Hi all. This is the announcement of ACF Nationals 2018, to take place on April 21-22 at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
I'll be head editor for this tournament; Jordan Brownstein, Stephen Liu, Andrew Wang, Aaron Rosenberg, and Ryan Westbrook are also editing. Cody Voight and Sarah Angelo will be the tournament directors.Eligibility
Information on who is eligible to play ACF tournaments and details regarding packet submission can be found at the ACF Packet Submission Guidelines
This tournament will use the A-value qualification system, an explanation of which can be found here
To ensure a fair format and adequate tiebreakers, the editors are committing to writing 14 packets this year. We will produce an additional 10 packets based on submissions that will be used in the preliminary phase of the tournament.
In response to general ACF feedback regarding frustration with submitted packets not being used, I'm hoping that I can coordinate with teams on their packets so that we get somewhere around 15 quality submissions. I have set up a second thread for packet coordination here
Under this arrangement, packet submission will not be mandatory, but we're counting on teams capable of writing quality packets to work with us to ensure that we have enough submissions to edit the tournament. If we can't be sure that we'll have enough packets to make this work, we'll consider other options.Fee schedule
Base fee: $320
-$100 discount: Monday, January 22
-$50 discount: Monday, February 19
Buzzer discount: -$10 per working system
Staffer discount: -$100 for each staffer capable of reading a round in under a half hour
I will work with teams to coordinate their submissions. We will continue to offer an additional $50 dollar discount to any team that writes at least 20/20 that doesn’t need any major editing (packets requiring relatively few changes to clues, answer lines, or grammar will qualify).
In the unlikely event that a team submits a packet but does not qualify for ACF Nationals, their school will receive whatever discount they earn as a discount at a future ACF tournament.Field size
The initial field cap will be 42 teams. Expansion up to 48 teams is very possible once we confirm staffers. Expansion beyond 48 teams may not be possible because of format, but if demand is high, we will explore our options.
If every team that played ACF Regionals, and thus has an A-value, is offered a spot in the Nationals field and there are still spots remaining, they will be filled first come, first served.
Please stay in touch with me or other ACF members if we are trying to verify your attendance at this event. We may be forced to drop teams from the field if they do not confirm their attendance in a timely manner.DistributionWe've made minor changes to the distribution for this tournament; please see below for specifics.
5/5 literature: this includes 1/1 American, 1/1 British, 1/1 European, 1/1 world, and 1/1 other (which can include any of the preceding categories). Vary your questions by time, place, and genre, and please make sure that drama and poetry are represented.
5/5 history: this includes 1/1 American, 2/2 European, 1/1 world, and 1/1 other (which can include any of the preceding categories or questions spanning multiple places). Please make sure that your questions aren’t all from the same time period or place and aren’t all one type of history (for instance, try not to submit 5/5 political history or 5/5 military history).
5/5 science: this includes 1/1 biology, 1/1 chemistry, 1/1 physics, 1 math or computer science, 1 astronomy, earth science, or other science, and 1/1 other science.
3/3 Arts: 1.5/1.5 visual arts (at least 1 question, but no more than 1/1, on painting), 1/1 classical music, and the remaining question in other auditory arts (jazz, ballet, opera, etc.). Vary by genre, place, and time period.
1.5/1.5 belief: this includes 1 religion question, 1 myth question, and a third question that is either a religion question of a different kind (i.e. if you focused on religious practice for your first question, focus on religious text or scholarship for the second), a question on "thought about belief" (a question on religious philosophy that is more religious than philosophical, for instance, or a question about mythography), or a question on "legends" (myths that are more cultural than classical, such as American lore, European folktales, or similar stories that are less likely to show up in the canonical "mythology" category).
2.5/2.5 thought: this includes 1/1 philosophy, 1/1 "hard social science" (i.e. economics, linguistics, psychology, anthropology, political science, or other social science that is rooted mainly in empirical, scientific methods, ideally topics that are still relevant in their fields today), and 1 question on "soft thought" (this category encompasses cultural criticism, theory, and texts or people of interest primarily for historical reasons rather than current relevance).
1/1 geography/current events: these questions should be about different parts of the world. Geography questions that incorporate cultural and environmental clues instead of purely discussing physical features, and current events questions that describe interesting and relevant contemporary issues without devolving into a list of politicians and political parties or focusing on flavor-of-the-day stories, are particularly welcome.
1/1 other academic: please try to use this category to write questions that don't fit other categories or blend clues from varying categories, as opposed to submitting "extra" questions from the preceding categories. Clues that place academic topics in a popular-culture context are welcome in this category, if done sparingly and well.
Keep in mind that ACF Nationals does not have question on purely popular culture.
As overriding principles, please vary your questions by time, place, and subject matter, so that there aren't strange clusters of related questions in your packets; please think twice before submitting tossups on very difficult answer lines; and please try to write your questions on simple answers, using interesting clues, rather than writing on complex answer lines that may confuse readers or players and lead to protests. How to submit your packet
All packets should be sent to email@example.com
. If you have any questions about packet writing, you can send them to that email address as well.
This announcement will be edited as the logistics are finalized.Packets submitted by 1/22
Johns Hopkins A
Chicago APacket submitted by 2/19
Ohio State A
Johns Hopkins B