Month: June 2017

Quizbowl Summer Study Plans

With the end of the school year finally upon us, the summer break is an excellent opportunity for enterprising quizbowlers to get a head start on next season and learn more awesome stuff. Here are three tips for teams to think about during the break:

Read actual books/poems/plays/essays! Summer is a perfect time to compile a reading list and attempt books that you might have been introduced to during quizbowl. Actually reading a work will likely increase your chances of getting a good buzz on it during the season and will probably lead to a more lasting memory than flashcarding or just reading a summary. So go ahead and tackle those Shakespeare plays or Garcia Marquez novels.

Write up a store of practice questions, then share them with other members of your team. These could be on any subject, but the ideal would be to use the greater amount of free time to spend time going through the question-writing process and then sharing them with fellow members of your team. This might be useful for trying to close any holes that you noticed emerged over last season or if a senior with a strong subject specialty is graduating. Need to work on Religion? Assign someone religious holidays, another one religious texts, and another one various minor religions to write up questions and then share at a summer meet-up or over Skype/Google Video.

Read over the national championship sets from this year once they are available. PACE’s NSC has already been posted and is chock-full of good clues, interesting ideas, and grist for future question writers. NAQT’s HSNCT was available to teams who attended this year, but others can order copies of the set from NAQT here. And HSAPQ’s NASAT will be posted soon as well after some other mirrors of it (many open to high schoolers–check the HSquizbowl forums for details). Even if you’ve already played the sets, it can be immensely helpful to go back over them and note where you could have/should have buzzed and perhaps calculate how well your team did at various subject areas.

Do you have any other ideas for what you’ll be doing with your team? Feel free to post ’em in the comments! 

2017 NASAT Mini Wrap-Up

Pennsylvania once again sent two squads of five players each to the National All Star Academic Tournament, written by question provider HSAPQ to compete against teams representing 15 states total. The competition was hosted at the University of Kentucky.

Stats are here.

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Team Pennsylvania at NASAT (plus some parents and grandparents)

The A team finished tied for 9th place, while the B team finished 25th, in a field of 26. Eight PA high schools had players represented on the teams. The tourney was quite a rollercoaster, as both teams notched some good wins and frustrating losses over the course of the day. Hidden in this, however, were a lot of great performances against elite teams, including a 20 point loss to 4th place team California and a non-blowout against team Illinois A, who ran away with the event. Negs plagued the teams over the day, which will be something to work on for next year.

We congratulate all the team members- especially our seniors, Brandon, Colton, and Sebastien, for their hard work studying and playing. As for Alex, Jaya, Rajan, Vishwa, Jackie, Sydney, and Will, we hope to see them all back next year and many more PA power players at tryouts!

-Ben

GPQB 2016-2017 End of Season Rankings Results

Friends, Romans, Quizbowlers,

The 2016-17 season was one filled with some 81 Pennsylvania schools at invitationals, 23 of them at nationals, fierce matches, deep buzzes, and extreme fun for everyone involved. Every player contributed in their own way to our great quizbowl culture. As always, we saw it fit to end the year by honoring the best teams with the final poll. As fits a year that was so full of competition, opinions differed, the calls were close, and there were many deserving contenders. Here are the final results:

1) Winchester Thurston, 86 Points, +9 (Five 1st place votes)
2) Lehigh Valley Academy, 83 Points, = (Three 1st place votes)
3) Manheim Township, 74 Points, -2 (One 1st place vote)
4) Alagar Homeschool, 57 Points, +1
5) State College, 47 Points, -1
6) Great Valley, 45 Points, -3
7) Camp Hill, 41 Points, -1
8) Downingtown East, 29 Points, =
9) Downingtown STEM, 21 Points, New
10) Friends Select, 6 Points, -1

Also receiving votes: Delaware Valley (3) and Henderson (2).

With that, another chapter in Pennsylvania’s quizbowl story is closed. Congratulations to all these teams for years of hard work. Best wishes to seniors in the next step of life. Happy buzzing!

A podcast discussion of the final poll and season will be out soon. There will be other summer content, so keep your eyes peeled!

The voters in the poll were: Ryan Bilger, Paul Birch, Chris Chiego, Ben Herman, Andrew Nadig, Rebecca Rosenthal, Alex Sankaran, Steven Silverman, and Bill Tressler.