ACF Regionals

Last updated: October 6, 2022

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.

Table of Contents

2023 ACF Regionals

2023 ACF Regionals will be held on January 28, 2023.


2023 ACF Regionals is head-edited by Nick Jensen.

The subject breakdown by editor is:

Editor Subjects
Alex Hardwick European Literature, World Literature, Linguistics
Nick Jensen Biology, Religion, Mythology, Other Academic, Pop Culture
Rahul Keyal American Literature, Painting/Sculpture
Allan Lee American History, World History
Tim Morrison British Literature, Philosophy, Math
Kevin Park Other Fine Arts minus Opera
Grant Peet European History, Other History
Graham Reid Chemistry, Physics, Other Science minus Math
Chris Sims Classical Music, Opera, Social Science minus Linguistics, Geography, Current Events


We hope that ACF Regionals can be held in person wherever possible. However, given the continued uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we will reprise last year’s policies and allow ACF Regionals to be held online. Once again, online mirrors of ACF Regionals will operate as full qualifiers for 2023 ACF Nationals, functioning identically to in-person sites. Details on ACF’s Nationals qualification policy from last year are available here for reference.

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, 2021, is required to submit a half-packet. Email 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 regular, collegiate, academic tournaments. Pop culture or “hybrid” tournaments, HCASC, and tournaments played on NAQT’s Collegiate Novice series sets do not.

If your team is obligated to submit a half-packet or wishes to do so, email by January 2, 2023. A half-packet distribution will be mailed to you. Emailing to request a half-packet does not constitute registration for ACF Regionals; please be sure to also register with the official form.

In order to minimize the number of submissions that cannot be used for distributional reasons, half-packet assignments may ask for questions from specific subcategories. For instance, instead of being assigned an “American Literature” tossup, you might be asked to write a question on 20th-century American poetry, or a bonus on economics instead of “Social Science.”

The submission schedule is as follows. All deadlines are 11:59 PM Pacific time.

Submission deadline Packet discount
October 30, 2022 −$75
November 13, 2022 −$50
November 27, 2022 −$25
December 11, 2022 −$0 (no penalty)
January 2, 2023 +$25
January 8, 2023 +$50

After January 8, 2023, teams that submit late packets will be required to pay an additional $10 per day after the deadline. Teams that have not submitted a packet by January 16, 2023 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 by 11:59 PM Pacific time in Microsoft Word .doc or .docx format. Please do not submit packets as pdfs. The email subject line should list the name of the school, the team letter (if applicable), and the words “half-packet.”

If a team wishes to outsource part of its packet to a player who is not expected to play on that team (e.g. a student who has graduated), it must first receive approval from the head editor at Teams should email in their submissions separately and may not collaborate on packets; i.e. a school’s A team and B team should not write two half-packets together and should remain blind to one another’s packets. 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 a school’s B team instead plays for the A team), please inform the head editor and your site’s TD as soon as possible.


Team entry fee or discount  
Base fee per team $150
New to quizbowl discount −$100
Shorthanded discount (1–2 players) −$75
Travel discount −$10 per 200 miles traveled one-way
Buzzers −$10 per functional buzzer system
Staffers −$15 per staffer with functional laptop. Staffers must register with ACF in advance and affirm that they have completed ACF’s moderator training. Staffers who have not completed the training may scorekeep.

The new-to-quizbowl discount is intended for schools that did not send a team to any regular collegiate academic tournament (exclusively novice tournaments do not count) since September 2021, and which 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.


ACF Regionals uses the standard ACF distribution.

Please note that, for 2023 ACF Regionals, “Other History” includes ancient history (from the entire world, not just civilizations of the Mediterranean and environs) in addition to British/Irish/Commonwealth/cross-regional history. Teams are encouraged to submit ancient history and archaeology questions for this category, rather than write on Australia/Aotearoa New Zealand/Canada (which are historically overrepresented in submissions).

Question Guidelines

This tournament is intended to be similar in difficulty to 2022 ACF Regionals. While writing submissions, please keep in mind the following:

  • In most cases, tossup answerlines should tend towards the easier and more accessible. Remember, Regionals is not Nationals. Please do not write tossups on answerlines that, in a Regionals bonus, would be medium or hard parts with giveaway-level clues (see below for more information on bonus difficulty). The majority of teams should be able to answer most tossups at the giveaway. You may write tossups with unconventional answerlines, but only if they are accessible. Please consult 2022 ACF Regionals for examples of the range of reasonable tossup answerlines.
  • Tossups should be pyramidal, with harder clues preceding easier clues, both down the question as a whole and within individual sentences (“internal pyramidality”). However, early clues should still be buzzable by players who are very knowledgeable about the topic of the tossup. Please avoid writing clues that are so obscure that an expert in the relevant subject would be unable to buzz on them.
  • For both tossups and bonuses, it’s often better to write on common answerlines with creative clues (e.g. an original theme) than an unusual answerline.
  • Bonus easy parts should be gettable by around 90% of teams. 90% is not 100%; please do not write trivially easy bonus parts. However, easy parts should also be genuinely easy; avoid writing bonus parts that require teams to conjecture the correct answer by saying the most obvious thing (remember, players don’t know which part is the easy part). Be sure to provide concrete, widely known clues.
  • Bonus medium parts should be gettable by around 50–60% of teams. Remember: that’s a lot of teams! Medium parts are usually not the place to expand the canon. Some decent, albeit imperfect, heuristics are that if something would be a pre-FTP clue in a Regionals tossup, or has come up about 50–75 times in past questions, it may be a good Regionals medium part with full information if it is significant (use your judgment). Topics that have come up more may also be good medium parts with partial information (“deeper clues”). Please consult 2022 Regionals for examples of medium part difficulty.
  • Bonus hard parts should be challenging, but gettable by around 10–15% of teams. Appropriate hard parts will usually not be things that have never come up (or have only come up a couple times) in previous questions, unless there is good reason to suppose that they would be encountered organically by someone with a decent grounding in the subject (e.g. a staple topic in relevant undergraduate courses that, for whatever reason, hasn’t been asked about yet in quizbowl).
  • Especially if you submit for a later deadline, broad questions that cross many time periods or genres (e.g. a common link literature tossup on cherries with clues from the Nico Walker novel, Sexing the Cherry, “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now,” and The Cherry Orchard or a painting bonus on giraffes with parts on Dalí, Bosch, and Piero di Cosimo) are less likely to be used than a question with a narrower scope (e.g. a bonus on the symbolism of birds in high Renaissance art) since the former have greater potential to overlap with existing questions (additionally, many editors philosophically prefer more cohesive themes).

Tossups will be capped at 800 characters and bonuses at 850 characters. However, you are free to write longer questions if you wish. Please do not write questions that are significantly shorter than the target length (i.e. tossups that are shorter than six lines or bonuses in which each part is only one line). Half-packets should be formatted in 10-point Times New Roman with one-inch margins. Please do not add extraneous spacing or paragraph breaks between question text and answerlines. For answerlines, please bold and underline minimum acceptable answers and include the most likely answer first. Include diacritics in foreign words if applicable.

More information can be found in ACF’s packet submission guidelines.


The team registration form, staff registration form, and fields for each site will be posted here after host bids begin.


If your school would like to host a mirror of ACF Regionals, please submit a bid to host here. We are looking for hosts in the regions listed in the “Hosts” section below. If you have any questions about hosting or about the form, email ACF’s Site Coordinator at and CC Hosts must abide by ACF’s Hosting Guidelines.

The deadline to submit host bids is November 27, 2022 (at 11:59 PM Pacific time). Sites will be announced on December 4, 2022.


Mirrors will by default be regional. If any sites end up being online, ACF reserves the right to move teams and staffers between sites. ACF intends to mirror 2022 ACF Regionals in the following regions:

Region Site Type
Upstate NY    
Upper Mid-Atlantic    
Lower Mid-Atlantic    
Great Lakes    
South Central    
Eastern Canada    

If you have any questions, email

Past tournaments

Sample questions from previous iterations of ACF Regionals are on the Collegiate Quizbowl Packet Archive.

Announcements and information about previous iterations of ACF Regionals are archived below: