2021 ACF Regionals

Last updated: September 4, 2021

ACF Regionals is a difficult tournament that serves as a qualifier for ACF Nationals. ACF Regionals prepares teams to ramp up to Nationals difficulty while still providing a rigorous qualifying experience. Many players will find ACF Regionals to be a significant but rewarding challenge.

2021 ACF Regionals

2021 ACF Regionals was held on January 30, 2021.


2021 ACF Regionals is head-edited by Jaimie Carlson and edited by Annabelle Yang, Hari Parameswaran, Hasna Karim, Jonathan Tran, Jordan Brownstein, Michael Kearney, Natan Holtzman, Nick Dai, Nitin Rao, Stephen Eltinge, and Tim Morrison.

Online format

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ACF Regionals will be held entirely online this year. ACF will coordinate with hosts to hold mirrors using Discord, and will work to create the most authentic and engaging quizbowl experience possible under these circumstances.

Qualification changes for 2021

Because ACF Regionals will be held online, it will not serve as the qualifier for ACF Nationals. The new qualification method was announced on January 29, 2021.

Packet submission

Any team with at least two people on it who played a mainstream, collegiate, academic quizbowl tournament* (either as a college student or as a high school student) prior to September 1, 2019, is required to submit a half-packet. Email regionals@acf-quizbowl.com if you are unsure whether your team is required to submit a half-packet. A team that is not required to submit a packet may submit an optional packet by the no-penalty deadline for a $50 discount.

* For these purposes, all ACF tournaments, NAQT SCT (Division I or Division II), NAQT ICT, and typical college-level academic invitationals count as mainstream collegiate academic tournaments. Pop culture or “hybrid” tournaments, HCASC, and tournaments played on NAQT’s Collegiate Novice series sets do not count.

If your team is obligated to submit a half-packet or wishes to do so, register with this form by January 3, 2021. A half-packet distribution will be mailed to you. If you have already received a half-packet distribution, please still register, but no additional half-packet will be emailed to you. If you register and do not receive a half-packet distribution in a timely manner, please email regionals@acf-quizbowl.com. Registering to submit a half-packet is not registration for ACF Regionals, which will be set up after sites are announced.

The submission schedule is as follows:

  • November 22, 2020: −$50
  • December 6, 2020: −$25
  • December 20, 2020: −$0
  • January 3, 2021: +$25
  • January 17, 2021: +$50

After January 17, 2021, teams will be required to pay an additional $10 per day their packet is late. Teams that have not submitted a packet by January 24, 2021 will be dropped from the tournament, with no exceptions.

The submission discounts and penalties – but not the schedule – may differ for teams attending sites outside of the United States, and will be detailed on the relevant site’s forum post.

In order to meet a deadline, you must submit your half-packet to regionals@acf-quizbowl.com before 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on that date. Half-packets should be submitted in .docx format. Please do not submit packets as PDFs. If a team wishes to outsource part of its packet to a player not expected to play on that team (e.g., a student who has graduated), it must first receive approval from the head editor. Teams should email in their submissions separately and should not collaborate on packets; i.e., a school’s A team and B team should not write two half-packets together. However, if anyone who works on a packet or has access to that packet ends up playing on a different team (e.g. if someone originally intended to be on your school’s B team instead plays for your school’s A team) please let the head editor and your local TD know as soon as possible.


Additional details can be found on the ACF website. Fees and discounts for this tournament are structured as follows:

  • Base fee per team: $120
  • New to quizbowl discount: −$80
  • Shorthanded discount (1–2 players): −$60
  • Staffers: –$25 per staffer with a functional laptop and a stable internet connection. Staffers must register with ACF in advance and affirm that they have completed ACF’s moderator training (note: staffers who have not completed the training may scorekeep).

The “new to quizbowl” discount is intended for schools that have not sent a team to any mainstream collegiate academic tournament (exclusively Novice tournaments do not count) since September 2019, and have no one on the team(s) claiming this discount who played those tournaments for another school.

Host sites will bill teams as soon as possible after the teams register. Teams should pay their host sites by whatever method is convenient for the hosts, who will in turn pay ACF by check, bank transfer, cash, or PayPal.


To register for 2021 ACF Regionals, fill out the central 2021 ACF Regionals registration form with all relevant information.


The field for each site can be found here.


To staff ACF Regionals, please fill out the staffer registration form.


ACF Regionals uses the standard ACF distribution.


This tournament is intended to be easier than ACF Regionals 2018, close in difficulty to ACF Regionals 2019, and slightly easier than ACF Regionals 2020. While writing submissions, please keep the following in mind:

  • At least 50% of tossup answerlines should be things that can be tossed up at ACF Fall or below. This does not mean “answerlines with an easy giveaway, but no other Fall-level clues in their category” (e.g., a literature question with an answerline of “Delaware,” exclusively on Delawarean authors) but rather answerlines that could have a full Fall-level tossup in their category written on them (e.g., a geography question on Delaware).
  • The remaining tossup answerlines should be predominantly things that could be uncontroversially tossed up at regular difficulty. While you should feel free to submit tossups with unconventional answerlines that are still accessible (e.g. the trend of writing harder tossups on elements of core-canon works) these should make up no more than one or two of your overall submission.
  • Easy parts for bonuses should be genuinely easy, gettable by around 90% of teams. However, try and avoid “curved yellow fruit” style easy parts that (a) don’t reward knowledge and (b) can actually obfuscate an answer.
  • Hard parts for bonuses should be genuinely hard, but gettable by around 10% of teams. That 10% is important – a Regionals hard part is not a Nationals hard part. It may be canon-expanding, but should still be relevant.
  • Tossups this year will be hard-capped at seven lines, 10-point Times New Roman with one-inch margins. Please do not submit tossups that run into the ninth line or are shorter than five full lines. For bonuses, please do not submit any bonus parts that are over three lines, and aim for 1–2 lines per part.
  • Submissions that flagrantly disregard the length or difficulty guidelines will be sent back to teams and will be considered unsubmitted for the purposes of packet discounts. If you would like to request an extension for your deadline, please submit your request and explanation to regionals@acf-quizbowl.com.


Mirrors will by default be regional. One benefit of online tournaments, however, is that smaller sites can be condensed without creating transportation barriers. ACF reserves the right to move teams and staffers between sites. ACF intends to mirror 2021 ACF Regionals in the following regions:

Region Site
Northeast Yale
Upper Mid-Atlantic NYU
Southeast Georgia Tech
North Minnesota
South Central Nebraska
West USC/Washington
Eastern Canada Toronto
United Kingdom Imperial
Invitational Invitational
High school only Westview HS

Teams in the Lower Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, and Midwest should register for the site geographically closest to them.

If you have any questions, email regionals@acf-quizbowl.com.