2021 PACE NSC Anti-Cheating Policy and Camera Requirements

Teams and players will be strictly held to the requirements described in this page at all times. It is in the best of interest of teams to diligently follow these procedures. Any teams or players found to be not compliant will be not permitted to compete at NSC. Teams or players who deviate from procedure (i.e. keeping hands on camera) will be warned, which may be followed by ejection from the tournament if the problem persists. In addition to the requirements described below, players will be asked to sign the PACE Code of Conduct prior to NSC.

Teams are welcome to expand on the minimum requirements established below, for the sake of enhancing the online quizbowl experience. If you have questions about your equipment setup, or to ask if your setup is appropriate under the requirements, email PACE at tournament.director@pace-nsc.org.

Teams may select either Setup 1 or Setup 2, depending on their ability to meet the requirements. For Setup 1, we understand that gathering in team-sized groups, while a much lower risk than traveling and competing in person, still carries risk in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams should choose Setup 2 if they feel that they cannot maintain a safe environment, or have technical limitations that prevent them from meeting the requirements of Setup 1. Players competing under Setup 1 will be required to sign a form stating that they understand the associated risks. We encourage teams to be as safe as possible and consider taking the following protective actions:

  • Minimize in-person interactions as much as possible in the 10 days prior to NSC
  • Take a COVID-19 test several days prior to NSC
  • Wear masks while in the same room as teammates
  • Use a large, well-ventilated room for the tournament
  • Maintain social distancing as much as possible while still adhering to the requirements
  • Wash your hands frequently

All registered teams will be required to provide PACE a short video demonstration of their equipment setup by May 5th, to ensure that their setup is working properly and that configuration is compliant with the requirements. More details on the video demonstration will be shared with registered teams. Teams that register after April 28th will be required to submit the video demonstration within one week of their registration.

PACE may change these requirements prior to NSC, which may include the withdrawal of one of the possible equipment setups. If changes are made, PACE will notify registered teams immediately. We expect no changes will be made after April 5th, within two months of the tournament.

Listed below are the acceptable camera setups that teams may use to compete at PACE NSC 2021. 

Setup 1

Equipment (per team)

  • A device with webcam and capability to connect to Zoom meetings (either laptops or phones are acceptable)
  • A second device with webcam and capability to connect to Zoom meetings (either laptops or phones are acceptable)
  • A device with microphone and capability to connect to Zoom meetings (optional)
  • A phone or tablet for each player with capability to connect to buzzin.live
  • Charging cords for all devices
  • Paper/notebook and writing utensil (optional)
  • Snacks/beverages (optional)

Excluding the first webcam device (which should be at a distance from the players), the above items are the only items permitted to be within reach of players during the match.

Gameplay Rules

  • Prior to the start of the match, make sure your workspace is prepared adequately. 
    • Arrange tables or desks so all players can sit and all face the same direction. Players cannot face away from the camera. Players should sit as far apart as practicable. Each player should have a surface in front of them to place a phone or tablet. 
    • Place the first webcam device as close as possible while still being able to capture all players in the camera shot. It may help to raise the height of the device by carefully stacking something underneath, or have the camera shot be at an angle rather than straight on.
    • Place the second webcam device in a location where its screen is not visible to players, but still shows the screen of the first webcam device in the camera shot. Connect it to the Zoom call.
    • Place the devices connected to buzzin.live face-up on the table or desks, so that all the devices’ screens are visible in the camera shot.
    • If your team chooses to use an optional device to serve as a close-by microphone and speaker: connect the device to the Zoom call. The screen of the microphone device should be either visible to the camera, screen side down, or facing away from players.  Mute the webcam device and set its volume to zero. Keep the second device’s microphone unmuted during the match.
    • If your team chooses not to use an optional device to serve as a close-by microphone and speaker: one of the webcam devices should remain unmuted during the match.
  • Testing of equipment setups prior to gameplay are recommended to ensure the following:
    • Moderators will be audible through the speaker.
    • Your responses will be audible through the microphone.
    • There are no sources of feedback/echo.
  • Teams using this setup are not permitted to switch microphones between muted and unmuted during gameplay.
  • If some or all players are unable to acquire a phone or tablet to connect to buzzin.live, a computer (per player) may be used instead. However, screens of computers connected to buzzin.live must remain in the camera shot of either the first or second webcam devices.
  • Players must keep both of their hands visible to the camera during games. The only times during the game when one or both hands of players may not be visible on screen are:
    • Between tossups and bonuses (but not between individual bonus parts).
    • During bonuses for opposing teams.
    • During halftime or timeouts.
  • While tossups are being read, the screens of any devices within reach of players must remain visible to the camera at all times. 

Setup 2

Equipment (per player)

  • A device with capability to connect to both buzzin.live and Zoom at the same time (computer or tablet only)
  • One of two possible devices:
    • An external webcam whose physical position is easily manipulated
    • A device with webcam and capability to connect to Zoom meetings (computer, phone, or tablet)
  • Paper/notebook and writing utensil (optional)
  • Snacks/beverages (optional)
  • Charging cords for all devices

The above list of items are the only items permitted to be within reach of players during the match.

Gameplay Rules

  • Prior to the start of the match, make sure your playing space is prepared adequately. 
    • Set up your main computer/tablet with only two things visible on the screen: the Zoom window for the call, and a browser window with buzzin.live.
    • If you are using a second device equipped with a webcam, log into the Zoom call with both devices. On the main computer, turn off your video, and on your second device, mute the microphone and turn the volume to zero. 
    • Whether you are using an external webcam or a second device equipped with a webcam, move it to a location where both the main computer screen and both of your hands are visible. This could be off to one side, above your head, or behind you entirely, as long as you are able to satisfy that requirement.
  • Players must keep both of their hands visible to the camera during games. The only times during the game when one or both hands of players may not be visible on screen are:
    • Between tossups and bonuses (but not between individual bonus parts).
    • During bonuses for opposing teams.
    • During halftime or timeouts.
  • While questions are being read:
    • The screen of the device connected to buzzin.live must remain visible to the camera at all times.
    • Both hands must be visible from the camera while the moderator is reading the question. It is not necessary for the player’s face to be in the shot (although it is preferred, to enrich the online quizbowl experience).