Tournaments for a relatively new team

New high school teams looking for advice should post here.
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TSIAJ
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Tournaments for a relatively new team

Post by TSIAJ »

Hi everyone,

I will be a freshman next year, and I'm becoming increasingly serious about quiz bowl. Naturally, I would like to go to more tournaments, but it seems that we don't go over 2-3 a year. This'll probably be higher in high school, and there will be much more competition.

What are your opinions on tournament frequency, difficulty, and travel distance? The only out-of-state tournament we have competed in was the 2013 Edmonson County Wildcat Challenge in Kentucky, which was our first major one.

Our middle school A team is quite good in our state, but we still need much improvement.
Here's a breakdown of our strengths and overall level in order of position in team:

Me (captain):

-Music all-around(renaissance/baroque/classical/romantic/contemporary, and theory)
-Economics with a strong point in left-leaning theories, decent in more free-market topics as well
-Political science (good all-around, specializing in post-WW2 U.S. foreign policy, Mao-era politics, post-Bolshevik and the Stalin-era)
-Eastern European and Asian history
-Literature (Medieval lays and eddic poems, Kirkegaard, Nietzsche, Chinese literature, Russian literature, German literature, "classic novels")
-Psychology, especially Jungian archetypes and Freudian psychoanaysis
-Art (modern and surrealist, some impressionist)
-Math (everything up to late Pre-calculus and Calculus)
-Misc. factoids that pop up in tossups

M (for anonymity in case they do not want their names here):

-Chemistry all-around, strong in physical and organic chemistry
-Biology, especially in evolutionary and environmental
-Introductory physics
-Poetic works, some minor literature
-Art (classical art, some 17-19th century, and impressionist)

J1:

-U.S. history all-around
-Religion (especially Christianity and Biblical characters)
-Mythology (strong point in Norse, Greek and Roman
-Astronomy all-around

J2:

-U.S. history all-around
-U.S. geography all-around
-World geography all-around
-European history all-around

We all started last year, and really, I'm the only serious player. "M" is quite good as well, but they do not study on a regular basis. They all make for very good players in a team-setting, although less-excellent as individuals.
We don't have too many tournament opportunities here in the middle-Tennessee area, and not everyone has the commitment to drive out-of-of-state or too far in state on a regular basis.

Again, my question to you all is, "How many tournaments should a team of our caliber compete in, and how far can a tournament be before the distance to benefit ratio becomes too high?"

Thank you,
Shawn Zheng
Shawn Zheng
Central Magnet '18
"This scherzo is a joke."
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gimmedatguudsuccrose
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Re: Tournaments for a relatively new team

Post by gimmedatguudsuccrose »

Personally, I would say that the 'ratio' of distance to benefit is not a particularly important one; the decision of whether to travel to a certain tournament is primarily dependent on your level of motivation.

As for tournaments, there are some great ones in TN; Charlie hosts 2 per year at UTC (I believe your school has attended some of these before) and there are several in Nashville and Memphis. However, TN is (unfortunately) quite an isolated circuit, so I would suggest perusing the forums for additional tournaments in KY, GA, and AL, all of which host tournaments on a more frequent basis than TN does.

Judging by your list of strengths and seeing that you are only and 8th grader (!), I strongly encourage you to attend as many tournaments as you can, and when you can't, continue studying; by senior year, you may be the best in the state!

Best of luck!
χ Smith
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Chicago '19
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Oh No You Didn't
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Re: Tournaments for a relatively new team

Post by Oh No You Didn't »

I mean I assume you'll find tournaments enjoyable so you should go to as many that are logistically/financially feasible?
Andrew Wang
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TSIAJ
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Re: Tournaments for a relatively new team

Post by TSIAJ »

karlsmith223 wrote:Personally, I would say that the 'ratio' of distance to benefit is not a particularly important one; the decision of whether to travel to a certain tournament is primarily dependent on your level of motivation.

As for tournaments, there are some great ones in TN; Charlie hosts 2 per year at UTC (I believe your school has attended some of these before) and there are several in Nashville and Memphis. However, TN is (unfortunately) quite an isolated circuit, so I would suggest perusing the forums for additional tournaments in KY, GA, and AL, all of which host tournaments on a more frequent basis than TN does.

Judging by your list of strengths and seeing that you are only and 8th grader (!), I strongly encourage you to attend as many tournaments as you can, and when you can't, continue studying; by senior year, you may be the best in the state!

Best of luck!
I agree, but the main problem I have is motivating people to travel and study. Hopefully, I will persuade my coach to register us for some Kentucky and Georgia tournaments, but I'll also have to muster some commitment from my team-members, as one of our top players has commitment to chess as well, and he has missed quiz bowl tournaments in the past because of it.

Our middle school played at UTC as our first tournament, and I think we played you guys the first round, losing about 450-10 if I remember correctly.
Last edited by TSIAJ on Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Shawn Zheng
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"This scherzo is a joke."
johntait1
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Re: Tournaments for a relatively new team

Post by johntait1 »

Well there was a tournament recently at Vanderbilt that was quite close to your school on February 22nd, not sure if you went to that one. If not, I'd reccomend going to the next one at Vanderbilt on April 19th. There's also a few other tournaments in Middle Tennessee each year so there's probably around 4-5 tournaments each year you could attend that are within an hour of driving. Then maybe attend 2-3 that are farther away and that should be a good amount a practice, maybe even more if you're really serious about quizbowl and have plenty of time.
Also, I'd highly reccomend going to the Tennessee History Bowl State Championships on March 15th at Gallatin High School http://www.historybowl.com/regionalsite ... pionships/, since it seems like your team has many players that would be able to contribute from the subjects you listed that each player is covering, and the tournament is pretty close to your school. Also there's a JV only division so you and your teammates will be facing players with a skill level that relatively close to you, and there will be many experienced players in varsity that you could ask for advice since they are much more acquainted with the Middle Tennessee circuit that I am.
Hope to see you at History Bowl State as me and my JV teammates will be going!
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Re: Tournaments for a relatively new team

Post by AKKOLADE »

Just play as many tournaments as you can. If you can and need to, get parents to drive you. If you're that good at the middle school level, hesitating about finding the right high school tournament to play isn't really necessary, since most sets are reasonable for good teams.
Fred Morlan
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International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
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TSIAJ
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Re: Tournaments for a relatively new team

Post by TSIAJ »

johntait1 wrote:Well there was a tournament recently at Vanderbilt that was quite close to your school on February 22nd, not sure if you went to that one. If not, I'd reccomend going to the next one at Vanderbilt on April 19th. There's also a few other tournaments in Middle Tennessee each year so there's probably around 4-5 tournaments each year you could attend that are within an hour of driving. Then maybe attend 2-3 that are farther away and that should be a good amount a practice, maybe even more if you're really serious about quizbowl and have plenty of time.
Also, I'd highly reccomend going to the Tennessee History Bowl State Championships on March 15th at Gallatin High School http://www.historybowl.com/regionalsite ... pionships/, since it seems like your team has many players that would be able to contribute from the subjects you listed that each player is covering, and the tournament is pretty close to your school. Also there's a JV only division so you and your teammates will be facing players with a skill level that relatively close to you, and there will be many experienced players in varsity that you could ask for advice since they are much more acquainted with the Middle Tennessee circuit that I am.
Hope to see you at History Bowl State as me and my JV teammates will be going!
Thanks for the information!

Hopefully our team can go, but I'll have to talk to my coach first. I also have conflicts that day, but I'd rather go to this!
I look forward to playing Farragut!
Shawn Zheng
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"This scherzo is a joke."
johntait1
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Re: Tournaments for a relatively new team

Post by johntait1 »

Yeah having conflicts is quite annoying, our team also has been shorthanded at times because of chess and stuff like that so maybe try to have a backup for categories covered by those players? Just an idea that I've tried this year after we lost several close games last year because we were short a player. Also you guys are really lucky that you have started in Middle School, since the extra experience and study time really helps; I spent most of freshman year learning the basics and the canon and stuff like that(still working on some basics in fact as a sophomore). Lastly have you guys considered MSNCT by any chance http://www.naqt.com/ms/msnct/ ? It seems like it'd be a good way to see how good you are against the best in the nation, although the cost might be a bit high.
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TSIAJ
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Re: Tournaments for a relatively new team

Post by TSIAJ »

We will most likely be going, but I will have to confirm with my coach. Are you going to HSNCT this year?
Shawn Zheng
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"This scherzo is a joke."
johntait1
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Re: Tournaments for a relatively new team

Post by johntait1 »

Unfortunately I will not be going to HSNCT since I'm already going to History Bowl Nationals and PACE, and three national tournaments is pretty costly for a player who is honestly not that good. I know that our school does have a team signed up though so there will be people from Farragut going.
Joshua Rutsky
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Re: Tournaments for a relatively new team

Post by Joshua Rutsky »

Hoover High (Birmingham, AL) is about 2.5 hours from Nashville, TN and 3 hours from Chattanooga or Memphis. We host an annual tournament in October, the Hoover Invitational, that offers large discounts for out-of-state travel, plus JV, Varsity, and Novice pools for teams to play. We usually draw teams from TN, KY, GA, MS, and occasionally FL as well as many from in-state. We encourage any interested team in the southeast to contact us; we can almost always work out something regarding payment, since we would always rather have more teams than fewer.

We regularly drive to TN and GA for tournaments. Your coach needs to begin next year by making it clear to parents that this is part of being on a quiz bowl team, and that they may be expected to help drive on at least one occasion each year. I haven't hit a lot of resistance on that.
Joshua Rutsky
President, Alabama Scholastic Competition Association
Hoover HS Coach, 2007-2019
Member of the Qwiz Team!
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