What is Quiz Bowl?

Quiz Bowl is an event in which two teams compete in a high-stakes game of theatre smarts!  Teams  answer questions in rapid recall from all areas of theatre knowledge, including history, performance, design and more. Those who move on to the championship will have the opportunity to compete during ThesCon with an entertaining game show host and live audience!

If you have any questions, please email Alyssa Cooper at alyssa.cooper@gathespians.org

How can my troupe participate?

  • TEAM: Each troupe can register ONE TEAM to compete
  • PLAYERS: One team is comprised of FOUR PLAYERS and two alternate players
  • COACH: Team coach must be troupe director or an adult assigned/approved by director 
  • REGISTRATION: Submit your entry fee and application by the registration deadline.

Preliminary Games and Championship 

  • Preliminary games will be held IN PERSON at LeadCon 2 .
  • The top four teams will move on to the Quiz Bowl Championship, which will be held in front of a LIVE AUDIENCE during on Friday during ThesCon!
  • Games will consist of a series of questions, organized around the following topics:
    • Theatre History
    • Technical and Design
    • Musical Theatre
    • World Theatre Traditions
    • Wild Card Questions
    • Bonus Questions
  • Preliminary Games and Championship will be managed by a host, moderator, and scorekeepers.
  • Arrival times, COVID policies, and other real time information will be communicated by email to the Troupe Director. It is the responsibility of the Troupe Director to check their inbox, stay up to date with all updates, and ask questions in a timely manner.

Quiz Bowl Rules 


  • Each team must consist of four players from the same troupe, plus up to two alternate players.
  • No more than four people may be actively playing at one time. However, teams can play short, with a minimum of two players. 
  • Player substitutions may be made between games, at halftime, before overtime, or at any timeout.
  • Each troupe must have an official coach who acts in a recognized advisory role to their particular team. Team coach must be a troupe director or an adult assigned/approved by the director. 

Points System

  • Each correct category answer is worth 5 points. Correct wild card answers are worth 10 points, plus the opportunity to answer a bonus question. Correct bonus answers are worth 20 points. Incorrect answers will not incur a penalty, but the opposite team will have the opportunity to answer. 
  • A player may buzz to answer a question at any point after the moderator has begun reading it. The moderator will stop as soon as a player has buzzed. Only the player who buzzed may give an answer. Players must begin answering within 2 seconds after being recognized. Teammates may not engage in verbal or written consultation during the game.
  • To receive credit, a response must indicate accurate and precise knowledge of the answer. To be considered accurate, a response must generally be compatible with every clue in the question. The moderator will evaluate the answer given by a player, and may ask for clarification if an answer is compatible with the clues but is ambiguous. In these cases, the moderator may say “more information please.”
  • A protest (request for clarification or correction of an error) can be requested under the following circumstances: to evaluate the response, dispute the correctness of clues in a question, or question the proper application of game rules.  
  • Protests must be made by the official coach, within two min of the end of the game.   Invalid or unnecessary protest can result in additional loss of points and an expulsion from the game.


  • The quiz bowl director may declare that a team has forfeited a game should it fail to appear on time, or if the team is otherwise unable or unwilling to compete in accordance with the game rules.
  • A game consists of two ten minute halves. If the score is tied at the end of the game, an overtime period will be played.
  • The clock starts when the moderator begins reading the first category question, and play will be continuous until the end of the half (except in the case of clock stoppages).
  • The clock shall not stop, except at the end of a half or when a timeout is called. A timeout may be called only before the beginning of a question, never during or after a question-answer cycle. Each team has one 30-second timeout per game.
  • The clock will also stop in cases of emergency or other serious problems such as disciplining or warning players, ejecting a player, or resolving a technology issue.
  • When the clock sounds the end of time, the half or game shall end with the conclusion of the current question-answer cycle. 
  • The team with more points at the end of the game wins. If the score is tied, an off-the-clock overtime period consisting of three category and/or wild card questions will follow. These tossup questions are scored normally. Bonus questions are not used in overtime.
  • The timeliness with which the clock is started at the beginning of a half or with which it is started and/or stopped at other points in the game is not protestable unless a discrepancy exceeding 5 seconds is alleged.

Code of Conduct

  • All players, coaches, moderators, scorekeepers, and other persons associated with the quiz bowl must abide by a code of conduct, which includes treating all other participants and staff with respect, exhibiting disruptive behavior, not cheating or creating the temptation for another to cheat, abiding by all game rules and decisions of the game staff, honestly and promptly reporting game situations or violations of this code to a staff member.
  • Active players and alternates may not consult reference materials or use any devices, such as phones or computers, during gameplay (this includes halftime and timeouts). Official Coaches and Troupe Directors may be connected to their device during gameplay, but are strictly prohibited from offering impermissible assistance to players at any time. Pre and post-game periods are not considered “during gameplay.” 
  • Teams are responsible for the conduct of all persons associated with that team. All instances of misconduct must be reported to the game director at the conclusion of the game, or as soon as practical.