2008 NAC

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2008 National Academic Championship
Champion Booker T. Washington
Runner-up Wilmington Charter
Third New Rochelle
Fourth John Cooper
High scorer Dylan Hames of Booker T Washington (MVP)
Editor/s Questions Unlimited
Site Dallas; Marymount University in Arlington, VA; Chicago

DC champion Booker T. Washington won 385-300 over Chicago champion Wilmington Charter in the final. Booker T dispatched New Rochelle 340-235 in one semifinal, while Wilmington Charter beat Dallas champion John Cooper 590-170 in the other semifinal.

There was minor controversy as the D.C. final was declared an overall semi-final match, but not all participants knew that ahead of time. Thus, when Seton Hall was eliminated in the final of the Chicago phase, they did not receive a trophy (as this would only be a "quarterfinal" of the overall tournament). According to Chip, it was because half the field participated in the D.C. site. But the lack of advance communication led many to suspect favoritism for Booker T Washington and/or New Rochelle.

Tournament Accolades

  • Dylan Hames of the Booker T team was placed into the NAC Hall of Fame after the tournament.
  • Charter was the overall high scorer, at 431 points per game. This was the highest scoring team since the 2002 James Island team.
  • Christopher White of John Cooper was the Dallas MVP and Henry Gorman of Wilmington Charter was the Chicago MVP.
  • St. Mark’s School (TX) and Central Bucks East (PA) were named "Rookie of the Year".

Other Notable Events

  • Perhaps desperate to reverse his shrinking field, Chip lowered prices to $600 per team, as opposed to $150 per competitor or coach. Chip also began a middle school tournament at the D.C. phase, which in this first year featured 10 teams. Indeed, the Dallas field was small and relatively less competitive because 176 other teams were at NAQT HSNCT in Chicago that week. (Chip called this 'parity' among the teams.)
  • The "Who Wants to Be a Game Show Host?" contest was held in Dallas and DC, with competing students as moderators and coaches as players.
  • Maggie Larkin, an alumnus of Booker T Washington and moderator of this tournament, got into forum arguments (mostly with Matt Weiner) over her affection for the NAC format, her "unbiased" participation as an alumnus of a participating team, and for comments she made against a protest lodged by Bill Tressler.[1]

Chip LOVES the pyramid but doesn't worship it

Chip seems to realize that standard quizbowl now prefers pyramidal tossup over speed ones. In his summary, Chip uses the word "pyramid" five times in describing his questions, and posted the following as part of his tournament summary:

A Vermont school turned down our invitation last spring to join us at Nationals, saying, “We prefer tournaments that use pyramid-style questions.” It seems that a bit of misinformation has been spread about the kinds of questions we use at Nationals. Pyramid-style questions – three- or four-sentence tossups that start with the difficult or obscure and end with the easy and accessible – are our favorite kinds of questions, and always have been. Almost all of our tossups-leading-to-bonuses are pyramidal. On the other hand, to insist that all tossup questions must be pyramidal is narrow-minded and fatuous. Math calculation questions, of course, make great tossups, and can only be made pyramidal artificially. Questions starting with “why” make great tossups; e.g., “In 1174 King Henry II walked barefoot from London to Canterbury. Why?” (Ans. He was doing penance for having ordered the murder of Thomas Becket.) Audio music questions make terrific bonus-round tossups.


2008 National Academic Championship
2007 NAC
2009 NAC