Arcadia hosted one of the more interesting tournaments of the season so far, as the varsity competition saw West….. I mean WV win in a disadvantaged final against North Hollywood. However, North Hollywood’s second-place finish ensured that they would qualify a team for nationals for the second year in a row.
WV’s victory solidly places them as a threat to win future competitions. However, the win doesn’t alleviate WV from their problems going forward. While the team led by yours truly did lead the field in powers, with a fairly solid 6.4 powers per game, they also came last in the playoffs in PPB, and had more negs per game (3.2) than everyone in the field except for CCA A. Hopefully, the addition of other strong players like Junu (11) and Rohan (11) can fix some of these issues, but WV still has a way to go before they become a top tier team.
Kinda like CCA, North Hollywood was somewhat infamous for their performance being much better on mACF than on NAQT style questions. Luckily, whatever problems they had last year seem to be dealt with, as the Brandon (11) and Ronen (11) led team put up some impressive stats in their HSNCT qualification run. The team did very well in most areas, but fell slightly short in powers, as the team only managed 4.4 per game. NoHo is a good team, but if they want to improve on their results at nationals from last year, they’ll have to gain depth in order to deal with the upgrade in difficulty they’ll face there.
Olympian dominated the prelims, winning seven in a row and leading the field in PPB, coming in a close third in powers, and having fewer negs than every team in the field except for their own B team. Olympian should be very proud of how they performed, but unfortunately, they were taken down by WV and NoHo, both games coming down to the last tossup. My only concern with Olympian is that they could fall victim to these “pop off” rounds very easily, and could end up getting knocked out of contention due to their unwaveringly consistent gameplay.
CCA is a very strong team. With a full team on mACF, they can obliterate national set records for powers and put most teams’ PPBs to shame. These conditions were not met last Saturday. The absence of Wesley Zhang (11) and Jonothan Hsieh (11) meant that the team was sorely lacking on NAQT core categories science and history. CCA A’s aggressive play also meant that, while they were second in powers per game, they were also first in negs per game, as they were the only team with more than 3 per game in the field. However, one shouldn’t make the mistake of discounting CCA A for next time. With a full team, the already solid core of Raymond (11), Alan (12), and Shreyank (11) can easily threaten a local NAQT victory this year.
While Santa Monica failed to make playoffs, they still had an incredibly strong showing. History specialist Josh Xu (10) in particular had a solid performance in playoffs, as he actually led the field in PPG while in the consolation bracket. We hope to see more of Santa Monica and wish them luck at future tournaments.
As for individuals, the dead weight from WV (11) somehow snuck back into the number one spot again, as the lit/sci specialist derped his way to over four powers per round. The runner-up was blossoming generalist Kaia Yager (12) of Olympian A, who led humanities specialist Raymond Song (11) from CCA A and generalist Brandon Hong (12) of NoHo A.
Thanks to Arcadia for hosting this tournament, and thanks to everyone who came to play. We hope to see you all at the next SoCal tournament at Del Norte High School on December 8th.
With Triton Fall 2018 in the books, the players of SoCal got their first taste of mACF style questions, with exciting results. Of course, none of this would be possible without the wonderful people at UCSD, who I would like to thank for running the tournament this Saturday.
CCA B (which was made up of quite a few players expected to start on A team at nationals this year) won the day with an astounding 9.5 powers per game. The team was led by humanities specialist Raymond Song (11), with significant support from history and geo man Wesley Zhang (11), and a formidable science player in Jonothan Hsieh (11). If this is
Arcadia A came in at second despite beating CCA 440-230 earlier in the playoffs, which they managed to do with only two A team players from PPT. History main Andrew Hoagland (12) managed to lead the team to a solid finish even with half the normal A team being MIA. With a complete team, Arcadia has the ability to get revenge on CCA, but that will have to wait for another day.
Del Norte continues to show off just how much they’ve improved over the summer, with fine arts-centered generalist Kyle Ke (11) and science player Josh You (10) leading the charge. Even without core lit player Sofia Luengo (11), Del Norte A was able to make playoffs by pulling upsets (?) against Arcadia A and Westview. Del Norte’s main problem going forward is that while they hardly neg, which they did less than once per game, they also power somewhat rarely. If they can fix this, I can see Del Norte becoming a top-tier team by the time next year rolls around.
Scripps Ranch was led by generalist Jack Izzo (12), who carried the team to a third-place finish by upsetting Del Norte in the playoffs. While Scripps did play very well in the wake of the graduation of longtime captain Joon Lee, they still have some problems to deal with, as they were the only team in playoffs with more negs than powers. If Jack and company can figure out a way to transform those negs into consistent early powers, Scripps Ranch could emerge as a dark horse in this year’s tournaments.
It was also great to see teams from Mission Bay, Cathedral Catholic, and University City come to compete, and we look forward to competing with you more in the future!
In terms of individual awards, Scripps’ Jack barely missed the podium, with CCA’s Raymond taking third place, Arcadia’s Andrew taking second, and some random guy from Westview (11) getting first. The SoCal field is looking stronger than ever, with several young teams putting numbers similar to those of the top teams in the nation. With CCA, Arcadia, and Westview still yet to have a complete tournament with a full A team roster, I predict that the level of play from here on out is only going to go up.
SoCal’s season opened strong with CCA’s Powered Points Tournament (PPT). Firstly, I would like to acknowledge both Shreyank Kadadi and Raymond Song, who directed this tournament very well despite events which hindered the possibility of them doing so.
Next, congratulations to Del Norte A for winning a varsity tournament for the first time! They seem to be a formidable team that rarely negs, a quality which made up for the fact that they were out-powered by four other teams in the field. Kyle Ke (11) keeps improving every year, and I was able to see the full ability of Joshua You (10) when he dropped 4 powers on us in round 5. Since there are no seniors on the team, they will be able to spend more time building chemistry with the current team.
Olympian A seems to have rebuilt strongly and quickly from last year, when 10 out of their 12 HSNCT team members graduated. They are similar to Del Norte in that they also neg very rarely. One thing I noticed while playing them is that they seem to be very specialized, with Athina Rosure (12) taking literature, Jake Blankenbecler (11) history and geography, and Kaia Yager (12) science. Olympian generally gears themselves toward NAQT questions, and it will be exciting to see how they perform in future tournaments.
If one looked exclusively at the prelim stats for the tournament, they would notice that Arcadia A out-powered the next best team by 7 powers, despite not even playing one of their games due to a forfeit. Additionally, their PPB was second only to eventual champions Del Norte A. However, Andrew Hoagland (12), William Shue (12), and Michael Huang (12) all left at lunch to go back to Arcadia for homecoming, and although we weren’t able to see how the three of them would have performed in the playoffs, a two-man team of Spencer Cheng (11) and Sean Ye (12) took a game off Del Norte A. It will be interesting to see how they can build upon last year’s 12th place HSNCT finish, but it looks like they have found their replacements for Roger Lin (’18) and Hamlin Liu (’18).
In terms of individual performances, Andrew had a very strong one as usual, while Shahar Schwartz (11) and Junu Song (11) did excellent jobs leading Westview A and B respectively to T-3rd place; the three of them were the only people in the field to average more than 3 powers per game. In addition, Sam Kaseff (12) showed his ability to really pop off for La Jolla, getting 12 powers in the last two games.
The novice division was dominated by three members of Francis Parker’s MSNCT team last year. Ari Mazow (9) moved schools and led Westview C to 1st place in the novice division, his former teammate Zach Partnoy (9) handily led the field in PPG, powering Francis Parker A to 2nd place, and Jesse Smith (9) put in a 3rd place individual performance on Francis Parker B. Ari, Zach, and Andrew Jia (10) from Westview D were the players who were able to amass double digit power numbers. Finishing 4th was Del Norte C, a team that largely consisted of freshmen from established middle school programs, namely Black Mountain and Oak Valley. It will be interesting to see how their prior quizbowl experience will help them at the high school level.
This tournament was a success, and I was glad to see so many good performances across both divisions.
A tentative tournament schedule for the 2018-2019 season can be found at socalquizbowl.org/calendar. The calendar will be updated regularly to reflect any changes. For the upcoming season, please remember the following:
Tournaments which use question sets produced by NAQT qualify the top fifteen percent (15%) of teams to the annual Middle School National Championship Tournament (MSNCT) in early May, or to the High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT) in late May, depending on the question set. MSNCT- and HSNCT-qualifying tournaments are notated on the schedule with an asterisk (*).
The Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence (PACE) also hosts a smaller, more rigorous national tournament called the National Scholastic Championship (NSC). PACE individually contacts exemplary tournament hosts to designate them as affiliated events that qualify a top percentage of teams to the NSC. NSC-qualifying tournaments are notated on the schedule with a dagger (†).
If there are any questions or comments, please be sure to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wish you all a good season! Good luck!
Edit: The post previously stated that the highest ranked not yet qualified team at SoCal States would qualify for HSNCT. However, this is untrue, and the has been edited to reflect these changes.
This weekend, 11 teams will be representing Southern California at NAQT’s High School National Championship Tournament in Atlanta, Georgia. The following weekend in Reston, Virginia, seven teams from SoCal will be competing at the National Scholastic Championship hosted by the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence (PACE). The table below provides a quick summary of the two national competitions.
Hosted by NAQT in Atlanta, GA
343 teams, 11 from SoCal
Computational math bonuses
Timed rounds (two 9-minute halves)
15-point powers and 5-point negs
Ten (10) Swiss-matched preliminary games on Saturday
Double-elimination playoffs on Sunday
Hosted by PACE in Reston, VA
95 teams, 7 from SoCal
No computational math
20-point powers and 0-point negs
Seven (7) preliminary games and five (5) playoff games on Saturday
Three (3) to seven (7) superplayoff games on Sunday
As HSNCT and PACE NSC quickly approach, here’s a preview of what to expect:
Arcadia A (HSNCT, Morlan 46)
Arcadia A took first place at Triton Pre-Nats on Sunday, however, they lost a few crucial games against strong teams including CCA A and Irvine. On the bright side, their consistent performance all of this season should benefit them greatly at HSNCT. Humanities specialist Andrew Hoagland (11) continues to dominate, and with everyone on the team having competed at nationals before, they have great potential to move far into playoffs.
Predictions: 8-2 prelims, 3-2 playoffs
Arcadia B (HSNCT, unranked)
Arcadia B retains two players from last year’s nationals squad, so they have the needed experience to perform well at HSNCT. On the flip side, they seem to face challenges with consistency that will be difficult to iron out by Saturday. Arcadia B would have to step up their game in order to make it into the playoffs.
Prediction: 4-6 prelims
Canyon Crest A (HSNCT, NSC, Morlan 2)
After two strong performances during UCSD’s wonderful weekend of quizbowl, Canyon Crest A demonstrates a great depth of knowledge per usual. They have swept the field at multiple tournaments this season, often defeating local college teams as well. Jeffrey Qiu (12) and Daniel Wang (12) cover a lot of ground for NSC, and with Boopala Arul (12) and Alan Zhu (11), they will also have the needed coverage for HSNCT. Consistently ranking in the top 5 nationally, we can expect to see Canyon Crest winning some big games at HSNCT and NSC.
With the full team having competed at nationals last year, CCA B definitely stands out. Wesley Zhang (10) has made great strides this year becoming the team’s lead scorer with Raymond Song (10) not far behind. Their depth of knowledge has increased from last year, giving them an edge coming into nationals this weekend.
Prediction (HSNCT): 7-3 prelims, 1-2 playoffs
Prediction (NSC): 4-3 prelims
Irvine (HSNCT, Morlan 45)
Irvine did an impressive job again this season. Generalist Shripad Badithe (12) and science player Andy Huang (12) have led their team to many victories this season. With Celina Shen (10) and Justin Chen (12) joining the nationals squad this year, they still have the depth and knowledge they have had the past few years. Irvine will certainly be a very strong contender, and I’m sure the prelims will be no problem for them.
Prediction: 6-4 prelims, 1-1 playoffs
North Hollywood (HSNCT, Morlan 80)
Despite bringing what seems to be a different fourth scorer (or none at all) to each tournament, North Hollywood still manages to rank well with its three main players. Brandon Hong (11) has made impressive improvements this season to lead the team, yet they will still be in need of some extra depth of knowledge to defeat top teams this weekend. Whether North Hollywood does well in the playoffs or not will depend on the performance of Ronen Lee (11) and Hansub Kim (12).
Prediction: 6-4 prelims, 1-1 playoffs
Olympian A (HSNCT, Morlan 87)
Olympian as a whole is a very underrated team. They bring in a fantastic power percentage with minimal negging. On the other hand, the full team hasn’t played a tournament together in at least a couple of months, but hopefully that shouldn’t be too big of a problem. As Eddie Kim mentioned last year though, their strengths in literature may not be enough to outweigh their gap in science knowledge, as NAQT does have a hefty science distribution. Overall, they are one talented team and I am optimistic about them making it into the playoffs.
Prediction: 6-4 prelims, 1-1 playoffs
Olympian B (HSNCT, Morlan 145)
Similar to Olympian A, Olympian B is very consistent and I can definitely see them doing well at nationals this year. With their B team not far behind their A team, I can see them doing almost as well as their A team. Olympian appears to change their roster for each tournament, but, in general, the main difference between their A and B team is that their B team negs more, which could be costly. Regardless, I still think Olympian B has the potential to make it into the playoff rounds this weekend.
Prediction: 6-4 prelims, 0-1 playoffs
San Dieguito Academy (NSC, Morlan 134)
San Dieguito Academy’s lead scorer Klaus Neyer (12) never fails to lead his team to a successful tournament, and with valuable science player Rokas Veitas (12), SDA will definitely be a powerhouse. San Dieguito is perhaps one of the most consistent teams with very few negs and an always solid PPB, but it will take a little more than that to get them through the playoffs.
Prediction: 5-2 prelims, 1-4 playoffs
Santa Monica A (HSNCT, Morlan 122)
Santa Monica A made a strong showing at IHOP earlier this season, so they could probably make it into the top half of the field just like last year. Based off of the few tournaments they played this season, they have improved from last season, so I feel positive about them making an appearance in the playoff rounds. If Santa Monica is able to attend more tournaments, they have such a high potential of becoming a dominant team in SoCal in the future.
Prediction: 6-4 prelims, 0-1 playoffs
Santa Monica B (HSNCT, unranked)
Somewhat similar to Troy, there are not very many stats for me to base my predictions off of for Santa Monica B, but from the stats that are out there, things are looking relatively grim for them. SCT is understandably somewhat more challenging than a regular IS set, but they still struggled this season at SoCal State Champs. With more experience, they could become a stronger team in future years.
Prediction: 1-9 prelims
Scripps Ranch (HSNCT, unranked)
For the last couple of years, generalist Joon Lee (12) has led Scripps Ranch to national appearances. However, due to the fact that the full A team still has not had an opportunity to play a tournament together, predicting their performance for this weekend could be interesting. Consistency appears to be something they struggle with, but they do have the potential to win important games.
Prediction: 4-6 prelims
Troy NJROTC A (NSC, unranked)
After qualifying at an NJROTC invitational earlier in the fall, Troy has not made any other appearances this season. From the few statistics I have found, their PP20TUH falls short of other teams. With this being said, Troy should look into attending more SoCal events next season to gain more experience which should help them improve greatly.
Prediction: 3-4 prelims
Troy NJROTC B (NSC, unranked)
Prediction: 1-6 prelims
Troy NJROTC C (NSC, unranked)
Prediction: 1-6 prelims
Westview (NSC, Morlan 59)
Westview has made some big roster changes from last year to this year due to the graduation of many key players including Rahul Keyal (’17). This year, Westview rebuilt most of their roster, and Kevin Yu (12) did a fantastic job of leading his team to a successful season. Although they lack the depth they had last year (getting only about half of the powers than they got last year), they are still a strong team and we can expect to see good things going their way in June.