How to Make Legitimate Quizbowl (More) Exciting

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How to Make Legitimate Quizbowl (More) Exciting

Post by leapfrog314 »

OK, guys. I've been reading Chris's thread, The Thread for People who Like NAC. In it, he asks why people like NAC; one response which kept coming up was that NAC is more "exciting" than NAQT for laypeople, because the audience knows some of the answers, because Chip plays up the teams, and because it's "faster-paced."

Local quizbowl television shows use shorter, trashier questions than "good" formats like PACE or NAQT. So do nationally-syndicated shows like Jeopardy! Heck, these shows aren't pyramidal at all; nobody's even allowed to interrupt the questions. (I'm operating under the assumption that we agree that "good" quizbowl involves long pyramidal tossups on academic subjects.)

I agree that watching people power tossups on obscure clues isn't exactly a blast for laypeople, especially if they haven't heard of a majority of the answers in the high-school canon. (You know it's true.) I mean, even the HSNCT podcasts. Listen to them; how exciting is it for you, Mr. Intense Quizbowl Player, when somebody powers a tossup where you have no idea what's going on, and they answer with a proper noun you've never heard before?

Now, I'm not saying that quizbowl isn't exciting. I think (at the risk of being called a nerd) that it's very exciting, especially during nail-biter matches. (I especially recall our match against RM A at HSNCT, when they were down by 45 with one tossup left.) I love playing, writing, moderating...but I accept that it might not be as exciting for non-players as it is for me.

So I ask the community a serious question: how can we strike a balance between "real quizbowl" and "exciting quizbowl"? Clearly, "exciting" quizbowl is at the expense of legitimacy: the questions are shallower, trashier, and don't differentiate depth of knowledge. But "real" quizbowl isn't really all that exciting unless you know at least half the answers. If you can't play along, and you can't appreciate the tension by having actually played before, it's just a bore. Why not watch people take history tests?

Any ideas? It could really help the awareness of real quizbowl if we could market an exciting format with legitimate questions. Agree/disagree/flame?
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Post by theMoMA »

I am confused. Do you mean for the participants or the spectators?
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Post by leapfrog314 »

For the layperson spectators. The players already find good quizbowl exciting.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

I admittedly don't care much about spectators who are usually hypothetical. However, I do the following within the constraints of good question writing in order to keep things interesting, for the players' sake, and I guess it can work for any spectators too:

*Avoid boring list clues such as "born in/educated at" and garbage filler clues that slow things down without imparting anything useful ("Tell me about some works by Swedish author August Strindberg from clues FTPE" is bad --> "Name these August Strindberg works FTPE" is better)
*Put in off-the-wall, but still reasonably true/helpful, clues in bonus parts (Mily Balakirev looked like a frog and I don't see why this can't be mentioned in passing along with some clues that are more specifically about his musical work)
*Put in lively language whenever possible (why not say Diomedes "gut-sticks" Ares in the Iliad instead of "wounds" him? It's both more specifically true and more amusing)
*Find interesting anecdotes in fictional works to use in lit questions--they are both more likely to reward real knowledge than just a list of character names, and more interesting
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Post by theMoMA »

I think many people in quizbowl--especially people who decide what quizbowl formats to use when televising quizbowl--falsely assume that the game is inherently uninteresting and that gimmicky things must be done to the format itself to make it more interesting. Shorter questions, varied rounds, wacky moderators, etc. This is not true at all. People watch the Spelling Bee despite the fact that they haven't heard of a single word that comes up. They watch competitive eating even though it's gross and nobody does it. They watch poker before they even understand how to play. The reason people don't watch quizbowl because isn't because they don't know the answers. It's because the way quizbowl is produced is very, very boring and assumes wrongly that people understand the game.

I'd say there are a few things that quizbowl on TV could do to make itself more interesting. They pretty much all involve making it more sport-like in its production.

First, have commentators besides the reader. It works for poker, it works for competitive eating, and it works for the spelling bee. Quizbowl players forget that people who don't know quizbowl don't understand the game. You wouldn't put soccer on TV without people explaining what is going on...most people wouldn't take the time to understand a bunch of people kicking a ball, a guy in yellow occasionally blowing a whistle, and people celebrating whenever the ball went in a certain netted area. This applies to quizbowl too. People don't understand what a great buzz is, and they don't know what a huge missed opportunity looks like. Presenting a tossup-bonus format on TV without explanation, expecting everyone to understand the nuances of the game is unrealistic.

The commentators should be mostly silent during the game, but they should interject things like "School X need to capitalize here" when a team negs or "that was a great buzz" or "they need to run this bonus to win" when it's necessary and doesn't interrupt, and they should be given time before and after the game and the halves to analyze what happened. Because people don't know!

Another thing that TV formats must do is to have a distinct (and sufficiently long) regular season and a distinct post-season. None of this taping an 8-team single-elim tournament and airing it over 12 weeks crap. Have each team in the league play a game each week, but only one feature matchup should be televised per week. This allows for dominant teams and players to emerge, rivalries for the playoffs to be forged, etc; things that are interesting to people, unlike waiting 6 days to see the next barely connected production.

In this way, quizbowl on TV must be a lot like Monday Night Football. It must recap what happened in other games before the current one starts because cannot assume that people know what happened last week or in the other games. The audience needs to feel connected with the season, and having a short, disjointed series of episodes with no explanation as to the context of the game will not work.

Third, TV rounds much keep stats! And not just keep them, display them! When a player gets a tossup, flash their updated game stats and their season-to-date stats. Keep a leaderboard and display it before games. Display a running PPB, and display each team's needed points to win (in an untimed format). When the players introduce themselves, flash their PPG on the screen.

Stats and commentators are invariably intertwined. People don't understand that a 20 PPG player on a winning team with 3 other 20+ PPG players is much better than your average 20 PPG scorer. People have no idea what a good bonus conversion is or what an acceptable tossup to neg ratio is. Have your commentators break down the game statistically before each match, saying stuff like "School X must capitalize on School Y's tendency to neg on science questions," "School Y has put up a lot of tossup points, but if they struggle on bonuses again they could be vulnerable." Stuff like that is interesting to people regardless of whether they know the answers to the tossups.

Finally, play up school rivalries and individual storylines. Interview players and coaches and parents. Do the things that TV does to make sport a production and not just the 40,001st seat in the bleachers. People don't necessarily care about quizbowl, but they do care about other people.

Also, I think it's misguided to time televised matches. Have a set number of tossups and bonuses, and have the reader read them so that people can understand what they're saying. One of the biggest aversions to quizbowl is that fast readers really make it sound like Charlie Brown's teacher talking, then a buzz, then someone saying an answer. It's just as suspenseful knowing a team is down by 35 with a tossup to go than knowing they're down 35 with the time left for one tossup to go, but in one scenario no one can hear what the reader is saying.

Most quizbowl on TV tries to have an academic feel to its production. Light music, graduation- or school-related design themes, etc. This works for the spelling bee where the kids are ten and most people tune in because they're adorable, n the back of their minds considering the off-chance that one of the spellers wets themselves on national television. Quizbowl's theme should be much more sport-like, because no one but your mom is tuning in to see the cute high schoolers play. So you must televise what's interesting: stories, stats, and most importantly, competition.
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Post by First Chairman »

I guess it really depends on what you mean by "exciting." The question itself has an assumption that the game needs to be exciting for someone, specifically an audience of lay people. There are many ways to do that, one of which is a proper pace of presenting material such that the audience can quietly participate. This is what Jeopardy does extremely well, and is the hallmark of many game shows that have been successful in the quiz show genre.

What would make people want to watch fly fishing (BassCenter on ESPN)? That isn't really exciting, but it caters to an audience that can relate to that lifestyle. Same thing with poker, which I don't find exciting.

But if this discussion of "exciting" is separated from the aspect of broadcasting matches, then we have a truer discussion of making the game of quizbowl exciting. I agree that the players will have a rush with the game, especially when they know the answers (duh).

I finally sat through a few Chip games this weekend, in the hope of discovering what makes those matches truly exciting. You know what... I wasn't that excited. Even with additional commentary and descriptions of a team taking the lead, I can see how it can be both a positive recognition and a negative disparaging remark if taken to extremes.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

I also think that a popular production probably would flash the entire question up on the screen before (or perhaps as) it was read in the match. To keep the game legitimate, the students in the match would not see it. Part of the fun of watching televised game shows is being able to say 'I know that' or 'That's a tough question'. If the audience sees an entire NAQT or PACE high school question, many people will see things they know even if the audience is much less knowledgeable than the two teams playing.

I also think that you shouldn't do too much to please television--they are fickle. It would be a shame to change the game for a television show for a year or two and then not get renewed. It is rare for even a very successful television show to last ten years. In Illinois, they televise the State Championships in Football and Basketball because the schools like it and it raises the IHSA's status, but they lose money on the telecasts--and that's despite several sponsors, inexpensive production, and the fact that it's Football and Basketball.
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Post by DH TTHS »

Hot Cheerleaders
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Post by ieppler »

DH TTHS wrote:Hot Cheerleaders
I guess you've never seen It's Academic...
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

ReinsteinD wrote:I also think that a popular production probably would flash the entire question up on the screen before (or perhaps as) it was read in the match. To keep the game legitimate, the students in the match would not see it. Part of the fun of watching televised game shows is being able to say 'I know that' or 'That's a tough question'. If the audience sees an entire NAQT or PACE high school question, many people will see things they know even if the audience is much less knowledgeable than the two teams playing.
Yeah I've always thought flashing at least the answer in the top left or right corner of the screen for viewers at home to see would make things interesting; it's sort of like watching poker players' hole cards and being able to yell "HE'S BLUFFING, GOOD GOD MAN, DON'T FOLD!" Televised poker wasn't popular at all until they started showing the cards. I say put the answer in the corner just because that way people have the option of not looking at it and trying to figure out the answer themselves if they feel like it.

Also, televised quizbowl usually goes with one match per episode, but I think it would be kind of cool to have a full day's coverage of a tournament with one or two "featured rooms" with cameras everywhere, and besides that have a couple of people run around reporting on what's going on with the other games (so if one of the featured rooms becomes a blowout match, they can just cut to one of their reporters elsewhere). Then you could have commentators deciphering it all for people and talk about the standings. I don't like the idea of having commentators saying a lot during single-game coverage and getting in the way of the moderator, you'd either have to have longer play stoppages for them to talk or viewers would miss parts of questions.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Hopper wrote:
DH TTHS wrote:Hot Cheerleaders
I guess you've never seen It's Academic...
Or Rappahannock County's VHSL team :roll: ...
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Post by Tegan »

E.T. Chuck wrote:I finally sat through a few Chip games this weekend, in the hope of discovering what makes those matches truly exciting. You know what... I wasn't that excited. Even with additional commentary and descriptions of a team taking the lead, I can see how it can be both a positive recognition and a negative disparaging remark if taken to extremes.
I spent most of the time looking for the camera he was playing to ...... I swear that he acted like there was a camera on him the whole time and that I was the only one who didn't see the camera.
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Post by pretzeldude92 »

Or Rappahannock County's VHSL team ...
I'll admit our team isn't the prettiest, but that was pretty low. Very below-the-belt low.
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Post by Tegan »

Wall of Shawarma wrote:
ReinsteinD wrote:I also think that a popular production probably would flash the entire question up on the screen before (or perhaps as) it was read in the match. To keep the game legitimate, the students in the match would not see it. Part of the fun of watching televised game shows is being able to say 'I know that' or 'That's a tough question'. If the audience sees an entire NAQT or PACE high school question, many people will see things they know even if the audience is much less knowledgeable than the two teams playing.
Yeah I've always thought flashing at least the answer in the top left or right corner of the screen for viewers at home to see would make things interesting; it's sort of like watching poker players' hole cards and being able to yell "HE'S BLUFFING, GOOD GOD MAN, DON'T FOLD!" Televised poker wasn't popular at all until they started showing the cards. I say put the answer in the corner just because that way people have the option of not looking at it and trying to figure out the answer themselves if they feel like it.
I agree that the main difference between TV quiz shows and NAQT and PACE format (not exclusively), is that the pace is digestable to average people. The only thing I ever saw come close were an old sports sho w for college teams on ESPN from Boardwalk and Baseball, and the "Speed Round" on the old "Sale of the Centruy" show ..... I think posting the quesiton on a split screen and identifying where players ring in ..... explaining statistics (stats are always good at luring some people in) ...

I'm pretty sure the idea of doing live broadcsts would be difficult ..... but you could do a few select rooms, edit footage, include the no longer pristine quesitons on the screen, and show it within a few days (it would give teams a chance to get home and actually watch it).

I don't like the idea of having commentators saying a lot during single-game coverage and getting in the way of the moderator, you'd either have to have longer play stoppages for them to talk or viewers would miss parts of questions.
I agree .... it might have to be added later .... and in a "golf commentator" volume.

On a side note ..... speaking of stapping on the modertor ... when I was at the NAC two years ago, I saw a Chicago team play a team from a state that lacks a lot of strong quizbowl. These fans had no problem cheering and hollering every time their team got the question right, making it harder to hear the next question ..... but when we got to the break in between rounds, and the Chicago folks all started talking over the host's banter, these fans got annoyed and shushed the Chicago folks.

So, talking over modertor questions during a broadcast: no! Talking over moderatr banter between periods, OK.


One last thing: I am more and more convinced that the reason the Spelling Bee gets all the coverage is because of their age ..... if it were high school kids doing this, I'm not so sure it would get the coverage. I think that is part of the problem we face, though I am at a loss as to why?
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Post by cvdwightw »

Outside of the Little League World Series and maybe the Pop Warner Championship, virtually no other sport featuring middle-school and lower aged kids gets any national TV coverage. Perhaps they see the Bee events and MathCounts as ways to continue coverage of that age group, though I don't see why they would. On the other hand, there's usually at least one high school football or basketball game on every week in those seasons, and sports magazines do occasionally (SI has about one page an issue devoted to it) cover high school sports. Perhaps there's already been a saturation level there. Maybe we should try to market middle school quizbowl instead?
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Post by rchschem »

Tegan wrote:I am more and more convinced that the reason the Spelling Bee gets all the coverage is because of their age ..
Schadenfreude. Nothing makes a person sitting at home watching a spelling bee feel better than seeing some 13 year old crash and burn on national TV. Don't tell me that's not part of it. I'm sure it isn't because people are spelling along at home.

So how do we incorporate more of that classic tragedy in quiz bowl? I once saw a "Tales from the Crypt" episode in which Kevin Tighe from the old "Emergency" TV series plays Lance Henriksen at "chop poker..."

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Post by First Chairman »

Tegan wrote:
E.T. Chuck wrote:I finally sat through a few Chip games this weekend, in the hope of discovering what makes those matches truly exciting. You know what... I wasn't that excited. Even with additional commentary and descriptions of a team taking the lead, I can see how it can be both a positive recognition and a negative disparaging remark if taken to extremes.
I spent most of the time looking for the camera he was playing to ...... I swear that he acted like there was a camera on him the whole time and that I was the only one who didn't see the camera.
I am refraining from saying anything really cruel... :)
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

pretzeldude92 wrote:
Or Rappahannock County's VHSL team ...
I'll admit our team isn't the prettiest, but that was pretty low. Very below-the-belt low.
Ahh dude I knew you'd take that the wrong way, all the emphasis was on the cheerleaders part, I just think it's really funny (in the same way that really serious quizbowl team uniforms are) how some teams have posters and a lot of fans in the crowd, but it's kind of cool and cute too.
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Post by sweaver »

Often, when people come to a tournament for the first time, I get comments like, "That's really interesting!" Many people, when they actually experience it, like it.

That said, many matches are boring because many readers are poor, not just for the players but for spectators. Many read without inflection or interest. Part of that is because there are very few professional quiz bowl moderators. Good reading helps.

Most TV broadcasts also use "easier" questions, because questions that fall unanswered are inherently uninteresting. Once in a while is OK, but all the time is boring. In a media match, we want questions answered!

Also, routs are uninteresting. If one team totally dominates another, as can often happen in quiz bowl, by the last few questions attention wanders.

To truly maintain interest, a running score must be kept visible. Only a few formats do that. Also a time clock, if applicable, such as true NAQT rules or Science Bowl.
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Post by pretzeldude92 »

Quote:
Or Rappahannock County's VHSL team ...


I'll admit our team isn't the prettiest, but that was pretty low. Very below-the-belt low.


Ahh dude I knew you'd take that the wrong way, all the emphasis was on the cheerleaders part, I just think it's really funny (in the same way that really serious quizbowl team uniforms are) how some teams have posters and a lot of fans in the crowd, but it's kind of cool and cute too.
Oh now I understand. Our team's fans weren't the ones with all of the posters and signs at VHSL States, that was mostly Mathews, but I understand your point. Our uniforms are outlandishly distracting, partially because our coach Dave Naser doesn't have the best sense of fashion, and partially because we think it distracts the other teams. Blue, gold, and white stripes are the way to go, and last year our shirts were bright gold with checkerboard collars.

As for making quizbowl more exciting, our school definately got pumped up when we hosted our home match. We posted pictures of George Mason's captain around the school, literally everywhere including the bathrooms. We had tons of people show up for our match, and I had basketball players, ones who would never ever discuss quizbowl otherwise, come up to me and ask, "Is that Mason chick here yet?" Our school was really excited and we had at least 50 people in attendance, which is remarkable for a school of 400 kids 8-12.

Quizbowl can be made more exciting through publicity, honestly, and I believe that if more schools/tournaments did a lot of zany things, matches would naturally become exciting.
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Re: How to Make Legitimate Quizbowl (More) Exciting

Post by grapesmoker »

leapfrog314 wrote:Agree/disagree/flame?
I'll take option 3, please, with a side order of spite! Seriously, though...

First of all, I want to know why we need to make legitimate quizbowl more exciting. 160 teams showed up to HSNCT this year, which is about like the most teams ever to come to a quizbowl tournament. I mean, teams were fighting for open spots, which were claimed as soon as they became available. Maybe this is due to the excitement of NAQT itself, but whatever FUNN features NAQT has, it's still orders of magnitude better than most other tournaments.

Moreover, I don't see any compelling reason to make quizbowl exciting for spectators if it results in any compromise on question quality. I actually think that many of the suggestions made by Andrew in this thread would be awesome (I love the idea of a running quizbowl commentary; I imagine we'd be hearing things like, "Crucial power by Sorice at a tricky stage in the game!" and "Chicago unfortunate not to capitalize on that bonus to its full extent"). Assuming we wouldn't actually have to change anything about the game mechanics, I guess I'd be cool with extraneous bells and whistles if it meant getting a game on TV once in a while (which actually makes me think that we should try to get a serious game up on public access somewhere), but since it's all entirely hypothetical, I don't know how much sense there is in proposing various modifications.
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Post by First Chairman »

I actually know that running commentary is a nice little bit that one can do during breaks in the game. But that's also exactly what :chip: does THROUGHOUT a game and during breaks. I think the commentary would get tiring very fast. Plus you would all stone me for my Dick Vitale or John McLaughlin imitations from the last decade as quiz bowl commentators.
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Post by leapfrog314 »

Sir Vinokurov, I agree with you. My entire question was how we could make quizbowl more appealing (perhaps appealing is more the idea than exciting) -- for outsiders as well as insiders -- without compromising its legitimacy. I agree that the primary goal isn't to make quizbowl appealing; the goal is to make quizbowl...well, good quizbowl. But since this has been discussed again and again, I thought it was worth discussing how to make it more appealing, too.

I like theMoMA's ideas: quizbowl can be more of a sport than it now seems. It's certainly an active competition, complete with momentum, turning points, possible commentary...I think it could be pretty exciting, really, even for people who don't really know what's going on. As long as they appreciate the competition aspect, and are marginally interested by the academic aspect, I think people could find it pretty exciting, especially if they watched the evolution of a team or rivalry throughout a season.
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Post by Gonzagapuma1 »

Maybe they could do a Lon Mcearen/Norman Chad during the WSOP thing where they do the commentary where no one can hear them amd that way they could talk about the questions if they were put on screen.
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Post by theMoMA »

Gonzagapuma1 wrote:Maybe they could do a Lon Mcearen/Norman Chad during the WSOP thing where they do the commentary where no one can hear them amd that way they could talk about the questions if they were put on screen.
That was my thought. Much like poker, quizbowl isn't a good thing to broadcast live.
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Post by ieppler »

Maybe someone can videotape a few games at a tournament next year and try out some of these ideas. My experience with video editing is limited, but from what I know, it shouldn't be too hard to add in audio commentary, a running scoreboard, question text, etc. by using standard video editing software. They can upload them to Youtube and post the links in this thread so that the members of this board can compare them and see what works.
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Post by grapesmoker »

One obvious problem with the running commentary is that it can't superimpose on the game. So if you're taping the commentary concurrently with the game, the commentators have to speak between questions, offering some kind of quick remarks. This would also require pauses by the moderator until the commentary was over. Obviously, this is not doable with any kind of timed format, but it would work for ACF. One thing that occurred to me is that for a televised match, you could have 40/40 rounds, allowing for quarters and such (although perhaps 20/20 + commentary is enough anyway).

Yeah, I'm not trying to rag on anyone for thinking of ways that quizbowl could be made into an entertaining spectator sport. I just think we shouldn't really get carried away with it for anything other than our own amusement. If NAQT has the organizational manpower to put some kind of program together and make it appealing to the public, obviously that's great and we should all support it. I think if people will watch spelling bees and golf, they'll watch just about anything, so perhaps the issue is just getting some exposure.
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Post by Kechara »

E.T. Chuck wrote:
Tegan wrote: I spent most of the time looking for the camera he was playing to ...... I swear that he acted like there was a camera on him the whole time and that I was the only one who didn't see the camera.
I am refraining from saying anything really cruel... :)
I won't. I can find a couple of fun diagnoses to slap on him...
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Post by Tegan »

grapesmoker wrote:One obvious problem with the running commentary is that it can't superimpose on the game. So if you're taping the commentary concurrently with the game, the commentators have to speak between questions, offering some kind of quick remarks. This would also require pauses by the moderator until the commentary was over. Obviously, this is not doable with any kind of timed format, but it would work for ACF. One thing that occurred to me is that for a televised match, you could have 40/40 rounds, allowing for quarters and such (although perhaps 20/20 + commentary is enough anyway).
You could do a set number of questions in quarters or hales or some such ... many states do something like this. Another option would be to add (for example) one minute to each half, with the understanding that there are brief pauses between questions. The problem is this can totally play against teams who get into a rhythm .... so it may not be the best solution.
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Re: How to Make Legitimate Quizbowl (More) Exciting

Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

Yeah sorry pretzeldude somehow in my mind I mixed your team's uniforms with Mathews' fans to create one visual explosion of team spirit.
grapesmoker wrote:
leapfrog314 wrote:Agree/disagree/flame?
I'll take option 3, please, with a side order of spite! Seriously, though...

First of all, I want to know why we need to make legitimate quizbowl more exciting. 160 teams showed up to HSNCT this year, which is about like the most teams ever to come to a quizbowl tournament. I mean, teams were fighting for open spots, which were claimed as soon as they became available. Maybe this is due to the excitement of NAQT itself, but whatever FUNN features NAQT has, it's still orders of magnitude better than most other tournaments.
In a way it might be worse for television purposes to have so many teams, not just because it's harder to cover that many games, but also because it would probably be better to have few enough for people to follow and recognize at home. Or at HSNCT just a few of the top teams could be followed, but then if a dark horse comes up to contend for the title (like 2005 Lakeside), people have no idea who they are. In the movie Spellbound about a dozen kids were followed closely to make them more recognizable and to give people someone to root for or poke fun at, but if that were done at a quizbowl tournament and nobody recognizable is in it at the end then that would be a heck of an anticlimax. For this reason television coverage of say PACE NSC might be better, since it's only 20-something schools to follow. A college tournament would be even better probably, except for the fact that the answers are often more obscure.
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Post by Frater Taciturnus »

pretzeldude92 wrote:
Our uniforms are outlandishly distracting, partially because our coach Dave Naser doesn't have the best sense of fashion, and partially because we think it distracts the other teams. Blue, gold, and white stripes are the way to go, and last year our shirts were bright gold with checkerboard collars.
IT BURNS!!!!!!!:cool: Thanks, now I'm blind.
pretzeldude92 wrote: As for making quizbowl more exciting, our school definately got pumped up when we hosted our home match. We posted pictures of George Mason's captain around the school, literally everywhere including the bathrooms. We had tons of people show up for our match, and I had basketball players, ones who would never ever discuss quizbowl otherwise, come up to me and ask, "Is that Mason chick here yet?" Our school was really excited and we had at least 50 people in attendance, which is remarkable for a school of 400 kids 8-12.


wow. just wow.

By edict of me, VHSL REGULAR SEASON IN ALL DISTRICTS. In all seriousness, as the simpleset to follow, and the widest used in Virginia, that would help pique interest, aid in recruiting, and eventually lead to a better overall game, with more really competitive Virginia teams. This may lead to a split if I keep going, so I'll stop for now.
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Danger of sports analogies

Post by First Chairman »

There is a point where if you want to "grow the game" one must consider the audience. I think the proof in point is hockey. People who love hockey passionately will watch the Stanley Cup, but most of us who don't care as much won't watch it. Now marketing could change that. So could "one true format." But in the absence of unification, the audience does play a part if you want to increase participation.

Maybe we need more qb camps that are geared towards non-power programs. Certainly I think we need more mentoring and "teaching" to allow more people to enjoy the game. So rather than add bells and whistles to a game format, why not educate our audience?
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Re: Danger of sports analogies

Post by Kechara »

E.T. Chuck wrote: There is a point where if you want to "grow the game" one must consider the audience. So rather than add bells and whistles to a game format, why not educate our audience?
That depends on who you think the audience is. Are we talking about the American viewing public, or are we just talking about the random student who might wander by a practice? I think, especially to look at the World Series of Poker, you need some bells and whistles to get the viewing public interested enough to sit there and let us educate them rather than changing the channel. These don't necessarily need to be bells and whistles on the formats or the questions (although I do think 4 quarters just works better for tv), but rather bells and whistles on the presentation. I'm not talking about bells and whistles like :chip: might do, per say, but things we've discussed in this thread like posting the questions on the screen and posting stats.
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Post by Tegan »

I think a couple of people are right ot be cautios here ..... let's look at the reasons why someone would watch quizbowl (or any compettion for that matter):

1. They just love it.
2. They want to see tough comptition.
3. The like to see drama (whether it be tight matches, personal stories of the competitors, fights (verbal or otherwise))
4. They like questions that are answerable by them (the "I can do THAT" syndrome).
5. They like the intellectual challenge.
6. They can wager on the outcome.
7. It reinforces the value of hard work + a little ability = success
8. They enjoy a sense of rivary (often meaning they associate with one team).
9. It is not repetitive (The "Price is Right" mantra)

Quiz bowl lacks a certain amount of these. We would all watch because of #1, but certainly #2, #5, #7, and #8 fit in with just about everyone.

The #3 happens on occasion, but is likely something we like to downplay for the most part. Sadly, this sells (the kid coming back from injury, the coach going Piniella on some official to motivate the team.

#4 ... This means short questions, with simple answers. Not something I think most of us want to see ....

#6 .... maybe at the college level, but you would be in need of serious help with gamblin addiction to be into this.

#9 .... Part of what makes shows like "TPIR" popular is that there are different games to pique interest .... nothing I would recommend for quiz bowl. The worrisome thing is that a four quarter format, part of which involves really fast questions, and simple buzzer beaters would be far more pallatable than the breakneck pace of NAQT, or the more challenging questions yet slower pace of a PACE. Its nothing I necessarily advocate. but I'm sure these changes would be needed if you wanted to develop a bigger audience (I hope I'm wrong!)
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Post by Frater Taciturnus »

Tegan wrote:
#6 .... maybe at the college level, but you would be in need of serious help with gamblin addiction to be into this.
Where's Leo when you need him? :lol:
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Post by Kyle »

Tegan wrote:The #3 happens on occasion, but is likely something we like to downplay for the most part. Sadly, this sells (the kid coming back from injury, the coach going Piniella on some official to motivate the team.
I grew up watching Lou Piniella every night and I have very fond memories of him throwing bases at umpires. He's an excellent manager whom everybody in Seattle would love to have back. Until reading your post I had never considered what he would be like as a quiz bowl coach, but now I think I would want very much want to play against his team, but probably not for his team. The only thing about temper tantrums is that they might delay the tournament, and lots of tournaments run late anyways. This might have to be a timed tantrum.
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Post by pretzeldude92 »

By edict of me, VHSL REGULAR SEASON IN ALL DISTRICTS. In all seriousness, as the simpleset to follow, and the widest used in Virginia, that would help pique interest, aid in recruiting, and eventually lead to a better overall game, with more really competitive Virginia teams. This may lead to a split if I keep going, so I'll stop for now.
Complete and total agreeance by me. I'll give an example. In the Shenandoah District, Single A, Region B, the regular season uses Patrick's Press I believe and their regular season champion, who is guaranteed a spot at regionals, is not usually the same as their tournament champion, who wins via VHSL format. I don't want to assert my opinion fully but I tend to agree.
IT BURNS!!!!!!! Thanks, now I'm blind.
wow. just wow.
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I heard that Howard Wienberg from Catholic Central used to put on quite a temper tantrum during games. There's a coach from Richland, Missouri; I thought was having heart palpitations with the faces and noises he made when we beat them one time.
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Post by STPickrell »

pretzeldude92 wrote:Complete and total agreeance by me. I'll give an example. In the Shenandoah District, Single A, Region B, the regular season uses Patrick's Press I believe and their regular season champion, who is guaranteed a spot at regionals, is not usually the same as their tournament champion, who wins via VHSL format. I don't want to assert my opinion fully but I tend to agree.
I've asked them about that as they have no problem with my tournament questions. In fact they are the only VHSL qualifying competition remaining that do NOT use my questions, with the Lonesome Pine no longer doing Scholastic Bowl, the Piedmont and Southwest using my questions for their format, and the James River using my questions for their entire competition.

The idea seems to be twofold: (1) fear that the nearby Valley District teams will leak answers and (2) a hope that something will get asked about in the PP regular season and then asked about again during my region and state tournaments. Of course the downsides: (1) the different in question styles, (2) Patrick's Press apparently has no compunction about repeating facts in the same match, and (3) someone has to cut and paste the questions from whatever format Patrick's Press sends them in.

To show you the difference: one year Luray finished 5th of 6 teams in the regular season, but then won the district tournament, finished 2nd at regions, and then 4th at states.
Rappahannock County pretty much has gone nuts for quizbowl. And we're not even that good.
Hey you guys were 4th at states. How much will you be returning for next season? I know Mason is graduating a lot, and so is Mathews. Keep working and going to tournaments, and things will get even better.

Shawn

BTW, when the Bull Run regular season comes to Mason I will probably be one of the officials.
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Post by btressler »

Dwight Kidder once proposed that "The Chair" would be improved with the presence of live crocodiles on stage. Maybe that would work here?
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Post by pretzeldude92 »

The idea seems to be twofold: (1) fear that the nearby Valley District teams will leak answers and (2) a hope that something will get asked about in the PP regular season and then asked about again during my region and state tournaments. Of course the downsides: (1) the different in question styles, (2) Patrick's Press apparently has no compunction about repeating facts in the same match, and (3) someone has to cut and paste the questions from whatever format Patrick's Press sends them in.

To show you the difference: one year Luray finished 5th of 6 teams in the regular season, but then won the district tournament, finished 2nd at regions, and then 4th at states.
I understand. Integrity seems to be big in VHSL, as our neighbors in the Northwestern District typically played an earlier schedule than us, but only slightly, and when I attended a match at Liberty, they were using the same questions from the match our team would have been at that night. (We had the bye.)
Hey you guys were 4th at states. How much will you be returning for next season? I know Mason is graduating a lot, and so is Mathews. Keep working and going to tournaments, and things will get even better.
We are graduating 3 of our 4 starters and 8 of 13 players. We are losing a co-captain, but, on the bright side, I, the other co-captain, am entering my junior year. And I know Mason is losing a lot, 3 of 4 starters too. Isn't Radford also losing their top two? That's what I heard. And since our team specialty has typically been guys who know math and science and that wing of our team is giving way to girls who know arts and literature, I'm pumped for next year.
BTW, when the Bull Run regular season comes to Mason I will probably be one of the officials.
Good. I'd be delighted to meet you. I've never been to Mason for quizbowl before, however, with Madison playing in district play next year, our team will be attending. Though a thirty game district schedule does not please me.

As for throwing chairs and throwing tantrums, while hilarious, it seems silly. While it certainly makes things more exciting, it also is annoying. Coaches that complain, and boy have we run into some, and nag, and go into virtual temper tantrums are ridiculous.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

pretzeldude92 wrote: As for throwing chairs and throwing tantrums, while hilarious, it seems silly. While it certainly makes things more exciting, it also is annoying. Coaches that complain, and boy have we run into some, and nag, and go into virtual temper tantrums are ridiculous.
Yeah based on what a current teammate told me about playing in MACC, there are a couple southwest VA coaches who would make good TV drama.
dsfcaptain2005 wrote: Tegan wrote:


#6 .... maybe at the college level, but you would be in need of serious help with gamblin addiction to be into this.



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Post by STPickrell »

pretzeldude92 wrote:I understand. Integrity seems to be big in VHSL, as our neighbors in the Northwestern District typically played an earlier schedule than us, but only slightly, and when I attended a match at Liberty, they were using the same questions from the match our team would have been at that night. (We had the bye.)
Oops. It's a bit easier for NAQT to keep up security but when you have districts right next door to each other ... The alternatives would be (1) me writing lots of comparatively worse questions, (2) me charging through the nose to write 3-4x as many matches as I do now (my prices for VHSL districts are actually LOWER than Patrick's Press), (3) partnering with NAQT or other quality question writers, or (4) putting in place some policy wherein students can't watch matches in other districts without clearance from both the hosts and his own coach (to make sure they aren't playing on "forbidden matches.") It is in the VHSL manual to come down on the offending team like a ton of bricks if on purpose answer leakage occurred.

SO FAR, it has worked out well. I'd hate to put in any of the four options; even the third wouldn't work as it'd prevent teams from District X from playing on tournaments using NAQT set Y.
We are graduating 3 of our 4 starters and 8 of 13 players. We are losing a co-captain, but, on the bright side, I, the other co-captain, am entering my junior year. And I know Mason is losing a lot, 3 of 4 starters too. Isn't Radford also losing their top two? That's what I heard. And since our team specialty has typically been guys who know math and science and that wing of our team is giving way to girls who know arts and literature, I'm pumped for next year.
I don't know about Radford; but they typically reload when it comes to Group A competition. Some of their teams are better than others but they are almost always a force in Group A VHSL play.
Good. I'd be delighted to meet you. I've never been to Mason for quizbowl before, however, with Madison playing in district play next year, our team will be attending. Though a thirty game district schedule does not please me.
Wow. So each school will host a round-robin, I'm guessing? The Seminole District does that, and they've qualified a lot of teams for states -- Heritage, Jefferson Forest, and Appomattox in the past three years.
As for throwing chairs and throwing tantrums, while hilarious, it seems silly. While it certainly makes things more exciting, it also is annoying. Coaches that complain, and boy have we run into some, and nag, and go into virtual temper tantrums are ridiculous.
It can be scary, too, especially to a 14 y/o freshman.
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Post by pretzeldude92 »

Oops. It's a bit easier for NAQT to keep up security but when you have districts right next door to each other ... The alternatives would be (1) me writing lots of comparatively worse questions, (2) me charging through the nose to write 3-4x as many matches as I do now (my prices for VHSL districts are actually LOWER than Patrick's Press), (3) partnering with NAQT or other quality question writers, or (4) putting in place some policy wherein students can't watch matches in other districts without clearance from both the hosts and his own coach (to make sure they aren't playing on "forbidden matches.") It is in the VHSL manual to come down on the offending team like a ton of bricks if on purpose answer leakage occurred.

SO FAR, it has worked out well. I'd hate to put in any of the four options; even the third wouldn't work as it'd prevent teams from District X from playing on tournaments using NAQT set Y.
I completely understand. I think the current system works out well.
Wow. So each school will host a round-robin, I'm guessing? The Seminole District does that, and they've qualified a lot of teams for states -- Heritage, Jefferson Forest, and Appomattox in the past three years.
Yes, there will be a full round robin per night. Our matches will start at 5:00 and will likely end at 9:00. Talk about long night. Although I guess maybe more matches will correlate with a better team. Of course it also means that all of our teams will have to leave before the end of the school day, and I'm just waiting for my 4th block teacher to hear about that one.
:roll:
Unless of course, as I imagine it will be, my 4th block teacher is my coach and half the class leaves with us.
:roll:
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