Ways to practice outside of buzzing?

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Ways to practice outside of buzzing?

Postby whathappenedtodorcas » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:41 am

Our school's had a team for a little more than a year now, and as new people join, I've found that buzzing becomes less practical, largely due to the fact that the more experienced players getting all of the tossups. Essentially, our team is starting to feel a little stagnant, especially as we exhaust older packets and the few team arrangements we can make.

Currently, we're thinking of splitting our members into the main categories and going from there, but it's all pretty abstract and nothing's set in stone.

Does anyone have any effective ways to practice as a team that aren't just buzzing in game format but could also help with improving (and maybe incorporating new members)? Are there anything that your teams have tried that have worked?

Thanks in advance for any replies; pretty much anything would be helpful.
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Re: Ways to practice outside of buzzing?

Postby Aaron's Rod » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:20 pm

If your practices are big enough, some teams find it helpful to split into two simultaneous practices--one for the more experienced players to read harder questions, and one for the less experienced players so they actually get a chance to buzz.
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Re: Ways to practice outside of buzzing?

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Aaron's Rod wrote:If your practices are big enough, some teams find it helpful to split into two simultaneous practices--one for the more experienced players to read harder questions, and one for the less experienced players so they actually get a chance to buzz.


This is probably the most common solution to your problem and some of the top quizbowl teams in the country do it. The downside is that it may cause a social rift between the two rooms and it may impair the development of some people in the "easier" room (if they're good enough to beat out the other folks in the easy room, they might not feel any incentive or need to improve further).
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Re: Ways to practice outside of buzzing?

Postby alexdz » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:50 pm

Some teams have older, more experienced players do some moderating for newer/younger players. That still exposes your better players to the questions but keeps them from being behind the buzzer. There are some drawbacks to this method, of course, but used sparingly it can be a helpful addition to your strategies.

I've also heard of teams that have each player do some research on a topic (think not-too-broad but not just one answerline, such as "Holy Roman Emperors" or "20th century popes" or something like that). Then occasionally at practices, each player presents their research in a short slideshow. It allows each person to study their specialty in depth but also serves as a good lesson for other players.
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Re: Ways to practice outside of buzzing?

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:12 pm

alexdz wrote:I've also heard of teams that have each player do some research on a topic (think not-too-broad but not just one answerline, such as "Holy Roman Emperors" or "20th century popes" or something like that). Then occasionally at practices, each player presents their research in a short slideshow. It allows each person to study their specialty in depth but also serves as a good lesson for other players.


Oh yeah, I just remembered that when I was a college freshman, my team did something like this. Each new player on the team was asked to write some number of tossups (I *think* categories were suggested, but I'm not sure). The player would read the tossup to the rest of the team and they'd have a little game on them: then, older players would jump in and give feedback on the tossup. Players who volunteered to do this (it can be very intimidating to have experienced players critique your tossup!) were rewarded with books and other prizes and well-wishing.
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