Playoffs June 10 – 12 (Fri. – Sun) , June 10 JV & Elementary & Middle School/Junior High, June 11 – 12 Varsity,

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Each team may choose one of these three phases: Prelims May 21 – 22 (Virtual), OR May 28 – 30 (New Orleans), OR June 3 (Virtual), OR June 4-5 (Chicago),

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

The venue will be Google Meet which is free and easy-to-use. During the prelims, your team will be connecting for two 90-minute blocs of your choice, 3 games per bloc on any of the preliminary weekends. Clarification: Both blocs must be on the same weekend. Team members may join from school if schools are back in session or join from their own homes in order to stay safe.

As you can see from the above, we offer four competitive levels each weekend: High School Varsity … High School JV … Middle School/Junior High … Elementary School

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. In addition, your teams may not compete during the same time bloc so that they cannot face each other unless it happens in playoffs.

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. Middle Schools are encouraged to consider bringing a team from the elementary school that feeds into your school – or bring a 6th grade team from your school to compete in the Elementary division.

Small School Champion

We crown a high school 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), selecting the highest-ranking such team.

How to Qualify

Each team must win an academic competition (local or regional) of at least 8 teams or finish in the top 15% of any varsity tournament, the top 20% of any middle grade tournament, the top 25% of any JV tournament, the top 30% of any elementary school tournament. A high 3-2-1 or Knowledge Master score also 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 NAC1983@comcast.net 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 and adapted for buzzerless contests.

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.


The moderators of the National Academic Championship are unsurpassed in their ability to read the questions with intelligence, congeniality, and enthusiasm; and to judge the answers with accuracy and fairness.

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

Creator of the long-running Maryland host of the South Louisiana Quiz Bowl, a production of KWBJ-TV in Morgan City.

Sierra Mannie

Creator of the long-running Maryland is a freelance journalist and Reveal Fellow with the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Rob Grierson

Project Manager for Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity.

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.

Memorial Day Weekend May 28 – 30 (Saturday – Monday),
Hampton Inn & Suites New Orleans Convention Center Hotel.

New Orleans

Competition will start on the morning of May 28 and end no later than 1:00 Monday. Hampton Inn will be the site of all competitions. 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 $135 per room applies for 1-4 people per room. A hot breakfast is provided at no additional charge.

Make reservations online at this special website the hotel has created for us, HERE

June 4 – 5 (Saturday – Sunday),
Sheraton Four Points at O’Hare


Competition will start on the morning of June 4. The last match will take place no later than 4:00 Sunday.

Sheraton Four Points Hotel will be the site of all competitions. They offer a free shuttle from O’Hare. 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 $119 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 $119 per room, which applies for 1-4 people per room. No meals are provided.

Entry Fees.

The “early bird” entry fee is $600 per team (in-person option) or $400 per team (virtual option), due by April 15, after which the entry fees are $700 (in-person option) or $500 per team (virtual option). 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 NAC1983@comcast.net, 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.

You may pay online or you can make your check payable to NATIONAL ACADEMIC ASSOCIATION. The address: National Academic Association 9417 Cathowken Dr. Chattanooga, TN 37421


A tutorial on using the videoconferencing program relative to the tournament will be sent to all coaches in time for them to practice with their teams. We recommend a trial Meeting of at least a few minutes before each of your time blocs. Our tech coordinator will be available to answer all questions ahead of time and will be available by phone for all matches.

Name Plates.

We like to recognize by name each contestant. For this purpose, please bring name plates for all contestants and for the team. Here are a couple of examples of acceptable name plates (although these examples lack the team name plate) …


Contact the National Academic Association Phone:801-699-3424, Chip Beall, Director.
Tech support: Pat Jewell, 440-487-8781

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.

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