Our Story
The National History Bee and Bowl were founded in 2010 by David Madden, who serves as Executive Director. While in high school, David participated in many all-subject quiz bowl tournaments which served as a gateway to explore many new fields of study, and to reinforce what he had learned in his classes in school. In 2005, David then put much of what he had learned while studying for quiz bowl to further use by appearing on the television quiz show Jeopardy!, where, as of 2014, his streak of 19 wins remains the third-longest in the show’s history.
After appearing on Jeopardy!, David started volunteering as a reader at quiz bowl tournaments, while in 2009, he then started taking coursework to become a history teacher. These experiences led him then to organize a history quiz tournament known as the Tri-State History Bowl at his alma mater of Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, NJ on May 22, 2010. Over 130 students on 34 teams attended that event, and less than two weeks later, David then put his plans to become a history teacher (in the usual sense, at least) on hold, and officially established The National History Bee and Bowl. The first official NHBB tournament was held at White Plains High School in White Plains, NY in November 2010. A total of 32 regional tournaments ran during the 2010-2011 school year, while 98 teams attended the inaugural National Championships in April 2011.
Since then, NHBB has expanded to encompass tournaments in over 20 countries (through our International division, or IHBB), an elementary and middle school division, the US Geography Olympiad, the US History Bee, and the International History Olympiad. NHBB also has the largest full-time staff (6 staffers plus 1 full time writer as of January 2015) of any academic quiz organization in the country. Our tournaments continue to grow and develop with your support – ultimately, we seek to give every student around the USA and abroad the chance to compete. Thanks for your interest in NHBB, and good luck at all your tournaments!