Online Tournament Guide
This section of NAQT’s online tournament guide contains specific advice for people wanting to watch online quiz bowl tournaments.
As with the rest of this guide, this page assumes the tournament is following NAQT’s recommendations for videoconferencing technologies, game format, rule changes, and tournament policies.
Before the Tournament
- Check with the team you want to follow or the tournament director to make sure you know the tournament’s policies on spectators. Tournaments are not required to allow spectators and, if they do, they may have additional requirements not found in this guide.
- Buy, install, and test any videoconferencing equipment that you will need.
- Download and install the Zoom Client for Meetings (or the appropriate Zoom Mobile App). This is free, and you do not need to make a Zoom account. Do not use the Zoom web client (which has worse audio and video quality and limited features).
Make sure you know…
- how to enable/disable your video feed
- how to mute/unmute your microphone (though as a spectator, in all likelihood you should be muted at all times)
- how to use “push-to-talk” when muted
- how to change your Zoom display name
- Tournaments will use the Zoom videoconferencing platform. You will not need to make a Zoom account at any point in the process. There is no separate charge to you for using Zoom. (A charge for creating Zoom meeting rooms will be paid by the tournament host.)
- In the context of online tournaments, a game room will be a Zoom meeting that lasts for an entire day of gameplay and has a specific URL.
- Unlike players and coaches, multiple spectators may watch the game from a single computer (provided that they all comply with rules and policies about spectators).
- You must use their “usual name” as their Zoom display name. NAQT is intentionally not specifying “legal name,” but use the full name you generally use at quiz bowl tournaments. In particular, you may not use an alias that obscures your identity.
- You must enable a video feed during the match. This video feed must show your entire face. You may not use Zoom features (including virtual backgrounds) that alter your video feed.
- No spectator (or other participant) may record matches (in part or in whole, for any reason).
- If you want to watch specific games or specific teams, communicate with players or coaches in advance to make sure you receive information about which game rooms (Zoom meetings) to join and when. There is unlikely to be a central facility for helping you find games during a tournament.
- All game rooms will use a “waiting room” so people joining a room are not immediately admitted to the game. The moderator will be in charge of admitting people as they show up. This is partly a security measure and partly to prevent people from “barging into” a room when another game (besides the one the person is trying to enter) is going on.
A tournament schedule will designate one team in each room as “X” and the other as “Y.” This designation is unrelated to the use of letters to differentiate multiple teams from the same school. For instance, Central C could be the “X” (first) team in its Round 1 game, while Academy A could be the “Y” (second) team in the game.
If your name is “Jordan Doe” and you are associated with a specific team, set your display name to
[X-spec] Jordan Doeor
[Y-spec] Jordan Doewhen joining a game room (depending on whether your team is “X” or “Y”). If you are not associated with either team, use
[Z-spec] Jordan Doe.
- Upon joining a game, enable your video feed, mute yourself, open your Chat window, and set your Chat target to “Everybody.”
- Do not join the BuzzIn room that is being used as a buzzer system.
- You may interact with game participants (orally or by using public chat) until the moderator begins getting the game ready (checking buzzers, confirming names, etc.) This is an earlier threshold than the actual beginning of gameplay. Once that process starts, you must refrain from all interaction with participants until the game is over, including post-game business (e.g., announcing the final score). Expect very little opportunity to interact with players during these times due to the need to keep the tournament moving.
- Spectators must accept the unfortunate truth that their presence is not critical to the game. A game will not be delayed if you disconnect, and time will not be invested in resolving your audio or visual problems. If you contribute background noise or distractions of any kind (including visual ones), you may be muted and/or dropped from the game room. Finally, if the moderator determines that the additional network bandwidth used by spectators’ connections is affecting gameplay, they may drop any or all spectators from the game room.
More Things to Know
Please also read NAQT’s technical and behavioral suggestions for improving the online quiz bowl experience.
NAQT wants to hear about your experience with online quiz bowl—write to firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions, questions, complaints, or any other comments.