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The Most Subversive Tournaments: The Definitive Collection

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:10 pm
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Over the course of quizbowl, there has been a lot of discussion and praise heaped on things that are "the best," and lots of threads denouncing tournaments that are the worst, but I have yet to hear about tournaments that were able to really fuck with your head and demonstrate something unexpected, or potentially upset the established order, and as a self-styled iconoclast, I think this is a type of event that is worthy of celebration and interest, both for what they succeed at and what their failures say about the game. Without further ado, here is my list:

Early ACF and NAQT Nationals - Obviously, creating alternative quizbowl to the CBI stranglehold is extremely subversive, and created the game as we know it. Hats off for fucking up the business model of those old losers. Similarly, props to the same era of NAQT and PACE for doing the same thing to Chip Beall.

ACF Fall 2001 - When the format wars were in full swing, Kelly McKenzie came out with this set for the whole purpose of showing that ACF wasn't impossible and the pro-CBI naysayers were totally off base. Creating an annual tournament that has the name of ACF slapped on it that is meant for anybody in quizbowl to be able to sit down and not be overwhelmed by undercuts so many arguments against ACF, and is now one of the most popular events in quizbowl.

Fake ICT 2008 - In a time when NAQT's college product was definitely under some heavy scrutiny from the bigwigs in the game, Matt and Jerry came out and showed that it was totally possible to make a really good tournament using the strictures of NAQT's format and distribution, and in doing so proved the answer to the eternal question of "is it possible for NAQT's format to be truly good" with a definite "yes!," but it also then left a lot of us wondering "why is NAQT so lacklustre sometime?" NAQT's product right around this time made an extreme leap upward in quality for a number of reasons, but I have to think that Fake ICT's success made the case that the actual ICT needed a lot of improvement, while simultaneously undercutting the community's concerns about the format being unworkable, so props to it for subverting both notions. Alas, Fake ICT was one of those things that should have been left alone after the first time, since the second one was a much inferior, unsatisfying event, but the first one should not be sullied by those failings.

HSAPQ's 4 Quarter sets - Having been in HSAPQ when these were originally being created, the idea behind them was to demonstrate that non-20/20 formats were completely compatible with good quizbowl. However, as if that weren't subversive enough, the failure of these sets is where they really shined - they didn't sell, and in doing so, basically showed that all the J.R. barry acolytes who whined about things not being in 4 quarters were full of shit and actually just were content to play bad tournaments, rendering the argument moot. However, not all was lost, because it did eventually get used to displace a Chip Beall tournament in New Jersey, and it's always good to fuck with Chip Beall.

TTGT11 2007 - This tournament used the well established TTGT11 shitty quizbowl brand name brought to such prominence by Andrew Juhl, a dude who you need not know anything about beyond that he thought it was a good idea to subtitle a tournament "Lick My Love Pump," and instead when your shitty trash team that always made the TTGT11 pilgrimage showed up, you were forced to sit through a few actual good quizbowl packets thanks to UMD helping to write part of the set. This tournament also had the same interesting failure as the HSAPQ 4Q sets, which was that it never returned and kind of demonstrated that a lot of people who are "trash players" actually just like bad questions.

Honorable mention:

CO Trash 2007 - You signed up for this expecting to play a well written Matt Weiner produced trash tournament, and instead got to play a tournament from Wichita in like 2000 where I lost our team points because I refused to dance like stripper Leia to Chris Ray's Jabba the Hutt, earning the disapproval of Seth Teitler, who awarded our team 2 or 3 points on that bonus part. On second thought, that's subversive as fuck, maybe the most subversive tournament ever.

Post your own choices and discuss amongst yourselves.

Re: The Most Subversive Tournaments: The Definitive Collection

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:20 pm
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Seth Teitler's 2005 Myth Singles. Did the "hard tossups on easy answers" thing before it was cool. I've previously spoken about how that tournament was the single greatest influence on me as a writer.

Re: The Most Subversive Tournaments: The Definitive Collection

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:20 pm
by Auroni
Minnesota Open 2008 - Before this tournament, hard quizbowl was really, really hard. I think this tournament inaugurated the standards of modern, clue-dense hard quizbowl -- it was challenging to all, but fair.

Re: The Most Subversive Tournaments: The Definitive Collection

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:53 pm
by theMoMA
I think Bruce's second history tournament, Jonathan's first lit tournament, and Ryan's first Experiment were really groundbreaking in terms of the open tournament side event paradigm. I don't know if they were downright subversive, but they certainly changed quizbowl.

Re: The Most Subversive Tournaments: The Definitive Collection

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:08 pm
by marnold
I love how TTGT11 and some shit Matt Weiner didn't even get around to writing get mentioned over Andrew's tournaments, which actually were highly influential and, I guess, "subversive."

Re: The Most Subversive Tournaments: The Definitive Collection

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:27 am
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
That was definitely the BEST tournament Weiner never got around to writing.