National Geography Bowl

Middle School, Intermediate, & Elementary School Divisions Homepage

New for 2023-2024!

National Geography Bowl
National Geography Bowl

The National Geography Bowl Overview

National Geography Bowl Logo

The National Geography Bowl is a quiz competition for teams of students who attend the same school or homeschool association. Teams consist of two students who play at any time; a third student is permitted as an alternate. For the 2023-24 academic year, the National Geography Bowl is contested solely at the IAC Middle & Elementary School National Championships. Questions come from all aspects of geography, including political, physical, and cultural geography, and reference all parts of the world.

  • Eligibility: Each team must have at least one student who has qualified for the National Championships of the National Geography Bee. Otherwise, no prior qualification is required. All students on a team must attend the same school or homeschool association with the exception of homeschooled students not belonging to an association who may join school teams in accordance with the IAC Homeschool Policy.

  • Competitors: Teams of 2 students, with 1 alternate permitted. There are 3 age divisions: Middle School (7th & 8th graders), Intermediate (5th & 6th graders), and Elementary School (4th grade and younger). Teams may have younger students, but the division is determined by the oldest student on the team.
  • Competition Style: Buzzer-based quiz tournament
  • Inquiries: Contact ems-info@iacompetitions.com

Competition Format

The National Geography Bowl is a single-stage competition consisting solely of the National Championships, which will be held in Orlando, FL on May 23-26. Students can also qualify for the International Geography Championships by competing in the National Geography Bowl.

Stage
1

National Championships

Each team in the 2024 National Geography Bowl National Championships will play six preliminary rounds on the afternoon of Thursday, May 23. There will be an even multiple of four teams in each age division; we will search for standby teams as necessary to ensure that the draw is filled to an even multiple of four. Teams will then be seeded based on their players’ performances in the National Geography Bee Regional Finals.

Teams will all play 3 opening rounds of preliminaries. Then the top teams, based first on Rank Points, and then on Game Points will advance to the Upper Bracket where they are eligible to contest for the National Championship and will play 3 more rounds. Other teams will play 3 Lower Bracket consolation rounds. Rank points are given out on the basis of 4 for a win, 3 for second place, 2 for third place, and 1 for a fourth place finish. Please see the National Geography Bowl Official Rules for details on how Game Points are calculated.

The top teams will then compete in the Semifinal round on May 25, and the Semifinal winners will contest the Final round (and 3rd place round if needed) on May 26. The exact number of teams who make the playoffs, and whether the playoff rounds will consist of 4 teams per match, 3 teams per match, or 2 teams per match will be announced once registration closes and the field size has been finalized.

Bonus
Stage

International Geography Championships

Students who compete in the Middle School, Intermediate, and Elementary School Divisions of the National Geography Bowl can qualify for the 2024 International Geography Championships which will be held in Vienna, Austria from July 13-20! Students can qualify for IGC by finishing in the top 50% in their age division at the 2024 National Geography Bowl National Championships. They can also qualify by finishing in the top 25% at any 2022-23 or 2023-24 National Geography Bee Regional Finals tournament, or in the top 50% at the 2023 or 2024 National Championships of the National Geography Bee. The complete qualifying methods for the International Geography Championships are explained here.

The International Geography Championships is a week-long event with numerous competitions, field trips, family activities and more. In each event, medals are awarded to the top 3 competing students in each age division. US students compete for their state; students from other countries (or students in the USA who were born abroad or who have foreign citizenship) represent those countries. Two of the most prestigious events at IGC are the International Geography Bee World Championships and the International Geography Bowl World Championships; an overall IGC Championship title is also awarded in each age division; please view the website at www.geochampionships.com for further details on all events and to register. We are expecting 125-200 students to attend the 2024 IGC.

As part of the 2024 International Geography Championships, an optional day trip to Budapest (featuring one or two official medal events) on July 13 is also offered. There will also be an optional week-long Central Europe extension trip following the conclusion of the IGC which will visit Prague, Dresden, Berlin, and other points in between Vienna and Berlin which is open to any family with a student age 9-17 (participation in IGC is not required to take part in the trip).

For all questions on the 2024 International Geography Championships and the Central Europe Trip, please email david@iacompetitions.com.

National Geography Bowl Practice Resources

Rules & FAQs

Yes, solo student teams can compete.

No, this is not permitted in the National Geography Bowl. All students on a team must attend the same school or homeschool association, with the exception of homeschooled students not belonging to an association, who can form a team in accordance with the IAC Homeschool Participation Policy.

For the 2024 National Geography Bowl National Championships, a team of two or three students costs $375 ($335 if registered and paid for by the end of 2023), and a solo student team costs $195 ($175 if registered and paid for by the end of 2023).
There is no formal distribution file, but approximately 20-25% of the questions will focus on geography of the USA. Roughly 10-15% are on Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Roughly 20-25% is on Asia. Roughly 15-20% is on Europe. Roughly 15-20% is on Africa. Roughly 5-10% is on Australia, Oceania, and Antarctica.