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Virtual Tournaments Survey, Fall 2020 Semester

Discussion of quizbowl topics not related to specific tournaments
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L-Town Expatriate
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Virtual Tournaments Survey, Fall 2020 Semester

Post by L-Town Expatriate »

Three months ago, I sent a survey to coaches around the state gauging their awareness of virtual platforms as well as eagerness to have their teams compete in virtual tournaments this season. It's taken awhile to compile and receive internal feedback on the results, and with the semester concluding (along with the pandemic continuing to unfold), I'm finally releasing this report.

Virtual Tournament Options For the 2020-21 Missouri Quizbowl Season (PDF)

Over a two-week period in September, 197 coaches across Missouri completed the survey. The coaches represent about 28 percent of scholar bowl programs in the state that are registered with MSHSAA. A summary of key findings:
  • An overwhelming majority of respondents (96.9%) indicate familiarity with one of two video conferencing platforms: Google Meet and Zoom.
  • Despite its versatility and being embraced by the greater quiz bowl community, awareness of Discord lags significantly behind platforms used in the classroom. Further, over one in ten coaches said Discord is prohibited at their school.
  • Coaches are generally pleased with the level of quality in their video conferencing platforms. 56 percent said they were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the quality of their meetings. Another 33.5 percent said that while not dissatisfied, quality could be improved.
  • Stronger health and safety measures in Missouri’s two major metropolitan areas are evident in how coaches from those areas responded to questions about virtual eligibility and potential in-person events. All respondents from the Kansas City Metro and almost all coaches from Saint Louis said their students remained eligible if their classes were entirely virtual, while fewer than 40 percent of respondents from Northeast, South Central and Southeast Missouri said the same. Similarly, KC and St Louis coaches were the most uncomfortable about bringing their teams to in-person tournaments this fall, while coaches from Northeast and West Central Missouri were among those most comfortable with doing so.
  • Coaches are overwhelmingly willing to have the season take place virtually. Just eight percent of coaches said they would not have their teams compete instead of having them compete virtually. Roughly three in four coaches are comfortable with their teams competing remotely from their school.
  • However, concerns about internet access and game integrity combined to lower enthusiasm about having players compete from their homes. 61 percent of coaches said they were uncomfortable about players competing from home, and almost 30 percent of coaches who most preferred competing remotely from school said they would prefer not competing instead of having their players log on from home.
  • Coaches are near-universal (96.5%) in requiring webcam use when competing to deter cheating.

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