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IO SATURNALIA mirror hosted by VCU - 10/10/20 (Online)

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:40 pm
by Matt Weiner
This is the general announcement for VCU's mirror of IO SATURNALIA, which is a college-level academic quizbowl tournament, to be hosted online via Discord, on Saturday, October 10, 2020 from 9:00 AM to about 6:00 PM. Participants should be online by 8:30 AM.

For convenience, here is a link to the registration form at the top of the post: We encourage all participants to read the entire announcement before registering.

Location, directions & parking:
Due to current conditions, the tournament will take place online via the Discord platform.

Questions and eligibility:

Please read all five points below:

1) This tournament will be using the IO SATURNALIA question set. Teams that have played this set at other tournaments are not eligible. Any person who has encountered material from this set, due to being affiliated at any point with its writing or playtesting or for any other reason, 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.

2) High school teams are not eligible for any IO SATURNALIA college tournament, and are requested to play the SATURNALIA version of the set at a high school tournament instead.

3) This tournament is for teams of eligible players representing a single college/university. Mixed/open teams are not allowed. Eligibility will begin with the ACF eligibility rules. If you believe that you should be granted an eligibility exception, please contact us at [email protected]. We will NOT be granting exceptions to players who are taking the fall 2020 semester off or who graduated in spring 2020 and wish to play with their former or future college team, if there is no other basis for an exception. We may be open to relaxing ACF's rules on dual-enrolled players and to discussing unique situations; if you are not sure whether you may get an exception, there's no harm in asking.

4) This an "easy" tournament. While we are not formally restricting eligibility based on experience/skill, we will ask that players of advanced skill consider staffing instead of playing this event.

5) At this time, the VCU mirror is:
*The only site of IO SATURNALIA which colleges located in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. may play.
*Open to colleges in Pennsylvania and Delaware, who may choose to play either this mirror or a mirror for the northeastern U.S. if and when such a mirror is announced.
*Not open to teams from other states not listed above.

If you believe you are in a unique situation regarding your school's physical location and your eligibility for this mirror site, please contact us at [email protected] and we will discuss your case with the central editors of this question set.


Games in this tournament will use the 20/20 tossup/bonus format and ACF rules, plus powers and the following standard modifications for online quizbowl:

*Players have 7 seconds to answer a tossup after being recognized.
*Teams have 10 seconds to give a bonus part answer and will be prompted for time at 9 seconds.
*On tossups that are negged a "withdraw" is assumed for all subsequent buzzes; if you still want to answer [to try to get power or for whatever reason] type "buzz" a second time.
*Direct your bonus part answers by typing in ALL CAPS or using the ^-- notation, or saying "directed" if answering by voice. If no answer is given or multiple answers are given without directing any, and nothing is then directed after the moderator says "answer" at 9 seconds, then the team will be ruled wrong.
*If exactly one answer has been given before 9 seconds [by one or more players] then the moderator will rule that answer right or wrong, without prompting for time, and you don't need to type it again.
*To save time, try to direct anyway rather than just letting the time run out if you are sure of what answer you are giving before 9 seconds have elapsed.
*If you usually answer by text but need to go to voice to give a really long answer type "v" or "voice" in the chat within 10 seconds and be prepared to use your voice at that time. Whoever types "v" or "voice" will be considered as directing their subsequent answer.
*If you want to sink a bonus part you don't know to save time, type or say "pass" or "don't know."

Unless the field size is quite small and a round robin is feasible, the tournament as a whole will aim to schedule 8 games for each team, which will be followed by taking the top 4 teams to a 2-round, single-elimination playoff to determine a champion. This is designed to make sure we can complete the event in a reasonable amount of time as compared to recent tournaments, which have shown that 11+ round schedules and attempting to reseed the entire field are not feasible under the current circumstances of online quizbowl. Within these parameters, we may adjust any of the stated numbers by plus or minus one in order to accommodate the actual field size. The formula for selecting and seeding teams in the single-elimination championship playoff, which may include giving higher seeds an advantage in-game, will likewise be determined once the field size is known and explained to teams no later than the morning meeting prior to the tournament.

We have lowered the normal registration fee for college tournaments for this event to reflect the fact that fewer games will be provided. We have also increased the normal discount for a reader to incentivize recruiting your advanced players and alumni to read at this event.

Registration & fees:

base fee: +$90 per team to your school's total fee. There is no limit to the number of teams who can attend from one school.

staff discount: -$20 to your school's total fee per qualified reader and -$10 per scorekeeper. There is no limit to the number of staffers you can bring. Staffers must remain with the tournament through the completion of the prelim schedule to receive the discount.

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

To register for this tournament, please fill out the form here:

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.

Method of payment:

All teams must submit or postmark a payment by the day of the tournament. A Venmo address and a physical address for mailed checks will be provided to all registrants. Teams who do not submit electronic payment or postmark mailed payment by October 10 will be subject to a $25 late payment penalty. If you absolutely cannot use either Venmo or a check then contact us ASAP and we will discuss options.

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 October 1, so that we can send you the paperwork in time or you will be subject to a 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:

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.

Camera usage/anti-cheating policy:

All players in this tournament must have a video feed enabled in Discord at any time they are playing live questions. Anyone whose video signal drops will be ineligible for any questions read until they get it working again. Those with privacy concerns may point the camera at their hands.

If you have historically had issues with getting webcams to work with Discord, with the reliability of the Internet speed at your home, or any other technical barriers to providing always-on streaming video while playing quizbowl, then you have almost a full month to troubleshoot these problems and/or arrange an alternate location from which to play this event. The prevalence of cheating at online events to this point is unacceptable. We understand that we are asking some people to make an effort here, but we believe that this is vastly preferable to either accepting cheating as a fact of life or being unable to run legitimate quizbowl tournaments for the duration of the covid pandemic, which seem to be the only other options.

Using a phone or a second computer during the reading of live questions is prohibited. Other behaviors that may be interpreted as cheating will be evaluated by tournament staff. The TD of this tournament has the authority to end a player's participation based on reasonable belief in cheating and determine what further actions to take. If you believe that an opponent is cheating please contact your moderator or the TD privately so that we may take action. Please avoid confronting opponents directly or making public accusations.

All players in this tournament consent to audio and visual transmission of their voice and image to all other participants, including the recording of this signal, by participating and will be asked to type their name in the Discord chat during the pre-tournament meeting in order to register their awareness of this policy.

Please post here or contact us at [email protected] if you have any further questions.

Tournament field as of 10/8/20:

Penn - 3 teams
Liberty - 2 teams
Virginia - 3 teams
Elon - 1 team
NC State - 1 team
Duke - 1 team
Pitt - 2 teams
Johns Hopkins - 1 team
Swarthmore -1 team
West Virginia - 1 team

Re: IO SATURNALIA mirror hosted by VCU - 10/10/20 (Online)

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:50 pm
by Matt Weiner
With 15 teams currently registered I'm going to tentatively close the field as we continue to recruit staff. Further registrants will need to provide a reader, otherwise we will form a waitlist and/or refer you to another site running this packet set. Any freelance moderators would be greatly appreciated.

Re: IO SATURNALIA mirror hosted by VCU - 10/10/20 (Online)

Posted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:53 pm
by Matt Weiner
Congratulations to Pitt A for winning this tournament in a 295-215 final over Penn C. In the consolation bracket final, NC State won a thrilling last-question game against Virginia B. Stats for the prelims are up at ... ry_rounds/ and for the playoffs are here: ... ff_rounds/ .