Montgomery Blair Academic Team

What is Quizbowl?

Quizbowl is a set of competitions of different formats and difficulties that has questions from many different subjects spanning many different interests.

The categories include:

Generally, tournaments are played in team versus team rounds on a set of about 20 questions, called a packet. Each team has four players playing at a time, but can have other player that switch in.

There are two types of Quizbowl questions, tossups and bonuses. Tossups are paragraph long questions that start with a difficult sentence and end with an easy sentence (a "giveaway"). Tossups can only be answered by the player that "buzzes in." Bonuses are three part questions with answers that are head, medium, and easy. The entire team can consult on all the bonus parts. Easy parts can be gotten (convereted) by almost everyone, medium parts can be converted by about half of the teams, and hard parts can be converted by aout 10% of teams. Click here to look at some examples.

Quizbowl tossups generally are worth either 10 points or 15 points depending on where you convert the question. Getting a question in the 15 point range is called being "in power," and you "power" the tossup. The team that gets the tossup also gets the change to answer the three bonuses. Each bonus part is worth 10 points. In total a question can get you 45 points in most formats of Quizbowl.

There are two ways to answer a tossup too. You can either interrupt the question or answer at the end of a tossup. Interrupting is how most people get questions, but it runs the risk of "negging," which happens when you answer a tossup incorrectly during an interrupt. The team that answers incorrectly loses 5 points during a neg. Besides the -5 points, the team that answered incorrectly is "locked out," or unable to buzz in again.

In some formats bonuses are "bounced" which means that the opposite team has a chance to convert the points if the team that earned them got the bonus part wrong. Getting the part that the team missed is called getting a "bounceback."

It's academic is a different format entirely with one line, jeopardy style questions. This format is often called "speed" quizbowl.