Proposal: Collegiate quizbowl directory

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1.82
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Proposal: Collegiate quizbowl directory

Post by 1.82 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:01 am

A major issue facing college quizbowl that has been the subject of some discussion is the difficulty of starting a new club at a college; something that gets talked about less but is just as important is the ease with which a college quizbowl club can disappear. For example, among the clubs that sent a team to either ACF Nationals or Division I ICT in 2016, a group that we would expect to consist of healthy and well-functioning clubs, two schools failed to play a single college quizbowl tournament this year: Dartmouth and North Carolina. If quizbowl clubs still exist at those schools, we as a community have no way of knowing. It is, to say the least, troubling that the departure of two prominent schools attracted no public comment and no questions. How many less prominent programs fall through the cracks each year?

On a related note, when I moved to Atlanta last fall and began hosting tournaments, I had an unreasonably difficult time figuring out whom to contact about attending tournaments. At times it was not even obvious to me what college clubs were active in the region, and occasionally I would receive a communication from a club of whose existence I had been totally unaware. I would have appreciated an easier way to find contacts.

Quizbowl directories have existed in the past, of course; the QBWiki mentions the Maize Pages, which have been defunct for some time. A new directory could help alleviate both of the problems mentioned above by providing an up-to-date listing of active clubs and by communicating with each club once or twice a year to inquire about leadership changes and to ensure that the club had not ceased to exist. A list of clubs that failed to respond to this routine message could be posted in public as an alert for the community and to allow people familiar with the local situation to investigate further. This would not end the phenomenon of clubs folding due to lack of interest, of course, but it would help draw attention to endangered clubs that might not be as prominent as Dartmouth or North Carolina.

There would be no point in just talking without taking action, so I am willing to take the lead on this project. I would like to have a working version of this directory ready by the end of summer so that it can be operational for the beginning of the quizbowl season this fall. I would be happy to have help from anyone interested in helping with assembling a list of contacts, but I think the most pressing need will be for someone who can set up a website to host the directory, since I definitely cannot do that.
Naveed Chowdhury
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Georgia Tech '17

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Re: Proposal: Collegiate quizbowl directory

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:41 am

This is certainly an important thing. As someone who's been at it for a very long time, it's never been easy figuring out who the contacts of college teams are. Several attempts have been made over the years to remedy this. It's definitely a challenge.

The last attempt at a directory that I remember was the following spreadsheet. Although this sheet is clearly out of date, it might be a template for a future directory. Ultimately, a website to host a directory would be the best.

There is a Facebook page called Quiz Bowl in the Southeast. It seems like a good chunk of the teams in the Southeast are on there. Lots of announcements are made on it. Somehow, amazingly (through no fault of your own, of course), I don't think you were on there, Naveed. So I just added you. Other regional Facebook groups might be a good way of alleviating this problem.

One thing I don't see ending in the near future is teams disappearing (and, hopefully, reappearing). It's just the nature of the college game. All it takes for most teams to vanish is to lose a couple of key pieces through graduation.
Eric D.
University of South Carolina Alum

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Re: Proposal: Collegiate quizbowl directory

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:52 pm

Naveed are you offering to code the website? If all that's needed is a host, Heroku should work fine, right? I could also volunteer to get something set up on Digital Ocean. For Heroku, we can probably just use the free allocation and see how much more size we need to pay for once the site's actually up, and for DO we could probably get an initial round of donations set up to pay for the first 6 months?
Raynor Kuang
quizdb.org
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Re: Proposal: Collegiate quizbowl directory

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:55 pm

Let me know if it's decided that we want to go back to a Google Docs resource; I'd be happy to help with that in terms of maintaining it.
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
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Re: Proposal: Collegiate quizbowl directory

Post by sonstige » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:59 pm

Ethnic history of the Vilnius region wrote:There is a Facebook page called Quiz Bowl in the Southeast. It seems like a good chunk of the teams in the Southeast are on there. Lots of announcements are made on it. Somehow, amazingly (through no fault of your own, of course), I don't think you were on there, Naveed. So I just added you. Other regional Facebook groups might be a good way of alleviating this problem.
Making this even more, say, complicated is that there's at least "Quiz Bowl in the Southeast," plus "Southeastern Collegiate Quizbowl," and "2017 Southern Summer QB League" (and maybe others that I don't know about?). Phew!

My suggestion would be to maintain a directory of the FB groups (or equivalent) for each region, and correspondingly determine which of said groups are the "official" ones per region that new players or programs should seek for local announcements and whatnot.

Maintaining a nearly-constantly-changing directory of individual team contacts seems tedious (and maybe impossible), but pointing folks to general groups for specific regions would likely be an easier place to start, imo.
Travis Vitello
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Re: Proposal: Collegiate quizbowl directory

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:32 am

sonstige wrote:
Ethnic history of the Vilnius region wrote:There is a Facebook page called Quiz Bowl in the Southeast. It seems like a good chunk of the teams in the Southeast are on there. Lots of announcements are made on it. Somehow, amazingly (through no fault of your own, of course), I don't think you were on there, Naveed. So I just added you. Other regional Facebook groups might be a good way of alleviating this problem.
Making this even more, say, complicated is that there's at least "Quiz Bowl in the Southeast," plus "Southeastern Collegiate Quizbowl," and "2017 Southern Summer QB League" (and maybe others that I don't know about?). Phew!
I don't know if the 2017 Summer QB League group is super relevant (since it's full of people that aren't on any team, I think) but in the case of the other two groups the distinction is that the former focuses on both high school and college quizbowl, while the Southeastern Collegiate Quizbowl group (which I started several years ago and I think is the oldest of these groups) just includes collegiate circuit discussion.

I actually think it's pretty confusing myself!
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Re: Proposal: Collegiate quizbowl directory

Post by sonstige » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:58 am

Rococo A Go Go wrote:I don't know if the 2017 Summer QB League group is super relevant (since it's full of people that aren't on any team, I think) but in the case of the other two groups the distinction is that the former focuses on both high school and college quizbowl, while the Southeastern Collegiate Quizbowl group (which I started several years ago and I think is the oldest of these groups) just includes collegiate circuit discussion.

I actually think it's pretty confusing myself!
I'm fine if we want to have something like two groups per region, maybe a HS-focused one and a collegiate/open-focused one. One could argue that a MS-focused group (assuming MSers use FB) would also be reasonable. Much more than this seems redundant and likely confusing.

Certainly having a directory of a handful of FB groups (again, or equivalent) would surely simplify and consolidate contacts than trying to actively maintain a directory of individuals who could change semester-ly or so.

Noting that any such groups would need to be easy to find and join --- I think at least one or two of said southeastern ones are private / invite-only, which is obviously not great for some people without the proper social connections. Anyway, that's just my two-cents on this.
Travis Vitello
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Re: Proposal: Collegiate quizbowl directory

Post by Jcrmoon42 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:44 am

sonstige wrote:
Making this even more, say, complicated is that there's at least "Quiz Bowl in the Southeast," plus "Southeastern Collegiate Quizbowl," and "2017 Southern Summer QB League" (and maybe others that I don't know about?). Phew!
I think the folks in Southeastern Collegiate Quizbowl decided some months ago to continue that group after a discussion about discontinuing it and moving the discussions to Quiz Bowl in the Southeast. It does make sense as the HS/MS game is largely distinct from the collegiate game even though a central database of all folks involved at all levels would be really nice.
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