Thank you for your interest in The International History Bee and Bowl’s Australian and New Zealand Division! We’re excited to introduce history quiz tournaments to Australia and 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 Australian and New Zealand Division in 2014. We have already seen over 2000 schools and over 100,000 students from across Asia, Europe, North America, and of course, Australia and New Zealand 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 Australia, 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 12 or younger. Our tournaments are designed to be accessible to schools that instruct on an Australian or New Zealand curriculum, international 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 10-15% of our questions will reference Australian and 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 other parts of 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 a thorough understanding of history in context, going far beyond historical trivia.
Q: How do we sign up?
A: Teachers, administrators, students, 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 9 and 10 in Australia or Year 10 and 11 in New Zealand. The Middle School Division is meant for students in Year 8 and younger in Australia or Year 9 and younger in New Zealand. Younger students may always play on a higher level team. If your school does not correspond to a standard Australian or New Zealand 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. The questions in the Middle School Division are also slightly shorter and easier on average, and there are several fewer of them in each match.
Q: Do I have to play in the tournament at the site closest to us/in our state/region? Can we play more than once?
A: You can play at whichever site you like. A school in New South Wales, for example, can play in Victoria. 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 an Australian and New Zealand Championship?
A: We are planning on beginning an Australian and New Zealand Championship towards the end of 2016, most likely in Melbourne, though this is not confirmed just yet. The first Championship will not have qualification or prior participation requirements, so all will be welcome. Ultimately, such requirements will be instituted, but not until 2017 at the earliest.
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, a chance to meet other students interested in history from around the world, field trips, and more! Click on the “Intl. History Olympiad” tab for additional information. Students in Australia and New Zealand qualify for the Olympiad by finishing in the top half of any competition in their age division in the Bee or on a team in the Bowl at any IHBB tournament in the two years prior to the Olympiad. The Olympiad is now held during July in even-numbered years (2016, 2018, etc.).