Canada '09-'10

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.

Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:05 pm

Canadian Reach players & coaches have been editing on the QBWiki, and I'm sure that more lurk there. A discussion broke out, but the wiki talk format is not very good for conversation, so I have directed people here.

Some starting points:

1. The Reach season. Who is good, what tournaments are going on, etc. I expect Ontario provincials on Mothers Day weekend and Nationals the weekend after Victoria Day, like usual. TVO will probably be taping both. I would not be surprised if an Ontario team wins again, but Kennebecasis Valley has been due for about five years now.

2. Reach gripes. The format, the questions, the authority (players keeping track of score on paper is "illegal"? Seriously?).

3. Quizbowl. We've got Ottawa in November and Toronto/Guelph in February, if not also at a second time. Come try these events out- who knows, you may even win and get a spot for a (US) national tournament. I, and certainly almost anyone on this board, can give assistance for starting a tournament in your own city (I can't offer to fly and attend this year though).

Hint: quizbowl is good for you. The top two teams at both the Ottawa and Toronto tournaments made up 4 of the top 5 seeds at Ontario Reach provincials last season, and the two winners each qualified for Reach Nationals.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby David Riley » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:32 am

re #2 illegal scorekeeping:

Geez, I thought Illinois had silly behavioral rules! :razz:
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby jonah » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:34 am

Is that like how some high schools will let you play cards in the halls, but if you keep score, it's gambling and you get suspended?
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby Camelopardalis » Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:20 pm

bsmith wrote:1. The Reach season. Who is good, what tournaments are going on, etc. I expect Ontario provincials on Mothers Day weekend and Nationals the weekend after Victoria Day, like usual. TVO will probably be taping both. I would not be surprised if an Ontario team wins again, but Kennebecasis Valley has been due for about five years now.


1. UTS also hosts its annual house-written Reach tournament. For teams, I think KV (Quispamsis, NB) will be right at or near the top, with Woburn (Toronto), UTS (Toronto) and TanenbaumCHAT-Kimel (Toronto) all having the ability to challenge for both Ontario provincials (Reach and NAQT). Other teams that could challenge are Merivale (Ottawa), Lisgar (Ottawa). Central (London), South (London), Waterloo (Waterloo), Colonel By (Ottawa), Leaside (Toronto), and Centennial (Guelph). I'm unfamiliar with the western teams, but BC, Alberta, and Manitoba usually offer a few strong teams.

bsmith wrote:3. Quizbowl. We've got Ottawa in November and Toronto/Guelph in February, if not also at a second time. Come try these events out- who knows, you may even win and get a spot for a (US) national tournament. I, and certainly almost anyone on this board, can give assistance for starting a tournament in your own city (I can't offer to fly and attend this year though).

Hint: quizbowl is good for you. The top two teams at both the Ottawa and Toronto tournaments made up 4 of the top 5 seeds at Ontario Reach provincials last season, and the two winners each qualified for Reach Nationals.


3. Seconded! Tossup/bonus quizbowl with pyramidal questions is an exciting and challenging game that provides a difficultly-paralleled extracurricular learning opportunity. It fosters education and provides a more fair outcome to each game than Reach is able to offer.

There will also be plenty of opportunities to try out this type of quizbowl in '09-'10.

  • The Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament will continue its tradition of offering good quizbowl to teams in eastern Ontario and through discussions both direct and overhead, I am lead to believe that there will be several more strong Ottawa teams in attendance this year.

  • The Toronto Winter Invitational will be held again this year, though it could move to Guelph should their be a lack of available space at St. George Campus at U of T, and we hope to draw many more teams from across Ontario, and possibly Michigan, New York or Ohio as well. 18 teams attended the first edition, and was won by eventual national finalist UTS.

  • Guelph will be bidding for the first annual NAQT Ontario Provincial Championship, which we hope will offer a new level of competition for the top teams in Ontario and provide more widespread recognition of good quizbowl.

  • We'll be encouraging high schools and universities across Ontario to host tournaments on HSAPQ or NAQT questions this year, and I hope that many will take this opportunity to host a tournament and potentially generate revenue for their program.

  • Regarding national tournaments, Lisgar will do everything in its power to attend the NAQT HSNCT again, and I know that UTS, Merivale, and South were all close to attending last year. I'll be encouraging all teams that qualify to attend both the HSNCT and the PACE NSC which together offer the opportunity to participate at the highest level of academic competition, meet unmatched competition and teams and individuals from across North America, and the chance to see some unique attractions while there. Personally, I'd also like to explore the possibility of sending a team to the HSAPQ National All-Star Academic Tournament, to give Ontario the chance to match its best against those from North America.

I'll echo Ben's comments by saying that I and many others are more than willing to help your school find tournaments, host tournaments, improve your level of play, or get more involved.

For teachers, take the opportunity to get your students excited about learning things outside of school, and students, take the opportunity to compete at a new level and put your knowledge to a better test. In short, I encourage all teams to embrace a new level of knowledge-rewarding academic competition and a form of quizbowl which is more fair, more educational, more rewarding, and just as exciting.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby OntarioQuizzer » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:50 pm

bsmith wrote:(players keeping track of score on paper is "illegal"? Seriously?).


I would keep track of score on paper and track team stats from the captain's chair when I played. Nobody ever said anything to me about it.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby MBreacher » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:31 pm

bsmith wrote:Canadian Reach players & coaches have been editing on the QBWiki, and I'm sure that more lurk there. A discussion broke out, but the wiki talk format is not very good for conversation, so I have directed people here.

Some starting points:

1. The Reach season. Who is good, what tournaments are going on, etc. I expect Ontario provincials on Mothers Day weekend and Nationals the weekend after Victoria Day, like usual. TVO will probably be taping both. I would not be surprised if an Ontario team wins again, but Kennebecasis Valley has been due for about five years now.

2. Reach gripes. The format, the questions, the authority (players keeping track of score on paper is "illegal"? Seriously?).

3. Quizbowl. We've got Ottawa in November and Toronto/Guelph in February, if not also at a second time. Come try these events out- who knows, you may even win and get a spot for a (US) national tournament. I, and certainly almost anyone on this board, can give assistance for starting a tournament in your own city (I can't offer to fly and attend this year though).

Hint: quizbowl is good for you. The top two teams at both the Ottawa and Toronto tournaments made up 4 of the top 5 seeds at Ontario Reach provincials last season, and the two winners each qualified for Reach Nationals.



1. I agree that KVHS will again be one of the teams to beat next year. They have a couple of returning players (like myself, one of them is already a 2 year veteran despite only going into grade 11) and from what I understand they get tons of practice. (I heard somewhere that they played 40 games before the nationals last year) I don't know if they'll be able to top the team they had this year though. I was shocked that they didn't win. (the change in format for the final game had something to do with it I suspect) Besides KVHS, I can't really speculate on who else will be really strong next year.

2. To clarify, I didn't say that keeping track of the score on paper at the nationals was "illegal". It was a running tally that was. The score system used at the nationals during the seeding round was nothing short of ridiculous. There were 2 official scorekeepers at each game, a judge and a player on a team with a bye. Each scorekeeper had a copy of the gamepack that they divided down the middle. (one side for each team) Instead of a simple running tally on a piece of paper with an unofficial tally on a whiteboard, check marks were given for correct answers (beside the questions on the gamepack) and the scores were not tallied until the end of the game. There were no scorechecks whatsoever. It was a system that was error prone and lacked any sort of transperancy.

3. Options are quite limited outside of Ontario. Our team may fly out to Ottawa for the Lisgar tournament and we might host a small event ourselves but I can't see us doing much more.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby JV2 » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:56 am

It always tends to be the usual suspects at the Ontario TV Finals. Every region has it's top school's. In that SW Ontario region; Central, South and Vincent Massey are usually the cream. Centennial and Waterloo are tops between London and the GTA. GTA has UTS, Woburn, CHAT and Newmarket. And Ottawa has it's Big 4 in Lisgar, Merivale, By and Gloucester. One or two teams tend to breakout, but it's usually the status quo.

Maybe someone can explain this one to me. I know certain leagues in Ontario qualify a different amount of teams for the Provincials. But how do they determine it? Is it by the number of school's in the League, by overall population or some other method. I know they don't do it by performance, otherwise London would have been allowed a 3rd team and Ottawa would be sending 4 in some years.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby Camelopardalis » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:31 am

MBreacher wrote:1. I agree that KVHS will again be one of the teams to beat next year. They have a couple of returning players (like myself, one of them is already a 2 year veteran despite only going into grade 11) and from what I understand they get tons of practice. (I heard somewhere that they played 40 games before the nationals last year) I don't know if they'll be able to top the team they had this year though. I was shocked that they didn't win. (the change in format for the final game had something to do with it I suspect) Besides KVHS, I can't really speculate on who else will be really strong next year.


Who are the strong teams in Manitoba? I presuming St. Paul's is one of the top teams, but aside from you guys, are there any teams who are strong on an annual basis?

MBreacher wrote:2. To clarify, I didn't say that keeping track of the score on paper at the nationals was "illegal". It was a running tally that was. The score system used at the nationals during the seeding round was nothing short of ridiculous. There were 2 official scorekeepers at each game, a judge and a player on a team with a bye. Each scorekeeper had a copy of the gamepack that they divided down the middle. (one side for each team) Instead of a simple running tally on a piece of paper with an unofficial tally on a whiteboard, check marks were given for correct answers (beside the questions on the gamepack) and the scores were not tallied until the end of the game. There were no scorechecks whatsoever. It was a system that was error prone and lacked any sort of transperancy.


I'll comment on this at a later time. There are just so many issues.

MBreacher wrote:3. Options are quite limited outside of Ontario. Our team may fly out to Ottawa for the Lisgar tournament and we might host a small event ourselves but I can't see us doing much more.


As mentioned earlier, I'd be more than glad to help you get a small event going, and encourage you to do so. If you need any help, you can contact me at greenwoc AT uoguelph DOT ca. And I'm sure the Lisgar organizers would love to see you at their tournament, as well!
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby MBreacher » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:16 am

Chris G wrote:Who are the strong teams in Manitoba? I presuming St. Paul's is one of the top teams, but aside from you guys, are there any teams who are strong on an annual basis?


I should have gone over the teams in Manitoba. You're right in presuming that St. Paul's is one of the top teams. We managed to win the provincials in 2008 with no grade 12s, 1 grade 11 and a grade 9 (and in 2009 with a slightly older squad) so we still have a good core of players moving forward into next season. Another team that is consistently good is Kelvin. (also a Winnipeg school like St. Paul's) Kelvin has almost always qualified for the provincials and they've been to the nationals multiple times. (winning in the 60s I think) I'm not sure how strong they'll be next year as most of the 2008-2009 team has graduated but I would bet that they'll be a strong contender to take one of the 2 national final berths. St. John's Ravenscourt is another Winnipeg school that has been strong in recent years. Lately though (the past 2 years especially) they've fielded a team that while decent, is a cut below the top 2 or 3 teams. Sometimes a team outside of Winnipeg manages to win the provincials, but they are quite inconsistent.



Chris G wrote:As mentioned earlier, I'd be more than glad to help you get a small event going, and encourage you to do so. If you need any help, you can contact me at greenwoc AT uoguelph DOT ca. And I'm sure the Lisgar organizers would love to see you at their tournament, as well!


Thanks for the generous offer. I'll have to go over the idea of hosting a tournament with my team a bit more though as we haven't discussed quite as much as we have the possibility of attending the Lisgar Tournament.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:16 pm

MBreacher wrote:2. To clarify, I didn't say that keeping track of the score on paper at the nationals was "illegal". It was a running tally that was. The score system used at the nationals during the seeding round was nothing short of ridiculous. There were 2 official scorekeepers at each game, a judge and a player on a team with a bye. Each scorekeeper had a copy of the gamepack that they divided down the middle. (one side for each team) Instead of a simple running tally on a piece of paper with an unofficial tally on a whiteboard, check marks were given for correct answers (beside the questions on the gamepack) and the scores were not tallied until the end of the game. There were no scorechecks whatsoever. It was a system that was error prone and lacked any sort of transperancy.


If Reach has enough staff for 2 scorekeepers per game, more power to them. But surely one of those two would be able to add increments of ten in a timely manner to provide a score check? Staff at city/regionals/provincials can do it, even in rooms where the reader ends up having to keep score. Even if those two keepers can't add quickly, why would on-the-side tallies be banned? Does Reach want the score to be a mystery? (perhaps, considering the 3 or 4 scoring protests that have shown up in the past two seasons)

Also, a system of only checkmarks for correct answers runs the risk of keepers just tallying up the marks and multiplying by 10, neglecting the few questions worth 20, 30, or 40. Also, the shootout system doesn't score that way (as much as I wish otherwise).

JV2 wrote:Maybe someone can explain this one to me. I know certain leagues in Ontario qualify a different amount of teams for the Provincials. But how do they determine it? Is it by the number of school's in the League, by overall population or some other method. I know they don't do it by performance, otherwise London would have been allowed a 3rd team and Ottawa would be sending 4 in some years.


Back when I played (turn of the millennium), Ontario leagues sent a specified fraction of their field to provincials such that, based on the season's enrollment figures, there would be roughly 40 teams at provincials. I believe it was 1 spot for 6+ teams, 2 spots for 12+, etc - the fraction may have changed since then. I remember Ottawa having 17 teams one year, and there was a push by the coordinator to find an 18th just for the extra qualification.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby Diplomatic08 » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:15 pm

Hey everyone:

Glad to see how passionate everyone on this discussion board is regarding academic trivia competition (quizbowl, NAQT, Reach, etc). After reading the thread, we just wanted to address a couple of issues that seem to have arisen here regarding the most recent Reach for the Top National tournament.

Re: scoring during the seeding tournament.

1) Indeed, the national seeding tournament instituted a new system of scorekeeping this year where the team with a bye (in a 13-team tournament) kept a game score for the remaining teams playing in the round. While this was instituted to keep people involved and active during the bye, clearly there were some issues that arose regarding consistency. We are looking at the way the system was implemented at the tournament and there will likely be changes next year to address those concerns.

2) Regarding the rule not allowing a running tally to be kept on the chalkboard, this is a policy that was instituted at the Ontario Provincial tournament a number of years ago because there were concerns that those tallies themselves were not accurate. The person running that tally does not have access to the question pack in order to follow along with the scoring of the game. Having someone scoring on the blackboard, especially if the score displayed is wrong, would create more confusion and distraction, especially in a “timed-game” situation.

In the years since this rule was in place at Ontario Provincials, we have never received a complaint that not keeping a blackboard tally was inherently “unfair”. Regarding the “transparency” issue, this is probably best addressed with the modifications we’ll be looking into with regards to the scorekeeping method described in 1).

It’s always great to read the comments posted by all players (past & present). Thanks for taking such an active interest in the program!


Cheers,
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:20 am

My goodness, I wasn't paying attention and didn't notice a post from Reach (probably a younger member of Reach, but a member nonetheless).

First, here are two suggestions I have for a fairer format that should require little or no effort to change:

1. Shootout scoring. I appreciate the shootout as a way of rewarding a balanced team rather than a one-player-dominated team. However, burning through 12 questions should generate more than just 40 points (or 0 points). I feel that if a question is answered, the points should be earned and stay on the board - for example, if the shootout goes 4-2, the score should be 40-20, not 40-0. An incentive of 10 or 20 points for completing the shootout in 12 questions could still be used, but you should not take away up to 30 points that a team may have otherwise earned.

2. Who-am-I?s. The exact opposite of shootouts taking 12 questions to get 40 points, Who-am-Is can fetch 40 points in 1 question. In many cases, an 80-point swing arises because there is a birthdate or birthplace in the opening clue. Birthdates and birthplaces are not important in the life and works of writers, scientists, politicians, etc. It is more important, from a historical and informational perspective, to know what Laurier did in his prime ministry than to know his birthday. I know that Who-am-Is have been around since the 1960s, but there is way too much of a point swing associated with them and they often use meaningless facts like birthdates and alma maters. I suggest a large-scale cutback or elimination of them; quizbowl today has eliminated the analogous 30-20-10 bonuses they used to have.

I have more complicated issues, but I'll save that for another day.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby MBreacher » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:08 pm

Diplomatic08 wrote:Hey everyone:

Glad to see how passionate everyone on this discussion board is regarding academic trivia competition (quizbowl, NAQT, Reach, etc). After reading the thread, we just wanted to address a couple of issues that seem to have arisen here regarding the most recent Reach for the Top National tournament.

Re: scoring during the seeding tournament.

1) Indeed, the national seeding tournament instituted a new system of scorekeeping this year where the team with a bye (in a 13-team tournament) kept a game score for the remaining teams playing in the round. While this was instituted to keep people involved and active during the bye, clearly there were some issues that arose regarding consistency. We are looking at the way the system was implemented at the tournament and there will likely be changes next year to address those concerns.

2) Regarding the rule not allowing a running tally to be kept on the chalkboard, this is a policy that was instituted at the Ontario Provincial tournament a number of years ago because there were concerns that those tallies themselves were not accurate. The person running that tally does not have access to the question pack in order to follow along with the scoring of the game. Having someone scoring on the blackboard, especially if the score displayed is wrong, would create more confusion and distraction, especially in a “timed-game” situation.

In the years since this rule was in place at Ontario Provincials, we have never received a complaint that not keeping a blackboard tally was inherently “unfair”. Regarding the “transparency” issue, this is probably best addressed with the modifications we’ll be looking into with regards to the scorekeeping method described in 1).

It’s always great to read the comments posted by all players (past & present). Thanks for taking such an active interest in the program!


Cheers,
Reach for the Top




First off, I want to thank you for responding to some of the issues raised. The fact that Reach for the Top is open minded regarding discussion like this is extremely positive. Secondly, despite the concerns I put forth regarding the 2009 Nationals, I don't have anything against the organization. In fact, prior to that tournament, I really had no criticism to speak of. More than that, my entire team greatly enjoyed the 2008 National Finals and our dissapointment with the 2009 edition was made greater by this fact.

On to the scoring, I'm fine with not having a blackboard tally as long as some sort of change fostering transperancy is made. In Manitoba, our system of score checking involves a simple tally on paper along with an unofficial running tally on the board. Scorechecks are done a few times throughout the game. I don't believe that we've ever had a problem with that system. It's simple and effective. If Reach does not want a running tally, that's fine. This system can still work well without it. I strongly recommend that something like this be implemented at the 2010 National Finals.

Again, thank you for responding. It's obvious that you and others at the organization work hard and listen to reasonable concerns put forth by people who are currently or used to be involved with Reach. I want to make it clear that my criticisms are solely meant to help the organization improve, not to attack it. The reason I bother to do this is because I enjoy Reach so much and constructive criticism might be able to help it reach (no pun intended) its full potential.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:39 pm

Reach released the results of their provincial and national tournaments yesterday. It appears that BC and Alberta lost their TV coverage (recession, perhaps?), while KV and Cobequid crushed their respective provincial competition. Also, the second NB spot was offered but declined, so I guess there were plans for a 14-team Nationals after all. Finally, while I have no problem with the Saskatchewan school being invited to Nationals simply because they are the first team from the province, where was the similar offer for Three Oaks from PEI back when they started out against Nova Scotia teams a few years ago?

Coincidentally, both Reach and NAQT revealed on the same day that their nationals would be on the same days. No Ontario team in their right mind would sign up for the HSNCT because, as Lisgar found out two years ago, you have to wait until May 18 to know if you're going to be busy that weekend...

The top two teams from Quebec were not high schools. This needs to stop. In every other province and American state, colleges play in separate competitions from high schools. Even in other competitions within Canada like sports or English debate, Quebec high schools play against other province's high schools and CEGEPs play against (community) colleges and/or universities. Back when SmartAsk existed (and even Reach during the CBC days), Quebec high schools respectably got to the final few rounds. CEGEP students are high school graduates, and they should not be stifling the legitimate teams like Loyola, Royal West, LCC, etc. There are opportunities available for CEGEPs to play trivia, and these other opportunities allow second-year students to play as well.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby Camelopardalis » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:30 am

bsmith wrote:Reach released the results of their provincial and national tournaments yesterday. It appears that BC and Alberta lost their TV coverage (recession, perhaps?), while KV and Cobequid crushed their respective provincial competition. Also, the second NB spot was offered but declined, so I guess there were plans for a 14-team Nationals after all. Finally, while I have no problem with the Saskatchewan school being invited to Nationals simply because they are the first team from the province, where was the similar offer for Three Oaks from PEI back when they started out against Nova Scotia teams a few years ago?

Coincidentally, both Reach and NAQT revealed on the same day that their nationals would be on the same days. No Ontario team in their right mind would sign up for the HSNCT because, as Lisgar found out two years ago, you have to wait until May 18 to know if you're going to be busy that weekend...

The top two teams from Quebec were not high schools. This needs to stop. In every other province and American state, colleges play in separate competitions from high schools. Even in other competitions within Canada like sports or English debate, Quebec high schools play against other province's high schools and CEGEPs play against (community) colleges and/or universities. Back when SmartAsk existed (and even Reach during the CBC days), Quebec high schools respectably got to the final few rounds. CEGEP students are high school graduates, and they should not be stifling the legitimate teams like Loyola, Royal West, LCC, etc. There are opportunities available for CEGEPs to play trivia, and these other opportunities allow second-year students to play as well.


My question is when will Reach for the Top even address these issues, let alone fix them? The list of issues, minor or major, is almost infinite at this point, and my major concern, beyond the rescheduling of nationals, is that Reach for the Top has never, save for once in this thread (never to reappear, I'll note), even stooped to listen to the arguments.

Are they aware of the problems? If so, do they choose to ignore them? Rescheduling nationals have left me more baffled than ever. I think this represents a huge step back from recognition of good quizbowl in Canada, and, just as importantly, it will now take even more work to achieve this goal.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Wed May 05, 2010 2:47 pm

Bumping this old thread to list the teams (that I know of) going on to Reach nationals.

BC: Sir Winston Churchill (and another team)
Alberta: One team, possibly two*
Manitoba: St. Paul's and Vincent Massey
Ontario: won't be known until May 18. Likely won't be Lisgar or Assumption, if they honour their HSNCT invites.
Quebec: I believe it is Marianopolis**, but not certain.
New Brunswick: Kennebecasis Valley again. Oromocto finished second, but qualifies if a team from Alberta declines*
Nova Scotia: Cobequid again.

* Oromocto, a frequent runner-up to KV, will qualify if one of the two teams from Alberta declines. No offense to the current crop of Alberta schools, but history suggests that New Brunswick is far more competitive (two teams in the final four in 2008, and the sole team finished second in 2009). KV will likely finish in the top three nationally, so it would be unfortunate to have their strongest provincial rival just settle for hypothetical placements.

** A college, but I have already voiced my stance on that issue earlier in this thread. Separately (I hope), I have found allegations of an abuse of the CEGEP policy and have forwarded it to Reach for the Top; I hope that it will encourage Reach to drop the CEGEP participation and be like every other high school activity in Quebec (ie: for high schools).
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby nobthehobbit » Wed May 12, 2010 2:51 am

bsmith wrote:Ontario: won't be known until May 18. Likely won't be Lisgar or Assumption, if they honour their HSNCT invites.


It doesn't help that not only will the Ontario invites not be known for another week, but Reach nationals and HSNCT fall on the same weekend yet again. (Of course, there's always the NSC, not on that weekend, which, last I looked, has spots open, and for which Gloucester, Lisgar, Merivale, UTS and Woburn have all qualified--Lisgar twice.)
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Thu May 13, 2010 12:13 pm

bsmith wrote:Separately (I hope), I have found allegations of an abuse of the CEGEP policy and have forwarded it to Reach for the Top; I hope that it will encourage Reach to drop the CEGEP participation and be like every other high school activity in Quebec (ie: for high schools).

Nine days later, no reply or confirmation that they received it. I'm guessing they're ignoring me, since the email address should be busy with staffing requests for provincials/nationals later this month.

Anyway, the alleged violation: From Loyola High School's student newspaper, an article in the May 2009 issue claims that last year's Loyola team was eliminated by a Marianopolis team that included three players in their second year of CEGEP. It is possible that the article author was confused about the age of the CEGEP players, but the author seemed quite familiar with the students, their names, and their grade levels. Regardless, someone is confused by Reach's CEGEP policy: either the author is unaware that second-years can't play, or second-years are playing for high school titles when they shouldn't be.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby Camelopardalis » Thu May 13, 2010 1:42 pm

bsmith wrote:
bsmith wrote:Separately (I hope), I have found allegations of an abuse of the CEGEP policy and have forwarded it to Reach for the Top; I hope that it will encourage Reach to drop the CEGEP participation and be like every other high school activity in Quebec (ie: for high schools).

Nine days later, no reply or confirmation that they received it. I'm guessing they're ignoring me, since the email address should be busy with staffing requests for provincials/nationals later this month.

Anyway, the alleged violation: From Loyola High School's student newspaper, an article in the May 2009 issue claims that last year's Loyola team was eliminated by a Marianopolis team that included three players in their second year of CEGEP. It is possible that the article author was confused about the age of the CEGEP players, but the author seemed quite familiar with the students, their names, and their grade levels. Regardless, someone is confused by Reach's CEGEP policy: either the author is unaware that second-years can't play, or second-years are playing for high school titles when they shouldn't be.

Isn't there something about age limitations too? I was under the impression that if you were nineteen - even if you were a first-year CEGEP student or a fourth/fifth year secondary school student - you couldn't play.

Also, I heard from a reliable source that Centennial registered for the HSNCT, but I don't see them on the list anywhere, and I don't think they qualified outright for nationals.

I'll be accompanying Lisgar to Reach Provincials this year, so I'll be sure to keep abreast of the happenings - I can't wait to hear more fun, rapid-fire, recycled questions on Canadian radio broadcasters and islands that use stone currency!
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bird bird bird bird bird » Thu May 13, 2010 3:30 pm

Camelopardalis wrote:Also, I heard from a reliable source that Centennial registered for the HSNCT, but I don't see them on the list anywhere, and I don't think they qualified outright for nationals.


Chris, I just sent you email to follow up on this.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Thu May 13, 2010 3:44 pm

Camelopardalis wrote:Isn't there something about age limitations too? I was under the impression that if you were nineteen - even if you were a first-year CEGEP student or a fourth/fifth year secondary school student - you couldn't play.

It's far more relaxed than that. Here is Reach's rule #1 (capitalization left intact):
Any student who is 19 or under at the beginning of the school year and has been continuously enrolled in a Secondary School is eligible to play both SCHOOLREACH and REACH FOR THE TOP.

You could have your 20th birthday on September 2 (or after the first day of school) and still play Reach, as long as you are still enrolled in secondary school. Ontario scrapped their 13th grade starting in 1999, and no high school student comes close to 20 years old these days... except CEGEP.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby nobthehobbit » Thu May 13, 2010 5:38 pm

I'm a bit surprised that I'm the one saying this, but all this is rather pointless. Reach doesn't care because they don't have to care. Reach is etched in the Canadian cultural consciousness, and they know it, so they can do whatever they please.

According to the BC coordinator (and if my memory serves), Reach's subscription fee (required to play Reach at any level) is ~$400, each packet costs ~$100 (granted this cost can be shared among the league's teams) and teams still must travel to wherever provincials and nationals are being held (if they even qualify). So teams could end up paying almost as much as the HSNCT/NSC registration fee (depending on how many packets their league orders, I guess) without having any idea how far they'll advance. To my knowledge, BC provincials this year guaranteed teams only 5 games. I believe in Ontario you can pay that much and not make it out of your league, but I'm not as familiar with the Ontario league system.

And while other quizbowl organizations have been criticized for having a "we're still on TV" attitude, Reach is still on TV, and short buzzer-race questions play far better for TV than good quizbowl.

And then all those Reach players hit university, find out that good quizbowl bears practically no resemblance to Reach, and many get disenchanted and leave.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby Camelopardalis » Thu May 13, 2010 6:07 pm

nobthehobbit wrote:I'm a bit surprised that I'm the one saying this, but all this is rather pointless. Reach doesn't care because they don't have to care. Reach is etched in the Canadian cultural consciousness, and they know it, so they can do whatever they please.

According to the BC coordinator (and if my memory serves), Reach's subscription fee (required to play Reach at any level) is ~$400, each packet costs ~$100 (granted this cost can be shared among the league's teams) and teams still must travel to wherever provincials and nationals are being held (if they even qualify). So teams could end up paying almost as much as the HSNCT/NSC registration fee (depending on how many packets their league orders, I guess) without having any idea how far they'll advance. To my knowledge, BC provincials this year guaranteed teams only 5 games. I believe in Ontario you can pay that much and not make it out of your league, but I'm not as familiar with the Ontario league system.

And while other quizbowl organizations have been criticized for having a "we're still on TV" attitude, Reach is still on TV, and short buzzer-race questions play far better for TV than good quizbowl.

And then all those Reach players hit university, find out that good quizbowl bears practically no resemblance to Reach, and many get disenchanted and leave.

Yeah, this is all true. But it's also the reason why it's been pretty easy trying to explain the benefits of good quizbowl to coaches and students. You just tell them the truth. Good quizbowl: is way less expensive, allows far more opportunities to play, is more beneficial to students, is more fair, and is run by people who truly care about the game. And since you're usually speaking to intelligent, rational people, they make the same decision we do - that competing in other formats, including NAQT and HSAPQ, are far more beneficial than competing in Reach.

Reach may not be trying to improve, but lots of other dedicated people are trying to improve the game - and succeeding - and that's all that really matters.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby nobthehobbit » Thu May 13, 2010 6:11 pm

Camelopardalis wrote:
nobthehobbit wrote:I'm a bit surprised that I'm the one saying this, but all this is rather pointless. Reach doesn't care because they don't have to care. Reach is etched in the Canadian cultural consciousness, and they know it, so they can do whatever they please.

According to the BC coordinator (and if my memory serves), Reach's subscription fee (required to play Reach at any level) is ~$400, each packet costs ~$100 (granted this cost can be shared among the league's teams) and teams still must travel to wherever provincials and nationals are being held (if they even qualify). So teams could end up paying almost as much as the HSNCT/NSC registration fee (depending on how many packets their league orders, I guess) without having any idea how far they'll advance. To my knowledge, BC provincials this year guaranteed teams only 5 games. I believe in Ontario you can pay that much and not make it out of your league, but I'm not as familiar with the Ontario league system.

And while other quizbowl organizations have been criticized for having a "we're still on TV" attitude, Reach is still on TV, and short buzzer-race questions play far better for TV than good quizbowl.

And then all those Reach players hit university, find out that good quizbowl bears practically no resemblance to Reach, and many get disenchanted and leave.

Yeah, this is all true. But it's also the reason why it's been pretty easy trying to explain the benefits of good quizbowl to coaches and students. You just tell them the truth. Good quizbowl: is way less expensive, allows far more opportunities to play, is more beneficial to students, is more fair, and is run by people who truly care about the game. And since you're usually speaking to intelligent, rational people, they make the same decision we do - that competing in other formats, including NAQT and HSAPQ, are far more beneficial than competing in Reach.

Reach may not be trying to improve, but lots of other dedicated people are trying to improve the game - and succeeding - and that's all that really matters.


But for all that, because of Reach's place in the cultural consciousness, they don't stop playing Reach, which is the same problem we see elsewhere: teams might play good quizbowl, but for whatever reason, they also shovel money at bad quizbowl.

EDIT: And I should add that this also leads to things like Ontario's nationals bids not being known until 10 days before nationals, since Reach knows it's really the only game in town (or, at least, that those who play the other games won't stop playing it), and so it can get away with whatever absurd thing it wants to. Since Reach nationals almost always conflicts with HSNCT or NSC, this puts a natural damper on the ability of Canadian teams to commit to those tournaments, and the additional travel costs make it even worse. (When I say "Canadian" I mean "Ontario" since that's the only place up here that's managed to support any sort of good quizbowl.)

(also edited to add italics)
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Mon May 17, 2010 6:01 pm

bsmith wrote:Ontario: won't be known until May 18. Likely won't be Lisgar or Assumption, if they honour their HSNCT invites.

Assumption (and Gloucester) made it to the Ontario tournament final, and thus qualified for Reach nationals. If the Ontario finals were settled by April 24 (like every other province), Assumption would have at least had time to think about a full refund for the HSNCT...
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby nobthehobbit » Mon May 17, 2010 6:52 pm

bsmith wrote:
bsmith wrote:Ontario: won't be known until May 18. Likely won't be Lisgar or Assumption, if they honour their HSNCT invites.

Assumption (and Gloucester) made it to the Ontario tournament final, and thus qualified for Reach nationals. If the Ontario finals were settled by April 24 (like every other province), Assumption would have at least had time to think about a full refund for the HSNCT...


Yeah, see the edits to my post above for my take on that.

And though it doesn't help Assumption (unless they try for a wildcard and still have the money), there are still those NSC berths...
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby Windows ME » Tue May 18, 2010 12:09 am

I was there and I have to say that the questions were truly awful this year in the preliminaries (the semifinals and finals matches were normal Reach fare - so the 4 teams that made it there got to play on good questions). Even though I am not a big fan of trash/pop culture/etc., it really seemed as if Reach has just stopped trying.

1) ~60% of the questions in the prelim rounds were "trash" (up from the standard ~20% of the past... what? ten? fifteen years? You're making people pay $220 per person for this tournament, at least make sure they know what they are paying for)
2) The number of questions per pack was cut down to ~86? Really? You can't come up with FOURTEEN MORE QUESTIONS PER PACK?

I've already heard of one perennial Ontario powerhouse (not us) who is already rumoured to have permanently quit Reach for the Top in favour of quizbowl. I completely sympathize with their position as well.

Somebody really has to call them out on this extremely poor question quality. The game is inherently unfair if, every round, how your team does is completely dependent on whether or not it's 20 movies questions or 20 geography questions that round. I would feel outraged if I had practiced all year, paid (an already excessive) amount of money and found out I might as well have flipped a coin to determine how my team did. A consistent round-to-round distribution really isn't asking much.

[and before anyone gets to it: I had absolutely no problem (believe that or not) with Reach until this round of provincials ... probably the worst set of questions I have seen from them in the past twenty years ... and I can say this probably having looked over that many years of questions in my playing days ... I truly hope they go back to their old ways, at the very least)
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby nobthehobbit » Tue May 18, 2010 1:35 am

fourplustwo wrote:I was there and I have to say that the questions were truly awful this year in the preliminaries (the semifinals and finals matches were normal Reach fare - so the 4 teams that made it there got to play on good questions). Even though I am not a big fan of trash/pop culture/etc., it really seemed as if Reach has just stopped trying.

1) ~60% of the questions in the prelim rounds were "trash" (up from the standard ~20% of the past... what? ten? fifteen years? You're making people pay $220 per person for this tournament, at least make sure they know what they are paying for)
2) The number of questions per pack was cut down to ~86? Really? You can't come up with FOURTEEN MORE QUESTIONS PER PACK?


As quizbowl players we're used to paying attention to this sort of thing, but, for one, Reach doesn't publish a distribution (and so isn't obliged to be bound by one), and for another, I wonder how many people there not used to quizbowl noticed this.

fourplustwo wrote:I've already heard of one perennial Ontario powerhouse (not us) who is already rumoured to have permanently quit Reach for the Top in favour of quizbowl. I completely sympathize with their position as well.


Heartening, if true. (By the way, by "us" do you mean Woburn, UTS, or another school?)

fourplustwo wrote:Somebody really has to call them out on this extremely poor question quality. The game is inherently unfair if, every round, how your team does is completely dependent on whether or not it's 20 movies questions or 20 geography questions that round. I would feel outraged if I had practiced all year, paid (an already excessive) amount of money and found out I might as well have flipped a coin to determine how my team did. A consistent round-to-round distribution really isn't asking much.

[and before anyone gets to it: I had absolutely no problem (believe that or not) with Reach until this round of provincials ... probably the worst set of questions I have seen from them in the past twenty years ... and I can say this probably having looked over that many years of questions in my playing days ... I truly hope they go back to their old ways, at the very least)


See my above comments regarding Reach and their need to care.

And it strikes me that the issue of a "consistent round-to-round distribution" also comes up in discussions of NAQT, although such discussions generally deal with subdistributional issues, while your complaints seem to be about top-level distributions.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Tue May 18, 2010 10:33 am

For any student/coach/official who thinks "quizbowl" is harder than Reach:

2009 OQT: 74% tossup conversion
2010 Lisgar: 75% tossup conversion
2010 TWI: 71% tossup conversion
2010 Guelph: 80% tossup conversion

2010 Ontario Reach: 64% question conversion (assuming 860 points/game)

Heck, the 3 games involving only high school students at the Ottawa Hybrid had 67% conversion...
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby Camelopardalis » Tue May 18, 2010 2:50 pm

I followed Lisgar around at Reach Provincials this weekend. Here are some samples questions from Round 2 (in their entirety):

- "What is a snipe?" (specifically, "long-billed bird"; "bird" is unacceptable)
- "This pitcher has fallen into alleged disrepute for an alleged use of steroids." ("Roger Clemens", evidently)
- "This small country is home to the world's greatest beer drinkers." (Apparently, Germany's beer greatness is quantifiable)

Anyways, some +/- from the weekend.
Good:
- Of the top 12 teams, 9 of them played quizbowl this year (and 2 others wanted to, but couldn't due to school regulations).
- Reach remains pretty good at tournament logistics: protests were settled quickly (there were many of them), the pools were decently balanced, stats were up quickly, and despite delays between games, they finished 7 rounds by the early afternoon.
- The coaches and players remain highly dedicated, enthusiastic, and excited to hear about NAQT and the NASAT, strengthening my conviction that Reach is only played because of history and a lack of knowing any better.

Bad:
- Pretty much everything else. Though it's hardly surprising, the games boiled down to buzzer-pushing competitions on laughably ridiculous Trivial Pursuit questions; the cost was jaw-droppingly outrageous ($220/person); Reach continues to disallow "B" teams, even if they deserve to play; there were countless questionable procedures regarding rules and which teams moved on to the playoffs; the 1 and 2 seeds were upset in the single-elimination playoffs, offering more evidence that the results of any one game boils down to a coin-flip.

I'm not really worried about it though; quizbowl is growing, players are increasingly realizing what's bad about Reach, and there will be a record amount of Ontario teams at the HSNCT this year. While Reach remains status quo, the Ontario quizbowl landscape is getting stronger and has much more variety than it has in the past. I'm confident that next year will be exponentially better than this year, just as this year was exponentially better than last year.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby nobthehobbit » Thu May 20, 2010 5:42 pm

bsmith wrote:Assumption (and Gloucester) made it to the Ontario tournament final, and thus qualified for Reach nationals. If the Ontario finals were settled by April 24 (like every other province), Assumption would have at least had time to think about a full refund for the HSNCT...


And further to this, it appears that Assumption has decided on Reach nationals; they're no longer in the HSNCT field.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby Quizmaster4hire » Thu May 20, 2010 9:11 pm

Hi. Bit of a lurker, first-time poster with a few thoughts...

1) As somebody involved with Reach in New Brunswick for eight years (4 as a player, 4 as a freelance quizmaster), I'm happy Oromocto is going to Nationals. They were clearly the best team after Kennebecasis at Provincials. But it doesn't feel right to me that they're going, considering only six schools entered the Senior Division this year (down from 10 last year and a high of 16 in 2003). It doesn't seem fair that we send more teams to Nationals than some Ontario leagues can send to their Provincials. Not to mention that they were down to three players for the Championship game (the fourth had to go home and go to work). I don't expect them to finish outside the bottom four (they're nowhere near as good as they were two years ago), but I still hope they knock some Uppity-Canadian skulls around.

2) Reach has a different structure and cuIture here than anywhere else. It didn't start in the province until 1980 (owing to CHSJ's reluctance to pick it up) but remained on the local CBC affiliate well into the 90s (ending only upon CHSJ's sale to the CBC). There are no leagues in New Brunswick, but there are 5 or 6 "invitational" (though practically open) tournaments a year that give teams 4-7 games a Saturday. The Provincials are an open tournament, meaning, theoretically, anybody can enter, have a hot Saturday, and win (although it's been ten years since anybody won Provincials without winning at least one invitational event first). Attendence at Provincials this year was probably hampered by a few factors - recent government rules about school travel insurance, KV's total dominance (they haven't lost to a New Brunswick opponent since 2005), and the lack of a guaranteed second berth at Nationals. That said, the Provincials were fairly difficult - games were about 110 questions apiece, there seemed to be a good mix of question topics, and the quizmasters knew what they were doing (toots own horn).

3) I don't think "good" high school quizbowl (better than Reach) is going to take off in New Brunswick high schools until and unless it takes off at one or two of the universities first. Part of it has to do with how Reach is run here (see above) and how it's ingrained in the cultures of the competing schools. Good quizbowl would also have to overcome the KV factor - if Kennebecasis were to totally dominate, say, NAQT tournaments from the start, it will do little to convince either new schools to come to the game or existing schools to desert Reach (especially if a second bid to Nationals becomes a regular thing).

4) Reach released the competitors' list for Nationals today: Sir Winston Churchill and St. George's from BC, Harry Ainley and Old Scona Academic from Alberta, St. Paul's and Vincent Massey from Manitoba, Gloucester and Assumption from Ontario, Dawson College from Quebec, Kennebecasis Valley and Oromocto from New Brunswick, and Cobequid from Nova Scotia.

The Ontario schools and KV will likely be the cream of the field, but don't discount Cobequid. From what I've heard, they did to Nova Scotia what Kennebecasis did to New Brunswick this year and they came very close to beating KV in last year's semifinals.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Fri May 21, 2010 8:25 am

Quizmaster4hire wrote:But it doesn't feel right to me that [Oromocto are] going, considering only six schools entered the Senior Division this year (down from 10 last year and a high of 16 in 2003). It doesn't seem fair that we send more teams to Nationals than some Ontario leagues can send to their Provincials.

When you compare the proportions to Ontario, yes it seems unfair. I choose to compare it to Alberta, BC, and Manitoba (no offense if they have good teams this year): they send two teams each and both are eliminated by the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, the New Brunswick representation have all finished in the top 4 for the past three nationals; the province may not be populous, but they are good. Restricting the "good" province to one team restricts the amount of "good" competition in the national finals. Nationals should be about determining how the top teams rank; last year, the non-attending St Malachy's may have finished as high as 3rd (with KV 2nd), but we'll never know.

I don't think "good" high school quizbowl (better than Reach) is going to take off in New Brunswick high schools until and unless it takes off at one or two of the universities first.

There is some truth to that, but I'm sure there's a counter-example out there of a state with high high-school and low college-level participation. Nevertheless, New Brunswick has the advantage of already having an infrastructure for running mid-season tournaments (non-championship invitationals). One of those could run with quizbowl questions instead of Reach questions (with the added bonus that you can invite NS and PEI teams).

The Maritimes also seems like the perfect place to have a university quizbowl circuit: a dozen small universities within a couple hours' drive of each other. Unfortunately, the reality is that only one school would be interested at a time (Mount Allison one year, Dal another, UNB another, etc.), and it would be difficult to be part of a circuit that is much further away (Ontario and/or New England).

Good quizbowl would also have to overcome the KV factor - if Kennebecasis were to totally dominate, say, NAQT tournaments from the start, it will do little to convince either new schools to come to the game or existing schools to desert Reach (especially if a second bid to Nationals becomes a regular thing).

Lisgar dominated early quizbowl in Ontario (and still do, to some extent). The site that Lisgar plays at, however, has slowly grown from 6 to 7 to 11 to 12 teams (to 18 if you count their appearance at Guelph).

Separately, believe it or not, my goal is not to have teams "desert Reach" (other than CEGEPs). I just want Reach to get with the times and develop a format that is fair for determining a true Canadian champion - Lisgar and UTS dominate quizbowl events this year, but both are gone by the first round in Ontario; something's not right with that picture.

Dawson College from Quebec

Aha. I had only heard that a CEGEP won, hence my assumption that it was Marianopolis. In a way, I feel bad for the CEGEP students who are made to believe that there's nothing wrong with them playing in high school competitions; it probably comes down to Reach loosening their rules so they can get some extra teams (and registration fees!) at the beginning of the year. It's tough to be a high school team in Quebec. You pay the fees and play in the league for high schools, but to progress further (ie: Nationals), you have to beat your school's alumni teamed up with the best alumni of other local high schools. Royal West's 2008 National appearance is even more impressive when you consider this.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby nobthehobbit » Sun May 23, 2010 4:44 am

bsmith wrote:
Quizmaster4hire wrote:Good quizbowl would also have to overcome the KV factor - if Kennebecasis were to totally dominate, say, NAQT tournaments from the start, it will do little to convince either new schools to come to the game or existing schools to desert Reach (especially if a second bid to Nationals becomes a regular thing).

Lisgar dominated early quizbowl in Ontario (and still do, to some extent). The site that Lisgar plays at, however, has slowly grown from 6 to 7 to 11 to 12 teams (to 18 if you count their appearance at Guelph).

Separately, believe it or not, my goal is not to have teams "desert Reach" (other than CEGEPs). I just want Reach to get with the times and develop a format that is fair for determining a true Canadian champion - Lisgar and UTS dominate quizbowl events this year, but both are gone by the first round in Ontario; something's not right with that picture.


While it'd be nice for Reach to be run under such a format, what would be your ideas for one that isn't unrecognizable to the vast majority of Reach players and coaches and plays well on TV, and to which Reach's current writing staff could easily adapt? For me, I'd much rather see Reach become an mACF competition, but that would be unrecognizable to the vast majority of Reach players and coaches (who've never seen a pyramidal question in their lives), wouldn't play well on TV (since there'd be lots of time with the moderator reading and not much else happening), and Reach's current writing staff would likely find the transition from one-line speed checks to pyramidal tossups rather rough, to say the least, and teams like Lisgar might well criticize them for poor quality. (Ah, well, at least, to my knowledge, Reach doesn't have the ethical issues of, say, :chip: .)
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Wed May 26, 2010 1:32 pm

nobthehobbit wrote:While it'd be nice for Reach to be run under such a format, what would be your ideas for one that isn't unrecognizable to the vast majority of Reach players and coaches and plays well on TV, and to which Reach's current writing staff could easily adapt?

Any change would be accompanied by kicking and screaming (next year will be 50 years with Who-am-I!), but I can dream...

The first step of a transition is to remove "gimmicks" (shootouts, relays, etc) and replace them with team scrambles (with legitimate clues in the starter). That change shouldn't be too much of a shock to the regulars. Then, gradually replace snappers with team scrambles until it becomes quasi-quizbowl. If Reach insists on being different from the American stuff, they can still have Canadian content, some tossups without bonuses, and even the assigned questions.

Is Reach still on TV in BC? I thought it was dropped there last year, as was Alberta, Ontario, and Nationals, leaving Reach televised nowhere.

(Ah, well, at least, to my knowledge, Reach doesn't have the ethical issues of, say, :chip: .)

Reach has sent teams to court twice (1989 over trophy ownership; 1995 over a teacher's strike). There was the TOC cancellation fraud in 2007, but otherwise, no other organization has gone through the legal system. The trophy issue was just a spat between a coach and Reach, but 1995 was against students.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby nobthehobbit » Wed May 26, 2010 1:52 pm

bsmith wrote:
nobthehobbit wrote:While it'd be nice for Reach to be run under such a format, what would be your ideas for one that isn't unrecognizable to the vast majority of Reach players and coaches and plays well on TV, and to which Reach's current writing staff could easily adapt?

Any change would be accompanied by kicking and screaming (next year will be 50 years with Who-am-I!), but I can dream...

The first step of a transition is to remove "gimmicks" (shootouts, relays, etc) and replace them with team scrambles (with legitimate clues in the starter). That change shouldn't be too much of a shock to the regulars. Then, gradually replace snappers with team scrambles until it becomes quasi-quizbowl. If Reach insists on being different from the American stuff, they can still have Canadian content, some tossups without bonuses, and even the assigned questions.

Is Reach still on TV in BC? I thought it was dropped there last year, as was Alberta, Ontario, and Nationals, leaving Reach televised nowhere.


The Canadian content is fine, of course, but tossups without bonuses and assigned questions, not so much: the former means that a tossup at one point isn't worth as much as one at another point (although this is mostly alleviated if it's known which tossups are without bonuses), and assigned questions are basically a "well, too bad you weren't sitting third instead of second, then your team might have 20 more points". Also, they don't work well with short-handed teams.

And I wasn't aware that Reach was no longer televised anywhere, but they may still hope to return (which was often speculated as one reason for CBI's bad questions).

(Ah, well, at least, to my knowledge, Reach doesn't have the ethical issues of, say, :chip: .)

Reach has sent teams to court twice (1989 over trophy ownership; 1995 over a teacher's strike). There was the TOC cancellation fraud in 2007, but otherwise, no other organization has gone through the legal system. The trophy issue was just a spat between a coach and Reach, but 1995 was against students.


I wasn't referring to legal battles; I was referring to things like reusing old questions (CBI did this) or ripping off questions from other sources (QU still does this).
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby Camelopardalis » Thu May 27, 2010 9:37 pm

nobthehobbit wrote:The Canadian content is fine, of course, but tossups without bonuses and assigned questions, not so much: the former means that a tossup at one point isn't worth as much as one at another point (although this is mostly alleviated if it's known which tossups are without bonuses), and assigned questions are basically a "well, too bad you weren't sitting third instead of second, then your team might have 20 more points". Also, they don't work well with short-handed teams.

I mean, you're totally right in saying "these elements of Reach suck because", but you're preaching to the converted, dude. We all know that Reach questions suck, we all know why Reach questions suck, and as far as I know, we would all love for Reach to be mACF format (and by "we", I mean most people on these boards). I agree that the transition probably couldn't be immediate (look at how long Reach has been around), and in the mean time, eliminating the worst parts of the format probably isn't a bad thing. That said, I don't think Reach would ever transition to tossup/bonus quizbowl on its own accord until it's become popular enough in the independent circuit (like the OQT, TWI, NAQT Provincials, Lisgar Invitational, etc).

like reusing old questions

This is quite common, I believe. Lisgar 40-ed a Who am I at Provincials because that exact question appeared in a practice pack from years past. Questions are also reused between rounds. I certainly haven't discovered any question plagiarizing though.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby nobthehobbit » Thu May 27, 2010 11:26 pm

Camelopardalis wrote:
nobthehobbit wrote:The Canadian content is fine, of course, but tossups without bonuses and assigned questions, not so much: the former means that a tossup at one point isn't worth as much as one at another point (although this is mostly alleviated if it's known which tossups are without bonuses), and assigned questions are basically a "well, too bad you weren't sitting third instead of second, then your team might have 20 more points". Also, they don't work well with short-handed teams.

I mean, you're totally right in saying "these elements of Reach suck because", but you're preaching to the converted, dude. We all know that Reach questions suck, we all know why Reach questions suck, and as far as I know, we would all love for Reach to be mACF format (and by "we", I mean most people on these boards). I agree that the transition probably couldn't be immediate (look at how long Reach has been around), and in the mean time, eliminating the worst parts of the format probably isn't a bad thing. That said, I don't think Reach would ever transition to tossup/bonus quizbowl on its own accord until it's become popular enough in the independent circuit (like the OQT, TWI, NAQT Provincials, Lisgar Invitational, etc).


I know that what I wrote won't change a thing. I think it would take a huge expansion of good quizbowl in Ontario (and probably elsewhere) to convince Reach to change; as long as there aren't more than 25 or so schools (21 this year) playing those tournaments (and most of them continue to play Reach), they just won't care, and I've said as much above. Short of expanding good quizbowl tournaments significantly and convincing participating schools to abandon Reach (thereby attempting to bring financial pressure to bear--sorry, Ben, but I think that's what it would take), I know full well that there isn't much we can do.

like reusing old questions

This is quite common, I believe. Lisgar 40-ed a Who am I at Provincials because that exact question appeared in a practice pack from years past. Questions are also reused between rounds. I certainly haven't discovered any question plagiarizing though.


One of the things that's always stuck in my head from the many talks about plagiarism I've heard is that copying off yourself is just as bad as copying off someone else. This is a perfect example of why it shouldn't be done in quizbowl.

(Does Reach have any policy like CBI's old "get rid of your packets after five years" thing?)
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Sat May 29, 2010 10:47 pm

After Saturday's round-robin at Nationals, the top four seeds (first-round byes in playoffs) are:

Kennebecasis, NB (11-0)
Cobequid, NS (10-1)
St. Paul's, MB (9-2)
Gloucester, ON (8-3)

Kennebecasis is once again showing that they are due for a championship; and a good run by St. Paul's could be the best result by a Manitoba team since Kelvin's 4th place in 2003.
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Re: Canada '09-'10

Postby bsmith » Mon May 31, 2010 2:49 pm

The seedings ended up working out to the order of finish. KV won after so many recent years of coming close, and I think this result reflects who was the best Canadian team this year.

The top four are "aware" of quizbowl tournaments (as are a few other teams). Interestingly, KV and Cobequid were essentially the only schools interested in the failed Atlantic Quizbowl Tournament I offered last year.

-----

Separately, I won't have any leadership role at Ottawa next year, but I'll try to convince the club to kick up the OQT a notch (ie: go up from A-set and use up all of our 10-room reservation quota). Hopefully we can handle a larger field and that will entice teams from Montreal, the Maritimes, and even the Northeastern US.
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