• Chester County Academic Competition Guidelines

    The following general guidelines apply to the Chester County Academic Competition for the 2011/12 season only:

    Varsity Matches

    General Information

          1.    Table positions will be assigned by lottery at the beginning of each match.
          2.    Host schools are responsible for providing the following:
                   a.    Four (4) tables on stage (3 for teams; 1 for score board)
                   b.    Four (4) chairs behind each team table
                   c.    One (1) Microphone on each table
                   d.    One (1) table and four (4) chairs for competition staff off stage
                   e.    One (1) podium with a microphone off stage
          3.    There will be no penalty for questions answered incorrectly.
          4.    If a team cannot participate in or host a match on a scheduled day, it is the team adviser's responsibility to reschedule the match to the satisfaction of all parties involved.
          5.    In the event of school closings or delays, if any of the schools involved in a scheduled match are closed or delayed opening, the match is postponed to a subsequent date. The adviser for the closing school must call the other advisers and the CCIU academic competition coordinator to confirm the closing or delay. If all three schools are closed, the host adviser will make the calls. The adviser responsible for making these calls is also responsible for rescheduling the match.
          6.    Students must dress appropriately for competitions without any distracting or inappropriate clothing or accessories. The student's ability to participate based upon dress is at the judge's discretion.
          7.    All cell phones must be turned off to avoid disruption during the competition.
          8.    The cumulative scores from the four preliminary matches will determine the top nine (9) teams to compete in the semi-finals. The winners of each of the three (3) semi-final matches will compete in the championship match. The nine (9) semi-final teams will be seeded as follows:
                   Match 1: 1 - 6 - 9
                   Match 2: 2 - 5 - 8
                   Match 3: 3 - 4 - 7

    Tournament Officials
          1.    The academic competition coordinator will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of
          2.    The academic competition judge will be responsible for the decisions made during matches, including disputes regarding correctness of answers, incorrect scoring, time- keeping, etc. All decisions by the academic competition judge are final.
          3.    The term academic competition judge includes the coordinator's designated agents or committees.
          4.    Each match will have a quizmaster. The quizmaster will read the questions, enforce time limits, determine the correctness of answers, award points, and otherwise enforce the rules of competition.
          5.    Each match will have a scorekeeper and timekeeper (may be combined when necessary).
     
     
    Equipment
          1.    Matches should be played with a “ buzzer,”    electronic equipment which determines which player signals first. Therefore, if the system fails to work, teams may agree to use a partially working buzzer system. However, if any team objects, the match will be rescheduled and resume from the point where play originally stopped. If the equipment fails during a fanfare round, 10 seconds will be allotted for each question remaining.
          2.    In the absence of a completely functioning buzzer system, the academic competition judge will be the final judge of which player signaled first. These determinations are not protestable.
          3.    Each player is responsible for monitoring whether his or her own buzzer is operating properly throughout a match. If a buzzer malfunctions, only the current question or the just completed question can be replayed, subject to the judge's ruling that the malfunction affected play of that question.
          4.    Timed matches should use a clock clearly visible to all teams.
     
    Participants
          1.    All participants are responsible individuals and will be treated as such. Players and schools are responsible for any liability arising from their conduct while at the competition, or while traveling to or from such events.
          2.    Each competing team may bring as many students as desired, however, all students need not compete. Four (4) students compete in each round. A minimum of six (6) different students from each school must compete in every varsity match including the semi-final and championship matches. The advisers are required to submit a list of their six team members playing in each match to the coordinator prior to the start of the match. If it is determined that a team has not adhered to this rule, the team will forfeit the highest points earned in a round for that match.
          3.    If a team does not attend a scheduled match and the other participants have not been notified prior to leaving their schools, the match will be forfeited and the non-compliant team will receive no points. The remaining two teams will receive the average of the points they earned in the preliminary matches from October through January.
          4.    Substitutions may only be made between rounds.
          5.    No player may play for two different teams from his/her own school. A student may play in a junior varsity match and then move to varsity. However, once a student has played on his/her school's varsity team, he/she may not return to junior varsity play for the remainder of the season. Also, no player may play for two different schools' teams. Although this may seem obvious, a situation may arise in which a school district with more than one high school, and therefore more than one team, may need an emergency substitution in a regular or a final match for one of its high school teams. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the best substitute would be from the other high school's team as that team is not in the finals.
          6.    An adviser is a person who acts in a recognized advisory role to a particular team. An adviser may not be a player for any team in the competition. A team can have an unlimited number of advisers or no adviser, but only one may be designated the official adviser prior to each match. The person who is to be the designated official must be announced to the academic competition coordinator prior to each match.
          7.    It is the responsibility of the designated adviser to ensure that all members of his/her school's team fully understand the competition's rules and code of conduct.
          8.    Students are not permitted to bring anything to the contestant tables, i.e. pens, pencils, paper, cell phones, communication devices, etc. Students who bring these items to the contestant tables risk being disqualified from the competition and having their team forfeit the match. All needed items will be provided.

    Questions
          1.    Questions will be generated from the following areas:
    •    Literature / Fine Arts / Grammar •    American History / Geography / Economics •    Contemporary Events •    World History / Geography
    •    Science •    Mathematics •    Potpourri (any subject)
          During competitions and throughout the handbook, these categories may be referred to by the names listed below. This does not exclude the other categories listed above and is used only as an abbreviation for the categories above.
    •    Literature •    American History •    Contemporary Events •    World History   • Science • Math • Potpourri
          2.   All questions are worth 5 points.
          3.    Great effort will be made to ensure the consistency of questions asked from round-to- round. The sequence of questions in the toss-ups will be:
    Math - World History - Literature - American History - Science - Potpourri - Contemporary Events - World History - Literature - American History - Science - Potpourri
          The sequence of questions for the fanfare will be: Contemporary Events - World History - Literature - American History - Science - Potpourri
     
    Time
          1.    A match consists of three (3) rounds. Each round consists of a toss-up section and a fanfare section.
          2.    When the clock sounds the end of time, the question will end, except:
                   a.    If a player has buzzed in before the end of the clock buzzer, the player will be permitted to answer the question within three (3) seconds.
                   b.    During Fanfare, if the quizmaster has begun reading the question, the team will be permitted to hear the entire question and will be given three (3) seconds to give an answer.

    Toss-ups
          1.    A Toss-up section contains twelve (12) questions.
          2.    All teams have fifteen (15) seconds to buzz in after the question has been completed.
          3.    Team members may not engage in verbal or nonverbal conferral once their team has buzzed in.
          4.    If the answer given is incorrect, the remaining teams have whatever time is remaining on the clock to buzz in.
          5.    An answer to a toss-up question must begin within three (3) seconds after the team has been recognized. An answer begun after the academic quizmaster and/or competition judge has said “Time” will be treated as no answer.
          6.    A player may signal to answer a toss-up question at any point after the quizmaster has begun reading the question.
          7.    When a player has buzzed in, the quizmaster will recognize the team by name. A player is not to answer a question until his/her team has been recognized by the quizmaster.
          8.    If a player buzzes in before the quizmaster has finished reading the question, the quizmaster will stop at that point.    If the answer given is incorrect, the quizmaster will begin re-reading the question. The remaining teams may buzz in to answer the question.
          9.    If a player who was not the first to signal gives an answer:
                   a.    The quizmaster will ignore the answer, and will recognize the player on another team who actually is the first to signal. In the event the player answers the question incorrectly, only the one remaining team that has not yet answered will still have the opportunity to buzz in and answer the question.
                   b.    If the player who answers is a teammate of the first player to signal, the quizmaster will treat the response as an incorrect answer from that team.
                   c.    If a player answers because the quizmaster incorrectly identified who signaled first, the question will be replaced, and no points will be awarded regardless if the question was answered correctly or incorrectly.
    succession within sixty (60) seconds.
     
    Fanfare
          1.    A Fanfare consists of six (6) questions that are asked and answered by one team in rapid
          2.    Each team gets one fanfare per round.
          3.    The time clock does not start counting down from sixty (60) until the first question is completely read or the team captain has begun answering. If the timer sounds during the reading of a question, the question will be completed and the team must answer immediately. The designated team captain will be required to give the answers. If another team member responds, the response will not be accepted and the next question will be read. If it is the last question, the Fanfare will be over.
          4.    Teams may “pass” on any question; however, they will not be given an opportunity to answer “pass” questions if time remains on the clock after all questions have been answered.
     
    Correct Answers
          1.    The quizmaster will accept only the first answer given by a player.
          2.    A person's last name will be accepted unless the question specifically asks for a full name. However, if a full name is given voluntarily, it must be completely correct. Universally known nicknames may or may not be accepted. (For example, “Babe” Ruth may be accepted while the “Home Run King” might not).
          3.    United States presidents last names will be accepted unless the last name is not sufficient to distinguish the president. In that case, a middle name or initial must be used. The only nicknames that will be accepted are commonly accepted first name nicknames such as "Bill Clinton", "Teddy Roosevelt", and "Abe Lincoln". Nicknames such as "Honest Abe" and "Dubya" will not be accepted. Initials such as "F.D.R." and "J.F.K" will not be accepted. The correctness of an answer is at the discretion of the judge.
          4.    First names of kings and queens will be accepted only with their corresponding number or their most commonly known name (i.e. Catherine the Great). For example, “Queen Elizabeth I” will be accepted as a correct answer; “Queen Elizabeth” will not. If they do not have a number (such as King John), we will accept title and name without the number.
          5.    Extraneous information preceding a response is disregarded (e.g., What is a wombat? or They’re all Californians) unless the quizmaster and/or academic competition judge determines that the extraneous information was given in an unsportsmanlike attempt to delay the game, in which case the response is treated as incorrect. Harmless or inadvertent embellishment of responses will not be penalized, so long as the embellishment does not make the response wrong.
          6.    Dates must be exact (e.g. the year 71 will not be accepted if the answer is 1971).
          7.    When expressing a mathematical formula, the students must use “quantity” or “open and closed parenthesis" as necessary. For the formula (x + y)2 = x2 + 2xy + y2, only "the quantity x plus y squared is x squared plus two xy plus y squared" OR "Open parenthesis x plus y close parenthesis squared is x squared plus two xy plus y squared" would be accepted.
          8.    If the quizmaster inadvertently reveals the answer to a question after a team has given an incorrect answer, but before the other teams have had the chance to answer, the quizmaster will read a replacement toss-up question for the remaining teams only. If none of the teams have had a chance to answer, the toss-up will be replaced with a new question.
          9.    If the quizmaster, the academic competition judge, or the academic competition staff believes he or she has heard the answer to the question called out from the audience, the question will be replaced.
          10. Only the answer on the quizmaster's card will be accepted as the correct answer, whether or not it is correct, and whether or not a team can “prove” that it is incorrect. However, the academic competition judge may rule to accept an answer even if it is not on the card, if he/she determines the answer was correct and was the answer which the question sought.
     
    Appeals During Preliminary Matches
          1.   Mistakes happen no matter how hard everyone tries. Take a deep breath and treat the academic competition staff and the opposing teams calmly. We all want a perfect tournament, and will do our best to correct errors with your cooperation.  
          2.   All decisions by the academic competition judge will be final. As in all team competition, unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated and may result in ejection from the match, forfeiture of the game, or both.
          3.   During matches, only the academic competition judge is to be approached by the adviser between rounds to report a perceived error. During preliminary matches, each team will be granted one appeal during a match. Advisors may request that the academic competition judge and staff reference the internet to check the validity of an answer. Only materials that the academic competition judge and staff find on the internet will be considered for the appeal. Only sites approved by the academic competition judge and staff will be utilized during the appeals process. Each appeal will be considered for no longer than three minutes. If the appealed information cannot be found by the academic competition judge and staff using the approved sites in three minutes time, the appeal will be denied. Appeals will only be considered between rounds. Appeals for a given round must be made prior to the next round's start.
          4.   Points awarded to a team for answering a question may be removed if it is determined during that match that the question was answered incorrectly. If it is determined that the question was answered incorrectly, a new question may be substituted and only the team(s) that did not buzz in to answer the question will have the opportunity to buzz in and answer the substituted question. Errors must be brought to the attention of the judge between rounds of a given match. Once the match has concluded, teams' final scores will not be altered regardless of the correctness of an answer. The judge's decision regarding the correctness of an answer is final.
          5.    It is impossible to foresee every circumstance that may arise during competition. In the event a situation arises that is not covered in these guidelines, the academic competition judge will use their discretion to resolve the situation. The academic competition judge's decision is final.
     
    Appeals During the Semi-Final and Championship Matches
          1.    Mistakes happen no matter how hard everyone tries. Take a deep breath and treat the academic competition staff and the opposing teams calmly. We all want a perfect tournament, and will do our best to correct errors with your cooperation.
          2.    A panel of nonparticipating advisers, the academic competition judge, and competition staff will hear appeals during the semi-final and championship matches. The decision of the official academic competition judge is final.
          3.    Appeals during the semi-final and championship matches may be lodged only by the official adviser at the end of the round. All appeals for the previous round must be lodged prior to the start of the next round. The only protest that may be lodged while the clock is running is that the quizmaster accepted a toss-up answer from a player other than the one who has signaled.
          4.    During semi-final and final matches, each team will be granted two (2) appeals during both the semi-final and final matches. Advisors may request that the academic competition judge and staff reference the internet to check the validity of an answer. Only materials that the academic competition judge and staff find on the internet will be considered for the appeal. Only sites approved by the academic competition judge and staff will be utilized during the appeals process. Each appeal will be considered for no longer than three minutes. If the appealed information cannot be found by the academic competition judge and staff using the approved sites in three minutes time, the appeal will be denied. Appeals will only be considered between rounds. Appeals for a given round must be made prior to the next round's start.
          5.    No appeals will be adjudicated unless it could change the outcome of the match.
          6.    The official academic competition judge may resolve an appeal with or without the appeals committee. When the academic competition judge gives a decision, it is final.
          7.    If an appeal is not upheld, adviser and team members are expected to accept the academic competition judge's decision graciously. As in all team competition, unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated and may result in ejection from the match, forfeiture of the game, or both.

    Tie Cumulative Scores for the Preliminary Matches
          1.    Tie scores which will affect the placement of the nine (9) finalist teams will be dealt with as follows:
                   a.    First tie-breaker: If the teams that are tied have played head-to-head in a preliminary match, then the team that scored the highest in that preliminary match will advance in ranking.
                   b.    Second tie-breaker: A special tie breaker match will be held prior to beginning the matches at the semi-finals. One toss-up round consisting of five (5) questions will be asked. A “toss-up question” sudden death competition will follow if needed.
     
    Varsity Semi-Final and Championship Matches
          1.    The semi-final matches will be held on February 10, 2012 (Snow date: February 22) at the Chester County Intermediate Unit, 455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA, during the school day. Plaques will be awarded to the teams who will not be moving on to the championship match.
          2.    The championship match will be held at the Chester County Intermediate Unit on March 1, 2012 (Snow date: March 5) during the evening.
          3.    Each participating school may enter eight (8) varsity team members. The students listed on the registration form are the only eligible participants. If a student becomes ill, a substitution may be made prior to the match. The adviser is responsible for notifying the academic competition coordinator prior to the beginning of the semi-final and championship match.
          4.    If a tie-breaker is required during a semi-final or championship match, one toss-up round consisting of five (5) questions will be asked of the tied teams. The team with the highest score at the conclusion of the tie-breaker round will win the match. If a tie still exists, a “sudden death” round will be played. The team who answers the first toss-up question correctly will win the match.
          5.    The winner of each semi-final match will compete in the championship match. The
    teams will be seeded as follows:
                   Match 1: 1 - 6 - 9
                   Match 2: 2 - 5 - 8
                   Match 3: 3 - 4 - 7
          6.    The championship team will represent Chester County in the PA Academic Competition which will be held in the Pennsylvania State Capital, Harrisburg, PA, on May 6, 2011.
          7.    Appeals will be accepted and adjudicated by a committee, including academic competition staff and advisers whose teams are not participating. However, the academic competition judge will make the final decision and his/her decision cannot be appealed.
          8.    During the semi-final and final matches, each team will be granted two (2) appeals during both the semi-final and final matches. may request that the academic competition judge and staff reference the internet to check the validity of an answer. Only materials that the academic competition judge and staff find on the internet will be considered for the appeal. Only sites approved by the academic competition judge and staff will be utilized during the appeals process. Each appeal will be considered for no longer than three minutes. If the appealed information cannot be found by the academic competition judge and staff using the approved sites in three minutes time, the appeal will be denied. Appeals will only be considered between rounds. Appeals for a given round must be made prior to the next round's start.
          9.    Advisers of teams not participating in the championship match are required to attend and serve on the judging committee.
     
    Junior Varsity Matches
          1.    During the preliminary matches, a junior varsity match will be held immediately following each varsity match between the same three (3) schools who have just participated. All schools are required to participate.
          2.    Students who have not participated in a varsity match are eligible to compete. Once a student competes in a varsity match, he/she becomes ineligible for junior varsity competition for the remainder of the season.
          3.    Rules for the junior varsity matches are the same as in varsity competition with the following exception:
                   a.    As some schools do not have an excess of students participating in academic competition, the JV teams are not required to have six (6) different students in each match.
          4.    Each participating school may enter eight (8) junior varsity team members in the championship match. The students listed on the registration form are the only eligible participants. If a student becomes ill, a substitution may be made prior to the match. The adviser is responsible for notifying the academic competition coordinator prior to the beginning of the championship match.
          5.    Questions will be generated from the following areas:
    •    Literature / Fine Arts / Grammar •    American History / Geography / Economics •    Potpourri (any subject) •    Science •    Mathematics •    World History / Geography
          During competitions and throughout the handbook, these categories may be referred to by the names listed below. This does not exclude the other categories listed above and is used only as an abbreviation for the categories above.
    •    Literature •    American History •    World History  • Science • Math • Potpourri
          6.    The sequence of questions for the toss-up will be:
    Math - World History - Literature - American History - Science Potpourri - World History - Literature - American History - Science
                The sequence of questions for the fanfare will be: World History - Literature - American History - Science - Potpourri
          7.    A JV semi-final match consisting of 2 matches between the six (6) highest scoring teams at the completion of the preliminary matches will determine the JV championship competing teams. The winners from each of these 2 matches and the next highest scoring team in the semi-finals will advance to the finals where they will compete for the JV championship. This semi-final match will be held immediately prior to the Varsity semi-final match on February 10, 2012, (snow date: February 22) at the Chester County Intermediate Unit, 455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA. The final championship JV match will be held on March 1, 2011 (snow date: March 5, 2011) immediately prior to the Varsity championship at the Chester County Intermediate Unit,455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA.
          8.    The same tie-breaker scenario used for the varsity competition will apply to the junior varsity.
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