National Championships

Past Results


Countdown to Nationals

Official Nationals Time

The official time used for nationals will be set to this clock according to Eastern Daylight Time.

Set your watches accordingly upon your arrival at Nationals!

The National History Bee and Bowl is pleased to officially announce the date of its fifth high school National Championships on Thursday-Sunday April 23-26, 2015 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 three Varsity playoff rounds, and last two JV playoff rounds on Saturday the 25th. The National History Bee High School National Championships will be held in their entirety on Sunday the 26th, together with the remaining History Bowl playoff matches.
Details on our Elementary and Middle School National Championships  (which will be held in Louisville, KY on Memorial Day weekend, 2015) 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 100-115 qualifying tournaments around the USA. 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. Most Junior Varsity morning rounds (five games in total), and most Consolation or “Lower Bracket” Varsity afternoon rounds (three games in total) will be held at a a site of historic or cultural importance in or near 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. As in past years, if teams specifically wish to be guaranteed to play at a site (if they are Junior Varsity, or end up in the Varsity Lower Bracket), or by contrast, if teams specifically wish to be guaranteed to play all of their games at the hotel, NHBB will almost certainly be able to honor these requests (though do check with us to be sure).

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 32 teams will also 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. For the Junior Varsity, we will hold single elimination matches over the course of 5 rounds to determine the eventual champions. Teams will be ranked first by record, then point total for the afternoon.
Beginning in 2015, Varsity teams who make the Nationals playoffs will be placed in a bracket of 4 teams. These will be seeded 1-32. The winner of each bracket will advance to the 8 team single elimination playoffs on Sunday. Bracket winners will be determined by record, then total points. If and only if there is a tie for total points, teams will then play a round of 5 power-marked sudden death questions, followed by additional sudden death questions as needed to determine the bracket champion.
For the 2015 National Championships, we will have the first three rounds of Junior Varsity playoffs and the bracketed rounds of the Varsity playoffs on Saturday evening from 7:30-9:45. The last two rounds of the Junior Varsity Division and the last three rounds of the 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 once again award a small school Varsity and small school JV National 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 in a separate match 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 a match 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: This is the confirmed schedule for Saturday and Sunday at the 2015 National Championships. A confirmed schedule for Thursday and Friday will be posted by the end of 2014.

Saturday, April 25 – Schedule for History Bowl

Time Event Location
6:00am-12:00am Help Desk Open Counter Outside Grand Ballroom
6:00am-8:00am Breakfast
7:00am – 10:00pm Buzzer and Protest Room Open Lee
7:15am-7:45am Off site groups assemble Meeting rooms
8:15am-8:30am On site (i.e. hotel) groups assemble Control 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
11:10am-11:45am Round 5
11:30am-2:30pm Souvenir Sales Foyer

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.

Time Event Location
11:30am-1:45pm Lunch
12:30pm-1:15pm Off site groups assemble Meeting rooms
1:45pm-1:50pm On site (i.e. hotel) groups assemble Suites, possibly other rooms
2:00pm-2:40pm Round 6
2:40pm-3:15pm Round 7
3:15pm-3:50pm Round 8
3:50pm-4:25pm Round 9 (hotel games only)
4:25pm-5:00pm Round 10 (hotel games only)
4:45pm-10:00pm Souvenir Sales Foyer
6:45pm Playoff brackets announced Grand Ballroom
6:55pm Playoff Staff Meeting Grand Ballroom
7:30pm-10:00pm Trophy presentations and Team Photos Skyview Atrium
7:30pm-8:10pm JV Round of 32, Varsity Bracket Match 1 Suites, Ballrooms, Meeting rooms
8:25pm-9:00pm JV Octofinals, Varsity Bracket Match 2 Suites, Ballrooms, Meeting rooms
9:15pm-9:45pm JV Quarterfinals, Varsity Bracket Match 3 Suites, Ballrooms, Meeting rooms
9:00pm-11:00pm Staff Reception 1738 (Capitol Tower)

Sunday, April 26 – 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):

Time Event Location
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-7:30am Breakfast
6:00am-6:00pm Help Desk Open Counter Outside Grand Ballroom
6:40am Bee Staff Meeting Grand Ballroom
7:00am-4:00pm Souvenir Sales Foyer
7:00am–6:00pm Buzzer and Protest Room Open Lee
7:25am-7:40am Players Assemble in Bee Rooms Suites, Ballrooms, Meeting rooms
7:50am-8:20am Bee Round 1 Suites, Ballrooms, Meeting rooms
8:30am-9:00am Bee Round 2 Suites, Ballrooms, Meeting rooms
9:10am-9:40am Bee Round 3 Suites, Ballrooms, Meeting rooms
9:50am-10:20am Bee Round 4 Suites, Ballrooms, Meeting rooms
10:30am-11:00am Bee Round 5 Suites, Ballrooms, Meeting rooms
11:10am-11:40am Bee Round 6 (after which, lunch takes place) Suites, Ballrooms, Meeting rooms
12:45pm-6:00pm Buzzer Retrieval, Buzzer Room Lee
12:40pm-1:15pm JV Bowl Semis, Varsity Bowl Quarters Ballrooms
1:25pm-2:00pm JV Bowl Championship, Varsity Bowl Semis Ballrooms
2:00pm-2:10pm JV History Bowl Awards Grand Ballroom
2:10pm Bee Finalists Announced (& Tiebreaks) Grand Ballroom
2:20-2:55pm Varsity History Bowl Championship Grand Ballroom
2:55-3:05pm Varsity History Bowl Awards Grand Ballroom, Meeting rooms
3:15-3:40pm Round 1 – History Bee Finals Grand Ballroom, Meeting rooms
3:45-4:10pm Round 2 – History Bee Finals Grand Ballroom
4:15-4:30pm JV Bee Championship Round Grand Ballroom
4:35-4:55pm Varsity Bee Championships Round Grand Ballroom
5:00 Bee Awards, Conclusion of 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 6:00. 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 6:40, 7:15, and 7:45pm 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 $95, and is typically open only to students who did not qualify at a Regional or State Bee. At the discretion of NHBB, exemptions to this rule can be granted, but please ask us first.

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. The top 32 Varsity, and the top 32 Junior Varsity students will make the final rounds. Ties for the final spot will be broken by sudden death tossups if need be.
The format will be as follows, namely, students will be seeded by morning results into comparable groups of 8 students. They will first play a round of 35 questions (Finals Round 1), with the top 3 students in each Varsity room and top 2 students in each Junior Varsity room advancing to the 35 question long Finals Round 2.  If a Varsity student reaches 8 points or a JV student 11 points in Round 1, 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.

All questions used at our National Championships will be edited by the staff of The National History Bee and Bowl. Preliminary round tossups in the Junior Varsity and Consolations divisions of the History Bee (but not the playoff rounds) 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.

Our sponsors will be providing monetary prizes for the top teams and students. A list of prizes will be available in early 2015. Other prizes, including the History Bowls and Bee Cups, plaques, book prizes, and MVP awards, may be awarded as well.

The official hotel for The 2015 National History Bee and Bowl National Championships is the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City, Arlington, VA. We have secured a rate of $137 per night plus tax for quad occupancy. This rate is valid from Thursday April 23 through (i.e. including) Saturday night April 25. 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. 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.

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 2015 National Championships is $575 for a team in the Bowl and $95 for a student in the Bee. The National Championships of the US History Bee and the US Geography Olympiad will likewise each cost $95. Discounts are applied for having hosted a regional qualifying tournament, bringing a buzzer system, playing as a team of 1 or 2 students (teams of 1 cost $190; teams of 2 cost $380), 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 2014.

This year, all National History Bee and Bowl, US History Bee, US Geography Olympiad, 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 $300 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!