Georgia 2009-2010

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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Rountree » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:37 pm

Dwight,

I don't have the time to reply individually to each of your points, but I hope I can provide some insight into what many GA teams and coaches think. Here are the points you made that I believe are valid among many members of the quizbowl community in my state:

- Mid-level GA teams no longer believe they can compete on the national level. This belief has been present for quite some time (going back before 2003), but I think after 2003 it has grown to be more of a consistent belief among those kinds of teams.
- The national circuit has become inextricably linked to the college circuit. I believe this may be one of your stronger and most distressing points.
- Questions from national providers are just too darn hard. I think the way you phase this point is funny, but the general spirit is most likely accurate.

Your other points were either inaccurate, or they weren't applicable to us.

Some points you missed are:
1. Decreasing school budgets across the state. This started at my school 4 years ago. Up until that time the Academic Team got $1000 to start the year off. We haven't received a single dime from the school since then, and probably never will. (And, our school is in the most affluent area of the state, so I can only imagine the lack of (financial) support elsewhere.)
2. The decreasing number of active high school coaches in GA. While some programs at other schools (in other regions) have been able to consistently produce quality teams that are almost entirely student-run, that has been the m.o. for my state. In fact, I don't know of any team that is primarily or completely student-run in GA. There might be one or two that are close, but that is it. (By the way, this trend applies to states bordering GA as well.)
3. The lack of consistently available access to college-level material/questions over the past 10 years. As I mentioned in an earlier post, ATL teams, and certainly those in middle GA or south GA, don't have the luxury of being able to go to numerous college-run or college-level tournaments throughout the year. (By numerous I would say 5 or more.) Obviously, this is through no fault of their own as their nearby universities either never hosted tournaments, or the ones that did were inconsistent in hosting them, or they were poor hosts (bad logistics, rude, too expensive, etc.). Over the years, places like Oglethorpe and Emory have hosted tournaments, but never more than one here or one there with 4 years in between. GA Tech was quite active in the 90s and earlier this decade but has just started to pick up again. UGA has been more consistently active, but only in the past 3-4 years have they started hosting high-school tournaments.

As for your final comment, I don't see that ever happening. There will always be 1-2 teams from GA that will compete at the highest levels...I think.


Charles,

In regard to promoting national tournaments within my state, I would say that I am very encouraging to most teams. I try to explain to coaches what the tournaments are like and what to expect. I also tell them about tournaments that I think would help prepare them the best. So far, I have never told anyone, coaches and players alike, to not go to a particular tournament. I want quizbowl to be as inclusive an activity as anything else out there, so it does not sit well with me that fewer and fewer teams from my state, and many others, have abandoned it because they no longer feel it is worth their time and effort.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Andrew's a Freshman » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:55 pm

Being from a "middle level" school like William, though less successful than his own in the recent years, I think I may have some answers from my own experience. I know that the program at my school is "completely" (used lightly) student run, mostly since Gunnells left for a different school and then gradually more so since I've joined the team. With that as the case, we have very little funding to go to tournaments that we cannot get to and back from the same day as well as very little organization to commit to long trips. We can't afford to rent Greyhound buses or hotel rooms for the entire team. However, we have attended nationals the last two or three years and have been fairly successful at times.

The big schools in Georgia have consistent coaching like the familiar names you see on these boards and because of that are able to scrape funds out of their respective administrations, I assume. As well, that allows them consistent practices and team organization to have strong teams in subsequent years.

I would say that having a coach that is experienced in the quiz bowl world can make a good team, regardless. It's obvious which teams in Georgia have that quality. This doesn't discourage other teams in Georgia; it only makes more challenges. This keeps other Georgia teams off of the national circuit because they are unmotivated and unprepared.

- As Mr. Rountree's post comes in at the same time it seems that most of what I said is consistent around the state.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by at your pleasure » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:00 pm

Decreasing school budgets across the state.
Quite a few schools have gone to nationals without getting money from the school, so this probably accounts for only part of the decrease.
The lack of consistently available access to college-level material/questions over the past 10 years.
I hope this doesn't come off unplesantly, but there are scads and scads of college questions from the past four or five years available for free online.
I believe this may be one of your stronger and most distressing points.
What specifically do you find distressing about the closer links between college and high school quizbowl?
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Rountree » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:31 pm

Douglass,

I would agree that funding only contributes to part of the decrease in team participation. Of course, I never argued that it was a main reason, just that it was a reason. However, I will add to the lack of funding point by stating that some of these teams have no money not simply because the schools do not provide any, but because the towns and counties where they are located have no money. We are talking areas with low to very low SES. And, typically, what money the school might scrounge up goes to football, the religion of the deep south on Fridays and Saturdays. It would take a near act of God for some of these schools to have the funds go to Chicago for the HSNCT or VA for the NSC. This, again, is through no fault of their own; nor is it NAQT's fault they have been in Chicago for 6 years in a row or PACE's fault they have been in VA for 3 years in a row. They hold their tournaments where they believe they are likely to get the most teams. I don't blame them for wanting that.

Agreed. There are literally thousands of questions online. But one has to know that in order to use them. Then, one has to read, or have someone read, those questions for them to be of any use. Next, one has to put oneself, or be put by someone else, in a position to use the knowledge gained from said questions. If one of these steps does not occur, then the whole process could become a wasted effort. Of course, this all ties into my earlier point about not having enough college-run or college-level tournaments as a culminating experience for kids after they put all that effort put into reading questions online. Many, if not most kids, want some kind of "pay off" if they are going to put in the time it takes to get really good at quizbowl. Obviously, for many kids, playing in tournaments is one of the best ways to receive their reward.

It is distressing in the sense that many teams I know feel like it is becoming increasingly difficult to compete on non-high school related material in high school quizbowl.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by centralhs » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:27 pm

People are finally beginning to hint at the real reason that many teams from Georgia (and elsewhere) haven't participated in the national tournaments in recent years... MONEY! (or lack thereof!) My team qualified for both the NAQT and PACE Nationals last year, but I ultimately made the decision not to go due to a lack of money. My team doesn't get a single penny from our school and we struggle just to raise the money to go to the 14-15 tournaments that we normally attend during the year.

Surely there are some exceptions, but Quiz bowl teams that participate in the National Tournaments largely come from "wealthy schools" in wealthy communities. In conversations last year with other Georgia coaches, I heard that some schools asked students to contribute a portion of the travel expenses for Nationals out of their own pockets. At my school -- where more than 65% of the students are on free and reduced lunch -- that is simply not an option.

I would love to see PACE and/or NAQT give serious consideration to moving the tournaments around so they are not in the same part of the country each year. In looking over the list of schools who participated in last year's HSNCT, it appears to me that there is a pretty large contingent of teams from Midwestern states -- surely the proximity to Chicago plays a role in that.

And, by the way, there has been much chatter about how there has been a continual decline in the number of teams from Georgia at the national tournaments (supposedly beginning around 2003), but I am not sure that is actually the case. I don't have the data from the PACE tournaments, but in looking back at the list of teams each year from the HSNCT, I see the following:
2002 -- 3 teams from Georgia (4 if you count "Brookwood B" as a separate team)
2003 -- 3 teams from Georgia
2004 -- 2 teams from Georgia
2005 -- 2 teams from Georgia
2006 -- 2 teams from Georgia
2007 -- 5 teams from Georgia (6 if you count "Brookwood B")
2008 -- 4 teams from Georgia
2009 -- 4 teams from Georgia (6 if you count "Brookwood B" and "Chattahoochee B")

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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by AKKOLADE » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:17 pm

centralhs wrote:Surely there are some exceptions, but Quiz bowl teams that participate in the National Tournaments largely come from "wealthy schools" in wealthy communities. In conversations last year with other Georgia coaches, I heard that some schools asked students to contribute a portion of the travel expenses for Nationals out of their own pockets. At my school -- where more than 65% of the students are on free and reduced lunch -- that is simply not an option.
Not that it completes disputes your point, but this post just reminded me of this one from a year ago that addressed how well teams did at HSNCT in comparison with their zip code's median income.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by centralhs » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:24 pm

Fred -- Hopefully, you did notice how many dots in the chart you referred to were above the $40,000 mark as opposed to below. There's only a fairly small group of dots clustered in the $20,000-$40,000 range and none below $20,000. "Low-income" is a relative term.

Students from low income areas may perform well once they get to the HSNCT (not to toot my own horn too much, but I believe my team would have done pretty well last year at the HSNCT had we been able to attend), but their lack of funds may prevent them from getting there in the first place!

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Last edited by centralhs on Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:27 pm

That and many of the private schools are located in inner-city locations yet draw almost none of their students from inner-city neighborhoods, so honestly a large amount of that data is meaningless to me.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:37 pm

FredMorlan wrote:
centralhs wrote:Surely there are some exceptions, but Quiz bowl teams that participate in the National Tournaments largely come from "wealthy schools" in wealthy communities. In conversations last year with other Georgia coaches, I heard that some schools asked students to contribute a portion of the travel expenses for Nationals out of their own pockets. At my school -- where more than 65% of the students are on free and reduced lunch -- that is simply not an option.
Not that it completes disputes your point, but this post just reminded me of this one from a year ago that addressed how well teams did at HSNCT in comparison with their zip code's median income.
Is that household, or per capita income?

EDIT: Never mind, it's got to be household, otherwise you couldn't get those ultra-high points.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Charbroil » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:06 pm

RountreeCHS wrote: Agreed. There are literally thousands of questions online. But one has to know that in order to use them.
Is there by any chance an annual/semi-annual newsletter for GATA like there are for most other state coaches' associations? If so, have you considered asking whoever runs that to add quizbowlpackets.com, www.hsapq.com, and other good sources of practice material on there? While it would erode your own advantage (given that you presumably know about those sources), it might be interesting to see if the wider distribution of such material would improve Georgia Quiz Bowl as a whole, which would certainly be a good thing, as I imagine you would agree.
People are finally beginning to hint at the real reason that many teams from Georgia (and elsewhere) haven't participated in the national tournaments in recent years... MONEY! (or lack thereof!)
I'm very sympathetic to this concern, especially given that we did have to ask our school administration for money to attend HSNCT and if we hadn't gotten it, I'm skeptical as to whether we could have gone. However, have you considered hosting a tournament to help raise those funds--or funds in general?

Incidentally, thank you for bringing up that the decline of Georgia teams at nationals seems fairly illusory--it's definitely an important point in terms of this discussion.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:59 pm

Thanks to Cathy Hirsch for those numbers...that does put this whole discussion in a new perspective.

On a similar note, I want to say that I think focusing too much on nationals participation misses the big picture of what good quizbowl in any particular state is all about. Not everyone has to play at national tournaments. Only the top few teams from each state really should; the questions are indeed designed to be more difficult than regular high school quizbowl, even though they are entirely appropriate for contending teams.

The real tragedy for the average Georgia team would be if tournaments in Georgia regressed to thinking that you should only ask questions on "high school material," having lots of speed-arithmetic tossups, having non-pyramidal questions, having trivia or trash play a large role in their questions, etc. For the people who want to get something out of high school quizbowl even if they aren't contending at nationals, having their local tournaments be of a low academic value is arguably even worse than it is for teams who do have the skills and/or money to compete elsewhere, since the local teams will not get the chance to play anything else.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Andrew's a Freshman » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:43 pm

As a few more notes on the previous topic, each player on the Norcross 2009 nationals team paid their own way entirely, including our teacher sponsor. In relation to considering hosting a tournament to raise funds, this only returns to the problem of inconsistent coaching. Our team has considered this for the last few years and may very well have the ability to do so. However, not having a coach or leader who has had experience taking on a task like that before is discouraging.

I would say that the emphasis on the lack of "good quizbowl" questions in Georgia is an extreme exaggeration. Just because 1/3 of the tournaments my team attends each year has computational math tossups once and sometimes even twice per round, and 1/4 or less of them include trash and sports tossups, I would not say we participate in bad quizbowl. I know I jump at the fact to attend a tournament which includes sports or questions out of the basic academic sphere. It's fun; I enjoy it. The 3 questions (which I can't think of a tournament that includes up to this many) which may not be considered good quizbowl questions do not take away from the other 17 or 22 or whatever the total number may be of history, literature, science, and other academic-based questions. It just adds to the excitement and also to diversity of players you must have to be successful. I'm not endorsing bad quizbowl in my opinion and would have no problem if math, sports, and other trash were removed from quizbowl entirely, but I'd say it adds to the nature of the game. As well, I don't want to pass more argument over what good quizbowl entails as that has already been covered. I just do not agree with Matt's logic.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by jrbarry » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:53 am

In the 1990s, it was not uncommon to see 9-10 GA schools represented at the various nationals. Schools like Woodward, Westminster, Savannah Country Day, Parkview, Central-Macon, MIller County, Brookstone, Fayette County, Mary Persons made multiple appearances at nationals in that period. That number declined in the early 2000's. So, my assertion that GA schools represented at Nationals declined in the early 2000s stands.

I also contend that decline came for a varity of reasons whoich have been outlined in several posts here. But the decline is real.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by centralhs » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:28 am

The number of active Georgia teams has declined since the mid 1990s across the board, not specifically at Nationals. Many of the teams that Mr. Barry mentioned have virtually disappeared altogether. I don't think that Fayette County even has a team anymore, I may have only seen Central Macon once at a tournament in recent years, and in 14 years of working with quiz bowl, I have never seen Miller County. I don't believe, however, that this decline in active teams in Georgia throughout the quiz bowl year has anything whatsoever to do with a dissatisfaction with PACE/NAQT Nationals. If the number of Georgia teams at Nationals has declined since the mid 1990s, it simply reflects the fact that there are less strong, active Georgia teams in general. It's not that there are tons of strong, active Georgia teams out there but they are choosing to boycott PACE and HSNCT because they think that they are bad tournaments (or too hard or elite, or whatever) -- as was implied in earlier posts.

I am not entirely sure what the answer is, but I think that GATA and Georgia coaches at large really do need to make it a priority to find ways to expand the number of teams actively participating in tournaments. I have hated in recent years that my team mostly plays the same 6-8 teams over and over at tournaments. At our "state tournament" the last couple of years, we have basically only played other Gwinnett County teams.

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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:42 am

centralhs wrote:The number of active Georgia teams has declined since the mid 1990s across the board, not specifically at Nationals. Many of the teams that Mr. Barry mentioned have virtually disappeared altogether. I don't think that Fayette County even has a team anymore, I may have only seen Central Macon once at a tournament in recent years, and in 14 years of working with quiz bowl, I have never seen Miller County. I don't believe, however, that this decline in active teams in Georgia throughout the quiz bowl year has anything whatsoever to do with a dissatisfaction with PACE/NAQT Nationals. If the number of Georgia teams at Nationals has declined since the mid 1990s, it simply reflects the fact that there are less strong, active Georgia teams in general. It's not that there are tons of strong, active Georgia teams out there but they are choosing to boycott PACE and HSNCT because they think that they are bad tournaments (or too hard or elite, or whatever) -- as was implied in earlier posts.
Good point. Especially because in the mid 1990s, there really wasn't any way to attend NSC or HSNCT at all! Maybe some of these teams, even in the mid 1990s, wouldn't have chosen to go to NSC or HSNCT? After all, I count one Georgia team at NSC 1998 (Brookwood) and one at 1999 (East Hall). It seems that participation in those tournaments has increased. And those tournaments are the ones that would risk being too connected to the college canon, as they've both been written, traditionally, by former quizbowlers more-or-less familiar with the standards of good quizbowl.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by jrbarry » Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:55 pm

Cathy:

Would you mind emailing me at home as soon as you can? jrbarry123@comcast.net

1. I am unaware of any boycott of nationals in GA. A boycott suggests to me that there would be an organized effort to skip nationals. I never suggested any boycott existed.

2. MIller County does NOT have a team anymore as far as I know. Fayette County does at least one that plays on HIgh Q occasionally. The rest of my list of schools still have quiz bowl teams. And, yes, some are less active then they used to be. But other teams are MORE active than they used to be like your team, Central Gwinnett. And Chattahoochee, and Alpharetta, and Cedar Shoals. My point was that we still have in GA a top 8-10 kinda team that does NOT go to nationals when our top 8-10 kinda teams used to attend nationals. And I see that trend continuing. We had 10 schools at nationals in 1998 (that's 10 that I can remember) and we had 5 this year.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by centralhs » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:42 pm

I really do think that the major reason that Georgia teams aren't attending the National Tournaments is about money, not about tournament format or questions. If NAQT were to decide to hold the HSNCT in Atlanta for 2010 (please, please, please!), all of the most active teams would be there: Central Gwinnett, Chattahoochee, Centennial, Grayson, Brookwood, Norcross, Alpharetta for sure from 5A and probably several other smaller division schools as well such as Flowery Branch, Cedar Shoals, Westminster and Lakeside.

The one time that the HSNCT was held in Georgia in 2000, 14 different Georgia schools had teams participating (Brookwood also had 2 additional teams.) The very next year, when the tournament was in Ann Arbor, MI, only 4 Georgia schools were in attendance.

As I alluded to in my earlier post, I really feel the issue in Georgia quiz bowl much more pressing than Nationals participation is continued, active participation in local tournaments. There are about 10 schools that appear at tournaments throughout the year. Most of the rest appear on "High Q" (if they make it on) and/or at Brookwood in November; a few also appear at Walton and at Varsity State and J.V. State, but not nearly as many teams as show up for High Q and Brookwood.

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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:27 pm

centralhs wrote:And, by the way, there has been much chatter about how there has been a continual decline in the number of teams from Georgia at the national tournaments (supposedly beginning around 2003), but I am not sure that is actually the case.
Well, 2003-2004 certainly marks the point when Central (of Macon) started going to less tournaments. That year, my freshman year, we seemed to send teams to tournaments darn near every weekend, though I myself as well as other willing and capable freshmen were not picked to go to many of them. I wasn't even aware that we had a team at HSNCT that year. After that, we would be aware of upcoming events but for some reason not go to them; I'm really not sure why, but it was very frustrating for the team members who wanted to compete. It may have had to do with money, transportation, and chaperones (I never did quite figure out what Bibb's policy was on that). We could have gone to the 2006 HSNCT, but due to lack of people communicating, the field filled before we could register (something I could complain about in more detail, but that would derail the thread). There was also some money issue, and I don't know if we would have gotten the funds had we registered.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by CSQuizJags » Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:04 pm

Cathy Hirsh wrote:
"If NAQT were to decide to hold the HSNCT in Atlanta for 2010 (please, please, please!)"

And I know just the place for them to hold it- the Westin Peachtree Plaza. Right in the heart of DT and right on the MARTA line directly to Hartsfield. And all under one (long tall cylindrical) roof. :lol:

But I have a feeling it may go back to Chicago. :neutral:

And thanks for the kudos. We have no seniors this year and we have 7 newbies, so I hope we can get back up there to Nationals (wherever "there" is) sometime soon.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Rountree » Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:57 pm

For comparison purposes, here are the numbers of GA teams at the NSC since its creation in 1998:

1998 - 1 (Brookwood)
1999 - 1 (East Hall)
2000 - 3 (Brookwood, Duluth, Woodward)
2001 - 1 (Woodward)
2002 - 1 (Heritage)
2003 - 0
2004 - 0
2005 - 5 (Brookwood x 3, Heritage x 2)
2006 - 1 (Walton)
2007 - 0
2008 - 3 (Brookwood, Chattahoochee x 2)
2009 - 3 (Brookwood, Chattahoochee, Walton)

So, in 12 years of operation, 19 teams have attended the NSC from 7 different high schools in GA. Brookwood has sent the most teams with 7 out of the 19. Chattahoochee and Heritage are next with 3 teams each.

There doesn't seem to me to be much of a trend up or down in regard to GA teams attending the NSC. Perhaps if the number of GA teams dropped to zero for the next 3 years in a row, one might assume that some significant shift had occurred. (Or, conversely, if it ballooned to 4+ teams for 3 years in a row.)
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:12 pm

I wouldn't mind seeing a National tournament in Atlanta, or maybe somewhere else in the Southeast like Tampa or Charlotte could work as well. There are plenty of active quizbowl teams in places like Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina; and we're seeing more participation in places like Alabama and Florida too. A national tournament in the area would help improve the participation in the region even more.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by at your pleasure » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:59 pm

HSAPQ's new tournament will be in Nashville.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by CSQuizJags » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:47 pm

Atlanta is more accessible than Nashville (air and ground transport-wise). And I think Cathy was pushing for NAQT to come down next year.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:33 pm

In light of this post, it looks like bids have to be in by March 18 for the HSAPQ National All-Star Academic Tournament. Has GATA discussed sending a team yet?
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by CSQuizJags » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:32 am

I emailed the Board. Right now, that's the best we can do. We'll obviously let you know when we talk about it in due time.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Nancy Close » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:11 pm

Speaking from the perspective of an average Georgia academic team, I think the mundane reasons are the best explanation for the decline in participation in national tournaments. I would venture that only 20 high school coaches in presently coaching in Georgia could muster up an opinion about the direction of national quiz bowl, and ten of those would be paraphrasing the arguments of a couple of others.

Rick, Cathy, and Elliott could probably compose a list of active Georgia coaches who have ever taken teams to national competitions, and the number might not break ten. If you want to know why they aren't still coming, you could email them personally.

Here's my summary of the issue: If you have a self-funded program, extensive out-of-state travel restrictions, inexperienced players, and no community expectations that you compete on a national level, would you pursue national tournaments and their corresponding qualifiers or would you devote whatever limited resources you could muster to competing more frequently at local, in-state events? A knowledgeable coach could probably do both, but it appears to me that a significant percentage of Georgia schools that attempt to have quiz bowl have frequent coach/sponsor turn-over.

Several of the active programs only play in regional educational services areas (RESAs), which function for some quiz bowl teams like a local athletic region. They play teams from other schools their community has heard of and enjoy being successful with questions over relatively familiar subject matter. They aren't consciously aware their quiz bowl provincialism, but if made aware of it, probably wouldn't be shamed by it. They could probably be recruited to try national events if they were more practically accessible to them, but the cost is a huge factor. If Brookwood, Chattahoochee and Walton typically beat the pants off your team when you play them in the state tournament, raising thousands of dollars to play the schools that beat them might not seem like the best use of your time and energy.

Certainly the Quiz Bowl Scholasticism that one witnesses here with your "good quiz bowl" "bad quiz bowl" rhetoric doesn't do much to draw the average coach toward national events, but I think it's merely incidentally off-putting rather than something that produced a systemic and philosophically driven Georgia quiz bowl rejection of national events.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:36 pm

Alpharetta will be holding a JV tournament on the Fall Novice set on October 31. The announcement can be found here.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:58 pm

Well, judging from the Kennesaw State tournament, Brookwood's come back strong this year. It looked like there were some really tight matches between the top 3 teams, though.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:24 pm

Also, how did the coaches' workshop go?
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by jrbarry » Sat Sep 19, 2009 4:09 pm

Gwinnett Count Tournament was played today, Sept 19, at Central Gwinnett High School. We played tossup-bonus on an NAQT IS set.

Varsity Division

1. Brookwood
2. Central Gwinnett
3. GSMST (our new magnet school in year 3 now)

JV Division (played on same set as varsity)

1. Parkview
2. Brookwood
3. GSMST

I am always amazed at how much quiz bowl talent there is in Gwinnett County, GA. I wish all our teams would be more active in GA and SE tournaments.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by centralhs » Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:52 am

Congratulations to Brookwood for winning the Gwinnett County tournament yesterday. They played a very strong final game against our team... hopefully, with a lot of hard work devoted to filling gaps in our knowledge, we can play much more competitive games against Brookwood later in the year.

I agree that there are a lot of strong Gwinnett teams out there... I only wish that we had the opportunity to demonstrate those skills against teams from other counties on "High Q" this year!

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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Rountree » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:28 am

Brookwood is quite strong again, and, as usual, they will improve as the year goes on. I foresee a highly competitive 5A Varsity State Championship this year with so many good teams at the top: Alpharetta, Brookwood, Centennial, Central, Chattahoochee, Walton, and possibly a couple others.

I don't predict one team to dominate the rest of the GA high school circuit tournament after tournament this year, although 2-3 teams could separate themselves by March. It remains to be seen which teams that might be as we have only a couple tournaments from which to glean information. Walton and Brookwood would appear to be the "favorites" right now if I had to venture a guess. However, one cannot count out the others I already mentioned.

Speaking of High-Q, Chattahoochee, last year's champions, will play the first match of the new season next Tuesday night against Etowah.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Rountree » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:25 am

Well, Chattahoochee played the first High-Q match of the season last night against Etowah. Chuck Dowdle, the host for the past 23 years, is retiring at the end of 2009, so they had a new host reading his first match. He was very nice and tried hard, but he has a long way to go to be as good as Chuck. Practice makes perfect they say.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:12 pm

So Centennial won Walton? Certainly looks to be an interesting year. I'm looking forward to actually being able to face Georgia teams at UGA on the 24th.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by gwaustin4 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:28 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:So Centennial won Walton? Certainly looks to be an interesting year. I'm looking forward to actually being able to face Georgia teams at UGA on the 24th.
Speaking of which, does anyone have any contact information from someone at Centennial? Their presence at UGA's tournament would be very interesting.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Xerxes » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:03 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:So Centennial won Walton? Certainly looks to be an interesting year. I'm looking forward to actually being able to face Georgia teams at UGA on the 24th.
It does seem interesting.

After seeing Centennial play all four rounds of the playoffs, I think I can conclude with some certainty that they, or Alpharetta, are the best team in Georgia. Centennial ran through such teams as Brookwood with little difficulty.

The next tier of teams would probably consist of Chattahoochee, Brookwood, and Walton, though not necessarily in that order. We have had close games with Brookwood and Chattahoochee, and they have had close games with each other. Although it is early in the season, I find it interesting that Georgia's "big three" may not be the three best teams in the state after all, although these teams have a reputation for improving massively over each season. Hopefully, the rise of Centennial and Alpharetta signals a trend toward a more competitive Georgia circuit in the years to come, and won't just be a minor departure from the norm caused by the presence of a few elite players from those schools.

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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Rountree » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:20 am

Wes,

I will email you the Centennial sponsor's contact info; you should absolutely try to get them at your tournament.

Kayhan,

Your last statement remains a big question mark. Alpharetta and Centennial certainly have some very good players, but after they graduate, will there be a residual effect on the remaining players to continue to build upon what they have started. Who knows? Like you, I hope that it does continue for it will only make the GA circuit stronger. However, this process has not been the m.o. for most teams in GA. It seems that if there is no coach, then the team will fade away after the really good players leave.

As for the GATA Championships this year, I believe there are several teams that could win it all. However, Chattahoochee may not be one of them for reasons beyond our control. As some of you in GA know, Chattahoochee lost hundreds of students this year with the opening of the new Johns Creek HS down the road. We are now below 1900 kids and falling. Our next year projections have us around 1825. This means we may move down in classification from 5A to 4A. Thus, at the GATA State Tournaments we would no longer play against Walton, Brookwood, and Alpharetta. All 3 of those schools are over 2000 students with Brookwood the largest at almost twice our size (they have around 3400 students this year). I have no idea if/when this change will occur. Obviously, it would effect the teams we would play at State, but our priority would remain the same: win the State Championship!
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by jrbarry » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:36 pm

I think it is too early to rule anyone IN or OUT of the GA 5A state title race. We've all played each other too few times and on too few types of questions. I would also add Central Gwinnett to that mix as their team matures and gets better this year.

Personally, I think it would be great if GA had 8-10 teams seriously contending for the 5A state title every year. This was often the case back in the 1980s and 1990s with several schools like Fayette County and Pope and Central-Macon (now 3A) and Windsor Forest and Parkview contending along with Walton/Brookwood and the schools that now contend (Chattahoochee, Norcross, Central Gwinnett, Alpharetta, Centennial). The best case scenario would be to have 10-20 strong 5A academic team programs producing strong teams most years.

The way I count it, state titles (varsity) in our largest classification (5A now, but 4A before 2000) break down this way.

Brookwood----------11 titles

Walton--------------8 titles

Chattahoochee-----2 titles

If Kayhan is correct, might be adding in a new school to that list this year.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by centralhs » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:34 pm

Thanks, Mr. Barry, for including Central Gwinnett in the mix. While we were extremely pleased with our 4th place finish at Walton, there are a couple of reasons why our potential is actually greater than we were able to demonstrate this past weekend. First of all, we were playing with only 3 players. My team captain had a family emergency and only found out late Friday night that she would be unable to participate. Another one of my players (my pop culture/sports/random facts guy) has been out all year with a serious illness and has not been able to come to any tournaments yet. Once he is finally back, he will definitely strengthen the team.

While there are clearly other Georgia teams stronger than we are at this point, I believe that with all of our best players (along with a lot of hard work and practice) we can be much more competitive by the time the state tournament rolls around in the spring.


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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Rountree » Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:07 pm

Central Gwinnett always improves as the year progresses. That is the mark of a fine program and coach. I expect nothing different from them this year.

I agree with Mr. Barry that it would be awesome if there were several teams (more than 3-4) that truly had a legit shot at the State Championship in 5A this year. We have been moving towards this point for a couple years now, but it appears we may have finally arrived. However, my typical concern remains: will the "un-usual" suspects attend enough tournaments and improve enough during the year to dethrone one, or all, of the "usual" suspects (the 3 teams Mr. Barry pointed out in his tally)? If they do both of those things, then I can easily see 5-6 teams that could compete for the State title in 5A this year.

One way to look at which teams might do well in State 5A is to follow how those teams fare a few bellwether tournaments. Since we have already had one of them, I will post the others that I typically pay close attention to. (I suppose I can update this post after the conclusion of each tournament.)

Walton (10/3):
1. Centennial
2. Brookwood
3. Chattahoochee
4. Central Gwinnett
(Alpharetta and Norcross were absent)

Vanderbilt (10/16-17):
Brookwood, Chattahoochee, and Walton are going; not sure about the others
3t. Chattahoochee
3t. Brookwood
(No other GA teams went)

Brookwood (11/21):
I am sure most, if not all, of the aforementioned teams will be in attendance at this one, the "Granddaddy of them all"
3. Centennial
4. Alpharetta
5t. Chattahoochee
5t. Walton

Chattahoochee (12/12):
Same as Brookwood
2. Centennial
3. Alpharetta
5t. Walton
5t. Central Gwinnett
9t. Brookwood

Dorman (1/23):
Brookwood, Chattahoochee, Walton went
3t. Brookwood
5t. Chattahoochee
5t. Walton
(Alpharetta, Centennial, and Central Gwinnett did not go)

There are, of course, several other very good tournaments that occur before the State Championship on March 26-27. However, those 5 tournaments tend to be very good predictors of success at State in 5A.
Last edited by Rountree on Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:28 pm

Mr. Rountree,
I'm not sure if it's a question of the "un-usual" suspects attending enough tournaments, as Centennial continues to show that a team doesn't necessarily need to attend many tournaments to do well on the state level, especially on GATA questions. As to bellwether tournaments, I'm not sure how much weight to put into the finishes, necessarily. It might be better to look at the records of each team against each other. And UGA, if not a bellwether tournament, looks like the first time the top teams will all be in attendance.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by jrbarry » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:48 pm

William:

You are aware that GATA varsity questions are NAQT state tournament sets, right?

I am thinking that Mr Rountree chose the tournaments he did based on the fact that the subject distribution of those tournaments more closely resembles GATA State questions making those tournaments decent predictors for GATA State.

As for UGA on October 24, I HOPE Brookwood will have a representative team there but that is our homecoming day. And I have no idea what the question distribution will be like at UGA since they are writing their own questions. I am confident the questions will be good, but not hopeful they will be predictive of what could happen at State.

On another topic, are you guys getting a decent response for your JV tournament? I find it disturbing that Walton only had 42 teams last weekend. I am wondering if that portends smaller tournaments in GA this year.

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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:15 pm

Thanks for your concern Mr. Barry. We still have a fairly small field (10-11), but some of the regulars (Walton, Centennial, Norcross) have yet to give me a definite response, so hopefully it will grow (soon).
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by CSQuizJags » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:35 pm

I have a feeling smaller fields might be a thing of the future in some cases. I only have about 20 JV teams for my event which is why we expanded to a separate MS tournament (18 of those, so it's like last year's numbers). Shrinking budgets and such are making schools be pickier about tournaments and while I feel Brookwood (the "granddaddy of them all" as Rountree put it) will continue to be huge based on the tradition and quality of the packets (save last year), smaller events might be the norm. Not knocking it- gives us all more chances to play and improve. Heck, a former student of mine who's starting a team at North Georgia College is trying to plan one for January and might succeed. The saturation of more tournaments will dilute the playing pool a bit but we'll all manage- and have fun doing it!
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Huang » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:19 pm

CSQuizJags wrote:I feel Brookwood (the "granddaddy of them all" as Rountree put it) will continue to be huge based on the tradition and quality of the packets (save last year)
So this seems like nonsense to me. I've seen/practiced pages and pages of past Brookwood questions and have always abruptly left practice at some point very angry. Last year's HSAPQ set was better than whatever set Brookwood would've produced based on all the past sets I've read. (Note: Larger tournament != better tournament)
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by grashid » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:05 am

Huang wrote:
CSQuizJags wrote:I feel Brookwood (the "granddaddy of them all" as Rountree put it) will continue to be huge based on the tradition and quality of the packets (save last year)
So this seems like nonsense to me. I've seen/practiced pages and pages of past Brookwood questions and have always abruptly left practice at some point very angry. Last year's HSAPQ set was better than whatever set Brookwood would've produced based on all the past sets I've read. (Note: Larger tournament != better tournament)
Quality seems like a subjective quality to me. Different teams like different styles/lengths/distributions.
And what seems more nonsensical to me is that you would leave practice because you were angry about questions.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Huang » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:20 am

grashid wrote: Quality seems like a subjective quality to me. Different teams like different styles/lengths/distributions.
Right..so if you think :chip: uses high quality questions, then I guess you'll love Brookwood questions.
grashid wrote: And what seems more nonsensical to me is that you would leave practice because you were angry about questions.
So I guess I should waste my time playing :chip: like questions. Sounds like a wonderful idea.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by grashid » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:31 am

Having played Brookwood questions for quite a while, I really don't see what's wrong with them, except that some teams would object to the fact that a) they have math computation and b) they aren't very long and thus, aren't chock full of clues. But I don't have a packet in front of me, so I can't say for sure if there's anything else. They don't even have trash/sports.
Since I am not that familiar with Chip Beall's questions, can you tell me how exactly they are similar to BISB? I played them once (and they were a hoot to play on), and the thing that seemed to standout was their non-academic nature and that they were one liners. Brookwood questions may be short, but Mr.Barry seems to pride himself on academic questions.
Here's a thought. Not everyone wants to hear 6-8 line tossups.

What you do at practice is up to you, but getting angry and leaving seems pretty silly to me.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Huang » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:41 am

grashid wrote:They don't even have trash/sports.
I guess that's a slight positive
grashid wrote: Since I am not that familiar with Chip Beall's questions, can you tell me how exactly they are similar to BISB? I played them once (and they were a hoot to play on), and the thing that seemed to standout was their non-academic nature and that they were one liners. Brookwood questions may be short, but Mr.Barry seems to pride himself on academic questions.
Both are simply speedchecks except Brookwood honestly tries to be pyramidal.
grashid wrote:Here's a thought. Not everyone wants to hear 6-8 line tossups.
Not everyone knows what's good if they' consider what's bad as good
grashid wrote: What you do at practice is up to you, but getting angry and leaving seems pretty silly to me.
How silly of me to not enjoy :chip: like questions.


I'm sure Brookwood's tournament itself is great if one doesn't care too much about question quality. But I would rather play a disorganized tournament using quality questions instead of a well organized tournament using subpar questions.

Edit: Yeah I'm aware of the infamous blender question but :chip: does contain academic content as well, even if they're poorly executed.
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Re: Georgia 2009-2010

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:39 am

grashid wrote:Here's a thought. Not everyone wants to hear 6-8 line tossups.
I would extend that further and say that "no one" wants to hear 6-8 line tossups, as evidenced by the fact that no high school tournament uses tossups that are that long on average. I think that PACE NSC last year had some tossups go a few words past six lines, in a gigantic font. I'm also looking at the packets for Harvard Fall, Prison Bowl, and GSAC right now and I'm seeing nothing over 6 lines, and I know for a fact that NAQT and HSAPQ's internal limits max out at 4 to 5 lines.

So, what "6-8 line tossup" fans are you denouncing here, exactly?
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