Saturday, 30 July 2016

ONQBA Awards for 2015-16

Since the season has long since wrapped up and voting has now completed, the following are our awards for 2015-16. We weighted these mostly towards quizbowl, but we did look at results from other competitive formats.

Powerful school full of ringers.

Best Player -- Sheena Li (Lisgar)

Sheena won the national History Bee this year, but she probably could have won a Bee for most subjects. She led Lisgar through Provincial Champs with 21 powers and only 2 minus-fives.

Also got votes: Jacky Li (Woburn)

Most Improved Player -- Sherry Li (Bayview)

Sherry improved from 1 power at Toronto Novice in December to 9 powers at Provincials in March. She is believed to be good at history and to know all the British monarchs.

Also got votes: Gareth Adamson (Lisgar), Kelly Yu (Bayview)

Best Junior -- Colin Veevers (Lisgar)

Colin is a top player at the "foundation" categories -- general, current events, and geography -- and he's emerged with strong science and math knowledge this year. He also won Lisgar Novice playing solo in the fall.

Unanimous.

Community Leader -- Ben Smith

Working with uOttawa and Merivale, Ben founded high school quizbowl in Canada, and he's run tournaments steadily for the last ten years. He's always been thorough, professional, and responsible. In the early years of the ONQBA, he single-handedly ran the organization.

All-Star Ontario First Team

Josh Lane (Lisgar)
Jacky Li (Woburn)
Sheena Li (Lisgar)
Colin Veevers (Lisgar)
Kelly Yu (Bayview)

Also got votes: Aleem Damji (White Oaks), George Lu (Waterloo CI), Thilini Herath (Merivale)

Update: I originally wrote that Ben Smith was associated with Lisgar. Ben has since made clear to me that he has had no official Lisgar connection. This has now been changed.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Upcoming University Quizbowl Schedule

ONQBA has a mandate to develop high-school quizbowl. This university schedule is posted purely for the sake of scope creep.

There are no high school or college tournaments in the summer, but Meghan Torchia is running a bunch of open tournaments at UToronto. Those are filling up quickly -- the fields look pretty good so far.


Date Tournament Location Contact
Jul 9, 2016 HSNCT Part 1 @ Toronto Toronto, ON Meghan Torchia
Jul 16, 2016 HSNCT Part 2 @ Toronto Toronto, ON Meghan Torchia
Jul 17, 2016 NASAT @ Toronto Toronto, ON Meghan Torchia
Aug 6, 2016 VETO @ Toronto Toronto, ON Meghan Torchia

The two HSNCTs are separate tournaments -- they're just using two halves of the same question set. VETO is a guerrilla tournament, which means it's packet-submission and no editing.

The table above should list all upcoming university or open-level quizbowl tournaments in Ontario. You may also want to see our listing of upcoming high school quizbowl tournaments in Ontario and abroad.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

All Results 2015-16

Quizbowl

Tournament Date Champions 2nd Place Results? Recap?
Lisgar Novice October 17, 2015 Lisgar Colin Colonel By results recap
MacIntro October 24, 2015 Woburn Waterloo CI results
Ottawa QT 11 November 21, 2015 Lisgar Lisgar B results recap
Toronto Novice December 5, 2015 Woburn White Oaks results
Ontario Provincials March 26, 2016 Lisgar A Merivale results recap

That's Lisgar winning three tournaments, and Woburn winning two -- though they played those events as "East Scarborough."

White Oaks also played at PACE NSC (a U.S. national championship -- results).


History Bee and Bowl

IHBB has a sweet results page, now updated with all their 2016 events. Their Ontario winners were from Colonel By, Lisgar, Merivale, Royal St. George's, and Turnbull. Ontario teams won all the events at their Nationals, and it looks like a Royal St. George's player even won their Montreal bee event.


Reach for the Top

Reach posts most of their results on their Facebook page.

For their Ontario champs, they posted these prelim stats and Joe posted scoreboard photos on his Facebook. Their playoff used the top 10 teams, where Lisgar, London Central, Martingrove, Upper Canada College, and Waterloo CI all won to make top 5. It ended with Martingrove beating Upper Canada College in the finals.

For their nationals, they posted these prelim stats, with Ontario teams #1, 5, and 6 in the standings. From there, the top 12 teams made their playoffs. Martingrove and London Central won top 8 and lost in top 8. Lisgar got a bye to top 8, won to top 4, and then lost their semifinal. The finals were Kennebecasis Valley (NB) beating Eric Hamber (BC).

There were house-reach tournament this season at Lisgar and UTS. Lisgar's event from January has stats here, showing UTS beating visitors Kennebecasis in the final, plus a Colonel By team winning the junior division. We don't have stats or results from the UTS reach tournaments, but we can assume those were won by UTS teams or visiting Kennebecasis teams.


See also: our quizbowl results from 2005-14.

All Results 2015-16

Quizbowl

Tournament Date Champions 2nd Place Results? Recap?
Lisgar Novice October 17, 2015 Lisgar Colin Colonel By results recap
MacIntro October 24, 2015 Woburn Waterloo CI results
Ottawa QT 11 November 21, 2015 Lisgar Lisgar B results recap
Toronto Novice December 5, 2015 Woburn White Oaks results
Stegosaurus Bowl December 5, 2015 Lisgar Dragons ambiguous results
Ontario Provincials March 26, 2016 Lisgar A Merivale results recap

That's Lisgar winning four tournaments and Woburn winning two -- though they played those events as "East Scarborough."

White Oaks also played at PACE NSC (a U.S. national championship -- results).


History Bee and Bowl

IHBB has a sweet results page, now updated with all their 2016 events. Their Ontario winners were from Colonel By, Lisgar, Merivale, Royal St. George's, and Turnbull. Ontario teams won all the events at their Nationals, and it looks like a Royal St. George's player even won their Montreal bee event.


Reach for the Top

Reach posts most of their results on their Facebook page.

For their Ontario champs, they posted these prelim stats and Joe posted scoreboard photos on his Facebook. Their playoff used the top 10 teams, where Lisgar, London Central, Martingrove, Upper Canada College, and Waterloo CI all won to make top 5. It ended with Martingrove beating Upper Canada College in the finals.

For their nationals, they posted these prelim stats, with Ontario teams #1, 5, and 6 in the standings. From there, the top 12 teams made their playoffs. Martingrove and London Central won top 8 and lost in top 8. Lisgar got a bye to top 8, won to top 4, and then lost their semifinal. The finals were Kennebecasis Valley (NB) beating Eric Hamber (BC).

There were house-reach tournament this season at Lisgar and UTS. I don't think stats or results were posted from those. I'm pretty sure they were won UTS teams or visiting Kennebecasis teams.


See also: our quizbowl results from 2005-14.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Results from IHBB Nats and Reach Provs

IHBB and Reach for the Top aren't quizbowl, but they're still pretty competitive. Here are some results from their spring 2016 events.

International History Bowl Canadian Championship

Varsity (up to grade 12)
1. Lisgar
2. Bayview
3. UTS
4. Westmount

JV (up to grade 10)
1. UTS
2. Royal St. George
3. Lisgar

International History Bee Canadian Championship

Varsity
1. Sheena from Lisgar
2. Josh from Lisgar
3. Alec from UTS

JV
1. Ryan from Royal St. George
2. Gareth from UTS
3. Colin from Lisgar

IHBB Canada may post a results page soon. We don't have results yet for their middle school division or from their side-tournaments that weekend.

Reach for the Top Ontario Provincial Championship

Final Standings
1. Martingrove
2. Upper Canada College
3. Lisgar
4. London Central

Prelim Points (in 7 games)
1. Martingrove, 3100
2. Lisgar, 2830
3. Merivale, 2700
4. Upper Canada College, 2530
5. Waterloo CI, 2500
6. Hillfield Strathallan, 2460
7. Woburn, 2430
8. London Central, 2410
9. Centennial, 2330
9. Marc Garneau, 2330

Reach for the Top posted a PDF playoff results sheet showing that all their semifinal and final games were within 60 points. They updated their results live on their Facebook page.

Ben Smith tweeted a sheet ranking this year's Ontario teams against historical top teams. He controlled for PPG, win-loss record, and strength of schedule.

Ben also noted that a team from UTS could very possibly have won Reach provincials this year, if they'd managed to qualify. Reach's regional qualifiers create a bottleneck in the Toronto area, where UTS lost in a single-elimination game. Their results playing in house-reach tournaments this year suggest that they might have been stronger than any team actually at Provincials.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Highlights from 2016 Provincials

A famous person.
Here's what I saw at quizbowl Provincials last week.

Lit Is Impossible

Teams did worse on lit than every other category. The low point was the two tossups on the same difficult British novelist. The best it got was with the one Canadian Lit question -- Patrick's common-link question on snow, which someone buzzed on a Robertson Davies snowball clue. I heard players predicting several Margaret Atwood questions, but those never arrived.

Every author question went to the end, so at one point, I went crazy and paused a game to endorse a Russian author I like. I hope people in next year's tournaments can buzz on my favourite author, even if they can't buzz on most authors.

(After the match, a player asked if I was an English teacher. I told him I was a bookkeeper. He said I was basically an English teacher, so he might not have known what "bookkeeper" meant. Bookkeepers can like literature sometimes!)


Jacky Li

Jacky from East Scarborough is somewhat well-known in Ontario for being obsessed with quizbowl. After last weekend, he clearly has every right to be obsessed with quizbowl. He powered a lot of history and current / general questions, leading the field in scoring. He also led his team to a very close loss against Lisgar -- that match went down to the final tossup, but Lisgar still won on an American lit buzz.

Jacky was also visibly invested in the games, celebrating or groaning depending how the questions broke. His aggressive play also won him the prize for most wrong answers, which was a plaque celebrating the 2004 Toronto Maple Leafs. Jacky said he couldn't take the plaque on TTC, so I got to keep the plaque and bring it back to Ottawa. I promise I will take good care of it.

A memento of the Kaberle / Belak era.

Merivale

Merivale beat Lisgar! They are the only Canadian team to win a match against Lisgar A this year. The Merivale core are quizbowl enthusiasts, and they're all really good players by now. It was nice to see them beat Lisgar after having to grind tough matches against Lisgar all year in Ottawa tournaments.

Thilini 30'ed a bunch of lit bonuses, in a field where most teams sucked at lit. Joe claimed that Swagat always beat the Lisgar players at science. Ivan and Nathan were also buzzing early.

Merivale also revealed that they'd travelled to the event without parents, staying at a bed-and-breakfast that didn't check their ages. I hope for them that their parents were in on this plan, and I hope for myself that ONQBA could never be considered their legal guardians.

The best part of the tournament happened in a Merivale-Bayview match. Thilini got a tossup where the answer was something dirty, and then her teammates tried to high-five her but she refused. She complained that the question was too gross to celebrate.


A complaint

This man is not a bus!
Merivale knowingly travelled alone to the tournament and planned their trip. But another team travelled to the tournament in two cars, and then they were informed in the morning that they had only one car back.

This is, literally, a case where a coach drove minors to Toronto and then just abandoned them there. No one should ever do this. It would have been better to cancel the team that morning.

Aaron DR was the only staffer with a car, so he had to drive the players home himself. This cost him for gas, wear and tear on the car, and 2-3 hours of a trip out of town that he was forced into making. Without Aaron, I don't know if the players had the money or knowledge to coordinate their own (unsupervised) trip home.


Population of Heaven

I mistakenly told teams that Protestants think 144,000 people will go to heaven. I looked this up and I'm wrong -- the 144,000 quota is what Jehovah's Witnesses believe. (The number 144,000 is mentioned in Revelation -- 12,000 people descending from each of the 12 tribes of Israel.) Early Protestants believed that you were predestined into heaven or hell at birth, but they did not believe in a fixed population of heaven.


Exhibition Game

The low bracket was scheduled for a full 14 rounds, but players were tired late in the day and the Waterloo team dropped early. For a game between the two Westmount teams, half the players just took a break outside, and the other half tried to mount an exhibition game in my room. Before it fell apart, the game consisted mostly of Emaan answering history questions -- I was impressed when he knew who William Van Horne was.

By the end of the "round," Peter had joined the game as his own team, and we'd only got through about eight tossups and no bonuses.


Canada Questions

The great Patrick directed the tournament and made the Canadian edition of the question sets. He used some of my writing for this.

I wrote a history tossup on Gordie Howe for the tournament, claiming that he'd crossed over from pop culture into "cultural history." Patrick did not fall for this against -- he turned it into a "name three Howes" bonus, asking for Gordie Howe and two historical politicians. I would have liked to see him ask for Gordie Howe, Mark Howe, and Marty Howe.

Teams whiffed on Patrick's long hockey bonus. One part of the bonus celebrated the great Ottawa Senators for their ability to score short-handed goals. Another part ended with the phrase "name all three teams." On another hockey question, one team guessed "Steven Crosby."

Patrick wrote a tossup on Alberta with clues about Eddie the Eagle -- a British ski jumper who got mock-famous for how much he sucked at the Calgary Olympics. As it happened, there were posters and TV commercials around Canada for an Eddie the Eagle movie last week, so players all recognized him but couldn't buzz with a province. Lisgar buzzed on the next clue about Moraine Lake, before we got to the clues about the Jamaican bobsled team.

Someone got my George Brown tossup really early. The South-Ontario players were strong on Patrick's question about museums in Ottawa.


Lisgar Wins

Lisgar won the tournament.

Lisgar showed up as heavy favourites (going by some past results and their spot in the HSQB rankings). They lost one match all day, and their 21.92 PPB was a full 3.53 ahead of the field. (This is, Lisgar converted 73% of their bonus parts, and the next-highest team got only 61%.) Lisgar has now come 4th in Ithaca and won all their other tournaments this year.

A Lisgar team has now won Provincials in 5 of the 7 years it's been held. We're grateful that two Lisgar coaches were able to bring a strong team this weekend, but they have ruined the what-if scenario!-- who would have won Provincials if Lisgar couldn't attend? Bayview had 50 powers and had a strong B team. East Scarborough might have had the strongest player in the field. Merivale swept the top-bracket playoffs. White Oaks played without their top player and still managed a winning record.

Some players smiling in gratitude to their chaperones.


Heroic Staff
- Patrick ran the tournament, which means he did hours of prep to book the venue and prizes, coordinate the teams and staff, and fix up the question set. He also did all the announcements and made sweet nametags for the readers and scorekeepers.
- Rick, Anthony, Jay, Britney, Peter, Isaac, and Nick all staffed the tournament and did a great job. (I think they got through more questions than I did most rounds.)
- Aaron staffed the tournament and also hosted Patrick and me for the weekend. He is a great friend, even though he made me watch Fear Factor.
- Joe made the schedules, printed the questions, and did a lot of control room work. Joe's family also drove Patrick and me to Toronto last weekend.
- A number of coaches and parents drove and chaperoned the teams and even watched all the games.

This gets me through any door anywhere.

Other Highlights
- Chinese players missed some points because I tried too hard to pronounce the Chinese names in the questions.
- Teams correctly answered all bonus parts that asked for equations or formulas. Those are awkward to read and awkward to answer, but they're math and science questions that map well to classroom learning. I was glad to see that the players were good at those.
- Two strong teams missed a tossup on a very famous concept from Judaism.
- A player buzzed a clue about the US Federal Reserve.
- Westmount players first-lined a comp-sci tossup and a tossup on a very bad musical.
- Players earnestly attempted to answer the Civil War questions that we had failed to replace.
- A grade-nine player won a giant buzzer race on a TV character.
- Players all knew everything about gay rights history.
- One bonus part asked "how many hours per day" and the team guessed "40 hours."
- Teams did well on the classic music and opera all day, but the White Oaks coach was amazed when none of his players knew about classic rock.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

ONQBA Provincials Reminder

The Ontario Quizbowl Association would like to remind everyone that in just over a month, we plan to host the 2016 ONQBA Provincial Championship. It will take place at the University of Toronto, St. George Campus in Sidney Smith Hall (100 George Street, Toronto, ON) on Saturday, March 26th, 2016. Teams that participate in this tournament have the opportunity to qualify for the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT) and the PACE National Scholastic Championship (NSC).

Teams from Ontario are welcome and encouraged to attend. Many different discounts are available to teams, including new participation discounts to encourage more activity in the high school circuit. No prior qualification or experience is necessary, although it is recommended that teams have played on quizbowl packets before and are familiar with NAQT rules. More information regarding this event, including how to sign-up, and additional details about the costs and discounts available can be found here. The following list shows the teams that have officially registered.

Current Field

Bayview A
Bayview B
"East Scarborough"
Lisgar
Merivale
Waterloo Collegiate Institute
Westmount A
Westmount B
White Oaks

Interested Schools (That Have Not Registered)

Bloor Collegiate Institute
Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute
Notre Dame
Toronto Montessori School