Guidelines for AASCA FESTIVAL 



1.      Competition


Each team is composed of five members, one of them being the designated captain. If ten or more teams participate, each team will be placed in a group with 5 or more teams, according to the number of teams participating.  Each team will compete against each of the other teams in its group.  The two teams with the best win-lose record in each group will qualify for a single elimination tournament.  The basis for breaking ties in group team standings will be head-to-head competition, and then, if necessary, total points scored against all tied teams, and then, if necessary total points scored against all teams in the competition.  The teams that place first in each group compete against the teams that place second in the opposite group.  The teams that win will play a final match to decide first and second place.  If nine teams or less participate, each team plays the opposing ones one time and the teams that win the greatest number of the games in the champion.  If there is a tie in any position, there will be another game to untie the position.


2.      General Physical Set-Up


A Knowledge Bowl match will be a competition between two/four person teams, each with a designated captain.  Each team will be seated at its own table in such a manner that the four- team members face their opponents across a stage area.  Each team member will have an individual switch, which, when operated, makes a buzzer sound, and in turn, automatically deactivates the switches of all other contestants.  There will be one table microphone available for each team.  A reader/moderator, who will ask all questions, rules on answers given, and serves as the match referee, will stand at a podium, with a microphone, located between the two teams.  It is best when the two competing teams are seated on an elevated stage with the moderator standing at a lower level between them.  This allows the audience to see over the moderator's head.  The scoreboard is best located in the center of the stage on a platform raised higher than, and between the teams.  This way, when the two teams are angled toward the moderator, they can easily see the scoreboard and the moderator and the audience can view the scoreboard over the moderator's head.  An official timer and an official scorer will be seated beside the moderator.  If the reader/moderator request help to rule questionable answers, the two coaches and the reader/moderator will solve this.


3.      Areas of Knowledge to be Covered by Questions

Each match will be contested with a variety of questions covering all of the following areas of knowledge:

a.      Language
         English, Grammar and Usage
         Literature of the World


b.      Science. Biology, Geology, 
         Chemistry, Astronomy
         Physical Science


c.      Social Studies
         World History, U.S. History
         Geography, U.S. Government
         Current World Events

d.       Mathematics
          All mathematics, through calculus

e.      Fine Arts
         Music, Art and Drama

It is very important that there be consistency in the question categories.  Categories and questions must be limited to bodies of knowledge, which should be common to students of all American Schools.  Sports and Entertainment questions will not be included in this year’s event.


4.      Method of Questioning 

A match will consist of "toss up” and "bonus" questions being asked by the moderator.  The moderator will first ask a toss-up question with any member of either team eligible to answer.  One of the contestants must operate his/her individual switch (signaling his/her intent to answer the question) within a ten- second time limit, or the moderator will read the next toss-up question.  The first individual to operate the switch will be recognized by the moderator and must then immediately use the team microphone to answer the question without conferring with any teammate.  The moderator will stop reading a question the moment the buzzer sounds.  A correct answer to the toss-up questions earns the team a bonus question.  The moderator will then read a bonus question.  Only the team correctly answering the toss-up question may answer this bonus question.  Team members may confer for 10 seconds (30 seconds for math questions) on bonus questions, but only the team captain may answer the bonus questions, using the microphone.

Should the toss-up question be answered incorrectly by the first individual to operate his/her switch, the moderator will read the question again, in its entirety, and provide the opposing team five seconds to confer before the team captain attempts to answer, using the team microphone.  No bonus question will be available to the second team attempting a toss-up question.  It is important that only the team captain answers questions in the situations where team members may confer.  If this rule is not enforced, two team members are apt to give different answers at the same time, causing much confusion.

After a bonus question has been attempted, or after the other team has attempted to answer a missed toss-up question, the moderator will repeat the questioning cycle by reading another toss-up question with any individual on either team eligible to answer.


 5.     Time Limits

A match will last for thirty minutes, plus five toss-up questions (and possible bonus questions) to be asked after the 30 minutes have elapsed.  Any toss-up question or accompanying bonus question in progress when the 30 minutes have passed will be completed and considered a part of their thirty minutes of the match.

There will be a ten-second time limit for any individual on either team to operate his/her switch on a toss-up question.

For the final five toss-up questions only (those asked after the thirty minute time limit has expired), the opposing team which answers correctly a toss-up first missed by the other team will be provided the opportunity to answer a bonus question.  Rationale:  this rule will prevent a team which begins the five extra questions with an eleven point lead from intentionally hitting the buzzer before a question is fully read to prevent the opposing team from having the only opportunity for a bonus question.

In the event a match ends in a tie, toss-up questions will continue to be read until one team emerges as the winner.


6.      Comments Concerning Questions

1.      Questions may be long, but answers must be short.

2.      True/false questions should not be used.

3.      Questions must be so worded as to eliminate all but one possible answer.

4.      An eight- team tournament requires a minimum of 1,200 questions.    This year, questions will be ordered from Patrick Press, Inc.


7.      Considerations and Concerns in Planning a Knowledge Bowl/Academic Tournament

Team members should be top students in each discipline, but just as important is quick recall and reaction.

Individuals must answer toss-up questions immediately after operating their switches.

The second team to attempt a toss-up questions after it has been answered incorrectly by the first team, has five seconds, when recognized by the reader/moderator, to confer before the team captain attempts to answer.

A team that has earned a bonus question may confer for ten seconds (thirty seconds on some math questions) before the team captain attempts and answers.

A match of 30 minutes, with five additional toss-up questions requires the use of sixty five to seventy five questions.


8.      Scoring


At the end of the match, the team with the highest number of' total points shall be declared the winner.  Points will be added to or subtracted from team scores as follows-

1.    First person to operate the switch and answer toss-up correctly:  + 2 points

2.    First person to operate the switch and answer toss-up incorrectly:  - 1 point

3.    Opposing team with correct answer and missed toss-up:  + 1 point

4.    Opposing team with incorrect answer to missed toss-up:  0 points

5.    Correct answer to bonus question:  + 3 points

6.    Incorrect answer to bonus questions:  0 points

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American School IT Department

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