ACF Nationals 2015

For up-to-date information on ACF Nationals 2015, please visit the announcement on the hsquizbowl forums: link. NOTE: Defer to the thread above if there are any discrepancies between the announcement below and the information in the thread!

The list of teams qualified for ACF Nationals 2015 can be found here.

This is the announcement for this year’s Academic Competition Federation national championship tournament.

ACF Nationals this year will be held at the University of Michigan in colorful Ann Arbor, MI. The tournament will be held on the weekend of Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19, 2015.

The tournament will most likely convene and be entirely held within the Mason/Angell/Haven complex of buildings on the Central Campus. Full details about buildings used will be made available shortly, but this is where most UM tournaments are held.

All teams will need to check in by 8:00 AM on Saturday the 18th and be prepared to play until at least 7:00 PM. We will finish from 8 AM to about 2 PM on Sunday the 19th.

Ryan Westbrook will be the head editor of this tournament, assisted by Rob Carson, Ike Jose, and Billy Busse. 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.

There are many affordable hotels in the area, including within walking distance. On-street parking is sometimes available and there is a pay garage close to the tournament site. Detroit Metropolitan Airport is about thirty miles east of Ann Arbor and is the recommended airport for those flying in. There is a bus route from the airport to the town that you can plan to use if not renting a car, and there are also taxi services.

Feel free to post here if you need any more specific travel advice from Michigan residents. Post here or e-mail Matt Weiner at with tournament operation inquiries. We’re looking forward to a healthy field and a great event.

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.

This tournament will use the qualification system announced and discussed earlier in this thread. The packet deadlines have been adjusted such that everyone will know where they stand with regards to qualification before the first deadline arrives. The issue of submitting speculative packes is now moot.

Fee schedule:

Base fee: $260
-$100 discount:February 1
-$50 discount: February 15
-$25 discount: March 1
No penalty:March 15
+$25 penalty: March 29
+$50 penalty: April 5

After the $50 deadline, you will owe the editors an additional $10/day up until the point when they choose to drop you from the tournament. If you are required to submit a packet and you do not do so by April 5, you risk either being dropped from the field or charged a lot of money, at the discretion of the editors; the only way to be sure to avoid this is to get your packet in by April 5.

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. I, 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.

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, and the qualification system is in place. After auto-qualifiers are determined, teams will be offered spots in the tournament in the order of their A-value. If every team who played ACF Regionals, and thus has an A-value, is offered a spot in the Nationals field and there are still fewer than 44 teams registered, then any team eligible to play ACF will be allowed to fill the remaining spots on a first-come, first-served basis. Any team who is required to write a packet under the packet submission deadlines must do so to in order to play and will be subject to the above fee schedule, regardless of how or when the team enters the field.

Please stay in touch with me or other ACF members 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 — this is a separate issue from late packets and comes down to the possibility that some other team may wish to take your spot and we need to recruit adequate staff and plan a schedule for the event. If we send you an e-mail asking if the team you said was "interested" two months ago is actually coming, and you ignore the e-mail and tell us nothing for several days on end, we may have to assume you are not coming and forfeit your spot in the field. Make sure you give valid contact information when you register and check it on at least a weekly basis.


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.

All packets should be sent to Ryan Westbrook’s retro hipster email address, If you have any questions about packet writing, you can send them to that email address also.