What's the matter with Kansas?

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What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by cchiego » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:29 pm

Kansas seems to have an extremely active "Scholar's Bowl" system, with what they claim is 335 schools participating in NO MORE THAN 8 TOURNAMENTS A YEAR. Unfortunately, the quality of their questions seems suspect (their "guide to writing questions" is a hoot: "DO NOT RELY ON YOUR MEMORY" "DO NOT WRITE TRUE/FALSE") and their bureaucracy is breathtaking (scrimmages are banned! trophies are banned! practice is limited to certain dates! NO HATS ALLOWED!).

Worst of all, no Kansas Scholar's Bowl school is allowed to attend national tournaments, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever (does Kansas hate its high school students for some reason? We should ask Ryan Burroughs, President and David Cherry, KSHSAA Administrator to find out). In short, Kansas Scholar's Bowl seems like the more evil authoritarian version of what Missouri used to be like and doesn't appear to be that "scholarly" either.

If the schools are really completely barred by bureaucratic nonsense from participating, then I suggest we launch a "Free Kansas" campaign. 335 schools are currently shackled to bad quizbowl and there's no Kansas version of Charlie Dees in sight to help 'em from the inside.

Kansas fortunately does have a fairly active CC league and the occasional K-State team. Could anyone from K-State and/or a Kansas CC who's in-the-know about the area give us an update on the history of this situation?
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:52 am

I got out. I think I'm the only one who has.

Everything Chris says is 100% correct. In addition, KS quizbowl consists of 16 questions per round, which are one line long and sorted by category. And 3 of them are math calculation. This has the advantage of allowing tournaments to happen in the 3 hours between the end of school and dinnertime, but is otherwise quite terrible.

I would like to introduce KS to pyramidal quizbowl; I'm currently in negotiations to get my old high school to mirror Penn's tournament this year, and I think it will happen. I don't think negotiation with KSHSAA will get us anywhere, but I would be willing to fly home for a day to give a presentation or whatever.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:06 am

Kansas is what we refer to colloquially in Missouri as the North Korea of quizbowl (we're China). KHSHAA is as atrocious, and the circuit is as insular, as any ever witnessed in quizbowl. The good news: MOQBA is making some more inroads into Kansas City, and there are many active teams on the Kansas side of Kansas City, and many more who are within easy driving range, and we will certainly try to attract those teams to our events and see if we can convert anybody. It won't come close to fixing Kansas, but it looks to be the best way for anybody to make any kinds of inroads there.

Also, Eric, when will the Topeka tournament happen? We could probably convince a KC area team or 2 to go to it and make sure you have some people who are ready to play the set in your audience.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:20 am

I'm wondering if QuAC is the most appropriate introduction to quizbowl for Kansans whose previous experience looks that awful, unless the questions are on the very easy end of regular high school questions. Would it make sense to have an unrestricted Fall Novice mirror there beforehand, or in the Kansas City (MO) area?
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:44 am

There is going to be a Fall Novice mirror at NKC, but that area has a long standing tradition of restricted eligiblity JV events which this will be a part of. However, yes, I agree we will try and attract Kansas teams to that.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Great Bustard » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:51 pm

NHBB is interested in doing a tournament in Kansas this year, especially in greater Wichita. From what I've heard, we might be able to skirt the asinine regulations in Kansas since NHBB is a history tournament (rather than all-subject). I've heard that that would make a difference. Anyway, we'll do what we can in both Kansas and Missouri to encourage pyramidal quiz bowl. We're also going to have systematic recruiting (recruiters are paid on a commission basis) through emailing, phone calls, regular mail, and coordination with statewide and local history/social studies organizations. If anyone is interested in serving as our recruiter for Kansas and has potential connections with a school in the greater Wichita area that might be interested in hosting (host schools play for free) the Kansas History Bee and Bowl, please let me know.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:57 pm

Yes, History Bowl would have nothing to do with official Kansas quizbowl because it's a single subject. It's the same thing in Missouri.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:50 pm

Dave, I can give you names of big schools in the greater Wichita area that might be willing to host.

Edit: Oh man, my old history teacher would probably love history bee and or bowl! I'll send him an email if he hasn't retired.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:22 pm

Does NAQT still do the free questions for inactive states thing? I don't think this year it would be worth it to make use of that in Kansas since there probably won't be any potential hosts, but maybe in a year if we can get some teams to cross the border some of those new teams can be convinced to host more stuff.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:02 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:Does NAQT still do the free questions for inactive states thing? I don't think this year it would be worth it to make use of that in Kansas since there probably won't be any potential hosts, but maybe in a year if we can get some teams to cross the border some of those new teams can be convinced to host more stuff.
Yes, we do (details here, and expect this page to be updated for the 2011-12 season sometime between now and September 1).

But note that Kansas doesn't actually qualify because one of the existing instate hosts buys our questions. (results here and here)
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:37 pm

Quest is a television show. Should that count?
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by MahoningQuizBowler » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:57 pm

Bishop Carroll, a school in Wichita, went to HSNCT in 2010. I assumed they weren't members of KSHSAA in order to do this, but they appear on the KSHSAA site in a number of other state tournaments.

Also, Wichita East won the Class 6A title this season and sent two teams to the tournament at Norman North in December 2010. They earned an HSNCT berth there; full results http://www.naqt.com/stats/tournament-te ... nt_id=3441

Some members of that team also went under the name Wichita Purple Penguins to another Oklahoma tournament. They went 3-5; full results http://www.naqt.com/stats/tournament-te ... nt_id=3665
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:32 pm

Is QUEST on A-sets or better? If nobody in Kansas is using the real NAQT product, instead of speedchecks or whatnot, wouldn't it really be in your best interest to not count that and to instead amend that policy to apply to states where nobody has ever run a good quizbowl tournament on NAQT questions before?
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:23 pm

Quest uses speedchecks, and yes, we're having a policy discussion about this right now.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:43 pm

Adding to Greg's list, a Kansas-based team competed under the name "Jayhawk Scholars" at the 2001 HSNCT. (stats)

The current edition of the KSHSAA bylaws says:
KSHSAA wrote:KSHSAA member schools desiring to host or participate in a multiple-interscholastic event (three or more schools) involving an out-of-state school(s) shall be limited to those within 500 road miles of the border (perimeter) of the state of Kansas.
This is apparently an improvement on an older version that set the distance limit at 150 miles. The Hyatt Regency O'Hare is, conveniently enough, 498 miles away from the Kansas line; I suspect this may account for the presence of one of the Kansas state champions at the 2010 HSNCT (but not 2011, as Atlanta is 700+ miles from southeastern Kansas).
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:21 pm

There have been other Kansas teams at the HSNCT in the past.

In 2006 a mysterious "Tribune Scholars Bowl" team attended - http://naqt.com/hsnct/2006/results/135.html

In 2005 a similarly mysterious "Shawnee Mission" attended (Shawnee Mission is the name of a district, but there is no actual Shawnee Mission High School, they all have directions in their names) - http://naqt.com/hsnct/2005/results/detail.smn.html

In 2004, a team calling themselves the "Gigglyonoramicon of the Internet" from Kansas attended - http://naqt.com/hsnct/2004/results/stats.ks-w.html

In 2002, Derby HS sent a team - http://naqt.com/hsnct/2002/results/stats.ksdb.html

In 2001, the "Jayhawk Scholars" attended.

In 2000, the "Kansas Champions" along with Sunrise Christian's team attended.

In the first HSNCT, 2 teams from Wichita are listed, and I have no idea if they are from Kansas or not.

I also played Sunrise Christian once at a Tulsa tournament in 2007.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by cchiego » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:05 pm

bt_green_warbler wrote:The current edition of the KSHSAA bylaws says:

KSHSAA wrote:KSHSAA member schools desiring to host or participate in a multiple-interscholastic event (three or more schools) involving an out-of-state school(s) shall be limited to those within 500 road miles of the border (perimeter) of the state of Kansas.
Because as we all know, a Kansas Scholars Bowl team competing over 500 road miles from the Kansas border will result in the opening of the first seal of the Apocalypse. Seriously, where do these dudes in suits dream up these restrictions?

In any case, it's good to see that there's a long tradition of enterprising Scholars Bowl students making the trek out to national and regional tournaments. If any Kansas high schoolers out there read this, they should know that the rest of the quizbowl community appears willing to help them get a chance to play.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:54 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote: In the first HSNCT, 2 teams from Wichita are listed, and I have no idea if they are from Kansas or not.
They are; the first HSNCT was held at the University of Oklahoma, well within even the most restrictive KSHSAA travel regulations.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Chandragupta Maurya » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:09 pm

I noticed that a possible city for next year's HSNCT was St. Louis (250 miles from Kansas City, Kansas). That would definitely be inside the KHSAA's restrictions, as would Chicago.

EDIT: Unfortunately, last year's PACE NSC would have just been outside the limit, at 508 miles.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:39 pm

I'm almost done compiling a list of ~100 teams that we want to advertise MOQBA events to in Kansas (we're going to make some inroads there if I have to go kicking and screaming) and I delightfully found this - http://www.smsd.org/parents/media/default.asp?catid=12
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:58 pm

I heard back from Kansas about sanctioning Mizzou's fall HS tournament. Everybody point and laugh.
"Approved with stipulation that KS schools may NOT accept cash or merchandise as awards. No book prizes!"
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by mhayes » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:18 pm

College Park Spyders wrote:I heard back from Kansas about sanctioning Mizzou's fall HS tournament. Everybody point and laugh.
"Approved with stipulation that KS schools may NOT accept cash or merchandise as awards. No book prizes!"
Is Kansas quiz bowl, like Missouri, governed by its state high school athletic association? If so, I guess those rules are there to prevent student athletes from receiving improper gifts.

But a quiz bowl team receiving books? OH THE HORROR.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by cornfused » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:21 pm

Anyone willing to hazard a guess at how these questions work?

World Language
Question:
She eats an apple every day with her breakfast.
French:
Elle mange une pomme chaque jour avec son petit déjeuner.
German:
Sie ißt einen Apfel jeden Tag mit ihrem Frühstück.
Spanish:
Ella come una manzana cada dia con su desayuno.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by mhayes » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:23 pm

I guess the moderator reads the question in English, and the players have to provide a translation in one of the three languages.

But I'm just guessing, as I really have no idea.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:23 pm

John Taylor (Master of the Rolls) wrote:Anyone willing to hazard a guess at how these questions work?

World Language
Question:
She eats an apple every day with her breakfast.
French:
Elle mange une pomme chaque jour avec son petit déjeuner.
German:
Sie ißt einen Apfel jeden Tag mit ihrem Frühstück.
Spanish:
Ella come una manzana cada dia con su desayuno.
Oh dear Lord. I'd hazard that, 99 times out of 100, a student will give a correct translation that doesn't exactly match the one provided. Reason #503 why foreign language questions are bad. Fortunately the Mid-Suburban League doesn't use a question provider that includes those kinds of questions in the JV sets... oh wait... :roll:
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by IReallyWantToQuit » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:57 pm

Hi there, I'm new these forums but, I figured I'd post. So I'm from Kansas, and I'm a fourteen year old girl. I joined Scholar's Bowl in seventh grade and I liked it. I got to be captain at every one of our six meets. By the time 8th grade rolled around I didn't really want to do Scholar's Bowl anymore. Except everyone expected me to be on the team. Being young, stupid, and reckless, I said yes. BIG MISTAKE. My parents thought I really loved it and thought I was so happy at the meets, although I was just happy they were over. I kept with it though since it snowed alot and we didn't have practices that often. Fast forward, and you have me about a week ago foolishly telling my parents and friends "yeah I'm going to be in Scholar's bowl". I only told them this because I didn't want to dissappoint them. After the first practice I decide I really don't want to be here. So, after the second practice, I was feeling really bummed out. So I go home and tell my mom I don't want to do Scholar's Bowl and she starts yelling at me about how Scholar's Bowl is the only thing I'm good at. So I started to cry and my dad got home and he took my mom's side, and told me I have to stick with it because I've been to two practices. Or I have to give it until the first meet, which isn't for another month. By then though I'll be in too deep. Also we have three before school practices a week, every week. What do I get for going? That's right I get to be in eight meets over the span of six months. My parents think I don't do anything though, but I signed up for FCCLA. They do alot of community service, and giving back, which is more than I can say for Scholar's Bowl. Anyways I'll probably be posting here alot to detail my experiences. Also sorry for the ultra long post, but I needed to vent since my friends don't understand, my younger sis isn't here, and my parents clearly don't see my point of view. Thanks to all who read.

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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:20 am

John Taylor (Master of the Rolls) wrote:Anyone willing to hazard a guess at how these questions work?

World Language
Question:
She eats an apple every day with her breakfast.
French:
Elle mange une pomme chaque jour avec son petit déjeuner.
German:
Sie ißt einen Apfel jeden Tag mit ihrem Frühstück.
Spanish:
Ella come una manzana cada dia con su desayuno.
I can explain this. The question (ie the phrase printed in the three foreign languages) is printed on a large sheet of paper folded down the middle. The piece of paper is then folded open by the moderator and held up so everyone can see it. After you buzz in, the paper is closed, and you give the English translation. Usually the actual translation wasn't an issue though.
Last edited by Sima Guang Hater on Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by mhayes » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:36 am

IReallyWantToQuit wrote:Hi there, I'm new these forums but, I figured I'd post. So I'm from Kansas, and I'm a fourteen year old girl. I joined Scholar's Bowl in seventh grade and I liked it. I got to be captain at every one of our six meets. By the time 8th grade rolled around I didn't really want to do Scholar's Bowl anymore. Except everyone expected me to be on the team. Being young, stupid, and reckless, I said yes. BIG MISTAKE. My parents thought I really loved it and thought I was so happy at the meets, although I was just happy they were over. I kept with it though since it snowed alot and we didn't have practices that often. Fast forward, and you have me about a week ago foolishly telling my parents and friends "yeah I'm going to be in Scholar's bowl". I only told them this because I didn't want to dissappoint them. After the first practice I decide I really don't want to be here. So, after the second practice, I was feeling really bummed out. So I go home and tell my mom I don't want to do Scholar's Bowl and she starts yelling at me about how Scholar's Bowl is the only thing I'm good at. So I started to cry and my dad got home and he took my mom's side, and told me I have to stick with it because I've been to two practices. Or I have to give it until the first meet, which isn't for another month. By then though I'll be in too deep. Also we have three before school practices a week, every week. What do I get for going? That's right I get to be in eight meets over the span of six months. My parents think I don't do anything though, but I signed up for FCCLA. They do alot of community service, and giving back, which is more than I can say for Scholar's Bowl. Anyways I'll probably be posting here alot to detail my experiences. Also sorry for the ultra long post, but I needed to vent since my friends don't understand, my younger sis isn't here, and my parents clearly don't see my point of view. Thanks to all who read.
The only thing I can say is that you should try to stick it out for one more year. You're in 8th grade, so maybe your parents will be more lenient once you are in high school. Also, try to keep busy with other clubs that you may find more interesting. If you get really involved in those other organizations, maybe your parents wouldn't mind as much if you decided to quit Scholar's Bowl.

And trust me, quitting Scholars Bowl isn't the worst thing you can do to your parents.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by cvdwightw » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:06 pm

cchiego wrote:no Kansas Scholar's Bowl school is allowed to attend national tournaments
Actually, this isn't true - they can compete in a national tournament that appears on the NASSP's National Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities. PACE applied to put the NSC on the 2011-12 list but I don't see it on the list, so I'm assuming the application was either lost or rejected. I don't know if NAQT or HSAPQ have any interest in applying their national tournaments for the 2012-13 list.
IReallyWantToQuit wrote:Also sorry for the ultra long post, but I needed to vent since my friends don't understand, my younger sis isn't here, and my parents clearly don't see my point of view. Thanks to all who read.
Trust me, that was not an ultra long post for this forum.

I think you need to be realistic about why you want to quit. Is it because you have major personality conflicts with team members or coaches? Is it because you don't want to come to school early three times a week for little immediate payoff? Did last year's experience suck all the fun out of it?

Here are some things you might want to consider doing:
-If you have a good relationship with your teammates, consider asking your parents (or their parents) to throw a Jeopardy! viewing party (or other social activity) for the team. One of the important things for any middle/high school activity is the team bonding that takes place outside of practices/competitions.
-If practices are that unbearable, figure out a practice style that might be more fun and ask the coaches if you can try that style for one practice.
-The Kansas format and question style are all but scientifically proven to suck the life out of otherwise intellectually curious scholars. Check out NAQT's middle school questions and our forum's Collaborative Middle School Tournament for a different style of question.
-Keep posting here! Many of us have had problems dealing with parents/coaches/teammates and can offer advice.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:20 pm

This is extremely niche college stuff, but the Kansas Farm Bureau holds an agriculture quiz bowl event for Young Farmers and Ranchers college clubs. Might be worthwhile to see if any of the players would be interested in forming real quizbowl clubs at their respective schools. Some info-- really just the rules-- can be found a couple pagedowns here.

The only reason I know about this is because an old church acquaintance of mine happens to be the state coordinator for these clubs.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Great Bustard » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:16 pm

We just had a KS team sign up for NHBB Nationals. Louisburg High School will be joining us in DC - Gardner and Chanute may too.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Maxwell's Sexual Relations » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:16 pm

So, I contacted the KSHSAA and explained pyramidality, and included a link to a guide for writing questions. This is the response I got:
ALL of our questions used at regional and state competition are based on Kansas curriculum sent in by the 325 KSHSAA member schools who participate in Kansas Scholars Bowl. I bring in a 25 member committee to select, edit and organize those questions from over 10,000 questions submitted online. We/they would hard to NOT have “trivia” or LONG questions. I don’t know where you are getting your information, but the system Kansas uses is tested and trusted by the 325 KSHSAA member schools who participate in Kansas Scholars Bowl. We will continue to supply our membership questions based on Kansas curriculum at regional and state competition using this format.

I appreciate your comments, but if you are trying to sale me questions to use, I am just not interested. The Kansas plan works for Kansas!

David Cherry, Assistant Executive Director
Kansas State High School Activities Association
So I offered to try and get some experienced writers together and write a quality set. At this point he said he liked the questions used in Kansas wasn't interested and
I shouldn't contact him again. I think we need to start organizing tournaments next season or we may never be able to make inroads in Kansas.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:25 pm

It's awesome that a group that has inane grammar questions in their fake quizbowl tournaments denounces people "trying to sale" them things.

KSHSAA has long been an anti-quizbowl organization, so this isn't a surprise; finding some way to work outside of them so that teams can also play real tournaments without penalty would be the biggest priority.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:41 pm

A letter almost identical to that one has been written at some point or another in probably about 10 states, many of which now have decent quizbowl circuits. If there are some people in Kansas interested in good quizbowl, then it will get some good quizbowl.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Maxwell's Sexual Relations » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:44 pm

Does anyone have contact information for Kansas State or any of the CC teams in Kansas? I would like to contact them and try to establish a pyramidal circuit in Kansas of some kind.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:58 pm

All you can really do as a non-Kansan is invite as many Kansas teams as you can to your tournaments in bordering states, try and nab a couple teams to one or two events, then talk to the coaches and try to get them on board in whatever way you can - if you can convince them to consider doing something like going to nationals, or showing up to a couple more tournaments in Oklahoma or Missouri, those are the only real positive steps you can realistically take. If you get a few regular Kansas customers, then eventually they are the ones who will be organizing their own tournaments within the state. It's pretty frustrating, but there's not anything else a high schooler who doesn't live in Kansas can realistically do. Luckily, focusing on fixing your own circuit can have a ripple effect - if there is a more active Oklahoma circuit with more and better teams and lots of tournaments, there are going to be more chances for Kansas teams to come to tournaments and see what a normal circuit functions like, so they can realize their circuit is behind the curve and start working to fix it on their own.

Also, yeah, writing letters to the head of KHSAA is a dead end. Speaking from experience, to them you're some loser high schooler who wants to impose your will on his domain. This guy is the same retard who sent me back the thing above telling me I couldn't give out book prizes, so there is no interaction with him you can have that will be worthwhile.
Last edited by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) on Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Windows ME » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:03 pm

This thread is a pretty fascinating read. (especially liked the North Korea comment)

Just curious - is there a similar thread like this one, but for Missouri? Charlie said he had faced a lot of the same things that Kansas is going through now, and has presumably made great progress since then. Would be interesting to see what kind of steps were taken to install "good quizbowl" in an area that is not used to having anything like it at all.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:24 pm

Here is the original announcement of the creation of MOQBA, which is basically just a group of people in Missouri who decided to do things the right way.

There are people in Kansas who can be contacted: See this website or do a ctrl-f for (KS) here.

Keep in mind that this is a long-term project. MOQBA has done a lot of great things, but they would probably be the first ones to say that they are nowhere near finished--they had to start out by running a few good tournaments and trying to convince enough teams to attend to make their tournaments viable. I've been active in quizbowl for 18 years and have been lucky to have several great people to work with in Illinois, but there still is a ton of work to be done.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by ScoBo » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:04 pm

Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:Keep in mind that this is a long-term project. MOQBA has done a lot of great things, but they would probably be the first ones to say that they are nowhere near finished
Most definitely. While we have a lot of momentum in areas like St. Louis and Columbia/central Missouri, the rest of our tournaments are lightly sprinkled throughout the state - we're still trying to make progress in the Kansas City area but have been having a tough time finding new hosts and convincing existing tournaments to switch to pyramidal sets (which is really disappointing to me as a Kansas City area native and current resident). There are large areas from where we have been having a lot of trouble even attracting teams, much less finding hosts for tournaments - we're practically nonexistent in southeast Missouri, we didn't have anything in southwest Missouri this year, the fields at the northeast Missouri tournaments held in Kirksville have been disappointingly small, our northwest Missouri presence is very weak, etc.

Getting a strong Kansas City circuit going on the Missouri side would potentially help with attracting Kansas teams - there were a couple of Kansas teams at the Fall Novice Mirror at NKC this year, but other than that all we had in KC this year was an HSAPQ tournament at NKC (and a cancelled IS tournament due to lack of interest/other somewhat nearby tournaments on that date), and several KC teams made it up to the Savannah A-set tournament (which notably did not actually meet our certification standards and featured single elimination, but at least it was on an A-set after there being some concern that it might not even be on a good set).

If we ever got to a point where good quizbowl became the norm throughout much of Missouri and I could scale back my involvement without being concerned about tournaments not being adequately staffed and competently organized, I would be in a good position* to help improve Kansas quizbowl in whatever way I could, assuming I still live in the area and have the time available to do so. Unfortunately, that's probably several years down the road.

*I currently live in Kansas and was already living here when I became president of MOQBA.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by penforprez » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:16 pm

Mr. Reinstein is absolutely right. Any significant change in Kansas is going to have to come from inside, like we had to do in Missouri. Outside pushing would only be counterproductive, for the most part; in Missouri, a lot of people derisively refer to tossup/bonus as "college format."

It takes time, and you have to do it as a friend. Telling people they're wrong has a strong tendency to make people not like you.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:20 pm

fourplustwo wrote:Just curious - is there a similar thread like this one, but for Missouri? Charlie said he had faced a lot of the same things that Kansas is going through now, and has presumably made great progress since then. Would be interesting to see what kind of steps were taken to install "good quizbowl" in an area that is not used to having anything like it at all.
Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:Here is the original announcement of the creation of MOQBA, which is basically just a group of people in Missouri who decided to do things the right way.
If you're looking for something more entertaining, an advanced search for 'missouri' just within topic titles will yield you old threads like this one.
edit: also if you search 'mshsaa'
Last edited by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant on Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by cchiego » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:25 am

penforprez wrote:It takes time, and you have to do it as a friend. Telling people they're wrong has a strong tendency to make people not like you.
It may not make them like you, but for some people like the inestimable Mr. Cherry it might be more productive than trying to make friends with them. Didn't the change in MO come about not only from making friends with the people capable of seeing the advantages of good quizbowl but also with Charlie et al. publicly calling out the MHSSA admins and the worst coaches on their flaws?
Maxwell's Sexual Relations wrote:At this point he said he liked the questions used in Kansas wasn't interested and I shouldn't contact him again.
This is the standard trope offered by people who don't have a legitimate defense of their knowledge-penalizing shams of tournaments. Their beautiful, unique local curriculum is somehow superior to anything that evil, meddlesome outsiders propose. Charlie's got the right idea of trying to go for offering KS teams as many opportunities as possible to compete in good tournaments rather than dealing with Kansas' Esteemed Assistant Executive Director of the Depths of Human Stupidity, David Cherry. There are people out there who simply refuse to acknowledge reality and those people are unfortunately well-represented amongst the overseers of bad quizbowl.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:31 pm

Yeah I'd like to reiterate that you're not going to get anywhere with KSHSAA. These same restrictions are applied to debate and forensics in KS; the only way the KS debate circuit has managed to grow to one that does OK at nationals is by flagrantly violating the rules and travelling outside of the 500 mile limit. This is coupled with their fundamental belief that their curriculum and formats were born under a double rainbow at Bakedu mountain and shot 11 holes-in-one their first time playing golf.

Kids in KS will only get the education they deserve when KSHSAA is dead. I hope that people can reach more and more schools inside the wall and eventually get pyramidal tournaments going there.

Also, with all this talk about the KS curriculum I hope there aren't creationism questions in the biology distribution by now.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:40 pm

Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant wrote:
fourplustwo wrote:Just curious - is there a similar thread like this one, but for Missouri? Charlie said he had faced a lot of the same things that Kansas is going through now, and has presumably made great progress since then. Would be interesting to see what kind of steps were taken to install "good quizbowl" in an area that is not used to having anything like it at all.
Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:Here is the original announcement of the creation of MOQBA, which is basically just a group of people in Missouri who decided to do things the right way.
If you're looking for something more entertaining, an advanced search for 'missouri' just within topic titles will yield you old threads like this one.
edit: also if you search 'mshsaa'
Amusingly, in that thread,
1) Dees prefaces a question with "not to be rude, but," and
2) isn't even being rude.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Muriel Axon » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:14 pm

I'm in Kansas right now for the next month and a half, and I'm vaguely in contact with K-State quiz bowl. Anything I can do to help?
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by MahoningQuizBowler » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:43 pm

This year's Kansas History Bowl will be February 23 at Chanute, and I hope I'll have the chance to go to another tournament and run sample questions for the pyramidally-starved scholars of the Sunflower State again.
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by bluesdjben » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:28 am

I'm almost scared to post a reply to this thread, but as president of the quiz bowl club at Kansas State, it's kind of my obligation. By the way, we are officially called the Democratic People's Republic of Kansas. And I want to say that it is awesome that we have a history bowl in Kansas now, and I appreciate the interest of all in providing opportunities for high school players.

I know that as the state's only true quiz bowl club at a four-year college, we do kind of have an obligation to help the high school players in the state. However, at this point, I think our club still needs to focus on getting a stable core group of leaders to keep us from having to undergo another round of the phoenix experience that we've been going through over the last couple seasons. Eventually, we would like to host tournaments, and I hope that can be soon, but I'm still not sure that we have enough members willing to make that commitment. I know it wouldn't have worked last year, but we may be getting close.

However, as someone who played Scholars' Bowl in Kansas since sixth grade, I must say that I really enjoyed it. I certainly do agree that pyramidal quiz bowl is a significantly better way to test learning than the KSHSAA format, and I also definitely agree that the KSHSAA bureaucracy as described above is facepalm-inducing (I've fortunately had very few direct dealings with them). But the Scholars' Bowl tournaments really were fun. I know Eric and others may quite legitimately disagree, but almost all of us on the K-State team played Scholars' Bowl and had a great time. And the transition to questions in formats such as ACF and NAQT is pretty easy for most players (which makes sense because they are, obviously, very smart people and capable of learning quickly).

The main problem with Scholars' Bowl is the insular nature which has frustrated many of the above posters. Since it is organized by the same association that regulates high school sports, I can understand why they have so many regulations, but it's still dumb not to allow, much less encourage, ambitious teams to get more opportunities to compete in other formats. Obviously some teams, such as Wichita East and the "mysterious" Tribune (both of which have produced promising players who have recently joined our team), have found ways to get around these regulations, but many teams may not even know such opportunities exist.

That said, I would like to point out that without Scholars' Bowl, there's a very good chance I may not have ever played quiz bowl at all. I came from a small school district, Clifton-Clyde, with only 120 students in my high school. Several players on our K-State team have come from schools of similar size or even smaller, such as Palco and the "mysterious" Tribune. Two years before I entered Scholars' Bowl, my high school's team was mediocre, and two years after I left, it reverted to mediocrity. But because Scholars' Bowl was propped up on KSHSAA cruthes rather than being the sole responsibility of the coach and players, our little school had a team for me and the handful of other really smart kids in the classes of '08, '09, and '10 to step into and immediately start kicking butt. And it was a lot of fun. Programs at larger schools and private schools have the resources and the continuity of talent to keep an independent program together, but I think a state-sponsored program of some sort is necessary to keep programs alive in smaller schools so that when those rare really good players come along, they have at least something to step into, even if it looks and smells like a buffalo chip to those who know better. And in the meantime, it gives students who may not be as talented or serious a chance to at least have some fun competing against other students at a similar level.

Also, despite the insular nature of Scholars' Bowl, there are still some opportunities that I and others have been able to take advantage of. The problem is that you have to be lucky enough to hear about them or interested enough to find out about them. One of the best things for top high school players in the state right now is Quest, which did get some mention above. Because Scholars' Bowl is KSHSAA-sponsored, teams mostly play against teams from schools of similar sizes. However, Quest allows the top teams regardless of school size to face each other in a format that uses NAQT questions. They select the top 16 teams via an orally administered pretest and then put them in a bracket to compete in a series of televized rounds. This was a great opportunity for my school because (bragging alert) we were the first and so far only 2A school (or 1A or 3A) to ever win the competition, beating four 5A and 6A teams along the way. The problem with Quest, however, is that it's only one tournament in a geographically large state, so some schools from way out west who don't think they have a shot may just forfeit their chance to compete to keep from having to drive five or six hours.

Another opportunity I was able to take advantage of was our active community college circuit, also mentioned briefly above. The problem here is that many players don't know about this opportunity, but community colleges do occasionally vulture talented high school players who are taking concurrent enrollment classes. Fortunately for me the team at my local community college, Cloud County, had perhaps the longest tradition of doing this (along with Colby, where a former K-State player competed). Because of the KSHSAA rules, I missed the tournament that would have qualified us to go to ICT so that I could instead go and play with my high school team at state, but after my final Scholars' Bowl appearance I did get to go to a couple of community college-only tournaments in the spring, where we played NAQT questions on the same level as what Quest uses. The competition was not too stiff, but it was also a lot of fun.

I feel that personally I had a very good high school quiz bowl experience, despite the much better opportunities available elsewhere, and I definitely felt very well prepared for quiz bowl at K-State. And without KSHSAA Scholars' Bowl, I might never have even learned about quiz bowl, and with the state our club at K-State had reverted to in 2009, it is quite possible I would not have found out about them in my four years here if I hadn't 1.) looked really hard because I knew that they HAD to have a quiz bowl team because I had played a(n adulterated version of) quiz bowl in high school and found it to be awesome and/or 2.) been recruited by one of the K-State players who saw me at the community college tournament that I almost certainly wouldn't have been invited to if it hadn't been for me playing Scholars' Bowl in high school.

Now I'm not saying that Scholars' Bowl is a good format, and I'm not saying there is any merit in binding the big schools and private schools to it when they really deserve chances to compete in pyramidal quiz bowl as well. But I just wanted to offer the perspective of someone from a small Kansas school--most Kansas schools are small--who really enjoyed Scholars' Bowl and owes a lot to it. Maybe a better comparison than North Korea would be to say that Scholars' Bowl is like what No Child Left Behind would be if it actually worked as intended. It holds back the better schools, but it introduces and keeps alive at least some form of quiz bowl in scores of small schools like mine that would almost certainly have nothing otherwise.

I hope my ramblings have provided some useful information to those of you who are interested in helping expose Kansas high school players to more serious forms of quiz bowl. You have some good ideas above, and I am glad you are having this discussion. As I said, I don't think K-State is quite ready to do much on this front yet, but we're probably not far off from the point that we can organize a tournament or something like that. In the last couple of years I have started sending recruiting letters out to Kansas high schools who do well in Scholars' Bowl and Quest, and I have had some luck with that, although it takes a while to make an impression that way. Our current club was founded in 2004 and flourished until most of the original core group graduated in 2008. We spent two seasons wandering the withered heath, but we are now starting our third year of successful rebuilding. We are finally building a pretty solid group of players and an acceptable budget once again, but most of our players are in their first or second year, and we just don't quite yet have the solid leadership core necessary to take on organizing anything more than what we have going right now. Part of the problem is me because while I love competing, enjoy recruiting, and like finding information that could help our team continue to improve, I'm just not as committed to the organizational work of quiz bowl as so many of you are. However, I am a senior this year, and I will be making way for a new president soon, although I will be around to help out until spring of 2014. My hope is that with the development of some new leaders, and with me still there to help them, we can begin to do more to engage high school players in the state beyond just letting them know we exist.

So at this point, while I may not be of much help in terms of actual action, I am very happy to help if any of you would like more information from the inside or would like me to help communicate with players, coaches, or anyone else here in Kansas. I appreciate your interest in quiz bowl in Kansas.


By the way Eric, what high school did you attend here in Kansas?
Ben Detrixhe
Geography B.S., History minor
Kansas State University '13
Clifton-Clyde High School '09

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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by cchiego » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:45 pm

Ben-- Good to hear your story. It's definitely true that affiliation with state athletic associations provides the very real benefit of ensuring that many schools that wouldn't otherwise have teams at least provide the opportunity for their students to play some kind of competition. I've seen this in other areas as well where even "bad" quizbowl organizations ensure that schools have some kind of academic team.

But that doesn't mean that things have to stay the same. In fact, with so many schools having a team of some kind, there's a very solid groundwork to start building up a real quizbowl circuit in Kansas once some of the bureacratic red tape has been rolled back. Look next door to Missouri and you can see how, over time, a few dedicated individuals were able to relax enough of the bad rules to turn Missouri into a thriving and still-expanding circuit with opportunities for all teams to play good quizbowl.

Granted, I get that changing the Kansas system will be tough, but you guys at K-State are in the best possible position to start laying the groundwork for that change. You know the people in Kansas and probably have some level of credibility with them. We outsiders will almost certainly be ignored if we try to do anything. You guys can start talking to coaches at your old schools, targeting new schools that you think would be amenable to quizbowl questions, and putting in place more tournaments (or expanding this QUEST thing).

It won't be easy, but don't give up if your first few efforts fall flat. You know that the Kansas schools and students are being denied the opportunity to play on fair questions in a reasonable format; once other people start to see that, you'll start getting really cool results.
Chris C.
UGA '09, UCSD '12, UPenn '19
Greater Pennsylvania QuizBowl
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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:33 pm

Ben, how many players are there on the K-State team? Also, are there community colleges within, say, an hour drive?

I think that in Kansas, between your team and the community colleges, there are enough people who play decent quizbowl that there is no reason you couldn't talk to them and come up with a plan to organize a few tournaments at your various schools. Just because you run a tournament doesn't mean it has to be big - right now, Kansas is so desperately in need of ANYTHING that if you were to run a 10 team round robin (which requires 5 moderators and a stats person at barest minimum) that would still be groundbreaking and could get your name out there and help you to have something to build on in the future. If you were to get in touch with community college players, or possibly alums of your club, and convince them to come help you staff, that could free you up to run a larger tournament (say, 18-24 teams). We at MU in our first 2 years ran tournaments with 12, 9, and 8 teams showing up, and they were easy to run with tiny staffs but still were very key to us honing our direction skills and getting our name out there as a host, and ever since then, we've managed to attract WAY more teams to our stuff, and we were way better equipped to handle all of our directing problems.

Also, I would recommend not looking at this as a big team/small team issue. In Missouri, we have lots of teams who are similar to yours in size/demographics, and we have some VERY good small schools who beat much larger teams routinely. The issue is about getting all teams to be active, and teams who are serious about quizbowl will step up to the plate no matter what their size is.

I would REALLY recommend trying to organize something small at K-State, like, NOW so that you can start the process of changing your circuit - nobody else right now can do it, and the longer you put it off, the longer it will take for Kansas teams to start making the shift into supporting pyramidal quizbowl.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

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Re: What's the matter with Kansas?

Post by bluesdjben » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:59 pm

Charlie, you do have an excellent point that a small tournament wouldn't require a big staff. It's difficult to say exactly how many members we have since we have some who come to practice quite frequently and others who only make it once in a while, but I would say we have a core group of circa 10 players, mostly newer members. We also do have a couple of Community Colleges in the area, and we actually have a number of sources we could turn to for additional assistance. Like you say, the main thing is getting started, but it definitely will be a win-win for us and for Kansas high schools when we get something off the ground.
Ben Detrixhe
Geography B.S., History minor
Kansas State University '13
Clifton-Clyde High School '09

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