colonel by, lisgar, stats, uts

Comparing Stats for 2017-18

I looked at the stats from Toronto Novice Tournament and Carleton Supermoon Tournament. Here is my attempt to measure the strongest teams in Canada.

(The stats might have errors in them, and lots of teams can always make the claim that they didn’t play their full “A” lineup. So this isn’t a perfect measurement of strongest teams, but it’s good enough to work with.)

Bonus Rates

Here are the top teams in Ontario, ranked by points-per-bonus.

bonus richmond 2

It looks like a small difference between Lisgar averaging 25 and Westmount averaging 21 on bonuses, but I prefer to measure the amount of bonus points missed. The top teams are around 5 points missed per bonus, or one part missed on every two bonuses. Other strong teams are closer to 9 points missed per bonus, which is a great result, but which is still close to double the “miss rate” of Lisgar A.

The average across all teams was 17.2 points per bonus. Colonel By missed the finals of their tournament, but their bonus rate was 3rd of 19 in Canada.

Power Rates

Here are the top teams in Ontario, ranked by frequency of 15-point powers.

power richmond

UTS A powered 41% of the tossups they heard, and they converted 73% of the tossups they heard. So in an average round, they would have had 8 powers and 15 total correct buzzes. They were the only team with more powers than 10s.

UTS B had a really high power rate, but they had a pretty high rate of -5s to go with it. Colonel By had a high power rate but a more modest tossup rate.

The average team had a 42% tossup conversion rate, which means that 84% of tossups were answered correctly at Toronto Novice and Carleton Supermoon. So 16% of tossups went dead at those tournaments.

The Lisgar B team made finals of their tournament but didn’t make either of the leaderboards above. Their low power rate might reflect conservative play. Their rate of -5s was the lowest of any team in either tournament.


I think UTS is the strongest team right now. I think they’re slight favourites to win quizbowl provincials and both the similar championships, assuming they enter teams.

I pick UTS over Lisgar because I think the power rates matter. Power stats are sensitive to random changes in play-style, but early buzzes usually show that a team can “scale up” and play well with stronger questions and stronger opponents. So since UTS has the higher power rate, they have the stronger team this fall.

Lisgar gains more from combining their top scorers into a “super-A” team. UTS A had five players with high scoring stats already, so adding the top scorer from the B team could improve them, but not by a huge amount. Whereas Lisgar A was only 3 players this time, so adding a strong player from the B (or C) team would be a big improvement.

It is unlikely that another team will surpass UTS and Lisgar this year, so I’m most interested now in seeing games between UTS and Lisgar. I’m also interested to see if another team can emerge as a clear 3rd-best and maybe get a game-win against one of the frontrunners.

My advice to dominant teams is to practice on harder questions.


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