As we round the halfway point of the 2015-2016 quizbowl season in Pennsylvania, it’s time to look ahead and see what’s in store for the next semester of academic competition in the Keystone State.
January is a fairly quiet month, with only Allderdice HS in Pittsburgh’s invitational scheduled on 1/9. The field for that tournament is shaping up nicely and it’s good to see many returning faces from some other Western PA tournaments.
The quizbowl action picks up in February, with tournaments scheduled at Penn (2/13), Westmont Hilltop (2/13), Great Valley (2/20), and Carnegie Mellon (2/20). Penn’s QuAC will feature the GSAC question set while Great Valley’s tournament and Westmont Hilltop’s event will run on an easier and shorter IS-A question set from NAQT. The Tartan Invitational at CMU will use a regular NAQT IS set.
March currently only has Manheim Township’s Spring Invitational scheduled for 3/19 on NAQT questions, but there may be a few other smaller, local tournaments in the works that could take place then as well. Stay tuned for details.
In April, we’ll see how the new experiment of the Pennsylvania State Academic Competition using NAQT’s state championship question set turns out. Right now, we have no idea how those questions will actually be used nor what the format of the competition will be. We hope that the Chester County IU folks who run the tournament will use only the fresh NAQT questions and avoid the issues of question repeats, incorrect answerlines, and general bad quizbowl practices that have plagued PSAC in the past.
In addition to the quizbowl tournaments, several other academic competitions including DelCo Hi-Q, Chester County’s IU tournament, and Scholastic Scrimmages are all starting to wrap up their seasons and head towards playoffs. A number of other Intermediate Units will also be running their local academic competitions in the next few months to select teams to advance to the state championship–we hope that they will choose good questions and follow good quizbowl practices when running these tournaments.
If your team has qualified, it might be a good time now to register for one of the two major national quizbowl tournaments of NAQT and PACE. Both tend to fill up by March and require considerable planning to attend, so make sure that you start the registration process and getting school approval and funding as soon as possible.
Good luck to all teams in Pennsylvania this semester!
-The GPQB Staff