VCU Winter XI hosted by VCU - 12/5/20 (Online) [IS-195]

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Matt Weiner
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VCU Winter XI hosted by VCU - 12/5/20 (Online) [IS-195]

Post by Matt Weiner »

This is the general announcement for VCU's winter high school tournament, VCU Winter XI. This will be an academic quizbowl tournament, to be hosted online via Discord, on Saturday, December 5, 2020 from 9:00 AM to about 5:00 PM. Participants should be online by 8:30 AM. This tournament is open to all high school teams seeking to play quizbowl or Scholastic Bowl under any name (including but not limited to quizbowl, Scholastic Bowl, Battle of the Brains, or It's Academic) regardless of school location.

For convenience, here is a link to the registration form at the top of the post: We encourage all participants to read the entire announcement before registering.

Location, directions & parking:

Due to current conditions, the tournament will take place online via the Discord platform.

Questions and eligibility:

Please read all three points below:

1) This tournament will be using NAQT's IS-195 question set. Teams that have played this set at other tournaments are not eligible. This is NOT the same set being used at the Cavalier Classic tournament at the University of Virginia in November - a team may play both events. There is also no material being shared from this set to the VHSL Scholastic Bowl series, and no other event in Virginia is using this set. You may click on this link to the list of tournaments using IS-195 to see what other tournaments are scheduled to use IS-195.

Any person who has encountered the content of IS-195, in any context, is not eligible to play and is expected to disclose the fact that they have knowledge of set content if they are in touch with teams playing this tournament, e.g. as a coach or peer in a quizbowl club.

2) This tournament is for teams of eligible players representing a single high school. Public, private, religious, magnet, and charter schools are all eligible. Eligibility to participate for a given school will generally reflect the practices of the VHSL and national quizbowl organizations such as PACE and NAQT.

For homeschool co-ops and collectives, beginning this year, VCU's high school tournaments will follow the new eligibility guidelines published by NAQT here.

If you believe that you should be granted an eligibility exception, please contact us at [email protected]. If you are not sure whether you may get an exception, there's no harm in asking.

3) The VCU site is open to any high school team that wishes to participate. While we are primarily focusing our outreach on building a robust field from Virginia and neighboring states, there are no geographic restrictions on entry to this tournament. However, keep in mind that you will not be able to play tournaments in your home region that use IS-195 if you play this event.

We will seek affiliation with PACE to make this tournament a qualifier for the 2021 NSC; please see this link for further information. As this tournament is using NAQT questions, it will be a qualifier for the 2021 HSNCT and 2021 SSNCT.


Games in this tournament will use the NAQT rules, with the following exceptions:

*Games will not be timed and will last for 20 tossup/bonus cycles.

*Math calculation questions will not be used.

We will also add the following standard modifications for online quizbowl:

*Players have 5 seconds to buzz in after a tossup is completed and 7 seconds to answer a tossup after being recognized.

*Teams have 10 seconds to give a bonus part answer and will be prompted for time at 9 seconds.

*On tossups that are negged a "withdraw" is assumed for all subsequent buzzes; if you still want to answer [to try to get power or for whatever reason] type "buzz" a second time.

*Direct your bonus part answers by typing in ALL CAPS or using the ^-- notation, or saying "directed" if answering by voice. If no answer is given or multiple answers are given without directing any, and nothing is then directed after the moderator says "answer" at 9 seconds, then the team will be ruled wrong.

*If exactly one answer has been given before 9 seconds [by one or more players] then the moderator will rule that answer right or wrong, without prompting for time, and you don't need to type it again.

*To save time, try to direct anyway rather than just letting the time run out if you are sure of what answer you are giving before 9 seconds have elapsed.

*If you usually answer by text but need to go to voice to give a really long answer type "v" or "voice" in the chat within 10 seconds and be prepared to use your voice at that time. Whoever types "v" or "voice" will be considered as directing their subsequent answer.

*If you want to sink a bonus part you don't know to save time, type or say "pass" or "don't know."

The tournament stucture (number of games, playoff process, etc.) will be determined based on the total field size. Our goal is to give each team 7 pre-scheduled games and then have a championship playoff. While we generally provide more games to all teams at our physical tournaments, online quizbowl tends to take longer and we are conscious of the need to finish at a reasonable time.

We are doing extensive outreach for this tournament to teams who previously may not have played VCU events or whose participation may have been limited to VHSL Scholastic Bowl only. We hope to have a large and diverse enough field to split teams into separately competing divisions based on experience/skill level. This may also include a "JV" division for teams of 9th and 10th grade players if there is sufficient interest.

Registration & fees:

base fee: +$60 per team to your school's total fee. There is no limit to the number of teams who can attend from one school.

staff discount: -$10 to your school's total fee per qualified staffer. There is no limit to the number of staffers you can bring. Staffers must remain with the tournament through the completion of the prelim schedule to receive the discount.

minimum fee: The minimum fee is $0. You can bring enough staffers to eliminate your fee, but you cannot have a negative fee.

To register for this tournament, please fill out the form here:

Once you have submitted the form, there is no further action needed on your part in order to be officially registered. There will be periodic updates in this thread and by e-mail indicating who has registered. Posts made in this thread do not count as official registrations.

Method of payment:

All teams must submit or postmark a payment by the day of the tournament. A Venmo address and a physical address for mailed checks will be provided to all registrants. Teams who do not submit electronic payment or postmark mailed payment by December 5 will be subject to a $25 late payment penalty. If you absolutely cannot use either Venmo or a check then contact us ASAP and we will discuss options.

All checks must be made out to "Quizbowl at VCU". If you require an invoice or W-9 form in order to have a check cut, you must let us know by November 20, so that we can send you the paperwork in time, or you will be subject to a late payment penalty.

Team & roster size:

There may be a maximum of six players on one team's roster, up to four of whom may play at one time. There will be no exceptions to this rule. If you bring more than six players, you must register a second team to have all of them play. There is a half-time substitution opportunity in each game. Each player may appear on only one team's roster throughout the day; there is no switching from the B team to the A team, etc. Teams may play shorthanded, with fewer than four players.

Code of conduct and chaperone policy:

All participants in the tournament are expected to be familiar with the code of conduct designed to provide a safe and inclusive environment at Quizbowl at VCU events.

All schools participating in this event are expected to have at least one coach or other designated adult who is connected to the tournament server for the duration of the tournament and actively takes responsibility for the conduct of the school's players. One coach may suffice for multiple teams from the same school.

Camera usage/anti-cheating policy:

All players in this tournament must have a video feed enabled in Discord at any time they are playing live questions. Anyone whose video signal drops will be ineligible for any questions read until they get it working again. Those with privacy concerns may point the camera at their hands.

If you have historically had issues with getting webcams to work with Discord, with the reliability of the Internet speed at your home, or any other technical barriers to providing always-on streaming video while playing quizbowl, then please schedule some time over the next twelve weeks to troubleshoot these problems and/or arrange an alternate location from which to play this event. We understand that this is a non-trivial task for some people, but it is our only option to protect the integrity of of the competition for the large number of players who will be devoting time and resources to participating.

Players using a phone or a second computer during the reading of live questions is prohibited. Other behaviors that may be interpreted as cheating will be evaluated by tournament staff. The TD of this tournament has the authority to end a player's participation based on reasonable belief in cheating and determine what further actions to take. If you believe that an opponent is cheating please contact your moderator or the TD privately so that we may take action. Please avoid confronting opponents directly or making public accusations.

All players in this tournament consent to audio and visual transmission of their voice and image to all other participants, including the recording of this signal, by participating and will be asked to type their name in the Discord chat during the pre-tournament meeting in order to register their awareness of this policy. Team coaches are responsible for making players and minor players' parents/guardians aware that electronic voice and image transmission is a precondition of participating in this tournanment and will be taking place throughout the event.

Please post here or contact us at [email protected] if you have any further questions.
Matt Weiner
Founder of
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