Please review the following rules carefully! There are rule changes from our in person tournaments.

History Bowl Rule Changes:

  • Teams are limited to FOUR players per team.
  • Players on the team are NOT allowed to be in the same physical room during the tournament.
  • Teams will have 8 seconds to answer Second Quarter Bonus Questions.
  • For the Third Quarter, each team will have 8 seconds to answer each question instead of 60 seconds to answer all 8 or 6 questions.
  • Bounceback for the Third Quarter will take place right after a team passes or answers a question incorrectly.
  • Teams can choose to not answer the remaining questions in their category, and the remaining questions will not bounceback to the opposing team.
  • All players must show their whole face, shoulders, and both hands on screen at all times. Players’ videos and microphones must be on at all times during the rounds. 

History Bowl Rules
For our online competitions, each team will be limited to FOUR players. All four players can compete at the same time. Teams fewer than four players are allowed. Each player will be assigned a specific Student ID (e.g. Ridgewood A – 2). Please sign into Zoom and COBA using your assigned Student ID.

THE FIRST QUARTER consists of ten short tossups (8 for Middle School) worth 10 points each for a correct answer. After the moderator is done, or after you have rung in, you have 3 seconds to start giving your answer. If one team rings in and answers incorrectly after the end of the question, the other team then receives 3 seconds after the moderator says “Incorrect” to the first team. This holds true in the second and fourth quarters too. Once you start giving your answer, you have three seconds to complete giving it. You are NOT allowed to collaborate with your teammates during this quarter.

THE SECOND QUARTER consists of eight slightly longer tossups worth 10 points each for a correct answer. If your team answers one of these tossups correctly, your team will be entitled to one bonus question which is also worth 10 points. In this competition, the other team cannot “steal” or “rebound” your bonus. Our bonuses do not “bounce back”. For the tossups, players are NOT allowed to collaborate. However, teammates can and are encouraged to collaborate during the bonus questions. During bonus questions, the opposing team must stay completely silent to allow the other team to discuss and work together. Any unwanted distractions may result in a ban from the tournament.
On bonus questions and third quarter questions, the team’s final answer must be in the form of, “our final answer is…”. The team also can designate a member to give the answer. On bonus questions, the team has eight seconds to start giving an answer. After a player started giving an answer, he or she has three seconds to finish giving it.

Once you begin to speak, you can go back and correct yourself until the moderator indicates you are correct or not. You may give extra information if it doesn’t make the answer wrong (e.g. saying “Vienna, Austria” even if “Vienna” would suffice or “Hamlet by Shakespeare”) but you cannot “go fishing” (e.g. “Hapbsurg Empire, Maria Theresa, Schloss Schonbrunn, Vienna!”).

THE THIRD QUARTER is the Lightning round. The team that is trailing will have a choice from three categories (For the Regional Playoffs Rounds and all Championships Rounds, the leading team chooses first). Each category has a theme and 8 short questions (6 for middle school) fitting the theme. A team will have 8 seconds per question to answer these 8 questions. If you don’t know an answer, you may pass, but you will not be permitted to return to passed questions; a pass is treated as an incorrect answer. The team can designate a member to give the answer or the moderator will take the first answer directed at them from any student on the team.

If a team passes or gives an incorrect answer to a question, that question is immediately bounced back to the opposing team. The opposing team will have 8 seconds to answer the question. After the bounceback, the team will continue to answer the next question in their category. If a team gets all 8 questions right, then they get a 20 point bonus. Theoretically this could happen on the bounceback too. During each question, the players on the team not answering the question must stay completely silent to allow for the opposing players to collaborate. Then, the team that had been leading selects from one of the two remaining categories and the process repeats itself.

Also, during this quarter, players on a team can choose to not answer the remaining questions in their category. Players will tell the moderator they wish to “kill or end” the category. The remaining unread questions will not bounceback to the opposing team.

THE FOURTH QUARTER consists of 8 long tossups worth 30, 20, or 10 points each for a correct answer depending at what point in the question the question is answered. On the questions, bold and underlined indicates a point in the question where it is worth 30 points. Bold only indicates where it is worth 20 points. Regular text indicates where it is worth 10 points.


History Bee Rules
For our online competitions, each breakout room will have no more than 10 players. Each player will be assigned a specific Student ID (e.g. JV002). Please sign into Zoom and COBA using your assigned Student ID.

The History Bee is played in two sections – Preliminaries and Finals. During the Preliminary Section, you will be playing against up to 9 other students in an individual, buzzer-based competition in a race to answer up to 8 tossup questions out of a set of 30 (or 25 for Middle School). Each correct tossup answer will earn you one point. Once you reach 8 correct answers, you will earn bonus points based on how quickly you reach the 8th point.

The bonus for answering 8 correctly on the 8th tossup is 7 points, on the 9th or 10th tossup is 6 points, on tossup 11 through 13 is 5 points. For reaching the 8 count on tossups 14 through 17, you earn 4 points. Finishing your 8 between tossup 18 and 21 will gain 3 points, between 22 and 25 will get you 2 bonus points, and between 26 and 29 will get you 1 bonus points.

To prevent matches from going on too long, three incorrect answers will end the opportunity to answer a particular tossup for all students. If the reader is still reading the question, and you give the third incorrect answer, you will be deducted one point. If the reader has finished reading the question, there is no penalty. There is no penalty for giving either the first or the second incorrect answer.

The reader will wait three seconds after he or she has finished reading the question before calling it dead and moving on to the next. If someone rings in during this time, and is incorrect, then the three second count begins again. The reader will also allow you three seconds after you have buzzed in to give your answer. You need not be recognized before you give your answer, although it is advisable to wait. Timing decisions are not protestable. If you wish to protest, you must bring it to the reader’s attention immediately, then fill out a protest form at the end of the round.

If the reader botches a question, then there are makeup questions included with each round that can be used. If you speak out of turn, you do not lose a point, but you are disqualified for the question. The question is still alive for everyone else.

If you have specific questions regarding more detailed aspects of the rules, please contact