Improving SoCal's Circuit

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Coldblueberry
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Improving SoCal's Circuit

Post by Coldblueberry »

So Chris Chiego said
"I would like for the schedule next year to be better defined further in advance so teams can prepare and so we can advertise a full schedule in our mailings to new teams; perhaps we should have some kind of SoCalQB online gathering to help plan out the schedule for next year come May/June."
Maybe we could start with a "blackout date" list as well as a "goal" number of tournaments for next year's season. I won't be here next year so I'm just trying to help out :)

Blackout Date List (tiered by number of people attending):
1st tier:
SAT Dates

2nd tier:
ACT Dates

3rd tier:
San Diego Youth Symphony and others (because of regularity)

Please help insert activities like Science Olympiad, Mock Trial, Science Bowl, some Latin thing I recall people talking about, Debate tournaments, Youth orchestra concerts...

Goal Number and Composition of Tournaments:

I'm just throwing out a random composition...feel free to make comments.

12 Total:

2 Novice (FNT and an IS-A)
4 NAQT
3 HSAPQ
3 Housewrites (2 "harder" Pre-nationals and 1 that's more "regular")

PLUS: at least 1 NHBB

From October to May there are around 7 months (not counting breaks) of possible tournament dates.
There could be around two tournaments a month.
Last edited by Coldblueberry on Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Justin
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Re: Improving SoCal's Circuit

Post by Smuttynose Island »

I'm not sure what you mean by a "Blackout Date," but if it means that you shouldn't host a tournament on such dates then that's pretty foolish. It's been shown time and time again that tests dates and other activities don't result in a significant drop in team attendance. In general though, I'd like to commend you for trying to manage the number of and schedule out tournaments early. This is something that needs to be taken up by other regions as well.
Daniel Hothem
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Coldblueberry
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Re: Improving SoCal's Circuit

Post by Coldblueberry »

Smuttynose Island wrote:I'm not sure what you mean by a "Blackout Date," but if it means that you shouldn't host a tournament on such dates then that's pretty foolish. It's been shown time and time again that tests dates and other activities don't result in a significant drop in team attendance.
They are dates that entities should be discouraged from hosting on. There aren't that many; definitely less than 1/2 the Saturdays of each month. When I was choosing a date for TPOT, avoiding conflicts with other events was my first priority. Maybe there's no "significant" drop, but we should be trying to make it easier for teams to attend...
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Re: Improving SoCal's Circuit

Post by Great Bustard »

Coldblueberry wrote: Goal Number and Composition of Tournaments:

I'm just throwing out a random composition...feel free to make comments.

12 Total:

2 Novice (FNT and an IS-A)
4 NAQT
3 HSAPQ
3 Housewrites (2 "harder" Pre-nationals and 1 that's more "regular")

From October to May there are around 7 months (not counting breaks) of possible tournament dates.
There could be around two tournaments a month.
Please plan on at least one NHBB tournament in the mix. If we could just find an active SoCal HS willing to host, we'd be happy to run a second (for this year too, especially on an after school basis).
David Madden
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cchiego
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Re: Improving SoCal's Circuit

Post by cchiego »

Three major suggestions:

1. More tournaments in more locations. There's a huge SD bent to the circuit right now and not surprisingly most of the new teams we've been able to get come from the SD area. Irvine, University, NoHo...y'all gotta step up and host. It also wouldn't hurt if Caltech and the Claremont schools leveraged their prestige and hosting facilities to draw more schools from the LA into the circuit.

2. More DIRECT outreach to other schools with academic teams. This is where all players and coaches need to step up their game; use your social networks! If you're at Science Bowl, talk to all the kids and coaches from the other teams about quizbowl. Tell them how awesome it is and give them material that explains pyramidal questions and point them to upcoming tournaments and resources. Displaying that kind of passion in person is the best recruiting tool we have. Do the same at Ocean Science Bowl, Latin competitions, etc. and be sure to go for the students as well as the coaches.

3. More ways to legitimize the quizbowl circuit. This is where the http://www.socalquizbowl.org website is a start, but we need more organizational help from the local coaches and other people to help pull off other projects like a legitimate state championship, perhaps all-star awards, outreach to boards of ed. Heck, the winner of one local Academic League here had a day of honor declared by the county commission for them even though they didn't even make it into the county championship match! We need to be getting that kind of recognition for the good QB teams who place highly at the national competitions and win the quizbowl competitions out here. Unfortunately, there just aren't that many involved coaches around here and Dwight and I have increasingly pressing grad school duties. We need help on this.
Chris C.
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Re: Improving SoCal's Circuit

Post by Auroni »

Schools that are hosting (HS and College) need to coordinate with one another so that turnout doesn't taper off in the flood of events. Chris figured out how to reach out to teams and garner huge turnouts for UCSD tournaments, but the circuit as a whole would be even stronger if we had teams put in words for each other's events, don't cram tournaments in any particular months, and don't schedule events against one another.

SAT/ACT/Youth Symphony/Science Bowl/Ocean Bowl/Chess Tournaments/Debate Tournaments/Model UN events: It's just not possible to work around these. The biggest limitation for the dates that schools can host is provided by the bureaucracy of getting room reservations. For example, at UCSD, we can't reserve rooms prior to three weeks before the event and can't host on finals weekends. At high schools, there are even more restrictions to be found. If a school finds a date after some difficulty, only to discover that it's an SAT weekend, there's absolutely nothing that they can do. These events all happen all the time. Even seemingly "free" weekends have something going on. They only affect a fraction of each quizbowl team. It's up to the host to build enough of a relationship with the attending teams such that those teams can be persuaded to come anyway. For example, Arcadia recently stated that they would not attend a UCSD tournament because of a Science Bowl conflict that would take away all of their science players. That's the wrong mindset to have, because Arcadia has players who are good at non-science categories.

So yeah, bottom line is that hosting institutions should coordinate with one another to share lists of contacts and that weakened teams should still play tournaments, since that is what quizbowl is about.
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Charles Martel
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Re: Improving SoCal's Circuit

Post by Charles Martel »

There will be at least one SAT and ACT date that doesn't conflict with a quizbowl tournament; tell all your team members that want to take it to choose that date.
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Re: Improving SoCal's Circuit

Post by David Riley »

I don't have a contact there, but at one time the state of Washington would have reps from academic competitions meet and work out a calendar together....perhaps Southern California could try something similar?
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Corry
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Re: Improving SoCal's Circuit

Post by Corry »

Regarding blackout dates, anyone planning a tournament should also consider the schedule for the We the People competition (aka Government Team). In Arcadia, all of our quiz bowl captains in the past 3 years (including this year's) have been members of Gov Team. There isn't a set date for the Gov Team state championships yet, but if there happens to be a quiz bowl tournament on whatever that date ends up as, then Gov Team takes priority.
Corry Wang
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cchiego
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Re: Improving SoCal's Circuit

Post by cchiego »

Frankly, I don't see the need to worry about blackout dates too much. We have enough interest in hosting to allow for tournaments pretty much every other weekend at this point I think. If every team can't bring all their A teamers every week, then that's fine--it'll give other players a chance to play and make tournaments more intriguing (though it might also wreak havoc on seeding unless teams truthfully tell us who's on what team). SAT dates are the best ones to avoid, but otherwise we've been getting enough interest to fill up 18-24 team fields even with several of the usual suspects missing.
Chris C.
UGA '09, UCSD '12, UPenn '20
Co-Founder, Southern California Quizbowl + Greater Pennsylvania QuizBowl
Current Location: Monterey Bay/Oakland

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