FROM: Shazia Siddiqi, MIST Executive Director
TO: All MIST Regional Volunteers and Participants
SUBJECT: Exciting New Changes for 2011!
This past year has been one of many changes. By the grace of God, MIST has had its second annual organizer’s summit, this year in Boston, to make progress on a key number of issues that concern all regions. We hope you are as excited about some of the changes as we are! The following message contains just the beginning of the changes you can expect to see this coming year, so stay tuned and hold on tight. You’re about to get MISTified 2k11 style.
Yep, we’ve grown by one additional city this year. If you or anyone you know live in the Chicagoland area (or anywhere nearby), make sure to give them a heads up so they don’t miss out on one of the best things to hit Illinois since sliced bread! Simply visit getmistified.com/chicago to find out how to get involved.
New Competition Changes
Not only do we have a fancy new Official 2k11 MIST Rule Book, our competitions are (finally) refreshed and our ballots are completely revised!
If you’re not satisfied with any of the changes or would like to suggest more changes, please fill out our new Competition Suggestion Form at: http://www.getmistified.com/competitions/feedback/
In the Rule Book, you will notice that we have the following new competitions this year:
• Business Venture
• Poetry *Redesigned*
• Spoken Word
• Community Service *Redesigned*
• Research Methods (a combination of Science Fair and Research Project)
We also have new submission deadlines for many of our competitions:
• Short Fiction: 2 weeks before tournament
• Prepared Essay: 2 weeks before tournament
• Poetry: 2 weeks before tournament
• Short Film: 2 weeks before tournament
• Community Service: 250 word abstract 4 weeks before tournament
• Research Methods: 250 word abstract 4 weeks before tournament
The scoring system has also changed. Here’s how competition points are scored now:
1st Place: 10 points
2nd Place: 8 points
3rd Place: 6 points
4th Place: 4 points
5th Place: 2 points
6th Place and below: 0 points
No show: -2 for normal competitions, -4 for bracket competitions
In case you’re not familiar with how points are scored, here’s a brief explanation: Every competitor’s scores are aggregated from all their competitions to an Overall Individual score, and the same goes for all the members of the team towards their Overall Team score. The only trick is, in group competitions, the points are applied once to each student and only once to the team (as opposed to per person). For example, if you have a 3-person MIST Bowl team win 1st Place, all three people will see their score go up by 10 points towards their Overall Individual score, and the team’s score will go up by 10 points towards their Overall Team score. In terms of no shows, if the team was actually supposed to be a 4-person team and one person didn’t show up, the score for the team remains unaffected. It’s only if the entire team decides to drop out of a group competition that their team points will be deducted. However, in an individual bracket competition like Debate, a no-show would mean 4 points will be deducted from both the individual and the team scores.
Specific Competition Updates
This year’s Poetry competition is now submission only, without interviews nor performances. If you want to perform your piece at MIST, try competing in the new Spoken Word competition.
Basketball will now allow the top three teams from each Region to compete together as one team at Nationals.
This year’s Community Service project is to bring the most canned food items to MIST for donation to a local food bank. To win, your team has to bring the most canned food by weight. Your team will still need to submit an abstract detailing how you are trying to reach your goal in creative ways and make an impact on your community in the process. The region that brings in the most canned food from all their teams at Regionals will be recognized at Nationals.
New Team Rules
MIST is a competition for high school teams to compete with one another in an interscholastic fashion. In the past in a couple of regions, exceptions have been made on a local level for some students to join other high schools to compete (e.g. for teams that were far from their nearest regional tournament, etc.), but we have made a final national decision, binding on all regions, to disallow students from participating in MIST on the same team as students from other high schools. This decision comes after great deliberation, so please hear us out.
For one thing, MIST is about outreach. Many times, students feel like joining a team from another high school because they have only a few other people from their own school willing to join MIST, and they feel like they could never stack up against bigger teams. To assuage these concerns, certain regions have tried accounting for the presence of large teams by artificially imposing caps on team sizes or dividing team scores by the number of students on the team. In the end however, we have decided against the use of any methods to incentivize the creation of small teams because it may prevent students from being as inclusive and inviting as we’d like them to be towards others when forming their teams.
We do recognize that sometimes students who make a sincere effort to recruit exclusively from their own school still end up with a small team and feel very discouraged when they compare themselves to the Islamic schools who can easily bring in plenty of competitors. The question is: can smaller teams really match up against larger ones? The answer: absolutely!
Small teams have been notorious at winning many of the more prestigious individual competitions. One year in DC, a three-person team took the MIST Bowl competition completely by storm. Another time in Houston, someone who originally wanted to just register for MIST by herself ended up bringing a handful of other students so she could have a team, and lo and behold, her team ended up being the one that could boast of bringing the region’s Overall Individual Competitor to compete that year! Where spots for certain competitions usually get taken up quickly in larger teams, smaller teams actually allow individuals to get involved in more competitions on an individual level.
If you’re still not satisfied with your odds, recruit! Remember, MIST does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or gender, so you should allow everyone from your school to feel welcome to attend! There was one year in Atlanta where a team wanted to join with another high school for the sake of “unity” (i.e. fear that they might end up with a small team), and when their request to join teams was denied, they went back to their school to recruit and ended up with a team of over 40 students, making it the largest team at Regionals that year. And not just that, it was a public school to boot!
The most important point to remember is that during MIST, you are not going to be forced to mingle only with your own team mates. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to have fun with all your buddies from other schools at the event. And in some competitions (such as Short Film, etc.), we even encourage you to collaborate with other teams when you’re preparing for MIST. We would love to build a community that embraces the concept of gracious professionalism at MIST.
From a homeschool? Don’t worry, you can still form a team with other home-schooled students or with your local high school, or you can simply compete as a one-person team if you like (but you’ll still need a coach).
From far away? No worries! Simply register with your own high school team, but arrange to carpool/bus in together. You can share coaches, and heck, we won’t even stop you from wearing the same spirit wear (if that’s really what you want to do), but your teams just have to register separately. It shouldn’t be that difficult, but please contact your local regional headquarters if there’s anything we can do to help.
Oh, and we are making one exception: the only competition that teams will be allowed to compete in on the same side with members from other high schools is Basketball, since you need at least 5 people to play (all other competitions only require a minimum of one or two students).
MIST Nationals 2k11 in Atlanta
Prepare yourself to get MISTified with some good ol’ fashioned southern hospitality. Dates and details are scheduled to be announced soon, so stay tuned!