MAST (NJ hs trash) discussion

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MAST (NJ hs trash) discussion

Post by ChathamNJ »

Hello Watson,
As a self-appointed representative of "the NJ circuit", may I ask if you have any other dates available? MAST is planning to host a house-written trash tournament on April 4, and they've already done the legwork - inquiries via the Yahoo group before deciding to do this, and invitations went out a few days ago. Obviously there's a difference between an academic tournament and a trash tournament, and there are plenty of schools in the state, and if you're only advertising here then the likely crossover between your fields might not be too big, BUT there are few enough tournaments in our neck of the woods and plenty of Saturdays. Would you please see if you can find another date?

All other Saturdays in April are currently open, as is May 2. Colonia is hosting May 9, and we (Chatham) are hosting on May 16 (thread to be started by me tomorrow).

Thanks,
SF
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by AKKOLADE »

Shouldn't academic quiz bowl for high schools, you know, take priority?
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Ondes Martenot »

Wait...why is MAST holding a trash tournament? Trash tournaments in high school sounds like a really bad idea...

By the way, Watson do you have any specifics on the tournament, like what questions you'll be using? (You may want to consider HSAPQ, but that's my personal opinion)

From my count this is the third tournament BCA is attempting. Let's see if the third time is the charm
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Sir Thopas »

aarcoh wrote:Wait...why is MAST holding a trash tournament? Trash tournaments in high school sounds like a really bad idea...
In Jeopardy format, no less.
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Ondes Martenot »

In Jeopardy format, no less.
Are the questions being written by :chip: and company?
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by TheCzarMan »

aarcoh wrote:
In Jeopardy format, no less.
Are the questions being written by :chip: and company?
Apparently house written.

And I really do not see the need for an academic tournament to change the date due to a jeopardy trash tournament.
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by ChathamNJ »

It appears my plea has run afoul of the more active posters on this board. Fair enough, I lurk here most of the time and know what the prevailing opinions are.

I'm not Mr. Stoye of MAST, but here are some possible reasons they might be hosting a trash tournament:
- it'll be a good fundraiser?
- there was sufficient interest expressed after initial feelers were put out?
- the question-writing talents of the team members would more likely result in success if they did trash rather than academic?
- many teams had rave reviews of the afternoon trash rounds at the last two Chatham tournaments and commented that "someone should do a whole tournament of this stuff, it's great!"
- it fits well with the view held by several (though not all) advisor/coaches in the area, that Academic Team is a great club for smart kids who like to compete about who knows more stuff

I understand that the Jeopardy format is looked down upon by many on this board including Guy in this thread and others, and I won't attempt to tell you you're wrong. I wrote a post last year or so in the NY/NJ thread outlining the pluses (interesting - I wrote that word as "plusses" and spell-check nabbed it) and minuses of that format and there were no replies - I will link to it at some point in the near future so those from outside the area can understand why it exists here.

As for Fred's comment about academic tournaments receiving priority - it sounds to me like a sarcastic snappy response, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt and respond in earnest: I agree completely. All else being equal, academic tournaments should receive priority over trash - and I'd bet that Mr. Stoye would agree with me. What I'm saying is that all else is not equal. There are plenty of available dates this spring. There's no need to compete with another in-state event. There aren't many active coaches in the area, but most of us communicate with each other, bouncing ideas, checking dates. We try not to step on each other's toes. Mr. Zinsmeister of SHP is going as far as offering steep discounts to any team that attends both NJ State Championships (on 3/21) and the Livingston tournament (on 3/28) because we all want to encourage more participation, and some teams indicated reluctance to go out on consecutive Saturdays. Livingston claimed the date first, SHP wanted to host states but the only date they had available was 3/21, and Mr. Zinsmeister took Livingston's "dibs" on late March seriously.

No one is saying Bergen can't host a tournament on 4/4. What I am doing is asking if another date is available so that both tournaments can take place.
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Captain Sinico »

ChathamNJ wrote:...All else being equal, academic tournaments should receive priority over trash - and I'd bet that Mr. Stoye would agree with me. What I'm saying is that all else is not equal. There are plenty of available dates this spring.
Doesn't that logic have to cut both ways? Can't whoever move their funannounced trash tournament?

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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Ondes Martenot »

it'll be a good fundraiser?
Perhaps, I'm not really sure. I'm sure an academic would be just as good, if not better since more teams would show up (I know if I was still running things at Bergen I would never go to a trash tournament, but that's a personal opinion) Also, schools fund their teams to go to quiz bowl tournament because they are academic, like chess club or debate. Will they really want to fund teams to spend a day answering questions on Monty Python and Star Trek?
there was sufficient interest expressed after initial feelers were put out?
I find that hard to believe, and again, and can't imagine schools will want to fund a team to go to a trash tournament
the question-writing talents of the team members would more likely result in success if they did trash rather than academic?
I mean, if you don't feel comfortable writing a regular tossups, you could write an academic, jeopardy style tournament. When done right, a jeopardy style tournament can be alright (although the one I witnessed at Leonia was atrocious)
many teams had rave reviews of the afternoon trash rounds at the last two Chatham tournaments and commented that "someone should do a whole tournament of this stuff, it's great!"
I mean, running a trash tournament after you've had a regular tournament seems alright. I mean, it's a nice, fun thing to do after you've done the legitimate academic rounds. Running a whole tournament on trash is quite a different story.
it fits well with the view held by several (though not all) advisor/coaches in the area, that Academic Team is a great club for smart kids who like to compete about who knows more stuff
Yes, it is called Academic team specifically because the focus is on academic subjects, not on Hannah Montana. People join quiz bowl because they enjoy learning about academic subjects.

In short, I strongly disapprove of a team holding an all trash event, especially in a state where there are so few regular tournaments and so few teams who compete on a regular basis. I can only hope that it does not become the norm for high schools to start holding trash tournaments, because it just seems like a bad road for quiz bowl.
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

aarcoh wrote:
the question-writing talents of the team members would more likely result in success if they did trash rather than academic?
I mean, if you don't feel comfortable writing a regular tossups, you could write an academic, jeopardy style tournament. When done right, a jeopardy style tournament can be alright (although the one I witnessed at Leonia was atrocious)
Still other options include: writing good questions if you can, and mirroring good questions if you can't, and not writing bad questions at all.
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Yeah, there's plenty of decent sets out there between HSAPQ and NAQT.
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by ChathamNJ »

Did everyone here read my first post in the thread? I think several people are jumping on individual points (which are conjectures on my part) to denounce the very idea of high school trash, while ignoring the main point I was attempting to make - that when possible, it is desirable to avoid conflict with events held by other teams in the area, and if it was possible for Watson to look into other dates, I was requesting that he see what's available.

I went so far as to say,
ChathamNJ wrote:Obviously there's a difference between an academic tournament and a trash tournament, and there are plenty of schools in the state, and if you're only advertising here then the likely crossover between your fields might not be too big, BUT there are few enough tournaments in our neck of the woods and plenty of Saturdays. Would you please see if you can find another date?
Different teams have different motivations. Perhaps BOAT is intended for only the hardest-core teams around, in which case there's no conflict at all. Teams who feel there's no reason for trash won't go to MAST, and teams who desire a variety of experiences without being intensely competitive may choose otherwise. It is up to schools to decide where their money goes, and the taxpayers in that district will have their say as to whether they approve or not - perhaps the teams that go to a trash event will have their students pay for the registration fee. There are lots of maybes involved here, and I'm not going to presume to know what's right for everyone.

To be fair, Watson has not been a part of this discussion after the OP, nor has any staff member from BCA. So I don't know what has been done on that end. I was attempting to make a request, not a demand, and that request is still open. Criticism of my request has come from third parties - that doesn't make them invalid at all, I'm just stating that for the record. This isn't Fineman vs. Ladd, as a matter of fact it isn't Fineman vs. anybody. I'm trying to ask if Watson and BCA would extend the courtesy to Mr. Stoye of seeing if it's possible to avoid a date conflict. (Please don't consider this an accusation that Watson has been discourteous, he has not.) If that's not possible, fine. If it is possible but Watson and BCA have decided that 4/4 works best for them, also fine. Teams will choose what they will choose, based on their mission, their interest, and their resources (both time and money). Many individuals here have strong opinions of what the correct choice would be, and that's fine too.

There is a network (via Yahoo group and also individual emails and Saturday chats over bagels) of NJ coaches who have hosted events. We get along pretty well and support one another when we can. Aaron can correct me if I'm wrong, but in the past couple years, Bergen has been mostly student-run and parent-chaperoned, so they've not been a part of this faculty network. That's not a bad thing, but what I'm trying to do here is extend communication to include this new Bergen tournament. Looking back, my choice to do that in public was probably not wise, but that cat is no longer in the bag. (Did someone say CAT? That's the acronym for our upcoming tournament - how about that!)
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Matt Weiner »

ChathamNJ wrote:Did everyone here read my first post in the thread? I think several people are jumping on individual points (which are conjectures on my part) to denounce the very idea of high school trash
...as they should...
while ignoring the main point I was attempting to make - that when possible, it is desirable to avoid conflict with events held by other teams in the area, and if it was possible for Watson to look into other dates, I was requesting that he see what's available.
The normal procedure in every collegiate and high school circuit that I've ever heard of, save Missouri, is to use a simple first-come-first-served system; whoever announces their tournament first gets the date, and no one has the right to compete with them. I can't believe it's once again necessary to say this, but if you don't announce your tournament in public, then you have not, in any meaningful sense, announced it at all. Mentioning that you might be holding a tournament on a private e-mail list or "over bagels" to a group of people that notably does not include the other schools who might be hosting a tournament on that date does not count as announcing it in public. Bergen announced their tournament first; MAST's tournament is, as far as I can see, still not announced at all (again, telling a few random people about it, and, as you explicitly noted, not telling Bergen about it, doesn't count.)
Perhaps BOAT is intended for only the hardest-core teams around, in which case there's no conflict at all.
This is the sort of comment that infuriates people (and rightly turns them against the idea of things like high school trash). All you know is that this "BOAT" is going to be some sort of high school quizbowl tournament on academic questions. You don't know anything about the difficulty or format. If there is someone who is not "hardcore" enough to play, given only that information, then is that person actually interested in playing quizbowl at all? Isn't playing academic tournaments what quizbowl teams do?
There are lots of maybes involved here, and I'm not going to presume to know what's right for everyone.
Why stop now?
I'm trying to ask if Watson and BCA would extend the courtesy to Mr. Stoye of seeing if it's possible to avoid a date conflict.
And everyone else is trying to explain to you how quizbowl works, which is that we avoid date conflicts (and engage in courtesy) by announcing our tournaments in public, not by waiting until somebody else has claimed the date and then retroactively pretending you had it first. I also think it's rather "discourteous" to maintain a private e-mail list or old boys' club of team representatives that excludes one of the more active teams in your state (because you don't like the role they give to student leaders, or for any other reason). To have such a thing at all is questionable; to expect people whom you have excluded from it to abide by information posted on it is absurd.

In summary: they got the date first. The other people should move their tournament, and should reconsider the wisdom of high school trash tournaments while they are at it.
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by ChathamNJ »

Matt Weiner wrote:I also think it's rather "discourteous" to maintain a private e-mail list or old boys' club of team representatives that excludes one of the more active teams in your state (because you don't like the role they give to student leaders, or for any other reason). To have such a thing at all is questionable; to expect people whom you have excluded from it to abide by information posted on it is absurd.
I'll respond to some of the other points in the future, but this one should be relatively straightforward.

There is no private e-mail list or old boys' club. New Jersey teams, save a few, have not been traditionally active on this board -- just look at the NY/NJ threads for evidence. When I entered the activity three years ago, all communication was done by mass mailings (both snail- and e-). I started the Yahoo group (an attempt to centralize communications) by inviting everyone who appeared on any of the email lists I could find. I have sent out "Reply All" invitations several times to try to broaden the participation, and I have advertised the group to all teams that entered our tournament at Chatham.

I have approved every single membership request that has come to the group, and posts do not require approval.

Members of the Yahoo group include the following email addresses:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Three of these are current or former students who handled communications for their team; one is (or was) a faculty member at Bergen County Academies. I don't think it's fair to imply that I've been exclusive.

While I'm at it, here's an invitation for everyone: groups.yahoo.com/group/njacademiccoaches
All I ask is that you identify yourself as a real person so I can approve you.

I think that all of my comments in this thread have been in good faith, and I've used words like "maybe" and "perhaps" more times than I can count. Perhaps Matt and others could adopt a similar approach in commenting on my statements?
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Matt Weiner »

ChathamNJ wrote: I don't think it's fair to imply that I've been exclusive.
The relevant point is that you know for a fact that Bergen is not on this list (source: you saying so in an above post) so they could not have heard about this trash tournament. As I said, expecting them to know about a tournament that was announced solely to an e-mail list they are not on is completely ridiculous, whether the reason they are not on the e-mail list is intentional, or "any other reason" (source: what I actually said above) such as them not yet signing up for the list.
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

ChathamNJ wrote: I think that all of my comments in this thread have been in good faith, and I've used words like "maybe" and "perhaps" more times than I can count. Perhaps Matt and others could adopt a similar approach in commenting on my statements?
Much as I often find myself regretting it personally, "maybe" and "perhaps" aren't magic words that allow you to make a point without being responsible for its implications. Even though you probably said "perhaps" in the vicinity of these points, I have to assume that you do, in fact, believe that Bergen should just give way for a tournament that they haven't been told about yet, even though they've already announced theirs. (And you believe that it's reasonable that a tournament that takes kids' Saturdays and teaches them about Mewelde Moore deserves equal standing with a tournament that teaches about real, academic subjects. And you think that if you can't write good academic questions, you should give up and write bad questions that aren't academic.)
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by ChathamNJ »

Matt Weiner wrote: The relevant point is that you know for a fact that Bergen is not on this list (source: you saying so in an above post) so they could not have heard about this trash tournament.
Agreed. That's why I responded to Watson's OP by mentioning this tournament and seeing if it was possible to investigate other dates.
Matt Weiner wrote: As I said, expecting them to know about a tournament that was announced solely to an e-mail list they are not on is completely ridiculous, whether the reason they are not on the e-mail list is intentional, or "any other reason" (source: what I actually said above) such as them not yet signing up for the list.
I did not expect Bergen to know about MAST's tournament, so I hope that means I'm not being completely ridiculous.
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by SHP Pirate »

The date was made public. The misconception about a "good-old-boys" network is simply that ... a misconception. My concern with BOAT is the track record of Bergen. (Not with any individual team member.) Last year's event was cancelled. (We, SHP, ran the event instead.) This year, the team showed-up at SKIT without having registered. I have recieved a request to hold two spots at the NJ State Championship but have not yet received any registration. As a rule of thumb, I will only accept tournament registrations from coaches. (I have been burned too many times in the past.) There is no denying that, this year, Bergen is both the most active and best team in NJ. However, I do not feel that this site is the ONLY forum for posting tournament announcements. A large e-mail was sent to numerous coaches regarding the trash event. If Bergen wishes to go ahead with BOAT ... fine. However, in the future, perhaps ALL NJ teams will look a bit harder at dates before announcing tournaments.

By the by ... some of my kids want to play at BOAT while others want to play the trash tournament. We will probably go to both.
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by jonpin »

I am standing next to Watson; this post is on behalf of both of us. None of the email addresses listed in the above post still have any connection to the BCA quizbowl team (the faculty member left the school). As a result, no one in BCAQB was aware of the board, and we had not heard about this tournament until just now. We realized that in order to host a tournament this semester, we would need to claim a date fairly soon. No dates in March were available either due to other previously-posted tournaments, or schedule conflicts here, so we checked with administration and determined April 4 was available. The following two Saturdays are not available because of our April break, and we do not know at this time if April 25 or May 2 is available.
We do have support from the administration for a tournament on April 4. We will discuss this at our practice this afternoon, and we will determine if either of those two dates are available, but we cannot guarantee such. Once we work out the details between us and MAST, we will announce the question set and registration fees, etc.

In order to prevent future occurrences of such a situation, I have joined the NJAC yahoo group (pending approval). When my time at BCA is over, I will ensure that future coaches are aware of that board. (BTW, is there a reason that messages cannot be viewed by non-members?)
SHP Pirate wrote:I have recieved a request to hold two spots at the NJ State Championship but have not yet received any registration. As a rule of thumb, I will only accept tournament registrations from coaches. (I have been burned too many times in the past.)
Last week was our February break. The form has been filled out and will be sent by our coach after practice today.
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by SHP Pirate »

Great to hear! When at Phillipsburg a few weeks ago, several of the coaches and I encouraged teams to utilize hsquizbowl.org. A number of them told me that they had never heard of the site. Perhaps we, as the NJ coaches, can convince everyone to post on this site. Unfortunately, there are NUMEROUS teams who only go to one or two tournaments a year and, as a result, are unaware of this site.

I look forward to receiving your registration. Once I have a few more in, I will update the tournament announcement and post specifics as to format/etc.

We will see you (and MAST) on April 4.

- MTZ
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Ondes Martenot »

I mean, maybe it wasn't the case a couple of years but any kind of announcement should be on hsquizbowl. If you want to use a mailing list, that's fine but it should also be on this site for teams not on the list or new teams in general. I will also agree with Mr. Z. that Bergen has had a flaky track record this year, from I what hear, due to organizational problems (or lack thereof). I know in the past we've attempted to run two tournaments (or maybe more?) and each time had to cancel. I can say one was due to our lack of organization, but the second time I can personally say that I ran things with an iron fist but even that was not enough to break the shield of incompetence wielded by our administration, who told us the money would be better spent buying $600 chairs for our new wing. So part of it was not our fault, although I can understand why teams would be a bit skeptical.

My main point is a little different. Why is a high school team, in a state so deprived of good quiz bowl, running a trash tournament in jeopardy. Am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea? I remember in my junior year Rutgers scheduled a tournament on the same day as a Millburn tournament and coaches were annoyed, and rightfully so, since they were both an academic tournament. In a state as small as NJ, it is just common courtesy not to host two academic tournaments on the same day. However, I don't feel the same holds true for a trash tournament. I mean, you can have random people from some school who enjoy watching Simpsons and playing Magic go and do well at this tournament. When you sign up for quiz bowl, it implies you will be playing in a largely academic environment. I can only imagine last year asking my administration for money to go to a tournament on pop culture and being laughed out of the room. Claiming an academic tournament shouldn't take the date of a trash tournament (especially when that date has been announced too well) implies that academic and trash events go hand in hand, when in fact, they do not.
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Clarification

Post by gstoye »

As the Academic Team Advisor at MAST, let me minimally clarify my position, since the board has chosen to discuss an event that our school is hosting.

Perhaps you noticed that I did not post an announcement here. Why not? Because it doesn't really fit the "quiz bowl" genre. I sent emails to those schools that I have had contact with at other similar events, whose teams seem to enjoy competing in Jeopardy-style events. I posted it on the Yahoo NJ Coaches Discussion Forum to get to other schools whose email address I did not have but whom I thought might be interested.

I could not possibly have been trying to take a weekend away from anyone because at the time that I sent our announcements there were no other tournaments announced. In fact, I had been in contact with other coaches to make sure that our plans did not interfere with theirs. Other weekends would have been much better choices, but this was really the only one from early March through June that had nothing local and that I could reasonably expect to get our team to be able to support.

Since I usually end up reading most of the daily postings on this board, I will at some point actually read ALL of the comments, but quite frankly I don't really see why anyone is bothered by what one school does that is in no way related to the discussions going on here.

This will be my only post regarding this. Anyone wishing to discuss this any further can email me privately.
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Captain Sinico »

ChathamNJ wrote:It is up to schools to decide where their money goes, and the taxpayers in that district will have their say as to whether they approve or not - perhaps the teams that go to a trash event will have their students pay for the registration fee.
Doesn't that logic have to cut both ways? You can't say "Well, laissez faire, quiz-ballers! But don't claim this trash tournament's date..." I concede that you can share some of my principles but not others, so you might say "Hosting high school trash tournaments is a-okay, while claiming another team's date, even if not really claimed publicly by that other team, is not," without contradicting yourself, necessarily. However, the principle you're espousing here is manifestly contradictory to the other points you're making.
ChathamNJ wrote:Criticism of my request has come from third parties - that doesn't make them invalid at all, I'm just stating that for the record.
Doesn't the logic of whatever you're trying to say here have to cut both ways? As far as anyone can tell, you are yourself a third party to this issue, your only credential being 'self-appointed representative of "the NJ circuit."' So, if you are just stating for the record that we're all third parties, then I'll state for the record that so, too, are you a third party; if, on the other hand, you're making some point, then it stands just as much against you as against anyone else (excepting the Bergen people, who are actual parties to this issue.)
Also, as a self-appointed representative of "the national circuit" I request that you note that YOUR ARE WRONG. Basically what Matt said up-thread is dead on (I'll leave to one side the quibbling about what terms characterize your mailing list or whatever it is; it's indubitably not public and therefore at least somewhat exclusive, which is enough for my purposes.) If whatever host can't be bothered to extend other teams the courtesy of announcing to them (which is ipso facto announcing publicly) when their tournaments are, then they (much less you) have no right to request that a team move their tournament. If you want to try to arbitrate something independent of the rights in this matter (which, you must grant, are at very least unclear,) that's fine; going to someone else's announcement, unilaterally decreeing yourself authority, and making requests that you have no right to make on behalf of people whom you don't represent is hardly the way to find a workable solution to this or, really, anything (ever.)

MaS
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Captain Sinico »

SHP Pirate wrote:The date was made public.
Then how is it that nobody here excepting those on this non-public list or group (or whatever this is) knew about it? How is it that one person from that groups here concedes that Bergen (by your own admonition the best and most active program in your state!) shouldn't reasonably have been expected to know about the date*, which is really the point, regardless of how you define "public." That is to say, it is incumbent on a tournament host to establish a reasonable expectation that other nearby teams will know of a date claim; otherwise, nobody has any right to request that a team move a tournament on that host's behalf.

MaS

*
ChathamNJ wrote:I did not expect Bergen to know about MAST's tournament...
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Re: Clarification

Post by Captain Sinico »

gstoye wrote:I could not possibly have been trying to take a weekend away from anyone because at the time that I sent our announcements there were no other tournaments announced.
Hi Coach,
I don't think anyone is accusing you of taking anyone else's date (at least, I'm certainly not!) The issue is that some people claiming to represent you (more or less) have accused other people (Bergen) of taking your date, in spite of not knowing about your tournament, and are requesting that those people move their tournament. It sounds like you're okay either way which, I must say, sounds eminently reasonable, given that the event you're running isn't much like the proposed other event on the same date.

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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by ChathamNJ »

Oy vey. There's too much here for me to reply point-by-point without devoting more time than I wish, so I will make a few general comments, then retire from the thread. If individuals wish to interpret that as me "losing the argument" or making invalid points I suppose that's your interpretation, but really I'm tired of this and I'm apparently unable to convince people of my original (benign) intentions.

- I'm not telling anyone to do anything. Bergen scheduled a tournament on the same day as a tangentially-related event that might present a potential conflict for some of the teams in the area, so I decided to inform them of this and see if it was possible to investigate the feasibility of finding a date that would maximize attendance at Bergen without harming MAST. The organizers at Bergen replied as quickly as they could and explained their circumstances; thank you very much Mr. Pinyan and Watson - I really do appreciate you looking into this.

- I am indeed a third party to this discussion. I have tried to be up-front about this from the very start. FYI, I will be attending neither tournament as it's the beginning weekend of our Spring Break and I have travel requirements that I cannot change due to Real Life Obligations. I will tell my students about both of these events, and if they wish to get there on their own with parent chaperones, they will have my blessing (but probably not club money, as it's basically all been allocated).

- I guess I'm too much of an ENTP (or sometimes INTP, actually I'm split down the middle on the first dimension) to be effective in internet discussions. I thought this place would be more my style but evidently I was wrong, so I will go back to my previous practice of advertising CAT, reading the updates, and staying the heck away from the "Reply" button.

- When someone (I think Aaron) asked why on earth would anyone have a trash tournament, I gave several possible reasons. I used the word "might" (in italics) and "possible", then I included question marks to indicate my uncertainty. I was not saying those reasons were either valid or invalid, but answering a question about what MAST's motivation might be. Is neutral speculation verboten here? Is it impossible to muse about the reasons for something without adopting a position for or against those reasons?

- There is no centralized form of communication among New Jersey coaches. It would be wonderful if this site developed into one, but it's just not there yet. I don't think it is right to demand that any single forum be accepted - certainly on the national level this site is The Source, but as there is no formal organization for our activity in NJ (and I think everyone here is happy about that), there's also no authority to force anyone to post anywhere.

- People really like to put words in my mouth. Let me try:
Watson: Hey everybody come to our tournament.
Me: Hey Watson, there's another event running the same day - it's different in style and probably won't be a big conflict but if it's possible, do you think you could see if you could try another day?
Others: HOW COULD YOU EXPECT BERGEN TO KNOW ABOUT THIS WHEN YOU DIDN'T TELL THEM? TRASH ARE WRONG. DON'T TELL BERGEN WHAT TO DO.
Me: I didn't expect Bergen to know, that's why I was telling them now... Maybe this is why they want to do trash, I don't know... I'm not telling Bergen what to do, just asking if they might have another option...
Others: The points you're making are still wrong.

I feel I've said all I can say on this - if anyone has questions, please contact me off-board at sfinemanATchathamHYPHENnjDOTorg.

Mods - may I request that most of these be moved to the NY/NJ thread, or perhaps a different thread in the Regional or Theory forums? This stopped being about BOAT a long time ago.

EDIT: I see that the posts were moved while I was typing this message. Would you please move this one too? Thanks -SF
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Re: BOAT(New Jersey Area)

Post by Captain Sinico »

ChathamNJ wrote:...If individuals wish to interpret that as me "losing the argument" or making invalid points I suppose that's your interpretation, but really I'm tired of this and I'm apparently unable to convince people of my original (benign) intentions.
I don't reject your what I see as your intentions; you're attempting to resolve a date conflict resulting from a non-transparent claims mechanism so that more people can play quizbowl. Fine. I do reject your unilateral appointment of yourself arbiter of this matter and your succeeding decision that the optimal resolution is Bergen's moving their tournament. That that is the optimal resolution is far from obvious; that you have no authority in this matter is conversely fairly clear. It therefore seems, at very least, presumptuous on your part to make that request.
But let me address your deeper point, a point you make again with
ChathamNJ wrote:I guess I'm too much of an ENTP (or sometimes INTP, actually I'm split down the middle on the first dimension) to be effective in internet discussions. I thought this place would be more my style but evidently I was wrong...
Isn't it possible that you're simply wrong about this matter (of how these teams ought to resolve this date conflict) and that's why people disagree with you? I came to this discussion in consideration of the possibility that I might be... It seems fairly pointless to discuss this (or any other!) matter if you're not willing to question your own position. So, don't leave; stay, be open to criticism (I'll do the same) and we'll figure this out.
ChathamNJ wrote:I'm not telling anyone to do anything...
This is a quibble over mere terms. You "requested" (your words) on behalf of "the NJ circuit" (your words!) that Bergen move their tournament; call that what you want. To claim that your intent was merely to inform Bergen of the conflict is patently inaccurate. Conversely, it is clear that you believe it's right and for the best that Bergen move their tournament. The problem is that your opinion matters, so, when you state that (as you have) it has a meaningful impact.
So, while you're not (and can't) hold the proverbial gun to their proverbial heads, you can and have made a request. In doing so, you've implicitly stated what you think is right (i.e. that Bergen accommodate the trash tournament and not the converse) and that is what I disagree with you about+.
ChathamNJ wrote:I am indeed a third party to this discussion. I have tried to be up-front about this from the very start.
That may be, however, it's far from clear to me how you can claim to have been acting as an up-front and unabashed third party when you said
ChathamNJ wrote:Criticism of my request has come from third parties - that doesn't make them invalid at all, I'm just stating that for the record.
and
ChathamNJ wrote:As a self-appointed representative of "the NJ circuit"...
(as you did.)
Perhaps I've just misunderstood or read too much in to these statements. However, you are evidently taking umbrage at my making more or less the exact same statement as the first one there. So, okay: we're almost all third parties and nobody who is has ever claimed to be anything else. If you hold your statement as an innocuous truism, then you must hold my statement in the same light.

MaS

*
ChathamNJ wrote:FYI, I will be attending neither tournament as it's the beginning weekend of our Spring Break and I have travel requirements that I cannot change due to Real Life Obligations. I will tell my students about both of these events, and if they wish to get there on their own with parent chaperones, they will have my blessing (but probably not club money, as it's basically all been allocated).
+Note that I am not here necessarily saying that the right thing is for the trash tournament to yield (though I do believe that's probably right.) I am merely saying that the resolution is unclear and should be reached carefully by negotiation among people with stakes in the matter.
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Re: MAST (NJ hs trash) discussion

Post by TheCzarMan »

I do not doubt Mr. Fineman's statement of coming into this discussion with benign intentions. I will however, reply with a couple of points, one minor and one major.

First, Gene Stoye reads these boards, knows about these boards, and has posted in these boards. He most definitely could have posted about this tournament in the Trash forum of the Collegiate Discussion. I will concede however that he could easily view this tournament as outside the realm of announcing on the high school section of these boards.

Second, and this is an issue Aaron brought up that I agree with completely, is the apparent blind eye turned to the fact that by asking Bergen to move their date for a Jeopardy Trash HS tournament, you effectively have endorsed a trash tournament over an academic one. While trash on it's own is not inherently bad, when whole tournaments are devoted to it on the high school level, in a state that by QB standards is rather sparse, backwards, and behind others, is unequivocally wrong and unethical in my sense. While I by no means want to or mean to accuse Mr. Stoye and MAST, running and creating a Trash tournament that will be written by high schoolers IN STEAD of writing for an academic tournament, that you are directly marketing to high school teams, is not good. Not only are you asking for teams to allocate funds to a tournament like this, you're making it the main event rather than something on the side. Chatham's Playoff Trash rounds for knocked out teams is fine, because it is after the fact of an academic tournament and is nothing but a side event. Most trash tournaments at the COLLEGIATE level are side events not intended as the main attraction. However, you're billing MAST's tournament as a legitimate, stand alone Saturday tournament. What this begins to do and encourages is the idea of MORE sole Trash events on the circuit, which in the state of New Jersey is such an incredibly bad idea I can not begin to expound how terrible it is. I do not want to even fathom the thought of trash capture at the High School level, which I already had joked about due to comments from my team earlier this year. Yet, then to see an actual tournament spring up that encourages this? I'm in an incredible sadness at the idea of where NJ quizbowl may be headed.
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Re: MAST (NJ hs trash) discussion

Post by dxdtdemon »

I guess they would be headed towards the level of Ohio quizbowl, where trash tournaments have become popular enough to have mirrors.

EDIT: There is only one trash tournament, and I believe it's tied into an academic one. Also, there are many tournaments in Ohio that run on NAQT/HSAPQ questions.

SECOND EDIT: I made this remark in jest. I just don't like using emoticons, so I hope that no one took this too seriously.
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Re: MAST (NJ hs trash) discussion

Post by sjhsquizbowl »

I really don't believe that anyone has grounds for attacking BCA for hosting a real academic tournament, wherein teams can actually claimed to accomplish something if they win. Trash tournaments are well and good, but they're just trash tournaments and taking them seriously enough to attack another school for holding a real tournament is kind of missing the point of quiz bowl, in my honest opinion.

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Re: MAST (NJ hs trash) discussion

Post by Howard »

As someone whose team likes to attend and does, from time to time attend trash tournaments, perhaps there'll be some benefit to hearing my point of view (regardless of who wanted the date first).

I would consider taking my team to a trash event in New Jersey for the following reasons:
-- even though it'll likely be 3 hours or so away, we could do it without an overnight stay
-- the team does enjoy playing in trash tournaments
-- trash tournaments provide practice in the same skills used in academic competitions.

However, we aren't likely to attend this particular trash tournament because there's an academic competition within close proximity to the trash tournament. If I can enter my team in a tournament which will give them practice in skills as well as help them gain useful academic knowledge, I'm willing to go to much greater lengths to do that. I'd rather take a two hour trip to play in the academic tournament than a one hour trip to play in a trash tournament. So, even if we were local, I still wouldn't be considering this tournament because I could easily attend Bergen's academic tournament.

In our specific case, there are three academic tournaments scheduled on the date in question, April 4, which compete in travel time to this trash tournament-- one in Rappahannock County, VA, one in State College, PA, and the Bergen tournament.

In the case of the members of the board, I doubt few are anti-trash. However, we're entering dangerous territory when we encourage students or others to choose between trash and academic tournaments. There's little reason these two can't peaceably coexist and be run at times so as to not conflict with each other. Communication, communication, communication.
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Re: MAST (NJ hs trash) discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Howard wrote:In the case of the members of the board, I doubt few are anti-trash. However, we're entering dangerous territory when we encourage students or others to choose between trash and academic tournaments. There's little reason these two can't peaceably coexist and be run at times so as to not conflict with each other. Communication, communication, communication.
Well, I don't know. High school programs have finite resources, and so just because a trash tournament takes a weekend that was otherwise unclaimed, we can't assume that teams aren't still choosing between attending that event and attending another event (and most likely an academic one). There's inherently a conflict over limited resources. (And few enough high schools host tournaments that it's not like a school can just raise themselves a trash-attending-fund by hosting a tournament.)
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Re: MAST (NJ hs trash) discussion

Post by Howard »

everyday847 wrote:
Howard wrote:In the case of the members of the board, I doubt few are anti-trash. However, we're entering dangerous territory when we encourage students or others to choose between trash and academic tournaments. There's little reason these two can't peaceably coexist and be run at times so as to not conflict with each other. Communication, communication, communication.
Well, I don't know. High school programs have finite resources, and so just because a trash tournament takes a weekend that was otherwise unclaimed, we can't assume that teams aren't still choosing between attending that event and attending another event (and most likely an academic one). There's inherently a conflict over limited resources. (And few enough high schools host tournaments that it's not like a school can just raise themselves a trash-attending-fund by hosting a tournament.)
Even so, I don't think this is what I meant by anti-trash. What I read from this isn't that you dislike trash, but that you wish to not have trash interfere with academic tournaments. In fact, it doesn't sound very far removed from my opinions.
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Re: MAST (NJ hs trash) discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Howard wrote:However, we're entering dangerous territory when we encourage students or others to choose between trash and academic tournaments.
Howard wrote:Even so, I don't think this is what I meant by anti-trash. What I read from this isn't that you dislike trash, but that you wish to not have trash interfere with academic tournaments. In fact, it doesn't sound very far removed from my opinions.
You are always, inherently, choosing between trash and academic tournaments unless you have a better budget than any high school I've ever heard of. So encouraging students to choose is encouraging them not to live in a dream world.
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Re: MAST (NJ hs trash) discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Yeah, unless your team has enough money to fund a full season of competition I don't see how trash is anything but a drain.
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Re: MAST (NJ hs trash) discussion

Post by jonpin »

For sake of completeness, I think I should mention that this tournament was cancelled about a week ago.
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Re: MAST (NJ hs trash) discussion

Post by Guybo »

If anyone is still on this thread (I just read... uhh... skimmed... though it all), may I recommend that coaches organize their tournaments at least 3-4 months in advance in order to prevent date coincidences. Usually this can prevent people trying to schedule 2 tournaments on the same day. I'll go even further in saying, as a coach, it would be much easier for me both in terms of organizing as well as more easily getting the school to help pay for it, to know the entire year's schedule by OCTOBER. Doing it last second is always more problematic for me (I have a life I need to try and organize) and the students (most of my students have a million different things they're invovled in- not just academic team)I know I'll try to get Livingston a hosting date as soon as possible in the fall. Thanks for listening.
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