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 his streak of 19 wins remains the fourth-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 grown into International Academic Competitions, an entire network of competitions across all academic subjects, which operates in over 30 countries around the world. Within the USA, IAC has expanded to encompass tournaments in over 20 countries (through our International division, or IHBB), an elementary and middle school division, the US Geography Championships, the US History Bee, the National Political Science Bee, the National Science Bee, among other competitions. IAC also has the largest full-time staff (8 full-time staff plus dozens of writers, directors, tournament staff, and support staff) 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 IAC, and good luck at all your tournaments!