Standard ACF guidelines for packet requirements + hosting

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Matt Weiner
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Standard ACF guidelines for packet requirements + hosting

Post by Matt Weiner »

Hey folks. I want to alert people to some standardized and quite detailed guidelines for writing ACF packets, attending ACF tournaments, and hosting ACF tournaments, that have been newly adopted.

ELIGIBILITY

Please be aware that there will be more attention paid to the ACF eligibility rules this year. You can find the full rules here: http://www.acf-quizbowl.com/documents/a ... _final.pdf . The salient changes from last year are:

1) There will be more restrictions on ineligible teams playing under exhibition status at ACF events. Each individual editor-in-chief will have to specifically allow each such team to play at a given tournament. I have already decided to disallow exhibition teams from playing in ACF Nationals.

2) *ALL* ACF tournaments will now recognize Undergradate and Division II champions. Simply speaking, UG teams are composed entirely of players with less than four years of collegiate quizbowl experience, or less than four years of college attendance, or both, who are actually undergraduates. DII teams are composed of actual undergraduates who have never played ACF Nationals and have less than two years of collegiate quizbowl experience, or less than two years of college attendance, or both. There will not be separate divisions run; rather, the highest-finishing UG and DII teams in the overall field will be awarded the titles (in some circumstances, after the top two eligible teams play a final). See the rules for full information, or post here, or e-mail me or any ACF editor for this year if you have any questions.

REQUIREMENT/DEADLINE ENFORCEMENT

Beginning with ACF Fall 2008, all ACF tournaments will use a uniform set of guidelines for who must write packets and what those packets should look like. The whole system is found at http://www.hsquizbowl.org/acf/acf.html , and some important points are summarized below.

The major change is that ACF is (for the first time ever, contrary to previous reports) adopting a policy that excludes experienced high-level collegiate quizbowl players from tournaments if they do not write packets. In the past, we have allowed teams to pay their way out of packet-writing once enough packets to run the tournament came in. However, we have realized that this is not fair to those who turn in their packets early and is biased towards teams with a lot of funding. So, from now on, if you have been playing mainstream academic tournaments (ie, ACF, collegiate-level NAQT, or their independent equivalents) for more than two years, then any team you are on needs to write a full packet according to the guidelines in order to play in an ACF event. We will occasionally make "spirit of the rule" exceptions to this for very unusual cases (as it says in the document, this includes things like a person who played a handful of tournaments ten years ago coming back to school), but don't count on it until you ask.

Teams comprised of players who did not start playing regular collegiate-level academic tournaments until 2 or fewer years before the current academic year will still be exempt from required packet-writing, and will still be able to gain an optional discount if they choose to write a packet.

Furthermore, the only exceptions to the deadlines from now on will be for true emergencies, like family crises, or for things like your campus losing Internet access that make it literally impossible for you to turn the packet in. We have tried to be flexible with people who are too stressed by various other tournaments or by their classes, but this has been consistently abused for less and less valid reasons as time went on, until now pretty much everyone turns in their packets late and gets offended if they are penalized for it. So, the posted deadlines mean what they say. Editors may extend a number of 24-hour grace periods to the final deadline for $10 per extra day, in order to prevent teams from being entirely excluded from tournaments, but do not expect to turn in your packet 2 weeks late and not be charged a penalty as has happened in past years.

DISCOUNTS FOR SHORTHANDED TEAMS IN FINANCIAL DURESS

We are also going to take various suggestions about sliding entry fee scales into effect under the policy, under these circumstances:
*You have a team of less than 3 people
*You are funding your team from your own pockets, rather than a school- or club-supplied budget
*If required to write a packet, you write a decent one before the no-penalty deadline

Under those circumstances, you will be charged a base entry fee of $40 (for a solo team) or $60 (for a two-person team) rather than $120, and will still be eligible for further discounts down to the minimum fee. As it says in the guidelines, other teams who are in financial duress may still negotiate for delayed payment, but should not expect to receive a discount. It is the policy of ACF that the inability to come up with money by the tournament date will never exclude a team from playing in a tournament, as long as we can trust you to pay eventually (in practice, this usually means "if you have not had issues with paying what you owe in the past").

STANDARD DEADLINES

The standard deadline structure for required packets in all ACF events is now as follows:

Eight weeks before the tournament: -$50
Six weeks before the tournament: -$25
Four weeks before the tournament: No penalty
Three weeks before the tournament: +$25
Two weeks before the tournament: +$50

The dates in question are the Sundays of the weeks listed. So, if ACF Regionals is first being held on Saturday, February 28, then the -$50 deadline is 11:59 PM eastern time on Sunday, January 4; the -$25 deadline is 11:59 PM eastern time on Sunday, January 18; the no-penalty deadline is 11:59 PM eastern time on Sunday, February 1; the +$25 deadline is 11:59 PM eastern time on Sunday, February 8; and the final, +$50 deadline is 11:59 PM eastern time on Sunday, February 15.

We will also continue to offer the optional-packet discount for teams not required to write packets, under this schedule:

Six weeks before the tournament: -$50
Four weeks before the tournament: -$25

OTHER FEE INFO

The standard penalties for formatting problems, certain types of prohibited questions, the use of Wikipedia as a source, and plagiarism will continue to be enforced as noted on the guideline page.

The fees for all ACF tournaments will start at $120 per team, with -$5 buzzer discount, -$10 staffer discounts, -$10 laptop discounts, and escalating travel discounts in -$10 increments.

New ACF teams will get an additional -$25 discount.

New quizbowl teams will get an additional -$75 discount, which combined with the -$25 new ACF team discount results in a -$100 discount for new quizbowl teams.

HOSTING GUIDELINES

We have also revised and standardized the guidelines for hosting ACF tournaments. They may be found at http://www.hsquizbowl.org/acf/host.html . There are no significant changes to the hosting policies from last year, other than the inclusion of the same sliding-fee approach to shorthanded teams that was described above and the standardization of some practices that were applied inconsistently.

Again, please see http://www.hsquizbowl.org/acf/acf.html for all the information about submitting packets to ACF events, and at http://www.hsquizbowl.org/acf/host.html for all the information about hosting ACF events. If there are any questions or concerns, you can use this thread and we will respond.
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Re: Standard ACF guidelines for packet requirements + hosting

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Under those circumstances, you will be charged a base entry fee of $40 (for a solo team) or $60 (for a two-person team) rather than $120, and will still be eligible for further discounts down to the minimum fee. As it says in the guidelines, other teams who are in financial duress may still negotiate for delayed payment, but should not expect to receive a discount. It is the policy of ACF that the inability to come up with money by the tournament date will never exclude a team from playing in a tournament, as long as we can trust you to pay eventually (in practice, this usually means "if you have not had issues with paying what you owe in the past").
So a two-person team pays $60, but a three-person team pays twice as much? This seems strange.
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Re: Standard ACF guidelines for packet requirements + hosting

Post by aestheteboy »

A couple of questions:
Matt Weiner wrote: 1) There will be more restrictions on ineligible teams playing under exhibition status at ACF events. Each individual editor-in-chief will have to specifically allow each such team to play at a given tournament. I have already decided to disallow exhibition teams from playing in ACF Nationals.
Am I correct to assume that high schools teams composed of players from a single school automatically get non-exhibition status, and that hybrid/chimera high school teams have to ask the editor-in-chief for permission to play? Is this different for nationals (other than that no exhibition team is allowed)?
Matt Weiner wrote: Teams comprised of players who did not start playing regular collegiate-level academic tournaments until 2 or fewer years before the current academic year will still be exempt from required packet-writing, and will still be able to gain an optional discount if they choose to write a packet.
Does playing college tournaments during high school affect this rule? To give an example - does my playing ACF regionals last year (hs sophomore year) disable me from having the exempt status in my college freshman year?
Matt Weiner wrote: New ACF teams will get an additional -$25 discount.

New quizbowl teams will get an additional -$75 discount, which combined with the -$25 new ACF team discount results in a -$100 discount for new quizbowl teams.
ACF Packet and Fee Info wrote: For schools who did not send a team to ACF Fall, Regionals, or Nationals between September 2006 and August 2008, and have no one on the team(s) claiming this discount who played those tournaments for another school.
For schools who did not send a team to any regular collegiate academic tournament between September 2006 and August 2008, and have no one on the team(s) claiming this discount who played those tournaments for another school. May be combined with new ACF team discount for a total new-team discount of $100.
How does this rule apply to high school teams? WJ has never played in any collegiate tournament, and I have never played for any school but we have obviously have some quizbowl experience. Are we eligible for any of the discounts?

Thanks.
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Re: Standard ACF guidelines for packet requirements + hosting

Post by cvdwightw »

DJ Shadow wrote:
Under those circumstances, you will be charged a base entry fee of $40 (for a solo team) or $60 (for a two-person team) rather than $120, and will still be eligible for further discounts down to the minimum fee. As it says in the guidelines, other teams who are in financial duress may still negotiate for delayed payment, but should not expect to receive a discount. It is the policy of ACF that the inability to come up with money by the tournament date will never exclude a team from playing in a tournament, as long as we can trust you to pay eventually (in practice, this usually means "if you have not had issues with paying what you owe in the past").
So a two-person team pays $60, but a three-person team pays twice as much? This seems strange.
Yeah, this doesn't make a whole lot of sense - it's like you're a grad student who is trying to form a club at a new school, and it's you (who have played in the past three ACF Falls and know it's an awesome tournament) and these three freshmen who played a little in high school, and that's your four-person team, and you don't have an organizational account or university funding, so you have to finance the clubs yourselves right now. Since you're such an awesome dude, you write 18/18 of your packet and have your freshmen write the rest, and you get it in like an hour before the no-penalty deadline. And everyone is quite happy paying $30 each to attend this well-written event. A week before the tournament one of those freshmen quits the club, or has a family emergency, or something else that tells you "this guy isn't going to come to ACF Fall with us, so we're down to three people without time to get a fourth". Or alternatively you only have two freshmen and your recruiting efforts have sucked, so you only have a team of you and two freshmen.

Well, under these circumstances, you have to tell the two (remaining) freshmen "If all three of us go it's $40/person. On the other hand, if one of you decides not to go, then we only pay $30/person." In this instance, ACF is actually offering a small financial incentive for small programs NOT to take players, and while in most cases I would assume that the grad student would spend the extra $10 and that the freshmen would each decide that the extra $10 would be worth it to play and not chance having to sit out the tournament, I can't say that this would hold in every case, especially if the club members are particularly cash-strapped. So there's a small chance that this policy WILL prevent someone from playing in an ACF tournament despite writing questions.
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Re: Standard ACF guidelines for packet requirements + hosting

Post by grapesmoker »

These rules are meant to encompass the most common scenarios. Instead of fabricating hypotheticals that somehow contradict the spirit of these rules, I suggest that anyone who feels that these rules are unfair to their particular situation contact ACF. We are reasonable people and will gladly make exceptions if we think you have a good case.
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Re: Standard ACF guidelines for packet requirements + hosting

Post by KGeee »

DII teams are composed of actual undergraduates who have never played ACF Nationals and have less than two years of collegiate quizbowl experience

I'm guessing that these two years do not pertain to teams on the hcasc/former cbi circuit, or am I wrong?
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Re: Standard ACF guidelines for packet requirements + hosting

Post by Matt Weiner »

KGeee wrote: DII teams are composed of actual undergraduates who have never played ACF Nationals and have less than two years of collegiate quizbowl experience

I'm guessing that these two years do not pertain to teams on the hcasc/former cbi circuit, or am I wrong?
Correct. The two-year period begins with the year in which you first play a regular, collegiate, academic tournament (which basically means not College Bowl-involved, not hybrid or trash, not held on high school questions, and not an experimental format like TTGT11 or so forth).

As for the scenarios about payment: we are not going to a flat-out "pay per player" approach, because that is not the point of the rule. Splitting an entry fee three ways versus four is not that big of a difference and shouldn't keep anyone from attending a tournament, while paying the whole entry fee out of one pocket might. As always, if your team is strapped for cash, you can ask to defer payment until you are more able to pay.

For the questions about high school players: I would support modifying the guidelines to reflect the eligibility clock starting when you play a collegiate tournament as a collegiate student, at least in terms of Division II eligibility and similar questions. Also, I don't think it makes sense to require high school teams to submit packets, regardless of how long the players on the high school team have been attending collegiate tournaments. And, yes, teams from a single high school are always eligible for any ACF event, but mixed-school teams would be exhibition and thus must apply for eligibility at each individual tournament.

I think that answers all of the questions except for the one about playing tournaments in high school and then moving on to college, as it relates to having to write packets, and the one about whether the new team discounts apply. My preference is that you should be required to write a packet in this situation, as someone who played collegiate tournaments in high school (especially for 2 years in high school) is probably a very talented and motivated quizbowl community member, and is exactly the sort of person who should be writing packets for tournaments, and exactly not the sort of person who might be scared away by that requirement. I will throw this thread open to discussion of this issue so we can get an idea of how people feel, and the ACF membership will take that into account when discussing what if any modifications to the packet requirement should be made as a result. We'll talk about the entry fee thing as well.
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Re: Standard ACF guidelines for packet requirements + hosting

Post by aestheteboy »

Modifying the eligibility rules seems unnecessary since all college freshmen and sophomores have Div II status and all undergraduate students have UG status regardless of quizbowl experience, according to this rule: "Simply speaking, UG teams are composed entirely of players with less than four years of collegiate quizbowl experience, or less than four years of college attendance, or both, who are actually undergraduates. DII teams are composed of actual undergraduates who have never played ACF Nationals and have less than two years of collegiate quizbowl experience, or less than two years of college attendance, or both."
I think it's reasonable to expect experienced college freshmen to write a packet. At least, I was planning to write even if I were exempt, and other high school players I see at college tournaments probably have the same attitude. I was wondering only because the deadlines for discount are slightly longer for exempt teams. Obviously I'm a bit biased since it most directly affects me, but I think HS teams should at least receive the new-to-ACF discount. I think the idea is to encourage teams that traditionally don't attend ACF to join the circuit, and HS teams certainly fit that description. Also, 120$ is more expensive than any HS tournament (except nationals) is, and the fee, more than anything else, could discourage teams from attending.
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Re: Standard ACF guidelines for packet requirements + hosting

Post by Matt Weiner »

Hey, in the absence of any further comment from the ACF people, I'm going to suggest that the guidelines remain as-is at least for this year with respect to high schoolers. Thus:

*high schools who want to play an ACF tournament could claim the new-to-ACF or new-to-quizbowl discounts if they would be otherwise eligible to do so based on their recent participation or lack thereof in collegiate tournaments
*if you are a high school team that, somehow, has people on it who played a collegiate tournament two years ago, you have to write a packet. I am not sure this actually affects anybody--though I think Daichi (and possibly Dan Puma?) showed up to the pseudo-mid-Atlantic-Regionals as a sophomore in 2007, that was not an official tournament so it will not count against your packet-writing clock. I don't know of any other high school underclassmen playing in collegiate tournaments prior to this past year, so this rule should not affect anybody until the 2009-2010 season.
*Division II eligibility is retained throughout high school and your first two years of college, regardless of how often you play, unless you play ACF Nationals. The possibility of allowing people who play ACF Nationals as high schoolers to retain DII eligibility into their freshman year of college was raised and will be discussed for the future. If you have comments about this particular issue, feel free to post.

As always, post here or e-mail me if you have any questions.
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Re: Standard ACF guidelines for packet requirements + hosting

Post by Blackboard Monitor Vimes »

Matt Weiner wrote: *Division II eligibility is retained throughout high school and your first two years of college, regardless of how often you play, unless you play ACF Nationals. The possibility of allowing people who play ACF Nationals as high schoolers to retain DII eligibility into their freshman year of college was raised and will be discussed for the future. If you have comments about this particular issue, feel free to post.

As always, post here or e-mail me if you have any questions.
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