Qualifying for the ICT

Teams interested in competing at the ICT should arrange to attend one of the Sectional Championship Tournaments (SCTs) held in February of the same year. Essentially all qualification for the ICT is done via performance at that year’s SCTs.

A detailed description of the qualification policy for both divisions appears below. Questions, comments, or suggestions may be directed to NAQT at ict@naqt.com. Teams that do not qualify for the ICT may consider attending the ICT on standby basis.

Participating schools should keep in mind that schools, and not individuals or teams, receive invitations to the ICT. A school that receives an invitation may send any eligible players even if they did not compete at Sectionals, competed at Sectionals on a team that did not qualify, competed at Sectionals on a different team that did qualify, or competed at Sectionals in another Division. This is true even if a school receives multiple bids; there is no requirement that the same players who earned those bids play on the same teams (or play at all) at the ICT.

Schools that earn Division I bids may send teams that are eligible for the Division I (Undergraduate) title or not, as they see fit. This is true regardless of the eligibility for that title of the team that earned the bid and how the bid was earned. A school that qualifies a team through having one of its teams be Division I (Undergraduate) champion at a Sectional may still send a team that is not eligible to win that title to the ICT.

Division I

The overall Division I champion from each Sectional with at least four Division I teams receives an automatic invitation.

The Division I (Undergraduate) champion from each Sectional with at least four Division I (Undergraduate) teams receives an automatic invitation. If an undergraduate team wins both the undergraduate and the overall titles at a Sectional it still receives only one bid.

Four-year SCT hosts may opt to take their automatic bid in Division I or Division II. Different rules apply in each case; see below for more information.

A number of spots may be initially reserved by NAQT for champions of other events. Historically this has happened with the British Student Quiz Championships. The number of spots being reserved will be announced along with the initial list of invitations following the completion of Sectionals.

The remaining teams that competed in Division I will be ordered according to a calculated statistic (the “D-value”) and the remaining invitations will be issued in order from the highest value to the lowest value. These invitations are issued without regard to the Sectional attended.

The teams that competed but did not receive original invitations will form a waitlist for the ICT; they will be invited in the order specified by their D-values if teams decline their invitations. These invitations are also issued without regard to the Sectional attended.

Division II

The overall Division II champion from each Sectional with at least four Division II teams receives an automatic invitation. The top Community College team at a four-year Sectional does not receive an automatic invitation.

Four-year SCT hosts may opt to take their automatic bid in Division I or Division II. Different rules apply in each case; see below for more information. Two-year SCT hosts do not receive automatic bids.

A number of spots may be initially reserved by NAQT for champions of other events. The number of spots being reserved will be announced along with the initial list of invitations following the completion of Sectionals. There have been no spots reserved in this fashion for at least five years and it is unlikely to occur in any given year.

Additional Division II teams from four-year SCTs will be invited in order of D-values (as was the case in Division I) up to a total of 28 (counting the invitations issued to automatic champions, hosts, and champions of other events).

The top 4 teams from the Community College Championship Tournament will also be invited into the Division II field.

NAQT reserves the right to reallocate invitations from four-year Division II SCT teams to CCCT teams (and vice versa) if there is a substantial statistical break in the waitlisted teams’ D-values in one pool but not in the other.

Teams from four-year schools should keep in mind that all players that competed on teams that qualified for the ICT (in either Division) lose Division II eligibility for future years (but, of course, may compete in Division II at ICT for which they qualified). In addition, all players who actually go on to compete at the ICT (in either division) will lose Division II eligibility for future years. The rule for players from community colleges and two-year schools is somewhat different.

Combined Fields

If the divisions at a Sectional compete together (as a result of one or both divisions not having at least four teams), then an automatic invitation will also be given to the overall winner if there are at least four total teams at the Sectional.

Host Automatic Bids

Hosts of four-year SCTs who not only provide rooms but also take responsibility for running and staffing an SCT will receive one or more automatic bids depending on their teams’ ICT attendance and performance in the previous year, their teams’ SCT performance in the current year, and whether or not they also hosted in the previous year.

Guest-Editor Bids

From time to time, NAQT may invite skilled ”guest editors” from the community of collegiate players to collaborate on producing one or both of the SCT tournament sets. In such a case, the guest editor’s school will receive a single bid to the Division I ICT that cannot be dissolved (and, of course, the guest editor will not be allowed to compete at the SCT).

D-values

To make the qualification system more transparent, NAQT has released its new D-value system, which combines statistical measures of tossup performance and bonus performance and includes corrections for opponent strength. The final result is adjusted by overall finish so that teams will not be invited ahead of those that finished ahead of them at the same Sectional.

It is always better to win, even if this puts you into a higher (and harder) playoff bracket, and it is always better to convert a tossup, given the opportunity, and to convert bonus points, given the opportunity. Tossup statistics are computed per tossup heard (and bonus statistics per bonus heard), so there is no benefit to running up the score by trying to rush through a huge number of tossups near the end of a game.

Wildcard Invitations

NAQT accepts wildcard applications from schools that did not qualify by the above criteria but whose teams have demonstrated a high quality of play in academic competition throughout the year. Particular consideration will be given to schools that, for geographical reasons, had difficulty attending NAQT tournaments.

NAQT reserves the right to accept wildcard applications at any time after they have been submitted; that is, NAQT may accept particularly strong applications immediately but may postpone making a decision on others until further tournaments have completed or it has a better idea how many ICT spots will be taken by automatic qualifiers. Teams may inquire as to the status of their request at any time. NAQT understands that wildcard teams need to know whether or not they can attend the tournament as soon as possible and will make every effort to contact teams as soon as a final decision has been made about their request.

Please note that NAQT is only likely to accept distance-based wildcard requests from schools for which the nearest SCT site would require a full day of traveling in each direction (in addition to the day of playing the tournament).

Standby Teams

Teams located near the tournament site may be interested in attending on a standby basis. Standby teams are not guaranteed a spot in the field, but if there is a last-minute cancellation, they’ll replace the missing team without paying a registration fee.