New Practice Techniques?

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euterpe42
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New Practice Techniques?

Post by euterpe42 » Tue May 25, 2010 9:31 pm

I'm the president of my high school's Academic League (Southern California quizbowl) club/team next year, and probable varsity captain for next year as well. As president, I basically run the show (our coach doesn't do much), and I'd really like to get our team going this year. We're pretty good--we've won our league championships in years past, and been to the NAQT national tournament, but not recently. I really want to get our team back to that level, but I don't know how. Our practices consist mostly of reading old question sets that we've already read a million times over. We have lots of practice time because we have an actual class devoted to quizbowl, but all we do is occasionally read questions and mostly hang out and talk. Even though we have practices during lunch, most of the team doesn't come, because all we do is read the same old questions. I don't think anyone on the team has ever tried to memorize things actually for quizbowl or written a practice question.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to use our practice time to get our team to the next level? I'd especially like suggestions on how to work in memorization/question writing in a way that the team will enjoy and that's not too weird to kids who have never done anything but answer practice questions.
Last edited by euterpe42 on Tue May 25, 2010 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Miranda
Scripps Ranch High School
"One of these days, I'm going to be the goddamn answer to a quizbowl question."
--David Levithan, "Quizbowl Antichrist"

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kayli
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Re: New Practice Techniques?

Post by kayli » Tue May 25, 2010 9:46 pm

Oh boy, there are a TON of great free quizbowl packets you can get at http://www.quizbowlpackets.com/. Also, check out the ACF archives once you guys get better. Old ACF falls are great for studying for high school quizbowl.
Kay, Chicago.

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kayli
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Re: New Practice Techniques?

Post by kayli » Tue May 25, 2010 9:49 pm

Also, playing teams is a really fun way of doing quizbowl and prevents seventeen different people from buzzing on a question. Question writing in my opinion is just an okay way of studying. Competing and listening to questions are the best ways of studying in my opinion.
Kay, Chicago.

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Re: New Practice Techniques?

Post by Tanay » Tue May 25, 2010 10:25 pm

euterpe42 wrote:Even though we have practices during lunch, most of the team doesn't come. I don't think anyone on the team has ever tried to memorize things actually for quizbowl or written a practice question.
This was basically the story of my freshman year of quiz bowl. Our team has gotten to where it is today (a decent team) from that point because we had an amazing coach and because a handful of people took a whole lot of initiative and started to love quiz bowl by doing the following:
1) Write questions. You can run a tournament within your quiz bowl class using the questions and even have each person contribute a prize (used book or something) and then do an exchange or redistribution of prizes at the end of the "tournament". Keep score and do other things that motivate people to work hard.
2) Go to tournaments you normally wouldn't attend. I know UCSD is holding a tournament in late summer that's supposed to be a bit harder than nationals, so that might be something you check out. ACF Fall is good as well. My teammates have attended one college tournament (Stanford's mirror of Harvard's T-Party tournament, which I now wish I had gone to) and although our school didn't do that well, it did wonders for their understanding of the game. They got to see how top college players play the game and learned a lot. Even increasing the number of regular high school level tournaments attended will both give you new practice material and more chances to qualify for nationals.
3) Play #scobowl. Our school probably does this more so than any other one, and it's great because we hardly get any other chances to play decent questions against people from other schools. All five of our players who are going to nationals use it actively because it's a source of thousands of practice questions and it allows us to compete against other people from around the country.
Tanay
ex-Berkeley, ex-Bellarmine

davud363000
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Re: New Practice Techniques?

Post by davud363000 » Fri May 28, 2010 12:41 am

euterpe42 wrote:I'm the president of my high school's Academic League ...
Does anyone have any suggestions for how to use our practice time to get our team to the next level?
I think this thread will help out a lot: http://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic. ... mic+league
Bottom line is, Academic League sucks and the schools that do well in it are the same schools that play legit quizbowl.
Good luck, and it would be awesome to see another SoCal team play NAQT.
David Hu
Rancho Bernardo HS '12

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DongDonger
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Re: New Practice Techniques?

Post by DongDonger » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:30 pm

As far as practicing without the team goes, we spend a lot of time reading sets individually and reviewing lists and vocab terms. It seems to have helped a lot between January (when we first started competing in tourneys, without practicing much) and now.
Eric Ordonez
IMSA '12

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Joe Romersa
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Re: New Practice Techniques?

Post by Joe Romersa » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:35 am

Try practicing on IRC. Go to channel #scobowl on server Slashnet, and there's a bot that reads tossups.
Alex Wang
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Auroni
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Re: New Practice Techniques?

Post by Auroni » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:28 am

euterpe42 wrote:I'm the president of my high school's Academic League (Southern California quizbowl) club/team next year, and probable varsity captain for next year as well. As president, I basically run the show (our coach doesn't do much), and I'd really like to get our team going this year. We're pretty good--we've won our league championships in years past, and been to the NAQT national tournament, but not recently. I really want to get our team back to that level, but I don't know how. Our practices consist mostly of reading old question sets that we've already read a million times over. We have lots of practice time because we have an actual class devoted to quizbowl, but all we do is occasionally read questions and mostly hang out and talk. Even though we have practices during lunch, most of the team doesn't come, because all we do is read the same old questions. I don't think anyone on the team has ever tried to memorize things actually for quizbowl or written a practice question.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to use our practice time to get our team to the next level? I'd especially like suggestions on how to work in memorization/question writing in a way that the team will enjoy and that's not too weird to kids who have never done anything but answer practice questions.
So I'm part of the quizbowl club at UCSD. Over the summer, we will have a summer practice for high schoolers and anyone wanting to improve their game at a lower level. We'll read a lot of good sets and acquaint you, your teammates, and others like you with a sense of what comes up in high school quizbowl at the national level. We have not announced any of this, but we plan to get this underway the week after next, which is when our term will finally be over. Please contact us at ucsdqb@gmail.com if you are interested in this.
Auroni Gupta
UIUC
ACF

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cchiego
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Re: New Practice Techniques?

Post by cchiego » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:33 am

Great to see someone new from the SD area on the boards! UCSD will be hosting at least 3 high school tournaments next year, so you'll be able to get plenty of chances to play good quizbowl very close to Scripps Ranch. We'll also probably be holding summer practices that local high schoolers are more than welcome to attend and use to help get better during the summer (and I'm sure you'd be welcome if you wanted to drop by our school year practices too). And like Tanay said, we'll be hosting a couple of pretty difficult tournaments in August if you'd like to come and just see what the harder questions are like.

As far as practice techniques go, definitely utilize the questions from the packet archives and read as many as you can. If you notice something that "always seems to come up," take a moment to stop and look at it more carefully. Take Tanay's advice to heart too because Bellarmine improved incredibly rapidly into a national title contender in just one year thanks to what I imagine was some intense practicing and studying.

I know I and the rest of the UCSD team would be glad to help y'all in any way possible to get your team up and running beyond just Academic League stuff (for instance if you wanted to hold a tournament to raise funding to get to nationals or something). We're always up for spreading good quizbowl in the local area, just let us know.

EDIT: I see Auroni just beat me to the post too. Obviously, we're excited to see another potential good QB team in the area. Please alert any other teams y'all might play in Academic League to the existence of good quizbowl in the SD area.
Chris C.
UGA '09, UCSD '12, UPenn '19
Greater Pennsylvania QuizBowl
http://gpqb.wordpress.com

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