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2024 NAQT Missouri Qualifier Rules

Unless announced otherwise by the tournament co-directors (Jeffrey Hill and Matt Chadbourne), these rules will be used at the 2024 NAQT Missouri Qualifier on March 2, 2024.


The official MSHSAA Scholar Bowl Rules Book for the current competition season shall apply except where superseded by the rules outlined below. Teams participating in this tournament consent to any rules below that differ from standard MSHSAA rules as allowed by MSHSAA's rules jurisdiction policy.

Games consist of up to 22 tossups with three part bonuses. Games are played on the clock, with 11 minutes in each half.

Game Format

A game consists of up to 22 tossups with three part bonuses read to two teams.

Timed Halves: Games are played on the clock, with 11 minutes in each half.

Team Size: Each team shall have between one and four players active during each tossup/bonus cycle. Additional players on a team's roster may be substituted into the game at times allowed by these rules.

Allowed Materials: Each active player may only use a sheet of scratch paper and a writing utensil. A player's sheet of paper must be completely blank when the player becomes active in the game. These materials will generally not be provided by the game room staff.

Halftime: A short halftime shall occur after the last tossup/bonus cycle of the first half. Please keep halftime brief.

Overtime: If the game is tied after the last tossup/bonus cycle of the second half, the tie shall be broken by reading tossups until the score changes. No bonus is read during overtime.

Forfeits: If a team is significantly late to a game and the delay is not caused by another game running late or another factor directly caused by the overall conduct of the tournament, the tournament director may declare a forfeit.


Recognition: Moderators will recognize the player who has buzzed in on a tossup. There is no penalty for answering correctly before being recognized if the buzzer system indicates the answering player buzzed in first.

Scoring: Correct tossup answers are worth 10 points by default.

  • Powers: If a player buzzes in before an unannounced "power mark" printed on the page and answers correctly, 15 points shall be awarded instead of the normal 10.
  • Negs: If the first player to buzz in on a tossup does so before the end of the question and answers incorrectly, a 5 point penalty shall be deducted.

Timing: Standard MSHSAA timing rules shall be used for tossups:

  • Once a tossup has been read, players shall have 5 seconds to buzz in.
  • Once a player who has buzzed in has been recognized, that player shall begin a significant answer within 3 seconds and be allowed a total of 10 seconds to complete their answer.
  • This tournament has no computation tossups.


Bonuses are read one part at a time to the team that answers a tossup correctly. Bonuses do not rebound.

Answering: Bonus answers must come from the captain, unless the captain defers to another player by name to provide the team's answer. Once the captain defers, only the designated player may provide the team's answer on that bonus part. Deferring does not extend the amount of time allowed to answer.

Scoring: Bonuses consist of three parts worth 10 points each.

Timing: Once a bonus part has been read, the captain has 5 seconds to begin a significant answer, unless indicated otherwise by the question. The moderator shall prompt for an answer after 4 seconds. Once the captain or designated player begins answering a bonus part, a pause of 1 second ends the response. This tournament has no computation bonuses.

Timed Halves

A countdown clock shall be visible to both teams indicating the time remaining in the current half.

Starting a Half: The clock shall be set to 11 minutes at the beginning of a half. The clock shall be started when the moderator begins reading the first unread tossup in the packet as the first tossup of the half.

Clock Stoppages: The clock shall not stop, except for the following events:

End of Half: While the clock is running, the moderator continues reading questions in order until the clock expires or all 22 tossup/bonus cycles have been completed. If the moderator has already read the first syllable of the text of a tossup when the clock expires, that tossup and any earned bonus shall be continued to completion before the half ends. If a tossup/bonus cycle has been completed and the moderator has not yet begun the next tossup when the clock expires, the half ends immediately. Preliminary statements such as "tossup 10" or "next tossup" do not count as starting the next tossup.

If all 22 tossup/bonus cycles have been completed and the score is not tied, the game shall end even if there is time remaining on the clock. If the score is tied, the moderator shall obtain additional tossups for overtime.

Overtime: Overtime begins on the first unread tossup in the packet, or a set of extra questions if all tossups in the packet have been read. The clock is not used in overtime.

Replacement Questions: The clock does not run while reading replacement tossups or bonuses.

Passing a Bonus: The captain of a team that has earned a bonus may decline to hear the remainder of the bonus by stating to the moderator a phrase such as "pass the rest of the bonus" that clearly refers to multiple parts. In this case, the moderator shall immediately stop reading the bonus and proceed to the next tossup without reading the correct answers to the skipped bonus parts.

Clock Protests: The operation of the clock may not be protested unless a discrepancy exceeding 5 seconds is alleged.

Correct Answers

Prompting: If a player gives an answer that is not incorrect but also not specific enough, the moderator shall prompt for a more specific answer, usually by saying the word "prompt". There is no limit to the number of times a player may be prompted on a question as long as each answer is more specific than the previous answer or is another answer for which the moderator is explicitly instructed to prompt.

Blitzing: Providing multiple, related pieces of information of different types (also known as "blitzing") is acceptable as long as the correct answer is included and all parts of the answer are accurate. For instance, providing a title and author is acceptable (as long as they are paired correctly), but providing two titles is not. There is not a specific limitation on what types of answers may be included in a multiple-answer response.

Timeouts and Substitutions

Timeouts: Each team is allowed one 30 second timeout per game, during which either team may substitute and/or confer with coaches. Timeouts may only be called before a tossup.

Substitutions: Substitutions are allowed at halftime, before overtime, or during either team's timeout. Players removed from the game by substitution may re-enter the game at a later substitution opportunity. Each team may play no more than six players over the course of a particular game.

Score Checks: We anticipate being able to display the scoresheet on a projector visible to both teams. The scorekeeper shall confirm the accuracy of the score with both teams at halftime and at the end of the game. In the event that the scoresheet is not visible to the teams and a team wants to request a score check, the team must use their timeout to stop the clock. Any discrepancies between the official score and scores kept by teams shall be resolved before proceeding with the game. The clock may be stopped to correct a visible error on the official scoresheet without using a team's timeout.


Protests shall be noted by the game room staff and will only be resolved at the end of the game if it could change which team wins that game. Protests that do not affect the win/loss outcome of the game will not be resolved, even if the effect on statistics could impact seeding into later phases of the tournament.

Protests must be made before the official scoresheet is submitted to tournament central. Protests may only be brought to tournament central by a member of the game room staff.

If upholding a protest requires replacing the protested question, the procedures specified by Rule J.14 of the official NAQT Rules as of August 2023 shall be followed.

Issues of moderator discretion such as timing, what the moderator heard, etc., are not protestable.

Moderator Errors

Tossups: If the moderator reveals the answer to a tossup while at least one team still has a chance to answer it, a replacement tossup shall be read from the extra questions in the packet or another set of questions designated by the tournament director. The replacement tossup is not required to be in the same category as the original.

If one team already provided an incorrect answer to the original tossup before the answer was spoiled, that team shall not have a chance to answer the replacement tossup, and the team answering the replacement tossup shall not be penalized with a neg if an incorrect answer is given before the question is completed (because the ineligible team already answered incorrectly). If the first syllable after the power mark was read before the original question was spoiled, the replacement tossup shall be worth 10 points regardless of when it is answered (because the original tossup would not have been powered had it not been spoiled).

Bonuses: If a moderator reveals the answer to a bonus part before the team has answered or time has expired, the entire bonus shall be replaced by reading the next bonus in its entirety. However, the scoring of any parts that were answered correctly or incorrectly before the previous bonus was spoiled will stand once the new bonus is fully read. The team is guaranteed to receive any points scored on unspoiled parts of the original bonus, and is not given a second chance to score points for unspoiled parts answered incorrectly. Refer to this document for additional clarification.

Final Score

Please make sure that the official scorekeeper and both teams all agree on the final score before the official scoresheet is submitted.

If mathematical errors are discovered on the official scoresheet in tournament central when entering statistics, the final score may be adjusted to account for the discrepancy. In the unlikely event that resolving a scoring discrepancy changes the outcome of the game, both coaches and the game room staff shall be consulted to confirm the changes before the result is changed or the teams are reseated for an overtime period.

Acceptable Answer Reminders

Titles: Titles of works generally must be exact, except that leading articles such as “a” and “the” may be omitted. Adding “The” in front of a title where it does not exist is acceptable unless it creates ambiguity with another plausible answer (e.g. Invisible Man and The Invisible Man are two different works). Partial titles will not be accepted or prompted unless specifically allowed by the answer line.

Names of non-fictional people:

Revised 2024-02-29