International Expansion of Quizbowl

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yc0402
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International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by yc0402 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:13 pm

Quizbowl is a very enjoyable activity and fosters deeper learning in many categories. One day, I would like to see quizbowl be a global activity so thus I have formulated ways of expansion in the countries of Canada, England, South Korea, Japan, Qatar, Bahrain, and the UAE.

Ideas for Canada:

Canada already has some quizbowl activity including a yearly HSNCT mirror. However, the circuit isn't as large or expansive as the US's.
I think it would be good to have regional tournaments for each province. In the case of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island it would make sense for a single regional tournament for all 3 provinces. To build knowledge and familiarity of quizbowl I propose 3 mid-year tournaments in each province. Qualification for a Canadian national tournament could follow similar rules to HSNCT qualification. This proposed national tournament could take place in the Hyatt Regency Toronto or other large hotels. The questions sets for the provincial tournaments could be IS with minor localization (e.g. replacing American pop culture with Canadian), and the national tournament could be an HSNCT mirror.

Note: The strategy for the next few countries will be mostly similar

England:

As far as I know, England has no quizbowl circuit (I might be wrong), so institution would be a bit harder. My idea is to contact as many high schools as possible in each of the 9 regions of England and hold regional tournaments similar to the ones I proposed for Canada with 3 mid-year tournaments for each region. This would all culminate into another national tournament. This tournament could take place at the JW Marriott hotel in London.

South Korea:

Same deal, with provincial tournaments culminating to a national one. However, there would be an interesting twist if [insert quizbowl agency here] allowed Hangwon or "cram schools" to compete, almost doubling the field.

Japan:

Same plan as South Korea.

Qatar, Bahrain, & UAE:

As all these countries are smaller in relation to the other countries on my list, instead of a national tournament for each, I propose a larger tournament encompassing all three countries with similar regional intermediary tournaments.

Language issues:
Japan, Korea, Qatar, Bahrain, and the UAE do not have English as their primary language so a decision would have to be made on whether to translate packets into each country's primary language or use English across all tournaments. This is a part where I do not know which one to choose.

Potential International Tournament:

If all the propositions I gave above came true then I would propose to hold an International Tournament. The qualification requirements for this tournament would potentially be being top 20 in your country's national tournament. With all the tournaments I proposed and HSNCT there would be a potential field of 100 teams who are the creme de la creme of their countries. The question set used at this tournament could be equivalent in difficulty to ICT D2 or D1.
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by vinteuil » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:52 pm

Hi Yash, who do you think should run these tournaments? And who should be doing the work of contacting all those high schools?
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by ansonberns » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:13 pm

Has there ever been a good quizbowl tournament run on non-English questions?
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by yc0402 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:28 pm

Jacob, I have no idea who should be doing the work of contacting all the high schools, but I do know that if this does get taken up by a QB organization that I would be glad to assist in every way I can. And for the question of who will run the tournaments, maybe fly out a few organized directors for the first few or so and hold events to teach those who want to be directors how to run tournaments so that responsibility can be carried over.
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by vinteuil » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:55 pm

yc0402 wrote:Jacob, I have no idea who should be doing the work of contacting all the high schools, but I do know that if this does get taken up by a QB organization that I would be glad to assist in every way I can. And for the question of who will run the tournaments, maybe fly out a few organized directors for the first few or so and hold events to teach those who want to be directors how to run tournaments so that responsibility can be carried over.
Who should fund this outreach effort? How will these tournaments be staffed? (If staffers need to be trained, who will pay for that?)
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:33 pm

Yash, the point Jacob is trying to make here is that this is a cool idea, but you should keep in mind that even expanding quiz bowl to a point where most schools get to play good questions in Illinois took 15 years. There's a lack of people on the ground that quizbowl has in most of the places you mentioned and a dearth of local contacts and knowledge that quizbowl has. This is completely virgin territory hundreds or thousands of miles from where any good QB organization currently operates. Expanding in those areas beyond International Schools that have no issue playing questions in English, traveling great distances, and paying the high entry fees that the distance from existing centers of quizbowl and from each other entails would not be a productive endeavor for any responsibly-run quizbowl org, especially when outreach in underserved areas of the US would likely have significantly greater returns. The simple fact is this project would take probably hundreds of dedicated people decades to achieve, and that achieving it would not be a productive use of anyone's time or money. Your interest in outreach, however, is definitely appreciated; I look forward to seeing what you end up doing in that field!
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:41 pm

ansonberns wrote:Has there ever been a good quizbowl tournament run on non-English questions?
To my knowledge, no one's figured out how to do pyramidality in other languages
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by Kouign Amann » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:15 pm

An Economic Ignoramus wrote:
ansonberns wrote:Has there ever been a good quizbowl tournament run on non-English questions?
To my knowledge, no one's figured out how to do pyramidality in other languages
I don't think it's so much that no one has figured out how to do it (for at least a few languages many quizbowlers are familiar with, there aren't really any theoretical obstacles to writing pyramidally) but rather that no one has ever presented a sufficiently motivating reason for why anyone should expend effort doing it. There's plenty to do in English already. Until such time as writing non-English quizbowl questions is for some reason incentivized, I don't think it makes much sense to expect this community to do so.
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by alexdz » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:52 am

In theory, I love the idea of seeing how pyramidality would work in other languages (especially ones with rigid gender!). But unless there is a viable competitive environment for such a packet, then its creation would simply be an intellectual exercise. One idea I have toyed with that might be more logistically feasible than trying to run an international event is to pursue some contacts at bilingual/"international" schools in the U.S. The International Prep Academy (English/Spanish) in Champaign, IL, or the French International School in the Philadelphia area are two I am familiar with. These schools may already be familiar with quizbowl-adjacent competitions in their areas (even if not totally pyramidal ones) and would be easier to access for potential TDs and staff. In a large enough city, there might even be several such schools in a small radius, making a small tournament viable.
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by matthewspatrick » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:04 am

Intriguing! Some notes:
yc0402 wrote:Qatar, Bahrain, & UAE:

As all these countries are smaller in relation to the other countries on my list, instead of a national tournament for each, I propose a larger tournament encompassing all three countries with similar regional intermediary tournaments.
In 2017 Bahrain and UAE abruptly cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar and since then have been participating in the Saudi-led economic boycott of Qatar. As long as that state of affairs continues the idea of putting those three countries into a joint tournament would be problematic to say the least.
yc0402 wrote:Potential International Tournament:

If all the propositions I gave above came true then I would propose to hold an International Tournament. The qualification requirements for this tournament would potentially be being top 20 in your country's national tournament. With all the tournaments I proposed and HSNCT there would be a potential field of 100 teams who are the creme de la creme of their countries. The question set used at this tournament could be equivalent in difficulty to ICT D2 or D1.
ICT D1 is difficult for college players (as it should be); the D2 set almost certainly makes more sense.

In any event, NAQT is already trying to build out a presence in Asia, led by Joyce Sun. In the past academic year, schools from Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore participated (my apologies if I'm leaving anyone out based on my quick review of the tournament stats). It might make more sense to try and expand from there so that the "Asian Championship" could include English-language participation from the Middle East, India, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and possibly other countries. Down the road, once there is critical mass, indigenous language events could start to make sense.

Let's not forget another large, English-speaking country which could be tapped: Australia.

<edited country list>
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:27 am

NHBB runs events in pretty much all of the places mentioned in this thread, don't they? Of course, NHBB has probably literally millions of times more money than any other organization promoting or organizing quizbowl-type activities.
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by papaechotango » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:08 pm

This is only tangentially related, but has there ever been talk about expanding QB into American schools situated on overseas military installations?

Having gone to high school in Belgium, I know that teachers and students alike are interested in QB-like competition. There used to be an annual non-pyramidal competition that would attract dozens of teams from similar schools in the Benelux, Germany, England, Italy, and even as far as Turkey and Bahrain. There are plenty of English speaking international schools across Western Europe unaffiliated with the DOD that I imagine would also be interested.

There are also a bunch of DOD sponsored high schools all over Korea, Japan, Okinawa, and Guam. I'm not sure if they have anything that resembles QB.
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by setht » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:15 am

papaechotango wrote:There used to be an annual non-pyramidal competition that would attract dozens of teams from similar schools in the Benelux, Germany, England, Italy, and even as far as Turkey and Bahrain.
What competition is (was) this?
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by papaechotango » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:33 pm

setht wrote:
papaechotango wrote:There used to be an annual non-pyramidal competition that would attract dozens of teams from similar schools in the Benelux, Germany, England, Italy, and even as far as Turkey and Bahrain.
What competition is (was) this?
The competition was called "Brain Bowl" and was held every year in Oberhambach, Germany. My personal involvement in the competition was brief, but it apparently had been a staple on the Dodds-Europe extracurricular calendar for something close to 20 years. It was discontinued in 2015-ish.

Here are some articles about it. From what I can tell, question sets used were from Academic Hallmarks.

https://www.stripes.com/news/wiesbaden- ... U.facebook
https://www.stripes.com/news/ramstein-w ... ar-1.31055

edit: accidentally posted the same link twice
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by caroline » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:07 pm

Quizbowler living in China here (although leaving for the USA very soon); I just wanted to drop by. I participated in the Asian championship tournament mentioned previously in this thread and it was pretty successful, although tournaments in Asia tend to be small, so my standards for what’s a big tournament may be different. Just wanted to note that the Asia circuit, while small, is definitely growing, but limited by the fact that we’re mostly international schools with English curriculums and have a lot of geographical distance between us, thus increasing travel expenses and decreasing tournament attendance.

My Chinese is quite poor, so I can’t say it with certainty, but quizbowl questions written in Chinese would probably create a lot of problems with pyramidality because of the different sentence structure and grammar. Regardless, it’s been pretty cool to see the Asia quizbowl circuit expand during my time playing in it and I’m excited to see whatever progress it makes in the future. I’m glad to see there are people who think international expansion is worth pushing for.
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by ganman0305 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:02 pm

A few months ago, I considered translating a few SCOP Novice packets into Spanish. To summarize the discussion over on the Missouri Quiz Bowl forum, there are two big differences that would need to be accounted for in order to transfer quizbowl to a non-American or non-English environment. One, is translating questions correctly with colloquial grammar, vocabulary, etc. To ensure the highest quality, questions would have to be written by either a native speaker or an experienced translator. If we spend hours editing questions in English, these same questions can't be just translated over without the same finesse. Second, is the distribution. For instance, for a tournament in Mexico, it would be expected that some of the history and perhaps some of literature, geography, and current events if not other categories would have a more Mexico-centered focus than the American quizbowl that I have played. I think its awesome to hear about the growth of quizbowl in China and in India, and the points I've mentioned above reflect packets in another language. So, in answer to the original question, to my knowledge, there hasn't been a tournament in a language other than English to match the likes of like a Prison Bowl or Harvard Fall, but with the recent growth of quiz bowl around the world combined with the transition into a better standardized question writing I'm sure that with the help of the community, we can help bring about new tournaments. :grin:
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by joshxu » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:58 pm

caroline wrote: My Chinese is quite poor, so I can’t say it with certainty, but quizbowl questions written in Chinese would probably create a lot of problems with pyramidality because of the different sentence structure and grammar.
As a fluent Chinese speaker, I can confirm that pyramidality in Chinese would be highly problematic or even outright impossible. Chinese does not have a strict system of sentence structure or verbs. For example, there is not always a clear distinction between past and present tense and some sentences can function without a verb. I'm sure that there are other problems with pyramidality in other languages, too.
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Re: International Expansion of Quizbowl

Post by Euouae » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:12 am

papaechotango wrote: There are also a bunch of DOD sponsored high schools all over Korea, Japan, Okinawa, and Guam. I'm not sure if they have anything that resembles QB.
I began my quizbowl career from a DOD middle school on Guam. The island has a surprisingly active "Academic Challenge Bowl" circuit at both the middle and high school levels. It has or currently does involve nearly all public, parochial, and DOD schools, and the number of tournaments has increased in recent years. However. I believe ACB still uses pseudo-pyramidal questions and a format that mixes tossups and lightning rounds. While I'm not entirely sure the questions are sourced from QU, I know at least two private schools from the island have attended NAC in the past five years.

Without an out-in-town circuit to piggyback off of, I don't think quizbowl really exists in DOD schools distinctly on foreign soil (ie Korea and Japan). However, DOD schools from Guam, Korea, Okinawa, and Japan meet annually for tournaments in certain major sports. If quizbowl were introduced to these schools, there is at least some precedent for international extracurricular travel that might make a hypothetical Pacific championsip more feasible.

History Bowl also has a scattered presence in the Far East. I believe it has reached a few DOD Pacific schools such as Kinnick HS in Yokosuka, as well as multiple non-military schools in Japan and Guam. A more accurate participation map is probably available on the NHBB website.
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