National Academic Quiz Tournaments

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National Academic Quiz Tournaments
Limited liability company
Industryquiz bowl
United States
Key people
R. Robert Hentzel (President)
Seth Teitler (Chief Editor)[1]
Servicesquestion writing, tournament organizing

National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC is a question-writing and quiz bowl tournament-organizing company founded by former players in 1996. It is unique among U.S. quiz organizations for supplying questions and hosting championships at the middle school, high school, and college levels. NAQT operates out of Shawnee, Kansas and Minneapolis–Saint Paul.

The company mostly writes practice questions and questions for high school and middle school invitational tournaments, as well as for some game shows. Its involvement in college quiz bowl is mostly restricted to sectional tournaments and the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament.

At the college level[edit]

The ICT is divided into divisions, unlike ACF Nationals, so that a clear undergraduate champion is determined (all formats allow graduate students to compete in some form).

Collegiate divisions[edit]

Division I Overall[edit]

NAQT's eligibility rules state that any student taking at least three credit hours towards a degree at a university may compete on that university's team, and indeed may not compete independently if such a team exists. If no program exists at their university's campus, they may compete on the team for another campus of the same university, with the provision that they must leave that team should their home campus organize a program. In principle, a team can be as large as desired, but no more than four players compete at any time, and teams larger than seven players are rare.

If any member of a team has an undergraduate degree, the team competes in the Division I competition, and is only eligible for the open championship (i.e. the overall championship).

Division I Undergraduate[edit]

At Sectional Championship Tournaments (SCTs) and the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament (ICT), teams that do not meet the Division II requirements play together. However, awards are given, including bids to the ICT, for the top undergraduate team. A team is eligible for the undergraduate championship if all members of the team are undergraduate students, and none of them have played in four years of NAQT collegiate competition prior to the current year. The undergraduate championship was first awarded in 1998.

Division II[edit]

Also introduced in 1998, Division II is intended to give first- and second-year students an opportunity to compete against other players and teams of the same level of experience. Division II plays an entirely separate competition from Division I at the ICT, but SCTs where there are not enough teams may merge the two.

The rules of Division II eligibility are that one must be eligible for DI Undergraduate (i.e. no degree, and less than four years of experience), and in no year prior qualified for or participated in ICT. Some schools do not send teams for all divisions, and a student eligible for DII may compete on a DI team at an SCT or ICT. If he competes on a DI team at a 2006 SCT, and the team does not qualify for the ICT, he may compete in DI or DII in 2007. If he competes in a DI SCT again in 2007, he forfeits DII eligibility for 2008 and beyond, but may play in the 2007 DII ICT. In addition, if his DI team qualified for ICT in 2006, he could compete in either division at the 2006 ICT, but could not compete in DII afterwards. While this last set of rules are quite confusing, they are rarely needed, because a student who competes in D-1 one year rarely returns to DII the following year.

Exceptions to the eligibility rules have been granted to deal with special circumstances in past years; however, as they are controversial when they occur, they do not occur often.

Community colleges[edit]

Two-year colleges usually compete in separate SCTs each February (it is permitted, but rare, for teams from these schools to compete in DI). Eight teams qualify for the Division II ICT, where they compete alongside other DII teams in a manner analogous to that of DI Undergraduate teams. However, students at two-year colleges are exempt from the DII eligibility restrictions. In fact, they have three years of eligibility at the DII level.

Winners of NAQT Intercollegiate Championship Tournament[edit]

Year Host / Location Division I Overall Division I Undergraduate Division II Overall Division II Community College
1997 Penn Chicago N/A N/A N/A
1998 Vanderbilt Stanford Swarthmore Harvard N/A
1999 Michigan Chicago Carleton Princeton N/A
2000 Boston U Illinois Princeton Harvard N/A
2001 WUSTL Chicago Princeton Pittsburgh N/A
2002 North Carolina Michigan Princeton Yale Valencia CC
2003 UCLA and Caltech Chicago Harvard Cal-Berkeley Valencia CC
2004 WUSTL Cal-Berkeley Illinois UCLA Valencia CC
2005 Tulane Michigan VCU Chicago Faulkner St CC
2006 Maryland Cal-Berkeley Williams College Stanford Broward CC
2007 Minnesota Chicago Carleton Maryland Valencia CC
2008 WUSTL Maryland Harvard Carleton Valencia CC
2009 Dallas, Texas Chicago Minnesota[Note 1] Chicago Northeast Alabama CC
2010 Chicago, Illinois Chicago[Note 1] Minnesota Brown St. Charles CC
2011 Chicago, Illinois Minnesota[Note 1] VCU[Note 1] Yale Chipola
2012 [2] Chicago, Illinois Virginia Ohio State[Note 2] Harvard Chipola
2013 Chicago, Illinois Yale Ohio State Stanford Chipola
2014 Chicago, Illinois Virginia Yale Harvard Valencia CC
2015 Atlanta, Georgia Virginia Maryland Texas State College-Manatee
2016 Chicago, Illinois Chicago Cal-Berkeley Chicago Jefferson
2017 Chicago, Illinois Michigan Oklahoma Cal-Berkeley Chipola
2018 Chicago, Illinois Yale Cal-Berkeley Chicago Chipola
2019 Chicago, Illinois Yale Michigan State Maryland De Anza
  1. ^ a b c d Though Harvard had initially won these titles, NAQT vacated their wins in 2013 after Harvard player Andy Watkins was found to have had unauthorized access to the questions prior to the tournaments.
  2. ^ MIT had initially won the 2012 ICT DI Undergraduate title, but their win was vacated after MIT player Joshua Alman was found to have had unauthorized access to the questions prior to the tournament.

At the high school level[edit]

Teams qualify to the High School National Championship Tournament through a variety of methods. Most commonly, a team qualifies by finishing in the top 15% of the field at a tournament that uses NAQT questions. If a school wants to send more than one team to nationals, the school must qualify all said teams at the same time during a single tournament.

The small school award is given to a public school with a non-selective admissions policy and less than 500 students in grades 10 through 12. Up until and including 2013, the small school champion was decided on a playoff between top finishing teams at the High School National Championship Tournament. From 2014 and onwards, a separate national championship tournament is held for small schools.

The 2019 High School National Championship Tournament will be held in Atlanta.[5]

Winners of NAQT High School National Championship Tournament[edit]

Year Location Champion 2nd 3rd 4th Small school
1999 Norman, Oklahoma Detroit Catholic Central Walton Brookwood A N/A N/A
2000 Atlanta, Georgia State College A Maggie Walker A Eleanor Roosevelt Eisenhower N/A
2001 Ann Arbor, Michigan Detroit Catholic Central Detroit Country Day State College A Riverdale N/A
2002 Austin, Texas St. John's School Irmo Detroit Catholic Central Detroit Country Day Kent City
2003 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Thomas Jefferson A Dorman A St. John's Walton Cutter–Morning Star
2004 Houston, Texas Thomas Jefferson A Maggie Walker St. John's A Detroit Catholic Central Cutter–Morning Star
2005 Chicago, Illinois Thomas Jefferson A Lakeside State College A Solon Danville
2006 Chicago, Illinois Richard Montgomery State College A Maggie Walker A Detroit Catholic Central Danville
2007 Chicago, Illinois Maggie Walker A State College A Thomas Jefferson A Dorman A Danville
2008 Chicago, Illinois Thomas Jefferson A Charter School of Wilmington A Walt Whitman A Dorman B Russell
2009 Chicago, Illinois Charter School of Wilmington A Dorman A State College A Detroit Catholic Central A Ottawa Hills
2010 Chicago, Illinois Maggie Walker State College A LASA A Bellarmine South Range
2011 Atlanta, Georgia State College A LASA A Bellarmine Stevenson George Mason
2012 Atlanta, Georgia Bellarmine A Detroit Catholic Central A LASA A Centennial Beachwood
2013 Atlanta, Georgia LASA A Ladue A Loyola St. John's Macomb
2014 Chicago, Illinois LASA A St. John's A LASA B Ladue Hallsville
2015 Chicago, Illinois Arcadia A LASA A Detroit Catholic Central A IMSA Harmony Science North Austin
2016 Dallas, Texas Hunter A Thomas Jefferson A Detroit Catholic Central A LASA A Advanced Math & Science
2017 Atlanta, Georgia Hunter A Detroit Catholic Central A Naperville North Thomas Jefferson A Glasgow and St. Mark's
2018 Atlanta, Georgia Plano West A Hunter A LASA A Thomas Jefferson A Glasgow and Early College at Guilford

At the middle school level[edit]

For the 2010-2011 academic year, NAQT has introduced a program for middle school. A corresponding middle school national championship, called the MSNCT, was held in 2011 at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago. The first middle school national champion was Kealing Middle School.

Winners of NAQT Middle School National Championship Tournament[edit]

Year Location Champion 2nd 3rd 4th
2011 Chicago, Illinois Kealing A Barrington-Station A Longfellow Kealing B
2012 Chicago, Illinois Kealing A Longfellow A Westminster A Longfellow B
2013 Chicago, Illinois Barrington-Station A Kealing A Mesa Verde St. John's
2014 Atlanta, Georgia Harmony Excellence-Houston St. Mark's Trickum Winburn
2015 Dallas, Texas Kealing A T. H. Rogers A River Trail A Middlesex A
2016 Atlanta, Georgia Middlesex A Longfellow A Challenger-Ardenwood Chamblee A
2017 Dallas, Texas Aptakisic Mounds Park Middlesex A Miami Valley
2018 Chicago, Illinois Pi-oneers[Note 1] BASIS Silicon Valley A Longfellow A Challenger-Berryessa A
  1. ^ Home-school collective from Cupertino, California


Various NAQT employees and former NAQT players have appeared on the game show Jeopardy![7] Over 30 NAQT players or employees have participated on the show, including 17 who qualified for the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, including two finalists, Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. Jennings writes questions and edits the literature and mythology categories for NAQT. Due to the success of these players, adults trying out must now declare any affiliation to NAQT or quizbowl on their information sheet.[citation needed] (See Jeopardy! audition process for further discussion.)

In 2006, competitors in the High School National Championship Tournament were given the opportunity to audition for the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament and the Jeopardy! College Championship. Ben Schenkel of Moravian Academy (Allentown, Pennsylvania) qualified for the Teen Tournament at this tryout, and finished as the tournament's first runner-up.[8] Meryl Federman of Livingston High School (Livingston, New Jersey) qualified for the second edition of the teen tournament, called the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament Summer Games, and won.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "NAQT | 2019 High School National Championship Tournament Logistics Information". Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[edit]