Saturday, 23 December 2017

Comparing Stats for 2017-18

This post is copied from our new site, which we update more reliably now. We recommend you go there instead of here.


I looked at the stats from Toronto Novice Tournament and Carleton Supermoon Tournament. Here is my attempt to measure the strongest teams in Canada.

(The stats might have errors in them, and lots of teams can always make the claim that they didn't play their full "A" lineup. So this isn't a perfect measurement of strongest teams, but it's good enough to work with.)

Bonus Rates

Here are the top teams in Ontario, ranked by points-per-bonus.

bonus richmond 2

It looks like a small difference between Lisgar averaging 25 and Westmount averaging 21 on bonuses, but I prefer to measure the amount of bonus points missed. The top teams are around 5 points missed per bonus, or one part missed on every two bonuses. Other strong teams are closer to 9 points missed per bonus, which is a great result, but which is still close to double the "miss rate" of Lisgar A.

The average across all teams was 17.2 points per bonus. Colonel By missed the finals of their tournament, but their bonus rate was 3rd of 19 in Canada.

Power Rates

Here are the top teams in Ontario, ranked by frequency of 15-point powers.

power richmond

UTS A powered 41% of the tossups they heard, and they converted 73% of the tossups they heard. So in an average round, they would have had 8 powers and 15 total correct buzzes. They were the only team with more powers than 10s.

UTS B had a really high power rate, but they had a pretty high rate of -5s to go with it. Colonel By had a high power rate but a more modest tossup rate.

The average team had a 42% tossup conversion rate, which means that 84% of tossups were answered correctly at Toronto Novice and Carleton Supermoon. So 16% of tossups went dead at those tournaments.

The Lisgar B team made finals of their tournament but didn't make either of the leaderboards above. Their low power rate might reflect conservative play, as their rate of -5s was the lowest of any team in either tournament.


I think UTS is the strongest team right now. I think they're slight favourites to win quizbowl provincials and both the similar championships, assuming they enter teams.

I pick UTS over Lisgar because I think the power rates matter. Power stats are sensitive to random changes in play-style, but early buzzes usually show that a team can "scale up" and play well with stronger questions and stronger opponents. So since UTS has the higher power rate, they have the stronger team this fall.

Lisgar gains more from combining their top scorers into a "super-A" team. UTS A had five players with high scoring stats already, so adding the top scorer from the B team could improve them, but not by a huge amount. Whereas Lisgar A was only 3 players this time, so adding a strong player from the B (or C) team would be a big improvement.

It is unlikely that another team will surpass UTS and Lisgar this year, so I'm most interested now in seeing games between UTS and Lisgar. I'm also interested to see if another team can emerge as a clear 3rd-best and maybe get a game-win against one of the frontrunners.

My advice to dominant teams is to practice on harder questions.

Recap -- Carleton Supermoon Tournament

This post is copied over from our new site, which we update more reliably. We recommend you go there instead.


I was very pleased with the Carleton Supermoon Tournament on Saturday. We had 7 teams and least 25 players, representing 5 different schools. Raw stats are here. Below are some highlights.

Lisgar has strong teams

Lisgar is a big magnet school that practices a lot of quizbowl. We are never surprised when they have strong players and teams, but we are still happy to celebrate their performances.

Lisgar's three teams went 11-1 against non-Lisgar teams on Saturday. Colin led the tournament in scoring stats, and his Lisgar A team (with Thomas and Olive) swept the tournament. Lisgar A was also very good at reminding the tournament director to hold a finals match.

Lisgar B (Matthew, Hannah, and Amy) made the finals with a close win over Colonel By. Lisgar C had a strong 19 points-per-bonus, and their players got most of the buzzes in my scrimmage room.

Lisgar might have been the only school who brought grade-nine players to the tournament. Their coach was pleased with the bravery and glad to see them build tournament experience.

Many nice people answered questions

The Colonel By team had a nice 4-2 record. They missed the finals, but they were a strong 2nd place by most stats, after their win at Lisgar Novice in November. They also did clapping exercises for about two minutes straight, which was very funny in context.

The Ashbury and Almonte teams had the worst records, but all reports said they knew plenty and were cool opponents. Ashbury had no grade 12s and was playing in its first "true quizbowl" tournament, after some visits to Reach and History Bee. Almonte were fun to see in my scrimmage room, where they ate up a lot of the science and sports questions. Their coach gave a pretty amazing report on some of the trivia fundraisers that happen in west Ottawa.

The Nepean team ("Team Ten") had strong stats, including 17 points-per-bonus. One of their players gave a memorable wrong answer on a lit question, which you should ask about if you see Nepean at a future event.

Best games

Round 1 -- Lisgar B vs Colonel By
Kevin was the only player who buzzed for Colonel By in this round, but he was enough to put them in a lead, 275-240, with three tossups left. They were two geography questions and one classical music question, and Matthew got all three of them to win the game for Lisgar. This round ended up deciding which of the two teams would make the finals.

Round 2 -- Lisgar A vs Lisgar B
This was the closest anyone came to beating Lisgar A. After 16 tossups, the score was 260-240, before Lisgar A finally pulled away by getting the next three tossups and 8 of the 9 bonus parts. The final score was 365-260, with almost all of the buzzes from Colin and Matthew. (When these teams played again in the finals, more different players answered more tossups, and they hit higher scores, 485-180.)

Round 5 -- Ashbury vs Almonte
Almonte got tossup 16 and 30'd the bonus to lead 145-85. William from Ashbury hadn't buzzed in all game, but he then buzzed on all the last four tossups -- a neg on tossup 17, then a 10 and and a power on a bio question to tie the game, and then another power to win on another bio question. From the stats, it looks like at seven different players buzzed on tossups in this round, including lots of 15s and -5s.

Round 7 -- Lisgar C vs Colonel By
After 16 tossups, Colonel By had a 255-110 lead in this game. Lisgar then got the next three tossups, including a power by grade-nine player Marin. But Lisgar only converted 3 of their 9 bonus parts, so Colonel By were able to coast to a win, 275-180.

Grand thanks to everyone who played and staffed Carleton Supermoon Tournament. We will have more posts coming up soon to release last weekend's Canada questions, to announce Provincials, and to crunch some stats from the tournaments this fall.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Announced: December HS Tournaments in Toronto and Ottawa

We have confirmed dates for high school tournaments in December! The Toronto and Ottawa events will take place on the same day and will use Canadian editions of the same NAQT set.

Toronto Novice

The annual Toronto Novice HS Tournament is back on December 2 and will be hosted at the University of Toronto St. George Campus. This event is open to beginners and experienced players alike, and we're excited to welcome several new teams to the mix this year!

Carleton Supermoon Tournament

The Ottawa winter tournament returns with a snazzy name this time, and will take place at Carleton University on December 2. It is likely that this will be the last Ottawa quizbowl event in the 2017-18 season.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Announced: November Novice in Hamilton and Ottawa

High school quizbowl is now beginning for the 2017-18 season!

MacIntro III

On November 11, McMaster is hosting their third MacIntro tournament. It's intended for new players and teams, but any high-schooler is eligible. The "king of quizzes" Peter Cordeiro will direct the event.

Last year's tournament went to the final tossup before ending with a victory by Westmount over Central Richmond Hill. Some of those players are back for this year's high-school season, so our "Intro" might have some powerful teams this time.

Lisgar Novice

On November 18, Lisgar Collegiate is hosting a novice tournament in Ottawa. They do have some eligibility restrictions, so it will be a gentler field, and top Lisgar players like Colin Veevers will be running the tournament instead of playing.

Last year's Lisgar Novice was dominated by Lisgar teams. Lisgar has a good novice class every year, but the other high schools in Ottawa have stayed strong at Reach and History Bowl. Some experienced players from other games could challenge for a quizbowl title.

MacIntro and Lisgar Novice will both be played on the SCOP Novice questions. (Kristin Strey and SCOP should get credit for writing a good tournament every year, keeping their question fees low, and always making a Canadian edition. For reference: last year's SCOP Novice questions.)

Friday, 29 September 2017

Fall Schedule 2017

This is a re-post of the events page from our new website. We will be keeping both pages up to date.

High-School Tournaments -- Unofficial

Event Likely Date Location Contact
UTS Reach Oct. 28, 2017 UT Schools (Toronto) Jonathan Bitidis
MacIntro Nov. 11, 2017 McMaster U (Hamilton) Peter Cordeiro
Lisgar Novice Nov. 18, 2017 Lisgar CI (Ottawa) Colin Veevers
Toronto Winter Dec. 2, 2017 University of Toronto Meghan Torchia
Ottawa QT Dec. 2, 2017 University of Ottawa Shervin Ghiami
Winter Reach Feb. 10, 2018 Lisgar CI (Ottawa) Ruth Crabtree

The November novice tournaments have official announcements and info in the links. Some of the other tournaments haven't been announced yet. We'll post more when they're confirmed and finalized. The UTS Reach event is confirmed, but it was announced by email, so there's no public post about it.

You can contact us if you need any help tracking down the organizers of these events.

University Tournaments

Event Date Location Contact
EFT Oct. 14, 2017 University of Toronto Meghan Torchia
Penn Bowl Oct. 21, 2017 Queens U (Kingston) Dennis Beeby
ACF Fall* Nov. 4, 2017 University of Ottawa Shervin Ghiami
WAO Nov. 18, 2017 University of Waterloo Isaac Thiessen

There will be side events and trash on the weekend of ACF Fall.

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.)