A HOW-TO-DO-STUFF GUIDE FOR THE

COLLEGE BOWL CLUB OF UCLA

AND OTHER CLUBS WHO WANT TO DO STUFF TOO

 

DWIGHT WYNNE

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

I.                    Introduction

II.                 Playing the Game

III.               Administrative Duties

IV.              Going to Tournaments

V.                 Hosting Tournaments

 

Appendices:

A.                 ďCharles/Dwight Ė EnglishĒ Dictionary

B.                 UCLA Quiz Bowl Administrative History

C.                 UCLA Quiz Bowl Travel Stories

D.                 References

 


INTRODUCTION

 

            I donít claim to be one of the greats of the game.  I donít even claim to have been doing this long enough to know what Iím doing.  But at some point someone else is going to have to take over the club, and that means other people are going to have to do everything Iíve been doing for the last year.

            This is intended specifically as a how-to guide for those who will come after me as officers of the College Bowl Club of UCLA, detailing all of my wisdom on how to operate virtually every facet of club activity.  Because of the high level of overlap between many quiz bowl clubs at the high school and college levels, many parts of this guide pertain not only to the College Bowl Club of UCLA but many other like-minded clubs.

            If youíre reading this, itís probably because youíre an officer in your quiz bowl club, and someone is clueless about what they should do.  Thatís okay.  Donít panic.  This guide should cover it.  If it doesnít, hopefully someone will edit it so this stands as advice for future clubs everywhere.

 

Dwight Wynne

President, College Bowl Club of UCLA, 2005-2006 and 2006-2007


PLAYING THE GAME

 

THE BASIC RULES OF THE GAME

 

            If youíre here, you probably understand the rudimentary format of the game, but in case youíre not, I will present a somewhat straightforward and simplified set of rules for playing the game.

            In the game of College Bowl, or Quiz Bowl, or various other things it may be called, there are two types of questions: tossups, which must be answered individually, and bonuses, which can be answered after consulting with other team members.  Most tournaments have four players to a team, though some formats have four, and a team can be made up of less in most formats.  In NAQT, ACF, and mACF formats, a minimum of one player is required.  In CBI format, a minimum of three players is required.

            To correctly answer a tossup, one must first ďbuzz inĒ using a hand-held signaling device found at your table.  After being recognized (in some formats, simply knowing the light is yours is enough to be recognized), one has a variable number of seconds (usually five or less, depending on the format) to give an answer.  If the answer is correct, ten points will be awarded to that team, and the team will also receive a bonus.  Interrupting a question and giving an incorrect answer will result in a five-point deduction, while incorrect answers given after the question has been read in its entirety neither add nor deduct points.  In all cases only one player on each team may buzz in, but there is no stipulation on which player; all players can answer a tossup.

            After correctly answering a tossup, a team earns a bonus.  Bonuses are usually three parts worth ten points each, but there are several variations of this depending on the format.  After the bonus question is completely read, teams have five seconds to confer amongst themselves as to the correct answer before the moderator prompts for an answer.  The captain, or a player designated by the captain, then gives the teamís answer to that bonus part.  After all parts of the bonus have been read and answered, a new tossup/bonus cycle begins.  In some formats, bounceback bonuses, in which a team that did not get the tossup is allowed to answer if the initial team missed the bonus part, are popular; these rarely exist at the college level, except occasionally at practice.

            Verbal conferring, that is, talking with teammates about the answer during a tossup, or answering a tossup when a teammate has signaled, is not allowed in any format and penalties on this usually treat the offender as if he or she had signaled and responded incorrectly.  Formats vary on the legality of different types of non-verbal conferring.

            For more in-depth rules, one is encouraged to consult Appendix D.

 

HOW TO ATTEND PRACTICE

 

            One of the best ways to get better is by attending practice.  Many clubs are by now large enough and committed enough to run either separate practices or separate rooms that segregate the newer and more experienced players.  UCLA in particular tries to run its novice practices on Monday nights and its veteran practices on either Wednesday or Thursday nights, depending on availability.  Some clubs also run a mixed practice.

            Players are encouraged to start at practices designed specifically for newer players.  This involves a couple of older players reading questions at a lower level of difficulty.  Even if you think these questions are too hard, stick it out.  Often, after hearing something come up a few times in practice or in class, the questions seem easier.  Also, some players give advice on ďbuzzwordsĒ or clues that come up often and lead to a desired set of answer choices (e.g. ďThe setting of this play includes a lone treeĒ almost inevitably leads to the answer ďWaiting for GodotĒ).

            If youíre feeling ready for some tougher competition, either question-wise or player-wise, or you want to expand your depth and breadth beyond the novice canon, you should try checking out either mixed or veteran practices, depending on what your club has.  Most of the veterans are genuinely interested in growing the club, both in the number of players and the number of good players, so even if you donít get a single question, you will probably learn something that you find interesting from these people and questions.

            If you donít know when or where the club practices are, you should contact one of the club officers or look on the club website.

 

HOW TO OBTAIN QUESTIONS FOR PRACTICE

           

             There are typically three ways to obtain questions for practice: buying, trading, and writing.  Each of these has its own costs and benefits.

            Both companies and some clubs offer questions from past tournaments for sale.  These can range from $10 for the entire set to $57 per packet.  An alternative way to obtain questions, once youíre a little more experienced, is to trade questions.  This is slowly becoming out of style, but there are a few clubs who still trade sets of questions that they have for sets that they havenít read before.  If youíre just starting, or need something for practice quickly, the Stanford Packet Archive and the ACF Question Archive (see Appendix D) are the largest repositories of free questions on the web.  All of the questions here have been used at past tournaments, and they bypassed the sell/trade route to become free to anyone who wants to download them.  Just please donít try to sell them as your own, especially if I wrote them.

            Lastly, most tournaments need questions.  Weíll get to that in a later chapter.  Anyway, tournament directors and editors often solicit a call for so-called ďfreelance packetsĒ; that is, packets written by people who donít plan on attending that tournament or any other tournament using the same set of questions.  The standard reward for a freelance packet is a free set of the tournamentís questions, which can usually take several practices to read.  Thanks to Ray, the UCLA club now has a significant amount of questions obtained through this practice, but weíre always looking for opportunities to get more.  You can also write your own questions and bring them to practice; not only will there be free questions for others, but people can critique your questions.

 

HOW TO WRITE QUESTIONS FOR PRACTICE AND TOURNAMENTS

 

            Even though there are probably better places to put this section, Iím including it here because practice is only the second-best way to get better at quiz bowl.  The best way is, by far, writing your own questions.  Any veteran will tell you that.

            Iím still only an average question writer, so I donít have a lot to say here that I havenít learned elsewhere.  There are several excellent guides to writing questions that do a much better job explaining the process than I ever will; I refer you to some of those in Appendix D.

 


ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES

 

HOW TO BECOME A CLUB SIGNATORY

            Get elected to president, vice president, or treasurer.

 

HOW TO REGISTER WITH UCLAíS CENTER FOR STUDENT PROGRAMMING

            Iíll write this section next October, when we have to do it again.  Itíll be a step-by-step process, I assure you, and quite detailed.  Just right now itís June and I donít remember much in detail.  Check back later.

 

HOW TO FIND A FACULTY SPONSOR

            The current faculty sponsor for the College Bowl Club of UCLA is Jerry Mann, ASUCLA Director.  Hopefully this will continue for a long time, as I have no idea how to find a faculty sponsor.  Just find someone that you have a good relationship with that would be willing to take on a small amount of advisory duties, I guess.

 

HOW TO REGISTER FOR PRACTICE ROOMS AT UCLA

            Ackerman Union runs a lottery for free meeting rooms during the school year.  The sign up dates for this lottery are typically Monday through Wednesday of 7th week.  Delegate one person to sign the club up at the information window on Ackerman A-Level and check on that Thursday (or Friday? I donít remember) what date the club is assigned.  After that, delegate one person to sign up for rooms on that date sometime between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM, and make sure he or she knows what two-hour block the club wants, in order of decreasing preference.  Then whatever date and time slot works within those preferences, book it.  After this you will be asked to complete an additional online form (the Events Online web site link will be e-mailed to you) before it can be approved by CSP.  Once this process is complete, repeat after the last day of the lottery (usually during 9th or 10th week) to obtain a second two-hour time slot for the other practice.  If you get a good lottery date, get Monday 7-9 Ackerman 2nd floor.  Everyone seems to want that.

 

HOW TO REGISTER FOR TOURNAMENT ROOMS AT UCLA

            We like to run our tournaments in Bunche Hall for God knows what reason.  But we do, so this is slightly different than getting rooms in Ackerman.  The process starts out by e-mailing Stacey Tate at state@events.ucla.edu requesting rooms (specifically, 1 large lecture hall and n small seminar rooms) and explaining what they are to be used for, and when they would need to be open (typically the day of the tournament from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM).  After this it is a good idea to come by Kerckhoff 168 (I believe thatís the room number; itís pretty much right under the Coffee House behind CSP) and make sure she got the e-mail and will be doing something about it.  Once itís scheduled, fill out the same Events Online web application as usual and send the treasurer down to pay for the rooms.  Itís something like $39 for the first room in a building and $9 for every room thereafter.

 

HOW TO SIGN OVER THE CLUB BANK ACCOUNT TO NEW SIGNATORIES

            This is a fairly tedious process, so hopefully people wonít just up and leave the club with money we canít touch (like has happened in the past).  Get the treasurer to draft a document which includes the following: old signatories (full name, address, and social security number), new signatories (full name, address and social security number), and a signature and date from all involved.  Make it look professional.  Once everyone has signed and dated to acknowledge the transfer of account, take it down to the UCU branch in Ackerman, and set up an appointment at the main branch on Sepulveda and Ohio to finish completing the forms and have everyoneís driverís license/other state ID card copied.  I think thatís the whole process.

 

HOW TO DEPOSIT MONEY IN THE CLUB ACCOUNT

            See the little blue envelopes at UCU?  Put checks in there, after endorsing them and putting the club account number on each check.  Then list the checks and amounts where it says to, enter the total amount of money where it says, mark the Checking box on the left and enter that total amount on the line below, tear off the slip you just filled out and stick it in the envelope with the checks, seal the envelope, and place it in the drop box.  Easy, huh?

            For cash, itís more complicated, as you actually have to go down to the main branch on Sepulveda and Ohio and deposit cash there.