Outreach Advice Wanted

Anything that's on topic but doesn't fit elsewhere, including related events that might be of interest to quizbowl players.
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It's Drew
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Outreach Advice Wanted

Post by It's Drew » Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:01 am

I'm sure that in all the time these fora have been around this subject has to have come up before, but I must not be good enough at searching them to find it. Basically, the Purdue Quiz Bowl team wants to do outreach in the state of Indiana and, as a person who's been devoting a lot of his own time this past semester to sort of meandering toward that goal, I would like to hear advice on all fronts from people who have done outreach in the past.

If it helps, here was my perceived plan of attack: I've been looking at information about schools contained on the Indiana High School Athletic Association's website and visiting schools' webpages to find contact information. I've also been writing up a comprehensive word document which, ideally, should easily introduce people who have never even heard of quiz bowl. The basic idea was just to email the administrations of those schools, introduce myself and the Purdue Quiz Bowl team, and attach that document for the recipient to read if interested.

Here is the document in its current form (with some formatting issues, because I've copied and pasted it from Word). Feedback on the content of the document, advice about the method of approach, and any other comments are all appreciated. Thank you!
It's Drew (Benner)
Avon High School 2013-17
Former Avon Quiz Bowl President
Purdue University 2017-21
Purdue Quiz Bowl Vice President and Weird Outreach Guy

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i never see pigeons in wheeling
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Re: Outreach Advice Wanted

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling » Tue Dec 25, 2018 3:11 am

You're doing the right thing by having an initial introduction through email about what quiz bowl is about (the elevator pitch) and attaching a separate longer document for interested administrators to peruse.
It's Drew wrote: While it may look at first glance like a game of no more value than bar trivia, quiz bowl is in fact designed to be a rewarding and enriching experience.
This quote from your document--while I certainly understand the motivations behind it--is no bueno. You do not want to introduce doubts where they do not exist beforehand. The people who already come in with doubts along the lines of academic value relative to bar trivia and Trivial Pursuit should be swayed by your strong vigorous language about the academic value of the game; maybe give specific examples of academic topics from other fields you yourself have been exposed to as an engineering major in Purdue who plays quiz bowl. Anecdotes can be good and compelling, particularly if you are able to give archetypal examples of the science nerd discovering fiction or the theater kid uncovering a passion for astronomy, something not taught in a standard curriculum. Perhaps post that NAQT Ken Jennings video talking about quiz bowl's value. Your quote smacks way too much of an MLM leading their recruitment pitch with "this is not a pyramid scheme!"
It's Drew wrote: The game appeals naturally to people who may not usually be very sociable, and can be a good way to help these people make friends and become more confident.
While not a false assertion, this is not the sort of impression you want to give in an outreach email. Avoid generalizations about our community.

Don't use jargon like "canon" and "pyramidality" without defining them through examples. I know you used it in the context of Super Bowl, but th is will just confuse anyone who encounters the notion of the "quiz bowl canon" later on (say, if they browse HSQB). The GPQB website run by Chris Chiego has good examples of briefly explaining pyramidality's superiority to speedcheck and non-pyramidal formats.

Link directly to the SCOP Novice packets in your intro instead of just talking about packets with "novice" in their name. The highest set with the word "novice" in its title is FONS III. If you've kept up with some of the community's talk about the quality of sets, you should be aware that FONS is double-plus ungood, particularly for introducing new players to the wonders of pyramidal qb.
Ankit
Cal '16
Bellarmine College Preparatory '12

MahoningQuizBowler
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Re: Outreach Advice Wanted

Post by MahoningQuizBowler » Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:43 pm

My experience with Indiana is limited, but I'm going to assume that there are many schools that would qualify as small like there are in Ohio. The most success I've had in Ohio is to reference the teams that have been able to get to SSNCT and, even in their first appearances there, had success. Then, outline how to get to that point, including attending a tournament at Purdue assuming that you will run one or more in the future. (If you happen to find some schools in the Fort Wayne area, I run an event literally just over the border in Hicksville, OH each fall.)

The nice thing about doing outreach in a state like yours is that, even if you only get 1 positive response in 10/20/30/however many, that team has the chance to become among the best in the state -- even within the same school year -- if they work hard, learn things, and apply what they've learned at tournaments that value that work. Though the circumstances may be different, look at what Plano West did at HSNCT.

Speaking of small schools, two Ottawa Hills alumni returned to help staff the Toledo mirror of the Ohio trash event and attend Purdue. If they aren't already members of the club, they should be.
Greg Bossick
Executive Director, Ohio Academic Competition (2013-2016)
Director, Mahoning Quizbowl League (2004-2011, 2013-present)

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It's Drew
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Re: Outreach Advice Wanted

Post by It's Drew » Tue Dec 25, 2018 3:21 pm

MahoningQuizBowler wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:43 pm
(If you happen to find some schools in the Fort Wayne area, I run an event literally just over the border in Hicksville, OH each fall.)
Oh, I didn't think about that, but yeah, I should encourage schools to attend events outside Indiana as well. What's the name of your event? I'll include it in the document.
MahoningQuizBowler wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:43 pm
Speaking of small schools, two Ottawa Hills alumni returned to help staff the Toledo mirror of the Ohio trash event and attend Purdue. If they aren't already members of the club, they should be.
Adit is a member, though he's too busy to regularly attend. He's the only club member I know of from Ohio.

Also, thank you for your advice, Ankit! I'll edit the document accordingly.
It's Drew (Benner)
Avon High School 2013-17
Former Avon Quiz Bowl President
Purdue University 2017-21
Purdue Quiz Bowl Vice President and Weird Outreach Guy

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Deviant Insider
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Re: Outreach Advice Wanted

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:27 pm

Let me know if I can help.

A list of Illinois tournaments is here. Homewood-Flossmoor, Champaign, and Mattoon are easy to get to from northwest, west, and west Indiana, respectively.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)

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Atlashill
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Re: Outreach Advice Wanted

Post by Atlashill » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:07 pm

I read your primer and thought you did a decent job with it. While we're a more established circuit in Missouri, I've thought about the need to also reach out to administrators and/or activities directors to connect with programs we haven't had any response from.

I've had the privilege of having a team from Indiana (Culver Academies) attend a tournament I've run in Northeast Missouri. With St Louis not too terribly far away (to wit, West Lafayette is ten miles closer than is Joplin), any teams that sprout from a strong circuit along the Wabash could make use of an occasional trip west to tournaments hosted by WashU and others. I'll bring this to the attention of my cohorts, if they haven't seen this thread already. I'm hopeful they might also have some advice.
Kyle Hill—Liberty (Mo.) '03—Truman State '07
Moderator for hire based in Sedalia, Mo.

MahoningQuizBowler
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Re: Outreach Advice Wanted

Post by MahoningQuizBowler » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:57 pm

It's simply the Hicksville Invitational. This was the fourth year running, we drew 24 teams which was the max I wanted. We had two schools from Michigan come down.

A little further (one county) into the state is Pettisville -- I'll be running Petti Warz 2 on March 2 using IS-181.
Greg Bossick
Executive Director, Ohio Academic Competition (2013-2016)
Director, Mahoning Quizbowl League (2004-2011, 2013-present)

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