Illinois Open (Spring 2021)

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Illinois Open (Spring 2021)

Post by Auroni »

In keeping with tradition, I am delighted to revive a long dormant institution at a university I go to by posting a preliminary announcement for Illinois Open 2021, to be written and edited mainly by members of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Academic Buzzer Team.


Like the recent Fall Open tournament, we are aiming for midway between ACF Regionals and ACF Nationals in difficulty, or 3.5 dots on the college quizbowl calendar. At least 12 of the tossups in each packet will be on an "idea for a question" that could be executed uncontroversially at ACF Fall or ACF Regionals. For a tossup to be counted towards this quota, not only does its answerline have to be sufficiently easy, but it would need to have enough clues that could appear at tournaments of those difficulties. To illustrate what I mean with an example from my past work, consider the following tossup:
me, in (This) Tournament is a Crime wrote:An old man decides to save of two of these near-drowned people after having a portentous dream in which he had fought off a monkey trying to plunder a swallows’ nest. One of these characters instructs a beautiful woman to walk through a hole in a partition wall between two houses, pretending to be her own twin sister Honoria. Mercury disguises himself as one of these people named Sosia to help Jupiter have sex with Alcmena, in the play Amphitryon. One of these characters takes advantage of an incomplete (*) dowry paid by a Macedonian officer to secure Phoenicium for Simo’s lovesick son Calidorus. An elaborate ruse planned by one of these people named Palaestro finally defeats the braggart soldier Pyrgopolynices, the title character of Miles Gloriosus. For 10 points, Pseudolus is an example of what type of stock character in Plautus’s dramas, who usually outwits his master?
ANSWER: Plautine slaves [or servants]
This question isn't too hard to pick up at the very end, but buzzing at any point before that requires nontrivial knowledge about the plays of Plautus, and I don't think you could edit this down to any level of acceptable buzz distribution at Regionals (apart from maybe converting it to a straightforward tossup on Plautus), so as written it would not count as one of the 12 "tossups on easy answers" per packet. I would, however, count the same tournament's tossup on Paradise Lost whose clues exclusively deal with it as a poem, because a tossup on the same answer would just need to calibrate its clues to play well at both ACF Fall and Regionals.


As the name suggests, this will be an open tournament, so anyone can play with anyone else.

Distribution (still preliminary, subject to change)

4/4 Literature

1.5/1.5 Long Fiction
1/1 Poetry
0.5/0.5 Short Fiction
0.5/0.5 Drama
0.5/0.5 Nonfiction/Criticism/Literary Culture/Misc.

Care will be taken to ensure an even subdistribution by geographical region and time period.

4/4 History

1/1 American
1/1 European, Post-Classical
1/1 World
1/1 Commonwealth/Ancient/International/Historiography/Archaeology/Misc.

4/4 Science

1/1 Biology
1/1 Chemistry
1/1 Physics
1/1 "Other Science" (Astronomy/Earth Science/Computer Science/Math/Engineering/Misc.)

3/3 Fine Arts

1/1 Painting and Sculpture
1/1 Classical Music, Opera, and Ballet
1/1 "Other Art" (Film/Architecture/Dance/Photography/Non-Western Music and Art Forms/etc.)

3.5/3.5 RM + Thought

1/1 Religion
0.5/0.5 Myths/Beliefs/Folktales
1/1 Philosophy
1/1 Social Science/Other Academic

1.5/1.5 Current Events, Geography, "Modern World", Multi-Category Questions

Other Notes

We aim to produce 15 full packets (plus some tiebreakers) of tossups that are capped at 8 lines of non-answerline text (no more than 900 characters) and bonuses that are capped at 7 lines of non-answerline text (roughly 750 characters). This is especially imperative because we intend for the set to be played using bounceback bonuses to maximize the opportunities for engagement with the questions. Mirror sites are strongly encouraged, though not obligated, to run the tournament on bouncebacks.


To be figured out later.
Auroni Gupta

"Slaves aren't people lmao." - Ike Jose

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Re: Illinois Open (Spring 2021)

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Excited to see the revival of this tournament and the continued efforts to experiment at the highest levels of the game.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

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