MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

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MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Kaisuopai » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:08 pm

Hi all,

I'm an MIT freshman who is filling in for Grace as tentative "president" of the MIT QB club. I recently received a request from another freshman, who works for Q-Unlimited, asking whether the MIT QB team could reserve some rooms for Q-Unlimited to host a regionals tournament at MIT.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Q-Unlimited is the high school QB organization, run by Chip Beall, that hosts the NAC. I used to play a tournament similar to theirs in high school, have lurked these forums, and have skimmed their website - I am somewhat loath to have the MIT QB team be associated with them in any way. But should I reject their request for hosting, just because of their bad reputation and the fact that I think their questions are terrible? Hosting these regionals may bring some revenue to the MIT QB club, which currently has monetary issues, and might also raise some publicity for quizbowl at MIT overall, which we kinda need.

I do not know whether I should just let them have some rooms while making it abundantly clear that the MIT QB team has nothing to do with the matter, or to reject their request out of hand, because I'm afraid I'm somewhat biased in the matter. Do the more experienced members here have any suggestions?

Thank you much,
-Kai Ma
-redacted-

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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Sir Thopas » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:14 pm

I'd reject them outright and hold another HS tournament in the QU one's stead.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:18 pm

What Guy said, at least the first part.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:19 pm

Speaking as president of Harvard's team, Harvard will allow you to pay tournament fees in promises or not at all if it allows you not to help Chip. I imagine other teams will be generally receptive to promises.

Moreover, please, MIT, host high school tournaments! Every high school tournament you host is good for local high school teams (who don't have much alternative to low-quality league play, though Kevin Commo is doing great work to try to change that) and it makes you money. If you need help, I am here.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:24 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:Speaking as president of Harvard's team, Harvard will allow you to pay tournament fees in promises or not at all if it allows you not to help Chip. I imagine other teams will be generally receptive to promises.
I'm sure you don't need this incentive, but yeah, for the love of god, don't do it.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by dtaylor4 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:36 pm

Do not take the dirty money.

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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:57 pm

MIT has traditionally run a high school tournament in the spring on NAQT questions. You should really stick with that tradition. Questions Unlimited is atrocious and no self-respecting college team would do anything to be associated with them.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Gautam » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:19 pm

Not That Kind of Christian!! wrote:Image don't do it.
Even if Q-U offers you a diamond studded skull...
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by ieppler » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:32 pm

(joke already made, please delete)
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Charbroil » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:26 pm

Kaisuopai wrote: I recently received a request from another freshman, who works for Q-Unlimited
How did that happen? Is this freshman a moderator at NAC, question writer, etc.?
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Kaisuopai » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:36 pm

Charbroil wrote: How did that happen? Is this freshman a moderator at NAC, question writer, etc.?
Said freshman states that he was hired to coordinate Q-Unlimited's regional and national tournaments, or something of the sort.

Somewhat more importantly, he told me that Chip Beall has apparently stepped down in favor of Jason Russell "under the idea of making questions that 'exceed industry standards.'" I'm not sure what he means by this; if NAC steps towards pyramidality I would be more favorably inclined towards them, but I can't yet judge whether they're doing things for the better.

-Kai
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:37 pm

They've said nothing about using pyramidal, academic, or otherwise good questions, and there's no reason to think they will. Obviously, no club at any level can dirty itself by getting involved with bad quizbowl and worse ethics.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:40 pm

Yeah; I, like you, Kai, am willing to believe that anything, however improbable, might happen (like "Chip Beall wakes up one morning, decides to start doing things right because his money feels dirty"), but I want evidence (questions from the new era) before aiding and abetting.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:53 pm

Host an NAQT or HSAPQ tournament. I'm willing to bet that both of those companies will let you take a bigger chunk of the tournament profit than Chip will.

Once your team gets experienced enough, you can write your own high school tournament. MIT is a very prestigious school and lots of people respect it or want to go there one day. You will probably attract a lot of teams to your HS tournament if you just flash the MIT name around. And of course you get ALL of the profits from a tournament you both write and host.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:38 am

Just from a financial standpoint, I believe that NAQT and HSAPQ's questions cost less.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Broad-tailed Grassbird » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:55 am

This is life-changing:

http://www.qunlimited.com/na296.htm
Academic Emphasis

The competition focuses on academic information - "significa" rather than "trivia" - and the questions are supplied by Questions Unlimited. Our emphasis is light on popular culture and heavy on the academic. We claim a lower percentage of pop culture questions than any other tournament. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of question quality and academic relevance. Contests follow the superb four-quarter format created by Questions Unlimited.
Emphasis mine.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:50 am

nalin wrote:This is life-changing:

http://www.qunlimited.com/na296.htm
Academic Emphasis

The competition focuses on academic information - "significa" rather than "trivia" - and the questions are supplied by Questions Unlimited. Our emphasis is light on popular culture and heavy on the academic. We claim a lower percentage of pop culture questions than any other tournament. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of question quality and academic relevance. Contests follow the superb four-quarter format created by Questions Unlimited.
Emphasis mine.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:28 pm

This Saturday, I will be hosting a tournament with zero pop culture questions. How many such questions will they use?
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Kwang the Ninja » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:23 pm

PAC/NTAE had no pop culture questions. Just because they have no pop culture doesn't mean that their format/questions are good or even worth playing.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Broad-tailed Grassbird » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:23 pm

Just FYI, I thought that was the most ridiculous claim ever, and if Q-Unlimited was to schedule a big tournament on a date in Michigan, I would schedule a tournament on the same date.
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Re: MIT asked to help host Q-Unlimited regionals

Post by Howard » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:28 pm

Kaisuopai wrote:Said freshman states that he was hired to coordinate Q-Unlimited's regional and national tournaments, or something of the sort.
This makes me wonder if Chip hired said person specifically to coordinate a tournament near Boston. I might be interested in knowing exactly how many regional tournaments this person were involved in coordinating or attempting to coordinate. I don't happen to fully share the opinions of most of the others here toward Chip, but I think I'd beware if I thought there existed a person whose purpose was to lobby my club.
Kaisuopai wrote:Somewhat more importantly, he told me that Chip Beall has apparently stepped down in favor of Jason Russell "under the idea of making questions that 'exceed industry standards.'" I'm not sure what he means by this; if NAC steps towards pyramidality I would be more favorably inclined towards them, but I can't yet judge whether they're doing things for the better.
I don't recall exactly what position Jason Russell was to hold, but I do know that the invitations I receive still have Chip's name on them.

Early in the season, I had given thought to the possibility of attending the novice tournament at Maggie Walker and then the Chip tournament at Longfellow (because we would then be ineligible for the same questions at Whitman). As it turns out, this was moot because my students were available for neither date, but as part of my preparation, I had sent an e-mail to someone whom I respect who also had ties to QU. No reply was ever received. I don't know whether this was due to a desire not to answer or the message mistakenly going into spam.

In any event, my potential questions were never answered. As I perused the samples on the website, my largest concern was that there were one line questions similar to "what is the capital of Lebanon." While I don't completely share the views of most here regarding the importance of pyramidal questions of 5 to 7 lines or so, I can't say as I see the value of having questions similar to the example (at least in terms of structure) in a contest where buzzers are used. There's no way this question is anything other than a buzzer race. Can anyone tell me whether a significant portion of their questions are still structured this way?
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