National Quiz Bowl Championships


For various reasons (mostly historical), collegiate quiz bowl has multiple national championships each year.


The Intercollegiate Championship Tournament (ICT) is written and hosted by NAQT. Teams qualify based on their performance at one of NAQT’s Sectional Championship Tournaments (SCTs).

Community colleges can also qualify for NAQT’s Community College Championship Tournament (CCCT).

ACF Nationals

ACF Nationals is hosted annually by ACF. Unlike ICT, ACF Nationals is untimed, contains no pop culture or sports, and requires teams to submit a packet. Teams qualify based on their performance at the preceding ACF Regionals tournament.

Chicago Open

Though not a true “collegiate” tournament, the Chicago Open is worth mentioning. Held annually at the University of Chicago, the tournament is open to all players—college students, former players, and even high schoolers (though the last case is rare). It is generally considered the most difficult tournament in all of quiz bowl. Any group of people may form a team, and packet submission is required.

High School

Like college quiz bowl, high school quiz bowl has several national tournaments.


The High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT) is hosted by NAQT. HSNCT is the largest tournament in quiz bowl, with a field size of roughly 300 teams. The tournament uses timed rounds, and the distribution is similar to that of NAQT’s regular sets (though the questions are harder). Teams can qualify by placing in the top 15% of any tournament that uses NAQT questions.

In addition to HSNCT, schools that meet NAQT’s definition of a “small school” can qualify for the Small School National Championship Tournament (SSNCT). This can be accomplished by finishing in the top 30% of teams from small schools in any tournament using NAQT questions. Teams from small schools that qualify for HSNCT will also qualify for SSNCT.


The National Scholastic Championship (NSC) is hosted by PACE. It is of comparable difficult to HSNCT, but with several notable differences. NSC packets have slightly more fine arts than HSNCT, and they contains no questions on pop culture or sports. In addition, NSC features untimed rounds, no negs, 20-point powers, and “bounceback” bonuses (where if a team gets a bounus part wrong, their opponent has a chance to answer). Teams qualify for NSC by placing in the top 10-25% at a PACE-certified tournament (the exact cutoff depends on the level of certification).


The National All-Star Academic Tournament (NASAT) is hosted by HSAPQ. Unlike HSNCT and NSC, teams are composed of the top players from each state. It features very difficult questions (comparable to college regionals) and is considered the hardest tournament in high school quiz bowl. If you are interested in playing for Colorado, contact us.

Middle School


NAQT hosts the Middle School National Championship Tournament (MSNCT), the middle school equivalent of HSNCT. Teams can qualify by placing in the top 15% of any middle school tournament that uses NAQT questions.