Thursday, 17 August 2017

Call for Members and New Board (Updated)

Update -- August 17, 2017:

As of August 2017, the ONQBA board is Peter Cordeiro, Sherry Li, and me. Peter is our acting president for 2017-18. We expect to work together with many members of the university and high-school quizbowl community. We intend to have board meetings every two months, and we intend for ONQBA to continue doing coordination and support work on high-school quizbowl tournaments.

We're glad to have Sherry joining our board, and we're glad for input we've received from Meghan Torchia and Joe Su, who both do lots of work coordinating university quizbowl in Canada. Not many fall tournament dates and sites have been announced yet, but they are being planned, and we'll have a schedule online as soon as these things are confirmed.

If you wish to join the ONQBA board mid-season, you can email me ( If you wish to join ONQBA as a member, you can still fill out the form linked below.

Original Post -- July 31, 2017:

As of July 2017, ONQBA is Peter Cordeiro and myself. This will change. You may wish to be involved. Per our constitution, ONQBA should have any number of members and a small board of directors.

Membership is available to anyone interested in promoting quizbowl in Ontario, as soon as they give an email and ask to join. We have no membership records, so we consider all our members to have lapsed. If you would now like to become a member of ONQBA, you can fill out this exciting form. We will contact you if/when there are matters on which to vote, and to invite you to relevant meetings.

The Board of Directors has historically been a body of 4+ people with a mandate to meet regularly, and to host and promote quizbowl tournaments in Ontario. The board consists of a President, Secretary, and other members. My plan is to continue as Secretary, and Peter's plan is to remain on the board. This leaves us needing at least two board members.

If you wish to serve on the board in any position, please indicate so on your membership form. If we get lots of candidates for board, or if someone wishes to displace me as secretary, then we will hold elections for our board seats. If we get no candidates for president, then Peter has offered to serve as interim president for 2017-18. 

(After we have a new board, we may wish update the constitution. ONQBA, in any era, has not functioned exactly as our constitution prescribes. I'd like to clean up the constitution, and also to get a new written consensus on how ONQBA works and what it does.)

Last year was not ONQBA's best, but there are terrific university and high-school quiz communities in Ontario. I look forward to renewing and reforming our work.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Top Players for 2016-17

We had a quiet year for quizbowl in Canada, so we aren't doing full awards. We still wish to recognize the best high-school quiz players in Ontario.

Sheena Li (Lisgar)
Sheena scored 27 powers while leading her team to 22nd place at a US Nationals this year. She wasn't mentioned on the HSQBRank all-world lists, but her stats were comparable to lots of players who were. She will be a strong college player next year.

Colin Veevers (Lisgar)
Lisgar had amazing bounce-back stats at PACE this year, probably thanks to Colin's top science play. He outscored Sheena at OQT last year, and he was an MVP on the Lisgar team that won Reach Nationals. He will probably be best-in-Canada if he plays next year.

Gareth Thorlakson (UTS)
Gareth won National History Bee and led UTS to wins at History Bowl and Ontario Reach Provincials, all by defeating the top Lisgar players. UTS subs out their A-team a lot, but it's still obvious who the best player is when it's the player wearing a ninja-turtle bandana.

Ryan Hamilton (Royal St. George)
Ryan didn't win any history nationals, but his team led History Bee in points-per-game, and his Bee scores were exactly 1 point behind the eventual winner.

Tim He (Westmount)
Tim led his team to a win at MacIntro, and he lead the field in scoring at Toronto Novice. It probably gives him a training edge that he plays summer open tournaments against college players and elders.

Daniel Petrov (Central RH)
Andrew Bi (White Oaks)
I don't know anything about these players, but it looks like they were the best players at Toronto Novice -- they scored high powers and led their teams to first and second place.

I probably missed some people from this list. If you think your friend or teammate was a top player, you can comment or post about it somewhere. If you think you were a top player, then you should prove it by studying a bunch and becoming an even more dominant player next year.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

All Results 2016-17


Tournament Date Champions 2nd Place Results? Recap?
Lisgar Novice October 22, 2016 Lisgar Jr Lisgar Jr B results
MacIntro II October 22, 2016 Westmount "Central RH" results recap
Ottawa QT 12 December 3, 2016 Lisgar Lisgar B results recap
Toronto Novice December 3, 2016 "Central RH" White Oaks results

Lisgar, Westmount, and "Central Richmond Hill" are the teams that won events this year.

Lisgar travelled to the US for two tournaments -- they came 2nd and scored top PPG at Ithaca Brainbusters, and they came 22nd at the big PACE NSC. This sets a Canadian record for highest nationals finish, depending how you measure things.

History Bee and Bowl

IHBB still has a really nice results page. UTS won 5 of their 6 national titles, and Lisgar won the other. Royal St George's, Westmount, and Merivale players all won titles at their Ontario Regionals.

Reach for the Top

The Reach Scores blog and attached wiki keeps good stats for Reach events in Ontario.

Tournament Date 1st 2nd Results Recap
Lisgar Independent Feb 2017 UTS Lisgar results recap, audio
Ottawa Regionals Winter 2017 Lisgar Merivale results recap
Hamilton Regionals Winter 2017 Westmount Hillfield Strathallan results post
Etobicoke Regionals Winter 2017 Martingrove Power-St. Joseph results post
Windsor-Essex Regionals Winter 2017 St. Joseph's Assumption records post
Ontario Provincials May 2017 UTS Lisgar results recap
Reach Nationals May 2017 Lisgar UTS results recap, finals video

See also: our results from 2016, 2005-14

Monday, 1 May 2017

Check-in for Spring 2017

News and notes for spring 2017.

1. There won't be an Ontario Quizbowl Provincials for 2016-17. We were unable to properly schedule and book this a championship this year -- we apologize for the screw-up. For the teams disappointed, we hope you are making do with other HS quiz activities, and we promise to have some great tournaments next year.

When we have high-school quizbowl ready for 2017-18, we'll make sure the events are posted on this site, on our Twitter and Facebook, and on the general Ontario Quizbowl Facebook page.

2. Reach has completed its local leagues and has their provincial championships coming up soon. Their website and social accounts have been quiet this year, but all their circuits are active. There have also been independent Reach tournaments at Lisgar, McMaster, and possibly a few other schools.

Ben Smith has been doing some Reach coverage and compiling stats at his Reach Scores blog. He has audio recordings of games from the Lisgar tournament in February, plus scores and strength-of-schedule comparisons for four of the Ontario leagues.

3. History Bee and Bowl just held their Canadian championship in Ottawa. They'll eventually have stats up at their results page, which currently has all the stats for their local tournaments. Joe Su posted a rough list of all their medal-winners.

Gareth Thorlaksen and his UTS team won the varsity tournaments, well ahead of the top Lisgar players. Ben now says UTS is the best team in Ontario. When I saw the finals, I was really impressed with Gareth's knowledge -- he first-lined a ton of questions, especially on military and "pure history" topics. UTS also had very strong players in the middle school division.

4. The US championships are still coming up. Lisgar is the only school we know to be playing in any of those. At last ranking, they were 81st in the world, but they hit that rank without playing a full A-team for quizbowl yet.

5. There is still an active university quizbowl circuit in Canada. McGill and U of T had great finishes at the US Nationals this year. Tournaments in Canada usually draw teams from those schools plus McMaster, Waterloo, and Ottawa. There are also busy clubs at Queen's and Carleton.

(A disproportionate number of top university players are former Lisgar and UTS students.)

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Ottawa QT XII Recap

Powerful building full of ringers.

We got six teams yesterday, all from Lisgar and Colonel By, so it was a field full of sharks. Every player got a power in this tournament (even the ones who missed some rounds), and 5 of the 6 teams scored over 20 points-per-bonus.

Sheena and Colin were the Lisgar A team and went 7-0. They were also the top two scorers in the field. Together they got 51 powers and only one neg -- which might have been Sheena buzzing early on Asian history.

The other top-bracket teams were two more Lisgar teams. Gareth, Patrick, and Gabriel went 0-2 against the champions but 5-0 against every other team. Their job got easier when Nadia arrived at noon to answer some science for them.

The Lisgar B team was William, Matija, Felipe, and Jon. They easily led the field in negs and in talking over the questions, but they also got 25 powers in seven rounds. They scraped into top bracket by having 5 more PPG than Colonel By A. Once they were in top bracket, they lost more games, but the great singer Josh showed up and got them some history buzzes.

The Colonel By teams were great at competing with their teammates and at arriving on time for the tournament. Captain Jonathan led them with 41 tossups, and senior player Adam helped out with 4 negs and some basketball knowledge. Both Kevin Lees got a lot of questions. The Colonel By players also snuck onto a uOttawa computer to play ProtoBowl.

The Lisgar junior team ended at 3-4, but were one question away from making top bracket. They tied one of their senior teams in the morning, 365-365, and then they lost the three-question tiebreaker on the final question. Thomas got 10 powers for that team, and Olive actually knew some lit questions yesterday, which most other players didn't.

People seemed to like the questions, even though they weren't trash. My Canada questions all played well, especially a bonus about Christmas, but except for a hose where a Joe Clark tossup sounded like a Kim Campbell tossup. The America questions we left in the tournament all played pretty well. Colonel By players seemed to know American history from the news, and Lisgar players all seemed to know it from Hamilton.

This tournament was bailed out by coach Ruth Crabtree and scorekeeper Audrey, who emerged at the last minute when it became clear I needed more staff. The tournament was also carried by volunteer legend Ben Smith, who heroically read well past his bedtime without any scorekeeper.

Here are round robin stats and final stats from Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament yesterday. Here are the Canada questions I swapped in for anything that seemed "too American."

Leftover prizes. Prize-winners picked the Koran, Master and
, and Brief History of Time over these.

Monday, 31 October 2016

MacIntro II Recap - Stepping Up to the Buzzer

As teams unpack their buzzers and open up their brains, quizbowl season has begun once again. Early tournaments spring up and offer a fun and competitive environment for highschoolers to see what they have learned and maybe to compare themselves to the competition.

McMaster Introductory Tournament (MacIntro) II

The Scene

As teams slowly made their way up the stairs and onto the second floor of the McMaster University Student Centre, a sense of suspense and intrigue had seemed to permeate the hearts and minds of these quizbowlers that had ventured quite a bit to come here. MacIntro had become larger and appeared more important; the field had almost doubled (from 5 to 9) compared to the previous year, with older teams such as East Scarborough and Waterloo CI, as well newer teams such as Central Richmond Hill and White Oaks joining the fray (there was even a mysterious team from Upstate New York).

As the games started, most teams held their own, but soon a couple teams broke free from the rest. After six games and a bye, Westmount A led the field at 6-0, with Central RH A and East Scarborough nipping at their heels on 5-1 each.

East Scarborough, showing us all how scary they can really be.

Central RH and East Scarborough faced off in round 8, and it seemed like a close game before Scarborough's top player Fayaz got set back with a few negs. That helped CRH's players such as Sherry and Kelvin to capitalize and put the game well out of reach.

Central Richmond Hill won their next round to get up to 7-1. East Scarborough lost their last round to the masked Americans, falling to 5-3. Westmount A, led by star player Tim H., was undefeated at 8-0 and got to play an advantaged final against Central RH.

It seemed like a simple enough task, Westmount must have been thinking; simply win a match and win the tournament. But then in the first final, Sherry started off strong and got 7 tossups for Richmond Hill. Westmount were stunned, 380 to 100, and looked devastated. A second final would be winner-take-all for the tournament.

Central RH coming to support their A team.

The teams parried back and forth, with a few tossups going to either side. Tim got 8 tossups for Westmount, but Richmond Hill's team was consistent and had better bonus conversion. The game was essentially tied before the final tossup.

The question sounded mathematical, and Kelvin buzzed in early with an answer for Richmond Hill. The room went quiet for a moment as the moderator looked down. He then uttered a minus-five as Central RH looked on, despondent, before Westmount waited for the question to finish and answered correctly. After completing their bonuses, Westmount walked away as champions.

Westmount celebrating after winning a tournament.

An Overview

Overall, the teams had fun and people enjoyed the tournament. Except for a courageous C team, everyone averaged over 230 points-per-game and 17 points-per-bonus.

Despite their tough loss in the finals, CRH took it in stride -- Sherry, Kelvin, and Daniel had all played their hearts out and each had scored more than 25 points per game. Joel from White Oaks and Nathan from Waterloo CI were both newcomers who finished with high tossup scores. Fayaz led Scarborough to a comfortable third place position and with 57.5 PPG. While Tim from Westmount was the top scorer with over 70 points per game, their less experienced B team also did well, with Andy leading that team with 50 PPG. F Society played well on the Canadian question sets -- Vivek and Elliot both scored over 50 points per game while representing their New York school.

The scoring numbers at this site were quite strong, even compared to the mighty Lisgar teams at the Ottawa site. Here are the bonus conversions for all teams that played these questions:

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Upcoming High School Quizbowl Schedule

Quizbowl is back for 2016-17 in Ottawa and south Ontario. These tournaments have been arranged and scheduled.

Date Tournament Location Contact
Oct 22, 2016 MacIntro II @ McMaster Hamilton, ON Peter Cordeiro
Oct 22, 2016 Lisgar Novice Ottawa, ON Ruth Crabtree
Dec 3, 2016 12th Ottawa QT Ottawa, ON Brendan McKendy
Dec 3, 2016 Toronto "Novice" Toronto, ON Meghan Torchia

All these tournaments will use Canadian editions of the question sets. The three novice tournaments should be wide-open fields for new or returning players. The OQT in December is likely to be won by Lisgar A but should see good matches between all other teams.

You may also want to see our list of upcoming university quizbowl tournaments in Ontario.