Bobby Smith Tossup #3

Why are the results at Blue Ridge always so different than every other tournament of the year? Do teams not focus on it because it is not a “major”? Or, is the reason it is not a major the same thing that skews the results?
-Confused in North Carolina

Confused,

Although this year’s outcome may have been a little unexpected, I don’t know if I would agree that Blue Ridge results are ALWAYS so different from every other tournament of the year. However, to answer your question, I believe that there are a few factors that make this tournament unique.

First, there is a different lineup of quizmasters at Blue Ridge than there is at the four Majors. Mr. Douglas is the head quizmaster at three of the four (Dr. Knapp takes AACS), but not at Blue Ridge. Mr. Wood does a great job, but it’s often times the only place quizzers get to see him as a quizmaster. This will affect the results in the finals , and it has its other effects throughout the day.

Also, the style of questions is different from the questions that Mr. Douglas writes. This can be very difficult for some of the better teams that just came off of quizzing with his questions in CI.

Finally, another thing that skews the results at Blue Ridge might be the timing of the tournament. Coming two weeks after CI, Blue Ridge sometimes feels crammed in amongst all the other busyness of the school year. Some teams can’t come because their state competitions for AACS are the same weekend. It’s also difficult for teams from other parts of the country (like Colorado and Wisconsin) to come to the Southeast in addition to the South Carolina trip. Even for the teams that can come, it is tough to be as well-prepared for Blue Ridge as other tournaments.

All of that being said, I love the Blue Ridge tournament. It serves as a great opportunity to try out new strategies and get out the final kinks before Nationals week. It’s also another chance for newer quizzers to get more real-time experience, and to quiz over newly memorized (since CI) material in some cases. I greatly appreciate all the work put into this tournament, and I hope to see it keep growing each year.

Now get back to preparing for Nationals! 🙂

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