NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19 (update)

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NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19 (update)

Post by Important Bird Area » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:33 pm

For the 2018–2019 competition year, NAQT has made a number of relatively minor changes to its eligibility rules and rules governing qualification for some national championships.

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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by alexdz » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:09 pm

I have a question about this rule:
Individuals wishing to compete at high school tournaments must not turn 19 until after the current competition year—in other words, if they will still be 18 or younger as of next July 31.
At what point does this rule disqualify someone based on age? For example, if I know that I will turn 19 on June 15th after my senior year of high school, when must I stop competing in NAQT tournaments? Would I only be ineligible my senior year?
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by Kevin » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:26 pm

Individuals wishing to compete at high school tournaments must not turn 19 until after the current competition year—in other words, if they will still be 18 or younger as of next July 31.
This seems like a pretty big change, especially to be announced a month and a half into the school year. If someone turning 19 next July played in a tournament earlier this school year and his/her team qualified for nationals, would that invitation be rescinded?

It also seems like it has the potential to affect a number of students. I don't believe it's an issue for any of my current players, but I certainly know people who graduated (or who will graduate) at age 19. I can understand the need to have some upper age limit, but this policy seems quite strict, especially compared to analogous policies for high school athletics.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by Nathan Rock Bridge » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:19 pm

Kevin wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:26 pm
Individuals wishing to compete at high school tournaments must not turn 19 until after the current competition year—in other words, if they will still be 18 or younger as of next July 31.
This seems like a pretty big change, especially to be announced a month and a half into the school year. If someone turning 19 next July played in a tournament earlier this school year and his/her team qualified for nationals, would that invitation be rescinded?

It also seems like it has the potential to affect a number of students. I don't believe it's an issue for any of my current players, but I certainly know people who graduated (or who will graduate) at age 19. I can understand the need to have some upper age limit, but this policy seems quite strict, especially compared to analogous policies for high school athletics.
I don't post here often, but I just wanted to second this opinion. I personally graduated high school a couple months before turning 18, but I know a couple of the members of my high school quiz bowl team either turned 19 near the end of senior year or in the month of June following our graduation and I honestly think that this new policy is needlessly restrictive. It prevents anyone who was delayed a year for any reason (eg their parents decided to enter them in kindergarten a year late, they moved from a country with a different schooling system, etc) from competing in quiz bowl their senior year and I think that that policy is overly exclusive. I'm not so sure if high school quiz bowl really necessitates an age limit; I think graduation does a fine job at sorting that out and any limit will likely be needlessly restrictive or overly allowing to the point of defeating the purpose. I am interested in hearing the reasoning behind this change.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by A Very Long Math Tossup » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:36 pm

Nathan Rock Bridge wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:19 pm
Kevin wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:26 pm
Individuals wishing to compete at high school tournaments must not turn 19 until after the current competition year—in other words, if they will still be 18 or younger as of next July 31.
This seems like a pretty big change, especially to be announced a month and a half into the school year. If someone turning 19 next July played in a tournament earlier this school year and his/her team qualified for nationals, would that invitation be rescinded?

It also seems like it has the potential to affect a number of students. I don't believe it's an issue for any of my current players, but I certainly know people who graduated (or who will graduate) at age 19. I can understand the need to have some upper age limit, but this policy seems quite strict, especially compared to analogous policies for high school athletics.
I don't post here often, but I just wanted to second this opinion. I personally graduated high school a couple months before turning 18, but I know a couple of the members of my high school quiz bowl team either turned 19 near the end of senior year or in the month of June following our graduation and I honestly think that this new policy is needlessly restrictive. It prevents anyone who was delayed a year for any reason (eg their parents decided to enter them in kindergarten a year late, they moved from a country with a different schooling system, etc) from competing in quiz bowl their senior year and I think that that policy is overly exclusive. I'm not so sure if high school quiz bowl really necessitates an age limit; I think graduation does a fine job at sorting that out and any limit will likely be needlessly restrictive or overly allowing to the point of defeating the purpose. I am interested in hearing the reasoning behind this change.
I strongly agree with both of these posts. What problem does NAQT actually intend to solve with this?
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by Connie Prater » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:19 am

This particular rule change also has the potential to disproportionately impact students with especially challenging life circumstances who might have to take leaves of absence or repeat a grade for any number of reasons, including illness and mental health matters, parenthood, being required to work full time to support themselves/their families, during their high school years.

Also curious to hear the reasoning for this change; on its face, at least to me, it looks like a strange move for an organization that has been such an important force in improving the accessibility of quizbowl for a more diverse group of students. I encourage NAQT to consider students who cannot graduate in four years due to hardship in its policies.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:55 am

It strikes me as ridiculous and somewhat cruel that somebody who has to repeat the first grade (a fairly common circumstance for reasons ranging from delayed intellectual development to serious medical issues) will be punished for this 11 years later by not being eligible to play quizbowl during their senior year of high school. I don’t know how many people would be negatively impacted by this (perhaps it’s a small number) but it seems wrong in any case. NAQT seriously needs to rethink this rule change.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by Cassian » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:17 am

From the National Center for Education Statistics (nces.ed.gov) -

"The kindergarten class of 2010-11 was diverse with respect to characteristics of individual children and their families. Six percent of kindergartners started their first year of kindergarten before they turned 5 years old, while 42 percent started when they were between 5 and 5½ years old, 43 percent started when they were more than 5½ years old to 6 years old, and 9 percent started after they turned 6 years old."

This would mean, given this new rule, that roughly 10% of the high school seniors in the United States would be barred from playing HSNCT just a few years from now. That seems like a fairly big problem. I would also be curious to know why NAQT has decided to make this rule change and what specific issue it is intended to address.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by AGoodMan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:22 pm

This rule might also affect first-generation immigrant students. I moved to the States from South Korea in June of 2006. Even though I had attended about 3 months of 3rd grade in Korea (where school starts in March), I had to restart third grade in August of that year. Because of that, I was already 19 years old by the second semester of my senior year, which would have barred me from competing in HSNCT if the current rule was in place back then. That doesn't seem very fair.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by CPiGuy » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:16 pm

Yeah, this is ridiculous. Almost every state high school athletics association, to my knowledge, has "19 or younger" as their eligibility restriction. Seeing as athletics, unlike quizbowl, is an activity in which physical maturity is actually relevant, it seems exceptionally stupid to have the restrictions for quizbowl be stricter, and as many people have pointed out, will likely restrict the ability of a number of people to play quizbowl for no apparent reason.

It is possible to have separate restrictions for home-schooled and traditionally schooled students, because those situations are different. Please rectify this, NAQT.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:33 pm

It looks like community opinion on this change (which, in my opinion, is a bad idea for the reasons outlined above) is pretty much unanimously against it. I realize NAQT is very busy, but can we expect a response on that soon?
Last edited by An Economic Ignoramus on Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:04 pm

I’d also like to put my name down as thinking this rule change is unnecessary and harmful to the game.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by MahoningQuizBowler » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:45 am

Announcing a change such as this after the season has started should mean that such change would not be effective until the start of the following competition year.

It sounds like a solution to a problem no one has. I look forward to seeing more information on why this is deemed necessary as well as what specifically prompted the change.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by trbenedict » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:27 am

I concur with those above in thinking that this eligibility change seems unnecessary and also harmful to quizbowlers who, through no fault of their own, will be restricted to three years of NAQT nationals participation while their weeks-younger teammates can play four years. I wouldn't call this a "relatively minor change," and there are several examples above that show how this rule will hurt various types of students.

Full disclosure: My parents decided to have me repeat kindergarten, so I played the 2009 HSNCT as a 19-year-old (having had my birthday three weeks prior to the tournament). I don't think anyone who played against me at that tournament would say that I gained an advantage from my ancient status. However, playing that tournament is one of my favorite memories of my senior year of high school, and I felt really proud to go and play one last national with the teammates with whom I'd started my career as a freshman (when we couldn't qualify our way out of a paper bag).

I find the new age restriction damaging to the high school quizbowl community and patently against efforts to grow the game.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by Mike Bentley » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:09 pm

Out of curiosity are these types of policies in place for other high school competitions? I imagine most sports have something like this in place.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by A Very Long Math Tossup » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:25 pm

Mike Bentley wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:09 pm
Out of curiosity are these types of policies in place for other high school competitions? I imagine most sports have something like this in place.
Yes, and depending on the state, 19 year olds can play (see Conor's post above). I'll dig up some sources later, but I have to get to class.

Keep in mind that physical maturity actually does matter for athetics, but "time spent reading about quizbowl-relevant things" massively outweighs factors like age and years of education for determining quizbowl skill. In most cases, strong high school players will outscore novice grad students! As such, it makes sense that our age limits should be weaker than those for athletics.
Last edited by A Very Long Math Tossup on Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by A Very Long Math Tossup » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:59 pm

Connie Prater wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:19 am
This particular rule change also has the potential to disproportionately impact students with especially challenging life circumstances who might have to take leaves of absence or repeat a grade for any number of reasons, including illness and mental health matters, parenthood, being required to work full time to support themselves/their families, during their high school years.

Also curious to hear the reasoning for this change; on its face, at least to me, it looks like a strange move for an organization that has been such an important force in improving the accessibility of quizbowl for a more diverse group of students. I encourage NAQT to consider students who cannot graduate in four years due to hardship in its policies.
(emphasis mine)

So, I didn't see Connie's post the first time I read through this thread, but I'd really like to draw attention to her last point. Quizbowl is fairly unique in terms of competitive academic extracurrriculars, in that (a) it has an incredibly low financial barrier to entry, and (b) anyone can become a good player with just an internet connection and a library card. As such, I think we have a commitment to make the game more accessible to low-income and minority students, especially given how homogenous the game currently is. We need to spend more time reaching out to schools in low-income areas, be more flexible with tournament registration fees, and accomodate students with extenuating circumstances.

The lack of diversity in quizbowl is already bad enough, and I'm furious to see NAQT making policies that could exacerbate it.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:29 pm

Please count me among those who are confused as to the reason this change was needed. Is NAQT concerned that someone who is taking night school or GED classes, and is technically enrolled at a high school, would be able to play under existing rules? Is the theoretical number of people who might abuse this loophole larger than the number of people who will be potentially hurt by the change?
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:21 pm

Might as well join the chorus here--I have no idea what problem this is intended to solve and think it will do much more harm than good.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by Mike Bentley » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:06 pm

To play devil's advocate here, I can see how with increased attention on the HSNCT, NAQT wants to protect itself from people winning the tournament well out of the age democratic of the average high school student. If the tournament ever had prize money associated with it, I guess it could be in someone's interest who never finished high school but is still somehow very good at quizbowl to play in the tournament. I don't think it's outrageous to make this against the rules. But as many people have mentioned, the current rule is needlessly strict. I think that pushing it back by two years or so would largely resolve this controversy.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by mithokie » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:34 am

Here are Virginia's relevant eligibility rules (which apply to the state's Scholastic Bowl competition.)

From Virginia High School League Eligibility Rules
Found at: https://www.pwcs.edu/UserFiles/Servers/ ... 20Form.pdf



4. Age Rule: You must not have reached your 19th birthday on or before the first day of
August of the current school year.

6. Semester Rule: You may participate for no more than eight consecutive semesters
following your initial enrollment in the ninth grade, whether or not you have remained
continuously enrolled.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by Deviant Insider » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:40 am

From the IHSA:
If you attend school for ten (10) or more days during any one semester, it will count as one of the eight (8) semesters of high school attendance
during which you may possibly have eligibility.
You will become ineligible on the date you become twenty (20) years of age, unless your twentieth (20th) birthday occurs during a sport season. In that case, you will become ineligible in regard to age at the beginning of the sport season during which your twentieth (20th) birthday occurs.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by ScoBo » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:01 pm

MSHSAA:
MSHSAA By-Law 3.5.1 wrote:Age - Senior High: A student shall not have reached the age of 19 prior to July 1 preceding the opening of school. If a student reaches the age of 19 on or following July 1, the student may be considered eligible for the upcoming school year.
MSHSAA By-Law 2.4.1 wrote:Semesters - Grades 9-12: A student shall not participate in more than four seasons in grades 9-12 in any interscholastic activity. A student shall have only eight consecutive semesters (four consecutive years) of eligibility in high school, in which he/she may participate in one season per year in an activity, and these eight consecutive semesters shall begin on the twentieth (20th) day of the first semester a student enters the 9th grade or the first interscholastic contest in which the student participates, whichever occurs first.
Extreme case if I'm interpreting this correctly: a Missouri student who is a junior this season could have their 19th birthday on July 1, 2019 and still be eligible to compete in MSHSAA competition next season, but would not even be eligible to compete under NAQT's new rule this season.

KSHSAA:
KSHSAA Rule 17 wrote:Section 2: Senior High Regulations
Art. 1: Any student who reaches nineteen on or before August 1, shall be ineligible for interscholastic activities. Any student who reaches nineteen after August 1, shall be eligible for the remainder of that school year.
KSHSAA Rule 16 wrote:Art . 1: A student shall not have more than two semesters (the initial year of attendance) of possible eligibility in grade seven and two semesters in grade eight. Once the school determines that a student is promoted from eighth grade, high school eligibility begins immediately in the following semester. A student shall not have more than eight consecutive semesters of possible eligibility in grades nine through twelve, regardless of whether the ninth grade is included in junior high or in a senior high school.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by setht » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:34 am

We are discussing this policy, and I hope we will have an update ready sometime in the next week or so. (To be clear, I don't know if that update will be "we have changed this policy, here are the new details," or if it will be "we are retaining this policy, here are our reasons.")

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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by quizbowllee » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:48 pm

I will add my voice to the chorus against this rule. In my six years at West Point High, this rule would've affected two of my starting "A-team" players.

One player (class of 2013) was home-schooled until high school and turned 19 shortly before HSNCT, in which he played his senior year (my first year at WPHS).

More recently, I had a player who was a MAJOR contributor to my team who was 19 at SSNCT. His adoption as a child caused him to be late starting school. This was clearly no fault of his, and he excelled in all things academic.

I can't imagine having to tell either of these players that they were not allowed to play because of an arbitrary rule about age that they couldn't possibly have helped. In addition to preventing them from participating, losing either of these players would've crippled their respective teams.

I'm very eager to hear that NAQT has reconsidered this or - at the very least - has a very compelling reason for it.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by Important Bird Area » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:08 pm

We have revised the text of our eligibility rules as follows:
naqt.com wrote:
D.3. Individuals wishing to compete at high school tournaments must be enrolled in grade 12 or below during the school year corresponding to the competition year of the tournament.

4. Individuals wishing to compete at high school tournaments who are in homeschool programs, academic programs without grades, or academic programs that do not use standard American grades must not have turned 19 years old as of March 31 during the competition year—in other words, they must still be 18 or younger as of March 31.

5. Individuals enrolled in GED programs are not eligible.

6. Individuals with special circumstances of any kind may request an exception to these rules by e-mailing eligibility@naqt.com at least 14 days in advance of the first tournament for which they wish to be granted an exception.
Our thanks to all of the community members who provided feedback on the previous version of our text.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by vinteuil » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:19 pm

Important Bird Area wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:08 pm
naqt.com wrote:
4. Individuals wishing to compete at high school tournaments who are in homeschool programs, academic programs without grades, or academic programs that do not use standard American grades must not have turned 19 years old as of March 31 during the competition year—in other words, they must still be 18 or younger as of March 31.

6. Individuals with special circumstances of any kind may request an exception to these rules by e-mailing eligibility@naqt.com at least 14 days in advance of the first tournament for which they wish to be granted an exception.
What, in NAQT's view, would constitute an exception-worthy circumstance? (Could we have some examples?)

EDIT: Also, thanks to NAQT for clarifying and revising these rules in response to this thread!
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by Important Bird Area » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:08 am

vinteuil wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:19 pm
What, in NAQT's view, would constitute an exception-worthy circumstance? (Could we have some examples?)
We don't currently have particular cases in mind. But as with a number of other places in our eligibility rules, we want to allow the possibility that teams finding themselves in unusual or unexpected eligibility situations can write to us with details of scenarios that might not be completely addressed under the current text of our rules.
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Re: NAQT eligibility changes for 2018-19

Post by vinteuil » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:41 am

Important Bird Area wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:08 am
vinteuil wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:19 pm
What, in NAQT's view, would constitute an exception-worthy circumstance? (Could we have some examples?)
We don't currently have particular cases in mind. But as with a number of other places in our eligibility rules, we want to allow the possibility that teams finding themselves in unusual or unexpected eligibility situations can write to us with details of scenarios that might not be completely addressed under the current text of our rules.
OK, that's reasonable---thanks!
Jacob Reed
Yale '17, '19
East Chapel Hill '13
"...distant bayings from...the musicological mafia"―Denis Stevens

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