Coaches and the NAC

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Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp!
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Coaches and the NAC

Post by Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! »

Split from the 2011 NAC thread. --Mgmt.

I know this thread has been sitting dormant for a while, but I was just reading through it now and feeling the need to make some comments. My apologies (and I can delete this if need be) if this thread has been inactive for too long.

Regarding Copley's coach, I haven't always agreed, but she's done more to bring a quizbowl foundation to over 600 Ohio schools than anyone else in the state. Agree with her, or not, about attending NAC; Copley's a good program, with a great coach, with excellent and motivated students. Granted, I'm still new to the larger, national picture. I will always listen and respect those who have done more for improving quizbowl, and who flat out know more than myself. But I think I can still offer an informed perspective based on experiences over the last couple years.

I always support promoting HSNCT (and NAQT tournaments in general...or really any tournament has has good pyramidal questions) ahead of anything affiliated with :chip: . But, so far, I've only found one good way of getting more schools involved in good quizbowl. It's a painfully slow process, because people and schools are slow to change, but it's really the only way that I have found to work. If you want teams to attend the more efficient, ethical, and outright better tournaments, you don't do it with threats or telling adminstrators they should fail students if the quizbowl team continues attending NAC.

Hawken, is a school in Ohio that only had funds to attend 1 national tournament a year, and it was always NAC. Until this year, when they started attending more NAQT tournaments in the area. The players started hearing from other teams how great HSNCT was, so the Hawken kids kept bringing it up to their coaches; about wanting to go to Atlanta this year. And other area coaches, who have gone to HSNCT, also reached out to Hawken's coaches, saying their money would be much better spent towards HSNCT, and how their players would enjoy it more. Finally, this year, Hawken is registered for HSNCT. But that's the process that needs to take place. It's slow, sometimes a grind when there is resistance, but it seems like the only true method.

It has to begin with having motivated and interested players. Now, granted, as a coach, I feel you need to be aware of all quizbowl going on in your area, and giving all options to your players...but you also need the players to be self-motivated to go to the tournaments. Unfortunately, many coaches don't want to expand beyond their league, or maybe attending the local tournaments once in a while, because it means more work for them. Maybe it is the antiquated way of doing things, and many coaches have been slow to warm to the idea of better quizbowl, like pyramidal questions, and tu/b. But you can't determine the "right" and "wrong" way to coaching based on whether a team goes to NAC, NSC, HSNCT, NHBB, or whatever tv shows they want to do. The only mark of a coach is, are your players learning? Are they having fun doing it? Are you seeing growth in the season? That's it, and everything else is just unnecessary drama.

When the right players, and coach, are in place...only then do you involve school administrations. Like some other posters, I was confused with how they were even brought up in this thread. If a team is independently funded, then there is no need to involve the administration, but that's a very select minority of teams. Still you only involve the administration when it comes to finances. Many of them do not know what quizbowl is, other than an extra-curricular activity for presumably their smartest students. They don't know, nor likely care about, the differences between Tournament A and Tournament B, or pyramidal questions an QU questions. The only quizbowl matters you bring school administrations into is the money, and that should be handled specifically by the coach at that school (or by the students if necessary).
Last edited by Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! on Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by Matt Weiner »

You can believe whatever you want about the right way to expand quizbowl or the meaning of playing bad tournaments (and make no mistake about it, the NAC is a bad tournament in every sense) but the fact here is that, on top of its offenses to quizbowl aesthetics, the Chip organization is an ethical black hole, and it's incumbent on people with any moral fiber to steer clear of it, plagiarism and all. We don't need to have the quizbowl-specific discussion because it should not even be an open question at that point.

By the way, the only people who threaten their students into playing tournaments are those, like Korosa, who drag unwilling students to NAC, and certain like-minded It's Academic coaches. Real quizbowl doesn't need or want to coerce anyone and it's completely upside-down of you to suggest that it does.
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! »

Matt Weiner wrote:You can believe whatever you want about the right way to expand quizbowl or the meaning of playing bad tournaments (and make no mistake about it, the NAC is a bad tournament in every sense) but the fact here is that, on top of its offenses to quizbowl aesthetics, the Chip organization is an ethical black hole, and it's incumbent on people with any moral fiber to steer clear of it, plagiarism and all. We don't need to have the quizbowl-specific discussion because it should not even be an open question at that point.

By the way, the only people who threaten their students into playing tournaments are those, like Korosa, who drag unwilling students to NAC, and certain like-minded It's Academic coaches. Real quizbowl doesn't need or want to coerce anyone and it's completely upside-down of you to suggest that it does.
Students can form their own opinions of what they want to do, what they want to play, and make their own decisions. The idea of "professionalism" and "ethics" are being preached as an argument against NAC but at the same time you're publicly disparaging coaches for their own personal views and practices, such as attending NAC. You're saying the students are "unwilling" to go to NAC or they're "being dragged" to it, which is assumptive and down right false. If there was no interest in attending a national tournament, then it would be a complete waste of airline tickets, hotel reservations, etc to go to it and no one would pay for it.

Also, why is NAC even acknowledged under the titling of the national tournaments sub-forum?
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by penforprez »

Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! wrote:Regarding Copley's coach, I haven't always agreed, but she's done more to bring a quizbowl foundation to over 600 Ohio schools than anyone else in the state. Agree with her, or not, about attending NAC; Copley's a good program, with a great coach, with excellent and motivated students. Granted, I'm still new to the larger, national picture. I will always listen and respect to those who have done more for improving quizbowl, and who flat out know more than myself. But I think I can still offer an informed perspective based on experiences over the last couple years.
My attitude with this has always been not to fight anybody who isn't fighting me, and Sue Korosa fits into that category. Yes, Sue likes Chip. Yes, Sue is the embodiment of the antiquated format that is OAC. Sue knows that I personally don't like OAC and I openly refused her request to work a Chip-format tournament. Guess what? She doesn't hold it against me. Sue has a lot of respect for my quizbowl knowledge, and I actually got to assist in the HQ at the massive Copley tournament this year, which was a lot of fun. Because I don't tell her she's wrong. And she respects that.

You attract more flies with honey than you do vinegar. Sue may like things we don't believe in, but she's not against us, so we shouldn't be against her. That worked for me in Missouri, it works in Ohio, and it'll work everywhere. The stark Che Guevara attitude is nothing but counterproductive.
Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! wrote:Hawken, is a school in Ohio that only had funds to attend 1 national tournament a year, and it was always NAC. Until this year, when they started attending more NAQT tournaments in the area. The players started hearing from other teams how great HSNCT was, so the Hawken kids kept bringing it up to their coaches; about wanting to go to Atlanta this year. And other area coaches, who have gone to HSNCT, also reached out to Hawken's coaches, saying their money would be much better spent towards HSNCT, and how their players would enjoy it more. Finally, this year, Hawken is registered for HSNCT. But that's the process that needs to take place. It's slow, sometimes a grind when there is resistance, but it seems like the only true method.
It is the only method that works. It is not universal and it's slower than continental drift, but it works. The changes I've seen in the <2 seasons I've been in Ohio have been remarkable, but a lot of people put in a lot of time to make that happen.
Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! wrote:When the right players, and coach, are in place...only then do you involve school administrations. Like some other posters, I was confused with how they were even brought up in this thread. If a team is independently funded, then there is no need to involve the administration, but that's a very select minority of teams. Still you only involve the administration when it comes to finances. Many of them do not know what quizbowl is, other than an extra-curricular activity for presumably their smartest students. They don't know, nor likely care about, the differences between Tournament A and Tournament B, or pyramidal questions an QU questions. The only quizbowl matters you bring school administrations into is the money, and that should be handled specifically by the coach at that school (or by the students if necessary).
Administrations don't care about quizbowl until you do something that makes them look good. Then they'll milk you any way they can, cause I had this happen when I played in high school. We live in a world that's bought, sold, and marketed, and sadly, teams get exploited in the process.
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by DrCongo »

A little thing to add here - for those who don't know, the Honors College at Michigan State University has sponsored its own state championship for about a decade and has always used KMO questions, which like QU questions feature lots of nasty hooks and questions that much of the quiz bowl community would hate (It's called "bad states" by the MSU Academic Team for a reason). This year the MSU academic team "edited" the KMO questions, throwing out questions with ridiculous hooks and questions with absurd topics, but they took things one step farther, a step that people in the past have failed at.

I think the guys on MSU's academic team deserve some attention in this thread because it looks like they've finally convinced the Honors College to use HSAPQ questions next year and although things aren't certain, it's beginning to look like the MSU Honors College-sponsored state championship will be run on conventional, pyramid-style questions next year. I'm excited to work with the Honors College next year to help make sure that this switch actually happens.

I don't know how they were able to get through to the people at the Honors College, but if there's anyone looking for advice on how to wean a state off of Chip/KMO/etc questions, they should ask the MSU academic team how.
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by AKKOLADE »

Paula Pareto Optimality wrote:The idea of "professionalism" and "ethics" are being preached as an argument against NAC but at the same time you're publicly disparaging coaches for their own personal views and practices, such as attending NAC.
He's criticizing them for going to NAC because of the problems with the tournament that he is pointing out.
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat »

DrCongo wrote:A little thing to add here - for those who don't know, the Honors College at Michigan State University has sponsored its own state championship for about a decade and has always used KMO questions, which like QU questions feature lots of nasty hooks and questions that much of the quiz bowl community would hate (It's called "bad states" by the MSU Academic Team for a reason). This year the MSU academic team "edited" the KMO questions, throwing out questions with ridiculous hooks and questions with absurd topics, but they took things one step farther, a step that people in the past have failed at.

I think the guys on MSU's academic team deserve some attention in this thread because it looks like they've finally convinced the Honors College to use HSAPQ questions next year and although things aren't certain, it's beginning to look like the MSU Honors College-sponsored state championship will be run on conventional, pyramid-style questions next year. I'm excited to work with the Honors College next year to help make sure that this switch actually happens.

I don't know how they were able to get through to the people at the Honors College, but if there's anyone looking for advice on how to wean a state off of Chip/KMO/etc questions, they should ask the MSU academic team how.
Not to get too much into this discussion - I've been on both sides, first in Ohio and now at MSU, but just to caution people before they get too excited that the change hasn't officially been made. The Honors College has indicated its willingness to consider a change and most coaches have not indicated opposition to it, but there's still a lot of work to go from "willing to change" to "signing an agreement with HSAPQ." I am cautiously optimistic that this will happen, and plan to continue working with both the Honors College and HSAPQ to assist with the transition and adjusting the rules for their championship to accommodate a different style of questions, but it isn't 100% a sure thing.

As for what we're doing, we've had two aspects: first, the tournament every year has a "leadership team" made up of about a dozen students in the Honors College who volunteer. This year we got as many of our members as were willing to come to sign up for it, giving us collectively a bigger voice in its affairs. Also, we've been talking to coaches consistently at our high school tournaments and there, and nearly all of them have indicated some level of dissatisfaction with the questions. It's a big weapon to be able to go to the Honors college and say "Out of the x coaches we've talked to, exactly one has said anything positive about these questions." Between those and their dissatisfaction with paying large amounts of money for questions that require a massive investment of time to make slightly less awful (even though they don't know anything about quizbowl norms, they know when questions are not written in something approaching English), they were ready to at least take a close look at the first reasonable alternative presented to them. I just hope that goes the next step into actually adopting the questions. Once that's done, we can worry about less immediate concerns, like the bracket structure and qualification rules.
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! »

Fred wrote:
Paula Pareto Optimality wrote:The idea of "professionalism" and "ethics" are being preached as an argument against NAC but at the same time you're publicly disparaging coaches for their own personal views and practices, such as attending NAC.
He's criticizing them for going to NAC because of the problems with the tournament that he is pointing out.
I'm sure it's not disparaging to anyone at all, unless you're Korosa. I've played against Copley and met Korosa many times at various tournaments. Since Copley was specifically brought up in this thread, I felt like pointing out what Copley (including Korosa) has meant to quizbowl in the state of Ohio. I've learned more about "professionalism" and "ethics" from Korosa, and other coaches, than I ever have from grinding an axe with Chip Beall.

The essential reason I posted in this thread, was to share the processes of expanding good quizbowl that I've seen work, and haven't worked. Maybe other people's experiences are different, I don't know (Bobby, I think that's an excellent idea. Thanks for bringing up the MSU Academic team). I believed this to be relevant while reading the thread. I don't give a chupacabra what Chip does, because I've never met the man, and therefor I feel nothing towards him. But if the fact that I won't spend time continually beating a dead-horse (nor criticizing coaches who I've personally met, and still respect, even if they attend Chip tournaments), somehow makes me as bad for quizbowl as Chip Beall, than well, I'll agree with Matt about something...believe what you want.
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by Matt Weiner »

The only one talking about "professionalism" or who is "as bad" as someone else is you. What is your point, other than posting a long apologia for coaches who patronize Chip and then claiming you have no opinion when challenged to defend your opinion?
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by Scaled Flowerpiercer »

Paula Pareto Optimality wrote: Also, why is NAC even acknowledged under the titling of the national tournaments sub-forum?
It is still a national tournament in the sense of bringing teams from across the nation, whether or not a general community considers it to be a determination of a national champion. Also, for those who will be attending, whether against their will or by their will, a place on the forums to discuss it will make sure that people faced with a decision of attending NAC will have some idea what it's like, providing an outlet other than qunlimted.com and outdated qbwiki articles for information.

Also, it would just be kind of weird having to discuss a tournament in "Quizbowl Miscellaneous discussion."
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! »

Matt Weiner wrote:The only one talking about "professionalism" or who is "as bad" as someone else is you. What is your point, other than posting a long apologia for coaches who patronize Chip and then claiming you have no opinion when challenged to defend your opinion?
I may have been unclear, but there is still a significant difference from "I have no opinion about Chip and his tournaments" and "I couldn't care less what Chip does, because I feel nothing towards him."

The "I couldn't care less" meaning, I'd rather spend my time and energy on things other than Chip and tarnishing the coaches who go to his tournaments. Those other things being, building rapport with teams and coaches, whether they traditionally go to NAC or not. (See the example I gave with Hawken)

You understood my point well enough in your first response:
Matt Weiner wrote:You can believe whatever you want about the right way to expand quizbowl or the meaning of playing bad tournaments
I just took it as you disagreed. Fine with me, but I'm not understanding the attitudes expressed towards coaches (in this thread), based on whether they attend NAC or not. One of those coaches being someone I know through Ohio quizbowl, Sue Korosa. Since Copley was brought up earlier in the thread, I felt it necessary to address the assumptions made about their coach. Even if her ideas are different, she has not fought the inclusion of NAQT tournaments, or pyramidal questions, into Ohio. So, as Paul says, why would I pick a fight with a coach, who has spent money at several NAQT tournaments (including HSNCT last year) and who isn't fighting me? And then offer I think there is a process in reaching out to new teams, or getting teams to stop attending NAC, but that process is a slow grind.
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by Matt Weiner »

I don't know, dude. You're the one who posted in a thread that was dead for 10 months to declare the message that apparently needed to be heard, which is the moral acceptability of playing Chip. Who's picking a fight with whom and why?
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! »

In hindsight, I admit, I probably shouldn't have revived a dead thread. I expressed whether this was, ok, or not. At the time, I was just reading through it and trying to figure out why coaches were being called idiots, and why administrations should fail students who attend NAC. I couldn't wrap my head around how that would be productive to getting the teams involved in good quizbowl, with better questions.
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Re: NAC 2011

Post by Matt Weiner »

Reviewing the thread, I see one reference to the notion that, if a hypothetical student engaged in plagiarism of the kind that Chip has and still does as of at least 2009, he would likely fail a hypothetical assignment at most American high schools. This is indisputably true. This is also, indisputably, in no way the same thing as saying "administrations should fail students who play NAC."
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Re: Coaches and the NAC

Post by Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! »

My mistake, I read the comment here incorrectly:
Horned screamer wrote:What if you tell the Ardsley administrators that Chip Beall regularly engages in practices that would assuredly violate their honor code and force them to fail any students who did the same thing?
At first, I read this as since Chip engages in practices that would violate a school's honor code, what if someone told administrators to fail students for participating (since they in fact would be partaking in an activity that would violate school honor codes). I see now, it was the hypothetical situation that Matt describes in his last post.
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