Charbroil wrote:But first, a disclaimer. I must admit, I don't know how Quiz Bowl is run outside of the state of Missouri. Perhaps it is some sort of utopia where every single match is won based on which team knows more, etc., etc. In any case, you'll have to forgive my ignorance.
It is a whole lot closer to that than you seem to think possible given your tone.
charbroil wrote:Okay, so this is rather annoying. However, is it really that serious? First of all, the number of teams that would be interested in going (and thus that would be affected) to summer tournaments is tiny. Certainly, this doesn't seem to be a reason to call High School Quiz Bowl in Missouri lost--nor is it a problem worth getting so excitable about.
And yes, I realize that the teams penalized by this rule are those that are the best, and that this is an unfair penalization of such teams. However, may I ask how many tournaments there are in the summer in any case? And besides that, there is no restriction of participation in open tournaments, etc.
Matt isn't talking about summer tournaments - he's talking about the tournaments held inbetween August and the middle of October, and then tournaments held after districts and especially after state (which in other places is a very wide bunch of events) There are no real high school summer tournaments beyond national events. Also, please never play the "who cares about this stuff" card when I'm involved in arguing with you, the reason we are on a quizbowl board is to discuss the improvement of quizbowl and this matter does affect teams who would be interested in expanding their schedule.
charbroil wrote:As Alex said, uncool, but not really the end of the world. May I ask how many teams are really penalized by this? And how much damage does this rule actually do to teams' performances?
Well, we will never know now will we? I know I volunteered my time at Hickman to come help assist their team with their practices because I know how to make a team better, and they refused me because they were afraid of this rule. That's one team lost on it right there. There's a whole goldmine of experience high schoolers can get from going to college practices that will never be exploited - just look at what goes on with VCU or UMD or Minnesota.
charbroil wrote:First of all, as Alex said, this is only during the regular season. Again, how many teams are going to do that anyway? And would the lure of being able to participate in such tournaments really improve the Quiz Bowl situation? How?
Well here's the thing - I felt the "lure" of open tournaments last year. And do you know what? They provided me an outlet to play at a higher level and be beaten by much better teams than I would ever meet in high school. Going to these tournaments taught me all kinds of facts and inspired me to study so much that I helped NKC get 5th in the nation. The team that got first in the nation, Whitman, also sent multiple players to multiple college and open events throughout the year. You seem to drastically miss the point that just because the majority doesn't care to do such things doesn't mean the minority at the top has the right to be restricted. We can not bring the top of quizbowl down to the median.
charbroil wrote:Yet again, how many teams are going to do that anyway? And would the lure of being able to participate in such tournaments really improve the Quiz Bowl situation? How? I realize that the lure of such tournaments might prompt some teams to improve more than they have already...but given that most teams can't even improve to compete effectively in Missouri, I doubt that .
Yet again, you miss the point that just because the majority of teams doesn't care we shouldn't take away the small minority the right to do this stuff. I know for a fact if North Kansas City had the opportunity to attend a major tournament in the DC area we would have gone in a heartbeat. But we never got that opportunity thanks to MSHSAA. We never got to see what a truly nationally competitive team was until we went to nationals, and that is simply unfair to anyone who wants to take their team to the top. It then improves the situation by allowing the top teams here to see the other top teams and learn what it is they need to do to improve from that. This then makes the chances of Missouri teams bringing home the national trophies a lot higher than it would have been any other way.
As to your practicing effectively statement - do you want to know why teams in Missouri can not practice effectively? It is because they either don't know about or don't pay attention to the major resources out there that contain quality questions. It is because they are so busy preparing for their conference championship help on Triple Q abortions that they don't really know how to become deep, well rounded, knowledgeable players. If you change the format and publicize the resources, then of course many more teams will be able to practice more effectively.
charbroil wrote:Alright...Missouri Quiz Bowl involves math. I fail to understand why that's really a problem. A real study in liberal arts does involve math--in fact, two of the seven traditional liberal arts incorporated math (being arithmetic and geometry). As for the length of a game...alright, I'm not really qualified to evaluate the problem with that.
Matt will probably send you an email over it, but the quizbowl consensus among major forces is that computational (note: not theoretical) math is a fundamentally different skill than what quizbowl tests. This thread is not the place to elaborate on that any further, and if you want to take it up privately that's fine, or you can just browse through the archives for more discussion of it to see where we are coming from. Also, notice the presence of theoretical math! That stuff is fine.
The length of MSHSAA games are quite literally the hindrance to making the MSHSAA format friendly to pyramidal questions. games that are already 45 minutes long with one liners become over an hour long as the question length increases. This wears people out. Around the rest of the country, most tournaments use straight 20 tossup/20 bonus formats (or similar formats that are timed) that average about 20 minutes and which have just as many points possible in them (and much better built in differentiators of skill as the tossups can then be pyramidal and the bonuses can have a clearly marked easy-medium-hard structure), accomplishing the function of a game much more efficiently and more accurately.
charbroil wrote:This is, I admit, very annoying, because the district assignments are actually not arbitrary (implying randomness), but are actually geographic (for the most part...some are rather odd), and certain areas are simply more inclined to hold tougher Quiz Bowl teams than others. This is hardly something to describe as indicating that Missouri Quiz Bowl is non-salvageable, though--it only affects very few teams, and given that your whole argument is that Missouri teams should avoid MSHSAA sponsored events anyway, I fail to see how it is a critical problem.
It is a critical problem because it shows that MSHSAA does not truly care about their state title awarding the best teams. Most other states with these problems have mechanisms built in to allow multiple teams if they are qualified to advance to state. Also, you seem to think that it is only some specific individual points Matt is making that are why he claims Missouri is unsalvageable. Maybe, like, notice that there are a ton of points? If all he had were one of these points, that would be nothing, but the fact that he has so many is what's prompting this thread.
charbroil wrote:Again, very, very annoying if the questions written by QG are as bad as they've been described, however, I think that issue has been significantly exaggerated. Yes, there is a significantly greater chance of poor teams advancing farther than they should with bad questions. Certainly, poor questions inhibit good scoring and are generally frustrating. However, in an overwhelming number of cases, the better teams still wins the game--and wasn't that the point all along? Only in situations where the teams were already fairly close to one another in ability do problems arise, and the number of those situations are, as far as I have ever seen, fairly limited.
Questions Galore is so bad it can not possibly be exaggerated. Do not pass judgement on those of us who know what is going on with their quality like that - the reason so many people are furious is because these questions are nothing but an insult. Also, you will be shocked at how much easier it is for significantly worse team to beat a better team on awful questions. My junior year we had serious trouble beating Liberty, losing to them twice I think, and losing to Savannah at least once. Then when nationals came aroundafter the prelims Liberty went 4-6 scoring 185.5 ppg and being ranked 103rd, Savannah went 5-5 with 186 ppg ranking 78th, and NKC went 8-2 with 317.5 ppg seeded 9th. After a whole year of struggling against those teams at local events, it came out that they had nowhere near the depth to be competitive on a quality national set that we had. This is pretty wild evidence to me that there was nothing short of a massive leveling of our knowledge going on in local events, and is great proof that just because you can do really well on Missouri stuff doesn't mean you can at a real tournament.
I already outlined why you were wrong about the after school policy -it's pretty explicitly banned to go to nationals before your school is let out unless you have extenuating circumstances, which NKC had.
Matt Weiner wrote:I suppose this is theoretically true. May I ask whether this has actually happened before?
This did not happen in quizbowl, but I know Grandview had some similar problem with another activity around 2003 or so. Also, the point is that it is an everpresent threat to make sure teams dont step out of line, because if they jeopardize their school's athletics they will lose their school's support.
Matt Weiner wrote:Also true, but how often does rejection for no apparent reason actually occur? And how often is approval "withheld in order to punish people for criticizing the MSHSAA?"
Truman State attempted to host a tournament in Fall 2005 and it was rejected for no apparent reason.
charbroil wrote:Examples of this being...? (Specifically, though you can omit the actual names)
I know at least one coach who has gone out of his way to insult me in person. Generally, the coaches in Missouri are wrapped up in issues that shouldn't be affecting quizbowl, like asserting their authority and making sure to traint heir kids to protest everything and spend time practicing buzzer reflexes instead of actual quizbowl coaching.
charbroil wrote:The participation restrictions and the questions are, as I've mentioned, unfortunate. However, Gibbs brought up a legitimate point with this "best three teams" comment. This simply isn't the grandiose problem you are portraying. As I mentioned earlier, the vast majority of problems mentioned above apply only to top teams restricted to going to all of the tournaments they wish to go to, or restricted from going to tournaments of the quality they hope for. This is a problem, but I fail to see how this somehow ruins Missouri Quiz Bowl when most teams in Missouri can't even competently play the tournaments, however badly written, that do exist. That's a problem that merits a title of "ruining Missouri Quiz Bowl," in my mind, far more than the problem of the top teams being restricted.
Of course it is a very gigantic, "grandiose" problem! Nowhere else are teams so actively cut down as here! The reason why the "best three teams" logic is infuriating is because it tells you "hey, you guys who actually care about making the quizbowl world more competitive and productive, screw you, we don't care that you want to get the best experience you can out of this game because the rest of us don't care." Coach Gibbs's continued refusal to advocate rules that most teams don't care about but a vocal few do simply because there is a silent majority is nothing short of being an unnacceptable representative of quizbowl, and is something I find inexcusable (especially since he actively solicits input on these things! My God, how deceptive is that?)
You are correct that the biggest flaw in Missouri today is the prevalence of bad tournaments. However, the matter is much more complex than you seem to think it is. The reason there are bad tournaments is because of the MSHSAA format, the fact nobody good writes for the MSHSAA format, the fact that so many coaches are keen to gaming the system and refusing to look at other alternatives, the fact that the people supposedly voicing our concerns have continually lied to us, etc.
I'm going to refrain from quoting the next two paragraphs in their entirety for the sake of brevity, but the point of them seems to be that MSHSAA should let schools play at whatever games they wish and that a revolution is necessary to bring that about. However, let's try to put all of this in context. The problem simply is not so grandiose as to require such an effort. Alright, a few top notch teams are being stifled to a degree, and some more lower level teams occasionally feel MSHSAA's negative influence. Is it really that important?
You are so wrong! If you were anywhere else in the country right now you would be looking at us and thinking "God, what an awful situation that is."
What I believe to be the real problem in Missouri Quiz Bowl--and possibly Quiz Bowl all around the United States, though I am not in a position to judge--is the fact that rather than being a popular activity, with an audience that encompasses a significant portion of the public outside of the part of the public that actually plays, it is an activity which is overwhelmingly limited to an elite--the elite which, I would guess, is represented on this message board. The concerns of this elite are overwhelmingly those that are represented in the list of complaints that have prompted this thread, and I feel that if that is so, then we have missed the overall purpose of improving Quiz Bowl.
Quiz Bowl should not be improved for the sake of some sort of "Quiz Bowl aesthetic" which, while benefiting the elite few who do enjoy Quiz Bowl, really doesn't help the greater population which gains nothing from such an improvement. Rather, I believe that Quiz Bowl should be improved with a mind towards what will improve participation in the activity, and in turn, what will allow more people to enjoy the benefits of what Quiz Bowl brings to a participator. As the originator of this thread has mentioned, the purpose of Quiz Bowl is to promote the "liberal arts canon" and "advocate for...intellectual growth" in turn to aid students in their goal of being better students.
Your logic here is awful. let's condense it - "We should be willing to make quizbowl demonstrably worse just so teams that otherwise don't care show up to it." That's pretty much teh worst idea ever. Of course quizbowl needs to be a meritocracy for teams to succeed - they need to be willing to show the desire necessary to learn more deeply and broadly. That is what we are saying. If you think that is elitist, then I have no problem with quizbowl being that. But by providing good questions and quality competition to all teams, in addition to numerous free online practice materials and the ability for players to improve to a certain extent just through listening well to their teachers everyday or going and reading books means that we are providing teams at all levels these opportunities.
What I feel would best promote such a goal would be to, yes, improve question quality. However, it is also to work to promote the sport at every level. As the originator of this thread mentioned, there is action to be taken if one is "a proponent of good quizbowl at any level--student, coach, or alumnus." That action isn't to make it easier for the elite teams to compete to their heart's content , though--thought of course that would certainly be nice. That action, rather, is to attempt to promote actions which make Quiz Bowl enjoyable at every level, both at the level of the State and National championships, and at the local level, by promoting Quiz Bowl as an activity not for some sort of nerdy elite, but as a fun activity which anyone with a reasonable interest in academic knowledge can enjoy.
What is it that makes this incompatible with lifting the participation bans? Absolutely nothing! You are right, we need to do all we can to promote a healthy environment in our backyard, which I think everyone has been doing. But we also need to promote the game at all levels, which means in addition to providing local teams a healthy outlet to compete, we provide the most motivated of those teams a chance to go prove themselves against stronger teams at stronger tournaments. Then as those teams return to the local events and improve, other teams can see the improvement and work themselves to become better, then they may become motivated to travel. Then all of these teams are more motivated and improve the competitiveness of the game nationally.
It's worth explaining how such a post about the overall focus of Quiz Bowl came to be in a discussion of poor formatting in Missouri. The reason for this discussion of the overall focus of Quiz Bowl is because statements such as the one below, and the mentality which engendered it, are simply counterproductive to what I believe to be the point of Quiz Bowl and its promotion, as mentioned.
Matt Weiner wrote:Creating such absurdity in relation to quizbowl is what football coaches do. I don't know if Missouri will ever recover from it...if you are a proponent of good quizbowl at any level--student, coach, or alumnus--then the football-lovers do not have your best interests at heart.
The problem being, of course, that football is a national sport with a following in the dozens of millions, while Quiz Bowl certainly isn't. Football has its following because its promoters do not only come from the absolute pinnacle of ability and thus only dwell upon what can improve the situation for teams at that pinnacle, rather, its promoters emphasize what can improve the experience of players at all levels, an emphasis which I feel is lacking in discussions so far, other than a focus on better questions, of course. It's this sort of elitism, of "good Quiz Bowl for good Quiz Bowl's sake, with other issues ignored" which I feel is far more problematic to the future of Quiz Bowl than the detailed problems with MSHSAA's organization and bylaws. There's no value in acting as if football coaches are ignorant fools who have their hearts set on destroying good Quiz Bowl.
You once again have no idea what you're talking about here. MSHSAA is an organization run by athletic directors and coaches. They took over quizbowl because principals voted on it in the mid-90s and decided it made things simpler to run if they controlled a few non-athletic things as well. The reason this is a problem, and why Matt talks about football coaches like this is because they do not understand the activity and have shown nothing but interest in forcing football style rules onto us that level the field and promote nothing that good quizbowl promotes. I know at one MSHSAA meeting an official questioned why quizbowl even needs tournaments as opposed to simply creating a schedule of dual matches and then playing districts! People like this are who control us, and given their insistence on thinking their ways are right and refusal to show any interest in learning why quizbowl does not need sports based rules, they are consistently NOT acting with our best interests at heart. (Stacy Schroeder, the Academic Competition liaison from MSHSAA, is a volleyball coach! She has no experience with quizbowl beyond that she goes to help run state once a year and signs some papers in her office!)
The arguments presented against MSHSAA are misguided because of their excessive emphasis on issues pertaining to only a few teams.
This excessive focus on issues pertaining to a few teams is misguided because the purpose of Quiz Bowl--or any activity--is to become as popular as possible (within reason) so that as many people can partake of its benefits.
And many of the statements that have been made seem to have no concrete examples backing them up.
However, commentators have hit upon one of the critical problems with Missouri Quiz Bowl--poor question caliber. That is a problem that I feel can be solved, not by a boycott of MSHSAA--which, you have to admit, would be difficult and rather unlikely to succeed anywhere in the near future--but by finding a source of questions in the Missouri format and supplying them at a lower cost than someone like Questions Galore. I realize that this is easier said than done, but given the wide variety of Quiz Bowl enthusiasts available around here, I'm sure that a method could be found.
I hope you understand why the conclusions you are drawing are wrong after this.