Novice is an adjective that may refer to a tournament or the difficulty of the packet set used at the tournament.
A novice set or novice-difficulty packet set is one that is intended to be significantly easier than the standard, regular-difficulty set. At the college level, novice sets include ACF Fall and Minnesota Undergraduate Tournament. Yearly since 2010, a collegiate set is produced that is easier than ACF Fall, intended for players who are new to collegiate quizbowl who were not dominant in their high school playing career. At the high school level, IS-A sets are the most widely played example of a novice set.
A novice tournament is one that uses novice sets and has severe eligibility restrictions. Novice tournaments typically restrict eligibility to players who (1) have played mainstream quizbowl for fewer than two years and/or (2) are freshmen or sophomores academically. In college, typically both conditions must be met. In high school, many tournaments require one and disregard the other; tournaments that only use the second restriction are often referred to as junior varsity.