Thank you for your interest in The International History Bee and Bowl’s New Zealand Division! We’re excited to introduce history quiz tournaments to New Zealand and hope this page and the rest of the site can help you learn more about how our tournaments work and how you can take part. The International History Bee and Bowl were founded in the USA in 2010, and we launched our New Zealand Division in 2014. We have already seen over 2000 schools and approximately 100,000 students from across Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America take part. Here are some FAQs that you might be interested in:
Q: What’s the difference between the Bee and the Bowl?
A: Real simple here – the Bee is for individual students; the Bowl is for teams. At all of our tournaments, whether in New Zealand or anywhere else, we run both competitions, though at different times so that all students who wish to compete in both can do so.
Q: What language are the tournaments held in?
A: All tournaments that you see displayed on this website are in English.
Q: Which types of schools/students can compete?
A: Any primary or secondary school is welcome to compete as long as it has students in Year 13 or younger. Our tournaments are designed to be accessible to New Zealand schools, international schools, American schools, British schools, state schools, private schools, religious schools and homeschool associations. We are an equal opportunity quiz organizer!
Q: What about the questions? If you’re based in the USA, then this would have too much US history, right?
A: Not at all! Actually, in any given match, about 20% of our questions will reference New Zealand history, about 45-50% will reference European history, and 10-20% will reference Asian history. The remaining questions will reference African history, the history of the Americas, the history of Australia and Oceania, and questions that reference multiple parts of the world together.
Q: I’m not sure about a history tournament. I’m more of a science/literature/arts/philosophy/geography/sports/music/whatever person.
A: Our approach to history is highly inclusive, so don’t worry, you’ll still find questions for you! See, every field has its history. So basically, if it happened in the past, it can come up. Expect questions on everything from Einstein to Ethiopia, Plato to Pele, Beethoven to the Beatles, in addition to the usual wars, revolutions, and the like.
Q: How do you answer the questions?
A: Our questions follow different formats, but for most questions, you’ll ring in with a buzzer, like on a quiz show. The questions that you use a buzzer for are called “pyramidal” questions. This means that they start off with harder information and become easier as the question goes on. When you think you know the answer, ring in! But if you’re wrong, then you can’t answer again, and neither can your teammates if you’re playing in the Bowl. This type of question rewards comprehensive knowledge and shows that this is much more than a mere trivia contest.
Q: How do we sign up?
A: Teachers, administrators, and parents should use the Register tab on the menu bar to access the registration page. There, just fill out the form for your school. The cost at regional tournaments includes both the Bee and Bowl for up to 6 students on a team. If your school is bringing more than 6 students, then you should sign up for more than one team. Once you register, we’ll send instructions for how to submit payment.
Q: What’s the “Junior Varsity” or “Middle School” division?
A: The Junior Varsity (JV) division is meant for students in Year 10 and 11. The Middle School Division is meant for students in Year 9 and younger. Younger students may always play on a higher level team. If your school does not correspond to a standard New Zealand age system, then students in the final two years of secondary school will be considered Varsity, the next two will be JV, and younger than that will be Middle School. JV and Middle School teams will play for a separate title at each tournament, though they may also play a few higher division teams in the process. In the Bee, students playing in the Middle School, JV and Varsity divisions will be kept entirely separate. This ensures that younger students have a more equal playing field.
Q: Do I have to play in the tournament at the site closest to us/in our state? Can we play more than once?
A: You can play at whichever site you like. A school nearer to Hamilton, for example, can play in Auckland. However, you can only play at one Regional qualifying tournament this year. That will change in future years, once we have enough competing schools.
Q: Is there a New Zealand Championship?
A: We will debut a New Zealand National Championships at some point in the next several years, once there is sufficient interest among participating schools at our regional tournaments. For 2015, students and teams who finish in the top half of the draw will qualify for our 2016 Asian Championships (which are held in June) and for the 2016 and 2017 International History Olympiads.
Q: What is the International History Olympiad?
A: In July 2015, we debuted the International History Olympiad, a week-long event in the summer which features Bee and Bowl competitions, historical simulations and debates, interactions with history professors and students from around the world, field trips, and more! Click on the “Intl. History Olympiad” tab for additional information.