Quiz bowl is a buzzer-based team competition. The game is played by two teams in a head-to-head format, and usually includes both “tossup” questions and “bonus” questions. These questions are themed after categories like literature, science, history, mythology, and fine arts, among others. To answer tossup questions, a player must press their buzzer and say the answer without conferring with their team; the reader will stop reading when a buzzer is pressed. Once a team answers a tossup correctly, they answer a bonus question, which typically consists of one to three parts; a team’s members may confer with each other while answering a bonus. Bonus question content is typically more specific than tossup question content. A team does not use buzzers for bonus questions.
Typically, students try out and join their school’s quiz bowl team in order to play with them at tournaments. Some students will form their own independent teams, or even go individually, in the case that their school does not have a team. For online events, you only need a computer, an internet connection, a Discord account, and a headset. For in-person events, all you need is a way of getting to the tournament site.
The AQBL generally either writes its questions in-house or uses those from NAQT, LLC. Some questions are sourced from other writing teams, generally from high school or college quiz bowl programs nationwide.
A bee tournament is usually played against individuals, instead of a team. The most popular bee tournaments are International Academic Competitions’ History Bee tournaments, which place multiple players in one room, with a tossup-only format.
Trivia is random information that one memorizes with little to no background. The information needed to answer quiz bowl questions is often studied extensively, and can be picked up from school classes. A player typically needs to have a deep understanding of a subject in order to answer a question early on.
No. quiz bowl is played by students from middle school to college, and can also be played in an “open” tournament format with adults.
School teams usually have at least one practice every week, in which the players on the team play against each other. Players can also study by reading old question packets from quiz bowlpackets.com
, using QuizDB
, and playing practice tossups on Protobowl
Not at this time, but we hope to award cash prizes someday. Teams compete for trophies, pride, and recognition by other quiz bowlers.