Academic Competition Federation

Qualifying for ACF Nationals

Last Updated: October 25, 2019

Qualification Methods

  1. Clubs who are hosting ACF Regionals: Each host may apply for one host bid, which will be evaluated by an ACF committee after the fall semester of tournaments has concluded. In their bid, teams must specify a roster of up to four players. The task of the committee will be to determine if this roster would be likely to qualify for Nationals based on the below criteria, using its performance at fall tournaments as the primary factor. If the team’s host bid is denied, then the club must play a house team to qualify. Clubs are responsible for making necessary arrangements to properly staff their ACF Regionals events in the event that they play house teams for any reason, including but not limited to host bids being denied or seeking to qualify a second team. Playing or qualifying additional teams at Regionals has no impact on the host bid decision or status. However, the team members listed in the bid roster may not play Regionals; experienced players should be used as tournament staffers.
    1. Teams with an ACF Regionals editor who do not host a tournament site and teams that are more than 400 miles from the nearest Regionals site may apply for bids through the same process as host teams.
  2. Any team that wins an ACF Regionals tournament at which at least four total teams from at least two total schools are present will receive an automatic bid.
  3. Any team that wins the Undergraduate title at an ACF Regionals tournament at which at least four total Undergraduate teams from at least two total schools are present will receive an automatic bid.
  4. All remaining teams are ranked on their “A-value.”

A-values

There are four key components to A-value:

  • Tossup points per tossup heard (TUPPTUH): How many points each team scored, only counting tossups and negs, divided by the number of tossups they heard.
  • Bonus conversion (PPB): Points per bonus.
  • Bonuses heard per tossup heard (BHPTUH): The percentage of tossups a team answered correctly out of all the tossups they heard.
  • Strength of schedule (SOS): The combined points per tossups heard of each team’s opponents in other games, weighted by how many times they played each opponent, divided by the average points per tossup heard over the entire field. If a team has played a slate of opponents of perfectly average strength, this will be 1, with higher values indicating a tougher schedule.

The raw A-value calculation is: 20 * (TUPPTH * SOS + BHPTUH * SOS * PPB)

This is designed to be reflective of a team’s performance in an average game, corrected for strength of competition. In addition, ACF also uses a correction for order of finish, designed to preserve the order of finish at Regionals sites in the A-value ranking. If a team finishes above another team with a higher A-value, the A-values of those teams and all teams between them in the standings are averaged and the resulting teams are sorted by order of finish at Regionals.

Teams will then be invited to join the ACF Nationals field in descending order of A-value, until the field fills or the bid acceptance deadline passes (see below).

Bid Acceptance

  1. All teams that qualify by one of the above procedures must inform ACF of the acceptance of their bid by February 15, 2020. Note that “bid acceptance” is a completely separate process from actually submitting your optional packet—you may submit a packet before you have been officially offered a spot in the field in order to secure a larger discount, but you will only enter the field once you have accepted your bid. Furthermore, if you submit a packet before registering for the tournament and subsequently do not attend ACF Nationals, whether because you do not qualify or because you choose not to attend, that packet will be treated as a freelance submission; you may not use those questions for another future packet-submission tournament.

  2. If the field does not fill once the bid acceptance deadline is reached, then all available bids will be awarded in order of descending A-value.

Notes

  1. There are no restrictions on what Regionals site a school may attend.
  2. There are no special considerations or penalties given to B teams, with the exception of the host roster rule explained above.