2018-19 Preview

Do UTS titles come in pairs?

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Welcome to the 2018-19 season! 2018 was a very competitive year with several strong teams and players, and hopefully we’re in for another treat this year. I don’t have all the insights or predictions, but let’s take a look at the different regions of Canada.

British Columbia

I am still mostly in the dark about the west coast. I can rarely notice strong teams from there, yet they can still easily make quarterfinals or higher at Nationals. Last year, those teams gave a scare to the Ontario powerhouses, and if any of them have a good chunk of returning players, they might snap up a semifinal spot or two. The three most frequent competitors are St. George’s, Sir Winston Churchill, and Eric Hamber.

Alberta

The Renert School is the little school that could, pulling off the provincial title last year over Old Scona. Expect these two to be the front-runners again. Old Scona has made it as far as the national semifinals before, while Renert will hope to use their returning talent and crack the quarterfinals after three straight years of consolation runs.

Manitoba

Kelvin HS has carried the banner for Manitoba for several years, and another national playoff run should be in the cards. St. Paul and St. John-Ravenscourt are other regulars, but we may catch a surprise from some of the revived clubs from the CBC championship days (River East or Dakota, for example).

Ontario

Ontario will probably be UTS’ to lose, even after the graduation of talent. They had a strong group of junior players split amongst the “A”, “B”, and “C” teams at independent tournaments, and will surely coalesce into a strong senior squad this year. In London, Central is expected to yet again take the city crown, while Banting is probably going to drop off after their star player’s departure. In Hamilton, Westmount will easily take the city and assemble a good mix of returning players in an attempt to do better than their somewhat premature playoff exit last May. Whether it’s White Oaks, OTHS, Abbey Park, or Assumption, the Halton region will be solid contenders for provincial playoffs again and many of them will be on preview at independent events this year. In Toronto, UTS and Martingrove will continue to be national contenders, while RSGC will be in tough against local competitors after the departure of their cohort that gave four great years of growth. In Ottawa, both Lisgar and Glebe will return the majority of their players – they will surely lock the city finals and could both reach at least the second round of provincial playoffs. For the province on the whole, though, Ontario will probably not be as strong as in 2018. The representatives will all be in the mix for national semifinals, but they could be vulnerable to a strong squad from another province.

Quebec

Quebec is always impossible to predict. A CEGEP will likely claim the provincial title, but CEGEP team composition, by rule, changes every year. It’s hard to preview them during the year as well, because CEGEPs would be excluded from Montreal History Bowl and most events in other provinces.

New Brunswick

This is probably the easiest provincial title to pick. Kennebecasis Valley barely faced any other schools en route to their senior title last year, and while those other schools will have 2018 juniors come up to senior competition, so too will the KV club that picked up several junior division titles along the way. KV will be focusing on the out-of-province events to keep pace for their nationals run.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia was down to five teams last year, and I don’t think the prospects for improvement are very good for 2019. Nova Scotia (and to some extent, New Brunswick) did much better back when Dalhousie ran independent tournaments; now the university takes the role of sponsoring the official SchoolReach tournament with much less publicity and prizes. Any ambitious teams in the province should consider tapping into the New Brunswick “regular season” events that run separate from provincials.

As the season progresses, we’ll get a clearer picture of the contenders. UTS’ event in October and Lisgar’s event in February will be the big results haul. Teams would do well to try to play on these sets, either at the main site or a satellite tournament run in another region. UTS tends to be a good preview for Ontario Provincials, while Lisgar gives the Nationals snapshot (with its incredible coincidence of the runner-up school getting the national title). Not only are these independent events good tournament preparation, but for Ontario teams, the results can help your cause for better pool placements at provincials.

Good luck to all the teams this year, and don’t be too inflated or discouraged by this preview. The year has only just begun, and everything is still to be played for. Have a great season!

Reach Scores Audio #22

2018 Lisgar Tournament, CB vs LCI C

Final match of the day. From the 2018 Lisgar Reach-style tournament, this round 12 match has Colonel By SS against Lisgar CI “C”. Moderating and production by Ben Smith.

Here is the link to the episode.

Notes:

  • I don’t know what I was thinking of for my comments about the 28-3 comeback game. It was Super Bowl LI. Perhaps I was sarcastically surprised it was a question about the 2017 Bowl rather than the numerous ones about the 2018 one that happened about two weeks earlier at the time.
  • The Dutch basketball team is not great, despite the height of their citizenry. They have never made the Olympics, and have infrequent qualifications to the European championships.
  • Once again, the aesthenosphere pops up. The poorly-written question suggested it was part of the crust.

Thanks for listening! This ends the series of recordings for the 2018 Lisgar tournament. As a final reminder, listening to any of these games will prevent you from playing on the questions competitively, however I suspect the circulation of this set is finished. If Lisgar writes again next year, I may reconsider recording: it was not very appropriate to hold back recordings of other people for such a long time, but releasing audio would complicate the use of the set elsewhere. I hope other regions will be open to trying an independent tournament next year as a way to improve their circuit.

Reach Scores Audio #21

2018 Lisgar Tournament, LCI B vs LCI C

From the 2018 Lisgar Reach-style tournament, this round 11 match has Lisgar CI “B” and “C”. Moderating and production by Ben Smith.

Here is the link to the episode.

Notes:

  • A much more straightforward match compared to the last one, at least until the end.
  • Will Smith is “Will Smith” on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. A question on the character would accept “Will”, while a question on the actor needs “Smith”.
  • I called “time” before a (correct) response, and this point swing affected the outcome of the match. It was more notable because it was the last question of the game. A moderator calling “time” cannot be protested, but thanks to this audio recording, I can show that it was fair. The buzz was at 24:13.9, I called “time” at 24:19.8 (5.9 seconds available for an answer), and the answer was given at 24:20.1.

Thanks for listening!

Reach Scores Audio #20

2018 Lisgar Tournament, LCI B vs CB

Time for the playoffs. I read in the middle bracket. From the 2018 Lisgar Reach-style tournament, this round 10 match has Lisgar CI “B” against Colonel By SS. Moderating and production by Ben Smith.

Here is the link to the episode.

Notes:

  • This game is a mess. Long, distracted, riddled with errors leading to protests, and a potential tie. Fatigue was catching up to me; this was the equivalent of reading at 3AM for an average person.
  • Tracks on DAMN are not in all-caps. I don’t know why the question writers did this.
  • “Paper” for the fiber question should not have been prompted. Lisgar should have been docked 10 points, but as shown later, it didn’t change the outcome in the close match.
  • As mentioned in the previous match, a team scramble was eventually thrown out and replaced with a scramble of the four tiebreakers. There were incorrect facts for both the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers as potential answers. I originally left Colonel By’s answer (and the pack’s answer) of “Mississippi” proceed if it didn’t affect the outcome of the match. It did. The original game ended in a tie (including Lisgar’s “paper” answer which wasn’t caught at this point), but Colonel By went on to earn the replacement team scramble and pick up more points, giving them an outright victory.

Thanks for listening!

Reach Scores Audio #19

2018 Lisgar Tournament, Glebe vs UTS A

We’re at the end of the preliminary round-robin. From the 2018 Lisgar Reach-style tournament, this round 9 match has Glebe CI against UTS “A”. Moderating and production by Ben Smith.

Here is the link to the episode.

Notes:

  • The Rhodesia question was a bit misleading because “Rhodesia” did not have its nationhood well-recognized, and because Mugabe overthrew the briefly-rerecognized colony of “Southern Rhodesia”. I accepted the latter answer and nobody felt the need to protest in this matchup.
  • There is a German performance of “As Slow As Possible” on an organ that is playing its 13th note until September 2020. It still has more than 600 years to go.
  • A team scramble was a repeat. I imagine this was a mess to sort out in closer rooms; I threw it out. Without replacement team scrambles on hand, the only way to resolve it is to awkwardly read the first tiebreaker with team scramble procedure, then continue the three unrelated tiebreakers just to the team that answers.
  • A Mersenne prime is, indeed, of the form of one less than a power of 2 (3, 7, 31, etc).

Thanks for listening!

Reach Scores Audio #18

2018 Lisgar Tournament, LCI A vs LCI B

From the 2018 Lisgar Reach-style tournament, this round 8 match has Lisgar CI “A” against Lisgar CI “B”. Moderating and production by Ben Smith.

Here is the link to the episode.

Notes:

  • “Cookies” can include dessert bars and other sweet baked goods that don’t rise like a cake.
  • The Cavaliers ended up not being in a freefall after all… Lebron made it to the Finals yet again.
  • I thought there was a more popular Vader/Mufasa mash-up that circulated in the past, but here is an example of Luke denying the Circle of Life.
  • The dominant Hungarian football team lost the 1954 World Cup final. They were the heavy favourites but lost to a newly-formed West German team.
  • There is a small cut to take out a loud sound spike; I hit the desk near the microphone after, yet again, blurting out an answer while reading the question.

Thanks for listening!

Reach Scores Audio #17

2018 Lisgar Tournament, LCI A vs KVHS

From the 2018 Lisgar Reach-style tournament, this round 7 match has Lisgar CI “A” against Kennebecasis Valley HS. Moderating and production by Ben Smith.

Here is the link to the episode.

Notes:

  • The part of Lake Superior around Whitefish Point is the worst in the Great Lakes for shipwrecks: a relatively narrow portion of the lake with frequent storms. The Edmund Fitzgerald is among the wrecks in the area (though it did not sink in the modern-day preserve).
  • The Mohorovicic discontinuity is between crust and mantle, and not specifically the lithosphere-aesthenosphere boundary. Under continental plates, there is a small solid section classified as mantle that moves with the crust and is above the aesthenosphere. I can’t recall how the points got sorted from the audio, but “aesthenosphere” is not correct while “mantle” is. The outcome of the game was not affected by this.

Thanks for listening!