Saturday, August 11, 2018
We are pleased to announce the 2018
Vancouver Estival Trivia Open (VETO), the nation's
longest-running annual quiz bowl tournament.
We hope there will be a mirror of this tournament in Toronto.
This web page will be kept
up to date with the
most current information.
As in past years,
VETO will be run "guerrilla" style, meaning:
- 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
As always, VETO will be free of charge.
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 2018,
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 28, 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 6 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 11, 2018, probably starting at
around 9:00 a.m. local time,
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
- Sacred Heart University
- 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 3 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 28, 2018.
Just as last year,
VETO will take place in suburban Burquitlam (Coquitlam, BC, next to
Burnaby), in a baby-friendly house!
If you have a baby, then bring him or her along.
The address will be given to everyone who signs up.
For drivers, there is lots of free sreet parking.
If you're going by public transit, take the Evergreen Extension of the
Millennium Line to Burquitlam, and walk from there for 15 or 20 minutes.
Weekend transit fares
are $2.95 for 90 minutes of travel anywhere on the system, including buses,
SkyTrain, and SeaBus.
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.
Stay tuned for lunch options!
See below for other stuff to do in
Vancouver, and places to stay.
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 packets in which:
- every tossup answer
was also the name of a school that had participated
TV game show;
- every answer contained the name of an animal;
- every answer contained the syllable "NI"
(ending with "the knights who say NI");
- 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;
- every tossup answer
had some connection to the number two,
and every bonus had some connection to the number three;
- the answer to every tossup contained the number of the
- every word of every answer was monosyllabic;
- every tossup answer was the name of a make or model
- every tossup answer was alliterative;
- every answer ended with an "L" sound;
- every tossup answer began with a tree-related word;
- every tossup answer was the name of a heavy-metal band;
- every tossup answer was the title of a song;
- tossups related to Jordan alternated with tossups
having clues with the name Palmer in them;
- every question was about women;
- every tossup answer was the name of a
- the initial letters of the answers to the
tossups were symbols of chemical elements, in their order in the
- every tossup answer was something that has appeared on Canadian
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 2017 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 2017 by the
and in 2018 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 45th iteration of the
world's premier annual conference on computer
graphics and interactive techniques,
SIGGRAPH 2018, begins the
day after VETO, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
The 12th annual
Federation for Research in Women's History Conference begins
two days before VETO, at SFU's downtown Vancouver campus.
"The theme, "Transnationalisms, Transgressions, Translations:
Conversations and Controversies," probes the meanings of
boundaries and frameworks, narratives and epistemologies, analytic
terms and foundational categories, global, national and local
understandings, interactions and power relations across time and
Bring your sleeping bag and
sleep inside the Vancouver Aquarium
starting at 9 pm right after VETO! Yes, really.
Theme for the night: Wonderful World of Pinnipeds!
International Airshow provides spectators an opportunity to
watch one of the finest aerobatic performances in the world, the
same weekend as VETO, 53 km east of Burquitlam.
The 146th Annual Chilliwack
Fair also takes place on
VETO weekend, 84 km east of Burquitlam, and features carriage
rides, tractor pulls, First Nations carver demos, pig racing,
The 28th annual Harmony Arts
Festival runs August 3 – 12.
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.
- The incredible
Chinatown Festival, the biggest multicultural summer
celebration in town, occurs on VETO weekend.
Night Market is Metro Vancouver’s biggest and most amazing night
market, and the largest of its kind in North America. Open
Fridays and Saturdays 7 pm to midnight, and on Sundays from 7 pm to
Vancouver Bach Festival is one of the largest festivals of its
type in North America and runs this year from July 30 to August 10,
the day before VETO, at Christ Church Cathedral downtown and at the
Chan Centre on the UBC campus.
The 30th Annual Queer Film
August 9 – 19 at seven different venues around Vancouver.
Sunday Afternoon Salsa in Robson Square, downtown Vancouver, will
take place the day after VETO. Take a FREE lesson at 3 pm, or watch
the FREE performances at 5 pm.
meteor shower will illuminate the night sky above Vancouver
just hours after VETO ends.
"The moon is very favo[u]rable for the Perseids this year, and
that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for
people who want to go out and view it." NASA meteor expert.
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 Peter
at pmcc -at-
alumni -dot- sfu -dot- ca
Let us know by July 28 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
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