Recruiting during COVID

A place to discuss topics affecting quizbowlers as a community rather than quizbowl as a game.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:17 pm

Recruiting during COVID

Post by ganman0305 »

Hey friends, I hope everyone and their families, friends and QB teams are holding up safe and healthy right now. As the beginning of the fall semester nears for many universities, I'm concerned about the upcoming recruiting opportunities for quiz bowl teams. From an Iowa perspective, last year the size of our club tripled from people we met at organization fairs, events, and other social media postings at the beginning of the year. With the limit on in person events if not complete ban faced by many schools, I'd love to open up this chat for discussion about how teams can recruit from incoming freshman, new players, and keep club members active online.

One thing we're doing at Iowa is reaching out to big social media accounts run by the University to see if they'll post something as simple as one story highlighting our club and giving basic contact info. I'd love to hear if anyone has come up with some better ideas though!
Ganon Evans
Francis Howell High School '18
University of Iowa '21
User avatar
Perturbed Secretary Bird
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:34 am

Re: Recruiting during COVID

Post by Perturbed Secretary Bird »

I'm not sure how this would work especially at a college level, but I love Em Gunter's practice (detailed in the thread about hs recruitment) of doing personalized invitation letters. Perhaps instead of having teachers give your team names of nerds, you could have some sort of publicity email to give to, say, resident assistants/dorm leaders that they could pass along? Maybe we can capitalize on the "there's nothing to do so i might as well zoom and answer trivia questions" feel.

ETA: any approach that relies on people to identify "nerds" will fall into danger of biases about what "nerds" or "person who would enjoy quizbowl" look like and therefore probably won't help any pushes for diversity. maybe to compensate reach out to affinity organizations like gender minorities in stem groups, historically Black frats and sororities, etc.
Athena Kern
Washington University in St. Louis, MSW '19-'21
University of Chicago Class of '18, Team VP '15-'17
P. L. Dunbar '14
User avatar
Posts: 6835
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Recruiting during COVID

Post by Cheynem »

As my friend Bing Crosby said, I think we should accentuate the positive. There's no doubt this is a really rough, chaotic time, and that online quizbowl isn't as good as in person quizbowl. But there are some advantages--I can think of a couple:

1. The biggest is lack of travel. Someone having to give up a whole weekend to go play a tournament (travel on Friday night, maybe not leave until Sunday morning) might look more kindly at simply getting up at normal time to play a tournament that starts around ten on Saturday and finishes in the early evening (or whatever). They can play it in their home most likely. Lack of travel and lack of sunk costs in time are attractive. While some casual players may not find online tournaments attractive, I'm sure others might look at it in the same way as spending a day playing some video games.

2. This also allows for potentially a lot more flexibility for practicing as well. How many times have you, the club leader, been stymied in getting a reliable room or location to practice? Furthermore, finding a time that works for everyone? Obviously, time crunches might still be a deal, but at least the factor of "I'm not on campus at that time" or "I don't want to leave my apartment to go all the way to campus" shouldn't be an issue. You could even schedule a wider variety of practice dates and times.

One factor that has bitten me a few times is lack of reliable Internet in your place of residence. This would obviously be a huge deal for potential college players. Think about, within reason (and in accordance with your local public health guidelines), how you can get around this. Could a couple players go over to someone's house or apartment that has good Internet for practice or tournaments? I would think, again provided you're acting reasonably and there's not super concern about community spread, that this might be acceptable. As a club leader, be vigilant about this--take the initiative in trying to find options for people who lack Internet or who don't like the isolation of online play.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger
Post Reply