Fall Novice Tournament

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Fall Novice Tournament is a novice-difficulty high school tournament written and edited entirely by high schoolers and/or rising freshmen each fall, with logistical supervision from interested collegiate players who do not write for the event. Its goal is to provide an extremely answerable set for new players and novices in every region and expose interested contributing high schoolers to question writing in a controlled environment for the first time.

Because it is a volunteer outreach effort, no fees are charged to hosts that use the packet set. However, this means that all potential host sites must bid to use the set. Bids are used to ensure that the hosts comply with the principles of good quizbowl, including the use of playoff structures that keep all teams engaged, eligibility restrictions to prevent obviously non-novice players from competing, and prompt reporting of statistics. It is believed that no bid has ever been denied unless it was in direct competition for teams with another already-approved bid.


Inspired by online discussions of the inadequacies of A-sets at the time, the 2009 Fall Novice Tournament was a project aimed to create an accessible, pyramidal, and canonical tournament specifically designed for novice teams. Edited by Sarah Angelo, Charlie Rosenthal, and Zhao Zhang, the tossups were written in 12-point Times New Roman and rarely exceeded five lines, with few bonus parts exceeding two lines. It was overseen by George Berry, Charlie Dees, Donald Taylor, Andy Watkins and Dwight Wynne.

Several mirrors of the set were hosted across the country from September to December 2009, with individual hosts setting different eligibility restrictions. Overall, the set was well-received, with scattered complaints about difficulty outliers.


Location Champion Second Place Third Place Fourth Place Stats Forum Link
Alpharetta Dorman A Hoover A Chattahoochee A Brookwood A [1] [2]
Brandeis Concord-Carlisle Bromfield Needham Scab [3] [4]
Illinois Carbondale Centennial Bloomington Scab [5] [6]
LASA LASA B Cistercian A St. John's Red Seven Lakes [7] [8]
Maggie Walker St. Anselm's Georgetown Day Cave Spring A Collegiate [9] [10]
Saint Viator Barrington A New Trier A Loyola A Loyola B [11] [12]
Walt Whitman Richard Montgomery A Quince Orchard Thomas Jefferson A Blake [13] [14]


George Berry oversaw the second iteration of Fall Novice, which was edited by Stephen Eltinge, Douglas Graebner, and Matt Jackson. Although eighteen bids were accepted from fourteen states and Ontario, Canada, only twelve of those sites were able to run actual tournaments.


Location Champion Second Place Third Place Fourth Place Stats Forum Link
Alpharetta Dorman A Norcross A Chattahoochee A Walton A [15] [16]
Detroit Catholic Central Detroit Catholic Central A Detroit Catholic Central C Detroit Catholic Central B International Academy East [17] [18]
Dorman Riverside Pikeville A Southside Christian Dawkins A [19] [20]
Hoover Altamont A Hoover B Altamont B Hume-Fogg B [21] [22]
LASA LASA Blue Cistercian C Cistercian A LASA White [23] [24]
Lisgar Lisgar B Merivale A Lisgar D Lisgar A [25] [26]
Lyndon State South Burlington A Hanover Fair Haven A South Burlington C [27] [28]
Northwestern Loyola A IMSA A IMSA B Latin A [29] [30]
Rock Bridge Rock Bridge Helias A Hickman St. Pius X [31] [32]
Thomas Jefferson (VA) Richard Montgomery A Thomas Jefferson A Maggie Walker A Woodson [33] [34]
Washington Lakeside Bellevue "Hogwarts 1" RA Long [35] [36]


George Berry returned to oversee the 2011 tournament with further oversight and difficulty-reduction by Charlie Dees. Its editors are James Bradbury, Lily Chen, Diana Gerr, Tanay Kothari, Aidan Mehigan, and Max Schindler. As of September 2011, twenty-one host sites in sixteen states, Ontario, and the District of Columbia were approved.


Location Champion Second Place Third Place Fourth Place Stats Forum Link
Arizona State Brophy A Desert Vista A Desert Vista B Brophy D [37] [38]
Bellarmine Harker A Escobar Crystal Springs Bellarmine B [39] [40]
Boise State Treasure Valley pi Treasure Valley e Canyon Ridge Kuna B [41] [42]
Dorman Spartanburg A Thomas Jefferson A SCGSSM Beaufort B [43] [44]
Frenchtown Frenchtown A Loyola Sentinel A Skyview B [45]
Lisgar Lisgar B Lisgar A Earl of March Lisgar C [46] [47]
Hunter Tournament was ended early due to inclement weather [48] [49]
Ladue SLUH Clayton A Clayton B CBC [50] [51]
Lyndon State Phillips Exeter A Phillips Exeter B Hanover Fair Haven A [52] [53]
Macomb Mercer County Macomb Glenwood A Moline [54] [55]
Minnesota Wayzata A Roseville B Roseville A Orono B [56] [57]
North Kansas City Smithville Lawrence Holden A Notre Dame de Sion [58] [59]
Northwestern Loyola A Belvidere North Stevenson A IMSA A [60] [61]
Ohio State South Range Fisher Catholic A Fisher Catholic B St. Charles [62] [63]
Rock Bridge Hickman A Rock Bridge A Helias A Columbia Independent [64] [65]
St. Anselm's Thomas Jefferson A Longfellow A Richard Montgomery A Centennial A [66] [67]
UCSD Torrey Pines A La Jolla San Dieguito A Bishop C [68] [69]
Virginia Tech Cave Spring A Christiansburg B Blacksburg A Christiansburg A [70] [71]
Waterloo Centennial St. Joseph's A St. Joseph's B Waterloo Collegiate [72] [73]

2012 and beyond

Fall Novice Tournament did not happen in the 2012-13, with a lack of dedicated editorship among the cited reasons [74]. As such, SCOP Novice got a much larger mirroring audience. The continuation of Fall Novice Tournament in future years remains uncertain.