The Road to NAC 2009

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The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Nasen »

Ok, my high school has officially triumphed at the Bridgewater-Raritan Invitational Tournament of Excellence (BRITE), so we now qualify for a spot at NAC, and we're headed to DC in June. Is anyone else going there?
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

No.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Tegan »

Neil,

I am certainly not telling you what to do, but if I could make a polite suggestion, check out:
http://www.doc-ent.com/qbwiki/index.php ... of_the_NAC

This is an article that I won't say sums up everyone's exact thoughts on the NAC around this board, but I think certainly represents a majority of opinions. In almost every case, this article is based on either neutral observations while sitting in the audience, or as an actual coach/player participating in a past NAC.

Given that I see you are relatively new to the Boards (and welcome!), I thought I might direct you to this article as an explanation for a lot of the hostility and/or indifference directed toward the NAC. So that you are aware, having attended two NACs as a neutral observer, I understand now why this tournament is not looked at very highly, and why many people around here would not even consider it quizbowl.

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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by AKKOLADE »

Neil,

Just so you know, NAC is arguably the least respected national championship. To save people from rehashing the same old, same old, I'd like to link you to this page*. This page should cover the reasons why NAC isn't looked at too highly by most people around here.

* Note that I disagree with the tag placed on the article by admins of the Wiki - there may be more information to add regarding NAC, but it contains enough stuff that is important to know about this tournament's many short comings that you should still refer to it.

Edit: Beaten but still posting this.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Dan Greenstein »

I first read the title as The Road to NSC 2009, and got all excited about the potential for NSC bracketology.

Alas, I was sorely disappointed to have read this :chip: thread.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas »

I thought it was NSC also, and was going to politely point out he was going to be a month late if they came to DC in June.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Nasen »

Yeah, I think I can see what you mean. The only reason we're going is because our local state tournament is the qualifier for it, and the people that sponsored that are paying for our entrance fee and transportation. Otherwise, I think we may have been more likely to steer clear. :oops:
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by First Chairman »

Just wondering: who sponsored your trip? Should we help you point out how attending PACE NSC or NAQT HSCT is much more cost-effective?
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Our "state championship" sponsored by Comcast used to pay for the champion to go to NAC (Charter 6-time defending). But they dropped their sponsorship this year and therefore the tournament did not exist... so i'm pretty sure that no DE team is going to NAC this year.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Nasen »

First Chairman wrote:Just wondering: who sponsored your trip? Should we help you point out how attending PACE NSC or NAQT HSCT is much more cost-effective?

It's sponsored by the Bridgewater-Raritan school district, the same people that hosted this tournament. Also, they've been doing this for about as long as NAC was around.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Tegan »

Caesar Rodney HS wrote:... i'm pretty sure that no DE team is going to NAC this year.
This should go on those "welcome" signs at the state border.

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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Tegan wrote:
Caesar Rodney HS wrote:... i'm pretty sure that no DE team is going to NAC this year.
This should go on those "welcome" signs at the state border.
"Delaware: The First State! Proudly objecting to Chip Beale's crapfest of a tournament! And home of tax-free shopping!"
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Matt Weiner »

Nasen wrote:It's sponsored by the Bridgewater-Raritan school district, the same people that hosted this tournament. Also, they've been doing this for about as long as NAC was around.
I think you could, at least, try to pitch the idea of sponsoring a trip to one of the real nationals to them. People on school boards probably don't understand good v bad quizbowl, but they will understand ethics issues (Beall's endless, documented instances of plagiarism) and prestige issues (none of the top 30 teams this year are going to the NAC and it is not in any real sense the "national championship" of anything). Most importantly, the cost of attending HSNCT or NSC (actually, the cost of attending HSNCT and NSC) is far lower than that of attending the NAC, because you don't need to bring five people, stay for four days, or pay the higher entry fee. If nothing else, explain that what you want to do will cost them less, not more, and they might at least get their wheels moving for being more receptive to a change in future years.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

Just out of curiosity, is BRITE still being run after school over the course of several weeks, using the Jeopardy-board format?
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Cheynem »

If nothing else, more bang for your buck is a good way to sell against NAC: when I went in 2000, my team played four matches over a two+ day period (we only played two days, but we had to fly in the day before and we had no idea if we would make playoffs so we had to stay for at least two more days). Aside from getting a chance to see the Los Angeles area, this was a waste of time with very little quiz bowl played. Both NAQT and PACE offered plenty more matches with potential scrimmages even if you had been eliminated (plus still time for sightseeing if you wanted).

I also can't believe that any sane individual could look at a Chip Beall packet and a NAQT or PACE packet and conclude that the former is superior to the latter. But I also thought Michigan State could beat UNC.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by TheCzarMan »

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:Just out of curiosity, is BRITE still being run after school over the course of several weeks, using the Jeopardy-board format?
Yes, it is. The new adviser almost signed us up for it this year until I told her what a waste of money it was.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by jonpin »

TheCzarMan wrote:
Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:Just out of curiosity, is BRITE still being run after school over the course of several weeks, using the Jeopardy-board format?
Yes, it is. The new adviser almost signed us up for it this year until I told her what a waste of money it was.
http://www.b-rea.org/brite.htm

The number of things that are wrong here is astounding:
*The tournament follows a "quiz bowl" format. No. No, it does not. There are many various formats used by organizations that consider themselves "Quiz Bowl" and all of them involve direct competition on the same question at least once.
*Today, the tournament has grown to become the only one in the state whose winner is an automatic qualifier for the National Academic Tournament. Assuming that by "National Academic Tournament", they mean Chip-a-palooza, they are wrong. :chip:.com states "Each team must win an academic competition (local or regional) of at least 8 teams or finish in the top 15% of any tournament." Thus, ANY legitimate quiz bowl competition in the state of New Jersey is also a Chip qualifier.
*All Rounds, except the Final Round, are played at Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School and start promptly at 4:00 p.m. (on Tuesdays). Note that any week anyone uses for February break is included, so two times out of three you have to leave school early, and the other time you can't go anywhere for vacation.
*There is a fee of $220 per team. Holy crap. For less money, you can send two teams to any legitimate quiz bowl tournament in the area, without missing any school time, get more play against more opponents in a single day (meaning the district saves on busing) and not have to deal with the possibility of answering every question posed to your team correctly and still losing.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by SHP Pirate »

"National Finals
The winning team from this tournament will be qualified to register as one of two New Jersey schools representing the state at a National Tournament." (from the BRITE web page)

Anyone care to explain this?

We looked at this format briefly ... then decided against it. We do play Jeopardy board tournaments from time to time, but did not want to commit up to seven Tuesday afternoons in a row.

I cannot imagine that BRITE will impose a restriction upon the winner in regards to which tournament they choose to attend. Just because they have some "automatic qualifier" relationship with NAC should not mean that the winning team is required to attend NAC. Their website only states that the winning team "will receive paid registration for up to 7 team members and up to $1,000 towards the cost of transportation to the National Finals in the summer." It does not specify which tournament. I would have your advisor ask about this.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Nasen »

Ok, I just came back from the DC phase of this :chip: tourny, and to be perfectly blunt, I see EXACTLY why everyone hates this one.

Despite that this may sound like ravings of a loser, I actually have more of an issue with the games that our team won than the one we lost.

First, and foremost, the conduct of the tourny staff absolutely reeked of unprofessionalism (is that a real word?). They had this annoying habit of trying to make really bad jokes in an attempt to engage teams in friendly conversation, particularly the one reader Ernie Anderson. Also, in our first game with him as our reader, as soon as we introduced ourselves, he started by mimicking the stereotypical New Jersey accent (because that's where we're from) that no one on our team (or anyone I know, for that matter) spoke in. We are not really easily offended, but another team from NJ could easily have construed it as a very offensive joke.

There was this other reader who had a massive issue with pronouncing words, particularly one question where we were asked to identify a flower with its French name as its clue. I had to ask him to spell it because he already started to butcher it beyond recognition otherwise; as it was he already seemed to have trouble with a lot of words in English.

Also, I have an issue with the quality of the judges (and judgement of readers). In our first game, in the 60-second round, the opposing team was to translate Camus' The Stranger back to its original French. The correct answer, as you may know, is L'Etranger (French for The Stranger). However, they said L'Estranger (not a real French word). I even brought this to the attention of the reader, but he dismissed it as "close enough".

Also, can someone PLEASE tell me that they agree that the rule in which players have to wait until they are recognized by the judge/reader is COMPLETELY RETARDED? I mean, our buzzer lights up right in front of us, so we know for a fact if we were the ones who buzzed in or not. In general, :chip: and his cronies seemed to be trying to maintain this faux-game show atmosphere with the asinine music and sound effects, so I guess that's why they wanted to recognize the players so much. More in the next post since I can't seem to fit more.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Nasen »

Also, I absolutely ABHORRED the idea of offering chocolate cigarettes as prizes for answering all 10 questions in a 60-second category. Personally, I interpretted it as a way for tobacco to be advertised, because then players (the vast majority of us not even being old enough to buy tobacco, especially since the Junior tourny was going on) can be given the idea that smoking is cool, thus they should buy real cigarettes eventually. I personally wasn't surprised that these same "cigs" were imported from Holland since I can't imagine American manufacturers having an easy time making them.

Also, I have to agree with other people on the general quality of the teams playing there. Somehow, I don't know how many of the ones that my team faced could POSSIBLY qualify for a nationwide tournament.

In general, I got this vibe from :chip: and his cronies in how egotistical they were. To a spectator, :chip: can somehow maintain this "nice guy" vibe, but he instantly lost it when I was actually playing with him as a judge; he was especially strict about the "recognition" rule while this blonde woman was reading.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Nasen »

Finally, like everyone else, I have issues with the questions themselves. In generaly, they were LOADED with hoses. For instance, a question (the following is paraphrased) began with "In response to France not supporting the US in the war in Iraq, french fries were renamed..." and then I jumped and responded "freedom fries" only to discover that it leads to asking about German-sounding words getting changed in the US during WW1. I want to know if it was really meant as a trick, or if it was just really sloppy writing (or if it was just a bad question to get plagiarized.)
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

^Pretty much summed up everything that the entire mainstream quizbowl community has been saying for 10 years, and all of the reasons why we decided to not even waste our money on :chip: when we could go somewhere else.

Although, I don't see anything wrong with chocolate cigarettes, I'm pretty open to people doing whatever they want to do. If smoking is it, at least my college gets funded through the tobacco taxes :smile:
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Yeah, Neil, seems like you experienced what most of us were already painfully aware of. I guess you just had to see it for yourself.

I mainly feel bad because you're a senior and missed out on some other quality national championships instead. Perhaps you can be an advisor to your team in the next year and guide them towards better quizbowl?
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by sjhsquizbowl »

Any idea who won this phase?
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by the return of AHAN »

For having a designated webmaster, they're pretty lacking with the updates. I anxiously await the winner of Junior NAC so I can fire off an invite to next year's Barrington Invitational. Danville Bate cited a conflict (state series or conference) in not accepting my offer for this year's edition.

In the meantime, enjoy this nugget direct from the NAC web site. I wonder if people think this coach's articleon the Questions Unlimited site is a tacit endorsement of NAC... hmmm...

EDITED to add some entertainment.
Last edited by the return of AHAN on Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by sir negsalot »

OH GOD THE HORROR!! :chip: gave me PTSD :mad: :cry: :twisted: :lol: :shock: :sad: :smile: :grin: :mad: :cry: :twisted: :roll: :wink: :neutral: :lol: :cool: :shock: :sad: :smile:
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by David Riley »

That articles is at least ten years old. If they do interpret it that way, then they are living in the past when NAC was the only game in town.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Byko »

sjhsquizbowl wrote:Any idea who won this phase?
There's a rumor from the Ohio board, based on some apparent Facebook status updates, that Copley from Ohio won in DC this past weekend.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Nasen »

By the way, I can't believe I forgot to share this somewhat amusing anecdote. I, and a few of my teammates and my coach, sat in on one of the middle school games going on. One of the teams was from Georgia and loe and behold: a question about a traditional song from Georgia. Somehow that team managed to get it wrong, but Ernie Anderson still went on with his very seemingly rehearsed line (complete with his radio voice) about how these questions are apparently written well in advance. Already I know something that contradicts this because my coach wanted to call :chip: about something just about a week before we actually went, and apologized for calling as early as she did, and :chip: replied that he was working on questions since 5 am so my coach's calling was no biggie. So that's another observation Tom Egan made in 2005 that I can verify in 2009.

To back up the egoism of the staff, Mike Mastandrea (the same guy who dismissed "L'Estranger" as "close enough") went onto boast about how he invented the 60 second timer :chip: uses and thus how the world of quiz bowl cannot possibly exist without him.

Despite the low quality of the tourny I've seen, they actually did appear to have improved from previous years if I interpretted the pages on the quizbowl wiki correctly. For example, at least they're through with the introductions at the beginning of matches that they used to have. Still, NAC, despite being the only nationwide tourny I've ever been to, is the last tourny I'd ever recommend to any high school team. I'm just happy our team didn't have to spend anything besides transportation costs because we were sponsored by the BRITE people for the entry fee.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by etchdulac »

Nasen wrote:To back up the egoism of the staff, Mike Mastandrea (the same guy who dismissed "L'Estranger" as "close enough") went onto boast about how he invented the 60 second timer :chip: uses
While obviously not referring to the timer in itself, I have seen repeatedly over about 15 years that Mike introduced the lightning round concept for Chip Beall's televised format in the early 80s when they were based in the Metroplex. This is one claim of theirs that I have never seen disputed and seems to have recorded evidence.

The Camus thing is pretty bothersome though.
Nasen wrote:and thus how the world of quiz bowl cannot possibly exist without him.
Well, I'll say this much... the lightning round is great for televised quiz bowl, which almost by necessity is quickfire, "bad" quiz bowl. They also can (if not written carefully) dramatically skew the relative difficulty levels of the questions teams face, which creates basic competitive fairness issues. They are great for improving the spectacle, if that's what you're aiming for. They aren't great for legitimizing competition.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Nasen »

The thing I love about the lightning rounds is that I almost ALWAYS see the tournament (both :chip: and the NJ Challenge) follow the doctrine of having one easy category, and one not-so-easy category. Also, since the trailing team picks first, they are more likely to sweep it while the leading team may not score as many points. Thus, it closes gaps up and provides a more interesting game for audiences. It's also fun when you also have a rather clumsy reader who befuddles words, stops, and tries to correct himself.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

Nasen wrote:The thing I love about the lightning rounds is that I almost ALWAYS see the tournament (both :chip: and the NJ Challenge) follow the doctrine of having one easy category, and one not-so-easy category. Also, since the trailing team picks first, they are more likely to sweep it while the leading team may not score as many points. Thus, it closes gaps up and provides a more interesting game for audiences. It's also fun when you also have a rather clumsy reader who befuddles words, stops, and tries to correct himself.
I'm not sure if you're being ironic or not, so if you are, discount the following.
Every one of the things you just mentioned makes for a frustrating, invalid national tournament. Quizbowl isn't a gameshow, especially at the national level: it's for the players, not some nonexistent audience. In quizbowl, even more than in other competitions, the team that wins a match wins because it has worked harder than its opponent. How is it logical to penalize a team for its hard work? This isn't a personal attack against you, but I think :chip: supporters need to seriously consider whether the implications of audience-oriented quizbowl.
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen »

Nasen wrote:It's also fun when you also have a rather clumsy reader who befuddles words, stops, and tries to correct himself.
I watched a match last year with a 60-second round category called "Candy Bars with No Vowels" – probably inspired by the similar categories that sometimes come up on Jeopardy. Except on Jeopardy you get to see the letters, and you usually get another clue. Now, not only was this audio only, and with no other clues, but the reader didn't even spell out the abbreviations like Alex does on Jeopardy: whoever was moderating in that room seemed to get a kick out of reading the vowel-less clues in the most ridiculously exaggerated strangled-sounding voice possible. And that was all they got. They clearly couldn't understand what he was saying, and kept passing. I think they got three right. (I wonder if any moderators in other rooms did spell them out.)
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Nasen »

ColJade wrote:
Nasen wrote:The thing I love about the lightning rounds is that I almost ALWAYS see the tournament (both :chip: and the NJ Challenge) follow the doctrine of having one easy category, and one not-so-easy category. Also, since the trailing team picks first, they are more likely to sweep it while the leading team may not score as many points. Thus, it closes gaps up and provides a more interesting game for audiences. It's also fun when you also have a rather clumsy reader who befuddles words, stops, and tries to correct himself.
I'm not sure if you're being ironic or not, so if you are, discount the following.
Every one of the things you just mentioned makes for a frustrating, invalid national tournament. Quizbowl isn't a gameshow, especially at the national level: it's for the players, not some nonexistent audience. In quizbowl, even more than in other competitions, the team that wins a match wins because it has worked harder than its opponent. How is it logical to penalize a team for its hard work? This isn't a personal attack against you, but I think :chip: supporters need to seriously consider whether the implications of audience-oriented quizbowl.
That's the point of this thread, I'm just trying to prove how :chip: falls under Bad Quizbowl. So obviously I'm not a :chip: in even the remotest sense. Yes, I very much was trying to be ironic. I already ranted about how asinine I found the whole faux-gameshow thing about :chip: 's tournament and how his cronies evidently prioritized themselves above the players (and coaches) by trying to divert attention to themselves to the maximum extent (by even having the retarded rule of players needing to be recgonized after buzzing in).
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Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

Nasen wrote:
ColJade wrote:
Nasen wrote:The thing I love about the lightning rounds is that I almost ALWAYS see the tournament (both :chip: and the NJ Challenge) follow the doctrine of having one easy category, and one not-so-easy category. Also, since the trailing team picks first, they are more likely to sweep it while the leading team may not score as many points. Thus, it closes gaps up and provides a more interesting game for audiences. It's also fun when you also have a rather clumsy reader who befuddles words, stops, and tries to correct himself.
I'm not sure if you're being ironic or not, so if you are, discount the following.
Every one of the things you just mentioned makes for a frustrating, invalid national tournament. Quizbowl isn't a gameshow, especially at the national level: it's for the players, not some nonexistent audience. In quizbowl, even more than in other competitions, the team that wins a match wins because it has worked harder than its opponent. How is it logical to penalize a team for its hard work? This isn't a personal attack against you, but I think :chip: supporters need to seriously consider whether the implications of audience-oriented quizbowl.
That's the point of this thread, I'm just trying to prove how :chip: falls under Bad Quizbowl. So obviously I'm not a :chip: in even the remotest sense. Yes, I very much was trying to be ironic. I already ranted about how asinine I found the whole faux-gameshow thing about :chip: 's tournament and how his cronies evidently prioritized themselves above the players (and coaches) by trying to divert attention to themselves to the maximum extent (by even having the retarded rule of players needing to be recgonized after buzzing in).
In that case, I sincerely apologize for not looking harder for your earlier posts.
Matt Bollinger
UVA '14, UVA '15
Communications Officer, ACF

Nasen
Lulu
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:18 pm

Re: The Road to NAC 2009

Post by Nasen »

ColJade wrote:
Nasen wrote:
ColJade wrote:
Nasen wrote:The thing I love about the lightning rounds is that I almost ALWAYS see the tournament (both :chip: and the NJ Challenge) follow the doctrine of having one easy category, and one not-so-easy category. Also, since the trailing team picks first, they are more likely to sweep it while the leading team may not score as many points. Thus, it closes gaps up and provides a more interesting game for audiences. It's also fun when you also have a rather clumsy reader who befuddles words, stops, and tries to correct himself.
I'm not sure if you're being ironic or not, so if you are, discount the following.
Every one of the things you just mentioned makes for a frustrating, invalid national tournament. Quizbowl isn't a gameshow, especially at the national level: it's for the players, not some nonexistent audience. In quizbowl, even more than in other competitions, the team that wins a match wins because it has worked harder than its opponent. How is it logical to penalize a team for its hard work? This isn't a personal attack against you, but I think :chip: supporters need to seriously consider whether the implications of audience-oriented quizbowl.
That's the point of this thread, I'm just trying to prove how :chip: falls under Bad Quizbowl. So obviously I'm not a :chip: in even the remotest sense. Yes, I very much was trying to be ironic. I already ranted about how asinine I found the whole faux-gameshow thing about :chip: 's tournament and how his cronies evidently prioritized themselves above the players (and coaches) by trying to divert attention to themselves to the maximum extent (by even having the retarded rule of players needing to be recgonized after buzzing in).
In that case, I sincerely apologize for not looking harder for your earlier posts.
It's alright. I knew you meant no harm.
Neil Sen, JP Stevens High School Class of '09

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