sofan wrote:yes we shall try our best at every level of competition and work hard at practices.
It will be interesting to see how many (if any) teams make that extra step to have a shot at the title like Clements. I hope there will be at least a few, it will make it more competitive and fun.
I agree that competition is good and it improves all the teams involved, but I hate Texas events. I think that the chance for maybe compete in some extra events that students might be more interested in is a nice thing to have as the Texas events cover areas of science that maybe aren't addressed otherwise. I don't know about most teams but many teams (like Clements and Seven Lakes) have in the past used them to avoid competing events that they think they might not do well in in the hopes of placing better overall, their way of "leveling the playing field". In this way they deincentivize the hard work of, as a team, trying to improve your worst events. This is an effort, not to sound cliche or hokey, improves character, the willingness to work hard instead of just giving up is extremely important and it is odd that in an academic competition we allow that that to happen.
I'll admit that I am from LASA, but this isn't just bitterness talking. But what do you think kept LASA state champions for so long? It wasn't giving up. Do you think that we are so much basically smarter than you that other teams need some handicap? LASA doesn't compete in Texas events, not because we don't think we don't need them but because we have decided that we want to do as well at Nationals as possible, which means working hard to improve what we're worst at. We don't have more resources than anyone else, we just have dedicated members willing to work hard for months. In January we went to an Invitational in Ohio, I don't remember exactly what place it was, but we did really poorly in Water Quality, bottom half almost. So for the past 3 months we got cranking, we studied hard an devoted ourselves to this event and got 2nd last weekend.
So I hope that teams are willing to take "that extra step", as long as it doesn't involve giving up.