I know I’m late getting these notes out to everyone, but school has been very busy this week.
A number of us met on Tuesday at the Hooksett Public Library. Aside from myself, Murph and Gabe were present from Hanover, Sara from Merrimack, Marisa from John Stark (Welcome!), Jay and Troy from Plymouth, Peter from Pinkerton, Lisa, Karen and Kathryn (Welcome!) from BG, and finally, Donna and Becca from PCA (Welcome Becca!)
This is probably an appropriate moment to pause and wish Donna and Lisa a fond farewell as they move on to the next steps of their lives. I’ve know both of them for many years, and they are wonderful people and their involvement in the NHQBL has been so important. We will miss them both dearly.
We took some time to review the results of the feedback survey. Overall, the feedback was good. There were some suggestions, some of which were the subject of further discussion.
First, we did discuss the divisional realignment. While everyone agreed the new format worked well this year, and we liked having the at-large tournament at the end of the season. What followed was a discussion about why we wouldn’t just make all the tournaments at-large. We went back and forth on this. It was suggested that there is something nice about having a tournament that is “yours” in particular focus on, and it develops rivalries, but on the other hand, doing away with geographical regions would simplify the qualification process for the state tournament. Ultimately, we didn’t make any decisions on this, agreeing to look at options and perhaps revisit next year.
We briefly discussed moving Hanover back to the West Region, rather than North. (Murph and I had a short discussion on the nature of “north”…I still say anything north of Concord is “north”, but that’s my southern tier bias talking.) In the end though, we decided to leave things as they are for now.
A long discussion followed about questions. To sum up, there seems to be a consensus to move to a system where we have “pristine” questions for all tournaments, rather than recycled questions. The consensus was that we are not interested in the full “pyramid” style questions, because if our format is not changing, they take too long to read. We all agreed we like the format of our system, and the length of our tournaments. If schools wish to do full NAQT style tournaments with pyramids and bonuses, there’s certainly space for them to do that, and we encourage everyone to do as much quizbowl as their kids will put up with. The questions that remain for us are: where to get them, and how much can we afford to pay. Gabe has agreed to look into NAQT’s “speed-check” style which are similar in length and style to what we’re used to. I’ve already looked into Questions Unlimited, and their prices may be prohibitive. There’s still a ways to go on this and we will be digging into it further before the end of the year.
As as “afford” goes, we collected 1,000 dollars in dues this year. This money ended up being evenly split between the Hanover account and the new Citizens account. The Citizens account currently has a balance off 379.53, after expenses for the new banner, and the business cards that we hand out to folks, the trophy for the J/V “Best Team of the Year” and the start up costs of buying checks for the account. The Hanover account currently has a balance of 2,476.91. We began the year with a balance of 5,122.35. Major expenses from the Hanover account were the banner, plaques, and t-shirts. In addition, there were 2,284.69 worth of expenses associated with GHOST.
If we move to purchasing pristine questions for tournaments, we will probably need to be a little more conscientious about collecting dues, and perhaps look at alternative fundraising methods.
Moving on to other topics, we agreed that while only New Hampshire schools can compete for division titles and the championship, we welcome any neighboring schools to participate on a “for fun” basis. This was prompted by interest from folks like St. Dominic’s in Maine and Bromfield in Massachusetts.
There continues to be some interest in promoting programs at middle schools to try and grow our own programs. Nothing firm yet, though I think we agreed that 8th graders would be welcome on j/v teams. I’m not 100% sure that was the consensus, it was getting late and we were all hungry.
Speaking of j/v teams, we briefly discussed terminology. In the past, we have use “A” and “B” to identify your “main” team, vs others you might bring to the tournament. When we moved to separate brackets at tournaments instead of lumping everyone together, we adopted the “varsity” vs “J/V” designations. There was some talk about whether this was appropriate terminology, since it would be theoretically possible to have a large group of strong players, and if it would be appropriate to refer to them as “j/v” players…or…what? No conclusion was made, but we can toss this one around in the message boards.
Finally, we reached the point of setting our schedule. This is what it looks like tentatively:
Sept 29: Division II: Fall Mtn. (Tentative, not yet confirmed with Nick)
Oct 13: Division I: Plymouth
Oct 27: GHOST
Dec 8: Division III: BG
Feb 2: Division IV: Salem
March 9: At-Large: Pinkerton
There are still some dates still out there: History Bowl doesn’t have a date yet, and Plymouth hasn’t set a date yet for their NAQT tournament. We’ll push that info out when we have it.
And by this point some of us were starving, and hadn’t seen our children yet, so we called it a day.
We covered a lot of ground, and there’s important stuff here, so if you have questions or concerns, give one of us a shout. We’re here!
Thanks everyone who came, and thanks to everyone for a great season!