Toward a True National Organization...

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
Tegan
Coach of AHAN Jr.
Posts: 1975
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:42 pm

Toward a True National Organization...

Post by Tegan »

I think the Alabama folks were getting inundated by interlopers on their board starting to talk about a National Organization (which PACE was being talked up).

While I am not crowning myself the expert, there are a few things that would need to be considered:

A. Since each state is different, and many consider their quiz bowl "the only format", it will be next to impossible to get a concensus on "a single system, sacred and indivisible".

B. It needn't be that way. Even in sports, there are variations in the rules as to how a sport is run from state to state. The best example I know is that Illinois uses slightly different tournament scoring rules in wrestling...some states use the 24 second clock in basketball, etc. In other words, there can be a "national governing body for quizbowl"....call it a national federation if you will, which still permits some variants to exist.

So, if a national federation were to come into existance, what else would need to be done (I might be addressing this to the people who have more experience dealing with state associations and national federations)? What limitations would be faced?
User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Post by grapesmoker »

As an outsider to high-school quizbowl, I find it quite interesting that there are so many different formats (worksheets, lightning rounds, etc.) between states. As everyone knows, there is pretty much a unified consensus on what constitutes collegiate quizbowl. Why shouldn't high school quizbowl converge to that model?
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance
User avatar
Matthew D
Yuna
Posts: 919
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:52 pm
Location: Scenic Grant Alabama

Post by Matthew D »

Personally, I would love to see a "one-size" fits all format. It would make prep for contests a bit easier IMO

As for the slight varation of rules, I think it could be something very similar to what happened when the NCAA came into existance for the colleges. You would have a governing body that would handle "variations" on overall game rules
Matt Dennis
Coach DAR Quizbowl Team
User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Post by First Chairman »

grapesmoker wrote:As an outsider to high-school quizbowl, I find it quite interesting that there are so many different formats (worksheets, lightning rounds, etc.) between states. As everyone knows, there is pretty much a unified consensus on what constitutes collegiate quizbowl. Why shouldn't high school quizbowl converge to that model?
The same reason why there is no "national high school curriculum." Education has always been a "local domain". There are only so many things one can do as a national educational organization to effect change in education. Just imagine what it would take to change things on quiz bowl.

The problem now is money. There is too much money at stake to adopt a singular format. Back in the day that :chip: had the "national championship" monopoly, it could be argued that we had a national format. The tossup/bonus concept predated that with "College Bowl," but it was strictly a television format, not an academically stringent one. We also have proliferation of different types of formats in regions.

If we had a set of straightforward concepts or groundrules, I think that would be one thing. The problem is getting the buy-in from the people who profit from this style of competition (and that would include Academic Decathlon in my opinion).

Lots more thoughts... have to return to my class.
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)
User avatar
Skepticism and Animal Feed
Auron
Posts: 3207
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

grapesmoker wrote:As an outsider to high-school quizbowl, I find it quite interesting that there are so many different formats (worksheets, lightning rounds, etc.) between states. As everyone knows, there is pretty much a unified consensus on what constitutes collegiate quizbowl. Why shouldn't high school quizbowl converge to that model?
High school quizbowl exists on a much more localized level than collegiate quizbowl. High schools can have a long and rewarding playing season and never once play an opponent located more than 30-45 minutes away. This means that there is no real need for a national organization, and invariably independent local and state organizations deviate in rules.

In college quizbowl, you are forced to compete against schools that are far away, and this leads to similar rules over long distances. Though under my model, insular circuits should start to deviate in rules, and that isn't 100% seen (though you could make an argument for the South, from what I've heard) so it needs some revision. Because there's no Nobel Prize in Social Science to fear getting stolen from me, I'll let somebody else make that revision.
Bruce
Harvard '10 / UChicago '07 / Roycemore School '04
ACF Member emeritus
My guide to using Wikipedia as a question source
User avatar
Stained Diviner
Auron
Posts: 4842
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:08 am
Location: Chicagoland
Contact:

Post by Stained Diviner »

Here are some things a national organization could work on other than standardization. Format standardization would be very low on my list.

* Coaches and/or Players Convention
* Rating Question Suppliers, Buzzer Systems, Moderators, and Tournaments
* Recognizing Excellence in a variety of ways
* A proofreading service
* Publicity in regular media
* Publicizing good tournaments to teams
* Increase the number of tournaments, especially in underrepresented areas
* Setting up mirrors of good tournaments
* Assist Tournament Directors to arrange formats, find questions, find moderators, etc.
* Providing basic information to inexperienced coaches

There would be some fundraising involved--certainly to carry out some of the things listed above and possibly to send needy teams to tournaments.

If it is a new organization, I would recommend not running a tournament. If it is PACE, I would recommend continuing the tournament. If it is a new organization, I would recommend a strong working relationship with NAQT, PACE, and ACE, which are already working on several of these issues to some extent. As has already been said before, PACE is the most natural fit.

The internet would certainly play a major role in these things, and time would tell whether or not a new site would be necessary.

I would recommend that the organization define what qualities of Quiz Bowl it is trying to encourage--some general guidelines as to what makes for a good tournament. These guidelines should be broad enough to allow a fair amount of variation without supporting bad tournaments. (That is, academic content is important while the number of players on a team or the inclusion of a worksheet or speed round at halftime is not.)

Rating is a touchy issue but could be well worth it. An inexperienced TD can find a list of 20 question suppliers, but it is difficult to find out which ones write good questions and/or are professional about meeting deadlines and satisfying requests.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)
User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Post by First Chairman »

As I am in the process of completing some personal coursework...

The major challenge with nationalizing quiz bowl is the perception of need. Why is it so important to nationalize this activity? Putting on the devil's advocate hat, high school quiz bowl has survived in some places for 40+ years without any national intervention. Why is it necessary to create a nationwide standard format? Who would be involved in making this decision, and how will we ensure that people buy into the decision?

PACE has always had a view on trying to promote the game nationally. The issue has always been trying to develop resource-friendly solutions to realize those goals (read: we need people willing to take on those projects and it wouldn't hurt to have some money too :) ). I also have to admit that early on, it's hard to do everything and balance a professional career too. As time goes on, to get a set of year-long sustainable programs, we would need to have a larger pool of volunteers and collaborators to make this happen.

It doesn't hurt to dream to want it all, but getting to utopia is going to require some strategic planning... which I am willing to develop with enough people who have the energy to discuss and take on those problems. Once we have clearly identified the needs (such as a coaches workshop that I would like to develop with NCATA and any other collaborators [hint!]), then we can properly develop effective programming to address those needs.

One more remark: the NSC is the only time that the members of PACE ever commit to see each other. (Previously we would all attempt to meet in Philadelphia for Penn Bowl, but that is no longer feasible.) Part of the joy of running the NSC is the visual confirmation of seeing old friends and colleagues among the staff, even though we have been working in silico for the past year. I believe it is extremely important to have people involved with PACE to physically meet each other annually or semiannually if our careers allow. As David mentioned before, the raison d'etre for the NSC is different than the other nationals for that very reason. And I would doubt that the people currently involved in PACE would remain as motivated and enthusiastic had it not been for the NSC.

Again, we don't always agree on every single topic. We don't want to inject ourselves unnecessarily in "political" discussions on preferring one specific game format over another though individually I think we all have a consensus opinion. (And I allow the PACE staff to have those opinions as long as it is not construed as official PACE dictums.) That said, any doctrine we produce about "what makes a good tournament" should come from a "policy committee" that I would be very happy to support under the auspices of PACE (as it does fall under our mission). I just want to be sure such a statement comes from a diverse group of coaches, students, and tournament administrators rather than just the PACE staff. (Trivia question: any of you coaches remembers FACTS?)

But I admit I will look into DR's suggestions and we'll all probably want to discuss the ideas further with respect to recruiting people to participate in fulfilling those services.
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)
Trevkeeper
Tidus
Posts: 527
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:12 pm

Post by Trevkeeper »

ReinsteinD wrote: * Coaches and/or Players Convention
Now that would be neat. Though, I suppose a National tournament is a pseudo-players' convention, a stand alone one would be nifty.

Also, this may sound kind of...obvious...but I think any sort of push for national organization (be it PACE or something else) should look to include the players themselves in some sort of official advisory capacity.
Nick, IU and Aegis Questions
User avatar
quizbowllee
Auron
Posts: 2179
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:12 am
Location: Alabama

Post by quizbowllee »

Matthew D wrote:Personally, I would love to see a "one-size" fits all format. It would make prep for contests a bit easier IMO

As for the slight varation of rules, I think it could be something very similar to what happened when the NCAA came into existance for the colleges. You would have a governing body that would handle "variations" on overall game rules
The problem is that the "one size" might not be the "fit" we're looking for.

I'm intrigued by this whole discussion. I would be willing and eager to sit in on and participate in any meetings that might occur at the NSC (or NAQT). If for no other reason, than to meet some of you folks face-to-face and shake your hands.


As for nationalizing the game as a whole, I think that it would benefit the game in the long run. However, it will be a slow, slow process that will be met with a lot of resistance. For example, how would we ever get some of these small "one tournament a year" teams to participate? How would we convince all of the various local and state (especially state) organizations to unite under one organization? That, I think, is what needs to happen. The problem is that it is going to be the hardest thing to accomplish.

Let's say that we start the organization - or that we adopt PACE as a governing body.... Now let's say that Alabama's ASCA organization signs on. So does Illinois's organization and North Carolina's. But let's say that Georgia's GATA organization decides that they want no part in it. Do we exclude those Georgia teams from our activities? Or do we let each individual school decide whether or not to join our organization?

And, to be completely blunt, I'm still not sure what this purposed organization will DO! I'm laughing at myself while typing this because I realized that I'm all for this idea and I'm gung-ho about being a part of it - yet I still have no idea what it is or what it will do. I know that quiz bowl needs SOMETHING - something elusive that we don't yet have. It's kind of like Potter Stewart said about pornography: I'll know it when I see it.
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach
West Point High School
Cullman, AL
User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Post by First Chairman »

Trevkeeper wrote:
ReinsteinD wrote: * Coaches and/or Players Convention
Now that would be neat. Though, I suppose a National tournament is a pseudo-players' convention, a stand alone one would be nifty.

Also, this may sound kind of...obvious...but I think any sort of push for national organization (be it PACE or something else) should look to include the players themselves in some sort of official advisory capacity.
If you join NCATA, that will happen. :) :)
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)
User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Post by First Chairman »

quizbowllee wrote:And, to be completely blunt, I'm still not sure what this purposed organization will DO! I'm laughing at myself while typing this because I realized that I'm all for this idea and I'm gung-ho about being a part of it - yet I still have no idea what it is or what it will do. I know that quiz bowl needs SOMETHING - something elusive that we don't yet have.
Lee, you hit the nail on the head. That's why I don't want PACE to just roll out with things without knowing how effectively we are addressing real needs.

Jessie and David have always been interested in developing a needs survey. We haven't really gotten in launched because I have wanted someone to be in charge of the specific direction of this project (Dave and Jessie have a lot going right now). I would not mind developing some sort of "survey in a box" that we can ask teams across the country and have results sent to administrators in each state quiz bowl organization. This would involve money and a lot of survey planning.

Considering what you had mentioned about Alabama losing schools, I think a survey would be extremely useful to see why teams are dropping. What type of support do teams need? Is there a perception that "new teams" can't improve, or inherent "unfairness" or resentment from once-a-year programs against the circuit teams? What really can be done to retain minorities and women in quiz bowl?

Again, I understand the "wish list of projects." What I want are people willing to take them on and a rationale for the project to deserve attention and priority.
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)
User avatar
Matthew D
Yuna
Posts: 919
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:52 pm
Location: Scenic Grant Alabama

Post by Matthew D »

Okay poor choice of words on my part, Lee but what I was trying to get at woudl be some type of unification of formats across the board..
I also think that the survey might be the way to go in the quest to address the needs of quiz bowl community. Personally, I would like to know what has caused us to lose teams in Alabama.
Matt Dennis
Coach DAR Quizbowl Team
Trevkeeper
Tidus
Posts: 527
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:12 pm

Post by Trevkeeper »

E.T. Chuck wrote:
Trevkeeper wrote:
ReinsteinD wrote: * Coaches and/or Players Convention
Now that would be neat. Though, I suppose a National tournament is a pseudo-players' convention, a stand alone one would be nifty.

Also, this may sound kind of...obvious...but I think any sort of push for national organization (be it PACE or something else) should look to include the players themselves in some sort of official advisory capacity.
If you join NCATA, that will happen. :) :)
Seeing as I don't plan on relocating to North Carolina anytime soon, I don't think that can happen. :smile:
Nick, IU and Aegis Questions
User avatar
pblessman
Tidus
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:38 am
Location: Culver, Indiana

Purpose of a Unified National Quiz Bowl Organization

Post by pblessman »

Several posters have asked about what the purpose of a National Organization would be, and DR has stated many good things concerning this question. The one most important purpose in my mind is something I think everybody who is spending part of their Friday night on this board can agree with:

Quiz Bowl is an incredibly rewarding activity for academically motivated students and should be available to ALL students who are interested in it. A tiny fraction of US schools currently offer quiz bowl (maybe 20,000 high schools in the US... I doubt if 1000 play quiz bowl even once a year). Why does virtually every high school offer a dozen or more sports to choose from, but only 5% of schools offer quiz bowl? The purpose of a national organization would be to publicize and popularize the activity. To this end, the national organization should (in my mind) aim to do several things:

1. Get one or more National Sponsors. Money talks... Offering the National Championship team $25,000 scholarships would do wonders for participation...

2. Work on getting regular TV coverage of the National Championship and maybe also regional/state tournaments. If people will watch Scrabble and Spelling Bees, they CERTAINLY will watch quiz bowl. BTW, local quiz bowl shows are often very popular and successful. TV coverage will once again publicize and popularize the activity.

3. Unify the National Championships and the formats. For there to be one true televised, heavily sponsored National Championship, the format needs to be the same. And apart from Nationals, it is just difficult to have an activity taken seriously which can't even agree on what it is... Variations on bonus bounce-backs are one thing, but 60-second rounds, work sheets, and some of the other things going on? At some point this doesn't look like the same activity any more. Basketball and wrestling might have variations from state to state, but I'm sure they are more alike than QB formats.

I could go on, but I'll leave at at this for now...
User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Post by First Chairman »

Phil brings up what is probably the duality issue of what the goals for quiz bowl ought to be. Should it be all about publicizing the game through TV-game formats, or should it be about protecting the academic integrity of the game? Given that there is one unified format for College Bowl, the lack of a television sponsor for the college game or circuit given that there is more uniformity and a less complex system of regionals and nationals (be it CBI or NAQT or whatever) speaks volumes for the challenge of achieving this goal. All the griping about the quality of questions by the formats that desire television exposure certainly suggests that there is not a good format that tests a team to the extent that many of us want as an ideal.

TV has supported 60-second rounds before. There are such sections on It's Academic formats, and :chip: 's old televised games for his NAC had 60-second rounds.

To have a successful television game show, you have to have some sort of hook to keep the audience interested, such as :kenj: 's run. Jeopardy is so successful because the audience is just drawn in and plays the game at home out loud. Spelling bees are compelling because of the pressure that people see etched on the faces of ten year olds (plus massive corporate sponsorship and organization on the part of Scripps Howard). Short questions do the trick for television shows because you want to hear the kids give answers. Silence (when the kids don't know the answers) does not make for good TV. Neither do lengthy periods of time when a reader runs through questions. What is the average amount of time Alex Trebek takes to read a question? Four or five seconds? Mac Magarry probably took about 5 seconds or so to read a question on It's Academic. That's the amount of time a person's attention span lasts before things get really "boring."

Of the national quiz bowl formats that are out there that have significant support such as Science Bowl (sponsored by DOE) or Academic Decathlon (which is very heavily sponsored by corporations), none have any television contract though each has a national structure and organization of governance or oversight of their activities. Despite the scholarship money available to top winners of these competitions, you do not see growth of these competitions nationally. USAD has had serious problems retaining teams nationwide over the last five to ten years.

One would also think that the sustained popularity of Jeopardy and the teen and college tournaments would inspire high schools to support quiz bowl teams. Obviously that's not the case despite the amount of money given to the winners. (Of course, being selected to be on the show is not the same as qualifying through regionals/sectionals.)

In short, I don't think that you would be happy with a national organization that puts television exposure as the #1 priority. It simply hasn't happened in a sustainable fashion with organizations with much more political power or resources. I don't want to sound overly pessimistic, but the failure of others does not make me want to believe that such an effort could be a cakewalk for us.
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)
User avatar
Stained Diviner
Auron
Posts: 4842
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:08 am
Location: Chicagoland
Contact:

Post by Stained Diviner »

I stand by the goals I stated above.

I do not want the best people associated with Quiz Bowl spending much of their time and energy trying to please television producers or sponsors. This would be a major task, and it could build something that does not last (a la televised College Bowl, Millionaire, Beat The Geeks, 21, etc--even Jeopardy came and went for a time).

I also do not want people working hard on format standardization. There are a lot of issues I want to address here in Illinois, and I will not waste my time convincing everybody that they should switch from 5-on-5 to 4-on-4 or make similar changes. I also will not waste my time telling tournaments (including my own) that have some format variation that they should cease and desist.

As far as money, I'll use Illinois as an example. We have a state tournament sponsored by the Masons that gives away each year about $30,000 in prize money without any entry fees. If you win State, you get a few thousand. Much of the money is given out a few hundred dollars at a time to teams that do well at their Regional. The week after the Masonic Tournament, we have the IHSA tournament run by the same organization that runs sports. Until very recently, they charged an entry fee of $100, and they have never given anything away other than plaques and trophies. For years, they used the same question source and had the same rules. The Masons attract about 200 teams, and the IHSA attracts over 500 teams. For whatever reason, money does not talk.

A national organization should focus on taking what we already have and making it bigger and better. Publicity and fundraising would be helpful in those efforts, but they should not take the focus away from those efforts. It's fine if an individual or subcommittee associated with the organization wants to look into television shows, but I wouldn't put too many eggs into that basket.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)
User avatar
pblessman
Tidus
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:38 am
Location: Culver, Indiana

Money...

Post by pblessman »

Masonics vs. IHSA is not realy a fair comparison, as the IHSA is the official state event, which by default will draw many schools who automatically check the "Scholastic Bowl" box when they receive their participation form. A fair comparison would be comparing Masonics to any other Invitational Tournament.

That Masonic draws 200 teams as a private tournament indicates to me that money, indeed, does talk. Come to think of it- I hadn't thought about it this way, but Illinois Masonics is the probably the biggest private tournament in the country. I think this speaks VOLUMES about the effect of money.

I mean, seriously, help me out here Illinois people: With all the complaining I've heard about Masonics questions, does anybody really think they'd have a statewide draw if their top prizes were the standard plastic trophies we hand out at Invitationals? Realistically, I would guess that Masonics would be getting not even a third of their participation without the prizes...

P.S.: Somebody enlighten me on the prizes offered by AD... if they're juicy enough, I might have to sign my team up! ;-)
User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Re: Money...

Post by First Chairman »

pblessman wrote:That Masonic draws 200 teams as a private tournament indicates to me that money, indeed, does talk. Come to think of it- I hadn't thought about it this way, but Illinois Masonics is the probably the biggest private tournament in the country. I think this speaks VOLUMES about the effect of money.

P.S.: Somebody enlighten me on the prizes offered by AD... if they're juicy enough, I might have to sign my team up! ;-)
On AD, you should check your state director, which is listed on the usad.org website. The national prizes do constitute significant scholarship money. Yet there again, they are getting hit by teams dropping out over the last decade. I can only comment on Ohio, but it does involve a significant financial investment to participate. Other states may have their costs more heavily underwritten by corporate or government sponsors.

I still assert that I don't think that money is the only thing to talk. (Millionaires are no less satisfied with their wealth than the average $35K a year individual.) I would rather say that coupled with an excellent tournament infrastructure to accommodate 200 teams (I presume in one weekend at one site?), it takes a lot of support from the top down to the membership to run something like that. If it is their dedicated project to show they support education, that's great. If anything it would be great to have more such organizations and benefactors.

So my particular point: what the brain trust at PACE can do is identify the factors that lead to a successful tournament (however that can be measured) and help promulgate "best practices" so that other tournaments can emulate those events in their own environments. The issue is to establish a discussion of what would constitute "success" and how you measure "success" in that vein.

On the other point from DR and PB, do you know that people are participating in Masonic solely because of the prizes? Phil alludes to apparent dissatisfaction by participants about the quality of questions: it does not appear that this is a major concern considering they are meeting their attendance goals. In short, if you were the tournament organizer, what is the (stated) program goal of the Masonic tournament?

FOLLOWUP: Of course, I have my own particular thoughts on what can be done to attract new teams and retaining current ones. It boils down to an individual choice: why would anyone want to compete in quiz bowl versus any of the other activities he or she can participate in? Then, what would make him/her stay in that activity? Address those questions through coaching and programming, and you've got the recipe for a very good quiz bowl program or competition.
Last edited by First Chairman on Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)
User avatar
pblessman
Tidus
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:38 am
Location: Culver, Indiana

USAD

Post by pblessman »

Dr. Chuck, or anybody else, please help me out here: I visisted the USAD site and couldn't find any reference to Scholarships. I did, however, find a reference to the fact that teams have to spend $500 on study materials...
User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Post by First Chairman »

Phil,

Contact Mylene Chafe. I don't know exactly how much the scholarships are, but she would. Email is mylene at usad dot org. You can drop my name as a reference (Ohio Assistant State Director) though I think that won't help you. :cool:

I do know I used to have $1000 scholarships awarded to the top students competing at the Ohio state championships, but that was discontinued after losing corporate sponsorship.

The midwest does have a fairly active Decathlon group, specifically in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio. Michigan remains the Decathlon black hole (in contrast to the quiz bowl scene).
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)
User avatar
Stained Diviner
Auron
Posts: 4842
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:08 am
Location: Chicagoland
Contact:

Post by Stained Diviner »

The Masons have Regionals at 13 sites with a maximum of 16 teams at each. There are 16 teams at State. Their question source often changes from year to year.

The biggest tournament under one roof in Illinois is Richards (just South of Chicago), which draws about 80 teams each year--sometimes more, sometimes less.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)
User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3733
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am

Post by dtaylor4 »

I honestly think that most teams do it for the money, and for the fact that it's been around for a LONG time (IIRC, it's as old as the IHSA state tournament, if not older). Why else would so many teams down here do it? The questions are terrible and the tournament structure is horrible (where else do you attend a tournament for six hours to play at most five games of 20/20?). The whole thing needs an overhaul, but the question is, are the Masons willing to listen?
User avatar
quizbowllee
Auron
Posts: 2179
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:12 am
Location: Alabama

Post by quizbowllee »

I have tried to send this e-mail to E.T. Chuck, David Bykowski, Phil Blessman, and David Reinstein. However, it keeps coming back to me as "undeliverable." At any rate, this is the text of that e-mail. I have no reason to hide it from this public forum. In fact, I'd like to hear what anyone here has to say about the suggestions I put forth:

I appreciate the fact that you have solicited my feedback. Let me start by prefacing that I am really NOT in favor of a singular National Championship Tournament at this time. If ever I was in favor of such an event, that changed last year when we attended both PACE and NAQT. I think that both are viable and necessary. The slight nuances between the two lend themselves to different skills and knowledge bases needed to be successful in each. TJ was just such a great team last year that they happened to have the necessary skills to be the best at both. I look at it like boxing - there are a few different "championships" and any team that manages to win them all is "undisputed."

In saying that, let me put forth a few ideas that I have for discussion. These are merely suggestions for consideration:

* I think that there should be a member (or more) of the National Organization who serves as a liason to each state's organization. For example, Phil could be the organization's official liason to Indiana. He would advocate the organization's ideas in his state, and likewise he would address the organization with the concerns of the state of quiz bowl in Indiana.
* I think that the same should be done for NAQT and PACE's NSC. That shouldn't be hard for the NSC, considering who is on the "ground floor" of this proposed organization. However, I think that we should see if a couple of NAQT's members would be willing to represent their company's format and interests in the organization.
* Personally, NAQT and PACE's NSC are the only National Championships that I consider "legitimate quiz bowl." We should, however, at least extend some sort of representation offer to the others.
* One thing that has NEVER been addressed on a national level is middle school competition. I think that at least one legitimate Middle School National Championship is way overdue. I suggest that we consider the establishment of such an event one of our top priorities.
* We should consider holding localized conferences and workshops to help educate schools about the game and about its positive influences. We could also use these conferences to help new coaches learn how to get started. It would also be a good way of introducing concepts such as pyramidality to organizations that are stuck in the 1980s.
* We should have an advisory board of student players who can make suggestions and pose questions to the organization - perhaps a student representative or two from each state. We should discuss how these representatives will be chosen.
* The most important thing this proposed organization should do is promote this game. Securing sponsorships, contacting media attention, etc. I think that with a concentrated effort, it would be possible to see National Championship teams interviewed on talk shows, etc. I think that the problem is lack of awareness, which is something that we can work to overcome.

These are just some of my many ideas. Let's discuss and see what can come of this. I think that we've got the ball rolling in the right direction and I look forward to seeing what great things might come from this dialogue.

Thanks,

Lee Henry
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach
West Point High School
Cullman, AL
Tegan
Coach of AHAN Jr.
Posts: 1975
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:42 pm

Post by Tegan »

Some of these ideas are solid ideas. Some additional thoughts:

1. A National Federation becomes a recognizable organization which many state high school associations will work with. The drawback: some states have pretty good things going right now, and as Dr. Chuck said: maybe that is best left alone. I hear the cries in Alabama, and while I don't decry Illinois as much as others there are changes that could be made. In addition: some states which currently exist in the "Desert of Quizbowl" might come on board if there was a sponsorship by a state High School Association...certainly some don't sponsor quiz bowl because of a lack of a national federation.

2. I agree that moving toward "the one format" would take centuries of squabbling, since it is easily seen that there is very little flexibility in terms of moving away from certain formats. We've all got opinions ranging from "mildly passionate" to "stark raving passionate" about how things should go. I don't see this as negative. I still think that each state should have a certain amount of say over what happens, though we already have a more or less standard format with some variations here and there.

3. NAQT, PACE, Panasonic, et al can still have their national championship tournamnets, and hopefully they will see nothing but increased attendance (well...hopefully most will see increased attendance).....education on questions (writing, editing, pyramidality) may hopefully increase interest in using NAQT style toss-up questions.

4. A National Federation can weild influence over State Associations. Often times the states rules are those of the National Federation. Thus, if the National Federation were to, for example, mandate "pyramid style toss-ups are the prefered style for writing toss-ups", then many states may choose to adopt that.

As I see it, an organiztion like this should do less legislating, and serve more for publicizing, communicating among states and organizations, as well as offering assistance to emerging states and programs. Many high school associations send representatives to national federation meetings...many of the people who sit on the national federation boards are from state associations. this can be a mistake in the case of some states (Illinois being a prime example) unless it pushed states to making a member of their own board an "expert" in quizbowl who served as the liaison.

I agree with Lee Henry....there is a great deal to discuss, but I think it is worthy of discussion. I'm not sure how many people are coming into Chicago for the NAQT, but Maine South H.S. is three minutes from the hotel, and if we could not get a space at the hotel, I'm sure getting some space at the school would be no problem.

I think what I would like to do before that is look at the general structure of other National Federations to get a feel for structure and function.
jrbarry
Yuna
Posts: 853
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 10:22 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Post by jrbarry »

A national federation (FACTS) WAS organized back in 1993. It ended up failing primarily because of (1) poor leadership and (2) lack of a demand for said organization.

The key to organizing any group like this is the perception of NEED and the general aims of any organization. Quiz bowl has been so fractured for so long, overcoming that would be hard. And, there is a great deal of suspicion about motives of some who might try to "highjack" any national organization to meet their own concept of what quiz bowl should be.

Practically speaking, I would think looking at what states (Alabama, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kentucky, Georgia, Missouri, etc) did to organize themselves would be a great place to start as their people have already been successful at organizing quiz bowl to some degree.

I have read with great interest what others have written here about what kind of things a national organization might address. Even on this board with a small sampling of high school quiz bowl participants, you already have a wide variety of possibilities as to what a national organization could/should do. This illustrates one of the basic difficulties that any national organizing group would face.

I have my own ideas about this topic which some here, I am pretty sure, would find difficult to stomache. I think any national organization should be run primarily by HIGH SCHOOL/MIDDLE SCHOOL people with concerns primarily about HIGH SCHOOL/MIDDLE SCHOOL quiz bowl. But, as Montaigne said, what do I know? :-)
User avatar
quizbowllee
Auron
Posts: 2179
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:12 am
Location: Alabama

Post by quizbowllee »

jrbarry wrote:I have my own ideas about this topic which some here, I am pretty sure, would find difficult to stomache. I think any national organization should be run primarily by HIGH SCHOOL/MIDDLE SCHOOL people with concerns primarily about HIGH SCHOOL/MIDDLE SCHOOL quiz bowl. But, as Montaigne said, what do I know? :-)
I agree completely with that. I'd love to hear what your ideas are, regardless of how hard they might be to "stomache." I think that's what we're here for right now. Also, you're a very well-respected member of this national quiz bowl community, so please feel free to express whatever ideas you may have.

As for people being suspicious of us "highjackers," I've already considered that. It seems that so many people are trying to stand in the way of progress in some areas. No organization will be "forced" to adopt the ideologies of this proposed organization. However, it will perhaps give some additional clout to the arguments towards progress that have been shot down in years past. If nothing else, we can give viable alternatives for teams to participate in events that adhere more to what quiz bowl should be.

But, at any rate, please let us hear your ideas. Whether we like them or not, I think they need to be out on the table for discussion.
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach
West Point High School
Cullman, AL
User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Post by First Chairman »

Lee,

Just letting you know I did get your email. I'm not sure whose email is bouncing you out. Gotta watch those spam filters. :neutral:

To the points recently mentioned, that's why I take the position on a national federation as I do. There's no real reason for people to form a national group, and there doesn't seem to be much of a drive, need, or urge to do so. I'm okay if such an organization could be run strictly by teachers, though I will also state it is a challenge for any such organization to be run well (as Rick points out from the last such attempt).

On the other hand, from the teacher organizations that I do know, the question of usefulness comes in. There are associations of science teachers and math teachers and history teachers... and they help to provide professional development opportunities for their members. That makes sense. I do not know of any competition organizations run solely by teachers: I'm not the best to know, but Forensics is probably the closest one gets to such an organization. Beta Club too. I'm not in that world to know whether a national organization of middle and high school teachers exists for any such activity that is not otherwise run by people who know organizations.

One would wonder why spelling bees or the NGS Geography Bee or the Science Bowl competitions haven't filtered down to both middle and high school level (in the same way that Odyssey of the Mind has). A comparable organization to quiz bowl would be Model UN which has both high school and college members though no middle school members. Then again, it is a different ball of wax.

Of course, even if we did have such a national organization, all we're doing is increasing by numbers the population of complainers about how questions ought to be short or long, how much calculation math there should or should not be, and how most teams only do this "for fun" and not on a more competitive basis than that. There are more than enough people who think that coaches who get so involved with quiz bowl have some "competitive advantage" (read: they're somehow cheating because no one can beat their teams). If anything, a national organization, especially one that runs competitions, should have retired coaches or people who divest any interest in one school, state, or region (don't get me started how people consider "interest" in Decathlon) be integrally involved.

Furthermore, I wholeheartedly believe students should have a say in how the competition should be run and developed. Students should have an opportunity to enjoy the game and understand the difficulties about setting up these types of events. Clearly teams that allow their students more autonomy to determine the direction of their own programs do better in competition (at least recently). Together coaches and student leaders can really bring a program into a self-sustaining and competitive level. And the more leadership experiences these students have at the high school level, the better quality the college-run high school and college tournaments are going to be. These are intuitive points, but I'm sure that can be backed up.

As for whether a national organization will help or hinder progress at the local level... I don't know. One can only wish that people had that much power, but I would hate to have people whom I have never met or share goals dictate to me how to do things unless they are regulators or cops. Besides, I'm pretty sure that we know exactly what would happen if some big shot from the power Northern states comes down to tell some Southern coach what they should do to improve. Plus, I don't even think we have that many coaches (and I exclude the ones who frequent these boards) who would be receptive to running a completely foreign game format (to them) on their own turf "just for kicks." I have enough trouble trying to get NC teams to realize that quiz bowl with buzzers is actually a good thing. :wink:
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)
jrbarry
Yuna
Posts: 853
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 10:22 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Post by jrbarry »

[quote="E.T. Chuck"]Lee,
Clearly teams that allow their students more autonomy to determine the direction of their own programs do better in competition (at least recently).


Interesting. Would you agree that coach-driven programs do less well in competitons (at least recently)?

I really do not know what drives a school's quiz bowl program at every place that ahs quiz bowl. But I do know that a few coaches have taken seemingly non-descript schools and produced consistently excellent teams at those places. The students come and go, but the excellence continues at least until that cloach retires.
User avatar
quizbowllee
Auron
Posts: 2179
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:12 am
Location: Alabama

Post by quizbowllee »

E.T. Chuck wrote: Clearly teams that allow their students more autonomy to determine the direction of their own programs do better in competition (at least recently).
Other than the obvious example of TJ, who else fits this? I've been intrigued by the way the members of TJ's team have described their infrastructure. But, what other highly successful programs are run this way?

I, for one, am not ALLOWED to give that kind of autonomy to my team. I (or another licensed teacher from our school) must be present at all events. Students MUST ride to a tournament on a school bus. We are not even allowed to take a van. If I were to have my team carpool to a tournament in their own vehicles, I'd be fired so fast my head would be spinning...

But, all the same, if I WERE allowed to let my team "run itself" a la Thomas Jefferson, it would be a complete and total disaster.

I'm just wondering what other teams you were referring to.
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach
West Point High School
Cullman, AL
mhanna
Wakka
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Aiken, SC

Post by mhanna »

"what would happen if some big shot from the power Northern states comes down to tell some Southern coach what they should do to improve"

Surely you jest. This is the most outrageous Dr. Chuckles I have heard lately.

Mac Hanna
STPickrell
Auron
Posts: 1501
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 11:12 pm
Location: Vienna, VA
Contact:

Post by STPickrell »

In 1991-92 and 1992-93, I was able to determine methods of seeding individuals, which team members went on the A and B teams, trying to schedule practices, tracking down who was going to tournaments, etc. I also ensured we had informal practices the instant we had a moment free in our other classes. :-) Fortunately, we were able to arrange our own carpools, and my coach/sponsor was there to interface with the administration and rein me in on occasion. I even lost the #1 chair once to my teammate (he lorded it over me for weeks until I won it back) and held the #2 chair for the duration. We also won our local league with a 7-1 record and I only played in four matches -- we had fourteen people play and ALL FOURTEEN got at least one TU. I tried to make sure that the sophomores and juniors got in plenty of playing time, too. When Warren County had to provide the matches, I wrote the matches myself.

Isn't that about what TJ does now? Granted, I was wholly ignorant of pyramidality and other parts of modern quizbowl technique until I showed up in college.

Results? For a couple of brief, glorious years, Warren County was at or near the top of the Virginia quizbowl world, able to defeat Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Lee and Spotswood (and probably get that Region II berth to states), and able to stay in the same room with Collegiate (the first time they were good) and St. Anne's-Belfield (they were WAY better than the public schools in those day) without suffering from whiplash.
User avatar
Stained Diviner
Auron
Posts: 4842
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:08 am
Location: Chicagoland
Contact:

Post by Stained Diviner »

Going back to an older comment, lee said...
I think that at least one legitimate Middle School National Championship is way overdue. I suggest that we consider the establishment of such an event one of our top priorities.
Personally, I wouldn't put this too high on the list. The problem with running a tournament is that it takes all your time. Whatever organization is started will have a limited amount of people offering up their time--the people who are the most enthusiastic will probably be the same people who already have a lot of commitments. Running a tournament would mean using that time to write/edit questions, send invitations/publicity, and handle a lot of logistics. It would mean that if somebody offered to help, our first reaction probably would be to fly out to the tournament and moderate.

It would also mean that the most time-consuming project of the organization would benefit a minority of members--high school teams can't attend a middle school tournament, and many middle school teams either can't or won't attend a national tournament.

IHSSBCA has about 300 annual dues-paying members. Our first major project was a quarterly newsletter which is now in its 11th year. It was a good way to start because it promoted the organization and it was useful to most of our targeted members. That may or may not be the best way to start an organization today--the world has changed because more people are using email and the internet, so information is easier to send and receive--but it contrasts well when compared to an organization such as PACE. PACE is a great organization and runs a great tournament, but running a great tournament has in my opinion become their focus, and they have not had a huge impact on quiz bowl generally.

If somebody wants to start such a tournament, great. If we can encourage NAQT or PACE to do it, great. I don't know what type of restrictions exist in each state on middle school team travel--I hope they are minor.

In the past two years, Illinois has started a Virtual Coaches Hall of Fame, Moderator Certification, and (in a few months) an Annual Banquet. In the two or three years before that, we started All-Sectional and All-State Teams, a series of Octangular Tournaments, and a Rules Manual. Because we had the organization in place, starting these things has not been terribly difficult. Consider me egocentric, but I hope that we could serve as a (though certainly not the) model for a national organization.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)
Tegan
Coach of AHAN Jr.
Posts: 1975
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:42 pm

Post by Tegan »

mhanna wrote:"what would happen if some big shot from the power Northern states comes down to tell some Southern coach what they should do to improve"
I think you would treat them as they should be treated, like a coackroach: stamp your foot at them until they scurry back from whence they came.

As a notherner, I will say that anyone marching in to tell the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, and depending on where you draw the line, Viriginia that they don't know what they're doing is delusional or on some kind of a power trip.

We've all got our ideas of what constitutes "perfect" quiz bowl, and it isn't always the same. In some states I suspect dedicated teams could use this as leverage to cause change in their state.

But my recommendation would be that before we go off and create too many projects, that we start with the goal of getting an organization up and running.
User avatar
quizbowllee
Auron
Posts: 2179
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:12 am
Location: Alabama

Post by quizbowllee »

Tegan wrote:
mhanna wrote:"what would happen if some big shot from the power Northern states comes down to tell some Southern coach what they should do to improve"
I think you would treat them as they should be treated, like a coackroach: stamp your foot at them until they scurry back from whence they came.

As a notherner, I will say that anyone marching in to tell the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, and depending on where you draw the line, Viriginia that they don't know what they're doing is delusional or on some kind of a power trip.

We've all got our ideas of what constitutes "perfect" quiz bowl, and it isn't always the same. In some states I suspect dedicated teams could use this as leverage to cause change in their state.

But my recommendation would be that before we go off and create too many projects, that we start with the goal of getting an organization up and running.
Amen.

Also, that's why I suggested having one or two people in our proposed organization to be advocates to each state. For example, if I were the organization's "ambassador" or "liason" to Alabama, it wouldn't be an outsider or a "northerner" voicing his or her opinion; it would be an Alabamian.

Also, I totally disagree that the organization needs to be headed by retirees with no stake in the game. That's the problem with education as a whole - it is legislated by people who are so far removed from the classroom that they are clueless. I think the best organization would come from people who do have some sort of stake in the policies that are put forth. Obviously some checks and balances need to be put in place in order to prevent one honcho's team from reaping all the benefits, but I hardly see that happening.
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach
West Point High School
Cullman, AL
User avatar
Stained Diviner
Auron
Posts: 4842
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:08 am
Location: Chicagoland
Contact:

Post by Stained Diviner »

I'll give an Amen to Coach Henry on both points.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)
User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Post by First Chairman »

My own thoughts about the issue of giving students more autonomy or at least a share of some decision-making comes from my own observations of many organizations in high school and college. I don't want to say that having students completely run "the asylum" is a good thing; clearly, stability and continuity with strong administration and coaching is extremely important.

But in terms of long-term involvement and growth of competitions, the fact is that we have to keep students involved at earlier levels. Rick always complains that college-run events are never run as well as high school run events. To some extent I know it's true. We've both discussed at great length how different and difficult it is to transition from running an event in high school versus college. My point is that it doesn't help matters when the high school students don't come in with a modicum of organizational skills or know-how to run such a competition. It is a lot easier for me to train or work with someone from Gov School, TJ or the DC area or State College that it is/was for me to train someone who came from other schools. Granted it wasn't impossible for the people I trained in Cleveland because they were all very excited and motivated to continue with quiz bowl in college.

Tourneys run specifically by alumni from these schools and others who ran high school comps are generally much more successful (if you can measure it that way) than others. For whatever reasons, students who come from the Southern schools don't tend to want to continue as much and their competitions are not always as successful unless there is a strong continuity presence.

Back to one of my other points: student-run organizations find ways to motivate other students in a more effective way (in my opinion) than simple coach-run organizations. Maybe you do offer extra credit hours or extra class time, but students seem to improve faster with the encouragement of their own colleagues. With that encouragement, they take advice from their coaches more often, and the team improves faster. That has been a general observation when I see teams appearing at competitions, and my more successful competitions have students from the winless teams tell their coaches, they want to do what they can to improve. That's how you keep teams and programs going (not that it's the only way, but it appears to me a significant factor).

I don't know who coached the Lakeside School at NAQT HSCT in the prior year. I know Mission San Jose did not list their advisor, and when I pressed, they refused to name someone. I don't advocate completely unsupervised teams, but I will state that many programs that seem to do very well don't always have a coach. As long as they have focus and a direction to preparing for competition (and a track record), they do well. If my perception of that phenomenon is misguided, please let me know.

As mentioned before, I am certainly willing to have the NSC slide off the program if there weren't the demand and strong feedback by others to be sure we run a very high-quality high school academic competition. I don't want to say that we devote "too much" effort to the NSC, but we devote the attention and effort that six people can provide. For us to do more, we need more people who want (us) to do more. PACE has the flexibility to be that national organization, once we have an idea and a plan of what it should do other than run this national tournament.
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)
User avatar
Zip Zap Rap Pants
Yuna
Posts: 780
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:55 am
Location: Richmond/Williamsburg, VA
Contact:

Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

E.T. Chuck wrote:
As mentioned before, I am certainly willing to have the NSC slide off the program if there weren't the demand and strong feedback by others to be sure we run a very high-quality high school academic competition. I don't want to say that we devote "too much" effort to the NSC, but we devote the attention and effort that six people can provide. For us to do more, we need more people who want (us) to do more. PACE has the flexibility to be that national organization, once we have an idea and a plan of what it should do other than run this national tournament.
One of the steps in that plan should be to try to consolidate as many of the non-NAQT state tournaments as possible (such as VHSL for one. I would love to see a true VA champion rather than just AAA, AA, and A since some years AA team C-Ville does pretty darn good, not to mention private schools such as StAB). Of course, that would require a LOT more staff/volunteers, but it could be done....
Matt Morrison, William & Mary '10, Tour Guide &c., MA in History '12?

"All the cool people eat mangoes while they smoke blunts and do cannonballs off a trampoline into my hot tub..."
-Matt Weiner

“In beer there is strength,
In wine is wisdom,
In water is germs.”
-Unknown

new email: mpmorr at email dot wm dot edu
User avatar
solonqb
Tidus
Posts: 634
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2003 11:00 am
Location: Pasadena, CA
Contact:

Post by solonqb »

I understand that Gaius Stern (formerly of Berkeley) played a role in making the Mission San Jose team what it was.
Noah Rahman
Welcome to Simbabwe, where the property is already owned and the houses built and you compete to burn and dispossess them. Compete with Robert Mugabe, Canaan Banana, Cecil Rhodes and Sir Godfrey Huggins to earn a place on the all-time EU travel ban list!
User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Post by First Chairman »

So an additional note back to David Reinstein's post:

I certainly consider the Illinois coaches association as one of the major models and influences for PACE to be more than what it is. Of course, we do not have dues-paying members, so again, we are limited in our ability to publish newsletters or do supplemental programming from the NSC.

Granted, we did make an early push with the Benjamin Cooper Memorial Award to acknowledge service to academic competition (Mr. Reinstein being a recipient of course), and we have included a second award to recognize those persons who show great potential to be leaders in quiz bowl as well (Mr. Egan being the latest recipient). We certainly hope that our push for recognizing service in addition to excellence in competition is carried forth through other states' associations, and I hope people consider PACE as a leader on that front.

Again, the question is on resources to do more than what we are doing. I would be interested in hearing what people would like for us to do (off this board, of course), but more importantly, I would like to know how we should pursue covering costs for those who benefit from these programs.

As for now, I am in the process of organizing a coaches and students' workshop that will encompass issues of leadership and logistical organization for NCATA. I have asked Eric Huff from Dorman to help me in this project. If any of you would like to be involved in its development, please email me.
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)
User avatar
Stained Diviner
Auron
Posts: 4842
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:08 am
Location: Chicagoland
Contact:

Post by Stained Diviner »

I've never won the award, though I'm honored to be confused with a great group of people.

If a new organization is to be formed and its first meeting is to be held in or near Rosemont, IL on Friday, June 2, should we send out invitations to representatives of the state organizations? National Championships? Coaches at NAQT (once we find out who they are)?

Does somebody want to draft an invitation? An agenda?
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)
David Riley
Auron
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:27 am
Location: Morton Grove, IL

Post by David Riley »

I'd be happy to draft an agenda and send out invitations based on the issues that have been discussed here. Mr. Egan has offered Maine South as a host site (and it is just a stone's throw from the Crowne Plaza). I'll get to work on it.
User avatar
quizbowllee
Auron
Posts: 2179
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:12 am
Location: Alabama

Post by quizbowllee »

ReinsteinD wrote:I've never won the award, though I'm honored to be confused with a great group of people.

If a new organization is to be formed and its first meeting is to be held in or near Rosemont, IL on Friday, June 2, should we send out invitations to representatives of the state organizations? National Championships? Coaches at NAQT (once we find out who they are)?

Does somebody want to draft an invitation? An agenda?
Regardless of whether we start a new organization, I'd like to sit down with all of you and discuss the state of the game. Just tell me when. Unfortunately, I don't know for sure what time I'll be arriving at the hotel. We're poor 'Bama folk who can't afford to fly.... So, yes, we will be taking a big yellow school bus (with no AC) from Guntersville, AL to Chicago, IL. Two weeks later we will board the same bus and head to Durham. We're hardcore.
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach
West Point High School
Cullman, AL
User avatar
pblessman
Tidus
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:38 am
Location: Culver, Indiana

IHSSBCA as model for National Organization

Post by pblessman »

I agree with David Reinstein and Dr. Chuck that IHSSBCA is an excellent model for a National Organization. Two questions based on that:

1. Should we consider the USQBCA as the official title of the organization? (United States Quiz Bowl Coaches Association). (Feel free to suggest other names)

2. Should we start with the IHSSBCA bylaws and modify to suit our purposes? We could be ready to roll in minutes! This charter, constitution, or bylaws could then be discussed in detail at the proposed meeting in Chicago, changes could be made, and then it could be ratified.
bigtrain
Rikku
Posts: 485
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 8:33 pm
Location: Bethesda, Maryland-Atlanta, Georgia
Contact:

Post by bigtrain »

I agree with David Reinstein and Dr. Chuck that IHSSBCA is an excellent model for a National Organization.
Unless I'm confusing the role to the IHSSBCA with a seperate scholastic bowl governing body for that state, I would think that the IHSSBCA is not a good model for a national organization based upon the apparent futility of efforts in Illinois to modify their format.
1. Should we consider the USQBCA as the official title of the organization? (United States Quiz Bowl Coaches Association). (Feel free to suggest other names)
I would think a name featuring the word "coaches" should be avoided as it would deter various tournament directors; as well as interested college and high school players from joining. The presence of such individuals may be quite critical to the success of any form of national organization.
Alex Price
Walter Johnson 2006
Emory University 2010
STPickrell
Auron
Posts: 1501
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 11:12 pm
Location: Vienna, VA
Contact:

Post by STPickrell »

bigtrain wrote:Unless I'm confusing the role to the IHSSBCA with a seperate scholastic bowl governing body for that state, I would think that the IHSSBCA is not a good model for a national organization based upon the apparent futility of efforts in Illinois to modify their format.
The IHSA is the governing body for high school sports and activities. The IHSSBCA is the group of Scholastic Bowl coaches that have gotten together and made some good changes to the format over the past 10 years.

As one of the people listed on the NAQT site as a contact, by all means please include me in any discussions. I will be happy to consider any recommendations the USQBA (United States Quizbowl Association) will make, pass them on to the coaches and VHSL administrators, and have a debate started.

I would be happy to assist in the setup of a chapter in Virginia. I have made over the years a number of contacts around the Commonwealth.

However, like Nero Wolfe, I rarely travel, preferring to tend to my garden of tossups and lightning rounds.

There are many people with many goals, and we must work together to achieve some good. The perfect cannot be the enemy of the perfecting.
User avatar
quizbowllee
Auron
Posts: 2179
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:12 am
Location: Alabama

Post by quizbowllee »

I, too, would propose NOT using the word "coach" in the organization's title. I would suggest something along the lines of "National Quiz Bowl Association." At any rate, I'm down for getting the ball rolling. Also, while some things need to be decided in private, I think that for the most part it is a good idea to use this forum to post our ideas and debates/discussions. The preservation that this forum offers gives everyone a chance to see how this organization was born.

Perhaps Matt would be willing to form a new section of this forum devoted to these discussions, complete with sub-sections for representation, rules, policies, etc.

Also, while I'm writing, I'd like to address the need for a middle school national tournament. I was not necessarily suggesting that this organization run the tournament. Rather, I was hoping that this new organization could use its "influence" to convince some other entity (NAQT preferrably) to establish such an event.

Also, I think that we need to establish liasons to each state's organizations. I would propose that each state have at least two representatives.
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach
West Point High School
Cullman, AL
User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8419
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Post by Matt Weiner »

I'm still skeptical of the idea that the organization needs to be formed before its goals are set. Furthermore, I think that getting formats and question quality moving in the right direction everywhere is one of the most pressing needs in high school quizbowl today. People from the more enlightened states busting into other regions of the country and telling the locals how to run things is EXACTLY what is needed. An organization that is hesitant or outright opposed to that might quickly turn into something other than a net positive.

The suggestion of Lee and others that the group put effort into issuing press releases and otherwise gaining media coverage is about the only sensible reason for such an organization's existence that I've heard thusfar. However, I don't think that alone can justify the drawbacks: the ideological baggage of adopting a particular state's association rules, the potential roadblacks to progress that a blanket no-interference policy would cause, and the lack of a fully defined purpose for an organization, which leaves it open to hijacking for any number of ends.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org
User avatar
Stained Diviner
Auron
Posts: 4842
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:08 am
Location: Chicagoland
Contact:

Post by Stained Diviner »

I agree with many of these caveats.

One big difference between the organization discussed on this thread and IHSSBCA (info here) is that IHSSBCA has never really taken a position on what constitutes good quiz bowl. If somebody hosts a tournament in Illinois that has two errors in every match and has half of its science questions consist of name the element given the symbol and has half of its math questions consist of adding whole numbers, we will list that tournament on our schedule and post the results. We have treated all quiz bowl as good quiz bowl, though we did successfully convince the state tournaments to improve their questions.

This issue is a difficult one. Though most people on this board have some agreement as to what constitutes good quiz bowl, it is mainly along the lines of 'I know it when I see it.' There are a lot of grey areas where some of us would look at the glass as half full while others would look at it as half empty, which in this case could be a big difference.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)
User avatar
quizbowllee
Auron
Posts: 2179
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:12 am
Location: Alabama

Post by quizbowllee »

I think that these are things that can be discussed. All this organization will ever be able to do is make suggestions. If a state organization refuses to accept our ideals, there's really not much we can do. However, we might be able to hold a legitimate state championship in states that do not offer one.

So, what essentially do we think constitutes "Good" quiz bowl? I'll throw out my views, and everyone can debate and discuss each point.

* Tossups should be pyramidal. Length of tossup doesn't really matter all that much, but preferably 3-7 lines in length (assuming 10 pt font).

* Hoses should absolutely not be tolerated. Some places (such as Alabama) have done a poor job educating people to what constitutes a hose. See this thread for example: http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2099

* I prefer non-bounceback bonuses. However, this is one point that, to me, is not worth arguing. If a particular tournament wants to use bouncebacks, that is fine with me.

* I'm fundamentally opposed to computational math. However, again this is a point that's not all that important. If a tournament is going to have comp. math, that's fine.

* Worksheets, lightning rounds, etc. are optional. If a format wants to use them, that's fine.

* I believe in equitable opportunities for teams to advance. That is one issue that I'm having in Alabama. When all of the best teams in the state are in the same geographical vicinity, it makes for highly unfair regional/district tournaments. This should be looked at more closely to assure that the best teams advance to state tournaments.

* UHHH..... That's about it. That really wasn't too hard. If anyone disagrees, we can discuss it.
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach
West Point High School
Cullman, AL
Byko
Auron
Posts: 1039
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 1:54 pm
Location: Edgewater, MD

Post by Byko »

A few quick responses:
Jessie and David have always been interested in developing a needs survey. We haven't really gotten in launched because I have wanted someone to be in charge of the specific direction of this project (Dave and Jessie have a lot going right now).
To say the least, yes. I'm moving up to Maryland within the next two weeks. Come mid-March, I can devote some serious time and energy to this (along with writing questions for 2 tournaments), but until then, it's just whatever thoughts and comments I have while at "work" for the state gov't.
People from the more enlightened states busting into other regions of the country and telling the locals how to run things is EXACTLY what is needed. An organization that is hesitant or outright opposed to that might quickly turn into something other than a net positive.
That depends on how it is done, and in most cases, it can turn into a bad thing. My idea of the purpose of this kind of organization is to unify, not divide. Enlightenment is definitely a good thing, but the phrasing above sounds too much like an authoritarian action. To me, the first steps are to increase exposure and knowledge of quiz bowl, especially in areas where it does not exist at all and in places where it may exist in a very localized manner in which nobody realizes that there is a bigger picture out there. Yes, someone can just look up "quiz bowl" on Google and discover that there's a world of stuff out there, but that's the wrong view of it--there needs to be more outreach to the populace rather than the other way around. That would be priority #1 of this kind of organization: getting SOMETHING started, even if it isn't perfect, everywhere. Then we can help share knowledge on ways to improve quality. My greatest fear is that we would turn into a group that simply says, "This is how things should be done. Join or die." or believes in "One world, one people, ONE FORMAT!!!" (as one quiz bowl person of power actually not-so-jokingly did say and believe)
So, what essentially do we think constitutes "Good" quiz bowl?
I think Lee's ideas pretty much are good, especially points 1 and 2 (though I favor questions that aren't 7 lines, but that's another discussion) as well as 6 (the folks in Ohio also don't have the most equitable situation).

My overriding thought is that our initial purpose should be that of exposure and communication to ALL. That can be done in a variety of ways, including television exposure, which may sound good, but what we would consider good quiz bowl would generally make for bad television (and, in most cases, what we would consider sub-optimal quiz bowl makes for good television). Beyond this belief, everything else still isn't fully thought-out yet.
Dave Bykowski
Furman '00
Michigan '02
PACE 1998-2009
Director, JROTC National Academic Bowl Championship
Locked