VCU Winter Tournament XII (Richmond, VA – 12/4/21)

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Matt Weiner
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VCU Winter Tournament XII (Richmond, VA – 12/4/21)

Post by Matt Weiner »

This is the general announcement for the 2021 Virginia Commonwealth University Winter Tournament, which is a high school academic quizbowl tournament, to be hosted at VCU in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday, December 4, 2021 from 8:30 AM to about 4:30 PM. We plan to host this tournament as an in-person event. See the end of this announcement for further information about covid safety.

The registration link is here. Please read the entire announcement before registering.

Location
The tournament will likely take place in either Grace E. Harris Hall or the interconnected Oliver Hall/Temple Building complex, both of which are located at the intersection of Main Street and Harrison Street, in Richmond, Virginia. For GPS use, the address of the building is 900 W Main St, Richmond VA. We will have specific information on the tournament venue in the coming weeks.

Parking
Parking on Main Street directly in front of the building or on other nearby surface streets is, usually, free and available on Saturdays. In the event that the on-street parking is closed or full, you can use the West Main Street Parking Deck one block east of the tournament building. The parking deck has entrances on Cherry Street and Laurel Street and is nominally located at 801 W Main St for GPS purposes. A campus map is accessible here.

Questions:
This tournament will be using NAQT’s Invitational Series #206 question set. Teams that have played IS-206 at other tournaments are not eligible.

Any person who has encountered the content of IS-206, in any context including as a player or staffer at another tournament, 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.

This tournament is for teams of eligible players representing a single high school. Other than those schools which are disqualified due to exposure to the IS-206 set, all public, private, religious, magnet, and charter schools are eligible regardless of experience level or location. Eligibility to participate for a given school will generally reflect the practices of national quizbowl organizations such as PACE and NAQT. For homeschool co-ops and collectives, VCU's high school tournaments will follow the eligibility guidelines published by NAQT here. If you believe that you should be granted an eligibility exception, please contact us at [email protected].

Affiliation:
This tournament will be submitted to the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence for appropriate certification and may be a qualification opportunity for the 2022 National Scholastics Championship, which will occur at the end of the 2021-2022 school year at a date and location to be announced. More information will be available at this link. This tournament will also be an automatic qualifier for NAQT's 2022 High School National Championship Tournament, which will occur on May 27-29 in Atlanta.

Format:
This tournament will use the tossup/bonus format. A round will consist of 20 tossups with correct tossup answers earning a team a bonus in which it can earn up to 30 additional points, broken into three questions each worth 10 points. There will be no math calculation tossups or bonuses; this does not preclude tossups or bonuses on mathematical concepts. Specific scenarios will be handled according to the ACF rules. Teams will be seeded to preliminary groupings before being reseeded based on record for playoffs. All teams will be offered a minimum of 8 games, and we hope to increase that number once the final field size is determined. Trophies will be awarded to the top teams, and book prizes will be awarded to the top individual scorers.

Registration & fees:
base fee: +$70 per team to your school's total fee.

buzzer discount: -$5 to your school's total fee for each fully functional system. There is no limit to the number of systems you can bring. A fully functional buzzer system is defined as follows:
  • A buzzer system that clearly indicates which player has buzzed.
  • The control unit and at least 8 activators work, including lights on either or both of the 8 activators and control unit.
  • If the activators plug into a control unit via a modular connector, such as a telephone plug, tape must be provided if any latching tabs are broken.
staff discount: -$10 to your school's total fee. This can be a coach, parent, student, or other person who is not playing. Team-provided staffers will keep score for various games. Volunteer staffers must stay through all the games (excepting finals) in order to receive credit for their school. There is no limit to the number of staffers you can bring.

travel discount: -$10 to your school's total fee for every 150 miles traveled one-way from your school's address to VCU, according to Google Maps.

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

To register for this tournament, fill out this form. 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. Contact [email protected] if you need to modify your registration.

Please feel welcome to share this announcement with any schools that you think would be interested in attending!

Field size

There is an initial 32-team cap on field size at this tournament. There is no limit on the number of teams which may register from the same school. We hope to split this tournament into several experience-based divisions (e.g. nationally competitive, standard, and JV or novice), and will have further information on this once we see who has registered.

Method of payment:
All teams must pay by the day of the tournament. We encourage either using electronic payment or mailing payment in advance, though day-of payment will also be accepted on site. Teams who do not pay by the day of the tournament will be charged a $25 penalty and will have two weeks to pay their total amount.

Venmo and Zelle information, as well as a mailing address for checks, will be shared with all registrants. For on-site payment, we can accept checks or cash or run physical credit/debit cards via Square.

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 15, so that we can send you the paperwork in time. If you do not let us know about this requirement by November 15, and it causes you to come to the tournament without your payment, then you will be subject to the $25 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 present 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.

Food:
Neither breakfast nor lunch will be provided by the tournament. We will provide a list of suggested eateries for the lunch break, which will be at some time after 12 PM.

Safety plan regarding covid:

*General guidance on VCU campus closures may be accessed at VCU Alert. This is where official decisions on closing the campus due to weather emergencies and other concerns outside of covid may be found. In the event that there is an emergency situation near the date of the tournament, we will go by what is published on VCU Alert and will run the tournament if the campus is open.

*We will be monitoring the situation over the coming weeks with regard to infection trends, university policies, school policies on activities, and so forth. We have three potential routes regarding this tournament:
-Host online (most restrictive, if the covid situation takes a turn for the worse).
-Host in person, with similar safety protocols to what we have announced for our October 30 event (see viewtopic.php?f=1&t=25371 for full information).
-Host in person with a more relaxed safety protocol of some kind, if the situation improves before December.

"More relaxed" may mean that we are comfortable holding a mass meeting or relaxing mask requirements if the public health situation justifies these approaches. It is extremely unlikely that we will allow unvaccinated individuals to attend a physical event in any case.

Our goal is to find a safe and reasonable way to host the tournament in-person if at all possible. We will continue to update this thread based on further developments.

Matt Weiner
Advisor and Tournament Director, Quizbowl at VCU
[email protected]
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org
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