When compared to the 2017 edition of the Rules & Guidelines, here are all of the changes as noted in bold italics:
Effective August 2020, the Nazarene Youth Quizzing Rules & Guidelines were revised per the direction of the Quizzing Advisory Council (QAC). As with prior revisions, many of these changes merely clarify or reinforce the intended spirit of the rule. This is usually necessary as some Districts or even Fields interpret a rule differently, which then causes confusion or distress at national quiz meets.
When compared to the 2017 edition of the Rules & Guidelines, here are all of the changes as noted in bold italics:
If you are considering quizzing or practicing from remote locations due to a pandemic, inclement weather, or supervolcano, I am pleased to report that technology exists to make it at least possible. Of course it is not as easy, accurate, or satisfying as an in-person quiz meet. But if you want to maintain continuity or momentum of your quiz ministry, I recommend giving this a try.
In my previous post I highlighted a method of using the video conference software Zoom to quiz pioneered by a group of Youth Bible Quiz leaders to complete their 2020-21 season. Using that as a template, I looked for other methods of "buzzing in" remotely that were much more consistent and reliable to ensure the legitimacy of the results. If the quizzers don't trust the system, they will soon lose interest and their competitive mindset. What I found was an extremely simple system called BuzzIn.Live. Here is how it works and compares to the other method of using the Zoom chat to "buzz in":
As we anticipate the 2020-21 Teen Bible Quiz season for Matthew, we have many questions due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic:
As a leader for an essential business that has stayed open during this pandemic, I have been challenged to find ways to eliminate close-contact situations for my employees when possible and to protect them when it is not. And the truth is some answers change from one day to the next. Similarly, in order to keep Teen Quizzing going we have to be ready for anything.
Some of the most important decisions coaches make during competition include deciding which quizzer starts the game on the bench and when to put them in the game. Sure, at times their teammates help make that decision by erring- or quizzing-out. But what if you are trying to get that 3rd- or 4th-quizzer bonus? What if your Memory Verse quizzer has 2 errors with 10 questions and 1 more memory verse question to go? Do you take them out now or wait until the next memory verse question is asked?
Being able to predict the next few question types – or knowing how much longer until the next Memory Verse question will be asked – allows you to make strategic choices to put your team in the best possible position for success.
Impossible, you say? What if I told you there are patterns inherit in the algorithm that generates competition questions? For certain conditions, it is not the totally random selection process as I had believed.
Given the positive responses from fellow math aficionados regarding my last post which introduced the Advanced Quizzer Rating, I decided to push my luck with one more technical article. Plus, many who have downloaded the revised Naz Quiz Scoresheet have asked “what do all these new numbers mean?” So, consider this post your instruction manual as we navigate through each tab and explain the changes.
Before you read any further, I want to warn you that this blog post contains a significant amount of algebraic equations applied to Teen Bible Quizzing explained in excruciating detail. Well, it may be excruciating to you but not to me. I’m actually pretty excited with the result. So, if you are brave – or just curious – please read on.
Though we all use a Quizzer’s average points per game to determine individual placement at the conclusion of a quiz meet, it does not tell the whole story. Say, for example, that Diane and Bruce both finish a 10-game tournament tied for 10th place with a 40 average. Bruce averaged 1 Error per game while Diane had 2 Errors per game. So, Bruce gets the medal for 10th place. However, what we do not consider is that Bruce missed all 10 of his Bonus opportunities while Diane answered all 10 of hers. Also, Bruce’s 1 Error each game happened after Question 15, costing his team 10 points each time. Also, every error turned into 10 points for the opposing team when they correctly answered the Bonus. Diane was more careful and did not error after question 15 in any game. Only one of Diane’s two errors each game resulted in Bonus points for the opposing team. Looking at the net points contributed to their respective teams, Bruce averaged 20 points per game while Diane averaged 40.
Though the details of this scenario are fictional, something similar does happen at every quiz meet. So it seems odd to me that the only statistics that we really track are team wins, individual averages, and individual errors. While I understand why we do not include points from Bonuses as part of an individual’s average, there are so many more events that happen during each match that contribute to the final score: cumulative team errors, error-outs, perfect game bonuses, and errors after question 15 to name just a few. It would be as if the NFL only tracked each team’s wins, total yards per game for each offensive player, and turnovers.
As a parent and as a leader in my career field, I sometimes bristle when I hear the phrase: “Rules are made to be broken.” Really? If that’s the case then why even have the rule in the first place? Why would you openly defy authority and incite anarchy? OK, that may be an extreme reaction. But if it is my rule that is being broken, that’s how I feel.
On the other hand, I do agree that the axiom “there are exceptions to the rule” has merit in a few situations. For example, “i” comes before “e” unless you leisurely deceive eight overweight heirs to forfeit their sovereign conceits. Weird, I know. Some rules established for the common good do not apply in unanticipated or rare situations. In those instances mercy, compassion, or common sense must prevail until the rule is revised.
And then there are rules that we just don’t know about. On my first trip through New Jersey, for example, I discovered that I am not allowed to pump my own gas. And who would have thought that it is illegal to sell home-baked goods in Wisconsin? But it is true.
In Youth Bible Quizzing we follow the official “Rules & Guidelines”. It is important to note that even the title of that document wisely includes the word “guidelines”. The authors and stewards of that document fully understand that not every situation can be anticipated. But they also use the word “rules” to emphasize that some items are not negotiable. Rules alone do not prevent unfair tactics or bad attitudes. However, as stated in the Bible Quizzing Ministry Code, “the pursuit of competitive success must never dominate the commitment to exhibit a Christ-like example.”
As I re-read these Rules & Guidelines in preparation for the upcoming season, I noticed 10 rules that are not always followed for one reason or another. Keep reading and count how many of these you have seen and if you agree with my interpretation of the rule:
This may be an unpopular opinion, but I think shopping on Black Friday is super fun. As I may have mentioned in other posts, I gravitate toward activities that are technical or strategic in nature. So while everyone else is enjoying their post-Thanksgiving meal nap, I am studying the various Black Friday ads stuffed in the hefty-edition newspaper. I like the challenge of figuring out the most efficient sequence and cost-effective combination of stores we should visit the next morning.
But more than that, I just like doing special things with my extended family. For us Black Friday is not just about saving money, it is about going on an adventure together. It is now a family tradition. Granted we could get the same deals by shopping online, but then we would miss the specialness of the pre-dawn coffee run, meeting new people while waiting in lines, or discovering treasures at new or unique shops we would not otherwise visit.
As I am preparing for Hebrews, 1&2 Peter, it occurred to me that this season is like Black Friday for Teen Bible Quizzing. What I mean is this: With the same amount of time and effort you typically set aside for Bible Quizzing, you can acquire a lot more knowledge from your studies this coming season. Not only does this year's scripture contain about half the number of verses as the previous season of John, but Hebrews, 1&2 Peter is the shortest of all the Bible Quiz seasons! Because of this you have an opportunity to do special things this year.
But be careful! I encourage you not to reduce your study time just because there are fewer verses to learn. Instead, use that same time to deepen your knowledge and strengthen your relationship with Christ! Better yet, learn the material in a new, unique way. For example, if there was ever was a season to be an According To or Memory Verse question specialist, this is it!
To help you decide how special you want to be this season, here are some statistical highlights specific to Hebrews, 1&2 Peter:
If you want your Quiz program to thrive, you will have to do some recruiting to at least replace those students who graduate each year. Sure, it would be ideal if upcoming youth already knew about Youth Bible Quizzing and implored their parents or church leaders to let them participate, but that is sadly not the norm.
Much like college athletic coaches who go to high school campuses and personally invite graduates to join their program, I have found success doing something very similar: I recruit at our final Children’s Quiz each year.
Years ago, our Children’s Quiz Director gave me permission to make a 10-minute presentation about Youth Bible Quizzing while she tallied the scores before their awards presentation. To honor that time allotment, I invited the Blue Level quizzers to participate in a 10-question Youth Bible Quiz match using questions made from their study material. It was a hit and the kids were asking for more! The next year, the Quiz Director gave me more time not only to play a full game, but to make an elevator pitch about Youth Quizzing to the parents and church leaders in the room.
This year (last Saturday, in fact), in addition to the elevator pitch and the quiz demo, I decided that an information booth positioned along a wall of the quiz room for the three hours of the event might generate a lot of interest.
In my career as a business leader responsible for the development and performance of those who work for me, I have learned and tried to emulate leadership principles that seem to be the most effective. In my experience, there are no bad teams, only bad leaders. Leaders must keep their ego in check. They must embrace simplicity and communicate the mission with clarity. To be effective, leaders must not only prioritize various activities, but also execute each of them well.
I have also learned that leadership is not always one thing or another. There is a spectrum and sometimes contradictions. While leaders do lead, they must also be willing to follow. They must remain calm when under stress, but not be robotic. Aggressive, but not overbearing. They must be brave, but not reckless. Successful leaders have a competitive spirit, but are also gracious losers. There are times leaders must be quiet, but never completely silent. Additionally, leaders should be humble, but not passive.
After all, if no one is following you, are you really a leader?
Not surprisingly, these leadership principles in business are also effective for me as a leader in Youth Bible Quizzing.
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What Is Teen Bible Quizzing?
Teen Bible Quizzing is a dynamic, enriching ministry with a mission to invite youth into a deeper relationship with Jesus! Endorsed by Nazarene Youth International (NYI), Teen Bible Quizzing uniquely combines study of the Bible, competition, fellowship and disciple-making in a program attractive to youth.
Bible Quiz Board Game
A board game to play using your Bible Quiz questions! Play at home to review or during a team practice. See this article to learn how to play. Purchase the physical board game or download and print your own.
Bible Quiz Challenge Cards
Playing cards for quiz practice or at a quiz meet to add another dimension of excitement to Teen Bible Quizzing. See this article to learn how to play.
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I am the Louisiana Nazarene Teen Bible Quiz Director, the author of several Teen Bible Quiz apps and study guides, and regular host of The TeenBibleQuiz Podcast.