Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

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Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:28 am

I’m very pleased to announce the revival of the Early Fall Tournament for the upcoming 2016-2017 quizbowl year. This tournament will be house-written and edited by Richard Yu, Andrew Wang, and myself, with writing contributions from Eddie Kim, Jason Cheng, Parikshit Chauhan (the latter two of UCSD), Jason Zhou (of UChicago) and Ryan Humphrey (of Duke). Auroni Gupta will help oversee tournament production.

This tournament’s target difficulty is meant to be “regular-minus” by modern conceptions of “regular” difficulty - our goal is something around the difficulty of MUT, but skewed a bit toward MAGNI - older incarnations of EFT and 2013's Michigan Fall Tournament are decent baselines for comparison. We are setting a quota that 75% of tossup answers would be appropriate at ACF Fall. Bonuses will be controlled to the best of our ability, and tossups will be hard-capped at seven lines of 10-point Times New Roman font (in the Google Docs) before pronunciation guides and powermarks/bolding are added (yes, this set will have powers).

EDIT: A good way to express the intended difficulty is "if ACF Fall is a 3 and ACF Regionals is a 6, most questions should be in the 4.5-5 range."

Our goal is to provide an “introduction to college quizbowl” for newer or less experienced teams, as opposed to a “farewell to high school” experience where the best high school players from last year come out to slaughter easy questions. This means we intend for this tournament to be appropriate for players of all skill levels, including top teams, in order for it to serve its introductory purpose. When they play this tournament, players who are new to the collegiate circuit should (ideally) have an opportunity to play against all of their circuit's "regulars" on questions on accessible topics, without being informed that the rest of the year's tournaments will be substantially harder.

All high school, undergraduate, and graduate students are eligible to play this tournament with the school they are enrolled with. All United States sites of this tournament will be closed by default; however, with editors' permission, hosts of individual sites may allow mixed/open teams at their own discretion in order to create a healthy-sized field. If you are ineligible to play physical sites of this tournament, but like to play quizbowl, we encourage you to sign up for the Skype Mirror to be held on September 17th.

The mirror fee for this tournament will be $40. Hosts are free to set entry fees as they please, but must provide moderator and buzzer discounts of at least $5 and a travel discount of at least $10 for teams traveling over 200 miles.

This tournament will have fifteen packets, each distributed as follows:

--- 4/4 Literature ---
1/1 American Lit
1/1 British Lit
1/1 European Lit
1/1 World and Other Lit

--- 4/4 History ---
1/1 US History
1/1 Continental Europe
1/1 Classics, Britain, Commonwealth, Ancient Near East, etc.
1/1 Other History (Asia, Africa, Latin America, etc.)

--- 4/4 Science ---
1/1 Biology
1/1 Chemistry
1/1 Physics
1/1 Other Science

--- 3/3 Arts ---
1/1 Classical Music
1/1 Painting
1/1 Other Arts (opera, photography, film, etc.)

--- 2/2 Beliefs ---
1/1 Mythology
1/1 Religion

--- 3/3 Thought and Other ---
1/1 Philosophy/Criticism
1/1 Social Science (anthropology, economics, psychology, political science, etc.)
1/1 Other (split between CE, Geo, and “Other Academic” with a skew towards the latter in bonuses)

A list of mirrors will be updated below as appropriate (we would like mirrors in all the following sites):

Northeast: New York University (10/1)
Mid-Atlantic: University of Maryland (10/8)
Southeast: Duke University (10/8)
Florida: University of Florida (10/1)
Kentucky: Western Kentucky University (10/15)
Texas: Texas A&M (10/29)
North: University of Minnesota (9/24)
Upper Midwest: University of Chicago (10/22)
Lower Midwest: Washington University in St. Louis (10/1)
Great Lakes: Youngstown State University (10/8)
Northern California: Stanford University (10/15)
Southwest: University of California, San Diego (10/8)
Canada: University of Ottawa (10/15)
UK: Oxford (date TBD)

We are more than open to this tournament being used for harder high school only tournaments, as well as for NASAT tryouts. Please contact me at william.t.alston@gmail.com if you are interested in using this set for either of these purposes.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:11 am, edited 36 times in total.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:17 pm

Eligibility and fees have been updated in the original post.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Benin Rebirth Party » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:48 pm

Is this tournament meant to be a supplement of, or a replacement of the past iterations of Early Autumn Collegiate Novice and its successors?
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:27 pm

This tourbament has nothing to do with any sort of "novice" event because it is not intended to be a novice level tournament. It is meant to be a successor to the EFTs of the past in spirit in that it is designed to be accessible to all teams, especially in light of the fact that "regular" sets these days simply do not meet this goal. This means that it will be appropriate for, say, Stanford or Michigan to play this set at full strength, but it will also be appropriate for much, much weaker teams that would feel overwhelmed at ACF regionals and the like.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Cheynem » Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:26 pm

I am glad to see this tournament appear. I would urge the editors to reject as many potentially open teams as possible and especially prevent high schoolers from forming non open teams. If this is meant to be an accessible, somewhat introduction to collegiate quizbowl, it should mirror the actual playing experience that the majority of regular difficulty tournaments feature.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:30 pm

Cheynem wrote:I am glad to see this tournament appear. I would urge the editors to reject as many potentially open teams as possible and especially prevent high schoolers from forming non open teams. If this is meant to be an accessible, somewhat introduction to collegiate quizbowl, it should mirror the actual playing experience that the majority of regular difficulty tournaments feature.


Our intention is to reject open teams involving players from established school programs, be they high school or college. That said, we don't think that the only offerings for open tournaments should be hard tournaments - if some veterans want to play, we don't see a huge problem as long as open teams aren't dominating the tournament at the major sites (e.g. we probably don't want the various Matts of the world coming out of retirement to destroy new teams).
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon May 16, 2016 12:30 am

I have been told in private that some people have been confused about the "openness" of this tournament. I'd like to dispel some misconceptions and burn down some strawmen - again, all open teams are going to be allowed or disallowed based on express permission from the editors. Feel free to direct your request to play either to the editors (before or after site announcements are up) or direct it to the site director (once site announcements are up), who will then direct questions to the editors. You don't need to have a full lineup to make this request, but have a reasonably good idea who you're playing with or we'll shut you down until we're sure you aren't bringing a superteam.

Here's some idea of the criteria we'll use:

1) If it's a relatively sparse site, we'll probably be OK with most anything - for example, if some Minnesota or SoCal locals want to play a nearby site, we'll have no problem with this. In fact we'll probably be happy because a) we get to make more money AND b) local players can meet some more old-timers who are hooked into the circuit.
2) If it's a populous site (say, the planned mirrors at UChicago or NYU) then we will use more discretion. Superteams are going to be banned - if Jerry Vinokurov resurrected Saajid Moyen from the pits of finance hell, dug Marnold out of law, and brought in Tejas for a fourth to buzzer-romp all over a 24-team mirror in Greenwich Village, then we'd say no. Open teams that have very little chance of winning the tournament will almost certainly be allowed. Strong open teams will be considered carefully - under no circumstances will an open team be allowed if it's clearly the best team at the site, or if it's even the closest-to-best team.
3) Barring extreme circumstances we are going to disallow any open teams with people who are currently enrolled in schools with active quizbowl programs. If you're an experienced player at a school with a weak/nonexistent program, we'll probably also disallow you from forming an open team in order to encourage you to start something (again, barring extreme cases where you've tried and utterly failed).

This is, admittedly, a bit experimental, but I don't anticipate any major problems arising. The majority of teams that attended Missouri Open in the fall were collegiate teams, and almost all sites were won by collegiate teams. This tournament has a slightly different purpose, since it's easier than Missouri Open, and has more restricted entry (aka why it doesn't have "Open" in its name). I recognize there was a slight problem with Missouri Open attendance on account of it being labeled as an "Open" (and also on account of its writers' lack of experience) - I doubt this set will suffer from the same issues.

EDIT: Finally, I'd like to restate the implicit "ACF Fall rule" - if you think this tournament will be too easy for you, then you should not play it!
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Cheynem » Mon May 16, 2016 8:51 am

In some sites, wouldn't Jerry playing solo (or Ike, or Rob, or even Tejas) be one of the best teams? I don't understand the idea of letting retired players play the set at all, unless it's a mirror specifically for them.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Nice hockey Cote d'Azur » Mon May 16, 2016 9:34 am

Cheynem wrote:In some sites, wouldn't Jerry playing solo (or Ike, or Rob, or even Tejas) be one of the best teams? I don't understand the idea of letting retired players play the set at all, unless it's a mirror specifically for them.


How flattering.

I don't think having mixed fields is a good idea at this level, if getting larger fields is an issue it would be better to focus on recruiting new or less active teams rather than bringing in players who are entirely too experienced for regular-minus tournaments. Since your stated goal is to make this an introduction to collegiate quizbowl I don't see how open teams are appropriate.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon May 16, 2016 11:11 am

Platinum Toad wrote:
Cheynem wrote:In some sites, wouldn't Jerry playing solo (or Ike, or Rob, or even Tejas) be one of the best teams? I don't understand the idea of letting retired players play the set at all, unless it's a mirror specifically for them.


How flattering.

I don't think having mixed fields is a good idea at this level, if getting larger fields is an issue it would be better to focus on recruiting new or less active teams rather than bringing in players who are entirely too experienced for regular-minus tournaments. Since your stated goal is to make this an introduction to collegiate quizbowl I don't see how open teams are appropriate.


Then please explain to me why ACF Fall doesn't have a ban on experienced players, either? Again, if you think this tournament is too easy for you then you should not play it. This is a guideline that has worked before and which I suspect will work again. We insist that this tournament will not be "too easy" for by the standards applied to regular-difficulty high school quizbowl, i.e. we are totally fine with the best collegiate teams getting near or breaking 25 PPB and having plenty more powers than 10s. We do not think this tournament is appropriate for open superteams and have consequently placed an infrastructure in place which will prevent such teams from playing.

Frankly, I don't buy into this logic that new players are scaaaaared of big mean older players, even if they're Mr. Scary Internet Jerry himself! I think new teams are turned off by hard, long questions that go unbuzzed until the giveaway or dead much more than they are by overly challenging opponents. Tough answers are not as bad when your set is meant as a national qualifier (ICT) and in general don't feel as bad at NAQT length, but for an mACF set you need more restraint and that means not writing 8-9 line questions on Edmund Allenby or Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature or whatever for your "regular" tournament. Since we've got most of our answers planned out and have a substantial number of questions written already on which to model the rest, I don't think we'll end up having this issue.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby vinteuil » Mon May 16, 2016 11:23 am

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Frankly, I don't buy into this logic that new players are scaaaaared of big mean older players, even if they're Mr. Scary Internet Jerry himself! I think new teams are turned off by hard, long questions that go unbuzzed until the giveaway or dead much more than they are by overly challenging opponents.

Why not both? Seriously, there's no reason to introduce this dichotomy. (And, I think there's no reason to encourage experienced players—especially retired ones who would not be allowed to play Fall or Regionals!—play this set.)
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Nice hockey Cote d'Azur » Mon May 16, 2016 11:57 am

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Then please explain to me why ACF Fall doesn't have a ban on experienced players, either? Again, if you think this tournament is too easy for you then you should not play it. This is a guideline that has worked before and which I suspect will work again. We insist that this tournament will not be "too easy" for by the standards applied to regular-difficulty high school quizbowl, i.e. we are totally fine with the best collegiate teams getting near or breaking 25 PPB and having plenty more powers than 10s. We do not think this tournament is appropriate for open superteams and have consequently placed an infrastructure in place which will prevent such teams from playing.

Frankly, I don't buy into this logic that new players are scaaaaared of big mean older players, even if they're Mr. Scary Internet Jerry himself! I think new teams are turned off by hard, long questions that go unbuzzed until the giveaway or dead much more than they are by overly challenging opponents. Tough answers are not as bad when your set is meant as a national qualifier (ICT) and in general don't feel as bad at NAQT length, but for an mACF set you need more restraint and that means not writing 8-9 line questions on Edmund Allenby or Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature or whatever for your "regular" tournament. Since we've got most of our answers planned out and have a substantial number of questions written already on which to model the rest, I don't think we'll end up having this issue.


I don't really see how you can compare this tournament to ACF Fall, since your stated goal is to make this accessible to top teams, and ACF Fall has always discouraged top teams from playing. My view is that EFT should not be targeting both novice teams and top teams, and I would group open teams with the latter. And I can assure you that getting whooped by teams way better than you is no fun regardless of question difficulty/length.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby 1.82 » Mon May 16, 2016 12:54 pm

A question that represents the questions I (and perhaps other people) have about the intended audience: would, say, Jordan and Auroni be allowed to play this set with Maryland and Michigan? Both of them will obviously not be playing ACF Fall since they are too good for ACF Fall, but both of them play for top college teams for whom this set is supposed to be appropriate.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Victor Prieto » Mon May 16, 2016 1:04 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:This tournament’s target difficulty is meant to be “regular-minus” by modern conceptions of “regular” difficulty - our goal is something around the difficulty of MUT, but skewed a bit toward MAGNI - older incarnations of EFT and 2013's Michigan Fall Tournament are decent baselines for comparison. This tournament is meant to be an “introduction to college quizbowl” for newer or less experienced teams, as opposed to a “farewell to high school” experience. We also intend for this tournament to be appropriate for players of all skill levels, including top teams, in order for it to serve its introductory purpose.


EDIT: Finally, I'd like to restate the implicit "ACF Fall rule" - if you think this tournament will be too easy for you, then you should not play it!


These two points contradict each other, as stated by other people in the thread. You can't say "players of all skill levels can play this tournament" and "if you think you are too good for this tournament, don't play it." If you're just trying to say that this regular-minus difficulty tournament is increasing the upper bound of teams that can appropriately play this set, then it wasn't communicated very well.

Platinum Toad wrote:Since your stated goal is to make this an introduction to collegiate quizbowl I don't see how open teams are appropriate.


I want to emphasize this point. Open teams are not the norm in regular season collegiate quizbowl. I think this principle may be unrecognized right now because every major tournament in the 2015-16 season that wasn't ACF, NAQT, MUT or VCU Novice had open teams playing it somewhere. This is not a good direction to move in, for the same reason that high school teams are not allowed to play collegiate tournaments. Sure, having a tough pre-nationals Minnesota Open-like event late in the season is kosher, the slot that StanFord HouseWrite occupied this year, but not good to expand beyond that.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Urech hydantoin synthesis » Mon May 16, 2016 1:07 pm

Our Lady Peace wrote:A question that represents the questions I (and perhaps other people) have about the intended audience: would, say, Jordan and Auroni be allowed to play this set with Maryland and Michigan? Both of them will obviously not be playing ACF Fall since they are too good for ACF Fall, but both of them play for top college teams for whom this set is supposed to be appropriate.

Given the allusions to the Michigan Fall Tournament of 2013, that seems likely. This tournament happened, and I don't think anyone was up in arms about it. In my view, getting Top Teams to play regular-minus tournaments can potentially be a good thing, because otherwise they might view ACF Regionals difficulty as the minimum difficulty for regular-season tournaments, which would not be ideal.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Urech hydantoin synthesis » Mon May 16, 2016 1:11 pm

Victor Prieto wrote:I want to emphasize this point. Open teams are not the norm in regular season collegiate quizbowl. I think this principle may be unrecognized right now because every major tournament in the 2015-16 season that wasn't ACF, NAQT, MUT or VCU Novice had open teams playing it somewhere. This is not a good direction to move in, for the same reason that high school teams are not allowed to play collegiate tournaments. Sure, having a tough pre-nationals Minnesota Open-like event late in the season is kosher, the slot that StanFord HouseWrite occupied this year, but not good to expand beyond that.

I'm not saying anything about the general point of this post, but I will point out that high school teams are allowed to play non-NAQT/ACF college tournaments - and in fact have explicitly been encouraged to do so now that ACF has banned high school teams from its tournaments.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Victor Prieto » Mon May 16, 2016 1:24 pm

vinteuil wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Frankly, I don't buy into this logic that new players are scaaaaared of big mean older players, even if they're Mr. Scary Internet Jerry himself! I think new teams are turned off by hard, long questions that go unbuzzed until the giveaway or dead much more than they are by overly challenging opponents.

Why not both? Seriously, there's no reason to introduce this dichotomy. (And, I think there's no reason to encourage experienced players—especially retired ones who would not be allowed to play Fall or Regionals!—play this set.)


I also agree with Jacob's point of view. Both long, difficult questions and getting trashed in preliminary rounds are pretty discouraging for new players. For Dickety Doo U, there's a difference between a prelim bracket with Maryland A and a prelim bracket with Maryland A and two open teams that will still win by 150 points. And let's be honest, open teams that would register for this won't be finishing in the bottom half of the field, even if they don't have a shot of winning the tournament, as per the open team criteria listed above. Speaking of which...

b) local players can meet some more old-timers who are hooked into the circuit.


Ehhhhhhh I don't think this would actually happen. If anything, teams socialize more with moderators while waiting for other teams to show up, not with each other before a round starts.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Rococo A Go Go » Mon May 16, 2016 1:25 pm

Urech hydantoin synthesis wrote:Given the allusions to the Michigan Fall Tournament of 2013, that seems likely. This tournament happened, and I don't think anyone was up in arms about it.


Most people were fine with top level players playing MFT, although...

Will Alston, in the MFT discussion thread wrote:I really liked this tournament, and was really disappointed that several well-recognized, nationally ranked generalists were playing this tournament


I'm glad to see this tournament does not seem to have restrictions on good college players attending, and I believe that Louisville is currently planning to attend at full strength. I don't have a huge problem with Will's intentions in regards to open players at EFT this year, but I think it could be explained in a much more simple way. My personal opinion would be that open teams would not be allowed unless the editors approve them, and even then only in cases where they supplement a small field. Getting into the technical details of whether Hypothetical Jerry Vinokurov should be able to play with or without teammates is pointless, because it's pretty easy to have a standard where Hypothetical Jerry doesn't play.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon May 16, 2016 1:28 pm

Our Lady Peace wrote:A question that represents the questions I (and perhaps other people) have about the intended audience: would, say, Jordan and Auroni be allowed to play this set with Maryland and Michigan? Both of them will obviously not be playing ACF Fall since they are too good for ACF Fall, but both of them play for top college teams for whom this set is supposed to be appropriate.


They're certainly allowed to - whether they consider it appropriate or not is up to them. Again, this is a "gentleman's agreement" setup, backed up by a guarantee that we're not gonna allow superteams, or really any open team that would crush a large site. If you personally don't think any set below ACF Regionals difficulty is appropriate for you then you shouldn't play!

The theory here is the following: high school "regular" difficulty produces sets that are playable by both new and top level teams, whereas collegiate "regular" difficulty is inappropriate for new teams. There is a bit of muddiness at the top on high school "regular" sets but there are still meaningful games. In college, this problem is less pronounced because there are fewer top college teams as compared with high school teams (seriously, look at how many teams are getting over 22-23 PPB on the Morlan rankings). In addition, our questions will have seven lines, which helps provide more gradation than the six line standard for high school questions.

Urech hydantoin synthesis wrote:Given the allusions to the Michigan Fall Tournament of 2013, that seems likely. This tournament [UVA killing the set at the VCU site] happened, and I don't think anyone was up in arms about it. In my view, getting Top Teams to play regular-minus tournaments can potentially be a good thing, because otherwise they might view ACF Regionals difficulty as the minimum difficulty for regular-season tournaments, which would not be ideal.


I will cop to having thought this was weird at the time, and others did as well. Since then, I have obviously revised my position - sometimes when you gain experience and think about things, you change your mind! Ben is correct.

Victor Prieto wrote:This is not a good direction to move in, for the same reason that high school teams are not allowed to play collegiate tournaments.

(other post)

These two points contradict each other, as stated by other people in the thread. You can't say "players of all skill levels can play this tournament" and "if you think you are too good for this tournament, don't play it." If you're just trying to say that this regular-minus difficulty tournament is increasing the upper bound of teams that can appropriately play this set, then it wasn't communicated very well.


As Ben once again correctly points out, high school teams do in fact play regular-season sets that are not ACF or NAQT. Indeed they are encouraged to do so! None of us are advocating for open teams to play ACF or NAQT tournaments.

As for the (apparent) contradiction, what I mean is that "if you disagree with us and do not think this set will be appropriate for you to play, or if you don't think you'll get anything out of a set below Regionals difficulty, then feel free to sit out and not play - we aren't going to impose our will on you or insist that you play or anything!" We as editors think that all collegiate players should be able to get something out of this tournament. If you do not trust us then you can sit out, moderate, or do whatever.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Cheynem » Mon May 16, 2016 1:37 pm

Will, you keep saying that if you think the set is too easy, then don't play, but I don't think this is a simple solution. Based on quizbowl history, a set that is quasi-open is inevitably going to attract open teams. The open teams will be good or at least better than many teams in the field. The open teams, rightly or wrongly, will not decide for themselves that they shouldn't play. We are asking you, the editors, to prevent this from happening.

I don't really care if top teams play the set--I agree with Will that regular difficulty is for everyone and that there's nothing wrong with them killing the set (or choosing not to play it or splitting up their roster or whatever). I do think it's a problem though to have inactive, ineligible players playing the set as it hurts collegiate quizbowl's legitimacy as an activity.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Auroni » Mon May 16, 2016 1:41 pm

I'll just note that for some circuits (SoCal for pretty much as long as I was there), Pacific Northwest, and the UK, to list a few, it is often impossible to get a decent 6 or even 4 team tournament together without some "bending" of eligibility rules, at times, despite the best efforts at outreach. I do not think that allowing some non-students to play in these situations has any additional injurious effect [apart from the smallness of these tournaments itself being depressing]. Of course, some discretion is needed on the part of hosts and set editors [ie, we wouldn't let Oxford adjunct professor Birdofredum Sawin, Esq. play a UK EFT mirror].
Last edited by Auroni on Mon May 16, 2016 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Cheynem » Mon May 16, 2016 1:42 pm

Right, which is why the rule in my opinion should be "under circumstances, ask the editors for approval" rather than "open teams allowed in general."
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby 1.82 » Mon May 16, 2016 1:50 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
Our Lady Peace wrote:A question that represents the questions I (and perhaps other people) have about the intended audience: would, say, Jordan and Auroni be allowed to play this set with Maryland and Michigan? Both of them will obviously not be playing ACF Fall since they are too good for ACF Fall, but both of them play for top college teams for whom this set is supposed to be appropriate.


They're certainly allowed to - whether they consider it appropriate or not is up to them. Again, this is a "gentleman's agreement" setup, backed up by a guarantee that we're not gonna allow superteams, or really any open team that would crush a large site. If you personally don't think any set below ACF Regionals difficulty is appropriate for you then you shouldn't play!


You hadn't mentioned anything about a "gentleman's agreement" with regard to people in school playing this tournament before now, but perhaps we're getting somewhere here. When this tournament was announced, I had the impression that the fact that it was designed to be appropriate for top teams meant that the expectation was that all collegiate teams would be playing it at full strength, as with ACF Regionals. Your putting forth of a "gentleman's agreement" contradicts that and instead suggests a model of "ACF Fall but with [mediocre] open teams." The announcement says nothing about very good college players being expected to recuse themselves from playing, so if that is indeed the case, that should be made clear. If that is not the case, then no "gentleman's agreement" exists. Either way the situation now is unclear, and it's important that everyone know what they're getting if they plan to play this tournament.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon May 16, 2016 1:58 pm

For reference, I don't believe the announcement for ACF Fall had any explicit or even implicit language in it this year discouraging good players from playing it:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=17524
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon May 16, 2016 2:05 pm

The concerns about lack of clarity are valid. The eligibility policy will be reconsidered and we will have an update as to our decision within two days. Whatever the revision, small sites will (guaranteed) be allowed to have some kind of open teams/bent eligibility rules in order to ensure adequate fields.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Urech hydantoin synthesis » Mon May 16, 2016 2:06 pm

From what I understand, one of the reasons this tournament exists is so that you can send the 15 people you recruited at the activities fair to their first-ever tournament in college without 1. worrying that their first tournament is on a set as difficult as Penn Bowl or ACF Regionals or 2. having to tell them that this was a novice/introductory set and that all the other tournaments in the year will be much more difficult. Because this is meant to be a real college tournament experience, Top Teams should also play this set. Allowing open teams does not follow from the goals of this tournament, but I don't think it significantly detracts from the goals either. However, some people might be more at ease with this tournament if the eligibility were to be default-closed with open teams admitted into the field at the editors' discretion, as opposed to default-open with superteams disallowed, and that wouldn't be a significant change.

Having said all this, I really hope to see this set widely mirrored and for those mirrors to be widely attended - this set fulfills a role that could really benefit the growth of collegiate quizbowl and help teams retain new recruits.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon May 16, 2016 2:08 pm

Urech hydantoin synthesis wrote:From what I understand, one of the reasons this tournament exists is so that you can send the 15 people you recruited at the activities fair to their first-ever tournament in college without 1. worrying that their first tournament is on a set as difficult as Penn Bowl or ACF Regionals or 2. having to tell them that this was a novice/introductory set and that all the other tournaments in the year will be much more difficult. Because this is meant to be a real college tournament experience, Top Teams should also play this set. Allowing open teams does not follow from the goals of this tournament, but I don't think it significantly detracts from the goals either. However, some people might be more at ease with this tournament if the eligibility were to be default-closed with open teams admitted into the field at the editors' discretion, as opposed to default-open with superteams disallowed, and that wouldn't be a significant change.

Having said all this, I really hope to see this set widely mirrored and for those mirrors to be widely attended - this set fulfills a role that could really benefit the growth of collegiate quizbowl and help teams retain new recruits.


Ben's post accurately expresses my vision for the set. I understand that I haven't communicated very well, and our revised policy (and consequently updated original post) will be much more clear.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed May 18, 2016 8:05 pm

In response to community concerns, I've changed some sections of the original post to reflect our updated eligibility policy and clarify the set's goals. The changed sections can be found below:

OP wrote:This tournament’s target difficulty is meant to be “regular-minus” by modern conceptions of “regular” difficulty - our goal is something around the difficulty of MUT, but skewed a bit toward MAGNI - older incarnations of EFT and 2013's Michigan Fall Tournament are decent baselines for comparison. We are setting a quota that 75% of tossup answers would be appropriate at ACF Fall. Bonuses will be controlled to the best of our ability, and tossups will be hard-capped at seven lines of 10-point Times New Roman font (in the Google Docs) before pronunciation guides and powermarks/bolding are added.

Our goal is to provide an “introduction to college quizbowl” for newer or less experienced teams, as opposed to a “farewell to high school” experience where the best high school players from last year come out to slaughter easy questions. This means we intend for this tournament to be appropriate for players of all skill levels, including top teams, in order for it to serve its introductory purpose. When they play this tournament, players who are new to the collegiate circuit should (ideally) have an opportunity to play against all of their circuit's "regulars" on questions on accessible topics, without being informed that the rest of the year's tournaments will be substantially harder.

All high school, undergraduate, and graduate students are eligible to play this tournament with the school they are enrolled with. All United States sites of this tournament will be closed by default; however, with editors' permission, hosts of individual sites may allow mixed/open teams at their own discretion in order to create a healthy-sized field.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Cheynem » Wed May 18, 2016 8:11 pm

Good.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:48 pm

We've filled out all our planned hosting areas except for Canada and Texas - if you'd like to host this tournament in one of those areas, please contact me!

EDIT: Also, Auroni Gupta will now be providing us with some oversight.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:21 pm

I'm happy to announce that EFT is now past 50% completion and rolling forward at a fast pace.

With regards to difficulty, I realize that the tournament announcement was somewhat nebulous and that people may still have questions about the tournament's difficulty, especially given that some of the previous tournament projects I have headed up have ended up more difficult than intended in tossup difficulty. The editing team (Richard, Andrew, and myself) has concurred that this tournament is definitely below "regular difficulty" as defined by ACF Regionals 2014-16, and continues to make revisions with the goal in mind of keeping difficulty tightly in line.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:45 pm

We're announcing an outreach incentive: Individual collegiate sites will receive half their mirror fees refunded for each team in their field above the target number of teams listed below. For example, this means that if we set a target for your mirror site of 12 teams, if 16 teams come to your site, then you will owe the EFT team 16 x $40 = $640 in mirror fees, but you will receive a refund of $40 x 0.5 x (16 - 12) = $80.

NYU - 20
Maryland -16
Duke - 8
Florida - 8
WKU - 6
Texas - 10 (changed, since coordinated w/ high schools)
Minnesota - 6
Chicago - 16
WUSTL - 8
Youngstown 12
Stanford - 8
UCSD - 6
Ottawa - 8
Oxford - 12

EDIT: In other news, mirror sites are now linked to in the OP and we're 2/3 done with the set.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Frater Taciturnus » Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:57 pm

Just curious, if this is about "outreach" instead of just "running bigger tournaments," wouldn't it make sense to tie it to the number of unique colleges that are in the field rather than to the number of Registered Teams? Also, some of these numbers are so low that they are going to be easily exceeded without any outreach drawing any number of new teams in.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:29 pm

Frater Taciturnus wrote:Just curious, if this is about "outreach" instead of just "running bigger tournaments," wouldn't it make sense to tie it to the number of unique colleges that are in the field rather than to the number of Registered Teams? Also, some of these numbers are so low that they are going to be easily exceeded without any outreach drawing any number of new teams in.


Admittedly, you've hit part of the point on the head - mirror fees are calculated based on the number of teams, and we want fields to be as big as possible to mazimize our revenue. If this comes thanks to outreach / emailing more teams and getting them involved, then all the better. But outreach can go depth-wise as well as breadth-wise - if the incredible phenomenon of "UC Berkeley I" happens at this tournament, as well as at ACF Fall, then we don't mind having these discounts, since in any case more people are playing more quizbowl.

I'm not entirely sure if you're right on the second part - historically, tournaments that aren't ACF Fall or Sectionals don't seem to go too far past 6 teams in regions like Southern California, Minnesota, etc. We also have a pretty large number of sites, so there's a chance some sites partially cannibalize others (i.e. some teams could go to either WUSTL or WKU, but the WKU people expressly requested a mirror and I didn't see a super strong reason to refuse them). Some sites could easily go past 6 teams, but historical precedent (from what I've seen) doesn't suggest they will. If historical precedent is violated, then we'll be happy.

EDIT: As a reminder, hosts are actively encouraged to reach out to strong high school teams and ask them if they'd like to play.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Rufous-capped Thornbill » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:39 pm

Can anyone from NYU confirm if the tournament will be on the 1st or the 8th?
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:25 pm

Sorry, I forgot to update that - I was told it's the 1st. I assume things haven't changed since then.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Cody » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:16 pm

The idea that halving the mirror fee is something a host can use to draw in Berkeley I is, frankly, ridiculous. This "outreach initiative" in no way incentivizes hosts to get new teams to come to EFT, nor new teams to come to EFT. Duke, for example, will easily surpass it's target based solely on established teams that would already come to this level of tournament.

If you want to make hosts serious about outreach, offering them a bulk discount isn't going to do it. Instead, you need to offer hosts discounts for bringing in new teams, and have some of this discount passed on to the new teams.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:29 pm

Cody wrote:The idea that halving the mirror fee is something a host can use to draw in Berkeley I is, frankly, ridiculous. This "outreach initiative" in no way incentivizes hosts to get new teams to come to EFT, nor new teams to come to EFT. Duke, for example, will easily surpass it's target based solely on established teams that would already come to this level of tournament.

If you want to make hosts serious about outreach, offering them a bulk discount isn't going to do it. Instead, you need to offer hosts discounts for bringing in new teams, and have some of this discount passed on to the new teams.


I was under the impression that incentives worked by giving people a reason in order to encourage them to do something. Giving people a higher proportion of money once they get past a certain field size threshold incentivizes them to get past that threshold even more - i.e. by recruiting more teams to play the tournament (and encouraging clubs to bring more teams). The theory is that this plays a substantial role in getting more teams to actually come to the tournament. I will admit I may have miscalculated this threshold for Duke, but whatever - I don't want to start moving the goalpost once people have passed the field size targets, because that damages credibility.

Hosts are free to do with this discount as they wish - to pass it on to the teams (though how exactly they would do this is unclear) or to keep the money for themselves. Our policy has been to not dictate how hosts set fees - we don't even have a set tournament fee, only a mirror fee and mandatory minimum discounts for moderators, travel, and buzzers.

In any case, ye shall judge them by their fruits. We'll see what our experimental ideas (field size quota discounts, playtest tournament on Skype) turn out.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby alexdz » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:51 pm

While I think this idea may help somewhat to bring a few more folks into the fold, I do think Cody is onto something important. In my (admittedly limited) experience running college tournaments, the problem is less likely to be the actual outreach to new teams, but providing a convincing reason for them to choose to attend your event. I can "outreach" all I want to a campus in my target area, but if their team doesn't have the time or resources to attend, my outreach hasn't impacted anything in terms of my field. In the structure you've provided, the new team itself has no incentive to attend an event they wouldn't have been attending anyway, unless a host chooses to return some of their windfall in the form of entry discounts. The long and short of it is this: The hosts already have a financial incentive to bring more teams; it's the teams themselves who need the incentive to attend.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:41 pm

I sort of implied this in the OP, but just to clarify (since some folks have asked) - this tournament will have powers.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby UlyssesInvictus » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:49 pm

Has NYU selected the date of their tournament yet?
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:26 am

UlyssesInvictus wrote:Has NYU selected the date of their tournament yet?


NYU will post an announcement once they are able to do so. They inform me they're trying to get the 1st, but the 15th is the other option.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby vinteuil » Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:12 am

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
UlyssesInvictus wrote:Has NYU selected the date of their tournament yet?


NYU will post an announcement once they are able to do so. They inform me they're trying to get the 1st, but the 15th is the other option.

For what it's worth, we'd be unable to make it on the 15th, since we've just had to reschedule our high school tournament for that date.
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:49 pm

A discussion forum for this tournament now exists. Feel free to join if you've already played, or you do not plan on playing. If you're an active collegiate quizbowler, we encourage you to play if possible!
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Milhouse » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:43 pm

Are there any more mirrors of this? Will the set be posted?
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Re: Early Fall Tournament (EFT) 2016

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:16 pm

There's tentatively a mirror in Southern Florida in January. After that, the set will be posted.
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