2000 NAC

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2000 National Academic Championship
Champion Manheim Township
Runner-up Horace Greeley
Third Booker T. Washington
Fourth Plymouth Canton
High scorer Tim Youker of Chaska (MVP)
Editor/s Questions Unlimited
Site Loyola University in New Orleans (June 1-4), Marymount University in Arlington, VA (June 8-11), and Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA (June 15-18)

The scandal-ridden tournament was won by Manheim Township, who defeated Horace Greeley 445-320 in the final. The semifinals saw Manheim Township beat Plymouth Canton 350-315, and Greeley knock out Booker T. Washington 410-355.

Tournament events

The winners of the New Orleans and DC phases were to receive free travel to Malibu to compete for the overall championship, although the actual winner of DC was denied this offer, and two teams who had been knocked out were both flown to LA. Manheim Township and Horace Greeley ended up taking the top two spots in the tournament despite being eliminated in the playoffs. See below for details.

Future collegiate players at this tournament included Ben Heller and Matt Lafer of the Plymouth Canton team, Angelo Malabanan of the Booker T. Washington team, and Eric Kwartler of the Bellaire team.

Beall noted that "Manheim Township left little doubt, with their convincing (if not landslide) victory in the Finals, that they are the best academic team in the nation," despite their earlier loss in the playoffs to Grand Junction, and despite State College's steamrolling of the NAQT and PACE titles in the same year showing that MT was a far cry from even being the best team in Pennsylvania. $2500 was given as a prize to Manheim Township.

A category round written for the 1985 tournament and offered without any takers in every subsequent year, "Coats of Arms," was selected by Plano East in this tournament.

Edmond North was named the "Most Improved" team, moving up from 73rd in 1999 to 13th.

A "Comedy Sportz evening" was held at the DC site, though details are sadly unknown.

Only one of the six teams which finished in the top four of the NSC or HSNCT bothered to participate in the NAC; this was Dorman, whose NAC participation also ended after 2002. Combined with the successful 52-team HSNCT in Atlanta and the multiple scandals and question quality issues which plagued this event, 2000 was probably the tipping point for the legitimacy of the NAC.


Some of the questions from the tournament:

  • "Between which mountains on the west and which mountains on the east is Tacoma located?"
  • Audio tossup: "Name this common household appliance." (Answer: a blender)

Incomprehensible protest

This passage appeared in the tournament summary, referring to the first preliminary round at New Orleans, and became somewhat emblematic of the weirdness and subterfuge that defines a Chip Beall tournament:


Quizbowl aficionados have noted several problems with this writeup:

  • The concept of a tossup on "bushing."
  • Accepting a wildly wrong answer for no apparent reason, and requiring the opposing team to use the sole protest it is granted for the entire tournament under the NAC rules in order to reverse that decision.
  • Asking a "vibration engineer" a question involving watchmaking, trivia about the names of pencil parts, and vocabulary.
  • However, research has confirmed that noted vibration engineer Art Crawford was indeed involved in the Manhattan Project as a graduate student, so suspicions about that appellation are unfounded.

Matt Lafer's tournament writeup

Plymouth Canton was named "Rookie of the Century" for finishing fourth in their school's first year at the NAC. A team member later expressed his opinions about the tournament:


Grand Junction retroactive forfeit scandal

Grand Junction stormed through the playoffs at the DC phase, knocking off Horace Greeley in the semifinals and Manheim Township in the finals. However, the players who participated at DC had already committed to play in the Panasonic Academic Challenge the following week, and could not travel to Malibu to contend in the NAC final four. Their coach informed Beall that the B team would be claiming the travel prize and playing for the title. In response, Beall retroactively forfeited all of Grand Junction's prelim and playoff games and declared that both Manheim Township and Horace Greeley were now "undefeated" and would both be transported to Malibu for the championship rounds.

In addition to the implications of this action for the legitimacy of the tournament, several Yahoo board posters wondered if Beall's withdrawal of the offered prize for the DC competition (the free trip to LA) might constitute fraud or a similar legal offense.

The tournament summary refers to Manheim Township as going undefeated for the tournament, and Grand Junction's scores were changed to 0 in all of their games. The playoff bracket notes that "The NAA, along with a commitee of team coaches who come to Nationals every year and who themselves run tournaments, regrets to announce that forfeit-status has been ascribed to all Grand Junction games." The membership of this "commitee [sic]" and its procedures for operating has never been discovered.

The NAC rules now include this:


As this does not address the issue of switching players, and requiring people to be transported against their will is legally unenforceable, it is questionable whether this rule will have any impact on a similar situation in the future.

Matt Cushman of the Manheim Township "championship" team stated that "grand junction was by far the strongest team there."

Beall wrote, in an e-mail to Nate Meyvis, that Grand Junction would have to pay a fine in order to participate in the NAC again, and the teams who lost to them in the playoffs (Detroit Country Day and Streator) would receive a portion. However, Grand Junction has not played in the NAC after this incident, so the question of enforcing or distributing such a fine has not come up.

Suspicions of favoritism or match fixing

This tournament attracted a higher-than-usual number of complaints about questions mysteriously going missing or being tailored to certain teams, on top of the other scandals.

Chris Frankel of the St. John's team posted about a game with Chaska in which a long search for a "missing" lightning round turned up a set of questions on "Italian opera," perfectly matching the known interest of Chaska captain Tim Youker, who swept the category to lead his team to a comeback win.

Matt Lafer of the Plymouth Canton team described choosing a lightning round labeled "mystery round," which Chip then claimed he could not read because he had "given away the mystery," and replaced with a "children's literature" category that Canton only scored one correct answer on.


The 119-team field, as ranked on the QU website:

  • 1. Manheim Township
  • 2. Horace Greeley
  • 3. Booker T. Washington
  • 4. Plymouth Canton
  • 5. Irmo A
  • 6. Walton
  • 7. Bellaire
  • 8. Chaska
  • 9. Streator
  • 10. Hibbing
  • 11. Dorman
  • 12. James Island
  • 13. Edmond North
  • 14. Plano
  • 14. St. John's (TX)
  • 15. Andrean
  • 17. Coronado
  • 18. Plano East
  • 19. Collegiate
  • 20. Detroit Country Day
  • 21. Waramaug
  • 22. Nazareth
  • 23. St. John's Prep (MA)
  • 24. Sylvania Southview
  • 25. Rye Country Day
  • 26. St. Joseph's (NJ)
  • 27. Ardsley
  • 28. Caddo Magnet
  • 29. Clear Lake
  • 30. Klein
  • 31. Jesuit
  • 32. White Plains
  • 33. Auburn
  • 34. St. Andrew's A
  • 35. Kellenberg Memorial
  • 36. Rye
  • 37. Salem
  • 38. Loyola
  • 39. Ward Melville
  • 40. Fort Worth Country Day
  • 41. Warwick
  • 42. Middletown
  • 43. Owosso
  • 44. Claremore
  • 45. Thornton
  • 46. Rye Neck
  • 47. Edgemont
  • 48. Jackson Prep
  • 49. Riverside
  • 50. Archmere
  • 51. Haddon Township
  • 52. Lamar
  • 53. John Cooper
  • 54. Redwood Valley
  • 55. Andover
  • 56. Cold Spring Harbor
  • 57. Kinkaid
  • 58. Shawnee
  • 59. St. Mary's Memorial
  • 60. Coatesville A
  • 61. Vandebilt Catholic
  • 62. New Rochelle
  • 63. Hastings
  • 64. Notre Dame
  • 65. Huntsville
  • 66. Edmonson County
  • 67. Boone
  • 68. Bromfield
  • 69. Flora
  • 70. Coatesville B
  • 71. Eureka
  • 72. Shelton
  • 73. Altamont
  • 74. White Cloud
  • 75. All Saints
  • 76. East Brunswick
  • 77. Hancock
  • 78. St. Joseph's (IN)
  • 79. Klein Forest
  • 80. Cooperstown
  • 81. Fisher Catholic
  • 82. Aiken
  • 83. Lancaster Mennonite
  • 84. Sycamore
  • 85. Johnson Central
  • 86. Madison Central
  • 87. Big Spring
  • 88. Tatnall
  • 89. Edwards County
  • 90. Defiance
  • 91. Murrah
  • 92. Kent City
  • 93. Williamson
  • 94. Broad Ripple
  • 95. Alief Hastings
  • 96. Kennewick
  • 97. Oshkosh West
  • 98. Washington
  • 99. Lenape
  • 100. St. Andrew's B
  • 101. Tri-Valley
  • 102. Wallenpaupack
  • 103. Geneva
  • 104. Ripley
  • 105. Turpin
  • 106. Temple
  • 106. Ysleta
  • 108. Carter
  • 109. Isle of Wight
  • 110. Horseheads
  • 111. Delaware Valley
  • 112. Benicia
  • 113. Ozen
  • 114. Forest City
  • 115. Riverside Poly
  • 116. Campo
  • 117. Irmo B
  • 118. Timber Lake
  • 119. Grand Junction


2000 National Academic Championship
1999 NAC
2001 NAC