Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

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Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by wd4gdz » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:12 pm

This was in the Microsoft Word attachment:

COLLEGE BOWL CAMPUS PROGRAM SUSPENDED
Los Angeles, Calif. (June 3, 2008)—After 31 years of collaboration with the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), the College Bowl Company is suspending the College Bowl campus program, effective immediately. College Bowl will no longer produce question packets for campus, regional, and national competitions.
While the program experienced periods of growth throughout its history, costs to maintain the program have increased. Although changes were made to offset the increasing expenses and avoid raising the price for campus participation, the program can no longer sustain itself.
“Its history and longevity are a testimony to the positive influence College Bowl has had on students and the campus community. College Bowl is proud of having established and popularized academic competition,” College Bowl Company president Richard Reid said. “In its current form College Bowl is no longer effective, but the future holds bright promise.”
ACUI executive director Marsha Herman-Betzen said, “While I am sad to see this important program come to an end, I certainly understand the realities and economics of producing a program like College Bowl. And while this will leave an initial programmatic gap for our regions, I believe this change provides an opportunity to try new ideas.”
The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge celebrates its 20th anniversary March 26-30, 2009 in Orlando, Fla. and continues to be an invaluable part of the Historically Black College and University community. ACUI will continue to play a major role in that program as an educational partner.
Schools that have already placed orders for the 2008-2009 season will receive a full refund in the original form of payment. Questions should be directed to Frank Gencur at 818-610-8225 x111 or via e-mail at frank@collegebowl.com.

---

Original Email text:

From: ACUI Lead [mailto:ACUI_LEAD@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU] On Behalf Of Smith, Michelle Jones
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2008 2:14 PM
To: ACUI_LEAD@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU
Subject: [ACUI_LEAD] College Bowl news

Fellow ACUI Leadership Team members,

We have some unfortunate news to share; effective immediately, the College Bowl Company has decided to suspend the College Bowl program indefinitely.

As the attached press release states, it’s been difficult to sustain the program in recent years, and ultimately the time had come for the College Bowl Company to make this tough decision. However, it is reassuring to know that the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge retains its financial support, and that competition will continue to be offered annually for students from historically black colleges and universities. We’re also exploring whether it would make sense to continue College Bowl as part of the annual conference’s Battle of the Regions competition.

ACUI has valued its educational partnership with College Bowl for decades, so we do not want to rush into anything by immediately selecting another academic competition program with which to partner. During the July Leadership Team Meeting, we will be beginning the discussion about “what next?” and how to best provide a fun, team-building, educational program for college students. This will be on the Board of Trustees’ Strategic Direction agenda, and Gail Ferlazzo, ACUI’s College Bowl Program Team leader, will be attending to participate in this discussion. It will also be part of the Association’s needs assessment later this year.

Whether ACUI chooses to utilize another College Bowl-like program or not, Gail plans to continue to be involved as an ACUI volunteer. She and I have called all of the regional College Bowl coordinators individually and have urged them to do the same. Perhaps you have open positions on your Regional Leadership Team that these individuals would be likely candidates to fill. I’d also be happy to talk with them about volunteers needed at the international level for other ACUI programs and leadership positions.

Thanks so much for your efforts on behalf of College Bowl and ACUI and for your understanding about this difficult decision.

Michelle Smith
ACUI Director of Educational Programs and Services
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Re: Great News!

Post by cdcarter » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:15 pm

Rejoice, rejoice...
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Re: Great News!

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:16 pm

Wow.

:party:
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Re: Great News!

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:17 pm

Well, damn.

Seriously, this is the day of big announcements in quiz bowl. First the ACF war, then CBI's death.
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Re: Great News!

Post by naturalistic phallacy » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:18 pm

:party: :party: :party: :party: :party:

I think this is one of the best things I have heard all day. Congratulations to the ACUI for finally opening its eyes.
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Re: Great News!

Post by DumbJaques » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:18 pm

I would like to suggest that ACF write some kind of email detailing a lot of info on the wider circuit and highlighting some good intro events and send it to as many CBI teams as contacts can be found for, and do it sooner rather than later in case anyone is ready to just disband.
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Re: Great News!

Post by BuzzerZen » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:30 pm

Congratulations, legitimate quiz bowl. The long national nightmare is over.
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Re: Great News!

Post by millionwaves » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:36 pm

Good riddance.
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Re: Great News!

Post by Auroni » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:40 pm

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
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Re: Great News!

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:42 pm

ACF was already working on contacting College Bowl programs for this coming year to invite them to ACF Fall and the circuit at large.

While that will continue, I'm sure any sort of mass effort is overall better handled by NAQT in the short term, as they have more resources and more associates to devote to outreach. I will be satisfied if these new teams become NAQT intramurals/Sectionals customers, as I'm sure that will expose them enough to the larger circuit that those who are interested in ACF will find their way to it soon enough.

For the immediate future, any College Bowl institutional representative or player who is reading this board can feel free to e-mail me or Andrew Hart about ACF Fall and ACF in general, and expect an email from us soon. We do not speak for NAQT, but you can find their info at their website, http://www.naqt.com .
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Re: Great News!

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:44 pm

Interesting how many people cheering wildly here have never even played CBI...

Anyway, this probably creates a hole for some enterprising question writing company to grab CBI's contracts.
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Re: Great News!

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:49 pm

DJ Shadow wrote:Interesting how many people cheering wildly here have never even played CBI...
Don't have to have experienced a certain brand of bad quiz bowl first hand to know the stench of it.
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Re: Great News!

Post by leapfrog314 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:54 pm

wd4gdz wrote:COLLEGE BOWL CAMPUS PROGRAM SUSPENDED
Los Angeles, Calif. (June 3, 2008)—After 31 years of collaboration
I guess this means I will have the privilege of never having played CBI...though I've had my fair share of dismal high school quizbowl... :party:

Seriously, crazy. And nice job already swooping down on CBI teams, hah.
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Re: Great News!

Post by wd4gdz » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:55 pm

I don't appreciate the subject being changed. It's not dead, only suspended. For all we know, they will somehow be back bigger and better.
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Re: Great News!

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:59 pm

wd4gdz wrote:I don't appreciate the subject being changed. It's not dead, only suspended. For all we know, they will somehow be back bigger and better.
Fixed the topic, but I'd be shocked if they come back in any viable form if they do take a full year off.
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Re: Great News!

Post by wd4gdz » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:00 pm

leftsaidfred wrote:
wd4gdz wrote:I don't appreciate the subject being changed. It's not dead, only suspended. For all we know, they will somehow be back bigger and better.
Fixed the topic, but I'd be shocked if they come back in any viable form if they do take a full year off.
Now the subject line just looks stupid.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:02 pm

As good as it's gonna get.
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Re: Great News!

Post by grapesmoker » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:16 am

wd4gdz wrote:I don't appreciate the subject being changed. It's not dead, only suspended. For all we know, they will somehow be back bigger and better.
Hillary Clinton also "suspended" her campaign, and we all know what that means.

Anyway, wow, that's damn exciting. Hopefully NAQT can pick up the slack formed by CBI's demise.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:21 am

I think it's particularly funny that noted separate but "equal" institution HCASC is finally going to be very plainly unequal, since it will exist and regular CBI will not.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by cvdwightw » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:27 am

As I posted on the Wiki, here is a cost breakdown:

CBI 2007-08
On-Campus tournament: $600 (10 rounds)
Regional tournament: $150+
National tournament: $0*
Total costs: $750+ for one regionals team

NAQT 2007-08
Intramural tournament: $225 (15 rounds)
Sectional tournament: $120**
National tournament: $240***
Total costs: $705 for two sectionals teams, one of which qualifies for nationals

*Qualification by finishing first in a regional or earning one of one wild cards by random draw
**Multiple teams can be entered in the Sectional tournament; the fee is $120 per team and can be entered in either Division I ("varsity") or Division II ("junior varsity"); players need not have participated in the Intramural tournament
***Qualification by finishing first in a sectional of four or more teams or earning one of approximately fifteen wild cards (in each division) through statistical performance

I would encourage anyone trying to perform outreach to note the major similarities between these two approaches. In both approaches, an on-campus tournament leads to a group of several players on a team at a regional competition, who then have a chance to qualify for a national tournament. I would also note the following advantages of the NAQT model over the CBI model:

*Cost: to send a single team to nationals, the NAQT model costs at least $165 less than the CBI model.
*Separate divisions: new and inexperienced players can continue to play in Division II, while those who have proved they are ready can compete in Division I.
*Multiple sectional teams: no longer do coaches have to cut players from the varsity squad to make a team of four; if the players are dedicated enough, the possibility of sending multiple teams to the regional exists.
*Qualification procedures: A competent team, especially in a historically tough regional (e.g. 6, 15), has a much greater chance of qualifying for nationals under the NAQT model.
*Expanded opportunities: by playing at Sectionals, teams are exposed to a wider swath of the circuit, including many people interested in helping these programs grow and flourish. Teams who wish to compete outside of this paradigm will find a welcoming audience; while those who wish to stay within the traditional Intramural-Regional-National model will also be satisfied.
*2009 existence: NAQT almost certainly plans to produce another Intramural set, SCT, and ICT for 2009. To steal from Charlie Steinhice, playing NAQT beats not playing.

All of these arguments can be made for why participation in NAQT is a reasonable alternative to CBI in 2009 without mentioning question quality or ethics. I do not think that emphasizing NAQT's superior question quality or superior ethics record will earn any "converts"; if anything, this will bore people or drive them away. Instead, we need to focus on why the NAQT Intramural-Sectional-National model is a good replacement for the CBI model: they are similar, and there are several advantages of the NAQT model (not the least of which is that it'll be around next year) that have nothing to do with notions of "question quality" or "ethics". By emphasizing these other advantages, I think more teams will be inclined to give NAQT a shot this year and perhaps become valued members of the community further down the road.
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Re: Great News!

Post by wd4gdz » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:10 am

If you're interested in possibly influencing ACUI's decision, I would recommend contacting Gail Ferlazzo. Her info:
gferlazz@iastate.edu
(515) 294-2301

---

Quasi-funny side note: I got that e-mail last night from our club's advisor, who never emails us. I open the e-mail and the first thing I see is "COLLEGE BOWL PROGRAM SUSPENDED," which I had thought referred to the club, not the crappy business.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Byko » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:44 am

Damn, and I still have my six years of eligibility! Like I was ever going to go back to college anyways, though.

Seriously, though, if this is real, perhaps CBI should consider updating its website to reflect this. Maybe they should make it impossible for people to put in more orders or something.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by mujason » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:57 am

All Right! Now let's get NAQT the ACUI contract so teams can play for a legit title on good questions.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:15 pm

I'd like to hear something from NAQT on whether they plan to bid for any ACUI contract that might be available, and what if any changes they might make to their questions/structure if so. If they are going to offer their current product without any awful College Bowl-like modifications to the questions or the qualification structure, then they have my full support in any bid and I hope the rest of the "hardcore ACF" people feel the same way. We do focus a lot on NAQT's shortcomings, and they are very real when we're talking about serious quizbowl players competing at high levels, but compared to College Bowl the difference between NAQT and ACF is nearly 0, and we shouldn't lose sight of how drastic an improvement it would be for the College Bowl-only schools if they got to play NAQT instead.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Mr. Kwalter » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:26 pm

I don't think anyone here would object to NAQT as a replacement for CBI.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by evilmonkey » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:27 pm

While I am in full support of NAQT doing such, I think they need a clause in their that says that schools that have separate quizbowl clubs are allowed to send additional representatives to SCT besides the winner of the intramural tournament. However, the school is only required to pay for the winner of the intramural tournament.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Deckard Cain » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:56 pm

Byko wrote:Seriously, though, if this is real, perhaps CBI should consider updating its website to reflect this.
This is, indeed, now up at http://www.collegebowl.com/home.asp.

I've had some very limited success emailing the people listed as "captain" on CBI's team rosters page about tournaments in the area, which indicates to me that there is at least some interest out there in better stuff. Hopefully NAQT or someone else will come in and pick up the slack.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by theMoMA » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:59 pm

This is the end of an era. Thanks in large part to the work of a few very dedicated individuals, good quizbowl is on the march. In the past few years, we've seen elite high schoolers continue playing in college at an extraordinary rate. More competent editors exist than ever before, and ACF, PACE, and NAQT are all overwhelmingly positive forces to the game in whole. CBI closing up shop is a direct result of the rapid spread of good quizbowl, and that growth is a direct product of years of dedication from people like Andrew Yaphe, Matt Weiner, and many others. Thanks guys, and congratulations.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Aaron Kashtan » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:41 pm

As someone who has had the misfortune to play at CBI tournaments, I can only say, woo-hoo!

This news comes as a surprise to me, though -- I had no idea CBI was suffering from financial problems. Can anyone speculate as to what precisely caused CBI to suspend their program?

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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by wd4gdz » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:49 pm

Aaron Kashtan wrote:As someone who has had the misfortune to play at CBI tournaments, I can only say, woo-hoo!

This news comes as a surprise to me, though -- I had no idea CBI was suffering from financial problems. Can anyone speculate as to what precisely caused CBI to suspend their program?
Aaron brings up a good point. How in the world was CBI not raking in the dough?
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:51 pm

wd4gdz wrote:Aaron brings up a good point. How in the world was CBI not raking in the dough?
It was a sinecure for the spoiled son of a television producer. I'm sure he paid a very generous salary to himself and the comical amount of full-time employees that the group had.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by colonial » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:05 pm

wd4gdz wrote:
Aaron Kashtan wrote:As someone who has had the misfortune to play at CBI tournaments, I can only say, woo-hoo!

This news comes as a surprise to me, though -- I had no idea CBI was suffering from financial problems. Can anyone speculate as to what precisely caused CBI to suspend their program?
Aaron brings up a good point. How in the world was CBI not raking in the dough?

Eight years ago, there was a thread on the Yahoo! board about CBI declaring bankruptcy, so financial issues have been going on for some time....

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quizbowl/message/1144

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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:38 pm

Aaron Kashtan wrote:This news comes as a surprise to me, though -- I had no idea CBI was suffering from financial problems. Can anyone speculate as to what precisely caused CBI to suspend their program?
I caused CBI to suspend their program. It was all me. When I told them at NCT I wouldn't be coming back next year, they were all, "Well, let's pack it up, no Friar."

More seriously, where did their financial failure come from? From continued overspending on "atmosphere" (perks, dinners and lunches, luxury hotel accomodations at NCT) and "security" (umpteen officials per game room, technology goodies like headsets and flat screens for live scoring) in the face of declining enrollment. Honestly, the way they ran the program looked so expensive that I don't know if they could have survived the loss of the Ford sponsorship five years ago even if participation had stayed constant. The fact is, though, a pile of teams bailed out every year rather than spend $600 for the privilege of throwing a campus tournament, while virtually none signed up or came back. Think about the regions with four-team fields, the ones that had to combine to hold a tournament, and so on. Nonetheless, costs could not be scaled down with the size of the national field because College Bowl was still bound to hold RCTs for every region (whatever way they could) and to hold its most expensive event, the NCT, as a 16-team event, and they were apparently too stiff-necked to start cutting the many unnecessary costs they incurred on all the non-game features that, well, I don't think people cared about.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:46 pm

Losing the Ford sponsorship after 02 I'm sure was key in getting the ball rolling to disaster. After that more teams started to deaffiliate as the costs for nationals had to come out of their pocket as opposed to Ford's, which when you have 3 nationals in one month is just ludicrous to try to pull off. If they had been willing to surrender control over the product, they would have gotten back on TV during the late 90's game show craze and probably been able to parlay that into better fiscal health. Of course if they had at least been responsive rather than astonishingly condescending toward their customer base or not incompetent in general thus alienating what few people were deigning to slog through it, they might have been able to hang on.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, yada yada yada.

P.S. What the heck is that old guy going to do that was raking in $50,000 a year to paraphrase Newsweek and Entertainment Weekly ... I mean write the questions?

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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by QuizBowlRonin » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:23 pm

I felt a small amount of schadenfreude upon hearing this news. Just a bit.
Last edited by QuizBowlRonin on Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by STPickrell » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:24 pm

The implosion of CBI will hopefully improve the standard of collegiate quizbowl.

NAQT represents a medium that is acceptable to nearly all high-level teams but still acceptable to once a year warriors.

R. and Emily are out of the country. (I am negotiating to try and have VHSL regular season matches produced by NAQT.)

I hope NAQT is arranging a response of some sort as time may be of the essence in this.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Aaron Kashtan » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:25 pm

deep_friar wrote:Nonetheless, costs could not be scaled down with the size of the national field because College Bowl was still bound to hold RCTs for every region (whatever way they could) and to hold its most expensive event, the NCT, as a 16-team event, and they were apparently too stiff-necked to start cutting the many unnecessary costs they incurred on all the non-game features that, well, I don't think people cared about.
CBI must have been following a policy of "Millions for tournament amenities, but not a penny for improving the questions." Speaking from personal experience, when I decided to quit playing CBI after attending one CBI nationals, that decision was not affected in any way by the fact that CBI provided quality food and hotel accommodations. I'm still willing to attend NAQT tournaments even though NAQT doesn't offer any of that stuff.

As for the stiff-necked part, CBI was also extremely resistant to change. They seemed to have this deep-seated conviction that the way they did things was the only proper way, and that customers who complained about their policies could be safely ignored.

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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:41 pm

STPickrell wrote:NAQT represents a medium that is acceptable to nearly all high-level teams but still acceptable to once a year warriors.
Thanks for the ACF IS IMPOSSIBLE dig in an irrelevant thread, person who hasn't been involved in real quizbowl for nine years!
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by evilmonkey » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:03 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
STPickrell wrote:NAQT represents a medium that is acceptable to nearly all high-level teams but still acceptable to once a year warriors.
Thanks for the ACF IS IMPOSSIBLE dig in an irrelevant thread, person who hasn't been involved in real quizbowl for nine years!
Matt, the fact remains that ACF does seem impossible to most first-timers. I think thats all Pickrell was pointing out here. The jump from CBI to NAQT would be much easier than that of CBI to ACF
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:05 pm

evilmonkey wrote:Matt, the fact remains that ACF does seem impossible to most first-timers. I think thats all Pickrell was pointing out here. The jump from CBI to NAQT would be much easier than that of CBI to ACF
OK, well, since ACF is statistically easier than NAQT, and Shawn hasn't seen a collegiate question set since 2000 or so, maybe people who have no stake in this can stop putting forward archaic nonsense about being "a medium" or "for high-level teams" and let the people who are actually involved in collegiate quizbowl make judgments on who has the organizational structure to offer an intramural program (answer: NAQT does), which is the only issue here.

You can help him along by not saying that the concept of untimed academic questions "seems impossible."
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by theMoMA » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:33 pm

Just so everyone is aware, the host school for NCT had to provide most of the perks like free meals, goodies, and the like. One of College Bowl's coordinators talked very briefly to us about hosting nationals at the airport on the way back from NCT '07, and mentioned that hosting CBI, instead of being financially beneficial to the host program, actually costs them thousands of dollars.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by cchiego » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:11 pm

Well what does the ACUI want? Solid academic competition? Pleasing as many universities as possible? Or just resolving this mess quickly? I'd be very curious to know what their motivation was behind sponsoring academic bowl stuff was in the first place and to what extent they supported CBI financially. And like Matt posted earlier, what demands they might make on NAQT to modify their format/difficulty in order to gain ACUI approval. It's not like the ACUI got rid of CBI willingly; they probably didn't get too many complaints about the difficulty of the questions from the large majority of teams still playing.

Regardless, it's going to sound cliche but it's probably important to make sure that any former CBI-only teams get welcomed into the circuit. That probably means putting up with more question and format complaints and dealing with individuals who can't understand the wonders of pyramidality and in-depth tossups. And some, probably, won't even bother to show up anymore no matter what people do. In the end though, the suspension of CBI can only be a good thing for quizbowl since it reduces the distractions of having organizations competing for the same limited pool of resources and gives ACF and NAQT full access to the US market (save for HBCUs- but that's a different matter/New Yorker-special-report-on-segregation-in-america). Now, to liberate Britain/Africa?
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Aaron Kashtan » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:20 pm

theMoMA wrote:Just so everyone is aware, the host school for NCT had to provide most of the perks like free meals, goodies, and the like. One of College Bowl's coordinators talked very briefly to us about hosting nationals at the airport on the way back from NCT '07, and mentioned that hosting CBI, instead of being financially beneficial to the host program, actually costs them thousands of dollars.
How did they convince anyone to do it then?!

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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:27 pm

My best guess is that ACUI was fairly neutral as to how the questions and the competitions worked. There was once a gambit where College Bowl blamed some of its structural problems on ACUI demands, which I don't think anyone bought. If NAQT came in and said "we're going to use our existing intramural and Sectional questions, we're not going to change their format or style or distribution or difficulty, we're not going to change how you qualify for ICT out of Sectionals" that would all be so much quacking and head-nodding before what ACUI cares about, which is delivering the product reliably for the stated price.
Aaron Kashtan wrote:How did they convince anyone to do it then?!
Working in a student union pretty much involves trying to outdo your colleagues in spending an infinite budget on the most inane things possible.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by First Chairman » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:55 pm

I'm totally numb. This is like the Berlin Wall falling down on 11/9/89...
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:02 pm

ILoveReeses wrote:This is like the Berlin Wall falling down on 11/9/89...

People who were not three years old in 1989 tell me that this was entirely unexpected. I must say I feel the same way. With the ridiculous prices that CBI charged, I couldn't imagine them going under.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by STPickrell » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:07 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
STPickrell wrote:NAQT represents a medium that is acceptable to nearly all high-level teams but still acceptable to once a year warriors.
Thanks for the ACF IS IMPOSSIBLE dig in an irrelevant thread, person who hasn't been involved in real quizbowl for nine years!
That really wasn't my intention. My apologies. I was meaning to endorse NAQT as a product suitable for everyone.

ACF Fall would also be suitable for everyone, should a third party come forward and write similar questions. I was unaware of an effort to produce ACF-Fall style questions for ACUI regionals.

It seems to me that whoever gets the ACUI contract can probably make quizbowl her/his full-time job between whatever the ACUI pays, the money from intramural questions, etc.

I am not sure to what extent ACUI is concerned about question length. If they're not then ACUI would potentially be faced with the difficult choice of two or more high-quality question providers.

The MSHSAA told me, three line questions or else. If left to my own devices, I'd have written questions similar to VHSL. By contrast, the VHSL has told me, we'll schedule more time for matches, so you can write questions the way you need to.

I make the comparison as ACUI puts on various events (bowling, pool, etc.) for colleges much as VHSL/MSHSAA put on various events for high schoolers. Instead of catering to football coaches and principals you are catering to student activity directors who want the most students having fun on their planned activities.

Maybe my experience with HS activities associations is 100% irrelevant to this discussion. Reasonable people may disagree.

I offer what paltry assistance along these lines (i.e. organizational and the such, certainly not question writing/editing at this level) that I can offer to anyone committed to providing quality (*) questions for ACUI regionals.

This represents a tremendous opportunity for collegiate quizbowl.

(*) i.e. multi-clue, leadins uniquely identifying the answer, no hoses, no VVB's and preferably 3x10 bonuses, and no over-supply of trash outside of IMs. I'm sure I am missing something here.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by STPickrell » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:10 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:My best guess is that ACUI was fairly neutral as to how the questions and the competitions worked.
ACUI will probably want each of its 15 regions to hold a tournament if there is sufficient interest. I'm fairly sure they would want at least the winners of each region to go to nationals. Someone may get a bug up their rears regarding wildcards ("it's not FAAAAIR that Region 1 sent six teams to nationals and Region 14 sent only one!")

As for questions, I'm pretty sure they are neutral. Question and match length *may* be concerns. I don't know what the goals ACUI have for this competition, at least for regionals, are.

I remember NAQT mulled over bidding for the ACUI contract. I wonder what stopped them the first time.
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by cvdwightw » Sat Jun 07, 2008 12:26 am

In my opinion, NAQT is better able than ACF to initially provide an "acceptable" product to these teams because of the following:

1. A pre-existing tournament model that would be familiar to those who previously played CBI. The most compelling argument for why NAQT would appeal more to schools affiliated with CBI than ACF would is that NAQT already sells Intramural sets.
2. Format "quirks" such as the clock, a higher emphasis on pop culture/current events/general knowledge, and powers that would theoretically make the game more "exciting" and "fun" to a clueless student union rep or to someone who only does this once a year.
3. A formalized business structure with people who have been out of college for some time at the higher levels (thus theoretically more able to "impress" the ACUI reps than some "loosely organized group of college kids").
4. A separate Division II. If NAQT does end up either bidding for an ACUI contract or wooing several of these "new" teams, Division II becomes a huge selling point as a place where one can develop new players - a "Junior Varsity" team.
5. A lower cost for more teams: Assuming NAQT's prices stay the same, it costs $225 to purchase the set of 15 intramural packets, $120 to send a team to Sectionals, and $240 to send a team to Nationals. In other words, a single team would pay $225 (as opposed to $600) for intramural-only participation, $345 for Regionals participation (as opposed to over $750), and $585 for Nationals participation (as opposed to again over $750). The "pay-as-you-go" model ensures that not only will every school save money as opposed to CBI, but teams' participation determines how much they pay (as opposed to CBI, which has mostly front-loaded costs).

I also see this as a potential way to resolve NAQT's current problems with obtaining Sectionals and ICT hosts. Without having to give bids to tournament hosts anymore, that frees up several wildcard spots in each division; even having a team (in each Division with 4 or more teams) from each of Regions 1-15 automatically qualify still leaves at least 17 Division I and 9 non-CC Division II wild card teams. In addition, while CBI claims to provide the RCT questions for free, NAQT provides its questions for a relatively small licensing fee. The lower per-team profit should still result in a higher net profit for the host school due to the incorporation of regular circuit teams showing up en masse in addition to these schools.

One thing that I think ACUI would like is this issue of an "actual" awards ceremony. Would you pay, say, $30 more per team at SCT for a lunch and an awards ceremony that substitutes trophies for books? And ICT could theoretically take up post-finals-match Saturday night with a dinner/awards ceremony instead of its usual rushed awards ceremony - how much more per team would people be willing to pay for that?
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Re: Great News! CBI "Susp"Ends!

Post by evilmonkey » Sat Jun 07, 2008 12:34 am

cvdwightw wrote: I also see this as a potential way to resolve NAQT's current problems with obtaining Sectionals and ICT hosts. Without having to give bids to tournament hosts anymore, that frees up several wildcard spots in each division; even having a team (in each Division with 4 or more teams) from each of Regions 1-15 automatically qualify still leaves at least 17 Division I and 9 non-CC Division II wild card teams. In addition, while CBI claims to provide the RCT questions for free, NAQT provides its questions for a relatively small licensing fee. The lower per-team profit should still result in a higher net profit for the host school due to the incorporation of regular circuit teams showing up en masse in addition to these schools.
Excuse me if I'm being stupid... how would this solve the "host" problem? Like, it seems that the tournaments would still have to be run by SOMEONE, which would still end up being the Quizbowl Club, which would mean their best couldn't play...
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