Illinois '08-'09

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:50 am

Aub-ZH wrote:David, I think all the ''powerhouses'' except Carbondale will be there. HFT will be a good time.

Exactly "Powerhouses", but how many of those are there in the state? 5, 10, 15? Compare that to a tournament like Fremd that draws 40+ teams (I think). From a purely economic standpoint they will make more money, it's just a fact. Bear in mind their geographic location is a great one, being in the heart of the Suburbs, but I think that if they changed their format from a pure IHSA, to a PACE or NAQT that their attendance would drop.

As Nick stated, the best thing that we have going for getting scholastic bowl more like quiz bowl will be happening at early bird, we (and when I say we I mean the quiz bowl community as a whole) can only hope that showing some of these less experienced teams three part bonuses will push them towards adopting better questions, formats, and decisions.

EDIT: the "Communist" in my avatar is none other than Mark Kirk, candidate for the 10th district of Illinois, who by definition of the BG scholastic bowl team is the highest ranking registered communist in congress today.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:49 am

New Trier got 38 teams last year using pyramidal questions and ACF style bonuses, though we did use the IHSA distribution. The three largest tournaments in Illinois (IHSA, Masonic, and Kickoffs) use pyramidal questions, and this year's Kickoffs will use ACF style bonuses.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:07 am

Both Davids have a point, but David Garb's reminded me of a conversation I had with a fellow coach at Fremd's tournament a few years ago. This coach was gripiing about everything--questions (too hard) and size of tournament (too big) being her chief problems. I asked, why then didn't she look to attend a smaller tournament with different questions, and the response was "oh, we always come here". That may be why some schools attend some tournaments and not others--because of tradition.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by harpersferry » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:46 am

BGSO wrote:From a purely economic standpoint they will make more money, it's just a fact. Bear in mind their geographic location is a great one, being in the heart of the Suburbs, but I think that if they changed their format from a pure IHSA, to a PACE or NAQT that their attendance would drop.
If you believe that switching from running a bad tournament to running a good tournament will lose you teams then:
Run a good tournament. Bite the bullet on the "economic impact." Next year, run said good tournament again. Repeat. Eventually, people will come to your tournament because it's good, not because it's bad. I think that being ahead of the curve on quality is always a better strategy.

That said, I don't actually believe that switching from a bad to a good tournament will lose you teams. If your tournament has been around long enough, a lot of coaches will come anyway because they've been coming forever (see Riley above). Then there are some coaches who actually care about improving their team. They will want to come to your tournament because the large statewide tournaments are now using good questions. Therefore playing good tournaments make you more competitive statewide (eg. Auburn last year played an exclusively pyramid schedule). So in the end, you might lose some, you'll maintain most, and you might gain some. I see it as a likely wash in terms of money.

Now starting a new tournament on good questions might be a bit different. I'm not sure. We shall see how one new tournament run on good questions (Auburn) will fare.

On to Panasonic, or whatever they call it now.

Panasonic is not quizbowl. If you want to relate it to quizbowl, then it is bad quizbowl. In either case, the IHSSBCA should not support it.

But-we win national championships in Florida! Yes, we do.
But- what kind of "national championship"?

But-they give us money! Yes, they do.
But-IHSSBCA also spends money on Team Illinois. A lot of money.
Lime, Self and Society wrote:felt it was a legitimate competition that provided an educational and a positive memorable experience for our students
I was on Team IL and went to Panasonic, and won their national championship.

I would definitely call it a "positive memorable experience." I, like Siva, enjoyed myself enormously in Florida. Disneyworld is great, and so are scholarships. Frisbee till 2 am is fun too. And sure, the it was "educational."

However, Florida is definitely not legitimate. Pretty much the entire time was great, except playing the quizbowl-esque matches. The games just aren't fair, for the reasons that have been hashed over again and again. And we won, so I'm not just being sour.

Now is the time for IL to deaffiliate with the Florida format.

IL is reaching a turning point for good quizbowl. The major statewide tournaments all use pyramid style questions, it's now possible to play a fully pyramidal schedule, and new tournaments are added to that schedule that are good every year. Scholastic bowl is almost ready to become quizbowl. Saying goodbye to Florida format is one of the remaining steps to do that, because it will allow the top teams and the dedicated coaches to focus their time, energy, and the IHSSBCA's money on good quizbowl.

Besides, who plays Florida format in IL? The top teams at Ultima, and the top players who try out for Team IL. Who's going to miss it if the top players can't stand playing it and we're the only ones playing it?

I think it's a mistake to keep patronizing a tournament for reasons other than good quality--any reason, including being good at the tournament or the receipt of scholarships. The reason Team IL still goes south is the same reason Harrison in IN and all those other NAC teams still pay chip. They win stuff and have fun. And that's basically the only reason that Siva and I have said that we enjoyed Florida: we won stuff and had fun. I'm not against winning stuff and having fun. I am against using resources that should be used to further the goals of the IHSSBCA (i.e. promoting good quizbowl) to send a team solely so they can win stuff and have fun.

(By the way, the above should not be taken as being ungrateful to the IHSSBCA for sending all those Team ILs including the one I was on to Florida. Things were different nationally in quizbowl when they first sent a team. I just think it's now time to adapt.)
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:59 pm

As Mr. Reinstein said above, sending a team to NTAE this year was a group decision at the IHSSBCA summer meeting.

It's not official yet, but now that my health has stabilized I offered to coach Team Illinois again this year, with Mr. Adkins of Springfield as the other coach.

If I do go, I will definitely keep my eyes and ears open, but cost alone might be a prohibiting factor in the future.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:07 pm

John brings up/restates a lot of the points that have been discussed over the last few days. However where I see this thread heading is not as much about question types or tournaments, but rather this thread is turning into a "How to get Scholastic Bowl to be Quizbowl" thread.

I feel that coming up on next year, all the tools will be in place to turn scholastic bowl into quizbowl; However, it will take some persuading from the position of Reinstein in order to get lesser teams to go along for the ride. The main thing that I think can be changed for next year is the adoption of a 3 part bonus for the IHSA tournament. Throughout the state the four part bonus is the standard for all teams and it has been this way for a very long time, I honestly do not see coaches who have been coaching a mediocre team for a very long time, to be willing to make such a "dramatic" change in the way he/she has to operate his/her team. This is where the IHSSBCA and the Advisory committee will have to step in and the state will be controlled by these individuals. At next year's meetings I have a feeling (correct me if I'm wrong) that there will be a vote put forward to make the bonuses in the state series 3-part. I feel that if this is accomplished then I believe that it will become easier and easier to systematically change things like that make scholastic bowl what it is.

If kickoff goes as we all hope it will, I can only imagine that making changes to change scholastic bowl into quiz bowl will start to become easier and easier. As people realize the "Illinois Bubble" is closing in on them.
__________________

In terms of panasonic, I feel that it is one way, like some one said, for us to make a good showing against power house teams like a Dorman, or a state like VA. It's obvious that states like GA, SC, DE, and VA are miles ahead of us in terms of quality teams that go to NAQT or PACE. However PAC allows IL to show the country that at least at something we are ok at it. I don't intend to try out for team Illinois, I don't intend to go to Florida for quiz bowl; However I do feel that the tournament allows the best in Illinois to form an all-star team that is able to compete with some of the best teams in the country, and I think that in itself can be worth the cost of it.

Now I have looked at some of the IHSSBCA expenditures from the newsletter, and have started to wonder if the 4 grand that could be saved by not sending a team to Ultima could be used in better places, and I think it can.

What if there was a IHSSBCA tournament that was free to all teams, and was an oppurtunity to introduce teams to a 9 round, NAQT tournament. Or maybe the money could be provided to teams to go to nationals, and help them with the cost. There are alot of applications for $4,000 that could make scholastic bowl a lot better than it currently is.

Looking at it now, I feel that the money that sends team Illinois to FL can be better spent, though I leave up to the people higher than I to decide if we will use it.

David

The last section is kind of opinionated, please take everything with a grain of salt.

EDIT: Riley posted while I was typing this
EDIT 2: read the fine print, it cost 4 grand, not 7
Last edited by BGSO on Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by vcuEvan » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:14 pm

Doing anything will $7000 instead of sending people to play at Disney World and compete in a glorified Trivial Pursuit tournament is probably better. Maybe you could point out some of the alternatives at the next meeting. Perhaps people will change their mind if they know how far this money could be stretched doing something useful.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:20 pm

I think we (i.e., the IHSSBCA exec committee) are willing to explore other alternatives. By alternatives, I assume you mean NAQT and PACE. So far, most of Illinois has been very reluctant to play any Illinois-sponsored NAQT tournaments or PACE qualifiers, but we'll see.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:26 pm

In terms of panasonic, I feel that it is one way, like some one said, for us to make a good showing against power house teams like a Dorman, or a state like VA. It's obvious that states like GA, SC, DE, and VA are miles ahead of us in terms of quality teams that go to NAQT or PACE.
Georgia, Delaware, and Virginia do not send teams to Panasonic (nor did Missouri last year, a team that placed in the top 3 multiple times recently), and in the near past South Carolina didn't either until Dorman decided to try it last year. The main reason these teams don't go is because they have realized it is not a worthwhile trip to make (although I don't know what is up with Delaware), and I think if teams like Illinois and Maryland also decided to not go that would truly strike the death knell for the NTAE, so I am all for Illinois dropping it immediately so that they can spend money promoting good quizbowl (for instance, that money could go to making it easier for underfunded teams to go to nationals, or helping curb the costs for some teams who want to host a tournament but are worried about the money questions cost to buy from NAQT or HSAPQ. There are a number of things you can do with that money to further Illinois quizbowl).
The other thing I want to point out is that quizbowl and scholastic bowl are the exact same thing, so I don't understand what is going on with the semantic distinction being made.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:32 pm

What's quoted below is categorically a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument. My judgment (and that of other, who would know even better than I) is that Fremd would draw just as many teams if it changed its format somewhat because people are going there on inertia. I further believe that if every tournament changed its format, statewide attendance wouldn't suffer.
BGSO wrote:...Bear in mind [Fremd's] geographic location is a great one, being in the heart of the Suburbs, but I think that if they changed their format from a pure IHSA, to a PACE or NAQT that their attendance would drop.
MaS

PS: I think strictly speaking Scholastic Bowl is a type of quizbowl (the type played on the Illinois format.) I guess people in Illinois use "quizbowl" to refer to, like, the mean? I'm not sure exactly.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:16 pm

$7000 is the gross cost to IHSSBCA; the net cost is about $4000 once you subtract off student contributions and the fact that coaches have traditionally contributed a share of their championship money back to the Association. (The Head Coach of a PAC/NTAE team gets the same amount of money as a student.) It's still a lot of money, but it's not as much money.

As I said, the decision for this year has already been made. We are going. The alternatives were pointed out, and they were rejected. Future years are an open question.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:16 pm

Riley-I guess I'm suggesting that maybe if you offered teams a "financial discount" to attend a NAQT, or PACE qualifier, then they will probably be more encouraged to attend

Charlie- I was just referring to states with teams that in the past have been much better than Illinois teams, and that being able to beat one of those states is a pretty cool thought.

Charlie and Sorice- The distinction I make between scholastic bowl and quiz bowl is that Scho bowl is NOT quizbowl, the four part bonuses, and Computation make a variant of quiz bowl. Not unlike a Panasonic or MO format though to a lesser degree. Scholastic bowl is quickly approaching to become the more Countrywide accepted variation of quiz bowl (see kickoff discussion). Though I do not think I can comfortably say that
Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote: quizbowl and scholastic bowl are the exact same thing
.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:48 pm

David: Believe me it's not just the money. We have offered an NAQT State Qualifier for a relatively low tournament fee for almost five years now and have been lucky to get ten teams most years.

Lincoln-Way is using an A level set for their tournament on Nov 1; I assume most of the teams in attendance will be those from the old SICA League. This tournament in the past has used Triple Q, so it will be interesting to see the reaction to NAQT.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:03 pm

BGSO wrote:...The distinction I make between scholastic bowl and quiz bowl is that Scho bowl is NOT quizbowl...
Okay. You're wrong in that assertion. Scholastic Bowl is, as I said, a form of quizbowl; if you assert otherwise, you're simply badly at odds with the common-sense definition of quizbowl and, frankly, I don't understand why you'd argue with me (or anyone) about this.
To be more precise, there's a glaring implicit premise in your argument: it is that quizbowl is "everything other than Scholastic Bowl, possibly excluding a couple other weird things that you may know about." In short, you're implicitly employing a non-standard defintion of the word quizbowl and, what is more, using that definition to beg the question.
If you disagree, I challenge you to define quizbowl in any kind of coherent way that excludes Scholastic Bowl but does not exclude something like NAQT (which has plenty of 4-part bonuses, has computation in droves, is timed and has any number of other weird features besides, and yet which is probably as close to the median as anything) or even our own Earlybirds of previous years (which included plenty of computation and bouncebacks, among other things.) There are plenty of formats wildly deviant from the median of quizbowl that remain forms of quizbowl; Illinois Scholastic Bowl is, at this point, one of the ones closer to the median (and actually on the positive side.)

MaS
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:56 pm

By the way, I was informed today that Carbondale will be attending Auburn's HFT, so I'm pretty happy. I hope we get pretty much all of the great teams in the state and make this thing a well-established tournament for future years.

In the future, there are definitely a number of positive uses for the money we'd otherwise spend on PAC/NTAE:
-Scholarships for camps, national tournaments.
-Support for teams to attend major tournaments.
-Larger, more impressive tournaments with bigger rewards.

That's a very elementary list, but I think it shows what we can do with the extra coin.

I still like the suggestion of fixing PAC.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:22 pm

I'd just like to jump in to point out that teams would most definitely keep on attending a mACF, PACE, whatever tournament precisely if it became the status quo. Teams wouldn't pull for a switch back to bad formats for the same reason too few teams are pulling for a switch to better ones now. I think this is the argument that Mike just advanced.

Importantly, though, I can say as an architect of HFT itself, which looks (I guess) like it'll be drawing a lot of teams--the prelims and the consolation rounds are both easy enough that there aren't actively playing teams that can't convert the overwhelming majority of the tossups. But the early and middle clues, as you could well expect, are challenging to better teams. And the playoffs are harder, so that they distinguish as best possible between the best teams.

There's absolutely no reason not to attend a tournament like that. If you think the tossups are going to feel longer--in terms of characters, they're just not much longer. It might translate into an extra five or ten (at most) seconds per tossup. If your matches running two hundred seconds longer puts you to sleep, you've got problems, my friend.

In sum--I think Mike is right. If better (longer, more pyramidal) formats become the status quo, then they'll stick.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:49 pm

David Riley wrote:Lincoln-Way is using an A level set for their tournament on Nov 1; I assume most of the teams in attendance will be those from the old SICA League. This tournament in the past has used Triple Q, so it will be interesting to see the reaction to NAQT.
I'm pretty sure they aren't using an IS set.
Aub-ZH wrote:Carbondale will be attending Auburn's HFT
a scenic ~400 mile drive indeed

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by mlaird » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:01 pm

I haven't really put anything into this discussion yet, but I'd also like to say that I'm all in favor of discontinuing our affiliation with NTAE. As it stands, we have to look at how students view it, and see that the reasons they give for wanting to go include things like "being able to beat some of those really good teams from other states that could paste us in any other format." If this is one of our goals, then we should put together a team and play them in football. We stand just the same chance of beating them at that as we do at NTAE format. Other people are mentioning glamour and glitz as positive aspects of the tournament. This is something that will probably be lacking this year, and can also be obtained by going to a tournament such as :chip:'s.

Here is the IHSSBCA mission statement verbatim:
The purpose of the IHSSBCA is to increase awareness and support of the public, school leaders, and parents for high school Scholastic Bowl competition in Illinois; to provide opportunities for Scholastic Bowl coaches to meet and cooperate in the development and communication of coaching techniques, tournament formats, and other ways of improving the quality of competition with integrity and the highest possible standards; and to promote recognition of participants, coaches, and programs.
Sponsoring a team to go down to Florida every year targets some of these standards, while going against others. I guess there comes a time where we have to decide a hierarchy of importance with regards to each of these individual purposes.

Earlier, Weiner made some rather inflammatory comments about the IHSSBCA steering committee earlier that have been rightfully ignored until now. While I'm sure that Matt realizes that the IHSSBCA is a statewide organization, he might not realize what exactly that entails. Internally, the IHSSBCA steering committee has a lot of diversity. You have some progressive coaches, some middle-of-the-road coaches, and some (at least one) who are stalwartly opposed to change (I originally had names to go along with each of these examples to make it more of a tangible notion, but I decided I'd rather not out anyone who doesn't want to be. You can see the full steering committee here, and try to figure them out on your own: http://www.ihssbca.org/info.html). I probably wouldn't go so far as to call them "idiots," I do tend to disagree with some of them every once in a while, including this particular decision. It needs to be known that we can't just ignore these people, since it is the IHSSBCA's duty to hear them out, even if their opinions differ from our own personal opinions. Just because some of the people in charge think it's a good idea, doesn't mean that everyone agrees. While we may be right for myriad irrefutable reasons, we still can't impress upon them what they don't want.

The bottom line is that a lot of people in our organization are trying to do as much good as they can. The way in which the IHSSBCA does its good is also dependent on what each coach's definition of "good" is. While some people aren't able to perceive any notion of "good" other than their own, others do care about Quizbowl for different reasons. Some coaches just want their kids to have fun, others want to be competitive at the highest level, and still others want to provide an educational activity. We all have our individual foci, and unfortunately, they don't always jive with one another.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by cornfused » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:46 pm

For some of the higher-end teams that are attending HFT at Auburn, allow me to recommend making it a two-day trip: I'll be running a regular-difficulty college tournament up at Lawrence on the following Sunday. Lawrence is about 180 miles north of Rockford, so it's a perfectly reasonable drive for teams looking to play a college tournament.

Announcement is here.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:54 pm

Do you mean HFT, or the decemberist? Isn't HFT November 15?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:41 pm

Whatever he means, it's not HFT.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:03 pm

mlaird wrote:...While we may be right for myriad irrefutable reasons, we still can't impress upon them what they don't want.
Okay, but you're using this argument to justify their pressing on "us" what "we" presumably don't want, or wouldn't want if "we" knew any better. Doesn't this have to cut both ways? If you read through the inexplicable insults, that's what I hear Matt saying: this group is here pressing down on Illinois quizbowl a crown of NTAE thorns, which seems to be a categorically wrong decision. Why should a group capable of making such a wrong, retrogressive decision have the power to make such decisions?
Also, it's fine to say that people in the game have differing ends and I agree; they do. However, none of the ends you listed is at odds in the modern game, nor is any of them (even purportedly) served by sponsoring a team for NTAE. It follows, then, that either the differing ends at play here are not the ones you listed, or the people in power do not understand the means to the ends they have in mind (or, I suppose, both.)

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:25 pm

An alternative way to end our participation is simply if the best people don’t try out. If everyone tried out, 5 out of Joe, Ben, Michael, Siva, Jerry, Tony, and Paul would make the team. But maybe if 4 of those 7 didn’t go out for the team and thus T.I. performed poorly at the competition, it might force the committee to axe it. Just throwing it out there.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by cornfused » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:31 pm

everyday847 wrote:Whatever he means, it's not HFT.
It's, um, Andy Watkins's T-Party tournament, Andy Watkins.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:39 pm

You completely missed what is being discussed.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:18 pm

Reading the arguments made here has forced me to take a real position instead of hiding behind qualifying statements. Matt's point about the gap between the mission of the IHSSBCA and the viewpoints of students like me is pretty devastating, and I'll acknowledge my selfish interests. It's really not fair that so much money raised by the IHSSBCA should go to subsidizing what would amount to a vacation with the mere toleration of a somewhat academic competition for the top five or six players in the state. The opportunity cost of patronizing the NTAE is unreasonably high, considering that helping a few teams to go to PACE would produce lasting and self-replicating benefits for the quality of Scholastic Bowl competition.

For those of you with more experience a propos national tournaments: how practical/easy to achieve would a version of PACE for all-star teams be? How big of a financial investment is hosting such a tournament?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:58 pm

We have a theoretical $7000 already, don't we?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:53 am

cornfused wrote:
everyday847 wrote:Whatever he means, it's not HFT.
It's, um, Andy Watkins's T-Party tournament, Andy Watkins.

Regular difficulty, packet submission (but you wouldn't have to,) college.
And conveniently nowhere near the date in question! Be sure to show up to Lawrence on 11/16, kids. Greg will have candy.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by cornfused » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:44 am

Sorry, I guess I was confused by this:
David Riley in a different thread wrote:Are HS teams invited? We would already be in Rockford on Saturday, so Appleton on a Sunday sounds doable, my team might be interested.
It turns out he meant for the Rock Valley Community College tournament... I read Rockford and assumed Auburn. I've been operating under a false assumption that HFT was on the 12/6 date.

P.S. Yes, I do realize that this would mean Harvard would be running two tournaments at the same time at the main site. I'm dumb.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by cornfused » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:45 am

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:You completely missed what is being discussed.
Charlie, my apologies for not realizing this was a one-topic-at-once thread.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:25 am

Siva et alia: First, as Mr. Reinstein pointed out. the decision has been made for this year. And thus, I don't know that Jack's suggestion would necessarily thwart a team, just possibly a team of the best players.

Then, to the idea of a PACE-like all-star tournament: At one time, several of us on the IHSSBCA committee discussed the possibility of such a national tournament in Illinois. I imagine it would be somewhat expensive, especially since we would need time to establish the tournament and make it attractive to teams--would cost, quality questions and moderators be the only deciding factors? And then--even though it is gradually beginning to change--relatively few coaches actively participate in the direction of quiz bowl in Illinois. I know Mr. Reinstein (and me and Mr. Durbin before him, as past chairs of the IHSSBCA) is always trying to solicit more active participation in the IHSSBCA, but relatively few people volunteer, so I'm not sure how we could run a national tournament without active participation from a large number of people. If you're suggesting that NTAE change, I'm not sure that their governing body wants it to change.

With all due respects to the Illinois students (as opposted to Weiner et al.), WHY WAS NOTHING SAID ABOUT NOT SENDING A TEAM TO PAC A YEAR AGO??? I know that Mr. Reinstein raised the issue of alternative projects for the IHSSBCA, but I know if enough students had approached me--or if the Sivas, the Gauthiers, etc., had not tried out last year--then I would have given it more serious consideration at our summer meeting. By this and other discussions, I think the decision for next year might be weighted toward pursuing other projects. But again, the decision has been made for this year.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by BGSO » Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:44 am

Thought, a PACE all-star tournament at six flags, included in the tournament is an all-star match played on raging bull, and each match will be played in the line of a different line.

:party: :party:
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:24 am

To be fair to the students, the IHSSBCA Steering Committee does not publish its agendas or meeting dates. One of our four meetings is publicized in terms of putting the time and place in our newsletter, but that is directed at members (mostly coaches) and does not include a full agenda. We put minutes in our newsletters, but that is after the fact and, again, not directed at students.

As has been suggested above, the Steering Committee for the most part consists of the coaches who care enough about Scholastic Bowl to get out of bed on a day when their team is not playing. The coaches tend to be the best in the state, though that is not how they are selected. One of the issues we considered last year was adding more transparency to what we do, and as a result of that our website should be a lot more informative about our policies by the end of this year. We probably should also talk about publicizing our agendas and seeking input from students.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:37 am

Lime, Self and Society wrote:One of the issues we considered last year was adding more transparency to what we do, and as a result of that our website should be a lot more informative about our policies by the end of this year. We probably should also talk about publicizing our agendas and seeking input from students.
I'd just to note that I think this is an excellent idea. Yes, it's the Coaches' Association, but quizbowl (or schobowl, but no need to rehash that debate) doesn't primarily exist for the coaches. I strongly believe that students' input should be sought out and actively considered. Perhaps even having a nonvoting (or, hell, voting!) student delegate, if there is interest in it, would be something to consider.

High school quizbowl in Illinois is in a pretty good position right now. It's not perfect, but it's better than it is in many states and than it used to be. We can keep making it better, and I believe that students are just as likely, or nearly so, as coaches to have good ideas to that end.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:01 am

I would welcome student involvement, and it should be revisited....the last time it was discussed the majority of the committee was against it (i.e., student representation on the committe), but the makeup of the committee has changed considerably since then.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:06 pm

I know that I have no direct involvement in this, but I am always very pro-student involvement, especially because those who care enough to get involved tend to also have good ideas about the game. I know that would never work in Missouri, but if you think you can make anything happen, that would be a positive step, even if it ends up being nothing more than 5 students or so who are asked to give their own opinions on stuff so that coaches take that into account when voting.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by mlaird » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:27 pm

Captain Scipio wrote:Also, it's fine to say that people in the game have differing ends and I agree; they do. However, none of the ends you listed is at odds in the modern game, nor is any of them (even purportedly) served by sponsoring a team for NTAE. It follows, then, that either the differing ends at play here are not the ones you listed, or the people in power do not understand the means to the ends they have in mind (or, I suppose, both.)
I think that some of the ends that the IHSSBCA is attempting to serve are served by sending a team. That's not to say that the IHSSBCA couldn't serve them better, but by having a Team Illinois, it is "promoting recognition of participants, coaches, and programs" and also "increasing awareness and support of the public." The latter point might sound unfortunate, since it is related to a poor format. However, it is nice to see articles in the paper about Team Illinois, since it mostly raises awareness of Quizbowl, not the NTAE format.

The other problem is that so many of the coaches in our state are already content in their mediocrity. They believe that what we have now serves their needs well enough, and that they have no reason to put any extra work into the activity than they need to. The reality that so many coaches are not willing to put in the extra half-hour of work to do anything outside of their job description is one that we have to face. And, unfortunately, unlike the college game, coaches dictate and model what the students do.
Captain Scipio wrote:Why should a group capable of making such a wrong, retrogressive decision have the power to make such decisions?
Because they're the only group we have? This is, pretty much, the group of the most influential and active coaches in Illinois, and sometimes they make the wrong decisions. I feel like if the IHSSBCA were to change the steering committee, and say, have Reinstein pick regional representatives or something, then a lot of people would be upset, even if these were coaches who could make the "right" decisions. I don't really think there's any way around using this group. I am all for student involvement, though. That might be a step in the right direction.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:54 pm

David Riley wrote:Siva et alia: First, as Mr. Reinstein pointed out. the decision has been made for this year. And thus, I don't know that Jack's suggestion would necessarily thwart a team, just possibly a team of the best players.
I don't agree with the upshot of this. If Team Illinois goes again and succeeds again, how is next year different from this? To my eyes, it really isn't. So, if nothing's changed next year, what's to stop this committee from making the same wrong decision again?
Actually, if you're a top high school player who doesn't agree with this policy, letting the right people know that you're not going is the best way I see to effect change for next year. I get that this year is presumably a lost cause (unless more people back out, like, if a coach or 5 players of whatever ability couldn't be found... which is unlikely, but possible) but one has to consider next year, too; indeed, if one accepts this year's monies as sunk, next year is all there is to think about. If I were still in high school, I'd do my damnest to make the team at tryouts, then decline the offer if it came, explaining that I don't think it's right that IHSSBCA subsidizes this team. Imagine if the top 20 players in the state all did that.
David Riley wrote:With all due respects to the Illinois students (as opposted to Weiner et al.), WHY WAS NOTHING SAID ABOUT NOT SENDING A TEAM TO PAC A YEAR AGO???
I'm not sure which class of people I fit into here, but I know that both Weiner et al. and Illinois students (however construed) were both saying things last year. The real question is: why are the people making the decisions ignoring what's been said? (I don't mean that as a loaded question.)

I'd also like to propose a third idea. Let the IHSSBCA run a qualifying tournament and give prizes in the form of paid registrations for PACE or NAQT. What's wrong with that?

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:00 pm

mlaird wrote:Because they're the only group we have?
Okay, except this is basically the null response. You're essentially saying that those in power (for whatever reasons) make the decisions right or wrong, and that's just how it is. I understand that that's how it is; I just don't think that's how it should be or how it has to be.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:13 pm

Captain Scipio wrote:
mlaird wrote:Because they're the only group we have?
Okay, except this is basically the null response. You're essentially saying that those in power (for whatever reasons) make the decisions right or wrong, and that's just how it is. I understand that that's how it is; I just don't think that's how it should be or how it has to be.

MaS
I believe that what Matt meant was that the group we have is the only group willing to get out of bed on a Sunday morning and drive halfway across Illinois to attend a meeting. There are no coaches begging, or even asking, to get on the IHSSBCA Steering Committee. We have four elected positions serving two-year terms, and we have never had a contested election in our 12 year history. If memory serves correctly, the only people I have turned down from joining have been New Trier students or recent graduates, and we may soon discuss whether or not it is a good idea to keep rejecting them.

If Team Illinois succeeds again (or fails) and there is a general consensus among players from the past several years that NTAE is bad, and that is communicated to the IHSSBCA Steering Committee sometime in late June or July, then that will have a major impact on our decision. The same people will still make the decision, but they may not make the same decision. Historically, many IHSA Scholastic Bowl and IHSSBCA policies have been floated for a year or two or three before action was taken. One of the things we agreed to in August was to revisit the decision next August.

I would ask that people not apply for the team with the plan of turning down the invitation if they make it. As I have just suggested, there are other ways of expressing your opinion without making us miserable. I have no problem with people not applying and letting us know why they are not applying, or with people going and then communicating the pros and/or cons to us, but I believe that people who have dealt with IHSSBCA in one form or another will agree that we deserve to be treated with respect, imperfect though we may be.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:32 pm

Okay, well, if you assert that, I'd ask, to whom else did you give the opportunity? Not me...
Look; I get it that you feel the need for some sort of executive body and this is what you came up with. Fine - that's irrefutable, normative truth. What I'm telling you is that this body has made what seems by all accounts to be an important, bad decision and asserting that, ipso facto, what you came up with isn't the best it could be. If these trends continue, you need to think about doing something else.
Also, it's rather forward to claim there's nothing that anyone can do to reverse this decision, then say "Oh; please don't do this thing that would force us to overturn this decision as it would inconvenience us!" when I point out that there's a very simple way to force this decision to be reversed de facto. Of course it would inconvenience you, but only to the extent that you put in effort to implement this bad decision.
I like you and you're a good dude; I get that you want to be politic about this, or maybe you even think that funding this team is an okay thing to do. I get that, even if you agree with everything I'm saying, you'd say what you just did as an expression of your official position. I say that you're wrong for telling people not to exploit the means you're leaving open to them to protest this thing.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:22 pm

I'm a little bit worried about the idea of taking extremely strong efforts at protest and radical, unilateral change in the IHSSBCA. Please let me know if I speak out of naïveté, but the IHSSBCA seems far different from draconian organizations like the MSHAA in that it is amenable to change. The IHSSBCA funds the kickoff tournaments, which are the most widely attended apart from the state series, and kickoffs this year are in a roughly mACF format that should serve to help teams transition to the form of quiz bowl played at the best levels. When there is a highly reasonable chance that future student interaction with the board (and when influential people on that board have expressed interest in obtaining student viewpoints), I don't think it's necessary to play games with the good faith of the IHSSBCA by way of protest in the way that Mike Sorice suggested. As far as I can tell, the single biggest reason that things haven't changed is that students who have been selected and who have competed have not really expressed their concerns about such a use of funding. By all means, I include myself in that category. I never really thought critically about the fairness of IHSSBCA sponsorship for NTAE teams until very recently, and if any other recent Team IL alumni have done otherwise, they haven't really expressed it. Judging from what I know about the IHSSBCA, I feel that if the best possible team goes to the tournament and we manage to win again, the same result doesn't necessarily have to happen. If, as a group, the players were to formulate developed arguments and present their case against future sponsorship of a team for the NTAE to the IHSSBCA, I don't see how the organization could ignore it. I know that if I went again, I would be much less forgiving of the faults of the tournament and much less taken in by the non-essential aspects of the experience. Why would the IHSSBCA continue to fund a team if the players that actually went to the tournament came back and told them that it was not worth it and that they would prefer different things to be done with the money? I fear that a more radical method of protest would serve only to alienate people who have the power to benefit the state in ways that players like me can't alone.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by leapfrog314 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:55 pm

Yes, what Siva said. Even when people disagree with the IHSSBCA, they need to remember that the IHSSBCA is run by coaches, not by state bureaucrats, and will definitely listen to suggestions. Screwing with the selection process is NOT a good way to do this -- if you don't want to attend the NTAE, don't try out. Instead, send an email to Reinstein saying why you don't think it's a good idea to send a team.

The IHSSBCA is very valuable to Illinois Scholastic Bowl, because unlike the IHSA, it is actually interested in improving the state of quizbowl in Illinois. We have to remember that this change can't necessarily be as drastic as we'd like -- remember, many high school coaches are still opposed to pyramidal questions.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:45 pm

Please be clear about what I'm saying. I'm not telling anyone else to do anything. I'm stating what I'd do to protest this decision if I wanted to (were it relevant to me.) I'm further pointing out that, if everyone did that, this allegedly bulletproof decision would be overturned de facto.
Understand that I'm greatly in favor of almost everything I see the IHSSBCA doing, as the above posters have outlined. I'm just surprised and puzzled that they've gotten this one so badly wrong. I'm also upset that I don't see anyone offering any reason, ceteris paribus, why they won't continue to do so.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:29 pm

I'll jump in. The Most Honorable Reinstein is speaking on behalf of an organization, of which HUNDREDS of members have never so much as browsed this forum, I dare say. A sudden lurch away from a competition where Illinois has looked good would probably provoke a WTF response (And I don't mean World Trade Federation) from the membership. A noble, self-sacrificing protest effort by the noble high school players on this board would simply see their vacancies at the tryouts filled by other scholastic bowlers, probably from central Illinois schools. So where would that leave the leadership?
Change is gonna come, but it's gonna be SLOW. Take it from me. Only in the final year of my IESA Advisory Board term did I finally get a number of changes implemented in IESA play, and I entered year 1 with the idea that everyone thought like I did and that change was a slam dunk.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:35 pm

Captain Scipio wrote: Understand that I'm greatly in favor of almost everything I see the IHSSBCA doing, as the above posters have outlined. I'm just surprised and puzzled that they've gotten this one so badly wrong. I'm also upset that I don't see anyone offering any reason, ceteris paribus, why they won't continue to do so.
Captain Scipio wrote: If Team Illinois goes again and succeeds again, how is next year different from this? To my eyes, it really isn't. So, if nothing's changed next year, what's to stop this committee from making the same wrong decision again?
I'm not sure whether you simply haven't responded to one of my major points or whether you've already refuted it in a way that I missed completely. Before now (considering that Illinois teams have seen some significant success at legitimate national only in the last few years), I don't think that the students who represented Team Illinois both disliked the tournament enough to deem it unworthy and made the effort to make sure the IHSSBCA knew about their concerns. It seems to me that the major factor contributing to the IHSSBCA's poor decision was incomplete information. If you were a coach entrusted with making a decision about rewarding top students with a chance to represent their state at a national tournament, and as far as anyone had told you the students who had participated in the past enjoyed the experience, achieved significant success, and supported future funding, wouldn't you view the opinion of the students with more weight than the opinions of a minority of coaches, even coaches like Reinstein, Laird, and Riley? I honestly don't think you're placing enough of the responsibility on the students themselves for the decision that has already been made.

I understand you present a solution for top players to lodge their protests and express their disapproval in a way that couldn't be ignored. I've already explained the reason that I wouldn't be comfortable taking that option in this situation. I definitely respect your skills of logical argumentation, so I ask you directly: Do you really feel that a unified message to the IHSSBCA from the members of 2009's Team Illinois (post-NTAE) outlining the reasons why they feel that the organization should not continue to sponsor the event would not succeed?

In case I managed to misinterpret what your argument again, are you saying that you don't see anyone offering a reason why the IHSSBCA won't continue making bad decisions in general, are are you referring to the specific bad decision of sending a team to NTAE?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:49 pm

Woody Paige wrote:A noble, self-sacrificing protest effort by the noble high school players on this board would simply see their vacancies at the tryouts filled by other scholastic bowlers, probably from central Illinois schools
But don't you think that would be a step in the right direction?

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by the return of AHAN » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:36 am

I guess it is if you'll sleep better at night. OTOH, I think a kid what would really happen is that a kid from Streator Township or Peoria Chirstian is going to get an overinflated sense of self-worth as they garner bragging rights to being one of the top 5 players in the state.
Bottom line: I think you're kidding yourself if you think you're going to persuade 51% of Illinois coaches to realize Florida is a bad thing just because the very best in Illinois aren't going to show up for Team Illinois. But hey, I could be wrong. Convince me.
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Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
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Siverus Snape
Rikku
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:01 pm
Location: Rockford, IL
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:59 am

I was under the impression that this vote was a Steering Committee concern, not a 51% of coaches in the state deal. I know most of the committee members personally, and most--if not all--of the ones I know would at least allow the factor of student input to influence their decision greatly. I'm not quite sure how much they would appreciate all the top players refusing to come. They deserve to be given the opportunity to make change the normal way: through voting. Pardon me if I'm being presumptuous, Jack, but have you (or I, or anyone recently on Team Illinois) made an effort to get your views about NTAE sponsorship through to the Steering Committee as a whole?
David Riley wrote:With all due respects to the Illinois students (as opposted to Weiner et al.), WHY WAS NOTHING SAID ABOUT NOT SENDING A TEAM TO PAC A YEAR AGO??? I know that Mr. Reinstein raised the issue of alternative projects for the IHSSBCA, but I know if enough students had approached me--or if the Sivas, the Gauthiers, etc., had not tried out last year--then I would have given it more serious consideration at our summer meeting. By this and other discussions, I think the decision for next year might be weighted toward pursuing other projects. But again, the decision has been made for this year.
Siva Sundaram, Rockford Auburn High School '09

David Riley
Auron
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:27 am
Location: Morton Grove, IL

Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:35 am

Not to beat a dead horse, but hear me out.

Let's assume that the IHSSBCA does foresake (hmmm...that's probably not the right wortd) NTAE and decide to support NAQT or PACE Nationals instead, which is what I am hearing would be the best way to spend the money.

What would be the criteria? As I've said before in my debates with M. Glerum on this subject, with NTAE/Team Illinois, there is a tryout--always held in central Illinois, btw, even though most of the players have come from north of I-80--and the selection committee has often deliberated for several hours to determine the best in the state that will also succeed in this format. How would we do this with NAQT/PACE? If we used similar criteria to send a single team or even multiple teams, and those individual teams did not represent that 51% that Jeff is talking about, there would be an even bigger cry of foul. For all of its faults, NTAE accepts all-star teams; maybe that's why Illinois has done so well at it recently. As someone else pointed out, it has only been recently that Illinois teams have even scratched the surface of the top echelon of national tournaments.

I'm really not prmoting the status quo here. I think (for example) that if Siva, Joe Ahmad, Paul Boutros, Ben Cohen, and Bonnie Jain (and again, these are just examples) were chosen for Team Illinois AND played AND won first or second place AND returned to tell the IHSSBCA something along the lines of "it was fun, but..." we would give serious consideration as to whether or not we send a team in 2010 or at any time in the future.

Even then, as Chair, Mr. Reinstein has to represent the interests of the state, and I think Jeff is right.....even if the above-mentioned declined, there are plenty of people willing to take their place. And maybe the best wouldn't go, but it's the same with the IHSA State Series.....make it to the State Tournament and people who have never heard of quiz bowl all of a sudden find an interest, even if that interest is fleeting. No, the IHSSBCA doesn't have to send a team. . . but if some other organization can find the funding (and look at how many sponsors Know Your Heritage has, for example) then Illinois will no doubt still be represented at NTAE.

Incidentally--doesn't Virginia have this same problem with most teams south of the Rappahannock?
David Riley
Coach Emeritus, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois, 1993-2010
Steering Committee, IHSSBCA, 1996 -
Member, PACE, 2012 -

"This is 1183, of course we're barbarians" -- Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter"

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