Event Information

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How It Works

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Our tournaments are held on Discord, an online voice, text, and video chat platform. It’s primarily used by video game players, but we found it works perfectly for quizbowl tournaments. You can learn more about the platform by reading our competitor’s guide.

Each facet of a normal Quizbowl tournament has an online analogue: the building the event takes place in is replaced by the Tournament Server; Classrooms are turned into virtual Game Rooms; buzzers are replaced by keyboards; and so on. Players simply buzz in by typing buzz and pressing the enter key, just like players would press a button to buzz for in-person play.

Our format is the closest to in-person play you can get!

What You Need

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Each player should have:

  • Computer with solid internet connection
  • Desktop Discord client (which can be downloaded here)
  • Keyboard
  • Speakers or headphones

That’s it! Nothing else is required. If you need help, let us know and we can get you set up.

Our National Tournament at the end of the year has a few more requirements, which we’ll help you meet when registration opens in November.

Questions and Format

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Each tournament listing notes the question difficulty: we recommend starting out at Easy or Moderate, and seeing how you do. Within each tournament, there are Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Novice/New School divisions; we’ll help you pick a level once you sign up. You can always request a specific level or change divisions upon request, but we reserve the right to assign you to a division.

You can see the categories of questions that we ask here; note that we don’t ask computational mathematics tossups.

At each event, teams are semi-randomly placed into round-robin Preliminary brackets; after the preliminary rounds complete, the best teams from each preliminary bracket will compete in a new round-robin bracket for the championship while all the other teams play just for fun. Teams are guaranteed at least ten rounds for every event they play.

Games consist of 20 tossup questions at a minimum. Some events will use one, two, or three part bonuses, and some may use lightning rounds. We’ll let you know what the exact format is for each event below, subject to change: there will be something for everyone to love.

Our events use AQBL Ruleset A, a summary of which can be found here.


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Each school can send an unlimited number of teams to each event, with a maximum of six players per team (substitutions are permitted at certain times). Teams may play short, with one player as the minimum. Players cannot switch teams during a tournament, such as from “A” to “B” or otherwise.

Our fields are capped at 36 teams per tournament. If you miss the cutoff, you can be placed onto a waitlist; if enough teams are on the waitlist, we will split a region and create two separate Events.

We are happy to allow pseudonymous teams and teams not directly sponsored by their district to register, but we do have certain requirements for these teams. Make sure you meet the requirements in this document before registering.

Online National Championship Tournament

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The winners of our events will qualify for the ONCT. For our September events, the top two teams in the Varsity division and the top team in the Novice/New School division of our events qualify. We will make new qualification guidelines after our September contests, which will be applied retroactively. For instance, if we decide that the top three teams in each division from future events now qualify, the top three teams from each division for our September events will qualify as well.

More information on the ONCT can be found here.


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We keep detailed statistics on each team and player; after each Event, links to the stats will be posted here.

Costs and Payment

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The registration fee is $75 per team per event. The registration fee for title 1 schools that did not play pyramidal quiz bowl in the 2019-2020 academic year is $40. Optionally, there is a $20 discount for each reader you bring. The base cost for a full season pass, covering all of our events except the ONCT, is $600 for a single team.

Bear in mind that $75 per event is the final base cost: there are no buses, no meals, no hotels, no board approval, no permission slips, no grueling paperwork, no worries about a player wandering off, nothing.

Payment can be made by Check, Purchase Order, PayPal, Venmo, and Credit Card. The last three methods incur a fee of 3%. We will provide invoices to all teams, and we are happy to provide a W-9 or any other paperwork upon request; we can also work with your school’s billing department to get everything set up.

Payment is due upfront unless you are paying by check or purchase order, or you make other arrangements with us in advance.

If payment is not received by the morning of the event, and prior arrangements have not been made with us, a $50 per team late fee will be incurred.

Checks should be written out to “American Quizbowl League” and mailed to the address on this page.

Discounts are available for schools with a demonstrated need; contact us for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Does a coach need to attend with our team?
No. Coaches are fully optional; we have a large staff to provide supervision. If you do bring a coach, they don’t have to stay the full day either.
Do all the students need to be in the same place?
Not at all! Players can (and should) play from their own homes.
Our school, county, activities association, or state has closed all extracurricular activities, or is using fully virtual instruction; can we compete?
Generally, yes, since all our events are online. You should contact the government body in question for an opinion (and share it with us, since we’d love to know); if they decline and you still would like to compete, give us a call and we’ll guide you through your options. Specifically, the bans in Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York are known not to apply to our events. If your county or state has a similar prohibition, it is very likely that it will not apply either.
We’re four friends from the same school, and we want to compete, but we don’t have an official club and we’re not sponsored by our school. What can we do?
You can certainly still compete; in fact, even a single player can compete. Teams that are not officially sponsored by their schools are more than welcome at our events, but be sure you meet the guidelines in our policy on such teams before you register. If you have any questions, give us a call and we’ll walk you through.
Can homeschools/collectives/private schools/military academies/ungraded schools play?
Absolutely. You are free to register; just be sure all your players meet our eligibility rules like any other institution.
We cannot play on a certain day for religious reasons; what can we do?
Every month, four of our Events take place on Saturday and four on Sunday; if you cannot play on a certain day, you can play in a different region for that event. Call us first and let us know.