Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

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Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Snoopy » Wed May 13, 2015 11:46 pm

Hey everyone,

So, for next year, I plan on attempting to convince my coach to send us to more tournaments on the Long Island circuit.
Right now, we do the local RQB, the NAC, and one other random tournament (we did HFT for many years, but we went to Delaware [UDFT III] last year). So, I was hoping to convince her to go to, like... Kings Park, Half Hollow Hills, Columbia, LIFT/Kellenberg, Yale, Garden State, History Bowl, HFT again, so on and so forth. I'm hoping to get to two, three, or even four of those. The NAC is grandfathered into the district budget since Smithtown won the DC phase like 15 years ago, so we get a free trip to DC every year with no questions asked. So, we do have to go to that unless we qualify for another (real) nationals.

The biggest concern here is transportation, since it can be absurdly expensive and we're stumped on how to reduce it. She also insists that van-based or parent-based transport is a liability and the district will have a problem with it (any lawyers out there to refute...?)

But I also need to convince her that we're a good enough team right now that we should be going to all of these tournaments, and that this is a very normal thing to do in the world of QB, etc.

SO. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated, since it'll be my senior year and I'd like to get some great things done before I head on out to... Well, Somewhere.

I also plan on showing your suggestions to her, so please be kind :)

Sorry for the long-winded post, I can't really help it. :grin:
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Kouign Amann » Wed May 13, 2015 11:53 pm

Snoopy wrote:The biggest concern here is transportation, since it can be absurdly expensive and we're stumped on how to reduce it. She also insists that van-based or parent-based transport is a liability and the district will have a problem with it (any lawyers out there to refute...?)

Can you elaborate for us what your current transportation strategy is, if it doesn't involve parents or vans?
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby 1992 in spaceflight » Wed May 13, 2015 11:55 pm

I'm a little confused as well-do you use a rental van? Washington uses both a van and parents to take us to tournaments, and it's not been a problem so far.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Snoopy » Wed May 13, 2015 11:59 pm

Can you elaborate for us what your current transportation strategy is, if it doesn't involve parents or vans?


Sure thing.

The school pays for a bus to RQB.
The school (and us) pay for a bus to the other tourney.
The school pays for a nice, absurdly expensive bus (Read: Coach) to :chip: , since that's grandfathered in and we can't touch it due to ongoing budget cuts.

We also spend the weekend in DC or at the other tourney since, again, the district pays for us.

So yeah, it's not half bad, but the tournament spread... sucks. It's one pyramidal per year, and I think there's room for improvement.

Thanks!
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Snoopy » Thu May 14, 2015 12:00 am

I'll also say this: Our school is stuck in the Chipdom of the early 2000s.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby cchiego » Thu May 14, 2015 12:25 am

It sounds like your school may be one of those with stricter guidelines than most, but there still should be ways to go through the proper procedures to allow you to travel. Your coach might want to ask the sports coaches or other extracurricular sponsors at your school what they do since they may have more experience with getting this kind of approval multiple times each year. It may just come down to filling out a lot of forms each time you travel, so be sure to be helpful and appreciative if she does this (teachers don't get nearly enough recognition for dealing with the often reams of paperwork required for getting a team even to one tournament). Or you may end up going through the process of getting a bus each time; hosting a tournament on good questions to raise $$ would be a good way to help pay for a bus and this is something you the players can take the lead on in running. It may also be possible to explain to the board members the cost-prohibitiveness of getting a bus each time, but I wouldn't count on it.

And it is definitely worth it to attend all those tournaments not only to gain valuable in-game experience but also to help build up your team. Going to nearby tournaments with A, B, C, or even D teams is great for building a stronger program in the future. Even if the teams aren't going to win this year, they'll get good experience and it will help retain younger players and make the team more social. This should make things easier on your coach in the long term as involved players and parents can ease much of the burden of coaching.

As far as the NAC budget thing goes, it's worth explaining to the district once you qualify for the NSC/HSNCT next year that the NAC is no longer a real "national championship" and point out some of the many flaws people have brought up with it as well as the complete abandonment of the NAC by pretty much every good team in the country. But that's something you can deal with later. If you are stuck going to NAC this year, it's always worth chatting with other teams there and spreading the gospel of good quizbowl. Over the years, many players frustrated with ChipBowl have posted here and fortunately many of those schools eventually came around to pyramidal questions.

Also, welcome to the forums! We'd love to see Smithtown West at one of the Philadelphia-area tournaments next year if you do get a chance to come down.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Snoopy » Thu May 14, 2015 12:43 am

cchiego wrote:It sounds like your school may be one of those with stricter guidelines than most, but there still should be ways to go through the proper procedures to allow you to travel. Your coach might want to ask the sports coaches or other extracurricular sponsors at your school what they do since they may have more experience with getting this kind of approval multiple times each year. It may just come down to filling out a lot of forms each time you travel (so be sure to be helpful and appreciative if she does this! teachers don't get nearly enough recognition for dealing with the often reams of paperwork required for getting a team even to one tournament) or going through the process of getting a bus each time (hosting a tournament on good questions to raise $$ would be a good way to help pay for a bus--this is something you the players can take the lead on in running as well). It may also be possible to explain to the board members the cost-prohibitiveness of getting a bus each time, but I wouldn't count on it.

And it is definitely worth it to attend all those tournaments not only to gain valuable in-game experience but also to help build up your team. Going to nearby tournaments with A, B, C, or even D teams is great for building a stronger program in the future. Even if the teams aren't going to win this year, they'll get good experience and it will help retain younger players for the future. This should make things easier on your coach in the long term as involved players and parents can ease much of the burden of coaching.

As far as the NAC budget thing goes, it's worth explaining to the district once you qualify for the NSC/HSNCT next year that the NAC is no longer a real "national championship" and point out some of the many flaws people have brought up with it as well as the complete abandonment of the NAC by pretty much every good team in the country. But that's something you can deal with later. If you are stuck going to NAC this year, it's always worth chatting with other teams there and spreading the gospel of good quizbowl. Over the years, many players frustrated with ChipBowl have posted here and fortunately many of those schools eventually came around to pyramidal questions.

Also, welcome to the forums! We'd love to see Smithtown West at one of the Philadelphia-area tournaments next year if you do get a chance to come down.


Thanks! However, the big question is if there's a way of getting around the busing. What I desperately need is an argument to refute my coach's argument of liability (which i'm pretty sure can be refuted.) My coach (and myself) really are trying to avoid being flagged as a club sucking up money since there's not much going around (DECA sucks it all in); if we get flagged by asking for more busing, they might cut the club's funding off and we'd be doomed.

And thank you! I'd love to head down to Philly- it's a nice city, and quite a bit different than New York.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby cchiego » Thu May 14, 2015 12:52 am

One of the neat things about quizbowl is that you can raise a lot of money for it by hosting quizbowl tournaments. I'm not sure of what the calender for NY looks like next year, but there are probably at least a few good dates that you could host on that wouldn't conflict with other annual tournaments. Hosting a good tournament does take a bit of legwork and advanced planning, but there are thorough guides to doing so and I'm sure people here on the forums would be happy to help your team.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Snoopy » Thu May 14, 2015 12:58 am

I like that idea, that could work. from there, we could rent a van/charter a bus/ yadayadayada, i assume?
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby cchiego » Thu May 14, 2015 1:06 am

Snoopy wrote:I like that idea, that could work. from there, we could rent a van/charter a bus/ yadayadayada, i assume?


You could definitely use that $$ from hosting to help ease the cost of transportation and entry fees. It's also always good to be able to show the board/your principal that you're putting in the effort to raise money yourselves. That plus your solid performances at tournaments can help with funding.

Of course, it is worth investigating if the powers-that-be will be more lenient with letting y'all drive to tournaments on your own, but if your coach has asked already and been told there's no way around it, it's probably best to seek the next-best alternative of raising more $$ to pay for the buses.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Urech hydantoin synthesis » Thu May 14, 2015 1:11 am

Hey, you may remember me as the guy who ran the NY State Championship at Columbia. If you end up hosting a tournament next year, I'd be more than happy to assist with planning and preparation, and if I'm free on that weekend, I can also come by and staff/do stats or something. You can expect to make at least $1000 by hosting a tournament, and with lots of schools like Commack and Kings Park around the area, plus other LI schools, I'd imagine that you'd be able to make even more.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Snoopy » Thu May 14, 2015 1:15 am

Thanks so much, I really appreciate the help :smile:

Ben, that's incredibly kind of you, and I appreciate that offer ever so much. If my coach and my district say I can do this, than I will certainly reach out to you. Again, thanks so much!
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Big Y » Thu May 14, 2015 7:17 am

Find out whether your coach wants to make the change or whether it is just financial considerations. Talk to your teammates about whether you are the only one who wants to change or whether your team does. If it is just financial considerations, then ask your coach whether she or you can meet with the activities director (or equivalent) at your school to explain the situation and discuss ways to change the schedule and stay within the school's budget. If the problem is that your coach is actually happy with the current schedule, then it's a messy situation.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Snoopy » Thu May 14, 2015 8:31 am

Yellow-throated Honeyeater wrote: If the problem is that your coach is actually happy with the current schedule, then it's a messy situation.


That's the other problem. I'm pretty sure she IS happy with the schedule, since, like I said, the school is stuck in early 2000s Chipdom where going to one tournament was just fine.
The argument that she used to shut me down in the past was transportation, $$$, and that "liability" thing, so I was trying to refute her three main arguments. I'm pretty sure I can convince her with those two arguments defeated. (Hey, I've debated down 5 different lawyers before. :lol: )

It might help, knowing her, if I want to run a tourney, to say "Oh, there's a TD from Columbia who's done this before and knows what he's doing and will help me out. And you have to help me get the building and do absolutely nothing else."

Maybe this should be called "How to convince an unwilling coach."
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby the return of AHAN » Thu May 14, 2015 9:59 am

Snoopy wrote:
Yellow-throated Honeyeater wrote: If the problem is that your coach is actually happy with the current schedule, then it's a messy situation.


That's the other problem. I'm pretty sure she IS happy with the schedule, since, like I said, the school is stuck in early 2000s Chipdom where going to one tournament was just fine.
The argument that she used to shut me down in the past was transportation, $$$, and that "liability" thing, so I was trying to refute her three main arguments. I'm pretty sure I can convince her with those two arguments defeated. (Hey, I've debated down 5 different lawyers before. :lol: )

It might help, knowing her, if I want to run a tourney, to say "Oh, there's a TD from Columbia who's done this before and knows what he's doing and will help me out. And you have to help me get the building and do absolutely nothing else."

Maybe this should be called "How to convince an unwilling coach."

That's too bad. One of the best things you can do is do everything in your power to become the best player you can be, such that she comes to view you as indispensable. Then, when it's time for bad quizbowl, tell her you're not playing. If that doesn't get her attention, nothing will.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Big Y » Thu May 14, 2015 12:03 pm

Most schools in this area own vans that are used for activities and minor sports, so it costs almost nothing for the sponsor to drive the team to a meet. Insurance companies sometimes prohibit school sponsored teams from traveling on their own to and from competitions, so transportation can be a real cost if the school does not own vans.

One possibility is to compete unaffiliated with your school. You can talk to tournament directors about whether or not they would allow such a thing. If so, then the team can go to a meet any way they want to, though you will have to pay the entry fee yourselves.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby The Stately Rhododendron » Thu May 14, 2015 12:18 pm

I'm confused. Is there a reason why you can't use LIRR? Especially if you want to go to a tournament at Columbia, it's probably not that long/expensive of a trip. I think there's a LIRR station in Smithtown.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Snoopy » Thu May 14, 2015 5:05 pm

Well, those are all very valid suggestions and I'll be looking into them all over the next week. Thanks for all the help guys! I'll mention taking the train, too (yea, there's a stop here.)

I can't tell her that I'll quit though- then she'll tell me to get out of her sight because she really doesn't care about that sort of thing, and she'll probably kick me out, too. Even if it meant screwing over the team.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby David Riley » Fri May 15, 2015 1:48 am

These are all good suggestions, I would add one more: if you do host a tournament, don't overdo it--especially if you do it on pyramidal questions. Be especially sure that you (with Chris' assistance?) get experienced moderators: 24-36 teams should probably be your limit unless you are blessed with a plethora of good moderators.
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Re: Need help convincing my coach to get us to tournaments

Postby Great Bustard » Fri May 15, 2015 2:23 pm

Maybe this group can help you with funding to attend History Bowl: http://smithtownhistorical.org/
It looks like they already support elementary students here http://smithtownhistorical.org/school-f ... -programs/ so maybe you could propose going to NHBB as a way for them to support high schoolers? As an aside, Long Island is one of our top areas in the country. North Babylon, Commack, Kings Park, Wheatley, Great Neck South, Plainedge, and Sayville all just attended our National Championships in DC and Hewlett not only attended but won our JV Small School title. We'd love to have Smithtown join in next year too!
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