National Academic Competition Association

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National Academic Competition Association

Postby Great Bustard » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:04 am

This post announces my intent to establish a National Academic Competition Association as a national non-profit organization with the express purpose of promoting the growth and development of academic quiz teams across the United States. This is in the very early stages of development and will take a while to come to full fruition. That having been said, here's where I'm thinking of going with this:

1. Providing an Easy Way for Teams to Fundraise
It is obvious that one of the reasons either schools don't have a quiz bowl team, or that they don't have enough financial backing to compete in as many tournaments as they would like. Many teams also don't know how to begin fundraising systematically, or are daunted by the prospect of it. One way in which this can be made much easier would be for NACA to provide an online platform for people to process tax deductible contributions that can go to support teams. See www.donorschoose.org and imagine that your quiz bowl coach goes online and posts about your team's needs. Now parents, family members, and alumni (wait, you haven't set up an alumni association for your school's team yet and asked alumni for contributions?) local businesses (you can raise thousands this way), teachers, and random strangers can help your team get funds to go to nationals, get a new buzzer system, or just contribute to the team's general fund. And they get the all important tax break for it. I don't mean to get morbid, but this could even process estate donations.

2. Setting Up Free Tournaments For Schools Who Haven't Played
In addition to NACA processing donations for teams, people could donate to NACA itself. These contributions could go, for example, to set up free tournaments for schools that have never played any tournament before. They could be really small in scale; maybe just 3 schools with 2 teams each. But that could help hook them in. NACA might even be able to arrange some prize money that could go to the purchase of a buzzer system for the winning team.

3. Setting Up a Tournament or League in Disadvantaged Areas
At some point in the next ten years, I am planning on setting up a non-profit national competition with the purpose of bringing quiz bowl into disadvantaged schools around the USA as a way to help promote academic achievement. If anyone wants to help me with this eventually, let me know. In the meantime, NACA could help set up leagues or tournaments in urban areas, rural areas, and Indian Reservations.

4. Helping to Lobby Policy Makers
Quiz Bowl meets K Street - minus the venality! Seriously, though, I am in the process of setting up a non-profit New Mexico Senators' Quiz Bowl. Once this gets off the ground, I will look to approach other senators about the idea of doing similar leagues in other states. Moreover, though, having an official national organization can help with giving legitimacy to talking to politicians at all levels about support for quiz bowl.

5. Having a National Email Newsletter
I am interested in putting together a national newsletter and webcast about the state of quiz bowl. This can help keep everyone in touch about important developments, debates, etc., including people who don't as often peruse the forums.

6. Helping to Organize States That Aren't Organized Yet
I'm doing this for New Mexico, and will soon turn my attention to getting New Jersey organized - meaning setting up state organizations that hold tournaments, conventions, awards dinners, hold tryouts for NASAT, publish state newsletters, and especially reach out to new schools. Leaving aside NM and NJ, though, there are lots of other states where quiz bowl ranges from non-existent to alive and kicking, but not organized that could benefit from this. In certain places, it may make sense to organize on a regional level; that would be fine too.

7. Providing a Way to Help Formalize the National Academic Competition Awards
See my other post from this evening. The prize money would still be sponsored technically by NHBB, but NACA could be the organization that effectively oversees this.

What I DON'T want NACA to become is a closed club solely for schools that currently limit their participation to "good quizbowl" tournaments. Numerous conversations with people around the country have made it abundantly clear to me that many schools are really put off by the notion that if they don't do "good quizbowl" they are frauds/charlatans/corrupting the youth of America.
At the same time, I think that many, if not most, schools are certainly open to the principles that "good quizbowl" tournaments run under, even if they don't currently actively participate in such tournaments. If NACA limited itself to "good quizbowl" schools, it wouldn't have anywhere near the outreach potential that it could. Tournaments that NACA would help organize would certainly incorporate pyramidal writing, fair questions, etc. but I really would love to see NACA bridge the gap that separates the teams that actively seek out pyramidal tournaments from those that don't.
Please note that NACA is thus not some sort of Trojan horse for bad quizbowl practices. In fact, by being sensitive to matters of tone and that dreaded word "civility" it would ultimately bring in far more teams into the pyramidal style of play, and other sensible practices that have been developing over the last fifteen years and continue to do so. The bottom line is that while quizbowl continues to grow each year, the number of schools that compete in pyramidal tournaments on a regular basis is a very small fraction of all American high schools. Reaching out to new schools and being friendly and welcoming to schools that have some form of quiz bowl team but don't regularly do pyramidal events is a much better way to ultimately benefit everyone as opposed to disparaging such schools.

Here's the best part about NACA: After the time I was on Jeopardy I put aside a significant amount of my winnings into a charitable giving account at Fidelity. That meant that I got the initial tax write-off, but didn't immediately have to specify where the money was spent. I am not, however, ever able to withdraw that money for my own use - it must go to a 501c3. Providing that it does not conflict with any conflict-of-interest laws (and the person with whom I spoke at Fidelity indicated it wouldn't), I am willing to contribute $30,000 to funding NACA's start-up and logistical expenses. That would mean that any money donated to NACA would go 100% towards supporting quiz bowl, and not a dime to administrative costs. With some of the extra money (since it shouldn't cost $30,000 to fund NACA's start up and administrative expenses, at least not for some years) I would want it to go towards supporting the first NACA free tournaments for new schools or schools in disadvantaged areas. I would stipulate in any case that no money I would ever contribute to NACA could be used towards NHBB expenses or tournament fees. Moreover, if for whatever reason I cannot donate this money to NACA, I will donate it to whatever other quiz bowl 501c3s exist at a state level to support quiz bowl wherever possible, and would then hope that others can come through at least with the start up expenses.
Finally, in terms of getting this off the ground logistically speaking, I am working with a close friend of mine on this who is a corporate attorney for one of the top legal firms in New York and Washington. He has agreed to take on NACA as a pro bono case, and will help with all the legal filings. That said, there may still be fees involved before we are able to launch, and I can make no guarantees as to the timeline when NACA will be operational, other than that I hope it is before the end of this academic year. It takes a while to get IRS approval, though, as well as the approval to accept donations from each state.
Please post in this thread with your ideas about NACA - it's not like I don't have a million other irons in the fire, but an organization like this is sorely needed, and I am willing to do what it takes to get this off the ground. This is going to take a while to happen, but it will get done, and in the meantime, I'm eager to hear everyone's thoughts.
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Matt Weiner » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:13 am

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:Reaching out to new schools and being friendly and welcoming to schools that have some form of quiz bowl team but don't regularly do pyramidal events is a much better way to ultimately benefit everyone as opposed to disparaging such schools.


Of course, with the goal of using this friendly welcome as a rational means to accomplish the goal of getting these schools to play real tournaments, and then play exclusively real tournaments, right?
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby cchiego » Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:07 am

How exactly will the donations side of things work? This seems like the right way to go about soliciting donations and opening that whole process up to big-time corporate/philanthropy. If this works, this is a big-deal innovation that could put quizbowl on a higher plane. But can this national organization really work to redistribute the donations to individual teams/leagues/etc? It would be great if it worked that simply, but I suspect there are different rules/regulations within each state (or county/city?).

What's the institutional structure of this organization going to look like and how will it mesh with the existing national quizbowl organizations? Rather than simplify things, this may simply add more acronyms to the Alphabet Soup and/or create a number of overlapping duties. It seems like NAQT/PACE/HSAPQ/countless state/regional associations will all have major roles to play in this organization.

What I DON'T want NACA to become is a closed club solely for schools that currently limit their participation to "good quizbowl" tournaments. Numerous conversations with people around the country have made it abundantly clear to me that many schools are really put off by the notion that if they don't do "good quizbowl" they are frauds/charlatans/corrupting the youth of America.

I understand the desire to err on the side of accommodating as much academic competition, broadly defined, as possible. But the differences between, say, Chip and good quizbowl are stark. NACA would have to make some kind of judgment as to the relative merit of the tournaments claiming to be "national championships" and the various practices that Chip/some state formats use. If NACA doesn't explicitly come down on the side of good quizbowl, it'll be too pusillanimous to make much of a difference in effecting change and may turn off the more dedicated good quizbowl supporters. Better to start with a strong set of unified principles and pull people in than to dilute the mission/purpose of the organization at the outset.

That all said, this is an awesome idea and definitely needs to be discussed. Finances have always been tricky for quizbowl and this donation scheme might be the perfect way to pull in a much broader base of community (and alumni?) support.
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Great Bustard » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:29 pm

Two sets of points:
First, I talked at length with Fidelity, and apparently, I can donate the $30,000 to it, but that may need to be done over time, and not all at once. In any case, Fidelity said there's a limit on how much of an organization's total operating expenses can be supplied through a Charitable Gift Fund (so I can't fund it 100%). Likewise, I can't have direct control over the organization once it is officially incorporated (though I could have a voting share). I will also need five board members whose responsibilities would be very limited, and who wouldn't be liable if anything goes wrong, but it is necessary from a organizational perspective. If you are a coach or otherwise someone who shares my general vision for this, and would like to potentially be on the Board, let me know.
Secondly, as far as how NACA (the name can change, for now I'll use it as shorthand) would work, the idea behind NACA is not so much that NACA should actively do a lot of fundraising and then decide who gets money. That approach is bound to lead to infighting and ill-will. I want NACA to be a platform that teams can use to solicit donations for their own purposes. To that end, I am strongly opposed to limiting teams from using NACA and its donation website (once it gets approved and built) for any purposes that pertain to academic competition. First of all, this would still mean that any team who wants to use NACA to support participation in pyramidal quiz bowl could certainly do so. But quiz bowl is a continuum (and I don't want NACA to get involved in decisions like, well this idea is worth supporting and this one isn't) and is very geographically sensitive (the Auk tournament isn't exactly NSC - but for some isolated teams, it may be one of the few ways they get to compete at all). NACA is going to perpetuate the idea that the pyramidal quiz bowl community is elitist and a closed club that looks down its nose at the rest of the world if it does not go for an all-encompassing approach. It also would short-circuit the possibility of reaching out to all teams, everywhere, no matter what tournaments they attend/enjoy. As teams play more and improve, they are more likely to seek out pyramidal tournaments that subscribe to a now reasonably well-defined set of best practices. But just as NHBB reached out to anyone and everyone this past year (and will keep doing, of course), which resulted in many teams playing their first pyramidal tournament, so too must NACA be open to all comers, and recognize that the enemy isn't so much that 20% of American high schools play in non-pyramidal events, and that maybe 2% actively prefer non-pyramidal (the other 18% or so really don't care either way) it's that 50+% of American high schools don't play in ANY tournaments and that ALL schools will benefit by having an easy way to raise funds in their community which allows donors to get a tax break. I really do think the http://www.donorschoose.org model can be used almost perfectly for quiz bowl, and will keep everyone informed of how this progresses.
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Great Bustard » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:00 pm

Okay, so United States as a lead in sounds good. Would people then prefer:
1) United States Academic Quiz Association
2) United States Academic Competition Association

Or something else? We'll also use this as parallel structure for the official name of the awards too.
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Masked Canadian History Bandit » Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:26 am

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:Okay, so United States as a lead in sounds good. Would people then prefer:
1) United States Academic Quiz Association
2) United States Academic Competition Association

Or something else? We'll also use this as parallel structure for the official name of the awards too.


Just wait until a Canadian wins those awards, just wait...
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Tower Monarch » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:25 am

Monocle wrote:
nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:Okay, so United States as a lead in sounds good. Would people then prefer:
1) United States Academic Quiz Association
2) United States Academic Competition Association

Or something else? We'll also use this as parallel structure for the official name of the awards too.


Just wait until a Canadian wins those awards, just wait...

Someday there will have to be an award analogous to Best Foreign Film, then. Problem solved.
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:32 am

I agree with Patrick, I don't think it's smart to limit this to the United States. I can't say I have any good ideas for a name though.
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Sniper, No Sniping! » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:42 am

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I agree with Patrick, I don't think it's smart to limit this to the United States. I can't say I have any good ideas for a name though.

Continental Academic Competition Association?
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Down and out in Quintana Roo » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:56 am

Ulster Clay Pigeon Shooting Association wrote:
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I agree with Patrick, I don't think it's smart to limit this to the United States. I can't say I have any good ideas for a name though.

Continental Academic Competition Association?

Clearly you're not thinking big enough. I would settle for nothing less than a name with the word "intergalactic" in it.
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Mewto55555 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:02 am

Ulster Clay Pigeon Shooting Association wrote:
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I agree with Patrick, I don't think it's smart to limit this to the United States. I can't say I have any good ideas for a name though.

Continental Academic Competition Association?


Who wouldn't want to win the CACA award?
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:01 am

Mewto55555 wrote:
Ulster Clay Pigeon Shooting Association wrote:
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I agree with Patrick, I don't think it's smart to limit this to the United States. I can't say I have any good ideas for a name though.

Continental Academic Competition Association?


Who wouldn't want to win the CACA award?


http://www.google.com/imgres?q=Facepalm ... 40&bih=707
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Great Bustard » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:52 pm

Two things:
First, let's just go with international - that way when a high school team from Europe or Asia starts appearing at HSNCT or NHBB Nationals, we're not excluding them either. The organization could potentially designate country by country awards too - though I don't have the money to fund any more than the 14 I've said I would, at least for this year.
The second point, though, is that from a fundraising standpoint, using IACA or NACA or whatever as a platform for processing donations may need to be limited to American schools due to limits on how charities process donations. Obviously, I'm learning as I go here, but I will add that Skadden http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skadden is the firm that is handling this. They're about as legit as a corporate law firm gets, so this will be done by the letter of the law, even though it may take up to a year to get IRS approval for this and for it to be fully functional. I will ask them about the possibility of foreign schools using it, but that may be a little difficult, if not impossible.
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:09 pm

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:First of all, this would still mean that any team who wants to use NACA to support participation in pyramidal quiz bowl could certainly do so. But quiz bowl is a continuum (and I don't want NACA to get involved in decisions like, well this idea is worth supporting and this one isn't) and is very geographically sensitive (the Auk tournament isn't exactly NSC - but for some isolated teams, it may be one of the few ways they get to compete at all). NACA is going to perpetuate the idea that the pyramidal quiz bowl community is elitist and a closed club that looks down its nose at the rest of the world if it does not go for an all-encompassing approach. It also would short-circuit the possibility of reaching out to all teams, everywhere, no matter what tournaments they attend/enjoy. As teams play more and improve, they are more likely to seek out pyramidal tournaments that subscribe to a now reasonably well-defined set of best practices. But just as NHBB reached out to anyone and everyone this past year (and will keep doing, of course), which resulted in many teams playing their first pyramidal tournament, so too must NACA be open to all comers, and recognize that the enemy isn't so much that 20% of American high schools play in non-pyramidal events, and that maybe 2% actively prefer non-pyramidal (the other 18% or so really don't care either way) it's that 50+% of American high schools don't play in ANY tournaments and that ALL schools will benefit by having an easy way to raise funds in their community which allows donors to get a tax break. I really do think the http://www.donorschoose.org model can be used almost perfectly for quiz bowl, and will keep everyone informed of how this progresses.

So, would this organization fund teams' attendance at Questions Unlimited events, including the NAC? If so, how do you believe that would help grow pyramidal quiz bowl?
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Great Bustard » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:28 pm

Fred wrote:So, would this organization fund teams' attendance at Questions Unlimited events, including the NAC? If so, how do you believe that would help grow pyramidal quiz bowl?

Fred, here are the problems I see inherent in enacting any prohibitions of this sort.
1. Money is fungible, and any team using NACA to help with its fundraising could conceivably just say they needed money for their team's general fund, then use that money for QU/NAC. Now, we could say that teams would have to clearly state what the money would be used for, but I think teams would want the flexibility to just raise the funds first and then decide later where it should go. We may need to enact certain accounting procedures in order to make sure the money is not being pocketed by unscrupulous coaches, but all teams will have other sources of money, and thus they could use that money for QU events, while using NACA to help with fundraising. In most cases, the result is the same.
2. Teams will still have other ways to fundraise; NACA will just make it slightly easier for them to do so. I think the more likely result of any prohibition is to reinforce the perception that pyramidal quizbowl is a gated community and elitist. Btw, this is clearly NOT my own personal belief, but after numerous conversations with coaches who go to QU tournaments or other non-pyramidal events, I know for a fact this perception is widespread. I am firmly committed to breaking down this mental barrier at all levels, and it is not in the interest of quiz bowl teams anywhere for this perception to keep getting fostered.
3. By contrast, odd as it may sound, it's precisely been through QU-based leagues and NAC that many teams first found out about National History Bowl, which is certainly pyramidal, and these teams then get exposed to a different style of question and play that way. If I didn't have the backing of the QU-based leagues in Lancaster County and Westchester County, just to cite two examples, literally dozens of teams would not have played their first (or one of their first) pyramidal tournaments.
4. Furthermore, where to draw the line here? Just QU? What about other non-pyramidal events? What about the Auk tournament? The manifold state formats that aren't exactly high quality? I played at tournaments in NJ that aren't buzzer-based, what about them? What about a bad housewrite? A tournament that has had "issues" in the past - ethical or otherwise? I really don't want to get bogged down in debates of this sort, as I can see this degenerating into a mess that breeds resentment.
5. Perhaps some people won't want to believe this, but NAC isn't going away until Chip steps down, whenever that may be. It's also, believe it or not, becoming slowly more pyramidal in itself. Setting up NACA isn't exactly throwing :chip: a lifeline without which QU would disappear. NAC has been growing steadily for four years, and Chip has his believers. Odd as it may sound, some people will always just prefer shorter questions/QU format/ more time to sightsee/ a more informal atmosphere / 3 separate locations / whatever. My own belief is that with approximately 36,000 American high schools, maybe 10,000 of which have some semblance of a team, of which maybe 2,000 can be considered "active" of which maybe 360 (that's 1%) account for about 99% of the posts on these forums, quiz bowl has far, far more to gain by reaching out to new schools than sticking pins into voodoo dolls of Chip. NACA will help that other 99% get going, though it will primarily be the 1% that uses it anyway, at least at the start.
6. Ultimately, NACA will need to set its own policies. I will not (nor legally can I) be the one to decide on its long-term mission. But I think it would be a shame to have it be one more way in which pyramidal quiz bowl sets itself apart from the vast majority of American high schools not yet a part of it.
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:04 pm

Just going to make a response basically to a point in your last post, David, due to time constraints:

If I were to help create an organization with the announced purpose of "promoting the growth and development of" - picking something essentially at random here - "meteorological "teams" across the United States," then I think that part of the purpose of that organization would be to guide those groups towards the best ways to engage in such hypothetical activities. This would involve trying to make teams aware of as much unbiased information as there is about different "study this weather info and make the best possible projections" activities, and if there are documented issues with those contests and so forth.

That analogy sucked. Sorry.

I'm not accusing this yet-to-be-named organization* of anything. But I don't think it would be beneficial to make the declaration that this organization can't say all tournaments/question providers/buzzer manufacturers/anything else related to quiz bowl should be treated as if they are equally successful at accomplishing the goals of this organization. In my opinion, one needs to be completely honest and open with one's target audience for an organization like this; otherwise, the activity that the organization is trying to help will actually be hurt.

*Let me give a side piece of advice: don't go with a name based off of, like, three posts on here. In fact, don't do anything based off that small of a response. Feedback in this thread hasn't been ridiculous, but if you push for too much, you're likely to be told that coming up with a reverse acronym for TODDHOLLANDSWORTH is a great idea and a good way to connect with west coast teams.
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Great Bustard » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:44 pm

Fred wrote:Just going to make a response basically to a point in your last post, David, due to time constraints:

If I were to help create an organization with the announced purpose of "promoting the growth and development of" - picking something essentially at random here - "meteorological "teams" across the United States," then I think that part of the purpose of that organization would be to guide those groups towards the best ways to engage in such hypothetical activities. This would involve trying to make teams aware of as much unbiased information as there is about different "study this weather info and make the best possible projections" activities, and if there are documented issues with those contests and so forth.

That analogy sucked. Sorry.

I'm not accusing this yet-to-be-named organization* of anything. But I don't think it would be beneficial to make the declaration that this organization can't say all tournaments/question providers/buzzer manufacturers/anything else related to quiz bowl should be treated as if they are equally successful at accomplishing the goals of this organization. In my opinion, one needs to be completely honest and open with one's target audience for an organization like this; otherwise, the activity that the organization is trying to help will actually be hurt.

*Let me give a side piece of advice: don't go with a name based off of, like, three posts on here. In fact, don't do anything based off that small of a response. Feedback in this thread hasn't been ridiculous, but if you push for too much, you're likely to be told that coming up with a reverse acronym for TODDHOLLANDSWORTH is a great idea and a good way to connect with west coast teams.


The name, like everything else here, is still very much in the preliminary planning phase; this is going to take a while to really get off the ground. On the matter of promoting/not promoting various qb related products/tournaments/formats/etc., I'm all for sending out accurate and unbiased information, including criticism where appropriate. But much of said information is already available online; the issue here is more one of fundraising. Looking more at http://www.donorschoose.org, though it seems like we're going to need quite a bit of time to develop a site built on similar lines. It is far more important though that we do this the right way, and completely by the book than trying to rush into it.
David Madden
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Associate Quiz Bowl Coach, Ridgewood High School, Ridgewood, NJ; NY State Masterminds Reader; Lecturer in Geography and Ancient and European Military History, ACE Quiz Bowl Camps. Team USA coach & adviser for International Geography Olympiad
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Great Bustard » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:07 pm

Two things: first, I'm moving ahead with this - I've been in touch with some coaches, who might potentially be interested in serving as board members, though I won't give out any names until this all finalizes, which may still be awhile. In the meantime, though, for now I really want to limit the scope of the organization to the fundraising platform - the other stuff is certainly needed, and I may be able to help with that. But I think it's the fundraising platform that, given my connection to the DC lawyer whose firm is willing to do this pro bono, I should really focus on.
Meanwhile, at an organizing conference in Vegas this past week for some very inchoate organization called the National Association of Academic Organizations (what this organization would do - I don't know, and I spent four hours there...) I made a great contact - the director of the National Forensics League. He showed me that an online, non-profit fundraising site, where teams can raise money and their donors get tax deductions, is something that Speech and Debate teams can now avail themselves of.
For anyone who hasn't been paying much attention to this thread, maybe this will get some more attention: the site, in just its second year raised teams $250,000 last year - and that may double this year.
Quizbowl needs this, and I will do whatever I can to make this work out. For the speech and debate site, see http://giveyouthavoice.org/
Best part is that the Forensics guy was really cool, and offered to do whatever he could to help us set up just such a site for quizbowl. Debaters and Quizbowlers helping each other out... What's this world coming to?
David Madden
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Associate Quiz Bowl Coach, Ridgewood High School, Ridgewood, NJ; NY State Masterminds Reader; Lecturer in Geography and Ancient and European Military History, ACE Quiz Bowl Camps. Team USA coach & adviser for International Geography Olympiad
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby DumbJaques » Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:39 am

I do think that there are a ton of opportunities here to be explored, and David's work could really help quizbowl transform into the kind of activity I know we all hope it can one day be. I'd like to be the voice of caution here, however, and note that our beloved game has had some extraordinarily terrible experiences with efforts to hyper-formalize things, and I'd be quite disappointed if we lost the tremendous (and tremendously beneficial) autonomy we have as a community. We're pretty much entirely self-made and self-governing, and I think it's a huge part of why quizbowl is so great.

I'm not saying that we'll lose these things by moving in the kind of direction David has outlined, but I do think we need to watch out for it - I was struck the other day at practice by the fact that I'm the only one on my entire team who even remembers what CBI is (and even my experience was. . . atypical). For those of you who don't, you can't imagine, and it has little to do with the questions themselves. I don't even think I can really imagine, based on the stories I've heard of some of the shenanigans that went on at CBI Nationals back in the day. I think NAQT has already shown a willingness to overlook staffer conduct/quality issues with the ACUI folks that probably wouldn't have been tolerated normally, and that's a road I do not wish to proceed down any further.

Again, this is not a discouragement, and should such an opportunity present itself I will eagerly assist these efforts in any way I can. It's simply in the hope that we can continue to move forward without risking any of the things we all really like about quizbowl, like jewvenge or making fun of people who like anime.
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Re: National Academic Competition Association

Postby Great Bustard » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:04 am

Chris, rest assured - I think that autonomy and lack of orders from above is also what makes qb great. Anyway, the thing I really want to focus on is getting the donation site up by the end of this year; I, for one, will wait a bit for the rest. A friend of mine whose firm has frighteningly deep pockets (Skadden Arps for those who care) is doing this pro bono, and my friend is hacking away at the red tape of this on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, everybody, check out http://www.giveyouthavoice.org That's what speech and debate set up 2 years ago. In it's first year, teams raised $50k with it. In its second year, teams raised $250k. This is what quiz bowl needs and this is what quiz bowl is going to get. This will revolutionize fundraising and teams should really be able to take advantage of it, as long as they have 5 minutes to post, and 5 minutes to email blast their contact list. Which should include alumni networks. Seriously, how many qb alumni networks exist? Anywhere? Do you know how easy it is to hit up alumni for cash? I mean, we're talking like $50 bucks here that (once this site is up) can even get a tax write off. I'm rambling and need to sleep, but in between memorizing Finnish composers not named Sibelius and writing tossups on the minor works of Derrida, players and coaches should really give this a thought or two.
David Madden
Ridgewood (NJ) '99, Princeton '03
Founder and Director: International History Bee and Bowl, National History Bee and Bowl, International History Olympiad, United States Geography Olympiad, National Sports and Entertainment History Bee
Associate Quiz Bowl Coach, Ridgewood High School, Ridgewood, NJ; NY State Masterminds Reader; Lecturer in Geography and Ancient and European Military History, ACE Quiz Bowl Camps. Team USA coach & adviser for International Geography Olympiad
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