2008 Gopher Invitational Tournament

The University of Minnesota Quizbowl Club is pleased to announce that it is hosting a high school quiz bowl tournament on Saturday, December 6, 2008. The top finishers (including the Top Small School) will qualify for the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT) to be held May 29-31, 2009 in Chicago.

We are looking forward to running this tournament and are pleased that it has become an annual event. We'd love to see a local high school bring home the national championship next June and, better yet, meet some seniors who might be joining our collegiate team for 2009-2010!


The tournament will be held in Blegen Hall on the West Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota. Note that this is a different building on a different side of the river than last year! A map can be found on the university website and written directions to Blegen are also available (along with parking information).


Teams may check in between 8:00 and 8:30 on Saturday, December 6, in Blegen 5. At this time they will pay (if they haven't sent a check in advance) and receive a copy of the rules (also available online on the NAQT website), a copy of their schedule for the day, and other pertinent information about the tournament.

From 8:30 to 9:00 there will be an introductory meeting (also in Blegen 5) to go over the rules, format, and schedule. Coaches, players, and parents will have an opportunity to ask questions. Teams are also encouraged to ask questions in advance, over e-mail, to make the meeting go as smoothly as possible.

The exact format for the tournament will be announced later, but teams are guaranteed at least six rounds. Most, if not all, of the preliminary rounds will take place in the morning, while playoff rounds will take place in the afternoon.

At 3:30 there will be an awards presentation in Blegen 5. This will be kept brief and teams will be able to leave immediately thereafter.

Eligibility and Qualification:

This tournament will be run according to NAQT's High School Eligibility Rules. Essentially, all high schools (public, private, magnet, charter, religious, etc.) are eligible to compete in this event and no prior qualification is necessary. Teams from home school collectives are also welcome. If you have a special situation, feel free to e-mail the eligibility committee in advance for a ruling.


The tournament will be staffed entirely by current players on the Minnesota quiz bowl team, alumni/ae, and collegiate players from other institutions. Coaches will not be required to assist with the running of the tournament and will be able to watch their team(s) throughout the event.


The format of the tournament will be determined by the number of teams that register, but all participants are guaranteed at least six games.


Teams that do not qualify for the playoffs after the first six rounds may return after lunch for more games played on a "for-fun" basis. These will be (loosely) organized in Blegen 5 starting at 1:30. Teams may mix-and-match for the scrimmage rounds, play against their coaches, play against staff, or play in any other combination that they find enjoyable.


Please e-mail Andrew Hart if you are interested in attending or in receiving updates on the tournament.

The base registration fee is $80. There is a $10 discount for a bringing a working lockout system. There is a $10 penalty for waiting to register until after December 3. This fee includes one printed copy of the questions used at the tournament. Please note that the questions will not be distributed until the conclusion of the tournament; teams that opt to leave early may pay ($5) to have their sets shipped to them.

Teams will be able to pay when they check in at the tournament site. Please make checks out to "University of Minnesota."

Teams that want to send a check in advance, should address it to:

University of Minnesota Quizbowl Club
300 Washington Ave SE #131A
Minneapolis MN 55455


The top four teams overall will receive team trophies and the members of the winning team will receive individual trophies. The top team from a small public school (with non-selective admission policy and 500 or fewer total students in grades 10-12) will receive a trophy. The top eight individual scorers will receive All-Star awards as will the top freshman and sophomore scorers. Players must have at least 60 tossups heard during the tournament to be eligible for individual awards.

Question Security:

This tournament will use questions provided by National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC. We are using Invitational Series #77 and have purchased geographic exclusivity for Minnesota. It is the responsibility of participating teams to make sure that they have not attended (and do not plan to attend) another tournament anywhere in the country that is using the same packet set. Teams can find explanations of geographic exclusivity and their responsibility in maintaining question security on NAQT's website. Teams can also look up the sets assigned to past and future tournaments. Teams with questions about exclusivity or security should contact NAQT at naqt@naqt.com.

Preparing for the Tournament:

Teams that are completely new to NAQT may be interested in purchasing NAQT's New High School Package and in reading its online article about starting a new high school team.

The NAQT format is a tossup-bonus format similar to the old "GE College Bowl" television show. It is somewhat different from Minnesota's traditional quiz bowl format, but we hope that you and your teams will be willing to try something new. This format predominates at the college level, so if your players enjoy the game and would like to continue playing after they graduate, familiarity with it will stand them in good stead.

We recommend reading the rules, but the basics of gameplay are as follows:

NAQT sells practice questions for teams that would like to prepare more fully for the event. These are tournament questions from previous years so they are exactly like what you will be competing on at this event. We recommend Invitational Series #69A, #71A, #73A, and #75A for new teams. There are also sample packets available that are identical in style and distribution to the questions that we will be using.

Teams may also be interested in checking out the free You Gotta Know articles that give brief overviews of answers that come up very frequently (for example, "You gotta know these French kings."). They may also be interested in frequency list study guides, which were NAQT's best-selling preparatory material last year.

Further Questions:

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact Andrew Hart by e-mail.

Created 2008 October 19 by R. Robert Hentzel