Page 1 of 2
The Transition from High School to College
Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 8:35 pm
Something has been bothering me of late.
As I peruse the high school quizbowl section, I notice a great deal of bragging ("We are the 3rd best team in the country", "I am the best player east of the mississippi, north of the allegheny river", "I am the best player sitting on the toilet right now.") among high school players.
Do you high school people actually think you are good? Do you actually think you could come to a practice of any of the better collegiate teams in the country and get more than one question every three practices (without pickoffs)? When you look at the ACF question archive or check out the NAQT ICT sets, don't you notice that you haven't even heard of most of the answers?
Furthermore, haven't you ever noticed that the vast majority of good high school players were shit in college? There are some obvious exceptions (Andrew Yaphe, Julie Singer, John Kenney, etc.) But seriously, who thinks that Kevin Roth or Jacob Mikanowski are anything more than mediocre in college? What I've noticed is that most of the best high school players fade away, while many of the best college players either did not play in high school, or were decent high school players who later became motivated. (If I recall correctly, Jeff Hoppes, who is nearly a first tier player at this point, wasn't even the best player on his high school team).
In general, I think part of it is that high school players don't understand the commitment of college players, nor do they understand the gap in knowledge. I remember watching the Michigan NAQT High School finals, and thinking that Adam Kemezis or Mike Davidson could beat the championship team by 200 points probably singlehandedly. And yet, here was this high school team, strutting and preening like they were the greatest thing ever. Two more examples of this absurdity. Kevin Roth's coach told someone that the difficulty of questions didn't matter for his domination. In 1999, the national championship State College team came to the Virginia Open playing with their coach, and in the words of someone who was there, "got shmack-acked."
Anyway, my point isn't as much to berate high school players as to ask, why don't good high school players become good college players with more frequency?
Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 9:09 pm
My guess, after slogging through all the examples, is that great high school players tend to stop working at it in college, which is a bad time to quit since the canon is so much different from high school's. There's a big jump from the hardest high school tournaments to even an average difficulty college tournament, never mind the insanity (in my own opinion) that can come up at ACF Nationals or even Regionals (ie last time there was a tossup on the Runge-Lenz Vector, something that's taught in Graduate Classical Mechanics I at Georgia Tech, and isn't even mentioned in most undergraduate texts I've looked in).
The environment is also very different; college players play the game because they love to play it, whereas I've found a lot of high school players do it to pad their resumes or give themselves something to do after school.
I think there's also a bit of attitude to it; if you think you're hot stuff in high school and then go to college and realize half this stuff you've never heard of, and it can get disconcerting.
I played UTC's Moc Masters tournament the summer after I graduated high school, and was amazed at the amount of stuff I'd never even heard of in passing that became the answers to tossups in college play, and Moc Masters isn't even one of the more difficult events out there. The trick (for players who plan on playing on) is to not look at it as an unsurmountable barrier but rather a challenge to overcome, and once you see it in that light it becomes a lot more fun.
I don't pretend to be that good of a player, but in my own humble opinion college play has been more rewarding to me than high school play ever was, and I strongly urge anybody who enjoys the game to play in college; you'll be pleasantly surprised by how different it is from high school.
Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 9:12 pm
It generally seems pretty simple. Quite a few (but not all, for those who will want to bitch about this) of the good HS players are only good because they continuously study for HS quizbowl. From what I've gathered by talking to other people, this often means studying shallow lists and such, even to the point of simple "creator-creation" lists. The people who are good in college are good because they do crazy shit like "read books" and a few of them happen to take courses that are reflected in typical QB packet distributions.
Studying for hsqb is a million times easier than doing the same for college questions because most hsqb questions test extremely shallow knowledge. (NAQT IS questions are "deep" compared to some of the other garbage out there) It seems like a lot of "superstars" in high school fade away in college play because the material is more in-depth and they don't have their coach (crutch) anymore to lean on for study material and help.
The typical good HS player is good (relatively) from studying hsqb stuff for the sake of hsqb.
The typical good college player is good because he has an interest in various things that come up and he pursues them in his own time for enjoyment, which just happens to translate to success in quizbowl.
There are obviously exceptions each way, so don't bother pointing them out. I know there are good HS players/teams who are good because they're genuinely interested in the material, and I'm sure there are some sad-ass college QBers out there somewhere who learn things exclusively for quizbowl.
Although I haven't witnessed anything as bad as the previous examples of HS player cockiness and douchebaggery mentioned in this thread, I would like to think that most HS players would consider it absurd to brag about how good they are. Anyone who does this deserves to be forced to have a round of ACF Nats questions read to them and then get bitchslapped by the reader after going 0-0 on them. As a former "good" HS player and someone who will most likely suck horribly when I start playing in college, I advise HS players to accept that being good in high school means nothing and that if you refuse to play in college or don't do well there, you have no right to talk about being good.
Basically, no matter how good you are there is someone better, so shut your goddamn mouth. This isn't aimed at anyone in particular at the moment, but it applies to anyone who brags about quizbowl (which is such a damn sad thing to do in the first place).
Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 11:59 pm
It is disturbingly sad in practice, when we may read a few rounds of NAQT invitational sets, and have a combined score of 700-800 or more, with powers on a good third of the questions. Shift to acf style (we've been reading terrapin; I'm not sure how good/difficult that is) and combined score definitely plummets below 500 (on a good day). I do notice, though, that really important stuff comes up in college that hs writers think the general audience is too stupid for. Math/science especially (while sometimes trivial quark-bowl) is much more legitimate than the million anecdotal "science" questions in hs.
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 12:16 am
jewtemplar wrote:It is disturbingly sad in practice, when we may read a few rounds of NAQT invitational sets, and have a combined score of 700-800 or more, with powers on a good third of the questions. Shift to acf style (we've been reading terrapin; I'm not sure how good/difficult that is) and combined score definitely plummets below 500 (on a good day). I do notice, though, that really important stuff comes up in college that hs writers think the general audience is too stupid for. Math/science especially (while sometimes trivial quark-bowl) is much more legitimate than the million anecdotal "science" questions in hs.
The fact that an NAQT packet has 1170 points available while an ACF packet has 800 probably has more to do with that than anything else. There are easy and hard questions in both styles; compare the Division I NAQT ICT questions to the Maryland Classic high school tournament for proof.
Oh, and while I agree with many of the conclusions posted by Paul, Pat, and others, most importantly the differences in the type of studying needed to improve at the two levels, I will note that Jacob would probably be one of the top 15-20 players on the circuit right off the bat if he was still playing--the fact that he consistently scored as many or more points than Hoppes when playing side-by-side with him should demonstrate that. Your other examples seem valid.
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 12:24 am
Hey I'm a naive HS player who isn't in college and doesn't know anything about the college game. That said...I think (if I decide to play at "the next level") I could
(didn't say "will") be a decent or even "good" player.
AuguryMarch wrote:When you look at the ACF question archive or check out the NAQT ICT sets, don't you notice that you haven't even heard of most of the answers?
Yeah. So? I was a good player in middle school, and when I went to my first few varsity HS practices, I didn't do so hot. I hated playing the NAQT and GATA (Ga. Acad. Team Assoc.) sets when I was lucky to know the giveaways, let alone beat my teammates or get power. But I kept coming to practice, and I got better. I have no doubt that the college canon is sooo much deeper and sooo much more difficult than what we're used to in HS; so what? Players who want
to be good will make the effort to learn it. Of course, it will be difficult, without taking the graduate courses that many college players are in, to make a huge impact; but I doubt it's impossible. And I'm not sure the gap in knowledge is as wide as you imagine; our captain a couple of years ago attended a college practice a couple of weeks after the GATA state tournament, and heard many of the same topics covered in a similar way.
Of course, many HS "greats" fizz out on the college circuit. Maybe it's because they've been used to coasting along, not having to work or working only on list memorization. Maybe they burn out, or get discouraged because they've gone from being tops in the country to... B team or something. Maybe they feel it's futile to have to put their HS diploma against a team with several PhDs (all working on another) and expect to win. Maybe it's all of these. But I find it hard to believe that NO good HS player can "make it" in college.
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 12:27 am
NoahMinkCHS wrote:Maybe they feel it's futile to have to put their HS diploma against a team with several PhDs (all working on another) and expect to win.
The rest of your post is appreciated; perhaps the original post was a little too harsh on high schoolers. But, this scenario just doesn't happen. It's a complete lie put forth by certain people in the college game who want to win without working and blame everything but their own laziness for their team's suckitude. Yes, grad students play, but no one has ever responded to previous calls for a documented instance of a team with more than one "extreme" grad student (a person who already has a terminal degree, has passed out of his 20s, etc) on it at a regular-season event.
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 12:35 am
As I said, I don't know much at all about the college game but what I've heard. Sorry for misunderstanding. Though perhaps this perception (untrue as it is) contributes to many HS players electing not to play in college. Thanks for setting me straight, and I hope more people get the message.
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 2:14 am
I've seen the high school "burn out" factor mentioned here but not exactly pointed out. Many of the kids at the hard-core schools (this seems to be a Southern thing) with really high-strung coaches seen to really have the fun of the game taken out of it for them...I certianly don't know if I'd want to continue playing if I had a coach who chewed my team out to the point of tears in front of other teams (I saw this happen at the Fall 2002 Vandy ABC).
In summary, a lot of HS coaches are real assholes and generally take the fun out of it for the kids they've developed at their programs. (Perhaps they would be more apt to continue if they knew college teams rarely have coaches in the high school sense.)
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 2:21 am
Of course, it will be difficult, without taking the graduate courses that many college players are in, to make a huge impact; but I doubt it's impossible.
I challenge anyone to find me a graduate class that will guarantee anyone more than 1-2 questions per year. Survey courses can be helpful, but I've never seen any grad survey classes.
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 3:42 pm
Matt Weiner wrote:The rest of your post is appreciated; perhaps the original post was a little too harsh on high schoolers. But, this scenario just doesn't happen. It's a complete lie put forth by certain people in the college game who want to win without working and blame everything but their own laziness for their team's suckitude. Yes, grad students play, but no one has ever responded to previous calls for a documented instance of a team with more than one "extreme" grad student (a person who already has a terminal degree, has passed out of his 20s, etc) on it at a regular-season event.
I'm pretty sure Nick Meyer and Jon Pennington have both passed out of their 20s by now. Nick may still have been under 30 the last time they played together, perhaps we'll field a team with 2 "extreme" grad students at a regular-season event this spring. Apparently the last times they played together were at NAQT ICT, SCT, and Cardinal Classic, each time on all-grad student teams. Each time, a younger grad student outscored them. At ICT they lost to a team with (I think) 1 younger grad student and 3 undergrads, at SCT they kicked ass, and at Cardinal Classic they lost to an all undergrad team.
Really old grad students can be great players, but they're certainly not necessarily better than younger players. If tournaments started banning old grad students, I think the same people who currently whine about old grad student players would start whining about good players at all levels. There are many good younger players, and they're good because they spend time working at it, not because they spend time whining.
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 3:45 pm
SethAtCal wrote:each time on all-grad student teams. Each time, a younger grad student outscored them.
Woops, meant to say that they were outscored by a younger grad student on their own team. In my opinion this was not because Jon and Nick overlap much and end up depressing each other's PPG.
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 4:20 pm
SethAtCal wrote:If tournaments started banning old grad students, I think the same people who currently whine about old grad student players would start whining about good players at all levels.
They would have to find something to present as a reason first. Older grad students have that reason built in.
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:58 pm
SethAtCal wrote:If tournaments started banning old grad students, I think the same people who currently whine about old grad student players would start whining about good players at all levels.
POST OF THE YEAR
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:45 pm
Considering how much I suck now, that question's a no-brainer!
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 1:55 am
Oddly, is seems that no one mentioned that, when people go away to college, they move away from home and generally get out from under the thumb of their lousy, overbearing parents. Consequently, they tend to ingest more brain-destroying chemicals, chase whatever it is that they plan to mate with more frequently, etc. That is to say, they don't get good at quizbowl so much as they used to. Given that most good high school quizbowl players were, in high school, nerds who, on the moon, would have their pants pulled-down and be spanked with moonrocks, these common changes in conduct can have very profound effects on behavior, probably.
PS: Before you post about how you're not a nerd, please understand that your proposed post is to an internet forum about quizbowl, which makes you a frequenter of an internet forum about quizbowl.
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 2:03 am
If I could somehow build a device to counteract wind resistance, I would *so* throw my pocket protector at you right now.
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 2:06 am
On the moon, we have advanced beyond wind and its resistance.
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 2:21 am
I must secure passage to this so-called moon. Surely there is a space shuttle lying around in one of these pyramids.*
*Sonic the Hedgehog joke... :(
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 2:48 am
Seriously though, Mike has a good point in that much of the departure of former good HS players comes from people just getting a life (like Jacob, for instance, who was not at all "mediocre" player, he just didn't give a shit and only played because Jeff et al dragged him along). There's a lot more interesting things to do in college, be they chugging beers and hooking up, playing NCAA-level athletics, or doing serious research and scholarly work. For the vast majority of people, college bowl constitutes a fairly big time commitment that offers no reward except ego stroking. In high school, QB can offer local publicity, scholarship money (e.g. Pansonic's prizes), resume building for college, etc. Unfortunately, that's also one of the reasons why CBI has such popularity even though it sucks.
Another thing I've noticed is that there seems to be no middle ground in terms of philosophy of the game: i.e. the two choices are either be like Depauw (treat QB like glorified Trivial Pursuit and complain about having to put any time into the game) or Matt Weiner (expect everyone to be able to write a tournament on his own and seem unable to understand how any 18 year olds could be turned off by having to be around unwashed, autistic, middle-aged social misifits in order just to play the game). Personally, I see how many new players will find neither option appealing and either quit or put the game on a very low priority level as a result.
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 3:04 am
1, 2, 3, 4, i smell a flame war
Re: The Transition from High School to College
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 3:24 pm
Paul wrote: "Who thinks that Kevin Roth or Jacob Mikanowski are anything more than mediocre in college?"
I do. Here are the stats from tournaments at which Jacob and I played on the same team:
Terrapin, October 2000:
(I can't find stats from the 2000 NAQT IFT at Yale, but Jacob outscored me there by at least 10-15 ppg.)
Penn Bowl 10, January 2001:
Penn Bowl 11, January 2002:
NAQT ICT at Chapel Hill, April 2002:
I don't think the evidence justifies classifying us in different "tiers." If you think Jacob was a mediocre player, I will wear a badge of mediocrity with pride.
While my primary reason for posting was to defend my old teammate, I do think Paul's point holds water, but for a slightly different reason. High school quizbowl, by definition, has a relatively narrow canon, and it also usually features shorter tossups than the college game. The combined effect is that a player with good buzzer speed and broad but shallow knowledge can do very well indeed at high school quizbowl. Send him to ACF regionals, let alone nationals, to play against Chicago, Michigan, or Kentucky, and he'll be destroyed. It may be a disheartening experience for a freshman who's used to being among the top scorers whenever he attends a tournament.
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:22 pm
In all seriousness, if I play in college, I'll be making the transition from modified ASCN. The NAQT people have a better time of it, for sure.
Re: The Transition from High School to College
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 11:56 pm
bt_green_warbler wrote:(I can't find stats from the 2000 NAQT IFT at Yale, but Jacob outscored me there by at least 10-15 ppg.)
Actually, I remember one thing about the stats from that tournament because it struck me as amazing at the time and still seems hard to believe. You both had over 70 PPG, playing on the same team. The exact numbers were something along the lines of 73 and 71; I can't remember who had more, so I'll take your word for it that Jacob did. That was one of the great efforts in team balance, for sure.
Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:44 pm
ManiacalClown wrote:The NAQT people have a better time of it, for sure.
Having been to maybe four non-NAQT events in my high school career, I can't say that I had a much better time adjusting to college bowl than someone used to less pyramidal tossups.
Speaking from experience as someone currently making the transition, the hardest part for me about making the transition from high school to college is not so much the difficulty of the questions (granted, I have yet to play anything harder than ACF Fall) but the difference in what my teammates get compared to what they used to get. I think a lot of players that specialized in high school get discouraged when they find a player a lot better than them in the one area they specialized in, and a lot of generalists used to getting 50+ points a game get discouraged when they aren't getting the five questions a packet they're used to getting.
Freshman, UCLA College Bowl
Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2003 9:59 pm
Speaking from experience as someone currently making the transition, the hardest part for me about making the transition from high school to college is not so much the difficulty of the questions (granted, I have yet to play anything harder than ACF Fall) but the difference in what my teammates get compared to what they used to get.
That factor was the easiest part for me making the high school-college transition. I was a 20-25 ppg player by the end of my senior year of high school, but that was because I was the second or third best player on my team; the best player regularly did 80-100 ppg. In contrast, my freshmen year I led my team in every junior bird tournament or in Division 2. The existance of junior bird tournaments, which did not become prevalent until about 5-6 years ago, helped me ease into collegiate quizbowl.
Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2003 10:54 pm
greenstein, the specialization is the same exact thing you did at acf fall when you guys were hosting. that was basically your div 2 team, and you were riding your top player. so essentially the high school situation has reverted. that is one of the fallacies predicated by junior bird tournaments...
i imagine the same kind of thing happens to a lot of people...
Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2003 8:14 pm
Just as a side note on all of this, we had a recent practice, and one of the things we read was, I believe the final round from some ACF national tournament (somebody else will probably know which one). I think the final score after 20 questions with bonuses was 25-10.
The next level is just another level
Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2004 10:54 am
Well, I'm not sure about the difficulty in transition from HS to college being any different from any sport or situation with school. You do go from being a big fish in a little pond to being surrounding by fish presumably as good or even better than you in certain things. I do think that once one gets into college your priorities do change; qb doesn't become a nice thing to put on a college application (or scholarship application), but now it's a hobby. And there aren't that many people who want to do this sort of thing as a hobby, especially when there are things that more people can or want to do. There's also not as much "pride" in doing this for one's school since most colleges tend not to care about this sort of thing at all.
The other thing that I think is a positive is that in college you generally have more control over the organizational aspects without any perceived stop signs from advisors. Granted, that means you have more responsibility, which is a good skill to develop. On the other hand, it also means you fly without a safety net, and most people usually need one.
Another is the presence of trash tournaments. Lots of them.
But yes, maybe in high school you played like a superstar, but now you barely get a tossup or two a game because of your good teammates (hopefully) rather than how hard the questions are. In any case, that will happen, but you will get better with sustained dedication and interest in the game.
I don't completely agree that most high school greats fizz out... I admit many do and many will. Many dominant players I have seen play in high school and do carry their own in college, even if they don't wind up being a major force in the college circuit. But you don't have to be a high school blue-chipper to succeed in the college world. But if you do play in college, I think you'll better appreciate what the game is about. And if you love playing it as a hobby, you'll always enjoy watching or playing.
I suppose we can all go down the list of all-stars from various nationals and see what happened with them. I've been lucky enough to have had good dedicated people (HS all-stars or not) on my teams before, and suffice to say, we've done pretty well without going completely hardcore.
ater wrote:Another thing I've noticed is that there seems to be no middle ground in terms of philosophy of the game: i.e. the two choices are either be like Depauw (treat QB like glorified Trivial Pursuit and complain about having to put any time into the game) or Matt Weiner (expect everyone to be able to write a tournament on his own and seem unable to understand how any 18 year olds could be turned off by having to be around unwashed, autistic, middle-aged social misifits in order just to play the game).
Well, I think I'm somewhere in the middle ground though personally a bit by this characterization. QB certainly is a learning tool and opportunity to expose your intellect to other areas outside your specialty, to learn organizational and management skills, and to build on any communication skills that you might not otherwise get in a classroom setting. If you want to be hardcore, to me, everyone on the team must want to be hardcore. So far some teams have chosen that route, but the ones I have been involved with don't want to be so hardcore as that... and we've done fine with that. That said, I do believe that to get the most out of this experience (as with any college club), you have to learn how to play the game, to write questions, and to organize events before you leave. Not everyone I have had can do this or wants to, but I think those that took on that challenge really enjoyed the overall experience even if they didn't get a double-digit PPG.
Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2004 12:43 pm
I think that you could simplify this by saying that the situation is almost exactly the same as the one incoming high school freshmen meet, except that in the intervening four years their ego has grown pretty well. I don't think I feel as intimidated by college people as I did of high school people in middle school (although I was a gigantic pussy back then), so when you're dominated in something you were good at your larger ego doesn't really know what to do.
Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2004 5:23 pm
i've played three college tournaments so far...all div II or junior bird
i haven't seen the greats
Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 1:11 am
I'm sure I'll be fairly horrible for the first few years.
Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 10:34 pm
As a first year student coming from an extremely uncompetitive Quiz Bowl environment (New Hampshire) in which I was one of the top players into the highest level of intercollegiate competition (the University of Chicago), I think that the hubris of the average first-year player is greatly overestimated.
I, like all of my peers at Chicago, was appropriately and perhaps even overly humble, self-effacing, and insecure during the first several practices and to an extent I am still so.
I believe that most incoming freshmen who intend to play at the intercollegiate level know what they're getting into in terms of field strength and question difficulty and accept that they won't be the superstars that they were in high school.
Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 2:56 am
You'd be practicing with Yaphe and Subash though, so really you'd be something of an outlier. I have to say that Sam has been pretty impressive in all the tournaments he's attended, and Furman didn't have a program until this year (as far as I know). I'd be more curious about how many high school hot shots go on to play in college from this year, perhaps do a little study to take the top ten scorers at national tournaments this year and have them report back on college performances next year to provide some actual empirical data rather than random and semi-baseless assertions.
Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:26 pm
The study would be hard for two reasons:
1) The top ten senior scorers at any given national tournament are not the top ten senior players in the country. Some may be, but there are some that are at the top of the ppg lists because they are by far the best player on a mediocre team, not a very good player sharing the load with a very good team.
2) You would have to account for different types of tournaments first years attend (I scored about 10 ppg at ACF Fall but about 50 at a Stanford Junior Bird tournament) and the fields at each/teams they played on.
Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 7:41 pm
cvdwightw wrote:I scored about 10 ppg at ACF Fall but about 50 at a Stanford Junior Bird tournament
Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:16 pm
I'm guessing Dwight's dramatic PPG jump between ACF Fall and the Stanford JB is more due to differences in the fields and intrateam shadow (Charles Meigs didn't show up for the JB) than in the questions.
Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:23 am
The transition from HS to college is a hard one, especially for the quizbowler. I know when i made the switch, i had played in high school for two and a half years and had gone from getting about 1 question a round to about 5 questions per round and being the top scorer on my team in high school. When i got to college (UF) and went to college bowl practice there were about 5-10 freshmen, all of which were as good as me or a little better. Also there were these disgusting things called upperclassmen. They must have known everything and we all had to practice together. I think out of the 5 practices I went to, I got maybe 3 questions while playing with the upperclassmen. The one time we played with only freshmen, i got around 5, which made me feel a little better (3rd place among the newbies).
I stopped going for a number of reasons after that.
1. Practice was on wednesday night. every single club or organization on campus had meetings on wednesday night. I was involved in other clubs so I couldnt do quizbowl practice justice.
2. My weekends werent free as much as they were in high school. I played on a soccer team up at school that had games every weekend. I wasnt able to go to tournaments without missing other important things.
3. It was harder. It definately wasnt the same material that was in high school qb. It was obscure and studying lists werent going to help. It would have been a major undertaking to get myself back to the level I was just at in high school.
Looking back, I wish i would have stayed with it. What i didnt know was that the players that kept beating me to answers, they were tops in the country. I think UF was #3 that year and they went on to win NAQT nats a few years later with the same players.
Hopefully, I'm going back to grad school next year at UF. If I am up there, I'll play. I know i wont be the best, but it'll still be fun.
Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 11:03 pm
GT_Webb wrote:You'd be practicing with Yaphe and Subash though, so really you'd be something of an outlier. I have to say that Sam has been pretty impressive in all the tournaments he's attended, and Furman didn't have a program until this year (as far as I know). I'd be more curious about how many high school hot shots go on to play in college from this year, perhaps do a little study to take the top ten scorers at national tournaments this year and have them report back on college performances next year to provide some actual empirical data rather than random and semi-baseless assertions.
we had a team last year but i did not find out about it until the end of the year. they didn't really have a good year haha. we've done well so far this year but we haven't competed in a tournament that has had teams that could hand our ass to us...well you guys have a couple of times but we're catching back up :)
also, is registration still open for MLK? i couldn't find your email address so i figured this would be the best method to ask. if possible, we'd like to come and bring 1-2 teams...if not, see ya at sword bowl?
Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 4:01 pm
I have no idea where I fit in under Tom's scale of High School all-stars he's seen in college. But yeah, why does anyone who goes into the next level of competition in any activity sometimes fail, not just quizbowl? Why are there draft busts in any sport?
And yeah, there just are a whole lot more things to do in college than there was in high school.
I've played two tournaments so far, one was the UGA JB, and the other Weiner's AOB. I went from scoring 100+ ppg and winning at UGA JB to getting about 1-3 tossups per game at AOB, so I think question difficulty is the biggest factor.
Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:21 pm
Kevin Roth has not played very often in college and he has, indeed, won a scoring title. He finished first at the Elvis tournament a couple years ago.
But I do agree that there is a tough transition. I'll see how I do at the MLK next week, but I'm not expecting to have a spectacular performance.
Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2004 11:52 pm
so yeah i played some of the big boys today and got my ass ripped
Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 4:27 am
Having newly discovered the existence of this board, and of an active HS quizbowl circuit in general, I think I can address a few of the topics above.
1. Sorry for the 'ass-ripping,' Sam. That one was a team effort, it appears -- 3 from Josh Hill, 1 from Marcus, and 4 from Borglum, along with my 6. Nonetheless, I thought y'all and the other Div II teams played quite well. And every quizbowler has been utterly clobbered at some point. Personally, I enjoy it, at least if it's only an occasional thing -- I feel honored to have been clobbered by Tom Waters (once) or Subash (twice). It also provides impetus to get stronger, or at least it did for me.
2. It's important to note that there are very wide variations in difficulty in collegiate tournaments. Something like ACF Nationals will be at about the peak of difficulty, and it's NOT an accurate measure of "what college-level packets are like" -- I can play on even footing with any active player in the country who isn't named Subash or Kelly, and I've given up on ACF Nationals because it's simply too damn hard for me.
However, even invitationals vary widely in difficulty. For instance, Georgia Tech's MLK tournament was very accessible to less experienced teams, I'd say, despite being open to teams of any level. I'm willing to bet that Michigan's MLK tournament will be muchmuch harder, even though both are "invitationals." The upper midwest seems to be the core of the Difficult Packet Movement (the recent Illinois Open being another example). And in part that's in response to the level of teams in that region. In other regions, invitationals shouldn't be as difficult.
Thus, I think geography is one big factor in how well a player makes the transition to the college game. It's probably more gradual in (say) the Southeast, where there are easier invitationals like GT's tournament, Florida's Sunshine State Invitational next weekend, and a few others. In the upper midwest, even the "junior bird" questions can be pretty tough. Neither approach is necessarily better than the other in terms of making a good HS player into a good collegiate player, but it's worth recognizing that the situation is different in different regions.
Exceptions to the regional difference are the nationwide tournaments, like ACF Fall, the NAQT SCT, and ACF Regionals. In particular, ACF Fall should be very accessible to new collegiate players, at least to those who aren't dissuaded by the harder clues at the beginning of the tossups. Your competition might be tougher in Illinois, but at least the questions will be more accessible.
3. Just to address MCDoug's comments from about a week ago, UF is an example of a program which _can_ be difficult for incoming players to enter into. (Do forgive the terminal preposition.) We have many freshmen of varying levels, we have two different groups of pretty good undergrads who are a level or two above the freshmen, and then we have the A team players of varying degrees of grizzledness. We've tried to resolve the problem in the same manner that many schools do, which is having a separate practice (on Tuesday nights) exclusively for Div II players and an open practice (on Wednesday nights) for all players. The goal, of course, is to keep from discouraging new players while still giving We The Grizzled some semblance of a chance to stay sharp.
So whether or not your (collective your) individual program does that is another factor in how the HS player makes the transition. I think the best thing for new players in a strong program is to have both types of matches available; they should get practice playing other Div II players, but they should also get the experience of playing against the Div I players, because it's hard to make the proverbial leap otherwise.
Also, to address MCDoug's message specifically, UF has never won the NAQT ICT. The closest they've been was this year, when UF was probably the 4th- or 5th-best team (falling to 11th at the end because of a mistimed playoff defeat). But as strong as you (MCDoug, that is) might think the UF A players were, you should see the Chicago, Michigan, or Berkeley A teams in action. Frankly, the UF A team now is significantly stronger than the UF A team that pummeled you (MCDoug) into absence several years ago, since those guys have improved and since I arrived ... but now we are more selective in our pummelings. :) UF was a very close second at CBI Nationals this year, but they've never finished top-5 at the Div I ICT. And hopefully the "disgusting things called upperclassman" from your message are, on average, less disgusting now. Perhaps the mean disgustingness is lower but the standard deviation is higher.
4. In general, yes, the collegiate material is harder. A Polish pianist or Russian chemist can be any number of guys in a collegiate pack. How much harder it is depends on the tournament, as noted above. [Fill in well-reasoned explanation here.] But that's enough typing from me. Bye.
--Raj Dhuwalia, UF
Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 1:12 pm
Raj, thanks for correcting my mistakes. And that thing about Tuesday practice is very good to know :) I like to play and I like to help out, but I'm not the best. I think the majority (Jeremy just had to go to Stanford) of Martin County's team is planning on going to UF next year and are planning on playing there. So next year should be interesting... although i still have to get accepted to grad school.
We're looking forward to SSI this weekend and we're hoping it's not going to be too hard.
Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 8:11 pm
NotBhan wrote:1. Sorry for the 'ass-ripping,' Sam. That one was a team effort, it appears -- 3 from Josh Hill, 1 from Marcus, and 4 from Borglum, along with my 6. Nonetheless, I thought y'all and the other Div II teams played quite well. And every quizbowler has been utterly clobbered at some point. Personally, I enjoy it, at least if it's only an occasional thing -- I feel honored to have been clobbered by Tom Waters (once) or Subash (twice). It also provides impetus to get stronger, or at least it did for me.
hey no problem, although getting stomped is usually not the best thign in the world, i think it was really good for our team to see a team as good as you all. i was pretty happy that we were able to even score points haha
i'll know in a couple of hours whether or not we will be attending your tournament next weekend
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:42 pm
A few months ago my team, then about a month old, won the FACT CT-only tournament and someone was smart enough to challenge Yale's home team to an exhibition round (this wasn't just their JV team or whatever, it was mostly grad students). We got raped in a real bad way, like 550-30 (NAQT) or something. It was no mercy at all, but such is life.
Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 11:59 am
We've tried to resolve the problem in the same manner that many schools do, which is having a separate practice (on Tuesday nights) exclusively for Div II players and an open practice (on Wednesday nights) for all players. The goal, of course, is to keep from discouraging new players while still giving We The Grizzled some semblance of a chance to stay sharp.
yeah! :D that makes me very happy to hear, i was worried i would get discouraged by all you smart people.. i am looking forward to playing on the UF team next year..
Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:22 am
GT_Webb wrote:You'd be practicing with Yaphe and Subash though, so really you'd be something of an outlier.
Actually, Andrew Yaphe never comes to practice. When Subash comes he usually just reads questions for us or sits in the corner with a book and picks up the questions nobody else gets. Even when he actively plays he's very restrained and extremely charitable and polite to the less experienced players; his philosophy seems to be that practice isn't the time or place to power every tossup while the first years sit around uselessly. Ed Cohn could also dominate our practices but doesn't for the same reasons.
Practicing with these guys probably isn't too different than practicing with any other team of reasonable competence. I continue to maintain that the vast majority of us first-years know our place, and it's just a small fraction of high school seniors (which unfortunately seems to overlap largely with the fraction who post on these boards) who mistakenly think they can remain dominant at this level of competition.
Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:48 pm
Just to say when I hear the kind of questions you guys talk about knowing (especially in the literature area) I realize that I truly will be going into my freshman year of college quiz bowl at about the same relative level of competence that i came into my freshman year of high school quiz bowl. Same goes for all of us, except perhaps for really good high school players who go to colleges with bad quiz bowl programs.
One wierd thing I noticed when we read ACF nationals was that I think almost literally the only questions any of us got were obscure Jewish and Hindu religion questions, which the practicioners of said religions buzzed on pretty early in. But questions with answers like "the 3rd Mysore War" went out without any buzzes. Of course, I have the memory abilities of a senile old man (and yes, that does make me a lot worse at quiz bowl), so maybe I shouldn't be trusted to remember things.
Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 8:25 pm
Having witnessed a pretty good high school team play in a college division II tournament, I can say with pretty good confidence that good high schoolers will do fine in division II college tournaments. My kids took 3rd playing against college teams, mostly community college teams and a few college B or C teams. Feel free to correct me if i'm wrong, but i believe division I and division II used the same questions at SSI. My kids still managed to get a handful of questions on power. We have a good science person, a good art person, and a really good social studies person who actually did better in their areas on the college questions than they did in their areas with high school questions a few weeks earlier. I will admit that the literature and other stuff that was used is much more obscure than in high school. I had never heard of many of the authors and works.
Much like JV works in high school to ease the transition into quizbowl, novice and division II's help high schoolers transition into the college game. Obviously even the best high school players wont immediately go to the top ranks of the college game, partly because the college players have had many more years of experience. Also partly because of the wealth of information picked up in much more specific classes. For instance, instead of AP European History that the normal high school quizbowler would take, the college student has many different European history classes to choose from like "The Thirty Years War" or "Italian History."