Vancouver Estival Trivia Open
July 17, 1999

[Picture of VETO 1999]
Left to right: Tara (SFU), Peter (FARSIDE), Jason (SFU), Chris (SFU), Zhan (Waterloo), Joel (Waterloo), Brock (Reach). Photo by Bruce (Reach).

Text-only version of this page

The inaugural Vancouver Estival Trivia Open (VETO), the first-ever quiz bowl tournament in western Canada, was held on Saturday, July 17, 1999, at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.

We are grateful to:

The tournament was held on the roof of SFU's Classroom Complex, under a mostly sunny sky. Tables were arranged in such a way that the players could see the snow-capped peaks of the Coast Mountains behind the moderator.

Four teams with a total of eight players participated in a double round-robin:

There was also to be a team from the University of Washington, but it withdrew three days before the tournament. It was replaced by the Reach team.

The genesis of VETO

The idea for VETO came about as follows. Our experience may be useful to others who are attempting to establish quiz bowl in a similarly underserved community. In April I learned that: I figured it would be easier to introduce the locals to quiz bowl if they could play with others who had some experience on the circuit. Moreover, the experienced players could write some Canadian questions to add to the packets from an American tournament set that we planned to buy for this event. We chose the Terrier Tussle for its reputation for questions that are of high quality, fun, not too long, and not too difficult. Boston University very generously gave us the 16 rounds for free, in order to give a boost to the nonexistent program here.

So we had four teams -- me, Waterloo, Washington, and some local trivia buffs with no quiz bowl experience -- and the first three of these teams were to edit Terrier Tussle packets to include Canadian tossups and bonuses, and also moderate these rounds. Nobody else responded to my post to the mailing lists before the June 1 deadline. Later I got e-mail from Brock, whose high school team had just won the provincial Schoolreach championship. I turned him away as a player because I thought there would be too many byes if there were five teams playing, with only three of them contributing questions.

A few days before VETO, Bruce told us that he'd be coming in from Princeton, and then Washington cancelled. So Bruce and Brock formed the Reach team to replace Washington. Washington did not write any Canadian questions, but Jason Brown edited the Terrier Tussle packets a bit by removing some of the U.S.-centric questions.

Washington was going to bring a buzzer system, but Bruce borrowed Princeton's instead.


Twelve games were played, only one at a time. Results of the first six games:

winning team score score losing team Tussle round question authors
FARSIDE 270 10 Reach 6 University of Pennsylvania + Waterloo
Waterloo 115 70 SFU 9 MIT + FARSIDE
FARSIDE 245 40 Waterloo 12 University of Wisconsin
Reach 165 145 SFU 4 University of Minnesota + Waterloo
FARSIDE 180 95 SFU 14 Carleton College
Reach 260 70 Waterloo 13 University of Michigan + FARSIDE

Standings after first round-robin:

rank team
2 Reach
3 Waterloo

At this point the schedule was set for the second round-robin, with the games between the top teams scheduled last. Results:

winning team score score losing team Tussle round question authors
FARSIDE 235 135 SFU 17 Matt Bruce, Swiatek, Remy + Waterloo
SFU 170 60 Waterloo 7 University of Chicago
Waterloo 90 55 Reach 11 Boston University + FARSIDE
SFU 175 80 Reach 2 Harvard's End & Stern + FARSIDE
FARSIDE 300 65 Waterloo 1 Bryce Avery
FARSIDE 215 85 Reach 3 Dartmouth College + Waterloo

Final team standings:

rank team wins losses total points +10 -5 bonus points bonus avg points against diff avg
1 FARSIDE 6 0 1445 63 4 835 13.3 430 +169
2 SFU 2 4 790 36 5 455 12.6 835 -8
3 Reach 2 4 655 36 10 345 9.6 965 -52
4 Waterloo 2 4 440 32 5 145 4.5 1100 -110

Individual player statistics

rank name team games +10 -5 points/game
1 Peter FARSIDE 6 63 4 101.7
2 Bruce Reach 5 22 5 39.0
3 Joel Waterloo 6 21 3 32.5
4 Jason SFU 6 17 1 27.5
5 Zhan Waterloo 7* 13 2 17.1
6 Tara SFU 6 11 2 16.7
7 Brock Reach 6 12 5 15.8
8 Chris SFU 6 8 2 11.7
* Zhan played one round for Reach, in its second game against SFU.

For leading the individual scoring, Peter earned the title of West Coast Dominatrix of Relevant Knowledge (WC-DORK).


Some players received prizes. Since the Canadian questions added by FARSIDE and Waterloo may be used later at other Canadian tournaments, I won't mention specifics of these questions if there was a prize associated with them. Honourees were selected by the sponsor of each prize.

Honour honouree reason prize sponsor
best buzz on a tossup Joel identifying an object from some obscure technical specifications * a Power BarTM Peter
most energetic buzz Bruce several enthusiastic instances a box of Kellogg's VectorTM meal replacement Zhan
best multimedia question Zhan a bonus that asked to identify Zhan among a group of people in a photograph taken at a distance sage, rosemary and thyme Peter
best Canadian question Joel a bonus combining Canadian currency and current Canadiana a box of SmartiesTM Peter
best teamwork on a bonus SFU team several bonuses a THINK InteractiveTM Bar Peter
cheesiest question University of Chicago team some of the questions at the beginning of their packet a box of Kraft DinnerTM ** Zhan
longest trip to VETO Bruce he traveled through four time zones that morning a Malaysian 2-ringgit note Peter
* It turned out that Joel had written essentially the same question.
** In honourees' absence, prize was donated to the Vancouver Food Bank.

Zhan also gave a cookie to any player who buzzed in before the power point on a Terrier Tussle tossup.

There was no prize for best sunburn, but there were a few good contenders.

Conclusions and further work

In summary, the format worked pretty well. With only four teams, we didn't need more than one playing area. Players moderated or kept score in some rounds, and also had other rounds when they could leave to get food or whatever. The number of rounds was about right, too. Play began at about 12:30 p.m. and ended at 7.

Terrier Tussle questions were also well received. There were no interminable bonuses (or tossups) or "Who wrote Paradise Lost?", and there were few questions that were beyond anybody's comprehension.

We used NAQT rules, with untimed 20-tossup rounds. The new players had not been briefed on all details of the rules, such as the created works rule. We probably should have done a better job of this.

Some of the new players expressed resentment over not having been given the opportunity to write questions. I take this as a good sign. Expect to see an SFU team on the circuit in the coming year!

Back to CAQL tournament results page.

Home | FAQ | Events | Results | Sample questions | Gotta know 'em, eh? | Equipment | Teams | Links

  Webmaster e-mail: caql -at- caql -dot- org