Bringing Mercer Quizbowl Back

This forum is for anyone seeking advice on starting a collegiate team, branching out into new types of tournaments, or other "how-to" aspects of collegiate quizbowl.

Bringing Mercer Quizbowl Back

Postby JTakang21 » Wed May 04, 2016 2:40 pm

Hey guys, it's good to be back; I haven't posted in a good while.

So I'm wrapping up my freshman year at Mercer University (GA), where I've been on the team. A few days ago, I was offered the team captaincy and club presidency for next season, which I readily accepted. Accordingly, all of the senior leadership is graduating, so I've decided to try to rebuild the program, like I tried to do in high school. Our results and tourney attendance over the past few years have been few and far between, so I'd like to try to at least establish a culture of actually trying to get better, go to tournaments, etc.

In that vein, I ask you established members of the college community: what can I do over the summer and going into next year in terms of recruiting, motivation, program infrastructure, etc.

Your help is greatly appreciated!
Josiah Takang
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Re: Bringing Mercer Quizbowl Back

Postby 1992 in spaceflight » Thu May 05, 2016 1:58 am

Talk to people and see who is interested in improving. Provide them with the basic ways of getting better (reading packets, writing questions that are critiqued by a much more experienced person, reading books about stuff you're interested in learning). Talk to people about having team studying sessions and question writing parties-there's no reason why doing quizbowl stuff can't be done in a social setting.
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Re: Bringing Mercer Quizbowl Back

Postby ValenciaQBowl » Thu May 05, 2016 8:15 am

Hi, Josiah!

There are lots of threads in this very sub-forum offering advice on recruiting and building a team. I'll just add one idea: find your college's student activities coordinator and ask him/her if you can write an e-mail briefly explaining the game and inviting students to practice that he/she can send out to all students. Those folks usually have the ability to e-mail all students college-wide. You could also choose to focus just on honors college (if you have one) students, but as you probably know by now, not all good quiz bowl players are honors students.

Meantime, Macon is only a five-hour drive from Orlando, so consider coming down November 11-12 for Delta Burke. It's a novice tournament aimed at freshmen-sophomores, but it sounds like you'd be eligible, and if you have some more players in their first two years, come on down. Good luck!
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Re: Bringing Mercer Quizbowl Back

Postby Picasso's Middle Name » Thu May 05, 2016 11:16 am

Josiah,

The easiest ways for me to find people were the incoming freshmen contact list and teaming with a person that works for the school and sending out mass emails. Some students are looking to join clubs because they need it for their CV, and others might think quiz bowl is interesting. As for the summer, everything Jacob said above. When I had people show up who had never played before, I read them some fall packets during the summer and fall and then ramped it up to more difficult packets in November. Judging from the results, they didn't get a whole lot better, but they had fun, and that's the most important thing.

If you have any questions l, feel free to shoot me message.
Tracey Hickman
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Central Oklahoma 2016 B.A. American Languages and Literature

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Re: Bringing Mercer Quizbowl Back

Postby cchiego » Thu May 05, 2016 12:58 pm

All of the above are great points. A few others:

One administrative thing you can start working on right now is ensuring that you get your club re-registered for next year in time to reserve space for practices. This sounds simple, but there are often deadlines and a few hoops to jump through that can catch new club leaders off guard. It really helps to have practice in the same room throughout the semester, so make sure you take care of reserving that as soon as you can.

You should also be sure to register for a booth or table at any orientation or fall semester activity fairs that Mercer might have; the deadlines to sign up for those are often over the summer or right at the start of the year. Just bringing a buzzer and some easy questions is enough to be recognizable to people who played in HS or might be interested.

You might want to reach out to some of the high schools in the area with quizbowl teams and see if any of their graduating seniors are coming to Mercer (or have matriculated there in the last few years). This could also be a good opportunity to feel out what might be a good date for a small-ish local tournament. I know MGSU hosted one last year via their admissions office as a sort of recruitment event; that could be something to look into at Mercer too.
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Re: Bringing Mercer Quizbowl Back

Postby Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Fri May 06, 2016 2:22 pm

cchiego wrote:You might want to reach out to some of the high schools in the area with quizbowl teams and see if any of their graduating seniors are coming to Mercer (or have matriculated there in the last few years). This could also be a good opportunity to feel out what might be a good date for a small-ish local tournament. I know MGSU hosted one last year via their admissions office as a sort of recruitment event; that could be something to look into at Mercer too.

[resists urge to complain about new school name and everything it stands for]
If you want to collaborate with the MGA folks, I can give you the contact info of the professor who organises the event, assuming nothing has changed in that regard since I've graduated. Although this tournament isn't exactly up to the standards of what we consider good quizbowl, it would be worth it to reach out to the teams there to get them interested in any tournament you might put on, and even in the SS/HSNCT.
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