Saturday, August 6, 2016
We are pleased to announce the 2016
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
This web page will be kept
up to date with the
most current information.
For the TORONTO event,
there is a
discussion forum on hsquizbowl.
In Vancouver, we will meet in Buchanan D209 at 10 a.m.
As in past years,
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
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.
- each team must bring copies of an original packet of questions, which will
not be edited by anyone else associated with the tournament;
- participants must moderate and keep score during rounds when they
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
and Collegiate Quiz
Bowl Packet archives
would meet our criteria for acceptance.
- Any team that has won VETO in a previous year (in Vancouver or
in Ontario) has an
automatic invitation to play this year.
For winning teams that split up into new teams in 2016,
the auto-invite goes with whichever subset of the original team
scored the most total tossup points in VETO in the year of victory.
- If you want to play in VETO but your team hasn't won a previous VETO,
then you will need to
apply to the VETO Invitation Committee. This committee
consists of one member from each team that won VETO in a previous
year and will also be participating this year.
- Applications are simple: just e-mail
two OLD full-length quiz bowl packets (at least 20 tossups and 20
bonuses in each), such that the majority of the questions in both packets
were written by members of your prospective team. If your packets are
on the Web
(on the Stanford
or Collegiate Quiz
Bowl Packet archives,
for example), then it's easier if you send us the web page
locations instead of e-mailing the actual packets.
When we say "OLD" packets, we mean packets that you wrote for some
past tournament. Don't send any new, original questions as part of
your VETO application! Save those for the actual tournament.
- If some of your team members have written a lot of questions
separately but you
don't actually have two packets to which you've together
contributed a majority
of the questions, then send us 20 old tossups and 20 old
bonuses that were all written by your members.
- Within a few days of receiving your application,
the Invitation Committee will inform you
of its decision either to accept or to defer your application.
The Committee may also choose to list areas of improvement, or point out
how VETO question guidelines may be different from those for the tournament
for which the submitted questions were written.
If your application is not accepted, you may appeal by sending us more
old questions that you've written.
- Teams whose applications are deferred, either
because they didn't have enough questions to show us or because their
questions didn't meet our standards, will have another chance.
After July 23, these teams may be allowed to play if there is
The Invitation Committee will decide whether each deferred team should
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
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.
In TORONTO, the size of the field is capped at 7 teams.
Since 1999, more than a hundred different people have
joined us in Vancouver to play at VETO. Players have included current
or former members of the quiz bowl teams of the following universities
Saturday, August 6, 2016,
starting at 10:00 a.m. in Vancouver and at 9:30 a.m. in Toronto,
and ending around 6:00 p.m.
- Bellevue College
- Boise State University
- Boston University
- The George Washington University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Harvey Mudd College
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- McMaster University
- Princeton University
- Queen's University
- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
- Simon Fraser University
- University of British Columbia
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of Chicago
- University of Maryland
- University of Oregon
- University of Ottawa
- University of Toronto
- University of Virginia
- University of Washington
- University of Waterloo
For quiz bowl tourists, this is two weeks after the
It is a week after the B.C. Day / Simcoe Day long weekend.
If you would like to participate in VETO,
please notify us
by July 23, 2016.
VETO will take place at the
University of British Columbia's main campus on Point Grey.
We'll be playing in the Buchanan
Building Block D, 1866 Main Mall, the same place as last year.
In Buchanan D, we have reserved rooms
which all have windows!
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 7 or 8 minutes on Saturday mornings, and takes 33 minutes.
It is North
America's busiest bus line, and the Commercial-Broadway station
is its busiest stop!
(Don't worry, it's a lot less busy on weekends.)
The Buchanan D building is one block from the bus loop.
Weekend transit fares
are $2.75 for 90 minutes of travel anywhere on the system, including buses,
SkyTrain, and SeaBus.
road, using Google's directions but more realistic (longer) times,
UBC is about:
3 hours from
9 hours from Eugene,
18 hours from
24 hours from Los Angeles,
California, or Las
39 hours from
60 hours from
If you're driving, the closest place to park is the
Parkade, 6115 Student Union Blvd,
one block from Buchanan D.
Parking costs $8 for the whole day.
Vancouver International Airport,
Canada's second busiest,
is a premier global gateway served by 53 airlines
with more than 109 non-stop destinations worldwide.
The Skytrax World
Airport Awards rank it as the
best airport in the Western hemisphere,
and number 14 in the world.
may prefer to fly to
and then take the
a car. Non-residents of Canada should have no problem
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
another airline directly to Vancouver.
For lunch, there are a variety of food options in the
Union Building, a block away from Buchanan D:
See below for other stuff to do in
Vancouver, and places to stay.
VETO's Eastern Trivia Open will be held
at the University of Toronto's downtown
St. George campus.
VETO will be
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
Guidelines), except that:
- Matches will be untimed. Each half will end after 10 tossups
together with their associated bonuses.
- There will be no 15-point "power" marks on tossups. All tossups
will be worth 10 points.
- Since this is a
guerrilla tournament, instead of an overall Tournament Director as
final authority for appeals, in each round there will be appointed
a Round Director to take this role. The Round Director
will be one of the people who brought the packet
played during that round. For the finals, the Round Directors will be
chosen by consensus of the two participating teams, with input from
the other teams that didn't make it.
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..."
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,
So your packet should include (at least):
- if a game ends in a tie, you'll need extra questions to break it;
- if a question must be thrown out, for example because the
moderator reads the answer prematurely by mistake,
then you'll need a replacement for it;
- if a question asks about information that was repeated in a
previous VETO packet, you should also replace it, because it'll bore or
irritate the players who have just heard the same thing that day.
Use the following subject distribution for tossups,
and the same distribution for bonuses:
- 24 tossups, each worth 10 points no 15-point "powers";
- 22 bonuses, each worth 30 points but no single-part,
|Science, Math, Technology
|Religion, Philosophy, Mythology
|Popular Culture, Games, Sports
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.
cassette tape players will be available for auditory questions in
Every packet must contain at least one multimedia question:
It can be as simple as presenting a printout of a picture you found through
and asking a few questions about the picture.
- No tossup question, and no part of a bonus question,
should be longer than 6 lines if using a fixed-width font with
79 characters per line.
- No bonus question should ever require more than four separate
For our further amusement,
we encourage rounds with hidden themes.
In recent years, we've had:
- a packet in which every tossup answer
was also the name of a school that had participated
TV game show;
- a packet in which every answer contained the name of an animal;
- a packet in which every answer contained the syllable "NI"
(ending with "the knights who say NI");
- a packet in which every tossup answer began with the letter T,
and every bonus had either answers beginning with the letter B or a
theme that began with the letter B;
- a packet in which every tossup answer
had some connection to the number two,
and every bonus had some connection to the number three;
- a packet in which the answer to every tossup contained the number of the
- a packet in which every word of every answer was monosyllabic;
- a packet in which every tossup answer was the name of a make or model
- a packet in which every tossup answer was alliterative;
- a packet in which every answer ended with an "L" sound;
- a packet in which every tossup answer began with a tree-related
- a packet in which every tossup answer was the name of a
- a packet in which every tossup answer was the name of a song;
- a packet that alternated tossups related to Jordan with tossups
having clues with the name Palmer in them.
Aim for a difficulty level approximating that of Division I
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
the Collegiate Quiz
Bowl Packet archive contains the packets used at VETO in
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 2015 and categorized them
by subject. This list gives you an idea of the kinds of things to
ask about when writing your own packet (though we prefer you not
pick these exact same answers).
The leading individual scorer earns the prize of
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
awarded to individuals and teams.
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.
Studies released in 2015 by the
and in 2016 by
both concluded that
Vancouver is the best city to live in the Western Hemisphere, and
among the top five in the world (lagging behind only some Antipodean
or German-speaking cities that have
never had any known quizbowl activity).
Special events to entice you to come for VETO:
for more information
about Vancouver, including links to special promotions.
The World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology has several conferences ending the day before VETO, at the downtown Vancouver Holiday Inn.
of the Association for Software Testing begins two days after
VETO, at Simon Fraser University's downtown Vancouver campus.
Theme: "Testing: Software Development Catalyst"
The 26th annual Harmony Arts Festival begins the week before VETO and runs to the day after VETO.
The festival draws crowds from all over the Lower Mainland to celebrate a harmonious balance of visual, culinary, literary and performing arts on the spectacular West Vancouver waterfront.
While Vancouver has a reputation for heavy rainfall, it does not rain
much in the summer.
precipitation during July is below that
of seven of the
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 8:44 p.m.
There are quite a few reasonably priced hotels in downtown Vancouver.
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
poorest large urban postal code.
Another cheap option is a dorm bed at the
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 23 if you'd like to participate!
Updates will be posted on the web page
which you're looking at right now.
"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
Back to CAQL events page.
Sample questions |
Gotta know 'em, eh? |
caql -at- caql -dot-