3rd Annual Harvard Fall Tournament

The Harvard College Bowl Club will host the third annual Harvard Fall Tournament on Saturday, November 15, 2008.

Andrew Watkins will serve as tournament director, with Kyle Haddad-Fonda and Adam Hallowell as the tournament's editors. Register by email: Andy can be reached at watkins4 [at] fas.harvard.edu.

The tournament will be PACE-affiliated, meaning that the top four teams should get automatic bids to the PACE NSC.


As in previous years, the questions will be house-written. They are longer than the typical NAQT or state-format tossup, and they are weighted towards academics.

A sample round from the tournament should make things clearer. Email me (again, watkins4 [at] fas.harvard.edu) to purchase last year's set for $20. After June 1, you'll be able to buy them for $10. Note that this is a great deal cheaper than yet another IS set, and it doesn't contain tossups on operas in which a central character's name is the third or fourth word. This is a very, very good deal.

Tournament format

Rounds will be untimed and consist of packets of 20 tossups and 20 bonuses. Teams will be assigned to six brackets of six teams, play a full round robin, and then, after any necessary tiebreakers, get rebracketed into six brackets of six teams, followed by a playoff round robin and subsequent finals (if necessary). This means that every team is guaranteed ten rounds of play, plus the possibility of tiebreakers and finals.

We're considering running the top two playoff brackets on related questions of higher difficulty, in a similar manner to how NAQT writes questions for both Division I and Division II college teams: four brackets would hear a tossup on Euclid, and two would hear a tossup on The Elements; four brackets would hear a tossup on the Peloponnesian War, and two would hear a tossup on the battle of Aegospotami.

Fee structure

Just like last year, essentially:

$70 base fee

$60 additional teams from the same school

-$10 buzzer discount

-$10 travel discount for more than 200 miles

Long distance teams

We love New England teams, but we also want to attract teams from all over the country, especially when these teams have juniors and seniors who might be particularly interested in our campus (it's awesome) and playing excellent quiz bowl. Consequently, further fee discounts are negotiable.

I can provide information about travel arrangements and hotel accommodations, so email me about that if you need to.

We're considering negotiating a group rate with a nearby hotel (since it's possible that we'd be able to attract a good 25 teams needing at least two hotel rooms each), and if and when we do so, we will post the information of our official hotel in this thread.


The tournament will be held in Sever Hall like last year. When the time of the competition nears, I will provide competing teams with necessary directions. So that the most teams possible can make this a day trip, we plan to start the tournament at a decent hour (leaving room for travel on both ends, albeit with a very early departure and very late return home). More information on that, of course, as tournament time approaches.


Though there is little reason why any of this should need to change, we ought to leave ourselves an out. Though the date of the tournament currently does not conflict with any college tournaments, or with the SAT or ACT, if the world ends and one of these things changes, we'll need to change as well. However, this is very, very unlikely.