Month: June 2016

GPQB Podcast Epsiode 14: End of Season Wrap-Up

In this episode, Ben and Andrew Nadig (former Carnegie Mellon U captain) discuss the end-of-season poll for 2015-2016, and how many teams did down the stretch. Who impressed, and what sorts of surprises and changes happened along the way? We also briefly reflect on the future and what this stellar season means for Pennsylvania as a whole.

Click here to tune in and listen!

2015-2016 End of Season Poll

Ladies and gents, we have capped off a season in which Pennsylvania quizbowl took many steps forward, and it’s time to recognize our top teams. Our panel* voted on who they thought were the best in the state using their choice of approaches, with items such as points scored, power rate, neg rate, W-L record, tournament wins, nationals results, and team cohesion as some of the criteria. Without further ado, here is GPQB’s end of year top 10.

1) Manheim Township A, 70 Points (same rank, unanimous choice for #1)
2) Delaware Valley, 54 Points (+1)
3) State College, 52 Points ( -1)
4) Great Valley, 47 Points  (+1)
5) Henderson, 45 Points (+3)
6) Lehigh Valley Academy, 43 Points (-2)
7) Winchester Thurston, 22 Points (=)
8) PALCS, 19 Points (-2)
T9) Alagar Homeschool 10 Points (+2)
T9) Friends Select, 10 points (previously u/r)

Also receiving votes were Cedar Crest (7 points, -2) and Manheim Township B (3 points, -2)

Commentary and further details will appear in the next edition of the GPQB podcast. Thank you all for a wonderful quizbowl season full of fantastic memories!

-The Staff

*The voters in the poll were: Ryan Bilger, Paul Birch, Chris Chiego, Ben Herman, Andrew Nadig, Victor Prieto, and Steven Silverman.

NSC Wrap-Up and Summer Plans

Three PA teams competed at the PACE National Scholastic Championship last weekend in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. Full stats for the tournament are available here.

Delaware Valley came out on top out of the PA teams with a 30th-place finish that could have been even higher had they not lost a tiebreaker to 17th-place Early College at Guilford (NC) after beating them earlier in the day. DV had a great run nonetheless though with wins over Early College as well as High Tech (NJ). Drake and Saimun, both graduating seniors, led the way with about 50 PPG each.

Great Valley also had a solid run to 35th-place, beating Ithaca (NY) and Ladue A (MO), among others in an up-and-down series of games. Sam (only a sophomore) paced the team with 43 PPG and senior Deakon added 38 points per game, with both players racking up 17 powers (at NSC powers are worth 20 points rather than the usual 15) each.

After their outstanding run to T-13 at HSNCT, Manheim Township got stuck in a rut at the NSC and badly missed the science prowess of normal A-teamer Ahan. After a series of close losses that knocked them down the playoff brackets, they ended up finishing in a tie for 57th. Somewhat bizarrely, they ended up in a final bracket with two other teams that followed them alphabetically and a B team (Dunbar, from KY) that gave them fits earlier in the tournament. The bright spot here though was Jake’s outstanding performance, as he notched an impressive 31 powers. MT will miss his lit knowledge and leadership skills next year.

With the conclusion of the NSC, the 2015-2016 quizbowl season is complete! We will have a final ranking based on these nationals results and the whole sum of the year’s accomplishments for PA teams that will come out around the end of this week. We will also start to update date claims in the tournament schedule for the 2016-2017 season as schools start to lock down dates (you might also want to follow along with the NJ/NY date claims here too). Please let us know if you’re interested in hosting a tournament–we need more dedicated hosts to meet the growing demand for quizbowl in PA!

In the meantime, we will continue to produce the GPQB podcast and would be happy to do a series of posts on whatever questions our readers might have. What would you like to see from us? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments or tweet at us @phillyquizbowl on Twitter.

2016 PACE NSC Preview

Tomorrow, teams will be traveling to Chicago (or more accurately Rosemont, IL) to compete in this year’s NSC. While a smaller tournament than HSNCT, the NSC packs a punch, with most of its 96 teams being some of the best in the nation and Morlan Ranked. The NSC uses a different format than most events, with 20 point powers, no negs, and “bounceback” bonuses (meaning if you miss a bonus part, the other team gets a chance at it). The distribution is also reflective of a college tournament, so less geography, current events, and trash are asked in favor of social sciences and art. This tournament also gives every team a very efficient 15 rounds of quizbowl, playing off every single place. Prelim brackets of 8 feed into afternoon brackets of 6 (so the top 2 move on in the event, the next two compete for 25th, etc.), and lastly three consolation or seven superplayoff games complete the run on Sunday.

Only three PA teams are competing at NSC this year. Once again, the predictions are just for fun:

Manheim Township

Fresh off their 13th place finish at HSNCT, the Blue Streaks seek to improve on their 34th place finish last year at NSC. I don’t see the format change really hurting or helping them all that much, so they should make another good run. We’ll see if senior Jake can relay his lit knowledge into another great performance, if Aaron Zuo can come up back to the “A” team and make noise at his last tournament, and if Ahan, Shayar, and Garret score with numbers that indicate they’ll stay at the top next year. Their stats were a little bit below comparable T13 teams at HSNCT, so I’d expect a finish in the 20th-30th range.

Delaware Valley

DV did not play this past HSNCT. The lack of negs and bouncebacks are going to really help them out. Though they’ll still feed the other team the answer with a wrong buzz, those lack of -5s will add 10-15 points a game, and they will benefit from Drake’s arts knowledge. This team’s high bonus conversion at regular difficulty suggests they’ll scale up to nationals; however, even really good teams finish in the middle of the pack at this elite field, and many other teams will be warmed up from last week. I’d predict Delaware Valley’s Warriors finish somewhere around 45th-55th, but anything between 30 and 70 wouldn’t particularly shock me.

Great Valley

Great Valley finished T77 at HSNCT. This is another team that had a tendency to neg this season, so again, the format helps them. Though a good team all around, I’m unsure how well they’ll adapt to the high amounts of fine art and RMPSS in this set. Hopefully this is a good send off for Deakon and continued buildup for more down the road. I’d give the GV Patriots a floor of 75th and a ceiling of 50th, with a finish in the low 50s or 60s the most likely outcome.

-Ben Herman