VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

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VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:02 am

This is the announcement for VCU Closed, a packet-submission academic tournament for collegiate quizbowl teams, to take place on Saturday, February 2, 2013. I will be editing this tournament, with science assistance from Eric Mukherjee and, much like this year's Penn Bowl, no involvement by any other members of the Penn team. This tournament will take the place of Penn Bowl in the 2012-2013 season and will serve as a model for certain principles about hosting whose reintroduction to the collegiate game is long overdue.

The difficulty will be "regular" (consult ACF Regionals 2008 or 2011 if you need examples of what this means). In accordance with the latest in constructive quizbowl thought, this means that the range of tossup answers in your packet should, and the final edited packets will, reflect a bell curve of difficulty with most answers falling near an ideal median point that is solidly below the theoretical maximum for an ACF Regionals-like tournament, but a few questions in each packet being noticeably below or above that. Regardless of the abstract difficulty of the answers, the clues should be arranged such that each question is meaningfully playable by both the best and worst teams in the field. Bonus answers should be selected such that a team in the median of the tournament has a 50% chance of knowing the middle part and a team at the top of the tournament would not surprise you by knowing the hard part. You should submit tossups of between 6 and 9 lines (standard margins and font size) which will then be edited to a consistent length by me. Your bonus parts should generally be under two lines, though if you need to exceed this limit here or there it's okay.

All teams comprised of people who go to the same actual school may participate. Though this tournament is intended for colleges, high schools are welcome under the below conditions. Weird edge cases like people who go to a branch campus without a team who wish to play for their university system's main campus may apply to me for exemptions. Other exemptions such as "I'm not in school but I want to play anyway", "I don't feel like playing solo, can I join another school's team" and "I am a mysterious man named Shtandrew Shtim with a fake mustache who is totally majoring in Applied Physics: Japan 1945 at Maryland" are also welcome to apply to me for exemptions, which I will print out and use to line the cage of a particularly incontinent parakeet before denying them.

The specific location of the main site of the tournament will be announced later this year. The tournament is available for mirrors under compliance with the following FAQ:

May I mirror the tournament on a date other than February 2, 2013?

You may not.

May I allow nonstudents or mixed-school teams to play in my tournament?

You may not, and if you do so anyway having been told this, you agree to pay me $1000 for each ineligible player you allow to participate.

May I run this tournament with a trash tournament on Sunday, February 3?

As that is the date of the Super Bowl, it would be a perplexing date to host a trash tournament in any case. Nonetheless, you may not pair this tournament with any trash tournament or other side event. If you do, you owe me $1000.

Do all teams in my mirror have to obey the same packet-submission rules as teams at the main site?

Yes. If you allow a team in which did not write a packet but should have under these rules, you owe me $1000. If you fail to charge a team a surcharge as required by these rules, you are liable for that surcharge yourself.

Packet-submission guidelines:

If your team has any person on it who played any collegiate-level ACF, NAQT, or ACF-like event on or before May 1, 2011, then you must write a packet. This includes people who played collegiate or open tournaments while in high school. There will be no exemptions from this requirement whatsoever. House teams at mirror sites must obey this rule, with the discount or penalty to be applied to their mirror fee. If you have any questions about what "ACF-like event" means, post here or contact me. Ignorance will not be looked upon favorably.

The base fee for this tournament is $120. The packet discounts/penalties are as follows:

Packet submitted by October 31, 2012: -$60
Packet submitted by December 11, 2012: -$30
Packet submitted by January 1, 2013: No discount or penalty.
Every day after January 1 adds $5 to your fee, with an unless-otherwise-agreed-to deadline of January 22 (+$105). After January 22, you must apply for an exemption to continue accruing $5 penalties, or be dropped from the tournament.

The distribution of submitted packets should be:

5/5 literature (at least 1/1 american and 1/1 british, at least 1/1 european; at least 1/1 each of novels, poetry, and drama)
5/5 history (at least 1/1 american, 2/2 european including classical, and 1/1 world)
5/5 science (exactly 1/1 biology, 1/1 physics, and 1 question each on chemistry, earth science, astronomy, math, computer science, and science history)
3/3 rmp (exactly 1/1 each of r, m, and p)
3/3 arts (exactly 1/1 each of painting, music, and other)
1/1 social science
1/1 geography
1/1 current events
1/1 trash, general knowledge, or mixed-subject

Total 25/25.

ACF formatting guidelines apply. A perfectly formatted packet will earn a $5 discount. I will also give you a $5 discount if your packet is written in good English, free of quizbowlese and other nonsense that makes questions more difficult to play.

Submit packets as .doc or .docx attachments to me at the below address.

Please use this thread or my e-mail address if you have any questions about this event.

Matt Weiner
Head editor, VCU Closed 2013
mattweiner.vcu@gmail.com
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Bartleby » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:08 am

Given that SCT has fallen on the first Saturday in February going back several years, has there been word from NAQT that the date will be changing next year?
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:10 am

SCT 2013 is tentatively scheduled for February 9th (ie, the weekend following this event).
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:10 am

Sites for this tournament (updated 1/30/12):

Penn (right of first refusal for upper Mid-Atlantic)
Northwestern
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by DumbJaques » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:58 pm

"I am a mysterious man named Shtandrew Shtim with a fake mustache who is totally majoring in Applied Physics: Japan 1945 at Maryland"
I'm assuming this is just a joke, but lest people take it the wrong way, the implication that Andrew Lim ever did anything underhanded is entirely baseless. Also the proper name of the class is "Applied Physics and Modern Japanese History, 1945-1945."

I think most everything else about this tournament is exactly the right direction for quizbowl.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Susan » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:05 pm

5/5 science (exactly 1/1 biology, 1/1 physics, and 1 question each on chemistry, earth science, astronomy, math, computer science, and science history)
I think this is an interesting alteration to the science distribution and I'm curious to see what people think of it and how it plays. What does "science history" cover in your book, Matt? Scientists, historic experiments, scientific facilities, history of scientific thought?
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:37 pm

Susan wrote:
5/5 science (exactly 1/1 biology, 1/1 physics, and 1 question each on chemistry, earth science, astronomy, math, computer science, and science history)
I think this is an interesting alteration to the science distribution and I'm curious to see what people think of it and how it plays. What does "science history" cover in your book, Matt? Scientists, historic experiments, scientific facilities, history of scientific thought?
I like the way the other sciences each have a fixed one question. I've previously stated that I don't care for reducing chemistry in the distribution and putting science history in the science distribution, but I'm willing to give it a shot.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Unicolored Jay » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:46 pm

No guaranteed World Lit question? So theoretically I could submit a packet with 3/3 American Lit?

Also will opera fit under "music" or "other?"

I'm interested in seeing how this graduated late packet fee works out.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:53 pm

Susan wrote:What does "science history" cover in your book, Matt? Scientists, historic experiments, scientific facilities, history of scientific thought?
All good.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:33 am

This tournament announcement reads like Ferdinando Gorges' charter for the Plymouth Colony.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by touchpack » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:16 pm

Susan wrote:
5/5 science (exactly 1/1 biology, 1/1 physics, and 1 question each on chemistry, earth science, astronomy, math, computer science, and science history)
I think this is an interesting alteration to the science distribution and I'm curious to see what people think of it and how it plays. What does "science history" cover in your book, Matt? Scientists, historic experiments, scientific facilities, history of scientific thought?
I don't understand why chemistry is the science that has to take a 50% shaft. I'm not opposed to the idea of adding science history to the science distribution, but I am vehemently against any tournament that has 0.5/0.5 chemistry, as it is unfair to chemistry specialists such as myself.

I see no reason why it can't be 0.9/0.9 for all of the big 3.

I think it goes without saying that I am not playing this tournament, or any tournament that follows this tournament's example in science.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:43 pm

touchpack wrote:
Susan wrote:
5/5 science (exactly 1/1 biology, 1/1 physics, and 1 question each on chemistry, earth science, astronomy, math, computer science, and science history)
I think this is an interesting alteration to the science distribution and I'm curious to see what people think of it and how it plays. What does "science history" cover in your book, Matt? Scientists, historic experiments, scientific facilities, history of scientific thought?
I don't understand why chemistry is the science that has to take a 50% shaft. I'm not opposed to the idea of adding science history to the science distribution, but I am vehemently against any tournament that has 0.5/0.5 chemistry, as it is unfair to chemistry specialists such as myself.

I see no reason why it can't be 0.9/0.9 for all of the big 3.

I think it goes without saying that I am not playing this tournament, or any tournament that follows this tournament's example in science.
I might be flirting with the "telling people how to post" territory here, but I recommend you examine the reasons for your negative reaction. I understand that cutting a 1/1 distro to .5/.5 or less is frustrating (I say this as a physics and astronomy specialist--it's always fun to thirty a bonus on galactic rotation curves or somesuch, and I frequently fantasize about what would happen if physics had as high a distribution as, say, literature), but I don't think a dearth of "your subject" is any reason to refuse to play a tournament. I'd be a little peeved too, if physics was cut down. In fact, I confess to occasionally being tempted to place an elaborate Yiddish curse on packet writers who give physics the shaft, but it's hardly a dispassionate or objective reaction.

To digress for a moment: I would even say that playing a tournament in which you expect to score lower is somewhat beneficial. Frankly, I learn more at harder tournaments. I'm twice the player I was last year because I've gone to events that maybe were just a bit above me, and even though my PPG kind of sucked, they helped me get better. Just waiting around for my 1.5/1.5 is practically the definition of a waste of time. I pick up facts during my down time that let me pick up points at later, easier tournaments.

I understand: everyone likes to win (if there were an entire packet of astrophysics and cosmology, I'd be happy--although no one else would be, except perhaps Jerry Vinokurov). However, even though winning is good, is that why we play this game? I hope not. I think most people would agree that we play this game so we can learn things.

Three notes:
- Note the first: if chemistry is your only subject, pick up another one. No one does well at this game who knows just one area.
- Note the second: please don't take the above comments the wrong way. I'm not necessarily agreeing that dropping chem to .5/.5 or less is a good idea, but there's only one way to find out, and it's just plain unfair to categorically dismiss the idea.
- Note the third: All that said, I would be curious about the specific reasons for cutting chem down. Matt, can you shed any light on this?
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:23 pm

I think it goes without saying that I am not playing this tournament
That is fine with the people running this tournament. They appear to think that the people who ought to be allowed to play quizbowl consist of a narrowly-defined set of Virginians. As it happens, I think that idea was brought forward at the Constitutional Convention.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Cheynem » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:24 pm

What the hell are you talking about? This tournament is an attempt to maintain closed eligibility, not be paired with trash/side events, and encourage proper packet submission. I don't see how that's "only for Virginians."
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Cody » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:25 pm

Tees-Exe Line wrote:
I think it goes without saying that I am not playing this tournament
That is fine with the people running this tournament. They appear to think that the people who ought to be allowed to play quizbowl consist of a narrowly-defined set of Virginians. As it happens, I think that idea was brought forward at the Constitutional Convention.
What the fuck are you talking about and what the hell is your problem?
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Smuttynose Island » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:29 pm

Tees-Exe Line wrote:
I think it goes without saying that I am not playing this tournament
That is fine with the people running this tournament. They appear to think that the people who ought to be allowed to play quizbowl consist of a narrowly-defined set of Virginians. As it happens, I think that idea was brought forward at the Constitutional Convention.
Not to get into a shit-throwing match, but they really don't believe that only a "narrowly-defined set of Virginians" should be allowed to play quizbowl. The people who are editing this tournament consist of some of the biggest promoters of quizbowl at all levels. It is their prerogative to chose a distribution that they believe works the best, which isn't just limited to what a small sub-group of the QB population wants. VCU Open had a distribution that was similar to this one and many people who played that set did not miss the extra chem.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:00 pm

I would love to play this tournament, although I am a resident of Kentucky. Should I petition my state legislature to have my state rejoin the great Commonwealth of Virginia, or should I simply move there myself?

More importantly, the head editor of this tournament has already said within thread that the tournament will have science help from Eric (who isn't from VA) and will be mirrored at Northwestern, right up the road from Mr. Steinbaum's school. Nobody at VCU or within the state of Virginia hates the rest of the quizbowl community, nor do they want to make quizbowl over in their image. Other than slight tinkering to the distribution and stricter hosting requirements, I fail to see how this tournament is going to be a whole different than a lot of other tournaments on the schedule each year.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by grapesmoker » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:49 pm

Melkor6000 wrote: I frequently fantasize about what would happen if physics had as high a distribution as, say, literature
I can answer that for you: Seth Teitler would have won every ACF Nationals between 2003 and 2010, inclusive. Instead, he only won half of those.
I understand: everyone likes to win (if there were an entire packet of astrophysics and cosmology, I'd be happy--although no one else would be, except perhaps Jerry Vinokurov)
your are right

Now, if I may proffer a suggested possible rationale for this distribution (keeping in mind that I have no idea what exactly the VCU crowd wants to achieve with this change and that this is speculation on my part): what often happens is that biology and chemistry effectively become one category. People will write chem-heavy bio questions (or one that's also straight up biochem) and then write more chemistry questions that are basically o-chem. If both of those types of questions go in, that's basically a 2/2 gift to the biochem specialist in any given round, because people studying biology and chemistry tend to predominate in quizbowl (vs. more "pure" or physical chemists like Michael Hausinger or Andrew Ullsperger). I'm guessing this move is an attempt to lessen the predominance of such questions.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:09 pm

To clarify, the reason for the shift in the science distribution is simply because chemistry tends to have fewer answers than biology or physics at any given difficulty level, especially when you cut down on the torrent of organic chemistry word-matching, as quizbowl has rightly begun to do over the last year or two. I intend to make sure things that could be chemistry or something else get placed in something else (biochemistry being biology and thermodynamics being physics, for example) so that there is still at least 1 pure chemistry question in every round in addition to the substantial amount of quasi-chemistry that will fall out there. Hopefully everyone still wants to participate, though if the reduction in effective chemistry-involving questions from 2 to around 1.5 in the average round is a line in the sand for you, it's a free country.

Idiots of great renown who wish to draw insane non sequiturs from the above regarding which states may participate in quizbowl are, likewise, free to continue editing tournaments with wildly aberrant distributions of their own, whether they take that to mean the drastic increase in the amount of economics or the 20/20 unplayable, ungrammatical bullshit per round which equally characterize Marshall's work to this point.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:21 am

Anyone who has a beef with the principles that this tournament stands for should probably take consolation that this is a 2-2-2013 tournament being announced almost exactly a year ahead of time, which of course means that there's a 50 percent chance it won't happen at all or be mutated into some other event with some other editors. If it does happen, there's an additional 80 percent chance that the editing of this tournament will begin on or about January 25 2013, which is coincidentally about when 80 percent of the packets for this tournament will be received, some of which contain only 15 questions, 14 of which are utterly unusable. There's another 2 percent chance Mukherjee will combust in the interim due to forces associated with Indian doctor pressure.

In other words, while Weiner's continuous attempts at establishing order and rule-of-law in the quizbowl universe have always been genuine, and while they've always met with general approval from many sectors of QB (especially the younger sectors whose ears are easy to bend to the pristine notion that there is a well-ordered cohesive structure to this game which will foster the inclusion and improvement of heretofore backwater peoples), those attempts have always been riddled with a fatal misunderstanding of what drives the people who play the game regularly, and what drives the casual player who shows up to practice at Indiana State once a month to discuss the latest adventures of the frisbee golf team. We'll always be able to engineer ridiculous events which primarily revolve around a 52-year old Seth Teitler and a 41-year old Jonathan Magin sitting in a room answering questions on the Lyman alpha forest and the Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist. But, running rigid packet submission events which tightly conform to difficulty and distributional requirements and feature marvelously edited packets by Emory C is what's not in the cards, and even if you force it into the cards by sheer will at a few stray events, you're never going to get the returns you lay awake dreaming of.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:36 am

No Rules Westbrook wrote:Anyone who has a beef with the principles that this tournament stands for should probably take consolation that this is a 2-2-2013 tournament being announced almost exactly a year ahead of time, which of course means that there's a 50 percent chance it won't happen at all or be mutated into some other event with some other editors. If it does happen, there's an additional 80 percent chance that the editing of this tournament will begin on or about January 25 2013, which is coincidentally about when 80 percent of the packets for this tournament will be received, some of which contain only 15 questions, 14 of which are utterly unusable. There's another 2 percent chance Mukherjee will combust in the interim due to forces associated with Indian doctor pressure.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EarU--5cYOE
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:30 am

Hey, this is still planned, and we're looking for further mirrors besides Northwestern. Particularly, if you want to host this in the deep South, California, the Boston area, Canada, or the U.K., speak up; as it is a highly difficulty-controlled event, I believe it may be especially suitable for use abroad.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by jmannor2 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:15 pm

Have you been in contact with anyone from the south who wants to mirror this?
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:16 pm

No one's contacted me yet.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by jmannor2 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:19 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:No one's contacted me yet.
Alright, Auburn is pretty interested in hosting this. I just need to find out if I can go ahead and reserve rooms for next semester.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:43 pm

This is a gentle reminder that the first packet deadline for this tournament is Oct 31st. You can play this tournament for the low, low price of 60$ if you get us some questions in 19 days!
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by dolphin » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:14 pm

Are there different discounts for teams not required to submit a packet but do anyway?
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:31 am

dolphin wrote:Are there different discounts for teams not required to submit a packet but do anyway?
I'll give such teams a flat $45 off for submitting a usable packet by January 1, sure.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Ike » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:30 pm

Hey Matt,

Can we get an idea of what will be in the first 20/20? More specifically, will there be 1/1 Current Events and 1/1 Geography guaranteed per a round?

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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:34 pm

The first deadline is by the end of tomorrow; please submit some questions people!
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Fond du lac operon » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:39 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:All teams comprised of people who go to the same actual school may participate. Though this tournament is intended for colleges, high schools are welcome under the below conditions. Weird edge cases like people who go to a branch campus without a team who wish to play for their university system's main campus may apply to me for exemptions. Other exemptions such as "I'm not in school but I want to play anyway", "I don't feel like playing solo, can I join another school's team" and "I am a mysterious man named Shtandrew Shtim with a fake mustache who is totally majoring in Applied Physics: Japan 1945 at Maryland" are also welcome to apply to me for exemptions, which I will print out and use to line the cage of a particularly incontinent parakeet before denying them.
I believe that both ACF and NAQT tournaments allow students who graduate in the middle of an academic year to play with the school they attended before graduation. Will this rule apply to VCU Closed as well, or is it a "weird edge case" that you will consider on a case-by-case basis, or is it completely verboten?
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:18 pm

The general practice will be followed on that point.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:40 pm

Is there a running list of submitted packets somewhere? And who do I contact to register teams for the Penn site?
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Black-throated Antshrike » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:43 am

RyuAqua wrote:Is there a running list of submitted packets somewhere? And who do I contact to register teams for the Penn site?
any news on this?
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:34 pm

Submitted packets:

Haverford 10/31
Delaware 10/31
Rutgers 10/31
Columbia 10/31
Michigan A 10/31
Illinois A 11/4
Michigan B 12/11
Michigan State A 12/11
Georgia Tech 12/30
Ottawa 12/30
Wake Forest 12/31
Maryland B 12/31
Ohio State A 12/31
Columbia B 12/31
WUSTL 12/31
Williams 1/1
Yale B 1/1
UVa B 1/1
Chicago B 1/1
Chicago A 1/2
UVa A 1/3
Maryland A 1/4
Michigan State B 1/4
Penn 1/5
Yale A 1/5
Illinois B 1/10
South Carolina A 1/13
Chicago C 1/20
Dartmouth A 1/22
Harvard 1/22
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Ras superfamily » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:36 pm

RyuAqua wrote:who do I contact to register teams for the Penn site?
Me

Full post at viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13896
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:05 pm

There's slighty under two more days to submit packets to this before penalties start accruing.
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by minusfive » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:02 pm

Any hope of any further mirrors of this tournament?
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Re: VCU Closed: February 2, 2013

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:07 pm

Tomorrow is the last day to submit a packet to this tournament for a $105 penalty without contacting me for permission to continue accruing $5/day penalties. If you have not given me a packet or contacted me by tomorrow and you are required to write, you will not be permitted to play the tournament.
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