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The University of Chicago is pleased to announce the first annual Fabulous Unnamed Chicago Tournament (name possibly pending) which will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2001. This tournament will be an untimed juniorbird (see eligibility requirements below) with ACF-style rules most likely featuring some audio and visual boni (which will be written by the Chicago team). Tournament format, while somewhat dependent on interest, will be of the round-robin, playoff variety.

Eligibility: First- and second-year students and other students in their first two years of intercollegiate play will be eligible to participate.

Field (updated 28 April):

School# Teams
Chicago State1
Illinois Wesleyan1
Iowa State1
St. Olaf1
House teams2

Fee structure:

Base Fee: $70
Minimum Fee: $20


Working buzzer: -$5
Game official: -$5
Subsequent teams: -$5 (progressive)
Packet in by April 20: No discount/no penalty
Packet in by April 13: -$10
Packet in by April 6: -$20
Packet in by March 30: -$30 (and our eternal goodwill)

Talk to us about a long-distance travel discount if you're from far away and you're worried about the cost.


Packets in after April 20: +$20
No packet (if we let you play): +$35

Any team that drops out less than 24 hours before the tournament will incur a $40 penalty, barring emergency circumstances.

To register, please send an email to Susan Ferrari with your school's name, a contact's name and email address, and the number of teams, buzzer systems, and moderators you expect to bring.

Packet Guidelines

General guidelines:

Question difficulty should be slightly lower than at NAQT Sectionals: the hardest questions from the SCT are probably too hard for a junior bird, but overall question difficulty shouldn't be radically different from an easy-to-average invitational. Matches between two teams in the top half of the field should routinely result in combined scores of 450 points or more. This is an untimed tournament, but you should still try to write concisely. Tossups should be 4-6 lines long, using 12-point Times New Roman with one-inch margins. (No, we don't care about fonts and type sizes; these are meant to serve solely as length guidelines.) Bonus questions should require at most four team consultations (and should usually require fewer), and no one part of a bonus (including the lead-in) should be more than 2 lines long.

No more than 1/3 of your tossups should have a person as the answer. No more than 1/2 of your tossups in any category may be about people--and keep in mind that certain categories (science and social science) have more stringent requirements. Similarly, no more than 1/3 of your bonuses should be primarily about people. (A bonus asking you to name Gabriel Garcia Marquez works is not "primarily about a person;" a bonus asking you to name Latin American authors from works is. Use common sense and you'll be fine.)

The following types of questions are not allowed: FAQTP tossups, spelling questions, multiple-choice/ordering/binary bonuses, non-30-point bonuses, all-or-nothing bonuses, etc.

Please vary your questions by area/time across categories as well as within them--that is, please don't send us a geography tossup on Mongolia, a current events question on Mongolian President Natsagiyn Bagabandi, a fine arts question on Mongolian throat singing, a general knowledge question on yurts, and an RPM question on the Mongolian Death Worm (charming as that would be.)

We reserve the right to reject packets that ignore our guidelines or are of extremely low quality.

Brief distribution:

Subject Tossups/Boni
Literature 4/4
Science 4/4
History 4/4
Pop Culture and Sports 2/2
Current Events 2/2
Fine Arts 3/3
Religion/Myth/Philosophy 2/2
Social Science 2/2
Geography 2/2
Total 25/25

Lengthier distribution:

History (4/4):
Please vary your questions by time and geography; write at least 1/1 on American history, 1/1 on European history, and 1/1 on non-American/non-European history. Write no more than 1 question on any one non-U.S. country; write no more than 1/1 on military/diplomatic history.

Science (4/4):
Write at least 1/1 on each of physics, chemistry, and biology. Write a maximum of one question on the history of science--which includes all questions primarily about a person. Write at least one question from among the sub-categories of math, astronomy, computer science, and earth science.

Literature (4/4):
Authors, novels, short stories, plays, poems, characters, and literary movements are all acceptable classes of answer; please try to cover a variety of different answer types. Vary your questions by time and geography: at least one question should be non-American and non-European. No more than 1 tossup should have a real person as its answer.

Fine Arts (3/3):
Write 1/1 on painting/sculpture, 1/1 on classical music, and 1/1 from other artistic sub-categories (like architecture, film of artistic merit, music theory, dance, and photography.)

Geography (2/2):
You are limited to 1 question on the U.S. and one question on Europe. Avoid flag questions, country-from-capital questions, capital-from-country questions, and tossups that sound like they were written by someone looking at a map ("It is bordered on the east by [x] and on the west by [y], with the [z] river separating it from [q] on the south and with the [r] ocean on the north. FTP, name this African country.")

Current events (2/2):
No crime-of-the-week questions: if the answer won't be gettable at least six months from now, please don't write it. If you think multiple people will be writing on the same subject, please either write about something else or make sure your question is really good. Remember that a good current events question doesn't have to describe events that are in the news at the moment you're writing--it can, say, describe the overall career of a figure now in the news.

Social Sciences (2/2):
Psychology, economics, linguistics, law, anthropology, sociology, and archaeology are all acceptable topics. Include no more than one question from each sub-category. Bear in mind that the category is social science, not social scientists, and make sure that no more than one of your questions is primarily about a person.

Religion, Philosophy, and Mythology (2/2):
Include one question from each of the three main divisions of this category, with a maximum of one question from any one specific tradition. (This applies across sub-categories: don't send us a bonus on pre-Socratic philosophers and a tossup on Greek mythology.)

Pop Culture, general knowledge, and sports (2/2):
No more than 1/1 on sports; if you write more than 1 sports question, you must write about 2 different sports.

Please submit all questions to Ed Cohn. Queries and comments may be directed to Susan Ferrari.

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