Chip tournament in the DC area

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Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by ieppler » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:57 am

I received this e-mail on my old GDS account earlier today:
We will be conducting the Longfellow Academic Challenge with high
school, middle school, and JV divisions, for teams in Virginia, DC, and
Maryland. We would like to invite your school to join us.

Date: October 24, 2009. Games start at 9 a.m., est. finish time is 5:30.
Place: Longfellow Middle School
2000 Westmoreland St
Falls Church, VA 22043
Entry Fee: $75 per team
Deadline: Payment must be received by Oct. 17, 2009.
Register: Online at QUnlimited.com or by phone, 800-868-1518.
The Field: Our upper and lower limits are: high school division 16-80
teams; middle school 8-40, JV 8-40.
The Questions: Exceed “industry standards” -- second to none in quality.
Format: four-quarter NAC format, see http://www.qunlimited.com/rulesreg.htm.

Kindest regards,


Chip Beall, President
Questions Unlimited
To my knowledge, this is the first Chip tournament to be held in the immediate DC area in recent memory. (There are a few Chip leagues on the Eastern Shore and in northern Maryland.) I have to run to class so I can't write much, but I find this troubling for a whole host of reasons.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:01 am

Don't people from Longfellow post here and attend Mid-Atlantic tournaments? Someone should get in touch with them and ask them what the hell they think they are doing.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by at your pleasure » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:03 am

My guess is that the coach has no clue about Chip's er, antics.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by jonah » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:16 am

Rumor has it he's trying to arrange a similar thing in Illinois, so this appears to be part of a larger operation.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by New York Undercover » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:19 am

My coach said he got some e-mail like this for the Texas area. I'll post the e-mail if I get the chance. I was, of course, vehemently opposed.

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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by gack1224 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:29 am

There's one like this in Boone, IA as well. Same thing essentially.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:43 am

If you're going to get people in your respective areas to boycott these tournaments, the time to start sending out information is now. Make sure to cover the important points (plagiarism, bad questions = disservice to students, deceptive marketing) but also be sure to avoid asserting as fact anything that you can't prove. Chip and his associates are awful people who will stoop to anything to keep their target market in the dark, and I have no doubt that this could include legal threats against teenagers if they think they have an opening to do so. I believe someone once compiled an index of all the documented plagiarism; I'll try to find it for the benefit of anyone who can make use of it.

It would also be a good idea to contact hosts directly first, explain what's going on (in a polite but firm way--make sure you don't back down from the point that hosting a Chip tournament is not an option), and explain the better question providers out there for teams who are doing this as a fundraiser. Hopefully something positive can be made out of this situation by getting new HSAPQ, NAQT. or mirror tournaments in place at schools that are looking to start hosting.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by ieppler » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:16 pm

More information here
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Charbroil » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:53 pm

There's one in Kansas City, Missouri as well. I think Charlie's going to work on it, but Matt, could you send that list you mentioned to us at MOQBA as well? Thank you.

Also, I ran into someone who played NAC in Westchester here at WUSTL, and who says that while his team had no particular fondness for Chip, there weren't really any other options in that area (at least as far as he knew). Has anyone ever tried doing outreach in that area?
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Algeria » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:14 pm

Yeah, my teammates and I will get in touch with Longfellow and their coach and explain why this is troubling as soon as we can. I'm pretty sure this is a case of their not knowing why Chip questions are bad.

Also, October 24th would conflict with Whitman's Fall Novice mirror, which would make more sense for Longfellow to attend than the Gov site.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:23 pm

We got this today as well. Took some explaining to our coach that being invited to a tournament is not always a good thing :roll:
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by at your pleasure » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:33 pm

Aidan-was the email forwarded to a lot of teams? Contact information for the teams that get this email could be very, very useful.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:36 pm

Doink the Clown wrote:Aidan-was the email forwarded to a lot of teams? Contact information for the teams that get this email could be very, very useful.
I'm not sure. I didn't really look at it too closely. Our coach had printed it out and put it up on the board where she likes putting tournament announcements as she receives them.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:37 pm

There are a bunch of locations that have no links to them. Does anyone know if this means he is still trying to find hosts, or if he already has some lined up but is trying to finalize details?
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by dtaylor4 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:18 pm

gack1224 wrote:There's one like this in Boone, IA as well. Same thing essentially.
Is there really much of a circuit in Iowa? The DM-Ames-Iowa City area in the heart of Iowa has some potential, but I don't ever recall there ever being a tournament. I may ask my family to do some investigating.

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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by ieppler » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:21 pm

Doink the Clown wrote:Aidan-was the email forwarded to a lot of teams? Contact information for the teams that get this email could be very, very useful.
The list of recipients is not available. I would be surprised if there were any previously unknown programs, though; the only DC-area programs with any exposure to Chip prior to this regional event are HB Woodlawn and Paul VI HS, and I can provide e-mail addresses for those schools upon request.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:41 pm

Something further disturbing: this is now in direct conflict with Fall Novice at Whitman. Chip's target audience is bad and/or new and/or young teams that don't know any better than coming to his crap, and Fall Novice's target audience is largely the same.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by gack1224 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:47 pm

dtaylor4 wrote:
gack1224 wrote:There's one like this in Boone, IA as well. Same thing essentially.
Is there really much of a circuit in Iowa? The DM-Ames-Iowa City area in the heart of Iowa has some potential, but I don't ever recall there ever being a tournament. I may ask my family to do some investigating.
Apparently Ankeny hosts one every year, Iowa State 2, and Boone at least one.
Prof.Whoopie wrote:Something further disturbing: this is now in direct conflict with Fall Novice at Whitman. Chip's target audience is bad and/or new and/or young teams that don't know any better than coming to his crap, and Fall Novice's target audience is largely the same.
I'm thinking that maybe if I tell Ms. Duffee of Boone that the Fall Novice set is free she'll bite and take that instead... not likely but I'll see. Good luck with efforts in this/that area.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by at your pleasure » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:54 pm

ieppler wrote:
Doink the Clown wrote:Aidan-was the email forwarded to a lot of teams? Contact information for the teams that get this email could be very, very useful.
The list of recipients is not available. I would be surprised if there were any previously unknown programs, though; the only DC-area programs with any exposure to Chip prior to this regional event are HB Woodlawn and Paul VI HS, and I can provide e-mail addresses for those schools upon request.
I will be writing a "Don't go to this " email if my workload lets up enough, which will probably happen tomorrow or Wensday night. Once it's written, email adresses would be great.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:58 pm

Here's the list of cited QU plagiarism incidents that I was talking about before: http://www.geocities.com/plagiarismrepo ... arism.html . I suppose it will only remain available as long as Geocities does.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:12 pm

Prof.Whoopie wrote:Something further disturbing: this is now in direct conflict with Fall Novice at Whitman. Chip's target audience is bad and/or new and/or young teams that don't know any better than coming to his crap, and Fall Novice's target audience is largely the same.
Speaking of, where is the announcement thread for this?
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by at your pleasure » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:13 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:Here's the list of cited QU plagiarism incidents that I was talking about before: http://www.geocities.com/plagiarismrepo ... arism.html . I suppose it will only remain available as long as Geocities does.
How much of this is on the quizbowl wiki? This is our history, folks!
Speaking of, where is the announcement thread for this?
The announcement thread will be up as soon as I finish my philosophy homework.
EDIT: Everything on that page has been copy-and-pasted to a word document on my computer. If any of these are not preserved on the QBwiki or in a similarly durable location, that should be done as soon as possible.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Charbroil » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:34 pm

Doink the Clown wrote:How much of this is on the quizbowl wiki? This is our history, folks!
All of it, now.

http://www.doc-ent.com/qbwiki/index.php ... of_the_NAC

The formatting is imperfect--I don't have a huge amonut of time here at work to do things like this--but it should be passable.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Carolus Magnus » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:44 am

I think my coach received an email about this tournament as well. It seems Chip thinks that a team from the western end of the state will be in the dark about his tournaments... :neutral:

EDIT: I spoke with my coach. I was mistaken, thankfully. :lol:
Last edited by Carolus Magnus on Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by New York Undercover » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:49 am

My coach decided that if chip is willing to come to Houston to host a tournament, it's worthwhile for us to go.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:15 pm

Tell your coach that knowingly giving money to someone who has engaged in documented tournament rigging, and even more notably, plagiarism, a behavior that your coach knows would get any student a failing grade and probably at least a reprimand from their teacher, would be an unethical use of money that was set aside to promote a game where high school students are supposed to learn and demonstrate good sportsmanship and have their academic education reinforced and enhanced.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by reindeer » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:38 pm

The reason this is happening at Longfellow (aside from their attending and winning Junior NAC last year) is that the Longfellow coach is on sabbatical this year and his substitute is a moderator for the NAC. I don't know who the new coach is other than that, so our ability to get in touch with him is pretty limited. I talked to their former coach about the Whitman mirror and he seems interested in going to that, but on the other hand he doesn't seem to think that the date can be changed.

Also I don't know if this is standard for Chip tournaments or what, but the tournament is being hosted at Longfellow, not by the Longfellow team. It sounds like the NAC/Chip people are running the tournament while Longfellow competes, which probably means that even less of the logistics are under Longfellow's control.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:53 pm

That's unfortunate. Perhaps you can get in touch with an administrator or another teacher who can raise the alarm about the ethical implications of getting into bed with Chip.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by at your pleasure » Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:21 pm

So, I've drafted a letter about why people should avoid Chip tournaments(really a summary of the "Cricticisms of NAC" page with some explanation of what constitutes good questions added for the benefit of admins/other people unfamilar with quizbowl). If someone could take a look at it, that would be great-it definitely needs editing and I left some stuff out.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by scquizbowl » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:04 pm

James Island might very well be hosting the tournament for SC. I don't know when it will be, but I don't know what might happen with this.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by pblessman » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:01 pm

The Illinois/Indiana version of this thing will be at Harrison High School on February 13 (Chip's e-mail below). Sigh...



We will be conducting the Indiana/Illinois Academic Challenge with high school, middle school, and JV divisions, for teams in Illinois and Indiana. We would like to invite your school to join us.

Date: Feb. 13, 2010. Games start at 9 a.m., est. finish time is 5:30.

Place: Harrison High School

5701 N 50 W

West Lafayette, IN 47906

Entry Fee: $75 per team

Deadline: Payment must be received by Feb. 6, 2010.

Register: Online at QUnlimited.com or by phone, 800-868-1518.

The Field: Our upper and lower limits are: high school division 16-80 teams; middle school 8-40, JV 8-40.

The Questions: Exceed "industry standards" in quality.

Format: four-quarter NAC format, see
http://www.qunlimited.com/rulesreg.htm.

Kindest regards,



Chip Beall, President

Questions Unlimited
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:04 pm

pblessman wrote:The Questions: Exceed "industry standards" in quality.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:22 pm

pblessman wrote:The Questions: Exceed "industry standards" in quality.
People must hold the Jeopardy desk calenders with high regard nowadays.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by pblessman » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:39 pm

ieppler wrote: The Questions: Exceed “industry standards” -- second to none in quality.
I was surprised this wasn't commented on... yet... surprising Chip took off the "second to none in quality" part on the most recent e-mail.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:44 pm

He means that if you told actor Bill Nunn, former Senator Sam Nunn, and a nun what quizbowl was, they could write a better set two hours later than Chip Beall has written in thirty years.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:45 pm

I don't know if this is a new thing or not, but I hadn't seen it before:

http://www.qunlimited.com/quiz.html

Apparently you can qualify for nationals by taking an untimed, all resources available 20 question quiz.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:52 pm

Yeah, that's a classic. Especially easy when:
Twenty Questions wrote:Iraqi special forces recovered a painting titled "The Naked Woman" that was among the artwork looted from Kuwait during Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion. Who painted it?
The AP wrote:The painting, “The Naked Woman,” apparently had been among the artwork looted from Kuwait during Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion.
Twenty Questions wrote:Thousands of pages of internal e-mail and once-secret Congressional testimony show that senior aides in the Bush White House played an earlier and more active role than was previously known in the 2006 firings of a number of United States attorneys. Name this one.
truthdig.com wrote:Thousands of pages of internal e-mail and once-secret Congressional testimony showed Tuesday that Karl Rove and other senior aides in the Bush White House played an earlier and more active role than was previously known in the 2006 firings of a number of United States attorneys
(I originally read the question as "name this [U. S. attorney]," amusingly.)
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by wilsonmathteacher » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:36 pm

Cowboy Bob Orton wrote:I don't know if this is a new thing or not, but I hadn't seen it before:

http://www.qunlimited.com/quiz.html

Apparently you can qualify for nationals by taking an untimed, all resources available 20 question quiz.
WOOT! Wilson HS is going to Nationals :grin:
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:36 pm

wilsonmathteacher wrote:WOOT! Wilson HS is going to Nationals :grin:
"Nationals," eh?
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by wilsonmathteacher » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:09 pm

Norman the Lunatic wrote:
wilsonmathteacher wrote:WOOT! Wilson HS is going to Nationals :grin:
"Nationals," eh?
Yea! :smile: .

I seriously have anxiety every day that my principal will get an email or something about this and tell me that my team needs to go. I don't think he cares as long as he thinks it adds to Wilson prestige. We are getting better slowly, and hopefully some day we can earn our way to a legit national competition.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by cvdwightw » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:17 pm

wilsonmathteacher wrote:I seriously have anxiety every day that my principal will get an email or something about this and tell me that my team needs to go. I don't think he cares as long as he thinks it adds to Wilson prestige. We are getting better slowly, and hopefully some day we can earn our way to a legit national competition.
You play in a very competitive area, so especially with NAQT and PACE's qualification rules, it's entirely possible that you could field a nationally competitive team and still not qualify for either national. There are a lot of teams at HSNCT and NSC that don't necessarily "deserve" to be there from a competitive standpoint, but they go because it's a reward for a good season, a chance to play top national competition at both their level and the levels above them, and an experience they won't forget. I'd certainly look into wild card qualification for HSNCT and especially NSC, which appears to be relatively in your backyard.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Mike Bentley » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:20 pm

I hate Chip questions as much as the next guy, but I'm not convinced organizing some big anti-Chip campaign targetted at non-circuit coaches and principals is really the best way to go about things. For instance, I think it's fairly subtle as to why plagarism is a bad thing when writing questions ("Isn't quizbowl just about copying facts?"). I think this type of in-fighting directed towards neophytes is just going to make them have a bad taste regarding quizbowl in general.

The better strategy would be to use some of the same tactics that Chip uses to attract these new and non-circuit teams to his events and instead get them playing better quizbowl. I don't see why we can't have people going to places without strong circuits and offering to host tournaments for them. I don't see why we can't directly contact principals and sell them on sending their teams to what are actually the most "prestigious" tournaments.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Charbroil » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:11 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:I don't see why we can't have people going to places without strong circuits and offering to host tournaments for them. I don't see why we can't directly contact principals and sell them on sending their teams to what are actually the most "prestigious" tournaments.
The second point is definitely true, but it is worth noting that most good Quiz Bowl promoters don't really have the money or time to be travelling the country spreading good tournaments, whereas this is a full time thing for Chip. Unless I'm mistaken, of course.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:01 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:The better strategy would be to use some of the same tactics that Chip uses to attract these new and non-circuit teams to his events and instead get them playing better quizbowl. I don't see why we can't have people going to places without strong circuits and offering to host tournaments for them. I don't see why we can't directly contact principals and sell them on sending their teams to what are actually the most "prestigious" tournaments.
The problem would be convincing them that Chip is the inferior product. We could tell them about tournaments, but they would probably be unwilling to travel farther/pay more when Chip has questions that "Exceed "industry standards" in quality".
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Cheynem » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:06 pm

I wonder if a web page separate from the wiki which carefully and calmly outlines the problems with Chip, perhaps with endorsements from various respected "industry" figures (representatives of NAQT, PACE, HSAPQ, perhaps successful coaches), would be helpful. I think people outside the circuit would like a one-stop place to get the straight dope on Chip, and while the wiki certainly helps, I don't think that's it.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:18 pm

Cheynem wrote:I wonder if a web page separate from the wiki which carefully and calmly outlines the problems with Chip, perhaps with endorsements from various respected "industry" figures (representatives of NAQT, PACE, HSAPQ, perhaps successful coaches), would be helpful. I think people outside the circuit would like a one-stop place to get the straight dope on Chip, and while the wiki certainly helps, I don't think that's it.
Yes. I would love to be able to send people to one independent website that only addresses complaints about Chip without having to worry about the fact that obviously anyone can change a wiki, and that the wiki is otherwise not amazingly serious, making it a hard sell.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Kouign Amann » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:20 pm

So, does anyone know if this actually happened?
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by the return of AHAN » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:31 pm

That's a good question. The link is gone...
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:42 pm

The link says that they will be doing Russell's tournament on February 27th. I'm not entirely sure what to think about that, but part of me really wants to hold a tournament somewhere else in KY on that same day and charge a lower entry fee (and obviously much better quality, and something called ethics) and make sure that no teams go to the one at Russell.
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Re: Chip tournament in the DC area

Post by Kouign Amann » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:43 pm

Woody Paige wrote:That's a good question. The link is gone...
I'm thinking that's probably a good sign.
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