Contents

    High School Eligibility Rules

    1. Scope
      1. This document defines NAQT’s basic eligibility rules for high school tournaments.
      2. High school tournaments are quiz bowl tournaments primarily targeted at high school-age students, even if they aren’t enrolled at institutions traditionally described as “high schools.”
      3. These rules will be used by NAQT’s High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT) and Small School National Championship Tournament.
      4. NAQT suggests, but does not require, that other high school tournaments using questions from NAQT adopt these eligibility rules. NAQT recommends that hosts explicitly indicate the eligibility rules that apply to their tournaments.
      5. High school tournaments not using questions from NAQT are welcome to use these rules—including linking to them, duplicating them, and distributing them to teams—so long as NAQT is credited as their creator. It is not necessary to inform NAQT that this is being done.
    2. Competition Year
      Each competition year extends from August 1 through July 31 of the following year. For example, the 2017–2018 competition year began on August 1, 2017.
    3. Schools
      1. By default, a school is an accredited educational institution with a cohesive, comprehensive, multi-subject academic, activities, and administrative program on a single physical campus (contiguous parcel of land, notwithstanding minor auxiliary facilities like off-site athletic fields) that students typically attend full-time and in-person.
        1. If an institution claiming (or informally seeming) to be one school is split over multiple campuses, multiple institutions share a single campus but informally seem to be different schools, multiple institutions are closely intertwined in other fashions, or an institution has no physical campus, NAQT will determine the institution’s or institutions’ status by reference to their name(s), classification by government agencies and/or other relevant groups (such as athletic associations), public appearances (such as their website(s)), student atmosphere, the cohesiveness of the programs mentioned above, and other information that may be provided by the institutions or may be acquired otherwise.
        2. The phrase “students typically attend full-time” does not mean that a particular student must attend the school full-time to be eligible to compete for it. It only means that the school must offer a full-time program and that most of its students must attend full-time.
        3. If a private school has separate campuses for a lower school, possibly a middle school, and an upper school, and the schools are run as a cohesive whole with the same name, and students typically automatically advance from one campus to the next (unless they are removed by their parents/guardians), then the school will be treated as a single school for NAQT eligibility purposes.
        4. If a high school has a separate campus for ninth-graders, possibly with a partly separate administration, but is generally run cohesively and under a single name, then the ninth-grade campus will not be considered a separate school; rather, the ninth- through (usually) twelfth-grade students will all be considered to attend, and be eligible to play for, the same school. This only applies to schools with a separate campus exclusively for ninth-graders; it does not apply to other ways of splitting grades across campuses.
      2. Schools that include at least one grade between kindergarten and 12th grade (inclusive) are eligible to compete at high school tournaments.
        1. The presence of grades beyond 12 does not disqualify a school from competing at high school tournaments (though students in those later grades are ineligible).
        2. All types of schools are eligible. This includes, but is not limited to, high schools, secondary schools, public schools, private schools, religious schools, magnet schools, charter schools, military academies, middle schools, junior high schools, and primary schools.
      3. All homeschool co-ops and online schools that meet the standards laid out in Section G of these Eligibility Rules, and which have properly registered with NAQT per the guidelines of Section G, are also considered “schools” for the purposes of these rules.
      4. Other educational institutions with students of an appropriate age may request an exception from NAQT to be allowed to compete at high school tournaments.
    4. Players
      1. To be eligible to compete under these rules, a player must be enrolled in grade 12 or below during a school year the majority of whose days fall within the competition year during which the tournament is held.
      2. A player who graduates from 12th grade also remains eligible to compete at high school tournaments until the end of the competition year during which they graduated.
      3. A player who wishes to compete under these rules on the basis of being homeschooled, being in a registered homeschool co-op (as described in Section G), or being in an academic program that does not use standard American grades must not have turned 19 years old as of March 31 during the competition year—in other words, they must still be 18 or younger as of March 31.
      4. Players enrolled in GED programs are not eligible.
    5. Affiliation
      1. Students may only compete at high school tournaments for schools with which they have an affiliation.
      2. A player automatically establishes an affiliation with a school for a given competition year by enrolling in an academic term the majority of whose days fall within that competition year. This applies to non-online and online schools, but not homeschool co-ops.
      3. A player automatically establishes an affiliation with a homeschool co-op for a given competition year by being taught by members or employees of that co-op over a period of at least 90 days that fall within that competition year.
      4. Affiliation does not require that a school allow a particular player to compete on its teams; the formation of teams is under the control of the school’s quiz bowl coach(es) and/or advisor(s).
      5. A player affiliated with multiple non-online schools (where “online school” is defined in Section G.2) may compete for all such schools during the competition year, but may only represent a single school at any given tournament. A student in such a situation must notify NAQT at eligibility@naqt.com 14 calendar days before they compete for the second squad. Failure to do so will result in all appearances for the second squad being recorded as forfeit losses. Students with multiple affiliations must notify NAQT of this each competition year it is true; notification does not carry over between competition years.
      6. No player may, during the same competition year, compete for multiple homeschool co-ops, multiple homeschooling families/households, multiple online schools, or a combination of those—regardless of established affiliation. In other words, during a single competition year, a player may only represent a single homeschool co-op, a single homeschooling family/household, a single online school, or one or more non-online schools.
      7. When local standards make it untenable for a student to compete for the school they attend, NAQT may grant them an affiliation to the school they are locally permitted to compete for. This is primarily intended for districts in which magnet-school students are required to play for their “home school.” This dispensation should be requested according to the procedure of section K.
    6. Squads and Teams
      1. A school’s squad is the set of players with an affiliation at that school for a given competition year.
      2. A team is a subset of a school’s squad that will compete as a unit at a specific tournament.
    7. Homeschooled Students, Homeschool Co-ops, and Online Schools
      1. For NAQT’s purposes, a homeschool co-op is defined as a group of families that meet on a regular basis of at least once per month during the academic year for shared classes, other structured learning time, and/or extracurricular events.

        Any homeschooled children from the same family or household are eligible to compete as a team composed solely of members of that family or household, even if the family or household is not part of a larger co-op.

      2. For NAQT’s purposes, an online school is an accredited educational institution with a cohesive, comprehensive, multi-subject academic and administrative program by which a student receives the majority of their instruction via online classes, without a centralized location where all students physically come together to receive the majority of their instruction.

        If a non-online school transitions to online instruction (due to circumstances such as, but not limited to, natural disaster, human-made disaster, pandemic, or other extraordinary events) but intends to resume in-person instruction when possible, that school is not considered an online school.

      3. All members of any one team representing a homeschool co-op or online school must have residences in the same Combined Statistical Area, in the same county or county equivalent, and/or in an area that fits within a circle with a diameter of 50 miles.

        The entire squad of a homeschool co-op or online school need not meet any residential requirement. The above requirement applies separately to each team representing the homeschool co-op or online school. It is not necessary that each such team use the same criterion or residential circle.

      4. Squads representing homeschool co-ops, online schools, and/or single-family or household homeschools must register with NAQT at least 14 days before first competing. To register, a parent or guardian whose child attends the homeschool co-op or online school, or an administrator of the program, must write to eligibility@naqt.com and provide the following information. The documentation may take the form of links to pages on official websites, electronic documents, and/or other materials or binding statements deemed acceptable by NAQT.
        1. All such programs must provide the name of the homeschool co-op, online school, or family/household.
        2. Homeschool co-ops must provide documentation that the homeschool co-op meets the criterion in Section G.1.
        3. Homeschool co-ops must provide documentation that the homeschool co-op meets at least one of these requirements:
          1. The homeschool co-op offers at least one class in a traditional core curriculum subject such as science, mathematics, language arts, literature, history, or social studies.
          2. The homeschool co-op offers athletic extracurriculars.
        4. Online schools must provide documentation that the online school meets the criteria in Section G.2.
        5. Single-family and household homeschools must identify the players and affirm that they are all part of the same family or household.
      5. Programs representing homeschool co-ops or online schools must be willing and able, upon request from NAQT, to provide documentation proving that any or all players have established an affiliation with the homeschool co-op or online school as described in Section E.2 (online schools) or Section E.3 (homeschool co-ops).
      6. Programs representing homeschool co-ops on online schools must be willing and able, upon request from NAQT, to provide documentation proving that a given team’s players satisfy the residency requirements of Section G.3.
    8. Bans

      NAQT may ban specific players, coaches, squads, and/or organizations for a specific period of time, or indefinitely, in accordance with NAQT’s rules and procedures regarding improper conduct.

      1. When considering bans, NAQT will apply Section K of its Official Rules. This may be applied to conduct that occurred at quiz bowl tournaments (regardless of whether the tournaments used the Official NAQT Rules and/or NAQT questions) or outside of tournaments.
      2. A ban precludes participation in events using NAQT eligibility rules (and qualification thereto) regardless of other eligibility criteria.
      3. NAQT will communicate bans to the banned parties unless NAQT determines that communicating the ban is unnecessary to prevent their participation.
      4. NAQT may also communicate (or not communicate, as NAQT deems appropriate) a ban to any party, including (but not necessarily limited to) tournament hosts, school administrations, other quiz bowl organizations, and quiz bowl community members.
    9. Competing at Multiple Levels
      1. If a player has affiliations with institutions at different educational levels (middle school, high school, community college, college, etc.), they may compete for all such institutions up to and including attending multiple national championships, except as excluded below.
      2. Such a player may be prevented from attending some such tournaments due to the use of identical or overlapping question sets.
      3. The provisions in this section do not override the requirements for notification in paragraph E.5 of these rules (nor any other provisions in this rules document).
      4. In a given competition year, a player may only compete at NAQT championship events at the secondary or post-secondary levels, but not both. The secondary-level NAQT championships are the Middle School National Championship Tournament, Small School National Championship Tournament (SSNCT), High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT), and Individual Player National Championship Tournament (IPNCT); the post-secondary-level NAQT championships are the Community College Sectional Championship Tournaments (CC SCT), Community College Championship Tournament (CCCT), four-year Sectional Championship Tournaments (SCT), and Intercollegiate Championship Tournament (ICT). For example, a player may not play both the HSNCT and CC SCT (but may play both the MSNCT and HSNCT, if otherwise eligible). This applies regardless of dual-enrollment status and does not affect eligibility to compete in events other than the aforementioned NAQT championships, even if they use NAQT eligibility rules.
    10. Restricted Fields
      1. By default, tournaments adhering to these eligibility rules are open to any team of players who meet these eligibility rules.
      2. Tournaments may choose to place further restrictions on the schools or players that participate. Any such restriction must be clearly publicized as it represents a departure from the default meaning of these eligibility rules.
    11. Responsibility

      At all tournaments using these Eligibility Rules…

      1. Players are responsible for knowing these Eligibility Rules and ensuring their own compliance with them.
      2. The person who registers a team is responsible for ensuring that all players on the team comply with these Eligibility Rules.
      3. If a nonpseudonymous team’s program has one or more coaches, the coach(es) is (are) responsible for ensuring that all players on the team comply with these Eligibility Rules.
      4. If a school is found to have used ineligible players, NAQT may take actions that may also affect eligible players, such as disqualifying results or rescinding invitations.
    12. Exceptions and Special Rulings

      Requests for exceptions to these Eligibility Rules, and requests to evaluate unusual and/or unanticipated situations under them, must be received by the NAQT Eligibility Committee at eligibility@naqt.com at least 14 calendar days before the start of the first relevant event. Retroactive requests are not considered. The request must come from the player themself, their parent or legal guardian, or a coach of their squad. When requests come from players themselves or parents/guardians, NAQT will ensure that decisions and their consequences are communicated to squad leadership.

    Rulings

    NAQT has granted the following eligibility exceptions:

    2019–2020

    • To Samuel Ash to play for South Side High School (Hookstown, PA), effective February 29, 2020. Samuel is a student at South Side Middle School, who requested to "play up" with South Side High School, the local district high school for which he is zoned.
    • To Silas Baty to play for West Point High School (Cullman, AL), effective October 6, 2019. Silas is a middle school student at West Point Middle School, and is expected to enroll at West Point High School when he reaches the corresponding grade level.
    • To Emma Czajkowski to play for Berwick High School (Berwick, PA), effective January 29, 2020. Emma is a student at Berwick Middle School who has requested to "play up" with Berwick High School, which is the public district school at which she is expected to matriculate upon reaching 9th grade.
    • To Nathaniel Dunlap to play for Milton High School (Milton, GA), effective September 24, 2019. Nathaniel is a homeschooled student who applied for permission to compete with Milton High School, his assigned local district school.
    • To Elizabeth Gunther to play for Berwick High School (Berwick, PA), effective January 29, 2020. Elizabeth is a student at Berwick Middle School who has requested to "play up" with Berwick High School, which is the public district school at which she is expected to matriculate upon reaching 9th grade.
    • To Brodie Henry to play for West Point High School (Cullman, AL), effective October 6, 2019. Brodie is a middle school student at West Point Middle School, and is expected to enroll at West Point High School when he reaches the corresponding grade level
    • To Aaiden Jones to play for West Point High School (Cullman, AL), effective October 6, 2019. Aaiden is a middle school student at West Point Middle School, and is expected to enroll at West Point High School when he reaches the corresponding grade level.
    • To Jack Kendron to play for Berwick High School (Berwick, PA), effective January 29, 2020. Jack is a student at Berwick Middle School who has requested to "play up" with Berwick High School, which is the public district school at which he is expected to matriculate upon reaching 9th grade.
    • To Ryan McElroy to play for Leon High School (Tallahassee, FL), effective October 6, 2019. Ryan is a homeschooled student who requested eligibility to compete for Leon HS, which is his default, assigned public district high school.
    • To Saisha Mittal to play for Willows Preparatory School (Redmond, WA), effective November 22, 2019. Saisha is a student at Bellevue Children's Academy, a private school in the same system as Willows Preparatory School; many students from BCA matriculate at Willows upon leaving BCA.
    • To Josephine Morgan to play for Berwick High School (Berwick, PA), effective January 29, 2020. Josephine is a student at Berwick Middle School who has requested to "play up" with Berwick High School, which is the public district school at which she is expected to matriculate upon reaching 9th grade.
    • To Jacob Paciello to play for South Side High School (Hookstown, PA), effective February 29, 2020. Jacob is a student at South Side Middle School, who requested to "play up" with South Side High School, the local district high school for which he is zoned.
    • To Krishna Panchap to play for Interlake High School (Bellevue, WA), effective December 1, 2019. Krisha is a student at Odle Middle School; this is the high school at which he is expected to matriculate.
    • To Maya Phillips to play for Pine City Junior/Senior High School (Pine City, MN), effective November 7, 2019. Maya is a homeschooled student who requested eligibility to compete for Pine City HS, which is her default, assigned public district high school.
    • To Neil Sethi to play for James Clemens High School (Madison, AL), effective January 13, 2020. Neil is a middle school student at Liberty Middle School, who is zoned to matriculate at James Clemens HS when he reaches the 9th grade, and who requested to "play up" with James Clemens.
    • To Iris Sha to play for Willows Preparatory School (Redmond, WA), effective November 22, 2019. Iris is a student at Bellevue Children's Academy, a private school in the same system as Willows Preparatory School; many students from BCA matriculate at Willows upon leaving BCA.
    • To Demetrios Skordas to play for Troy High School (Troy, NY), effective October 1, 2019. Demetrios is a student at Troy Middle School who is expected to enroll at Troy High School, and who has requested to "play up" with the expected high school.
    • To Chris Stola to play for Berwick High School (Berwick, PA), effective January 29, 2020. Chris is a student at Berwick Middle School who has requested to "play up" with Berwick High School, which is the public district school at which he is expected to matriculate upon reaching 9th grade.
    • To Aarna Taneja to play for Willows Preparatory School (Redmond, WA), effective November 22, 2019. Aarna is a student at Bellevue Children's Academy, a private school in the same system as Willows Preparatory School; many students from BCA matriculate at Willows upon leaving BCA.
    • To Eli Taylor to play for West Point High School (Cullman, AL), effective October 6, 2019. Eli is a middle school student at West Point Middle School, and is expected to enroll at West Point High School when he reaches the corresponding grade level.
    • To Henry Wager to play for Cooperstown Middle/High School (Cooperstown, NY), effective October 1, 2019. Henry is a homeschooler (classified as a junior under NAQT rules) who attended Cooperstown HS for both his freshman and sophomore years, and who expects to return to Cooperstown HS for his senior year. Cooperstown remains his district school while he is homeschooled.
    • To John Davis Yovino to play for West Point High School (Cullman, AL), effective October 6, 2019. John is a middle school student at West Point Middle School, and is expected to enroll at West Point High School when he reaches the corresponding grade level.

    All approved variances pertaining to the NAQT High School Eligibility Rules in the current and next competition years are posted here. Non-approved requests are not listed.