2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

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jaimiec
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2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by jaimiec »

This is the official announcement for ACF Regionals 2021, which will take place on January 30, 2021. It will be head edited by myself (American Literature / Other Academic / American History / Computer Science) and edited by Annabelle Yang (Painting & Sculpture / Mythology / Religion), Hari Parameswaran (World History / European History), Hasna Karim (Biology / Religion / Social Science), Jonathan Tran (American History / Computer Science), Jordan Brownstein (Philosophy), Michael Kearney (Ancient & Other History / Ancient Literature & Poetry), Natan Holtzman (Music / Other Science / Other Fine Arts), Nick Dai (Religion), Nitin Rao (Geography / Current Events), Stephen Eltinge (Chemistry / Physics / Astronomy), and Tim Morrison (British Literature / European Literature / World Literature / Math / Popular Culture / Other Fine Arts).

Format

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Regionals is being held online this year. ACF will coordinate with host schools to hold mirrors using Discord, and will work to create the most authentic and engaging quizbowl experience possible under these circumstances.

Qualification Changes

Because Regionals will be held online, it will not serve as the qualifier for ACF Nationals. The replacement qualification method will be announced soon.

Packet Submission

Any team with at least two people on it who played a regular, collegiate, academic quizbowl tournament* (either as a college student or as a high school student) prior to September 1, 2019, is required to submit a half-packet. If you are unsure whether your team is required to submit a half-packet, please email us at [email protected]. A team that is not required to submit a packet may submit an optional packet by the no-penalty deadline for a $50 discount.

* For these purposes, all ACF tournaments, NAQT SCT (Division I or Division II), NAQT ICT, and typical college-level academic invitationals count as regular collegiate academic tournaments. Pop culture or “hybrid” tournaments, HCASC, and tournaments played on NAQT’s Collegiate Novice series sets do not.

If your team is obligated to submit a half-packet or wishes to do so, please register with this form by January 3, 2021. A half-packet distribution will be mailed to you. If you have already received a half-packet distribution, please still register, but no additional half-packet will be emailed to you. If you register and do not receive a half-packet distribution in a timely manner, please email [email protected]. Registering to submit a half-packet does not constitute registration for ACF Regionals, which will be set up after sites are announced.

The submission schedule is as follows:
  • November 22, 2020: -$50
  • December 6, 2020: -$25
  • December 20, 2020: -$0
  • January 3, 2021: +$25
  • January 17, 2021: +$50
After January 17, 2021, teams will be required to pay an additional $10 per day their packet is late. Teams that have not submitted a packet by January 24, 2021 will be dropped from the tournament, with no exceptions.

The submission discounts and penalties – but not the schedule – may differ for teams attending sites outside of the United States, and will be detailed on the relevant site's forum post.

In order to meet a deadline, you must submit your half-packet to [email protected] before 11:59pm Pacific Time on that date. Half-packets should be submitted in Microsoft Word .doc or .docx format. Please do not submit packets as pdfs. If a team wishes to outsource part of its packet to a player not expected to play on that team (e.g., a student who has graduated), it must first receive approval from the head editor. Teams should email in their submissions separately and should not collaborate on packets; i.e., a school’s A team and B team should not write two half-packets together. However, if anyone who works on a packet or has access to that packet ends up playing on a different team (e.g. if someone originally intended to be on your school’s B team instead plays for your school’s A team) please let the head editor and your local TD know as soon as possible.

Fees

Additional details can be found on the ACF website. Fees and discounts for this tournament are structured as follows:
  • Base fee per team: $120
  • New to quizbowl discount: –$80
  • Shorthanded discount (1-2 players): –$60
  • Staffers: –$25 per staffer with a functional laptop and a stable internet connection. Staffers must register with ACF in advance and affirm that they have completed ACF’s moderator training (note: staffers who have not completed the training may scorekeep).
The new to quizbowl discount is intended for schools that did not send a team to any regular collegiate academic tournament (exclusively Novice tournaments do not count) since September 2019, and have no one on the team(s) claiming this discount who played those tournaments for another school.

Host sites will bill teams as soon as possible after the teams register. Teams should pay their host sites by whatever method is convenient for the hosts, who will in turn pay ACF by check, bank transfer, cash, or PayPal.

Distribution

The distribution for this tournament will follow the standard ACF distribution, as laid out here.

Accessibility

This tournament is intended to be easier than ACF Regionals 2018, close in difficulty to ACF Regionals 2019, and slightly easier than ACF Regionals 2020. While writing submissions, please keep the following in mind:
  • At least 50% of tossup answerlines should be things that can be tossed up at ACF Fall or below. This does not mean “answerlines with an easy giveaway, but no other Fall-level clues in their category” (e.g., a literature question with an answerline of “Delaware,” exclusively on Delawarean authors) but rather answerlines that could have a full Fall-level tossup in their category written on them (e.g., a geography question on Delaware).
  • The remaining tossup answerlines should be predominantly things that could be uncontroversially tossed up at regular difficulty. While you should feel free to submit tossups with unconventional answerlines that are still accessible (e.g., the trend of writing harder tossups on elements of core-canon works) these should make up no more than one or two of your overall submission.
  • Easy parts for bonuses should be genuinely easy, gettable by around 90% of teams. However, try and avoid “curved yellow fruit” style bonuses that don’t reward knowledge and can actually obfuscate an answer.
  • Hard parts for bonuses should be genuinely hard, but gettable by around 10% of teams. That 10% is important - a Regionals hard part is not a Nationals hard part. It may be canon-expanding, but should still be relevant.
  • Tossups this year will be hard-capped at seven lines, 10-point Times New Roman with one-inch margins. Please do not submit tossups that run into the ninth line or are shorter than five full lines. For bonuses, please do not submit any bonus parts that are over three lines, and aim for 1-2 lines per part.
Submissions that flagrantly disregard the length or difficulty guidelines will be sent back to teams and will be considered unsubmitted for the purposes of packet discounts. If you would like to request an extension for your deadline, please submit your request and explanation to [email protected].

Hosts

If you are interested in hosting an online mirror of ACF Regionals, fill out this form. The deadline to submit a bid is December 5th. Sites will be announced by December 12th.

If you have any questions about hosting or about the form, contact ACF’s Mirror Coordinator, Margaret Tebbe, at [email protected]. Hosts must abide by ACF’s Hosting Guidelines and the updated guidelines for hosting online tournaments.

Mirrors will by default be regional. One benefit of online tournaments, however, is that smaller sites can be condensed without creating transportation barriers. ACF reserves the right to move teams and staffers between sites. ACF intends to mirror 2021 ACF Regionals in the following regions:

Northeast: Yale
Upper Mid-Atlantic: NYU
Lower Mid-Atlantic:
Southeast: Georgia Tech
East Coast Overflow: *
Great Lakes:
Midwest:
North: Minnesota
South Central: Nebraska
Mountain West:
Northern California:
Southern California:
Northwest:
Eastern Canada:
United Kingdom:
Invitational: ACF
High-school-only sites: Westview

* May be any site on the east coast, due to anticipated overflow from existing sites.

Further Questions

If you have any further questions, please reach out to us at [email protected]. Thanks!
Last edited by jaimiec on Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by TaylorH »

jaimiec wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:15 pm Mirrors will by default be regional. One benefit of online tournaments, however, is that smaller sites can be condensed without creating transportation barriers. ACF reserves the right to move teams and staffers between sites. ACF intends to mirror 2021 ACF Regionals in the following regions:

Southeast:
Florida:
Given the small size of the Florida circuit right now, I think the Southeast and Florida sites of Regionals should be merged. For the last few online tournaments, Florida teams have played SE region mirrors, and I think this arrangement went well. A Florida-only Regionals site could happen, but I suspect it would only get 4-5 teams total. The historical reason for splitting Florida from the Southeast really is just that it takes a long time to drive from Florida to most other points in the Southeast, which clearly is not an issue here.
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by rdc20 »

Could you please specify which categories the subject editors are responsible for? Thank you.
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by jaimiec »

TaylorH wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:37 am
jaimiec wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:15 pm Mirrors will by default be regional. One benefit of online tournaments, however, is that smaller sites can be condensed without creating transportation barriers. ACF reserves the right to move teams and staffers between sites. ACF intends to mirror 2021 ACF Regionals in the following regions:

Southeast:
Florida:
Given the small size of the Florida circuit right now, I think the Southeast and Florida sites of Regionals should be merged. For the last few online tournaments, Florida teams have played SE region mirrors, and I think this arrangement went well. A Florida-only Regionals site could happen, but I suspect it would only get 4-5 teams total. The historical reason for splitting Florida from the Southeast really is just that it takes a long time to drive from Florida to most other points in the Southeast, which clearly is not an issue here.
Noted! Florida has been changed above to a potential site for "East Coast Overflow" - we think that there might be more teams on the East Coast than the existing sites can handle. However, given the tournament's remote nature, this could be done by any East Coast site and definitely isn't limited to Florida. Thanks for bringing this up!
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by caroline »

We just wanted to note that we're still discussing our plans for 2021 Nationals qualification, since Regionals is not a qualifier this year. We'll update you all once we have a better sense of our plans.
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by mtebbe »

I apologize for the delay in announcing sites for Regionals--they will be announced on Wednesday (12/16). In the meantime, if there are any questions about hosting (or if there are any last-minute bids), feel free to email me at [email protected].
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by jaimiec »

Sites:

We are still looking for a Midwest site, a Great Lakes site, and two additional East Coast sites.

Northeast: Yale
Upper Mid-Atlantic: TBD
Lower Mid-Atlantic: TBD
Southeast: Georgia Tech
Great Lakes: TBD
Midwest: TBD
North: Minnesota
South Central: Nebraska
West: USC/Washington
Eastern Canada: Toronto
UK: Imperial
High school only: Westview

Registration:
Fill out the central 2021 ACF Regionals registration form with all relevant information. You may view the field for each site here.

If possible, teams should register for the site that is geographically closest to them and/or is in the region they would normally attend. The field cap for all sites is 18, after which teams will be placed on a waitlist or potentially assigned to another site. Please register by January 25, 2021.
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by caroline »

ACF has elected to run an 2021 ACF Regionals invitational site of top collegiate teams. The announcement for the site can be found here. This site will allow teams to have an intense competitive experience playing teams they normally would not have the opportunity to play, and help teams attending other sites to have a more regionally competitive experience. We hope that this will make the best possible experience for teams playing at Regionals, both at the invitational site and elsewhere.

As Regionals is not a qualifier this year, this will not affect Nationals qualification; we are currently discussing an alternative method of Nationals qualification.

While discussing whether to hold an invitational site, we requested teams’ input through this Google Form emailed out to every team who played 2020 ACF Fall and/or Winter. In order to provide a public venue for discussion, we also posted a thread, “Input on a 2021 ACF Regionals super-site,” on the Collegiate Discussion subforum. The link to this forum post was also included in the email sent out to teams.

Of our 37 responses to the poll: 37.8% were strongly in favor of the invitational site, 37.8% were somewhat in favor, 13.5% were somewhat opposed, 8.1% were strongly opposed, and 2.7% indicated neutrality. Based on 75.6% of responses indicating that they were in favor of an invitational Regionals site, ACF chose to move forward with hosting it.

On the poll, respondents also indicated their desired method of team selection: 59.5% chose invitation-only, 18.9% chose first-come first-serve, 18.9% chose no opinion, and 2.7% chose another method. As it was the majority of responses, we elected to use the invitation-only method.

An internal committee of ACF members (who are not active collegiate players) selected team invitations, which were issued privately through email. Teams were invited based on who projected to have the strongest team at Regionals, using performances on prior tournaments this season and taking into account projected absences. ACF contacted teams individually to confirm these absences before issuing invitations.

We hope this addresses some of the concerns and questions people have expressed. General inquiries can be sent to [email protected]. We continue to appreciate your input and wish you a happy new year!
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by Jack »

Since I think this would be of public interest, I'll ask this question here: should we, the general quiz bowl audience, view the conceptualization and existence of the supersite as an indicator that there is a possibility that ACF Nationals will not be held this academic year? As best I can tell, nothing ever publicly posted explained the rationale behind holding this tournament, save for the note that it might make things 'more competitive' at the main regional sites. I did see, IIRC, in the Discord an ACF member mentioning that part of the desire to do this was because the nature of online tournaments makes it possible, i.e. a "why not do it while we can?" situation. Personally I'm not opposed to the supersite, to be clear, and though I do have some concerns, I am mainly curious if perhaps a worry that Nats might have to be cancelled this year was the impetus for holding a competitive event like this, since presumably the desire for "an intense competitive experience" as described here would typically be satiated at Nats. In other words, is ACF concerned that Nationals may not be held this year, and therefore wanted to make sure teams had an opportunity for a competitive event like this?
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by caroline »

Jack wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:11 pm Since I think this would be of public interest, I'll ask this question here: should we, the general quiz bowl audience, view the conceptualization and existence of the supersite as an indicator that there is a possibility that ACF Nationals will not be held this academic year? As best I can tell, nothing ever publicly posted explained the rationale behind holding this tournament, save for the note that it might make things 'more competitive' at the main regional sites. I did see, IIRC, in the Discord an ACF member mentioning that part of the desire to do this was because the nature of online tournaments makes it possible, i.e. a "why not do it while we can?" situation. Personally I'm not opposed to the supersite, to be clear, and though I do have some concerns, I am mainly curious if perhaps a worry that Nats might have to be cancelled this year was the impetus for holding a competitive event like this, since presumably the desire for "an intense competitive experience" as described here would typically be satiated at Nats. In other words, is ACF concerned that Nationals may not be held this year, and therefore wanted to make sure teams had an opportunity for a competitive event like this?
Yes, it is possible that Nationals will not be held this year, but ACF is working to maximize our chances of holding Nationals and we'll do our best to make sure it's held. The existence of the invitational site is unrelated to whether or not Nationals will happen. Thank you for asking!
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by mtebbe »

Since we were unable to find a host for the Midwest site of this tournament, Midwest teams will be diverted to the North (Minnesota) and South Central (Nebraska) sites. Midwest teams that have not yet registered should continue to register for the Midwest region, which will serve as the waitlist for the North and South Central sites. Teams will be notified if they were admitted off of the waitlist after registration closes on the 25th.
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by thebluehawk1 »

It seems like a pretty bad outcome that teams might not be able to play regionals because there is no Midwest site. I know my team of mostly new to college players will likely be pretty disappointed if they don't get to play the tournament they submitted a packet to. I for one waited awhile to register assuming that I couldn't register until a Midwest site was announced. This was an oversight on my part as I didn't see the follow up down page, but I wouldn't be surprised if other clubs made the same mistake I did.

I don't see why other sites than the two listed can't take overflow to ensure all teams get to play. Likewise, while breaking with tradition, could we not have some sites on a different day, allowing for more staff to be freed up?

Also even though this situation may never occur again, I think it is worth reflecting if the super site helped contribute to this problem. After all it took the three most reliable Midwest hosts out of the region. Perhaps this would have happened anyway as the typical incentive to host regionals, auto-nats qualification, can't be offered as usual (or maybe I am unaware or something).
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by mtebbe »

thebluehawk1 wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:29 pm I don't see why other sites than the two listed can't take overflow to ensure all teams get to play. Likewise, while breaking with tradition, could we not have some sites on a different day, allowing for more staff to be freed up?

Also even though this situation may never occur again, I think it is worth reflecting if the super site helped contribute to this problem. After all it took the three most reliable Midwest hosts out of the region. Perhaps this would have happened anyway as the typical incentive to host regionals, auto-nats qualification, can't be offered as usual (or maybe I am unaware or something).
I'm fine with overflow teams going to other sites. I picked the two sites I did for two reasons: I don't anticipate having very many extra spots at East Coast mirrors, particularly since there is no Lower Mid-Atlantic site, and North and South Central are the only other mirrors in the Central time zone. If there do end up being places available at other sites, I plan to offer those to Midwest teams rather than tell them they can't play. As for the possibility of hosting on another day, I didn't explicitly offer that as an alternative when I emailed Midwest teams a few weeks ago looking for a host, but I did say that I was fine with non-traditional hosting arrangements (and the high school site is already happening on Sunday).

I also don't think the supersite contributed to this problem. The Midwest has several schools (including the three you mentioned) that are capable of hosting a tournament without their A team. It's also worth noting that we had the same problem with the Midwest in November and there would not have been a Midwest site of ACF Winter if Alex had not stepped up to host.
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by 1992 in spaceflight »

mtebbe wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:26 pm I also don't think the supersite contributed to this problem. The Midwest has several schools (including the three you mentioned) that are capable of hosting a tournament without their A team. It's also worth noting that we had the same problem with the Midwest in November and there would not have been a Midwest site of ACF Winter if Alex had not stepped up to host.
It seems worthwhile to have a conversation (in another, separate thread, so as not to clog the Regionals announcement page) about why ACF has had problems with getting hosts in the Midwest this year.
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by Zealots of Stockholm »

1992 in spaceflight wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:47 am
mtebbe wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:26 pm I also don't think the supersite contributed to this problem. The Midwest has several schools (including the three you mentioned) that are capable of hosting a tournament without their A team. It's also worth noting that we had the same problem with the Midwest in November and there would not have been a Midwest site of ACF Winter if Alex had not stepped up to host.
It seems worthwhile to have a conversation (in another, separate thread, so as not to clog the Regionals announcement page) about why ACF has had problems with getting hosts in the Midwest this year.
maybe oversimplifying but perhaps just because hosting online sucks
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock »

What should teams in the Great Lakes region do? I held off on signing West Virginia up because the region did not have a host, and since it appears there will not be one, I am curious what ACF would suggest for these teams.
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Re: 2021 ACF Regionals: Global Announcement (January 30)

Post by mtebbe »

Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:20 pm What should teams in the Great Lakes region do? I held off on signing West Virginia up because the region did not have a host, and since it appears there will not be one, I am curious what ACF would suggest for these teams.
I apologize for not making this clear earlier--please just register for the site that's geographically closest to you.
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