Scroll down the page for links to past questions, a study guide, FAQs, rules, and scoresheets.

History Bowl Sample Match

History Bee Sample Match

See below on this page for a list of FAQs!

Please note that some questions for the official sample packets were taken from the 2012-2013 question sets, so do not be surprised if you see a few questions overlap. At all of our tournaments, the questions played will be ones that all competing students have never seen or heard before, though of course there will be much overlap in terms of the material referenced in the questions from past years. Please also note that the rules files found below are currently the Official Rules for IHBB tournaments. If a situation arises during a tournament for which the applicable rule is not addressed in the file, then the NHBB Official Rules apply if the situation is addressed there.


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 or primary school, though. Our tournaments are designed to be accessible to local schools, international schools, American schools, British schools, public schools, private schools, homeschools, 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: For the 2018-2019 academic year, the Junior Varsity Division is meant for students born from September 2002-August 2004. A JV team in the Bowl must be composed entirely of students born in September 2002 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:For the 2018-2019 academic year, the Middle School Division is for students born in September 2004 or thereafter. A Middle School Division team in the Bowl must be composed entirely of students born in September 2004 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: There are no geographic restrictions – you can play at whichever site you like. A Swiss school, for example, can play in France, Germany, Italy, Britain, or Sweden for example – it wouldn’t have to play in Switzerland. Also, we are pleased to report that you can play at two separate regional tournaments as long as they use separate questions! You can find out which question set a tournament uses by clicking on its dot on the map.
The European Championships will use a third question set, and of course, students who qualify for and attend the 2018 International History Olympiad in Berlin will play new questions there as well.

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, or if you finish with at least a .500 winning percentage in your preliminary matches (i.e. 2-2 if you play 4 matches; 3-2 if you play 5), 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 2018 European Championships will be held in May or June 2018 in England. For the most up to date information on the Championships, see the tab on the menu bar.

Q: Can teams compete with students from multiple schools / campuses?
A: All teams must be formed with students attending the same school or homeschool association. If we were to allow teams with students from multiple schools, it would effectively turn the competition into a recruiting contest in terms of who could put together the strongest team across a given region, or even beyond. Likewise, if a school has multiple campuses, these also must compete separately (for example in the 2013-2014 year, in our Asian Division, Shanghai American School had separate teams from its Puxi and Pudong campuses).

Q: How do we qualify for the 2018 International History Olympiad? When and where will it be held?
A: The qualifying procedure for the European Championships and the International History Olympiad is largely the same – all students who finish in the top half at a regional tournament are qualified both for the Championships and the Olympiad. Keep in mind though that students do not register together as a Bowl team for the Olympiad, but rather as individual students. Students who compete on European Championships Bowl teams who had not themselves played at Regionals can qualify if their Championships team finishes with at least a .500 winning percentage or in the top half of teams in their age division in the preliminaries. Host schools do not automatically students for the Olympiad the way they do for the Olympiad, however. Students who would like to compete at the Olympiad but who attend school more than 400km from a 2017-18 regional site should contact about alternate ways of qualifying for the Olympiad. See for further details.
The 2018 International History Olympiad will be held in Berlin from 14-22 July, 2018. Please also see details on the International Geography Bee World Championships held in conjunction with the Olympiad (the two events are designed so that students can compete in both) from 11-17 July, 2018, also in Berlin. Students qualify for the IGB World Championships by finishing in the top half of students in their age division at any given Championships Qualifying Exam site (i.e. at any IHBB tournament – the exam is given at lunch), or if they finish in the top half of all students in Europe for their age division.

Q: Aside from the Olympiad, can we play in other tournaments in the USA? What about other places outside Europe?
A: Not typically. But if you have already competed in Europe during the current academic year and transfer to a school outside of Europe and would like to compete in IHBB (or NHBB in the USA) for them before the end of the current academic year, please contact to determine if this would be possible or present a problem due to repeated question sets.