For the purposes of determining eligibility for the Small School National Championship Tournament (SSNCT), NAQT defines a small school to be a public high school with an average daily membership (ADM) of 500 or fewer students in grades 10–12 and a non-selective admission policy.
Charter schools may qualify as small schools (if they have a non-selective admission policy).
Schools hosting events (even official events, including state championships) with NAQT questions are not required to run separate divisions for small schools. If they do run divisions based on school size, they are not required to use NAQT’s definition for one of the divisions.
NAQT acknowledges that the colloquial notion of what constitutes a “small school” varies nationally; while it has a single, national definition that is used for the SSNCT, it wants to allow tournament organizers to set locally appropriate standards. This does mean, however, that a school that wins the “small school division” of a local tournament may not be eligible for the SSNCT, unless the local definition of small school is compatible with that of NAQT. If there is any confusion, coaches should ask tournament hosts to clarify what they mean by “small school” in their announcements.