2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

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caroline
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2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by caroline »

This is a preliminary announcement of the ACF Nationals Qualifier on the weekend of April 3rd, 2021, which will be held online. As ACF Regionals is not a qualifier this year for Nationals, ACF has developed this alternative method of qualification in order to adapt to the challenges of quizbowl during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nationals Qualifier is composed of 100 bonuses targeted at Regionals difficulty and will be 5 packets. Teams will play the 100 bonuses during the qualifier weekend and the results, based on total points per bonus, will be used to invite teams to 2021 ACF Nationals.

Registration
Teams may register by choosing a two-hour timeslot on this SignupGenius to play the qualifier and filling out this Google form. You must fill out both to be registered. Teams will be able to register for the qualifier on a first-come, first-serve basis. Automatic bids to Nationals will not be given to teams this year.

Registration will be open from March 20th-31st. In order to ensure the editors, writers, and staffers are adequately compensated for their work, the registration fee is $40 per team. We are currently considering a range of options on the field size for Nationals (between 12 teams at minimum and 48 at the most).

Format
Since this is a bonus-only event, we do not anticipate typing will be necessary. Bonuses will be played in accordance with ACF rules on online play. In order to ensure more security, all players are required to have a working camera, and their hands must be visible throughout the qualifier. The standard ACF distribution can be found here. Note that it has been modified to not include pop culture, which will be replaced by questions divided between geography, current events, and other academic.

Editors
The qualifier is head edited by John Lawrence. The editing team is as follows: Jordan Brownstein (History), Ike Jose (Misc. Science), Mike Sorice (Physics), Andrew Wang (Bio/Chem), Rob Carson (Religion/Myth) and John Lawrence (Lit, Fine Arts, and Thought).

Staffing
If you are interested in staffing, please fill out this form. You will be compensated $10 per two-hour time slot worked. For qualifier staffing questions, please direct it to Ganon Evans at [email protected] or [email protected].

Questions and concerns can be directed to [email protected].
Last edited by caroline on Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:32 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by Jack »

This seems pretty reasonable given the circumstances, though I'd like to make one suggestion.

As a precaution for the possibility of a lot of demand and not enough slots to try out enough teams, I think it would be a good idea to initially restrict registration for this event to a school's A and B teams. Let's say there are enough slots to try out 64 teams, but 80 teams are interested. I personally think it would be fairer to prioritize schools over when someone registered; e.g. if Rutgers A is the 65th team to register or is on a waitlist, it seems less than optimal that, say, Chicago C or D gets to participate in the qualifier and an entire school misses out because Chicago registered four teams right when it opened, especially if the slots fill up very quickly. It also would remove the incentive, especially if the limit is smaller, to register to take up spots in the qualifier as a way to try to exclude others, which only certain schools would be able to do. Not that anyone would explicitly try to do this, but it's possible. Of course, there's been no announcement about how many tryout slots there are, yet, but as a precaution I think this would be a good idea. ACF could, perhaps, restrict the first few weeks of registration to A teams, or A teams and B teams, and then have a 2nd list of first-come, first-serve additional registrations. Then after the three weeks are up, the 2nd list gets tacked on to the first, and if at that point it's filled, you're done. If there are still openings, then it reverts to the first-come, first-serve basis.
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by heterodyne »

Jack wrote: Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:16 pm This seems pretty reasonable given the circumstances, though I'd like to make one suggestion.

As a precaution for the possibility of a lot of demand and not enough slots to try out enough teams, I think it would be a good idea to initially restrict registration for this event to a school's A and B teams. Let's say there are enough slots to try out 64 teams, but 80 teams are interested. I personally think it would be fairer to prioritize schools over when someone registered; e.g. if Rutgers A is the 65th team to register or is on a waitlist, it seems less than optimal that, say, Chicago C or D gets to participate in the qualifier and an entire school misses out because Chicago registered four teams right when it opened, especially if the slots fill up very quickly. It also would remove the incentive, especially if the limit is smaller, to register to take up spots in the qualifier as a way to try to exclude others, which only certain schools would be able to do. Not that anyone would explicitly try to do this, but it's possible. Of course, there's been no announcement about how many tryout slots there are, yet, but as a precaution I think this would be a good idea. ACF could, perhaps, restrict the first few weeks of registration to A teams, or A teams and B teams, and then have a 2nd list of first-come, first-serve additional registrations. Then after the three weeks are up, the 2nd list gets tacked on to the first, and if at that point it's filled, you're done. If there are still openings, then it reverts to the first-come, first-serve basis.
For obviously biased reasons, I disagree with this. The last time Chicago C did not attend ACF Nationals was 2009. I don't think that the talented players who make it up should be penalized because they happen to attend an unusually successful school. (I believe this as a general rule, just engaging with the example given.)
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by Zealots of Stockholm »

Jack wrote: Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:16 pm This seems pretty reasonable given the circumstances, though I'd like to make one suggestion.

As a precaution for the possibility of a lot of demand and not enough slots to try out enough teams, I think it would be a good idea to initially restrict registration for this event to a school's A and B teams. Let's say there are enough slots to try out 64 teams, but 80 teams are interested. I personally think it would be fairer to prioritize schools over when someone registered; e.g. if Rutgers A is the 65th team to register or is on a waitlist, it seems less than optimal that, say, Chicago C or D gets to participate in the qualifier and an entire school misses out because Chicago registered four teams right when it opened, especially if the slots fill up very quickly. It also would remove the incentive, especially if the limit is smaller, to register to take up spots in the qualifier as a way to try to exclude others, which only certain schools would be able to do. Not that anyone would explicitly try to do this, but it's possible. Of course, there's been no announcement about how many tryout slots there are, yet, but as a precaution I think this would be a good idea. ACF could, perhaps, restrict the first few weeks of registration to A teams, or A teams and B teams, and then have a 2nd list of first-come, first-serve additional registrations. Then after the three weeks are up, the 2nd list gets tacked on to the first, and if at that point it's filled, you're done. If there are still openings, then it reverts to the first-come, first-serve basis.
Regardless of what Alston said (don't have a particular take one way or another on this matter), considering that 100 bonuses should take like 2 hours at most per team and this post implies that teams will be able to do this throughout the weekend, I'm not sure where the concern that only 64 or however many teams would be able to complete the qualifier is coming from?
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by Jack »

Let me apologize to the good folks at Chicago, first. The use of Chicago C was purely a stand-in to make a greater point, which is: "To some extent, it may not be optimal to have a purely first-come first serve basis, and we may want to allow for some team diversity to the extent that ACF Nationals qualifications already does this normally (through things like site champs, site hosts, and site UG champs getting bids), such as by initially limiting the number of teams a school can register." You can sub in Princeton C there if you'd like :lol:

There were 130 teams that signed up for Regionals, last I checked, and I figured it wasn't unreasonable to think that about half would be interested in trying out. I also think 2 hours average for 100 bonuses might be a bit optimistic (though I hope I'm wrong and you're right). The average round for Regionals seemed to take about 50 minutes on average, from what I'd gather, and given that 100 bonuses is essentially five rounds in a match without dead tossups, let's be conservative and say that half the time per round was used for bonuses. That's 125 minutes at a minimum, and that would also entail no breaks in between rounds, no moderator fatigue as they read throughout the day, etc., and it also normally seems to be true that bonuses take more than half the time per round (i.e. more than 25 min) than tossups do, especially given the 8 second timing rules online. Not to mention that ostensibly you'd need one moderator per team minimum rather than the typical one moderators per two teams minimum, and it seems like there is also an interest to have additional staff watching these matches to ensure no misconduct or cheating. From my perspective, the intentionality of the inclusion of the term "first-come, first-serve" indicates that there is an expectation that some teams will simply not be able to try out by virtue of there being a constraint of space. Maybe I'm wrong, and I hope so! But without information otherwise it seemed like a reasonable concern for the above reasons and given that staff, despite being paid, will be doing something incredibly draining since they'll presumably be running team tryouts back to back. Anyway, none of this should be read as a lack of confidence on my behalf towards ACF's ability to execute this. Creating an additional event in a year where ACF already had an additional event, Winter, is very commendable, and this format in a controlled environment is probably the best way to go about it. I just wanted to propose something to ensure that tryouts would not be embroiled in some scandal when x team didn't get to play tryouts and gets upset because y team registered a bunch of teams that were "worse than them" or something.
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by Zealots of Stockholm »

I think 2 hours should be about right, considering there should be minimal breaks during a team's set of 100 bonuses (maybe like, a small 1 minute break after every 20?). Also presumably the staffing corps for this will be fairly elite. Also, unlike a normal tournament, this qualifier doesn't have to be "over" all on one day.. I'm sure ACF would like to fit all of the qualifiers in on Saturday/Sunday of a weekend but I imagine if there were like 3 teams that for some reason absolutely couldn't make either of those days work but could do the Monday evening, that could be accommodated. I imagine ACF considers it most fair for any team that wishes to attempt to qualify for nats to have the chance to do so.

I should also note that I don't have any inside information here/am not privy to exactly how this will be run, and am just voicing my personal opinion.
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by SortesVirgilianae »

As a member of a UK-based team (although I can't believe we're the only ones facing these types of issues), I would need to know what allowances will be made for variation between the team that plays at the qualifier and the actual team fielded at Nationals. Given the logistical difficulties of flying a team to the US, and depending on the pandemic situation, the team we send to an in-person Nationals might have a slightly different lineup to the team we field at an online Nationals; it would be good to know whether we should adjust the team that plays the qualifier in light of this.
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by Carlos Be »

Seeing as general registration for ICT opens on February 8th (and teams that register would have to confirm their interest a week after registering) will ACF release more detailed information about nationals before then? In particular, it would be helpful to know:
- What date will it be? Here it says April 17, but this thread says "summer 2021."
- Will it be online or in-person?
- What will the minimum field size be? Could you guarantee space for (say) 24 teams?
- How much will it cost?
- What will the packet submission schedule be?
- Who is editing each subject?

Obviously scheduling a tournament is very difficult right now, but for teams who plan on attending at most one national event, it would be very helpful to have more information (even if it is tentative or incomplete) before it becomes too late to register for ICT.
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by caroline »

Carlos Be wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:29 pm Seeing as general registration for ICT opens on February 8th (and teams that register would have to confirm their interest a week after registering) will ACF release more detailed information about nationals before then? In particular, it would be helpful to know:
- What date will it be? Here it says April 17, but this thread says "summer 2021."
- Will it be online or in-person?
- What will the minimum field size be? Could you guarantee space for (say) 24 teams?
- How much will it cost?
- What will the packet submission schedule be?
- Who is editing each subject?

Obviously scheduling a tournament is very difficult right now, but for teams who plan on attending at most one national event, it would be very helpful to have more information (even if it is tentative or incomplete) before it becomes too late to register for ICT.
Hello — all good questions. In response:

Nationals is tentatively planned for summer 2021; it will not happen in April. The website has been updated accordingly.

There is no packet submission schedule. Nationals 2021 is using submissions from last year's cancelled nationals, excluding those from people who have changed schools and are still active players (however, the schools will still receive a discount for those packets).

The editors are Matthew Bollinger, Derek So, Jerry Vinokurov, Eric Mukherjee, Ryan Westbrook, Jennie Yang, Ike Jose, and Andrew Hart. Subjects for each editor are unlisted because they aren't strictly separated.

Regarding your other questions and the questions regarding C team registration and team lineups, this will require some further discussion — we'll answer these once our decision has been finalized.
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by John Quincy Adams's Alligator »

Will there be Pop Culture questions at this tournament? And if so, who will be editing them (and/or the CE and geography)?
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by caroline »

John Quincy Adams's Alligator wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:29 pm Will there be Pop Culture questions at this tournament? And if so, who will be editing them (and/or the CE and geography)?
There will not be pop culture. There will instead be 5 bonuses divided between geography, current events, and misc. academic, which will be written by the subject editors rather than by a separate editor. The original post has been updated to reflect this information.
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by caroline »

Registration will be open from March 20th-31st, and the registration fee will be $40 per team. The original post has been updated to reflect this information. More details will be announced closer to the registration date.
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by caroline »

If you would like to staff the qualifier, please fill out this form. You will be signing up for specific two-hour time slots that you are able to staff, so availability for the entire weekend is not necessary! Any and all help is appreciated. If you're playing in this tournament and would like to staff, please only sign up for Sunday slots, and try and have your team play a Saturday slot. Staffers can expect to be paid $10 per slot actually worked. (Depending on team interest, you may not be needed for every time slot you sign up for.)

The form should take 3-5 minutes to complete and asks for contact information, availability, and other preferences. If you would like to be paired with another specific staffer, please coordinate your availability ahead of time and fill out the form once.

If you have any questions about the form or about staffing the 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier, please direct it to Ganon Evans at [email protected] or [email protected].
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by ganman0305 »

Hi everyone! I'm happy to release today two forms your team can use to sign up to play the 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier. The cost per team of playing the Qualifier is $40.

Your first stop should be here to this Sign-Up Genius form. Teams should sign up for a single two-hour time slot in order to play the Qualifier. If you're new to Sign Up Genius, all you have to do is select one of the boxes which represents a time slot on the right side. Teams can view the different play times in Calendar Mode as well to see what slots are open on Saturday and Sunday. You'll be asked to put in your information and confirm your time. I will be sending out email confirmations of your time and room after you complete the form. Note that because of our wide range of staffer availability, I hope we won't have to reschedule time slots, but we may have to move teams to different rooms depending on the situation. I will be very communicative about this if it happens.

After that, head on over to this quick Google form in order to give your contact information, eligibility details, and a few other tournament-related things. This should only take a few minutes.

If you have any questions at all, please let me know at [email protected]. I look forward to talking with you all soon!
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by ganman0305 »

Hey all, I'm happy to announce that I, Ganon Evans, will be the Tournament Director for this event. A few updates about the format of this tournament:

I plan for this event to occur via Discord. Because of the large number of teams, I'm considering creating two servers for Saturday and Sunday respectively. Since teams only have to play for one slot on one server, this shouldn't be difficult to navigate: I will email the server for your team with other communications.

Here's a snapshot for the upcoming week:

Sunday-Monday: Send out confirmations for timeslots for signed up teams and staffers, start matching teams to rooms for the next weekend. I'm going to add details about sending out invoices, payment forms, etc in my next post.

Wednesday: Please please please sign up to play by this date! I am asking for this date just since I want to make sure I have staffers available at the time that works best for you.

Thursday-Friday: I'll send out invites to servers. Please join early so we can assign permissions and make everyone is ready to rock and roll!

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, funny jokes, or more, please email me at [email protected].
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by ganman0305 »

Friendly reminder to please get your registration in by the end of tomorrow! Thanks!
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by ganman0305 »

After 68 games read, thousands of points scored, and one Space Jam trailer dropped, the Qualifier coasted to an end last night. I hope I was able to provide both a fun experience and a clean, fair qualification for Nationals in this crazy time.

I want to take this post to thank everyone involved in this massive effort. Thank you to ACF for working around issues of the current online environment and for designing this event. Big props go to John Lawrence for really spearheading the format of this event and for head-editing the set. John was on call all weekend for any and all protests, which made the event go much smoother. My other tremendous thanks is to Caroline Mao for designing the scoresheets and helping coordinate between ACF and I. They did an amazing job, and deserve a ton of credit for their efforts. Thank you to the editing team for making the set and also being able to staff and answer protests all day!

And of course, this event wouldn't be possible without the huge squad of staffers who took a lot of time out of their weekends to help. Big thanks to Mike Sorice and Eric Mukherjee for helping resolve protests on science all weekend and for being great mods. Of course, this weekend wouldn't have been possible without Jonathan Settle, Rahul Rao-Pothuraju, Tomás Aguilar-Fraga, Ophir Lifshitz, Jacob O'Rourke, Harry White, Ted Jacobs, Matt Weiner, Daniel Puma, Aseem Keyal, Rob Carson, Giifti, Jordan Brownstein, JinAh Kim, Maxwell Ye, Kyle Liang, Will Sanna, Seth Paul, Frances King, Chauncey Lo, Kenneth Martin, Sadie Britton, Colin McNamara, Vishwa Shanmugam, Ben Ingram, Lucas Pham, Ned Tagtmeier, Charis Kim, Michael Yue, Bryanna Shao, Michael Bentley, Tejas Raje, Shannon Seithel, Karan Gurazada, Josh Rollin, Jonathan Magin, Rebecca Thomas, Ryan Ritter, Ben Koppel, Xiaoke Ying, Daniel Hothem, Em Gunter, Jon Suh, Nina Kaushikkar, and Chris Sims moderating and scorekeeping.

Personally, I'm very thankful for being able to TD and work with everybody on this event. I appreciate all the flexibility, kindness, and help I received from both staff and from players in making this shindig go as well as it did. I hope this was one of the last major collegiate events I can only see you all through a screen at, and I look forward to meeting all my new friends soon!

An update on scores/releases of things: the Qualifier packet is clear, and will be released in a coming time. We're processing stats right now and plan on releasing base PPB's today and advanced stats later this week/into next week. I will be sure to post about it.
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by witta99 »

Dedicating my first forum post to thanking Ganon and all staffers involved for running a very smooth and fun event under *very* non-ideal circumstances. The entire event went off without a hitch, and I am proud to have taken part in it. While I had virtually no experience with the college circuit prior to this year, I very much look forward to getting back to the in-person experience at tournaments to come!
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by sadieb328 »

I mentioned this in the staffers' chat yesterday but I do want to say it publicly: Ganon was the very model of what an outstanding TD should be while running this tournament under the non-ideal circumstances we've all been dealing with for the past year. He responded to issues quickly and confidently, was a source of grace, humor, and poise in the control room, and willingly and enthusiastically gave up a holiday weekend to run this. He did a fantastic job and deserves plaudits for it.
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Re: 2021 ACF Nationals Qualifier

Post by meebles127 »

sadieb328 wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:13 pm I mentioned this in the staffers' chat yesterday but I do want to say it publicly: Ganon was the very model of what an outstanding TD should be while running this tournament under the non-ideal circumstances we've all been dealing with for the past year. He responded to issues quickly and confidently, was a source of grace, humor, and poise in the control room, and willingly and enthusiastically gave up a holiday weekend to run this. He did a fantastic job and deserves plaudits for it.
I'd also like to applaud Ganon for running the majority of the tournament on Saturday, as mentioned in staff chat, off of a hot spot. That is an incredible amount of dedication and speaks highly of his organizational capabilities.

Otherwise, this was a fun event to staff.
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