If you have a question about the National History Bowl for which you don’t find an answer here or elsewhere on the website, please let us know. If you’re interested in having a question answered, other people will be too, so this list of FAQs will grow.

  1. Will coaches/parents/accompanying adults have to read and scorekeep?
    Yes! Schools are required to bring at least one coach/parent/other adult in order to read and keep score or pay a $50 penalty fee. Schools bringing three or four teams must bring two readers/scorekeepers; schools bringing five or more teams must bring three readers/scorekeepers. Penalty fees are assessed by school, but vary by number of teams; i.e. a school with 3 teams and no reader pays $100 in penalty fees. Please do not make us have to enforce this rule! A webinar with instructions for moderators and a game-day tutorial will help ensure that readers and scorekeepers are aware of the rules. At least two NHB official representatives will be on hand at each site, and they will read the finals of both divisions and the semifinals of the Varsity Division. At the National Championships, all games will be read by NHB officials.
  2. How much will it cost to participate in the National History Bowl?
    For all sites, it will cost $70 to register a team for the State History Bowls. The cost of the National Finals has yet to be determined, as it will depend on the sites selected as host. Up to 6 students can compete for one team at a State Bowl, but only 4 will play at any time. Unlimited substitutions can be made, but only between quarters.
  3. When and where will the State Bowls and the National Finals be held?
    All State Bowls will be held on Saturdays. Bowls are an all day event, and will begin by 9am and should end no later than 5pm, though most teams will be done by 3:30. Bowls will be scheduled to avoid as many conflicts as possible, including SAT and ACT dates, other tournaments, weather and holidays. Bowls canceled due to inclement weather will be made up at a later date if at all possible. The National Championships will be held on the weekend of April 16 – April 17, 2011 in and near Washington, DC. The Bowl will be held on Saturday and the Bee on Sunday. Preliminary games will be played in two groups of 5 consecutive matches for a total of 10 total preliminary round matches, in addition to the playoffs. The number of teams that will make the playoffs in Washington will be contingent on the number of teams who come, but it will almost certainly be either 16 or 32.
  4. Are there discounts available?
    Yes. For each functioning buzzer system a school brings (limit 3), a $5 discount will be applied. Also, the host school for a State Bowl will be able to register up to 6 teams free of charge. Finally, note that hosts (if they qualify), as well as the top 2 teams at each State Bowl receive a small discount for entry into the National Championships. There is also a discount of $10 or $20 per school if that school is coming from over an hour or two hours respectively to the tournament (calculated by Googlemaps automatically during registration).
  5. What about the National History Bee? Can someone compete in both the Bee and the Bowl?
    Yes. The primary difference is that the Bee is an individual competition whereas the Bowl is a team competition. The State Bees are held on the same date and site as the State History Bowls, but at different times so students can compete in both. Likewise, students qualifying for the National Championships of the Bee will also be able to play in all rounds at the National Championships of the Bowl if their teams have qualified. For more information, see www.historybee.com
  6. Are there alternative ways to qualify for the National Championships?
    Teams can qualify for Nationals in one of three ways:
    A. Varsity teams who finish in the top 8-16 teams (depending on enrollment, see below for a full explanation) in the preliminary rounds at the State History Bowls (as determined first by Won-Loss record, and then total points.) will qualify for both the playoff rounds and the National Championship. The number of JV teams who make the playoffs will depend on how many such teams compete (see below). All JV teams who make the playoffs automatically qualify for the JV National Championship.
    B. The top third of all Varsity and Junior Varsity teams (inclusive counting, rounded up) regardless of whether they have made the playoffs or not also qualify. JV teams at each State Bowl compete to qualify for the JV Division at the National Championships. Any team made of all 9th and 10th graders that could play in the Junior Varsity Division may elect to play in the Varsity Division of the State History Bowls if they so choose. If they then do not qualify for Nationals at the Varsity level, they are eligible to submit a Wild Card application for entry into the JV National Championships based on their performance. They can do this by emailing the Executive Director at: director@historybowl.com. JV teams that compete in the Varsity Division at the State Bowls and qualify for the Varsity National Championships, but who wish to compete in the JV Division at Nationals are permitted to do this.
    C. If any of the playoff teams have not registered by February 25 (for tournaments before February 15) or March 25 (for tournaments after February 15), then slots for Nationals will be opened up to teams ranked 9-16, in order of finish, as long as these teams won at least two games at the State Bowls. Many of these teams will normally qualify under the 1/3 rule anyway.
  7. Can a school bring more than one team to a State History Bowl?
    Yes. Schools can register an unlimited number of teams at each State History Bowl, although each school must bring an adult who can read and scorekeep for every team that participates. Schools bringing more than two teams must bring an additional reader or scorekeeper, who can be a parent, coach, or other adult, but not a student.
  8. Will coaches/parents/accompanying adults be able to stay with their teams throughout the day?
    Yes, but only if an additional adult accompanies the team who can read and/or scorekeep.
  9. Can a team compete in more than one State History Bowl throughout the year?
    No. Due to logistical limitations, schools can only participate in one State Bowl throughout the year. However, teams are NOT limited to competing at the State Bowl for the state in which they live or attend school; there are no geographic restrictions on where teams compete.
  10. Can a player play for two different teams during the year?
    Yes, but only if they transfer schools, and then they cannot play at the State Bowl for their new school; only the National Championships if their new school qualifies. They CANNOT go back and play for their old school. All players must be enrolled at the school they play for. Note that participating schools do not have to “officially” sanction their teams, however, thus still allowing teams to compete where the school the kids are enrolled at opposes participation for whatever reason. Also, all students cannot play for more than one team (e.g. transferring from a B team to an A team after the prelims) during any one individual State Bowl, but they can transfer for the National Championships.
  11. Will there be prizes for the winning teams? If so, what?
    There will be prizes at both the State and National levels. Trophies, book prizes, and scholarships will be awarded- the exact amounts of scholarships will vary due to local sponsors at the State Bowls. The total prizes at Nationals will be posted in early 2011.
  12. Will there be “power tossups” in the NHB? Audio and visual questions?
    For those unfamiliar with the term, “power tossups” refer to questions being worth more if answered early in the question. This rewards deeper knowledge as well as being willing to venture an early logical guess. The State Bowls will not have power tossups, but there will be power tossups in the 1st, 2nd and 4th quarters at the National Finals. “Powered” tossups will be worth an additional five points in the second quarter and five or ten points in the fourth quarter, depending at which point the question is answered.
    Audio and visual questions will be used exclusively at Nationals as the bonus questions, and are being written in conjunction with our sponsors and partner organizations in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country.