Moving Away From The "Long Island" Quiz Bowl Team Stereotype

New high school teams looking for advice should post here.
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MWYang
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Moving Away From The "Long Island" Quiz Bowl Team Stereotype

Post by MWYang »

I saw WSchneider's post here: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=11702#p220234
which only gave me further motivation to expand the number of tournaments I and my team attend throughout the year. Although I've been playing quiz bowl since 8th grade, I am a "newbie" captain, so to speak, and I would like to get some advice from this community of much more experienced quiz bowl players on traveling to compete. The primary issue for my club is that we don't have enough money to really attend any tournaments beyond LIFT and HHH. We have one big fundraiser every year, in which we host a quiz bowl tournament and get students, teachers, and parents to sign up teams. We make barely enough for us to send 4 teams to the aforementioned tournaments each year.

Aside from money, I'm also not entirely sure which tournaments to attend. Everybody in the club really enjoys the tournaments that we do go to, even if we don't win anything, and I want to have more of such events during the year. That said, although having fun is the top priority, having a challenge is good, and at the same time, the level of difficulty shouldn't be ridiculous.

I'm really looking forward to seeing any replies, and any help would be appreciated. This is such a great community of like-minded people, and hopefully, I'll see more of you in person in the future!
Michael Yang
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Re: Moving Away From The "Long Island" Quiz Bowl Team Stereotype

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

If I remember correctly, the HHH tournament is remarkably expensive for remarkably few games. Dropping that tournament may allow you to attend one or two other tournaments that are cheaper and give you more rounds for your Saturday. I'm not from your region, so I'll let them tell you what those other tournaments should be :) Best of luck!
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Re: Moving Away From The "Long Island" Quiz Bowl Team Stereotype

Post by Matt Weiner »

For $15 per player and some parent/whomever willing to drive you there, you can play most tournaments in your area. Unless this is particularly burdensome for anyone on your team, it's far preferable to skipping tournaments until your club budget is shored up.
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Re: Moving Away From The "Long Island" Quiz Bowl Team Stereotype

Post by Rompimientos del Centauro »

Hunter High School (in New York City, which seems to be a bit more than a half hour drive away) has a mirror of Fall Novice, a tournament aimed at newer teams, at the end of October - the announcement can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11809#p221542

Various other tournaments hosted in the New York/New Jersey area are listed in this thread as well:
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=11517

I'm sure others can contribute more about working with a limited budget and what tournaments to attend. Hunter has managed to get by with some funding from the school administration, occasional parent donations, and having coaches and parents drive to tournaments.

Hope this helps; good luck to you and your team!
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Re: Moving Away From The "Long Island" Quiz Bowl Team Stereotype

Post by Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill »

Your team is doing Regional Quiz Bowl, right? KP is very likely dropping RQB from its program next year due to its awful questions, its bizarre format that discourages answering questions at all during the last quarter, and an e-mail that Will (WSchneider) could possibly forward you if you would like to read it. It'll save you $150 if you drop it, which is enough to send 2-3 teams to an actually good tournament like Hunter's FNT mirror. I'd also be a little hesitant with registering so many teams for the Hills West tournament, since last year wasn't run anywhere near as smoothly as usual.
I agree with Will that you're one of the more promising teams on Long Island, and would love to see you guys more active in good quiz bowl.
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Re: Moving Away From The "Long Island" Quiz Bowl Team Stereotype

Post by WSchneider »

Bone seeker wrote:If I remember correctly, the HHH tournament is remarkably expensive for remarkably few games. Dropping that tournament may allow you to attend one or two other tournaments that are cheaper and give you more rounds for your Saturday. I'm not from your region, so I'll let them tell you what those other tournaments should be :) Best of luck!
This is really a split of hairs... Hills is not disproportionately expensive. It's more expensive sure, but not by an amount that robs teams of other chances to play. I also think that for a tournament of its size it's relatively well-run... If I were VSS, I wouldn't necessarily design my season around this tournament however, and would instead look into bringing "the whole team" to something less expensive, instead opting for say 3 teams to the more expensive-but-traditional tournament.
Matt Weiner wrote:For $15 per player and some parent/whomever willing to drive you there, you can play most tournaments in your area. Unless this is particularly burdensome for anyone on your team, it's far preferable to skipping tournaments until your club budget is shored up.
I second this. VSS has a (traditionally) large club, so bringing the E team to a tournament is likely not feasible with this plan, but grabbing one parent to bring VSS A out to Prison Bowl is certainly something within reason.
Production of Watchmen wrote:Your team is doing Regional Quiz Bowl, right? KP is very likely dropping RQB from its program next year due to its awful questions, its bizarre format that discourages answering questions at all during the last quarter, and an e-mail that Will (WSchneider) could possibly forward you if you would like to read it. It'll save you $150 if you drop it, which is enough to send 2-3 teams to an actually good tournament.....
Okay, so RE an email Mike sent me, VSS hosts RQB, so for this year in particular dropping it is not an option... To my best knowledge, host schools play free, but don't quote me on that, that might just be a rumor. My advice as an alternative to not playing is to definitely not sweat RQB as any legitimate indicator of the skill of your team or the game of quizbowl.

My letter to the woman who runs RQB, and also writes all the questions, was deleted do to a small foul-up on my part (I accidentally wiped one flashdrive thinking it was another). It was basically worded like this:

"I'd like to address with you the nature of the game of Regional Quiz Bowl, and how it compares to traditional Quiz Bowl.... I, and many other teams, find that the questions used in RQB lack the elements that questions in traditional 20/20 quiz bowl allow for competitive, fair, and enjoyable games." Yadda yadda yadda, there's nothing wrong with your questions but "pyramidal questions, as are the norm, not only provide an opportunity for players who know more to get more points (which is, as I understand, one of the facets of quiz bowl), but also allow players fair distinction and separation between question and answer. Several questions in the RQB packets cannot be answered until the last word of the 30+ word question. Several other questions lead players one way, but then ask something entirely unrelated. On paper, those questions are fine, as they allow players a chance to catch the trick, but in live competition it's entirely unfair to encourage players to play a certain way, ('Buzz in when you know it') and then deny them the chance to get a question right. Problems like these are easy to fix, and resolving them would certainly increase the value of play of RQB, but when they sit unresolved, teams that are competitive on a regional and national level wind up discouraged, turned off of an easy opportunity to play"

That's a paraphrase to the best of my memory. Her response was something akin to "Well, the game is the way I design it. Teams elect to play in this tournament and they expect what they expect. I don't want to change anything about the questions, I can find no fault in them."
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Re: Moving Away From The "Long Island" Quiz Bowl Team Stereotype

Post by LucasBrown »

WSchneider wrote:"I'd like to address with you the nature of the game of Regional Quiz Bowl, and how it compares to traditional Quiz Bowl.... I, and many other teams, find that the questions used in RQB lack the elements that questions in traditional 20/20 quiz bowl allow for competitive, fair, and enjoyable games." Yadda yadda yadda, there's nothing wrong with your questions but "pyramidal questions, as are the norm, not only provide an opportunity for players who know more to get more points (which is, as I understand, one of the facets of quiz bowl), but also allow players fair distinction and separation between question and answer. Several questions in the RQB packets cannot be answered until the last word of the 30+ word question. Several other questions lead players one way, but then ask something entirely unrelated. On paper, those questions are fine, as they allow players a chance to catch the trick, but in live competition it's entirely unfair to encourage players to play a certain way, ('Buzz in when you know it') and then deny them the chance to get a question right. Problems like these are easy to fix, and resolving them would certainly increase the value of play of RQB, but when they sit unresolved, teams that are competitive on a regional and national level wind up discouraged, turned off of an easy opportunity to play"

That's a paraphrase to the best of my memory. Her response was something akin to "Well, the game is the way I design it. Teams elect to play in this tournament and they expect what they expect. I don't want to change anything about the questions, I can find no fault in them."
As a point of commiseration, I'd like to note that there's a very similar situation in the opposite corner of the country--San Diego County's Academic League uses one-clue tossups that get recycled every two or three years. For the good teams, it's a bunch of baby-seal-clubbing for most of the regular season and buzzer-racing against the area's good teams (Torrey Pines, Rancho Bernardo, La Jolla, Canyon Crest, Westview -- notably the only teams that do "real" quizbowl) in the playoffs at the end. Several of the area's quizbowlers (most notably Zhao Zhang and Chris Chiego) have been trying to get the league authorities to use better questions and format and have gotten similar responses.

Production of Watchmen wrote:... its bizarre format that discourages answering questions at all during the last quarter ...
This sounds potentially hilarious. Care to elaborate?
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Re: Moving Away From The "Long Island" Quiz Bowl Team Stereotype

Post by Golran »

In 4th quarter it's the same tossup style as 1st quarter (those 1-2 liners) that have scoring of +5 correct, -5 incorrect even after question is finished, and question goes dead after 1 incorrect response.
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Re: Moving Away From The "Long Island" Quiz Bowl Team Stereotype

Post by o'b »

This is really a split of hairs... Hills is not disproportionately expensive.

You're kidding right? The HHHW tournament is $90 a team. Even the Harvard Fall Tournament, one of the more expensive non-National high school tournaments, is only $70 a team.

On a more practical note, other local tournaments (i.e., within 90 minutes driving distance) such as Kellenberg's LIFT, Kings Park's tournament-whose-name-escapes-me, and even tournaments at Bergen, St. Joseph's, and Seton Hall Prep cost $60 a team, at most. The latter set also tend to allow discounts for readers as well as buzzers, as oppose to HHHW only giving buzzer discounts. These also give more prelim games and (not sure about Kings Park) also give consolation brackets at the end, so any team could end up playing about 10-12 games, even with a shaky performance in the morning. Half Hollow Hills guarantees five games, then less than half the teams can play another a total of six, less than a quarter can play a total of seven, and so on, with only the top two teams of a field which could potentially be 90 teams having the slightest chance of playing 10 games.

Moreover, they justified their prices last year with claims of being "well-run" and "needing to have 200 students staff the event with chaperons to watch them." This didn't stop them from having a 1 hour long break between the first two games and I personally didn't see the need to have five scorekeepers in my room for round 8. And, you could comment about how many teams dropped out on account of warnings of inclement weather, but I know that Bro. Nigel, for instance, has an Excel spreadsheet on how to re-bracket any sized tournament field, should there be a sudden change in size. So HHHW is far from inexpensive and well-run.
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Re: Moving Away From The "Long Island" Quiz Bowl Team Stereotype

Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

Golran wrote:In 4th quarter it's the same tossup style as 1st quarter (those 1-2 liners) that have scoring of +5 correct, -5 incorrect even after question is finished, and question goes dead after 1 incorrect response.
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