How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

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How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by cchiego » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:48 pm

At the moment, it appears that the SCT-ACUI partnership is actually starting the reap results. George Berry counts 191+ teams and I see plenty of new ones, including some I've never before seen on the circuit before and a number of other rare teams. This is exceptionally cool and represents the best opportunity quizbowl's had in years to attract new circuit teams.

Some suggestions for all regular circuit-goers:
- Yes there will be ignorant teams who want to play CBI again and grumble about "long toss ups" and such. Yes the ACUI folks who run some of these sites may not be aware of the rules or how quizbowl normally works. Just try to work with them and be as polite as circumstances allow. Hopefully NAQT has communicated to the hosts that they should be receptive to suggestions from regular teams.

- Don't be an asshole if you end up beating them 600-0 and don't be an asshole if a few end up beating you. Talk to them during breaks, compliment them on their attendance, and provide a positive introduction to the world of quizbowl.

- Offer to help them if they need to build a student organization and be sure to get contact information to stay in touch. Perhaps even send them the way of this forum (particular the new teams one, which has a lot of good info.).

- Look at this as a business investment- if we can attract even 20% of these new teams, the circuit will be larger and better off. These are teams that will come to our tournaments and pay registration fees. They may host HS tournaments in areas not normally served by the circuit. In short, this is a win-win opportunity for everyone.

Feel free to add any other ideas on how we can keep these fledgling teams going.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:59 pm

This is a very good point to consider.

While it may be too late to get a lot of these newer teams signed up for Regionals, I think that it would be good to know when other stuff in the region are going to be so we can pitch tournaments like MUT and such to these teams. Who knows, maybe one or two of these new teams even shows up to ACF Nationals next year (heck, mnaybe even this year), if we really work to keep these teams as a part of the circuit?
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:06 pm

Swank diet wrote:Hopefully NAQT has communicated to the hosts that they should be receptive to suggestions from regular teams.
We certainly have.

And we strongly support George's suggestion that new teams should be encouraged to attend MUT mirrors.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:16 pm

Frater Taciturnus wrote:While it may be too late to get a lot of these newer teams signed up for Regionals
New-to-quizbowl teams get to play Regionals without having to write a packet and with a significant discount, right? Is there any compelling reason not to try at least - say, by announcing the nearest site of ACF Regionals (EDIT: yeah, with the necessary disclaimer that it will be at least as hard as the DI SCT set) at each SCT and seeing what comes of it?
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:18 pm

There needs to be diligent and concentrated mailing campaigns by the hosts of college tournaments aimed at these new SCT teams if there's a hope that they will turn up to another event. SCT managed to attract this many new teams because NAQT has personally contacted many of them, imploring them to attend. Goodwill and hospitality are certainly nice, but are no substitute for the hard work that this would entail.

Collegiate Novice is the success story that's relevant here. A ton of new teams came to Collegiate Novice because part of hosts' duties in running it was to spread the word to places that often did not have teams. That took some hard work. So will this.

The difficulties here are the following:

- Many new schools are too far away from others. A lot of new schools are not, but a sizable fraction of teams (I am thinking of Fresno State in our region and all the Rocky Mountain schools)
- Most post-SCT events are of regular difficulty or higher. MUT is the obvious exception, and there are the easy tournaments at the beginning of the next academic year.

There are others, but these are the two I can think of. None of these are insurmountable, and should easily be surmounted with a proper mailing campaign and some hard work.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:22 pm

RyuAqua wrote:
Frater Taciturnus wrote:While it may be too late to get a lot of these newer teams signed up for Regionals
New-to-quizbowl teams get to play Regionals without having to write a packet and with a significant discount, right? Is there any compelling reason not to try at least - say, by announcing the nearest site of ACF Regionals at each SCT and seeing what comes of it?
New people are less likely to be able to be told "oh hey there is a tournament in three weeks you should go to! Go to it!" and have that actually work.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by cchiego » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:33 pm

RyuAqua wrote:New-to-quizbowl teams get to play Regionals without having to write a packet and with a significant discount, right? Is there any compelling reason not to try at least - say, by announcing the nearest site of ACF Regionals (EDIT: yeah, with the necessary disclaimer that it will be at least as hard as the DI SCT set) at each SCT and seeing what comes of it?
Not to mention I think ACF Regionals is too difficult for new teams. I'd be comfortable dropping people who'd never played QB before off at an ACF Fall tournament, but ACF Regionals is tough stuff. MUT would not only be a bit later on (giving them more time to organize), but would be more at their level. Still, it can't hurt to mention it (esp. to teams that are good at SCT but only show up to that and ICT- Davidson, for instance).

Also, I looked through some schools' activity webpages and it looks like several have actually formed dedicated quizbowl clubs. This is encouraging and will definitely help us keep in touch with them. Many teams though may still just be 4 people the ACUI folks got together, so they'd need more organizational help.
every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:There needs to be diligent and concentrated mailing campaigns by the hosts of college tournaments aimed at these new SCT teams if there's a hope that they will turn up to another event. SCT managed to attract this many new teams because NAQT has personally contacted many of them, imploring them to attend. Goodwill and hospitality are certainly nice, but are no substitute for the hard work that this would entail.
The advantage here is that we don't need to contact them and see if there is a team or try to get one formed- they'll be at these tournaments! Really, the hardest part of getting in touch with the right people at universities of 5,000+ people or whatever and getting them to at least one quizbowl tournament is already taken care of; now the comparatively easier part of keeping in touch with them and getting them to come back is in our hands. Which is where hospitality definitely comes into play.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:37 pm

Swank diet wrote: The advantage here is that we don't need to contact them and see if there is a team or try to get one formed- they'll be at these tournaments! Really, the hardest part of getting in touch with the right people at universities of 5,000+ people or whatever and getting them to at least one quizbowl tournament is already taken care of; now the comparatively easier part of keeping in touch with them and getting them to come back is in our hands. Which is where hospitality definitely comes into play.
Yeah, I wouldn't support being less hospitable or not making an effort to talk to new teams at tournaments at all. I just don't think informal conversations that you and I might have with Fresno State at the upcoming SCT will be as convincing for them to come to another tournament sometime than an official-looking email invitation. Your work with the latter should be enough to convince at least you, in any case. Teams are probably going to forget the little chat they have with you at a tournament in lieu of an actual invitation sent to the team or club president email address.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:44 pm

So it looks like Auroni is saying that you should ask for their email address when you see them at SCT (or buy their contact info from NAQT, all Facebook-like).
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:58 pm

Swank diet wrote:
RyuAqua wrote:New-to-quizbowl teams get to play Regionals without having to write a packet and with a significant discount, right? Is there any compelling reason not to try at least - say, by announcing the nearest site of ACF Regionals (EDIT: yeah, with the necessary disclaimer that it will be at least as hard as the DI SCT set) at each SCT and seeing what comes of it?
Not to mention I think ACF Regionals is too difficult for new teams. I'd be comfortable dropping people who'd never played QB before off at an ACF Fall tournament, but ACF Regionals is tough stuff.
I think that this sort of depends on the team that produces Regionals. It doesn't necessarily need to be "hard stuff," and I have seen plenty of questions from past iterations of it that have answer lines that are definitely buzzable by the end.

On the other hand, there have been many questions which are written at this level solely for the purpose of preparing for nats, which see lower than average conversion. I think that an ACF Regionals where teams have heard of maybe 50-60% of the answer lines is one that isn't "too hard" at all.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by cchiego » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:22 pm

I took the email contacts as an obvious given, but I noticed the teams that consistently keep coming back to our high school tournaments at least are those who we made an effort to actually talk to in person at the tournaments and strike up a personal relationship with the coach. Sending out official invites gets very little response; sending out personalized emails saying specific things about their team gets a much better response, especially if you talked to them in the past and they know who you are. It's simple social psychology.

And seriously, for teams that may barely break 10 PPB at DII SCT, Regionals is too hard. This is the (likely) audience we'll be getting with this influx of new teams and assuming that they'll be ready to attend ACF Nationals next year is probably asking a bit too much. Part of the purpose of this post was to get good circuit players to think about what these new "teams" -- since some might not even be teams yet -- are thinking (yes, this is a Republican appealing for empathy; sue me) and take that into account when talking to them at these tournaments.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Cheynem » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:27 pm

Swank diet wrote: (yes, this is a Republican appealing for empathy; sue me)
Cue Crying Boehner Jokes.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:46 pm

The thing is that if we dismiss Regionals and other tournaments harder than EFT and MUT every season as too hard for new teams, then there aren't very many events that they can really go to. I think that the right idea is to gradually push teams to go to these events while we write them to have many recognizable answer lines for this kind of audience.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by cvdwightw » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:38 pm

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:The thing is that if we dismiss Regionals and other tournaments harder than EFT and MUT every season as too hard for new teams, then there aren't very many events that they can really go to. I think that the right idea is to gradually push teams to go to these events while we write them to have many recognizable answer lines for this kind of audience.
You're missing the point here. New teams don't, on average, have anyone that's at all capable of answering much at the Regionals level. They don't, on average, have any sort of practice regimen that would allow them to figure out the canon on their own. Even if they did, they don't have any infrastructure in place. The idea that any of these teams is going to get its act together in time to attend Regionals is pretty laughable. There's a fine line between being condescending ("this tournament is too hard for you") and pushy ("you should definitely come to this awesome tournament, even though it's going to make you feel stupid because you haven't heard of a third of the tossup answers"), and I think that trying to get teams to come to an MUT mirror while not overloading them with information is a fine middle ground.

The other thing that's completely missing from your argument is that you're completely dismissing the social aspect of quizbowl. It's not enough to just like playing quizbowl. There are other outlets for those kinds of people. But if they feel like they're part of the community, then they stay involved. It's important to make them feel like, just by signing up for this tournament, they've joined a community they really should want to stay a part of. Once they're part of that community, they'll show up to regular difficulty stuff, because that's what the community does.

When I played my first college tournament, I had no idea who Jerry was, only a vague idea who Seth Teitler was, and no idea who Mike Sorice was beyond "that guy who argues with people on the Internet." The vast majority of new teams at this tournament neither know nor care who Andy Watkins is or what the odds are on him having punched a wall yet. Making jokes with your quizbowl friends about the lack of BEES in the tournament is not the way to get them to care about it. But you know what? All of a sudden Matt Weiner doesn't seem so intimidating after he's talked with them while staffing two or three novice tournaments. All of a sudden those guys scoring 5 points a game for Brown D are telling them stories about Dennis and Eric's harrowing trip to Cardinal Classic. And all of a sudden, they're coming to Terrapin mirrors, not because they're suddenly ready for that step up in difficulty, but because it's an opportunity to play some quizbowl with everyone again.

This is probably an overly idealistic picture, but I hope you get the idea.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:54 pm

I don't dispute any of your arguments of the social aspect of the game, especially since that was what motivated me to play quizbowl in college and to improve.

What I am saying is that "Regionals difficulty" is not a set-in-stone thing, and that we can only help new teams by reforming it so it has greater continuity with EFT and MUT, both of which are chock-full of answers that players might have heard of. I'm also not advocating that we push new teams to go to Regionals at the detriment of MUT. I know that Regionals is the same month as MUT and that travel plans are difficult for many teams to figure out in the short span of time. For those teams that can't travel to another tournament so soon, then yeah, we should make MUT seem like an attractive alternative to ACF Regionals and the spate of March regular difficulty tournaments.

All that I am trying to say is that, even if the social aspect of the game is what sells these teams on quizbowl, it is worth a try to put forth a convincing way of saying "hey, if you enjoyed yourself at DII SCT or at ACF Fall back in November, then you should know that ACF Regionals is not that much worse," and then actually following up with making ACF Regionals not that much worse by having plenty of questions on easy answerlines. If this does not actually convince anyone to come to ACF Regionals, then we should rethink our strategy.

Now that overall SCT and ACF Fall attendance is great, and Collegiate Novice looks like a roaring success that's ready for a second incarnation, I think it's time to address the dropoff in attendance between those and regular-difficulty tournaments.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Mike Bentley » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:13 pm

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:hey, if you enjoyed yourself at DII SCT or at ACF Fall back in November, then you should know that ACF Regionals is not that much worse
Sorry, but I have a hard time buying the argument that ACF Regionals is "not that much" harder than DII SCT. For instance, I would contend that the bonuses are at least twice as hard. It's certainly "not that much" harder than DI SCT (and probably is easier in some ways), but let's not kid ourselves here.

Edit: Actually I believe last year's ACF Regionals is probably easier in a lot of ways than last year's DI SCT.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:15 pm

No, it is significantly harder at present. But the rest of my sentence indicates that we should make it easier.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by mhayes » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:48 pm

Swank diet wrote:Look at this as a business investment- if we can attract even 20% of these new teams, the circuit will be larger and better off.
I agree with this. I think another untapped market lies with the HBCUs. HCASC may be a notoriously bad format, but there are many schools that participate in it, and I think many of them would be enthusiastic about participating in the larger circuit.

As it is, they only play about 2 or 3 times a year by sticking with HCASC.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by dtaylor4 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:56 pm

mhayes wrote:
Swank diet wrote:Look at this as a business investment- if we can attract even 20% of these new teams, the circuit will be larger and better off.
I agree with this. I think another untapped market lies with the HBCUs. HCASC may be a notoriously bad format, but there are many schools that participate in it, and I think many of them would be enthusiastic about participating in the larger circuit.

As it is, they only play about 2 or 3 times a year by sticking with HCASC.
The problem here is that many schools are forbidden from playing other events.

This was outlined on the forums by a former Langston player.

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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by tiwonge » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:20 am

There are ways around that. Form a parallel club to compete in other events, for example.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:25 am

tiwonge wrote:There are ways around that. Form a parallel club to compete in other events, for example.
The years of misinformation and vindictiveness from College Bowl are sometimes a hard thing to overcome. I agree that we should try, though.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by KGeee » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:46 am

dtaylor4 wrote:
mhayes wrote:
Swank diet wrote:Look at this as a business investment- if we can attract even 20% of these new teams, the circuit will be larger and better off.
I agree with this. I think another untapped market lies with the HBCUs. HCASC may be a notoriously bad format, but there are many schools that participate in it, and I think many of them would be enthusiastic about participating in the larger circuit.

As it is, they only play about 2 or 3 times a year by sticking with HCASC.
The problem here is that many schools are forbidden from playing other events.

This was outlined on the forums by a former Langston player.


They aren't outrightly forbidden now days. They cut the field down to 48 teams due to funding issues-which means traditional "HCASC powerhouses" like Howard and Southern (who has participated in NAQT events) are likely not doing anything this semester doing to not being selected.

Here's why HBCU's could potentially increase their attendance:
They get money for playing HCASC(which is one reason that for as long as it exists the teams will not ever leave it). You get 1000$ for finishing the registration process, 3000 for making Nationals (They pick their favorite 48 based on paperwork.), and 6000$ for making the Sweet Sixteen, 25k for second place and 50k for winning. The money goes to the schools, but usually (at Langston) we could get whatever hcasc event we wanted paid for, and get registration fees (not motels, or gas) paid for at other tournaments if I requested it in a timely manner.

In short, many of these teams are given a pretty nice budget.

Why don't more HBCU's attend tournaments?
At some schools the teams aren't selected until December. At all schools "coaches" are required to attend every tournament and often "campus coordinators" fill out the paperwork. Langston was lucky to have a good coach who allowed the students to lead the team and was immensely supportive by helping with paperwork and making sure that we got our money. This isn't the case at most schools. The effect of "coaches" and their power in the HCASC format, as you could guess, is that the students don't usually lead the team. The team submits to the coach and the coaches often don't want another event to attend, as many of them are Deans, Professors, and so-forth and have no interest in traveling to more tournaments. These coaches control the budget and the HCASC team never hears about the invitation to compete, as the "Coach" clicks delete to the emailed invitations.

Historically, intentional bars existed to keep HBCU's from participating in anything outside of HCASC, but my theory is that the single-biggest bar to more HBCU participation in the circuit is the structure of the "Coach-led" team.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by mhayes » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:08 pm

Kyle, I think you hit the nail on the head. In my experience, the HBCU clubs are generally coddled by their administration, and the faculty advisers are essentially treated as coaches who must always accompany their teams. "Coaches" in the traditional sense are rare in the general circuit. In fact, other than tournaments with HBCU teams, I don't think I have ever seen a team accompanied by a coach. This is the norm for high school teams, but college students should be afforded more independence, IMO. However, since HCASC is the last remnant of CBI, I am confident in my assumption that the administrative powers at these schools would have little interest in their students participating in circuit events.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by KGeee » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:07 pm

Two unproven suggestions to those who wish to recruit HBCU's to their event:

If you know no students on the team:

1. If the tournament in the fall, stress to the coach the importance of competition and the fact that they can show the "selection crew" at HCASC that they are participating in other events in order to prepare for Nationals (there's a form that's submitted that asks coaches/coordinators basically what they have done to prepare and why they should be selected). The field being cut down from 64 teams to 48 makes it more competitive and a coach would be more likely to attend another event if they knew it would help to get their team selected. I don't know how much of a help it will truly be in getting selected, but it at least shows that a team has been in place for a while and they're practicing/scrimmaging-which reaches their "stated goal" of: "raising the bar of competition." At the least, this is a selling-point to the coach (who is usually pressured by the school hierarchy to get their team selected if for nothing else rather than financial reasons), no matter if HCASC's view is negative or positive of it.

2. Try to find a way to reach the players on teams-this Facebook thing is neat for that and HCASC places rosters of players from previous years on their website. If they pressure the coach and say we want to go to this (and any extra tournament is a good time), it's obviously more likely to happen.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:54 pm

"Coaches" in the traditional sense are rare in the general circuit. In fact, other than tournaments with HBCU teams, I don't think I have ever seen a team accompanied by a coach.
All the community college teams have faculty (or staff) sponsor/coaches, and for my college (and I think for nearly all the CCs), I must accompany my team, or the college's insurance consortium won't protect them, so the college won't allow them to travel. This may be paternalistic, but it's the way it is for us, and it's not going to change. It does, unfortunately, keep players from developing the independence and skills needed to run their own program, which may be why so few of the CC stars we've had in the South have moved on to regular circuit glory (though there have been a few, notably Raj Dhuwalia and Raj Bhan, for you old-timers).

Anyway, indeed, working hard to specifically target and woo the coaches of HBCU and CC teams at any tournament at which you might see them is a good way to keep those teams coming back.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:32 pm

I have to put my two cents ihn here, as the founder of a team that's not much more than a semester old:
It all comes down to communication. I knew a bit about NAQT from some surfing I did in HS, so I got in contact with a couple of people, and ended up sending two teams from my school (U Buffalo) to SCT. Our A team ended up second, which goes to show that good performance is not impossible for a new team (although I will admit that we have a couple trivia machines, both of whom played really well). I can't speak for ACF, since I haven't attended any of their tournaments, but I'll try to arrange our attendance at ACF Fall in 2011.

Also, it is often difficult to start a club and keep it going. After all, there's always attrition (I only see ten out of the thirty people on the club email list regularly), and the bureaucratic oblivion of student associations is legendary, especially when new clubs try to start. My conclusion: be helpful, but gentle. It is overwhelming for only two or three people to orchestrate many of the necessary club tasks, and input form experienced individuals helps, but everything always goes slower than one would like (approval, funding, communication, etc).

I will say this: my squad's experience at SCTs affirmed the productivity of many months of work and planning on the part of myself and the other officers. We'll be back.
Zach Pace
Clarence High School '10, University at Buffalo '14
Writer, NAQT; Reader, NY MasterMinds
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by alexdz » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:43 pm

At the Region 11 SCT, we did our best to go over the gameplay rules in depth before the tournament began, and I also ran a "scorekeepers meeting" using the sample scoresheet from NAQT. Both of these helped immensely, as I had next to zero problems with scoresheets all day and (I kid you not) never had to resolve a protest.

We heard very positive news out of our new teams in attendance. Fort Hays (KS) had a great time, and the kids who played for their team this year are actually "high-school" aged kids in an accelerated program at FHSU. They've expressed interest in coming to things as far away as St. Louis, so we're glad for that.
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by bsmith » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:29 pm

Melkor6000 wrote:I have to put my two cents ihn here, as the founder of a team that's not much more than a semester old:
It all comes down to communication. I knew a bit about NAQT from some surfing I did in HS, so I got in contact with a couple of people, and ended up sending two teams from my school (U Buffalo) to SCT. Our A team ended up second, which goes to show that good performance is not impossible for a new team (although I will admit that we have a couple trivia machines, both of whom played really well). I can't speak for ACF, since I haven't attended any of their tournaments, but I'll try to arrange our attendance at ACF Fall in 2011.

Also, it is often difficult to start a club and keep it going. After all, there's always attrition (I only see ten out of the thirty people on the club email list regularly), and the bureaucratic oblivion of student associations is legendary, especially when new clubs try to start. My conclusion: be helpful, but gentle. It is overwhelming for only two or three people to orchestrate many of the necessary club tasks, and input form experienced individuals helps, but everything always goes slower than one would like (approval, funding, communication, etc).

I will say this: my squad's experience at SCTs affirmed the productivity of many months of work and planning on the part of myself and the other officers. We'll be back.
If your members have passports and your school's bureaucracy allows cross-border travel, there is an established circuit in Ontario, with tournaments in Hamilton, Toronto, Waterloo, etc. Although they didn't go to your SCT, RIT has also held a tournament or two in upstate New York (including, if you're up for it, ACF Regionals on Feb 26).
Ben Smith
Ottawa '08 & '10

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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:57 am

bsmith wrote:
Melkor6000 wrote:I have to put my two cents ihn here, as the founder of a team that's not much more than a semester old:
It all comes down to communication. I knew a bit about NAQT from some surfing I did in HS, so I got in contact with a couple of people, and ended up sending two teams from my school (U Buffalo) to SCT. Our A team ended up second, which goes to show that good performance is not impossible for a new team (although I will admit that we have a couple trivia machines, both of whom played really well). I can't speak for ACF, since I haven't attended any of their tournaments, but I'll try to arrange our attendance at ACF Fall in 2011.

Also, it is often difficult to start a club and keep it going. After all, there's always attrition (I only see ten out of the thirty people on the club email list regularly), and the bureaucratic oblivion of student associations is legendary, especially when new clubs try to start. My conclusion: be helpful, but gentle. It is overwhelming for only two or three people to orchestrate many of the necessary club tasks, and input form experienced individuals helps, but everything always goes slower than one would like (approval, funding, communication, etc).

I will say this: my squad's experience at SCTs affirmed the productivity of many months of work and planning on the part of myself and the other officers. We'll be back.
If your members have passports and your school's bureaucracy allows cross-border travel, there is an established circuit in Ontario, with tournaments in Hamilton, Toronto, Waterloo, etc. Although they didn't go to your SCT, RIT has also held a tournament or two in upstate New York (including, if you're up for it, ACF Regionals on Feb 26).
Not everyone has passports, but that can probably be fixed by next year. With whom should I be in contact about the Canadian circuit?

I don't think we're ready for packet submission quite yet, but it'll be a consideration for next year. Funds are also lean, and we will likely just do one more tournament this year to keep expenses low. Hopefully next year, we can get our hands on some cash, and get our fundraising act together earlier in the year. Upstate tournaments would be great, especially in the aftermath of a six-hour drive home from SCTs at New Paltz in the horrendous weather :smile:. I'm going to try and push SA approval for us next year, so we can host a college and an HS tourney. Maybe-hopefully. Who knows?
Zach Pace
Clarence High School '10, University at Buffalo '14
Writer, NAQT; Reader, NY MasterMinds
Space Advocate, Amateur Astronomer, and Occasional STEM Pundit
You don't want me anywhere near literature that's not sci-fi or written in Latin. Seriously.

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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:09 am

I would strongly recommend not looking at packet submission as above your level. One of the benefits of packet submission is that it gives new players a chance to write questions in a consequence free environment so that they can cultivate quizbowl research skills without having to worry about the rest of the circuit judging their product. Most importantly for your new, poorly funded team, you get lots of discounts if you submit packets early.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by MicroEStudent » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:36 am

Melkor6000 wrote:
bsmith wrote:If your members have passports and your school's bureaucracy allows cross-border travel, there is an established circuit in Ontario, with tournaments in Hamilton, Toronto, Waterloo, etc. Although they didn't go to your SCT, RIT has also held a tournament or two in upstate New York (including, if you're up for it, ACF Regionals on Feb 26).
Not everyone has passports, but that can probably be fixed by next year. With whom should I be in contact about the Canadian circuit?

I don't think we're ready for packet submission quite yet, but it'll be a consideration for next year. Funds are also lean, and we will likely just do one more tournament this year to keep expenses low. Hopefully next year, we can get our hands on some cash, and get our fundraising act together earlier in the year. Upstate tournaments would be great, especially in the aftermath of a six-hour drive home from SCTs at New Paltz in the horrendous weather :smile:. I'm going to try and push SA approval for us next year, so we can host a college and an HS tourney. Maybe-hopefully. Who knows?
We'd be more than happy to have you at RIT!
Nathaniel Kane
RIT '09, '11 (BS Microelectronic Engineering, MS Microelectronic Engineering)

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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Red-necked Phalarope » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:01 am

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:I would strongly recommend not looking at packet submission as above your level. One of the benefits of packet submission is that it gives new players a chance to write questions in a consequence free environment so that they can cultivate quizbowl research skills without having to worry about the rest of the circuit judging their product. Most importantly for your new, poorly funded team, you get lots of discounts if you submit packets early.
Also, if UB is a completely new team (with completely 'new' players), they wouldn't be mandated to submit an ACF packet until the 2012-13 academic year anyway, no?

(Though I completely agree that submitting optional packets is a very good habit for a prospective circuit team to get into.)
Brice Russ
East Forsyth '04
UNC '08
Ohio State '13

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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by Important Bird Area » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:49 am

Swank diet wrote:At the moment, it appears that the SCT-ACUI partnership is actually starting to reap results. George Berry counts 191+ teams and I see plenty of new ones, including some I've never before seen on the circuit before and a number of other rare teams. This is exceptionally cool and represents the best opportunity quizbowl's had in years to attract new circuit teams.
Quick stats:

2009 SCT: 185 teams

2010 SCT: 179 teams

2011 SCT: 206 teams
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Re: How to ensure new SCT teams become new circuit teams

Post by dtaylor4 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:20 am

bt_green_warbler wrote:
Swank diet wrote:At the moment, it appears that the SCT-ACUI partnership is actually starting to reap results. George Berry counts 191+ teams and I see plenty of new ones, including some I've never before seen on the circuit before and a number of other rare teams. This is exceptionally cool and represents the best opportunity quizbowl's had in years to attract new circuit teams.
Quick stats:

2009 SCT: 185 teams

2010 SCT: 179 teams

2011 SCT: 206 teams
What about the number of schools?

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