Questions/Suggestions About Hosting a Tournament

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
Locked
EricRamapoQB
Lulu
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:38 am

Questions/Suggestions About Hosting a Tournament

Post by EricRamapoQB »

Hi,
I am thinking of trying to get my school* to host a tournament in the coming school year. Our team is new, competing since last year, but besides the other reasons I think hosting a tournament would be a good way for it to continue existing after we leave and attract attention within the school. We are in the NY / NJ area.
I haven't talked with the administration of my school yet as they will expect detailed plans and times and I don't have those yet. I'm also fairly confident it would be a challenge to get it through. It probably wouldn't be a homewrite unless our team grows substantially this year.
So, I have a few questions. First, what would be a good time of year to host it (As my school will probably be slow moving on this, winter is probably the earliest time possible)? How many staff would we realistically need? Also, are there any pitfalls that are common for new tournaments that we should be wary of? Finally, what other costs should I keep in mind besides the packets and the food? I would really appreciate any other suggestions, too, and an answer to any of these questions.

*I won't mention its name, but it rhymes with Hamapo and my username contains it.
Eric, captain of Ramapo High School's Quizbowl team (NJ)

czheng0708
Lulu
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: Great Neck, NY

Re: Questions/Suggestions About Hosting a Tournament

Post by czheng0708 »

Hi Eric,

viewtopic.php?f=47&t=17494 is a schedule of some of the tournaments in the NY/NJ area. The NY/NJ area tends to have a relatively packed schedule throughout the school year.
Christopher Zheng
Great Neck South High School '15
University of California, Berkeley '19

EricRamapoQB
Lulu
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:38 am

Re: Questions/Suggestions About Hosting a Tournament

Post by EricRamapoQB »

czheng0708 wrote:Hi Eric,

viewtopic.php?f=47&t=17494 is a schedule of some of the tournaments in the NY/NJ area. The NY/NJ area tends to have a relatively packed schedule throughout the school year.
You're right, but I don't think there are too many for another (Yet, at least). I remember last year, at least, there were some periods, like late January, February, everything following April 11, with fairly few events in the area. Dates like Jan. 30, Feb. 20, May 21, (To avoid AP overlap), June, all look like they'd be several weeks offset from the others if it turns out anything like last year.
Eric, captain of Ramapo High School's Quizbowl team (NJ)

Great Bustard
Auron
Posts: 1461
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:23 pm
Location: DC, NJ, and everywhere else
Contact:

Re: Questions/Suggestions About Hosting a Tournament

Post by Great Bustard »

Just be advised that the bulk of the area calendar hasn't been scheduled yet, since most area schools are either still on break or are just back this week. While there's no set rule on the matter, hosts that have hosted in past years usually do so again, and usually around the same time of year (and in an informal way usually have a sort of precedence in terms of scheduling). I'd also strongly urge against doing a housewrite as a new team - they're very difficult to pull off well and NAQT / HSAPQ / established housewrites tend to generate more than enough sets to have something good to pick from, even in a crowded area like NY/NJ/CT.
That said, if late September comes and there's still openings in the calendar, and you want to go through with this, let me know, and I can give you some advice and possibly help with buzzers if you need that. Keep in mind that the May/June window is usually when National Championships become the major focus too, plus the NAQT state championship tournament.
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

EricRamapoQB
Lulu
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:38 am

Re: Questions/Suggestions About Hosting a Tournament

Post by EricRamapoQB »

Thanks! I didn't consider how the national tournaments might affect scheduling. Just to clarify, on the calendar, I was trying to go off of the empty slots from the times in last year and take into account the new ones planned for this year (For example, E. Brunswick's Funfest) and the time shifts some of the tournaments seem to have (For example, Bloomfield's BATE and Wilm. Charter's CSWIFT are much earlier). I'll watch the calendar though, since I know it's subject to change.
January 23 (Given CSWIFT's move), February 6 (Since Livingston's March Madness is in March again this year), April 2, look like they would be good considering last year's schedule*
I would still really be curious about logistical details, though, especially how many people would need to be there to keep it running smoothly, before I could commit to a date. And yeah, I have no idea how I'll deal with buzzers (I've considered prioritizing schools that bring them, but that's not normal practice from what I've seen so I figure normally schools manage without that), so I would very much appreciate that help if the time comes and things work out. Hopefully, if everything works out and there's space in the calendar a few weeks from now, hopefully I'll have all of the logistics sorted out.

*I think the Apr. 2 or Feb. 6 date would probably be best, although the Feb. date is an ACT day (As far as I'm aware, my school doesn't host it, but that's something I need to check). (We're also very far some schools like EOSmith (Feb. 20) or UDel (Mar. 12), and a quick look at the rosters shows no schools within an hour of ours and a small portion within three hours, but that's not something I'm considering now, and I'd discuss with them if I was).
Eric, captain of Ramapo High School's Quizbowl team (NJ)

User avatar
jonpin
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 2049
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:45 pm
Location: BCA NJ / WUSTL MO / Hackensack NJ

Re: Questions/Suggestions About Hosting a Tournament

Post by jonpin »

EricRamapoQB wrote:I would still really be curious about logistical details, though, especially how many people would need to be there to keep it running smoothly, before I could commit to a date. And yeah, I have no idea how I'll deal with buzzers (I've considered prioritizing schools that bring them, but that's not normal practice from what I've seen so I figure normally schools manage without that), so I would very much appreciate that help if the time comes and things work out. Hopefully, if everything works out and there's space in the calendar a few weeks from now, hopefully I'll have all of the logistics sorted out.
Buzzers don't tend to be a limiting factor in our circuit; generally you provide a $5 or $10 discount for each buzzer system a school brings, and you'll have plenty of that (just make sure you keep track of them on the day of the tournament). And you know better than anyone else what space you have. The biggest factor that limits the size of a tournament is the staff. You absolutely need a MINIMUM of one person per room, plus 2 for headquarters, to run a tournament. Preferably you have either a moderator who knows how quiz bowl works and can manage a room by themselves, and if you can't have that, you need a second person in that room. An inexperienced friend, teacher, or parent will not be able to run a game in a timely fashion; you might consider putting a member of your team who isn't experienced enough to read in there so they can scorekeep and keep things moving.
You will likely get a small number of moderators from competing teams, but you really should plan to be able to run the tournament without outside help.

There's no shame in running a small tournament your first time out. So if you have ~12 people who know what they're doing, you can try to run a 12-16 team tournament. What you absolutely don't want to do is try to hold a 24 or 36 team tournament when you only have 8 people on your team, and expect to make up the difference with people who have never been to a quiz bowl tournament before.
Jon Pinyan
Coach, Bergen County Academies (NJ); former player for BCA (2000-03) and WUSTL (2003-07)
HSQB forum mod, PACE member
Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

"A [...] wizard who controls the weather" - Jerry Vinokurov

Great Bustard
Auron
Posts: 1461
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:23 pm
Location: DC, NJ, and everywhere else
Contact:

Re: Questions/Suggestions About Hosting a Tournament

Post by Great Bustard »

Agreed with everything Jon says, plus, be sure to count on some people for backup. Plan on having 20% of your staff not show up, and that way, if everyone does, great - the slowest readers can get a scorekeeper, but you don't want to be in a position where you don't have enough people to read when 3-4 people dropped out of staffing the tournament at the last minute or didn't show up on the day of the event without having told anyone. Just plan on that happening so that you're not caught shortstaffed. Trust me, I've been there, and I urge you to have sufficient people to help. That said, if you aim for a small event for now in the spring, you should have plenty of time to recruit volunteers. Good luck to your team - great to see another Bergen County school getting active!
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

EricRamapoQB
Lulu
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:38 am

Re: Questions/Suggestions About Hosting a Tournament

Post by EricRamapoQB »

jonpin wrote:There's no shame in running a small tournament your first time out. So if you have ~12 people who know what they're doing, you can try to run a 12-16 team tournament. What you absolutely don't want to do is try to hold a 24 or 36 team tournament when you only have 8 people on your team, and expect to make up the difference with people who have never been to a quiz bowl tournament before.
Thank you very much. I think I'll go with a 16 team cap in mind for now unless there is a very substantial increase in active members this year and there's a good date open and there's a lot of interest. I have a fair idea now of what's involved and I'll discuss this with my school next week when it starts. I'll be able to update with more information following that.
Eric, captain of Ramapo High School's Quizbowl team (NJ)

User avatar
cchiego
Yuna
Posts: 825
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:14 pm
Contact:

Re: Questions/Suggestions About Hosting a Tournament

Post by cchiego »

http://www.socalquizbowl.org/guide/

This is the most detailed tournament direction guide in quizbowl. Read it, follow it, profit.
Chris C.
UGA '09, UCSD '12, UPenn '19
Greater Pennsylvania QuizBowl
http://gpqb.wordpress.com

EricRamapoQB
Lulu
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:38 am

Re: Questions/Suggestions About Hosting a Tournament

Post by EricRamapoQB »

Hi,
Thank you everyone for the suggestions again, the guide looks awesome and will help a lot. I talked with the school admins and it looks really easy to set everything up. Outside of a week in February, it looks very possible to do, so now I'll have to wait to see and decide on an open date.
Eric, captain of Ramapo High School's Quizbowl team (NJ)

EricRamapoQB
Lulu
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:38 am

Re: Questions/Suggestions About Hosting a Tournament

Post by EricRamapoQB »

http://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewto ... 47&t=17494

Based on this, dates that are not within a week of any nearby competition:
Feb. 6
Feb. 13 (During the short February break)

Other dates not taken:
Jan. 9
Apr. 9 (During April break)

Taken by schools more than 1.5 hours away:
Feb. 20 - BMAD @ Wilmington Charter
Apr. 16 - Kings Park (155A)


So, I'm going to look at setting up February 6, because it looks like an all-around good day. It's fairly early and I have to discuss this, but tentatively that's our date (It was "Frozen Frenzy" last time)
Eric, captain of Ramapo High School's Quizbowl team (NJ)

Locked