Knowledge Bowl

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Knowledge Bowl


Coordinator: Crystal Cree
Phone: 928.724.6669

Co-Coordinator: Terra Lamotte-Harvey


Registration Deadline: Friday, February 24, 2023


Book Listing 2023


Competition Objectives

  • Share and strengthen Native history and culture among the Tribal College students
  • Promote and showcase the talents of public speaking, articulation, and critical thinking among the participants.

Competition Rules

  1. Teams will consist of four (4) members, one (1) of which shall be designated as the team captain.
  2. Teams shall have one (1) coach and may have one (1) alternate team member.
  3. The team captain will be responsible for verifying the coin toss results, choosing the match categories, ensuring the timely arrival of the team for each match and raising any disputes during the competition.
  4. The alternate team member may replace another team member for any or all matches, but the alternate team member cannot be substituted once a match begins.
  5. All team members, including the alternate team member, shall be listed on the team’s registration roster. Changes to the roster can only be made in emergencies, documented in writing, and submitted within seven (7) days before the competition.
  6. A match may be played with less than a full team. Once the match begins, any vacant positions shall remain vacant throughout.
  7. The team coach is responsible for their team’s registration and is responsible to verify that their team’s registration has been received and processed (check conference website registration list). The coach is not required to attend their team’s matches; however, they shall prepare their team for competition. The team coach should ensure that the team arrives for competition on time, and critique the team and make suggestions for improvement. Coaches cannot compete and cannot raise any disputes during or after the match.
  8. Any team that arrives ten (10) minutes late for the scheduled start time of the match will have forfeited. Due to the number of forfeits in recent years: in his or her discretion, the Knowledge Bowl coordinator may allow late entrants to take the place of a forfeited team for a particular game, provided that: (a) the late entrant is a team of at least four (4) that is registered and verified); and (b) all members of the late entrant-team are present at least five (5) minutes prior to the scheduled start of the match.
  9. Once the match begins the doors to the competition’s room will be closed and no one will be allowed to enter until the match ends. Spectators in the competition’s room shall remain inside until the match ends.
  10. Only individuals associated or employed with the particular Tribal Colleges competing in the competition’s room will be permitted to observe the match. Registration nametags will be required.
  11. Team members and spectators shall conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. Spectators are not allowed to communicate in any way with the teams once a match begins. Any cheating will result in the disqualification of an entire team from the tournament.
  12. All student participants must sign an additional Acknowledgement of Knowledge Bowl Rules form upon entering the competition room.
  13. No note-taking, video, or photography is permitted by anyone in the competition’s room.
  14. At the beginning of the match, the quizmaster will toss a coin to determine which team will have control of the board to begin the match.
  15. Heads will go to the team on the quizmaster’s right; Tails to the team on the left.
  16. The captain of the team who wins the coin toss will choose the first source category (book, video, map, etc.) for the first question. After the quizmaster asks a question, the team who answers correctly gains one (1) point and is permitted to select the category for the next question. The last team to answer a question correctly always chooses the category of the next question. This process continues until the final question is read for each of the two rounds, respectively.
  17. A short administrative break will occur between round one (1) and round two (2).
  18. After a question is read by the quizmaster, either team may buzz in during the initial fifteen (15) seconds to give an answer or request a re-reading of the question. Questions will only be re-read once. After a team buzzes in, the team has ten (10) seconds to respond.
  19. The team requesting a re-read of a question is not exclusively permitted to answer; after a question is re-read, a ten (10) second period for discussion and answering begins again where either team may buzz in to answer.
  20. After the first reading of a question, if a team buzzes in and answers incorrectly, the other team may request a re-reading of the same question. The team who answered incorrectly will not be permitted to answer the same question again.
  21. If a team buzzes in prior to the complete reading of a question, that team may not request a re-reading of the question. If the team buzzing in prior to the complete reading answers the question incorrectly, the other team may request a re-reading of the same question.
  22. Only one team member can answer for a given question. If a team gives more than one answer at any time, then both or all answers will be considered incorrect if any of the provided answers are incorrect.
  23. If both teams answer the question incorrectly, the quizmaster will provide the correct answer and no point will be given to either team.
  24. Each correct answer is worth one (1) point. No point penalties exist for incorrect answers.
  25. Each match will include two (2) rounds lasting twenty (20) minutes each. If at the end of the second round, the teams are tied, then the match will continue into a third “sudden win” round. In this round, the first team to correctly answer a question will win the match. The quizmaster will select the category and the question for any third round.
  26. The team captain is the only person permitted to raise any dispute or concern about a question to the quizmaster. The dispute or concern shall be addressed as soon as the conflict arises. Once the next question is read, the dispute or concern can no longer be addressed.
  27. The first thirty-two (32) teams to register will be permitted to participate in the double-elimination Knowledge Bowl competition. Each Tribal College may only register one (1) team.
  28. Each session will consist of a maximum of 20 questions. If the 20 questions are exhausted before the twenty minute time limit, the match ends unless there is a tie.
  29. Each match will consist of an equal number of questions from each source on the source list. The order of categories for which questions will be asked in each round will be selected prior to the start of the match.
  30. Winner of each match will be determined by the accumulated points from the (2) rounds.
  31. The questions for each match will be selected from the official source list: (books, videos, maps, etc.). All questions will be fill in the blank. There will not be any multiple choice questions, including true/false questions.
  32. Disputes regarding questions and answers will be decided by the judge(s). The Quizmaster may confer with the designated Knowledge Bowl judge(s) to resolve a dispute. Time will be stopped during this interval and restarted following the decision of the judge(s). The decision of the judge(s) is final for the match in play. Teams are limited to 2 disputes per match.
  33. It is highly recommended that the team captain accompany their coach to the coaches meeting.


Competition Guidelines and Procedures

  1. The Knowledge Bowl coordinator is chosen by the host committee. The Knowledge Bowl coordinator will reserve an appropriately-sized Knowledge Bowl location depending on whether an audience will be permitted. If an audience will be permitted to attend then a large conference room will be required; if no audience will be permitted then the coordinator can reserve a classroom-sized room. Previous championship matches have been known to have an audience of at least 100 spectators from the two competition colleges.
  2. The Knowledge Bowl coordinator should recruit at least four (4) people (faculty, students, or other staff members) to assist with judging, timekeeping, quizmastering, and scorekeeping in each room that will hold a match.. In previous conferences, the coordinator has served as the quizmaster and/or a judge. As the conference continues to grow, the coordinator might need to recruit more people for assistance. Because of the high level of coordination required among the roles, the quizmaster, timekeeper, scorekeeper, and judge in each room need to practice working together prior to the official start of the matches. The scorekeeper might want to use a spreadsheet to track the score, and the quizmaster might want to use a spreadsheet to track the questions and categories. The quizmaster might wish to organize the questions to read by category, but should coordinate with the other quizmasters so that a question can be read in all four (4) matches in all four (4) rooms at the same time and then be retired for the remainder of the competition. This maximizes the use of a question so that less questions will be need to be created for the competition over all. The quizmasters collectively shall not allow a question to be read for the same team twice in the entirety of the competition.
  3. Historically, the knowledge bowl questions derive from the culture and traditions of the host TCUs, but questions may also come from the national tribal college community’s cultures and traditions. The host committee is responsible for selecting the questions and materials and may use a subcommittee to assure all host TCUs are involved in the process. The most difficult resources to pull questions from are art books and DVDs. No more than seven (7) resource materials shall be selected by a host committee. Selection and posting of the Knowledge Bowl reference materials on the host committee website shall be timely. The host committee shall provide the reference materials to the AIHEC Central Office at least six (6) months in advance. Upon receipt, the AIHEC Central Office will provide the reference materials to all the TCU librarians simultaneously.
  4. The Knowledge Bowl coordinator may use the proven rules from above and make adjustments as the need arises to adapt to the specific host location, participant-entry size, budget limitations, etc.
  5. The Knowledge Bowl coordinator will provide periodic updates to the host committee concerning registration numbers and the cost of the Knowledge Bowl supplies and buzzer technology.
  6. Suggested Checklist of Materials to bring to the conference: Large dry erase board for the official bracket; master spreadsheet of the registered students/teams; questions for at least sixty (60) rounds of questions (30 total matches multiplied by 2 rounds); and the buzzer equipment.
  7. The Knowledge Bowl coordinator will need to acquire buzzer equipment which is necessary to regulate the time limits and judge which team buzzed-in first.
  8. Have a firm registration deadline. Postmarked, faxed, emailed, etc. at least seven (7) days before the start of the conference. Make sure that a list of all registered teams are posted on the conference website seven days prior to the conference to avoid confusion regarding registration.
  9. Enter registered students into a master spreadsheet by college/team to ease the checking in process at the conference.
  10. The coordinator arrives at the conference at least a day before the competition to setup the four (4) rooms reserved for the Knowledge Bowl with at least two (2) tables for the two teams of competitors that face away from any audience, a podium for the Quizmaster, and a table for the scorekeeper, timekeeper, and judge. The coordinator assures that the buzzer equipment works correctly. The reserved rooms need to be adjacent to one another.
  11. The coordinator may also be the judge or the quizmaster for the competition, but cannot assume both positions. Teams responding to questions shall answer clearly and completely; partial answers will not be considered correct answers.
  12. The Knowledge Bowl is a double elimination competition. In previous conferences, the competition consisted of five (5) rounds (32 teams – down to 16 teams – down to 8 teams – down to 4 teams – down to 2 teams). This can be managed differently depending on the number of teams that register.
  13. The order of the starting bracket is established randomly.
  14. Once the conference begins, the students are responsible for their own scheduling of other conference competitions.
  15. Note-taking, video, and audio taping of the competition is not allowed. Only coordinator staff may take photographs during the competition.


Registration Deadline: Friday, February 24, 2023

To register for this event, please download the application and email Crystal Cree (

PDF Document: Download and REGISTER