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

Academic Bowl Rule Changes:

  • Teams are limited to FOUR players per team.
  • Teams will have 8 seconds to answer Bonus Questions.
  • For the six-second round, each team will have 8 seconds to answer each question instead of 60 seconds to answer all 6 questions.
  • Bounceback for the six-second round 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.

Academic 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 HALF consists of seven tossups and associated 3-part bonuses where each part is worth 10 points. If a tossup is answered correctly, the answering team will control a bonus within the same broad category as the tossup. The other team will have opportunities to answer bonus questions missed by the controlling team. If a tossup is not answered correctly, the corresponding bonus is not read to either team.

Students who buzz in early on tossup questions will receive 20 points for their team. Tossup questions answered correctly towards the end are worth 10 points. Students are not told where the “power mark” is in the question (i.e. the boundary between it being worth 20 or 10 points).

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 half too. Once you start giving your answer, you have five seconds to complete giving it. You are NOT allowed to collaborate with your teammates during this half.

SIXTY SECOND ROUND The team that is trailing will have a choice from three categories. Each category has a theme and 6 short questions fitting the theme. A team will have 8 seconds per question to answer these 6 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 6 questions right, then they get a 20 point bonus. 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 round, 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 SECOND HALF consists of eight tossups and associated 3-part bonuses where each part is worth 10 points. The format is the same as the first half.




Academic 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 Academic 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 7 correct answers, you will earn bonus points based on how quickly you reach the 7th point.

The bonus for answering 7 correctly on the 7th tossup is 8 points, on the 8th or 9th tossup is 7 points, on tossup 10 through 12 is 6 points. For reaching the 7 count on tossups 13 through 15, you earn 5 points. Finishing your 7 between tossup 16 and 18 will gain 4 points, between 19 and 22 will get you 3 bonus points, and between 23 and 26 will get you 2 bonus points. Finally, reaching 7 points between 27 and 30 will get you 1 bonus point.

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 five 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 five second count begins again. The reader will also allow you five 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