New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

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King48
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New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by King48 »

Hello everyone,

I am the Captain of my Quiz Bowl team; this is our first year of existence. This year, we have only competed in two NAQT tournaments, and we have successfully qualified to the HSNCT. We plan to attend the HSNCT. Is that an impressive achievement, or do most schools qualify? Also, our team has been invited/qualified to the NAC. We only plan on attending one National tournament due to fees, etc. Which is the more prestigious tournament, the HSNCT or the NAC? What type of competition should we expect at Nationals? Is there any link with a video/recording of a round taken at the HSNCT, just so we know what we type of competition we will be facing. I would also appreciate any advice on how to improve the team in order to prepare for the HSNCT. We have purchased study guides and NAQT practice questions.

Thank you very much!

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Frater Taciturnus
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by Frater Taciturnus »

disclaimer: I am a PACE member and NAQT writer, so I will put as little personal bias into this post as possible.

The National Academic Championship is held basically in near-universal contempt among teams that play good quizbowl. Yes, many schools qualify for the HSNCT, and 200 teams play at it, but it and the National Scholastics Championship run by PACE are by far the two most respected high school national championships. Either of those nationals will give several opportunities to play some of the best teams in the country.
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Papa's in the House
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by Papa's in the House »

You'd be better off using the money you spent on study guides and practice questions to sightsee when you go to HSNCT or if you qualify for another tournament. You can find questions from old tournaments by searching the High School Quiz Bowl Packet Archive (just use Google to find it).

Don't forget to include a signature for your post.
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Irreligion in Bangladesh
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

We can do better than Google here!

Packet Archive
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Kouign Amann
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by Kouign Amann »

Qualifying for HSNCT is much more difficult than qualifying for NAC. You will play better teams and hear better questions at HSNCT.
Frater Taciturnus wrote:The National Academic Championship is held basically in near-universal contempt among teams that play good quizbowl.
For a quick rundown of why this is, see here: http://www.qbwiki.com/wiki/Criticisms_of_the_NAC

Go either to HSNCT or the PACE NSC. Do not, under any circumstances, waste money at the NAC. If the above article isn't fully clear in explaining how no school should support such a moral and educational failure of an event, plenty of people on these boards will be all too happy to explain further.

Because of the large field size, competition levels at HSNCT run the gamut from "the very best teams in the nation" to "solid teams that aren't quite ready for the big time" to "maybe they didn't really know what they were signing up for." Because of the card system, you can expect to be paired up with teams whose skill levels are close to your own for most rounds. If you win a lot of games, you will play more difficult competition, and if you lose, you will be moved down to play more appropriate teams. It works out pretty well.

Instead of paying NAQT for practice questions, you could download some for free here: http://quizbowlpackets.com/. There is a much wider selection available, and did I mention that they're free?


In terms of hearing some sample games, perhaps someone could post a link to those recordings that Mike Bentley (I think?) made at HSNCT a few years back? I can't seem to find the link right now.
Aidan Mehigan
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Wackford Squeers
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by Wackford Squeers »

As a player with no bias of affiliation, I can attest without disclaimer that HSNCT is not only the more prestigious tournament, but that your team will have a far more enjoyable overall experience than you would at NAC. As far as preparation goes, keep up practice, and encourage your teammates to study independently. The packet archive Charles mentioned can be found at http://quizbowlpackets.com/, and this forum is another great resource for improvement (check out the theory section). Additionally, recording from the 2009 HSNCT can be found here:http://naqt.com/hsnct/2009/podcasts/index.html
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Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant »

Speaking as another player with no official ties to any organization* and who also recently witnessed one of Questions Unlimited's regional tournaments, for the love of the Sweet Lord Baby Jesus, don't go to the NAC.

Regarding the impressiveness of qualifying for HSNCT, I was thinking about it the other day, and I don't think it's that difficult to qualify: all you have to do is finish in the top 15% of any tournament run on NAQT questions (that's both IS and A sets. There are also other means of qualifying). I guess it really depends on how strong the teams you play against are.

*However, I do live in Georgia and want the Atlanta HSNCT to be a success.
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Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen »

List of wrestling-based comic books wrote:Regarding the impressiveness of qualifying for HSNCT, I was thinking about it the other day, and I don't think it's that difficult to qualify: all you have to do is finish in the top 15% of any tournament run on NAQT questions (that's both IS and A sets. There are also other means of qualifying). I guess it really depends on how strong the teams you play against are.
The kind of NAQT tournaments that we host at Cornell tend to have such small fields that to qualify for the HSNCT outright, you basically have to win the tournament (although you can also apply for a wildcard bid if you don't). So it also depends on the region.

But in any case, it's a lot more impressive than "qualifying" for the NAC! :lol:
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by Tanay »

styxman wrote:Packet Archive
This. A lot of it. My team went from not knowing a single work by Thomas Mann in November 2009 to doing well at the 2010 HSNCT because the archives taught us how good quizbowl looked and worked. Writing questions (regardless of circumstance) is really helpful, too. Our first few packets looked hilarious and in retrospect are pretty cringe-worthy, but they helped us get better because they were largely grounded in canonical material and based on the standard high school distribution.
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by cchiego »

Video clips from various HSNCTs.
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by Angry Babies in Love »

Having been to NAC and knowing what it is like to go to HSNCT, HSNCT will be a significantly better and more enjoyable experience in every way imaginable (unless you have something against Atlanta).
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Frater Taciturnus
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by Frater Taciturnus »

Wurzel-Flummery wrote: (unless you have something against Atlanta).
And even if you do, this is still a thing.

http://burgerbeast.com/2009/03/04/abdul ... a-georgia/
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Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant »

Frater Taciturnus wrote:And even if you do, this is still a thing.

http://burgerbeast.com/2009/03/04/abdul ... a-georgia/
Wow. That's... certainly an interesting name.
Farrah Bilimoria
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Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant
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Re: New Team/Recent Success—Advice?

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant »

Prof.Whoopie wrote:Qualifying for HSNCT is much more difficult than qualifying for NAC.
It's also worth mentioning that to qualify for NAC, all you have to do is get 19/20 or 20/20 on Twenty Questions, an untimed online quiz where there's no one to stop you from looking everything up (for questions with the picture as the only substantial clue, there's Tineye). So yeah, as we've been saying all along, qualifying for NAQT is a bigger accomplishment than NAC, if only because qualifying for the NAC isn't an accomplishment at all.
Farrah Bilimoria
Formerly of Georgia Tech and Central High School (Macon)

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