2011 High School National Championship

NAQT is pleased to announce that its 2011 High School National Championship Tournament will be held at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta hotel on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29, 2011.

Online registration is now open.


May 27-29, 2011 (Friday to Sunday). This is Memorial Day weekend.

Teams will check in on Friday, May 27, and have the opportunity to meet each other and play practice matches on official NAQT questions from previous years. The tournament’s preliminary games will take place on Saturday, and the playoff games will take place on Sunday. Teams may stay through Monday (or longer!) to explore Atlanta at the discounted hotel rates negotiated by NAQT. Teams that cannot arrive on Friday night will have a chance to check in on Saturday morning if they notify NAQT of the situation in advance.


The Hyatt Regency Atlanta. This hotel will hold the guest room block as well as the competition rooms. The tournament will be spread over most of the hotel; a floorplan is available online.


This schedule is final.

Friday (evening)
5:00-10:00Staff Check-InLenox (Atlanta Conference Level)
6:00-10:00Team Check-InGrand Hall Prefunction Area (Exhibit Level)
6:00-10:00Scrimmage RoundsDunwoody (Atlanta Conference Level)
7:30-8:30Late-Arrival Team Check-Inoutside Regency Ballroom (Ballroom Level)
8:00-8:45Staff MeetingLenox (Atlanta Conference Level)
8:30-8:45Players’ and Coaches’ MeetingRegency Ballroom (Ballroom Level)
9:00-12:00Rounds 1-6Meeting rooms and parlors
12:00-1:30Lunch (not provided)-
1:30-6:45Rounds 7-16Meeting rooms and parlors
8:00Playoff Pairings PostedInformation Desk (Ballroom Level)
8:00Small School Playoff Pairings PostedInformation Desk (Ballroom Level)
8:00-8:30Overall Playoff Staff MeetingLenox (Atlanta Conference Level)
8:00-8:30Small School Playoff Staff MeetingHotel Room 1935
8:30-12:00Rounds 17-22Meeting rooms
9:00-12:00Consolation RoundsRegistration Booth (Ballroom Level)
12:00-1:00Lunch (not provided)-
1:00-2:20Rounds 23-24Meeting rooms
2:20Finals (1 or 2 games)Regency Ballroom
After finalsAwardsRegency Ballroom
After awardsBuzzer Return/Question PickupRegistration Booth (Ballroom Level)

On Saturday morning teams should be in the Regency Ballroom (on the Ballroom Level) by 8:30 a.m.

Information Desk:

NAQT will be operating an Information Desk throughout the tournament near the escalators on the Ballroom Level of the hotel. This should be teams’ first resort for any sort of question at all. The Information Desk will be in contact with all control rooms and the stat room throughout the day.


Schools qualify to send teams to the HSNCT through their performance at NAQT invitational events and NAQT State Championships held throughout the year. Qualified teams may now register online.


The field for the tournament is limited to 224 teams. The current field is listed here.

The 2011 field was originally capped at 208 teams, but was expanded to 216 on April 13, 2011, and then further expanded to 224 on April 18. The field expansion does not change the number of guaranteed games but did increase the number of preliminary rounds on Saturday from 15 to 16.


Teams are guaranteed exactly ten preliminary matches on Saturday. Those matches will be determined by power-matching, so that teams with similar records will be playing each other in every round. Every team with a winning record (6-4 or better) will advance to the playoffs. The elimination playoffs will be held on Sunday; teams that finished Saturday 7-3 or better can lose twice before being eliminated; teams that finished 6-4 on Saturday will be eliminated after a single loss.

A total of 16 rounds will be played on Saturday, so each team will have exactly 6 byes. Either 9 or 10 rounds will be played on Sunday, depending on whether the champion finishes with a playoff loss or not.

This is identical to last year’s format, except that it will involve 224 teams rather than 200.

The first-round Sunday pairings will be posted at 8:00 a.m. at the Information Desk.


As in past years, an overall high school title and a Top Small School title will be awarded.

The top three small school teams and all small school teams that finish 4-6 or better on Saturday are guaranteed spots in the small school playoffs, the exact format of which will be determined based on the number of such teams and the presence or absence of small schools in the overall playoffs.

The small school playoff format will be posted at 8:00 a.m. at the Information Desk.

In addition, if there are at least five Canadian schools in attendance, a Top Canadian Team title will be awarded after a final; if at least ten are in attendance, a parallel playoff for the Canadian title will be held (similar to what is done to determine the Top Small School). The exact format of that playoff will be determined by the overall finish of the Canadian teams.

Due to insufficient Canadian registrations, there will not be a Top Canadian Team title awarded this year.

Consolation Scrimmage Rounds:

Teams that do not qualify for the playoffs are encouraged to return on Sunday to play against any other teams they want (or to mix-and-match from across the country) on the playoff questions. These consolation rounds will be held in various game rooms of the hotel and will be moderated by NAQT staff and other volunteers. Please note that all students, even alternates or observers, are welcome to take part. Teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs may also take part.

Teams that want to participate in the consolation rounds should go to the Permanent Registration booth on the Ballroom Level after 9:00 a.m. on Sunday. Note that the Permanent Registration booth is not where tournament check-in took place on Friday; it is an area of the hotel formally named "Permanent Registration."

Unlike in past years where each game was matched on an ad hoc basis, NAQT will also be offering consolation "mini-tournaments" of three games (eight teams) each. Teams may still play ad hoc games against opponents of their choosing, however.

The consolation rounds (whether mini-tournaments or not) have no effect on a team’s overall standing in the tournament. They are played solely for fun.


Online registration is now open.

The registration fee is $575 per team if payment is received on or before April 29, 2011. The fee is $595 per team on or after April 30. Schools whose first qualifying event occurred after April 1, 2011, have until May 9 to register at the lower rate. The deadline to accept an invitation is May 23, or when the field fills, whichever comes first.

In addition, as of 23:59:59 ET on April 29, 2011, the acceptance of invitations will be considered final. Should a team cancel after that date, it will still be liable for one-half of its base registration fee.

The registration fee only covers entrance to the tournament. It does not cover transportation, lodging, food, or other expenses.

Please note that the field has historically filled; qualifying for the tournament does not guarantee a spot in the field, it merely enables your team to register for one of the spots. Once you have qualified, you should register as soon as you can to ensure your team a berth in the tournament.

Teams bringing a working lockout system to the tournament will be eligible for a $30 discount on the registration fee. Each team may claim up to two such discounts. Lockout systems will be tested at check-in, and those that don’t have at least eight functioning buzzers will be denied the discount. NAQT recognizes that increased baggage charges have made it difficult for teams to bring their systems, and we would like to provide a financial incentive for them to do so.

Teams supplying a qualified, experienced scorekeeper for the tournament will be eligible for a $75 discount on the registration fees. This scorekeeper will not necessarily scorekeep for his or her school’s matches; he or she will be assigned as the tournament director sees fit. Also, a team claiming this discount must still have at least one adult coach/chaperone with the team at all matches.

The above scorekeeper discount may be filled by a team alternate (or combination of alternates). For instance, if a team brought five players to the tournament, one player could keep score for the morning rounds on Saturday and another for the afternoon rounds. In aggregate, their work would earn the team the $75 discount.

In addition, NAQT needs a limited number of "runners" for the tournament. There is no experience necessary to fill this role. Teams supplying such runners will also receive a $75 discount.

As of May 19, the tournament is fully staffed and NAQT is no longer offering additional discounts for team staffers (who had not been added to registration forms prior to May 19).

Every competing school will receive a complete copy of the question set used at this tournament. Please note that teams that do not pick up their questions at the tournament itself will be charged a shipping fee ($10) by NAQT to mail them.

Checking In:

NAQT will be checking teams in, disbursing information folders, answering questions, and handling outstanding administrative matters between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. near the central elevators on the Exhibit Level on Friday, May 27. When teams arrive at the hotel on Friday night, one coach or chaperone should go to the check-in area. That representative will receive a folder containing a copy of the official rules, the schedule for the tournament, and information on local attractions. Team members are encouraged to take advantage of the social and practice opportunities on Friday night.

To streamline check-in, we are requesting that schools try to follow this schedule based on the first letter of the name of their state/province:

First Letter Preferred Check-in Window
A-I 6:00 to 7:00
J-M 7:00 to 8:00
N-Z 8:00 to 9:00

This is not mandatory; don’t rearrange your schedule or accept inconvenience to adhere to it. However, if you are planning to be at the hotel all evening anyway, please come at the appropriate time and it should reduce the total time spent waiting.

Teams that don’t arrive at the hotel until Saturday morning can check in between 7:30 and 8:30 near the Regency Ballroom on the Ballroom Level. Teams that checked in on Friday do not need to check in again on Saturday.


Between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Friday night, rooms will be set up in the hotel for teams to scrimmage against each other on questions from previous NAQT HSNCTs. This scrimmaging is free and will be moderated by tournament staff. We encourage all teams to come by to play a practice game or two. Teams that want to scrimmage should go to the Dunwoody room (Atlanta Conference Level) to be assigned a place to play.

Teams that want to participate in the scrimmages should go to the Dunwoody room (Atlanta Conference Level) to be assigned a room and opponent. After each match, return to Dunwoody if you want to play another game.

Scrimmages are open to all players, including alternates and standby teams. Ineligible players (e.g., parents or coaches) may compete if both teams are amenable to their participation, but the purpose of the scrimmages is to let actual teams experience actual tournament conditions. A more appropriate time for parents and coaches to partake of quiz bowl is during the Sunday consolation rounds.


The top thirty-two teams will each receive a team trophy, and the members (and coach) of those teams will receive individual awards (up to six per team). In addition, the top three small schools (by NAQT’s definition) will receive a team trophy and individual awards. The top twenty-five individual scorers will receive All-Star awards. In addition, the top five freshmen and the top five sophomores who are not overall All-Stars will receive freshman or sophomore Rising Star awards. All individual awards will be based on the results of the preliminary rounds. Players must have at least 120 tossups heard (approximately six games) to be eligible for individual awards.


Teams will want to fly into Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (airport code ATL).


The official hotel for the tournament is the Hyatt Regency Atlanta itself. Quadruple-occupancy rooms (with two double beds) are available for $85 per night. To receive that rate, mention "NAQT" when making a reservation over the phone or book online. The last day to reserve rooms at this special price is May 13. Please note that there are other Hyatt hotels in Atlanta; make reservations at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

The official hotel is now essentially full; there are still some king and queen rooms available at the group rate, but not many (and no quadruple-occupancy double/doubles). Teams that still need rooms are encouraged to make reservations at the official overflow hotel.

Parking is $10/day, which includes in-and-out privileges. All parking is valet parking, so teams should expect a slight delay in retrieving their cars at busy times. Bus parking is available for $30/day at a nearby site. The hotel will provide complimentary transportation to and from the bus lot for drivers.

As part of the contract negotiated by NAQT, the hotel will offer complimentary guest room Internet access to tournament participants and their families.

The hotel does not have an airport shuttle. Teams will need to take the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) (recommended), a taxi, or use a commercial shuttle service.

Hyatt Regency Atlanta
265 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, Georgia, USA 30303
Telephone: 800.937.8461

Overflow Hotel:

NAQT has arranged an overflow hotel for the tournament, which is the Westin Peachtree Plaza:

Westin Peachtree Plaza
210 Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone: 404.659.1400
Reservations: 800.937.8461
Fax: 404.589.7424

The Westin Peachtree Plaza has king and (quadruple occupancy) double/double rooms available for $95/night. Parking is $10/day with in-and-out privileges and Internet access is complimentary.

The Westin Peachtree Plaza is approximately two blocks south of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta on Peachtree Street. Teams should take MARTA from the airport to the Peachtree Center Station and walk half a block south.

To make reservations at the Westin Peachtree Plaza, call 800.937.8461 and say that you are with the "NAQT" group. Teams can also make reservations online.


The Hyatt Regency Atlanta is connected by a short (50-foot) skyway to a 60-restaurant food court at which any kind of inexpensive food (sandwiches, Thai, pizza, Chinese, cheesesteaks, etc.) may be obtained. There are also additional restaurants in the hotel itself and within walking distance that should satisfy any combination of appetite and price range. The hotel will be offering discounted breakfast and lunch options for participants as well.


Unlike in previous years, the hotel does not operate a shuttle (complimentary or otherwise) to the airport.

NAQT recommends that teams take the MARTA train to reach the tournament. Teams can catch either the red or gold line (it doesn’t matter which) at the airport and get off at the Peachtree Center. This is a 20-minute trip that costs about $2.50 each direction. From the Peachtree Center it is about a two-minute, indoor walk though the food court to the Hyatt Regency. NAQT’s members have ridden MARTA and found it to be safe and convenient; there are also taxi and shuttle options, but MARTA will probably be the easiest and cheapest way to travel.

The overflow hotel is even closer to Peachtree Center station, but lies half a block south and on the other side of Peachtree Street.


Unlike last year’s tournament site, the Hyatt Regency Atlanta is downtown and within walking distance (10-15 minutes) of Atlanta’s major attractions including the Georgia Aquarium, the High Museum, Centennial Olympic Park, and the World of Coca-Cola.

Practice Questions:

Teams that have been invited to compete at the 2011 High School National Championship Tournament may be interested in purchasing the questions from previous years to prepare for the event. All 95 of NAQT’s past regular-season sets are available as are the sets from all eleven past national championships.

Teams may also want to purchase NAQT study guides listing the works of literature, art, music, and non-fiction (and their creators) that have been mentioned most frequently in NAQT questions from 1996 to the present. These are also available on our practice questions page.

Finally, teams will want to look at the information contained in NAQT’s free You Gotta Know articles before the tournament. These detail the most frequently asked about question topics in a wide variety of areas.

Further Questions:

To ask specific questions about the HSNCT, please contact us:

  1. by e-mail at hsnct@naqt.com
  2. by phone at 888‑411‑6278 (“NAQT”)
  3. by fax at 413‑473‑1617
  4. by postal mail at:
    11521 W 69th Street
    Shawnee, KS 66203

We look forward to answering any and all questions, no matter how expansive or trivial, in the hopes of eliminating any possible confusion or mistakes in teams’ plans. If something’s not clear, let us know!