

actoftheapostle wrote: 1st team:
Bonny from IMSA
I am not asking this as a "calling out", but I am asking this in ignorance:

What has Bonny Jain done this year that warrants mention as a First Team player?

I'll be honest. I did not think Bonny had earned First team status last year. I felt that, as often happens in All-State voting, there are better players passed over in certain regions by electors to provide "geographic representation". I'm not saying Bonny is a bad player .... not one bit. He is a great player! However, given all of his contributions, I was enormously disappointed that Nick Matchen was not given more serious consideration.

This year, the only things I have heard about IMSA is their non-participation in one tournament, and their advancement to sectionals only on the grace of Glenbard West. Where has IMSA participated? What quality teams have they participated against (aside from the sectional .... we know they played three quality teams there, but not so successfully). How did Bonny do against these teams.

One of the things that really drove me batty all the years I ran the All-State program is when voters either voted based on reputation or voted based on "I think (s)he will be a great player in the future." All-State voting is supposed to be based on "what did the player do THIS year?" Even if a player had a great prior year, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are equally as good the next year.

Now, maybe I'm wrong ...... I haven't kept as close a tabs on some teams this year, and frankly I haven't seen much on IMSA. Maybe I've just not seen it.

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by JackGlerum »

I don't think he should have been on last year's First Team, but after playing against him at Ultima (Loyola, Stevenson, IMSA in the same room) and watching him play Joe at Solo, I think he merits first team. I totally agree with the Nick comment about last year, though.

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Tegan »

JohnGlerum wrote:I don't think he should have been on last year's First Team, but after playing against him at Ultima (Loyola, Stevenson, IMSA in the same room) and watching him play Joe at Solo, I think he merits first team. I totally agree with the Nick comment about last year, though.
err.... hold on .... I'll buy that .... he played well at Solo, though did not make the finals. I wasn't at Ultima, but I'll accept that. But you're talking about two instances, and the most recent of those was first week of November?

All I'm saying is that you look at the entire season. I had a player once ...... great guy! He finished seventh at the Solo his senior year (finished ahead of Donald Taylor), but was not even an All-Sectional player that year. All-State honors really require a reflection on the whole player's season; not just single instances.

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by theguy914 »

does anyone have a link to the complete list of all sectional players?

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Matt Weiner »

Perhaps if students at this level can't be expected to know real literature, the category should be severely reduced in prominence rather than filled with trash. It's admirable that you're trying to bring properly structured questions into middle school quizbowl, in any case.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by First Chairman »

BarringtonJP wrote:Ah, many questions...
I believe this was the first middle school tournament of this size (28 schools, 40 teams) to employ a pyramidal model on the toss-ups. I can't say it's the first, as Loyola's feeder tournament is written in-house and uses pyramidal questions.

...
I requested that Quillin's Questions base the literature toss-up questions off of the 2008 Rebecca Caudill Award nominees (20 of them) and this seemed to be well-received as I warned the coaches of this months ago, giving their kids ample time to read those books. Those teams that did were rewarded for their diligence. Clearly, some teams ignored the advice! Anyway, cutting down the answer space made the literature questions much more competitive, and they went dead no more than 20% of the time.
I don't quite know how I feel about it. It is a middle-school comp, so I don't think I mind it so much that you made it clear that teams had to read the books. Of course, this limits the ability for a writer to ask questions on lit... but then again, I've seen horrible questions on lit from Decathlon which were extremely trivial detail-oriented alongside the general, thematic analysis questions.

I'm not that surprised there were teams that ignored the advice. Seriously, you will have teams that just think "showing up" is enough effort.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by BGSO »

I know I'm extremely biased but I'd have to put Danny Bulmash up there as 1st or second team, led his team to conference and regional championships, and was all tournament at New trier.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

Tegan wrote:
actoftheapostle wrote: 1st team:
Bonny from IMSA
I am not asking this as a "calling out", but I am asking this in ignorance:

What has Bonny Jain done this year that warrants mention as a First Team player?

I'll be honest. I did not think Bonny had earned First team status last year. I felt that, as often happens in All-State voting, there are better players passed over in certain regions by electors to provide "geographic representation". I'm not saying Bonny is a bad player .... not one bit. He is a great player! However, given all of his contributions, I was enormously disappointed that Nick Matchen was not given more serious consideration.

This year, the only things I have heard about IMSA is their non-participation in one tournament, and their advancement to sectionals only on the grace of Glenbard West. Where has IMSA participated? What quality teams have they participated against (aside from the sectional .... we know they played three quality teams there, but not so successfully). How did Bonny do against these teams.

One of the things that really drove me batty all the years I ran the All-State program is when voters either voted based on reputation or voted based on "I think (s)he will be a great player in the future." All-State voting is supposed to be based on "what did the player do THIS year?" Even if a player had a great prior year, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are equally as good the next year.

Now, maybe I'm wrong ...... I haven't kept as close a tabs on some teams this year, and frankly I haven't seen much on IMSA. Maybe I've just not seen it.
The best I can see on IMSA is that they won the Orion tournament (over no truly quality teams...instead of attending Northwestern NAQT, a considerably nearer tournament played on quality NAQT questions), took 2nd (loss to Auburn) at Winnebago (instead of attending Fremd, a considerably nearer tournament with quality competition), took 2nd (loss to WN) at Boylan on a date with no real Chicago tournament. All in all, one practically indefensible tournament choice, one poor tournament choice, and one acceptable tournament choice, none of which featured victories over any teams of the caliber to challenge a 1st team Class AA player. These are the only top 4 finishes IMSA had all year. Their regional victory came over teams of similar caliber, from what I can tell. With no discernible victories over top quality AA teams (Auburn/WN/New Trier/Stevenson/Loyola/Maine South/Buffalo Grove/OPRF/and on and on and on...) (and if you have evidence, please present it), the quality of any tossups Bonny earned is diminished. He'd have to make that up with quantity, and it's some quantity he likely got playing against the Northern area's Class A teams, which is something any decent Chicago area player can do. The fifth player on all four teams in the New Trier sectional could have put up 6-8 tossups per game in Bonny's position - playing with no teammates, on buzzer-race style questions, against effectively empty chairs.

Team victory does not necessarily an All-State resume make. But I can't, based on the evidence I have, say that Bonny Jain was an All-State caliber player this year.

Edited to fix grammar, then to add this tag. D'oh!
Last edited by Irreligion in Bangladesh on Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

BarringtonJP wrote:I requested that Quillin's Questions base the literature toss-up questions off of the 2008 Rebecca Caudill Award nominees (20 of them)
Neener neener, Coach Price.


I'm with you guys, though - if I'd been voting, Bonny Jain would've been in the 14-20 range for me last year, and if this year's IMSA team played that kind of creampuff schedule, the stats are (well, should be) moot.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by mlaird »

Re: the Bonny Jain talk going on.

Since apparently no one reads the IHSSBCA Newsletter anymore, I guess I could be the one to point out the fact that this year Bonny was not even voted All-Sectional. I'm not certain that he was even nominated. If his coach didn't do it, some other coach at the meeting probably should have, but apparently that didn't happen. He won't be making All-State this year.

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by David Riley »

Brad: re IMSA's tournament choices: Often it's not a choice as some tournament directors refuse to invite IMSA to their tournaments.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

mlaird wrote:Re: the Bonny Jain talk going on.

Since apparently no one reads the IHSSBCA Newsletter anymore, I guess I could be the one to point out the fact that this year Bonny was not even voted All-Sectional. I'm not certain that he was even nominated. If his coach didn't do it, some other coach at the meeting probably should have, but apparently that didn't happen. He won't be making All-State this year.
I really need to get that newsletter.
David Riley wrote:Brad: re IMSA's tournament choices: Often it's not a choice as some tournament directors refuse to invite IMSA to their tournaments.
Are these two items related? If so, people need to stop being total complete idiots. It's not 1998 anymore, IMSA isn't relevant on a large scale, and banning teams from your tournaments because they were the be all end all of competition - back when competition consisted of popsicle stick riddles - doesn't make a lick of sense. Latin's still playing at tournaments, as is Wheaton North, Stevenson, etc. If it's something IMSA did, it's a new coach, new players, new era. If it's because of what IMSA is, realize that apparently doesn't transcend to Scholastic Bowl anymore. Either way, get over it.
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by mlaird »

The reason that IMSA doesn't get invited is because of their recruitment policies. No one really appreciates them scouting their school's talent and then courting them while they are currently attending another school (see: the aforementioned Bonny Jain). At least that's what I hear. I don't really care what they do. Their team is just another team. Unless Czerny is the guy who steals all our players. In which case, shame on him.

EDIT GRAM-MAR
Last edited by mlaird on Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Tegan »

Time for some controversey:

1. When was the last time that IMSA took a player from the suburbs? The last I can recall is Parag Bhayani's younger brother being spirited from H-F (which as I recall was the "recruitment case", where someone supposedly heard from the friend of a friend whose aunt got her hair done with H-F's school secretary that he had gotten a letter specifically citing his Schobo prowess as the reason he was being recuited. The letter never materialized, and the player in question disappeared into IMSA, and never had a decent career after a promising freshman year.

2. The people who are getting "recruited" (and I use that term very loosely), are form the schools which won't (or more often financially can't) offer the educational opportunities that suburban schools can. Hence you get a lot of downstate players.

3. Seriously, who was the last great IMSA player. I will go with Yogesh, and that was EIGHT years ago! Since then, there hasn't been a single player that I would call great. Have they had decent teams? Sure .... they do have talent, but its hardly what I would call refined. They can win a regional, and that's about it these days.

4. Ironically, if I were a suburban tournament, I would offer IMSA free admission because a lot of teams can beat them now, and they can hang that skin on the wall .....and they needn't worry about their star freshman getting recruited away. It'd be like getting a chance to fight a washed up boxer, and claim that you knocked out Mike Tyson. The Orions and Boylans allowing IMSA into their tournaments are the schools to more likely have their youngin's falling in love with the place and break camp for Aurora.


And I hate to bring this up again, but Northweestern NAQT has good questions, but what are they down to? eight teams? Only 3-4 are any good? and has only seen decline in attendance for several years? Eve nwith good question quality, the competition's also got to be there to make it worth your while.

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by mlaird »

Those of you who missed Coach Reinstein's radio spot before the state tournament can find it here:

http://caster.wgnradio.com/podcasts/kjp ... 080318.mp3

the Schobowl part begins at the 10:04 mark.

Note: apparently people actually listen to it, because I told one of my supervisors that I was student teaching at Loyola, and she was like, "oh! do you know how their Scholastic Bowl team did this weekend?" and I was all like, "yeah, I was there." and she was all like, "whoa! really! I heard New Trier doesn't like losing to you guys!" and I was all like, "nope!"

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by Tegan »

Tegan wrote:Time for some controversey:

1. When was the last time that IMSA took a player from the suburbs? The last I can recall is Parag Bhayani's younger brother being spirited from H-F (which as I recall was the "recruitment case", where someone supposedly heard from the friend of a friend whose aunt got her hair done with H-F's school secretary that he had gotten a letter specifically citing his Schobo prowess as the reason he was being recuited. The letter never materialized, and the player in question disappeared into IMSA, and never had a decent career after a promising freshman year.

2. The people who are getting "recruited" (and I use that term very loosely), are form the schools which won't (or more often financially can't) offer the educational opportunities that suburban schools can. Hence you get a lot of downstate players.

3. Seriously, who was the last great IMSA player. I will go with Yogesh, and that was EIGHT years ago! Since then, there hasn't been a single player that I would call great. Have they had decent teams? Sure .... they do have talent, but its hardly what I would call refined. They can win a regional, and that's about it these days.

4. Ironically, if I were a suburban tournament, I would offer IMSA free admission because a lot of teams can beat them now, and they can hang that skin on the wall .....and they needn't worry about their star freshman getting recruited away. It'd be like getting a chance to fight a washed up boxer, and claim that you knocked out Mike Tyson. The Orions and Boylans allowing IMSA into their tournaments are the schools to more likely have their youngin's falling in love with the place and break camp for Aurora.


And I hate to bring this up again, but Northweestern NAQT has good questions, but what are they down to? eight teams? Only 3-4 are any good? and has only seen decline in attendance for several years? Even with good question quality, the competition's also got to be there to make it worth your while.

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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by AKKOLADE »

Why did you quote yourself, Tom?
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Re: Illinois '07-'08

Post by JackGlerum »

Because he is so self centered, duh. :-)

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