Countdown to Nationals
[countdown end=”April 28, 2012 8:30:00″]
Official Nationals Time
This will be the official time used for nationals.
Set your watches accordingly!
The National History Bee and Bowl is pleased to officially announce the date of its second National Championships on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday April 29, 2012 in greater Washington, DC and that the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City, Arlington, VA will be the official host hotel. The National History Bowl National Championships (i.e. the team event) will be held in their entirety on Saturday the 28th. The National History Bee National Championships will be held in their entirety on Sunday the 29th.
Both the Bee and the Bowl will feature Varsity (open to all students, no age restrictions) and Junior Varsity (10th grade and under only) Divisions; teams qualify through finishing with a winning record in their division or by winning at least one playoff match at any of our projected 75-85 qualifying tournaments around the USA and abroad. Individuals qualify for the Bee through finishing in the top 1/3 of students in their division at any of our qualifying tournaments, or by making the final rounds at the qualifying tournament. As we are featuring three separate question sets, students and teams have up to three chances to qualify – there is no difference for qualifying purposes as to whether a team qualifies off of an A set, B set, or C set tournament. There are no wild cards this year; all teams must qualify as per the specifications here.
Teams will be guaranteed ten rounds of preliminary matches this year at sites of historic and cultural importance in Washington, DC including the Smithsonian museums, the International Spy Museum, National Museum of Crime and Punishment, Dumbarton House, Anderson House, the Embassies of Slovenia, Uruguay, Malawi, and Nigeria (more to come), the Newseum, the Phillips Collection, the Woodrow Wilson House, the Middle East Insitute, the Kosciuszko Foundation, and more. Teams will be grouped into a seeded bracket of six teams in the morning and play a full round robin. Teams will either play at a site that falls under the heading of Greater DuPont Circle or Greater Mall/Capitol Hill. Teams will then play their afternoon matches based on where they finished in their morning games. Depending on how many teams sign up, there will be either two or three levels of rebracketing in the afternoon (meaning either that teams ranked 1, 2, and 3 in their division in the morning will advance to the top bracket in the afternoon while teams ranked 4-6 would play in the lower bracket. Alternatively, just teams ranked 1 and 2 in their morning division would qualify for the top bracket, in which case there would then be an afternoon middle bracket for teams ranked 3 and 4 in the morning, and an afternoon lower bracket for teams ranked 5 and 6 in the morning as well).
In the afternoon, teams will play at different sites, but if they played at a DuPont Circle site in the morning, they will do so as well in the afternoon (same thing for Mall/Capitol Hill). This will minimize moving around DC and help us stay on schedule. There will be a minimum of a 90 minute lunch break, and teams will not have to move more than 2 miles at most from their morning to their afternoon site during this time.
For the Varsity division, the top 32 teams (based first on finish in their afternoon division, then by afternoon points) will then qualify for the playoffs in the evening. These matches will then be held at the hotel (see below). In the playoffs, teams will be seeded based on results from the afternoon’s matches into 8 groups of 4 and play a round robin of three matches. The winners of these will then play three single elimination final rounds which are expected to conclude around 10:15pm at the hotel.
For the JV division, we are likely to have 16 teams qualify for the final rounds; these will also consist of 4 groups of 4 teams which will then play a round robin. Tentatively, two of these groups will play their matches at the Newseum, one will play at the nearby International Spy Museum and one will play at the Museum of Crime and Punishment. The winners of all four groups will then play single elim semifinals and finals at the Newseum. This is projected to end around 8:30pm, which would allow participants enough time to return to the hotel by 9:30pm to watch the final Varsity match. If this is unfeasible or undesired by teams, we will have enough space to do the JV playoffs at the hotel as well.
We will also be featuring a Small School final championship in both Varsity and JV. Small schools however will not be in a separate draw. If one small school (definition forthcoming) reaches a level of the competition farther than any other (e.g. only one small school is found among the 32 Varsity playoff teams or if only one small school reaches the final then that school will be the automatic small school champion. However, if two small schools each are in the same final level, then they will compete for the title, even if one has a higher order of finish. If more than two schools are at the same level (e.g. say three small schools make the 32 Varsity playoff teams, but none make the elite, then the top two will play for the title. If one finishes at a higher level than any other, but two (or more) finish at the next level down, then the top two of these will play for the small school 2nd place title.
In the Bee on Sunday, we will have 6 prelim rounds with 35 questions each divided as follows:
Rd 1 (8:20-8:30am start) World History to 1491
Rd 2 (8:55-9:05) US (incl. colonial) History to 1815
Rd 3 (9:30-9:40) World History 1492-1932
Rd 4 (10:05-10:15) US History 1816-1932
Rd 5 (10:40-10:50) World History 1933-2010
Rd 6 (11:25-11:35) US History 1933-2010
End at 11:50-Noon
Consolation Bee Finals: 12:10-12:30
Mt Vernon Qualifiers announced at 12:30
Leave for Mt Vernon at 12:45
Arrive at Mt Vernon at 1:10
Welcome Message at 1:25
Final rounds begin at 1:45, ends at 3:30; awards ceremony concludes by 3:45; return to hotel/National Airport by 4:30 (an earlier bus will arrive by 4pm)
Currently, it is projected that the top 20 Varsity and top 10 JV students will be bused out to Mount Vernon for the final rounds in the afternoon, the format of which will be announced at a later date. In contrast with last year, all Bee rounds on Sunday morning will be held at the host hotel. Also, this will also allow us to offer a “Consolation Bee” which will run concurrently with the 6 morning rounds, and will be open solely to those students who did not qualify at a qualifying tournament for the National History Bee National Finals.
All questions used at our National Championships will be provided by High School Academic Pyramid Questions (HSAPQ) and edited by HSAPQ in conjunction with The National History Bee and Bowl. This year’s tossups will be somewhat shorter than last year’s. Also, tossups in the Junior Varsity division at all levels, tossups in the afternoon rounds of the Bowl for the lower level(s) and tossups used in the Consolation Bee will be slightly shorter and easier as well.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will be providing monetary prizes for the top teams and students. The amounts in question will be posted as soon as we know; we are expecting at least $10,000 for all competitions combined. Other prizes, including the History Bowls and Bee Cups, plaques, book prizes, MVP awards, sportsmanship awards, and possibly other in-kind prizes and scholarships will be awarded as well.
The official hotel for The 2012 National History Bee and Bowl National Championships is the Crystal Gateway Marriott http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wasgw-crystal-gateway-marriott/ in Crystal City, Arlington, VA. We have secured a rate of $127 per night plus tax for quad occupancy. This rate is valid from Wednesday April 25 through Tuesday May 1 for teams who wish to extend their stay. The hotel is connected by an underground walkway to a Metro station (i.e. the subway), which is about 3 minutes away. From the hotel to the center of DC it is only 3-4 stops. Between the hotel and the subway stop is an underground shopping mall with numerous food options for all price ranges. In contrast with last year, we will have access to 61 suites for scrimmage and side event matches on Friday night and for the Bee preliminary matches and the Consolation Bee on Sunday. We will also have access to a 1000 seat ballroom for an opening meeting on Friday evening and playoff matches for the Varsity on Saturday night. We also have six other conference rooms at our disposal for the quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Saturday, along with the Small School championships. To avoid elevator traffic jams on Sunday, Bee matches will likely have slightly staggered start times, though with six elevators, we should be okay. Internet access is free in the lobby and the competition rooms; in the bedrooms it is extra, but between smart phones and complimentary internet in the lobby, this shouldn’t be a major concern. Parking costs about $20 a night, but the hotel is also located only about half a mile from Reagan National Airport, and there is a free airport shuttle as well. We recommend you fly into Reagan National if you plan on flying. Teams who fly will not need to rent cars to get around. We have secured 450 bedrooms at the hotel; hopefully this will suffice; if not we can likely secure overflow space at the same rate at the nearby Crystal City Marriott across the street (note this is a different hotel from the Crystal Gateway, which is where the tournament is). As the tournament coincides with the Cherry Blossom festival, as the Crystal Gateway Marriott is the closest of all Crystal City hotels to the Metro, and as numerous NHBB events will take place there, we highly recommend you take advantage of the rate we have negotiated, which is very competitive for an upscale hotel in greater DC at this time of year (including tax, it’s about $27 cheaper per room per night than our rate at the main hotel last year). Finally, the hotel is located on the way to Mount Vernon, which will effectively give us 30 more minutes of competition/later start time than what we had last year, where the Bee rounds also necessitated going to a separate site in the morning.
Friday Night Events
The increased hotel space on Friday night will allow us to offer an increased array of events on Friday afternoon and evening as teams arrive. A very tentative schedule features: (all times PM except check-in)
8am-1am Check in, including Buzzer Check In
2-6:30, 7:30-9:30pm Scrimmage Matches
5:00 – National History Bee and Bowl Town Hall Meeting
5:45 – Jeopardy Champions Panel Discussion
6:30 – 7:15 Opening Meeting with keynote speaker TBA
7:30 – Coaches Bee, Rd 1. National Popular Culture History Bee, Rd 1
8:00 – Coaches Bee, Rd 2.
8:05 – National Popular Culture History Bee, Rd 2
8:30 – Coaches Bee, Rd 3.
8:40 – National Popular Culture History Bee, Rd 3
9:10 – Coaches Bee Finals
9:30 – National Popular Culture History Bee Finals
10:00-10:20 Opening Meeting for latecomers
10:00 – Staff Bee, Rd 1
10:30 – Staff Bee, Rd 2
11:00 – Staff Bee, Rd 3
11:30 – Staff Bee Finals, end 11:45
The Coaches’ Bee and the National Popular Culture History Bee will each cost $20; all other events are free (including the Staff Bee for staff). The Coaches’ Bee will feature questions from all periods and aspects of history. Depending on student input, the Popular Culture History Bee will either have sports and entertainment and broader culture all mixed in together, or we’ll split it up entirely into a Sports History Bee and a Popular Culture History Bee. Depending on the number who sign up and whether students would want it, we’ll do a separate JV division or not. Note that Coaches’ Bee and NPCHB questions are not by HSAPQ.
The final costs have yet to be determined, but will be approximately a $465 base fee for a team in the Bowl and $80 base fee for a student in the Bee. There will be no difference in price from JV to Varsity. Discounts will be offered for winning a qualifying tournament ($40 for winning team only, i.e. not for a B team from the winning school that didn’t win but also qualified), hosting a qualifying tournament (also $40 for all teams from host schools), and bringing a functioning buzzer system ($15). For the Bee, the only discount offered will be for having won a qualifying tournament ($15). The Consolation Bee will cost about $50 per student but will feature no monetary prizes nor the opportunity to play in the finals at Mount Vernon. There will also likely be discounts for teams able to provide readers and/or scorekeepers. The amounts of these discounts will be determined when we see what our needs are. Tournament costs also include a free commemorative program, a gift for each coach, and a framed commemorative team photo, and homemade cookies. Lots of cookies.
The tournament is currently limited to 200 teams; combined Varsity and Junior Varsity. We will likely be able to expand this if need be; with 80 projected qualifying tournaments we may need to.
If you are interested in helping to staff the NHBB Nationals, please email director at historybowl dot com. We will try to honor reading requests as much as we can (i.e. whether you would prefer to read at an embassy, museum, mansion, etc.). Staff members are given a complimentary polo shirt and staff gift. They also have the opportunity to play in the Staff Bee late on Friday night. We can reimburse travel expenses on a case by case basis (probably up to about $150 per person, but this depends on our needs), and also help you find people to carpool with if applicable. Accommodations for staff are provided on Friday and Saturday night, along with a $15 food allowance and thousands of homemade chocolate chip cookies (that’s for everyone, not per person. sorry.) Also, note that different permanent NHBB staff members will be responsible for coordinating various aspects of Nationals; these responsibilities will be delegated by the end of August 2011.
If you have suggestions or comments, please post in this thread. If it’s a question that is specific to your team or does not relate to NHBB Nationals, email me. We’re working hard to alleviate all the logistical issues from last year; with a lot more planning time, staff, and a much better hotel, we are highly confident that everything that needed fixing has been thought of. Still, let us know your thoughts and we’ll take them into consideration. Good luck in qualifying and hope to see you and your team at NHBB Nationals next April!