QU-The field in Chicago

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QU-The field in Chicago

Post by quiz4life »

Here is the field for Chicago http://www.qunlimited.com/chsched6.htm

Any takers on the top teams? Last year the El Paso (A very nice team including the coach and a traveling dad) team took second overall. Shanghai went 6-0 in the prelims but lost to a very good Chaska, a team they had beaten in the prelims, in the first playoff match. Shanghai comes back with 4 returning players. I do not know a lot of the teams who are registered to attend. Can anyone enlighten me?
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Post by First Chairman »

James Island historically does well in that tournament, but I don't know how strong they are since I haven't seen them.

I will put up huge props for Fisher Catholic though. The winner of the JI-FC prelim match will likely have a much easier playoff run to the QU semifinals than the loser. If anything, I think that would have been a regional championship match if they were to meet in another venue.

The question is whether FC can do well on Chip's questions. They'll have enough practice going. But Copley's performance (which they do excellently on OAC format as FC does, but is probably not going to be as strong on this format) is going to be a good bellweather for FC's performance.

Shanghai will still get Chip's eye as they make a sophomore run which I think will be more smoothly paved than last year.
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Post by Tegan »

I'm not certain how strong this field really is, but the Latin School has just won its third Illinois small school tournament in a row, and routinely plays some of the better big school teams. If they are full strength, they could pick up some wins before it is all over.

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Post by STPickrell »

Poquoson finished third in VHSL Group AA, behind very tough Charlottesville and Blacksburg teams.

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

StPickrell wrote:Poquoson finished third in VHSL Group AA, behind very tough Charlottesville and Blacksburg teams.
Yea I've noticed they go to NAC almost every year, do they compete in anything besides that, VHSL, and BoB? I always root for them just because I used to have a house down there (before Isabel came) and knew a couple people at the high school. They do well for such a small school (the city itself only has about 12,000 people).
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Post by Byko »

Matt Morrison wrote:Yea I've noticed they go to NAC almost every year
Not so fast, my friend. Chip made a big deal about getting Poquoson back last year after a 20-year hiatus, as they hadn't been since 1985 (according to his records). So this is their third time at NAC in 21 years.

They did compete at ASCN in 1996 and 2001, finishing around 20th both times.

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Whoops, my bad :oops: . I just knew they went this year and last year and had gone to some nationals before that, so I jumped to the conclusion that they were one of Chip's regulars...
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Post by AKKOLADE »

The last two West Virginia state champions are going to QU. Cabell Midland ('06) will be in Chicago and Ripley ('05) will be in DC. Both should be capable of doing decently.

It is Chip after all.

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Post by Romero »

It is Chip which means that ANY team could win; skill and knowledge are not required to do well.

However if you are looking for a team to bet on, look for the team with a retiring or dying coach. Chip always considers how the publicity will read before he decides which team will win.

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Post by jrbarry »

Mr Romero:

I am not sure how you meant it, but the "dying coach" comment seems like a cheap shot, imo.

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Post by quiz4life »

Dr. Chuck,
It seems to me that you are infering that Chip paved a road that allowed my team to succeed in last years tournament. "Shanghai will still get Chip's eye as they make a sophomore run which I think will be more smoothly paved than last year."
That sir is totally false! My team played very well and got nothing from Chip. In fact our first match was against White Plains A NAC's second place finisher. This year again Shanghai is scheduled to start their match play againist NAC's runner-up, El Paso. I see no paving in the scheduling nor in the questions. NAQT had more China questions than did NAC and honestly we missed a few of the China questions. Frankly, I am insulted. My team was and is made up of some brillant students (Early acceptance to Harvard, a Grade 9 who scored a 5 on AP Calculus) who are excellent at quiz.
In addition others on this list are making comments about Chip and last years NAC. Well I was there and I do not believe any of you were. Chip ran an excellent tournament. The matches, the questions and the judges/moderators were fair and professional. Chip himself was a perfect gentleman and host.
Now I love NAQT. I feel that the style of questions at NAQT are the best and my team and I loved the tournament. But NAC is also well done and a great amount of fun.
As for Chip's past, that I have no direct knowledge. Yes there may have been problems. Problems that have been mentioned in many posts previously and do not need to be mentioned again. But please let us give Chip his due. He has been a big part of quiz for what must be 30 years. He has helped spread quiz and make it what it is today. Yes the state of quiz has changed but it is built upon a lot of what Chip has done. Do we disparage early historians for not seeing what we see today? Even if they may have plagrized? I see no need to crucify the guy.


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Post by First Chairman »

Michael,
I don't mean to impugn your kids, and I apologize if you feel that I meant to go in that direction. I'm sure they work very hard for the proper credit that they deserve. My comments are directed more towards the way that Chip tends to promote various teams (Romero's comment notwithstanding). It has been our experience that there are certain teams that Chip does like to promote. I am sure that with a team willing to travel all the way from China to compete at his event that your team will get some publicity. That's all. Note the many previous reports of "hard luck" teams or various favorite teams he has promoted.

As for comments about Chip's tournament, I leave that more to people who have competed in his events who have more first-hand knowledge. I will not discount his contributions to the game and the fact that he has run his business for 30+ years. But that said, fewer teams do compete at his tournament and another; you will be one of the few that will this year. We are interested in what your impressions are, but we also know his past patterns in describing the tournament. But there has to be a reason why more teams in the upper echelon of NAQT or PACE don't go and that he hasn't really tried to recruit them back. I just think one should not completely discount the experience of so many people who do not consider his tournament worthy of their money despite him being in the game for 30 years.
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Post by quiz4life »

Dr Chuck,
Thank you for clarifying your thoughts about my former team and the fine young students who make it up. I know the captain of the Shanghai team reads this listing maybe he will chime in with his two cents.
As for NAC, I see nothing wrong with promoting teams. This, just like NAQT, is a business. If mentioning a team on your web site helps bring in other teams so be it. This does not nor should it mean promote crosses over the line to supports a team. In no way did I see Chip support one team over another.
Concerning the recent changes in the number and quality of teams particpating in NAC, certainly that speaks for it self. Maybe the changes in quiz have passed NAC by and like ASCN, NAC will fall, but he still has a good number of teams who particpate in his tournaments. In addition Chip has been making changes to his tournaments, his questions have changed-for the better and NAC has more preliminary matches than before. Certainly he seems to be not giving up without a fight! Again his work in quiz should be recognized. But that just maybe the history teacher in me.

Now back to the theme that started this- who are the better teams at NAC-Chicago? Someone mentioned James Island-I saw them play in the championship round at the 1994 (?) ASCN tournament. The match went into overtime-it was amazing! I sat next to Mr. Garrick of Dorman fame, who said it was the finest match he had ever seen.
What about White Plains? In 2004 they finished second in NAC but did not even make the playoffs in 2005. Shanghai's team should be stronger than last years NAC team. Sadly the team at NAC will not be the same one at NAQT. Only one player, the captain, will play in both matches.
Thanks,
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Post by First Chairman »

Continuing thoughts from previous thread (as sleep finally hit me), and this probably could eventually be tagged for theory... but to keep everything in context...

That said, I do think that the competitiveness of the field is not as great as even three years ago. But Romero's remarks about the skills that are rewarded on Chip's questions... well... if you disagree, we disagree. That is what I meant by having a "more smoothly paved road." At least compared to the two other teams that I pointed out earlier, Shanghai American doesn't have to play either of those two teams in prelims. That alone means S.A. has an opportunity to be seeded higher than either of those two teams if they win out or even lose a game. (I also know that a second run through an event is much easier than the first run.)

Seriously, what I recognize Chip for positive contributions to the circuit:
* First organized and currently longest-running national championship tournament
* Extensive national network with schools and other high school quiz show television programs
* First televised high school national championship series in the mid-80's
* Attempts at the first "chat room quiz show" since 1997
* Free questions, in the form of "Twenty Questions" since 1997

That said, we do a great disservice to the history of quiz bowl if we do not also acknowledge the work of many other people who had promoted qb in their local areas. It's Academic predates QU by at least 2 decades. College Bowl was the first real televised quiz bowl program that most people growing up in the 50's and 60's identified with.

I would be extremely surprised if Chip did not counter with offering more games. However, it is also a market response that happened in 2005. PACE had a minimum number of games policy of 5 or 6 since 1998. NAQT had minimum prelim games of 9 or 10 since their HSCT was run in 1999. Both PACE and NAQT are offering costs that were significantly less than Chip's. I remember well and good the first time I had mentioned the PACE NSC team registration fee of $200ish being met with "is that per student or per team"?

NAQT can now officially boast the largest national in the country, a marketing point that Chip has employed for at least two decades. NAQT's and PACE's field (among those who know) pits the best teams in the country whereas QU's does not involve those teams (we have discussed this point). It would be a complete surprise if QU kept running the things they way they have without some sort of response.

In a way, QU has been trying to cash in on its associate Brad Rutter's success with Jeopardy! as NAQT had been trying to cash in on success among its associates Ken Jennings and Kevin Olmstead. As a member of the observing third party among both groups jockeying for having the "greatest Jeopardy player ever", I admit it's extremely entertaining.

This year will no doubt be the most interesting national championship quest in a while. The elite level has expanded this year, with the very interesting by-line of Thomas Jefferson's possible four-peat at NAQT (and we are denied a possible four-peat at ASCN by Dorman this year) to continue a dynastic stamp similar to State College's run. The QU by-line is focused on who will actually take the title but will always be shadowed by the question (as it has for the last few years since Irmo's last QU championship): what if they played at NAQT or PACE? My concern now is that quiz bowl is headed towards a more divergent path, with teams that only know about or choose compete at Chip's competition and those who only know or compete at NAQT. (We haven't had many teams do both QU and PACE in quite a while.)
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Post by Matt Weiner »

quiz4life wrote:My team was and is made up of some brillant students (Early acceptance to Harvard, a Grade 9 who scored a 5 on AP Calculus) who are excellent at quiz.
A 5 on AP calculus, you say! Harvard, you say!
Chip ran an excellent tournament. The matches, the questions and the judges/moderators were fair and professional.
Chip is not capable of writing fair or professional questions and I doubt anyone who thinks otherwise actually knows what a good question is. If you happened to avoid being on the receiving end of a terrible judgement call, that's great for you, but don't pretend it doesn't happen to several teams each year, and PLEASE don't pretend that the questions at the NAC are anything but the definition of bad quizbowl.

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Post by First Chairman »

Matt Weiner wrote:
quiz4life wrote:My team was and is made up of some brillant students (Early acceptance to Harvard, a Grade 9 who scored a 5 on AP Calculus) who are excellent at quiz.
A 5 on AP calculus, you say! Harvard, you say!
Gentle, gentle, Matt...

I think you have to explain the school grade situation. Is this person aged 13-15 years old? There are 12 grades to the system in the US secondary education system. Many people over here would think "Doogie Howser" if we're thinking about a ninth grader taking calculus and getting accepted to Harvard. Just make sure we understand the educational position this student has.

I will add to Matt's point in my own way (as I can): what criteria do you use to evaluate whether a set of questions or staff is fair or professional? Against what standard do you compare? Specifically, what has been your experience with unprofessional staff or bad questions? I would be very interested in your response to the last question because for most people, they are shocked at bad treatment only when they are the recipient of that treatment (kind of like when one breaks up with a first significant boy/girlfriend). Protest procedures are never truly tested until a protest occurs, so if you don't get a protest, you never know exactly how fair or professional one deals with those situations.
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Post by conker »

Hi,

I am the aforementioned captain of the SAS team. There seems to be some confusion. The teammate who took AP Calc as a freshman was not also the one who got into Harvard. :roll: Mr. Harvey was talking about two different students there. And for the record, we follow an American system with 12 grades.

Now, my personal views of the NAC tournament...I'll have to admit that there were no protests last year, so I cannot be the judge of the NAC protest system. However, I do have to say that the moderators were very friendly, which is what I think my former coach was alluding to.

It may well be true that some questions were biased. I watched several rounds, and incidentally (or is that coincidentally), our rounds happened to be the only ones where China questions came up. Now, we don't study Chinese history specifically in this school, so that didn't work to our advantage. Otherwise, the questions were fair. However, I have to admit that the quality of questions (and teams) were such that matches between teams of similar ability were essentially coin flips. We were a good team (we were above average at NAQT), but certainly not a 6-0 team. We trounced some awful teams, but we also beat 1 or 2 teams that were clearly better than us.

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Post by First Chairman »

conker wrote:I am the aforementioned captain of the SAS team. There seems to be some confusion. The teammate who took AP Calc as a freshman was not also the one who got into Harvard. :roll: Mr. Harvey was talking about two different students there. And for the record, we follow an American system with 12 grades.
Okay... just making sure. I had visions of Chinese eighth graders complaining about calculus running through my head as the US's advantage in math and science innovation is slowly eroded... sorry, back to point.
Now, my personal views of the NAC tournament...I'll have to admit that there were no protests last year, so I cannot be the judge of the NAC protest system. However, I do have to say that the moderators were very friendly, which is what I think my former coach was alluding to.
Thanks. I would expect that most moderators would be friendly, but my focus is on describing their "professionalism." Granted, quiz bowl isn't really a profession, but it would be interesting what your comments are about that.
It may well be true that some questions were biased. I watched several rounds, and incidentally (or is that coincidentally), our rounds happened to be the only ones where China questions came up. Now, we don't study Chinese history specifically in this school, so that didn't work to our advantage. Otherwise, the questions were fair. However, I have to admit that the quality of questions (and teams) were such that matches between teams of similar ability were essentially coin flips. We were a good team (we were above average at NAQT), but certainly not a 6-0 team. We trounced some awful teams, but we also beat 1 or 2 teams that were clearly better than us.
Interesting... so you sensed a slightly higher bias of China questions... if you had been able to answer more of those questions, what would your opponents think? "We had to play more Asian geography questions against Shanghai American... how unfair is that!" maybe?

Now, suppose the question content were skewed in ways that you couldn't detect. What if there were slightly more math questions given to a team that came from a math/science magnet? Or more fine arts questions from an arts-based school? What if some of these slight biases were really subtle and would take some deliberate examination to see where the biases are?

The frequency lists that NAQT sells are one way to examine the biases the NAQT question-writers have, and I think looking at common answers that pop up in tournaments as an aggregate also contribute to a sense of what "we" collectively view as important information for this game. Will anyone actually want to involve themselves in such a task? I would certainly love to advise some undergraduate psychology major who wants to do that, even though my background is cell physiology.

But wouldn't it be interesting to study the frequency lists of answers used at tournaments across the country or at all the Nationals? I think that may be the one way that we can truly determine "quality" tournaments. Each person can recommend others: Don't go to this event... there were a larger number of "state nicknames" questions than expected, or this tournament is really skewed on math.

Don't say we can't introduce bias into qb packets; it has been done before. See many packets in trash rounds where all the answers point to an underlying pattern or bias. Whether that bias is blatent (such as cute things written by question writers about themselves), structural (content of a bonus set of questions, question distribution) or not, you have to know that implicit biases exist and they can make a difference to the fairness of the outcome of a match or a tournament.

How well a team can pick up on these subtle biases (even if you do not consciously detect them) provides a competitive advantage in any match. For example, a coach can use that sense to substitute a player in because the biases seem to favor that particular mix of students (as opposed to the usual substitution strategy of "letting my bench player get some time"). ...

Oops telling you more than you ought to know.
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Post by Matthew D »

I do think that a question writer will default to the subjects that they know the best, hence the bias comes in. I know when I am writing questions that I really have to make myself stay to a particular setup or I will end up writing way two many science and history questions.
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Post by FCqb »

Thanks for the nod, but heres the thing. Fisher is sending half their team (3/4 varsity) to a conflicting PANASONIC saturday night before play-offs. Is anyone else doing that?? We have a decent draw. Should we make finals, it would be a crapshoot to win. QU is similar to OAC format, and we do it well. We'll play, have fun, but national tourney, even NAC, may be just out of reach for a year. I like NAC because it's an intersting format, it provides for alot of leisure time, it's usually hosted at a nice venue, the really good teams don't go to steal trophies. SAS should do well if only because they are more experienced by now. Latin knocked us out last year by a question I think. We used to roll in WV and the competition was pretty good, they might make a good show. Anyways it'll be fun, I'll see some of you down there. Adios.

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Post by FCqb »

Copley is going to San Antonio, or the texas one, is that right? They weren't as strong this year as they have been recently, but I know they like this format and play it well. It will be interesting to see how they come out.
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Post by FCqb »

Disreguard last post.
I just found the San Antonia results on the other post.... poor Copley. Was the much to do in texas? Was the winning team pretty good?

Chicago, woooooo!!!!
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FCqb wrote:Thanks for the nod, but heres the thing. Fisher is sending half their team (3/4 varsity) to a conflicting PANASONIC saturday night before play-offs. Is anyone else doing that?? We have a decent draw. Should we make finals, it would be a crapshoot to win. QU is similar to OAC format, and we do it well. We'll play, have fun, but national tourney, even NAC, may be just out of reach for a year. I like NAC because it's an intersting format, it provides for alot of leisure time, it's usually hosted at a nice venue, the really good teams don't go to steal trophies. SAS should do well if only because they are more experienced by now. Latin knocked us out last year by a question I think. We used to roll in WV and the competition was pretty good, they might make a good show. Anyways it'll be fun, I'll see some of you down there. Adios.
-Kyle
Of course, one could never anticipate attending Panasonic when choosing the date for attending the QU NAC... but I could have told you that. :)

However, I don't consider QU format to be anything like OAC format. OAC has predictable questions and no double-bouncebacks. OAC should have little to no pop culture or "trashy" general knowledge. Copley's performance... I don't know who Sue brought with her, but they were a relatively young team, and she preps them very well for a mostly academic set of questions. Chip's questions are not as academically rigorous.
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Post by btressler »

FCqb wrote:Disreguard last post.
I just found the San Antonia results on the other post.... poor Copley. Was the much to do in texas? Was the winning team pretty good?
The final four: Byram Hills (NY), White Plains (NY), Charter (DE), and Seton Hall Prep (NJ) are teams that win/place high in Mid-Atlantic tournaments on a regular basis.

Although it would be fun to speculate that Byram would be 20th at NAQT a la Holland Hall, I suspect that Byram is stronger this year than Holland was last year. Interestingly, when a Byram Hills coach and I were discussing the schedule, and I said how I appreiate the power-matched schedule of NAQT more, the coach said 'what's NAQT?'.

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The final four: Byram Hills (NY), White Plains (NY), Charter (DE), and Seton Hall Prep (NJ) are teams that win/place high in Mid-Atlantic tournaments on a regular basis.

Although it would be fun to speculate that Byram would be 20th at NAQT a la Holland Hall, I suspect that Byram is stronger this year than Holland was last year. Interestingly, when a Byram Hills coach and I were discussing the schedule, and I said how I appreiate the power-matched schedule of NAQT more, the coach said 'what's NAQT?'.
I do not believe I have seen any one of those teams at a tournament this year, and we went to kind of a lot of mid-atlantic tournaments. From what I understand, Charter and Seton Hall are solid NAQT teams who have beaten people who DO place high in the major mid-atlantic tournaments. I have never even heard of Byram Hills or White Plains, which makes me wonder what Mid-Atlantic tournaments they "place high or win" on a regular basis." Particularly considering the somewhat unsettling comment in your post. . .

I guess what disappoints me more is that teams like Charter and like Seton Hall, who very clearly have the talent to place high at the major mid-atlantic tournaments, tend not to attend. I wish they, and to a much large extent, if the talent is as good as you say it is, these teams like Byram Hills and White Plains, would leave Chip behind. I can understand why a terrible team wants to go to Chip every year, we can all understand that. But a team that could place high at nationals, that's beaten some of the better teams from one of the best regions in the country? Shame, I say. Shame.
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Post by First Chairman »

I wonder if the next question was "what is power matching?"

When they start playing a bit more south of their location (DC area), I'm sure we'll hear of them and see how good they are. But I suspect they are happy winning competitions in their pond.

I don't know... did they compete at Princeton?

I'm sure there are many teams that wouldn't mind competing up, as long as they know that the competition is good.
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Post by bigtrain »

I have played and beat 2 out of the final 4 this year (White Plains and Seton Hall). We beat White Plains at Princeton pretty easily without our full A team. At Yale we defeated Seton Hall Prep in the Semis after losing to them in the prelims (thanks to my 6 negs on what I swear were hoses :sad: ). Seton Hall prep was also at Centennial High School's tournament where we played them with only one A team member (me) and lost a close game.

I had an argument with White Plains's coach at Princeton over the merit of Chip Beal questions where he complained saying something like "NAQT rewards people with specific knowledge of the obscure areas of a subject, who cares about that?" Supposedly this guy is a teacher... :roll: Personally, I think his motivation for playing Chip is different.
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Seton Hall and Nationals

Post by SHP Pirate »

Unfortunately, our graduation is next weekend. Otherwise, we would have been in Chicago at NAQT. As far as attending more tournaments in the DC area ... we were registered to be at Gonzaga but were unable to attend the snow date. We did go to Centennial, Princeton, and Yale, along with a number of other NY/NJ events. We, like many of you, like to try and support local teams and their tournaments. We are planning on hosting an NAQT sometime next winter. Why don't all of you come up and try your hands against NY and NJ?

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Re: Seton Hall and Nationals

Post by First Chairman »

SHP Pirate wrote:Unfortunately, our graduation is next weekend. Otherwise, we would have been in Chicago at NAQT. As far as attending more tournaments in the DC area ... we were registered to be at Gonzaga but were unable to attend the snow date. We did go to Centennial, Princeton, and Yale, along with a number of other NY/NJ events. We, like many of you, like to try and support local teams and their tournaments. We are planning on hosting an NAQT sometime next winter. Why don't all of you come up and try your hands against NY and NJ?
Too bad you couldn't come down and compete at PACE NSC.
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Post by Dan Greenstein »

One confusing thing in the last six posts of this discussion is the definition of mid-Atlantic. To someone in central Virginia, it could be from Delaware to as far south as North Carolina. To someone in New York City, it could be New Jersey, Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, and downstate New York, with Maryland on down being called "the South."

Thus, it makes sense that White Plains (I am assuming the one in Westchester county, NY) and Seton Hall Prep (I am assuming it is close to the eponymous university in The Oranges, NJ) rarely travel down to tournaments in the MD/DC/VA area, as it is a 250 mile drive. Conversely, I would not expect teams in the MD/DC/VA area to travel up there much, although many teams from that area do go up to Princeton and Yale tournaments semi-regularly.

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Post by Magister Ludi »

As a member of a team that regularly places high in Mid-Atlantic tournaments. I've played Charter and Seton Hall this year and both of them are very good teams. I'm sure they would at least place in the top 8 at any tournament in the Mid-Atlantic region. We are 1-1 against both. Both are very solid at NAQT.
As for the other two teams, we crushed Byram Hills when we played them and I'm not sure how great the competition is in the NY-NJ area excluding a few teams, but we plan to come Seton Hall's tournament to find out.
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Post by btressler »

From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mid-Atlantic

Adj. 1. mid-Atlantic - of a region of the United States generally including Delaware; Maryland; Virginia; and usually New York; Pennsylvania; New Jersey; "mid-Atlantic states"

I'm so sorry I posted, this argument is quite tiresome. My post didn't say that the teams were "good". We know that Richard Montgomery, TJ, Maggie Walker, and friends are going to place high next weekend and the post never said that final four in San Antonio were going to beat them.

Frankly, the way you've treated us on this board has been a mega-deterrent from us wanting to come to the D.C. area. Why would we want to show up to be told how much better you are than we are?

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Post by Howard »

I, for one, hope Charter feels welcome anywhere in "the South." You're certainly welcome if/when I hold another tourney. And I plan on continuing to support Charter and their tournaments.
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Post by DumbJaques »

Frankly, the way you've treated us on this board has been a mega-deterrent from us wanting to come to the D.C. area. Why would we want to show up to be told how much better you are than we are?
No one was telling you how much better they were than you. In fact, most people made it clear that they WEREN'T saying that.
Magister Ludi wrote:
I've played Charter and Seton Hall this year and both of them are very good teams. I'm sure they would at least place in the top 8 at any tournament in the Mid-Atlantic region. We are 1-1 against both. Both are very solid at NAQT.
dumbjaques wrote:
I can understand why a terrible team wants to go to Chip every year, we can all understand that. But a team that could place high at nationals, that's beaten some of the better teams from one of the best regions in the country?
There is nothing at all in there about us being better than you, quit being so sensitive. Personally, I don't actually care if you come down because you're whoever you happen to be. My comment was about Chip and the Chip phenomenon, not about your team or any of the other specific teams. I do think good teams that can compete at the top level at NAQT/non-crappy questions but still go to Chip because it's going to give them a better chance to win are selling themselves short. And since I don't know you or your players, I obviously can't make any comments about your personal motivations (hence: why I DIDN'T make any comments about them, something you seem to have missed).
dumbjaques wrote:

I guess what disappoints me more is that teams like Charter and like Seton Hall, who very clearly have the talent to place high at the major mid-atlantic tournaments, tend not to attend. I wish they, and to a much large extent, if the talent is as good as you say it is, these teams like Byram Hills and White Plains, would leave Chip behind.
I don't know how you took that as any kind of comment against your team's skill. It's a criticism entirely based on the decision to attend something ridiculous, phony, and really offensive to what a lot of people have devoted a good portion of their lives to trying to create. If you want to answer with your justification for competing at Chip's tournament, please, I'll gladly debate it with you. But don't play the "big mean mid-atlantic teams are arrogant" card when we weren't doing anything but talking about how you guys are too good for Chip.
Frankly, the way you've treated us on this board has been a mega-deterrent from us wanting to come to the D.C. area. Why would we want to show up to be told how much better you are than we are?
Frankly, if I thought a team was talking down to mine, I wouldn't see that as motivation to AVOID competing against them, if you know what I mean. And I can't remember the last tournament I went to where the teams stood around and talked about who could, theoretically, win a match. I guess there really is a lot of variation in "Mid-Atlantic" quizbowl. . .



EDIT: I know Charter is paid by some TV show to go to Chip's tournament. That doesn't change the philosophical issue I'm arguing for.
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Post by First Chairman »

One of my favorite quotes is the Texas Academic Decathlon motto. "It ain't braggin' if it's true." At least early on in the Decathlon state-vs-state duels between California and Texas, Texas schools usually grabbed the national championship and was considered (at that time) the best state in the country in terms of academic decathlon competition. Hence the motto.

Regardless, the motto also says something to people who feel "intimidated" or "offended" by such bravado. Basically, if you don't like the way they carry on, you have to build your program up, play against them, and beat them. Prove it on the field of play that you are indeed better than the other group. Whether Nationals was held in Dallas, San Antonio, or Austin, you had to beat them there or anywhere.

So while I sympathize with Stat74 in terms of the frustration that comes around the bragging of the DC-VA-MD circuit (because believe me, I have felt that way in the past), the fact remains that until someone bumps off the TJ's, the MW's, the RM's, and the rest of the competitive region of that part of the east coast (and I'm going to group State College in with that since they also compete in that world), they can point at history and the scoreboard until someone takes the title away from them. Chip's announcement that South Carolina is the greatest quiz bowl state ever also points to such bravado, but based on the standards of his national championships, there isn't much that can be said to debate that argument on those grounds alone.

So treat the talk as if it were a challenge, but a friendly one. There will be years when the DC area won't produce as strong a field as they have this year.
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Post by Byko »

E.T. Chuck wrote:Chip's announcement that South Carolina is the greatest quiz bowl state ever also points to such bravado, but based on the standards of his national championships, there isn't much that can be said to debate that argument on those grounds alone.
It's more than just his standards causing that kind of statement not to be true anymore--it's, well, the scoreboard. You don't see South Carolina teams winning national championships like they used to. In the late 1980s and a decent part of the 1990s, it was South Carolina's time to shine. For a brief period in the mid 2000s, the Midwest (okay, Michigan) was the most competitive area of the country. Now it's shifted to the Mid-Atlantic/Beltways area. Give it a few more years, and it'll shift again probably. It is the nature of things.

And for the record, while I haven't seen Charter play (yet, as I hope I'll get to see them this weekend at NAQT), I've seen their results, and I've been impressed. I expect them to be in the playoffs on Sunday at the very least.

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Post by bigtrain »

Byko wrote:Now it's shifted to the Mid-Atlantic/Beltways area. Give it a few more years, and it'll shift again probably. It is the nature of things.
I don't forsee any shift. In most quantifiable ways, Washington is the most educated city in the country and I think that will translate to strong quizbowl teams. As pyramidal question's exposure increases in the future, I think the strongest areas in the country will alternate between the NYC area, Washington ("Washimore"), Chicago, San Francisco and maybe L.A. I really don't mean to offend anyone from South Carolina, but I think the only reason why they were so dominant back in the day was because of the lack of exposure of pyramidal questions in other areas of the country. As far as I can tell, WJ hosted the first-ever NAQT tournament held in Montgomery County (the home to such notable teams as Richard Montgomery, Walter Johnson, Montgomery Blair, Blake, Walt Whitman, Rockville, Quince Orchard and other less competitive schools). As the game expands, I think we will begin to find that the areas you'd expect to have the strongest academic teams actually will.
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Post by ksattelmeyer »

Bigtrain, are you saying that other regions of the country (besides SC) didn't have pyramidal questions that long ago or that the mid-Atlantic area was the first? I'm pretty sure those written for Brookwood (grouping this in with SC) were fairly pyramidal by the first year I went to that one ('92). Not so much for the other tournaments in the region, but I think those were mostly run with bought questions.

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Post by Howard »

DumbJaques wrote:...(hence: why I DIDN'T make any comments about them, something you seem to have missed).
I would have agreed with you until you posted your tirade. Your attitude here is part of the problem. You could have simply expressed regret for the misunderstanding.

I venture to say that your response is not the way we wish to portray ourselves in the MD-DC-VA area. I'll further add that in my many dealings with Charter (or their coach), things have never been anything less than pleasant.
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Post by DumbJaques »

I would have agreed with you until you posted your tirade. Your attitude here is part of the problem. You could have simply expressed regret for the misunderstanding.

I venture to say that your response is not the way we wish to portray ourselves in the MD-DC-VA area. I'll further add that in my many dealings with Charter (or their coach), things have never been anything less than pleasant.
My attitude, which is what? That I resent it when good teams continue to support what I see as a blight on quizbowl and everything it should stand for? I do resent it, and I don't resent it on behalf of the DC area, nor at any point did I assume the role of "official DC area representative" on this board, I resent it as a matter of personal opinion. Merely being from DC shouldn't mean that my opinions/conduct/whatever in any way dictate how people percieve the area as a whole, any more than people should assume Jonathan Thompson represented the entire southeast or the lovely mutilated corpse posting incident represented our area.

I certainly wouldn't want to give off the impression that I look down on other teams. I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone I compete against, I always have, and it only gets lost when they behave in an unsportsmanlike way. I respect someone who gets destroyed and shakes hands way more than someone who dominates and then acts like a jerk. To the Charter coach, I sincerely apologize if I gave that impression. I did mean to criticize, and I stand by my criticisms, but they are completely seperate from comments ahout your team's ability, which, as stated before, is self-evident. That's the reason why I wish your team (and teams like yours, the post was hardly simply about you or your region) would gravitate to other formats and tournaments. It wasn't a regional thing at all. I probably should have been less aggressive in responding, but understand that I felt as if I was being called out for being arrogant and looking down on other teams, something I took substantial offense at. I assure you that all of my arguments were based on the decision to continue to support Chip and his format and questions and general lack of ethics, and did not at all represent a lack of respect for your team's ability. Again, I apologize if that was the message you recieved.

To Howard, since when does your opinion determine how the DC area should want to conduct itself? This was a personal disagreement between individuals, and no one, at least until your last comment, declared themselves a standard bearer for any region. I'm not even sure why this has even become a regional debate, the original issue was Chip and his travesty of a tournament. I'm not exactly sure what you meant by "my attitude being part of the problem," but I would certainly hope nobody in the world makes decisions on their quizbowl season schedules based on something as trivial as my annoying and frequently misspelled comments. Not to get into a debate with you about representing an area, because again, I seriously hope nobody takes me as the typical rep of the DC area (read: most people here are a lot nicer and less likely to make long-ass posts in the threads of tournaments they didn't even attend), but I don't think either of us should be claiming we know how the DC are should represent itself. I certainly wouldn't want a certain forbidden zone thread between yourself and the Martin County people to be how people judge our area, any more than I imagine you don't want my attitude to be how people view it either.

In a futile attempt to avoid getting this thread locked. . .

I propose we end the discussion of regions/teams that may or may not be selling out/people who act like jerks, and return to discussing what the thread was originally supposed to be about. We all hate Chip, can't we all just bask in the uniting embrace of common hatred?
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Post by bigtrain »

ksattelmeyer wrote:Bigtrain, are you saying that other regions of the country (besides SC) didn't have pyramidal questions that long ago or that the mid-Atlantic area was the first?
I was pretty much saying the exact opposite. I recognize that the Southeast was the pioneer in high school pyramidal questions which explains their historical dominance. I'm definately aware of the fact that the mid-Atlantic had been dominated by short questions for 40 years.

bigtrain wrote:I really don't mean to offend anyone from South Carolina, but I think the only reason why they were so dominant back in the day was because of the lack of exposure of pyramidal questions in other areas of the country.
When I said "other areas of the country" I meant places that were not South Carolina, or more aptly, not in the Southeast.
DumbJaques wrote:To Howard, since when does your opinion determine how the DC area should want to conduct itself?
Perhaps this speaks to the region's lack of organization. Any suggestions to create an organization so that the DC area can have a collective opinion?
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Post by Matt Weiner »

Stat74 wrote:Frankly, the way you've treated us on this board has been a mega-deterrent from us wanting to come to the D.C. area. Why would we want to show up to be told how much better you are than we are?
Bill, this honestly sounds like an all-too-convenient excuse.

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Post by Ben Dillon »

DumbJaques wrote:
I propose we end the discussion of regions/teams that may or may not be selling out/people who act like jerks, and return to discussing what the thread was originally supposed to be about. We all hate Chip, can't we all just bask in the uniting embrace of common hatred?
Because not everyone hates him.

As this board grows, you've got to allow for the fact that "newcomers" will not have experienced the same history with Chip that the "oldtimers" have. To complicate matters, some of the "newcomers" will be people who are not neophytes in quiz bowl, who are not ignorant of other formats, and who in fact have longer resumes that many of the "oldtimers".

Take Matt, for example. I greatly respect him from his posts, although I've never met him. Now Matt has a definite opinion about Chip. But it's hard to tell what precipitated it... was there a single incident (a protest Chip handled poorly, a ruling Chip made that was unjust, etc.), a pattern of incidents, or years worth of incidents?

Now take me. I'm older than Matt, with more quiz bowl experience. But I would be perceived as the "newcomer" compared to him. And so I obviously have not earned the respect of others on the board yet. But my experiences with Chip have not been equivalent to Matt's. In ten-plus years of attending NAC, there of course have been incidents, but none that would be disqualifying, as in "I'm never going back to NAC". In addition, I've never witnessed an incident like that happen to another team, save the Grand Junction fiasco.

I perceive that what Stat74 was objecting to originally, at least in part, was that "newcomers" on the board get the impression that their opinions are dismissed out of hand as less valid, even if the person on the other end didn't mean at all to give that impression. I would ask those who are "oldtimers" to be willing to bring "newcomers" up to speed. I realize this topic may be "played out" and some may have no wish to retread it. But it's awfully hard to expect "newcomers" to read every single post from this and previous boards before posting their thoughts.

Finally, a few questions:

(1) Is NAC an "inferior" tournament because top teams don't go to it or do top teams not go to it because it's an "inferior" tournament? (Note: I would consider "BOTH" to be a cop-out answer.)

(2) I have gathered from posts in many threads that Chip is guilty of favoritism: in scheduling matches, in question selection, and in adjudicating protests. How much of this can be documented and substantiated? How much of this is simply accepted to be true because of his past "misdeeds"? (Note: I'm not alleging a conspiracy theory against Chip here, but I have seen the sentiment "yet another strike against Chip" on these boards without a whiff of proof.)

(3) Taking #2 to its logical conclusion, is there anything Chip could do that would win you back? Is he beyond redemption? (Note: "NO" answers, if they are based on plagiarism, would make sense here, since that does seem to be well-founded.)

(4) Take Chip out of the equation (e.g. he retires and hands the business to Brad Rutter). Can NAC win you back/Is NAC beyond redemption? (Note: My team and I go there year after year because we prefer the four-quarter format to the tossup/bonus format. That is the top reason we don't go to another national, not because we think we couldn't be competitive elsewhere.)
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Post by Matt Weiner »

I'd still be nearly as dismissive of Chip just based on his terrible questions alone, but the fact is he stole questions from publicly available packets and both re-sold them at a profit and used them to determine the outcome of matches involving players who had an opportunity to see the questions before. That is an ethical red card. Nothing else he did or didn't do can ever make up for that, and it's ridiculous to try to defend his continued presence in high school quizbowl afterwards. The thirty other reasons that Chip and the NAC are obviously terrible and indefensible pale in comparison to that one.

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Post by Stained Diviner »

I have heard the plagiarism charge leveled several times before. To what extent is it documented? To what extent did it happen? Is somebody an expert on this topic?

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Post by Matt Weiner »

ReinsteinD wrote:I have heard the plagiarism charge leveled several times before. To what extent is it documented? To what extent did it happen? Is somebody an expert on this topic?
I posted it all on here as things were found.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quizbowl/ ... uery=beall

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Post by Chris Frankel »

I think Matt summed it up well. The intense dislike of NAC on this board stems just as much, if not moreso, from the ethical flaws of the tournament administration as/than the quality of questions and format rules. If you ask Matt or look back on the Yahoo group archives, you can find documented examples of clear plagiarism (i.e. questions stolen verbatim from pre-existing sources). Since everyone participating in HS QB is a student or teacher, and thus operates in an environment where plagiarism is one of the biggest crimes you can encounter, it's problematic that an individual who commits it can try to advertise his tournament as a positive example for the participants. The controversy about his alleged fixing results and playing favorites has also been well documented on this board.

To take another tournament that has been criticized for having poor question writing, nonsensical rules, and a format that is more conducive to random results than in rewarding the more knowledgeable team, look at Panasonic. Most posters here find the format flawed and don't take the tournament seriously, but because the Panasonic organizers seem to be decent people with good intentions, you find a lot more of the "live and let live" mentality regarding it. That is, I'm more sympathetic to a team attending Panasonic for the vacation and a shot at scholarship money than I am to one who attends NAC and keeps a dishonest individual like Beall in business.

Edit: I posted links to posts specifically citing plagiarism on Beall's part, so as to make browsing easier. N.B. that because of the monthly nature of the "20 questions" contest, which is the major arena for Beall's stolen questions, the pages linked in the posts will likely be out of date. Perhaps you can look them up on archive.org and match the date of the post to the month of the "20 questions" in question.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quizbowl/message/9384
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quizbowl/message/9204
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quizbowl/message/8128
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quizbowl/message/4266
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quizbowl/message/3345
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quizbowl/message/3295
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quizbowl/message/3270
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quizbowl/message/3251
"They sometimes get fooled by the direction a question is going to take, and that's intentional," said Reid. "The players on these teams are so good that 90 percent of the time they could interrupt the question and give the correct answer if the questions didn't take those kinds of turns. That wouldn't be fun to watch, so every now and then as I design these suckers, I say to myself, 'Watch this!' and wait 'til we're on camera. I got a lot of dirty looks this last tournament."

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Post by Wildcat »

Ben, your saying you like Chip because you prefer the 4 corners format is a complete cop out. Based upon the stats provided for your team on the inqblots website, your team is not even a true nationals caliber team on NAQT format (you may of qualified, but I think the stats speak to themselves as to the level your team would compete at). At Chip, you made the playoffs last year. Do you think your staunch defense of Chip could stem from something other than the merits of his tournament, but rather your ability to play well on it? Obviously I don't know you, but I think its safe to assume the natural human response would be to defend that which you are better at. The bottom line is the question quality, not the format, is what matters first and foremost.

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Post by Howard »

DumbJaques wrote:My attitude, which is what?
Your tone seemed rather abrasive. I apologize if your post wasn't intended to be abrasive.
DumbJaques wrote:...That I resent it when good teams continue to support what I see as a blight on quizbowl and everything it should stand for? I do resent it, and I don't resent it on behalf of the DC area, nor at any point did I assume the role of "official DC area representative" on this board, I resent it as a matter of personal opinion.
...
I certainly wouldn't want to give off the impression that I look down on other teams. I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone I compete against, I always have, and it only gets lost when they behave in an unsportsmanlike way. I respect someone who gets destroyed and shakes hands way more than someone who dominates and then acts like a jerk.
I don't think it's good practice to resent (or even discourage) any team from competing in whatever venue they desire. I may be outside the majority here, but I think part of respecting other teams involves respecting their own choices in regard to how they prepare and compete.
DumbJaques wrote:That's the reason why I wish your team (and teams like yours, the post was hardly simply about you or your region) would gravitate to other formats and tournaments. It wasn't a regional thing at all.
Actually, Charter competes in numerous NAQT events throughout the year, and unless I recall conversations with their coach incorrectly, NAQT was their primarily desired format. Also remember that it's a long trek for them to come to the DC area. It's doable in a day. But as I think back on all the out-of-town day trips I've taken, I don't know how many of these I'd be willing to do in a year. I'll invite stat74 to respond if he wishes, but I suspect he may want to stay out of this now train wreck of a thread.

As for the rest of the Delaware teams, I don't recall seeing any outside the Delaware/Philly area, and never at an NAQT event outside the state of Delaware.
DumbJaques wrote:To Howard, since when does your opinion determine how the DC area should want to conduct itself? This was a personal disagreement between individuals, and no one, at least until your last comment, declared themselves a standard bearer for any region.
[qutoe="Howard]I venture to say that your response is not the way we wish to portray ourselves in the MD-DC-VA area.[/quote]

I don't think I've made any such claim about my opinion. In fact, the words "I venture to say" were intended to point out this was my speculation of the philosophy around here. Simply put, we should welcome teams and not be abrasive toward them. Those who disagree (or agree) are welcome to comment. I've many opinions on many topics, but I'm respectful of others' opinions as well, as long as I don't feel they improperly inflict damage on the innocent. And I'm well aware that my opinions don't represent the region as a whole. I just thought I was pretty safe on this one.
DumbJaques wrote:I propose we end the discussion of regions/teams that may or may not be selling out/people who act like jerks, and return to discussing what the thread was originally supposed to be about.
There might be something more to discuss here in regard to philosophically whether we should support teams who support tournaments/organizers some of us have an issue with. If the moderator supports, we could split this off into another thread. If not, we could still split it off and kill it. Mostly I have the hope that something good could come out of the discussion. I'm sure there are many points on which you and I will disagree, and that's okay.
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Post by First Chairman »

Yes, this thread has gone off-topic. Part of this thread should probably be moved to Comparisons.
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