Value of state championships?

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Value of state championships?

Post by First Chairman » Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:54 am

Sort of a spin-off of CharlieD's comment about lots of teams spending so much time practicing in "state format", I'd like to sample opinions on what the value is of a state championship? Obviously one does not need to qualify for a national tournament except Panasonic with a state championship. So I'm wondering how such a championship is viewed.
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Post by DrakeRQB » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:59 am

I don't view NCOAST much differently than any other tournament, since NCOAST's format isn't used much elsewhere (I might write our February tournament to fit it, though).

It's a fun tournament and it's good for bragging rights, I suppose. I just wish more teams showed up.
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Post by rchschem » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:09 pm

It's not necessary to win your conference tourney to get an NCAA bid. Therefore, I would propose an NAQT/PACE "Selection Sunday".

Seriously, though, since in some states QB activity is low, uneven, or otherwise geographically restricted, the better tournaments in a state tend to be the state championships whether labeled as such or not. In a case like NC, when 8 teams composed the field, a state championship is only really a name. The NCSU tournament has a much stronger NC field and would probably be a better measure of true competitiveness.

Furthermore, some of these regional contests (MW, TJ, Brookwood, Dorman) tend to be the nationals writ small anyway, so I would say in the end that state championships are only really important to principals.

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Post by pakman044 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:58 pm

rchschem wrote:... In a case like NC, when 8 teams composed the field, a state championship is only really a name. The NCSU tournament has a much stronger NC field and would probably be a better measure of true competitiveness. ...
My gosh...I shouldn't show this to my tournament director, or he might start blushing :-) [we'll see after Saturday if your trust is so well placed though Eric].

Personally, I think it's natural to want to try to have a tournament to determine who is the best in any given geographic area. In some places, those geographic areas will be a group of States, in some areas it may so happen to be less than the size of a State. It just so happens that in some places, the size is exactly the size of a State.

What's the point of a so-called State championship if it isn't to qualify a team for something else? Well it's for the fun and it's for the hardware mainly. Granted to a certain extent, the benefit of that may be for others who want to use such an accomplishment as another bullet for the school's achievements list, but when I was a student in high school, I did look forward to state competitions in other areas other than quiz bowl (given that I am and was in North Carolina, the de facto state championship at the time was inaccessible).

The value of the State championship, as has been pointed out varies tremendously based on the situation. The quality of the championship matters (if people don't think it's a good championship, it'll be valued less), the participation rate in the championship matters (obviously, the more teams or greater geographic accessibility of the tournament, the greater it will be valued), and the frequency of competition in the area will matter (the more competition in general, the less that such a State championship will matter, as there are other opportunities to compete).

It seems (to me) that in quiz bowl, the State championship appears to be less relevant, and I think all three of the above factors will contribute in one way or another. I also think that the very nature of State championships in quiz bowl hurts them--most of them are not terminal events in a team's season. Many teams will often go on to play in one or more tournaments, or nationals. A lot of times, it isn't the last thing a team will walk from (compare to say, the State competition in Science Olympiad, where for almost all teams, you either win (or get second in a few States), or your season ends).

Can a State championship be "relevant"? Sure. Should State championships be "relevant"? I don't know. Is it necessary for them to be relevant? No.

In the end, if a given State championship wants to be valued, it is up to the organizers of one to make the answers to those three questions be yeses. Whether that kind of goal is reasonable is another story altogether.

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Post by NoahMinkCHS » Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:19 pm

Speaking as a former HS player, the Georgia state championship is quite relevant. It's something very tangible you can tell people about your team -- "We won Brookwood" or something like that is great, and at least for my Class AAA school, certainly much harder than winning state, but means nothing to people outside the game. Sure, that's usually not who you're trying to impress anyway, but it's nice to put your relative "goodness" in a perspective that laypeople can understand. In Georgia, also, our state tournament used (and uses) the state high school association's region and class system, so it's very possible to compare to other activities like sports and literary (although fewer teams compete in quizbowl). Additionally, almost every team -- and certainly every top-tier team -- comes to it, even if those of us in AAA never played them :wink:. And for what it's worth, athletic state titles don't translate to nationals bids, either, so that doesn't necessarily have to be there to make a title relevant.

Of course, above all else, a relevant state title has to be a decent quizbowl tournament, and that aspect of the Ga. state tournament may be most important: We never* had to deal with a peculiar format or poor questions. Fortunately, GATA runs its tournaments using 20/20, pyramidial, all-academic question sets. I can understand why those whose state tournaments do not follow this practice may see the whole "state champion" enterprise differently that I do.

*EDIT: All of the preceding is from my limited experience as a varsity player from 2002-2004. I realized on re-reading that I have no knowledge on whatever happened before then, though I suspect it was much the same.
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Post by rchschem » Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:26 pm

NoahMinkCHS wrote:Additionally, almost every team -- and certainly every top-tier team -- comes to it
And there's the difference. In that case, a championship is a big deal. There are other states with similar fertile ground. With luck NC will be there someday.

And even though I said they would be important to principals (and others), they often aren't. Or nationals, for that matter. I couldn't get the News and Observer to do a story on PACE nationals when it was held in Durham and a team from Raleigh won!

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Post by Deviant Insider » Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:32 pm

It depends a lot on the history and the area. On the East Coast, people cross state lines more often, so state championships are less important because they impose boundaries that normally aren't there. In the Midwest, people rarely leave their state, so state championships make more sense.

In Illinois, the creation of two state championships had a major impact on the activity--there were about 100 teams in the mid-1980s and about 500 teams in the mid-1990s--so the state championship is taken seriously. Additionally, the championship got big before people got serious about the differences between good quizbowl and bad quizbowl, so everybody bought into it. (Once people did start to make a big deal about quality, the issue became how to improve the state championship rather than whether we should have one or teams should participate in it.) I think that you find similar patterns in a few other states around here, such as Missouri and Kentucky.

There is no doubt that Illinois teams take our competitions more importantly than Nationals. It is only in the last couple of years that a small number of teams have started attending national tournaments on a regular basis. I'm not saying our attitude is a good thing, but it is what it is.

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Post by First Chairman » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:13 pm

rchschem wrote:It's not necessary to win your conference tourney to get an NCAA bid. Therefore, I would propose an NAQT/PACE "Selection Sunday".
I think Dave Bykowski would agree that you would not want to hear my Vitale impression.

Dave and I do start emailing and getting into near-weekly conversations about prognosticating teams that play at the nationals (and we have since 1999 at least). I don't know if anyone ever wants to hear our conversations, but Bykowski has his version of a QB-RPI (or whatever we decide to call it) which we use to bracket teams for the NSC (though not always exclusively). But to say the least, I know I start to follow things around April 1 or so as we get teams entered into the NSC.

For what it's worth in light of the row over Wayzata C, NSC has always been "rolling admissions" to use the term from my real job... though we caveat it by saying we only start admitting third teams if they are either clearly competitive or the school to which they belong is committed to making that group of students competitive in the future. Though we have never had to turn teams away, we recognize that our reputation for attracting the confidently best teams in the country (or those that aspire to be in that group) results in a self-selection. But that said, with the exception of issues of conflicts in schedule, I think the NSC does a very good job of trying to balance the stress of such a high-quality field with the enjoyment that everyone enjoys the experience. Or that's what we strive to have. As one of the last national comps on the docket, we want to give everyone a positive experience with national competition as the competitors transition to the college/real world.
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Post by ecks » Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:50 pm

ReinsteinD wrote:There is no doubt that Illinois teams take our competitions more importantly than Nationals. It is only in the last couple of years that a small number of teams have started attending national tournaments on a regular basis. I'm not saying our attitude is a good thing, but it is what it is.
I'm quoting this for truth. In the Illinois thread in the 06-07 thread, you'll see a lot more discussion about how to improve the field for state tournaments (because of the fact that many regionals/sectionals north of I 80 may have more than one powerhouse team).

When I was a downstate IL player myself, discussion about nationals came up maybe twice or three times in three years, and there was only one guy who had a vague idea of how you could qualify for them.

The biggest tournaments for us were usuallyeither Masonic state or the IHSA state series.

Of course, the IHSA says (IIRC) that member schools can't host scholastic bowl tournaments after the state tournament has been held, which certainly helps assert itself as the top tournament in IL.
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Post by jrbarry » Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:19 pm

To me, the most important tournament of the year is our State Tournament. Winning State is our chief goal and does more for our team than winning any other tournament. Our school board is honoring our team and parents on April 12 in on of their meetings. When you ar ein a school system with 175K stiudents and 15 large high schools, a state title is about all that people will offcially recognize. I have received more congrats and contacts form peopel over this State title than everything else we've done for the past 3 years put together.

My school and my community could care less that we finished in the top 10 at NAQT in 2005 or #11 in 2006. But, a State Championship, they ALL understand.

The only other competition we participate in that anyone cares about is our local ATL High Q TV game. My team will play for the championship on April 11 and we have gotten quite a bit of help from folks based on them seeing us on TV or hearing about our State Title.

Nationals just isn't on the radar for my constituency and, because of that, is less important to me. BUt, what it takes to do well at Nationals fits in pretty well with what it takes to do well at State. If we pratice from August to March for the GA State Ty, we are also practicing for NAQT Nationals. Fortunately, our State has ZERO trash and ZERO current events. We do have to concentrate on some current events for our televised game though.

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Post by Tegan » Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:34 pm

I think the issue with nationals is that there are many of them, and as such, they loose meaning to some people through a dilution process.

In Illinois, there is one state championship. That's it .... only two teams (small school and large school) can claim that title. Period.

Meanwhile, between :chip: , PACE, Panasonic, and NAQT, there are at least four claimants (and there used to be five until not so recently) to National titles (not that all claimants are equal, mind you) .... so it is not as unique (baring the years when teams like TJ win all of the legit ones).

I think our cheerleading squad or dance team has recently placed in something like four national competitions ..... its ridiculous! Thus, even the purely legit competitions can claim they are the One Championship ..... but a lot of people don't necessarily buy it. We know there are umteen championships and that coaches can pick and choose the weaker "nationals" to find one that will crown their team. I'm not saying that this is exactly what happens in our tournaments, but to the casual observor, thisis what is seen in many places.

In our compeition, we also have to deal with format issues .... so the NAQT Champion can legitimately claim they are the One NAQT champion .... but not necessarily the champion in any other format. Some people might not give a darn about that .... but then again, some do.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:42 pm

Tegan wrote:In Illinois, there is one state championship. That's it .... only two teams (small school and large school) can claim that title. Period.
But there are three state championships in Illinois...?

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Post by First Chairman » Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:47 pm

ecks wrote:Of course, the IHSA says (IIRC) that member schools can't host scholastic bowl tournaments after the state tournament has been held, which certainly helps assert itself as the top tournament in IL.
So if U of Illinois or Northwestern decided to run a tournament, it would be okay?

What IHSA does to assert itself as the top tournament in IL is that it has the statewide infrastructure to make that claim. Masonic also can make that claim but to a smaller extent because IHSA is enmeshed with the school system (albeit in the athletic sense as much as the academic/extracurricular sense).
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Post by Trevkeeper » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:01 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
Tegan wrote:In Illinois, there is one state championship. That's it .... only two teams (small school and large school) can claim that title. Period.
But there are three state championships in Illinois...?
I think Mr. Egan meant that, while there are technically 3 state championships in Illinois (If you want to get really technical it's two, because the NAQT one is actually the NAQT State Qualifier, not Championship), the only "legitmate" one is IHSA. It's nice to win Masonic or NAQT, but people still consider IHSA the legitimate one. However, among the nationals, none of them can really claim to be the "legitimate" national tournament.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:17 pm

Trevkeeper wrote:I think Mr. Egan meant that, while there are technically 3 state championships in Illinois (If you want to get really technical it's two, because the NAQT one is actually the NAQT State Qualifier, not Championship), the only "legitmate" one is IHSA. It's nice to win Masonic or NAQT, but people still consider IHSA the legitimate one. However, among the nationals, none of them can really claim to be the "legitimate" national tournament.
You can narrow it down to NAQT and NSC for the reasons discussed to death previously, though. It seems weird to say that two of the IL championships don't really count, but then not accept similar (or better) arguments against counting NAC or Panasonic.

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Post by vcuEvan » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:18 pm

However, among the nationals, none of them can really claim to be the "legitimate" national tournament.
In my estimation two of them can.

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Post by Trevkeeper » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:55 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
Trevkeeper wrote:I think Mr. Egan meant that, while there are technically 3 state championships in Illinois (If you want to get really technical it's two, because the NAQT one is actually the NAQT State Qualifier, not Championship), the only "legitmate" one is IHSA. It's nice to win Masonic or NAQT, but people still consider IHSA the legitimate one. However, among the nationals, none of them can really claim to be the "legitimate" national tournament.
You can narrow it down to NAQT and NSC for the reasons discussed to death previously, though. It seems weird to say that two of the IL championships don't really count, but then not accept similar (or better) arguments against counting NAC or Panasonic.
I'd agree that it can be narrowed down to NAQT and NSC -- but that's the problem. It's hard, if at all possible, to determine which the more legitimate national championship.

Here's how the tournaments are viewed in Illinois:

NAQT State: Really, no different than an any other NAQT tournament. The field is small (this year there were 8 teams, last year there were 12 or so), so it certainly doesn't feel like a state tournament.

Masonic: It's the only tournament besides the IHSA State Series that requires a team to qualify at a regional tournament. It also draws from the entire state, which indeed does make it a suitable candidate to be a State Champioship. However, there's still the...

IHSA State Series: IHSA runs all the athletic championships in Illinois, as well as some other activities, including Scholastic Bowl. It crowns all the athletic champions in the state, which probably lends more credence to it. Essentially, people outside the game can recognize an IHSA champion, whereas that's harder for Masonic or NAQT.

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Post by First Chairman » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:25 pm

I'm of the opinion that as biased as I would be for my own event, there's room for both of us to be "legitimate." In golf, it's like saying that the British Open is better than the US Open or the Masters. It's not about one being more legitimate than the other, but that we BOTH provide a rigorous test worthy of determining a national champion.

Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont... whatever.
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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:11 am

E.T. Chuck wrote:
ecks wrote:Of course, the IHSA says (IIRC) that member schools can't host scholastic bowl tournaments after the state tournament has been held, which certainly helps assert itself as the top tournament in IL.
So if U of Illinois or Northwestern decided to run a tournament, it would be okay?
You've got the right idea, and there's an additional kicker - it says "Scholastic Bowl" in the rule, and "Scholastic Bowl" is RIGOROUSLY defined by IHSA. Formats with 4 players don't count, and therefore Loyola can host NAQT State. (On a similar note, I'm willing to bet that a 4-quarter format would work for that loophole as well - not that many teams would sign up for it)

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Post by theMoMA » Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:10 am

Man, I was 1 for 7 in state championship games. The win was in Science Bowl :(

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Post by David Riley » Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:29 am

Brad: And interestingly enough, Scholastic Bowl is also the term used in New York and a few other states.

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Post by jonpin » Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:50 pm

iambusyeating wrote:
However, among the nationals, none of them can really claim to be the "legitimate" national tournament.
In my estimation two of them can.
What he's saying is that since two tournaments can claim to be a legitimate national championship, no tournament can claim to be the legitimate national championship.

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Post by jrbarry » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:31 pm

WE do not have A national championship tournament. We have several national championship tournaments. It is clear to me that some of them are better than others.

My state, Georgia, has ONE state championship tournament. It is sponsored by our state's coaches and always has been. Its matches are perfectly balanced with a question formula for tossups and bonuses that is superior to anything I have ever experienced at a national tournament. All tossups are pyramidal and have always been. We use bouncebacks bonuses and have since 1993. Those reasons make our state tournament have more credibility with me than any nationals I have ever attended.

So, when my teams qualify, we always go to a national tournament. We have been to every NAQTHSNCT (except 2003) since its inception. God willing we'll be there with TWO teams on Memorial Day weekend. I like and respect the professionalism and objectivity of the NAQT leaders and know they will facilitate a well-run and fair tournament. But that tournament has less credibility with me in determining a national champion than my state tournament has determining state champions in GA. But I do believe it has the MOST credibility in determining a national champion than any other nationals I have attended and I have attended them all at one time or another since 1987.

Just one coaches' opinions.

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Post by dxdtdemon » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:47 pm

Ohio didn't really have any NAQT tournaments until after I graduated high school, so for us, winning the OAC state tournament and going to the PAC (Ohio, at least at the time, didn't do all-star teams) was the big thing that pretty much every team in the state aimed for. The one bad thing about the OAC was that the state committee often scheduled the regional tournament on the same day as the State Science Olympiad tournament, and the state tournament the same weekend as the National Science Bowl Tournament. Most players/teams when given the choice almost always chose the OAC, with 1998-99 Beavercreek and 2001-02 Sycamore as the main exceptions to this. Apparently, in 1992, there were so many tournaments the same weekend that instead of having the regular playoffs, the state committee reviewed a bunch of applications for being the state champion based on their merits from previous tournaments (or so my coach had told me in an anecdote, once). I think, though, that with the players choosing the OAC tournaments often enough, that there is still a lot of legitimacy in the state tournament. Also, in terms of geographical representation, it seems to fall pretty well in proportion to population, and you get about 120 or so regional qualifiers from tournaments throughout the year, with the two best from each region going to the state tournament.

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Post by Tegan » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:43 am

Matt Weiner wrote:
Tegan wrote:In Illinois, there is one state championship. That's it .... only two teams (small school and large school) can claim that title. Period.
But there are three state championships in Illinois...?
There is only one ... Masonic is not a State Championship ... even if others claim it to be ..... There are simply far too few of the better teams in Illinois who are not involved. True, it may come close, but it is not a State Championship, and it does not claim to be on the trophy (we have it in our trophy case, it is a beautiful trophy, but it does not claim to be a state championship trophy). I think some past winners may have claimed it as such, but it simply ain't.

NAQT State goes out of its way to not use the words "State Championship" ... and uses the term "State Qualifier" .... given that it comes from a total field of 8 teams, it is hard to say that it is a true state championship.


Q: How many legs does a dog have if you count the tail as a leg?
A: Four, because the tail is not a leg, no matter what you say.

Illinois has only a Class A and AA State Champion, crowned by the IHSA.

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Post by Tegan » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:47 am

E.T. Chuck wrote:
ecks wrote:Of course, the IHSA says (IIRC) that member schools can't host scholastic bowl tournaments after the state tournament has been held, which certainly helps assert itself as the top tournament in IL.
So if U of Illinois or Northwestern decided to run a tournament, it would be okay?

What IHSA does to assert itself as the top tournament in IL is that it has the statewide infrastructure to make that claim. Masonic also can make that claim but to a smaller extent because IHSA is enmeshed with the school system (albeit in the athletic sense as much as the academic/extracurricular sense).
The IHSA allows for participation outside of the season and after the season .... there was a brief time when thi swas barred, but we managed to get a Constitutional loophole added, and hte Assistant Executive Directors in the past few years have made it clear that they have no problem with this new rule .... so we are free and clear to more or less enter tournaments as we see fit.

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Post by Tegan » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:55 am

Matt Weiner wrote:
Trevkeeper wrote:I think Mr. Egan meant that, while there are technically 3 state championships in Illinois (If you want to get really technical it's two, because the NAQT one is actually the NAQT State Qualifier, not Championship), the only "legitmate" one is IHSA. It's nice to win Masonic or NAQT, but people still consider IHSA the legitimate one. However, among the nationals, none of them can really claim to be the "legitimate" national tournament.
You can narrow it down to NAQT and NSC for the reasons discussed to death previously, though. It seems weird to say that two of the IL championships don't really count, but then not accept similar (or better) arguments against counting NAC or Panasonic.
I think the legitamacy of a tournament has a lot to do with its quality (in terms of questions, competition, etc). In Illinois, I think only the IHSA tournament can call itself the one true State Championship tournament.

At the National level, PACE and NAQT are 1000% legit National Championship Touranments....they meet all criteria in terms of quality questions, strong tournament personnel, quality teams, etc. I think to a slightly lesser extent, and people can moan about All-Star teams, tough math, etc, etc but Panasonic is as well (their questions are a bit unortohodox, but there are still some quality teams there .... and they definitely hold the line on "no pop culture, which automatically elevates it a bit in my book). I would say outside of that, the legitimacy of being called a "National Champion" drops off because of the lack of top teams, the dubious nature of the questions, not to mention buffoonary on the part of tournament personnel.

Just having teams from ten states does not make it a National Championship anymore than having teams from every region of your state does not make it a "State" championship.

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Post by quizbowllee » Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:18 pm

For what it's worth, I decided that this year we would not prepare AT ALL for our ASCA State series. We focus 100% on NAQT, PACE, and other pyramidal-style tournaments such as those held at UTC. Incidentally, we've been completely undefeated so far in the ASCA series, sweeping the Small Schools Championship, the District Tournament, and the Regional Tournament. Our state tournament in April 13-14, but I still refuse to do anything to specifically prepare for it. Our goal is to do the best that we possibly can on the NATIONAL level. I want to win state, but it's not what we care most about.

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Post by NoahMinkCHS » Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:32 pm

Tegan wrote:...I think to a slightly lesser extent, and people can moan about All-Star teams, tough math, etc, etc but Panasonic is as well (their questions are a bit unortohodox, but there are still some quality teams there .... and they definitely hold the line on "no pop culture, which automatically elevates it a bit in my book)...
Panasonic is without a doubt a national championship academic tournament. It is also, without a doubt, NOT a national championship quizbowl tournament any more than a three-point-shooting contest is a basketball tournament -- sure it involves some of the same skills and consequently the same players, but there is something quite fundamentally different well above and beyond "tough math".

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Post by ecks » Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:37 am

quizbowllee wrote:For what it's worth, I decided that this year we would not prepare AT ALL for our ASCA State series. We focus 100% on NAQT, PACE, and other pyramidal-style tournaments such as those held at UTC. Incidentally, we've been completely undefeated so far in the ASCA series, sweeping the Small Schools Championship, the District Tournament, and the Regional Tournament. Our state tournament in April 13-14, but I still refuse to do anything to specifically prepare for it. Our goal is to do the best that we possibly can on the NATIONAL level. I want to win state, but it's not what we care most about.
Is that just because of the quality of your program and thus generally atypical for Alabama overall?
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Post by Matthew D » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:01 pm

Chris,
I will attempt to answer for Lee since I have worked with that same bunch he has as an assistant 2 years ago. I would venture to say it would atyplical for most of Alabama. Our state format is geared more toward quick recall than pyramidal questions and by doing this Lee did put himself on a limb about winning state but it seems to have worked out. In discussions we had concerning this and other things we both decided that we would stay more with the nationally accepted pyramidal than focus on questions that were more quick recall, thinking that the speed would be there if they knew enough about the subject. Lee will more than likely put in something about this later but I am sure that he is concentrating more on the birth of his son at the present time.

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Post by quizbowllee » Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:00 pm

Matthew D wrote:Chris,
I will attempt to answer for Lee since I have worked with that same bunch he has as an assistant 2 years ago. I would venture to say it would atyplical for most of Alabama. Our state format is geared more toward quick recall than pyramidal questions and by doing this Lee did put himself on a limb about winning state but it seems to have worked out. In discussions we had concerning this and other things we both decided that we would stay more with the nationally accepted pyramidal than focus on questions that were more quick recall, thinking that the speed would be there if they knew enough about the subject. Lee will more than likely put in something about this later but I am sure that he is concentrating more on the birth of his son at the present time.
Uh... yeah. Matt pretty much articulated what I was going to say. It wasn't really an easy decision to make. We have sacrificed some of our winning ability in state for the ability to compete somewhat on a national level. Just today, for example, my team went to a tournament (I only caught the last round because I was with my little boy). The questions were so weird that we barely won the tournament, even though our biggest competition came from a team that only averaged aroung 8 ppb on NAQT A-Series questions last week. We DID go undefeated, but had some relatively close matches to some really weak teams.

On the other hand, when we play on NAQT questions, we dominate most teams in Alabama easily. Indian Springs really came alive to take the NAQT State Tournament from us, and LAMP can be tough on those questions, but in Alabama, that's about it.

We have ASCA State next weekend. The questions will range from one-line recall questions to 4-5 line pyramidals with occasional hoses. I hope we can pull off a championship this year, but we have done NOTHING AT ALL to prepare for this tournament. 100% of our practice time has been spent preparing for the HSNCT and PACE tournaments.

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Post by Daniel862 » Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:17 pm

In Arkansas, there is a state champion at each classification level, just as there is in football or basketball or any other Arkansas Activities Association sanctioned event. In fact, up until the final championship games, teams from each classification level are playing the same questions throughout the state. When the "best" two teams from each classification are decided, those teams go to AETN in Conway and the games are broadcast on live TV.

A state title is important in Arkansas because the winner at each classification level receives a check to either give students scholarships or to participate in a national tournament. 2nd place gets a check for half the amount for the same purpose. This year, I think the winner gets the biggest prize yet...$5000.

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Post by ecks » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:15 am

Daniel862 wrote:A state title is important in Arkansas because the winner at each classification level receives a check to either give students scholarships or to participate in a national tournament. 2nd place gets a check for half the amount for the same purpose. This year, I think the winner gets the biggest prize yet...$5000.
Does the amount of money change from year to year a lot? 'Cause $5,000 is a ton of money...
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Post by Daniel862 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 1:31 am

In the past, 1st got $3200, 2nd got $1600 in each of the 5 classes...This is the first year it's been $5000, and there are 7 classes this year.

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Source of Money

Post by pblessman » Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:18 am

Whrere does all this Arkansas money come from? Seven classes times $7500... that's over 50 Grand. Is there a corporate sponsor?

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Post by David Riley » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:03 pm

And if there is, do they have a branch in Illinois? :grin:

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Post by Deviant Insider » Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:24 pm

Who would have thought that the title of this thread would have been taken so literally?

As a follow-up to the Alabama comments upthread, two of the coaches in Illinois who have pushed the hardest for academic pyramid questions are me and Egan. We both entered our teams in Masonics State this year, which has over 200 teams and questions by Academic Hallmarks. Somehow, the State Final featured our teams head-to-head. Maine South got the Championship and $2000, which is a lot for us poor folk in Illinois.

Practicing good questions helps with bad questions because with any writer there are a few questions each round that test knowledge. If you can answer the 4 knowledge questions and split the 16 other questions, you can win the match. To split the other questions, you need a team that is aggressive and quick, and some groups of kids can be decent at that even without regular practice--it depends more on personality than knowledge.

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Re: Source of Money

Post by ecks » Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:27 pm

pblessman wrote:Whrere does all this Arkansas money come from? Seven classes times $7500... that's over 50 Grand. Is there a corporate sponsor?
Hmm.... maybe Wal-Mart? They own everything else in Arkansas... I was just at Harding University today and it has its fair share of tribute to the Walton family.
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Post by kcommo » Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:09 am

In Vermont, the state tournament pretty much is the season. Winning it is certainly all our teams' highest goal. The schedule of other local tournaments is pretty sparse (three or four a year), and there are only three or four schools with both the resources and the commitment to travel any significant distance for regular-season tournaments. So that leaves states as the only place for teams to focus on.

We're also sponsored quite generously by the Vermont Chapter of the NEA, so our state tournament -- despite the state's small size -- has the resources to provide the champion with an all-expenses-paid trip to nationals. And because our teams are running on tiny budgets, that's pretty much the only way for most of our teams can afford nationals so that's just extra motivation.

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Re: Vermont

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:13 am

kcommo wrote:...nationals.
You understand Panasonic by this?

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Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:00 am

ID wrote:You understand Panasonic by this?
The Vermont and New Hampshire State Champs are also going to NAQT this year.

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Re: Vermont

Post by kcommo » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:04 am

ImmaculateDeception wrote:
kcommo wrote:...nationals.
You understand Panasonic by this?

MaS
We give teams the option of what they want to do with the money, and last year's champion, Middlebury, decided to go to NAQT while this year's, Champlain Valley, was already headed to NAQT so it chose to go to Panasonic as well. But, really, why wouldn't you consider Panasonic "nationals"?

Vermont's such a small state that we're not going to produce serious national championship contenders wherever we go, so traditionally at least, we've looked at nationals as a prize for our champions. What's the better prize, a weekend in Chicago or Ann Arbor, or four days at Disney World?

If you take the competition out of the equation, it's a pretty easy decision. And when you consider most of our teams are nearly as unfamiliar with straight tossup-bonus format as they are with Panasonic format, I find it very hard to fault any team for chosing the latter.

Maybe holding more NAQT-style tournaments up here (something I, and a couple of other people, have been working toward) and NAQT's emergence as the national tournament will serve as a greater draw in years to come. But it's hardly clear cut now, especially as NAQT's nationals field was full a month before our state finals so we couldn't have gotten our champion in there anyway.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:19 am

Why is it that literally everyone who sets out to defend the legitimacy of Panasonic as a national championship tournament ends up saying "ok so Panasonic is totally illegitimate as quizbowl but hey free trip to Disney World!", often within the space of one post?

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Post by David Riley » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:24 am

Not all of us--I've always thought that if Panasonic WEREN'T at Disneyword, then more national-caliber teams would attend.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:32 am

David Riley wrote:Not all of us--I've always thought that if Panasonic WEREN'T at Disneyword, then more national-caliber teams would attend.
Well, if by that you mean that it didn't have to charge the price of going to Disney World and staying in the official hotel, and perhaps even could get enough staff and rooms to give people more than 2 games, then, all else being equal, you are probably correct. However, it's still an inertia-driven tournament, even more so than NAC is. At least some people play four quarter speed checks all year and could consider some hypothetical ethically sound version of NAC (e.g., ASCN) to be the logical championship of their form of quizbowl. With Panasonic, you get this really bizarre six-team, one-buzzer-per-team, hour-long-match, power-neg, occasional-physical challenge tournament with crazy answering rules and poor speed check questions written by non-quizbowl people, and unless you're from Florida it's completely alien to what you do in order to qualify. To top it all off, all of these major alterations from regular quizbowl are to the tournament's detriment. If Panasonic started up this year I think almost no one would bother going just due to how needlessly strange it is.

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Post by kcommo » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:49 am

Matt Weiner wrote:Why is it that literally everyone who sets out to defend the legitimacy of Panasonic as a national championship tournament ends up saying "ok so Panasonic is totally illegitimate as quizbowl but hey free trip to Disney World!", often within the space of one post?
Because it's not quiz bowl? I've been to Panasonic once as a player and multiple times as a coach or assistant coach, and I don't think there is any defending the rules or the format in relation to the way the rest of the country plays the game. And from the small-state perspective, the all-star teams make the competition itself just about hopeless.

As far as I know, the only reason Vermont ever started sending teams there was because of the location and possibly, if you go back 15 or 20 years, a lack of other options. At least we're not automatically sending our champion there anymore. I consider that one of the most important changes we've made in the time I've been on our league's board of directors.

I still don't know why you wouldn't call Panasonic "nationals", though. It's a question-and-answer tournament with a geographically diverse field at the end of the season. That doesn't make it a good tournament, but it's certainly national in its scale.

It's also always a fun trip, so, like I said, I will never hold it against any school that decides to go there instead of a national tournament more reflective of normal competition.

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Post by First Chairman » Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:36 am

We're starting to deviate a bit off the track of the thread, but over the last 10 years of running tournaments and national events, I'm always intrigued about the push-and-pull of "run a national at a big vacation spot." I know NAQT tried running HSCT at Myrtle Beach, and Chip has had his history running events. Panasonic will be at Orlando.

But my point is to question whether the "vacation spot" is too much of a reward for many run-of-the-mill teams? Yes, I recognize and understand that we should try to schedule free time in the city; and there is something to be said to choose a venue that is accessible to most.

But if NSC were to contract exclusively with a major "vacation spot" like WDW, and raise the price for attendance to at least $2000 per team, would teams attend? I understand the rewards of winning a state championship, but in an era where budgets are sparse, would it not be worthwhile to look at how those prices are set? If the vacation spot is the most important reward for a state championship, then I think competitions like NSC or NAQT will (paradoxically) NOT be viewed favorably... nothing beats WDW after all. So, I think the cost of going to QU or PAC benefits teams by giving them a big chunk of money... but you have to play at those events rather than go to perceivably more academically rigorous events. So is that really the value of the state championships: a cash cow to reward your school and team, or is it all about the title of "state champion"?
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Post by rchschem » Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:45 am

This "vacation spot" thing is bowl game and convention thinking.

When we go to Chicago this year, we'll have a few hours, if we work at it, to see Chicago. Too bad, too. I've never been and would love to go eat at some great restaurants, see a museum, or maybe sing "Twist and Shout" in a downtown parade.

But we'll be playing a dozen rounds in someone's bathtub in a hotel room at the Crowne Plaza. I know that these trips are far more social for the players than for the coaches, but whether or not there's vacation access doesn't factor in for me or my players. If I (we) want a vacation, we'll go on vacation, not to a quiz bowl tournament.

I guarantee you that if the NSC or HSNCT were held in Cancun and the lock were off the minibar I still wouldn't go if it were $2000. I've never been to Panasonic but can't imagine how it can possibly be worth that kind of money. The quiz bowl must be unreal.

Except that it's not, according to these and other descriptions.

However, my school would most definitely compete at my State Championship, even if it didn't have much value. It may not actually determine who the best team in the state is, but it's still the State Championship and it looks great on the college apps.

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Re: Vermont

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:22 am

kcommo wrote:Vermont's such a small state that we're not going to produce serious national championship contenders wherever we go
What a silly mentality. If you're never going to try and be competitive, you're never going to be competitive. And I really fail to see why Vermont being a small state has anything to do with it. Small schools is arguable, but not states.
And by your thinking shouldn't Wilmington Charter and Gonzaga suck? They're from small states/districts.
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