Sword Bowl at UT-Chattanooga 1/26/2008
- UTC will host our tenth annual (!) Sword Bowl on Sat., Jan. 26, 2008.
This will be an untimed mACF-style collegiate tournament, aimed
primarily for less experienced teams. However, we will have an upper
division as well, with the same questions used for both divisions.
Question level should be fairly easy by current circuit standards.
The base fee of $140 per team assumes no packet submission, but
discounts can be earned to bring that all the way to $0.
SCHEDULE: Registration will begin at 9 AM EST 1/26/08, with
announcements and the inevitable schedule adjustments at 9:45 and
tournament play beginning at 10 AM. Tournament HQ will be 129 Grote
Hall on the UTC campus; see directions below. We hope to be into
playoffs by 7:30 PM and finished by 8:30 -- lately that's been the
norm, but we'd be unwise to make any promises.
REGISTRATION: Our only pre-registration requirements are that you
- How many teams to expect
- In which division each team will compete
- How many buzzers and officials (if any) you expect to bring
- Whether or not you're submitting questions, and which option you're
choosing (see below.)
Please e-mail this information to utcquizbowl [at] gmail [dot] com.
Also, if your team includes players with disabilities or access
issues, it will simplify things if you let us know in advance. That
way we can take it into account when scheduling (building changes,
Payment, rosters, etc., can be handled on the day of the tournament.
Payment is expected on tournament day unless arranged otherwise in
advance. If you need an invoice or other official paperwork in
advance, let us know and we'll be happy to oblige.
ELIGIBILITY: This tournament is designed for teams of current college
students, with all players on a given team affiliated with the same
university. If space permits, we will accept mixed-affiliation or
purely open (i.e., non-collegiate) teams. However, the field is
limited to 36 teams, and collegiate teams will be given first
The tournament field will be divided into two divisions for separate
play and awards. We expect that the majority of our teams will be in
Division II, which is limited to players in their first and second
year of intercollegiate quizbowl play, with one extra year of
eligibility allowed for players on teams from 2-year schools. (Note:
due to the difference in formats, prior experience in College Bowl
Inc., Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, or tournaments restricted to
junior colleges will not count as prior experience when determining
Division II eligibility.)
Base fee: $140
Packet discount: -$50 for a full packet of 25 tossups and 25 bonuses,
meeting specifications below, submitted by Sun., Jan. 5, 2008. Packet
must be original and must be blind to all other teams, including
those from the same school.
Additional - $20 for full packet received by Sun., Dec 16, or - $10
for full packet received by Sun., Dec. 30
Partial packet discount: -$25 for 10 tossups and 10 bonuses by 1/5/08
(this option available for Division II teams only)
Note that just by submitting a packet by 12/16, you can cut your fees
in half. Even if you have never written questions before, we
encourage you to get the question-writing experience. Substandard
questions from first-time packet authors that show sufficient effort
will still receive the discount, regardless of whether or not we use
them for this tournament. However, if we find evidence of plagiarism,
you can kiss your discount goodbye. And remember that every team's
questions must remain blind to the other teams from the same school.
Further discounts: (Note that fees can be reduced to zero!)
- $10 for teams making their first appearance at UTC
- $10 for second teams et seq. from the same school
- $ 5 for working lockout buzzer system (one discount per team unless
we're short of buzzers)
- $10 for each competent full-time official [plus dinner at Provino's
Sat. night if you can join us, or a free set of the packets if you
- $15 for each full-time official brought to TrashMasters at UTC on
- $25 for each full, original *high school level* packet (25
tossups/25 bonuses), sent by Fri., Jan. 25, for use UTC's March 1
high school tournament.
- $10 for each partial set of original *high school level* questions
(10 tossups/10 bonuses or equivalent) sent by Fri., Jan. 25.
We'll say it again: Every team's questions must remain blind to the
other teams from the same school.
DESTINATION: Charlie Steinhice will serve as editor-in-chief. So that
the entire editorial crew will have access to submissions, please
send packets to utcacfediting [at] gmail [dot] com, rather than the
UTC team e-mail address listed above for registration.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: As noted above, Sword Bowl is intended to be
easy by current circuit standards. While not beginning with giveaway
clues, most tossups should be answerable by most teams by the end of
the question. Bonuses should be such that a novice team stands a good
chance of getting at least 10 pts., a good team 20, and the best
teams all 30 pts. If you're just dying to ask something that's pretty
obscure, at least confine it to one bonus part. Anyone who would like
sample questions, please let us know and we'll e-mail you some.
EXCLUSIVITY: This is the third time we've said this, but we can't
stress this enough: Packets must be unique to each *team*, and blind
to all other teams including the others from your school. Since Sword
Bowl may have mirror events scheduled elsewhere, questions must be
original and blind to teams elsewhere in the country. Please do not
play-test them online in advance.
-- Please arrange questions separately by category. If you want to
make life easier for us, separate tossups and boni, and use the order
of categories below.
-- Please e-mail the packet as either an MS Word or RTF file, with
the essential parts of the answer in bold and underlined.
-- Make sure the words "for ten points" or abbreviation "FTP" appear
in each tossup shortly before the final clue.
-- Please insert the word "Answer:" followed by a single tab before
-- Ideally, titles of books, plays, periodicals, films, TV series,
and works of art should be italicized, while titles of songs, short
stories, and TV series episodes should be placed in quotes. But we're
not going to penalize you if you don't.
DISTRIBUTION: For a full packet, we ask for 25 tossups and 25 bonuses
per packet, distributed as follows.
A) Literature: 5 tossups and 5 boni -- at least 2 20th century, at
least 2 pre- 20th century; at least 2 U.S./Canadian, at least 2 non-
B) Sciences (including math): 5/5 -- at least 1 each of biology,
physics, and chemistry. If you have a second question from any of
these categories, try to make them from a different subcategory (e.g.
two physics boni would be OK, but two on thermodynamics would be
C) History: 5/5 -- at least 2 20th/21st century, at least 2 pre-20th
c.; at least 2 U.S./Canadian, at least 2 non-U.S./Canadian
D) Philosophy/religion/myth: 2/2 -- prefer no more than 1/1 of each
E) Fine arts: 2/2 -- no more than 1/1 each on visual arts and
F) Social sciences, including geography: 2/2
G) Popular culture: minimum 1/1, maximum 2/2. (While it's an academic
tournament, all knowledge is power.)
The remaining questions may include:
* General knowledge/interdisciplinary questions -- these are
especially helpful as spare tossups, since they make good Tossup
* Current events other than pop culture
* Additional questions from any of the above categories (no more than
one extra per category). Since it seems like we get more duplication
on sciences, a 6th science question is especially welcomed.
If you are also writing a high school set for us, note that there are
two minor changes to the distribution. For our high school events,
each round must contain 1/1 geography and 1/1 math or computer
STYLE: You probably already know the basics, but just in case:
--- Tossups -- average length 3 sentences. Please include a unique
clue early to avoid any ambiguity. We want questions that begin with
lesser-known details and gradually get easier. And please don't
violate the pronoun rule -- e.g.,, if your first pronoun is "He..."
or "She...", the answer should be a person, not an object or the
title of a work.
--- Bonuses -- each bonus worth a possible 30 pts.; no single- part
all-or-nothing bonuses. We don't want 5-part or 6-part boni unless
they're very, very short, and even then use sparingly. Also use the
30-20-10 format sparingly, with 3 in a round as the absolute max. We
can accept visual bonuses if reasonably structured.
ORIGINALITY: Absolutely no plagiarism! This includes taking questions
from past tournaments posted online, and also copying text from
reference sources. And please, please, please find sources other than
Wikipedia. While it can be useful for confirming spelling, locating
links to more authoritative sources, etc., we have found it to be
unreliable, and apparently it's way too tempting a source to
From Atlanta and points south -- take I-75 to Chattanooga, then I-24
west towards downtown, then follow the freeway splitoff for U.S. 27
North, downtown Chattanooga. From 27 North take the 4th Street exit,
within sight of the Tennessee Aquarium. Go right on 4th St. (you have
no choice) and follow it for ca. 1 mile. Go past the UTC Arena, after
which E. 4th St. becomes part of E. 3rd St. After that, take the
second right on Palmetto St. Go two blocks and turn right on Vine St.
(just past the EMCS Building.) Just before the place where Vine St.
is blocked off, the parking lot for Grote and Holt Halls is on the
right. Enter Grote by the door closest to Vine St. -- the door we've
used in the past, next to the dumpster, is likely to be locked due to
From Knoxville and points north -- take I-75 to Chattanooga, then I-
24 West; directions from there same as above.
From Nashville and points west/north: Take I-24 east to Chattanooga.
As you round Moccasin Bend (freeway goes alongside river) watch for
two exit lanes on the right; take the less rightward of the two,
which will have signs above it for U.S. 27 N. Rest of directions are
the same as above.
From Birmingham and points southwest: Take I-59 to the outskirts of
Chattanooga, where it dead-ends into I-24. Get on I-24 East and
follow the Nashville directions from there.
CONTACTS: Sword Bowl's tournament director and editor-in-chief is
your genial quizmaster, Charlie Steinhice, coach of UTC's quizbowl
team. Nikki Poarch will serve as assistant TD and registrar. For
further information contact:
General tournament business (inquiries, registration, etc.):
utcquizbowl [at] gmail [dot] com
Packet submission -- note new e-mail: utcacfediting [at] gmail [dot]
Snail mail: UTC A.T.A., c/o Charlie Steinhice, 8821 Winterberry Rd.,
Chattanooga, TN 37421.