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 Post subject: "A League of Their Own"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:56 am
Posts: 5
Hello Fellow Coaches!

I am seeking help from you all since you have many more connections in the Quiz Bowl World than I do. :-)

I was appointed at the end of last season as the coordinator of our area quiz bowl league (Mid-Ohio Valley Conference). As of last year, this league consisted of River Valley (Gallia Co.), South Gallia (Gallia), Meigs (Meigs Co.), Eastern (Meigs), and Southern (Meigs) and included both a JH and HS division. Up until this point, the league only used Knowledge Master as their source of questions for the regular season and tournaments. The coordinator of the league would make binders that would include practice questions and also every questions that would be asked during regular matches and tournaments. As you can imagine, this led to teams simply memorizing the questions and the matches became solely a battle of speed.

Well, after I was appointed I decided that I wanted to push the league to take a step away from K.M. and work towards a pyramidal-style (like NAQT). After speaking with each of our coaches, we have hit a crossroads. All of our Gallia Co. schools refuse to make the switch and want to stick with K.M. because they feel it helps build their players' confidence and helps them be successful. On the other hand, all three school districts in my county are wanting to make the switch. So, we are looking at the possibility of breaking apart of either forming our own league or joining an area one that would be willing to take us. :?

So, I guess my million dollar question is...Do any of you know of any coaches that have teams (JH and/or HS) that would be either interested in joining our league OR have a league that we would be able to join? In the past, we have had schools from Athens, Vinton, and Washington counties in our league as well as schools from the Parkersburg, WV area...but, unfortunately they have all left over the years. My biggest reason for this push is that we are trying to get our teams to be more active, but it is very difficult to do in this part of the state.

Any help you would be able to provide will be GREATLY appreciated!



Adam Phillips
JH & HS Quiz Bowl Coach
Southern Jr/Sr High School
Racine, Ohio

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Adam Phillips
JH & HS Quiz Bowl Coach
Southern Jr/Sr High School
Racine, Ohio


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:43 pm
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Location: Garfield Heights OH
Everybody that I write for down in that area still plays OAC. If you can't find any tossup-bonus leagues in Ohio, maybe ask Parkersburg HS, Ripley HS, etc. if they have leagues in their areas that might be willing to take an Ohio team. I know that area hosts a bunch of NAQT or other TU-B tournaments each year.

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Bob Kilner
Chief Admin, ohioqbforum.com
Former Coach, Garfield Heights HS (2001-2008)
Coach, North High School (2015-)
Kent State '06 / Boise State '10


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 11:50 pm
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Seconding what Bob said.

Perhaps the Meigs County contingency can try to make something happen with the Mason County (WV) schools. Wahama has done pyramidal before, and I’m sure the White Falcons would welcome the opportunity to play Southern and Eastern in something that doesn’t involve a court, nor a field. Them, and Hannan, of course have more in common with Eastern and Southern than they do different (I reasonably presume.) Then you have the ‘Big Blacks’, who I’m sure would welcome playing Meigs. Speaking of Point Pleasant, maybe if you can get them on board... just maybe, you can get Gallia Academy to wade into the pyramidal zone.

Respectable rivalries, ones that are relevant, can actually go a long way.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:55 pm
Posts: 86
I have so many thoughts and multiple options. I will be emailing you because this is probably going to be a novella. I apologize in advance. I've done quite a bit of research on this topic.

On a separate note, I would be willing to wave the fee for any of the schools in Gallia Co. to come to my tournament if you can get them there. Yes, I am crazy. This is for one team each, because I'm not that crazy. I'm willing to put my personal money where my mouth is. Please don't tell my wife.

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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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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:56 am
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Hm, I sure wish I could convince them to do that, Josh! I wish I completely understood why they are afraid to ever branch off from Knowledge Master. For example, last season the coordinator had us use questions from a CD about 5-8 years ago and also previously used worksheets that their groups had used in practices. Needless to say, many of our schools (both HS & JH) got frustrated.

I’m looking forward to reading your email. :-p

Adam.phillips@southernlocal.net

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Adam Phillips
JH & HS Quiz Bowl Coach
Southern Jr/Sr High School
Racine, Ohio


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:13 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 11:50 pm
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What about the possibility of asking your superintendent/administration to lobby quiz bowl as being part of the 'all sports' competition that is put on by your athletics league, the Tri-Valley Conference? You mention that schools from the counties of the northerly and westerly directions, presumably most (if not all) of whom already participate in the TVC for sports, were in the league but left... any indication as to why?

I'm not familiar with the quiz bowl conference you currently participate in, the aforementioned 'MOVC'. However, from my experience as a player and my brief time as an 'assistant coach', having engaged with three different quiz bowl leagues who all act independent of an athletics body, the common theme across all three was the vast majority of the participating schools were apathetic (coaches, administration - not the players, mind you.) I saw schools that would join and/or leave year-to-year, schools that had constant coaching turnover year-to-year, and schools that made perfectly fine sense to join a given league but for one reason or another didn't accept invitations or return calls. It was also the case that some schools made the quiz bowl team the first on the chopping block when it came time to do the budget for next year. It's my opinion, for a few years now, that pretty much all of these schools didn't see anything to actually play for (and therefore actually care) and instead saw quiz bowl as being a 'gifted students club' or a low-cost, enriching extracurricular activity... in other words, something to do. There's something to be said for the heights, possibilities and support a high school quiz bowl team can attain if they have administrators who value the quiz team and their success even half as much as they do the football team and their respective success. Just ask Glasgow (KY) or Buckeye State compatriots Ottawa Hills.

I write the above so as not to indict you, your fellow coaches or for that matter any of your respective administrations as being "apathetic", yourselves. I understand that being a quiz bowl advisor is definitely a thankless task, particularly when it comes to incredibly small stipends as well as the personal sacrifice of your own time and energy to make it possible. I'm only writing from my own personal observations, that unless the schools see something to play for and bring home (something that can get people in the community excited for, like a hypothetical "TVC Quiz Bowl Champions" title) then the schools aren't going to really commit themselves into a consistent coach (let alone a competitive one) nor the bus rides (district dollars!!!) past one-or-two years. At best, they're just going to treat quiz bowl as something (to borrow your words) "they feel [it] helps build their players' confidence and helps them be successful." I understand that quote is in reference to the Gallia contingency's reluctance to deviate from the status quo, but it can apply here as well.

I'm sure your current league is a fine league, but if it becomes the "Meigs County Three" in the interim... well, the issue seems to be not so much getting schools interested in playing but rather keeping them interested. Which, given the short supply of possible candidate schools because of how sparsely populated Southeast Ohio is (therefore less volume of schools and greater distances between), sustainability and growth becomes difficult. If it were possible to unearth Meigs County, drop it along either side of the Delaware/Franklin County line and supplant the northern Columbus suburbs with Reedsville, Pomeroy and Racine instead, then voila - you'd have no trouble finding a good home for quiz bowl nor would you have as much difficulty in creating a league yourself. But, I'm stating the obvious at this point.

- - - - - - - - - -

Keep fighting the good fight, and good luck. What you and your Meigs Co colleagues are doing is admirable, respectable and worthy of recognition. The Ohio River area has great soil, and although it may take a couple years of patience, diligence and trust-building I am sure that quiz bowl can flourish and become an evergreen activity.

Keep us posted on this, and let us know what any of us can do to help (however possible.) We ourselves, as a community, are quite encouraged and excited for what you've already accomplished with your middle school tournaments and now the extension into the high school game. It's unbelievably hard to get the wheels moving, and continuously moving, when it comes to getting a circuit happening; just to give you an idea, the Cincinnati area itself pretty much has no circuit beyond local OAC (absent Little Miami and Walnut Hills) and that's an area filled to the brim with schools that could make a huge, sustained splash into quiz bowl. But you guys, you guys are doing great thusfar.

(P.S. This post is really long, but I only write about the potential athletics conference relationship because I do firmly believe that it can be am effective pathway to quiz bowl expansion and overall circuit health in a given area. I should emphasize, here, that I don't see it as bieng an "all-or-nothing" suggestion when it comes to aligning with sports or not - just simply something that can make even just a few more schools want to get involved, get active and get better... that's all.)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:56 am
Posts: 5
Thank you SO much for all of the ideas and kind words thus far. I truly appreciate having such a supportive group to speak with. I’m excited that my colleagues in our county (Meigs & Eastern) are willing to try NAQT-style or TU-B for the first time. My school, Southern, has been fortunate enough to have gained some momentum over the past couple years since I moved back to my alma mater.

As of right now, I have 56 students involved in the quiz bowl program (26 at the JH and 30 at the HS). This is the first year I haven’t had to advertise! :-) Please keep your ideas and suggestions coming!! I will keep you all posted as I (hopefully) hear something back from the area schools. I have now reached out to the last known coaches (according to NAQT’s website) at many of our fellow TVC members, as well as Wahama, Ravenswood, and Ripley in WV. *fingers crossed*

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Adam Phillips
JH & HS Quiz Bowl Coach
Southern Jr/Sr High School
Racine, Ohio


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:16 pm
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I'm following this also as we were in a similar situation but maybe a couple of years ahead of where you are at. Our league used KM type questions. Before I took over the team, we tended to be one of the dominant teams in the league. All those years and all those trophies and the best that I can surmise is we won 2 total matches in years of OAC play.

Even though we matched that total my first year it took some time and some conversations with Greg Bossick and others to realize until we change our league's question supplier we weren't going to make much progress. Resistance was strong- We just do this for fun or Those other questions are too hard- was the refrain. After a few years of lobbying (and one disaster of a tournament due to question type) the league was ready to change.

So we made the switch to NAQT last year. We had a few bumps (basically with stat keeping). Now this year I am requesting that our league director (hired by an ESC) compile and send the stats to NAQT. She is refusing. When I suggested we hire someone (from in or out of the league) I was told no. I even offered that my team fund would help pay the cost I was still told no. This is where we stand now.

I have some allies in the central office and am going through channels now to remedy the situation. We shall see.

Imagine a sports team being told that we won't keep stats because some teams aren't as good or don't take the game as serious. These scenerios actually happen every year but stats are still kept.

I think we in academic compeition should think of ourselves like girl's sports after Title IX. We are going to have to use various means to have people take notice and respect us. We need to work individually and through our various organizations to do this and to reach out to schools and coaches. When I started teaching (a few decades ago) there were still some coaches of girls programs that didn't take it seriously. There aren't many coaches with that attitude now.

The reality is colleges now recruit students for E-Sports. In my wildest dreams I never imagined getting money for college by playing video games. Yet here we are. Why can't Academic Competition be next? (as a side note if playing pinball was worth college money back in my day I would have been set!)

Before some suggest I volunteer to enter the stats, as I have told a few of you I can barely accomplish what I get done now. Expanding my program to include more Saturday play, finding sponsors to expand our play, College Board redesign of my AP course, new approaches in other classes as well as OTES and SLO's (and all the other alphabet soup the ODE throws at us) plus not being in the best of health, yea...me entering the stats is not going to happen.

Hopefully we in the NW or SE of Ohio can continue getting support and help from the rest of the state to help "legitimize" Quiz Bowl throughout the state.

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Leonard Donaldson
TCQB
inspirational/s.a. comment goes here


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:24 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:56 am
Posts: 5
I just wanted to give everyone an update on our situation...

This past week all of the coaches in my county came to the unanimous decision to break away from the Mid-Ohio Valley QB League, leaving only River Valley & South Gallia in the league. After speaking with numerous area coaches, the following schools have expressed interest in forming a new league with us beginning this year...Southern (Meigs), Meigs (Meigs), Eastern (Meigs), Wahama (WV), Ravenswood (WV), Ripley (WV), Nelsonville-York (Athens), and Ohio Valley Christian (Gallia). Ohio Valley Christian is extremely excited about this opportunity and this will be their first time forming quiz Bowl at their school. Their administrator says he had a high enough interest level to form multiple teams at both the JH & HS level.

Thanks again to all of you for your kind words and support through this process! I will continue to keep you updated.

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Adam Phillips
JH & HS Quiz Bowl Coach
Southern Jr/Sr High School
Racine, Ohio


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:43 pm
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Location: Garfield Heights OH
That's awesome! Good luck to your team and your new league.

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Bob Kilner
Chief Admin, ohioqbforum.com
Former Coach, Garfield Heights HS (2001-2008)
Coach, North High School (2015-)
Kent State '06 / Boise State '10


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