Reserved Berths at the HSNCT
Spots in the High School National Championship Tournament field may be reserved for the winners of prestigious tournaments in regions with very few qualifying tournaments. Unlike a standard invitation, an invitation with a reserved berth actually saves a specific spot in the field, so a school that has been awarded a reserved berth can register a team for HSNCT even if the field has been closed and teams with normal invitations are being waitlisted.
Following the completion of a tournament with a reserved berth, that spot will be offered to the winner of that tournament. If that school has already registered or if it declines the invitation, that spot in the field will be returned to the general invitation pool and given to the first team on the waitlist (if the field is full) or the next team to register (if the field is not full). In particular, the reserved berth will not be offered to the second-place team at the tournament if the winner declines.
Spots will be held for approximately one week for teams to make up their mind, but this duration is at the discretion of NAQT and may be reduced as the national championship approaches.
Tournaments with multiple divisions, tournaments that draw from multiple states, or tournaments that are especially prestigious may have multiple reserved berths assigned.