The State of Good Quizbowl, State-by-State

Anything that's on topic but doesn't fit elsewhere, including related events that might be of interest to quizbowl players (KMO, Science Bowl, etc).

Re: The State of Good Quizbowl, State-by-State

Postby Charlie and Lolcat » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:20 am

As for the Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Newport News area, as far as I remember, the individual VHSL districts place restrictions on competitions during the season, limited to five non-VHSL events. I am not sure if the restriction lasts all year, until VHSL State, or a team's elimination from VHSL play.

Nonetheless, Princess Anne and Warwick occasionally compete in Richmond or Charlottesville area events.

William & Mary hosts tournaments on a semi-regular basis (excluding VHSL State). Princess Anne and Ocean Lakes hosted NAQT competitions in the late 2000s, but haven't in a while. No other high school or college in the area has hosted anything that I am aware of.

When it comes to bad quizbowl, a few Newport News and Hampton schools go to Richmond for Battle of the Brains (as WAVY in Norfolk cancelled their version in 2009). Poquoson occasionally goes to NAC, and there appears to be some AUK competitions in Portsmouth (though these may cater to middle schools, but are on AUK's website anyway).

There is a lot of great potential in Hampton Roads, but it hasn't been fulfilled at all. I am not sure if those local district-imposed restrictions still exist (or their reason for existing), but am willing to research the area more.
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Re: The State of Good Quizbowl, State-by-State

Postby robmms » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:50 pm

Arkansas, aka "Quizbowl Iran": F
The mullahs of the Arkansas Governor's Quiz Bowl Association are determined to force Arkansas teams to remain in the quizbowl stone age, enforcing a regime of bad quizbowl questions and bizarre rules like forcing teams to lug around reference books to protest the terrible questions they seem to get from Questions Unlimited. Attempts to run good quizbowl tournaments at Harding University and Parkview High in the past seem to have petered out. A couple of schools, notably Benton, seem to prefer good quizbowl and make occasional good quizbowl nationals appearances. What's most heartbreaking is how much potential Arkansas has--AETN, the state PBS affiliate, broadcasts the state finals live and there's a huge amount of participation at all levels across the state. Hoping for AGQBA to reform and bring Arkansas Quizbowl into the 21st century with good questions and practices has about as much chance of succeeding as the same thing in Iran, unfortunately.


I am a member (and I guess captain) of my high school's quiz bowl in Arkansas. I am new to this website, and searching information of quiz bowl on anything but the state level(except for trying to find questions and study materials, because they're pretty much non-existent since AR quiz bowl is so different.) I've learned how seemingly far behind the system and rules AGQBA uses as opposed to a lot of different states. What can I do, if anything, to try and rectify this apparent mess? I really want to be able to see how me and my teammates could do at playing good quizbowl. I have a lot of other plights about my team and school in particular, but I think a different post would be better to address that mess, if anybody would be able to help.

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Re: The State of Good Quizbowl, State-by-State

Postby A Very Long Math Tossup » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:19 pm

robmms wrote:
Arkansas, aka "Quizbowl Iran": F
The mullahs of the Arkansas Governor's Quiz Bowl Association are determined to force Arkansas teams to remain in the quizbowl stone age, enforcing a regime of bad quizbowl questions and bizarre rules like forcing teams to lug around reference books to protest the terrible questions they seem to get from Questions Unlimited. Attempts to run good quizbowl tournaments at Harding University and Parkview High in the past seem to have petered out. A couple of schools, notably Benton, seem to prefer good quizbowl and make occasional good quizbowl nationals appearances. What's most heartbreaking is how much potential Arkansas has--AETN, the state PBS affiliate, broadcasts the state finals live and there's a huge amount of participation at all levels across the state. Hoping for AGQBA to reform and bring Arkansas Quizbowl into the 21st century with good questions and practices has about as much chance of succeeding as the same thing in Iran, unfortunately.


I am a member (and I guess captain) of my high school's quiz bowl in Arkansas. I am new to this website, and searching information of quiz bowl on anything but the state level(except for trying to find questions and study materials, because they're pretty much non-existent since AR quiz bowl is so different.) I've learned how seemingly far behind the system and rules AGQBA uses as opposed to a lot of different states. What can I do, if anything, to try and rectify this apparent mess? I really want to be able to see how me and my teammates could do at playing good quizbowl. I have a lot of other plights about my team and school in particular, but I think a different post would be better to address that mess, if anybody would be able to help.


Hello, and welcome to the boards! It's great to see someone from Arkansas has discovered this place, and as someone trying to modernize the circuit in another state, you have exactly the right attitude.

One thing that you should be careful about the "good quizbowl"/"bad quizbowl" dichotomy that's so common on these boards. Yes, pyramidal quizbowl is the best format, but many people will be put off of it if you tell them they're doing it wrong. Even as a pretty ardent quizbowl purist, I only use these terms within the community, and only because it's shorter than typing "nonpyramidal." Make sure you explain what pyramidality is and why it's good, but you should leave the "Arkansas 'quizbowl' is bad" conclusion as an exercise for the reader.

First, you should try to get your team on board, if possible. Try to start integrating pyramidal questions into your practices, and if you're near the border, maybe play some tournaments in other states. Your coach and teammates may not be receptive at first, so you should frame it as something that will help your team in the established Arkansas competition (and as someone who played Science Bowl in high school, practicing on and studying for pyramidal quizbowl definitely helps in bad formats).

Once they're at least open to pyramidal stuff, you should consider hosting a pyramidal tournament, probably on an NAQT A set. Again, bill it as a separate competition that people who play AGQBA might enjoy. Most students tend to prefer pyramidal questions once they've tried them (assuming the tournament is well-run), so the hardest part is getting teams to come in the first place. Try to leverage your coach's contacts in the existing Arkansas QB infrastructure. I'm still figuring out tournament promotion, so someone with more experience should probably chime in here.

There's a chance you may run into some bureaucratic hurdles, since your school administration might not allow you to play or host things outside the established format. There are workarounds, like playing under pseudonyms or hosting at an off-campus venue, but this could be a severe roadblock. This isn't exactly my area of expertise, as we've been fortunate enough not to run into any de jure restrictions on pyramidal quizbowl in Colorado, but other members of this board can probably fill you in on what to expect.

If you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to ask. Hopefully, we'll see some improvements to the Arkansas circuit in the next few years.

Best of luck in your efforts!
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Re: The State of Good Quizbowl, State-by-State

Postby Deviant Insider » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:26 pm

There are two people in Arkansas that I recommend reaching out to: Jason Loy and Rick Clow. You can get Rick's email address from here. Introduce yourself and see if they are willing to help out.
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Re: The State of Good Quizbowl, State-by-State

Postby alexdz » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:29 am

Jason Loy has been in Missouri for a quite some time now, but I'm sure he'd still be willing to speak to you about his experiences in Arkansas.

Speaking of Missouri, I'm familiar enough with my Arkansas geography to know that you're reasonably close to the southwest portion of my fine home state. If your school and coach are up for it, I'm sure any tournaments in SWMO would love to have you come up and compete. My compatriots in the MOQBA are hoping to get some more things happening in that part of the state, so some enthusiasm from south of the border couldn't hurt. Reach out to them and see what cross-state collaboration may be possible!
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Re: The State of Good Quizbowl, State-by-State

Postby Borrowing 100,000 Arrows » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:53 am

robmms wrote:
Arkansas, aka "Quizbowl Iran": F
The mullahs of the Arkansas Governor's Quiz Bowl Association are determined to force Arkansas teams to remain in the quizbowl stone age, enforcing a regime of bad quizbowl questions and bizarre rules like forcing teams to lug around reference books to protest the terrible questions they seem to get from Questions Unlimited. Attempts to run good quizbowl tournaments at Harding University and Parkview High in the past seem to have petered out. A couple of schools, notably Benton, seem to prefer good quizbowl and make occasional good quizbowl nationals appearances. What's most heartbreaking is how much potential Arkansas has--AETN, the state PBS affiliate, broadcasts the state finals live and there's a huge amount of participation at all levels across the state. Hoping for AGQBA to reform and bring Arkansas Quizbowl into the 21st century with good questions and practices has about as much chance of succeeding as the same thing in Iran, unfortunately.


I am a member (and I guess captain) of my high school's quiz bowl in Arkansas. I am new to this website, and searching information of quiz bowl on anything but the state level(except for trying to find questions and study materials, because they're pretty much non-existent since AR quiz bowl is so different.) I've learned how seemingly far behind the system and rules AGQBA uses as opposed to a lot of different states. What can I do, if anything, to try and rectify this apparent mess? I really want to be able to see how me and my teammates could do at playing good quizbowl. I have a lot of other plights about my team and school in particular, but I think a different post would be better to address that mess, if anybody would be able to help.

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As someone who went to elementary school and middle school in Fort Smith, AR, I'd definitely like to see a thriving pyramidal circuit in Arkansas. In addition to Jason Loy, another valuable resource might be Chris Romero and the TQBA as well as the folks involved with Louisiana quizbowl. I know a few years ago a group of kids from my old middle school, Trinity Junior High, attended the TQBA Summer Camp.
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Re: The State of Good Quizbowl, State-by-State

Postby btressler » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:56 pm

robmms wrote:What can I do

I don't have an official PSACA title, but I am sure the Pennsylvania organization would be glad to help if your school or someone around you could hold a tournament on questions similar to this set.

I also recommend the SCOP set as an introduction to pyramidal quizbowl.
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