One of the more frequent questions we are asked by teams, schools, and students is how to order a buzzer system. We strongly recommend having a buzzer system not only because it makes practice more fun and better resembles tournament play, but also because bringing a buzzer system to tournaments always results in a discount. In many instances, teams can pay off the cost of their buzzer system within 2-3 years of competing in NHBB and other quiz bowl tournaments.

While there are many buzzer systems on the market available for purchase, The National History Bee and Bowl always recommends the 10 person Tabletop Officiator Model available from This system, which costs $265 (this is for the complete system but does not include a carrying case), has many advantages including its price, durability, ease of setup, reliable servicing, and lack of many parts. Or, you can order a complete system with a carrying bag for $280. NHBB itself owns upwards of 100 10 person Tabletop Officiator Models, and we take them all over the world in our suitcases. While it doesn’t resemble a classic quiz show buzzer as much as the hand held buttons option, the hand held option takes much longer to set up and needs more frequent repairs. Also, be sure to order the 10 person model! Any system that does not include at least 8 separate functioning buzzers will not be considered eligible for discounts, and does not accurately simulate tournament play during practice. Please note, however, that NHBB does accept buzzers made by other manufacturers for discounts as long as they have 8 separate functioning buzzers and it can be clearly distinguished as to which student rang in (and not just which team).