Missouri 08-09

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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Jul 19, 2008 1:39 pm

Jeremy, could you respond to the questions regarding rule #13? Thanks.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Deviant Insider » Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:35 pm

I honestly don't know whether or not Illinois restricts participation on independent teams during the season. It's not a problem outside the season--one of my students is participating in the Chicago Open today. Also, Illinois teams can compete against college teams, something that is not allowed in athletics.

We do not have a distance limit nor a limit on how much school you can miss. We do have a limit on how many dates/tournaments you can compete, but it only applies to five-on-five tournaments, which are the standard for Illinois high school, and not to four-on-four tournaments, which are the standard pretty much everywhere else.

Illinois is similar to a lot of states in that very few teams are interested in competing outside the state or outside the season (which ends for us in mid-March). A lot of teams, in order to give flexibility to their students to be involved in sports, only compete during the winter sports season, which begins in November. The trend, however, and it's a very slow moving one, is for more teams to compete outside the state. As the Chair of IHSSBCA, which is analagous to MACA, I see this as a positive trend and want to encourage it.

The only reason we had a season limitation placed on us originally was that some downstate teams got upset that some other downstate teams were meeting over the summer and getting good. The limitation went into effect upon a statewide vote of principals, who believe in sports analogies. IHSSBCA was younger then and didn't truly realize what was going on until it was too late. It always bothered me that principals voted to stop teenagers from getting together over the summer and answering academic questions. Fortunately, the rule has been amended (thanks to Egan) and interpreted so that teams still can practice over the summer as long as they don't compete in more than one five-on-five tournament (of which none exist anyways).
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Tegan » Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:55 pm

ReinsteinD wrote:I honestly don't know whether or not Illinois restricts participation on independent teams during the season. It's not a problem outside the season--one of my students is participating in the Chicago Open today. Also, Illinois teams can compete against college teams, something that is not allowed in athletics.
It does not. If students want to form a team independent of the school, they are free to. There are certain athletic restrictions on this, but none in activities.
ReinsteinD wrote:We do not have a distance limit nor a limit on how much school you can miss.
IHSA Policy #10: 10. Travel Policy
Schools may travel any distance provided the participating students miss no more than one school day, including travel to and from the competition.


This is considerably liberal compared to the previous limitation of (I think) 250 miles outside the state line.
ReinsteinD wrote:Fortunately, the rule has been amended and interpreted so that teams still can practice over the summer as long as they don't compete in more than one five-on-five tournament (of which none exist anyways).
The key to any negotiation is to let your opponent think they have beaten you while you walk out the door with everything you wanted, plus their wallet and gold pocket watch. Let that be a lesson for Missouri teams trying to improve: make it look like you are imposing limitation, but instead get the freedom you want.

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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by jbarnes112358 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:07 pm

Deesy Does It wrote:Missouri is not like VHSL in that both private and public schools are members (the only caveat being that private schools are subject to population multipliers when they figure out classes). Quizbowl teams can not opt out of MSHSAA - if they do, and they go to tournaments and violate MSHSAA rules, the entire school will be banned for a year or so in every MSHSAA activity they do. I guess what a lot of people don't realize is that rules 10 through 14 (other than 13) are actually loosening up current restrictions. The main reason we have those restrictions is that MSHSAA wants to put sport-related confines onto us because they have a hard time understanding we don't play a sport - hence the season, travel restrictions (which I suppose ultimately stem from a desire to not let schools with huge budgets capitalize on that to improve), and all that other fun stuff.
It sounds like MSHSSAA has a stranglehold on all school competition in the state of Missouri. What kind of organization is MSHSAA? Is it a part of the government? Is is a non-profit corporation? What is it? Could they be sued for anti-trust violations? Any legal minds here have any opinions on this idea, or am I way off base?
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by First Chairman » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:06 pm

From what I surmise from the website:

http://www.mshsaa.org/

http://champs.mshsaa.org/advisory/index ... ttee_ID=17

It is probably an organization similar to the NCAA but for all scholastic-level activities in the state of Missouri as required by their charter as a non-profit (likely 501-c-3) organization. It looks like it is meant to cover all co-curricular or extracurricular activities for high school programs (whereas the state school board governs curricula and graduation requirements).
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:28 pm

MSHSAA, like IHSA and VHSL, is a member of NFHS. They are all set up similarly, and I believe that they are chartered as private non-profit organizations. Schools have the option of joining, but if you don't join you don't play for any state championships and are a pariah in every way, so it's not much of an option.

Here is one ruling stating that such organizations are immune to antitrust violations. I don't like reading legal cases, so I won't figure out whether the 1943 Supreme Court case of Parker vs Brown applies here or is good law. The 2001 case of Brentwood Academy v. Tenn. Secondary Sch. Athletic Ass’n did go to the Supreme Court, and by a 6-3 vote they decided that TSSAA actions should be deemed as state actions even though it is not a state agency because it is intertwined with state agencies, which I believe made it impossible to apply antitrust statutes. It appears that you're making a losing case, Dr. Barnes, but you have Thomas, Scalia, and Kennedy on your side. So you got that going for you, which is nice.

About ten years ago, a New Trier student did successfully sue the IHSA, but the case hinged on whether the IHSA was applying their laws arbitrarily rather than on whether the IHSA has the right to make such laws, so I don't think it helps this situation. It was pretty cool, though--the IHSA was so out of line that the lawyers took the case pro bono, New Trier played most of its season knowing that they would have to forfeit their matches if the student lost his case, and the most famous person in the world at the time (who, like the student, was a 6'6" basketball player in the Chicago area) invited the player over to his house and told him to pick two suits from his closet so he could look good in court.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:49 pm

ReinsteinD wrote:...and the most famous person in the world at the time (who, like the student, was a 6'6" basketball player in the Chicago area) invited the player over to his house and told him to pick two suits from his closet so he could look good in court.
Awesome. Who was the kid?
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by jbarnes112358 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:23 pm

Thanks for the responses. Perhaps a case against rule 13 could be made based on the fact that swimmers are allowed to compete in non-MSHSAA competitions.

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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:31 pm

Fred: Todd Townsend. He grew up on the South Side of Chicago and was abandoned by his family--his mom would stop by once a month to give him some food and a rent check. He was adopted by a wealthy family in our district, and the IHSA ruled that he would have to wait six months to play because of transfer rules. The transfer rules allowed students who had been abandoned and adopted to play for their new schools immediately, but the IHSA decided that that exception did not apply in his case because no legal action had ever been taken against his mother. He won his suit because there was other clear evidence that he had been abandoned.

He played for New Trier and went on to start in a Final Four game alongside Dwyane Wade, but he played limited minutes at Marquette and had no pro prospects. New Trier made it to the IHSA Quarterfinals that year before getting wiped out by Darius Miles and Company. The kid could dunk with authority and play D, but his ballhandling wasn't so great.

Dr. Barnes: I'm not sure, but I have serious doubts. You'd have to find a student who wanted to play and a lawyer who wanted to fight it, and you'd probably want a school administration that was supportive. I know that MSHSAA would have their lawyers ready, so you'd probably run up a lot of legal hours in a losing cause.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Tegan » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:59 am

Dr. Barnes, before getting into legal hassles, and I have no clue how the MHSAA goes about amending rules and such, you could try going directly to the powers that be. You could simply attempt to appeal to their sense of fair play: Why would Missouri be the only state to place such an extreme limitation on their academic competitors ... even swimmers compete outside of these limitations ..... it is standard procedure in other states ....... You might also try a letter writing campaign, but I wouldn't suggest it unless you were sure that you could get several hundred letters going in your favor.

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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by First Chairman » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:10 am

I also think that unless there is a real need or reason to campaign about how fair or unfair the rules are, it's useless to put in a letter-writing campaign. If they don't see the need to change, external calls to change are fairly meaningless. It's like telling :chip: to improve the questions.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by jbarnes112358 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:41 am

Tegan wrote:Dr. Barnes, before getting into legal hassles, and I have no clue how the MHSAA goes about amending rules and such, you could try going directly to the powers that be. You could simply attempt to appeal to their sense of fair play: Why would Missouri be the only state to place such an extreme limitation on their academic competitors ... even swimmers compete outside of these limitations ..... it is standard procedure in other states ....... You might also try a letter writing campaign, but I wouldn't suggest it unless you were sure that you could get several hundred letters going in your favor.
When I said a case might be made against rule 13 based on the swimmers, I did not necessarily mean the case should be made in court. Of course you should try to make the case directly to the powers that be, whoever they are. A lawsuit should be a last resort tactic, if used at all. All the argument lead-ins you suggest are excellent ones. It is a shame that high school quizbowl in Missouri is under complete control of such a stifling bureaucracy.

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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by jbarnes112358 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:56 am

ILoveReeses wrote:I also think that unless there is a real need or reason to campaign about how fair or unfair the rules are, it's useless to put in a letter-writing campaign. If they don't see the need to change, external calls to change are fairly meaningless. It's like telling :chip: to improve the questions.
Once people achieve power and control, they are generally reluctant to give it up willingly. Many people do not like to admit that they might be wrong, or that somebody else might have a better idea.

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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by mithokie » Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:44 pm

In addition to swimmers... there are many other sports examples that could be used. Basketball Players playing AAU basketball all over the country all summer, High School aged kids playing as amateurs in professional golf and tennis events (more often true with girls than boys), high schoolers competing in the olympics, etc... It doesn't seem reasonable for such strict limitations to be placed on individual outside of school activities in quizbowl if they are not similarly placed on the individuals participating in the above mentioned sports.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:41 pm

I think the reason for the swimmers example is that this is known to happen in Missouri.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:54 pm

I think some of you are misunderstanding the club sports rule - according to MSHSAA, if you are currently in your school's sports season, you are not allowed to play on any outside club team. This lies to every sport but swimming, as swimming is well known for running club teams all year long, concurrent with your high school team. MSHSAA originally also banned this in swimming, but one player from St. Louis who was on a club team and I believe was pretty serious about their sport (for those who don't know, the best swim coaches are found in clubs, so if you are serious about it you need to be on their teams) sued MSHSAA over it and won, so MSHSAA decided to change the rule only for swimming and keep everything else the same, which I think is horrid.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by jbarnes112358 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:30 am

Deesy Does It wrote:I think some of you are misunderstanding the club sports rule - according to MSHSAA, if you are currently in your school's sports season, you are not allowed to play on any outside club team. This lies to every sport but swimming, as swimming is well known for running club teams all year long, concurrent with your high school team. MSHSAA originally also banned this in swimming, but one player from St. Louis who was on a club team and I believe was pretty serious about their sport (for those who don't know, the best swim coaches are found in clubs, so if you are serious about it you need to be on their teams) sued MSHSAA over it and won, so MSHSAA decided to change the rule only for swimming and keep everything else the same, which I think is horrid.
Well, if MSHSAA lost one such suit, there should be some precedent for losing another. Though as discussed earlier, moral suasion should probably be tried first.

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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Jeremy Gibbs » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:04 pm

I will say that I was not the one who advocated #13. It was put on the agenda by another coach.

It kind of seemed reasonable at the time, just because I am not familiar with many students trying to do this. In 2006, Ladue (St. Louis school) won state playing very few tournaments. They ended the tournament losing only 3 games all year (Dunbar, Savanah - class 3 state champion; without Ladue's captain, and Fort Zumwalt West when we played them in the morning . . . though they returned the favor in the semifinals).


I do certainly appreciate all of your comments. I feel I have learned a lot from the discussion. I will see if we can revisit this issue when we meet August 6.


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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by jbarnes112358 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:19 pm

Jeremy Gibbs wrote:I

I do certainly appreciate all of your comments. I feel I have learned a lot from the discussion. I will see if we can revisit this issue when we meet August 6.
You have a positive, open-minded attitude, Mr. Gibbs. Hopefully, under your leadership, some reforms can be made that would relax the restrictions that are are bound to hold back Missouri at the national level of quizbowl. For many of the best teams across the country, especially on the east coast, quizbowl is basically a year-round activity. Teams often attend open tournaments many times throughout the year, often traveling far and wide to find the best tournaments and the best competition. Certainly teams that do this will tend to excel over those that do not. But, to try to put limits on teams to level the playing field will only serve to perpetuate mediocracy at the national level. Some teams and some players become passionate learners as a result of participating in quizbowl. In fact, many of these young people are already passionate, independent learners, and quizbowl is a great conduit for the exercise thereof. Why should we place artificial limits on kids' learning, especially via a centralized bureaucratic organization. Can some kids get carried away to a unhealthy, obsessive degree? Yes, there may a few cases like that. But, parents and individual coaches are in a better position to know the appropriate boundaries in specific cases.

I am sorry if I have come across as being extreme with my talk of lawsuits and whatnot. But, I was really shocked to find out that Missouri and some other states put such limits and control over quizbowl. My part of the country is much more free-market when it come to quizbowl, which has served us well in recent years as we have more easily adapted to the changing national trends.

Quizbowl is far removed from athletics, though people want to pretend that it is similar enough to require similar restrictions. Hopefully people will start to rethink this attitude.

I know Mr. Dees has stirred up a few hornets nests in the last couple of years in your state. But, the game needs its visionary reformers if it is to advance to where it needs to go. I have had the privilege of meeting Charlie at national tournaments. He is one of the best players I have ever seen and is an advocate for positive change in quizbowl nationally, as well as in Missouri. Hopefully Missouri will produce many more players with his passion, and that Missouri will continue attain a more prominent place on the national scene.

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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:29 am

Jeremy Gibbs wrote:I do certainly appreciate all of your comments. I feel I have learned a lot from the discussion. I will see if we can revisit this issue when we meet August 6.
I'm somewhat concerned by the noncommittal nature of your posts. You need to do more than have discussions and "revisit" issues, as good as those first steps are. I would like to hear you say that you understand why the rules in question are terrible, that you personally do not support them, and that you will lobby to repeal them at this meeting. Also, if we could drop the pretense that the latest rule was about "encouraging people to play with their teams" and all that nonsense and admit that it was a spite-fueled backlash against a player many coaches didn't like, that would go a long way towards establishing your good faith.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Tegan » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:39 pm

Coach Barnes,

We here in Illinois have had virtually the same problems crop up that you are experiencing, and to differing respects, we have won some battles, and still have others to fight. I would be happy to give any advice that I can.

Sad to say, but as we were trying to make some more changes in Illinois this year, I cited some of the issues that Missouri faces as problematic. Another coach turned around and said that Missouri is doing AOK, and that if they are OK, we are OK. In short, I would be happy to see battles we've won strengthen your position, and any battles you win will certainly help us out.

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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:03 pm

Good. Constant pressure from coaches and students to get athletic associations entirely out of quizbowl should be kept up until that necessary goal is achieved.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Tegan » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:07 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:Good. Constant pressure from coaches and students to get athletic associations entirely out of quizbowl should be kept up until that necessary goal is achieved.
I cannot overstate this: more students putting the pressure on .... from more parts of your states. The more geographically diverse, the better. The more students the better. No form letters. No smart allecky "you suck" letters. Make the points, stick to logic. Former players, parents, officials are also good people to write and get into this. Having witnessed that letters can work, I encourage it.

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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by First Chairman » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:07 pm

ETC EDIT: I've moved posts related to Ike's discussion of acting to make changes to OAC format have been moved to the Ohio 2008-09 thread.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:07 am

Jeremy Gibbs wrote:I do certainly appreciate all of your comments. I feel I have learned a lot from the discussion. I will see if we can revisit this issue when we meet August 6.
Good. Here's the attitude you need to take on August 6th.

We've demonstrated to you that while your rules might be appropriate for some athletic activities, they are patently ridiculous for quiz bowl, hold Missouri back in national competition, and in general screw players who want to learn about academic topics.

Here's a radical proposal: since it might be good for you guys to retain Rule 13 for some athletic competitions--I, frankly, don't pretend to know squat about its usefulness there--and it's absolutely ridiculous in a quiz bowl context--the MSHSAA, frankly, shouldn't pretend to know squat about its usefulness there--it makes sense for the MSHSAA no longer to supervise interscholastic quiz bowl competitions. Its competitive framework isn't suited for optimizing quiz bowl competition. Moreover, this way there's no danger that you'll have to expose yourself to assholes like Bryce Avery ever, ever again.

If there has to be a state organization, let there be one, but it should not be the MSHSAA or any organization with such rules. Either get rid of the rules (and that might hurt your athletics!) or get out of the game.

I don't see another position that makes sense. If you do, please explain it to me.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:32 am

And here's some ammunition to back that argument up -
Before 1995, quizbowl was simply run by MACA (or a proto form of it, I'm not sure). They successfully held multiple state championships, and coachees fromt hat time don't seem to have any complaints about the way things were run, which include none of the athletic style restriction on play that there are now. It is very clear that MSHSAA is not necessary for quizbowl to function, as we once had that situation.
Secondly, most of the activities that are like quizbowl have none of these restrictions, because they are not remotely under MSHSAA's control. These include science olympiad and all manner of math and economics contests. The only other activities MSHSAA controls that aren't athletic are music and debate (with the caveat that music has a totaly different system that doesn't put the nonsense restrictions on participants, and that also doesn't crown a state champion). If all of those other activities are thriving without being under MSHSAA's purview, perhaps there is something to learn there.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:01 am

Yeah, Missouri debate is really healthy. Neosho HS was fourth and Parkview HS was seventh in 2006-2007 in one of nflonline's overall rankings. That means that they have large clubs of very skilled debaters, for the uninitiated. Springfield Central HS and Neosho HS won a national award for excellence in debate events. SCHS had a policy team semi; Parkview had an LD debater make it to essentially octos. Three MO public forum teams were in the top fourteen, and one octo'ed, one quartered. There was a MO finalist in extemp commentary.

You know what separates successful debate teams from mediocre ones? They go on lots of out-of-state trips. If you don't go to "national circuit" tournaments, like Yale, Harvard, Glenbrooks, etc., you're extremely unlikely to do well when the national finals come around. The only reason that Missouri is competitive in debate over the last several years is because these restrictions have not been applied to it. The reason that Missouri has been competitive in quiz bowl over the last several years is Charlie Dees.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:05 am

Yeah, it is also true that debate has less restrictions on it, which is supposedly due to historical policy. However, they still have restrictions (I think they can only go to one tournament past the 250 mile limit) but that doesn't change that they can go to it, and they have a healthier circuit than local quizbowl as a partial result. Also, there's a uch healthier emphasis on qualifying and attending nationals in debate, and less restrictions on nationals attendance (well, quizbowl has come a long way in the last year as far as qualification policies, so hopefully over the next few years the attendance will follow.)
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:11 am

Before we tell somebody to take these stances, I'm wondering if anybody could find some data.
Before MSHSAA took charge, how many teams competed in the state championship? Also, how many teams compete in science olympiad and math contests in Missouri compared to the number that compete in quizbowl?

I'm asking because the IHSA taking over quizbowl (ie Scholastic Bowl) in Illinois resulted in a lot of schools starting teams. If IHSA dropped Scholastic Bowl, there would be a decent number of teams that would drop out or become unfunded. Science Olympiad and Math Team both thrive in Illinois, but either one of them would be happy to get half of the number of teams that Scholastic Bowl gets. Also, Math Team has thrived because of major support from ICTM (our branch of NCTM, a huge professional organization of math teachers), and there is no parallel organization for quizbowl--IHSSBCA would love to have ten percent of the support that ICTM does.

I'll also add that the fact that there were few complaints before 1995 doesn't tell you much. If you go back to the 1980s in Illinois, you can find tournaments that were single elimination, that only allowed seniors to play, and that required teams to show up with ten questions to use without any cares about quality or repetition, and there were few complaints. Back in the 1990s, there were few complaints about ASCN or PAC.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:19 am

ReinsteinD wrote: I'm asking because the IHSA taking over quizbowl (ie Scholastic Bowl) in Illinois resulted in a lot of schools starting teams. If IHSA dropped Scholastic Bowl, there would be a decent number of teams that would drop out or become unfunded. Science Olympiad and Math Team both thrive in Illinois, but either one of them would be happy to get half of the number of teams that Scholastic Bowl gets. Also, Math Team has thrived because of major support from ICTM (our branch of NCTM, a huge professional organization of math teachers), and there is no parallel organization for quizbowl--IHSSBCA would love to have ten percent of the support that ICTM does.
Why would they drop out? Why would they become unfunded? They still have a venue of competition, whether through NAQT (which could get a bigger foothold) or through HSAPQ's sets, which look like an option they might want to secure. They could have the exact same circuit other places have. They could make their own funding by hosting tournaments. Or their sponsors could tell their schools "you know the non-MSHSAA competitions we used to go to? We'll go to more of them now, okay? Also, we might go to out of state tournaments, and you won't get in trouble for it." Is this a reason to remove funding from a club? I ask this question without artifice: I don't understand the politics of state-organization-run quiz bowl.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:45 am

everyday847 wrote:
ReinsteinD wrote: I'm asking because the IHSA taking over quizbowl (ie Scholastic Bowl) in Illinois resulted in a lot of schools starting teams. If IHSA dropped Scholastic Bowl, there would be a decent number of teams that would drop out or become unfunded. Science Olympiad and Math Team both thrive in Illinois, but either one of them would be happy to get half of the number of teams that Scholastic Bowl gets. Also, Math Team has thrived because of major support from ICTM (our branch of NCTM, a huge professional organization of math teachers), and there is no parallel organization for quizbowl--IHSSBCA would love to have ten percent of the support that ICTM does.
Why would they drop out? Why would they become unfunded? They still have a venue of competition, whether through NAQT (which could get a bigger foothold) or through HSAPQ's sets, which look like an option they might want to secure. They could have the exact same circuit other places have. They could make their own funding by hosting tournaments. Or their sponsors could tell their schools "you know the non-MSHSAA competitions we used to go to? We'll go to more of them now, okay? Also, we might go to out of state tournaments, and you won't get in trouble for it." Is this a reason to remove funding from a club? I ask this question without artifice: I don't understand the politics of state-organization-run quiz bowl.
Most of the teams that Reinstein thinks would drop out would drop out because the only time they play Scholastic Bowl is the IHSA-sponsored State Series in March - where they usually play only one or two games before getting eliminated, because the first "leg" of IHSA's competition is single-elimination. If the IHSA dropped SB, those teams have no reason to exist anymore. I'd imagine that a couple teams might join the circuit, especially if the IHSSBCA did a carpet bombing mailing to those teams, but the overwhelming response would be the loss of teams.

If the IHSA dropped Scholastic Bowl, it would only be the top level of teams that would 'benefit' - there's only a handful that approach the 18 date limit, and the postseason travel restrictions don't apply to NAQT/PACE/anything - while the next few tiers of teams wouldn't really be negatively impacted. My old high school's conference, for example, has 12 teams, 9 of which are active in the circuit at large, so the conference would stay intact and those 3 do-nothing teams would still exist for conference only, just like they've been. The teams still have their legitimate purpose intact. But hundreds of teams don't do Saturday tournaments, aren't in active conferences, and so you take away the thing that legitimizes them and they'll disappear.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:54 am

styxman wrote:Most of the teams that Reinstein thinks would drop out would drop out because the only time they play Scholastic Bowl is the IHSA-sponsored State Series in March - where they usually play only one or two games before getting eliminated, because the first "leg" of IHSA's competition is single-elimination. If the IHSA dropped SB, those teams have no reason to exist anymore.

But hundreds of teams don't do Saturday tournaments, aren't in active conferences, and so you take away the thing that legitimizes them and they'll disappear.
To clarify--I mean Missouri. Why would Missouri teams drop out? And why wouldn't the teams that "only play MSHSAA questions" not just, like, play different questions then? Instead of playing the State Series, couldn't they play some NAQT on that date / those dates in March?
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:52 pm

My reasons are a little different than what Brad stated.

It costs schools money to sponsor a club--the sponsor stipend is generally in the low four figures in addition to obvious stuff like buying a buzzer system, transportation, entry fees, and (in some cases) practice questions. Most schools have budget crunches every year or two or three, so the school board asks the administration where it can save money. Extracurriculars are at or near the top of that list since they are not essential to the everyday functioning of the school. QuizBowl, because it is sponsored by the IHSA in Illinois and MSHSAA in Missouri, has some credibility that other clubs don't have, so it is one of the last activities cut. Without the IHSA or MSHSAA, quizbowl would lose some of that credibility, and the number of teams would go down.

Which teams would get cut has some relationship to the quality of the program. School boards generally take into account whether or not there is a base of students committed to the activity when making their decisions, so many of the teams that would get cut are teams that aren't doing a whole lot right now. (You might argue that a Quizbowl Team aligns closer to the goals of a school than a Dance Team, but any school board would rather have an enthusiastic Dance Team than an unenthusiastic Quizbowl Team.) However, we're talking about school boards and money here rather than rational decision making, so there probably would be some decent teams disappearing and some lame teams sticking around.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:00 pm

Oh hey it's the "everything that gets more teams involved is good even if it cripples all the teams from getting any intellectual benefit from the activity and the thing they're involved in barely resembles quizbowl anymore" argument. How are you doing, terrible argument? I haven't seen you since a Pickrell post a few months ago defending VHSL districts.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:31 pm

ReinsteinD wrote:QuizBowl, because it is sponsored by the IHSA in Illinois and MSHSAA in Missouri, has some credibility that other clubs don't have, so it is one of the last activities cut. Without the IHSA or MSHSAA, quizbowl would lose some of that credibility, and the number of teams would go down.
What this tells me is this: at the moment, quiz bowl has an arbitrary advantage over other clubs so that schools feel like they should have teams even when they can't always afford them, since it has artificial "credibility." Is that actually good? Moreover--being "one of the last activities cut" doesn't necessarily change to "being automatically cut once it's lost its magical defense system," does it?
ReinsteinD wrote:Which teams would get cut has some relationship to the quality of the program. School boards generally take into account whether or not there is a base of students committed to the activity when making their decisions, so many of the teams that would get cut are teams that aren't doing a whole lot right now.
So these are the schools we care the least about. You're willing to trade quiz bowl in Missouri being good for the fact that some teams (mostly teams that are "unenthusiastic" in your words) will have magical artificial protection. I'm not.

Look at it from the other side. Not every school in DC, in the status quo, can have a quiz bowl team, but the teams are damn good. But if I said "hey, let's have this awful organization take over: within the next five years, everyone will be unable to play much good quiz bowl, but at least there will be forty new teams where they didn't exist before" you'd call me crazy.

If you want to have a low-quality game that affiliated schools can play, just for the sake of having a lot of teams, fine, whatever, but don't stop them from playing good quizbowl in its name.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:36 pm

As of right now, it looks like the only horrible thing that MSHSAA is doing is preventing students from playing in Open Tournaments. I agree that they are wrong about this, but we're talking about something that, now that Charlie has graduated, we're not sure that anybody actually wants to do. Also, it is an issue that they may change their minds about, since they changed their minds about the same issue with respect to swimming, which should have been a tougher decision given the concern that it is possible to spend too much time swimming.

MSHSAA does not make it impossible for good quizbowl in Missouri. If you're in Missouri and want to go to good tournaments, then go to good tournaments. If the good tournaments are too far away, then host one. You can host a mirror, an IS tournament, and/or a HSAPQ if you don't want to write the questions yourself.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:41 pm

ReinsteinD wrote:As of right now, it looks like the only horrible thing that MSHSAA is doing is preventing students from playing in Open Tournaments.
And preventing teams from travelling, and preventing teams from playing outside the date window, and running state championship series that are not set up to give the top positions to the best teams, use a horrible distribution, and use horrible questions. Plus, the general attitude towards students and the game that produced that terrible setup also results in a lot of terrible invitational tournaments and terrible interaction between players and coaches.
I agree that they are wrong about this, but we're talking about something that, now that Charlie has graduated, we're not sure that anybody actually wants to do.
And since they've banned anyone from doing it, we'll never know...
Also, it is an issue that they may change their minds about, since they changed their minds about the same issue with respect to swimming, which should have been a tougher decision given the concern that it is possible to spend too much time swimming.
The main difference being that all the people involved in swimming seemed to disagree with the organization's attempt to impose the standards of different sports on them, whereas these changes, shamefully, came from some of the more backwards quizbowl coaches.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:00 pm

Dude, Reinstein, you're so wrong it's not even funny. MSHSAA does any number of horrible things - this banning of open tournaments is just the most recent. Do you think I would have spent all of my effort in the past 2 years pointing out flaws in MSHSAA if their only problem was a ban implemented this summer?
Also, in Missouri I don't think the same kind of mass loss of teams would happen if we changed the state championship system - there were lots of teams active before MSHSAA took over (enough that they could run 4 years worth of a viable three-class state championship). Off the top of my head, I can't think of any team that plays nothing but districts other than maybe some private schools in St. Louis - most teams play in their conference and at least one regular season tournament nearby, whether it's bad or not. If we were to eliminate districts, I still think these teams would stay at the same level of activity they've always been, and we wouldn't see any drastic change in how things already happen.
MSHSAA does not make it impossible for good quizbowl in Missouri. If you're in Missouri and want to go to good tournaments, then go to good tournaments. If the good tournaments are too far away, then host one. You can host a mirror, an IS tournament, and/or a HSAPQ if you don't want to write the questions yourself.
I'm kind of surprised to hear you saying this. Do you not understand that in many ways MSHSAA backhandedly does make it hard for quizbowl? Many teams insist on playing 4-quarter, usually MSHSAA format tournaments because to them it doesn't seem official and they think it's the only way to prepare for districts, and the only people willing to write in that format at the present (And for the most part, for the last 12 years) produce abominations (Triple Q, Questions Galore, Question Bank, need I say more?) While I got NKC to do it's part in hosting more quality sets (2 NAQT qualifiers), the only other people willing to put in the work to put on good sets were 3 universities. Most people don't like the format or the concept of pyramidality, so of course they don't want to host those sets. As much as I would like to "just go to good tournaments," unless you travel far out of state that's impossible, and it's just absurd to expect every program that wants to play good tournaments to divvy up the cash NKC put up in the last 2 years. Another key factor you are missing is the fact that whenever we do go to these local tournaments that are well written, there is an utter lack of competition other than maybe the finals game. If you want to be able to play a significantly competitive schedule on good questions you either need to break MSHSAA travel rules or you're screwed, it was impossible for us to do and until more places change their minds about good quizbowl, it will stay a dark and expensive prospect for the few teams here who do know what is going on.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:03 pm

ReinsteinD wrote:MSHSAA does not make it impossible for good quizbowl in Missouri. If you're in Missouri and want to go to good tournaments, then go to good tournaments. If the good tournaments are too far away, then host one. You can host a mirror, an IS tournament, and/or a HSAPQ if you don't want to write the questions yourself.
Part of my conversation regarding the Rockford Auburn mirror of the HFT had to deal with setting a date. You know what? It turns out that teams that don't poop gold bricks, like the ones you're concerned about losing their funding, can't be in two places at once. (I hear rumors that even rich teams can't, either.) I can't host an IS tournament and expect to make money if no one will come. And not many people will, even if my product's clearly better and even if they want the best product, since there's a certain inertia associated with the status quo organization. And since the only way I'll make money off hosting a tournament is by getting a lot of teams there, I can't just invade a date typically taken by the state organization and expect attendance--so I don't host at all, or I squeeze it into a spot on the calendar that's not taken by bad quizbowl. Kill the organization, and there can be no inertia, and people start happily playing and hosting good quiz bowl.

Let's test this hypothesis: take a year off, MSHSAA! If the circuit falls to crap, then whoops I'm sorry, you're right, I've lost all privileges of advocating for good quiz bowl. But if it doesn't, don't stress yourself out trying to get back into the swing of things--just stick with sports-except-swimming.
Deesy Does It wrote: As much as I would like to "just go to good tournaments," unless you travel far out of state that's impossible, and it's just absurd to expect every program that wants to play good tournaments to divvy up the cash NKC put up in the last 2 years.
Hey, look, it seems that having a state organization restrict a team's freedom out of spite is actually not good for your pocketbook if you want to play good quiz bowl. I'd say that the status quo is more likely to keep the "lame teams" you referred to and drive the good teams out of business (to refer to your earlier point, Reinstein).

And as for the open registration point, who cares that no one wants to (or no one has expressed to you a desire to) attend open tournaments? The fact that people don't exercise a right (which could be because of incidental or temporary inability, or lack of information, or whatever) doesn't mean that they don't deserve it. Hey, look, those freed slaves over there aren't voting too frequently at all! Chip's rule that if you win one of his early stages, then he gets to kidnap you to make sure you participate in NAC, isn't moral even though no one has tried to run away from them since that incident back then.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:18 pm

So what you're all saying is that, if MSHSAA disappeared, teams throughout Missouri would recognize the superiority of good quizbowl and stop playing bad quizbowl? Do you realize that they use a four-quarter format because coaches want it that way and that if lots of coaches felt otherwise the format would change?

I realize I'm on the verge of setting up a strawman here, but let's be realistic about what would happen if MSHSAA dropped quizbowl. Some teams would cease to exist, including a small number of decent ones, and a lot of teams would continue to play bad quizbowl and like it.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:31 pm

ReinsteinD wrote:I realize I'm on the verge of setting up a strawman here, but let's be realistic about what would happen if MSHSAA dropped quizbowl. Some teams would cease to exist, including a small number of decent ones, and a lot of teams would continue to play bad quizbowl and like it.
But you'd actually be able to make progress towards advancing good quiz bowl, which does not seem possible with the MSHSAA there.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:38 pm

ReinsteinD wrote:So what you're all saying is that, if MSHSAA disappeared, teams throughout Missouri would have little alternative but to play good quizbowl and stop playing bad quizbowl?
Fixed.
Do you realize that they use a four-quarter format because coaches want it that way and that if lots of coaches felt otherwise the format would change?
I think they use a four-quarter format when they aren't required to because they think that they should practice for the format. Even something as simple as the fact that the HFT bonuses will bounce back at Rockford Auburn lends credence to this assertion. Many college teams, ours included, practice on the clock a few times before SCT and ICT.

Moreover, I don't think it's a good idea to say "these people don't know what they're missing--so let's let them keep on missing it." The fact that coaches wouldn't immediately see the benefits of things that don't suck is no reason for complacency; it's a reason to reach out. Moreover, a four-quarter format doesn't inherently suck. They can be done well, though there can be fairness issues in category rounds. Bryce Avery-like questions inherently suck. There's a reason that HSAPQ is producing a four-quarter set. Host it in Missouri!
I realize I'm on the verge of setting up a strawman here, but let's be realistic about what would happen if MSHSAA dropped quizbowl. Some teams would cease to exist, including a small number of decent ones, and a lot of teams would continue to play bad quizbowl and like it.
Omitting all the benefits of your opponent's position is a strong rhetorical tactic but a poor argumentative one, especially in print, since eventually someone notices that you've done it. Other things that will happen: dates will be freed up for teams to play good quiz bowl; Missouri players will be able to play good high school tournaments in other states, Missouri teams will be able to host good high school tournaments; Missouri players will be able to play college tournaments. This is in exchange for removing a totally artificial priority that schools give quiz bowl in their budgets, which might cause some programs to fold, but frankly, I'll foot those teams' registration at good local tournaments if I have to keep them afloat myself.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:52 pm

Coach Reinstein - do you not get it that in Missouri, no teams that take it seriously will drop off, and there will be few teams that attended districts in years past that won't continue to exist. This isn't Illinois, stop trying to make it so. We have a different situation than you do in this regard.
I'm not saying that if MSHSAA quit quizbowl would look better overnight. I'm saying if MSHSAA quit, teams lose the impetus to play their format (which is by extension, playing bad quizbowl). Teams lose that reason to keep loyal to a format. In replacement, I would see the NAQT state tournament take over the championship, and as a result more teams would be preparing for it. The top teams will have more freedom to travel to whatever competitive tournament they can pay for out of our region. The main circuit will mainly stay intact, with the added fluidity to not have to adhere to MSHSAA rules. I really can't see any negatives coming from this situation, and if it doesn't fix everything overnight, it makes it healthier to fix in the long run.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:56 pm

So Mr. Gibbs--in light of what we've just said, I'd like to reiterate my call. If the MSHSAA isn't prepared to do this right, I don't believe that it should do it at all. Either it should have a set of rules for quiz bowl and a set of rules for everything else, and the rules for quiz bowl shouldn't have ridiculous restrictions, or it shouldn't govern quiz bowl. If you're not comfortable communicating on this board, that's understandable; this forum can be a hostile place. But I'd like to hear from you regarding whether you believe it's important for the MSHSAA to continue supervising this form of competition, because I genuinely believe it should not.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:57 pm

Also, it is hardly implausible that MACA could take over the official stuff for quizbowl, which would be healthier than it is now (although I don't know it would be ideal either). They used to run it, after all.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:59 pm

will the proliferation of quiz bowl organizations with hard c sounds never stop
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:12 pm

Most of the dates Charlie talked about as being taken are not being taken by MSHSAA. They are taken by teams holding invitationals.

Charlie knows the situation in Missouri better than I do, and I might be wrong. My first post a few hours ago started with some honest questions--has quizbowl in Missouri grown under MSHSAA? If so, it is, in my opinion something to consider. Some of the teams that are new probably are doing more than just showing up for districts. With a good coach, they could do a lot. Before I would advocate dissolving MSHSAA's involvement in quizbowl, I would also want to know whether the tournaments run under MACA were significantly better than the ones run under MSHSAA. (Charlie says nobody complained, but I'm not sure he knows, and it's not enough information to go on if he does.) Also, if MSHSAA dropped out of the picture, would MACA run a state tournament, and would it use good questions? Or, like Charlie suggests, would NAQT become the primary state tournament? Again, I'm asking without knowing the answers. Also, has anybody talked to teams that host invitationals and asked them about possibly diverging from MSHSAA format or writing better questions that are in MSHSAA format?

Tournament hosts in Illinois tend towards questions that are in IHSA format, but some have run tournaments in NAQT, ACF, or some hybrid format. The state tournament was single-clue questions during the 1990s, but our conference used pyramidal questions written by U of I students. IHSA now uses (flawed) pyramidal questions, but most conferences and tournaments continue to use single-clue questions out of habit or because that's what those coaches want.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:21 pm

MSHSAA taking over didn't see any massive upswing of active teams. Like I said before, Missouri was sufficiently active before them that for 4 years there was a state tournament that was large enough to have three classes and eight districts per class, which is very close to what we have now. So no, I don't think that is something to really be considering here. I can't tell you how good the tournaments were then, but the safe assumption is they weren't good by our standards today. However, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a good tournament in 1995, even in college. what I'm saying is that because of MSHSAA, things clamped down to the way they were in 1995 with added nutty restrictions, whereas if MACA were still in charge we would not have the restrictions and bizarre rules and there would have been much greater fluidity (the coaches have the chance to change things, as opposed to now where we have to work through a bureacracy to get things even thought about). I think that would have let good quizbowl spread so much faster here. I know I've talked to all kinds of people about using better questions for their tournaments, so has my coach, but so far nothing has come of it.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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marnold
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by marnold » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:27 pm

This is back farther up, but I think it's worth addressing.
everyday847 wrote:Yeah, Missouri debate is really healthy. Neosho HS was fourth and Parkview HS was seventh in 2006-2007 in one of nflonline's overall rankings. That means that they have large clubs of very skilled debaters, for the uninitiated. Springfield Central HS and Neosho HS won a national award for excellence in debate events. SCHS had a policy team semi; Parkview had an LD debater make it to essentially octos. Three MO public forum teams were in the top fourteen, and one octo'ed, one quartered. There was a MO finalist in extemp commentary.

You know what separates successful debate teams from mediocre ones? They go on lots of out-of-state trips. If you don't go to "national circuit" tournaments, like Yale, Harvard, Glenbrooks, etc., you're extremely unlikely to do well when the national finals come around. The only reason that Missouri is competitive in debate over the last several years is because these restrictions have not been applied to it. The reason that Missouri has been competitive in quiz bowl over the last several years is Charlie Dees.
Um, no: you're wrong. (EDIT: I missed Charlie pointing this out already. The other paragraphs are still unique, though.) Missouri debate has the same restrictions as quizbowl in terms of competing within state borders. Missouri teams can barely get to Glenbrooks and I think the Ohio Valley tournaments, but nothing else with TOC bids.

The angle to take is that Missouri debate does way, way worse in certain events than it should. In events where no real difference exists between National Circuit/TOC style and the local style (PF and IEs, for example), Missouri absolutely throttles the competition - my year I think Missouri closed out sems of PF. In events where good debaters travel and compete on a higher level, Missouri lags well behind states that have equivalently vibrant local circuits. Houston, Dallas, the Twin Cities, the Bay Area, Boston all have local circuits with the same amount of dedicated teams as Missouri but do FAR better in events like CX and LD where traveling to bid tournaments is worthwhile: the numbers you cited for their policy teams and LDers is way behind the powerhouse areas and roughly the same as my state of Colorado with an abysmal local circuit.

So the conclusion is this: when Missouri has a local circuit of the equivalent level to the rest of the country it owns up, but it is at a significant disadvantage when it prevents teams from accessing the national circuit where one exists. Since quizbowl is pretty obviously in the latter category, they should (1) bring the tournament quality up to the level of the rest of the country and (2) allow their good teams to go to quality tournaments elsewhere in the country.
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Re: Missouri 08-09

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:37 pm

marnold wrote:The angle to take is that Missouri debate does way, way worse in certain events than it should.
This is a really interesting argument; thanks for pointing out where I'd gone wrong. I think I had misunderstood something that Charlie had posted earlier about debate to imply that they weren't operating under the same restrictions.

This really adds fuel to the fire, though.
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