Wow... I haven't even gone through the rest of the post on the Open Letter to NAQT thread, but this one section really hits a theory topic that I am not sure how I feel about it.everyday847 wrote:...I think there's a simple principle that we have to operate on here: quiz bowl is not a spectator sport. ...
We should be writing these questions for the teams playing, not the teams watching. Really, it's little wonder that the entire audience, watching as a fantastic TJ team was threatened by a very good but not similarly talented Charter team, couldn't help but laugh at the set. There is an increasing amount of showmanship at the HSNCT, and I hope that it's not becoming . I worry that it will.
I actually think you HAVE to have quiz bowl be a spectator sport. If you want to grow the game and encourage other teams and parents to support your game, there is a point where you need to keep the connection with the audience in mind.
This is one of the concerns I have that says that quiz bowl is flawed by the fact we cannot get ESPN to broadcast the national tournaments. Quite frankly if you did, you'd find us writing more questions to the people watching than for the teams playing. Yes, I accept the fact that you can go WAY too far with writing questions for the audience (or rather to the nuances of certain staff members).
You do want to have questions written in a way that the audience can "play along" with the teams you witness. Good questions and sets will do that, and I think this is not something that the original poster is objecting to. But I also understand that the deliberate injection of humor (while well-intentioned)... depends on the humor. I don't mind occasional humor, especially in timed matches, but the "roll-your-eyes, I can't believe they're asking this"... I suppose I need to be there.
The extreme absurd argument: if this weren't a spectator sport why not just have everyone take essay exams? Why should we have buzzers in the first place? Most people who are part of quiz bowl do it for the game-showy aspects of the format.
But I am with you in thinking that the game-showy aspects while integral to the game need not dominate the nature of the games played. We no longer have spelling tossups for a reason. So while I understand why the OP means to say that quiz bowl is not a spectator sport, we recognize how it has to be... or else why have over 170 teams stay to watch the final in the first place?