Why is Illinois bad?

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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Dan-Don » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:41 am

Matt Bardoe wrote:Our team goes to the things that make sense with our schedule, and we have some history with generally. So we are planning to go to things that look good, and are not too far. There are lots of reasons for this, time commitment for myself and my co-coaches, family commitments, etc. So we will go to kickoffs, NT Solo, Loyola (F/S) (if it happens), Septemberist (cause we love St. Viator), Fremd, Homewood-Flossmoor, New Trier, Masonics and IHSA (there maybe more that I am forgetting) and our league. I want to help good quizbowl, but not at all costs. One of the reasons I read this board is get more information about good quizbowl. I want to make my team better, and I want to make quizbowl better in Illinois as a member of Advisory Council. I want to hear about how to do that. For my team, I am going to go about in my own way, with input from my team...

I am trying not to be the enemy here, but I am ok with it if that is what I am.
You're not the enemy, and I apologize if my posts came off as a little angry. I just wanted to know if you were going to make an effort to make to at least a few good tourneys this season. You are. This should quell most of the cirticism. Thank you for all you've done re: AdCo.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by JackGlerum » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:41 am

Hey, just wanna throw something out there (re: Bardoe discussion)

I am also glad that Latin will go to good stuff this year, but attending
Matt Bardoe wrote:Fremd, Homewood-Flossmoor, Masonics
sort of counteracts what we've been talking about. If you're going to Masonics for the money, fair enough, but these three tournaments are famously bad. Doing small and simple things like boycotting events like these are important for "the cause". Loyola historically went to many bad tournaments, but we broke from them (including the three mentioned, among others), and it was great for the program.

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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Geringer » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:04 pm

I personally think Fremd and Homewood-Flossmoor have some merit. This year they're both going to be written by the H-F coach and their standard will be far above that of Bryce Avery and QG. While I wouldn't put them on the level of an NAQT tournament, I certainly think traveling to huge, diverse tournaments can be more fun occasionally than placing low at Loyburn, NTV, Septemberist, etc. every weekend. Just because someone is going to some less competitive tournaments doesn't mean they're "working against the cause," it just means that they like to win occasionally too. I personally loved Fremd because I got to play teams, players, and friends I normally wouldn't see. Given, I also dominated on crappy questions, but the moral of the story is that from an exposure/seeding standpoint, it's important to clearly place yourself over the field through tournaments like that.* Don't look at teams like Byron and Latin for their minority of bad tournaments, but for their participation in the good ones.

*(First-place trophies/high IHSA finishes/Masonic tournaments have proven to garner more budget dollars)
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by rjaguar3 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:21 pm

Macho Man Randy Savage wrote:I personally think Fremd and Homewood-Flossmoor have some merit. This year they're both going to be written by the H-F coach and their standard will be far above that of Bryce Avery and QG.
Personally, having attended last years H-F tournament, I wouldn't put too much stock in that assumption based on what I've seen.

EDIT: I know he's earnestly trying, though.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Dan-Don » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:15 pm

I agree with Jack that tourneys like Fremd, H-F, and Masonic do counteract the progress of good quizbowl. And I think Jeff raises a bad point that these tourneys mean $$, trophies, and domination. But, my coaches made a good point yesterday: the Fremd tournament is really the only time of the year that Stevenson and Fremd (the other powerhouses in our Sectional) see us. This becomes very important for Sectional seeding and All-Sectional voting. So, Viator has a legit reason (barely) to go to these. Latin and Loyola, who are not in our Sectional, don't.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:47 pm

Dan-Don wrote:I agree with Jack that tourneys like Fremd, H-F, and Masonic do counteract the progress of good quizbowl. And I think Jeff raises a bad point that these tourneys mean $$, trophies, and domination. But, my coaches made a good point yesterday: the Fremd tournament is really the only time of the year that Stevenson and Fremd (the other powerhouses in our Sectional) see us. This becomes very important for Sectional seeding and All-Sectional voting. So, Viator has a legit reason (barely) to go to these. Latin and Loyola, who are not in our Sectional, don't.
Unless you play Fremd and Stevenson multiple times at the Fremd tournament on questions unusually better than they've been in past years, I don't see how simply being in the same building for a Saturday can help a coach know more about a team's abilities compared to looking at the stat sheets and the like. Additionally, if Fremd's questions are subpar again, who cares about your performance in the realm of "which team is stronger"? The only answer to that question is "people who care about the IHSA process." As a player, your quizbowl Saturday should be spent getting better at quizbowl, and Fremd wouldn't do that.

There are safeguards in the All-Sectional voting process to ensure good players aren't left behind, so if the Fremd tourney's only purpose is to help your chances for seeding at Sectionals, you can do a better job of that at a real tournament, either that Saturday or by saving your limited funds for another Saturday.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Deviant Insider » Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:41 pm

I don't really get this fantasy of how everything would be great if IHSA and most Illinois teams disappeared. It's not going to happen for two reasons:
1. IHSA and most Illinois teams aren't disappearing no matter what we do.
2. If they did disappear, it would be bad. Some of the teams that would stop playing are probably teams that attend New Trier Varsity. A large number of them attend Kickoffs.

Also, it doesn't bother me that teams attend Fremd, something I did for many years when there were fewer alternatives. I don't go now because I believe that my team and I would find it frustrating, but I would sign my team up if they really wanted to go. The entry fees being paid by Latin and Viator are not causing deficits making it impossible for them to attend other tournaments as far as I know, so there is no harm being done.

As to Byron, their coach just retired after a long career. I have no idea what the future of the team is.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Matt Weiner » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:30 pm

Macho Man Randy Savage wrote: Just because someone is going to some less competitive tournaments doesn't mean they're "working against the cause," it just means that they like to win occasionally too.
I don't think "less competitive" has anything to do with it. In fact, a big crux of the good/bad quizbowl distinction is that bad tournaments are very competitive, for all the wrong reasons: they don't reward teams who work harder and/or know more, so there's a much larger element of chance than usual. On the other hand, going to tournaments where one's chance of winning is inflated by the fact that {the questions don't reward knowledge, the field is weak, the TD plays favorites, etc} is exactly what trophy whoring is all about.

I'm not passing judgment on anyone in this thread, but just speaking generally, there's always been something of a trend where people try to proclaim themselves to be in favor of "good quizbowl" by virtue of the fact that they say they are, even if in the specifics they support bad question styles, go to bad tournaments, etc. I contend that people's true beliefs can be gauged from their actions, and that we are not bound to accept that (in the abstract) teams who largely avoid good tournaments in favor of bad ones or use their concrete votes or influence to support the wrong things are "in support of good quizbowl" just because they are capable of constructing "I did X, but I actually believe Y" statements.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Dan-Don » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:59 pm

styxman wrote:
Dan-Don wrote:I agree with Jack that tourneys like Fremd, H-F, and Masonic do counteract the progress of good quizbowl. And I think Jeff raises a bad point that these tourneys mean $$, trophies, and domination. But, my coaches made a good point yesterday: the Fremd tournament is really the only time of the year that Stevenson and Fremd (the other powerhouses in our Sectional) see us. This becomes very important for Sectional seeding and All-Sectional voting. So, Viator has a legit reason (barely) to go to these. Latin and Loyola, who are not in our Sectional, don't.
Unless you play Fremd and Stevenson multiple times at the Fremd tournament on questions unusually better than they've been in past years, I don't see how simply being in the same building for a Saturday can help a coach know more about a team's abilities compared to looking at the stat sheets and the like. Additionally, if Fremd's questions are subpar again, who cares about your performance in the realm of "which team is stronger"? The only answer to that question is "people who care about the IHSA process." As a player, your quizbowl Saturday should be spent getting better at quizbowl, and Fremd wouldn't do that.

There are safeguards in the All-Sectional voting process to ensure good players aren't left behind, so if the Fremd tourney's only purpose is to help your chances for seeding at Sectionals, you can do a better job of that at a real tournament, either that Saturday or by saving your limited funds for another Saturday.
That's all true. And it's what I'd like to say to Mrs. Martin who insists on our presence at Fremd for those reasons I enumerated earlier. But, you can't deny, in terms of the people involved in our Sectional, we have a pretty unscrupulous Sectional . And these coaches--who will remain nameless for my own good--do make judgments based on our performance at the Fremd tourney, whether they played us once or not at all. I don't condone this, but it's the truth of the Sectional we're in.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by the return of AHAN » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:41 pm

JackGlerum wrote:Hey, just wanna throw something out there (re: Bardoe discussion)

I am also glad that Latin will go to good stuff this year, but attending
Matt Bardoe wrote:Fremd, Homewood-Flossmoor, Masonics
sort of counteracts what we've been talking about. If you're going to Masonics for the money, fair enough, but these three tournaments are famously bad. Doing small and simple things like boycotting events like these are important for "the cause". Loyola historically went to many bad tournaments, but we broke from them (including the three mentioned, among others), and it was great for the program.
I could have sworn my frosh/soph A team played Loyola frosh/soph in the quarterfinals at Fremd last January... It was our 2nd such meeting in just over a month, having battled them in the D&G TD quarters, too.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Boeing X-20, Please! » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:50 pm

Max Moon wrote:
JackGlerum wrote:Hey, just wanna throw something out there (re: Bardoe discussion)

I am also glad that Latin will go to good stuff this year, but attending
Matt Bardoe wrote:Fremd, Homewood-Flossmoor, Masonics
sort of counteracts what we've been talking about. If you're going to Masonics for the money, fair enough, but these three tournaments are famously bad. Doing small and simple things like boycotting events like these are important for "the cause". Loyola historically went to many bad tournaments, but we broke from them (including the three mentioned, among others), and it was great for the program.
I could have sworn my frosh/soph A team played Loyola frosh/soph in the quarterfinals at Fremd last January... It was our 2nd such meeting in just over a month, having battled them in the D&G TD quarters, too.
You did in fact see us there because we went to Fremd last year. I believe Mr. Riley meant since Fremd we have broke entirely from the concept of attending tourneys such as those (Which i think we only went to 1/3 last year) unless something is done about them, like the possibility of Fremd having good questions this year.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Dominator » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:41 pm

Let me give first mention my biases. I grew up in central Illinois, attending both tiny schools (Tri-Valley in Downs) and large schools (like my alma mater, Normal Community High School in Normal). Much of what I write here is from the viewpoint of someone from central Illinois, not of someone (soon to be) in the Illinois elite circuit. (I would love to hear Donald Taylor's opinion on this; he and I came from the same conference.)

Now, to my opinions on IHSA format.

(1) A lot of posts have mentioned perceived elitism, and I don't think that's not the case here. For a majority of teams in Illinois, IHSA State Series is the best questions they hear all year. It might be the only glimpse of pyramidality they ever get. Rather than focus on the poor questions that exist in the Series, let's focus on the good. Jonah, for example, wrote a number of very good questions for the Series. (I don't know of any other writers.) If we commit to sending the IHSA meaningful constructive criticism on this year's Series, then undoubtedly the positive feedback on questions like Jonah's and the negative feedback on some of the others will send a clear message. Of course, I have no idea what the IHSA will do with this message.

(2) Most scholastic bowl coaches probably philosophically disagree with most posters on this forum about the role of scholastic bowl. Most coaches, I believe, feel that scholastic bowl is meant to encourage and celebrate scholastic (that is, in-school) learning. My perception is that most posters feel that quizbowl should push learning beyond the classroom. I think both are noble goals. However, I think the IHSA holds the first opinion, which is why Driver's Ed continues to be a topic: if it's taught in Illinois schools, it's in Illinois Scholastic Bowl. I don't feel that this is a bad thing. In fact, it's probably a good thing in the sense that it's an equalizer. Many (most?) Illinois high schools do not offer calculus, but there are calculus questions in the State Series. We can afford a 1/0 or 0/1 here and there to support other schools less privileged than we. (Note: IMSA does not teach Driver's Ed at all, and many do not have a license because they are too busy with academics to worry about driving, so this category definitely hurts me.) Similarly, in most Illinois high schools, math is taught only computationally and at a low level. Therefore, computational math makes the most sense to them. Computation is another equalizer, in my opinion. I'll post further thoughts on computation in that thread.

(3) Again, I'm just getting reacquainted with the Illinois scholastic bowl circuit, so please tell me if this is stupid, but would it not make more sense to bring these suggested changes to the Masonic series? After all, IHSA is bound to trying to be fair to all Illinois teams, which is difficult to reconcile (at least for some) with some of the changes being suggested in this forum. However, the Masons already have a great tournament structure in place (they are great at organization, have lots of quality volunteers, use round-robin format, and are not bound by the same financial concerns, and have a tournament series that most teams in the state play) and the Masons I've talked to have admitted that they are not quiz bowl experts. They just want to reward academic excellence and they are willing to experiment. If the Masons would adopt a "good quizbowl" structure and the IHSA worked to improve its quality while maintaining its character, Illinois would have two legitimate state tournaments, each with a different goal, and everyone could find one they like.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by millionwaves » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:21 pm

Let's all make sure to keep in mind the rules of this forum; I'll be watching this thread very closely.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Dan-Don » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:01 am

Dominator wrote:(2) Most scholastic bowl coaches probably philosophically disagree with most posters on this forum about the role of scholastic bowl. Most coaches, I believe, feel that scholastic bowl is meant to encourage and celebrate scholastic (that is, in-school) learning. My perception is that most posters feel that quizbowl should push learning beyond the classroom. I think both are noble goals. However, I think the IHSA holds the first opinion, which is why Driver's Ed continues to be a topic: if it's taught in Illinois schools, it's in Illinois Scholastic Bowl. I don't feel that this is a bad thing. In fact, it's probably a good thing in the sense that it's an equalizer. Many (most?) Illinois high schools do not offer calculus, but there are calculus questions in the State Series. We can afford a 1/0 or 0/1 here and there to support other schools less privileged than we. (Note: IMSA does not teach Driver's Ed at all, and many do not have a license because they are too busy with academics to worry about driving, so this category definitely hurts me.) Similarly, in most Illinois high schools, math is taught only computationally and at a low level. Therefore, computational math makes the most sense to them. Computation is another equalizer, in my opinion. I'll post further thoughts on computation in that thread.
I agree that the IHSA State Series seems designed to cover the high school curriculum. This might even be a stated goal of the IHSA distribution, but I'm too lazy to go ask someone more knowledgeable. I don't think that good quizbowl seeks to "push learning beyond the classroom." As I perceive it, a major aspect of good quizbowl is that 19 of the questions in a packet (the obvious exception being trash) be rigorously academic. (Spelling, Driver's Ed, Home Ec, etc. may be taught in high school but are perceived by few as academic.) Yes, this means the inclusion of some non-high school subcategories like philosophy, anthropology, sociology, etc. so as to satisfy this so-called "academic"-ness. But it is possible to write a good tournament in ACF distribution using only topics covered in high school-level classes in the ACF "Big 3" (Literature, Science, and History), as well as R&M and Fine Arts. It just so happens that a substantial portion of these high school-level topics has been exhausted by the really elite teams, necessitating that a "regular-difficulty" tournament (any of HSAPQ's 2010-2011 sets, e.g.) include some science normally taught in college or some books that aren't covered on Sparknotes.

EDIT: coherence
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by at your pleasure » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:03 am

Dan-Don wrote:
Dominator wrote:(2) Most scholastic bowl coaches probably philosophically disagree with most posters on this forum about the role of scholastic bowl. Most coaches, I believe, feel that scholastic bowl is meant to encourage and celebrate scholastic (that is, in-school) learning. My perception is that most posters feel that quizbowl should push learning beyond the classroom. I think both are noble goals. However, I think the IHSA holds the first opinion, which is why Driver's Ed continues to be a topic: if it's taught in Illinois schools, it's in Illinois Scholastic Bowl. I don't feel that this is a bad thing. In fact, it's probably a good thing in the sense that it's an equalizer. Many (most?) Illinois high schools do not offer calculus, but there are calculus questions in the State Series. We can afford a 1/0 or 0/1 here and there to support other schools less privileged than we. (Note: IMSA does not teach Driver's Ed at all, and many do not have a license because they are too busy with academics to worry about driving, so this category definitely hurts me.) Similarly, in most Illinois high schools, math is taught only computationally and at a low level. Therefore, computational math makes the most sense to them. Computation is another equalizer, in my opinion. I'll post further thoughts on computation in that thread.
I agree that the IHSA State Series seems designed to cover the high school curriculum. This might even be a stated goal of the IHSA distribution, but I'm too lazy to go ask someone more knowledgeable. I don't think that good quizbowl seeks to "push learning beyond the classroom." As I perceive it, a major aspect of good quizbowl is that 19 of the questions in a packet (the obvious exception being trash) be rigorously academic. (Spelling, Driver's Ed, Home Ec, etc. may be taught in high school but are perceived by few as academic.) Yes, this means the inclusion of some non-high school subcategories like philosophy, anthropology, sociology, etc. so as to satisfy this so-called "academic"-ness. But it is possible to write a good tournament in ACF distribution using only topics covered in high school-level classes in the ACF "Big 3" (Literature, Science, and History), as well as R&M and Fine Arts. It just so happens that a substantial portion of these high school-level topics has been exhausted by the really elite teams, necessitating that a "regular-difficulty" tournament (any of HSAPQ's 2010-2011 sets, e.g.) include some science normally taught in college or some books that aren't covered on Sparknotes.

EDIT: coherence
Both of you have good points. The key thing really is that to me quizbowl should reward intellectual and scholarly curiosity and explore what an intellectually curious high schooler can and should be interested in academically. This more than anything else is what really distinguishes good quizbowl. From what the IMSA coach is saying, it sounds like IHSA focues on rewarding good students(that is, mastery of a set curriculum) while good quizbowl seeks to reward good scholars(that is, the intellectual curiosity and ability to explore diverse topics with or without in-class study). Of course, while a large but varying proportion of things intellectually curious high schoolers should encounter come up in classes, some things that should be encountered(and are thus fair game for quizbowl by the aformentioned standard) will not be found in the classroom. So the overall point is that good quizbowl does not seek to push beyond the classroom as an end in itself, but it must do so in at least some areas to fulfill its goals.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:30 am

I think that the debate over whether or not quizbowl should cover the high school curriculum often ends up becoming a moot point once you start writing questions. When you write a pyramidal tossup, especially in Science and History, you pretty much need to start with information that is not in an introductory high school textbook and end with information this is in an introductory high school (or even junior high school) textbook. When you write a bonus with at least one hard part and easy part, then you need to do pretty much the same thing. It's hard to imagine a decent question set that did not reward intellectual curiosity and paying attention in class.

I disagree with the idea of putting equalizer questions into a set. In a typical match, you have only 20 (or 30 in IHSA's case) tossup questions to differentiate between teams. Within that small number of questions, there typically are some fluke results (a team negs on something they know well or guesses on something they don't know well or mishears a word or a bad question makes it into a good set or a decent question comes down to a buzzer race or whatever), so the writers need to make every effort to write every question to differentiate knowledge if they want the result of the match to be meaningful. Questions on Drivers Ed and Spelling do not differentiate important knowledge because there is not much difference between teams to differentiate. Furthermore, we want to encourage each school's brightest students to prepare by focusing on intellectually stimulating material, and including Drivers Ed and Spelling does not accomplish those goals (though they are good things to know, which is why schools should teach those subjects).

As far as IHSA vs Masonics, I think the best thing we can do is encourage both tournaments to improve. They both have done some things I agree with and some things I disagree with, and I think people who care about Scholastic Bowl should give both of them feedback (and they should do so this month if they want to impact next year).

I do think Coach Prince gives some good reasons for why things are the way they are. Different coaches do have different opinions on what the purpose of Scholastic Bowl is, and the consensus on this board is a minority opinion (depending on the issue) among Illinois coaches.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by dtaylor4 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:13 am

Dominator wrote:Let me give first mention my biases. I grew up in central Illinois, attending both tiny schools (Tri-Valley in Downs) and large schools (like my alma mater, Normal Community High School in Normal). Much of what I write here is from the viewpoint of someone from central Illinois, not of someone (soon to be) in the Illinois elite circuit. (I would love to hear Donald Taylor's opinion on this; he and I came from the same conference.)

Now, to my opinions on IHSA format.

(1) A lot of posts have mentioned perceived elitism, and I don't think that's not the case here. For a majority of teams in Illinois, IHSA State Series is the best questions they hear all year. It might be the only glimpse of pyramidality they ever get. Rather than focus on the poor questions that exist in the Series, let's focus on the good. Jonah, for example, wrote a number of very good questions for the Series. (I don't know of any other writers.) If we commit to sending the IHSA meaningful constructive criticism on this year's Series, then undoubtedly the positive feedback on questions like Jonah's and the negative feedback on some of the others will send a clear message. Of course, I have no idea what the IHSA will do with this message.

(2) Most scholastic bowl coaches probably philosophically disagree with most posters on this forum about the role of scholastic bowl. Most coaches, I believe, feel that scholastic bowl is meant to encourage and celebrate scholastic (that is, in-school) learning. My perception is that most posters feel that quizbowl should push learning beyond the classroom. I think both are noble goals. However, I think the IHSA holds the first opinion, which is why Driver's Ed continues to be a topic: if it's taught in Illinois schools, it's in Illinois Scholastic Bowl. I don't feel that this is a bad thing. In fact, it's probably a good thing in the sense that it's an equalizer. Many (most?) Illinois high schools do not offer calculus, but there are calculus questions in the State Series. We can afford a 1/0 or 0/1 here and there to support other schools less privileged than we. (Note: IMSA does not teach Driver's Ed at all, and many do not have a license because they are too busy with academics to worry about driving, so this category definitely hurts me.) Similarly, in most Illinois high schools, math is taught only computationally and at a low level. Therefore, computational math makes the most sense to them. Computation is another equalizer, in my opinion. I'll post further thoughts on computation in that thread.

(3) Again, I'm just getting reacquainted with the Illinois scholastic bowl circuit, so please tell me if this is stupid, but would it not make more sense to bring these suggested changes to the Masonic series? After all, IHSA is bound to trying to be fair to all Illinois teams, which is difficult to reconcile (at least for some) with some of the changes being suggested in this forum. However, the Masons already have a great tournament structure in place (they are great at organization, have lots of quality volunteers, use round-robin format, and are not bound by the same financial concerns, and have a tournament series that most teams in the state play) and the Masons I've talked to have admitted that they are not quiz bowl experts. They just want to reward academic excellence and they are willing to experiment. If the Masons would adopt a "good quizbowl" structure and the IHSA worked to improve its quality while maintaining its character, Illinois would have two legitimate state tournaments, each with a different goal, and everyone could find one they like.
I am honored to be name-dropped in this case. Nonetheless, I will provide my honest opinions.

1) Based on my observations of the IHSA State Series, as a player and observer, I put no stock in it. I do not count its winner as a legitimate state champion. Even if some of the questions were good, that does not excuse the other aspects (the other crap questions, the format, etc.) I may come off as elitist, but I don't care. I have more stringent standards than most when it comes to good quizbowl. From my observations, neither Masonic nor the IHSA Series come close.

2) The argument that quizbowl should reflect what is taught in the classroom is wrong. I personally find your example of calculus questions flawed, since most such questions are calculation questions, and are thus not good quizbowl. I am willing to rationally discuss this with coaches and other folk. I am not hard to reach.

3) The Masons are notoriously tough to talk to. You almost have to assume that you will be talked down to. I would like to see changes made to the Masonic tournament, but I have met face to face on several occasions with Dale Thayer (including at a Sectional this year). If change were to come, it would not be through him. His wife has objected to longer, pyramidal questions, so at this point I am biding my time until someone else is in charge. At this point (and based on the suggestion of the head Mason at the Sectional I staffed), I might try to join the Masons and attempt to become the head guy, if that's what it takes. Th IHSA State Series will take a similar effort to get better. It reports to non-quizbowl folk, which is where the issue lies.

Again, my "standards" are more stringent than most Illinois folk, even those on these boards. If a plan is developed and implemented, I'll be happy to do my part. I care about quizbowl in general, and especially in Illinois. I've done my damnedest to help spread good qb in these parts, and will try to continue to do so until I'm dead and buried.

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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Edward Elric » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:17 pm

dtaylor4 wrote: I might try to join the Masons and attempt to become the head guy...
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Dan-Don » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:58 pm

Edward Elric wrote:
dtaylor4 wrote: I might try to join the Masons and attempt to become the head guy...
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT0WEFs2 ... tube_gdata
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by ktour84 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:21 pm

Dominator wrote:(2) Most scholastic bowl coaches probably philosophically disagree with most posters on this forum about the role of scholastic bowl. Most coaches, I believe, feel that scholastic bowl is meant to encourage and celebrate scholastic (that is, in-school) learning. My perception is that most posters feel that quizbowl should push learning beyond the classroom. I think both are noble goals. However, I think the IHSA holds the first opinion, which is why Driver's Ed continues to be a topic: if it's taught in Illinois schools, it's in Illinois Scholastic Bowl. I don't feel that this is a bad thing. In fact, it's probably a good thing in the sense that it's an equalizer. Many (most?) Illinois high schools do not offer calculus, but there are calculus questions in the State Series. We can afford a 1/0 or 0/1 here and there to support other schools less privileged than we. (Note: IMSA does not teach Driver's Ed at all, and many do not have a license because they are too busy with academics to worry about driving, so this category definitely hurts me.) Similarly, in most Illinois high schools, math is taught only computationally and at a low level. Therefore, computational math makes the most sense to them. Computation is another equalizer, in my opinion. I'll post further thoughts on computation in that thread.
I agree with the spirit in which Mr. Prince writes, but feel that however noble his intentions are, there's not much he can do.

The IHSA will control what is written and the format because they give school activities legitimacy. It's going to be hard for any program to ignore the IHSA for that reason, regardless of how talented their players happen to be. No activities director/athletic director will give precious school funds to a group that refuses to deal with and acknowledge the IHSA. Something has to change within the IHSA about their attitude towards better quizbowl.

As far as the argument that the distribution should be a semi-accurate reflection of the courses offered, I can't agree with that. Most IL high schools do offer Calculus and pre-Calculus. I graduated from Stillman Valley in Class A and it offered both. As far as Driver's Ed, some schools still offer it, but the costs associated with it are high (insurance, purchasing the cars, etc). Some larger schools have done away with it because of that and declining enrollments. As far as the agriculture, home ec, and industrial arts, most of the participants in hs quizbowl probably don't take a lot of those classes.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by David Riley » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:37 pm

ktour84 wrote:
: As far as the agriculture, home ec, and industrial arts, most of the participants in hs quizbowl probably don't take a lot of those classes.

I once said something similar at an IHSA AdCo meeting and was immediately shouted down.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Captain Sinico » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:10 pm

I do think that changing the IHSA format is a very worthwhile objective. You'll notice that a lot of the blowback that people trying to run non-IHSA format tournaments get is from coaches who object on the grounds of "This is different from the IHSA format!" In particular, almost all of the latest IHSSBCA newsletter consisted of coaches saying just that. Many of these coaches see doing well at the IHSA state series as their most important/only objective and think that non-IHSA tournaments fail to prepare their teams for this. I vehemently disagree with both points, but I lack the power to change these people's minds.

Anyway, I'm not optimistic that the format will change any time soon, but it is a fact that we've got an unfit format and it's drowning in the sea of other stuff that everyone else is running and will continue to run in Illinois, so I have some hope.

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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by mrgsmath » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:50 pm

Captain Sinico wrote: Many of these coaches see doing well at the IHSA state series as their most important/only objective and think that non-IHSA tournaments fail to prepare their teams for this. I vehemently disagree with both points, but I lack the power to change these people's minds.
Suprisingly I agree with you in principle. I believe non-IHSA tournaments are very helpful in preparing players for the IHSA as well as the Masonic Series. The question quality is much higher, and the ability to expand the depth of knowledge in a subject is invaluable. The problem actually lies with the coach's inability to adapt to the format changes, as well as many coaches ability to answer the questions early in the pyramid. This tends to be a problem in preparing the team.

If we were only talking about question quality I would be a full supporter of the changes to the IHSA, but the IHSA has a general format that they are comfortable with and I see no reason for them to change. If a team's preparation for IHSA is not adversely affected by the IHSSBCA tournament, I hardly see how the reverse would be true.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Monk » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:08 am

dtaylor4 wrote: I might try to join the Masons and attempt to become the head guy, if that's what it takes.
Sounds like a plan.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:55 pm

mrgsmath wrote:...the IHSA has a general format that they are comfortable with and I see no reason for them to change. If a team's preparation for IHSA is not adversely affected by the IHSSBCA tournament, I hardly see how the reverse would be true.
I see a lot of reasons for the format to change. At the base level, the IHSA format is cumbersome and contains bad questions and unacademic categories. It fails in its end of challenging students academically, relative to other formats. It fails to promote (by rewarding) academic learning to the extent that it ought. Those are just the unimpeachable basic difficulties with even the design of the format; there are many more!
On a more basic level, I'd challenge the assertion that the current IHSA format "works" in any proper sense, even from a gameplay perspective. On the contrary, the IHSA format is a white elephant - it's an expensive-to-produce, rare curiosity that occasionally gets loose and steps on people. IHSA questions aren't accessible or interesting; scoring is pathetically low and questions on bizarre topics abound even at the Regionals level - I would know, as I read them this year.
In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the important only reasons that people play the current IHSA format are its status as the state format and due to tradition, the latter of which is simply the fact of the former over time. Now, of course, those are very powerful reasons as evidenced by the levels of participation. However, that also means that a change in the format should change little about the level of participation in the steady state - you should expect that people will continue to play IHSA Scholastic Bowl at the same levels as now even under a drastic change in format. As evidence of that fact, I can consider that participation has certainly not noticably decreased compared to when I played Scholastic Bowl (a decade ago,) though the questions have already changed a great deal.
So, basically, I don't see any reason any other format wouldn't also work at least as well as what we have now. In fact, there's every reason to suspect that it ought not to be too hard to concoct a format that works much better.

I'm not sure what your second sentence is saying, but I think it might be the claim that "Playing/practicing good quizbowl prepares players for IHSA, so playing/practicing IHSA prepares players for good quizbowl." I don't think the latter claim is true to nearly the same extent as the former. Much of what IHSA requires for success appears nowhere else or in few other places. Also, the information covered by IHSA format questions is so sporadic and ill-defined and the play of the questions so unpredictable due to their generally poor structure that I don't think they're good preparation even for themselves in most core areas.

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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by jdeliverer » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:35 pm

Captain Sinico wrote:On the contrary, the IHSA format is a white elephant - it's an expensive-to-produce, rare curiosity that occasionally gets loose and steps on people.
ITT we begin the transition from sports analogies to animal analogies
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by mrgsmath » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:36 pm

Captain Sinico wrote: I'm not sure what your second sentence is saying, but I think it might be the claim that "Playing/practicing good quizbowl prepares players for IHSA, so playing/practicing IHSA prepares players for good quizbowl." I don't think the latter claim is true to nearly the same extent as the former. Much of what IHSA requires for success appears nowhere else or in few other places. Also, the information covered by IHSA format questions is so sporadic and ill-defined and the play of the questions so unpredictable due to their generally poor structure that I don't think they're good preparation even for themselves in most core areas.

MaS
as a novice to this forum I am perhaps mistaken in my definition of format. In my statement I was speaking of the structure rather than the content. As I said the question quality definitely needs addressing as well as the distribution of subjects. I was speaking in reference to issues such as powers and negs, blurt rules, and the process in which bonuses are handled. Couple this with the way that teams advance and you would have what I would call the format.

We could certainly debate each of these issues, but ultimately if the question quality was improved these would not be obstructions to good teams adapting to differing systems and performing well. I am not suggesting that practicing with poor questions would help with preparing for NAQT, but I find that practicing with a variety of different formats helps my team prepare for most any meet we may encounter. This year we played as many as four different "formats" and each time we were competitive and saw little difference in outcome against other teams.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Geringer » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:44 pm

The problem is, Mr. Grant, is that the IHSA format lends itself to stupid bonuses. You need to link four parts together, and this often leads to "NAME THESE ORANGE WORKS OF ART" or "ALL OF THESE NAMES START WITH M" instead of coherent bonuses with an easy-medium-hard progression.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:50 pm

That's a good point: there is a distinction between format and question content that you've gotten largely right, but they're not unrelated. For example, what I'm saying is that: the IHSA's questions will always be poor because of the IHSA's format. Namely, the IHSA's format mandates too many questions in non-academic areas and/or areas that are almost always poor and the whole-bonus bounceback requirement severely limits the types of bonuses that can be asked, as compared to a part-by-part bounceback format or non-bounceback format.
Now, of course, IHSA also routinely produces bad questions in academic areas that other tournaments routinely get right and also routinely gives us bad bonuses even considering the bounceback constraint, which is, I think, what you're saying. I'd say that's chiefly because of its Frankenstein's monster question production process.
So, I guess it would be a more accurate statement of my view to say that the IHSA ought to change both its format, chiefly its subject areas and bonus bounceback type, and its questions, therefore its question production process. We're not going to have a good state tournament until we change both though we could change one or the other independently to different extents and wind up with a better tournament.

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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by mrgsmath » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:08 pm

Captain Sinico wrote: So, I guess it would be a more accurate statement of my view to say that the IHSA ought to change both its format, chiefly its subject areas and bonus bounceback type, and its questions, therefore its question production process. We're not going to have a good state tournament until we change both though we could change one or the other independently to different extents and wind up with a better tournament.

MaS
I do agree with your point on the subject areas. As I said earlier, while I reject many of the arguements presented, I believe that IHSA needs to be more focused in its subject distibution. I would even agree to the elimination of math calculation questions, though I don't agree with many of the arguments against them, if the change would allow for matches and the series overall to be decided by team preparation and not some quirk of the distribution. A question set with an equal number questions in 5-6 well define categories, both tossup and bonuses,would ensure that the best prepared team wins. This still leaves a wide open range of questions to be asked in each area and avoid a team winning because one player happens to be obsessed with curlling terms and hits the right bonus.

I am not sure I understand your bounceback point, except as it relates to questions being easier to write when one question leads to the next.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by mrgsmath » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:26 pm

KHAAAAN please wrote:The problem is, Mr. Grant, is that the IHSA format lends itself to stupid bonuses. You need to link four parts together, and this often leads to "NAME THESE ORANGE WORKS OF ART" or "ALL OF THESE NAMES START WITH M" instead of coherent bonuses with an easy-medium-hard progression.
I may be unfamiliar with the instructions that IHSA gives question writers, but I am familiar with the results. And it seems that some writers are able to do quite well. Not all bounus sets are related as closely as you suggest, and many are in fact good. NAQT in fact does fairly well with its bonuses that they provide for their Illinois sets, most of which are 4 part bonuses. IHSA may need to develop a better question source, which I feel would be welcomed by many, but the format is only minor part of the overall problem. If you need to choose between better questions or mdified format, I truly believe you'll be lucky to get one, I suggest you go with questions.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:28 pm

I think people are saying that a change in the format makes getting better questions much, much easier (and can have some benefits in and of itself).
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:00 pm

Let's consider this random bonus I wrote for Illinois Open 2004:

Literature Bonus 1. Answer each of the following about a short story FTP:
(10) This short story begins “I was sick – sick unto death…” and proceeds to detail an eerie, nightmare-like Inquisitorial trial, and its aftermath.
Answer: “The Pit and the Pendulum
(10) The protagonist of “The Pit and the Pendulum” escapes the second of those nefarious devices with the unwitting aid of these voracious creatures.
Answer: rats (accept equivalents)
(10) “The Pit and the Pendulum” takes place in, or, rather, under, this Spanish city, from which General Lasalle rescues the protagonist in the end.
Answer: Toledo

On its face, this wouldn't be crazily out of place at IHSA, though I'd probably make it easier for that level (probably have Poe be a part and make the first part easier.) Unfortunately, I can't ask a bonus of this kind because I can't mention the answer to any part in any other part. So it's basically impossible to write a bonus on a single work with any kind of sense; at any rate, it's much, much more difficult than it ought. That means that IHSA bonuses aren't like that; they tend to be just a number of superficially related or unrelated things, meaning they test only one kind of learning by and large.
One recourse is to change the bonus to:
Literature Bonus 1. Answer each of the following about a short story FTP:
(10) This short story begins “I was sick – sick unto death…” and proceeds to detail an eerie, nightmare-like Inquisitorial trial, and its aftermath.
Answer: “The Pit and the Pendulum
(10) The protagonist of the story in part one escapes the second of the nefarious devices in the story's name with the unwitting aid of these voracious creatures.
Answer: rats (accept equivalents)
(10) The story in part one takes place in, or, rather, under, this Spanish city, from which General Lasalle rescues the protagonist in the end.
Answer: Toledo
I think this bonus is much harder now. I think this makes my point pretty well: I want to test whether a team knows how the protagonist escapes the pendulum given that they know that the story is "The Pit and the Pendulum," but I can't do that because I can't tell them the answer to that part.

A better way to fix this problem is to change the format to rebounding part-by-part (ask the first part, consult, ask for answers, repeat) rather than rebounding whole bonuses (what IHSA does now.) That's how PACE does this, for example. Giving 10 second of consulting time and making bonuses all 3 part would result in nothing else changing much.

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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by mrgsmath » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:15 pm

Captain Sinico wrote: So it's basically impossible to write a bonus on a single work with any kind of sense; at any rate, it's much, much more difficult than it ought. That means that IHSA bonuses aren't like that; they tend to be just a number of superficially related or unrelated things, meaning they test only one kind of learning by and large.
It's easy to change this by rebounding part-by-part (ask the first part, consult, ask for answers, repeat) rather than how we do now. That's how PACE does this, for example. Giving 10 second of consulting time and making bonuses all 3 part would result in nothing else changing much.

MaS
I don't dispute that the IHSA format does limit the writer from progressive questions such the one you illustrate, and I don't object to your idea of rebounding each part as a fix. I just don't know that it is an issue of such importance that would deem the present format as intolerable as some would suggest. Writing a bonus on a single work also opens up the issue of whether or not it detracts from the team's need to collaborate on the bonus since it would seem that the player most familiar with the work would need little help, where as superficailly related or unrelated works might require more teamwork.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Charbroil » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:54 pm

mrgsmath wrote:Writing a bonus on a single work also opens up the issue of whether or not it detracts from the team's need to collaborate on the bonus since it would seem that the player most familiar with the work would need little help, where as superficailly related or unrelated works might require more teamwork.
Just to note, I don't think this is really true, given that the members of many teams are likely to have read the same works with the same amount of recall of various key facts (having taken the same literature/language arts classes). In high school, my teammates and I had taken all of the same classes in those areas, but frequently worked together to jog each other's memories on the various works/authors we shared common knowledge of.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:02 pm

Is there anywhere outside of Illinois that uses this bounceback procedure? Literally every time I played a tournament with bouncebacks (everything in Missouri, PACE, Vanderbilt in the Southeast) they rebounded parts individually. I think the consensus everywhere but in IHSA is that it should be perfectly fine to test the knowledge of one item 3 times without having to come up with a bunch of contortions that make bonuses harder, and that part by part rebounding allows you to maximize the way you write questions (not to mention offer a more sequential flow in the game).
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:09 pm

Yeah, I agree with Charles (both of them now.) I don't see any reason to think that breadth-only bonuses should encourage teamwork any more than breadth-and-depth bonuses.
Also, not every bonus should be like the one I just wrote. The point is that in the current format, no such bonuses can be written generally. So a change in format would mean that people who like all kinds of bonuses could be happy, whereas now, all bonuses are breadth-only and people who like/excel at/would win more because of depth-testing bonuses are frozen out.
Finally, this is a big issue for two reasons in addition to the ones above. First, as you mention, it makes writing good bonuses difficult in addition to making writing different styles of bonus impossible. For that reason, it's very difficult to find writers and those that are willing to write in this format have to spend more time writing and can't use their questions elsewhere, which makes such questions more expensive, all else equal. The second, related reason that this rebounding issue matters so much is that it makes the IHSA format incompatible with pretty much every other format, such that a host would have to re-write pretty much every bonus in almost every set to use it in an IHSA-like format. This is going to be a bigger and bigger issue as the IHSA-format sets produced:non-IHSA-format sets produced ratio keeps decreasing every year (it's already at something like 4:100.) If the IHSA changed this one thing, all those sets could be adapted to run in an IHSA-like format with minimal changes.

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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by CometCoach72 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:49 am

I may have overlooked this if someone else posted, and if so I'm sorry, but here goes.

The thing I love about the type of bonus that Mr. Sorice shared is that there are more than enough contextual clues in each part. Any team with even a fundamental knowledge of Poe without having read the story in question could take a guess at the last two questions and maybe get one right. It's great stuff.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Monk » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:20 am

To return to the subject:
BGSO wrote: Why is Illinois bad?
I realized exactly why at a local tournament a month or two ago. We had just finished beating a local team by a few hundred points on some awful QG questions, and after we shook hands, someone on the other team said, "Wow, are you guys the smartest people in you school?"

I tried to explain that, just like a school football team typically contains the best football players in a school, we were the best scholar bowl players in our school, and then it hit me. Other schools in the area have scholar bowl teams made from five random people.

Sure, the IHSA does a lot of bad things. But good players can tell the difference between good and bad questions without needing to know any theory - they can tell when a question is fair, well-written, interesting, and of appropriate difficulty, and when it is misleading, poorly-written, and either wildly obscure or insultingly juvenile. The problem with Illinois is simply a lack of decent teams and players. The fact that Carbondale has to drive six hours to find fair competition illustrates it perfectly.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by David Riley » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:30 am

I think "random players" hits the nail on the head. There are a lot of people in this state who consider Scholastic Bowl a variant of Trivial Pursuit, etc. The idea that it's an activity that might attract the "best and brightest" is beyond them.
Last edited by David Riley on Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:14 am

Which is really strange to me considering how (at least in my experience) teams treat Math Team and WYSE etc...why is the scholastic bowl team not recruited in the same way?
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by David Riley » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:19 am

It could be because those activities are somewhat singular, i.e., "good at math" and "good at science". Since Scholastic Bowl embraces all subjects, a lot of people thus interpret it as "trivia" at one end and "elitisit" (a four-letter word in this No Child Left Behind era) at the other.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:51 am

It just boggles my mind...regardless of the connotations it may have, it's still a competition with awards and trophies. A school would never put out a less-than-best football team. Heck, schools rarely put out a less than optimal yearbook, newspaper or art show. So why the lack of interest and motivation? Is it because it's similar to classes that administrators/coaches feel guilty asking kids to do more studying? Or is it really just the fear of elitism...a worry that you're either too knowledgeable and will look like a jerk or will look like a big dummy in front of the too-knowledgeable jerks?

In my highschool anyway, the track coach actively went looking for people he thought could run well. The math team coach actively sought out people speedy at math...why wouldn't a quiz bowl coach do the same? I just don't get it.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by jdeliverer » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:54 am

David Riley wrote:It could be because those activities are somewhat singular, i.e., "good at math" and "good at science". Since Scholastic Bowl embraces all subjects, a lot of people thus interpret it as "trivia" at one end and "elitisit" (a four-letter word in this No Child Left Behind era) at the other.
What I don't get is how it could be considered any more elitist than a math club or even a geography bee - both reward knowledge and nobody considers a football team "elitist" because only the biggest and fastest guys play varsity.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by David Riley » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:09 pm

Because football isn't academic; a certain mentality automatically equates academic excellence with elitism.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Captain Sinico » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:12 pm

I'd say that phenomenon is at least in part because quizbowl is able to being dumbed down, controlled as it is by the state and, via the state, through the typically Illinoisian combination of actors with clout, mob rule, and unenlightened despotism. If people tell WYSE its tests are too hard or on subjects people aren't interested in, WYSE will point out the mean scores and participation levels and tell those people to stop sniveling and go study. The same isn't the case for quizbowl - people complain and the game changes. A lot of that has to do with how quizbowl in Illinois fails to interface with national quizbowl, as opposed to WYSE-type activities, which everyone understands to be national inherently.

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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by David Riley » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:34 pm

Excellent point. Probably a topic for another thread, but.....is a (or rather, THE) national format desireable? Since we have different state formats, would we have to take all of those into account, or would it be better to start from scratch (or, base it on ACF? NAQT? PACE?)? Then, if we did get a national format, would the IHSA be forced to adopt it?
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by jonah » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:57 pm

Paging Tom Egan...I know you're lurking there, reading this, and I know you know a whole lot about this.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by CometCoach72 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:15 pm

Riley makes a fantastic suggestion. I already understand up front that I'm likely to get roasted for using sports analogies, but let's think about this for a moment; when we send students to compete in athletic competitions, the volleyball net is the same height, the basketball court is of the same dimensions, etc etc. The basic rules for virtually all of the athletic competitions there are out there are the same, and the scoring is in line with what is "common practice." Sure, some state make some modifications (such as the location of the 3-point line in basketball). So why not have that "generally accepted format?" I mean, after all, aren't we starting to push in the direction of national standards for our classrooms?

The real problem lies in the facts that have already been brought up; every state wants its own local control and way too many coaches are not willing to change. When people around the school asked me about playing on our conference questions (because they are so appalling), I say, "Picture playing a conference basketball game with a ball that's not properly inflated." National standards, while pie in the sky right now, would fix that, even at the conference level.

RE Monk's post about "wow...you must be the smartest kids in your school...", yeah Jeremiah, that's the way it used to be when I played in the late 80's at D-Mac. When I have been observing and conversing with some of our state's best players, I have found out that all of then aren't just "smart," all of those players worked VERY hard to get to the level of where they are in the game. As a coach, I learn from watching the great players and oh boy is that fun.
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Re: Why is Illinois bad?

Post by Edward Elric » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:25 pm

Dresden_The_Moderator wrote: In my highschool anyway, the track coach actively went looking for people he thought could run well. The math team coach actively sought out people speedy at math...why wouldn't a quiz bowl coach do the same? I just don't get it.
At least in my case, Ms. Kidd always tried to recruit people to join but no one ever seemed interested. In my time that I played, I had probably 3 or 4 people from my grade come to practice but none of them ever stuck with it. I think in some ways it wasn't exactly looked at as "elitist" as much as "nerdy." I tried to change peoples perceptions but it didn't work (at least while I attended WN). I always thought one of the reasons that the smartest and brightest from our grade didn't try it was because they were busy with other activities year round (i.e. sports, honor societies, etc.).
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