Getting coaches to care

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Getting coaches to care

Post by Kanga-Rat Murder Society » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:54 pm

In light of our recent problem with our coach I thought I would create a topic dealing with the lack of coaches that care in Illinois (and elsewhere).

Most coaches seem to have no experience playing Scholastic Bowl. These coaches typically follow what previous coaches have played in the past, meaning they miss out on almost all good quizbowl options out there, if they play weekend tournaments at all. They also practice on the questions that their league plays on.

This seems to me to be a pattern throughout most of the Northwest Suburbs and I imagine that it is common throughout all of Chicagoland. I guess the reason I created this topic was to ask a few questions:

1. How do we get coaches like this to come to tournaments on weekends?

2. How do we get these coaches to practice on questions outside of those that their school is used to playing on (in our case this is Avery)?

3. As a student, how do you confront such a coach about his coaching habits?

4. How do we get students with coaches like this exposed to the broader quiz bowl world?
Last edited by Kanga-Rat Murder Society on Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by at your pleasure » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:22 pm

. How do we get coaches like this to come to tournaments on weekends?
Is it possible for you to go to tournaments without your coach? If you can get a ride to the tournament, I don't see an issue. If you do this, he may accept your going to non-conference/saturday tournaments as a fait accompli and even start coming along for the ride.
2. How do we get these coaches to practice on questions outside of those that their school is used to playing on (in our case this is Avery)?
Start playing on better questions more. If he sees that Avery is inadequate preparation for playing good competition, then he is somewhat more likely to relent, having been shocked out of his inertia and ignorance.
3. As a student, how do you confront such a coach about his coaching habits?
My only advice to this is to organize other dedicated and confront the coach en masse . If it is only one player who wishes to practice and play at a higher level, he can dismiss that player as a lone malcontent who is "too big for his britches". However, he cannot so easily dismiss mass discontent in this manner.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Tegan » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:39 pm

BG MSL Champs wrote:1. How do we get coaches like this to come to tournaments on weekends?
I would suggest that making public statements like this:
In our case, we are coached by a chemistry teacher who (I think) wanted to make extra money and was probably told that Scho Bowl was the easiest way to do it.
are definitively counterproductive to your cause. Let us all assume for a moment that you are correct, and you coach is more interested in his bottom line than his players. If that is the case, then, if I were him, I would take this as a public affront. I would download statements like this, turn them over to my boss, who would permit me to throw you off the team, end of story. Even if you are correct, making statements like this are not likely to help your cause.

I have absolutely no evidence to counter your claims. I simply suggest that publicly calling people out like this often times does not have the desired effect.

Doug suggested rallying the team and approaching your coach as a team. I think that would have a more desired effect.
2. How do we get these coaches to practice on questions outside of those that their school is used to playing on (in our case this is Avery)?
I would try the same method. If you can convince your team to stand with you and politely, clearly, and firmly ask for the types of questions used in practice to change, it may work. You might note that the better teams in the state (New Trier, Auburn, Loyola, Stevenson ...... all practice/compete with those questions. Even teams that don't practice on Avery, and did well at the Fremd tournament, don't play on Avery (The high scorer was a Maine South player; Maine South does not practice nor does it usually play on bad questions). The point: playing on Avery-type questions prepares you to play only on Avery. Playing on good questions prepares you for almost anything. That isn't 100% true, as bad questions can negate the advantages of a better team, but the better team will still win more often than not.

3. As a student, how do you confront such a coach about his coaching habits?
Every person is different. From my perspective, if a player came up firing off demands, I would be more inclined to not listen, even if there was something to them. Plan out what you want to say, be calm, be polite, be firm. If you are concerned about how it will come out, find someone who you think might react as your coach will. Practice on them. Is there an assistant coach you might approach just for some advice on how to make the approach?
4. How do we get students with coaches like this exposed to the broader quiz bowl world?
That is more difficult, as you tend not to run into those players at tournaments, nor do you typically run into them at ACE camp, or even on this board. Start local. When you have a conference match, if you have some down time, talk to a player from Prospect, Hersey, etc. Strike up a conversation: "How do you guys practice?" "We've been trying these new questions, and boy are they making a difference!" "Why don't we see you at >insert tournament here<?" "If you are thinking of getting better, can I recommend ACE Camp?" "Have you thought about asking your coach?" ......... etc.

Most schools, as you know, do not know much about Scholastic Bowl. Most administrators know even less on the subject. Educate people as to what makes a team good.

Best of luck. I hope that BG will get out to more good tournaments.

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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by cornfused » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:51 am

Tegan wrote:words
Good to see you back, Coach.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by David Riley » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:47 am

I think this specific problem might be more complex:

1) You say your coach has a child. If he wants to spend time with him/her, then the (relatively recent) desire of the team to play more tournaments would impinge on his family time.

2) What I personally don't understand is why a substitute coach can't go in his place if needed, on occasion.

3) As I understand it, the MSL plays A LOT of dates, which under our (get rid of it, please!) 18-date rule means you can only participate in a small number of Saturday tournaments.

4) I don't know about practices but it sounds like the entire MSL needs to be converted to good quizbowl and questions.

5) What Tegan said.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:41 am

David Riley wrote: 3) As I understand it, the MSL plays A LOT of dates, which under our (get rid of it, please!) 18-date rule means you can only participate in a small number of Saturday tournaments.

4) I don't know about practices but it sounds like the entire MSL needs to be converted to good quizbowl and questions.
FWIW, the Activities director at BHS said he's trying to get me to be an official coach for next year, which would put me in a position to get my nose in on the MSL Coaches' Meetings, where such decisions are made. Cross your fingers for me.
This year, the MSL has a 'pre-season quad' a 'pre-season tournament' and then 4 conference meet dates. That's 6 dates, for 19 matches. The only drag is, you may find yourself playing the same team as many as 4 times in the same season. No offense to Coach Williams, but I was pretty sick of seeing Schaumburg by the middle of February last year! :wink:
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by vcuEvan » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:09 am

BG MSL Champs wrote:In light of our recent problem with our coach I thought I would create a topic dealing with the lack of coaches that care in Illinois (and elsewhere).

To start this out, I think it is important for me state where I am coming from. At Buffalo Grove, teachers who run teams, whether sports or otherwise make a good amount of money for their work. All teachers are strongly encouraged to coach something. In our case, we are coached by a chemistry teacher who (I think) wanted to make extra money and was probably told that Scho Bowl was the easiest way to do it. After all, coaching BG's team consisted of once a week practices and showing up to seventeen matches a year. He has a young kid and probably thought that coaching us would not interrupt his weekends (it hadn't interrupted those of any previous coach). Thus, our coach is not letting us go to tournaments and is not really interested in improving our team outside of winning our conference, which is played with Avery Questions.

This seems to me to be a pattern throughout most of the Northwest Suburbs and I imagine that it is common throughout all of Chicagoland.I guess the reason I created this topic was to aks a few questions:

1. How do we get coaches like this to come to tournaments on weekends?

2. How do we get these coaches to practice on questions outside of those that their school is used to playing on (in our case this is Avery)?

3. As a student, how do you confront such a coach about his coaching habits?

4. How do we get students with coaches like this exposed to the broader quiz bowl world?
You need a new coach. See if you can find a more enthusiastic teacher and talk to the principal.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by JohnAndSlation » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:29 pm

David Riley wrote:2) What I personally don't understand is why a substitute coach can't go in his place if needed, on occasion.
Aside from talking to your coach (which could potentially alleviate much of the problem), is there an assistant coach who's more enthusiastic? Is there another teacher who, even if you kept your coach, would want to/be able to become an assistant coach?
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:53 pm

In many states, teams show up to tournaments without coaches and the world does not come to an end. High school students, for the most part, are not musting elephants who need to be held onto by a chain lest they start destroying the building. If someone does need supervision, there's still a million adults there in the form of the people running the tournament or coaching other teams. If IHSA requires that teams bring faculty members with them to tournaments, then this rule should, of course, either be dropped entirely, or changed to some nebulous rule about having an "adult sponsor" so that a player's parent could serve the role on a week-to-week basis.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Kanga-Rat Murder Society » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:00 pm

This is turning into a thread about our team, and that is not necessarily what I wanted it to be. I do not think that Mr. Park is an awful coach. He is doing exactly what he signed up for, and actually more. I guess my biggest issue for this thread was how do we get new coaches who have background in the game to take it seriously. Many schools seem to have coaches who signed up for a simple activity where they only play traditional questions. My basic questions revolve around the issue of getting these coaches interested in the quiz bowl world outside of Bryce Avery and Questions Galore. But, since I am posting.....
Anti-Climacus wrote:
. How do we get coaches like this to come to tournaments on weekends?
Is it possible for you to go to tournaments without your coach? If you can get a ride to the tournament, I don't see an issue. If you do this, he may accept your going to non-conference/saturday tournaments as a fait accompli and even start coming along for the ride.
In general, TD's in Illinois will not let a team in without a coach. If a school does do this, IHSA can punish the school in all activities (I really don't want to get our football team placed in probation as I would fail gym and never graduate).
David Riley wrote:I think this specific problem might be more complex:

1) You say your coach has a child. If he wants to spend time with him/her, then the (relatively recent) desire of the team to play more tournaments would impinge on his family time.
I included that for this reason. I have nothing against Mr. Park and if I were in his position I would choose my family as well. I included Mr. Park as I was using him as an example of a coach who had no quiz bowl experience and is against playing more tournaments. He signed up to coach us under the understanding that this would interfere with only a couple of weekends, which is fine. However, there are other coaches without a family as an excuse who do not even make the effort to travel to New Trier. How do we convince these coaches to travel?
David Riley wrote: 2) What I personally don't understand is why a substitute coach can't go in his place if needed, on occasion.
We have done this. Our Frosh/Soph coach took us to Rock Valley and next weekend our school's Athletic Director/ football coach will take us to Huskie Bowl. However, not every team has the luxury or desire to be able to do this, and I think having a coach who is willing to take his team to tournaments is important.
David Riley wrote: 3) As I understand it, the MSL plays A LOT of dates, which under our (get rid of it, please!) 18-date rule means you can only participate in a small number of Saturday tournaments.
The MSL plays on eight dates. This is not an excuse for a team like Prospect who does not attend any other tournaments, and I do not think that we are approaching 18 dates in IHSA format. That said, that rule does suck.
David Riley wrote: 4) I don't know about practices but it sounds like the entire MSL needs to be converted to good quizbowl and questions.
We are working on it and I think it can happen.
David Riley wrote: 5) What Tegan said.
Yes, thanks for the advice Mr. Egan.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Matthew D » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:34 pm

Matt as much as I agree with you about the HS students that participate in our programs, the school runs a liability with the students that are from that school and "crazy" parents have impressed in the minds of the administration with their continual calling, frivolous lawsuits, and just general drama that someone from the school must be with the players as much as humanly possible. Sorry that is the life we have now with way to many lawyers walking the planet.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:36 pm

Matthew D wrote:Matt as much as I agree with you about the HS students that participate in our programs, the school runs a liability with the students that are from that school and "crazy" parents have impressed in the minds of the administration with their continual calling, frivolous lawsuits, and just general drama that someone from the school must be with the players as much as humanly possible. Sorry that is the life we have now with way to many lawyers walking the planet.
OK, no it's not, because as I said, there are many states where this is not the case. The idea that Illinois is more lawsuit-prone than Virginia or New York is absurd. This rule exists because the IHSA has several rules in place designed to discourage good quizbowl, and not for any other reason.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by at your pleasure » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:38 pm

Matt as much as I agree with you about the HS students that participate in our programs, the school runs a liability with the students that are from that school and "crazy" parents have impressed in the minds of the administration with their continual calling, frivolous lawsuits, and just general drama that someone from the school must be with the players as much as humanly possible.
Pray tell, in what universe are schools legally responsible for what students or groups therof do on their own time, on their own dime, and presumably having arranged their own transportation?
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Matthew D » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:03 pm

Douglas and Matt,
I am just speaking about Alabama. If a team uses the name of the high school we can be held responsible for the actions of that group. Now if you are on your own time, not using the schools name, or anything like that... then I have a feeling nothing would come of it. Also, according to a mandate from our state, if the school sponsors an event, then we have to ride "official" transportation which in our county means the big yellow wagon. Now again I am speaking for Alabama which doesn't have some grand problem about stamping out good quizbowl at the state level, we just have the local idiots that cause us more grief.

Just wanted to add this little article I found after I finished writing
http://www.atra.org/show/91
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:08 pm

What Matt W and Doug are saying is perfectly reasonable, but I've had school administrators tell me the same thing that Matt D is saying--that teams without coaches shouldn't come to our tournaments. Administrators will allow students to play at my Solo tournament if a parent is present, but I have to not notice if a student comes without a coach or parent. I don't think this is an IHSA issue per se, but it seems like the main thing people learn when they work on the Illinois Administrator Certification is all the different ways that schools can be sued or put in a position not covered by their insurance. New Trier Administrators spend some time worrying that students will go to an event associated with New Trier without being transported by New Trier or dropped off at New Trier.

As to another conversation in this thread, arranging a sub to take the team when the coach can't go generally is not easy. It can be done, but the vast majority of teachers have other ways to spend a Saturday and expect to be paid well if they work.

As far as the main conversation, I wish I had an answer. I can't get teams in my conference to attend our tournaments ten minutes from their schools.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:11 pm

The question is why a player's parent cannot be considered their "coach" for the purpose of school liability rules. I understand that rules requiring students to be chaperoned by an adult exist, and to some extent why they exist. What I do not understand is why anyone cares whether the "coach" fulfulling that role at a given tournament is the team's primary faculty sponsor or just a parent or other affiliated adult. Requiring anything beyond the minimum satisfaction of the law and the school's policy is just anti-quizbowl nonsense.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Matthew D » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:18 pm

Honestly Matt W, I don't have a clue if that would fly with the courts, which is the whole thing that is driving this. But it does seem like if you actually had the parent listed as a volunteer coach then they should be able to do it.
When I was in school, we regularly had several of us that drove half or more of the team to events like CC, track, and quizbowl but now if I even mention me driving my team any were I see my principal shutter a little.
David, I haven't had that talk with my principal yet but I hope I don't. I have had some deals worked out with other coaches for me to allow their players to attend my tournaments without them and if I know the kids, I will usually let it fly
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by jonah » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:46 pm

I conjecture that the (or a) reason parents often aren't acceptable as chaperones is along the lines of this: schools' insurance covers lawsuits for which the school can be held responsible. Only employees of the school can be held responsible. Parents aren't school employees. Therefore, no parents.

We can debate whether that's reasonable or not, but it's certainly not an anti-quizbowl policy, and in many cases makes sense: student activities are probably all covered in the same insurance policy. Sure, no one's going to get hurt playing quizbowl (we hope), but schools often have a climbing club or a photography/darkroom club. There's plenty of opportunity in both of those for people to get hurt, and it's reasonable that parents shouldn't be permitted to supervise them, and creating different policies for each club is neither viable nor fair.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:53 pm

I don't know why I have to keep telling you people that this is not the way things work in other states, so obviously there is no good reason for it. There are plenty of places where teams can still go to a tournament if their primary coach is unavailable, by bringing a parent (or bringing no one), and those places are not somehow less concerned about legal consequences than Illinois is.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by at your pleasure » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:00 am

Honestly Matt W, I don't have a clue if that would fly with the courts, which is the whole thing that is driving this. But it does seem like if you actually had the parent listed as a volunteer coach then they should be able to do it.
Given the fact that the policy presumably exists to avioid issues with unsupervised minors, I don't see why this should not be a problem.
There's plenty of opportunity in both of those for people to get hurt, and it's reasonable that parents shouldn't be permitted to supervise them, and creating different policies for each club is neither viable nor fair.
I think that this could be fudged to premit parents if the language specifies only that the supervision be by qualifed adults. But this is getting a bit afield; the whole liability issue can probably be avoided if Buffalo Grove plays as "The Midwestern Janissary Battalion" or whatever(hopefully more amusing) name they come up with, do not wear school uniforms, and otherwise avoid showing any visible connection with their school.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by BGSO » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:05 am

That's where the IHSA comes in as High schools may not play against teams from anything other than other high schools, however the question is scholastic bowl is defined as 5 vs 5, and if a team plays a 4 vs 4 tournament, is it jurisdicted by the IHSA? Maybe an Illinois coach could enlighten us with the technicalities of this rule?
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by jonah » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:06 am

Matt Weiner wrote:I don't know why I have to keep telling you people that this is not the way things work in other states, so obviously there is no good reason for it. There are plenty of places where teams can still go to a tournament if their primary coach is unavailable, by bringing a parent (or bringing no one), and those places are not somehow less concerned about legal consequences than Illinois is.
Laws vary from state to state. I don't know the specifics, but unless you do, it's not reasonable to declare that because legal concerns aren't an issue in other states they aren't in Illinois. There also might be a historical basis for local paranoia, similar to why theatre fire codes in Chicago are extremely strict due to the Iroquois Theatre Fire.
Anti-Climacus wrote:I think that this could be fudged to premit parents if the language specifies only that the supervision be by qualifed adults. But this is getting a bit afield; the whole liability issue can probably be avoided if Buffalo Grove plays as "The Midwestern Janissary Battalion" or whatever(hopefully more amusing) name they come up with, do not wear school uniforms, and otherwise avoid showing any visible connection with their school.
Absolutely, and we've seen that with a certain team at Michigan's ACF Winter. However, if the school or coach finds out that students did some such thing, they could get angry and punish them appropriately. The IHSA probably doesn't have the ability to sanction this (though the MSHSAA has that rule for it), but there's no reason a coach couldn't say "You defied me, and you're not playing for the rest of the year." I have in fact heard of threats to do that being made. Good coaches probably wouldn't do so, but a good coach would have made the inciting situation much less likely to happen anyway.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by jonah » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:09 am

BGSO wrote:That's where the IHSA comes in as High schools may not play against teams from anything other than other high schools, however the question is scholastic bowl is defined as 5 vs 5, and if a team plays a 4 vs 4 tournament, is it jurisdicted by the IHSA? Maybe an Illinois coach could enlighten us with the technicalities of this rule?
I believe it's okay, based on the participation of Auburn and New Trier in Illinois' EFT mirror this past October and New Trier's upcoming participation in Northwestern's TIT mirror. It might still count against the 18 dates, though; I'm not sure.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:22 am

jonah wrote:
BGSO wrote:That's where the IHSA comes in as High schools may not play against teams from anything other than other high schools, however the question is scholastic bowl is defined as 5 vs 5, and if a team plays a 4 vs 4 tournament, is it jurisdicted by the IHSA? Maybe an Illinois coach could enlighten us with the technicalities of this rule?
I believe it's okay, based on the participation of Auburn and New Trier in Illinois' EFT mirror this past October and New Trier's upcoming participation in Northwestern's TIT mirror. It might still count against the 18 dates, though; I'm not sure.
The way the IHSA defines it, if a "member high school" has a team playing an activity (football or quizbowl or what have you), then there is some nebulous restriction saying that other players can't split off and form their own team in that activity. What is not as nebulous is the restriction that any member school cannot play against non-member schools in Illinois. So, if Buffalo Grove were not to attend a tournament, but a group of people consisting solely of Buffalo Grove kids attended that tournament, it would be grounds that all the member schools that also played in that tournament competed against a non-member school and are those schools (note: schools, meaning all sports, not just quizbowl) are therefore open to sanctions.

Note that the upshot of all this is that a school's football team could get punished for what some other school's scholastic bowl team did, while the offending school's Scholastic Bowl team may or may not be punished.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by dxdtdemon » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:38 am

I am wondering if some of the newer coaches don't know about the existence of some of these other tournaments. In Ohio, at the beginning of every tournament, there is a time at the player/coach meeting devoted to schools promoting their upcoming tournaments, regardless of format. I would think that if some players seem interested enough, they could exert enough peer pressure on their coaches to take them to those tournaments.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by First Chairman » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:19 am

Without reading everyone else's responses (okay I quick-scanned them)... just saying I may repeat stuff. I won't discuss specific details of BG MSL's situation, but I guess I can give some perspective.

1. How do we get coaches like this to come to tournaments on weekends?
Obviously it's a question of how we get teams to go to tournaments and keep coming. As a TD, I'd make sure I would invite as many people as I can to come, and make sure you can give those coaches as much information about your tournament as you can. Sample questions or a simple description of format way ahead of time. Less-experienced quiz bowl coaches I think can be teachers with too much on their plate or too overwhelmed to know what's going on. Having a mentor who is a TD or a coach would help a lot; maybe that's an idea for the IHSSCBA (as well as maybe a frequent coaches workshop). In addition or alternatively, have them see this website to note that going to invitationals really is "normal."

2. How do we get these coaches to practice on questions outside of those that their school is used to playing on (in our case this is Avery)?
Now that we have been developing free archives, tell them about the free archives. For the most part, it's hard to break habits. Preparing for specific question styles used for TV comps... well, you have to practice on that.

3. As a student, how do you confront such a coach about his coaching habits?
If the coach isn't interested in feedback, you can't. If the coach doesn't care about feedback, you don't. A coach will only be interested if he/she wants to know, but it is very hard to give feedback as a student. Now, as an ALUMNUS, you can give as much feedback as you want. No, I wouldn't have my parent confront the coach if I am still a student. Teachers are not evaluated for quiz bowl coaching when it comes to their jobs (unless others here correct me on this).

Now, I suppose as a team, if you all decide one of your program goals is to be nationally competitive, you can develop a plan to show the coach and show how the coach can help achieve this goal. If the coach has no such aspirations or shoots down that idea, I'd say you have to choose between trying again or just disbanding the team (which is probably what this particular coach would want you to do so don't just quit).

4. How do we get students with coaches like this exposed to the broader quiz bowl world?
Point them to this website. Now granted, I don't know if coaches would ever want to look at bb's if they don't have the time or are tech-adverse, but that's something.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by The Atom Strikes! » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:03 am

On the topic of parents as supervisors... I believe that TJ paid Phil Graves's dad a nominal sum to be the team's supervisor, so he could be an official adult supervisor.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Captain Sinico » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:23 am

Matt Weiner wrote:I don't know why I have to keep telling you people that this is not the way things work in other states, so obviously there is no good reason for it.
Welcome to non-sequitur zone!
I'll accept as written your assertion that there are high school tournaments that as a matter of policy allow any chaperone whatsoever, including none at all. However, it doesn't follow that there's therefore no good reason all tournaments don't have the same policy. It may, in fact, be the case that allowing any/no chaperone potentially opens schools for various liabilities and they don't know it yet; it may also be the case that some schools' insurance has more general standards than other schools' and that the former can concomitantly reduce the standards required of chaperones. I really don't think, however, that you know either way...
In the abstract, I agree that perhaps there ought not be chaperone standards, given that this is essentially a no-risk activity (i.e. it doesn't seem to impute any risk to participants beyond what they'd be exposed to just standing around doing nothing.) However, my (and your) moral imperatives lack the force of law so, if the latter disagrees with the former, the latter is going to lose out. What I see people saying is: people who ought to know tell us that we'd have unacceptable exposure if we relax the standards for chaperones, i.e. that a disagreement of just the type I just noted exists. Perhaps those people who ought to know are being officious or have not understood the issue fully. Someone who does ought to examine in more depth the liabilities and insurance standards so we can have a definitive answer to this issue.
jonah wrote:...creating different policies for each club is neither viable nor fair.
That's not true at all. Every club has to follow different policies. Obviously, some are more overarching than others but the suggestion that a school's policy regime should be absolutely uniform over all activities is wrong in both the normative (you don't have to take a physical for chess club) and positive (you ought not have to take a physical for chess club) senses.

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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by TheCzarMan » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:14 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:I don't know why I have to keep telling you people that this is not the way things work in other states
It is the fact at least for my school, which is in NJ and I guess the same geographical region as NY, which you cited earlier. I already am having enough trouble going solo to Prison Bowl, when I told my coach other team members along with me were going to go on our own it got shot down due to liability concerns and the aft mentioned fact that parents are not covered by liability insurance. And this was our own dime.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by mithokie » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:41 pm

I will echo that it would not be acceptable for students to compete under the supervision of a parent or without supervision at all at my school (in Virginia) as well. Transportation is not as big of an issue for us as it is for the gentleman from Alabama. I can drive my team to competitions in a county-owned or county-rented vehicle (not my personal vehicle). We can of course take the cheese-wagon, but it seems silly for the small number of students we bring. Parents can serve as chaperones, but there must be a county employee in the ultimate supervisory role. I cannot even let parents drive any students (other than their own children) to competitions. If we take a lrage enough contingent to require two vehicles to a tournament, I have to find another county employee to drive the other vehicle, or we are forced to go by school bus. If a student (or group of students) from my school wanted to go to a tournament independently, I imagine that would be fine, but they certainly could not compete as representives of the school.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by cvdwightw » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:44 pm

I know we're getting off the original topic now...at least in California, several schools have athletics coaches (both varsity head coaches, varsity assistant coaches, and head/assistant coaches at lower levels) that do not otherwise teach at the school, and apparently there is no problem with this. If other states are equally lax with this "coach = teacher" rule in athletics, then there is a reasonable precedent for appointing a non-teacher (e.g. someone's parent) as a "coach" and having a "booster club" that helps pay for and host tournaments (after all, is this not how athletics works? Or is California that different from the rest of the country?).

The other suggestion I have is to find out exactly how "affiliated" with the school the "chaperone" has to be. For several years we were able to get around the parent chaperone problem because my mom was a district employee and thus was able to "chaperone" the "field trip." The previous poster indicates that his school's policy requires a county employee, not specifically another teacher at the school. Finding out exactly what your school's requirement for "chaperone" is might allow an interested parent/relative with the appropriate job to act as a de facto "coach" without getting your team/school in trouble.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:54 pm

If a coach is not a teacher, s/he is still an employee, albeit a part-time employee, and receives a stipend. That's not the same thing as a parent.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:19 pm

Shcool wrote:If a coach is not a teacher, s/he is still an employee, albeit a part-time employee, and receives a stipend. That's not the same thing as a parent.
Dr. Barnes and Mrs. Lasswell both couldn't go to GAT last year, but Cameron's mother was willing to fill out a substitute teacher application and in this way became an "official" chaperone. Also see the reference to Phil's dad above (and Mr. Graves was even good enough to get by VHSL chaperone rules). A parent can get certified as official without much work, as long as you look into it.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by BGSO » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:20 pm

To be completely honest, we tried looking into that but our coach doesn't really care enough to look into it, and without his blessing we are moot.

On that topic, is there any way that a mod could split the topic into a "how much red tape does the American school system have" and a how to make coaches care tread
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by at your pleasure » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:56 pm

Here is the propsal I would suggest for confronting your coach:
First of all, talk to your teammates. Try to get their support. Come to an agreement with them on what your specific goals are. Once you have reached a consensus, have a team meeting before one practice, letting the coach know that the team wishes to have a meeting with the coach prior to practice so the coach does not feel blindsided. At the meeting, first the team should outline the goals the team has decided on(making the playoffs at HSNCT or placing at or above a certain level, or whatever the team has agreed on). They should then outline the steps that they think they will need to take to achive these goals (In this case, practicing on better questions and going to better tournaments) and how the coach could help the team achive these goals.
The key elements here are A) the team acting in a unified manner and B) avioding giving the meeting an adversarial character by framing the issue in positive terms.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:21 pm

A.B.C.D E.F. Godthaab wrote:On the topic of parents as supervisors... I believe that TJ paid Phil Graves's dad a nominal sum to be the team's supervisor, so he could be an official adult supervisor.
Basically FCPS rules say that in order for us to go to an extracurricular activity, we must have an employee of FCPS affiliated with TJ chaperone us. It was a complicated process for him, IIRC, and we had to basically rely on him to be able to come to every tournament. Actually, we might not be able to go to VHSL Regionals because of the very reason (no faculty from the school).
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by Sir Thopas » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:34 pm

hwhite wrote:Actually, we might not be able to go to VHSL Regionals because of the very reason (no faculty from the school).
you say that as if it's a bad thing
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by STPickrell » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:27 am

Sir Thopas wrote:
hwhite wrote:Actually, we might not be able to go to VHSL Regionals because of the very reason (no faculty from the school).
you say that as if it's a bad thing
Perhaps I should be writing 2-line tossups. It'll be easier on me, most teams won't care, and the few that do will complain just as loudly.
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Re: Getting coaches to care

Post by AKKOLADE » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:51 am

A general notice to chill the snark in the newbie section, please.
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