Thanks for your interest in The International History Bee and Bowl’s European Division! We’re excited to introduce history quiz tournaments to Europe and hope this page and the rest of the site can help you learn more about how our tournaments work and how you can take part. IHBB was founded in the USA in 2010, and expanded to both Europe and Asia in the 2011-2012 school year. Here are some FAQs that you might be interested in:

Q: What’s the difference between the Bee and the Bowl?
A: Real simple here – the Bee is for individual students; the Bowl is for teams. At all of our tournaments, whether in the USA, Europe, or anywhere else, we run both competitions, though at different times so that all students who wish to compete in both can do so.

Q: What language are the tournaments in?
A: All tournaments that you see displayed on this website are in English. In the future, we will hold tournaments in foreign languages.

Q: Which types of schools can compete?
A: Any school that corresponds to a high school or middle school is welcome to compete. All students competing must be 19 years old or younger and enrolled in (or just have graduated from) a secondary school, though. Our tournaments are designed to be accessible to local schools, international schools, American schools, British schools, public schools, private schools, and religious schools. We are an equal opportunity quiz organizer!

Q: What about the questions? If you’re based in the USA, then this would have too much US history, right?
A: Not at all! Actually, about 2/3 of our questions will reference European history, and US history will be limited to 10-15% of the questions. At each tournament, a slightly higher percentage of the questions will refer to the host country’s history.

Q: I’m not sure about a history tournament. I’m more of a science/literature/arts/philosophy/geography/sports/music/whatever person.
A: Our approach to history is highly inclusive, so don’t worry, you’ll still find questions for you! See, every field has its history. So basically, if it happened in the past, it can come up. Expect questions on everything from the Bible to the Beatles, Plato to Pele, Darwin to Dickens  in addition to the usual wars, revolutions, and the like.

Q: How do you answer the questions?
A: Our questions follow different formats, but for most questions, you’ll ring in with a buzzer, like on a quiz show. The questions that you use a buzzer for are called “pyramidal” questions. This means that they start off with harder information and become easier as the question goes on. When you think you know the answer, ring in! But if you’re wrong, then you can’t answer again, and neither can your teammates if you’re playing in the Bowl. This type of question rewards comprehensive knowledge and shows that this is much more than a mere trivia contest.

Q: How do we sign up?
A: Teachers and administrators should use the Register tab on the menu bar to access the registration page. There, just fill out the form for your school. The cost includes both the Bee and Bowl for up to 6 students on a team. If your school is bringing more than 6 students, then you should sign up for more than one team. Once you register, we’ll send instructions for how to submit payment.

Q: What’s the “Junior Varsity” Division?
A: The Junior Varsity Division is meant for students born in 1998 or 1999. A JV team in the Bowl must be composed entirely of students born in 1998 or thereafter – younger students who would otherwise play in the Middle School Division can also play on a JV Division team. JV teams will play for a separate title at each tournament, though they may also play a few Varsity and/or Middle School Division teams in the process. In the Bee, JV, Varsity and Middle School Division students will be kept entirely separate. This ensures that younger students have a more equal playing field. JV and Varsity teams in the Bowl and students in the Bee play the same set of questions, though.

Q: What’s the “Middle School” Division?
A: The Middle School Division is for students born in 2000 or thereafter. A Middle School Division team in the Bowl must be composed entirely of students born in 2000 or later. Middle School Division teams will play for a separate title at each tournament, though they may also play a few Junior Varsity teams in the process. In the Bee, Varsity, JV, and Middle School Division students will be kept entirely separate. This ensures that younger students have a more equal playing field. Also: Middle School Division teams will play on a slightly easier set of questions.

Q: Do I have to play in the tournament in the country my school is in / the site closest to us?  Can we play more than once?
A: No! You can play at whichever site you like. A Swiss school, for example, can play in France, Germany, Italy, Britain, or Spain – you don’t have to play in Switzerland. Unfortunately, you can only play at one qualifying tournament this year except if you qualify for the European Championships (see next question).

Q: How do we qualify for the European Championships? When and where are they going to be held?
A: If your team finishes in the top half of your qualifying tournament’s draw, then you qualify for the European Championships. Similarly, if you finish in the top half of the draw in the Bee at your qualifying tournament, you qualify for the Bee. Host schools of all our European tournaments automatically qualify one team and up to six students for the Bowl and Bee respectively. The European Championships will be held in the spring of 2014 at St. Stephen’s School in Rome. For the most up to date information on the Championships, see the tab on the menu bar.

Q: Can we play in tournaments in the USA?
A: Not the preliminary tournaments, but if you qualify for the European Championships in either the Bee or Bowl, you’re welcome to come to also come to our US National Championships in Washington, DC on 25-27 April 2014. We play some of our matches there at embassies, the International Spy Museum, the Smithsonian, historic mansions, and a bunch of other really neat sites. If you’re at all thinking of coming to our National Championships in the USA – email

Q: What’s this rumor about an International History Olympiad?
A: It’s more than a rumor, it’s true! Beginning in the Summer of 2015, we will be debuting the International History Olympiad in the USA. Students from around the world can qualify for it beginning this year, if you finish in the top half in your age division at your tournament in the 2013-14 school year. Even if you graduate in 2014, you will still be eligible to compete. The International History Olympiad is being planned as a week-long event in the summer which will feature Bee and Bowl competitions, historical simulations and debates, interactions with history professors and students from around the world, field trips, and more! Contact Nolwenn Madden at for more information. Click on the “IHBB Global” tab for additional information as well.