NAQT Middle School Eligibility Rules


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  1. Scope
    1. This document defines NAQT’s basic eligibility rules for middle school tournaments.
    2. Middle school tournaments are quiz bowl tournaments primarily targeted at middle school-age students, even if they aren’t enrolled at institutions traditionally described as "middle schools."
    3. These rules will be used by NAQT’s Middle School National Championship Tournament (MSNCT).
    4. NAQT suggests, but does not require, that other middle school tournaments using questions from NAQT adopt these eligibility rules. NAQT recommends that hosts explicitly indicate the eligibility rules that apply to their tournaments.
    5. Middle 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.
  2. Competition Year
    1. Each competition year extends from August 1 through July 31 of the following year. For instance, the 2010 competition year runs from August 1, 2010 through July 31, 2011.
  3. Schools
    1. Schools that include at least one grade between kindergarten and 8th grade (inclusive) are eligible to compete at middle school tournaments.
      1. The presence of grades beyond 8 does not disqualify a school from competing at middle school tournaments (though students in those later grades are ineligible).
      2. All types of schools are eligible. This includes, but is not limited to, middle schools, junior high schools, primary schools, secondary schools, public schools, private schools, religious schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and military academies.
    2. Home school collectives that have registered with NAQT are eligible to compete at middle school tournaments. For the purposes of these rules, such collectives will be considered “schools.”
    3. Other educational institutions with students of an appropriate age may request an exception from NAQT to be allowed to compete at middle school tournaments.
  4. Individuals
    1. An individual student is eligible to compete at middle school tournaments if he or she is in a grade between kindergarten and 8th grade (inclusive) as of the date of the tournament.
    2. An individual who graduates from 8th grade also remains eligible to compete at middle school tournaments until the end of the competition year during which he or she graduated.
    3. Home schooled students, or those attending institutions without traditional grades, are eligible to compete at middle school tournaments if they will not turn 15 until after the current competition year. In other words, they will still be 14 or younger as of next July 31.
  5. Affiliation
    1. Students may only compete at middle school tournaments for schools with which they have an affiliation.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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 eligibility@naqt.com.
    5. 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).
    6. 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.
  6. Squads and Teams
    1. A school’s squad is the set of players with an affiliation at that school for a given competition year.
    2. A team is a subset of a school’s squad that will compete as a unit at a specific tournament.
  7. Competing at Multiple Levels
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  8. Restricted Fields
    1. By default, tournaments adhering to these eligibility rules are open to any team from any eligible middle school.
    2. 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.