Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thirteenth annual


Ninth annual













With glowing hearts, we are pleased to announce the 2011 Vancouver Estival Trivia Open (VETO), the nation's longest-running annual quiz bowl tournament. There will be a mirror of this tournament the same day in Toronto. This web page will be kept up to date with the most current information.

Also check out the VETO weblog at http://veto.caql.org

July 22:   Schedule posted for the round-robin in Vancouver.

July 9:   Toronto location is the downtown (St. George) campus of the University of Toronto. Announcement for this location on hsquizbowl.

July 7:   Vancouver location is now the University of British Columbia.
There will be 8 to 10 teams playing in Vancouver.

June 22:   Simon Fraser University's Burnaby Mountain campus will be the Vancouver location.

June 20:   University of Toronto announced as mirror site.

As in past years (other than 2009), VETO will be run "guerrilla" style, meaning:

Since there are two sites, every team must e-mail its packet to some assigned counterpart at the other site a couple of days before the tournament. Some teams may also be asked to bring copies of packets to be received through e-mail from the other site. It's possible that we may have enough laptop computers available (supplied by you, the participants) for reading packets, so that printing them out will be unnecessary.

VETO will be free of charge at both sites.

See the CAQL results page for links to full reports on previous VETOs and their mirrors in Ontario.

Who can play

VETO is an "open" tournament in the sense that we don't exclude anyone because of age, student status, degrees obtained or not obtained, nationality, inability or unwillingness to pay us money, etc.

However, recognizing that people come to VETO with vastly different levels of experience, we'd like to give priority to those who have a history of providing good questions in the tossup/bonus format.

So instead of accepting teams on a "first come, first served" basis until space fills up, this is what we'll do:

Don't feel intimidated by this application/invitation procedure. The point is to make sure that the people who will be writing the questions for VETO have experience writing questions. This is important because it's a guerrilla tournament, and nobody will be editing (except the people who wrote each packet). As for how high our standards are: the vast majority of the packets in the Stanford Archive would meet our criteria for acceptance.

Even if your team doesn't write questions, we expect you to have enough familiarity with the quiz bowl format to be able to staff games during your bye rounds.

A team can have any number of players, but no more than four can play at a time. If you don't have a full team of four, we can match you up with other players. Solo teams are OK, too: we'll set the schedule so that other teams will have byes and you won't have to staff more than one room by yourself.

In VANCOUVER, the size of the field is capped at 8 teams.


Saturday, July 23, 2011, probably starting at around 9:00 a.m. local time at each site, and ending around 6:00 p.m.

For quiz bowl tourists, this is one week before the Chicago Open.

If you would like to participate in VETO, please notify us by Canada Day, July 1, 2011.


VANCOUVER teams as of July 22:
  1. FARSIDE (VETO champions in 1999, 2000, 2001):   Peter
  2. SFU Junta (VETO champions in 2002):   Carlos, Hanson, Matt
  3. B2B (VETO champions in 2003, 2006, 2007):   Brock, Shaun, Mischa, Brendan
  4. University of British Columbia (VETO champions in 2004):   Mike W., Adam, others
  5. University of Oregon alumni (VETO champions in 2009):   Sean, Phil, Amy, Erin
  6. SFU Quiz Bowl Club:   Geoff, Brittany N., Ross
  7. Bellevue-Boise:   Mike B., Chris, Colin, one other
  8. University of Washington:   UW students

VANCOUVER location

VETO will take place at the University of British Columbia's main campus on Point Grey. We'll be playing in the spanking new I.K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall. We meet in room 158. Games will be played in rooms 158, 185, 191, and 196.

The number 4 bus goes directly from downtown Vancouver to UBC every 15 minutes on Saturdays, and takes about 30 minutes.
Alternatively, the number 99 B-Line bus goes from the Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain station to UBC every 10 minutes on Saturday mornings, and takes 33 minutes.
The Barber Centre is one block from the bus loop.
Transit fares are $2.50 for 90 minutes of travel anywhere on the system, including buses, SkyTrain, and SeaBus.

By road, using Yahoo!'s directions but more realistic (longer) times, UBC is about:
3 hours from Seattle;
9 hours from Eugene, Oregon;
18 hours from Berkeley, California;
24 hours from Los Angeles, California, or Las Vegas, Nevada;
39 hours from Tulsa, Oklahoma, or Chicago;
60 hours from Fairbanks.
If you're driving, the closest place to park is the North Parkade, 6115 Student Union Blvd, one block from the Barber Centre. Parking costs $4 for the whole day.

Vancouver International Airport is a premier global gateway served by more than 40 airlines with scheduled direct flights from 31 communities in British Columbia, another 33 locations elsewhere in North America, 12 cities in Asia/Pacific, and 3 cities in Europe.

Devotees of Southwest Airlines or JetBlue may prefer to fly to Seattle/Tacoma and then take the Quick Shuttle or rent a car. Non-residents of Canada should have no problem driving an American rental car across the border, but Canadian residents aren't allowed to do this. Also keep in mind that even if it's cheaper to fly to Sea-Tac, if you factor in the time and money you spend on the 3-4 hours ground transportation each way, it may work out to be more worthwhile to take Air Canada or WestJet or another airline directly to Vancouver.

For lunch, there are a variety of food options in the Student Union Building, across the street from the Barber Centre:

See below for other stuff to do in Vancouver, and places to stay.

TORONTO location

VETO's Eastern Trivia Open will be held at the University of Toronto's downtown St. George campus, in a building to be announced.


VETO will be run "guerrilla" style (term coined by Caltech), without central editing and will be staffed by players. We'll play at least a full round-robin.

Games will be conducted according to NAQT rules, except that:

It is to your advantage to print out and bring a copy of the rules. If some discrepancy occurred in a game and you want to protest it, it's a lot easier to convince a judge if you can point at the text that justifies your case, rather than to point into the air and say "I think the rules say..."

Schedule in Vancouver

Here is the round-robin schedule in Vancouver. Teams:
[FrSd] FARSIDE: Peter
[SFUJ] SFU Junta: Hanson, Carlos, Matt
[B2B.] B2B: Brock, Shaun, Mischa, Brendan
[UBC.] UBC: Adam, Mike W., 2 more
[Oreg] Oregon: Sean, Phil, Amy, Erin
[SFQB] SFU Quiz Bowl Club: Brittany, Geoff, Ross
[BeBo] Bellevue-Boise: Mike B., Chris, Colin, 1 more
[Wash] University of Washington

      Room 185  Room 191  Room 196    Pack Other staff
      --------  --------  --------    ---- -------------------
 9:30 Oreg-FrSd SFQB-SFUJ B2B.-UBC. | BeBo Wash
10:00 B2B.-BeBo SFQB-UBC. SFUJ-Wash | Oreg FrSd
10:30 FrSd-SFUJ UBC.-Wash SFQB-BeBo | B2B. Oreg
11:00 UBC.-BeBo SFUJ-B2B. Oreg-Wash | FrSd SFQB
11:30 FrSd-Wash Oreg-SFQB SFUJ-BeBo | UBC. B2B.

Lunch break at the Student Union Building

 1:00 SFUJ-UBC. Oreg-B2B. FrSd-SFQB | Wash BeBo
 1:30 SFQB-Wash FrSd-B2B. Oreg-BeBo | SFUJ UBC.
 2:00 Oreg-UBC. FrSd-BeBo B2B.-Wash | SFQB SFUJ
 2:30 SFQB-B2B. BeBo-Wash    ...    | Tor1 Oreg FrSd SFUJ UBC.
 3:00 FrSd-UBC. Oreg-SFUJ    ...    | Tor2 SFQB B2B. BeBo Wash

Tor1 and Tor2 are packets from Toronto.

Playoff format will be determined at the opening meeting. There are a total of four Toronto packets that we can use.

Question Packets

Detailed question guidelines are on a separate web page, which includes a section with useful links categorized by subject.

Rounds will be untimed, with 20 tossups played in each. But you will have to write more than 20 tossups and 20 bonuses, because:

So your packet should include (at least): Use the following subject distribution for tossups, and the same distribution for bonuses:
Science, Math, Technology 3 — 4
History 3 — 4
Literature 3 — 4
Geography 2 — 3
Current Events 2 — 3
Fine Arts 1 — 2
Religion, Philosophy, Mythology      1 — 2
Social Science 1 — 2
Popular Culture, Games, Sports 1 — 2
General Knowledge 0 — 3

Canadian content quota:
Of the first 20 tossups, at least 4 must refer to Canadian people, places, things, events, and created works. The same goes for the first 20 bonuses. But overall, don't exceed 50% Canadian content in your packet. Your Canadian questions should also cover diverse subject areas and not be clustered in Geography or Literature, etc.

Tossups should include at least four separate clues. Multiple-choice bonuses should be used sparingly, if at all, and should provide at least four choices.

In order that we can keep to a reasonable schedule, questions must not be too long:

To promote fun and variety, teams are encouraged to bring multimedia questions (visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, gustatory). These tend to work better as bonuses than as tossups. In Vancouver, cassette tape players will be available for auditory questions in every room. Every packet must contain at least one multimedia question: It can be as simple as presenting a printout of a picture you found through http://images.google.com and asking a few questions about the picture.

For our further amusement, we encourage rounds with hidden themes. In the past five years, we've had:

Aim for a difficulty level approximating that of Division I NAQT sectionals.

Please do read the separate packet guidelines page, because it offers many helpful tips. If you can't think of what to write about, we have loads of categorized links to websites you can browse to find possible material for questions.

The Stanford archive contains most of the question packets used at VETO in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010. There is a separate .zip file with the questions packets from 2009. You might note that some writers did not follow all of the guidelines. :) We've taken the list of answers that have come up in VETO in 2005 through 2007 and categorized them by subject. Try to write about things that are not on this list.


The leading individual scorer earns the prize of West Coast Dominatrix of Relevant Knowledge (WC-DORK).

Anyone may sponsor a prize and select a winner according to any criteria. In previous years, we've had up to 22 prizes awarded to individuals and teams.

Contact us if you're sponsoring a prize that you want listed on this web page. If you want to encourage others to write questions of your favourite type or on your favourite (broadly defined) subject, then announcing a prize here is a good way to do so.

Here is the list so far of prizes in Vancouver:

Award criteria Prize Sponsor
Worst repeat a broken record Peter of FARSIDE
West Coast Dominatrix of Relevant Knowledge handcuffs Peter
Best science question book, Proper Care of Turtles Peter

VANCOUVER: Other stuff to do, and places to stay

A study released in 2011 by the Economist Intelligence Unit concluded that Vancouver is unrivalled in offering the highest quality of life of any city in the entire world.

Special events to entice you to come for VETO:

See http://www.tourismvancouver.com for more information about Vancouver, including links to special promotions.

While Vancouver has a reputation for heavy rainfall, it does not rain much in the summer. Average precipitation during July is below that of seven of the 10 largest United States cities (by 2000 census population), the exceptions being the desert or semi-desert cities of Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Diego. And of course, during July, Vancouver has more hours of daylight than any American city outside of Alaska. On VETO day, sunset will occur at 9:06 p.m.

There are quite a few reasonably priced hotels in downtown Vancouver. Try findinghotel.com for looking up accommodation online, but do not be tempted by cheap rates in the East Hastings neighbourhood. This is identified by the V6A postal prefix, which is Canada's poorest large urban postal code.

Another cheap option is a dorm bed at the HI Vancouver Downtown hostel, which we've checked out and found is pretty good as hostels go. It is in a nice neighbourhood in downtown Vancouver.


For questions, etc., contact the appropriate site coordinator. Let us know by July 1 if you'd like to participate!

Updates will be posted on the web page http://caql.org/events/veto11.html which you're looking at right now.
Also check out the VETO weblog at http://veto.caql.org .

"A lot of Imperialist ladies asked me to tea to meet schoolmasters from New Zealand and editors from Vancouver, and that was the dismalest business of all."
- John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps

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