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National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC is a question-writing and quizbowl organizing company founded by former players in 1996. It is unique among U.S. quiz organizations for supplying questions and hosting championships at both the high school and college levels.

The format is a set of questions that are read until the time expires, making it similar to College Bowl. However the question difficulty for the college level is higher, and the question topics somewhat more academic. The company also writes practice questions and questions for high school and college invitational tournaments, as well as the quiz bowl game show QuizBusters. Its model is more centralized than Academic Competition Federation in that all questions are centrally produced, rather than produced by the teams and centrally edited.

The national tournaments are divided into divisions, unlike other formats, so that a clear undergraduate champion is determined (all formats allow graduate students to compete in some form).

At the college level

Collegiate divisions

Division I Open

NAQT's eligibility rules state that any student taking at least 3 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. In principle, a team can be as large as desired, but no more than four players compete at any time, and teams larger than seven players are rare.If any member of a 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 Undergraduate

At Sectional Championship Tournaments (SCTs) and the 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.

Division II

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. Division II plays an entirely separate competition from Division I at the ICT, but SCTs where there are not enough teams may merge the two.

The rules of Division II eligibility are that one must be eligible for D-1 Undergraduate (i.e. no degree, and less than four years of experience), and in no year prior qualified for or participated in ICT. Some schools do not send teams for all divisions, and a student eligible for D-2 may compete on a D-1 team at an SCT or ICT. If he competes on a D-1 team at a 2006 SCT, and the team does not qualify for the ICT, he may compete in D-1 or D-2 in 2007. If he competes in a D-1 SCT again in 2007, he forfeits D-2 eligibility for 2008 and beyond, but may play in the 2007 D-2 ICT. In addition, if his D-1 team qualified for ICT in 2006, he could compete in either division at the 2006 ICT, but could not compete in D-2 afterwards. While this last set of rules are quite confusing, they are rarely needed, because a student who competes in D-1 one year rarely returns to D-2 the following year.

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 colleges

Two-year colleges usually compete in separate SCTs each February (it is permitted, but rare, for teams from these schools to compete in D-1). Eight teams qualify for the Division II ICT, where they compete alongside other D-2 teams in a manner analogous to that of D-1 Undergraduate teams. However, students at two-year colleges are exempt from the D-2 eligibility restrictions. In fact, they have three years of eligibility at the D-2 level.

Winners of NAQT Intercollegiate Championship Tournament

Year Host Division I Overall Division I Undergraduate Division II Overall Division II Community College
1997 Pennmarker Chicagomarker N/A N/A N/A
1998 Vanderbiltmarker Stanfordmarker Swarthmoremarker Harvardmarker N/A
1999 Michiganmarker Chicago Carletonmarker Princetonmarker N/A
2000 Boston Umarker Illinoismarker Princeton Harvard N/A
2001 Washington, St. Louismarker Chicago Princeton Pittsburghmarker N/A
2002 North Carolinamarker Michiganmarker Princeton Yalemarker Valencia CC
2003 UCLAmarker and Caltechmarker Chicago Harvard Cal-Berkeleymarker Valencia CC
2004 Washington, St. Louis Cal-Berkeley Illinois UCLAmarker Valencia CC
2005 Tulanemarker Michigan VA Commonwealthmarker Chicago Faulkner St CCmarker
2006 Marylandmarker Cal-Berkeley Williams College Stanford Broward CCmarker
2007 Minnesotamarker Chicago Carleton Maryland Valencia CC
2008 Washington, St. Louis Maryland Harvard Carleton Valencia CC
2009 Dallas, Texasmarker No Host Chicago Illinois Chicago Northeast Alabama CC

At the high school level

Team qualify to the High School National Championship tournament through a variety of methods. Most commonly, a team qualfies by finishing in the top 15% of the field at an invitational. 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. As of the 2009 HSNCT, 192 teams competed in the May championship.

The small school award is given to a public school with a non-selective admissions policy and less than 500 students in grades 10-12.

Winners of NAQT National High School Championship

Year Location Champion 2nd 3rd Small school
1999 University of Oklahomamarker (Norman) Detroit Catholic Centralmarker (MI) Waltonmarker (GA) Brookwood (GA)
2000 Georgia Institute of Technologymarker (Atlanta) State Collegemarker (PA) Maggie Walker (VA) Eleanor Roosevelt (MD)
2001 University of Michiganmarker (Ann Arbor) Detroit Catholic Centralmarker (MI) Detroit Country Daymarker (MI) State Collegemarker (PA)
2002 University of Texasmarker (Austin) St. John's Schoolmarker (TX) Irmomarker (SC) Detroit Catholic Centralmarker (MI) Kent City (MI)
2003 Myrtle Beach, South Carolinamarker Thomas Jeffersonmarker (VA) Dorman (SC) St. John's Schoolmarker (TX) Cutter Morning Star (AR)
2004 Houston, Texasmarker Thomas Jeffersonmarker (VA) Maggie Walker (VA) St. John's Schoolmarker (TX) Cutter Morning Star (AR)
2005 Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker Thomas Jeffersonmarker (VA) Lakesidemarker (WA) State Collegemarker (PA) Danvillemarker (KY)
2006 Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker Richard Montgomerymarker (MD) State Collegemarker (PA) Maggie Walker (VA) Danvillemarker (KY)
2007 Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker Maggie Walker (VA) State Collegemarker (PA) Thomas Jeffersonmarker (VA) Danvillemarker (KY)
2008 Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker Thomas Jeffersonmarker (VA) Charter School of Wilmingtonmarker (DE) Walt Whitman High Schoolmarker (MD) Russell High School (KY)
2009 Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker Charter School of Wilmingtonmarker (DE) Dorman (SC) State Collegemarker (PA) Ottawa Hills (OH)


Various NAQT employees and former NAQT players have appeared on the game show Jeopardy![30283]. 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. It is unclear whether this helps or hurts those trying out. (See Jeopardy! audition process for further discussion.)

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, Pennsylvaniamarker) qualified for the Teen Tournament at this tryout, and finished as the tournament's first runner-up. Meryl Federman of Livingston High School qualified for the second edition of The teen tournament, called the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament Summer Games, and won.

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