Southeastern Quizbowl

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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:53 pm

High schools are welcome to play Delta Burke when I've got field space. Hardee HS and a couple others have done so in the last ten years. But yeah, their team sponsors/faculty attendants will have to be able to deal with insults to Republican governors and infrequent (but puerile) scatological references.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:03 pm

The midwest has routinely been the premier college quizbowl region in the nation, and it seems to have many of the same disadvantages as the southeast: long drives between schools and only a few states had "good" high school circuits (especially before a few years ago). So I think I'm a bit skeptical of some of the structural reasons being given in this thread, especially geography.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by mhayes » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:53 pm

Morraine Man wrote:The midwest has routinely been the premier college quizbowl region in the nation, and it seems to have many of the same disadvantages as the southeast: long drives between schools and only a few states had "good" high school circuits (especially before a few years ago). So I think I'm a bit skeptical of some of the structural reasons being given in this thread, especially geography.
What schools were you thinking about? I agree that Minnesota may be a bit isolated, but off the top of my head, schools like UIUC, Michigan, Chicago, Northwestern, Michigan State, UIC, Case Western, Ohio State, etc. are all within a 6 hour drive of one another.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Red-necked Phalarope » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:58 pm

Morraine Man wrote:The midwest has routinely been the premier college quizbowl region in the nation, and it seems to have many of the same disadvantages as the southeast: long drives between schools and only a few states had "good" high school circuits (especially before a few years ago). So I think I'm a bit skeptical of some of the structural reasons being given in this thread, especially geography.
Having been a member of both circuits*, my anecdotal sense is that the non-Minnesota Midwest is more drivable on the whole than the Southeast. OSU routinely drives to tournaments the morning of, something we could have feasibly only done for 1-2 institutions in undergrad.

*NC is, to be fair, probably on the fringe of the SE circuit, though the "southern-Mid-Atlantic" circuit is probably more compact, if anything.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:18 pm

mhayes wrote:
Morraine Man wrote:The midwest has routinely been the premier college quizbowl region in the nation, and it seems to have many of the same disadvantages as the southeast: long drives between schools and only a few states had "good" high school circuits (especially before a few years ago). So I think I'm a bit skeptical of some of the structural reasons being given in this thread, especially geography.
What schools were you thinking about? I agree that Minnesota may be a bit isolated, but off the top of my head, schools like UIUC, Michigan, Chicago, Northwestern, Michigan State, UIC, Case Western, Ohio State, etc. are all within a 6 hour drive of one another.
So, the most common host schools in the midwest are Michigan, UChicago, UIUC, and Minnesota. UChicago is 6-8 hours away from Minnesota and Michigan, and 2 hours away from UIUC. This means that for most schools in the midwest, you have to leave for a tournament the day before and stay somewhere overnight. Perhaps in the Southeast, schools are 8-10 hours rather than 6-8 hours apart, but the key factor (having to leave the previous day) is the same.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Coelacanth » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:26 pm

I think trying to posit some kind of geographic inevitability due to driving distances is folly.

Back when I was an undergrad (before many of you were born) the Southeast was the region for good quizbowl. It was the only region with any kind of "circuit". Teams like Ga Tech, Emory, UT-Knoxville and (pushing the definition of "Southeast" here) NC State were dominant, and smaller schools like Berry and Agnes Scott had well-established programs. In the midwest outside of Chicago you had...some CBI schools.

The foundation of a strong college circuit is leadership by top players. Strong players produce quality tournaments and actively work to foster the growth of the circuit. Why is the midwest strong today? Hart, Sorice, Teitler, Carson and many others. Why was the southeast strong then? Dendy, Windham, Whited...you get the point.

Of course all of this is an over-simplification, but the college game has always been driven by individuals and not geography.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Sun Devil Student » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:04 pm

So, just a bit of idle speculation... as far as features unique to the Southeast, is it at all possible that the outstanding strength of the region's American Football circuit might have anything to do with the perceived sub-par strength of the region's Quizbowl circuit?

It seems like a plausible hypothesis to me that maybe the kind of culture in a region that's known for (physical) football excellence might have the side effect of encouraging its youth more towards athletic rather than academic glory. (Not that the latter is discouraged, but rather that the ratio of emphasis between the former and the latter might play a role here?)

Of course there are also many other factors already mentioned which are probably more decisive, but I'm wondering if anything unique to the Southeastern region, e.g. human geography, rather than physical gegoraphy, might be of interest to us.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:54 pm

Sun Devil Student wrote:So, just a bit of idle speculation... as far as features unique to the Southeast, is it at all possible that the outstanding strength of the region's American Football circuit might have anything to do with the perceived sub-par strength of the region's Quizbowl circuit?

It seems like a plausible hypothesis to me that maybe the kind of culture in a region that's known for (physical) football excellence might have the side effect of encouraging its youth more towards athletic rather than academic glory. (Not that the latter is discouraged, but rather that the ratio of emphasis between the former and the latter might play a role here?)

Of course there are also many other factors already mentioned which are probably more decisive, but I'm wondering if anything unique to the Southeastern region, e.g. human geography, rather than physical gegoraphy, might be of interest to us.
Yeah, I'm not buying this. The Midwest is also extremely active in regards to football and it doesn't seem to hurt that region in quizbowl.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by mhayes » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:21 pm

Sun Devil Student wrote:So, just a bit of idle speculation... as far as features unique to the Southeast, is it at all possible that the outstanding strength of the region's American Football circuit might have anything to do with the perceived sub-par strength of the region's Quizbowl circuit?
Quite frankly, no. When at ULL, the only time I saw football interfere with quiz bowl is 1) when teams didn't attend our tournaments because they didn't want to miss their football game and 2) when tournaments would have to be scheduled around home football games at other schools. I imagine that #2 is pretty common, but #1 didn't happen enough for me to think that it was a big factor.

Ironically enough, the teams that skipped our tournaments for football were not from big football schools.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:33 pm

mhayes wrote:
Sun Devil Student wrote:So, just a bit of idle speculation... as far as features unique to the Southeast, is it at all possible that the outstanding strength of the region's American Football circuit might have anything to do with the perceived sub-par strength of the region's Quizbowl circuit?
Quite frankly, no. When at ULL, the only time I saw football interfere with quiz bowl is 1) when teams didn't attend our tournaments because they didn't want to miss their football game and 2) when tournaments would have to be scheduled around home football games at other schools. I imagine that #2 is pretty common, but #1 didn't happen enough for me to think that it was a big factor.

Ironically enough, the teams that skipped our tournaments for football were not from big football schools.
I find both of these happen, but #2 is definitely more common than #1. Of course this doesn't really happen in the Spring for obvious reasons.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:22 pm

Geography-wise, as I noted earlier, the Southeast could really use more tournaments in Atlanta. It's an ideal location that's close to lots of quizbowl-playing schools.
Sun Devil Student wrote:So, just a bit of idle speculation... as far as features unique to the Southeast, is it at all possible that the outstanding strength of the region's American Football circuit might have anything to do with the perceived sub-par strength of the region's Quizbowl circuit?

It seems like a plausible hypothesis to me that maybe the kind of culture in a region that's known for (physical) football excellence might have the side effect of encouraging its youth more towards athletic rather than academic glory. (Not that the latter is discouraged, but rather that the ratio of emphasis between the former and the latter might play a role here?)

Of course there are also many other factors already mentioned which are probably more decisive, but I'm wondering if anything unique to the Southeastern region, e.g. human geography, rather than physical gegoraphy, might be of interest to us.
Nah. As a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, I can attest that Dorman is in an incredibly football booster-club minded district filled with parents who move their children there because of the athletic facilities. And they have one of the very best quizbowl programs in the country. And the SEC schools are all very big and chock full of intellectually-inclined students who don't care about football. And then there's people like me and Borglum who devote large sums of our free time to quizbowl despite being football nuts. Football makes scheduling somewhat difficult and occasionally teams skip tournaments because of a big game, but any negative impact of the football culture on Southeastern quizbowl is de minimis. Smart students in Nashville, Charleston, Atlanta, and Birmingham aren't that much different than those in Alexandria, Boston, or Chicago.

Anyway, I don't think there's any reason there can't be good quizbowl in the Southeast and lots of it. To those who want the region to be better, just make it happen. There's no magic formula and no secret, novice division that will solve the region's problems. Write questions, host tournaments, attend tournaments, write tournaments, study, and read. To quote Mark Discordia, "don't give up, you can do it if you really want!"
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by pretzeldude92 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:11 am

To follow up with a couple of things that were said in this thread,

1) Southeastern Quizbowl can definitely become a stronger region, at high school and collegiate levels, if teams put in the time and effort to be successful. We've seen successes in the past (teams have broken top-25 at NAQT, and we tend to do very well in the Small Schools Division, for what it's worth.)

2) The onus does fall, to an extent, on colleges to host tournaments or at least to lead the way in partnership with some of the top high schools. It's the best way to spread good quizbowl throughout the region, when the colleges (and community colleges) can host tournaments for teams to attend in the region with a notable frequency.

2a) I realize that Alabama should be doing more of this, and it's something I definitely intend to fix next year. Of course, we are at the mercy of our school's football schedule, as all buildings are locked and parking lots blocked off beginning Thursday and ending Sunday. That being said, we should be hosting more than just WRK, especially in the spring. As such, we're reorganizing our executive offices and expanding them, which will allow for us to carry through on this ideal.

2b) Maybe a Southeastern Quizbowl Council composed of officers from colleges and coaches from teams would be an adequate solution for this. Or a monthly teleconference or something. More than a newsletter (which is great by the way) is needed to bring us up to speed with the rest of the country.

3) I'm a proponent of an SEC Championship for Quizbowl. I've been in talks with our university administration about one. While I doubt we could get official sponsorship like the Big South, it would be a good way to reinvigorate some programs which have fallen by the wayside, and allow those teams to carry the beacon of good quizbowl into their respective regions. An ACC Championship would be cool for similar reasons.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by mhayes » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:23 am

pretzeldude92 wrote:3) I'm a proponent of an SEC Championship for Quizbowl. I've been in talks with our university administration about one. While I doubt we could get official sponsorship like the Big South, it would be a good way to reinvigorate some programs which have fallen by the wayside, and allow those teams to carry the beacon of good quizbowl into their respective regions. An ACC Championship would be cool for similar reasons.
You had me until here. I don't like the idea of excluding entire schools from regular season events just based on athletic conference affiliation.

SEC schools with dead or dying quiz bowl clubs (i.e Vanderbilt, Auburn, etc.) can be invigorated through other means. I don't think organizing an exclusive conference tournament would solve the problem, but it may instead put university administrators (who know little about good quiz bowl, or any quiz bowl for that matter) in charge of these teams. Is that really something you want?
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:45 pm

pretzeldude92 wrote:To follow up with a couple of things that were said in this thread,

2b) Maybe a Southeastern Quizbowl Council composed of officers from colleges and coaches from teams would be an adequate solution for this. Or a monthly teleconference or something. More than a newsletter (which is great by the way) is needed to bring us up to speed with the rest of the country.
I've talked to Eric about starting something like this, and I do believe he'll mention it in the next Southeastern newsletter. Such an organization won't be anything super official, but we should encourage more communication between the quizbowl programs in the Southeast (if you haven't checked, there are quite a few of them). If you look back to some of my previous posts, I have mentioned this idea quite a few times. We have an idea, but I don't think anything will be done until the end of the season. You know I'm a major proponent of structure in the region, AJ. There's a good reason. Structure everywhere is a good thing. Structure on the high school level, especially. Structure on the college level can come about due to structure on the high school level, because some inspired freshman who played in high school will always want to start a team even if there is none in existence (see previous poster), sometimes leading to some pretty good player coming to play for your team in the future (see current poster). Structure leads to taking advantage of the talent that is in the region. But if there isn't structure everywhere, then talent gets wasted somewhere (and in the Southeast, that somewhere is a lot of little areas which adds up to a lot of places). Yes, more high school tournaments should be hosted, but also more high schools should be involved in hosting tournaments. There's no reason why we shouldn't have 30-40 teams competing at WRK and our other proposed tournaments as we have the man power. Then we can convince some of the schools that come to host some of their own tournaments and show them how they can get started. There's no reason why they can't also host a lot of tournaments as well. Then some of the kids come to Alabama, all of a sudden in four years we have a top 5 finish at D2 ICT. Coincidence? Nah. It's the lack of regional structure and the presence of :chip: and other not-so-evil one-liners that makes people develop bad habits with respect to answering pyramidal questions.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:17 pm

mhayes wrote:
pretzeldude92 wrote:3) I'm a proponent of an SEC Championship for Quizbowl. I've been in talks with our university administration about one. While I doubt we could get official sponsorship like the Big South, it would be a good way to reinvigorate some programs which have fallen by the wayside, and allow those teams to carry the beacon of good quizbowl into their respective regions. An ACC Championship would be cool for similar reasons.
You had me until here. I don't like the idea of excluding entire schools from regular season events just based on athletic conference affiliation.

SEC schools with dead or dying quiz bowl clubs (i.e Vanderbilt, Auburn, etc.) can be invigorated through other means. I don't think organizing an exclusive conference tournament would solve the problem, but it may instead put university administrators (who know little about good quiz bowl, or any quiz bowl for that matter) in charge of these teams. Is that really something you want?
Yeah, I don't think it wouldn't be worth it in either conference: too few schools/teams and too long driving distances. We could also end up with-- even worse-- athletics people running things and imposing ridiculous restrictions like they did with high school in Missouri.

Done right, however, it could encourage teams at schools to start up and continue for a long while, but I prefer to imagine the worst.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:49 pm

The one bonus I could see with forming an SEC Quizbowl League would be increased funding, as well as attracting more top-tier intellectuals from high school with the ability to offer scholarship. If the entire school is behind you, they will do everything they can to make themselves look better. Yes, I am aware this is highly improbable and full of potential problems, I am just speculating. With the potential for UF to have three devoted players next year, and this thread generating a large amount of discussion, I feel as if a level of cooperation can be reached among the concerned parties in the Southeast. While there may not be a large number of grad students active at many programs, there is still a plethora of interested parties in nearly every state - Farrah at Ga. Tech, Nick at WKU, Jake and JT at Alabama, Eric with USC, all of us in Florida - that some form of cooperative effort has to be attempted that will bridge the issues we seem to have.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Broad-tailed Grassbird » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:00 pm

Morraine Man wrote:
mhayes wrote:
Morraine Man wrote:The midwest has routinely been the premier college quizbowl region in the nation, and it seems to have many of the same disadvantages as the southeast: long drives between schools and only a few states had "good" high school circuits (especially before a few years ago). So I think I'm a bit skeptical of some of the structural reasons being given in this thread, especially geography.
What schools were you thinking about? I agree that Minnesota may be a bit isolated, but off the top of my head, schools like UIUC, Michigan, Chicago, Northwestern, Michigan State, UIC, Case Western, Ohio State, etc. are all within a 6 hour drive of one another.
So, the most common host schools in the midwest are Michigan, UChicago, UIUC, and Minnesota. UChicago is 6-8 hours away from Minnesota and Michigan, and 2 hours away from UIUC. This means that for most schools in the midwest, you have to leave for a tournament the day before and stay somewhere overnight. Perhaps in the Southeast, schools are 8-10 hours rather than 6-8 hours apart, but the key factor (having to leave the previous day) is the same.
UIUC is 6 hours, and all of Chicago is 3.5-4 hours from us. Add maybe half an hour for Michigan. Yeah, we usually stay overnight the night before, but no one here is severely complaining. As far as college students go, Chicago doesn't qualify as a "roadtrip".
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:52 pm

When I was an undergrad at UChicago, I loved leaving on Fridays to go to a tournament at Michigan or UIUC. It was fun: the Michigan and Chicago teams would usually get together and have a party on Friday night. People would drink, watch TV, go to a restaurant, etc. All in spite of the fact that those were typically the two teams that ended up in the finals against each other.

In fact, when I moved to the Northeast, where most of the host schools are at most 45 minutes from each other, this was one aspect of midwestern quizbowl that I very much missed. Perhaps a similar culture could foster the "I want to go to a tournament!" spirit in the Southeast.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:20 pm

Jesus vs. Dragons wrote:The one bonus I could see with forming an SEC Quizbowl League would be increased funding, as well as attracting more top-tier intellectuals from high school with the ability to offer scholarship. If the entire school is behind you, they will do everything they can to make themselves look better. Yes, I am aware this is highly improbable and full of potential problems, I am just speculating.
I'll end your speculation for you. This is pure fantasy. Making a serious SEC championship (other than perhaps something organized no differently than any other invitational one weekend of the year by a team on the circuit) will be futile and provide no real benefits, and will never get off the ground through school administrations.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:34 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:
Jesus vs. Dragons wrote:The one bonus I could see with forming an SEC Quizbowl League would be increased funding, as well as attracting more top-tier intellectuals from high school with the ability to offer scholarship. If the entire school is behind you, they will do everything they can to make themselves look better. Yes, I am aware this is highly improbable and full of potential problems, I am just speculating.
I'll end your speculation for you. This is pure fantasy. Making a serious SEC championship (other than perhaps something organized no differently than any other invitational one weekend of the year by a team on the circuit) will be futile and provide no real benefits, and will never get off the ground through school administrations.
Your wisdom and foresight are legendary, Dees. I don't always agree with you, but when I do, I am quite thankful that you lend your expertise to such otherwise confusing situations. A beautiful exhibition of common sense, if I must say so myself.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Auroni » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:14 pm

Your disingenuous adulation of Dees aside, he's absolutely right with his statement. It's better for organizations and individuals in the Southeast to follow the advice in this thread than to come up with grand plans that fall apart when the traditional enmity of college bureaucracy toward quizbowl is again realized.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Scipio » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:28 pm

Morraine Man wrote:When I was an undergrad at UChicago, I loved leaving on Fridays to go to a tournament at Michigan or UIUC. It was fun: the Michigan and Chicago teams would usually get together and have a party on Friday night. People would drink, watch TV, go to a restaurant, etc. All in spite of the fact that those were typically the two teams that ended up in the finals against each other.

In fact, when I moved to the Northeast, where most of the host schools are at most 45 minutes from each other, this was one aspect of midwestern quizbowl that I very much missed. Perhaps a similar culture could foster the "I want to go to a tournament!" spirit in the Southeast.
Heh, I totally encourage the for Moon Pie. Sadly, Borglum won't be there; but I'm sure we can cobble together a social scene of some sort.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:47 pm

Scipio wrote:
Morraine Man wrote:When I was an undergrad at UChicago, I loved leaving on Fridays to go to a tournament at Michigan or UIUC. It was fun: the Michigan and Chicago teams would usually get together and have a party on Friday night. People would drink, watch TV, go to a restaurant, etc. All in spite of the fact that those were typically the two teams that ended up in the finals against each other.

In fact, when I moved to the Northeast, where most of the host schools are at most 45 minutes from each other, this was one aspect of midwestern quizbowl that I very much missed. Perhaps a similar culture could foster the "I want to go to a tournament!" spirit in the Southeast.
Heh, I totally encourage the for Moon Pie. Sadly, Borglum won't be there; but I'm sure we can cobble together a social scene of some sort.
We MUST go to Provino's, Seth.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:11 am

DarkMatter wrote:Your wisdom and foresight are legendary, Dees. I don't always agree with you, but when I do, I am quite thankful that you lend your expertise to such otherwise confusing situations. A beautiful exhibition of common sense, if I must say so myself.
Do you have brain damage? Just say so and I'll start feeling bad for you.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:34 am

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:Your disingenuous adulation of Dees aside, he's absolutely right with his statement. It's better for organizations and individuals in the Southeast to follow the advice in this thread than to come up with grand plans that fall apart when the traditional enmity of college bureaucracy toward quizbowl is again realized.
I would say it's not so much a matter of active enmity as it is that they just don't care. You are no one to them and they won't lift a pinky to help you if they can avoid it.

But yeah, stop coming up with stupid hare-brained schemes that are bound to fail. You need to build up clubs that are going to survive the departure of their founders, so focus on that.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:00 pm

Jerry's right: student activities administrators have no animus toward any student group (generally--who knows about individual cases/institutions), but the overwhelming majority have never heard of our game and don't care about helping students get it going. However, I will argue that nearly any student activities/clubs/campus life administrators will (again, generally) be pretty responsive to an active, organized effort by a group of students to establish and maintain a group.

Not to get back into the thread about how to establish a new team yet again, but let me reiterate to all you Southern clubs that doing things you might find annoying, like marketing your team to students through flyers and club events out in some heavily trafficked area and, even perhaps more importantly, to administrators or your board of trustees, is critically important if you want money. I'll say again that, though you might find doing so distasteful, contacting your institution's president's office and asking for three minutes on an upcoming board (or other open, high-level administrative) meeting to share your season's successes can really help your club's profile and get you further funding.

Even if your team mostly sucked, at some tournament you might have beaten Rival State U's D-team or something, and you can trumpet that. I know our politically appointed (and completely ignorant about quizbowl) trustees love it when I bring the players in to stand sheepishly while I mention how, for instance, Valencia beat Dartmouth and Michigan at the ICT (their Div II B teams, though obviously I don't need to tell them that!). They then tell the president how awesome they think our QB program is, which makes it very easy for me to ask for the budget I need from our activities administration.

And yes, this is much easier to do than trying to create some Ur-structure around all of us.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Bartleby » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:40 pm

I understand that student unions work somewhat differently in the USA, in terms of becoming an accredited club, but at Western, our USC has a slush fund from which accredited clubs can apply for funds, and both our trips to the SCT in Ottawa and the ICT were (and will be) fully funded by them. Trying to squeeze some funds out of the administration (particularly, as noted above, when they are generally ignorant of exactly what Quiz Bowl is) can be a very viable strategy.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:44 pm

If you want to create an "SEC Championship", the easiest way to do this is to have some big regional tournament that hands out an unofficial award to the SEC team that finished highest at, say, ACF Regs or something. You can hand out little championships like that to all of the present conferences. Then these teams can go back to their administration and say "hey! we're the best team in the SEC at this and beat out all of our rivals" and get money, just as Borglum suggested above.

I'm quite glad that Borglum made that post, by the way. In my experience, quizbowlers are extremely idealistic and often consider themselves below using cheap tricks to get money. This is an area where we can all improve.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Cooper98 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:53 pm

Recruiting has never been a big problem at Alabama. We usually have a lot of people show up after our get on board day, and then divide that number of people by 5 and that's the number that ended showing up with some regularity.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by mhayes » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:23 pm

Cooper98 wrote:Recruiting has never been a big problem at Alabama. We usually have a lot of people show up after our get on board day, and then divide that number of people by 5 and that's the number that ended showing up with some regularity.
This is probably the norm at most schools.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:27 pm

Cooper98 wrote:Recruiting has never been a big problem at Alabama. We usually have a lot of people show up after our get on board day, and then divide that number of people by 5 and that's the number that ended showing up with some regularity.
Yeah, welcome to recruiting efforts literally everywhere.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by pretzeldude92 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:06 pm

ValenciaQBowl wrote:Jerry's right: student activities administrators have no animus toward any student group (generally--who knows about individual cases/institutions), but the overwhelming majority have never heard of our game and don't care about helping students get it going. However, I will argue that nearly any student activities/clubs/campus life administrators will (again, generally) be pretty responsive to an active, organized effort by a group of students to establish and maintain a group.

Not to get back into the thread about how to establish a new team yet again, but let me reiterate to all you Southern clubs that doing things you might find annoying, like marketing your team to students through flyers and club events out in some heavily trafficked area and, even perhaps more importantly, to administrators or your board of trustees, is critically important if you want money. I'll say again that, though you might find doing so distasteful, contacting your institution's president's office and asking for three minutes on an upcoming board (or other open, high-level administrative) meeting to share your season's successes can really help your club's profile and get you further funding.

Even if your team mostly sucked, at some tournament you might have beaten Rival State U's D-team or something, and you can trumpet that. I know our politically appointed (and completely ignorant about quizbowl) trustees love it when I bring the players in to stand sheepishly while I mention how, for instance, Valencia beat Dartmouth and Michigan at the ICT (their Div II B teams, though obviously I don't need to tell them that!). They then tell the president how awesome they think our QB program is, which makes it very easy for me to ask for the budget I need from our activities administration.
This is how Alabama got into the good graces of its administration. Not only were we able to point out some successes and procure more funding, some became oddly enthusiastic supporters. A surprising number of administrators, even the higher ups, will be approachable, and if you can display some track record of success, many will at least be willing to go to bat for you.

In the Southeast, I'd venture to say that Honors Colleges would be a good place to start soliciting funds.

As for the SEC idea, I only threw it out there because SEC schools and their administrators - and I'm not saying this is solely true of our conference - have a fixation on beating their rivals in anything and everything. (I think the Iron Bowl of Tiddlywinks would garner a couple of hundred fans.) It could potentially be a base for funding other programs, and like I said, our administrators would back us on this effort, and could maybe help spread the word. But an overarching Southeastern quizbowl championship, inclusive of non-SEC institutions, would probably be even better in terms of the future of quizbowl in this region.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:13 pm

Hell, if the 'SEC Championship" point is so important, count the games across the whole season or on NAQT and ACF tournaments to keep a running conference tally Lets say Florida beats Georgia, Alabama(twice), and Mississippi State and loses to Alabama and South Carolina at ACF Fall so they have a 4-2 conference record after that tournament and then at the end of the year you could just give a trophy to the team with the best in-conference record or whatever.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:40 pm

Frater Taciturnus wrote:Hell, if the 'SEC Championship" point is so important, count the games across the whole season or on NAQT and ACF tournaments to keep a running conference tally Lets say Florida beats Georgia, Alabama(twice), and Mississippi State and loses to Alabama and South Carolina at ACF Fall so they have a 4-2 conference record after that tournament and then at the end of the year you could just give a trophy to the team with the best in-conference record or whatever.
This concept will not work. The numbers could be skewed so easily because of things mentioned earlier in this thread, such as distance between schools, and number of tournaments attended per institution (as it now stands) -- in addition, our version of SCT is more in SEC country than say USC's so we'll naturally play more games against SEC institutions (in fact, all of our games were played against such institutions). In addition, more SEC teams attended our version of ACF Fall than USC's, just as an example. There are other reasons, but you get the point.

EDIT: added 'just as an example'
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:05 pm

Is there some kind of problem here where people don't understand the phrase, "that will not work, no how, no way?" Any effort you direct towards thinking about this crazy SEC quizbowl tournament is wasted.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Cooper98 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:45 pm

grapesmoker wrote:Is there some kind of problem here where people don't understand the phrase, "that will not work, no how, no way?" Any effort you direct towards thinking about this crazy SEC quizbowl tournament is wasted.

It's just a thought. We'd really like to improve things and are just throwing out ideas.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by geekjohnson » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:24 pm

SE Quizbowl may not live up to the aspirations of all involved, or from our thoughtful northern neighbors, but a lot of enjoyment is had by its participants. Without offering anything constructive or worth anything, I am sure that whatever problems we have will be taken care of in due time. I would say that programs like South Carolina show the promise of the region, and especially the strides made by Dallin et al along with the promise of a resurgent UF program. Not forgetting UA's program that does nothing but host an acceptable amount of tournaments, while also competing in a large share of them as well...venturing into their first non-southeast tournament ever (outside from nationals). Anything that brings more cohesion and better structure to the area is good for the region, regardless if it is an SEC-like arrangement or the long fabled panda-league Tim Leary thought of at while in Tuscaloosa.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:14 pm

I did want to bring up one more challenging issue for this thread. One thing any team (Southeast or otherwise) must do to get nationally competitive is to consistently attend national, DI-level tournaments such as DI ICT, ACF Nats, and Chicago Open. All of the best regions annually bring a bunch of teams to these events and pretty much every program that has ever won a major national title has been a consistent, longstanding attendee at national tournaments in good years and bad.

Few Southeastern teams have attended national, DI tournaments in recent years. This year's looking like 1 southern team will attend DI ICT and 1 southern team will be at ACF Nats. That's more or less par for the course in recent years. Needless to say, those aren't the kind of numbers that will translate into the Southeast being nationally competitive. That said, I don't want to come off as berating the Southeast for its lack of attendance at major championships. Indeed, our sparse attendance at these things is in many ways another one of those pesky structural issues. Unlike the Midwest, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic, the Southeast is rarely the site of national tournaments. The most recent nationals in the Southeast were ACF Nats 2006 at Vandy and ACF Nats 2002 at Georgia Tech. I don't care what region you're in: driving 10-20 hours or buying 4 plane tickets to go to a quizbowl tournament is an expensive, logistically difficult proposition. Of course, we can't really complain about no nationals being held around here. ACF and NAQT want to host their tournaments in the regions where they can get the biggest fields and the best teams, and to my knowledge there aren't any teams in the Southeast bidding to host national events. But its negative impact on Southeastern attendance is undeniable.

In any event, this is a difficult problem for the Southeast. I guess my only advice is to go to at least one of the national tournaments if at all possible next year. It's heartening to see a decent number of Southeastern schools going to DII ICT this year. It would be even more heartening to see some of those teams take the next step in 2012.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by marnold » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:46 pm

Are you people just too polite to object strenuously when bullshit like this happens at a tournament? Maybe that's a problem.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by kayli » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:24 am

marnold wrote:Are you people just too polite to object strenuously when bullshit like this happens at a tournament? Maybe that's a problem.
Well, this is just laughable. The problems are the tournaments themselves and not our genteel Southern courtesy. While what happened at NGCSU should never be done again and while we should make sure that it does not happen again, shouting, cursing, and insulting the party committed the offense are good ways to (1) look like a jackass and (2) give them an excuse to disregard all your advice. There is a right way and a wrong way to give someone advice on running a tournament. The right way is to tell them respectfully and logically that what they did was wrong. If they're mature adults, they'll understand and will reconsider their beliefs. There's nothing wrong with talking to people civilly.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:05 am

Ar$oni$t$ Get All the Girl$ wrote:
marnold wrote:Are you people just too polite to object strenuously when bullshit like this happens at a tournament? Maybe that's a problem.
Well, this is just laughable. The problems are the tournaments themselves and not our genteel Southern courtesy. While what happened at NGCSU should never be done again and while we should make sure that it does not happen again, shouting, cursing, and insulting the party committed the offense are good ways to (1) look like a jackass and (2) give them an excuse to disregard all your advice. There is a right way and a wrong way to give someone advice on running a tournament. The right way is to tell them respectfully and logically that what they did was wrong. If they're mature adults, they'll understand and will reconsider their beliefs. There's nothing wrong with talking to people civilly.
As someone who was actually at the tournament, I can assure that strenuous objections a la "A Few Good Men" did take place in the form of people expressing their concerns to the TD, speaking out during the awards ceremony, and ultimately playing an impromptu tie-breaker round when our objections were dismissed without discussion. I mean, apart from using physical force, I don't see what else could have been done.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by marnold » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:40 am

The genteel southern courtesy thing was a joke. I was just struck by the fact this tournament had things that were obviously really bad and yet the TD called things a smashing success; in my experience with other regions there would be enough uproar from the players that that wouldn't be the case. If Eric says there in fact was a lot of dissent but things just kept rolling along, then there's a different problem.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Connie Prater » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:32 pm

Geography-wise, I totally agree that there need to be more Atlanta tournaments (as Atlanta is about four hours from Vandy and USC, less than four from Alabama, less than three from Clemson, and around six from University of Florida). Georgia Tech and UGA have run good tournaments in the past and are pretty conveniently located for most of the Southeast.

The southeast also isn't exactly a quizbowl desert. As a senior in high school last year, I attended ACF Fall and ACF Winter, and there were tournaments like ACF Regionals, EFT, and T-Party that I didn't attend but were reportedly run well (although the latter had some difficulties with the ungodly amount of snow that made travel pretty dangerous, causing the tournament to be delayed until the afternoon for safety reasons, which is totally reasonable). So really, good tournaments are totally accessible, although the southeast could stand to have like 5-6 more, I suppose.

What ends up happening in the southeast is actually pretty similar to what I've noticed so far in the Midwest, except that the Midwest is for some reason a lot better at sustaining itself. There are a handful of teams that are pretty good and have people who are familiar with the game and know how to study for the game, some people who go to good tournaments and are willing to travel but don't perform quite as well, and then a couple of teams at the bottom. This has little to to with the availability of good tournaments. They're out there. This also has nothing to do with any claims of a backward high school circuit. That's just not true. The vast majority of the high school tournaments I attended were NAQT tournaments (in fact, I'm pretty sure I played every IS set that came out), and there are a plethora of nationally competitive teams from the southeast, several of which are perennially nationally competitive.

So why isn't the college circuit quite as perennially strong? There really isn't a reason it can't be, and I don't understand a lot of the excuses given for the fact that clubs are having trouble surviving past a single graduating class.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by evilmonkey » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:51 am

Ar$oni$t$ Get All the Girl$ wrote: Geography is definitely an issue when going to tournaments.
So, I was just looking at my prospects for playing quizbowl next year, and started looking at distances between schools. This fact kind of surprised me.

Even in the midwest, where we aren't exactly close to each other, we still don't have to deal with the distances of the southeast*. Sure, most clubs in the Midwest** have driven 6 hours to a tournament - even Notre Dame did ACF Fall at Pitt once upon a few years ago. But, unlike the southeast, we have myraid options closer than that. Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western, Ohio St, Notre Dame, Michigan, UChicago, Northwestern, UIC, NIU, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, WKU, and WUSTL have all hosted tournaments in the past two years, creating a web of tournaments such that most teams can attend multiple tournaments each year that could be done as easy day trips, with drives under 3 hours***.

On the other hand, I was looking at driving distance to schools that have hosted around Florida State (one of my final three choices for graduate school). In the past two years, only Chipola and UF would qualify as definite day trips (under 3 hours). UCF, Valencia, and UGA would be about 4 hour drives. Anything else would have to be an overnight. Sure, you can say "If you want to play quizbowl, put in some effort", but the point I'm trying to make is that there are significantly higher barriers to entry for potential recruits.

*I understand that the distances don't exactly compare to those of Texas or of the Western US, but whatever.
**Note: I'm not talking about the Upper Midwest. Sorry Lawrence/Minnesota/Carleton.
***Once you get to 3.5 hours, you're talking about a 5AM departure time and a 9:30PM arrival home time. Others who normally drive for their schools can corroborate, but this is the point where the day, including the drive, begins to get arduous for me.

Edit: Cleaned up some structural elements
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:02 am

evilmonkey wrote:WKU
We actually haven't hosted a collegiate tournament yet, although Centre did host a T-Party mirror last year.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by canaanbananarama » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:11 am

One thing that might be wise, and I don't know if there are that many efforts to do so, is to just befriend a Southeast quizbowl player at HSNCT or ICT or whatever habitat you might get a chance to spot one. I'll give an example; I met Chris Chiego through odd circumstances (we were both in the Middle East). When we were at HSNCT, we went out for dinner a couple of times, and he met various quizbowl people that he wouldn't see ever in the South. He came from a team that was odd (this was the UGA of Robin Richards and Andrew Moore), but he was enthusiastic about good quizbowl and he is now a productive member of the circuit. Unfortunately, he isn't in Georgia any more, but that's not necessarily the point. In short, I am suggesting somewhat of a diplomatic mission to the Southeast. Talk to teams like Dorman or Chattahoochee and say, "Hey, you guys are pretty good. Are you planning to play quizbowl in college?" Then tout the circuit, and try to be inclusive and friendly and warm. They'll probably Facebook friend you after the tournament if they're normal high schoolers (I believe a quick lookup on Facebook would suggest that the largest group of friends graduated from a single high school I have is Los Al; it's probably followed by Dorman). Make it a point to ask them if they've started playing whenever school starts and ask them about the Southeast quizbowl circuit and so on and so forth. Maybe they'll show up to ICT, or HSNCT, or something, invite them to a gathering with various quizbowl luminaries. Show them that quizbowl circuit people are entertaining, humorous, and that there's value in continuing to play in their local circuits, and more acutely, show up to these bigger events so they can see all these big schools. That and the other encouragements (somewhat "dubious" statements to admin people over victories over Harvard [F]) could really go a long way. If there could be a couple of people who could do this in a not creepy/weird way, I think that would be beneficial. I don't see any harm in telling a high school team or a single player you think has potential, "Hey, good job, you really ought to play in college, it'd be good to play (wherever they're going to school)...etc.)

I say this having come from a region where there are similar limitations in terms of actual real contact with the larger circuit. On the West Coast, in my first two years I was fairly insulated from the larger circuit. I had the good fortune of playing in a region which was pretty dynamic at the time and full of good quizbowl (Berkeley, Stanford, Caltech, UCLA). But if you're trying to appeal to people who are more socially interested, the knowledge that they have friends in the larger circuit is a comfort. So, yeah, I think some sort of outreach to the South/Southeast would be well worth quizbowl's time. Find a couple of good players on Dorman, Chattahoochee (sorry that I keep mentioning these two schools, but I'm not going to look up stats right now and find other random currently good teams in the South), take them under your wings, and check in every once and a while, see how they're doing. Look for people who are both good enough and seem to have positive outreach (i.e. social skills) abilities that they can become leaders of a Southeast circuit and kind of make the degrees of separation from the other circuits less. This way random kid X who only knows tournaments in Alabama can have some idea of what's going on with the circuit because he's teammates with Zeb Perkins and Zeb Perkins is BFF's with Dallas Simons on Harvard, so Zeb knows to show the team a fun social time at ICT buddying up with Dallas and hitting up a game at Wrigley Field with Harvard's team.

On a final note: despite my peculiarity (super odd in quizbowl?) for liking people from the South much better than other parts of the country and especially the awful metro area in which I went to college and renounce being from in favor of my Washington State origins, I imagine that the best candidate for such a job would be an undergrad/young grad student who is less parasaurolophitic and more affiliated than me. On that note, I recommend Chris Chiego, Andrew Hart, Chris Ray, and/or Dallas Simons.
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:54 am

evilmonkey wrote:On the other hand, I was looking at driving distance to schools that have hosted around Florida State (one of my final three choices for graduate school). In the past two years, only Chipola and UF would qualify as definite day trips (under 3 hours). UCF, Valencia, and UGA would be about 4 hour drives. Anything else would have to be an overnight. Sure, you can say "If you want to play quizbowl, put in some effort", but the point I'm trying to make is that there are significantly higher barriers to entry for potential recruits.
It's even worse when you have few experienced drivers (or like none).
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by Sun Devil Student » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:30 pm

canaanbananarama wrote:One thing that might be wise, and I don't know if there are that many efforts to do so, is to just befriend a Southeast quizbowl player at HSNCT or ICT or whatever habitat you might get a chance to spot one. I'll give an example; I met Chris Chiego through odd circumstances (we were both in the Middle East). When we were at HSNCT, we went out for dinner a couple of times, and he met various quizbowl people that he wouldn't see ever in the South. He came from a team that was odd (this was the UGA of Robin Richards and Andrew Moore), but he was enthusiastic about good quizbowl and he is now a productive member of the circuit. Unfortunately, he isn't in Georgia any more, but that's not necessarily the point. In short, I am suggesting somewhat of a diplomatic mission to the Southeast. Talk to teams like Dorman or Chattahoochee and say, "Hey, you guys are pretty good. Are you planning to play quizbowl in college?" Then tout the circuit, and try to be inclusive and friendly and warm. They'll probably Facebook friend you after the tournament if they're normal high schoolers (I believe a quick lookup on Facebook would suggest that the largest group of friends graduated from a single high school I have is Los Al; it's probably followed by Dorman). Make it a point to ask them if they've started playing whenever school starts and ask them about the Southeast quizbowl circuit and so on and so forth. Maybe they'll show up to ICT, or HSNCT, or something, invite them to a gathering with various quizbowl luminaries. Show them that quizbowl circuit people are entertaining, humorous, and that there's value in continuing to play in their local circuits, and more acutely, show up to these bigger events so they can see all these big schools. That and the other encouragements (somewhat "dubious" statements to admin people over victories over Harvard [F]) could really go a long way. If there could be a couple of people who could do this in a not creepy/weird way, I think that would be beneficial. I don't see any harm in telling a high school team or a single player you think has potential, "Hey, good job, you really ought to play in college, it'd be good to play (wherever they're going to school)...etc.)

I say this having come from a region where there are similar limitations in terms of actual real contact with the larger circuit. On the West Coast, in my first two years I was fairly insulated from the larger circuit. I had the good fortune of playing in a region which was pretty dynamic at the time and full of good quizbowl (Berkeley, Stanford, Caltech, UCLA). But if you're trying to appeal to people who are more socially interested, the knowledge that they have friends in the larger circuit is a comfort. So, yeah, I think some sort of outreach to the South/Southeast would be well worth quizbowl's time. Find a couple of good players on Dorman, Chattahoochee (sorry that I keep mentioning these two schools, but I'm not going to look up stats right now and find other random currently good teams in the South), take them under your wings, and check in every once and a while, see how they're doing. Look for people who are both good enough and seem to have positive outreach (i.e. social skills) abilities that they can become leaders of a Southeast circuit and kind of make the degrees of separation from the other circuits less. This way random kid X who only knows tournaments in Alabama can have some idea of what's going on with the circuit because he's teammates with Zeb Perkins and Zeb Perkins is BFF's with Dallas Simons on Harvard, so Zeb knows to show the team a fun social time at ICT buddying up with Dallas and hitting up a game at Wrigley Field with Harvard's team.

On a final note: despite my peculiarity (super odd in quizbowl?) for liking people from the South much better than other parts of the country and especially the awful metro area in which I went to college and renounce being from in favor of my Washington State origins, I imagine that the best candidate for such a job would be an undergrad/young grad student who is less parasaurolophitic and more affiliated than me. On that note, I recommend Chris Chiego, Andrew Hart, Chris Ray, and/or Dallas Simons.
Hmm, interesting idea. I don't mean to impose on you guys, but would you be willing to consider doing this for the Mountain West region too? The Rocky Mountains are, if anything, even worse off geographically than the Southeast. (Arizona, which is about on a par with your situation in the Southeast, is already the most fortunate state in Region 13, being "only" 6-7 hours away from California.) There are four teams from Arizona coming to HSNCT, two of them for the first time ever, and I think it would be great if they got to know some of the longer-established residents of our world.
Kenneth Lan, ASU '11, '12, UIC '17
The University of Illinois at Chicago
-stranger in a strange land (2013-)
The Sonoran Desert quizbowl ecosystem
-activist/advocate (2010-2013)
The Arizona State University Quizbowl Club
-elder statesman (2011-2013)
-coach (2009-2011)
-club president (2008-2011)
-founder (2007-)

canaanbananarama
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Re: Southeastern Quizbowl

Post by canaanbananarama » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:13 pm

It won't fall under my purview, since I doubt I'll be at HSNCT, but I'll see if I can at least get a few West Coast people on board for this, and maybe get them to talk to the Arizona teams. As well, there's one high school from Las Vegas, NV and Grand Junction also has two teams. UNLV and Arizona would be useful additions for the circuit, and I know at some point somebody from UNLV expressed interest here. Back when CBI existed I tried to get a U. New Mexico team to form, but that didn't end up happening (no thanks to you, loud Chip Beall jackass moderator from New York who wouldn't shut the hell up while I was pitching demons like NAQT and ACF). The New Mexico team said they had access to a budget that might allow them to fly to LA, and a drive to Phoenix wouldn't be crazy. Boulder/Fort Collins are really far, but Tucson and Las Vegas are close enough to the LA area/San Diego. UNA (Magin, any help here?) and USU are the only other universities I can think of that aren't crazy long drives. Also, if the Arizona collegiate circuit does develop, and there were a tournament next year, it might not be bad to see if any of the El Paso HS teams have players going to UTEP. Not too far from Phoenix, but too far from LA. The distances are probably too limiting for anything sustainable in the Denver, Salt Lake City, or Albuquerque areas, unless a messianic Mike Bentley-like figure were to show up there. We can go back to the Southeast after I suggest that Jonathan Magin be the loyal Chipotle headquarters employee who gets quizbowl going at Colorado, CSU, and Air Force.
C. Meigs
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