Congratulations on joining the hsquizbowl.org forums! We hope you find this site useful.
While this is not a “rule” that we will enforce, you are encouraged to remember that your dialogue here corresponds to a real life interaction with the community of people who post here, and that you will likely see them in real life at some point, perhaps soon. Post accordingly.
These rules apply both to the college and high school sections, except where noted.
I. THE PURPOSE OF THE BOARD, META-POSTING, AND DISCUSSION-SUPPRESSION
The overarching principle of the rules is: This board is for discussion of quizbowl with an eye towards expanding and improving quizbowl on all levels. It is not for Internet memes, politeness lessons, or other topics. Off-topic discussions are permitted in the appropriate zone, within limits denoted below. It is crucial, when interpreting the rules or making a post, that everyone remember that “welcoming new posters,” “treating all tournaments equally,” and avoiding the “incivility” of criticizing bad practices are explicitly not goals of the board, and will always be sacrificed to the stated goals of “discussing quizbowl” and “expanding and improving quizbowl on all levels” if in conflict.
As a result of the above, and of the need to reserve the privilege of moderating the forums for the designated staff members, anything that looks like telling other people not to discuss quizbowl is prohibited. This includes but is not limited to: telling someone that you do not like the “tone” of their post, telling someone that he is being “uncivil” or “impolite,” complaining about being “attacked” by criticism, demanding that people not criticize something that occurred in a state that they do not reside in, demanding that people not criticize something that occurred at a tournament they did not attend, or demanding that people not criticize something for any reason.
Questioning the value of some form of analysis in the abstract is allowed, so long as it is not a veiled attempt to tell other people not to discuss or criticize something more substantial. E.g.: statements such as “I don’t think it is very productive to analyze the placement of one particular power mark” do not, in a vacuum, violate the rules.
All posters are presumed equal and encouraged to participate in all discussions. This includes high school students, college students, and others who are not education professionals participating on an equal footing with high school teachers in the high school forum. This forum is not a classroom and does not require deference on the part of students or unaffiliated people to teachers beyond the requirements of the other rules. Please make sure you understand this before participating.
It is absolutely prohibited to threaten, or in any way imply that you are threatening, legal action or the exacting of a monetary fine from any other person for something they posted on the board. If you do this, you will be banned, with no warning or second chance. If you genuinely believe that something libelous has been posted, please contact the board staff immediately and we will address the situation. If you wish to use the boards to call out people for non-board actions that may result in the exchange of money (for example, a team that has not paid its registration fee for your tournament after the agreed-upon time) you may do this within the constraints of the other rules. What is absolutely banned is threatening lawsuits or fines for things posted on the board.
Genuinely disruptive language or content in a post should be reported to the staff and will be dealt with accordingly. Similarly, if you notice someone breaking any of these rules, you should report it. Do not attempt to post about someone else’s presumed rules violation on your own; this is not allowed.
A staff decision or lack thereof may be discussed by private e-mail to any staff member, but may not be discussed on the board itself.
The one exception to the above is that any person may do whatever is in his power to tell someone to stop discussing content from a non-cleared question set. If you notice this, you should also contact board staff, who will edit out the offending content as soon as possible.
II. PROHIBITED CONTENT IN POSTS
Do not discuss specific questions and answers from tournaments that will be running at other sites at later dates in any thread, except in a private forum created for this purpose. To clarify, "discussing" questions involves posting anything on this board that will give players at future iterations of the tournament an unfair advantage over someone who has not read your post. It is the responsibility of each individual poster to make sure that a set is clear before discussing it. If you aren't sure, don't post.
Humor in posts that does not violate other rules is allowed/encouraged. Parody posts, threads that are only about non-quizbowl humor topics, and the like should be restricted to the Off Topic forum. Tired Internet memes of any kind, anything originating at 4 chan, and anything containing or originating from anime, are prohibited at all times. What constitutes anything in the previous sentence is at the sole discretion of the staff.
Do not use the board to plan, discuss, or brag about illegal activities of any kind. This includes offering or discussing the unauthorized download of copyrighted movies, music, or software. We do not care if you think those laws are unjust; this is not the place for it.
Any form of bigotry based on race, gender, nationality, or sexual orientation is utterly prohibited. This includes sexual harassment and unwanted innuendo. Discussions of politics or religion should be contained to the politics area under the off-topic forum. You should seriously consider your need to discuss these things on a quizbowl forum before posting. Posts about those topics which the staff consider to be outside the bounds of casual conversation will be dealt with accordingly. This is not the place for fights to the death over politics, nor the place to convert others to your religious views or lack thereof. Similarly, it's unlikely that you should be trying to convince people of the merits of the operating system, web browser, or mobile device that you use, unless specifically asked for your opinion on same.
Don't post any personal information (in this context, that means phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and the like) about other people that they have not already made public.
The use of any profanity in the high school section is prohibited. This rule does not apply in the college section.
Avoid making content-free posts on the board. In particular, quoting another post and providing no additional information ("empty-quoting") is forbidden. Anyone who repeatedly makes pointless posts in serious threads will be subject to penalties. Do not “post just to post” – e.g., avoid things such as posting “team X looks really good” after every set of tournament stats is posted. Do not post just to "bump" a thread. Repeated non-substantive posting over a period of time, as judged by the staff, will, after attempts to talk to the posters about improving the quality of their posts has failed, result in being put on a restricted posting status in which you are not banned from the board nor from conducting quizbowl-related business, but are prohibited from using the Off Topic forums or making posts not related to your team's affairs.
No thread may contain more than one request for the posting of tournament statistics within the same week or from the same person. Similar restraint is expected in requesting that packets be posted or making demands of people who are providing free services to the quizbowl community.
III. SIGNATURE REQUIREMENTS, EMAILS, AND NEW MEMBER POST APPROVALS
You must enable a signature which contains at least your first name and relevant affiliation. Your affiliation must be sufficiently obvious as to be identified by any person; in practice, this means do not abbreviate your school name, and if your school name is something extremely generic such as Eastern High or City High, include the state as well. All board accounts must correspond to a single person; no "team accounts" are permitted. Only board staff members are permitted to have “joke” accounts or secondary accounts of any kind. Others may have only one account. In particular, creating or using a second account in order to circumvent a ban will result in a longer ban.
Your email address is displayed by default to all users of this forum; however, it can be individually disabled in the User Control Panel. Please do not insert words into your email address that are not there; this prevents us from being able to automatically contact you through the boards. Modern methods of spam filtering have made addresses such as quizNOSPAMbowlparticipant@gmail.com more trouble than they are worth. Please make sure your email address is up to date so that you can reset your password and receive board notifications.
Your email address will never be sold to marketers. The only circumstance under which your email will be given to someone else is if they need to get in touch with you for a legitimate reason that does not involving selling you something (unless this is something you've already agreed to have sold to you).
There are no active email addresses at the hsquizbowl.org domain. Any mail you receive claiming to be from “firstname.lastname@example.org” is fake and should be deleted immediately.
As part of our spam prevention system, users must have their first seven posts approved by the moderation team. Once you have reached your seventh post and have shown that you understand how to use the forum, your posts will no longer require approval. DO NOT SUBMIT THE SAME POST MULTIPLE TIMES, as doing so only shows that you have not read the rules.
IV. MISCELLANEOUS RULES & PENALTIES
You must post using reasonable English spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Edits are currently enabled on the board, but they may not always be enabled. Do not under any circumstances edit your post to change its meaning or the meaning of a subsequent post that responds to it, or to hide something you were criticized for. Anyone who does this will lose their privilege of editing posts for any reason, permanently.
Tournament attendees should follow the directions posted in the announcement regarding how to register. Particularly, simply posting in the thread isn't enough to expect that someone will register you if they have asked you to send an e-mail. Similarly, one post is usually sufficient to indicate your interest in a tournament and/or your desire for teammates - if you'd like to use the board to find teammates for an open event, it's better to start a separate thread from the tournament announcement.
When posting images, make sure they are no wider or taller than 600 by 600. If you need to show a larger image, make sure you include a hyperlink rather than a direct link, i.e. use the URL tag instead of the img tag.
Various private forums may be created on the board for editors to collaborate on a tournament, for organizations to have a convenient place to conduct business, or for select people who have played a tournament to discuss it without spoiling the content for future uses. Access to these forums will be controlled by a relevant person such as the head of the organization or chief editor of the tournament concerned. Those who are granted private forums by the staff may trust that the privacy of the forum will be maintained. Board staff does not have access to private forums by default. Administrators who use their privileges to view forums they are not granted access to will be severely disciplined, including but not necessarily limited to being removed from the staff. Within private forums, the person responsible for the forum may lay down additional rules, including restrictions on what may be posted, without being subject to penalties for violating the discussion-suppression rule; however, board staff will not enforce the ad-hoc rules with bans.
The staff will occasionally see behaviors not covered in these rules which we feel warrant correction. Usually, this will simply take the form of posting in-thread that a particular area of discussion is not fruitful and should be abandoned. These decisions are not up for debate, and either continuing to discuss the prohibited topic, or arguing with the staff post, will result in sanctions as per the below.
The penalties for violating the above rules may include having your thread closed or a post moved to the Forbidden Zone, being put on “restricted posting” status (only allowed to post information about tournaments you are hosting or attending, and not allowed to post in off-topic forums), or being banned from the board for some length of time. For initial offenses such as telling someone else how to post or failing to enable a signature, a warning will be issued. Bans will be used for three categories of rules violation: especially grievous first-time offenses (such as racism or legal threats), violating a rule that a person was already sanctioned for violating in the same thread, or violating a rule that you have previously been sanctioned for violating. Bans will be set to expire after some amount of time, usually either three or seven days depending on the circumstances. Bans of a month or longer will be used for those who have refused to change their behavior after previous disciplinary action. Those who are banned from the public sections of the board may be granted access only to private forums during their ban period in order to allow organizations with private forums on the boards to conduct their operations. We hope that no legitimate participant in quizbowl ever needs to be banned from the board permanently, and do not intend to use such a penalty unless all other recourse has failed. In the event that this must take place, we will make arrangements to ensure that no team is blocked from its quizbowl-specific communications needs such as registering for and announcing tournaments.