Improving Outreach in Metro New York

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Urech hydantoin synthesis
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Improving Outreach in Metro New York

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis »

Chris Chiego, in [url=]another thread[/url] wrote:New York: C+
The Chip Presence is strong here, throughout Long Island and into Westchester County still. There are good quizbowl teams and tournaments, but the overwhelming stench of Questions Unlimited covers most of the NY Metro area. I'm still astounded at how few teams there are in the NYC area considering the sheer number of schools, but there is a solid, if unspectacular, circuit and a good number of good tournaments in the region. Masterminds is making improvements upstate, though there's still a ways to go in the Hudson Valley with many schools and in getting Masterminds teams to good quizbowl.
I find it very disappointing that the whole of Missouri has 2 million fewer inhabitants than New York City, yet the 2015 NAQT Metro NY State Championship had 1/3 fewer teams than the equivalent Missouri Qualifier. There are 500 public schools in NYC, but 12 sent teams to NAQT State. I think it's very clear that serious outreach and organization is needed in the area, and I have some ideas for how we can do better in this regard.

When I directed my first tournament at Columbia, I received a contact list that consisted solely of a string of email addresses, some of which bounced. Some of them were Hotmail, Gmail, or AOL addresses, so when those people did not respond, the teams associated with those emails may be lost to us now. I've organized a spreadsheet consisting of those email addresses, school names, and other relevant info, and am currently in the process of verifying coach emails. If you would like to contribute by helping me verify coach emails, identifying schools to contact, or adding to the spreadsheet with schools that you know have teams, please let me know. I do not have the time or energy for a letter mailing campaign, but perhaps someone else will be willing to do that.

One thing that may hamper efforts to spread quizbowl in NYC is the lack of any official organization. There is no state organization and no quizbowl alliance to present a view of quizbowl as an organized activity, which may be attractive to administrators and potential coaches. I've been thinking about instituting a Columbia Cup for teams in New York, which would reward teams for sending teams to good quizbowl tournaments. It would as as follows: Columbia would host three tournaments in the year, one each in the fall, winter and spring. Ideally, the third would be the NAQT Metro NY State Championship. New York schools would receive 10 points for every game their teams win at a Columbia tournament, and 5 points for every loss. Schools can also earn points by participating in other good quizbowl tournaments in New York; instead of the 10/5 point scheme, they would receive 2/1 at PACE-affiliated tournaments, 4/2 at Gold-affiliated tournaments, and 6/3 at Platinum-affiliated tournaments. This both incentivizes teams to come to Columbia for tournaments, and also allows teams to fit tournaments to their own schedule. The top 3 schools by points would receive awards presented at the spring tournament, and the top school that has not sent teams to a Columbia tournament in the past will also receive an award.

I think this is a good starting point for discussion, but certainly much more can be done to improve quizbowl in NYC. Please feel free to offer your suggestions below, and to comment on my suggestions above.
Ben Zhang

Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell '23
Columbia University '18
Ladue Horton Watkins HS '14
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Location: Great Neck, NY

Re: Improving Outreach in Metro New York

Post by czheng0708 »

Hey Ben,

There's an official organization that runs kind of like a non-pyramidal quiz bowl league in Long Island. I won't be in the NY area next year so I probably won't be tackling this, but it would be interesting to see if the organization is willing to replace their questions with pyramidal questions. I think they already use NAQT's lightning round sets. Most of the teams that participate in the league don't have any exposure to pyramidal questions. While there are some and we (GNS) have tried exposing pyramidal questions to the other schools, most of the other schools don't want to make the trip to a Saturday tournament to play at Quiz Bowl or History Bowl tournaments. Also, I believe Scott Blish had some ideas about trying to form some sort of state Quiz Bowl thing, but I might be wrong about that.
Christopher Zheng
Great Neck South High School '15
University of California, Berkeley '19
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Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill
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Re: Improving Outreach in Metro New York

Post by Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill »

Specifically, Chris is talking about something called RQB. It used Academic Hallmarks for some time (and perhaps still does, though they've claimed they write their own questions), but they started using NAQT lightning rounds about two years ago. I've gathered from a couple of former players that :chip: cold calls teams that do moderately well in it to show up to his nationals. It's inarguable that weekday competitions like RQB and MasterMinds further upstate are much more accessible to most schools than Saturday competitions- this is especially true for the Forks, which regularly have ten teams in RQB but only one or two show up to any other tournaments. The problem is that these competitions are plagued by high costs, low amounts of games, and poor formats (RQB has all three; MasterMinds offers more than twice as many games since they use timed NAQT questions but is 3-4 times as expensive IIRC).
Robert Pond
Kings Park '10
Stony Brook '14
University of Victoria '18
Anonymous wrote:naqt is much worse than plagiarism could ever hope to be
Great Bustard
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Re: Improving Outreach in Metro New York

Post by Great Bustard »

Regarding Ben's original post, I think that some sort of quizbowl alliance for the NYC Metro area is long overdue. The circuit here is close to 50/50 NY/NJ teams, so I'm not sure if putting effort into a state specific organization or set of tournaments is really the way to go about this though. Keep in mind that lots of the NYC public schools are a far cry academically from the suburban and magnet schools, so I'm not sure the comparison with Missouri is totally apt. I don't doubt, though, that there's a lot more that can be done. New Jersey is NHBB's best state in the country (I spend at least 5 days visiting schools in the area each year), and yet we still only have about 10% of high schools in the state competing (and roughly 20-25% in Bergen and Monmouth Counties which are our two best counties in the state). As always, I'm eager to help lend a hand where I can, so if people want to advertise their events at NHBB tournaments in the area/need to borrow buzzers/need other random help, just let me know. Also, I'd be happy to help facilitate a regional quizbowl alliance, and kick in up to a $2000 donation if someone wanted to take the time to set up a non-profit to that effect, though I'm too busy and not often enough in the area to take the lead on that myself.
David Madden
Ridgewood (NJ) '99, Princeton '03
Founder and Director: International History Bee and Bowl, National History Bee and Bowl (High School Division), International History Olympiad, United States Geography Olympiad, US History Bee, US Academic Bee and Bowl, National Humanities Bee, National Science Bee, International Academic Bowl.
Adviser and former head coach for Team USA at the International Geography Olympiad