Individual Player National Championship Tournament Rules
These are the competition rules for the Individual Player National Championship Tournament (IPNCT).
- Unless modified in this document, standard NAQT gameplay rules apply.
- All rules related to bonus questions, teammates, and the captain of a team do not apply.
- IPNCT matches have only tossup questions.
- All IPNCT matches are untimed and will use a specified number of tossups for regulation play. The number of tossups may not be the same for all matches.
- The tournament may involve group matches, head-to-head matches, or both.
- Some games at the IPNCT will be group matches, which are characterized by three or more (typically eight to ten) players competing to answer tossups.
- As under NAQT’s standard rules, the first correct response ends a tossup.
Unlike NAQT’s standard rules, different players may continue to signal and provide responses until the tossup is answered correctly, until time is called, or until every player has signaled once.
- All incorrect answers (not just the first) given before the moderator has finished the question will lead to an interrupt penalty (“neg five”) for the player.
- The moderator will restart the three-second countdown for signaling after clearing the lockout system after each incorrect response.
In some group matches, a player can buzz out by accumulating a certain number of points.
- A player who has buzzed out will no longer participate in the current match.
- That player will receive a higher ranking for that room than any player who subsequently buzzes out (and higher than any player who does not buzz out at all).
- A player buzzes out by having a cumulative point total that equals or exceeds the match’s stated threshold. The threshold for each match depends on the length of the match and will be announced at the beginning.
- It is possible for all players to buzz out (or for no players to buzz out).
- As an exception to the previous rule, if a group match is an elimination round (i.e., some players in the match will be eliminated from contention for the championship), then the number of players that may buzz out is limited to one fewer than the number of players that will advance. Once that limit is reached, no additional players may buzz out: All will hear the rest of the tossups in the round (and then be ranked according to the criteria below).
The players in a group match will be ranked.
- Players who buzzed out will be ranked by the tossup number on which they buzzed out (regardless of their final score), with earlier buzz-outs meaning better ranks.
Players who did not buzz out will be ranked by the following criteria, in this order:
- Final score
- Number of tossups answered for power (in regulation)
- Number of tossups answered (in regulation)
- Earliest tossup at which the player’s final score was reached or exceeded (in regulation, and with the understanding that all players simultaneously achieve a score of 0 before the game starts)
- Incoming card number. This is an internal number that reflects seeding and (after round 1) performance in the tournament thus far. Card numbers closer to 1 reflect better rankings.
- As an exception to the previous rules, if the group match is an elimination match and there is a tie among two or more players with the same total points for the final advancement spot(s), that tie will be broken by playing three additional tossups. If players are still tied for total points, additional sudden-death tossups will be played. Players who incur interrupt penalties during sudden-death tossups are immediately eliminated. Players may not buzz out during these additional tossups.
- Players may not call timeouts during group matches. Administrative timeouts may still occur.
- A halftime period will be observed after half the tossups have been read.
- Head-to-head matches involve two players competing to answer tossup questions.
- Each head-to-head match consists of 24 tossup questions, plus overtime if there is a tie after the 24th tossup.
- Standard NAQT rules for interrupt penalties apply.
- Each player is allowed one timeout in each head-to-head match.
- Factual protests in head-to-head matches will be handled as per standard NAQT rules. In particular, they may be lodged at any point in the game, but will be resolved only if they affect the outcome of the match.
Factual protests in group matches will be handled differently:
- They must be lodged prior to the beginning of the next tossup.
- Multiple protests on the same question will generally be grouped together for resolution.
- Protests will be resolved according to the same principles as in standard NAQT play (e.g., earned points are added, unearned points are removed, missed opportunities to score points are played, gameplay that shouldn’t have happened is mooted).
- If a protest cannot be resolved immediately, gameplay will continue including all players who would not have buzzed out under any possible collection of rulings on all pending protests.
- Players may not protest that a player “took questions away from them” by continuing to play during the resolution of a protest.
- One effect of protest resolution may be altering the buzz-out order of players (if upholding a protest results in a player having met the buzz-out threshold on an earlier tossup).
- Protests that don’t affect the final ranking of players in a room may be declared moot.
Suppose in a group match, Adam goes from 45 to 60 points on tossup 12. Barry finishes with 25 points (1/2/2) having powered #32, answered #20 and #41, and negged #46 and #48. Carrie finishes with 50 points (0/6/2). Daniel goes from 50 to 65 points on tossup 28. Erik finishes with 50 points (3/1/1). Flora reaches 60 points on tossup 40. Gabrielle finishes with 40 points (0/5/2). Harry goes from 45 to 60 points on tossup 46. Ivy finishes with 25 points (1/1/0) having powered tossup #33 and answered #43. Jeff finishes with 45 points (4/0/3).
These players would be ranked as follows:
- Adam (buzzed out at tossup #12)
- Daniel (buzzed out at tossup #28)
- Flora (buzzed out at tossup #40)
- Harry (buzzed out at tossup #46)
- Erik (50 points, three powers)
- Carrie (50 points, zero powers)
- Jeff (45 points)
- Gabrielle (40 points)
- Barry (25 points, one power, reached 25 on #32)
- Ivy (25 points, one power, reached 25 on #43)