Monday, 23 November 2015

Updated: Toronto Novice -- Dec. 5

Note: The date of the tournament has been moved back a week to December 5. We hope everyone can still attend.

Sidney Smith Hall at the University of Toronto.

Re-posting Meghan's HSQB announcement:
Hello Canada!

The University of Toronto Academic Trivia Club is very excited to announce the U of T Novice Tournament, happening on [December 5 now]. The tournament will be a mirror of NAQT set IS-149A.


The tournament will be held in Sidney Smith Hall (100 St. George Street) here on the U of T St. George campus. Rooms will be announced once a field is established. Due to exorbitant fees required by the university, this tournament will have a hard field cap of 7 teams. The tournament will begin at 9 am, please try to arrive at 8:30 for registration. We will not be providing lunch, but there are numerous options for food on and around campus.


The base fee for this tournament will be $50 per team. We will offer a $5 discount per working buzzer set (one per team). Please note that a "working buzzer set" must include 8 functioning buzzers and a power cord. We will also offer a $10 travel discount if your team traveled more than 200 km one way.

We would prefer fees to be paid in cash, but if necessary, a cheque made out to "University of Toronto Academic Trivia Club" will be accepted. Fees should be paid before the start of the tournament.


To register for this tournament, please email me at [meghan DOT torchia AT mail DOT utoronto DOT ca] with the number of teams you are bringing and any discounts you would like to claim. I will send you a confirmation email back.

If you have any questions or comments about this tournament, feel free to post them here or email me. This promises to be a great event, and I hope to see you in November!

Our note: This tournament will probably be played on a Canadian edition of the IS-149A questions. ONQBA will obtain NAQT's permission to modify the set for a Canadian audience.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

OQT 2015 Recap Letter

Moderators clearly impressed
by everyone's cool knowledge.

I'm sending a version of this letter to the clubs that played in the 2015 Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament.

Hello all --

I want to thank you and your teams for playing in the 11th OQT yesterday. The Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament is played every November at U of Ottawa, and I was very pleased with yesterday's edition. We played "elevator bowl" for nine rounds, and it all went quick and friendly thanks to the players and moderators.

Final stats are here. There were high-scoring teams from all four schools (Lisgar, Merivale, Colonel By, and Glebe). Lisgar A dominated with an 8-0 record and 47 powers. Lisgar B and Merivale both went 6-2, which qualifies them for a US Nationals in the spring, should either of those teams wish to buy flights to Dallas. (They might rather go to Provincials in Toronto.) Most players stayed for "mock finals," which was a tenth round of friendly scrimmages including both players and staff. Every school was given paper copies of the unplayed questions for "round 11 and 12."

Rodrigo Morante and I directed the tournament and wrote the Canada questions for the set. We had a full staff of 5 UOttawa students (Rodrigo, Shervin, Shelby, Dennis, and Ian), 3 ONQBA people (Ben, Patrick, and me), and a Lisgar coach (Ruth Crabtree). Staff said their highlights included a [Canadian TV question], an overtime game between two teams seeking their first win, and a request from players to read the questions in Chinese.

Players are encouraged to complete this feedback form for us. We're committed to growing our game, and we're still learning how to tinker with our events to make something that more people want to play.

I also want to advertise our next tournament, which is Stegosaurus Bowl on December 5 at Lisgar. This is planned as a ladder format tournament, so instead of a fixed round schedule, it will be "win and move up a room, lose and move down a room." It is in only two weeks, but I am excited for it -- I think the ladder structure will lead to more close matches and rivalries. You can find details on our forum announcement or our ONQBA blog announcement, and you can register teams with me or Ms. Crabtree.

Thanks again and congratulations to all participants in yesterday's Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament.


2016 Provincials Pre-Announcement

The 2014 and 2015 provincial champions from Colonel By.

The Ontario Provincial Championship for the 2015-16 quizbowl season will take place at University of Toronto on Saturday, March 26, 2016. Patrick Liao will probably direct the tournament.

The Championship is open to all high-school teams from Ontario, with steep discounts for teams that have won tournaments or otherwise excelled throughout the season. We may give wildcard invitations and discounts to top teams at Reach or History Bowl, or to top teams from other provinces. We'll play the tournament on a Canadian edition of an NAQT question set.

We've held a provincial championship since 2010. So far, teams from Ottawa have won all six editions. We'll see if that streak can hold or if the powerful Lisgar A team can win again this time.

Friday, 20 November 2015

ONQBA Awards for 2014-15

These awards are for the 2014-15 season -- most of our winners have now graduated out of the categories they won for. We voted on all these a long time ago. Ted and I wrote the blurbs.

A Lisgar player accepting some sort of award.

Best Player -- Cameron Amini (Colonel By)
Cameron was the strongest high school player in Canada for at least two years. He went from being the history player on a great team to being a player who could power questions on any subject. Other players got stronger in 2014-15 because they had to compete with Cameron.

Most Improved Player -- Nicholas Sunderland (Lisgar)
Nicholas won Canadian History Bowl and almost won Ontario Provincials with Lisgar. He was the second-leading scorer on his Lisgar team at HSNCT. Lisgar A improved massively through the year, breaking into the HSQBRank top 100.

Best Junior -- Sheena Li (Lisgar) 
Sheena was the top scorer on Lisgar B at HSNCT. She played Ottawa History Bowl with seniors on the Lisgar A team, and she nearly won the JV section of Canada History Bee.

Best Junior -- Jonathan Liu (Colonel By)
Jonathan was a threat to score on almost any category. He got 47 PPG at the Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament -- a commendable achievement for a player who was just starting quizbowl.

Community Leader -- Ruth Crabtree (Lisgar)
Ms. Crabtree has led and supported countless quizbowl projects over the last 15 years. Her work as a coach, organizer, trip supervisor, and mentor has made her a cornerstone of good tournaments in Ottawa and beyond, both during her teaching career and in her retirement. We are lucky for every year of Ms. Crabtree's leadership.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Recap: Lisgar Novice (October 2015)

Lisgar Novice was the first tournament of the 2015-16 season. Aidan Ryan directed, and a lot of (ineligible) senior players showed up to staff. I went so I could insist that the staff all wear nametags, and I did some coverage -- here is what I saw from every team.

Merivale C was Daniel, Claire, and Hao Hao when I saw them. They took a bad loss to Colin (Lisgar C), but they still got a nice power on an opera clue.

Lisgar B enjoying themselves.

Lisgar B was Nadia, Olive, Katriona, and Patrick. They went 5-3 with strong stats. Nadia seemed very strong on lit questions, and Patrick got some nice buzzes on history. Olive had an early buzz on my Cape Breton tossup, and she caught that it was asking "Cape Breton" instead of just "Nova Scotia."

Merivale A was Amiya, Zarak, and Ivan when I saw them. They seemed very good at at science (with a power and a 30), and they 20'ed a tricky bonus on U.S. sports.

Lisgar A was Justin, Kieran, Matthew, and Felipe. They went 6-2 and led the tournament in PPB. Felipe was the second-highest scorer in the tournament, and I saw him power two science questions. I was also impressed with Justin powering current events.

Colonel By B was Kevin, Victor, and David. They seemed very good at lit and classics. I saw them lose a close, high-scoring match, largely because they got -5 on a scrambly pop music tossup.

Colonel By C was Sam, Kevin, Conor, and Farid. They looked like a team of senior students, and they were definitely the rowdiest team in the tournament -- they cracked a lot of jokes. Conor knew some lit and Farid knew some U.S. politics. At one point they buzzed "Edmonton" for a city in Manitoba, but they still won their round when Kevin got a chemistry tossup at the end.

Merivale B was Alan, Megharaj, and Wahaj. I saw them lose to a strong team, but they seemed to know current events, and they 30'ed a physics bonus. They made a heartbreaking bad buzz by naming a book title on a tossup that asked for the author.

Colonel By A with important moderators.

Colonel By A was Denis, Jon, Emily, and Kevin. They came second in the tournament, going 1-2 against Colin and 7-0 against all other teams. They led the field in powers -- Emily got a lot of lit, and Kevin got a lot of history.

Lisgar C was one player -- Colin -- and he won the tournament! He swept 8-0 in the round robin, and then he split the finals 1-1 with Colonel By A, which clinched first place.

Lisgar C (artist's rendering).

The finals was Lisgar Colin (8-0) against Colonel By A (7-1). Colin had a one-game advantage, so he would take the tournament with a win. If Colonel By won the finals, it would just force a second game of the finals.

Finals game 1 was very close -- Colonel By got more powers, but it looked like Colin would win 280-225.

However, there was a protest to resolve. In mid-game, Denis had buzzed a tossup and changed his guess mid-word. Moderator Ben had called -5, but after the game, we checked the rules and it turned out that Dennis's buzz was allowed. That caused a 60-point swing and changed the game to a win for Colonel By.

Finals game 2 was less close. Colin beat the Colonel By team 13-7 on tossups. The one-player team, Lisgar C, won the tournament, 390-235.

Throughout the day, Colin had scored early buzzes and 30s on a ton of history, geography, and art questions. He seemed generally to just be a curious learner and to be aware of the world. In an early round, he had a funny exchange with a moderator over pronouncing a weird European name.

Here's my category breakdown for the two finals games:

Colonel By D was four more Kevins. They were unable to compete in this tournament.

Other things:
- Complete stats
- Canada questions (early draft)
- Tournament thread on HSQB
- Facebook album