2021 Intercollegiate Championship Tournament Logistics Information

The 2021 Intercollegiate Championship Tournament (ICT), powered by LetterOne, was held online on April 10, 2021.

Gameplay Schedule



    April 10, 2021 (Saturday).

    Presenting Sponsor

    NAQT is thrilled to have LetterOne as the presenting sponsor of the 2021 ICT (as well as the 2021 HSNCT). LetterOne is a partnership of successful entrepreneurs and former CEOs aiming to create one of the world’s pre-eminent international investment firms. LetterOne believes quiz bowl encourages the team-based, innovative thinking that is valuable to the next generation of business leaders in the face of a new industrial revolution in which social media, robotics, 3D manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and new trade corridors are altering the landscape.


    Online, via Zoom and in accordance with the rest of NAQT’s Online Tournament Guide.

    To promote confidence in the integrity of online competition, NAQT has established an Integrity Policy for Online National Championships that establishes requirements for players while they are active. All players and coaches should read the policy, and all players should be prepared to comply with it during gameplay.

    Technical Requirements

    Players should read and must follow the rules and procedures in NAQT’s Online Tournament Guide. This includes, but is not limited to, the requirements that players must…

    Furthermore, we very strongly recommend that players…

    In addition to the requirements of the Online Tournament Guide, for this tournament:


    This schedule is final.

    All times are listed in Central time.

    Preliminary Rounds

    Time Event
    8:20 – 8:50 a.m. Staff meeting
    8:40 – 8:50 a.m. Team meeting
    8:55 a.m. Be in your Round 1 Zoom room
    9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon Rounds 1–4
    12:00 noon – 12:45 p.m. Break (Lunch)
    12:45 – 3:00 p.m. Rounds 5–7
    3:00 – 3:20 p.m. Break

    Playoffs and Superplayoffs

    Time Event
    3:20 – 4:50 p.m. Rounds 8–9 (Playoffs)
    4:50 – 5:10 p.m. Break
    5:10 – 6:40 p.m. Rounds 10–11 (Superplayoffs)
    6:40 – 7:15 p.m. Break
    7:15 – 8:45 p.m. Finals (if necessary)

    Frequently Asked Questions

    NAQT has prepared answers to frequently asked questions about its national championships.

    Rules and Eligibility

    Gameplay will follow the Official NAQT Rules as modified for online play. Player eligibility is governed by the College Eligibility Rules.

    Teams and players in Division II are additionally subject to the Division II eligibility rules. Teams and players competing for the Undergraduate title in Division I are subject to the Undergraduate eligibility rules.


    NAQT will reserve eight spots in the Division I field and eight spots in the Division II field for teams to be invited at NAQT’s discretion. Those spots will be reserved through February 7 at 11:59 p.m. Central time.

    Three spots in the Division II field will be reserved for the top three teams from the 2021 Community College Championship Tournament. Those teams will have until March 3 to claim their spots, unless they request and receive an extension.

    The remaining spots will be available for registration beginning on February 8. Any team consisting of eligible players (respectively by division) may register for these spots. For the first 24 hours of open registration, each school will be limited to no more than three teams total and no more than two per division (including teams that were invited in the first group).

    All teams (regardless of which type of slot they register for) must pay their registration fees within one week of registering or provide evidence of progress toward doing so. Otherwise, they will be dropped from the field. (Read more)

    Teams interested in playing the ICT may wish to read about Division II eligibility. In 2021, being invited to or registering for the ICT does not itself count as qualifying for the ICT in the sense of causing players to lose their Division II eligibility. The only way to lose Division II eligibility in 2021 is to actually play in the ICT.


    These teams attended the tournament.



    The following format will be used (separately in each division).

    Teams will be initially divided into four pools of eight teams, each of which will play a round robin (Rounds 1–7). If there are fewer than 32 teams in the division, one or more pools will contain fewer teams.

    After Round 7, teams will be ranked within their pools by win-loss record followed by points per tossup heard. (For the sake of expedience in an online tournament, this is a departure from NAQT’s usual practice of playing off all ties that affect pool advancement.) Four tiers will be formed. The top tier will consist of the top two teams from each preliminary pool, and so on. Each tier will be split into two parallel pools of four teams each, with each of those pools containing two teams from one preliminary pool and two teams from another preliminary pool.

    In the playoffs (Rounds 8–9), teams will play the teams that are in their playoff pool and were in a different preliminary pool. Teams will then be ranked within playoff pools by their record among common opponents (carrying over one game from the preliminary rounds) followed by points per tossup heard among common opponents. Again, ties will not be played off.

    After Round 9, superplayoff pools will be formed by combining across parallel pairs of pools and splitting each tier into halves. That is, the top superplayoff pool will comprise the top two teams from each of the top-tier pools, the second superplayoff pool will comprise the bottom two teams from each of the top-tier pools, and so on.

    In the superplayoffs (Rounds 10–11), teams will play the two teams in their superplayoff pool that they have not already played.

    After Round 11, the teams will be ranked within their superplayoff pools by record among common opponents (carrying over one game, which could have occurred in the preliminary or playoff rounds).

    In the top superplayoff pool:

    • If the top team has 3 wins and the second-place team has 2 wins, those two teams will play an advantaged final, meaning up to two games in which the 3-win team need only win one game to claim the division championship, while the 2-win team would need to win both games to claim the championship.
    • If the top team has 3 wins and the other three teams are tied at 1 win, the 3-win team is the division champion and no final will be played. The tie for second place will be broken using the “three teams playing for one spot” case in NAQT’s usual tiebreaker procedures (with full games).
    • If there are exactly two teams tied with 2 wins, they will play a one-game final whose winner is the division champion. The other two teams, who must necessarily also be tied in this situation, will play one game to determine third place.
    • If there are exactly three teams tied with 2 wins, the teams will be ranked by points per tossup heard in the same three games used for ranking. Let A denote the team with the highest points per tossup heard, B denote the team with the middle value of points per tossup heard, and C denote the team with the lowest value of points per tossup heard. B will play one (full) game against C, the loser of which is the third-place team and the winner of which will play one (full) game against A, the winner of which is the division champion and the loser of which is the second-place team.

    Ties in lower superplayoff pools will not be broken.

    Division I Undergraduate

    For the Undergraduate championship:

    • If exactly one Undergraduate team is involved in additional games after Round 11, it is the Undergraduate champion.
    • If two or more Undergraduate teams are involved in additional games after Round 11, those games will also be used to determine the corresponding Undergraduate ranks.
    • Otherwise, if the top Undergraduate team is more than eight places ahead of the second-place Undergraduate team in the overall ranking, then the former team is the Undergraduate champion.
    • Otherwise, if there is a unique top Undergraduate team in terms of the overall ranking, that team will have the advantage against the next-highest Undergraduate team (in terms of the overall ranking) in an advantaged final conducted analogously to the advantaged final scenario for the overall ranking. If there is a tie among next-highest Undergraduate teams, the team with the higher/highest points per tossup heard among common opponents will play in the final. If there were a total of two teams involved in that tie, the other team will be the third-place Undergraduate team; if there were three teams involved in that tie, the other two will be assigned third and fourth place in the Undergraduate ranking by points per tossup heard in the same three games used for overall ranking.
    • Otherwise, if there are two or three teams tied for being the top Undergraduate team in terms of the overall ranking, the tie will be broken according to the analogous schemes for the overall ranking.

    If there is a tie for second or third place among Undergraduate teams that does not also involve first place, that tie will be broken by points per tossup heard in the same three games used for overall ranking.

    The remaining Division I Undergraduate teams will be ranked as a subset of the Division I overall ranking.

    Registration and Fees

    Registration has closed.

    The registration fee is $360 per team.

    The registration fee only covers participation in the tournament. It does not cover equipment or other expenses.

    Discounts by Providing Staff for Other Championships

    There is no discount available for providing staff for the ICT. Instead, schools may earn discounts on their ICT registration fee by providing staff for some of NAQT’s later national championships—specifically, the Small School National Championship Tournament and/or the Middle School National Championship Tournament. The discount is $100 per staff member per event, and there is a maximum of three discounts per ICT team.

    Teams who wish to take advantage of this discount must notify NAQT, on or before March 15, by writing to ict@naqt.com. In addition, beginning March 16, commitments to provide such staff will be considered final. Teams who promise to provide a staff member for a future tournament, but who renege on that commitment on or after March 16, will be charged a $50 penalty in addition to forfeiting the discount.

    People who pledge to work at a later championship must be available to work all day on Saturday, April 24 (Small School National Championship Tournament) or Saturday, May 1 (Middle School National Championship Tournament), and must complete NAQT’s online training sufficiently far in advance of those tournaments. Discounts are only available for dedicated, full-day staff members; a team may not claim a discount by having one person work for part of the day and another person work for another part of the day. If a non-team staff member would earn more than $100 for the work done by a team staff member, NAQT will pay the team staff member the excess above $100.

    People acting as staff to receive this discount must be approved by NAQT. This is at NAQT’s discretion, but no staff member can be under 18 years old, eligible to play in the tournament they would work at, a California resident, or in California at the time of the tournament.


    Teams who cancel their registration between March 2 and March 14 (inclusive) will owe a cancellation fee of $180 (half of the registration fee). Teams who cancel their registration on or after March 15, or who fail to show up to the tournament, will owe a cancellation fee of $360 (the full amount of the registration fee). These deadlines notwithstanding, teams will always have a seven-day grace period after registering during which they can cancel without incurring a fee.

    Failure to submit participation agreements on time may be treated as a cancellation, including incurring a cancellation fee, at NAQT’s discretion.


    Payment is due by the beginning of the tournament. NAQT strongly prefers payment prior to tournament check-in but also accepts payments at check-in. Schools that will be unable to pay by this time (typically for reasons related to school bureaucracies) should discuss their situation with NAQT well in advance.

    NAQT may specify earlier payment deadlines for specific teams, especially those for which the school is not paying.

    NAQT will send invoices well in advance of the tournament. If you would like to pay or request an invoice earlier, once you have entered all the information that can affect costs (but not necessarily entered your roster), at the bottom of your registration page, click “View Cost.” Verify that the listed information is correct, and if so, follow the instructions to request an invoice so that we have the proper billing information. You will also be offered the opportunity to pay by credit card.

    Checks, payable to “NAQT,” should be sent to

    National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC
    11521 W 69th St
    Shawnee, KS 66203–3749

    Within one week of registering, all teams must pay their registration fee or provide evidence of progress toward doing so. For teams who will pay through their schools, this can be a scan, screenshot, or photograph of forms initiating the school’s process for doing so. For teams paying by check that doesn’t go through school bureaucracy, a photo of the check suffices.

    Please send questions about billing to billing@naqt.com.

    Participation Releases

    Every player will be required to sign a participation release covering expectations, media coverage, etc. All releases must be submitted to release@naqt.com by Saturday, April 3, 2021. Release forms will be made available via the registration process.

    Participants who are not at least 18 years old as of the start of the tournament must notify NAQT (including their date of birth) so that arrangements can be made to have parents/legal guardians sign the release.

    If you’re not sure of your roster in advance, enter everyone who might play and submit releases for all of them. It’s fine to drop players, but if a player’s release is not submitted on time, they may not play. For the purposes of participation releases, it doesn’t matter which team from your school they’re on (if you enter multiple teams).

    Please be sure that the signer initials the first page in the lower-right corner!

    An example participation release is available.


    The top three teams in each division, and the top three Division I Undergraduate teams, will receive plaques.

    Advocate Program

    Because NAQT believes that quiz bowl is an activity for everybody, and in which all participants should feel welcome and respected, we have established the Advocate Program to make sure select tournament staff are available to hear reports about problematic behavior and comments by anyone at the tournament.

    Please send concerns to advocate@naqt.com, ideally as soon as practical after any incident.

    There are other suitable channels for reporting concerns, such as the Misconduct Reporting Form, but the Advocate Program is intended to allow for immediate reporting of sensitive complaints so they can be handled during the tournament.

    Reports are confidential to the extent permitted by law and NAQT’s agreements to share critical information with other quiz bowl organizations.


    In general, spectators are welcome to attend any and all parts of the tournament. However, players at the following day’s High School Individual Player National Championship Tournament and their friends, relatives, coaches, and chaperones may not watch games or otherwise communicate with anyone about the questions, nor may they be in the same room as anyone participating in games, nor may they be in any location where they could hear any sound from games.

    Prospective spectators should read NAQT’s advice for spectators of online tournaments. To ensure the quality of the tournament experience for players, spectators may be removed from games if they are disruptive or if the moderator believes that their presence is degrading audio or video quality.

    No registration or tickets are required for spectators.

    Social Media

    The official hashtag for the tournament is ict; please use this tag for all posts about the tournament.

    Remember that question content for the championship cannot be posted online (or shared through other channels)! This means that players, coaches, spectators, and moderators should not discuss clues, answers, or even overall themes (e.g., “Lots of opera”) with people on other teams (even those from the same school).

    NAQT Nationals app logo

    Companion Mobile App

    NAQT has created a companion mobile app for attendees. The app includes the tournament schedule (with the ability to set reminders for various events), links to results, connections to social media, and other important documents related to the tournament.

    Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

    Further Questions

    To ask specific questions about the ICT, write to ict@naqt.com.

    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 participants’ plans. If something’s not clear, let us know!

    2021 Intercollegiate Championship Tournament

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