2018 Stevenson Memorial Tournament (SMT)

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2018 Stevenson Memorial Tournament (SMT)

Postby Your Feline Genome » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:21 am

I am pleased to announce the Stevenson Memorial Tournament, a regular-minus undergraduate tournament written primarily by former and current students from Adlai E. Stevenson High School for Spring 2018. This tournament is intended to be in the same vein as MUT and last year’s EMT, and thus, is intended to fill the early March slot in the season.

The set will be head-edited by Jordan Brownstein, with help from subject editors Ewan MacAulay, Kai Smith, and Anderson Wang. Brad Fischer will also be looking over the set for quality control advising. We’re interested in others contributing in the same way as Brad – if anyone else is interested in looking over our set for quality control advising, feel free to contact me. In addition to Stevenson writers (me, Olivia Lamberti, Deepak Moparthi, Conrad Oberhaus, Govind Prabhakar, and Ali Saeed), two writers from last year’s EMT will be contributing (Charles Hang and Jacob O’Rourke).

This set aims to, like EFT, be appropriate for collegiate novices and strong high school players while including enough fresh clues to be meaningful to more experienced undergraduate players. Unlike EFT, the difficulty is intended to be closer to ACF Fall than ACF Regionals, with answerline accessibility comparable to 2013 Michigan Fall Tournament.

Our eligibility policy will be similar to past years’ MUT and EMT. Only undergraduate and high school students can play this tournament. "Undergraduate" in this case does not follow the traditional ACF definition--fifth-year (or greater) undergraduates with no bachelor's-level degree are still eligible to play.

Less-experienced grad students (i.e. grad students who have not played a tournament before this school year, with slight exceptions granted at our discretion) can request permission directly from us to play the set (by contacting me at youngflee99@gmail.com), and if granted will be able to play at a mirror. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to play. This policy should be made clear in all mirror site announcements so that grad students know how they can request permission to play.

All in-person US sites will be completely closed for college teams. Hybrid high school teams (that is, teams composed of students from different high schools) will not be allowed unless the host of a mirror specifically requests that it be allowed at their site. Such a mirror will publicly announce that policy in their tournament announcement. Every other mirror will be completely closed for high school teams as well.

Exceptions to the above rules can be granted provided the permission of me and our head editor.

The distribution of this year’s tournament will be as follows:

4/4 Literature:
1/1 American Literature
1/1 British Literature
1/1 European Literature
1/1 World, Classical, and Other Literature

4/4 History:
1/1 American History
2/2 European/British History
1/1 World/Other History

4/4 Science:
1.2/1.2 Biology
0.8/0.8 Chemistry
1/1 Physics
1/1 Other Science
- 0.45/0.45 Math
- 0.25/0.25 CS
- 0.3/0.3 Astronomy, Earth Science, and Other

3/3 Fine Arts:
1/1 Painting and Sculpture
1/1 Music and Opera
0.5/0.5 Other Audio (e.g. ballet, dance, and jazz)
0.5/0.5 Other Visual (e.g. architecture and film)

We’re borrowing the painting and sculpture / music and opera coupling from This Tournament is a Crime, since we agree that “there is substantial overlap between those artforms with respect to who created them and how they are talked about”.

2/2 Beliefs:
1/1 Religion
1/1 Mythology

3/3 Thought and Other:
0.75/0.75 Social Science
0.75/0.75 Philosophy
0.5/0.5 Current Events
0.5/0.5 Geography
0.5/0.5 Trash

1/1 Tiebreaker and Extra Bonus (drawn equally from the above categories besides Current Events, Geography, and Trash)

The set will consist of 15 packets of power-marked questions, with tossups capped at 7 lines pre-powermarking in 10-point Times New Roman. 2 packets will be finals packets and will be somewhat harder than the main tournament packets.

We are looking for mirrors in all regions, and charge a mirror fee of $40 per non-house team playing this set. Please contact me via youngflee99@gmail.com if you’re interested in hosting a mirror. Mirrors can be held from the weekend of March 10th into May, and are required to provide buzzer discounts of $5 or more and travel discounts of $10 or more for teams traveling 200 or more miles.

There will be an open playtest Skype tournament on February 24th. Details can be found here.

Why is it called Stevenson Memorial Tournament?
Because Dwight D. Eisenhower, opponent of Adlai E. Stevenson II in both of his presidential campaigns, died on March 28, 1969.
Last edited by Your Feline Genome on Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:54 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 2018 Stevenson Memorial Tournament (SMT)

Postby Your Feline Genome » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:39 am

Sites:
Mid-Atlantic: Johns Hopkins (3/10/18)
Upper Midwest: Michigan State (3/24/18)
Lower Midwest:
Northeast:
Canada:
Southeast:
Florida:
South:
Southwest:
Northern California:
Southern California:
United Kingdom: London (Specific Location TBD) (3/10/18)

High School: Texas Invitational (4/14/18)
Online: Skype Open Mirror (2/24/18)
Last edited by Your Feline Genome on Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:55 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: 2018 Stevenson Memorial Tournament (SMT)

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:46 am

Why does this ban on grad students persist? Quizbowl has grown a lot as a game and includes a number of older players / grad students who are far from super-dominant. True, the game's best players tend to be graduate students (8 of the top 10 in last year's player poll were) but I don't think this is a great reason - after all, ACF Fall doesn't ban graduate students since most such students who think the tournament is inappropriate for them recuse themselves.

Why is it so much worse to lose to moderately experienced grad students than to lose to an elite high school team like Thomas Jefferson that specifically studies to be dominant at this difficulty? I don't see a need to keep this restriction on grad students in place other than continuing precedent.
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Re: 2018 Stevenson Memorial Tournament (SMT)

Postby Cheynem » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:39 am

It's not a total ban since grad students can request permission to play.

My general feeling (as one of the people who worked on MUT for some time) was that I think it's nice to have tournaments that are "undergraduate-only," which (generally) puts the teams at "equal" levels of age and experience (obviously, this is not always true). As someone who played quizbowl as a graduate student, most of the grad students I saw were--top players, good players who while perhaps not stars at ICT or Nats would do extremely well at this level, and okay to middling players on good programs. A lot of them don't need to be playing this tournament; some can always request permission. The point of the rule is generally to weed out the very, very experienced good players. Grad students can play almost every other tournament (including ACF Fall), so this is not particularly onerous in my opinion.
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Re: 2018 Stevenson Memorial Tournament (SMT)

Postby Your Feline Genome » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:28 pm

After discussing some of the issues with eligibility policies that have arisen in the past couple of months, we have decided to announce the following changes to our eligibility policy.

- Less-experienced grad students (i.e. grad students who have not played a tournament before this school year, with slight exceptions granted at our discretion) can request permission directly from us to play the set (by contacting me at youngflee99@gmail.com), and if granted will be able to play at a mirror. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to play. This policy should be made clear in all mirror site announcements so that grad students know how they can request permission to play.
- We now have a stricter policy concerning hybrid high schooler teams: they will not be allowed unless the host of a mirror specifically requests that it be allowed at their site. Such a mirror will publicly announce that policy in their tournament announcement.

We are still looking for a lot more mirrors, and are pleased to say that the set progress timeline is on schedule.
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