Talk:ACF Nationals

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"Considering the three events [ACF Nationals and its predecessors] as one chain of "ACF-style" national championships, [...]" Does anyone actually do that? – Alex Damisch (talk) 16:41, 12 August 2021 (CDT)


It's something one could and arguably should do. Every historical overview I've ever seen considers ACF from 1991-1997 and ACF from 1998-present to be the same organization for quizbowl purposes, even though the group was refounded in 1998 with completely new personnel and "legal structure" (whether ACF ever had a legal existence prior to a few years ago being debatable, but it was a completely separate entity in practice which is why it did not use the same name). So, if that counts, then one could fold the whole chain of NIT/AAI events in as well, since they had a very high degree of overlap in personnel and mission with ACF mark 1. In other words, the refounding of the AAI as "ACF" in 1991 is no more the creation of a fundamentally new organization then what happened in 1997-1998 was, but no one thinks the 1991-1997 ACF doesn't count. The main reason this approach isn't used, as far as I can determine, is that any knowledge at all of quizbowl history was extremely scarce and undervalued at the time that people started to do things like make lists of past national champions. I don't think more than 5 or 10 people who posted on the Usenet group in 1995 had any clue that stuff like NIT once existed, and dealing with the fact that we don't have full records of it is messy.
Perhaps a good analogy is the way Major League Baseball handles its records - the stats from the pre-1901 Major Leagues are included, even though they're spotty in places and the game was so different at the time that certain numbers always come in "overall" and "post-1901" versions to avoid distortion.
The other side of the "should" case just comes from the need to accurately depict history - the notion that ACF or independent quizbowl arose as some kind of "reaction to" College Bowl was believed for a long time. The more people learned in putting together the QBWiki, the more apparent it became that proto-ACF quizbowl actually was around for years before the College Bowl campus program began, and the two evolved in parallel and in dialogue with each other from that point forward, including College Bowl actually hiring its longtime chief writer from the Atlanta-area independent quizbowl scene. Emphasizing that the current version of ACF is part of a continuous year-by-year development going back to 1970 and holding championships since 1979 is more factually accurate than saying it started in 1991, and presents a strong claim against College Bowl's constant efforts to rewrite history for marketing purposes which are ongoing even now. Matt Weiner (talk) 17:47, 12 August 2021 (CDT)