Team Missouri A finishes sixth in all-star tournament!
Congratulations to Team Missouri A for earning sixth place out of twenty-nine teams in the 2018 National All-Star Academic Tournament! Team Missouri B finished in nineteenth place.
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Quizbowl in Iowa 
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Post Quizbowl in Iowa
Moderator note: split from District Picks thread

Not to interrupt the fray here, but I consider you all lucky that you even have state-recognized districts to compete in. Iowa doesn't have those. I guess it's just another reminder of how important Quiz Bowl is in Missouri.


Last edited by Jeffrey Hill on Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:20 am
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Post Re: District Picks
Yeah, it's very unfortunate that quizbowl in Iowa is so thoroughly anarchical. However, the presence of districts in our case is not really a great sign, because our state athletic organization is very incompetent in how it oversees quizbowl and only is really in charge because or a random vote of principals back in the 90s, not because of anything about how seriously quizbowl here was taken. More ideal circuits out there basically don't have state organizations overseeing quizbowl, but instead have teams running invitationals. Quizbowl is much more important in those places than it is to most teams in Missouri (just check the national results, where Missouri teams tended to put up mediocre at best performances in the last few years when teams even bothered to go to nationals). The only thing that's really changed how serious the Missouri circuit is recently is the proliferation of pyramidal invitationals and the subsequent group of teams that have started to prepare specifically for those events. It's very unfortunate that Iowa doesn't have a group of highly dedicated teams with their own investment in keeping the circuit going, because that will be what brings a lot more seriousness to quizbowl, not having a state organization overseeing it.


Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:49 am
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Post Re: District Picks
Hmm, well I suppose that is true. You can't get MSHSAA to switch to pyramidal questions? With enough people (coaches, AD's, etc.), you would think you could sway them to swap formats by protesting enough.

Dedication to Quiz Bowl in Iowa is not good, I will agree. However, I think this is because Iowa has not been exposed to it at all. Speaking for my area of the state (SW), only Pride of Iowa conference schools, and choice Bluegrass Conference schools even participate in Quiz Bowl. I'm pretty sure my HS is the only one that ventures into Missouri for Quiz Bowl. But we do it because we WANT a bigger schedule. We want more Quiz Bowl games. I think we would probably defect to Missouri if we could :D. I just don't think the rest of the Iowa teams have the passion that we do for it.

By the way, I prefer the pyramidal style questions, it really rewards the people who know specifics. However, I'm not very fond of bonuses... :(

One more thing before I go...(and let the discussion get back to the topic at hand) Would any northwest Missouri schools be interested in perhaps a triangular or quadrangular next year with us? Just a thought.


Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:19 am
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Post Re: District Picks
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One more thing before I go...(and let the discussion get back to the topic at hand) Would any northwest Missouri schools be interested in perhaps a triangular or quadrangular next year with us? Just a thought.

How far into Missouri are you willing to travel for a tournament? There is some stuff in Kansas City (2 hour drive, totally doable in a day) you could play regular invitationals at, and a couple tournaments in Kirksville (a little more out of your way probably, it's 3 hours), or if you want to go further and do an overnight there's a lot of stuff in central Missouri you could make the trip out to if you want to get the chance to see some really top level teams.

As for Iowa, I think you're sort of onto something with the idea of hosting some kind of quads meet, but I think an even better idea would be to just host your own pyramidal tournaments. It's a cliche, but it's very true, that in order to make a difference you need to be the change you want to see. Right now the only way Iowa has any chance of getting it's quizbowl circuit into gear is if the teams there who do care, like yours, host events to demonstrate to your neighbors what you wish you could play more often. In Missouri, pyramidal quizbowl was extremely marginal up through when I was a senior in high school (2008, god, before anybody playing was a freshman). In the 2008-09 season a small group of us who really didn't like the local format banded together and agreed to work towards hosting more and more good tournaments and getting local teams further up to speed with national standards. The process took a little time, and then suddenly in our third year of hosting stuff, the amount of interest in our events began to skyrocket, leading to our circuit gaining a lot of national prominence and an increase in serious teams. Even now, though, it's still very much a work in progress here, with there being a lot of areas we could use much more outreach in.

I would suggest trying to get your team to run a fall and spring tournament. A lot of schools have been able to pull that off without too much hassle, and if you email every Iowa team you can find a contact for, and invite NWMO teams, I'm sure you could pull together a decent sized field and make yourself some money to go towards traveling to good events out of state. If you get enough staff, you could even potentially play a house team. It's unfortunate that the solution won't be enough to let you play a full schedule of good events locally before you graduate, but the only way to make it better in the future is to have your team do its part to start propping up the circuit now, rather than just waiting and wishing for something to bring Iowa good quizbowl. Teams not hosting is the reason circuits like Iowa are so chaotic to begin with, so I would wholeheartedly recommend convincing your team to start breaking the cycle. I know there are a few other teams out there in Iowa who do want to be serious, so if you guys were to start sewing these seeds now, perhaps in 5 years Iowa's quizbowl circuit could really come together and start producing some teams that turn heads.


Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:04 pm
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
Quote:
I would suggest trying to get your team to run a fall and spring tournament. A lot of schools have been able to pull that off without too much hassle, and if you email every Iowa team you can find a contact for, and invite NWMO teams, I'm sure you could pull together a decent sized field and make yourself some money to go towards traveling to good events out of state.

Sorry for the long wait Charles; I've been meaning to get back to you.

Hosting our tournament would be a very attractive idea, yes. But I'm not sure we have the manpower of moderators to do it. I'm sure we could round up enough score and timekeepers to do it; we have quite a few young pups. I guess it depends on the amount of games that would be going on at one time. How big of a field are we talking here? What would be a good number of teams for a 1st year tournament?


Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:04 pm
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
You would need 2 staffers per room (a moderator and a scorekeeper), plus somebody doing statistics in the central room. If you drag along a few parents and teachers and conscript attending coaches to moderate, you can easily increase the number of staff available to you. If you can at least staff an 8 team tournament (requires 4 gamerooms), then I would say go ahead and do it, and if there is interest and you find more staff, you can increase to whatever size you can handle. If you buy an NAQT A-set for your questions, they will be pyramidal, but easy enough to appeal more to less serious teams in your area, and still short enough that if you have slow readers, you can still get through a 20 tossup/bonus game in 30 minutes. There would be enough packets to run a decent 8-10 round tournament, which you can do a lot of different field sizes with. You have to start somewhere, and right now teams in less organized areas are the only really effective way to help make their region more active, so I hope you can get an event or two off the ground.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:01 pm
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
So I talked the idea of a tournament over with Coach today; he seems to like it. However, the way he wants to implement it is to buy questions from KnowledgeMaster (it's mainly what we use in Iowa :| ) unless NAQT questions are significantly cheaper, and he only wants to house 6 teams, so our team will be able to participate (5 other teams). I would rather have NAQT style questions and 8 teams (us not in it) for more money to go to better Quiz Bowls, but I guess he pretty much has the final say in it. Any Quiz Bowl is better than no Quiz Bowl here.

With 6 teams though, I think we would do a round robin format with the top two, middle two, and bottom two all facing each other at the end for placing, or a seeded bracket at the end. So the checklist I'm making goes something like this:

3 playing rooms, 1 main room
3 moderators (Coach can moderate though)
3 scorekeepers
3 timekeepers
3 buzzer systems

Anything I'm missing here? What about entry prices and discounts? Just give me your general thoughts, I suppose.


Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:33 pm
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
You might be able to get away with not having a dedicated statistician with that few rooms, but it would certainly be helpful to have someone manning a computer and also supervising sets of questions, getting stuff ready for lunch, etc.


Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:23 pm
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
Honestly, there's no point in running the tournament if it's going to be on Great Auk questions. The only reason I recommended this idea was that it would help expose your local circuit to good quizbowl and ultimately help make your region more competitive and give people in your region a chance to get a bid to a national tournament. Great Auk questions on the other hand are TERRIBLE and I can't put enough coding in to emphasize that. If you used them you would be running a bad tournament and not doing much of anything to help Iowa improve. I also think the 6 teams idea is not great, because the point of a tournament is to make money, and restricting yourself down to 5 teams worth of profit, which offers a not good schedule, just so you can play for cheap. If you have your players help staff and host more like 12 teams, you make WAY more money and can use that profit to play more stuff.

For price, Great Auk doesn't give that information, but NAQT A-sets cost a flat $30 fee, added to $12.50 times however many teams play the set. If you charge $60 per team on entry you could make around $45 per team in profit per team, which is a great payoff (12 teams would mean you have over $500, which could pay for you to enter something like 10 tournament, or spend some of the money on travel and go to some longer distance events in Missouri or at Iowa State).

Seriously though, I know your coach may not understand the nuances of good quizbowl or why he should do anything other than what his local circuit does, but the point is that you have no hope of changing your local circuit if you just stick with the status quo. Right now Iowa is incredibly disorganized and terribly uncompetitive, and that can be directly traced to the fact that what teams are there don't routinely host stuff on pyramidal questions. When Missouri was a state that played nothing but MSHSAA format tournaments, we were a national laughinstock who barely attended nationals and never had a team that really did better than mediocre in the grand scheme of things. The Missouri Quizbowl Alliance knew that was wrong and we were squandering tons of potential and decided to instead host tournaments that were radically different in order to try and buck the trend, with pretty tremendous success. I think it's a shame Iowa is almost even worse off than we used to be and would like to help change that. Is there any way you think you could convince your coach to read this forum, or more importantly, hsquizbowl.org, and ask questions about what the merits or demerits of his tournament hosting ideas are? He will find on hsquizbowl that it is pretty universally agreed upon that pyramidal quizbowl is incredibly superior.

If there's absolutely no way to change his mind on this one tournament, do you think it would be possible to instead hold 2 tournaments and have the second one be larger and on an A-set? I really can't emphasize enough how worthless I think those Great Auk questions are, but if you were to still figure out a way to bring an A-set into your region, that would still help quizbowl a lot in your area.


Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:03 pm
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
I was going to make a pretty lengthy post about this, but Charlie said everything I was going to say and said it more eloquently I could have. KnowledgeMaster questions really are that bad, and using them will not help Iowa quiz bowl to blossom in the least. Using a set from NAQT also increases the likelihood of getting teams from farther away and might help you attract additional staff that are committed to only helping with tournaments that use good questions and solid bracketing practices.


Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:18 pm
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
I will most definitely show this forum to him tomorrow. I think the large detail with him is that he is afraid of NAQT questions because they are styled towards literature and history...and he has seen how we have fared with that when we have attended NAQT tournaments in Missouri (Rightly so, we have went roughly an astounding 4-12). I really do want to use them, and avoid playing as a team so we can house more teams, and in the end, go to more tournaments, or a larger one farther away like you said. Those questions mature you SO much faster than KnowledgeMaster questions, and I want to be a very skillful player on my way to college so I can either contribute a good amount, or depending where I end up going, start up a successful team. While I'm doing that, I want to give a booster shot to Iowa Quiz Bowl so it can grow and thrive after I graduate.

Like I said, I'll let him glance at this tomorrow. I know in the end he really just wants more tournaments for us to compete in, so I'll see what I can do on the convincing side of things. By the way, I want to warmly thank you for all the help you are giving me. :D


Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:33 pm
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
I think that you need to emphasize to your coach that the only way Iowa is going to get better as a circuit is if a group of students (or a team) takes the lead and starts hosting things on pyramidal questions. If you all decide to go this route, you need to make sure your coach knows that changing the circuit is going to take a ton of time to do (not just a year or two). I really do hope that you guys decide to host an NAQT tournament, as Iowa needs stuff to happen.

However, if you would like some additional tournaments to go too, there is stuff in Savannah that I believe your school attended, and the Truman team is hosting things, along with Kirksville High School. It really does depend on how far your team is willing to drive.


Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:16 pm
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
KyleYehle wrote:
I think the large detail with him is that he is afraid of NAQT questions because they are styled towards literature and history...and he has seen how we have fared with that when we have attended NAQT tournaments in Missouri (Rightly so, we have went roughly an astounding 4-12).


A lot of teams start out bad at a few subjects -- you don't get better by doing your best to avoid questions in those subject areas, you get better by learning the subjects you don't know.


Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:29 am
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
In showing this forum thread to Coach today, he wanted to discuss a tournament set-up with you via email, Charles. What is your email address?


Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:29 pm
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
CharlesDeesMOQBA@gmail.com works.


Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:17 pm
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
KyleYehle wrote:
In showing this forum thread to Coach today, he wanted to discuss a tournament set-up with you via email


Wow, that's cool.

Would inviting NW Missouri schools detract from the purpose? Inviting some of the rural schools from our part of the state would net you more profits and add to the excitement; and, those Missouri teams would get experience on pyramidal sets!
The problems are the travel distance (one a half hours on bus from MC to Bedford?), which most teams that I'm thinking of needing this the most would not go out of their way for, and that one tournament on pyramidal questions per year does close to nothing for a team that doesn't understand why those questions are better.
Also, the history and literature that brought you down could quickly become your strengths if you (or any team, really) prepare diligently and tenaciously.

And if you wanted to keep the tournament strictly for Iowa schools, that's fine, too.


Last edited by PaulGrant on Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:48 pm
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Post Re: Quizbowl in Iowa
Unless anything changes drastically, we would be open to inviting Missouri schools. While the whole thing is not set in stone yet by any means, we do have a very creative idea forming involving Missouri schools. :D


Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:34 pm
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