U. Lou Sthagaim wrote:I understand there are a lot of teams that wouldn't exist if it weren't for MSHSAA's involvement, and several teams support the Missouri format for various reasons. That's fine, but don't punish teams that want to do better on a national scale by imposing the 250 mile restriction, 14 tournament restriction, October-April season, requiring sanctioning forms, etc. If MSHSAA gets rid of rules like this that restrict teams from attending whatever tournaments they want (which stifle LEARNING by essentially restricting their quizbowl experience to a single format), quizbowl in Missouri would be so much better. Then maybe you wouldn't see such animosity toward MSHSAA from everyone.
To elaborate further on this quoted post, while a good deal of schools are fine with the way MSHSAA runs (whether it be because they enjoy it, lack of knowledge of other formats, or anything else), as you've obviously seen on this message board, there are some teams that aren't happy with it, and feel that the way MSHSAA does quizbowl puts Missouri significantly behind the rest of the nation in quizbowl quality. While there have been some sporadic suggestions to MSHSAA, it seems that when any of these suggestions get brought to the table, they are voted down because most schools are indifferent or want things to be run the way they always have been.
While we could work on improving the state of quizbowl in Missouri by making suggestions to MSHSAA, realize that MSHSAA is an organization primarily in charge of running athletic competitions and not one familiar enough with the modern game of quizbowl. I would imagine the general consensus among dissenting parties is that it would be simpler to just let people who are intimately familiar with how so-called "good quizbowl" (hereinafter referred to as "non-MSHSAA quizbowl") works be in charge of running a quizbowl circuit based on those principles
, rather than try to educate MSHSAA on how to incorporate all of these sometimes significant changes into the game it currently runs.
So, my suggestion to MSHSAA
is to repeal any restrictions that hinder teams from participating in "non-MSHSAA quizbowl" tournaments, including:
• the 14 tournament restriction. Such a restriction makes some sense for athletics (reducing risk of injury and whatnot) but this makes no sense at all for quizbowl.
• the 250 mile restriction. While the vast majority of teams probably aren't going to be traveling outside of 250 miles anyway (especially considering the general financial situation right now), removing this would allow able teams to travel to distant tournaments over spring break, winter break, etc.
• the "second Friday in October" to "the date of Districts" season. Restricting when students can play quizbowl is illogical.
• any policies that might be in place that restrict teams' participation in national tournaments.
• any other policies that restrict students from participating fully in this academic endeavor.
If for whatever reason MSHSAA feels any of these policies are necessary, I would like to see the reasoning for such policies directly from MSHSAA
your interpretation or otherwise indirect explanation for it. If these restrictions are in place to "level the playing field" or otherwise make sure teams aren't able to gain a supposed "unfair advantage", you should realize that these restrictions are essentially limiting students' opportunities to learn, and isn't that the opposite of what education is supposed to do?
I'd also like to make sure that you have read Charlie's post here
that basically explains how the vast majority of states do NOT have a MSHSAA-like organization overseeing quizbowl, so this restriction-free approach to quizbowl is how this activity is handled throughout the rest of the country
. In essence, what I'd really like to see (at a minimum) is MSHSAA's involvement in quizbowl reduced to simply running the district and state series rather than dictating how teams can and cannot participate in quizbowl as a whole.
To summarize, because there are several people who are already intimately familiar with "non-MSHSAA quizbowl", it makes sense to keep those people in charge of running these "non-MSHSAA quizbowl" tournaments. By having MSHSAA remove these unnecessary restrictions, teams that are displeased with the way MSHSAA runs quizbowl can participate more freely in a quizbowl circuit more aligned with national standards and run by people who know what they are doing without fear of any kind of consequences imposed by MSHSAA, while allowing teams who are currently pleased with the way MSHSAA handles quizbowl to continue playing on the "traditional Missouri format", leaving MSHSAA with running a format it already has plenty of experience running and plenty of teams still interested in playing on that format.
Missouri S&T 2009
EDIT: I should clarify that I am NOT endorsing two separate circuits; I'm merely asking for restrictions to be lifted so that the general state of quizbowl in Missouri can more freely evolve.
EDIT 2: Linked to Charlie's earlier post which is no longer "above" because post was moved to this thread.
<div class="editby">Edited by <a href='http://s4.zetaboards.com/Academic_Compe ... /88961/'>U. Lou Sthagaim</a>
, Apr 2 2009, 03:28:53 PM.</div>