Page 1 of 1

Illinois Open (3/6/21)

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:48 pm
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, past, present, and future.


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. 7 of the tossups in each packet will be on an "idea for a question" that could be executed uncontroversially at ACF Fall, and 7 more tossups will be on an "an idea for a question" that would work just fine at ACF Regionals. For a tossup to be counted towards these 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 14 "tossups on easy or medium 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


Mitch McCullar and I will be editing literature, Alex Fregeau will be editing history, Iain Carpenter and I will be editing science, Iain Carpenter will be editing arts, Brad MacLain will be editing philosophy, and I will be editing religion/mythology. We are still figuring out editing assignments for the rest, but this post will be updated once we do/if we are seeking collaborators.

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.

Re: Illinois Open (Spring 2021)

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:15 pm
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.

Re: Illinois Open (Spring 2021)

Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 3:23 pm
by Auroni
Opening post edited with more details, since we have begun the process of putting this set together.

Re: Illinois Open (3/6/21)

Posted: Fri May 29, 2020 2:28 am
by Auroni
We will make this set available for hosting starting on March 6th, 2021. We will monitor the SARS-CoV-2 situation to see if it is feasible to run this tournament in person at UIUC on this date.