Energy Costs and Quizbowl

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cchiego
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Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by cchiego »

Gas is $4+ a gallon. School systems everywhere are cutting back on frivolous funding. Costs to heat/cool school buildings are rising with some school districts considering cutting a day off the school schedule. Things don't look like they're going to improve anytime soon.

So, what's quizbowl going to look like as energy costs continue to rise? Will we be seeing more weekend-long tournaments as teams try to cram as much quizbowl as possible into one location at one time? Will some teams fold due to budget constraints or at least attend fewer tournaments? How many qualified teams will be able to afford the cost of nationals? Should travel discounts rise from the standard $10/200 miles? Will the Internet become more of a medium for quizbowl competition thanks to negligible energy costs? Will high school or college teams be more affected? Am I completely overstating the problem and raising needless concerns when there's no problem at all? Have at it.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Matthew D »

I am also struggling with this Chris. One thing I see is more teams attempting to stay much closer to home and maybe some leagues actually forming in the high school ranks. When I was discussing the schedule for the team with my principal, the long distance ones were already off the table and he stressed for me to stay close to home as possible.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Matthew D wrote:When I was discussing the schedule for the team with my principal, the long distance ones were already off the table and he stressed for me to stay close to home as possible.
Your school pays for (some of) your trips?

How about schools who get no funding whatsoever? We're in way worse shape at this point. I really hope things don't go to "weekends of quizbowl" because hotel rates aren't exactly cheap either.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Matt Weiner »

If you're putting four people in a car that gets 25 mpg, you're now paying $4 each per hundred miles traveled instead of $3 each six months ago. This is the same fallacy as the general anxiety over gas prices...it's not like you were paying nothing before and suddenly that $80 gas bill for a New York-to-DC round trip is $80 more than you expected. You were paying at least $40 for that gas at anytime in the last few years, and probably more like $60. The difference really shouldn't be enough to impact your plans.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Ondes Martenot »

Hmmm...I've been thinking of this also. Some thoughts:
1. "Non-traveling" tournaments, like the Goldfish trnt., will probably gain popularity
2. I can't imagine teams flying across the country to play in a regular tournament ( like Dorman flying to Minnesota)
3. More sites mirroring (as it stands now for teams in the NYC area, the closest mirror site is usually in the D.C. area, but I imagine more NY/NJ teams will hold mirrors of tournaments, even if it might mean a somehwat lower turnout)
Am I completely overstating the problem and raising needless concerns when there's no problem at all?
No. When gas was a lot cheaper quizbowl teams still struggled for financing so things are definitely going to get tighter as schools look for ways to cut back on energy.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Mike Bentley »

Well, I think there could be a genuine concern in schools becoming more stingy about reserving rooms for tournaments because they don't want to pay for utilities on weekends. While I haven't explicitly been told this practice is going on at Maryland, it has become inexplicably harder to reserve rooms in the past year or so, which hypothetically could be related to this issue.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by AKKOLADE »

If there was a larger, severe effect of this to quiz bowl, we would have seen NAQT HSNCT and PACE NSC attendance decrease. The opposite happened.

Matt's right. The effects, while obviously bad, are getting spun around in a manner resembling an echo chamber until it sounds worse than it is. As quiz bowl's only expenditure based upon gasoline is travel costs, it will not be effected like other things (i.e. rising prices of most other products).
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by theMoMA »

This seems to affect high schools who take buses to events, or anyone who is looking to fly to an event. I found a flight to Cardinal Classic for under $200 last year; I doubt that's happening again in the near future.

For those of you driving cars, it's seriously only like $10 more per person for the longest drives.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Matthew D »

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:
Matthew D wrote:When I was discussing the schedule for the team with my principal, the long distance ones were already off the table and he stressed for me to stay close to home as possible.
Your school pays for (some of) your trips?

How about schools who get no funding whatsoever? We're in way worse shape at this point. I really hope things don't go to "weekends of quizbowl" because hotel rates aren't exactly cheap either.
I actually don't know what is or isn't going to get paid for. I am going under the assumption that nothing will be paid and I will have to fund raise for all of it. Personally, I had thought about lower the cost of my tournament this year in hope of attracting some of the teams that might be sitting on the fence due to expenses
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by ClemsonQB »

aarcoh wrote:I can't imagine teams flying across the country to play in a regular tournament ( like Dorman flying to Minnesota)
Although I didn't control the finances last year, I imagine that plane tickets (to MN, Chicago, DC or Boston) were not really THAT much more expensive than the costs associated with driving all the way to U of Alabama, DC or Orlando. When plane tickets are ordered way in advance, they typically aren't very expensive, comparitively.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by cvdwightw »

I think this will affect certain circuits more than others. For instance, on the West Coast, as Jerry is always quick to point out, a lot of the Southern California schools were already loathe to make the 6-8 hour drive to the Bay Area, well before gas hit $4.50/gallon.

In addition, this may cause an unexpected benefit of "good quizbowl" being rewarded. Teams who now have to make judgments on what tournaments they attend will probably choose close ones and good ones over bad ones that are further away. Teams that are affected by higher gas prices will decide that if they're making only one trip to DC, it'll be for the best tournament they can attend. Consequently, the best tournaments will draw the most teams while worse tournaments will lose teams that have to make longer drives.

I think what we may also see is that the occasional practice of ride sharing between relatively close teams to a relatively far away event becomes more common.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Tegan »

I was curious about this myself, but forgot about it when I saw the numbers at the HSNCT.

1. There were already many schools that for reasons real and imagined wouldn't make it easy for teams to travel. That will continue.

2. There will certainly be some schools that for reasons real and imagined were looking for reasons to limit travel. This may give them that reason. I doubt it will be widespread.

3. I also agree that while overall, there may be a little less overall long distance travel, it may also force teams that were more used to traveling far to find a good tournament to start growing them closer to home. Tournaments may get smaller, but there may end up being more better tournaments (in terms of questions and mirroring).

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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by cchiego »

High School teams who are good enough to qualify for a national tournament are probably going to find a way to get the money to go. I'm concerned about teams who usually finish in the bottom half of the tournament but also make up a good part of the attendance at tournaments. If the teams themselves had the say they'd probably still go, but administrators who don't get anything to brag about might not see it as a worthwhile option.

On the college circuit, I'm not concerned about individual schools dropping off the face of the earth but rather schools deciding not to attend as many tourenaments as far away and schools not fielding multiple teams. Transportation costs really add up when you have 5+ teams or when you try to drive 8+ hours, so I'll predict both increasing regionalism (fewer teams- not individuals - opting to travel to tournaments far out of their region and an increase in the number of viable mirror sites as more schools get into the circuit (which I hope will be the effect of CBI crashing). For instance, in the southeast you could easily have a midsouth mirror (at Miss State), a southeastern mirror (say at USC), and a Florida mirror (i.e. USF). They wouldn't have the 21 teams that ACF Fall at Shorter had last year, but each would probably have around 8-10 instead, enough for both a viable tournament and more teams to participate.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Matthew D »

Well I did find out that the price of our transportation will be 1.50 per mile plus 8/hr for the bus driver plus paying all the other payroll stuff which is about 30 bucks a day... I guess I will have really start working on getting my bus driver's license as soon as possible.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by jrbarry »

The cost of gasoline is falling now. I paid $3.77 a gallon just today.

I do not think there is going ot be a major cutback in quiz bowl activity this year.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Ike »

The cost of gasoline is falling now. I paid $3.77 a gallon just today.

I do not think there is going ot be a major cutback in quiz bowl activity this year.
I believe the Wu Jintao was hoarding gasoline for stuff relating to the Olympics so they wouldn't have much of a problem with any logistics...if they didn't, people might not be able to travel while there and they would be making some puns of Wu's name.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by wexs883198215 »

it's Hu Jintao =_="
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Ike »

wexs883198215 wrote:it's Hu Jintao =_="
Yeah, I know, I should edit it, but let it stand...we joke about his name all the time in our household.
Curses.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by JackGlerum »

jrbarry wrote:The cost of gasoline is falling now. I paid $3.77 a gallon just today.
Come to Chicago, and be enlightened on high gas prices.

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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Yeah when I was in Chicago for CO those prices were nuts.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by at your pleasure »

I also wonder if this won't widen the gap between teams from quizbowl-rich areas( who will have to travel shorter distances to find good competion) and teams from qiuzbowl-poor areas(who have to travel greater distances to find good competition), who will have to cut back on travel and in the process lose most of their good competition.
for example, if school x from falls church must cut back on non-local(eg, overnight) trips, there are still a fair number of good tournaments against strong competition available locally. But if school Y from say, northern New York state, must cut back on non-local trips, it may not have the same ability to get good competition at good tournaments closer to home. Of course, this could have the benefical effect of teams forming more good local curcits via mirrors and(as they grow in experience) houswritten tournaments. Local curcits may very well turn out to be a good way for expanding good quizbowl, by providing teams that are newer or more hesitant about "good quizbowl" a place to gain experience with somewhat less investment of time and money.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by at your pleasure »

Sorry, I forgot to identify myself. Just to clarify, I'm Douglas Graebner from Walt Whitman high school.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by cvdwightw »

JohnGlerum wrote:
jrbarry wrote:The cost of gasoline is falling now. I paid $3.77 a gallon just today.
Come to Chicago, and be enlightened on high gas prices.
Huh?

The fact remains that gas prices are falling. I used to have to pay about $4.50 a gallon, now it's down to $4.20 or less.

And I don't even want to think about filling up in the Bay Area on Stanford/Berkeley road trips if gas prices start swinging up again.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Matt Weiner »

dg61 wrote:I also wonder if this won't widen the gap between teams from quizbowl-rich areas( who will have to travel shorter distances to find good competion) and teams from qiuzbowl-poor areas(who have to travel greater distances to find good competition), who will have to cut back on travel and in the process lose most of their good competition.
for example, if school x from falls church must cut back on non-local(eg, overnight) trips, there are still a fair number of good tournaments against strong competition available locally. But if school Y from say, northern New York state, must cut back on non-local trips, it may not have the same ability to get good competition at good tournaments closer to home.
Again...this may be something of a concern, but what are we really talking about here? If you're in Ithaca, NY and you want to make a 700-mile round trip to a good tournament in Boston, you're now paying $112 to get your Chevy Cobalt there and back instead of the $56 you were paying in 2002. Gas was never free; you have to compare to the baseline. Sure, that $56 increase may prevent a few teams from going, and that is something to worry about, but for the vast majority of teams, if they could get funding for the entry fee, the hotel, and what gas used to cost, they can either get the additional sixty bucks or ask everyone to pitch in $15. If you are in this situation and your team members can't afford $15, ask the TD to cut you a break on the entry fee to make up for it; almost everyone will accommodate you. Like all other potential obstacles to participation, people who didn't really want to go anyway will use it as an excuse, and everyone else will find a way around it.
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Re: Energy Costs and Quizbowl

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Matt Weiner wrote:almost everyone will accommodate you
I am a gigantic exploitative asshole, and there's no way I wouldn't accommodate someone.

Especially because the decision is between having another team, and earning another [reduced] entry fee, and earning nothing at all. Like, the only reasons why even an asshole would fail to accomodate you would be because of a field that otherwise would be full, and really, no one's enough of a dick to subvert first-comes-first-served registration just to maximize entry fees.
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