Hi-Q Hi-Five? Five-player teams in GA

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Post by jrbarry »

Big news in Georgia quiz bowl circles. The GATA State Board met this past weekend in Dublin and has made a fundamental change to our state tournaments. Varsity State and JV State will now allow 5-person teams meaning 5 players can play at one time. (State Middle School tournament already has 5-player teams.)

I like the idea. Of course, I made the original motion that GA go to that new system. :wink:
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Post by NoahMinkCHS »

Wow, that is big news! I'm curious about the rationale for the change -- I can definitely see positives (for example, it might allow more teams to have a dedicated computational math player, more people being able to participate, etc.) but it is a big change. Of course, when I was first introduced to the game in elementary and middle school, we had 5-player teams and I thought the 4-player HS model was foreign...

Any idea yet whether invitationals (like Brookwood) will follow suit?
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Post by First Chairman »

Darn... that means we have to buy Judges.... :cool: :wink:
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Call me old fashioned, but I don't understand 5 player teams.
Why did they decide this?
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Post by quizbowllee »

charlieDfromNKC wrote:Call me old fashioned, but I don't understand 5 player teams.
Why did they decide this?
I can say that if this was allowed in Alabama, then Brindlee Mountain A would be a MUCH stronger team. However, Brindlee Mountain B would suffer terribly. I wish this was the case for the NSC and HSNCT, though. It would make my job a whole lot easier, as I have five really strong players.

For what it is worth, we tried this at the 2004 Brindlee Mountain Invitational. It went over like a lead balloon in Alabama, so I doubt we'll be seeing the change here any time soon.
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Post by Tegan »

Speaking for a state where only 4 players took some time to get used to:

1. It does allow for more players to get invovled. That's stating hte obvious, but in the Chicago area, there really is no JV, just frosh-soph. When you have a big team like us, it just allows more people into the game.

2. Strategically, it is really good for us because of our rather intense math. Most teams in Ilinois need to carry no fewer than 2 math people, which means unless they also study other material, you are essentially down to a three-person team. But .... 2 math people, a social studies person, a science person, and a humanities/lit person permits a great deal of flexibility. Even from touranment to tournament, I could change the starters based on what questions were likely to come up. Plus, I've only once had a math specilists who did little more than just math ... so we tended to be better than the average team.

I will admit: if all you play is NAQT, there is really no pressing need to five. But in other formats, teams of five are pretty good!
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Post by jrbarry »

We've done some informal surveying and almost everyone in GA has 10-player buzzer sets. (Fortunately, very few Judges!) The feeling is that playing 5 at a time allows more kids direct access to playing on one team. We're all about getting more people involved. The lower grades quiz bowls all use 5-player teams as does some local competitions like the Gwinnett County Scholars Bowl.

I think very few invitationals will switch to 5-player teams this year. I know at Brookwood, we'll stick with 4-player teams for 2007-2008 academic year. We might survey our customers to see what they think about it at the BISB and BJVSB this year.

I like change when it is intended to improve quiz bowl in some way. More kids on a team is improvement to me.
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Post by First Chairman »

How about as a transition: having 5-player teams for JVSB for the coming year since it's not as big a deal compared to 5-players for VSB? Just an odd thought.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

jrbarry wrote:We've done some informal surveying and almost everyone in GA has 10-player buzzer sets. (Fortunately, very few Judges!)
There are 10-player Judges, dude. They are, in fact, exceedingly common.

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Post by AKKOLADE »

ImmaculateDeception wrote:
jrbarry wrote:We've done some informal surveying and almost everyone in GA has 10-player buzzer sets. (Fortunately, very few Judges!)
There are 10-player Judges, dude. They are, in fact, exceedingly common.

MaS
I think he was trying to say he didn't like Judges rather than Judges don't have ten buzzers.
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Post by First Chairman »

Let's get back on track.

The only little problem I see can be logistical, i.e., if a buzzer doesn't work. I suppose we have to upgrade to 12-person systems to be sure that we don't have to disrupt a game too much if that happens, but given how much buzzers can take a beating. ...

It's not a huge deal except for the sake of convenience and setting up rooms. Going from 3-person It's Ac teams to 4-person qb teams isn't so bad. Probably for captaining purposes, going from 4-person to 5-person may not be bad either. On the other hand, you just can't conveniently arrange five rectangular desks in a nice way in a classroom.

But it is an interesting thought. Certainly I'm interested in increased participation, but we'll have to make changes in the stat-keeping programs to accommodate that. SQBS can handle a large roster size, but I don't think it takes more than 4 active players in a game (unless you do substitutions).

That reminds me... would substitutions still be in play? I know if it were me, I wouldn't with a larger team.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

Welcome to the wonderful world of five-player teams.

To me, the advantage is that it makes it easier for a team with depth to defeat a team with one superstar.

Of course, this is not a revolution in the game, though I view it as a step in the right direction.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

I guess one potential consequence is a drop in the number of teams coming to any particular tournament from large programs. The players who may have comprised 3, 4, or 5 teams in a four-person system now are 2, 3, or 4 in a five-person. That will lead to a slight decrease in the money tournament hosts can make, but it will also make it easier to accommodate more players with limited staffer/buzzer options.
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Post by NoahMinkCHS »

At least for the varsity state tournament, there's a "one team per school" rule that means the only consequence will be more participants. But yeah, invitational hosts will have to weigh the (probably small but not insignificant) financial possibilities of making the change.
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Post by Tegan »

I'm going to take this on a slight tangent (and I'm not ... repete not trying to say "Illinois is better" or "5-on-5 is better".

Having traveled to Wisconsin and Indiana, and gotten a feel for the rest of the states run things, I notice that in most states, the young kids (what we in Illinois would call frosh-soph) are expected to play as the "C", "D", and "E" teams at avarsity tournament. Those teams, for the most part do little except provide fodder to pad the stats of the opponents (yes, I know, it is a good learning experience for them of sorts).

But speaking from a competitive team's stand point, playing teams like that do nothing (Except make our stats look far better than they wuld be against better opponents). While going to 5-on-5 will possibly results in "fewer teams", it might mean more opportunity (in some cases) for stronger competition. It might not be a universal truism, but in come tournaments, this might be the case.
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Post by aestheteboy »

ReinsteinD wrote: To me, the advantage is that it makes it easier for a team with depth to defeat a team with one superstar.
I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not.
Teams with depth becoming strong, of course, means small teams becoming comparatively weaker. Perhaps this is only natural. However, it also means that it becomes increasingly difficult for non-magnet/non-private schools to compete with magnet/private schools.

I think the sense of efficacy is extremely important in quizbowl. There's often little you can do to motivate your teammates, but if you like the game and are willing to put in some time, you and your team are almost guaranteed to improve. You don't need any special talent, you don't really need to even be that smart. In that sense, individual effort is what matters the most, and everyone is on similar starting point.
As the number of players playing at a time increases, that becomes less and less true. Again, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I will say that it would be big discouragement to relatively small teams.

After all, the teams represented in this board are mostly the teams with the greatest depth.
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Post by First Chairman »

I'm not sure if there has been any scientific study that looks at the difference between four and five person teams. Obviously, for very good individual players who play by themselves in the college world, it can be rather difficult for a four-player team to defeat an extremely good one-player star (Matt Weiner, R, Yaphe). On the high school side, it's harder for me to see that disparity of skill, but I also am not sure that adding a fifth wheel for an average team gives them a statistically better chance to defeat a four-person team with one player who carries most of the scoring. Obviously we are assuming a certain scoring competency that all players have, but that's not always a safe assumption to make.

The only way that I think more players on a team with more equitable distribution of scoring can beat a great player who scores a majority for his/her team is to have some round in which there is a one-on-one matchup (as is the case in a few TV formats out there). Competitions like Decathlon and my High School Celebrity Shoot in which you eliminate buzzer speed (which is I believe the sole reason why one-player teams dominate in high school) really reward a balanced team. But for standard buzzer play, I can't quite agree with the presented conclusions that it's necessarily "better" yet.
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Post by Tegan »

aestheteboy wrote:
ReinsteinD wrote: To me, the advantage is that it makes it easier for a team with depth to defeat a team with one superstar.
I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not.
Teams with depth becoming strong, of course, means small teams becoming comparatively weaker. Perhaps this is only natural. However, it also means that it becomes increasingly difficult for non-magnet/non-private schools to compete with magnet/private schools.

I'm don't mean to be a contrarian but coming from where I am, I don't see it. In Illinois, private schools, as a rule, tend to do poorer than the public schools, and since going over to pyramidal style quesitons, even more so. IMSA used to be a powerhouse on the fast buzz questions, but has done little in the past seven years or so. The Catholic schools in the Chicago area are good on a regular basis (Fenwick, Loyola, and St. Ignatius ...Marist to a lesser extent), but only Fenwick has placed in the past ten years (4th plcae, twice).

Auburn (Rockford) is, I suppose, a magnet school, and has done very well in the past seven years, but they are by far the exception. They routinely beat up the one local Catholic school. However, even they have not placed higher than second (and at that, only once).

It seems the whole private/public thing is a far bigger deal out east .... and am not sure why that is the case.
There's often little you can do to motivate your teammates,
Again, not to be contrarian, but my experience has beenthe opposite. I think players can motivate their teammates to improve, and this is even moreso the case on teams that have tasted a little success, and have acore of talent that needs just a little refining.

I'm in favor of considering anything that checks one player teams vs. deep teams, provided that it does not compromise the integrity of the match. I find it sad when I see one great player ringing in surrounded by four Eddie Gaedels.
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Post by STPickrell »

Tegan wrote:I'm in favor of considering anything that checks one player teams vs. deep teams, provided that it does not compromise the integrity of the match. I find it sad when I see one great player ringing in surrounded by four Eddie Gaedels.
I'll agree with you on the last sentence, but why should a good player be handicapped due to having weaker teammates/teammates that don't care? (I'm assuming s/he's not like the guy on One Tree Hill that proclaims he'll make it to state with three blind guys and a cripple for teammates. Those players can leave a bad taste in the mouth, and I count myself as having treaded in that territory during my immature days.)
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Post by Tegan »

StPickrell wrote:I'll agree with you on the last sentence, but why should a good player be handicapped due to having weaker teammates/teammates that don't care? (I'm assuming s/he's not like the guy on One Tree Hill that proclaims he'll make it to state with three blind guys and a cripple for teammates. Those players can leave a bad taste in the mouth, and I count myself as having treaded in that territory during my immature days.)
I should probably qualify myself a little.

If a team is a one man team, and they win, I won't cry foul. It's as legit a win as can be ..... howver, I wonder at times if certain formats give a little edge to the one man teams. I think getting an extra player in on a team that is interested helps a little ....
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Post by Gonzagapuma1 »

My only problem with this is if 5 why not 6? It seems to me that there should be a line somewhere and with this ruling I don't know where that line is.
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Post by jrbarry »

1. In Georgia, we are only using 5-player teams in our state tournaments where we play only against schools of the same classification. That eliminates the argument that larger teams favor larger schools.

2. When you compete against similar sized schools, having 5-player teams might well favor schools that take the activity more seriously. From my unscientifc sampling of large schools, the serious quiz bowl programs seem to have more good players than the semi-serious schools.

3. In GA, we can draw the line at 5-person teams because almost everyone in our state has 10-player buzzer systems. 12-player systems are rare in GA at least when you look at what shows up at tournaments.
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Post by First Chairman »

Assuming that NAQT is writing the GATA series, I would be very interested in a difference between the individual and statistics between four-person and five-person teams. Obviously we can't do a proper direct comparison since the question sets will be different, but I would be interested in the trends.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Gonzagapuma1 wrote:My only problem with this is if 5 why not 6? It seems to me that there should be a line somewhere and with this ruling I don't know where that line is.
OMG if we allow 2 players on quizbowl teams then maybe someday that'll lead to 3...maybe even 4! Where does it stop? When entire cities face off? The reds have won my friends...
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Post by First Chairman »

Just wait until they mandate that we have dead fish and bananas...

hee hee hee... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Post by jburnsOHS »

In regards to the difference 5-player teams might make in keping individual stats: No GATA tournament keeps individual stats or has for at 12-13 years, if ever. In 15 or so years of coaching quiz bowl, I've only been to a couple of tournaments in Georgia that keep individual stats.
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Post by Gunnells »

I probably feel differently about this than I would have two years ago. Norcross is at a stage where I believe we will now be a beneficiary of the rule. I especially like that it creates room for a math guy.
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Post by First Chairman »

Well, if there is anything that screams out for data to back up instinct, this is one. I would like to know if scoring goes up because you can put in a math person or a second math person onto a roster. Does having a fifth person on each team lower the number or percentage of tossups that go dead? I state this because now that we have 9 years of running NSC, we have pretty good experience with knowing how much reboundable bonuses affect the game (which is not as much as one fears). I'm sure that a fifth wheel won't affect the game that much either, but I would like to be proven wrong.

Why not keep individual or team stats? We now have freeware that allows this to happen (though we'll have to redo SQBS to make five-person team rosters.
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Post by jburnsOHS »

Why not keep individual stats? Off the top of my head, not speaking for GATA or anything: too much trouble for readers who are sometimes already inexperienced, too much trouble for tournament headquarters, slows down the game, and not really conducive to the whole team aspect.
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Post by First Chairman »

I'm sure we could argue a lot of different things to make the game more team-friendly, such as consulting on tossups (in which case individual stats could be useless). I'm not saying that one "should" but for the purposes of saying it "promotes teamwork", it's much nicer to have some data to back that up.

That said, how much time does it take to keep score or individual stats? Yes, it would be preferable to have one person in each room keeping score, but it's not that much more trouble to teach that person how to keep individual stats. Besides, I think GATA format uses reboundable bonuses, which many have argued take up "so much more time" when we know it doesn't based on the match lengths on our NSC schedule.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Gonzagapuma1 wrote:My only problem with this is if 5 why not 6? It seems to me that there should be a line somewhere and with this ruling I don't know where that line is.
On a more serious note though, I think the fact that most buzzer systems accommodate 10 players or less is the limiting factor.

And yeah, I wish state organizations would keep individual stats more often. VHSL should definitely do it considering they have 2.5 million volunteers at every tournament.
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Post by Gunnells »

Tangentially related, but is there any word on Hi-Q slots for Gwinnett County yet? Norcross is understandably quite interested.
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Post by jrbarry »

Dr. Chuck:

We in GA have never kept player stats in tournaments (OK, Emory did one year back in the early 1990s). We have been philosophically opposed to honoring kids based simply on how many tossups they get. The feeling is that a team made up of 4 players who split the tossups between them will not be as likely to produce an all-star as a one-person team.

We are not trying to get anyone to stop keeping player stats for honors. We just choose NOT to based on what I said and what Jeff Burns said as well.

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