quizbowl team logo

Quizbowl at the University of Washington

quizbowl team logo
quizbowl team logo

Quizbowl at UW

Practice for Winter Quarter is at 7:00 PM on Monday (Savery 168) and Thursday (Savery 168) starting Thursday, January 4. Join our Discord for updates.

Quizbowl at UW is an intercollegiate team as well as a student club, but practices are open to everyone. You do not have to attend every practice to be on the team, nor do you have to stay for the whole time. During a typical practice, we read 1-2 packets of academic questions in preparation for upcoming competitions. After that, we read pop culture questions and/or socialize. We also host presentations and social events on a less regular schedule. A brief explanation of quizbowl can be found below.

Contact the webmaster Anirudh (aniruk (at) uw.edu) or any of the other officers (see Meet the Officers) for more information. All of us can refer you to our Discord server, where we host online practices and post important announcements. You can also find a link to the Discord on the UW Student Hub.

Click to Jump to Page Section: Upcoming Events | Quick Links | What Is Quizbowl? | FAQ

Upcoming Events

What Is Quizbowl?

Quizbowl is a team activity where students from different universities compete against each other on questions spanning a wide range of academic and pop culture disciplines. Questions are broken up into two general types: tossups and bonuses. On tossups, teams attempt to buzz in before the other team with the correct answer, demonstrating that they have superior knowledge of a subject because the clues go from hard to easy. When a team correctly answers a tossup, they are given a bonus where they can work together to answer questions on a related subject. The winner of the round is the team with the most points after 20 tossups.

Consult this article for a more detailed explanation.

It's a great way to reward your intellectual curiosity, learn new things, or to just have fun hanging out with interesting people.


Is quizbowl just Knowledge Bowl?

Not exactly. Knowledge Bowl and quizbowl share some similarities, but there are some major differences.

  1. Quizbowl questions are much longer. While a Knowledge Bowl question is usually just a sentence or two, quizbowl questions are typically long paragraphs. The point of this is to allow slower and more knowledgeable players more time to answer.
  2. Quizbowl is very particular about standardization. There are all sorts of intricate details about proper question writing and the rules that are meant to make the game more fair (for example, the number of questions on each academic subject stays about the same for every round). Consult this page if you want to know more.
  3. Knowledge Bowl is generally only played in the states of Colorado, Minnesota and Washington. Quizbowl is played in pretty much every state.
  4. A Knowledge Bowl match has three teams, while a quizbowl match has only two.

Is quizbowl just History Bowl?

History Bowl is very similar to quizbowl, so you should expect your skills to mostly carry over. However, quizbowl is less history-oriented, and it does not use as many different question formats.

What about Science Bowl? Orca Bowl? Other bowls?

Most other "Bowl" competitions are quite a bit different from quizbowl. Here are some differences you might notice:

  1. Quizbowl does not feature any multiple choice questions.
  2. Quizbowl rarely features computation, as quizbowl math questions are almost always conceptual.
  3. Quizbowl questions are longer, as they are designed to reward deeper knowledge about a subject rather than reaction time.
  4. Quizbowl asks about a much broader range of subjects: you can be asked about anything from pop music to quantum physics.
However, these activities all have a similar target audience. If you excelled in your chosen "Bowl" activity in HS, that same thirst for knowledge will help you succeed at quizbowl as well!

What kinds of things do they ask about in quizbowl?

Quizbowl asks about a diverse range of subjects, but the focus is on academic content. The largest quizbowl categories are:

The remaining question topics include but are not limited to: You can visit this page to learn more detailed information.

How do you get better at quizbowl?

The sheer amount of subjects that comes up in quizbowl can be intimidating, but it is definitely possible to improve! Every topic that you hear in a round of quizbowl is bound to come up again. So the best way to improve at quizbowl is to figure out what has come up in the past and learn about those subjects. For more detailed information, consult this section of the site.

Will quizbowl help me get on a game show like Jeopardy! or College Bowl?

While quizbowl and game shows have important differences, there is a definite pipeline from quizbowl to the game show world. Our club alone has four game show alumni, and a list of quizbowl players who have appeared on Jeopardy! can be found here. So quizbowl won't directly prepare you for a game show, but it gives you a solid place to start!

What is ACF / NAQT / IQBT / PACE?

Check out this page to find out!