Michigan 07-08

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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by mceschermaniac4 »

The questions were written by Walton (whoever that is). They were not terrible, but also not great. Each game was 16 questions with two bonuses per tossup. No negs, no powers, bouceback on bonuses. DCC was missing 1 A teamer, 1 A/B teamer, 2 B teamers, and 1 B/JV teamer. (I realize that teamer is not a word, but it is easier than writing team member)
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by Lukey's Boat »

It was a fun tournament, with 22 teams for an eight-team playoff. The questions ranged from fairly easy, to fairly good (most of them), to a handful that were painfully difficult. And, as squareroot165 noted, we (EL) were without Kurtis and Priya.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by gtb12 »

Any news about March Madness at MSU on 3/22? NAQT questions are being used, but I haven't read/seen much about it.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by Lukey's Boat »

gtb12 wrote:Any news about March Madness at MSU on 3/22? NAQT questions are being used, but I haven't read/seen much about it.
From an email I received earlier today:
"Just as a reminder, the tournament will use NAQT rules with two exceptions. The game will consist of 2, un-timed, 12 question halves, and there will be no negatives. The current plan for round robin is two divisions of 8, and 8 teams will continue to the single-elimination playoffs, based first on W-L record, then points, then bonus conversion."

That's all I know :smile:
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by gtb12 »

Thanks!

Sounds similar to the Rube Goldberg tournament held earlier this year. The actual state tournament at U of M should be somewhat more authentically-NAQT, based on viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4949, I think.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by killbill_07 »

Does anybody have the results to the MSU March Madness tournament this weekend?
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat »

All I've heard is that EL won, the tournament took a really long, time, and CC was not there.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by Lukey's Boat »

killbill_07 wrote:Does anybody have the results to the MSU March Madness tournament this weekend?
1. EL
2. Novi
3. Brighton
4. DeWitt

As squareroot165 pointed out, it was a very long tournament. There was supposed to be a four-team playoff, but by the time we got to that point in the tournament, everyone was too brain-dead, so the four final teams agreed to just place according to the playoff seeding. CC and a few other teams were not present.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by gtb12 »

Lukey's Boat wrote:
There was supposed to be a four-team playoff, but by the time we got to that point in the tournament, everyone was too brain-dead, so the four final teams agreed to just place according to the playoff seeding. CC and a few other teams were not present.
Now I'm disappointed that GPN didn't go. We could have done very well...but then, it snowed quite heavily on Friday night/Saturday. Oh well. But there's still this Saturday...
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by Lukey's Boat »

Results from the Michigan HS state tourney (NAQT):

1. EL
2. GPN
3t. DCC A
3t. Novi

Also in the playoff (I don't know official rankings at the moment, sorry): DCD, Huron A, DCC B, and Troy B
Last edited by Lukey's Boat on Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by Lukey's Boat »

Fragmented results from the Michigan State University Honors College HS state tournament (non-NAQT)

Class A
1. DCC
2. Novi
3. East Lansing

Class B
1. DeWitt
2. DCD
3. ?

Class C/D
1. Kalamazoo Christian
2/3. ?

Apologies for my lack of full standings... I have a terrible memory apparently. Feel free to fix.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by The Time Keeper »

Since this is among the slower of the state comparisons threads and not much seems to be going on at the moment, I was wondering what the class makeup of some of the schools in the state is like so people can get a feel for how next year might look and generate some discussion.

DCC seems to be the only true long-established "program" in Michigan, meaning that over many years they have always built a consistent and nationally relevant team even when exceptional individual players depart. Skimming for information from the 2007 HSNCT and this year's Chitin Classic at Minnesota, it appears that their top two players (please correct me if I'm wrong here), Brett Harrison and Bryan Berend are both juniors and should be returning. I don't know much about the rest of their team though.

I know Kurtis from East Lansing is a senior this year, and I was wondering if the East Lansing people here (or former East Lansing people) knew if it looks like there will still be much of a program after he goes. Obviously they probably won't be as nationally relevant next year as they are now, but if he's helped some of the underclassmen and his coach to get a lasting program going, it'd be nice to see another school in Michigan that annually goes to every possible tournament and occasionally some out of state and especially national tournaments. I'm sorry to see they aren't attending PACE, as last year's NSC made it look like the strong academic nature of it really played to Kurtis' strengths. Hopefully he helps Michigan's team continue to rebuild in the following years, as I imagine he'll be playing QB there.

GPN I have to confess to knowing next to nothing about. I have to assume (based on 2006 HSNCT stats as that's all I have with names on them) that Jamie Ding (who posts here sometimes with the handle "Ugly" right?) is a junior and their best player, but I have no idea how balanced that team is or who comes back next year. Since this year's NAQT states doesn't have individual stats I can only go on team stats, but I agree with Nishant(I believe? killbill_07 on here in any case)'s post in the national thread that they are a legitimate team this year. Their six powers a game and 23 PPB on the IS set used may not put them among the absolute elite teams this year, but it's certainly nothing to sneeze at. I hope they can put up similar numbers on the more difficult HSNCT set.

Novi seems like they've been in the process of getting a program running as well. I only have 2007's HSNCT stats to go by as far as people's class goes, but it appears Robert is a senior and most of their B team from last year are currently seniors as well. They put up respectable numbers at this year's NAQT states and they'll definitely improve upon their record from last year's HSNCT. I don't know what the makeup of the rest of their team is though. I believe I read on this board a year ago or so that their coach is fairly new and cares about good quizbowl, and I have to imagine a school system like Novi's produces quite a few intelligent players receptive to learning every year. I expect Novi to stick around as a good team for the foreseeable future, possibly even assembling a great team or two over the years.

DCD I don't know anything about but I saw they're attending HSNCT this year and went to NAQT states this year. I think there's at least one DCD player who posts here on occasion so hopefully he/she can fill us in. I'm not sure if Gene Jurkiewicz is still coaching, but he had great teams back in the Meyvis/Francis/Potru/etc. days in addition to being among the cooler coaches out there, and I think he'll be able to get some good teams together. If he's not still around, well, it's still DCD, and with a couple motivated players to help the rest out they could become a powerhouse again.

I'm sorry to see that only DCC among Michigan teams is attending PACE this year (statement subject to me misreading the posted field at this hour or teams dropping and MI teams taking their places). It's understandable since it's in Virginia this year and a few schools could have budget issues or graduations on that date, but it's routinely the best packet set of the year against a generally stronger field, with regard to the field size differences between NSC and HSNCT. Hopefully next year's iteration, wherever it may be, will attract more teams from the area.

If anyone here can give insight into what the other Michigan schools attending HSNCT http://naqt.com/hsnct/2008/field.html are like that would be great. It'd also be nice if various players and TDs could try to guide some of those schools to this board. I'll try to do my part at the one or two tournaments I'll staff next year if I indeed do. There are programs like Kent City, Livonia Churchill, Hartland, and White Cloud (fill in whoever I'm forgetting) who attend many tournaments and even HSNCT on an annual basis who obviously have dedicated coaches and players year after year who could probably benefit from some of the information the board has to offer, or at the very least links to some of the more modern packet archives and such for their practices. I have the feeling that some of the more isolated schools in the state may be practicing with sub-par or antiquated material which in turn hurts them when they attend tournaments.

It would also help for Michigan teams to travel out of state a bit more. Teams get to play on additional good question sets this way, play against quality opposition they otherwise wouldn't see outside of nationals, and give themselves and everyone else who sees the stats a good indication of how they stack up with teams in the entire region as opposed to just the usual Michigan opponents. DCC of course does this quite often, but I assume their budget, be it given to them by the school, helped out by fundraisers, or donated by generous parents, is probably greater than that of most schools. Another problem is that I'm not sure how many tournaments there are in Indiana, Illinois, or Ohio that use good questions which aren't also used in Michigan tournaments. Most of these tournaments are advertised on this board, however, and I have to imagine there some each year which are easily drivable. Flying to certain big regular season tournaments is another possibility, but again, huge budget eater.

Another way to help would be for teams who attend the relevant tournaments to try to get places like White Cloud, Hartland, and UM-Dearborn (I've no clue what provider Andrew Flowerday uses, but I saw some results from the spring tournament which show playoff scores like 80-50, so I assume it's not NAQT or other pyramidal type stuff, correct me if I'm wrong) to use more up to date questions. I know there are only so many IS-sets to go around, although I'm not sure if they were all used up in the state, especially if you count A-sets, but tournaments like Minnesota's Chitin Classic which was mirrored in various spots and attended by DCC in Minnesota could have used a Michigan site and probably would have been the best set played in the state this year. There are also various house-written tournaments in places throughout the year which use good questions and whose directors may be open to arranging mirrors for a Michigan site.

I think if enough coaches and players asked, many of the hosts of tournaments in Michigan using substandard questions would be open to acquiring better questions for their tournaments. I think one way to help facilitate this is to get representatives from those programs on the boards so they can see what goes on in the rest of the country. This would also help them advertise their tournaments as well, drawing more teams and possibly some from out of state. Most people, whether it's players, coaches, or tournament directors, are open to the benefits of good quizbowl once they get a firm grasp on what it is, and I think cutting down on the number of tournaments held on Patrick's Press or Knowledge Master questions and replacing them with better fare would help quizbowl in this state immensely. Besides, I think most of you reading this would prefer to play on good questions rather than one or two-line stuff that hasn't been in style since the late 90s regardless of how well you do on either.

I have to think that the main reason that some tournament hosts stick with bad questions is some kind of quizbowl inertia. Some of the people and programs running these tournaments don't really keep up with the community and changes in mainstream quizbowl over the years and may not be aware of exactly why their question providers shouldn't be used anymore. With those people reading the boards and/or enough of you players and coaches communicating with them to explain your preferences and the upside of good questions, they should be willing to change providers. IS sets and the like are easy enough that I don't think anyone can use the excuse that some of the weaker teams which comprise a significant amount of most fields would prefer one-line stuff because it's easier. Besides, the bad one-line questions often resort to using obscure nonsense for their difficult stuff (questions comprised solely of "Who wrote (7th most important work of known author)?" whereas pyramidal questions by nature should be answerable by the end for most teams regardless of how difficult the answer or rest of the question is. I also don't believe that the truly bad or inexperienced teams prefer being blown out on bad questions to being blown out on good ones. The only real logical reason an informed tournament director could have for using inferior questions is the pricing of those question sets, since I have to imagine stuff like Patrick's Press question sets are quite cheap because they can be created in fifteen minutes by monkeys with partially broken typewriters. Since I don't have figures for what amount question sets from various providers go for, I can't say much more other than that the pricing disparity between bad questions and good ones would have to be very extreme in order to justify sticking with bad questions when people know better.

Another way to help if there are enough sets and open weekends to go around but not enough tournaments would be for some of the teams who don't usually host tournaments throughout the year to start doing so. These things could be happening already and they just aren't advertised here, but teams like East Lansing, DCD, GPN, or Novi hosting something on good questions (for the sake of argument, I'm calling IS sets good questions here. Many of us have our problems with aspects of them but there's far worse out there being played on in Michigan and around the country) would help, and they're also a good way to raise money for programs. House-written sets would be ideal, but that's a big undertaking and might be hard to pull off without a couple experienced editors overseeing the endeavor. The benefits of course are that the questions are free, and especially that writing questions is one of the best ways to get kids to learn things.

I know many of the teams in Michigan play in local leagues throughout the year, and I think those are prime opportunities to point some of the less-active teams in those leagues to weekend tournaments if they don't usually attend, as well as to this board. I'm sure some of this already happens, and some schools aren't receptive to changing what they do regardless of what people tell them, but every little bit helps.

As more Michigan HSQB players go to local colleges and continue playing the game, I think they could help the state of Michigan HSQB as well. A small reason for the recent (2003-now, let's say) explosion of Mid-Atlantic dominance was college players interacting with and helping out high school players, sometimes from their alma maters, sometimes not, be it with question writing advice, suggesting good, free, and available packets to practice on and study from, or whatever. Most college players in general and other experienced people will be happy to help out in whatever small way if you ask them, as far as I can tell.

I know most of the players who read this thread are from the top programs in the state and I'm doing a lot of preaching to the choir here, but hopefully some lurkers and people yet to join the board will get something useful out of the latter part of my post. Congratulations to those of you who managed to read this entire rambling post.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat »

First, East Lansing: The team has a couple of decent juniors and one pretty good sophomore, so I expect them to stay active. Hopefully they will be able to stay at the level of teams right below DCC and the other powers for a while.

White Cloud and Kent City are generally "powers" in the White/small school Division of Quizbusters. Based on recent years, whoever wins the division then gets crushed by the green division winner in the last game. I've seen Corunna and Hartland once or twice on Quizbusters this year (green division), and I think they have a decent team. My best guess on final records at HSNCT is Hartland and Corunna near 5/5, White Cloud and Kent City near 3/7. This is admittedly with very limited knowledge.

White Cloud, UM-Dearborn, and Hartland tournaments would be better with good questions, of course, but I think the most important tournament to improve is the MSU state tournament run by the Honors College. Those questions are terrible, it's near the end of the year, and it's supposed to be something that crowns a state champion. Not a good combination. I also would imagine that the MSU Honors College would want a good reputation among smart quiz bowl players, but I could be wrong.

A-level sets are dangerous to use in the area because of (at least) two large TV tournaments, QuizBusters and Quiz Central, that run on NAQT-A questions. This automatically eliminates a lot of regular teams.

Kurtis, Kai and I might try help run a tournament at EL some time soon, or perhaps Michigan's team could start hosting an additional tournament. Either way, there are good sets available that should definitely be used.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by killbill_07 »

Dolemite wrote:Another way to help if there are enough sets and open weekends to go around but not enough tournaments would be for some of the teams who don't usually host tournaments throughout the year to start doing so. These things could be happening already and they just aren't advertised here, but teams like East Lansing, DCD, GPN, or Novi hosting something on good questions (for the sake of argument, I'm calling IS sets good questions here. Many of us have our problems with aspects of them but there's far worse out there being played on in Michigan and around the country) would help, and they're also a good way to raise money for programs. House-written sets would be ideal, but that's a big undertaking and might be hard to pull off without a couple experienced editors overseeing the endeavor. The benefits of course are that the questions are free, and especially that writing questions is one of the best ways to get kids to learn things.
I completely agree with you on this point. DCC already runs a tournament annually that features a complete house-written set of questions for which the players start doing research for months in advance. I truly think this is an invaluable exercise for the players and this sort of dedication to quiz bowl is why DCC is a national-level contender every year. I know that my high school team(Novi) and coach were discussing running out own tournament at some point but it could be a while before we have the dedication from the players and perhaps support from the school before we pull it off. The coaches at Catholic Central take an extremely strict, no-nonsense approach to running the quiz bowl program, something that I feel is difficult to implement in a public school setting. For instance, attendance during QB at DCC for members is mandatory and I believe that the players are not allowed to have too many other extracurricular commitments besides QB. I really wish this same mindset could exist in other programs in the state but I think the biggest fear of coaches and high school administrators in enforcing a system like the one DCC has is that they want quizbowl to be "fun" and "laid back" for their active members. Creating a culture of success in quizbowl at a high school requires a mentality among the players/coaches/administrators that focuses on "success and results"-something that most schools in the state want to deemphasize as much as possible at the expense of ideas like "just try your best and have fun" and "everybody is a winner".
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by The Time Keeper »

squareroot165 wrote: White Cloud, UM-Dearborn, and Hartland tournaments would be better with good questions, of course, but I think the most important tournament to improve is the MSU state tournament run by the Honors College. Those questions are terrible, it's near the end of the year, and it's supposed to be something that crowns a state champion. Not a good combination. I also would imagine that the MSU Honors College would want a good reputation among smart quiz bowl players, but I could be wrong.
I agree with this, and I can only assume the questions are just as bad as they were when I played in the earlier part of the decade. The thing is, unless quizbowl people get into the part of the Honors College that runs the tournament, I don't see any hope for change. They're probably the greatest example of non-qb people not knowing how times have changed with quizbowl. And it isn't like people can threaten to just not show up, since only a few teams understand why the tournament is terrible as well as everyone wanting to be able to say they're "state champions" for recognition and sometimes even funding purposes. So while that's probably the most important tournament to improve, it's also the least likely.
squareroot165 wrote:A-level sets are dangerous to use in the area because of (at least) two large TV tournaments, QuizBusters and Quiz Central, that run on NAQT-A questions. This automatically eliminates a lot of regular teams.
I was under the impression Quizbusters had its own set now. It's listed on NAQT's page as [QB07-A], but I suppose that could just stand for NAQT picking through an IS-A set for their questions. Either way, thank god Quizbusters doesn't use Chip Beall questions anymore. I have no idea about Quiz Central though, as NAQT's site doesn't seem to mention it.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat »

I think Quiz Central used A-level questions, or at least did a couple years ago. I remember watching a game or two online and recognizing questions from QuizBusters. I suppose it might have been pure chance that clues repeated.

EDIT: At the end of quiz central games, it does say that questions are provided by NAQT.

From what I remember hearing from Kurtis, A-level is a bunch of questions taken randomly out of a big pool. Some end up in IS-A sets, and these can include questions that also end up by chance in sets like the QuizBusters one. (Note that I heard this a while ago, and may have gotten confused since)

Either way, there are many good sets available that are better than A-level, especially if people are willing to mirror some of the house tournaments out east.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by The Time Keeper »

killbill_07 wrote: The coaches at Catholic Central take an extremely strict, no-nonsense approach to running the quiz bowl program, something that I feel is difficult to implement in a public school setting. For instance, attendance during QB at DCC for members is mandatory and I believe that the players are not allowed to have too many other extracurricular commitments besides QB. I really wish this same mindset could exist in other programs in the state but I think the biggest fear of coaches and high school administrators in enforcing a system like the one DCC has is that they want quizbowl to be "fun" and "laid back" for their active members. Creating a culture of success in quizbowl at a high school requires a mentality among the players/coaches/administrators that focuses on "success and results"-something that most schools in the state want to deemphasize as much as possible at the expense of ideas like "just try your best and have fun" and "everybody is a winner".
I think administrators can often be helpful to teams that want to take QB seriously, or at the very least not detrimental. As long as they provide a little help with things like (some) funding, allowing the use of rooms for hosted tournaments, and not actively doing anything to stifle the program with draconian travel rules and such, they really don't need to enter the picture at all. I also think most school administrators would like to be able to point to their successful academic teams to show everyone how great their school is. Sure, the school system often has little or nothing to do with a team's success, but really only the players and coaches know that, so the administration gets something to brag about.

I think the mentality of wanting to win will come to many players as they become more familiar with the game. After all, one of the best ways to have fun playing quizbowl is to do well at it. There will always be people who are discouraged by repeatedly losing or being blown out by local powerhouses, but there will also be players who see it as motivation to improve. The great thing about quizbowl is that success is entirely the result of the work put in by the players. Unlike many sports (and some other academic activities, I suppose), there aren't any huge natural disparities in ability coming out of the gate where no amount of work can really close the gap. Sure some people learn more quickly and have better recall than others, but in addition to being really difficult to quantify, I don't think these differences are nearly as drastic as things like differences in height and body type can be for sports.

All a program truly needs to become competitive is a decent number of players who want to become good at the game. Having a coach who really knows what he or she is doing can help a great deal, but there are only so many people like Eric Huff of Dorman (who I would consider by far the most successful "hands-on" coach in the modern era) to go around. Many teams, even, or perhaps especially, at the top of the game are largely comprised of players who do most of their learning on their own time and terms. Having coaches for administrative and chaperoning purposes is vital of course, but the kind of bootcamp mentality you refer to DCC having isn't always necessary for a good program (and some of the more historically regimented programs in the country have a bit of a reputation for burning their players out on the game by the time they leave high school), although I think we can all agree that DCC's approach has certainly worked for them over the years. While not every player on every team is instantly motivated to do what they can to excel at the game (far from it), having just one player or a coach who can inspire a few others to get better and especially help younger players so that teams aren't crippled when individual talent leaves can be incredibly helpful. One of my regrets from when I played was not having close to that kind of mentality back in the day, and I wish I had been much more helpful to our underclassmen at the time.

Part of the reason I think getting awareness of this board out to more people will help is that it can be incredibly useful for those who like quizbowl and want to get better at it, but don't quite know where to begin. I think part of the reorganization of the board in the future is supposed to include gathering more information for the "Best of the Best" and "PACE Special Discussions" sections which should prove to be really helpful for new people.

Even just being able to provide links to quality free packet sets at just about any desired difficulty level will be a great help for many teams. I think we've all noticed that at every tournament held throughout the country, there are lots of teams who show up and put up pretty bad numbers. Granted, a good number of them are tertiary freshman teams of established programs, but for the other schools who have no known presence on the board or other established sites for quizbowl information and communication, I have to wonder if part of the reason for their results is the material they are using for practice. I assume that many of these teams and players like the game, after all, they're spending their time playing it, and they would benefit from having good modern questions for their practices instead of either out of date packets and lists from the quizbowl dark ages, or current stuff produced by companies drastically out of touch with good quizbowl (I'm sure I don't need to name names here).

I think there are also a good number of people both at the HS and college levels who would say they've benefited from talking to others about aspects of the game, be it through IMs, emails, or on IRC or whatever. It's been my experience that most people are happy to help out in whatever way they can, since raising awareness of good quizbowl and helping younger or less experienced players develop their abilities as players and especially as writers ultimately benefits everyone in the long run.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by porcupine »

I think that part of the problem is in the infrastructure of Michigan quiz bowl. It is hard for teams to travel out of state because the Atlantic Seaboard is really far away (almost out of driving range), money is limited, and the tournaments that are out of state that the top teams attend (aka Culver) have a field of nine teams the last time I checked.

As for the various programs, I see us (EL) as being very comparable to DCC this year, as over three NAQT matches we have beaten them 2-1 (once in overtime, the loss by 5 points). GPN did not do very much early on in the year, but they were potent at NAQT states this year and if they have improved before nationals they could come on as a strong contender. Novi can strike at any time, but they are a notch below the the other three teams. They should be able to make playoffs at NAQT nationals this past year.

The big issue with running a tournament for us has not been the questions. Over the past three years, I have written at least 20 packets of NAQT style questions to help the team practice on. The problem is with actually setting up the tournament, getting teams notified, the organization with the school, etcetera. Especially considering that quiz bowl in EL is taken very casually by our coach and all but the top few players. It is this lack of formality and structure that undermines the efforts of those who actually try to build up programs combined with the inertia that the casual attitude has implanted in organizers and players throughout the state.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat »

"Porcupine" is Kurtis. I'll make sure he knows to add a signature.
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Re: Michigan 07-08

Post by Ugly »

This is Mr. Ugly chiming in. At GPN, quiz bowl isn't taken very seriously, except for a few seniors, me, the sophomore, and the freshman. The focus is primarily on having a fun time and making sure that everyone gets to play. Money is usually limited, and we are always forced to not attend certain tournaments. The only out of state tournament we ever attend is HSNCT. We got off to a slow start this year, but we should be quite competitive at nationals, especially since we've mostly been studying.

Our school also has difficulty with creating a lasting program ala DCC, which I attribute mainly to the fact that literally the exact same people are the ones in quiz bowl, Science Olympiad, student government, Chemistry Olympiad, orchestra, etc. Instead of specializing, we generalize. I'm not very sure what the future holds for our quiz bowl program, but it seems grim. We have a total of two regular players that are not juniors or seniors. I'm hoping that greater publicity and a strong showing at nationals may revive interest in the team and foster more dedication from the players.
Jamie Ding
Grosse Pointe North High School 2009
Princeton 2013

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