Quiz Bowl is a competitive activity in which two opposing four-person teams score points by buzzing in first and correctly answering “toss-up” questions. A correct toss-up answer earns that team a chance to earn additional points through a three-part bonus question. Only the first member of the team to buzz may answer the toss-up; the team may consult on bonus questions. In most high school tournaments, players lose points for an incorrect answer (if they buzz in before the question is over) but gain extra points for providing a correct answer early enough in the question. Tournaments champions are determined by their win-loss record—points are not accumulated from round to round. Questions include topics from academic curricula, current events, and popular culture. In Minnesota, Quiz Bowl is contested primarily by high school teams in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Top teams have the opportunity to advance to national tournaments.
Knowledge Bowl begins with a written round that includes every team in the meet. Teams are then seeded into oral rounds based on their scores on the written section. Each oral round has three teams of four persons each, who then compete to buzz in first and answer the questions correctly. Teams are allowed fifteen seconds to consult on their answers. Teams are re-seeded after each round (three to five, depending on the tournament). Teams place based on total points earned during the meet.
Teams typically participate in three regular season meets. Qualifying teams advance to sub-regional, regional, and state meets. There are also invitational Knowledge Bowl meets throughout the season.