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The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after)

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:22 am
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
I'm happy to announce The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (WAO standing for Will Alston Open - not my suggestion), an open tournament that will be available for mirrors January 21 and later. This tournament will be edited by myself, Joey Goldman, Athena Kern, Jason Cheng, James Lasker, and Naveed Chowdhury, with some assistance/oversight from Shan Kothari. I will serve as head editor.

This tournament is going to be solidly regular-plus in difficulty, which means it will sit somewhere between Penn Bowl/MLK and VCUO 2011/2015 in difficulty, steering away from the more challenging tossup answers at the latter end of the spectrum. We will work to keep easy parts at the Regionals level and include a good number of strong middle-late clues, in order to maximize playability.

As its name suggest, this tournament will need packets - however, in order to help ensure a good field size, we are not going to mandate packet submission in order for school teams to play. Instead, fees and packet submission are going to be intertwined:

School Teams: Packet submission optional. $140 base fee; $70 discount for submission by December 18th, $50 discount for submission before 2017 (Pacific Time).
Open Teams: Packet submission required. $120 base fee; $20 discount for submission by December 18th.

We're willing to negotiate a half packet submission for school or shorthanded open teams who are interested in submitting, but may not be able to adequately write for all categories - discounts for half-packets would be $35 and $20, respectively, for the same submission deadlines. Let us know what you're willing/interested in writing, and we can get you an assignment of 12/12. If you're a highly ranked quizbowl team, however, we will probably expect a full packet if you do choose to submit.

Base mirror fees for this tournament will be $45, but will be reduced to $25 per school team that submits a packet ($35 for half packet), in order to not bleed host sites of money. High school teams are "school teams" but high school chimera teams are "open teams." Hosts must provide buzzer discounts of at least $5 and travel discounts of at least $5 per 200 miles.

If you plan on submitting a packet for this tournament and getting a discount, contact me by December 18th stating that you will do so - PM and email are both fine. This is to ensure that we know in advance how many packets will be submitted, so we can plan ahead accordingly. If you promise a packet, do not submit one, and this causes us to be short on packets, we reserve the right to penalize you by preventing you from playing the tournament. Getting a tournament done completely in a bit over two months takes coordination - your cooperation is most appreciated! If you're playing on an open team, I'm ok with allowing some flexibility since team formation can be difficulty, but we'd still appreciate organizing more quickly.

Packets should be submitted according to the following distribution and emailed to william.t.alston@gmail.com with the subject "WAO Packet - [Team Name]"

(24/24 in total)

(5/5 total literature)
1/1 US Literature
1/1 British Literature
1/1 European Literature (nonclassical)
1/1 Nonwester and Classical Literature (questions on the Mahabharata, Aeneid, and Odyssey go here)
1/1 Any Literature (your choice)

Across your 10 literature questions, you must have at least 2 on poetry, 2 on long fiction, and 1 on drama.

(5/5 total history)
1/1 US History
1/1 Continental European History (post-600 CE)
1 Continental or Near Eastern History (pre-600 CE)
1 British, Canadian, Australian, or New Zealand history
1 Historiography or Archaeology
1/1 Other History (not covered above; "world" history) - At least one of these must be on a non-20th century topic (more is fine)
1 Any history (more of any of the above categories)

(5/5 total science)
1/1 Biology
1/1 Chemistry (please no more than one organic)
1/1 Physics
1 Math or Computer Science
1 Any other science (earth science, astronomy, etc.)
1/1 Any science (more of the above)

(4/4 total RMPSS)
1/1 Philosophy - Don't write both on the same philosophical discipline (i.e. don't write both on ethics or analytic language philosophy or whatever)
1/1 Social Science - Don't write both on the same social science
1 "Other Thought" or more social science (do with this what you will - I look forward to seeing what you give me)
1 Mythology
1/1 Religion - At least one question must be on a religion other than Christianity or Judaism (can be more)

(3/3 total Fine Arts)
1/1 Classical Music
1/1 Painting
1/1 Other Arts

(2/2 total Other)
1 Geography
1 Current Events and Modern Institutions
2 Other Academic (can be more geography/current events, or any academic topic that doesn't fit neatly into the standard distribution)

All submitted questions should be at least seven lines long. The requirements in history, social science, and mythology reflect my goals for diversity when editing these categories. The final distribution will be 20/20, with 4/4 history, 4/4 literature, and 4/4 science. Tiebreakers will be drawn from extra/unused questions in the submitted packets if available.

Make sure to use a good mix of easy and "standard" regular difficulty tossup answers in your packets, with a few more challenging questions to mix things up. We are keen on keeping this set under control.

List of submitted packets:
Andrew Wang / Ike Jose (half) (-$10, half the full packet open team discount)
Anderson Wang / Neil Gurram (half) (-$10)
Oxford A (half) (-$35, half the full packet school team discount)
Aaron Dos Remedios et al (-$20)
Mike Bentley (-$20)
Virginia (-$70)
Duke (-$50)
Maryland A (-$50)
Michigan (-$50)
Berkeley (-$50)
WUSTL (-$50)
OSU (-$50)
Maryland B (half, -$25)
Northwestern (half, -$25)
Queen's (half, -$25)
Kentucky (half, -$25)
Cambridge (half, -$25)
Adam Swift and Leslie Newcombe (half)
Ankit et al (half)
Rob Carson et al.

We are looking to assemble a number of larger sites for this tournament in order to create large, dynamic fields. We would like to have sites in the following locations:

Northeast: Columbia University (1/28)
Mid-Atlantic: University of Virginia (1/28)
Southeast: University of Florida
Upper Midwest: University of Chicago (1/21)
Lower Midwest: University of Missouri (1/28)
Northern California: University of California, Berkeley (TBD)
Southern Califotnia: Caltech (2/25)
Canada: University of Waterloo (1/21)
United Kingdom: University of Oxford
Online:

We are open to a Texas mirror as well, if there is interest.

Re: PACQUET Announcement (January 21st and later)

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:22 am
by Red Panda Cub
In what I hope to be the only instance of sub-editorial subversion in this tournament, I maintain that it should be called: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO. WAO, of course, standing for "Will Alston Open".

Re: PACQUET Announcement (January 21st and later)

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:21 pm
by Mike Bentley
I'd love to see a California mirror of this, although I'd be unable to make it on 1/21. 1/28 would work better for me.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:33 pm
by Mewto55555
Unclear on which end the miscommunication happened, but Chicago has just begun the process of internally communicating & figuring out if we can/will host a mirror of this tournament.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:02 pm
by No Rules Westbrook
I didn't get around to seeing and replying to the Facebook post, but I can probably offer you a packet for this.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:36 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
By the editors' decree, the editors of ACF Nationals (EDIT: and Regionals) have been exempted from packet submission requirements for this tournament. Requirements still apply to other open teams, which must submit at least a half-packet to be eligible (and ideally a full one).

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:38 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Updated OP with email information and list of packets.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:04 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Deadline for the max discount is in three days! Hoping to see some nice early submissions.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:33 pm
by Auks Ran Ova
Is there a chance some teams could get max-discount extensions if, for example, the site they're theoretically planning to attend still hasn't been announced?

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:08 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Auks Ran Ova wrote:Is there a chance some teams could get max-discount extensions if, for example, the site they're theoretically planning to attend still hasn't been announced?
I've contacted a member of your team privately about this.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:06 am
by CPiGuy
Is Notre Dame hosting a mirror of this?

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:27 am
by Fucitol
CPiGuy wrote:Is Notre Dame hosting a mirror of this?
The Upper Midwest Mirror has been moved to UChicago. Announcment thread here: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=19403

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:22 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Updated the inital post with submitted packets and a final list of promised packets.

We're looking for a new Northeast mirror site. Please email me with any requests.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:46 pm
by 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan
Is there a prospective Southeastern site for this tournament?

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:49 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
cwest123 wrote:Is there a prospective Southeastern site for this tournament?
I was contacted by someone who told me that they had scouted the area for interest and that there wasn't enough due to difficulty. We are plenty open to a Southeast mirror if we receive a bid.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:54 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
OK - a little bit of venting here. I've been contacted by most of the outstanding packet submitting teams to be informed that they won't be turning in their packets on time. Why is it that mostly lower-to-middle skill teams (relative to the WAO field overall) have submitted on time, and only one high-skill team (Maryland A) sent a full packet in on time? I get that people are busy with the holidays and that this was announced a bit late, but it's really frustrating because - as almost everyone realizes - I'm working with a very enthusiastic, but not very experienced editing team, and I'm trying to deliver a reasonable quality tournament in a rather short period of time with the crew I have. With so many people submitting late, precious free time needed for refinement is getting cut into.

I'm very disappointed that the community's most experienced writers (aside from the ineffable Jordan Brownstein EDIT: and Adam Silverman) are proving the least reliable in submitting on time. Perhaps everyone is taxed by Regionals or Nationals packets, but if the members of the writing team can find time to do 12 to 50+ questions apiece over the holidays (in addition to their Regionals/Nationals submissions), surely some of you can find bandwidth to also submit on a timetable that gives us what we need to finish .

Some people are having unfortunate circumstances come up, and others are busy over the holidays - but if you anticipate that you will be busy, then how about not waiting until the last minute and spacing out all your writing. Human tendency to procrastinate is not an excuse for giving other people headaches.

Since I had to give so many teams exceptions to a deadline that was supposed to be hard and fast, I'm reducing the packet submission discount by $10 for any team that is submitting a full packet late (open teams are getting a $10 fee hike in all cases, and school teams that promised half packets will lose $5 from their discount). "Late" means any time later than 6AM eastern time tomorrow morning. I hope you're understanding of my frustration, but I need to compensate the team for the reduced time frame in which they have to complete their work.


EDIT 2: Upon reconsideration, I've retracted the portion in red.

Happy New Year. I'm looking forward to seeing good submissions from you all.

EDIT: My tone is too harsh, since none of you (except the open teams) were actually required to submit. I should reiterate my gratefulness to those teams that were not required to submit, but are doing so anyways. I hope you use the additional time wisely.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:14 am
by Ike
Wow. Maybe, you're the one who should be giving people more time by not procrastinating tournament site announcement dates through inept communication? Many of the people I have talked to refused to write for your tournament until recently because they had no idea if they could play it since tournament sites nor dates were not confirmed until circa two weeks ago. This is not counting the fact that retired writers have jobs and want to spend time with their family and friends during the holidays or are probably going to spend more time then you think since other writers do not crap out their questions despite your personal suggestion to me that Andrew Wang and I write a packet out of the packet archive. Nor is it counting the fact that this tournament is less important than ACF Regionals or ACF Nationals, or that many of the "best writers" are working on SCT, ICT and ACF stuff.

Also, this is a blatant attempt to immunize your tournament from criticism by preemptively suggesting that not enough teams are complying with a reasonable packet submission schedule. Given that you, Will, have a past history of unfairly dispersing blame in advance from yourself in the event that some aspect of a tournament is poorly received, don't even think for a second that cries of "didn't have enough time" will cut it if you do something really stupid; the now-recanted fee sudden fee hike would fall into the "really stupid" category, so there is a chance that you will.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:40 am
by Cheynem
I'm not playing or writing for WAO, but let's also not ignore the fact that high school quizbowl and the writing thereof (HSAPQ, NSC, NHBB, NAQT, probably other stuff) takes up a great deal of people's time.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:38 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Final list of submitted packets is now up.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:45 pm
by Sigurd
Will a discussion forum be made available for this event?

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:48 pm
by Auks Ran Ova
I'll be creating one later today.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:59 pm
by Red Panda Cub
The discussion forum has now been created. :party:

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:49 pm
by grapesmoker
Conan, what is good in life?

Announcing your goddamn tournaments in a forums thread, that's what's good. It's cool, I didn't want to play an open set in my own backyard anyway!

What the fuck?

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:07 pm
by 1.82
Snap Wexley wrote:Conan, what is good in life?

Announcing your goddamn tournaments in a forums thread, that's what's good. It's cool, I didn't want to play an open set in my own backyard anyway!

What the fuck?
I have been led to understand that Columbia intentionally did not announce the tournament because they have a shortage of staff. I don't think the myriad reasons that this is unacceptable need to be explained, and it's distressing to see this from the school that will host ACF Nationals.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:20 pm
by ryanrosenberg
Our Lady Peace wrote:
Snap Wexley wrote:Conan, what is good in life?

Announcing your goddamn tournaments in a forums thread, that's what's good. It's cool, I didn't want to play an open set in my own backyard anyway!

What the fuck?
I have been led to understand that Columbia intentionally did not announce the tournament because they have a shortage of staff. I don't think the myriad reasons that this is unacceptable need to be explained, and it's distressing to see this from the school that will host ACF Nationals.
I'm busy tomorrow, but I definitely would have staffed a Columbia mirror of WAO if I knew it was happening (more than, say, 24 hours in advance) and they needed staff.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:24 pm
by grapesmoker
Our Lady Peace wrote:
Snap Wexley wrote:Conan, what is good in life?

Announcing your goddamn tournaments in a forums thread, that's what's good. It's cool, I didn't want to play an open set in my own backyard anyway!

What the fuck?
I have been led to understand that Columbia intentionally did not announce the tournament because they have a shortage of staff. I don't think the myriad reasons that this is unacceptable need to be explained, and it's distressing to see this from the school that will host ACF Nationals.
Well, I'm certainly going to be in touch with them about whatever is going on here.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:19 pm
by Urech hydantoin synthesis
the email I sent to jerry:
email wrote:Yeah the WAO situation is less than ideal, and I apologize for that. Here's some background (main point being that the only member of the Columbia team involved in the running/organization of this tournament in any way is me, and that pre-tournament logistics for this tournament were very, very low on my priority list):

MIT was apparently supposed to host a WAO mirror, but cancelled once they agreed to host Regs. Will then asked if I could run something on WAO at Columbia, and said that it could be a (very) small event. I floated this idea to other members of the team, and they didn't want to do it. Bottom line is, the Columbia club isn't involved with this tournament at all, and if it weren't for the fact that I have access to the room reservation system here as last year's club VP, I might've just tried to squat in some rooms in Hamilton.

To be completely frank, I oftentimes forgot, or just plain didn't spend enough time thinking to realize, that 1. this tournament was open, 2. you lived in Manhattan, and 3. there were lots of quizbowl people around who could staff. I don't have much time to devote to organizing this tournament, but did it out of a personal favor to Will, since it seemed to me that this was the difference between teams not having the chance to play WAO in the northeast. This tournament was in dire danger of not happening until about earlier this week, because I did not do a very comprehensive job of thinking about who could staff. I limited it to six teams because that seems to be the max size of a tournament that could effectively run by itself, but I can probably convince a friend of mine to staff with monetary compensation, if you wanted to play.

Yeah, and since the Columbia team isn't involved with this event, I don't think there's any cause for concern re: Nats; currently, the registrar hasn't 100% confirmed the rooms yet since it's still the add/drop period for this semester, but there should be 27-28ish rooms booked in Hamilton. I will most likely know for sure by early next week. And regarding staff, it's not like the situation with WAO is any sign that the team is collapsing or anything; we should be able to still at provide at least 10 staffers, if not more.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:42 pm
by grapesmoker
As per the above email and additional conversation with Ben, I've been reassured that we're in good shape for Nationals.

If we might make this Friday diversion into a positive object lesson for all: please don't do this. Don't run secret tournaments that make it look like your club isn't a normally functioning quizbowl team. As an outsider, I have no way to know what's going on behind closed doors, which means that transparency about basic things like "are you running a tournament" is kind of important; when that doesn't happen, it looks like something is wrong with your club. For outsiders, "Columbia club member Ben Zhang organizing an event that is being held on the Columbia campus in rooms presumably reserved by the Columbua quizbowl team" is, quite reasonably, functionally equivalent to "an actual Columbia tournament." If you can't muster up the necessary staff, you can either limit the number of teams or just not do it and read the packets in practice, but what you definitely should not do is organize an effectively secret event that you can only know about if you're in the right clique. Frankly, I don't understand why Will chose to do things in this way, but this is some poor judgment on his part.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:49 pm
by Ike
What the heck? Every tournament has trouble with staff. That's why you announce it so that people can volunteer to staff your tournament! This is by far the most incompetent way to handle it. I would definitely put this under the "really stupid" category.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:16 pm
by Jason Cheng
As far as I know as a WAO editor, Will wasn't behind the decision to not post an announcement re: a mirror hosted at Columbia, so I'm not entirely sure where that's coming from, Jerry.

Anyway, for my part, I'll post here to confirm that the WAO mirror at Caltech is, as it says in the first post in this thread (along with the Columbia mirror), is happening on 2/25. I've been assured by the Caltech club that they're committed to hosting, and that they will get a tournament announcement up ASAP.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:39 pm
by Milhouse
Is a future Texas mirror planned? Will the set be posted?

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:39 am
by That DCC guy
Similarly to the Texas Mirror idea will there be an open skype tournament of WAO?

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:00 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
That DCC guy wrote:Similarly to the Texas Mirror idea will there be an open skype tournament of WAO?
If someone wants to organize one, I would be happy to provide the set and compensate moderators.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:29 am
by Progcon
That DCC guy wrote:Similarly to the Texas Mirror idea will there be an open skype tournament of WAO?
If this Skype mirror isn't happening, can the set be posted?

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Thu May 11, 2017 1:07 am
by Charbroil
Progcon wrote:
That DCC guy wrote:Similarly to the Texas Mirror idea will there be an open skype tournament of WAO?
If this Skype mirror isn't happening, can the set be posted?
I've heard that there will be a mirror in Louisiana in late June.

Re: The Brief Wondrous Tournament of WAO (January 21st-after

Posted: Thu May 11, 2017 3:12 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
This set will be used for the Louisiana Open, yes.

I know a number of people have played the set in Discord, but I am open to running a skype mirror if there's interest!