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Rules Clarifications

Regional Quiz Bowl Rules 2017 - 2018

Rules Clarifications

Regional Quiz Bowl Rules 2020 - 2021

  • The Zoom Platform (and namely four reserved Professional Zoom rooms) is the default platform for Regional Quiz Bowl Competition. Each match will be assigned to one of the league’s rooms in advance. Unless the coaches agree in advance, the coach of the team listed on the right side of each matchup is responsible for logging into the Zoom website with the correct account credentials, starting the meeting from inside the account, and admitting students and other coaches to the room. This coach is also responsible for keeping the official score.
  • The following Zoom-specific rules exist for participants who either are playing or may be substituted into the game: Video is to be used at all times. The player should be fully visible in the video frame and the video framed properly so the player’s entire face (and ideally hands as well) are visible at all times. Players are to format their Zoom names in the following format: First_Name Last_Name School_Abbreviation. Examples include “John Smith HHS” and “Lilly Jones VSN.” Coaches should title their names as such: Title Last_Name School Abbreviation Role. Examples include “Mr. Meyers NHS Coach” or “Mr. Lipsky RQB Director.” Only those with names formatted as such should be admitted to the Zoom Room.
  • Zoom Meeting Links will be made available by Noon on competition days and will be shared earlier when possible. In general Zoom Meeting IDs will be one of the following: “233 233 0111” “233 233 0222” “233 233 0333” “233 233 0444” … these respectively refer to our RQB Competitions Rooms 1, 2, 3, and 4. Coaches will receive password-protected question packets by game time, and will receive the password under separate cover.
  • Official score sheets and score submission forms will also be provided. The Scorekeeper should announce the score after each round and attempt to resolve any discrepencies. The Scorekeeper should announce the final score and winner at the end of the game. Any objections to the score should be made immediately. Whether or not there are objections, the winning coach is to submit the score via the score submission form within a half-hour of the conclusion of the game. Failure to submit a score may result in a double-forfeit.
  • All participants should check their technical setup in advance. In general, technical difficulties will not be grounds for a redo or any other form of scoring alteration. A moderator, at his/her discretion, may grant a limited number of requests to repeat a question or portion of the question. This should not be allowed to interrupt the flow of the game by happening too often, however.
  • Buzzin.Live will be used as the official Buzzer System of Regional Quiz Bowl. The coach of the team listed on the left will be the moderator unless otherwise agreed to in advance by the two teams’ coaches. The moderator is responsible for setting up the BuzzIn.Live service by logging in, putting in the RQB hosting key, changing the setup to the correct one (Namely, allowing one buzz at a time, setting the time to 5 seconds, and choosing a buzzing sound clearly audible to all), attaining the six-digit code, and sharing it with all participants. Players should log in to BuzzIn.Live using the same name that they have used on Zoom, truncating their name if length limits require such. BuzzIn.Live should not be the primary method of keeping score, but at the moderator’s discretion, its score feature can be used as an unofficial backup.
  • Zoom and Buzzin.Live are the only websites, services, apps, and/or other resources that may be used by players during competition including the breaks between rounds. Any violation of this rule shall be considered serious and may subject a player and his/her team to sanctions up to and including elimination from further competition. All accusations of this nature will be adjudicated by the League President and/or his designee, and such decisions, once made, are final.
  • Students (Players) and their coaches (generally teachers) do NOT need to make any account on Zoom or BuzzIn.Live, and while they will use their real names for in-game identification purposes, no information will be sent to databases at Zoom or Buzzin.Live. As such, no personally-identifiable information will be collected and students’ privacy will be protected. Games may be videotaped by the league only. This video will be used by league officials (only) to settle disputes.
  • When a league official is present at a game, the league official automatically presides over that portion of the competition and may take precedence in any of the roles listed above, and may be assigned by the Board of Directors to take over as moderator, host, official score-keeper, etc. This assignment may last for any portion of the competition up to the entire match.
  • Except in cases of emergency, players may not communicate with anyone during the match except their teammates within the confines of Zoom. Players should not read or respond to text messages, emails, phone calls, etc. during the match. Players for whom an emergency situation arises may leave the match, but will not be permitted to return in that competition. (See the substitution rule for further details.)
  • As always, no collaboration is permitted during toss-up questions in Rounds 1 and 4. This includes spoken or text-based communication. Communication that does not convey substance of answers (e.g., raising a real or virtual hand to indicate knowing an answer) ARE permitted. During Bonus questions in Rounds 1 and 2 and the Lightning Round (3), full collaboration is required. It is recommended that this collaboration be oral and not text-based to fit in time constraints; teams should note that in nearly every case, it is totally fine for the other team to hear their collaboration as the other team is only able to respond if the collaborating team is wrong. The captain is encouraged but not required to say the word “Answer” after his/her final answer to distinguish answering from collaborating. The Moderator will make the final determination of whether an answer has been give or the captain is collaborating. If time expires on an answer, generally the last utterance of the captain should be considered the team’s answer. A captain is allowed to say “Defer to (name of teammate)” if desired, and as long as that teammate then begins to state an answer before time expires, that will be the team’s final answer. IMPORTANT: Rounds 2 and Round 3 allow the second team to respond to wrong answers after the first team has had its opportunity. It is NOT permitted for the second team to engage in text-based communication (or any typing at all) while the first team is still answering or in the period of time between the teams’ attempts. It is WAY too tempting to look up answers, and it is also impossible for the moderator and others to determine whether those who are typing are collaborating with teammates, researching answers, or taking notes. Therefore, the ONLY activity that is permitted during these time periods is note-taking by WRITING on actual paper. There is also no speaking permitted during this time, whether or not Zoom is muted.
  • Time constraints will remain as they usually are (with the exception that on a buzz, an answer must be audibly started within two seconds after the moderator recognizes a player). A bonus answer must be audibly stated within 5 seconds after the moderator finishes reading the question. The moderator is encouraged but not required to prompt for an answer after 4 seconds, which then must be started within one second. For lightning round answers to count, they must be started, by the moderator’s judgement and from the moderator’s perspective, prior to the 60-second time expiring. Any ties between time expiry and answer beginning should generally adjudged in favor of the answer’s having been started do time. Except in the case of patently unfair judgement, the decision of the moderator is final in this regard. Players should be aware that network latency may make it seem like they started their answer on time but their answer actually being late. Players should therefore not cut it close to the time limit to prevent this from occurring. If a player’s answer is not audible but was given, a moderator has the discretion to request the player to unmute and give the answer. This should be a one-off situation, and if it is abused or becomes repetitive (generally more than twice by the same player or three times by the same team in a game), the moderator should adjudge future such muted answers as incorrect. Players for whom background noise is not distracting and whose audio does not create a feedback loop are encouraged to remain unmuted during the competition. The host shall mute participants whose background audio is distracting. Headphones are recommended but not required.
  • Game dates and times are posted on the schedule. The schedule was made so that a Zoom room and Buzzin key will be available for each competition. An effort by all to follow the schedule should be made. In the event that a team needs to request a different time on the same date, the time will only be changed if the following conditions are met: The opponent must agree to the change with no pressure to do so, and the league must agree to the change, confirming that internet resources will be available. If either of these conditions are not met, the game stays as scheduled. Changing of game dates is more challenging. While the same criteria listed above are to be followed here as well, note that this request is far harder for the league to accommodate and the league very likely might have to decline such requests.
  • Coaches should call the RQB President with any conflicts that cannot be resolved. If the RQB President is unavailable, a detailed voice message should be left and then the competition should proceed. The RQB President will either return the call during the match, or make a ruling resolving the dispute after the fact. The RQB President can make use of game footage, players’ accounts, or any other source of information in making determinations and resolving disputes. When appropriate, the moderator should read a supplementary question that would be used only if it is determined it is needed. Decisions of the RQB President (or his designee) are final.
  • This substitution rule will preempt the usual substitution rule: Except when specifically agreed between the coaches and the league, the Varsity match shall be played first and the Junior Varsity Match second. A player is defined as anyone who is eligible to participate in the match, whether currently participating or not. Eligibility is defined as being enrolled in the school that is competing, or, with the advance approval of the league, a junior high school that feeds into the school that is participating. The coach or his/her designee shall select four players to participate in each round. The four players in rounds 2, 3, and 4 can either be all or some of the same players who participated in previous rounds or not at the coach’s discretion. No substitutions may be made during a round. The only exception to this is if a player becomes unable to continue playing during a round due to technical difficulties. If this occurs, the coach has the option to either play with fewer players (in which case the player experiencing technical difficulties can rejoin midround) or replace this player immediately (in which case the replaced player is no longer eligible for any further play that day). If a player must leave the Zoom call for any reason during Round 2 or Round 3, that player MAY NOT participate in or communicate during the Challenge questions portion of that round. In most seasons, the coach may select from a pool of 5 players. In this season, teams may expand this pool to all eligible players without limit. That said there is something to be said about having some degree of consistency from round to round; we leave this to the teams to decide. No player who participates in the Varsity competition on a given day is eligible to participate in the Junior Varsity competition that day. Coaches must ensure they leave themselves enough players for Junior Varsity when making substitution decisions during Varsity. Note that ordinarily, no player who plays in more than two Varsity competitions is eligible to participate on a Junior Varsity team in the Final Tournament. The full name of all players who participate in a match must appear on the score sheet.
  • As always, questions must remain secure at all times. Those who participate in competitions must take care not to speak to others about the questions or post the questions or post about the questions on any Internet, Intranet, Email or other site. If a player who has yet to participate in a competition inadvertently becomes aware of the questions for an upcoming match, he or she must remove himself or herself from eligibility and competition.
  • The league reserves the right to modify, add to, and/or delete from these rules at any point during the season. The league will make all such decisions in order to ensure fairness to all teams. All decisions regarding questions of interpretation of or amendment to these rules will be made by the League President and will not be subject to appeal.
  • Official Regional Quiz Bowl Rules 2020 - 2021

  • If any conflict exists between what is written below or above, the modified rules above shall prevail.
  • The team with higher final score in a game earns the win. The sum of the points earned in Round 2 and Round 3 is used to refine the win/loss record and determines team rank within each region.
  • In all rounds, the response time for non-math questions is 5 seconds.
  • Math questions will have a 15 second response time.
  • On tossup questions, it is highly recommended that players wait until the moderator recognizes them before answering. Though moderator recognition is not officially required, if a player answers a question for which a different player (on either team) had buzzed, his/her answer will be regarded as automatically incorrect. In Round 1, this will bar his/her team from answering that question. In Round 4, this will result in a 5 point deduction for his/her team (and end that question). In all events, the moderator should make every effort to stop reading immediately upon a player’s buzzing in.
  • The first answer given will be considered the team's answer to the question. If a player corrects himself or herself prior to completing an answer, the moderator can allow this correction if and only if the moderator determines the initial utterance did not constitute a complete answer on its own. See above regarding final answers during collaboration times.
  • Substitution Policy: Please note amendments above to this policy for 2020-2021. A Team may have up to five (5) players, but only four (4) players may participate during each round of a game. At the beginning of a round the team Coach will select the four players to participate in that round. Once a round has begun, no substitutions may be made. A player may only play in one (1) official game, either Varsity or JV, during a meet (on a given day).
  • In the event that a team is unable to field four players in a game, a team of three may still play an official game. If a player leaves midgame, a team can continue if it still has at least two players.
  • All players who are participating in a game must be in the room when the game begins and may not leave the room until the game is over. See above for modifications involving technical issues.
  • In the event that a "pick-up" team is created to play an unofficial game (such as when there are fewer than three team members present from a school), any player may participate, even if he/she has already played in another game, or is scheduled to play in a later game, on the same day. These unofficial games do not count in the standings. Creation of a "pick-up" team is encouraged if it enables a team to play when the expected opponent is unable to attend the meet.
  • When a team plays an unofficial game the following guidelines determine the reported score: The team that is present but has no opponent will be assigned a Win, and the rounds 2+3 points are recorded as the average of the rounds 2+3 points earned in the game by other teams in the region. The team that is absent, or does not field a roster of at least three students, is assigned a Loss, with no round 2+3 points.

Round 1 - Toss-up and Bonus Round

  • Fifteen toss-up questions, each worth 5 points. The team that correctly answers the toss-up question will be offered a bonus question worth an additional 5 points.
  • If the first team to buzz-in gives an incorrect answer, the toss-up will be offered to the other team. If the question had been interrupted while being read, the moderator will re-read the missed question in its entirety for the second team. If the question had been fully read, the moderator will not re-read the question before calling for an answer from the second team.
  • Missed bonus questions will not be offered to the other team.
  • There is no penalty for an incorrect answer.
  • The captain will give the team's response for the bonus questions.
  • Consultation is not permitted for the toss-up questions, but it is encouraged when answering the bonus questions.

Round 2 - Team Round

  • Questions are arranged into two groups, A and B. Each group consists of five questions.
  • The team with the lower score at the start of Round 2 will choose which set of questions they wish to answer. (Each set is a random collection of questions, with no difference in difficulty between the questions in each set.)
  • Each correctly answered question will earn 5 points.
  • Captain will respond for the team. Consultation is permitted during this round.
  • After the complete group of questions has been asked, questions that were not answered correctly will be re-read for the opposing team. Two points will be awarded for each correct answer.
  • A five-point bonus will be awarded if all five questions in a chosen group are answered correctly by the same team. (Note: In very rare instances that Team A misses all five questions and team B gets all 5 on the rebound, this bonus does apply to Team B as well).

Round 3 - 60 Second/Lightning Round

  • Three sets of 10 related questions will be offered to the teams. After hearing the topics, the team with the lower score (after two rounds of play) will have the opportunity to select the set of questions they wish to answer. The other team will select its lightning round topic from the two sets that remain.
  • The ten questions are to be answered in 60 seconds (or 150 seconds if the set has math questions). Timing begins when the reader has completed reading the prompt. Captain will respond for the team. Consultation is permitted during this round. 5 points will be awarded for each correct response.
  • A team may pass on a question, but may not return to a question once it has been passed.
  • Questions that are not answered correctly will be offered to the other team after the sixty seconds have elapsed. Two points will be earned for the correct answer to a "tossed-over" question. Six seconds will be allocated per tossed over question (15 seconds/math question).
  • A five-point bonus will be awarded if all ten questions in a group are answered correctly.
  • If a question has not been asked during the original time period, it will NOT be offered to the other team. If a question being asked is interrupted by the timer, only the portion of the question that was read to the first team will be read to the second team.

Round 4 - High-Stakes Round

  • Twenty toss-up questions. Each question is worth 5 points. If a question is incorrectly answered, there will be a 5-point penalty.
  • No consultation is permitted between team members during this round.
  • Incorrectly answered questions will NOT be offered to the opposing team.

Upon the Completion of the Game

  • Each team captain should sign the bottom of the score sheet to validate the final score of the game. Note that since this is a remote competition, signatures are not likely possible, and so the absence of objection will be seen as implied consent consent.
  • A Coach from one of the teams should be designated to return the question set and the signed score sheet to the Regional Director.
  • Regularly check the Regional Quiz Bowl web page during the season for updates and other information.
  • Scores will be posted on the web site. (In general, you can look for updated scores by the Sunday following a game.) If you notice any errors in the posted scores, contact us ASAP. (The best way is by e-mail to: regionalquizbowl@gmail.com).
  • A game may end in a tie.
  • Final Tournament Invitations go to the top Varsity team and JV team in each region. The remaining spots in the Tournament will be offered to the teams in rank order over all of the regions in RQB. There will be 16 teams in the Varsity Tournament and 16 teams in the JV Tournament.
  • A team consists of five (5) students, four players to start the game and one who may be put in as a substitute for a player during the game. [Some schools have abused this rule and brought more than one substitute to each game. PLEASE CONFINE YOUR TEAM TO 5 VARSITY AND 5 JUNIOR VARSITY PLAYERS/MEET.]
  • Substitutions during a game: Coaches may substitute ONE player during a game, as long as the substitution occurs between rounds (not during a round). Any player who will be playing in a game must be in the room during the entire game.
  • A student may not play on both Varsity and JV teams on the same day. Furthermore, coaches are asked to do their best to maintain the integrity of their teams. Switching a player between Varsity and JV to gain a tactical advantage over an opponent is not within the spirit of RQB. Coaches found to use this tactic will have their rosters frozen for the remainder of the season. However, this rule is suspended for an unofficial game, such as when an opposing team is not present or does not have a sufficient numbers of team members.
  • A team with only three players may compete in an official game. If a team has only one or two players present they cannot play an official game but they are encouraged to play an unofficial game.
  • All protests must be resolved BEFORE THE SCORE IS CERTIFIED. The RQB President will deal with protests, but coaches have the option to resolve a problem by substituting a different question for the one that is in doubt. Extra questions can be found at the end of each game packet, or an unused bonus question from Round 1 can be used as a substitute question if needed. Final arbitration can be done at a later time. The substitute question that is answered during the game could be used in the scoring if necessary.
  • Normally but not this year: Each team is expected to bring two 2-liter bottles of soda or juice and two packages of cookies or snack foods to each meet. Please don't forget to bring your refreshments - it is important for all of the participants. Hosts will provide cups and napkins.
  • Tie in Rank: In the event that two or more teams tie for final ranking during the regular season or during the Final Tournament, the following method will be used to break the tie: (1) the team with the highest single score in 'Round 2 & 3' points will be ranked higher (2) if this does not break the tie, the team with the lowest single score in 'Round 2 & 3' points will be ranked lower.
  • Time permitted for a math questions is 15 seconds.
  • 60 second/lightning round: Each set of ten questions begins with a prompt (e.g., Name the following items that begin with the letter H.) The clock starts when the reader finishes reading the prompt. As the first item is being read, the clock is going. [Each Toss over item is given 6 seconds.]
  • Rosters and final score certification: At the end of each game, the captains certify that the roster is correct, and also certify that the final score is correct. Once captains have signed to certify a score, only the RQB President can adjust the final score. On occasion team names are not entered correctly on the score sheet and scores are reversed; captains should be attentive to details and can catch this mistake before signing the score sheet.

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