Costs

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tiwonge
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Costs

Post by tiwonge »

Ugh.

Idaho has decreased the school budget for next year, for the first time in state history. Part of the 7% cost-cutting has been to cut transportation costs, which probably will impact things like field trips.

The budget decreases (and the face of further budget decreases if the economic crisis worsens) as I try to start up a quiz bowl program here makes me wonder: how do I convince schools that it's worth the cost (registration cost for the tournament and transportation cost, if schools bus the students to events) to play quiz bowl, when they've never done this before? (Well, there is a Science Bowl program--but it's free to schools, so they only have to pay transportation. This is the model they're familiar with, so charging schools a registration fee to play is a bit foreign, and may stress their already-stretched budgets.)

Is anybody else facing such concerns? I imagine that it's a bit different for an established circuit as it is for us, trying to get it started.
Colin McNamara, Boise State University
PACE
Idaho Quiz & Academic Teams

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at your pleasure
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Re: Costs

Post by at your pleasure »

How things are done varies from state to state. However, many programs around here are principally self-funded. Since most teams will only need to transport 4-8 people, a coach and/or parent volunteer driving their car/minivan should suffice to transport people. Registration is normally paid out of pocket. The biggest issue, to me, is the large startup expense of a buzzer set. That might best be justified by noting that the team will recoup some costs thanks to buzzer discounts. If there are serious budget issues, self-funding might be the best way to go.
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AKKOLADE
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Re: Costs

Post by AKKOLADE »

Tough situation, but I think the best option would be to keep your entry fees as low as possible, but also encourage teams to host tournaments of their own so that they get more money (and more teams will start).
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tiwonge
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Re: Costs

Post by tiwonge »

I'm thinking of seeing if I can get our club to write a tournament over the summer and offer it free at the beginning of the year next year. Or, barring that, maybe seeing if we can mirror somebody else's tournament in a more-established region.

http://www.quizco.com/ is based out of Boise, and the owners of that company have kids at Centennial High School. They, at least, have 3 buzzer systems. :)
Colin McNamara, Boise State University
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Idaho Quiz & Academic Teams

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dxdtdemon
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Re: Costs

Post by dxdtdemon »

First of all, to some of the people on this board who keep posting about bussing whenever this topic comes up, some states have bus driver's unions who require that all extracirricular clubs get bussed even when it's a really tiny club. Fortunately, many principals help the smaller clubs find loopholes around this because they don't want the expense of this. As for buzzers, you need them for Science Bowl, so I would assume that most of the schools would have at least one set.
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tiwonge
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Re: Costs

Post by tiwonge »

quantumfootball wrote:As for buzzers, you need them for Science Bowl, so I would assume that most of the schools would have at least one set.
Our Science Bowl is funded by the Idaho National Labs, which provides everything--questions, buzzers, locations. The only thing the schools have to do is provide transportation to the sites (and for the teams who play in the championship games but who aren't from the Boise metro area, possibly a night at a hotel in Boise).

That's not to say that schools don't have buzzers. I think that there are some "leagues" in some areas where schools play each other. (Oddly enough, I think they use the previous year's questions for this. After experiencing the Science Bowl for a couple years, I think this isn't as bad as I thought at first. When they run the tournaments, they use a different question packet for each match, so different matches running at the same time hear different questions. As a result, schools probably hear a small fraction of the questions from the previous year.) Schools that do this probably do have buzzers, but I don't know which schools do or how common it is.
Colin McNamara, Boise State University
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Idaho Quiz & Academic Teams

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Dan Greenstein
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Re: Costs

Post by Dan Greenstein »

tiwonge wrote:... (Oddly enough, I think they use the previous year's questions for this. After experiencing the Science Bowl for a couple years, I think this isn't as bad as I thought at first. When they run the tournaments, they use a different question packet for each match, so different matches running at the same time hear different questions. As a result, schools probably hear a small fraction of the questions from the previous year.) ...
This is not a good thing, for multiple reasons, although given it is Science Bowl I should not expect anything better.

1. It is never acceptable to reuse questions in an environment where there is a possibility that a team will have heard the set of questions in a previous tournament or in practice.

2. It seems like an exceptional waste of effort to produce a set of questions for every different room for every round of the tournament.

3. That said, this is Science Bowl we are talking about. If you think quizbowl run by state athletic organizations is bad, then here is the trump card: quizbowl run by the federal government.
Daniel Greenstein
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Eleanor Roosevelt High School (1998-2000)

David Riley
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Re: Costs

Post by David Riley »

Colin--I would survey the high schools in Idaho and find out whether or not they do Science Bowl and if so, do they already own a system. I would then send an invitation letter c/o "Science Bowl Coach"; if you send it c/o the principal or activites director it will probably just sit on their desks. This might give you a good idea of how many schools are likely to attend your tournament.

Good luck!
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Re: Costs

Post by First Chairman »

I wanted to briefly mention that I've worked with Zeecraft this year to offer a modest discount for teams that will be attending the NSC 2009 competition and all programs that host a PACE-affiliated tournament. I'd say that if you have a competition that would be eligible for PACE affiliation, contact Fred so that our group can review the tournament if it is eligible for NSC qualification.
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