From Chip to "good quizbowl"

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From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:11 pm

Hello,

In its simplest form, what I am asking for hear is advice at trying to move a team to good quizbowl which has been deeply rooted into Chip-written questions.

In Westchester, (the county where our school is), there are two leagues that hold 4 tournaments per year on Questions Unlimited questions. One is run by Irvington (my school) and the other by White Plains High School. Each team's coach has spent over 20 years with Chip. As a sign of how close the ties between our former coach/the host of the tournaments, Ms. Cella, and Chip are, after we qualified for NAC last year online through their "20 questions" program, Chip called our coach's personal cell phone to congratulate us. As for Les Roby of White Plains...there is a quote from him on Qunlimited.com.

So yes, the area is very deeply rooted in Chip. Our team has begun playing some Pyramidal Quizbowl - Dave Madden's Tri State History Bowl, the local history bowl the last two years, and the National History Bowl, we have all attended. Last year and this year he have attended/will attend Hills West, which is on an NAQT A set, and this year we have other games scheduled.

However, though as captain I have had the leverage to sign us up for such events, as a whole, the team (and the rest of Westchester not named Ardsley) is still somewhat opposed to pyramidal quizbowl, and it does not seem like anyone is interested in changing their minds any time soon.

When our team practices, if I bring a pyramidal question set, 75% of the team moans and complains, asking why we can't play a "normal" (read: Chip) game. Scarsdale High School has sent 2-3 teams to local tournaments this year, and they have managed to scrape together a team for Hills West, but the majority of teams in the area NEVER play outside of Westchester.

When broaching the subject to our coach, these are his main concerns with pyramidal quizbowl (or really, just NAQT)
1) Some of the questions have ridiculously easy give always, and some of these bonuses are stupid easy - assured him this is more symptomatic of an "A-set" than of pyramidal quizbowl in general...but Hills West is an "A-set."
2) Something along the lines of "A question about 50 cent, what is this?" - true, NAQT's trash can sometimes be...trash
3) A lot of student moderators are awful...it happens (at local tournaments, all moderators are coaches)
4) tournaments take a long time...(local tournaments have 3 prelims, then 2 round single elim playoffs)
5) game format monotonous / boring
6) No bouncebacks
Pros (For him)
1) He gets to watch us play (he doesn't have to moderate)
2) Few protests...answer lines indicate what is prompt-able / acceptable
3) I am not sure if he sees any others....

So, does anyone have any suggestions of the types of things that could potentially be done to move my team / westchester away from Chip and towards pyramidal quizbowl? I was thinking it might be worthwhile trying to convince Ms. Cella to change one of the tournaments we host to an NAQT set, but the best date for that (Mar. 3) is the same date as Prison Bowl, which could hurt outside-of-westchester attendance.

Anyhow, I described the situation, if anyone has any suggestions / ideas about how to deal with all the Chip and the lack of "good Quizbowl," I would appreciate it

Sam
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:09 pm

Having gone through a very similar process last year and this year (and one that's by no means done), here's what I'd recommend. I had some advantage here in that we had $1000 from NAC last year, although you guys probably have some money from MACC.

1) Get NAQT's new high school package. If your team has a stockpile of well-written pyramidal questions that they're reading, it's a lot easier to point out how bad the QU questions are in comparison. If you can get your team practicing on good questions, that's a huge step in the right direction.

2) Tournaments. They're fun and they make a good impression. Going to more tournaments, and showing your team members how pyramidal tournaments are more games on better questions, while still being fun and competitive, is great. You can also consider going to tournaments unofficially (i.e. without an advisor or school chaperone), if it's more convenient.

3) Hosting stuff. Is March 3rd set in stone for MACC? If you could move that to the next Saturday, March 10th, that date is clear for you to run a tournament that will attract teams from outside the region. Otherwise, you might want to try holding an additional tournament, possibly in early May (although this conflicts with AP exams). You could pitch it to your advisor(s) as a fundraiser.

That's all I have off of the top of my head, but I'll be happy to help as stuff comes up.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:53 pm

Dripping Springs State Park wrote:Having gone through a very similar process last year and this year (and one that's by no means done), here's what I'd recommend. I had some advantage here in that we had $1000 from NAC last year, although you guys probably have some money from MACC.


It does not seem like MACC gains us much money, though it really can be hard to tell at times what our economic status is

1) Get NAQT's new high school package. If your team has a stockpile of well-written pyramidal questions that they're reading, it's a lot easier to point out how bad the QU questions are in comparison. If you can get your team practicing on good questions, that's a huge step in the right direction.


We are planning on this
2) Tournaments. They're fun and they make a good impression. Going to more tournaments, and showing your team members how pyramidal tournaments are more games on better questions, while still being fun and competitive, is great. You can also consider going to tournaments unofficially (i.e. without an advisor or school chaperone), if it's more convenient.

we have LIFT, HHH, Chatham, Kings Park, and posibly NJ state champs schedule, funds and willingness of team notwithstanding, and we hope that more tournaments would help

3) Hosting stuff. Is March 3rd set in stone for MACC? If you could move that to the next Saturday, March 10th, that date is clear for you to run a tournament that will attract teams from outside the region. Otherwise, you might want to try holding an additional tournament, possibly in early May (although this conflicts with AP exams). You could pitch it to your advisor(s) as a fundraiser.


I was thinking March 10th, but it is an SAT date, and I am pretty sure March is a popular month, but we may try to go through with it anyway; Ms. Cella likes me and tends to listen to my opinion, so she may listen to what I have to say and be willing to host an NAQT tournament, though there are no guarantees
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby tuscumbiaqb » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:17 pm

I second most of what Ryan said, but it's not really necessary to buy NAQT's new schools package when quizbowlpackets.com has all the practice material you'll ever need for free. Seeing that your coach dislikes trash, the HSAPQ and independent sets found there will probably be more to his liking anyway. I'm not sure what's available within reasonable distance of Westchester, but I would suggest trying to go to some pyramidal housewrites or mirrors of housewrites or HSAPQ tournaments as well as NAQT tournaments. Since you've participated in NHBB tournaments, your program already has some experience with HSAPQ, so hopefully you can convince your coach that it's not that big of a jump from what you've done before.

As for convincing the rest of your team that pyramidal is the way to go, I would start working on younger players and perhaps try to get in touch with some potential incoming freshman players. Of course, it would be great if the rest of your team suddenly started liking pyramidal questions (and I encourage you to try to make that happen!), but it sounds like they're so entrenched in Chip that it's unlikely that will happen overnight. If younger players start to see pyramidal questions as "normal", you'll start to see a long-term shift in the direction of your program.

Another minor point (addressed in negative #6): it is perfectly acceptable to host a pyramidal tournament with bounceback bonuses. We do it all the time in Missouri, and it's been an effective way to bridge the gap between traditionalists and supporters of pyramidal questions.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:45 pm

All the tournaments that seem to fit our schedule (other than NHBB...) seem to be NAQT, not house writes, so, yeah.

I do like the idea of bouncebacks though, I think that would help not only our own team/coach feel comfortable, but also any other Westchester teams which would attend, as it does bear a resemblance to Chip's bonus quarter.; Also, a quick check shows that odds are if we wanted to host a tournament mirroring a house write would be our best option, as it looks like all of NAQT's sets for this year are being played somewhere in the vicinity of our school.

Also, as far as convincing the new players, I only discovered quizbowlpackets.com over the break, but it could help a lot with convincing new people; all we have is an A-set from 2009 (I mentioned the coach's issues with A-set difficulty, plus everyone gets really annoyed when those 2009 current events questions rear their ugly head) And the 2003 HSNCT...which I have no clue why/how it came into our possession, but it is far too difficult for most of our players. Looking through the stuff at quizbowlpackets.com, there look to be games that would be appropriate to practice with for us and might help.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:59 pm

On second thought, quizbowlpackets.com should be fine, especially if you don't wish to spend the $99 on the New High School package.

Another benefit of switching MACC to March 10th, if possible; you'd be able to go to Prison Bowl. Also, given the lack of HSAPQ sets being played in the area, that might be a good set to use for a tournament.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby tintinnabulation » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:49 pm

I'm going though this same "good quizbowl" transition with my team. Usually we play Questions Galore questions. I am not familiar with Questions Unlimited, but my guess is that they are similar in content and format. Because we had to drop a tournament earlier in the year, my coach signed us up for the Springfield NAQT Invite in January, which means we have to play NAQT. Yay for me, BOOOOO! for the rest of my team. I love pyramidal, they love to hate 'em.

The problem with playing pyramidal is that the rest of my team hardly knows/buzzes on our "normal" questions, so they can't play pyramidal very well and hate how "long" the questions are and how "obscure" the clues are. They want to get back to the "normal" questions as soon as possible, and my coach isn't helping. I think his position is halfway in between mine and the rest of the team's. He's almost open to doing pyramidal but he hates how long the questions are, how obscure the clues (and answers, sometimes) are, how easy the giveaways are.

I don't know how to advance our program toward "good quizbowl." The idea of starting with the younger players is great, and I think I'll try to work on my JV coach. The rest of my team just doesn't want to see "the light" or just doesn't care.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby in on these shenanigans » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:03 pm

tintinnabulation wrote:I'm going though this same "good quizbowl" transition with my team. Usually we play Questions Galore questions. I am not familiar with Questions Unlimited, but my guess is that they are similar in content and format. Because we had to drop a tournament earlier in the year, my coach signed us up for the Springfield NAQT Invite in January, which means we have to play NAQT. Yay for me, BOOOOO! for the rest of my team. I love pyramidal, they love to hate 'em.

The problem with playing pyramidal is that the rest of my team hardly knows/buzzes on our "normal" questions, so they can't play pyramidal very well and hate how "long" the questions are and how "obscure" the clues are. They want to get back to the "normal" questions as soon as possible, and my coach isn't helping. I think his position is halfway in between mine and the rest of the team's. He's almost open to doing pyramidal but he hates how long the questions are, how obscure the clues (and answers, sometimes) are, how easy the giveaways are.

I don't know how to advance our program toward "good quizbowl." The idea of starting with the younger players is great, and I think I'll try to work on my JV coach. The rest of my team just doesn't want to see "the light" or just doesn't care.


Start on younger players; talk with your JV coach; go to tournaments solo, if need be. NIU Huskie Bowl would love to have Peoria Christian attend (and I'm 99% sure Kristin's emailed your coach with the invite); if PCHS doesn't attend, perhaps the Trang Academy for Learning Knowledge would like to register one team?
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby tintinnabulation » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:06 pm

Bone seeker wrote:NIU Huskie Bowl would love to have Peoria Christian attend (and I'm 99% sure Kristin's emailed your coach with the invite); if PCHS doesn't attend, perhaps the Trang Academy for Learning Knowledge would like to register one team?


We're hosting a tournament that day, unfortunately. A problem I have with going solo is my IHSA eligibility. Our team's allotted quiz dates are filled out to the max, I believe. If soloing at tourneys doesn't affect IHSA eligibility (they do, I assume, per IHSA guidelines...? [see below]) I'd love to go. For right now, I'm thinking about ATROPHY, which is after IHSA State.

TH IHSA website says that a "contest" is "an event in which teams of five (5) students representing two (2) schools compete with or against each other in academic quizzing, utilizing a format and rules comparable to the IHSA series, is considered a scholastic bowl contest." I thought I saw that each participant has 18 quiz dates, but I can't seem to find that anywhere on the IHSA website. It's either gone or really hard to find. In case it's still there--if a person is soloing, is that different than the "5 student" thing?
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby in on these shenanigans » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:11 pm

tintinnabulation wrote:
Bone seeker wrote:NIU Huskie Bowl would love to have Peoria Christian attend (and I'm 99% sure Kristin's emailed your coach with the invite); if PCHS doesn't attend, perhaps the Trang Academy for Learning Knowledge would like to register one team?


We're hosting a tournament that day, unfortunately. A problem I have with going solo is my IHSA eligibility. Our team's allotted quiz dates are filled out to the max, I believe. If soloing at tourneys doesn't affect IHSA eligibility (they do, I assume, per IHSA guidelines...? [see below]) I'd love to go. For right now, I'm thinking about ATROPHY, which is after IHSA State.

TH IHSA website says that a "contest" is "an event in which teams of five (5) students representing two (2) schools compete with or against each other in academic quizzing, utilizing a format and rules comparable to the IHSA series, is considered a scholastic bowl contest." I thought I saw that each participant has 18 quiz dates, but I can't seem to find that anywhere on the IHSA website. It's either gone or really hard to find. In case it's still there--if a person is soloing, is that different than the "5 student" thing?


Huskie Bowl (and any other 4-on-4 tourney) doesn't count towards 18 dates, no matter if it's you playing solo unaffiliated from your team, or if it's your school's team, or whatever. If it's 5-on-5, I'd imagine that you playing solo counts towards your personal 18 date limit.

And that offer re: Huskie Bowl obviously extends to ATROPHY, as well. :)

What questions are you guys using for your 1/28/12 tourney?
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Coldblueberry » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:33 pm

You sound like you haven't explained to them the entire point of Quizbowl.

Please take a look at this:


https://docs.google.com/document/d/15QV ... t?hl=en_US

Only some parts of the document are relevant because its written for completely new players to any sort of quiz competition.

There are some other documents around.


Remember the whole point of pyramidal is to distinguish players on the basis of deep knowledge rather than random trivia/biography.

If they question the legitimacy of Quizbowl, just point them towards the two vastly more legitimate-looking high school national tournaments as well as college players (who exclusively play pyramidal) ...would they rather listen to some creepy old man or smart kids from UCI, UCLA, Yale, Harvard, Brown, VCU... (logical fallacy but they may not be reasonable either).
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Smuttynose Island » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:48 pm

tintinnabulation wrote:He's almost open to doing pyramidal but he hates..., how obscure the clues (and answers, sometimes) are, how easy the giveaways are. .


Have you attempted to explain to your coach how those statements contradict eachother? The first one implies that he does not like how hard some of the clues are, presumably because not many people on your team know them and can get the question off of them, while the second one implies that he thinks things are too easy simply because the question gives clues that many people will know.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby tintinnabulation » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:17 pm

Bone seeker wrote:Huskie Bowl (and any other 4-on-4 tourney) doesn't count towards 18 dates, no matter if it's you playing solo unaffiliated from your team, or if it's your school's team, or whatever. If it's 5-on-5, I'd imagine that you playing solo counts towards your personal 18 date limit.

And that offer re: Huskie Bowl obviously extends to ATROPHY, as well. :)

What questions are you guys using for your 1/28/12 tourney?


Thanks for the clarification. Also, the tournament is the now-discontinued TCC Annual Tournament, which used Questions Galore. I assume that is what we're going to be using.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby tintinnabulation » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:46 pm

Smuttynose Island wrote:
tintinnabulation wrote:He's almost open to doing pyramidal but he hates..., how obscure the clues (and answers, sometimes) are, how easy the giveaways are. .


Have you attempted to explain to your coach how those statements contradict eachother? The first one implies that he does not like how hard some of the clues are, presumably because not many people on your team know them and can get the question off of them, while the second one implies that he thinks things are too easy simply because the question gives clues that many people will know.


He just hates how long and drawn out and hard the question is, only to find a buzzer beater at the end of the question. If the after-FTP part would include something that required more actual knowledge than just common sense, e.g. "first president of the United States," I think he would like them better. The questions seem a waste of time if you have to listen to all these hard clues and only have to name the first president of the United States or the equivalent of a "curved yellow fruit." Then, of course, you have to go to bonus. If you go to bonus after having to read the entirety of every tossup, it makes the match really, really long.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby jonah » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:59 pm

tintinnabulation wrote:He just hates how long and drawn out and hard the question is, only to find a buzzer beater at the end of the question. If the after-FTP part would include something that required more actual knowledge than just common sense, e.g. "first president of the United States," I think he would like them better. The questions seem a waste of time if you have to listen to all these hard clues and only have to name the first president of the United States or the equivalent of a "curved yellow fruit." Then, of course, you have to go to bonus. If you go to bonus after having to read the entirety of every tossup, it makes the match really, really long.
I think you (well, they) exaggerate the easiness of giveaways. Certainly they are the easiest clues in tossups, but not that many are on the level of "this first president"; most require some knowledge that we would not expect of a second-grader.

Also, point out that the more your teammates learn, the fewer "obscure" clues and supposedly overly-easy giveaway clues they will have to hear — which is desirable in and of itself and also leads to quicker matches.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby tintinnabulation » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:11 pm

I agree that most giveaways aren't that easy. Most require a certain level of prior knowledge and those are fine. But occasionally there is a problem when the giveaway and the answer are at your average QB level and that level is above the level of the players, like tossups on, say, Malinowski or the Yom Kippur War. I haven't learned about those outside of quizbowl (not saying that my education is perfect) and I know that a tossup about either would go completely dead in front of my team. The question would also probably be laughed at for its obscurity and never given a second thought, such as, "Oh, I should probably learn about this." I know that the canon of different sets might be easier or harder, but it's still a problem for me and my team.

Learning more would be an obvious fix to this problem, but that is sadly not a priority of many players on my team.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Matt Weiner » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:45 pm

The really direct and immediate correlation between the work you put in to learn things and your success is one of the differences between real and fake quizbowl. Most teachers are fairly receptive to this point since it involves the value of learning and work. In Chip tournaments you pretty much stay as good as you were when you started, because of the random trivia focus, so there's no incentive to care about learning things you miss.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Masked Canadian History Bandit » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:58 pm



Access to the page that that link points to seems to be restricted.

Also, as a Canadian, I've never seen Chip bowl, but from all that I've heard it seems to have a lot of questions and/or rules that punish real knowledge similar to how the Canadian national format works. I've always found that pointing out bad writing mannerisms (not giving alternate answers, being hoses, extremely short, etc.) is helpful in getting people to play real quizbowl.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby bird bird bird bird bird » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:34 am

SrgtDonow wrote:we have LIFT, HHH, Chatham, Kings Park, and posibly NJ state champs


FYI, I hope that we will have a New York state championship for spring 2012.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:14 am

Matt Weiner wrote:The really direct and immediate correlation between the work you put in to learn things and your success is one of the differences between real and fake quizbowl. Most teachers are fairly receptive to this point since it involves the value of learning and work. In Chip tournaments you pretty much stay as good as you were when you started, because of the random trivia focus, so there's no incentive to care about learning things you miss.


While there certainly is truth behind the rationale for this question with the focus on trivia, there is still a certain correlation between learning / knowledge and performance, much weaker than it is for good quizbowl, but not non-existant, which is part of why it can be hard to make the argument for good quizbowl, because even though those who support good quizbowl know there is a great amount by which Questions Unlimited, etc. is worse, if viewed in a vacuum without comparisons, it can appear to have the necessary features to be "good." People who know a lot of stuff DO do better, questions DO get easier to answer as more of them are read (if only because it is easier to answer a "why?" question after "why?" is read)...the number of half-truths that can appear to make Chip perfectly legitimate goes on and on.

FYI, I hope that we will have a New York state championship for spring 2012.

That certainly would be convenient, thank you for the heads up

He just hates how long and drawn out and hard the question is, only to find a buzzer beater at the end of the question. If the after-FTP part would include something that required more actual knowledge than just common sense, e.g. "first president of the United States," I think he would like them better. The questions seem a waste of time if you have to listen to all these hard clues and only have to name the first president of the United States or the equivalent of a "curved yellow fruit." Then, of course, you have to go to bonus. If you go to bonus after having to read the entirety of every tossup, it makes the match really, really long.


I have no clue exactly what tournaments are in your area, but NAQT's A-sets tend to have a somewhat limited number of "long, drawn out, very difficult" lead ins (though plenty of the "overly easy giveaways" that your coach, and mine, complain about)

Another benefit of switching MACC to March 10th, if possible; you'd be able to go to Prison Bowl. Also, given the lack of HSAPQ sets being played in the area, that might be a good set to use for a tournament.


Agreed on all these points, I just again hope March 10th SAT isn't seen as a huge issue (but to be honest, convincing people to hold a pyramidal tournament will be a much more difficult process than changing a date)

Also, as a Canadian, I've never seen Chip bowl, but from all that I've heard it seems to have a lot of questions and/or rules that punish real knowledge similar to how the Canadian national format works. I've always found that pointing out bad writing mannerisms (not giving alternate answers, being hoses, extremely short, etc.) is helpful in getting people to play real quizbowl.


First of all, I must admit that the moniker "Chip Bowl" made me laugh, Chip doesn't flaunt around his name quite as often as those who discuss him use it - though this does bring up one of the issues, which is that in nothing pertaining to Chip does the term "quiz bowl" ever come up. He hosts the "National Academic Championship" and our school club, and at least the local term for the competition, is "Academic Challenge." While on the surface this may seem minor, I do remember as a freshman or a sophomore google searching "Academic Challenge" to rather limited success, while searching "quiz bowl" would rather quickly lead someone to something very un-Chip-like, which would teach you his flaws. Also, the discrepancy can some times make it hard. (eg "You see, there is this agreement about what constitutes "good quizbowl"..." eliciting a response of "what is quiz bowl?") As for your comments of game format, they do roughly sound like Chip's questions. I will admit that the questions have gotten longer in the past few years, but almost all the other criticisms apply.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:35 am

SrgtDonow wrote:
Another benefit of switching MACC to March 10th, if possible; you'd be able to go to Prison Bowl. Also, given the lack of HSAPQ sets being played in the area, that might be a good set to use for a tournament.


Agreed on all these points, I just again hope March 10th SAT isn't seen as a huge issue (but to be honest, convincing people to hold a pyramidal tournament will be a much more difficult process than changing a date)


The things that I stressed when arguing for holding a tournament on pyramidal questions were increased team attendance and price. A pyramidal set and a decent number of games for all teams means at least 8 more teams from the traditional "schools who go to things", plus probably 5-10 more depending on which teams are willing to travel. HSAPQ is probably the most expensive set out there at $16/team, but that's still a little cheaper than Chip, whose "charge by round" policy basically discourages good tournament practices. Housewrites will be even cheaper.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Frater Taciturnus » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:44 am

Dripping Springs State Park wrote:
SrgtDonow wrote:
Another benefit of switching MACC to March 10th, if possible; you'd be able to go to Prison Bowl. Also, given the lack of HSAPQ sets being played in the area, that might be a good set to use for a tournament.


Agreed on all these points, I just again hope March 10th SAT isn't seen as a huge issue (but to be honest, convincing people to hold a pyramidal tournament will be a much more difficult process than changing a date)


The things that I stressed when arguing for holding a tournament on pyramidal questions were increased team attendance and price. A pyramidal set and a decent number of games for all teams means at least 8 more teams from the traditional "schools who go to things", plus probably 5-10 more depending on which teams are willing to travel. HSAPQ is probably the most expensive set out there at $16/team, but that's still a little cheaper than Chip, whose "charge by round" policy basically discourages good tournament practices. Housewrites will be even cheaper.


Unless you have a large amount of n teams, 35+ 15n for NAQT is probably comparable to 16n for the cost of HSAPQ. Most housewrites I have seen in the past are in the 12-14n range, but this really is not a big difference and some of the cheaper housewrites offer fewer packets, which gives the director less flexibility with field/format.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby The Predictable Consequences » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:35 am

Frater Taciturnus wrote:
Dripping Springs State Park wrote:
SrgtDonow wrote:
Another benefit of switching MACC to March 10th, if possible; you'd be able to go to Prison Bowl. Also, given the lack of HSAPQ sets being played in the area, that might be a good set to use for a tournament.


Agreed on all these points, I just again hope March 10th SAT isn't seen as a huge issue (but to be honest, convincing people to hold a pyramidal tournament will be a much more difficult process than changing a date)


The things that I stressed when arguing for holding a tournament on pyramidal questions were increased team attendance and price. A pyramidal set and a decent number of games for all teams means at least 8 more teams from the traditional "schools who go to things", plus probably 5-10 more depending on which teams are willing to travel. HSAPQ is probably the most expensive set out there at $16/team, but that's still a little cheaper than Chip, whose "charge by round" policy basically discourages good tournament practices. Housewrites will be even cheaper.


Unless you have a large amount of n teams, 35+ 15n for NAQT is probably comparable to 16n for the cost of HSAPQ. Most housewrites I have seen in the past are in the 12-14n range, but this really is not a big difference and some of the cheaper housewrites offer fewer packets, which gives the director less flexibility with field/format.


Most of the available (i.e. not Prison Bowl, BHSAT, or LIST II, which already have mirrors near here) spring regular difficulty housewrites are 10-12n, with WUHSAC being even cheaper if you write a half-packet or full packet.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:31 pm

Per the numbers I just ran, HSAPQ is cheaper by NAQT by $20 or more up to 15 teams. They have an identical cost at 35 teams. NAQT is $20 cheaper than HSAPQ at 55 teams.

HSAPQ is more expensive by $30 or more dollars if you have 1 to 5 teams. NAQT is more expensive by $30 or more dollars if you have 65 or more teams.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:34 pm

Unfortunately, a lot of teams place a ton of importance on a year-end tournament. If your team's year-end tournament is NAC, then they are going to want to play :chip: during the year. I don't advocate this point-of-view myself--I think teams should play good tournaments throughout the year no matter how they end the season (including possibly not having a big tournament at the end of the year), and I think teams should see the bulk of their season as an important thing in and of itself rather than as a preparation for something bigger. However, lots of coaches don't see it that way.

Make sure your coach/team is aware of the HSNCT, NSC, and NASAT, because if your team ever decided to play any of them it would become easy to convince them that they need to prepare for it. If they aren't willing to switch to that format completely, then enjoy whatever practices and tournaments you can that put a high priority on having lots of good questions, and keep fighting the good fight.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:33 pm

Dripping Springs State Park wrote:The things that I stressed when arguing for holding a tournament on pyramidal questions were increased team attendance and price. A pyramidal set and a decent number of games for all teams means at least 8 more teams from the traditional "schools who go to things", plus probably 5-10 more depending on which teams are willing to travel. HSAPQ is probably the most expensive set out there at $16/team, but that's still a little cheaper than Chip, whose "charge by round" policy basically discourages good tournament practices. Housewrites will be even cheaper.


Yes, if we do manage a pyramidal tournament, I think we will definitely do it on the 10th in order to attract outside teams, and in addition, it may almost be a good thing that it is an SAT day, because that would probably result in fewer teams per school but not fewer schools, and I have a feeling that it would be possible that this tournament would approach our school's physical limit to hold games. (local tournaments of 20-30 teams from Westchester normally take up 1/2 or more of our space)

As for the price, though technically Chip probably tends to be cheaper because of the brevity of our normal tournaments, certainly I think HSAPQ would be cheaper for a more appropriate 5-7 prelim games + playoffs. (Chip costs $75/round, thats $375 = about 14 teams with HSAPQ with our normal 5 round total tournaments, though HSAPQ offers 15 rounds, and 15 rounds of Chip would be $1125 = 70 teams with HSAPQ = way more than we will get)

House writes would be cheaper, which is some sort of attraction, though I think that HSAPQ sounds more legitimate and is easier to market (this isn't a real insult to house-writes, just that for someone who knows nothing about this, ordering questions from a real organization at least sounds better)

Unfortunately, a lot of teams place a ton of importance on a year-end tournament. If your team's year-end tournament is NAC, then they are going to want to play during the year. I don't advocate this point-of-view myself--I think teams should play good tournaments throughout the year no matter how they end the season (including possibly not having a big tournament at the end of the year), and I think teams should see the bulk of their season as an important thing in and of itself rather than as a preparation for something bigger. However, lots of coaches don't see it that way.

Make sure your coach/team is aware of the HSNCT, NSC, and NASAT, because if your team ever decided to play any of them it would become easy to convince them that they need to prepare for it. If they aren't willing to switch to that format completely, then enjoy whatever practices and tournaments you can that put a high priority on having lots of good questions, and keep fighting the good fight.


And as for the year-end idea, our coach does at least know of HSNCT (we qualified for it last year in the 1 pyramidal quizbowl tournament we played), though NSC and NASAT are definitely not under his radar and definitely out of our league I would say (esp. NASAT). The year-end preparation thing I am sure probably will hold a lot of people...perhaps it will help to argue that an HSPAQ tournament is kind of like preparation for the NHBB, which our school, as well as possibly more schools from the region, will be attending.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby tintinnabulation » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:47 pm

tintinnabulation wrote:
He just hates how long and drawn out and hard the question is, only to find a buzzer beater at the end of the question. If the after-FTP part would include something that required more actual knowledge than just common sense, e.g. "first president of the United States," I think he would like them better. The questions seem a waste of time if you have to listen to all these hard clues and only have to name the first president of the United States or the equivalent of a "curved yellow fruit." Then, of course, you have to go to bonus. If you go to bonus after having to read the entirety of every tossup, it makes the match really, really long.

SrgtDonow wrote:
I have no clue exactly what tournaments are in your area, but NAQT's A-sets tend to have a somewhat limited number of "long, drawn out, very difficult" lead ins (though plenty of the "overly easy giveaways" that your coach, and mine, complain about)

NAQT isn't bad. I like their tossups. But one day we read some PACE tossups in practice. Need I say more?

The IHSA state series questions also tend to be long. Those are the pyramidal he hears most often.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby tuscumbiaqb » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:32 pm

NAQT isn't bad. I like their tossups. But one day we read some PACE tossups in practice. Need I say more?

The IHSA state series questions also tend to be long. Those are the pyramidal he hears most often.


You should try reading some HSAPQ sets or novice sets like SCOP and Fall Novice in practice. Your teammates will probably be able to answer a good portion of the tossups in the latter, and the former does not have as many general knowledge-dependent giveaways (perhaps part of your coach's definition of overly easy?) as NAQT due to HSAPQ's more heavily academic distribution.

I'm not from Illinois, but from what I understand about the IHSA state series, long does not necessarily mean pyramidal (although I understand that several excellent writers do contribute heavily to it). Maybe hearing pyramidal questions with an almost exclusively academic focus with consistent difficulty gradation will help change your coach's mind.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby tintinnabulation » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:57 pm

tuscumbiaqb wrote:You should try reading some HSAPQ sets or novice sets like SCOP and Fall Novice in practice.

Novice sets! Perfect! Why didn't I think of that?

And yeah, IHSA's long does not necessarily mean jam-packed with great information. I mean to pay better attention to the state series questions every year, but I get too busy playing them to note their format/quality.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby ProfessorIanDuncan » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:53 pm

One of the main problems of our team, in my opinion at least, is that there are more people than in the past but they are less committed. This is in itself may present a large problem in transitioning to "good quizbowl" because the members of the team may be less inclined to go out of Westchester early in the morning for better tournaments. I also fear that some of the members may get intimidated by the potentially harder questions and opponents. That means that each player will have to be more committed to the team which the pessimist in me doesn't seem happening without the team being reduced to potentially four or five people, enough for only one team. As i have no idea as how to quote previous posts I will just have to ask this and hope whoever posted about it will respond, but where and when exactly is the NYS Championship or is it still in planning mode?
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby bird bird bird bird bird » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:09 pm

ProfessorIanDuncan wrote:where and when exactly is the NYS Championship or is it still in planning mode?


Still in planning mode. I hope we'll have an announcement in January.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:51 am

ProfessorIanDuncan wrote:One of the main problems of our team, in my opinion at least, is that there are more people than in the past but they are less committed. This is in itself may present a large problem in transitioning to "good quizbowl" because the members of the team may be less inclined to go out of Westchester early in the morning for better tournaments. I also fear that some of the members may get intimidated by the potentially harder questions and opponents. That means that each player will have to be more committed to the team which the pessimist in me doesn't seem happening without the team being reduced to potentially four or five people, enough for only one team.


As for the specific comments about our team, I will speak to you about those in private Alec, I believe you are mistaking something else for a lack of commitment.

Also, your point brings up the importance of hosting a tournament (or rather, having some local tournament on pyramidal questions - Ardsley's tournament, had it come to fruition, would have achieved the same ends). Freshmen who are not yet particularly strong probably don't see any reason to travel a great distance to not only engage in something somewhat alien to them, but also not perform particularly well. The same holds for the other teams in Westchester. It is no coincidence that of the teams that have made the playoffs in our local MACC's this year - Horace Greeley, Irvington, Ardsley, Hastings, White Plains, and Scarsdale - all but Hastings have (or in Scarsdale's case, will soon have) participated in a pyramidal quizbowl tournament. And no other teams who have participated in MACCs have participated in a pyramidal tournament. (Though I see Woodlands is signed up for Half Hollow Hills). Hosting a local tournament will expose the local teams who do not find the need to travel, possibly due to a lack of knowledge of other tournaments, or perhaps because of a lack of belief in an ability to perform, to "good quizbowl." This is the first step to moving Westchester from :chip: to "good quizbowl."

As i have no idea as how to quote previous posts


Totally unrelated to other things, but either press the "quote" button on a previous post or type "quote" (without the " marks) in square brackets, then the quote text, then "/quote" in square brackets.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Charles Martel » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:43 pm

I think people promoting good quizbowl should emphasize that teams don't go to pyramidal tournaments because they're good, they get good by going to pyramidal tournaments. Pyramidal tournaments emphasize learning far more than most other formats. The argument that "We'll, we're not good enough to compete at Saturday tournaments" is a flawed one, because teams aren't good because they haven't been going to Saturday tournaments.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:15 pm

whitesoxfan wrote:I think people promoting good quizbowl should emphasize that teams don't go to pyramidal tournaments because they're good, they get good by going to pyramidal tournaments. Pyramidal tournaments emphasize learning far more than most other formats. The argument that "We'll, we're not good enough to compete at Saturday tournaments" is a flawed one, because teams aren't good because they haven't been going to Saturday tournaments.


All of our local tournaments are on Saturday, but whatever, that is besides the point.

And just because it is a flawed argument doesn't mean that it isn't employed by other schools, who probably see cost as the main barrier to attending the more distant tournaments which are pyramidal. And for other schools, we don't really have the resources to go about preaching a message, the only way to really increase the chance that they attend a pyramidal tournament is to bring the pyramidal tournament to them, as the case might be here.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Charles Martel » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:17 pm

I think my argument may apply more in Illinois, when there are a large amount of local leagues that play on weekdays, and relatively cheap and close tournaments nearly every weekend.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:07 pm

whitesoxfan wrote:I think my argument may apply more in Illinois, when there are a large amount of local leagues that play on weekdays, and relatively cheap and close tournaments nearly every weekend.


Maybe...Another thing that is an issue with the local tournaments is that some local tournaments specifically preclude teams from participating at other (pyramidal) tournament, due to scheduling conflicts. Both of the tournaments St. Joe's has hosted / will host this year conflict with local tournaments, the largest of the chip tournaments is at the same time as Yale's BHSAT, and the tournament we are hoping to move to schedule a pyramidal tournament conflicts with Prison Bowl and a tournament in Bloomfield, NJ. That in and of itself reduces the opportunities to engage in "good quizbowl."
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:23 pm

I will probably introduce the idea of hosting a pyramidal tournament to our adviser next week (we have a pyramidal tournament this Saturday, so I am thinking that I can use the team's experience there as leverage in making the argument)

I was also wondering, so that there is some real data backing an argument for this tournament, if anyone from a team in the area reading this could say that they would be interested in such a tournament. Though I certainly believe that there would be teams from outside of Westchester who would attend, as Ryan mentioned, it would help if I could say "X number of teams told me they would be likely to come if we did this."

The tournament would be on March 10th, at Irvington High School (its about 20 minutes north of NYC if you don't feel like getting out a map), and we would be hosting the tournament either on an HSAPQ set (most likely) or a mirror of a set which had not been played in the area yet.

Of course I am not expecting people to give definite "we will come" responses, but just a recognition that your team would be interested would be very helpful I think in showing that this tournament would be a good idea.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Great Bustard » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:43 am

Ridgewood would likely bring 3 teams if you held a pyramidal tournament. Sound good?
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:54 am

OK, so Ms. Cella seems open to the idea of hosting a pyramidal tournament, though we are pibably going to try to find a date other than March 10 (she doesn't want to upset people who already signed up for 4 tournaments of the format as already stated, and if we kept the old chip tournament and the new tournament, we would be hosting 2 tournaments two weeks in a row, which may be untenable. More details will come when/if we do find a time to do this.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:08 am

I had played under OAC (Ohio Academic Competition) and my first year coaching the league switched from OAC to NAQT. I considered OAC questions better than QU, but TU/B is far better than OAC. At first many of the coaches resisted the change. I can remember through that first month of practices I would be griping as much as my players, "Why can't we go back to OAC?" But a couple things I realized:

1. NAQT was cheaper, and therefor the coaches could gripe as much as they wanted, the league would never go back to OAC. Complaining about this new TU/B business was not going to help my team get better. (There was even one coach who tried to run one of the league matches, using NAQT questions, but in OAC format. How the heck the coach was able to do it, I have no clue.)

2. It was the same experience for all the schools in the league. It was the first year under NAQT, so everyone was starting new.

The first thing I did (aside from practicing on NAQT sets of course) was take the team to a Saturday TU/B tournament. It was just a regional one, but there would be some heavy-hitters in the state there, like Solon and Copley. It was before our league matches started, so I figured going to a TU/B tournament would be a good way to get the team (and myself) to see how the matches played out. I was quite proud of the 4-4 record, but they were feeling discouraged after getting pasted by Solon and Copley. To which I explained this was our first ever TU/B tourney while the Solons and Copleys have been doing this longer. And I contribute this extra experience as the biggest factor to helping us compete in the league.

Some other pointers that may help your coach and teammates out:

1. Quizbowl is not school. No one is grading you. No one is expecting you to know 90% of the material to get an "A." We are brought up in a system where if you can't answer at least 80-90% correct than you're not good enough. When trying to recruit new players the #1 response I hear is "Oh. I'm not smart enough for that." I've also had players walk out frustrated after hearing 3 questions of a packet, deciding they're stupid and can't do it.

2. Thinking strictly of new teams/new players to TU/B quizbowl. For new players the most difficult challenge is managing expectations. You don't have to dominate (and you won't be expected to) from question 1 to question 20 to be "good" at TU/B quizbowl. As a new team, under a normal NAQT a-set, you should answer around 16 of 20. But remember, that is as a team, so what an individual player can answer will more than likely be fewer than 16. Now throw in another team of 4 players, and just for the purposes of this argument they are of comparable ability. Again, the number of questions an individual can answer should decline. At the end of a match with 2 teams, with 4-players each, you might answer 2-4 toss ups. And I think new players have trouble understanding it's not school, being able to answer only 2-4 toss ups out of 20 does not make them stupid. It's actually a good starting point. At the end of the day, all that matters is your team has 5 or 10 points more than the other team.

3. Listening. It's the biggest help when answering pyramidal questions. This is something that is entirely dependent on the person however. Good pyramidal questions are not trying to trick or deceive you, but you have to listen and analyze. Usually right away, you can dissect what the question is asking..."This city," "This event," "This poet"...etc. A common mistake from new teams is to forget what the question is asking, and they'll give the book, but instead the question is asking for the author. Too often you can get caught up waiting for the "give away" clue, that you can forget what the question's asking, and you've blocked out everything before. Just because you didn't know the earlier clues, doesn't mean you can't listen and therefor learn/remember the next time that clue or answer line comes up.
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Re: From Chip to "good quizbowl"

Postby Scaled Flowerpiercer » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:34 pm

John, I agree with all of the second half of your post with regards to reasons for pyramidal quizbowl, though as for the first half, I think that there in lies the large difference between Westchester and many areas, which is that Chip tournaments are about as prevalent as TU / B tournaments, and the tournaments in Westchester attract more team members to go them, even if only because they are much closer. If all future tournament plans for this year go as scheduled, we will have attended 7 Westchester Chip-based tournaments on Saturdays, and 9 TU / B tournaments, though some of the TU / B tournaments are far from definite as far as our attendance goes. The 2-3 NHBB tournaments tilts us more over to the Pyramidal side of the coin, but for whatever reason the "you like NHBB and NHBB is more similar to NAQT than Chip so why don't you like NAQT?" argument has fallen flat, despite being brought up with the team many times. I think that if our local Westchester leagues did indeed switch over to NAQT or HSAPQ or something, then it would take rather little coaxing to make the team like NAQT, but, that is not the case, and until it is, the team will still be divided on this argument, I think.
Samuel Donow
Irvington High School '12
Williams College '16
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Scaled Flowerpiercer
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