I am trying to reach out to northern and eastern Idaho to see if I can encourage schools there to start and establish a circuit. Summer's not the best time to reach teachers, but I did hear back from one teacher who is excited to get back away from the science-specific science questions and wants to try out quiz bowl. Back in the day when INL ran things here, the winners of the three regions would meet in Boise to determine the state champion. (Well, the top 2 or 3 teams. Definitely the top 2 teams in each regional tournament, and maybe the top 3 teams.) He said that this possibility of going to Boise was a big draw for attracting students to his team, and that in the past, the school funded a trip to the state championships when they qualified.
I don't know what he means about a "real" or "definite" state tournament. (In some sense, it is real in that it is officially recognized by NAQT as the Idaho State Championship, but it definitely has not represented the whole state in the past.) In an earlier email to him, I said that anybody who wants to come to Boise for the state tournament can; that we don't restrict participation in the tournament. (The Idaho circuit is not big enough for me to do this. I will take any team I can get.) I suggested that he can practically guarantee his team a trip to Boise every year. I think this message is a response to that.However, I'm pretty sure that we'd have to firm up a schedule of sorts and the Boise component would have to be a real state tournament before I could sell this to my school and school district. In the meantime I will consider doing a north ID tournament as a trial but I don't foresee going to Boise until it is a definite state tournament.
I mean, we definitely have a cap of the number of teams we can handle because of the number of qualified staffers. (This past year, I determined our cap to be 8 teams, and it probably will be similar this year.) But we've never had an issue of having more teams want to come than available staffers (except last year, when due to unforeseen circumstances, almost all my college staffers bailed on me and I had to quickly press former parent volunteers into service). So, if we have a cap (of, say, 8 teams) and we have more than 8 teams who want to come, we'll definitely have to come up with some way to decide which teams will get to play in our state tournament.
So, mostly, I'm wondering how other state organizations handle their state championship tournaments. Do teams have to qualify for it? Is it open invitation?