Merits of the KMO?

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Merits of the KMO?

Post by a bird » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:52 am

Hanover High has done the KMO for well over a decade. For a while now, I've recognized the numerous issues with the tournament. At this point I'm wondering if it's time to finally stop playing the KMO. Can anyone provide a reason why the KMO is a good thing? This year, it really didn't help my team improve at all. Though some team members thought it was somewhat entertaining to play, no one really enjoyed it as an academic competition.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:15 pm

There aren't any, unless you like pieces of paper saying you participated or were the best (of 2!) teams in your state to compete.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by abnormal abdomen » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:27 pm

Auburn did it as recently as my freshman year... I think that, in my sophomore year, my brother led the charge against doing it and our coach supported our general sentiments. It's a poor activity and wasn't particularly rewarding in any way.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by Howard » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:39 pm

GrahamReid wrote:Hanover High has done the KMO for well over a decade. For a while now, I've recognized the numerous issues with the tournament. At this point I'm wondering if it's time to finally stop playing the KMO. Can anyone provide a reason why the KMO is a good thing? This year, it really didn't help my team improve at all. Though some team members thought it was somewhat entertaining to play, no one really enjoyed it as an academic competition.
In regard to whether it's time to stop playing, I think the team needs to ask itself this question as a whole. If the main positive feedback is that it's entertaining, then the question becomes whether that's enough for the team to keep doing it.

As far as not helping your team improve, I think you need to look back at the team philosophy. There is some potential here. I know it's difficult while playing, but if things are the same as when my school did the KMO, you have unlimited access to the questions once the competition is complete. This means you can go back and review things you didn't know. Is this the best use of your time? How much does it help you in regard to the type of competition in which you'd prefer to play? Again, these questions are best addressed by the team as a whole.

As for the reasons we stopped, it pretty much started with the team generally not being available the week of the KMO. After that, they didn't send us advertising any more. I thought about seeking out the information to enter, but the team didn't really seem to enjoy the competition-- they saw it as more of a task. And they never really put in the effort to go back and review questions and learn some things. So ultimately for us, it was lack of persistence on KMO's part, the team not particularly enjoying the competition, and the team not taking the steps to improve from it.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by a bird » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:56 pm

There will certainly be lots of discussion within my team as to our future participation. I started this thread primarily to get some more information. I definitely know about the KMO from my own experiences, but I want to make sure I don't overlook anything. Is there anyone out there with any extra info about the KMO?
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by The Time Keeper » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:58 am

The main appeal of the KMO is the opportunity to take it during class hours.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by Kyle » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:25 pm

I think there are schools for which the opportunity to do something as a group of many rather than as a group of four can be a valuable experience. Lots of times newer players, especially underclassmen, don't get to do play alongside better and more experienced players. We used to have quite enthusiastic participation from lots of people when we would do KMO, and in fact I believe seven years later Lakeside still participates in it for that reason. With that said, the problems with the format and the questions are many and obvious. Consequently, I am interested in what suggestions people might have for alternative events that can involve an entire club of people doing something as a group.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:53 pm

I think that if it doesn't get in the way, financially or otherwise, from you doing other, better things, and if KMO doesn't wrong your team personally, then there's no reason to not do it if you're enjoying it. I haven't played since elementary school so I have no idea what the time commitment is or any of that, but if the time and costs are getting in the way of tournaments or even serious practice time, then I would discourage it.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by jessbowen » Sat May 19, 2012 3:32 pm

Our school is new to the Quiz Bowl world. We started because our local PBS station was running auditions for the High School Quiz Show program and after our audition (unsuccessful, I might add), I was looking for events to sustain the momentum and keep a team going. KMO was one of the first events I found out about.

For us, it's convenient. We can participate on the day that works for us with no transportation issues. It's also pretty affordable. As someone else mentioned, it's nice to have an event where you can participate no matter how many kids show up. Sometimes, I have 3 kids, and now that we're growing, I had 11 at the last KMO and I don't have to tell poorer players that they can't do it. It's a great way to invite new/prospective members to check the team out and if they like KMO, then they might want to stick around and try the "real" quiz bowl stuff. It also lets me watch and see what strenghths they have.

Quiz Bowl seems like it's really big in certain regions - like the midwest. It's not as big here in Massachusetts and there simply aren't that many events. I also like that you can use the discs as practice afterwords (and after a couple of years, you have several to choose from.)

Lastly, it many seem silly, but my administration/board of directors/parents ARE impressed by "finished second in the state". That helps my program in the long run - gets mentioned in school newsletters, etc.

So, I understand it's not for everyone and every team, but it has its merits. Plus, bad auk puns become a running bad joke around here - who doesn't love that?
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Sun May 20, 2012 12:32 am

As an active player, I do not think I personally get anything out of KMO that I couldn't get out of a normal (good) quiz bowl competition, not that there is a whole lot I think I can gain from playing KMO in the first place. The questions aren't of particularly high quality (though there isn't much to work with when the format is timed, team directed questions), and there is a relatively high percentage of questions that are in my opinion, worthless, to quiz bowl; i.e. computational math, language arts (grammar, definitions, that stuff. I'm not saying grammar and sentence structure isn't important, there are just more things worth learning and asking about in the quiz bowl realm from my point of view. I get enough of semantic trivia when I do games like Lexitopia at bar trivia nights). The multiple choice for answers... eh, I don't care too much for it. The puns do crack a few giggles here and there, but they don't compare to the fun we usually have when we travel for things.

With that said, KMO when you look at merits of team-building, there certainly are some. From a captain's standpoint, I would want everyone on the squad/in the club to be as enthusiastic as me when it comes to academic competition, preferably quiz bowl. Is there going to be 100% commitment and enthusiasm from everyone? No. Some members of our team are three sport athletes in fall, winter and spring, and some just are on the team to say they're apart of something. Yes, we'll host league match(es) and our tournament, but the activity opportunity in terms of playing for players 8-15 (or however many there are on our team, I do not know) comes when we do fall and spring KMO. For us, it's held after school in a teacher's room, there is pizza, there is Mountain Dew, all under the condition you can sit for one and a half to two hours and answer some questions. I imagine it's also a neat experience for the puny little freshman in the back to actually "play with" the people you go to school with who are on television, win league titles, etc for excelling at quiz bowl, as opposed to playing against them in practice or being on a D team where every tournament is like [being the fish in this Blakiston's Fish Owl photo -Mgmt.]. KMO for the younger kids/kids who aren't involved as much is generally a positive experience.

Also, if you ever have to have a picture of your team competing for whatever reason, getting the picture taken while your team is working on the KMO practice test is a good time to do it.

All in all, I don't see many benefits to the learning aspect of quiz bowl in KMO, but there are some pluses to actually running the competition so everyone can play.

Post edited to remove offensive language --Mgmt.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun May 20, 2012 8:12 am

Paula Pareto Optimality wrote:With that said, KMO when you look at merits of team-building, there certainly are some.
Sure, but there's lots of other ways you can build your team that may or may not cost less money! Here are some suggestions:

* Team building exercises
* Building teams
* Exercising
* Making other teams exercise
* Bass fishing
* Jenga!
* Playing the original Final Fantasy, name the characters after four of your players, and then freak out when you finally reach level 20 and the monk actually does more than 2 damage punching!
* Have a fantasy baseball draft
* Actually conduct a draft for the Houston Astros (no one would know the difference!)
* Experience Battleship, the film adaptation of the board game, in three dimensions of cinematic joy
* Shine shoes
* Reenact your favorite scenes from the film oeuvre of David Lynch
* Conduct your own Stanford Prison Experiment. Science makes learning fun.
* Form a Winger tribute band
* Join a roller derby league
* Wear funny hats together, because that is a new idea.
* Wear eye patches with those funny hats. Draw little unique designs on the eye patches (make sure it's the side that points out!)
* Paint Easter Eggs together
* Sign Lamar Odom

I hope this list is helpful, and that your team's bonds grow as a result of some of these wonderful ideas.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun May 20, 2012 9:28 am

jessbowen wrote:I also like that you can use the discs as practice afterwords (and after a couple of years, you have several to choose from.)
Don't do this. There are thousands and thousands of FREE packets online that are infinitely better than anything that Academic Hallmarks has ever published. Please go to http://www.quizbowlpackets.com/ or http://www.quizbowldb.com/ so you can read questions that will actually help students gain knowledge important in quizbowl.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by GranvilleHolmes » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:01 pm

I do think that many of the items Jessica mentioned are important parts of the KMO, even though as it now stands it will no longer exist. As a middle school coach as well, it is easily accessible when there are not many other tournaments that do not require transportation or other serious schedule rearranging.

It does build teamwork, specifically identifying strengths and weaknesses of the team and individual members. It allows them them to work together in a specific academic competition environment and practice how to logically work through deductive reasoning to find the correct answer.

Some programs, actually many around me from smaller schools, are some of the first on the chopping block when it comes to budget. The KMO is relatively cheap, 2 competitions for the usual fee of a one tournament. And no transportation costs that many program are now having to absorb since their schools can no longer afford it.

Many contributors to this forum do not like its format, and for their own good reasons. But if it helps get more people involved, gets them interested in doing more or different academic competitions, then it is a good thing.

User was reminded to enable a signature. --Mgmt.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by Beevor Feevor » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:06 pm

Speaking as someone who did KMO back in 7th through 8th grade, this was the only exposure I had apart from Jeopardy to any kind of game that involved rapid buzzing based on knowledge. I wasn't aware that such a thing as academic quizbowl existed, although I probably would have loved it back then. It was a good way to introduce kids to this sort of competitions, but the question quality and format were so poor that I'd find it difficult to recommend to anybody over legitimate pyramidal quizbowl tournaments, which aren't plagued by the issue of the designated typist misinterpreting the will of the crowd shouting in his/her ear.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:00 pm

You know they're shutting down operations, right? Spring KMO is the last one planned.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by cchiego » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:40 pm

This is the perfect time to go to the publicly available Fall 2012 KMO results and soon-to-come Spring 2013 KMO results and get in touch with every single school that does KMO but doesn't do good quizbowl. If a school already gets a bunch of kids together to answer questions for a couple of hours twice a year, they're much more likely than random school X to be able to send those kids to a real tournament, especially if KMO no longer exists.

I'd also remind people that "Academic Hallmarks" is still putting on (and apparently still plans to do so even after discontinuing KMO) dozens of terrible question tournaments, mostly in the Mountain West/Great Plains, but also all around the country. Please refer to the helpfully provided (though I suspect still incomplete) list here and get cracking on converting these teams or, at the very least, telling them about the larger world of quizbowl.
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Re: Merits of the KMO?

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:01 pm

KMO was a pretty severe waste of time and money for our team. The opportunity cost of KMO is incredibly high in terms of doing something worthwhile during the limited amount of time you meet as a team. You also won't hear auk-ful puns doing virtually any other activity.

When Bellarmine got 1st in the KMO two years ago (I think it was then), our coach used it to advertise us as "#1 in the world" for funding and recruitment purposes. It might have worked for the former, though I doubt it induced anyone to join. We promptly discarded the competition after it had served its purpose (it was also the source of thinly veiled irritation for us to be congratulated by people on what was essentially a non-achievement).

So there's my couple of soon-to-be-defunct pennies.

Edit: Just realized this was a post from last year and that my point has been rendered moot by the impending vaporization of KMO.
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