Alabama '05-'06

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Post by quizbowllee »

Mr. Avery,
I would tend to agree with you. However (and this is entirely my fault), I left out a bit...

The point at which my player buzzed was actually:

"In 1598 France's King Henry IV promulgated this <buzz>"

It went on to say:

"In 1598 France's King Henry IV promulgated this Edict of Nantes that granted religious rights to what group of French Calvinists?"

Granted, that might not be the EXACT wording, as it's been about a month ago... But that is correct up until my player buzzed.

It is also possible that the word "this" was actually "the" on the paper, but the moderator definitely said "this." Either way, it's bad and "Edict of Nantes" should have been accepted.
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Re: QU tournament

Post by Matt Weiner »

bdavery wrote:That looks like the only half-decent question in the bunch. "Huguenots" is a perfectly legitimate direction for the question to go, based on those 6 words. If you honestly think the only possible answer from those 6 words should be "Edict of Nantes", you're flat-out wrong. You should use it as an object lesson for your players (and for yourself) that questions can be indefinite in the beginning and still be fine questions, not hoses.
No, at that point every decent player in the room is going "I know Henry IV issued the Edict of Nantes in 1598 which granted toleration to Huguenots, now which of those things is this question asking for?" That's not a "fine question" at all, but rather an example of how one-line questions, hose or not, do no job of distinguishing between good teams and are just exercises in luck.
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Post by dtaylor4 »

I know this is banned in 99% of Alabama tournaments, but if blitzing is allowed, here good players would blitz with "The Edict of Nantes which protected Huguenots" or something to that effect. If blitzing isn't allowed, you sit until you know what it is they're asking for.

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Post by Tegan »

quizbowllee wrote:The point at which my player buzzed was actually:
"In 1598 France's King Henry IV promulgated this <buzz>"
It went on to say:
"In 1598 France's King Henry IV promulgated this Edict of Nantes that granted religious rights to what group of French Calvinists?"
<sic>
It is also possible that the word "this" was actually "the" on the paper, but the moderator definitely said "this."
I normally wouldn't go butting in on another state's board, but since I did start a topic on "hosed/not hosed", I thought I would through in a few cents:

1. If the question started "blah-blah....THIS", then I think it is a definite hose. The language in use implied that this was something being issued, and that eliminates things like "Huguenots" and "St. Bartholmew's Day", etc. From the looks of it, the question changed directions midway through, and IMO, that is not acceptable.....OR.....

2. If the moderator made a mistake, then I hope that the state has rules to deal with that, and the moderator refused to honor them. I know Illinois is often characterized as a bit backward, but just this week I had to invoke one of our rules where I questioned a moderator on what was written on the page...they admitted they made a mistake, and the rules are clear on calling for a replacement. I am glad that here a coach has the right to question the official, and put a stop to procedings when it looks like the moderator made a mistake. If Alabama does not have these rules, or some similar mechanism for not penalizing a player for a clear moderator error, then I hope that it will come to pass soon.

It looks like the situation falls under one or the other, and especially in a state where the blitz is not permitted, that's a darn shame that a good player is being penalized like this.

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Post by Hobodog »

I have time for a quick word before I start work on an essay due next period.

We (Mountain Brook A) when 5-1 in the prelims losing only Apollo. Personally I don't think were were threatened by the five teams we beat. Auburn came within about 30 but the others were all 100-200 points blowouts. Then we play Apollo. A team we either just lost to or nearly beat last year at LAMP (they were in our prelim, I was playing B team because no one else had exp.) They stomped us. The final score was something like 210 to 100. We got blown out. Looking at the scores posted I think there was one round where judging by each teams scores we might have been able to beat them in. (I think all wouldve been closer than the one we lost). But the girl on their team was just too fast and we were just making too many dumb mistakes (our trademark, we can match buzzerspeed with anyone but we suck at PLEASE MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I SPEAK NEITHER LATIN NOR ENGLISH and tend to miss too many questions that really probably know). First round of the playoffs woodham just beat us. It appeared the teams were pretty even but they just went out their and beat us. (Lightning round was First lady's name the president and they blitzed it.) So overall we felt great about the tourney except getting smashed by Apollo and then beaten by Woodham in our last two games. But even so, I guess its comforting to know that Apollo really was just that good.

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Post by quizbowllee »

Bob Jones tournament tomorrow... Should be good. I'm hoping that my Brindlee Mountain crew will kick off this new semester with a tournament win - but Covenant Christian will be there, and we won't be at full strength...
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Post by DVader »

Yeah, too bad we couldn't go to Bob Jones. Covenant Christian didn't do too well at LAMP, so maybe y'all will have a chance.
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Post by quizbowllee »

Yeah... I noticed. Were they at full strength? Did you play them?
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Post by Matthew D »

Good luck Lee and I will see you next weekend over at our place..

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Post by DVader »

CCA was at full strength but we didn't play them. They went 4-2 in the prelims and lost to Oak Mountain of all teams in the semifinals. How'd y'all do today?
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Post by quizbowllee »

Actually, I asked CCA about LAMP. They were missing Matt, who is part of their 2-man wrrecking crew (along with Carter).

We got 4th today.

1st - Covenant Christian
2nd - Cullman
3rd - Indian Springs
4th - Brindlee Mountain

CCA killed us in the semis 395-145. Indian Springs then beat us in the consolation. That was the first time Indian Springs has ever beaten us....

Anyway, as usual after a tournament, I am exhausted. I'll give a better write-up sometime tomorrow.
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Post by quizbowllee »

As promised, here is my write-up of the Bob Jones Tournament held on Jan. 14.


After a small delay in getting started, we began. The first round was great! I've been preaching for a while now that ASCA doesn't have to be bad. All tossups (even 5-pointers) where pyramidal. There were no hoses at all. Good questions.

The second round took a bad turn, with some pretty bad questions (but still no hoses). The tournament got back on track after round 2, though and continued to have good questions.

The final round was bad, though. It was almost all pop-culture and/or really obscure stuff. All the teams that were still around were complaining about that round. The players on Bob Jones's team each wrote a round, so I'm curious as to why this particular round was chosen to be the final.

Anyway, with the exception of round 2 and the championship round, the questions were really good. I hope that more teams will take to this style so that the ASCA format can be improved.


Individual scoring awards were as follows:

1st - Daniel Hollis - Cullman
2nd - Andy Knowles - Brindlee Mountain
3rd - Carter Pelham - Covenant Christian
4th - Matthew Hitt - Covenant Christian


CCA continues to dominate. They crushed everyone they played until the championship. I hear that they only beat Cullman by 5, but this can be attributed to the huge amount of pop-culture in that round - an area that CCA seems weak in.

We were not at full strength, but even so the 395-155 beating CCA put on us is impressive. I'm really looking forward to Carter and Matt graduating :wink:

Also, CCA's coach told me that they plan to go to NAQT Nationals this year. I predict they are gonna really shock some folks there.
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Post by NRLYAGODD »

I find that when each person writes a round, the questions from round to round lacks consistency and continuance. I know when Bob Jones hosted their first tourney, they had players submit questions based on their expertise and someone arranged them so each round had a mix from each canon. Maybe someone could suggest to Mr. White to do that instead for next year.

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Post by DVader »

Results of the Paul Bryant High School Invitational:
1st: ASFA 1
2nd: LAMP
3rd: Hoover 1
4th: Pelham

Today I actually got to go to a tournament. There were no missed registrations or transportation issues (although we had to take a nice minibus because the ASFA minibus broke down) and everyone was pretty much on time getting to the tournament. We took two teams; team one had four varsity guys and team 2 had two varsity girls and the JV team but played in the varsity team. In pool play we went 4-1, losing only to LAMP after falling way behind early and catching up a bit on a (long awaited for me) airplane nickname worksheet, then not going all the way in the 15 point round. Our 2nd team went 3-2, beating Hoover but losing to Pelham and Northridge. LAMP also went 4-1 by losing to Hoover 2. In the playoffs we were the 1 seed by total points and faced Pelham first. We defeated them pretty soundly and faced a rematch against LAMP in the finals. The first two periods resulted in a really close game with only a 5 point margin between the two teams. Then came a worksheet on obscure Harry Potter worksheet where we got ten right and LAMP got one. That pushed the game in our favor and we maintained it through the 15 point round to win. The questions were a mixed bag: no hoses but lots of extremely obscure short questions and a number of spelling questions. The worksheets varied from the really obscure to the relatively easy, with the latter coming up at all the right times. The moderators were all good too. This tournament only went to help prove my Theory of Scholars Bowl Rematches: If one team beats a similarly skilled team in the preliminaries, they will lose to them in the next meeting of the two teams.
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Post by quizbowllee »

The ASCA Small Schools tournaments were held on Friday, Jan. 20.

Last year, all the 1A-3A public schools in the state who wanted to compete in this event came to Wallace-Hancville to compete. This year, however, there were two tournaments held: one in North Alabama and one is South Alabama.

I have no information at all about the South Alabama tournament.

However, Brindlee Mountain once again won the North Alabama tournament, guaranteeing a spot in the ASCA Regional Tournament.

This is a god-send for us, because our district includes Grissom, Covenant Christian, and all the other Huntsville Schools. Rumor also has it that Calhoun CC is not hosting a district site this year and that Snead St. may also be taking on those schools, including Bob Jones... This creates a district that will have Brindlee Mountain, Grissom, CCA, Bob Jones, Randolph, and Buckhorn. Not only that, but the second-tier teams at this district, such as Albertville, Athens, Athens Bible, etc. are all pretty good, too and could pull some upsets. I am just glad we have an automatic bid to Regionals because of the Small Schools Championship.

So, no matter what happens at District, Brindlee Mountain will be at Regionals. Our goal now is to hopefully perform well at district and block CCA or Grissom from making it to regionals. We've got nothing to lose, but by defeating Grissom and/or CCA, we might be able to prevent them from progressing any further into the ASCA State series this year.
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Post by quizbowllee »

The top two teams in the "Small Schools" tournament get an automatic bid into Regionals if they do not qualify at their regular district tournament. Therfore, if our district normally sends the top 3 teams to regionals, and we come in 4th, we will still get to go to regionals because of our win at the small schools tournament. However, if we get 2nd at district, we would have qualified anyway, and the automatic small schools bid simply vanishes. That's just the way it works. So essentially, we've got nothing to lose, but if we can get in the top three, we'll keep that 4th place team out.
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Post by Neel6989 »

It does seem a little unfair that ASCA would let you take up two spots, but not nearly as unfair as if they combine the two districts you mentioned.

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Post by quizbowllee »

Neel6989 wrote:It does seem a little unfair that ASCA would let you take up two spots, but not nearly as unfair as if they combine the two districts you mentioned.
I don't necessarily agree with that, either... But that's the way it was explained to me last year.

Also, last year two of the four teams that qualified for regionals through the small schools tournament opted not to compete at regionals. Their spots simply disappeared. Had it been up to me, I would have awarded two more teams an opportunity to compete at regionals (I'm looking at you, ASFA).
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Post by Trevkeeper »

I've recently become rather intereseted in the formats in other states. I've heard a lot of comments about ASCA (of all of them, that and OAC interest me the most), so can any one tell me how it works? Like, what each match consists of in the ASCA format. Thanks!
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Post by steven-lamp »

10 5 point tossups. Usually relatively short, easy tossups.

10 tossups with 20 point bonuses, bounceback.

20 item, 100 point worksheet. 2 minutes.

10 15 point semi-pyramidal tossups.

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Post by insaneindian »

by worksheet, do you actually have to fill it out in two minutes, or do they ask you the questions orally still?
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Post by Trevkeeper »

steven-lamp wrote:10 5 point tossups. Usually relatively short, easy tossups.

10 tossups with 20 point bonuses, bounceback.

20 item, 100 point worksheet. 2 minutes.

10 15 point semi-pyramidal tossups.

Is the worksheet all related questions (like, All starting with the letter "A" or all Literature questions, something like that)?
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Post by DVader »

The ASCA format consists of four periods. The first (warmup period) contains 10 5-point tossups, the second contains 10 10-point tossups with 20-point bounceback bonuses, the third is a 20 question worksheet worth 100 points, and the fourth (catch-up, stump the experts, pun on those two) period has 10 fifteen point tossups. The format has usually lent itself to short tossups, more pyramidal ones have found their way into the ASCA tournament itself.

Pros:
Exciting flow (namely the slow buildup culminating with the high stakes buzzer craziness of the the fifteen point round)
Variety

Cons:
The unequal point distribution between periods (50, 300, 100, 150), making the five-point period relatively pointless.
Quality of the questions (although this has improved in the past few years)
The Worksheet (Can be good if it tests a relatively wide area of knowledge, but more often than not they are themed on the writer's pet interest, resulting in very low scores on them)

I'm sure the rest of y'all have more pros and cons to add.

RE: Regional Qualification
Some kind of at-large wildcard qualification would be nice, but I'd prefer to do it the way it's been done mainly because of the feeling of legitimacy associated with that. Last year's district performance was just a matter of picking the wrong tournament to have a bad day at. It happens. This year though, I think we can pull it off.
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Post by ASimPerson »

DVader wrote:The Worksheet (Can be good if it tests a relatively wide area of knowledge, but more often than not they are themed on the writer's pet interest, resulting in very low scores on them)

I'm sure the rest of y'all have more pros and cons to add.
Oh, you know it.

The worksheet round is the most horrible thing in existance. At Bob Jones my senior year, I helped thumb my nose at the concept with the infamous "Lord of the Rings (for people who have read the books)" worksheet. I still dislike worksheets (and I still get remarks about that worksheet). I imagine the coaches see it as a way for all six team members to participate, but the cons of it outweigh that small positive:
-The two minute period to fill out the worksheet interrupts the "flow of the match." This is a subjective thing, but if you've been in a groove answering tossups it can sort of throw you off track. Imagine if a standard format game had a two minute (closer to 4 or 5, since the moderator has to grade the worksheets) timeout right in the middle of the packet.
-Unless one team is a lot better than the other, the worksheet rarely makes a difference, so it does little to try to show which team is better.
-As DJ mentioned and I demostrated once, worksheets tend towards one subject. They are usually too easy or too obscure, and going back to the previous point, rarely show whether one team has a deeper knowledge of the subject or not.

I used to have other points about this, but I haven't touched one of these things in almost three years, so I've lost my venom towrads them a bit.
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Post by quizbowllee »

For those who care, I found this very interesting and exciting. I think this will be a huge leap forward for Alabama Quiz Bowl:


On Saturday, April 22, 2006 Scottsboro Jr. High School will host the first ever NAQT MIDDLE SCHOOL State Championship Tournament!

This gives our younger players an opportunity to develop real quiz bowl skills on good pyramidal questions. I think that if this catches on, it will greatly improve the level of competition in Alabama's high school teams in the years to come.
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Post by Golden Tiger 86 »

That is a great development, Lee. I remember when we practiced on UTC questions my freshman year, it was the first time I had EVER been introduced to pyramidal questions.
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Post by mf_2 »

So now that they have a Middle School NAQT State Championship, will there be an NAQT National Middle School Championship as well this year? Or is Alabama the only state which has a Middle School NAQT State Championship?
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Post by quizbowllee »

As far as I know, Alabama is the only state with an NAQT Middle School State Championship. I'd like to see a National Tournament someday...
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Post by fancynancy »

quizbowllee wrote:As far as I know, Alabama is the only state with an NAQT Middle School State Championship. I'd like to see a National Tournament someday...
That would be a wonderful idea. I always had so much fun in middle school quiz bowl (Challenger Middle in Huntsville ^_^) and it would have been great to be exposed to a better format like NAQT then.

I'd love to see it happen.
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Post by Matthew D »

Thanks for the exposure Lee... I am very excited about this!!! I will attempt to keep everyone up to date with the prep for it.

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Post by Golden Tiger 86 »

Matthew D wrote:Thanks for the exposure Lee... I am very excited about this!!! I will attempt to keep everyone up to date with the prep for it.
I'm impressed, Matthew. I'm especially happy that it looks like there is going to be a new decent team in Alabama in the near future...Scottsboro used to be downright horrific in scholars bowl, glad to see that school is making some waves.
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Post by David Riley »

Ordinariley I wouldn't butt into another state's board, but as one of my compatriots did, here goes: :grin:

1) Re the mostly pop culture round at one of your recent tournaments:

Although some people here can get a little silly about it, we have a distribution in our state series that most people adopt: for a 30-question round, we have 6 each of literature/language arts, science, math, and social studies, and 3 each of arts and miscellaneous. The miscellaneous can include just about anything, and there are those of us who would like to see it either eliminated entirely or see a wider vaariety of questions per set/tournament. Perhaps the powers that be in Alabama might consider something similar.

2) Until I glanced at this board, I had no idea that Alabama had such actibve quiz bowl teams. As Head Coach of Team Illinois at Panasonic, I would like to invite the Alabama team to a scrimmage match (unless of course, we play each other in our first round! :smile:

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Post by quizbowllee »

Mr. Riley,

"Team Alabama" is simply the team that wins the ASCA State Championship. We do not recruit the best players to field a team at Panasonic. Our Alabama team is always from the same school. This is why Alabama has never been in any real contention for the Panasonic Title. Don't get me wrong, the ASCA State Champs are usually pretty good. The problem is that they can't compete against states like Illinois and Virginia that consist of the best players from across the state. If Alabama ever DID send a team of our best players, then you would see a HUGE difference in our performance at Panasonic.

As it stands, I'm not 100% sure that we would go to Panasonic if we won ASCA (not that I really think we're going to win this year, but it IS possible). The amount of money that ASCA gives for travel won't come close to covering all the expenses of the trip. Also, we are already going to NAQT the weekend before Panasonic AND PACE the weekend after... The kids on my team don't seem very enthusiastic about the format AND, like I said, we'll not be in any contention to do well against All-Star teams...
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Post by David Riley »

Mr. Henry (and call me David)

Oh well...my team from Loyola Academy will see you at NAQT nationals!

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Post by jagluski »

David Riley wrote:Mr. Henry (and call me David)

Oh well...my team from Loyola Academy will see you at NAQT nationals!
Well then, as the logistics coordinator of the NAQT national tournament...I don't know if Loyola is planning to come to the Friday night scrimmage rounds, but Loyola and Brindlee Mountain should definitely play a scrimmage match Friday night then!

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Post by David Riley »

We haven't thought that far ahead, but worth consideration!

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Post by Matthew D »

I wish I could be there to see that one if it comes to pass..
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Post by quizbowllee »

District Assignments are here: http://www.dbtech.net/asca/HSDist.htm



It looks like the old Calhoun site has been split between Snead St. CC and Wallace-Hanceville.
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Post by DVader »

Looks like Bob Jones lucked out in their district assignment. They have to travel a bit further though. Our district is going to be as fun as ever, as is yours, Lee.
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Post by quizbowllee »

The elimination of the Calhoun District might actually help us out in the Snead District. According to the e-mail I just got, there will be 6 teams moving on from Snead instead of the usual 3!
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Post by ASimPerson »

DVader wrote:Looks like Bob Jones lucked out in their district assignment. They have to travel a bit further though. Our district is going to be as fun as ever, as is yours, Lee.
Playing at Calhoun was always a boon for us anyway - we were usually the only good team there, as opposed to the cluster[radio edit] that was (and is) Snead.
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Post by quizbowllee »

At a middle school tournament today at Councill Middle School in Dadeville, AL, Brindlee Mountain A placed 1st. Brindlee Mountain B placed second. Our 6th graders would have placed 3rd, but lost on a tie-breaker...

I'm just wondering how often teams in Alabama (middle or high) have ever placed 1st and 2nd in a tournament. I can only think of a few times that this has happened - and it has been Brindlee Mountain each time I can remember. We did it 2 years ago at Arab Jr. High. Also, at LAMP's 7-9 grade tournament last year, I split up my freshmen into 3 teams and we took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd....

I know that some of the major national powerhouse high schools have done this (TJ, Dunbar, etc). We've never accomplished this feat in a "true" high school tournament, though....

Has anyone else done this?
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Post by bdavery »

It is a very impressive feat and a tribute to your coaching. Congratulations!
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Post by quizbowllee »

OK - I've had a chance to really look at the ASCA Districts. More than ever, I feel that fundamental changes need to be made to this system. There are too many districts where the winners are guaranteed without even playing. Is there any doubt AT ALL that LAMP will be first place in their district? But, if LAMP were thrown into the Birmingham or Snead Districts, wouldn't things be different?

I can't help but feel that this system is so flawed.

Brindlee Mountain already has an automatic bid to regionals, so that's not really my concern. My concern is that SOME really great teams are going to be eliminated this Friday not because of lack of talent - but because of geography.

The argument seems to be that ASCA wants a diverse geographical representation at state. However, I feel that we should have the top 16 teams at state, even if all 16 of them were from the same county - or even the same city. Am I wrong? Is there anyone who prefers geographical diversity over actual ability in determining the Sweet 16?

Anyway, this is just my annual rant on the unevenness of district sites. Expect another completely in vain rant before regionals.
Last edited by quizbowllee on Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by First Chairman »

Lee,

I guess I don't know what other people who run ASCA think, but how frequently do they solicit feedback? I'm asking because usually there is a reason why they run things the way they do (granted the reason may not be logical). I just wonder what the opportunities for participant feedback are.
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Post by STPickrell »

quizbowllee wrote:Anyway, this is just my annual rant on the unevenness of district sites. Expect another completely in vain rant before regionals.
I'd rather see a wild card system of some sort instead of shutting out entire districts/regions because they were bad last year or because their champions are not as good as the 5th place team in a strong region/district.
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Post by quizbowllee »

StPickrell wrote:
quizbowllee wrote:Anyway, this is just my annual rant on the unevenness of district sites. Expect another completely in vain rant before regionals.
I'd rather see a wild card system of some sort instead of shutting out entire districts/regions because they were bad last year or because their champions are not as good as the 5th place team in a strong region/district.
That's what I would like to see, too. Obviously we can't just "do away" with certain weak districts. My proposal has been to increase the number of teams at state from 16 to 21. Allow the top four teams from the previous year an automatic bye into state. Also, leave room for at least 2-3 "at large" bids based on performance at non-district and non-regional tournaments.
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Post by First Chairman »

Ohio has always had an issue with their state championship system. They previously had advanced 2 out of every region, but that became a bit unwieldy when they created a fifth region. I think there was always discussion of 3 teams per region (and I think they did that once) until to my perception, it seemed that having a region sweep 1st to 3rd place at states was somehow "bad."

Personally I'm not opposed to having a repechage tournament for those teams vying for a wildcard spot (or spots). The week before states, have the second-place teams in each region compete against each other for the final wildcard berths (cf "Knight School" where 17-18 kids are competing for one walk-on spot).

Another not-so-convoluted solution is the Figure Skating System solution: if a region has two teams that finish in the top 10, that region gets a third spot for the following year's tournament.
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Post by steven-lamp »

The District system is a business matter for ASCA, in my opinion. I don't think they intentionally have an unequal distribution of teams, but there is an exponentially higher probability that more teams will continue to participate in (and as such, pay dues for) the ASCA state tournament. Localized districts means little to no travel expenses for teams, and even if the bad teams get killed every year, they still at least went to a close tournament that has something to do with some sort of "state title," which is a big deal some places.

As for the better teams, they aren't just going to not participate in ASCA, because they realize that there's still going to be a relatively good matchup of teams at either district or regionals, and definitely at state. Essentially, there are a lot more bad teams than good teams, and, to use a Marxian metaphor here, the bad teams are like the Proletariat, they work and create the platform for the Bourgeoisie [good teams] to "rule." The abundance of bad teams provides the financial overhead ASCA needs to exist.

It may not provide for the best, most optimal competition, but it's at least functional. Besides, there's always the NAQT state championship, which I think carries more national prestige than the ASCA title, and most all of the good teams attend that tournament, and if they don't, then they definitely should.

There's this week's post.

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Post by Matthew D »

Very true words Steven. But at the same time it does help some of the "newer" teams like mine to participate in ASCA but I do question some of the regional assignments. But I do the same thing when I start looking at the one for AHSAA pairings for football, basketball, etc.
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