VETO was created by Peter McCorquodale of Simon Fraser. The first VETO was held on July 17, 1999, and was the first quizbowl tournament ever held in western Canada. It used packets from previous tournaments edited with Canadian content. VETO II used NAQT questions, again edited with Canadian content, and was mirrored at Waterloo. VETO III used the same format and was mirrored at Western Ontario. VETO IV, which had no eastern mirror, began the tradition of participants writing their own packets. Beginning with VETO V, the mirror has been held at Toronto.
The winners in both locations participate in the Trans-Canada Championship Match, using a three-way telephone call between the two sites and a moderator in another location.
In the early VETO tournaments, some American teams participated, but the later tournaments have tended to be exclusively Canadian, with teams from Simon Fraser, British Columbia, Western, Toronto, Ottawa, Brock, and McMaster, as well as teams of alumni, mixed teams from different universities, high school Reach for the Top teams, and freelance players such as Paul Paquet.
A number of prizes are given out, including top scorer (in Vancouver this is known as "West Coast Dominatrix of Relevant Knowledge", or WC-DORK, and has always been Peter McCorquodale, playing solo under the name FARSIDE); worst repeat; best Canadian question, etc.
Because of the guerrilla format, unfamiliarity with general quizbowl rules among new teams, the attempt to include Canadian content, and quirks such as "action bonuses", question quality and gameplay can vary wildly and are usually quite poor, though quality has increased in recent years, especially to other funn tournaments. VETO is/was frequently mocked on IRC and the hsquizbowl.org forums.
The questions were poorly-received by most players, who had shown up expecting a lighter and softer tournament than what had been written. Three teams left the Toronto site at lunch, and there were some reports of players threatening violence to the editor. The discussions about what had gone wrong were angry and inconclusive, but the fiasco probably led some people to reconsider the task of building a strong circuit in Canada.
The tournament was won by University of Oregon in Vancouver, TriviaHallofFame plus Philippe Marchand in Ottawa, and Toronto D plus Bruce Arthur in Hamilton. Peter McCorquodale's theme packet was included in the tournament unedited; it notably contained a bonus that required the moderator to hand out vegetables to the players.
The amount of profanity and sexual content was not appealing to the team of high school students who played at the Ottawa mirror.