Feb 27

California Cup #4 @ UC Berkeley: March 5, 2016

The Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance and Quiz Bowl Club at UC Berkeley are pleased to announce that we will be holding the fourth annual California Cup. The California Cup consists of four quiz bowl tournaments held throughout the year, and it is widely considered the premier academic competition event in Northern California. Cal Cup #4 will take place on Saturday, March 5. For the tournaments we will have registration at 8:30AM, the event will start at about 9:00AM, we will have a lunch break around noon, and we hope to finish around 5:00PM.

We hope to attract many teams from across the state and elsewhere. We have previously attracted teams from as far away as Southern California and Mississippi. As we have in the past, we will guarantee teams a high number of games (8 or more) per tournament and ensure that teams are able to play others of the same skill level after preliminary placement rounds. We use only the highest quality questions in our tournaments to ensure that players are rewarded not only for paying attention to what is taught in the classroom but also for their intellectual exploration outside a school setting. You can find out more about what quiz bowl is here: (http://www.norcalquizbowl.org/?page_id=18) and you can find more quiz bowl-pertinent resources here (http://www.norcalquizbowl.org/?page_id=51).

The top teams at each tournament will qualify for the 2016 PACE National Scholastics Championship (NSC; http://www.pace-nsc.org/2016-nsc-june-4-5-chicago/), which will be held June 4-5 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois. California Cup tournaments have historically held the highest possible certification from PACE (Platinum), and should we continue to meet that threshold, the number of Varsity qualifiers will be 25% of the entire size of the field (inclusive of both varsity and JV) rounded up. For instance, if the combined Varsity and JV teams add up to 49, then the number of NSC qualifiers from Varsity will be 13 (25% of 49 is 12.25, which is then rounded up). Additionally, teams that perform well on NAQT sets during the California Cup will qualify for the 2016 High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT; details TBA), held May 28-29 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas. The formula for HSNCT qualification is 15% of the entire field size rounded up. Note that only Varsity teams are eligible to qualify for either nationals directly. Teams that do well at the non-NAQT California Cup competitions can also apply for wildcards to HSNCT and PACE, and many have historically received them. JV teams may apply for nationals via wild card when wild card applications open. These wild cards are generally evaluated on statistical metrics like the average points per bonus (PPB) of a team.

Question sets:
Cal Cup 4 we are using BASK for JV and Varsity.
In order to qualify for nationals your team must play in Varsity. Only Cal Cup 2 is a direct qualifier for HSNCT but all 4 are direct qualifiers for PACE.

New for this year:
To expand on the Varsity and JV designations listed here, the NCQBA has decided that freshmen and sophomores can freely play JV at California Cup regardless of prior middle school experience, but any team with at least one junior or senior who played quiz bowl (defined as pyramidal all-subject tossup-bonus style quiz bowl, which is not inclusive of Quiz Kids, History Bowl, or Science Bowl), in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school year must play Varsity. Exceptions to this rule will be granted on a case-by-case basis and must be emailed to us at californiacupquizbowl@gmail.com. In addition, if a JV team clinches the overall JV California Cup championship in the first three tournaments of the season, as was the case with California Crosspoint last year, they will be obliged to move up to Varsity at California Cup #4 should they choose to participate.

Please bring appropriate payment with you when coming to a tournament. We will be far less lenient this year on people who do not pay prior to the start of the first tournament, and the earlier you pay, the higher priority you get for tournament registration. In particular, for the first tournament, we will enter teams into the field with the following priority: 1) paying in advance via Square for the package, 2) paying in advance via Square for the first tournament, 3) pledging to pay onsite for the package, 4) pledging to pay onsite for the first tournament. For subsequent tournaments, people who paid for the package will get priority into the field up to a week before the tournament, at which point the field entry becomes first-come-first-serve. If you purchased a package, please inform us as soon as possible if you are missing a particular tournament. We have also modified our drop policy. We offer a lot of flexibility in allowing drops from the field right up to 6 pm PST of the day before the tournament. Failing to inform us of a drop up to 6 pm the day before the tournament will merit you being liable for 50% of the cost of the upcoming tournament. If you then fail to inform us of the drop until after 8 pm the day before the tournament, you will be liable for 75% of its cost. If you do not show up at a tournament without informing us, you are liable for the full price of the tournament. Exceptions to these policies will be made only in case of emergency. This policy will also apply to package holders, though it will be scaled to account for the discount associated with the package. By signing up for the California Cup tournament series, you agree to these policies.

We will not offer buzzer and staffer discounts directly via Square. We will instead offer cash at the tournament site itself once we verify that the appropriate number of buzzers and staffers have been brought. Discounts for onsite payment will be assessed onsite.

Teams may choose to register separately for each tournament within the series, though we recommend registering for all four tournaments at once (the “package”), which ensures a significant discount. Each of the four tournaments will have its own champion and ranking. We will allow teams who wish to purchase the package up to the second tournament to decide whether to purchase it. For instance, you may attend the first tournament for only the price of the first tournament and then decide at the second tournament to purchase the entire package, at which point you will pay the discounted package price. We will split the field into junior varsity and varsity divisions and evaluate each separately. After the cup results are tallied, we will crown a California Cup (Northern California) state champion! There will be book prizes and gift cards for the highest-performing teams and individual scorers at each tournament, and other prizes are in store for the top California Cup teams. When calculating final Cup standings, we will count the top three performances by each team, allowing teams to account for extenuating circumstances at one tournament (either a lower-than-expected performance or non-attendance). Only teams that register for the entire series of tournaments will be eligible for the overall title as well as prizes at the end. With four guaranteed tournaments and plenty of gameplay, this series will offer the best prizes, greatest value, and most national qualification opportunities available anywhere in the country!

Entry Fees:
Base fee per team for package of all four tournaments (paying by cash or check): $270
Base fee per team for package of all four tournaments (paying via Square): $260 (details of payment via Square will be released later)
If your school played zero Cal Cup events last year and nobody on any of your school’s teams has played Cal Cup in the past (i.e. new team discount): -$70 off the price of the package
Buzzer discount: -$10 per tournament (We will test buzzers and NOT accept them if they do not have four fully functioning units on each “side,” so do not try to claim discounts on buzzers that are not in full working order. Also, PLEASE LABEL your buzzers with your school/team name so that you can promptly pick them up at the tournament’s conclusion. Lastly, we will no longer accept buzzers that require a laptop to operate unless we really need them.)
Referral discount: An established team can pay the new team price if they refer a previously non quiz bowl-playing school to the California Cup and that school ends up purchasing the package. This will be -$25 if that new school only ends up purchasing a single tournament.

Staff discount: -$10 per tournament for experienced, competent moderator (if needed)
-$5 per tournament for scorekeeper
Travel discount: -$20 per 75 miles one-way (determined by Google Maps)
Registering for a single tournament: $90
New school registering for a single tournament: $65
Minimum entry fee: $20 per tournament

*Buzzers and staff discounts apply on an as-needed, first-come, first-serve basis. When registering, please detail how many staff and/or buzzers you may be able to bring. As the tournament approaches, we will let you know whether they are needed or not. Payment will be taken either online via Square or at registration; please make checks payable to “Quiz Bowl Club”. Note that discounts for future tournaments will NOT be given at any particular tournament. What this means is that if, for example, at the first tournament you claim a buzzer discount for all four tournaments, you must still pay as if you only claimed it for one tournament. Then, for each subsequent tournament in which you actually bring the buzzer, we will refund you $10 in cash. The same goes for the staffer discount. The entire distance discount may be claimed at the first tournament, though (that is, teams more than 75 miles away from UC Berkeley will pay $80 less as long as they are purchasing the entire package).

We are setting a field cap of 48 teams (overall, not per division). Schools may register multiple teams–there is no limit. We might be able to expand if there is enough interest, but until that point, we will accept teams on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fields can fill fast, so sign up soon to reserve your slot!

To register for March 5, please fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1j08yudwMR4M0aMkarY3_TN3ZR_P7oqiTuN4nvqxOlM4/viewform

The registration deadline for Cal Cup #4 is Wednesday, March 2. Please bring the cash or check for full payment of the series of tournaments to the first tournament unless you are paying via Square. You can still pay the base fee for three tournaments if you register by the second tournament.

Scoring and Gameplay

The California Cup assigns points to schools based on their performance at the tournaments that take place throughout the year. We have decided to adopt the following scoring system: 10 points for 1st place, 8 points for 2nd place, 6 points for 3rd place, 4 points for 4th place, 3 points for 5th place, 2 points for 6th place, and 1 point for 7th place. Since the scoring automatically drops the lowest result of a team, only three of the tournaments will end up counting in the final evaluation of a team’s standing. Of course, attending all four tournaments will ensure that your team’s worst performance is disregarded. This means, for example, if a team wins the first three California Cup tournaments, they will be declared the California Cup champion for that division. If a team that does not purchase the full package ends up placing high enough on the scoring system, then we will simply skip them in the California Cup overall ranking (but they will still retain their ranking for that individual tournament). At the end of the year, we will break ties by evaluating (1) the performance in the 4th tournament and (2) statistics from each team’s performances throughout the year. We will maintain separate standings for JV and Varsity teams.

We will enforce all the gameplay rules as they are written in Sections D-H of the official rules of the Academic Competition Federation (http://acf-quizbowl.com/documents/official-acf-rules/), so all players must fully familiarize themselves with these rules before playing these tournaments. If you are having trouble remember them, we recommend you print out a copy and refresh your memory immediately prior to the tournament. Pay special attention to timing, pronunciation, and protest guidelines, as players often lose out on points by not knowing these. Teams that owe the Berkeley club money from last year must reimburse us before paying for this tournament.

Thank you for your interest, and please spread the word to other high schools that are interested in quiz bowl or are heavily involved in other academic events like debate, AcaDeca, or Science Bowl. We look forward to another exciting year of academic competition!

Contact Information

Please contact us at californiacupquizbowl@gmail.com with any questions that you have. There will be a section on the NCQBA website (http://www.norcalquizbowl.org/) specifically devoted to the California Cup as well.