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Southern California Date Claim 2016 – 2017

By posted July 26th, 2016 No comments

We are currently accepting bids and claims for high school and middle school quizbowl tournaments in Southern California for the 2016 – 2017 school year. If you are interested in hosting a tournament, please contact Sui Feng Xu at sfxu@uci.edu.

2016 – 2017 Scheduling

By posted May 25th, 2016 No comments

We are currently assembling a list of potential hosts and bids for the tournament circuit this coming year. If you are interested in hosting a high school, middle school, History Bowl, or other quizbowl tournament during the 2016 – 2017 school year, please send us an email at qb.socal@gmail.com. No prior tournament hosting experience is necessary.

Triton Spring Wrap-Up and Nationals Predictions

By posted May 15th, 2016 No comments

La Jolla cleared the field 12 – 0. Full stats available here.

Team performance:

Rank Team Record PPB
1 La Jolla 12 – 0 22.32
2 Canyon Crest A 11 – 1 23.59
T – 3 Westview 9 – 3 22.08
T – 3 Torrey Pines A 9 – 3 19.84

Individual performance:

Rank Name Team PPG
1 Bryan U. Rancho Bernardo 97.08
2 James M. La Jolla 89.58
3 Rahul K. Westview 80.00
4 Shripad B. Irvine 68.33

Southern California quietly closed out the 2015 – 2016 season in the most unsurprising way possible: playoff contenders A through Z brawled for the win as La Jolla came out on top without a scratch. Over the coming weeks, six of these teams, plus many more across Southern California, will be pitted against powerhouses from all over the country at one of quizbowl’s two national championships: NAQT’s High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT) on May 27 – 29 in Dallas, and PACE’s National Scholastic Championship on June 3 – 5 in Chicago.

The SoCalQuizbowl.org staff have made predictions for each team’s performance with our respective arguments, using as reference points Fred Morlan’s nationwide quizbowl rankings, a cross-analysis of local tournament results, and performance trends across past national tournaments.

Read more…

Torrey Pines A wins PII @ La Jolla HS (3/26/16)

By posted March 30th, 2016 No comments

Torrey Pines A cleared the field 10 – 0. Full stats available here.

Team performance:

Rank Team Record PPB
1 Torrey Pines A 10 – 0 24.03
2 Westview A 9 – 1 23.81
3 Canyon Crest A 8 – 2 22.26
4 Irvine 6 – 4 22.42

Individual performance:

Rank Name Team PPG
1 Brandon Z. Torrey Pines B 86.11
2 Gokul S. Del Norte A 75.00
3 Thomas F. Torrey Pines A 69.00
4 Rahul K. Westview A 66.00

Torrey Pines AWestview A, and Canyon Crest A qualified for the 2016 HSNCT.

Read more…

Westview wins Bronco Bowl @ Rancho Bernardo HS (3/19/16)

By posted March 26th, 2016 No comments

Westview cleared the field 10-0. Full stats available here.

Team performance:

Varsity JV
Rank Team Record PPB Rank Team Record PPB
1 Westview A 10 – 0 20.62 1 Arcadia B 8 – 1 14.27
2 La Jolla 8 – 2 22.68 2 Canyon Crest B 8 – 2 16.52
3 Canyon Crest A 7 – 3 21.62 3 Patrick Henry A 5 – 4 14.73
T – 4 Torrey Pines A 5 – 5 19.18 4 Mount Carmel 5 – 5 14.47
T – 4 Arcadia A 5 – 5 19.69

Individual performance:

Varsity JV
Rank Name Team PPG Rank Name Team PPG
1 James M. La Jolla 118.00 1 Jacob G. Arcadia B 52.00
2 Rahul K. Westview A 100.00 2 Nick T. Rancho Bernardo 50.00
3 Brandon Z. Torrey Pines B 76.00 3 Maddy Grauer B 48.75
4 Walter Z. Torrey Pines A 74.00 4 Chloe Grauer B 45.00

Westview ALa JollaCanyon Crest ATorrey Pines AArcadia A, and Del Norte qualified for the 2016 PACE NSC.

Read more…

Westview wins ACE IX @ Arcadia HS (2/27/16)

By posted March 3rd, 2016 No comments

Westview cleared the field 10-0. Full stats available here.

Team performance:

Rank Team Record PPB
1 Westview 10 – 0 21.48
2 Torrey Pines A 9 – 1 22.82
3 Rancho Bernardo 8 – 2 22.27
4 Canyon Crest Academy 7 – 3 21.38

Individual performance:

Rank Name Team PPG
1 Kion Y. Rancho Bernardo 117.22
2 Rahul K. Westview 88.33
3 Jeffrey Q. Canyon Crest Academy 86.11
4 Mila F. North Hollywood 60.56
5 Dean C. Santa Monica A 59.50
6 Thomas F. Torrey Pines A 59.00
7 Brandon Z. Torrey Pines B 58.50
8 Peyrin K. Diamond Bar 41.43

Westview and Torrey Pines A qualified for the 2016 NAQT HSNCT.

Westview and Torrey Pines A qualified for the 2016 PACE NSC.

Read more…

The State of SoCalQuizbowl: Falling Behind the North

By posted February 29th, 2016 No comments

[This post is inspired in part by Charlie Dees’ recent post about his thoughts on the Missouri quizbowl circuit, which is well-worth a read as well] 

Greetings from the East Coast. It’s been awhile since I’ve followed SoCalQuizbowl closely since I’ve moved to Philadelphia (you can follow the goings-on in the Keystone State over at Greater Pennsylvania QuizBowl). I have been working mostly on starting brand-new teams in the City of Brotherly Love itself, but I thought I would check in to see how things have been going this year in SoCal.

So what’s the state of SoCalQuizbowl? The top teams are as good as they’ve ever been and there’s a stable circuit anchored around the Carmel Valley of northern San Diego. Middle school participation seems to be increasing in the San Diego area. UCSD seems to have successfully survived the departure of its old guard and UCI has revived slightly.

But that’s about it for the positives. The negatives are, to put it mildly, yuuuge. Four-team tournaments? The wholesale disappearance of circuit regulars like University, San Dieguito, and several others? Every brand-new team showing up to get curbstomped by a bunch of veteran teams? Novice tournaments that have no new schools?

Even worse, I’ve heard reports of poorly run tournaments and unfriendly behavior that turns people off from playing in college. This does not bode well for the future of SoCal QB.

Northern California is now eating Southern California’s lunch when it comes to organization and improvement (check out this 65-team field (!!!) from a recent tournament). Yes, this is partially due to the Berkeley magnet sucking up many of the top players in the state and making Berkeley capable of incredible feats of hosting and team-fielding, but San Diego had a head-start a few years ago and seems to have completely stalled. Los Angeles and Orange County, unfortunately, continue their reputation as where quizbowl goes to die outside of North Hollywood, Arcadia, and Irvine to a large extent.

So what can SoCal do to catch up to the North? I know many people are doing their best right now in SoCal individually, but this is a task that requires coordination between all tournament hosts and as many players and sponsors as possible. Some concrete suggestions:

  1. Introduce Real JV and Novice Divisions at more tournaments. If you have enough teams, do separate JV and Novice divisions and fill them with actual novice teams. If you’re a TD, police the rosters relentlessly so that top frosh and sophomores from highly established teams are playing in the varsity or open divisions where they belong. If you can’t fill a field with at least 6-8 new to newish teams, you’re doing something wrong outreach-wise. This is one of the biggest differences that I’ve seen between NorCal and SoCal in recent years. Not all tournaments should necessarily have these divisions, but many more should than do now.
  2. Get more coach/teacher involvement. I know this is difficult given the prevailing hands-off coaching style that’s the norm in the area, but I’ve seen in Pennsylvania just how much a few dedicated coaches can bring to a circuit in terms of credibility with other coaches and admins as well as institutional knowledge. Every tournament should be an opportunity to develop a stronger relationship with coaches at as many schools as possible. Stay in touch with coaches after tournaments and work to help them out as much as possible rather than just contacting them when you want them to come to your tournament.
  3. Establish a tournament schedule earlier on with more co-hosting, fewer tournaments, and better direction. Why was Triton Winter announced for the same date as SoCal States (which was also the same date as a Middle School tournament too)? Why are there so many tournaments that attract a dozen teams or less on the schedule? Why are tournaments announced just a few weeks before they’re hosted? Is anyone here reading the SoCalQB tournament hosting guide that’s been on this site for years? This kind of scheduling chaos is unprofessional and leads to the predictable results of too many tournaments, unprepared TDs, and a sub-par product.
  4. Plan out a united SoCal outreach strategy from the start of the year (when brand-new schools have the best chance to form teams). Some suggestions:
    a. Stop with the mass emails to the same old addresses and start personalizing invites to schools. Try even leaving a phone message or two for a sponsor just to make contact. Attend all the Academic League pre-season meetings in person and talk to coaches there.
    b. For schools with no team of any kind, aim for student activity directors at private schools and the larger publics that have them in addition to emailing principals at the start of the year. The more points of contact that you can make, the better potential for someone to get back to you.
    c. Designate a few tournaments at the start of the year as “outreach targets” to get the whole SoCalQB community involved in organizing outreach for them and working every connection that people have. That way these tournaments will hopefully have large novice fields that can help build up a circuit. The last thing a novice team needs is to be the only new team at a tournament and get blown out by 500 points to every team.
  5. Get more teams who already play some form of quizbowl involved. Take advantage of the fact that the San Diego Academic League now is using pyramidal questions and work on getting those schools to tournaments and, more importantly, “plugged in” to the circuit via the Facebook group and such. Further South, the Sweetwater League has been using pyramidal questions for years and yet you hear nary a peep from those schools other than Olympian these days. I also believe there are still pockets of potentially non-pyramidal competition in Ventura County, the Crescenta Valley area, and elsewhere. Yes, Academic Decathlon sucks the air out of everything (I blame the LA Timesrelentlessly fawning and uncritical coverage EVERY YEAR) in LA and Orange County, but there are plenty of opportunities to expand.
  6. Revive the college circuit. Where are all the graduating players going? Start working with graduating seniors this year on helping them prepare to set up new teams. Look for players from the remaining non-pyramidal teams too. Get whatever’s in the water at Berkeley down to SoCal ASAP. If there are people causing problems at the college level that keep people from playing at local schools, get this out into the open.

Now is the time to start planning for next year. There’s plenty of quizbowl left to be played this year and thus many opportunities to get the planning started over lunch, after the tournaments, and via Facebook and such in between. I wish y’all the best of luck and will see many of you at nationals!

TWAIN XIV @ UC Los Angeles (02/14/16) [Maryland Fall]

By posted February 3rd, 2016 No comments

The UCLA College Bowl Club is pleased to announce TWAIN XIV: Lupercalia.

DATE: The tournament will be held on Sunday, February 14, 2016.

PARKING: Parking is $12 at various structures throughout the UCLA campus. More parking information here. We recommend Parking Structure 5.

VENUE: Haines Hall. All rooms will be on the A floor right below the ground floor, and headquarters will be at A25.

Read more…

Bronco Bowl @ Rancho Bernardo HS (3/19, BISB)

By posted February 1st, 2016 No comments

Full tournament announcement available here.

The Rancho Bernardo Quizbowl team is pleased to announce that we will be hosting our tournament on March 19, 2016, using the Brookwood Invitational Scholar Bowl (BISB) question set. This tournament will include junior varsity and varsity divisions.

Location: The tournament will take place at Rancho Bernardo High School @ 13010 Paseo Lucido, San Diego, CA 92128

Date: The tournament will take place on March 19, 2015. Check in will begin at 8:00 AM and the first round will start promptly at 9:00 AM.

Read more…

2015 – 2016 Mid-Season Rankings and Analysis

By posted January 23rd, 2016 No comments

In the aftermath of a two-week-long poll and a detailed survey of the strongest teams in the region, the SoCalQuizbowl.org team is ready to share its analysis of each team compared to each other and to the other teams in nationwide. Going into the spring season, this is the point in time when teams begin finalizing their nationals squad and picking up stray subjects and niche areas to round out their composition.

Each analysis uses Fred Morlan’s most recent nationwide rankings of high school teams as a reference point.

1st – La Jolla A (164 points, Morlan: 7)

Despite losing fine arts specialist Erica Liu (MIT ’19) and RMP specialist Charlie Mann (UCLA ’19), Vincent Doehr (12) and James Malouf (11) lead the team with tremendous depth in literature, history, science, and geography – not to mention that Doehr is unquestionably the best NAQT player in the region. However, the streamlined depth-over-breadth dynamic creates a rather inconsistent and packet-dependent team – with just two main scorers, opponents of equal caliber are sure to take advantage of their blind spots in the arts and in RMP.

2nd – Canyon Crest A (140 points, Morlan: 20)

Canyon Crest is arguably the most balanced team in the region: science specialist Daniel Wang (10), history player Boopala Arul (10), and rising generalist Jeffrey Qiu (10) are captained by grizzled veteran and RMP specialist Nathan Mar (12). The team needs to continue attending tournaments with the same roster to solidify their team dynamic and plug up their weak areas in all of the subjects not in the Big Three (literature, history, and science).

3rd – Torrey Pines A (136 points, Morlan: 30)

Torrey Pines’s greatest strength is in history specialist and NAQT powerhouse Thomas Freedman (10), who doubles as an all-around generalist for the team. Vasu Vikram (12) returns as the resident fine arts player, while Walter Zhao (12), Brandon Zhang (12), and Casimir Kothari (12) are shuffled around from tournament to tournament. The team should look to consolidating their roster and playing harder tournaments such as UC San Diego’s mirrors of MUT and DII ICT in the spring.

4th – Rancho Bernardo A (102 points, Morlan: 31)

Rancho Bernardo is spearheaded by Kion You (12), Southern California’s strongest individual player. A maestro on fine arts and an all-around threat in every other subject, You led his team to finish just one point-per-bonus (PPB) behind Michigan’s Detroit Catholic Central High School (DCC), the top-ranked team in the nation, at UC San Diego’s collegiate-difficulty MLK tournament. One-person teams are an all-in strategy, though – fourth players Bryan Ugaz (11) and Omar El-Sabrout (11) must pick up after You’s gaping weaknesses in the sciences.

5th – Westview A (92 points, Morlan: 45)

Westview’s greatest issues stem from roster inconsistency and the loss of NAQT powerhouse Kevin Li (MIT ’19) – most of the burden has shifted to Rahul Keyal (11), the team’s literature specialist and budding generalist. With Chaitanya Kore (11) absent from their nationals squad, the team needs more than mythology player Shivank Nayak (11) to put a dent in the standings – they should look to turn their fourth players (Kevin Yu (10) , Anish Sathe (11)) into strong subject specialists.

6th – Arcadia A (52 points, Morlan: 59)

Unfortunately for history player David Zhang (12) and science specialist Joshua Jen (12), this year is a rebuilding year for Arcadia, whose infinite roster and stranglehold over the region seems to be coming to a close. The team should continue to mix and match their army of sophomores – Xiaoke Ying (10), Jacob Glass (10), Matt Forster (10), Hamlin Liu (10), and Roger Lin (10) – to see how they best complement each other and the A team.

7th – Irvine A (47 points, Morlan: 84)

History specialist Shripad Badithe (10) leads this team as he makes strides towards generalism, but the team still needs to fill out a complete roster that can cover the remaining subjects and pick up stray points on tossups and bonuses. The team should consolidate a roster of fourth players Brian Zhou (11), Andy Huang, and Justin Chen (10) around Badithe and team captain Sun Ah Lee (11).

8th – North Hollywood A (24 points, Morlan: 54)

The loss of Sam Winikow (Chicago ’19) hasn’t been as devastating as many folks predicted – emergent top scorers Mila Frank (12) and Justin Le (11) took their squad right back into being a perennial playoff team almost immediately. North Hollywood should look to consolidate a four-person roster and consistently attend tournaments to streamline their rebuilding team dynamic.

On the cusp: Cathedral Catholic, Bishop’s, Los Alamitos, Scripps Ranch