Hosting details for ACF tournaments
If you would like to host a tournament in your region, contact the appropriate head editor. In general, based on where quizbowl programs are distributed, ACF considers North America to be divided into the regions of: Northeast (New England), Mid-Atlantic (New York to North Carolina), Southeast (Tennessee and its bordering states), Florida, South Plains (Oklahoma/Texas area), Midwest (Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and their bordering states), North Midwest (Minnesota/Iowa), California, Northwest (Washington, British Columbia, and their bordering states and provinces), and East Canada (Ontario and its bordering provinces). Ideally, every tournament would have ten hosts, one in each of those locations. However, sometimes there is not enough interest to host the tournament in a given region, and sometimes the hosts are located towards the edge of a traditional region, necessitating the creation of new sites. For example, if the “Midwest” site is in Michigan and the “South Plains” site is in Texas, then there may be another site created in Missouri for nearby teams to attend more conveniently.
When the editors receive more than one host bid from a given region, they will choose the host based primarily on a combination of two factors: whom they expect to attract more teams, and whom they expect to run the best tournament based on past hosting performance.
Ideally, all bids will be received no later than twelve weeks before the tournament date, and the editors will award bids to hosts in each of the ten regions no later than ten weeks before the tournament date. In reality, only the more active regions are likely to have their bids decided by that time, and it may take some additional weeks before a host can be found in a less active region, so the announcement of bids may be staggered.
Financial breakdown between hosts and editors
The base fee for each “normal” team that participates in your tournament is $135, as described in the packet and fee guidelines. Of this, you can consider $75 the base fee for you, the host, and $60 the base fee for the editors. All packet discounts and penalties (including early/late packet adjustments, and supplementary penalties for formatting or plagiarism) are added to or subtracted from the $60 that is to be paid to the editors: For example, if a team submits their packet at the -$30 deadline, then (ignoring all other discounts), they pay you $105, and ACF will charge you $30 for the editors and let you keep $70, since the $30 comes out of the editors’ share. Similarly, all logistical discounts for buzzers, laptops, staffers, and travel affect your cut: A team that has no packet adjustment and brings 1 buzzer and 1 staffer to the tournament pays $120; ACF will bill you $60 for the editors and let you keep $60, since the logistical discounts come out of your share.
The following unusual cases will have their fees split up differently: Teams which receive the new quizbowl team discount, teams charged under the shorthanded team discount, and house teams.
For teams which receive the “new quizbowl team discount” of $100, you do not owe the editors anything. Any money they do pay is yours. Normally, such teams will pay around $35. ACF asks for the cooperation of tournament directors in welcoming new teams into quizbowl by taking significantly less money from such teams than from all others.
For teams charged under the shorthanded team discount, the final fee, whatever it may be, is split in a 3:2 ratio between the hosts and the editors. For example, for a shorthanded team whose final fee is $35, the host gets $21 and the editors get $14.
For house teams, you do not owe the editors anything and the teams are not required to write packets. However, you have an option of writing a packet for the house team to save money: If your house team (or any combination of your house team and the people staffing the tournament) writes an acceptable packet by the no-penalty deadline, then you will receive a -$50 discount off of the total amount that you owe to the editors.
ACF does not expect you to lose money by allowing a team into your tournament. In the unlikely event that a strict reading of these guidelines implies that you owe the editors more money for a particular team than that team actually is supposed to pay you, the amount you owe will be adjusted downwards so that this does not occur.
Based on past tournaments, you can expect the average ACF event to attract 8 to 12 teams and bring in a gross amount of $1350. You should expect to spend about $150 on prizes and other logistical costs of your tournament (the trophy costs will be handed by ACF).
You should expect $600 to go to the editors, and about $600 as your team’s profit. Obviously, these numbers can vary significantly in any direction depending on the circumstances of your particular tournament and are not a guarantee, but generally teams have found hosting ACF events to be a positive contribution to quizbowl as well as a good way to raise money for their own tournament-attendance schedule.
Hosts must use the posted fee schedule for ACF tournaments. However, ACF is willing to allow hosts to make certain changes to the fee schedule if it promises to attract more teams. Please contact the tournament editor for more details.
Hosts must announce their tournament to the Quizbowl Resource Center and their local mailing lists in a timely fashion. The editors will endeavor to finalize the host bids at least two weeks in advance of the first packet deadline (and thus, ten weeks before the tournament itself) at which time all hosts should put out their announcements. Each announcement should explicitly state, at a minimum, the date and day of the week of the tournament (which will normally be Saturday, but can be Sunday in some cases); the name and e-mail address of the person taking team registrations; and the link to official ACF information on packet submission.
Hosts must use the official ACF rules for gameplay and tournaments formats, as well as supplementary material on required tournament formats for certain numbers of teams that will be sent out by the tournament editor.
Hosts must keep statistics for the entire tournament using the SQBS program, fully and accurately entering all team, individual, and packet statistics that the program uses (remember to enable “round reports”), and publicly post all SQBS reports no later than the Sunday evening following the tournament. If you prefer to use a different program during the tournament itself and redo the stats in SQBS for posting later, that is fine. SQBS is available for free at here. If you do not have webspace, e-mail all of your SQBS output files to the tournament editor and the editor will post the files for you.
Unless a host receives explicit permission from the head editor to run fewer, at least ten meaningful games must be offered to all teams. ACF recommends offering at least eleven games.
We encourage all hosts to run their tournaments digitally in order to be environmentally responsible and save on the time and cost of copying. To this end, all hosts are required, in the standard ACF entry fee schedule, to offer laptop discounts. You can also use a team’s PC laptop to run SQBS if you do not have your own access to a capable machine for doing this.
Hosts must provide the appropriate trophies and prizes to teams, as described below. The cost of trophies and prizes, and other tournament expenses, is borne entirely by the hosts and does not affect the calculation of the editors’ share of the entry fees. ACF will provide trophies to hosts at reasonable cost. ACF will pay the trophy provider directly (including shipping to the host site) and the cost will come out of the host site’s share. The anticipated cost is less than $50 total per host.
Trophies: The top two overall teams will receive trophies in all cases. If the host reasonably expects fewer than four undergraduate and/or four Division II teams to play the tournament two weeks before the tournament, when the trophies are ordered, then the host must inform ACF that it will opt out of Undergraduate and/or Division II trophies. If the host receives Undergraduate and/or Division II trophies, or if there are four or more teams that qualify, the Undergraduate and/or Division II titles must be awarded.
Prizes: At a minimum, the members of the top two overall teams, and the top four individual scorers, should receive book prizes. Used books that you can acquire for a few dollars each are perfectly acceptable. For tournaments of ten or more teams, it is strongly preferred that you also give book prizes to the next four overall scorers and to the top four undergraduate and Division II scorers. If the host opts out of Undergraduate and/or Division II trophies, but it turns out that there are enough teams to award either or both of those titles, hosts must award the titles and make reasonable efforts to award prizes to the winners.
Safety and Misconduct
ACF’s mission is to provide the best possible experience for players, coaches, and staff, which includes ensuring that issues of safety and misconduct are dealt with fairly and promptly.
ACF strongly recommends that hosts explicitly designate one or more individuals to whom players, coaches, or staff can confidentially address any concerns about safety and misconduct during the tournament, and make the process for doing so clear at the opening meeting. (The designated person or people could simply be the tournament director(s), though ACF recommends having one male and one female person in the role.)
Hosts should, of course, be familiar with the official ACF rules, but they should pay particular attention to Section I, “Ethics and Conduct.” In particular, note that “the use of malicious or disrespectful language toward another participant in the match, or the use of epithets insulting a participant’s race, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, etc.” constitutes misconduct, for which you are empowered to eject players from a match. If you encounter a case of misconduct serious enough that ACF should be made aware of it (if, for example, there are indications of a pattern of behavior that might be repeated at other tournaments), you may wish to let the victim know they can fill out the Misconduct Reporting Form, and/or you can fill it out yourself. Concerns about misconduct can also be addressed to Alex Damisch (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rob Carson (email@example.com).
After host sites are confirmed, the treasurer will contact each host to provide ACF’s payment information, and to identify any possible stumbling blocks in the payment process (such as vendor or other tax forms that must be filled out, etc.).
Within one week after the tournament, the treasurer will send an invoice to each host site, laying out the packet fees for each team, the split between ACF and the host, and the identities of any teams that have not yet paid and attended that site. The team representatives will be asked to confirm the breakdown and to email any delinquent teams.
After the invoice is confirmed, hosts will be expected to send payment within one month after the tournament.
For ACF Nationals
The bidding process for ACF Nationals occurs over the summer immediately following the previous ACF Nationals, with the goal of announcing a site no later than September, so that teams may have the entire academic year to plan their trips before Nationals occurs in April. The primary factors in choosing a Nationals site include the need to rotate the tournament to different areas of the country over time, and the need to staff a tournament of 30 or more teams.
For ACF Nationals, the host school will receive $20 per team in attendance for use of the rooms, $10 per staffer provided, and the right to enter one house team for free. If the house team would normally be required to write a packet, then they must do so by the no-penalty deadline. Additional house teams will also be free, but will be allowed only if the tournament has adequate staff, and still must write packets by the no-penalty deadline if required to do so under the packet guidelines.
If ACF Nationals is officially designated as being “co-hosted” by multiple teams, then the other teams, besides the one at whose school the tournament is physically occurring, will also receive $10 per staffer provided.
The rest of the entry fees for ACF Nationals goes to the editors, who will be responsible for providing trophies and prizes and covering the other normal expenses of the tournament.
|Fewer than ten games offered* to each team||$10 per team affected|
|Delay in paperwork causing egregious delay||flat $50 penalty|
|Failure to play off or award UG/DII titles despite having enough teams or trophies to award either/both of those titles||$50 for each title not awarded|
|Failure to keep or post stats||flat $20 penalty|
|Ineligible team plays tournament without prior permission||$100, or ineligible team’s entire registration fee, whichever is larger|
|Site run in egregious violation of or ignoring the official ACF rules or hosting guidelines||$50 penalty and possible ban from hosting|
*No penalties will be levied if teams elect to leave early on their own volition, causing schedules to drop below the minimum number of games. Hosts may not, however, encourage teams to leave early.
At the treasurer or head editor’s discretion, first-time violations may result in a warning instead of a monetary penalty.
Hosts should talk to the head editor of the tournament, or the ACF treasurer, to bring up any potential issues with the above penalties before they arise. The editor/treasurer may exempt hosts from requirements if it benefits the site.