2018 Nationals results

The heat was on.

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Fifteen teams from across Canada competed in Toronto last weekend for the Reach for the Top national title. It was a very decorated field, with 16 championships among them going into the competition.

Saturday saw the round-robin portion. The big shake-up in the standings came from London Central SS defeating UTS in their match, which gave Central the head-to-head tiebreak for the top of the leaderboard. Kennebecasis Valley HS gave Central their only loss of the day, while Martingrove CI was the other school in the top four seeds.

Sunday playoff competition ended up playing out mostly as expected by seeding. In the play-in round, Kelvin HS gave a close 360-340 upset over the Renert School, but the eliminations still resulted in the top four seeds in the final four. St. George’s School and Eric Hamber SS, both from BC, gave the biggest scares in the quarterfinals, with St. George’s briefly leading over KVHS and Eric Hamber losing in the closest match (330 to 400 for Martingrove).

Monday was for the final four. In the first semifinal, KVHS jumped out to a quick lead over Central, hoping for a repeat of the win they pulled off in the round-robin. Central, however, picked up most of the points in the middle round of the game and finished with a 440-300 victory, sending them to their fifth national final. In the other semifinal, UTS repeated what they did in the Ontario final and took a strong 550-280 win over Martingrove to head to their ninth final. The final, a rematch from 2012, had the reverse outcome of the round-robin game and gave UTS a 520-280 victory over Central.

Congratulations to UTS for their unprecedented fifth title, and also congratulations to all the participating teams representing their provinces. The database link to the results is found here.

The top four teams (UTS, Central, Martingrove, KVHS) have been well-documented on this site, and they are no strangers to the high end of the competition. They are all perennial challengers to the title, and will be in the future. Some top players will graduate, but their clubs are so deep and well-organized that they will return with other players vying for the trophy.

The next four teams (alphabetical order of Eric Hamber, Kelvin, Old Scona, and St. George’s) demonstrate a divide in the field. While the BC teams gave close quarterfinals, there is a gap that keep the top four in the top four; 3 Ontario teams and KVHS have been the semis in three of the last four years. I believe the difference comes from those teams being able to play multiple tournaments throughout the year; it keeps them in competition mode all year and exposes them to more topics. I hope that other regions look to this model as a productive way of boosting teams.

On a side note, I often get concerns about the order of teams on my tournament pages. In the Ontario and national tournaments, there are no published ranks for several teams that are eliminated part-way through the playoffs (for example, 5-8 at Nationals). I list those teams in order of R-value; it stems from my original intention of using the R-value as a way to determine teams that deserve progression to higher tournaments, though for Nationals it is moot.

The bottom half of the field got consolation matches. As has been noticed in the comments of the last post, the consolation tournament can end up as the most productive use of your tournament fee: most consolation teams played at least as many matches as the champion, UTS! The consolation model is a good way to get more playing time in, but as has also been noted, it is a shame the eliminated quarterfinalists can’t find a way to get more matches.

The Renert School finished as the consolation champion for the second year in a row, beating fellow Albertans from Webber Academy. Both teams matched their best-ever Nationals result. Cobequid EC earned consolation third place over Fredericton HS.

Fort Richmond Collegiate from Manitoba was the only new team in the field. It is always good to see teams earn a nationals experience, and hopefully they can continue to challenge the regular front-runners in the province.

Marianopolis College was the Quebec representative. They did not have as good a result as some other years, but as I have said before, the Quebec system has inherent difficulties in developing consistent clubs. Next year will be an entirely different lineup, and they could have entirely different results.

Auburn Drive HS rounded out the field. While I suspect it is only a minority opinion, I feel the need to address the idea that they didn’t deserve to be there. In short, they did. The Reach national model is based on fair representation across all the provinces, which includes Nova Scotia. Up until the early 2000s, most provinces only sent one representative. With only one representative, it was difficult to tell if the provincial runners-up could have been one of the top teams in the nation as well (eg: Lisgar CI has three national titles despite no provincial titles). The Nationals field began expanding to include more runners-up, including from the maritime provinces. In 2010, the final was two maritime teams. In 2008, both New Brunswick teams made the semifinals. Regions go through ebbs and flows of relative strength, and the second qualification spots do help give representation if any provinces have resurgences. It is true that Nova Scotia competition and participation is at a low point right now, but there is nothing stopping them from being stronger in the future, so the runner-up slot should still remain as a route to Nationals. There is merit to discussing alternative qualification methods, but it should not come with dismissive attitudes to regions of Canada.

I’d like to finish on a more pleasant note, so I’m glad to hear of all the camaraderie and good spirits the teams had. Ultimately, everyone is there for the enjoyment of the same activity, and it displays true character to takes wins or losses in stride. Good luck to all the teams next year, and once again, congratulations to UTS this year!

2018 mid-Nationals update

The elusive UTS-KV final is still possible…

The 2018 Reach for the Top national championship is now deep into the playoffs, with only three games remaining.

London Central SS faces Kennebecasis Valley HS in the first semifinal tomorrow. Central enjoys a surprise top seed after beating UTS in the round-robin, while KVHS will be hoping to repeat their own upset of Central that happened in the round-robin. There is not too much statistical difference between the two teams, but Central will have a slight edge on a longer and balanced pack.

UTS meets Martingrove CI in the other semifinal. This is a rematch of the provincial final, where UTS handily took victory. Martingrove is going to have a very tough challenge in this match – a victory would have to be the biggest playoff upset since the 2013 Bellerose run. UTS’ raw R-value of 157% smashes the Nationals record; before this, seven teams were clustered in the 140-145% range to top the all-time charts. Interestingly, Martingrove has been very consistent these last three years: 135%, 136%, and 136%.

The preliminary results table is found here. It will need to be updated to include playoffs and rankings that come from those games. I will have a fuller write-up for all the other teams once I get some time later this week.

Good luck to the semifinalists!

2018 Nationals Preview

Who can pull off the longest soundcheck?

The Reach for the Top national championship will be upon us in less than a week, and 16 teams will gather in Toronto to compete for the title. Last year’s winner, Lisgar CI, did not qualify this year, but many other former winners will be in attendance. Here is a preview of the competitors (sorted by province):

British Columbia

St. George’s School

  • Most recent national result: 10th (2016)
  • Best national result (on file): 1st (1991, 2004)

Eric Hamber SS

  • Most recent national result: 2nd (2016)
  • Best national result (on file): 2nd (2016)

Sir Winston Churchill SS

  • Most recent national result: 7th (2017)
  • Best national result (on file): 5th (2008)

After fielding two new teams last year, BC returns some regulars with a very competitive history. St. George’s was possibly the most dominant team of the 1990s and had an almost-uninterrupted national attendance streak from 1991 to 2008. Eric Hamber will have its runner-up 2016 finish still in mind, while Churchill has been the most regular BC attendee this decade. The provincial order of finish (listed above) may mean nothing; last year, the BC teams finished nationally in reverse order. All three teams will be looking for quarterfinal spots.

Alberta

The Renert School

  • Most recent national result: 9th (2017)
  • Best national result (on file): 9th (2017)

Old Scona Academic School

  • Most recent national result: 8th (2017)
  • Best national result (on file): 4th (2014, 2016)

Webber Academy

  • Most recent national result: 12th (2016)
  • Best national result (on file): 10th (2014)

Despite losing their 2017 MVP, Renert is getting better each season and comes to nationals with a provincial title won over Old Scona. Both those teams gave scares to the bigger teams during the round-robin last year, but the nationals field is strong and they’ll have to fight for a return to the quarterfinals. Webber will probably be a step below them, but getting in the top 12 elimination bracket or a best-ever result would be a good goal.

Manitoba

Kelvin HS

  • Most recent national result: 5th (2017)
  • Best national result (on file): 1st (1970)

St. John’s-Ravenscourt School

  • Most recent national result: 10th (2017)
  • Best national result (on file): 7th (2007)

Fort Richmond Collegiate

  • Most recent national result: none
  • Best national result (on file): none

Coming off a strong fifth place last year, Kelvin won their provincial title this time, and will be the Manitoba team to watch. They won’t have their MVP from last year, but the lineup will still be a threat through to the playoffs. St. John’s-Ravenscourt and newcomer Fort Richmond will vie for the elimination bracket as well, though they have less nationals experience than their provincial champion.

Ontario

University of Toronto Schools

  • Most recent national result: 2nd (2017)
  • Best national result (on file): 1st (2002-03, 2012-13)

Martingrove CI

  • Most recent national result: 3rd (2017)
  • Best national result (on file): 1st (2014)

London Central SS

  • Most recent national result: 6th (2016)
  • Best national result (on file): 1st (2007, 2009)

Like last year, the Ontario teams enter as favourites and should be headed for at least the semifinals. UTS’ main team has won every tournament they have competed in, but they have been beaten before and could be prone to a round-robin upset. UTS will be competing for their fifth national title. Martingrove and Central also have made several appearances at nationals over the past decade, and one of them will likely face UTS in the final. It should be close between these two; they did not face each other at provincials, but look for their round-robin match as the game to watch on Saturday (added note: Martingrove beat Central 410-280 in the final of the UTS fall tournament).

Quebec

I don’t know who won Quebec, but the educational structure of the province makes it difficult to field a strong team. It will either be a high school limited to grade 11 students, or a CEGEP team consisting only of students competing together for one year. Occasionally a team makes a good run (Dawson’s 2nd place in 2003 or Marianopolis’ 4th seed in 2014), but a midfield finish is more likely.

New Brunswick

Kennebecasis Valley HS

  • Most recent national result: 4th (2017)
  • Best national result (on file): 1st (2010-11, 2016)

(Fredericton HS)

  • Most recent national result: 11th (2012)
  • Best national result (on file): 1st (1995)

Kennebecasis Valley HS once again continues their attendance streak since 2005, having picked up three titles and a further three finals appearances during that run. They should be the greatest threat to the Ontario trio, and gave quite a scare to UTS in the semis last year. However, they have finished below the Ontario teams in other tournaments this year, so they will need to put in a superlative performance. Fredericton is included on this list if they end up being the 16th team; they were a powerhouse in the 1990s, but have spent recent years fighting for second place in tournaments with the other New Brunswick schools behind KV.

Nova Scotia

Cobequid EC

  • Most recent national result: 14th (2016)
  • Best national result (on file): 1st (1981, 2005)

(Auburn Drive HS)

  • Most recent national result: 16th (2017)
  • Best national result (on file): 10th (2008)

Cobequid is the most frequent Nova Scotia representative this century, but they have dipped since their late 00s peak. The health of the Nova Scotia circuit is waning, and lack of participation in the province (especially after the end of the Dalhousie tournament) fizzles the competitive sparks among the remaining teams. Cobequid will still put up a challenge to the midfield teams, but they (and Auburn Drive if they attend) will probably spend Sunday in the consolation bracket.

Those are most of the teams. Quebec is unknown to me, and the 16th team will likely be from one of the Maritime provinces, so I have included those provincial runners-up on the lists. There is an outside chance that the fourth Ontario team (Royal St. George’s College, conveniently a stone’s throw from the tournament site) could be called in as a replacement; they would immediately jump to quarterfinal contention in that case.

Teams will spend Saturday in a full round-robin. This will sort the entire field leading up to the playoffs. The national round-robin uses shorter packs than usual to fit more games in; a smaller question sample size can lead to occasional surprise results. However, there is new editing management that will try to weed out points from repeats and introduce subjects that haven’t been heard before. It will be a long day, but there will be times for breaks on Sunday.

Playoffs are on Sunday. The top four seeds earn byes while seeds 5 to 12 start off the elimination bracket. Most elimination games occur one at a time on stage, so there will be some downtime while teams remain in contention. For midfield teams, the consolation bracket could be the best bang for your buck; once you are eliminated from title contention, you get to play as many as five extra games to sort out ranks 9 to 16. Monday sees the semifinals, finals, and a closing ceremony.

Good luck to the national competitors! Represent your province well, and enjoy yourselves.

2018 Ontario provincial results

I should stop making Michael Power predictions.

38 teams gathered in Scarborough for the 2018 Ontario SchoolReach provincial championship. As mentioned in the previous post, the preliminary round-robin whittled the field down to ten, with playoffs the following day.

The University of Toronto Schools beat Martingrove CI 460-300 in the final. London Central SS took third place from Royal St. George’s College 430-350 in a concurrent match. The full results table is found here.

The three Nationals-bound teams were predictable. UTS has been dominant everywhere all year, and were the feared team of the tournament. Martingrove and Central each came in with an independent tournament win; they did not face each other during provincials, so it’s hard to say who is the better between the two.

I didn’t do as well with predicting other teams. A few teams like UCC and Nepean did not come, while Banting and Cameron Heights were oversights on my part. I wonder if my Banting omission led to their underestimation by UTS, but UTS won out in the playoff rematch.

The UTS loss also made the playoff bracket interesting. Their upset occurred in round 2 of the prelims, so teams easily became aware that UTS was going to be seeded lower than expected, likely as 5th or 6th, depending on if all pools had 7-0 winners. It would also mean that UTS would most likely enter the second playoff round facing the #2 seed (#1 seed would get the highest loser; UTS could have the worst seed among winners). Central remembered this from last year, and spent the afternoon scoring fewer points in an effort to drop to the #3 or #4 seed. It was all within rules, but it definitely made the bracket even stranger. If Lisgar had beaten RSGC, Central would have faced UTS, but it didn’t happen and Central got the playoff path they needed to earn the Nationals spot. A potential solution for this is to have the top seeds pick their opponent for the round; it always encourages teams to finish as highly as possible, and allows top teams to avoid out-of-place seeds if desired.

Another rare occurrence happened in the playoffs – a need to resolve a standings tie in points. RSGC and Lisgar both scored 240 points in a losing cause in the second round. This had previously occurred in the first round of 2008, and a similar case of teams being tied in wins and points after prelims occurred in 2005. Reach’s resolution was to have the captains face off on five questions. Why it was only the captains and not all 4 players makes no sense; in fact, with shootouts and assigned questions used to promote having a balanced team of four rather than a single generalist who can get points on anything, this tiebreaker flies in the face of a team-first mentality that Reach would probably want to encourage. The tiebreaker should have had all four players contributing.

Aside: if Central and Westmount had tied on PPG for the #2 seed after prelims, would both captains make no attempt to get points in the tiebreaker? Hmmm…

Sunday’s questions were an improvement over previous years. “Garbage” questions like wordplay, old pop culture, and math involving complicated numbers were essentially gone. Former quizbowlers are entering the editing pool, and I argue that the change is for the better; this year was the highest-scoring set since 2011, thanks to getting rid of questions most players don’t even buzz on. Monday playoffs were a relapse, though, but expect more “scholarly” topics come Nationals.

Speaking of Nationals, I will make a preview over the long weekend. Congratulations to all the teams that participated in Ontario provincials, and good luck to the representatives heading to the national championship!

2018 Ontario prelims

How I failed to predict properly.

I’m trying to get this done mostly on mobile, so bear with it.

Excuse the short-form team names, but the Ontario preliminary rankings are found here. Two pools had 7 teams, resulting in teams sorted by total losses rather than total wins.

The playoff teams:

  1. Martingrove (139%): Probably benefited from, once again, having the lowest SOS to accumulate a lot of points for the ranking tiebreaker after losses. Should be stronger than the R-value might suggest.
  2. Westmount (140%): Like Martingrove, Westmount had an easier pool for picking up more points. They may face a tough road to the semis with the playoff jumble, though.
  3. London Central (143%): Central is stronger than their R-value. They allegedly spent the afternoon scoring as few points as necessary after news of the UTS loss, so as to avoid a top seed that would have to face a “bottom” UTS in round 2 (which happened last year). This might backfire.
  4. RSGC (131%): RSGC squeaked by Glebe by 10 points en route to sweeping their pool. Unfortunately, their reward is to take a seed that has to face a strong loser.
  5. Banting (137%): The 13th place team from last year and regional runners-up to Central should have been noticed by me. They got the upset win over UTS, but will have to face them again in the playoffs.
  6. UTS (167%): The strongest team in the prelims didn’t substitute players well against Banting and, like last year, created a very unusual playoff situation. UTS is not going to have any easy games in their playoff run with a worse seed than expected.
  7. Lisgar (147%): Lisgar put up their best performance of the year. The opening-match loss to Central meant they had to spend the rest of the day getting as many points as possible. This is another out-of-place seed in the playoffs, but other teams vying for Nationals can keep in mind that Lisgar will decline any qualification they get.
  8. White Oaks (118%): After years of finishes in the teens, White Oaks gets their first playoff appearance. Barring any further minimalism from Central, White Oaks will probably take a first-round exit.
  9. Cameron Heights (117%): I actually dismissed them in my pre-tournament considerations. They were in a pool that didn’t have a clear second-tier team, but still put up the eleventh-best R-value overall. Not bad for a first provincial appearance. They get a rematch with Westmount in the first round.
  10. Abbey Park (135%): Another first-timer making the playoffs. Incredibly, the highest-scoring two-loss team came from a pool with a UTS steamroller (although this also happened in 2013). A 4% difference to Martingrove may look like upset potential, but I think the perennial contenders will be too much for the Oakville team. A good showing by the Halton region, nonetheless.

Playoffs commence later today.

2018 Ontario Provincials preview

Lisgar’s attendance streak is old enough to vote.

Roughly 40 teams from across Ontario will gather next week to determine the provincial SchoolReach champion. It is the most-attended Reach tournament of the year and is usually a springboard for the eventual national champions.

The format should still be similar to that of previous years. Five pools of eight teams will run a round robin to produce ten playoff teams. The pool winners will go through, followed by the best winning records and point totals. The ten playoff teams then play a modified elimination bracket to qualify the three Ontario teams heading to Nationals.

Like last year (see the 2017 preview post), I will give an assessment of the contenders. I group them into tiers of five; it is difficult to give a clear single rank to teams with most data unavailable, and the tiers would suggest that each pool should have one team from each tier. There is likely some bias towards teams that have reported results – I couldn’t predict the 11th place team from Windsor last year, for example.

Here are the contenders, listed only in alphabetical order within tiers:

Tier 1 (should win pool)

London Central SS

  • 2017 provincials result: 5th
  • Best provincial result (on file): 1st (2007, 2009, 2014)

Central has results from the UTS fall tournament (2nd, 149%) and a mirror of the Lisgar tournament (1st, 115%). They may have lost to Martingrove in the fall, but have handily got past any other contenders they have faced. They haven’t faced the main UTS team, though, and that will probably stop them from claiming another provincial title. They are in a good spot for a Nationals qualification.

Martingrove CI

  • 2017 provincials result: 3rd
  • Best provincial result (on file): 1st (2013, 2015-16)

Martingrove will be vying for an incredible (for Ontario) sixth consecutive Nationals qualification. They won the “provincials preview” UTS tournament (1st, 123%) and breezed through their region (1st, 183%). Their underlying numbers are not as strong as some earlier years, though, and they may be vulnerable in the playoffs.

University of Toronto Schools

  • 2017 provincials result: 1st
  • Best provincial result (on file): 1st (2001-04, 2008, 2012, 2017)

There’s no skirting around it, UTS is the favourite. In Reach and quizbowl, they haven’t lost to another school, and their only statistically measured result with the main team, the Lisgar tournament (1st, 144%), is miles ahead of anyone else. They will have a heavy dose of substitutions during the prelims and early playoffs, but the B team’s equally impressive results during the year will keep the wins coming.

Upper Canada College

  • 2017 provincials result: 4th
  • Best provincial result (on file): 2nd (2016)

UCC has quietly grown to a semifinal lock in recent years. I only have their UTS tournament (17th, 144%), but I think they were victims of the very unbalanced morning pool situation – they got the points, but had to face all the contenders. Hopefully, the provincial pools will be more stable and give them another high seed.

Westmount SS

  • 2017 provincials result: 8th
  • Best provincial result (on file): 7th (2004)

Westmount has been the busiest team all year, playing any tournament they can find. They did well at the UTS tournament (4th, 179%) and regionals (1st, 184%) but got four losses to Central at the Lisgar mirror (2nd, 104%). In quizbowl, they were regularly second to UTS, but didn’t do well in History Bowl. Westmount will be hoping that all this practice makes perfect, and they have an outside chance of being the first Hamilton team at Nationals since the early 1990s.

Tier 2 (should make playoffs)

The Academy for Gifted Children (PACE)

  • 2017 provincials result: 7th
  • Best provincial result (on file): 2nd (2013)

I actually don’t know if PACE qualified, and have no results for them. This is entirely a rank based on their reputation; the years they make provincials, they almost always make the playoffs. In the event that PACE didn’t qualify, the regional representative (such as Newmarket) would probably take their place in the tiers.

Glebe CI

  • 2017 provincials result: DNQ
  • Best provincial result (on file): 8th (2015)

Glebe has never been eliminated in the provincial prelims, therefore, they will make playoffs. More seriously, they have been somewhat of a middling team all year, including at the Lisgar tournament (9th, 83%), but produced a surprise at regionals (1st, 192%) with the best R-value of the year that has been collected. Glebe’s other provincial runs were surprisingly good compared to their regular season performances, so perhaps they are attuned to pure SchoolReach format.

Lisgar CI

  • 2017 provincials result: 2nd
  • Best provincial result (on file): 2nd (2008, 2015, 2017)

Lisgar’s lineup is entirely different from last year’s national champions. They have been active this year as usual, but fall short to other busy contenders like UTS and Westmount. Their lineup appeared at UTS (7th, 135%) and regionals (2nd, 180%), but was split over the B and C teams at their hosted tournament. Lisgar has enough strength to get through the first day, but they will likely have to meet a team in the playoffs they have lost to earlier in the year.

Royal St. George’s College

  • 2017 provincials result: 9th
  • Best provincial result (on file): 9th (2017)

RSGC predictions always burn me. They have not yet been able to convert their dominance of History Bowl into Reach success. I’ve had them as potential national qualifiers in the past two years, but they only made playoffs once in that time. This year, I am putting them in the second tier range; they still have their best player, but a lot of his supporting cast from previous years have graduated. RSGC could also desperately use a provincials set that isn’t relying on recycled material from past years.

White Oaks SS

  • 2017 provincials result: DNQ
  • Best provincial result (on file): 11th (2015)

White Oaks has never made provincial playoffs before, but they look like the best of the midfield. At the UTS tournament (13th, 120%), the only teams with better R-values than them are already higher on this list. They pulled off an impressive 390PPG during their regional playoffs, but I don’t count elimination playoffs in R-value calculations (it messes up strength of schedule – they would be listed at 221% otherwise!).

Tier 3 (could make playoffs)

Abbey Park HS

  • 2017 provincials result: DNQ
  • Best provincial result (on file): no appearance

Abbey Park beat OTHS to be the other Halton representative. They put up higher scores than White Oaks in the regional playoffs, but lost the final. Abbey Park has never been to provincials (the school is younger than my records), but the good regional run and some History Bowl preparation could lead to a nice provincial debut for the team.

Michael Power – St. Joseph HS

  • 2017 provincials result: 26th
  • Best provincial result (on file): 15th (2013)

MPSJ once again got through regionals (2nd, 131%) ahead of other teams with higher R-values, but their result at UTS (15th, 95%) still suggests they could pull off a top 15 finish. They haven’t made it to the playoffs before, however, so they will need to give their best performances of the year during the prelims to achieve that.

Nepean HS

  • 2017 provincials result: DNQ
  • Best provincial result (on file): 23rd (2016)

Nepean should do better than their single previous appearance, when they were thrown into the 2016 pool of death. While they finished behind Glebe and Lisgar at regionals (3rd, 159%), they will still put up competitive numbers to justify Ottawa’s three qualification spots. Nepean was probably equal with Glebe up until the regional tournament, and could be a worthy opponent to a team in a higher tier.

The Scarborough winner

  • 2017 provincials result: N/A (Neil McNeil was 14th)
  • Best provincial result (on file): N/A

I don’t know who won Scarborough, but the region should produce a team in these tiers. Agincourt at UTS (10th, 102%) gives the best estimate of where a Scarborough team might finish.

Toronto Montessori Schools

  • 2017 provincials result: DNQ
  • Best provincial result (on file): no appearance

TMS is another first-timer that could make a good provincial debut. This team has grown quickly from an exploratory visit at Lisgar two years ago to a regional winner. They put up mid-tier numbers at UTS (11th, 82%) and the Lisgar set mirror (3rd, 84%), but winning the York region over traditional favourites like CHAT and Bayview should now put them on other teams’ radar. They have demonstrated an ability to get wins even with lower PPGs, but I don’t think they’ll make it to playoffs.


There is a fair bit of stability at the top, with the only teams from last year’s playoffs not mentioned being Assumption (did not qualify out of Halton) and Merivale (did not participate in Ottawa).

Some other teams I considered, but didn’t select, are Centennial CVI (12th and 77% at UTS), Glenforest SS (the Peel winner over teams like Heart Lake and Mayfield), Almonte DHS (10th and 69% at Lisgar), and teams from Waterloo or Niagara. I don’t want to place them in a fourth tier, though, because at that level you run into lots of teams with no results to use.

Overall, UTS, London Central, and Martingrove look like the contenders for the three Nationals spots. There could be a surprise playoff appearance by a team not on my radar, but as last year’s preview showed, provincial results are becoming more forecastable.

I will be at provincials this year without attachment to any team. This will give me some flexibility to find games I want to see. This blog will not be updated with any results until I return, but I will try to give some reports on my Twitter feed.

Good luck to all the provincial competitors!

Return of the contenders

Familiar faces in action

All of the top four teams from Reach Nationals last year were in action this week.

First up, the regional tournament for Etobicoke was settled. Martingrove CI handily beat the field to take yet another local title, with Michael Power-St. Joseph HS making a steady habit of finishing second over the years and getting the other qualifying spot. The Chaminade team, which is becoming quite active after a long dormancy, only managed third and did not qualify. The results are posted on the database. Martingrove’s 182% R-value (on small sample size) is similar to the 190% they put up in last year’s regional, and, along with a good win at UTS’ fall tournament, they are in good position for another nationals run.

New Brunswick held their last regional tournament before provincials. Only four teams from three schools (Kennebecasis Valley HS, Bernice McNaughton HS, and Fredericton HS) participated in the senior division, though. KV took another undefeated run and will be the favourites for the provincial title, but the second representative from New Brunswick seems very much up for grabs.

While not expected to be a contender, Lockerby Composite School won the Sudbury region this week. Sudbury has seen quite a variety of teams representing the city this decade, and Lockerby will make their first appearance since 2010.

The Ontario Quizbowl Association held their provincial championships on Saturday. Chaminade, Lisgar, UTS, White Oaks, and certain teams from Hamilton and Richmond Hill attended. Stats are here. UTS A won every match except one against their junior team, reminiscent of the Lisgar tournament. Their victory gives them the first ONQBA title awarded to a team outside Ottawa. The Hamilton contender put up surprisingly close numbers to UTS, and beat Lisgar twice to earn a solid second place and consideration for a strong run at SchoolReach provincials. Lisgar is definitely noticing the absence of last year’s players, but they should be good enough to make playoffs in May. White Oaks, the other team yesterday that could be in the Reach provincials field, is a step down and once again looks like they’ll be stuck a win or two below playoffs. Impressively, though, White Oaks gave UTS A their closest match that didn’t involve their own school.

Lots of regions are wrapping up (though Ottawa hasn’t even started yet…), and I’ll try to put up whatever results I am provided. I’ll be off next weekend but should return with hopefully a clearer picture of the remaining events of the year.