An interesting situation with a D2-only team

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An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Sun Devil Student » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:14 pm

Hi guys! After two years of near-inactivity as a college player, I'm considering taking up the buzzer again. Unfortunately, having graduated last year I am no longer allowed to play for Arizona State University. Once a Sun Devil, always a Sun Devil, but our eligibility rules understandably won't (and shouldn't) recognize that. Thus, I have found myself in need of another team to join.

So why the need to post about it? Well, here's the situation. I've just started as a medical student at the University of Illinois, but the Illinois quizbowl team is at the primary undergraduate campus in Urbana-Champaign, and the Illinois medical school's primary campus (with me enrolled in it) is in Chicago. NAQT wants an exclusive team at each campus whenever possible, so earlier this year I started sniffing around for that Chicago campus team to join, and in conversation with various fellow quizbowlers last March I learned that UIC does have a quizbowl club which hosts a few high school tournaments, but that that club is not active at the college level. No wonder I couldn't find any information about them on these forums.

Of course, now that a new school year has started things might be different from last year. Therefore, my questions today:
1) Will there actually be an Illinois-Chicago team playing in tournaments this year? If so, how can I play on this team, who do I talk to?
2) If not, would the Illinois-Urbana/Champaign team let me join them just for tournaments?

If anyone from the above teams (especially anyone from the UIC team, if they're still active) could let me know what's up, that would be much appreciated! Thanks for your help!

***EDIT: The investigation has concluded with the finding (see downthread) that UIC has no active D1 team, but the situation is complicated by the presence of a D2-only UIC team which is unable to accommodate me, yet whose existence likely prohibits me from participating with any other UI team. This curious circumstance has been referred to the community for further study as I believe other D1-only quizbowlers may be in a similar situation, and do not know if the number of affected individuals is large enough to merit any remedy. In the meantime, I will plan to participate to the extent permitted as a free agent.
Last edited by Sun Devil Student on Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by Susan » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:52 pm

NAQT wants an exclusive team at each campus whenever possible, so earlier this year I started sniffing around for that Chicago campus team to join, and in conversation with various fellow quizbowlers last March I learned that UIC does have a quizbowl club which hosts a few high school tournaments, but that that club is not active at the college level. No wonder I couldn't find any information about them on these forums.
This is baffling. By spending about 15 seconds searching http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/ I was able to find that UIC (Margaret, Blake, Mike, and Ulysses) played MUT in late April of 2013. They also fielded a team at the 2013 SCT (also easily looked up). Seems like they have a team to me!
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by Ike » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:14 pm

UIC has attended several recent tournaments in the area. You could try emailing one of those players directly, or sending Billy Busse (touchpack) a PM to get their contact info that he has from last year's MUT.
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by Sun Devil Student » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:16 pm

Susan wrote:
NAQT wants an exclusive team at each campus whenever possible, so earlier this year I started sniffing around for that Chicago campus team to join, and in conversation with various fellow quizbowlers last March I learned that UIC does have a quizbowl club which hosts a few high school tournaments, but that that club is not active at the college level. No wonder I couldn't find any information about them on these forums.
This is baffling. By spending about 15 seconds searching http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/ I was able to find that UIC (Margaret, Blake, Mike, and Ulysses) played MUT in late April of 2013. They also fielded a team at the 2013 SCT (also easily looked up). Seems like they have a team to me!
Thanks for the find!! I guess I'm so out-of-date that I only thought to search the forums, not the db. Anyone know the contact information for that team or anyone on it?
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by Sun Devil Student » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:20 pm

Susan wrote: spending about 15 seconds searching http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/
Wait, how did you search for "tournaments attended by team X"? I don't see that option in the search form, it only filters by state, location, level, etc...?
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by t-bar » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:23 pm

Sun Devil Student wrote:
Susan wrote: spending about 15 seconds searching http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/
Wait, how did you search for "tournaments attended by team X"? I don't see that option in the search form, it only filters by state, location, level, etc...?
You can't do it on the database (I assume Susan looked up Chicago-area tournaments they might have attended), but you can do it at http://hdwhite.org/qb/stats/.
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by Susan » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:36 pm

I googled "site:http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/ UIC" (without quotes).
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by Mexdude » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:24 pm

Hey Kenneth. Sorry for the delay, I don't frequent the forums much during the summer. The official "UIC Academic Quizbowl Team" no longer exists because at the end of last season UIC Campus Programs stopped funding it and shut it down. The remaining players (Blake and I [not sure about Margaret]) may still want to play some tournaments this season we'll just have to pay our own way in entrance fees. I'm down to play at least SCT, MUT, History Bowl this season and probably one of the early ACF's if I have enough free time to write a packet. Feel free to contact me through pm or email if you want to get a team together for an upcoming tournament. I'm up for whatever and Blake will most likely tag along too. If Margaret still wants to play this season then BAM! 4-person team!
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by Sun Devil Student » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:58 pm

Mexdude wrote:Hey Kenneth. Sorry for the delay, I don't frequent the forums much during the summer. The official "UIC Academic Quizbowl Team" no longer exists because at the end of last season UIC Campus Programs stopped funding it and shut it down. The remaining players (Blake and I [not sure about Margaret]) may still want to play some tournaments this season we'll just have to pay our own way in entrance fees. I'm down to play at least SCT, MUT, History Bowl this season and probably one of the early ACF's if I have enough free time to write a packet. Feel free to contact me through pm or email if you want to get a team together for an upcoming tournament. I'm up for whatever and Blake will most likely tag along too. If Margaret still wants to play this season then BAM! 4-person team!
Well, drat. Being a poor medical student I was hoping precisely that you guys had some kind of funding (this is a big part of the reason I needed to find an intact team to join rather than start one from scratch myself; the other part was that I had no time to do the latter - I've done it before and I know how much time it takes, and I really don't have much time to do anything this year except show up to a Saturday tournament and maybe write a quarter packet for ACF Regionals. Thus, I figured I'd play for whoever would pay my registration fee.) Well, is there any chance we could get some help from our compatriots at the main Illinois team or something, and/or can we get anyone else at UIC to help us out? because it doesn't look like we have a viable club/organization on our own here...
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by Ike » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:40 pm

Well, drat. Being a poor medical student I was hoping precisely that you guys had some kind of funding (this is a big part of the reason I needed to find an intact team to join rather than start one from scratch myself; the other part was that I had no time to do the latter - I've done it before and I know how much time it takes, and I really don't have much time to do anything this year except show up to a Saturday tournament and maybe write a quarter packet for ACF Regionals. Thus, I figured I'd play for whoever would pay my registration fee.) Well, is there any chance we could get some help from our compatriots at the main Illinois team or something, and/or can we get anyone else at UIC to help us out? because it doesn't look like we have a viable club/organization on our own here...
As one of many owed money by the Illinois club, we certainly don't have money to dole out like this. You should consider hosting tournaments to get your funding, like every other club that wants to start a quizbowl team. Sure, I get it that you are busy and poor, but really so is everyone else! Also, the entire reason the Illinois club gets money from the school is because part of our tuition fees are for organizations like us. Why on earth would we want to give a non-student our money like that, even if the university would let us?

For all intents and purposes in quizbowl, we are not compatriots in any sense of the word, we are two separate universities. I don't know if you are hinting at it in your second post, but I think it's bad form all around to let teams at separate campuses like this coalesce. Even if you were Matt Bollinger enrolled in an online cooking class at Illinois, I wouldn't let you play with us at closed tournaments unless you were part of the student body. Furthermore, you have people at UIC who say that they are willing to play with you / work with you to get funds. Talk to them about it!

Also, if you actually want to have a private discussion with the club president about this pm or email Billy Busse.
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by Sun Devil Student » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:59 am

Ike wrote:As one of many owed money by the Illinois club, we certainly don't have money to dole out like this. You should consider hosting tournaments to get your funding, like every other club that wants to start a quizbowl team. Sure, I get it that you are busy and poor, but really so is everyone else! Also, the entire reason the Illinois club gets money from the school is because part of our tuition fees are for organizations like us. Why on earth would we want to give a non-student our money like that, even if the university would let us?

For all intents and purposes in quizbowl, we are not compatriots in any sense of the word, we are two separate universities. I don't know if you are hinting at it in your second post, but I think it's bad form all around to let teams at separate campuses like this coalesce. Even if you were Matt Bollinger enrolled in an online cooking class at Illinois, I wouldn't let you play with us at closed tournaments unless you were part of the student body. Furthermore, you have people at UIC who say that they are willing to play with you / work with you to get funds. Talk to them about it!

Also, if you actually want to have a private discussion with the club president about this pm or email Billy Busse.
If I was an undergraduate, I wouldn't hesitate to build up a whole new club from scratch; I've been there and done that in a much more remote and difficult location than Chicago. However, it is objectively the case that as a medical student I am much busier and poorer than almost any undergraduate student in the same situation. (I'm also actually attending classes and paying all the same student fees as you, by the way, just so there's no misunderstanding.) I thought UIUC would be more likely to have a solid organization with funding only because I see their forum posts and hosting/playing activity all the time on these boards, but if they're short on funding they wouldn't be the only club to have that problem. I'm nothing but sympathetic to that situation and will keep looking elsewhere if they can't help. In the meantime, Ike, I hope you and your teammates get what you're owed soon!
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by Cheynem » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:35 am

Unless the U of Illinois system works differently than the U of Minnesota system, I think on a technical level, Kenneth is correct--he's not a "non student," he's part of the U of Illinois system. On the other hand, I see Ike's point: why not try and work with the extant UIC team?
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by AKKOLADE » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:44 am

Mexdude wrote:Hey Kenneth. Sorry for the delay, I don't frequent the forums much during the summer. The official "UIC Academic Quizbowl Team" no longer exists because at the end of last season UIC Campus Programs stopped funding it and shut it down. The remaining players (Blake and I [not sure about Margaret]) may still want to play some tournaments this season we'll just have to pay our own way in entrance fees. I'm down to play at least SCT, MUT, History Bowl this season and probably one of the early ACF's if I have enough free time to write a packet. Feel free to contact me through pm or email if you want to get a team together for an upcoming tournament. I'm up for whatever and Blake will most likely tag along too. If Margaret still wants to play this season then BAM! 4-person team!
Can't you just register a new organization with them and do things like host to fund yourselves?
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by vinteuil » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:43 pm

Also, isn't it possible that local high school students who play quiz bowl take classes at UIC, and could therefore be eligible to play quizbowl for UIC, if you need a 3rd or 4th player?
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chicago?

Post by Sun Devil Student » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:11 pm

vinteuil wrote:Also, isn't it possible that local high school students who play quiz bowl take classes at UIC, and could therefore be eligible to play quizbowl for UIC, if you need a 3rd or 4th player?
Thanks for the suggestion! I don't know if this really gives any sustainable membership to a prospective UIC team, unless these students also go on to attend UIC as undergraduates, but it's worth asking. I'm sure Ulysses is reading this too, but I'll ask him about it anyways.
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Mexdude wrote:Hey Kenneth. Sorry for the delay, I don't frequent the forums much during the summer. The official "UIC Academic Quizbowl Team" no longer exists because at the end of last season UIC Campus Programs stopped funding it and shut it down. The remaining players (Blake and I [not sure about Margaret]) may still want to play some tournaments this season we'll just have to pay our own way in entrance fees. I'm down to play at least SCT, MUT, History Bowl this season and probably one of the early ACF's if I have enough free time to write a packet. Feel free to contact me through pm or email if you want to get a team together for an upcoming tournament. I'm up for whatever and Blake will most likely tag along too. If Margaret still wants to play this season then BAM! 4-person team!
Can't you just register a new organization with them and do things like host to fund yourselves?
Already sent a PM to Ulysses asking if it would be possible. According to his last post, there is no extant UIC team anymore and money seems to be the most immediate reason. However, now that I have some former players' names and someone to send PMs to... Thanks to everyone who helped with the investigation! :)
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Re: Is there an active branch team at Univ of Illinois *Chic

Post by Sun Devil Student » Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:49 pm

Update: Following months of further investigation on my part, I have discovered the following:

1) There is indeed no official UIC quizbowl club. Through one of my contacts, a UIC student senator, I was able to find the name of a UIC Campus Programs person who was formerly in charge of the UIC team. She has not answered multiple e-mail inquiries.
2) Ulysses informed me that his remaining team members are not interested in playing D1/regular level or starting a club, and it was his last semester. He said UIC quizbowl was dead and suggested I join the UIUC team.
3) I contacted Billy at UIUC to offer my services as a question writer and B-team player. I figured they were in the middle of writing DRAGOON and maybe I could be helpful. I received no response, and their housewrite turned out just fine, so I was left to assume that they had no use for me.
4) I looked into the requirements for starting a club at UIC, just in case (I'd need help to start it but...) The contact person for this process is the same person who still hasn't answered my e-mails in (1), but I found her purported online meeting scheduler. I will see if I can get in contact with her by this alternative mechanism.
5) I have talked to students I know, and a few were potentially interested in playing tournaments. I will look into the possibility of entering them as a D2 SCT team, but chances don't look good.
6) As it turns out, a few former members of the UIC team are still playing novice-level tournaments out of pocket, but have no place on their team for a D2-ineligible player like me.
7) I experimented with the possibility of representing UIC as a solo team myself, given the lack of other players to split registration fees with. Unfortunately, I am not a good enough generalist to play a meaningful regular-difficulty game without teammates.
8) UIC does have an unofficial active team in D2/novice-level, but not in D1/regular-level, and has no intention of ever developing into a D1-level team.

Having discovered this, I might normally ask to join that team and we'd split entry fees out of pocket, but in this case we have a problem - they can't play D1 and I can't play D2. However, I can't legally play for UIUC or another UI campus either, because UIC does actually have a team - just not one that would benefit from my membership.

I suspect I'm not the only one in this kind of situation. How many isolated average-strength D1 players are no longer playing, not because of lack of interest but because they don't have a team? I'm not going to complain about my situation since I'm in a pretty good location for free agency, but I wonder if this is a big part of the explanation for thin D1 fields in many regions that has been often talked about. Maybe we have plenty of players but they're just too spread out and asking them to play solo is beyond their skill level and budget. Is there a solution? I don't know. It would be part of the open/closed tournament issue, which is probably above my pay grade.

But if anyone could use a bioscience-specialized question writer for closed tournaments and/or free agent for open tournaments, let me know...
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:19 am

I know this is like 2 months old but I just saw this and am incredibly confused by peoples' reactions here, and see what seems to me to be an incredibly obvious solution and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, so here goes. Kenneth Lan is not a student at the University of Illinois-Chicago, he is in fact a student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, which is a completely separate campus/institution.
ACF Rules wrote:5.1. Players at graduate institutions which are affiliated with a state’s university system in general but with no particular undergraduate college may choose to form their own team or to play for any school in the relevant university system, though they may not switch teams mid-year except as provided in rule C.4.
NAQT Rules wrote:a. If a player's campus does not have an active program, that player may appear for the squad of any of that institution's branch or associated campuses. If a player exercises this option, per Eligibility Rule 7, the player may only appear for the chosen campus's squad in subsequent events in the same competition year, except as outlined in Eligibility Rule 8.b.
The only school then that matters in determining Kenneth's eligiblity is if the University of Illinois MEDICAL COLLEGE has an active team, and is emphatically not whether the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he is not a student, has a team. If UC-San Francisco had a team, it would be irrelevant to whether somebody attending Hastings College of the Law had to play with them, even though they are both UC schools in San Francisco, because one is a separately administered system-wide law school. This is the exact same situation. So yeah, in fact, Kenneth IS an eligible UIUC student for the purposes of quizbowl eligibility, should he choose to attend a tournament with them (or UIC if he really wants!) Given the reality that whatever mysterious team UIC may or may not have is both unable to sustain itself and seems to not want graduate students to play with them, I would think that sort of answers for itself who Kenneth should affiliate himself with, but that's for him to hash out with UIUC players. Why all the hubbub about this?
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by jonah » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:32 am

I don't understand what this thread is about. UIC doesn't seem to have a team in any meaningful sense at all — not Division II only, not hosting high school tournaments (something that to my knowledge UIC has never done in any sense, at least in the last 8 years or so), not anything at all. It's also far from obvious to me that the University of Illinois College of Medicine is separate from UIC; its website is medicine.uic.edu, the website refers to it as the "UIC College of Medicine", and the website for the University of Illinois system doesn't indicate "College of Medicine" as separate from the three main campuses (Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield).
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:11 am

The other campuses though are also on the same website, and all the wording from them, or Wikipedia, or anywhere else I've ever heard describes the university of Illinois Medical college as the "college" that encompasses all four medical campuses, and which are all administered as one institution, rather than treated in the system as separate medical schools affiliated with whatever their local campus is.
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:33 am

The Medical College's about page refers to it as the "UIC College of Medicine", and the dean's biography states that he is "Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago" and "Dr. Azar joined the University of Illinois at Chicago, in 2006." And since Wikipedia was mentioned, UIC's wiki page states "UIC operates the largest medical school in the United States" in reference to the institution Kenneth is enrolled in. However the issue is that the College of Medicine appears to operate as an independent institution within the University of Illinois system, or at least occasionally refers to itself as such. It's a very confusing situation (and one that may or may not be the fault of the school itself) that seems somewhat open to interpretation.

Regardless of Kenneth's enrollment status, he is technically an Illinois student who resides in Chicago, and so I assume the situation he and everybody else would prefer is if he were able to help start a student organization/team at UIC. Hopefully this would be achieved by organizing whoever is left at the school who likes quizbowl into a more official team. Anybody at UIC who claimed that they didn't want to develop into a D1 team has a terrible attitude about quizbowl, and should stop doing that. I'd also recommend from experience that when college administrators don't respond to your emails, it's time to show up in their office unannounced one day and ask them to talk with you or make an appointment to do so. People who are deliberately unhelpful have no problem being so online, but showing up and making them do their job is usually more effective.

It seems like there's a pretty good chance that next year Kenneth will be the only person at UIC (or whatever, let's roll with that for now) who wants to play quizbowl and there will be no official team for him to join. In that case he's essentially no different than a student at Illinois-Springfield or Alabama-Huntsville who decides to play with Illinois or Alabama because their branch campus has no team. If this is going to be a thing we allow in quizbowl, it would be an incredibly bizarre circumstance for UIUC to turn away Kenneth as long as he's willing to play for them on the same terms as their other players. If for some reason (other than a UIC team existing, which seems unlikely to be honest) they decide to not let Kenneth join their team, I think that would be extremely disappointing and contrary to how quizbowl teams are generally expected to work in this community.

EDIT: I should probably note that I have a very minor interest in this situation, because UIC is one of several schools that I currently intend to apply to for the 2015-16 school year. In the unlikely event I actually enroll there, I would have a more significant interest in this situation.
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Cheynem » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:45 pm

Well...

Let's look at the facts.

1. Kenneth lives in Chicago and attends school in Chicago. He does not attend school in Urbana-Champaign.

2. Kenneth has explicitly said in this thread that he has "no time to do anything this year except show up to a Saturday tournament and maybe write a quarter packet for ACF Regionals." He does not appear to have time to do things like attend practice, staff tournaments, direct tournaments, write tournaments, etc. (I realize he offered to write for DRAGOON or whatever, but he says that he's super busy, so I'm not sure how feasible that is). In fact, he is basically saying in this thread that he just wants someone to pay his registration fee so he can play tournaments.

While legally Kenneth I guess has the right to play for UIUC, we also must recognize that teams themselves have some rights to decide who joins or plays for their team. To quote someone, quizbowl "is not a voting booth." Nick's point that Illinois not letting Kenneth join their team "would be extremely disappointing and contrary to how quizbowl teams generally work" is wrong, in my opinion. A team like UIUC has no obligation whatsoever to pay the tournament fees and transportation of someone who doesn't live in their city, doesn't do things like staff tournaments, etc. just because they happen to be a "technically affiliated student." Quizbowl teams have people play for them who are productive, useful team members. I know this may sound arrogant, but you have to "do something" to justify playing for a team. With all due respect to Kenneth, I do not see that he would be able (or that he has the time and inclination) to do something for UIUC to justify having him play with that team.

In summary: Just because the rules allow something does not mean it is required.
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:15 pm

Cheynem wrote:Well...

Let's look at the facts.

1. Kenneth lives in Chicago and attends school in Chicago. He does not attend school in Urbana-Champaign.

2. Kenneth has explicitly said in this thread that he has "no time to do anything this year except show up to a Saturday tournament and maybe write a quarter packet for ACF Regionals." He does not appear to have time to do things like attend practice, staff tournaments, direct tournaments, write tournaments, etc. (I realize he offered to write for DRAGOON or whatever, but he says that he's super busy, so I'm not sure how feasible that is). In fact, he is basically saying in this thread that he just wants someone to pay his registration fee so he can play tournaments.

While legally Kenneth I guess has the right to play for UIUC, we also must recognize that teams themselves have some rights to decide who joins or plays for their team. To quote someone, quizbowl "is not a voting booth." Nick's point that Illinois not letting Kenneth join their team "would be extremely disappointing and contrary to how quizbowl teams generally work" is wrong, in my opinion. A team like UIUC has no obligation whatsoever to pay the tournament fees and transportation of someone who doesn't live in their city, doesn't do things like staff tournaments, etc. just because they happen to be a "technically affiliated student." Quizbowl teams have people play for them who are productive, useful team members. I know this may sound arrogant, but you have to "do something" to justify playing for a team. With all due respect to Kenneth, I do not see that he would be able (or that he has the time and inclination) to do something for UIUC to justify having him play with that team.

In summary: Just because the rules allow something does not mean it is required.
Certainly if Kenneth contributes nothing to them they shouldn't have to let him play for them, but I'm going to take his statements about being willing to write questions for them at face value instead of offering my opinions about Kenneth Lan's reliability. If they tie it to attending practice in person at the main campus, then whatever, but they should at least tell him this is a team policy instead of not responding when he contacts them. As a more general musing, it's certainly important for people to go to practice, I'd but I would be interested in seeing how often some people playing ICT attend their own teams' practices. I can think of one program that was literally wrecked (just a few days ago actually) by club officers who hate quizbowl not supporting their talented players who didn't come to practice often enough for their taste.

If Kenneth told UIUC that he would practice on his own, write questions for them, staff a tournament every once in a while, and contribute reliably on their B team, then yes, I would be disappointed if they told him he can't be on their team. His statements in this thread do kind of suggest that he might not do all of those things, but for all I know they were hyperbolic and so I'm not just going to assume he won't or can't do them without hearing that explicitly from the man himself.

Some Illinois affiliated people indicated upthread that they don't believe students at branch campuses should ever play for their team. Maybe Kenneth Lan isn't the best case to analyze that mentality, but it's certainly not one I agree with and I don't think you do either. What happens when a dedicated good player enrolls at Springfield and emails the Illinois team about driving up to practice once a week, writing some questions for them, and playing on their team at quizbowl tournaments? Will that player also be turned away?
Nick Conder
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Cheynem » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:30 pm

Well, I think the branch campus thing is something of a side issue here. All of my caveats would be equally valid if it was someone actually registered at the main campus. Again, if someone wants to be a productive, responsible, non-terrible member of a team, that's fine and only dysfunctional teams would turn people away for petty reasons. Based on Kenneth's posts in this thread and his track record, I don't know if that's true in this scenario. You're right that ultimately it's up to the team and Kenneth himself to work it out, but I just wanted to make it clear that teams have no obligation to actually accommodate everyone.
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Cheynem » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:54 pm

Also, this entire thread has a farcical title. There is no such thing as a "D2-only team" as only one tournament a year has a meaningful, field-separated DII division (SCT and/or ICT). Even if you could not join that team for DII SCT or ICT you could play literally every other college tournament this year except obviously Novice and MUT. Also, as soon as they qualify for DII ICT, they are no longer "D2-only." The only way you could be a "D2-only team" is if the only tournament a team plays all year is SCT and never does well enough at it to qualify for ICT. There are teams that fit this profile, but they are hardly "teams," so this entire dilemma seems bizarre to me. It's not that there is some special circumstances of dratted bad luck preventing Kenneth from playing quizbowl because he is "D1" and his team is "D2," but just apparently that the people at UIC don't want to play quizbowl period. (For the record, they didn't play DII SCT this year either.)
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Edward Elric » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:59 pm

Ok so i've been out of the game for a while since I graduated last May but I still keep in contact with everyone on the team. I just noticed this thread recently and some ignorant comments that were made by Kenneth Lan and other people who have no knowledge of the situation.

Let me do the honors of explaining the situation prior to anything Kenneth brought up. I transferred to UIC in the Spring of 2011 and joined the "team" that was there at the time. I say "team" because it consisted of Rom Masrour, Ulysses Capistran and some random people that attended two practices and then decided not to continue attending. The other thing you need to know about UIC is that they have been a campus program for as long as I can remember which means that we were given a budget and besides volunteering to advertise at campus events, we had the reins to attend which ever tournaments that we wanted and practice whenever. I stuck around as well as Ulysses and we played one tournament that spring. After that semester, in the fall there was a consensus among UIC faculty advisors that they did not want Rom to be a part of the team since the way he was reaching eligibilty requirements was that he would take one summer class despite the fact he had multiple masters degrees and the classes we're not part of him attempting another degree. They told him up front that they would not pay for his tournament entrance fees or support him financially if he went to tournaments. From then on, it was Ulysses and I that basically ran the team. We recruited a few people (having 6 people at the most) and played various tournaments the last 2 years and had weekly practices that I ran. Towards the end of last year, because we we're unable to recruit more people to the team, UIC informed us that they were cutting our funding. As I was graduating and my other teammates did not mind too much, we did not put up much of a fight.

Now enter this year. Ulysses, Blake and Margaret played one tournament in the fall I believe. They have all been busy with their respective majors and because of a number of factors (laziness and large work loads plus Ulysses graduating from UG in December), they have not written any questions to play submission tournaments (like ACF Fall or ACF Regs which UIC attended in the past during the most recent iteration of the team). Kenneth Lan saying that he wanted to play QB but not practice, contribute funds for tournament entry or help out the team in any way really brought back memories of Rom. Honestly though, as much as Rom did not contribute monetarily, he at least came to practices and tried to make us better. Ulysses made the decision to not allow him to join the collective of UIC people that still were planning to attend tournaments. Ulysses I also believe contacted him directly saying to the tune of what I indicated.

So really the situation is this: UIC does not have an "active" team by the definition of regular practices and attending tournament every month. Instead there is a group of now only 3 students who will be at UIC come fall time that still are interested in QB though their current means.

Also,
Sulawesi Myzomela wrote:Anybody at UIC who claimed that they didn't want to develop into a D1 team has a terrible attitude about quizbowl, and should stop doing that.
is an incredibly idiotic and ignorant comment to make considering no one at any time said that UIC would refuse to play as a Division 1 team. We never played as a D1 team because besides Rom no one else on the team was eligible for D1 and we were never good enough to attend higher difficulty tournaments then ACF Regs. Also as a commuter school, we had a hard time recruiting and running practices since we all lived off campus and with classes and work never had overlapping schedules.

For all future people who want to attend UIC, feel free to contact the name on the College contact list (Ulysses), which I updated before I graduated. I know there are three wonderful people who would not mind playing tournaments if they have someone else being the impetus to get better, attend tournaments or join in practices, etc. Also everything that Mike Cheyne has said today I agree with.
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:19 pm

Edward Elric wrote:
Sulawesi Myzomela wrote:Anybody at UIC who claimed that they didn't want to develop into a D1 team has a terrible attitude about quizbowl, and should stop doing that.
is an incredibly idiotic and ignorant comment to make considering no one at any time said that UIC would refuse to play as a Division 1 team. We never played as a D1 team because besides Rom no one else on the team was eligible for D1 and we were never good enough to attend higher difficulty tournaments then ACF Regs.
Calm down a little bit and understand that I'm not attacking you or your friends. It's generally accepted that teams get better by playing regular difficulty and packet-submission tournaments, and every indication (including you stating that laziness was a factor) indicates that UIC is not going to write packets, not playing regular difficulty (or any?) tournaments, and therefore not currently trying to improve. That's not a positive thing, any way you slice it.
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Sun Devil Student » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:46 am

Whoa, guys, chill! I thought I'd figured this out and was content to let it go, but it seems my information was very, very incomplete. But I guess it's a good thing that you've now made me aware of my misunderstandings, so now we can try to fix them.

First things first, thank you to Mike Perovanovic for finally explaining all the things that happened before I arrived. I did not use the best word choice in my initial approach, largely because of my ignorance of all these things, and now it makes a lot more sense why Ulysses didn't even deign to tell me what was going on behind the scenes. I'm glad Mike did tell me, or I'd never have known that an apology was in order. None of this information was available to me last semester, so I was indeed ignorant then. I appreciate Mike's crucial help in making me a little less ignorant, and I apologize for anything I might have said wrong due to my previous incomplete information.

It's now evident to me that several misunderstandings have occurred.

The first one is that when I made my very first post, I had no knowledge of how Illinois teams work. The only solid information I had coming in was 1) the way things worked "back home" in Arizona; 2) NAQT eligibility rules for playing quizbowl at a multi-campus institution (my previous school had no such issue); 3) stats and chitchat from various ICT's I attended, which told me that Illinois had a lot of super-strong college teams, of which at least one (U-Chicago) was historically very well funded; 4) stats from tournaments showing that UIC appears almost entirely at novice events that I wouldn’t be welcome at.

In Arizona, paying out of pocket to attend tournaments is just not something that is done. When I was at Arizona State, I was usually alone in my willingness to pay anything over $15 or $20 for a tournament trip (and due to our remote location, we always had to pay for hotels, remember) and my teammates were always very unhappy about having to contribute even that much. That was a large part of the motivation for us to host high school tournaments and seek institutional funds. Once we finally had our funding apparatus running, the general understanding was that we would only go to a tournament if the club could pay all non-food expenses. Except for one year when we managed to get administration funding, we could never attend both nationals in the same year, and our opportunities to meet and be inspired by better teams were limited. This is one major factor that has slowed the Arizona State club’s development.

During my time in Arizona the high school circuit has improved a great deal, but other states (like, say, Illinois) always had far more teams and larger field sizes at high school tournaments. Based on this, and on how well teams like UIUC/Northwestern/U-Chicago were doing, and their shorter driving distances to tournaments (thus probably lower or no hotel expenses), I figured that this circuit’s financial situation had to be as good or better than that in Arizona.

Due to this inaccurate belief and to cultural differences, I greatly underestimated the amount I needed to contribute in order to be accepted by teams in this region. After three exhausting years of building my undergraduate club from scratch, and two more trying to get them sustainable, I was really looking forward to finally being able to join an intact club that wouldn’t need me to personally do a lot of things to keep everything running and recruit teammates. This was an honest mistake on my part and given the lack of information on both sides, I don’t blame Ike Jose and other UIUC people for taking offense at my initial approach. It was an accidental clash of cultures, and as the foreigner in Rome (or in this case, Illinois), I take responsibility for the misunderstanding.

At Arizona State, we often struggled to field full teams, so pretty much anyone would’ve been allowed to walk in and play our next tournament. I believe some of my former teammates resented me for hoping that they would be as dedicated players as I was, and it took me years to figure out that I needed to adjust my expectations to match the team I had. I had to learn, as a coach, to meet my team where they were, not where I aspired for them to be. And I was consistently among the only two or three members who were willing to write packets. We never had more than that.

Not until I started this thread did I encounter the idea of a quizbowl club that could afford to be selective about who would be allowed to play for it. I’m truly impressed that such teams exist and tip my hat to their dedication. I can also see why such a hardworking team might look down on someone who didn’t seem as serious as they themselves are, and why such a team might be angry at the perceived presumption of someone (me, in August 2013) who thought they could just “walk on.”

Thus, I can understand why Ike and other past/present members of the great UIUC club would have been offended, and I apologize to anyone who was.

You may notice that I promptly withdrew my request to play with the UIUC club after discovering that they were not as well-heeled as I thought. Later, after Ulysses told me UIC was disbanding, I wrote to Billy at UIUC and offered to help with their housewrite. I can only assume it was too late to reverse my poor first impression, and that UIUC had already decided I was useless to them. That’s just basic human psychology, so I don’t blame them. Had I known in August 2013 what I do now, I would have offered to help with question-writing at the very outset and asked how much I would be expected to write in order to earn a spot on their team. It’s very plausible that they would have required more of me than I could write, because they are that good of a team, and in that case the situation would have ended up exactly as it is now. But the negotiation never even started because of the above string of misunderstandings, and since I’m the foreign transplant, I'll accept the blame for that.

Incidentally, I was finally able to meet some of the UIUC people earlier this month at Cane Ridge Revival. I tried to join a free-agent team first, but those formed even numbers without me, and then some last-minute drops reduced UIUC’s two teams to 5 total players, so I ended up helping them out (I’m glad I was finally able to be of some use to them after all). I paid for 1/6 of their registration that time, but a logical extension of Mike Cheyne’s idea would be that I could have arranged to pay in tossups and bonuses instead.

Since my reliability has been questioned by name, I think it’s only fair to point out that I have no track record since no one has asked me to help write anything. I realize that's probably my fault again (see above), and I’ll clear this up with a statement. I have never been anything but honest about my limitations as both a player and a writer – Mike Cheyne is 10 times better at quizbowl than I am, and I respect him for that. I can only say that I won’t make any promises I can’t keep, and that if I’m asked to write more than I have time for, I’ll be up-front about it, and that if I ever agree to write a specific bunch of questions for someone by a specific time, then my agreement indicates that I can and will do so.

I hope my playing skill level is not relevant to this discussion, because I never thought myself deserving of an A-team spot. If anyone’s judging me because I’m a worse player than you, then I can’t really argue, because it’s true and you can even prove it with my recent tournament stats. My only niggling doubt would be how many people don’t play D1 because they sense this judgment, implying they’re not ‘earning their place’ in quizbowl, in some way.

I will continue to be up-front about my abilities, and if they aren’t sufficient to be useful to either of my institution’s teams, then I won’t burden them with my presence. If they are, then both of those teams know where to find me.

I hope that clears up all the issues involving me and UIUC people. Now, there seems to have been a separate misunderstanding with UIC, and that apology is next.

-------------------
Edward Elric wrote:Now enter this year. Ulysses, Blake and Margaret played one tournament in the fall I believe. They have all been busy with their respective majors and because of a number of factors (laziness and large work loads plus Ulysses graduating from UG in December), they have not written any questions to play submission tournaments (like ACF Fall or ACF Regs which UIC attended in the past during the most recent iteration of the team). Kenneth Lan saying that he wanted to play QB but not practice, contribute funds for tournament entry or help out the team in any way really brought back memories of Rom. Honestly though, as much as Rom did not contribute monetarily, he at least came to practices and tried to make us better. Ulysses made the decision to not allow him to join the collective of UIC people that still were planning to attend tournaments.
As discussed above, I was ignorant of your situation and the expectations you might have for a potential member, and had I known better, I would have been more clear about my willingness to contribute a proportional share of whatever resource (tossups, bonuses, money) was needed. Even though I would’ve been the only D1 player (like Rom) and I have good evidence that Ulysses wouldn’t have played with me for that reason, we could still have reached that conclusion much more efficiently and amicably. This is, again, my fault being the outsider, and I apologize.
Edward Elric wrote:Ulysses made the decision to not allow him [Kenneth] to join the collective of UIC people that still were planning to attend tournaments. Ulysses I also believe contacted him directly saying to the tune of what I indicated.
For future reference, I would have appreciated Ulysses being less roundabout, because that was not the message I got from him. This is the PM Ulysses sent to me, after I sent him a PM, an e-mail, and another PM:
Mexdude wrote:This is my last semester so trying to bring this thing back after the University randomly cut it this past semester is the last thing on my mind. Blake isn't an administrator (I don't see him leading anything) and Margaret is spaced from this at the moment. Quizbowl here died. If I am free and got $$, then I'll probably play some easy difficulty tournament solo or with Blake but I won't trouble myself going/paying to a normal-hard tournament, I know my intellectual limits. You are probably much better off playing with the Illinois club since they go to normal-hard difficulty tournaments where graduates can play. If you got the "Illinois doesn't want me" attitude from just Ike and noone else then ignore that cause I believe Ike just graduated last season so he shouldn't be influencing the Illinois club anymore since he is no longer a student there. It's Billy Busse you should talk to just don't look like a free-loader and say you just want to play tournaments with them paying for you. You have to contribute with them in some way such as helping them write packets or staff their tournaments.
I took Ulysses at his word and, as described above, sent a PM to Billy, got no response at the time, and have only now gotten things cleared up with UIUC.
Edward Elric wrote:no one at any time said that UIC would refuse to play as a Division 1 team. We never played as a D1 team because besides Rom no one else on the team was eligible for D1 and we were never good enough to attend higher difficulty tournaments then ACF Regs. Also as a commuter school, we had a hard time recruiting and running practices since we all lived off campus and with classes and work never had overlapping schedules.

For all future people who want to attend UIC, feel free to contact the name on the College contact list (Ulysses), which I updated before I graduated. I know there are three wonderful people who would not mind playing tournaments if they have someone else being the impetus to get better, attend tournaments or join in practices, etc.
Mike, I don’t know if there was maybe some miscommunication between you and Ulysses, and I really did not want to have to make this post, but I think I have to in order to solve the ongoing factual dispute here. I stumbled across this in December 2013 but specifically held it back from my public post in an attempt to be nice, because I accepted that Ulysses et al’s current team didn’t want to play D1 with me and that was all I needed to know for my own closure. However, since the issue hasn't just gone away as I hoped, I think the only solution now is complete transparency.
Ulysses Capistran (on Facebook) wrote:I also got some minor issue with a medical graduate guy who wants us to start an organization and try to get funding but I know that won't happen (a university doesn't just cut a team and then want it back the next semester) and this is my last semester so I don't wanna get involved in starting a club that can die when I leave. He also sounds like a free loader wanting someone to pay for him so he can go to hard tournaments so I'mma just tell him to f off. undergrad noobs only!
I want to be clear that I do not blame either Mike or Ulysses (or anyone else at UIC) for the decision to trick me into thinking UIC’s team was disbanded, rather than openly banning me from the team and telling me why. (Had they done so, I would have been alerted to the misunderstanding then and we could have immediately fixed it, but hindsight is always 20/20 so I'm not blaming them.) I also do not think UIC is, or should be, obligated to play tournaments more difficult than they're capable of enjoying. I understand why Ulysses et al didn’t want me on their team, I’ve acknowledged my part of the responsibility for it (I was culturally unaware such that I made Ulysses think I wouldn’t contribute and Mike think I was annoying), and I’m sure Ulysses had reasons for handling it sneakily rather than openly. I just want to set the record straight on the idea that UIC had anyone willing to play D1 at the time I inquired: they did not. In August of 2013, UIC’s team had no use for a D1 player and no plans for long-term survival, and I therefore would have been of no use to them. If that situation has now changed, I have no way of knowing about it unless someone with knowledge of the UIC team directly informs me.

It is unfortunate that well-intentioned mistakes on both sides prevented this misunderstanding from being resolved long before now, but we are human, we all make mistakes, I hold no grudges and blame no one else for what happened here, and I’m glad we did clear things up in the end.

------------------

In conclusion: Thank you to everyone who contributed to enlightening me, and to all Illinois/UI(U)C quizbowlers, I’m sorry we got off to such a rocky start and that it took this long to figure everything out and get to the bottom of it. I hope you will let me make it up to you in whatever way I can during my next few years here! You guys are great and I wish I could have been in a circuit like yours during my undergraduate years. If there’s anything else I should know, please do enlighten me further. ^_^
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Kenneth Lan, ASU '11, '12, UIC '17
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Cheynem » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:20 am

For the record, I have no insight into your playing skill compared to mine, which is irrelevant for the purposes of this context. When I was talking about productivity, I did not mean "producing in terms of PPG," but in being a productive member of a team--staffing tournaments, going to practices, writing questions, directing tournaments, driving to tournaments, putting up money--all the little or big things that go towards being a good quizbowl team member. Perhaps you are willing to do those things, but I apparently was not the only one who was under the mistaken impression from your early statements that you were reluctant to do so (both Ike and Ulysses did as well). I'm not judging you as a player at all and that is not how people "earn their place" in quizbowl tournaments at all.

Finally, since I have no real dog in this fight, I'll withdraw, but I'll just say for the record it seems pretty dubious to post private communications (PM's) and I guess "public" but still possibly "private" Facebook messages here and that it is a weird way of "apologizing" to someone.
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:36 am

I still don't see why anybody (either Kenneth and/or the original UIC team) couldn't just start a student club and attempt to organize yourself in some way? You don't need funding to do this, you just fill out some forms, get some signatures, and recruit a few people to join. Then if you want to be serious about it, host tournaments (which is shockingly easy in the state of Illinois) to raise money. Bug the university about giving you funding of course, but it's not like the only options are between having university funding or paying out of pocket.
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:16 pm

In theory, a quizbowl team could also fundraise by doing things other than host tournaments. Hosting tournaments is good because it strengthens quizbowl itself, but if the university flatly refuses to recognize your organization and refuses to give you rooms to host, you could do any number of things: write questions and sell them on the open market/to a question writing company, do a bake sale, do a car wash, print amusing t-shirts and sell them on campus, make iPhone apps, make a day trading algorithm, etc.

The world of alternative quizbowl fundraising is an unexplored wilderness. Perhaps one day some team will be desperate enough to blaze the trail.
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by bsmith » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:35 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:The world of alternative quizbowl fundraising is an unexplored wilderness. Perhaps one day some team will be desperate enough to blaze the trail.
This is unrelated to the original topic, but back when I was in school, I rented my buzzer set to outside groups. Every now and then, organizations want to do corporate team-building or promotional events in a "Jeopardy style", but don't have buzzers. I rented buzzers to the student union, the local school board, a government office, and let some professors use it pro bono in lectures. Best of all, they often want buzzers on weekdays, which wouldn't interfere with weekend quizbowl. I would bring buzzers, they would play whatever questions they thought up, and then I'd get paid. There's actually someone in Ottawa who also does the tailored question-writing and makes a business out of this (eg: 50 questions on Blackberry).
Ben Smith
Ottawa '08 & '10

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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:08 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:if the university flatly refuses to recognize your organization and refuses to give you rooms to host, you could do any number of things: write questions and sell them on the open market/to a question writing company, do a bake sale, do a car wash, print amusing t-shirts and sell them on campus, make iPhone apps, make a day trading algorithm, etc. .
This is getting pretty far afield from the original topic, but bake sales were a key option for many teams when I was in high school.
Matt J.
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:10 pm

Sun Devil Student wrote:I have never been anything but honest about my limitations as both a player and a writer – Mike Cheyne is 10 times better at quizbowl than I am, and I respect him for that.
...

I hope my playing skill level is not relevant to this discussion, because I never thought myself deserving of an A-team spot...
I just wanted to point out this is a pretty wrong-headed attitude to have. Unless I missed it, no one brought up your skills as a player in terms of your viability as a team member, or in terms of the accuracy of your arguments. There's no reason to bring it up.
Fred Morlan
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by at your pleasure » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:22 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:print amusing t-shirts and sell them on campus
I don't know how it is at other schools, but this is actually what a lot of RSOs or houses looking to raise funds for activities or outings do on campus here do. Usually the shirts are either RSO-related or more often one of our many self-deprecating/self-referential slogans or jokes.
Douglas Graebner, Walt Whitman HS 10, Uchicago 14
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Re: An interesting situation with a D2-only team

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:04 am

Kuandian Manchu Autonomous County wrote:
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:print amusing t-shirts and sell them on campus
I don't know how it is at other schools, but this is actually what a lot of RSOs or houses looking to raise funds for activities or outings do on campus here do. Usually the shirts are either RSO-related or more often one of our many self-deprecating/self-referential slogans or jokes.
Yes, my reference to selling t-shirts with amusing slogans is specifically based on my experience being an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, where tons of organizations made money by selling amusing t-shirts that typically had little to do with their specific organization. Whenever I saw a stand on the UChicago campus selling funny t-shirts, I had to ask their affiliation because of the chance that it might be an organization I don't wish to fund.
Bruce
Harvard '10 / UChicago '07 / Roycemore School '04
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