National Academic Quiz Tournaments

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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.

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

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 levelEdit

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 divisionsEdit

Division I OverallEdit

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.

If any member of the 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 UndergraduateEdit

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.[2]

Division IIEdit

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. 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.[2]

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 collegesEdit

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.[3]

2020 ICTEdit

On March 11, 2020, NAQT announced that the 2020 ICT would be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[4]

Winners of NAQT Intercollegiate Championship Tournament [5]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 California Valencia CC
2004 WUSTL California Illinois UCLA Valencia CC
2005 Tulane Michigan VCU Chicago Faulkner St CC
2006 Maryland California 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 [6] 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 California Chicago Jefferson
2017 Chicago, Illinois Michigan Oklahoma California Chipola
2018 Chicago, Illinois Yale California Chicago Chipola
2019 Chicago, Illinois Yale Michigan State Maryland De Anza
2020[4] Cancelled N/A N/A N/A Valencia CC
  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 levelEdit

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. Since 2014, a separate national championship tournament has been held for small schools.

Since 2018, NAQT has also run the Individual Player National Championship (IPNCT).[7] The IPNCT format is different from that of other NAQT national championship tournament, with players first competing in "group matches" which 8-10 players where they hear 48 or 72 ICT Division II tossups. After the group matches, top players compete in an elimination tournament whose games are 24-tossup head-to-head match-ups.[8] Unlike the High School National Championship Tournament and Small School National Championship Tournament, competitors do not need to qualify to the Individual Player National Tournament.[9]

On March 11, 2020, NAQT announced that the 2020 IPNCT would be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[4] On April 2, 2020, NAQT announced that the 2020 HSNCT would be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[10]

Winners of NAQT High School National Championship Tournament [11]Edit

Year Location Champion 2nd 3rd Small school
1999 Norman, Oklahoma Detroit Catholic Central Walton Brookwood A N/A
2000 Atlanta, Georgia State College A Maggie Walker A Eleanor Roosevelt N/A
2001 Ann Arbor, Michigan Detroit Catholic Central Detroit Country Day State College A N/A
2002 Austin, Texas St. John's School Irmo Detroit Catholic Central Kent City
2003 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Thomas Jefferson A Dorman A St. John's Cutter–Morning Star
2004 Houston, Texas Thomas Jefferson A Maggie Walker St. John's A Cutter–Morning Star
2005 Chicago, Illinois Thomas Jefferson A Lakeside State College A Danville
2006 Chicago, Illinois Richard Montgomery State College A Maggie Walker A Danville
2007 Chicago, Illinois Maggie Walker A State College A Thomas Jefferson A Danville
2008 Chicago, Illinois Thomas Jefferson A Charter School of Wilmington A Walt Whitman A Russell
2009 Chicago, Illinois Charter School of Wilmington A Dorman A State College A Ottawa Hills
2010 Chicago, Illinois Maggie Walker State College A LASA A South Range
2011 Atlanta, Georgia State College A LASA A Bellarmine George Mason
2012 Atlanta, Georgia Bellarmine A Detroit Catholic Central A LASA A Beachwood
2013 Atlanta, Georgia LASA A Ladue A Loyola Macomb
2014 Chicago, Illinois LASA A St. John's A LASA B Hallsville
2015 Chicago, Illinois Arcadia A LASA A Detroit Catholic Central A Harmony Science North Austin
2016 Dallas, Texas Hunter A Thomas Jefferson A Detroit Catholic Central A Advanced Math & Science
2017 Atlanta, Georgia Hunter A Detroit Catholic Central A Naperville North Glasgow and St. Mark's
2018 Atlanta, Georgia Plano West A Hunter A LASA A Glasgow and Early College at Guilford
2019 Atlanta, Georgia Beavercreek University Lab Chattahoochee A Glasgow and Miami Valley
2020[10] Cancelled N/A N/A N/A N/A

Winners of NAQT Individual Player National Championship Tournament, High School Division [12][13]Edit

Year Location Champion (School) 2nd 3rd 4th
2018 Chicago, Illinois Jack Lewis (Battle Ground Academy) Maximilian Shatan (Bard High School Early College Manhattan) Tora Husar (Wayzata High School) Govind Prabhakar (Adlai E. Stevenson High School)
2019 Chicago, Illinois Ethan Strombeck (Auburn High School) Hari Parameswaran (Beavercreek High School) Alexander Pyle (Troy High School) Matthew Siff (Georgetown Day School)
2020[4] Cancelled N/A N/A N/A N/A

At the middle school levelEdit

For the 2010–2011 academic year, NAQT has introduced a program for middle school. A corresponding middle school national championship, the MSNCT, was held in 2011 in Chicago. Similarly to HSNCT, qualifying teams for MSNCT have a variety of methods to qualify, but the most common method is to finish in the top 15% of field of teams that uses NAQT questions. If a school wants to qualify multiple teams, they must all qualify at the same tournament. Any teams that are eligible for MSNCT that qualify for HSNCT have also qualified for MSNCT.

The Individual Player National Championship Tournament has also had a middle school division since 2019.[9] The format of the middle school division of the IPNCT is the same as that of the high school division, but the middle school division uses tossups written at the same difficulty of NAQT's Invitational Series for playoff rounds.[8]

In 2019, NAQT started using question packets with a difficulty “similar to those in NAQT’s Regular Invitation Series sets,”[14] for playoff rounds of MSNCT.

NAQT cancelled the 2020 MSNCT due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[15]

Winners of NAQT Middle School National Championship Tournament [16]Edit

Year Location Champion 2nd 3rd
2011 Chicago, Illinois Kealing A Barrington-Station A Longfellow
2012 Chicago, Illinois Kealing A Longfellow A Westminster A
2013 Chicago, Illinois Barrington-Station A Kealing A Mesa Verde
2014 Atlanta, Georgia Harmony Excellence-Houston St. Mark's Trickum
2015 Dallas, Texas Kealing A T. H. Rogers A River Trail A
2016 Atlanta, Georgia Middlesex A Longfellow A Challenger-Ardenwood
2017 Dallas, Texas Aptakisic Mounds Park Middlesex A
2018 Chicago, Illinois Pi-oneers[Note 1] BASIS Silicon Valley A Longfellow A
2019 Chicago, Illinois Hunter A Churchill A Hopkins
2020[15] Cancelled N/A N/A N/A

Winners of NAQT Individual Players National Championship, Middle School Division [17]Edit

Year Location Champion (School) 2nd 3rd 4th
2019 Chicago, Illinois Arin Parsa (Challenger School, Almaden) Rohan Ganeshan (Quest Academy) Pareekshith Krishna (William Hopkins Junior High School) Elliott Lee (Longfellow Middle School)
2020[4] Cancelled N/A N/A N/A N/A
  1. ^ Home-school collective from Cupertino, California


Various NAQT employees and former NAQT players have appeared on the game show Jeopardy![18] 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]

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.[19] 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.[20]


Buzzword is a virtual single-player competition created as a substitute for regular NAQT competitions during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Games usually involve players listening to audio questions read by a narrarator. Buzzword has 3 divisions (A,B,C) each for Middle School,High School,College,and Open leagues.Buzzword frequently has special tournaments often dedicated to one subject.[21]

Some Buzzword tournaments also have special guest narrarators. For example, in June 2020, Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings was invited to narrarate the Buzzword film special.[22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b "NAQT | Qualifying for the ICT". Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  3. ^ "NAQT | Community College Championship Tournament". Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  4. ^ a b c d e "NAQT | 2020 Intercollegiate Championship Tournament: Canceled". Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  5. ^ "NAQT | Past ICT Winners". Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "NAQT | 2018 Individual Player National Championship Tournament Logistics Information". Retrieved 2020-01-28.
  8. ^ a b "NAQT | 2020 Individual Player National Championship Tournament Logistics Information". Retrieved 2020-01-28.
  9. ^ a b "NAQT | Individual Player National Championship Tournament". Retrieved 2020-01-28.
  10. ^ a b "NAQT | 2020 High School National Championship Tournament: Canceled". Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  11. ^ "NAQT | Past HSNCT Winners". Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  12. ^ "NAQT | 2018 IPNCT Results | Overall Standings". Retrieved 2020-01-28.
  13. ^ "NAQT | 2019 IPNCT Results | Overall Standings". Retrieved 2020-01-28.
  14. ^ "NAQT | 2019 Middle School National Championship Tournament Logistics Information". Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  15. ^ a b "NAQT | Middle School National Championship Tournament". Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  16. ^ "NAQT | Past MSNCT Winners". Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  17. ^ "NAQT | 2019 IPNCT Results | Overall Standings". Retrieved 2020-01-28.
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ NAQT. "Buzzword". NAQT. Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  22. ^ NQT. "Buzzword-Film special". NAQT. Retrieved 2020-11-14.

External linksEdit