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Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:14 pm
by theMoMA
This is the global announcement for ACF Winter 2010, which will take place on the weekend of January 16, 2009.

Editors

Editor-in-Chief: Andrew Hart (University of Minnesota)

Assistant Editors: Rob Carson (University of Minnesota), Trevor Davis (Carnegie Mellon University), Dennis Jang (Brown University), and Eric Mukherjee (University of Pennsylvania).

Hosting

We are no longer seeking ACF Winter hosts. Here is a link to the ACF Hosting Guide as reference for the already accepted hosts.

Confirmed hosts

Host map.

West: Stanford University. Contact Brian Lindquist at [email protected]
North Midwest: University of Minnesota. Contact Gautam Kandlikar at [email protected]
Midwest: University of Michigan. Contact Michael Hausinger at [email protected]
South Plains: Houston area, hosted by Texas Quiz Bowl Alliance. Contact Eric Kwartler at [email protected]
Southeast: University of Georgia. Contact Georgia Quizbowl (Muneed Ahmed, president) at [email protected]
Lower Midwest: Missouri State University. Contact Jason Loy at [email protected]
New England: Yale University. Contact Aaron Sin at [email protected]
Mid-Atlantic: North Carolina Wesleyan College. Contact Steve Bahnaman at [email protected]
Florida: Valencia Community College. Contact Chris Borglum at [email protected]enciacc.edu

Packet Submission

As per the ACF submission rules, any team (not program, but team of 1-4 people who plan to play the tournament together) that contains at least one person on it who played a regular, collegiate, academic quizbowl tournament prior to September 1, 2008 is required to submit a packet in order to participate in an ACF tournament in 2009-2010. This includes ACF Winter. Teams required to submit packets who do not by the final deadline (or a negotiated extension of the final deadline) will be dropped from the tournament. There will be no exceptions.

Please submit packets to [email protected] and use "ACF Winter 2010: [Team Name]" in the subject line.

Submission schedule and additional discount

This year's submission schedule is as follows:

Packet submitted on or before:
November 22, 2009: -$50
December 6, 2009: -$25 (-$50 for teams not required to submit packets)
December 20, 2009: No penalty (-$25 for teams not required to submit packets; optional packets will not be accepted after this deadline)
December 27, 2009: +$25
January 3, 2010: +$50
After January 3, 2010: The editors may grant one or more 24-hour extensions at an additional penalty of $10 per day.

Additional discounts are offered for travel, buzzers, staffers, etc. Please refer to the tournament fees and discounts section of the ACF guidelines for further information. Anything you could possibly want to know about packet submission can be found at the ACF Packet Submission Guide site.

Packet penalties

Teams will incur penalties for the following offenses:
  • Incorrect formatting: Several teams continue to submit incorrectly formatted packets despite the guidelines clearly stated on the ACF Question Formatting Guidelines document. Please take a moment to review the guidelines and format your packet accordingly. As the chief editor, I will not hesitate to level formatting penalties on all teams that regularly skirt the guidelines.
  • Plagiarism: Please do not attempt to plagiarize. It is usually very easy to catch. Please also refer to this thread excoriating those who attempted to plagiarize at ACF Fall 2008.
  • Writing specific types of forbidden questions: Types of questions prohibited at ACF events include spelling questions, binary matching bonuses, 5-10-15 bonuses, etc.
Please see the additional packet penalties section for more info.

Friendly reminders

Please refer to the ACF Packet Submission and Fee Information document for a more detailed explanation of submission and fee-related information.

This may seem obvious, but last year there were certain programs which submitted packets on which more than one team had collaborated. Please do NOT do this; it makes your packets useless for play.

High school teams continue to be exempt from packet submission. However, if you would like to submit one, you are certainly encouraged do that. High school teams will be eligible for the same packet submissions discounts as the teams not required to write packets.

If you have any other questions, please let us know at [email protected]

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:17 pm
by theMoMA
Target difficulty of packet submission

Since ACF Winter has very little history to go on, the editors are concerned that teams will miss the target difficulty. The conception of Winter has varied, but this year’s iteration will be “regular” difficulty. Teams writing packets for ACF Winter 2010 are instructed to follow the difficulty levels of past regular-difficulty tournaments like ACF Regionals and Penn Bowl.

I will attempt to elucidate just what the editors envision by “regular difficulty:”

Before we start, I want to produce some understanding about the basic distinction between a novice tournament and a regular tournament. There is a basic threshold of knowledge that will be required to get ten points on a bonus, or to convert a tossup, and some teams will probably not be up to that threshold. Some tossups and some easy bonus parts will be on very easy answers, and some will be on less easy answers, and that’s not a problem.

There are going to be teams playing this tournament who simply fall below the basic threshold of knowledge so much that they are not part of this tournament’s target audience; we surely encourage them to play if they are enthusiastic about doing so, but we cannot write the tournament with them in mind. When you consider how easy or difficult a tossup answer or bonus part is, it is not necessary to take into consideration these teams.

For tossups:

1. Tossups will not exceed seven lines in the final tournament; submissions may exceed this amount, because the editors appreciate having more quality clues to work with.

2. Tossup answers should be chosen to maximize an ideal distribution of buzzes. This means that there should be a few very knowledgeable people buzzing on the first few clues, a significant number of players buzzing on the middle clues, and that a vast majority of teams will have buzzed by the end of the question. Tossup answers should not be chosen such that only a few very knowledgeable players are buzzing on the middle clues, and most teams are waiting until the end to buzz.

3. Do not pick tossup answers that will result in the tossup going dead for a significant number of rooms.

4. Your clues should gently slope from difficult to the giveaway; there should be no drastic difficulty cliffs. In order to accomplish this, you should always describe something before you give its name. The larger the contingent of players you think will be buzzing on the name, the more detailed the description of the thing should be.

For bonuses:

1. This tournament has specific conversion goals for bonuses as a whole, as well as specific difficulty standards to ensure that each bonus will be uniform.

2. On the whole, we want the very best teams to be able to well exceed 20 points per bonus. All well-balanced and knowledgeable teams should be able to get 20 points per bonus. The median bonus conversion should be around 15, and we don’t want many, if any, teams in the target audience to fall below 10 points per bonus.

3. For each individual bonus, we want to see a clear easy, middle, and hard part.

4. The easy part should be something that any team with basic knowledge of the subject at hand will know. Note that this means that the subject you pick has to somehow lend itself to an acceptably easy part (we’re going off of the standard that 90% of teams in the target audience should convert the easy part).

5. The middle part should test for beyond-basic knowledge of the subject at hand. It should also be eminently answerable to any team with more than the bare minimum of knowledge. Numerically, the median team in the target audience should be converting just over half of these parts, and the best teams should be converting this part almost all the time.

6. The hard part should test for deep knowledge of the subject at hand, but it should not be impossible. It should also be important and not trivial to the subject at hand. It should also not be a “stock” answer that is very guessable based on recent packets. Numerically, the median team should be getting these parts sporadically when they have deep knowledge of a subject, while the best teams convert them regularly but not perfunctorily.

Please follow these guidelines, which I think are useful not only for Winter, but for writing good and fairly standardized questions in general.

A general rule to sum this all up: When in doubt, err on the side of making your answers easier.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:52 pm
by Charbroil
theMoMA wrote:
Since ACF Winter has very little history to go on, the editors are concerned that teams will miss the target difficulty. The conception of Winter has varied, but this year’s iteration will be “regular” difficulty. Teams writing packets for ACF Winter 2010 are instructed to follow the difficulty levels of past regular-difficulty tournaments like ACF Regionals and Penn Bowl.
So if this year's Winter is going to be like Regionals, what difficulty level will Regionals be like?

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:59 pm
by grapesmoker
Charbroil wrote:So if this year's Winter is going to be like Regionals, what difficulty level will Regionals be like?
I'm working on the Regionals announcement right now, but my goal is to hit something like the mark of 2008. Key priorities will be to normalize and reduce bonus difficulty across the board.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:52 pm
by DumbJaques
ACF Regionals and Penn Bowl.
Not to start another agonizing "regular difficulty" trip, but I'm legitimately confused by this example. Both in terms of last year and the last few years, these tournaments have not been of the same difficulty, and I would write questions very differently for the respective submissions. Given that you posted a rather substantive explanation of how to write for Winter's difficulty, I think this comparison is probably just going to throw people off.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:02 pm
by theMoMA
I'm pleased to announce that the following teams have had their bids to host ACF Winter accepted! If you have submitted a bid and you are not listed, fear not. Your bid was not rejected, we just need to make sure that it will fit with bids in nearby regions before we award you a site.

We are still looking for hosts in every other region, up to the high teens in total. If you have not yet submitted a bid, there's still plenty of time! The deadline is December 1, and bids should be addressed to [email protected] . Here are the five hosts who were accepted today:

Midwest: University of Michigan*
North: University of Minnesota
West: Stanford University
Eastern Canada: University of Waterloo
South Plains: the Texas Quiz Bowl Alliance (the site will be located in Houston)

* Since the Winter date subsumed Michigan's annual MLK tournament weekend, Michigan has an annual right of first refusal on the Midwest site, and we were happy to accept their bid again this year.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:42 am
by theMoMA
I'm happy to announce that two more hosts have had their Winter bids accepted: the University of Washington in the Northwest, and the University of Georgia in the Southeast. Please see the initial post in this thread for contact information.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:37 pm
by theMoMA
Please visit this map for a central place to view all of the relevant information about Winter sites. As soon as I get the info, the map will link to all of the host announcements, TD contact info, building addresses, start times, etc.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:26 pm
by theMoMA
Missouri State has been awarded the Lower Midwest ACF Winter site.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:29 pm
by theMoMA
North Carolina Wesleyan has been awarded the mid-Atlantic site, and Yale has been awarded the Northeast site.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:14 am
by DumbJaques
It sure seems like the field could support another Mid-Atlantic site being added, since by my reckoning there are no tournament sites between Connecticut and North Carolina, and it's not particularly easy to get to either of those places for a lot of schools. I expect Chris White to roll into this thread, Meat Loaf style, in support of this position shortly.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:38 pm
by Frater Taciturnus
DumbJaques wrote:It sure seems like the field could support another Mid-Atlantic site being added, since by my reckoning there are no tournament sites between Connecticut and North Carolina, and it's not particularly easy to get to either of those places for a lot of schools. I expect Chris White to roll into this thread, Meat Loaf style, in support of this position shortly.
If Chris White had that motorcycle, Penn wouldn't have so many travel issues to the south mid-atlantic now would they.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:26 pm
by theMoMA
I'm happy to announce that Valencia Community College will be hosting Winter in Florida.

As for other Mid-Atlantic sites, I would not be opposed to having something in the middle of the region. But I'm also limited by the bids that I receive, and it has simply happened that the bids in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are about equidistant from the D.C./Maryland area. The drive to either is between four and five hours according to Google Maps, which doesn't strike me as particularly burdensome. If there is a school in the New York, Maryland, or D.C. area that wishes to bid for a Winter site, I'm amenable to granting the bid, but if no one comes forward I don't think it's a huge problem.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:48 pm
by theMoMA
The first packet deadline has passed, and seven teams/freelancers submitted on time to receive a $50 discount. Those teams are:

Andy and Hannah
VCU
Georgia Tech
Maryland A
UCLA
Miami A
Miami B

Teams in time for the $25 deadline:

Sandy Huang
Eden Prairie High School
Carleton
Vanderbilt
Illinois B
California-San Diego

Teams in for the No penalty deadline:

Caltech
Bellevue
Alabama A
Alabama B
Furman
Iowa
Rice
Maryland B
LASA A
Ohio State
Duke
Arizona State

Teams that made the $25 deadline are:

Michigan State A
South Carolina B
Washington University in St. Louis A
Texas

Packets in for the $50 deadline:

Harding
FSU
North Carolina
Berkeley

Packets past the $50 deadline:

Chicago A (+$55)
Brown (+$60)
South Carolina (+$60)
Illinois A (+$60)
Toronto (+$60)
Penn (+$70)
Lawrence (+$80)

This post will be periodically updated when new packets roll in. Thanks to everyone who submitted an early packet! The editors greatly appreciate the extra time to work on the tournament.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:38 pm
by Duncan Idaho
theMoMA wrote:...
Additionally, one team has already submitted a packet for the $25 deadline:

Sandy Huang
...
Since Sandy is in high school, isn't it true that he doesn't have to write questions and therefore should still qualify for the $50 discount?

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:57 pm
by Charbroil
I imagine that Andrew's just organizing things by deadlines rather than by monetary compensation--Sandy will probably actually receive a $50 discount, but it may be simpler this way.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:52 pm
by Huang
Ben Cole wrote:
theMoMA wrote:...
Additionally, one team has already submitted a packet for the $25 deadline:

Sandy Huang
...
Since Sandy is in high school, isn't it true that he doesn't have to write questions and therefore should still qualify for the $50 discount?
It won't matter. I won't be able to play ACF Winter. I'm pretty sure Andrew and co. are fully aware.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:53 am
by theMoMA
The Winter hosts have been finalized. Where site-specific announcements are available, they are linked in the initial post (click on the university name to go to the announcement). If you're not sure which site is closest, click the "site map" link to see an overview of all the Winter sites. The Google map has links to the site announcements, contact info for tournament directors, information about the meeting room and building, and registration and tournament start times.

This is also a reminder that the -$25 discount deadline is coming up this weekend. I hope to see a flurry of packets in the [email protected] inbox!

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:21 pm
by Sun Devil Student
Just a heads up to the ACF Winter editors:

Two different teams of ASU players are currently working on packets in an attempt to beat the Dec. 6 midnight deadline. This is our first time ever trying to write ACF packets.

If you don't get our packets tomorrow, you will by the 12/20 deadline.

We hope you will have more fun playing our packets than you will playing us. :)

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:21 pm
by theMoMA
Please see this post to see who made the -$25 submission deadline. If you believe your team's name should be on the list, please let me know.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:21 am
by theMoMA
This post has been updated with the teams who have made the no penalty deadline, which has now passed. If you believe your team should be listed amongst the no penalty packets, but it's not there, please email [email protected].

For future reference, all packets should be emailed to [email protected], and not my personal gmail address.

Thanks to everyone who has submitted packets. They have generally exceeded my expectations in their quality and difficulty-appropriateness.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:14 pm
by Charbroil
Could if you don't mind, could we get a packet receipt update? I want to confirm that our packet made it in by the +$25 deadline. Thanks!

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:48 pm
by theMoMA
Updated post with the +$25 packets. Sorry it took so long to post.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:46 am
by theMoMA
Updated with the +$50 packets.

If you believe you submitted a packet, and it is not reflected in the linked post, let me know immediately.

Teams that are still planning to submit a packet must request an extension by 11:59 PM CDT tonight. Specifically, I have a fourth of an Illinois packet that still needs to be completed.

No team required to write a packet will be allowed to play without doing so.

Teams that have already requested extensions:

Lawrence
South Carolina
Toronto

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:47 am
by theMoMA
The above post (which is linked in the previous half-dozen or so posts, so I'm not linking it again) has been updated to reflect all of the packets we have received to this point. If your team's packet is not on the above list in error, or to submit a last-second extension request (we reserve the right to decline these now that the deadline has passed), please email [email protected] immediately.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:56 pm
by theMoMA
Sadly, the Washington and Waterloo sites are canceled for a lack of interest.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:43 pm
by ValenciaQBowl
With apologies to Andrew if I'm getting ahead of him by posting here, I wanted to note that the Florida iteration of ACF Winter at Valencia is also cancelled due to lack of interest.

Re: Global announcement for ACF Winter

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:26 pm
by Frater Taciturnus
Any ACF Winter host who does not have a place available to post stats can email the SQBS file (or the reports) to me for hosting on quizbowlpackets.com.

This offer will also be extended to hosts running any other tournament.