Online Event Information

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How It Works

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Our online tournaments are held on Discord, an online voice, text, and video chat platform. It’s primarily used by video game players, but we found it works perfectly for quizbowl tournaments. You can learn more about the platform by reading our virtual tournament guide.

Each facet of a normal Quizbowl tournament has an online analogue: the building the event takes place in is replaced by the Tournament Server; Classrooms are turned into virtual Game Rooms; buzzers are replaced by keyboards; and so on. Players simply buzz in by typing buzz and pressing the enter key, just like players would press a button to buzz for in-person play.

Our format is the closest to in-person play you can get!

What You Need

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Each player should have:

  • Computer with solid internet connection
  • The desktop Discord client (which can be downloaded here)
  • Keyboard
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones

That’s it! Nothing else is required. If you need help, let us know and we can get you set up.

Questions and Format

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Each tournament listing notes the question difficulty: we recommend starting out at Easy or Moderate, and seeing how you do. Within each tournament, there are Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Novice/New School divisions; we’ll help you pick a level once you sign up. You can always request a specific level or change divisions upon request, but we reserve the right to assign you to a division.

At each event, teams are semi-randomly placed into round-robin Preliminary brackets; after the preliminary rounds complete, the best teams from each preliminary bracket will compete in a new round-robin bracket for the championship while all the other teams play just for fun. Teams are guaranteed at least ten rounds for every event they play.

Games consist of 20 tossup questions at a minimum. Some events will use three part bonuses, and some may use lightning rounds. We’ll let you know what the exact format is for each event: there will be something for everyone to love.

Our events use AQBL Ruleset A, a summary of which can be found here.


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Each school can send an unlimited number of teams to each event, with a maximum of six players per team (substitutions are permitted at certain times). Teams may play short, with one player as the minimum. Players cannot switch teams during a tournament, such as from “A” to “B” or otherwise.

Our fields are capped at 36 teams per tournament. If you miss the cutoff, you can be placed onto a waitlist; if enough teams are on the waitlist, and there is sufficient staff, we will expand the field.

We are happy to allow pseudonymous teams and teams not directly sponsored by their district to register, but we do have certain requirements for these teams. Make sure you meet the requirements in this document before registering.


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After each event, we mail trophies to the top three teams and the top individual player. We may add additional prizes at our discretion. Some states may not allow the awarding of prizes to teams or players; in such a case we’ll work something out.

Unfortunately, we do not have cash prizes at this time.


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We keep detailed statistics on each team and player; after each Event, links to the stats will be posted here.

Costs and Payment

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The registration fee is $75 per team per event. The registration fee for title I schools that did not play pyramidal quiz bowl in the 2019-2020 academic year is $40. Optionally, there is a $20 discount for each reader you bring.

Bear in mind that $75 per event is the final base cost: there are no buses, no meals, no hotels, no board approval, no permission slips, no grueling paperwork, no worries about a player wandering off, nothing.

Payment can be made by Check, Purchase Order, and Credit Card. The last method incurs a fee of 3%. We will provide invoices to all teams, and we are happy to provide a W-9, a New Jersey BRC, or any other paperwork upon request; we can also work with your school’s billing department to get everything set up.

Payment is due upfront unless you are paying by check or purchase order, or you make other arrangements with us in advance.

If payment is not received by the morning of the event, and prior arrangements have not been made with us, a $50 per team late fee will be incurred.

Checks should be written out to “American Quizbowl League” and mailed to the address on this page.

Discounts are available for schools with a demonstrated need; contact us for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Does a coach need to attend with our team?
No. Coaches are fully optional; we have a large staff to provide supervision. If you do bring a coach, they don’t have to stay the full day either.
Do all the students need to be in the same place?
Not at all! Players can play from their own homes.
Our school, county, activities association, or state has closed all extracurricular activities, or is using fully virtual instruction; can we compete?
Generally, yes, since all our events are online. You should contact the government body in question for an opinion (and share it with us, since we’d love to know); if they decline and you still would like to compete, give us a call and we’ll guide you through your options. Specifically, the bans in Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York are known not to apply to our events. If your county or state has a similar prohibition, it is very likely that it will not apply either.
We’re four friends from the same school, and we want to compete, but we don’t have an official club and we’re not sponsored by our school. What can we do?
You can certainly still compete; in fact, even a single player can compete. Teams that are not officially sponsored by their schools are more than welcome at our events, but be sure you meet the guidelines in our policy on such teams before you register. If you have any questions, give us a call and we’ll walk you through.
Can homeschools/collectives/private schools/military academies/ungraded schools play?
Absolutely. You are free to register; just be sure all your players meet our eligibility rules like any other institution.