Frequently Asked Questions
BATTLE OF THE BOOKS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BATTLE
What if I can only find 5 people for my team? Or what if I have 9?
We do require that all registration forms turned in have a minimum of six team members and a maximum of eight members. They do not all have to be in the same grade or school, so check with other teachers or the school’s Battle Coordinator to find other students who may need to find a team. If you have 9 students interested, get the word out for those other teams who are looking for another member. If it’s possible to redistribute students so that the school has more teams but with 6 or 7 students rather than 8, that’s the best option. Another option is to create a new team with students who aren’t sure about being on a team. We don’t penalize a team for having fewer than 6 students show up at a Battle. Team Managers can also contact other schools to see if they have a team able to take on additional students. Finally, we will allow extra students to be “assistant managers” for a team. They will be able to receive all the “goodies” but not participate in any of the Battles (even if a team member drops out after the Registration deadline).
How do I find out where and when we battle?
Team Managers have three ways to find out where teams are assigned for the First Written Battle:
- Pick up a schedule in the Youth Services Department
- Call the Youth Services Department at 837-3466
- Check the Battle web page: http://cityofmidlandmi.gov/Battle
Assignments for the First Written Battle will be available one week before the battle. When you receive the results of the Written Battles, you will be told if you are moving on to the next round and if so, where you will be battling. Oral Battle participants will also be given their morning or afternoon battle assignment.
What if we have a conflict on Oral Battle Day?
We are unable to honor requests to change Oral Battle Day assignments. We make our schedule available in the early fall, so people can plan on Battle in advance. We realize that there are many Saturday activities for students, especially in the morning, which is why we allow up to eight members on each team.
Why can’t I find out the answers from the Written Battle?
Battle books and questions are used again. To prevent future teams from having an unfair advantage, we do not share the questions and answers from Written Battles, nor do we allow note-taking at any battles.
Why do so many books feature children with one or no parents?
The books on our Battle list are representative of children’s literature, and stories featuring children with one or no parents are extremely common as a plot device to give the main character more responsibility.
How can Battle be more fun?
Battle of the Books is a competition and there will eventually be one champion, but we truly believe that all the participants are winners. To lower the stress level, Oral Battle allows each team to compete against four other teams in a non-elimination format.
The Team Manager sets the tone for the team. Not every team will move on from one level to the next, and teams can be formed without the goal of becoming the “champion.” Some teams might decide not to read every book on the list or to spend more time on selected titles by discussing them in-depth, learning more about a particular time period, recreating recipes or doing related crafts.
Some Team Managers choose to reward team members throughout the competition or hold “mini-battles” with other teams from the same school. The time spent sharing books with other students and adults is one of the biggest benefits of Battle of the Books.
What about good sportsmanship?
Whenever possible, we applaud each team for participating, but in the end good sportsmanship is taught by the Team Manager and the parents. We give scores only to the Team Manager, and that person chooses how to share that information with the team. Battle of the Books gives students an opportunity to learn how to be considerate winners as well as gallant losers, and we strongly encourage Team Managers to teach their team members to be sensitive to other teams.
Why can teams “lose” an oral battle and still go on to the Championship Round?
Oral Battle Day is designed to be more fun and less stressful than a “one loss and you’re out” system for oral battles. There are many ways we can determine which team moves on to the Championship Battle, and we’ve decided on a format that doesn’t penalize a team for losing a battle nor overly reward a team for one win with a large margin. This system encourages every team to do its best in every battle, since one loss (or even more!) won’t mean a team is out of contention. It’s all about how many points you can earn compared to all the other teams.
Why are Oral Battle teams ranked to determine a winner?
If we used a straight point system, adding up all the points each team earns during their Oral Battles, there is a possibility that one team might have one really good battle and score enough points to move on to the Championship Battle even with three other low-scoring battles. By ranking the teams, we can award a maximum of 8 points to the highest scoring team in each room and allow more teams the possibility of being the one to move on. One battle will not make the Champion.