How to make a team more mediocre?

New high school teams looking for advice should post here.
Post Reply
User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15320
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by AKKOLADE »

Hi everyone!

If you're reading this forum, you might have been wondering: how could I possibly keep my team from ever improving? Is there anything that I could do to ensure that I don't improve as a player? As a coach or volunteer, what should I do to make the game a miserable experience for everyone involved?

This is the thread for you!

I'll start off with some tips. Feel free to add them as you wish! After all, inhibiting the growth of the game is what we're all here for!

1) Don't study! Look, man, if this was, like, a game about knowing stuff, then you shouldn't have to try to get better at it because I obviously know everything I need to know, like how awesome Squall's Gun Blade was! Why do I have to worry about this Monet geek anyway?

2) Don't ask teams better than you what they do to get better! You don't want to be like those nerds, do you? Look at them, walking around like they learned something before they beat us by 400 points.

3) Don't write questions! Momma always said, "Don't try to learn how to do something when you could hypothetically be paid for it but only if you actually knew what you were doing, which you in fact don't know at this point."

4) Don't read old questions! I'm going to hear a bunch of questions on Saturday, this is just kind of double dipping!

5) Complain a lot when you lose! The fix was in!

6) When a good player is actually on your team, use that as an excuse to try not to improve! I'm pretty sure he/she's got this covered.
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

User avatar
Oh No You Didn't
Yuna
Posts: 776
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 10:03 am

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Oh No You Didn't »

Wouldn't it also be good to spend more time loitering on the forums to prevent that time from being used on something productive?
Andrew Wang
Illinois 2016

User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15320
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by AKKOLADE »

Only if Protobowl/Quizbowl Central are down (you know, for the trolling or the reflex buzzing on questions you've heard five times before).
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

User avatar
Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp!
Lulu
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:24 am
Location: Ohio

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! »

Firmly stick to the full-line switch at the half. Even taking out the player who answered 7 toss-ups in the 1st half. You must take that player out, he's answering too many questions.
Fountain of Youth? There's already enough youth. Why not the Fountain of Smart?

-John Timmer, Kent State '10, Jackson-Milton Quizbowl Coach ('08- )

User avatar
Beevor Feevor
Rikku
Posts: 331
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:03 am
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Contact:

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Beevor Feevor »

Brag about the quality of your team whenever you can. After all, intimidation and bluster may throw off your opponents! How are they going to know how good you actually are?
Eric Xu
Western Albemarle High School '15
University of Virginia '19

User avatar
Frater Taciturnus
Auron
Posts: 2463
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:26 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Frater Taciturnus »

Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! wrote:Firmly stick to the full-line switch at the half. Even taking out the player who answered 7 toss-ups in the 1st half. You must take that player out, he's answering too many questions.
Building on this, coaches should switch to as many possible combinations as possible over the course of the tournament, so you can get no real idea of who is doing well and no one has to play too many of these five page essay questions. Also, yell at your students every time they get a question wrong or it goes dead: making them feel stupid is the way to make them want to get smart.
George Berry
[email protected]
--------------
J. Sargeant Reynolds CC 2008, 2009, 2014
Virginia Commonwealth 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,
Douglas Freeman 2005, 2006, 2007

User avatar
Unicolored Jay
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 782
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:28 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Unicolored Jay »

How about just not even going to tournaments? They ain't worth the time; you're probably better off spending your Saturday doing other things.
Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! wrote:Firmly stick to the full-line switch at the half. Even taking out the player who answered 7 toss-ups in the 1st half. You must take that player out, he's answering too many questions.
I feel like I know a specific team you are describing here.
Jasper Lee
University of Tennessee
The Ohio State University '14
Solon High School '10

User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3733
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by dtaylor4 »

Alliance in the Alps wrote:
Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! wrote:Firmly stick to the full-line switch at the half. Even taking out the player who answered 7 toss-ups in the 1st half. You must take that player out, he's answering too many questions.
I feel like I know a specific team you are describing here.
You have clearly never been to many tournaments in Illinois. Among people I know, the record is 18 players in a single game of 5v5.

User avatar
Rufous-capped Thornbill
Tidus
Posts: 717
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:03 pm

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill »

dtaylor4 wrote:
Alliance in the Alps wrote:
Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! wrote:Firmly stick to the full-line switch at the half. Even taking out the player who answered 7 toss-ups in the 1st half. You must take that player out, he's answering too many questions.
I feel like I know a specific team you are describing here.
You have clearly never been to many tournaments in Illinois. Among people I know, the record is 18 players in a single game of 5v5.
http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournament ... etail/#t16
Jarret Greene
South Range '10 / Ohio State '13 / Vermont '17

User avatar
bmcke
Wakka
Posts: 237
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:47 pm

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by bmcke »

I am interested in making my team really, really mediocre, within a short period of time, rather than gradually building mediocrity through practice. Can anyone tell me how to do this?
Brendan McKendy
University of Ottawa 2011
Ontario QBA 2019

User avatar
Masked Canadian History Bandit
Rikku
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit »

bmcke wrote:I am interested in making my team really, really mediocre, within a short period of time, rather than gradually building mediocrity through practice. Can anyone tell me how to do this?
I heard of some really good practice material in Canada where you are. I think it was called "Reach for the Top"?
Patrick Liao
Lisgar Collegiate Institute 2011, University of Pennsylvania 2015, University of Toronto Faculty of Law 2019
President, Ontario Quizbowl Association (ONQBA)
Support the ONQBA on Facebook!

User avatar
Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant
Yuna
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:05 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant »

Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! wrote:Firmly stick to the full-line switch at the half. Even taking out the player who answered 7 toss-ups in the 1st half. You must take that player out, he's answering too many questions.
Not only will this greatly increase the mediocrity of your team, it has the added bonus of making your scorekeepers and statskeeper really angry.
Farrah Bilimoria
Formerly of Georgia Tech and Central High School (Macon)

User avatar
ProfessorIanDuncan
Wakka
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:37 pm

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by ProfessorIanDuncan »

:chip: :chip: :chip: :chip: :chip: :chip: :chip: :chip: :chip: :chip: :chip: :chip: :chip: :chip: :chip: :chip:

Best way to improve. No doubt.
Alec Vulfson
Irvington High School '13

User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3733
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by dtaylor4 »

Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant wrote:Not only will this greatly increase the mediocrity of your team, it has the added bonus of making your scorekeepers and statskeeper really angry.
What makes it even worse is when the scorekeepers neglect to accurately document the sub-a-palooza, which leads to the statkeeper occasionally throwing things across a room.

User avatar
Unicolored Jay
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 782
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:28 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Unicolored Jay »

Inkana7 wrote:
dtaylor4 wrote:
Alliance in the Alps wrote:
Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! wrote:Firmly stick to the full-line switch at the half. Even taking out the player who answered 7 toss-ups in the 1st half. You must take that player out, he's answering too many questions.
I feel like I know a specific team you are describing here.
You have clearly never been to many tournaments in Illinois. Among people I know, the record is 18 players in a single game of 5v5.
http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournament ... etail/#t16
That's only 17 players, Jarret!

EDIT: I was thinking of Canfield because I heard they did it too IIRC, but Poland Seminary is definitely one who makes a lot of substitutions.
Jasper Lee
University of Tennessee
The Ohio State University '14
Solon High School '10

User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3733
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by dtaylor4 »

Alliance in the Alps wrote:
Inkana7 wrote:
dtaylor4 wrote:
Alliance in the Alps wrote:
Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! wrote:Firmly stick to the full-line switch at the half. Even taking out the player who answered 7 toss-ups in the 1st half. You must take that player out, he's answering too many questions.
I feel like I know a specific team you are describing here.
You have clearly never been to many tournaments in Illinois. Among people I know, the record is 18 players in a single game of 5v5.
http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournament ... etail/#t16
That's only 17 players, Jarret!

EDIT: I was thinking of Canfield because I heard they did it too IIRC, but Poland Seminary is definitely one who makes a lot of substitutions.
To clarify, the record i was referring to was within one game. Over a tournament, I've seen a large number of middle school teams near that mark. Thankfully, restricting subs to only at halftime tends to curb that.

User avatar
Rufous-capped Thornbill
Tidus
Posts: 717
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:03 pm

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill »

Alliance in the Alps wrote:
Inkana7 wrote:
dtaylor4 wrote:
Alliance in the Alps wrote:
Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! wrote:Firmly stick to the full-line switch at the half. Even taking out the player who answered 7 toss-ups in the 1st half. You must take that player out, he's answering too many questions.
I feel like I know a specific team you are describing here.
You have clearly never been to many tournaments in Illinois. Among people I know, the record is 18 players in a single game of 5v5.
http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournament ... etail/#t16
That's only 17 players, Jarret!

EDIT: I was thinking of Canfield because I heard they did it too IIRC, but Poland Seminary is definitely one who makes a lot of substitutions.
Canfield will literally take the 4 players in for the first half and substitute them for 4 entirely different players for the second half, while Poland just plays a ton of people. So do most of the big Mahoning County teams, especially for JV.
Jarret Greene
South Range '10 / Ohio State '13 / Vermont '17

User avatar
Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp!
Lulu
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:24 am
Location: Ohio

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Adm Akbar says It's a Tarp! »

Aye, Jasper I was thinking about Canfield. Even when they had one of the top players in the county, like a few years ago...the coach would insist on subbing everyone out. In general, as Jarret said, most of the larger schools in the league have a ton of people. Having depth is good, but having a captainless bunch of bodies without anyone becoming a dominant player, because there is little motivation to improve when you'll still be subbed out? I don't understand.

This will probably be more baffling. For some background, at the end of the season, the 16 teams in the league play a double-elim tournament in March, and top 3 qualify for HSNCT. The dominant opinion seems to be guaranteeing 5 games to everyone at this tournament is entirely too much quiz bowl. I mean, once you lose twice can't you just go home? I know we paid for x-number of packets, so it's not like there is a shortage, but why play 3 additional rounds if you lost the first 2?
dtaylor4 wrote:You have clearly never been to many tournaments in Illinois. Among people I know, the record is 18 players in a single game of 5v5.
Well now, If you want to be more mediocre, you simply can't register multiple teams in a tournament.
Fountain of Youth? There's already enough youth. Why not the Fountain of Smart?

-John Timmer, Kent State '10, Jackson-Milton Quizbowl Coach ('08- )

User avatar
Euler's Constant
Lulu
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Euler's Constant »

Watching Indiana quiz bowl for the last four years I found playing JV 16 players in a game on :chip: questions to be especially conductive to mediocrity.
Nicholas Wawrykow
Saint Joseph('s) High School (IN) '13
Yale '17

User avatar
Emil Nolde
Wakka
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:54 am
Location: Illinois

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Emil Nolde »

Legit here, iirc Auburn and us simultaneously line switched during the IHSA 3rd place game last year, once their win was mathematically certain. Does anyone else know of matches where that's happened? Not exactly sure why our coaches made that decision, but whatever.
Fred wrote: 1) Don't study! Look, man, if this was, like, a game about knowing stuff, then you shouldn't have to try to get better at it because I obviously know everything I need to know, like how awesome Squall's Gun Blade was! Why do I have to worry about this Monet geek anyway?
HEY IT'S ONE WORD DO IT RIGHT
*departs to write common link tossup on 'griever' using clues from Final Fantasy VIII and U.S. Olympic swimming*
James Zetterman
Carbondale Community High School '15
SIU Carbondale '19 or thereabouts

Keep your expectations low.

User avatar
Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin
Wakka
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:51 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: How to make a team more mediocre?

Post by Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin »

Only buzz on bonuses. Cheat. Take easier classes (or just drop out of high school). If a player wants to go to a tournament, ostracize them. Deprive them from funding. At last resort, just prohibit them from doing anything (thinking, reading, etc).
Rohan Nag
Vanderbilt '17 | MLK '13

Post Reply