When we met Archer's GT teacher (who is also the Quiz Bowl coach) before this school year, we talked to her about his fourth grade experience with Quiz Bowl. You'll remember that in his first tournament, his team earned the top seed then won their bracket. Ms. Haynes let us know that very few fifth graders make her team, and that she tries to field the best teams possible rather than making sure everybody gets time at the buzzer.
So last fall when tryouts were held for the team, we were thrilled that he earned a spot. As they held practices before Christmas break, we hung on Archer's description of his performance, hoping that he'd perform well enough to get some playing time.
Today was the tournament, and while Noel attended the full day of games, I followed along via his tweets. Long story short -- not only did Archer play in every game, becoming part of a three-person first string by the end of the day, but once again his team went to lunch as the top seed having won all the morning's games, and swept on to the championship in the afternoon.
Like any parent with a child in competition, the first thing I want is for Archer to have a chance to compete. Second, I want him to contribute to his team. Third, I want his team to have some success -- to get a win or two. And finally, after all that, making it deep into the elimination rounds and maybe even taking home a trophy would be a cherry on top. You want there to be something positive you can reinforce about the experience of competing -- something you can build on.
Two tournaments, two championships. It's time for us to stop hoping for encouraging outcomes and start planning for a long-delayed lesson in losing gracefully.