Thank you for your interest in The International History Bee and Bowl’s Asian Division! We’re excited to introduce history quiz tournaments to Asia and hope this page and the rest of the site can help you learn more about how our tournaments work and how you can take part. The International History Bee and Bowl were founded in the USA in 2010, and we launched our Asian Division in the fall of 2011. We have already seen over 1000 schools and over 100,000 students from across Asia, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand take part. Here are some FAQs that you might be interested in:
Q: What’s the difference between the Bee and the Bowl?
A: Real simple here – the Bee is for individual students; the Bowl is for teams. At all of our tournaments in Asia we run both competitions, though at different times so that all students who wish to compete in both can do so.
Q: What language are the tournaments held in?
A: All tournaments that you see displayed on this website are in English. In the future, we will hold tournaments in other languages, but not for the next several years.
Q: Which types of schools/students can compete?
A: Any school that corresponds to a high school or middle school is welcome to compete. All students competing must enrolled in a secondary or primary school and be 19 years old or younger, though. Our tournaments are designed to be accessible to state schools, international schools, American schools, British schools, public schools, private schools, religious schools and homeschooled students. We are an equal opportunity quiz organizer!
Q: Can teams compete with students from multiple schools / campuses?
A: All teams must be formed with students attending the same school or homeschool association. If we were to allow teams with students from multiple schools, it would effectively turn the competition into a recruiting contest in terms of who could put together the strongest team across a given region, or even beyond. Likewise, if a school has multiple campuses, these also must compete separately (for example Shanghai American School had separate teams from its Puxi and Pudong campuses).
Q: What about the questions? If you’re from the USA, then this would have too much US history, right?
A: Not at all! Actually, about 25% of our questions will reference Asian history, 20-25% will reference North and South American history, and 25-30% will reference medieval and modern European history. The remaining 25% of the questions will reference ancient history, African history, the history of Australia and Oceania, and questions that reference multiple parts of the world together.
Q: I’m not sure about a history tournament. I’m more of a science/literature/arts/philosophy/geography/sports/music/whatever person.
A: Our approach to history is highly inclusive, so don’t worry, you’ll still find questions for you! See, every field has its history. So basically, if it happened in the past, it can come up. Expect questions on everything from Einstein to Ethiopia, Plato to Pele, Beethoven to the Beatles, in addition to the usual wars, revolutions, and the like.
At our annual Asian Championships, we also offer the Academic Bowl of Asia, which includes questions on all academic fields. The Championships also features the International Geography Bee Asian Championships and the International Science Bee Asian Championships for students interested in separate competitions in those fields.
Q: How do you answer the questions?
A: Our questions follow different formats, but for most questions, you’ll ring in with a buzzer, like on a quiz show. The questions that you use a buzzer for are called “pyramidal” questions. This means that they start off with harder information and become easier as the question goes on (think metaphorically like a pyramid). When you think you know the answer, ring in! But if you’re wrong, then you can’t answer again, and neither can your teammates if you’re playing in the Bowl. This type of question rewards comprehensive knowledge and shows that this is much more than a mere trivia contest.
Q: How do we sign up?
A: Teachers, administrators, students, and parents should use the Register tab on the menu bar to access the registration page. There, just fill out the form for your school or student. The cost at regional tournaments includes both the Bee and Bowl for up to 6 students on a team. If your school is bringing more than 6 students, then you must sign up for more than one team. Once you register, we’ll send instructions for how to submit payment.
Q: What’s the “Junior Varsity” or “Middle School” division?
A: For the 2022-23 academic year, the Junior Varsity division is for students born in September 2006-August 2008. We also have a Middle School division for students born in September 2008 or more recently. JV and Middle School teams will play for a separate title at each tournament, though they may also play a few higher division teams in the process. Varsity and JV teams may feature students who would otherwise be eligible to play in a younger division, but who are “playing up.” Obviously, teams may not have any students who would otherwise be too old to compete in that division, though. In the Bee, students playing in the Middle School, JV and Varsity divisions will be kept entirely separate (i.e. “playing up” is not allowed). This ensures that younger students have a more equal playing field, and that the champions of the younger divisions in the Bee are clearly the top students who are eligible to play in each division.
Q: Do I have to play in the tournament in the country my school is in / at the site closest to us? Can we play more than once?
A: You can play at whichever site you like. A school in China, for example, can play in Thailand or Japan – you don’t have to play in China. Also, we are pleased to report that you can play at two separate regional tournaments as long as they use separate questions! You can find out which question set (i.e. either the Alpha Set or the Beta Set) a tournament uses by clicking on its dot on the map.
The Asian Championships will use a new question set, and of course, students who qualify for and attend the International History Olympiad will play new questions there as well.
Q: Is there an Asian Championship?
A:Yes! The International History Bee and Bowl will hold its 11th annual Asian Championships from June 16-18, 2023 at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa, Khao Lak, Thailand. For the most up to date information on the Championships, see the tab on the menu bar or click here.
Q: How do we qualify for the International History Olympiad? When and where will it be held?
A: The qualifying procedure for the Asian Championships and the International History Olympiad is largely the same – all students who finish in the top half at a regional tournament are qualified both for the Championships and the Olympiad. Keep in mind though that students do not register together as a Bowl team for the Olympiad, but rather as individual students. Students who compete on Asian Championships Bowl teams who had not themselves played at Regionals can qualify if their Championships team finishes with a winning record in the preliminaries. Host schools do not automatically students for the Olympiad the way they do for the Olympiad, however. Students who would like to compete at the Olympiad but who attend school more than 400km from a 2022-23 regional site should contact email@example.com about alternate ways of qualifying for the Olympiad. See www.historyolympiad.com for further details.
The Olympiad is held every two years in July; the 2018 Olympiad was held in Berlin, Germany from July 14-22, 2018. The 2022 Olympiad was held in Princeton, NJ. The 2023 Olympiad will be in Poland.