Playing the Game | Rules

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High School Quiz Show 2013-14

Now entering its fifth season, High School Quiz Show is WGBH’s award-winning academic team competition for public high school students in Massachusetts. Here’s how to play.

Playing the Game | Rules



Tournament Structure: 16-team single-elimination bracketed academic tournament with qualifying matches, quarterfinals, semifinals, and a state championship match.

Interstate Championship Match: In the 2013-14 Season the Massachusetts state championship team will advance to play against the New Hampshire state champions from the long-standing academic quiz show Granite State Challenge. This championship tournament will be hosted this year by New Hampshire Public Television and will follow the rules for the Granite State Challenge.

The Game: The following are the rules and game play for High School Quiz Show. The program producers reserve the right to change any of the rules at any time upon notice to participants.

Rounds:

1.    Toss-up Round
2.    Head-to-Head Round
3.    Category Round
4.    Lightning Round

Note that all rounds are "open toss-up." Either team can buzz in with the answer. 

Round 1: Toss-up Round

Format: team vs. team
Time limit: 8-10 minutes
Questions: Random topics; short answer and multiple choice (questions may include visual or audio clues).
Points: All questions are worth 10 points.
Penalty: There are no deductions for wrong answers in this round.
Buzzing
Teams may buzz in only after the question is read in its entirety (this lockout accomodates viewers following along at home). Team members must wait for the host to call on them by name before attempting to answer a question.
Conferring: Team members are not allowed to confer before or after buzzing in.
Bouncing: If a team buzzes in and cannot answer or answers incorrectly, the question is then posed to the other team.
Score: The score is visible to each team during this round.


Round 2: Head-to-Head 

Format: Player vs. player (one player is selected to represent each team)
Time Limit: 90 seconds
Questions: Random topics; short answer only.
Points: All questions are worth 10 points.
Penalty: Incorrect answers result in a 10-point deduction.
Buzzing
There is no buzzer lockout in this round. Team members may buzz in at any time at their own risk. If a question is interrupted by a player buzzing in, the host will stop and ask for an answer, without reading the remainder of the question.Team members must wait for the host to call on them by name before attempting to answer a question.
Conferring: The designated player is not allowed to confer with his or her team.
Bouncing: If a player cannot answer a question or answers incorrectly, the host gives the correct answer and moves on to the next question. The other player is not given the opportunity to respond.
Score: The score and countdown clock are not visible to players during this round. 

Round 3: Category Round

Format: Team vs. team
Time limit: 8-10 minutes
Questions: Players pick from a board of six themed categories such as "Lost in Space" (astronomy) or "Chicken and Egg" (putting historical events in chronological order). Each category has five short answer or multiple-choice questions. There may also be visual or audio questions.
Selection: The team that is trailing after Round 2 makes the first category selection. In the event of a tie after Round 2, a coin toss is used to determine the team that makes the first category selection. From that point on, the team with the last correct answer always makes category selections.
Points: Questions are worth 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 points, in increasing levels of difficulty. A correct response earns the point value on the board and the opportunity to select another question from the board. Teams are free to choose any unselected question throughout the round as they appear on the board; questions appear and must be answered in order of difficulty.
Penalty: The point value associated with the question is deducted for wrong answers.
Buzzing: Teams may buzz in only after the question is read in its entirety. Team members must wait for the host to call on them by name before attempting to answer a question.
Conferring: Team members are allowed to confer before but not after buzzing in.
Bouncing: If a team buzzes in and cannot answer or answers incorrectly, the question is then posed to the other team. Team members are allowed to confer before buzzing in.
Score: The score is visible to players during this round.

Round 4: Lightning Round

Format: Team vs. team
Time limit: 90 seconds
Questions: Random categories, short answer only.
Points: All questions are worth 20 points.
Penalty: Incorrect answers result in a 20-point deduction.
Buzzing
There is no buzzer lockout in this round. Team members may buzz in at any time at their own risk. If a question is interrupted by a player buzzing in, the host will stop and ask for an answer, without reading the remainder of the question. Team members must wait for the host to call on them by name before attempting to answer a question.
Conferring: Team members are not allowed to confer before or after buzzing in.
Bouncing: If a team cannot answer a question or answers incorrectly, the host gives the correct answer and moves on to the next question. The other team is not given the opportunity to respond.
Score: The score and countdown clock are visible to players during this round.

End of a Round
Questions are repeated at the discretion of the host or judges. If the host is asking a question at the end of a round and no one has buzzed in, all action stops and the round is over. If a player already has buzzed in or is in the process of answering a question, he or she will be permitted to answer. If the team that buzzed in answers a question incorrectly at the end of Round 1 and 3, the other team is permitted to answer. If a player gives an incorrect answer in Rounds 2 and 4, there is no opportunity for the other team to answer the question.

Match Tiebreaker (if needed)
The tiebreaker is a sudden death round. The host asks a toss-up question worth 20 points. Team members are allowed to confer before buzzing in however, they are not allowed to buzz in before the question is read in its entirety. If the answer is correct, the game is over and the team is declared the winner. If an answer cannot be given or an answer is incorrect, the opposing team has the chance to answer the question in the same manner. If neither team gives a correct answer, the host moves on to another question. This continues until a correct answer is given and one team is declared the winner.

Judging
Judges are selected by WGBH for the duration of each season. WGBH makes every effort to ensure a fair game, but the occasional mistake may occur. If the judges become aware of a mistake, every effort will be made to correct it.  Disputes or discrepancies should be voiced by the coach to the studio judge at the end of a round. If the dispute is determined to be valid by the judges, play stops and the discrepancy is addressed in the sole discretion of the WGBH production staff and judges. Scores may be adjusted, or questions eliminated, if necessary. Play then resumes. Any ambiguity or disputes that may arise concerning the rules of play and their interpretation is clarified or resolved by the production staff and judges. Once an individual round is completed and the next round begins, the completed round becomes final and challenges are not accepted retroactively. In the event of a tie, the competition is final once a tiebreaker question has been asked and answered correctly and any associated disputes or discrepancies have been addressed. No protests are accepted after the teams leave the studio. 


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