2022 Small School National Championship Tournament Logistics Information

The 2022 Small School National Championship Tournament (SSNCT) will be held at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont, Illinois (near Chicago), on April 22–24, 2022.

Registration is open.

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Contents

    Date

    April 22–24, 2022 (Friday–Sunday).

    Participants will check in on Friday, April 22 and have the opportunity to meet each other and play scrimmage matches.

    The tournament’s preliminary games will take place on Saturday, and the playoff games will take place on Sunday. Teams may arrive earlier or stay later to explore Chicagoland at the discounted hotel rates negotiated by NAQT. Teams that cannot arrive on Friday night will have a chance to check in on Saturday morning.

    Location

    The Hyatt Regency O'Hare hotel in Rosemont, Illinois (near Chicago). This building is the official hotel, and it contains all of the competition rooms. An online floor plan (PDF) is available.

    COVID-19 Safety

    To protect all participants and their communities, NAQT has established the following policies pertaining to COVID-19 safety:

    Vaccination Requirement

    All participants must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

    • This applies to everyone attending the championship in person—players, coaches, chaperones, staff, and spectators.
    • “Fully vaccinated” means, as of the beginning of the tournament, being vaccinated in accordance with the definition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of March 1, 2022. If as of March 1 the CDC considers boosters to be a required part of full vaccination for some (or all) people, then boosters will be required to participate in the tournament. The definition could be different for different people (e.g., depending on age).
    • The vaccine must be one approved or authorized for emergency use in the United States (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen) or a multiple-dose mix thereof. Prospective participants who have received a different COVID-19 vaccine should discuss their situation with NAQT.

    NAQT has prepared responses to frequent questions and comments about this policy as well as suggestions for coaches with challenges navigating this policy in the context of their school.

    Implementation of Vaccination Requirement

    Before the tournament, all participants must sign a participation agreement covering several topics, including an attestation that the participant meets the above requirements. For participants who are minors, the minor’s parent/guardian must also sign, and for high school students who have attained the age of majority, the student’s parent/guardian is still strongly encouraged to sign. This agreement will include specific penalties for misrepresentation of vaccination status. Participation agreements must be submitted electronically by Friday, April 8, 2022.

    At the tournament, staff will examine each participant’s proof of vaccination (official vaccination card) and photo identification, verifying vaccination status and that the photo identification matches both the person presenting it and the person identified on the proof of vaccination. Photographs of proof of vaccination are acceptable, but other electronic “passes” are not, nor are documents other than official vaccination cards.

    Once a participant’s documents have been checked, staff will place a wristband on the participant as evidence of completion of the verification process. The wristband must be worn throughout the tournament; no one without such a wristband (other than hotel staff) will be permitted in tournament areas. If a wristband must be removed, there will be a procedure for replacing it (including re-checking of documents), but it is expected that players should keep the same wristband throughout the weekend; wristbands will be safe to shower with.

    Participants must complete the above steps (proving vaccination status and receiving a wristband) before partaking in any other tournament activities, such as scrimmages, or otherwise being in any other space used by the tournament.

    If a participant is unable or unwilling to provide the requisite documents (participation agreement in advance; proof of vaccination and photo identification on-site), they will not be permitted to attend. If they are already on-site, they will not be permitted in areas of the hotel used by the tournament.

    Mask Requirement

    All participants must wear well-fitted masks that fully cover their nostrils and mouth at all times when in indoor spaces used by the tournament. The sole exception is when a participant is actively eating or drinking. Participants should not eat or drink during games or when in close proximity to others.

    Tournament staff will be understanding of momentary, inadvertent lapses due to masks falling, with reminders issued as necessary. However, participants should be aware of their mask situation and adjust the mask promptly if it falls, without having to be reminded. (A well-fitted mask should not fall often.)

    Players may want to wear the type of mask they plan to use in advance of the tournament to ensure it is comfortable, well-fitting, and easy to speak through. (Reusable masks should be laundered before use at the tournament if previously worn.)

    Frequent or prolonged lapses in mask-wearing, or the failure to make a good-faith effort to comply with the mask requirement, will not be tolerated.

    NAQT recommends N95, KN95, KF94, or similar masks. Surgical and cloth masks are acceptable but not preferred. Vented masks, bandannas, or other items not designed for the purpose of proper masking are not acceptable. Face shields are not acceptable on their own (but may be used in addition to a mask). Participants are expected to provide their own masks.

    Other

    NAQT will be able to support contact tracing with its records of what teams (and players and other participants) are involved with games at what times and with what other people, including scrimmage and consolation games. NAQT is not able to track locations and interactions that are not part of these records, such as specific paths of inter-game travel, people not being with their team, and informal interactions.

    NAQT will adapt its ordinary procedures, such as opening meetings, to avoid the need for large, close gatherings. This may include (but not be limited to) assignments for lunch locations. Further details will be determined closer to the tournament.

    All participants are encouraged to wash their hands frequently, cough or sneeze into their elbow, and maintain other standard hygienic practices.

    Changes

    NAQT reserves the right to modify these plans as conditions change closer to the tournament. However, in the interest of allowing for participants to plan with confidence, NAQT is unlikely to make changes unless absolutely necessary.

    Schedule

    The general schedule for the tournament will consist of vaccination status checks on Friday afternoon and evening, overall check-in and (optional) scrimmage games on Friday night, preliminary games on Saturday, and playoffs on Sunday (scheduled to end no later than 4:00 p.m.). A more specific schedule will be announced well before the tournament.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    NAQT has prepared answers to frequently asked questions about its national championships.

    Information Desk

    Starting Friday evening, NAQT will operate an Information Desk in the Lobby Level Atrium. The Information Desk should be the first destination for any questions about or issues with the tournament (other than protests, which must be lodged within the game room). NAQT will also be selling practice material at the Information Desk.

    Participants may also text 213‑279‑6278 (“NAQT”) with questions if it is inconvenient for them to get to the Information Desk (standard messaging rates apply). Tournament staff will answer incoming messages as quickly as they can.

    The Information Desk cannot easily help locate teams while they are playing because of the power-matched format. We will try to find lost teams if necessary, but it would likely be no faster a process than calling or texting the chaperone. Make sure your players and chaperones have each others’ numbers.

    Rules and Eligibility

    This tournament will use NAQT’s Official Gameplay Rules. Player eligibility is governed by the High School Eligibility Rules.

    Furthermore, this tournament is limited to teams from schools that meet NAQT’s definition of Small Schools, and is separated into two divisions based on the two types of Small Schools.

    Qualification and Registration

    Registration is limited to invited teams through Monday, January 31, 2022. Beginning Tuesday, February 1 at midnight Central time, any Small School may register, with a limit of two teams per school. Beginning Tuesday, February 15 at midnight Central time, the two-teams-per-school limit will be lifted and any Small School may register any number of teams (subject to a cap on the total field size in each division).

    Because of the open registration window, there is no wildcard process for this tournament. Teams who do not receive invitations based on their performance may register on or after February 1.

    Field

    The field for the Traditional Public Schools Division is limited to 40 teams; these teams have registered. NAQT may expand the field depending on the level of interest and the availability of resources.

    The field for the Open Division is limited to 48 teams; these teams have registered. NAQT may expand the field depending on the level of interest and the availability of resources.

    Format

    The precise format will be determined by the final size of the field. Teams are guaranteed ten preliminary matches, which will take place on Saturday. The playoffs will take place on Sunday.

    The preliminary games may (depending on field size) be scheduled by power-matching, so that teams with similar records will be playing each other in every round. Every team with a winning record will advance to the playoffs. The elimination playoffs will be held on Sunday and will likely be double-elimination.

    Fees and Discounts

    Registration is open.

    Register Now

    The registration fee is $685 per team.

    The field has historically filled. Receiving an invitation to the tournament does not guarantee a spot in the field, it merely allows your team to register for a spot if one is available. Once you have qualified, you should register as soon as you can to ensure your team a spot in the tournament.

    The registration fee only covers participation in the tournament. It does not cover transportation, lodging, food or other expenses.

    Teams who bring a working buzzer system to the tournament will be eligible for a $20 discount on the registration fee if it meets NAQT’s national-championship standards. There may be some surprises in that policy! Please read it in advance to make sure your system qualifies.

    Unless otherwise approved by NAQT, no team may receive more than two buzzer-system discounts.

    NAQT will only award the discount for buzzer systems that it receives by 9:30 p.m. Friday and may keep until 4:00 p.m. Sunday; if these terms do not work for you, do not register to bring a buzzer system!

    NAQT will begin returning team-provided buzzer systems at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday (and not before, except in emergencies). As mentioned above, this might make it impractical for teams planning to leave as soon as they are eliminated to receive buzzer-system discounts (as their systems will not have been returned at that point). Buzzer return will stay open until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. If a team knows in advance they will be unable to pick up their buzzer system in time, it should make special arrangements at check-in; barring other arrangements, unclaimed buzzer systems will be left with the hotel bell desk.

    Payment

    Once you have entered all the information that can affect costs (but not necessarily entered your roster), at the bottom of your registration page or the field page (while you’re logged in), click “View Cost.” Verify that the listed information is correct. If it is, follow the page’s instructions to request an invoice (so we have the proper billing information), and you will be offered the opportunity to pay by credit card.

    You can also pay by sending a check, payable to “NAQT,” to

    National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC
    11521 W 69th St
    Shawnee, KS 66203–3749

    Please send questions about billing to billing@naqt.com.

    Cancellation

    Teams who cancel on or after February 15, but on or before March 15, will owe a cancellation fee of $68.50. Teams who cancel on or after March 16, but on or before March 31, will owe a cancellation fee of $342.50. Teams who cancel on or after April 1 (including no-shows) will owe a cancellation fee of $513.75. These deadlines notwithstanding, teams will always have a seven-day grace period after registering (or being promoted from the waitlist) during which they can cancel without incurring a fee.

    Failure to submit participation agreements on time may be treated as a cancellation, including incurring a cancellation fee, at NAQT’s discretion.

    Participation Agreements

    Every person attending the tournament—including players, coaches, chaperones, and spectators—will be required to sign a participation agreement covering expectations, the vaccination requirement, media coverage, etc. All agreements must be submitted to participate@naqt.com by Friday, April 8, 2022.

    For participants who are under age 18, both the participant and their parent/guardian must sign the agreement. For participants who have reached age 18, NAQT recommends and requests that the parent/guardian sign in addition to the participant.

    Download Agreement Form

    Chaperones

    Every team must have a chaperone, subject to the following rules:

    Teams who wish to request a variance from the chaperone policy should write to NAQT at ssnct@naqt.com well in advance of the tournament to discuss their situation.

    Checking In

    There are two parts of check-in, which need not be completed at the same time.

    Everyone (players, coaches, chaperones, and spectators) must prove their vaccination status and receive a wristband before participating in any other aspect of the tournament (including, but not limited to, scrimmages and the remainder of the check-in process) or being in other space used by the tournament. This process will be available starting early Friday afternoon. All participants will need their official vaccination card (or photograph thereof) and a photo ID for this step. The remainder of this section covers the “traditional” tournament check-in process, for which only one person per team is required.

    The primary check-in period will be from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, April 22. During this period NAQT will be distributing information folders, answering questions, receiving payments, verifying rosters, and taking care of other administrative matters. There is a “late” check-in period on Saturday, but NAQT would prefer that as many teams as possible check in on Friday night.

    To check in, each team should send one coach or chaperone to the check-in area. That person will be given the team’s information folder.

    In past years there has been a long line just after check-in opens, so we encourage teams to keep an eye on the line and send one person to check in when the line is short. There is no need to check in immediately. In particular, it is not necessary to check in before playing scrimmage rounds (but it is necessary to have completed the vaccination-proof step).

    Teams that don’t arrive at the hotel until after 9:30 p.m. on Friday may check in between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. Saturday at the Information Desk. Teams that checked in on Friday do not need to check in again on Saturday.

    Scrimmages

    Between 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. on Friday night, game rooms will be set up for teams to scrimmage against each other on questions from previous championships and/or the regular season. This scrimmaging is free and will be moderated by tournament staff.

    Before playing scrimmage games, every person with a team (players, coaches, chaperones, and spectators) must prove their vaccination status. It is not necessary to complete the remainder of the check-in process first.

    Teams that want to participate in scrimmage games must register for those games in advance. Details will be disseminated to teams registered for the tournament.

    Scrimmages are open to all players, including alternates and standby teams.

    Teams will be offered up to two scrimmage games.

    Awards

    The top teams in each division will receive trophies or plaques, and the members of those teams will receive medals (up to five per team). The number of teams receiving these awards will depend on the final field size.

    The top individual scorers in each division (determined by points per tossup heard in the preliminary rounds) will receive All-Star medals. The number of All-Star medals given will depend on the final field size.

    Consolation Games

    Teams who do not qualify for the playoffs are encouraged to return at the beginning of the playoffs to play consolation games on the playoff questions. These games will be moderated by tournament staff. Teams will be notified of how to sign up for consolation.

    Consolation matches have no effect on a team’s final rank in the tournament. They are played solely for fun.

    Transportation

    Flights

    Participants are strongly encouraged to fly into Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), which is extremely close to the hotel. They may also fly into Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW), but it is much less convenient.

    Ground Transportation

    The hotel runs a free shuttle every 15 minutes to transport people from O’Hare to the hotel (and vice versa). There is no such shuttle for Midway. A taxi between Midway and the hotel will cost $35 or more, or you can take the CTA’s Orange and Blue Lines for $2.75 per person (getting on at the Midway Orange Line station, transferring to the Blue Line downtown, and getting off at the Rosemont Blue Line station, which is about one block from the hotel).

    Driving Directions

    The hotel’s address is 9300 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Rosemont, Illinois.

    Parking

    Parking standard vehicles at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare costs $15/day, including in-and-out privileges. Participants traveling to the tournament in buses should contact the hotel in advance to discuss parking options.

    To receive the discounted parking rate, participants staying at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare should mention when checking into their guest rooms (not the tournament) that they have parked at the hotel and validate their ticket. Participants not staying at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare should use the manual validator box to validate their parking ticket at NAQT’s check-in desk (Friday) or at the Information Desk (Saturday or Sunday). Do not use the manual validator box if you are an overnight guest of the hotel!

    Hotel

    The official hotel for the tournament is the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. (There are two Hyatt hotels in Rosemont; the one hosting the tournament is the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.)

    Rooms with one king bed are available for $122/night and rooms with two double beds are available for $129 per night. To receive this rate, rooms must be booked using NAQT’s group reservation link before April 20, 2022 (and before the room block fills). It is also possible to book by calling 800-544-9288 and mentioning NAQT and/or the group code “NQ22,” but hold times are often long.

    Between the SSNCT and the other events scheduled for the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, it is expected that the hotel will run out of rooms. NAQT strongly recommends that teams book their rooms as early as possible, particularly if they want rooms with two double beds.

    As part of the contract negotiated by NAQT, the hotel will offer complimentary Internet access in guest rooms to tournament participants and their families.

    Food

    The hotel’s O’H American Grill serves most meals, often with an all-you-can-eat buffet.

    There is a food court with a variety of typical food-court-style restaurants at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago mall at 5220 Fashion Outlets Way. To get to the Fashion Outlets from the hotel, walk west on Bryn Mawr, turn left onto River Road, then turn right onto Balmoral Avenue until you get to Fashion Outlets Way. The food court is a 15-minute walk from the hotel.

    There are also several restaurants offering more formal dining at the Parkway Bank Park at Rosemont (formerly MB Financial Park). These are more suited for evening meals and are a twelve-minute walk away.

    Participants can also order carry-out or delivery from local restaurants.

    Advocate Program

    Because NAQT believes that quiz bowl is an activity for everybody, and in which all participants should feel welcome and respected, we have established the Advocate Program to make sure select tournament staff are available to hear reports about problematic behavior and comments by anyone at the tournament.

    Staff wearing blue ribbons that say “Advocate” have been specifically selected to receive reports about inappropriate behavior (as opposed to run-of-the-mill questions about the quiz bowl aspects of the tournament). At least one such staff member will generally be available at the Information Desk during tournament hours; if no such person is available (e.g., due to being on a break), the other Information Desk staff can be asked to have a senior tournament official come to the Information Desk to hear the report. Additional Advocate Program staff will be available in many places around the tournament site.

    Feedback about problematic behavior can, of course, always be sent to NAQT by email (advocate@naqt.com) or other channels such as the Misconduct Reporting Form, but the Advocate Program is intended to allow for in-person reporting of sensitive complaints on-site so they can be handled immediately.

    Reports are confidential to the extent permitted by law and NAQT’s agreements to share critical information with other quiz bowl organizations.

    Practice Material

    Participants may be interested in purchasing questions from previous years to prepare for the event. All of NAQT’s past regular-season sets are available, as are the sets from previous championships.

    Participants may also want to purchase frequency lists, Power Up study guides, and/or Thumbs Up! question anthologies. These are also available on our practice materials page.

    Finally, participants may want to look at the information contained in NAQT’s free You Gotta Know articles before the tournament. These detail the most frequently asked-about question topics in a wide variety of areas.

    Spectators

    Spectators are welcome to attend any and all parts of the tournament (though some portions may have limited capacity).

    Spectators are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, including the requirement to complete a participation agreement and submit it before the tournament, and to prove their vaccination status before spectating.

    Sightseeing

    Chicago has a variety of world-class attractions that should appeal to anybody, especially to quiz bowlers!

    The easiest way to reach most of Chicago’s downtown attractions is to ride the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA’s) ‘L’ trains, for which there is a stop within easy walking distance of the hotel: Exit the hotel and walk west on Bryn Mawr; turn right on River Road and pass under I-190 and the CTA tracks. The entrance to Rosemont station on the CTA Blue Line will be on your right. Board trains bound for “Loop” or “Forest Park” (not for O’Hare!) for the 35-minute ride into downtown Chicago.

    Once you’re downtown, the Art Institute of Chicago (Blue Line to Monroe, walk 1 block south to Adams and 3 blocks west) features dozens of tossup-worthy works, including Nighthawks and American Gothic, and adjoins both Millennium Park and Grant Park, home to Cloud Gate (“The Bean”) and Buckingham Fountain. Just a bit further south is the Museum Campus (Blue Line to Jackson, walk 1 block east to State Street and Jackson and catch bus 146 toward Museum Campus), which is home to three major institutions: the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the historic Adler Planetarium, which was the first planetarium in the Americas.

    The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower; Blue Line to Jackson, walk 4 blocks west) offers stunning views of the Chicago skyline; so does 875 North Michigan Avenue (formerly the John Hancock Center; Blue Line to Chicago station, bus 66 toward Navy Pier), located on Michigan Avenue in the heart of famed Magnificent Mile. Further afield are the Lincoln Park Zoo (Blue Line to Western, bus 73 to Clark/North), the Chicago History Museum (5 minutes walk from the zoo), and the Museum of Science and Industry (Blue Line to Jackson, walk 1 block east to State Street and Jackson and catch bus 6 toward 79th/South Shore), which is housed in a structure originally built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

    Social Media

    The official hashtag for the tournament is ssnct; please use this tag for all posts about the tournament.

    Remember that question content for the championship cannot be posted online (or shared through other channels)! This means that players, coaches, spectators, and moderators should not discuss clues, answers, or even overall themes (e.g., “Lots of opera”) with people on other teams (even those from the same school).

    We will post highlights from the tournament on NAQT’s social media, especially Twitter (@NAQTLive) and Instagram (@NAQTqb).

    NAQT Nationals app logo

    Companion Mobile App

    NAQT has created a companion mobile app for attendees. The app includes the tournament schedule (with the ability to set reminders for various events), links to results, maps of the venue, help reaching the Information Desk, connections to social media, and other important documents related to the tournament.

    Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

    Further Questions

    To ask specific questions about the SSNCT, write to ssnct@naqt.com.

    We look forward to answering any and all questions, no matter how expansive or trivial, in the hopes of eliminating any possible confusion or mistakes in participants’ plans. If something’s not clear, let us know!

    2022 Small School National Championship Tournament

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