National Academic Association

8856 Shady Meadow Dr. UT 84093 801-699-3424


Each team may choose one of these phases:

New Orleans, May 26 - 28 OR
Washington, D.C., June 1 - 3 OR
Chicago, June 9 – 11 OR
Orlando, June 15 - 17

We now offer four competitive levels at each venue:
High School Varsity ... High School JV ... Middle School/Junior High …
Elementary School (in every venue except New Orleans)

With an option of locales, teams can choose a place that's fun to visit. With a choice of dates, schools with a conflict (e.g. graduation) in one time frame may simply select another date.

At the expense of Questions Unlimited (We will find the least expensive round-trip air fare -- but $500 max. air fare per person -- from your closest gateway airport), the winners of the New Orleans and D.C. and Chicago phases of the high school varsity tournament (four players and a coach) will be transported to Orlando and provided with two hotel rooms, for up to two nights, to compete in the final rounds of the fourth (June 17) phase of the competition.

Six Guaranteed Matches

Each team will compete in at least six official tournament matches. Advancement to the final-day Single Elimination round will be determined by performance in the six preliminary games. All 6-0, 5-1, and 4-2 teams will make the playoffs.

Bringing Two Teams.

Some schools choose to bring two or more teams. If you're considering this, be aware that players may not shift between teams. Also, for scheduling purposes, it will be useful for us to know whether you like to have the two (or more) teams scheduled at the same time – which would maximize sightseeing opportunities – or at different times – so the coach(es) can see everybody’s game.

Consider Also Bringing Your Farm Team

Several years ago we predicted that the contending high school teams of the future will be those that have developed solid farm systems on the lower grade levels. The best example is Daviess County (KY), which won the JV title in 2015 and returned with the same players in 2016 and won the Varsity title.

Junior Varsity Tournament

At each venue we plan to run discrete JV tournaments. JV teams will be limited by the "Rule of 41." That is, the total grade numbers of the four players at any given time shall not exceed 41. For example, 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 = 42, and that's too much! 9 + 9 + 10 + 11 = 39, and that's within the limit of 41. 9 + 10 + 10 + 12 = 41 and that's fine. Etc. etc. JV teams will be fielding the same questions as Varsity teams, but will only face each other. Graduating seniors are allowed to participate on a JV team only if the school is also bringing a Varsity team as well as a JV.

Small School Champion

We crown a champion from among the “small schools” that come to Nationals (defined as any school with 500 or fewer students in grades 10-12 and a nonselective admissions policy). We do so after all three phases are finished, selecting the highest ranking team.

Who Wants to Be a Game Show Host?

We again plan to conduct our popular reality show at each site, the winner of which will be invited to join us as a moderator for 2019 Nationals.

How to Qualify

Your team contingent should include four starters and one or more coaches. Alternate(s) are recommended but not required. Each team must win an academic competition (local or regional) of at least 8 teams or finish in the top 15% of any tournament. The winning team from any preliminary round match in the Questions Unlimited QuizNet online tournament qualifies. Any school making the playoffs at last year's National Academic Championship automatically qualifies.

Wild card entry may be offered to teams that wish to apply to compete at the National Academic Championship. Teams from areas without easy-to-reach tournaments, and teams who seem always to finish just under the qualification guidelines in areas with a number of qualifying teams are advised to apply for wild-card entry. To apply for wild card entry into the field at the National Academic Championship, email us at with a one or two paragraph summary of your tournament finishes during the school year.

Academic Emphasis

The competition focuses on academic information - “significa” rather than “trivia” - and the questions are supplied by Questions Unlimited. Our emphasis is light on popular culture and heavy on the academic. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of question quality and academic relevance. Contests follow the superb four-quarter format created by Questions Unlimited.

Commitment to Excellence

We call the National Academic Championship “the finest in academic competition” because we boast the best questions and a highly professional officiating staff.


Our superb team of moderators includes:

  • Charles Beall

    Executive Director of the National Academic Association and President of Questions Unlimited
  • Brick Barrientos

    Creator of the long-running Maryland Classic tournament.
  • Ernie Anderson

    Creator and Host of the High-Q TV program (Huntington, West Virginia)
  • Chris Hunter

    host of the South Louisiana Quiz Bowl, a production of KWBJ-TV in Morgan City.
  • Arjun Plakkat

    Winner of 2007 "Who Wants to Be a Game Show Host?" contest. With 3D Systems, he works on 3D printers as a "Stereolithography Process Development Engineer."
  • Rob Grierson

    Project Manager for Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity.
  • Sierra Mannie

    is a freelance journalist and Reveal Fellow with the Center for Investigative Reporting.
  • Les Roby

    former coach of the White Plains HS team; the winningest coach in the history of our tournament, qualifying 28 consecutive years; Creator and Director of two Westchester County tournaments: has hosted over 150 tournaments since 1991.
Meet the Pros

Pictures and descriptions of our unsurpassed staff of moderators and judges.

Fair Warning

Although we always ask you to send no money until you're certain your team is going to compete, we also strongly advise early enrollment. We fully expect to be “sold-out” in all three venues, as we were by early April 2017. (Note that we will run out of on-site room lodgings before we run out of space to accommodate you in the tournament itself.) To avoid the higher entry fees assessed after April 15, and to avoid having to arrange your own off-site accommodations in the event that we run out of space at the competition venue, or possibly missing out altogether, please don't wait until the last minute to send in your entry fees!


Register on or before April 15 at the flat entry fee of $600 per team. After April 15, the fee increases to $700 per team. Should we accept any last-minute registrations after May 15, the fee in that case is $800 per team. When the entry fee is received, a place for your team will be reserved and registration materials emailed to you. (You are advised to “white-list” our email address, otherwise this email with attachments might be caught in your spam filter.) Purchase orders will not reserve a spot for any team. After April 15, you must send either a cashier's check or a school check, and should use overnight mail. THERE ARE NO REFUNDS (unless, of course, we run out of space and have to turn you away), so please send no money until you are certain that your team will be participating. All fees are due by May 15.

Make your check payable to NATIONAL ACADEMIC ASSOCIATION, send to NAA, 8856 Shady Meadow Dr. Sandy, UT 84093.
Do not send your entry fee to the Questions Unlimited address in Tennessee!
All fees must be received by May 15, 2018.


New Orleans

Memorial Day Weekend May 26 - 28 (Saturday - Monday),
Hampton Inn & Suites New Orleans Convention Center Hotel.

Competition will start on the morning of May 26. The final match will officially take place no later than 3:00 Monday, although we’re usually done by 1:30. Hampton Inn will be the site of all competitions. Staying at Hampton Inn is recommended, but not required, for participation in the National Academic Championship. Your competition schedule will allow some time for exploring. There are countless things to do in the New Orleans area, and you may wish to arrive a day early or leave a day late (or both) in order to enjoy some tourist activities. The special group discount rate of $125 per room applies for 1-4 people per room. A hot breakfast is provided at no additional charge.

Call 1-800-292-0653 and request to make a reservation under the National Academic Association room block, coded NAA in their system. Or you can do it online: HERE Please make your reservations as early as possible, by April 27, 2018 at the latest.

Update: Our Hampton Inn & Suites block of rooms is now sold out. We suggest the same website that we use for our personal travel, As of 4/3/18, we cannot find anything reasonably priced near the Hampton Inn, but there are plenty of affordable hotels within a 30-minute drive. If you find one of these, and wish that I schedule your games close together (say, Friday morning and Saturday afternoon, for instance), I will do that so that you'll only have to come to the Hampton for preliminary matches twice.

Washington, D.C., Area

June 1-3 (Friday - Sunday),
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel, 5000 Seminary Rd, Alexandria, VA 22311

Competition will start on the morning of June 1. The final match will take place no later than 3:00 Sunday, although we usually wrap it up by 1:30.

The Hilton Alexandria Mark Center will be the site of all competitions. Staying at this hotel is recommended, but not required, for participation in the National Academic Championship. They do offer a free shuttle ride from Reagan National Airport. The special group discount rate of $115 per room applies for 1-4 people per room.

The toll free number to make reservations is 877-783-8258 and you must request Group Code – NAC2. If you prefer, you can make your reservation online,

Update: The Hilton is now sold out, but close by is the Crown Plaza with whom we've negotiated a reasonable room rate of $119 (two double beds). The hotel has these instructions for booking rooms:
"Call the hotel reservations department at (877) 317 - 5752. To receive the special contracted rates, the attendees must identify themselves as being part of the National Academic Association Overflow rooms Alexandria group."


June 9 - 11 (Saturday - Monday),
Sheraton Four Points at O'Hare

Competition will start on the morning of June 9. The final match will take place no later than 4:00 Monday.

Sheraton Four Points Hotel will be the site of all competitions. They offer a free shuttle from O'Hare. Staying at this hotel is recommended, but not required, for participation in the National Academic Championship. There are countless things to do in Chicago, and you may wish to arrive a day early or leave a day late in order to enjoy some tourist activities; the $118 room rate will apply if you choose to do so. Make reservations online at this special website the hotel has created for us, HERE

or you may call 847-671-6000 and ask for the National Academic Championship special group discount rate of $118 per room, which applies for 1-4 people per room. No meals are provided.

Update: king rooms are still available, but we're sold out of rooms with two beds at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel. We have contracted with the nearby Hampton Inn Chicago O'Hare for the room rate of $129. These rooms include a free hot breakfast. To book rooms, call Vianney Miranda-Senior Sales Manager at 847-671-5549


June 15-17 (Friday - Sunday),
Ramada Kissimmee Gateway

Competition will start on the morning of June 15. The final match finish no later than 3:30 Sunday.

Ramada Kissimmee Gateway Hotel will be the site of all competitions. Staying at this hotel is recommended, but not required, for participation in the National Academic Championship. The price per room is lower than at our other venues: $69 per room at the Inn or $89 per room at the Tower. Needless to say, there are countless things to do in Orlando, and you may wish to arrive a day early or leave a day late in order to enjoy some tourist activities; the aforementioned room rates will apply if you choose to do so. Reservations may be made by calling the hotel directly at (800) 327-9170 daily between the hours of 9am-5pm, EST. Please identify your group as attending the National Academic Association event.

Entry Fees.

Regardless of venue, the entry fee is $600 per team before April 15 and $700 per team after April 15 ($800 per team if we accept your registration after May 15).


We do plan to have an orientation session relative to the game format at 8 p.m. the evening before the competition starts, for those who are arriving the day before. This is offered for your convenience, and is not required.

How to Raise Money for your Team to Attend Nationals.

Name Plates.

It’s not necessary to bring a buzzer system for our use, but name plates are required. We like to recognize by name each contestant as they ring in to answer a question. For this purpose, please bring name plates for all contestants and for the team. Printed names must be large enough to be visible from 30 feet. Here are a couple of examples of acceptable name plates (although these examples lack the team name plate) …

name plate name plate


The Final Four, featuring varsity winners of each venue, will be double-elimination, using the same game length as during the preliminaries: double-elimination, because we'd like to give the winners of New Orleans, DC, and Chicago at least two Final Four games; abbreviated, so that Sunday playoffs in Orlando need not go past 4:00 p.m.



Contact the National Academic Association Phone:801-699-3424, Chip Beall, Director

Note: You may submit your registration form(s) any time after you're sure your team(s) will be participating at Nationals, but the registration is not official until the entry fee(s) have been received.