ACF Nationals 2014


ACF Nationals this year will once again be held at Columbia University in exciting New York City. The tournament will be held on the weekend of Saturday, April 12, and Sunday, April 13, 2014.

The tournament will convene at or near Hamilton Hall on the Columbia campus at 8:00 AM on Saturday the 12th and run until around 6:00 PM, then finish from 8 AM to about 2 PM on Sunday the 13th.

Jerry Vinokurov will be the head editor of this tournament, assisted by Ted Gioia, Auroni Gupta, and Ryan Westbrook. Matt Weiner will be Tournament Director. Nationals will once again be a fully staffed, efficiently run tournament with a sensible format that remembers to award the Undergraduate and Division II trophies.

As it was last year, our recommendation is that teams stay in northern New Jersey (Fort Lee or Secacuus), or Queens, and take the train to the tournament. You will find better pricing on hotels and not have to deal with parking in Manhattan, for which ACF takes no responsibility.

If you have any questions about the logistics of ACF Nationals that you need answered right now, feel free to post here or e-mail Matt Weiner at We’re looking forward to a healthy field and a great event.

Teams who want to register or submit packets right now can contact Jerry at, but there will be a web-based registration system opening shortly which you should use instead once it becomes available.

Packet submission, eligibility, and fee schedule:

Information on who is eligible to play ACF tournaments and details regarding packet submission can be found at the ACF Packet Submission Guidelines.

Fee schedule:

Base fee: $260
-$100 discount: January 12
-$50 discount: January 26
-$25 discount: February 9
No penalty: February 23
+$25 penalty: March 2
+$50 penalty: March 9

NOTE: No packets will be accepted later than two weeks before the tournament!

If your team brings (fully pays for/does not claim any reimbursement from the tournament for) a qualified moderator, you will receive a $100 discount. Qualified moderators are people who can properly complete an ACF Nationals round in thirty minutes. Matt Weiner will be the sole judge of who is qualified, both prior to and during the tournament, and will not award the discount if your staffer fails to meet this requirement. You may, theoretically, claim this discount as many times as possible until your fee reaches $0.

ACF cannot make this any clearer: After the $50 deadline, you will owe the editors $10/day; if you cannot turn in a packet more than two weeks in advance of ACF Nationals, you will not be playing ACF Nationals. This is a hard and fast deadline and there will be no exceptions.

This year, ACF will continue the 50 dollar discount for teams who write at least 20/20 that doesn’t need any major editing and submit their packet by the no penalty deadline. By major editing, we mean things like having to change many of the clues and/or answerlines and having to fix many grammatical errors.

We would much rather give out lots of hefty discounts for excellent early packets than rake in money for late ones, so please take advantage of them.

There is a field cap of 44 teams for this tournament; should more than 44 teams register, a waitlist will be formed, though we do expect a 44-team filed to accommodate this year’s level of interest.

Please stay in touch with Matt, Jerry, or Susan if we are trying to verify your attendance at this event. Dropping of teams who do not communicate about their registration or packet will be done without remorse. While we are not expecting a lot of competition for space in the field, we do need to know who is actually coming to the tournament for several planning purposes, and the editors need time to work on your packets. If we ask you where your packet is or whether the team you said was “interested” two months ago is actually coming, the worst thing you can do is just ignore the e-mail and tell us nothing. Make sure you give valid contact information when you register and check it on at least a weekly basis.

In 2015, moving Regionals earlier and/or implementing a Regionals-based qualification system will begin. 2014 will be the last ACF Nationals with fully “first-come, first-served”-based entry.


5/5 Literature: This includes 1/1 American, 1/1 British, 1/1 European, 1/1 World, and 1/1 Other (which can include any of the preceding categories). Please vary your questions by time, place, and genre (for instance, please don’t submit 5/5 on French literature or 5/5 poetry).

5/5 History: This includes 1/1 American, 2/2 European, 1/1 World, and 1/1 Other (which can include any of the preceding categories). Please make sure that your questions aren’t all from the same time period or place and aren’t all one type of history (for instance, try not to submit 5/5 political history or 5/5 military history).

5/5 Science: This includes 1/1 Biology, 1/1 Chemistry, 1/1 Physics, and 2/2 Other Science (including areas like Astronomy, Earth Science, Math, and Computer Science). Please don’t write two questions about the same scientific subdistribution.

3/3 Arts: This includes 1/1 Painting, 1/1 Classical Music, and 1/1 Other (including Architecture, Sculpture, Opera, Jazz, Ballet/Dance, Art Film, and Photography). Please vary your questions by time, place, and genre.

3/3 RMP: This includes 1/1 Religion, 1/1 Mythology, and 1/1 Philosophy. Please do not write both religion questions on the same religion or both mythology questions on the same myth system.

1/1 Social Science: This includes Psychology, Economics, Anthropology, Sociology, Linguistics, and Social Criticism. Please write your tossup and bonus on different areas of social science.

1/1 Geography/Current Events: These questions should be about different parts of the world. Geography questions that incorporate cultural and environmental clues instead of purely discussing physical features are particularly welcome.

1/1 Other Academic: This includes questions from every preceding category, as well as answers that don’t quite fit into any of the preceding categories.

Keep in mind that ACF Nationals does not have trash; if you submit any trash questions, they will simply be sent back.

To reiterate, please vary the distribution of your questions. In past years, we had teams submit packets with both chemistry questions about the same narrow area, to present one example, and it would prevent many headaches if you make sure your questions are reasonably distributed. Also, please remember that while the goal of ACF Nationals is to determine the best team in the nation, writing primarily about extremely difficult topics is not the best way to achieve this, so please try to keep your fellow players in mind while choosing your answer lines.

This announcement comes with ample time for everyone to start writing their Nationals packets and submit them as early as possible. We want to give you every opportunity to save money on this fantastic event and save us the trouble of having to edit a bunch of packets at the last minute. You should avail yourself of this chance posthaste.

All packets should be sent to If you have any questions about packet writing, you can send them to that email address also. Start writing!