I wanted to respond to Dwight's post with the perspective of someone who has been around the Southern California circuit for as long as he has (plus a couple of years). I was the San Dieguito Varsity coach from 1998 (the year after I graduated from high school) until 2007, during which time I introduced San Dieguito to pyramidal questions (our best performances were finishing 2nd at NAQT State in 2003, 2005, and 2006). We also hosted the NAQT tournament in 2003 to which Dwight has been referring (and at which he and Dana Hills rudely demolished the North County field ;) - we were competitive with them that year, but our A team was staffing the tournament). This year, San Dieguito is rebuilding under the direction of a new coaching staff, so I can't say much about their prospects.
Questions: Does the winner of Academic League get a berth in NAC? If so, what kind of financial incentive is there to go the NAC and not, for example, apply to PACE as a wild card?
First, it's important to recognize that there are 4 distinct leagues in San Diego. San Dieguito is affiliated with the North County Academic League (NCAL), as is Torrey Pines, RB, Mt. Carmel, Carlsbad, Fallbrook, etc., about which I could share a great deal of information. I know much less about the 3 Southern San Diego leagues, where teams like La Jolla, Southwest, and Scripps Ranch play. Suffice it to say that the style if play is similar enough to NCAL that a tournament involving the 4 league champions can be held with no discrepancies over format and little controversy over question content (the picture being painted on this board is accurate: game play consists of short, 1-2 line tossups with 3-5 part bonuses). As far as NAC, the winner of the San Diego County Tournament would be eligible to attend NAC based on their qualification rules, but the winning team is not sponsored to attend that tournament (some past winners have attended NAC, including Scripps Ranch in 2003 and Torrey Pines in 2007, but that is coincidence).
Also, why does Academic League seem so "monolithic and complacent" (to quote
) ? Shady protest resolutions, requiring moderators to write current events questions directly out of Time, banning the use of certain buzzer systems due to some perceived "home-buzzer advantage" but requiring coaches to submit 6/6 each? And this is just stuff I can find online without having actually played Academic League (you are encouraged to share your firsthand knowledge with the QB Wiki). Oh, speaking of coaches submitting 6/6 each, who edits the questions? Or is it just you hope that you get questions written by the coaches who can write good questions and not by those who can't?
Again, I can only speak at great length concerning NCAL, which, in my opinion has a better track record than the Southern San Diego leagues (and the County tournament in particular). NCAL consists of a Commissioner (elected from among the league coaches), a Moderator Chair who manages the hiring and distribution of moderators, and a Question Chair who is responsible for the question bank. The question bank is populated by yearly coach submissions, and edited by the Question Chair. Each question is used, at most, once in a 4-year cycle (not perfect, I know). The good thing to be said about the questions is that they are purely academic in nature and derived from high school curricula (no goofy general knowledge or trash questions). There are up to 3 current events questions per match (which generally go the length of 40 tossups). These questions are written by the question chair.
This is getting lengthy for my first post, so I'll end here. If Dwight (or anyone else) would like further information, I would be happy to respond.