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 Post subject: Quiz Bowl Philosophy
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 3:58 pm 
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This is a sincere philosophical question as it pertains to quiz bowl. What is the real purpose of having a quiz bowl tournament? Is it finding the best team? Is it the lessons learned at the tournament? Is it the fun that is had? What is the cost-benefit analysis Mendoza line for a quiz bowl tournament? Why is having a series of tournaments to decide the state champion good and having a series of tournaments to pick the best players in the state bad? Is it because we all know who the best 8 players are and making them prove it is a waste of time and money? We probably know who the top of both group are so how are they different? Where is the financial cutoff? Is it purely because of money? Is it about who receives the money? Is it different if we give it to nuns or your preferred religious order? Is it about kids paying vs schools?

Using 10,450 dollars to find the best team in the state seems a little wasteful. (I’m aware that that is a little high because some of you don’t pay because of the work you do. I was there for the discussion and I get it.) We could save 5,000 dollars or 6,000 dollars by cutting out all of the schools that don’t stand a chance. If we are really only worried about finding the best team, the OAC committee could probably get away with stopping doing regionals and just inviting the 24 best teams chosen by them to State. It wouldn’t really be a big deal if they accidentally invited the 27th best team instead of the 23rd best team because it isn’t really like they have a shot at the top spot anyway. Someone once said that no small schools have gotten to state in years. We could probably rule out all of those too.

The above is a terrible idea. Please don’t do that or say that I think it is actually a good idea. That is the point of my question. What makes one a good idea and the other a bad idea? Please don’t yell at me, explain it to me. And for the record, this isn’t a response to one post here but more a thought I have had for a while. I know I am terrible at philosophy. I’m hard science guy but I am trying to expand my horizons. I really want to understand what people think and why. I am a seek first to understand kind of guy.

If this doesn’t blow up in my face I might ask other similar questions such as how much money is too much money to ask for an entry fee and why.

edit: missed a question mark

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz Bowl Philosophy
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:46 pm 
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ThePocketProtector wrote:
Why is having a series of tournaments to decide the state champion good and having a series of tournaments to pick the best players in the state bad? Is it because we all know who the best 8 players are and making them prove it is a waste of time and money? We probably know who the top of both group are so how are they different? Where is the financial cutoff? Is it purely because of money? Is it about who receives the money? Is it different if we give it to nuns or your preferred religious order? Is it about kids paying vs schools?

I thought Greg's idea was strong in some regards, however, given the timing of this all coming together and the schedule that was proposed, it was clear that a well-meaning attempt to assemble a state NASAT squad (or two) was going to be impossible for not just many of the state's best players but also plenty of high school juniors and seniors as certain portions of the AP testing week coincided with tryouts. Whatever the case may be with NASAT this year, next year and down the road when it comes to who will fund and coach it, so be the case. Different people and organizations have paid for it in past years, but it significantly delays the process of figuring out what is happening when no one steps up to pay until April. As I tried to implore on the practice thread for NASAT prospectives: 'do you know who is paying for it?'

The costs and benefits of the two-stage model Greg proposed goes about like this: the benefits are more good players get a chance to be seen, geographic differences be darned. There are a few hidden gems out there in the state. The costs, though, are not just detrimental to the 'elite players', I suppose, because weekdays during AP's are not necessarily ideal times to be doing in-person tryouts. I think it would be fair to assume that the schedule of Greg's proposal wasn't going to be feasible with how late in the school year it was; feasible to high school students, that is. Had it a round of tryouts (or, I suppose, two) been in early April, it would be a different story I think. May is a tough month to be available for non-work/school commitments if you're the average high school student: if you play sports you're occupied for the afternoon the entirety of the week, or if you have graduation on a particular date. However, the cost to players also may have played a role in the low response/objection. I'm not one to suggest that Greg shouldn't get paid for what he does, because I know he can't do it for free, but $25 to tryout is probably not a very easy sell to high school students or their parents.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz Bowl Philosophy
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:00 am 
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If it has to do with timing, it would be interesting to see if it were moved to December, if that would change the minds of the people that came out against it. I am not sure it would, but I would be open to them responding below. I have the feeling that there are people that are against it for non-timing reasons. That is kind of what I am interested in finding out.

And for what it is worth, I was going to do everything in my power to reduce the prices at my site. I made it clear to coaches that if they had a kid that was interested, that I would subsidize them. I'm crazy like that.

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Ohio QuizBowl Alliance Tournaments: https://docs.google.com/a/olsd.us/docum ... sp=sharing
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 Post subject: Re: Quiz Bowl Philosophy
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:39 am 
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I think Greg's idea and motivations were correct, I just think the timing ended up being bad with everything that goes on in April and May, both on the quizbowl calendar and in the classroom.

In terms of running tournaments and things like that -- I've always had various philosophies on tournaments in general. When I ran our OAC tournament at GHHS, it was mainly for fundraising purposes. When I continue to run the trash tournament every year, first at GHHS, then Case, now Olmsted Falls, it is because I know the kids enjoy it and it exposes a lot of kids that might not be good academic players to the activity using questions they might be better at initially. If I can motivate even one mediocre player to work to get better at normal academic quizbowl, that's a win in my book.

Josh, you make a good point about regionals and whatnot. I think the purpose of the OAC and quizbowl in general has always been to motivate kids to learn more, especially outside of the scope of typical classroom knowledge. I think that if it ever came where the 'top' teams were being picked to play at states instead of qualifying, you'd see the death of many 'tweener' programs. For instance, my teams at GHHS after I graduated Dan and Joe in 2008 would have been semi-decent in 2009 and 2010 (I left after the 2008 season) and then probably terrible after that. Would I have been motivated to hammer them to try to get them 'good' enough to warrant an invite? Probably not, knowing the group that was there.

For me, the activity will always be about expanding horizons and having a good time while doing so. I think the more teams you get involved in doing that and the more they enjoy themselves, the more worthwhile the activity/tournament becomes.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz Bowl Philosophy
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:25 pm 
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ThePocketProtector wrote:
I have the feeling that there are people that are against it for non-timing reasons. That is kind of what I am interested in finding out.


I understand where you're coming from here. I don't necessarily agree, but I understand what you're saying.

In addition to the timing of when this would've taken place, on Greg's thread there were people who expressed concern about the cost. Players expressed concerned about the cost, coaches expressed concern about the cost, heck even someone outside of the state expressed dismay at the cost! Again... no, I don't think Greg is looking to 'hustle' high school kids out of their allowance. However, $25 is a lot and while I recognize that
ThePocketProtector wrote:
I was going to do everything in my power to reduce the prices at my site. I made it clear to coaches that if they had a kid that was interested, that I would subsidize them. I'm crazy like that.
(this really is being a good steward in quiz bowl, in my opinion), some host sites may not have been as willing to do so. $25 as a flat rate, before anyone would be willing to subsidize it, is a pretty penny for a lot of students just to try out for something.

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To respond to a particular statement in the original post...

Quote:
Why is having a series of tournaments to decide the state champion good and having a series of tournaments to pick the best players in the state bad? Is it because we all know who the best 8 players are and making them prove it is a waste of time and money? We probably know who the top of both group are so how are they different?


I recognize that some may have seen the public pooh-poohing of Greg's proposal to be a reflection of an 'elite circle' of players and coaches because the proposed schedule of tryouts and monetizing didn't fit their interests nor availability. I'm not going to completely dismiss that idea or anyone who has that idea, as it's an interpretation of a situation. For a few reasons, I find that an 'elite circle' and its insularity are equally problematic for Ohio quiz bowl. Maybe a 'circle' does exist; maybe I am part of it. However, I do think we need to consider that NASAT is intentionally designed to be an 'elite' tournament: the answerlines are often tough, the questions are particularly long, and most of your games are against the nation's best players. By no means do I think we need to be exclusive of students wanting to try out and earn a spot on the basis of who they play for and how often/how little they play. However... it is a tough competition, and it is a different beast entirely from the local Saturday tournament or even OAC Regionals. If we assemble 'the best team possible', we're not just assembling the team that has the best chance of winning the competition but also the team that is, theoretically, the best team equipped to deal with the difficulty of the tournament.

To use your 'top eight' example: if Greg's criteria for making the NASAT team was having to attend the final tryout site (which I'm sure it was), that already eliminates one of the top players in Hunter Wotruba (through no fault of Hunter's own, because he has graduation) and possibly kids from Solon (as Rohin notes a potential conflict with Science Olympiad.) Possibly even other players, 'top' or 'good' alike, would be precluded from participating if their schools also had graduation that day. My point here is if Greg, sticking to his criteria, only was able to form a team of kids able to make the two tryout dates (in some cases one, depending on previous nomination to Team Ohio's NASAT squad)... he might have a team, but it's a team whose formation was made possible by x number of students being available a Sunday (and in some cases, maybe also a weekday) in May.

I'm assuming Greg's idea of mandating attendance for in-person tryouts in order to be considered for NASAT was going to be unflinching and resolved: I understand Greg as someone actively legitimizing quizbowl as an activity for when he tries to get new schools involved, and if it means adhering to the criteria he set forth and not making any exceptions ad hoc, then so be it; it was his proposal. But if that were to be case, and if players such as Clark Smith (just an example) or Hunter Wotruba are thus precluded from participating not on the basis of their skill but rather their availability for a tryout (such as the one on May 21), then the team lost a good player. I think this was the main, timing-related objection from various players that responded to it: the timing is impractical for many, and they weren't on board with the idea of competing for a spot whose competition was subtracted on the basis of other players, that they know and respect as competitive rivals, not being available.


Let me clarify and sum my thoughts on NASAT, in-person tryouts, etc: I think in-person tryouts are a good thing. If I, personally, were to run NASAT some time, I would definitely try and get everything figured out way earlier in the school year so by the time the February/March/early April circuit of events rolls around, in-person tryouts can be done at tournaments like Solon or Ohio State/O. Liberty or Mason during the lunch break, or whenever. I believe this is currently what Illinois does; the first leg of tryouts are extensions of the typical Saturday event, and the second leg of tryouts take place during a central state competition, a la NAQT States. Anyone could adopt this model and, with sufficient and adequate timing, be successful. I respect Greg and was glad he was pulling at least something together for NASAT; it obviously wasn't going to work for many students, but I do think this is related to how late it was announced and scheduled (not necessarily a fault of Greg, I guess, since no one stepped up and publicly said "I have a plan, here's funding" until he did.)

I think ultimately, once the dust settles and despite any potential tension or high-running emotions, the topic of figuring out the best way to plan for NASAT will become obsolete within a few years because NASAT will not be prioritized.

Between my conversations about NASAT as a competition with a few folks over the past year, several people have indicated that NASAT is 'not the same' competition it was when it was first released in 2009 (or was it 2010?) I tried to impart this question on an earlier thread this year about NASAT: 'do people actually still want to play it?'

Criticisms of NASAT as a tournament, that I have heard from my conversations, include:
- the allowing of states to enter multiple teams, as the standard when the tournament was first introduced was "you'll always play 'the top four players' from states like California and Texas." Now, the standard is "your schedule will feature the B or C teams of smaller population states such as Maryland and Alabama. You might also play California D."
- it's an expensive tournament which is already tough enough to secure consistent funding for (at least in the case of us Ohioans.) By all means, its expensive because the questions are of a premium quality. Nothing wrong with that; but, again, expensive tournament that (if you're a teacher looking to chaperone) requires a lot of your own personal time, energy and resources to make it possible for not just your students but also the students from all across the state.
- there's never a guarantee that the tournament is going to happen once the school year starts; so, whats the point of going through the hassle and organizing it if the tournament might not happen?
- if the idea of NASAT was to supplant NTAE/Panasonic as the "premier 'all-states' quiz bowl showdown", then letting multiple entries come from a state dilutes the chances for smaller-population states to win the national title (e.g. California being able to submit four teams, while states such as Nevada only can muster up one team.)

EDIT: Allow me to clarify that I'm not here to crap on HSAPQ or the fine people in quiz bowl that have put a lot of time and energy toward making NASAT a quality competition in years past as well as this year. My point here, simply, is we have opportunities to publicly discuss how we, as a state, want to organize and prioritize NASAT this year and future iterations. I'm not ready to make the leap of "the fact NASAT was figured out late = we don't care about NASAT", but I do think if we as a state are serious about putting together a team for NASAT this year and down the road, we need to have a roundtable discussion about a) how we want to form the team, b) how we want to go about forming the team, c) how we're going to fund it, d) what our expectations are for NASAT, e) if we still think creating a team for NASAT is a worthwhile effort in spite of recent changes to the tournament, f) what is the best way to providing a NASAT team that meets the interests of not just the 'in' players but also players that aren't as well-connected into the circuit.

This is a discussion I tried to pitch earlier this year on here, to no avail. It is imperative, I feel, that some public discourse be had on what the best way to assemble a NASAT squad is, and even if NASAT is still a 'priority' for people here. In the seven-or-eight year entirety of NASAT's existence, I believe Ohio is one of the few states that has sent a team every year. Hopefully that streak continues, and that a good coming together of talented and dedicated quizbowl people in Ohio can be had to determine what the best course of action going forward with NASAT is. Maybe it is too late this year (as the tournament is only, like, six weeks away), but it certainly isn't too late to try and come up with an agreed upon set of values and organization for next year and years down the road.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz Bowl Philosophy
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 6:42 pm 
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I really enjoyed your post Bob. It made me think.

I just wish there was something like regionals for individuals if we are going to have an all-star team. The best way to be a great player is to have a great coach. The vast majority of the state doesn't have that advantage. Your next option is to go to quiz bowl camp. I have seen that work. After that it gets murky and quite a bit of trial and error. I'm hoping to find another option unless you want to become assistant coach at 30 schools in southern Ohio? No? Darn it. I think a chance for the best at a school to be able to talk to the best in the state might matter. It has seemed to matter with teams at the regional level. Not historically that much in my area, but we enjoy bucking the trend.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz Bowl Philosophy
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 6:47 pm 
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I really don’t care about NASAT for this unless THAT is the reason they are different. If “NASAT sucks, so it doesn’t matter anyway” is the answer, I guess that IS the reason. I’m not even trying to argue that what Greg was doing is right or wrong. I want to understand what makes something right or wrong in the view of the community.

Do you think you would have a different feeling on your “elitist” comment if you went to Chillicothe, Wheelersburg, or Southeastern? I’m asking. One of my problems is I’m constantly asking myself what it would be like to be someone else in a given situation. I don’t really care if quiz bowl is elitist or not. I care about policy. If the “circle” is the best, and they probably are, then I am fine with that. That is like it is for regional and state. We still invite the people that qualify to come to regionals if they have a shot or not. I think “a place at the table” is what I am talking about. A chance at earning a place at the table isn’t a crazy request I hope.

I think there is huge room between what Greg was doing and a group of players selected by a group of coaches. We all remember that people have gotten their feelings hurt over how players were selected that way in the past, right? Did I make that up? I’m serious. I REALLY don't want to rehash that. I just think it is important thing to remember that sometimes that method wasn't a barrel of laughs either. If the room full of coaches choosing the very top doesn’t work for selecting for the State tournament, then it doesn’t work for this in my opinion. I like your “Illinois” idea. I have my tournament in October so I hope we could be a place for something like that. If it isn’t at my tournament, I hope there would be a lunch tryout in the south somewhere. Maybe we wouldn’t get anyone in but a chance to try would be nice. Just like there is a chance at regionals. “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”

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Ohio QuizBowl Alliance Tournaments: https://docs.google.com/a/olsd.us/docum ... sp=sharing
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 Post subject: Re: Quiz Bowl Philosophy
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 9:08 pm 
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ThePocketProtector wrote:
I really don’t care about NASAT for this unless THAT is the reason they are different. If “NASAT sucks, so it doesn’t matter anyway” is the answer, I guess that IS the reason. I’m not even trying to argue that what Greg was doing is right or wrong. I want to understand what makes something right or wrong in the view of the community.

Thanks for clarifying this point. I was, likely, wrong in operating under the assumption your post was (partly) inspired by Greg's withdrawal from the NASAT process. (To be fair to you and everyone following this, I did muddy up the conversation by directly mentioning NASAT. My apologies!)

I do not think it's off base to ask "what makes right; what makes wrong?" in the eyes of the quiz bowl community. In fact, I found myself asking that a ton in high school, and sometimes even today, when it came to some of the standards, norms, opinions, and beliefs of the broader QB community you'd find over on HSQB. I do think a fundamental problem in quiz bowl is many of standards and explanations for "what makes right; what makes wrong" come from the same people that can be rather, harsh, in their tone or critical in their explanation (guilty as charged.)

ThePocketProtector wrote:
Do you think you would have a different feeling on your “elitist” comment if you went to Chillicothe, Wheelersburg, or Southeastern? I’m asking. One of my problems is I’m constantly asking myself what it would be like to be someone else in a given situation. I don’t really care if quiz bowl is elitist or not. I care about policy. If the “circle” is the best, and they probably are, then I am fine with that. That is like it is for regional and state. We still invite the people that qualify to come to regionals if they have a shot or not. I think “a place at the table” is what I am talking about. A chance at earning a place at the table isn’t a crazy request I hope.

It's possible; sure. I know my own thoughts and feelings are shaped by my own experiences, and my experience is much unlike the typical high school quizbowl(er/alum.)

By all means, I have no problem extending 'the table': the inclusion of new perspectives is worthwhile for any organization or activity; the opportunity for more students to compete is something I think everyone of us on this board fully support; and hearing out the differences in quiz bowl experiences and expectations makes for a more full, well-rounded discussion. Ultimately, as proponents of an academic extracurricular activity, we should do everything we can to making more room at the table for anyone willing to pull up a chair.

To clarify, my usage of "elite" and "circle" was my attempt at explaining how quiz bowl people I'm not personally familiar with (people who don't post on this board; people who attend tournaments different from the ones I moderate/run etc) likely see people as myself and others that post on this board. As mentioned earlier, it is problematic for our game if the only voices heard are the same voices that fall in the category of being 'elite' or 'in a circle'; it's not problematic because John Q. Smith somewhere calls people 'elite' or 'circular', it's problematic because only a few voices are heard and many of those same voices are in the group that some would consider to be 'elite' or 'circular.' In other words... we're always willing to hear more voices; doing so makes us a better community.

Quote:
I think there is huge room between what Greg was doing and a group of players selected by a group of coaches. We all remember that people have gotten their feelings hurt over how players were selected that way in the past, right? Did I make that up? I’m serious. I REALLY don't want to rehash that. I just think it is important thing to remember that sometimes that method wasn't a barrel of laughs either.

2014, 2015, and 2016 all had selection processes where the criteria was publicly established and followed through.

Before 2014, which is the year Joe Czupryn started coaching the NASAT team, the selection process (tryouts) was hosted by the club @ Ohio State when it was under previous leadership. If I recall correctly, in 2013 the decision of who to bring on to the team was made by several people. By all accounts good, respectable people I can probably have a pleasant conversation with today. However, it was the selection process in 2013 that was utterly ridiculous (and yes, I am biased.)

Regarding what you're describing with the topic of rejecting players, and the pitfalls of 'selection by committee': I didn't have my feelings hurt when it happened in 2013, but I, as well as others, were pretty upset to find out that the criteria explained to us in the morning of tryouts wasn't even followed! Even more aggravating was the fact that none of the participants (as the tryouts went on) were informed as to what their standing was; we weren't given point totals nor were we given explanations behind the different combinations of rooms they shuffled us through. There was no transparency. To make a long story short, the sixth spot on the team was given to a player that had absolutely no business being on team, as he pulled very few questions during the tryouts (and, when NASAT rolled around, he was sleeping in the back of the room as the team played! Real nice! It's pretty tough to get tossups when you're sleeping.) The justification, after the selections, was "he is an experiment; he's 'ecletic.'" Well shoot, it would've been nice to know one of the few spots I could've earned (as I was not very proficient in science, literature, nor RMP) was already reserved for an experiment! Had I known that, given that I was in so much physical pain that weekend that I missed the tournament the previous day because it hurt too much to even touch things, I would've just stayed in my bed and listened to ...And Then There Were Three... on repeat.

It's entirely possible you're referring to other incidents that may exist, as I probably have blind spots to other instances, but I just wanted give my version of events as to why the last time a committee of people decided the NASAT team, it went so poorly: because there wasn't any transparency, because there wasn't any criteria that was established and followed, and because participating students were misled as to the real number of team spots they would be competing for.

ThePocketProtector wrote:
If the room full of coaches choosing the very top doesn’t work for selecting for the State tournament, then it doesn’t work for this in my opinion. I like your “Illinois” idea. I have my tournament in October so I hope we could be a place for something like that. If it isn’t at my tournament, I hope there would be a lunch tryout in the south somewhere. Maybe we wouldn’t get anyone in but a chance to try would be nice. Just like there is a chance at regionals. “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”


I would hate to see the OAC reduce the field from 96 to 24, as the original post "suggests" (quotation marks because it was a rhetorical proposition.) It actually would upset me if they did. So, with that in mind, I can follow the parallel drawn here. I get what you're putting down!

ThePocketProtector wrote:
I think a chance for the best at a school to be able to talk to the best in the state might matter. It has seemed to matter with teams at the regional level. Not historically that much in my area, but we enjoy bucking the trend.


I don't know if this will matter much, at least this year, but if anyone participating at the SE Regional this weekend (coach or player) has any questions about 'being a better player', any resources, or anything of the like, they can talk to me Saturday. I'll be reading; look for someone wearing black rimmed glasses and an arm sling. Say 'hey.' If any players this Saturday @ the Southeast Regional have questions about all-state/NASAT, I'll take 'em.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz Bowl Philosophy
PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 6:50 pm 
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I didn’t mind that you talked about NASAT. I just wanted to make sure you understood that it was the vehicle for me and not the important part.

It is even harder for people that don’t have Mr. Sedlak and Lynn around to figure out why things are done the way they are. There are many unwritten rules of quiz bowl I am still trying to figure out.

Is there a secret cabal of quiz bowl elites? Do you all have buzzer tattoos in a hidden place like the death eaters? I picture meetings like the stone cutters meeting in the Simpsons. You could make a great quiz bowl theme song to sing at your secret meeting. Tom, if you guys don’t already have a secret handshake, could you please make one that uses your arm motion from the Brain Game? It had such flair.

I’m joking of course. I don’t really care if there is a circle of elites if it has porous borders sort of like you said. The thing that concerns me is the cost of entry if there is one. People have said, if you come to more tournaments, you will feel like more a part of the community. At more than $100 dollars a trip sometimes, that isn’t a cheap club to join even if I’m not the one paying.

I used the phrase, “feelings hurt,” because I didn’t want to put angry or annoyed. Is Irritated and dismayed better? I don’t really want to get into who was unhappy or when they were unhappy about the NASAT picking. I understand that no one wants to rehash old stuff. Hopefully people will know the truth in what I say because I am not providing evidence. I’m not that brave. I just don’t want us to swing back and forth between the extremes of “everybody can try out” to “blue-ribbon panel” and then back again. We need to remember the past, not just why the present sucks. This is important in quiz bowl because the players can and will forget.

I’m glad you got the point I was trying to make. I was kind of worried about that. Like I said, I’m hard science so that kind of rhetorical device stuff is a little above me.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz Bowl Philosophy
PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 9:01 pm 
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ThePocketProtector wrote:
Is there a secret cabal of quiz bowl elites? Do you all have buzzer tattoos in a hidden place like the death eaters? I picture meetings like the stone cutters meeting in the Simpsons.

One of my favorite episodes. "Who controls the British crown, who keeps the metric system down?"

ThePocketProtector wrote:
Tom, if you guys don’t already have a secret handshake, could you please make one that uses your arm motion from the Brain Game? It had such flair.

We actually did come up with a handshake my sophomore year at History Bowl nationals, but unfortunately that died the next day since we were dead tired from playing at 11pm at night.

ThePocketProtector wrote:
The thing that concerns me is the cost of entry if there is one. People have said, if you come to more tournaments, you will feel like more a part of the community. At more than $100 dollars a trip sometimes, that isn’t a cheap club to join even if I’m not the one paying.

Thanks for sharing this idea. I'm assuming the $100 is between entrance fee, gasoline / diesel, and food. Good point - that can be hefty. Personally, I'm not very informed when it comes to finances and ways to generate funding outside of my own experience, which was largely donations from both alumni of the team and parents. The excellent lunch at the Golden Shamrock (RIP) also provided a boost, and while schools can replicate some of that funding by selling lunch at their tournaments, I recognize not every school has the alumni base our program does nor does every family have disposable income. So, I have blind spots when it comes to financing programs like quiz bowl. I wish every school in Ohio made funding academic extracurricular activities a priority akin to how funding the football team and athletics facilities is a priority. But, I guess since you can't charge people $8 to go watch a quiz bowl match like you can football and band, it must be okay to not finance quiz bowl (C.R.E.A.M.)

Anyways, back to your point on costs as a barrier: I can believe that there are coaches and programs out there wanting to play more, but it's cost prohibitive. Unfortunately, at the same time, there are several districts in my area that are pretty affluent, but for some reason or another don't have active teams or teams that play beyond a local league. I guess, in several ways, this actually is a travesty. I am curious what others on this board have to say about tournament affordability and this topic. Last October I charged $55 on the face, and allowed some good discounts. I had various expenses that were directly tied to each team's registration, so I didn't make that much money off of it.

Now, is quiz bowl about making money? No, of course not, although I do feel like I probably could've made more money and do think, with as much work over several months I put in toward making the tournament both possible and enjoyable, I should at least turn a decent net profit. At least enough to where I turn around and invest back into my tournament (feeding my moderators well, possibly pay for top-notch moderators to come in) and, at the end of a long fall Saturday spent inside a classroom from 8am to 4pm doing tournament director stuff, I can crash at my friend's pad, kick my shoes off, watch some college football and still have enough in my wallet for a large pepperoni and a sixer of Sam Adams. I haven't decided on a price for next year's event in Fall 2017, in large part because at present the tournament is currently homeless, but I will be forthright in saying that I was considering raising the price before I saw your mention of cost prohibition.

ThePocketProtector wrote:
I used the phrase, “feelings hurt,” because I didn’t want to put angry or annoyed. Is Irritated and dismayed better? I don’t really want to get into who was unhappy or when they were unhappy about the NASAT picking.

Noted; thanks for clarifying!

ThePocketProtector wrote:
I’m glad you got the point I was trying to make. I was kind of worried about that. Like I said, I’m hard science so that kind of rhetorical device stuff is a little above me.

No worries, always here for discussion. It's finals week, so if anyone should be worried about getting points and expressing themselves, it's me. Sometimes it's hard to get a read for how you sound online when it's a busy, stressful week.

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Thomas Moore
William V. Fisher Catholic '14
Ohio Wesleyan '18


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 Post subject: Re: Quiz Bowl Philosophy
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 11:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:03 pm
Posts: 82
There's a lot of good things to discuss here, and I don't want to get away from some of the big-idea stuff that Josh and others are getting at, but because of the new role I'm currently playing with NASAT tryouts I want to focus on that briefly.

First, I agree with Tom that codifying a more concrete NASAT timetable, with a consistent selection process, source of funding, and coaching staff, would be extremely beneficial if we intend to continue our long record of participation in the tournament. I understand completely if an existing organization or collective like the OAC or OQBA doesn't want to tie itself down to NASAT, but I urge folks in the community from all different backgrounds to work on this, and for those existing organizations to find a place for discussion at their summer meetings. It could be a real opportunity for collaboration in our state to put together a "NASAT coordinating unit" (like the folks that run the tryouts for Olympic hockey or basketball or something).

Quote:
Why is having a series of tournaments to decide the state champion good and having a series of tournaments to pick the best players in the state bad? Is it because we all know who the best 8 players are and making them prove it is a waste of time and money? We probably know who the top of both group are so how are they different?


Well, they don't have to be different, really. I kind of like the idea of a handful of "regional" events for singles players, either as side events during established tournaments or as stand-alone solo shootouts (I think there are a couple events to this effect in Missouri and Illinois already, although I don't think those solo tournaments have correlation to NASAT rosters). I liked the regional tryout idea for this year enough to pitch in as a host school, and I thought it was too bad when the plan didn't work out because I think with the right time frame it could be a cool thing for players in Ohio, even the ones that don't make the team. When I was a player, our team wasn't very active and certainly wasn't at the top of the state, but I can imagine I'd have had a really fun time at a solo regional even if it didn't go any further than that. I like anything where kids can get recognized for their talents and efforts.

Quote:
"I just don’t want us to swing back and forth between the extremes of “everybody can try out” to “blue-ribbon panel” and then back again. We need to remember the past, not just why the present sucks. This is important in quiz bowl because the players can and will forget."


I agree with the sentiment of this post entirely. I think having some consistency in NASAT, as mentioned above, would help a lot in this regard, since the ad hoc approach we've taken regarding funding and personnel can lead to frustration. It's a real testament to the great coaches, players, and boosters in Ohio that we've been able to run things as well as we have and experience success at the tournament to boot.

Selfishly, though, I do want to say that there is still a tryout process for this year, and it is open! If you or one of your players are interested, PM me on here, email, or fill out form at https://www.when2meet.com/?6188695-Vbr6G (I know some folks have had difficulty with this form, contact me directly if you are experiencing trouble).

I will say that of the players who have signed up to try out so far (sign up before this Monday, procrastinators!), about half of them play for "less active" teams that might have played a couple non-league events this year. I think all of them had originally signed up with Greg, which shows that the outreach method can produce results and has the secondary benefit of looping players into the larger circuit...these kids were alerted to an opportunity that they might have otherwise missed, and now they want to stick with it and show their stuff. I imagine you'd see the same in a series of "solo regional" tournaments like discussed above.

Good luck tomorrow to everyone who's playing! Regional hosts, talk about tryouts if you get a chance!

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Tyler Benedict
Coach, Miami Valley School MS Quiz
Assistant, Miami Valley School HS Quiz
Miami Valley School '09


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 Post subject: Re: Quiz Bowl Philosophy
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 7:34 pm 
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Junior Varsity

Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:55 pm
Posts: 61
Tyler, I will freely admit that I oversimplified things. You have done a wonderful job with what you have put together. I would listen to smarter minds than me and their ideas for an NASAT timeline. Of course Tyler would be top on the list for me.

I agree with you on the thoughts about if things like this happened when I was in school. I would have at least had a chance to learn from much better players.

I think we keep ending up in Ad Hoc land because of the fear of the death of NASAT and no one sure if they want to be in charge. Maybe that is changing.

I'm glad that Greg got more interested that might not have been involved. Hopefully we can keep that growing.

So one final time, Tyler you are doing a great job.

Edit: silly tired mistake, fixed

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Joshua Queen
Physics Teacher
Chillicothe Quiz Bowl Coach
Ohio QuizBowl Alliance Tournaments: https://docs.google.com/a/olsd.us/docum ... sp=sharing
"Yes we play quiz bowl in southern Ohio."


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