The Northeast Spring Schedule is Oversaturated

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lava_lock
Lulu
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:48 pm

The Northeast Spring Schedule is Oversaturated

Post by lava_lock »

For reference, this will use the period from the beginning of October to the end of March of any season as the standard for the regular season. The fall season will precede and the spring season will follow the new year. After the regular season is the pre-nationals season until HSNCT and PACE happen.

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I’ve been looking at the NY/NJ/PA Date Claims thread over the year and I have become increasingly worried. In the fall, I noted on the Northeast Quiz Bowl Discussion Discord that the spring schedule is usually quite busy, and that adding more tournaments would compress it such that teams would be unsustainable for the circuit. Now that the spring schedule is about to come on us, it appears my prediction was spot on: out of the 13 weekends from the beginning of 2022 to the end of March 2022, there are 9 quiz bowl tournaments scheduled, with there even being 5 tournaments scheduled on consecutive weekends from February 5th to March 5th.

An overly packed spring schedule is harmful due to two main reasons: team burnout and decreased tournament attendance. Firstly, teams trying to attend these tournaments risk burnout due to playing a tournament nearly every weekend for months on end. Should teams feel this burnout, they’ll likely stop attending tournaments besides important pre-nationals prep or national tournaments. If teams are trying to avoid burnout, they’ll sign up for less tournaments. And even if clubs continue to sign up, the number of teams each club may send will inevitably decrease because people cannot conceivably spend every Saturday on quizbowl, as the current schedule demands it. Regardless, this leads to widespread decreased attendance tournaments, with once blooming fields now facing a shortage of demand. This leads to decreased profits for tournament hosts, which reduces their team’s ability to go to nationals or host other club activities.

The easy solution to this current issue is to plan more carefully for next year and move some tournaments to the fall. From the 14 weekends between the beginning of October 2021 to the end of 2021, the region only saw 5 tournaments. Should even 2 tournaments be shifted from the spring season to the fall season, the load on teams for the spring season would be decreased. Please start planning your tournaments for next season before this school year ends. If possible, book a tournament date with school officials or whoever you need to talk to run a tournament. Make sure your club leadership is ready at the beginning of the year, whether that entails preparing yourself for the next year or preparing the people who will succeed you. These actions need to happen, or overall tournament attendance will decrease.

I suspect that as traditional collegiate hosts start to host high school tournaments again, we will face a new problem: there will be too many tournaments in too short a span of time. I know this is hard to think about, but please consider if your school really needs to run a tournament. What are the gains for the whole circuit if you run that tournament? Tournaments are a great source of funding, but there are other ways to gain funding that will not oversaturate the circuit. We as a circuit are extremely lucky to not have a lack of tournaments, but we must not get overeager with that lest we face the consequences I have outlined above.
Aalok Bhattacharya
Staples HS '23
Tournament Coordinator, American Quizbowl League
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