Ultima

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The Loyola Ultima is an annual tournament held in mid- to late-October at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois.

Contents

In the Days of Team Illinois

Colonel David Riley, the head coach at Loyola, started the tournament as a early-in-the-year way of discovering potential candidates for Team Illinois, especially so that he could recommend to coaches that certain outstanding players be nominated in the event that they might not be nominated otherwise. Until 2008, when the IHSSBCA ceased sponsorship of Team Illinois, the round format was based on the format of the Panasonic Academic Challenge.

Each team played three rounds, with each room having either three or four teams. Each round consisted of two periods of twenty tossup questions, and a third period of twenty-five tossup questions. After each period there was a written, themed team handout worth a total of 10, 20, and 30 points, respectively. The tossups were worth five points each in the first period, ten points each in the second, and fifteen points each in the third. There were no rebounds, and any incorrect answer results in a deduction of the full value of the question.

After each round, teams were reshuffled based on their score, with the top teams meeting in the final round to determine place.

Questions were strictly academic in nature. There were no questions on sports, pop culture, or notorious IHSA topics like agriculture, drivers ed, industrial arts, or agriculture.

Riley devised a points system which he uses in determining the teams to be issued invitations to the tournament. Points were awarded based on how well a school's varsity and frosh-soph team did the previous season. Riley then invited the top twelve schools (with the exception that Loyola Academy is automatically invited every year), and moved down the list if teams rejected their invitations. With strong demand to get in, Riley rarely had to go past 15 on his list of invitees to fill the field.

The general criticisms that apply to the PAC can be applied to the tournaments held in this era. Notably, with 3-4 teams competing at once, it is more likely that a weak team can influence the outcome by buzzing in (even if they are incorrect), and stealing the opportunity to answer questions from a team in contention to win.

Another criticism of that era was the inclusion of Rileyisms, questions that deal with arcane, bizarre, or truly obscure material for any high school player, but which David Riley, defender of medieval Hungarian lore and proto-classical music, thinks is "common knowledge". It can be assumed that each tournament will have at least one music theory question that no one can answer, causing Col. Riley to criticize everyone present.

Post-Team Illinois

When in 2008 the IHSSBCA decided to stop sponsoring a team for the PAC beginning in 2009, Riley announced that Ultima would continue in mACF style. The 2009 incarnation was a mirror of the Dunbar Academic Fall Tournament.

Results

Date Champion Runner-Up Third Place Fourth Place
10/1998 Loyola
10/1999 Loyola
10/24/2000 Loyola New Trier St. Ignatius Stevenson1
10/20/2001 Latin School Stevenson St. Ignatius
10/19/2002 New Trier Loyola A St. Ignatius Fremd A
10/18/2003 Loyola Auburn Latin School New Trier
10/16/2004 New Trier Stevenson Auburn Fremd
10/22/20052 Auburn Fremd New Trier Loyola
10/21/2006 Maine South Bloomington Maine East St. Ignatius
10/20/2007 Auburn Stevenson Loyola IMSA
10/18/2008 Carbondale Loyola Fremd New Trier
10/17/2009 stats Carbondale St. Ignatius Loyola A Lisle A
1/22/2011 discussion Detroit Catholic Central A Stevenson Loyola A St. Ignatius
1/21/2012 Über-Competitive IMSA Detroit Catholic Central Carbondale Latin & Loyola
1/21/2012 Standard Wauconda Carbondale Fenton Loyola & Maine South
1/19/2013 Highly Competitive Loyola Belvidere North Carbondale Auburn
1/19/2013 Standard Wauconda Carbondale Fenwick Maine South & Whitney Young

Notes

  1. Both Stevenson and St. Ignatius were tied for third place.
  2. Winnebago was the consolation champion.