About Our Team & What We Do
The College Bowl Team competes in a number of different formats of intercollegiate "quiz-bowl" style academic competition. The games are generally between two teams of four players, who "buzz in" on an electronic buzzer system as "tossup" questions are being read. If we answer a question successfully, the team earns points and more detailed bonus questions on which the team can confer before answering. If we answer the "tossup" incorrectly, we may or may not be penalized, and the question is finished for the other team. Depending on the format of the match (see "Formats" below), it may or may not be timed, and the questions may be on a number of different topics. The University of Chicago College Bowl Team has won more national championships than any other team in the modern era of the game, and we continue to be successful at all formats.
We practice Mondays and Thursdays 7-10pm, with location varying by quarter. An up-to-date location for practice is generally available on this website's front page. Our team is no cuts, and we pay the cost of all tournament fees and travel costs for every student interested in playing. The team requires no time commitment from its members. Any UChicago student can attend as many or as few practices and tournaments as they'd like throughout the year! Although practices last three hours, players are free to show up late or leave early.
Please note: There are generally no regular practices on finals week, or over the summer. Get in touch with us below if you have any questions about practice!
Since we are very well-funded, our team travels to about 15 tournaments each year, in places as near as Urbana-Champaign and Ann Arbor, and as far as New Orleans, Berkeley, Boston, and Oxford. With some exceptions (primarily Oxford Open), we bring all interested players to tournaments. For most tournaments, we leave campus Friday night or Saturday morning and return Saturday night. Subscribe to our listserv or contact us for more details. For some tournaments, questions are written by the playing teams, but novices are never required to write questions! Tournaments for the current season are listed on the Schedule.
Our team competes in three different types of tournaments, each with its own rules and specific format: ACF, NAQT, and Invitationals.
ACF (Academic Competition Foundation/Federation) was formed by several southeastern teams in 1991 as a response to their criticisms of some of the aspects of the CBI game. ACF matches consist of 20 untimed tossups worth 10 points each. Bonuses are worth ten points per part for a maximum total of 30 points, and questions are almost exclusively on academic topics for more information on the subject distribution of ACF tournaments click here. For more information on ACF gameplay click here. There is no limit on grad student participation in ACF.
NAQT (National Academic Quiz Tournaments) was formed in 1996 by several very experienced former players in response to continued complaints about CBI's format & question quality. NAQT matches consist of two timed halves, with tossups worth 15 points if they're answered correctly before a certain point in the question ("the Power mark") and 10 points thereafter. Bonuses are worth ten points per part for a maximum total of 30 points. Questions are on various topics; they are a bit more academically-oriented than those of CBI but significantly less so than those of ACF. For current NAQT rules, click here. For information regarding NAQT's subject distribution click here.
Invitationals are tournaments organized by individual schools. The majority of tournaments we attend are invitationals, most of which use a modified ACF format. For more information on the format of an individual invitational tournament, check the quizbowl forums.
Questions from past tournaments are available on the archives.
The University of Chicago College Bowl Team is a Registered Student Organization of the University of Chicago. We receive our funding through the Coalition of Academic Teams, which includes the College Bowl, Model United Nations, Debate, Mock Trial, and Chess Teams. Web space is provided by NSIT.
For more information on our team, how to join (just show up), our activities, or anything else relating to quiz-bowl at UChicago, email the team President, Samir Khan, at samirkhan AT uchicago DOT edu. More contact info is available via the link below.