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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:24 pm 
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Charlie Dees wrote a good post on HSQB describing the necessity for male quizbowlers, be it players or staff, to utilize good grooming practices surrounding hair. There’s a need for good haircuts, and a need to not look like a slob. You can read the post here.

Let's have some discussion on this, and attire. Below are some hypothetical questions, and my responses.

Q. Should I wear my hair in a ponytail?
A. If you're a male high school student, no. Facial features do not stop developing until your mid-to-late 20's or early 30's. If you're a female participant, or gender non-conforming, have at it. If you're an adult participant in some capacity: if you already have one, that's fine; if you don't already have one, there's a reason why you do not currently and should not. I should add that ponytails on adult men only look good and professional if you keep your hair well in the first place, and if you have the form of hair that would accentuate as a ponytail well with the rest of your face and facial hair.

Q. Facial hair - yes, or no?
A. There's two separate answers here pertaining to facial hair of students and adults. For students, largely no. The only two exceptions I would support would be a) if you can actually grow a fully-formed, toned and well-kept beard and facial hair or b) if there's a customary reason, such as religious tradition, that discourages shaving of facial hair. For adults, if it looks nice and can be well-kept - sure; but keep it nice for both professional standards and social standards. There's a lot of great, thick Ohio quiz bowl beards (Bellas, Bossick, Queen, and Sedlack.) Thick beards can be hit and miss, though. Unless you currently employ, or have been seen with thick beards in the past, I would advise against such. Don't ruin the image of good thick beards in our community if you're trying it out for the first time and, as consequence, let it all go to crap!

There's also some good, shorter beards - like Cortney Bird's - that fit well and look professional. In sum: if you're going to grow it thick, grow it with a style and make it look nice (like the four aforementioned do.) If you're not going to, or are unable to, grow it thick, then fret not - just make it look well-kept and uniform.

Q. Should I wear jerseys?
A. Football ("soccer") kits are fine. Baseball jerseys are fine, as long as you wear an undershirt. Basketball jerseys and hockey jerseys? If you own multiple basketball/hockey jerseys, I'd suggest wearing them at different events rather than wearing one jersey for multiple events. Don't make them a permanent staple of your quiz bowl attire, though. American football jerseys? Don't wear the home jersey, or the jersey in the primary color. Wear the road/whites, and do so sparingly. Additionally, don't wear the jerseys of athletes that are notably problematic on the basis of their criminal reputation. I don't care if Joe Mixon is your favorite Cincinnati Bengal, leave that ***t at home.

Q. Should I wear historical garb?
A. If you've visited a place and have a souvenir t-shirt, sure. But there are times and places for cosplay - quiz bowl isn't one of them. Additionally, definitely leave home any historical regalia that is tethered to imperialism and/or suppression of people's rights. Don't show up in some Rhodesian officer bullcrap.

Q. Hats?
A. Fedoras look bad on high school students. They look bad on the majority of college students. Bowler hats and gauchos, same deal. The only flat-rimmed hat I'd see as looking good on some high school students would be a boater hat. If you're an adult, don't wear a flat-rimmed hat. Ballcaps? You know if you look good with a ballcap, either bill-in-front or backwards. Backwards can be a good substitute to account for long hair in the back of your head (get that haircut, though!)

Q. Sweatshirts, sweatpants?
A. In informal capacities, like trash tournaments or the regular-season invitationals, I see nothing wrong with them. But don't wear sweatshirts/sweatpants as an excuse to look like a freaking slob. For states, or any tournament that evokes some level of sponsorship outside the confines of our quiz bowl community (like an ESC or county-wide competition), it's in the best interest for everyone in quiz bowl if you wear actual pants. Wear a nice, business-casual sweatshirt when applicable.

Q. Sandals?
A. If you must, wear with socks. For the love of all that is good and holy, always wear clean socks. Don't show up to events wearing sandals without socks - no one wants to look at, or smell, your g.d. feet.

Q. Deodorant, toothpaste?
A. You already know the answer to this question.


Q. Your post reads like a rather unnecessary, if not pedantic, attack on the personal attire and grooming practices of quizbowlers across the spectrum of high school participants and adult moderators alike. As long as we're comfortable, who cares?
A. The only time you should consider your comfort and personal attire as a priority when you're alone in the room of your dwelling. Quizbowl is interpersonal, and you deal with a wide range of people that extends beyond the relationship of the peers on your team. You may be on your twentieth tournament, but there are far more people in the classroom - let alone the assembly room - who are on their first. Looking nice in quiz bowl isn't just a reflection of who you are as a person, but also a reflection of quiz bowl as a whole. There's no imperative to police nor scrutinize our own individuality, what makes us unique. Nor is there a need to take any of that away. But for C.S., you're a steward of the game - dress like it. The stereotype of quiz bowl, and general activities pertaining to gifted students, surrounding hygiene and decorum meets reality when people show up like they just rolled out of bed and have seen Mr. Gillette at a frequency far less than seeing their doctor.

Q. Part of what makes quizbowl "great", in social terms, is participants can express their own quirkiness and individuality in spaces that otherwise may not be as acceptable (a normal school day, athletics, Mock Trial.) One of the most eminent forms of such self-expression is how we present ourselves. Why do you want to take that away?
A. I don't. In fact, people who largely agree with me in the points made in this post (or people who largely agree with Charlie in the above-linked post, for that matter) do not. But if adjusting your personal grooming, the clothes you wear, and anything pertaining to your bodily presentation to a more broadly acceptable fashion, particularly that of the professional world, comes at the expense of your own perceived individuality*... then perhaps you don't have that much individuality to present in the first place. Which is fine. Or maybe your individuality is better expressed in your art, in your sport, or even on your social media. That's fine, too. But being lazy and looking like you're lazy, or straight up "DGAF", can't be excused, nor conflated, with "individuality". Brush your teeth, comb your hair, cut when its too long, shave if your beard doesn't look good, throw on some Old Spice, wear clothes that you look good in and which look good on you. Wear socks. All in all, look presentable.


* - the caveat I'll make here is, if the way you present yourself is customary to a particular faith or background, or if you express yourself physically in ways that best reflect your own gender/sexual identity (in ways that, for lack of a better term, mainstream or hegemonized styles do not), then that's perfectly fine. In fact, I think everyone in quizbowl not only welcomes such expression but also encourages it.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:18 am 
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To me, you can wear whatever you want (as long as it is appropriate). Sweatshirts and sweatpants are forgivable, but one thing definitely is not. POOR HYGIENE. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SHOWER AND PUT ON DEODORANT (NOT ONE OR THE OTHER) BEFORE A TOURNAMENT. YOU'RE GOING TO BE AROUND PEOPLE ALL DAY, MOVING FROM PLACE TO PLACE. IF YOU SMELL BAD OR ARE A GENERALLY FILTHY PERSON, YOU WILL RUIN THE QUIZBOWL EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYONE ELSE.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:27 am 
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I for one eagerly await a Josh Eck statistical ranking of "Ohio Quiz Bowl Beards."

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:38 am 
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To my knowledge, I'm the only quizbowler that's ever ventured into Chester A. Arthur/Ambrose Burnside territory. But even I would not presume to adopt that as a regular appearance.

Bob Weiser's goatee is pretty awesome. Gotta include that if we're talking about facial hair.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:41 am 
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jrbellas wrote:
To my knowledge, I'm the only quizbowler that's ever ventured into Chester A. Arthur/Ambrose Burnside territory. But even I would not presume to adopt that as a regular appearance.

Bob Weiser's goatee is pretty awesome. Gotta include that if we're talking about facial hair.

Agreed. Weiser’s goatee is legendary.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:28 pm 
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I always forget which guy is which from DCC, but the one coach's beard is fantastic.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:34 pm 
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BobKilner wrote:
I always forget which guy is which from DCC, but the one coach's beard is fantastic.

Christopher Gismondi is the coach who wears glasses and has the really awesome beard.

Ben Herman is the coach that also has a beard, but does not wear glasses. His beard is good, too.

Anthony Cornish is the coach that does not wear a beard.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:58 pm 
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A little bit more on-topic: yeah, Mazin is right. I didn’t list showering as a necessity, since, uh, it kind of goes without saying. (My apologies if the preceding sentence comes off as snarky, Mazin. Thanks for contributing to the thread. All of us on this board want to hear contribution from the current players along with representation from schools that never had much of a previous forum presence, e.g. Ottawa Hills.)

I always sort of thought that, if nothing else, basic hygiene (shower, deodorant and toothpaste) is something that coaches personally stress in cases where transportation isn’t a full-sized school bus but rather a van or car. And... if that wasn’t enough, there’d be enough cohesion amongst the team to emphasize the social principles of hygiene. When we would drive to Washington, we always made it a point to the younger players “hey, don’t smell like [blank], we have ten hours of this God forsaken ride.”

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