The National History Bee is a tournament with two distinct stages, the Regional & State History Bees, and the National Championships. Please note that you do NOT have to compete in a “Regional” Bee before competing in a “State” Bee, and that you can qualify for the National Championships at any Regional Bee, as well as at any of the State Bees. The “State” Bee designation is simply used so that in states with more than one tournament, we can have a designated State Champion.
The two stages are described in detail below.
Regional & State History Bees
Regional & State History Bees will be held on Saturdays throughout the USA this academic year (a few tournaments may be held on other days, if necessary, but this will be a rare occurrence). They are held at the same site and on the same date as the Regional & State History Bowls, but at different times during the day, so that students can compete in both. Some states will not have a competition, other states will have more than one Bee. There are no geographical restrictions in participating – students from one state can play in a different state. The only restriction is that all students may only play each of our 3 question sets once, so check to see what set each tournament is using before you register.
The Regional & State History Bees consist of two parts, the preliminary rounds and the playoffs. Both are held on the same day and at the same place as all of the Regional & State History Bowls to make it more convenient for everyone. The preliminary rounds of the Bee are typically held after Round 3 of the Bowl (usually around 11am). The Finals are held in the afternoon after the final preliminary round of the Bowl but before the Bowl playoffs (usually around 3-4pm).
There will be a separate Junior Varsity division for 10th graders and younger. If turnout is sufficient (i.e. at least 5 such students), these students will play solely amongst themselves. If turnout is insufficient, they will play in with the other students, but the top two ranking 9th and 10th grade students will still face each other in a head to head final match.
In the preliminary rounds of the Regional and State Bees, students will be grouped into groups of 4-8 students. Each student will play three rounds of 30 questions each (see the practice questions for examples). Each round will have a mix of all eras, places, and types of history- i.e. the rounds do not have themes. Students are then ranked in order to the number of points they amassed over the three rounds combined. Once a student gets 8 points in a round, they are finished for that round. Students earn 1 point per correct answer, but lose a point if they are the third student to answer incorrectly before the end of the question (as this kills the question for the other students). Students who obtain 8 points during the round earn bonus points based on how early in the round they reached 8 points. All other students obtain the same number of points as to how many questions they answered correctly, factoring in any negative points as well. See the Official Rules tab on the left for a complete description of competition rules.
The top 2-10 cumulative scorers in both the Varsity and Junior Varsity levels from the three preliminary rounds advance to the Regional or State Bee Final which will be held at the end of the preliminary rounds of the Regional or State History Bowl. How many students advance will be determined by the size of the field. Ties for the final spot in the finals will be broken by sudden death questions.
In the Bee Final, there are usually either 1, 2, or 3 stages, depending on whether 2, 5, or 10 students respectively have made the Final. If we begin with 10 students, then the first break will occur when 5 of the 10 players have reached three points. The scores for the five remaining students will all then reset to zero, and the second break will occur when 2 of the 5 players have reached four points. Finally, the scores will reset to zero again and the last two players will duke it out. The first to six correct will be the Regional or State Bee Champion. If we only take 2 or 5 students to the Final of a division, then that division (i.e. Varsity or JV) will contain just the second and third (if we take 5) or just the third stage (if we take 2) as described above.
Note: At some larger tournaments, we may take up to 32 students into the playoff rounds. These students may then play a round of 25 questions, with the top 20-50% of students advancing. Then, a second round of 25 questions may be played with further students being eliminated before the grand final is conducted.
Students who win state tournaments who are not from that state are designated “State Tournament Champion” while the “State Champion” designation then goes to the next highest ranking student who was from the state where the tournament was held. In some states, the “State Champion” designation may be applied at NHBB’s discretion after the completion of all of the Regional tournaments within those states.
The National Championships of The National History Bee – High School Division
Individuals qualify for the National Championships of The National History Bee – High School Division through finishing in the top 1/2 of the draw in their division during the preliminary rounds of any Regional or State Bee, or by advancing a stage in the finals. These counts are inclusive of # of teams (i.e if there are 21 students in the draw, then 11 qualify) and students that are tied – even if ties are broken by sudden death to determine advancement to the Regional or State Bee Finals. As we are again featuring three separate question sets, students have up to three chances to qualify – there is no difference for qualifying purposes as to whether a student qualifies off of an A set, B set, or C set tournament.
Students who competed in the Varsity Division at the Regional or State Bee who are in 10th grade and younger, must however, compete in the Junior Varsity Division in the National Championships of The National History Bee (though they can still compete on Varsity teams if they choose in the National Championships of The National History Bowl).
The National Championships of The National History Bee will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA. on Sunday, April 27, 2014. Click on the National Championships tab for full details, including format and times of the competition, costs, and other information.