Illinois '08-'09

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:39 pm

Let me try to take this point-by-point.
Siverus Snape wrote:Before now (considering that Illinois teams have seen some significant success at legitimate national only in the last few years), I don't think that the students who represented Team Illinois both disliked the tournament enough to deem it unworthy and made the effort to make sure the IHSSBCA knew about their concerns. It seems to me that the major factor contributing to the IHSSBCA's poor decision was incomplete information. If you were a coach entrusted with making a decision about rewarding top students with a chance to represent their state at a national tournament, and as far as anyone had told you the students who had participated in the past enjoyed the experience, achieved significant success, and supported future funding, wouldn't you view the opinion of the students with more weight than the opinions of a minority of coaches, even coaches like Reinstein, Laird, and Riley? I honestly don't think you're placing enough of the responsibility on the students themselves for the decision that has already been made.
On the contrary; I think I'm placing all the responsibility on the students because I think they're the only factor that can cause change: I can't change Florida and am unlikely to sway the coaches myself as, after all, it's not my interests they ought to follow.
As for what I'd do if I hadn't heard grumbling from students and didn't know the Florida format was sucky, I really can't say. I suppose I'd try to research the matter further. If you held a gun to my head and made me vote without further research, I guess I'd probably vote for sending a team again. However, that's speaks to the other points, doesn't it? (I'll get back to this later.)
Siverus Snape wrote:I understand you present a solution for top players to lodge their protests and express their disapproval in a way that couldn't be ignored. I've already explained the reason that I wouldn't be comfortable taking that option in this situation. I definitely respect your skills of logical argumentation, so I ask you directly: Do you really feel that a unified message to the IHSSBCA from the members of 2009's Team Illinois (post-NTAE) outlining the reasons why they feel that the organization should not continue to sponsor the event would not succeed?
I'm really not sure. I think it would be less likely to succeed than the program I outlined (which may or may not succeed on its own; I'm obviously guessing here, as anyone must.) That said, I'd like to recapitulate the point that I'm not in the business of telling you what to do. Please, by all means, do what you think is right.
Siverus Snape wrote:In case I managed to misinterpret what your argument again, are you saying that you don't see anyone offering a reason why the IHSSBCA won't continue making bad decisions in general, are are you referring to the specific bad decision of sending a team to NTAE?
I've said both of these things, more or less. I'm decidedly positing and owning the latter, i.e. that, unless something changes, the committee might as well make this same decision next year. Consequently, if you disagree with this decision, it's incumbent on you to change something.
I also said the former, i.e. that this decision may evince the fact that the committee may be found wanting more generally due to insufficient information or something else (this speaks to the earlier issue.) I asserted that, to my eyes, that may be the case, but I don't know for now because I see a pattern of good things IHSSBCA does with this notable exception. The unqualified form of the former point was not one of my own, but rather an explanation of something Matt said earlier.

Now, I'd like to address this:
David Riley wrote:Let's assume that the IHSSBCA does foresake (hmmm...that's probably not the right wortd) NTAE and decide to support NAQT or PACE Nationals instead, which is what I am hearing would be the best way to spend the money.

What would be the criteria?
I thought I'd hit on an okay idea earlier. Hold an IHSSBCA "Prize Fight" Tournament (in NAQT or PACE format) in which the top several teams win paid bids to HSNCT or PACE NSC (or maybe the top several less a few teams win paid bids and some travel money.) I think that's a good way to use up this money: it increases by one the number of high-quality tournaments in our state while simultaneously promoting participation in the current nationals.
I understand that the politics of the state are complicated and I'm not sure how good the legs are on such a proposal, but it's at least an idea - I'm not coming to the table with nothing and I don't understand why this would have a bad chance in the committee (bearing in mind, again, that it doesn't have to convince the mythical 51%, only 51% of the committee.) We can hold the tournament in Kankakee or somewhere (Urbana?) and make admission free to all and make sure some class-A teams or Central Illinois teams or something are taken to benefit whoever needs benefiting. Frankly, I don't see how that's less beneficial to middling (or worse) teams than what we have now; I think the fact is that what we have now is a much more efficient funnel of benefits to elite players than this system and is accepted because it has inertia.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:13 pm

Another issue that gets in the way of many teams attending HSNCT and NSC is that Memorial Day weekend often causes conflicts with families' travel plans (I believe I've heard of at least one team not going to HSNCT because their best player had to be out of town that weekend) or prom, and the NSC often conflicts with graduation. Each of those reasons probably takes out an Illinois team or two every year from each. PAC, on the other hand (I don't know if the NTAE will be scheduled the same way) tended to be late enough that it avoided these issues.

I was talking with Carlo about creating some sort of a system to enable more Illinois teams to attend HSNCT and PACE, and I agree that it's a good idea. But the fact is that most of the teams that are likely to do well (or at least not really poorly) at these competitions already have the means to go, and do when they can. Therefore the additional teams that creating such a system for would add is likely to give discouraging results in the short term. Seeing excellent competition will hopefully motivate teams to improve, but that takes time and good coaching.'

I also am against the idea of protesting the IHSSBCA's decision to send a team to NTAE this year by having the people who would likely make the team either refuse to try out or decline a spot when offered it. It is unnecessarily rude, especially considering that it seems apparent that the IHSSBCA is open to the idea of not sending a team for 2010, and will likely engender alienation. Indeed, a call against attending it from people who have actually just done so — noting that the NTAE will surely differ from PAC in important respects — will probably and hopefully carry a great deal more weight than passive-aggressive civil disobedience. There are cases when well-presented verbal arguments are tactically inferior to something of the sit-in nature that Mike has described, but in my opinion this isn't one of them.

Okay, I'm ready for a few people to start ripping my thoughts apart. Go!
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:57 pm

Siverus Snape wrote:Pardon me if I'm being presumptuous, Jack, but have you (or I, or anyone recently on Team Illinois) made an effort to get your views about NTAE sponsorship through to the Steering Committee as a whole?
I haven't, but maybe I'll drop Mr. Reinstein an e-mail... though he has probably read most of my opinions on this thread. I still hold that student based change (see: Sorice) is the way to go. I'm not trying out, but I won't make a difference. If the people I mentioned earlier don't try out, I think it'd send a message to Mr. Reinstein and the rest of the committee. I know that his best player (and one of the best in the state), Ben, dislikes FLA format as much as I do, and I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't try out either.
jonah wrote: HSNCT [...] NSC [...] conflicts with graduation
FWIW, our graduation is during HSNCT, which is really unfortunate since we don't even have to fly. Hopefully we'll go to NSC.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:11 pm

JackGlerum wrote:I know that his best player (and one of the best in the state), Ben, dislikes FLA format as much as I do, and I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't try out either.
I would. He knows what I'll do to him if he doesn't, and it isn't a pretty picture. Florida format isn't quizbowl, but it's still an honor and a fun trip.
JackGlerum wrote:
jonah wrote: HSNCT [...] NSC [...] conflicts with graduation
FWIW, our graduation is during HSNCT, which is really unfortunate since we don't even have to fly. Hopefully we'll go to NSC.
Ouch. And yes, hopefully so.

Looking forward to seeing you guys (and everyone else) this weekend.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:10 pm

David Riley wrote:Incidentally--doesn't Virginia have this same problem with most teams south of the Rappahannock?
Virginia teams aren't bound by any committees or boards, and no good team in Virginia cares about VHSL, so not really. It's almost as if you avoid having any problems with stupid people spending your money on stupid things if you don't give power over your state to stupid people?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:01 pm

jonah wrote:Another issue that gets in the way of many teams attending HSNCT and NSC is that Memorial Day weekend often causes conflicts with families' travel plans (I believe I've heard of at least one team not going to HSNCT because their best player had to be out of town that weekend) or prom, and the NSC often conflicts with graduation. Each of those reasons probably takes out an Illinois team or two every year from each. PAC, on the other hand (I don't know if the NTAE will be scheduled the same way) tended to be late enough that it avoided these issues.
I mean... man up? I don't know what to say. Every serious activity requires sacrifices; this one is no different. Every single other team has these issues and yet literally hundreds of teams manage to make it to the nationals every year (from much farther away in many, many cases.) Man up.
jonah wrote:I also am against the idea of protesting the IHSSBCA's decision to send a team to NTAE this year by having the people who would likely make the team either refuse to try out...
Your argument here is evidently that people are morally obliged to try out and go even if they don't want to go and don't think they (or anyone) should go. I'm going to trust and hope that you misspoke. If not, I'm obliged to say that you're absolutely in the wrong here.
Also, your characterization of the tactic I proposed as rude and passive-aggressive is neither accurate nor called-for. Look: you have one means you think is most effective to accomplish the end of ceasing the bootless expenditure of Illinois money on NTAE. I have a different means that I think is not only more effective, but also effects a related secondary end, i.e. stops the waste this year without waiting for the uncertain decision of a committee based on factors unknown regarding next year. I've acknowledged that I'm only guessing (though I'll here add that I am guessing from experience that dwarfs your own and Carlo's) as to which tactic is best and I hope that you're big enough to acknowledge the same. Therefore, this is a simple difference of opinion regarding an unknowable matter. Let's (most of us) please not descend to name-calling, for once.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:37 pm

Captain Scipio wrote:
jonah wrote:Another issue that gets in the way of many teams attending HSNCT and NSC is that Memorial Day weekend often causes conflicts with families' travel plans (I believe I've heard of at least one team not going to HSNCT because their best player had to be out of town that weekend) or prom, and the NSC often conflicts with graduation. Each of those reasons probably takes out an Illinois team or two every year from each. PAC, on the other hand (I don't know if the NTAE will be scheduled the same way) tended to be late enough that it avoided these issues.
I mean... man up? I don't know what to say. Every serious activity requires sacrifices; this one is no different. Every single other team has these issues and yet literally hundreds of teams manage to make it to the nationals every year (from much farther away in many, many cases.) Man up.
Often family vacations are required of high schoolers, so in that case the option to man up isn't available. Prom is an individual choice. The suggestion to choose a quizbowl tournament over graduation, which to many people is very meaningful as it represents the culmination of four years of hard work among rather a lot else, is also an individual choice but I think to many people would result in the choice of graduation. I know that would be my decision in that situation. Obviously it is the coach's decision whether to send a team that may be missing a good player, or missing seniors, etc., and I agree that the choice to do so is often a good one. But that's not really the point here.
Captain Scipio wrote:
jonah wrote:I also am against the idea of protesting the IHSSBCA's decision to send a team to NTAE this year by having the people who would likely make the team either refuse to try out...
Your argument here is evidently that people are morally obliged to try out and go even if they don't want to go and don't think they (or anyone) should go. I'm going to trust and hope that you misspoke. If not, I'm obliged to say that you're absolutely in the wrong here.
I don't think people are morally obliged to try out, but I think that if their sole reason for not doing so is in protest of sending a team and to discourage sending one this and/or the next year, that's a poor reason for reasons I detailed above and will detail below. I wouldn't say it's immoral to not try out for those reasons, but I think it's inconsiderate in several ways.
Captain Scipio wrote:Also, your characterization of the tactic I proposed as rude and passive-aggressive is neither accurate nor called-for. Look: you have one means you think is most effective to accomplish the end of ceasing the bootless expenditure of Illinois money on NTAE. I have a different means that I think is not only more effective, but also effects a related secondary end, i.e. stops the waste this year without waiting for the uncertain decision of a committee based on factors unknown regarding next year. I've acknowledged that I'm only guessing (though I'll here add that I am guessing from experience that dwarfs your own and Carlo's) as to which tactic is best and I hope that you're big enough to acknowledge the same. Therefore, this is a simple difference of opinion regarding an unknowable matter. Let's (most of us) please not descend to name-calling, for once.
Actually, I have to stand by the passive-aggressive appellation: the tactic in question calls for doing something related to, but not the same as, the change one is hoping to effect. That is passive. It also interferes with the goal of a group (the IHSSBCA's mission to send a team representing the best of Illinois high school quizbowl players to NTAE). That, arguably, is aggressive. I also don't think the situation is desperate enough to change this year's plans; the competition is still (or was; hopefully it still will be) a fun vacation-like experience and perhaps a networking opportunity with other players.
I do agree that it's a poor use of the IHSSBCA's money, but the people who have been selected to be responsible for that money have made their choice. I don't agree with it and think they should be lobbied to not make the same mistake again, but like I said I don't think the situation is as extremely bad as apparently you do.
I also will maintain my position that this form of protest is rude. I don't think it's likely to succeed in the form of canceling this year's attendance, but it (if all the very good players in the state participated) would result in a crappy team that would result in a substantially less enjoyable experience for the coaches, the players, and the teams they play at the tournament. Unnecessarily impinging on others' enjoyment is, in my mind, rude.
Yes, I certainly am only guessing at which tactic is best. However, I think it's very important to take into consideration other things besides the effectiveness of a tactic when assessing its worth; I think the attributes of it that I characterized as passive-aggressive and rude are good reasons to avoid it — and then there's the issue of it being in my opinion (and my naive one at that, as you pointed out) unlikely to work fully.

We don't have to agree on tactics here, and we probably won't. I agree that name-calling isn't appropriate. But I didn't call you names, I simply used adjectives to describe an idea of yours that reflect why I disagree with them. Surely that's permissible?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:40 pm

Mike, I certainly see and respect your position. I understand the idea that when systems fail, it's often a sign that the system needs to be changed and that apologizing for the system or trying not to hurt it will almost always slow the pace of progress. Judging from your post in the thread about pseudonym usage, I can tell you care deeply about the students being able to exercise their own free will and best judgment with minimal interference from any kind of overseeing body with controlling power. Thank you for expressing your arguments and challenging the discussion without being unnecessarily confrontational.

That said, I'd like to repeat or reformat my request to other player who may read this board. Please give thoughtful consideration to trying out for Team Illinois. I don't think any of us would want to indirectly strong-arm players by guilting them into participating, but think about whether the potential consequences of a protest outweigh the benefits. I understand that the format may infuriate players like Jack to such a degree that trying out would certainly be a bad idea. But still, think about it. I'm going to try out, and I'm going to go if I make the team.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:34 pm

Please look up "passive-aggressive" regarding its accuracy - what I'm proposing is neither an expression of aggression or other negative feelings, nor is it passive. It is rather an active (the only active) way toward the positive end of countermanding a bad decision for entirely rational reasons. Even were it accurate, it's uncalled for; I could easily call what you're saying names without any qualification, too, but I think doing so lowers the debate (please note that I'm not saying what's permissible or not, only noting what I think is most conducive to the flow of ideas.)
I also continue to fail to see how it's rude; it's not even against the letter or spirit of the competition (except as has been outlined here post hoc by an agent of the decision.) Of course it makes the lives of agents of the decision harder as long as they cleave to the decision - that's precisely the point! If you really disagree with something, you ought to do whatever's right to make its implementation impossible.
Also, believe it or not, what you're outlining is precisely a moral imperative that says "You ought to go to NTAE whether you want to or not, if you're good." Read through what you just said and tell me that's not what you're saying. That's just prima facie ridiculous and I hope you'll reconsider your views (and continue to hope you're just not saying what you really mean.)

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:37 pm

Trying out and then refusing to participate is one thing, but surely just not trying out at all is a legitimate option that can't be construed as sabotaging anything, right?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:57 pm

I certainly agree with Matt, even though I'd rather that people did try out.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by leapfrog314 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:20 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:Trying out and then refusing to participate is one thing, but surely just not trying out at all is a legitimate option that can't be construed as sabotaging anything, right?
What Matt said. If people don't want to attend, for whatever reason, they ought not to try out. If you try out, make the team, and then drop out, you are actively being a major nuisance against the most effective pro-good-quizbowl organization in the state. One more point: since Team Illinois is designed as the best team we can send, not the best five individuals, it's quite likely that replacing you alone would be difficult. After all, they can't really retract someone else's invitation to be on the team.
jonah wrote:it seems apparent that the IHSSBCA is open to the idea of not sending a team for 2010
I don't, however, see, why they are unable to change their plans for this year. I understand they're already planning on sending a team, but why is this decision irreversible? I know Reinstein has said it is, but that doesn't really make any sense to me.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:38 pm

I think it has to do with the fact that they only other time (besides August) they can really get a meeting with enough attendance to address this issue happens to be on the day of the selection event, which is probably a little bit too late to reverse the decision.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:55 pm

leapfrog314 wrote:
jonah wrote:it seems apparent that the IHSSBCA is open to the idea of not sending a team for 2010
I don't, however, see, why they are unable to change their plans for this year. I understand they're already planning on sending a team, but why is this decision irreversible? I know Reinstein has said it is, but that doesn't really make any sense to me.
I think they should be approached again (probably in the form of a formal petition) for reconsideration. Hopefully Reinstein will explain here precisely why it's impossible to make a change for the 2009 NTAE, because I agree that it makes little sense. Siva's suggestion is a reasonable possibility, but I think I remember hearing that they do some form of electronic meetings on a more frequent basis, and I would expect that this could be discussed in such a format if indeed I remember correctly.

If it is possible somehow that things could be changed for the 2009 NTAE, then I think reasoning with the people responsible for the decision is the way to go. For one thing, by the time tryouts actually come around it's more likely to be impossible to make a change in plans. If it is impossible, then I don't understand what refusing to try out or refusing to go if selected is supposed to accomplish: Illinois would be sending a team either way, so why not send a team that represents us well even if the experience isn't good quizbowl? In my opinion, the tactics suggested (to be clear, here I mean declining an invitation if offered it) are of the type generally applied to unjust political situations and the like, which I think are far more extreme than what is at hand here. As John and others have pointed out, it's still fun, and being selected is an honor.

If someone is personally so vehemently against the competition, they're clearly well within their rights to not try out. I don't mean the moral imperative Mike pointed out, but I do think that the reason in question for not trying out (if it's the sole reason) is a silly one. I haven't yet heard an argument for why it would be effective (it seems that it would simply result in sending a crappy team, not no team at all), and it's declining an honor and a fun experience for an argument that, by the time of tryouts, is almost certain to be ineffective at stopping a team from being sent. And recruiting others to do the same seems a tactic more suited to cases of political unjustness or other things far less trivial, in the scheme of things, than this.
As I explained, I think sending a lousy team because the good players decided that the opportunity just wasn't good enough for them (despite, in this situation, no other commitments or reasons not to go) is unfair to pretty much everyone involved: teammates, coaches, and the NTAE competition. (I am guessing, incidentally, that the NTAE is set up with good intentions even if the outcome isn't good quizbowl, and thus deserves not to be deliberately hurt.) It's pretty clear to me that, if diplomatic means to persuade the IHSSBCA to not send a team in 2009 fail, a team will be sent. If that is an inevitability, I don't see any good reason not to make the best of it by, as we have in the past, sending the best team — just this time with an eye to making sure that next year, the same doesn't happen. It looks like doing so for next year is a realistic possibility.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:56 pm

I will point out that if someone tries out then refuses their spot, it would probably send a stronger message that players are dissatisfied than if one doesn't try out at all, because then they will see firsthand that the kind of people that are wanted to play this tournament don't want to play it.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Stephen Colbert » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:57 pm

Woody Paige wrote:I guess it is if you'll sleep better at night. OTOH, I think a kid what would really happen is that a kid from Streator Township or Peoria Chirstian is going to get an overinflated sense of self-worth as they garner bragging rights to being one of the top 5 players in the state.
I can assure you that no player from Streator Township, and this is a sad, sad state of affairs, has any clue that Team Illinois even exists.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:27 am

jonah wrote: [Not trying out...] I haven't yet heard an argument for why it would be effective (it seems that it would simply result in sending a crappy team, not no team at all), and it's declining an honor and a fun experience for an argument that, by the time of tryouts, is almost certain to be ineffective at stopping a team from being sent.
Re: Effectiveness
The reason I think not trying out would be effective is because T.I. isn't run by out-of-touch people, for the most part. Of course there's always going to be the southern/central Illinois person bitching and moaning about regional diversity on an all-star team, but for the most part T.I. is influenced by people like Egan (past coach), Riley (past coach), Reinstein (IHSSBCA chair), etc etc. When the talented players do not show up, they will take a hint (and they will probably know already that they aren't trying out by way of these boards and chit chat at tournaments). In my-perfect-little-scenario, a bunch of mediocore players from mediocore programs would go down to Orlando and get destroyed, and then the steering committee would be forced to reconsider the whole thing next year because A. "The best people aren't fond of it anymore" and B. "Maybe we aren't the FLA format wrecking crew we were previously."

Re: Personal Reasons
1. I don't think the format is fun and I don't think it determines who the more knowledgeable team is.
1a. Because of this, I will neither try hard nor give my state the best chance to win.
1ai. e.g. Me answering "your mom" on the worksheets at Ultima.
2. Disney World no longer has the appeal for me.
3. The scholarship money doesn't mean anything to me; it should go to someone more deserving.

All that said, I know that Mike, Siva, et al had a good time last year, I am on a friendly basis with everyone who would make the team this year, and I know I would enjoy their company for a weekend. For me, the aforementioned reasons outweigh the friends-fun factor.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by dtaylor4 » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:39 am

jonah wrote:If someone is personally so vehemently against the competition, they're clearly well within their rights to not try out. I don't mean the moral imperative Mike pointed out, but I do think that the reason in question for not trying out (if it's the sole reason) is a silly one. I haven't yet heard an argument for why it would be effective (it seems that it would simply result in sending a crappy team, not no team at all), and it's declining an honor and a fun experience for an argument that, by the time of tryouts, is almost certain to be ineffective at stopping a team from being sent. And recruiting others to do the same seems a tactic more suited to cases of political unjustness or other things far less trivial, in the scheme of things, than this.
As I explained, I think sending a lousy team because the good players decided that the opportunity just wasn't good enough for them (despite, in this situation, no other commitments or reasons not to go) is unfair to pretty much everyone involved: teammates, coaches, and the NTAE competition. (I am guessing, incidentally, that the NTAE is set up with good intentions even if the outcome isn't good quizbowl, and thus deserves not to be deliberately hurt.) It's pretty clear to me that, if diplomatic means to persuade the IHSSBCA to not send a team in 2009 fail, a team will be sent. If that is an inevitability, I don't see any good reason not to make the best of it by, as we have in the past, sending the best team — just this time with an eye to making sure that next year, the same doesn't happen. It looks like doing so for next year is a realistic possibility.
No one is (or should be) in any position to force people to try out, which is effectively what you're calling for. You can't force people who don't want to do it to do it, even if they'd earn a spot on the team.

I went a few years back, had some fun, and happened to place. If I could turn back the clock, I'd do it again, but I would NEVER force people to do it. Anyone who would advocate such a position needs to look up the definition of free will.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:56 am

The problem with your argument, Jonah, is two-fold. You're arguing, in the first place, that it's inevitable that a team will be sent if tryouts are held and, in the second place, that this isn't something worth stopping, at least not with the means I have in mind. However, former argument is counterfactual and circular, while the second is inconsistent.
Addressing the first, I say: If nobody good enough to win a tryout assents to go, then there can be no team trivially, so it can't be inevitable that a team will be sent if tryouts are held. Well, okay, if everyone felt as I do, that'd be exactly what would, in fact, happen. So, you can't predicate your argument on the idea that a team will inevitably be sent, as that is to beg the question ("Which means are best, if any, to stop Illinois sending a team to NTAE?")
Addressing the second, I say: If the team is not worth stopping by the means I favor, then how can it be worth stopping by the means you favor? It seems to me that you're attempting to justify your means and disqualify mine by the end, though you tacitly acknowledging that there are situations in which my means are right (when the end is greater, or less "trivial.") But that cannot be: the ends do not and never can justify the means, as you well know. Rather, the means are either right or wrong in and of themselves. I'm saying that I judge these means to be right and I think they're the best way to accomplish the end.
You can say that you don't think my means are right (which is, I think, what you mean to say.) That's fair; I'd ask you why you think so.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:00 am

dtaylor4 wrote:
jonah wrote:If someone is personally so vehemently against the competition, they're clearly well within their rights to not try out.
No one is (or should be) in any position to force people to try out, which is effectively what you're calling for.
No, it's not.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:10 am

I mean, what you said is basically that people who are good enough to go to NTAE need to try out until there is no NTAE team anymore. That sounds a lot like mandating people try out.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:14 am

Captain Scipio wrote:The problem with your argument, Jonah, is two-fold. You're arguing, in the first place, that it's inevitable that a team will be sent if tryouts are held and, in the second place, that this isn't something worth stopping, at least not with the means I have in mind. However, former argument is counterfactual and circular, while the second is inconsistent.
Addressing the first, I say: If nobody good enough to win a tryout assents to go, then there can be no team trivially, so it can't be inevitable that a team will be sent if tryouts are held. Well, okay, if everyone felt as I do, that'd be exactly what would, in fact, happen. So, you can't predicate your argument on the idea that a team will inevitably be sent, as that is to beg the question ("Which means are best, if any, to stop Illinois sending a team to NTAE?")
My point is that it is almost certainly impossible to get every single player in Illinois to agree to not try out, or to try out and decline any invitation. I would expect that a team will be chosen from whoever does try out, even if that's a poor group from which to select, and if the people who are initially selected decline the invitation, they will then extend invitations to other people who tried out but were not selected, et cetera. Therefore unless no one at all tries out, which I think is unachievable, I don't understand why you think a team would not be sent.
Captain Scipio wrote:Addressing the second, I say: If the team is not worth stopping by the means I favor, then how can it be worth stopping by the means you favor? It seems to me that you're attempting to justify your means and disqualify mine by the end, though you tacitly acknowledging that there are situations in which my means are right (when the end is greater, or less "trivial.") But that cannot be: the ends do not and never can justify the means, as you well know. Rather, the means are either right or wrong in and of themselves. I'm saying that I judge these means to be right and I think they're the best way to accomplish the end.
I answer your question with this obviously extreme example: if there is a fly in your immediate vicinity (indoors and it's bothering you, etc.), eradicating it would be desirable. Swatting it with a hand or a newspaper or whatever, or trying to let it out a window, is a good way to do that. Sending a fireball in its direction, on the other hand, is not an appropriate way to deal with the fly; nor is taking out a machine gun and shooting everywhere until you hit the fly. In both examples, I think, the end is desirable, but some methods that might achieve it are appropriate and some are not. Neither is guaranteed to work, but the side effects of some are reasonably acceptable and of others are not.

You think the means of boycotting tryouts, or encouraging people to try out and decline an invitation are appropriate; I disagree. I also have no problem with us disagreeing.
Captain Scipio wrote:You can say that you don't think my means are right (which is, I think, what you mean to say.) That's fair; I'd ask you why you think so.
I think I already summarized my reasoning. To very briefly rehash, I think your method is likely to be ineffective, create alienation, and cause problems for people who don't deserve them. I also believe that there exist other methods (or at least one that I can think of) without the last two drawbacks and that, I think, has a reasonable chance of effectiveness.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:26 am

Sending a subpar team to the tournament should eliminate the "Illinois participates in the tournament because Illinois is proud of winning the tournament" angle, though. Correct?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:13 am

I'm interrupting this discussion to ask....is anyone going to Northwestern next weekend? I've gotten some instructions about the tournament, where it will be held etc. but no idea of what or how many teams are coming. Andy? Rebecca? Anyone???
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:21 am

Auburn will not be at Northwestern; we have some SAT II test takers.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Deviant Insider » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:31 am

We'll be at Northwestern. I have no idea as to anybody else.

As far as the Team Illinois issues are concerned, by my count five of the ten people who were at the August meeting will be in Champaign/Urbana tomorrow in addition to many of the students who are strong candidates for this year's team. Other than during my team's matches, anybody is welcome to discuss any IHSSBCA issues with me at any point during the day. I can't speak for the other coaches' availability, but I can state that they are friendly and intelligent people.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:31 pm

Per Mr. Reinstein's message. I too am happy to discuss IHSSBCA issues with anyone except during my team's matches.

However, I think I have a good handle on potential Team Illinois candidates, and so far, only Jack (and Ben, and only by Jack's admission) of the twelve or so that I see as potential candidates seem to have a problem with us sending a team to NTAE.

If enough of those candidates seriously had a problem with us sending a team to NTAE (and by seriously, I mean convincing me and not just hopping on the bandwagon), then I would suggest to Mr. Reinstein that he call for an email vote of the coaches in the association that would 1) explain the students' concerns and 2) present viable alternatives.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:50 pm

David Riley wrote:(and Ben, and only by Jack's admission)
I don't want to be the one (and shouldn't be the one) who said Ben isn't trying out. I have no idea if he is, I just said I would not surprised if he does not show up at tryouts.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Siverus Snape » Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:02 pm

David Riley wrote:If enough of those candidates seriously had a problem with us sending a team to NTAE (and by seriously, I mean convincing me and not just hopping on the bandwagon), then I would suggest to Mr. Reinstein that he call for an email vote of the coaches in the association that would 1) explain the students' concerns and 2) present viable alternatives.
This changes things. I was under the impression that the only way the decision could be reversed this year was if it were absolutely necessary due to a protest measure like the one Mike Sorice outlined.

Could an e-mail vote stop the IHSSBCA from sending Team Illinois and allow the money to go somewhere else this year?
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Captain Sinico » Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:48 pm

That's progress, baby! Good luck to everyone tomorrow.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Stephen Colbert » Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:35 am

A special thanks to Tom Egan for presenting today at the IESA Scholastic Bowl Workshop!
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by mlaird » Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:17 pm

This is mostly @ Siva and Zahed:

Did you guys ever make any progress on that Youtube video explaining ACF format for teams/coaches/moderators new to the format? If you could post a link to it, either Reinstein or I could put it up on the IHSSBCA website. If, for some reason you weren't able to get it up on Youtube, email me and I can help out with other options.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:22 pm

Yeah, we recorded it Wednesday, and I should receive the file tomorrow. As soon as I get it I will post it on YouTube as well as Google Video. YouTube is more mainstream, but because it is probably blocked in most schools, its value is limited. Google Video would allow coaches to download the video and bring it to school to show at practice. I'll update you when I have something.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:02 pm

If you get a chance, you also should try posting it on http://media.myfoxchicago.com/foxjox/
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:05 pm

Why not just host it directly on the IHSSBCA's site? With all due respect, I don't imagine it'll get anywhere near enough traffic to create a problem, which is the only issue I can really think of with doing so.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:12 pm

Keep in mind that the IHSSBCA Webmaster (me) doesn't know anything about managing a website. I'll give Jonah the passwords to the IHSSBCA site, and once the file is on Google Video, you can do it.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:31 pm

No problem. And if you want me to do any other stuff related to running the website, I'd be happy to. (If I discover that it's a huge time sink, I might change my mind, but it doesn't seem like it will be.)
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by leapfrog314 » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:49 am

I have been usurpèd! (As the real IHSSBCA webmaster. Sorry to let you in on this, but Reinstein was just a puppet all along.)
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Awehrman » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:51 am

I'm interrupting this discussion to ask....is anyone going to Northwestern next weekend? I've gotten some instructions about the tournament, where it will be held etc. but no idea of what or how many teams are coming. Andy? Rebecca? Anyone???
I'll have to get back to you on this, but I do know as of last week, we were looking at only 6-8 teams, so Riley and Reinstein make up 1/4 to 1/3 of the team list. I also know that North White of Indiana will be coming, because I had to send them directions. I'll contact Rebecca and get the full list posted soon.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by David Riley » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:25 am

Thanks, Andy!
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:08 am

Just wanted to say that I was really impressed with Ben this past weekend. Granted it was one tournament, but given that he singlehandedly took down us (2x), Auburn, and Carbondale with relative ease (I think?), he deserves a lot of praise. He seems to enjoy playing quizbowl and is quite fun to play against, which I admire.

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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:31 am

Ben was destructive. We were losing by a lot towards the end, but by the last two questions we were in a position to take the lead. The second-to-last tossup decided the match, literally. Ben beat us almost singlehandedly.

I was amazed by Ben, though--we were excited by Siva's thirteen tossups in a match, and were simply astounded by the sixteen posted by Ben-jammin'.

It's gonna be a good year.





And assuming I receive the video tomorrow, I can post it by tomorrow night.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:39 am

Zahed, just email me the video (jonah at jonahgreenthal dot com) and I'll post it to the IHSSBCA's site as soon as Reinstein tells me precisely where to put it. Or if it's too big a file to attach, email me saying so and I'll give you instructions on another way to get it to me.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by jonah » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:45 am

Also, while I'm obviously thrilled with the player Young Ben has become, I think it's unfair to marginalize the rest of his team. Clearly he's the strongest player, but consider how much better New Trier did at Earlybird than at EFT — obviously not compared to the rest of the field, which would be a totally unfair comparison, but compared between those two teams. The added contribution of Henry "Hen3ry" Thomas in particular was huge; his knowledge of science is stronger than Ben's and was a nonnegligible factor in their success. I really do think the telling factor in how good NT is this year will have much to do with Ben's teammates.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Chichono » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:12 am

I agree with Jonah completely and feel that our team would not have won a number of our games without the support of my teammates, (especially Hen3ry) because one or two tossups is often the difference between a win or a loss.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:28 pm

Geeeh. I keep waiting to get the video file and it never comes. Supposedly the guy will hand me the disk tomorrow. I think. I hope.

HE BETTER, OR SOMEBODY'S GONNA GET ACQUAINTED WITH THING ONE AND THING TWO! [flexes muscles, bares teeth]
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by the return of AHAN » Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:54 pm

Anyone sending teams to the Moline frosh/soph? I've actually scraped together 5 Barrington kids with nothing better to do the day after Halloween and are making a go of it. Anyone know what kind of teams we might see? Auburn? Moline? Dunlap? ???????
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Charley Pride » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:14 pm

Auburn will have two teams.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by Stephen Colbert » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:12 pm

Woody Paige wrote:Anyone sending teams to the Moline frosh/soph? I've actually scraped together 5 Barrington kids with nothing better to do the day after Halloween and are making a go of it. Anyone know what kind of teams we might see? Auburn? Moline? Dunlap? ???????
Don't quote me on this, as I'm not really in the know, but I believe Streator will be attending minus their band members (so I doubt they'll be competitive) who have to play at the home football playoff game on Saturday.
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Re: Illinois '08-'09

Post by JackGlerum » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:17 pm

Our F/S is coming with us to NU.

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