Thoughts on developing a Middle School Program

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Thoughts on developing a Middle School Program

Post by CometCoach72 »

Although I am a high school coach, I would love nothing more than to develop a middle school program in my district which would help develop interest in the high school team and bring some experienced players forward. I'm of the understanding that there is already a lockout system in place that may be available to the district, so that would save the biggest initial expense to our district (outside of a coaching stipend, of course).

I would love to read the comments of anyone who has developed a middle school program and could offer any pointers. Thanks in advance to anyone who responds.
Jay Winter
Greenville HS (IL) Scholastic Bowl Coach and Chief UN Translator for Math
Decatur MacArthur Class of 1990 - Illinois State Class of 1994 - MS Ed SIU Edwardsville 2010
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Re: Thoughts on developing a Middle School Program

Post by the return of AHAN »

Dear Coach Winter,
I’d say your biggest challenge in creating a middle school program will simply be finding someone to take on this role whose drive and ambition matches your own. I’d advise against trying to be both the varsity coach and junior high coach. There is just too much overlap of the seasons, assuming a Greenville program would join the IESA. There are many schools in the Macoupin-Montgomery county area that play, as well as some to the east of you that’d likely be happy to add you to their schedule.
If your school signs up for IESA State Series, be warned that the IESA Advisory committee has very little continuity and it takes just a couple of people with odd ideas for rules changes to create some really silly rules that take years to undo. Indeed, it seems most coaches don’t see the game as something that should determine which team has the better knowledge base, but rather which team has the best reflexes and can make the shrewdest gambles with early buzzes on toss-ups that haven’t asked a question yet. They accept the fact that hoses are part of the game and something that are not only tolerated but flat –out embraced as the great equalizer.
What’s regarded as good quizbowl is unknown in that part of the state, but I see that an opportunity. If schools in south central Illinois start playing on providers such as Olympia Academic Questions or Midwest Academic Questions, it could go a long way towards people to start asking why more toss-ups can’t be written in such a manner.
Jeff Price
Barrington High School Coach
Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)