Online Tournament Guide
This page of NAQT’s online tournament guide states our preferred remedies for common technical issues encountered in online quiz bowl.
NAQT’s rule changes for online quiz bowl overlap with the purpose of these suggestions. We suggest reading those first.
- One of NAQT’s rule changes for online play allows a moderator to re-read all or part of a tossup question under certain conditions. These conditions are limited to mistakes made by the moderator or technical problems with the moderator’s equipment or Internet connection.
- Teams may not request the re-reading (or replacement) of all or part of a tossup question on the grounds of poor audio quality.
- The online rules allow teams to request the re-reading a bonus part if it asserts its members were unable to hear or understand it. This must be done before giving an official (“Our answer is”) answer and before being asked for its answer. The moderator will always accede to the first such request of each team in each game; subsequent requests are at the discretion of the moderator.
- Subsequent policies in this section make reference to a player “dropping.” This term is intended to include a player actually losing their connection, accidentally closing the Zoom client, having their video stream freeze, having their audio stream become unintelligible, or any other non-ephemeral occurrence that makes them unable to participate normally in the game.
- If a player drops, the moderator will finish the current tossup-bonus cycle (without the player participating), then wait up to 1 minute for the player to reconnect or remedy their connection. If the situation is remedied that way, the game will continue. If the player is unable to remedy the situation, the moderator will officially pause gameplay, allow both teams to make substitutions, and the game will continue. This pause does not count as a timeout (though the team may take its timeout to give the player additional time to rejoin).
- If the player drops after having signaled on a tossup question, the moderator will count this as an incorrect answer (possibly incurring an interrupt penalty). If the player drops or otherwise becomes unable to participate in the middle of giving an official (“Our answer is”) bonus answer, another player on the team has 3 seconds to begin providing the team’s answer. Rulings on this timing are not protestable.
- If a player drops and needs to rejoin the room, the moderator should admit them (from the waiting room) after the current tossup or bonus is completed. If their team has three or fewer active players, the player may immediately be made active again (without the use of a timeout). If their team substituted for them upon their drop, the player may not become active until the next point at which substitutions are generally allowed (e.g., halftime or a timeout). In either case, the moderator should explicitly let the rejoining player know whether they are active, and the player should update their Zoom display name accordingly.
- If a new player (not one who dropped) tries to join the room, the moderator should wait to admit them (from the waiting room) until just before the next tossup-bonus cycle begins.
- A moderator will go through the 1-minute wait up to twice per player per game. If the player drops a third time in the same game, the moderator will give both teams an immediate opportunity to substitute, but will otherwise continue the game.
- If the moderator becomes aware of audio or video problems that are impairing gameplay, they may suspend gameplay at a convenient point to determine which player is responsible. A moderator may ask a player to remove a source of background noise, to switch to a different piece of equipment (if such is available), to switch to “push-to-talk” mode, to refrain from unnecessary speech, or to take other reasonable actions that would improve the quality of the game. If the player cannot or will not follow those suggestions, the moderator may remove them as an active player (and, unless this is an ejection for uncooperativity or other misconduct under Rule K.6, give both teams the chance to substitute). Players may be removed in such a fashion even for issues that are not under the their control.
- If a moderator becomes unable to properly read questions or administer the game due to networking issues or other problems, they will contact the tournament director, who will determine an appropriate remedy (balancing the constraints of time, resources, and fairness). If the teams are unsure that the moderator will be able to contact the tournament director, they should also do so.