Welcome to TCONA 4 and the Quiz Bowl competition. This year we are going to have 32 teams, so this is going to be our largest tournament yet, and we need your help in making sure that everyone knows exactly what is going on and keeping this flowing smoothly, on schedule and fun for everyone.
This Is How We Do It
The tournament is split into two stages: the qualification stage and the knockout stage. Think of it like the recent World Cup. During the qualification stage, each team will have up to three chances to win two games. Once a team loses their second game in the qualification stage, they are eliminated from further play. Only teams that win two games in the qualification stage will move on to the knockout stage, which is a simple 16-team single elimination tournament. The brackets for the knockout stage will be posted Friday evening.
What’s With The Pretty Colors?
Each team will be given before the first game a colored card with a number on it. Before each game, you will hand that card to the moderator. At the conclusion of the game, the winning team will give the card closest to 1 to the winning team, and the card closest to 8 to the losing team. The goal is after two games to have card #1 or card #2, or after three games to have card #3 or card #4.
First game: All teams will have a 0-0 record and a card from #1 through #8.
Second game: Four teams will have a 1-0 record and a card from #1 through #4 and will play each other, and four teams will have an 0-1 record and a card from #5 through #8 and will play each other..
Third game: Two teams will have a 2-0 record and either card #1 or card #2. They have advanced to Saturday. Two teams will have an 0-2 record and either card #7 or card #8. They will be eliminated from further play. Card #3 will then play card #5 and card #4 will play card #6 for the right to continue on to Saturday.
Example: In the first game, teams holding card #3 and card #6 faceoff. At the conclusion of the game, the winning team will be given card #3, the losing team will be given card #6. The team will move on to play the team with card #2, and the losing team will play the team with card #7.
The teams playing in the knockout round will be re-seeded for the bracket.
So How Do We Play This Thing?
Quizbowl is a game of tossups and bonuses. During a tossup, a question is read where more obscure clues are followed by less obscure clues. Any player can ring in during the question to attempt to give the correct answer. If the player is correct, they will earn 10 points and a chance for up to 30 more points on a bonus question. If the player is incorrect, they will lose 5 points if the question had not been completed. Once a player answers a question incorrectly, the remainder of that player’s team is locked out for the remainder of the tossup. If neither team can answer the tossup within 5 seconds of conclusion, play moves on to the next tossup.
During a tossup, teammates may not consult with each other verbally. They may give simple hand signals to indicate that they be able to answer the question or will not be attempting to answer the question. These hand signals usually only come in to play when the other team has already registered a 5 point penalty for interruption.
When a player buzzes in, they have 5 seconds to give their answer. After the fourth second, the moderator will say “answer please” and unless the answer is given immediately after that prompt, the team will be considered incorrect.
When a team is rewarded with a bonus question, verbal conferring is now allowed. Bonuses will either have three or four parts, and the team will have 5 seconds upon the conclusion the part to answer. The moderator will take the answer only given from the captain unless the captain designates another player. If a player is designated by the captain, this does not reset the 5 second clock.
Moderators have on the question pages what is called “the underlined answer”, which indicates what information is necessary for the answer to be correct. Generally, only last names are needed but if a last name proves to be not enough, the moderator will prompt with “more information.” The player then needs to immediately respond with the additional information necessary. Usually in the cases of names, giving an initial is enough. Kings, popes, movie/TV show titles, Super Bowls and other things that are usually designated with a number are not promptable.
When giving an answer for either a tossup or a bonus, the player can give out any extraneous information to the facts to the answer as long as it does not negate a correct answer. This is known in quiz bowl circles as a “blitz.” For example, if a question asked “who was the 39th U.S. President,” a player can say “it was the guy after Gerald Ford…Jimmy Carter” and be considered correct. However, if the player says “it was the guy after Gerald Ford…Jack Carter” or says “it was either Gerald Ford or Jimmy Carter,” the player would be wrong since there was negating information during the blitz.
Captains from either team may protest a question if they feel that the answer given for the question by the moderator is incorrect. If a protest is granted, the scorekeeper will note that and the protest will be adjudicated only if the protest at the end of the game could change who is the winner and who is the loser. It will not be adjudicated if the score difference does not change the outcome. Depending on what and when the protest took place, the following relief will occur:
Tossup ruled incorrect that was later proved to be correct: The team will be awarded 10 points for the bonus, have any interrupt penalty removed, and receive a bonus. The other team will have any points taken away from that question if they were awarded.
Bonus ruled incorrect that was later proved to be correct: The team will be awarded the points.
Answer given inadvertently by the moderator: Either a new tossup will be read or a bonus part will be replaced of the same value.
Each game is 20 tossups long plus the bonuses for the correct tossups. There is no linkage between tossups and bonuses. If tossup #1 is not answered but tossup #2 is, bonus #1 will be read. If the score is tied at the conclusion of the game, additional tossups will be read until the score changes. The change can either be a correct answer to a tossup or an interrupt penalty.
Loose Lips ^$&! Up the Tournament
Due to the high volume of teams and the low volume of physical locations, the first two rounds are repeated. 16 of the 32 teams will play their first two games, then the other 16 will play their two games. Because of this, no spectators are allowed for the first two games. Additionally, players are on their honor not to divulge any material they heard from their games until all teams have heard the round. Due to either advancement or knockout, round #3 needs only 16 teams and will be played all simultaneously.
To Be Early Is to Be on Time, To Be On-Time Is to Be Late, To Be Late Is to Be Forgotten
One of the biggest complaints we’ve had at TCONA over the years is the inability to stick to a schedule. This is where you can help out. Be at your game early. Don’t chit chat between questions. Keep the games moving. There is no reason these games cannot be completed in 25 minutes.
Who Wrote These Questions? They’re Awesome! And the Distribution? Genius!
Why thank you. Ten different people contributed to writing questions. First, Mike Burger served as the primary writer and editor of the packets and contributed about 40% of the set. Craig Barker and Mitchell Szczepanczyk contributed as editors as well and each contributed about 10%. Additional near 10% contributions were provided by Todd Lusk, Mark Coen and Michelle LaLonde. And finally, the set was rounded out with the contributions of Paul Bailey, Steve Bahnaman and Jason Zuffranieri.
The distribution was based on having a meld between the NAQT and TRASH distributions, with a small amount of ACF difficulty thrown in for fun.
- 5 Questions Per Packet: History (including Mythology and Religion)
- 4 Questions Per Packet: Literature, Science
- 3 Questions Per Packet: Geography, Film, Pop Music, Sports, Television and Potpourri
- 2 Questions Per Packet: Commerce, Current Events
- 1 Question Per Packet: Art, Classical Music, Theater, Video Games, Language, Comics, Food/Drink
The packets were designed that each of the authors contributed equally as well, as so no one packet is biased towards a particular writer.