High School Eligibility Rules
- This document defines NAQT’s basic eligibility rules for high school tournaments.
- 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.”
- These rules will be used by NAQT’s High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT) and Small School National Championship Tournament.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- By default, a school is an accredited educational institution with a cohesive academic, activities, and administrative program on a single physical campus (contiguous parcel of land, nonwithstanding minor auxiliary facilities like off-site athletic fields). 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.
Schools that include at least one grade between kindergarten and 12th grade (inclusive) are eligible to compete at high school tournaments.
- 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).
- 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.
- Home-school collectives that have registered with NAQT are eligible to compete at high school tournaments. For the purposes of these rules, such collectives will be considered “schools.”
- Other educational institutions with students of an appropriate age may request an exception from NAQT to be allowed to compete at high school tournaments.
- An individual student is eligible to compete at high school tournaments if he or she is in a grade between kindergarten and 12th grade (inclusive) as of the date of the tournament.
- An individual who graduates from 12th grade also remains eligible to compete at high school tournaments until the end of the competition year during which he or she graduated.
- Individuals wishing to compete at high school tournaments must be enrolled in grade 12 or below during the school year corresponding to the competition year of the tournament.
- Individuals wishing to compete at high school tournaments who are in homeschool programs, academic programs without grades, or academic programs that do 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.
- Individuals enrolled in GED programs are not eligible.
- Individuals with special circumstances of any kind may request an exception to these rules by e-mailing email@example.com at least 14 days in advance of the first tournament for which they wish to be granted an exception.
- Students may only compete at high school tournaments for schools with which they have an affiliation.
- 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.
- A player automatically establishes an affiliation with a home school collective for a given competition year by being taught by members of that collective over a period of at least 90 days that fall within that competition year.
- Players with special circumstances linking them to a specific school may request an exception from NAQT to be granted affiliation with that school. Such requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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).
- A player with affiliations at multiple schools 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 email@example.com 14 calendar days before s/he competes for the second squad. Failure to do so will result in all appearances for the second squad being recorded as forfeit losses.
- When local standards make it untenable for a student to compete for the school they attend, NAQT may grant him/her an affiliation to the school he/she is locally permitted to compete for. This is primarily intended for districts in which magnet-school students are required to play for their “home school.” Requests, with detailed explanations of the situation, should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 14 days in advance of the tournament the student wishes to play.
Squads and Teams
- A school’s squad is the set of players with an affiliation at that school for a given competition year.
- A team is a subset of a school’s squad that will compete as a unit at a specific tournament.
Competing at Multiple Levels
- If a player has affiliations with institutions at different educational levels (middle school, high school, community college, college, etc.), he or she may compete for all such institutions up to and including attending multiple national championships.
- Such a player may be prevented from attending some such tournaments, however, due to the use of identical or overlapping question sets at tournaments produced for different education levels.
- By default, tournaments adhering to these eligibility rules are open to any team of players who meet these eligibility rules.
- 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.
At all tournaments using these Eligibility Rules…
- Players are responsible for knowing these Eligibility Rules and ensuring their own compliance with them.
- The person who registers a team is responsible for ensuring that all players on the team comply with these Eligibility Rules.
- 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.
- 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.
- At all tournaments using these Eligibility Rules…
NAQT has granted the following eligibility variances:
- To Cole Hillegas to play for Camp Hill High School (Camp Hill, PA), effective October 29, 2018. Cole is an eighth-grader at Camp Hill Middle School and this is the high school to which he is expected to matriculate in 2019–2020.
- To Lukas Koutsoukos to play for Wilton High School (Wilton, CT), effective October 22, 2018. Lukas is an eighth-grader at the Middlebrook School in Wilton and this is the high school to which he is expected to matriculate in 2019–2020.
- To Bobby Latham to play for Camp Hill High School (Camp Hill, PA), effective October 29, 2018. Bobby is an eighth-grader at Camp Hill Middle School and this is the high school to which he is expected to matriculate in 2019–2020.
- To Ryan McElroy to play for Leon High School (Tallahassee, FL), effective December 21, 2018.
- To Ari Rajaram to play for Monta Vista High School (Cupertino, CA), effective February 15, 2019. Ari Rajaram is a middle-school student who wanted to join the team at his default public school, Monta Vista.
- To Ahaan Thomas to play for Beaumont Central High School (Beaumont, TX), effective February 7, 2019. Ahaan Thomas wishes to play with his home-district middle school (Beaumont) rather than the elementary school he attends, Rosa Parks.
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.