Community College Quiz Bowl

At the community college level, quiz bowl is a competitive, academic, interscholastic activity for which players attend periodic practices and then represent their school at varsity tournaments. Those tournaments may be based on the school’s athletic conference or state, but, in most cases, they are open to all schools able to make the trip.

Quiz bowl questions range over the entire spectrum of a community college curriculum and also include a certain amount of current events, sports, and popular culture. The matches feature a blend of individual competition and team collaboration, since no individual player is likely to be an expert in all subject areas. Quiz bowl can reinforce classroom lessons and also encourage players to go beyond their majors to master other areas as well.

Tournaments that use NAQT’s eligibility rules are open to all two-year, post-secondary institutions whose curricula are roughly comparable to those offered by community colleges.

A school’s quiz bowl season would generally run from early October until late April, though events do occur both before and after those thresholds. Teams will usually practice weekly, but more dedicated teams choose to do so more frequently, particularly in weeks leading up to major tournaments. Most practices consist of intrasquad games, but some may also include alternate activities to emphasize particular subject areas.

From time to time during the year, the players will be grouped into teams (of players with complementary strengths) and sent to tournaments. NAQT rules allow multiple teams from the same school to participate, so everybody can get a chance a play.

Nationwide, the most common form of competition is the so-called “Saturday tournament,” in which anywhere from 4 to 24 teams from different community colleges drive to a central location (the “host”) and play five to twelve matches, each of which takes about 30 minutes.

Some tournaments require the coaches of competing teams to assist as moderators or scorekeepers; other provide their own staff. Most tournaments have a registration fee of $40 to $120 that varies with location, length, and amenities; there are often discounts for providing buzzer systems, staff, or for having traveled a great distance to compete. Most tournaments do not require that a faculty or staff member accompany the team.

Any institution may choose to host a tournament, which can serve as a fundraiser for its team.

In late January, NAQT hosts its Community College Sectional Championship Tournaments (CC SCTs); the top teams from these tournaments qualify to attend the Community College Championship Tournament (CCCT) in late February or early March. The top teams from the CCCT receive invitations to the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament (ICT) where they compete in Division II against four-year schools for an overall title.

NAQT is always willing to provide guidance to campus activities personnel, faculty members, or students interested in starting a new team or to players interested in improving. We also sell tournament questions, practice questions, and a deeply discounted starter package for new schools.

If you’d be interested in learning more about quiz bowl, please don’t hesitate to contact us by e-mail at naqt@naqt.com or by phone at 888‑411‑6278 (“NAQT”).