National Academic Competition Awards

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Great Bustard
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National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Great Bustard »

The National History Bee and Bowl, in its ongoing effort to foster excellence in academic competition, is pleased to sponsor a new initiative: the National Academic Competition Awards. Just like the movies have the Oscars, television has the Emmys, sports have All-Americans, etc. Quiz Bowl can benefit from a national awards structure. Thus, I am happy to announce that the following 14 awards will be given at the conclusion of the 2011-2012 academic year:

1. National High School Player of the Year
2. National High School A -Team Player
3. National High School A -Team Player
4. National High School A -Team Player
5. National High School Social Studies Player of the Year
6. National High School Humanities Player of the Year (incl. literature, fine arts, and RMP)
7. National High School Science Player of the Year
8. National Senior Player of the Year
9. National Junior Player of the Year
10. National Sophomore Player of the Year
11. National Freshman Player of the Year
12. National High School Coach of the Year
13. National Middle School Player of the Year
14. National Middle School Coach of the Year

A player can win as many awards as they qualify for - so whoever is HS Player of the Year can also be a subject player of the year and grade player of the year. Each award will bring with it a $100 cash award, a plaque, and a book prize, with the exception of National High School Player of the Year which will have a $200 award. In the future, as long as I am running NHBB (which I hope to do for the next 70 years), I can guarantee that these awards will be funded at at least this level; hopefully the amounts in question can be increased as time goes by.
If you are a coach or otherwise a member of the high school and middle school quizbowl community, and take an interest in the game at the national level as evidenced by past participation, you are eligible to nominate players and coaches. Nominations will take place for the month of April. You are also eligible to serve on the selection committee. The role of the selection committee will be to take all of the nominations and winnow them down to five choices through voting in a point system (i.e. committee members will vote for five students/coaches for each award, with 1st place receiving 5 points, 2nd place receiving 4 pts, etc. and then the top overall five scorers being eligible to be voted on by the same committee members. The exception to this is voting on the National A Team - the top 20 students will be eligible for that, with the top student being named Player of the Year. If possible, it may make sense to hold the final round of voting after HSNCT and before NSC with the winners announced at NSC. Note: I will maintain a very, very loose veto power over who can serve on the selection committee. Basically, I just want to make sure that anyone who wants to vote takes it seriously and has an understanding of the National scope of the game, including how to interpret SQBS reports and other results that speak to knowledge of what constitutes nationally elite performance. It may make sense to have a different voting structure for middle school; if so, though, there would probably just be a separate middle school committee that would otherwise function the same way.
I am taking responsibility for putting up the prizes for this and for the overall structure and coordination, but of course, I am eager to hear input from everyone, students included, to make this work as best as it can. This can include everything from the names of the awards to the selection process (which isn't set in stone, though I think the above is a good starting point) to how they are presented. Please let me know your thoughts and, where applicable, if you are interested in serving on the selection committee. Finally, there will also be a website for the awards to be built in the near future that will explain the awards to the general public and list all recipients. Hopefully the awards can be a way to recognize the great achievements of those students and coaches who have put in an incredible effort to reach a nationally elite level. Thanks for your input, and have a great 2011-2012 from The National History Bee and Bowl!
David Madden
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I am very interested in this idea. However, would it not make more sense to keep the voting open until after PACE and possibly NASAT? I think there are a lot of players from less than active or very insular regions who may not be able to get their full due as a player until nationals rolls around and they get to show that they can beat good teams on harder questions, especially since there are a number of teams who only go to PACE and not the HSNCT.

In any case, this seems to me to be a very positive thing to do, and I am delighted to see somebody step up to fund it.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Matt Weiner »

This will be a good thing for the profile and funding of quizbowl and hopefully will also spur the development of some more modern statistics-keeping and -calculating methods.

I don't see anywhere in your post where the final process of selecting winners from the list of five finalists is outlined. How does that work?
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

What are your thoughts on giving an award to the best small school player, as per NAQT's small school guidelines?
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Great Bustard »

@ Charlie 1st post - The reason for cutting off voting after HSNCT would be so that the awards could be presented at NSC. But, if people thought it would better to have voting after NSC a presentation at NASAT (btw, is NASAT happening this year, and if so, is it going to be the weekend after NSC?) that would be fine with me. Another alternative would be to have voting done in the evening after Day 1 of NSC and the awards the following day, but that might be cutting it close. I don't have any real strong feelings here - whatever the general consensus is is fine by me.
@ Matt - The voting for the finals would be done by the same selection committee but with the five nominees for each award (and the 20 for National A team) publicly announced. A nomination would thus constitute an award in an of itself, though it wouldn't have any prize attached to it. The same ranking system (5-4-3-2-1) could be used, or it could be just that each person gets one vote per category. That may be easier here (with perhaps a 4-3-2-1 being used for the National A Team). Again, I'm open to suggestions.
@ Charlie 2nd post - Conceivably, yes, but I think it would make more sense in future years. I think the primary difference here is that these are all individual awards where being on a small school team isn't really as much of an issue. I think one of the harder aspects of this is going to be comparing stats for players who are from schools that aren't known as well, whether large or small. But as long as people know this in advance, it can hopefully be taken into account. More broadly speaking, ideally, this whole awards idea will catch on and each state will have its own version, just as we did in New Jersey last year.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Adventure Temple Trail »

This is a solid idea that I sure wish had existed a few years earlier!

One small note: Can this, like, abbreviate to something other than "NAC Awards"?
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Cheynem »

Just so I'm clear, is "social studies" counting history?

One suggestion I would have is a "Most Improved Player" award. There have been a number of high school players I have seen who dramatically improved their game over the years and I think that sort of thing should be honored. Another suggestion, although this might overlap too much with the awards PACE gives out, is to honor those who contribute to quizbowl through service as opposed to play (tournament direction, writing/editing, staffing). I also have no idea how feasible or possible it is to give out a "Sportsmanship" award, but I would like to see it.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Great Bustard »

@ Matt - I'm certainly open to whatever naming structure makes the most sense. I've also been thinking that we might want to name at least some of the individual awards after certain past coaches or players - though there'd be no need to name all of them immediately - some awards could be left open and only renamed after a particular coach or player retires/graduates.
@ Mike - Yes, social studies definitely includes history, though I think it's also worth expanding that to include geography, current events, government, sociology, anthropology, economics, and I guess a bit of psychology. I thought about the possibility for a most improved award too, but I think that could be very difficult to judge, since it requires a diachronic perspective that could be difficult to ascertain. As far as "good of the game" awards, I think the awards that PACE gives out, as you mentioned, do a perfectly fine job of that, so I don't really see a current need to go beyond that. Finally, as far as teams are concerned, I don't see a need for having team awards, as teams are awarded by, uh, winning tournaments and national titles.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Cheynem »

I agree that it might be difficult to get an informed picture of "Most Improved," but certainly I, no keen observer of the high school game, have noted much improved players, so surely it wouldn't be that hard for invested voters to determine.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Black-throated Antshrike »

RyuAqua wrote:One small note: Can this, like, abbreviate to something other than "NAC Awards"?
We don't need anyone getting confused with Chip's crap here. Maybe something like "National Quizbowl Excellence Awards"
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Great Bustard »

How about having both an official name (c.f. The Academy Awards) and an informal name (c.f. The Oscars)?
Maybe for the official name we could use "United States" as a moniker rather than national (since that would abbreviate to NAQT Awards), so something like: United States Academic Quiz Team Awards? The website, which in all honesty will probably take a few months to get up, can also explain not only what the awards are, but the activity they pertain to, so the uninitiated (like college admissions officers, for example) can get an idea.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Wackford Squeers »

Maybe the informal name could be some variation on the word buzzer? Like "golden buzzers" or "buzzies".
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by ryanrosenberg »

I like the Golden Buzzer idea.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by mithokie »

Is this actively happening?
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Matt Weiner »

I've been talking with Dave about doing these at the NSC. Not to speak for him but I imagine planning for this will resume after NHBB nationals.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Great Bustard »

That is correct. And even more so after our Middle School Nationals on 5/12. But it is certainly going to happen as described above.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Great Bustard »

Also, I think we're going to call these the National Quizbowl Awards. Or Quiz Bowl. To reopen that can of worms.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

How does one nominate people, and how does one get involved in the selection committee?
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Adventure Temple Trail »

Is there any update on who we email to nominate people for this? I have heard repeatedly that this is happening, but have literally no idea whether there's a selection committee, whether I get to nominate anyone at all, or if it's even still happening.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by AKKOLADE »

I've volunteered to help with this, since I've kinda done stuff with stats, but I haven't heard anything in awhile.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Great Bustard »

I will be posting the nomination procedures early tomorrow (Sunday).
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Great Bustard »

Okay, so here's how this is going to work. The actual voting is going to take place next weekend at NSC, I believe after the prelims are finished, though I will need to check with Matt Weiner as to when exactly makes the most sense. As for a nominating committee, Matt Jackson, Charlie Dees, and Fred Morlan have all expressed interest - I will be on the committee too. If you would like to serve on the nominating committee as well, you have until when I return to the USA at 9pm Eastern on Tuesday evening to let me know either by posting in the thread, or by emailing me. Nominating committee members may not be current high school students (or recently graduated seniors), and must have a demonstrated understanding of and awareness of the game at a national level. This should go beyond a mere ability to parse a SQBS report - you should have ideally seen many of the people you are nominating actually play over the course of the year.
For the nominating process, members of the nominating committee should select up to three people for all positions, except the four slots of the National A team. For those, just stick with 3 people for the three slots total. Note that your nominations for these 3 people should not be the same as your National player of the year award. If you wish to leave a slot or two blank, that is fine, and indeed preferable if you do not know who else to nominate. Please indicate clearly who is a second and third choice. So, a nominating ballot could look like this:
1. National High School Player of the Year (1st) Joe Blow (2nd) Joe Schmo (3rd) Ebeneezer McGillicuddy
2. National High School Coach of the Year (1st) John Smith (2nd) Jane Smith (3rd) none
3. National A team player of the Year (1st) John Doe (2nd) Jane Doe (3rd) Bubba Bubbason
4. National Science Player of the Year (1st) Albert Einstein Jr. (2nd) none (3rd) none
and so on

In determining nominations, a (1st) gets 5 points, a (2nd) 3 points, and a (3rd) 1 point.
The Nominating committee is limited to 10 people. I will announce the nominating committee on Wednesday. Committee members should email me their nominations on Thursday by 3pm Eastern, but should start thinking about them now. I will post the top four vote getters for each award (but not the total points each got) before I go to bed on Thursday. I will post the top four vote getters for each position, except A team player, for which I will post the top 10, plus anyone ranked 5-10 in the National Player of the Year balloting who is not also listed on the top 6 for A team player.
As for voting, voting is open to anyone who is not in high school, but again, please do not vote unless you have knowledge of the National game. Those not attending NSC who wish to vote will be instructed on how to submit ballots and the deadline for doing so when the nominees are announced on Thursday.
Okay, that should cover it. Also, as far as balloting goes, balloting will be secret, and the top 3 votegetters for each position (top 7 in case of the A team, thus completing a National B team), along with their tallies will be announced online. For the actual ballot, though, only one person may be selected for each position (with again the A team exception).
Recipients will receive their check, plaque, and book prize at NSC. If not attending, they will be sent the following week.
If any questions remain as to this process, please post in this thread for the edification of all.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by t-bar »

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote: For the nominating process, members of the nominating committee should select up to three people for all positions, except the four slots of the National A team. For those, just stick with 3 people for the three slots total. Note that your nominations for these 3 people should not be the same as your National player of the year award.
I'm not sure I understand the point of this. If I'm reading it right, there are two decoupled nomination systems, one for player of the year and one for non-POTY members of the A-team. Does this mean that if John Doe is only selected by the nominating committee through the A-team track, but gets more votes than any POTY nominee in the voting stage, he still can't win POTY? Why have this separation? In the first post in this thread, you said:
nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote: The exception to this is voting on the National A Team - the top 20 students will be eligible for that, with the top student being named Player of the Year.
which makes a lot more sense to me. Why not just have one big pool of nominations for A-team members, with the top four vote-getters being named A-team members (and 5-8 being named B-team members, it seems) and the overall highest vote-getter being named POTY?
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Great Bustard »

t-bar wrote:
nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote: For the nominating process, members of the nominating committee should select up to three people for all positions, except the four slots of the National A team. For those, just stick with 3 people for the three slots total. Note that your nominations for these 3 people should not be the same as your National player of the year award.
I'm not sure I understand the point of this. If I'm reading it right, there are two decoupled nomination systems, one for player of the year and one for non-POTY members of the A-team. Does this mean that if John Doe is only selected by the nominating committee through the A-team track, but gets more votes than any POTY nominee in the voting stage, he still can't win POTY? Why have this separation? In the first post in this thread, you said:
nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote: The exception to this is voting on the National A Team - the top 20 students will be eligible for that, with the top student being named Player of the Year.
which makes a lot more sense to me. Why not just have one big pool of nominations for A-team members, with the top four vote-getters being named A-team members (and 5-8 being named B-team members, it seems) and the overall highest vote-getter being named POTY?
Yeah, I think you're right here. It does make more sense just to combine the two. Also, I kind of doubt that we'll need 20 nominated players, but 10 might be a little low. So let's say 15, unless we don't get that many. Still room left on the nominating committee if anyone else is interested.
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Re: National Academic Competition Awards

Post by Great Bustard »

For the nominations for national player of the year and A & B team player of the year, the nominating committee members will select up to 8 names, in descending order. 1st place gets 10 pts, 2nd gets 8, 3rd 6, 4th 5, 5th 4, 6th 3, 7th 2, and 8th 1. We'll then have the top 15 players on the official ballot, and the voting for these will work the same way. No write in names will be accepted for these or any other positions. Also, as of now, the nominating committee appears to be Matt Jackson, Matt Weiner, Fred Morlan, Eugene Huang, Charlie Dees, and me. Nominees will be posted as soon as I have the ballots in from the nominating committee, which are being sent out momentarily.
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