NSC Code of Conduct

Updated December 8, 2019


The Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free tournament experience for everyone. To achieve this goal, we expect all tournament participants, including staff, players, coaches, parents, and other spectators, to abide by this Code of Conduct. We expect participants to follow these guidelines for the duration of the tournament, both during games and at all other tournament-related venues and events. 

Expected behavior

We expect all participants to treat other participants and the event space with respect and courtesy. Participants should be considerate of fellow participants’ diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Participants should be mindful of fellow participants and their surroundings, and be proactive about reporting any potentially prohibited behavior or dangerous situations.

Prohibited behavior

We do not tolerate harassment of tournament participants in any form. 

Harassment can take place through many media, including but not limited to: verbal comments, printed or written messages, and electronic messages.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • offensive comments related to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, body size, or religion
  • deliberate intimidation
  • stalking
  • following
  • unwanted photography or recording
  • sustained disruption of games or other tournament events
  • inappropriate physical contact
  • unwelcome sexual attention
  • sexual imagery and language in public spaces

Consequences for prohibited behavior

If a participant engages in prohibited behavior, the tournament director may take any action they deem appropriate at their discretion, including a warning or ejection from the tournament without refund. Consequences will be proportionate to the severity and frequency of the violation. If the prohibited behavior is in severe violation of the above list, PACE may prohibit attendance at future PACE tournaments. Tournament participants who are asked to stop any prohibited behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Reporting prohibited behavior

If you are subject to or notice prohibited behavior at the tournament, or have any other concerns, please contact one of our misconduct representatives immediately. Their contact information will be made available in advance of the tournament and in the tournament program. Misconduct representatives can also be identified in person with special nametags. Misconduct representatives record information from the reporter and determine if the reported behavior is prohibited by this Code of Conduct. If they decide the reported action is consistent with the prohibited behavior described above, misconduct representatives provide an anonymized report to the tournament organizers, who will determine what consequences, if any, are appropriate, or if more information is required to make a decision. 

There is also an online form that can be submitted to report misconduct. Representatives from four major quizbowl organizations (PACE, NAQT, ACF, and IAC) examine misconduct reports and provide an anonymized statement to the four organizations. If a report is submitted via the online form during the weekend of the tournament, it is unlikely that the committee will be able to review it, or that PACE will be able to take action, before the tournament concludes.

Tournament staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the tournament.