Houghton Mifflin HarcourtHistory Channel

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The National History Bee and Bowl is pleased to announce that Jason Russell, of Chattanooga, TN, has been hired as NHBB’s new full-time Director of Outreach. Jason brings thirty years of involvement in academic competition to his new position, which will allow NHBB to more effectively expand and develop its  [ Read More ]

Beginning with NHBB Nationals 2015-16, some NHBB tossups began to appear with a pre-tossup notice of “Description acceptable.” While the notice only began to appear at Nationals in April 2016, tossups that functioned in a similar manner have been part of NHBB and general quizbowl for many years. As head  [ Read More ]

The National History Bee and Bowl’s seventh season is off and running! As of November 21, twelve tournaments have taken place throughout the USA, with hundreds of students and teams having had a chance to compete on our C Set of questions. Highlights have included a stunning 620 point single  [ Read More ]

In this lesson, we begin discussing what makes a clue good or bad. This lesson can only serve to start the discussion; it takes an immense amount of experience and writing practice to internalize this lesson. If you’ve only played quizbowl for a year or so, you will struggle with  [ Read More ]

The goal of a tossup is to provide as many helpful clues as possible; the easiest way to make room for more clues is by cutting down on excessive wording that isn’t providing clues! In this lesson, we discuss how wording can be condensed, using two example tossups that were  [ Read More ]

The following is a guide to how NHBB writes its cultural history questions. It’s presented to NHBB writers as a means of explaining the job, and is presented to players more for “how to prepare for NHBB competition” purposes than any sort of real writing lesson. Somewhere between 15 and  [ Read More ]

This lesson discusses what it means for a tossup to be pyramidal and dissects an example tossup.   The word pyramidal is used to invoke the mental image of a pyramid to represent the number of people who can buzz in during the tossup. The lead-in is compared to the  [ Read More ]

Quizbowl questions are meant to be both playable and educational; a player should be able to decide whether to buzz during the tossup and able to learn from the clues presented in the tossup afterwards. Therefore, we don’t want a tossup to just string together a random collection of facts;  [ Read More ]

This beginning lesson introduces how tossups are structured and explains some basic quizbowl terminology used in the later lessons on question writing. It’s a great general introduction to the game of quizbowl, not just for beginning writers!   A tossup question is meant to determine which player knows the most  [ Read More ]

By Brad Fischer, NHBB, Director of Question Production Writing questions serves as an excellent way to improve as a player, as a writer in general, and as a scholar. It exercises all the mental muscles involved in scholarship, especially some that don’t get used in other forms of quizbowl study.  [ Read More ]