It should be noted that Will received special secret dispensation to play the tournament from the head editor of the set, Jordan Brownstein, although Eddie did not. It is unclear why this information was not made public. Perhaps there were other former quizbowl players in the Los Angeles area who might have been interested in playing a regular-difficulty open tournament, but since they were not friends with Jordan Brownstein they had no way of knowing that this was a possibility. This seems to run counter to the notion that information about quizbowl tournaments should be generally available, which is the reason (as I understand it) that tournament announcements are posted in a central location on this board.
One aspect of this that is odd to me is the secrecy involved. In theory, since at least one of them had permission from the head editor, Will and Eddie should have had no problem simply playing for UCSD A as Will Alston and Eddie Kim, and yet they tried to hide that fact. That led to this farcical exchange on the (currently not clear) Terrapin discussion thread:
In this situation, Will knew the answer to my question and I knew the answer to my question and yet he failed to state that answer, presumably for the same reason that he used a false name in the first place. In the absence of hard information, I can only speculate why he would want people not to know that he played a closed college tournament for a school he does not attend, but the evasiveness of his answer indicates that he feels in some way that what he did was unseemly.Will Alston wrote:Practice!I wrote:How did you receive points for a tournament you didn't play?Will Alston wrote: I buzzed on this question with [ANSWER NOT CLEAR] and was awarded points.
Perhaps, on the other hand, this practice is not unseemly, and is in fact completely fine. If so, this opens up many new possibilities for quizbowl. Retired players have noted on this board the dearth of open college tournaments at easier difficulties than Nationals-level. Will and Eddie have found a way around this problem by simply pretending to be students. If other non-students follow in their footsteps, this would square the circle by opening up easier tournaments to a much wider audience while also retaining the veneer of the notion that collegiate quizbowl is an activity for college students. In that case, of course, the privilege of pretending to be a student would be available to and made public for everyone, whereas at the moment it is the exclusive province of those individuals who are in the know.
I have only been playing quizbowl for 2½ years, so forgive me if my naïveté or ignorance is the product of my inexperience, but during my time in quizbowl I have been led to believe that there are two types of collegiate tournaments: closed tournaments, which are only open to college (and sometimes high school) students, and open tournaments, which are open to all comers. It seems however, that there is in fact another sort of tournament, which is closed unless you know the right people. It seems that if such tournaments exist that the broader quizbowl community ought to know about it.
So, I'm looking for the input of the community here: is it fine for non-students to adopt a pseudonym in order to play closed tournaments? If so, should we encourage graduates who wish to stay involved in quizbowl to do this?