I'm a bit confused about your stance on GPQB
. I haven't personally talked to any of the people who run the site/twitter, but I frequently check the site and everything seems to be promoting good quizbowl. Also, the three main contributors (Chris Chiego, Ben Herman, and Ryan Bilger) are all well respected members of the quizbowl community. I don't believe Victor Prieto is involved with the site management.
I don't know who writes what between them or manages the Twitter account, which is why I said "some". It could be all, it could be one, but that's a point to semantics and pedantry. The issues I take with the Twitter account go hand-in-hand with that post you linked to, Rohin. Allow me to explain...
There doesn't seem to be any "crap" on their twitter, in my opinion. Could you point out what specifically seems like "crap"?
OK, there are two issues from the Twitter account that directly engage with me. The first one I'll mention actually was the more recent of the two, and it involves an incident from October, 2015 in which Chillicothe/Coach Queen mentioned something about an OAC game on Twitter. The GPQB made a snarky comment about "alphabet round hype!" in reply. I then made a reply to it "why do you care?" in which I proceeded to get blocked. Here's the photo of it (FYI, GPQB has since deleted that tweet)
Whether or not the OAC format is "good" is not even close to the issue, the fact is we play it in Ohio, its our state title format, we recognize OAC state champions as "State Champions", it works fine for us, and to top it all of, all the good teams play it! I have a story that has justified my belief as to why the alphabet round can be an agent in good quizbowl, and why I choose to be defensive of it. It's at the far bottom of this page. Anyways... as an alum of the game in Ohio and someone who earnestly tries to do well and better Ohio's landscape than when I first stepped into it, some d******* attack on the format and indirectly those who play it on a public platform (Twitter; if it was hsquizbowl.org I wouldn't care) aimed at an Ohio quizbowl person is pretty uncalled for and frankly it is a case of someone that is talking crap and when they get called on it they don't own up to it and instead try to block out the person who called them out. To which I say, screw that.
The second one happened in July, 2015. The background is that when Fisher got second at NTAE, I wrote a tweet @ the local paper telling them that "hey, Fisher got this place at this national tournament".IN COMES @PhillyQuizbowl (GPQB),with a really crappy tweet, who never followed me on Twitter (which means that account found my tweet by key-word searching in the Twitter search bar... which, 1. that's creepier than all hell, 2. Indicates that account was out to harass). AYYY, I know the [blank]-ing difference between NTAE and other nat'l tournaments. I don't care. I never said it was THE national championship, it's a
national tournament. Hell, if HSNCT is Division 1 NCAA men's tournament, NTAE can be the NAIA national tournament - I DON'T CARE. What folks fail to realize is when I was at Fisher, we were in the midst of a huge enrollment drop, there was a notorious article written BY OUR OWN LOCAL PAPER about how our sports teams were getting their butts kicked because of said enrollment drop, and my senior year we made tons of negative press for a teacher sex scandal that kept getting republished with every slight detail AGAIN by our own local paper. So suffice to say that my alma mater, which I am a very passionate alum of, could use the good press opportunities whenever. There are two things I love and actively try to support, quizbowl and FC. Those are two very near and dear institutions to me, and I owe where I am and who I am in terms of my interests and thoughts in large part to my enriching experiences at both. So when someone tries to be a total jackass and GET ALL EYES ON THEM to make "a point" that was never contested in the first place, I am naturally going to take issue with it. And you know what else? We went in '14, and FC also went in '15. The fact that any team that goes to NTAE, or any non pyramidal tournament, gets castigated with bullcrap narratives of "trophy-whoring" and "not being good enough in good tournaments" is BEYOND ridiculous.
Here is the photo:
Those two above truths and photos are what I would call "crap". Oh, also, this one: https://twitter.com/phillyquizbowl/stat ... 5735176192
in which they exploit some team getting their butts handed to them to, yet again, make a point. (I seriously doubt that new coaches want to be nuanced with tournament/format politics, so stop begging the damn point.) And N.B. - I do not endorse NTAE, but if a team goes to it I'm going to defend their right to go there. It's their choice
when I constructively critiqued something they put wrote about "which national tournaments should you go to?" on Facebook
Are you referring to this post
? I thought it was a very good guide for new teams planning on attending one of the nationals.
GPQB is definitely a legitimate good quizbowl organization and, in my opinion, passing out their stuff at a tournament would be a good thing.
I would like to preface that the authors do a pretty good job of explaining the benefits of playing at HSNCT & NSC , acknowledging apprehensions coaches may have about the daunting fields and any concerns about question difficulty. By and large, HSNCT & NSC are the premier national tournaments and programs do stand more to gain from attending them as opposed to NAC and NTAE.
The glaring issue when it comes to the article is that the use of language is poor. Moreover, aside from the glaring negatives with NAC/Chip's nationals – that do in fact need to be publicized and brought up time and time again – is that the prevailing argument against participating in competitions such as NTAE, High-Q nats, or even KMO isn't so much based the faults and negatives but rather rhetoric and scathing undertones. Putting the NTAE in quotation marks, using terms such as a “[small handful of] random schools” (really... because I'm pretty sure any participant at HSNCT and NSC is going to see ~50% [and possibly more] of the field as “random schools”), among other things may be commonplace in the high-competition quizbowl circles... but to many new coaches and especially school administrations (whatever roles they play in quizbowl participation) it comes off as abrasive, arrogant, and buttholish. And don't get me wrong: I do not advocate for NTAE, NAC, and other inferior tournaments at all. I've only done NTAE once, the quizbowl sucked – all of us knew that the quality of quizbowl was, us players (we were the ones prompted with the offer from our coaches after Northmont passed) didn't go there for the quizbowl but rather the fact its Disney (and Florida's weather). That can segue into my next point:
This article (and the predominant opinion in high-competition quizbowl circles) assumes that every school that has a quizbowl program cares about the competition at the local, regional/state, and national levels – let alone even competing at those levels. This is obviously not the case. And while that is not the case, it doesn't mean we can't try our best to get those schools to care. Rather than tearing down the inferior tournaments NOT named NAC – since NTAE, High-Q, even KMO(?) aren't exactly getting teams in droves and aren't advertising as well – the more effective way to go about this is just promote HSNCT and NSC. NASAT can certainly be promoted as well, but remember NASAT accomplishes one goal different from HSNCT and NSC in that they don't crown necessarily one school but one STATE a national champion. It may be simply more effective to promote NASAT in the same vein that NTAE is promoting their tournament to the states that are participating in theirs but not in NASAT (Montana, Maine, Colorado, I believe Louisiana, et al).
So in sum, the big issue I take with this is presentation and the language. I don't take much personal issue with it because I frankly can give less about what the overarching opinion is about the “negative tournaments” (and that opinion, perhaps ironically, actually aligns perfectly with what I think about the non-HSNCT/NSC/NASAT – that they're inferior). But I know damn well that you can't represent your body as the authority on QuizBowl, try to present this with the obvious language and rhetoric issues, and expect to get a) all of (read: all of) your new teams to be receptive to this, b) you certainly aren't going to convince many schools that are so entrenched in competing at NAC/crappy nationals by doing this, and c) when your Twitter account puts out really crappy things, people see it! Again, the actual criticisms have validity but the tone and language negate some – if not all – of the validity behind them in the eyes of your readers (especially if they know what, if any, affiliations you have to those larger organizations: NAQT and PACE). NO TEAM is ever going to get convinced that they should attend tournament X instead of tournament Y in the future if you disparage tournament Y and the fact teams attend it, with as mentioned above, get pinned with the unfair narratives.
A week after that tweet (first phot), I read @ an OAC tournament for two schools. School B was rather timid, as it was their first quizbowl tournament. They didn't get anything in the Category Round - probably the "10 second rule" to frantically pull together an answer (remember, first time school) and lack of buzzer experience made the first round tough for them. Then came the Alphabet Round, and they put their heads together and, while they didn't turn in a full page (wrote down answers for I think half of them), they got four or five answers right. Lightning round came and they only made a couple buzzes (School A was alright-to-good), but it was obvious they were getting their confidence up somewhat (getting rewarded for some form of knowledge is pretty awesome, why do we play quiz bowl?). The score ended up being a pretty large difference, but I was glad that they could at least salvage some points. Today's society enjoys the sensationalism behind stories of wild blowouts, such as HS sports (see: Gilmour Academy / Northeast Ohio Prep in the girls tournament this year). It's beyond repugnant that somehow is any way, shape, or form entertaining, and with that in consideration, we don't need to get first-time teams ABSOLUTELY KILLED TO ALL HELL in their first tournament to where they will never want to play again. The alphabet round at the very least lets teams earn points just because they know something, and not just because they know it quicker
which, the former is going to be a Catch-22 if you have never played quizbowl before and if its your first time playing quizbowl, you may not know the expectation of "deeper". While neither you or I may really know what it is like to start out and get beaten down to where you have to consider playing (since we come from established programs, our coaches knew that the sun would eventually come out and we'd get our day with the right amount of work and determination), some teams do
. And because they do, it is imperative that we have a format that lets a really timid, new team at least lose with some form of dignity (and if anyone wants to see a team get a "0" in OAC format, the hell is wrong with them?).