TheBulgarSlayer wrote:It's hard right now because it's not part of the cannon. There aren't that many important people in it (Heraclius, Irene, and the other Komnemus emperors). If they were to be introduced initially as bonus parts, people would learn them and boom, a major part of European history is in the cannon. I disagree with you on importance though. Important things, in my opinion, should receive a great proportion of toss ups, as opposed to toss ups on things like the War of Jenkins ear, which in reality had little affect on the greater war and only receives toss ups because of it's unusual name and a possible mention in a AP Euro class.
You're saying that people will only learn history because it'll come up in quiz bowl. Could the fact it comes up more in quiz bowl motivate someone to learn it? By all means, sure. But Byzantine history is something that I doubt anyone has a burning desire to learn more about anyways. To say we need more tossups on things that are less asked about is dumb. I have never seen a tossup on the War of Jenkins Ear (unless History Bowl?) before, (I don't know if there are any written at the high school level, I can't check because qbcentral is down right now). I have, however, seen The War of Jenkins' Ear and King George's War used as clues for tossups on The War of the Austrian Succession. I have also seen them used as bonus parts. Instead of wondering why there's tossups written on The War of Jenkins' Ear, why not ponder why the Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle doesn't come up more as a tossup?
TheBulgarSlayer wrote:That's another thing. I don't think we should be bending over backwards to makes things accessible to not so good teams. We have A packet and novice tournaments for that.
I don't think it's bending over backwards at all to "not so good teams" to make things answerable. Hence the pyramid -- you start with a hard clue on a topic; like Ivan IV/The Terrible, the better team/the good team is going to know his 1552 capture of Kazan and get it at that clue before the "not so good team" gets it at the giveaway of "identify this Russian tsar known for his dreaded behavior", (if they do get it, that is). There's going to be 20 teams (from 11 different schools) at Ohio State's Buckeye Spring Tournament tomorrow, and only about four of them; Olmsted Falls, St. Charles, Warren G. Harding and us are active on the quiz bowl circuit. Since it's a housewrite, I have no idea what to expect of how the other seven schools will do. Of course, the answer to those teams problems is yes, play more quiz bowl. Go to more tournaments and learn more things. Five of these eleven schools are from Franklin County (where Columbus is), and aside from St. Charles, this is the first or second ever tossup/bonus tournament for any of the other four Franklin County teams. Now these are schools that have excellent academics, and they generally bode well on the television show, but they don't exactly know enough to be strongly competitive because of their lack of knowledge in the canon, and thus, they don't translate into teams that qualify for PACE on a regular basis. A sets and novice tournaments? Yeah, in some places, like in Ohio, the last A-set is in November. So of course its stupid to say their schedule should only be one or two months long. Of course, harder tournaments should appeal to the good teams, i.e. DAFT and HFT. But now, somehow, the idea of "regular" difficulty is being doubted.
The idea that quiz bowl is too easy because "you're too good" is narrow-minded and arrogant. If you didn't go to a powerhouse program like DCC, where your coaches more than likely tell you the canon, what comes up, and how they build off that to make you a stronger player, I'm sure you wouldn't hold the elitist mentality you currently do.
tintinnabulation wrote:And I don't think we should be basing canon on things we learn in HS classes. I've barely learned anything in quizbowl from classes I've taken.
Things in high school quiz bowl are tossed up because they are in fact things you should get a general idea of in high school, particularly literature and history. There are reasons why The Great Gatsby
and Great Expectations
are tossed up; for one it's expected that a typical high school student would read those two works, and they are classic works of literature. AP classes generally should do a better job of teaching you the basics of a particular event that comes up in quiz bowl as opposed to the synopsis (if at all) of the same thing you'd hear in European History 101, such as the Peace of Westphalia or the (2nd) Defenestration of Prague [disclaimer; I haven't taken AP European History yet (seniors only class at my school), but I imagine Peace of Westphalia and the Defenestration of Prague would be relevant in such a class considering their relation to the Thirty Years' War, and thus further in depth study of said topic]. Unless someone has a strong desire to learn and are heavily interested in a particular subject, you can ask any random high school student if they've ever heard of Charles XII of Sweden or the Great Northern War and odd are they'll probably be like "what? duhh".
tl;dr - If your motivated to learn more, you'll be better at quiz bowl. Play more, learn what comes up, appreciate the significance of whatever it is you're learning about and have fun playing quiz bowl. These are my personal thoughts, I don't consider myself Godly at quiz bowl but I'm telling it like it is from my perspective as I'm deep into my second year of quiz bowl.