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Fifth Annual Benton Freshman-Sophomore Scholar Bowl Tournament
January 29, 2000
Official Tournament Rules


In preliminary competition (Rounds 1-5), teams will attempt to win as many games as possible. Teams which advance to championship and consolation play will be based upon the number of victories of the teams. In the event that two teams who played each other have the same record, head-to-head competition will break the tie. In the event that three or more teams in a group have the same record, or if two teams who did not play each other have the same record, average points accrued will break the tie.

The championship bracket will consist of the top four teams. The consolation bracket will consist of the four next-best performing teams.

In preliminary competition, if a team wins by forfeit, they will be awarded a victory. A forfeit will occur if a team does not appear at the match room on time. In addition, if a team does not appear at the tournament by 9:15 a.m., they will forfeit Match 1. If they fail to appear by 9:45 a.m., all of that team's matches shall be recorded as forfeits. 


Questions will be in the format of Toss-Up and Bonus. Five toss-ups and five bonuses will be taken from the categories of Mathematics, Science, Humanities, and Social Studies for each match. Four toss-ups and four bonuses will be taken from the category of Miscellaneous for each match.

Generally, the answers listed in the moderator’s question manual are the only answers that will be accepted. However, at the discretion of the moderator, correct answers not listed in the guide may also be accepted. The moderator will be the judge in these matters. In the event of a protest, the head judge’s decision will be final. (See section 8, “Protests.”)

On mathematics questions and some science questions, answers should be given with appropriate units in order to be considered correct. An exception to this rule would be when the question includes the unit to be given. (e.g.--How many feet are in a mile?)

On nearly all questions, last names will be sufficient in answers. Exceptions to this rule are as follows: On literature questions where the answer is the name of a literary character, the character’s first name will be sufficient. On an answer where a last name needs to be clarified (e.g.: Smith, Roosevelt, Adams), the moderator may ask the player for a more specific answer. 


Toss-Up questions are worth ten (10) points and may be answered by individuals only without the help of other team members or cues from the audience. The first individual to press the buzzer within the 10-second time limit and be recognized by the moderator is eligible to answer the question. The player must begin the answer within 3 seconds of being recognized. If the answer is not begun within the 3 seconds, the answer will be considered incorrect. If the answer is correct, that team will be awarded 10 points.

Teams shall be given fifteen (15) seconds to work on computation questions.

If an individual responds before the question is finished being asked and gives an incorrect rresponse, the moderator will finish the question, so that the other team may have the entire 10-second time period to answer the question.

If an individual answers a toss-up question incorrectly after the question is finished being read, an individual from the other team may press the buzzer and give an answer, and that team will have the remainder of the 10 (or 15) seconds to do so, or 3 seconds, whichever is longer.

If players on a team confer or talk during the reading or answering of a toss-up question, that team will lose the opportunity to answer that toss-up question.

The beginning of the 10 (or 15) seconds will begin immediately after the moderator completes the reading of the question.

During regulation play, when an individual answers a toss-up question correctly, that team will get the first opportunity to answer a Bonus Question. 


Bonus questions are comprised of two (2) parts and are asked after a toss-up question has been correctly answered by a player. A maximum of fifteen (15) seconds will be allowed for teams to confer on a bonus question. However, twenty (20) seconds will be allowed for questions in which computation is necessary. Both teams can (and should) discuss the question during the allotted time. Each team should designate a team captain to represent the team in answering the bonus questions. Only the team that answered the toss-up question correctly may have the bonus question or parts of it repeated.

All talking and writing will stop when the time is complete or the team captain indicates his/her readiness to answer, whichever comes first. No passing of papers is allowed after the team captain has begun to answer the question. The team that correctly answered the toss-up question will have the first opportunity to answer the bonus question. If that team correctly answers any part of the bonus question, they will be awarded bonus points.

If that team answers at least one part incorrectly or does not answer the question, the other team will receive an opportunity to answer the question(s) that were not correctly answered by the first team.

If players continue to talk or write answers after the time has elapsed, or if players continue to pass papers after the captain has begun to answer, that team’s answers will not be accepted.

On a bonus question, 5 points are awarded for each correct answer, giving a possible 10 points for answering both parts correctly. 


Each game will consist of 24 toss-up questions. A 60-second half-time will be taken after the 12th toss-up/bonus question. The team that has the most points after the 24th toss-up/bonus will be the winner. In the event of a tie, a sudden death format will ensue. The first team to answer a toss-up question correctly will win the game. 


Each head coach will have the opportunity to take one 45-second time-out throughout the course of the game in order to confer with and/or substitute players. In addition, each head coach has the opportunity to make one 30-second substitution. During the substitutions, both coaches may make substitutions but may not confer with players. Coaches may also make substitutions and confer with players during half-time. 


The score will be displayed on a board throughout the course of the game. This score will be verified after every 6 questions. After the score is verified by the coaches and moderator at the end of the game, the displayed score becomes official and cannot be changed.

The head judge will record and display all official scores in a convenient place near Tournament Headquarters. 


Players may not protest.

Coaches may protest the moderator’s decision, match procedures, and/or the score. Coaches should try to do so before the next toss-up question if at all possible. Moderators should try to resolve all protests using input from both coaches. If a protest cannot be resolved, the head judge will be nearby and available to settle protests. The decision of the head judge is final.

If a coach wishes to protest the accuracy of a tournament question, the head judge MUST be consulted. This is due to the fact that all questions have been researched and verified. 


Where the I.H.S.A. rules and Official Rules for the Benton Freshman-Sophomore Tournament conflict, the Official Rules for the Benton Tournament will take precedent.

Teams are not required to participate in uniforms, but they must wear appropriate school attire. Competitors should not wear tank tops; cut-offs; short shorts; clothing that promotes drugs, alcohol, or obscenities; or hats in the building.

All teams must be accompanied by at least one adult coach or faculty member in order to compete.

A minimum of three players must play for a team at all times. A maximum of five players may play at one time. However, there is no maximum number of players that a team may bring to the tournament.

Any competitor is eligible for the Most Valuable Player award. It will be awarded to the player who correctly answers the most Toss-Up questions per match during the preliminary rounds (Rounds 1-5). Coaches should inform the Tournament Coordinator of all players on his/her team that answer an average of 4 or more toss-ups per match. All MVP information should be turned in before the beginning of Round 6.

Each match room will have an appointed moderator and scorekeeper. Student volunteers will be used to time and clear buzzers.

The team that wins that consolation bracket will be awarded the Consolation Title, and the team that wins the championship bracket will be awarded the First Place Trophy. In addition, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Place teams will be awarded trophies. The top four teams will also be awarded 5 ribbons as individual awards. The Most Valuable Player will be awarded a trophy. All awards will be presented following Round 7 in the high school Library. 

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