Frequently Asked Questions – High School Division

1. What is the difference between the Bee and the Bowl? Do I have to compete in both at a high school regional tournament?
The primary difference is that the Bee is an individual competition whereas the Bowl is a team competition. That said, “teams” of 1 student are welcome in the Bowl too- this is not that uncommon. You do not have to do both, but the Bee is held at different times as the Bowl on a tournament day, so students can compete in both. Likewise, students qualifying for the High School National Championships of The National History Bee will also be able to play in all rounds at the High School National Championships of the Bowl if their teams have qualified.

2. How much will it cost to participate in The National History Bowl?

For the 2023-24 year, preregistration costs for our in-person regional events are as follows:

$99 – National History Bowl team of 3-6 students
$79 – National History Bowl team of 2 students
$59 – National History Bowl team of 1 student

Please note our updated costs and policies for in-person events can be found here, while costs and policies of our online events can be found here.

3. When and where will the Bee and Bowl events take place?

Events will take place across the country, as well as online. Check here to see where tournaments will be taking place this year.

4. What are the ways to qualify for the National Championships?

At each tournament, generally the top half of teams qualify for Nationals, and the top 50% of individuals qualify for the Bee. Teams qualify for Nationals by winning half of their preliminary games or a playoff game. For JV or MS/ES teams having to play in higher divisions due to a small field size, they can also qualify for Nationals by defeating a higher division team during prelims or playoffs. (e.g., a middle school team defeating a JV team).

5. Can a school enter more than one team to a tournament?
Yes! Schools can register an unlimited number of teams for a regional tournament.

6. Can a team compete at more than one tournament throughout the year?
Yes! Teams are encouraged to play our A set, B set, and C set events over the course of the year. Each set is an entirely different set of questions, so please come and play multiple tournaments.

7. Can a player play for two different teams during the year?
Yes, but only if they transfer schools, and they cannot go back and play for their old school. All players must be enrolled at the school they play for. Note that participating schools do not have to “officially” sanction their teams, however, thus still allowing teams to compete where the school the kids are enrolled at opposes participation for whatever reason. Also, all students cannot play for more than one team (e.g. transferring from a B team to an A team after the prelims) during any one event, but they can transfer from one event to the next, including the National Championships.

8. Will there be prizes for the winning teams and students? If so, what?
Medals (in the Bee) or plaques (in the Bowl) are awarded to top players at each regional event. Nationals prizes consist of trophies, plaques, and medals, depending on the student or team’s finish.

9. Is it possible to fundraise to cover registration costs?
Sure! We have a list of fundraising ideas here.

Frequently Asked Questions – Elementary and Middle School Divisions (EMS)

1. How do I participate?

  • The first step is to take the Online Regional Qualifying Exam (ORQE) and earn a qualifying score.
  • Students must create a new ORQE account each year and take the current academic year ORQE.

2. What do I do once I qualify?

  • Once you have your qualifying score(s) you can register for a regional final competition by visiting our registration page. We offer both in person and online regional finals.
  • Select the event you wish to participate in and fill out the registration form to pay and submit your registration. Registration cost is $47 per bee subject per student.

3. What do I do if I missed the registration window for my event of choice?

  • Registration closes 19 days (3rd Monday) before the date of the tournament.
  • Once the registration closes you will have the option of being put on a waitlist and if there is room in the tournament you will be contacted and asked if you still wish to register.
    • There is a $10.00 surcharge for late registration.

4. How many regional finals can I participate in over the season?

  • Students can participate in up to 3 regional finals per academic season, once per question set being offered.
  • We will offer question set Red in the fall, question set White in the winter, and question set Blue in the spring.

5. How do I qualify for EMS Nationals and Internationals?

  • Students qualify for nationals by finishing in the top 50% of their competing division at their regional final.
  • Students qualify for internationals by finishing in the top 25% of their competing division at their regional final or by finishing in the top 50% of their competing division at their national competition.