NAC 2011

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Re: NAC 2011

Postby cchiego » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:59 am

CavsFan2k10 wrote:Chip Beall runs a free enterprise.


This is a non-sequiter. The point of a free market is to allow for choice based on who offers a superior product; what's going on here is the opposite of choice, especially if it's true the consumers have been convinced that the HSNCT is a superior product.

idrayer wrote:By going to the administration with ethical issues, the group is more likely to be cut than to change its path.


Is it that hard to convince administrators that there's a bigger, better, cheaper national tournament that allows more games and doesn't have ethical issues? Unless Chip is offering some kind of bribe, I can't see how difficult it would be to change under these circumstances. I've dealt with many administrators and they're not entirely impervious to logic, especially if you make a fiscal case.

Again, I suspect many people (more likely coaches/administrators) would rather take a ride on the chippy blender of potential glory than be condemned to a one-and-done playoff run on good questions. Whether they want to say it openly or not is another matter.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Sniper, No Sniping! » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:08 am

cchiego wrote:
CavsFan2k10 wrote:Chip Beall runs a free enterprise.


This is a non-sequiter. The point of a free market is to allow for choice based on who offers a superior product; what's going on here is the opposite of choice, especially if it's true the consumers have been convinced that the HSNCT is a superior product.

idrayer wrote:By going to the administration with ethical issues, the group is more likely to be cut than to change its path.


Is it that hard to convince administrators that there's a bigger, better, cheaper national tournament


The HSNCT is not guaranteed to be cheaper than any other Nationals considering that airfare costs will vary. If the HSNCT was in Los Angeles and a team from New York qualified in March, it would definitely NOT be cheaper than Chip Nationals in D.C.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Horned Screamer » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:13 am

You noticed that the HSNCT has never been held in Los Angeles, right? I hope people stop engaging with your phenomenally dumb arguments sooner or later.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Sniper, No Sniping! » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:32 am

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:You noticed that the HSNCT has never been held in Los Angeles, right? I hope people stop engaging with your phenomenally dumb arguments sooner or later.

Your point? The HSNCT was once held in Norman, Oklahoma, and considering the fact L.A. had the 3rd highest % in the "high" interest of the 2011 Survey of potential hosting sites, it could be held anywhere. Right now if it was still held in Atlanta, it would still be farther away than D.C. You know as much as I do about where the HSNCT might be held next year, and which of my arguments are "phenomenally dumb"? I've addressed your points, and what you've replied with is ad hominem, nonconstructive criticism and sidetracking the discussion at hand with statements like "You noticed that the HSNCT has never been held in Los Angeles, right?". This discussion is going to get lame if all you do is deflect logical points with "you have no idea what your talking about" and no substance to your claim.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Horned Screamer » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:46 am

I hope Ryan from Ardsley is smart enough to wade through this morass and realize that my method is right. I cannot even begin to believe people seriously don't understand that extra-curricular activities are bound to school honor codes the exact same way that regular academic classes are, and that by presenting this in terms directly related to the school's mission, while also presenting the other mountain of evidence that is out there in favor of the HSNCT (Assuming NAQT plagiarizes because that's how Chip does it? Are you just trolling everybody? NAQT has NEVER been accused of anything, Chip is accused of something once a year at minimum, there's so much evidence of this) is probably the best way to convince your administration to stop supporting such an ethically flawed product. The free market shouldn't even compel this, honor codes should. If anybody seriously wants to come up with effective strategies to get your school to stop supporting Chip Beall, by all means I would like to discuss this with you, but if uninformed Chip-apologist freshmen who couldn't be more clueless are going to just junk up threads with worthless responses to people who know infinitely more about quizbowl than them, that's not worth anybody's time.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Sniper, No Sniping! » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:06 am

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:I hope Ryan from Ardsley is smart enough to wade through this morass and realize that my method is right. I cannot even begin to believe people seriously don't understand that extra-curricular activities are bound to school honor codes the exact same way that regular academic classes are, and that by presenting this in terms directly related to the school's mission, while also presenting the other mountain of evidence that is out there in favor of the HSNCT (Assuming NAQT plagiarizes because that's how Chip does it? Are you just trolling everybody? NAQT has NEVER been accused of anything, Chip is accused of something once a year at minimum, there's so much evidence of this) is probably the best way to convince your administration to stop supporting such an ethically flawed product. The free market shouldn't even compel this, honor codes should. If anybody seriously wants to come up with effective strategies to get your school to stop supporting Chip Beall, by all means I would like to discuss this with you, but if uninformed Chip-apologist freshmen who couldn't be more clueless are going to just junk up threads with worthless responses to people who know infinitely more about quizbowl than them, that's not worth anybody's time.

For the record, my school doesn't support Chip Beall at all, we don't host tournaments on his questions and I don't even think we've ever gone to the NAC before, we attended HSNCT and I thought it was a very positive experience. I am not at all a Chip-apologist, however I am viewing this objectively and my point is that going about "ethics" to try to allow different competition has several flaws. School administrators have bigger issues in to deal with than "Well what about the quiz bowl team", and the thought of potentially having to deal with internal issues surrounding the quiz bowl team's activities regarding ethics isn't going to work in favor of the quiz bowl team. Yes, extra-curricular activities are bounded by honor codes, again, schools aren't required to have quiz bowl teams so really if the administration views that there are too many ethics problems surrounding the club, they have every right to kill it. I never accused NAQT of plagiarizing, if you read what I wrote then you would have realized I was writing in the voice of a theoretical school administrator who doesn't know a thing about quiz bowl (most school administrators don't). Sadly, I think this would be a no-win situation for whoever is bounded by these chains of an administration that'll only let them do Chip Bowl or nothing at all.

Simply putting, I don't think selling the "ethics" hand will work for any school and at the most it'll do is stop sending the money and will disallow them from any competition whatsoever.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Matt Weiner » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:45 am

Fisher Catholic used to play NAC every year and you are far from the first person from your school to defend the indefensible. Take a break from posting if you're just going to combine incorrect assertions with bad reasoning and tone critiques.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:03 am

As much as he's going the wrong way in saying it, Tom has some good points. The school wouldn't cut the team (shiny trophies do provide some measure of protection), but the "Chip plagiarizes" argument is likely to be somewhat ineffective. First, there's no up-to-date resource with examples of plagiarism. I've shown team members the QBWiki article on Criticisms of the NAC, and they've pointed out that all but one of the examples are at least five years old, and none are since Chip was replaced as head editor. Secondly, Chip doesn't write the questions. The plagiarism problem is easily attributable (in the minds of teammates/administrators) to one or two rogue writers who have since been found out and presumably fired.

Travel costs are also a huge deal. We save a ton of money by having parents the team drive down to DC. Comparably, having to fly to Atlanta or Chicago or Norman, Oklahoma would place a much greater financial stress on the team. Unless HSNCT were held in the Northeast Corridor (to any NAQT people reading this, do it), it would be hard to justify to others the cost of schlepping out to wherever for another tournament.

It's not that Ardsley loves Chip above all else and despises pyramidal quizbowl. It's just that NAC is (right now) cheaper, easier, and more accessible. I think that if we were able to attend both, people would find HSNCT more enjoyable, but that's just not a viable option for us right now. We're going to more MAQT events this year, hopefully hosting one as well, and so maybe things will change. If HSNCT were held in NYC/Philly/Boston/Baltimore/DC, we might even be in attendance. But it's not as simple as simply going to the administrators, pointing out one case of plagiarism from 10 years ago, and then suddenly getting full funding to go to HSNCT and NSC.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Auroni » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:36 am

If your school honestly doesn't care that Chip has plagiarized from several sources a bunch of times, then maybe you could get them to understand that HSNCT gives a million times more for the buck than NAC ever did.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Khanate » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:37 am

CavsFan2k10 wrote:School administrators have bigger issues in to deal with than "Well what about the quiz bowl team", and the thought of potentially having to deal with internal issues surrounding the quiz bowl team's activities regarding ethics isn't going to work in favor of the quiz bowl team.


This is a problem that I feel affects many schools. Even though admins don't think "Well what about the quiz bowl team", they surely think "Well what about the debate team" or "Well what about the soccer team". Administrators often don't look at quizbowl in the same sense as their sports teams and debate despite the fact that they are as, if not more legitimate.

ryanr345 wrote:Travel costs are also a huge deal. We save a ton of money by having parents the team drive down to DC. Comparably, having to fly to Atlanta or Chicago or Norman, Oklahoma would place a much greater financial stress on the team. Unless HSNCT were held in the Northeast Corridor (to any NAQT people reading this, do it), it would be hard to justify to others the cost of schlepping out to wherever for another tournament.

It's not that Ardsley loves Chip above all else and despises pyramidal quizbowl. It's just that NAC is (right now) cheaper, easier, and more accessible. I think that if we were able to attend both, people would find HSNCT more enjoyable, but that's just not a viable option for us right now. We're going to more MAQT events this year, hopefully hosting one as well, and so maybe things will change. If HSNCT were held in NYC/Philly/Boston/Baltimore/DC, we might even be in attendance. But it's not as simple as simply going to the administrators, pointing out one case of plagiarism from 10 years ago, and then suddenly getting full funding to go to HSNCT and NSC.


I'm not going to say that I whole-heartedly disagree with all your points, but NAC has proven itself to produce totally inaccurate results on poor questions with ethical problems(just to list a few problems). Even if HSNCT or NSC are held at a location that would be difficult to attend, NAC should NOT be a back up tournament because your placing at NAC means nothing, the questions don't really provide much enjoyment, and you don't really compete against the most competitive field. HSNCT and NSC should be the ONLY options for nationals that you consider, and if you cannot manage to attend them, then don't.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Strange Fascination » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:42 am

My question: why are you even bringing administration into this? In a usual year, the only times we ever talk to administration are a) the TV show and b) when we need to put hardware in the trophy case. We got money from them this year, but if you became financially independent as a club what can stop you from just circumventing administration?
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:20 pm

Wurzel-Flummery wrote:My question: why are you even bringing administration into this? In a usual year, the only times we ever talk to administration are a) the TV show and b) when we need to put hardware in the trophy case. We got money from them this year, but if you became financially independent as a club what can stop you from just circumventing administration?


That's a goal, of course, but we're not quite there yet. I totally get the appeal of being financially independent, but until we win The Challenge it's not going to happen. We already are independent as a club for any regular season events outside of those in Westchester, but it's hard to support going to one, let alone potentially two national tournaments, solely through the club.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Horned Screamer » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:32 pm

Can you not host a tournament? It seems like there are tons of teams in your circuit who would be able to fill out a large field for you, and if you held a 24 team tournament on, say, HSAPQ, you should be able to get well over double the cost of the HSNCT entry fee, probably enough to cover all your lodging and at least part of the travel. If you host 2 tournaments per year, then you would be more than completely set for the whole trip.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Fake 4-ball » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:48 pm

According to a schedule I found rummaging around online, there are seven tournaments held in Westchester every year. Six of those are held as two three-part series, one by Irvington and the other by White Plains. The last is also held by White Plains. I have my doubts that many other Westchester teams would attend a new tournament since they'd probably think it wouldn't be necessary. They could definitely attract some other Tri-State teams though, as HSAPQ sets aren't mirrored often in the area.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:25 pm

That actually currently is the plan. There's still a lot of logistics to work out, but we'll hopefully be hosting a tournament sometime in early 2012, aiming for around 24-30 teams from Westchester and the rest of the NYC area.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Charbroil » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:24 pm

I'm confused--why is your administration (presumably your principal, activities director, etc.) involved at all? Aren't the details of which tournaments to attend up to your coach, with your administration only contributing a budget? I'm surprised that your administration is involved in the details of how student groups are run and what they do year to year.

Also, your Adidas v. Nike example is totally wrong--people boycott companies based on their ethical practices all of the time.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Strange Fascination » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:12 pm

Another question: Do you personally actually enjoy NAC more than you would HSNCT and/or NSC and if so, why?
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby List of Fighting Spirit characters » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:15 pm

ryanr345 wrote:As much as he's going the wrong way in saying it, Tom has some good points. The school wouldn't cut the team (shiny trophies do provide some measure of protection), but the "Chip plagiarizes" argument is likely to be somewhat ineffective. First, there's no up-to-date resource with examples of plagiarism. I've shown team members the QBWiki article on Criticisms of the NAC, and they've pointed out that all but one of the examples are at least five years old, and none are since Chip was replaced as head editor. Secondly, Chip doesn't write the questions. The plagiarism problem is easily attributable (in the minds of teammates/administrators) to one or two rogue writers who have since been found out and presumably fired.


That still doesn't change the fact that the questions are poor and do not help determine an actual national champion. Do your teammates like having no idea what to study or being hosed?
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:10 pm

There are several reasons why teams play :chip: instead of NAQT, HSAPQ, NSC, or other options. This conversation seems focused on the scenario where the team plays :chip: because the school administration, for reasons that have nothing to do with money, prefers it that way even after being told that the team wants other options. That seems like the least likely reason why a team would pick certain tournaments.

If you want to change which tournaments your team plays in, start by talking to your teammates and your coach. Since you know them and their motivations better than we do, pick a reason you think will work on them. If they know you are serious about Quizbowl, "because I/we want to" might be a very good reason. If you are unable to persuade your coach or any of your teammates, then you probably have to decide between playing tournaments you don't like, quitting Quizbowl, or playing hobo style. If you have some teammates on your side but not your coach, and you have made a serious effort with your coach, then you probably should find some teachers you get along with and talk to them about the situation and how to move forward from where you're at. The same is true if you have a coach who is willing to enter the right tournaments but doesn't want to enter more than one or two.

If you haven't talked to your teammates and/or coach about this yet, either because you like the tournaments you are attending or because your opinions are newly formed and thus haven't been acted upon yet, then just say that and we can stop giving you advice on how to deal with an administrator who doesn't exist.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Fake 4-ball » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:12 pm

Actually, it sounds to me like he has tried constantly to get the team more involved in good quiz bowl this year, but his team didn't get why the tournaments they were already playing were bad- see one of his earlier posts where he mentions that his teammates don't get how plagiarism from 5 years ago affects the legitimacy of the NAC now. He got Ardsley to its first NAQT tournament ever (the one in Chatham) and even attempted to go to Prison Bowl. So he's off to a good start.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:40 pm

Wurzel-Flummery wrote:Another question: Do you personally actually enjoy NAC more than you would HSNCT and/or NSC and if so, why?


I don't know, not having attended either of those tournaments, but I assume I'd enjoy them more because of the increased games and better questions. However, NAC this year was a fairly enjoyable experience. The questions were much better than they have been in years past (see my first post in this thread), and the tournament was well-run.

drno wrote:That still doesn't change the fact that the questions are poor and do not help determine an actual national champion. Do your teammates like having no idea what to study or being hosed?


The second part of this is just not true any more. While I'll concede that the question are far too short and too easy to determine a true national champion (think A-set length, IS set difficulty in the fourth quarter), the overall quality of the questions is much improved from, say, five years ago. I counted one, maybe two hoses the whole tournament, and I'd say the main reason we did as well as we did was that I actually started getting serious about studying. The studying I did (on quizbowlpackets.com, on the IRC channel, on the Torrey Pines database) gave me a large portion of the answers I got. After the tournament was done, I had a number of teammates come up to me and ask what they could do to get better, and I referred them to the same resources I used. It's not just tossups on blenders and the Statler brothers anymore.

Westwon wrote:There are several reasons why teams play :chip: instead of NAQT, HSAPQ, NSC, or other options. This conversation seems focused on the scenario where the team plays :chip: because the school administration, for reasons that have nothing to do with money, prefers it that way even after being told that the team wants other options. That seems like the least likely reason why a team would pick certain tournaments.

If you want to change which tournaments your team plays in, start by talking to your teammates and your coach. Since you know them and their motivations better than we do, pick a reason you think will work on them. If they know you are serious about Quizbowl, "because I/we want to" might be a very good reason. If you are unable to persuade your coach or any of your teammates, then you probably have to decide between playing tournaments you don't like, quitting Quizbowl, or playing hobo style. If you have some teammates on your side but not your coach, and you have made a serious effort with your coach, then you probably should find some teachers you get along with and talk to them about the situation and how to move forward from where you're at. The same is true if you have a coach who is willing to enter the right tournaments but doesn't want to enter more than one or two.

If you haven't talked to your teammates and/or coach about this yet, either because you like the tournaments you are attending or because your opinions are newly formed and thus haven't been acted upon yet, then just say that and we can stop giving you advice on how to deal with an administrator who doesn't exist.


Thank you for this, it's a great guide even outside of the context of this scenario. The money thing only comes into play with national tournaments, as that becomes a much greater undertaking than getting four kids into a car on a Saturday. That's really where we have to involve the administration for financial support. Regular season tournaments, however, I think we're in a good place with. We made it to Chatham last year, enjoyed it, and are looking forward to attending more pyramidal events this year. Regular season tournaments are independent of the administration for the most part--Chatham was not school-affiliated, and our coach only found out we had gone the Tuesday after. There seems to be a core of people for next year who are willing to play pyramidal quizbowl, and there's not much to stop us from doing so in the regular season.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby jonpin » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:49 pm

ryanr345 wrote:
drno wrote:That still doesn't change the fact that the questions are poor and do not help determine an actual national champion. Do your teammates like having no idea what to study or being hosed?


The second part of this is just not true any more. While I'll concede that the question are far too short and too easy to determine a true national champion (think A-set length, IS set difficulty in the fourth quarter), the overall quality of the questions is much improved from, say, five years ago. I counted one, maybe two hoses the whole tournament, and I'd say the main reason we did as well as we did was that I actually started getting serious about studying. The studying I did (on quizbowlpackets.com, on the IRC channel, on the Torrey Pines database) gave me a large portion of the answers I got. After the tournament was done, I had a number of teammates come up to me and ask what they could do to get better, and I referred them to the same resources I used. It's not just tossups on blenders and the Statler brothers anymore.


Yes, it's now questions like these which literally decided the National Chipionship:

Lincoln Steffens wrote a series of articles for McClure’s magazine about the corruption of machine politics in this muckraking classic. He could have called it The Disgrace of the Large Metropolitan Areas, but what title did he give it instead?
Following the drafting of the Constitution in 1789, a Mrs. Powel asked Benjamin Franklin: “ . . . what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” What was his seven-word reply?
MUSIC … Charles Darwin was the great-uncle of which composer? Listen.


While we're not personally blaming you for attending NAC, a choice that was not yours to make, you should know that even if the quality of NAC questions has increased in recent years, it has at best caught up to where NAQT questions were five years ago, which is a huge step below where they are now. As such, most of the board is not going to buy NAC as a legitimate national championship.
Best of luck in pyramidilizing your squad; I'll be sure to send you an email in advance of Bergen's tournaments this coming year.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Cheynem » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:02 am

Some ways I have been kicking around to help schools break away form Chip:

1. Having another, more recent report similar to Tom Egan's report on the 2005 NAC. In my opinion, the report was a very effective, objective yet devastating critique of the NAC, especially noting the aspects of unprofessional behavior that would (hopefully) turn off administrators/coaches. I could see why some might brush it off as too out of date, so a more recent report written in the same way (i.e., more organized than just sort of quick forum comments) would be a good idea.

2. Soliciting a series of testimonials from people not affiliated with NAQT or PACE. I think it may be easy (although inaccurate) to dismiss some people's criticisms because they are said to have a particular connection to one of the other national championships (either staffing, directing, writing, etc.). Getting testimonials from coaches, especially coaches whose teams were once Chip-affiliated, or even administrators, would be very cool and would eliminate any "bias" accusations.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Down and out in Quintana Roo » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:32 am

You're freaking kidding me:
She ran a Paris hat shop to earn money for the family. Her name was Amelie, and she posed for this portrait, "Woman with the Hat." Name her husband and you’ve named the artist. (Ans. Henri Matisse)


If you go to this tournament and continue to defend it, your team is a joke, your coach is ignorant, your administration is oblivious, and there is probably no saving you. This comes from a coach who used to be on a team that went to these when i was in high school.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby the return of AHAN » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:48 am

ryanr345 wrote: I counted one, maybe two hoses the whole tournament,

And that's ONE OR TWO too many! MSNCT, NAQT'S first effort at a middle school national championship tournament, had zero hoses.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:56 am

jonpin wrote:
ryanr345 wrote:
drno wrote:That still doesn't change the fact that the questions are poor and do not help determine an actual national champion. Do your teammates like having no idea what to study or being hosed?


The second part of this is just not true any more. While I'll concede that the question are far too short and too easy to determine a true national champion (think A-set length, IS set difficulty in the fourth quarter), the overall quality of the questions is much improved from, say, five years ago. I counted one, maybe two hoses the whole tournament, and I'd say the main reason we did as well as we did was that I actually started getting serious about studying. The studying I did (on quizbowlpackets.com, on the IRC channel, on the Torrey Pines database) gave me a large portion of the answers I got. After the tournament was done, I had a number of teammates come up to me and ask what they could do to get better, and I referred them to the same resources I used. It's not just tossups on blenders and the Statler brothers anymore.


Yes, it's now questions like these which literally decided the National Chipionship:

Lincoln Steffens wrote a series of articles for McClure’s magazine about the corruption of machine politics in this muckraking classic. He could have called it The Disgrace of the Large Metropolitan Areas, but what title did he give it instead?
Following the drafting of the Constitution in 1789, a Mrs. Powel asked Benjamin Franklin: “ . . . what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” What was his seven-word reply?
MUSIC … Charles Darwin was the great-uncle of which composer? Listen.


While we're not personally blaming you for attending NAC, a choice that was not yours to make, you should know that even if the quality of NAC questions has increased in recent years, it has at best caught up to where NAQT questions were five years ago, which is a huge step below where they are now. As such, most of the board is not going to buy NAC as a legitimate national championship.
Best of luck in pyramidilizing your squad; I'll be sure to send you an email in advance of Bergen's tournaments this coming year.


My god, those finals questions were awful, easily the worst packet we played all tournament. Even with the selection bias of Chip picking which questions go on the site, the rest of them weren't much better. In retrospect, it was the most disappointing thing about the tournament: that the championship was decided on questions that were so much worse compared to the preliminary rounds. I'm not saying the NAC should be counted as a legitimate national championship--Harrison and us are by no means the top two teams in the nation. Maybe a better analog would be the NIT in college basketball. Lower quality of teams, lower quality of play, but there's still use to it. At least that's in an ideal world.

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:You're freaking kidding me:
She ran a Paris hat shop to earn money for the family. Her name was Amelie, and she posed for this portrait, "Woman with the Hat." Name her husband and you’ve named the artist. (Ans. Henri Matisse)


If you go to this tournament and continue to defend it, your team is a joke, your coach is ignorant, your administration is oblivious, and there is probably no saving you. This comes from a coach who used to be on a team that went to these when i was in high school.


It gets worse. That question was accompanied by a projection of "Woman with the Hat". However, drawing conclusions about a whole tournament from one question, one packet even, is not a strong practice.

Cheynem wrote:Some ways I have been kicking around to help schools break away form Chip:

1. Having another, more recent report similar to Tom Egan's report on the 2005 NAC. In my opinion, the report was a very effective, objective yet devastating critique of the NAC, especially noting the aspects of unprofessional behavior that would (hopefully) turn off administrators/coaches. I could see why some might brush it off as too out of date, so a more recent report written in the same way (i.e., more organized than just sort of quick forum comments) would be a good idea.

2. Soliciting a series of testimonials from people not affiliated with NAQT or PACE. I think it may be easy (although inaccurate) to dismiss some people's criticisms because they are said to have a particular connection to one of the other national championships (either staffing, directing, writing, etc.). Getting testimonials from coaches, especially coaches whose teams were once Chip-affiliated, or even administrators, would be very cool and would eliminate any "bias" accusations.


I like these ideas, especially the first one. Testimonials are rather easy to dismiss, however misguidedly (what does this coach know about my situation, they probably receive free stuff from the company, etc.). A report on the NAC, though, maybe coupled with a similar report on HSNCT or NSC would be an excellent piece of evidence in favor of moving away from Chip.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Horned Screamer » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:19 am

However, drawing conclusions about a whole tournament from one question, one packet even, is not a strong practice.

Look, it's a tournament that bills itself as a national championship that is charging you $600. You absolutely should expect them to have every single question meet a minimum standard of decency that is WAY above any of the questions posted in this thread. And frankly, that question is so beyond the pale nuts that it's indeed appropriate to draw larger conclusions about the event from.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Horned Screamer » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:30 am

That's probably the worst thing about this "new and improved" Questions Unlimited. Objectively, the packets I have seen and heard about coming from there remain awful, but to the people with no real experience to judge, it feels much more legitimate because it cut out some of the hoses and worst ideas and tacked a few more (generally bad) clues to some tossups, making it a lot harder to argue to those teams that the event is still so thoroughly worthless as to be dismissed out of hand because it feels better to them. Ryan, I guarantee you the prelims were still a joke compared to any packet at the HSNCT or PACE. Also, that NIT idea will gain the least traction with Chip Beall, so as long as he's alive and running the event, expect him to insist his tournament is the only legitimate national championship.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Cheynem » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:45 am

The NIT example is a bad analogy.

The NIT and NCAA national championship (heck, even basketball CBI or whatever) all play the same game. The difference is the quality of the teams on hand.

If the NAC were a tournament that brought together teams that did not qualify for the HSNCT or NSC to play on similar packets, that would be the NIT. As of now, the NAC is like if the NIT brought together basketball teams to play like donkey wheelchair basketball.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby theMoMA » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:27 am

Perhaps, as a former NAC finalist, I should add a note to this year's iteration of this thread.

Primarily, Chip's tournament is a bad tournament. It's possible for good quizbowl teams to do well at it, so no one in this thread should take the constant derision of Chip's tournament as an indictment against their team's skill. Quite simply, Chip's tournament is a living fossil of an all-but-lost age when quizbowl's number one goal had little to do with rewarding the team with the most knowledge. Even without Chip's dubious ethical history, his tournament is a holdover (perhaps the most prolific one) of an attitude that modern quizbowl vehemently opposes: the idea that the game is about anything other than rewarding the knowledge of the players. The NAC is the exact opposite: a game show without cameras, put on for the amusement of the hosts and not the players. And the questions are farcically bad by any modern standard as a result.

Furthermore, Chip's tournament has a history of including plagiarized questions. There are stories of favoritism and other ethical lapses at the NAC as well (see http://www.qbwiki.com/wiki/Criticisms_of_the_NAC).

Finally, though many coaches who attend the NAC don't know better, many do. Teams that have no chance to win legitimate titles at HSNCT or NSC have been known to attend the NAC instead. Simply put, of the best fifty teams in the country, at most ten of them (and rarely any national contender) attend Chip's tournament. Valuing an NAC trophy when almost all of the top teams choose to avoid the tournament is a deeply flawed attitude.

Basically, it comes down to this: Chip's tournament is a bad tournament by any reasonable standard. Chip's ethics are seriously questionable (and that's the most charitable interpretation). And the best teams there are often looking to win trophies at any cost instead of seeing how they stack up against the best teams in the country. This is a bad tournament with bad ethical principles attended by teams with bad attitudes.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:50 am

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote: Also, that NIT idea will gain the least traction with Chip Beall, so as long as he's alive and running the event, expect him to insist his tournament is the only legitimate national championship.


Sadly, all too true.

theMoMA wrote:The NAC is the exact opposite: a game show without cameras, put on for the amusement of the hosts and not the players


It's hard to counter this because this is what the NAC has been in the past, and it's a large part of what it continues to be. All I can do is reiterate what I said earlier in the thread:
The new guard (Jason Russell, the younger moderators, whatever influence David Madden has) realizes the heyday of televised quiz bowl is over. Instead of playing to the--rapidly shrinking--audience, they're writing longer, more pyramidal questions, eliminating hoses and buzzer races, and moving QU closer (albeit slowly) to respectability.


And of course, this:
Chip is still the head of QU, and it's still his tournament. For all the progress that's been made, until Chip retires or realizes he can't favor his cronies over the players, the NAC will still be far inferior to the other national tournaments.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Fake 4-ball » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:32 pm

Plain and simple, there is no room for the NAC in the modern quiz bowl environment. Even if they just spontaneously used an HSAPQ set for their next NAC, it would still be scheduled to conflict with every legit general national tournament there already is, as it was this year.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby scquizbowl » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:58 pm

The quality of NAC is very poor. The questions are of poor quality, and the teams aren't the top teams in the country. Our coach forced us to play, even though we played pyramidal tournaments the entire rest of the year. We only had two tournaments all year that was even close to what NAC was like, both local tournaments.

Our county also gave the teams automatic bids to :chip:'s nationals (before I started, it was ASCN until the year that they just folded days before the tournament and didn't give anyone their money back). The one year that we did go to NAQT, we were in the top 25 with JV aged people, beating some good teams, but our coach wasn't impressed by it. Our coach wanted a trophy.

In '08 and '09 we qualified for NAQT by winning state, but our coach didn't let us go. I have lots of experience listening to NAC questions, since we literally went to two matches for every one we played. I could write a set of questions and be better every time.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby etchdulac » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:06 pm

scquizbowl wrote:Our coach forced us to play, even though we played pyramidal tournaments the entire rest of the year. ... Our coach wanted a trophy. ... In '08 and '09 we qualified for NAQT by winning state, but our coach didn't let us go.


This is still Dorothy Meek, right?

For somebody who was telling newspapers that NAC wasn't fair back in 1995 and 1996, Dorothy Meek is awfully loyal to :chip:. She's a great example of a coach who goes even though she knows the event is corrupt and substandard.

Edit: Can't type.
Last edited by etchdulac on Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Horned Screamer » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:17 pm

Yeah she sucks noodles.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby sir negsalot » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:57 pm

I attended in 2009 after for whatever reason, we accidentally enrolled. I read all the criticism on the forums but couldn't believe how bad it was supposed to be. It ended up exactly as described with 3 hours between games, and terrible questions. The only good things were the air hockey table, pool table, and free candy :grin:
:chip: was very annoying lol
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Horned Screamer » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:37 pm

sir negsalot wrote:3 hours between games

Were there half-packet tiebreakers?
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:00 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:
sir negsalot wrote:3 hours between games

Were there half-packet tiebreakers?


No, in fact I believe ties aren't broken in the prelims. With only 6 games guaranteed, teams have a lot of times in between games. Daniel I think I may have played you in 2009, I remember facing an RM team.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Horned Screamer » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:01 pm

is joke
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:05 pm

Wait, never mind my memory's going. Sudden death tiebreakers. Either way, the amount of time in between games is ridiculous.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby etchdulac » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:00 pm

ryanr345 wrote:With only 6 games guaranteed, teams have a lot of times in between games.

:chip: only gives teams six games these days because he wants to look less deficient when compared to legit quizbowl tournaments. It was four (across three days) when I was there as a competitor. If memory serves, it was three some years before that back at Rice University. At Rice, he ran just three rooms at a time. Dunno what he does now.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Strange Fascination » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:53 pm

sir negsalot wrote:I attended in 2009 after for whatever reason, we accidentally enrolled. I read all the criticism on the forums but couldn't believe how bad it was supposed to be. It ended up exactly as described with 3 hours between games, and terrible questions. The only good things were the air hockey table, pool table, and free candy :grin:
:chip: was very annoying lol


I was here too. It was an awful, gut-wrenching experience. Other highlights include wonderful hoses, the interrupt rule, and Chip being Chip. If you haven't been but only have been reading about this on the forums, it's worse than you imagine it.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Fake 4-ball » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:07 pm

etchdulac wrote:
ryanr345 wrote:With only 6 games guaranteed, teams have a lot of times in between games.

:chip: only gives teams six games these days because he wants to look less deficient when compared to legit quizbowl tournaments. It was four (across three days) when I was there as a competitor. If memory serves, it was three some years before that back at Rice University. At Rice, he ran just three rooms at a time. Dunno what he does now.

New Orleans and Chicago both had five rooms, while DC had six due to the larger field.
Also, the schedules look almost completely random. To compensate for teams who apparently could only show up on Sunday (Millburn in DC is a good example), some teams had five games on Saturday and only one on Sunday.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Strange Fascination » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:31 pm

rpond wrote:while DC had six due to the larger field.


There are three types of tournaments that can have six game rooms: Those with 11 teams, those with 12 teams, and those with 13 teams. DC NAC does not fit in one of these categories. Does :chip: just not have enough readers or does he not give a flying four-letter word about efficiency?
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Mike Bentley » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:12 pm

Wurzel-Flummery wrote:
rpond wrote:while DC had six due to the larger field.


There are three types of tournaments that can have six game rooms: Those with 11 teams, those with 12 teams, and those with 13 teams. DC NAC does not fit in one of these categories. Does :chip: just not have enough readers or does he not give a flying four-letter word about efficiency?


I think one of the reasons he does this is to allow teams time to see the city during downtime when they're not playing. I know that's what we personally did during the copious periods of not actually playing in the 2004 NAC.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Strange Fascination » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:06 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:
Wurzel-Flummery wrote:
rpond wrote:while DC had six due to the larger field.


There are three types of tournaments that can have six game rooms: Those with 11 teams, those with 12 teams, and those with 13 teams. DC NAC does not fit in one of these categories. Does :chip: just not have enough readers or does he not give a flying four-letter word about efficiency?


I think one of the reasons he does this is to allow teams time to see the city during downtime when they're not playing. I know that's what we personally did during the copious periods of not actually playing in the 2004 NAC.


I don't remember where they decided to hold it this year, but when I went it was at Marymount University, which on a weekend is a long-ish drive to get to anywhere noteworthy. The point being, it's stupid.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:16 pm

Wurzel-Flummery wrote:I don't remember where they decided to hold it this year, but when I went it was at Marymount University, which on a weekend is a long-ish drive to get to anywhere noteworthy. The point being, it's stupid.


They held it at the Sheraton National in Arlington, which had a shuttle to the Pentagon City mall and metro stop. Pretty easy to use for lunch or to go into DC.
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Public safety diving » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:23 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:
Wurzel-Flummery wrote:
rpond wrote:while DC had six due to the larger field.


There are three types of tournaments that can have six game rooms: Those with 11 teams, those with 12 teams, and those with 13 teams. DC NAC does not fit in one of these categories. Does :chip: just not have enough readers or does he not give a flying four-letter word about efficiency?


I think one of the reasons he does this is to allow teams time to see the city during downtime when they're not playing. I know that's what we personally did during the copious periods of not actually playing in the 2004 NAC.

Why not use the extra day and a half that would be saved by having all the rounds at once to explore the city?
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Unicolored Jay » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:49 pm

Maybe he can't get enough moderators/staff to support that. I dunno. :lol:
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Re: NAC 2011

Postby Fake 4-ball » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:27 pm

If he had to get, say, 30 moderators, there would be no way he could guarantee that all of them had distinct personality. Heck, he couldn't guarantee they'd all be human! And what's a game sh- I mean, quiz bowl moderator without personality? *mimes smoking a crack pipe*
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