Extend player device screen timeout settings.
Tell your players to turn off their screensaver or extend their devices' screen timeout setting (to something like 30 minutes instead of just 15-30 seconds). When their device goes to sleep, their name on the host screen will change to a dark background, making it seem as if they're not logged in.
Use your data plan, if competing via cell phone.
WiFi networks are typically shared, but your data plan is all yours. And using it avoids your router. If your WiFi network supports QuizBowl PRO, then you're fine either way.
Practice the same way you compete.
To the extent possible, use the same device on the same network every time you play. There are many "moving parts" (routers, modems, etc.) between you and your host session, so limit the number of variables to the extent you can.
Enter full rosters before starting a match.
Use the "SUB PLAYERS" button to make substitutions mid-match. Then you won't have to stop the match to enter/edit new player names.
Mute all players while toss-ups are read.
Then unmute the ring-in winner to hear their answer. This will keep the audio channel "clean" and generally free of feedback and/or ambient background noise.
Use a headset, if you can.
Using a headset will eliminate much of the ambient noise in your environment from being transmitted into the audio channel. Even if you're socially distanced within the same classroom, using a headset will cut down on feedback and background noise.
Use Chrome as your browser, if you can.
Other browsers work, but Chrome is our test platform.
"Refresh" your host session occasionally.
The state of the match is saved centrally in a database. Refreshing your session will retrieve the latest state of the match - players logged in, scores, etc.
Don't allow more than 1 person to log into your hosting account at any given time.
If you want other people (opposing coach(es), students not currently in the match, observers, etc.) to see your host screen, share it with them in Zoom or whatever conferencing technology you're using. Having more than 1 person logged into a hosting account can lead to "mysterious" ring-ins.
Don't host and play on the same device.
It's tempting when you're learning the system to run the system in one browser tab and simulate player ring-ins in another browser tab, but use a 2nd device instead. Or click on player names to simulate ring-ins.
Don't give your account credentials to anyone.
If you want someone else to run the system for you using your account while you do something else (such as moderating):
a. Give that person keyboard & mouse control of your screen via your conferencing system.
b. If that's not possible, change your password before allowing another person to use your account, then change it back afterwards.
c. Get generic hosting subscriptions (such as "Limestone LeagueRoom1@kaac.com") with generic passwords. We have special tournament-specific pricing to accommodate this approach.
Don't edit names of players logged in.
If you must edit player names mid-match (rather than using the SUB PLAYERS button), make sure the player whose spot you're editing is logged out. Or click the X to "boot" them before navigating to Host Settings to edit names.
Don't use video unless it's required.
Video takes up lots of bandwidth, and some players don't have much to spare. Consider turning it on only when needed.
If you're required to use video to compete & you're on WiFi, disable it on all your other devices (and your relatives' devices), if playing at home.