A world-class institute of changemakers in the deaf and signing community.
Since 1864, we have been investing in and creating resources for deaf and hard of hearing children, their families, and the professionals who work with them.
Over 50 degree programs, with online and continuing education for personal and professional development.
Innovating solutions to break down barriers, and using science to prove what does and doesn’t work.
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Make lasting memories and grow in ways you never thought possible.
Jesse SaundersDirector, Youth ProgramsEmail
Casey Johnson-PasquaSpecialist, Youth ProgramsEmail
Alison O'HaraSpecialist, Youth Programs OperationsEmail
1. What is the Academic Bowl?
Quiz tournaments, in which teams of high school students compete against each other in local, regional, and national events, is popular among high schools and colleges throughout the country. The Gallaudet University Academic Bowl competition consists of a question and answer game of general knowledge and quick recall. Questions are drawn from the following categories: Arts and Entertainment; Current Events; Language and Literature; Mathematics; Pop Culture, Leisure, and Sports; Potpourri; and Science and Technology.
2. When and why was it established?
Gallaudet University established its first National Academic Bowl in 1997 with the goal of promoting academic competition among school teams, and to foster academic excellence and achievement among deaf and hard of hearing students across the country.
3. What is the format of the Academic Bowl competition?
There are three regional virtual competitions across the United States: East, Central, and West. Up to 20 teams will compete in each regional competition, and teams take a ranking test to determine their seeding for the pool play.
The top five teams from each region are automatically invited to the in-person National competition in May 2022. The losing team of the Consolation Championship match will then take the wild card test. The top scoring wild card team out of the 3 teams that take the wild card test will then be invited to the National competition.
The 16 Nationals teams will take a ranking test to determine their seeding for the National competition. The winners of the National semifinal matches advance to the National Championship match shown live via Gallaudet's Facebook page. The losers of the semifinal matches play in the Third Place match which is also shown live via Gallaudet's Facebook page.
4. What will an Academic Bowl match look like?
The Preliminary matches will have three rounds. Round One will consist of 12 to team discussion questions and 12 bonus questions. Both teams gets to answer. If a team gets the answer right, a bonus question is awarded.
Round Two will also consist of 12 questions. Players will take turns answering the questions with no communication amongst teams allowed.
The Final Round consists of 10 questions with a set of instructions. Teams are given 30 seconds per question to discuss and record their answers.
During the tournament bracket matches (starting in the Quarterfinals round), the number of questions in Round One and Round Two goes up from 12 to 16. During the Championship match, the number of questions in Rounds One and Two goes up to 20.
The number of questions in the Final Round for the Championship match also goes up to 15.
**The match format is different for the 2021-2022 school year due to conducting both virtual and in-person competitions. More details are shared in the Rules and Guidelines manual.**
5. Who can participate?
The Academic Bowl is open to teams of high school students currently enrolled in recognized schools or programs for deaf and hard of hearing students. Schools or programs may be residential schools, day schools, mainstream programs, or any other type of educational program. The number of players allowed on a team is (4) four. All players must be in grades 9-12. If a school or program does not have enough students to field a team, one may be formed by combining students from another school or program and submitting a request to the Youth Programs office. When a single school or program does not have enough students to field its own Academic Bowl team, teams may be assembled by combining students from two or more schools or programs within a 25-mile radius of each other. In some cases, as in a school in a rural area, the school may petition in writing for special consideration, which may include a larger radius. Other options are for a mainstreamed or home-schooled student to join the team of a local school or program for the deaf. All written petitions for special consideration will be considered by the Youth Programs office.
6. How many teams are allowed to participate in the Academic Bowl competition?
A maximum of 60 teams may participate in the Academic Bowl competition with 20 teams in each of the three regions. A waiting list will be established for teams that do not make the cut in the ranking test. In the event a team is forced to withdraw from the competition, the first team on the waiting list will be offered the opportunity to participate in the competition.
If a region is full, then teams on the waiting list for that region may be invited to another region if there are spots available in that region.
7. Is there any expense for participating in the Academic Bowl competition?
A non-refundable fee of $250, to help offset Academic Bowl operation costs, will be charged to all participating teams. All team registration fees are non-refundable.
The 16 teams that compete at the National Academic Bowl competition will have all of their expenses covered, including travel, lodging, and meals.
8. When will the competition(s) be held?
The Regional Academic Bowl and dates and the National competition dates can be found at: Academic Bowl
9. What if my school needs to withdraw from the competition after I have submitted an application and fee?
If your team needs to withdraw from the competition, please inform the Youth Programs office immediately so that a team on the waiting list can be invited to participate. The team entry fee is non-refundable.
10. Can families and visitors watch the competition?
Gallaudet University is committed to following the guidelines set by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and so, as of May 2021, we will be unable to allow any spectators beyond the four players and two coaches allowed from each school to travel to Gallaudet for the National competition. This may include school administrators, alternate players, and family members. This rule is meant to reflect current guidelines, and so is subject to change throughout the competition season.
11. What is the best way to prepare my team for the competition?
Each coach varies with the type of preparation they use with their team. Some teams practice after school, weekends, or in the evenings. Some teams hold practice competitions with neighboring public schools, or with parents and their school community. Some schools even schedule matches via video conferencing with other schools. More information can be found in the Rules and Guidelines manual and at our AB Resources Center: AB Resources Center.
12. My school is interested in being a host school for a regional competition. Is there a bidding process?
Yes, we do have a bidding process. Click here to learn about the host school bidding process.
13. Who do I contact for more information about the Academic Bowl?
Please contact our Youth Programs Specialist, Casey Johnson-Pasqua at email@example.com.
Gallaudet University is a federally chartered private and premier university for the deaf and hard of hearing since 1864.
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