National Championships

Past Results


Countdown to Nationals

Official Nationals Time

This will be the official time used for nationals.

Set your watches accordingly!

The National History Bee and Bowl is pleased to officially announce the date of its fourth high school National Championships on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday April 27, 2014 in Washington, DC and Arlington, VA, and that the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City, Arlington will once again be the official host hotel. The National History Bowl High School National Championships (i.e. the team event) will be held in their entirety except for the last two Varsity playoff rounds, and last JV playoff round on Saturday the 26th. The National History Bee High School National Championships will be held in their entirety on Sunday the 27th, together with the remaining History Bowl playoff matches.
Information on our Elementary Middle School National Championships for both the History Bee and History Bowl will be available at when available. Please email for more information.

Hotel Booking Information (repeated below as well)
To make reservations at the host hotel (i.e. the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA), please call Marriott Reservations at 800-228-9290  and say that you are calling for the National History Bee and Bowl block of rooms for the dates you are interested in booking for. Please make sure you specify that you are booking for the Crystal GATEWAY Marriott, and not the Crystal CITY Marriott (even though the Crystal Gateway Marriott is in the Crystal City complex…) For general questions regarding the hotel, you can call the Crystal Gateway Marriott directly at 703-920-3230.

Both the Bee and the Bowl will feature Varsity (open to all students, no age restrictions) and Junior Varsity (10th grade and under only) Divisions; teams qualify through finishing with a .500 or better record, either overall or in their division or by winning at least one playoff match at any of our projected 75-85 qualifying tournaments around the USA and abroad. Please note that middle schoolers are welcome to come, either if they have outright qualified, or as part of the team from the public high school they would be expected to attend (but not magnet schools, even if they have received an admission offer), but the specific National Championships for the Middle School Division (for both the Bee and Bowl) will be held on a different weekend.

Individuals qualify for the Bee through finishing in the top 1/2 of the draw or by advancing a round in the finals. These counts are inclusive of # of teams and students and teams and students that are tied. As we are again featuring three separate question sets, students and teams have up to three chances to qualify – there is no difference for qualifying purposes as to whether a team qualifies off of an A set, B set, or C set tournament. Nor do teams have to qualify at a tournament designated a State Championship – all Regional and State tournaments serve to qualify students and teams. If schools wish to qualify teams at more than one tournament, then all students must be different from one qualifying team to the next, with the exception of JV players who can help qualify a JV and a Varsity team separately at more than one tournament.
High school teams can only apply for a wild card bid in extremely extenuating circumstances, though we will entertain requests from teams to switch their Nationals bid(s) from Varsity to Junior Varsity and vice versa. For the complete wild card policy for both high school and middle school, click here.

Tournament Format
At high school nationals, all teams will be guaranteed at least eight rounds of preliminary matches this year; teams who finish in the top 3 out of their morning group of 6 teams (based first on their record, then points, then head to head) will be guaranteed at least ten rounds. All Junior Varsity morning rounds (five games in total), and most “consolation” Varsity afternoon rounds (three games in total) will be held at a a site of historic or cultural importance in Washington, DC. Some Varsity teams, and JV teams may play their consolation matches at the hotel, these will have 5 rounds. Past sites have included the Smithsonian museums, the International Spy Museum, the Newseum, Woodrow Wilson’s former house, National Museum of Crime and Punishment, historic mansions, and various embassies. Varsity morning matches, all Varsity and Junior Varsity upper bracket (i.e. contention) matches in the afternoon, and all playoff matches will be played at the host hotel.

This year, we will have a 2.5 hour lunch break, and guides chaperoning teams to and from sites, so as to efficiently handle the rebracketing that takes place during lunch, when we reorder teams based on their morning finishes.

For the Varsity division, the top 32 teams (based first on finish in their afternoon division, then by afternoon points – overall preliminary rounds do not matter except as tiebreaks, first by record, then points) will then qualify for the playoffs. For the Junior Varsity, the top 16 teams will qualify for the playoffs. In the playoffs, teams will be seeded based on results from the afternoon’s matches from 1-32 in the Varsity and 1-16 in the JV, and then we will hold single elimination matches over the course of the rounds to determine the eventual champions. For the 2014 National Championships, we will have the first three rounds of Varsity playoffs and the first three rounds of Junior Varsity playoffs on Saturday evening from 7:30-9:35. The last two rounds of the Varsity Division and the last round of the Junior Varsity Division will take place at the hotel on early Sunday afternoon – after the Bee preliminary rounds, but before the Bee playoff rounds.

Small Schools
We will award a small school Varsity and small school JV champion this year. Small schools however will not be in a separate draw. If one small school (defined as a non-magnet, non-selective public school with 1000 or fewer students in 9-12 or 800 in 10-12) reaches a level of the competition farther than any other (e.g. only one small school is found among the 32 Varsity playoff teams or if only one small school reaches the final) then that school will be the automatic small school champion. If no small school teams make the playoffs, then we will take the top two based on afternoon record, then points, then overall record, then overall points. If the top two small schools each finish at the same playoff round, then they will compete for the title. If more than two small school teams finish at the same level (say 3 teams make the round of 32, but none make the round of 16), then the two teams with the highest point total solely in the most recent round played will play for the title. If one finishes at a higher level than any other, but two (or more) finish at the next level down, then the top two of these based on points in most recent round played will automatically finish in 2nd place.

Schedule for Saturday and Sunday:
Note: What is currently listed here is the schedule from our 2013 National Championships. It is foreseen that the 2014 National Championships will run on a similar schedule. An actual schedule for the 2014 National Championships will be posted by the end of the 2013 calendar year.

Saturday, April 27 – Schedule for History Bowl
6:00am-12:00am               Student Lounge Open                                   Bin 1700
6:00am -12:00am              Tournament HQ & Stats Room Open       Roslyn I and II                  
6:00am-12:00am               Help Desk Open                                              Counter Outside Grand Ballroom
6:00am-12:00am               Staff Lounge Open for Staff                        Jefferson
6:00am – 10:00pm           Buzzer and Protest Room Open                    Lee       
6:00am-8:45am                 Breakfast                                                          Skyview Atrium
7:15am-7:45am                 Off site groups assemble                              Grand Ballroom, Salons
8:15am-8:30am                 On site (i.e. hotel) groups assemble         Suites, possibly other rooms
8:45am-9:25am                 Round 1
9:25am-10:00am               Round 2
10:00am-10:35am            Round 3
10:35am-11:10am            Round 4
11:00am-11:00pm            Souvenir Sales                                                   Jackson
11:10am-11:45am            Round 5

After the conclusion of the Morning Bowl Rounds, off-site teams will be escorted back to hotel during lunchtime. Teams will be requested to have lunch at specific restaurants to avoid lengthy wait times. After morning rounds conclude, teams will immediately know, based on order of finish, where to report for their afternoon rounds.

11:15am-1:45pm              Lunch                                                                               Skyview Atrium
12:30pm-1:15pm              Off site groups assemble                                             Grand Ballroom, Salons
1:45pm-2:00pm               On site (i.e. hotel) groups assemble                         Suites, possibly other rooms
2:15pm-2:50pm               Round 6
2:50pm-3:25pm               Round 7
3:25pm-4:00pm              Round 8
4:00pm-4:35pm              Round 9 (hotel games only)
4:35pm-5:15pm               Round 10 (hotel games only)

6:45pm                               Playoff brackets announced                                      Outside Grand Ballroom
7:30pm-11:00pm            Trophy presentations and Team Photos                Outside Grand Ballroom (or Skyview?)
7:30pm-8:10pm              Varsity Round of 32, JV Octofinals                         Suites, Grand Ballroom, salons, Madison
8:25pm-9:00pm              Varsity Octofinals, JV Quarterfinals                      Suites, Grand Ballroom, salons, Madison
9:15pm-9:45pm               Varsity Quarterfinals, JV Semifinals                     Suites, Grand Ballroom, salons, Madison

Sunday, April 28 – History Bee and History Bowl Championship Rounds 
All Bee prelim rounds will have 35 questions. Note that, as at the Regional and State Bees this year, the preliminary rounds at Nationals will NOT be themed (i.e. expect a mix of questions from any era and location in history in each round):

5:30am-11:00am               Baggage Drop Open for Receiving Bags                   Concierge
  Students in Bee must clear bedrooms prior to playing in the Bee!
6:00am-6:00pm                 Help Desk Open                                                               Counter Outside Grand Ballroom
6:00am -6:00pm                Tournament HQ & Stats Room Open                        Roslyn I and II
6:00am-6:00pm                 Souvenir Sales                                                                 Jackson
6:00am-6:00pm                 Staff Lounge Open for Staff                                          Jefferson
6:00am – 6:00pm              Buzzer and Protest Room Open                                  Lee
6:00am-5:00pm (later?)                Student Lounge Open                                    Bin 1700
6:00am-8:45am                 Breakfast                                                                          Skyview Atrium
7:00am-7:30am                 History Bee Staff Meeting                                           Grand Ballroom
7:30am-7:45am                 Players Assemble in Bee Rooms                                Suites, ballroom, salons
8:00am-8:25am                 Bee Round 1                                                                     Suites, ballroom, salons
8:45am-9:10am                 Bee Round 2                                                                     Suites, ballroom, salons
9:30am-9:55am                 Bee Round 3                                                                     Suites, ballroom, salons
10:15am-10:40am            Bee Round 4                                                                     Suites, ballroom, salons
11:00am-11:25am            Bee Round 5                                                                      Suites, ballroom, salons
11:15am-1:45pm              Lunch                                                                                   Skyview Atrium
11:45am-12:10pm            Bee Round 6                                                                       Suites, ballroom, salons
1:00pm-6:00pm                Buzzer Retrieval, Buzzer Room                                     Lee
1:00pm-1:30pm                JV History Bowl Championship match                     Grand Ballroom
1:00pm-1:30pm                Varsity Semifinals                                                           Salons
1:30pm-1:40pm                JV History Bowl Awards                                                Grand Ballroom
1:40pm                                 Bee Finalists Announced                                               Grand Ballroom
1:45-2:15pm                       Varsity History Bowl Championship                         Grand Ballroom
2:40-3:00pm                       Round 1 – History Bee Finals                                      Grand Ballroom, Salons, Madison
3:15-3:35pm                       Round 2 – History Bee Finals                                       Grand Ballroom, Salon DE, Salon FG
3:45-4:00pm                       JV Bee Championship Round                                       Grand Ballroom
4:05-4:25pm                       Varsity Bee Championships Round                             Grand Ballroom
4:25-4:40pm                       Bee Awards                                                                    Grand Ballroom
4:40                                        Conclusion of Tournament Events

Students and teams leaving by train, who are planning to stay through the conclusion of the Bee should book trains from Union Station no earlier than 5:45. Students and teams leaving by plane from Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport, and BWI Airport, who are planning to stay through the conclusion of the Bee, should book flights no earlier than 6:30, 7:00, and 7:30pm respectively.

Consolation Bee
We will also once again offer a Consolation Bee, with Varsity and JV Divisions for students coming to Nationals, but who didn’t qualify for the History Bee National Championships. All students in the Consolation Bee will play rounds 1-5 as preliminary rounds, Round 6 will be used to break ties for the top 3 spots only. The Consolation Bee will still cost $50 per student, not $85, and is typically open ONLY to students who did not qualify at a Regional or State Bee (in rare occasions, exceptions can be granted). Unless cleared with NHBB in advance, everyone in the Consolation Bee must have played at a Regional or State Bee.

Structure of Bee Final Rounds
The final rounds of the Bee will once again be held at the hotel this year. This will ensure that we have more time available for the final rounds, that we can take more students into them, and that everyone who is interested can watch. At least the top 32 Varsity, and the top 20 Junior Varsity students will make the final rounds (possibly more depending on field size and space availability). Ties for the final spot will be broken by sudden death tossups if need be.
It is presumed that the format will be similar to the 2013 final rounds, namely, students will first play a round of 30 questions (Finals Round 1), with the top 3 students in each Varsity room and top 4 students in each Junior Varsity room advancing to the 30 question long Finals Round 2. (edit 4/20)  If a Varsity student reaches 8 points or a JV student 7 points in Round 1; or if a Varsity or JV student reaches 11 points in Round 2, they will have automatically qualified and they stop playing. The top two students in each Finals Round 2 room then advance to the National Championship matches. These will be first to 12 points – between the remaining 4 Varsity and 2 JV students. Any changes to the format will be posted by early 2014.

All questions used at our National Championships will be provided by High School Academic Pyramid Questions (HSAPQ) and edited by HSAPQ in conjunction with The National History Bee and Bowl. Tossups in the Junior Varsity and Consolations divisions of the History Bee will be about one line shorter than the Varsity questions used in those divisions. Otherwise, there is no difference from one division to the next.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will be providing monetary prizes for the top teams and students. Once we are aware of the amounts, we will post it here. Other prizes, including the History Bowls and Bee Cups, plaques, book prizes, MVP awards, and possibly other in-kind prizes and scholarships may be awarded as well.

The official hotel for The 2013 National History Bee and Bowl National Championships is the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City, Arlington, VA. We have secured a rate of $132 per night plus tax for quad occupancy. This rate is valid from Thursday April 24 through (i.e. including) Saturday night April 26. We will try and work with teams who wish to extend their stay to also have this rate available on the extra nights, but cannot guarantee this. The hotel is connected by an underground walkway to a Metro station (i.e. the subway), which is about 3 minutes away. From the hotel to the center of DC it is only 3-4 stops. Between the hotel and the subway stop is an underground shopping mall with numerous food options for all price ranges. In contrast with last year, we will have access to the Grand Ballroom for matches on Sunday as well as on Friday and Saturday, and we are also working with the hotel so that teams can order meals in advance. Internet access is free in the lobby and the competition rooms; in the bedrooms it is extra, but between smart phones and complimentary internet in the lobby, this shouldn’t be a major concern.
After 5pm on Friday, free parking can be found in the Crystal City complex (though NOT at the hotel itself!) The hotel is also located only about half a mile from Reagan National Airport, and there is a free airport shuttle as well. We recommend you fly into Reagan National if you plan on flying. Teams who fly will not need to rent cars to get around. We have secured 400 bedrooms at the hotel; hopefully this will suffice; if not we can likely secure overflow space at the same rate at the nearby Crystal City Marriott across the street (note this is a different hotel from the Crystal Gateway, which is where the tournament is). As the tournament coincides with the Cherry Blossom festival, as the Crystal Gateway Marriott is the closest of all Crystal City hotels to the Metro, and as numerous NHBB events will take place there, we highly recommend you take advantage of the rate we have negotiated, which is very competitive for an upscale hotel in greater DC at this time of year.

To make reservations at the host hotel (i.e. the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA), please call Marriott Reservations at 800-228-9290  and say that you are calling for the National History Bee and Bowl block of rooms for the dates you are interested in booking for. Please make sure you specify that you are booking for the Crystal GATEWAY Marriott, and not the Crystal CITY Marriott (even though the Crystal Gateway Marriott is in the Crystal City complex…) For general questions regarding the hotel, you can call the Crystal Gateway Marriott directly at 703-920-3230.

The Base Fee for the 2014 National Championships is $555 for a team in the Bowl and $85 for a student in the Bee. Discounts are applied for having hosted a regional qualifying tournament, bringing a buzzer system, playing as a team of 1 or 2 students, and having an experienced reader (if needed – NHBB reserves the right to limit the number of reader discounts at any time. Additional information on discounts, including exact amounts for each discount will be available on the Nationals Registration page on this site. This will be accessible by November 2013.

This year, all History Bee and Bowl, US Geography Challenge, and Sports and Entertainment History Bee fees must be received by April 21 at:

NHBB Nationals Payments
PO Box 875
Tenafly, NJ 07670

Staff Wanted!
If you are interested in helping to staff the NHBB Nationals, please email We will try to honor reading requests as much as we can (i.e. whether you would prefer to read at an embassy, museum, at the hotel, etc.). Staff members are given a complimentary polo shirt and staff gift. We can reimburse travel expenses on a case by case basis (up to $250 per person in most cases, but this depends on our needs), and also help you find people to carpool with if applicable. Accommodations for staff are provided on Friday and Saturday night, along with a food allowance.
If you have suggestions or comments, please let us know. If it’s a question that is specific to your team or does not relate to NHBB Nationals, email us. We’re working hard to bring you a great National Championships. Let us know your thoughts and we’ll take them into consideration. Good luck in qualifying and hope to see you and your team at The National History Bee and Bowl National Championships in April!