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EFT (Early Fall Tournament) is the name of two distinct series of easier-than-regular, non-packet submission college quizbowl tournaments. The original series ran five times between 2006 and 2010 and was written largely by the Brown club. The second series began in 2016 and ran until 2019.

The intent of EFT is to serve as an accessible "introduction to college quizbowl" for newer or less experienced teams, while still being appropriate for players of all skill levels. However, EFT is not a novice tournament; the easier difficulty, high quality, and non-packet-submission model of EFT gives it a wide appeal, but it is still quite challenging for new players. EFT's idea of being an "introduction to college quizbowl" is to be understood as also including giving new players the opportunity to play against all of their local circuit's "regulars," and thus get acquainted with the (small but close-knit) college quizbowl community, early in the fall season.

Modern revival

The "EFT" name was revived in fall 2016 by Will Alston, who head-edited the 2016, 2017, and 2019 iterations of EFT. (In 2018, Will edited SGI.)

The modern iterations of EFT were highly successful, routinely drawing the largest fields and most mirrors of any collegiate tournament not run by ACF or NAQT. After quickly earning a reputation as an exemplary easier-than-regular difficulty question set, the name "EFT" became nearly synonymous with the new "Medium" collegiate difficulty level and was an explicit target or reference difficulty for many sets since 2019 (2019 Terrapin, MWT, LIT, ACF Winter).


The 2019 iteration of EFT was edited and written by Will Alston, Jakob Myers, Rahul Keyal, and Eric Mukherjee, with Aayush Rajakesaran, Matthew Lehmann, Rohith Nagari, Catherine Qian, Julia Zhou, Rebecca Rosenthal, Nick Collins, and Ankit Aggarwal. It had an open call for collaborators shortly after 2018 EFT.[1] Ophir Lifshitz assisted and created detailed stats.

It was played by roughly 210 total teams across 14 mirrors, likely setting a record.

Afterward, Will announced that he did not intend to edit another full-blown collegiate tournament (again),[2] and tried to institute an informal "hand-off" system (similar to Chicago Open) in which the head-editor bequeaths the brand to a requisitioning new head-editor.[3] In 2020, nobody stepped up and Will edited IKEA instead; the gap left by EFT was filled by LIT and the newly revived ACF Winter.


2019 EFT was highly praised.

In a short discussion about "tough" tossup answers with under 75% empirical conversion (such as on important and famous creators like Keith Haring, György Ligeti, and Alice Munro), Ben Miller argued that it is better for them to be asked as medium parts of bonuses.[4] Others defended and justified them since EFT's philosophy is not about having all easy answers, otherwise it wouldn't do its job as a "welcome to college quizbowl" balancing many audiences.

The forced humor in several questions was criticized as unnecessary, unamusing, self-serving, unprofessional, and out of place for such an esteemed and popular tournament that represents "what quizbowl is like" and sends an undesirable message to so many new players (including high schoolers) having their first college tournament experience.


The 2018 iteration was originally intended to be head edited by Joey Goldman alongside editors Alex Damisch, Ewan MacAulay, Dylan Minarik, Tejas Raje, Ramapriya Rangaraju, and Ryan Rosenberg. However, management of the tournament broke down, forcing the original editors Tejas, Alex, Dylan, and Ryan to recruit additional editors Billy Busse, Ike Jose, Eric Mukherjee, Will Nediger, Jacob Reed, and Kenji Shimizu in the final weeks of its production. Jordan Brownstein, Rob Carson, Auroni Gupta, Andrew Hart, Kady Hsu, Ryan Humphrey, Young Fenimore Lee, Benji Nguyen, Andrew Wang, and Jason Zhou were writers. Joey and Ewan were unable to complete their roles as head editor and science editor respectively and were ultimately credited as writers; the set's subtitle was made I guess Brexit really does mean Brexit as a result. Ramapriya did not appear in the final credits. Alex managed logistics. Ophir Lifshitz assisted and created detailed stats.[5]


The final product was thought to have overshot its intended difficulty, and its unfortunate editing situation meant that it was much rougher around the edges than previous iterations of EFT.

In the general discussion thread, Justine French criticized putting hard clues in easy parts since it would dishearten players by rendering their knowledge useless.[6] Justine also claimed that detailed stats are a "significant burden on hosts" (forcing them to recruit double the staffers[7]), "only exist so that elite players can flex" (by "remembering clues from Chicago Open four years ago"), and are "actively harmful to the community" unless editors use them to actively fix questions.[8] French's hyperbolic arguments were widely criticized, with Billy Busse comparing them to "throwing a temper tantrum at McDonalds because they put pickles on your burger after you asked for no pickles."[9]

The set also featured Andrew Wang's memorable tossup on "carbon and carbon," which Graham Reid described as "pathological."[10] The question was changed to ask for "these bonds" in later mirrors, but the mere existence of this question inspired several players to neg future tossups that used the pronoun "these two elements" with the answer "carbon and carbon."

A bond between these two elements is reversibly formed and broken in a Wanzlick equilibrium. Some schemes for forming bonds between these two elements use catalytic cycles consisting of oxidative addition, transmetalation, and reductive elimination. A bond forms between these two elements in the first step of a reaction that has a four-membered oxaphosphetane ring intermediate. A bond between these two elements forms in palladium-catalyzed (*) coupling reactions. Organometallic reagents are often used to produce bonds between these two elements by giving one of them an atypical nucleophilic character. Bonds between these two elements are simply drawn as lines with no labels in skeletal structures of molecules. For 10 points, the backbone of organic chemistry consists of bonds between what two elements, which both have an atomic mass of 12?

ANSWER: carbon AND carbon [or C AND C; or two carbons; accept carbon–carbon bonds]

Region Host Date Champion Second Stats Packets
Discord the editing team 9/22/2018 Stats Packets
SoCal UCLA 12/1/2018 Stats
NorCal Stanford 11/10/2018 Stats
Virginia Tech Virginia Tech 11/10/2018 Stats
SoCal UCSD 10/27/2018 cancelled
UK (closed) Oxford 10/20/2018 Prelims, Combined
Boise State Boise State 10/13/2018 BYU Oregon Stats
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech 10/13/2018 Prelims, Overall
UK (open) Oxford 10/13/2018 Stats
Yale Yale 10/13/2018 Amherst A Harvard B Morning, Complete
UCF University of Central Florida 10/13/2018 Prelims, Combined
Canada Carleton University 10/13/2018 Toronto J Toronto B Prelims, All Games
Minnesota Minnesota 10/6/2018 "Drangonball Z" (sic) Minnesota D Stats
WUSTL WUSTL 10/6/2018 Prelims, combined
Michigan Michigan 9/29/2018 OSU A MSU A Prelims, Combined
Maryland Maryland 9/29/2018 Johns Hopkins A Maryland A Prelims, Combined


The 2017 iteration was again edited by Will Alston and Richard Yu, with James Lasker joining them. Other writers included Alex Fregeau, Vasa Clarke, Eric Xu, and Jack Mehr. Ophir Lifshitz assisted and created detailed stats.[11]

It followed in the steps of TTIAC by including a "thought" distribution.


2017 EFT was one of the first tournaments to collect detailed stats (and specifically buzzpoints) on a large scale, following trials at MYSTERIUM, EFT, 2016 Terrapin, TTIAC, and Jordaens in 2016–2017. Many moderators had never used the new online scorekeeping system, or any online scoresheet, before.

In the thread "PSA - Don't be a Luddite", Will said that attendees of the WUSTL mirror complained that several moderators misbehaved due to displeasure with the technology. After David Dennis came forward as one of them, Nicholas Conder said that learning a new system on short notice was a daunting task; Cody Voight (and a chorus of others) responded by asserting that it was easy to learn. Any conversation about how to improve the interface and usability of the technology was quickly drowned out by accusations of stupidity, malice, and incompetence leveled between those who had never used it and those who had.

Though many people found the system as easy or easier to use than either online or paper scoresheets, it was clearly harder for some less experienced moderators. Many improvements were promptly made to the system, its logistics (communicating requirements to hosts with plenty advance notice), and its documentation (instructions and accommodations to help those who may be less tech-savvy), in response to feedback in and out of the thread.

Region Host Date Champion Second Stats Packets
Skype the editing team 12/26/2017 Stats Packets
Michigan Michigan 10/21/2017 Prelims, Combined
UK 10/21/2017 Stats (incomplete)
Northern California Stanford 10/15/2017 Stats
Louisville Louisville 10/14/2017 Prelims, Combined
Southern California UCSD 10/14/2017 Stats
Canada University of Toronto 10/14/2017 Stats
Virginia Virginia 10/14/2017 Prelims, Overall
WKU WKU 10/14/2017 (cancelled)
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech 10/14/2017 Stats
Minnesota University of Minnesota 10/14/2017 Stats
Boise State Boise State 10/14/2017 Oregon Colorado Stats
WUSTL WUSTL 10/7/2017 Prelims, Combined
Yale Yale 9/30/2017 Prelims, Combined
New College of Florida New College of Florida 9/30/2017 Stats
Second Skype the editing team 12/26/2017 Stats


The 2016 iteration of EFT was edited by Will Alston, Richard Yu, and Andrew Wang, with writing contributions from Eddie Kim, Jason Cheng, Parikshit Chauhan, Jason Zhou, and Ryan Humphrey. Auroni Gupta, Ike Jose, and Billy Busse assisted with tournament production. Ophir Lifshitz assisted and created detailed stats.[12]

This tournament was the first to explicitly include a playtest mirror by holding an open Skype mirror of the tournament a week before any closed mirrors.

Region Host Date Champion Second Stats Packets
Skype the editing team 9/17/2016 Stats Packets
Northeast New York University 10/1/2016 Prelims, Combined
Mid-Atlantic University of Maryland 10/8/2016 Prelims, Combined
Southeast Duke University 10/8/2016 Prelims, Combined
Florida University of Florida 10/1/2016 Stats
Kentucky Western Kentucky University 10/15/2016 Stats
Texas Texas A&M 10/29/2016 Stats
North University of Minnesota 9/24/2016 Stats
Upper Midwest University of Chicago 10/22/2016 Prelims, Complete
Lower Midwest Washington University in St. Louis 10/1/2016 Stats
Great Lakes Youngstown State University 10/8/2016 Prelims, Playoffs
Northern California Stanford University 10/15/2016 Prelims, Combined
Southwest University of California, San Diego 10/8/2016 Prelims, Combined
Canada University of Ottawa 10/15/2016 Stats
UK Oxford 11/26/2016 Stats

Original Brown tournament


EFT 5: The Prince of Aquitaine whose Tournament is Destroyed was a collaboration between Brown, Eric Mukherjee, and Illinois, headed by Ike Jose. Mirrors occurred at Brown, Illinois, VCU, Georgia Tech, and Toronto, with the main site taking place on October 2, 2010.

This incarnation of EFT received more criticism than previous years, with common complaints being poor grammar and lack of copyediting, absurd difficulty outliers, and an unclear baseline difficulty.[13] A discussion about slack eligibility guidelines and gentlemen's agreements also took place.[14]

Set Region Host Date Champion Second Stats Packets
EFT 5 New England (main site) Brown October 2, 2010 Harvard A Yale A Prelims, Playoffs Packets
Midwest Illinois October 2, 2010 Minnesota A Minnesota B Stats
California Claremont October 3, 2010 Irvine UCSD A Prelims, Playoffs
Mid-Atlantic VCU October 3, 2010 Maryland A Carnegie Mellon Stats
Minnesota Minnesota October 16, 2010 Gautam Kandlikar St. Thomas A Stats
Southeast Georgia Tech October 23, 2010 South Carolina A Chipola & Georgia (tie) Prelims, Playoffs
Canada Toronto October 31, 2010 Western Ontario Toronto A Stats


EFT 4: Cattle-Related Vocabulary took place on October 3 and 4, 2009 at Brown, Virginia, Illinois, Texas, UCLA, Millsaps, Toronto, Gonzaga, and Macalester. Substantial portions of the set were written by Jerry Vinokurov, Guy Tabachnick, Eric Mukherjee, Aaron Rosenberg, Daniel Klein, and Ian Eppler, with contributions from Seth Teitler, Ike Jose, Trygve Meade, and Hannah Kirsch.

The tournament was mostly well-received, with most of the complaints centered on uneven bonus difficulty and mediocre copyediting. The tournament elicited discussion of the nature of stock clues after Andy Watkins criticized the use of the Reptile Fund as an early clue for Bismarck. A discussion of the trash distribution in academic tournaments also ensued.[15]

Set Region Host Date Champion Second Stats Packets
EFT 4 New England (main site) Brown October 3, 2009 Harvard B Harvard A Prelims, Playoffs Packets
Canada Toronto October 3, 2009 Toronto A Michigan A Prelims, Playoffs
Mid-Atlantic Virginia October 3, 2009 Maggie Walker State College Stats
Midwest Illinois October 3, 2009 Chicago D Chicago B Stats
Minnesota Macalester October 3, 2009 Minnesota Red Carleton Stats
Northwest Gonzaga October 3, 2009 Washington A Washington B Stats
Southeast South Carolina October 3, 2009 Clemson Southside Stats
Texas UT-Austin October 3, 2009 Rice LASA A Stats
California UCLA October 4, 2009 UCSD Steve Katz Stats
South Millsaps October 4, 2009 Alabama A? Alabama B? Stats


EFT 3: Trapping Bees in a Dyson Sphere ran on October 4 and 11, 2008, at various sites around the country, including Brown, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, UCLA, FSU and Illinois, with many sites seeing record attendance (the Brown site had to cap registration at 24 teams due to staff shortages). The set was written in equal shares by Jerry Vinokurov, Dennis Jang, Eric Mukherjee, and Aaron Rosenberg, with contributions from Jonathan Magin, Evan Nagler, Lisa Qing, and Eric Johnson, and as tradition dictates, was assembled at 7 a.m. on the day of the tournament.

The tournament was received well overall, with the exception of a tossup on peer-to-peer networks and an excess of questions on comic books in the trash distribution (everyone knows whose fault that is). The tournament also set off a large discussion about the writing of music questions, due to a tossup on the Leningrad Symphony containing some technical middle clues that were not uniquely identifying.[16]

EFT 3 was also notably the subject of Christian Flow's Mind Games Article in the Harvard Crimson, which followed the exploits of Dallas Simons and the Harvard B team.

Set Region Host Date Champion Second Stats Packets
EFT 3 New England (main site) Brown October 4, 2008 Harvard A Dartmouth A Stats Packets
California UCLA October 4, 2008 UCLA 2 UCSD A & Stanford (tie) Stats
Mid-Atlantic Wake Forest October 11, 2008 Maryland B Virginia Stats
Florida FSU Stats
Midwest Illinois Stats
Southeast Vanderbilt Stats


EFT 2, subtitled Rataplan Ghost Rides the World War I Ambulance, was written by Dennis Jang, Eric Mukherjee, and Jerry Vinokurov, with the same goal as the previous incarnation. Mirrors were held at Brown, UCLA, USF, William and Mary, Chicago, Vanderbilt, and OU, with the main mirror taking place on September 29, 2007.

Rutgers won the Brown mirror after defeating Harvard, with Jason Keller winning the individual scoring award.[17] The tournament was a huge logistical nightmare however, and prizes couldn't be given because stats were not compiled in time. Surprisingly, people did not complain.

The question set itself was praised fairly highly, with some qualms about the length of the questions (which averaged somewhere between 6 and 7 lines), the difficulty of tossups on Tlaloc and Legendre, the representation of the social science canon (some liked it, some didn't), and a factual error about the writer of Harrison Bergeron. The two packets written exclusively by Jerry were also seen as much more difficult than the others. Willie Chen returned briefly to complain about problems in the set that didn't exist, but was quickly refuted by Eric and Chris Ray.[18]

Dennis Jang compiled a spreadsheet of tossup and bonus conversion stats from the 20-team Brown site, which is no longer available.[19]

Set Region Host Date Champion Second Stats Packets
EFT 2 New England (main site) Brown September 29, 2007 Rutgers Harvard Stats Packets
Texas/Oklahoma Oklahoma September 29, 2007 UT-Austin Harding Stats
California UCLA October 6, 2007 Irvine A UCLA B Prelims, Playoffs
Florida USF October 6, 2007 Not available
Mid-Atlantic William and Mary October 6, 2007 Maryland A Penn Stats
Midwest Chicago October 6, 2007 Minnesota B Illinois A & UIC (tie) Prelims, Playoffs
Southeast Vanderbilt October 6, 2007 Alabama A WUSTL A Stats


The first iteration of EFT was intended to be an additional early-season novice tournament that, unlike ACF Fall, did not require teams to submit a packet to play. It was written by Seth Teitler, Ryan Westbrook, Jerry Vinokurov, and Selene Koo. EFT was held at several regional sites over the weekends of October 7–8 and October 14–15, 2006. Host schools included Chicago, Brown, Maryland, Texas, Georgia Tech, USF, and UCLA.

Feedback can be found in this thread. Overall, this tournament was received with praise. Much of the commentary revolved around the difficulty of "hard" bonus parts as well as niche subjects like world literature and social science.

Set Region Host Date Champion Second Stats Packets
EFT 1 New England(main site) Brown October 7, 2006 Yale A Rutgers Stats Packets
California UCLA October 7, 2006 Stanford A UCLA A Stats
Florida USF October 7, 2006 Not available
Texas UT-Austin October 7, 2006 Not available
Southeast Georgia Tech October 8, 2006 Vanderbilt Kentucky Stats
Midwest Chicago October 14, 2006 Chicago A Michigan A Prelims, Playoffs

Broken stats link


  1. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=21905
  2. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=319&t=23306
  3. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=319&t=23309
  4. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=319&t=23340
  5. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=21874
  6. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=352325#p352325
  7. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=353437#p353437
  8. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=353399#p353399
  9. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=353414#p353414
  10. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=350010#p350010
  11. https://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=20525
  12. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=19187
  13. https://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10640
  14. https://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10620
  15. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=8626
  16. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6568
  17. https://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=60095#p60095
  18. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=4509
  19. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=4601