NAQT Illinois Championship
The NAQT Illinois State Tournament is the annual tournament held in Illinois to determine the recipient of the automatic bid to the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament. It is recognized by the IHSSBCA as a third state championship in Illinois (along with the IHSA State Series and Masonic state series).
Despite Illinois' long history of quizbowl, most of that history has been dominated by poorly written, one-line questions. Thus, while Illinois was absorbed in developing its own style and format, it largely was ignorant to the changes that were taking place to the east.
Northwestern began hosting an annual high school NAQT tournament in 1999. While the tournament started drawing as many as 41 teams in 2001 (with teams coming from Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin), the tournament has seen a significant decline in attendance since. Northwestern no longer hosts a tournament with NAQT questions, though they still host high school and middle school tournaments.
A few Illinois teams attended NAQT tournaments outside of Illinois. Perhaps, most notoriously, Loyola Academy attended and won the Iowa State Championship in 2004, a year in which it did not even advance from its own regional in the IHSA State Series.
While Illinois quizbowl questions have been gradually improving over that time, it was not until the 2004-05 season that Illinois would get its own state championship and qualifier for the HSNCT. This came largely at the request of Loyola Academy coach David Riley.
While the quality of the questions is known, the low turnout for the tournament has led to debate about whether it can be considered a "state championship" in Illinois.
With the general improvement in questions, and the greater acceptance of pyramidal questions in the state, the low turnout remains a great mystery. One possible reason for the low turnout in 2007 was the date in March, which followed the IHSA State Series. The end of the State Series generally marks the end of the season for most teams in Illinois.
There has been some suggestion that with this tournament being single-tiered (that is, it does not require qualification), many teams who know they do not stand a chance to win anything will not participate.
The final reason that occasionally comes up for not attending the tournament is that it is (necessarily) held close to the end of the season in Illinois, and very close to the start of the IHSA State Series. The distribution of subjects in NAQT is quite different than in Illinois (NAQT offers more pop culture and geography, while offering a great deal less computational math than one would see in the IHSA state series). Thus it is the belief of some coaches that NAQT is a poor way to prepare for the impending state series. There is certainly no direct evidence to support this, though it has been cited by a few coaches as a reason for not attending.
|2/2005||Stevenson||Wheaton North||New Trier||9||Loyola Academy|
|2/2006||Stevenson||New Trier||Loyola Academy||12||Loyola Academy|
|3/2007||New Trier||Maine South||Carbondale||8||Loyola Academy|
|2/2012||Auburn A||IMSA A||Carbondale (Ben Chametzky solo)||24||Fenton|