2019 Lisgar Tournament results

Where no question goes unanswered.

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Last weekend, Lisgar CI hosted their annual Reach-style tournament. 10 senior and 11 junior teams from eight schools participated. Both fields played on the same set of questions, and results are found here.

Firstly, the junior division. A full round-robin was played in field with several Lisgar and KVHS teams. I did not get to see the games, but a Lisgar team went undefeated and was the only junior team to crack 100% R-value (ie: better than an average team on this set). Glebe and another Lisgar team both finished with 8-2 records and shared second place, though Glebe had the points edge.

The senior division saw strong teams getting prepared for their provincial and national runs. The University of Toronto Schools took their fourth straight title at this event by sweeping the field, both in the full round robin and the top bracket of four. Their R-value of 213% is somewhat boosted by having junior teams included in the average of teams playing the set, but it is still the best result in any iteration of the Lisgar tournament (which usually includes a junior division) so far. Lisgar, a team I will name as “AP”, and Glebe were closely matched in the rest of the upper bracket: they each shared a win and loss between themselves in the final group. Assuming they qualify and attend, all four of those teams should be contenders on playoff day at SchoolReach provincials. UTS B, though not eligible for SchoolReach, was also competitive against the top quartet, and Kennebecasis Valley HS  and Colonel By SS knew their stuff, but just couldn’t get the wins. Ashbury College, still new to the Ottawa scene, rounded out the field and left after the initial round-robin.

This was a good set for a Reach experience. There were repeats (both of the copy-paste kind and rewording of facts kind) and there was some minutiae that would not be in the grasp of a typical player (including vague 40-point openers on who-am-I), but overall, this was an opportunity to score lots of points. The round-robin match between UTS and Lisgar saw only five questions go unanswered. High conversion of questions is ideal for making sure the more knowledgeable team wins more often; games with lots of dead questions are prone to upsets when a weaker team just happens to run into a string of questions they know, and the stronger team doesn’t have enough chance to overcome it. Assuming that Lisgar makes the set available with their repeat corrections, this set is a good “proving ground” for teams hoping to make it far this year. If your region wants to use the set, contact the Lisgar coach or contact me as an intermediary (through reachscores -at- gmail.com).

There are no recordings of this tournament. Leaving a delay of several months before posting was not considerate to the participating teams, and it was out of people’s minds by the time it was released. The delay was necessary to not compromise other sites that would use the set; in the same vein, any publicly-viewable discussion of the set should not occur during the remainder of this season. Results from these independent tournaments (UTS and Lisgar) do get used for official Reach seeding, so please respect the integrity of the records.

In other tournament news, U of Toronto will hold a quizbowl tournament on March 3, making use of the “Canadianized” set first played at Carleton in December. The busy regional season will be underway, then a weekend double of History Bowl nationals and ONQBA provincials on May 4 and 5. I won’t be able to attend many events (other than Ottawa SchoolReach regionals), but I will pass along any results I get.

2019 Lisgar quick results

I heard UTS is good.

Lisgar CI hosted their independent Reach-style tournament on Saturday. 10 senior and 11 junior teams participated.

UTS A continued their title streak at this event and went undefeated to win the tournament. Lisgar finished second, while “AP” (a team I will give some anonymity to, since they might not have approval from their school) and Glebe filled out the top bracket. Results are available here.

I will make a longer post next week. That being said, I encourage teams to get this set played in other regions; contact Lisgar’s coach if interested. This also means there should be no public discussion of specific question content.

I also have to make a note after something that happened: any prospective fields I list before a tournament (independent or official SchoolReach) are only speculative. Teams still need to register/qualify with the tournament organizers before they can participate. This also acts as a notice for the multiple local clubs who might not actually be registered with SchoolReach and the league matches that are coming soon.

2019 Lisgar tournament preview

Maybe you want to finish second?

Lisgar CI is hosting its independent tournament this coming weekend. There have been events at Lisgar as far back as 2007, but this still-unnamed tournament has been an annual occurrence since 2013.

I don’t have the full list, but we can expect a diverse field from Ottawa, Toronto, and New Brunswick. UTS will look for its fourth straight title in this tournament, but they will face expected threats from Lisgar and Kennebecasis Valley. Glebe, Bell, and Colonel By will be the other local challengers, but they will probably be fighting for an upper bracket finish. The field itself is full, unfortunately, due to so many LCI alumni and local university players being off at NAQT’s collegiate regional tournament the same day, and thus unable to help staff.

This tournament has also acted as somewhat of a preview of Reach Nationals of late. Since 2015, the school that finished second here won the Reach title the following May (though in 2018, the main UTS team still won). Also interestingly, there was a shorter streak going of the winner at Lisgar not even making it to Reach Provincials in that season, but that has since ended.

I will be on staff at the tournament, and will give updates throughout the day. Please note that I will not be recording games; it is hoped that the questions will be used at other sites later, and holding off on releasing audio until after the school year was not very fair to the recorded teams when I did it last year.

Good luck to the participating teams!

Carleton tournament preview

You’re on the clock.

Carleton University’s club will host a high school quizbowl tournament next weekend. Carleton’s event has taken the mantle of the old Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament that was the origin of Canadian HS quizbowl back in 2005.

The field will mostly consist of the schools from Lisgar’s tournament earlier this month. This event has open high school eligibility, so senior teams will make their first appearance. The tournament is still on novice difficulty questions, so junior teams should still recognize a fair bit of material (even if they may be beaten to the buzzer).

This tournament is also an NAQT qualifier. Nationals qualification has been less appealing to Ontario teams in recent years after the HSNCT moved from Chicago to Atlanta (in addition to the date conflict with Reach Nationals), but the winner may keep that qualification in their back pocket if their Reach season doesn’t go so well.

I will send out tournament updates during the day. Good luck to the teams!

2018 UTS Fall results

The season opener.

Last Saturday, 32 teams got their start on the 2019 season by attending the UTS fall tournament. Most teams were from southern Ontario, but Lisgar CI and Kennebecasis Valley HS also made the trip. Lisgar won the tournament by defeating UTS 300-230 in the final.

The results table is now up. Every team had their bracket played out to determine the ranks from 1 to 32. A few lower bracket playoff games are missing, but nothing that affects R-values.

The schedule definitely stood out. Like last year, only the first five rounds of 8-team round-robins were played. This meant that each team missed out on two of the opponents they would be ranked against for determining afternoon placements. Depending on the relative strength of those missed opponents, a team’s strength of schedule could be much further from average (1.0) than what you’d find at, say, Ontario provincials. The most surprising example was that the team with the easiest schedule (Martingrove) and toughest schedule (Oakville-Trafalgar A) came from the same pool! A few contending teams like St. Michael’s and Abbey Park got burned by facing all the tougher teams and missing out on the top tier despite beating a top-tier-bound team that faced weaker opponents.

The organizers want to insist on a 32-team schedule to allow the three bracketed rounds in the afternoon. For a fairer schedule, the four initials pools of eight should be broken into two pools of 6 and four of 5 – the 6-pools do a round-robin, while the 5-pools pair off and have a team play all five teams in the paired pool (eg: pools C and D have 5 teams, with C1 playing D1 to D5, C2 playing D1 to D5, D1 playing C1 to C5, etc.). Once everyone has a 5-game record with a (hopefully) diverse range of opponents, rank the records for the whole field to split teams into the playoff tiers.

That being said, the initial pools were also uneven, and was noticed before the tournament began. Pool A had four teams from last year’s top ten playoff in Ontario (UTS, Lisgar, White Oaks SS, and Abbey Park), while Pool D had none (though that pool had KVHS). While it is true that it is difficult to seed the first tournament of the year, especially if team composition changes over the summer, the two Oakville teams should have been noticed. Abbey Park finished with the highest R-value thanks to that tough pool, and easily won the second tier. Also interestingly, Pool A had teams that finished 1 & 2, Pool B had teams 3 & 4, Pool C had teams 5 & 6, and Pool D had teams 7 & 8 (though the distribution below that was spread more evenly).

Despite the schedule, this was still a good preview for Ontario. There is a fairly clear cluster of teams with R-values over 100% that should be vying for provincial playoff spots. St. Michael’s looks ready to fill the void in Toronto representation left by RSGC. TMS and Abbey Park will build off their solid provincials debuts last year and contend for Monday games come May. While I don’t wish to imply that all teams’ fates are set, my early prediction is that eight of the ten Ontario playoff teams participated last week – the absences being Glebe CI and a potential Waterloo or Peel team. Hopefully many of these teams will take a crack at another tournament later in the year.

Speaking of which, the tournament schedule carries on. Lisgar hosts a novice quizbowl tournament next weekend, and Carleton will host an event on December 1 open to all levels of high school teams. Those tournaments will likely only have the eastern Ontario teams, but I’ll have reports after their conclusions.

Congratulations to all the teams that played at UTS last week, and good luck in your future tournaments.

UTS Fall update

Every Reach champ since 2006 in attendance

A quick update of the UTS Fall tournament (full results once I get back and have all the scores).

Lisgar CI won the tournament with a 300-230 final over UTS. Westmount SS and Martingrove CI were the other semifinalists. 32 teams competed, and the playoffs were set up to sort everyone in a rank from 1 to 32.

The incomplete round robin (first 5 games of an 8-team schedule) produced some strange underlying numbers. I’ll get to those in a fuller update.

Congratulations to all the competing teams, and thanks to UTS for hosting.

Upcoming fall tournaments

The real season preview

The 2018-19 tournament season opens with the UTS fall tournament this coming weekend. UTS has run house-written tournaments off-and-on for more than a decade, and the event has grown to be a good preview for the Ontario provincial tournament. The field has been mostly GTA and southern Ontario teams, though national contenders like Kennebecasis Valley HS and Lisgar CI have made occasional trips.

I don’t have much to preview for this year’s tournament, considering that nobody has played yet. While several teams will have a winning reputation entering the event, this is also the time for hidden talent to make their mark – the RSGC squad had their breakout performance when they finished 3rd behind UTS and eventual national champ KVHS in 2015. Teams that would normally be “off the radar” can make an impression to help for placements or seedings in later events.

I will be at the UTS event. I will give my updates through Twitter, and will eventually have a report when the results are available.

Eastern Ontario teams can prepare for Lisgar’s novice tournament on November 10. It will be in the quizbowl format, but if your school is new to quizbowl, you can count as “novice” (experienced clubs will field their junior players). Lisgar and Glebe will probably sit their stars for this, so we will have to wait until later in the year to see how they shape up.

Good luck to the teams competing in these events!