I Don't Understand

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I Don't Understand

Postby Quizziez » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:27 am

Hello everyone,

This is the first year my school is doing quiz bowl. I registered the team for our first and second competitions. I am also the team's highest scorer, outpacing the combined total of all other members by about 110 PP20TUH. I also hold three years' experience in out of school activities (High School History Bowl, etc.)

However, they do not want me to be captain. They complain I do not discuss enough with them and that I shout out answers. Sometimes I do place my answer with higher worth than their answers, but I feel that is justified because my answers are generally correct more often when compared to theirs. A few people support me, but there is this other student who I think is trying to become captain solely for her college resume. We lost countless points for pronunciation and eventually I had to feed the answers to the judges. Yet they still think I should not be captain. I put in so much more time than everyone else, and I do not understand. What do you guys feel I should do?

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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby RexSueciae » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:05 am

I suggest asking them about it.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby UlyssesInvictus » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:21 am

Being a good captain means a lot of things: being good at quizbowl, spending time on quizbowl; but it also means knowing how to organize, to put on a good public persona to your school and other teams, to make people on the team feel included. It certainly sounds like you're good at the first two, but your teammates may feel offended you don't care enough about the latter few.

Like Vasa said, you should talk to your teammates, and do it calmly. It'll probably be awkward, but if you cogently list the reasons why you feel like your effort would be most usefully funneled into the team, then no one will have a reason to vote against you. On the other hand, if you become emotional and stress how much better at QB you are, you'll probably just alienate more people.

Unfortunately, it's high school, and there's still a decent chance people will just vote for the more personable, rather than the person who cares more--current events demonically demonstrating--but in that case, you would know you did your best, and I would encourage you not to let your love of QB be affected by it. Being captain turns out to be more work than people appreciate, anyway :P
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby dwd500 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:38 am

In my experience, the qualities that make a player a good captain and the qualities that make a player a big scorer rarely overlap. A player that can do both is extremely rare.

My favorite move is to name quieter players who probably wouldn't get a lot of points per game (if any) as captain.
#1 - it keeps the big scorer from having to worry about the finer points of gameplay (clock management, massaging egos, hearing the pronoun in the question) and lets them focus on just knowing stuff, and
#2 - it keeps that quieter player involved in the game. Teammates exist for a reason, and it's important that everyone be involved and everyone have fun. When that one question comes up where the only person in the room that knows it is that quieter player (and it will happen, eventually) you'll be glad that that player hasn't checked out and didn't listen.

A good captain - one that keep the team focused, build consensus, be decisive when teammates argue, and essentially be the coach in-game - is worth their weight in gold.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby El Salvadoreno » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:49 am

I think Mr. Kuang put it pretty well, but I feel I have been in similar situations which could allow me to add something to the discussion.

For one, do not shout out bonus answers. As someone who has done this in the past, I can speak for a fact that teammates HATE it when you do this. I mean occasionally this is going to happen when you get excited (a book you just read in English, for example) but, on the whole, shouting out is not a good idea.

Furthermore, try be friends with your teammates and think of them as equals. These are people that should become your friends and "co-workers" basically. I still keep in touch graduates who have been under these past two years. Do not resent them, but work with them to become better friends and a better team. Even the all time great Michael Jordan could not win a championship without Pippen.

Also, joining in what Mr. Dennis said, I think there is little overlap in those skills from what I've seen. If you really want to be captain, work on your people skills too (work on those because it is a general life skill too).
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby Quizziez » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:43 am

dwd500 wrote:In my experience, the qualities that make a player a good captain and the qualities that make a player a big scorer rarely overlap. A player that can do both is extremely rare.

My favorite move is to name quieter players who probably wouldn't get a lot of points per game (if any) as captain.
#1 - it keeps the big scorer from having to worry about the finer points of gameplay (clock management, massaging egos, hearing the pronoun in the question) and lets them focus on just knowing stuff, and
#2 - it keeps that quieter player involved in the game. Teammates exist for a reason, and it's important that everyone be involved and everyone have fun. When that one question comes up where the only person in the room that knows it is that quieter player (and it will happen, eventually) you'll be glad that that player hasn't checked out and didn't listen.

A good captain - one that keep the team focused, build consensus, be decisive when teammates argue, and essentially be the coach in-game - is worth their weight in gold.


Thanks for your advice. Problems: he can't manage the clock, he can't massage the egos, and I can't count how many times he has missed the pronoun and answered the wrong question. He has minimal experience and really has no idea how to manage a team. As I stated earlier, I often had to take the role of captain and say the answers for the team, as he couldn't pronounce many of the words.

Sorry to post personal problems, but the team constantly yells at me and treats me like trash. I know this person will try to use captain of the quizbowl team for her resume. He has tried to do similar things in the past. I really like quizbowl, but the treatment I get from my team is making me want to quit.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby 2017 in amusement parks » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:11 am

Quizziez wrote:Hello everyone,

This is the first year my school is doing quiz bowl. I registered the team for our first and second competitions. I am also the team's highest scorer, outpacing the combined total of all other members by about 110 PP20TUH. I also hold three years' experience in out of school activities (High School History Bowl, etc.)

However, they do not want me to be captain. They complain I do not discuss enough with them and that I shout out answers. Sometimes I do place my answer with higher worth than their answers, but I feel that is justified because my answers are generally correct more often when compared to theirs. A few people support me, but there is this other student who I think is trying to become captain solely for her college resume. We lost countless points for pronunciation and eventually I had to feed the answers to the judges. Yet they still think I should not be captain. I put in so much more time than everyone else, and I do not understand. What do you guys feel I should do?

User was reminded to enable a signature. --Mgmt.



Coming from someone who was once there and then became a (I think) good captain, the first thing you have to do is lose your attitude. That "other student" is probably not trying to be captain solely for college, and even if she is it should be more about whether she can do a good job. Furthermore, don't act like being better at quiz bowl makes automatically makes you a better option for captain. I learned by experience that the best captain supports their teammates, regardless of ability, and holds the team together. Show that you can do that. Be supportive of your teammates and their goals, and put the team ahead of your personal interests.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby bretthogan43 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:09 pm

As a team captain I can tell you this-

To me it makes me feel much better when each player on my team answers a tossup/tossups and the team collectively bands together to defeat an opponent rather than when I wind up running up the score and beating somebody on my own. Collectively supporting your team and giving everybody an input on bonus answers are among the most important areas of being team captain.

As you hold your team together, don't be too showy about it- most people prefer a humble person who can lead.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:20 pm

I don't have a ton of experience as a lead scorer/captain on a team with multiple major contributors for teammates. I think it's important that a captain who's also a lead scorer leverage this knowledge to try to engage teammates and guide them to providing the right answers. Some examples:

"Oh, it's talking about this painting...who's the artist of that again?"
"OK, so we're in 17th century France...what ideas do you have?"
"Oh, there's talking about Chichikov, what book is he from again..."
"This quantity? I think this is talking about the Clausius Clapeyron equation, so..."

One of the great advantages about teammates is that they can back you up when you blank on names, or give helpful suggestions. A good captain/lead scorer leverages his or her (presumably) wider knowledge base not just to give more answers, but to help teammates give more answers as well, and vice-versa. This tends to have the helpful side effect of encouraging your teammates to speak up when they have an idea of what the answer is (or know it outright) but aren't confident. All of these things require good, forthright communication, as well as an appropriate mix of conciliation and decisiveness - knowing when to be confident when deciding between answers and when to just automatically defer.

If you're basically a one-man team, then there's no real reason for you not to be captain. If your teammates are contributing non-negligible amounts, though - and really, any player who can consistently get one additional tossup or a few additional bonus parts per round for the team is a serious contributor (since quizbowl games are so often decided by one tossup) - then the captain really needs to be someone who is a good communicator, or you're losing out on a lot of potential.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby Sit Room Guy » Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:05 pm

@OP,
I know that feel, my dude. My coach named three junior captains last year because I was overwhelmingly the best player on the team, but I only got third when my teammates were polled to select a captain (a guy whose highest NAQT statline is like, 10 or 20 ppg placed ahead of me). Now that I have one and a half years of captaining experience and four of top-scoring experience, I'd say the most important quality is getting your teammates to the point where you don't have to be there. This involves helping other people find what they're good at and start buzzing on it, instilling discipline in your team so that you're only playing the other team and not yourselves, and what have you. Of course, some of this might be the coach's job at your school, but no matter whether you're a captain or not, you should be contributing to this. A key to that that I underappreciated (thus my poor poll finish) is getting your team and your coach to like you and trust you. If you're that good of a scorer, the coach part will come. If you don't vulch, interfere with your teammates' strong areas, or anything like that, while still putting up solid stats like it seems you have been, the team part should too.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby Quizziez » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:57 pm

Thanks for your help! They rarely, if ever, get questions within the game. The captain is a kid who answered about 2 questions in our entire 7 game tournament.

I have managed my NHBB team to really high positions in the nationals. However all of the students on the NHBB team (1 other) graduated and now I am alone.

Problems: he can't manage the clock, he can't massage the egos, and I can't count how many times he has missed the pronoun and answered the wrong question. He has minimal experience and really has no idea how to manage a team. As I stated earlier, I often had to take the role of captain and say the answers for the team, as he couldn't pronounce many of the words.

Sorry to post personal problems, but the team constantly yells at me and treats me like trash. I know this person will try to use captain of the quizbowl team for her resume. He has tried to do similar things in the past. I really like quizbowl, but the treatment I get from my team is making me want to quit.

ik i keep changing pronouns its on purpose
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby alexdz » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:06 pm

My only experience as captain was in Missouri back in 2005-2008, and the thing is back then the "captain" actually had designated gameplay roles (we had to give the answer on a bonus or it would not be accepted at all). So there was some benefit to having a captain be a good player, too. That being said, when I came to Mizzou to play college quizbowl and was elected president, I quickly realized how much more it mattered that I was an "administrator" as opposed to a good player.

The captaincy in modern good quizbowl is best used for someone who can keep things flowing and organized, not necessarily the best player. Rest assured that your performance is already going to look great on a college application and that you won't be losing any prestige by not being captain.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby NBQuizbowl » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:51 pm

Coming from my experience so far, being both the captain and the top scorer on the team can be quite the job. You have to perform, while also making sure your teammates are engaged and contributing. Trusting your teammates when the question is in their knowledge area is something that I'm still learning to do. I encourage them to get better in their respective areas of knowledge and give them advice. Having a team that you can trust to get a clutch bonus or tossup is a great thing. Chemistry is also a factor. We're all friends on the team so we function pretty well together.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby ProfessorIanDuncan » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:12 pm

From your signature, I'm assuming that you either a freshman or sophomore and by your statement about your teammate doing something for college that they are older than you by at least 1 or 2 years. If you are a JV player, and by far the teams top scorer, your time to be captain will come. If it really means that much to your teammate, why make yourself look worse by ardently opposing this? If you are really worried about your teammate messing up pronunciations on things, suggest someone else (not you) to be captain or talk to them about deferring answers (something that a good captain should frequently do) more often if they are unsure how to pronounce something. You also say that you've been putting more time in than your teammates, but if you are a sophomore and your teammate is a senior, haven't they spent two more years on the team than you? Do you understand how your coach might want to reward the years they've spent on the team?

As a captain, there are a number of little things that help your teammates, but by and large it's largely a symbolic position and your responsibilities are few. I understand that its frustrating that your time and hard work that you put in (as well as your intelligence) being rewarded. It sucks. But if your teammates react negatively to you shouting out answers or whatever other thing, is making you captain really the best way to improve the team as a whole? You are going to be scoring the lion's share of the points regardless of what happens. So the best thing you can do is what makes your teammates comfortable and make them feel good about being on the team and encourage them and help them get better?

In general, the more time you spend making your teammates feel good about playing with you and getting along with them and building rapport, the more your coach is going to see that and the sooner they are going to consider make you captain.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby Quizziez » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:39 pm

I did NHBB throughout Middle School. My teammates only started this year.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby Quizziez » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:20 pm

And they are all in my grade
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby Snoopy » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:01 pm

Are you here for advice, or are you just looking for people to nod their heads and say "Yeah, I agree with you, you should be captain?" I can see very clearly why they don't want you to be at this point based on your posts here alone. What Mike said was probably the best advice here: lose your attitude. I was top scorer for my entire 4-year career and captain for the last one only. Why? Because I was an immature little jerk prior to my senior year, and it takes more than that to be the captain.

Not, of course, that you're an immature little jerk. I don't know you, I wouldn't know. But if they don't want you to be captain, there's probably a reason. And based of the pretentiousness of your previous posts, perhaps your reason is right there.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby Neggman » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:10 pm

So I'm guessing from your comments you're not friends with the people on your team? Even if you can't become friends outside of quizbowl, trying to become at least quizbowl friends will build chemistry that will make everything easier. Others have said that, felt like echoing it; in high school my junior/senior year A teams were all some of my closest friends and it helped a ton.

In regards to college apps, maybe this is just my perception, but captain will mean relatively little unless you can turn it into an essay (which also should be just as possible without being the nominal captain).

Winning seems to be a priority of yours, and since this problem seems to have persisted for a while, you may want to operate under the confines of it instead of fighting it. Things worth trying: After tournaments, take note of what your teammates were able to do. Trying to say things like "damn, good job today you clearly improved" or whatnot. This could help foster a "we're in it as a team and even though I'm top scorer I need you and notice what you do" kind of feeling. I would caution against coming off patronizingly, which may be tough since you are all in the same grade. When it comes to bonuses, try and discuss every question. That way your teammates will always feel like part of the discussion, and as an added bonus, you can sneakily correct your teammates' pronunciation errors (e.g. The answer is Thomas Cranmer and your teammate thinks its Thomas Cramner (me until yesterday whoops). When discussing the bonus, if you hear Cramner, you could just politely be like "wait I think its Cranmer." That way everyone was part of the answer and the error was avoided). You also, by discussing the bonus, can let others always answer the not-prone to pronunciation errors questions, which may make them more amenable to letting you answer some tough to pronounce questions.

In my experience, captain isn't important. This may be due to the awesome team chemistry/out-of-the-quizbowl-room camaraderie but I was not captain and was top scorer, but because my captain was awesome (and also a very good player) and we developed as a team prior to senior year, we made many decisions as a team and on tougher questions in our categories he would defer to whichever of us knew that answer the best. This could be an option for you, sans the great friendship. Try being willing to co-captain or unofficially aid in the captaining. The more you are a team in spirit and not just in name the more you may come to treat all of your team matters as a team.

Tl;dr: If you want to win, you may have to set aside your ego, ignore the personal slights you perceive, and work within the confines of the team you're given.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby Sima Guang Hater » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:45 pm

Quizziez wrote:They complain I do not discuss enough with them and that I shout out answers. Sometimes I do place my answer with higher worth than their answers, but I feel that is justified because my answers are generally correct more often when compared to theirs.


This isn't how any of this works.

When I was at Brown, Jerry Vinokurov was our captain. Even when he dwarfed us in PPG, he still always included us in bonus deliberations, even when we had little idea of what was happening. This made us feel like valued teammates even if we weren't directly contributing, it made the experience of playing much more interesting, and it made us more confident when we actually did have something to contribute.

Being a captain is more than just getting questions. It's about managing teammates in-game, knowing how to delegate, and knowing how to turn four people into a single, cohesive team. It seems like you're not doing any of that, and therefore shouldn't be captain.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby Sit Room Guy » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:42 am

I think, to a certain extent, we're kinda overreacting/beating a dead horse. If OP is still paying attention to this thread, he has a week's worth of solid advice to go on. Past a certain point, any berating of underclassmen for being egotistical or unleaderlike (show me a top-quality frosh/soph player who doesn't at least have a little bit of these problems; it kinda comes with the territory), is futile. If you were talking to sophomore-year me, all the forum threads in the world couldn't replace the personal experience I've gained since. This kid will eventually become a good captain. Until then, it is my opinion that this thread ought to remain dead.
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Re: I Don't Understand

Postby Snoopy » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:44 am

Well, perhaps someone else in a similar situation will stumble upon it and use our comments for a little self-reflection. That being said, I also have a feeling OP won't ever be back again.
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