Running Club Meetings

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Ohyeah19
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Running Club Meetings

Post by Ohyeah19 » Sat May 18, 2019 10:04 pm

So I run the Knowledge Bowl club over at Newport High School (we pretty much do only Quiz Bowl now) and I have some questions about how to run club meetings.

First of all, what is the best way to keep attendees in check? It often gets pretty noisy during meetings, even though we are a small club. There are a lot of side conversations going on and the players, especially the ones in my clique, are just chatting with their friends instead of actually listening to the questions and playing.

Second, we use the PS2 Buzz buzzers with the PACEBuzz program. We have 2 sets so we can support a practice match of 8 people decently well, which is nice because we have had less than 8 people for a lot of the recent meetings. However, I'm not sure what to do if we have more than 8 people attend the club in one meeting. What do other clubs do, especially those with upwards of 20 attendees, when they have more players than buzzers?

Thank you all for the help!
Justin Zhang
Newport HS '20
President of Newport's Knowledge Bowl Club
Hoping to expand Quiz Bowl in WA
^so difficult :(

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Re: Running Club Meetings

Post by TheScientists » Sun May 19, 2019 12:00 am

Hey! It's great to see that you're taking charge when it comes to improving your school's QB team.
For your first question, try to have a short break during practice (say a 5-minute break for an hour practice session) in order to essentially "push" the side conversations away from serious practice time to the break.
As for a buzzer system that accomodates more than 8 people, you can try these two softwares:
- Buzzinga (https://buzzinga.netlify.com/): A simple LAN application that let users buzz in a local network (A Mac is required to run the program, although Windows and Linux editions should come out soon)
- BuzzIn.live (https://buzzin.live/): A buzzer application like Buzzinga, however it is more like Kahoot! accessibility-wise as it is a web application and it works on all devices.
Hope this helps :)
Ameya S.
Laurel Springs School '23

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Re: Running Club Meetings

Post by Subotai the Valiant, Final Dog of War » Sun May 19, 2019 8:16 am

We play by shouting "buzz." Hunter generally doesn't set up buzzers in practice due to the amount of time it often takes to organize everyone into teams and the fact that, as you pointed out, it doesn't work as well with large groups. On another note, if your club becomes too big to play as two teams without lockouts becoming constant, play as three teams or individuals.

Oh and in terms of keeping people focused, that's always a problem. Just try to keep them focused by reminding them, and if they won't listen, just try your best to make them not distracting. Also, (this may be a bad idea in certain situations) perhaps emphasize that coming to practice disengaged is worse than taking a day off to rest and coming back next practice engaged.
Daniel, Hunter College High School '19, Yale '23

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Re: Running Club Meetings

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue May 21, 2019 12:14 am

Saying "buzz" instead of setting up a buzzer system is what Harvard did during my time there. It definitely works better than the other no-buzzer alternative, which is people slapping the desk with their hand. Human voices differ from each other more than the sounds our hands make.
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Re: Running Club Meetings

Post by geo20 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:27 pm

My QB club's lunch meetings also have an upwards of 20 people attending, and similarly serious players get distracted by the chatty atmosphere. I don't have a lot of insight to offer on this topic, we try to cordon off the people who are talking and using their phones on one side of the classroom.
George Manson, Houghton High School 2020

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Re: Running Club Meetings

Post by BenWeiner27 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:46 pm

Ohyeah19 wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 10:04 pm
First of all, what is the best way to keep attendees in check? It often gets pretty noisy during meetings, even though we are a small club. There are a lot of side conversations going on and the players, especially the ones in my clique, are just chatting with their friends instead of actually listening to the questions and playing.
We have a system where participants of a practice aren't allowed to be on their phones during practice. This can help keep most players focused. In addition splitting up into more than 1 room (if possible) is a great way to neutralize some of this side conversation. By keeping the number of players in a room around or below 10, I have found people to be far less chatty. What we do and have done at Wayzata is separate into 2-3 rooms by relative skill level and then have each room play packets of appropriate skill level (I definitely would recommend you do this with 20 people in an attempt to reduce side conversations)
Ohyeah19 wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 10:04 pm
Second, we use the PS2 Buzz buzzers with the PACEBuzz program. We have 2 sets so we can support a practice match of 8 people decently well, which is nice because we have had less than 8 people for a lot of the recent meetings. However, I'm not sure what to do if we have more than 8 people attend the club in one meeting. What do other clubs do, especially those with upwards of 20 attendees, when they have more players than buzzers?
Although we are fortunate enough at Wayzata to have enough buzzers to support the vast majority of our club, methods we have used when we are running short on buzzers include sharing buzzers (two people use the same buzzer and whoever buzzes answers) and just yelling out "buzz", however both have their own drawbacks.

EDIT: Updated because I misread the original post.
Ben Weiner
Wayzata '20

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Re: Running Club Meetings

Post by entropy » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:33 pm

TheScientists wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 12:00 am
- Buzzinga (https://buzzinga.netlify.com/): A simple LAN application that let users buzz in a local network (A Mac is required to run the program, although Windows and Linux editions should come out soon)
Regrettably, Buzzinga is not currently in a working state on any platform and is not in active development. I will get to fixing it when I have the time, and will post an announcement on these forums when it is complete. However, it is unfortunately not an option as of now.
Karan Gurazada

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Re: Running Club Meetings

Post by biofanat » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:05 pm

At Smith last year, we generally set up a cycle of players and subbed people in and out every 8 questions with everyone not in usually on protobowl.

Usually, when we’re short on time, we shout buzz or slap the tables.
Bo Chi
Smith Middle School 2017-2019
East Chapel Hill High 2019-2023

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Re: Running Club Meetings

Post by AlanFromHolmdel » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:08 pm

I wouldn't take too much advice from me since my club was somewhat of a train club last year, but my management during my time as a freshman went as follows:

My staff advisor that was required by the school was often unavailable and could only hold one meeting every two weeks. The interim periods were all spent in the school library where I tried to get people to practice. I just had people shouting out the answers, but ever since I've discovered https://buzzin.live/ I'm going to be using that now for sure.

Then comes the next problem: my team was largely unengaged no matter how hard I tried and would forget everything we practiced by the time the next meeting came.

If your team members are not dedicated, I honestly found that just delivering the hammer was the only way to get things done, and I ended up kicking out half the team last year due to how little they seemed to care and after months of consistent lackadaisical behavior.

I didn't want my club to be run as a dictatorship but that's what I ended up having to do in order to get anywhere.

I'm trying as hard as I can this year to avoid that again but I'm probably being too hopeful.
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Re: Running Club Meetings

Post by Goofy Evanescence Vine » Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:23 pm

AlanFromHolmdel wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:08 pm
If your team members are not dedicated, I honestly found that just delivering the hammer was the only way to get things done, and I ended up kicking out half the team last year due to how little they seemed to care and after months of consistent lackadaisical behavior.
this strikes me as a bad idea
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UC Berkeley '21

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Re: Running Club Meetings

Post by AlanFromHolmdel » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:02 pm

this strikes me as a bad idea
[/quote]

I warned them many times and gave them a period of about five months to improve at least their behavior towards QB, and they showed no improvement. I delivered upon the promise that I was getting rid of people who didn't care. They were a pretty major financial burden too, and it was money that I really couldn't afford to waste.
Alan Wu

Co-Founder and Captain of Holmdel HS, 18'-22'
Meme Aficionado
German culture enthusiast
Constantly trying to learn new languages.


The greatest and noblest pleasure which men can have in this world is to discover new truths; and the next is to shake off old prejudices.

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