Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

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Zmaz
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Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by Zmaz »

I'm at a small (~150 kids) private high school in NE Ohio, and I'm looking to take our school's quiz bowl team up to a more serious level of competition, at least as is possible given our size limitations. We're currently pretty relaxed in our quiz bowl endeavors; for the past few years, all we've done is participate in a small, regional radio show. I'd like to get my classmates and myself involved in more serious quiz bowl, possibly a league and such. Our team is signed up for a tournament this Saturday (http://www.createphpbb.com/oac/viewtopi ... mforum=oac), and I'm trying to find some practice materials at an appropriate difficulty. I saw somewhere that the 2009 Fall Novice set on http://quizbowlpackets.com/ was a good starting place, so I went through them, and I found them pretty rudimentary, and I think my teammates would as well. Any suggestions for some good sets to practice on? (Free is best, although next year we should be able to get some funding.)

Also, just as a reference point, what's a decent score for a team to aim for, in a match with a format similar to the one outlined at http://www.createphpbb.com/oac/viewtopi ... mforum=oac ? About what percentage of tossups/bonuses should a fairly amateur team aim to get out of a moderate-difficulty question set?

Thanks for your help!
Zac
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons »

the quizbowlpacket archive has a huge array of question sets, so I would strongly suggest browsing through and finding the set suitable to your needs. I have found www.sporcle.com to be hugely entertaining (as has my entire team). It will not help you all that much but it is a fun trivia game to pass the time. There is also a culture page with just about anything quizbowl related on it. This would be a great jumping off point to establish "specialists" or to take on the load yourself and become a "generalist". As for a good team score, I would say to aim for 250 on average. As you improve, you will see this number increase to 300+, which is excellent if you are playing at/above your level.
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by Zmaz »

I was kinda wondering what an "average" question set might be for emulating this mid-year, open-to-all tournament, and specifics there?

And I'm already a Sporcle maniac; first bookmark I open when I get home. Thanks anyway though!
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by at your pleasure »

Zmaz wrote:I was kinda wondering what an "average" question set might be for emulating this mid-year, open-to-all tournament, and specifics there?
HSAPQ sets, the last Prison Bowl set, and GSAC should be good for that.
Douglas Graebner, Walt Whitman HS 10, Uchicago 14
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by dxdtdemon »

If your team found the fall novice set easy, it may be ready for GLRAC, a tournament hosted on an HSAPQ set on March 27th at Case Western. The touranment link is here: http://www.createphpbb.com/phpbb/viewto ... mforum=oac
From what I've heard, this year's HSAPQ sets are slightly less difficult than the ones you can download for free at hsapq.com. It will be like one of their ACF-style sets.

EDIT: Also note that the tournament you are attending this Saturday will get you a discount for GLRAC.
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Zmaz wrote:I saw somewhere that the 2009 Fall Novice set on http://quizbowlpackets.com/ was a good starting place, so I went through them, and I found them pretty rudimentary, and I think my teammates would as well.
I want you to be more specific in this sentence if you could. Do you mean that you knew all these tossup answers? Or that you know all these tossup answers before "for ten points"? Or that you know all the tossup answers and almost all the bonuses answers too?

I would repeat others in stating that the free HSAPQ packets (here) from last year are wonderful, and we use them in practice all the time.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by Zmaz »

Re: the tournament on the 27th, I was eyeing that one, but unfortunately that's during our spring break, and a bunch of us, including myself, will be visiting colleges or otherwise unavailable.

As for the fall novice set, I never actually put that one in front of my teammates, but I alone got at least 50% of the tossups and bonuses (I wasn't keeping track too closely), and I'm pretty sure that the team as a whole could get upwards of 90% on both parts, with 20 points on a decent number of the tossups.
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by at your pleasure »

Zmaz wrote:Re: the tournament on the 27th, I was eyeing that one, but unfortunately that's during our spring break, and a bunch of us, including myself, will be visiting colleges or otherwise unavailable.

As for the fall novice set, I never actually put that one in front of my teammates, but I alone got at least 50% of the tossups and bonuses (I wasn't keeping track too closely), and I'm pretty sure that the team as a whole could get upwards of 90% on both parts, with 20 points on a decent number of the tossups.
You might be misreading the score, since there's no way to get 20 points on a tossup. Unless you mean " convert the tossups and ten the bonuses, which indicates to me that you might still want to study fall novice).
Douglas Graebner, Walt Whitman HS 10, Uchicago 14
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by Zmaz »

Ah, sorry, I meant 15.
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by dxdtdemon »

Here's how some Ohio teams did on the fall novice set:
http://results.scobo.net/SQBS.aspx?org= ... =standings
Jonathan Graham
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by theMoMA »

It sounds like there might be a bit of a perception gap here about how well teams perform on high school sets. Truly elite high school teams (the best ten or fifteen in the country) will be able to answer every tossup in the Fall Novice set before the "for 10 points," and will probably get a good majority of the tossups before the midway point of the question. These teams will also be getting thirty points on a majority of the bonuses. Even in places without super-elite teams, regional powerhouse types will be able to answer every tossup at the end (and a good many before then) and get twenty or thirty points on almost every bonus.

It's important to remember that just knowing most of the tossup answers at the end doesn't mean the set is too easy for you. The process of improving is as much about buzzing earlier on questions on basic topics as it is expanding the answers you can buzz on. Playing tougher questions is a good way to get better, but easy questions probably have a lot to teach you as well.
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons »

I would suggest bringing the packet in to your teammates, reading it to them, and keeping score. I assume that you are your teams best player (since they would only help you 40 percent), so perhaps it is easier to you than to them. Play 10 rounds or so (enough to have a large number to use for the statistics) and average up their bonus conversion, which is an extremely important statistic and extremely strong indicator of a teams talent. If it is below 15, I would suggest continuing with a tournament of equal difficulty, while if it is higher I would suggest moving up to a more challenging set. Make sure you reassure your teammates that doing poorly* on these more challenging sets will help you improve on those 20 and 30 bonus parts.

* - at first.
Ethan Hewett
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by Zmaz »

International Community Radio Taipei wrote:I assume that you are your teams best player (since they would only help you 40 percent), so perhaps it is easier to you than to them.
I don't think I'm the best on my team, if it makes any difference. I had a rude awakening when I started looking into real quiz bowl competition that, unlike some competitions that our team plays in, current events (my forte, apart from math and history) are not at all a major portion of the questions. (If I'm wrong on that though, feel free to correct me!) Overall, I'm probably the second-best on my team.

Does anybody have any suggestions on the best way to practice? We normally have 4-6 people at practice, so we can't split up into two full teams and go head-to-head, although we could to 3v3. What we've been doing is basically just a free-for-all, reading both tossups and bonus, with all questions open to everybody to answer. We do have a buzzer system, and we can divide people and buzzers up into teams, if needed. From what I can tell, our weak spot is the tossups; when we've got a bit less time pressure and can take the time to confer with one another on bonuses, we're alright, but we lack the confidence to buzz in early in tossups, even if we think we know them. (I know that I personally suffer from this a lot.) So, advice on how to train these skills would be much appreciated.

Everybody here's been very helpful thus far -- thanks!
Zac
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by Self-incompatibility in plants »

From what I can tell, our weak spot is the tossups; when we've got a bit less time pressure and can take the time to confer with one another on bonuses, we're alright, but we lack the confidence to buzz in early in tossups, even if we think we know them. (I know that I personally suffer from this a lot.) So, advice on how to train these skills would be much appreciated.
Canon familiarity really helps with this, which can be gained by reading questions.The more questions you read, the more experience you will have, and the better you can anticipate what the questions are looking for, allowing for more confident buzzes (as well as, of course, also having more knowledge with which you can actually buzz in on).
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Re: Moving quiz bowl team to the next level -- advice needed!

Post by at your pleasure »

Self-incompatibility in plants wrote:
From what I can tell, our weak spot is the tossups; when we've got a bit less time pressure and can take the time to confer with one another on bonuses, we're alright, but we lack the confidence to buzz in early in tossups, even if we think we know them. (I know that I personally suffer from this a lot.) So, advice on how to train these skills would be much appreciated.
Canon familiarity really helps with this, which can be gained by reading questions.The more questions you read, the more experience you will have, and the better you can anticipate what the questions are looking for, allowing for more confident buzzes (as well as, of course, also having more knowledge with which you can actually buzz in on).
I second this. Knowing what comes up is half the battle. This is why it's a good idea to take notes on what gets missed during practices and at tournaments.
Douglas Graebner, Walt Whitman HS 10, Uchicago 14
"... imagination acts upon man as really as does gravitation, and may kill him as certainly as a dose of prussic acid."-Sir James Frazer,The Golden Bough

http://avorticistking.wordpress.com/

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