Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Announced: 11th Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament -- Nov. 21

The 11th Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament will be on November 21, 2015 at the University of Ottawa. It will use a Canadian edition of the NAQT IS-149A question set.

Details from Rodrigo's HSQB announcement:
University of Ottawa is happy to announce we will host the Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament XI (these all go up to 11!), we will be playing the NAQT-set 149A. We are working on making a Canadian edition with NAQT and ONQBA. 
Fees for the tournament/ discounts:
$50 for the first team from a school
$40 for each additional team
-$10 discount for a functional 8-person conventional buzzer set
-$5 for Buzzbox (only applied if we need them)--- 
The tournament will also most likely have a 1/1 Canadian content.
Time and date: November 21,2015 . Please arrive at 9am so we can start by 9:30
Building: TBD
Please email Vanessa- and myself- to tell us the number of teams you will bring and the discounts you will have.

Colonel By has won the last two editions of OQT, but Lisgar is ambitious about is winning this year so they can qualify for some US nationals. I'm looking forward to this event, and I will be sure to have someone doing coverage.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Our Old Website

For a long time, the ONQBA had a nice website at We have now switched to using this blog because it is easier to update. The URL now redirects to this blog.

The original ONQBA website can still be accessed at It should be intact except for a few links I broke.

Patrick Liao should always get credit for building a nice yellow website, and Joe Su should get credit for maintaining a good Results page for several years. Ben Smith and a few others deserve credit for writing good pages. Much of our original site will still be of interest to many people.

We are still working on fixing up the look of this blog and migrating a lot of the old content.

Checklist for Tournament Directors

I wrote this checklist for my own use. You may might it helpful or you may find it excessive.

The tasks in (brackets) are inessential -- many successful tournaments are run without those measures. Use your own judgment.

If this list is overwhelming, then ignore the items in brackets, and make other experienced people work on the tournament with you. Most quizbowlers should have some enthusiasm for helping with tournaments.

We recommend that you print this list out and work with a physical copy of it.

  • ❑ Talk to whoever coordinates quizbowl in your area.
  • ❑ Set the date.
  • ❑ Book the venue.
  • ❑ Find a question set. Secure permission to mirror the question set.
  • ❑ Figure out the pricing.
  • ❑ Add your tournament to the HSQB database.
  • ❑ Announce the tournament -- post to HSQB.
  • ❑ Announce the tournament -- post to relevant Facebook groups.
  • ❑ Announce the tournament -- email schools around.
  • ❑ Plan your staff. Minimum of 1 reader for every 2 teams, plus yourself in HQ all day.
  • ❑ Make sure there's a treasury.

                    Two Weeks Before
  • ❑ (Send reminder email to target schools.)
  • ❑ Plan some kind of prizes.
  • ❑ Confirm that you'll have enough staff.
  • ❑ Verify your room bookings.
  • ❑ Send reminder email to any teams that only half-registered.
  • ❑ Check on the official rules for your tournament.
  • ❑ Confirm that you have a question set.
  • ❑ Check that you have enough buzzers.

                    Week Before
  • ❑ Draw up staff assignments -- readers, statkeeper if the field is big, scorekeepers if possible. Try to have the TD in HQ all day.
  • ❑ Staff email: Send assignments, question packets, and the rules. Get their phone numbers. Tell them to bring laptops. (If you have extra volunteers, invite them to attend on standby.)
  • ❑ Teams email: Field, logistics, parking info. Ask for rosters and phone numbers.
  • ❑ Get your prizes.

                    Day Before
  • ❑ (Get some nametags.)
  • ❑ (Purchase candy for the tournament.)
  • ❑ (Print the questions for any readers who insisted on printed questions.)
  • ❑ Make a round-by-round schedule and print many copies.
  • ❑ Make backup schedules for -2, -1, and +1 teams.
  • ❑ Make and print blank receipts and invoices.
  • ❑ Print scoresheets and copies of the rules
  • ❑ (Make and print feedback surveys, and flyers for the next tournament after yours.)
  • ❑ Check that a stats computer has SQBS on it.

                    Night Before
  • ❑ Put the questions on a USB drive.
  • ❑ Pack masking tape, prizes, schedules, receipts, invoices, scoresheets, rules sheets, scrap paper, USB drive, and any buzzers you're bringing.
  • ❑ (Pack printed questions, nametags, pens, candy, surveys, flyers, staff gifts, and a printer.)

  • ❑ Arrive very early.
  • ❑ Make sure the rooms are unlocked.
  • ❑ Set up tournament HQ and registration.
  • ❑ (Print signs and tape up signs around the building.)
  • ❑ (Make the staff wear nametags.)
  • ❑ Assign a staffer to collect money. Make sure that person keeps a record of money received.
  • ❑ (Assign a staffer to do check-in with every team. Have them hand out rules sheets to teams.)
  • ❑ Assign a staffer to ensure buzzers and scoresheets in every room. That person must keep a record of whose buzzers are in which rooms.
  • ❑ (Assign extra staff to set up signs and buzzers and move furniture, or to visit any new teams.)
  • ❑ Assign staff their rooms for the day.
  • ❑ Morning meeting: Yell to the teams about schedule and any rules reminders.
  • ❑ Hand out schedules to teams.
  • ❑ Send teams to their rooms.

                    During Tournament
  • ❑ Keep TD or statkeeper at HQ.
  • ❑ (Dismiss your standby volunteers or invite them to do photos and coverage.)
  • ❑ (If the TD is reading, put them in the room next to HQ.)
  • ❑ (Have HQ track how long the rounds take.)
  • ❑ (Sub out whichever reader is the slowest. Have them switch jobs with a scorekeeper.)
  • ❑ (Keep a simple tally of teams' records so you can re-bracket them quickly when it is time for that.)

                    At Lunch
  • ❑ Clearly announce to all rooms when lunch begins and ends.
  • ❑ (Assign a staffer to lead teams to nearby food.)
  • ❑ (Make sure no idiots left laptops unattended.)
  • ❑ (Print standings and top scorers and tape those up in the halls.)
  • ❑ (Drop feedback surveys and next-tournament flyers in the rooms.)
  • ❑ (Distribute candy to the rooms.)

                    After the Tournament
  • ❑ (Invite teams to watch the final.)
  • ❑ Have awards and clapping.
  • ❑ Make the staff clean up their own rooms and put furniture back.
  • ❑ (Give the staff their gifts.)
  • ❑ Survey the rooms for messes or lost items.
  • ❑ Post the stats to your database page.
  • ❑ Send a wrap-up / recap email to the teams.
  • ❑ Make sure the money goes where it's supposed to.
  • ❑ Ask the club to pay back any expenses you incurred.

This checklist steals ideas from Chris Chiego's hosting guidethis HSQB threadBryn Reinecke's TD checklist, the Berkeley TD guide, and the QBWiki's "How to Run a Tournament." It is intended to be useful, complete, and concise. I welcome suggestions in the comments about improving this checklist.