DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

This forum is for tournament announcements, updates, and results (official or otherwise).
Post Reply
User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by CPiGuy »

This is an announcement for DECAMERON (Does Everyone Cancelling A Major Event Remove Our Nationals?), a totally disorganized asynchronous quizbowl event to be held on the internet over a period of time. Credit to Cerulean Ozarow for the awesome backronym.

Here's how this works:
You'll sign up in teams of four and write a packet according to a set distribution. I'll make a "schedule" and teams will play a round robin. Teams will read their packets for all the matches during their "bye round". Itamar Naveh-Benjamin will be editing your packets for powermarking, answerline-checking, etc. (just basic quality control things); you should pay him $16 as a team for this nontrivial work.

Just to reiterate: When you finish your packet, DO NOT SEND ME YOUR PACKET. Send them to Itamar!

What did you mean by "asynchronous"?
As opposed to a traditional quizbowl tournament, in which all the rounds take place in a specified order over a limited period of time, this event will not do that. Instead, the full schedule of which teams are playing each other on which packets will be released at once, and teams will arrange to play matches at the time which works best for them and a moderator. I'll set up a Discord server in which to coordinate this, which will have text channels corresponding to every game, but if teams would rather play over Zoom or any other platform they are welcome to do so. (After setting up said Discord server, I will transfer ownership of it to someone who is not playing the tournament, who will then deprive me of any sort of administrative powers, so that I will not be able to see the discussions for games I'm not playing in. I will do this before inviting anyone else to the server.)

When do we have to do this by?
The deadline to sign up will be April 25th. At this point, I'll assign free agents to teams that don't have a full four players, or make teams out of free agents. If, at that point, the number of teams is not odd, I'll leave signups open until the number of teams becomes odd. Teams will be expected to have finished their packets by May 2nd, although I'll have the schedule up before then if anyone finishes early and wants to start reading games.

Here's a signup sheet. Please do not sign yourselves up as a team unless you have three or four players. Signing up as a team commits you to writing a packet.

If we sign up, what are we committing to do?
Teams who sign up will be expected to:
-- Write a packet of non-terrible quality according to the distribution set out below (it doesn't have to be stellar, but please do not write two-line speedchecks or plagiarize or anything like that.)
-- Be somewhat proactive in getting their matches played over a month or so. Ideally every team would play a couple of games per week.
-- Moderate the matches that are played on their packet, or find someone else to do so for them who is not playing the event or has already heard their packet, and be somewhat proactive about finding the time to do so.
-- While moderating, record both individual and team statistics, and send them to me after the match is over. (I'll probably create a channel on the Discord server expressly for the purpose of reporting results and statistics.)

Who's eligible to play?
Literally anyone is eligible to play, unless previous misbehavior disqualifies them from participating in organized online quizbowl. (Speaking of misbehavior: good lord please do not cheat at a free casual event!) The tournament is open, so you need not play with your school team. Younger players should be advised, though, that the difficulty recommendations are at the college level (see below), and shouldn't sign up unless they feel like they can write non-terrible questions at such a level.

What should the packets look like?
Teams should submit packets of forty tossups and zero bonuses, according to the following distribution:

6 Literature
You can split literature up by either genre or region.
If you choose the former, please submit 1 each of Short Fiction, Drama, Poetry, Long Fiction, Any Fiction, and Any Genre.
If you choose the latter, please submit 1 each of American, British, Any Anglophone, European, World, and Any Non-Anglophone.

6 History
Please submit 1 each of American, European, British/Commonwealth, Asian, World (not including Asian), and Ancient/Classical.

6 Science
Please submit 1 each of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Math, Earth/Space, and Any Science (can be more of the Big 3 or anything else).

4 Fine Arts
Please submit 1 each of Painting, Other Visual Arts, Classical Music, and Other Auditory Arts.

4 "Thought"
Please submit 1 each of Philosophy, "Hard" Social Science (economics, psych, linguistics, etc.), "Soft" Social Science (IR, political science, etc.), and Any Thought.

4 "Beliefs and Legends"
Please submit 1 each of European Mythology, Non-European Mythology, Abrahamic Religion, and Non-Abrahamic Religion.

4 Popular Culture
Please submit 1 each of Sports, Movies and TV, Music, and Any Pop Culture.

2 Geography
Please submit 2 geography tossups.

2 "Other Academic"
Please submit 2 tossups on something academic that you don't feel fits into any of the other categories.

2 Writers' Choice
Please submit 2 tossups on literally anything you want to write about, within reason. If you're going to write something unusual like a before-and-after or mashup tossup, please include a note to players, but you're welcome to do so.

Tossups should be powermarked and approximately 6-8 lines of 10 point Times New Roman. Power should generally include something between 40 and 70 percent of the question. They should be written at something approaching college regular difficulty, but I understand that there will be some variance. Please try not to, however, write tossups on impossible CO-level answerlines or tossups which a mediocre high school player could power easily. Also please randomize your packets -- don't, for example, put all six lit questions as the first six tossups, etc.

If you're newer to question-writing at the college level, the ACF website has a style guide and helpful advice for avoiding common pitfalls.

I also encourage teams to majorly up the whimsy factor for your packets. This is not a formal event, and it's a great opportunity to write unusual or otherwise whimsical tossups which might not fly in a more traditional format. On that note, I also will not be clarifying the distribution at all -- interpret it how you want to interpret it.
Last edited by CPiGuy on Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

Lighthouse Expert Elinor DeWire
Yuna
Posts: 803
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:46 pm
Location: Farhaven, Ontario

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by Lighthouse Expert Elinor DeWire »

CPiGuy wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:43 pm
2 Writers' Choice
Please submit 2 tossups on literally anything you want to write about, within reason. If you're going to write something unusual like a before-and-after or mashup tossup, please include a note to players, but you're welcome to do so.
Is meta, within reason, okay?
Joe Su
Lisgar 2012, McGill 2015, McGill 2019, Queen's 2020

RUNNER UP -- 2017 ILQBM MEME OF THE YEAR

User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by CPiGuy »

Lighthouse Expert Elinor DeWire wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:36 pm
CPiGuy wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:43 pm
2 Writers' Choice
Please submit 2 tossups on literally anything you want to write about, within reason. If you're going to write something unusual like a before-and-after or mashup tossup, please include a note to players, but you're welcome to do so.
Is meta, within reason, okay?
Absolutely! The difficulty suggestions still apply to meta, so try to make it something that could be converted by anyone who's reasonably involved with the quizbowl community (e.g. writing a tossup on some member of your local circuit who never attends nationals or posts in online spaces is probably too hard).
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

User avatar
naan/steak-holding toll
Auron
Posts: 2227
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:53 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

I'd suggest having some sort of ad-hoc "editor" to do the powermarking (that way it's reasonably consistent) and to check answerlines for thoroughness, etc. This person could probably be paid a nominal fee per packet or something - I think that'd be completely fair. That said, maybe that would remove the unique "guerilla" factor, which is perhaps worth preserving. Just a thought.

Also, probably worth clarifying whether this is a "no protests" tournament, or whether someone (in the case of my proposal, this paid editor) could be delegated to resolve all such issues.

Thanks for organizing this!
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6746
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by Cheynem »

I'd be willing to do some editing for this if needed.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

Make sure your seatbelt is fastened
Lulu
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:46 pm

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by Make sure your seatbelt is fastened »

I spoke to Will and Conor and agreed to help with the "editing" for this "tournament." Mostly, I'll be adding/adjusting powermarks to add as much consistency across packets as possible. I'll also help with clearing up / expanding answerlines where needed.

When your team's packet is finished, either share the Google Doc or email it to me at in9pa at virginia dot edu. Please do this by May 2!
Itamar Naveh-Benjamin
Mizzou '19
UVA '23

User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by CPiGuy »

Make sure your seatbelt is fastened wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:50 am
I spoke to Will and Conor and agreed to help with the "editing" for this "tournament." Mostly, I'll be adding/adjusting powermarks to add as much consistency across packets as possible. I'll also help with clearing up / expanding answerlines where needed.

When your team's packet is finished, either share the Google Doc or email it to me at in9pa at virginia dot edu. Please do this by May 2!
I edited the main announcement for this, but teams should pay Itamar $16. (I chose this rather than 15 because it's divisible by four.)

I know I initially said this tournament was free, but we should pay Itamar for his labor and $4/person is not a lot of money.
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by CPiGuy »

There are currently 10 teams, a couple of which are incomplete, and a few free agents.

Rather than assigning free agents to teams, I'm just going to encourage teams and players to reach out on their own. If the eventual eleventh team enters a couple days late, that's probably fine.

I will make a schedule and set up the Discord server on May 3; this is a day late but I am directing a 32-team online middle school tournament on Saturday and do not want to worry about setting up something else as well.
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

Make sure your seatbelt is fastened
Lulu
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:46 pm

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by Make sure your seatbelt is fastened »

I've heard from some folks that an extra day would really help with finishing the packet, so please email your packets to me by tomorrow, Sunday, May 3rd. Again, my email is in9pa at virginia dot edu.
Itamar Naveh-Benjamin
Mizzou '19
UVA '23

Make sure your seatbelt is fastened
Lulu
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:46 pm

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by Make sure your seatbelt is fastened »

I've received four packets so far. Make sure to send yours in!
Itamar Naveh-Benjamin
Mizzou '19
UVA '23

User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by CPiGuy »

I've almost completely set up the server and will send out a link later tonight once I get automatic role assignment worked out.

The "schedule" is also now on the signup sheet.
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

User avatar
naan/steak-holding toll
Auron
Posts: 2227
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:53 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Please reach out to me via PM, Discord message, or Facebook message to coordinate a match with our team. We're generally pretty available during evenings during the upcoming weekdays.

Also, I'm free to moderate for most games on our team's packet - again, just reach out and am happy to read.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by CPiGuy »

I've emailed teams a link to the server.
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

User avatar
naan/steak-holding toll
Auron
Posts: 2227
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:53 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

In light of recent cheating scandals and the persistence of suspicious performances on online events, I am politely requesting that all of my team's matches be played on Discord or Zoom video call.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

User avatar
Judson Laipply
Rikku
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 10:02 pm
Location: Bucyrus, Ohio

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by Judson Laipply »

naan/steak-holding toll wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 10:29 pm
In light of recent cheating scandals and the persistence of suspicious performances on online events, I am politely requesting that all of my team's matches be played on Discord or Zoom video call.
I possess a premium zoom room (Thanks UChicago!) and will read matches on my team's packet (if I'm available) on Zoom. I will also make said zoom room available if asked for a time that I do not need it.
James L.
Kellenberg '10
UPenn '14
UChicago '20 (probably, who gives a fuck)

User avatar
ganman0305
Lulu
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:17 pm

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by ganman0305 »

I'm not sure what the cost of a premium Zoom room is, but I'm willing to chip in to purchase access to one if necessary for the tournament!
Ganon Evans
Francis Howell High School '18
University of Iowa '21
ACF

User avatar
naan/steak-holding toll
Auron
Posts: 2227
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:53 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

ganman0305 wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 10:53 pm
I'm not sure what the cost of a premium Zoom room is, but I'm willing to chip in to purchase access to one if necessary for the tournament!
The Discord server should hopefully be sufficient, but if Discord video calls are too buggy, we can look for other options.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by CPiGuy »

One of the teams (beepbeep, i'm a sheep) has contacted me about dropping out because they haven't been able to finish their packet; I have proposed that instead they absorb some of the unteamed free agents into a large team to finish the packet (and not require a new team to write from scratch). You'd still only get to have 4 people playing in games, so you could sub or just have games when the entire team isn't available. You should contact that team if you're interested.
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Sin
Posts: 6005
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by Mike Bentley »

CPiGuy wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 6:00 pm
One of the teams (beepbeep, i'm a sheep) has contacted me about dropping out because they haven't been able to finish their packet; I have proposed that instead they absorb some of the unteamed free agents into a large team to finish the packet (and not require a new team to write from scratch). You'd still only get to have 4 people playing in games, so you could sub or just have games when the entire team isn't available. You should contact that team if you're interested.
I could probably help with this. I likely have some in reserve I could contribute to. If you're the team in question email me.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6746
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by Cheynem »

i like writing things
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Sin
Posts: 6005
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by Mike Bentley »

Ok looks like I'm leading a replacement packet team. Email me if you want to join, especially if you want to write science.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
Deepika Goes From Ranbir To Ranveer
Rikku
Posts: 295
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:42 pm

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by Deepika Goes From Ranbir To Ranveer »

This tournament is proving to be a LOT of fun, and I really like the async setup. Can't wait for the next one of these!
Aayush Rajasekaran (he/him or she/her)
University of Waterloo, 2016
University of Waterloo, 2018

User avatar
naan/steak-holding toll
Auron
Posts: 2227
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:53 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Deepika Goes From Ranbir To Ranveer wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 5:58 pm
This tournament is proving to be a LOT of fun, and I really like the async setup. Can't wait for the next one of these!
I'd echo this for sure. The questions definitely aren't consistent round-by-round by any means, but they definitely show the flavor of their authors to varying degrees, and playing through has been a jolly good time despite this variance.

Conor, Itamar, and I have been discussing a possibility of licensing these packets to people who'd like to play them. The mirror fees would go towards 1) reimbursing the submitting teams for their questions and 2) reimbursing Itamar for his slight question tweaking, powermarking, and answer checking, with this being split in favor of the former group. If you'd be interesting in playing these, please reach out to me via DM on Facebook, forums, etc. This can be negotiated based on who wants to play them and for what purpose - I'd suggest something like $10 per player for events, since it's variant quality guerilla content but a ton of questions (40 tossups per packet), so this seems like a fair balance.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by CPiGuy »

We're 40% done!

Here are stats.
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Sin
Posts: 6005
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by Mike Bentley »

This has been okay. It's more enjoyable than other guerilla tournaments I've played in the past but I wouldn't want to oversell it. Probably in part because our team came in late, getting games scheduled has been something of a hassle. I also personally get worked up over quizbowl games (even for a low-stakes tournament like this) and so it gets a little hard to come down after playing just one or two matches in a day.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by CPiGuy »

We're over 80% done!

Stats!
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Sin
Posts: 6005
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by Mike Bentley »

Mike Bentley wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 4:05 pm
This has been okay. It's more enjoyable than other guerilla tournaments I've played in the past but I wouldn't want to oversell it. Probably in part because our team came in late, getting games scheduled has been something of a hassle. I also personally get worked up over quizbowl games (even for a low-stakes tournament like this) and so it gets a little hard to come down after playing just one or two matches in a day.
I will say that there have been a handful of very enjoyable packets in this set. I hope these can get a wider audience than just the people who played the "main" event.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
CPiGuy
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: DECAMERON - Asynchronous guerrilla tournament announcement and signups

Post by CPiGuy »

This tournament is now over. Thanks to all the teams that played!

Congratulations to "tbd" for winning the tournament with a perfect 10-0 record and to Jakob Myers for being the top scorer.

Here are stats.

As a note -- I've heard that people are interested in mirroring these packets. You should talk to me or Itamar if you are; we have 11 packets of 40/0. If I don't hear from anyone by the end of the month, I'll have them posted to the archive.
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25

Post Reply