Playing Charter a lot

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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Wed May 14, 2008 8:15 pm

ILoveReeses wrote:Matt beat me to the punch: learning to write questions in the style of the national tournaments is VERY important. Writing forces you to think about the way we organize the clues in the game and exposes the writer to more information that could come up during a game.
Whoops. Completely forgot that this can be incredibly useful in high school, too.

Kind of shows you that we weren't much of a "program," really. We'll see how long we last.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Wed May 14, 2008 9:17 pm

Already getting backlash from the team for even hinting that i'm going to make them write questions over the summer. I doubt that half of them will do it... and of those that do, half of those won't do it all that well.

I guess you gotta start somewhere.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed May 14, 2008 9:27 pm

Well, if their goals (I guess being lazy or not wanting to work too much) don't gel with your goals (being good), that's an issue they need to deal with.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by collbarbshock » Wed May 14, 2008 9:40 pm

I will gladly write questions, if by gladly you mean incredibly begrudgingly and with a tedious manner.

Who knows, it could be...fun? (Notice the subjunctive nature of sentence).
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by quizbowllee » Wed May 14, 2008 9:42 pm

I don't want to start a "question writing = good or bad" discussion per se, but I've always had trouble getting my players - even those very dedicated to the game - to write questions. They hate it.

Also, as a player myself, I really never garnered much from writing questions. I think it's a learning style thing. I learned MUCH more from reading packets than from writing them. I totally understand that some players get a lot out of writing questions, but I never did.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Wed May 14, 2008 9:46 pm

I think it has to do with the level you're at. Beginning players can absorb more information from packets, but to reach the next level, players research things that may come up but haven't yet, the things that get you 30 on bonuses.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Wed May 14, 2008 9:57 pm

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:Already getting backlash from the team for even hinting that i'm going to make them write questions over the summer. I doubt that half of them will do it... and of those that do, half of those won't do it all that well.

I guess you gotta start somewhere.
So either they do it or they don't.

This is about them, not you: you have to want them to get good for their glory, nor for your own. So, I mean, if they don't want to do something, then they don't do it and they don't get better. But I don't think it's possible to ask the forum for a way for your kids to get better that they're guaranteed to like, too.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Wed May 14, 2008 9:59 pm

collbarbshock wrote:I will gladly write questions, if by gladly you mean incredibly begrudgingly and with a tedious manner.

Who knows, it could be...fun? (Notice the subjunctive nature of sentence).
By the way, this is a CR team member, our ringer and best free agent signing by us from New York (or something).

And thanks Teddy, i know you're going to do well, you'll only have to do them in categories that you're already well-versed in.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Sir Thopas » Wed May 14, 2008 10:04 pm

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:And thanks Teddy, i know you're going to do well, you'll only have to do them in categories that you're already well-versed in.
ehhhhhh
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by quizbowllee » Wed May 14, 2008 10:27 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:I think it has to do with the level you're at. Beginning players can absorb more information from packets, but to reach the next level, players research things that may come up but haven't yet, the things that get you 30 on bonuses.
I think it has less to do with experience than with learning styles.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by intothenegs » Wed May 14, 2008 11:02 pm

Caesar Rodney HS wrote: And thanks Teddy, i know you're going to do well, you'll only have to do them in categories that you're already well-versed in.
Umm... well, I don't know how most other people study (maybe I am just different), but I tend to write questions in areas I am not well versed in. I used to not know anything about literature or fine arts, so I wrote a lot of questions about those subjects. And now I'm more of a fine arts person. I think that writing questions on what you don't know will help you improve the most.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by TheCzarMan » Wed May 14, 2008 11:03 pm

quizbowllee wrote:
AlphaQuizBowler wrote:I think it has to do with the level you're at. Beginning players can absorb more information from packets, but to reach the next level, players research things that may come up but haven't yet, the things that get you 30 on bonuses.
I think it has less to do with experience than with learning styles.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by catsasslippers » Thu May 15, 2008 5:44 am

Sometimes writing questions isn't enough even when you practice a couple times a week. I know for me sitting down and studying is the most helpful. Use lists ( but only if they're really beginners), Stanford Culture Pages, or packets from the archives not meant for practice. Not to say I'm any sort of wild success story, but I was quite literally the worst player on my team at one point and now I'm on the A team.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by First Chairman » Thu May 15, 2008 8:24 am

Eventually I'm going to move this to Special Discussions.

I can understand Lee's point about learning styles. But it's also about developing a sense of self-motivation and competitiveness.

I tell my students they have to create their own study guides or notebooks (in class). The person who essentially creates his/her own study guide almost assuredly gets the A in my class. The students that want ME to produce a study guide for them tend to fail. This is freshman bio for majors, and needless to say creating your own notes and study guides is a very key skill to succeed in college. Assuming your kids want to go to college, this is a skill that cannot be taught early enough.

For quiz bowl, I've seen students with binders where they collect lists and information... but I'd rather each student carry a blank notebook, and for every question they miss, they write down the answer they didn't get (presumably for researching questions for the following week). The person who has the fewest number of pages filled by the end of every month gets some "prize": like they get to read a round in practice for a day and torture their teammates.

I think it was Eric who also had a "competition table" where everyone's correct answers (numbers) in practice are posted on a weekly basis on a bulletin board. The winner for each week gets say an excused absence for specific practice... or can read questions, or other motivators.

The ultimate level of play is to be able to anticipate the questions that one would expect to be asked at a tournament. This is why doing your own research on the questions is great. Reading questions also is valuable to dissect clue difficulty and question style... but anticipating the questions that you KNOW are going to appear at a tournament is like anticipating moves in chess... great advantage.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Thu May 15, 2008 8:57 am

I dunno. As a player, I find writing NAQT-styled questions to be fun. You get to read 'em in front of the team, and for your own amusement, you can even throw a trash question into the mix every once in a while.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by quizbowllee » Thu May 15, 2008 9:20 am

I posted a reply in the AHAN thread about this... perhaps it should be moved here...
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by BuzzerZen » Thu May 15, 2008 1:29 pm

evilmonkey wrote:If you're going to refer people to them, people who will take you seriously, you may want to make sure they contain information.
See, originally I filled in those redlinks with just "Practice a whole lot." for both articles. My own belief is that practicing a whole lot (which is to say practicing a lot on good questions, and going to tournaments that use good questions) is the best way to get good at high school quiz bowl. There's no big secret, honestly.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu May 15, 2008 1:45 pm

And it's true that exploiting your local format is important, especially when it probably deviates substantially from NAQT. For example, Pittsburgh's Hometown High-Q has a buzzer system with an important defect: you can buzz on a word that obviously precedes a clue, and the sound won't go off until the clue is read.

The questions have important defects, too, such as repeating every couple of years--though they stopped that after I pointed out to them that I couldn't have buzzed on the first few words, "the hottest day," with 111 Fahrenheit without remembering the tossup from the finals we lost my freshman year. Also, everything is given a stock clue-like kenning, so don't forget! if the word falcon appears in the question, the answer is osprey!
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by evilmonkey » Thu May 15, 2008 5:05 pm

BuzzerZen wrote:
evilmonkey wrote:If you're going to refer people to them, people who will take you seriously, you may want to make sure they contain information.
See, originally I filled in those redlinks with just "Practice a whole lot." for both articles. My own belief is that practicing a whole lot (which is to say practicing a lot on good questions, and going to tournaments that use good questions) is the best way to get good at high school quiz bowl. There's no big secret, honestly.
But what does "practice" mean? I mean, my sophomore year, practice meant playing packets. Junior year, it was still playing packets, but occasionally we'd take a practice to learn something (like characteristics of the top 25 most-asked about pieces of art). Senior year, every practice started out with a learning session, followed by some game to reinforce the knowledge, and ending with playing a game. That's why I don't think it is sufficient to just say "practice a whole lot".
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Howard » Thu May 15, 2008 7:33 pm

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:Already getting backlash from the team for even hinting that i'm going to make them write questions over the summer. I doubt that half of them will do it... and of those that do, half of those won't do it all that well.

I guess you gotta start somewhere.
I've been following this thread awhile, and figured it was time to join in.

In all seriousness, I think you should re-evaluate the purpose of your involvement with the team. I'm sure we don't play Charter as much as you, but trust me, we've been clobbered by top teams quite a bit. My team has set their goals, and we work toward those, with my guidance. Part of working toward those goals is playing in tournaments of varying formats. I drag them out to play against Richard Montgomery, Whitman, TJ, Maggie Walker, Charter, and other top teams. The students don't particularly enjoy getting clobbered, but they are well aware that if they don't follow my advice, it'll likely hinder their progression toward their goals.

Gather the students together and find out what their goals are. First, they'll need to be quite aware that they'll be playing Charter frequently, and that Charter is several of the top teams in the nation. Are they okay with getting clobbered by Charter, or do they want to improve? Drop the whole ball of wax in their court. They're old enough and likely mature enough to be able to learn about working toward goals they set. Ultimately, the best you'll ever be able to do is to assist them in reaching their goals. If they have no desire to improve, you'll never be able to change that.

And, by all means, do not be afraid to recruit new members. This should be a continual process regardless of how well the team is doing. As the membership changes, it's possible that the team's goals will also change.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by cdcarter » Thu May 15, 2008 10:50 pm

ILoveReeses wrote:The person who has the fewest number of pages filled by the end of every month gets some "prize": like they get to read a round in practice for a day and torture their teammates.
[...]
The winner for each week gets say an excused absence for specific practice... or can read questions, or other motivators.
Is getting to read actually an incentive for your players? We have to struggle to get someone else to read after someone reads the first couple packets.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Thu May 15, 2008 10:51 pm

Nah, they have lots of desire to improve. Our goal next year is second place in the state. We were 5th this year at Comcast, and 3rd (sort of, if you don't count Charter's B, C, D, and E teams... ehhhh) at NAQT. We can do it.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu May 15, 2008 11:26 pm

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:Nah, they have lots of desire to improve. Our goal next year is second place in the state. We were 5th this year at Comcast, and 3rd (sort of, if you don't count Charter's B, C, D, and E teams... ehhhh) at NAQT. We can do it.
If they have lots of desire to improve, then tell them that one of the best coaches in the nation (Mr. Henry, if I may be so bold) is giving you this advice, and that he's right when he says that it'll make them a lot better. The backlash should cool down then, right?
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Thu May 15, 2008 11:31 pm

I have made it clear that i've gotten advice, but i think i'll be a little more explicit in saying how awesome he is and the award and everything. Maybe he can send me a resumé for me to read. :)
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by quizbowllee » Fri May 16, 2008 12:29 pm

everyday847 wrote:
Caesar Rodney HS wrote: If they have lots of desire to improve, then tell them that one of the best coaches in the nation (Mr. Henry, if I may be so bold) is giving you this advice, and that he's right when he says that it'll make them a lot better. The backlash should cool down then, right?
By all means, please be so bold as to continue talking about how awesome I am....

Seriously, though, I'm not sure that I'm that great. I just use common sense and try to be a good coach and good friend and mentor to my team. I've had an exceptional group over the last few years. I hardly think I have proven myself yet.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri May 16, 2008 1:15 pm

quizbowllee wrote:I just use common sense
Perhaps you're right, and you haven't proven yourself yet, but if you're capable of the above, then you've beaten out a lot of high school coaches.
quizbowllee wrote:I... try to be a good coach and good friend and mentor to my team.
If you do this--if you merely try--then you're great and your praises ought to be sung. My two cents, at least.

But hey, keep striving, you know? No one, coach or player, is the ne plus ultra, so you're probably right when you don't think you've proven yourself yet--no one's ever done proving himself.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Mr Foster » Sun May 18, 2008 3:21 pm

If you guys practice very hard (3-4 days a week for about 1 hour) you can expect to see plenty of improvement, heck Caesar Rodney could once again be a national powerhouse and go to HSNCT
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Sir Thopas » Sun May 18, 2008 4:29 pm

Mr Foster wrote:If you guys practice very hard (3-4 days a week for about 1 hour)
What, one hour a practice? Really?
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Mr Foster » Sun May 18, 2008 4:44 pm

sry maybe 2-3 hours
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun May 18, 2008 7:28 pm

metsfan001 wrote:
Mr Foster wrote:If you guys practice very hard (3-4 days a week for about 1 hour)
What, one hour a practice? Really?
I mean, it's possible, just really not preferable. SSA could only get its team together once a week for an hour. I studied outside of that, and my teammates seem to have too, but we were stretched pretty thin.

I can assure you that that was no recipe for success.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by quizbowllee » Sun May 18, 2008 8:10 pm

This would be an interesting topic: How long to practices usually last?

I've experimented with different times. We've had 45-minute practices when we're stretched for time, and we've even had 9 hour marathon practices right before Nationals. We've had everything in between, too. I don't recommend the 9-hour thing unless you and your team are extremely hardcore.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by TheCzarMan » Sun May 18, 2008 8:38 pm

Usually practices go from about 2:45 to between 4-4:15 at our school.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun May 18, 2008 8:58 pm

At Maryland we have practices twice a week for 3 hours each. When we were gearing up for nationals we also had a Friday practice that lasted about 2-3 hours.

In high school it was like twice a week for about 1.5 hours.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Blackboard Monitor Vimes » Sun May 18, 2008 9:03 pm

We do about 1.5 hours, three days a week after school in addition to daily lunch practices. We only play real games after school, though.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by quizbowllee » Sun May 18, 2008 9:08 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:We do about 1.5 hours, three days a week after school in addition to daily lunch practices. We only play real games after school, though.
How do your lunch practices work? How long do you have? I guess lunch is set up differently at your school than at ours. I don't think I could swing lunch practices.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Blackboard Monitor Vimes » Sun May 18, 2008 9:15 pm

quizbowllee wrote:
MLWGS-Gir wrote:We do about 1.5 hours, three days a week after school in addition to daily lunch practices. We only play real games after school, though.
How do your lunch practices work? How long do you have? I guess lunch is set up differently at your school than at ours. I don't think I could swing lunch practices.
Our school is small enough that we have one lunch period, which is 35 minutes Monday-Thursday and 45 minutes on Friday. Our students are allowed to eat anywhere in the building (except computer labs and the library) so we head up to our practice room every day (a lot of us do, anyway). We read packets, usually easier stuff than whatever we're doing after school, straight through, reading bonuses as toss-ups. We play every man for himself, and everyone who shows up after the first ten people plays slapbowl. I don't know how productive it is, but it's a team building exercise, if nothing else. It also gives Dr. Barnes a chance to make announcements to a larger amount of people than would be present any given day after school. A lot of us have nowhere else to eat...I think lunch practice makes us closer than we would be otherwise.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by First Chairman » Sun May 18, 2008 9:19 pm

You should never study longer, you should study smarter. So while there is a point where you should spend a minimum amount of time, there is a limit to the number of hours before there's not really much of a use for doing it. The marathons may be good for making sure one builds some mental stamina, but you shouldn't start off like that.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by jrbarry » Sun May 18, 2008 9:24 pm

Dolemite wrote

"Edit: I saw above that Lee Henry has offered to assist you. Take him up on it if you haven't already, he has experience with creating a good team from literally nothing, in a region not friendly to good quizbowl, no less."

You got the part RIGHT about Lee Henry (Brindlee Mountain HS in AL) working hard to make a great program where there was not one previously. An amazing fete to be sure.

I am not sure what you mean by "in a region not friendly to good quiz bowl, no less." There has been plenty of good quiz bowl in Alabama and the SE region for decades.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by quizbowllee » Sun May 18, 2008 9:37 pm

jrbarry wrote: I am not sure what you mean by "in a region not friendly to good quiz bowl, no less." There has been plenty of good quiz bowl in Alabama and the SE region for decades.
Well... there has been plenty of quiz bowl in Alabama - I'm not sure how "good" it has been... Georgia and Alabama started at roughly the same time. Georgia got it right by adopting pyramidal questions and a reasonable format from the beginning. Alabama chose a strange 4-quarter format and quick recall full of bad question writing.

Recently, Alabama has made some strides in improving these things, but they have been met with resistance from the establishment.

So, while the Southeast as a whole (particularly Georgia) has had good quiz bowl for a while, Alabama is still working on it.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by The Time Keeper » Sun May 18, 2008 9:38 pm

jrbarry wrote:
I am not sure what you mean by "in a region not friendly to good quiz bowl, no less." There has been plenty of good quiz bowl in Alabama and the SE region for decades.

I know schools like Indian Springs and a couple I can't recall at the moment (LAMP?) often sent schools to NAQT and PACE a few years ago, but I was speaking of the last couple years and posts by Brindlee Mountain people, primarily Lee himself unless I've misremembered a few posts, over that time have given me the impression that enthusiasm for good (using the 2007 definition, I'm not interested in what qualified as good quizbowl decades ago because it was without a doubt terrible by today's standards and I'd welcome the opportunity to see old questions from that era which prove otherwise) quizbowl was on the decline in that state. This year's NAQT and PACE fields seem to agree with such assessments, since only two non-BMHS schools are attending HSNCT and zero non-BMHS schools are attending noted best-written, most competitive national, PACE NSC. Again, I'm basing that comment on what I've read from people more in the know about the region than I am.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun May 18, 2008 9:44 pm

ILoveReeses wrote:You should never study longer, you should study smarter. So while there is a point where you should spend a minimum amount of time, there is a limit to the number of hours before there's not really much of a use for doing it. The marathons may be good for making sure one builds some mental stamina, but you shouldn't start off like that.
I don't know--maybe this is a product of the fact that we engaged in some true marathons over weekends--but I never found that playing questions took a shot at my stamina during a tournament, at least. My junior year, when we did best, Grant read the team tossups nonstop in between rounds, and nonstop after rounds (while we read our books of choice, as well), and nonstop until we finally passed out at night.

So maybe there's some strange balance to be struck where more studying keeps you alert for games, so it's not unreasonable to keep alert during a tournament--my first round and first round back from lunch are always much, much worse than the rest--but long practices are destructive if there's not a tournament to pay off?
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by jrbarry » Sun May 18, 2008 9:48 pm

What was "good quiz bowl" earlier is not necessarily terrible by today's standards. I realize today's top teams know more information than top teams did in the 1980s. But pyramid style tossups from IBA and local tournaments circa 1988-1996 here were NOT terrible by any standards I know of. And there were several teams in Alabama who could answer academic, pyramid-style questions well, teams like Tuscaloosa Central, Auburn, Altamont, Indian Springs, Shades Valley RLC, back in that earlier period.

I think we do better today in writing questions, but not all earlier questions were terrible especially in this region of the country.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Sir Thopas » Sun May 18, 2008 10:01 pm

jrbarry wrote:But pyramid style tossups from IBA and local tournaments circa 1988-1996 here were NOT terrible by any standards I know of.
Purely out of curiosity, can we see some?
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Mr Foster » Sun May 18, 2008 10:06 pm

dang at our school we get to sit in the cafeteria and lunch is 25 mins. AWESOME :yay:
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by jrbarry » Sun May 18, 2008 10:09 pm

Can you see some? YOu want me to mail you a set? I do not have sets of quiz bowl questions at home.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Sir Thopas » Sun May 18, 2008 10:13 pm

jrbarry wrote:Can you see some? YOu want me to mail you a set? I do not have sets of quiz bowl questions at home.
I'd like to see a couple of them if possible, yeah. No need to go out of your way though.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by dtaylor4 » Sun May 18, 2008 10:18 pm

jrbarry wrote:Can you see some? YOu want me to mail you a set? I do not have sets of quiz bowl questions at home.
Why not use a scanner? I doubt there's an NAQT-like copyright issue to deal with.

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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by jrbarry » Sun May 18, 2008 10:20 pm

I'll try to post some tomorrow if I can.
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by First Chairman » Mon May 19, 2008 7:25 am

everyday847 wrote:
ILoveReeses wrote:You should never study longer, you should study smarter. So while there is a point where you should spend a minimum amount of time, there is a limit to the number of hours before there's not really much of a use for doing it. The marathons may be good for making sure one builds some mental stamina, but you shouldn't start off like that.
I don't know--maybe this is a product of the fact that we engaged in some true marathons over weekends--but I never found that playing questions took a shot at my stamina during a tournament, at least. My junior year, when we did best, Grant read the team tossups nonstop in between rounds, and nonstop after rounds (while we read our books of choice, as well), and nonstop until we finally passed out at night.

So maybe there's some strange balance to be struck where more studying keeps you alert for games, so it's not unreasonable to keep alert during a tournament--my first round and first round back from lunch are always much, much worse than the rest--but long practices are destructive if there's not a tournament to pay off?
Believe me, I've had my four-hour practices before because I had kids that just wanted to hear more questions until we ran out. Academic or trash... didn't matter. But I didn't do that at the first practice of the year. The real marathons came before Penn Bowl.

Now, anecdotally, many schools that are less than "recreational" in their practice experience often complain that tournaments are way too long. They're too used to single-elim or double-elim rather than play four games before being eliminated (gasp). So yes, I agree with you in that one should lengthen the practices and make sure students don't get "too tired" at a tournament that would come up on the calendar.

Now if we could all regulate ourselves so that post-prandial slump weren't... well, a slump...
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Re: Playing Charter a lot

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Tue May 20, 2008 9:42 am

Our practices are twice a week (is very very difficult to have more than that with all their other commitments, and my own sanity at times), lasting at least 2 hours, often 2.5.

I don't know exactly how to phrase it, but i need to be much more strict on things next year in practice... almost unfortunately, i enjoy what i do so much that we have a great time, and i think that's a distractor from getting better. So i'm not sure what to say to make things a little more serious, but i've already had one or two team members say to me that it needs to happen. I'll work on my wordage of that.
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