Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Please click here for our primary site for students in grade 8 and younger, including elementary school students!

Please click here for the list of Middle School History Bowl Regional Tournament Sites for 2018-2019!

Competing in the Junior Varsity Division of the National History Bee & Bowl: Information for Students in 8th Grade & Younger

Students in 8th grade and younger who are up for the challenge are encouraged to compete in the Junior Varsity Division of the National History Bee and the National History Bowl. Please note the following when deciding whether to compete at this level:

  • The Junior Varsity Division includes students in 9th and 10th grade; younger students will be grouped together and compete against them.
  • The questions are somewhat more challenging; the Junior Varsity Division uses the same questions as the Varsity Division. You can compare difficulty in the questions by seeing past JV Division questions here and past Middle School & Elementary Division questions here.
  • As of the 2018-2019 academic year, the rules of competition in the JV Division and the Middle School and Elementary School Divisions are identical (although the number of questions per round may vary somewhat).
  • Students can compete at up to 3 JV Division regional tournaments over the course of the year, and none of these require prior qualifying. These can thus provide good practice for students whose primary focus is the Middle School or Elementary School Divisions of the National History Bee.
  • Students as young as 5th grade have won a JV Regional History Bee and students as young as 4th grade have qualified for JV Nationals by finishing in the top 50% of the JV field where they were competing.
  • As of the 2018-2019 school year, if a student in 8th grade or younger qualifies for the National Championships in the JV National History Bee, they can also compete at Nationals in the Middle School or Elementary School Division (depending on their grade). It is typically far harder to qualify for Middle School or Elementary School Nationals this way compared to competing in those age divisions at the Regional Finals.
  • Middle School students are also welcome to compete on National History Bowl teams with 9th and 10th graders from the same school in all cases, and for public schools that are non-magnet high schools (or otherwise selective, even if done on a lottery system), students at feeder middle schools can play on the teams of the high schools that they typically feed into.

Competing in the Middle School Division – National History Bowl
Click here for the list of Middle School History Bowl Regional Tournament Sites for 2018-2019!

The National History Bowl offers a competition for teams at the middle school level in the form of the Middle School History Bowl. Some tournaments in the 2018-2019 academic year will have a dedicated middle school division. Note though that at all tournaments middle schoolers are always welcome to compete in the Junior Varsity Division. The Middle School History Bowl National Championships now requires prior qualifying!
This can be done in one of three ways:
1. Have at least one competing student on the History Bowl Nationals team also qualify for and compete at the National Championships of the Middle School or Elementary School National History Bee.
2. Defeat any high school JV team in a match at a regional or state tournament where the middle school team plays in the JV division.
3. Finish 2-2 or 3-3 (if one has a bye or prelims are 6 rounds) or better, or win a playoff game at any Middle School History Bowl Regional Tournament (click here for the list of these).

Even at tournaments offering a dedicated middle school division, middle school teams have the option to compete in the JV Division if they want a shot at qualifying for the JV National Championships in the National History Bowl.

As of 2018-2019, there is no separate Elementary School Division in the National History Bowl, though this will likely be started in subsequent years. Elementary School teams are permitted to compete in the National History Bowl’s Middle School Division, and Elementary School students are also welcome to compete on National History Bowl teams with 6th-8th graders from the same school in all cases. Additionally at public schools that are non-magnet middle schools (or otherwise selective, even if done on a lottery system), students at feeder elementary schools can play on the teams of the middle schools that they typically feed into. Note that this is not permitted in the US Academic Bowl, however, as that has a separate Elementary Division.

For further questions or more information on the Middle School History Bowl, please email director@historybowl.com

Competing in the Middle School & Elementary School Divisions – National History Bee

The National History Bee offers separate Divisions for Middle School and Elementary School students – information on these younger age divisions can be found here: www.nationalhistorybee.com
The Middle School and Elementary School Divisions feature an optional intramural bee and the Online Regional Qualifying Exam (both are free of charge) before approximately 40 separate Regional History Bee Finals tournaments take place. The Regional Finals of the History Bee tournaments in the Elementary and Middle School Division are held on different days and at different sites from the Varsity and Junior Varsity level History Bees and Bowls.

Middle school students and teams are always welcome to participate in the Junior Varsity Division of the National History Bee and Bowl. This can provide an additional challenge, additional competition experience, and preparation for students who plan to compete when they are older. Middle school students in the Junior Varsity Division will compete against 9th and 10th graders on harder questions than what they would encounter in the Middle School Division of the Bee and Bowl. Teams that compete in the National History Bowl at the Junior Varsity level will be able to qualify for both the Middle School National Championships and the Junior Varsity National Championships by having a winning record or winning a playoff round.

For more information on how to qualify for the Junior Varsity National History Bee and Bowl National Championships, click here.

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