Region 4: Moravian College
I'm sorry guys, but what's up with this? Does Moravian College even have a team? I've never seen them. Cursory googling yields no results unrelated to Ben Schenkel and their website displays zero info about anything related to quizbowl even using the search function. They do seem to have a Harry Potter club. Never mind the fact that this location is sort of (slightly) out of the way; I don't care about that.
What I do care about is the fact that, as far as I know, nobody connected to my region's sectional host has any experience whatsoever with actual quizbowl. Since Sectionals is hands down the most difficult tournament to run and correspondingly the easiest to fuck up, this raises some red flags for me. While I am really glad NAQT has Jeff to respond to our concerns, I'd really like to know why people thought choosing this site would be a good idea. Hey, maybe there are a bunch of ex-quizbowlers hanging out in Bethlehem, and it's actually got a great staff already locked in? This would be outstanding and I'll happily admit my concerns are unfounded and begin planning my trip to scenic Bethlehem. Unfortunately I don't feel super confident about this, because the contact listed on the website is "Gretchen Symons." Here's the rundown on what the internet has to say about Ms. Symons:
-She seems to run some kind of yearbook-creating program called "The Kaldron." It does not appear to use timers.
-She very likely is pro-dog.
-She seems to work, oddly enough, for Allegheny College. I admit to not knowing much about small PA colleges, but ACUI has her listed with Allegheny. My current hypothesis revolves around Anschluss.
I certainly have no inherent concern over the identity of our Sectional TD; I bet she's a really cool person, and maybe even really supports quizbowl. But hear me right now, oh NAQT: If the kind of shit that happened at that midwestern (Indiana, I think?) sectional from last year goes down where I am, I will NOT be taking it as well as those people evidently did. If a reader in my room doesn't know essential rules, can't get through 15 tossups, or decides to skip the science questions because they're too hard to pronounce
(you guys know that actually happened, right?), I will produce Adam Fine from my backpack and the Region 4 SCT staff will be deposed faster than a dual monarchy led by Zach Foster and General Butt Naked.
Seriously, there's no excuse for anything but the highest standards of hosting for the SCTs. To put this more bluntly, I will charge that people unfamiliar with quizbowl should not be reading for sectionals, ever. People inexperienced with reading real quizbowl should probably also not be reading sectionals, unless the timing rules add a few extra minutes (incidentally: please, please do this regardless). People who do not understand that you need a certain number of games, and need to have certain standards of playoff structuring and whatnot, should not be running sectionals. Now granted, lots of teams still screw this stuff up and we end up with games that don't really get counted or get double-counted, but since NAQT actually chose these sites, I expect none of that nonsense to be an issue.
I'd really legitimately like to hear about what kind of staffing/organizational support will exist for our SCT site. I wish I also had the option of driving even an extra 3-4 hours to reach another SCT whose host I had more confidence in, but by my reading of the current rules we're precluded from doing that.
EDIT: Never mind, apparently even if we could do that, our second option would be East Carolina. Unless the host contact listed is Chris Johnson, there's not really an upside involved here.