Monday, 14 December 2015

December 5th: Quizbowl Night in Ontario

For the first time this season, we saw two high-school tournaments placed on the same weekend. After the awards were handed out and buzzers packed up, I created the following general summary of the events.

University of Toronto Novice Tournament

There was a sense of novelty and uniqueness felt by this tournament, given that it was the first one Toronto hosted this season, and the fact that three schools were playing their first ever quizbowl tournament. However, if you thought that this resulted in a lack of competition, you would be strongly mistaken! White Oaks and Bayview A both won the majority of their games, earning a place in the upper bracket. After facing off against each other, it was determined that East Scarborough A would play in an advantage final against White Oaks. Despite losing the first game, East Scarborough A won the second 410-295 to win the tournament. Both experienced players (such as Jacky Li and George Lu), and talented newer players (such as Kelly Yu and Aleem Damji) alike put in impressive performances.

Stegosaurus Bowl at Lisgar

This tournament also followed a unique new format from most quizbowl tournaments, as it utilized a ladder format. Under this format, teams played two pre-games for ranking purposes before they were sent to their respective seeded rooms. After this took place, teams would move up or down the 'ladder' to play teams more suited to their skill level. The Lisgar Dragons managed to stave off defeat despite notable efforts by Merivale A and the Lisgar Shamrocks. While Sheena Li and Colin Veevers had great performances, it should be noted that Eric from Cairine Wilson showed a remarkable first time performance by receiving 70 points per game.

An exciting diagram of Stegosaurus Bowl

Stats for both these tournaments can be found here and here.

2016 ONQBA Provincials Annoucement

The Ontario Quizbowl Association, in collaboration with the University of Toronto quizbowl team, is pleased to host the 2016 ONQBA Provincial Championship. It will be held at the University of Toronto, St. George Campus on Saturday March 26, 2016. This tournament will be the premier high school quizbowl event in Ontario, serving as an opportunity to bring competition from all active regions in the province. This tournament is also an opportunity for teams to qualify for the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT) and the PACE National Scholastic Championship (NSC). More information on this can be found here. It will take place in Sidney Smith Hall (100 St. George Street, Toronto, ON) and will run from the morning to mid-late afternoon.

The tournament director, Patrick Liao, can be reached by email at patrick.s.liao – AT – Registration emails should be sent to him at the above address and contain the number of teams registered, and what discounts will be claimed. Invoices will be sent to teams via email. Posts in the comments or messaging him on Facebook do not count as official registrations, though he is available for questions through both of those mediums. He will be assisted in tournament direction by Meghan Torchia, the President of the University of Toronto quizbowl team, especially on issues concerning logistics, transportation, and food.

We have applied to NAQT to be the "state" championship for Ontario and use the accompanying question set. In the unlikely event that the ONQBA bid fails, we will obtain an alternate source of regular difficulty questions. Assuming the use of NAQT questions, the games will be timed and calculation questions will be removed. We also expect to be able to include approximately one tossup and bonus per game of Canadian content. Games will follow NAQT rules.

We tentatively have a field cap of 20 teams, though we can likely find resources to handle more teams given enough notice. For a field of 12 teams or fewer, there will be a full round-robin plus additional playoff rounds to get all teams to at least 8 or 9 games. For fields greater than 12 teams, there will be preliminary pools followed by playoff tiers.

The tournament fees are as follows:
* $90 for the first team from a school
* $70 for the second team from a school
* $50 for each additional team from a school beyond the second
* $5 discount for fully working buzzer systems (to be tested day of)
* $5 discount for trained staff
* $10 discount for travel over 200 km
* Other discounts for activity on the Ontario circuit (see below)
* Other discounts at the discretion of the ONQBA board for exceptional circumstances (e.g. travel over 400 km, single person teams, etc.)
Minimum total fee: $20 (per team)

To encourage more activity in the high school circuit during the year, the ONQBA is also offering participation discounts. A school that participated in an ONQBA-certified event can claim up to ONE of the following:

* $40 for hosting an ONQBA-certified event
* $10 for attending at least two non-provincials certified events
* $10 for winning a certified event
* $5 for attending one non-provincial certified event

To promote healthy communications practices, any team that from this post onwards changes the number of teams registered attending any high school quizbowl tournament in Ontario with less than 24 hours notice to the tournament director(s) will not be eligible for any discounts (including for additional teams) and will be given the lowest priority if they end up on a waitlist.

At this stage, all academic quizbowl events intended for high school teams with at least one Ontario team in attendance will count as certified. History Bowl events in Canada count; "Reach-style" events or SchoolReach regionals do not.

All teams from Ontario are welcome and encouraged to attend. No prior qualification or experience is necessary, although it is recommended that you become familiar with NAQT rules and try practicing on a few quizbowl packets, of which many similar non-NAQT formats are available online.